Social Question

dpworkin's avatar

Some progress is better than no progress. What's your milestone? (Part 4)

Asked by dpworkin (27050points) January 8th, 2010

The previous incarnation of this thread is taking longer to load.

Welcome to the fourth installment of an ongoing thread where some of us gather once a week (or oftener) to report progress toward our milestones and cheer each other on. Newcomers are welcome.

Here is the third installment. Please check out some earlier posts if you want to see what’s been going on with whom.

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314 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I hope I have not made too bold, and usurped someone else’s prerogative, but the old thread was making me wait quite a while before it would load.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, my neck is no longer a giant spasm – I can move it in one direction – I have also reached ‘the numbers’ (given to me from ‘the grantor’ who know nothing of what it’s like to be sick in Brooklyn) for the past 3 months – the reports just came out and were sent to me…so that means I am ‘doing a good job’...anyway, tomorrow I am taking the kids to a free Music Together class in my second attempt to get the toddler to attend music classes

fancyfeast's avatar

It has been years since I last studied in college and I am returning this semester to complete a couple of courses. My milestone will be to pass the courses with an A or at least a B, without having to withdraw from the courses because of illness or anything else that can get in my way of completing my necessary degree.

Chikipi's avatar

My blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels were high on my last doctor visit. My feet are constantly swelling because of my salt intake and also from being overweight. I have started the biggest loser within my work place which will be until April. I have joined a near by gym and signed up for a free boot camp class within the next couple of weeks. My goal is to loose weight so I am healthy. I am going to start this new way of life for 2010 and hopefully stick to it so I lead a healthier life.

dpworkin's avatar

@Chikipi I wish you all the very best. I know a lot about this issue, having been very obese for most of my life. Take heart in knowing that you can succeed, take it slow, make permanent changes, and above all, move around a little more. Every day that will become easier and easier and will eventually be part of the feedback loop that makes it all work.

Chikipi's avatar

@pdworkin Thanks for the support :) I read up on some of the older links and this seems to be a good way of letting others in our lives and offer support to one another. I look forward to being a part of this and being there for others as well.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, I love this thread. This is where I feel most at home and least defensive on Fluther.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I made it 8 whole days without a cigarette. Today I broke. But 8 days was the longest so far. I hope to beat my record this time.

dpworkin's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Cool beans! It is hard to quit, but so rewarding. Just act like your slip never happened, don’t beat yourself up, and go on to win.

Chikipi's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater It takes practice – keep trying and I agree with what @pdworkin said as well.
Go for the gold!!

jamielynn2328's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Good Luck! I quit last year and it feels so good!

I want to build a cohesive family this year. I want to stop living in my relationship with one foot out the door. I want to be more open and understanding to my husband. I want to learn to breath a bit better in stressful situations. I used to meditate and I think that perhaps getting back into that will help me a lot.

And what a great thread, a good way to learn about each other and give some jelly support.

hug_of_war's avatar

Well I’m back in school. Had my first week of classes and I think if I realized how reading-intenssive two of my classes are I would have thought harder about scheduling them in one quarter. Am really loving russian lit and what is basically an intro to signing systems and deaf culture. Pretty much nothing else in my life is going well. Family tension, relationship troubles, not sleeping and when I do am plagued by nightmares.

mangeons's avatar

Wow, so many threads already! We had off school today for barely any snow, but I have unlimited computer time again because I got my English grade up! Still need to get that physics grade up before the end of the semester though!

Haleth's avatar

This is the first time I’ve come across any of these threads. Great idea!

I’ve never written an update on my progress before, but I guess this fits because I have a lot more progress to go than progress I have made. I’m out of a job right now, which is the root of most of my problems. I’m going to community college, and I’m about 30 credits into an associate’s degree, but it’s looking like I won’t be able to go next semester because I can’t pay for classes. I’ve moved in with some relatives who are really understanding, but they are having money problems too and are charging me a small rent. I’m been able to make that rent by using the last of my savings and selling some of my electronics, but I’m broke broke broke right now. I have a car, but it needs some repairs before I can register it and start driving, and I obviously don’t have the money for that. So I’m kind of in a bind, actually.

The good I see in all this is that at least I have a place to stay right now and I’m comfortable. I’ve been actively looking for jobs- I’m basically making job hunting my job, and trying to spend eight hours a day on it. If I can just find a job or get some sort of income, all the chips will fall into place. I’d like to keep living here for a while while working and going to school, and I’ll be a lot more independent once I’m driving. I can see myself being pretty comfortable and happy in just a few months.

augustlan's avatar

Welcome to all the newcomers on this thread! We’ll be here to support you in your goals.

I’ve been really ill all week, and have been off-line for much of it. Right now, my only goals are to feel all the way better (I’m almost there) and get caught up on my moderator/manager duties.

mcbealer's avatar

I’m joining this thread in hopes it will help me stay motivated to accomplish a long-time goal I have procrastinated on: downsizing. This year I hope to finally sort through years of STUFF and either chuck, donate, or sell it all.

Best of luck to all you all in accomplishing your individual goals, and a big thank you to @pdworkin.

dpworkin's avatar

@augustlan So sorry you’ve been ill. I noticed that you were extremely busy on here for quite a while. Maybe you should cut back a tee-tiny bit.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@augustlan – Your worrying me. You need to stay healthy!!!
@ Newcomers – I need to recover and read then watch for the carpet bombing of support. You’ll be all “whoa, now that’s support.”

fireinthepriory's avatar

This is such a sweet thread, I’m glad you reposted it, @pdworkin, or I never would have found it!

I waited to post till I passed this milestone… I just formally submitted my application to a PhD program for next fall. (!!!!!!!!!)

dpworkin's avatar

Wow! In what area?

fireinthepriory's avatar

Evolutionary Biology. Woo!

dpworkin's avatar

That’s actually one of my favorite subjects. Kudos.

Chikipi's avatar

@fireinthepriory I admire your desire to get your PhD. Go get’em!!

holden's avatar

Shall I?

=======================January 10, 2010=============================

Naked_Homer's avatar

@fireinthepriory – way to go doc!!!!

I GOT THE DUPLEX APARTMENT!!!! I am so happy!!!!!!

holden's avatar

I have decided to plant a plum tree in honor of my kitteh. I originally wanted a commemorative headstone to put in my backyard, but since her name was Plum, I thought this would be a better way of remembering her. :)

Why everyone so quiet?

Chikipi's avatar

@holden I am sorry to hear about your loss. I think that is a great way of remembering her. You could also put a chair underneath it when it gets bigger and sit outside to be with her.

holden's avatar

@Chikipi what a lovely idea!

gggritso's avatar

First week on the job went well I think. I get along great with everyone on my team which is a good start. I still have trouble figuring out what their expectations are like, but so far they seem impressed with what I have accomplished (which isn’t much, I’m still learning). I’m doing some research on my own to help me get into it faster.

Chikipi's avatar

@gggritso Congrats on finding a job. It’s not pretty with what’s going on in the US. Usually the first week can be difficult to know the expectations, but in time you will learn what is expected. I think it is great that you are doing some research on your own to advance/learn. It’s the thinking outside the box and finding other ways of learning that will get you there. Keep at it! :)

Naked_Homer's avatar

@holden – very sorry for your loss. Great idea though. I like @Chikipi’s addition.

@gggritso – gggreat! Very cool! We in the still looking are psyched for those of you who have climbed into the employed pool!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m back on track with my diet according to the food diary – the holidays were definitely a barrier with all the eating out and the neck spasm led to a week without yoga or tango…but now I am back to the weight I was before it all started and I can start again with eating consciously and doing yoga.

dpworkin's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think you are a role model for forgiving oneself and moving on after a “diet slippage”, holiday inspired or otherwise. Some people make the mistake of beating themselves up over a slip, and I am of the belief that it makes it harder to lose weight if you berate yourself. I like your sensible attitude, and it seems to be working for you.

augustlan's avatar

@Naked_Homer Woot! That is so exciting. :)
@holden What a beautiful tribute! I’m sure your kitty would approve.
@gggritso How could they not love you? Knock their socks off!
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Great job getting back on track!

As for me, I’ve managed to work on Fluther every day, after being absent for so long. I’m still trying to get all the way better, and plan to see the doctor this week to find out what is causing my trouble.

dpworkin's avatar

@augustlan I’m sorry you’re still not feeling well. It’s been a long time. I have a Drs appointment next Wednesday, and the labwork today. Since I have no insurance, I get stuck twice – once with the bill.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@pdworkin there used to be a time when I would beat myself up – maybe I just got tired of it…I realized, I guess, that there is no deadline to my weight loss so a week here or two weeks there of stalling is nothing. and thank you for the support.

Grisaille's avatar

woah, new thread

Bad news: I am overworked.

Good news: I was asked by a Gizmodo editor to provide an anecdotal report for use in an article. Woo!

I need to respond to everyone in my 10K thread, I know. I’ve just been either busy or brain-numb

zephyr826's avatar

Hooray for a new thread!

I just finished giving my final exams (they moved them to the second week of January because the semesters weren’t the same length). I need to get them all graded by tomorrow night, but I’ve got a good chunk of them done. I really should stop fluthering, but first…
@holden That’s a wonderful tribute, and so much more meaningful than a stone, in my opinion.
@Naked_Homer Hooray! It sounds like things are turning around, and speaking of turning around…
@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m glad your neck is feeling better. I need to start a food diary.
@Grisaille The Gizmodo thing sounds cool. Congrats.
@fireinthepriory Way to go on the PhD app!
@NaturalMineralWater good luck with the quitting. It’s one of the hardest things to do, yet also one of the most rewarding.

Now, to grade!

gggritso's avatar

@Grisaille Gizmodo? Awesome!

dpworkin's avatar

yeah, I thought that was pretty cool, too. I like gizmodo and engadget

Jeruba's avatar

Hi there—I’ve been playing hooky lately. Thanks for starting a new thread, @pdworkin. I was going to do that anyway at the one-year mark coming up on Feb. 8th, but there was really no reason to wait. I’m glad you guys have all been keeping it going.

In additional to a bunch of family stuff, I started a philosophy course last week, right after the conclusion of the busy-busy holidays. In a way it feels as if I’ve had no down time, but in reality I am just taking a lot of things more slowly. That feels wonderful, as if time were a back massage instead of a locomotive.

dpworkin's avatar

Good to see you @Jeruba. I had been wondering where you’ve been.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @pdworkin. I’m glad you’ve kept the name of the thread consistent, too.

I’ve read everybody’s posts. I see that some of us are having a struggle right now, and I’m so sorry! I greatly sympathize, recalling the rough stages in my life, which seemed like they would never end. This is definitely a safe place to share those things. It feels like a private conversation even though it is just as open as anything else on fluther (and newcomers are always welcome).

I am also excited by posts about new endeavors and renewed strivings toward old goals. I hope we see frequent updates.

Here are some things I want to accomplish in 2010:

— Take at least one course per semester or quarter just to keep my brains working.
— Get back to the Y and lose some more weight.
— Choose a volunteer opportunity. I am thinking about tutoring a student who needs help with reading.
— Complete three substantial pieces of writing.
— Get rid of at least a dozen of the many boxes of old stuff that are cluttering the garage and basement, one per month.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – yup, it’s a never ending lifestyle adaptation. An inconsistent wave along the x axis. Keep it up.

@Grisaille – Congrats!!! I have to find that thread! I missed it!
@zephyr826 – An “A++” for your kind thought and efforts!
@Jeruba – I have always wanted to take Philosophy. I can’t wait to hear about it. If it really exists.

dpworkin's avatar

Oy, @Jeruba you should see my house. Only my bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom are not stacked with boxes and boxes of… stuff. (Mainly books and artworks.)

