weekend free-for-all – March 31-April 1, 2018

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school.)

Book recommendation of the week: The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror, by Daniel Mallory Ortberg. Delightfully disturbing (and sometimes funny) adaptations of classic fairy tales. Very enjoyable.

* I make a commission if you use that Amazon link.

{ 1,278 comments… read them below }

      1. zyx*

        Also, Mallory Ortberg is now Daniel Mallory Ortberg, even though it was too late to change his name on the cover and promotional materials. (Not sure why Slate isn’t using his new name yet, though I’m sure they will eventually.)

  1. Almost Violet Miller*

    I’m thinking of dying my hair red again. Think Julianne Moore or Emma Stone, so something darker and natural-looking.
    My original hair color is brown (not light but not very dark either). The first time my hairdresser dyed it red, it washed out into an orange mess very fast.
    My hair grows very fast so I know I’d need to have the roots covered every 4-6 weeks but does red really fade this fast or did my hairdresser screw up?
    I am fairly happy with how my hair is at the moment (I was blond for a very long time) but would like some change and my inner redhead wants to resurface.
    Is there anyone who went red and loved it?

      1. Almost Violet Miller*

        Thanks! Do you have any experiences how often it needs to be redone?

        I’m also thinking of using henna instead, but still with the help of a professional.

        1. Indie*

          I use nice n easy ‘born red’ which I redo once a month. If it’s a natural red colour you’re thinking of, then fading won’t matter as it will just be a ‘handsome auburn’ for the last few weeks as Anne of Green Gables would say. Mine doesn’t fade as I have awfully spongy porous hair which releases nothing, not even to highwaymen. I can go up to two months if I exercise fade proofing care which involves using cool or tepid wash water, sulphate free shampoo (also good for curls) and you can also top up the colour half way between proper dye jobs with a toner, henna conditioning treatment or an easy non permanent foam colour

        2. Birch*

          I really recommend henna! My natural colour is blonde, so I can’t say how well it will take on brown, but I use the red henna (a medium red–not the BRIGHT CRIMSON but also not the strawberry blonde one; my local natural food store has about 8 different shades) and it lasts forever. I never have to recolour unless I’m doing my roots. It’s a beautiful, natural looking red and has so much depth, plus my hair has never been this healthy. It’s much stronger and I get less frizz and less breakage. I just do it at home–mix it with water till I get a sort of pancake batter texture, apply, leave on for 4-6 hours, wash out. It smells a bit for about a day and I sleep with a towel over my pillow the first night to prevent stains. I also use a natural shampoo without sulfates since I read that you can’t wash your hair with drugstore shampoo after dyeing with henna or it’ll turn orange. I’ve had no problem with my natural shampoo.

          I’ve done platinum blonde for a bit and liked that too, but at the moment I can’t beat the red henna for colour, health of hair, and cost of maintenance–one packet lasts me about a year and they’re 6 euros at my local shop. Go henna!

        1. Lindsay J*

          Red tattoo ink can apparently be problematic as well! More likely to fade as well as more likely to cause skin reactions.

      2. Middle School Teacher*

        My red doesn’t fade that quickly. My hairdresser uses colour from Joico, I believe, and I only wash my hair two-three times a week, using aveda shampoo and conditioner. It does fade, yes, but slowly, and it stays pretty. I get it done every 8 weeks.

    1. Lcsa99*

      Try esalon.com. I am also a brunette releasing her inner red head and was able to get a decent red that lasts better than the regular boxed stuff (never had it professionally done). They will adjust the mix until it’s something you like, and you can schedule shipments so you can get it as often as you need.

      It sounds like I started with a darker brown than you so that might have made a difference, but it really is worth a try if you’re comfortable doing it yourself.

    2. Forking Great Username*

      Yeah, red is pretty high-maintenance. Did you try using a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner last time?

    3. Nye*

      I’ve used henna a bunch in the past to redden my brown hair, and loved the results.

      * Sits on top of your natural color, so fades/grows out naturally and not obviously (and lasts a long time).
      * Gives great shine and texture to hair – mine always looks and feels healthier after I henna it.

      * The actual process is messy, smelly, and time-consuming, and most salons won’t do it. (I’ve always gone DIY.)
      * Since it doesn’t bleach your hair or change your underlying color, there’s a limit to how much of a change you’ll see. With dark brown hair, you’ll probably go auburn or coppery, but you’ll never get Anne-with-an-E red.
      * It’s not recommended to use henna on hair that’s been chemically dyed (and vice-versa), because cheaper hennas can have additives that may interact badly with chemical dye. (I have read that this is less of a problem than people think, if you use good henna, but have never tested it myself so offer it as a consideration.)

      I’ve always loved the results when I’ve used henna in the past, but haven’t done it in ages because it’s just been too much hassle. That said, if I want to make a change in the future, I would absolutely use henna again instead of a salon dye job.

      1. Lindsay J*

        Some Lush Cosmetic shops will apply the Henna that they sell in-store.

        (I would imagine they’re more likely to do this if you schedule ahead of time with them, or go in during a weekday or other not-busy time.)

    4. phyllisb*

      I dye mine red, and the funny thing is, when I had it professionally done it seemed to fade quicker than when I do it. I just use Nice N Easy and redo it every 10-12 weeks. What DOES help, whether you do it yourself or get it done, ask for a glaze. That makes it last much better. If you do it yourself, you can get what you need at a beauty supply store. If you’re not sure what to get, ask the clerk. They won’t make recommendations, but they will be able to direct you to the right aisle. The product I use is Clairol Professional Radiance Color Gloss. After you color your hair, blow it dry and add the glaze. Let set, rinse and style as normal. Also use a shampoo for color-treated hair. There again, at my beauty supply store I found one for red hair, riveting reds by Quantum. Also John Freida makes one for red hair that you can find at CVS, Walgreen’s, ect. Also don’t wash your hair every day. Nothing makes color fade like excessive hair washing. In fact, when you do color, don’t wash it all for three days. That gives the color time to set. I’m surprised your stylist didn’t tell you any of this. Mine told me all this the first time I got color.

      1. phyllisb*

        Oops. Forgot to tell you that if you decide to add glaze yourself, you get the color gloss and color infuser and mix them. It tells you that on the bottle, but didn’t want you to be trying it and not having everything you need.

        1. phyllisb*

          I also forgot to tell you the most important thing (note to self: no posting until AFTER the second cup of coffee!!) If you decide to try doing your own color, leave it on longer than the instructions tell you. My most recent stylist told me to leave it on for an hour. It won’t damage your hair, and color does last longer.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Me too.
          I didn’t trust it for blonde, but I went back and forth between auburns 110 and 112 and they worked really well.
          Plus, they include a badass conditioner in the box. I wish Clairol would market that stuff all by itself.

          1. phyllisb*

            Seconding the auburn. I used 110 until they came out with the Sun-Kissed. Now I use 8SC. Makes it look like I have high-lights.They have started selling that conditioner in individual tubes. I think it’s like $3.00?? I have a boat-load of it I would send you if I had your address. I only use it the day I color my hair and then maybe again after three weeks. My hair does not do well when I condition it. It gets too slippery and I can’t style it right. Even when I use just a bit and rinse, rinse, rinse. My hair seems to do better when the texture is just a bit rough.

          2. phyllisb*

            Also going to say nix to the N&E blonde. When my natural blonde started to fade to dishwater, I tried it, and came out with a beautiful (not) shade of brass. Decided that as long I was doing blonde or highlighting, professional was the way to go. Of course that was 30 years ago, and hair color products have improved a lot since then, but I would still be wary of doing my own blonde. I didn’t try to color my own again until I went red.

            1. Cedrus Libani*

              Yeah, bleaching your own hair is not trivial. There’s a fine line between bleaching it orange and bleaching it into oblivion. The first time I tried…I ended up with a white-blonde buzz cut, because everything that wasn’t virgin roots melted right off. (Which looked awesome, TBH, and I kept it that way for awhile. But it’s not to everyone’s taste!)

      2. ThatGirl*

        Yeah, I use L’Oréal Prerefence in light reddish blonde and the immediate redness fades but it stays a nice strawberry blonde color.

    5. AnotherJill*

      I went red for several years, also with medium brown hair. I had it done professionally, about once a month. For me, the biggest key to maintaining color was washing strategy. As someone else says here, don’t wash at all for around 72 hours after a dye. After that, I only washed it every other day, and used shampoo for dyed hair in red shades – herbal essence is one I remember working well.

      Otherwise I loved it. I went back to my natural hair a couple of years ago at which point it was grayish brown with white streaks. I love the look of it, but am still sometimes tempted to go back to red.

      1. Cathy*

        And wash in as cold a water as you can tolerate. Hot water opens the cuticles and the red can fade super fast.

    6. Red*

      I have bright bright red hair and it really does fade that fast, but I love it so much that I do not care at all

    7. CatCat*

      Sounds like you and I have similar hair colors. I have red with magenta highlights. I looooove it. I do have to get it touched up more often. I wash my hair every other day or every two days and use dry shampoo in between.

    8. Parenthetically*

      Red fades NOTORIOUSLY quickly. Apparently the issue is that the color molecules/particles are much smaller in red dye, so they wash out much quicker. I have dark blonde hair and have dyed it various shades of red myself for 20+ years and the one thing I’ll say — don’t use drugstore dye. The developer is garbage, not nearly potent enough, and will almost never result in a nice clean red, especially not if you’re aiming for Julianne Moore/Emma Stone, and will just get darker and muddier every time you redo it. You need a 20 or 30 volume developer to be able to lift medium brown hair to be as light as you’re aiming for and drugstore developer is 10 volume. Sally Beauty Supply or another similar place will have a much much wider range of shades, stronger developer.

      You can also get root cover, either in spray or powder form, a bit like dry shampoo, which really does an awesome job of reducing how often you have to color. I can get away with once every 3 months.

    9. Former Employee*

      Even natural red hair seems to fade.

      Most natural red heads I have known seem to experience their color fading as they age and they appear to go grey at a younger age than average.

      I believe that Julianne Moore has been coloring her hair back to her earlier color for years.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Wait, really? I’ve always heard that redheads (I’m one) don’t go grey at all and just get lighter/sandier as time goes on.

        I’m 44 and my hair color still hasn’t changed, and I thought that was part of the deal.

          1. Former Employee*

            I guess I should have included white and not just mentioned grey. When I was a child, an older family member had beautiful white hair, but I was told it was originally red. I never saw the person with red hair because they would have been in their early 60’s when I was born.

          2. Elizabeth West*

            My dad’s (brown hair) is all white now but was salt-and-pepper for a long time. I do not like that on me, so I’m keeping it blonde until it goes all white. At that time, I may grow it out and just have long-ass white hair and put cool colors in it.

            Or I may stay with long blonde movie-star hair for the rest of my days. :)

        1. Indoor Cat*

          There is science on this! Okay, so grey hair is an optical illusion, in which some individual hairs turn white and others don’t.

          Most people’s individual hairs are not all the same color, or shade of that color. Two pigments make up all natural hair colors– eumelanin and phomelanin. Every single hair has a mix of both kinds of melanin, but in different quantities than other hairs on the same head. Gingers have the most phomelanin, blondes have the most eumelanin, brunettes have a more even balanced mix.

          Hair color is genetic, but six different genes contribute to melanin. And hair color changes when the melanin-producing cells in the scalp just…die. Our hair still grows, but those cells are dead. For whatever reason, phomelanin producing hair follicles generally live longer than eumelanin producing cells.

          But, if a person has some blonde hairs and some red hairs (making a “strawberry blonde” color), they’ll go gray earlier (generally) than others, because the blonde hairs will turn white, and combined with the red hairs, they begin to take on a grey texture.

          1. LizB*

            Ooh, is this also why several people in my family were very blonde as small children and got more and more brunette as they got older? Did their eumelanin producing cells start dying off and change the balance of pigments?

            1. Panda Bandit*

              People tend to have darker hair after they’ve gone through puberty and that may be one of the contributors.

        2. McWhadden*

          Redheads tend to wake up with silver hair later in life. Like going from a Tully to a Targaryen.

        3. Indie*

          I WAS a natural redhead! I’ve been grey since 35. My brunette brother had a white quiff at age 19 though so it seems to be a family thing, not a hair colour thing. I’ve heard that the Irish (which we are descendants of) go prematurely grey as a ‘price for the fine skin’ which I take with a pinch of salt in spite of my nice skin!

        4. phyllisb*

          Sorry, Alison. My sister is (was) a natural redhead and now her hair is a beautiful snow white. I don’t remember exactly when hers started changing because she started coloring it, but I think it was in her late thirties/early 40’s. She’s 69 now and decided about 10 years ago to let nature take its course. We have different dads, (and different hair color/type.) My dad’s family were all blondes that went brown/dishwater and didn’t have any grey until they were close to 80. I inherited this so I don’t know if I will ever go fully grey; but I can guarantee that if I ever go white, I will be thrilled.

        5. Muriel Heslop*

          I’m 47 year old redhead and just over the last three years find one or two stray grays every three months or so. They are usually coarse and wiry. I’m definitely more strawberry blonde in some places and I am hoping to be like my auburn haired mother and be 10% gray at 72.

          My hair does get lighter pretty easily – every time I get my hair cut, people think I’ve colored it. It’s just so much darker after I get the top layer thinned out. Then again, I live in the south and am outside in the sun year round.

        6. LS*

          My grandmother was a flaming carrot redhead and her hair just got lighter and lighter from her 50s onwards until she was a very pale strawberry blonde when she passed away in her mid-70s. I just inherited auburn tones, but my cousin is also a flaming carrot redhead and starting to get lighter in her 40s. So it’s definitely the case for some redheads!

        7. Eye of the Hedgehog*

          My mom is pushing sixty and while her red has faded considerably, she has not gone grey yet. Her brunette parents were both fully grey by her age.

        8. KarenT*

          My best friend has red hair and it’s gone quite grey. It may not be the norm but it definitely happens!

      2. Pol*

        I don’t know, my father is a redhead and over 60, and only recently his beard started going white (no grey).

        There were a few red haired women in the family in my grandparents’ generation with red hair who kept the color into their 70s (then died, so no data after that).

        He isn’t getting bald, either, though his father was pretty bald at that age (and his younger, brown haired brother has largely grey-white, thinning hair by now…)

      3. Momma Bear*

        Not true for me! I’m nearly 50, my natural red is still vibrant, not a single gray.
        My grandmother’s was similarly naturally vibrant into her 70s, that’s what I am hoping for!

    10. Michaela Westen*

      I have darkish brown hair and dyed it a color called Light Golden Chestnut, which is a little reddish, for a long time to cover the gray. I did it myself and when it grew out I dyed only the roots because I wanted it to have natural variations.
      I didn’t notice any color fading, maybe because it was chestnut instead of red? It seemed to have a gold cast.
      Maybe a chestnut shade would work for you?

    11. G*

      My cousin has dyed her hair in rainbow colours in the past. She says the only colour that lasts very long is blue.

      1. Red Reader*

        I’ve found personally that blue fades super fast, but purple lasts quite well, fades into wine/burgundy shades.

      2. Temperance*

        For me, bright pink faded much more slowly than blue. Blue washes out pretty quickly and turns a greenish color without regular upkeep.

    12. Elizabeth West*

      I was a redhead for YEARS. Yes, it does fade faster than any other color. I finally had to switch because grey was coming in faster than I could keep up and I was touching up my roots every two weeks. That got old. :P Originally, I was going for a lighter red, but it came out more blonde and I liked it better.

      Wash it less often and stay out of the sun! I think a tinted glaze treatment might also help–anyway, my stylist recommended that to me before I changed over. It won’t do anything about regrowth but 4-6 weeks touchup is pretty good. The closer it is to your natural color in terms of shade, the better it will look.

    13. Fiennes*

      I’ve been artificially red for several years now, and I love it. My coloring works well with it, and I don’t mind going bold. I touch up every month, though this is primarily because my hair grows fast and is getting very patchily gray. So it doesn’t matter to me that much—YMMV.

      Of home hair dyes, I personally prefer Schwarzkopf (yes, like the general) brand. They provide very good coverage and stay vivid about as long as any red can. I get lots of compliments on the shade (Ruby Red, which is gorgeous but not for the faint of heart.) Personally I think it looks as good or better than it did when I first got it done at the salon. Although it can be tricky to find Schwarzkopf dyes in your neighborhood drugstore, they are available on Amazon.

    14. Slartibartfast*

      I use Schwartzkopf vintage red, because I like vivid red. and I don’t shampoo every day. I will wash and condition one day, shower but don’t get my head wet on day 2, wet but only use conditioner day 3. My natural hair is mousy brown, and probably at least 25% gray, and I color every 8 weeks or so. I also use Loreal root touch up spray as needed.

      1. Slartibartfast*

        Also, when I wanted more natural and less flaming red, I would mix a red and auburn to get an in between tone. I used Loreal Preference when I did this, put half of each color in one developer bottle, save the other developer and other halves of the color creme for next time. It was a very natural result and seemed to last longer, but it didn’t cover the grays as well (main reason why I switched to Schwartzkopf)

        1. phyllisb*

          Speaking of red hair, my son (who is blond like I was) grew a beard, and it was flaming red. Now the hair on his head is turning red. I think that is so bizarre (not the beard, I know it’s common for mens beards to be a different color) but I think it’s odd that his hair is turning red I would have thought it would turn either a muddy color like mine did, or turn grey. It’s also turning loose. Much to his char gain.

          1. Slartibartfast*

            I used to be naturally red, turned to brown as I got older, but I would still get flaming red streaks in the sun. I wonder if that’s part of why red doesn’t seem to fade out for me as quickly?

    15. Almost Violet Miller*

      Wow, thank you all for the awesome suggestions!
      I’m in Europe but most of the products mentioned are available in my local drugstore, for the rest I will check online.
      I’m really tempted to try henna. I’m a bit shy about DIY hair coloring so I’ll probably ask a more experienced (or braver) friend to help me out. I know of a few salons that use henna, that might also work.
      For some condition similar to seborrhea I need to use a specific shampoo about once a week, I’ll check if that works with henna. My hair has zero volume so I use something by John Frieda but I can live without that.
      Will let you know which product I went for and how it turned out in the next couple of week!
      Enjoy Easter if you celebrate it or have a nice weekend! And once again thanks for the answers.

  2. Laura in NJ*

    Anyone know where I can find Series 2 of “Science of Stupid”? I’m having a very difficult time; I’d try Netflix but they require a credit card just to search and I don’t want to deal with that hassle just find my show.

    1. JKP*

      In the US, and not on Netflix. And only series 1 for sale (not prime) on Amazon.

      If you get the Yahoo Video Guide app (free) you can search by show and it will show you all the services that have that show. It’s a lot easier than looking on each streaming service you have trying to find it.

      1. Casuan*

        There are other sites that also do this, such as Reelgood-dot-com.

        I’ve never heard of the series although it sounds interesting!
        I’ll look it up. :)

  3. Handy nickname*

    I didn’t buy a tv before I moved last week, so the only movie source I have right now is Prime Video on my tablet, and I’m looking for suggestions! I started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and adore it. Didn’t watch a ton of tv showed before this, but I liked Rick & Morty (even though a lot of the fans suck, sadly), That 70s Show, Christy, Coach, and plan to watch House of Cards. Mrs. Maisel is by far my favorite so far though!

    Any suggestions of other shows available on Prime video that you’ve enjoyed?

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      If quirk colliding with super heroes tickles your fancy, my son (teenage) and I really liked The Tick. And it’s in half hour increments, which was handy for us.

      Arthur is a quiet nerd who has been trying to prove that a supervillain faked his death. One day a large confident person in a tick costume pops up and starts offering him villain-fighting advice, completely blowing Arthur’s whole under the radar, no one will believe me, thing. Hits all the superhero origin tropes, but with fun twists. And I think Alan Tudyk plays Danger Boat.

      1. Thursday Next*

        Seconding the rec for The Tick! I was a fan of the animated series ages ago as well. It’s quirky and moves along quickly.

    2. MCL*

      I just finished watching The Wire several years late, and loved it. All seasons are on Prime. The first two seasons of VEEP are also there for something lighter.

      1. Phideaux*

        I second The Wire. I loved that each season was a different story line, not just typical cop show. However, I need to say that Mrs. Phideaux did not appreciate the violence, language, and regular use of the n-word (when gang members would refer to each other) If that bothers you then you probably wouldn’t enjoy this show.

    3. Juli G.*

      The Americans! The last season starts on FX this week and it’s a show that is very underrated.

    4. Emily*

      I enjoyed Hannibal, but it’s very artsy and can get pretty graphic (as one might expect in a show about serial killers), so your mileage may vary!

      I’ve heard that a lot of people like Orphan Black (science fiction series where the main actress plays a bunch of different clones), but I haven’t watched it, so I can’t personally vouch for it.

        1. Sylvan*

          There is also a lot of dark humor in it and a romantic plot that you might not expect if your only touchstone for the characters is Silence of the Lambs. It’s fun. It’s not unrelentingly grim.

          1. Handy nickname*

            That sounds like something I’d really enjoy, but my stomach tends to be not great with graphic violence in shows. Ugh I wish I could watch it!

    5. Red Reader*

      I keep meaning to watch Chance with Hugh Laurie (big House fan), but haven’t been able to do it when I can pay enough attention to follow it. (I do a lot of my tv watching while multitasking.)

      1. Handy nickname*

        Yeah I’ve been turning a show on in the evenings while I’m making supper and cleaning up for bed. So mostly watching things that are engaging but not too complex, but sounds like a good one to save for later!

    6. Laura in NJ*

      The Grand Tour, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s hosted by the old “Top Gear” guys and there’s two seasons so far. They’re currently filming series 3.

    7. Anona*

      Goliath grew on me. If you like house of cards, you may like it. There’s some intrigue. We’ve also enjoyed sneaky Pete and man in the high Castle (which reimagines postwar history if the Nazis had won). High Castle is a little weird but interesting.

      1. Parenthetically*

        How dark is Man in the High Castle? I mean the subject matter is pretty dark, but how relentless is it? I like counterfactual histories but have held off on it because I don’t want, like, psychologically oppressive entertainment, you know?

        1. Thursday Next*

          It is not necessarily relentless, but I’ll admit it took me a few tries to get through the first episode. Once I was in, I was all in, and I’m eager for season 3.

        2. KR*

          Yes! The Nazi government in Eastern America is…. Unsettling and there are some antiquated ablest, racist, and xenophobic views/actions/rules that definitly made me do a double take and think for a moment but there isn’t a ton of gore and it’s got me hooked as well for the next season.

      2. Nines*

        I was really fond of Sneaky Pete too! I haven’t watched season 2 but I’m excited about it!
        Catastrophe is a sitcom and it’s just fantastic.
        I also loved Hannibal.
        I’m currently working through the Sons of Anarchy seasons. It’s not fantastic, but it’s entertaining.
        Oh! And I think the first couple seasons of American Horror Story are still available on Amazon. I fell in love with those!

