Metatalktails: So, good news... I saw a dog today! January 20, 2018 1:44 PM   Subscribe

MeFites, I desperately needed to share this with someone today, and I realize that you're the people I wanted to share it with the most.

Today is my five year smoking quitaversary. I have not had a cigarette since January 19, 2013. According to all sorts of apps and counters and the like, I have saved over $10,000, I have not smoked over 22,000 cigarettes, and I have saved over 90 days of my life. I don't have much to be proud of lately, but I am DAMN proud of that. Also if anyone asks -- the best way to quit smoking is to get the flu.

(Also today I met/had my first appointment with my new therapist and it went really well and I really liked him and I am super looking forward to my next appointment.)

Anyway, so this isn't just about me, please friends -- gimme your good news, your happy things, the stuff you're proud of, and all that other good jazz. I lurve you, Metafilter.
posted by elsietheeel to MetaFilter-Related at 1:44 PM (127 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

Congrats!

The weather here was sunny and warm enough today that we had a couple windows open for the cat, for the first time in a few months, and he is psyched.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:49 PM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Also today I learned, from jonnay's link in the ska thread, where the levitating businessman emoji comes from.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:53 PM on January 20, 2018 [11 favorites]


I've been generally healthy for the past few years, working out, running regularly. That being said, I've let in some bad eating habits with snacking on foods I know aren't healthy for me. So I'm starting in on making some better choices. Threw out a bunch of bad food, picked up some healthy things, planning meals. It feels good to think healthy again. I've done it in the past, so I know I can do it again. I just finished work and I'm off to the gym. Huzzah for better choices and living.
posted by Fizz at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2018 [9 favorites]


*takes a deep breath*

I have an awesome doctor who has been advocating for me. (Note to self: Write that thank you and appreciation note.)

She has heard and understood my pleas for informed consent to start HRT. Last November I was referred to a specialist (skipping the need to get a therapist letter) which was rejected without the letter. Which I was kind of expecting. So we're going to try doing it locally on our own, and she's apparently been doing a ton of homework because when I saw her last week, she had a whole stack of papers she'd printed out with a set for myself, and a even more positive and informed attitude.

I may start as early as next week. I'm in for a hell of a weird time, but at this point I'm pretty good at being weird.

If anyone is curious, this is why I stopped drinking and what I've been working on for the last year. I keep kind of alluding to it obliquely and in code words, but here we go: I'm going to attempt to socially/medically transition because I can't take it any more, and it's holding me back from doing all the other cool things I want to do. Like, oh, be my own self and own it, for starters.

I'm excited, scared and nervous - but more hopeful and more looking forward to the next day than I've ever been.
posted by loquacious at 2:21 PM on January 20, 2018 [155 favorites]


Wow! Some big life goodness for some of y'all. Sunny days, indeed. You folk are tackling some hard stuff. Kudos!


But....dogs....you said there'd be doggies...

So, is this metatalk Saturday? Cause it's usually too late for me with the 4 AM wake up time...

For me: last night was the first time in two weeks that I've had running water and it's amazing how grand that is. Course, the water softner seems to be kaput and everything is mega salty. I took a long luxurious bath and I almost floated. I think people pay big bucks for mineral baths and mine was included for free!

I'm sitting in the sofa with catlap and trying to eat dinner of a salad with leftover meat and spinach artichoke dip as dressing. A bit difficult with catlap.

Friends gave me a bottle of wine for new years which will be good with the aforementioned salad. I have the opened bottle of wine sitting on the side table, salad in hand, but,alas, forgot a drinking vessel. I may, indeed, resort to delicately sipping from the bottle. Will endeavor to keep pinkie finger aloft.
posted by mightshould at 2:36 PM on January 20, 2018 [10 favorites]


Congrats Elsietheeel! That's fantastic!

I got laid off this week, but only for 2 months, and I found out my contract was renewed so I will have a job for the whole next year starting in April. So right now it's a bit like the first week of summer break in the middle of winter and I'm so excited!
posted by ilovewinter at 2:41 PM on January 20, 2018 [14 favorites]


I moved out of my apartment a little over two weeks ago. I've been traveling for work since then - Las Vegas, Detroit and Park City. Managed to not get a cold or the flu, which is a huge victory.

Tomorrow I board a plane to Bangkok for a three month stay while my sweetie starts a business. My clients are already asking how soon I'll be available for remote work, and I have a work-share office all lined up.

So I'm at the end of the prolog for my next great life adventure and ready to turn the page into the next chapter!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:44 PM on January 20, 2018 [9 favorites]


Many, many congratulations! This is a marvelous achievement and I'm so glad you shared it here!

I was talking to my sister today who at the age of 70 has been smoking for over 60 years (she started when she was around 8) and wishes she could quit, for the money and her health. I've never smoked so I don't know what to advise her, and yes, she's had the flu and pneumonia a couple of times. If she were to kick the habit she'd save about $5,000 per year, and even in Canadian currency, that's a lot of money. She lives in subsidized housing, so it's not like the money wouldn't mean anything to her.

I took Jen Sincero's online course in developing new habits (no longer available now, sadly; it was a "last time only" offering late in December) and just finished reading Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit. These, and my own experience make me think that beyond discipline and willpower, what is critical in extinguishing bad habits/developing good ones are not so much willpower and discipline—although those are necessary—but commitment.

I'm on day 210 of what I'm calling "abstinent eating" (as opposed to compulsive eating), based on this program. I have decided to eat this way for the rest of my life. I started 2017 June 24 (like you, I remember the day I changed my life). I've lost 60 pounds since then, and have about another 25 to go. What's brought me this far is the commitment I made. That's what helps when my willpower and discipline light out for the territory. It shouldn't surprise me. I've been married for 38 years and what has got us through tough times, even low periods that lasted months, wasn't our deep love, but our commitment to keep showing up even when it didn't seem worth it. It's as if the love that grew 40 years ago enabled the commitment, and the commitment enables the love.

Congratulations on doing this wonderful thing for yourself!
posted by angiep at 2:44 PM on January 20, 2018 [26 favorites]


Also, congratulations on your quitaversary, OP!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:45 PM on January 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, OP!
posted by A Robot Ninja at 2:55 PM on January 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I got so obsessed with my own shit I didn't comment on the subject of this post and your good news. Congrats on quitting and getting healthier.

Sorry for being so focused on myself. I need to be more considerate. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 3:01 PM on January 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I do indeed declare this thread the Metatalktail thread! Cheers!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:19 PM on January 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


Hey hey that is great all around. Quitting is SO HARD and being stoked about it is definitely great news, as is a new therapist who makes you feel hopeful and optimistic. But wait, did you also see a dog?

This is the first weekend since before the holidays that not_on_display and I have been

1. together, and
2. not sick

He's in the other room doing dishes, I'm catching up on my web. We've got some movies on the laptop to watch and some carrot cake to be consumed. Life is simple and good.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:39 PM on January 20, 2018 [17 favorites]


This morning I:
Did three and a half elliptical machine miles while watching a very glamorous italian food network chef make cupcakes with a boxed mix (I may have said "shut up she uses cake mix!" out loud in the middle of the ymca)

Helped some friends assemble a quilt for a program that donates blankets to people going through cancer treatment (I can't get imgur to log me in but there are pictures, really)

Bothered the cat, who has a mysterious scratch on his face that he doesn't want to talk about

Made macaroni and cheese with both powdered sauce mix and some from-scratch ingredients (which made me realize I have no idea if mustard goes bad? Please say no)
posted by janepanic at 3:59 PM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


listen i am very sincerely happy for you all but i was told there would be a dog here
posted by poffin boffin at 3:59 PM on January 20, 2018 [44 favorites]


Saw a pretty decent minor league hockey game last night. Finished the Netflix miniseries "Godless" which was great. Bought a health club membership and the place is right across the street from my house. On the whole though, I find the winters are harder with each passing year. I don't mind the cold and the snow, but the desert dryness and the perpetual gray skies really take a lot out of you.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 4:03 PM on January 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I saw lots of dogs today, if that helps, including a black puppy of some sort who was very happy to meet me.
posted by JanetLand at 4:05 PM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


("So, good news: I saw a dog today!" is a quote from Elf.)