Jeruba's avatar

===================== Sunday, January 17, 2010 =====================

Greetings! I resumed yoga class at the Y after 2½ months. That’s one.

And I talked to a middle school teacher who provides special support services and told her I’d like to help a student who has trouble with reading. She said she can teach me how to do that. That’s two, or at least a start on two.

I’m already taking a course, and I’m cooking a new story. Just cooking now, but that’s how it starts. So three and four are kind of in progress too.

Not ready to look at those boxes.

dpworkin's avatar

Sundays roll around with amazing regularity.

Well, school starts on Wednesday, my last and most important semester. Got a discouraging email from linguistics professor saying I should drop his class because I haven’t taken phonology, but it’s too late, and I need it for my Minor.

Taking advantage of the long weekend to visit NYC to see my kids and my girlfriend, so that’s good.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

well, I have made it through a wisdom tooth extraction – so that’s quite a milestone for me

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sympathy and admiration to you! That is something that I put off for years due to dread.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@Jeruba – You go girl!!!
@pdworkin – Gear up and cool on the trip!
@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I remember wisdom tooth extraction, it smarts. Hang in there.

We told our kids about the divorce this a.m. it went quite well. Their biggest fear was not living with mommy. Once they understood they would be and that they got their own room on the second floor of a two story town house that they got to help set up they were doing better. I needed a hug because I am the one giving up and compromising everything for the kids and she has them running to her. But I didn’t let them see it. It is and will continue to be about them.

Chikipi's avatar

@Naked_Homer I’m glad everything worked out well. I come from a divorced family of 2x and I feel that because my parents never showed anger toward one another and left the kids out of it that it was a better living situation for us. It is hard to explain, but I feel blessed that my parents don’t talk about each other to me. I also now have a larger family because of it. I know it may be tough, but continue to putting your kids first and it will work out in the end.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Ouch! I’m glad I got all four taken out at one time otherwise I probably would have postponed it as long as I could. My gums ache for you :( I hope you heal up in no time.

janbb's avatar

Got room for a newbie?

I haven’t been posting on this thread becasue I’ve felt both goal-less and progress-less for a while but this week I was able to do some good course prep for my Spring lit class after farting around and wasting time all winter break. I’ve got most of the first lecture prepped now. I am hoping to finish it by Wednesday when I go back to work.

gggritso's avatar

@janbb I’ve felt goal-less this week. Right now I’m just trying to get into the flow of things, we all have those times. :)

mangeons's avatar

Eek, my physics final is this thursday! I’ve got to study, study, study my butt off on wednesday!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My new dentist is a magician you guys – he did the extraction in 30 seconds and I haven’t needed anything other than 2 tylenols to handle the pain

Grisaille's avatar

Guys, please tell me I’m crazy.

I visit Fluther to share ideas. The occasional “problem solving” answer is fun, and I enjoy that. But lately, it seems that a vast majority of all newborn questions are… low quality.

I sound so pretentious and elitist. I know it, and I hate it.

But I’ve watched this for weeks, and have found myself having no interest in many – scratch that – most questions. I know the influxes come, find equilibrium, quality goes up, and everything returns to normal. But… when? It seems different, somehow.

I love to Fluther just before I sink my teeth into a new piece. It’s great warm up writing, and is a fantastic way to stretch my brain – both in forming opinions on subjects I’d normally never touch, and in tasting the perspective of other users. I just can’t find it anymore.

At best, I’m just a relative old-timer that isn’t seeing to clearly, has lost the feeling of community, and is just dealing with post 10K apathy. At worst, I’m right.

Please tell me it’s me. Please tell me I’m crazy.

on the personal side, I’m doing okay. not great, but surviving. I hope this message finds you all doing well.

janbb's avatar

@Grisaille I’ve been finding it a little flatter too; although there are some very bright new people here. I’ve found questions to answers but not many to really stretch on. I think there are occasional lows in Fluther and then it picks up again – am hoping so. (Zen’s question about other nationalities’ reactions to America has some interesting posts.)

Some of us are concerned about daloon – who has deleted his account again – and Tink who is not responding after confessing suicial thoughts.

janbb's avatar

P.S. Augustlan posted an interesting question this morning and I just posted a poltiical one – maybe we have to reclaim the meat?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Grisaille it’s because I haven’t asked any question as of late, isn’t it? lol, I’m so humble…don’t worry, the quality will pick up…

augustlan's avatar

1) Ask some great questions, people!
2) Tink checked in!
3) I’m pretty sure Daloon is back, under a different name!

dpworkin's avatar

Glad Daloon is back. That would have been a loss. Also glad Tink is OK.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, I have a Drs Appt at 8:45 tomorrow morning, it’s 1:40am and I cannot sleep.

Shoot me now.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, and I asked a question, but nobody knows the answer.

Dog's avatar

@pdworkin I am in the same boat! Full schedule and hanging here wide-eyed.
May your first day of school be awesome!

dpworkin's avatar

I begged @augustlan for the ether mask, but she merely turned her back on me and left me alone to suffer.

Dog's avatar

Oh @augustlan! How cruel. ;)

augustlan's avatar

Pshaw. I was away! When I returned, I asked him to send the ether my way when he found it!

janbb's avatar

Gee – I didn’t know the insomniacs’ party was over here last night. Today is my first day back at work after the break and I was lying awake.

I knew about Tink. Good news about daloon, if true. Why does he do that?

dpworkin's avatar

First day of school, not bad at all! One nice guy Prof, one really terrific Prof (for Demographic Anthropology) who is a serious scholar and uses the Socratic method, and one tolerable control-freak Prof whose rules don’t bother me (I don’t text my girlfriend in class, anyway.) We’ll see about tomorrow.

Dog's avatar

Glad to hear it PD!

I just got back from an information meeting regarding grad school. I did not realize how much I have missed being intellectually challenged. (Fluther being my only education as of late. :) )

I am in the process of applying and will not decide for sure if I am attending in Fall for a while. It will be a huge time commitment and financial investment. But it would sure be FUN!

nikipedia's avatar

The milestone of the moment is submitting this grant. The next draft is due Friday. We can definitely get it done by then… my only concern is that my co-author will think I’m a slacker since she’s written more words than I have.

Haven’t been running since Monday. Sore calves, lots of rain. Need to pick a race to sign up for. Need a new goal.

Worried I am being unkind to someone who has been kind to me.

Drinking a little too much.

dpworkin's avatar

@nikipedia You sound a little down. You OK?

nikipedia's avatar

@pdworkin: Thanks buddy. I’m okay. I think I get uneasy when I don’t have enough work to do. I’m not teaching or taking classes this quarter, and my big experiment is over. I find myself wondering what exactly people use free time for.

augustlan's avatar

@nikipedia Fluther, of course!

I’ll be co-hosting Blondesjon’s radio show (Random Ass Radio) this Friday night! I’m also in the process of working on a new Fluther newsletter. Not sure when that will come out yet, as it’s in the early stages right now.

dpworkin's avatar

@nikipedia I hated the inter-session break. I need the rigor and the discipline of a packed schedule, or I just drift.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m thinking of talking to my friend L, who is the organizer of a Meetup group/real world f2f social community, about shooting videos to post on the community’s website, things like interviewing members of the group, profiles on places that she has relationships with through the group, that sort of thing. Just a soon as I figure out how to do some basic cutting on the Adobe Premiere CS4 software. I’ve learned how to import from the cameras, though, so that’s a start.

My laptop’s DC jack needs to be replaced on the mobo. I’m not sure if it’s worth it to get it repaired or to buy a new laptop. I can’t afford a Mac, or any new tools, as much as I’d like one (especially a laptop with Final Cut Pro on it) until I get a sufficient steady income of some sort.. :/

dpworkin's avatar

Second day of school, 2 good classes, two good teachers. I’m pretty much 5 for 5, with only slight reservations about 2 professors.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@nikipedia sleep and sex and laughter.

gggritso's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Best advice I’ve heard, possibly ever. I should follow it more.

Chikipi's avatar

Performance job review was today and it lasted 3 hours with another meeting to come. Things are looking up :) They are pleased with my contributions to the company. Yippie! I just need to keep up the good work.

Weight loss event at work- I’ve lost 3 pounds within the last two weeks! Even though it’s not noticable yet, my pants aren’t as tight anymore. My back isn’t hurting as much because I’ve been doing ab work outs as well. I can start to feel my muscles underneath the fatty layer on my stomach. I can’t wait to wear my yellow poka dot bikini this summer :)

Jeruba's avatar

@pdworkin, sounds good for the last round.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir, a wisdom tooth extraction is a pretty big little piece of surgery. You ok?
@Naked_Homer, you made it through another tough one, my friend. You’ve got some heroic stuff in you.
@Chikipi, welcome to our support group and cheering squad. Good luck with your workout plans. Congratulations on the great performance review. Is it itsy bitsy teeny weeny, your YPDB?
@fireinthepriory, congratulations on taking the plunge and making the commitment! Stay with us and keep us up on your progress.
@janbb, welcome, welcome! What are you teaching?
@gggritso, sometimes just staying afloat is everything.
@mangeons, how did you do? And what else is going on?
@Grisaille, I agree with your observation that we (collectively) have been a little low in inspiration lately. Whenever the proportion of relationship questions goes up, the tone goes down. But I don’t think we really have all that much to offer the kids who are obsessed with what he said or she said and what it means and how to get him back. Either they find some other thought to share or they seem to wander off. It does seem to go in cycles.
@augustlan, I expected daloon back under a different name. I thought I would recognize it, though, and I haven’t. Presently he will uncloak, don’t you think? Anyway, how are you doing?
@Dog, how exciting! What would you be studying? I hope you go for it. It feels great to feed your brain, especially after it’s been on lean rations.
@nikipedia, I agree with @pdworkin. Can we help with anything? If you have free time, you can afford to do some things more slowly, taking care and savoring the process, and do other things you haven’t been free to do, like make up a chronic sleep deficit, rent Netflix, take up Zen, or practice the guitar. I think having discretionary time is so much like heaven that I don’t really care if I never go there.
@aprilsimnel, that is a great social/practical use of your skills, and also some good exposure (possibly leading to some work?). Great! I went to my first Meetup last Sunday. Very interesting use of the technology.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jeruba unbelievably, I am – it’s been a week today and I feel the place is still tender but it’s okay.

dpworkin's avatar

Urologist this morning. Among other,more expensive, things, I have been sentenced to two hot baths a day. Showers, apparently, will not suffice. I hate fuckin’ baths.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@pdworkin take ‘em with your partner.

dpworkin's avatar

Fonely! We live 2 hours apart during the week.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba I develop and teach lit. courses for the non-credit division of the community college where I also work as a librarian. The spring course is about novels of immigration with a focus on mother-child issues.

dpworkin's avatar

Ahh, hence “Call It Sleep”! Seems a perfect paradigm for that focus.

Naked_Homer's avatar

I am officially divorced. I feel fine. It went very well. The judge was a very caring woman which mattered to me as I was feeling like a pariah. We, my ex-wife (what a relief to finally be able to just be that and not in limbo) and I were joking wile we waited.

I didn’t get to sleep until 3:45. We had to be in court by 9:30. Then at 5 to 9 my ex tells me that we are appearing in front of a judge where as before she told me we were meeting with the judge in a room. So I changed from business casual to shirt and tie.

I crashed hard. I didn’t realize how little sleep nor the poor quality of it. I am still completely exhausted but am mentally revitalized like I have not felt for a while.