    8. Stacy*

      I absolutely adore Last Tango in Halifax. If you’re not strictly limited to Prime I highly recommend it. I bought all of the series because Amazon has the original versions of the episodes that aired on BBC, not the edited PBS/Netflix versions, and I re-watch it often enough that it’s more than worth it.

      1. Handy nickname*

        I’m not technically, but I’m trying to check out ones that are on there before I start spending money, but if I ever get a chance I’ll check it out!

    9. Piano Girl*

      A Man Called Ove is a wonderful movie, if you don’t mind subtitles! I’ve also enjoyed Mozart in the Jungle.

    10. Parenthetically*

      Oh man I LOVED Mrs. Maisel. Hysterically funny. Following this thread because we just don’t use our Prime video as much as we should.

      1. Handy nickname*

        Isn’t it though!? I’m halfway through the first season, and it’s absolutely delightful. The characters (especially Midge) are so relatable- she is fantastic and funny and screws up at all the right plot points. Got the recommendation from here a few weeks ago!

    11. Casuan*

      “Lark Rise to Candleford” is an excellent series.
      It’s doubtful I would have watched the series on my own, although I was visiting someone & they were watching it so I got drawn in & loved it.

      I think it is on Amazon Prime…?

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        It is! I started bingeing it when we were away over Christmas. So good. Though I did get a bit exhausted of it after about 5 straight seasons. :)

    12. Lady Jay*

      I watched the Battlestar Galatica reboot on Prime. The first couple of seasons are really excellent: well-acted, complex, surprising, and thought-provoking. Also The Big Sick is on Amazon Prime; I loved the characters and the unexpected focus not on the main character and his love interest, but on the main character and his love interests’ parents. It’s a funny movie but doesn’t accept easy resolutions for difficult situations.

    13. Muriel Heslop*

      We loved Mrs Maisel so much! We’ve also enjoyed Mozart in the Jungle. There’s only one season, but we LOVED The Last Tycoon with Kelsey Grammer, Matt Bomer and Lily Collins. Definitely recommend it.

      Our favorite of all: Catastrophe. It’s absolutely hilarious. It’s about a couple who has a fling, she gets pregnant, and they try to make the relationship work. Plus: Carrie Fisher. It’s complicated, a little dark, but so funny.

      Good uck!

      1. Nines*

        Yesss!!!! I was so surprised Catastrophe hasn’t been mentioned earlier. It’s so well done and hilarious and intelligent. I just love it.

  4. Cookie Addict*

    Psst. It’s Daniel Mallory Ortberg now. :) Though, I’m not sure if books published before pre-transition get attributed differently post-transition.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure how it would work with books, but since Slate is still listing his byline as Mallory as recently two days ago, I don’t think he’s made the change with authorship yet. (If anyone thinks I’m wrong about this, let me know and I will inquire!)

    2. Cristina in England*

      The article in The Cut said that his name change wouldn’t be appearing in Slate bylines for another six months or so.

    3. fposte*

      Unless there’s a reissue, the publisher isn’t likely to change the name on a book that’s already out, so the book itself is likely to still have the pre-transition name. I think probably the likeliest model here is pseudonyms and maiden/marriage names–you cite the book as published but might parenthetically add the better known or more current name. So you definitely wouldn’t just say “by Daniel Ortberg,” because that’s confusing in finding the book by Mallory; you could, though, say “Mallory (now Daniel) Ortberg.”

      The person I immediately thought of was tJan Morris, who had an extensive writing career as James Morris, and I was interested to see how varied her stuff was treated. Penguin UK still has a 1979 work of James in print and hasn’t changed the name on it, but most of her stuff is out under Jan now, including other editions of the same work. While she was a huge pioneer and conventions weren’t exactly worked out when she transitioned, I think her case reveals the complexity of the nomenclature issue.

      1. fposte*

        Sorry, she’s not tJan, just Jan–not sure whose t that is. She wanted less of that, not more.

        1. fposte*

          I think colloquially that’ll work fine; it’s just an actual citation where you need to be clear what’s on the book, not just what the person is named now.

      2. McWhadden*

        Funny enough I have the first volume of her Empire series as Jan but the third volume as James. So, it seems pretty erratic.

        But she’s been Jan since the 70s. That’s over four decades to get it right. I think we can give it a few months here.

      3. JamieS*

        My understanding is the name is supposed to be whatever the book was published under. So if Jan Morris published a book under James Morris in 1978 and the book was reprinted in 2018 the name on the book would still be James Morris but if she wrote a book in 2018 then it’d be published as Jan Morris. Admittedly I could be way off since I’m no expert on this but that’s the understanding I’ve been operating under.

        1. fposte*

          Most of the books Jan wrote as James have been reissued as being by Jan Morris. The publishers didn’t rush out to reprint when she transitioned, but it’s been several decades, she’s a popular writer, and stuff has gotten reprinted since then. The Penguin Classics version of the Pax Britannica series seems to be an odd exception, but a more recent version of those by a different publisher is under Jan. It may just be Penguin printed a crap ton of them and is still getting rid of the inventory (they probably wouldn’t do that in the U.S. because of unfavorable tax laws, but I don’t know how that works in the UK).

          The official citation would depend on which edition you were using; in the Ortberg case, there is still no edition officially labeled “Daniel Ortberg,” so it would be under the Mallory name.

        2. Rusty Shackelford*

          And yet, a million years ago when I was in college and looking in the card catalog for a book by Clare Boothe, I was redirected to Clare Boothe Luce, even though the book had been published before she married Luce.

    4. Come On Eileen*

      Wow, I had no idea! I listen to Dear Prudence quite a bit and don’t think this has ever come up. Not that it naturally would, but still. Whatever the name or gender, Prudie is witty and funny and this just makes me happy.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I used the name that I’ve seen him still using on his published works as recently as this week, which I deliberately took a look at. No slight intended, and I have asked him if he’d like me to change it.

        1. LouiseM*

          On twitter he’s said that he’s happy with fans using his new name/pronouns in private conversation (so, “I can’t wait to see Daniel Ortberg speak today!”) but is using old names/pronouns professionally and in book promo for the time being.

          1. Lance*

            Makes some sense; that’s the name they’re recognizable under at the moment, after all. Just gotta give the name some time for transition in people’s heads.

  5. Lcsa99*

    Please send out any good luck vibes you can. My mother has been trying for the last 5 years to get on disability. She has a laundry list of ailments and is in constant pain, yet she was denied the first time she tried, attempted to have that changed through the courts and the judge mishandled her case twice before she was able to get the decision thrown out. Monday she gets a new hearing and I think this will be a final straw for her if she gets denied again. 

    She can’t walk around a single block without getting out of breath, is in tears if she tries to walk up a single flight of stairs, yet she has had so much bad luck we’re all just holding our breath. 

    1. Thursday Next*

      That sounds so difficult. Your mother sounds very determined and I hope things work out this time. It’s frustrating that many disability services are so hard to access. I am sending good thoughts and wishes your way.

    2. WellRed*

      I believe it’s almost automatic to be denied the first time. I know in my state it is common for it to take a few years.

      1. Lcsa99*

        That’s what we’ve heard. It’s just exhausting her to keep this going. And I live on the other side of the country, so there is only so much I can do to support her.

    3. Diluted_Tortoiseshell*

      I am really sorry that is really hard. Went through the same with my mother. She did finally get a back payment though. I think it took 6 years before she got it. She ultimately switched to a private lawyer who agreed to take a share of her disability and did not require money up front. That was the turning point. I highly recommend you find a good disability lawyer who only gets paid if you get paid.

      Also my mother was a tough go get em type who would push herself beyond her means in the disability tests. Her new lawyer did a lot of coaching on what to say and how to perform. Not that it was dishonest but for example – if mom giving 110% could lift a box but it resulted in 3 days of being bed ridden then obviously it was not sustainable. If 40% was her sustainable I can do this every day without much repercussion that is really where she was.

      1. Lcsa99*

        She’s done all of these suggestions so she’s definitely on the right track. Just has to survive this weekend.

        Considering she called me last week practically in tears just thinking about it, I’m worried about her stress levels.

        1. Former Employee*

          Unless she has something on the list of things where you automatically get qualified (all or virtually all of them mean you won’t live much longer), it is pretty typical to be denied when you apply and then be denied again when you appeal.

          Unless things have changed since the time I knew someone who went through this process, the way you get a real shot at qualifying after denial #2 is to get an attorney and request a hearing.

          Best of luck to your mother.

    4. Casuan*

      My thoughts are with your mum & you!!
      I’m so sorry that this is so difficult & I understand the frustration. I hope it works out!

    5. Pam*

      A friend of mine took 7 years to get approved. Luckily, once they do approve, you usually get back payment

    6. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)*

      All the best of luck to your mother, lcsa99. It’s a nerve wracking process and I really hope she comes through it okay (and with the right result).

    7. Paquita*

      Good vibes! My DH was denied. He has several of the conditions on the list. Talked to a lawyer who wouldn’t even take his case. :( He turns 65 in November and several people said that is why he was denied. To close to getting Medicare?

      1. Lcsa99*

        It’s just frustrating because you give up part of your hard earned salary to have this safety net that you can’t even use.

        Talked to her on the phone a few hours ago and she is really anxious, but has a friend that will travel with her so hopefully that will help.

    8. Massmatt*

      Best of luck, Social Security disability has the most restrictive definition of disability I know of in the field, it is notoriously hard to get. Basically the claimant has to be completely incapable of doing any work, regardless of whether that work is even available in the claimant’s area or whether it would be enough to pay the bills.

      It can be done, though it requires a lot of perseverance that many people needing it can’t muster.

  6. Jessen*

    So what’s your Easter Dinner? I have 2 kinds of cheese and some nice crackers (working on a fruit or veggie to match). And of course a cup of shrimp mix for Miss Princess.

    1. Heartlover1717*

      I’m flying solo and so keeping it simple: Bundt Pan Chicken Dinner. Still deciding on either biscuits or cornbread. Planning to bake a marble cake loaf (using Martha’s method) to have with ice cream for dessert.

        1. Heartlover1717*

          Using a bundt cake pan as the container, veggies (potatoes, onions, carrots, or whatever) go in the bottom. Take a whole chicken (about 4 lbs.), dry the skin, then massage with butter in which you’ve mixed in cut up fresh herbs. Place the chicken butt end over the post in the center of the pan (don’t cover the post – you want the hot air to circulate), place the entire thing on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and into the oven it goes. The chicken gets crispy all over (except maybe the bottom of the legs) and the veggies cook in drippings from the seasoned chicken. Quite adaptable – you can use what veggies you want, what seasoning you want – some folks will put lemon and herbs inside the chicken as well.

          1. LilySparrow*

            I love that! Beer can chicken without the beer.
            I usually do my chicken in the Dutch oven, but I don’t like how the veggies get all soupy. Must try this way.

    2. Red Reader*

      I just finished making a lemon icebox cake for my housemate to take to his mama’s dinner tomorrow. It’s going to be pretty low key at my house, we have to have the kitchen packed up by the end of the weekend because the remodel begins on Monday so I won’t have a kitchen for two weeks. But I think I’m making a zucchini pizza casserole for dinner tonight.

      1. Handy nickname*

        Oh man zucchini pizza casserole sounds so good! I’d love your recipe if you’d like to share!

        1. Overeducated*

          Likewise! I made an awesome bean pizza casserole last week so I am totally in the market for another veggie based one!

          1. Red Reader*

            Posted a link, should be out of moderation before too long, but it’s on the SixSistersStuff website too :)

              1. Red Reader*

                Hahaha. My carnivorous housemate was like “Ooh, pizza!” and the look of betrayal on his face when I told him the underneath was zucchini was just …. priceless. Slayed me laughing.

    3. Valancy Snaith*

      Keeping it simple this year, so I’ll be making a tourtiere for my husband and myself with a traditional Caesar salad to match. We’re going to brunch in the morning, so I think I’ll skip anything more elaborate than that.

    4. Enough*

      I am cooking a turkey. Been a tradition to have a third turkey when the kids came home on spring break. (First two are Thanksgiving and Christmas) This year took the turkey to my son’s and his younger sister who’s near by will come by. This will be the last one probably as youngest graduates this year.

    5. Overeducated*

      Going to the in-laws’ but they don’t make a big deal about holiday meal menus, so we’re having cold cut sandwiches and dessert from a bakery. I’m making a big antipasto-type salad.

      Lunch at home though, so the question is should we attempt anything fancier than the usual Sunday post-church leftovers?

    6. Parenthetically*

      spiced lamb leg, slow-cooked until falling apart
      pesto-crusted salmon
      Jamie Oliver’s super crispy roast potatoes
      steamed spring veggies with lemon butter
      pavlova with lemon-blood orange curd and raspberries

    7. Aardvark*

      I’m hosting brunch, so dinner will probably be leftover brunch :) Brunch is hors d’ouvres (cheese plate, bacon-wrapped dates, cucumber salad, plum rye danish pending a recipe hack success, maybe some berries), ham, frittata, salad, biscuits, potatoes (trying the Smitten Kitchen recipe where you cook them at 500 degrees, with broth), and an citrus ombre cake (dang it, Food Network and your mesmerizing videos!!!)

      1. Claudette H Hulce*

        I just did those potatoes this evening to go with a hunk of leftover steak. They were Great!

    8. Agnodike*

      Can we talk about our Seder meals here too? I made wine-braised short ribs instead of the usual brisket and it was definitely a good call. Also made matzo balls from scratch instead of a mix this year and feeling pretty proud of myself!

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        Roast Gigot of lamb with leek and garlic sauce accompanied by gratin dauphinoise (out of the freezer) and vegetables.

        Since I can start eating chocolate again I have chocolate ice-cream to follow.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        Riiiiiiibs *drooooool*

        I have no Jewish friends and I really feel like I’m missing out on some absolutely amazing food here. Carrot tzimmes must enter my life (and my mouth) before I die.

        1. Agnodike*

          I like my matzo balls right in the middle range of dense and light, so I use baking powder but no club soda. They’re too ethereal for my taste with the club soda in. But I did try simmering them in stock instead of salt water for the first time and wow did it make a difference!!

      3. raktajino*

        A friend does a giant Seder every year (where she’s usually the only Jew) and we’re making our usual offering of Spanish-influenced fish balls. My husband does most of the work, I’m just responsible for boiling the potatoes and rinsing the salt cod. Every year turns out a little differently because he never writes down the recipe. So we’ll see how they turn out today.

    9. LilySparrow*

      Not sure about main dish, but I’ve been hoarding asparagus from the garden since yesterday. (Normally, we gobble it up immediately)
      I think I may have to break down and buy a pack, not sure there will be enough.

      1. LilySparrow*

        They had frozen boneless leg of lamb at Aldi’s, pre-seasoned with rosemary & garlic.

        So it’ll be lamb, roasted potatoes, asparagus wrapped in ham and puff pastry, salad, and I’ll probably do some dinner rolls.

    10. Cute Li'l UFO*

      Last year I made a highly traditional tuna mac with peas complete with pepperoncini potato chips crumbled and baked on top. Nothing fancy but my mom and I really enjoyed it. That dinner must have cost less than $10 for the whole serving.

      This year I picked up a 4 pound leg of lamb to roast. I really love lamb and big cuts of meat are a special occasion. The big $77 prime rib we had earlier in the year (split between my dad, mom, and myself) kept us eating for four days and it was totally worth it. I’m looking forward to cooking the lamb. I’ve done chops and smaller cuts and I’ve roasted pork tenderloins but never a big roast by myself. I stewed lamb necks (a package for a literal dollar and a penny on manager’s special) earlier in the month with rosemary cut fresh from my garden and that made a wonderful stew.

      Serving alongside garlic mashed potatoes (I boil the whole clove with the potatoes and then mash it all together) and sauteed green beans. My secret for reheating mashed potatoes is to either add a little milk to them or turn them into croquettes.

      Dessert? I’m much more of a savory person but I do have some sweets I like. I bought two of my favorite cookies-and-cream cookies from Neiman Marcus yesterday which is always a nice treat.

      Oh, and I’m totally about to go buy some Peeps.

    11. Elizabeth West*

      Not doing anything, since I don’t really do the religious thing anymore. My mum asked me if I wanted to drive over, but the weather is supposed to be really nasty the next couple of days so I demurred. But I did buy two chocolate Easter cupcakes with purple icing at the fancy grocery store. I ate one yesterday and will have one tomorrow. ;)

      1. Emily*

        Yum! That is about the level of my celebration – boyfriend and I bought a few different Easter chocolate candies and are going to eat them. (A very friendly woman at my pottery class invited me to her Easter brunch, which I’m considering attending, but I haven’t decided yet.)

    12. Muriel Heslop*

      We go out for Asian food every Easter. In the mornings we attend church and/or volunteer somewhere as a family and go out mid-afternoon for Asian. It’s a holiday for me, too, and that doesn’t involve elaborate cooking. Plus, my five year old says, “Yay for Easter noodles!” which is a tradition of its own.

    13. Erin*

      My grandmother had an unexpected flood (!) in her apartment, so my mother and I found ourselves cooking for 10. It’s going to be ham, scalloped potatoes, spinach and strawberry salad, and maybe some more veggies. Oh, and I’m baking rolls.

    14. Laurin Kelly*

      Deviled eggs two ways (sour cream/herb and Buffalo style), ham with a cherry-mustard glaze, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, mashed potatoes with goat cheese and caramelized onions, and mini strawberry sous vide cheesecakes.

  7. Nervous Accountant*

    Re: Keto vs low carb vs atkins/south beach & readymade meal ideas

    My crazyass is about to start a diet 2 weeks before a MAJOR deadline at work (yay tax season!). But yeah, so I don’t know hte difference between the 3 but I’ve heard too many good things to not try.

    I don’t have time at all to meal plan but I have access to delis and restaurants that serve a variety of meals and I’ve budgeted for this so I really need simple ideas for breakfast lunch and snacks that are ready made/easily purchased. My company buys dinner every night so if I know wha t to avoid I can still have that.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      Keto is useful if you have certain seizure disorders; I wouldn’t touch it otherwise. Your body runs on carbohydrates, which are in any plant-based food, and plants should be the basis of any diet.

      South Beach is the most reasonable of those, with a focus on lean protein and lots of vegetables. I also think the temporary time off from things like sugar and white flour (it’s one of those where you add foods in and see how they do) can be helpful to resetting your tastes.

      Also I would really advise starting it April 16th. One of the keys is the ability to have The Healthy Option be The Default Option, and that’s tough when you are stressed and low on time.

      1. Nervous Accountant*

        What is the difference between all SBD keto and Atkins? I’m diabetic so I need to be watching carbs to begin with.

        1. To your point*

          I can’t answer about the other two, but keto is EXTREMELY low carb – around 20-25 grams a day of carbs.

        2. WellRed*

          I have type 1 and watch carbs but I think keto sounds too restrictive. With any if these diets, meal planning is a big part of it. But, if you need to go the takeout route, salads, cut up veggies, lean protein, hard boiled eggs, nuts, broth based soup (one cup, measure it).

        3. Cedrus Libani*

          Atkins is relatively dated, as compared to modern keto protocols. Atkins is just low carb – to a first approximation, eat whatever you want, so long as it’s not a carbohydrate.

          Keto is specifically high fat (and moderate protein). The idea is, eat enough protein to maintain lean mass, but not so much that your body is burning it for a significant proportion of calories. Also, you’re meant to supplement electrolytes fairly aggressively.

          If you try to eat low salt and low fat while also doing an Atkins style diet, you will at best be miserable, and may do yourself permanent harm. Seriously, don’t do that. You’ll give yourself kidney stones. And don’t do ultra-high-fat one week and rice cakes the next, you’ll give yourself gallstones. Any treatment that’s strong enough to work has side effects…but modern keto protocols are well-studied and quite safe.

          I’ve been on hardcore keto for years, due to neurological issues. My target is nearly 80% fat by calories – though I’m active and at normal weight, generally someone in weight loss mode would need less. I’m also the laziest person alive when it comes to routine household tasks like meal prep, so if I can do it, you can.

          My goal is to be able to eat a normal dinner, whether at home (partner eats a standard diet) or at a restaurant. In both cases, this generally involves a hunk of meat and some vegetables. Which is fine, and can be found almost anywhere, but it’s not nearly enough fat on its own.

          So, my daily brunch is Keto Chow. If you’ve heard of Soylent, it’s a similar meal-replacement concept. It comes as a dry powder, to which you add heavy cream and water…if you’re in weight loss mode, use more water. It takes literal seconds to make, and is actually tasty – it’s like a salty milkshake. I put in enough heavy cream to balance my macros for the day, which is also enough calories that I lose interest in food until dinnertime.

          For electrolytes, I make a mix of regular and potassium salt, 5:1 ratio, and bring it everywhere. I take a teaspoon of it each night, and more as needed. That, plus a daily magnesium pill, is my routine. Seriously, you need electrolytes. If you don’t get enough, you will think you have the world’s worst hangover – that’s your body telling you to get your ish together before you hurt yourself.

          While “keto flu” is mostly an electrolyte issue, it’s true that it takes a few weeks to fully adapt. While your body is ramping up the fat metabolism, you’re going to be a little draggy. Honestly, it wasn’t a problem for me in terms of daily life, but don’t expect much of yourself athletically.

          Two weeks isn’t forever, though…if life is kicking your butt right now, consider taking a first step (e.g. cutting out sugar) now, and then figuring out what full keto would look like for you after tax day.

      2. fposte*

        Agree on the timing.

        If you can stay away from readymade meals, that’s the best thing. There’s some evidence that the health gains people reported from Atkins when it first hit public consciousness are harder to obtain now that there are Atkins-friendly packaged foods–that basically a decent amount of the health gains and weight loss was from moving away from processed foods rather than Atkins per se.

        1. Nervous Accountant*

          I’m sorry by “ready made” i meant something that I can get made fresh at the deli, so takeaway/takeout is the proper term? My bad!

          I’m inclined to agree w u on the processed stuff….I’ve tried freezer meals before (not low carb, just trying to go for convenience) and while they LOOK promising the taste was just super disappointing. Only one I really liked is stouffers’ grandma casserole…. (mmmm not keto but mmmm yea)

        2. Cedrus Libani*

          TBH, any diet plan that forbids break-room donuts will get results…

          My personal suspicion is that our bodies can handle a wide range of inputs – complex starches, fatty meats, we’re built to handle both as they become available. We’re not built for refined sugars or hyper-palatable processed foods. I’m on board with the diet philosophy of “eat real food” – keto works well for me, but most healthy people will be fine if they simply avoid junk food. (Some people try eating smaller portions of the same crap, but that’s miserable, just ask anyone who’s tried it.)

          1. fposte*

            Yeah, my best diet move was pulling Apple Pay off my phone when the work vending machine started accepting it.

    2. Lissa*

      I’m planning on doing a couple of no-sugar weeks as soon as my work crunch period ends, I know from experience i’m going to be a lethargic mess, so you have my sympathy.

