ambersweet: Link holding a chicken! (Friday Chicken)
So the big thing I did this week was start a new blog, and my ongoing series on emotional honesty and building solid relationships will be moving over there, along with the Friday Chicken, which will be getting the more thematically appropriate name of the Gauge Check. Please join me over there, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same! I have plans and all sorts of thoughts for the things I'd like to accomplish over there, and I'd really like to have you guys along with me.

I'll still be posting here, although probably not as often, and most of it will be flocked. Dreamwidth is going to get the stuff that I'm not willing to share with the whole world. In the meantime, I'm curled up in bed, fighting off Mystery Plague and still hoping to go to roleplaying tonight.

How's your Friday? You can leave your comments here, or (even better!) head over to the brand-new Friday Gauge Check on the blog.
ambersweet: Link holding a chicken! (Friday Chicken)
This week, it has been crazy, and it's somehow Friday once again.

Success: the research paper was completed and submitted on time. One final left, and I'll be done.

Semi-success: finished the third finger of Beer Glove #1. I'd probably finish it completely tonight, except that I apparently don't have the pouch with my yarn needle with me. Tomorrow for that.

Total WHEN KNITTING ATTACKS kind of fail: the Rainbow Crone scarf. Guys, I hate knitting with this yarn SO MUCH. It twists like crazy, folds, it's slippery as shit, and completed stitches further down the scarf have LITERALLY fallen out. I don't even know how this is POSSIBLE. So, no more Rainbow Crone scarf until I figure out how to fix this problem. Maybe I'll crochet with it instead, so I at least don't have to worry about dropping stitches.

I mentioned earlier in the week that I completed the second pattern repeat of the Argyle State University scarf, and I haven't touched it since then, because the paper, it was eating my soul.

More rows on Ribbed Sock #2, as well, because it's something I can do while roleplaying like the Friday chicken.

There was a lot of stress in the last week, but I handled it really well, all things considered. I was sort of spastic, but, again, able to finish the paper on time. I'm feeling good about graduating; I need to work on my resume and cover letter this weekend and apply for that job.

There's probably more but I'm trying not to get killed right now. How's everyone else?
ambersweet: Link holding a chicken! (Friday Chicken)
I'm so not ready for this week to be over. AT ALL. In fact, I'd like to lodge a formal protest, that this week went by much too fast and I'd like at least 48 hours back.

The problem with this week is that I spent the first half of it utterly unable to focus, so I got absolutely nothing done, to speak of, until Thursday morning. I mean, really.

Intense emotional processing, which is actually the PURPOSE of the Friday chicken. )I'm not giving myself traditional goals for this week, other than 1) breathe, and 2) survive. Anything else is gravy.

I have this post I've been internally processing about the pathologizing of childhood, and you'll probably see it later this week too. (But don't be terribly disappointed if you don't.)

So that's me. How's all of you?
ambersweet: Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush! (Go ahead! Panic!)
Wow, another Friday already? Which means it's time for the Friday Chicken. Chicken!

(For those of you who've played Zelda games, and who've chased chickens around? That's totally why the Friday Chicken amuses me so much. That mini-game in Ocarina of Time and Windwaker where you had to find all the chickens was the BEST MINI-GAME EVER. Throwing chickens, what more could you possibly want out of a video game?)

I'm still doing pretty darn good on all fronts. This week was a tired week, as revealed by my going home and falling asleep on Wednesday, and then taking a (much shorter) nap on Thursday before work. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that I woke up at 9 AM on Thursday because of Wednesday's marathon sleep session, but I needed it and I gave it to myself. Today I'm feeling pretty good, jazzed about going to [personal profile] starfleet's show tonight and meeting [personal profile] nightmachinery.

That glorious green sparkly sweater I bought at the thrift shop over the weekend matches my flowered skirt; I think I've found a new favorite outfit. Incidentally I discovered that I look really good in green. Shallow, but still a plus, and clothes make me excited.

I am glorying in my knitting; I worked on [personal profile] crankyoldman's Beer Gloves on the train, and I'm almost done with the cuff. Magic loop technique is breathtakingly easy, it would be easier if the joins on my bamboo needle wasn't so fussy and I'm pretty sure it's a little faster than fussing with DPNs. I have a couple of projects in the queue, enough to keep me busy, and every single one has a new technique. (Magic loop! Stripes! ARGYLE!)

I wrote a surprise paper, because I thought the due date was next week, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. I gave myself permission to panic about the surprise paper, and then I didn't need to, which was totally awesome.

I'm feeling happy and satisfied and working hard without being overwhelmed, which is fantastic.

Stumbling blocks?

- End of semester panic. That looming fear that it'll soon be over and I need to find a job in this economy and I won't be able to, even though I have actual concrete plans about what to do. Focus on concrete plans! I can always temp, if it comes down to it. I am a star and there is a job waiting just for me if I'm ready for it.

