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On 5/13/2021 at 8:05 AM, juliebarkley said:

On a psychological level I am not sure how to handle this situation.

 

I compartmentalise. Focus on other things, avoid the news. Sure, pure awareness of the doom breaks through sometime, but then I shove it aside and carry on. Not sure what other options there are unless you can take action.

 

On 5/13/2021 at 10:27 PM, juliebarkley said:

I've never had the sorts of friends where we shared emotional vulnerabilities - that seems to me like a highly intimate thing that requires a great deal of trust. I've never understood how others seem to do this so easily (by comparison). I don't even know how you'd go about starting such a conversation. "Can I dump my brokenness out in front of you so we can pick through it together?" does not sound especially appealing from either end of the conversation.

 

If someone I had just met dumped all their problems on me that might be overwhelming. But that isn't how it has worked, in practice, in my experience. People share more as they get to know you more, based on your reactions to other things they shared. So they vent at 10% intensity, you're supportive, and then another time they vent at 15% intensity/vulnerability.  And so on. If you don't trust the people around you, is it because they have reacted indifferently or discouragingly to other revelations or sharing before? Or is it some other feeling or experience? Anyway, I'm sorry you don't have anyone right now with whom you feel totally safe to be open and share everything. That's hard.

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22 hours ago, Harriet said:

I compartmentalise. Focus on other things, avoid the news. Sure, pure awareness of the doom breaks through sometime, but then I shove it aside and carry on. Not sure what other options there are unless you can take action.

This is my plan right here.

 

22 hours ago, Harriet said:

If someone I had just met dumped all their problems on me that might be overwhelming. But that isn't how it has worked, in practice, in my experience. People share more as they get to know you more, based on your reactions to other things they shared. So they vent at 10% intensity, you're supportive, and then another time they vent at 15% intensity/vulnerability.  And so on. If you don't trust the people around you, is it because they have reacted indifferently or discouragingly to other revelations or sharing before? Or is it some other feeling or experience? Anyway, I'm sorry you don't have anyone right now with whom you feel totally safe to be open and share everything. That's hard.

I cannot remotely imagine dumping this sort of thing on someone I'd just met. As I say, for me it seems to be a deeper extension of trust than for most others. As to why, it's a mix. Part is upbringing - sharing of emotions/vulnerabilities was not done in my household, so I had no models of how to do it. Part is that I think I have trouble judging the closeness of a friendship and therefore how much sharing is appropriate, especially since the people I'm meeting now are pretty much all online. Part is personality - I have a reputation for being "private" and "quiet", but I really just never think to share things unprompted. If asked about whatever, I am a (relatively) open book. But not so for emotions. I don't show them or talk about them normally. In terms of intimacy/vulnerability level, showing emotions feels a lot like taking off clothing - not a thing done lightly or with just anyone. And yes, the few times I have tried sharing stuff, I generally get the "dismissal" response. I very cautiously made an attempt with someone in person back in the fall when we had been spending the last hour sharing stuff about failed relationships (so a trust situation IMO) with a low-key comment on the thing I had been crying about daily for almost three weeks straight, including that very day. Instant dismissal. That one hurt. :( Person got pulled back out of the zone of trust for who knows how long and I doubt they even know.

 

Anyway, I've literally never had anyone to share everything with, so can't miss what you've never had? It really doesn't feel like a big lack most of the time.

 

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There is not a lot to report, I'm afraid. Work kind of kicked my butt on Friday and I was just tired all evening. I did finish the dining room though (or maybe that was the day before). Saturday was not much sleep, then lots of work, then making a character for @jonfirestar's one-shot with the Urp family adventuring party. Well, I started trying to make two, so I could have a spare, but I VERY badly misjudged how much time it would take and didn't finish my one character until after 4 AM (game started at 10 AM). I had an INT score that made me a good fit with the Urps until the tiredness faded some and I got a bit of a grip on my character. Now I need to put together a song list and a collection of cutting insults and my character will be truly complete. :D

 

After the game, I had a little rest in the beautiful sunshine and then the regular Sunday accountability group where we may or may not have badgered one of the participants into making a video with a stuffed giraffe to share with the group (she needed a push to take action without perfection). I was reminded of the peer pressure we collectively applied to @WhiteGhost that resulted in an ice cream challenge. (Positive) peer pressure for the win.

