Help Me Go Bagless

Oct. 24th, 2017 06:13 am
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Posted by poxandplague

I would like to stop carrying a handbag or backpack everywhere I go. I have successfully downsized to a smaller handbag but would like to get rid of that as well. I need some tips, tricks and clothing recommendations...

In my current handbag I normally carry my phone (just purchased an iPhone 8 plus) with a wallet case, keys, tissues, earphones, asthma inhaler, small amount of painkillers/ tampons/ contact lenses etc, small wallet with extra cards (mostly loyalty cards), a transport card, sunglasses and a coin purse.

I imagine that I could get everything except the phone, inhaler and sunglasses into the coin purse to reduce the amount of separate stuff. The coin purse itself is about as big an iPhone.

If you go bagless what sort of clothing do you find works for you and how much do you carry? I'm female so the majority of my clothing does not have pockets. It seems to be easier in the winter because you can wear a jacket with pockets but what about summer? Are the infinity scarves with pockets useful?

I'm also really interested in any opinions on the ScotteVest Jacket as well as any other brands that come with multitudes of pockets.
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Posted by Anonymous

I'm hoping to hear about how it went for you being on antidepressants if you took them despite doubts/misgivings. The reasons are about what you'd expect.

My history with antidepressants: I tried three SSRIs in rapid succession in grad school when I was having my first really bad anxiety/panic. Paxil kept me up for three straight days unable to do anything except lie on a couch shaking my foot (it's called akathisia, it turns out); Zoloft didn't seem to do much except for sexual side effects; Serzone didn't seem to do much except mess up my ability to fall asleep for a year. One would not call it a successful experiment. I started getting less unhappy when I made some big changes, foremost among them: dropping out of my grad program.

My history with various kinds of unhappiness, condensed: I'm an anxious guy and have been to varying extents since I think right after college. People have more than once called me Eeyore, though internally I think of myself as more like to be anxious than depressed, as I understand those things as separate problems. Anxiety more often causes me problems, I would have said--I haven't been on a plane in many years because I can't, whereas I sort of depressively hate things like my job but still go and am functional.

The problem right now: this cocktail of depression and anxiety feels like it's preventing me from doing stuff and wearing on friends/significant other. I could plod on like this for the rest of my days but it's not fun and it's bad for me and possibly those around me.

I've been in therapy with mixed results but can't now, yay Kaiser. I don't find I'm able to get into meditation or exercise reliably. I asked my MD for a prescription for Wellbutrin and he wrote it and I filled it. I was going to start taking it Saturday but...I didn't. I'm probably going to do it but I'm just hesitant. It seems to me that while clinical depression is obviously real, most depression is probably life stuff rather than brain chemistry. Which doesn't matter if it works, but I'm just having trouble going through with it.

Has anyone been me and gone and and done it? Thanks. Anonymous just out of some various misgivings. Did I mention I'm anxious and have a big box of misgivings?
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Posted by thebots

Two friends of mine and my boyfriend are coming to visit me abroad for 3 weeks. Three of us are similar in terms of travel style, but I'm afraid there will be some incompatibility in travel style with the other friend. Is there anything I can do to make things easier on all of us?

I'm spending an extended period of time abroad, and in a couple of days two of my best friends and my boyfriend are coming to visit me for two and a half weeks! I'm so excited! We're going to visit a number of cities and I'm hoping to have a lot of fun.

Normally we all have a good time together, but in the process of planning our trip I am starting to suspect that there may be some incompatibility issues in terms of travelling styles. One friend in particular, A, seems to have an extremely different idea of what we should be doing. My boyfriend, B, and the other friend, C, are both interested in walking around a lot -- not necessarily with a strict itinerary, but having some things to do in general every day to keep us busy. That's in line what I was expecting to do as well.

A specifically told me that he thinks he's going to be bored at a lot of the stuff we're hoping to do (e.g. museums, parks, etc). He largely wants to eat a lot of food (totally fine!) and then sit around a bunch. Maybe do some shopping. He also wants to be able to return to the hotel regularly and doesn't want to walk around a lot (he doesn't have any mobility issues; he just doesn't like walking).

