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Jun. 28th, 2017 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] eavesdropper_feed

Comic 3



The bed is unmade; a guitar lies on the floor. Dave is evidently a fan of a band MITM, as there are posters for them up on the wall.
Eve bursts into the room.

EVE Dave, I know you...

Eve, observing that Dave is not present, tries calling his phone.

EVE ...call me. Please. I can't get into Kurosawa drive without the key. They're coming at twelve.


She goes into the kitchen. Her Dad is lying face-up in a bed set up next to the bench top, with a ventilator and tube entering nose, his eyes closed. There is a tray on the bedside table with a bottle of tablets, a bowl of porridge, and a glass of water.

EVE Love you, Dad. Back by lunchtime.


Tall balconies with washing and bikes and pot plants as the only greenery amongst the concrete and brick. The train line is visible over the back fence.
Eve leaves, talking on the phone.

EVE I'm heading off. If you get this message by, uh, nine o'clock, meet me there.

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[personal profile] siderea
Constant readers will recall that I wrote a three-part post titled, "Why You Can't Find A Therapist, No, Really". I posted Part 1 on Sept 1st and Part 2 and Part 3 on Sept 30th of last year.

The clinic I work for as a contractor recently paid me, for my last pay period, an amount of money that was four times my typical earnings. Admittedly, how much I actually get paid fluctuates pretty wildly, but I figured I would have noticed having either 4x in arrears or having seen 4x as many patients as usual. But I'm paid via direct deposit, and the corresponding statement saying what I was getting paid for is put in my mail box at the clinic, so I had to wait till I was back in the clinic – today – to pick it up and find up why I was getting all this money.

The statement mystified me when I got it. It was two whole pages of pairs of canceled previous payments and replacement payments and at first I couldn't make heads or tails of it, and then I realized that I was looking at a statement where almost all the patient sessions listed had happened in 2016.

As I mentioned, last month, for the first time in decades, we got a raise. A big raise. Not big enough to be adequate, but big enough to be astounding. It was, we thought, effective starting May 1.

No. Turns out the raise was retroactive. To – apparently – Oct 1, 2016...

...The day after I posted the final sections of "Why You Can't Find A Therapist, No, Really".

Rumor has it that the raise – more properly, the increase in rate paid by at least two of the Medicaid providers – happened because MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid) leaned on them to do so, to fix the emergent strike.


MassHealth? Are... are you there? Are you reading my journal?

If so, thank you! (If not, still thank you!)

I have a few other suggestions for things you could fix!

For instance: I'm currently doing an amazing job (or so my chart reviewer wrote) doing care coordination with a big medical team involving four clinics, three hospitals, and family all involved in the care for a patient with an emergent psychotic illness. I can do that because the patient has MBHP, and MBHP pays for case coordination if it's extramural. I'd like to point out that it's insane that if I have a 15 minute conversation about the diagnostic formulation for a challenging and high-risk case with an in-house psychiatrist, I don't get paid for it (and neither do they), but if I do the same thing with a psychiatrist at a different clinic, I do. How wack is it that I literally wouldn't be able to afford to spend the sort of time on this case that I did (and continue to!) if the patient hadn't coincidentally decided he didn't like my clinic's available psychiatrist and went and found himself another one through his PCP. Surely this can't be the incentive system you want me or the patient (or the psychiatrist) to be functioning under – one where patients are incented to get their psychiatric care from an entirely different facility from their therapist.

And thank goodness that he had MBHP, as pretty much an amazing fluke. No other MassHealth payers pay for care coordination at all. If this guy had been on NHP or Tufts/BMC when he came down with schizophrenia... I shudder to think. Do you realize how much I've been on the phone with MGH's ER and APS and social workers and psychiatrists at local mental hospitals in the last six months?

Don't you think there should be some sort of provision for what happens when someone presents with a psychotic disorder? Like, when a provider slams the big red "R/o Schizophrenia" button, the payer has to start paying for some case coordination? (I'd also recommend that for substance abuse cases, where patients can manipulate providers around meds; and in mandated reporter cases, where you should probably have payers pay therapists for their time filling in DCF/DPPC/DES or whatever.)

