Metatalktail Hour: I'm disorganized! June 17, 2017 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Ack, I'm so disorganized this week I didn't pick a topic! So tonight it's just TELL US YOUR NEWS, chatter about your stuff, what've you been reading, how's your summer going, how the fam, how's work, how's life, how's philosophy? (Just remember, no politics!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 6:09 PM (174 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Let's just say that I moved away from my parents when I was 19 in order to attempt a start at decent mental health and to get away from my narcissistic father's emotional/psychological abuse. Never lived closer than three hours away in the past 27 years.

They've just this week moved to a condo a half hour away from me because they're elderly and I'm the only child they share (I have five half brothers and sisters; I am my mother's only biological child) and saying no would have cut pretty much every family member I have out of my life and I'm not ready for that.

My mental health was skating along very nicely and now I've been plunged into chaos again. I need to set up new boundaries and I will and things will be okay (never great) but right now I'm just not doing well.

So...how is everyone else? :)
posted by cooker girl at 6:15 PM on June 17 [11 favorites]


I just started to read Jarka Ruus by Terry Brooks. It's one of his Shannara books and he's ending that series this upcoming year and I have a special place in my reading life that's devote to just him. I found him a bit later on in my reading life but he came at a time in which he was needed. And his take on the fantasy genre has always felt very warm to me. When I have some mental health stuff going on, I turn to him and I feel a bit better about myself and the world I live in. I haven't read a Terry Brooks novel for about two years. So it's a welcome return to form.
posted by Fizz at 6:17 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


I'm also going home to play video games. It's my Friday and I have the next two days off. Elder Scrolls Online and Prey. Later social life. :D
posted by Fizz at 6:19 PM on June 17


I just signed up for a weather spotter training class that's on Wednesday offered by the local National Weather Service office. I AM SO EXCITED!
posted by ilovewinter at 6:19 PM on June 17 [16 favorites]


I'm currently reading the latest book by MeFi's own scaryblackdeath - No Medals for Secrets. I highly recommend the whole series to any fans of science fiction.
posted by nolnacs at 6:24 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Fizz, I clearly need some Terry Brooks. Recommend something to start with? I don't mind one-offs, prefer series, would love something where horrible things don't happen on the regular.
posted by cooker girl at 6:25 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Mini McGee has been talking in my ear for HOURS, primarily about Egg Inc. which cortex introduced us to so it is definitely his fault.

There is an incredibly Southern Gothic thunderstorm blowing up, darkening dusk and clouds, the air thick and heavy, very distant thunder, just the gentlest of breezes but it's very damp and menacing, the still warm air almost unstirred by the restless but ineffectual breeze ... very portentous.

Speaking of portentous I just found out one of my BFFs has a due date for her baby THE DAY AFTER THE SOLAR ECLIPSE and I am BEGGING her to have the baby during the eclipse even if she has to have a C-section so that it will have a portentous fate. I'm like, We can hire a local druid, have a prophecy done ... SO EXCITED.

We had Grandpa McGee here today so my kids are extra wound up and reluctant to go to bed because grandpa is the best. We went out to lunch and Nano McGee, the baby, gets SUPER MAD when other people get food and she doesn't, and the waitress brought our drinks and she freaked out, so I handed her the lemon slice from my soda, and she CHOWED on it, making surprise-sour baby face periodically but continuing to chew it. When the food came she refused to give up her lemon slice, keeping it in her right fist while eating with her left, and kept nomming on it periodically for a good 90 minutes. I felt bad taking it away when we were done with lunch because I felt like maybe it was her best friend now? Anyway I think I'll buy her a lime tomorrow and let her discover a whole NEW world of citrusy joy!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:25 PM on June 17 [27 favorites]


I finally finished reading Barkskins by Annie Proulx (recommend!), I'm making a small stack of books for an upcoming long weekend in Puerto Rico, we saw Shovels and Rope at Wolf Trap last night, and I got some sun next to the pool today. Lovely weekend.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:33 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I biked more miles today than I have ever biked in a day by a significant margin. 80+! Exact figure is a bit iffy since my GPS died a couple miles before the end. Which I guess is what happens when you take nearly 10 hours to bike that far.

I was shoveling food into my face, but holding up the fork is a lot of work, so now I'm resting so that I can eat some more.

So, so tired. Training for that ride? Uh. No, none of that.

Also I stayed up too late last night reading the last book in Erika Johansen's Queen of the Tearling fantasy trilogy. Was good. Had interesting ending.

Zzz
posted by asperity at 6:34 PM on June 17 [17 favorites]


I just read the second book in Sebastian de Castell's very Musketeer-y The King's Blades series, Knight's Shadow. And it would have been such a good story but the use of rape as a threat and plot device and character development is so goddamn lazy and infuriating that I just... couldn't. Has he never spent three seconds talking to a woman reader? It sucked all the joy out of an otherwise very fun book for me. So there's an anti-recommendation, I guess.

However, to balance things out, I also just read Yoon Ha Lee's Nebula- and Hugo-nominated Ninefox Gambit and it is just THE COOLEST BOOK EVER. It's a wonderful (bloody) militaristic sci-fi with a great female protagonist set in a universe where the laws of physics operate by social consensus. Lee does my favorite thing ever, which is to drop the reader in media res in the most alien of possible worlds and refuse to explain anything. It's just, get in the goddamn spaceship there's no time to explain! Can't recommend it enough.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:34 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Yes! Ninefox Gambit is amazing. I read the sequel The Raven Strategy earlier this week and it is also pretty awesome. The notion of technology being determined by the calendar or other social constructs is so cool.
posted by nolnacs at 6:40 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I love no-topics threads! I spent all week moving, and have at last reached the fun part, which is happily puttering around the house putting away books and deciding where the art should go. My plants will be much happier in this apartment, with its south and west facing windows, and I think we humans will fare better too, especially in the summer when we can get a lovely cross-breeze. The rest of the weekend will be spent finishing up a few projects for Monday deadlines, and I'll have to do laundry and grocery shop at some point. I am going to make time for the u-pick flower farm--it's peony season (my favorite!) and $8 gets you as many stems as you can hold in your clasped hands.
posted by stellaluna at 6:46 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


We spent the week in Sedona. We were driving on highway 179 and rounded a curve and the view was amazing! And then we rounded another curve... amazing and another... My spouse was diagnosed with cancer (again) in January. She has severe fatigue from her treatment. It was a beautiful place to be tired and it was amazing to spend the week with my best friend without having to worry about work.
posted by kamikazegopher at 6:46 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Tonight we start our vacation, which will see me (hopefully) getting to run in Central Park and the Mall in DC.

Also, Hamilton!
posted by Gorgik at 6:46 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


My wife's birthday was yesterday and tomorrow I am taking her to a falconer where she will get to fly a Harris' Hawk to and fro. She'll get the leather glove and have it land on her arm and do whatever falconers do. I'll watch and take photos. She doesn't know what we're doing and I'm hoping to keep it a surprise until she actually sees the birds.

Because we're doing that tomorrow, we celebrated Father's Day today. My son made me bacon and waffles (from scratch!) for breakfast. When he was about nine he really loved waffles and wanted them ALL THE TIME so finally my wife said "fuck it, if you want them you can learn to make them" so we taught him how to make them using a recipe in our ancient copy of The Settlement Cookbook and he separated the eggs and does everything and he's basically an expert waffle maker at 15.

A few years ago (seven now, actually) for Father's Day I bought a big Lego set and we spent the day building it. We've been doing that ever since and he has no interest in stopping even though he's out of his Lego building years. So that's what we did today. I hope we can continue this tradition forever.

My wife and son are going away next week, coming home for a week, and then they'll be gone the first two weeks in July (I join them after that for two weeks) AND they're redoing our offices at work so they're making us work from home for those first two weeks in July. The result is I'll be home alone for a couple of weeks probably going batshit insane with lack of human contact. I'm planning a meetup (if you're in Boston you should totally come!) so I can at least be social at some point. I'll try to get out some other times and also work on some projects so I don't spend the whole time eating junk food in front of the TV.

I go through phases where a read a ton and then phases where I don't read for months at a time. I'm currently re-reading Cryptonomicon, it's been so long since I read it I hardly remember any of it, but the reading is going slow because I just haven't had much time to read. I'll fix that when I go on vacation in July.

We were in North Carolina last week for a wedding. The wedding was long and boring but we also spent a couple days on what were probably the nicest beaches I've ever been to. Big waves, warm water, not crowded. They were everything New England beaches aren't. There were, however, people with Confederate Flag beach towels. I'll take the blue state with cold water over the red state with warm water. Oops. Politics. Sorry.

I'm currently watching the Red Sox get their butts whipped by the Houston Astros. They're wearing blue uniforms for Father's Day because boys, I guess.
posted by bondcliff at 6:51 PM on June 17 [23 favorites]


Stayed up late last night watching the last episode of Produce 101 Season 2 (aka "Broduce 101"), as I kept trying to find a decent stream - the vagaries of trying to watch Korean tv when outside of Korea .... And watched more clips and fanvids of the show today.

So the premise of the show is that 101 contestants vie to be selected to be members of a K-pop group through viewer votes. Season 1 was to select a girl group, Season 2 was to select a boy band. I got into Season 2 in a way I didn't with Season 1, ended up reading various Korean online forums on the show, and learned a lot of Korean internet / fan slang along the way. Anybody I picked to follow ended up being eliminated in an elimination round, so none of my picks made it to the final 11. ㅠㅠ

The show developed a huge following among women in their 20s and 30s, while most of the contestants were in their teens and early twenties. So female fans started to jokingly refer to themselves as 'moms'. "Awww look at those cute baby chicks" was my reaction to most of the show, too.

Since that's over it's now time to move on to Show Me the Money Season 6! It's a rap competition show, and while performances in later episodes can be pretty good, the whole thing is kinda trainwrecky. I've seen more than one opinion that it's best to watch the show as a k-drama about contestants in a rap competition show. I guess it's kinda like watching WWE wrestling?

Oh, and I ate a lot of ice cream.
posted by needled at 6:55 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Last Sunday I said to my mother, "Hey...I'm going to Target for quick run, want to come?" She agreed. We were in the store 5 minutes when she tripped and fell. It wasn't an 'old person' fall, just a trip and fall the same way I do.

Now she has a broken left elbow and a fractured right kneecap. Her dominant arm and her driving leg. The kneecap will heal on its own in 6-8 weeks. She's wearing an immobilizer for that. At least she's allowed to walk on it. The elbow needs surgery. That's on Wednesday. I live a block and a half away from her and my brother is only 3 miles away. And now we are caregivers. We go over and let her dog out and clean and help with meals and I'm in charge of hygiene. It's not unbearable because she's okay to be left alone and she's mobile, but it's a lot.

She was in the hospital for 2 nights and was discharged with a stack of xrays and nothing else. We had to get her the correct cane, some OT tools, a better immobilizer, and a nicer sling that doesn't rub her neck raw like the cheap nylon one from the ER. I'm not saying the hospital should have given us these things, but it would have been nice if they had sold them to us upon discharge, or even given us a sheet of paper with retail/online sources.

A month ago we were in Las Vegas having a blast. Now her summer's all but wiped out and I feel awful for her.

And I feel sorry for myself. And guilty about that.

In upbeat news, my puppy is five months old and his baby teeth are falling out. My husband is a great support system for me. And bones heal.
posted by kimberussell at 6:58 PM on June 17 [11 favorites]


Today I went to the Marciano Art Foundation, LA's newest vanity museum. It's in a former Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, and it's an amazing space. The highlight is Jim Shaw's The Wig Museum. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance on the website. If you're in LA or coming to visit, go check it out. I enjoyed it more than The Broad, for what it's worth.

Also, I'm reading Ninefox Gambit and I like it a lot. I've been recommending it to all my sf-reading friends and am looking forward to reading the next book.
posted by mogget at 7:00 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


My daddy had a heart attack a week ago and just got out of the hospital yesterday. It's been a bizarre, rough ride -- he had to have a triple bypass, plus extra time in the ICU due to some afib and a fever. Now he's home, and healing, but he's developed severe sleep apnea, so he officially hasn't slept in 7 days. :( I also haven't been allowed to see him yet, largely at his request beause he's so stressed out. But it's okay because this is actually a much bigger life event for him and my mom than it is for me. Everything is changing for them. I'm just glad that he's still here, because it is Father's Day weekend, and I want to be able to celebrate that with him for many more years to come.
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:02 PM on June 17 [12 favorites]


Tuesday was my last day at the IRC. I believe in its mission and I think it does great work, I just was not myself in a good job FOR them that suited my skills. And after two years of searching there for a position I could do that I was good at, I finally started looking outside the company.

On Monday I start a new job as an office manager for a housing startup, where I'll be doing tasks that actually match my skill set and I will be paid a living wage for the first time in about five years. I'll also have the same benefits. And for at least the first few weeks I'll be able to walk to work on top of it (they've been in Brooklyn all this time, but I just learned that they'll be moving to Manhattan soon).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 PM on June 17 [15 favorites]


I have a work story!

