Metatalktail Hour: Open thread May 19, 2018 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I'm a little tired from too much stuff this weekend, so I declare an open thread. Tell us what's up with you, especially the nice things. Or share what's on your mind that the rest of us might enjoy!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:28 PM (112 comments total)

We were fostering Henry for a month. He got adopted last week. Now, normally it would be tough to say goodbye. But the blow was cushioned because it was my mother-in-law who adopted him. So we'll see him again. And they're really good for each other. It's a very happy ending.
posted by veggieboy at 6:58 PM on May 19, 2018 [46 favorites]

I missed the edit window but wanted to add: Henry is a Very Good Boy.
posted by veggieboy at 7:05 PM on May 19, 2018 [13 favorites]

I completed my kitten foster school requirements this week, which means I am eligible to raise orphaned individuals and litters as well as take on stray/surrendered mothers and their young'uns. I'm thrilled.
posted by carmicha at 7:15 PM on May 19, 2018 [11 favorites]

I have my last big paper due Tuesday evening and my last final that morning. And then I'm done for the semester yay... and then two weeks later I have a surgery and another in July. It's... been a rough couple of months.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:16 PM on May 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

Feel better Homo neanderthalensis, hope you heal quick. And all dogs are good.

I'm feeling really maudlin tonight, but I'm watching Lord of the Rings and playing Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, so I have distractions to keep me from going to those dark mental health places.

Hope everyone is having a nice evening.
posted by Fizz at 7:24 PM on May 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

I've been following the 2020 Census debate with interest. In college I worked as a research assistant to an economic historian looking into the life histories of inventors from the late 19th and early 20th c. One of the major annoyances was the destruction of most of the 1890 Federal Census (seeing parallels with data integrity issues).

The story of its destruction is very weird and I've been tweeting about it.

Beyond its destruction, it is interesting for its use of electromechanical tabulators. They were invented by a former census employee. Only later did they find widespread use in business/accounting/etc. It was also an interesting period, with new states being added at the frontiers, the Lodge Bill, etc.

Currently I'm reading the 51st Congressional record to learn more about NYC in the 1890 census. They were peeved, as they were undercounted by about 200k. That should have entitled them (Democrats when the President was a Republican) to an additional Representative. Going to head over to the Library of Congress to see if I can access some of the House Resolutions referred to.
posted by waninggibbon at 7:28 PM on May 19, 2018 [10 favorites]

Yesterday I got up well before dawn to help run a breakfast station for cyclists for Bike To Work Day Austin from 6:30-9:30am. The food co-op where I work put out a nice selection of hot & iced coffees, OJ, bananas, yogurt, granola, energy bars, kombuchs. and sparkling waters for cyclists. I had the happy job of signing them in and chatting with them while they enjoyed breakfast. A bike shop provided tire pumping and small adjustments.

This is my 28th year in a row to be a greeter at this annual event. It's my favorite "holiday" of the year. It's so pleasant to reward everyday bike commuters with an acknowledgement that we appreciate them. Every one of of over 100 cyclists thanked us for making such a great breakfast for them.

I get a little schmoopy at this event. I haven't biked to work for the last several years since I have been using a wheelchair. But many of the cyclists remember when I rode a bike and they make me feel very included in the "wheeled people" even now.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 7:37 PM on May 19, 2018 [28 favorites]

Mom McGee was in town for a week, and Dad McGee for the weekend, so that was really nice. (Godfather McGee also put in an appearance!) Mini McGee turns NINE next week (nine!); we're going to do dinner and presents and cake the day of, and then next weekend or the weekend after we're going to Medieval Times (his pick). I got our pool passes and everybody's new bathing suits (Nano McGee is wearing this adorableness) and beach towels and sunblock so we are getting excited for summer! Peoria did not have great public pool availability, but where we live now has two pools with long, long hours that are close to my house and both have "splashpads" for the toddler, so it is The Summer of Pools. Also The Summer of Swimming Lessons, although my swim-refusenik child does not know that yet. (I feel him, according to my mother I spent the entire summer when I was six at swimming lessons sitting on the side of the pool sobbing and shrieking at the top of my lungs if anyone approached within 10 feet, so I know what hating to swim is like! AND YET, just like my parents, I'm going to make him learn, for safety.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:39 PM on May 19, 2018 [10 favorites]

This has been a miserable week, medical-wise, for our family, but we booked a trip to Disney World in the fall and some friends with a near-aged kid decided to join us, which means the kids can play while we drink at the pool bar in the evenings, so that’s pretty sweet.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:49 PM on May 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

and then next weekend or the weekend after we're going to Medieval Times (his pick)

Good choice!! And Happy Early Birthday to MiniMcGee!! I remember going to Medieval Times when I was 15. We were seated in the section for the 'Blue Knight'. He lost. :( But it was a lot of fun eating a giant turkey drum-stick and yelling at people fighting with swords and on horses. I should go back again, there's one in Toronto and I'm pretty sure it'd be super fun.

Also, this reminds me of a podcast I was listening to a while back, its fitting since we're on the subject of Medieval Times. It's called Weird Work and it's just interesting interviews with people that do unusual jobs/work. This episode was titled: “I’m the head knight at Medieval Times.” A really fascinating insight into what it's like to be behind the scenes at a job like that.
posted by Fizz at 7:53 PM on May 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I bought a house! Well, I bought it in April but closed on Monday. I've been slowly moving carloads of small and medium stuff this week (just a 7 block move), so my friends and I just had to haul furniture in the moving truck this morning.

Tonight's my first night actually living here. It's old and big and on a quiet street that kids actually play on, which is much better than my previous address on a busy arterial road. I have an incredibly outgoing and curious 4-year old neighbor now; she's already invited me to a picnic and introduced me to a neighborhood cat. I'm also now just a couple of blocks off the main drag of the hip neighborhood, with all the breweries and restaurants that entails. Probably most excited for being a 5 minute walk from a pupusa truck!

I also have a date tomorrow night! I hit it off with a friend of a friend at a party last weekend. Was going to ask her out after I moved, but a mutual friend texted me to slip me said date's number (with her permission) and very strongly suggested that I get in touch earlier, so I did just that.
posted by bassooner at 7:54 PM on May 19, 2018 [40 favorites]

I am officially on week four of invisalgn braces. 17-ish months to go! I have decided to keep the used aligners to see if I can incorporate them into an art project of some kind in the future. Possibly involving hot glue and acrylic paint.

The cat and I have had a very quiet day today. It turns out that working 8-7 all week does not leave anyone any energy for housework or yoga classes, but it does mean a renewed drive to find a new job that isn't so ridiculous and stressful. Wish me luck!
posted by janepanic at 7:55 PM on May 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

I ordered screens to fit my front windows. I'd been promised them the last two summers, but it didn't happen, so this year I measured and ordered them myself. This year, I'll get breezes off the lake.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:01 PM on May 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

Campaigning tonight with my D&D crew. We take meticulous notes on Google Docs (on a quick break right now). Each evening's notes are a "chapter" of our ongoing campaign, with a title taken from that day's exploits. Proposed chapter titles for tonight so far include:

I’m going to take it to bed tonight and attune it to myself
You don’t bring your machetes to the church potluck
I love a good corruption story
Roll for self-deception

My favorite chapter title from previous outings was probably "I'm a Satanist, grandma." But there are a lot of great contenders.
posted by duffell at 8:03 PM on May 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

For whatever reason, my dog (not the sharpest knife in the drawer) almost always sleeps on his bed with his head on the floor.
posted by Rumple at 8:13 PM on May 19, 2018 [16 favorites]

We foolishly agreed to put our house on a neighborhood garden and wine tour next month so we're madly gardening, painting and building patio furniture. I just spent the afternoon up a ladder with a drill string wire-rope from the back of the house to the garage so that we can hang patio lights up. The good news is that it's rained so much in the last month that the garden is going crazy and we haven't had to water it more than once or twice this year.
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 PM on May 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

The newly 4-year-old accidentally sat on a blue ink pad today and then ran around the house leaving blue ass prints on everything he sat on. The 11-month-old had a nasty case of pneumonia this week. Giving a tiny person breathing treatments is heartbreaking and terrifying. He’s back to his joyful self. The older brother never gets sick so that was a new one for us. Literally as I type the baby just figured out how to pull up on the toilet and is shrieking with joy as he yanks the handle. Lovely minor mayhem.
posted by not_the_water at 8:24 PM on May 19, 2018 [23 favorites]

I toured the oldest Naval chapel in the US today with my church group. The chapel has 25 Tiffany windows, and was built by Naval shipbuilders in 1901, and was super amazing. And the guide was really good, which is never a given, so I loved that.

I have contended for a while now, however, that the island on which that chapel sits is haunted, having had weird (not supernatural, just human-weird) experiences there the last time I went, and today we hiked after the church tour and I have so far removed 17 ticks from my person (only one was attached), and one of our other group members got such bad allergies from the wind and the grass that she had to leave early, so I'm maintaining my assumption that the island is haunted. Or at least kind of bad luck.

Other than the ticks, the hike was nice in that I had some good conversation with a couple people. When I got back toward home I took myself on a second hike, because the first hike was more of a (tick-filled!) wander than a hike. Then I did my prescribed back-stretching exercises, then I tried out a semi-complicated recipe I've been wanting to do and it was so good that it made me very happy. All in all, a good day.

