jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
jenett ([personal profile] jenett) wrote2017-04-12 08:00 am
Entry tags:

Let's have a salon

Several years ago, I ran a series of weekly salon posts, where I'd post a topic to get us started, people would show up in the comments, and conversation would ensue. Now seems a good time to try them again!

(You should not feel restrained to keep on this topic! Start other topics! Encourage topic drift! That's part of the point. Feel free to ask random questions, there's a chance someone might know about the thing.)

This week's question

What are you learning right now that you're really interested by? (That might be a project for work, for personal stuff, a gaming geekery thing, a book you're reading, a podcast you're listening to, the fact you're learning a lot about Dreamwidth and how it works this week, or anything else.)

What do you like about it? What are you finding more challenging?

Things currently contemplating

I'm currently reading Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, which is well-researched and has a really interesting structure where he's looking at different pieces of it through small slices (individual people, towns, situations) and tracing back to the origins as much as possible. I really like books where the information part is well done, but the structure creates connections between pieces of information in helpful and new ways.


* Consider this a conversation in my living room, only with a lot more seating. I reserve the right to redirect, screen, and otherwise moderate stuff, but would vastly prefer not to have to.
* If this works this week, I'll do an updated FAQ and continue.
* If you don't have a DW account or want to post anonymously, please include a name we can call you in this particular post. (You can say AnonymousOne or your favourite colour or whatever. Just something to help keep conversations clear.)
* If you've got a question or concern, feel free to PM me.
author_by_night: (Default)

Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] author_by_night 2017-04-12 01:22 pm (UTC)(link)
So here's a topic inspired by one of those Facebook memories. I have this problem less now that I'm in my thirties and my friends are mostly boring old people* parents or have other grown up obligations or just aren't that into partying anymore, but it used to be hard to make friends because I wasn't into, you know, going to bars and stuff. I don't drink much, so getting drunk to get drunk really wasn't an option.

At the same time, and I'm curious if this was the case for others, I felt like a lot of non-party people were either anti-social altogether, or they weren't into partying because they had strict moral values. So not only could we not party, everything had to be "good." No watching PG-13 movies, for instance. Also, they weren't available often because they almost exclusively did stuff with their church. I have nothing against being how they were, it just... wasn't who I was. I was somewhere in between "let's get plastered every night" and "let's drink Shirley Temples and talk about Jesus."

Like I said, it's less of a problem now - I don't know if it's because I'm older, because I've found my "people", or a little bit of both. (My guess would be it's a mixture. I have a feeling one or two WERE party people in their twenties who've since mellowed, but many also just seem like me - they want to have fun, just not beer kegs at 4 AM.)

*Kidding, obviously.

(Great idea for an entry, btw!)
anandrine: (Default)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] anandrine 2017-04-12 02:22 pm (UTC)(link)
hmm, i think there's a bunch of factors to this. where you live, plus whether you've lived there a while or you're new. when i was in high school and college, even though i was in the conservative, religious south, this wasn't a problem. at one point, i met a couple friends through a church group, even though most of us weren't religious (or rather were interested in wicca, lol) and were gay/bi/etc--it was just kind of a convenient place to meet once a week. when i was in college, i signed up for student groups and met people there, and i occasionally went to parties with friends and met people there, but also, at that time i didn't drink and didn't feel out of place for not doing so. one of my most memorable experiences from that time was going to a spot in the middle of some alabama woods that supposedly had an abandoned, haunted church--totally sober.)

on the other hand, moving as an adult to a new state, i've definitely experienced the struggle. however, i also think it's less to do with "partiers vs. jesus freaks" and more to do with the fact that when that happens, you often have zero foundation to build on, unless you happen to have friends in the new state who can introduce you to their friends. in that case i feel it's not so much you only have two extremes when it comes to actual people, but when it comes to thinking of places where there are large amounts of new people you could meet, if that makes sense?
mindways: (Default)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] mindways 2017-04-12 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I've always found that "a thing to do together" has been key to making friends - meet via a shared interest, and if there's a social-clicking with someone then start getting together with them outside of that interest.

