Metatalktail Hour: Open thread March 24, 2018 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, my brain is tired, so oooOOOOoooopen thread ahoy!

No politics, but otherwise go nuts!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:19 PM (124 comments total)

People who like board games! This post is for you!

This afternoon we played a fun new game called Spirit Island where you play as island spirits trying to scare away the European colonizers invading your island. It's cooperative, pandemic-esque, with deckbuilding elements, fairly complex with lots of bits and pieces but makes sense once you get going. Also people can pick characters to play that are more simple or complex and fit their playstyle. Also the art is gorgeous. I think it's sold out in a lot of places but would definitely recommend it.

Now I am off to make some kind of taco salad-esque thing for dinner, but I wanted to spread that gospel a little.
posted by quaking fajita at 5:31 PM on March 24, 2018 [11 favorites]


I have nothing to say so I'm just going to hum.

hmm.
posted by ardgedee at 5:34 PM on March 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


The following is a list of albums by the Residents that I listened to while doing my taxes, and a capsule review of each, based on its listenability as Tax Time Background Music:

Eskimo: YES
Third Reich 'n' Roll: NO
posted by scratch at 5:44 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


We had a late-March snowstorm today. I feel that this is evidence that the Jews don't actually control the weather, because if I were in charge, we would not be getting six inches of snow in late March. Anyway, it's supposed to get above freezing tomorrow, and it should definitely all melt on Monday. But that was an unpleasant surprise. It did make the March for Our Lives entertaining. A bunch of high-school kids paused in the middle of the march to unstick a stuck car on the street next to us, and at one point the whole thing looked like it might devolve into a big snowball fight. (There were a lot of little kids. It's hard to keep little kids focused on protesting when there's five inches of snow.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:51 PM on March 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


Does anyone zippity the bop down here?
posted by vrakatar at 5:53 PM on March 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's been a weird, emotional day (for reasons including my father-in-law's memorial service, which was definitely more of a difficult Thing for my spouse than for me, so I've been firmly in support mode).

And in other news, I'm deactivating my Facebook account. Already scrapped my Twitter account last year. Planning on sticking with email and Metafilter, basically. So, that.
posted by duffell at 5:54 PM on March 24, 2018 [14 favorites]


Watching a pinball tournament live broadcast with the Mr., and Stern has announced that their new game release will be IRON MAIDEN. Much rejoicing in Lock-is-Litville, and we are hoping that Nicko will put one on location in his rib joint (although there isn't much room for it, tbh). But we are still Very Happy, and hoping for a good game with solid programming because we are Allowed to Dream.

Also walked a long way with cool people for a Good Cause today and got inspired by teh young people, who are welcome on my lawn for the duration.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:56 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


I think I mentioned in a previous thread that I am planning to have some dental work this year. I had an appointment booked this past Thursday to put down a deposit and so they could make a fancy 3D scan of my teeth. I was pretty excited because it sounded cool and also hey here I am, totally capable of taking care of this health thing like a grown lady! So I signed a bunch of forms and then (drumroll) the technician couldn't fit the camera into my mouth.

I was so upset that I just sat in the reclining chair and cried, because they didn't have any smaller cameras and didn't seem to know what to do with me and my jaw that wouldn't open wide enough. So now I have to have another appointment with a different kind of machine. I have no idea what to do if they have the same problem again.

Bonus cat photo
posted by janepanic at 5:58 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


boppity zip
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:09 PM on March 24, 2018


I am no longer forest Chura! I hiked out of the forest yesterday afternoon! It took me 5 hours coming in, but only 3.5 hours coming back out, so I got stronger and speedier!

The trip was pretty good. I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly around the forest listening intently for the sound of things moving in the trees, a lot of time thinking I was about to find an orangutan when instead I found gibbons, long-tailed macaques, or red leaf monkeys, and some time with orangutans. I think my final "latched on and actively sucking my blood leech" to "orangutans I observed" ratio was about 4 to 1. My body is currently covered in welts and itchy spots. But orangutans are pretty cool, if challenging and frustrating to find. The day before I found my first orangutan, I spent the whole day singing a modified "On My Own" while wandering around the forest in a fruitless orangutan search.

Anyways, I am back with internet and electricity and things to eat that are not rice, and illegal-but-readily-available beer and lots of pictures and videos and stories. I'm pretending that US politics did not exist while I was not there, and crossing my fingers that Black Panther is still in the theaters when I get home.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:16 PM on March 24, 2018 [35 favorites]


I am in a good place right now. First, I thought I hurt my groin running like five months ago, but after not getting better for months I started trying to figure out if it was something worse. Well, four different doctors and an MRI later I learned that the problem was not actually groin strain and had nothing to do with athletics at all. Fortunately it is a minor issue that now diagnosed should be taken care of easily. What a relief!

Also, I just recently finished and released a number puzzle game for Android and I am happily taking a brief semi-break from staring at my phone/computer screen, which is nice. I am still working on getting people to play it, but I am sure that will come. :)

And most importantly, I am doing way better than I expected in the Metafilter NCAA bracket tournaments, which makes me way happier than it reasonably should.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:28 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


I just learned about HQ Trivia a couple of weeks ago (I understand that I'm several months behind the rest of the world) and although I've gotten all the "savage" questions I've played, I have yet to make it through to the end. (If you played tonight, I missed the "cobalt" question.)

Has anyone here played the game? Did it lead you to the realization that you aren't as smart as you think you are? Did you keep playing despite the humiliation? (I'm not in therapy, but maybe I should be.)
posted by she's not there at 6:28 PM on March 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I did 2 different volunteering shifts today, and am rewarding myself with Ethiopian food and G&Ts. And catching up on Voltron. Doing some sketching. Maybe studying some linguistics. Basically doing whatever the fuck I want tonight. Go, me.

I’m also deleting my fb account tomorrow, but after the 60 mins ep so my last post can riff on going out with a bang. #winning
posted by greermahoney at 6:29 PM on March 24, 2018


She’s not there, I just deleted the HQ app. I played it for couple months, and it was fun. But I never got past question eight and I decided it was taking up space on my phone that I needed. Also the sexism in the chat was too much for me. Everyone cheering for Scott, and booing at all the female hosts was driving me nuts.
posted by greermahoney at 6:31 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that if I download the trivia app, that will be the end of me doing anything but playing trivia games for the rest of my life.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:34 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm at a conference! This is the first of three whole-weekend conferences over the next month. They're all at least 4 hours away from home. I might sleep through all of June.
posted by pemberkins at 6:35 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


No, no. The beauty of that app is the games are only twice a day at specific times. It literally can’t take over your life.
posted by greermahoney at 6:36 PM on March 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am three weeks down and three weeks to go in this stupid inflatable boot and I am so ready to be done, but tonight I cheated and walked as far as my car and back (to do drive-thru fast food) in just regular shoes just to see and I wouldn't want to be going to work without it but I think I can now manage small amounts of walking without either leaving it on all the time or redoing all the ridiculous velcro every time I want to get off the sofa, and I am so happy about that. But oh my god am I so sick of being immobile. I have never wanted to take up serious cardio more than I do right now. I always get stir crazy at the end of winter, and this has made it exponentially worse.
posted by Sequence at 6:49 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


I am trying to paper quill a tiny car for a birthday card and am gradually realizing I may not really know what cars look like. Also, I think I may have accidentally made Lightning McQueen when I just wanted a generic red car.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:51 PM on March 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


"latched on and actively sucking my blood leech"

I'm really glad you enjoy the jungle and get to study monkeys and do the cool things but hell no.

I just got back from a vacation in Florida. My son had two weeks vacation from school and my wife doesn't work much in the winter so she'd have been home alone with a teenager for two weeks so she was like "we're gonna go somewhere, right?" and we didn't really get our shit together so Florida was kind of thrown together in a couple of weeks. We did a lot and had fun and it was mostly sunny and warm enough to wear shorts the whole time.

We went to the Kennedy Space Center and I cried when I saw the Shuttle Atlantis. I was born between Apollo 12 and 13 so I was too young to remember Apollo. I grew up with the shuttle. Got up early when I was ten to see the first launch on TV, and then had a moment of silence in high school when the Challenger broke apart. I held my infant son as I watched the Columbia debris leave trails in the sky. I watched every launch I could, on TV and later on the Internet. I followed the missions and the astronauts, the Mir dockings and the assembly of the ISS. I had posters and books and manuals and plastic Revell models. So, yeah, it was pretty emotional to see an actual Space Shuttle.

The space center tour bus drove right by Space X and there was only one Tesla in the parking lot.

We also went to St. Augustine, Alexander Springs, Cocoa Beach, Shark Valley in the Everglades, Boca Raton, and maybe a couple of other stops along the way. I saw a shitload of alligators and herons up close. I took an airboat ride. AIRBOAT! People are very nice down there. I have sun burn.