I told him that we could just split up if he's scared of being bored and having to walk around too much, but he also told me that he's not at all comfortable with being alone at any point. I understand in some ways I guess - it can be scary wandering around alone in a foreign country (though he knows just as much of the local language as I do) - but he's not leaving a lot of wiggle room here? I basically told him that he should expect to be bored sometimes if he's not willing to go off on his own. Of course, it's not the most fun when someone's not enjoying themselves during an activity, so even if he does suck it up it might end up being a bit of a drag.

Another minor issue is that the other friend, C, is a very independent traveller and plans to go off alone at points (which is great!). Though I'm not planning on being overly coupley and schmoopy, I'm also kind of worried about third wheeling A if he's not willing to go off by himself.

Ultimately I think it'll be a good trip but I could see some potentially frustrating moments if my friend isn't 1) willing to walk around?? 2) interested in seeing a lot of local sites, while still wanting to be around us the whole time.

Do any of you have stories about travelling with difficult friends? Things you did or wish you had done to mitigate the frustrations? Any recommendations about how I should deal with this? I'm already obviously feeling kind of annoyed but I also don't want to be stone-cold about this since everyone has different travelling expectations. Thanks in advance!

Preputioplasty in San Francisco?

Oct. 24th, 2017 05:36 am
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Posted by Anonymous

Looking for urologists for what seems to be a not-very-well-known procedure, or advice on how to find them.

Background: For the last few years I (26) have had a phimosis, with scarring, which has been seriously affecting my sex life. I've tried treating it non-surgically, with stretching and steroid creams, but those don't seem to work. Both of the doctors I've talked to about this told me the only option left was circumcision. But, after doing my own research, it seems like preputioplasty would be more reasonable: it's a less serious surgery with a good chance of working; I get to keep the foreskin; and if it doesn't work, I can just get a circumcision later anyway.

Now, given that there isn't a ton of literature out there on preputioplasty, and my last two urologists didn't even know it was a thing, I'm not sure how to find a doctor who does them, or especially one with a lot of experience doing them. Google turns up nothing.

Does anyone know a good one? Should I just call up a bunch of urologist's offices around where I live (San Francisco) and ask specifically whether they have experience with this procedure?


pilots: Ghost Wars and Superstition

Oct. 24th, 2017 12:28 am
meganbmoore: (crossroads)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Based purely on the pilots, Superstition is the better of the new horror-themed SyFy series with PoC leads that had virtually no promotion and just started this month.

Ghost Wars
is about an ostracized young man (Avan Jogia) who sees ghosts who tries to leave town (apparently for the first time ever?), which apparently sets off a series of catastrophic events that causes angry ghosts to start killing residents. The premise is interesting and the acting is solid, but the writing and directing in the pilot were...lacking. I’ve stuck with shows that had worse pilots though.

Superstition is about a less-young man who returns home after 16 years because of visions he had of Very Bad Things. The last vision he had was apparently  ignored, and led to his younger brother’s apparent death and running off to join the army. The family business he rejoins is both running a funeral home and dealing with supernatural elements in town.  None of the twists are actually shocking, though I’m curious to see if one lasts.

I had heard of Ghost Wars before it aired, but only just, but had no idea that Superstition was even going to exist. Given that 5 of the 6 main characters in Superstition are black, I think we can guess why. Hopefully this isn’t another series where the network has doomed it to fail from the start from a 100% failure to support it. (I mean, seriously SyFy, you have Mario Van Peebles both in front of and behind the camera, and you apparently couldn’t even have a trailer out a few weeks before it aired?)
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Posted by PhoBWanKenobi

Crushing on your bff's crush! Staying home from school to work on an anime fansite! Having your dad pull out your console during a boss battle in a fit of rage! Relive all of your favorite middle school memories in lost memories dot net, a browser game in the tradition of Emily Is Away.

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Posted by kestralwing

What are the pros and cons of various kinds and designs of kitchen blinds?

We have narrow horizontal vinyl blinds in two large kitchen windows (the kind you haul downward on a cord and the whole blind goes up; twirl a rod on the other side and the blinds open or shut). We've had them for a long time, since we moved in, and they've been fine -- but the operative words have become LONG TIME. We need something new.

The same as before, but *new*? Horizontal? White plastic or fake wood? There are many, many options, and if I could at least skip over the more troublesome issues that would be a huge help.

Two basics:
1) We have to be able to get the blinds out of the way to let in as much sunlight as possible during gray days (we live in the Pacific Northwest).

2) We have to be able to at least fairly easily clean off grease.

¿Qué es 'kicksplode' en español?