My ex-wife told me she would disappear this weekend. She even made sure the meals were set up so I could just enjoy the kids. Tonight we watched Scooby Doo. Tomorrow we are going to by a Washer and Dryer. Then its lunch at the mall. Then sledding for the very first time and back for dinner and a Scooby Doo movie. Then Sunday the kids and I are going to move a few of their things into their room at their “other house.” I was informed by my 7 year old son that is what we should call it. I love it because I want them to think of it that way.

My ex-wife has been very helpful to. She has started shopping sales for me to stock groceries and packing them up.

If I can just get rid of the remnants of this migraine I have had for 2 weeks I would be ready to kick ass.

I will be crazy busy spending every moment I can with my kids before it is every other weekend and 1 night a week, packing, moving and catching up on my freelance.

I just wanted to say thank you all for your support and help. I came back to Fluther because of you all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Naked_Homer whew! good to be done with it, eh? I know the feeling!

augustlan's avatar

@Naked_Homer Lurve to you, friend. :)

janbb's avatar

@Naked_Homer Glad it went so well. Hope the migraine goes away too.

dpworkin's avatar

Oy, @Naked_Homer. Sorry about the headache. I am crossing all crossables that you don’t develop another, different sort of headache as sometimes happens in even the most amicable of divorces.

Jeruba's avatar

===================== Sunday, January 24, 2010 =====================

How did you do last week? What are your goals for this week?

I went to yoga class again, resolidifying the habit, and am getting started on my term paper for the philosophy class.

This week I have to prepare the 20-minute readings I am going to do from my NaNoWriMo novel for a local radio show. I have ongoing reading to do for the philosophy class—next up, Hegel and Kierkegaard—and I also have to take two editing tests for prospective freelance clients. I kind of feel as if I ought to be beyond taking tests after 30 years in the business, but I respect their need to be sure of what they’re getting. A lot of people call themselves editors who can’t tailor their work to the client, can’t separate necessary edits from arbitrary changes, and can’t even distinguish the passive voice from a simple use of the verb “to be.”

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba So you do get other things done!

I did finish my first lecture; it’s only a two session non-credit course so I’m in good shape with that. The second class is mainly a re-tread of a previous class with a different novel so that won’t be hard to do. Started back to work on Wednesday and it was great to see and talk to my colleagues; I missed the stimulation. On Thursday, work was very slow again as it was last semester; not enough projects to do and not enough students needing help at the reference desk. There is only so much I can self-generate at this job so it is a drag when it is slow.

dpworkin's avatar

@Jeruba I didn’t know you were interested in philosophy. There is a lot to enjoy in both Hegel and Kierkegaard. I, however, found Kant to be impenetrable, and never finished Critique.

As for me, I fell good having the first week of school under my belt. I am trying to be better organized this semester so that I keep up with readings, etc. I took the first step, and laboriously entered everything from all the syllabi into my computer calendar, so that I will get emails prompting me to do things on time for a change. We’ll see how that works.

On another front, I am worried about my health; my GP sent me to two specialists after my regular checkup. On Wednesday I will have a lesion on my jaw biopsied – for some reason I’m not too scared about that, but last Friday I learned that I have some urological process going on that may be threatening my kidney function.

I never used to worry about my health. I must be getting old. But I am more worried about my finances, if I turn out to be really ill. I have no income, and I am uninsured. This could be a disaster. I am trying not to ruminate about it.

fireinthepriory's avatar

This week I’m set to finish a set of 300-and-something DNA extractions from some tissue samples for a colleague – I only have 48 or so left to do, so if I don’t dawdle I could be done by Tuesday. Almost there!

@pdworkin At the beginning of every semester I also add all my classes, exams and deadlines into my computer’s calendar, and it helps me enormously. Sometimes I go so far as to schedule in when I’m going to do particular assignments for a particular week, just so I know I’m not leaving anything out. There are only so many deadlines one can hold in one’s brain at a time!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The family is doing well with switching into the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. My husband and youngest are further along. My oldest has a lot of fish and chicken in his diet and so, for now, we’re switching 5 portions of those to vegetarian substitutes like veggie burgers and veggie sausages. I have switched to soy milk and soy cheese and vegetarian eggs. I have dropped meat consumption in the evening and morning and half of meat consumption during lunch. We’re reading a lot, plan to meet up with a nutritionist to work out meals for everyone. Overall this is such a great change but I do have to explain it over and over to the rest of my family and to the bio dad of my oldest so that he, too, helps along with this shift.

augustlan's avatar

@dpworkin Positive thoughts coming your way! Good luck with the medical issues.

dpworkin's avatar

Thanks. I’ll know a little bit more when the urologist’s office opens today. Test results should be back.

janbb's avatar

Hope the news is good, dp.

Woke up with a tension heachache on my left side, whcih I frequently do. Anyone have any experience of this? I think it may be related to allergies or congestion, but don’t want to be taking decongestants all the time. Anyone use a neti pot? Are they uncomfortable to use?

dpworkin's avatar

They work. You have to get used to the idea, which in our culture is a little gross.

janbb's avatar

Yeah; I’m having trouble getting past the idea of shooting water up my nose.

dpworkin's avatar

It’s actually pretty gentle, and besides it will make you feel better.

gggritso's avatar

I use a Neti Pot all the time and it’s great :)

zephyr826's avatar

@janbb I hope your cold feels better
@dpworkin Good luck with the medical issues.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Way to go with the veg. thing. I can imagine it would be really difficult with a whole family to make the switch.
@fireinthepriory Way to extract that DNA! I hope you finish today.
@Jeruba Have fun with the philosophy class. I really like Kierkegaard.

We’ve started rehearsals for the High School musical that I’m co-directing. We’ve got a large group of kids to work with, but we made some unexpected casting decisions and are getting a little backlash. Also, 65 teenagers are just exhausting.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zephyr826 it is, in some ways – but we figured to just ease into it and now harp on ourselves if we ‘do something wrong’

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’ve gone “flexitarian’ in the last year or so, by which I mean I generally don’t eat meat (do eat fish), but have not made an absolute rule that I won’t. It works out that I have meat once or twice a month, generally; more around the holidays. Although I would philosophically like to be a strict vegetarian, I find this compromise very workable for me. I also abhor people who, when invited over for dinner, give a list of what they will and won’t eat, so I don’t make a big deal of it and will either eat meat as a guest or eat the sides. My brother did something similar when he first started keeping kosher: he had a “treyf” of the month allowance.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb yes I am hearing the term more and more – didn’t know it existed…I think it’ll apply to me as I probably will never stop eating sushi and caviar from fish.

janbb's avatar

As with many things, I think gradual changes and giving one permission to deviate allows one to stick to one’s principles better and have some enjoyment. It will be easier for your kids, too, I imagine, if there is some flexibility.

(I think it might have been the food writer Mark Bittman who coined the phrase.)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb oh I will look into his work, thanks

janbb's avatar

I’ll see if I can confirm that and get back to you.

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Just did a quickie lit search. I was wrong about the origin of the term although Bittman has written about it. Here’s how it arose. There are numerous cookbooks and nutrition books on amazon.com if you do a search for “flexitarian.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb ha, don’t get me started – thanks!

Jeruba's avatar

@dpworkin, awaiting your news, a little bit worried about you.

I minored in philosophy as an undergrad, and in fact I grew up with dinnertable conversation about Kierkegaard and Duns Scotus, Anaxagoras and Locke, teleology and empiricism and Platonic ideals, you name it. My father taught college philosophy and encouraged my thinking in that vein. He taught me that a good question is more important than the answers.

Now I am taking “Introduction to Existential Phenomenology” for the fun of it.

My yoga practice has taken another hit. I was back for two weeks, managing with some difficulty because of severe and worsening foot pain, and finally I went to the podiatrist. He diagnosed microtears in the tendon of the arch and put me in a soft cast for at least three weeks. He didn’t say I couldn’t go to yoga class; he said “You can go—you just have to wear the cast.”

I’ve decided against taking the technical and scientific editing tests. Those precipitated a professional identity crisis last weekend and forced me to ask myself what I think “retired” means. I realized that I don’t want to do any more work that pays me nothing but dollars; I need more than that now. So I am finding clients who are real people, people I can help, people whose material is interesting, people I can learn something from. And just for a few hours a week. That’s how I want to work now. The rest of the time is my own.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I salute your efforts to change your diet. It will be much easier now than when the kids are a little older and discover that they were born to eat Little Macs and French fries.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Sorry to hear about the foot. Hope it heals fast. Your decisions re: retirement sound like they are good ones for you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jeruba thanks ..also I wish my father spoke to me like yours did to you…anyway, all we can do is move forward and be there for our children…
I have finished dental work for now – more in a couple of months. We are continuing with the switch to veganism/vegetarianism. We have switched eggs to vegan egg substitute, all milk (including the kids’ milk) to soy milk, all cheese to vegan cheese. I have switched all chicken consumption to soy chicken. So I have no more meat in my diet and I think I will no longer consume sushi either but I’m working on it. This all has been a huge deal for me, a big change, I’d never be able to do it w/o my husband and his support.

Naked_Homer's avatar

I have begun the last week I will get to live in the same house as my kids and I am having full blown panic attacks. I can’t stand it. It isn’t fair. I did everything in the world for her and them and she did nothing for the marriage or me except make demands and give up. Now I have to do the right thing by the kids and walk away and only see them every other weekend and once a week. It is wrong. WRONG! Complete and total bullshit. They mean more to me than anything in my life. That is the only way I can do this. Yet that is what makes it so hard. I have a feeling I am going to be breaking down a lot over the next few weeks. I also have a feeling I am going to come off a little selfish and needy on the thread. I apologize in advance. I am just living a nightmare.

janbb's avatar

@Naked_Homer Talk all you want – that’s why we’re here.

dpworkin's avatar

Wow @Naked_Homer that is huge. You seem neither selfish nor needy. My ex-wife withholds visitation punitively. I can really identify with your fears.

Jeruba's avatar

@Naked_Homer, I can’t begin to relate to your experience, other than that as a mother I know what my kids mean to me. To have been parted from them where they were young would have been unbearable. It was hard enough to see them go off to college for long months at a time when they were much older. I do know that seeing the moment coming is nothing like being there.

@janbb and @dpworkin are right. Feel free to use us as support. Go ahead and write what you want, and don’t think for a minute about how you come off. We know you better than that. And we love you enough to grant you plenty of slack.

Jeruba's avatar

===================== Sunday, January 31, 2010 =====================

Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you going?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is now my birthday. And Ark’s birthday. I just got back from a night of tango so in a way I began the day in a wonderful way. I will go sleep now for about 4 hours. Then it’ll be time to prepare for Ark’s party…a bunch of my friends are coming over throughout the day…my goal is to not have a fight with my mother (who fell recently, tore her ligaments, must stay on the couch and not work for 3 weeks, she’s been a complete nightmare) and to not fall asleep (I usually nap on Sundays)...if I have any strength left over in the evening, it’ll be time to celebrate my birthday at the Slipper Room, a burlesque place in the city where I once performed (as Fury).

Jeruba's avatar

* H A P P Y * B I R T H D A Y ! ! * @Simone_De_Beauvoir.

Re Mom: repeat this prayer after me: “Please don’t let me do this to my kids.” And remember every day to be grateful for the health and power you still have in your body. Every time I was with my mother in her last 5 years, I came away full of promises to myself.

dpworkin's avatar

Bon Anniversaire

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day.

I’ve had a semi-productive week in that I am beginning to think about the lacks in my life and how to address them. Being that work has been dull and my kids all live far away, I need more mental stimulation and creative outlets. I have my lit course prep and teaching which are very fulfilling but don’t take up enough time. I did clean out my office yesterday which is a good sign of starting to focus more and I am considering picking up some studies like French or painting again. I’ve studied watercolor for many years and enjoy doing it, but my painting is very insipid and I feel I have no visual voice. I haven’t painted for about a year now. However, I do enjoy the process while i am doing it – so maybe I should just do it?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Heureuse Anniversaire!

