Metatalktail Hour: Project Updates December 2, 2017 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday Evening, MetaFilter! Tonight for metatalktails, filthy light thief wants to know how far you got on your NaNoWriMo this year, or share how any other project they're working on (or recently finished!) is going. If it's a THING, pictures are great!

Remember, no politics. And feel free to discuss whatever's on your mind that's chatty and sociable, not just project updates. And send any topic ideas to Eyebrows or the contact form, we keep a running list!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:06 PM (79 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

All my projects lately have been related to moving and unpacking and getting the kids all set up with school and extracurriculars and stuff, but I feel like I've finally gotten into my groove and my systems are set up and I can breathe a little bit! I still have to put my desk back together (I've been working from my dining room table rather than unburying my desk from all its crap), so I guess that's my next project.

But I FINISHED CHRISTMAS SHOPPING today and I've got about half of it wrapped, so I feel like I can relax a little. Next up is making teacher gifts with the kids, but then I can probably see what embroidery projects are in my sewing box (haven't opened it since we moved and don't recall which ones are in the box vs. in storage in the basement) and actually work on something non-essential!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:11 PM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Semi-project related: At my work I'm joining a new team, I'll be a part of writing/editing our internal documentation and knowledge base. And at the same time that I'm doing that I'm applying for a position in a different part of the company that is smaller and has more room for growth/promotion. It's kind of daunting, but exciting.

Also, I cut the tip of my left thumb while chopping vegetables earlier tonight and I now have a layer of super-glue on top and it feels really weird. It still feels like its bleeding but it's not.

I'm rewatching the Matrix because it's been years since I last gave it a go and I'm surprised by how well it holds up and how my perspective/read on the film has changed so dramatically. I feel kind of dumb for having missed the what seems very obvious to me now queer/othererd reading of this film. How it's a film about disenfranchised individuals. Also, it's even more steampunk in the year of 2017.
posted by Fizz at 5:18 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Very minor project, but still, in the spirit of "progress is possible" -- I had a bunch of gross yellowed linens, and following AskMe's advice, I soaked them in oxyclean for a couple days before washing them... Just got them out of the laundry and they look a lot better now!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:27 PM on December 2, 2017 [11 favorites]

Well, I lit up Koala, my enormous koala plush (he's family, not furniture), and I made a paper mache turkey. I also "made" a crane (warning, it's gross).

I hadn't realized to what extend my Instagram has become a list of projects!
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:37 PM on December 2, 2017 [8 favorites]

Inspired by this FPP and this AskMe I've been infusing some spirits to give as gifts for the holidays - so far I've got strawberry whiskey, earl grey gin, blueberry gin, and spiced vodka. I just mixed some of the whiskey with some lemonade for a much-needed summery boost on this dreary rainy evening. And I found some nice-looking, reasonably priced glass bottles to decant into at Daiso today (as opposed to the nice-looking, somewhat expensive ones at the hipster general store), so it looks like everyone (who drinks) is getting booze for Christmas!

After defending my thesis, the real, for-good actual finish line for my project will be next week when I present the presentable bits at a conference - this will be my first time at a big national conference, and Second Time Ever at an academic conference at all, so I am feeling a little intimidated. Hopefully it will go better than the first (where I was sick all week and mumbled through my presentation and mostly avoided people). And after that, VACATION!!!!
posted by btfreek at 5:56 PM on December 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

Previous project: finished this fucking beast three weeks ago. I was partially inspired by Nanowrimo tbh. I was thinking if all these people can power through 50k words in a month I should be able to go ham on a 38k thesis.

Current project: can be seen here, waiting to drop at literally any moment 🤓

Future project: I’m keen to learn how to pickle stuff. Everything pickled is rad.
posted by supercrayon at 5:58 PM on December 2, 2017 [23 favorites]

I'm putting the finishing touches on the footnotes to an article that, in revised form, will also be a chapter of Book 3 1/2; with any luck, I'll get this thing circulating by the end of the year. There's a lot of mild swearing going on, as I have to keep it under 12K words or IT WILL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY ANYWHERE.

Meanwhile, also as part of Book 3 1/2, I'm reading through the entire fiction catalog of a mid-Victorian Catholic publisher.

In non-professional projects, I'm still working on the dollhouse in my basement. I've finished the interior and am now bricking the exterior with cute teeny little brick slips. This will, um, be a lengthy operation.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:17 PM on December 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

My big project is leaving the Bay Area and moving back to Europe, and it turns out that the best way to make progress for me involves having good bad TV in the background (Hercules, Wild Wild West, etc.) as I pack. I have to get rid of so much stuff (while still doing work for a client, and cleaning the apartment I'm leaving) that I had major overwhelm tonight. But then I switched on Hercules, started packing, and got my groove back. So I feel you, Eyebrows. Moving is hard.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:46 PM on December 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I am writing a bro-country Christmas song this year! It is super dumb!
posted by uncleozzy at 6:46 PM on December 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

My book sold out on Amazon, which is great in terms of demand and not ideal in terms of supply. But that glitch should resolve itself this week. Beyond that, I’m looking for freelance writing work. Some down time is fine. But with my last book out in the world, I need things to do. The wheels of publishing turn very slowly so I can’t wait around for the next book to happen (assuming there is one) or I’ll be climbing the walls.
posted by veggieboy at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've been infusing some spirits to give as gifts for the holidays

btfreek, if someone you know is into spice/heat, I highly recommend infusing a (gold, not dark) rum with habanero. Based on personal experience, it adds not just heat but a wonderful flavor to the rum. However, also based on personal experience, limit it to one pepper and remove the stem and seeds first, putting just the flesh into the bottle. It only needs a week or so to infuse.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'm working on the group project for my CS class. Our group has one problem child, who just needs the class to graduate and would really like to coast to a gentlewoman's C, and I think I'm going to have to completely redo her code, because she's going to throw a fit if I ask her to fix it. (Basically, we got started early, and the instructor taught us some relevant stuff after we'd started. So we needed to go back and make some changes in light of the new things we'd learned, and now the stuff she did before doesn't work. In her mind, though, she's done. And I guess I would rather fix her code than deal with her snit, which probably says something not very good about me.)