I work for a shipping company that moves janitorial supplies to cleaning companies in Ontario. A few weeks ago one of our warehouse workers damaged one of the skids, spreading feminine hygiene products all over one corner of the warehouse. Apparently there is nothing that makes my male boss more embarrassed than having to use the word "tampon" in a sentence. He came up to the office to tell us, his face beet red, that we could help ourselves, to uh, the products if we so desired, and that he might just donate the rest, rather than throwing them away. My female coworkers, sensing his discomfort, couldn't help but begin to tease him mercilessly -
"Are they the kind with applicators?" "Some of us have heavy flows."
"Well, when they expand they kind of look like balls"

until he begged them to stop.

(I should add that this was all good natured and my boss has a good relationship with all of us).

And just for fun, here is a picture of my cat wearing the kitchen towel he stole from me. He has informed me that the toga party is invite-only. I think he's bringing dip.
posted by janepanic at 7:07 PM on June 17 [20 favorites]


Oh yeah, I also left my iPad on the plane. I filed a report with the airline (Jetblue) but I don't imagine I'll ever see it again. I did all the "find my iPad" stuff and it's locked so I'm not worried about the data on it but it's still an expensive thing that I use ALL THE TIME and am kind of lost without. It also bugs me because I know exactly where I left it (seat pocket, seat 6d flight 1084) so the fact that it's gone means someone found it and took it. Just took it. Took what didn't belong to them. I know that on the Big List Of Stuff That Can Happen To People this is pretty low but it still bugs me that someone found it and their first thought wasn't "I should return this" or the person they did return it to took it.

I'm not all that upset because it's just A THING but I'm just sort of annoyed. Annoyed at myself for leaving it there, annoyed at the person who took it, and annoyed at the expense of replacing it or the inconvenience of not replacing it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:07 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I also spent way too much time this week reading about Maru the dog who lives on a remote Korean island and you can take on virtual walks via Daum Maps, due to his having tagged the Daum roadview photographer for the entirety of their island tour.
posted by needled at 7:14 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Fizz, I clearly need some Terry Brooks. Recommend something to start with? I don't mind one-offs, prefer series, would love something where horrible things don't happen on the regular.

Get ready for a primer on Terry Brooks. So here's the thing. The Sword of Shannara, the first book in his first Sword of Shannara Trilogy, is a clear rip off of LotR. No one denies it, not even Terry. You could start there and it's lots of fun but you'll also spend a majority of the book kind of making comparisons and it might make it a bit difficult to enjoy because of that.

So I suggest starting with The Elfstones of Shannara. It's quite wonderful and lots of people I know who have gone on to enjoy the rest of his series start with this one and then venture back after a few more books just to be a completionist. You're not going to miss anything by jumping in at this place. Here's the summary:
“Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to the save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.”
His books have a fairly simple recipe, and it's easy to criticize him for sticking to these light fantasy tropes but I enjoy them. And here it is: demons, demon lords, elves, dwarves, trolls, humans, a young boy/girl with the name Ohmsford, magic stones/magic sword/magic song, druid with mysterious knowledge, war.

He'll tweak them in some wonderful ways and the story spans generations and there are some fun connections to be made. My favourite thing about this universe is how "our" world is connected to Shannara.

According to legend, there were some Great Wars, the wars being the result of several things. These things were common to most societies: territorial dispute, political disagreement, and so on. War broke out, we used science and technology to destroy each other. A few of us survived.

One race went underground to avoid the Great Wars, they got used to living in caves and shit, bodies become strong and sturdy. When they emerged, they had slightly changed and because of their new appearance, they were called Dwarves, after a mythical race of the Old World. So the other "mythical" races were also named. Survivors of this world named after legendary and mythical figures from the old world.

And that's what I love. That this fantasy is actually a future, it's our future. And it's a unique twist on this genre.

Here's the official reading order from Terry Brooks website.
Where should I start reading Shannara? When is the best time for me to read the prequel First King of Shannara without spoiling the Heritage series? Should I start reading the books in published order or chronological order? These are questions that come into the website often and they are why this page of the website exists. It’s not only difficult for new readers. It can even be confusing for long-time readers returning to the series.

To help aid both sets of readers, presented here are two different lists:
• One for new readers just beginning Shannara
• Another for revisiting readers wanting a chronological re-read
I'll admit I'm a fanboy of his. I spent the early part of my 20s on his forum, it was my MetaFilter before MetaFilter. I have a lot of friends from that site and while the forum no longer exists. Terry Brooks is a writer that I have deep respect for.

Enjoy.
posted by Fizz at 7:20 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


I am "reading" (meaning listening to, since long highway drives are my primary book-consumption time these days) the book Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama. I saw it mentioned in a review somewhere and kind of grabbed it randomly, and it has turned out to be the best book I have read this year. The review I linked compares it to the show Top of the Lake, and that is accurate in some ways, though it also has a marvelously intimate portrayal of a local police bureaucracy, sort of like if the Wire focused on police administrators rather than line detectives.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:22 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I just discovered a new Anne Lamott book I did not know about and now I'm even more excited about vacation.
posted by 4ster at 7:25 PM on June 17


Last night I finally went to see Get Out with a MetaFilter buddy and we had so much fun! Today I've been blue for a variety of reasons but took a walk to perk myself up. And I've started reading an advance copy of The Punch Escrow by MeFi's own analogue and I'm enjoying it a lot (sci-fi lovers, you should preorder it now!). Finally, The Thin Man will be playing shortly on a local PBS channel and one can never see that particular film and listen to its snappy dialogue too many times.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:26 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I just signed up for a weather spotter training class

Whenever I hear the phrase "weather spotter" I imagine someone dramatically stabbing their finger skyward and shouting "Look - up there! It's some weather!!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:33 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


We had a great weekend away in the mountains last weekend, but a flu ripped through the family (leaving me and only me unscathed). The girls are well for the first time in literally a week, and I am just taking it eassssssy this weekend.

Had a really fun night tabletop gaming with a new friend from work last night. It's funny, as I'm older (36, now), making friends - never super easy to begin with - has become more and more rare for me. My new friend and I are at the slightly awkward stage where we are making the transition from work friends to friend-friends - and it's like a little tentative, nervous but really cool too (for me at least; it's possible other people don't overthink these things quite so much).
posted by smoke at 7:35 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


I am super late in telling you this, but my Secret Quonsar gift (the original one) showed up at my post office in the last week of May. Other some moderately mummified candy (starburst-like aspect ratio, gum, jokes on the wrappers), it was completely intact and didn't even appear to have been opened/inspected on its way from South Africa. Where has it been? What adventures did it have? Did it make road trip friends?
Who knows. It's a pretty sweet SQ, though. The cookbook is notionally in my first language, but only notionally so it is great fun to decipher.
posted by janell at 7:35 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I imagine someone dramatically stabbing their finger skyward and shouting "Look - up there! It's some weather!!"

How did you find the weather on your vacation?
I just went outside and there it was.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:40 PM on June 17 [10 favorites]


NEWS! I managed to land a contract job that pays an actual living wage (seriously—3x what my main squeeze contract for the last 2.5 years pays), so I'm switching to a new main freelance contract as of mid-July. I'm kind of nervous and afraid I've somehow been mistaken and that it won't go through or will fail spectacularly, but that's just me. I've been waiting for the right opportunity to come along, and this feels like it. Then I started doing the calculations and realize that if I'm disciplined, I might be able to actually make progress eliminating this Fucking Crushing Debt, and that is really exciting.

Also, it is Summer all of a sudden, capital S, and the yard is filled with roses and columbines and I want to take a walk twice a day and live on my porch and for the first time in a long time things feel like they're looking up.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:55 PM on June 17 [16 favorites]


Our son is marrying his lovely girlfriend next month and we're expecting our first grandchild in November. Bonus: it* will be a dual Canadian-American citizen.

*They're choosing not to learn the sex before birth.

we have a picture
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:57 PM on June 17 [16 favorites]


So, my daughter was supposed to have her last week of kindergarten this week, only there was a massive norovirus epidemic at school and we stayed home - strictly quarantined - with her little sister while dad was traveling...she missed her graduation.

On the plus side, her norovirus was literally nothing more than 45 minutes of extreme nausea and heaving in front of the toilet while I held her hair. She didn't even throw up once and was back to normal after that. The rest of the family was spared. I hope all of the health crises mentioned in this thread turn out that well!

During quarantine I managed to chop down a 6 ft echium that, to my husband's dismay, was taking over half of our driveway...I'm going to count that as my father's day present to him. Plus I'll be making that smitten kitchen strawberry cake mentioned elsewhere on MetaTalk...
posted by The Toad at 8:06 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


My 11-year-old nephew has been bugging me to teach him how to code for at least a year, and I've been stalling, because I don't know how to code very well, plus I have no idea how to teach a kid who lives a thousand miles away. So today we were talking, and he was like "do you know any Python," and I was like "yeah, I know some Python," and he told me that he was trying to do something with Python and could I look at it and figure out why it wasn't working. It was a little program that asks the user a question, and then if they give one response, it gives an answer, and if they give any other response, it gives another answer. It's nothing complicated, but it shows that he understands how to use if/else and basic Python syntax. I told him he'd indented it wrong, and he fixed it, and it worked. So now I actually think maybe we can code together! I've got a couple of plans for things I can show him that could make his little program cooler. I don't think he knows about elif, and I can show him how to make the program ignore whether you capitalize the answers or not.

The guy I'm ESL tutoring invited me to come to his mosque for their break-the-fast meal tonight, which was very nice of him. Unfortunately, the event is late (stupid sun sets super late this time of year), it's really far from where I live, and I have social anxiety, so I said I couldn't come, but I was flattered that he asked.

I have to give a speech to several hundred people next week. I shouldn't complain, because I volunteered to give it, but I'm inordinately freaked out. I'm practicing it while drinking a glass of wine. I figure once I master the wine-assisted version, I will move on to practicing it while fully sober.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:08 PM on June 17 [11 favorites]


Whenever I hear the phrase "weather spotter" I imagine someone dramatically stabbing their finger skyward and shouting "Look - up there! It's some weather!!"

That is exactly what I plan on doing! Except soon I will hopefully be able to do it with some impressive sounding weather terminology. lol.
posted by ilovewinter at 8:29 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Also the phrase "spotters activated" sounds like something out of a cartoon, which is awesome.
posted by asperity at 8:35 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Fizz you are kind-of making me want to go reread Shannara, which I read in junior high when it swept my school, which was terribly delightful because I was SUPER INTO Tortall and Pern and Middle Earth and Shannara and Sendaria and this was the very first time fantasy novels I loved became trendy and literally everyone was reading them and I had so many people to talk nerdy to! (Also my mother, who is otherwise a voracious and wide-ranging reader, who fed me many excellent novels as a child and was strict about not letting me ready Bad Books when I was young but let me start off on my own when I was about 10, always called all of it "That trash with dragons," so I never had anybody to talk to about it because mostly I talked about books with my mom! She's a little into dragons now though. (Her thing is mostly that she doesn't like unrealistic novels so she's not much into fantasy, far-future sci-fi, time travel, unrealistic romance novels, etc. And/or badly written realistic ones where that thing could clearly not happen, also crime fiction with 20,000 serial killers in one small town.))

Also here is maybe my most embarrassing junior high school story but imma tell it: During silent reading in sixth (I think?) grade one day I was reading Magician's Gambit by David Eddings probably for the bazillionth time and this kid who sat near me said, "You're reading the Belgariad? I love that series." He was much cooler than I was and we had not spoken a whole lot because of that. I was like, "Really?" and he was like, "Yeah, in fact, you remind me of one of the characters." And I am red-headed and always overidentify with red-headed heroines and I was super-flattered (and remember this was the era of low-quality representation of women in fantasy) and anyway I was like, "Ce'Nedra?" and he grinned and said, "No, Zubrette."

KINDA STILL MAD.

(I mean obviously he was only saying it to get a rise out of me and now we are facebook friends and he is a neurosurgeon and super-nice and has a lovely family and I now realize Eddings is rather retrograde and Ce'Nedra is feministly problematic, but I still love her and I'm kinda still mad.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:37 PM on June 17 [14 favorites]


I've almost finished this dress thought I've given up on the sleeves. Instead, I'm making this swell jacket because range of motion is less important with an open jacket.. Otherwise, it's been a hard couple of days. With luck, tomorrow will be peaceful.
posted by crush at 8:37 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


In upbeat news, my puppy is five months old and his baby teeth are falling out.

Thus today I learned that dogs have baby teeth. I don't know why that never occurred to me, but I've never had a puppy, so now I know!

So I had this calendar event I kept moving, "Oil change." I'd moved it to tomorrow, and I got the reminder email about it at 4:48 p.m. today—about 15 minutes after my car broke down this afternoon on the way home. I will most definitely be getting an oil change this week...at the shop where it got towed. I guess we'll see what else is up once the shop has a chance to check it out on Monday.

Oh well. Before that happened, I'd gone to visit my family, and it turns out my mother had found a purple bowl at a thrift store that is the perfect tiniest center to this set of Crate & Barrel nesting bowls someone had given us at our wedding years back. I can't even find a photo of the purple bowl online, so maybe it was a one-off, not truly part of the set. But it completes it and is even the right color of the rainbow. Of course she gave it to me.