 

Other than that, I finished the romance book I was reading, and enjoyed it much more than I had anticipated. Would read again, and would read more by this author. I thought the pacing was good, the plot interesting and allowed for deep character development, and the frequency of intimate scenes felt right (pacing-wise; I do think the physicality moved faster than is realistic for someone with the character's particular issues and experiences). The reviews I read afterwards were split between people who loved it as it was and people who liked the characters but either found it way too slow or complained of way too little sex (which probably amounts to the same thing). If the frequency of sex scenes were significantly higher, the plot and character development would have suffered and I would not have enjoyed it as much, so I am not sure what this bodes for the rest of the romance genre. Still, first trial was a success. I will continue with this experiment and move on to the next book on my list.

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13 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

 In terms of intimacy/vulnerability level, showing emotions feels a lot like taking off clothing - not a thing done lightly or with just anyone. And yes, the few times I have tried sharing stuff, I generally get the "dismissal" response. I very cautiously made an attempt with someone in person back in the fall when we had been spending the last hour sharing stuff about failed relationships (so a trust situation IMO) with a low-key comment on the thing I had been crying about daily for almost three weeks straight, including that very day. Instant dismissal. That one hurt. :( Person got pulled back out of the zone of trust for who knows how long and I doubt they even know.

 

Alas, that's rough to be dismissed like that. And it is super hard to judge with people online. I wonder why they shut down if you had already been talking about relationships. 

 

13 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

Anyway, I've literally never had anyone to share everything with, so can't miss what you've never had? It really doesn't feel like a big lack most of the time.

 

Well, it's helpful to have support but you still have to carry the emotions around yourself. So we do need the same coping skills whether we have people to confide in or not. But I can imagine it would be a strain if you wanted to confide in people but couldn't.

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28 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Alas, that's rough to be dismissed like that. And it is super hard to judge with people online. I wonder why they shut down if you had already been talking about relationships. 

To be clear, when I say dismissal, I mean a reaction like "come on, that's ridiculous", "you can't really think that", "you're making too much of this", etc. Just writing off your problems and feelings as totally invalid and not worth even thinking about. Maybe they thought it was helpful. 🤷‍♀️

 

32 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Well, it's helpful to have support but you still have to carry the emotions around yourself. So we do need the same coping skills whether we have people to confide in or not. But I can imagine it would be a strain if you wanted to confide in people but couldn't.

True, true. And it has been hard lately, but well, this year has been weird for everyone on the emotional and psychological level. Just acknowledging emotional problems and talking about them in the abstract as I am doing here is a new development for me, so despite the difficulties, I'm putting this in the personal growth column. :)

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38 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

To be clear, when I say dismissal, I mean a reaction like "come on, that's ridiculous", "you can't really think that", "you're making too much of this", etc. Just writing off your problems and feelings as totally invalid and not worth even thinking about. Maybe they thought it was helpful. 🤷‍♀️

 

If they thought that was helpful, they are a moron. 

 

Not the most nuanced opinion, I know, but really... no. Not helpful.

 

What you're feeling is not ridiculous. Doesn't matter what caused the feelings, they're valid. End of story.

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53 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

To be clear, when I say dismissal, I mean a reaction like "come on, that's ridiculous", "you can't really think that", "you're making too much of this", etc. Just writing off your problems and feelings as totally invalid and not worth even thinking about. Maybe they thought it was helpful. 🤷‍♀️

 

Oh yeah, that's a common reaction. Lots of people are problem-solvers or positivity-proselytisers. I think it's an instinct, to want to 'solve' someone else's distress, but it's often not appropriate. Sometimes we just need to nod and make sympathetic noises and agree that the situation is, indeed, terrible. It's not a solution, not at all, but at least the speaker feels acknowledged. My father is a terrible problem-solver. For example, if I'm anxious about an upcoming social interaction, he'll make very specific suggestions for what to say (which is annoying, and also his excessive planning to avoid ever angering or upsetting others is where I got the anxiety in the first place, lol). He doesn't do well with subtle cues so sometimes I have to tell him something like "Shhh! Stop making suggestions for what I can say. I'll figure that out myself. I just wanted to complain." As for the positivity, it sometimes is helpful, so I guess people might not always know what their interlocutor needs. Like is someone expressing a fleeting insecurity that just needs to be drowned with some encouragement, or are they expressing hints about some deeper crisis that needs to be faced directly?

 

53 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

True, true. And it has been hard lately, but well, this year has been weird for everyone on the emotional and psychological level. Just acknowledging emotional problems and talking about them in the abstract as I am doing here is a new development for me, so despite the difficulties, I'm putting this in the personal growth column. :)

 

Noice. It has been weird but maybe weird is a good place for growth.