In other news, I am glad not to be in school anymore, because I fucking hate group projects. Somehow, working on a team at actual work is never this annoying.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:50 PM on December 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've been mixing a new Carbon 7 album off & on since about September, and I think I finally put the damn thing to bed tonight. Time has been really scarce. We recorded with more tracks than previously, and man, just adding a couple of mics and splitting the keyboards 3 ways instead of two added a layer of complexity I wasn't prepared for. I've done some 24-track stuff, but for some reason, this simple 8 track mix just kicked my ass. Self-doubt creeps in & you second-guess everything, or overshoot the mark when making adjustments, etc.

Also, my preferred test environment is my car, & my Venerable iPod Classic died in the middle of the project, so I had to switch to using my phone to listen to roughs, & holy shit I hate the music app on the iPhone. What the hell is going on over at Apple I DO NOT WANT TO BUY YOUR MUSIC SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FOREVER AND EVER STOP ASKING.

Anyway, I labelled the last mixdown "Final," though no doubt there will be a "FINAL Final" in a day or two. 5 songs -- 26 minutes, 9 minutes, 7 minutes, 20 minutes, and a new 31-minute epic of epic proportion. Working title: The Autumn Men Empire. All the song titles are puns as well -- I hope Josh at least looks over the names of the songs -- he was an inspiration.

I need to put the thing on the web, which will take a couple more days, and I suppose Music here, too. I'll add a note here when that gets done in case any of you want to hear semi-a-tonal free-form improvisational prog-rock-space jazz. We have like 3 ardent fans.

Anyway, I like it, & that's what matters. I dozed off this afternoon listening to a 26-minute piece on my earbuds, and I woke up happy after a little 10 minute mini-nap. Yay for completion, now on to publication!!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:56 PM on December 2, 2017 [8 favorites]

I've been working on a bass since May and I've been talking about it since before then. Long enough that even I'm sick of hearing about it. It was almost finished a couple of months ago but I didn't like how the finish looked so I sanded it down to bare wood and started finishing it again. I'm very glad I did because it's looking much better this time around. I was hoping to complete it by my birthday next week but I don't think that's going to happen.

I installed the frets at the end of the summer and sanded them flush to the side of the board, but wood moves, expands and shrinks, and I found them protruding a few thousandths of an inch, enough to feel if you were playing, so today I had to do a bit more filing, which is kind of scary to do on a sanded and finished guitar.

This has been a huge learning experience, more so than my other builds. I'm already thinking about my next build.

If I get around to it I'll write about it and put it up on Projects, but I'm not sure I have it in me to do that.

Special thanks to Mr. Devil's Rancher for the pickup suggestions. (Seymour Duncan NYC Bass)

Photos here. Today's photos are at the end of the set.

I finished my first guitar almost exactly two years ago. At the time I had almost nothing in the way of woodworking experience. I set out to build one, just to see if I could do it, and it stuck. The bass is #5. All my life I've gone through hobby after hobby. Very few of them have stuck, but this one seems like it's gonna be with me for a while. Took me until my late forties to find I had this in me.

I also made a couple small things for my Secret Quonsar, which was a slight detour from the bass build. Every year I get into a holiday depression around Thanksgiving time but I've found the past couple of years that having a project to keep my busy, one with a bit of a purpose, really helps me get through that. That stuff went in the mail today and, for obvious reasons, I can't show it here.
posted by bondcliff at 7:12 PM on December 2, 2017 [24 favorites]

When we butchered the pigs last weekend, I saved out a whole ham which will slowly be turning into something not unlike prosciutto over the coming months. It's being salted right now, and after that's done in a couple of weeks it will hang in my homemade meat curing locker for, oh, six months or more. I'm very excited.

Beyond that, I am taking the whole month of December off while between jobs and I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. Probably a lot of cooking and dog walking, but nothing set in stone.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:17 PM on December 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

bondcliff, it's beautiful.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:52 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Work project that has been going really well is about to stop going well and I can't talk about it because I'm not officially supposed to know about it yet but I feel like, for reasons outside my control, I'm going to be letting down clients and staff and myself, as well as abandoning a lot of work and time and care I've put into improving things, and I hate it and I doubly hate I can't really talk to anyone about it yet, and that even when I can talk about it, talking about it won't really change much. I feel stuck and disappointed.
posted by lazuli at 8:07 PM on December 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Remember, no politics.

I am going to FLAGRANTLY IGNORE this just to say that I've been having a great time out canvassing for Doug Jones lately! My local field office is running events every day now until December 12th, and I've been squeezing them in every off day and before work wherever I can. Seven and a half hours just today! The new MiniVAN app really streamlines the process.

It's a great way to meet all kinds of people, get some exercise and fresh air, drum up enthusiasm, and feel genuinely hopeful about the future. Just in the last 48 hours, I've knocked on doors with an 85-year-old knee surgery patient, talked with staunch Republicans who are totally on board with Jones, recruited at least half a dozen other volunteers, and gave All The Stickers to a nice kid riding his bike who helped me navigate his neighborhood. If you're in Alabama (or anywhere with a remotely competitive election coming up), I highly recommend it.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:09 PM on December 2, 2017 [16 favorites]

I like to code Android apps in my spare time, and I made this stupid app that allows you to use a connected speaker like a megaphone, and people have actually been using it! Of course it is only earning me like 3-5$ a month, but it is pretty cool. Also, I have a paid app that people download on occasion and every time someone buys it I feel shame or imposter syndrome, like is software that I wrote really worth money (it is 1$ hah).