I have to think that the time demands of handling such a high-risk case are part of why some – maybe many – therapist are leary of working with psychotic or other high-risk patients. I've been there. I've twice spent four hours – half a work day – keeping a patient in crisis calm and coordinating with the BEST team and then the hospital, and never saw a dime for any of it. Who wants to bring a patient onto their caseload, for whom the total compensation divided across the total hours of work for that one patient come to less than minimum wage?

And I'm just talking about care coordination – I'm not even talking about CPT 90839 and 90840 which last I checked were still universally unfunded. Funding that would be way cool.

I have many other fine suggestions – I swear many of them even aren't just suggestions you pay me more money! I'm happy to talk more about reforms in mental health care.
[syndicated profile] daily_illuminator_feed
Munchkin Spell Skool Munchkin Spell Skool is riding a broom into Walgreens! It's available and selling fast, so make sure to check your local store soon, if you haven't. 

In the meantime, we've got some previews and behind-the-scenes intel! Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard shared his designer's notes, explaining the process of turning his wizarding ideas into a full-fledged set. He also co-stars in the Munchkin Spell Skool unboxing. Sneak a peek at some of our favorite cards, like the Rap Scallions and Fire Drill! If you're on the fence about the set, hopefully this will help you decide.

In case you missed it, we also interviewed artist Katie Cook about her artistic approach to this school of magic. 

Head to your local Walgreens and grab your copy of Munchkin Spell Skool today! Don't wait for a delivery duck; they are notoriously bad at directions. 

Hunter Shelburne

Warehouse 23 News: It's A Revolution!
The people have had it - a Revolution is coming! Bribe the Innkeeper, Blackmail the Priest, or even Threaten the Merchant to gain support and control territory. Order now on Warehouse 23!
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Employee’s boyfriend doesn’t want her to be contacted by our manager

I am the owner of a small business specializing in bridal hair and makeup services. My husband is a partial owner, and is a W2 employee. He is an assistant manager and covers shifts while our main manager is off. Part of his job as a manager is to contact our team members with important information. Recently, he contacted a team member to let her know of a staffing change that would affect her event the following day. He left a voicemail stating that he would send over additional information via email, and would follow up the next morning with the room number where she could find her client. This is part of a weekly routine, and all members of our team receive this information from him when he is the manager on duty.

Yesterday I received a text message from the boyfriend of that team member, sent from her cell phone, asking me to not have my husband (the assistant manager) contact the employee and that it is inappropriate. I then received a text message from the employee asking for the assistant manager’s personal cell phone number so she could ease her boyfriend’s mind and text him directly to tell him not to contact her. I have not responded. Finally, I received a text from our main manager, stating that the same employee requested the assistant manager’s cell phone number from her as well. She also did not respond.

What do I do? We are a mom and pop — we don’t have a huge staff, and my husband’s involvement in our business not only has never been an issue, but is imperative to the way that our business runs! This is not the first time we have had an issue with this employee’s boyfriend. I also received a very intense, borderline aggressive email from him last year when he felt she was working too much and not spending enough time with him. I know the relationship at home is abusive, and I know my boundaries in regards to communicating with her about that. I have never had to deal with a significant other becoming involved in our workplace before and I am concerned for my other employees and how he could escalate.

Ooof. Don’t engage with the boyfriend at all. Instead, ask to talk with the employee herself in person next time you’re both working at the same time. When you meet, say something like this: “Part of Fergus’s job as assistant manager is to communicate with staff members about scheduling changes and other business-related items. Is there some specific reason why you don’t want to hear from him?” You’re asking this so that she has a chance to tell you if there’s something you don’t realize about the situation. It sounds like her boyfriend just doesn’t want her being contacted by male coworkers, but who knows, maybe there’s something going on specific to your husband that you need to hear about. If she had a troubling encounter with him, you’d want to know that that’s what’s going on here.

