Metatalktail Hour: Late summer free chat August 12, 2017 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Where I am, it's a cool late summer night and the stars are coming out. Come out on the porch, we've got comfy porch chairs, refreshing beverages and quiet music. What's good with you these days?

This is an open chitchat thread, welcome! Just no politics or horrible-current-events talk.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:18 PM (120 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

(Obviously, this is a porch that's accessible from whatever season you're in -- for late-winter Mefites we have warm beverages, for late-summer Mefites, cold ones -- and a nice fire for everyone.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:22 PM on August 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm sipping on ginger-ale and eating soda crackers. I left work early because my stomach has been tossing all day. So now I'm just relaxing and watching garbage reality television. Storage Wars. It's so terribly scripted and I love how easy and turn off my brain it is to watch. It's just what the end of the day called for.

I hope everyone else is doing well and enjoying their evening.
posted by Fizz at 6:25 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am up to my ears in fresh peaches right now, so I made peach sorbet and peach crisp. I just tried the crisp, and it was delicious.

Also, a local brewery has a pomengranate-passion fruit beer out for the summer, and that was tasty, too. I need to get a growler of it before it goes away for the summer.

Thirdly, I dreamed about some limoncello I had in Seattle earlier this summer. I wish I could figure out how to get another bottle of it delivered to me. (Summer in a glass.)
posted by PearlRose at 6:26 PM on August 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

You know how memories are more vivid with smells and flavors? I suspect that I'll look back on this summer and think of whiffs of cardboard boxes from packing for our apartment move (ick) and lots of homemade smoothies and shakes (yay!). Perfect for a mental/physical break and cooling down in the stuffy summer air. Berry, matcha, chocolate, banana...Maybe I'll add some tapioca next time.

For our daily dessert we have jello a la mode--tea or coffee jelly pairs really nicely with creamy ice cream from our favorite local parlor.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:29 PM on August 12, 2017

I am in Chicagoland! HELLO CABAL!

I am literally mid-move, the movers put all my stuff on the truck today and will deliver it in a couple days to the new house. (Which is a rental until we sell the old house and find something to buy so I guess I get to do this all again in several months?)

I super-carefully packed for the kids and I to have clothes and lovies and so on while staying at grandma's between houses, but in my concern for packing all the kids' important stuffed animals and all necessary medications and twice the necessary clothes and whatnot, I packed for myself enough shirts and pants but forgot to pack any underwear. At all. I have to go to Target in the morning.

Anyway, sad to leave Peoria but excited to be in Chicago where most of my family lives and my kids will be close to their cousins, and also trains because trains are very important to them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:31 PM on August 12, 2017 [35 favorites]

Definitely cold beverages. Late summer doesn't actually arrive here until October.

I built this today! I've been slowly piecing together a new bike since late last year, and it's growing increasingly bike-shaped. Should be ready in time for the good weather.

In a little over a week, the fall semester will start up and I'll be teaching a new course in a new department, which has me both excited and nervous. I checked out the classroom I'll be in and it seems like a big improvement over the rotating series of terrible classrooms I got assigned to in my home department: ample board space, seemingly-reliable projectors, and good viewing angles for both. In the meantime I'm going to spend the next week trying to set up as much pre-semester automation as I can in the (probably vain) hope of staying ahead of things for longer than, say, two weeks into September.
posted by egregious theorem at 6:32 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm sacked out on the couch with my lovely cat feeling very blessed that my lumpectomy this past Monday had the best possible result imaginable. It's been a long summer filled with doctor's appointments and various tests and procedures and I feel beyond fortunate that it had a happy ending....and that I work for a company that provides excellent health insurance.
posted by bookmammal at 6:37 PM on August 12, 2017 [27 favorites]

For months, we have been offering things to our toddler in an effort to convince him to choose an attachment object so he doesn't scream his face off when we put him down for bed. All kinda of soft toys! All different kinds of stuffed animals! Gund! Jelly Cat! Dogs! Monkeys! Pacifiers with stuffed animals! Pacifiers without stuffed animals! Cuddle blankets! Fleece blankets! Cotton blankets! A handmade quilt! Expensive ass organic toys! A two foot Totoro plush figurine my mother hand carried back from Japan!

This week, our kid picked his attachment object.

It's the tie for the curtains in his room. It has polka dots, and is made of cheap polyester, but he loves cuddling and stroking and rubbing it, and I think my mom made it from ribbon she got for $1 for the entire roll at a store going out of business. So??????
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:38 PM on August 12, 2017 [19 favorites]

Oh hey well the kitchen sink finally started draining at a normal speed yesterday after a week of staring at a sink full of mostly standing water!

The cat toys I ordered back in July finally showed up (after getting lost and returned to sender and then re-issued, ugh thanks canada post for delaying the cat's birthday !! )

here is the birthday cat in question
posted by janepanic at 6:49 PM on August 12, 2017 [12 favorites]

"It's the tie for the curtains in his room. It has polka dots, and is made of cheap polyester, but he loves cuddling and stroking and rubbing it, and I think my mom made it from ribbon she got for $1 for the entire roll at a store going out of business. So??????"

I know a child who picked a rice cooker as his attachment object. But not the big rice cooker, which made him scream in terror because it was too scary, the small rice cooker, which he went to sleep with for two years.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:49 PM on August 12, 2017 [35 favorites]

I am finishing up the final parts of a scenario that I am going to be running at Gencon next week. I've done two play tests so I feel pretty good about it but it is always different when running a game for strangers instead of people you know well.

Are any other MeFites going to Gencon this year?
posted by nolnacs at 6:49 PM on August 12, 2017

My wondrous summer discovery is that I can fit an entire Saturn peach in my mouth.
posted by zamboni at 6:55 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well I have the next two weeks off work (with the exception of a few hours this week), but I have a to do list of projects that need to get done. There was some upheaval at work in the spring which caused me undo stress and left me incapable of getting any "extra" work done so there is a lot on my plate. Fortunately everything settled down now, so I am in the process of getting caught back up.

It is still incredibly hot and humid here, but I have been running every day (26 days in a row so far!), and I hope to be in tip top shape when I join my first official race in 20 years.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:01 PM on August 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

I will gently say that if you ever have the opportunity to design your own back porch, DO IT. Three straight days of pounding sweat and intense work have resulted in me sitting, sipping, looking out over my yard and being able to sigh happily with dogs at my feet. Only time will will tell if my too-clever design ideas were too-clever enough, but for now, I'm pretty happy.