But my current project is a game, and it happened one night just as I was falling asleep. I had an idea! Usually those ideas are forgotten or not as good as they seem, but I coded up a prototype and it is really fun to play, so I am excited to get it finished enough to release into the wild.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:15 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Many years ago a work colleague dubbed me the "Empress of Minutiae" and when it comes to my paid work it really is true. Yesterday I completed a project that has been half-assed by others in the department for years; a project this size, if done properly from the beginning, should take no more than a week to complete. It took me two months, working on it full-time. I'm in the public sector and it had to do with updating legal minutiae. I think my management team was a little perplexed by all of the work, but I'm damn proud of it. Mostly because I know that it's been out of whack for so long, and causing us problems and extra work as a result, and now it's going to hold up as accurate for a good few years. I get so frustrated with the short-term thinking of "we don't have time for this" when the reason we don't have time is because we're not doing it right from the get-go and then create extra work for ourselves. I'd rather do it right and not think about it anymore.

So that's work and it's boring to the rest of the world but I'm excited to have it completed and off my plate. More interesting is the fact that my 6yo completely on his own came up with the idea to make snow globes for all of his friends for Christmas, so I've been helping as needed and we got those finished tonight. I am constantly amazed by his thoughtfulness and kindness, especially as it's been a hard year at our house and he's a damn sight more normal than he's any right to be. Most of the time I feel like I should ditch the college fund and start a therapy fund, but then he does stuff like this and I end up thinking he's gonna be okay.

And he has inspired me to make edible snow globes! Which I did not even know were a thing until I was doing some research for his project and came a cross a link for them. If they turn out I'll post the link.
posted by vignettist at 8:20 PM on December 2, 2017 [9 favorites]

OK, so once I committed to FINAL, it really didn't take me that long to update the band website. MP3 files of the new album are at the top of this page.

I'll get it on Bandcamp whenever I can figure out cover art.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:21 PM on December 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

I finished this cross stitch sampler for my bff's birthday. It is filthy and needs to be washed. I also went and got the mat cut for it since it's a weirdy size. So, I just need to wash, press, and shove it in the frame tomorrow. (Bff's birthday was October 11th, lol.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:44 PM on December 2, 2017 [13 favorites]

Oh shit. I just realized it's *not* done. I need to add little poofs for the bunny tails. So close.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:45 PM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

OK so I don't have a good project update but I'm posting here to to create a little self accountability: I have two writing projects I've been thinking about for a long time, both of which I've done a little bit on, but which I'd like to really sit down and commit to: 1) is writing about dementia and identity as I watch my mom decline with Alzheimer's, and 2) is writing about the intensity of anti black racism in the US, from the perspective of having worked as a nurse with chronically ill homeless people. So just to create some structure for myself, I hereby declare I shall have a first draft of one of these essays (?) complete by December 15th.
posted by latkes at 8:52 PM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm working on a doodle at the moment: part 1, part 2, part 3, and the latest bit. I guess I'll finish it off eventually.
posted by h00py at 8:59 PM on December 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well since you asked ...
The website I've been working on for a year and a half (research & editing, mostly) launched yesterday and I can hardly believe it. Lots more work to do on it, but it's finally up!
Neil Young Archives
posted by obloquy at 9:00 PM on December 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

I had various NaNoWriMo ideas, but here it's December and I didn't start any, so that's not terribly notable. At work, I got a short but important report done ahead of schedule, which is lovely, except I still have a few more major projects in queue for the next few weeks. Otherwise, I'm working on the family photo, which entails photo editing to get everyone smiling, which is more work than I always think it will be, particularly with our boys who are disinclined to sit still or smile at times.

My wife, on the other hand, has been awesome. She's now a serious (hobby) quilter, and is likely to finish her 6th quilt since starting with a class this past summer, and has a few more in queue as Christmas (or Christmas-adjacent) presents.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 PM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Two films I worked on will debut at Sundance.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:07 PM on December 2, 2017 [14 favorites]

Finished up the bulk of the antique family wood planes a while back (photo of planes and two blades) and then got the blades sharpened this week! It was a really special feeling to pick up my great-great-great grandfather’s pre-Civil War era plane and cut a perfect curl of wood from a random 2x4. Woodworking projects loom...
posted by not_the_water at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

I started a novel. It is at this point a book about nothing in particular, and yet, everything. I am sure that later, someone on Mars will publish this. I have written several chapters and I need to use my phone recorder for random observations. Humankind, this is a random town. I now want New Zealand flax plants they will grow here, and some papyrus. So yesterday I park in the lot of a chic, new coffee place that is revitalizing this neighborhood. I am ducking around the corner to an antique place and disheveled, you know, distracted. I look up and my daughter is out front of the coffee place networking. I know it is not mom time but there is no way to avoid ruffling her rhythm. So the guy is the owner of the place and she had just mentioned me, saying I live there and am eccentric, and help with her son; then I drive up. So she is there to be videotaped and there are also three city councilpersons too, one of whom I have met. So I keep it brief, and smile, and beat it, thinking that is the best thing. Later I hear how that was the wrong thing, so, I guess I was expected to linger long enough to prove how eccentric I am, but I did what I thought she would want. Life is a series of non-terminal errors, right up until it isn't. I want invisibility gear, so I can just show up at the tail end of the line.
posted by Oyéah at 9:26 PM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Hey, bondcliff - that bass is gorgeous! I started building a thoughneck laminated p-j hybrid bass a year and a half ago. The neck is maple and bubinga (m,b,m,b,m), the fretboard is bubinga. The back of the body is cherry. There's a tone layer of padauk. The top is mahagony, with strips of cocobolo around the neck. The top is deeply contoured to reveal the padauk around the edges. I added cocobolo ears to the headstock to match the body.