But if it’s just that her boyfriend doesn’t want dudes texting her, then say this: “I can’t assign work tasks based on gender, and part of the assistant manager job is contact employees with work-related information. That’s not something we can change. If you’d rather that we contact you in some other way than texting you, we can probably do that. Just let me know if so. But I can’t take Fergus out of the loop entirely.”

You might also post information about domestic violence hotlines and shelters in places where people can see it privately, like it office bathrooms. And read this, and this excellent comment from the same person.

2. Can I refuse to go on a work trip because of my anxiety about traveling?

I’m due to go on a work-related trip to London soon. I’m already an anxious traveller (and in general – I take medication, but work doesn’t know about this), but the recent terrorist attacks – now three in three months – have left me terribly worried about going. I know that the chances of being caught up in anything are very low, but I really wish I could get out of the trip. To make things worse, I recently witnessed a suicide that happened in public. It wasn’t anyone I knew, and I just happened to be in the same place, but it was still very shocking and traumatic, so my anxiety is even worse than usual at the moment.

The trip was for me to meet members of our team that work in the London office and for some additional training in my role, although it would technically be possible for me to have that training in my home office. I’m reluctant to ask about not taking the trip in case it reflects badly on me, and I’d rather not bring up the anxiety issue as I’m worried they’ll think I’m being dishonest because I haven’t mentioned it before.

Am I being ridiculous and should I just get on with it as best as I can and hope the trip goes okay, or is this a legitimate concern/request? With anxiety, it’s so hard to know when I’m being unreasonable, so I tend to err on the side of thinking that I’m probably being overly dramatic, but I still can’t shake the worry. I’d really appreciate your thoughts.

I could tell you to go on the trip, but that’s not really going to help you … nor would it be all that reasonable of me to think I could make that calculation for you. I mean, yes, it will probably be fine! But with any kind of travel — with any kind of anything — there’s always a small amount of risk that it won’t be. Only you can decide what you’re comfortable with.

But I do think that you could say something to your boss, especially since it sounds like this trip isn’t essential. You could say, “I’m feeling really anxious about going to London right now and haven’t been able to talk myself out of that feeling. Would it be okay for me to do the training from here instead?”

If you decide that you’d like to mention that this is against a backdrop of you already struggling with travel anxiety, they’re not likely to think you’re lying just because you’ve never mentioned it before. You could explain that you’ve been able to manage it in the past, but this time is more of a challenge. (That said, if your job involves regular travel, it may be better not to mention the overall anxiety.)

3. Should I like/share articles from a company I am interviewing with?

I am wondering what the proper etiquette for sharing social media posts by a company you are hoping to work for. I recently finished my graduate degree, and a boutique consulting firm that I worked with on a project for one of my courses asked me to contact them after graduation, as they are looking to expand in the near future. We’ve met a few times in the past month and things seem to be going well, and their new program directly relates to my degree. But I also understand as well as things are going, there’s no guarantee I will get a job offer.

Every few days they post an article written by one of their consultants. Some of them I really like and if it were any other company, I would like and share the article. I am hesitant to do this though, as I don’t want to come off as pushy or that I am expecting them to offer me a job. They are a small firm and don’t have a lot of followers, so it would be noticed if I started sharing these articles. Am I right to hold off or would it be acceptable to like/share one or two articles I find particularly great?

That’s fine! If you’re liking/sharing their stuff every day, that would feel like overkill in a small firm where they’d notice it, but liking or sharing a few articles isn’t going to seem like you’re sucking up. It’s just going to seem like you came across some stuff that you genuinely liked and wanted to share.

4. How can I follow up on a networking opportunity that I missed when life intervened?

I was recently connected with someone senior to me in an area of my profession that I may be interested in entering in the next few years (I’m currently in a job with a set time period — like a fellowship). I was connected to this person through my father-in-law and one of his friends, who is a professional colleague of this person. I have experience related to this area of our profession and the right kind of educational background but not the kind of experience that people who work in this area tend to have. When we spoke about six months ago over email, we had talked about setting up a (real, non-BS) informational interview at some point on one of the February federal holidays.