In short: Follow your bliss, especially if your bliss is just somewhere nice to sit.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:04 PM on August 12, 2017 [14 favorites]

I had birthday dinner with family last evening. This place is called Crab In A Bag. You order your choice of things, and sit at a table with paper clamped to the top of it, and a roll of paper towels. The food comes out in a puffed up plastic bag. It is like a low country boil. So we had Cajun, mussels, (one bag,) then shrimp, and then crab. With drinks bread and rice. The bags come with a potato, ear of corn, and sausage, and the whole thing is very saucy. My grandson suggested we just dump the crab bag out on the table. You are given a bib to wear, and after the dinner comes, people just make sounds of deliciousness and scarfing. Truly it is an immersive experience. The crowd was at maximum capacity and wholly diverse, age wise, culture wise, ethnicity wise. And the place was full of laughter and sounds of pure pleasure and delight, its own world, entirely. I particularly enjoyed watching my grandson work the crab cracking tools, and shell cutters.
posted by Oyéah at 7:12 PM on August 12, 2017 [14 favorites]

Work has been totally murdering me and I've just generally been stressed for a million reasons, but I got delivery Thai and I'm feeling much restored by that tonight. I'm starting to think I need to move to a smaller apartment in order to have a little more money to save towards a house down payment because this whole porch thing sounds pretty good and all I have is a tiny shred of patio overlooking a parking lot. But I'm also in a career position where I'm not sure Omaha's a good point for me to stick around that long. Bah. I keep wanting to be outside, but I need a better outside space to be in.
posted by Sequence at 7:13 PM on August 12, 2017

One of the many nice things about moving is that I started casually going on dates! I have met some cool people, including a very nice, very tall, very smart, very gregarious and kind guy with whom I am having lots of fun being distracted from current events. Today I got a lot of work done so that tomorrow I can go hang out in the arboretum with him and read for pleasure and eat a delicious sandwich.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:15 PM on August 12, 2017 [22 favorites]

I am painting the bedrooms in my new house. Actually, I am spackling and priming, because I still haven't picked out paint colors, and I can't even see the colors on the wall because the current colors are really dark and overwhelming. So I'm doing all the prep, and then I'm going to put up the sticky sheets with the colors on them and pick something. Also, two days ago I decided that I was giving up and painting everything beige, and now I am thinking I may paint one room yellow and the other purple. Someone needs to save me from myself.

I am also making a website, because I am doing FreeCodeCamp, which is an online thing that teaches you web development. Holy shit, do I hate front-end web development. This is not my skillset, and it's totally boring. I am trying to plow through so I can get to the back-end stuff, which I think may be more my speed, but I may quit when my actual, in-person CS class starts next week.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:16 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Perseid meteor shower peaked last night. It was clear when I got home, so I put up the mosquito net* and rolled out a stack of camping mats, quilt & pillow, and got the dog settled in his dog bed, and grabbed a beer, and ... it clouded over again. Went inside to bed, just as well because it rained. I have started to get tomatoes from my little garden.

*The cover of a beach umbrella got chewed by squirrels, but the frame holds a mosquito net really well.
posted by theora55 at 7:17 PM on August 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

I purchased five ducks for the charity duck derby happening tomorrow on the Erie Canal, on the rationale that I've been living here for nearly twenty years and should probably do this at least once. Besides, there's a Wegmans gift card at stake.

Two (almost hilariously different) articles of mine appeared in print, and yesterday I sent off the MS for another one that's under contract. Now to think about school, which starts in two weeks.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:24 PM on August 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

I just treated myself to a king-size Kit-Kat bar while finishing up my Dick Francis binge read. And the renovation on my rental property's bathroom is almost done, and it's coming in at a third of what another company bid, so that's nice. And I'm back to normal after a messy fall on Monday, in which I performed a split, an action I had no idea I could do (mud, rain, gravel—all contributed to the gymnastics). So life is pretty good.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:33 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was a sunday morning cute story about Japan having designer wild flavor Kit-Kats.
posted by sammyo at 7:40 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Driving back to Berlin from Normandy, we stopped at this hotel for the night . The place looked pretty a-ok on the internet and they took dogs so we figure fine cool. The hotel is on the Ruhr valley which is a bit rust-Belty but, you know, German. We get there at dusk and it's still a-ok from the outside. It's raining and cold and the drive was longer than we'd expected and we get in the front door and ... the place is a little more run down than you'd think but fine. The desk guy leads us up to our room which, we had one suitcase and we didn't need the help? But we get out of the elevator and we have to go down the hall and take a left then a right then to another staircase where we have to go down a flight and there, finally, is our room.
Which has not changed since 1987. Except for the tv. Which, whatever.
The room has an amazing view out over the river and old factories on its banks. It's grey as shit though and we're hungry so we go down to the dining room and we are the guests.
There's a family reunion of ten in the bar but otherwise we are it.
The dinning room was at its height in 1989, a spectacular view over the river valley, industrial might on display - it was a dinning room to wow clients.
We got to sit at the best table. Under a deer antler thing. The menu had six items. The kids got schnitzel. The waitress was also the owner of the hotel, maybe ten years older than us - older but not inconceivably - she lavished attention on the dog, had lost hers six months earlier and was still feeling the sting. She was so damn chill and nice.
The waiter and desk guy was her son. The hotel had been in the family 150odd years.
Our food came and was better than the menu hinted, but not by much.
The next morning met the father - also totally nice. Drowning in the building, clearly as it fell apart around their ears - no more salesmen expense account dinners. Parties in the bar, the beer garden - maybe bikers passing through, couples and families like us.
The halls smelled so like smoke, the light outside our bathroom was on a motion switch and the ceilings a special kind of acoustic panel that is less intrusively half-assed. But still, sculptured stucco walls and taupe and grey here and there.
It was beautiful and sad and just fine but god knows where its future lay. Behind it were the ruins of a castle from the 1400's, that had been appropriated by the archbishop of Cologne in 16 something and then returned to the rightful family (as a pile of stones on the hill and some land) by some royal figure 250 years later.
The river didn't care either that the salesmen weren't coming by.
It rained so fucking much on the ride back we didn't feel the landscape move by us, just jostl-y motion.
Thought I'd be glad to be back in my own bed but damn if it isn't strange. Been awake since 2am, now it's 5. The future and all its vicissitudes is stalking me. Thank god tomorrow is Sunday and there's nothing to do.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:05 PM on August 12, 2017 [14 favorites]

Today I celebrated a birthday with a 0 on the end by floating down the Cannon River. Which was nice except my wedding ring got lost in the river! This was a contingency my wife and I discussed when we bought them so it's not a big deal but it is a minor annoyance.
posted by dismas at 8:12 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'm hunched over the computer, my hamstrings vibrating like freshly plucked violas after an epic run this morning. I was experimenting with a new route (always fun, will I get lost and turn a long run into something insane?), and both during and after I was like, "Damn! I ran this pace like a week ago and it felt waaaaaay easier, I'm more unfit than I thought!"

Now, this does happen occasionally when you run, because of temperature, health etc. But the difference was so stark, I was kinda bummed when I got home. Until I realised I hadn't turned my GPS on properly, and the whole run had been calculated by the glorified pedometer in my running watch - which tends to vastly underestimate both distances and speeds. So now I'm feeling exhausted, but cautiously optimistic...

I'm dragging my family into the country next week for my brother's wedding. I'm not really looking forward to it: regional flights are un-fabulously expensive and there's some family dramas at the moment. Give me strength.
posted by smoke at 8:12 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

I made amazing sangria and took a very nice nap today.

Tomorrow I'm picking millions of millions of chokecherries, there are so many on the trees along the walking path that the branches are bowed like after a spring snow.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:13 PM on August 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

MovableBookLady, I was just thinking it would be fun to re-read Dick Francis. But the In Progress and To Be Read are already overwhelming. He's really fun to read.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm sitting in a comfy chair next to a rooftop pool in San Diego while my daughter swims, my son codes, and my husband gets to have some introvert alone time. We're on day two of a five day trip. Yesterday was Disneyland: 15 rides, three attractions, a parade, and fireworks in 12 hours. Thank god the kids aren't kids anymore (20 and 17). Today we hit the beach, napped (on said beach), ate seafood, walked around a super touristy area, acquired gelato, and now we're here. Tomorrow is the zoo.

