As a teenager I never drank tea or coffee. I must have tried them at some point, but never felt the desire.
At university I started drinking both. I can't remember exactly, I remember having them as a ritual something to do when hanging out with friends. IIRC I drank instant coffee, and real coffee tasted too bitter.
And I think I reached a point where I needed coffee and got dopey and too tired to get up without it, either at university, or after I started working. Unrelated to the caffeine (I assume?) I also had student-y programmer-y sleep patterns, always wanting to sleep a bit later. I don't know how much that was inbuilt physiology and how much it was putting things off, including going to bed and doing things in the morning.
At some point, I started drinking real coffee for preference, and instant coffee tasted bad.
When I started dating Liv, I drank a lot more tea, because we'd usually make a pot together. And I started to feel like coffee was too abrupt, and tea gave a slightly slower caffeine release, and gradually switched to drinking tea almost entirely: I'd happily drink coffee if it was served somewhere, but didn't usually drink it at home or at work.
When I started dating ghoti, I started drinking coffee again, because she drank coffee more often and I liked companionably drinking the same thing. I started with mostly instant coffee, and to date, still mostly drink instant coffee, although I also like real coffee when I have it.
Now I tend to switch, drinking instant coffee at home (because it's quicker), tea at work (because I want a break from the screen to faff around in the kitchen for 10 min), and whichever I feel like if I drink something out.
I never really learned to like espresso based coffee, espressos taste much too strong, and all the mixed drinks taste weird. I used to like mochas occasionally. I usually like plain black tea with milk, or plain coffee, with milk.
Except when I'm abroad, I generally drink whatever's common locally if I'm ok with it at all.
I don't track how much I drink. It's probably quite a lot, because I drink it whenever I feel like, not at fixed times. But I used to feel like it was doing something weird, when I'd be completely wrecked when I *didn't* have caffeine, whereas now, I definitely need some, but if I get a drink within an hour or so of getting up, I don't feel completely zombified until then.
So I used to toy with the idea it'd be healthier to give up (ie. awakeness juice was just borrowing future awakeness and immediate gains were offset in future losses). But now it feels like, the status quo is doing ok.
A couple of people have commented that they have ADHD or suspect they possibly have subclinical ADHD or something related, specifically that mild stimulants make them feel calmer, even right before sleeping.
That's very me. I've never tried to avoid late-night caffeine have haven't noticed it having any affect on my sleep. Which inclines me to think the status quo is possibly fine.
The one big inconvenience in needing caffeine used to be when I'm away, especially at a con in a conference centre, but also, just anywhere on holiday where I'm out all day and don't have decent tea or coffee facilities where I'm staying.
I found it a big faff needing a certain amount of coffee or tea, but that not always syncing up with when I want to sit down and "have a coffee". And a crapshoot whether there'd be somewhere providing bog-standard coffee or tea cheap, or if the only source was a fancy coffee place. Especially if I'm in a rush, or it's all in a foreign language, or whatever.
At some point, I experimented with bringing caffeine pills. I'd studiously avoided them before since having caffeine without the ritual of drinking it seemed like it would only exacerbate the feedback loop of taking more and more to make up for potential caffeine-crashes. I still avoid them when I'm *not* away somewhere.
But I actually found it really helpful, it basically solved the problem for me. I usually need a couple of actual hot drinks throughout the day, usually one or two in the morning with breakfast and one sometime during the day. But otherwise, having a couple of pills in the interim, either physiologically or placebo-y, made me feel fine. I also remember to drink liquid. It made the whole thing a lot simpler.
I can't help other people though, especially tea drinkers in places where there's not much tea.
Which bits of those experiences resonate with you and which don't?
Most of my friends seem to default to tea *or* coffee, even though I remember by parents drinking one or the other depending on the circumstances. Do other people drink both at different times?
What is the relative caffeine in a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, and caffeine pill?
Does that status quo sound sensible or is there something else you'd recommend?
When I read Kai Cole's statement -- do read if you have somehow missed it -- I kept flashing on the pivotal conversation in Gaudy Night, in which Harriet and Peter talk about spouses who have eaten each other, and whether there is such a thing as a marriage in which nobody is eaten. Kai Cole was and is an architect. Starting, by her telling, with Buffy, she dedicated hersef to emotional labor for Joss Whedon, including producing projects that he worked on. Harriet Vane would tell you that Whedon ate Cole. And, going only by the direct quotations Cole gives, when Whedon confessed to her, he praised himself -- told her what a powerful stud he was, and that it wasn't his fault he was surrounded by "aggressive" actresses.
Whedon's public response to Cole's statement:
“While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.”
Let's unpack this.
1. Whedon cheated for over a decade, but Cole is the one who's hurting their children.
2. Whedon used feminism as a tool to get laid, but now he's showing Cole respect.
3. Cole has direct quotes from Whedon's letter, showing exactly who he is, but the account "includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations"
So. "You're a bad mother, and I could explain how much you're lying, but I won't because unlike you I'm a good father and respect the children and you."
Whedonesque, bless them, have gone read-only and shut down.