      I know some people who have done *really* well on keto, though it’s not for me. For some people, sugar/carbs seem to make them way hungrier. I think a lot of the benefit comes from having to pay close attention to what you eat and having to avoid things like muffins/doughnuts (my favourite things…) For easily purchased snacks I suggest hard-boiled eggs, they usually have them pre-made in stores these days.

    3. Fiennes*

      My partner and I have just begun intermittent fasting, which is not a diet but an eating pattern. The idea is that you only consume calories during an 8 or 10 or 5 hour stretch of the day. (Women do better with 10 hour windows, at least to start.) You don’t eat the rest of the time, though coffee and tea are okay. (As is some milk in your coffee, or a couple of cough drops—basically, keep it under 50 calories total for your fasting time. During your eating window, have whatever you want, within reason. (Obviously, if you eat three huge pizzas a day, no fast can save you. Eat normally and reasonably.) To start with, this is no more than cutting out after dinner snacks and breakfast. Its effectiveness lies in ensuring you have a few hours in fat-burning mode all day, and while you should definitely get in at least two good meals and some healthier snacks, you’ll almost inevitably reduce your total calorie intake.

      We’re still in early days, so I can’t yet pronounce judgment on this. There are people for whom this is contraindicated, and women need to start much slower, so I would advise reading up extensively on intermittent fasting before deciding to try it. However, there appears to be a fair bit of actual science indicating that this method can be very effective for weight loss, and has some other health benefits too. And beginning the process was pretty painless for us both.

      1. Kimberlee, no longer Esq*

        Yeah this is sort of my general eating pattern now; I can’t say I’ve lost weight, but I can only eat 2 meals a day, max… I feel completely stuffed to the gills if I eat three meals in a day now. So it’s pretty good for food costs :)

        1. Fiennes*

          I’m not. Anyone who reads up on this before trying it—as they definitely should—will readily find information about the groups for whom this isn’t a good idea.

          1. TL -*

            Sorry, that was for Nervous Accountant, who is diabetic.

            Should’ve been more specific in my use of ‘you’ there.

      2. ket*

        My personal experience mixes a few comments here: I can do intermittent fasting (I’m a woman, 10 hours eating/14 hours fasting indeed is better than 8 hrs or less eating, unlike my male compatriots) but only if I cut the sugars and starches and eat a fair bit more protein. For instance, intermittent fasting with oatmeal for breakfast or vegetarian pasta for dinner? I hate you all. The world is stupid. And I’m still hungry. Intermittent fasting with eggs & veggies for breakfast and meat and veggies and maybe some potatoes, all drizzled with olive oil, for dinner? No problem!

        You could consider something like “Primal” (Mark Sisson’s diet) which probably cuts between keto and South Beach. Aim for 50-150 g carbs a day, lots of veggies in wonderful ways, carbs only from starchy veggies as opposed to grains, meat, nuts, various fats, and an occasional glass of wine.

    4. Can’t remember my name*

      I am using an app called lose it for calorie tracking and I am surprised how well it is working for me. I’m dropping 1-2 pounds a week and have lost eleven pounds so far. My goal is to lose 40 pounds and I am projected to reach that goal late in October. I can eat anything I want but need to stay within my daily calorie limits. It is really easy for me to stick to this since I don’t feel deprived of anything, and I am surprised that I am not minding the calorie counting part of it!

    5. Mm Hmm*

      I’m on team wait-til-the-18th. There are relatively simple things you can try tweaking in the interim. For me, a big one has been having a high protein, low carb breakfast (eg eggs, burger, etc). That gives me a more stable start than a higher carb breakfast does, & reduces the carb cravings that come hard on the heels of a carby breakfast. I’m likely to eat less, and if a better balance, afterward.

      Another thing that is working for me is adding (plain) kefir. It helps change the microbiome in ways that also reduce my sugar cravings. I’m making my own kefir, and have been surprised to find it so delicious.

      When sugar is unavoidable, be sure you’re getting fat with it. The fat will cushion the hit to your insulin system. Caffeine hits your insulin system, too, as you probably know.

      Short term: in your circumstances I’d be upping protein at breakfast & upping protein & greens in general, & trying to drink 80oz of water every day.

      You have so much on your plate, if you’ll excuse the expression, that waiting til your deadline passes increases your chances for successful implementation.

      Good luck, whatever you decide.

    6. chi type*

      My suggestion for a healthy semi-pre-made lunch: buy and cook an entire box of quinoa, buy pre-made veggie salads like you find in the grocery store deli (bean salads are usually your best bet, avoid the creamy pasta ones). Make a bed of quinoa and put the salad on top. If you really want meat, you can usually buy cooked chicken breast strips, just make sure they don’t have a lot of extra crap in them.
      Breakfast I haven’t really figured out yet. I usually just eat a clif bar. :(

  8. Foster Mom*

    Thanks everyone for the advice last month on my teenage foster daughter and battling an eating disorder! I really appreciate everyone’s input, especially nep! Things are going pretty well. She has stopped purging and has therapy and nutrition classes every other week. We are trying to now regulate binge eating and late night eating, so if anyone has advice for that I would appreciate it! I just picked up Ellyn Satter’s book and have started to read that.

    So far being a foster mom is pretty great! I’m trying to teach her responsibility and money management with the stipend we get. She is 15 and boy crazy!!! Holy cow, the boys!! If anyone has any other advice for teenage girls I am all ears!! Thanks all!

    1. Kn*

      Honestly I’ve got no idea about foster childs, but I can remember my own teenage years very clearly. And honestly, someone listening to all worries, problems and interests without any judgement would have been something that I would have really needed.
      It might be difficult to not patronize where it’s not appropriate, but the more open minded you are the easier it will be for her to talk with you about actual problems and to take your advice seriously.

    2. Cafe au Lait*

      Being boy crazy can be a sign of ADD in girls. Since it’s a socially acceptable obsession, it doesn’t raise the same markers as another type of obsession would. It’s worth keeping in the back of your mind as she progresses through therapy.

    3. nep*

      She is so fortunate to have you!
      Glad things are going better and that she’s doing therapy and nutrition classes. Power and good vibes to you all.

    4. King Friday XIII*

      Foster parenting is so necessary and so under appreciated! I think she’s lucky to have you.

    5. Loopy*

      I don’t have any advice but I just want to commend you for being genuinely invested in her health and recovery. I was a teenage foster child with different issues and I could tell my foster mother saw them as a burden and it was an awful feeling. She made some annoyed comments about having to take off work when I was sitting with her in mental health ER waiting room and it was so terrible.

      You sound amazing for willingly putting the time and effort into your foster daughters well being!!!

      1. Thursday Next*

        That’s terrible, Loopy, that you had to go through that. Hugs to your younger self, if they’d be welcome.

    6. Thursday Next*

      You sound like a wonderful foster mom—thoughtful and caring. I think some of the most important parental qualities are a willingness to listen, and a commitment to teaching skills to promote independence. It sounds like you’ve got those bases covered!

    7. Triplestep*

      This advice may be premature; If so keep it tucked away for the future: My daughter’s first big deal relationship started when she was 16, and my rule was “never be home alone together.” (I told her my expectation was that she not be home alone at his house either, but I knew that I didn’t make the rules there.) I explained to her that this was not because I thought they were animals who would tear each other’s clothes off given any opportunity, but that I wanted to help her be really intentional around decisions about sex. And that it’s easy to get carried away when you like someone and you’re attracted to him, so the best way to stay intentional is to just follow a few basic rules.

      I was really clear with her that sex was not bad, and she was not bad for having sexual feelings; that I knew she would likely develop strong feelings for someone and have sex with him well before she was married. I just wanted her to be thoughtful about it, and I that this would help.

      They waited until they’d been together 7 months, which I consider a huge success and even she says it was more than twice as long as most of her friends took with new guys. (‘Course, it took place in her bedroom when they were flouting the rule by being alone together, but still – she TOLD me about it! And I also consider that a success.)

  9. Nervous Accountant*

    probably the best thing going on aside from tax season is that I finally convinced my endocrinologist to change my insulin and OH MY GOD its a life changer!!!!

    2 weeks on it, and my highest high was still lower than my “low”. Yall, I was literally scared for my life esp after my dad died and thinking I would’nt make it to see hte next week. For the last 2 months it was hovering 250-500. Some of it was my shitty diet, but I was also stressed out AF and I had a feeling the meds weren’t working.

    Fast forward to now, and the last 2 weeks it feels like my life’s changed. I don’t feel magically better, I still feel like crap some days, but it’s the mental boost I got from finally seeing my #s improve. Even the insulin weight gain doesn’t bum me out. Even when I eat bad sometimes (don’t judge) my numbers are still far better than when I was strictly dieting on the previous medicine. The biggest thing is that I FINALLY feel like I can get this shit under control eventually w diet and exercise. I really wish my previous PCP had worked harder at switching me over instead of just saying try harder.

    1. Juli G.*

      That’s great! Good work advocating for yourself. Even when you have great doctors, it can be intimidating.

    1. Caledonia*

      Can’t fight you on this particular option because I never watched. HOWEVER, I would like to put it out there that Will Bailey/ Joshua Molina did not ruin West Wing.

      1. Dopameanie*

        See, now, it’s gonna be hard to fight since I’ve never seen West Wing.
        The next best thing to an Internet Fight is a new Strong Opinion. So I’m with you now! Molina all the way!!!

        1. Casuan*

          Dopameanie, your enthusiasm is cracking me up!!
          Seriously, it’s just what I needed today. Thank you so much for that!

          & There’s nothing better than an Internet Fight with Strong Opinions !!

          I was going to say “Internet Fight on Little Stupid Things” although that isn’t quite accurate. Nor is “Trivial.” The gist is non-health, non-sports, non-political, non-religious…
          Just a good ol’ fashioned respectful debate.
          ummm… Ol’ fashioned yet on the internet.


          1. Dopameanie*

            So, in my real life, I have to be a consensus builder. I have to softly talk cranky old white dudes off the ledge so they keep their money and power where I want it. My failures can be catastrophic for at-risk families. I have to carefully consider all angles and be cautious of who I step on. I have to weigh all my words so they are not twisted and thrown back at me.
            It is a joy to pick a fight that I can be as stubborn and careless about as I want.
            The War of the Inconsequential is the BEST war in which to take up arms.

      2. all aboard the anon train*

        I didn’t care for Will when I first watched the show in the same way I didn’t like Amy Gardner, but they both grew on me a lot with rewatches.

        I find Will especially endearing now after listening to Josh on The West Wing Weekly podcast.

      3. My Anonymous Alter Ego*

        Agree about Will/Josh!!

        Still I laugh every time I think of Will with the Laurens…

      4. Horizon*

        I’m kind of meh on Will, but I absolutely love Josh Molina on the podcast. I especially his quick wordplay, and his dynamic with Hrishi. Without the Will character there would be no WEST WING WEEKLY, which would make me sad.

        Now, if someone wanted to argue Alan Sorkin leaving didn’t ruin West Wing, I’m ready to rumble. My repeated rewatching stop at season 4’s end.

        1. LemonLyman*

          I wouldn’t go as far a saying “ruined,” but it definitely became a different show. It’s like it wanted to find an identity outside of Aaron Sorkin. I think it picked up when they went into the elections and I enjoyed the addition of Jimmy Smits to the cast.

    2. Bigglesworth*

      I like both, but I am first a fan of the original Kirk. I read once that Kirk is a man of action and Picard is a man of words. A man of action was needed to get people interested and invested in this new space odyssey series. A man of words and diplomacy kept those same people intrigued and continuing to come back for more.

      Also, if I’m being honest, the fact that when Kirk takes his shirt off he looks like a normal human and not some ripped man who spends all of his time at the gym appeals to me. This isn’t compared to Picard, but rather to today’s modern superheros.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        That was very much the thing in those days–if you watch films from that era, you don’t see many ripped dudes except maybe in beach or bodybuilding films. They almost all have average–though slim–physiques or what we’d now call dad bods. And many of them don’t look like models, either.

        John Gavin, the guy who played Steve Archer in Imitation of Life and Sam Loomis in Psycho was ridiculously good-looking but still had a fairly average build. (He died this past February, at 86.)

        1. Casuan*

          “Imitation of Life” is one of two movies that puts me in tears each time I watch it.
          The other is “The Little Princess”— the Shirley Temple version.

          I’ve learnt not to question why this is.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            I only just saw it a couple of weeks ago on the big screen–Alamo Drafthouse had a free screening and I was invited (I made it to Captain level in the Victory Club, LOL). I CRIED SO MUCH.

      2. Dopameanie*

        JTK was a loose cannon who refused to play by the rules! He should’ve been stripped of command by the 4th or 5th time he ignored the Prime Directive in order to get Space Tail. JLP was a consensus builder who respected his crew members equally regardless of gender. He was a gentleman AND a scholar who was in no way responsible for what the Borg did.

        1. nonegiven*

          Dulmur: Be specific, Captain, which Enterprise? There’ve been five.

          Lucsly: Six.

          Captain Sisko: This was the first Enterprise – Constitution-class.

          Dulmur: His ship!

          Lucsly: James T. Kirk.

          Captain Sisko: The one and only!

          Lucsly: Seventeen separate temporal violations; the biggest file on record.

          Dulmur: The man was a menace.

      1. Dopameanie*

        The only thing in the middle of the road is roadkill. Are you WITH US OR AGAINST US?!?!

      1. Dopameanie*

        Hol’ up now. Are we talking about Sisko, impetus for the species-wide extinction of the Dominion? Pregnant wife abandoner? Guy who smashes religiously significant rocks on a whim? THAT Sisko?!

        1. Nashira*

          Ben Sisko, the complex and important character yep. He’s not any worse than any other captain and imho he’s quite a bit more complex and interesting, especially when placed in context with the real world.

        2. Casuan*

          Yes, THAT Sisko.

          Sisko’s strength was that he was vulnerable. He could say that he didn’t know something & still have authority because his people knew he would find the answer. He was willing to take major risks & to accept the consequences. Sisko didn’t go around kissing every Galactibabe he met & he could socialise with his crew without compromising his authority.

          What really sold him to me was once when Starfleet ordered that “under no circumstances are you to take the Defiant & do this thing,” he & his crew were on the Defiant to go do that thing & Starfleet was trying to hail them. Sisko asked Kira is she was even certain that the message was real because of all the interference…
          I’d been waiting for Kirk or Picard to do that.

          Sisko loved to cook & I love how passionate he was about the food.
          [said by moi, aka She Who Hates to Cook]

          Picard takes a close second place to Sisko.
          Yes, THAT Picard, who almost caused the Borg to assimilate Earth, who helped caused the death of Sisko’s wife… yeah, I know Picard didn’t have free will on any of this, though still…

          Picard had a certain wisdom that other Captains lacked & although he showed vulnerability, it was after the vulnerability was already exposed, as opposed to Sisko being more overt. Both captains incorporated the lessons from these times.
          & I loved the scenes between Picard & Sisko in the DS9 pilot episode.

          Picard always pushed the envelope, although didn’t quite take the risks that Sisko did.
          Also, Patrick Stewart!!

          disclaimer: I haven’t watched TOS or the TOS movies in years, so my memory of Kirk is somewhat lacking.

          1. Sparkly Librarian*

            Ah, the interstellar version of “Hello? Oh, sorry – sorry – hello? *mouth noises* It’s such a terrible connection. Sorry, gotta go, bye!” That takes guts.

          2. Dopameanie*

            Whaaat?! Dude straight-up ghosts his knocked up wife to hang with Space Jesuses and you give him a pass due to vulnerability? Sisko leads with emotional outbursts, JLP leads with restraint borne of hard-won experience. Sisko turned his workplace into a soap opera, and was the architect of ALL his worst antagonists.

            1. Casuan*

              Dude, you’re joking. Sisko wasn’t responsible for turning his workplace into a soap opera… Bajorans, Trill, Changelings, Cardassians, Ferengi, Klingons, Morn, those aliens with a stylish reptile tail from their head, Dabo girls, the Aliens of The Week…
              Sisko’s workplace was already a soap opera when he arrived!!

              And Sisko didn’t ghost his wife, he updated her on what was going on. That said, I am still pissed off that there were 7 seasons establishing the Sisko-Jake father & son relationship & Sisko did ghost Jake.
              Not cool.

              Sisko doesn’t get a pass due to his vulnerability. He has earned his accolades because of how in spite of it, he learns & grows from a Commander to a Captain. With Sisko, we saw the evolution of a captain-in-the-making as opposed to the already-been-there-done-that-so-now-has-experience Picard. Picard didn’t always have that restraint borne with hard-won experience; we all saw how cocky the younger Picard was when he got stabbed in the heart.

              Sisko had more respect from the Cardassians then Picard ever did. And as far as Q could respect anyone— if not actual respect then not disdain— he seemed to respect Sisko more Picard because Picard never had the orbs to punch Q.

              side note:
              Q disdained Janeway the least, then Sisko, last is Picard.

              The question isn’t “Who is better?”
              The real question is “Who is better at [certain stage of Starfleet career]?”

              For that, as a cadet the answer is Kirk, because Kobayashi Maru.

              1. Dopameanie*

                So I’m surprised how long it took that test to be brought up. I’m with Spock on this one; no rewards for cheater-pants Kirk.

                Also, Sisko got dumped into the inter species conflicts inherent in that position exactly like any other starfleet Officer. But all the religious drama, all the interpersonal conflict between staff, all the Incidents would’ve been avoided by anyone who bothered to allocate a couple skill points to Diplomacy(Interstellar)

                Dude was bad at his job, due to Dances-With-Wolves-Ing it up with a whole planet.

      2. Elf*

        Not much of a Sisko fan, but DS9 may be my favorite of the series from a holistic POV, not from loving any individual character. Favorite captains are definitely Picard and Janeway.

        Qochchugh vay’ DaSmeywIj bIngDaq DabeQmoHchu’ jay’

        1. Dopameanie*

          So for theme songs, DS9 wins by a MILE. Not even close. For plot, TNG. For Alien of the Week, Voyager. For Unearned White Frat Bro confidence, TOS.

          This is not just opinion. This is Truth.

    3. Sapphire*

      Here’s my preference: Janeway > Picard > Kirk. Y’all fight me. ;)

      Unfortunately, some associations of TOS Star Trek with shitty people who are now not in my life, combined with the Black Mirror episode “USS Callister” exposing the dark side of TOS Kirk kind of ruined TOS for me. Though maybe I’ll try and watch it all the way through.

      1. Dopameanie*

        Pro: Janeway had the correct philosophy regarding time travel.
        Con: I would not trust a Captain that trusted 7 of 9. Bad tactical choice.
        Truth: she was handed the crappiest plots/antagonists in that quadrant of the galaxy.

        1. Casuan*

          trusting 7 of 9…

          Janeway became Borg.
          Okay, Borg-ish.
          Collective knowledge. Trust.

          Still I’m sorting out how this explains Janeway’s trust before her Borgishification. So far the best I can do is think “time-travel.”

      2. Dopameanie*

        It took me three tries before I didn’t automatically translate TOS as terms of service…hahahaha

      3. Sea*

        Janeway all the way. Her story is essentially about being thrown into a godawful situation and still going on and doing one’s best. :)

      1. Dopameanie*

        Well you can’t use that as a distinction between the two since Picard is just as bad. MY head cannon has always been that the red shirts are equivalent to British citizens sent to Australia. Sentence commuted to Potential Cannonfodder in return for passage on a magic spaceship that manufactures everything you want along with your family if they wanna go.

      2. Casuan*

        Falling Dipththong makes a very good point. I can’t argue with that.

        ummm… This is scary. When I typed “a very” my autocorrect changed it to “Avery.”
        A few minutes ago I posted about Sisko & Picard.
        Sisko… played by Brooks… Avery Brooks…

        The Apple iOS autocorrect can’t be that smart, can it?
        CAN IT…?!?!?

        Somebody, please say that it can’t…!!
        Oh, no!! Am I a red shirt & my technology is going to get… aaauuuggghhhhhh!!

        I’ve either had too much caffeine or I need more. I guess I’ll have a raktajino.
        This has been a bizarre week!

        1. Dopameanie*

          Maybe you’ll get to be that one lady who came back from the dead? I would’ve watched a whole series following just her….

          1. Casuan*

            Maybe you’ll get to be that one lady who came back from the dead? I would’ve watched a whole series following just her….

            This is the best compliment I’ve had in weeks & I can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing.
            I’ll take it as good.
            Thank you!!

    4. NoMoreMrFixit*

      Not a chance. Romulan Warbird decloaks and charges disruptors? Picard calls a staff meeting. Kirk bluffs his way out of trouble and takes their cloaking device as a trophy.

      Picard asked for the Enterprise. Kirk stole it out from under Starfleet’s nose.

      Kirk had the best executive officer in any fleet anywhere. Heck he had the best crew overall. It took gods to take over his ship. Ferengi boarded Picard’s Enterprise.

      James T. Kirk for the win.

      1. Dopameanie*

        JTK has a gambling problem. He’s happy to gamble others’ lives and treasure to keep himself swaggering. He can’t be trusted. JLP is a chess player. There may or may not be stakes on the game, but he will take on all comers quietly, with gravity, and find a new way to win that didn’t occur to anyone else.

    5. LilySparrow*

      No argument. Just based on the fact that Picard didn’t instantly leer at every humanoid that could possibly resemble a female, made him a superior human.

        1. Dopameanie*

          OK. WOW.

          I thought I was just gonna go hop over to a new webpage, check out link, whatever. I’m gonna have to…like…make an appointment to sit and take in all that. That is A LOT.

        2. LilySparrow*

          Nope, not a victim of anything.

          I’ve been trying to watch TOS with my elementary & tween daughters, and it’s a rare episode that they don’t ask, “Why is he looking at her like that? Why did the camera go all fuzzy? Why are they playing love music?”

          Granted, a lot of that is a production choice to present all the actresses as Fresh Meat. But a fish rots from the head. Kirk’s in charge of the culture on his ship, and the culture is steeped in leering.

      1. Dopameanie*

        Don’t modulate the key then not debate with me!
        Why should a spaceship across the galaxy regulate Jean-Luc’s tea?

        I apologize to all Hamilton fans, I couldn’t resist…

    6. Slartibartfast*

      It’s not even a debate. Picard. Sexier, smarter, just as daring when it’s called for.

      1. Dopameanie*

        I obviously underestimated the Sisko Coalition this week. But seriously! Dude runs out on his pregnant wife to hang with Space Jesuses! Shatters religiously significant cultural artifacts while throwing a temper tantrum! Why are so many people cool with this?!

        1. Casuan*

          I’m cool with this because I was never a Cassidy fan & because Sisko was the Emissary it was within his purview to smash the religiously significant cultural artefacts.

          How do you know this alleged artefact-smashing wasn’t the will of The Prophets… hence okay with the Bajorans?