I really enjoy my kids and I think they like hanging out with me for the most part. We never get rolled eyes or horrible back talk. And they make me laugh.

Just now, a family with four little kiddos (probably all under age 8) came in and they're going to swim and I don't have to be responsible for any of them and life is good.

I still miss my dog and big kitties and tiny kitty, though.
posted by cooker girl at 8:34 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

I had a lovely brunch/lunch at the MeFi meet-up in SF today, where I got to hang out with eviemath, danny the boy, rtha, and gingerbeer, so that made me happy. Then I wandered around the city a bunch, which was interesting because I haven't been back in the Mission area in ten years or so and ended up doing a bit of a nostalgia tour of places I've lived/eaten/drunken.

I'm going to a training tomorrow to learn how to facilitate a Chalice Circle, which is the UU version of small-group ministry where 8-12 people get together every couple of weeks and talk about our beliefs, values, etc. I'm really looking forward to it. Though I've been giggling a bit at the organizers' enthusiasm about how good I'll be at it and how much they keep telling me that they think I'll be good at it. Because... yes. I'm a licensed therapist. I literally have a master's degree in facilitating conversations about people's beliefs and values.

I am also very excited about working with my Chalice Circle co-facilitator, because she's a total bad-ass non-profit lawyer and I love my bad-ass non-profit lawyer friends. Should be fun to get to know each other.
posted by lazuli at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2017 [9 favorites]

Tomorrow is the zoo.

Oooh, I love the San Diego Zoo! I'm envious!
posted by lazuli at 8:36 PM on August 12, 2017

I'm on my porch typing this. The crickets are chirping and the air is cool enough for it to be comfortable. Today we picked our son up from camp and between vacations and traveling and camp this is the first time the three of us have been in the house together in about six weeks. It's nice.

I'm still working on my bass. I've been applying a thin coat of oil each day, and will do so for the next week or two. Then comes all the real tedious stuff... final sanding/polishing, fret leveling and dressing, making a nut, doing the electronics. I'm mostly happy with the way it's looking, though there are mistakes. It's been a tough build, probably twice as difficult as any previous build, but it should be worth it in the end. Not sure what will come next.

I'm getting stupid excited for the eclipse. I've got my glasses (actual certified ones arriving Monday, Amazon refunded me for the other ones I bought that are probably fine but not officially certified) and I'm prepping various cameras and GoPros to take pictures. I've got an app to time it all to the second. I'll bring a white sheet to look for shadow bands. We'll be doing a big road trip, Boston to Nashville then back home via Cleveland. Five days and 2000ish miles for a two minute event. Totally worth it.

I have some spine issues that have been putting me in near-constant pain this past year. Physical Therapy seems to be helping for the time being but it's the sort of thing that's gonna be with me forever, I think, resurfacing every few months or so. Getting old beats the alternative, I guess, but man it sure does suck sometimes. It is kind of amazing that one can learn to live with pain when you don't have a choice not to. I know it can always be worse though so I've mostly made peace with it. Stupid spine. Practice good posture, kids.

Life is generally good. I'm lucky.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'm in Canada. It's pretty nice.
posted by lollusc at 8:39 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

Also yes! Eclipse! I wish I had taken the day off work, but I didn't, and I have to teach a therapy group that day, so I can't, but! I work for county government and our Public Health Department sent out an email (that started with "Greetings, Earthlings!") offering eclipse glasses for $5 each or 5 for $20, so I ordered five pairs, and apparently got them reserved just before they sold out, so I'll pick them up next week and distribute them to any co-workers who want to join me in the parking lot before my group starts. We'll get 88% eclipse here, with the peak 15 minutes before my group, and I'm excited about that.
posted by lazuli at 8:45 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Came back to our room because the families were a little loud (which is fine, it's just that our chill was affected) and realized that both me and my son have sunburns. Mine is just on my legs, just a bit, but his back is BURNED and even though he's 20 years old and ostensibly should be capable of making sure he's properly sunscreened himelf, I have ALL THE GUILT.

All that to say that the zoo might be Monday instead so we can make tomorrow a mostly indoors day to recover a bit from the burns.
posted by cooker girl at 8:53 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have a new job which is Monday-Friday, a first for me, so I'm enjoying weekends mostly off for the first time ever. It's nice to be with my family, but hard to get things done that I used to do while my husband was at work.

I've been contemplating putting up a MetaTalk asking if any MeFites want to do an NFL fantasy football league again this year, but I'm always a little nervous about putting myself out there like that.

Also, when I was writing the word "nervous" just then, I contemplated using the word "wary". Then I thought about how often people say "weary" when they mean "wary" or "leery" and I decided to steer clear altogether.
posted by Night_owl at 9:16 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm sprawled on a bench on the river, 8 miles in to my 11 mile bike ride. I generally prefer to ride in the sunset hour, but I've really been digging the full moon and now the meteor shower. I saw this screaming flare last night, and just saw another one. It's a beautiful night, a sweet blowing, and even though it's August in Austin it feels like the end is near, that Autumn is nigh. Somehow, in the last couple of years, I've turned into a person that mosquitoes don't bother, which totally rocks. I'd never have been able to do this otherwise without all kinds of bug juice... EDIT it's really sweet to listen to audible books as I lay on this bench, meant to mention that hopefully I can get this in before the edit window locks out...
posted by dancestoblue at 10:05 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I spent the afternoon putting together a cardboard solar projector kit I ordered from Germany to watch the eclipse.

I saw the neighborhood turkeys! I hadn't seen them in months, but I saw a bunch of them today. It was very exciting and made my whole day.
posted by ilovewinter at 10:12 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

We had a lovely rainstorm this evening. Ever since the last drought, I'm happy to see rain. I am being considered for a work promotion by a new boss whom I really like. My kiddo had an amazing fun weekend of sleepovers and just got back home exhausted. I got to enjoy cheap wine with good friends last night and sleeping in today, and really what more can one ask for.
posted by emjaybee at 10:35 PM on August 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's the tie for the curtains in his room. It has polka dots, and is made of cheap polyester, but he loves cuddling and stroking and rubbing it, and I think my mom made it from ribbon she got for $1 for the entire roll at a store going out of business. So??????

Have your mom make a few more because at some point it will get lost or torn or go missing somehow. We learned the lesson after our first. For 2 and 3, as soon as they had their attachment item, we got duplicates. In fact, I just gave my 24 year old daughter 2 brand new "Froggy Dudes" I had in an old shoebox in the closet just in case.

I packed for myself enough shirts and pants but forgot to pack any underwear. At all.

Good luck with the move! Lived in Chicago for 14 years. Love that town! Oh, I am not wearing any underwear either.
posted by AugustWest at 11:00 PM on August 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

Also up to my ears in peaches. I am doing a little experiment to discover the answer to a question that has vexed humankind for centuries: how many peaches is too many peaches to eat in one day? If you guessed "five" you would be wrong. Perhaps it's six? Tune in tomorrow and find out!
posted by drlith at 11:02 PM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've been reading An Embarrassment of Mangoes, which has some lovely sounding Caribbean recipes in it, and planning to try one of the rum cocktails the next time I make curry and have spare coconut water.