Oct. 24th, 2017 04:21 am
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Posted by Halloween Jack

Michael Bay is producing a live-action Dora the Explorer movie.

College Humor has already done a parody miniseries, Dora the Explorer and the Destiny Medallion, starring Ariel Winter, in the Bay-esque style: trailer, part 1, part 2, part 3.

information courtesy of /r/nottheonion

European Cell Roaming

Oct. 24th, 2017 04:17 am
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Posted by jourman2

I'm traveling to Greece in December from New York and was just starting to look at my usual go to for cell service while away at the prepaid sim wiki. However, I have some old spanish SIMs and I'm wondering if I can take advantage of the new EU roaming laws.

I have two SIMs from Orange that I bought last year in Spain and used for about two weeks using prepaid packages. I haven't touched them since. I was wondering since there is apparently free roaming in the EU if I could top up those SIMs online a few days before I left and just use them for a week or so while in Greece.

Alternatively, any way to get a Greek SIM before leaving the country would be A+ too.
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Posted by wnissen

FedEx has published their holiday shipping deadlines and I have a question about FedEx Home vs. Ground.

The last day to ship FedEx Ground is Friday the 15th, but the last day for Home is Monday the 18th. Why are they different days? I was under the impression that they were the same service and only delivered Tuesday through Saturday, but maybe they're not? If I'm shipping to a residence using Home, am I safe to use the later date?

After a sad episode where, despite not even shipping coast-to-coast, I met the deadline only to be left without gifts on Christmas, I am gun shy about shipping on the last date. (To be fair, the place I was shipping to is on the far outskirts of an urban area, just a few miles from where houses give way to grain silos, so it's understandable that it would be the one to get skipped.) And yes, I'm aware that if I really, absolutely, want them to get there on time, the best time to ship is, say, the first week of December. But realistically I will be up to my eyeballs in Thanksgiving and won't be in the Christmas spirit until after then.

Samurai Baby Names & Cop Tactics

Oct. 24th, 2017 04:06 am
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Posted by MovableBookLady

Lots of rules about samurai behavior, tips, and names. As usual with such old books, the author and the dates are debatable, but it has lots of interesting tidbits about samurai education, behavior, and even what to name your baby samurai.

The second translation is of a tactical manual for policemen in the late 1880s. Samurai Secrets. One basic necessity, for instance, is rope for tying guys up, and if you don't have rope, paper-wrapped twine will do.

2017 Municipal Equality Index

Oct. 24th, 2017 03:38 am
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Posted by Grandysaur

In partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, HRC released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services, ranking cities on five metrics:
  • Non-Discrimination Laws
  • Municipality as an Employer
  • Municipal Services
  • Law Enforcement
  • Relationship with LGBTQ community
Find your city here.

From the report:
Pro-equality municipal progress over
the past year is distinctly evident
when examined by state and region.
Compared to 2016, thirty-six state
averages increased and 3 held steady.

Alabama's city average grew the most,
increasing by 17 points since the 2016

The overall increase in city scores
caused this year's national city average
to rise from 55 in 2016 to 57 points.

68 cities scored a 100.
11 scored a 0.
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Posted by Ask a Manager

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

1. My boss snooped in my personal email account

I recently got a text from the director of my department saying that I had left my personal Gmail open on my work computer and that there had been unkind things written about the assistant director, with whom I work most of the time. Needless to say, she was not impressed. However, I read back through my chats and couldn’t find anything like that, except for a mild expression of frustration at having been accidentally locked out by the assistant director a few days previously. I genuinely like the assistant director and have a great deal of respect for her, and I really wouldn’t talk shit about her. The director would have had to scroll through several days worth of chats to find this — i.e., she was definitely snooping.

I know that it’s perfectly legal for bosses to monitor their employees’ computer usage, but this feels really icky. Is there a good way to defuse this situation? Is there any way to say that I really don’t appreciate having my personal things gone through?

Actually, I wouldn’t be so sure that it was legal. It’s true that employers can monitor and view anything sent on their servers, but you’re talking about your manager looking through your Gmail account at everything that’s there — not just looking at data that’s gone out via the company’s server. That’s a murky legal area at best, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually illegal. (Hmmm, a quick search turns up cases with a variety of rulings, so there doesn’t appear to be a single answer here — although there are a bunch of rulings that if you left the email account logged in, you had no legal expectation of privacy. I don’t think the legal approach is your most effective approach here anyway, but I wanted to flag it.)