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4 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

I had an INT score that made me a good fit with the Urps until the tiredness faded some and I got a bit of a grip on my character. Now I need to put together a song list and a collection of cutting insults and my character will be truly complete. :D

It was great to play with you :) Your little halfling bard was a lot of fun!

 

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8 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

I was reminded of the peer pressure we collectively applied to @WhiteGhost that resulted in an ice cream challenge. (Positive) peer pressure for the win.

I believe the appropriate word for that was "Coercion" :P 

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12 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

If they thought that was helpful, they are a moron. 

 

Not the most nuanced opinion, I know, but really... no. Not helpful.

 

What you're feeling is not ridiculous. Doesn't matter what caused the feelings, they're valid. End of story.

This is a person who has good things to say about (almost) everyone and builds people up all the time, so I'm certain there was no malice in it. And even if their reaction was disbelief, a response like "But how could you think that when [counterexample] happened only last week and [other counterexample]? What is making you feel this way?" would have been perfectly fine because now you've given me something to think about and engage with, as well as signalled that you are interested and willing to listen. But the way it was done, no, it was not helpful. At all.

 

12 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oh yeah, that's a common reaction. Lots of people are problem-solvers or positivity-proselytisers. I think it's an instinct, to want to 'solve' someone else's distress, but it's often not appropriate. Sometimes we just need to nod and make sympathetic noises and agree that the situation is, indeed, terrible. It's not a solution, not at all, but at least the speaker feels acknowledged. My father is a terrible problem-solver. For example, if I'm anxious about an upcoming social interaction, he'll make very specific suggestions for what to say (which is annoying, and also his excessive planning to avoid ever angering or upsetting others is where I got the anxiety in the first place, lol). He doesn't do well with subtle cues so sometimes I have to tell him something like "Shhh! Stop making suggestions for what I can say. I'll figure that out myself. I just wanted to complain." As for the positivity, it sometimes is helpful, so I guess people might not always know what their interlocutor needs. Like is someone expressing a fleeting insecurity that just needs to be drowned with some encouragement, or are they expressing hints about some deeper crisis that needs to be faced directly?

As a problem-solver type myself who also doesn't do subtle, I assure you that it comes from a place of love, and that saying "knock it off, I just want to complain" is both fine and appreciated because now I know how to respond. ;) Maybe the problem is that I don't really share the mild fleeting stuff. I only get to the sharing stage when I can no longer cope alone and I'm desperate. And I would be happy with both acknowledgement AND potential solutions. 🤷‍♀️ So yeah, for future reference, if I'm ever talking about insecurities or emotional pain, especially if I am no longer making eye contact, shit just got real. And if after taking a leap and reaching out with my soul you dismiss me, I may never trust you again.

 

12 hours ago, Harriet said:

Noice. It has been weird but maybe weird is a good place for growth.

Being thrown out of one's comfort zone has a way of exposing you to new things, I guess.

 

10 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

It was great to play with you :) Your little halfling bard was a lot of fun!

Same! Looking forward to meeting more Urp family members and hangers-on. :)

 

5 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I believe the appropriate word for that was "Coercion" :P 

But aren't you glad we dragged you kicking and screaming applied gentle pressure? You might have good ice cream in future thanks to us!

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today is another day of the most perfect beautiful weather and I fully intend to spend as much time outdoors as possible. :)

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11 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

As a problem-solver type myself who also doesn't do subtle, I assure you that it comes from a place of love, and that saying "knock it off, I just want to complain" is both fine and appreciated because now I know how to respond. ;)

 

Yeah, I also appreciate people telling me the rules/expectations, since I don't always pick them up automatically.

 

11 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

Maybe the problem is that I don't really share the mild fleeting stuff. I only get to the sharing stage when I can no longer cope alone and I'm desperate. And I would be happy with both acknowledgement AND potential solutions. 🤷‍♀️ So yeah, for future reference, if I'm ever talking about insecurities or emotional pain, especially if I am no longer making eye contact, shit just got real. And if after taking a leap and reaching out with my soul you dismiss me, I may never trust you again.

 

I shall keep that in mind. But we never make eye contact here, so sometimes it's hard to tell what people need.

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1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

Maybe the problem is that I don't really share the mild fleeting stuff. I only get to the sharing stage when I can no longer cope alone and I'm desperate. And I would be happy with both acknowledgement AND potential solutions. 🤷‍♀️ So yeah, for future reference, if I'm ever talking about insecurities or emotional pain, especially if I am no longer making eye contact, shit just got real. And if after taking a leap and reaching out with my soul you dismiss me, I may never trust you again.