I also had a nice board game session today with a newish friend, in the spirit of getting out of my apartment more, and hopefully made some more new friends for nerdy pursuits. (We're also all more or less in the same field, so I'm going to count it as a tick mark in the "vaguely networked" box, too. I know I'm going to have to go hunting for the next gig relatively soon, so being social can't hurt.)
posted by tautological at 11:26 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in the middle of a two-week holiday. Thanks to last month's vet bills I was aiming to have a cheap staycation, but then I broke a tooth and crashed my car, so now I'm having an expensive one instead.
posted by misteraitch at 11:27 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Still too hot for the porch in Austin but I have a porch dream that i WILL fulfill this year. Back when I could walk, a friend and I used to takes evening walks all around the neighborhood. One thing we always enjoyed was the goodly number of folks sitting on the porch playing guitars.

I used to play when I was in my teens almost 50 years ago, but haven't played since. Well, this spring I took up learning to play again and have gotten farther along with it than I did way back then. Mainly, I stopped trying to play other people's music and just started making up my own. I'm no great player yet, but I think in a couple more months I'll be able to sit on the porch and play.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:32 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

Today I'm thankful that my co-worker grabbed the phone from me, saving my butt right after I said a monumentously rude, unprofessional, could-have-gotten me fired thing to a patient's family member. I'm thankful to have enough self awareness to see that probably I should be back in therapy to work on not screaming at patients' families. I'm thankful that my state gives nurse practitioners more autonomy than most, so that when I eventually back to school I'll come out being a little closer to the provider I want to be. Thankful to have a network of local nurses who are just as pissed at the status quo as I am. Thankful for the badass activists who have been fighting for years for the Disability Integration Act, which I dearly hope would legislate many jobs like mine out of existence and create more fulfilling ones helping people achieve maximum autonomy and freedom in their communities.

It's been a day.
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:42 PM on August 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

Just got back home from a fantastically relaxing holiday we took to get away from the wildfire smoke in the BC interior. Hiking, kayaking, eating awesome seafood....

However, coming back home has been a shocker. I thought the smoke was bad here at home before we left, but it's exponentially worse now. Our current air quality health index rating is 10+ or Very High Risk (the scale only goes up to 10). It's so eerie and apocalyptic-looking...the sun was blood red this afternoon, the air is thick with ash, and it's so smoky we can hardly see in front of ourselves when we're outside. We've got all the doors and windows closed and the air inside our house is actually hazy. Argh.

I can't imagine what it's like for people in the fire affected areas--everyone here is just panicking because we can't breathe and have headaches; we don't have the added stress of worrying about losing our homes, too.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:49 PM on August 12, 2017

We saw Atomic Blonde this evening, with Charlize Theron being a badass and beating up guys and making out with girls, and a superb 1989 soundtrack (even if Cold War nostalgia if feeling not quite far enough in the past for me these days.) Followed by dinner with friends at one of our favorite Indian places with excellent cocktails. Now home, and I have a small, humming, cat curled up on my lap, and a glass of some lovely rye.

Also we had a MeFi meetup this morning, called by eviemath. And I caught a lot of Pokemon with my new Pokemon Go Plus toy.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:31 AM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

After a year or so of quiet lurking, I signed up for MetaFilter mostly because I like this thread so much...

I am watching the summer baseball tournament on TV, with the airconditioning on, being glad that there are high school baseball players who are willing to play nine innings out in 95-degree heat so I get to watch them. (Amazingly enough, heat stroke almost never happens.) There's a cheerleader for one of the schools who looks like her day job is ballet, beautiful bone structure and a severe ponytail, not at all the perky-cute stereotype. It's not the ninth inning yet so none of the boys is crying (yet).

I made Thai curry yesterday, with a homegrown habanero in the mix, and the leftovers are in the fridge, meaning all I need to do is make some rice and I'm good for dinner.

Next week will be the one-month mark of living with my sweetie; both of us in our forties and never done this before. So far, knock wood, it has gone super well, we have a nice quiet apartment smack dab in the middle of the city, and it is really lovely to come home to him (or vice versa) and wake up in the morning to watch him sleeping (almost never vice versa; I am the lark in this pairing).

Also, I have nectarines. Not sure how many peaches is too many to eat in one day, but I'll go up against it with nectarines...
posted by huimangm at 1:37 AM on August 13, 2017 [23 favorites]

Welcome huimangm!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:41 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am enjoying (read: stressing about) our last weekend in our old house before we move to our new house. And the new house does sort of have an American-style back porch, in a south-facing garden with a beautiful view over the hills, so I plan to be out there this time next week with a gin and tonic and a good book.

I am also stressed as anything about moving, though. Not least because the house needs more work than we thought when first looking round.
- The lovely back porch decking is built into a hill and, turns out, is propped up by one piece of untreated timber leaning at an angle.
- Half the rooms are papered with a mix of woodchip and anaglypta wallpaper, which is both a horror to remove and also a bonus sign that at some point someone wanted to cover some pretty terrible plasterwork underneath.
- There are light switches that do odd things - there's a bathroom light in the middle of the dining room, there's another one that we thought was a light switch but in fact when switched makes a light whirring sound and makes air start moving in two of the bedrooms, and there is no way this house has air conditioning so wtf?
- Also the garden is full of someone else's stuff. I keep finding more little elf wagons and gnomes hiding under bushes. And it still feels like they have more right to be there than I have.
- We are moving from a city to a small town, which has as someone I know politely put it "a very... strong community feel." That could go either way.

Still. This time next week, gin and tonic and sunshine!
posted by Catseye at 2:56 AM on August 13, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm back from SHA2017. I'm still drying my tent, doing laundry, unpacking, catching up on sleep. It was intense (and in tents).
This may have been the best edition so far. It was certainly the biggest, but not by very much. And as far as I can tell, it was a good one for the orga too: we're pretty much all tired but happy, not burnt out. Still it's a good thing we only do this every four years.

[plug] Visit EMFcamp in the UK next year! It's going to be cool. [/plug]
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:11 AM on August 13, 2017

I'm up at my parent's cottage, and it's just lovely. Dad took us out for dinner on the way up, and me and Mom drank pink champagne and laughed until we couldn't breathe.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:17 AM on August 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

I finished my next book and then moved into our condo last week. (Those two things were not supposed to coincide, but the deadline for the book slipped and I was responding to last-minute queries in between hefting boxes.)

My mom came to visit one day after we moved, so we haven’t had the place to ourselves yet. It still kind of feels like we’re staying in a very nice AirBnB with all of our stuff except no art on the walls.

This move went better than last time, when my horrified partner stood there watching as the piano movers were watching YouTube videos about how to assemble a piano. Couldn’t you at least do that in the truck, guys?

Anyway, movers and paint-color-choosers of MeFi, I stand with you.
posted by veggieboy at 4:39 AM on August 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

Starting a kitchen renovation Tuesday! Excited to get some more cabinet space and get rid of the 70s yellow color scheme we got going on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:54 AM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's 10pm and I've not had the heater on all day, so yay, Winter is not infinite.
posted by pompomtom at 5:08 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

My "you've been awake for 45 minutes so it's okay to check your email" alarm just went off, so I came inside. I was on the porch, the deck actually, reading which is my morning routine this past month since I came down to MA. We're having a Celebration of Life for my mom next Saturday and I've been touching base with my sister about a zillion little plans. Over 100 people have RSVPed. I've really been enjoying having my mom's place as my (and my sister's) Fortress of Solitude and I'm steeling myself for getting used to it alive with people again, including some annoying people and some I'd rather not see.