- I'm irrationally worried that I'm going to get myself in over my head and disappoint someone. Acknowledge that this worry is irrational, think about new tasks before taking them on, don't be afraid to say no, and don't make promises.

- Irrational Yuletide fear that I won't like my assignment or won't be able to do it. I think that's related to stumbling block #2. Don't borrow trouble, I'm not going to worry about the assignment before I have it, and last year's terrified me but I did a fantastic job with it. So.

Goals! Last week and next week, here we go:

- I read one chapter for my end-of-semester paper, so basic goal met. +!This weekend I need to do my Women & Crime reading and the reflection, read Bighorse the Warrior and write a journal, and put together some thoughts on "The Man Who Plugged In" (which shouldn't be hard, since I wrote a paper on it!) so that I can facilitate the discussion for Women as Healers. Goal: Get all that done, read two chapters for end-of-semester paper. Bonus goal: Write the critical essay for English.

- I didn't hit my grad school goals. Goal for this week: hit that goal for last week.

- I added to the Seafoam Shawl and finished Ribbed Sock #1. ++! Goal: finish the Seafoam Shawl (again). Bonus goal: Finish Beer Glove #1.

- Bonus overall goal: find/create a Friday chicken icon!

Three goal points for this week! That's something to be excited about.

So that's my Friday chicken. How's yours?
ambersweet: Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush! (Go ahead! Panic!)
It’s Friday, so I’m at my internship, which is a non-profit organization that, among other things, contracts with the state government to perform certain tasks. The staff accountant sits next to me, so I overhear quite a lot. She’s really the go-to person to solve problems around here, particularly complicated ones, and I think in part it’s because she’s forceful enough to confront people when it needs to happen, and to point out (often energetically) when something IS a problem that needs to be addressed, yes, in fact, that’s totally wrong and get that taken care of right now. Women are socialized to not make waves, and in an office of mostly women, women in social services, people are willing to let things go even when they shouldn’t.

That’s sort of part of what I’m talking about, but it’s mostly context.

This morning there’s some sort of intradepartmental politics going on, and Accountant D. is at the center of it, identifying the problem, getting an explanation, explaining it to the unit manager (my BossBoss). I don’t know if that’s related to this thing that happened next, but I leave the room and come back about five minutes later, am working again, and Volunteer Coordinator B. comes in and asks D. if she’s okay. She says she’s called her doctor, and she’s going to call her right back. A few minutes later, D’s cell phone rings, and I assume it’s her doctor, because she grabs the phone and her keys and leaves the room. As she’s leaving, I hear her – clearly in tears or just out of them – say, “Oh, I’m – okay.”

OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Also, you’re on the phone with your DOCTOR, who really needs to know if you’re not okay, whether they’re a physical or mental health provider, especially if you called them about the problem you’re having right now.

So I really got to thinking about the culture of “okay,” where you’re expected to answer positively to any inquiry after your state of being, even if you’re not. Maybe especially if you’re not. You’re also supposed to answer on the neutral side of positive; it’s bad form somehow to respond, “FANTASTIC!” to “How are you?” even if you are. This is why I called this the culture of “okay” rather than the culture of “good.” “Good” is still a neutral-positive response; we all have our automatic returns to that query, but it baselines to about the same area. How are you? Oh, I’m good. I’m well. I’m okay. Not so bad. Could be better. Comme-ci, comme-ca. So-so. Operating within acceptable parameters. Whatever.

I realize that “How are you” is a kind of generic small talk, along the lines of, “Sure is hot, isn’t it?” – the kind of thing you the checker asks you at the grocery store. A service employee (probably) doesn’t care how you are; they’re just making small talk while you’re standing in front of them. A customer likes to feel like you care about them even if you don’t. Really, not only does the checker doesn’t care how you are, it’s really none of their business, so a neutral-positive response is okay to give. Actually I like to tell service employees that I’m doing great, because they usually smile. It’s nice to hear someone give a non-standard response to anything, really.

But when you’re talking to a friend, or someone whose job it is TO care for or about you, and you still give that neutral-positive response when the answer is ANYTHING else – in either direction – you’re doing a disservice to both of you.

I could talk about the semi-competitive nature of casual friendship, (especially among the female-socialized; there’s a reason the word “frenemy” has to exist and it isn’t a good one) where a super-positive response might trigger jealousy or anger on the part of the friend – but if you’re worried that someone is going to be upset because you’re doing well, or had a good thing happen to you, even if their life is NOT going well – then they’re not really a friend. Or maybe you need to work on your communication, or (and!) they need to work on their emotional responses. In the polyamory community, they call it “compersion,” the ability to find happiness in someone else’s happiness. I am happy for you. The fact that you are doing well makes me genuinely happier. I wish I were doing as well, but I can at least take pleasure in the fact that someone I have a caring relationship with is happy.

What I’m challenging you to do, and what I want to do as well, is increase the number of people in your life that you answer that question honestly with. Eventually create a circle of friends where emotional honesty is actually not only valued but expected.

More about what this means and what I want to accomplish. )

April 2013

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