Unfortunately, I have very little free time, so I hardly ever get to work on it. But it's so gratifying when I do.

When I do have time for woodworking, it's usually for more practical projects. I'm building a fireplace mantel out of a five foot douglas fir 6x8 timber, but it was so green when I bought it that it's cracking and checking big time while I try to dry it out enough to work it. I was expecting to be out in the garage all day sanding, repairing flaws, and trying to color match the stain from our hardwood floors, but when I cut the end off the beam so I could take a moisture reading, it turned out that the center of the beam is still too wet to safely work the wood. Oh, well. I kind of needed a night off, anyway. Guess I'll have to spend tomorrow putting more cedar paneling in the closet. Because I work crazy long hours, and weekends are for projects.

But someday I'll finish that bass.

Happy Saturday night, folks. And fabulous bass, bondcliff! If I can remember my password, maybe I'll post a couple of pictures of my work in progress.

posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 9:45 PM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Did anyone else make themselves laugh by thinking not_the_water was talking about pre-civil war airplanes? I apparently thought that was going to be a fun time-traveling and logic story.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:14 PM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've got two or three projects I really really want to do, at least one of which could be a big step toward a positive (and way overdue) career shift. But something's keeping me from getting started on any of them, and I'm utterly in the dark as to how to change that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:04 PM on December 2, 2017

Well, I'm maybe...two-thirds? done with my Yuletide story, and plunged into another one just for the heck of it. I think I'll finish on time. I wonder why it's always when I'm in the office that I get inspired to write a thousand words without stopping for breath.
I'm reading an SF novel I picked up at random while traveling, from an author I've never heard of, and so far it is absolutely my jam and I'm feeling serendipitous. We'll see how the ending works out.
My partner and I are planning a not-quite-wedding party with a couple dozen friends in January (if we can find a place to do it at, aargh), and he suggested I get some people from the amateur orchestra I play in to give us some music. Long story short, I ended up asking our concertmaster M and his wife A to be the violins in a quartet; M is someone I've had a crush on for years and years, kind of spilling over onto A too, so having them play at my not-quite-wedding seems like closing a circle in a nice way, and they said they'd be delighted.

lazuli, that sounds like a rotten work situation to be in, through no fault of your own; I hope it works out better than it seems like it will now.

Greg_Ace, I am not much of a drinker but I'd drink the hell out of that habanero rum if I had it in the house!
posted by huimangm at 11:05 PM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hey obloquy, what's the site's angle? Is it supposed to require a login to see anything?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:13 PM on December 2, 2017

Okay - I threw a couple of pictures up on imgur. I'm actually a bit further along than this. I've worked the neck and body a bit more, put the curve on the fretboard and cut the frets, but apparently I've been too busy to take any recent pictures.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 11:35 PM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

OK, forgive me; this may seem like a self-indulgent list. I'm kind of a serial project-starter—always have been. But here's some stuff I've been working on. The funny or perhaps sad thing is, I never really feel like I'm doing enough for my own liking—but when I look at it all listed out like this, I can see I've actually accomplished a good bit this year. So hey, that's good!

Recording: One goal this year was to record myself singing an average of a song a day. I think it's going to end up being more of a 365/2 project than a 365 project, as I've recorded about 170 songs so far, or a song every other day on average. That's totally fine—I might just extend the project and see if I can hit 365 next year. Apart from sheer numbers, I feel like I've done quite well with the overall goal of improving and honing my singing skills.

Collaboration: In October, I posted the first Impossible Bookings track cicadaverse and I collaborated on to MeFi Music. He's in process on mixing and mastering Nos. 2 and 3, and I laid down initial vocals on No. 4 and wrote lyrics for the rest of No. 4 and No. 5 on Friday. So I guess we'll have about an EP's worth in the near future. If we did one more track it'd be album-length. Not bad for 6 months' worth of sporadic effort!

Drawing: After a very brief attempt to do Inktober this year, I've been mulling the possibility of making drawing something every day a 365 project next year. That's a skill I'd definitely like to work to improve a bit as well, as it's been about 10 years at this point (shame!) since I was drawing comics and riffing in my sketchbook regularly, beyond the occasional pin idea and an enthusiasm for Doodle or Die a few years back.

Pingame: I did design a new pin recently, though I need to make the effort to find a new manufacturer (the one I pinged last month never got back to me with an estimate) and actually get them made. The technology finally caught up to this idea I had months and months ago, so I can execute something cool I wanted to do a while ago. I also need to get around to making and mounting my new pinboard; I bought the Coroplast months ago to replace the current foam-core one, but I haven't made time to cover it with fabric and put it up.

Photography: I never stopped taking photos—I shoot something just about every day—but I recently ramped up my posts to Instagram, after I realized how many photos I'd never gotten around to posting from adventures earlier this year. So there's new stuff there most days. And while I was finding an InDesign template for a friend recently, I excavated my past book and postcard project folder on my old hard drive. So I've been thinking about designing some more postcards or finally printing the second book of sunsets I laid out a few years ago—they don't really sell (I decided to take a year off from my usual MeFi Mall posting), but it's nice to have them for gifts and to show my work.

Tennis and walking: I got decently good at hitting a tennis ball again this year, and a that plus climbing subway stairs got me in decent shape. Unfortunately, I now may be allergic to shoes and tennis—or, well, certain Adidas tennis shoes and some tennis-racket grips. So that effort is on a bit of a hiatus while I figure that out, but it's been satisfying nonetheless.