But the deck! It looks over a big backyard and a lot of birdfeeders. Yesterday when I came out there were two families of turkeys and one hungry hawk eyeing them from a nearby tree. As I was out there last evening, I saw a few deer. Heard an owl after dark (when it was, alas, too cloudy to see the perseids) Today it was just your standard birds--jays, cardinals, sparrows, nuthatches, cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, woodpeckers, finches, starlings, crows--and I read a book about copy editing at the New Yorker.

I made my morning coffee in an aeropress which is my new "thing" given to me by some friends who knew I could use something in my life that didn't harken back to the years I lived here in the 70s and 80s. It's so easy to get back into old patterns and behaviors. Last night I started mucking out the basement. Even though I know my mom regularly went down there to do laundry, it looks like a lot of it hasn't been touched since I moved out in 1985. We're putting a sign on the door telling people not to go down there. But I may secretly go hide out there if the "celebration" gets too much.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:45 AM on August 13, 2017 [19 favorites]

I got back on Saturday night from a day trip to London, to visit Safari comics festival and to buy some fabric, and now I'm clean and duveted and enjoying being able to spend the day recovering quietly with a pot of coffee. Return air travel and a long day are super tiring. I love London, but it's a tough city once you hit a wall of exhaustion.

But! As well as being a total success for me and my partner in terms of what we were going over to see and do, it was a great day socially. We met irl friends who are the best, but also people we'd only known online, and they were every bit as warm, interesting, and familiar as I could possibly have hoped. We're quite quiet and bad at making new friends, individually and as a couple, so it's bittersweet when they're in a different city but it's still a good feeling.
posted by carbide at 6:07 AM on August 13, 2017

Welcome huimangm!

Seconded! Now you have to tell us how to pronounce your username, because knowing how to pronounce things is my happy place.
posted by languagehat at 6:53 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ooh, is this where I can brag on our porch? 'Cause it was the biggest physical thing that I've been involved with conception, designing and implementing and we're so happy at how it turned out. We bought the house partially because of the porch thinking that it needed some work to renovate but then fairly quickly realized that it was unsalvageable and we needed to build a new one. That meant waiting five years until we could save enough for the project. We live in a historic district and can't make exterior changes to the house without city approval and the HRB is strict about what they'll pass so we had to design the new porch look like the old one.

We decided to make the new one look the same but push it out two feet since the original was too narrow to really have a party on. Unfortunately that little change turns the project into a serious math problem because there are tight limits on how you can change a roof that's tied into the house wall at a fixed height and can't be less than a certain pitch and can't cover the window into the living room at the front end. We had to pay a design firm to work out all of the dimensions to make sure it met code but still looked the same as the old one.

We had hoped to salvage the decorative details of the porch but 90% of them were too rotted to save so we had them scanned and duplicated with a computer controlled router with the exception of a few of the roof corbels which I was able to strip and restore. The cool thing is that you can't tell the originals from the new ones without knowing what you're looking for.

Having the porch to hang out on has really changed the way that we live in (or out of) the house; for six months of the year, it's basically my living room/office/dining room and we've had some amazing parties out there.

Anyway some pictures:

- Before we started work.

- After demolition of the porch but before we had the paint stripped off the walls.

- 150 year old unpainted pine window lintel found under the porch. They don't make lumber like that now.

- Paint stripped, deck built and starting to frame out the roof.

- Roof corbels, the three on the left are from 1869, the two on the right are brand new.

- Midway through painting. I did all of the painting myself which took me two summers to finish.

- As it looks now, outside and inside.
posted by octothorpe at 7:01 AM on August 13, 2017 [28 favorites]

octothorpe, that looks amazing! I want to be on your porch! (Though I'm currently on my porch and enjoying it, too.)
posted by lazuli at 7:06 AM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

People who fix up old houses are doing God's work, I tell you...self included if I can ever get around to doing any actual fixing on This Old House.
posted by drlith at 7:37 AM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

thank you for kind welcomes, Eyebrows and languagehat!
My username is huimang (Korean for "hope", which is my real name in a different language, all my online names are "hope" in some language I sort of speak or other...) plus initial "m". "hee-mahng" sort of, anybody who speaks Korean better than I do please correct.
Jessamyn, I think I have read the book about copy-editing at the New Yorker, by Mary something? I enjoyed it, especially the random passing New York lady who asks "You studyin' grammar?" and wants to know the name of the book she's reading.
posted by huimangm at 7:41 AM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

As of last month, we're officially ten years into our five year plan for restoring the house. We're pretty close now but we still need to get the paint stripped off the front facade (which will require tenting because the house is right on the street), paint the trim, replace two windows, paint 16 existing windows and two doors and maybe someday build a kitchen. Sigh.
posted by octothorpe at 7:48 AM on August 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

Today I'm going to a rehearsal for my crew's next cabaret show, where we'll be learning the choreography for Rio by Duran Duran.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:52 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

A beautiful morning after a literal dark and stormy night. The sun is shining, the crows (including my favorite large male with one withered claw) have been coming (and calling) for the peanuts we put out. I've set aside this time to think of a friend who died yesterday. RIP Don, gone too soon. You were totally unique, and a true artist. You will be missed (a favorite photo, scroll down to see it).

A voice calls me -
a sudden winter shower
in this floating world.
posted by gudrun at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

> My username is huimang [...] plus initial "m". "hee-mahng" sort of, anybody who speaks Korean better than I do please correct.

posted by languagehat at 8:54 AM on August 13, 2017

I had excellent dim sum for dinner with friends last night and then went to a fun party in a very sketchy establishment. Unfortunately part of the night was spent trying to console the heartbroken boy that I was kinda but not exactly dating, and am not anymore.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:54 AM on August 13, 2017

Octothorpe, the house is really great and that porch is the bomb.
posted by theora55 at 10:51 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hearty endorsement of Octothorpe's porch. Wow!
posted by Oyéah at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

The roadside grass has been mowed recently and as I am driving in to work just before daybreak, the shrubdeer* loom in the headlites; interspersed amongst them are the ninjadeer who jump out in front of vehicles to test their skill levels.

In the parking lot, the resident killdeer who have made a life eating the insects thereabouts are skittering around under the streetlights; by day they have flocked elsewhere.

This morning I forgot to take my pills since I was distracted by cute kitty, pest kitty and lovebug kitty. Work wasn't too stressful today since it was rainy and therefore fewer customers felt it necessary to visit the store. I drove home in the rain which has just given way to sunshine!