I also decided today, because I've been feeling direction-less and aimless lately, that I'm going to try to hike/walk 100 miles in the next month-ish before summer solstice. This feels like a slightly ambitious but do-able goal, and will keep me from inventing random goals at work that would fall on my staff to execute, so I'm good with this. You are so far the only people I've told.

I may also want to learn to play guitar. There may be an AskMe brewing on that one.
posted by lazuli at 8:40 PM on May 19, 2018 [13 favorites]

Grandson is almost six months old and is loving the shit out of solid food. I can't muster up that much enthusiasm for, well, anything really.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:44 PM on May 19, 2018 [19 favorites]

Oh, what's on my mind: Having lots of conversations and internal monologue-y thoughts about community lately. How does an introvert really commit? It's so easy to just rest on a "Live and let live" sort of thing, which doesn't risk actual engagement. How do I engage with people, even when I don't want to or even when it's difficult, because that's a thing humans need, and it's thing I want others to do for me. Actual relationship vs. pleasant-but-distant tolerance. No answers here, but I'm enjoying the questioning.
posted by lazuli at 8:57 PM on May 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

New things happening in my life lately:

1. This coming Monday will be the last class of the first-level improv course I've been taking; last week I pulled the trigger and signed up for the second-level course, and will most likely take the third-level course in turn. It's a ton of fun, but this is also part of my initial effort to prepare for a career as a voice actor - I'm ready for a radical change after being in IT for over 30 years.

2. I just ordered a relatively (but not outrageously) expensive chef's knife from a maker that I've had my eye on for quite some time. I've gotten into cooking more and more over the past couple decades, and having the chance to use a top-notch tool that fits my own personal hand and style is something I'm really looking forward to. Granted "it's a poor workman that blames his tools", yet at the same time the joy of working with an especially well-made instrument is nothing to sneeze at.

3. After 30+ years of being intimidated by the idea, I'm finally buckling down and learning to play piano. While I've played a few different musical instruments over the course of my life and have no intention of giving them up, this will require a level of discipline and commitment that I've shied away from all these years. I may never end up playing it in front of an audience but being able to play with facility even just in my own home for my own enjoyment will be incredibly fulfilling.

...Other than that, dealing with getting older and current politics and climate change and social ills and so on is challenging, but I'll take whatever comfort I can get!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:18 PM on May 19, 2018 [17 favorites]

My daughter graduated from college yesterday, 4.0 GPA in the Honors college, Animal Science Major with Equine Science minor. She's looking for a job... Just in case any Mefites are in a position to help in agriculture world.

My wife and I are spending a couple of days in KC before heading home. I've eaten Gates BBQ twine so it's been a good week all around for me.
posted by COD at 9:19 PM on May 19, 2018 [24 favorites]

-the barely 7 month old kittens are in heat for the SECOND TIME. It’s been a long time since I’ve had kittens and the last ones were male. This is pure insanity. Vet appointment early June can’t come fast enough. These poor babies-And poor, poor us.
-I think I have TMJ. Jaw hurts like a bitch. Took a flexeril last night finally and it was neither as helpful nor as fun as I had hoped.
-the adult male in my house and the 8 year old male are gone dirt biking in central Oregon for the weekend. 12 year old girl and I are having a fabulous time hanging out-food and biking and brunch and books and now Disneyland videos in pre for the big trip next month. Life is good!
posted by purenitrous at 9:35 PM on May 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

Flexiril is a lie. I took some (like, maybe a lot) once for back pain and it did nothing. I hope your jaw starts to feel better!
posted by lazuli at 9:43 PM on May 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm back in the regular world after a week of vacation.
Took a train from Pgh to DC, got picked up by my little sister (she's 30 now I'm so old), had a few days of loafing and not as much fun as I had hoped bc she got knocked down by some kind of food-related illness that thankfully only lasted a day.
The next day, her car broke down.

But good things happened!

The rest of the family rolled into town, and we hung out in their rental place, then the night before I had to come home, my sisters and I found a karaoke bar and all sang, and when we left the bartender didn't seem to want us to go.

And now, a train ride and a day of mostly sleeping later, I'm back at work. Which isn't the worst thing, but I really liked the bathtub in my hotel room.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:55 PM on May 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

A good, good weekend so far. Fantastic evening of decompressing plus delicious blood orange beer with a newish friend (with whom I'm quietly besotted but not mentioning it until I figure out whether she'd think that was good news or flee the country) on Friday. I spent the whole day working on pottery today, trying to use up a bag of porcelain before the end of this quarter of classes, then went with other friends to a very sparkly fundraiser for the queer kid summer camp they founded. Tomorrow I need to get a bunch of vegetable starts in the ground and finish making things out of porcelain. My job is very hard right now, and I love weekends that are wholly about making and growing and building things unrelated to work. I mean, the world is still on fire, as are most aspects of my personal life, but I'm approaching content this weekend, despite.
posted by centrifugal at 10:38 PM on May 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm going on a week now of shoulder and back pain from my scapular dyskinesis, so that's super cool. I think this means I've been spending too much time at my desk. Oddly, the pain lets up when I play tennis.

The good news is that all that time spent at my desk is paying off, and some rather interesting and good changes and related travel are in store for me at work. Someone sent me a fortune a while back that I only just saw tonight—I went through and opened up a stack of pin mail this evening—that's entirely apropos.

Get into a business that's sound—not sound asleep. Work hard and you are bound to come out on top—at least your hair will come out on top. If your wife made you go out and look for a job, what would you look for? Did you say, "A new wife?"


To save you embarrassment I won't tell you now.
I'll just go on dreaming, heh. I also started a new project! I know, like I really needed another one, amirite? But this is actually just picking up an old one. A week ago, I got back in the studio with my mother for the first time in 7 years, after we simultaneously had the idea of putting on a joint gallery show, and started a ceramics project. So we'll see how this goes! I'm planning to get back to it tomorrow.

After about 15 minutes of zoning out reading about terra sigillata and overfiring, I probably need to go zone out in bed and read some more Saga. After reading the first three collected volumes at a dear friend's place in L.A. a couple weeks ago, I'm now starting in on the fourth one. I've also got the most recent issue of Sex Criminals.

Edit: That's really really spooky in a good way, centrifugal, that as I was about to post this, you posted about working on pottery as well! I'm taking this as a sign that I'm going in the right direction here!
posted by limeonaire at 10:49 PM on May 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've been planning a birthday picnic, and a few people I haven't seen for a long time can make it. Been saying yes to invitations so have lots of nice things on at the moment.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:02 PM on May 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's like 12 hours later and I'm still all mad at a grilled cheese stand at a farmer's market who wouldn't tell me which cheeses were in their "frommage a trois" sandwich. I'm also mad at myself for buying it anyway when there was another place 200' away that sells great grilled cheeses for less money proudly advertise which delicious cheeses are in it.

The sandwich ended up being well made but with super boring cheese. Which, obviously it's not some kind of freaking trade secret, it's clearly that if they tell me, then I won't want to pay $10 for their stupid sandwich.
posted by aubilenon at 11:21 PM on May 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

Also I'm pretty sure they added salt to it because the cheeses didn't stand on their own.
posted by aubilenon at 11:22 PM on May 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

[I had a huge bitchy paragraph here that I deleted because I'm sick of bitching.]

I clipped the back and sides of my hair tonight down to 5/8 of an inch. I normally get my short pixie hair cut once every 4-6 weeks and I never get the choppy look I request so I decided to do it myself. (I used to be a groomer so owned the clippers anyhow.) I need to go into the top and front with shears tomorrow. It looks fine. I mean, the back might look awful but I can't see it so I don't care.

My improv troupe is performing the evening of Saturday, June 9th at Indy PopCon if anyone is going to be in Indy for PopCon.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:31 PM on May 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

I just finished a 77-hour work week, keeping up with my lower-paying regular clients while doing a (hopefully) annual week-long high-paying gig supporting a high-profile event for a preëminent company. And then the wrap party for a silly cabaret show I was in last month. We even made a little money, which was disbursed at the party.

This coming week I have to get a lot of life details in order before I head to the U.K. for a summer of house sitting in various locations.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:35 PM on May 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Kid puked all night. On everything. It's 8:45 AM here and I'm just settling down to a relaxed cup of tea. Maybe.
posted by pracowity at 11:45 PM on May 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

I finally graduated from college! I've been a student on and off since I dropped out of high school more than 14 years ago. It's been a very long road, but I managed to graduate with a 4.0, summa cum laude, and highest honors. It hasn't sunk in that I'm entering a new phase of my life, but I'm sure it'll feel real soon enough; I'm entering the exciting world of temping, job hunting, and loan payments. Wish me luck.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:52 AM on May 20, 2018 [58 favorites]

Shapes that haunt the dusk, hooray! Congratulations!

I’ve just got back from four nights in a adults only all inclusive resort in Spain, which was our second wedding anniversary trip. It was lovely. I’ve not done that kind of holiday before and I was a bit worried due to my brain weasels that get upset if I don’t do! useful! things! but because I literally couldn’t do anything else, I read books, knitted and migrated between the pools and the buffet quite happily. Only marred by discovering on our return journey that those who miss Portugal’s dictatorship now work at Faro airport (closest airport to the resort, despite being in a different country) but there we are.