        2. nonegiven*

          Wasn’t space Jesus. It was aliens that bred him to smash the artifact, etc. Since the aliens exist outside time, they can put him right back after he left.

      1. Dopameanie*

        Bad news is, the other team get a shirts and not us.

        Good news is, those shirts are all red.

        We get flutes, tho.

  10. Nancy*

    Check out Zaktoscani’s coworker lunch stealing story. It’s so funny! You can either google it or read the thread on twitter on his twitter feed (ATzaktoscani). I laughed so much and it made me think of the AAM lunch stealing letters.

    1. JKP*

      People responded to this lunch stealing story with some of their own.

      I thought this was brilliantly played by the victim:
      “Last time, I posted a flyer: “Whoever took my lunch: It contains a high amount of dihydrogen monoxide for medical purposes. If you took it, see HR, no questions asked.” The weasel we figured was the culprit showed up in HR and asked “hypothetically” what might happen to whoever..” leewah (@leewah)

      1. Casuan*

        Dihydrogen Monoxide is positively brilliant because it’s a good example of how simple facts— so simple that one doesn’t even try to do more than. cursory due diligence— can be used for the positive or negative & simple it is to recruit others to the cause.
        It’s so brilliant that I have the link bookmarked…
        I first heard of it several years ago when I read that a town in California banned styrofoam cups because they contain this toxic substance. So I researched it


    2. LadyKelvin*

      That was a great laugh. Both my husband and I cried laughing so hard at the response of the HR person who had to investigate someone who was sneaking into a coworker’s desk drawer and snapping carrot sticks in half. We died.

  11. Antagonist Relations*


    There was talk in the knowledge share and then in last weekend’s free-for-all about D&D and RPGs so I’ve created a groups.io group (linked in my username) if anyone wants to join and we can use that to talk RPGs and organize games. So for those of you who want to try out D&D or those who want to find an online group, it should let us arrange events, share links and just chat about RPGs.

    If anyone else wants to help manage it, just let me know and I’ll add you as a moderator on the group.

    I’d love to play in more online games (I can run too, but I’m running 4 other games, so I might only want to do one shots).

    1. Antagonist Relations*

      FYI, I’ve set the group so that new members need approval, I’ll be checking often to approve everyone who signs up. There’s also a thread under messages for introductions once you join.

      1. Lilith*

        I requested to join! I’m potentially writing my own campaign for the first time and looking for tips/feedback :)

    2. Ktelzbeth*

      I started some of that, then got completely eaten by Holy Week and Easter. I’ve been to 9 church services in the last 8 days, being part of about half, and hosted Easter dinner. And I work full time. Thank you for picking up the ball that I dropped!

      1. Antagonist Relations*

        No worries, just glad to see the interest in the hobby! Hopefully everyone who replied to your post in the March 25 weekend thread will see this thread too.

        And if your schedule ever gets less busy and you want to help out, I certainly wouldn’t say no to having at least one other moderator of the groups.io page ;)

  12. Nervous Accountant*

    Yall I just had my tooth pulled this week. I’d been having face pain off and on for a month–nothing specifically hurt just had a dull ache. Thought it was headache/tax season stress so just took tylenol for it and it wasn’t happening often so didn’t think of it..

    Any way so it got annoying and I went to my primary for other issues (heart issues which were fine yay) and he said see a dentist who found the culprit and referred me to a oral surgeon. God knows why I thought it would be quick and painless and could go back to work. I was soooo blase about this.

    Uhmmmm well 2 rounds of novocaine later, it sets in that holy shit my tooth is coming out. I was in tears and terrifeid the whole time, like a litlte kid. I did go back to work, wasn’t drowsy or lightheaded. Eating soft foods and following all after-care orders. Bleeding stopped after the first day thank God, and I didn’t feel the stitches after day 3. Still slight swelling and bruising and sore throat, but the worst of the worst is going away. Nice thing was that a lot of coworkers went through hte same so a lot of sympathy and good natured teasing.

    Soooo if I’m keeping tally, Dad died, I had 2 rounds of painful bronchitis and now had my tooth taken out. Still I’m upbeat for the most part, I don’t feel what I felt in February. Historically I’m always more down and stressed that month (even before I became a tax accountant) and the loss exacerbated the feelings of despair. But now I wonder what else 2018 has in store lol

    1. Thursday Next*

      I’ve been really moved by the things you’ve written here about your dad, and I know you feel his loss keenly.

      Getting teeth extracted is NO FUN. I’d spin it and the bronchitis as—you’ve flexed your resilience muscles! You’re working them out to face 2018’s challenges!

      Hang in there!

      1. Nervous Accountant*

        Thank you.

        It’s tough, esp w the health stuff bc he was the one person i would confide in.

        My dad was really invested in my health the last decade or so and I was always pushing him away. I felt like—they screwed me up (eating cake and drinking soda at age 1, diabetic by 11 etc) so now let me fight my own battle as an adult. That they had no right to be so vested.

        Now, anything health or driving related I just wish I could run to him and tell him. No one else would get it.

        1. TL -*

          You have Type 1 diabetes, right? That’s not related to diet choices – you probably know this but it’s an autoimmune disorder, not a metabolic one like Type 2.

          (that being said, drinking soda regularly at age 1 isn’t the best, though cake as a treat would be fine.)

          1. Nervous Accountant*

            Funny story, my previous pcp said it was type 1 bc it was uncontrolled for so long that it just progressed in to type 1. I met w an endocrinologist (wrote about her above) and she said it’s type 2 bc When inwas diagnosed at 11 I wasnt put on insulin, and type 1s are. I’m type 2.

            1. TL -*

              I don’t doubt your endo, but the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 isn’t how they’re treated but in what’s halting the normal insulin signalling pathway.

              Type 1 diabetes means your immune system is attacking your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and thus your body can’t produce enough insulin (why it’s usually sudden onset and needs insulin to treat.) It generally develops earlier in life.

              Type 2 diabetes means your body is no longer responding to insulin; your pancreas makes more and more insulin (and eventually can damage your insulin-producing cells) but your metabolism no longer responds appropriately. It can sometimes be managed through diet, exercise, and non-insulin medications, but it can also require insulin to treat, depending on severity of disease. It usually develops later in life.

              Type 1 doesn’t turn into type 2 from not being properly managed; usually improper management of Type 1 ends up with patient in a diabetic coma. Type 2, likewise, can’t turn into Type 1; improper management usually ends up with kidney damage, neuropathy (lack of feeling), and other chronic symptoms.

              Obviously I don’t know what’s going on with you at all! And there are weird subtypes of diabetes and things like that- I’m not an endrocrinologist and strange things happen with the human body all the time. But just to clarify what is meant with those terms.

    2. Kn*

      I feel you.
      I’ve always had bad teeth and so many months in which I couldn’t eat normally, I can understand how much joy it steals away from every day life. Also, both my parents died already, so I really hope you can handle it better than I did for a long time.
      Since your past months sound really tough, hope you can at least find some small joys… Maybe try to read a good book for even just 20 minutes, take a nice long shower or a walk outside. Some things don’t need to be long to take a bit of your stress away.
      Sending you a hug from across the world! I’m sure it will get better.

      1. Nervous Accountant*

        I so hear you about the not being able to eat and the joys it brings. First and second day was like that. Right now it still hurts to open my mouth but I’m getting better by the day. Sometimes I think it was karma bc a coworker/friend went through that last year and I bought him baby food lol (all in good fun).

        Thank u for the hugs

    3. Anono-me*

      I hope you feel better soon.

      Salt water rinsed and a bag of frozen peas were helpful to me.

      Please be sure to work with your dentist soon to come up with a plan (flipper, bridge,implant etc.) to keep the neighboring or opposite teeth from shifting.

        1. Anono-me*

          You are welcome.

          Sometimes the only Silver Lining to a mistake, is that by sharing you can help someone else avoid it.

    4. Casuan*

      Nervous Accountant, I’m so sorry about your dad & your own health issues. That you’re mostly upbeat speaks very much to your character & that’s a good thing!!
      I can relate to being unwell & still needing to care for family & I can definitely relate to the dental aspect because on Monday I need to ring a specialist for to have two broken molars extracted. My trigeminal nerve hurts on one side & it makes it difficult to think & I need to be careful of what I eat.

      Thank you for sharing & I hope that you feel better!!
      So far 2018 has not at all been boring!!

    5. Former Employee*

      I’m another in the Bad Teeth Brigade. I have 15+ crowns, though the only teeth I’ve had to have pulled as an adult are my upper wisdom teeth – never had lower ones and upper teeth without opposing lower ones eventually drop and start to fall apart and need to be removed. First one was a nightmare experience with a supposedly super qualified professional – pain and bleeding for days. Second one some years later was the exact opposite – bleeding practically gone by the time I got home and I took one Advil after the Novocaine wore off. Second guy is a treasure.

  13. Bigglesworth*

    Does anyone here have any experience with Section 8 housing or income restricted housing? I moved to a new area last year which has one of the highest costs of living in the US. Hubby and I realized that we’re spending around half of our income on our cheap apartment and weren’t sure if there were other options. We started looking around and our income is usually on the border of an acceptable minimum income for income restricted housing. We need to find a place by July 1st and just aren’t sure of what options are out there for us.

    1. To your point*

      Just to warn you, chances are there is going to be a long waiting list for Section 8. You should certainly still apply, but usually in HCL (and pretty much everywhere) areas, the lists are long.

    2. Natalie*

      Section 8 can be difficult because the waiting lists are long and in most areas, landlords don’t have to accept it. You might also look at Section 42 or local programs. If you google “[city name] housing authority” you might find something.

      If you’re willing to share the city name people might have specific suggestions.

      1. Bigglesworth*

        Okie doke. Thanks for the info. I didn’t realize towns and cities had this kind of program.

        We currently live in Northern Virginia. Our commutes are currently to Reston and Arlington and we’re pretty open to living anywhere in along that stretch of NOVA.

        1. Bigglesworth*

          Also, we (my husband and I) are a one income family while I’m a full-time law student. We are desperately trying to live within our means and not borrow student loans beyond tuition, hence the struggle to find affordable housing. My university doesn’t provide much for graduate/professional students and isn’t an option for us.

          1. Bigglesworth*

            Currently we pay $1600 with parking and utilities. It’s really not a bad price for the area, but it’s still more or less around 1/2 of our current income.

            1. Dan*

              That’s what I pay, fwiw, and I think I have one of the better vales in the area. I once looked at stuff that was marginally cheaper, and it really wasn’t worth the sacrifice.

              I get the desire to live within your means, but $40k just doesn’t go that far around here.

              Renting someone’s basement off of Craigslist might be your best bet.

              1. Bigglesworth*

                Ok. That’s what I wondered. I haven’t seen a lot of other places that are cheaper expect for the income-restricted apartments and Section 8 housing – hence the question if there are other options for us.

              2. Overeducated*

                Yeah, that’s about what I pay too. You might be eligible for some restricted income housing depending on if you’re talking gross or net but I’m not sure market rate gets too much lower unless you’re willing to move further west.

                Maybe you’ll be raking in the big bucks 2 years from now though
                …I hope so!

        2. Hobgoblin*

          Oh hey! I posted below about the program I participated in but didn’t realize you were nearby. Check Loudoun’s ADU program thru Family Services. They have both rentals and homes to buy. They’re super helpful and really want people to participate but the purchase program takes at least several months. I’m not sure on the rental program.

    3. WellRed*

      Long wait (years) in my area, lots of landlords don’t take it and the places that do, well between the building issues and the neighbors, I wouldn’t want to live there anyhow. Sorry this isn’t more positive or helpful.

      1. Bigglesworth*

        That’s ok. Thanks for the info. I’m not sure what to expect, so knowing what we might be getting oursleves into is helpful.

    4. Anono-me*

      Section 8 is a huge headache for landlords, so especially in high demand housing areas, there are few volunteers.

      Alternatively you may want to look for a private rental where your landlord will discount the rent for being a great tenant
      If you put the word out everywhere that you are looking for a rental, someone might have a friend or relative that has a garage or basement apartment that they would love to rent out but don’t because of the hassle of finding good tenants. I have three different friends who only rent to people they know or people that are vouched for by mutual friends. And they all rent at less than market to keep the good tenants.

      1. Bigglesworth*

        That’s a good idea! You just made me realize that my husband’s aunt lives in the area and she may know a few people. All of our previous landlords have loved us because we aren’t loud, pay the rent on time, and clean up after ourselves when we move out, so we’ve never been denied after applying to a place so far. His aunt might know someone who would be willing to make some more income.

    5. Overeducated*

      You could look for income restricted housing – I’ve seen ads for spots in my complex and nearby that have a lower rent if you qualify with an income under a certain level, and I think that’s with or without Section 8. The advertised prices are a few hundred lower than my non-restricted unit, which is still a lot cheaper than the DC average. I think we are both in the same state so you might be able to find those too.

      It’s crazy though – we make a bit more than required for the restricted units, but definitely not enough to imagine how we will afford to move with how high market rents are getting. Good luck!

      1. Overeducated*

        Sorry I saw you said you’re on the border. Just look for older buildings with fewer amenities where rents are a lot lower, I guess – my friend who had a dishwasher as a dealbreaker paid a lot more than I did for the luxury. And you might have to just go further from the metro (which is painful I know…I have an hour long commute and 40 min of it is just walking to and from the metro on both sides).

        1. Bigglesworth*

          You guessed right on where I live. :) We’re currently living in the Falls Church area, but are open to living anywhere in the NOVA area. We’ve started applying to income restricted places, but it sounds like the wait lists may not work out for us.

          Also, that commute sounds horrendous. :/ I would love to avoid that, but we might not be able to. We’ve been looking as far out as Manassas for an affordable place. Good luck finding a good place if you move in the future! I don’t know how people live here long term.

          1. Dan*

            Double income with two good salaries…

            I do alright on a single income, and renting a one bedroom apartment in the burbs… With a boat load of student loan debt.

            1. Overeducated*

              I’m not sure either of us posting above have 2 good incomes…in my case we have one income for 3 people….

              1. Bigglesworth*

                Yeah. Single income here for two people. As much as I would like to get a job right now and have a good salary, the ABA restricts how many hours a full-time student can work during a week (20 max) and even then it’s strongly discourage during the first year of school. Going from primary bread winner to negative income has been difficult to say the least. At least my husband has a good job and is generally well-liked at his company.

          2. Overeducated*

            It’s super dependent on where your work is and whether there is parking. I switched jobs 2 weeks ago and went from a 25 minute drive to the hour on public transit (and going home is worse because day care pickup is halfway in between)…my new office is only 2 miles from my old one! Unfortunately I think some rough commutes are unavoidable, because I sure can’t afford to move to Georgetown and have an easy one.

            NOVA is pretty big, I am a 30 min drive from Falls Church, and again an hour on metro…but we’d strongly consider moving there if my husband got a job in that direction. Good luck to you too! It’s tough here!

            1. Bigglesworth*

              Congratulations on the new job! And I see what you’re saying. It’s been interesting moving from the Plains where my morning drive time was 15 minutes or less and now I technically live closer to my school but it takes me twice as long to get there. However, my husband’s commute went from two hours to one hour here and his workplace here is awesome and loves him, so he’s pretty pleased. :)

              As an aside, how do public transportation vs. driving places differ for you cost-wise?

              1. Overeducated*

                Thanks! The commute is the worst part but it’s a career move i needed to make.

                It’s hard to compare costs. My old office was a 7 mile drive and had free parking, so I didn’t really calculate how much I was spending on the commute, whereas with metro you really feel it every day. I think metro woul definitely be more expensive if I took it daily and paid myself. But I try to bike when the weather’s good, which is free except for maintenance, and I’m waiting for a transit subsidy from my employer to kick in as well, which will cover most or all of the rest.

              2. Dan*

                Two things to consider commute wise: depending on where you are, tolls are a factor. The Dulles toll road tolls are scheduled to go up again next January, bringing it to almost $5/each way, if you travel the full length. If you move West to Ashburn, the Greenway is yet another set of tolls. That one is EXPENSIVE.

                I avoid the tolls, so for me, whether or not I have to pay for parking is the line between driving vs metro. It’s one thing if you can avoid a car entirely, but assuming you have to have one anyway (and therefore the car is a sunk cost) the marginal cost of metro is so expensive, it’s cheaper to drive. I also commute off peak, so I don’t end up sitting in traffic. (Plus, off peak, metro schedule sucks, so you waste a lot of time.)

    6. FD*

      This varies heavily area by area. But I work for a company that manages real estate among other things.

      So, here’s a basic intro for my area. From my understanding, other states have other rules, particularly NY and CA. But many of them do it like I’m describing.

      Section 8 (sometimes called Housing Redevelopment Authority or other pseudonyms) is a government program that directly pays the landlord for part of your rent. In some states, it’s illegal for a landlord to refuse to accept Section 8, though this actually happens a lot anyway. The biggest challenges with Section 8 tend to be 1) invariably long wait-lists, often in the range of multiple years and 2) an inspection that is sometimes more strict than the standard rental inspection.

      As an example, the city might approve a particular unit for a general rental. However, if a tenant who is to receive Section 8 wants to move in, there’s an inspection by that program. In principle, it’s meant to ensure that tenants who are receiving assistance aren’t getting stuck in s**tholes. In practice, they often ask the landlord to do additional items beyond what was required in the city rental inspection. If the landlord declines, the assistance won’t be approved for that unit. In my experience, landlords will usually do the requested changes if they’re minor (example, change the cover on a particular outlet, repaint something, etc.), but if there are a lot of changes requested or those changes are expensive, then the landlord may not be willing to do so.

      Alternatively, as a general rule, most markets have some apartments with ‘affordable’ or ‘income-restricted’ units. In general, many states and municipalities offer property tax credits to developers who agree to offer some percentage of their units at a below-market rate for qualifying people. The landlord is responsible for checking the income of the tenants and confirming they are eligible, normally every year at renewal time. As a rule, how many of these units there are in a market depends on state funding. We don’t manage any of those, but I hear that most apartments do have a waitlist on those too.

      Frankly, for a July 1st, in most areas you wouldn’t be able to get into a Section 8 program. You might luck out with an income-restricted apartment complex, but you should start looking now.

      1. Hellanon*

        I’m a landlord in a HCOL area (southern California) and all of this makes excellent sense. If you do go the low income/moderate income route, look for new renovations of existing building or new construction – here, developers do a set-aside in exchange for gimmes on issues like height restrictions or parking. But – and this is a big but – new construction is rarely rent-controlled, and so you have to factor that in. If the city you are in has rent control, it might make more sense to look at a more modest building where your rent increases will be more predictable. Look also at renting a room to a grad student, nursing student, etc – great way to help make expenses.

        (And ps – we don’t take section 8. The requirements are onerous, more than we can cope with as small landlords.)

        1. Bigglesworth*

          Good to read the information from a landlord’s perspective. One of the income restricted apartment buildings we’re looking at recently had renovations done and we’ll keep an eye out for other ones as well.

      2. Bigglesworth*

        Thank you for all of the information! We are spending part of today and tomorrow applying to income-restricted apartments, so hopefully some of them will turn into something. Income-restricted housing really seems to be the way to go. I didn’t realize how many hoops landlords have to go through in order to be considered or accept Section 8 tenants. I can understand why many of them wouldn’t want to in that case.

    7. Can't Sit Still*

      We once had the absurdity of a lottery to get on the waiting list for the waiting list for Section 8 and the only time people advanced if somebody died while still on the waiting list. There were discussions about whether children were allowed to inherit their parent’s place on the waiting list. It’s not that bad anymore, but Section 8 is probably not a viable option.

      Income restricted housing often has a lot of lifestyle restrictions as well, which is something to keep in mind if you do qualify. Those restrictions are strictly enforced, too, and they don’t hesitate to evict. Definitely find out before you move in!

      In addition to Section 8 and income restricted housing, your area might have Below Market Rate (BMR) housing, which is for people who are over the limit for income restricted housing, but still below the median income for the area. BMR units tend to be in luxury developments, but your neighbors and the management can be very nasty about you having the nerve to actually live there. BMR units usually aren’t rent controlled, either, so just because you can afford the rent this year, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the increase when the lease is up for renewal.

      1. Bigglesworth*

        BMR is a new term for me. I wonder if my area (Northern Virginia) has any of those. If they’re not paying my rent, then I can deal with people looking down on me. I can see it being a problem with management, though. How does one find BMR residences?

        1. Can't Sit Still*

          It might be a region-specific term. Searching your local housing authority would help you find options, but sometimes cities have city specific names for their housing programs, so you’ll probably need to dig. Cities really prefer to restrict their own housing programs to current residents, for obvious reasons, so it can be hard to find information. BMR units are typically managed directly by the property managers, and they don’t really advertise. BMR rentals usually rent within 24-48 hours, and may have a waiting list. BMR can refer to both rentals and home purchasing programs.

        2. Dan*

          I’ve never heard of that in NoVA. I’ve seen some income restricted stuff, and also stuff for seniors.

    8. Hobgoblin*

      I bought a house under an income restricted program. It was an amazingly good decision and really set me up for financial success. However, it was a long program and would’ve been nearly impossible to get into in 2 months. If you’re in the US, check your area’s family services or social services agencies (the program I used was social services but has moved to family services and not as many people check there so popularity has fallen a bit).

  14. KatieKate*

    For those who’ve stopped wearing makeup… how did you do it? I barely wear anything as it but I do wear a color corrector, brow fill, eyeliner and mascara every day. On the days I’m feeling more gender queer I’d love to switch to less makeup (or none!) but I’m having a rough time moving past the psychology of “putting on a face” as learned from my mother. Help?

    1. Annie Mouse*

      I never really started wearing make up although I do fairly regularly wear concealer to hide the black bags under my eyes.
      If you’re wanting to minimise how much you wear sometimes, could you start by dropping to one or two things that give you the feel that you’re ‘putting on a face’ like moisturiser (plain or tinted) and mascara or concealer or eye liner and then gradually reduce it from there?

    2. Agnodike*

      Is there another ritual you could do that would help you feel ready for the day? I don’t wear makeup, but every morning I do my hair and I don’t feel ready to go out unless I do. Maybe you could find another kind of self-care or beauty routine that would replace makeup in your morning rituals?

      1. BugSwallowersAnonymous*

        Yeah, I was going to suggest something similar. Maybe giving your face a gentle wash before you go out will help replicate that feeling? I don’t tend to wear makeup that much, but I love putting on some lip balm and lotion just to feel kinda refreshed and ready for the day.

    3. Merci Dee*

      I stopped wearing makeup, at least at work, more from necessity than anything else. I have pretty severe allergies, and there was always =stuff= getting into the admin offices from the production floor. Rubbing and poking at your eyes until they’re bright red and drippy isn’t a good look, so I decided to go without eye makeup one day (which is basically all I wear, besides a little powder), and it helped so much. I just decided to go bare faced at work, and it wasn’t a big deal to expand that for two more days.