We flew home today and life has mostly returned to normal. It's good to be home.

I've been working on another guitar, #6, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow. I like to challenge myself with each new build so this time around I'm attempting to do a bit of abalone inlay. So far it's looking ok. Not great, but ok. I'm happy with ok. I post updates on Twitter and Instagram for those who are interested.

It's good to know these threads will be here on Saturday nights.
posted by bondcliff at 6:53 PM on March 24, 2018 [18 favorites]


Jacquilynne, it sounds like the results when you ask people to draw a bicycle.
posted by quaking fajita at 6:55 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


I just did a week long family vacation with like 7 adults and 8 kids. We’d be off doing our own things all day (mostly skiing) but we gathered every day around noon and 6 pm for meals so we were all together at HQ time and it was kinda awesome. If you have a group lots of times at least one person flat out knows the answer to a hard question and if no one knows then you can coordinate your guesses so at least one or two of you stays in. Plus, there were 5 new players that got invited, so we had some extra lives. Still, never won but it was a fun group activity and all the people from the trip are still playing and texting each other at HQ time.

Tomorrow night, 50,000 bucks winner take all!


Seriously, if anyone is thinking of starting please let me send you an invite. I need the extra lives.

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:57 PM on March 24, 2018


Slarty, that sounds like a great way to play!
posted by greermahoney at 7:00 PM on March 24, 2018


We have some wooded land at the back of our property where a couple trees have taken to drooping over dramatically in the past year and have been overdue to get removed.

So when this past week an arborist was going door-to-door soliciting work, I went with him out back to get an estimate: $750 for cutting down three trees and pruning a fourth, hauling the waste is extra. I thanked him and said I'd think it over.

After thinking it over for a day, I realized that the leaning trees weren't particularly large (the biggest was less than 25 feet tall, maybe 8 inches diameter) and I could probably take them on myself using a hacksaw to start the cut and a pruning saw mounted on a long pole to keep me out of range of kickback while finishing the cut. My under-utilized muscles are pretty sore from the workout but that's the worst that's happened.

As a bonus, felling one of the leaners knocked over a small tree. It hadn't been looking too unhealthy but I discovered its root system had mostly rotted out and I was able to literally pull it out of the ground two-handed. So that's most of $750 saved, plus a tree that hadn't been included in the estimate.

Once the weather clears so I can finish pruning a branch on a healthy tree that's threatening the back deck, I'll have a couple hundred pounds of wood, some rotted and most not, that has to be chopped up and disposed of. So if anybody in the RTP area wants firewood, get in touch, because for a little while we're going to be rich with undesired bounty here.
posted by ardgedee at 7:04 PM on March 24, 2018 [8 favorites]


Had a nice, quiet Saturday after a busy week. Did some laundry, washed my hair, started the new novel by Anna Quindlen (about halfway through—so far, so good!), took an unscheduled nap with my lovely cat Phoebe, got Fig’s email with my April Card Club assignments (!!!), watched Loyola make it into the Final Four, and will probably fall asleep reading. What a nice, calm, soothing day.
posted by bookmammal at 7:05 PM on March 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Went to the march today and there were so many people. It was really great to see those numbers but I also know it's going to take a day or two of recovery for my poor introvert/ADHD brain - I had a REALLY hard time containing some anxiety while there but did it because it was worth it, but am now totally exhausted.

I wanted to add this to last week's chat but didn't get around to it, but it works because it was more of a celebrity sighting than an actual meeting anyway: last year, my BFF colleague and I were doing some geologic fieldwork in [redacted] location and while trudging over some hills trying to find something, and kind of, well, geologically lost, let us say, we saw some weird flashes in the distance, so we went to check it out. As we came over a rise we realized we had actually come upon the back side of somebody filming something, and when we glassed it we immediately recognized [redacted] and realized it was for Game of Thrones! And then we ducked really really fast, like in a comedic kind of way with the double take first and everything. We didn't want any light flashing off of our equipment or anything to accidentally be in a scene. We cautiously checked one more time to make sure we had seen it correctly and then sneaked away because . . .

That character in that particular place was a big spoiler! We were really hoping we'd see it towards the end of the last season - we were both a little slow about watching it - but it turned out it was for the next one. We kept an eye out on those websites that seem to track every coming and going of all the GoT actors, and nothing remotely about it ever appeared (kind of to our disappointment). So we decided to absolutely keep it for ourselves and made like blood vows and shit not to tell anyone. (Except for, "I saw GoT filming last year and know something but I'm not going to say anything," which naturally we've told everyone we've ever met.)

Anyway, we both have this teeny bit of info about next season but it was kind of revealing, although probably not about the end or anything. We've been dying about it ever since, and can't believe we have to wait until 2019. And we just know that after all our patience being tested as well as our vows of silence and agreement not to be shitheads, it'll turn out to be a 3 minute scene in one of the first few episodes that everyone saw coming a mile away as soon as the season starts, hahahaha!
posted by barchan at 7:11 PM on March 24, 2018 [17 favorites]


If you really need to tell someone, I could hook you up with my mom. She barely knows Game of Thrones is a thing that exists, so you could tell her all about it in great, excited detail and she would immediately forget what you said because she didn't understand or care.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:34 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


You could also tell me that spoiler. I could pretend not to care even though I would be squeeing inside.

And think of how happy you’d make me. That seems like a good deed that needs to be done. PM me and no one will know.
posted by greermahoney at 7:47 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


hahaha! Thanks for the offers and I love you all but my BFF and I made BFF promises to each other and while there's a huge load of stuff I don't believe in, BFF promises are sacred and holy. I haven't even told my husband, which has driven him to try the most dastardly bribes and diabolical temptations - and he's already got half the picture because he knows where we were, so that's fun, muahahaha! And really, it's probably so very tiny! I bet before the next season even airs there's much bigger spoilers by something like AV Club. . . hell, I think there's probably bigger spoilers about [uh, no spoilers, but there if you look: a location] floating out there even now.
posted by barchan at 8:15 PM on March 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Headed home from Whiskies of the World, which I thought I wouldn't enjoy since I'm still getting over the cold from Hell, but I did. Corsair Oatrage was one of the standouts. Looking forward to a nice cup of fennel tea and snuggles with the.cats. Hope everyone is having a great weekend especially the peeps that marched today, you rock.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 8:19 PM on March 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


My sister is visiting, so I busted out my Nintendo Switch. She's not super into gaming (detests anything violent or too loud) but I roped her into playing two games and we've been having lots of fun. She thoroughly enjoys Mario Odyssey (but wants me to tell everyone how much she hates the camera controls). And a game called Super One More Jump. You control this tiny smiley face and hop rails trying to avoid obstructions and reach an end point.

It seems simple enough but the co-op is what really makes this game. You each have a controller and you alternate hops, with each rail being given a specific colour, so you control the little smiley on one rail and then it hops to the other rail and now I'm in charge. If you crash into an obstruction/end-point we start all over. Here is a video of the co-op. It's super fun and if you have a Switch, I urge you to pick it up, not very expensive and so much couch co-op enjoyment/laughter.

:)
posted by Fizz at 8:19 PM on March 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Like, my sister is not a gamer and hates most games but we somehow managed to survive about 35 levels playing Super One More Jump. It's probably my favourite game to play on the Switch with a friend. Even though it can be frustrating, it's the laugh out loud kind of frustrating.

Also, I'm drinking coffee at night, so huzzah!!
posted by Fizz at 8:22 PM on March 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm having a good day! I had an awful week but I think the self-care-type things I did actually worked and now I am feeling better!

A friend from college messaged me last night with a "Hey, I'm in your town, any chance you're free tomorrow?" message, and though I had been planning on a pajama-and-couch day, I said yes because I really like this friend and I rarely get to see her. So we met up for lunch, and talked for like two hours but it felt like 30 minutes, and there's a film festival in town and Ed Begley, Jr., who's a judge, was eating at the same place but in a private room, and he kept passing back and forth as he left to take phone calls, and it was a nice random thing to be laughing about, and it was just nice. In the good way, not the dismissive way. Just like, we are two humans who enjoy each other's company and we spent two hours enjoying each other's company and sending, "Yay, you're awesome!" vibes at each other and receiving those vibes and that's just a nice lunch.

I vowed to make myself a real dinner, too, because I've been falling out of the habit of cooking for myself, and I almost backed out after double-checking the recipe but then just thought, "Just start chopping mushrooms and see how it goes," and I ended up with (well, I mean, I followed the recipe for) a red-wine braised salmon with bacon and mushrooms, with sauteed snap peas and mashed potatoes. I even sat at my dining-room table, rather than on the couch, and I read a novel and watched at least two hummingbirds buzz around the feeder, and a bunny hopped up the driveway and past my window and that all made me happy. Listening now to the Sigur Ros Pandora station. Feeling grounded and calm in a way I’ve been missing for a bit.