Also the sunset tonight was awesome, I had Thai food for lunch, and I'm eating pizza for dinner.
posted by limeonaire at 8:50 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I shopped at my favorite Latin market. They always have ripe pineapples, great avocados, marinated chicken, and thin sliced chuck steak, that when grilled and chopped makes a great pho. So, I have been experimenting with baking in a toaster oven. I bought these 6 inch round 1.5 inch deep fluted baking bowls in a stack of four a while back. With a parchment liner, I have designed the quick and devastating Dutch Baby, that is baked in 18 minutes. All that fruit I put up, and jams and marmalade well, they are delicious on these. They come right out of the baking dish, the paper comes right off, and there is a little round Dutch Baby in a bowl, ready for sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or apple butter. The oven doesn't really heat up the kitchen, and I love to bake. Two of those little bowls will fit in the toaster oven and I can make chocolate chip and coconut tarts with ease. I am getting used to the small life. It is supposed to be 112 degrees here by Wednesday. So keeping down the heat is a thing.
posted by Oyéah at 9:10 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


I just came back from a Yoga with Sound workshop where one of the teachers played bowls and bells and crystals while we did yoga poses and something about that combination kicked something loose in my heart because I forgave someone. I wasn't trying to; it just happened. Some really hard ball of hatred in me just left or melted or something. Kind of a cool feeling.
posted by gt2 at 9:12 PM on June 17 [22 favorites]


I forgot, I finally found a copy of that Twilight Zone of the man sentenced to fifty years of solitary confinement on an asteroid. Then the supply ship that brings him stuff, brings him a lifelike female robot to keep him company. I saw this when I was maybe 9 years old. I never forgot it. With all that talk about sexy robots these days, I was reminded of it. It was great black and white footage, filmed out somewhere in the western desert. It was prescient in many ways, and well done.
posted by Oyéah at 9:20 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Just booked a flight! Next month Mrs. Gotanda has a business trip to Kumamoto so she's leaving three days early and I'm tagging along so we can have a non-work long weekend before her work begins. Food, mountains, and amazing hot springs to soak in. Just the thing for the end of the semester.
posted by Gotanda at 9:26 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


It has been a crazy few weeks. This spring I decided that I was going to run away from home and go live on the road for a year, taking pictures and writing words and seeing all the things and places I never have seen before. So I quit my job in April & decided that my vehicle of choice would be a truck camper, the slide in kind. I did a bunch of research and bought a truck I love. 2 weeks ago I bought a camper on eBay and went up to Maryland to pick it up. Then I went off camping along the beach side of the Delmarva peninsula and all would be right with my world EXCEPT I didn't do enough research or the right kind. The camper was dangerously too big and the truck was way overloaded.

Fortunately I figured this out before anybody or anything got hurt but still, crushing blow and a lot of money gone. The camper is currently listed on Craigslist and in storage near Williamsburg VA and I'm back in Asheville brooding. When I got back I also discovered that I was going to have to find a different solution to the question of who would care for my house, 2 dogs and 1 cat while I was gone to look for America.

So everything is quite complicated, particularly since I weighed my truck today, which is a thing you must do with a pickup if you want to put a camper on it and it turns out that my truck is indeed a lightweight wimpy baby that cannot carry much weight at all. Weighing a truck turns out to be quite simple and kinda fun, by the way. I should have done it a month ago, then I wouldn't be in this mess.

But I am damned if I'm giving up. I am going to find an incredibly lightweight camper somehow and sell the other camper somehow and rent out my house with furniture and pets included somehow. I'm going to do all this by September. So if any of y'all want to buy a truck camper or if you want to rent a house and lovely pets super cheap in fashionable West Asheville, NC, shoot me a memail.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:27 PM on June 17 [10 favorites]


Is this morphing into a science fiction/fantasy rec thread? I spent four hours at the library today reading Station Eleven, in exile because the house had been fumigated. I'm getting over a cold, though, so I huddled in a corner, used a lot of hand sanitizer, and felt guiltier than usual for being out in public.

I completed a paralegal degree earlier this month, and a friend took me here to celebrate; the wine list was long so I had a goofy, fruity cocktail with dinner. (Good grief. It's been a quarter of a century, am I only noticing now that Foley's wearing the same outfit for the entire sketch?)
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:28 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


"Look - up there! It's some weather!!"

That is exactly what I plan on doing! Except soon I will hopefully be able to do it with some impressive sounding weather terminology.


"Sayyyy, have a look at that cumlimo...cullernum...cuminuminu...er, cloud..."
*sigh* I'm gonna flunk this class.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:32 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Here is my exciting news: my son, who was assigned female at birth, insisted on a boyish presentation, including hair and clothes, from his toddler days. At 4, he socially transitioned by changing his pronouns to he/him/his, and he has lived full-time as a boy ever since. He will be ten in six weeks or so.

He has been the epitome of what we used to call a boy's boy. He's a jock, and inclined to stand around with other jocks, in that one jock pose where they all have their hands on their hips, for instance. He's always tended to think of himself as a boy, and not as a person who is transgender, although he certainly knows that he is. But he hasn't identified that way, although his father is also trans, and a surprising number of the adults in his life as well, because we hang out with that kind of person.

Anyway, today was the Pride March here, and last night he announced, with great enthusiasm, that he wanted to go. To get ready, he put on a #IllGoWithYou button, which is meant to identify the wearer as a person who will provide support to trans people using public restrooms. He had a older sibling paint the trans pride flag on both his cheeks, and he sprinkled purple glitter into his hair and painted his face with silver glitter. He made a sign that said, "We Can Be What We Want."

HIs sparkly, glitter-inclined older trans demisexual bisexual sibling also attended, along with their dad, who dragged an old trans t-shirt out of the closet. They looked fabulous.

But I was so happy and proud that my son identifies with other trans people now. He's become more aware of the challenges faced by trans people, and has great admiration for Chris Mosier, the first trans biathlete to represent the US at the world championships. Last fall, a friend saw Mosier speak and got Mosier to write a note to our son, and he was really excited about that.

Anyway, I was pretty verklempt seeing my little guy head off to pride not just as the child of queer people, but on his own behalf. It made me really happy to see him speaking up for himself and other trans people, and claiming a place in that community.
posted by Orlop at 9:51 PM on June 17 [48 favorites]


I'm going on week four of Baby # 2 and she's been doing her best to turn me and my wife into sleep deprived zombies; here's hoping that this week will be better than the last!
posted by dhruva at 9:55 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


We said goodbye to Bosco last Friday. He turned 15 in May. Bosco was a Black and Tan Coonhound mix and the sweetest, funniest dog I've ever had. I got him when he was 2 and had flunked out of service dog school. I didn't want a dog, I was volunteering there so I could get my dog fix without actually having to own one but he was too good to pass up. He was an outrageous flirt and won over my large dog phobic friend, Jackie, by quietly laying out everyone of his toys at her feet and wiggling his eyebrows at her until she laughed.
We sat out on the shady front lawn all morning, ate pork chops and said goodbye to all the neighbors. My cousin, his Auntie Jeanne, came and sat with us and then took us to the vet around 1:00. He had been through 2 bouts of cancer and lost a leg to the last one. He was still a hadsome, cheerful dog but the last few weeks he went rapidly downhill and Thursday I called and made the appointment. It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, it's so difficult to gauge the right time but I know it's the last kindness I could provide for him. I am bereft.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:08 PM on June 17 [27 favorites]


I recently bought a cheap granite surface plate. It came in this little wooden shipping crate, and I really got a kick out of how the factory in China that made this thing was able to cut every penny. The plywood was barely wood, it delaminates if you look at it funny. It was hastily assembled with a pneumatic stapler and half the fasteners didn't line up and weren't holding anything, or were shot into end grain that was falling apart. The corners were braced with fiberboard. Don't get me wrong, it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm not; it did the job of getting the thing from there to here without damage, and I'm glad that it was so inexpensive. I just thought it was a hilarious example of an optimization problem, where somebody sat down and figured out how to shave away costs, calling around to all their suppliers for the shittiest grade of wood they could find. ("No, no, that's too good. It doesn't fall apart. Be sloppier sawing it and use less glue.")

Also, this thing hilariously came with a calibration "certificate" (finger quotes) that contains no actual measurement data, just a date. It's totally useless, but I guess somebody figured that it was necessary so they printed up this template that they photocopy. Again, not complaining, as I wasn't expecting much, but I got a kick out of it.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:16 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


You wanna see something that makes me happy (besides Orlop's comment above, which just made me grin)? I love drum corps–style breaks, so I'll always listen to Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like" when it comes on the radio, just to hear that tiny break all over again. Here's a bunch of drummers covering it.
posted by limeonaire at 10:23 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I thought up this truly awful pun this morning:

Do Scottish EMTs keep Neosporin in their sporrans?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:30 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I've been squaring away 450 words of my essay every day for almost a week now, and I'm just about done—I'm even going to be able to do a thorough proofread before I submit it on time. THIS NEVER HAPPENS
posted by Panthalassa at 10:35 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I decided this week to finally plow through the last 3.5 books of The Wheel of Time. I started those books 20 years ago as a preeten, but Crossroads killed my interest. I decided, though, that I had to finish all 14 books at least once. Even with the problems in the books, many of characters feel like old friends I'm catching up with after years out of contact. A a young lass, I thought I would be Green, but I've come to realize that in my heart of hearts, I'm Brown through and through.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:46 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Well, okay Brown with more than a little Blue--look at my post history and you'll see what I mean.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:48 PM on June 17


I've been practicing Arabic calligraphy the past few weeks. Hadn't really bothered writing it at all for the last 10 years or so but now it is becoming my jam. Really pleasing to just breathe and try to perform good strokes.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


David Eddings attended the only Worldcon I ever went to, in Seattle, and in the delegation he apparently drove up with from Portland, there was a young woman who exactly fit his description of Ce'nedra.
posted by jamjam at 11:15 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Soo...I've read the Belgariad and Mallorean uhhh about 10 times--I think the draw is that I wish I were as witty as they. Liselle is my favorite character right now.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:23 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I'm working from 6:30am - 8ishpm every day for the next eleven weeks. Money's good, though.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:34 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I tried installing a ceiling fan this week. I started out feel good about the attempt, as I do not have a bone in my body that is good at this kind of thing. So things were cruising along well. I figured how to shut off power to just that area of the house and take off the old light without electrocuting myself (this has not always gone well on past projects I've attempted). Ceiling fan all prepped, instructions out, screws sorted, tools on hand. About 10 multi-colored wires coming out of the ceiling fan; but that's alright, because apparently you just need a white, black, and green one coming from the ceiling to make it all work. But wouldn't you know it, the house is old enough that the wire coloring didn't follow through like it was supposed to, and I couldn't discern a way to figure it out. Also, the ceiling mount seems precarious enough that I'd worry every night that a huge ceiling fan would fall on my first-born while she's sleeping, and that pretty much drained any remaining fun out of it. So, I have to suck up my pride and bring in a handy-person who will figure it all out in about a minute, I'm sure.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:43 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Dang Rhomboid, we must have bought the same thing from the same supplier, at about the same time! I got as much of a kick out of the packaging and "certificate" as you did.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:14 AM on June 18


I've been lurking on a local lady's motorcycle group on FB and today I joined them for the first time on their monthly ride. It was a lovely 64 mile ride and I got to hang out with my friend Cassie who has the coolest bike ever and is really cool.
posted by bendy at 12:17 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I finished marking 104 essays and rewarded myself with a weekend of nearly no work. Some awesome mefites came over for board games and whisky last night and then we went surfing this morning, then ate hot chips and drank tea, and now I'm at home again in a hot bath with my cat (who is watching me superciliously from the edge, not in the water) while my husband cooks tacos for dinner, and all is right with the world.
posted by lollusc at 12:19 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


My new job is amazing and I haven't thrown up since the interview. My new apartment isn't fully decorated yet but I'm working on it. I'm being wooed by someone special who thinks he is very lucky to be my fella. There was enough sun today to dry a fortnight's laundry. I made a new friend from a colleague on a work trip this week. I'm about to cook some delicious nosh in my new dutch oven. And it hasn't flooded again, yet.
posted by Thella at 12:20 AM on June 18 [12 favorites]


I just got home after nearly three weeks away. I went to see my mom for her cancer surgery (which went great -- she's recovering so well, people keep thinking she hasn't had the surgery yet), and then I conducted archival research for two weeks after that. I am so so so glad to finally be home.

Also, I just found out I made Phi Beta Kappa! But apparently no one cares about Phi Beta Kappa anymore.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:54 AM on June 18 [6 favorites]


We moved from Calgary to Madrid this month with my work. Back on the expatriate trail for 2-3 years. Moved into our apartment last week in Chueca, we're here just in time for World Pride week and it's going to be marvellous!

It's going to be a bit of a change, Mrs A. is in intensive Spanish classes, I'm going to start them at the office soon and Arcticcat is enjoying the long wooden corridor to scoot up and down. We've gone from Calgary winters of -30C to Madrid summer of +40C, think we're going to enjoy it a lot once we stop melting. We're also going to try and live without cars for the 3 years, Madrid has excellent public transportation and so we said goodbye to the 2 cars in Calgary and hello to a shiny red metro pass. Feels good to walk the city and get to know it, and I'm losing weight from the increased exercise.