My “maiden speech” on this thread 31JAN10: I’ve have decided that three months of hermetic isolation is enough. The immediate effects of my mental breakdown are behind me. The chemicals will either deal with the depression or not (I’ve noticed slight signs that the meds are starting to work). Grief will be a lifelong process. I’m returning from the North Woods to my farm in western New Hampshire, ½ an hour north of Dartmouth College (J.D.Salinger country).

I intend to continue the life that Meghan and I had planned together, but as a solitary. The farm needs more active management and direction. I will complete my doctorate in history, picking up a 600 page draft where I left it off 30 years ago. I will be enrolling at my alma mater, one semester as a “special candidate” to take several seminar courses that are recent requirements and to “win back my spurs” academically. Dartmouth will credit me additionally with 35 hours for completing both divisions of the Army War College, RCBN School and the Combat Engineer Officer Course. About half of my thesis has been rendered irrelevant by events of the last 30 years and I’ll be rewriting it from the standpoint of pure history and its leadup to “The War to End All Wars”. (The battleship race 1890–1914). This will probably require me to do additional research in naval archives in the UK and Germany (will have to brush up on Deutsche).

All of the above require me to take a major step outside of my “comfort zone”. I no longer have anyone to “translate” the social world for me. To the greatest extent possible, I will avoid purely social interactions. Academia and agriculture are a big enough step for now.

At some point in the future, I hope to find help in dealing with Aspergers Syndrome. As I understand from my reading, there is little that can be done for people diagnosed as late in life as I was. That is for another time; I can function, however clumsily. In formal military life I functioned well, rules governed just about everything. Academia is similar but a bit less formalized.

I feel a bit like I did making my first jump in Airborne School. Geronimo!!

janbb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land As I said to you on another thread – wow! You’ve made lots of progress in the last few months; it’s great to see you coming back to life.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@janbb Thank you so much! To paraphrase Frank Herbert “the sleeper awakes”.

dpworkin's avatar

I was meant to spend my three day weekend studying, which accounts for the ridiculous amount of time I have been spending on Fluther. Is there a gene for procrastination? How do I tell it I don’t love it? (Is it too soon to tell it I don’t love it?)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@dpworkin I’m supposed to be teaching myself word-processing and Microsoft Office using this “Idiot Book”, but I keep going back to Fluther. It must be something in our genes (Baltic genepool= Fluther addiction?).

Dog's avatar

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMONE!!!

dpworkin's avatar

we shouted, dawgie

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

THANK YOU, everyone!
The day so far has been calm (which is a very good thing) – a couple of my friends are already over, we decorated everywhere in the living room at my mom’s (I’ll put pictures up here soon)...we gave and got presents and lit the candle on the cake at around 1pm (which is when Ark was born)...now it’s mega nap time and I’m going to sleep for a bit…

I also wanted to comment that since beginning to keep my calorie count to 1700–1900 calories per day (6 out of 7 days of the week..1 day I pig out) in the first week of December, I have lost 15 lbs in 2 months…a lot of it also has to do with the switch to vegetarianism…and because I picked up on tango again…

I now weigh 5 lbs less than when I got pregnant with baby #2 – the goal is to weigh as much as I did before baby #1…that’s another 15 lbs to go…I have been perpetually pregnant, miscarrying, giving birth for over 4 years now and it’s time to get my body back! I really think I’ll get there by the summer.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Congratulations on the weight loss! But don’t overdo it. Tango is wonderful, I wish that I could do it better (I’m about as graceful as a storm trooper).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I won’t overdo it – it’s not my main goal.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir So cute! What a lovely family! ((hugs))

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land aw, thank you! see we’re not weirdos. okay, we are. it’s true.

dpworkin's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oy, everyone is so cute! And someone seems rather tall.

janbb's avatar

Nice pics, Simone – looks like a good time was had by all!

nikipedia's avatar

Happy birthday, @Simone_De_Beauvoir! Your family looks so beautiful and happy.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Happy Birthday, @Simone_De_Beauvoir! Good luck with your fitness goals!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Once again, thanks – we have managed to get through the day…I fell over an hour ago and was out asleep…my friends eventually took care of my kids with my husband and put them to bed…I woke up 5 minutes ago, not knowing where I was lol…we’re no longer going out tonight because we all went for dinner to a nearby Pizzeria where everyone ate too many garlic knots…the kids got so many presents, the apartment looks a mess, but it’s all good…I don’t even mind going to work tomorrow.

augustlan's avatar

<peeks in real quick>

Just wanted to say congrats on all the progress everyone is making, and Happy Birthday Simone! Also, hugs to everyone who needs one. I lurve you guys!

fireinthepriory's avatar

Happy birthday @Simone_De_Beauvoir!

It seems like last week was a week of great progress for many people. Congrats to you all! @stranger_in_a_strange_land, you in particular. I’m in awe of your tenacity.

And @Naked_Homer – I’m so incredibly sorry. Is there any compromise where you could see your kids more often? When my parents got divorced my dad picked us up after school every day, he and my mom rotated having us for dinner, and after dinner we were at Mom’s house. Even if a situation like that is impossible, and you are tied into your one day a week and every other weekend, I know you will make it known to your children that you miss them, you love them, and that if you could you would love nothing more than to live with them if that were possible. And that will mean so much to them. No matter what people say, children are not stupid. They will know you’re a good dad and that you love them. Nothing will change that.

Edited to add my own progress! (Whoops!) I finished my DNA extractions last week (woohoo!) and also planned out, in detail, the next step in my thesis. One more experiment is hopefully all it will take, although it’ll be a complex one, and pricing it out made me a little bit ill. I’ll be doing cortisol immunoassays on fish from different environments. I hate doing immunoassays, but I think this will work and I think I’ll get something interesting. Here’s to hoping, which is often the only thing you can do in science.

zephyr826's avatar

First, Happy belated birthday to @Simone_De_Beauvoir. It sounds like it went reasonably well. Welcome @stranger_in_a_strange_land. You’ve got a long row to hoe literally, but we’ll be here for hugs and support along the way. @fireinthepriory that sounds really exciting, and here’s to getting through the next step.

As for me, school has been crazy. We’re working on converting our curriculum to be AP-compatible, which will be a really good thing, but is going to take a fair bit of work. I’m finally registered for all the seminars that it will take. Now if the school would just reimburse me for a few of them…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

thanks for the b-day wishes, you guys! I feel so much older, not! :)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@fireinthepriory Congrats on the extractions, I’m cheering for you on the PhD bid. @zephyr826 I’m looking now at the journey rather than the destination.

Naked_Homer's avatar

Thanks @fireinthepriory – we share custody but she has main placement because of where she lives. I only live 10 min. away though so things may be different. She told me though, and this is why I agreed to the set up, that she would take them into court if I went for 50/50. She claims I was a bad husband and father.

I have NEVER felt as alone as I do right now. Packing my things to move out of my house that I paid for away from my kids because a marriage I worked at was disolved by someone who is just going on with their life like nothing happened upstairs.

Way to go on the extractions!

Chikipi's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Happy Birthday. I am an Aquarius too. :)
@zephyr826 keep up the good work :)
@Naked_Homer continue to keep your head up. I have never been divorced, but grew up in a divorce family and I know how much stress and differences arise between the parents. My advice to you is to continue putting your kids first and the other pieces will follow with a bit more ease.
@Jeruba a 20 minute part in a radio show sounds very interesting. Are they about philosophy? If so do you have a website where we can listen to it?
@fireinthepriory Yippie! You finished your DNA extraction! This area really piqued my interest and it boggles my mind, but Im glad we have people like you who understand it.
@augustlan thanks for the hugs and lurve earlier this week. Although, I didn’t write anything, your comment brought a smile to my face.
@dpworkin I hope everything is going okay with your health. I went a couple of years without insurance then needed a major surgery. I am still paying it off several years later. I just wanted to let you know that most hospitals and doctors will put you on a payment plan if needed. They can’t report you to collections as long as you are making some sort of progress to paying off the debt.
@janbb I hope your congestion headache is better. I use the neti pot because it clears it right up. I still to this day am uncomfortable with pouring water up my nose :(

As for myself, I lost another 2 pounds and have enjoyed bootcamp even though it literally kicks my butt. I can feel the results…I feel much better as far as my energy level goes and I seem like a happier person all around.
Unfortunately, I broke my ankle this morning by stepping off the stairs wrong. I heard it snap like bubble wrap and then went to the emergency room. The xrays came back showing I had a broken ankle. I am home for today and go back to work tomorrow. It is my right foot so I am having to reach out to my friends for support which feels awkward for me. I am usually the one to lend a hand not ask. I am glad they are my friends and they are supporting me through this time of need. I go to the orthopedic on Wednesday to find out more about my ankle.
I have already completed my taxes for 2009. Yippie for the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 2009. If you don’t know about it check it out before filing- most of us are eligible for the $400 single or $800 couple tax credit
My birthday is this Saturday and I plan on still going to a murder mystery dinner. I think I’ll have a blast.
I hope all is well with everyone and I will touch base soon with all of you. Have a great week!

nikipedia's avatar

@Naked_Homer: When my parents got divorced it was like my dad forgot he ever had kids. So it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to see how much you care about your kids and want to see them. And I am sure they know that and they know how much you love them. I’m sorry your ex is making this so hard on you.

@fireinthepriory: AH! I do cort immunoassays all the time! But on people, not fish.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Naked_Homer You might want to cooperate with her for a time, be as accommodating as you can be, and then talk to a lawyer about your options if she really sticks to that insane schedule. Your kids should be her top priority, too, and seeing you is in their best interest! Her anger at you is clouding her judgement. I think that she might, in time, see that – but if she doesn’t, I think you are within your rights to request more time with them. Even if you do have to get lawyers involved, I think your children would benefit in the long run. Stay strong, it will get better.

@nikipedia A partner in crime science!! :) They’re so finicky though, aren’t they? Course that might be becase I do them on such small fish that I can’t get enough blood volume and have to do whole-body cort extractions… you should see my lab-mates vacate when I take out the tissue homogenizer, hahaha!

Happy birthday @Chikipi! I sprained my ankle badly in October. It’s just better now, but it was an incredibly annoying injury, more so than I thought it would be. Hope you have a fast recovery.

Chikipi's avatar

@fireinthepriory Thank you :) Are you saying you sprained your ankle in Oct and it is just now getting better? I have only broken my elbow twice so I don’t know the normal recovery for ankles. I’ve read different things online regarding time from 1½ months to 3 months healing time. I want to be healed up by April for a vacation I’ve been planning for the past 6 months. Am I dreaming or thinking unrealistic that I’ll be okay by then?
The anxiety is building within me. I just want my appointment on Wednesday to already be over

Naked_Homer's avatar

@all – thanks for all the support. It really, really helps. I wouldn’t be able to stay calm and deal with this if it were not for thinking of the kids.

Chikipi's avatar

@Naked_Homer keep hanging in there and continue to reach out for help when you need it.

It’s 1am…I woke up in horrible pain. I feel like my ankle has been sawed off. I have another hour to go before I can take my medicine to help reduce the pain. I’m waiting for the pain to be over.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Chikipi It took till late December to be totally pain-free, and if I’m going to be doing something highly aerobic I’ll still wrap it with an ace bandage to avoid spraining it again. 1.5 months you may be able to move from an air cast to an ace bandage, 3 months you’ll likely be able to stop wrapping daily, and do almost everything again with no pain. You’ll be ok – but it’ll be very annoying for a month at least.

