Sep. 18th, 2016

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one of the most amazing things that has been said to me in therapy is that self esteem doesn’t exist.

and that floored people and the psych went onto say that what she meant was that self esteem is a concept that actually includes a vast array of things and labelling them all as one thing is really limiting and prevents actual improvement

you could have real strong pride in the things you create and hate your body

you could hate your creations but also want to share them with people

you could not hate yourself at all but not take care of yourself, engage in reckless self endangerment

thats all bundled under ‘self esteem’ but saying ‘i need better self esteem’ doesn’t mean anything

whereas if you say ‘i need to work on ways to keeping myself safe, refusing to act on destructive urges’ or ‘i want to be in a place where i believe compliments trusted people give me’

thats concrete, thats a goal.

having it said in therapy helped a lot of people in my group stop saying ‘i have low self esteem’ and start specifying about the actual issue they have

Wow, that is so, so helpful.
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my rooster doesn’t crow when the sun rises, he crows when he hears humans wake up, like you can literally just roll over in bed and he’s like “hoLY SHIT THAT’S A PEOPLE THE HUMAN ISAWAKE AHHH AHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

the same rooster - god guys he’s so cute - he always lets hens eat treats first and won’t have any treats until they’ve had as much as they want, unless it’s a blueberry. shit, blueberries are like serious fucking business for Pharaoh. he’s a gentleman until the damn blueberries come out and then he don’t play no fuckin games

in case you were wondering this is him

It’s been almost a year since I made this post so I guess I should update you guys on Pharaoh!

He’s still a sweetie but with more attitude and will fuck up your shit if he’s grumpy or if you’re wearing shoes with shoelaces. He doesn’t like that. He watches Netflix with me a lot and cries anytime theres explosions or gunshots in a show. He has so many chicken lady friends who he adores and he has fathered 4 chicks. I tried to train him to walk on a leash but he protested by laying down and refusing to move, so we gave that up after a while. He likes to guard me from cars and squirrels, and even plastic bags (which are his worst fear)
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Keep in mind that all of this communication is happening in e-mail, which means they can read and re-read it at their leisure, if needed.

E-mail conversations I have actually had many, many times at work:

Me: I need things A, B, and C. Don’t do X.Them: Okay.Me: How are things, A, B, and C coming along?Them: Oh, I thought we were waiting for X. We’ll get right on that.Me: How are those things coming along?Them: *delivers things D, E, and F*Me: …Me: I needed things A, B, and C.Them: Oh, right. We’re on it.Them: *finally delivers things A, B, and C*

Me: Here’s my understand of our status. *gives list* And here’s a question. *asks question*Them: Yeah, that sounds right. *asks question*Me: *answers their question*Me: *waits*Them: *silent*Me: *repeats question from first message* 

Me: Here are instructions on how to do the thing.Them: *does the thing, skipping three steps*Me: Hey, so you skipped steps 2, 4, and 7. Those are necessary.Them: Oh, sorry about that.Me: *waits*Me: Have you done the thing with  steps 2, 4, and 7?Them: Oh, sorry, didn’t realize you wanted it re-done.

Them: I need thing X.Me: Here it is.Them: Thanks.Them: *two weeks later* Hey, we need thing X.Me: …Me: Here it is. Them: Thanks.Them: *two weeks later* Hey, we need thing X.Me: …Me: …Me: Here it is.Them: Thanks. *uses the thing*

I don’t understand it, I really don’t. I keep going back and re-reading my messages to see if they’re confusing somehow, but they aren’t. They are totally clear. 

It’s infuriating, to the point that I had to call my dad, who has ~50 years of high level business experience, and ask him what to do about this shit. He said that he tends to be like me, but that the best manager he knows gets things done right the first time by his people because he micromanages the shit out of them. Like, every day asking where they’re at, have they done step A, do they remember that step B comes next, etc.  I’m working on developing both this skill and a tolerance for using it.

So if you ever wonder why someone you work with is (a) micromanaging the shit out of you and (b) treating you like you can’t read, it’s because some of the people they work with just can’t be trusted to understand things the first time. Or the second time. Or sometimes the third time…

Ways I write emails when I need things:

Bullet point everything.  EVERYTHING.  Two-thirds of my emails are a series of introductory sentences with clear, short bullet points.  So for your first email, it’d be:

 Good morning!