I've never found "get smashed" or "go to bars" very appealing. Instead, I've met people via roleplaying games, board games, LARPing, martial arts, partner yoga, the SCA - and in many many cases via introductions from mutual friends, though that's not a good bootstrapper unless you happen to befriend a social nexus right off the bat. Plus still-friends from high school + college.

I've never run into the strict moral values problem, but I grew up in New England; despite our puritan heritage we lean pretty liberal these days.
maellenkleth: (glass-flower)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] maellenkleth 2017-04-12 08:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I seldom partied, because I worked long shifts at a responsible job in a coal mine. My workmates expected me to be well-rested and **not** hung-over when I wired-up the shots at the coal-face.

Of course, the standard quip, back then, was "I don't stand behind my work: I stand behind a BIG rock."

Did tend to hang out in the Chinese restaurant on Sunday afternoons and drink a lot of tea. Either that or the doughnut shop were our social choices, out there, back then (that was almost 40 years ago,now).
dejla: (Default)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] dejla 2017-04-13 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not a great fan of drinking parties -- watching other people get plastered only made me wish I was an interior decorator because I could sure do better than that on a wall.

Most of the people I have encountered in my life were not heavy drinkers or did not drink at all. My father, for instance, was a Baptist minister whose father was a drunk. Not a mean drunk, but a happy, funny drunk who lost his farm because of drink, who couldn't provide for his family because he was drunk, and who ended up digging ditches to make ends meet.

I do drink a little now, not all that often because I am also the designated driver in my group. Two mixed drinks and that's it for the evening. I don't care for beer, and I'm not crazy about dry wines. I like sweet champagne and German whites, but one glass of that is usually it.

So... there are things that I would do with certain friends that I wouldn't do with other friends. Some people I might watch porn with -- which can be hysterically funny if you're in the mood. Others I might watch PG-13 or R films or simply sit and discuss religion, politics (NOT at a mixed dinner crowd), or books.

I think you havs to find your people, as you said. And as you get older, the people you had less of a connection with drift away, and the ones who really get you stay

ofmonstrouswords: (bsg: kara thrace card game)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] ofmonstrouswords 2017-04-13 05:46 am (UTC)(link)
I was a super partier in my 20s, because theatre kid, but no longer, because super disabled now (thanks to said partying**). Also I'm older, and even if I were physically able to go out clubbing again I would feel like a super creeper in a crowd of 20somethings.

I'm still a night owl, though, and like socializing past midnight. Just in quieter environments, such as at home playing card games/board games, watching movies together, geeking out over stuff, knitting circles, etc, not out at the club and dancing until everything hurts. (Which, tbh, I miss doing.) Luckily I have found and can find others who are into this, but usually only every so often, like at events where we don't have to get up early the next day. Otherwise, folks have Adult Responsibilities that don't include being on a shift worker's schedule and being able to stay up late during the week or even on weekends.

Anyway, when I was a partier, I had a bunch of people I called friends but for the most part were probably acquaintances. Some of them have remained close friends; one was my best man at my wedding, though probably worth noting he's never been a "partier" so much as he was game for whatever the hangouts were when we went to school together. We were just as likely to play Rock Band in his trailer as we were to go out dancing (and what we decided on would likely come down to how much money we had).

The problem is I moved away from the town where I went to uni and was a partier and now I live in a city where everyone is much farther apart, physically, and transit is crap enough this means you rarely get to see the friends you have unless you all live in the same neighborhood. We don't even visit my husband's family that often because it's something like a 30, 45 minute drive. (Or 3 hours on transit.) So most of those people who remained close friends? I rarely see, if at all.

The friends we have here are scattered across the city in various neighborhoods (boroughs? I don't know what to call areas that are basically cities onto themselves but rest within the regional district of Greater MainCity), and any events we might want to go to are generally speaking going to be super far out of the way.

Currently my husband is at rehearsal for a burlesque show he's performing in on Friday and that is in *downtown.* Ie, a place we almost never go to, because it's an hour away with normal traffic and gas prices are horrendous. Burlesque outside of downtown? HAH.