If you’re still in big pain, you should alternate both tylenol and ibuprofen. You can take a full dose (what, 400mg?) of each every 4 hours, so if you stagger them you can take a dose of one or the other every 2 hours (does that make sense??). I did that when I got my wisdom teeth out and didn’t need any other pain meds.

Naked_Homer's avatar

Great pics @Simone_De_Beauvoir Thanks for sharing.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I nearly killed myself (inadvertantly) on Monday by going off the Valium cold-turkey. 40 mg a day to nothing. Convulsions, heart palpitations, a trip to the ER. No one told me not to do that. I’m sick and tired of taking pills just to avoid being suicidal. I’m stiil moving back to the farm and academia.
I just feel like a junkie now, physically addicted to this shit. I’m going to feel a lot of shame working with Genevive now (Megs girlfriend and my property manager). She kicked a heroin addiction and has been clean for over five years. We were so proud of her.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land oh no, I’m glad you’re okay
you should never do this again…I did the same once, with Paxil, had the same experience…yes I feel that I can’t function ‘normally’ without these pills nowadays but I don’t want to be where I was when I quit them…so it goes.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m taking both Paxil (50mg a day) and Valium (40 mg a day). I’m down to 30 mg a day on the Valium and supposed to be tapering down to 10 mg over 3 weeks. I don’t really know why they have me on both, maybe the Valium is more immediately effective but the Paxil takes many weeks (months?) to work. I’m not really confident that the docs know what they’re doing, turning me into a walking pharmacy. Something in this combination has taken away my active fixation on suicide, my mood is slightly improved (but they say that the patient is the last to notice the changes).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land those are crazy high doses (they would literally kill me because my body is so sensitive, it responds to 1 mg Lexapro, even)...Paxil is for the depression, Valium is for the anxiety…they’re all merky, though, in terms of effects…and you’re correct…Valium works fast, Paxil needs a month to build up in your system and to work…you do sound better, it’s been about a week I’d say that I noticed a change in your attitude…forget about the walking pharmacy analogy and all that…your grief is new, this will take a bit…life is not going to be this way always…you can always focus on getting off these meds at some later future point.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think they must have put me on the big doses because I’m so large (6’5” 240 lbs, but I’ve lost 20 lbs in 3 months- I forget to eat), smaller doses were doing nothing and I refused to be hospitalized (in Maine and New Hampshire you can only be hospitalized against your will if you are a danger to others, not just yourself). My personal freedom is more important to me than life itself.

I love to cook, but see no point in cooking just for myself. I just nuke something out of the freezer, if I remember. I have no appetite, the only reminder to eat is headache or dizziness from low blood sugar. I just wash down my handfulls of pills three times a day.

I still exercise only out of habit. 5 to 10k on cross country skis and chopping firewood. Exercise seems to provide a slight, temporary mood improvement. Only for an hour or so afterwards though.

.

zephyr826's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Maybe you should go back to cooking. I know how hard it is to find the motivation to cook for yourself, but you’ll be eating better if you do, and it will give you something to occupy your time. Please be careful. We care about you.

janbb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I imagine you’ll be able to scale back on your meds or maybe eliminate them completely as you come back from the depths. I wouldn’t worry about being a druggie at this point. I’m sorry you had the scare; glad you are now tapering down slowly.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@zephyr826 Moving back to the farm, I’ll be cooking for two in a few days and for six once the maple run starts (Genevive has some friends from Quebec coming down to help out). I’ll just have to experiment to see what everyone wants. I can cook an eclectic mix of Yankee, Asian, Cajun and James Beard’s bread recipes.
@janbb I hope I can get off this stuff. It really bothers me to not be able to function without putting these chemicals into myself.

Thanks @all and ((hugs)).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land nah, it’s not all about weight – when I upped my dosage of Lexapro to 2.5, I was about 220.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I must have a weird metabolism or something then. Serious congrats on your weight loss, you look fabulous!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land well thank you. i was very upset at gaining so much weight my second pregnancy – ~60lbs leading me to be 255lbs at my biggest, because I broke my ankle and couldn’t move…it took a year but I dropped the weight and then some…

going through this taught me to be okay with my body no matter its size, something a younger version of myself could have benefited from

nikipedia's avatar

I think it’s time to set a new milestone. I want to start being a grownup about my finances. I want to be able to buy a house someday and a long time after that I want to be able to retire. So today I set up automatic savings (for the thousandth time) and I guess I should start researching investment. The whole thing bores the shit out of me and I wish someone else would take care of it for me.

As for previous goals… I still drink too much. And the grant is in who knows what state. Our adviser sent us the first half Monday afternoon and he had rewritten huge pieces. And he’s been working on the second half since then, which gives me the impression he’s just rewriting the whole thing. Which is all good if it helps it get funded, but it is sort of a blow to the ego and feels like we wasted an awful lot of energy writing it if he wanted to write it himself anyway.

Chikipi's avatar

Hugs and lurve for everyone! I’m typing on my phone so apologies for not giving kudos and support to everyone individually.

I went to the doctor today from the follow up of the ER about my ankle for more indepth information. I snapped off the outer shell of my ankle bone and was told it would be 4–6 months before I fully recover. I was taking Accutane for my acne and this will contribute to a slower recovery. My tendons are still holding onto the bone so once the swelling goes down my body will start mending itself. I am having to reach out more than I thought which is still uncomfortable. My work has dropped off a laptop so I don’t miss too much of work. They told me to try and work, but to rest. Today I am thankful for the friends and family I have in my life. I am also glad I work for a company that understands and supports me through my recovery as well

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, @Chikipi that sounds painful. Now I am embarrassed that I have been moaning about my Achilles tendons. I’m sure you are in a lot more pain than I am.

I have sent in my enrollment packet to Graduate school, and am now back to my baseline state of high anxiety. I hope the fact that I have three really good references will help. The school is generally in the top 5 to 10, and turns away a lot of applicants.

I apologized to my ex-wife after she was cruel to me. That always makes her feel better. The irascible old Jew who shouts at the pygmy Flutherites to get off of his lawn is actually capable of diplomacy.

That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Chikipi The pain will go away eventually.Don’t push the rehab too hard. I had a total knee replacement six months ago and am now pain-free and able to get around much better than with the old wrecked joint. I now cross-country ski 5–10k per day, pain free without pain meds. It will heal. Please accept my best wishes and ((hugs)).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

just wanted to say I’m not doing so well maintaining a sense of calm with some of the discussions I’m having on fluther…certain trigger topics around my identity have come up and I just don’t want to deal with it… and so I’m going to leave for a bit, at least for tonight – just don’t really feel safe and there is no other thread to relate that on so I came here..be back tomorrow

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You have my support and admiration for “sticking to your guns”. I’ll PM you my e-mail if you want to talk off site.

liminal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It is sad to hear that certain things became unsafe for you. It is good to hear that you are taking care of yourself. I am coming to an unfolding sense of you as someone who offers others respect and gentle challenge, I am sure this isn’t always easy. I admire this. I trust that you will take good care of you. Peace.

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Do what you need to do for yourself. Come back when you can. I think we all have times when issues or people are hitting close to the bone here and we have to lie low for a bit.

dpworkin's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You will be missed. I feel as if your solution to this problem is much better than mine: I simply misbehave. I’m glad you feel safe on this thread; so do I. Thanks, @Jeruba.

Grisaille's avatar

One month, smoke-free.

dpworkin's avatar

@Grisaille Mazel Tov! No kidding!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Grisaille congratulations! that’s great – your body is already benefiting
the shit that made me upset is continuing today…through my hurt feelings, I am reaching out and attempting to educate…it’s probably not going to end well for me..but I don’t do this only for me..there are people out there that find themselves in such situations pretty much 24/7

dpworkin's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Don’t do it at the expense of your own well-being. It’s not worth it. You can’t be the only advocate out there.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dpworkin I know what you’re saying and I hear you – but sometimes, well, I feel like there is not time to waste.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@Grisaille – WAY TO GO!!!!!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Please don’t burn yourself out. You’re one person and you also have tremendous responsibilites to your lovely family. Don’t stretch yourself to the breaking point.

I think that I’ve managed to make some progress with one of the jellies who was troubling you. I approached the issue from a standpoint of pure logic, which she relates to.

You are a survivor-type who has great love and compassion to offer the world. Try to retain a sense of perspective; you have to retain your health and sanity to care for those closest to you. We care very deeply for you.

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Keep your pecker up, so to speak.

@Grisaille Great work on the not smoking!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My plans are abruptly changing. I’ve been informed that I am niether needed or wanted at the farm. I’ve cancelled the driver to take my truck and I’m unpacking my things again. The pilot will fly the two Persians (Angel and Simba) back to the farm where I know they will be well cared for.

The doctoral program is nothing but a cruel joke; they’ll let me fart around pretending to be an academic as long as I pay the $40k a year. I seriously doubt if they will allow this fossil a PhD.

My intention now is to stay where I’m at, disposing of my worldy goods either to those who have use for them or to a bonfire. I will withdraw from my medications; once my mind is cleared of artificial chemicals I will plan my own end. I owe the world nothing and vice versa.

Sophief's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Why are not needed? What has happened? It was only a day ago you were packing.

janbb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land What’s changed on the farm? You’re plans sounded so good! (Did you decrease your meds again?)

liminal's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land what does “will plan my own end.” mean?

Sophief's avatar

@liminal I think that is obvious!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land whoah, wait a second, that’s quite a change in things – DO NOT withdraw from your meds or your end will come sooner and unplanned…please elaborate more on what went on with the plan and why the PhD track isn’t working out…doesn’t seem like there are any specifics with the latter, just your assumption that you won’t be accepted…this is all crazy…PM me!

Jeruba's avatar

===================== Sunday, February 7, 2010 =====================

It’s a big milestone for the Progress thread! The original thread was started on February 8, 2009, so we are now celebrating a full year of weekly checkins and expressions of mutual support. We’ve placed a marker and exchanged news every week without fail.

Sometimes (like now) things take a rather dark turn, and we don’t shy away from those issues—sooner or later dark times come to all of us. But we are still focused on goals and accomplishments here, and that is why we keep coming back to congratulate, encourage, cheer on, and, when necessary, offer a friendly shoulder.
_____________

My radio appearance went well even though it took me two days to recover from the shock to my system of getting up at 5 a.m. to be at the studio by 7. I am a nightowl and do not deal with the dawn. This was a college radio station that had invited NaNoWriMo winners to read selections from their novels. It took me all the preceding day and evening to prepare, at the sacrifice of studying for my philosophy test. I think I did well, though. I’d say I aced it, but I don’t want to tempt fate.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba Happy anniversary to the best thread on Fluther! Thanks so much for starting it. Glad your interview and test went well. :)

This weekend has been interesting. We’ve been hit with +/- 30 inches of snow, and I’m alone to deal with it. My husband plows snow in another city, and has been gone since 5AM Friday morning. My step-son and his girlfriend (who live in the other side of my duplex) are also out of town, leaving me their dog and cat (in addition to my two cats) to care for in their absence.

Seeing the dog nearly drowning in the snow, and realizing that no one could get to our front doors when they all return, I realized that shoveling the biggest snow in a hundred years would fall on my shoulders. Despite my fibromyalgia, I plunged into the mid-thigh deep snow, shovel in hand. It nearly killed me, but I did it! I was absurdly proud of myself.

As for goals, I’m still looking for a job. I’m also doing some serious thinking about joining or starting a group aimed at bridging the divide between the right and the left in the US. That may be too ambitious a goal for me, so I might just write about it, instead.

dpworkin's avatar

@augustlan Judging by the snow story, you have plenty of ambition! I’d join your group!