I made a pact with myself last week that I either need to start exercising again or else go talk to a doctor about going back on antidepressants, and so I've been pushing myself to exercise more (because while I love love love how antidepressants saved my life in the past, I'd rather try lifestyle changes first this time and see if I can manage that way), and that seems to be working. Had a lovely lunchtime rainy walk with a friend Tuesday, went to the gym during lunch Thursday and then also did a walk after work, gym today. I'm liking the socializing plus exercising thing when I can do it -- it's like a super-powered boost.

Also loving the cards I've been getting from the MeFi card club for my cats' birthday. I have six cat-birthday cards on my bookshelf right now and it's cat-lady heaven.
posted by lazuli at 8:23 PM on March 24, 2018 [17 favorites]


Jacquilynne, it sounds like the results when you ask people to draw a bicycle.

This has always baffled me. I am the worst artist in the world, but my bicycle drawings are fine. It is literally two triangles and two circles.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:27 PM on March 24, 2018


I picked up another student for my fledgling self-employed tutoring business, and his family has FIVE CATS.

FIVE NEW CATS IN MY LIFE WHO ALL WANT PETS FROM ME.

And I get paid to go there.

PAID TO GO SEE FIVE PETS-BEGGING CATS.

POSSIBLY TWICE A WEEK.

(pics of my two cats, since I have no pics of the FIVE NEW CATS IN MY LIFE yet)
posted by tzikeh at 8:31 PM on March 24, 2018 [18 favorites]


I had a Fun Week of Patriarchy and Sexism! (AKA academic meetings and conferences).

Broke a record in terms of number of people trying to explain my own research to me. ("Hey, there's a really good nationally funded project that is relevant to what you work on, that you should know about. [Important Man] is running it, I think." Me: "Do you mean [xyz] project?" Them: "Yes! That's it! You should talk to him about it." Me: "That's my project. I hired him on it." Rinse and repeat for, "Hey someone wrote a really interesting paper on this a few years ago, let me explain it to you - oh, that's your paper?" and "I saw a great poster on this topic at [X conference] last year - it was [male co-author]. You should talk to him." "Yes, that was my poster co-written with him".)

Also, introduced myself to a director of a large organisation that is doing work related to what I do. Introduced myself as an associate professor, and mentioned the large national project I am running that is similar to something they are doing. He said he loved being approached by postdocs and early career researchers, because he thought they/we could learn a lot from the people in his organisation, and he'd love to invite me to some things and maybe I could access some useful training from them, and oh, young postdocs are so wonderful because they/we are so full of energy and enthusiasm.

Then that evening I had an argument with the people I was staying with about whether all those examples are actually sexism. Apparently it's probably just that I didn't explain myself well enough. Or maybe I should wear my hair differently. And actually it's a compliment. Also #notallmen. Or something.

This weekend I am drinking heavily.
posted by lollusc at 8:36 PM on March 24, 2018 [48 favorites]


(In the case of the poster it's particularly egregious because I even talked with the guy in question at the time. He came up to me and co-author and asked us questions and we explained the poster to him and talked for a while. But apparently he went away only remembering that the other guy was involved. And he had known us both for years, so it's not even like he would have forgotten me and only remembered the other guy because I was new to him.)
posted by lollusc at 8:40 PM on March 24, 2018 [11 favorites]


lollusc, *hugs* if you want them, whiskey either way. How infuriating!
posted by lazuli at 8:41 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Urge. Sending you “strength not to stab anyone with a butter knife” vibes, lollusc.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:42 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


barchan, I hate to burst your bubble but everyone knows that Game of Thrones films multiple different endings for every season to throw off everyone involved in the shoot and any interlopers like yourselves who stumble upon a filming.

Then they focus group it and choose to air the story line that has been scientifically proven to most dramatically dash the hopes and depress the hell out of me, personally.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:56 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


Seriously, the way things are going in the world, the producers have to know that it is statistically likely that if something happens to Tyrion, that will be the final straw that pushes thousands of people over the edge. The nation’s mental health is in your hands, Mr Martin!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:01 PM on March 24, 2018


Also, also, I've just put flannel sheets fresh out of the dryer on my bed. I'm crawling into my bed with my Switch and not moving.

*makes cozy soothing burrowing noises*
posted by Fizz at 9:08 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


lollusc, here's 21 other people suffering mansplainers if sharing the outrage helps at all!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:10 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


My paper car, finally. It goes zoooom!
posted by jacquilynne at 9:13 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


After a few missed attempts, I finally got my driver’s license! That was the final piece I needed to end my new employee probation at work, so now I’m in for a while and still wrapping my head around what it feels like to have that measure of stability.

Once I got the probation straightened out, one of my managers literally told me to take a vacation. I took the hint and signed up to go to a women’s contra dance and arts retreat with a friend. I haven’t danced regularly in a few years now, but it was a huge part of my life in college and I’m excited to get back into it!
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:36 PM on March 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


I am trying to think of something interesting to say about my week, but it was mostly Child Management (taking people places, supervising homework, talking to teachers, preparing food). The kids are on spring break this coming week, which will be both fun and EXHAUSTING. We have good friends coming to visit over Easter weekend and I am psyched! But also may have gotten myself in slightly over my head for Easter dinner, which I am now cooking at someone else's house for 7 adults and 5 children (and 2 babies, although they don't really eat).

I cat-sat for my brother's newish cat this week while he traveled for work, and it is a very shy cat, who has decided to live in the ceiling. When he hears someone enter the house, he climbs up into the drop ceiling and lurks. I saw him on the first day, lurking in the ceiling, but then not again for days and days, so at one point I was pretty nervous that a raccoon had single white femaled the cat and I was feeding a raccoon, but I spotted him again on the last day. In the ceiling, of course. Perfectly calm, as long as nobody tried to get him out of the ceiling.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:02 PM on March 24, 2018 [11 favorites]


I saw Weird Al this past week with a friend who was much more familiar with Al's ouvre than I. This tour is all "original material" - you don't get "Eat It" and "Amish Paradise", it's all stuff like "Buy Me A Condo" and "One More Minute" and "Don't Download This Song" (I thought we were gonna get "Albequerque" but no).

It's the first time I heard the song "Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota", and I was strangely charmed by it, because I have a soft spot for that kitschy kind of stuff. When I told my friend that later, he sheepishly said "actually, I think of you whenever I hear that song."

(This particular friend is moving across the country in a couple months and is someone I will miss terribly, so that was kind of a Moment.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


When he hears someone enter the house, he climbs up into the drop ceiling and lurks. I saw him on the first day, lurking in the ceiling, but then not again for days and day

Did you try masturbating?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:22 PM on March 24, 2018 [13 favorites]


Portland, Maine isn't that big, but there were thousands of people marching today. Student speakers were very good, but standing for an hour listening was hard on my arthritic joints. Went to a friend's concert, it was very good, then to the Down East Country Dance Festival and did French and International dancing. I was stopped by police on my way home for not stopping adequately, but the cop saw that I was sober, ran my license, no ticket, and we wished each other safe driving. Tired and sore, but a better day than I've had for a bit.

My dog is next to me sleeping and making soft growly snores, and it's endearing.
posted by theora55 at 10:29 PM on March 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


Also, the days are longer and warmer, and every year at this time I realize in some visceral way that it won't actually be winter forever. This is pretty encouraging even though it snowed while I drove home.
posted by theora55 at 10:32 PM on March 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


I had a really stressful week teaching and have another one coming up, but I decided to make my brain quit doing circles around that and go do a skijor race on Tuesday. We ended up on the front of the sports page of our local paper above the crease, sooooooo we’re kind of a big deal around here (first photo in the slideshow). If you had told bookish band nerd former me we’d reach fame and these lofty athletic heights I’d have laughed at you.

My students were pretty stoked and wanted to know why my dog was not named as the one leading- a valid point, so on the record his name is Kesugi and he did most of the work. The most important part about this picture is that it looks like we are both working hard, not just him, as has been the case in most other photos taken of us in the act.