I need the following:




I do NOT need the following:



Judicious use of formatting.  When I need a more complex list of things, or I want to ask a question, I make sure that I bold what I need.  I also break up every possible separate thought into small paragraphs.  So your second email would be:

Here’s the current status of the project: things A, B and C are done.  D is scheduled to be done next week.

Before D can be completed, I need to know the following: why is the sky blue? 

Copying and pasting – and calling attention to it.  People get embarrassed pretty easily.  When you point out that they’ve missed something, or that they already had something, no matter how gently, they realize they don’t like getting called out.  So, for the last email:

As provided in the email sent 8/15 (third down on this email thread): here is X, again:  [copy and paste from original email].  

Very very explicit directions and deadlines. People assume they do not have to do work, even if you report an error.  If you tell them they did something wrong, they will assume you are saying you will correct the issue.  So, for your second to last email: 

What you have provided me is incomplete.  You did not provide the following:

Step 2 Step 4 Step 7

Those must be completed.  Please complete this process again, following the instructions provided to you in the previous email:

[obvious copy and paste of the instructions]

Please notify me when you have completed this process with all steps.  This must be completed by [date] for my work to be completed on time.

I hope this helps!  

Oh my god. Teach me your ways

Good advice.  Also:

I have learned that even when emailing highly educated people, ONE THING PER EMAIL.

If I have two questions, I use 2 emails.  Three things for them to do - three emails.

I think since so many people are looking at email on their phones, if they do one thing they think they are done.

That last point. One of the people I support relies on her iPhone heavily. Many of my e-mails are so truncated on the screen, she can’t see more than the first line or so, plus, she has a really, really bad habit of not scrolling down the fucking page. One point per e-mail and screw any attachments. In her office is fine, but if I get an e-mail that’s sent from her iPhone, KISS.

I am going to reblog this and keep it and print it out to keep at work
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describe your aesthetic in four words go

homeade bong im 11

grade ten mall goth

High street typical hipster

angry gremlin stoner scientist

Ugly but friendly alien

foxes, communism, and anime

lonely radical geek online

Old anime, sad gays

Victorian hipster punk Valkyrie.

Butch emo hedge witch.

elbow hurricane greaser twink

literary garage nerd swell

The Ultimate Tumblr Dad

lazy Brooklyn forest punk

New England butch hipster
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“Were there any straight people in this period of history?”

“Well…obviously speaking, there must have been some people that nowadays we would describe as ‘straight’, but we have to be very careful about applying modern standards of sexuality to the past. I’m sure if you asked anybody at the time if they were straight, they would have been very confused. And there’s something quite dangerous about forcing identities onto people who might not consider themselves that way. You also need to keep in mind that some things that today would seem ‘straight’ to us - like getting married, having children, etc. - were just the way things were back then. Nobody would have thought twice about doing that, including non-straight people. And there were plenty of people who undoubtedly got married, had very intensely emotional connections with their spouse, but then went off to go see their lover. Again, sexuality is a very complex thing, so I wouldn’t presume to state definitively that anybody was ‘straight’, and especially not without good, solid evidence that they were exclusively heterosexual. To presume otherwise would not only be making a lot of assumptions, it might even just promote harmful, overdone stereotypes about what makes someone ‘have’ to be straight, you know? So, yes, technically speaking there were, but I don’t see any reason to specifically consider straight people historically.”

this is what I’ve been saying

I think this is basically true though.

It basically is. It’s frustrating and invalidating for people to equivocate ONLY over assigning queer labels to historical figures, while they’re happy to label other figures as Obviously Straight. But I would be happier if people gave this disclaimer every single time someone made an assumption about the sexuality of any historical figures/time periods. A Queer History of the United States spends the entire first chapter talking about how we can’t actually call people straight/gay/bisexual outside of a certain historical/cultural context because those ideas are specific to us. It’s not that people didn’t draw distinctions between normative and non-normative sexualities, but the boundaries were frequently different - sometimes opposite, sometimes with no modern equivalent - from where they’re drawn today.
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I miss this show.

the way he claps when he says HOT DAMN is what makes it.

Brooklyn Nine Nine is a gift and I’m SO MAD for not watching sooner.

BTW, season 4 premieres September 20.

the best thing about this is still the fact that the “hot damn” was improvised and thats why they cut away so fast because everyone breaks

Might be my favorite joke of the series
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I learned something new and horrifying today which is… that… no submarine is ever considered “lost” … there is apparently a tradition in the U.S. Navy that no submarine is ever lost. Those that go to sea and do not return are considered to be “still on patrol.”