Little Alchemy is a lightweight and fun alchemy simulator. Beginning with the four classical elements, it allows you to combine two elements to create a third, sometimes with additional byproducts. Simple as that. To my great delight, it can be played out of any browser through either the official site or indie game outfit itch.io, and also has a mobile version. After messing around with the browser game for entirely too long, I downloaded the Android app and lost several hours of potential sleep to it.
( Read more... )
Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
2. When I open the front garden blinds, there's hummingbirds fluttering away. HUMMINGBIRDS! They're the fairies of the bird world. Magical.
2. When I walk outside in my -- low-key wealthy -- neighborhood in what is esseeeeeentially pajamas, no one comments, or even spares me a second glance. This is brought to you by the girl who for the one short outside stint planned did not bother putting anything on beyond house-pants and a Nevertheless She Persisted shirt.
4. When I walk outside in the City on a workday, however, people throw me appreciative glances. European-style attire isn't common on the West Coast, and even if people wouldn't wear it they seem to agree it's interesting, or maybe even daring ("How is she going to explain that to her startup CEO in his ratty, IRONIC Status Quo band t-shirt?")
5. People are nice. I do mean that in an occasional nice-guy kind of way, but for 99% of interactions that suits me perfectly well. Germans are forthright, and you will know where you stand with them. Just, in 75% of interactions, you won't LIKE knowing where you stand with them.
Dear Captain Awkward,
It’s been two years since my diagnosis with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, and eighteen months since my double mastectomy. The type of cancer (IBC) ruled out immediate reconstruction with implants (which I would have declined anyway, because not for me).
It used to be that women with IBC didn’t get reconstruction, because TBH we usually didn’t live all that long. Nowadays after a waiting period of two years or so one can have a DIEP flap where skin, fat and blood vessels are taken from the stomach and grafted onto one’s chest.
I’ve completed treatment, there’s currently no sign of cancer, and I’m doing well. I’m trying to move forward and get on with my life as much as possible.
But here’s my problem: medical folk keep pestering me to get reconstruction and don’t seem to understand that I DON’T WANT IT.
I’ve made a list of the pros and cons and–while it’s fine for others, it’s not fine for me, right now, under these particular circumstances.
I’m a smart person with a supportive partner, friends and family. Yes, the things surgeons can do are amazing. I know all about my options. If I want more information I know how to get it.
But..the continual unasked-for conversations from presumedly well-meaning medical providers are irritating at best and at worst can send me into a days-long depressive spiral.
Because I was trained to be a people-pleaser and discount my own ideas and opinions, and when I hear, “Have you considered reconstruction? We can do amazing things and by the way, you basically get a free tummy tuck..”
..my brain translates it into, “You are not okay the way you are, and your choice is not a valid one and your appearance is not acceptable. You are BROKEN. Let us fix you.”
What none of my medical providers seem to understand is that I want to maximize my physical activities and minimize my time spent in hospitals to the greatest extent possible, and for the most part I don’t give a rat’s behind whether I meet society’s expectations of how a female should look.
I’ve always been large-breasted and very self-conscious about it, and at the same time considered myself a bit of a “tomboy”.
It turns out I’m more at home in my body without breasts, have less back and neck pain, don’t miss bras or boob sweat, and enjoy wearing button-down shirts I buy from the men’s department.
My sex life is just fine.
I identify with others in the “flattie” community far more than anyone else in Breast Cancer Land.
But when doctors start pushing reconstruction, I feel as if my choice to remain flat is being questioned, and it affects my mental health when my efforts to explain and/or justify my choice seemingly fall on deaf ears.
Is there a script to politely shut this down? I’d be grateful for any suggestions.
Her/She pronouns, and just sign me “Flat and (Mostly) Happy”
Dear Flat and Mostly Happy,
I think your medical providers need a letter (email, fax, whatever works) spelling out what you told me. Something like:
Thank you for your excellent care so far.
There is some information I would like you to put in my chart & medical records in a way that it is clear to all the providers & staff I work with at your practice: I am not interested in discussing breast reconstructive surgery at this time. If that ever changes, I will bring it up.
I know you and your staff are just trying to make sure I know my options. I’m very happy to be cancer-free, I’m happily adjusting to my new body, but I’m feeling pressured and distressed by these discussions and the prospect of more surgery in a way I’m sure you don’t intend. I’d appreciate it it can just become a non-issue during our visits, and if that changes, I will be sure to let you know.
Thanks for all you do.”
If you know of articles that might explain this well and help the doctor or clinical staff do better with other patients, include links or mentions of those resources. Then send it to every one of your current providers where this has been a problem before your next visit.
It’s not a 100% foolproof solution, but it will make you feel like you are more in control and you can remind yourself that hey, you told them how to take care of you as clearly and politely as you could. If someone brings it up (maybe they haven’t seen it, maybe they forgot), here are some scripts:
- “I’ve said many times that I’m not interested. Can I ask why you are trying so hard to sell me on this when you know that I don’t want it?“
I suspect (but do not know for sure) that the answer has to do with insurance & money, like, there is a limited window where insurance will pay for reconstruction so they are trying to make sure that you get in inside the window and worried that you’ll regret it later. People had to fight hard to get insurance companies to pay for any reconstruction and the benefit is probably a “use it or lose it” deal.