Right now it is sunny and light for what feels like forever and crust skiing has started. This is when the snow freezes and melts enough that it develops a crust that is firm enough to skate ski (or bike, eventually) on so the world becomes your oyster and you can go anywhere where there’s snow without sinking and you also feel like Wonder Woman while you do. It’s fleeting and fickle and always feels like a miracle for a couple spring days before everything turns to muddy garbage for a month. Today after a morning of skijoring that included this view of my city we went late-afternoon skiing out on the mudflats below the house for miles and it was beautiful and made me very happy despite the dog’s whining about 35 degree temps.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:39 PM on March 24, 2018 [10 favorites]


Today's tarot reading suggests that I'll get what I want, that I'm on the right path in listening to myself and following what that tells me. But I have to pull myself out of the rut I'm in, I have to make decisions, and I can't move too quickly past due diligence. I have to keep doing the hard work. That may all sound vague, but right now, it makes perfect sense to me. I just have to keep working hard, pace myself, listen to myself—stay on target. It's training season.

I'm gonna go read more of the book I started this week and have had trouble putting down, Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City.
posted by limeonaire at 10:52 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


Friday night through Saturday was pretty good. I made a sort of random pseudo-Indian curry thing to use up leftover vegetables (put potatoes, onions, carrots, beef and cumin seeds in wok with olive oil, saute, mix huge dollop of curry paste into container of yogurt, add to wok, simmer at length, add eggplants, tomatoes, and mushrooms later on) and it really tasted good, much better than I deserve. I am getting kind of a complex about being able to feed my husband meals he will actually enjoy, not just patiently eat, so that was kind of nice. We also tried it with so-called mint chutney from the Indian grocery, which was kick-ass hot but--after the first shock--really good.
Also it's spring, which means there's baseball on TV (high school boys so far, the real thing starting up next week; mwhybark and other Japanese baseball aficionados, we gotta talk), and cherry blossoms getting started on their thing, and also I work next door to a school for zookeepers and when it's warm they put their capybaras in an outdoor area. Man, now I know what people mean when they talk about Rodents of Unusual Size, but actually they are very cute in a snuffly way and their names are apparently Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer.
So if, and I mean if, all kinds of assorted visa nonsense works the way it's supposed to, things are pretty good, knock wood. Best to all.
posted by huimangm at 11:12 PM on March 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


Oh one other thing. I saw a picture on imgur*, and it literally made me laugh until tears were streaming down my face. I am actually laughing now just thinking about it, and the weird thing is that it just isn't that funny.

*reposted by me because I can't find it again and I really, really want you to see it
posted by Literaryhero at 12:23 AM on March 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've had a rough few weeks. I'm behind on a biggish project at work, and I got a new boss. New boss is terrible. I've known him in a different capacity for a few years, and he was terrible then. There's only a few people in my entire career that I feel I cannot work with, and he's one of them. When the announcement was made, I was making comments of despair to someone I was at a training session with, who's worked for him for a few years. She told me "no, he's one of the best bosses I've ever had. I totally understand your concerns, but he'll be different in this role. In fact, half of your job is going to get a lot easier. This is a great thing for you.". I trust her opinion, so I had some hope. Me and new boss have so far been at the same office for two weeks, of which he didn't go more than 2 days without criticizing me in public or raising his voice and literally yelling at me in private. It's been way worse than I expected. I'm considering leaving, and I've been there for ~14 years, and have a huge private office and a pension.

My amazing yoga teacher I've been practicing with for about a year, the longest I've stuck with one teacher, retired and is moving to California. I will miss her dearly. She's 60-something, first started yoga when she was 50. Her cues for alignment and class structure clicked with what I was looking for in a yoga class, and she is so sweet and funny. One of the regular students is taking over, and her first class was fantastic, so I think that'll stay a positive thing.

I am working through really really tough shit in therapy. I went there for marital issues, discovered a fun new personality trait called "codependency", and am discussing (ie sobbing through) childhood memories I swept under the rug decades ago.

On top of that, Friday and Saturday I was hit by an awful stomach flu, and was pretty much limited to the bed or bathroom. I think it's over now tho, thank goodness.

On the plus side, I spent my freshman year at Loyola Chicago, so this March Madness has been absolutely delightful, especially celebrating via FB with former College Bowl friends. And , although I'm currently wide awake at 2:30 am, I have two little dogs on either side of me, both snoring like little old men which is adorable.
posted by Fig at 12:43 AM on March 25, 2018 [16 favorites]


After spending most of last weekend taking things easy, I had a much better week pain wise. I joined and attended a gym on the advice of my physio, and had a lovely intro session working out what I can do without injuring my back any further.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:54 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


So I was reading The Houston Chronicle online the other day -- it's a pretty good paper and it's translated into a pretty good website, too -- and I came across this story Photographer body-shamed for being married to health coach and I read it and then followed down the links to this womans website and also to her instagram page. And I nosed around, and looked at the pictures, and read some, and will read some more.

It turns out that Jenna Kutcher is a hero of mine. She's this powerhouse, seems she's just totally determined to be happy, and festive, and loving, and make fistfuls of money, and putting it all out there for one and all to see. And in almost every picture of her she's wearing this huge smile, and normally I wouldn't trust anyone wearing huge toothy smiles all the time, because mostly they're used car sales ppl or ppl that have A Professional Smile as a part of their job. (David Foster Wallace wrote about Professional Smiles in that essay of his about being on a luxury cruise and he was dead on the money. IMO; YMMV.)

So she's all the time smiling. Which, as I say, I normally wouldn't trust. But I trust her. I believe her, and believe in her. I don't have a lot of heroes -- David Goggins is a hero to me, a man I believe in, an inspiring individual. (Yes, I get that he served in the US death machine in a big way. Normally I wouldn't be able to get around that. But he's a lot more than that. To me, anyways.) When I noticed how out of shape I was, and got it, really got it, it stung, and right about then I so happened to come across writing about Goggins, and then some vids, and he's awesome, and while I can't be him I can do what I can, and that's when I determined to ride the bicycle around Town Lake hike/bike trail every day for 30 days, without missing a day -- today was Day 754 @ 11 Miles Per Day. That's a gift from Goggins. I'm drafting on his wake, like they'll do in stock car races, like you can do behind a semi, if you're a dope. When I read about Goggins, or watch vids about him, it helps me.

So anyways. Yesterday and today I'm going around Kutcher's site, and I keep breaking into smiles, too, sometimes just from seeing her smile. (My teeth aren't as big as hers or as pretty but they're what I've got to work with, they'll have to do.) She is just way major cool. She's so festive. I can't be her, any more than I can be Goggins, but they both serve as a compass -- True North. I'm not supposed to be anyone else anyways, I think I'm to just be the truest version of me that I can manage. It's not enough, I can't get out of my own way likely as not. Goggins helps me to see to get back up and moving again. And now Kutcher is in the mix, too.

So that's been fun.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:28 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's pretty much an emotional twirl right now, but feeling calm and somewhat collected at the moment.

Let's see. My boy cat had his tail amputated a few weeks ago, after some injury I haven't been able to puzzle out. The break was at the base, involved his urinary nerves, so my cuddle-buddy in incontinent. Imagine an angry toddler with claws that you're chasing around with puppy-training pads. Ultimately, all the things are washable. But I can't let him sleep with me anymore, as he's done for the past 11 years. He's been amazingly stoic about that -- total props for the kitty-boy -- and has his new nighttime place with a flannel blankie. He's a good boy, and he peed in my lap twice today, looked at me like it's my fault. Sigh. The prognosis for normal return of function is getting pretty iffy, but damned if he doesn't surprise me by squatting in the box, producing nothing, and scattering litter everywhere. Tiny signs of hope I cling to.

I have a liver cancer diagnosis. But wait! A miraculous super easy fix short-term, called an ablation. Simply put, a microwave heater on a probe, poked in and burn that sucker up. It worked! except for that tiny piece I just found out they missed, so get to do it again. Honestly tho, the first one, I'd never have known it'd happened. No pain, no cutting, no sutures, just woke up and walked down the street to my hotel. I was told beforehand this might happen, so OK. Just got the bill yesterday and goddammit MEDICARE FOR ALL, NOW. I've got the best insurance available in the US, I am NOT bitching about that, but $30K retail for taking a (delicately induced) nap and being fussed over (by truly caring and carefully trained people, of course) for an hour is just stupid.

Having the ablation (plus part two) doesn't cure the cancer, just puts it off for a bit. I've been scanned every which way, no spreading, so not worried about that. But the next step is a transplant, and that is just a fucking overwhelming thing. If I didn't have my family to care for, and friends and family that care for me, I'd as soon sit on a precipice and watch the sun set over this still beautiful world. You know what I mean?