There is a monument about this along a canal near here its… the worst thing I have ever seen. it says “STILL ON PATROL” in huge letters and then goes on to specify exactly how many WWII submarine ghosts are STILL OUT THERE, ON PATROL (it is almost 2000 WWII submarine ghosts, ftr). Here is the text from it:

“U.S. Navy Submarines paid heavily for their success in WWII. A total of 374 officers and 3131 men are still on board these 52 U.S. submarines still on patrol.”


anyway now my mother and I cannot stop saying STILL ON PATROL to each other in ominous tones of voice

There’s definitely something ominous about that—the implication that, one day, they will return from patrol.

Actually, it’s rather sweet. I don’t know if this is common across the board, but my dad’s friend is a radio op for subs launched off the east coast, and he always is excited for Christmas, because they go through the list of SoP subs and hail them, wishing them a merry Christmas and telling them they’re remembered.

Imagine a country whose seamen never die, and whose submarines can’t be destroyed…because no ones sure if they exist or not.

No but imagine. It’s Christmas. A black, rotting corridor in a forgotten submarine. The sound of dripping water echoes coldly through the hull. You can’t see very far down the corridor but then, a man appears, he’s running, in a panic, but his footsteps make no noise. The spectral seaman dashes around the corner and slips through a rusty wall. He finds himself at the back of a crowd of his cadaverous crew-mates. They part to let him through. He feels the weight of their hollow gaze as he reaches the coms station. Even after all these years a sickly green light glistens in the dark. The captain’s skeleton lays a sharp hand on his shoulder and nods at him encouragingly, the light sliding over the bones of his skull. The ghost of the seaman steadies himself and slips his fingers into the dials of the radio, possessing it. It wails and screeches. A bombardment of static. And then silence. The deathly crew mates look at each other with worry, with sadness; could this be the year where there is no voice in the dark? No memory of home? The phantasm of the sailor pushes his hand deeper into the workings of the radio, the signal clears, and then a strong voice, distant with the static but warm and kind, echoes from the darkness; “Merry Christmas boys, we’re all thinking of you here at home, have a good one.”
A sepulchral tear wafts it’s way down the seaman’s face. The bony captain embraces him. The crew grin through rotten jaws, laughing silently in their joy. They haven’t forgotten us. They haven’t forgotten.

I am completely on board with this. It’s not horrifying, it’s heartwarming.

Personal story time: whenever I go to Field Museum’s Egypt exhibit, I stop by the plaque at the entrance to the underground rooms. It has an English translation of a prayer to feed the dead, and a list of all the names they know of the mummies on display there. I always recite the prayer and read aloud the list of names. They wanted to live forever, to always have their souls fed and their names spoken. How would they feel about being behind glass, among strangers? Every little thing you can do to give respect for the dead is warranted.

I love the idea of lost subs still being on patrol. Though if you really want something ominous, let me say that the superstitious part of me wonders: why are they still on patrol? If they haven’t been found, do they not consider their mission completed? What is it out there that they are protecting us from?

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my favorite out of context quotes from my archeology professor so far in no particular order

and floridians are just as human as you and me!

and the moral of the story is that there are no deadly snakes native to alaska

you might know this guy as one of the only archaeologists cool enough to be mentioned by indiana jones

it’s my dream to have my name said by harrison ford

i’m not going to apologize for having this class at 6am because you paid for it and it’s your fault. 

we don’t all dress like lara croft. i tried to get it to be a thing on a dig and my colleagues yelled at me. 

they were pretty good archaeologists except they were too racist to realize anything they found. 

i take back what i said about us not dressing like lara croft because lewis binford here is wearing nothing but short shorts and a cowboy hat. take notes for an academic halloween costume!

archaeologists can be good artists! not me, though. or anyone i know. but if you can draw just know you have options.

sometimes you find dead bodies when you dont really expect it and you just have to deal with it

archaeologists are the only people allowed to get exited when they find corpses. 

once i ruined thanksgiving dinner when i told my family i had gotten my degree in archaeology and my uncle commented he liked dinosaurs too

the closest i’ve ever been to a grizzly bear is when i left my glasses in my tent on a dig in alaska,  saw a big rock in the distance, and almost screamed
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People who are blind from birth will gesture when they speak. I always like pointing out this fact when I teach classes on gesture, because it gives us an an interesting perspective on how we learn and use gestures. Until now I’ve mostly cited a 1998 paper from Jana Iverson and Susan Goldin-Meadow that analysed the gestures and speech of young blind people. Not only do blind people gesture, but the frequency and types of gestures they use does not appear to differ greatly from how sighted people gesture. If people learn gesture without ever seeing a gesture (and, most likely, never being shown), then there must be something about learning a language that means you get gestures as a bonus.