Shout out to ceiba who gave me excellent Madrid advice via MeMail and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.
posted by arcticseal at 1:02 AM on June 18 [6 favorites]


Last night, for the first time in my life, I sneezed so hard that it hurt my back. It still hurts this morning so I'm in a bath tub, eating a bowl of pickled radishes and some Trader Joe's cheese and crackers. Hopefully the alleve I just took helps. I've been losing range of motion in my hips over the past few months and this feels of a piece with that.

On the bright side, these radishes are pretty great and on Thursday I taught a friend how to make pickles and I'll be leading an open house pickling workshop in a couple of weeks.
posted by bilabial at 4:42 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower: They're choosing not to learn the sex before birth.

Somehow I managed to read this as They're choosing not to learn [how to do] the sex before birth and thought: that could be a long wait before their child is born, if it ever happens.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:59 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


I am attempting to make chicken rillettes for the first time, so that my fridge is fully prepared for brown-bagging lunches or taking myself on spontaneous picnics. This is the first time I've done this recipe, or made rillettes at all.

Full confession that I didn't have all the wine they called for, I don't have star anise and I didn't find any summer savory. But I read somewhere that thyme is pretty close, and I had regular anise, so I'll be using that instead (and I know I like chicken, lemon, and thyme's flavors anyway), and if worst comes to worst I'll just be the only person who eats this stuff and so whatever. (Although - it's only been cooking for 30 minutes out of the allotted 4 hours, and I just had a sniff and it smells AMAZING, so that bodes well.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:22 AM on June 18


I played the old ZX Spectrum game Deathchase in the Toronto Reference Library auditorium as part of a Raspberry Pi demo event. Hint to any future retrogamers in public performance: check the volume of the sound system before cranking one of the loudest, beepiest games ever made ...

  Do Scottish EMTs keep Neosporin in their sporrans?
  • No, because Scotland — with a working public healthcare system — has no need for nostrums such as antibiotics too weak to require a prescription
  • No, because of systematic ethnic cleansing against the Gaelic people
(am I doing this right?)
posted by scruss at 5:39 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]

strict about not letting me ready Bad Books when I was young but let me start off on my own when I was about 10, always called all of it "That trash with dragons,"

I love all this talk of old school fantasy we were all introduced to. There's both a love and a bit of anxiety with our first fantasy reads isn't there?
Even with the problems in the books, many of characters feel like old friends I'm catching up with after years out of contact.
Like an early crush. As if we have to feel ashamed about it, but really we don't. It's just joy and there's a pleasure in returning.
posted by Fizz at 5:43 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Watched the Werner Herzog film Stroszek last night which is odd even for a '70s film. The lead performance by Bruno Schleinstein is unlike anything I can think of and there are some great performances by mostly untrained non-actors who Herzog found.
posted by octothorpe at 6:02 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I'm on my last day of my trip to Chile, and I'm lazing in bed in my hotel in Valparaiso, watching the rising sun be-goldenify the hills across from me. Life is pretty nice.
posted by Liesl at 6:03 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


I had an MRI this week and found out three vertebrae at the bottom of my spine are damaged. I have had slipped disks above them years ago, and thankfully am not in pain currently. Need to find a convenient physio with my insurance. Also saw Wonder Woman last night and loved it! *hugs* to all of you who need them.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:25 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


strict about not letting me ready Bad Books when I was young but let me start off on my own when I was about 10, always called all of it "That trash with dragons,"

I am not a big fantasy reader, but I would absolutely read a series called That Trash With Dragons.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 AM on June 18 [9 favorites]


On Friday evening the intercom started pin-ponning, and although I wasn't expecting any parcels at all, the black cat delivery guy seemed determined to give me this one. That and there wasn't any space in the delivery lockers.

It turned out to be a wonderful present from someone I'm currently seeing. And it sent the already high excitement levels way up into the stratosphere.

So yey!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:42 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Oh! There is good news in my suddenly over complicated life! My 17-year-old daughter was accepted into an early college summer program at the University of New England to study marine ecology and biology!! This is one more step in her plan to become a zoologist/animal behaviorist. She's been working her way up the teen volunteer ladder at the Cincinnati Zoo since the 7th grade (she now gets to handle small animals for guest encounters) but hasn't really worked with marine life before. She's super excited and gets to fly out to Maine all by herself and it's terrifying (for me) but this young woman is so smart and kind and amazing and she's gong to do cool stuff with her life.
posted by cooker girl at 6:48 AM on June 18 [18 favorites]


Busy family weekend which are three words you basically never hear me saying. My uncle (that one) was in town with my cousin and her husband and their daughter. So me and my sister and Jim headed to my mom's and we all hung out. It was a good time with loud raucous inappropriate (in every good way) family. More fun than I thought it would be. In fact I had been dreading it.

My mom's had cancer for the past ten years and it's recently taken one of those "OK now she LOOKS like she has cancer and maybe it's not going to turn around this time" turns and it's been challenging. So I've always had a tough relationship with her, but I've been working on it and we're in a good place. It was hard to be in a big boisterous group and see her quieter and reserved, though I know she loved being there.

Spent the night at my sister's, nearby, met her new fella (a peach!) and found out he and my partner went to high school together (o_O). The next day my mom was the Parade Marshal in my hometown parade for our local hometown annual celebration (one of the first people wounded in the Revolutionary War, a fifer, was from the town and so the festival is called Fifer's Day and I've been going since I was a kid but not for decades now) and rode in a convertible, got a medal and there was a long recitation of all the great stuff she's done for the town. We hung out and ate hot dogs and corn and strawberry shortcake, a zillion people came up to congratulate my mom and I ran into a lot of people I haven't seen since I basically fled the town after high school.

Kate and I rode the Happy Wagon (pic) as if we were six and eight years old and even paid for another kid's ride so we could have an "excuse" to be on it. The festival is on conservation land behind my mom's house so we had a very slow walk back to her place (she's pretty unsteady on her feet) and settled her in before I did the long drive back to my (late) father's place in southern MA where I caught up on too much email and my uncle's photos on facebook saying what a great visit they had and how he basically said goodbye (he lives in CA, is unlikely to be back this way any time soon, my mom has forbidden "deathbed visits").

Today I spend the day entirely alone with my thoughts and my work which is probably just perfect. I woke up too early. I haven't been getting enough exercise so I'll go for a long walk on the beach. I'm reading a few great books (one about Dogtown, Niffeneger's Fearful Symmetry). I have some manageable projects to fuss with. It's unusual, in my life, to have a full, perfect day where everyone feels fulfilled and the stars align. I feel lucky to have had two of them.
posted by jessamyn (temp) at 6:51 AM on June 18 [20 favorites]


I am having breakfast on the apartment balcony (waffles and bacon!), and am trying to catch my dad on the phone. I'm mildly cranky, because in a couple of hours I have to head to the airport for two weeks of work trips for which I am only mostly prepared, and I have had to miss all kinds of fun summer family and friends things this month because of this string of trips. And I have to work for two straight weeks with no weekends.

On the brighter side, I really do like my coworkers, which is good since we'll be living together. I'm mostly just trying to knuckle down and get by until August recess (I'm a lobbyist), when Bowties Spouse and I are leaving for a week and a half of lazy tropical bliss. It's gearing up to be a very long summer.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 6:51 AM on June 18


Everything is terrible and I wish that were hyperbole, but it's not.

My mom has been in one hospital or another since January and is currently so depressed she doesn't feed herself. And she's depressed because she's slowly dying and is very aware of it. Every time I visit she tries to tell me what of her stuff she wants me to have, and I just want her to come home. And my disability sitter for my son that I've had for a year and a half is now in a situation where her family is moving away, if you have a disabled child you understand how devastating this is. Especially as the end of the school year is next week and there's two weeks before ESY starts, which is only 1/2 days Monday through Thursday anyway. Despite four job interviews I haven't been hired anywhere, and I receive $60 too much in unemployment, so I'm not eligible for welfare and my son's SSi including his medical insurance is being cut. I apparently am not poor enough to help, but don't make enough money to survive without help. I was only able to pay my rent last month the with the help of strangers, and I can't pay this month and without finding a job by this week next month is in jeopardy. My emotionally abusive ex keeps helpfully pointing out that my son can come stay with him and his girlfriend if I get evicted, and I feel like a failure because it's something I may have to do.

I'm an athiest, but right now I'm wondering if I should hire a curse breaker.

I don't know how I haven't keeled over from acute stress at this point.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:55 AM on June 18 [8 favorites]


It took a long time, maybe I just had to be in the right frame of mind, but I discovered this past week that thunder sounds really amazing in the neighborhood we moved to. I don't know why, though I assume it's a combination of local terrain and how heavily forested the neighborhood is.

Instead of a harsh crack and low roar and it's gone, like I'd gotten used to at our last few houses in relatively new subdivisions, here the initial crack is resonant, and echoes are powerful, low-pitched rumbles that roll overhead and through the ground, back and forth for long seconds.

It's immensely satisfying now to stand outside while thunderstorms pass. Tangentially, it's not uncommon for an isolated thunderhead to saturate everything in a mile-wide swath while everything north and south of its path remains bone dry. So heavy cloud cover doesn't necessarily mean you'll get rained on, and sunlight doesn't mean you'll stay dry.
posted by ardgedee at 6:56 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Eesh, 80 Cats in a Dog Suit, that sounds like a whole world of stressful awfulness. So sorry you're going through it.
posted by Catseye at 7:30 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


For Father's Day, my kid gave me an original knock knock joke.

--Knock knock.
--Who's there?
--Maya Hee Maya.
--Maya Hee Maya Who?
--MAYA HEE! MAYA WHO! MAYA HO! MAYA HA HA!*
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:52 AM on June 18 [22 favorites]


One of my favorite outdoor places is experiencing an uptick in the cottontail population. Recent walks have included seeing lots of adorable bunnies bouncing around.
posted by jazzbaby at 7:56 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Dang Rhomboid, we must have bought the same thing from the same supplier, at about the same time!

Wow, what are the chances. Actually it might make sense, because this was the result of searching for the cheapest thing out there. The one I ordered was from Grizzly Industrial and was a 9 x 12 x 3 model that came in at under $50 including shipping. Most of the other places seemed want $50 for shipping alone. (Which, yeah, I guess that tracks, it's a slab of granite.)
posted by Rhomboid at 8:11 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


We got our mortgage application approved so it looks like we're moving into our new house this summer. I have never owned a house before and I've lived in I think 15 different rented places now, and I am happy beyond belief about living somewhere we can put up pictures and paint walls and keep pets and can't be chucked out of at a landlord's whim.

Also it is a really nice house! It is not the rambling Victorian manor I always dreamed of, it is a 1950s ex-council bungalow, but it is well built and has a decent-sized garden and it has been loved. And because it's ex-council we could afford it, while we probably couldn't have afforded the same house elsewhere, so thanks for that, weird stigma against council houses!

I have a winter-flowering jasmine that I've been carting around rented houses for about five years now. It is not a happy plant in its pot and I really thought it was gone this year but it's just about held on. I am so looking forward to planting it properly in the ground, where it can grow.
posted by Catseye at 8:36 AM on June 18 [11 favorites]


Its my parents 50th wedding anniversary and to celebrate they are having a party later this month with a guest list of over 400 people. You heard that right - 400. They are getting re-married in the church they were originally married in. They were poor and my mom had a simple wedding, so my dad sort of wants to make it up to her 50 years later. Although I think this may be too much in the other direction...

We're heading off to Le Marche in Italy for a week to read, eat good food and visit little villages. Then, we're meeting up with one of my best and oldest friends. He lives with his family in Hong Kong so I rarely see him but they are trekking out to Europe. We're all meeting in Barcelona and then all of us, including his small kids, are hopping into a car and driving up the coast to Girona, Carcassone and then to Arles and Nice.

We've been feeling a bit traumatized by recent events (Brexit, Grenfell, the PT fires) and it feels like a good time to step away from the news and go be with family and with close friends who are like family too.
posted by vacapinta at 8:47 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Tiny news, but: I bought myself something nice that is just for me and usable by no one else in the household so REALLY just for me, and thus far I have been beating off any selfish feels and just enjoying it.
posted by corb at 9:29 AM on June 18 [20 favorites]


It's difficult to explain but I will try. The three of us worked as contractors for a company that went under and we got screwed as it went under. We each have a young child. Two girls, two moms and me with boy. That commonality banded us and the kids bonded and never did I hit on their moms which meant much to them.

We were homeless. Nights at a rest stop. Day shifts part-time at various things and you can save lots of money having reliable vehicles and no rent and there are grills at the rest stop and we kept the kids in school because we are three and that adds so much flexibility. No sexual relationships.

We got some space when multiple deaths meant we combo inherited some animals, shit acreage and broken buildings so it made sense to continue as a team cause we were getting along so well shitting in holes together anyway.

So then there is the issue of shooting coyotes from a fast-moving horse. It is difficult with a lever action. Boy got it down fast. She was next.