So, last weekend I was looking around and oh my god, my poor house. It's a filthy goddamned mess. Guess I'd sorta run away from it, for some reason. May be something to do with adopting my meth-head niece's kids a few years ago, realizing I was in over my head in the child-rearing department and teaming with my sister to give these wonderful little souls a chance to have some normality. Long story. I realized I'd become a hermit in my own home. My office space had been taken over by cobwebs and detritus, and dammit. Time to retake control. Thing is, I had boxes of photos and mementoes from the wayback machine when my partner died of HIV and I'd never properly grieved his loss of life, and my own loss. I'd tried before. I'd open a box, become overwhelmed and slam it shut. I realized it was time. Time to accept it all, it'd been quite long enough. I don't think I'd ever be dispassionate about it but enough was enough. I've spent the last week being absolutely ruthless in the tossing of well-wishes and destroyed photos of a few years around 1990 that no, I wasn't going to get back, and enough time had passed that I could look and read and receive the grace and accept the love that was given me that I just couldn't accept when I was 30.

It was surprisingly simple. It just took some time, is all. I don't have to feel stupid about it anymore. I have beaten myself to shreds over the years about all the [ ] that I just wasn't ready for, and I've been unkind to myself. I've cried so much this week. I've gone to work. I've raged at the air. I've felt more love for people I'd forgotten existed. Gone thru newspaper clippings of that walkathon and concert we put together, and reminisced about our plunge into addiction. I can sit here and tell you this because it's a thing I need to tell someone about, so I can continue to relinquish the dregs of emotion that will still take me the rest of my life to shed. I appreciate you for reading this. You're a conduit for the energy I'm finally letting go.

Yeah, I've got a few Asks I haven't Asked yet.

I sat jaw-dropped this morning, watching the new generation begin to take control. I cried and cheered. I took a looonnng nap. Having wrapped up a major project that is barely the first step in setting my home and myself right, absolutely ragged-edge emotionally, thinking I can still handle everything all by myself, knowing I'm kidding myself... but that's for another time.
posted by wallabear at 1:33 AM on March 25, 2018 [34 favorites]


What a weekend, whew, glad it's winding down, and cannot wait for next weekend of pure camping bliss.

I had a super annoying friday involving multiple offices and a broken down bus, argh, and saturday was also pretty hectic what with kid merry go round. They had their first ever dentist visit - I suspect I may have visibly preened when the dentist said their teeth were perfect and there's nothing he else he could really do or say.

Sadly, I got the praise but also will need a filling - my first ever - on Saturday. He said it was just bad luck and tooth placement, not poor brushing, and it's true that sucker is in an unbrushable spot. I'm going back on thursday and I'm a little nervous, not gonna lie.
posted by smoke at 1:45 AM on March 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


The clocks went forward in UK today so when t'husband vaulted out of bed to do something about the smoke alarm that went off while I was up searing beef for our Sunday lunch with friends, we ended up having a conversation about why I'd started the meal so early (it is braising for 5.5 hrs) where I kept pointing out it was an hour later than he thought but he was still half asleep/post-smoke alarm and it took awhile. Bless.

I hate that even with the kitchen door closed, the extractor fan (recirculated as there is no way to have a vented one) on and all the windows open, I can't sear meat without triggering the bloody smoke alarm. Such are the joys of a crap house to flat conversion.

In other news, I remain obsessed with Love Nikki and I blame Eyebrows McGee for this. *shakes fist* There is a mefi association and everything.
posted by halcyonday at 1:46 AM on March 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


halcyon, an appropriately sized sandwich bag and a hair tie will remove this annoyance from your life - just be sure to take it down after as you don't want to sleep through an actual fire. :)
posted by smoke at 1:49 AM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Smoke, sadly, the smoke alarm is so high up that we had to borrow a ladder (no space to store one ourselves) to change the battery, otherwise that would totally be my plan.
posted by halcyonday at 1:59 AM on March 25, 2018


I've had some super useful help on the green lately (figuring out how my domain-associated email works and fixing it so it works the way I want to; advice on a shitty interaction with my EAP) so thanks to everyone who commented.

On the therapy front, I gave up on the EAP and decided to find a private provider, and I had an incredibly helpful first session with someone this week - it was a much better fit even than several of the people I've worked with in the past who I managed to make a lot of progress with, she seemed to get me immediately and was very warm and validating, and she had what sounded like a compelling plan in mind to help me work through some difficult stuff if I chose to carry on seeing her. It was structured and orderly, which I love, and safe enough that I was crying within about ten minutes of getting there, which is also a good sign for me. There's a ton of stuff I'm not looking forward to revisiting/properly visiting for the first time but I feel better about the prospect now that I've found someone to work on it with who's a good fit for me. Even the room they use is incredibly nice, and it's way closer to where I live than some of the other people I was considering. Yaaaaaaay.

Count me in as a new-ish, sheepish member of club "actually exercise really helps with my mental health". I had a huge block around this for years for a bunch of reasons (I have some physical issues that make exercising harder and injury more likely, which no one picked up in childhood because my parents and educators preferred to blame me for not trying hard enough, having a fat body etc., plus all of the accumulated shame around not trying hard enough, having a fat body etc.). We got a rowing machine last November and I can now do 2k in what I understand is a pretty respectable time for someone who was essentially sedentary until four months ago, plus we got some 6kg dumbbells to complement the 4kg set we already had. My dude is also on a fitness kick and quite a lot of our clothes don't fit any more for different reasons (he's bursting out of his skinny fit shirts around the chest & arms while everything I own is now immensely baggy). I had to explicitly train my brain to associate the feeling of exertion with pleasure instead of shame but boy am I glad I managed to do that.

I have some vacation time coming up soon between public holidays and leave I'm taking, adding up to a four-day week (next week) followed by a two-day week followed by a four-day week. The weekend after Easter I am hosting my sister's birthday party and I don't have a lot of ideas beyond A PIÑATA FILLED WITH SCRATCHCARDS but it's a relatively small group, all people who've stayed with us before and whom we have room to comfortably accommodate, and generally a relaxed stoner kind of crowd, so if we do nothing but eat tasty food and get high all weekend then that will be a successful birthday party. Taking my inspiration from these fine people, I am planning on making a rice cooker cheesecake covered in my sister's favourite chocolate as the main cake, and then a bunch of other bite-sized treats using our new silicone mini muffin tray. If you have good party or mini muffin tray ideas I am very open to hearing about them.

Last night I was clearing out the freezer in preparation for buying a bunch of food for the party at some point and I found an old, slightly freezer-burned package of vegetarian hotdogs and my dude was grossed out by them so jackpot for me basically. Of everyone I know I am the person most likely to be psyched about bad frozen meatless hotdogs. I ate two of them for breakfast chopped up and mixed with rice and they were great - chewy little nuggets of liquid smoke made (not) flesh.

+1 to more daylight and spending more time with cats. I made some new friends recently and they have a pair of very sweet and affectionate cats and I am delighted that I get to hang out there regularly.
posted by terretu at 2:50 AM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


And I've been slowly savoring the webcomic Always Human by Ari Walkingnorth that was posted here on The Blue on the 14th (Nanobots, genetic engineering, and two girls falling in love). It's just the best. I've never looked at any webcomics before, it's like now there's this huge world that I've never had a window into, and I know I'm screwed now, because I've got so much to catch up on. Anyways, I'll nose over there and go through just a couple or three (okay, maybe five or six) episodes, totally digging the beauty of the art and of the story. Great fun. One of the kids I mentor -- he's not but 40, a mere youth -- he's told me that there is so much great stuff "out there" and he'll point me in the direction of this or that but I told him nope, not yet -- I'm savoring Always Human, as I said. It's like, imagine if you're eating your first meal out in some new, really pretty Korean restaurant, would you run through it? I wouldn't.

And this month I've been good writing my 100 Words (www.100words.com) every day -- you don't get your month posted unless you write your hundred every day, with only one miss day allowed. (It's on the honor system but I'm pretty redneck about it, I try to hold to the bargain.) I've started probably three times as many months that I've finished. I'll go years and not write there but seems I love it, it's a favorite place on the interwebs, and I go back to it.

Last. I'm wearing a gray and blue horizontal striped shirt that this other kid I mentor gave me a couple of weeks ago -- we meet every week, and that week we met on The Sunset Bench, which is a bench (duh) that I like to sit on and watch the sunset happen, whilst out on my bike ride. And we're on that bench and though it was a perfectly fine day to ride without a shirt, sitting on that bench sortof suct, as the evening was chill. Jason had this shirt in his car, and he gave it to me to wear, and plus he gave it to me. He's every bit as tall as I am, the shirt fits great, it looks pretty good (actually, it makes me look like a chestnut vendor in Paris in the 1950s or like that) it looks pretty good and I love it that it's from Jason -- I really love this kid. I don't have children (that I know of) and I tend to wish that these men I am lucky enough to mentor were my boys. I love them.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:07 AM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


It was my birthday on Friday, so I had a late night with friends and then a pretty quiet Saturday in recovery. Then early yesterday evening I checked Twitter and learned that a few of my favorite local businesses, just a block away from me, were on fire. I have no idea how I didn't hear the fire trucks, several of which were set up right in front of my building. Because of the time of day, there were some pretty amazing photos of the events (not by me). I'll be sad to see the damage when I head out this morning. It sounds like my old-school barber, the amazing sandwich shop and the vegan Dosa place were all hit hard.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:48 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


My writing blog made it to 10 years this past week. Nothing much happens there anymore, thanks to my chronic fatigue syndrome. But it's still up, and I went through all the stories I've written and posted there to make a list of my favorites. It was fun seeing what I used to be able to do.