Oh this is me in a nutshell. And also a problem solver who much prefers blunt dialog to subtlety. 

 

1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

Same! Looking forward to meeting more Urp family members and hangers-on. :)

 

Thanks! And me too. I'm constantly surprised by all the new characters popping up. 

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5 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

As a problem-solver type myself who also doesn't do subtle, I assure you that it comes from a place of love, and that saying "knock it off, I just want to complain" is both fine and appreciated because now I know how to respond. ;) Maybe the problem is that I don't really share the mild fleeting stuff. I only get to the sharing stage when I can no longer cope alone and I'm desperate. And I would be happy with both acknowledgement AND potential solutions. 🤷‍♀️ So yeah, for future reference, if I'm ever talking about insecurities or emotional pain, especially if I am no longer making eye contact, shit just got real. And if after taking a leap and reaching out with my soul you dismiss me, I may never trust you again.

 

Noted and memorized.

 

Once, many many years ago, I approached one of my siblings and expressed a strong need to vent about something that had happened at work. And she said, "Okay. Do you want my advise, or help to solve the problem, or do you just want me to listen and agree with you?" Yep, all the emotional maturity genes went to her. :D 

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10 hours ago, Harriet said:

I shall keep that in mind. But we never make eye contact here, so sometimes it's hard to tell what people need.

4 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Noted and memorized.

This was not directed at any particular person you understand, just thrown out at the world in general. But thank you. I feel both seen and heard, but also kind of exposed. 😅 This whole discussion has been a stretch of my comfort zone for sure.

 

9 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Oh this is me in a nutshell. And also a problem solver who much prefers blunt dialog to subtlety. 

Twins!

 

9 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Thanks! And me too. I'm constantly surprised by all the new characters popping up. 

You have created a wonderful thing here.

 

4 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Once, many many years ago, I approached one of my siblings and expressed a strong need to vent about something that had happened at work. And she said, "Okay. Do you want my advise, or help to solve the problem, or do you just want me to listen and agree with you?" Yep, all the emotional maturity genes went to her. :D 

Haha, nice! Good for her for having that insight so naturally.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lovely time in the sun was had today. I helped my son fix up a new-to-him bike that we picked up as a temporary fix until he can go into the shops and get fitted properly for a new one. He got lots of riding in afterwards. :)

 

We did an hour of sorting in the evening, during which I got all of one surface done, with an area of perhaps three square feet. The little table the phone lives on was full of slips of paper with phone numbers, address labels, stamps, paperclips, notepaper, and all kinds of tiny crap crammed into three organizers and scattered on the tabletop itself that all needed sorting out. Based on my sorting experience so far, I swear all organizers do most of the time is end up holding random items that you just can't be bothered to put away properly. How else do you end up with marbles, dice, shampoo samples, and obituary notices in an area that's supposed to be used for phone and mail?

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4 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Based on my sorting experience so far, I swear all organizers do most of the time is end up holding random items that you just can't be bothered to put away properly. How else do you end up with marbles, dice, shampoo samples, and obituary notices in an area that's supposed to be used for phone and mail?

I think they should be called disorganization containment devices

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9 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

This was not directed at any particular person you understand, just thrown out at the world in general. But thank you. I feel both seen and heard, but also kind of exposed.

 

That's an unavoidable side-effect of really being seen. Nothing we can do about that. ;) 

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

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20 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I think they should be called disorganization containment devices

Yesss, they are simply facilitators of laziness.

 

15 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

That's an unavoidable side-effect of really being seen. Nothing we can do about that. ;) 

Well then, I'm sure I'll find a way to cope somehow. ;)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

It has, once again, not been the world's most productive day on the goals front. No sorting at all, in fact. I was oddly tired after getting home from work, but kept fighting the urge to nap both so I could enjoy the (once again) beautiful weather and so that I would not be either late or groggy for D&D. So I hung out outside reading Chinese history aloud, came back in and worked on picking out scripts for tomorrow's practice and a last-minute magic item for the D&D, and I'm sure there was other stuff in there too but I can't remember what. Now I'm just tired. I haven't done Elements for like two weeks now and I want to get back on track. But right now, just tired. So sleep soon, as soon as I've got everything set up for tomorrow.