At the end of January/beginning of February, I got pregnant and had some complications (one-day ER visit) and then was hugely ill from morning sickness (read: all-damn-day sickness) for several months and am just starting to emerge from the fog. Sometime in late spring, I remembered that I had let this ball drop. Now, though, I’m insanely swamped at my current job and honestly don’t have the time to take off for an information interview even if this person were still willing to do one before I have the baby. I’d really like not to just write this one off — I’m not great at networking and I appreciate the time people have already put into connecting us. What is the most gracious way to reach out and say hey, life happened to me big-time, can we just reschedule this for the same time next year instead?

This stuff happens. It’s fine to email and say something like this: “I want to apologize for not reaching out earlier. We’d spoken back in December and had talked about setting up an informational interview for February. I was so grateful that you offered that, and am a bit mortified that I didn’t then follow up with you closer to that time. I’ve had some complications from pregnancy that intervened with most of my plans for the last few months, but I’d still love to take advantage of your generous offer if you’re still open to it. Could I reach back out to you early next year (when my life should be more predictable and plans more reliable) and see if you’re open to rescheduling at that point? I really appreciate your initial willingness to talk with me, either way.”

5. How do you interview for a job you aren’t passionate about?

Many cover letter, resume, and interview columns concentrate on how an applicant is great for the job, how their experience has prepared them for it, and how excited they are to work with a company in that field.

How do you suggest adapting this advice when the primary motivation for job searching is, “I would like to make more money,” or something equally not-job-centered? Is there a way to honestly communicate to hiring committees that you think you’ll be good at a job without implying that you live and breathe retail, insurance, or entry-level clerk positions?

You don’t need to imply that you live and breathe whatever the industry is. You just need to explain why you’d be really great at doing it. Those are two different things. You can excel at a particular job without having passion for the specific field (although it helps to have passion for doing a good job, but again, that’s a different thing).

In fact, a cover letter that focused primarily on your excitement about the job or field wouldn’t be a very effective cover letter. The majority of your cover letter and interview focus should be about why your skills, experience, and track record indicate you’d be awesome at doing the work of the job.

Some types of nonprofit work can be an exception to this, where you’re expected to have a personal commitment to whatever their mission is. But even then, good nonprofits are hiring for skills and performance (commitment to their mission may be necessary but wouldn’t be your primary qualification).

employee’s boyfriend says our manager can’t contact her, anxiety about work travel, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Fig and Ibid on their current home

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:31 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Fig thinks everything is the best thing ever, especially the completely adorable orange cat. Who would like the stranger to stop gazing affectionately at him.

Ibid, on the other hand, won't come out from behind the toilet.

Hummers and Potters

Jun. 27th, 2017 06:55 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Why is it (she grumped) that one can be standing at the sink washing dishes and look out to see all kinds of hummers being enchanting around the feeder, and occasionally the yellow and black bird stoking up, but as SOON as one races upstairs for the cell phone cam, they all vanish for hours?

Other than that, it's hot, but that's to be expected. At least the punishing sun is on its slide toward darker earlier, thank goodness.

Hither and yon I've seen "Harry Potter twenty years!" posts but I don't really read more than a paragraph. I read and enjoyed each book, skimming larger and larger sections as each book got more bloated; they never quite inspired a second read, though I could see that had I read them as a kid I would have loved them to bits, and I probably would have struggled with magic wand 'logic' over my own magic delivery system, had I read them early enough.

More interesting to me than the books has been their phenomenal influence on the field--finally YA became an accepted subgenre, and is now a market power house. Before Potter, many of us who said we wrote for kids were asked variations on, "And when will you write a real book?" Many of us had already written about magic schools--had read about them. But of course in those days the received wisdom was that no kid would read a book over 60 k words (though we all did), and the kids had to stay emotionally about twelve.

But this series was the one that caught the imagination of a generation.