I hired a trainer and I already dread seeing her, so I guess that's good! Working on getting my core back in shape after Nano McGee's relatively traumatic birth left my abs a wreck.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:07 PM on January 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


poffin boffin it may not be the dog promised but here is my very excellent doggo and another pic of her all dressed up for camping
posted by barchan at 4:08 PM on January 20, 2018 [27 favorites]


Great news from all, well done.

mightshould, puffin boffin- you wanted doggies, well .... on Monday my 19yo daughter gets to meet and start training with her service dog. She has severe chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, PTSD. We’ve been on the waiting list for years so the fact that it’s finally happening is big. We have no idea till we get there what breed but my daughter has wanted a dog for years so any dog is a good dog, a trained service dog is even better. Being away from home for 3 weeks for the training is going to be very hard but hopefully worthwhile.

I’m totally not a dog person so I’m trying to prepare myself by reading books (recommended in a recent but conveniently timed AskMe by someone else) about understanding dogs, and going in to this with an open mind. I’ll post a pic when I can.
posted by valleys at 4:08 PM on January 20, 2018 [23 favorites]


Congrats times 1 thousand on quitting smoking. That's HUGE. I quit around 20 years ago; I can still be dumb and have one once every year or so but it thankfully kind of grosses me out. Quitting beer will never happen for me, unfortunately.

Today I'm happy because we just got back last night from a few superfun days in NYC. My wife and I both turn 50 this year and it's also our 25th anniversary, so we decided instead of parties or gifts or anything, we wanted to take a few trips. This was my wife's b-day trip and we went to NYC totally spontaneously...she had signed up months ago to test the likelihood of getting tickets for the Colbert show...and she got an email from them last week saying she could have tickets on Wednesday, which was her actual birthday. It felt like kismet, like we couldn't say no. So we said what the hell and found a cheap flight. We really just wanted to go to New York, the show was just the thing that sparked us.
Highlights (so sorry for the forthcoming self-indulgent travelogue but we had a blast, cramming so much stuff into 2.5 days): the actual show taping was strange but fun (can't take pictures inside the show.) Ate a ton of delish food. Walked and subwayed for miles. Stayed at a really awesome hotel. Went to the Whitney. Went to 9/11 museum. Met up with a great MeFiMusic friend and his wife for dinner. Scored a good deal on a cool wallet. My wife got a birthday tattoo (her first.) Saw some music. Cheered on the protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. Shopped for vinyl but couldn't decide. Just had a great time; did a lot but enjoyed it at our pace instead of the slight frenzy I used to feel visiting when I was younger.

Last year when the Muslim ban happened, we had vowed not to travel to the US until its shithole leader was gone. But now we think maybe that's a bit short-sighted. As gross as so many things are right now, it felt kind of nice to support and participate in things we love about the States.
posted by chococat at 4:16 PM on January 20, 2018 [13 favorites]


Yay for quitting smoking!

My wife went back to work this week, which feels like the final hurdle in the beat cancer / move to new city thing we've done over the last 16 or 17 months.
posted by COD at 4:18 PM on January 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


Congrats elsietheeel! That is amazing.

Spouse and I celebrated our 18th anniversary two weeks ago by treating close friends (spouse's childhood friend/wedding groomsman and his wife) to Brazilian Churrascaria.

Today I slept until 10:30 AM. The last time that happened was a year before Boy theBRKP was born.

Something has shifted in my brain and body over the past couple of weeks. The grief I am feeling at the loss of my mother became easier to carry. I don't think it is just the SSRI. I feel more engaged with the world and work again.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:32 PM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


It was warm and sunny in Boston today, and I saw so many dogs. Lily the Geriatric Bassett Hound (my favorite dog), Maya the viszla, a boxer and her tiny puppy doppelganger, a smol German Shepherd puppy, several fleecy Australian Shepherds who got muddy nose prints on my pants, and so much more.

Congratulations on the no-smoking milestone!
posted by ChuraChura at 4:33 PM on January 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


Please tell me Lily the Geriatric Bassett Hound has a Facebook page. Squee!
posted by lazuli at 4:50 PM on January 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


We had a very belated Hanukkah gathering today and I got my 4th grade nephew a kids book on the Notorious RBG (called The Notorious RBG) and was he all "I got a cool book!" And my sister in law said "Yeah, I'm probably gonna read that, too." And then we ate ice cream.

In three days, it will be my six month soberversary. Last weekend I was at a Norse pagan funeral and my only thought about alcohol was "Huh, that horn holds four bottles of mead. That's a lot of mead." (BTW, it was during this funeral that the Minnesota Vikings did what they did, and there was a lot of "Hail Odin" going on, just saying...)

Today at work, before the Hanukkah thing, I came up with a brilliantly stupid book idea, and I think I just might write it.
posted by Ruki at 4:54 PM on January 20, 2018 [11 favorites]


Yay for all the good news! It's good to hear.

Yesterday, I was feeling super-anxious, but thanks to the years of therapy and the coping techniques I've learned, I was able to deal with it in a very appropiate and non-destructive way. THIS IS HUGE.
posted by PearlRose at 4:57 PM on January 20, 2018 [15 favorites]


Congratulations!!! I have been on this road, i know its bumpy, but ya know what? Im turning 50 in march and i look great, and cigarettes are not part of that equation. I bet you smell wonderful! 😊
posted by supermedusa at 5:04 PM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


I had a really cool thing happen Friday that I can't really tell you about because it was sort of a national thing and it might reveal who I am. I can tell you it made me very proud and I was stunned when it happened. And later that same day an old colleague who I respect a lot contacted me about maybe coming to work for me. But then later that day I heard that a grant I had applied for and was really counting on for an important project was rejected. And I had to work really late and the kids were hoping I'd be home early so we might all go out to dinner, and they were kind of bummed when I finally arrived.

Some of this, some of that.

Because I let the kids down I decided to make it up to them this morning. We all went out to a Japanese/French bakery and had yummy crêpe cones for breakfast. They and the Ms. got the sweet and fruity cones and I got the ham and gruyère. Then we got an armload of sweets to go, and then headed over to the Japanese grocery and bought snacks to eat while we streamed a movie at home. It's cool to do a good job, but it's way better to feel like a good parent.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:09 PM on January 20, 2018 [19 favorites]


Sorry comrades, I did not mean to imply there would be a doggo; actually, it is a quote from Elf.

However, I did actually see a dog today when I went to my parents' house to drop off some yarn and borrow a birding book. I do not have a current picture of their dog, but he usually looks like this (especially when he is feeling noir) and him name is Buck. Well, they call him Buck. I call him Buckley, because I am an unrepentant Wes Anderson fan and I have a black sense of humor.

And sometimes when I am feeling kicky and/or local, I call him Buckeroo.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:11 PM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


I got a raise at work yesterday and then found out via an email from my union at 9:45pm that upper management is talking about layoffs, so... I'm having an anxiety-fueled weekend that I am treating with cats and couch and Netflix. But, yay raise?

A woman from my church with whom I've had kind of minimal but generally pleasant contact called me -- like, on the phone and everything! -- yesterday and left a voicemail asking if I wanted to have dinner last night because, she said, I seem like an interesting person and she wants to get to know me better. (We're both straight women, or at least she's currently in a hetero relationship, so no romantic overtones.) I'm a little lukewarm but I have to say I was hella impressed that she would take that much of a risk. I was too exhausted to go out last night but I called her back (on the phone and everything!) and I remembered to make some small talk first (I'm often bad at remembering that) and declined for last night but rescheduled for next week. So I'm proud of her for reaching out, proud of me for calling back (serious phone phobia for social stuff when I don't know the person well), and kind of excited about this life I'm building where I apparently have acquaintances I do things with as well as close friends. I'd been in the introvert/trauma-recovery/cocoon mode for a while, where I was only interacting with a handful of super-close friends, then I've been expanding that to add new close friends, now apparently I'm expanding into social acquaintances. I mean, she may turn into a close friend, who knows, but I kind of like the idea that she doesn't have to, that she and I can just have dinner and hang out and it's not a high-pressure thing. That wouldn't have been the case for me a couple years ago, and that's kind of neat.