      Though I will say that sometimes, if we have non-production Fridays when the plant is closed and only office staff is working, I might wear some color. I don’t have to worry about my allergies on those days, and it’s nice to go a little fancier sometimes.

    4. Ali G*

      You could invest in some really great daily moisturizer (with SPF!!) and/or a daily skin care regimen that you could do instead of the ritual of putting makeup on. Also try it out just around the house to get used to seeing “just your face” before going out (if that’s a worry for you).
      For me I just stopped one day because it was too much hassle and I kept breaking out so it was easier to just not do it anymore.

    5. neverjaunty*

      Could you swap in a skincare routine? Then you’d be “doing your face” without actually putting on makeup.

    6. epi*

      Find something else to do in the mornings, like sitting down with a cup of coffee and a book, that will make makeup feel like a hassle in comparison.

      And treat yourself on skin care. Much of the fun of makeup, and feeling confident about your skin will make it easier to cut back.

    7. fposte*

      Your “barely anything” is a big day for me :-). I almost never wear any makeup–I’m pretty solidly gendered female, but the health stuff means it’s a PITA to mess with, I don’t work in a field where it’s requisite, and I never grew up with “putting on a face.”

      So I think as epi suggests, your challenge is to find another way to toggle the “ready for the world” switch in your brain. If it needs to be appearance-based, can you do a hair, scarf/tie, jewelry thing? It doesn’t have to be anything particularly feminine–you can serum your hair down, put in nice cufflinks, go for a cravat, whatever. That might satisfy the “spend a few minutes in the mirror” need.

      1. KatieKate*

        Those are good ideas-I don’t have a lot of masculine work clothes yet but once I do will up the accessories! Thanks!

      1. Anono-me*

        Sorry the second half of my post went missing.

        You might want to try a plain moisturizer with sunscreen, but without any tint and then just chapstick.

    8. Lily Evans*

      I haven’t stopped wearing makeup completely, but I wear a lot less now than I used to. For me it was a gradual transition from a full face. I started by just using things I already had up and then either not replacing them or replacing them with something more natural. Like instead of doing full liquid eyeliner, I got a softer eyeliner pencil. Foundation became a bb cream. Instead of fully done brows, I used just a brow pencil, then just some wax to hold things in place, now I just keep them well maintained but don’t use any product. I also stopped using super volumising mascara in favor of something promising a softer, more natural look. It’s so hard to go from a full face every day to none at all!

    9. LilySparrow*

      Well, mine wasn’t a presentation choice, but it might work.
      1) Get interested in something that sidetracks you over breakfast.
      2) Realize that if X is the amount of time it takes you to shower, dress, do makeup, and travel to work, you now have <0.5x minutes available.
      3) Arrive makeupless but almost on time and realize nobody notices or cares.

      Repeat as needed until #3 fully sinks in.

      1. KatieKate*

        That #3 is totally true-my boss wears no makeup so I know it won’t be a professional issue. Thanks!

    10. Casuan*

      Thankfully I never got into a lengthy makeup routine.
      I’m Pro whatever helps me to look & feel better & Con anything that will cause me to continually look to ensure that colours stay where they should be & aren’t melting off [my state is quite humid].

      Mascara & lipstick [really lip tint; I prefer Burt’s Bees] are my norm. I’d like to use under-eye concealer although I finally gave up because even with a light touch it never looked natural.

      Most people look better with less makeup, IMHO. And your skin will be better off as well, especially with a decent skin-care routine.

      1. Slartibartfast*

        I recently switched from concealer to color corrector. OMG, huge difference. I can wear it by itself.

        1. Casuan*

          Colour corrector: like green for redder skin?

          If so, I used to do that tho I stopped [probably for no particular reason].
          Thanks for mentioning it!

          re other cosmetics: A year or two ago I stopped using pressed powder & switched to oil-absorbant non-powdered blotters. They’re much more effective & better for the skin. For me they’re less expensive than a good compact would be. At first I was hesitant because I didn’t know how many I’d use tho they last for quite a long time; I’m in a humid area although I’m not outside too much. So far the blotters I like best have charcoal & I think the brand is Sephora.

          1. Slartibartfast*

            Yes, but in my case it’s orange to neutralize wicked genetic dark undereye circles. With concealer I had to spackle it on, which meant liquid foundation to blend in to the concealer, which meant full face because foundation alone looks weird.

    11. Melody Pond*

      Very gradually. I way overdid it in high school, moved to more-normal-but-still-heavy in college, then after college gradually tapered down to a very basic look of light shimmery eyeshadow under the brow and at the inner corner of my eye, plus mascara (as my everyday look). I also had fairly subtle eyeliner tattooed on a couple years out of college (that was worth it – need to get it touched up).

      It helps that my (male) partner of 6 years rather prefers me without makeup most of the time, though understands putting some on for fancy occasions. So for the past 3-4 years, I’ve gone completely bare-faced as my normal everyday.

      The more I didn’t wear makeup, the more I got used to my face and started to decide, “there’s nothing wrong with the face nature gave me.” I care that Mr. Pond finds me attractive, but beyond that, there is zero value to me if the rest of society finds me conventionally attractive. I don’t work in a job where being fashionable and looking super polished/made up is important (at all) – that’s the only other factor that I think could matter to me, besides Mr. Pond’s opinion.

      Plus, go search for your most common makeup items on EWG’s cosmetics database website. There’s a good chance that several of the ingredients in what you’re using, are super toxic for the body. :)

  15. Nervous and anon for this*

    I am representing myself in a lawsuit I filed in small claims court. The other side has a lawyer. They are fighting me like…well, like it’s a federal case. Just slinging so much at me. They’ve probably spent way more than I would have accepted as a settlement. They offered a laughable amount, then refused to negotiate further when I made a counter offer.

    I have yet another hearing coming up and I’m nervous. The other side is digging their heels in even though they’re wrong (well, of course *I* would say that). But I am literally the injured party.

    This is dragging out and I just want it to end. But I know I would be upset if I abandoned this because of the pressure. I’m bad at tolerating stress and uncertainty. My stomach hurts all the time now and my heart is racing. Any words of wisdom, comfort, or encouragement would be appreciated.

    1. Dopameanie*

      So…some of what you are feeling is misplaced adrenaline. I’ve always had luck giving that adrenaline something to do. I have ducked into a restroom to do 20 jumping jacks, I have dropped my things at the front door and done a wind sprint.
      Your body is trying to help. Sometimes bodies help like four year olds trying to help make cookies. Give your body a job maybe?

      1. fposte*

        Sports psychology does a lot of interesting stuff about this, since pregame jitters and butterflies are a really natural and common part of competing. One approach is thinking of getting the butterflies to “fly in formation” and to psych yourself up rather than calm yourself down. Damn right you’re wired–you were done an injustice, and now it’s time to see your wrong righted.

        Paralympian Menna Fitzpatrick has a threefold approach–getting the butterflies to go in the right direction, the mantra of TCUP (Thinking Calmly Under Pressure), and yoga breathing. I also think just having a plan for where to send your mind when you’re aware of stress is really useful. While you may not be an internationally ranked athlete, physical activity, if only going for a walk or cleaning the house, can help convert that flight or fight energy into something more on the satisfying fight side.

        1. Nervous and Anon*

          400-level redirection! I will try my best. It seems like a practice well worth cultivating.

    2. Kathenus*

      You’re standing up for yourself and fighting the good fight. Regardless of the outcome, but hoping you prevail, you’ll be happy looking back that you stuck with it. Set small goals for yourself and reward yourself for keeping at it. Good luck!

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Okay so both parties have tried to settle the matter out of court.
      Now a judge must decide.
      This has given you a good idea of what their main talking points will be in front of the judge.

      Use the extra energy to make sure you have each of their known points covered with appropriate documentation- paperwork and/or pictures. Some instances you may just need an explanation.

      The judge will give you a turn to speak. If their attorney talks over you while you are speaking the judge should remind him to remain quiet. If she does not, ask her if you can speak without interruption.

      Remember that cases drag out for more than one reason. Reasons include allowing time for the parties to find their own solution or perhaps agree on a mediator. Another reason is for a cooling down period so each side can think about their important talking points in preparation to see the judge.

      Do take some Pepto or something for your tummy. Maybe it is all emotional, but eventually the emotional becomes physical. Coat your stomach with something protective. It’s amazing how NOT having a stomach ache can help with the nervousness. When my heart ramps up I like to take some vitamin E and sometimes some vitamin B. I can reduce that symptom and gain more ground.

      Practice what you will say in front of the mirror. The attorney does this all the time and he can just prattle on about stuff almost with out thinking. Practicing in front of the mirror will help you get used to your own voice explaining things and will help you to be sharper in your explanations.

      Bring a pen and writing tablet. As their attorney is speaking, you won’t be able to interrupt. Write down the things you want to respond to as you listen.

      Put tissues in your pocket when you go to court. Many folks cry in court. If you have a tissue you can discreetly dab at your face if you need to.

      They got an attorney because they think you have a serious chance of winning. They want the attorney to find them that “easy out”. You have no way of knowing but the attorney may be telling them that you will win in front of the judge.

      1. Nervous and Anon*

        Thanks, Not So New. I appreciate the practical advice, as well as the reminder that I don’t know what the lawyer is saying to their client.

    4. Casuan*

      Be proud of what you’ve already accomplished, Nervous & Anon. And take the replies here to heart & know that we’re pulling for you!!

    5. Former Employee*

      Small claims court is traditionally a place for “the little guy”.

      By being represented by an attorney, the other side may be making a strategic error, which can work in your favor.

      Just be sure to have all your facts in order and present them in logical sequence to make it easy for the judge to follow. Plus, have any pictures, medical reports/bills, estimates, etc., ready to hand to the bailiff/court officer.

      If I were in this position, I would try to think of it as a school project where you do the research on a topic and then present the results to the class.

      Best of luck to you.

      1. Irene Adler*

        Yes- the judge will probably be harder on the attorney than on you. The fact that they’ve spent more than what you were asking for won’t be lost on the judge either. Might even make the judge look poorly on them.
        I noticed the judge had a sense regarding who was honest and who were not to be believed. In one case, he believed the tenant who claimed she had paid the rent every month-even though she could only produce a couple of receipts. The landlord was instructed to look to his property manager for the missing rent money. The tenant was visibly relieved that she was believed.

        I’ve been to small claims court. Had to watch a whole slew of cases that were called before mine. The judge appreciated those who presented as Former Employee suggests. He was very quick to shut down anyone who got out of order. He expected more from the attorney who showed up.

        Good luck!

        1. Nervous and Anon*

          Thanks for the perspective, Irene. Honestly, this is such an alien experience for me that I have no idea how the judge will see all this.

      2. Dan*

        Am I the only surprised to see a lawyer in small claims court? In the jurisdiction I was in, lawyers weren’t allowed in.

  16. Mike Logan's interchangeable female partner on L&O CI*

    I am totally excited to go to London in a few weeks for a live recording of the West Wing Weekly podcast because they have only gone and announced that Richard Schiff will be a guest!

    1. fposte*

      Wow, those were hard tickets to get–congratulations! That should be awesome. Hope Richard is well-miked :-).

    2. LemonLyman*

      They always get great guests for the live episodes, don’t they? That sounds like so much fun! I’ll be listening when they release the pod episode!

    3. all aboard the anon train*

      I’m going to the Boston show and I’m so excited. The recordings of their live events always sound like so much fun.

      1. LemonLyman*

        Right?! Like when they brought the big block of cheese and Josh tried to get everyone to eat it! :)

  17. The Other Dawn*

    Does anyone use an inversion table for back pain? I’d like to look into that for pain relief. A friend of mine has one and the said it’s been a real life saver for her. She’s in another state so I can’t just go and try it out, unfortunately.

    I went to the orthopedic this week and decided against fusion for now. If my pain level was preventing me from doing alot of things or was higher than a 5 on a consistent basis then I would go for it, but I’d like to try a couple other things first.

    1. Nic*

      I have one. I got it for about 150$ from amazon. It was easy to put together for me alone; I’m reasonably fit and able other than back pain.

      I found that I had to work up to full inversion (mine came with a strap that allows you to easily adjust this), and to longer periods of time. I looked up some exercises that help stretch things out when done while inverted. They were things like situps and twists.

    2. Former Librarian*

      I bought one for my husband several years ago for Christmas at his request. I ordered it from Walmart and he uses it about 5 times a week. He was having back issues and seeing a chiropractor. He hasn’t been since he got the table.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Did we talk about a TENS unit before? I can’t remember. I am sitting here with mine now. I had a lovely go-around this past week where I left work because of my back. Me and the TENS unit having been doing life together for the last few days. It’s been a tremendous help. Other times it does not help, so YMMV.

      1. The Other Dawn*

        I’ve found it helped after the physical therapy sessions I had a few months ago, but I really need something to decompress and take the disc pressure off the nerve. Glad it’s helping you, though!

        I do love the heated seat in my car, and I find that can help sometimes. Even when it’s too warm to use the heat in the car, I still fry my rear end with the seat. Especially after working out.

  18. Perpetua*

    Recommendations for a first time visit to New York, please!

    I’m finally crossing it off my bucket list in less than a month (we’ll be there for 12 days, end of April/beginning of May), and I’m really excited. The boyfriend’s already been there a couple of times, so he’s familiar with most of the “must see” things, so I’m looking more for personal recommendations and things I might not find online on a list of Top 10 NY Things to Do.

    What did you enjoy in NY that you wouldn’t have stumbled upon without a recommendation or if it wasn’t for pure chance?

    Thank you!

    1. Elkay*

      I preferred Top of the Rock to the Empire State but I know some people who feel the other way round! I really loved the Skyline, a park built on the old elevated railway lines. If it’s nice weather go there for some downtime.

      1. BRR*

        I also preferred top of the rock over Empire State. The tour of Rockefeller center was really cool as well.

        I enjoyed the tour of the United Nations and it wasn’t that expensive.

    2. Engineering consultant*

      The High Line
      Gulliver’s Gate (paid exhibit but very cool if you’re into miniatures and interactive stuff)
      The view of Manhattan from Brooklyn end of Brooklyn Bridge (I knew it existed from photos and stuff, but we didn’t know how to find it until a local Williamsburg shopkeeper told us)
      Samurai Mama for Japanese in Brooklyn
      Koreatown in mid-town Manhattan – it’s about a block and a half long but there are plenty of Korean food options and a couple of Korean beauty shops to browse, plus quite a few Korean-style bakeries/cafes
      Cha An in Manhattan – fancy Japanese tea and desserts. So pricey yet so beautiful and delicious

      1. Perpetua*

        We’ll be staying in Williamsburg, so the Brooklyn recs are much appreciated as well, thanks!

        1. Reba*

          Walk along the Brooklyn Promenade. It’s in a cool old neighborhood (Brooklyn Heights) and gives you the true ‘postcard’ view of Manhattan. I’m sure some of it is blocked by new buildings by now, but that’s my rec!

          We used to love a restaurant called Noodle Pudding very near there.

        2. Music*

          In Williamsburg, try to eat at Lillia at least once. If the weather is nice walk across the Williamsburg bridge to the LES — you get a sense of the scale of the city that way. Wander up from Williamsburg to Greenpoint (Franklin avenue especially) if you’d like some cozy bars. If you’re beer people, yes, do Brooklyn Brewery, but also Torst and Threes, which are nearby.

          Seconding the Brooklyn Promenade, though it’s difficult to get to. Spend an afternoon in prospect park, but also nearby green-wood cemetery.

          You’re going to walk, a lot.

    3. Annie Mouse*

      Definitely the High Line on the old railway line. When we went back the second time, we did that and also went to find a little stone bridge in Central Park, think it might possibly be Gapstow bridge. Both lovely places to visit.

    4. PM-NYC*

      What kinds of stuff do you like to do- museums, parks, shows, etc? Types of restaurants you like?

      1. Perpetua*

        As for museums, my current plan is to go to MoMA and maybe the Met. I’m an art therapist in training, and I love colorful stuff, so I’d love to visit a quirky gallery or something like that. I like musicals and I was thinking of trying the Broadway Roulette or getting tickets via TKTS.

        Types of restaurants – casual, street food, brunches, things like that. I’d love to visit a rooftop bar (or two)!

        1. Kj*

          Fist bump! I’m an art therapist! I went to NY for the first time about a year ago. The Met was nice, but it felt a bit disorganized and the collection highlights were not highlighted well. They have some amazing pieces, but they are not well marked so you have to come accross them by chance. Honestly, the Boston MFA was a better museum, but the Met is so iconic I can’t recommend against going.

            1. Kj*

              No, I wasn’t there long enough sadly. I was starting my private practice then, so we were doing brief vacations and were mostly in NYC for a wedding.

        2. Stars*

          I would suggest considering checking out the Whitney Museum. It’s actually near the Highline. The whole area is actually pretty nice.
          The Met is near the Park, but otherwise, I find the area rather boring and residential. Also harder to find food.
          Moma is ok, if you check out what is on exhibit at the current time.

        3. Lore*

          If you get museum fatigue, check out the Cloisters or Met Breuer instead of (or in addition to–the $25 ticket includes all 3 for I think 3 days). I’ve heard great things about the Bowie exhibit at brooklyn museum too but it ls selling out so I’d get tix in advance. (Also it’s oddly difficult to get there from Williamsburg.)

          Ride the ferry! It’s currently subsidized to the same price as subway. Beautiful ride to greenpoint, Long Island city, or especially brooklyn bridge park.

            1. Lore*

              I live between the G and the museum. I’d say it’s more like a 30-minute walk from any of the adjacent G stops (Fulton St, Clinton-Washington, or 7 Ave), plus a 30-50 minute train ride depending on how well the L and the G are behaving on any given day!

              1. Music*

                It’s a mile walk from Clinton-Washington to the museum. Ok, maybe closer to 15 minutes than 10, but I’m not sure where you’re getting 30 from?

                Lorimer to Clinton Washington is 8 minutes. Five stops. I know the G has an undeserved bad rep, but come on, 50?

                1. Coywolf*

                  I’m just going to jump in here to say that a 10 to 15 minute mile can be done running by most people, not walking haha. When I was younger and fitter and walked everywhere i could speed walk a 15 minute mile but only when I was desperately late. Leisurely I can take 25 minutes walking a mile, my mom would probably take longer. So it depends.

      2. Perpetua*

        As for museums, my current plan is to go to MoMA and maybe the Met. I’m an art therapist in training, and I love colorful stuff, so I’d love to visit a quirky gallery or something like that. I like musicals and I was thinking of trying the Broadway Roulette or getting tickets via TKTS.

        Types of restaurants – casual, street food, brunches, things like that. I’d love to visit a rooftop bar (or two)!

        Thanks for asking, I should’ve included some more of this information in my original post. :)

        1. Grad Student*

          Somewhere on the west side of Manhattan is [at least] one block with a whole bunch of private art galleries that you can just wander in and out of for free if you come when they’re open! I forget where, but I’m sure you’ll find them if you google map art galleries and find where there are several close together.

        2. PM-NYC*

          Cool, so a couple thoughts- there’s an ongoing experimental art exhibit called dream house in Manhattan (http://www.melafoundation.org) I haven’t been but depending on the type of art you like it might be up your alley.

          Since you’re staying in Williamsburg, the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn (a couple stops further into Brooklyn off the L train) has a lot of small galleries geared to a younger crowd. There’s also a ton of good restaurants, cafes, & bars in that area. And if you like graffiti art there’s a lot there & in particular one street that is famously covered in really cool street art.

          There’s a really tiny museum of everyday NYC ephemera from years past called the City Reliquary (http://www.cityreliquary.org) that’s in Williamsburg and is adorable if that’s your type of thing.

          There are good restaurants in Williamsburg but the nightlife vibe is very crowded & (imo) can be oppressively hipsterish. I’ve had good meals at Dim Sum Bar and also at Salt + Charcoal in that neighborhood. Have also had really good brunch at The Brooklyn Star (this was after not being willing to wait 2 hours for brunch at Okonomi, which is supposed to do an awesome Japanese style brunch, although I’ve never successfully been.)

            1. Perpetua*

              Thank you, those are great recommendations, I was hoping for some colorful street art as well!

        3. Olive Hornby*

          Since you’re staying in Brooklyn, I’d highly recommend the TKTS booth at Metrotech—reasonably close to the G, and the lines are much shorter for the same tickets.

            1. Olive Hornby*

              Depends on where she’s staying–if she’s anywhere near the G (or if she’s taking cabs), she’ll be just as close if not closer. (I live in downtown Brooklyn.)

    5. Max Kitty*

      If you like design, we really enjoyed the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (it’s the Smithsonian Design Museum)
      Also the Frick Collection (traditional art, but displayed in Frick’s Gilded Age mansion)
      The Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum — an aircraft carrier moored in the Hudson River (so big that they built a building on the deck and put a space shuttle in it)
      Lower East Side Tenement Museum-tells the story of NYC’s immigrant population

      If you are a member of a local art or science museum in the U.S., see if your membership includes the reciprocal admission program. We got into the Cooper-Hewitt and Frick (and the Met) based on our art museum membership and the Intrepid based on our science museum membership.

      1. Reba*

        Yeah, I second the recs for some of the lesser known museums — Drawing Center, Asia Society, Jewish Museum, Moma PS1 and the Whitney (well that’s not lesser known but anyway). In Queens, Museum of the Moving Image in Queens and the Noguchi Museum.

    6. deesse877*

      From Williamsburg you can walk into Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge, which is cool on a nice day, and the spot where you arrive is very near both Chinatown and Little Italy. The latter is more a theme park than a living immigrant neighborhood, but the pastry is still legit.

    7. Combinatorialist*

      We really loved the Cloisters — its an extension of the Met for medieval art in a relocated cloisters and it was really cool. We also have always done well getting tickets at TKTS but you do have to wait in the line.

    8. Lizabeth*

      Visit St. John the Divine cathedral on the west side. Beautiful place and there’s a really good coffee/pastry shop across the street – Hungarian Pastry shop.

      Walking around the West Village.

    9. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)*

      I second the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade/Brooklyn Bridge Park, Met/Cloisters, and exploring Williamsburg suggestions. If you’re staying in Brooklyn and coming a little later in spring, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of the best botanical gardens. I also happen to love Coney Island; its a little gritty but there’s just a certain energy to being there by the water on a spectacular day. If you’re into museums and rock music, you should get tickets to see the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. It was probably the most amazing museum exhibit I’ve ever seen.

      Invariably, someone is going to suggest going to Katz’s Deli. Whatever you do when you’receive in NYC, do not do this. It was like eating in a prison cafeteria.

      1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)*

        Sorry for the typo, not sure where “you’rereceive” came from. Silly phone. One more suggestion. Take the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island during the morning rush hour (i.e. reverse commuting). It’s almost totally empty going in that direction and it will be so much better than doing it midday or afternoon rush hour.