Lately I’m just dealing with pain. I have tendinitis in both Achilles tendons, and I was just starting to feel some relief last Thursday when I slipped on the ice and re-injured everything, so I have been mostly flat on my back, except for three painful walks a day with the long-suffering pooch who expects walks of higher quality than I am now able to give.

I accidentally dropped a class while trying to swap lab times, so I am in limbo with the Registrar because self-enrollment is over. I hope this Professor isn’t punitive, because if I don’t take the class I won’t graduate in May, and will have to go to Summer School. Oy, vey.

Auggie’s snow stayed a hundred miles South of us, but we are supposed to get our own “significant” storm on Wednesday. We have had a nearly snowless Winter so far. It will be nice to get weather that is other than merely cold.

Mazel Tov on the anniversary of my favorite thread on Plurk, @Jeruba! I can’t thank you enough for this little slice of heaven.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Bonne Anniversaire to the thread! Northern Maine has missed the big snowstorm. Flurries now, maybe 2–3” by the end of the day. Not even worth the fuel to plow the access road.

I want to apologize for the drama I’ve caused in the last few days. Too low medication dose, an unexpected setback and not having the sense to stay off-line when I’m in a state of high anxiety.

At least temporarily, my return to the farm is cancelled. Although I own the place, I’m getting signals that my presence is not wanted. My late wifes girlfriend has found herself a new lover. I don’t have all the information yet and am only slowly filling in the details. I don’t want to take action until I have as much information as I can get; but for now I don’t wish to be where I’m not wanted. Let them figure out the maple run on their own, if they can. The equipment is in place, but Genevive has never supervised the boil before. If she ruins $40k worth of syrup there will be an accounting.

The academics are on track. I don’t officially start until June, so the domestic arrangements have five months to settle out. My lowered valium dose apparantly triggered huge doubts in my mind whether I even belong in a doctoral program after a 30+ year absence. The entire nature of academia has changed, much more computer-based and collaborative. I was used to a quiet carrel in the library stacks, working solo. I also have to bring my computer skills from my current Bronze Age level to at least something resembling competance. Currently I’m working with an “idiot book” on my computer skills and trying to brush up my academic German (will have to spend some months in the German Naval Archives). I’ll be on campus in June, even if I have to rent an apartment while sorting out this soap opera domestic situation at the farm. I must constantly remind myself; “I own the place, they have no right to use me like a doormat”.

Again, I humbly apologize for all the drama I’ve caused. If I hit another emotional pothole, I’ll go off line until I’m able to sound like a rational adult.

janbb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land You sound like you’re in a better place – good.
@augustlan I’ve heard of a number of successful groups that were formed to bridge the gaps between Palestinians and Israelis or American Jews, so you might be successful with your (more problematic?) group idea!
@Jeruba It is a great thread; congratulations! Glad I was pushed to found it.
@simone de beauvoir Glad you didn’t stay away too long.

Have made some progress on my goals of getting greater mental stimulation and more satisfaction at work. I talked yet again to my boss about not having enough to do at work and he finally has come up with a big project for me that will start next week. Also, I had some really good reference questions at the Help Desk this week (and off it, thanks to Jeruba) which is the most fun part of my job and has really diminished since the advent of Google. Outside of work, I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which has some stimulating new ideas about ability and success. Haivng finished my first class prep, which will start in March, I have begun on the second novel but keep getting Fluthered away. I’m not worried about getting it done though, since I have plenty of time.

We are in Florida for the weekend and Auggie’s storm hit us majorly in NJ so I am wondering what will be be heading back to tomorrow.

Whew – a lot to say!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

well, I made it through yesterday – a hard day – and am still okay…it was a ridiculous day and nothing went right…we had a lot of snow but we still took the kids to the Music Together class and after 30 minutes of plowing through the snow with two strollers and getting serious frost bite on our thighs and faces, we faced a closed door- the class was canceled in an email at 820 am in the morning…yeah, because that’s what I do at 820 in the morning with two screaming kids, check my email! wtf! I was so angry and we turned around and went back home…then my ex called and said he wanted to take Alexey overnight and I was like ‘I’ll give you all the veggie alternatives’ so you don’t give him meat and soy milk and he was like ‘what?what’s wrong with you? why are you still doing this bullshit?’ and I flipped a shit and was like ‘what the hell? where did that come from’ and he just spewed out more and more uninformed crap about vegetarianism and it was so illogical and he made this whole thing about us and I reminded him he’s insane and I yelled – I haven’t yelled at him like this for years but he pulled the whole ‘I’m his father’ crap and that was laughable as pretty much everyone knows that to be a joke – then he hung up on me and you do not hang up on me, I lost it..left him a message that if he doesn’t call me back and discuss this normally, he is not setting one foot in the door and no one will open it for him…eventually he did call back and said that he is not going to be hostile and that we’ll discuss the meals for today and tomorrow when he comes to get him…I said fine..when he showed up I said let’s talk and he said ‘no, I’ll talk to you when we go see a nutritionist’ (I made that appointment, ps. he’s just going along without paying any of the fee, he’s special like that)...and I said but what are you going to feed him these two days? and he goes ‘I’ll take the veggie alternatives’ and I lost it again…I was like why did you instigate me to such a degree if all you were going to do is back down like always? then I just removed myself from him…and my husband discussed various analogies to this individual and decided he’s both like a haughty ADD rooster who gets all feisty and then distracted by something shiny and also a lot like herpes in that he drives me insane in bursts and will always be there…anyway I was so angry, I just forced myself to sleep..when I woke up it was time to go to a friend’s b-day party..which actually was pretty good..on our way back we missed our stop (it was like the day where we could not get from point A to point B in any normal manner) and had to wait for the returning train forever…ugh, we got home at 2 in the morning, Alex fell asleep and I ate some sausages and went to sleep too…this morning baby bird (Ark) is teething badly so we’re in for a day..a trip to Lowes is necessary because a pipe blew under our sink (yeah that happened too) and we need some baby proofing stuff because Ark is now baby-zilla and gets into everything..yesterday he broke a hot sauce bottle, my husband’s coffee cup and spilled my tea everywhere..anyway, onwards…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

also congrats on 20K @Jeruba and on this thread!

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oy! Sorry you had such a rough day!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb eh, at the end of it we just had to laugh – sometimes the stars do not align

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Jeruba Congratulations on your radio appearance. Was this your first time? I briefly hosted a morning classical program on WEVO (after Robert J. retired from daily broadcasts). People don’t realize the prep work that goes into this, really draining, I can’t imagine how he did it for 25 years, 7 days a week. My fingers are crossed for you on your philosophy grade!
@augustlan Do you have a “pusher” shovel or one with a bent handle so so don’t have to lift? Those are real back-savers, especially with that wet, heavy stuff. Take care of yourself. A nice hot bath to start with. Thanks for your counselling and encouragement a few days ago.
@dpworkin Keep those ankles wrapped and warm my friend. I hope you can straighten out the academic snafu, it’s so damned frustrating to have academic hopes dashed, even temporarily. If I hadn’t wasted over a year in the 70s farting around with athletics I wouldn’t have to be a sem-geriatric doctoral candidate now.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Serious ((hugs)). You sound like you really need some. More ((hugs)).
@janbb Gladwell’s book is on my shelf but I haven’t cracked it yet. Perhaps I should sooner than later. Good luck on your project!

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

What an awesome idea for a question/thread.

My goals for this week, will be to finish up all the work on the coat I’m making (other than, perhaps the lining, as I don’t think the fabric will be here in time.) Still lots to do on it, but it’s all button holes and inside fabrics, which aren’t as much fun to do because they don’t show. I’ll try to share some pictures when it’s all done. Other than that I have a tricky flamenco piece I’m learning for guitar, that I hope to get a little crisper before my lesson tomorrow night. And another week with baby, which is always an unpredictable set of rewards and challenges.

Have a great week everyone!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre ((hugs)) to you as well! I wish that I could do more with a needle than prick my finger and curse.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

lol @stranger_in_a_strange_land That’s an important skill too.

liminal's avatar

I’m feeling the normal pressures of life this week. We homeschool our kids because of their particular needs as well as our families. Their limitations are becoming clearer and my need to figure out different approaches is increasing. We are finally in a place where I can go back to school and finish up my graduate work (painfully. slowly. one. class. at. a. time. sigh, grad school is expensive.). I have class work due that I haven’t touched. My beloved has taken up painting our first floor which has put the house in chaos and it looks like it will stay that way a week longer because her regular work week starts up tomorrow. The kids are feeling anxious about me investing in my life outside the house. My ADHD is feeling out of control. I’ve been off medication for a year and realize that I miss the stability those little capsules bring to my internal world. It is frustrating that my partner’s work doesn’t have domestic partnership benefits. Anyway, my goal for the week is to figure out a rhythm that will help everyone in the family navigate the day to day.

Jeruba's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land, Robert J. as in Lurtsema?

mangeons's avatar

My goal as of now is to get better grades and keep up with my grades better this semester. (:

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Jeruba Yes. I took over that time slot for about 6 weeks until they found another syndicated morning program. I found that it took 2–3 hours of preparation for every hour on-air. He did 35 hours a week on-air for about 25 years. I was just about burned out after 6 weeks. I have no idea how he did it,

Jeruba's avatar

@mangeons, excellent goal. What are you taking, and which class is going to be the hardest? Which is the most fun? Don’t let us be too much of a distraction!

@augustlan, I used to love being snowed in! But I do remember once being the only one on hand to shovel out my father’s house, on a February visit after I’d been living in California for 6 years. What a chore. I hope you didn’t hurt yourself.

@dpworkin, I just sympathize: pain sucks. I hope you can get your classes straightened out without too much literal and figurative pain.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land, apology accepted. Please let us know how things go as you recalibrate. I see no reason why you shouldn’t go on with school. My mother got her M.A. at 51, and my aunt her Ph.D. at about 62. Why ever not? @dpworkin is going at it now, and I am taking a class with 20-year-olds at a community college, where the instructor is less than half my age.

Yes, it was my first time on the air, but not my first time on a mike or speaking before a group, and I kind of knew what to expect from my son, who had a slot as a DJ on the campus radio station for a year in college. He spent a lot of prep time too. Bob Lurtsema (he was Bob when I knew him, before Morning Pro Musica) must have gone at it as not just a full-time job but something more like an obsessive passion.

@janbb, my question provided you with entertainment? Oh, hurray, then. I was afraid I was being a nuisance. But, my dear, how can you not have plenty to do when you can read all you want of everything in the world?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I am so sorry, darlin’, but you had such a horrible day yesterday that it made me laugh even while I wanted to cry for you. Will you forgive me? (If you have little boys, I think you must know this book —a favorite around here for a number of years.) I was a bit concerned about your having an exchange on fluther that threw you so badly off balance, but I’m glad you felt safe coming to this thread. There won’t be any confronting and challenging and taking people on around here, not even if each side has a point. That’s just not what the Progress thread is about.

@JeanPaulSartre, welcome! I am inferring that you were recruited by Simone. Making a coat!—what an amazing goal. Any kind of goal at all, large or small, is what we’re here for, even if it’s just making it through the week. Say, I’m going to be reading some of “your” literature in the next few weeks.

@liminal, welcome to you too. You are facing a lot of challenges at once. Rhythm is good. What do you do for a calm center, stillness in the middle of the rhythm and the swirl?

@Grisaille, congratulations! I think the toughest part is past now, don’t you? Hang in there.

@Naked_Homer, I think of you so often during this terribly tough transition. Please lean on us all you need to.

@Dibley, another welcome! What are you working on?