Also, I'm still adjusting to my younger brother becoming a grandfather, which he did late in February. Weird enough that he is the father of four kids, but now one has reproduced. I'm childless by choice, but I'm fond of his kids. It's just peculiar to think of him in this new way. He's delighted, so I'm certainly happy for him and my niece.
posted by bryon at 5:15 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


So, here's what happened a couple of weeks ago. I was at the supermarket, just picking up a few things, and I forgot to take in a reusable bag. I've banned single use plastic bags from my life so as it was just a loaf of bread, a small carton of soft drink cans and some onions, I decided to carry it out to the car by hand. I put the carton of soft drink on the roof of the car and then went to the boot and put the other few things in one of the bags I'd forgotten to take in with me and put it in the passenger's seat.

So I'm driving down the ramp that goes under the supermarket building. A 4WD was just about to turn the corner at the bottom of the ramp but he stopped suddenly and motioned me through. As I was turning into the aisle leading to the exit a car started backing out so I had to stop pretty suddenly, and this 4WD who was still behind me had to brake suddenly too, and when we got moving again he was right up my arse and I'm thinking, 'back off, dickhead! I had to brake because of the reversing car, what's wrong with you?!' There was a lineup to exit, just a few cars, and this 4WD is flashing his lights and gesturing and I'm starting to fume and thinking 'what the fuck is wrong with people' when I saw him get out of his car and head towards me. I thought about locking the doors but I decided no, I was going to tell him what a fuckwit he was being, getting angry at people having to brake for other people. I was looking in the side mirror and saw him start to walk quickly towards my door and then he veered towards the passenger door and I was like WT... and then he opened the door and handed me the box of soft drinks that I'd left on roof and said, 'Here ya go, that's why I was flashing the lights' and I was appreciative and completely abashed at the same time.
posted by h00py at 5:19 AM on March 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


I had an exhausting week. Went to two different meetings in two different cities. I did get to hit an amazing art museum before one of those meetings, which was nice. Work has been very busy lately. I'm glad I've got a lighter schedule for next week. And I've created a couple of new positions, so I'll be getting some relief soon.

At home, I've got one kid dosing down on her antipsychotic and the other just came out to his grandparents as trans. He was really worried about it, but I wasn't. Even though they're my wife's parents, I knew them well enough to know they'd be very accepting. So he's very pleased about that. But my daughter has been having a rough go of it. This particular drug has all kinds of warnings about gradual withdrawal and for good reason. She's been a rollercoaster of emotions, and I know this is going to be difficult for a while, but if she can safely come off it I think it will be for the best.

ChuraChura: and crossing my fingers that Black Panther is still in the theaters when I get home.

It will be, but we'll all be talking about Isle of Dogs by then.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:02 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I am off to Barcelona (via Alicante via Stockholm - yay weird SAS mileage runs and the RENFE app) and Warsaw for two weeks for Easter tomorrow! A trip I am solely taking to reconnect with my people. My profession drags people away from you and you've got to invest the time in keeping the connections real or you really do lose touch. So happy I'm in a place in my life that I can do this sort of thing.
posted by mdonley at 6:23 AM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


Yesterday I took Nephew A to an Easter egg hunt at a local farm. I would have gone to the March in Philadelphia, but A's brother B was born just 12 days ago. My brother had to go back to work, my SIL is (rightfully) occupied with keeping B alive, so A and I had an adventure. He'll be 4 next month and is a BEAST at finding eggs. It was an all-day event and the staff would go out every 15 minutes and toss more plastic eggs around the property.

He would have filled his basket in 10 minutes had I not been sneakily tossing them back into the bushes so that he always had room for more. My highlight was seeing his face when the rooster crowed and he realized they really do say "cock a doodle doo!"

I had a personal win at work this week -- after 2 months of struggling to figuring out how to get a Crystal Report to work in our new software without a username/password prompt when I had a proper System DSN set up, I got it to work (Our version of CR has its own Data Connections setup which was hidden). We have a consultant we pay to do things for us, but he doesn't show us how to do things; therefore I was spending my work 'spare time' digging through unhelpful help files and unfriendly online forums. But I did it!
posted by kimberussell at 6:59 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


We did St. Patrick's Day weekend in Roanoke VA, so this weekend was a quiet stay at home weekend. In other news, I still suck at Rummikub. My school went out of the NCAA in Sweet 16, so at least I don't have to plan around any basketball games next weekend.

We are taking Teddy to Petco today for the shot clinic as for some reason his rabies vaccine expire 5 months before all his other vaccines. We've never taken him to a retail place before so this should be fun.

Obligatory dog picture.
posted by COD at 7:01 AM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


If you really need to tell someone, I could hook you up with my mom. She barely knows Game of Thrones is a thing that exists, so you could tell her all about it in great, excited detail and she would immediately forget what you said because she didn't understand or care.

This is so me. I had no idea I was jacquilynne's mom -- I didn't think I had any children -- but clearly I am.
posted by JanetLand at 7:23 AM on March 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I got my U.S. Eagle Feather Permit paperwork signed by my tribal chairman so now I can send my order in to the Department of the Interior and get eagle feathers. This process will take months to years, which is a shame because I know exactly what I want to do with them (beaded cedar handled ceremonial fan) and I've designed the cedarwood box to keep it in so it's going to be a long, annoying wait.

Also I drove in the snow for the first time a couple weeks ago and it was not nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be, but the snow wasn't super deep.

I have two MeFi Card Club cards left to send out this month and I've kind of gone a bit overboard on them this month (not next month though, I signed up for ten people, sorry next month people) so I need to finish them up today and get them in the post tomorrow. And then since the April assignments went out last night I need to prioritize those.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:20 AM on March 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've been painting a monster girl since our run of snow days. I adore her. It's been my happy place this week.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:23 AM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


The week's primary excitement: learned that I would be heading to a conference in London this summer! Yay! (I'll be staying in U of L graduate student housing, which, as I know from previous experience, is...spartan. But still.) Other than that, preparing for the arrival of parents for Passover, and still toddling around in my cute new car, which does such wonderful things like start and stop. I'd forgotten that cars could do that.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:29 AM on March 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


My painting thus far.

It's so hard to capture the gold into the painting in the background. This is going to end up one of those paintings that looks better in person than photographs. No name yet. I've just been referring to it as the harpy painting.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 10:41 AM on March 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


Hello! I don't really have much to say except Hello, I am also in this thread, and you're my favorite people. Hugs.

Oh, and I learned on Friday night that there are three degrees of separation between me and Stormy Daniels, and I just can't stop giggling about it.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:10 AM on March 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


Happy birthday sevenyearlurk!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:46 AM on March 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I like to read the mod comments as country songs:

We Are Not Rehashing the 2016 Primaries In Here (And Then She Stole My Truck)

Keep The Jokes To A Minimum, Please (Before You Break My Heart)

Hey Username, I Know You Feel Passionate About This Topic, But Please Stop Threadsitting (Then I Cried)
posted by daybeforetheday at 11:47 AM on March 25, 2018 [15 favorites]


My genes done gone and tricked my brain
By making fucking feel so great
That's how the little creeps attain
Their plan to fuckin' replicate
But brain's got tricks itself, you see
To get the bang but not the bite
I got this here vasectomy
My genes can fuck themselves tonight.
- The R-Selectors, Trunclade


---Peter Watts, Blindsight
posted by Splunge at 11:48 AM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


But I don't talk so good now
Since this here vasectomy
And wish I'd understood how
Vengeful genes can be!

posted by jamjam at 12:46 PM on March 25, 2018


If that was a life update, Splunge, congratulations and welcome to the club. We had a bag of frozen mixed vegetables in the fridge marked BALLS in Sharpie for a distressingly long time after mine, before I remembered to throw it away. (I mean, the bag was never opened, but no one wanted to lay a hand on it regardless.)
posted by duffell at 1:18 PM on March 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


We went to the Kennedy Space Center and I cried when I saw the Shuttle Atlantis.