Archery: New project! At an estate sale last month, I found a beginner's recurve bow for about half what it would be new, and some beautiful poplar arrows arrived here this week. Unfortunately, Dick's Sporting Goods has been, well, dickish about the target I ordered—they sent me a crossbow case instead, which I refused delivery on, and while customer service said they'd handle it a while back, I have yet to receive confirmation of a new shipment. So bleh, but still, bow and arrows! I'm looking forward to relearning how to shoot; the last time I did this was when I was a camp counselor, so very nearly 20 years ago now.

Tarot: I've done readings for myself fairly often this year, just trying to memorize some of the basics. I've been keeping track of them in my profile here, though at some point I'll probably move that elsewhere. It's been about a month since my last one, so I'm probably due to do one!

TV shows: I got caught up on Game of Thrones—all but the most recent season finale—and Criminal Minds and finished True Blood, The Punisher, and iZombie in the last few months. Shows in progress: The Expanse (not sure I'll get back to that one), The Magicians (this I will get back to), Arrow (ugh, just so hard to watch), Supergirl (good, but there's so much of it), Better Call Saul (haven't been in the mood lately), and Metal Evolution (rad, and I'd like to get back to it).

Music: I've listened to so much new music this year, and I'm usually working on one playlist or another. The most recent one I made was just a big catch-all Halloween one, "all hallows," with every spooky or scary song in my iTunes library. Next up: a year-end playlist for my brother, to give him some new music ideas, and possibly a local-music one for a friend.

posted by limeonaire at 12:43 AM on December 3, 2017 [7 favorites]

I recently completed my first Good Intentions Club project - pair of socks that used a pattern I've had in my queue for ages and some stash yarn that is almost as old. I've got a project lined up for quarter #2 but I have also been inspired to pick up an ancient work in progress (a 4ply colourwork yoke jumper) from the pile and now I'm just about to finish the second sleeve and join the whole thing together so I can finally start the exciting colourwork part and have a finished jumper!

I've also got a crochet blanket that I'm working on for my mother and I really must try make at least one felt ornament from the kit I have had for yeeeaars.
posted by halcyonday at 1:35 AM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have now completed my two part move and am in the process of settling into my 2 bedroom apartment in Randwick, Sydney (which is a completely different area to what I said in my ask where I said I though I wanted to be in the Inner West). It seems to be a nice area and I think we'll enjoy it.
The next challenge is to fit all our stuff in the apartment. My dad is flying over next weekend so the place will have to reasonably tidy by then. If anyone knows of cool things to do in Randwick or nearby areas please let me know :)

I'm also nearing completion of a mostly useless qualification (Advanced Diploma of Accounting) that will convert to enough credits to make up half a university Accounting degree, leaving me with another half to complete part time over the next few years.
posted by poxandplague at 2:37 AM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I feel like we've made it over the mountain in terms of the holiday lighting display at work. Almost all of the major features have been installed and while the remainder is complicated by the construction going on, I don't think we'll be crazy rushing to finish the install. If I'm correct, this will be the first time we haven't had a crazy last minute thing in three years.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:07 AM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

Johnny Wallflower: yeah, it requires a login. It provides full-resolution streaming audio of pretty much the entirety of Neil's discography, plus a bunch of other stuff. It will turn into a subscription service after the current six-month indroductory period. Here's some press.
posted by obloquy at 3:59 AM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm about to complete my second year of Daily 365 photos and am trying to decide whether to continue next year.
posted by Mitheral at 5:13 AM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm waiting to get the proofs for an article that was accepted the end of October, and wrapping up an article to resubmit hopefully next week. These are from my MA data set -one shows that Diana monkeys don't change their diet appreciably in the presence of other closely related species, and the other shows that chimpanzees probably aren't using their vocalizations to find red colobus monkeys to hunt. Once these two are finally out, I can finally focus on publishing my PhD chapters and move on to some fun new things! Things like nutritional content of orangutan foods, and - my favorite - assessing fecal particle size and how that relates to chewing and food mechanical properties in orangutans and Diana monkeys! I got an email yesterday from an author of science books for kids who would like to interview me for a book about scientists who use poop to do science, so I'm pretty thrilled about that!

I need to come up with some new fun projects for life outside of work. I've been cross stitching again a little, making baby presents, and that's been good fun, and trying to get back into taking ballet classes consistently.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:43 AM on December 3, 2017 [9 favorites]

My wife and I declared ourselves completely unpacked and moved into the new place yesterday. Only took 3 weeks.
posted by COD at 6:50 AM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

Is pregnancy a project? I'm 38 weeks today and feeling so much now. I'm so excited to meet our baby but really nervous about the instructions to worry about any changes to their movements. I've chilled out on the nesting and think we'd be fine bringing a baby home to what we have now, which is good because I was getting excruciating adductor cramps yesterday while cleaning the pantry. I can't focus on anything and somewhat regret moving to the States because if I was still in Canada, I would be off work by now. Mostly I'm looking forward to getting this over with even though I know having a newborn will be harder than being pregnant. I also am really excited to be able to lay on my stomach again.
posted by carolr at 6:54 AM on December 3, 2017 [11 favorites]

This is my final project for a History of Photography class that both I and DarthDuckie have been taking this semester. It's an attempt to re-create the photographic process of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (previously) using scanned B&W negatives combined into color images in Photoshop instead of three projectors like Prokudin-Gorskii used. As a first jab at a new and somewhat tricky technique, I'm pretty happy with the results, especially the ones of the lantern and the pumpkins.