      2. PM-NYC*

        Re: Katz’s deli- I’m not so firmly anti, but it is very crowded and expensive. The food is really good. But if you’re in that neighborhood and want great Jewish deli food, go to Russ & Daughters. It’s been around for over 100 years and has great bagels, smoked salmon, chopped liver, latkes, chocolate babka, black and white cookies, etc., etc. It’s tiny, can have a long line and is carryout only, but if you go midday and find a nice place outside to eat on a sunny day it’s great. They also have a separate sit down cafe nearby but I haven’t been to that, it looks a bit more upscale than the deli.

    10. Lcsa99*

      Brooklyn bridge park is beautiful. If you go, definitely check out the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory. It’s also nice to walk across the bridge, but don’t do it in the afternoon or the crowds and bikes can be a bit much.

      Add my vote to the Cloisters. Can’t tell you how much I love it.

    11. Menacia*

      I am from NY and used to work in Manhattan so I always look to something different. I really enjoyed the International School of Photography, they have a wonderful museum that has interesting exhibits, I’ve been twice (I live in CT now) because I liked it so much. I also enjoy walking around the Village and Washington Square Park to just people-watch.

      Hope you have a great trip!

    12. Natalie*

      This might be a bit of an oddball (I’m a nerd for black history so I loved it): African Burial Ground National Monument. It’s a teeny tiny national park in lower Manhattan, maybe a quarter block square, but it’s a beautiful and interestinf memorial. (There’s also a small attached museum that I believe is free and explains the history of the burial ground and it’s discovery.)

    13. Rookie Manager*

      One of my favourite things in New York was the gospel brunch at BB Kings on a Sunday morning with the Harlem Gospel Choir. Food was great, music was awesome… When I get back to NY that will be no 1 for repeat activities.

    14. HRH The Duke of Coriander and Gomasio*

      Loved Broadway, The Cloisters, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, walking around The High Line,

    15. LilySparrow*

      Ft Tryon Park & the Cloisters museum are lovely in the spring. The Cloisters houses the medieval wing of the Met, but it’s all the way up at 190th Street.
      I used to live up there, and it’s so quiet by comparison to Midtown, it’s like coming up from the subway into another world.

    16. It happens*

      Rooftop bar in Williamsburg – william vale hotel. Go for sunset on a weeknight. Crazy crowded with tourists but best view of manhattan and sunset. Wythe/N11. Also excellent Italian restaurant, Leuca, on ground floor. Lilia is a few blocks away but you need a reservation. Weeks ahead. Also no lunch at Lilia:(. Lunch in general a much better deal and no res necessary most places.
      A good Chelsea day would be the Highline, galleries, Chelsea Market to Eat and maybe the Whitney.
      Midtown would be MoMA, Sixth ave food truck and TKTS.
      Greenpoint: drink coffee and shop vintage then take the ferry to LIC or Brooklyn Bridge. Also dinner at Anella on Franklin, breakfast/lunch at Le Gamin on Franklin. Also Norman on Norman.
      Take the tram from 2nd Avenue to Roosevelt Island to walk around and see the Four Freedoms monument. Really, just go take the tram.
      Essentially, you can’t see it all and there are no wrong choices.

      1. Music*

        The secret to lilia is you can walk in any weeknight right after they open and get a seat at the bar immediately. (But don’t tell anyone.)

    17. JamieS*

      I don’t really have a specific recommendation, although if you like comedy/improv I enjoyed Upright Citizens Brigade shows, but when I visited I just Googled free/cheap things to do. For example, “free museums in NYC”, “free events in Greenwich Village”, “free outdoor movie nights”, etc. Wound up finding a few websites that had things to do that were either totally free or very cheap and it felt a bit less touristy since it mostly took me away from tourist hubs which was nice for me.

    18. Perpetua*

      Thanks, everyone, you’ve been of great help! I’ll let you know what we did and how it went! :)

    19. only acting normal*

      Burger Joint (behind a curtain in the foyer of Le Parker Meridian 119 West 56th Street).

      Grimaldi’s Pizza (near the base of Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn side).

      Eating is not *all* we did on our NY honeymoon I swear, but my husband does love his food! :D

      1. Lcsa99*

        Grimaldi’s is decent if you have hours to wait for a slice, but I would recommend Ignacio’s in the same area instead. Solid pizza, closer to the bridge so a better view and you can actually take your time to enjoy it. It is cash only though.

        1. only acting normal*

          Weirdly we hardly had to wait at all at Grimaldi’s. Just lucky timing. (It was winter and FREEZING so there was no flipping way we were queuing for hours on the street).

    20. NacSacJack*

      First off, you’ll never see everything. I’ve tried twice now and still have more to see on my “Must See” list. That said, here are my recent experiences and recommendations (Wont give you my “still to see” since I dont know how good they are…yet).

      – Skip the National Museum of Mathematics (spent $17 per person for kid stuff)
      – Try and get to the 4 World Trade Center subway station – it is beautiful from the inside, looks like an alien ship from the outside
      – Go to the View on the World restaurant at dusk or after for drinks and appetizers – the pools and Freedom tower lit up at night are gorgeous. It’s located in the CQ World Trade Center hotel on 140 Washington, a couple blocks from the Rector St Station
      – Dont bother with the Tick Tock diner next to Madison Square Garden for breakfast, instead go to George’s on Rector St
      – Trinity Church graveyard – Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton are buried there.
      – Skyline, Friends apt, and Washington Square Arch

  19. MommaCat*

    I’m rather excited, I have an actual spring break (er, 1 week break between jobs, that is). What should I do to relax?

    1. Kn*

      How about starting with meditation or yoga if you haven’t already? I always thought it would be silly, but thanks to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube I’ve had some great experiences :)

    2. Parenthetically*

      Oh man, go do things you normally can’t do in the middle of the day on a Tuesday! Like go to a cafe in the middle of the day and bring a book and sit in the sun and sip coffee really slowly and flick through magazines or something. That kind of stuff is my favorite.

    3. Future Analyst*

      Movie in the middle of the day on a Tuesday! It’s empty, you have the place to yourself, and it feels unspeakably luxurious. :)

    4. MommaCat*

      Thank you all for the ideas! I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow, and in between doing a bunch of laundry, I’m sitting around watching the tv shows my husband doesn’t like. I may also try some meditation!

  20. Cafe au Lait*

    I’m on my way to my Grandfather’s funeral. It hasn’t sunk in yet that he’s gone. I am crabby and easily angered by simple things today. My panty hose riping this morning earned a loud “FUCK.” I’d like to howl at the world right now.

    1. Agnodike*

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Do whatever you need to do to get through the day. Come home from the funeral and have a lengthy howl if that’s what it takes.

    2. Jules the First*

      I hear you. It will get better, promise. If it was sudden, be prepared for this feeling to come back unexpectedly at weird moments.

      In the meantime, go ahead and howl. Now is the time that everyone will forgive you for doing it.

    3. Emilie*

      You tell those pantyhose who’s boss! And then howl as much or as little as you need to. I’m sorry that I can’t say anything, that’ll make this whole thing suck less.

    4. Anon-profit*

      I’m so very sorry. I was there exactly one year ago – my grandpa died early on Good Friday last year. It was not sudden but it was horrible. That Easter was the most surreal holiday I have ever experienced, knowing that we would be at the funeral home the next day. Please be kind to yourself; wishing for peace for you and your family.

    5. StudentA*

      I’m so sorry, Cafe au Lait. Please be kind to yourself. When my gramps died, I howled in my bedroom for hours. It’s ok to be crabby.

    6. Rogue*

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m going through the first round of holidays without my grandma, and it’s tough. ☹️

    7. King Friday XIII*

      I’m so sorry. It’s been two years since I lost my grandmother and it’s still hard sometimes. Please be kind to yourself.

    8. I can barely hit submit*

      My dad will be gone soon. I howled at the garage door the other day, I’m grateful it was just a door. Good luck and peace to you and your family.

  21. Juli G.*

    I’m struggling a lot with little disappointments that are affecting me way more than they should.

    My long planned vacation was punctuated with a somewhat expected family member death at the beginning and a devastating death of a friend at the end. And the vacation had a theft and a lost item during it.
    Husband blew off my birthday
    Husband ruined my surprise for him and the kids on Valentine’s Day (I truly wasn’t expecting anything in exchange and his reaction was going to be my gift)
    That thing we can’t talk about… my manager and my mentor both had the same last day, bonus was bad even though my review was great, a promotion opportunity disappeared for completely understandable reasons
    Terrible threes are in full swing and add an extra element to everything
    Anniversary long weekend was a bust because husband got sick

    I planned some of this stuff to boost me up from other disappointments (like the long weekend) but than THAT becomes a disappointment. It’s just such a bummer.

    At least I don’t have cancer and an eating disorder?

    1. Thursday Next*

      And you still have a sense of humor. :=)

      Disappointments snowball into an increasingly bigger sense of frustration and loss. Are there any pick-me-ups you can plan to do with friends or on your own? Something to look forward to that’s not pegged to your family might be good.

      Jedi hugs if you want them.

      1. Juli G.*

        Thanks! I do have a fun night with friends coming in a month that we’ve been planning for awhile. I have to say, in the back of my mind, I worry it will end up screwy too but I’m trying to stay positive.

    2. Kn*

      How about you try to set a small portion of time aside just for yourself? (if you haven’t already)
      Sometimes even 15 minutes with relaxing music and a journal to write in can really help to overcome disappointments like that. If you want to read something, I can also recommend “Feeling good” by David Burns (it’s not only for depression).

    3. Sapphire*

      I’m really sorry things have been shitty for you! That’s really awful.

      It must be going around, because that’s happening to me too. Partner lost their job in November, I got fired in February, didn’t get a job I really wanted, and as a cherry on top, partner’s bike got stolen from our apartment’s storage area. You and I both sound like we’re overdue for a not shitty thing to happen.

    4. Ermintrude Mulholland*

      Some of those things Do sound hard and upsetting though. Having your life partner ditch your birthday sucks, having to only expect someone’s reaction as a gift is really sweet but also kind of makes me feel sad for you. Don’t talk down your feelings, it’s ok to be upset and bummed out by those things.

    5. Not So NewReader*

      I am so sorry.

      You know what I do when it rains in my life like this? I take a nap. Seriously. It’s about all that is left. And these things are all an energy drain so napping actually make sense in that way.

      I hope things get better soon.

    6. King Friday XIII*

      It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot of emotional work. Those sorts of things add up even if they don’t look like much individually. I’m glad to hear you’ve got something coming up next month, but it sounds like you might benefit from a break sooner than that. Can you talk to your husband about what you’re feeling? I wonder if some acknowledgement and extra support from him would help ease the disappointments he’s responsible for and make you feel like he’s got your back in this.

    7. valentine*

      This is like a forced reset. Can you look at it as spring rebirth forecasting marital peace talks?

  22. ThatGirl*

    People can really suck.

    We went to a concert in Chicago last night. We’re in the burbs so it’s a bit of an ordeal but we got there, found parking, had dinner, found a decent spot to stand in. The opener was good. The band was great, but with about 4 songs to go, people started straight up moshing. We were getting slammed into, my husband is a bit claustrophobic and also got glitterbombed, and we just had to flee. It was obnoxious and disappointing. Would not have expected a Wolf Alice show to include moshing. Glad we went but mad at the jerks.

    Oh, once we got out the venue staff was great, I should say, they saw we were shaken up and gave us water and a place to sit. So that was nice.

    1. ThatGirl*

      I should mention my husband had been looking forward to it for months after we successfully navigated a smaller concert in November, and this was his favorite band, so he’s kinda beating himself up today.

    2. Emilie*

      I had to look up the band. And I do not understand why this sort of concert would attract people who’d start a moshpit? Do people mosh to Arctic Monkeys as well?!
      I’ve been to a handful of metal concerts where moshing was an advertised thing, and people were so nice and took great care of each other (some huge guy knocked my friend over, and then picked him up, lifted him up in to the air while shaking him and yelling “Are you okay! I’m so sorry!”). So… Yeah… I’m baffled.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Yeah, I mean I can understand dancing in place and some jumping but these two a-holes just started slamming into people, moving through the front of the crowd. It was super frustrating and I even missed the song we struggled through because I was so distracted.

        And yeah, really not the kind of band I’d expect that from. Sigh.

    3. The Other Dawn*

      I swear, so many people at concerts suck. If you do general admission, wait for many hours in line to get up front, and ARE lucky enough to get up front, you get the people who showed up two minutes earlier and manage to push their way up to the front. Or if you have seats up front (seems to only happen up front for some reason), you get the people who get completely trashed and spend the whole time fighting with their significant other, or they’re constantly squeezing through the row, back and forth, so they can get their 10.00 beer, then food, then more beer, then the bathroom, then more beer, then more food, etc. In my mind I’m thinking, “why did you bother spending the money on upfront floor seats when you’re spending more than half the show walking back and forth?” Or in your case, people just get totally out of control.

      So sorry that happened and ruined the show for you guys.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Thanks. Yeah, it was gen admission standing, we waited in line half an hour, stood around an hour plus waiting for the show to start, opening act, set change, argued with a guy who tried to steal a spot, and it was worth it… right up to the slam dancing.

    4. NoMoreMrFixit*

      Sorry to hear that. Yeah people can be idiots at concerts. Last one I went to some guy who had already had too many beers before the show started tripped and dumped his beer on my head as he was sitting down in the seat behind me. Great way to start the evening. Did I mention I hate the smell of beer? Fortunately I just laughed it off rather than make an issue of it as he was already too drunk to be reasonable.

      Sadly that wasn’t my first bad experience at a concert but it was my last one. Haven’t gone to one since.

    5. Elizabeth West*

      Ugh, how disappointing. I’m sorry that happened. :(

      I’ve only been to one arena concert (Rod Stewart, the Young Turks show–yes I’m old) and we were in the balcony, so no moshing or anything. The rest of the concerts I’ve attended were really small venues (local bands; Men at Work at a downtown bar here) or symphony orchestras and fans were pretty well-behaved. I have no desire to do the arena thing anymore. Besides, I can’t afford tickets.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Thanks. Just a bummer.

        Yeah, I feel like arena tours might be better since moshing would be very localized and there are seats… this was a smallish club venue. Inexpensive and crowded. If we did ever go again I’d try to get right up front in the balcony.

    6. only acting normal*

      I once sent a drunken mosher *flying* with a well-timed shoulder shove. 8-|
      He got up and started looking for a person to fight but overlooked the 5’2” 100lb woman with the shoked-guilty expression. Luckily his mates calmed him down quickly, and he cooled the moshing down too.
      In his defence it was Green Day, in mine it wasn’t the best place for a mosh pit.
      Next time I’m getting seats. I’m too small and old (and apparently too strong) for standing.

      Sorry you night ended on a bum note.

    7. Mosher*

      I get the urge to mosh. But at a show where it wouldn’t necessarily happen, there has to be a compromise. They should have Mosh and No Mosh zones in the GA area, or something like that.

      I’m sorry to hear that happened. People should be nicer.

  23. grace*

    Have you been to Charleston? I’m going in May and while I’ve been it was as a teenager with my parents… so I’d love suggestions of what to do (or not do)!

    1. fposte*

      Charleston is awesome. What do you like to do? I really enjoyed Fort Sumter (the ferry out is cool in its own right, since you often see dolphins), and I also thought the Charleston Museum was really cool not just for its contents but for its historiography–it’s really been conscious about examining and updating its approaches to history. I liked walking around the Battery and other areas of town–it’s pretty walkable.

      It’s also a foodie’s paradise–there are a multitude of amazing restaurants. The big name ones, like Husk, get full fast, but there are plenty of other great places that you can probably get into on the spur of the moment.

      1. grace*

        I’m a history nerd and my boyfriend is a foodie – so Sumter and tons of food is on the list! I’ve agreed to one really nice restaurant for him to pick out; did you go to husk or somewhere else that you really enjoyed?

        And I’ll add the museum to the list! I was thinking a walking tour downtown might be fun especially if there’s food involved but I have to research a bit to find a good one.

        1. fposte*

          It’s been a few years, so I’m not sure what’s top of the list now, but I went to Magnolias and loved it. (Also, Kilwin’s was an awesome ice cream parlor.)

          A walking tour sounds like a great idea. I was visiting a local friend so she provided the guiding on what was pretty much a private walking grou.

        2. PetticoatsandPincushions*

          I loved the Aiken-Rhett house- The was a lot of historiography there, not just a straight up recreated rich planters mansion. My friend and I also did a beer walking tour where we stopped at a few cool historic pubs, and our guide was great at telling us the history of the city as well. Can’t remember the name of the tour company though :/

    2. Loopy*

      I live in Charleston! I adore the historic house tours (but beware, one is just a weird collection of some rich person’s eclectic stuff- totally bizarre but not historical!), there are several good ones downtown and it’s a nice thing to combine with a dinner downtown since they are short and nearby! Most are along the battery which is also a lovely place to walk along and near rainbow row. The Marketplace is also fun to walk through and is within walking distance. You could make a nice afternoon and evening out of it!!

    3. LilySparrow*

      Ghost Walk!
      We went to Charleston on our honeymoon and did a bunch of touristy stuff, and the ghost Walk was hands-down the best.

      You get a lot of local history, along with some great storytelling.

    4. I Love Thrawn*

      I went two years ago, April. Loved it – our big event was the mule drawn carriage ride. The tour director/driver was very funny and knew his history. Lots of people there. I hate to mention this but be wary of bed bugs. It’s a very well traveled city, lots of people coming and going, so check your hotel room carefully. Be prepared for humidity, too. We could feel it in April, so May will be worse. Also, parking is all but impossible in the touristy parts. You will be doing mucho walking. I have no doubt you will have a great time, so don’t let this info bits scare you!

    5. Casuan*

      Love Charlston!!

      Try to take a tour as soon as you can because you’ll enjoy things more when you already know some of its history. Also it’s a good way to get an overview of the city. Really I try to do this wherever I visit.
      Get in at least one or two house tours if you can. There’s a lot of history there.
      Jestine’s Kitchen is a good restaurant.
      The City Market for the ambiance.

      Take a hat, a bottle of water, & be prepared to walk.

    6. Oxford Coma*

      Food: SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) was mediocre and expensive, only go if you’ve already tried all your top choices. Seaman’s was really good, but the whole-fish fry is not for the squeamish.

    7. grace*

      Thanks to all of you for your thoughts! I’ll keep you guys updated in May on how it all goes. :-)

  24. Roe*

    Using a different name for this one.

    My husband’s drinking is getting unsustainable, he’s hiding it, lying about it, and it’s become daily. He got stationed at the same base as his brother, and it hasn’t helped at all. He is a violent drunk, and he hasn’t come at me… yet. I know I have to get out, but I’m scared because I will lose everything that doesn’t fit in my car. He’s active duty, but I don’t want to involve his career. His brother will interfere if he gets out of hand, but I only get to leave once.
    My plan is to grab my dog, clothes, paperwork, and my guns, transfer half the savings, and leave the next time he goes off the rails.
    I don’t want to lose everything, but I can’t have an honest conversation with him, and I just don’t know what to do. If I stay it’ll just get worse, but if I leave I leave behind my whole life. I have somewhere to go, I have a plan, but I am frozen at the thought of losing everything I’ve worked for.

    1. Agnodike*

      If you stay, you could lose your life, and that’s more important than anything you’ll leave behind. I know how it feels to be contemplating that irrevocable step, but that step isn’t just away from what you know now, it’s toward a new life where you don’t have to be afraid for your safety. If you have a plan and you know you need to leave, please leave as soon as possible. Everything you’ll leave behind can be replaced. You can’t.

    2. Red Reader*

      If you trust his brother, maybe talk to him and lay it all out, and see if brother can maybe take him away for a weekend and give you more time to get yourself together and out? Plus that way brother will have a better, less-husband-sourced notion of what’s going on in the aftermath and can maybe try to help husband get the right kind of treatment.

      1. Roe*

        I talked to my SIL, she left his brother because of his drinking, she went back when he got real help. She’s willing to help me in whatever way she can, and she might be able to organize a “boys weekend”.

    3. Max Kitty*

      Good for you for facing hard truths. Things can be replaced. Please take your dog and go as soon as you possibly can. Don’t wait for things to go off the rails, because then it might be too late. You are worth more than any of your possessions.

      If you can do it safely, maybe contact a domestic violence hotline so they can help you take the steps you need to take.

      1. Casuan*

        Don’t wait for things to go off the rails, because then it might be too late.

        +1 !!!!!!!!!!!
        Especially to call the hotline.

        Roe, what you’ve worked for means nothing if *you* aren’t safe.
        Be certain he doesn’t have online access to anything that you do. This is commonly overlooked.
        Your first priority is to get to safety, & your dogs.
        Also, you’re not responsible for his career. It’s commendable that you don’t want to mess things up for him, although remember that you are not the one who has caused these problems.
        My thoughts are with you!!
        Please check in when you’re safe to do so.

    4. Merci Dee*

      I totally understand how hard it would be to walk away from the things that make up your life. But those are just =things=, and you would still have your =life=.

      Any way you could mitigate some of that, though? Maybe rent a small storage space, and then move some things into it as unobtrusively as possible? If he questions you about packing some stuff up to move it to the storage unit, maybe say you’re donating some of your stuff to Goodwill or whatever. That would let you get more stuff out, and create less of a burden to grab whatever you could if you had to flee under duress.

      1. Future Analyst*

        Yes to this. A friend was getting divorced (due to a different type of abuse), and starting stashing things at a friend’s house before she did the official leaving. It helped her feel like she wasn’t just waiting around for whatever terrible thing to happen next, and gave her a better starting point than if she just had to leave. Any chance you can start squirreling away some items?

    5. Elena*

      Some on-base resources may include the local MFLC – they claim to be confidential and don’t report to command or to your husband.

      Depending on the length of your relationship, how recently the problems have appeared, how much they’re associated with a recent tour of duty, how much he’s willing to do for you, and how much you can handle, you might try one final “Come to Jesus”/”Hail Mary” talk….

      Good luck!

      1. Roe*

        We had one of those talks last year when I caught him driving drunk on base with my dog. He used to say he was going to the dog park, but he was stopping at the shopette on his way, and getting drunk in his truck instead. After that he started hiding it more, and it usually involved driving with an open container.

      2. Roe*

        This base is also tiny, I can’t go anywhere without being seen, so I can’t go through the resources. I might be able to go to the army base about an hour away, but I don’t have ready excuses for that.

      3. Kuododi*

        Speaking as a former MFLC…the only limits on confidentiality are the standard suspicion of child/elder abuse as well as issues of domestic violence. An MFLC would not be required to report addiction issues unless it had deteriorated into one of the above three concerns. Best wishes!!!

    6. neverjaunty*

      I’m so sorry you are going through this.

      Don’t be afraid to involve his career – he doesn’t need you to protect him from the consequences of his actions. And you ARE entitled to more than just the clothes off your back, in all likelihood. This may sound cold, but the fact that he is active-duty military means that it will be a lot harder for him to hide money from you.

      Please don’t freeze until you’re in worse danger; it’s better to get out while you can. He is already “out of hand”.