Also writing that out I realize that it seems backward, that most people have acquaintances who turn into close friends. I've just met some awesome people in the last year or two that kind of turned into instant close friends, and I think I've been a little closed to the idea of nice/fun people with whom I maybe didn't have that instant connection, so this feels like progress.

I did not, alas, see any dogs today, but my cats did spend a good five minutes being cute and grooming each other before the teeth and claws and batting turned into wrestling and hissing, so that was nice.
posted by lazuli at 5:12 PM on January 20, 2018 [23 favorites]


Lily the Geriatric Bassett Hound doesn't have a Facebook page, as far as I know, but I photograph her every time I see her.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:15 PM on January 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


Buck! Noir lab!
posted by lazuli at 5:16 PM on January 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


In three days, it will be my six month soberversary. Last weekend I was at a Norse pagan funeral and my only thought about alcohol was "Huh, that horn holds four bottles of mead. That's a lot of mead."

Oh Ruki, I can't even count my soberversary yet. Right now I consider myself a dry drunk and dealing with it on a proper recovery level and commemorating it and celebrating anniversaries and all of that is just too much right now. I can see myself coming up to May and going HEY IT'S PROBABLY A YEAR AND A HALF OR SOMETHING, LET'S GO TO THE BREWERY!!!

(It's also amazing how much information and trivia our brains can hold about booze though...back in my SCA days I think my horn only held two pints and I hated drinking out of it because I couldn't put it down until it was empty...but I loved drinking out of it because I couldn't put it down until it was empty. Heh)

Anyway, all of that to say is HAPPY SIX MONTHS AND I AM SUPER PROUD OF YOU. Quitting smoking was a beast and a half, but it's been fucking nothing compared to booze. Keep going! I know you can do it! xoxoxox

Also I want a Norse pagan funeral when I die please.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:21 PM on January 20, 2018 [11 favorites]


One of my New Year’s resolutions was to work on getting my anxiety under control and I had a really good week in working towards that. My week was not anxiety-free, which is not a realistic expectation, but I definitely felt that I was in control of it, rather than anxiety controlling me, which is a big deal.

Also, my lovely cat, Phoebe, was particularly adorable this week and I continue to be so grateful for her! Pets are just the best.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their successes and feel-goods—I am absolutely loving reading ALL of these!
posted by bookmammal at 5:27 PM on January 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


(Oh also the last Nicotine Anonymous chip I got myself was for 18 months - which was the first time that I was willing to admit to myself that the quit had actually stuck for real. So I was SUPER excited to order a 5 year chip a few days ago. I'm not sure which will be my new keychain, my 5 year smoke-free chip, or my Great Northern room 315 keychain.)

Oh who am I kidding? It's the Great Northern, hands down.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:29 PM on January 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Congrats to all the Quit people (booze was much easier for me than cigarettes), congrats to people going out, congrats to newly-healthy folks, $ORGANIZING_PRINCIPLE bless us, every one! I did see a dog today, a happy white-muzzled Irish Setter who poked her snout into my hand between the time I asked "¿Es amable?" and the owner smiled "Sí."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:31 PM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Bumped into someone at work today who was presenting shaven headed tattooed punk yet addressed me as "dear" in exactly the way that a woman three times her age might. It was simultaneously exactly as charming as when older acquaintances do it and a reminder of just how punk some of them probably really were and are.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:44 PM on January 20, 2018 [9 favorites]


Since this is a feelgood thread, I want to share something stoopid that simply delighted me. I'm trying to get more exercise so I decided to finally fix my treadmill this morning. To figure out how I found a video on youtube, but the delight comes when while watching the "repair and maintenance on your treadmill" video, the narrator/repairman moves from the front of the frame to the middle and you realize he's wearing these awesome, giant Homer Simpson fuzzy slippers. That made me smile.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


all dressed up for camping

scream
posted by poffin boffin at 6:02 PM on January 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


894 days sober.

I quit smoking 12 years ago or so. Only the booze was harder, so congrats!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:39 PM on January 20, 2018 [12 favorites]


Oh last good news for the evening I think: between the Norwegian Digital Archives and the Norwegian version of Find-a-Grave, I've added over a thousand people to my family tree in the past two weeks. But now I'm running out of family members and I'm getting kinda sad...in the meantime I've been teaching myself common farm names and their meanings, as well as the older Norsk that was often used in censuses and parish records hundreds of years ago (and yeah, the leather and the beads for my moccasins showed up last week and are sitting on the coffee table, shut up.)

So I love love love love love LOVE researching family histories this way, especially if there are some family members who emigrate from Norway to America. I have a fancy schmancy Ancestry account and I am super discreet and I am willing to offer some bonafides and stuff to prove I am a real person who is nice and sincere if you want some help researching your Norwegian family history. I'll do it for free just because I think it's fun, and even if you have just the barest of information about your grandma and grandpa, I'd love to give it a shot. (This offer is good for Norwegians in Norway as well. I helped a Norwegian friend of mine find out what happened to a long-lost great uncle who emigrated to South Dakota. Turns out he ended up going to the same church as some of my second or third cousins. Heh!)

Anyway, shoot me a MeMail if you're interested.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:40 PM on January 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


You who have stopped smoking: I salute you. What an amazing accomplishment! One of the hardest substances to quit.

This morning at 6:40 AM, my neighbor woke me up when he started playing electric guitar. Rather than sit there fuming, I got up and knocked on his door, and asked him to please not play before 9 AM on the weekend (or at least unplug the amp). Not only am I super proud to have worked up the courage, he was so apologetic, and we had a polite, neighborly conversation about it. The whole thing has made me feel more hopeful about humans, generally.
posted by MrBobinski at 6:48 PM on January 20, 2018 [17 favorites]


Six weeks into having her driver's license, our daughter totaled our car last week (nobody was hurt, and the other guy;s car was undamaged, so WHEW!). So bright and early this morning my wife and I got up and went to a car dealer to look for a new one. One hour and 47 minutes later, we had purchased a new (to us) car. It was quite simply the easiest car purchase we've ever had in 30 years. No haggling, no pressure from the sales manager to buy a bunch of useless upsells, no problems getting our credit union to approve and process the loan. We were expecting to have to spend the entire day running back and forth between dealers, fighting over prices, worrying about the relative driveworthiness of various used cars, and putting ourselves through all sorts of stress. And none of that happened! Plus, we bought a great car! Yay us!
posted by briank at 6:55 PM on January 20, 2018 [12 favorites]


As the small McGees are all in bed now and not making noise in my ear, I am popping into the chat room for a bit if anybody's feeling chatty!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:58 PM on January 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


I have not really bought new clothes, other than replacement jeans and a few cardigans (which I wear all the time) in yeeeeeaaaars, and I just ordered three dresses and a top from eshakti, and four "no yank tanks" from Duluth Trading Company, and that feels exciting. If I get laid off, they will be good interview clothes; if I don't get laid off, I can afford them with my raise. Win either way!

I would like to do a more thorough search tomorrow for the nice pair of dress pants I bought months ago and put in a "safe place" to get tailored. I ordered them extra-long and they were actually extra-long and they need to be hemmed but I can't find them to take them to a tailor.
posted by lazuli at 7:32 PM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


We took family visitors to Space Center Houston today, and of course Johnson Space Center was a ghost town because of the stupid shutdown. But the tram tours on the actual US government part continued and we saw the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. Really neat to see the Orion, Soyuz, and ISS modules in active mockup/development use after seeing the historical vehicles in the museum. But the best part was seeing a bunch of high school students working on their robot project! That made me a little less distraught about the future anyway, even if all other NASA staff and contractors were at home.