It's interesting to see the Potter influence in the writers who grew up on the stories. Literature is always in conversation with itself, and tracing influence is fun when you read back far enough. It's especially interesting seeing the mix of film and story with Potter: in the books, Malfoy, for example, is one dimensional, always rotten except for a line or so in a late book, but the films gave him a beautiful face, and as a consequence there are so many angsty-but-beautiful bad boys with pale blond hair in YA stories written by the Potter generation. As I recall, Malfoy didn't have any angst in the books. He was just a snot. But the best of the fanfic writers gave him tons of angst as he pined for Harry, and at last seduced him--and the fanfic has been a strong influence as it developed many of these writers.

I think there is a terrific PhD thesis in this. (If it isn't already being written.)

Info Dumplings

Jun. 28th, 2017 01:14 am
[syndicated profile] walterjonwilliams_feed

Posted by wjw

Collected by Nancy Kress, here are a series of quotes from last week’s critiques here at Taos Toolbox.

* “I like the info dumplings.”
* “I don’t think she could take apart the time machine with a hairpin.”
* “The hard-working proletarian hero saves the day over the upper-class creep–what more do you want?”
* “I don’t want to be near anybody who chirps.”
* “I don’t think a slithery would twirl.”
* “The press-conference scene buried the lede — ‘We just created a friggin’ unicorn!””
* “This is a bunch of good writing in search of a story arc.”
* “You”ve done a really good job of being dark and depressing>”
* “why did the king send this not_very_bright guy to do something that needs a lot of skill?”
* “This is a tragedy of errors”

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Oh god I didn't know it was possible to be this wet without actually wading into a body of water.

How to "Riff" on an Idea

Jun. 28th, 2017 01:00 am
[syndicated profile] basicinstructions_feed

Posted by Scott Meyer

I don’t know when comedians started using the word “riff.” I’m certain that it stems from some stand-up comics’ delusional wish to be seen as the jazz musicians of comedy. Just like some other stand-up comics claim to be the fighter pilots of comedy.

Those are both things I had more than one comedian say to me over the course of my comedy career.

Whenever somebody tells you they’re the “something much cooler” of “whatever it is that they actually are,” it’s indicative of a serious self-esteem problem. Take it from someone who grew up near Yakima, the town that calls itself “The Palm Springs of Washington.”

Hey, by the way, my latest book, Run Program, is out now! It's a book about a rogue AI that has the intelligence of a child. You might think that would make the AI less dangerous, but you'd be wrong. Anyway, I'm quite proud of it. Please check it out, if you have a chance.

As always, thanks for using my Amazon Affiliate links (USUKCanada).

[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Hey Cap!

Okay so this is going to be a little complex, but  I hope that you could maybe provide some insight on the situation. 

I met a guy online (a long-distance situation) and we’ve been in contact almost daily for a year and a half now. We’ve gotten to know each other and it turns out that we’re on the same wavelength and get along so well. In the past I had asked him if he had a girlfriend because I didn’t want to get in the middle of anything (we have “intimate” moments), and he said no and that he used to but that he wasn’t happy. But just recently, he messaged me that he had finally broken up with his girlfriend! So my questions are actually:

1. Initially I felt hurt that he lied, but approaching the situation calmly,  it’s difficult not to comfort him, I mean we ARE friends and we do feel a little more than what friendship feels like. When he told me I politely thanked him for telling me and asked if he wanted to talk about it. 

When he opened up a little about it, he said that he thought that it would make him feel better, but after doing it, he felt sad. But he also kept telling me that it had been a long time coming, and that he had been wanting to do it for so long. I’ve never had happy breakups even when I was the one to break it, so I told him that sadness for a while is normal, and that if he had wanted to do it for so long then, there’s a fundamental basis for it that’s obviously important. So now, how do I actually comfort him?

2. I’m confused about the situation. At times he tells me that I make him smile, that he wants to be with me, and I believe because if I didn’t, then we would’ve stopped talking ages ago. The connection and attraction that we have are both pretty strong, and I actually want him and want it to work, and I have plans to see him in a few months. I don’t know what to make of it – him telling me that he’s now free, how he initially feels about it, and so on. So Cap’n, can you please help me make sense of it? Thank you Cap’n!