It was pouring rain the day that I had to shoot so I ended up on my porch for most of it and had to use ISO 3200 film which is grainy as heck but it was so dark that day that I had no choice. I'd like to do some more shoots with a finer-grain film and some actual sunlight, if we ever get that in Pittsburgh.
posted by octothorpe at 8:17 AM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I finished my NaNoGenMo novel just in time!

I was also working on a second novel project based on the Most Annoying Question, but I didn't finish that one. Maybe I'll keep trying!

In the last week, I got my dog his haircut and did my laundry and remembered to pay the rent.
posted by moonmilk at 9:11 AM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm getting married in February. It's been quite breezy for me and fiance bc mostly I say "there should be flowers, pretty one's or "yeah, there should be food " as a desire and then my mom plans the wedding (across the country from where I currently live in my hometown) Highly recommend. (And she is aware of how cherished) Anyway, I also had a stupid idea and decided to crochet the 7×7 foot chuppah out of #30 thread, crochet personalized kippot for the groom, my brother and our ketuba signers, crochet large, lacy wraps as part of the gift for each of my bridesmaids, and embroider and edge-crochet personalized commemorative wedding handkerchiefs for the 4 parents, groom, nana, me and my bridesmaids. The point is: lots of fucking projects with a drop dead deadline. I'm dumb.
posted by atomicstone at 10:43 AM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh, and make my veil w crochet lace trim. Also, it seems rude to have not posted a single pic, so here's the four crocheted kippot. You'll note everyone is a nerd. And I remade the Targaryen one (groom) smaller and in black and red since I took this pic.
posted by atomicstone at 11:05 AM on December 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

I stealth-announced my next album. I'm juggling two projects at once for next year.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:02 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

A good friend made a Christmas decoration from a harddisk platter and she sent me a video! Isn't that the coolest thing?
So I immediately got myself some rainbow LEDs too, and made these, and with any luck people will show up to make their own at a workshop I'm hosting next Friday.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:49 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I finished writing a book of poems about photography. My manuscript recently won an award, which makes me a little more hopeful as I prepare to send it out to a publisher for consideration.
posted by oulipian at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I am still working on this cross-stitch project, which I bought for a long plane journey (Sydney-London) thinking it’d keep me going for a good few hours. That was in 2012 and I still haven’t finished it. It looks almost finished in that pic but there’s also a chunk to do on the right-hand side, so at the current rate of progress I’m hoping to get it finished maybe some time before 2020. Maybe.
posted by Catseye at 1:12 PM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

oops - here's the cross-stitch.
posted by Catseye at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

The bike I posted about on Ask is now, after a long time as a project bike, a whole, functional bike.
posted by egregious theorem at 1:48 PM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

MetaFilter: assessing fecal particle size

That's an awesome project, obloquy! And congrats, carolr; you're in for an awesome ride.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:01 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Well, fecal particle size is actually really cool because it's one way people have tried to assess chewing efficiency and digestive efficiency (the smaller the fecal particles, the higher the chewing efficiency, theoretically). This seems to work really well for some animals (lots of farm animals and ruminants and stuff), but it's not clear whether there really is a strong relationship between chewing rates and fecal particle size, and also how this all works in a natural setting when animals are eating foods with different mechanical properties that might be easier or harder to process. SO I've spent a lot of time watching orangutans and monkeys chew things and measuring the hardness and toughness of foods they're eating in the wild. Sieving their feces is just the final, most glamorous, step, in this process!
posted by ChuraChura at 2:37 PM on December 3, 2017 [14 favorites]

I needed a big project to focus my creative efforts on and I am now in the midst of sewing a new winter coat. No photos yet, but my initial muslin is coming out well!
posted by source.decay at 3:07 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

Right, I think I'mma pre-preview this:

I started a little challenge on my own blog a while back just to give myself something to write about, basically - watching all of the "1001 Movies to see before you die" movies and writing about them. And - it's really getting fun, to the point that it has basically taken over my blog. I'm also learning a lot. I'm seriously considering breaking it out into its own thing when I reach 100 movies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:53 PM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

For about a month now I've been making a scarf! (3 images) It's both my first knitting project on circular needles and my first attempt at a cable knit. I learned knitting basics when I was 10 and then just... never went anywhere with it. So it took me a bit to relearn it in October (when I jumped straight into intarsia), but then I decided I wanted something I could wear around--and behold.

Yesterday I finally took an exam I've been studying for since February, and now I'm just generally glad to have my free time back so I can knit without feeling guilty.
posted by lesser weasel at 6:17 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I don't have a project, but I am enjoying reading about yours.

I had a problem, which was a leaky kitchen drain. It only leaked sometimes. But not when the water was running.

A pan placed underneath revealed that it leaked when the coffee water was drained. I kept wondering about it and wondering. A teaspoon of water and then a cup of coffee water. What is happening here?

Research proved that the elbow and the nut were floating free, that is, if a large amount of water was draining down into the pipe, it was spewing up and over the nut.

Shining a flashlight into the drain revealed a rather squichy thing. White, but not quite.

I hooked it out and it was the washer. A thing called a nylon washer. I rinsed it off and massaged it back into its original shape. Then I guided it up onto the standing pipe and screwed the nut onto the elbow and thus, I created a seal.

Not a project, but a problem solved. No more leaky kitchen drain. It made me very happy.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:27 PM on December 3, 2017 [11 favorites]

I created and presented two webinars at the beginning of November, which was a lot of work and I was very stressed about it, and it was very much a relief to have them over with.

A few days later, there was an interim belt test at karate and if I keep it up, I'll have my second-degree black belt in about 18 months.