I'm glad I'm not the only one! My husband was very worried about me, and I had difficulty explaining to him that I was only having Perfectly Normal Space Feels.
posted by BrashTech at 1:23 PM on March 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


I’m at a rib joint having pulled pork tacos and a beer while I wait for my son and his queer buddies at the nearby movie theater where they’re watching Love, Simon. I made them all laugh when I accidentally called Caroline, Crusty, misremembering their actual nickname, Toasty, which is much more logical. I’m so dumb.

After I dropped them all off I took the dog to the woods and we had a lovely walk along a creek bed and through a dense and naked forest. It was beautiful and still and silent, except for my pooch’s panting. The early growth along the creek were made up largely of tough little purple and green buds bursting through the earth, mostly on the creek side but sometimes on both sides of the trail, especially where it drops lower and closer to the water.

The dog is very likely sleeping in the car, considering all the fool running and woofing around she did.

So I’ll pay my check, finish my beer and then take the gang back to our house where they want to try some salt block searing of some salmon, shrimp and pork belly we’re marinating in various Japanese sauces back at the house. All in all it’s been a lovely and restorative weekend.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:31 PM on March 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


My inflamed gallbladder is making my life a misery at the moment - keeping me awake at nights, doing horrible things to my digestion, and generally contributing to my already sunny disposition. However, plans are in motion to rip the damn thing out and I couldn't be happier. Normal me would be worried about the surgery and stuff, but tired cranky me is overjoyed at the thought of bed rest and light duties.

The plus side of the whole affair is that I've felt so crap that the weight is just falling off me.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:52 PM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Was on a train for ~8 hours total this weekend and plowed through two and a half books. Looking up every now and then and seeing the sunny UK countryside prompted lots of long-forgotten happy memories. I'm looking forward to this summer and the 16-hour days in a way I never have before, is gonna be good.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:33 PM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


We are adjusting to a post-Teddy existence. Boy theBRKP is still sad, but expressed the desire to adopt a kitten. I got him to agree to a female, to balance out the overabundance of male-ness currently residing in my home. We are not rushing, the right kitten will come along when the universe is ready.

As a bonus, the party he attended today was two hours of kids running around shooting Nerf guns at each other, with cupcakes and pretzels.

My other kitty, Wigford, has a cut on his left footpad, which Mr. theBRKP pointed out to me earlier today. As spouse is usually completely oblivious, I had a few moments of mild panic. But Wigford allowed me to examine him with his normal level of protest, he is behaving normally and the wound does not appear to be infected. I put a call into the vet and am monitoring his foot.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:24 PM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


theBigRedKittyPurrs—you are so right! There’s no timetable for welcoming a new pet into your home. You’ll know when it’s time. And when it’s time, you know where to come for help choosing the name . . .
posted by bookmammal at 5:14 PM on March 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm still in Indonesia for another week and a half, and with a looming 9 days in Jakarta including four days of meetings followed by a holiday weekend, I decided to splurge and actually go on a Beach Vacation for the holiday weekend. So I'm going to Lombok for a few days and I will sit on a white sandy beach and horrify holidaying British and Australians with my be-welted and pale legs and perhaps eat tropical fruit and get really excited at being on the other side of Wallace's Line!!!!!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:31 PM on March 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


I AM GOING TO SEE THE WEINERMOBILE TOMORROW
posted by pxe2000 at 5:51 PM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


I caught a whole lot of bulbasaur in Pokemon Go today, including one shiny one. Not as good as my dratini haul last week, but good enough. I'm slowly working my way through level 39 (maximum is 40.) And I got my first unown at the GDC conference this week. Apologies if none of that makes any sense.

rtha is getting over a cold; the cats are helping by piling themselves all over her. mrzarquon was here on Friday for dinner and drinks at our favorite bar (where I have won a free bottle of whiskey by drinking 40 different whiskies over the last couple of years). I'm avoiding thinking about stressful and frustrating work stuff by thinking about fun plans for our 2 week camping trip this summer. And the state legislature is on vacation this week so work will be a little calmer.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:31 PM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry I had a meltdown in the politics thread.

There's no excuses.
posted by yesster at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


It's been a quiet weekend; I'm still getting over a bad cold and the weather has been unpredictable. Yesterday I took the dog to agility class, where for once I did a couple of rear crosses without tripping over her. And then I spent a bunch of money on groceries and took a nap and did a lot of reading.

Today was more of the same, but I did spend a couple of hours cheering on the runners at the Oakland Marathon, including my amazing niece and her sister's boyfriend, both of whom finished the half-marathon in under 2 hours. We had a lovely picnic in the park about a mile from the finish line, and enjoyed the DJ at the Beer Runners booth nearby, and ate the most amazing chocolate raspberry pie.

Now I'm lounging around and making a big pot of vegan cassoulet, some of which I will drop off with a friend who is dealing with too many cancer diagnoses in her extended family.

Hope to get back on the exercise horse tomorrow and get an early run in: it really makes the most significant difference in my mental/emotional state. Plus the dog needs the exercise too.

Obligatory dog photo.
posted by suelac at 6:55 PM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I closed on my house on the first of March and finally got my keys tonight!
posted by minsies at 7:07 PM on March 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


suelac's dog photo is the cutest dog photo.
posted by lazuli at 7:41 PM on March 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I had more salmon tonight -- this time seared in cast iron and then roasted -- along with garlicky-parmesan-y green beans and leftover daal and a green salad. I also did more walking today -- six and a half miles! And went to church and talked to people afterward and I'm feeling like I did the appropriate self-care things today. Including finishing a really good novel and now hanging out on the couch with a conked-out cat who just gave an adorable annoyed sigh when I scritched his belly. Still listening to the Sigur Ros Pandora station and I really recommend it.
posted by lazuli at 7:45 PM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Meet the newest member of the indoor fam at the Bee n' Rose. I'm pretty happy with the price I got it for (after fees, about $225). Now I just need to (a) figure out how to get it home, since I need to pick it up at the auction house about an hour away in a 3 hour window two days from now, and although I have a truck and a trailer with a ramp, I am Quite Single with No Friends and in the Middle of Nowhere; and (b) figure out how to do all the Things That Need to be Done to convert it into a functioning bathroom vanity in my weird-ass amateur-plumbed bathroom. Because lord knows, I need another project to add to The List.
posted by drlith at 8:11 PM on March 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


quaking fajita: Thanks for the recommendation! I am going to buy Spirit Island!
posted by latkes at 9:29 PM on March 25, 2018


Also, I am super Behind the Times about watching TV or films or anything but ever since my PITA daughter partially decamped for sleepaway college and left me during the week with nothing but the animals to keep me company, I've been trying to watch more TV and movies just to hear human voices besides the cashier at Tractor Supply Company. I watched Lucky on Hulu last week, and Lovely, Still this week on Netflix and they were both delightful, yet different, films about old folk. They both wound up making me feel very happy, and I remember feeling the same way about those stupid Marigold Hotel movies, and I've basically decided I'm only watching movies about old folk any more. #old
posted by drlith at 9:53 PM on March 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Walking in Hué, the old imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Thinking of sending more mysterious postcards to Mefites. Figuring out how to buy just silk fabric...
posted by jadepearl at 4:39 AM on March 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


I dreamed last night that there was a 1970's style Saturday morning Ron Carter cartoon. Carter just wanted to travel the world, having adventures and solving crimes, but record company executives kept chasing him down and making him record jazz albums.
posted by thelonius at 4:52 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


My first wedding anniversary with the beau was on Saturday, and by some wonderment, he managed to get Sunday off. (He also managed to get a co-worker to switch shifts with him, so he was off early on Saturday. I owe her a thank you in the form of delicious lemon bars.)

But anyway, after spending last weekend in lovely Savannah, we decided to keep it simple and stay home this weekend. We had a really nice dinner at a local restaurant Saturday night, and there was a screening of Coco at the park. Sunday, we had a great bunch and after that, we wandered around a local bookstore/cupcake shop for nearly two hours, saw a movie, then took a stroll around a lovely local park. The first place I wanted to check out was closed, so instead we headed somewhere else for happy hour.

Then we came home, cracked open a bottle of wine that we'd saved from our wedding to drink on our first anniversary, watched Once and passed out on the sofa. Today is gray and gloomy, so I'm delighted we took advantage of the sun and the breeze while we could.
posted by PearlRose at 6:31 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I made it through the weekend!!!!!

This weekend I had booked myself completely solid. Granted, all with things I wanted to do, but it was causing me not a little anxiety, about getting from one place to another on time and bonking in the middle or making a mess of the house having 30 people over yesterday afternoon. Well, the weekend is over and I managed to not make an enormous mess of the house (which drives the husband over the edge) and I made it to almost everything and next weekend is not only a 3 day weekend, but I also have nothing booked, so YAY!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:51 AM on March 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


jadepearl I'm so jealous (of the travel and the fabric)! Vietnam is at the top of my list of places to travel when I have the money to travel again, the middle of Vienam specifically; Huế, Da Nang, Bà Nà Hills, and Quy Nhơn.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:06 AM on March 26, 2018


I am deep, DEEP into the Mr. Rogers marathon on Twitch right now. I was born in 1969, and so of course the show was extremely influential on me, and watching the episodes that aired before I was born gives me this wonderful sense of completion and peace.

