Metapost: Still Here

I would like to announce that I am definitely still alive and I do apologize for not participating in the threads more, but -- on a truly selfish note -- I am LOVING all your wonderful comments as they are delivered directly to my phone. I cannot count the number of times I've whipped out my phone whilst riding in the car with Husband this week and snickered mischievously, laughed uproariously, or fist-pumped approvingly. You are all so beyond awesome and well into plupleniawesome. Thank you.

Here are some Life Updates for people who are interested:

  1. I have had a bluetooth headset permanently stuck to my ear all week long. 
  2. House is in the process of being repaired by roofers and A/C people. All of whom are awesome.
  3. We spent all last weekend looking at apartments and houses and found a house we loved...
  4. ...but it went to another buyer after we bid, which broke my heart. That made me sad.
  5. We're spending all this weekend looking at houses. We really like the pictures of one in particular.
  6. My boss is being very awesome about all this moving and medical stuff. Yay for nice bosses. 
  7. ABNA judging starts tomorrow. *revs internal engine*
  8. I haven't written it yet, but I'm pretty sure this weekend's Twilight is going to rock. Why? Jacob.
  9.  This is to announce that there will be a special announcement this Sunday evening.
  10. (If surprises make you uncomfortable, #9 is a reference to my novel.)

And, I guess... One more announcement. Several weeks ago I wrote a post and scheduled it for this Thursday's deconstruction. I've nearly deleted it three times now, because I'm not even sure I agree with what I wrote -- it's a subject on which I have... a lot of mixed feelings and ambivalence. (If surprises make you uncomfortable, the post is about removing triggering language from public domain mandatory school books and/or for personal consumption.)

But! The site wouldn't be called "ramblings" if I only posted things I was sure I agreed with and not just random thoughts that cross my mind while I'm in the shower and then subsequently refuse to leave my head until I share them with the internets. So what I'm trying to say is that I'm hoping in advance that I don't offend anyone tomorrow, I don't expect anyone to agree with me (I'm not sure I agree with myself), and if I don't respond immediately to comments it's not because I don't sincerely care -- it's because I'm chained to my bluetooth headset talking non-stop to realtors, lenders, mortgage people, roofers, A/C technicians, and insurance adjusters.

OPEN THREAD BELOW! (And people may spoil the white text above for comments.)


Yamikuronue said...

I've been struggling with that lately: should I say how I feel about something if it's possible it'll start a fight? I've been deleting paragraphs here and there again, and occasionally rejecting a proposed post idea altogether, which is probably bad but I don't know really how to juggle that.

Michael Mock said...

It's kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one who's too insanely busy to write. Hope everything falls into place.

Ana Mardoll said...

Oh, good, it's not just me. And even announcements like this, I always worry that someone is legitimately thinking "If you knew this was potentially offensive, why did you post it?" I have no answer for that except that I do the best I can to write out my thoughts the only way I know how and I hope that my content warnings and I-statements will minimize the chance of hurting/triggering/offending anyone. *frets*

Will Wildman said...

I am looking forward to both of the spoilered posts, Ana! I haven't been residence-browsing in almost two years now, but I recall it being a certain amount of fun, so hopefully that will be good too.

Myself, I'm currently have an enormopost on random gender-related stuff, sitting finished in the indefinite queue, because I feel like it's probably too basic and boring to be of particular value to anyone. On the other hand, I rarely look at any of my other posts and think 'Can I be 100% CERTAIN that reading this will drastically enrich people's lives?!' so I should probably just hit the 'publish' button and get it over with.

Laiima said...

I think your post, Ana, has been wonderful for the diverse range of responses it has inspired. I've learned a lot of interesting things about a topic I wouldn't have initially thought I had much interest in, since I've only read 1 or 2 fanfics, and have never written any. I commend your courage in publishing such a hotly-debated topic on that board.

Perhaps it's synchronicity that just this morning I started reading a book from the library - "The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It" by Valerie Young, Ed.D. So far it seems really good.

There is probably no sentiment that would not be offensive to *somebody*. Does that mean that none of us should talk or write, because a hypothetical someone somewhere is (probably) going to be pissed? *I* don't think so, but obviously, ymmv.

Note: I am not advocating deliberately trying to hurt people, nor to (metaphorically) poke people with a stick when you know where their vulnerabilities are. I have personally only done the second thing twice in my life, and I continue to feel horrible about them both, years and years later.

BUT, for me personally, I have life experiences that I *can't know* if anyone shares with me if I can't talk/write about them. I'm neurodiverse, so I can't take for granted that stuff that seems 'normal' to me is in fact 'normal' to other people; or stuff that seems 'wrong' or 'unpleasant' or 'can't we change this?' strikes other people the same way. I find out these things by talking with (or writing to) people who will respectfully engage with me. There's gonna be conflict and disagreement when worldviews collide. But my aim is always that we each learn something, our horizons widen, and/or the world seems more colorful, or more hopeful.