@Chikipi, I think several of us can empathize with your mobility problems right now. I learned at the age of 27, with knee surgery, just how very much of my sense of independence depended on the use of my legs. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten and am remembering again now with my foot in a cast—luckily a soft cast, and not for long. Good luck with your recovery.

@nikipedia, I don’t know your age, but I can identify with your distaste for those matters, your resistance to rigid structure, and your conflicting desire to act a little more grown up with respect to personal responsibility. At retirement age now, I still feel the same way. But there are some things you can do that are less painful than others. To begin with, you have to think a little differently about it (realizing that the future won’t take care of itself), and you are already doing that.

@Dog, @fireinthepriory, @zephyr826, and others, how’s it going? Lurve to all.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Contrary to popular belief, one cannot sit and read all day when working in a library.:-) However, I do have the opportunity to both order and take home many lovely books. “So many books, so little time.”

dpworkin's avatar

Of course you have no time to read. You’re making out in the stacks.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I spent the weekend (internet and phone-less) in the Adirondack Mountains with my extended family for my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. My grandma and I actually have the same birthday so I got some glory as well, but 23 doesn’t seem like much in comparison. Still a milestone I suppose! It was great to see my family, especially seeing 4 of my 5 siblings. The three littlest seem to have grown miles every time I see them… I just want them to slow down!!

In other news, I spent my long bus rides reading “The Kid” and then “The Commitment,” both by Dan Savage, and now I just want a big gay wedding and an adorable adopted baby. Nevermind that I don’t even have a girlfriend… :D It was wonderful to read a book for pleasure again, something I haven’t done that since last summer. Eek!

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I saw your lowpoint just as I was heading out – Your apology is accepted for whatever drama you caused (I must have missed most of it!), and I’m very glad to return to see you’ve returned from the funk you were in. Lurve to you.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh gosh, that’s the kind of day you have to just try your hardest to forget all about! Tomorrow is always a new day, and thank goodness for that.

@Jeruba I missed your 20K party, so I’ll just congratulate you here. You’re a hell of a Jelly. You are kind yet strong and don’t take crap. I admire you.

gggritso's avatar

Hi everyone :)

I haven’t been posting just because I don’t think I’ve reached any milestones. I’m only now starting to set concrete goals for myself. I’ve had terrible issues with focus lately, I just can’t seem to get my head in the game.

That aside I’ve completed my first assignment at work. It’s going to go into review and sometime soon I’ll probably be given specific instructions on what to add/fix/change.

Lots of hugs and lurve to everyone here; I read the thread all the time, you guys motivate me:)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I managed to look through all the boxes of clothes for all the kids today, identify gaps for their summer wardrobes and then I spent all day online buying shirts and shorts and pants and such – $250 I am done for the spring, summer and mostly for next fall, as well – yay! And we survived an evening with my aunt’s friends who were all like ‘vegetarianism? your kids will never grow!!!!!!’..ya.

mangeons's avatar

@Jeruba Algebra 2 is definitely going to be the course in which I have the hardest time, the most fun class right now is surprisingly, gym, which I was dreading. It turned out to be really fun though.

zephyr826's avatar

@mangeons I always dreaded gym as well, and a few times I was pleasantly surprised. Stay buckled down on Algebra II – it can get way from you quickly.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh, sweetie, what an insane day. Way to go on being wardrobe-prepared. I can barely keep myself in clothes, much less anyone else! :)
@gggritso We missed you! Congrats on the first assignment. The constructive criticism is always nice.
@fireinthepriory I love family time. It’s hard when everyone is so spread out.
@dpworkin be careful! You’ve got degrees to finish!
@janbb My husband loves his books. I haven’t read them yet, but they’re on my list.

No real updates. Fighting a death cold. more later.

mangeons's avatar

@zephyr826 Aww, feel better! ):

dpworkin's avatar

Woo-hoo! I found out by accident that the professor who asked me if I would like a letter of recommendation from him to Grad School never does that, people beseech him, and he is considered the premiere catch, because he is taken so seriously! I had no idea! Now I have to go and really thank him. An email seems insufficient.

janbb's avatar

Mazel Tov™ @dpworkin for real. That is great news.

dpworkin's avatar

thanks. i’m stoked.

zephyr826's avatar

Hooray for @dpworkin! Yeah!
@stranger_in_a_strange_land Glad to see you’re feeling a bit better. We would have missed you tremendously. I hope thigs work out with the farm situation.
@JeanPaulSartre Bienvenue! I wish I could sew. Hemming is about as good as it gets, and it’s not particularly impressive hemming. Way to go.
@Jeruba Congratulations on your radio appearance.
@Grisaille Way to go. I’ve heard the first month is the hardest.
@Chikipi Is your ankle feeling any better?

@mangeons Merci.

I’m feeling a little more like a human being today. We had a bit of snow last night, but not enough to cancel school alas~. My goal for this week is to get all my grading done and into the computer before midterm grades are due next Tuesday. I let one set of quizzes slip, and now I can’t seem to catch up. Time to get off flutehr and power through. :)

janbb's avatar

@zephyr826 Glad your feeling better.

We’ve got another storm on the way here. Might be a pj, cookie baking and book reading day tomorrow!

Jeruba's avatar

Congratulations, @dpworkin! That is outstanding. What a commendation for your efforts and your recognized potential. That must also be a great boost to your spirits just now.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

New short-term goal: We’ve arranged a “family meeting” (complex situation) to work out our domestic issues. We are “agreeing to agree” on all issues and will submit anything that we cannot resolve between the two (three?) of us to the binding arbitration of a mutual friend (a colleague of my mother). Tentatively, I’ll be making the move back to NH in about 4–6 weeks. Our meeting is set for Sunday afternoon.

It’s now definite that I will be resuming my doctoral studies this Summer term.

I’m still working with the “idiot book” to bring my basic computer skills up to an acceptable level. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to really “think” at a keyboard; I’ll be a “pen and paper person” at heart for the rest of my life.

Jeruba's avatar

Nice job of regrouping, @stranger_in_a_strange_land.

zephyr826's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land That’s such good news! I think you’ll feel better back in NH. Hope the meeting goes well.

janbb's avatar

Sunday, February 14th; 8:30 EST

A strange out of time week. I was off work Wednesday and Thursday because of the snow and since I don’t work on Fridays, I never got to start that new collection development project my boss is planning to give me. I’ve gotten some course prep for my second class done, but hope to finish it before I go away for a week tomorrow. I’ve gotten some things done around the house and watched some DVDs, but I’ve being feeling very ADDish and fluthering about a great deal. I have a book home on painting techniques of the Impressionists that I am hoping to read but haven’t been able to focus enough to start it.

dpworkin's avatar

I have managed to incapacitate my self by doing some soft tissue damage to both legs. I have been unable to walk since Wednesday night, and I am flat on my back. Tuesday morning I will give in and call the Doctor if things haven’t improved. In the meantime I am starting to run out of peanut butter. It sucks to be uninsured in this country, especially if you are poor.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We achieved taking the oldest to the dentist for the first time – yay for preventative check-ups!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m waiting for the plane now. I hope that we can work out this situation and remain friends. I’m feeling very hurt about this, I’ve gotten a few e-mails that sound like Genevive is trying to blame me for her behavior. Yes, I did leave very abruptly after the funeral, but I had to be alone. It felt like everything and everyone was closing in on me. Gen did save my life by dragging me to the doctor to get on these “head meds”, but that doesn’t give her license to walk all over me or show this kind of disrespect for Meghans memory. I just have to keep telling myself “I’m in charge here”.

Looks like clear weather today and tomorrow for the return flight. The forecast says snow on Tuesday, I’ll be back up here by then.

@dpworkin Take care of yourself. A fall or something?
@Simone_De_Beauvoir No dramas in the dentist chair?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land well, he refused to sit in the chair so the dentist let him sit on her chair – he cried a little but was really good about letting her see all his teeth and feel them for holes – he now has 20 teeth and she said they’re in great shape – she then gave him a new froggy toothbrush and a sticker (out of the boy stickers pile…she made a very deliberate gesture of not giving him any pink or princess stickers…eyeroll)

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir A side comment from another thread. I walked into a toy store recently for the first time in several years and was astounded to see how clearly the aisles were divided between pink and blue toys still. And the boys’ toys were so much more creative!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb it’s really frustrating – and what’s the point?! I mean really!

Jeruba's avatar

===================== Sunday, February 14, 2010 =====================

If you suffer from February doldrums, I hope the clouds part for you.

If your fruit trees are in full bloom, as ours are, and dropping a carpet of fragrant white petals on the ground, go out and breathe in the sweetness.

If you’re buried in snow, save up the memory for July.

If you have goals to announce, progress to report, triumphs and setbacks to share, here we are.

If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone special, I hope it’s a wonderful one. If you’re not, maybe next year.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

We’ve had our meeting. As I suspected, one is embarassed and other frightened. I explained that I feel very hurt about this, but that there is no reason to fear me. We visited Megs grave and had a good cry together. I think we’ve had a breakthrough and can live under the same roof together. I still have to digest all of what was told to me. I’m staying overnight here at the farm and flying back tomorrow.

dpworkin's avatar

I walked downstairs into the kitchen and fed the animals! OK, maybe not walked, and maybe I didn’t set any land speed records, but I got all the way down there and back!

augustlan's avatar

Just popping in to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! Even if you are alone on this day, know that you are loved. <3

dpworkin's avatar

@augustlan What a sweetie you are. I’m sorry you are burdened with the likes of me.

augustlan's avatar

@dpworkin You are a burden I happily bear, darlin’.

janbb's avatar

@augustlan Thanks Auggie, and a big smackeroo back to you!

liminal's avatar

@dpworkin and @augustlan you bring a smile to my face.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I am impressed with how your faced this, it seems very open and genuine.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The phrase “they grow so fast” keeps making sense.

@Jeruba thank you for your earlier welcome and inviting question. Having a sense of center and a place of stillness is something we tend to keep in good balance, most days. Practically we have a daily schedule that allows for alone/quiet time, rest time, silence, and (obviously) together time.

The house is slowly coming into order. The kids and I are embarking on learning latin and greek roots. I just want to say, they have really different learning styles, sigh. Yet, we are getting it done. The family is slowly settling into our new rhythm and I am really enjoying time away from the house. The tibetan prayer bowl, my sweetie bought for me for chirstmas, finally arrived. My goal this week is to learn how to make it sing. My other goal is to carve out scheduled “study time” for the weeks ahead.

dpworkin's avatar

Hey @Jeruba, what if I can keep my head while all around me are losing theirs?

Jeruba's avatar

Then you’ll be a man, my son. Either that or a member of the Defarge family.

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Then you’ll be a man, my son™.

janbb's avatar

Wait – now I can’t even beat Jeruba to the punch?

Jeruba's avatar

Now, now, @janbb, don’t lose your head and blame it on me.

By the way, my apologies—after I set the marker for today I realized that you had already started this Sunday’s thread ahead of me. I didn’t see it at first.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Shut up and keep knitting!

Jeruba's avatar

Well! And after I just acknowledged you for getting a head.

dpworkin's avatar

You are old @janbb, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right™?

Jeruba's avatar

Are you sure it’s her own head she’s standing on? I thought it was mine.

Dog's avatar

HAPPY VALENTINES! I <3 You all!
:D

dpworkin's avatar

Dawggy! Hot Diggity!

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Can’t be responsible for quips posted before remarks are edited. :-)

@dpworkin At least I have hair on my head.

dpworkin's avatar

oy! That hoits!

janbb's avatar

@Dog Duck and run for cover. The natives are restless tonight!

Dog's avatar

Yikes!

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Aw – c’mon over here and I’ll polish it up for you.