Blind people will even gesture when talking to other blind people, and sighted people will gesture when speaking on the phone - so we know that people don’t only gesture when they speak to someone who can see their gestures.

Earlier this year a new paper came out that adds to this story. Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow looked at the gestures of blind speakers of Turkish and English, to see if the *way* they gestured was different to sighted speakers of those languages. Some of the sighted speakers were blindfolded and others left able to see their conversation partner.

Turkish and English were chosen, because it has already been established that speakers of those languages consistently gesture differently when talking about videos of items moving. English speakers will be more likely to show the manner (e.g. ‘rolling’ or bouncing’) and trajectory (e.g. ‘left to right’, ‘downwards’) together in one gesture, and Turkish speakers will show these features as two separate gestures. This reflects the fact that English ‘roll down’ is one verbal clause, while in Turkish the equivalent would be yuvarlanarak iniyor, which translates as two verbs ‘rolling descending’.

Since we know that blind people do gesture, Özçalışkan’s team wanted to figure out if they gestured like other speakers of their language. Did the blind Turkish speakers separate the manner and trajectory of their gestures like their verbs? Did English speakers combine them? Of course, the standard methodology of showing videos wouldn’t work with blind participants, so the researchers built three dimensional models of events for people to feel before they discussed them.

The results showed that blind Turkish speakers gesture like their sighted counterparts, and the same for English speakers. All Turkish speakers gestured significantly differently from all English speakers, regardless of sightedness. This means that these particular gestural patterns are something that’s deeply linked to the grammatical properties of a language, and not something that we learn from looking at other speakers.


Jana M. Iverson & Susan Goldin-Meadow. 1998. Why people gesture when they speak. Nature, 396(6708), 228-228.

Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow. 2016. Is Seeing Gesture Necessary to Gesture Like a Native Speaker? Psychological Science 27(5) 737–747.

Asli Ozyurek & Sotaro Kita. 1999. Expressing manner and path in English and Turkish: Differences in speech, gesture, and conceptualization. In Twenty-first Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 507-512). Erlbaum.

Incredible! I have nothing to add because I had no idea, but may I just say **WOW**!!!

this is crazy interesting to me. brainz are weird.

I think what this shows, esp when you pull in the fact that signers gesture in meaningful, non-grammatically coded ways - much like speakers do - is that gesture is a fundamental part of language.

It’s only because linguists started off using written data / data we could write down in a notebook, and went from there to audio tapes, it just got left out of the study of the field. (Note that intonation also p much got left out of the field even though it has meaningful coded patterns that vary between languages. Because there wasn’t technology for recording it or easily coded ways to write it down.) It’s not a coincidence that gesture studies took off as video became an easier medium to work with.
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so when i was 7 or 8 i’d “write letters to hermione granger” and set them out on the piano in the living room every night with my stuffed toy owl and every morning i’d have a letter from hermione back, sitting at the foot of my bed, and hermione and i corresponded like that for months and i’d just like to thank my mom for writing out a “letter from hermione” for me every single night

That is the cutest thing I’ve ever read oh my god

so when i was about the same age i got really into both ciphers and james madison (idk don’t ask) so i just randomly started writing these letters like i was james madison writing to my own spy ring, using all kinds of ciphers. constantly writing that WE MUST SWITCH CIPHERS THE BRITISH ARE ON TO US. and it wasn’t every night because the ciphers kept getting more complex, but it was about one every week for six months and my mother always responded. and she always found the letters, because i took to hiding them in increasingly more obscure locations because spies, obviously. 

i didn’t realize how much work this was until i snuck down late one night for a cookie. and saw my mother bent over my giant book of ciphers and muttering to the dog “is this another code or can she not spell?” (i could not and still can not spell) and i was a bit angry at first but i kept watching and she KEPT AT IT. checking everything in that book against my letter and i never felt so loved. my mom with a full time job sitting up to figure out my silly letters said just because i enjoyed the game. 

i got her this bio of james madison a few years ago for xmas with a simple number substitution cipher on the inside saying “In thanks for your dedicated years of service, your daughter and occasional President.” She still has it pride of place on her desk next to the obligatory kid pics

so yeah cute mom story for the day. 

These are some of the best secret mom stories I’ve ever read, omg.


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