      1. Roe*

        All he has is his career, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it. I will take the nuclear option if he forces me to, but I’m trying to avoid it. His brother is high ranking, so I know he can help mitigate the damage, but I don’t want him to use whatever political power he has on this.
        I’m trying to be as kind as I can, even though he’s the one ruining my life with his habit, I love him, but I won’t go down with the ship.

        1. Kuododi*

          I would really encourage you to find the nearest Al-Anon meetings and get involved. They would be the best source of local support regarding loved one dealing with their partners addiction. It may take trial and error to find the group that is the best fit for your needs. Military One Source is another option for practical, confidential resources which are military oriented. You and your family are in my heart. Blessings…

        2. Jen Erik*

          He is jeopardising his career, not you. You’re allowed to tell the truth about your own life.
          I’m a little concerned about the ‘next time he goes off the rails…’ because I did that for years. If he does this, I’ll go. If he does it again I’ll go. Well, okay, but if he does that, I’ll go. And I never actually went.
          And, with hindsight, that wasn’t great for him either, because he had to be on the verge of losing everything – work, family, health – before he could properly accept he needed help. (And he’s sober now, and we’re happy – but if I could time-travel back, I’d tell myself to just go, and not wait for him to cross some final line.)

          1. Roe*

            It’s amazing what you can justify to yourself. I should have left already, but he had no one, now he has family, to help. Last weekend I had to drag him in the house because he was destroying the shed “looking for something”, he came inside and destroyed my table that I made.
            I’m worried that I will always justify it, and it might take a little longer, but I’m at least a little less scared of leaving now that I have a plan.

            1. neverjaunty*

              He has his brother, and he has the entire structure of the military, which has dealt with people in his situation over and over again. He cannot get help from the victims of his behavior (that’s you).

              1. Casuan*


                And as things are now, you could probably help him better from the outside. At the least, he might start to realise that he has a problem.

                Roe, what else is there? What’s the alternative? If you stay, do you really think he will stop drinking & getting violent? You’ve already been trying this tactic, to no avail. So change tactics to where you can be in a better [& safe] position to help him.
                I’m so sorry, I know it isn’t as easy as to just do something especially if you’re frozen.
                Several Commenters here have direct experience with this. Please take their comments to heart, Roe. They’re telling you they understand the waiting mentality because they did the same thing & they’re telling you they shouldn’t have waited.

                Hopefully this doesn’t read as too harsh. I’m just really concerned for you.

            2. Jen Erik*

              That sounds scary. I’m sorry you had to be in the house with someone so out-of-control.

              (And I’m properly impressed you have a plan.)

        3. Not That Jane*

          There may also be safety-related concerns when thinking about whether to involve his career. If he feels like he has nothing to lose, that may push him towards being more violent. But you know him best, and can best evaluate whether that is a factor.

          I definitely second the recommendations of Al-Anon and a domestic violence hotline, if you can access them safely. I think you need a Team You that is trained and experienced in situations like this.

        4. Slartibartfast*

          I truly believe my brother would have stopped drinking at least a decade earlier if mom hadn’t done so much to keep him out of jail.

        5. RestlessRenegade*

          Our situations are not much alike at all, but I left my boyfriend of 5 years last month (he didn’t do anything wrong really, but it was time for me to go) and he had nothing but his mom (essentially homeless and very poor) and ex wife. No money, no transportation, no job. I have him some money and I wish him well, but it was so hard to not fix everything and it is still hard knowing that I left when he was at a very low point. I feel responsible, even though I always helped him and never sabotaged him and never will.

      2. Casuan*


        And as things are now, you could probably help him better from the outside. At the least, he might start to realise that he has a problem.

        Roe, what else is there? What’s the alternative? If you stay, do you really think he will stop drinking & getting violent? You’ve already been trying this tactic, to no avail. So change tactics to where you can be in a better [& safe] position to help him.
        I’m so sorry, I know it isn’t as easy as to just do something especially if you’re frozen.
        Several Commenters here have direct experience with this. Please take their comments to heart, Roe. They’re telling you they understand the waiting mentality because they did the same thing & they’re telling you they shouldn’t have waited.

        Hopefully this doesn’t read as too harsh. I’m just really concerned for you.

      3. Triple Anon*

        How much responsibility does he have? Does he supervise people? Make key decisions? Handle weapons or heavy machinery or dangerous materials?

        I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but an advantage to involving his career would be to protect other people who he could hurt. He would lose everything, but lives could be spared.

        Of course I’m not sure if this applies. But please take the potential damage to others into account. It sounds like you and those close to you are the only ones who know about it right now.

    7. Cristina in England*

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Please don’t hand over half the savings until you have consulted a lawyer. I’ve left a marriage with nothing in order to be kind, so I get it, but honestly, if he is in the military he will have salary and pension in place and you won’t be getting any of the spousal benefits after you go. Like military housing, and all the other stuff. Protect yourself and try to find an attorney for some advice before you take any action.

      1. Roe*

        Most of the savings is actually his. He had a good amount before we married, I only calculate my portion after marriage. Whatever I take out will be 1/3 of the overall amount. I don’t need his money, I just need my car. The car will be the sticky part though, we sold his truck before the move, and he doesn’t need a vehicle here cause the base is so small. He can buy a new vehicle outright, but I don’t want a judge to say my car must be sold and split because it’s the only one for the house. The title is and/or, so I hope since I am in physical possession, that it can’t be taken, plus I had a vehicle when I entered the marriage.

        1. Bagpuss*

          Can you arrange to talk to a divorce lawyer now, before you leave, to get a feel for what you might be entitled to and how you safeguard stuff like the car? That way at least you know where you stand and can plan with good information.
          (In my jurisdiction, all the savings would normally be treated as matrimonial assets, not just those built up since since the marriage, for instance – if that’s true where you are you could still decide not to take half, but there may be a way to offset that against the car so you don’t risk losing it, for instance)
          Good luck

    8. fposte*

      I know this is hard, but you’re talking about a violent drunk with access to weapons. Staying means a risk of losing everything you’ve worked for as well, only in a tragic and unrecoverable way. You’re doing him a favor to make that less likely too.

      1. Roe*

        That was a first thought too. I secured the ammo in a lock box, and replaced the combo lock with an identical model, but different combo, he hasn’t opened it yet, and I haven’t brought up going to the range.

    9. Nesprin*

      get a po box today so you can make copies and store documents ahead of time. Ditto enough cash for a couple of days in case of emergency. Im so sorry you have to go through this.

      1. Roe*

        I have $2k cash, my own credit card, and I scanned the most important stuff. I also have screenshots of the savings account, so he can’t say I took anything that wasn’t mine. I’m trying to put a “go bag” together, but this isn’t a big house, and it would be noticeable for key things to be missing.

        1. Marthooh*

          In addition to the go bag, make a go list of other things to take and their locations in the house. That will make packing the car much easier when you have to do it.

    10. King Friday XIII*

      That’s such a hard situation to be in, I’m sorry. I know you said it’s a small house and he’ll notice if some things go missing, but can you maybe start “redecorating”? That would allow you to move all sorts of things, pack others up, and generally have an excuse if he asks where something has gone and it’s in a box.

      Also please believe me that you don’t have to wait for him to do something bad enough. You can leave while he’s asleep. You can leave on a good, calm day. You can leave while he’s out of the house. You are important and your safety and happiness are important.

    11. Roe*

      Btw thank you all for being so supportive. I know that’s it’s going to take a little longer to get my sh*t together and get out, but it is really great knowing there’s people in the world that are this supportive. All of the encouragement and advice is wonderful, and helps with my frame of mind. You are all just wonderful people.

    12. Mananana*

      Roe, first, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My first (ex) husband was an alcoholic; it is soul-sucking living that way.

      Couple of things: First, you can arrange counseling through Military OneSource, which can be done in person, on the phone, or via Skype. You can get 12 sessions for free. Or find a Al-Anon group, either in person or online. It was a life-saver for me.

      Next, if you do decide to go through the Family Advocacy Office, please know that they’re not going to go the career-ending route as the first step. But, if he devolves into physical violence, please know that there is help for you. Including the Transitional Assistance Program which can help you financially.

      Above all else, take care of yourself and your dog.

    13. valentine*

      Can you get legal advice? There is a story on Reddit from an abusive guy who found out his ex dumped him via her lawyer, who photographed the apartment so he couldn’t stick her with future damages. Maybe that doesn’t apply on-base. There is a story on Tumblr about a trainer’s clients, a SEAL and some bodybuilders, surprising her with her stuff they gathered from her ex’s place. Do you have friends who can help you move out? A civilian can ask for police or sheriff’s deputies to be present. Is this something you can ask of MPs? Be careful with SIL and BIL, in case they betray you because they think they can force you to have what they have. If you feel safe with online resources, there are counselors you can type to.

    14. Mm Hmm*

      I hear your courage, your kindness, & your ability to see clearly in your words. I’m glad you have a plan. And a SIL as an ally.

      If you’re the poster I think you are, can you stash some stuff as part of “prepping the house” for some of the repair work you’ve requested?

      We’re pulling for you.

    15. Roe*

      I intend on going to the family readiness center this week, I went at our last base and I was able to talk to someone about these things, and they also gave me info on logistics. At a minimum I can find out what is available in this state.

      I’m going to register my car in my name only, I have an excellent driving record, so I told him it would save us $ on insurance. That should take care of that problem.

      I contacted a friend of mine at a different base, and he is setting me up to meet a good friend of his on this base, who also happens to be security forces. I’ll be able to get additional information from them.

      A friend of mine is a couple hours south of me, so I can go to her house while things get sorted. I’ll be far enough he won’t travel to me, but close enough to be available for getting stuff/ paperwork.

      So all that’s left is the hard part, which will happen (hopefully) in the next couple months.

      I never thought I’d be over 30, making plans like this. I always figured waiting to get married was smart, turns out it doesn’t matter when you do it, it can still go sideways. But thank you everyone for all the kind words and information. It is really appreciated and useful.

      1. Belle di Vedremo*

        I’m so sorry to hear that you’re up against this, but glad to know you have a plan and some local support. Violent drunk plus weapons sounds really scary. An attorney and military support both sound very practical. I hope that you can get more time to prep and pack to leave, eg the brothers weekend, and that you can leave on a calm day/weekend.

        Please keep us posted.

    16. Massmatt*

      This was a heartbreaking letter to read, I’m so sorry you are going through this. Much good advice here, make your safety the priority and gather all the support that you can. Please update when you can, good luck!

      1. Charlie Bradbury's Girlfriend*

        I just came here to ask for an update as well. Roe, please take care and be safe! We’re all rooting for you!

  25. Sapphire*

    Crafting thread (heh, puns)! What are y’all working on?

    I feel really accomplished! I finished two pairs of mittens (one pair even has holes for your fingertips so you can use a smartphone), and I also knit a bunch of I-cord so that I can crochet a little accent rug when I acquire a big enough hook. I also plan to see some of the seams for my knit vest.

    1. LNLN*

      I am about to finish knitting my 3rd pair of socks. It took me a while (2 classes and 2 pairs of socks) but I was determined to master turning the heel! I’m not a very experienced knitter, so this really feels like an accomplishment.

      1. Sapphire*

        Yay for you, that’s awesome! I wish posting pictures was easier here.

        Socks and Fair Isle feel like the final frontiers of knitting that I haven’t quite gotten up the courage to try. I think a pair of socks is going to be my next project for myself.

        1. Anonyme*

          I am working (slowly) on the Beekeepers quilt and I use the hexagons to try out new techniques, like mosaic. and my first fair isle was a coffee cozy…. tiny manageable things for new skills.

    2. Anonyme*

      Also knitter, I’m currently practicing steeking on small things before trying it on a sweater I have.

      1. BeautifulVoid*

        The crochet steek is my favorite. (I suck at anything involving a sewing machine.) I love colorwork and don’t mind steeking. I’ve even modified things to include a steek rather than having to turn my work. My mother thinks I am insane.

    3. BeautifulVoid*

      I got a gradient set of sock yarn from Knit Circus for Christmas and I finally started a pair of socks with it. (Here Be Dragons from Knitty.) I loooooove gradients and I’m itching to get more already; however, I’m not sure how many ~$50 pairs of socks I can justify. :-X

      I also finally made myself learn Judy’s Magic Cast-On for this. Not too bad once I did it all on DPNs instead of two circular needles, though I did feel like a psychotic octopus at times.

    4. LadyKelvin*

      I picked up crochet over christmas as a new hobby. Right now I’m make an awesome octopus. It is taking forever! But it’ll look really cool when I’m done.

    5. Elizabeth West*

      I REALLY want to get the hang of knitting but it’s so difficult with this stupid dyspraxia and the fine motor control issue in my hands. If I keep at it, I’ll eventually get it but it’s frustrating and I haven’t worked on it in a while. I’m not ready to give up and/or let go of all the yarn I bought, haha.

      More below about cleaning out stuff, but I’m determined to finish at least one of these dolls houses and perhaps more. If for no other reason, to make some room in here because supplies and houses take up a lot of it.

    6. King Friday XIII*

      This week’s been spent mostly mending a wool blanket. I finally upgraded from darning needles to a weaving needle for the big holes, lol.

    7. Not That Jane*

      I started, but haven’t finished, an afghan based on Penrose tiles. It requires some creative pattern making / modification, plus making 200 pentagons.

    8. Officials' Anonymous (UK)*

      I’ve knitted half a cowl in an amazing Countess Ablaze colourway with a name that’s too rude for here but linked in my name.

      Also mounted some cross stitch and made a table for my craft corner.

    9. Searching*

      I knit a little baby hat for a friend’s brand-new grandbaby. It’s kind of late in the season for hats but it was a cotton yarn so I hope she’ll get to wear it at least once! It was a new pattern I found on Ravelry and knit up in less than a day. Ravelry links in reply.

      I’m also still working on my lace weight shawl. It’s an easy “tv knitting” project since I’ve been watching way too many tv shows before they wrap up for the season.

    10. NeverNicky*

      I’m working on a blanket and also knitting up lots of small toys from the free kits that come with magazines.
      Next week I will be stitching a small sampler for a friend who is getting married.

    11. Dragonista*

      I’ve finally got the hang of knitting socks, and I’m almost to the heel on the third pair I’ve knit since the new year. Perfect size project for commuting! Once this is done I have agreed to knit a loose sweater with all over cables for a very knit worthy relative.

    12. Thursday Next*

      I’m working on a blanket for my son. I had started knitting it in the fall, but took a few months break from knitting because my carpal tunnel issues flared up. It started out as a throw blanket, but (due to a gauge snafu) I’ve decided to make it twin size. I’m really pleased with myself for having found what seems to be the last skein in New York City of the yarn I was using!

    13. Ann Furthermore*

      My thing is cross-stitch. I just recently finished a Merry Christmas sampler (a little late, but it’s ready for this year), and my next project is a baby gift for my great-nephew and his girlfriend. Yes, I’m going to be a great-great-aunt, and my mom is going to be a great-great-grandmother. Anyway, I found a super cute “Dragon Welcome” sampler. I’m just waiting to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl before I get started.

  26. Rye*

    Thanks to Netflix I’ve been marathoning the entire series of Friends. I remember loving this show back when it was on (though it probably set up unrealistic expectations of how independent I’d be by 25 lol), but watching it again now…wow the main six characters were really terrible people. Many of their backstories seem to contain some pretty traumatic events and those are passed off as jokes.

    (Also all the gender stereotyping, borderline homophobic jokes and general stigmatisation of anything intellectual…that show really doesn’t hold up as well as I would’ve expected it to…)

    1. Ali G*

      OMG I was just having this conversation with someone recently. The biggest thing I realized was how HORRIBLE Ross was. And horrible to Rachael and we couldn’t believe she threw her life away to be with him. He’s manipulative, jealous and treats her like property for the better part of the series and she’s just like, “sure that’s cool.” Not cool.

      1. kc89*

        as a child Ross was my favorite, I think it’s because he did a lot of physical comedy and funny voices

        but as an adult he is the worsttttttttttt

      2. Rye*

        I used to defend Ross (somewhat half-heartedly but still) since he was the token bookish type who seemed like he might care more about substance than style. But upon re-watching he’s every bit as shallow as Joey was when it came to appearances. When he got dumped by Charlie (the beautiful palaeontologist from one of the last seasons) he complained about how all the other female palaeontologists ‘look like they should live under a bridge’, and that just made me want to hit him.

        Back when it aired I was so happy that he and Rachel ended up together (I suspect the creators felt pressured to end it that way) but now I really wish she moved to Paris after all (and lets not get started on how unrealistic that job negotiation process was!).

    2. Diluted_Tortoiseshell*

      It really doesn’t hold up well at all.

      I remember marking as a red flag an interviewee who said his hobby was re-watching all of Friends. And that in his opinion TV stopped progressing after that point.

      Usually the hobby question is a throw-away let’s get to know you better type thing. I have never dinged anyone on a question before. Some coworkers argued with me about it – and I told them to go home and re-watch their favorite episode on Netflix. They all came back the next day and agreed he was not for our team.

    3. Sapphire*

      I almost finished Friends, but had to stop at the episode where Ross objects to having a male nanny because of toxic masculinity or something. I was just tired of all the jokes about gender and sexuality, and the fat jokes.

      Honestly, the best thing about Friends was a cameo by Hugh Laurie before American audiences knew him as House.

      1. Rye*

        Oh yes, that one was just cringeworthy, although I guess it’s in keeping with the character (there was an episode where he was super-uncomfortable with his son wanting to play a Barbie doll).

    4. Parenthetically*

      Yes! God! Spoiled, insufferable, sexist, fattist, homophobic trash. Phoebe was by far the most decent human in the bunch.

      1. Rye*

        Seriously? I don’t agree at all!
        Well actually she did start out really sweet and caring. One episode I still like a lot is the one when Ben was born, and Susan and Ross were arguing over who got to be more involved in the baby’s life. Phoebe pointed out how lucky this baby was that it has three whole parents to fight over who gets to love it the most when she barely had one parent growing up. That one still makes me a bit teary.

        But the later episodes she got increasingly mean and shrill and manipulative, and would make mean comments for no reason other than to be mean. I read somewhere that apparently it was because people found pregnant Phoebe (who was super irritable) hilarious, so they kept moving her in that direction. They chalk a lot of that up to her having lived on the streets, but that makes no sense since by the later episodes she’d been /off/ the streets longer than she had been at the start!

        The other thing that annoyed me was how they made the family thing a big deal for her, but after she found both her birth mother /and/ birth father (and seemed to want a relationship with them) they were barely mentioned again. I get that it was most likely a casting issue, but to not even mention why they weren’t at her /wedding/ was a serious oversight.

        1. Nina*

          I agree. Phoebe was awful in the later seasons. Just mean for the sake of mean, and it wasn’t funny.

        2. Lindsay J*

          Yeah, I feel like all the characters suffered from some flanderization over the course of the series, but Phoebe was the worst.

          There are several times where she is just plain unreasonable for no good reason. Like, insisting people agree with her on things that are just not cool (like trying to get everyone to agree to let her keep the cat that she decided was her mom, even though she knows it belongs to a little kid, but there are others I know I’m not thinking of off of the top of my head).

          She starts out good-natured and quirky, but turns into mean, unrealistic, and just weird for the sake of being weird.

    5. Lissa*

      It doesn’t hold up at all well, and that makes me so happy, in a weird way. It was only 20-ish years ago, and we’ve come so far in what’s considered acceptable – I think that’s really cool! I also know what you mean about traumatic events passed off as jokes – that seems to be a thing in a lot of 80s/90s shows at the time, where it’s like … “uh, that’s child abuse actually” or similar. I’m another one who loved Friends, and I do think some episodes are still hilarious, but overall… yiiiikes.

      1. Rye*

        Yeah, some of the stuff Monica’s parents did (and continue to do) to her was just disturbing (I think I found them unpalatable even back when they were first shown, but could overlook that because I loved the show so much overall).

        I think one of the problems is that they keep regressing that relationship. Like they’d have a heartfelt moment when her parents acknowledge how lucky they are to have her as a daughter, but then a few episodes later she’s the punchline again.

      2. Lindsay J*

        Yeah, I still enjoy watching Friends. You just have to view it as a product of it’s time. And we have come a long way in the 20 or so years since then. (And Friends was actually sort of progressive for it’s time. Yes, Carol and Susan and their wedding were played for jokes, but they were one of they few portrayals of a lesbian couple on air at all at the time. And definitely one of the very few shown getting married.)

    6. Emilie*

      As a historian it’s important to me to point out, that we should be wary of judging things/actions/people by other standards than those they existed/were created under. But boy did Friends age badly…

      1. Rye*

        Yeah, it’s a reflection of its time. Although it does make me wonder whether, despite (or even because of) its popularity, there were people who were made to feel bad about themselves because of the way traits were depicted on the show. (E.g. that people who like to read are boring by definition.)

      2. Sapphire*

        To be honest, I don’t like the argument that racism or homo/transphobia or fatphobia were more acceptable in earlier time periods. It’s not like black people, queer people, or fat people didn’t exist; they most certainly did and would have been hurt by those attitudes and how they manifest in popular media. They just are able to more easily express their feelings and have other people listen.

        1. all aboard the anon train*

          This. So much. If you look back throughout history, there were always people speaking out against the treatment of marginalized groups, and I think the argument that something or someone is a reflection of their time handwaves and justifies that bigotry and oppression. People knew it was wrong then, they just didn’t have anyone from those marginalized groups who had the power or fame to speak out against it in a way that made people actually stop and take notice.

          1. Triplestep*

            Yes! OR people did NOT their behavior was bigoted, and few (in any) from marginalized groups were able to speak out.

            This idea that we should look at different eras through the lens of what was considered acceptable at the time has never made sense to me. Why not look back and say “That was not OK”? I think that only serves to help us evolve. As Lissa points out above, Friends was only 20 years ago, and it’s great that its only taken that long to critique and question why we thought it was funny. Taking it with so many grains of salt because it represents what a particular demographic found acceptable in the nineties does a disservice.

            1. all aboard the anon train*

              Yeah. In the ’90s, I knew it was progressive to have queer characters on TV, but I also knew it was wrong and hurtful to laugh at them for being “weird”. One doesn’t cancel out the other. I was still hurt and made to feel like “other” because that a portrayal of queer people was only a caricature and not something fully realized or accepted.

              I think people get defensive and use the “that was the time” because they’re embarrassed they went along with something or want to explain away bad aspects of their country/culture’s history, but that does more harm than good.

        2. Lissa*

          I’m not sure I agree with that. I think that some of the attitudes we saw in the 1990s, for instance, *were* considered progressive at the time, and people were less likely to be hurt because it was considered to be pretty forward-thinking. It isn’t like there’s one agreed-upon trajectory of social consciousness with an objective bad/offensive and an objective good that’s the same in all cultural contexts. I’m sure lots of things we’re doing today, even things made by minorities that are considered progressive, will be considered bad in some ways in 50 years. I think this is particularly true when it comes to language use, for example.