Also, the astronaut walkway used to board the Space Shuttle gave me some unexpected feels.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on January 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I started a new job at the beginning of the month, and it's been a really positive change so far. The work is interesting, people seem to care, and the commute is a lot better. It's a huge change from my old manager telling me that I basically had to fend for myself because he certainly wasn't going to go out of his way to help me.

In dog news, our rescue Pippa has finally been weaned off of he anti-anxiety meds. She was an absolute wreck when we got her two years ago and for the past 18 months or so has been on medication to deal with her fear of anything not related to hiding on the couch. She still has some fears, but she's so happy and energetic now and it's actually become difficult to keep up with her. She plays like a real dog now and makes friends with other dogs and it's really satisfying to see her leaping around with her tail wagging. We still can't run as fast as her.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:00 PM on January 20, 2018 [15 favorites]


Yesterday at work a really dumb idea popped into my head. When that happens there's really nothing I can do but get the idea out there and make it happen, so I made it happen. I posted a thing on Twitter last night, thinking maybe a few friends would hop on board and I'd do a silly little thing and that would be that. But it sort of... blew up and now it's this whole THING and I feel like since it blew up I have to sort of commit to it, at least through the weekend. So I spent a few hours today on it and it's been a lot of fun. Not just for me, but people on the Internet, a lot of whom I don't even know, seem to be enjoying it. It's spreading and people are joining up left and right and I'm not sure where it will go, I suspect it will fizzle out by tomorrow or I'll just start ignoring it by then anyway. We'll see. In the meantime I'm really having a blast seeing how far it goes. I posted it over on Projects if you'd care to see what it is. It's really dumb and pointless and awesome.
posted by bondcliff at 8:26 PM on January 20, 2018 [19 favorites]


I'm starting my last (fingers crossed) semester on Monday, and today had a lovely day out at the local mall with my Mom. Mom hasn't been well lately, but she seems to have turned a corner. We saw a shi-tzu with a puppy clip being cradled like a baby, and when I went over to ask if it was friendly the fluffy little tyke just about licked my hands off. Sort of made the whole day honestly.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:33 PM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


I stayed with my grandson today while my oldest daughter was the opening speaker for the Bakersfield Women's March. I heard she set the tone, was powerful, and positive, setting a high tone and free zone, for the many that followed her. Thousands marched there. So proud of her.
posted by Oyéah at 8:48 PM on January 20, 2018 [25 favorites]


I quit smoking on October something, 2004. Wow, that's a long time ago. I'd tried and failed a few times but then I started dating someone for whom smoking was a dealbreaker. I liked him more than cigarettes so I quit for good. I left him in 2014 but I'm still a non-smoker!
posted by AFABulous at 10:41 PM on January 20, 2018 [14 favorites]


Dearest MeFites,

One congratulates writers upthread on their various successful endeavours. It is indeed splendid to read news of a positive nature.

The worst of winter here in Albion is over, and sunset is a little later every day. By less than two minutes at the current rate, but still noticeable to the observant eye. The cricket was disappointing and worse, at national level (expected) and county level (off-field unexpected bad things happened). But one hopes for a better long summer with bat and ball.

One has so far avoided the various strains of influenza and colds, which appears to be an achievement in itself. Apart from thrice bitten - by a) a badger, b) a swan, and c) a minor member of the Royal family, with incidental hospital attention being required for two of these - ailments and afflictions have been absent from this abode through the dark months. Which, this being the calendar year within which one becomes fifty and is officially ancient, is perhaps an achievement in itself.

Earlier this Yule past, a shed was destroyed by carefully planned, and planted, explosives. This was a satisfying spectacle, even as planks, random pieces of wood and large splinters flew in all directions, and we dived into various winter crops to avoid being impaled. Unfortunately, due to the inadequate direction reading skills of one's colleague this turned out to be the wrong shed, a mistake which is causing some agitation with the owner of what is now an impressive pile of firewood.

Apart from this, nothing much has happened of late. A few rural events of a culinary nature were attended, including one where a vicar was witnessed falling headfirst into a sherry trifle after being distracted by a spider. It turns out that old and slightly rambling stately homes are the preferred winter residence of choice for a substantial quantity of the English arachnoid population.

Speaking of rambling, one should desist from further wordage and wish all MeFites a healthy and splendid emerging Spring (northern) or cooler Autumn (southern).

Toodle pip,
Wordshore
posted by Wordshore at 11:35 PM on January 20, 2018 [37 favorites]


This past week—really the past couple weeks—have been a bit rough here, with a lot of sickness, anxiety, and change happening. But I've been making an effort to name and determine a course for things I'm anxious about, e.g., plan an action, talk to someone, write it down, or do nothing and stop worrying about it. Anxiety tends to make me a bit verbose of late, so I've just been writing my heart out about whatever comes to mind. I like this week's sort of theme, about quitting bad habits and getting sober—it's like an antidote to the excesses we described last week in the "bad decisions" thread. Here's to course-correction!
posted by limeonaire at 11:49 PM on January 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


AFABulous, I quit at the end of June of 2008, not because it was a deal breaker for my new love interest, but because he made an appointment with a hypnotherapist to get a post-hypnotic suggestion to make him not mind it. He said he wasn't trying to change me, so that clinched it.

I always said that I hoped the relationship would last long enough so that I wouldn't restart when it was over, and it did.

I still get cravings from time to time but I can go a remarkably long time without even thinking about cigarettes, like days and days, which is pretty good for soneone who smoked a pack a day for 30 years.
posted by janey47 at 12:36 AM on January 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


elsietheeel and other ex-smokers, congratulations! I've been fortunate never to happen to start smoking, but one of these days I will have to think about quitting/reducing sugar pretty seriously.
(Also Wordshore it's good to see you back! Was wondering where you were at.)

As the man said, it's been a crowded weekend, especially Saturday. I started the day by discovering fairly conclusively that being happily married doesn't shut up the voice in my head saying "you are a worthless person and nobody actually wants you around." So when my husband gets home tonight I have to explain to him that I was crying on Sat. morning for reasons about 87% related to the inside of my head and only about 9% anything he actually did or didn't do. Although I think he understands.
And then I did the laundry and got some work done and set off to orchestra retreat, two hours on the train out into the middle-of-nowhere Banshu Plain, plus a cab ride with a cab driver who said cheerfully "o-kyaku-san, did you have yakiniku for dinner last night? You smell like garlic!" which I knew even at the time would be a funny story later but was not what I needed right then. (I like garlic. But still.)
Orchestra retreat--12 hours of rehearsal in two days, plus string ladies' tea time and hot baths for all and late-night party--was fun, as usual, if tiring; Symphonie Fantastique and some other French things, plus a quartet rehearsal with M and A, a couple I've had a crush on forever, and Mami-chan who is the cutest dang violist you ever saw in your life. And now I'm home and getting more work done, and tonight we'll eat pork and kimchi and tofu and relax. Deal with things a little bit at a time.
posted by huimangm at 12:47 AM on January 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


This thread is life. Good news is really nice. [Space for bad news is always needed, but good is just nice.]

- My wife is on day 9 of quitting smoking, glory day and pass the potatoes.
- My lower carb eating (not low carb, just lower), is working and I'm eating more vegetables and feeling better and the sugar cravings are going down. I'm feeling pretty solid that in a couple weeks I'll be able to make cake for my birthday, have a piece (or two), then send the rest home with my fellow grad students with their metabolisms that are 10 years younger than mine.
- We're both getting over the creeping crud that we've had for like, two weeks.
- It was WARM and SUNNY here yesterday and I got to go for a delightful walk.
posted by joycehealy at 7:47 AM on January 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


> listen i am very sincerely happy for you all but i was told there would be a dog here

There were lots of puppers at the Women's March in Augusta, Maine. One of them was near me and I got to pet him. It was in the mid-40sF and sunny, thank you, Mother Nature.

I do not have pictures of that doggo, but here are others.
posted by theora55 at 8:38 AM on January 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


Congrats to all the quitters! I haven't smoked in ages but was never a heavy smoker to begin with, so quitting was as simple as just deciding "this is dumb." But I know how hard it is for others and I'm proud of all of you.