Boy is patient and never jealous of the attention I pay to other children but has not the depth to fully articulate except to fuck them all up. Girls are ahead of him on that and the eldest grew breasts and other boys got all apey on that and she physically fucked them all up and got off because witnesses.

We've all summer to figure this out. She talks to me. I love her intensely and he's not jealous. "Eh, I'm fine. Go talk to her. She had another shit day at school."

She's my primary source into the current state of primordial ooze. Speaks her mind and light years ahead of her peers. I can't wait to see what she'll do when she grows up.

And then one of their mom's cars gets stolen and I'm in a gas station 60 miles away and this guy is cracking out and hitting a woman and I call 911 with the plate number after he forces her back in the big white new car and speeds away and PD calls me back saying I couldn't have had the plate number right because it tracks back to a 2008 Kia that belongs to a 28 year old woman in my county. That would be my housemate. Life just gets odder the more you look.

The two of us in old Toyotas, an Uber guy and a Lyft tried to follow and we almost boxed him in on the highway but he had the better car and he boxed us out and PD is subliminal with their response. They don't recommend...and thanks.

So I am going to keep teaching women or anybody else to fight.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:37 AM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Looking for a new job. I've been a contractor at a major biotech company for the last few years but they cut the contract for my entire group so we're all out of work come the end of July. The staffing agency (our actual employer) keeps promising all kinds of help but so far they've only found a new position for one person. I can't blame them too much for the lack of jobs but I do wish they'd stop blowing sunshine up our butts.

A few nibbles (mostly contract gigs, not real jobs) but no offers yet. What I'm doing to maximize my chances of getting a job: I'm planning a nice vacation for August. I figure the universe is always out to get me, so if I'm looking forward to something really nice I'll surely get a job that requires me to cancel my vacation.
posted by Quietgal at 9:42 AM on June 18


My wife (as of 15 days ago!) and I spent the weekend in Minnesota looking for a place to live in the town where I'll be teaching this fall. We went from "oh god all these apartments are kind of boring or awful" to finding two really cute places half a mile from work. The town is beautiful right now, everyone has been comically friendly, and we've had a great time catching up with twin cities friends. I'm a little terrified professionally (I've been very burnt out since I defended my dissertation) but I think this move is going to be really great.
posted by dismas at 9:46 AM on June 18 [7 favorites]


I got three oak-leaf hydrangeas and a big beautiful Eastern redbud for Father's Day and I'm heading out to plant them in the front yard right now. They're going to replace some truly insipid hedges, and I couldn't be more stoked. I'm just waiting for my iPod to finish downloading the latest Adventure Zone and Doughboys episodes. Life is good!
posted by saladin at 9:57 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I am well on the way to work burnout. I've been having more Saturdays where I just sleep through most of the day because I am so exhausted, which leaves me only Sunday to do chores and dread going back to work on Monday. The work itself is fun and challenging, but the level of disorganization and lack of management and planning is just astounding. The management's philosophy seems to be to throw a large number of very smart and driven people together with an extremely ambitious goal and no structure, and, I don't know, hope they will self-organize like ice crystals to achieve sentience?? This might even work overall eventually, but the cost of resources wasted in the chaos and human stress is too high.

Today I had the usual Sunday three-hour breakfast/brunch while reading internets and now I have to get my act together and go into town to the only open UPS (to return coloring book and pencils I was excited about but when they arrived, but then they spent four weeks on my table before I accepted I'm just not a coloring-book person) and Post Office (to return my aspirational size 8 dresses from eShakti; well, I should have just measured myself like they said, so this is all on me. I am planning ice-cream to make up for this disappointment, and sizing up to 10 next time. 12 if the ice cream selection is particularly enticing.).

Other than that, I have been spending my brain-dead late nights and weekends reading hair care forums, because that's the only thing I have energy for, and debating alternatively coloring my hair again, letting the natural hair grow back, cutting it all into a pixie again, growing it out, what is appropriate for my professional look versus what looks good on me versus what doesn't look good because I'm not twenty years old anymore... It's kinda relaxing, so if you guys have any recommended links for forums/styles/natural hair care, hit me up. I will read everything.
posted by Ender's Friend at 10:00 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Working on a new comic, but still a little burnt out after finishing my last one. Looking for a steady creative job (or at least regular freelance) to supplement my full-time job, and just generally trying to find stuff to fall in love with about the world.

Currently playing: Shovel Knight (very slowly), and Breath of the Wild (very VERY slowly).

Been watching the show "Blood Blockade Battlefront", and started reading "Sense and Sensibility". Wildly different from one another, but both are good.
posted by hanzoschmanzo at 10:01 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I'm melting.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:26 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Ender's Friend, that's exactly where I was back in February and it's why I took on a job hunt. I wanted my Saturdays back.

...I got up early this morning, early enough to start that chicken rillettes recipe; my lunch was just a couple knifefuls of it on a slice of plain wonderbread and yeah. I now have six little 4-oz jars and one and half 8-oz ones full of the stuff cooling down before I tuck them into the fridge.

I have officially made my foray into charcuterie. I think that curing my own meat will ultimately be a bridge too far, but slow-cooking big hunks of meat into mush and then adding butter and turning them into spreads? Yeah, I can do that. And it'll make packing for lunches and throwing together picnics really easy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:02 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Oh, and my roommate and his girlfriend are starting to pack for him starting a slow move into her place; I offered some to them, but his girlfriend is vegan, and I apologetically told her that "I think that this is probably as far from vegan as you can get".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:03 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


State of the thing: I had to give the IRS all my savings this year due to several screw-ups, some my fault & some not mine. H&R Block's "Peace of Mind" guarantee is a sack of shit non-policy that results in all claims being denied & no one answering calls or returning voicemails or emails, despite the agent telling me 6 weeks ago "This was clearly our error, we just have to do a formal review, you will be getting a check." I'm not done fighting, but I am currently being stonewalled over a LOT of money that I had to give to the IRS due to aforementioned clerical error.

So. Selling shit on eBay, cancelling all subscriptions/memberships, looking for 2nd job on top of the 50 hour a week one I have now. I'm 54 - this is not easy.

Good things: my daughter the "rocket scientist" is now one, without the quotes. She's about to start her 2nd week of work at Canaveral with Lockheed Martin as a test engineer on the Orion Project. She's building an actual space ship, her dream job. 2 promotions in 2 years, leaping over old dudes who have been at some of their jobs 10-15 years. She is, in the parlance of our times, "crushing it," so that is my Father's Day gift. Played a great gig last night & made 250 clams at it, so that's a start. Looking for more of those.

I'm gonna remain scarce around here because of the workload, but I'm not gone -- just out there doing what needs to be done.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:28 PM on June 18 [21 favorites]


I'd been thinking of putting in a raised bed garden since my previous garden location is now rather shady. Garden is in, tomato seedlings doing fine, many seeds sprouting. Potted moonflower seeds are sprouting. I got badly bitten by blackflies & mosquitoes getting the gardening done in early June, but as it (finally) warms up, it's safer to go outside. I like gardening, and I love fresh tomatoes. I'm a total sucker for tomato seedlings, planted brandywine, big boy, early girl, million cherry, and a couple purple varieties. I'm avoiding the farmer's market because I will want to bring home more varieties.

I have a big row of daylilies that do erosion control and are getting ready to bloom. A pale peach poppy is blooming, the red poppy and peonies are heading up. After I planted pink and red flowers I realized that my little perennial area near the back steps is perfect for a moon garden, hence the moonflower, and I'm planning some white poppy and other white plants. We don't have tons of streetlights, and the full moon on a summer night is an event.

I have a view of and access to a small lake, and I bought a tiny motor for my tiny rowing zodiac on craigslist yesterday. Rain and overcast was forecast, but it's sunny, humid and warm, so I think I'll go boating.

Many other things in life are no so great, but they are boring and can be considered tomorrow.
posted by theora55 at 12:33 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Devils Rancher, I read that as Good things: my daughter the "rocket scientist" is now one year old, and was very impressed with her work ethic. Good luck; the IRS sucks and so does H&R Block.
posted by theora55 at 12:34 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Got a HTC Vive a few days ago. The SO got to put down new flooring in the living room, kitchen and master bath. Also a shower in place of the bathtub. So I call it even.

As for the Vive. WOW.
posted by Splunge at 12:47 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Just woke up from a nap and looked outside into our backyard. This is what we saw. We had ourselves a rainy day visitor.

:D
posted by Fizz at 12:49 PM on June 18 [16 favorites]


Was kind of annoyed about Father's Day because I'm not speaking to mine (this is a no politics thread but I still don't understand or forgive his racism when literally all of his grandkids are not white), and my wife is running a marathon today. It's like her fifth one and this means we've spent zero time together for the last three months due to training and I'm solo parenting today when I should be goddamn sleeping in until someone brings me bacon and coffee in bed.

Anyway, the boys and I spent the morning at a donut shop and then came home and built Lego which is like the next best kind of Father's Day.

Then I discovered a card my wife put on the table when she left for the race at 530 am. I'd been threatening to buy a new Telecaster lately because what kind of guitar playing rockstar dad doesn't own a Tellie and I really think this could turn around an emotional lull I've been going through, which is really more probably related to not seeing my wife for three months. Anyway, inside the envelope is a handmade construction paper cut out in the shape of a guitar which reads "Good for one free guitar of your choice." She has a ballpark idea of what a Telecaster costs but she's made a fatal error by not being specific on her gift and I'm really having a moral dilemma about whether I should exploit the legal loophole she's left by going to Emerald City Guitars and putting that $20,000 1971 Les Paul Jr on plastic before she gets home from the race.

*sigh* Reality is I'll get neither for the same reason I haven't already bought the Tellie -- I already have a perfectly satisfactory quiver of guitars I don't have time to play and I need to save the money for more practical things like shoes for the kids.

But bacon and coffee in bed would have been nice.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:08 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]


I have spent most of today melting to the couch but once it got cool enough that I could contemplate switching on the hob, I made Smitten Kitchen's strawberry, lime and black pepper popsicles (as we don't have kids, I added about 25ml tequila directly to the mixture) so that I can have one if I make it home tomorrow night after doing tap dance for an hour on a day that is meant to reach 27 degrees in a room that has no aircon. (Pray...for...mojo...).
posted by halcyonday at 1:28 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I went to my first restorative yoga class today, it was nice, but kind of slow. I'm not a person who needs a big workout from yoga, but I guess I learned that I like to get my muscles stretched out a bit. It was very meditative, and she used a lot of essential oils, so I sure smell good. I also stopped at the hardware store to get an in-sink soap dispenser for the kitchen sink, and also bought myself a finger spinner just to see what they are all about. The cats like it, they spin it by batting at it.
posted by Vermillion at 1:38 PM on June 18


This is what we saw. We had ourselves a rainy day visitor.


That's a very nice little video, Fizz; a couple of times that deer(?) froze so completely I wouldn't have been able to tell you were still shooting except for that tattling tail.

Which reminds me, my business partner called me all out of breath one afternoon last week because she'd just been out breaking side branches off a larger branch which had split away from the trunk of the tree it was still partially attached to and fallen on her deer fence, when she caught a flicker of motion out of the corner of her eye and looked up into the face of an extremely attentive cougar on a branch six feet above her head and three feet away horizontally in the very tree she was wrestling with.

She reports that the yellow of their eyes is a lot brighter when you look directly into them than you might gather from pictures. No video, though; she dropped her eyes to the ground and slowly but steadily backed the 75' to her rear patio, then turned and ran up the stairs.
posted by jamjam at 2:10 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


posted by jessamyn (temp) at 6:51 AM on June 18
[10 favorites +] [!]


Did I miss something, when did jessamyn start temping here? How lucky is it that she walked in to a temp agency and got her old job back?

Or is this just some shifty thing cortex did, making the mods contract employees to save on benefits?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:11 PM on June 18


I'm filling in for some vacationing mods a few shifts last week and next and this was my one request, to get a temp tag. :D
posted by jessamyn (temp) at 2:16 PM on June 18 [34 favorites]


Yesterday I experienced the Cincinnati phenomenon that is jungle Jim's. Morton Williams in NY and HT oaktree in Seattle don't hold candles to it.
posted by brujita at 2:27 PM on June 18


I left the apartment at about 2:45 pm today, telling the roommate as I left that "I don't know what I'm doing this afternoon, I just know that ice cream will be involved." I ended up wandering to a little place on one of the main business drags here in Ft. Greene, but stopped in at a book store first, just to see what they had. And on their "sale" shelves, for only $15, was a lovely hardcover book called: "French Desserts." I snapped it up immediately, and started reading it while sitting outside the ice cream store and leisurely eating a chocolate-mint-ice-cream-with-oreo-cookies-mixed-in-and-crumbled-brownie-on-top. It started showering when I finished, but I was still reading the book, so I ran into the coffee shop across the street to finish it - and found that there was a recipe that will let me hack the tart I had at a great little cafe I went to in Paris.

And then since I was in a culinary mood, and had already just eaten at two related places, I went for a triple play and picked up fancy cheese, good rolls and cornichons from the super-luxe food store one block away.