We're now off to see friends and a baby and then back to work tomorrow, where my inbox will probably be hideous as have been off for a fortnight but eh. I am practicing a water off duck's back approach as nothing in there will be life-threatening.
posted by halcyonday at 1:30 AM on May 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

I spent three weeks on a work project - which was actually something I researched and discovered on my own - and it turned into me working on it for every waking moment.

This week our product owner said "I'm going to backlog this one because it doesn't really make that much difference and the effort involved hasn't been worth it."

Usually I'd be offended that something I was working hard at had been dismissed, but I was so glad to see this one go. Now I can get back to the super-interesting things that are next on my priority list.

Also I had a spontaneous hangout grilling party at my house and three friends came over and we had a fantastic time.

My new year's resolution was to clean my house enough that I wasn't embarrassed by it and then throw a damn party.

I've discovered that even if my house isn't perfectly clean that people don't mind and I can explain the clutter by the fact that I'm in the middle of a giant purge.

I love having people over and I love that I have people to have over for the first time in many years.
posted by bendy at 1:57 AM on May 20, 2018 [14 favorites]

My life has been kind of a trash fire for a bit now. It's starting to ease up. Most of it was not really stuff I could control, and now I'm hopefully going to have some energy to deal with those parts. But among other things, my sleep schedule is totally off the rails, so I'm up at 4am reading genderswap lesbian AU volleyball anime fanfic. And realizing, as I do this, that life could be way worse.

Though, on the other hand, this made me think "more things should have genderswap lesbian AUs", and then that made me realize how little media I consume has enough female characters to just have that with the main show, and what's with that?

I swear to god I'm going to bed now.
posted by Sequence at 2:05 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

I have this week off from work, which is nice, but I'm not happy. I think it is a combination of my looming 40th birthday coupled with the fact that I have three young kids who don't allow me even the slightest bit of time to do anything related to my own personal interests. And to be honest I'm not even that sure what my personal interests are any more.

I have told myself that in three more years things will ease up a bit (they are 6, 4 and 2 now), but I have been changing diapers nonstop for over six years now, three more years of 24/7 childcare seems like an eternity.

Anyway, the good news is that the youngest peed in the toilet for the first time today, so that is something to be happy about.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:48 AM on May 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

OK that seemed overly negative. There are good things happening too, I swear! I went to a wedding in Seoul yesterday that was held in traditional style, which no one ever does any more. It was nice!

And tonight I am going to crack open a cheap bottle of makkeolli (Korean milky rice wine) after the kids go to bed and watch a crummy movie with the wife. And tomorrow is Monday so the kids will go to daycare/kindergarten and my wife and I will actually have a rare chance to have a date outside of the house! Hooray for that!
posted by Literaryhero at 2:52 AM on May 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

It’s weird when you finish study, you suddenly have this tentative realization that all your free time just belongs to you again. Im still getting used to that feeling but I’m enjoying the shit out of random small things.

I’m trying to read 52 books this year. Already up to 35, and about half of those are graphic novels. Hey, guys, I can just read graphic novels if I feel like it! I’m not wasting time or being naughty because I should actually be studying instead! It is ok for me to do!

In the same vein I’ve been cooking up a storm. Got Jerusalem By Yottam Ottolenghi, every recipe so far is a winner. And Ive been learning to make cakes. They’re still ugly but they taste good. Next step is to learn to make pretty cakes that taste good. In the meantime I get to eat lots of cake.

In career news I interviewed for a job this week and I’ve been told I’m the preferred candidate which is awesome. But whats even more awesome is that they want me to come back and interview for a more senior role. This would be a significant bump for me in terms of pay and responsibilities and the job frankly looks fucking cool as hell, so keep your fingers crossed for me ok?

In other career news, every nurse in New Zealand who works for a public hospital is currently voting on weather we should strike for better pay and working conditions. We’ll find out the results in a couple weeks but it could be utter chaos in our hospitals soon, and right at the height of the winter crunch. But we need to do it for patient safety, and I’m so proud of my colleagues for standing up for ourselves and our patients.

Started bubs on solids finally, she’s five and a half months old. Her favorite so far is rice cereal and pears. More of the food is winding up on her bib than in her mouth but she seems content with this state of affairs so I will be too. She gets impatient with my cake baking sometimes but I reassure her that someday she will be super stoked about cakes so to try and bear with me. Also she’s teething and so drooling like a Saint Bernard.
posted by supercrayon at 3:02 AM on May 20, 2018 [12 favorites]

My daughter played in a piano recital last night and she rocked the hell out of it. She was so proud! That’s especially gratifying because piano lessons have been rough this year - lots of battles over sitting still.
posted by eirias at 3:19 AM on May 20, 2018 [11 favorites]

Lot of people having stress this week, it seems like. Good thoughts for all. Me too, although a lot of it would be ameliorated if I could make myself quit getting worked up, snarly, and miserable about things that really aren't important enough to worry about. What station do I change at for the train to adulthood?
The world played a lovely trick on me today--a bunch of people from my amateur orchestra are accompanying some singers in a group of opera arias, and today was our first rehearsal with them. The first two were not great--wobbly intonation, big but not at all pretty voices. (Our concertmaster tends to wince graphically when someone plays out of tune, and I wondered how much effort he was expending on keeping a poker face.) I had no great hopes of the third lady either, who looked just like a mouse wearing a red cardigan and big glasses. (Especially since she was singing the Jewel Song, and she looked about as far from Bianca Castafiore as humanly possible.) Then Miss Mouse opened her mouth and gave us an absolutely gorgeous rendition, intonation and phrasing right on the money, lovely tone. Teach me not to jump to conclusions, to put it mildly.
Also my spouse visa came through last week: three years. Technically, therefore, this means I could quit my job any time I want. Financially I actually could too; and at some point in the next year or two I hope I will, but I need to ease myself slowly and gracefully out, for various good reasons. Still, it's comforting.
Take good care, all.
posted by huimangm at 3:22 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

What a wacky weekend. Had a lovely time yesterday with the work friend I made last year, playing Star Wards Dungeons and Dragons. I'm so grateful for this friendship, I thought I was at an age/life stage where don't really make new friends, only "Work friends" - this one I think as been an unanticipated pleasure for both of us. Also, I get to play DnD for the first time since high school! Star Wars DnD is great, much better than the super complicated one the group was doing beforehand.

However... on Friday I ate a huge bowl of nachos from the cafe at work. I am incapable when it comes to nachos. I have absolutely no standards and no filter - I have eaten the worst, most apathetically prepared nachos from the most un-nacho-like of venues happily. These were, I will be frank, they were pretty bad. What's worse, however that they set off my gastritis, which - aided by copious amounts of chai sipped whilst roleplaying - meant I was a write-off for all of last night, and most of today. I have been quite careful since a trip to the hospital christmas before last, so felt like a fool - more so because I have a big day at work tomorrow, and I didn't get to play with my daughters as much as I wanted to today.

Still, all in all a good weekend.
posted by smoke at 3:52 AM on May 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

I woke up at 4:00 AM Saturday with a migraine. I thought I could sleep it off. I was so very wrong. So I spent the bulk of Saturday in bed, mostly sleeping and trying not to move my head too much.

It was a blessing. Spouse and child were gone all day doing various activities, which meant I was able to recover in peace.

I ordered replacement pillows and canvas covers for the couch. The original pillows/cushions bleed feathers and all of us of tired of picking them up. I'm hoping this set holds up better.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:04 AM on May 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Still riding, every day. (Well, my day, which starts whenever I open my eyes and ends whenever I close them for more than a nap. For ex, it's 5:42 AM here on Sunday morning but to me it's still Saturday. I did nap, maybe four or five hours ago.) Hitting two years riding daily, not missing a day, that was fun; the next fun piece will be 1000 days, which is right about 2 years 9 months. I mean, it's all fun, but to have days to tick off, milestones, they bring a smile to my face.

One of the young(er) men that I mentor, who'd been out of the fold but found his way back, we sat in The Sunset Hour on the Colorado river, we're hashing it all out. I love this kid -- it'd be hard to do what I do if I didn't love them, I have in fact given what I can and then passed them on to the next if love isn't happening; it's only fair, to them and to me -- I love this kid, he's a musician, really talented, he's from West Virginia, and as I've come to know him I told him that he's got dirt on him, and in him, and he does, too. By which I mean, best I can explain it here, is that he carries West Virginia in him, in a very good way, it's deep into him. He's got a banjo was given to him by a family friend who wanted to make certain that Jon got it, she set him down and told him about it, pretty much what I'm trying to get at here, that he'd be true to the grit that's in him. Or that is him. Hope I'm getting this right, that you can read it, get a sense of Jon.

Anyways, he asked tonight if he gets him a bicycle could we ride. Nunh-unh. I'm real jealous of this time, it's my thing. I don't want to be hurried and I don't want to be slowed. For example, last night, and the night before, I spent considerable time being friendly as I could be to this cat that hangs out over by the Austin power station on the east side. The cat's black and white, it's name *has* to be Tuxedo, and in fact the cats name *is* Tuxedo, because I just said so. So here's this cool looking cat, and being a mammal my own self I meowed at it. A few times. Being a cat, it put on so many goddamn airs that it's hard to believe, barely even looked at me, and so slowly I took a step, meowed again, maybe even once again, then stepped closer. Rinse/repeat. Yesterday, day two of meowing at this mopey cat, it *did* roll over onto it's back, and scootched around some, this way and that, like as if to get me to think it'd let me pet it. Pah! I know better than that. I held my ground, in fact sat down on the curb there, just myself and ol' Tuxedo, meowing some but mostly I'm just annoyed. We saw two foxes go darting across, Tuxedo *definitely* saw them -- to put it into scale, I'd have to see a wild two hundred pound dog, big as I am, and hungry, and lots faster, and not at all civil.