I'm doing the dry January thing. I don't drink that much but I was finding myself getting into an expensive, reflexive habit of going out to eat (which always included a few cocktails or beers) too frequently. Had a bad day? Let's go grab something to eat and some beers. Don't feel like cooking? Let's go grab something to eat and some cocktails. Bored? Let's go grab something to eat and some drinks. I was also letting FOMO lead to accepting every happy hour invitation from my new coworkers. Somehow committing to no booze has completely killed those reflexes. Hoping this new perspective will continue even after the month is out. I don't want to not drink, just to be more thoughtful and deliberate about when I do.
posted by misskaz at 8:40 AM on January 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


For those who did not see a dog today, a dog in motion, a dog at rest.

Yesterday, I was very close to scheduling hypnosis to see if that would finally get me to quit smoking. All the comments in here about people successfully quitting... Each little tidbit shared here about why people quit and what they did to quit hit on pretty much every random aspect I was thinking about yesterday.

It's like the universe is reinforcing my idea from yesterday, which is my happy thing for the week, I guess. Now, to implement it.

The good news that got me to that happy thing yesterday is a bit abstract and a bit longer term than just something that happened this week, but I saw some concrete examples in the last week.

The short(ish) version is that about 2.5 years ago someone offered me a career change opportunity which I was, on paper, totally unqualified for. I had the skill set for the job, but no proof to add to my resume. I was hired on as a contractor and eventually hired on permanently.

I still have a lot of unnecessary anxiety about my qualifications. For example, last week, I was walking by my boss' office and he asked me to come in and handed me a letter. I thought it might be a write-up. Instead it was a "market adjustment to salary" (basically a raise) and he told me I would be getting a merit increase when they roll around but might be delayed since our salaries are only supposed to be bumped every six months.

Anyway, even prior to the raise, I have been in a "good enough" spot financially but still stress about money from decades of having to stress about it. This week was no different. I pushed two different bills until payday just because I had that unnatural worry.

I checked my bank account the day before payday and had enough to pay both the bills (one was the water bill which might have been cut off if I forgot to pay on payday) and still had some to spare.

This means, I have no bills coming out of the current paycheck and I don't have to stress about money for a while! It also led me (to circle back around) to thinking about quitting smoking which will reduce my health care by $30 per paycheck as well as the money spent on smokes.

I have already mentally allocated the $65 per paycheck I will save ($30 on insurance and $7/day I'll save on smokes) to go to actually having something in savings as well as vacation fund.

This is on top of the money I already have the company pull out for retirement. (Company contributes, forces me to contribute, and I am contributing additional.)

At 40-ish, I think I am finally adulting, which is good news.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:03 AM on January 21, 2018 [15 favorites]


Hey a non mouse, a cow herd it is apparently the worst flu season in ages, so maybe read Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking (highly recommended by MeFites and I was in the process of reading it when I got the flu) and then go hang out with some sick people and maybe things will fall into place!

(Uh, only if you're physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy enough to survive the flu. All I remember is lying on the couch and sleeping through a lot of TV and drinking a lot of juice and taking a lot of ibuprofen. I couldn't have gotten up to smoke if I wanted to, and I did NOT want to. It felt like someone beat me up every day for three weeks and it was another five weeks until I felt anywhere close to normal. But it was worth it to not smoke anymore. And my live-in boyfriend continued to smoke for another few months after that, but I managed to stay quit. After a month of being quit there was a weird stubbornness that kicked in and I would NOT go back.)

Oh yeah and regarding the money you'll save by not smoking? If you can, put it in a separate bank account either per paycheck or monthly, because otherwise you'll never see it because it'll get absorbed into your normal life things. That supposed $10k I've saved? Yeah, I have no idea where that money is. ;)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:43 AM on January 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sincerest congratulations to all those above and pre-congrats to those below.

I finally got my dentures fitted and took them home. Now I just need to learn how to talk and eat all over again and Robert is your father's brother.
posted by Splunge at 9:55 AM on January 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


I decided I needed a break from reality/stuff that just made me purposelessly angry, so I started listening to a D&D stream that's just delightful; the DM's really good at storytelling, and now I keep batting around the thought of trying to join in on a friend's campaign. Probably the total opposite of the adulting above, but I want my life to have more fun in it. I'm also going dancing with my husband this week for the first time in years, so I'm looking forward to that.
posted by tautological at 10:07 AM on January 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


So the only good thing going on right now for me/us is that we finally managed to see my wife's highschool friend play bass in her band last night. Never managed to be in the same place as her actually playing for years. So that was fun.

And I heard there was a shortage of dogs.
posted by Brockles at 10:19 AM on January 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


Holy cow that is a good lookin' doggo you got there, Brockles.

No offence to all of the posted dogs I haven't commented on yet. That's just the first dog link that I've clicked on so far in the thread. Last night I was too sleepy to truly appreciate doggos.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:20 AM on January 21, 2018


Apart from thrice bitten - by a) a badger, b) a swan, and c) a minor member of the Royal family

Wordshore... what the hell happens to you?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:41 AM on January 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


There are two Mefites that I want to write autobiographies; one is sonascope and the other is Wordshore.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:41 AM on January 21, 2018 [13 favorites]


Wordshore... what the hell happens to you?

Nothing out of the ordinary. Most of my walks are at night because of the season. There's one particular isolated and lovely country lane (with a nice pub at the end of it) where foxes, badgers and other animals wander around in abundance. I didn't have my torch on one evening (I like looking at the constellations), heard a snuffling and felt a quick nip followed by the unmistakable sound of a large badger running away (it's distinctive). Because it was a badger, that necessitated a trip to the local hospital and, though the wound was small, some painful cleaning out and an injection.

The second bite was because swans have never liked me and the feeling is mutual. In my home city, when the river (frequently) floods, they take over the centre in gangs and terrorise anyone who gets too close. A week after the badger incident, I risked walking near a group of these thugs who were hanging around the footpath, rather than having to make a long diversion. Several blocked my way, and one got behind me before I could retreat. Back to the local hospital.
"Another badger?!"
"Nope. A swan this week."

The third bite was simply an over-enthusiastic game of apple bobbing which got a bit, well, over-enthusiastic (probably best played before the contestants have hit the Pimm's and not afterwards, in future).

I did not go to hospital for an injection for that one.
posted by Wordshore at 12:01 PM on January 21, 2018 [20 favorites]


There are two Mefites that I want to write autobiographies; one is sonascope and the other is Wordshore.

I'll add Mr. Yuck, perennial winner of the award for MeFite Whose Life Most Resembles A Stan Ridgeway Song.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:06 PM on January 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


Yes but Wordshore, you’re leaving out the part where the last bite was from a minor member of the royal family? Is this just an, “in England you might meet lesser royals” thing or do your social circles run rather higher than anyone would guess?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:11 PM on January 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


minor member of the Royal family

One wonders if this refers to a member of the Royal family who is comparatively unimportant, one who is under the age of majority, or both.
posted by sibilatorix at 8:39 PM on January 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


In good news for the day: the first issue I reported on GitHub (a few weeks ago) was resolved today AND I figured out how to add users to an IBM Cloudant NoSQL server. Result? I can now set up NoteSelf as an online/offline syncronized multi-user personal wiki, conclusively resolving my recent question! I am very pleased.
posted by sibilatorix at 8:56 PM on January 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


One wonders if this refers to a member of the Royal family who is comparatively unimportant, one who is under the age of majority, or both.

Definitely only the former. One who knows how extremely distant and remote the throne is to her (of a magnitude greater than King Ralph)(which is a film regularly quoted by minor royals for obvious reasons), but also sees major Royals every now and then at functions and events, and who confidently knew the answer to the Quiz Night question of "Which member of the Royal Family is the most well-hung?"

Think it's best to leave it there.
posted by Wordshore at 5:29 AM on January 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


One of my students had her baby this morning, baby is ADORABLE, and mom and baby are healthy. :)
posted by joycehealy at 7:05 AM on January 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


I am getting a 35% lay off, which was not fun news to get, but I am making lemonade and I am starting a fun new side hustle that definitely engages my creative brain. I am seriously excited about this because I have wanted an excuse to get that side busier and now I have the motivation.