Today was the last of the five days I had off before starting a new job tomorrow, and I'm going to roll in there on my first day with a bag lunch of homemade chicken rillettes, comte cheese, cornichons, mustard, pickled peppers, a carrot salad and some fresh strawberries. And then when I get home I will reward myself tomorrow with a homemade chocolate jelly for dessert, from the cookbook I just got.

Ahhhhh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:30 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I'm so lonely I could cry
posted by growabrain at 2:30 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Hugs if you want them, growabrain. We all need them, but you seem to need them a bit extra right now.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:32 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


blackflies & mosquitoes I bought a cloth bug hat at a discount sporting goods store. I couldn't have payed more than $15 for it. I has a dish, dome, like a WW1 helmet, cloth top, with netting that falls straight down from the brim. It was because of no see ums, that really got to me out by Great Salt Lake. So, it would be nice to garden in, making a sunshade as well. It is light, and tucks back in to go under a collar.
posted by Oyéah at 2:34 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Follow up from my previous post. My wife got to fly a couple of Harris's Hawks today. I managed to keep the surprise going right up until she actually saw the birds and the falconer shook her hand and said "you're gonna fly some hawks." She was, as I expected, completely thrilled. Amy basically was the person who taught me that you can get more specific than "that's a bird" when it comes to birds. Until I met her I couldn't tell a hawk from a robin. She works at an Audubon sanctuary as a naturalist and generally loves all things birds. So the entire time she had a huge smile on her face and I was so damn happy to get to experience her excitement.

Afterwards we stopped for lunch in Northampton, MA and I was all excited because I thought it was the same place where I went to my first MeFi meetup and the place where I first met Jessamyn and not_on_display and the place where they met each other so I took a picture and I was gonna post it and tag them and be all "hey!" but then I looked at the thread from 2008 and I guess it was not the same place. Oh well. But if you're ever in Northampton I recommend eating at Fitzwilly's because it was damn good.
posted by bondcliff at 2:36 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]


Going to see W. Kamau Bell tonight, so things are simultaneously great and terrible.
posted by Etrigan at 2:45 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


You know that teacher from Rhode Island that went viral with his fan and LGBTQ symbols in his picture with the President? Last week, Kid got an acceptance letter to the school at which he teaches. The admissions paperwork had spaces for gender identification and preferred name. Kid looked at me all wide eyed and asked, "Mama, what do I do?" to which I replied, "Do you." So they did. I'm super excited for Kid, and getting into this new school was a very welcome event after this whole thing.

Last night, I took Kid, their lesbian best friend, LBF's trans brother, and one of their gay friends to Pride. The twins went with us to the Gay 5K last weekend, which was their first queer event, but this was a first for the other one. They got to roam Pride by themselves, but we watched the Illuminated Parade together, along with some of my friends. The teens got so much positive attention. People in the parade kept coming over to talk to them, one man told them "Keep coming to Pride. We need young people to push forward," they got their pictures taken multiple times by parade photographers. After the parade, we went to a restaurant, and I'm pretty sure it was the first time an adult asked any of them about their preferred pronouns. They were beaming. Kid and I got home at one in the morning after dropping everyone off, and we were all exhausted, but it was so worth it. And now I'm the mom who takes them to cool queer events, which makes me feel good. (Also, Bi Pride!)
posted by Ruki at 3:12 PM on June 18 [16 favorites]


News? I've started hiking a lot, as in every weekend if at all possible. I've climbed 17 of the 48 officially-recognized 4,000+ foot mountains in New Hampshire (some of them multiple times) and a bunch of the shorter ones too, plus a number of other hikes. I've reconnected with some old friends through hiking, made some new ones, and rediscovered a love of photography as well.

I spend much less time on social media than I used to.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:18 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]


It's been almost a year since my family and I moved to the outskirts of Houston and...life is okay. As some of you know, I was once a pastor and would like to be one again* but I like where we live and I love the church we are a part of and my current job is fine. Nothing exciting, but steady and low-stress. And we've decided that this is a pretty good place to settle in for the long haul. My oldest is about to start middle school--I'd like her to have some stability as we head into the teen years. We've been renting--tomorrow we start looking at potential houses to buy.

Next week I'll preach. I'm on the regular rotation now when our pastor takes a Sunday off, so I get back into the pulpit (well, the empty stage--this church is too contemporary for old fashioned pulpits) about three or four times a year. The associate minister has asked me to help lead the adult education program and has hinted strongly that he's ready to retire soon and I can probably have his spot if I want it. In the meantime, a nearby Bible college has asked me to teach a class for them this fall and there's a church across town whose preacher has throat cancer and has asked me to fill in there when I can. In sum, I'm in a spot where people recognize and appreciate the areas where I have some expertise and I get to scratch the ministry itch without dealing with the headaches that drove me out before.

10 years ago I was preaching at a large and rapidly growing church and I thought by now I'd by a standout in my denomination. Life didn't work out that way. I'm just about done feeling bitter about that and ready to plant some roots into this new life. This isn't what I dreamed of but it'll do. I realized a while back that although I occasionally hear from a congregation that wants to consider me for a ministry job, it would take a pretty exceptional church to get me to uproot my family again. I'm not going to hold my breath. I'm going to live the life I've got now on purpose.

As I think about it, I realize a big part of my desire to settle here is that I like my new friends and I don't want to give them up. That's as good a reason as any to plant my flag. I'm 45, I know what it's like when everything falls apart, and I'll take this place and these people. I'll take them gladly.

That's my life, MetaFilter.

*Why I am not a pastor now? Burnout, a dysfunctional church, theological changes--a confluence of things and a long, long story.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:35 PM on June 18 [15 favorites]


Since April, I've been working three part time jobs. None pay well; yet, I'm glad to be able to pay my bills. But, I often get only 2 days off per month and it's a constant juggle between the different places; plus I can never plan anything in advance. I desperately need to go to a doctor about some things but don't know when (hopefully before the ACA is gone.) Today, I overslept and almost didn't make it to clock in on time at the retail job. I brought work home from the main job (major deadline) and will be up drafting away till who knows.... I'm taking a break to give attention to one of the kitties.


It's so hot and humid here already that yardwork is spent drenched in sweat. My wee yard looks great. Somehow I'm keeping up with the weeding. As a reward, I've been eating blackberries off my vines and am anticipating a good crop of scuppernon grapes this year if I can keep them watered.

Life is going okay. Do you know how fortunate I feel to not be in dire straights like so many folks are right now? I'm taking it day by day.
posted by mightshould at 4:20 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


We had great weather this morning for our Father's Day outing, which my five-year-old suggested, which was taking a breakfast picnic to a new nature preserve and then having a hike. My husband's spent more than a decade helping to restore the nature preserve and it's just opened to the public this year. I hadn't been out there before -- it's really nice! The air smelled SO GOOD. It's been stinky and humid but it was cool and pleasant in the trees. A friend mentioned yesterday she'd been too busy at work to plan for Father's Day so we were like, "Come join us!" so our good friends came along too because I'd made SO MUCH FOOD. Even with twice as many people as expected, we took home leftovers.

Anyway it was really pleasant and it was a good choice of Father's Day outing since he spent years and years working on it. And good choice of breakfast picnic by Micro McGee!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:27 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I'm failing at avoiding all the Father's Day messaging that rubs my nose in the fact that my parents really shouldn't have had kids, and I really wish they hadn't.

In a few minutes I'm going to a memorial service for a friend who was exactly as old as me, the latest of a surprisingly large number of people in the group I "came up" with claimed by cancer.

The job I was supposed to start recently seems to have evaporated, so I have no idea where my next paycheck will be coming from.

Fuck you, June.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:48 PM on June 18


Link to picture of Eyebrows' picnic foods. Scroll up for text description.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:59 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


After a terribly oppressive humid and hot weekend, the expected thunder storm is blowing through, and it is literally a breath of fresh air. Sooo windy, blowing away all the humidity. For right this minute of course, it will be even worse after this blows thru...... but I am enjoying this respite. My state can't agree on a budget, and since they can't, and since we have no furlough laws, I may be out of a job on the 30th. I am applying other places, but I am an old person and I do not want to move. Especially since my most promising prospect is in Columbia, SC, and I just spent the opening sentences complaining about hot and humidity. Fiddle-de-dee, said Gyre.......

If we're recommending Terry Brooks books, I really enjoyed the Word and the Void series, especially Running with the Demon. But for full out escape everything silliness go with Magic Kingdom for Sale, Sold. (if you're an open ended ending kind of person you can just read that one and not the ones that came after)
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 5:33 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Where else are you going to read a novel about a Magic Kingdom for sale where the court scribe is a wheaten terrier?
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 5:36 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]




That is a beautiful guitar!
posted by bilabial at 6:37 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Our dog, Pippa, has really been coming in to her own finally and I've been very happy about that. We adopter her about a year and a half ago, and she was an absolute wreck - afraid of cars, bikes, people, the wind... It would probably be faster to write a list of things that wouldn't terrify her. She's always been afraid of leaving the house, but at the suggestion of a trainer we started taking her out to quiet places to go for walks. Turns out she really likes these walks, and they've helped her get used to strange people and animals. We took her to a much busier park this afternoon, and she actually approached other dogs to sniff them and didn't freak out when bikes rode by so I'm calling that a win. She must have gotten really hot, though, because when we got home she went outside and laid down in the dirt under a hydrangea (did I mention she use to hate being outside?)

In stories that may only be amusing to me, I took the plane out on Friday to do some practice instrument approaches. It was cloudy and rainy and I got some good "actual" time in, but coming home I was forced to hold while a pair of F-18s did a synchronized approach and landing. The new ADS-B equipage we have meant that I could track them as they screamed in at over 350 knots. Kind of an unusual sight around these parts.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:50 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I've exhausted talking about it with my other friends ("we KNOW, weasel, we know") but my current apartment contract is up in October and I won't be staying, which means I'll be hardcore looking for a new one starting August. I'm ridiculously excited, however, so I've been doing area research for what's available within my budget and what I'm prepared to say "oh hell no" about.

Anyway, the good news is, my requirements for both size and space are indeed within budget, which will help me start cooking All The Things with no roommate to fill up half the fridge; and (most importantly) I'll be able to get myself a digital Yamaha piano to start playing again for the first time in 15 years since I had my hand surgery.

I sightread Für Elise the other day at a piano shop. It wasn't perfect, but I still did it, and I almost cried from being overwhelmed. I'm in love again. Muscle memory is wild.
posted by lesser weasel at 7:24 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


A few notes from the farm:
I managed to kill the 20-year-old Wheel Horse garden tractor I bought a few weeks ago on somewhat of a whim (I got convinced that living on a farmette I need a tractor big enough to run "ground engaging" implements although in all honesty I've already got more nice, established raised beds than I know what to do with and will probably never need to run a tiller or lord help us a moldboard plow). Fortunately my tenant is slightly knowledgeable about engines so we're going to replace the spark plugs and some other basic maintenance that makes sense given the issue and then go from there.
I've managed to get my daughter out of the house two evenings in a row to do practice driving. She has social anxiety, anxiety anxiety, and as you can imaging learning to drive is going to be an uphill battle but she's making progress. We found a nice loop of about an hour that takes us through the beautiful countryside around South Mountain, past the War Correspondent's Monument at Gathland State Park, and then back down and can get us all the way back to the closest gym facility--all without going on a busy road. Of course, the gym is only an 8 minute drive if you are willing drive for a few miles on the 4-lane closed access highway where everyone moves at 70 mph, but she's not quite there yet. But one of her goals with her therapist is to learn to drive to the gym and start working out, so there ya go. She's doing much better and in another session or two is going to be ready to spend some time on the 2-lane 60 mph medium road I think. Her biggest problem right now (other than panicking about cars riding up on her ass because she's going the speed limit) is that it's so fucking pretty out here and she doesn't have the coordination yet to gawk at the beautiful sunset vistas or 200 year old stone barns or the ducks wandering across the road and not let her hands follow her eyes. "Eyes front!" has become my refrain.
posted by drlith at 7:33 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Just found out my mom will be coming out for a week at the start of August, so that will be nifty and ought to be good for at least one night of Nonna babysitting while we have an adult night out. And then she'll be back with her husband for Christmas. So that'll be nice.

We picked up oldest Peanut from school early on Friday because a table fell on her toe and it was already sort of multicolored in a short amount of time. A fairly bruised toenail didn't stop her from Wonder Womaning it up all over the couch on Saturday so we went to her class picnic today and she stubbed it or somebody stepped on it and so there was blood and kiddie tears to calm and clean up, and then she limped around bring coddled by her classmates for the rest of the time. Now I don't know if I should scupper the plans for the beach tomorrow(er, today) or not and her ped's biggest flaw is that his office hours start at 5:30 pm. Back in my bunhead days, you'd poke a hole in the toenail to relive the pressure, soak it in Epsom salts, wrap it up and suck it up, but that's not very relivant for a four year old.