* shrubdeer are clumps of tall weed forms that may possibly be ninjadeer in the faint light cast by the car headlights.
posted by mightshould at 11:55 AM on August 13, 2017 [7 favorites]

mightshould--all of your cats are adorable, but that "lounging in the sink" photo...can I use that as a screensaver?????? (Sort of serious--when I feel stressed I want to gaze upon that photo!!!!!)
posted by bookmammal at 1:04 PM on August 13, 2017

mightshould, I am comforted by your naming of the shrubdeer, those phantasms have neatly caused me to lose my shit driving at night.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:01 PM on August 13, 2017

Have been making elderberry-apple jam today, we have enough elderberry bushes to feed a town, so boring in flavour but nice if mixed with apples, also from our garden. Sadly no peaches.
Overheard my 9 year old tell his best friend that possibly we all only exist inside someone elses dream and speculating on what will happen when said dreamer awakens...
posted by 15L06 at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm deep into crocheting bed-length panels of cables and trellises for a queen-size blanket, and have just gotten the Irish rose granny squares into place (one had to be redone -- how did it wind up with six-petal rounds instead of five?) I'm at a decision point for how the panels will play out, but I'm having fun with it. Dusty pink flowers and sage green leaves on a mostly aran (bone white) background.
The husband is at his parents's house installing the Levelor blinds in their large multi-season sunroom. Once we get the trim boards up in our sunroom (his man-cave) we can do the same thing.
Our lakeside trailer is demolished and hauled off, so we are ready to set more poles in concrete prior to building the new cover -- which will serve as the roof of our "lakeside cottage." The weather has been in the 80s, but muggy and rain in the forecast has slowed us down.
And I am waiting for my order of eclipse sunglasses to come in. The husband and I will be traveling north on Sunday, searching for that 70-mile swath of magic that is the August 21 solar eclipse. Looking skyward at 1:07 pm Monday someplace in Kansas -- whew!
posted by free f_ cat at 3:51 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Colorado has entered its monsoon season, and I'm enjoying afternoon thunderstorms and some much-needed rain.
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:05 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I had a horrid work experience Friday that melted into the weekend and is still stressing me out, but I also saw friends, spent hours at the beach, was of service to others, pet the cats, am excited to see Game of Thrones tonight, am grateful for a job/car/apt/cats/health etc., and generally am trying to count my blessings and what is good in my life. I have to *choose* to see the positive, and I can change my perspective. So, thanks for asking what's good! Many things!!
posted by soakimbo at 5:12 PM on August 13, 2017 [6 favorites]

Had brunch yesterday with delightful mefites, and went to the movies last night with our friends downstairs and then for a late dinner. Today is some minor house chores and making a couple of batches of cherry shrub.
posted by rtha at 5:26 PM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Friday evening we had a neighbor over to decompress from her stressful life. We had wine, deviled eggs, proscuitto and various cheeses. One of our cats crawled up in her lap (he is an intrepid lap invader, especially for willing strangers), up her chest and settled there, his head on her shoulder. She thought that was fabulous and thanked us for the animal therapy.

Yesterday we braved IKEA in all its back to school crowd insanity. We met one of my sisters there who I have nothing in common with anymore & don't really enjoy her company, but she is a good soul & it might be the last time I see her for quite awhile. Which is fine with me.

Tonight I am one with my leather chair, rooting on the Yankees and persuing the web as non politically as possible.
posted by yoga at 5:30 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

it was a nice day until SOMEONE scored an own goal and now everything is ruined forever

or until wednesday, whatevs
posted by poffin boffin at 5:35 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by poffin boffin at 5:36 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Just back from a few lovely days with my folks at their house on the beach-kids had a blast, I drank wine and read and ate. It rained last night for the first time in almost two months and it feels like a blessing.

After returning home last night, my 7 year old's best buddy came to play. It's the first time they've seen each other since his buddy's 9 year old brother died in an accident last month. All three boys hung out a lot and we are so, so sad-but the mundanity of an afternoon doing laundry while they played minecraft was a little bit healing.

Dick Francis is a total comfort read for me-reread every few years. And I made and canned some peach butter last week which is the bomb if you have an excess. We have way too many plums-made plum syrup the last time and may do that again this year as it's fabulous in sodo or cocktails.
posted by purenitrous at 5:50 PM on August 13, 2017 [5 favorites]

I am sitting next to an open window and the evening breeze is drifting in. I should go out for a run but I always tell myself I can do it tomorrow morning. Or tomorrow evening. Then tomorrow comes and the same excuses come up, again and again. The only thing that motivates these days is guilt!
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 5:51 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

For the first time in eleven years, I have family visiting. My nieces are staying the week with me to give their parents and grandparents a bit of a break before school starts again. It's been unseasonably cool this August, so instead of swimming, we've introduced them to Portillo's and Lou Malnatis, and taken them to the Renn Faire in Wisconsin. I have their approval for my new to them engagement ring, and it's been explained to me that I will be seeking their advice while wedding dress shopping. Now to find places of interest for adolescents for the next four days...
posted by jacy at 7:50 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

We had our 2017 family Christmas this weekend. After years of saying we would do 'Christmas in July', last Christmas's bad weather finally convinced us. It was fun & almost everyone was there. Had the stockings, gift exchange, lots of food--the usual, minus Christmas Mass. We think this is the plan from now on; wonder how we will feel in December?
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:06 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

One more hard week of summer 14-hour days, then things start to taper, then back to normal. The heat's let up, I have a fridge full of beers, and in October I'm going to Paris and Bolzano. And a good friend in crisis seems to be reaching a turning point. Things are looking up personally, even as they melt down more broadly.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:52 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico! I have never been to Mexico before and it is quite amazing! I'm here with my best friend; we are celebrating her 50th birthday. She has never been out of the US before and I haven't been since my 1986 trip to Ireland, so this is a huge adventure for us both. We're staying in a really great airbnb and visiting another close friend who moved here three years ago. She has been acting tour guide and we have seen a LOT including one day trip on a crazily luxurious bus (they give you your choice of beverage and a snack! There's wifi!) to the utterly beautiful city of Guanajuato. Everything is so beautiful here! I am carrying 5 cameras everywhere and filling them with pictures of architecture.

My very rusty Spanish is coming back in fits and starts so today when we stumbled across a bookstore (Vortice Libraria, used & new, Spanish and English, lovely shop) I ambitiously bought a Spanish edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Memorias de mis putas tristes which I have never read. I have successfully gotten through the first two paragraphs. Go me. I am now looking for a short and friendly comprehensive history of Mexico in English if anyone can recommend one. I am so embarrassed that I know absolutely nothing about this country and feel my education was neglected. I wasn't expecting it to be so cosmopolitan; it's much more like a European city than I thought it would be. And the shopping, oh man, the Mercado des Artesanias, I am here for three more days and by the time I leave I will need another suitcase to hold my new collection of blue and white pottery and postcards of Frida Kahlo in a Daft Punk tshirt.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:58 PM on August 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

Oh oh and micheladas! Beer, lime juice, tomato juice and salt. They sounded horrible but they're delicious and super refreshing if you've just walked 5 miles on cobblestones in the blazing sun carrying 5 cameras and a Frida Kahlo shopping bag that just keeps on getting heavier. I would link a recipe or something but my Google app has become as Mexican as the ads in my Twitter feed, another unexpected travel change.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:11 PM on August 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

It's blueberry season and I am having a blueberry smoothie for breakfast every morning. It's delicious.

I've also been playing an inordinate amount of Pokémon Go, since the legendary Pokémon are available now for a limited time. Part of the fun is that you need to team up with other players to take down the boss; it's been fun chit-chatting with other Pokémon nerds, hopping into strangers' cars to form a raid crew, and watching a new generation getting into a franchise which defined my childhood.

It's coming to an end tomorrow and while I've enjoyed it, I'm also ready for a break.
posted by invokeuse at 10:10 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

My beloved Dodgers are winning like crazy.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:04 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

What's good with you these days?