Congrats to all who are quitting and sober and transitioning!!! You are all amazing.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:23 AM on January 22, 2018 [7 favorites]


I have been running. Jogging, actually. Slowly, and for short distances. I was running half-marathons last summer when I started having health problems, and ended up having to quit entirely for several months. But I'm back, and it makes me feel like a whole person again, though I have a lot of gains to make in endurance before I really feel normal!

Congratulations to everyone on their good news! Keep fighting the good fight, out there!
posted by BrashTech at 11:12 AM on January 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


I finally broke down and went to an endocrinologist to get my diabetes back under control. After only three days, my morning sugar today was 163, which is AMAZING for me. Lots of work to go, but I am inspired!
posted by DrAstroZoom at 2:09 PM on January 22, 2018 [12 favorites]


I got the offer letter for my new job today, and we're getting a king-size bed in a week, and these things make me happy.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:16 PM on January 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


Some friends and I have rented a beach condo for a week, and I've made enough in my gig economy job not to be worried about losing out on a potential week's pay.

Also - loq, I am so happy for you. I haven't been around much the past few years but you're one of the people I look for when I do stop by.

Also also, I have been doing keto for about four months. When I started, I was a size men's XXL in t-shirts and an 18 or 20 in pants. Today I'm wearing a medium women's cut t-shirt and size 14 jeans (straight sizes, not plus). Magical - plus no more migraines.
posted by catlet at 4:27 PM on January 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


Apparently I am clear to close on the apartment I've been in contract on for 2+ months (horray NYC co-ops), and am now looking directly at the prospect of handing over the remainder of my (formerly substantial) life savings by the end of the month!

I should be more excited, but I'm actually just terrified, and generally overwhelmed. That savings was my "fuck you fund" for so many years, that not having it is horrifying and oddly destabilizing. So it's very bitter sweet right now. Yay actually owning an apartment in a neighborhood I want to live in, but boo goodbye financial security blanket.
posted by larthegreat at 4:27 PM on January 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've lost 120 pounds since having my gastric sleeve surgery. I'm apparently near the top of results.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2018 [13 favorites]


This is my last semester as an undergrad, and I finally have three full days a week to devote to my research. It's been awesome.

I think I'm also done taking graded classes, so unless I totally screw up my thesis units (which I think are graded), I'll be set to graduate with a 4.0 GPA, which is a great feeling for a guy who was once described as "unemployable" shortly before dropping out of high school.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:27 PM on January 22, 2018 [17 favorites]


Thank you all for sharing. I needed this so much!

It’s been a very trying and stressful weekend in my family, and hearing about everything that’s going right for folks is healing and restorative.

Congrats to everyone!
posted by Banknote of the year at 7:42 PM on January 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hey Shapes! That is some great news. Really, best to you and congratulations!
posted by Oyéah at 8:18 PM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Lar- don't worry! They don't call it Real Estate for nothing. You will find that walking into your own home and locking the world out is the most comforting thing, ever.
posted by Oyéah at 8:23 PM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Not me, but my manager narrowly avoided being stabbed to death yesterday by some lunatic. But fortunately, I remembered to think about puppies and kittens and was able to put the scissors back in my drawer before he noticed anything amiss.

More seriously, I am making silver jewellery in my spare time, and looking forward to turning my currently full-time job into a part time one for more spare time. Beating sparkly things out of lumps of metal is very soothing.
posted by ninazer0 at 8:26 PM on January 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


I finished writing my book. It took seven years and I am SO HAPPY and now I get to try to sell it and oh my God.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:32 PM on January 22, 2018 [19 favorites]


I have been on anti-depressants for two and a half weeks, and the world is nowhere near as painful to live in as it was two and a half weeks ago.

I am just about 6 weeks sober from my 'preferred' psychological compulsion / emotional avoidance behavior.

I just planned a weekend retreat to celebrate my upcoming birthday and spend a little time remembering who I am, with no one else around.

My roommate's cat has decided that his new favorite game is to jump off the kitchen table into my arms and drape himself over my shoulder as if he were a baby being burped.
posted by hanov3r at 9:04 AM on January 23, 2018 [16 favorites]


I'm late to this party but I passed my dissertation prospectus defense with no revisions!
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:43 AM on January 23, 2018 [19 favorites]


Yay everyone!

My good news doesn't sound like good news, but: I'm about to be able to terminate my purchase agreement for a house! The inspection was last Friday and there was a major structural issue with the ceiling joists, because the seller didn't properly reinforce them when he took down a load-bearing wall. I sent through my inspection response yesterday, and the seller has to respond by tomorrow. From what my realtor told me, the seller's going to double down on the joist being fine (because the seller's dad designed it, which does not exactly inspire confidence) and cracks what cracks in the ceiling and wall ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

When his unsatisfactory response comes back, I can terminate the purchase agreement and start my search process again. I'm not looking forward to the latter, but much better that than to be saddled with a house that is probably riddled the fallout from other dumb decisions.
posted by minsies at 11:21 AM on January 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


On Saturday we did an animal rescue flight which was satisfying. We went to Tangier Island, in the middle of Chesapeake Bay and reachable only by boat or aircraft. Someone there had died and left behind a bunch of cats, so some local pilots got together to bring them to a no-kill shelter on the mainland.

Continuing the animal theme, yesterday we ran into a trembling old Jack Russel terrier who seemed pretty clearly lost. After leaving a voicemail at the number on the dog's tag and also with the vet listed on the rabies tag, we carried her a few blocks to our home. Along the way we ran into two dog walkers who exchanged contact information in case they could be helpful (e.g. to give us some dog food). The dog perked up and enjoyed exploring our backyard garden on a nice warm day, quickly discovering and trying to eat some cat poop. The dog's owner called us back fairly quickly and came and collected her a bit later. So we got to play with a friendly pooch for a while, the dog had a good outing at the end of it, and since the owner never realized the dog was missing until we called, I don't think she was too worried either.
posted by exogenous at 12:27 PM on January 23, 2018 [11 favorites]


Right! So, last year this time had no job or car. Went through a divorce, lost my dogs. Severe sleep disorder and was about 200 lbs.
Today I have a job and am working on becoming a teacher. I just bought a car and am saving for my own place. Now I weigh 172 lbs. And just got a raise and I quite smoking dope and cut back on cigarettes.
I refuse to give up cola though.

Next, I shall adopt a beagle and call him Agrippa.
posted by clavdivs at 2:46 PM on January 23, 2018 [21 favorites]


One of the silver linings in this whole "living in a hotel indefinitely" (and, I fervently hope, "indefinitely" might mean "until Friday") is that I've been spending almost every single minute with my dog Tribble. (Because I am mostly doing analysis and my boss does not mind dogs in the offices, she can come in with me, and as we're a bit worried she might wail in the hotel room, off to me she comes.) It's nice having her here, and it's nice to be able to lean over and hug her when we're both being neurotic nutjobs.

My partner is going back to school. I got student loans that came in and seriously eased up my financial panics. So now I can just think--my partner is going back to college after nearly a decade and I get to watch them wallow around in their classes and get weirdly competitive and bring me stories of their crotchety biology teacher and their excitement to immerse themselves in the ASL course they're taking in case they do go deaf, and I get toted along to pancake breakfasts and things and it's just--I get to see them happy and that's. That's really great. Still gotta work out how jobs and such fit into that--they're still working at the pawnbroker's full-time while taking a full time courseload and that is not sustainable--but this is such a movement in the right direction.

I called my dad on Christmas. It went well, and I might--I might try calling him again, one of these days. I don't know yet, but I'm thinking about it.
posted by sciatrix at 3:13 PM on January 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


Right, I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I just discovered another delightful thing about it...so Psych is once again available to stream (this time on Amazon Prime) and I have found that the Twin Peaks-themed episode Dual Spires was TEN TRILLION more amusing this time. So that's some good news.