So anyways, I'm jealous of that bike ride time, that's what I started out with here, and ended up somehow with 200 pound hungry wild dogs.

I *love* to listen to music when I ride, jammin' rock and roll -- Give me Nirvana or give me death! -- but then I'm having an altered experience, and not having a bike ride, really, and if someone is in my way they might hear very bad words yelled in a yankee accent and who wants that? I mean, *I* want that, but it seemed no one else did. So, that wasn't working. AHA! Listen to Audible books as I ride! Nope. I wasn't in the ride, yet again, and while I wasn't as big an asshole as I was when rock and roll was screaming in my ears, I just wasn't present. I've been present well over a year now, couldn't tell you the exact date but I wanted to be there on the bike when I ride and now I am.

A number of people have wanted to ride with me, not in the cards though. Do you want to meet me on The Sunset Bench, and watch the colors in the sky to the west, watch it in the sky and on the water, a scene of real beauty -- I'll be glad to spend time with you then. Krishnamurti said that once you see a tree you never see another tree and he's damn sure right -- so many people out running and walking and riding bikes on the river there and they see "a river" but they don't look at it, as they've looked at a river before, and they certainly know what a river is, and what it looks like, and so why would they fuck around considering this one? And so they don't look at the spectacular beauty that unfolds at least 300 nights a year here in Austin. I learned it from painters I've dated -- I really recommend dating a few painters, they'll teach you how to see the world they see if you'll slow down enough to look at it, they always dress cool, they're tremendous fun to go to museums with, weekend trips to Dallas or Houston or what have you, and they're just flat insane in the rack -- gawd. OK, so maybe you don't want to get clawed up etc, well, keep on dating accountants. I had a friend once who had this guy really wanted her -- and she was surely worth wanting -- but she just couldn't do it, regardless he was a great guy; she said that Mike was a guy who'd go out and paint the town beige. She was right, too.

ANYWAYS, look at the river. Get over here on The Sunset Bench, sit down, we'll shoot the breeze but I'll do all I can to help you to notice that it's not just "a river" like all the others you've seen. The sky, as the colors run down west, it leaves this burnished looking silver, and the river starts to pick that up, and that's when we're going to shut up, and look, really look and what you'll see is that the river has gone into this blue-green thing but *then* it goes silver and *then* it goes to this neon silver, and it's unbelievably beautiful, if you've ever messed around with mercury you know what I'm talking about, that's the color it goes, and in the winter it doesn't stay too long but now we're heading into peak neon silver water come sundown and it's just gorgeous, people are looking at it and seeing nothing but not you and I, we'll be having a blast, it'll be Our Very Own Secret that's laid out for everyone to see if they'd just take the time to look.

But no, you can't ride with me. Sorry.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:13 AM on May 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

Moved my PITA out of the dorms yesterday after her first semester at sleep-away college. Dear reader, she smashed it. She's pretty sure she made Dean's List, which is a huge leap for a kid who struggled through community college, with a couple Fs and several Ws on her transcript. She also picked out the sweetest mother's day gifts for me--a handpainted vase and wine glass, and a set of Currier and Ives decorative plates.
Meanwhile, back at the Bee 'n Rose, we got 5" of rain in 90 minutes on Tuesday night and the creek flooded up into my pastures and I developed a new little sinkhole on the edge of my training pen. I shot that video the next afternoon and it had already dropped considerably from the high water mark. I can only image how it must have been flowing during the peak of the storm the night before! But it could have been worse, as the bigger creek my creek empties into took out the asphalt on the one-lane bridge down the road and took out a few chunks of fencing from that neighbor's lower pasture.
posted by drlith at 5:25 AM on May 20, 2018 [8 favorites]

I used a vacation day Friday, to go help my Cleveland daughter prep her kitchen for a soon to happen renovation. I dug up a bunch of my blooming white Iris for her. They are lovely, and they rebloom in the fall, which is always a surprise!

Daughter has been in her house two years now. She's been through a lot; ended a 5+ year relationship, bought house, was robbed at gunpoint, spiralled downward into a terrifying bout of depression. It was so hard seeing her in so much pain. She held it together at her job, and ever so slowly, she found a therapist, began the haul of getting some balance back in her life. I am so very proud of her!

In March, a tiny, sweet gray tiger kitten showed up at our house. We are the caretakers to 6 cats (Stella, Timmy, Olivia, Teddy, Skip and Minifer...yeah, I am THAT woman!) New kitten was exceptionality intelligent, well behaved and adorable. Daughter had been talking about getting a shelter cat, so I texted her some pics. She agreed, and arrangements were made to transport kitten north.

I had a sudden attack of giant kidney stone, so my son graciously stepped in and picked up cat. As far as we know, she'd never been in a carrier before. I should note, we
I've in a rural area, and bad folks frequently dump unwanted cats off, since there are farms nearby, and everyone knows country people just love finding half starved, injured cats...grrr!
I was fretting that kitty would cry during the 1& 1/2 hour trip. Son reported that there were quizzical meows and chirps for the first fifteen minutes, then she took a nap!

They arrived, kitty was released in the basement and shown her new litter box first thing. Then they let her explore. She checked out the downstairs thoroughly, entered the main floor and continued her examination. Kids when to living room, and watched. She did two full circuits of every room, then sauntered into the living room, stretched, yawned and began grooming! Son texted a sweet pic of daughter on floor with kitten snuggled next to her. And so, we welcome Cricket, aka Creature to our family!

This might be one of the best things I have ever done in my life!!! Cat and woman are so bonded, and the improvement in all aspects of daughter's life has been phenomenal! I have certainly felt the magic with my own cats, and seen it happen with others, but this relationship is just so special. Cricket seems to fill the sad space in daughter that nothing else could.

So, we did some home improvement shopping, potting soil, pots for tomato plants, a gift my partner sent along for her. Did some thrifting, headed home. Ate leftover chinese, watched highlights of royal wedding. Went out, potted those plants, planted the Iris, where they joined the daylilies that her dad had given her. And later, it rained and everything is so green and growing. It feels
Iike we are helping her weave her life in a strong beautiful tapestry. Life is good.
posted by LaBellaStella at 5:31 AM on May 20, 2018 [15 favorites]

I went to a Really Really Free Market today at our local community garden. It was a warm sunny autumn day and I found a patch of lawn between some raised garden beds and laid out my stuff - fabric bags, clothes, old postcards, etc on some small rugs that I was also giving away. Once it was all neat I left it and went looking to see if there was anything I wanted.

Wow. Being able to take what you like from a 'market' stall puts a whole different spin on feelings of desire, want and need. For example, there was a book that I didn't take even though I would have happily paid $3 at a thrift store despite having a copy, because I truly wanted to leave it for someone else. Another box held half a dozen picture frames. I've been looking for frames, but I only took two. Because I could take anything I wanted I really had to ask myself: what did I actually want? I immediately discerned a psychological difference in my feelings about acquiring. There was no 'bargain' being scored. No dopamine hit stimulated by spending money.

The real dopamine hit came later when I rested my butt on the timber edge of a raised garden bed which held a row of wholesome looking bok choy, and soaked up the ambience and sunshine. A very good musician was playing to my left, and away to my right people were looking at, and sometimes taking, my stuff. That's when the good buzz really hit. In a veggie garden, with music, and everyone giving as they take, taking as they give.

I had one stack of postcards by a famous Nepalese photographer. I watched as boy of about eight picked them up and looked one of Boudhanath Stupa at night time, then clasp the lot to his chest and run off to his mum. That pleased me so much! To excite a young boy with exotic images, especially as a I know there are others in that pile he'll like even more. A woman walked up, captured by the light glinting off a sequined shirt. Flip, over her arm and off she strolled. Thank goodness, I've been wanting to let go of that shirt. My bags went quickly, then the rug they were on. Soon there was not much left except a deep feeling of satisfaction and community spirit.
posted by Thella at 5:34 AM on May 20, 2018 [16 favorites]

I submitted a book chapter that was overdue on Friday, submitted the last bit of coursework for some internal get-more-education-on-what-you-already-do-iness on Saturday, read a bachelor's paper I am supervising for last tweaks this morning, and then attempted to locate the web-based student folders, to (finally) download their exam materials which I'll have to know inside-out coming Tuesday, only to find out that I haven't been given access to the course site that applies to three out of four of them.
But all is good! I opened a beer, and I'm gonna mow the lawn!
posted by Namlit at 5:46 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm back home after nearly a month away for work, including a week at sea on board a Navy special missions vessel. This was a sort of a qualifying run for me, as I'll be taking over as test director for future testing on board the ship. Everything went well and the I worked with got along great so I'm feeling pretty good about being in charge next time.