And lastly an ultrasound to see if I was having gallbladder issues said it's fine but there's some formations on my liver, kidney, and an ovary so on the 4th of July I will have the first CAT scan ever in my life. So I'm sort of freaked out because the doctor at the diagnostic clinic said she works on these days, come back and let her know how it goes. And my GP's poker face was less than convincing when he said it might just "be me." Meh. I am trying to channel Scarlett O'Hara and not think about it for now.
Fiddle
Dee
Dee
Motherf*ers
posted by romakimmy at 7:59 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Also, I just found out I made Phi Beta Kappa! But apparently no one cares about Phi Beta Kappa anymore.

I still care that I didn't make it 20 years ago if that helps. Congratulations!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:39 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Update: Mini McGee is allowed to stay up past the other kids' bedtimes if he watches TV that *I* like, like the Dick Van Dyke show or the Andy Griffith show or whatever. Tonight, we did Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and he was SO INTO IT. Am excite!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:34 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Fiddle
Dee
Dee
Motherf*ers


-- Famous line from the Die Hard remake with Melissa McCarthy in the starring role
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:02 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


I started Adderall 12 days ago and it has been a life-changer. If I had started this in middle school I'd be an astronaut today.

Or a meth addict.

I accomplish more. I focus more. I'm more motivated to do things. Example: recently I had drank some beer and was ready to go to bed. But I stayed up and organized my closet, unloaded the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher and took out all the recycling. I'm more outgoing and social. Less concerned with anxious thoughts and the horrible negative voice I just call "the narrative."

Never underestimate the power of medication.
posted by bendy at 11:00 PM on June 18 [14 favorites]


I'm always a day late to the Saturday thread.

Last weekend, we moved our business to a new location. Moving a business is a lot of work. In this case, it's a trailer dealership, so we have a brand-new dealership. Construction was delayed, delayed and delayed some more by an extended winter, and contractor screw-ups, and a showroom floor which is a disaster. We changed telecom vendors (no choice) so that's all screwed up, the phones don't work. I'm the IT guy and every computer has to throw a fit, and I get to order all new computers with an OS no-one has used and boy am I looking forward to that.

So, it's been a hell of a week. I had most of my archives and not-critical stuff packed, but got a zero day notice of the actual move and my working files & stuff were still out waiting for go. "We're moving NOW" isn't something you want to hear. Slam shit into boxes, disassemble furniture, fill cargo trailers (which we had in abundance, thanks), unpack and try to get everyone up and running in the space of a couple days. Chaos. All whilst trying to do the regular duties.

So I've been working straight thru. Which is fine. We're closed on Sundays, so today I dealt with a couple finicky computer issues and tried to organize a bit while there was no-one around. Our office cat, she finally came out of her hidey office and did a perimeter check of the showroom and wound up on the Service counter like she owned the place, which she will eventually. This has been hard on her, moreso than I'd expected. Our old office was cramped and she was quite comfy wandering in & out. This vast empty space, the unfinished showroom with the disaster floor, has her unnerved but she made major progress today and I was very happy to have her begging for love as I did troubleshooting.

On the plus side, my new office has a beautiful view of bucolic countryside. The trees that line the winding river a quarter mile away, the horse ranch across the street. No more arborvitae and the smell of McDonald's fries all damn day. Give the grass some time to grow, it's all dust right now, but it'll be green and I can see the wind farms on the hills if I squint.

I am fucking exhausted. So much more work to do, it'll be weeks before it's all squared away. But man, such an improvement. I didn't even mention the service bays, they're huge and wonderful, and so many acres of room for inventory. We've been squeezed in a small area in town, long outgrown. It's a vast improvement. I'll post some pics when Show Us Your Office time comes around.

I've also been dealing with evicting a relative that, eh, too much to go into. Just more stress on stress. The kids are out of school for the summer. Thankfully I have my sister to lean heavily on to direct that energy.

tl;dr I'm pretty wiped out but have things to look forward to.
posted by wallabear at 11:39 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I'm going to be riled for a while now so I should maybe not post. Combination of events.

It was decided weeks ago that I would have the day off while the other two worked but a day off for me would be 24 hours of silence and isolation but you never get that with kids cause they need you and that I don't resent so I take them to this tiny place for brunch where anyone who knows me is going to give me space so I only have to deal with bizarre questions from the kids but the realtor who was ignorant or absolutely lied to my deceased mother is at a table with some vulnerable retirees trying to sell them a property that may never have cable or cell service and I can't not hear and the kids notice they do not have my full attention and all eyes follow mine and they change the way they are holding their forks cause they are good kids.

He recognizes me and comes over with 3 color sheets of paper listings because I might want to upgrade and that's just too much for me and I loudly inform him that the millstones found on that property are not Chickasaw or Choctaw and he should stop telling people that and other things and he ushered his clients out before they were served and they looked worried.

Kids are all he went off on a stranger what was that all about should we eat or should we just go now and the procession starts. That guy sold my son a car... It's too easy to get a RE license.. Meal comped and I have extra budget for the day.

It's 50 minutes away where I'm heading from there and the questions are ceaseless. My boy has easily conceded shotgun to the most inquisitive. It's distracting. My philosophy of violence? I swerve. Where are we going anyway? My son gives them a pretty reasoned philosophy of violence and when that is over I put on McMurtry and there are bad words and adult subjects and death to boot. Perfect. Shuts them up except for laughter while the GPS wonks out.

My plan is we float on the Green river which is indeed green. I've clothes in the truck for them. Youngest wants to call mom and that's just going to mess mom up at work so I tell her that and she declares that I am going to tie our tubes together. No, I was just going to send you first as a test. She looks at me sideways. That's the spirit.

Boy says we are just going to get in this green river and float down until somebody gets us out? Yup. The extraction point will be hard to miss. People in canoes and shit but you two can't get too far ahead of us. Grab a branch or something to delay and lift your butt on the rapids. When was the last time you did this? Twelve. Twelve says she can do this and they can too.

We rocked it. We saw a bear and got our toes nibbled by unseen things in a green river. Lots of laughs. Other floaters were great but don't pass my kid a joint. Nobody drowned.

We are hungry. Kid who has met her father twice declares it the best father's day ever and visibly saddens and we all notice. What she likes is Asian buffets and we conspire while she's changing . There is a prehistoric one nearby with 5 star ratings from people who give fast food places the same rating and I warn the other two and they are willing to suffer for her. Plus she's got shotgun, ok?

It's the second time we make a scene in a restaurant this day but this time it's not me. It's not just bad. It's worse. Kids totally inform staff. We hit the road and I tell them about a nastier Chinese restaurant in Guatemala and that suppresses appetites enough that we can make it home with a quick stop.

We all must eat but sour times and I buy what must be cooked today. It's really cheap and I try to replicate my mom's chicken liver recipe and it's not quite but nom results. 6 lbs with onions over brown rice vanished. I thought there would be nukeable plates for the latecomers but floating has a high calorie expenditure or they are just growing or worse.

Everyone needs a bath after floating down a green river and two of them can do it themselves which takes all the hot water and I'm sitting on the closed toilet with a book and number 3 wants to know why there is no hot water. The upstairs vents seem to conduct some speech from upstairs and it is my son is talking to number 1. He doesn't know if she is pretty. It doesn't matter. Faces, smiles. Some people smile and their smile makes me smile. I think your hair is good. No. Maybe. Why are you asking me?

I think there is hot water now and she says no I want to hear this. You are just hearing one side. I can tell what she's saying. She is worried about everything and I want to hear this. Tin roof if you get this done? OK!

Bribing them with sweets is not good but puberty is happening in my house and we have to rethink. I hope all of us remain close. We snarfed sundaes and teased each other and everyone was clean.

Sat on the roof for a long time after I got them all down. It's just a greeting card holiday but I thought really hard about my dad. He's 92 and we've had no contact since '97. He's probably sitting on his mountain in WVA like I'm sitting on mine in NC. How on earth did he go from what he was to what he became? How will I avoid that? What if these kids wind up hating me?

I think I navigated successfully but it was a day of rumination and I doubt I will sleep.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:03 AM on June 19 [5 favorites]


I enjoy reading all of your stories, a lot -- thanks so much for sharing! Hugs and high fives to those in need.

Things are going well for me. I've had an incredibly busy (but fun!) spring, and my schedule seems to be tapering off a bit now, which is a good thing. In a few minutes, I'm going to a new gym for the first time. An all-women boutique place that only does classes, and monitors your weight/measurements and sends you weekly reports or something. I've decided that I'm terrible at self-led exercise, so I'm hoping this isn't too bad, nor too expensive . Slight nervousness, but if I hate it I can just not go back - this is a trial.
posted by Fig at 3:05 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


My housemates got two cats on the weekend. I was looking forward to it, because I like cats, and I've missed having fluffy things in the house.

The cats are great, but the house is now full of baby talk, over anxious fussing and more and more expensive cat toys, and it is impossible to go into the shared areas without being asked to confirm that the diddums fuzz buckets are the cutest and cleverest and most hilarious diddums fuzz buckets ever. Bah, humbug.
posted by kjs4 at 4:18 AM on June 19 [5 favorites]


After asking Metafilter how to replace OneNote and getting no joy, I've started a new project. I'm transforming Visual Studio Code into a plain text productivity app that is an unholy union between BuJo & GTD. So far I've figured out automated task lists with tags & projects, keeping notes, maintaining my commonplace book and reference materials, calendaring, and journaling. I dusted off my pinboard and pinterest accounts for bookmarks and inspiration boards. The only thing I'm missing is some type of version control and ubiquitous text capture from my iPad and my iPhone.

Once I've refined my formats and dir structures after using the system for awhile I'll probably write this up. Seriously, fuck Microsoft and their proprietary file formats. I'm going back to my roots as a text file zine editor/contributor.
posted by xyzzy at 4:34 AM on June 19 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty down, actually. Every day at work I have to put up with a microcosm of the national government at the state level, and now it looks like the state government will be shutting down because there's no budget, and I'm just so sick and tired of seeing and reading about horrible mean people. Plus my team has lost five in a row.
posted by JanetLand at 5:48 AM on June 19 [6 favorites]


I changed the route I take to get to work and my commute is now long, but relaxing. It's above ground so I can look at trees and houses and enjoy the wind on my face. That's one major stressor fixed!
posted by Stonkle at 6:41 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


It's been a mixed bag for me, but this weekend was good!

I've been seeing a therapist on a weekly basis for awhile, and it's been helpful in managing anxiety and depression.

After a long period of discernment, several months ago my church finally filled our vacant senior pastor position with two incredibly thoughtful and intelligent senior co-pastors. They are wonderful people and they are hella gay and I love them. If you'd told me in high school that I'd be an enthusiastic churchgoer and a board member of my church I'd have scoffed and rolled my eyes in a very teenagery way, but life is full of twists and turns.

Had a great Father's Day yesterday. Went out for lunch with the fam, got an afternoon nap, and blew bubbles for my VERY excited little kiddo, who's around 14 months now.

The difficulty and general fraught-ness of life since November has given me a greater appreciation for the relationships and communities in my life that offer strength in refuge. I'm grateful for what I've got.
posted by duffell at 6:53 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


First off, I want to express how happy the posts from Orlop and Ruki made me. So, so happy.
Second, I want to say that , while everything is not hunky dory, I'm doing really well. My knee that I fucked up but good in January is really healing and I'm officially back doing yoga.

This was the first weekend in a long time that I wasn't working on last minute grant changes (which is both good and terrible) but oh my god I got so much done!!!! Husband went out of town for the night and I have recently gone no contact with my parents so this weekend was free of any obligations and I was free to make a mess without getting in the husband's way.

In 48 hours I:
Pulled 35 lbs of honey from my hive
Did a hive inspection with my mentee
Made 2 delicious batches of apricot lavender jam
Harvested a buttload of tomatoes
Cleaned out my cookbook shelves for donations
Sold husband's Jedi toy to a guy on FB (with permission, of course)
Cleaned up a giant mess in the kitchen from the jam
Cleaned up a giant mess in the living room from sorting a billion cookbooks
Did laundry
walked the dog
Went marketing

I am pretty fucking impressed. The meds are definitely working.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:59 AM on June 19 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter: The meds are definitely working.

Also, I learned that I still have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old boy. At best.

Also also, autocorrect tried to change it to "The mods are definitely working," which is a tautology.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:04 AM on June 19 [6 favorites]


Setting aside big-picture stuff, which gets ennui-ish, my latest news is that I'm gonna try bifocals. Bifocals! I've heard different opinions on whether it's good to get them early or late. But (having not tried them yet), I think bifocals are super cool. How amazing is it that we can make not just bifocals but progressive multifocals? Amazing.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:09 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


progressive multifocals Whoa! The colors man!
posted by Oyéah at 10:45 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I'm in the UK, so am really bloody hot at the moment - which is quite the achievement for a Raynaud's-ridden lass who is normally tucked up inside a woollen greatcoat until at least mid-July - and, as a consequence, rather grumpy.

On a more cheerful note: I have been attempting to devote more time and energy to Doing Art Again over the past year or so, and whilst I know I'll never be a brilliant artist, I am now at the point where I am practising, and learning techniques to employ, and identifying mistakes I make (sometimes even succeeding in fixing them :P ), and my most recent work now shows a perceptible improvement compared with that of months ago...