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2 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

reading Chinese history

Oh? I'd love to hear more about that

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15 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Oh? I'd love to hear more about that

It may disappoint you. I did a course on ancient Chinese history way back when, but I only remember enough to know that I want to learn more about Chinese history. :D My son reads two chapters of his world history book for world history each week (we do Canadian history as a separate subject). Except when I say "he reads", I mean that I read them to him, because he often retains better that way and enjoys it more. Yesterday's chapter was set sometime between 630 and 650, during the Tang dynasty. The Silla kingdom on the Korean peninsula was getting tired of the endless inconclusive wars between Goguryeo, Silla and Baekje, and decided to settle it for good. They reached out to the Tang dynasty and formed an alliance. Baekje allied with Yamato Japan, but that went poorly and the kingdom was wiped out (Baekje, not Yamato). Goguryeo took longer to go down. But after the king of Silla's victory, the Tang dynasty tried to give him a new title that amounted to "Head of the Colonies of the East" and he was like, "I did not reach out to you so I could be a mere middle manager for your government. I am a king, dangit!" and sought out the Goguryeo rebels that he'd been fighting against not so long ago. He managed to woo them, then turned on the Chinese. I don't know if they won militarily exactly, but they were annoying enough that China withdrew their "Head of the Colonies of the East" post to a different city on the Chinese mainland and left Korea alone for a bit. I believe that was the gist of it. I can't remember any of the people's names, but the head of the Tang dynasty was a woman at that time (one of his father's former concubines that the new king rescued from a Buddhist monastery and had clearly been having a relationship with for a while, who then ended up in power as regent, IIRC). Yamato too, I think, but she would have been a puppet. There was quite a bit about one of the Tang emperors and his expansion efforts as well, before all the Korean war stuff.

 

12 hours ago, Epsilonte said:

Seems like a fun hobby. :D 

Hope you sleep well! 

I did, thanks!

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Well, I was going to restart Elements today, but I did a bunch of sorting instead that had me walking up and down two flights of stairs for a couple of hours and left me with a sore back and a bit out of breath, so good enough for today? I discovered that the upstairs that my son said was done, was only half-assedly done. So I tackled the white wire drawer things in the corner and some other stuff in the little bay at the top of the stairs, while he did the stuff in the cabinet under the printer and a drawer in the kitchen. Does anyone need pencils? I think I might have enough to build a log cabin. No, that's probably an exaggeration. Perhaps a children's play house. My spare change bucket is now rivalling my screw container in weight, and I am not complaining about that. ;)

 

I also discovered that the weight limit for blood donation is five pounds lower than I thought it was, so I think I finally consistently weigh enough that, when I move somewhere and can access a clinic again, I can actually donate blood! (As long as they don't yell at me like last time for not bleeding fast enough for their tastes. Humph.)

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35 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

(As long as they don't yell at me like last time for not bleeding fast enough for their tastes. Humph.)


Ungrateful vampires! Vampiric ingrates! Shocking.

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Let cheese and bread and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination.

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5 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

It may disappoint you.

Did not disappoint at all,  That was a period of Chinese history that Ghostlet and I were discussing recently so I enjoyed the recap from a non-Chinese perspective.

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ungrateful vampires! Vampiric ingrates! Shocking.

Those vampires need to be more skilled with their needles. I accept only partial blame for my bleeding problem.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Did not disappoint at all,  That was a period of Chinese history that Ghostlet and I were discussing recently so I enjoyed the recap from a non-Chinese perspective.

Ooh, interesting! Now I want to know the story from the Chinese perspective.

 

One thing that I didn't mention was that in the expansion phase, the author made much of how the emperor's northern ancestry helped him when expanding into the territory of the Western and Eastern Turks. Because of his background, he understood Turkic culture and could talk to them in a way they would understand (he did some sort of brotherhood ceremony, for example, to prevent an attack). The previous period of Chinese history (I want to say this was the Sui dynasty?) seemed to me characterized by a cultural division between the northern "barbarian" and the southern "civilized" Chinese, with a desire to adopt southern traits to both legitimize rule and out of a sense of inferiority I think, with the southern Chinese happy to evangelize. But this later period seems to put a greater value on that northern experience - recruiting northern troops and learning from northern culture - which made the empire's expansion successful, unlike Sui efforts.