I was in Cape Canaveral when not out at sea, and I learned that one you get on base no one really cares where you go. So we drive all over the complex, visiting the VAB, launch pads 39A and 39B, and the beach bungalow where the Apollo astronauts would stay right before launches. I missed the SpaceX launch but saw it and the DeltaIV that's going up soon out on their pads, and then saw the Falcon booster again as they were unloading it from the recovery barge. Pretty neat stuff all around, I feel pretty lucky that I was able to more or less walk right up to all of it.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:48 AM on May 20, 2018 [10 favorites]

Made it out to the bird sanctuary twice this week for walks—I love it there and I love the way the exercise helps me sleep.

Also—I THINK the bald eagle couple I pass on my commute each day may have hatched an eaglet!!!!

And—I am so enjoying MeFi Card Club! I signed up to receive cards for my MeFi anniversary at the end of May and I’ve already received a pile of wonderful cards and postcards. It’s fun to go get the mail now! Thanks again to Fig and all who are participating!

In other news—possibly filed under TMI—I’m scheduled for a routine colonoscopy tomorrow morning so I’ve got a fun evening ahead of me.
posted by bookmammal at 6:55 AM on May 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

I have spent approximately 20 hours over the last 3 days getting the garden ready for this year, not to mention the dozens of hours I put in over the last month and a half cleaning out and preparing the plots for this year.

* I planted 243 onions three weeks ago and so far (fingers crossed) 241 of them have taken. The other two appear to be the work of squirrels, who will dig up onions and carry them a few feet before realizing "hey this is not a nut" and discarding them. Usually I find the lost onions and replace them without too much trouble.

* Three weeks ago I also planted 16 russet potato plants and 16 Pontiac Reds in the garden. So far the russets have sprouted but I'm waiting on the reds. IIRC they also took longer the last time I planted both varieties, so I'm not going to get stressed out yet.

* The spinach rotations are underway. I plant 10 spinaches every week to have a rotating crop that I can enjoy throughout the summer. I got a late start this year (due to the stupid late snow in MN) so I'll only get 3-4 good rotations done before it's too hot for them...but then in the fall I'll do a few more until frost.

* My two old (three years old!) apple trees look great and my three new (one week old!) apple trees are starting to show tiny leaves. I'm relieved that they took because the bare root trees looked splindlier than the last ones I bought. The pear tree (also one week old) looks fine and I have already cut myself on a thorn of the (one week old) Gooseberry bush.

* The blueberries are happily in their new enormous pots, and so are all of the herbs.

* The pole beans are a crapshoot this year. They usually grow like weeds so I put them in the worst spot in my gardens (least sun) in the hopes that they'll take. So far, nothing. It's only been a week though.

* This year is the 3-year birthday of my asparagus, so once they're the width of pencils I will be able to have an asparagus feast. I'm really looking forward to it!

* The rhubarb, as usual, is overperforming and making the rest of the garden look like a dusty scraggely outlot.

* The prairie garden in the front yard looks scraggly as shit. I was warned that when planting a native prairie garden it usually does look like shit for a few years before the plants root and spread to fill in the empty spaces. I did my best to weed out the non-natives (violets, creeping charlie, grass) and probably removed most of the prairie grass in the process. I'm going to let the prairie grow a few more weeks and then reassess whether or not I need to buy a few more milkweed etc. to fill it in.

* On Friday I rented a sod cutter and cut a new garden plot; and yesterday I borrowed a broadfork and tilled it up. I mixed in compost and it's ready for planting today. Sod cutters and Broadforks are awesome. It's real physical work and I ache a bit, but I feel strong AF and I didn't have to run to the gas station for anything to power an engine.

* Today I'm going to run to the garden store and pick up my tomatoes. I usually get all paste tomatoes (Opalka and San Marzano) but this year I'm going to get one cherry tomato plant so that I can snack on them.

* I also need to plant my carrots and beets in the newly turned garden.

* A friend gave me a raspberry bush yesterday and I'm not sure where to put it.

* I need to decide if I'm going to try sweet potatoes this year or if I'm just gonna call it good.

And that is the Ag Report from Minnesota.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:00 AM on May 20, 2018 [28 favorites]

@Elly Vortex- Your garden sounds amazing.
posted by COD at 7:02 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Last week I was in DC and then Arizona! I got to see a few wonderful mefites (though there is never enough time to see all the people from Metafilter I love and appreciate, and DC is a particularly bountiful place) and filmed orangutans having sex at the zoo, and visited the Portrait Gallery which was actually really awesome. Also, spent some time watching the swamp monkeys eating grass, which was probably the most interesting part of the zoo trip - they do it very differently than grass specialists, and I promise you that for people like me, that is very intriguing. Then I went to Arizona for a family wedding and hung out with my little brother. The family wedding exploded in drama of the highest degree, but it's not my drama to share publicly so suffice it to say if you want vicarious wedding drama, send me a memail.

I've had a really nice weekend, which is good because I'm very unhappy with my job and have been at about an orange on the grumpiness/despondence threat level scale for the past few months. I'm calling my PhD advisor on Monday to figure out if I can apply for other jobs without completely burning my bridges here, because monkey academia is a tiny, vindictive place.

I'm on the bus heading up to visit my parents and (most importantly) Triceratops. This evening, we're seeing Tom Rush play up in Concord with some family friends. I'm looking forward to being the youngest person in the audience and crying when he plays Merrimack County.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:10 AM on May 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

It's still so hard to cope with judgmental and vindictive attitudes from the close family.

The only thing I can do is to truly exist. They've got thousands of theories about my existence and its value. Nevertheless, I exist.

When I speak of my experiences and feelings they "correct" me and tell me what they construe as objective truth about myself. The only thing I can do is to not do this in reciprocity, but to listen with understanding and empathy instead.

I don't really think my experiences are beyond the human condition, and perhaps once in a while they may listen a bit. But I do not desire being listened to. I cannot demand it. The proper attitude is waiting in patience and gratitude. I will be grateful when it is freely given.

I hope that, when things go awry, I can say: I'm fortunate because I still have the other cheek. I hope it will never come to this, but if needed be, I will nevertheless exist, during and afterwards.

May this be true. Sōþlīċe.
posted by runcifex at 7:42 AM on May 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

I also just finished re-reading "The Namesake," which is such a wonderful novel. Jhumpa Lahiri is just so beautiful with words.

Also also: Eyebrows, I really like these free-form "Tell me about your life right now" MetaTalktails and I thank you for doing them occasionally.
posted by lazuli at 7:56 AM on May 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

Last weekend I went to a dance workshop, loved it, and was utterly knackered for days. No progress on the garden, but some of the seeds are coming up - nasturtiums, moonflower. Envious of Elly Vortex's progress and energy. We've had frosts, which is annoying because we've also had quite warm weather. The cold nights do slow things down. I'll get things planted, even if not everything. The black flies like the new garden location and are vicious, so I have to wear clothes soaked in bug dope as well as put it on any exposed skin, so I can't do casual bits of garden work when I have 20 minutes of energy. Last year, it took ages for the bites to heal on the inch of skin above the bottoms of pants and sleeves, and I looked odd with rings of welts and scabs.

Went to my state Democratic Convention. There are 7 primary candidates for governor, they all spoke or did videos, after which the convention was nearly comatose for the keynote speaker, Joaquin Castro. I may email him to explain that we are a. reserved New Englanders, and b. it wasn't him. Did my best to woo-hoo and applaud with vigor; he is agood speaker. At least 4 of the gov. candidates are genuinely excellent and have a good shot at winning and would be stellar. But even the least excellent of them would be miles better than the current gov. or any of the Republican candidates. Maine is doing ranked choice voting, so we should avoid a bad result from voting split among great candidates. Mildly optimistic. Lots of young volunteers, lots of 1st time delegates.
posted by theora55 at 7:57 AM on May 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

I did go to a geocaching thing, and plan to start doing that as a fun way to get my butt off the couch.
posted by theora55 at 7:59 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

The resident teenager's school put on a stellar performance of Rent this weekend. She helpfully walked me through all the lines they had to omit or bowdlerize to make it PG-13 instead of R. I offered to give everyone $20 if they added all the redacted lines back in for the last performance. "Do you realize how big the company and crew are?" she said, and I reluctantly agreed that bribing high schoolers to curse on stage was perhaps not the best use of that much money.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:09 AM on May 20, 2018 [15 favorites]

I have once again managed to book vacation time around a long weekend (thus making it a 'super long weekend') and my lovely husband took a day off, too, so we could hang out and eat sushi together while the kids were at school. Extended long weekends are just pure decadence and it feels like I'm 'getting away with something' and I highly recommend it to everyone.

About a week ago, I kept startling a chipmunk in the yard (I was doing some garden clean up). She kept popping up everywhere I went, freezing when she saw me, then running off. I felt bad, so one of my plans was to befriend her during my vacation - with the help of some peanuts. The first morning of vacation, however, my husband found a drowned chipmunk in our swimming pool and I was SUPER sad. A few days later, we were doing some more garden work and a chipmunk bolted past me and into a hole in the ground. While this doesn't make me less sad about the drowned one, I am choosing to believe the one I saw most recently is the original chipmunk who intentionally drowned an interloper in the pool one night. I mean, that's how chipmunks defend their turf, right? Yes. Yes, let's go with that. (Also, the interloper is in my freezer for future taxidermy work, so that's a whole other thing.)