I think your Slacktiverse post, and the posts I've read here (I haven't read them all) are intriguing, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Please keep writing!

Amaryllis said...

I have had a bluetooth headset permanently stuck to my ear all week long.
That sounds painful; isn't there a treatment for that?

Seriously, it sounds like you're entirely busy enough without worrying about us-- so don't worry!

* white post number 1 *
Oooh. Ooooh! Ooooh....

* white post number 2 *
Um, well, I was one of the people who disagreed somewhat with your Other Post (mixed feelings. blah blah blah) and I have a sinking feeling that I might disagree with this one too. But, eh, it was a good discussion, and I'm sure this one will be too. And we all know that feeling: do I even agree with myself? (At least, I do, I've known people who always seem to agree with themselves, I don't know how they do it.)

Ana Mardoll said...

*smiles* I think a good discussion is vastly more important than agreement. There are many good discussions in my past that profoundly shaped my way of thinking. I can think of very few opinions in my past that I still adhere to in precisely the same ways, if at all. :)

Ana Mardoll said...

Also, if anyone has any Open Thread ideas, suggestions, wants, needs, hopes, please share them because I am out of ideas. :D

chris the cynic said...

Honestly the discussion at the slackitverse has left me with no energy at all. After promising myself I wouldn't waste my day today like I did yesterday obsessively writing, deleting, and rewriting a single post, I did just that. Then I went to post and there's no post. At this point I don't even care. If the aether took it, let the aether have it. If the spamtrap took it, let the spamtrap have it.

At this point I feel like no good can come of me being in the conversation and I should have stayed out of it in the first place.

That said, I liked that you brought up Dante and Greek myth in the original post and it just occurred to me that even though I've liked it from when I first read it, I never came out and said that.


As for open threads ... um? Pie? Pi? Pi Pie? I've got no ideas. My brain shut down an hour ago.

Good luck house hunting, but be careful. I hear they're vicious when cornered.

Ana Mardoll said...

All the hugs. I always find your classical posts fascinating -- you remind me of my favorite history professor with the way you make it all sound so alive.

The trick, as far as I can see, is to lay down a nice yummy coat of pink insulation and then net the house when they come to feed.

Ana Mardoll said...

General Note: I have apologized in-thread at Slacktivist, and would like to do so again here:

As the OP, I want to express regret that this has been a place of stressful discussion for many. I honestly did not expect anything more than a "light" discussion, possibly with a good deal of swapping histories and recommendations. I am very sorry that something I have written was the starting point for a discussion that has harmed people I respect and care about. (I'm also sorry that I haven't participated more, but it's been very busy in my Real Life this month. I do apologize.)

Having said that, I would also like to ask that we not cross-post between this thread and that one. As is my usual custom, I will reblog the Slacktivist post in a month or so, and if anyone wants to re-participate there, we can talk about it again all over, but for now I believe the conversation should stay in the Slacktivist thread. Thank you. :)

(I actually didn't mean this thread to reference that one at all! Not sure how that happened. Sorry about that, all.)

Ana Mardoll said...

And to keep the metapost on topic, I will now suggest that everyone talk about their favorite potato dish. Mine is mashed potatoes, but the potatoes must be boiled in beef broth (preferably broth that has had a roast slow cooking in it all day) for maximum flavor. You all?

chris the cynic said...

I had the most wonderful potato soup imaginable in the Lakes of the Clouds hut on Mt. Washington (what I think was) the first time I climbed it. (I'm a day hiker, by the way, so I've never stayed in one of the huts, but when we we went in as we passed by and there was soup for sale.)

Usually I have my potatoes mashed.

Ana Mardoll said...

I would love a good potato soup! I never seem to find one that tastes "right" to me. 'Course, part of the problem is probably that most of what I try is canned or dried.

Laiima said...

can I nominate sweet potato fries with sour cream? I first tasted them at a business lunch in DC a few years ago, and wondered how I'd never run across them before, because OMG Delicious!!

(I also like 'regular' potatoes, especially mashed or baked.)

robotxorange said...

I'm a long time reader, but I very rarely comment, mostly because I rarely feel like any of the things I have to say would be that interesting to other people. >.>

However, I always enjoy your posts, and have loved branching out into all the little nooks and crannies of the Slacktiverse, especially for the posts that get under my skin. The comment sections are just as much fun as the original posts, and I'm always on the lookout for the updates, even if I end up clicking the refresh button maniacally Saturday mornings waiting for the new Twilight post. Those posts especially get me riled up, since gender/sex issues and abuse push my buttons in a way most issues can't even come close to. But we don't experience any growth as readers, as thinkers, or as people if we aren't occasionally, and preferably frequently, confronted with information and viewpoints that makes us uncomfortable and that are in conflict with our own. Not being willing to engage in healthy discussion on sensitive subjects is the worst kind of stagnation.