The pagan crowd similarly tends to have their events in other neighborhoods that are far enough away that we can't go on a regular basis, or for the once-a-year campout type gatherings, they're *close*, but we can only afford one of them a year (and that's because it's run by his mom and she gifts us part of our registration fee for our bdays).

So the end result is I feel I have no friends because there's no one I see often enough to feel like they're really part of my life, because getting out of our neighborhood to see people is a huge problem. And I have no idea how to make new friends in our neighborhood, not to mention a lingering feeling that there's no point because even though I WANT us to settle down here in this part of town, the likelihood of us being able to afford that is super super super slim. Paperthin, even. Or the problem that the process of making new friends often requires time spent in public areas, not homes, before inviting to homes, which translates to "let's meet for coffee" which means I can sit there and order nothing because *I cannot afford to go out for coffee*.

I don't really want to YET AGAIN go through the process of Make Friends, Move Away, Have Friends Scattered Across Globe, Feel More Alone Than Ever. (My best friend in the entire world? Lives in Alaska. Most of my friends from teen years? Hawaii, because that's where I went to high school. I'm on the mainland of British Columbia now, and most of my uni friends are STILL on Vancouver Island, which is prohibitively expensive to visit now because BC Ferries=the devil. I end up reluctant to make new friends because I never know if I'm going to stay in an area and long distance friendships with no in-the-area friendships to balance them are breaking my heart.)

The one area where I've been trying to make new friends/become part of a community has been the local Anglican Church, where they know I'm pagan and are cool with it, and it's been lovely, but then my car's windshield wipers stopped working which renders it undriveable in a temperate rainforest, so I haven't been in weeks. Which just, add to the pile of "I started trying to be part of a community but then stopped, for whatever reason."

So. Yeah. I have no idea.

**long story that is best summed up by: drunken wrestling can lead to damaged spine.
tinny: (Default)

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

[personal profile] tinny 2017-04-16 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
That is interesting! I have an LJ friend who is from Finland and claims that there are no other places to go but bars, and that everyone is expected to be drinking.

I can't help them, because I don't live in Finland and thus can't disprove their claim. From what cliches I have heard about Finland, it may even be true? It's still so sad to have to stand by and not be able to help.

My own approach to this (which I already told them about) would be to go look for common interests - start an online dating profile with the intention of finding non-romantic friends to spend time with, or start sports or other hobbies to find like-minded people.

I'd have thought that works anywhere. *shrug*
dejla: (Default)

[personal profile] dejla 2017-04-13 02:15 am (UTC)(link)
Fascinating! I'm a part of the sixties boom, so I have been in Star Trek and then Star Wars fandom since I was in college and grad school. The kind of open knowledge of fanfiction and such was such a threat in those days, when everyone knew you had to hide it -- and some jerks didn't bother to hide it.
anandrine: (ouat. belle: book lover)

[personal profile] anandrine 2017-04-12 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
what a fun idea!

right now i'm researching the long-term effects of climate change -- like what our world will actually look like thousands and millions of years from now as a result -- for a story and it's fascinating. there's obvious things, like obviously rising temperatures are going to impact what wildlife (flora and fauna) can survive. BUT also when i think heat i think dry, which isn't going to necessarily be the case: we'll actually have new forests and swamplands! i was watching a documentary last night that said mount everest is actually growing taller. when i said this to my wife, she said "duh, that's how plate tectonics work" and i was like, i KNOW that exists but i didn't realize the tectonics and continental shifting actually made existing mountains GROW. that's pretty cool. also weather impacts plate tectonics (which in turn impacts weather again) so the continents are gradually shifting more and are going to create new mountain ranges! it's pretty cool.

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sporky_rat: Sailor V being Sailor V (even more sailor v)

[personal profile] sporky_rat 2017-04-12 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?

Well, there's working on getting ready to run a Pathfinder Adventure Path (Strange Aeons, it's got a lot of Cthulu-esqe stuff going on), so I'm learning about the Mythos and getting all the stuff ready for the game.