And I am feeling very Adult because we have a new garage door on our home, replacing the one that was installed in the 1960s - which didn't lock, weighed approximately 500 pounds, consistently refused to stay open, and which we couldn't touch with bare hands for much of the summer unless we wanted third degree burns. The new one locks! and is insulated! and isn't dented! and la-dee-dah, we're living fancy around here.
posted by VioletU at 8:21 AM on May 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

This summer, I am hiring my friend's son to mow my yard. He needs money to go to computer camp, so I am pretending that I am doing it to help fund his intellectual enrichment, but really I am doing it because I am lazy. And I'm already declaring it money very well spent.

Friday, I was supposed to meet with the floor guy about refinishing my hardwood floors and figuring out what's going on with the floors beneath the hideous carpet in my living room and dining room. (Who puts white carpet in a dining room?) I stayed up until 1 in the morning on Thursday cleaning my whole house to make it presentable, and then the guy didn't show up. But on the plus side, my house is really clean.

The plan for today is to do a bunch of little chores: things like going through all the clothes in my dresser and figuring out what I should donate to Goodwill. I'm actually pretty excited about that one, because I'm running out of space in the dresser.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:11 AM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

Mr Too-Ticky (who shall henceforth be known as Stoneshop because he coughed up his own $5 when I wasn't looking) and I have just finished off the floor to our new bedroom by pouring an egalizing substance, over the cement we poured in earlier, over the underfloor heating we installed, over the insulation we put in, over the old concrete floor that was there when we moved in.
Next up: finishing off the ceiling (almost done), painting the ceiling and walls, installing carpet tiles and not a whole lot else! Not for this particular room, at least.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:32 AM on May 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

Limeonaire, from my point of view doing ceramics projects is ALWAYS a good idea. Also terra sig is so much fun to work with. I do it by taking classes at a community studio but dream of having my own. I make functional stuff, but lovely and tactile functional stuff. What about you?
posted by centrifugal at 9:49 AM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am reworking the closet area in my tiny house, so the place has heaps of things thither and yon that eventually will be subsumed into the new area. The cat has chosen a heaped curtain to sleep on. I also have a friend coming for dinner next week, so the whole place has to be clean and neat by then. It'll be her first visit (we usually go out to dinner). I've also begun sleeping in my recliner: the bed was making me wake up with all-joint pain and the chair doesn't, including no shoulder pain for the first time in forever. So I'll be selling the bed. I started a new series by Anne Bishop "The Others" and thought I'd space them out with other books, but no, I read all five straight through. Pretty good twist on urban fantasy with some decent world-building. I tried other books by her and didn't like them so much, but this series is good. Am also re-reading the Harper Connelly mysteries by Charlaine Harris, which I've always liked but will now put them in my Permanent Library. So my time right now is (1) do something physical in the closet/house, and (2) sit and read or nap. Works for me.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:00 AM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Life is sort of just chugging by over here. I’m working so much - haven’t had less than a 54 hour week since February- that there just hasn’t been time for all the things. The good news there is that since I’m not going anywhere or doing anything, I’ve been able to live on about 2/3’s of my income & the other 1/3 is going into savings. At 55, I finally have enough cash that I could survive a major life catastrophe without having to go into debt, which is a serious relief after 40 years of living paycheck to paycheck.

Still, I make a little incremental progress here & there. The World’s Largest T-shirt Collection is now estimated at over 1000 pcs, just by eyeballing the piles that haven’t been cataloged vs those that have. I don’t know why I’m doing this exactly, except that it’s kind of been my life, but I’m photographing them all, adding them to a File Maker database, assigning each a catalog number & adding any info I have - artist, date printed, name of shop printed at, misc notes & condition. Then I’m bagging them up in 14 x 14 4 mil ziplocks & tagging each bag with a label from the database. I’ve got about 215 of them done so far. It’s slow-going.

Duplicates are being weeded for a garage sale, along with about 1/4 of my CD collection that has also been weeded. I’ve been accumulating crap for 20 years in this house & am trying to get serious about organizing & weeding out before it overwhelms me.

Best life news of late - I have a grand daughter who is now 7 weeks old & just got out of the hospital last Saturday. We’ve been really concerned about my step-daughter being of sound enough constitution to raise a child, but so far she has really stepped up, although the dad is... maybe not father material. She’s a lovely, pudgy little thing & is growing like a weed. I’m sad because I’ve got a bad cold & had to cancel a visit with her this weekend.

My other daughter is up to her elbows in the Orion crew module for LM-1, which will be an un-manned orbit around the moon, return & splashdown, to shake out Orion & hopefully the SLS. She’s concerned the SLS is going to be half baked & they’re going to blow up her spaceship, but she’s super-immersed in her work. She’s just found a graduate program in space systems that she said Lockheed is willing to pay for, so she might be going after her masters next spring.

I’m writing all this at great length to put off going in the other room to practice a bunch of disco songs for a gig in June I should have said no to. Oh well, I’ll have about 15 more songs on my list of known covers, which in the end will be a good thing, but I can’t wait for this to be over.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:50 AM on May 20, 2018 [10 favorites]

HAve been on a boat for the last week, sailing around Føn (Denmark.) The weather has been...weird - warmer than normal, which I’m not complaining about. Had a couple roaring days when we covered lots of ground, other days when we motored from port to port.
The boat itself is a fine thing, not super lux but a fine moving boat that can cook along happily at 8 knots on a beam reach with no fuss.
Yesterday we went from Langelland to Fehmarn (across the Baltic from north to south) and there was no wind at all and no waves what so ever which is really strange. We putted along through an almost hallucinatory lucid combination of haze and clouds reflected on the waters surface. Here and there the surface broken by some kind of small dolphin/porpoise. And container ship/ tankers plowing through like stress.
It has been the week I needed and hoped for - the rest of the crew (one I didn’t already know) are all chill and engaged and interested in the wider world (and are forgiving of my brutal, often wrong German.)
posted by From Bklyn at 12:34 PM on May 20, 2018 [10 favorites]

I have quite a large perennial bed (or, as the English say, herbaceous border) which has fallen into neglect over the past year as I've struggled with back issues that make bending painful. This spring the onslaught of weeds, including nasty thistles and blackberries and deep-rooted grasses, became far more than I could manage, and looking at or even thinking about the garden became a huge source of stress. Friends kept saying "You need to hire someone to come help you with it!" -- but that, of course, entails making phone calls to strangers, and it was another case of Adult life is just calling people you don't want to talk to about problems you don't want to have.

But Saturday I finally pulled myself together and sent a message to a random poster on Craigslist who at least sounded like he know about more than just mowing lawns. He was able to come over today, and he has been GREAT. He's currently in his third hour of plugging away, and I just went out to check--the change is *amazing.* He's gotten all the weeds without damaging any of the perennials I want to keep, and it's like all the plants can finally breathe. I can now see clearly where I need to shift some stuff around to try to correct my terrible habit of planting everything way too close together (OMG why the hell did I plant the acanthus right slap underneath Wollerton Old Hall rose, which is gleefully sending forth heavy bud-laden branches and crushing it to the ground). (There is also clear space to jam in some of the nursery stock that I recklessly bought a couple of weeks ago, since I clearly have no real intent to change the aforementioned terrible habit.)
posted by Kat Allison at 3:13 PM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

Some good news. We adopted two kittens! Sisters Ruby and Rose (renaming to be negotiated) Boy theBRKP is very excited with his new friends.

Kittens have have been installed into a guest room to begin acclimation to the household.

I took Ruby out for a few moments to show her to Wigford. Neither seemed upset to see the other. Wigford shot me a look of utter betrayal and walked out of the room.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:20 PM on May 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

New kitten photos, please!
Congratulations on your new family members!
posted by bookmammal at 3:45 PM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Last night I went to a fancy wedding where I danced in public and kissed a horse.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:21 PM on May 20, 2018 [11 favorites]

On Thursday, my daughter was discharged from 2 year probation related to an arrest for weed possession in 2015. Having met the terms, the felony conviction will not appear on her record, so "yeah", but I have too much bitterness re the whole mess to be doing a happy dance.

The back story: in late 2015, cops showed up at her door following a report that neighbors smelled pot. (I will spare you the related crazy landlord details—in short, she was harassed by her landlord and with the assistance of local cop friends to the extent that I basically moved in with her because I was worried about her safety. She was in the process of moving out when this happened and I had left so she could spend time with a visiting friend.) Her friend answered the door and, unfortunately, the evidence was in plain site. Although she should have known better (if you don't already know, NEVER allow a search without a warrant—google for reasons), my daughter granted the request to search the apartment. She already knew that she wouldn't be prosecuted for the amount of visible pot (according to policy adopted by Cook County IL prosecutor), and she was so tired of the harassment that she allowed the search with a "knock yourself out, guys" attitude.

What she didn't know was that her visiting friend had 6 pounds of pot in his unopened suitcase. He worked on a legal farm in CA and was on his way to make an illegal delivery in another state. Her friend told the arresting officer that the pot was his and that my daughter wasn't aware of the contents of his bag—and he told her he would repeat this story in court. (Needless to say, his lawyer advised against this.) They were both charged with possession with intent to distribute. If convicted, she faced a 4 year minimum sentence - up to 30 years - and a fine of up to $150,000. Bond was set at $100,000. (all number are subject to iirc caveat). This was her first arrest.