You asked for my take on “a complex situation” (from your email subject line).

Whatever this guy is to you and however you feel about each other, he lied to you about having a girlfriend all this time. And it’s not like he never mentioned it and you never asked. You asked him directly because you were not comfortable doing “intimate stuff” if he was involved with someone else, and he said no. And then you talked almost every day for a year and a half. He didn’t “forget” that he had a girlfriend or “forget” to mention her.

It’s also highly possible/probable that he lied to his girlfriend about having an “intimate” friend who he had attraction and “almost daily” contact with. Like, maybe they had some kind of agreement or open relationship and everything was cool, but since he’s describing himself as now being “free,” I think it was…not cool?

You’re asking how to comfort him and he seems to want you to comfort him. Okay? Who’s comforting you about the confusingness of being lied to all this time? What is he doing to make you feel better about being hurt?

For a while in my life I was the queen of the long-distance sextual relationship. I’m really good at longing and storytelling and someday, and because the Internet is magic I kept finding people who were also good at those things and together we’d spin some tales and build up all this anticipation and then we’d finally meet in person and…


…one by one…

  • …”I’m single. Well, actually I’m divorced. ‘Separated’ is more like it. Well, we will be separated soon, just, not yet. It’s just not the right time.” (These people are definitely still married to each other).
  • …Told me he was 45, was really 55.
  • …Was at least 15 years older than any photo he’d posted on line or showed me.
  • …He was not all that into me once we met in person.
  • …I was not all that into him once we met in person.
  • …Good on the phone, selfish and annoying in bed.
  • …Bad with consent and careless about safe sex.
  • …Or, sexually AWESOME, bad with everything else.
  • …I was but one of the sympathetic and imaginative ladies in his harem of long-distance ladies.
  • …Or, I was now “his only friend” and/or “only reason to live.”
  • …In one case the “harem of ladies” AND “you’re my only real friend” situation were both true? (Ugh.)
  • “She’s just my roommate, I swear.” (She was his girlfriend.)(Who was working her ass off to support him through a crisis.)
  • …Showed up to my city for a visit with no money and expected to move in with me…the first time we met. (NOPE!)
  • Hey come to my son’s birthday party I want you to finally meet my friends and my mom and my son…bring your video camera and take some home movies for me…oh, also, I will treat you like the hired videographer and my mom will treat you like the caterer/party planner because my real actual girlfriend who I’ve never mentioned is also here and nobody knows about you.” (TRUE STORY, Y’ALL)(I ACTUALLY PUT ON A CLEAN SHIRT AND WENT TO THIS DUMPSTER FIRE OF A “PARTY” AND TOOK VIDEO AND PUT SNACKS ON PLATTERS AND SMILED)

Me, Aged 24-33 = A MESS. A mess with a big phone bill who sent novels worth of sexy and attentive instant messages and emails to verbal, imaginative, interesting men in far-off cities.

These Gentlemen of Mystery I got tangled up with often had a lot to recommend them at the beginning. We had great chemistry, they made me feel important and sexy in a way I hadn’t before, they allowed me to spin out a fantasy life over time and distance and distract me from the mundane day-to-day, there was an inherent drama in traveling to meet them or them traveling to meet me, I got a lot of excitement out of each ping saying I had a new email or text message or IM and those methods of communication were fertile ground for a charismatic and wordy person like myself. Long distance romance spins out in words and you can collect those words and re-read them and go live inside the story you’re making and have actual evidence of the other person’s thoughts and feelings and fill in the spaces in those lovely, lovely blanks. Plus, I got to say “I have a boyfriend” without having to deal with the reality of an actual boyfriend up in my space and business all the time. I liked the version of myself I could create with these men.I liked being In Love. I liked practicing being In Love…from a safe distance.

Long distance relationships are real relationships, relationships that start online and grow over time are real relationships, and they can work – My Facebook wall is covered with too many cute pictures of the offspring that resulted from cross-country flights and leaps of faith and love to ever say that they can’t.