And as far as potatoes go, I love them fried. As fries, as tots, or as hash browns, doesn't matter. I really need texture in my food to be happy, so I need a good crunch. ...and now I'm craving fries.

hapax said...

Your post *was* in the spamtrap, chris, buried within three hundred (I do not exaggerate) solicitations for child porn and tote bags.

I think we have been talking past each other A LOT on that thread (not just you and I, but pretty much everybody), and conflating a lot of "this is what is", "this is what SHOULD be", and "this is good / bad / illegal/ immoral", etc.

FWIW. although I am a bit irritated at a few people on that thread, neither you nor Ana nor anyone else here is one of them, and I *do* very much appreciate good discussion on a contentious topic.

hapax said...

Sorry, Ana, didn't see this before I replied to chris

hapax said...

I love sweet potatoes in practically any dish (except those with the little marshmallows, because ewww), but not so fond of the regular kind.

Sliced and fried in butter or bacon with plenty of onions and garlic isn't bad, though.

Ana Mardoll said...

@Hapax, no worries!


Loquat said...

I once made a sweet potato + butternut squash soup for thanksgiving. It was tasty.

Also easy - just cook the squash and sweet potato with spices you like in chicken or vegetable broth until done, then puree.

chris the cynic said...

three hundred (I do not exaggerate)

That's a lot.

If I include the spam, Stealing Commas has 252 comments total.

So I second Ana's:

depizan said...

Oh god I posted fanfic.

Loquat said...

*Casts a rez*

depizan said...

Thank you. :)

JonathanPelikan said...

Most of the time, I end up never going over to check out the Slacktiverse except for acting on a specific reference. The reason? Same reason I often avoid completely feminist blogs; not because I disagree with them about most things, in fact, it's just the opposite. Makes me confront very, very tough subjects, and specifically shows me how inundated I am in the problems in our world and in our society.

For a person who tends towards absolutism and black-and-white, this is distressing. Nobody enjoys having proof shoved in their face that they are at least complicit in bad business. It's unpleasant and ugly and so I end up with an unfair negative reaction to it. So I avoid it.

I spend more time and mental energy than I should on political matters already, and that's stressful enough. At the end of the day, though, I can say whatever i want, feel whatever I want, but my ability to affect politics in my country is generally limited. I'm going to vote for Democrats, the more liberal the better, and I contribute what i can to causes, both campaigns as well as things like the UN World Food Programme. I talk with people and try to convert them to the Light. And, well, that's about it. There's a point where I just learn to say 'frak it, my vote's in the right place, I do this, and that, etc, so just frak it. I'm done.'

I get that way with feminist issues, too. I vote the right way, I try to change my writing and thinking in a positive manner when I realize there's problems... so, what? I'm still Privileged and Guilty and Complicit and frak it all.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here, really. I hope any of this makes sense.

hapax said...

@JonathanPelikan -- Yeah, I'm still privileged and Guilty and Complicit, and I get tired too. I mean, what can I possibly accomplish? (Where I live, my vote's gonna be swamped by TeaPartiers anyhow).

But ... well I do Lent. Yesterday I recited the Litany of Penitence, the same one I've recited every February for decades, and I still tick off every line: "yep, that's me. Yeah, I do that one. That one, too." Etc.

So what's the point? Well...

The point is that today , I managed not to call anybody "dumb" or "crazy" when I meant that they were WRONG.

Today, just today, I bought my lunch at the higher priced organic deli rather than Wal-Mart.

Today, just today, I paid for the copies I made for personal use at work (although I'm still on the Internet when I could be reading reviews)

Today, just today, I stopped my son when he made a mildly sexist joke and said, "You know, that's really not funny" (do you know how hard it is for a Mom to see his face fall like that?)

Today, just today, I listened to a co-worker rave about Rick Santorum, and managed not to get angry. Instead, I nodded and said "I can see the appeal of that. But do you think that human law is the best way to protect these principles?"

Did it make a "real difference" in the long run? Probably not. But TODAY, maybe it did.

Will Wildman said...

Hasselback potatoes are basically magic. They're time-intensive, because you have to finely slice each potato 80% of the way through, crosswise, again and again from one end to the other, then lightly fry, then bake for ages. But they end up as these crispy melty soul-fortifying things.

I am deeply in favour of mashed as well, but rarely get excited about baked.

And, of course, french fries are a horrendous weakness for me, particularly when there are also sufficiently interesting things to dip them in (ketchup is classic, but honey mustard or a nice curry sauce...)

Timothy (TRiG) said...

My mother did Hasselback potatoes once, and I fell in love with them, and later, if I was around when she was doing baked potatoes, I'd insist on making sure they were Hasselback instead. The trick, I found, was to put a wire cooling tray upside down on the chopping board beside the potato. You can then cut through the potato as far as the tray.

I'm not a fan of mashed. They're boring.


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