That’s an understandable reason, if that is the reason, so, make them spell it out for you, and then give your informed consent to skip that part, like, “Okay, I appreciate it – I know you are trying to make sure I am financially taken care of as well as medically, thanks for helping me make an informed choice. I choose to opt out of reconstructive surgery at this time. If I change my mind down the road and it becomes an insurance or financial issue, I’ll cross that bridge then. In the meantime, can we agree to put this to bed? It really stresses me out to talk about it in a way I’m sure you don’t intend. Thank you.”
- “I’m not interested in talking about reconstructive surgery. I’ll let you know if that changes.“
- “I put something in writing about this – did it not make it into my chart?” Ask the person the best way to make sure that this information is visible to anyone who treats you.
Repeat this stuff like a broken record. If the person won’t stop, you have permission to stop being polite. You probably won’t stop being polite because you are a polite person but knowing that you’ve communicated your needs very directly and clearly can sometimes be helpful, like, “I’m 100% sure I’m not the one making this weird right now.”
I hope this gets easier for you, Letter Writer. Readers, do you have any tactics that have worked to set boundaries with medical professionals?
It is now time for the summer Captain Awkward Dot Com pledge drive, where I shake the tip jar in the general direction of all of you kind readers. If you like what I do here and are able to support the work, please visit my Patreon page or make a donation via PayPal or Cash.me. Thanks to your support, we’ve made the blog ad-free. My next goal is to take a sabbatical from teaching in 2018 and work on a CaptainAwkward book and other writing projects. Every little bit counts, and I’m grateful for it.
Getting to know a person is like a specialist topic. And you probably can't study books about them, mostly, though people something enough to have instruction manuals would be an interesting category. Reading their journal might count, but only i they're, like, super chatty and write all the things.
... my journal. Probably counts.
But I do skim the highlights only, for a lot of topics.
... yes I know it's very wordy for highlights.
Most people most of the time are not deliberately teaching you about themselves. There would be times they were, but probably not often.
And the kind of thing that counts as intensive training? Probably not going to come up in routine social interaction.
So most people most of the time, hanging out with them is like learning on the job.
Some people are in fact your job, but then all you need to know about them relates to your job, so the primary skill is your job skill, and different clients are, like, familiarisation penalties. (B169) Eight hours practice gives you familiarity with a new model. Before then you're at -2 even if you have the relevant skill. So you can improve rapidly in those 8 hours, which seems to be all Torchwood does to teach guns, but might make an instructor think they were really good at teaching. But with people, 8 hours getting to know them would get you over the really awkward stage.
But then just hanging out not teaching in particular? 800 hours. To get one point better. Than default. For a maximum of 8 hours a day.
Sooooo... that could take a while.
And I, personally, leave the house maybe 8 hours a week?
And much of that time is spent on the bus.
So to get over the first awkward might take two or three weeks, but then to actually start getting skill points in This New Person, that will take at least a hundred weeks. Or two hundred. Or... more.
And if any particular person is only there for one activity a month? A hundred months.
... which is a bit of a long time, really, and a complete explanation for only shallow acquaintance, without social skill penalties being involved at all.
Which makes me feel better about it.
... I mean my social skill penalties are also significant, but, theoretically not insurmountable, given sufficient time with an actual particular human.
Finding one you like well enough to invest 800 hours in is a tricky bit.
It was way easier when we got all those hours by osmosis at school, every single day, for years.
... easier in a way that I purely couldn't do any more, but, you know, in the friend-hours equation, that went faster.
So, new theory: just need more hours.
... at my age...
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( Pinch Hit #1: Bates Motel (2013), Bloodline (TV 2015), Better Call Saul (TV) )
You can make it all about Rip being a bit useless, going from "I suggest that we next hit Savage when he least expects it" to sitting staring at his wife's last message for a week, but it's a bit jarring.
You can fit a whole story of oops Savage expected that too, oh no we can't think of what to do next, in the jump.
Also, what to do with Snart in an AU: say he never met Mick, but didn't die in juvie. He got stabbed on his very first day, and it made him re-evaluate his life. So there's an AU version of him who is still alive, was never Cold, and then meets Mick after he's lost him. Massive angst potential. Mick blaming himself for every bad thing. But also it's like Tapestry, Len never was Cold but he never was much else neither. Lacked the necessary incentive to give him an edge. Meaning his father didn't threaten Lisa, somehow. Boring if she was never born, make her born and then they both escape. Say if the medical treatment necessary from the stabbing showed them a pattern of existing injuries and someone noticed in a useful way. The system worked, everything worked out different, yaay. That does what Len tried to in season one, just at a different point that makes it seem more about Mick for the angst. And we get different angles on what a 'better' Len would be, because civilian Len who didn't raise Lisa could still be a money hungry bastard, but with no focus outside himself. So he just hurt people with petty capitalism, and never did save anyone. Cold did better when it counted. Just also worse.
I should write. Something. Eventually.