Legal issues aside, it’s a huge invasion of privacy and not one that’s justified by any work-related reasons. It was absolutely over the line and not okay for her to do. (And it’s especially weird that she owned up to it.)

But whether or not you should take that on depends heavily on what the director is like — how reasonable and how open to dissent she is — and what your relationship with her is like. But in most cases you could say this: “I genuinely like Jane and have a great deal of respect for her. I’ve been racking my brain to figure out what you might have been referring to, and all I can think of is that I was mildly frustrated last week when she accidentally locked me out. But I certainly wouldn’t trash-talk her or speak disrespectfully of her, since that doesn’t reflect my feelings.” And then you could say: “I don’t think my personal Gmail account is fair game for anyone here to go through, regardless of whether I leave it open on my computer. That seems like a real invasion of privacy to me. Is that something that the company will do as a matter of course?”

2. My employee quit smoking and is being a pain

I am the general manager for a retail location. I have an employee, “Joy,” who is a lifelong smoker. She’s been smoking for longer than I’ve been alive! Joy is a member of my leadership team, and has been a great asset for the three years I’ve worked with her. Recently, she decided to quit smoking. As far as I know, this is the first time she has attempted this since I have known her. I’m really proud of her, and she’s been doing an awesome job — she quit cold turkey over two weeks ago, and hasn’t had a single cigarette since.

However, while the first week was great, this week I have noticed a sharp dip in her performance/attitude. Joy admits that this is because she is severely craving a cigarette, which has always been her main form of stress relief. While I sympathize, and am still proud of her for taking this step towards bettering her health, I am getting frustrated at her performance. She actually called out sick today, and again, told me this was directly due to the fact that she is craving a cigarette so badly. The team has noticed her change in attitude, and are getting frustrated as well. How can I approach this as her manager, while still remaining supportive?

How cranky is she being? If she’s a little cranky, cut her some slack — everyone goes through things in their personal life that impacts their demeanor at work now and then. But if it’s extreme — if she’s being rude or hostile to people — then articulate that for her and tell her she needs to rein it in. (As in, “I know this is a tough period for you and I sympathize, but you’re starting to be openly rude to people here and I need you to stay civil.”)

Same thing with performance — if she’s slipping a bit but is still doing an overall okay job, cut her some slack since you know what’s causing it and you know this is short-term. But if it’s more serious, then you need to say something like, “I know this is a tough period for you, and I don’t expect you to be at 100% right now, but you’re making some pretty serious mistakes in your work. What can we do during this period to help keep your work quality where we need it?” (And since she’s normally a good employee, you should try to find ways to accommodate her for the next week or two, like moving deadlines around if you can or giving her projects that require less mental presence if that’s possible.)

And if she wants to use sick leave to help her get through what should be a relatively short-term withdrawal period (it’s supposed to last about two weeks, right?), let her do it. As long as it’s not impacting any crucial projects which she absolutely must be there for this week, that’s a pretty great use of sick leave and it means she’s keeping the withdrawal impact out of the office.

3. My boss wants me to drive him to the airport in my own car, without reimbursement

I’ve been on my job for about four months. My boss travels out of town infrequently (6-12 times per year) and opts to use the airport furthest away from his house (9 miles versus 30 miles). The issue is that he has worked out an agreement with two legacy managers to drive him to and from his trips at any time of the day or night, week day or weekend. The two managers don’t see any issue with this and recently inferred that I am expected to participate and if I cannot, I should assign the task to lower level member of the staff.

The boss and two managers have vehicles assigned to them full time and fuel, insurance, maintenance, and parking are provided by the company at no out-of-pocket cost to them, roughly a $4,000 annual savings. They claim that the company travel policy is too restrictive and anyone traveling to the airport would not be fully reimbursed for the expense. Although the same level, I am not assigned a vehicle. I drive to and from work in my personal vehicle at full cost to me. I have traveled for work in the past and have used public transportation.

I’m not sure how their travel costs are my issue or that of lower level staff members. Even if I were assigned a vehicle, I would take issue with this poor resource management and disregard for opportunity cost. If I say no, is that grounds for discipline? I reviewed our personnel rules, but cannot find any mention of abuse of power, but is it? How do I protect lower level staff?