She spent 6+ months in jail (I will save stories about the conditions for another time) while her public defender (according to conventional wisdom, it was either go with the pd, who undoubtedly had a lot of experience with similar charges, or hire an expensive lawyer who specialized in drug charges, which wasn't an option) dealt with her case. The prosecutor was determined to "get" someone on this charge and he wasn't picky about whom. He was so unwilling to negotiate that her pd was ready to take the case to court. As a result of this attitude, she and her friend were essentially pitted against each other. In fact, after one of the first court dates (before things got nasty), her lawyer told her that she can't appear "friendly" when seeing her friend in court.

In the end, the "intent to distribute" was dropped. She was guilty of possession, but if she successfully completed the 2 year probation (which restricted her travel, required multiple drug tests and unneeded drug counseling), the felony charge would never appear on her record. Her former friend (the friendship was destroyed in the process), was given 1 year of straight probation and the felony conviction—and all that entails—remains on his record.

I understand that this is a minor example of the issues with the justice system and that my daughter is relatively lucky (but not unaffected, of course). There are certainly bigger and more important issues to be addressed—lives are literally at stake. One thing that you/everyone can do until the system is completely rehauled is to take criminal records, e.g., when they show up in the process of screening job applicants, with a grain of salt.
posted by she's not there at 5:47 PM on May 20, 2018 [11 favorites]

Busy week here! Submitted my grades for my UH Community Engagement class (finally! I hate grading!) and it was a huge load off of my mind. My small claims case with Equifax was this week (my statement and summary of results, basically about what I expected). Then this Friday was the VLA conference which I helped out at and I got to say hello and thank you to Bill McKibben and his wife Sue Halpern who were speaking. On the way home I took th long way over the mountain and saw what I later found was the Experimental Balloon and Airship Association meetup. So m,any cool and weird balloons.

Jim was up for the weekend. We watched SNL on a friend's TV while taking care of their cats while they were in the UK catching a glimpse of the wedding. We had the first ice cream of the season, played our first game of frisbee golf (there is a course in town, I have been here ten years and never played... what?!) and managed to not eat out for every meal. I am looking over photos as he makes the long drive home. Heck of a week, not bad at all. I've been in the doldrums in a minor way lately and this was a nice shot in the arm.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:40 PM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

centrifugal, the amazing luxury I'm trying to take better advantage of is the fact that my mother has a pottery studio in her house, and more than enough materials for anything I might imagine for a while yet. I basically grew up in the studio (one of my earliest memories is of pressing tulips from the yard into clay at the picnic table), so I think I could probably pass Ceramics I at this point. I guess I'm essentially working on Ceramics II, heh.

I had this idea a few years ago that I should apprentice to her, and I think that's kind of what I'm starting to do on the weekends, if I can keep up with it. We'll see! These are the kinds of ideas I'm starting to work out. The last time I was really in the studio was when I made several dozen little porcelain bowls as place cards for my wedding, which was a good few years ago now. It feels like time to get this going again, and so far it's been a lot of fun!
posted by limeonaire at 6:40 PM on May 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

My very elderly dog has rallied amazingly on a new medication for his arthritis (Galliprant). We know this is all bonus round but we'll take it.

To that end, we decided that getting in and out of our bed (where he sleeps, not negotiable) was making him worse, so we put our bed on the floor for the duration. That was a little too much, my creaky ass can't get up from there, so we are putting the box springs back under the mattress, plus the dog beds at the foot of the bed for a step.

Also my original-generation Instant Pot DUO, 2.5 years old, started malfunctioning a week ago Thursday. I took a shot on putting in a support ticket, shot a video of the malfunction at their request, and had a new DUO v3 in my hands midday Tuesday for free.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:12 PM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

Coming home from the Tom Rush concert. I was indeed one of the youths, and I did indeed cry when he played Merrimack County! And I only have four emails from my supervisor sent between 8:45 and 10:30 on a Sunday night.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:34 PM on May 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

My son said to me this afternoon, apropos of nothing, “Mommy, you’re not terrible.”

He’s 3. I laughed so hard.
posted by Night_owl at 7:42 PM on May 20, 2018 [15 favorites]

(I feel like I should mention that I'm scared of dancing in public for fear of looking like a fool because I don't know how to dance and terrified of horses because of big animal with hooves, so both the dancing and the horse kissing were big steps for me. Also it was a big family wedding out at a ranch and my cousin was riding the horse bareback through the wedding celebration on a dare from my uncle? It was quite the wedding. Also I got to meet my cousin-niece who is almost 5 and visit with her big brother, whom I haven't seen since his first birthday party in 2011, and their parents who are my favorite cousins. Also today I drove 450 miles so I'm kind of exhausted and not making a lot of sense. It's been a long weekend...)
posted by elsietheeel at 7:52 PM on May 20, 2018 [8 favorites]

This week I continue to practice my Metafilter mantra: "Compose long ass 'get your own blog' answers and proceed directly to 'Ctrl-W'."

I've halfway decided to just answer last weeks saturday question instead in the hopes that over time it gets pared down a bit.

So, my family had no special names that I remember. But others have provided a few phrases I've never heard elsewhere. One group had "DUN-dun-DUNs" as a name for men's briefs (aka tighty-whiteys), and a fart was blamed on "california barking spiders". Then there was the gaggle of girls in Kansas who named their nether regions by two names. "Cooter" and "Woo-Woo". Where a cooter is the gross anatomical and woo-woo is the intimate thing. So "my cooter itches" and "my woo-woo itches" are two things.

The question from the week before still goes on. Because in anticipation of the legalization of cannabis in California.... I decided to write an Abstract Dual-Entry Accounting system to keep track of things down to the 1/100th of a gram. (way overthink). Long story short (hah), I think it was too granular and should have been based more on a daily basis than "here's a .1 g at time T". Sorta doesn't matter because the question was asked right at the time I was re-jiggering the app to support cannabis vape cartridges which quickly have replaced my flower usage because I'm Lazy. And the app has gone from a CLI thing that reminded me too much (shows too much info) to be replaced by a little button in the corner of my touchscreen. BOOP done.
I figure in a few more weeks I'll go back and look.

On the minus side. I think I finally hit my first robot generated youtube video I've heard so much about. I get it now, take some article and pass it through a speech generator and toss it into a video program and add some graphics that fade in and out and call it a day. ewww.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:13 PM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

So the idea this morning was to go to the hardware store and finally purchase a leaf blower and name it Wendy (see? hahaha ha) and wait until like noon to make sure I wouldn't wake anyone up and then clear away the layer of elm leaves that has been at rest on my lawn since October, in preparation for summer. Spring comes late here in Colorado, real spring anyway, so things are really just popping up now.

But it rained this morning, cold rain, and the power went out for the whole neighborhood, and I stayed under the covers with my dog in my arms and still my toes never warmed up. So there was no leafblower, and so no start to the yard work, and not much else done.

A neighborfriend texted with the initial news that the power might be out well into the afternoon, but as it was, it lasted less than an hour. But under the fluffy blankets while the power was out, I kept thinking of all the powerless/internetless things there were to do, the stack of books untouched, and how the past few weeks I've been freaking out about health stuff and coping with it as best as I could by staring at screens every waking hour, to the point of compulsion. Maybe I could use more power outages to keep me from doing that?

So I'm heading offline for the week. I have a dog who loves the park and needs to go more often. I have books and some Suduko puzzles from the dollar store. There's the yard to work on and 114-year-old floors to wax in this old house. I have a new card assignment for mefi mail club. I hope to keep busy.

Have a great week, everyone!
posted by mochapickle at 8:58 PM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

I travelled 3+ hours return (by public transport) today to one of our far-away campuses to meet with one of my students and to attend a meeting. The meeting got cancelled, and the student cancelled because of illness, neither of which I learned until I was more than halfway there. So that was irritating.

On the plus side, I have now accepted my problem hobby, and have installed an actual second fridge to be my cheese fridge. It currently has four bries, two jars of feta, two port saluts, a cheddar, and a caerphilly ripening in it. We are going to have a metafilter cheese party at my house in July. Keep an eye on IRL.
posted by lollusc at 10:31 PM on May 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

This week I continue to practice my Metafilter mantra: "Compose long ass 'get your own blog' answers and proceed directly to 'Ctrl-W'."

Heh heh, I wonder if I was the only one who read that and thought, I wonder what Ctrl-W does, and tried it out. (Don't do it if you want to stay on this page.) Fortunately I also know about Ctrl-Shift-T!
posted by lollusc at 10:35 PM on May 20, 2018

Also, a little pony for the mods... I really love these 'weekend' threads, but they always come out on Monday mornings, Australia-time, and it is not great for my productivity (plus the weekend internet would really benefit from them.) Any chance we could get them Saturday mod-time / Sunday Australia time? (And no worries if not. I know you guys are super busy.)
posted by lollusc at 10:40 PM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


It was ok, but not functional. I if I run out of HRT I'm going to learn to synthesize the stuff myself. I've already heard horror stories about people going through lost med access and I've had to do a lot of work to make sure I have back up emergency meds like people can readily get for, say, antidepressants or blood thinners, FFS.

Let's see... garden is... being attacked by snails and seems to have a nitrogen deficiency and... I'm tempted to make a microgreen salad of the whole thing to free up some time for what's likely going to be a crazy busy but fun summer. I had two basil pots out of four just mysteriously mostly fail for some unknown reason, and one mixed spinach/kale pot was mowed to nubs by the damn snails, which I have no remorse about tossing over the fence into the road for the crows save for the fact I should maybe eat them myself.