I was literally almost crying watching the wedding of King Friday XIII and Sara Saturday.

And knowing that it is very popular with the younger folk on Twitch makes me very happy. I want to blow a kiss to all the users who keep posting fish emoticons every time he feeds the fish.

I am still a toddler.
posted by Melismata at 8:27 AM on March 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


(And Reardon! I LOVE REARDON!!!!)
posted by Melismata at 8:28 AM on March 26, 2018


I found the source of the annoying beeps in my office! I've had one before and it turned out to be a router, but this one was worse: quieter, higher pitched, but not a regular rhythm. I hadn't asked any else about it yet, but today I walked past a canister light that I pass 10+ times per day and saw it flickering on the same maddeningly random way. Fix-it request has been submitted!
posted by soelo at 9:53 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am starting to contemplate my annual travel plans...I'm definitely returning to Paris at some point this year (most likely in September), and as for the other trip, I'm leaning towards.....Maine. I've only been to Maine once (a family camping trip somewhere inland, at Sebago Lake) and I've never done the coast.

(Any advice? I'm thinking somehwere mid-coast so I can make a day trip to Acadia National Park, maybe.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


> Carter just wanted to travel the world, having adventures and solving crimes, but record company executives kept chasing him down and making him record jazz albums.

That's kind of the Chet Baker life story, if by "having adventures and solving crimes" you mostly mean "taking heroin".
posted by ardgedee at 10:18 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think Ron Carter stayed away from all that! I think he even made it clear, when he did that bass part for A Tribe Called Quest, that he didn't want to see any reefer at the recording session.
posted by thelonius at 10:34 AM on March 26, 2018


I remembered to put my binoculars in the truck and on the way to the rez today I went past the pasture where I keep seeing the three sandhill cranes and they were there today so I got to see them magnified! I love them. I also saw a Buteo on a fence post and it was sitting still and was magnified enough for me to tell that it was definitely a RTHa. (I think I have a hint system to help me with buteos now though...)
posted by elsietheeel at 10:53 AM on March 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


(Any advice? I'm thinking somehwere mid-coast so I can make a day trip to Acadia National Park, maybe.)

Yes! Camden is fabulous (I loved it and it was a great jumping off point to other places once I got through with the village green, shopping, and eating). And actually, so was Maine in general. I had a great AskMe you may remember and Marie Mon Dieu's answer would be really relevant for your trip. I hope you have as lovely a time as I did.

And speaking of road trips, I need to put out another Ask to see if there are any Mefite experts on Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee. I'm looking forward to crossing them off my list this summer but so far I've gotten a lot of discouraging responses about this trip ('why do you want to go there?' and 'I couldn't leave fast enough; why would you ever visit?' sorts of responses). Hopefully there are some Mefites who have fonder experiences to recommend!
posted by librarylis at 11:01 AM on March 26, 2018


After being in a reading slump for months I finally broke down and bought two escapist reads at our local big box store--one being a Liane Moriarty that I hadn't read before and the other something I'd never heard of, but which was SO scandalous and page-turny that I flew through it in two days. It felt really good to enjoy reading again and to actually look forward to reading more of a specific book! and if anyone has any recs for more like Liane Moriarty, I'm all ears!
posted by stellaluna at 11:28 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee
Tennessee: Lookout Mountain is pretty, especially in fog. We enjoyed the Jack Daniels distillery tour in Lynchburg, plus Memphis has good food, Mud Island and Giant Pandas.
Arkansas: I plan to visit Fayetteville someday plus they have a state park where you can hunt for diamonds.
Mississippi: Two people I know just went fishing in the Gulf of Mexico near Gulfport and both said it was incredible. New Orleans is not too far away, either.
Alabama: The Civil Rights Museum Trail looks nice, though I have not done it myself.
posted by soelo at 11:58 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


A fortnight ago I said that the pond was suddenly full of copulating amphibians; now it’s full of jiggling piles of frogspawn and tangled strands of toadspawn. Hopefully the intervening cold snap won’t have done the eggs too much harm.

And I’m just in the process of booking a spring walking holiday in Mallorca, which should be good… the weather is less reliable in spring, but it’s a great time of year for flowers and birdsong.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:27 PM on March 26, 2018


Thanks, soelo! Your answers are inspiring me to put a question together about details (hotels, food, that sort of thing). So many cool things to see!

As an aside, I highly recommend the All 50 US States (and D.C.) Challenge if you're looking for a long-term travel goal that can be done relatively cheaply should you be based in North America.

I've learned so much about each region of the US as a result. And I will happily talk your ear off, if invited, about Sitka and Chicago and Cheyenne and Camden and Orange and Liberal and Atlanta and Brattleboro and Friday Harbor and Rexburg and Rugby and Bemidji and DC and Wilmington and so forth.

State #37 (woo, North Carolina!) is coming up in three weeks and I'm pretty excited to make it into the 40s with the summer roadtrip.
posted by librarylis at 1:47 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Memphis Zoo is great, and the Civil Rights museum is amazing. I liked Nashville, too - really tasty beer at Yazoo Brewery.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:48 PM on March 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I wrote up a gorgeous piece of correspondence to an angry client and he responded today in a much better mood and said I was a credit to my company. That was a nice start to a week that already started off nicely on account of an upcoming three day weekend because Good Friday is a market holiday for reasons I do not know.
posted by Ruki at 7:28 PM on March 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


I ended up taking Wigford to the ER vet this morning. He will be fine and will have a follow-up with his regular vet on Saturday, as the foot was on the verge of infection. Right now he is hiding underneath my bed sporting his cone of shame and hissing at anyone who comes near him. Poor kitty.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:33 AM on March 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I spent two and a half hours on the phone with my friend/ex-coworker catching up and ended up helping her pick out a retirement present on Amazon for my evil ex-boss (SHE RETIRES THIS WEEK!!!!). I actually liked my boss at one point so I was able to remember some of that long-gone affection and pick out a bunch of things I thought she'd like so my friend could make the final decision. And that felt pretty good. I mean, I'm not about to send her a happy retirement card of my own, *insert unkind thoughts here*, but at least I was able to help my friend give her a thoughtful retirement gift instead of a Starbucks gift card. My friend joked that she was going to sign the card "Love, Friend and Elsie". I told her to go ahead and do it if she really felt like it and that I would find it hilarious. I'm desperately curious to see if she really will.

Also I made myself a hanging card holder for my completed MeFi Card Club cards so I have a place to stash finished cards (and placeholder index cards with names/addresses) in plain sight so I know when to send them out. Also yesterday I went to the local bookstore and got a bunch of postcards from the area so if you're super lucky you might get a moody black and white postcard of an old barn!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:06 AM on March 27, 2018


The co-worker who threw a little shade on Stormy Daniels yesterday is working from home today so I have been saved from causing a Workplace Incident.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on March 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


One of my coworkers brought in a couple dozen excellent donut holes this morning. So a tiny hit of lovely salted caramel goodness is getting me through my inbox.
posted by suelac at 9:40 AM on March 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wrote up a gorgeous piece of correspondence to an angry client and he responded today in a much better mood and said I was a credit to my company.

Quoting myself. Oh boy, am I ever glad this happened, because I just found out today during my monthly one on one that I recently avoided getting fired by my boss's new boss in what would have been a massive ADA violation and I just do not have the spoons for another lawsuit right now. For reasons, I can't tell my family about this, but I needed to tell someone because I am tired today and I don't want to feel like this stupid piece of information is a secret burden I have to keep. Ugh.

In better news, my dog is recovering so well from her surgery that the vet decided a follow up appointment isn't necessary unless some sort of problem develops. The biopsy results were clean and she's healing well, especially for a senior dog. The basement cleanout is almost done, and the nearly full dumpster in my driveway makes me happy. The nearly empty porch and garage make me even happier. The stupid lawsuit is progressing. My seder menu is planned, my shopping list is made, and my to-do list meticulously organized. My life had been stuck in this stress-filled holding period for a while, but now things are getting done and moving forward, and easing up a bit. I'm getting better at remembering to be kind to myself. And one of the ways I'm going to be kind to myself before Friday is by making the chocolatiest of the chocolate babkas with the rest of the flour.
posted by Ruki at 12:37 PM on March 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


IN a surprise twist, I found my missing gloves in the glove compartment of my car
posted by thelonius at 5:04 AM on April 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


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