We adopted a kitten on Friday! He's a tiny floof and he still needs a name.
posted by moons in june at 8:48 AM on August 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

The other one is Phryne? And that one is so small and round? Dot!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

Phryne and Phranc!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:11 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

OH MY! THE CUTE! pics of tiny foofy kittens make my day.
posted by mightshould at 9:32 AM on August 14, 2017

Congratulations on your adorable new little family member.
posted by bookmammal at 10:54 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Shaggy kitten looks like a worried version of Gandalf the Grey!

Speaking of cats, Tommy's developed a new meow over the last week or so. The best I can transcribe it is, "mrrr-gow-oo."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:38 PM on August 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just got back from a glorious, glorious vacation with my significant other. It's our second proper vacation in the 4 years we've been together, and the timing could not have been better with both of us maxed out at our jobs and suffocating with heat and wildfire smoke at home. It was wonderful to see and experience new things together as a couple and it made me realize how much we need to prioritize travel in our lives--we get caught up in seeing family at opposite ends of the country for our 'vacations' and rarely make plans for things that we want to do together. I'm already planning a trip to Mexico for us in January, and want to learn a little bit of Spanish before we go--it'll be a fun project to work on together. I'm thinking Tulum but have also heard amazing things about San Miguel de Allende...mygothlaundry, your comment is making a strong case for the latter!
posted by stellaluna at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

ArbitraryAndCapricious: I am painting the bedrooms in my new house. Actually, I am spackling and priming, because I still haven't picked out paint colors, and I can't even see the colors on the wall because the current colors are really dark and overwhelming. So I'm doing all the prep, and then I'm going to put up the sticky sheets with the colors on them and pick something. Also, two days ago I decided that I was giving up and painting everything beige, and now I am thinking I may paint one room yellow and the other purple. Someone needs to save me from myself.

We finished painting a few weekends back, with the most recent color being a light green in the master bathroom. It's a lighter color of green than our bedroom, and we have two other bedrooms painted different shades of blue, and a lovely yellow kitchen and dining area. Colors are fun! Painting is, as far as home renovations go, an inexpensive and easy to "correct" alteration, especially if you're worried about the resale value of your home.

In short: GO BOLD! Prime it all, then go crazy with colors! Try to live with them for a week, and if they're not for you, try something else!

We don't have a porch, but we have a lovely balcony that is now toilet-free (we moved the toilet out there when we were pulling the carpet from the master bathroom floor and installing self-stick vinyl tiles with grout lines, and it's nice to have it back inside).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:27 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you get one wall of color up and decide it's too bright, dilute the remainder with white.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:48 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

We are getting decorators to do two rooms of new-house painting for us. This felt like a waste of money at first but is feeling like a lot more of a rational decision now 'paint' has turned into 'remove ancient painted-over woodchip wallpaper without steaming off all the plasterwork, then paint'. (Honestly it doesn't even really need doing but I've rented all my adult life and never been able to paint anywhere, so now my bedroom will be something other than magnolia so help me God.)

So far: still not painted, is mess. But we've found some funky 1950s(? possibly) wallpaper lurking beneath the surface!
posted by Catseye at 1:56 PM on August 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I had the electrician in to see if he could install some grounded outlets, since there are only three three-pronged outlets in the entire house. He can, which is good. (Also, the three three-pronged outlets are all grounded, which was questionable.) But he also said that all my light fixtures are original. I think that it is supposed to be good to have original light fixtures, but these are all kind of fugly, plus that means the wiring hasn't been updated since the house was built in 1930. I'm wondering what exactly I'm going to find out there when I switch them out (which is going to be done by the electrician. I am pretty intrepid, but I am not fucking with 85-year-old wiring.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:21 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I didn’t have as nice a weekend as most of you. I’d been running myself ragged so my plan was to do nothing, but that didn’t come to pass. My wife got sick so I was the parent for the weekend, and as we were gone on vacation the week before, a shit ton needed to be done around the house.

When the topic posted, I was in the yard picking up the fallen sticks and twigs the sycamore dropped since I last did this chore. I never had a sycamore before so I didn’t realize how often they dropped twigs. The tree’s been a learning experience since we moved here. At my last home in another state, the trees I had in my yard were all black walnuts. Black walnuts don’t shed twigs like this. They do shed black walnuts and these twiggy stems, which is its own kind of special hell, but they don’t shed branches like this fucking sycamore does. It seems like it just rains sticks around here.

And that’s not all it sheds. In the spring there’s the so-called flowers which fill the yard with their detritus. And once the leaves come, they’re covered underneath with this peach fuzz which also sheds later in the spring, so the yard takes on a light piss-yellow patina and looks like it’s covered in a blanket of wet velour. Then in the fall, the fruit falls, again with a kind of fuzz that rots and falls off the golf ball size pods covering the yard like an ugly brown Eighties shag carpet in a driving range.

So I began the task cranky at the tree. Stoopid fucking sycamore The very tree I was all excited about when we bought the house. It’s a very large tree. My two kids when hugging the tree, touching fingertips, only go halfway around the trunk with their arms. It’s huge. Which got me thinking that perhaps all my animus toward it might be misplaced. Yeah, picking up after it is a chore, and one I hadn’t considered back when I fell in love with the tree when the realtor first showed us the house, but it’s an old tree. One of the oldest in town, over 170 years old. It’s been here much longer than I have, hell, it’s been alive three times longer than I have. Maybe this isn’t a task, really. Maybe this is just respect. Showing it some dignity, like an elder of the village. Taking care of one of our own. One who was here long before us.

I didn’t quite love the task, but it got less horrible when I considered that. I wouldn’t say it became something corny, like a prayer or a meditation, but it did change it from being simply unpleasant to a way to show respect, and maybe a little love. Pretty sycamore, you're all clean now. Now would you let the grass have a break and let it grow a little too?
posted by Stanczyk at 3:13 PM on August 14, 2017 [9 favorites]

I get the feeling that everyone could use to hear some good news, and I don't know where else to put it, so I'm sharing this info here:

It has just been announced that Amazon Video is making a six-part miniseries adaptation of the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett book Good Omens.

Moreover, the two leads are: Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, and David Tennant as Crowley.

You may commence squeeing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:30 PM on August 14, 2017 [13 favorites]

I don't squee. But I am cautiously pleased.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:50 PM on August 14, 2017

Moreover, the two leads are: Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, and David Tennant as Crowley.

And a thousand fangirls just shrieked with joy, without knowing why.
posted by suelac at 5:13 PM on August 14, 2017

I first read that as Martin Sheen, and thought, interesting casting choice...
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:30 PM on August 14, 2017

Honestly, I'd have pegged David Tennant for Aziraphale - he's a minister's son, and sometimes gives off some "goody two-shoes" vibes from what I've seen in interviews.