    7. Kat*

      I’ve seen this being said a lot recently and, well, I can see why, but I also just don’t really watch it in that way. I think I can accept it doesn’t translate as well to 2018 and still enjoy it for what it was and what it gave to me at the time.

      1. Lindsay J*


        Unless we’re going to throw out all media that existed prior to the current year, there are always going to be things that are *problematic* in older media.

        Some are obviously worse than others (like Alamo Drafthouse is showing all of the James Bond movies in order and holy hell I can barely keep myself from gagging at some of the older ones. Like he basically forces himself on women who don’t want to kiss him, but in a minute it’s okay because he’s hot and good at kissing so they enjoy it).

        But everything – and I mean everything – has changed a lot even in the last couple decades. And things that weren’t problematic at the time, now are.

        And sometimes, a show or book portraying something problematic doesn’t mean that the creator agrees with those attitudes. Like “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been challenged in several school districts for having the N-word in it, and how black people are treated in the book in general. But reading it it’s pretty clear that Lee does not support racism, but was illuminating the horrors of it to show that we should not be racist.

    8. Peanut*

      I loved Friends back when it originally aired – there was a MadTV joke about a guy whose friends were just the Friends on tv, and I felt like I was that person. But I tried rewatching it last year and didn’t make it very far.

      You know what has held up though? Frasier!! I’ve been watching all of those instead, and enjoying them greatly. I wasn’t a huge fan when it aired, though I liked the episodes I happened to catch, but the physical and verbal humor is amazing.

      1. Parenthetically*

        This is so true. I was staying with a friend a couple summers ago in London and the weather was filthy and she was in the “if I hold perfectly still except for sipping ginger ale, maybe I won’t barf” stage of pregnancy, and we watched a LOT of Frasier! I was the wrong age for it when it was first on air, but I found it very sly and clever as we marathoned it.

      2. Rye*

        I’d finished watching Frasier a while ago (right before starting Friends actually), and while it does hold up much better, there were still some things that jumped out a lot more when watching it in one go (as opposed to spread out over 11 years). For instance even though he wants to be appreciated for his intellect he focuses a lot more on how attractive a woman is (sort of like my complaint about Ross above, but not as bad).

        I’m thinking about re-watching Cheers at some point, another series I really loved. But given it was made in the late 80s/early 90s, I worry it’d be even worse…? (Although I first watched it maybe 10 years ago, and thought it was great at that time…)

      3. Courageous cat*

        Yes! I never watched Frasier before until just a few weeks ago and I was honestly surprised at how good it is. I watch it every night and am on season 2 now. Really out of the rest of 90s sitcoms’ leagues. Niles and Frasier especially have great chemistry.

        The only thing I still haven’t gotten used to yet is Daphne’s voice. How she manages to sound like a shrill English grandmotherly type all the time is beyond me. I imagine it’s in part due to using “me” in place of “my”. I could totally be off-base but she just seems like a cartoonish depiction of a British person and it drives me nuts – her character is great otherwise.

        1. Rye*

          I think Daphne’s quirkiness gets toned down a lot later on (Frasier being one of the rare shows where characters became more well-rounded rather as the seasons went on, rather than getting turned into caricatures of their earlier selves.). But then again most British characters on American shows tend to be a bit stereotyped aren’t they? Otherwise how would you know they were (gasp) British!

    9. buttercup*

      I’m a Friends fan. it’s funny because I always recognized the characters were bad, but I though that’s what added to the comedy. Both Chandler and Ross’s insecure masculinity was always mocked by the show, but realistically depicted a sad reality about how social views were/still are. I definitely thought Ross was one of those fake nice guys who tried to seem like he cared, but was actually really selfish. All of the characters are definitely foolish.

      I do recognize now that Friends was definitely a Hollywood stereotype of its time where everyone in the cast is white, straight, and thin.

      1. Lindsay J*

        I always recognized that Ross was terrible.

        But what really struck me on rewatching is how terrible all the characters are. None of them are really good friends to each other when the going really gets tough.

    10. all aboard the anon train*

      I’m always a bit happy when people point this out.

      I hated the show when it was airing. The homophobic jokes made me feel awful about myself and probably pushed me further into the denial closet, and the gender stereotyping also made me uncomfortable. I never watched it frequently aside from times at a friend’s house or in college when someone had it on and I couldn’t escape it or change the channel, but so many people at school did and would rehash the jokes or talk about how funny certain things were when it was clear to me that the show was laughing at people, not with them.

      I always hate the excuse “it was a different time then!” to justify such jokes because there were also a good number of people then who were hurt by such cruelty and knew it wasn’t okay. 90s and early 2000s TV were really, really bad with gender stereotyping and homophobia (and it makes me cringe whenever I see that tired ’90s stereotype used to reference queer people in media today….and worse, I know a lot of straight people who think they know what “queer” looks like because of the portrayals in ’90s TV).

      1. Rye*

        Out of interest, did you feel the same way about shows like Will and Grace?
        I never watched that show (maybe one or two episodes in total), but I’ve heard polarising views about whether it had a positive or negative impact on perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community.

        1. all aboard the anon train*

          Yeah. I mean, it’s pretty well known in certain areas of the LGBTQ+community that Will and Grace is a show about gay men for straight people, not a show for queer people. It was meant to show straight people that the gays aren’t scary. They’re either sexless (Will) or harmlessly flamboyant (Jack).

          IMO, I think it’s great if the show helped anyone, but I found it also made people think all gay men acted a certain way and I saw it lead to a rise in straight women wanting a gay BFF. I think it’s caused lingering stereotypes that a lot of straight people cling to even today, and with the revival, I’ve definitely seen that come up again.

        2. Someone else*

          It had both positive and negative effects. A Lot of people watched that show and liked it and for the first time in their lives felt “hey, I like this character, and this character is a gay person, I like a gay person and that’s fine” for the first time after watching that show. All of a sudden gay people were people to a bucnh of folks who kind of didn’t consider them so before. And that’s a very good thing.
          But that show also tread (treads I guess since it’s back and very much the same) in a TON of very lazy stereotypes, which is not so great.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        When the show was airing, I could not hack it. I watched it briefly and thought it was harsh all around. I could not understand the popularity.

        1. all aboard the anon train*

          Honestly, this is my thought with a lot of sitcoms, even ones airing now. I feel like we’re supposed to root for the characters, but they’re usually awful, selfish people and their banter comes off as borderline bullying and their jokes come off as cruel. Even the rare sitcoms I love like Parks & Rec & B99 have that one character whose humor comes off as mean-spirited.

          That’s why I guess I always preferred sitcoms like Arrested Development where you’re told the characters aren’t great people and you’re not really supposed to laugh with them, but at them.

          1. AcademiaNut*

            That’s pretty much how I’ve always felt about most sitcoms, particularly the ones that are more cringe comedy oriented. I’ve literally never made it through an episode of Friends or Seinfeld.

            Oddly, the ones I did like as a kid were MASH and Night Court. And some of the British ones.

    11. BugSwallowersAnonymous*

      I feel similarly about How I met your mother! I watched it a while ago and really liked it, but thinking back now, I’m realizing there was a lot of stuff that was straight up horrifying.

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        I was a similar age to the Friends characters when it was first broadcase, but it seems to be a show which has not aged well.

        That said, there was a short scene over the closing credits where Phoebe and Joey were sitting in Central Perk discussing an alternative ending, and I thought it sounded like a far better programme. (It ends with Phoebe saying about Ross “We have words, then I kill him”)

      2. Lindsay J*


        There was a Buzzfeed post about this recently.

        And I always kind of hated Ted. He’s just as much as a womanizer as Barney is, but while Barney’s behavior is over-the-top and clearly exaggerated and played for laughs, Ted is the *romantic*.

        But there was a joke about human trafficking in the show that I am 100% not okay with. Like, yes, it’s a throw-away line. But since it’s a throw-away line, why have it in the damn show to begin with.


        I also hated how Robin was super pissed at Barney for lying to her, etc. But then as soon as he pulled out a ring and proposed it somehow made everything okay. Like you’re so pissed off at someone that you don’t want to be friends anymore in one second, but then he asks you to marry him and you say yes? What the hell is that?

    12. Apostrophina*

      I felt the same way rewatching Wings back when it was streaming on Netflix. Joe’s proposal to Helen could get its own Lifetime movie, it made my skin crawl so much.

    13. FrontRangeOy*

      The theatre I’m involved with recently did a audience involved/improv show originally written in the mid 80’s. The director ended up cutting out a huge toast that’s laced with racist, anti semetic, homophobic “jokes” of the worst attitude. And much like Friends, it’s a little bit remarkable that in such a relatively short period of time, that speech has morphed from acceptable comedy to completely-unacceptable-half-the-audience-will-walk-out if we cast this role.

    14. Lone Rhino*

      “the main six characters were really terrible people.”

      I’m seeing this complaint a lot about sitcoms. Being terrible people is part of the comedy. There are a lot of shows where people are complete jerks to their family and friends. I guess it doesn’t bother me because I don’t look for comedy to have well rounded characters. It’s the absurd that makes it funny.

      1. Rye*

        If that’s all you’re looking for in comedy then sure, there’s no problem. But I don’t think people need to be jerks for a sitcom to be funny (probably why I could never get into Seinfield).

        Even the early seasons of Friends the characters were much better people. They make references in later seasons to how spoiled Rachel was when she first joined their group, but really she was just naive, she was still very sweet and tried to contribute (accepted a low-paid job, tried to impress Monica by cleaning the apartment etc.). I’ve sort of watched it a bit out of order (later seasons first) but the contrast is pretty stark.

    15. Ann Furthermore*

      There were some moments on Friends that could have been truly awesome, or taken the story line in a new direction that allowed for some great character growth, but it seems now like the writers were not mature enough to know how to do anything beyond standard, banal jokes.

      There’s a lot of Ross bashing — all well-deserved — but one time where I thought he got the short end of the stick was at the beginning of the series, when Carol and Susan got together. The 2 of them acted like Ross was being completely unreasonable, particularly when Carol was pregnant. He and Carol were married. He was in love with her, and was planning to spend the rest of his life with her. Then she drops this huge bombshell — not only does she not love him, she’s started a relationship with another woman. That was a huge adjustment for him to have to make, and often it seemed to me like Carol and Susan were way too dismissive of Ross’s struggle to come to terms with that.

      When Carol and Susan got married (or had their commitment ceremony), Carol’s parents refused to participate and Ross ended up walking her down the aisle, which was really sweet of him to do. Then, at the reception, Susan told him that he’d done a really nice thing. That would have been a great jumping off point for the writers to take the relationship between the 3 of them in a whole new direction, but soon after that they reverted to the same tired old humor.

  27. Extra Anon Today*

    Trans day of visibility is today, and I’m well aware of the irony of posting about it under a different name, but I’m starting to transition socially and it’s terrifying.

    Anyway good luck and good vibes to my trans siblings – we’re some pretty cool, brave, excellent people, and may we all have the good fortune to live as the people we are <3

    1. King Friday XIII*

      Congrats! I’m on the other end of that where being visible today means coming out to people who may not realize I’ve transitioned. So the good news is it never stops being weird!

      … Wait. That’s not what I meant. What I meant is that you’re so awesome for starting the process of socially transitioning, and it does get easier even if it is differently weird. I’m so proud of you. And it’s been 100% worth it for me, and I hope it is for you too!

    2. Anony Non (UK)*


      Happy TDoV and huge, huge congrats on starting the process, using my partner’s words “it gets harder, and then easier, and even a decade later you still get randomly blindsided with something hard”

    3. Triplestep*

      Congratulations! I hope your transition gets less terrifying more quickly than you expect.

    4. Triple Anon*


      I’m out as . . . something . . . I think. I’m not sure if people think I’m non-binary or a pre-everything trans guy, but they’re being really nice about it. Nicer than when I pretend to be a normal cis woman (whatever “normal” is). I guess people appreciate the honesty even if it’s awkward.

      I sure feel awkward. People treat me like a guy and it’s nice, but then I kind of panic and think, “Wait! I missed all the lessons for this! I don’t know the rules!” I know how to be a guy from having male friends. But I was taught the opposite role growing up so I feel like I missed a lot of key stuff and will play the part wrong.

      And it all feels like playing a part. I think I’m non-binary. I seem to think more like a typical guy (if there are legit differences) but I enjoy being feminine about half of the time. I’m at the point where I identify as confused / indifferent.

      I said some vague stuff about being some variety of non-binary on Facebook. I’ve come out privately as trans to a number of people over the years. I think that might have gotten around as a rumor. I mean I have concrete reasons to suspect that.

      It’s all really weird, but it’s progress in the right direction because I’m being honest and not pretending to be something I’m not. Awkward: my body is very feminine-looking and I can’t even do the usual modification stuff. I wear loose clothing and hope for the best.

      I’m hoping that someone will still be attracted to me. Maybe another non-binary person? I’m hoping people won’t be too weirded out by me acting like different genders on different days. I’m subtle about it. But it’s weird even for me. And I’m hoping I’ll find a good job where I can kind of be myself or some variation on the non-binary theme.

      Agh. It feels really complicated. But it’s also liberating in a lot of ways. I’m taking things one day at a time and trying not to stress about it too much.

  28. WellRed*

    I have a group of HS friends I get together with several times a year. I have my closest friend, Michelle, who I met in my 20s. They’ve never all socialized, until Michelle got to know one of the HS friends via work. Is it OK if I sometimes find it weird to see Michelle included and responding to a group text making plans, saying how she cant wait to see everyone? It’s not frequent, but I don’t know. I don’t get to see ANY of them often and am often lonely in that “hard to make friends” stage of life. I am also more reserved (they are all fairly fun, vivacious) and have always had sharper boundaries than perhaps I should. But this boundary blurring is a good thing, right? How do I reframe my thinking and not feel like I am getting squeezed out? Ugh, too old to feel this silly and insecure.

    1. kc89*

      friend stuff that like really can be weird

      it’s like a good friend of mine who lives in another state came to visit me, she met a local friend of mine and the three of us hung out for a couple of hours

      it’s over a year later and my friend in another state is constantly asking about my local friend and wanting to give her life advice and go on trips and I’m like girl you met her for THREE hours lol

    2. Not So NewReader*

      Add more friends into your life.
      I realize you said that life is at that stage where it is hard to find new friends, so go slowly. Maybe find one person in the next 18 months. Then look for a second person. In the process of shifting gears here that will help somewhat with those squeezed out feelings. You will kind of shift to deciding how big YOUR circle is instead of squeezing into your established circle.

      Right now you rely on this group to get a sense of belonging. But other folks will come along and welcome you and show you that you belong with them also. You may find that one friend brings you to her family and they all welcome you. I have had that happen a couple times, I get to meet the whole family and they are all warm friendly people.

      And here is a tricky one, some times people show their love/friendship for us by adopting OUR friends. Michele is new to your group, your group may have opened up to include her or anyone you bring along. I can’t really tell from what you have here that this is NOT the case.

      People like Michele make friends very quickly. There’s lots of Micheles and Michaels out there. People who just join in naturally and quickly. That’s not you (and it’s often times not me) that is okay. Everyone goes at the pace they are comfy with.

  29. Grieving*

    TW suicide

    How have you coped with the loss of a loved one to suicide? Those stages of grief are no joke. In my case it’s an ex, but he was important to me and I am just struggling with how to move forward with my life while knowing how much pain he was in. My spouse is incredibly supportive and I’m also sick right now, which helps in some way because I can stay in bed and just be. I’d love to hear from others who have been through this very sad and very specific loss, because it’s hard for me to connect with my community around this, and people just want me to be over it.

    1. AlmostAcademic*

      Yes! It’s such a different experience and form of grief to other losses in some ways. I struggled with feelings of guilt and anger for a while after it, and people around me had a hard time connecting with that. I think above all, just giving myself space to feel and heal, talking with a counselor, and just the passage of time really helped. I also got involved with a few suicide-prevention groups, and taking action in that way helped me to work through my feelings a little more. Not sure what country you’re in, but the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American Association for Suicidology both have some resources and support groups for those who have lost someone to suicide. NAMI can also be helpful. Sorry for your loss.

    2. Elkay*

      I highly recommend the podcast Griefcast. The host lost her Dad at 15 and each episode talks with someone different who’s lost someone. It really highlights how grief is different and the same for everyone. It comforts me to know I’m not the only one who feels a certain wat. They recommend a book called Grief Works by Julia Samuel, maybe that would help you.

    3. Can't Sit Still*

      My local hospice has a suicide survivor support group. It was 4-6 weeks, I can’t remember now, and there were a wide range of survivors, from very recent to decades-old losses, who lost family members, spouses, children, cousins, friends, etc. It was very helpful, even though I went a couple of years after my father’s suicide. I found meeting in person much more helpful than online groups and one on one with a therapist, personally.

      Grief takes as long as it takes. Suicide can be very difficult to deal with alone, and sometimes stuff can pop up years later. After twenty years, my father’s suicide has gone from being an open wound to an old injury that aches when it rains. It’s always there, but it doesn’t always hurt. I found by speaking openly about my father’s suicide that there are a lot of survivors of suicide out there. Some of them told me it was the first time they’d talked about it in years, because there is still such a stigma about it. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the US and nobody ever talks about it, as if it will somehow go away.

      Please take care of yourself and take the time you need to grieve. I am so sorry for your loss.

    4. Sylvan*

      Two of my relatives, who I was very close to, committed suicide. It’s hard. You might not feel the way you expect to based on what you knew about suicide before. You might not feel how other people expect, even people you’re close to, and they might not have the tact to keep that to themselves. Give yourself space to let your reactions come and go.

      If you want to talk to people who get it in person, look for discussion groups. Right now there are groups for “suicide survivors,” a term worth Googling with your city’s name. It’s not my thing, so I can’t speak from much experience, but they have a lot of resources and groups. There’s also NAMI.

    5. Not So NewReader*

      Not directly answering about suicide survivors because I don’t have a close experience. But I can answer about the people who want us to be over our grief.

      The people who want us to just get over our grief are NOT our peeps right at the moment. Maybe later we will warm up to them or NOT.
      The thing about loss is that some folks know what to say and what to do OR they know how to ask how to help. Other folks can’t/don’t.
      From watching people I have to say we do not get to pick who helps us. I have been guilty of saying “oh, Family Member should help me and be supportive.” The next thing that happens is FM blows me right off.

      People will come along randomly and say supportive things or make helpful gestures. And if you deliberately watch for these people, you may notice more and more of them. They usually are not the people we think should be supportive, they are just random people. Learn to accept these random people as a gift, because they really are.

      An aside: Sickness, even if it’s just something like a cold, can really exasperate sorrow or grief. It can turn grief into something bigger than planet earth. Go easy with you. Encourage yourself that your immediate goal is to get feeling a little better. Once you get better then you are going to look into some type of support to help with your grief.

      You know. You have several griefs running at the same time. That sorrow for how difficult life was for your ex is a whole grief alone. My father died and I grieved him not being there. But my larger grief was my sorrow for just how fn hard his life was. Granted, not the same because he did not commit suicide but it does jump out at me that we can just plain mourn how hard someone’s life was for them. And that is a pretty heavy grief right there.
      I am sorry for your loss, his loss and his suffering when he was here.

  30. Anonymouse*

    When is reasonable to go to the doctor?

    I grew up in a family that almost never went, and having lived on a very limited budget for most of my adult life, even the thought of a $15 co-pay when I’m not sure the visit will be helpful is a lot to swallow. Plus I’ve had some really bad times with unexpected bills and fighting insurance companies, so needless to say I’m not keen on the doctor except in absolutely emergencies. Now, I’ve been sick on and off and feeling rundown for months, like I’m in a super dull fog and can’t understand anything (before anyone asks, it’s not depression). I’ve heard that doctors in general are not great at vague medical complaints, and combined with my history I’ve been trying to change things in my life on my own instead and hoping that helps, and feel like it’s likely just a random crummy string of colds/flus/etc. My friends who grew up with money, access to healthcare, yearly physicals, can’t understand why I haven’t been to the doctor yet (especially since they’re the types to go see their GP for every cold and sniffle!). It’s making me question my stance and learning on it.

    So I’m wondering, what’s reasonable in general for frequency of seeing a doctor, or symptom severity before you should make an appointment?

    1. neverjaunty*

      “Feeling rundown for months” definitely qualifies. At this point I don’t know that trying to figure out an ‘objective’ trigger is something you should be doing before you get this problem looked at.

    2. ThatGirl*

      If something is either getting worse or not getting better after x amount of time, I’d say it qualifies, especially if it’s affecting your quality of life.

      1. Thursday Next*

        Yes—came here to day this. Specifics will vary from person to person, but the general trend and its impact on your life are clear indicators of whether you should go to a doctor.

        Feeling rundown for months is something that bears investigating, for sure.

    3. Elkay*

      If I have something bigger than a cold for more than a week I go to the doctor. However I live in a country with free healthcare at the point of delivery. I’ve been to my GP 4 times in the last 6 weeks for the same issue, we just keep trying treatments until something works. I don’t know the intricacies of the US health system so I don’t know if that’s a viable approach for you.

      1. Anonymouse*

        I think that’s what I’m scared of in a way. I have great health insurance, but can barely scrape together the cost for a copay and round of testing. The thought of having to do multiple visits and spending hundreds of dollars to no have an answer is almost more terrifying to me than just sucking it up.

        The cost factor definitely changes the way that people over here make decisions about seeking care I think (or at least I see a big difference between my wealthier / higher SES friends and those that grew up in poverty), which is where my general question stems from.

        1. fposte*

          Keep in mind that this is not an all-or-nothing scenario. You can go to the doctor for a visit and say no to lab tests. You can go to the doctor and say you don’t have much money–what one or two lab tests would she say are the most worth doing? You can say things aren’t so bad that you desperately need an answer–you just want to rule out the likeliest things that it’s the easiest to change.

          It can feel like a merry-go-round, but you have the right to step off at any stage of the circle.

          1. Sled dog mama*

            Fposte is always so wise! This is a great metaphor!
            Remember that what your doctor tells you are recommendations he or she can’t make you do any of it.
            Also that you don’t have to have lab work done where they recommend you can shop around for the best price and some places will cut you a discount on your portion of copays if you ask.
            We had to take my daughter to get staples in her head after she took a tumble last year (no urgent care nearby which would have been a $50 copay) so we knew we were going to have the $200 ER co-pay, as my husband was taking care of registering he asked what kind of prompt payment discounts they offered and was told that if we could pay our copay before leaving they would discount it 50%. Just ask!

          2. Book Lover*

            The problem with this (and to be clear, I think she should go to her doctor) is that feeling rundown isn’t a no lab test thing. If she can’t get lab work, probably little to do – obviously can check blood pressure and heart rate, listen to heart and do an overall check, but this is a lab test kind of issue. I would check for anemia, check kidney and liver function, check thyroid, consider checking cortisol, along with b12 and ma