Our dishwasher died in October - we bought one, but the installation company never showed up (three times!), so we canceled that purchase and went to a local company on a Saturday. On Monday, the dishwasher was installed; it works great and is so quiet you can only tell it's working because a blue light is on.
posted by mogget at 7:04 PM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

It looks like I’m going to fall a little short of shooting 52 rolls of film, and a culling 365 photos from them. But that’s OK, that was not my original plan, and I didn’t realize until August that I was on that kind of pace. I’ve just been using photography as a way of avoiding thinking about current events.

[insta] [flickr] [tumblr]
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:17 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I rewrote a good portion of an old Firefox extension I wrote (as a personal project) to use the new WebExtensions API, and released a 90%-ish feature complete alpha after pushing myself to complete it over the Thanksgiving weekend. Rather than going for a straight API port, I took the opportunity to redo a lot of things that had been bothering me about the old one so hopefully it'll be easier to add updates to it in the future.
posted by Aleyn at 10:11 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just posted a Project about this, but I started an art project rendering scale illustrations of airport runways in Processing. It's all parameterized so I only need to enter 4 or 5 numbers about each runway, and it spits out a perfectly scaled PNG representing a 30,000x30,000ft square.
posted by bowbeacon at 6:53 AM on December 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have worked for the same company for ten (!) years, and I've always taken the position that I don't want to personalize my office too much. Home is home, and work is work, and I'd like the two to stop meeting, please.

But recently, I've been facing up to the fact that I spend a LOT of time at work, and well, I don't have to put up pictures of my husband and my kid or anything, but I might as well have my office be reasonably comfortable, right?

So I put up little 3M command hangers for my coat so that I don't have to stand on my tiptoes every morning to use the hanger on the back of my door, which was designed for tall, suit-wearing cis white men and not small Asian cis ladies in dresses. I have office sweaters that I wear around. And my big innovation this weekend was to bring in this, which is KINDA absurd but also KINDA LITERALLY THE GREATEST.

posted by joyceanmachine at 8:10 AM on December 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

I finished two cross-stitch projects for my kids. Last year at this time I was doing a lot more, but eh. My eyes aren't great and I can't comfortably work on anything smaller than 14-count aida anymore. The only other x-stitch I did this year (so far...) is a little thing for my quonsee.

My daughter's gift is a Harry Potter spells scroll. I'm thinking of adding cords/tassels to the hanger.
My son's gift is a Super Smash-themed clock. This was considerably harder to do than the scroll, because this was not based on a pattern. I messed up 6 o'clock (Shamus) and had to do her over, but it was worth it, because it all looks really neat. It's already wrapped--otherwise I'd have taken a picture of the entire thing here.
posted by methroach at 12:05 PM on December 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

My current project is sitting outside trying to convine my escaped kitty to come home. Wish me good luck...
posted by mightshould at 4:38 PM on December 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Update: kitty capture success! Exhausted scared kitty. Exhausted worried human. Thanks, all, for the good vibes.
posted by mightshould at 5:53 PM on December 4, 2017 [15 favorites]

It's a day for cats scaring their people. I just got a text from my mom - my parents have three geriatric cats and my cat Triceratops, and while they're doing house renovations (including repairing the no-longer-functioning heat), the cats are all being locked in a separate room so nobody escapes. Emma, the oldest and grumpiest cat of them all, was in the attic, and when my mom opened the door to let her out this evening, she wasn't sitting at the door howling like she usually is. So she went upstairs, and found Emma curled up on a blanket next to the window, not moving, not responding to her name. She went over and poked her (gingerly, because Emma's been very grouchy since kittenhood, never mind at 17) and the cat twitched an ear and blinked. She was just very asleep, and she's very deaf. My mom thought she froze the cat to death, so she was very relieved.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:23 PM on December 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm late to the party and breaking my own lurking habits, but I'm excited to share the fact that I started learning Nahuatl, an indigenous language spoken in Mexico, back in August. My dream is to make a comprehensive verb dictionary, and today my brain is finally starting to click and conjugate stuff naturally! I've always had a hard time with languages so this is a big thing for me! No yolo yez ami axan, uan tahto tazohta nican uan nochipah - my heart is happy today, and speaks love here and always.
posted by idealist at 10:35 PM on December 4, 2017 [14 favorites]

...and when my mom opened the door to let her out this evening, she wasn't sitting at the door howling like she usually is.

It is only tangentially connected, but you've reminded me of a story:

Early on in my current apartment (which was much more spacious than my previous one), Zach would like to sneak into my bedroom closet when I had the door open and curl up on top of the blankets I had stashed in there. I"d have to shoo him out again.

A couple months after I moved in, my parents came to visit and check out the place. when we got up to the door, I cautioned them that Zach would probably be waiting there, so don't let him out - but he wasn't there. I wandered through the apartment calling him, getting increasingly concerned when he didn't come out. Had he escaped somehow?

Finally I got to my room, and opened the closet door - and Zach came bolting out. He'd gotten in while I was getting dressed to meet my parents, and in my rush to get going I'd simply not seen him, and so he'd been locked in my closet for about two hours at that point. When he came running out he had a look on his face like "whatever it is I did, I'm sorry!" And he never tried to sneak into my closet again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:50 AM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

My idiot cats are always getting locked in closets and bedrooms. They never learn.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2017

Apologies to the five of you that follow me on MLTSHP or Twitter and have already seen this, and also I know I'm late to the thread but whatever, here we go.

A while back I was making terrible terrible sculptures using teeth (acrylic, not real) that I got on Amazon along with some cheap pink polymer clay to look like gums. I won't link those up because they're horrifying and besides, that's the old me.

At some point recently I was looking at the leftover clay and thought, "I'm sure I could actually, you know, sculpt something instead of just mashing clay around teeth or whatever you call this nonsense." With that in mind I looked up videos online for learning to sculpt a human head and found a guy whose videos I liked and so I went out and bought clay and some tools.