I'm also learning all the best ways to do home improvement without money. :D
makamu: (fanfic is by boji)

[personal profile] makamu 2017-04-12 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Fellow Pathfinder player/ newbie GM here who has been in love with the PF community since it started *shyly offers fist for fistbumb*

That sounds really interesting - I have been rather out of the loop for a while when it comes to new content, but this sounds really up Paizo's alley. Any resources you'd care to share? I have been trying to get into the Mythos via Lovecraft for ages, but always become turned off by the overly racist stuff even for its time, so any recs for how to navigate the issue/ other entryways would be much appreciated

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dejla: (Default)

[personal profile] dejla 2017-04-12 05:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been doing research lately into the Regency Era, as many books as differently focused as possible. (There are three different books entitled Jane Austen's England or variants of that.) I'm trying to do a novel in that era as much as like Jane Austen as I can (probably not very like, but I do try). And I love history anyway, so...

I've put Dreamland on my TO BUY list.

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makamu: (Default)

[personal profile] makamu 2017-04-12 05:45 pm (UTC)(link)
That's a clever idea - thanks for hosting us [personal profile] jenett! *shyly offers virtual tea and cookies*

I am currently doing a lot of research into both Elizabethan theatre and gender conceptions (as well as political theology) and late-eighteenth century political debates in England (think: Jacobins, Burke, Wollstonecraft and how the political ideals of that period are reflected in the literary output of the younger Romantics (especially Mary Shelley) for my Phd.

I am also researching a lot about the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany (especially cultural history) for a fic I am planning to write. For another fic, I am doing an extensive read-up on turn-of-the-century Austria-Hungary and all sorts of politics and cultural history there. Of course, as a history nerd, I am going hopelessly overboard with all of those topics because I am learning interesting stuff
Edited (typos happen when you type too fast) 2017-04-12 18:10 (UTC)

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maellenkleth: a wind-blown coastal pine tree, done as a stained-glass window (tree-window)

[personal profile] maellenkleth 2017-04-12 08:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm studying the palaeogeographic and palaeobotanical controls on the rheological behaviour of melted coal (including answering questions concerning why some coals won't melt at all). It's a subject of great interest to people who smelt iron in blast-furnaces, and also of interest (at much smaller scale) to blacksmiths who care about their work.

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silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

[personal profile] silveradept 2017-04-12 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Right now, I'm still in the middle of learning that permanent getting rid of a toxic relationship is both time and money intensive. It comes with learning that I have good friends and family support, but it seems to be taking up an outsized amount of those things at the moment.

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mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2017-04-12 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I read a history of butter last week, and now I have embarked on an exploration of butters. This is going to take me awhile. But it's another thing to be thoughtful and intentional about in my life, so that's pretty cool.

I'm also learning how to write this book, but that's pretty much always true for some book. Right now it's true for this one.

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used_songs: (martha)

[personal profile] used_songs 2017-04-13 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
Recently, I've started using some new (to me) technology tools at work - DocHub, Nearpod, Clips, Storybird, and Thinglink. I like using stuff like that with students, but the challenge is not spending too much class time on teaching the tool because I have so little time as it is. I teach mainly English language learners, so we are always pressed for time to get through the curriculum anyway and then we also do a lot of language study. But I want my students to have a lot of technology skills! Anyway, figuring out how to explain an online tool well enough that they can get started is always a challenge.

I really enjoy using technology in class. Today we had a catastrophic failure in 1st period with Nearpod and the co-teacher was panicking a little and the kids were all saying, "It isn't working! It isn't working!" But we got it straightened out with a little bit of calm figuring it out time, and it was worth it.

dejla: (Default)

[personal profile] dejla 2017-04-13 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, fun! It's so hard to be a teacher these days -- I don't exactly teach anymore, but I do work on the help desk at a large law firm, and a lot of that is teaching.

I'm going to have to look up those programs.