In theory, they can make anything they want “grounds for discipline,” as long as it’s not specifically illegal (e.g., discrimination, retaliation, harassment, etc.). But whether they’re likely to treat this that way is much less likely.

Regardless, though, the first step before you even start worrying about that is to explain that you’re not able to do it. Say something like this: “I realize you both have company cars that makes this much easier for you to do, but my staff and I don’t. We’d have to use our personal cars and it sounds like we wouldn’t be able to get mileage reimbursed for these trips.” If you still get pushback, you can try this: “If the company will pay for the cost, I can do this some of the time — although not always on weekends or at night because of family commitments. But I can’t do it at personal expense. Given that, what makes sense here?”

Also — it sounds like it’s the two managers with the company cars who are pressuring you, but you don’t say that the boss himself has. He may not even realize that this is an issue, so if you get push-back from the other two, it’s worth talking directly to him, particularly if he has otherwise seemed reasonable to you.

4. My boss caught me off-guard with questions about an internal job I applied for

I work for a school district as a part-time substitute teacher and recently applied for a full-time secretary position with the same district. While at work, I was confronted by the principal about this and asked if this was true. I couldn’t lie to her, of course I need a full-time job to pay my bills. She asked me if my plans were to still become a teacher and I said yes (because ultimately that is the goal). She then went on to explain that I was a highly qualified candidate but that they are looking for someone who will work in this secretary position for longer than a year or two. I asked her if I could even expect a call back for a real interview and she shook her head no.

I’m wondering if it is even fair for employers to conduct a preemployment screen so spontaneously like this?

This wasn’t a formal screen. This was just a conversation with your boss about what your plans are, which is a normal thing for managers to do. I understand that you were caught off-guard, but from her perspective it’s pretty straightforward — they’re looking for someone who will stay in the secretary position long-term, she knows that you’re working to become a teacher, and so she wanted to check with you to make sure her understanding was still correct. It was, and so she explained to you that the secretary role isn’t the right fit since your goal would be to move out of faster than what they’re looking for. This isn’t really about what’s “fair” (although this doesn’t seem particularly unfair to me); it’s just them being practical about what they’re looking for.

5. What does this message from HR mean?

After two phone interviews (HR and hiring manager), I was invited for an in-person interview. It went well and we seemed to get along. After almost two weeks passed, I thought about reaching out but didn’t. However, the HR department reached out to me and said that I’m still being considered but they still have a few more interviews to go and will make a decision soon.

Usually, if I had reached out to them and they told me that, I’d think that they are talking with other candidates who match and they are not very much interested in me. However, since I did not reach out, and they mentioned to me that they are interested, should view this as a good sign? Or is that protocol for some companies? From my experience, unless a candidate reaches out for status, HR wouldn’t send them a message unless it’s a rejection email (and that’s only if they even decide to reach out).

Nah, I send messages like that all the time. If our hiring process is taking longer than I said it should, or just longer than feels optimal, I’ll often reach out to candidates who we’re still interested in to give t hem an update on what’s going on or at least what the updated timeline is. That company is being polite and considerate (and acting in their own interests as well, since they don’t want to lose good candidates).

Also, when you reach out on your own and get a message like that, you shouldn’t assume it’s a polite brush-off. You should take it at face value: They’re still in the midst of their process and don’t have anything to report yet. That’s it.

In general, try not to find signs in any of this stuff. Much of the time, the things that candidates try to mine for meaning don’t actually mean anything at all.

my boss snooped in my personal email account, my employee quit smoking and is being a pain, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

heresluck: (book)
[personal profile] heresluck
Morgan Parker's There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé is amazing and I can't stop thinking about it. I am looking forward to reading her previous book. I also enjoyed this interview with her in the Paris Review.

Hottentot Venus

I wish my pussy could live
in a different shape and get
some goddamn respect.
Should I thank you?
Business is booming
and I am not loved
the way I want to be.
I am an elastic
winter: sympathy
and shock, addictive
decoration. In the sunlight
my captors
drink African
hibiscus. They tell me
I look regal bearing fruit.
I am technically nothing
I will never be
a woman.
Somewhere in my
memory, I was held
by a man who said
I deserved it.
Now I understand.
No one worries about me
because I am getting paid.
I am here to show you
who you are, to cradle
your large skulls
and remind you
you are perfect. Mother America,
unleash your sons.
Everything beautiful, you own.

– Morgan Parker
from There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

October 2017

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