(Note: Back in the day it was a pretty funny ep to a Psych fan who didn't remember much about TP so I bet it would be amusing to TP fans who haven't seen Psych.)

Also I am proud of myself for making it through a five hour long dental appointment yesterday. (If anyone really wants details, I posted an Ask.Me about it a month ago. It's absurd.)

I am also proud of myself for not buying a spinning wheel while still slightly under the influence of midazolam and fentanyl. But also slightly sad because I really want a spinning wheel. But I sort of need a new phone and they cost about the same price and I can't afford both. Someone please invent a spinning wheel phone (a drop spindle phone doesn't count).

Oh and my 5-year Nicotine Anonymous chip came in the mail yesterday! It's bubblegum pink. :(
posted by elsietheeel at 5:45 PM on January 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Tomorrow marks 10 years of being a non-smoker AND 10 years since I found out I was going to be a mom. Pretty cool. I quit smoking and caffeine the same day I got a positive pregnancy test, though I started back on the caffeine again as soon as I could. I still feel bad for my poor husband- I was a touch moody for a few months there.

That all I’ve got going good right now. Check back in about 3 years, it should be a bit better then.

elsietheeel, I wish you lived close, you could borrow my wheel. It hasn’t been used in a few years and could use some attention. I love the peacefulness of spinning- I never do anything with the yarn and I only spin camel down because it’s my favorite. I really should just set it up and spin now that I’m talking about it. Maybe it would help with stress reduction. You should just start asking around to find a wheel. Lots of people start spinning and then give up on it and tuck their wheels away. Do you have a local fiber arts guild? I hope you get a phone AND a wheel.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:49 PM on January 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Psych is on Amazon Prime? Goodbye evenings!
posted by minsies at 5:11 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


You know, elsie--have you checked Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist in your area? Spinning wheels seem like the sort of thing that's a massive pain to have to ship and a niche market enough that folks might wind up selling them for much cheaper on Craigslist just to have them gone.

You might have to drive a bit or wait a bit to make it happen, depending on where you live, but setting a Craigslist alert so you get emails the moment someone lists one often pays off pretty well for things like that.
posted by sciatrix at 5:24 AM on January 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I live in the middle of nowhere. Checked CL for the nearest city (80 miles) and for my next nearest city (200 miles) and then I checked the Bay Area (300 miles) and all of the wheels that people are selling are discounting them for maybe $50. I haven't found a decent wheel for less than $450 (with the exception of a Louet S10 in Red Bluff for $275. 1. I don't like Louets and 2. That wheel retails for $290!) and the wheel I want is a $450 Ashford Kiwi 2, and of course, Paradise Fibers had a $45 discount yesterday that's over today. Ugh.

Anyway, I DID buy a phone that was nearly a third of the price I was expecting to pay AND my current phone is worth half of the price of the new phone. So really, the price difference between the Pixel2 (plus all of the stupid new accessories because no headphone jack) and the Moto x4 minus my Nexus 6P trade-in is actually the cost of the Ashford Kiwi2.

I just wish I hadn't missed out on that PF coupon. I will be patient and keep an eye out for another sale. I already have too many hobbies, it's not like the world is going to end if I have to wait a bit for a wheel.

Uh...anyway, that's the story of my phones and a spinning wheel. Thanks for listening, Metafilter!
posted by elsietheeel at 9:22 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh hell, that discount code just worked.

Uhhhh...spinny spinny for elsie?
posted by elsietheeel at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2018 [9 favorites]


Good for you for quitting the evil weed! I am a repentant smoker, been off it for fifteen years or so, didn't quit before I had some damage, though.

On the up side, I just recently reconnected with a friend from the dim past, some forty years ago. We were very close before circumstances sent us in different directions. We've led an entire lifetime since last we saw each other. Now we correspond, and she's come to visit with me and Mrs mule, bringing photos of the days when I was a strapping dude with naïve ideals and thick, dark hair. I count this as a blessing from however the Cosmic Muffin cares to grant those things, because friends are so necessary, and I believe nobody can ever have enough good ones.
posted by mule98J at 10:59 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Fwweeee, I am so glad!

My poor partner was dealing with total motivation collapse today as a result of not having any fun time at all for several weeks. I happened to have a little time spare today in between walking to their campus to get the car, packing up our cats and dog so housekeeping can come in--the hotel gently but firmly told us that we couldn't decline it more than five days, which, fair--and running to the house to meet a general contractor to fix the drywall damage. So I swung by and we spent a few hours shopping online for assorted purchases we needed to make for school but hadn't previously been able to and hung out with each other. It was lovely.

And then I found out Elsie got her spinning wheel and started just grinning happily.
posted by sciatrix at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


There's a local vendor who sells banana/tamarind balls, since those grow locally, and they are amazing. I put them the banana/tamarind balls in the freezer, and when I pull them out, they are even more amazing.
posted by aniola at 5:06 PM on January 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


Heard a loud and disturbing sound in the car on Saturday, while driving to the store, which is about 10 miles over hill and dale, with many turns. Freaking me out!

Took it to the dealer this morning, and as I suspected, wheel bearings, both rear, and as I did not, drive shaft. Both covered under warranty.

Rear brakes also have to be redone, but that is affordable. Only 3 payments left on this car, we were both kind of upset and sad, thinking we might have a huge car repair bill, but one of the selling points on this car was a 100,000 mile 7 year warranty. So that paid off. :::phew:::

I also watched many YouTube videos on how to make the perfect risotto, because my last several attempts were sub par. Gluey rice with mushrooms in it. Edible, but not, you know, true risotto. I've been trying this for YEARS, and I still hadn't produced anything that I would call real risotto.

I learned from Marco Pierre White to chop your onion very finely, so it will dissolve into the risotto. Saw another video talking about toasting the rice for 3-5 minutes, whereas I'd been doing it for maybe a minute (along with my chunky onion bits).

Yet another video told me to stir with a wooden spoon, and I'd been following the advice of "oh, just stir it once in a while, it will be fine," and using a silicone spatula. I also cooked my mushrooms separately (instead of adding them at the beginning), and added them in about 2/3 of the way, and added the parsley at the same time, as the chef said parsley can overwhelm if it's raw.

I toasted my risotto rice for 5 minutes, I stirred it with my large wooden spoon (from France!), I moved my pan back and forth. I ladled broth, and stirred and stirred, and tasted, I did all of that, and covered it and let it rest for exactly 3 minutes after adding my butter and parmesan, and it was freaking perfect! Just a little chewy, yet creamy, a wave falling onto the plate, as they say. I didn't think I could do it.

But I did it. I made a perfect risotto. Yay!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:43 PM on January 24, 2018 [17 favorites]


TIL that bananas and tamarinds grow in the Pacific Northwest
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:02 PM on January 24, 2018


TIL that bananas and tamarinds grow in the Pacific Northwest

Oh yeah, totally. They get huge up here. They love water and lots of fresh green plants. Of course they grow here, they're slugs.

But I still don't know why you guys named those weird yellow fruit after them. I mean, I can see the resemblance, but why would you even want to be thinking about a slug while eating a slimy, mushy fruit like that?

Also, can I just take a moment to express how deeply confused and disturbed I was the first time I saw someone peel and eat one of those things? It was horrifying....

...what?
posted by loquacious at 4:18 AM on January 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


Update! Update!

I have prescriptions sitting on my desk and I seriously cannot believe they are real. I picked them up Tuesday morning after a really pleasant visit and chat with my doc, who was also hilariously sleep deprived from the tsunami warning/watch we had in the area overnight.

I haven't started on them yet because I'm doing a little last minute homework and waiting for my doc to reply to a question on options, and then I'll probably make a small ceremony out of it.

My local small town pharmacy was also not only painless and judgement free but they even discreetly asked for preferred name and pronouns, which I wasn't expecting at all. Which is nice, because they're nice and I'd rather support the local indie store than the major chain grocery store that always has a 20 person line for the pharmacy and it's about as discreet and private as an episode of The Price is Right.


In photography/career news I recently re-approached a local established and published photographer about advice for getting my first show and working towards larger prints.