 

I wondered if you saw any parallels with modern China in the cultural dynamics? (Now, I do not know much about China; this are my humble thoughts from what little I have run across only. Please educate me if I am way off base. Or even a little off base. :) ) There seems to me to be an analagous division in modern China between the "civilized" and "barbarian", where "civilized" is ethnic Chinese culture and Mandarin language, and all other (possibly not Cantonese?) are "barbarian" and inferior. There also seems to be a strong desire on the part of the Chinese government to unify and homogenize the nation, "evangelizing" the barbarian with the superior culture to pull them our of their backwardness and in doing so, bring them more firmly into the Chinese fold (ie. quell separatism by undermining the identities and lifestyle which sustain it) in a way that is more characteristic of the Sui than the early Tang. Is there any sense that in this unifying urge, China might be losing perspectives that would be useful in building and maintaining relations with neighbours and ultimately expanding its influence, Tang-style? (I am also painfully aware that although the history is written, I don't know what comes next and this whole "appreciate the northern culture" thing could turn ugly real soon, which would lead the Chinese to draw a very different lesson from this historical period.... 😅)

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7 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Now I want to know the story from the Chinese perspective.

Well, to be fair I only know what is taught at a middle school level, so it isn't going to be super nuanced.

 

For this period they mentioned the bit about having an alliance with part of Korea, but only as part of a litany of places they had alliances with, and didn't go into much detail about stuff that occurred outside the borders.

 

I checked with Ghostlet about the other stuff but what he learned was quite different from what you described in terms of culture.  based on what he told me, the Northern part of the country developed first and then during the Sui period there was a lot of cultural shift southward into JiangNan which helped to stimulate both culture and economies of the two regions.  The trend continued during Tang and then by Song the south had surpassed the north.

 

According to him, Sui's biggest problems came not from intercultural divide but because they were too callous with the lives of the people (almost a repeat of what happened with Qin).  In both cases the dynasty came into being after a period of civil war and the emperor decided to create a massive "public works" campaign.  (The great Wall for Qin and the Great Canal for Sui).  In both cases, the cost in terms of human lives was too great and the people revolted, ending the dynasty (but leaving a great item of infrastructure that future dynasties absolutely made use of).

 

Tang was known as one of the greatest periods of Chinese history in which the general populace prospered and trade flourished.  Government reforms changed the bureaucracy away from family lineage and mode it merit based (something actually introduced during Sui).  The dynasty fell in the end because the military leaders became too powerful and the dynasty collapsed from internal revolutions.  (The following dynasty, Song, overcompensated for this and made the primary requirement for promotion to General proficiency in poetry!)

 

I think there is a lot of news in the west about the "Chinification" of places like Xinjiang and Tibet.  This is certainly a thing, but I do feel like it gets overly hyped up in western media.  There are a lot of other ethnicities that move into those places and the locals do not appreciate the "gentrification" that comes with it.  It does tend to dilute the traditional cultures but it also brings economic prosperity.  People have a tendency to complain about one of those a lot louder than the other.

 

I should probably add that those two ethnicities account for only 2 of the 56 total ethnicities so the push to establish Mandarin as the standard dialect is less about domination as it is about creating a coherent standard.  I literally cannot understand people from places only a few hundred miles from here when they speak in their native dialects.  My good friend that I work out with all the time at the park become unintelligible when he gets really excited, not just to me but to most of the people there.  Luckily there are a few others from the same province who can translate back to mandarin :) 

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Thank you so much!

 

9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

In both cases the dynasty came into being after a period of civil war and the emperor decided to create a massive "public works" campaign.  (The great Wall for Qin and the Great Canal for Sui).  In both cases, the cost in terms of human lives was too great and the people revolted, ending the dynasty (but leaving a great item of infrastructure that future dynasties absolutely made use of).

Ah yes, I remember this part now. There were a lot of lives thrown away in failed attacks on Goguryeo too, if I remember correctly.

 

9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I think there is a lot of news in the west about the "Chinification" of places like Xinjiang and Tibet.  This is certainly a thing, but I do feel like it gets overly hyped up in western media. 

Oh, it is absolutely being used for anti-Chinese propaganda purposes, and has been since at least January of last year. (I had a conversation with my son about this at the time, which is why I remember. I am not going to post the details here for reasons - PM me if you want ;) - but my predictions very much came true.) Other stuff plays into it too, like a heightened sensitivity for race-based issues at present in the West being used as a lens for interpreting events elsewhere. This is one of the things I really wish I could get a better feel for, because I don't feel I can trust any source to tell me the whole truth on this issue.

 

9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

the push to establish Mandarin as the standard dialect is less about domination as it is about creating a coherent standard. 

How are they going about this? It does not seem to be like it was in France, where the third republic was actively trying to wipe out their minority languages, even beating schoolchildren for speaking their native language on the playground right up into the mid-20th century. What does this standardization look like for minority language speakers in China?

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