On November 8th I started with the basic form and on that night I realized what I was in for and what a slow process it would be. I am typically a want-it-done-now-or-I-lose-interest crafter so this was a challenge for me, for sure. But! At the same time even on that first night I really fell into The Art Hole where for two hours I stopped thinking about politics (thanks for nothing, megathreads) and work (thanks for nothing, work) and whatever else and I just was kind of Here, grounded in the act of mashing things with my hands. It was intoxicating.

Over the course of the next several nights I roughed out a face, decided the features were too bulbous and scraped it and started again, really started to see progress, got some ears on him, and then finally wrapped the whole thing up (by finishing the eyes) and baked it.

The end result!

Long story short: it took me almost a month of working every third night or so, but I enjoyed every single second that I was doing it and I every single time I laid hands on it I fell down The Art Hole and forgot all the bad stuff, so it was extremely cathartic and / or therapeutic. And then I had the bonus of actually being proud of the result, which doesn't usually happen when I attempt art-y things.

Credit where it is due: I couldn't have done the first bit of this without Josh Foreman's Sculpey 101 class videos.

[bonus material: on a few nights it was apparent I should stop working on the big one but I didn't want to quit sculpting so I made these tiny little fingertip-sized guys: 1, 2, and 3. I just finished the 3rd one last night and I'm almost as happy about it as I was the big project.]
posted by komara at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

I learned to crochet last week, and then before I figured out exactly what I wanted to make, I learned that you can cut up old sheets and crochet them into rag rugs, and then I thought of an old duvet cover I had, and that is why my very first crochet project ever is going to be a rag rug. Some people would make a dishcloth or something first, but not me apparently.
A king size duvet cover, when cut into one continuous strip of fabric 1.25" across, makes a ball of "yarn" that is easily the size of my head.
Here's a photo after two days of working on it. It's even bigger now, almost the size of a bathmat. It goes surprisingly quickly! And it's actually very forgiving, just single crochets and increases at the corners. If I feel like a corner is getting too rounded I add an extra stitch, and if it seems like it's sticking out too much I just do one, and the whole thing is very intuitive and not nearly as strict as the knitting I'm used to. It's really enjoyable to just go with my instincts!
posted by Adridne at 7:38 PM on December 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

vignettist, thanks for mentioning edible snowglobes! That sent me down a rabbit-hole that might help with brainstorming a gift for someone in my partner's family.

Project status? I'm in the serial-project-starter club too, so it's a list.
  • Cookbook: Published! Just have to maintain the blog and maybe do author events if we want it to actually sell or something.
  • House: Actually looks like a house. A house that's painted rainbow, no less! Working on convincing city officials that composting toilets are actually A Thing and that they're simple enough to build at home and you don't really need to spend $2k on making a safe place for microbes to eat your shit.
  • Sewing: Stalled until I have the time, space, and inclination to try to invent a better belt pouch design.
  • Spinning: aniola got me a big beautiful fluffy ball of Romeldale wool roving from the farmer's market that I can't wait to spin, but first I have to finish the current batch of yarn that I'm making from unidentified wool, and before that I have to make another attempt at plying a little bit of superfine singles for darning aniola's mittens. Because I can't just go buy/borrow/beg yarn like a normal person, I have to make it myself now! (Ok, that's actually a state I've aspired to for some years. I'm pretty pleased. Even when it isn't very practical.)
  • Bicycle Things: Real-world developments have been stalled for way too long (years) while brainstorming and design keep going. I'm finally coming around to the notion that I might just have to pay a professional to do some of the fabrication and welding stuff if I want it to turn out well and happen this decade. It was fun to do it myself and I believe it was an important step in learning to design bikes, but I'm not especially committed to getting the equipment and skills necessary for Doing It Right. Of course, I haven't quite talked myself out of building wooden bikes yet...
  • Business Card Stamps: Got foam tape for mounting, so I have all the pieces. Just have to cut the wood blocks and stick the rubber to them. Oh, and get stamp pads! Almost forgot that part. Without stamp pads I can't stamp the design on top of the wood. That's a very important step.
Turns out I enjoy listing project statuses! I should start a notebook page for it. Except it would be another project, and I already have too many.

Traveling back and forth across the country to visit friends and family makes all of these go slower, but it's a fun project in itself. When we finish traveling in a few weeks, I get to go back to the gray and rainy North and start trying to substitute teach, which I am both exited and anxious about.
posted by sibilatorix at 11:55 PM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Here's the next bit.
posted by h00py at 7:30 AM on December 15, 2017

So before this thread closes, I did get the album up on Bandcamp, mucho thanks to a guy named Josh who just happened to be willing to laser-cut my logo into a leaf, in between menger sponge experiments.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:44 PM on December 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Neverending Conflict is a little stalled right now; I've been a tad depressed and otherwise indisposed the last couple of months, and I decided that after the most recent story post I actually needed one more scene that I hadn't written yet. Once I'm done with that the rest of Act 1 is all but done. The story will probably go on hiatus after Act 1 has finished going up. When I launched this year I had big plans for quick revisions, then starting writing Act 3. Revisions on Act 1 took way longer than I thought they would and the Act 2 revisions aren't very far along. I blame Trump, mostly.

The game part, though there's not that much stuff on the website, is humming along in the background; it's been somewhat easier than the fiction to write lately. I keep making changes to how I want to do things so the stuff on the website is a little out of date. I'm planning on doing updated version of the existing posts in the near future and then hoping to start dropping more game posts semi-regularly, particularly once I hit the end of the Act 1.
posted by Caduceus at 1:03 PM on December 27, 2017

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