Apparently all of the shooting and effort I've been putting in over the last two years is really starting to pay off and he's enthusiastically impressed by my work. Which is really high praise that matters and counts to me.

The last time I showed him stuff his response was basically "Eh, you're on the right track.", which was accurate as I had been shooting with this camera for maybe 4 months. This time it was "There are some *really* nice shots in there. We need to talk."

We will hopefully be meeting up today so I can pick his brain and ask a lot of questions. It also sounds like there might be a free unwanted Epson photo printer waiting for me, and/or the option to use his printers.

Like, I might actually get to see some of my shots blown up to 48" in the near future. And if I can land a show, my roommate says he'll help with investment costs.

I've also put it on the table that I'm definitely available to barter grunt work or photo help, and it sounds like he could actually use a studio production assistant who knows the difference between an umbrella, a balloon and a reflector.


Oh, and I just sent off photo biz cards so I have something to hand out to people, or, say, the police when they hassle me for walking around at 3 AM with my camera. I should have them in hand today.


In addition to this I now know one of the local printers is usually looking for experienced help, and I definitely have a lot of experience in print shops. So I'm going to work towards that and getting back to work. I've intentionally been not working for the past year and a half to figure some shit out and work on health stuff, and that's now starting to pay off and get lined up and moving.

And I feel like I can breath again. Heck, just the vitamin D prescription megadose alone has blown away so much fog that I'm starting to worry a little that I might be a little too sparkly and happy.


I'm sure the universe will come and take care of that soon, so for now I'll just keep smiling.
posted by loquacious at 5:23 AM on January 25, 2018 [28 favorites]


Yesterday, my kid took his mandolin to school to practice for an upcoming talent show. When I went to pick him up from after school care, I found him strolling around, confidently playing tunes while a couple of little girls and one exquisitely coiffed little boy followed him around, moony-eyed.

The kid is going to have options when he gets older is what I'm saying.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:03 AM on January 25, 2018 [20 favorites]


loquacious, I am so so so happy for you!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:44 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


"My local small town pharmacy was also not only painless and judgement free but they even discreetly asked for preferred name and pronouns, which I wasn't expecting at all. "

That reminds me! I was signing my 6-year-old up for summer camp, just regular park district day camps, and the camper information form asked for the child's preferred pronouns and listed he/him, she/her, they/them, ze/zir, and "other" where you could fill it in. First time I've seen that on a kiddie form!

"I'm starting to worry a little that I might be a little too sparkly and happy."

Shine on you crazy diamond!

posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:19 AM on January 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Well, after nearly 5 months of waiting, I received my permits to go to Indonesia. And my supervisor would like me to leave in two weeks. So ... I'm in minor panic mode, but I think it'll be OK. It will only be a two month trip. It will be OK! And there will be proboscis monkeys, and orangutans, and leaf monkeys, and rhesus macaques, and maybe - if I am a very, very good person - there will be Malayan Sun Bears.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2018 [15 favorites]


loquacious, that is ALL SO FANTASTIC! I am delighted for you for ALL those things! YAY!
posted by kristi at 10:51 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I finished a painting I started one day after being kept up all night by my son's insomnia. It's been awhile since I worked in acrylics, I usually work in watercolor. I'm well pleased with the completed work!

Link goes to the finished piece, but there's in process shots on the page as well.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:57 PM on January 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


So much good news! Congratulations to all.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:16 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


The kid is going to have options when he gets older is what I'm saying.

Thanks for being a good parent to your kid. Thanks for just wanting kiddo to be loved.
posted by joycehealy at 6:33 PM on January 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Well, I woke up on the right side of the grass yesterday, so there's that going for me. Health is meh, but, OTOH, I am alive and functional (depending on if you talk to my ex's). Been trying to be a really good support person for the people around me. Erm, got a new tablet (the charger/USB port on my old one went bad, which means I lost access to all my 2FA stuff and can't get access to my main Google account, but I discovered I did NOT 2FA the original account I got back in the invite only days via Metafilter, so there's that.)

Making some nutritional changes has been mitigating some of my depression, so that helps.

And then I found this thread, and I just want to hug everyone. (I am still a smoker, if that's an issue though.)
posted by Samizdata at 2:11 AM on January 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Hugs back. Smoking's tough; depression's tougher. One thing at a time, and feel good about what you have accomplished.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:36 AM on January 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


> Johnny Wallflower:
"Hugs back. Smoking's tough; depression's tougher. One thing at a time, and feel good about what you have accomplished."

Cheers!
posted by Samizdata at 11:54 AM on January 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Gosh. Not one, not two, but THREE consecutive days where the sun came out, and blue skies were also visible, for some of the time at least. I was starting to forget what it looked like, and was assuming that this island had become a version of the Truman Show, only inside a translucent grey hemisphere.

And this means, hopefully, that soggy and waterlogged England may finally begin to dry out after a winter of what feels like relentless days of rain. Enough typing! New aspiration...
posted by Wordshore at 4:44 PM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


So my psych meds are working and I finally have a therapist so I'm feeling more capable of working again. But I just got the best news: the boss that triggered my CPTSD is finally retiring on March 30, the day before Cesar Chavez Day (¡Sí, se puede!). Which means that I can finally start applying for jobs and not worry about what sort of things she'll say about me. And whomever will replace her will either not know me, or will actually like me, since I did a good job and was well respected at my old workplace with one unfortunate exception. The relief I feel right now is just...a huge sigh and a ton of tears. But good ones.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:15 PM on January 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


> elsietheeel:
"So my psych meds are working and I finally have a therapist so I'm feeling more capable of working again. But I just got the best news: the boss that triggered my CPTSD is finally retiring on March 30, the day before Cesar Chavez Day (¡Sí, se puede!). Which means that I can finally start applying for jobs and not worry about what sort of things she'll say about me. And whomever will replace her will either not know me, or will actually like me, since I did a good job and was well respected at my old workplace with one unfortunate exception. The relief I feel right now is just...a huge sigh and a ton of tears. But good ones."

Do we need to stage a MeFi Beatup with your boss?
posted by Samizdata at 11:52 PM on January 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's very icy around here and last night I lost one half of a brand-new set of spikes. That made me feel very pissy. Off to the 24-hour LL Bean store to buy some more tonight, I guess. I should buy sweaters while I'm at it. Sweaters always make a person feel better. (Unless you're lucky enough to live in Key West, I guess.)

I really love the concept of a MeFi Beatup.
posted by JanetLand at 6:44 AM on January 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


A MeFi Beatup would have been helpful two to five years ago, but now it wouldn't do much other than hurt a hateful old woman. And her being hateful is harmful enough to her own well-being.

But the thought of a Beatup is fun. ;)
posted by elsietheeel at 9:05 AM on January 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


➡️ ⬇️↘️👊
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 3:41 PM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


We can have a post-violence pub trivia match!
posted by Samizdata at 1:19 AM on January 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'm in. Trivia is my jam.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:58 AM on January 28, 2018


Do we need to stage a MeFi Beatup with your boss?

Oh man, I would have donated a much loved and needed kidney to see a posse of MeFites beating up my ex boss. Not my immediate manager, but the smarmy walking and somehow breathing Dunning Kruger platonic solid that was our general manager.

And I wouldn't want you to beat him up. No, you'd all play trivia against him and make him realize how truly fucking dumb and close minded he actually was. This is the chucklefuck who said "well, look at the brain on this one" because I knew that the English translation of tortellini was essentially little turtles.

Fucking hell, dude, I might be your barista in this hour, but I'm also like two years older than you, I have a degree, and I fixed your fucking computer last week. I also have a Master copy of your QuickBooks file. You really want to talk to me like a toddler? The fuck is wrong with you?
posted by loquacious at 10:11 AM on January 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


elsie is apparently too doofy to figure out how her spinning wheel works and wants to throw it across the room.

If anyone has experience with an Ashford Kiwi 2 with the SATAN-DAMNED sliding hook flyer, please feel free to MeMail me because I am losing my mind and YT videos aren't helping at all.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


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