That said, if you’re planning a long-term future with someone, proximity eventually matters. Seeing a person’s living space, seeing how your intended love interacts with the people around them, seeing them in their milieu and day-to-day life, having the evidence of your own eyes and ears and other senses to guide you about whether this person is good for you, whether they are compatible with you, whether the picture they presented to you is congruent to the picture you observe, learning how you are together when it’s not just the adrenaline rush of a quick few days or some texts between classes or those late night phone calls…it’s important. It’s part of this and you can’t skip past it to happily ever after. You have to reckon with boring real everyday life.

Besides meeting online from a distance, the men I met during that period of my life all had two very important things in common:

1) They all *lied to me* about something really important early on in the relationship.

2) Being long-distance made the lie harder to spot. This meant that it took longer for the truth to come out, during which time I became very invested in the relationship and it was much harder to leave than if I had known what was up right away.

In all cases, I found out about the lie and I chose to believe the explanations and justifications they threw at me, usually some version of “I didn’t want to hurt you,” “I knew you would hate me when you found out and things were going so well between us that I was afraid to ruin it,” or “I lied initially when we first met because I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with you, and then it was never a good time to undo the damage.

In 100% of these cases, I would choose to “be the bigger person,” look past the red flags, demonstrate how empathetic and chill and forgiving I could be, and, 100% of the time, a situation that was about *a lie they told me* would turn into *me reassuring and “comforting” them.* For how they hadn’t meant to hurt me.

Because RealLoveTakesWorkAndCompromiseYaKnow.

The Mediocre Dude With 1,000 Faces:I understand if you hate me now” or “You probably hate me now.

Past Me:I could never hate you!

Current Me: “Pssssttt hey you don’t have to hate him to know that you deserve better than this. You could say ‘I don’t hate you but I don’t think this is going to work out, sorry, bye‘ and hang up the phone now.” 

Mediocre Max (Mike/Milton/Marvin/Martin/Merle/Matt/Mitt/Melvin/Merv/Mark/Mario/Mason)(Marco/Micah/Maxwell/Miguel/Malik/Miles/Marshall/Murph/Malcolm): “It’s just that I have a bad history with [ENTIRE SAD LIFE STORY] and I don’t really know how to [TREAT YOU/WOMEN WELL] because of [REASONS THAT ARE COMPLETELY NOT MY FAULT] + [CODED WORDS THAT INDICATE YOU SHOULD HAVE EXTREMELY LOW EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT I CAN DO BETTER IN THE FUTURE] + [WORDS THAT INDICATE THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE HAVING SEX, WHATEVER HAPPENS].

Past Me: “It’s okay! I forgive you! I know you love me and we can make it work.” (i.e. My emotional labor can solve anything!)

Current Me: “He said a lot of words but none of them were actually an apology. Huh. That’s interesting. What if you told him, ‘I don’t want to make you feel worse right now, but I also don’t want to keep talking about this. I wish you all good things, but I just can’t be with someone who doesn’t tell me the truth. Let’s end this now before we both get more entangled and hurt?‘”

My dear Letter Writer, forgive me, probably 50% of this blog is me trying to yell through time to my past self – “Run away! He’s not worth it! You deserve better!” Let’s bring it back to you.

Your dude isn’t necessarily like the dudes I met and your experiences won’t necessarily be just like mine. People fuck up and make mistakes, not every relationship ends or begins cleanly, and maybe this friend you have is genuinely sorry for lying to you about his romantic situation for so long while you were doing whatever intimate & sexy stuff you had going on. You want this to happen and I want to be optimistic for you and give everyone the benefit of the doubt here. So what I have are questions:

  • Has he told you he’s sorry?
  • Has he used words like “I’m sorry I lied to you about that, I shouldn’t have done that, that wasn’t okay, I understand why you’d be upset” without trying to self-justify or make you feel sorry for him or comfort him?
  • Have you said (or do you feel like you’re able to say): “Hey, sorry you’re hurting, but can we talk for a second about how I had no idea you had this girlfriend until just now? That’s messed up and it doesn’t make me feel good.
  • Does he try to “rules-lawyer” his way out of a difficult conversation, like, “We weren’t technically together when that happened, so it doesn’t really count as a lie”?
  • Is there a vibe where you’re like “Ok technically he has a point, so why do I still feel so crappy?
  • Which is more important – you feeling good, safe, able to trust – or him winning the point?
  • What does he do for you?
  • What has he done for you lately?
  • Do you trust him to tell you the truth from now on?
  • What would happen if you took a couple of weeks off from talking with him so much?
  • Another version of the above question: What’s That Thing in your current, day-to-day life that you’re ignoring or avoiding or putting off while you dream about Someday, When You’re Together?
  • Could you work a little more on That Thing and a little less on This Sexy And Complicated Dude at least for the time being?

You don’t have to dump him as a sacrifice to my younger self, but you also don’t have to comfort him through any of this. You don’t have to overlook the hurt you’re feeling in the name of being a good friend right now. If he’s good for you, and a good friend to you, maybe let him do the work of showing you that goodness before you invest more of yourself in his comfort?



My Denver Comic Con Schedule

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:09 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Hey! I’m going to Denver Comic Con this weekend! I’ll be on panels and signing books! Here is my schedule!


Laughter in the Face of Disaster (Friday 6/30 11AM Room 407),

Military Scifi an Institution (Friday 6/30 3PM DCCP4 – Keystone City Room),

Fight the Power! Fiction for Political Change (Friday 6/30 4:30PM Room 402),

The Writing Process of Best Sellers (Saturday 7/1 12PM Room 407),

The Hardness Scale – Is Fiction Better Squishy or Solid? (Saturday 7/1 3PM Room 407),

Economics, Value and Motivating Your Character (Sunday 7/2 11AM Room 407).


Friday 6/30 from 1PM-2:50PM at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2,

Saturday 7/1 from  10:30AM-11:50PM at the Tattered Cover Signing Booth,

Sunday 7/2 from 2PM-4PM at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2.

Come see me!

Also, thanks to Sisters in Geek, who collected up this information in this article on my and other authors’ schedules, so I didn’t have to. You’re the best, Sisters in Geek!

How to make famous movie cocktails

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:49 pm
[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke

Oliver Babish makes videos showing how to prepare dishes from movies and TV shows…like the carbonara from Master of None, the strudel from Inglourious Basterds, and Pulp Fiction’s Big Kahuna Burger. For this installment, Babish makes a number of notable cocktails from movies, including the White Russian from The Big Lebowski, the French 75 from Casablanca, and James Bond’s Vesper Martini.

Maybe I was a little tired this morning when I watched this, but the joke at 1:30 caught me off guard and I laughed like an idiot.

Tags: cocktails   food   how to   Oliver Babish   video

Bundle of Holding: Mutant Chronicles

Jun. 27th, 2017 04:55 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Freelancer! From the distant future the Factions bring you our Mutant Chronicles Bundle featuring the 2015 Third Edition of Mutant Chronicles, the dieselpunk techno-fantasy RPG of future darkness from Modiphius Entertainment. With its fast-playing, cinematic "2d20" system designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire), Mutant Chronicles 3E is a thrill ride across a Solar System beset by megacorporate intrigue and the invasion of a terrible alien force.

Super NES Classic

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:37 pm
[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke

SNES Classic

Last year, Nintendo came out with a mini version of their original NES console with 30 pre-installed games. This year, they hoping to repeat that device’s wild popularity with the Super NES Classic. List price is $79.99. The SNES Classic comes with two controllers and 21 games built-in, including Super Mario Kart, F-ZERO, Super Mario World, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. US pre-order information isn’t available yet (relevant Amazon page), but I’ll update this post when it is.

Tags: Nintendo   video games

New Books and ARCs, 6/27/17

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:35 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

We interrupt this Tuesday afternoon to bring this fresh stack of new books and ARCs that have arrived at the Scalzi Compound. What here is a book you would like in your possession? Tell us in the comments!


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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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