...and I am so ridiculously proud of that, I really am. :D
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 1:30 PM on June 19 [6 favorites]


How amazing is it that we can make not just bifocals but progressive multifocals?

I have progressive multifocal contact lenses, which are $$$ but allow me to do useful things like, well, read.

Anyway. I finally rethought how to approach Book 3 1/2, and so can now get back to writing it. So the summer is mostly reading scholarship and filling in those annoying holes you discover once you get to the writing phase of a project. For fun, I went to NYC this past week, spent lots of money at the Strand, and saw A Doll's House Part 2 (eh) and Sweeney Todd (great); I've also got an upcoming day trip to the Shaw Festival in Canada to see The Madness of George III. Finally, I finished building the dollhouse I'd been working on for eight months, and have started working on another that will probably take a year or so.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:32 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I have a new job! I'm a solar site auditor now. That means I'm the guy who, if you're interested in putting panels on your house, climbs around on your roof and in your attic and measures stuff and takes shade readings and checks out your electrical system so that the designers can out together a plan for you.

I like it a lot! The hours are way too long but I have some plans for what to do about that and it's great otherwise. Working in an office was killing me; now I'm outside a good portion of every day, I have a company vehicle, I rarely deal with my boss or other co-workers (which I really like), and I'm doing something I feel pretty good about. Plus I'm making about 50% more money than I was in my previous job, which means I'll finally be able to move back out of my parents' house soon.

Also I have to confess that working on roofs makes me feel like kind of a badass. Doing something that a lot of people would find really scary is a good and sorely needed confidence-booster.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:50 PM on June 19 [15 favorites]


I have a lot to share, but at the moment all that matters is this fucking version of Rhiannon from 1977 with Stevie spinning out to the very edges of the universe.
posted by mykescipark at 10:58 PM on June 19 [6 favorites]


things are a little sad in my life right now, for various reasons, but there are still some bright spots - I have a trip to Barcelona coming up that I'm pretty excited about, and I have finally found the right kind of cold medication that keeps me from getting hives for 2 - 3 days. My allergies have been really awful for the last few years, and up until recently I got no relief from antihistamines, so this is pretty amazing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:16 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


I know I'm late to this thread and all, but it's the perfect place to put my big secret: after ten years in Europe, I'm seriously hunting for jobs so that we can move back to the US.

On the one hand I'm really excited. Waffle irons! Big kitchens! Backyards! Brutal fucking air conditioning!

On the other hand, I'm like "what the fuck are you thinking", I mean the healthcare alone should be enough to keep me in Europe forever.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 5:12 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Short Story: The First Edition was and continues to be a dream child, and turned me into a really obnoxious parent.

Short Story: The Sequel came along and put me in my place.

Last night, for the first time in two years and three weeks, he said "'night 'night Mommy", blew me a kiss, waved to me, smiled, and layed his head down and went to sleep.

No crying. No screaming. No jumping up and down in the crib to let me know just how incredibly pissed off he was to have to go to bed.

A wave and a smile and silence.

Sometimes it really is the little things.
posted by vignettist at 9:40 AM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I just got back from 3 weeks in Denmark where we built a crazy musical installation in a retired slaughterhouse. Thanks to duolingo and ask.me advice, I learned a surprising amount of Danish - I couldn't understand anything spoken (but nobody can), but I was shocked at how many newspaper headlines and billboards I could read. I had raspberry-licorice birthday cake in a famous conditori in Copenhagen and got back home to the US and my dog.
posted by moonmilk at 11:16 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


In the past two weeks I've sent out five job applications. Today I heard back from two of them asking for interviews! I'm so happy! I mean they're just interviews but I was really scared I'd have to toss dozens of applications into the void before I got a single reply.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:49 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


From an excerpt from Michael Robbins' upcoming book Equipment For Living: On Poetry and Pop Music, there are two lines that stick in my mind as I try to parse them:
I first heard "Only the Young," Journey's second-best song, in 1985, when I bought the matchless Vision Quest soundtrack on cassette at a Sears in Colorado Springs. Later I would learn the band left it off Frontiers in favor of two forgettable tracks. Of course. The song roars to life with Schon's pick slide, and Perry's off in the ether, belting needlework-sampler wisdom poetry. "Only the young can say," because the young see through "promises" and "lies." The synths and processed guitars swell like a mammoth wheel of Monterey Jack left in the sun.

I'm supposed to be repelled by this, but I find it thrilling.
The intervening years of tasteful discrimination haven't blunted its power.
1) Does all cheese swell in the sun, or is this a specific trait of Monterey Jack? Or is Monterey Jack referenced for a more vivid image for the reader? And 2) is the could-be repelling nature due to an odor, or the fact that cheese is growing in the sun? Or both?

These are the questions that plague me today.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


And 3) is the Violent Femmes' Blister in the Sun a reference to a blister-pack of pasteurized process cheese food slices?
posted by moonmilk at 2:10 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I have a lot to share, but at the moment all that matters is this fucking version of Rhiannon from 1977 with Stevie spinning out to the very edges of the universe

Those who would impugn Fleetwood Mac do not understand how the bass track to this song illustrates the fundamental movement of the subatomic particles that form the essence of the space/time continuum.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:57 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


About 2.5 years ago , my cousin went to the ER with symptoms of appendicitis. She had Stage IV colon cancer, which had already spread to her liver. She kept up a blog all throughout this, detailing her fight. It was such an educational insight into the drudgery of cancer, and how terrible it is on everyone it affects and their support network, and the decisions that need to be made. She knew the odds were not in her favor, so she used her good days to sort through her things and plan for the worst.

She started treatment, which worked for a while, but about 3 months ago she decided to stop. Her numbers weren't going down, and the side effects were terrible.

Her and her husband went on a cruise, bought an RV, and got in a few bucket list trips. Four weeks ago they were parasailing in Florida.

She died yesterday morning, at the age of 41. She was one of those people who was lovely, inside and out. We all knew this was coming and I am so, so proud of her for exiting on her own terms (it sounds like the last few days were very rough). It hurts.
posted by Fig at 6:36 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


I'm so sorry, Fig. I know it hurts- let it hurt, it's okay. I mean, it's not okay, nothing's okay at times like this, but it's okay to hurt.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:05 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


My condolences, Fig. My mother in law left us on her own terms. She stopped chemo, also for colon cancer, because she didn't want to subject us to a prolonged death. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to accept death like that. I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm glad your cousin used her time to the fullest. My thoughts are with you and yours.
posted by Ruki at 8:06 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I got a new fucking amazing telescope with credit card rewards points I've never used, and a bunch of awesome filters and a motor drive. Omg.

I saw Saturn!

And the moon!

And Jupiter!

And Jupiter's moons!

I just got a sun filter in the mail yesterday and i'm looking forward to that so much.
posted by odinsdream at 9:52 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Oh and I laid a stone garden pathway. And built some stone steps with giant stones that I had to move with a hoist system that I built myself.
posted by odinsdream at 10:03 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Man, it's been a few "up and down" kinda weeks...

It all started with a really shitty summer cold that felled both my husband and I, and would. not. quit.

Then, just when that seemed to be over, the husband's grandfather passed away. He was a great old Manhattan Jewish dude, in the grand tradition of Old Manhattan Jewish Dudes. He lived through polio and still persisted on going to college, working in a big fancy office, getting married, having a bunch of kids, and traveling the world. It was really, really sad... but the shiva experience was lovely and new to me.

Then—amazingly, incredibly, confoundingly—we found the apartment of our dreams! We'd only been looking for a week and our lease isn't up until August 1... but we jumped. Because it has a huge, hilly, woodsy, ivy-covered backyard (that doesn't even look like NYC), right on the waterfront with views of Manhattan. The apartment itself has an odd layout and it's a bit small, but it's clean and functional and quiet. Somehow it's cheaper than our current place, and has a shorter commute! I feel insanely (and slightly uncomfortably?) fortunate that we have such privilege to nab a place like that, and feel weirdly more dedicated than ever to working on fair housing for everyone, especially in NYC.

And now we have to pack up our entire apartment in a week and a half (eek!), cross our fingers our current place gets rented on July 1st (if not, ramen for a month!), test the backyard soil's lead levels (should be fine, but it's Brooklyn!), start shopping for outdoor furniture (expensive!), and write approximately 1000 Ask.Mes about gardening, because this is my first backyard—ever.

Aaaand then I got hit with a horrific stomach bug and am flattened on the couch.

So it goes.
posted by functionequalsform at 11:01 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I have just finished reviewing the last of this week's draft thesis chapters for my students and emailed them off. Just need to send out some invoices, do a budget for a project, pack and then we're off on vacation for two weeks early friday am - Yay! And this year the dog can come with us - Double yay!
posted by Chairboy at 11:04 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Sleep has been haphazard for a while, mostly due to being stuck in a country where air conditioning is the exception rather than the rule, even though the summers are unusually humid. Especially this one. As we neared the solstice, various ambitious possibilities - Avebury, which is top of the list, and Arbor Low being two - were reluctantly crossed off because of forecasts of big heat both night and day, and public transport options in much of rural England being pretty much useless.

But luckily for timing I fell asleep yesterday evening and woke around 3 in the morning, then realised there was still one hundred minutes to the solstice day dawn with the point of the summer solstice itself following not long afterwards. So a dunk of the face in a sink of cold water while counting to fifteen, the drinking of two pints of even colder water (there are several pint glasses on filled rotation in a fridge set to MAXIMUM THRUST), the opening of all the windows, chucking some M&S food, camera and yet more water into my rucksack, and I'm off.

Living close to the edge of a medium-sized English market town means it's not too difficult to escape from the drunken, loud and (at this time of year) somewhat smelly masses. Pre-dawn, it's even better and great to see absolutely no-one and no vehicles. As the sky gradually lightened, it was so lovely to walk in fairly cool air straight down the middle of various streets, ignoring all the traffic lights. Seven minutes later, I'm out of town; another ten and on a small country lane; another five a footpath up a small hill; another five and a footpath bordering fields of wheat, barley and beans. Some time after four but before dawn it was time to stop and break, take a bunch of photos and a 360 degree video, eat the first breakfast of the day, and listen. And it was mainly birdsong. No idea which birds being not a twitcher or an orni-thingie; I just like the sounds of most birds (except wood pigeons) and that's fine. So I listened to birdsong for a while, punctuated only by the occasional plane noise - there's an airport around six miles away - started to write a couple of letters and a few other words and, well, did nothing. Because solstice, nature, relaxed, at one with, and so forth.

Dawn didn't arrive with a huge fiery ball; a few bits of low cloud resulted in the sun appearing as sections of a red disk. On a whim, and also because of enjoyment of the cool air after several days of clammy heat, I stripped off and ran through the field of wheat next to me. Because, heck why not. There's also no people around so no danger of pictures of a possibly deranged-looking naked 48 year old man appearing on social media, though I'm probably past caring if they did, and it was liberating, both mentally and physically, to go for a naked run in ideal weather anyway. I should probably do this more often; maybe the naturists are onto something after all.

The rising sun was faced, and a few more pictures taken, though not many as some time was spent picking bits of wheat off various surfaces and crevices. People say sand on the beach gets everywhere; one can attest that wheat isn't far behind and guess I'll be finding it for several days to come. Dewheated, more of the sunrise was watched and, as a bit of tiredness crept back, it was time to head back. I turned around and started, then remembered it was probably a good idea to put some clothes on before reaching the road so returned to the heap of cotton, robed, then strolled back through a now-waking up town to a relatively cool bed.

And that was my solstice, and I hope yours was good too.
posted by Wordshore at 11:16 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Wordshore, lovely pictures! Although I fear you have brought yourself that much closer to pruning your rose bushes in the nude while singing the praises of the nudist lifestyle. This is how it starts...
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:26 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


a twitcher or an orni-thingie

Incidentally, "Twitcher and Ornithingie" is the name of my new band.

We play covers of Charlie "Bird" Parker tunes.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:45 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


You guys, it's my 10 year anniversary on Metafilter!

I don't have much else to say except wow, time passes. :)
posted by alleycat01 at 7:32 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Garden update: The 1st batch of nasturtium seeds I planted didn't germinate; they were old. Re-planted and the seedlings are coming up. Moonflower seedlings are up. Lettuce is starting to look like lettuce; my little garden looks like a garden, not just a dirt rectangle. Plenty of ticks and mosquitoes, too.
posted by theora55 at 8:53 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


You guys, it's my 10 year anniversary on Metafilter!

Congrats!

noob
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:39 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I packed up all my belongings into a truck and my girlfriend and I drove 1000 miles to Philadelphia. We unloaded the truck and shoved nearly everything into one corner of the living room of her house, and I haven't unpacked because we're moving again next month into a big, old house right on the Schuylkill (and also the regional rail line) that is going to need a ton of work but also has a yard and parking and stained glass windows in the attic, and the neighbors aren't all college kids who get home from a party at 2 AM and think that that's a good time to engage in a philosophical disagreement right under the open windows of other people's bedrooms.

I've had about 4 days of funemployment and I'm ready to find a job. I don't do idleness well.
posted by coppermoss at 7:46 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


Hey coppermoss, if you are a beer drinker, get thee to Fermentary Form pronto like.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:00 PM on June 22


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