On the other hand, he did play Kilgrave and he has the creepy villain voice down great.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 PM on August 14, 2017

I'm sitting on a porch in rural Costa Rica listening to my new colleagues and friends sing karaoke. It's technically summer here, although its warmer in the dry season. Depending on who you ask, veranillo (little summer, when the rain stops for a bit in the middle of the wet season) has either passed, is coming, or is upon us. Either way, we made it through our peak tourist season and have the campus to ourselves for a couple days of dancing, grilling, mejengas and whatnot. Work is about to get more interesting - now that we've planted 900 coffee plants we can start exploring the local coffee economy. Planning a trip to Isla Ometepe to see the farms there. Turns out I speak a lot more Spanish than I thought - it feels amazing to converse without mentally translating from English. My depression has been at bay, and it turns out I can get my regular meds without a prescription here. I am blissfully unaware of the details of nasty news items that are outside of my control. Life is pure here.
posted by gray17 at 8:55 PM on August 14, 2017 [8 favorites]

Saturday night I made a jellyfish costume for my boat and entered a parade/contest. It read really well from a distance. And I won! There may have been extremely few entries--well, maybe two--but it was still rewarding.
posted by carmicha at 4:09 PM on August 15, 2017 [11 favorites]

Aaaaah! I love the boat's jellyfish costume!

Movers brought my stuff Monday, it was a hell of a day, just me and two or three kids (one of my brothers watched the baby while she napped but then we had a car seat logistics SNAFU and I had a hard time getting her back and I'm not sure watching Daniel Tiger was what my 28-year-old bachelor brother had planned for his day off!), and of course the kids had no toys and couldn't be in the way and so on and directing movers is stressful and my husband had to be at work (this was badly-planned), BUT everything got in the house and luckily we were able to go back to grandma's for the night and order a pizza and go to bed, and spend TODAY getting the beds made and finding clothes and starting the unpacking. I've got the living room done, the kitchen and bathroom mostly done, and the beds and clothes have been put together. We have no lights in the bedrooms, they're all full of boxes (purses! shoes! toys! "stuff," so descriptive mover guys!), and the dining room is piled high with boxen, and the basement (rec room and storage) is a DISASTER and literally a maze of boxes. But we can sleep and shower and get dressed and prepare food and sit on a couch and I even found the lovingly-wrapped light bulbs for the living room lamps and I have internet, so I'm feeling pretty good despite the chaos. In fact, I'm feeling surprisingly confident that I'll be able to get my kids their school supplies before school starts next week.

Took my kids up to the Illinois Beach State Park today (good stuff, worth a visit), and stopped at the Lake Forest Oasis on the tollway, which my vehicle-crazy children though was absolute perfection. They're glass-walled bridges over the toll road full of restaurants, and you can sit at the windows and watch all the cars drive under you. I have a feeling we will be making this trip several times!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:15 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I took my grandson for a walk today, with his best friend. Those boys were so lovely, watching the squirrels, and taking selfies with their backs to the Kern River Canyon. It was rare, first soft ice cream cones and then a great walk. It only got up to 90 degrees today, and it will be cool tonight. First day of school tomorrow. Everyone is ready.
posted by Oyéah at 10:00 PM on August 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

The job hunt and the unending list of moving-related chores continue apace, but I am experimenting with a fancy new bread recipe today, and got some much-needed catharsis from kneading (okay, maybe it was mostly punching) the dough. Spent much of the weekend outside, and went out to dinner yesterday evening to celebrate our friends' engagement.
posted by coppermoss at 8:05 AM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Somewhat unexpectedly, UK socialist medical care dealt with one issue I have in days rather than the months I was told to expect; but the other one is delayed from a few weeks to a few months. This was complicated with some of my recent test results being mixed up with those of a heavily pregnant woman, which led to a very alarming few seconds of panic before realising the data and forthcoming procedures may not be applicable to me.

Not quite sure if that's a win or not, but as I'm not going to spend periods of the late summer being bored out of my head in a hospital bed with limited, no, or extortionately expensive Internet access, or someone putting forceps where I do not want them to put forceps, I'll take that. Also means I can return to The Internet and witter on.

Collective voice of The MetaFilter: "Oh no, I thought we were rid of his weird travelogues for at least a while..."

Yesterday's walk was long and pleasant, but I'd packed badly as I have stuff in all the wrong places in anticipation of a hospital stay. So, only three low quality photographs from my tablet which is not my camera. One of evidence of harvesting and the lateness of the summer; one of the sign of a village with a really pretty church I passed through.

The third was when I was in a tiny community pub. The place was smaller than my first student bed sit, and it was rammed full of people and dogs and their owners. The atmosphere was good, and they'd packed a lot of things into a very tiny space, such as a good selection of beers, some pub games, a jar full of dog biscuits and some nice furniture.

But suddenly most of the people walked out; some took their drinks, others left them. "Um, is it because a non-local walked in?" I asked the barman. "Arrrrrrrrr. No. Chip van 'ere." And he was right; I went outside to see the same local drinkers queuing politely for fish and chips, before disappearing back inside with their haul.

Adding to my collection of "Very English Scenes".
posted by Wordshore at 10:48 AM on August 16, 2017 [8 favorites]

Bittersweet. Yesterday's local election results were certified, and now I'm a certified loser. I ran for City Council in my small-ish town (~40K residents), there was a primary, and I lost by 20 votes. Every vote counts, people!
The good news is: I don't have to campaign for the next three months.
I am glad I ran, and wouldn't change much about how I ran. Everybody should do it at least once, just so you know what it's like.
posted by dbmcd at 11:02 AM on August 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

The bing cherry harvest must have been stupendous this year. All three of the stores where I buy fruit have been having cherries on sale for months now. I'm enjoying what I suspect will be the last bag at a price I'm willing to pay, but I thought the same thing three weeks ago.

In the olden days, they just dumped the cherries out into a big pile and I could pick through them for the ones I wanted. Now they come pre-bagged and I'm not quite sufficiently anti-social to dump them out so I can buy just the ones that are large, dark, firm, and shiny.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:57 PM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I impulse bought some beautiful blackberries at a farmer's market and now I don't know what to do with them, other than to eat them with yogurt.

I have not tried it yet, but I have been wanting to make this Blackberry Basil Pizza. So that may be an option for you.
posted by lazuli at 7:08 AM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I made blackberry and meyer lemon gin and tonics for a cookout like 5 years ago, and people still talk about them. I recommend it if you like that kind of thing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2017

We are at the point where we are actually painting the house rainbow, one stripe at a time, and it is starting to look SO GOOD! Someone was walking down the alley as we were getting started yesterday, and we invited them to help, and they stayed to paint a couple stripes, which was awesome.
posted by aniola at 1:30 PM on August 17, 2017 [6 favorites]

People keep forwarding me this and I have to point out to them that I was several hundred miles away and a have a cast-iron alibi:

That was the worst thing we ever did, as we’ve had phone calls saying...
posted by Wordshore at 9:04 AM on August 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

I wanted to come back to this today to say "we've moved, and now we're sitting in the new house drinking gin and tonics out on the back deck!"

Sadly, it seems that the back deck has structural issues to the point where all the supports looked like a game of Jenga halfway through. So it's Under Construction as a pile of brick and timber, revealing a lot of ancient forgotten toys and a potato(?!), while I sit inside with my feet up on a pile of boxes drinking white wine out of a plastic tumbler because we haven't found the glasses yet.
posted by Catseye at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

... what I suspect will be the last bag at a price I'm willing to pay ...

Well, I'm happy to be wrong. One more bag at $1.98 a pound this morning.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:57 AM on August 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

revealing a lot of ancient forgotten toys and a potato(?!)

Reminds me of that episode of Night Court where Dan found out his beloved childhood pet turtle had been a potato.

Thatpotato you found among the toys was probably some kid's best friend!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2017

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