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teigh_corvus: ([Dino] Don't Mess with Plant Eaters)

[personal profile] teigh_corvus 2017-04-13 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
This week has been the slow but steady increase of Thoughts on The Monster Show [that is, the horror genre]. I'm running roughly three threads currently - listening to audio ride-thrus of the Haunted Mansion, listening to novelty monster rock [mostly from the 50s] and horror film scores [50s through 80s], and getting obsessed with King Kong. Though, the obsession isn't Giant Apes exactly, but more WHY this branch of the creature feature continues to fascinate.

dejla: (Default)

[personal profile] dejla 2017-04-13 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
Can you give us some names of those scores? I would love to listen to them. Someone once told me that the reason Werewolf of London was so frightening because it had NO musical score. You had no warning of the next scary thing.

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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2017-04-13 02:48 am (UTC)(link)
"What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?"

...I'm not. And thank you, because I hadn't really REALIZED that and it's part of my frustration. I'm so swamped I'm only learning what I have to, not any want-to's, and then I go hide in fun-mindless for my leisure time.

I wonder if I can find something fun-but-slightly-learny that I might work with, at least....
umadoshi: (sleeping on a book)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-04-13 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
Is it okay to signal boost this, or would you prefer that I don't? (Either is fine!)

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mindways: (Default)

[personal profile] mindways 2017-04-13 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
I've started learning Brazilian Jiusitsu! It's a grappling martial art, and it's really neat. I've taken 4 lessons and am looking forward to more, particularly because the instructor tends to phrase / present things almost like a board game: move and countermove, variations and conversions. If I can get the raw physical skills... well, I'm good at board games. And I'm finding that stuff from all manner of other physical skills I've learned is translating just enough to help me learn more easily.

This is part of a larger project of "learn what types of exercise I will like enough to continue regularly without my aversion kicking in". My working hypothesis is that one strong factor towards enjoyment is connection: working in partnership, a sense of camaraderie/community, and/or going with friends. (This deduced from how much I enjoyed acroyoga for years, whereas other forms of exercise I'd grow aversive to within weeks or months.)

("Music" is another thing I suspect will keep me coming back - none of that at BJJ, but our local gym offers a Zumba class...)
ofmonstrouswords: (reading: medieval woman)

[personal profile] ofmonstrouswords 2017-04-13 05:17 am (UTC)(link)
I'm learning Dutch via Duolingo. This is an ancestor veneration thing as well as a "building future things for future kids" thing. My mom never really taught me Dutch when I was a kid because part of assimilation into "white culture" here in N. America means you view your language and customs and heritage and culture as "useless." Huzzah, I pass for white, and thus have lost much of my heritage. Great.

So she and my Oma basically elided a lot of our Dutch heritage and now I spend time thinking about what I lost because I wasn't able to ask Oma questions in Dutch about her life in Holland. She spoke English very well but often when it came to talking about her life in Holland she would default back to Dutch without realizing it, meaning I didn't get as much info as I wanted.

There are very few traditions that were passed down to me, so learning Dutch is one way of rebuilding what was lost (and as time goes on I'll be finding out about other traditions as much as I can, either by researching Dutch culture more or asking mom if there's anything she can remember).

Anyway, I'm enjoying it a lot, even when it's frustrating, and finding a lot of the sentence examples very silly and/or animist. Such as Goedendag, sap, which translates to Good day, juice. Also I can't stop laughing over the fact that thanks is bedankt.

Eventually I'll be doing a similar project with my Native side and the lost heritage there, but I'm guessing it will need to include some trips to the States, which are...not really something I'm wanting to do a lot of right now. Also pretty sure Duolingo doesn't have Cherokee on it.

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carbonel: (Default)

[personal profile] carbonel 2017-04-14 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?

Fiber arts of various sorts. As you may remember, I started spinning (on a spinning wheel, not the exercise type) around eight years ago. I'm still spinning, and am currently learning about the history of spinning and fiber arts, various spinning techniques (it's easy to get in a rut, and I want to avoid that), and have been reading books about breeds of sheep and non-sheep fibers (cotton, flax, and silk).

This has also led me into flirtations with dyeing and weaving, but those have been very casual affairs to date. Spinning, on the other hand, is a long-term love -- though, time permitting, I'm happy to be polyamorous with all the fiber arts.