Jeruba's avatar

I have just finished baking a batch of Valentine cupcakes, and we’re going to frost them so that each one is unique. It’s been years since I had both sons at home on Valentine’s Day to keep up this old tradition of ours. I love it when everybody’s home.

Otherwise, today and tomorrow I am working on a term paper on the topic “Fiction as a Vehicle for Existentialist Thought.” Every time I am about to start writing, I read another article or think of another point and decide to add something. I’ll be lucky if it doesn’t turn into a dissertation.

I ought to have been an academic. I knew it when I was 25, and I know it now. Damn.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba It really is great when you have your kids home and can do some of your own traditional stuff. I had my two home for part of Chanukah and an early “fake” Christmas and it was lovely.

Enjoy writing the paper!

Dog's avatar

:D Cupcake fight?

I am off to my parents house for dinner with the family. Life is so very good!

janbb's avatar

Ooh – I can just taste the icing now. But I don’t think we can use Jeruba’s uniquely decorated ones; it would be a sacrilige.

dpworkin's avatar

not Polish. Russian

Jeruba's avatar

Here you go. None of them is terribly serious, never mind sacred. I didn’t encourage the mustard-colored one, but art is art.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Yummers! Wish I didn’t live so far away; I’d show up at your door and beg for a cupcake.

dpworkin's avatar

brown nose

janbb's avatar

Hhm – didn’t see any chocolate icing; what could he mean by that?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Hugs to everyone!

I’m all at sixes and sevens. Only 4 weeks left of UI benefits. I have an interview this week with the NYC Board of Ed. for a job I applied to in December. It’s the first one I’ve had for over a year. If I don’t get this job, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I suppose I’ll call the benefit office Tuesday (Monday will be too busy) and ask what my options are if the bennies run out before I find work.

janbb's avatar

@aprilsimnel Good luck with the interview!

Sophief's avatar

I had an interview last Thursday, and waiting to hear if I have got it this week. My boyfriend and I are currently in the middle of decorating which has been fun. I have been cut out of my Fathers life and that is taking some dealing with.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Dibley With your father behaving the way he is, it’s probably better this way. Have fun with your decorating. In a few weeks I’ll be making maple syrup. That’s boiling down about 20,000 gallons of sap to about 500 gallons of syrup (we process for our neighbors as well).

dpworkin's avatar

Nothing better than Grade B Maple syrup. Unless you know the owner, it’s hard to get, because people tend to sell the Grade A, and keep the Grade B (wisely) for themselves.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@dpworkin We certainly do :^). It’s the sweetest product. It’s all a matter of the temperature profile during the sap run. The trees only produce this type of sap for 4–8 weeks per year. The sap that will boil to grade B might only run for a few days. The sugar bushes in Quebec produce more syrup but the VT-NH syrup quality is a bit higher. Last year we produced only 20 gallons of Grade B (our share), but 350 gallons of Grade A.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Feels like I’ve been gone a year, but it was just a weekend! 40+ new posts on this Q, you guys? :) Been busy…

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Glad it looks like things are working out for the best. :) Good luck with your maple run! I think it sounds incredibly fun. Working outdoors always puts me in good spirits, so doing the run together might be something that could even further mend your relationship with Gen.

@Jeruba Those cupcakes look scrumptious.

@aprilsimnel Good luck!!

@dpworkin I hope you continue to improve. As I discovered when I sprained my ankle really badly (and walking to the store was my main means of grocery shopping!), you can get almost anything delivered to your door if you order online. :)

As for me, I just got an email from the guy I’m looking to do my PhD with, telling me he may be moving to a different university in the fall. I, of course, have not applied to that school, and the deadline is months past. He’s still in talks with both schools, and says my application has been well-received where he is now, and that he will ask the new uni if there’s hope for me to go there in the fall if he does move. It’s not the end of the world; my plan all along was to apply to a few more places next year if it didn’t work out this year. And I’m glad that he is still clearly interested in working with me! It is disheartening, though, to have put so much effort into applying only to find out that even if I do get in, there’s a very good chance that it won’t matter…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@fireinthepriory oh, that sucks…but maybe something good and entirely different will come out of this

dpworkin's avatar

@fireinthepriory I don’t understand the politics of the Doctorate, but I’m sorry you’re having difficulties.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@fireinthepriory I’m sorry to hear about your doctorate troubles. At least I can do mine solo.

Except for me, we’ll have an all-lady team, Gen’s bringing some friends down from Quebec; there’s still a lot of prejudice there about women working in the woods. The work can be fun when you step back and look around. It is also a lot of hard physical labor, but not the back-breaking work of the days before vacuum-collection.

This will be the season that I teach Gen the mysteries of the evaporator. She’s done everything else up to this point. Meghan was Queen of the Sugar Shack last year when I was deployed. “Gen and the Art of Evaporator Operation”?

Probably the most fun part, once everything is set up and flowing is “vacuum patrol”; on snowshoes in the forest, looking (listening) for vacuum leaks in the lines and feeders. Channelock pliers and electrical tape.

janbb's avatar

@fireinthepriory I know the adviser stuff can be tricky. It sounds like if it doesn’t work out for you this year at uni A, it will at uni B for this year or next. The good thing is that the guy does want to work with you. Good luck!

gggritso's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land That sounds amazing. There’s something very wholesome about that scenario. I’d love to see photos.

I’m not hitting any distinct milestones, but I’m very pleased with how the past week went. The week before I was in a total slump; I couldn’t stay awake or at all motivated to do anything. This week I felt much better. I stayed in good mental shape all week, and got a lot of work done. I finally felt like I deserved the weekend.

I’ve set a goal of beating the “snooze” button. (Not particularly audacious, but important to me, personally). My typical morning routine consists of hitting it for half an hour (no hyperbole there). I want to cut it to zero. So far I’m down to 10 minutes :)

I hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day! I spent it in the company of a few friends, and had fun.

Naked_Homer's avatar

Popped in quick. I still don’t have Internet at home yet. My ex-wife, 2 weeks after our divorce was finalized, had a gentleman and his son at her parents house for dinner, then went on a date with them the next day. Luckily I know the guy. He is a great stand up guy. I like him and trust him to be around my kids.

janbb's avatar

@Naked_Homer Was wondering where you were. Not great news but it sounds like you’re dealing with it o.k.

dpworkin's avatar

What does he see in her though?

Naked_Homer's avatar

Back. Finally got my internet. She isn’t the same person to everyone else, especially at church. She comes off as perfect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We went to see a veggie/vegan nutritionist yesterday and she was awesome – the hour went by so fast! She filled in the gaps we had in our families food schedules and provided us with best brands for nutrients and supplements. We came away with hundreds more options for different foods and with Omega 3’s, calcium, b-complex, core complex, etc. Then online I bought some of those for me in liquid form (can’t swallow pills) and bought the same for the kids. Alex will hit up Whole Foods today with a giant shopping list. She gave us a sample menu for Ark and Alexey and we will slowly switch them over. We felt so inspired and so great about everything.

dpworkin's avatar

I saw the Doctor. I am walking with a quad cane now, and need a month of PT. It will be expensive but it could have been worse.

Exam One today in my most demanding class. I think I did will enough to get between a B+ and an A, so that’s a relief.

mangeons's avatar

Get well soon, @dpworkin!

And I hope you did well on your exam. (:

Jeruba's avatar

I got my first philosophy exam back yesterday, and I did get an A. I’m working on my term paper now. Thinking ahead to next quarter, I am considering these alternatives: a class in film studies, a class in world history, and a class in meteorology. I’ll make my choice at registration time.

And I have a client lined up for some editorial work that promises to be interesting and challenging without being too demanding.

I have at least another week to go in the foot cast, so no yoga class again yet, but I’m getting around okay. Haven’t touched the boxes yet, though, and that delinquency is weighing on my conscience.

zephyr826's avatar

Hey everyone,
Much love to everyone. It sounds like a good week for most of you! My principal informed me yesterday that I need to prep a new elective course, unrelated to French, in case my numbers go down next year. It has to be developed by Monday, so this weekend will be spent in a flurry of activity. Joy. We also have Parent-Teacher conferences on Monday, so I need to straighten up my classroom.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Jeruba Congratulations on aceing your exam! Foot casts, braces and splints; My lady had to live with those for over four years; I feel for you. At least with splints or braces you can take them off for bathing or massage.
@zephyr826 Numbers of French students are going down? I’m glad I had the language, I would never have met my wife without it.

Tomorrow, I’m closing down the cabin and moving permanently (?) back to the farm. A lot of anxiety, but the hard work of the maple harvest should squelch that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jeruba I’m sorry but when I think of you taking philosophy exams, I don’t expect anything but an A

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you for the compliment, @Simone_De_Beauvoir, It is actually an unusual challenge for me because the instructor is incompetent and his grasp of some of the important concepts is blatantly and provably wrong or simply missing. I am unwilling to parrot wrong answers back to him, so I am struggling to stay with what I know to be faithful to the material while keeping within the range of what he will mark as correct.

zephyr826's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land No, my numbers are going up, but our new principal likes to make us jump through hoops just to prove he’s in charge. What really frustrates me is that I’ll do all this planning for the course and then probable not even teach it if my numbers are fine. We’re also starting AP next year, so that’s another new Prep. Sigh…

oh, and enjoy the maple harvest

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jeruba eep, that sucks so much

augustlan's avatar

Congrats and hugs to all of you.

New Goal: I start writing the newsletter this weekend! I’m so freaking excited abut it, too. Such a geek. I aim to have the first draft done by the end of next week.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think it’s time to reincarnate this thread elsewhere, says the lady who’s waiting to see if she made it to the second round of interviews for the NYC DOE position she applied for.

I hope I didn’t go for a job out of my league. I had a couple of gulp-worthy moments during the interview yesterday, but I’d like to think I didn’t let ‘em see me sweat. I looked fantastic in my designer suit, though!

And I have an idea for a HBO/Showtime/AMC 13-episode per season type serial for whoever would like to help me develop it.

Jeruba's avatar

Ok, I’ll start part 5 with this Sunday’s post. Assuming that’s what you mean.

Good luck, @aprilsimnel!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Back at the farm now. I’m now cooking for ten people, setting up and troubleshooting three vacuum pumps, two positive-displacement pumps and one centrifugal pump as well as assembling and cleaning evaporator components. I’ll be exploring and teaching the mysteries of the reverse-osmosis concentrator unit next week. The ladies are finishing up the mainline pipes and starting with the taps and feeder lines. We guesstimate the sap run starting in about two weeks, temperature profiles permitting.

Genevive and the vet are busy with lambing, she timed the breeding just right, all the lambs should be born before the sap runs. Our flock will be almost doubling this year, to 50 head. Gen was training border collie pups last year, they seem to know their business instinctively.

My Fluthering time will be dropping down for the next several months, maybe a few “check ins” a day. I feel like I’ve been thrown in the deep end of the pool after my three month hermitage. Hopefully I won’t have time to be depressed, I’m down to 10mg a day on the Valium and still at 50mg Paxil. I hope to be off the Valium entirely in about 2 weeks.

Jeruba's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land, that sounds exhilarating! You are on top of it. Facing a challenge that you know how to meet is fabulous medicine. We will excuse you for a little while as long as you visit our thread on some of your checkins.

I love the sound of that reverse-osmosis concentrator, complete with its mysteries. It sounds like a superlative study aid.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Jeruba I’m treating my first cold casualty now also. One of the girls is sitting with her feet in a pan of warm water. No frostbite, she called for help as soon as her feet went numb. No more thin boots in the sugarbush.

Jeruba's avatar

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010: NEW THREADgo here.

=======================================================================

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