Because I have no idea what I'm doing and I'd probably starve if I had to farm all my food.

Work: I'm getting into the groove. I can do the job. I'm a natural trainer and educator. The main drawbacks are inherent institutional chaos and the very real fact I might not collect a paycheck for weeks or as much as a couple of months. Upsides are I set my schedule, it's a loving place that actually matters, I like it and I can also work wherever I like when I'm not actually training someone or keeping other appointments.

I'm also managing to connect with and support people and share my enthusiasm and energy in good ways. Like, tears and breakthroughs and stuff.

Also, apparently part of my official job description and mandate is to keep downtown weird. I think I can manage that.

I have back to back endo and PCP appointments tomorrow and the day after and I'm looking forward to the check in. I haven't dropped as much weight as I wanted to for this check in but it's still down and I'm feeling fit.

My current latest happiness is that I now have a fully portable, functional digital DJ rig I can fit on my bike. I'm just a small 12V battery away from it being off grid and able to play anywhere.

I can't even put into words how much music I have on the brain right now. I have probably been wearing headphones or otherwise listening to music for 90% of my waking hours for the past two weeks.

And I have a gig coming up in June. And I have like 300 new really lovely, jazzy, melodic, atmospheric deep house tracks I've spent a lot of time curating, and I'm going to burn the fucking house down and make it rain sweat and try to bring "church" so people can dance themselves clean.

I have never been so ready and not at all anxious about getting on stage. I was super nervous and anxious just a few days ago and stressing (happily) on getting practice in. But if all goes as planned in a little under two weeks I'm going to make a bunch of people feel really good and understand a little about what deep house is.

I just spent 3 hours doing an impromptu practice and preview on the portable rig and everyone was like "OK, what the hell is this music and why is it so good? What, wait, you're going to DJ this? When?"

Like, people come out of the nearby apartments not to complain but hang out and ask me what I'm playing.

And what makes it good isn't.. my ego or satisfaction. It's the atmosphere created by the music. I just watched half a dozen of my friends have really deep, meaningful breakthrough conversations all afternoon because of this magic and have them all comment on the music making this space and connection.

One friend who does know dance music was even like "I like this but I could go a little faster" and I'm like "are you sure, give it a few" and one mix later she was bouncing around in her seat and more like "ooook, no, that's perfect and you know what you're doing"

And that's exactly what I want to bring. It's church. It's the nearest thing I know and ever want to know to church.

And digging into music the other night I think I found a nice way to articulate how I feel about deep house. It's like the balsamic vinegar of music. It's very rich, and can be used full strength or diluted. It's ambient. It's experimental. It's disco, and funk, and soul, and breakbeats and techno. It's jazz. It's hip hop and blues. It can be dark, or light. It can be hopeful, or paranoid. It can be soothing or jarring and unpleasant. You can put a little or a lot of it in most any other music, and almost all other music styles can be put into deep house.

I have deep house tracks that are 12 piece jazz improv orchestras, and tracks that are just some queer weirdo with a computer. Tracks that are rock and sound like a Can or Nue! outtake, and tracks that sound like synthwave and even industrial and electroclash. About the only house I don't have or know is maybe metal, but that's basically industrial, and industrial dance descends from house anyway. (No, it does. Don't make me go get Genesis P. Orridge. I probably could and we'd likely all regret it.)

Anyway, the difference between deep house and "house" as in general club or radio music is the depth of production and musicality evident in any given track and the incredible musical richness. When I say "deep house" we're not talking "boots and pants" eurohouse or ital-disco.

The "deep" part of deep house really means "deeply emotional" and seems to create connections between not just different kinds of music but very real emotional connections between people - and has everything to do with the universal, primal heartbeat-friendly tempos and saturated, lush sounds and the presence of rhythm and bass.

It makes space for this healing and growth and connections in ways I have never experienced in any other kind of music, anywhere, and I listen to a lot of music.

Further, less seriously, if I ever hitch a ride with extraterrestrials I'm pretty sure they'll be listening to some kind of dubby, moody but uplifting and slightly funky and psychedlic deep house, perhaps constantly generated by some dub-centric AI brain, and if so, I think we will communicate and get along just fine.

If you're curious about the kind of sound I'm talking about, this lovely mix by Pablo Bolivar is a really good example. (I'm intentionally skipping the intro because it's some violent gangster movie sample for some reason.)

I've been playing that mix all over town from my bike and decent bluetooth speaker and I've had everyone from hiphop heads to old metalheads and rockers come up to me and tell me they like it and normally hate dance/electronic music.

I can now reliably do very near or on par with this quality and smoothness of mixing and selection on my new DJ rig complete with key and phrase matching for 3-4 minute long blends, and I will probably be playing a couple of the tracks in the mix at the upcoming gig, including at least one Pablo Bolivar track because his tracks are super good.

I could do this for six hours solid. I did just that yesterday in practice and nearly every mix was rock solid and smooth as hot butter, and fluid and performative and creative.

This reliable confidence with this skill is actually super new. I was an ok DJ before but something happened last week and I figured some shit out between workflow, new rig and new music.

It's like I finally have a handle on how the DJs that provided this kind of transformative experience in my life did it - and it's love. It's straight up love. I've known this, but couldn't really do it right.

I'm going to try to do it right for the first time, ever, and I'm pretty sure people are going to lose their shit.

Super excited about this and hope I can follow through.

And I almost forgot to hit post. I keep getting lost in music. Try not to tap your foot or dance to those. I dare you.
posted by loquacious at 12:55 AM on May 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

I neglected to mention a happy thing I did last week. I have a grandson who's too far away, and one due any day now. I picked up some white tshirts and onesies and did tie-dye with natural dye - onion skins. I want to learn shibori tie-dye - interesting folds to make patterns, probably some basting at some point. They came out beautiful - a lovely tie-dye in yellow. It was hella fun. Been ages since I had the energy for creative stuff; this is rather encouraging.
posted by theora55 at 7:55 AM on May 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Coming home from the Tom Rush concert. I was indeed one of the youths, and I did indeed cry when he played Merrimack County!

Cry every time! Tom Rush was someone my parents knew when they were younger folkies. He played in my town recently and I got to be the house manager. He had been acquaintances ever since with my mom (she died last year) and he came up and gave me a big hug when I introduced myself. Good guy.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:22 AM on May 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

I learned a new word: desorb. Never stop learning.
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:14 AM on May 21, 2018

Have a great week, everyone!

mochapickle's comment was my 10,000th favorite!
posted by elsietheeel at 10:33 AM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

I’m still studying for my next round of board exams. Spending about 10 hours a day cramming facts into my head. (The concepts I’ve got; it’s just those niggling facts.)

Otherwise, life is pretty good. I’m becoming a crazy plant lady with a window full of little succulents and multiple propagation trays. I’ve also got a Monstera deliciosa that’s making me happy.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:43 AM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Well I never did get a chance to comment here this weekend, because of an unexpected trip to the emergency room yesterday.

Mr. gudrun is on a campaign to rid the neighborhood trees of their invasive vines, and had his hand saw bounce back and cut his hand even through leather gloves (look for an askme soon about what are the sturdiest gloves out there). We did all the right things to treat it, but I was worried about it from the start, and yesterday evening I could see that cellulitis was starting, so it was off to the emergency room for 3 1/2+ hours (why do hospital waiting room chairs have to be so uncomfortable!!) Once I got home I was still so stressed that it took me forever to get to sleep, so I'm kind of operating on fumes today.

The good news is that he has a strong antibiotic, a followup with his primary care doctor, and his hand looks better today. (The other good news is that they did not wind up needing to cut off his wedding ring, which was my grandfather's and is over 100 years old. They managed via some wizardry with cloth to get it off. Whew!)
posted by gudrun at 10:57 AM on May 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

I decided that this year I would really aggressively pursue my creative writing. I have had about nine stories published in the past 25 years, including reprints, some doing pretty well, but it was something I would just do occasionally and get easily discouraged about. This year I am already up to having five stories published.

I did okay as a playwright, but it was nothing I ever really pursued. I've been submitting a lot more, but it's a slower process. Nonetheless, I did manage to win the Susan Glaspell Award for short play earlier this year, so that now puts me into the category of award-winning playwright, which I never have been before.

I've also started screenwriting again, despite the almost total impossibility of the business. One of my scripts is currently a semi-finalist at the Crimson Screen Film Festival and another is in the hands of some producers, who just had me write up all the little things a script needs to go into production, like logline and short synopses. We'll see if anything comes of it, but it feels good to be doing it.

Oh, and Coco and I just celebrated our 17th anniversary, which neither of us can believe.
posted by maxsparber at 2:05 PM on May 21, 2018 [15 favorites]

I'm going back to college! I've been laying the groundwork for it for a while now, often following the advice on this site given to other people on how to get back into college after a long absence. I took some courses I knew I would ace, applied for funding, got some things to add to my resume, and made a few campus visits. And it worked. I start in September at an awesome school, in an awesome program. I have a ton of things to get done before then, and I'll somehow have to become a morning person, but it's all very exciting!

I'd like to thank the mods for reining in the politics threads. Seriously, I got absolutely nothing done during 2016. I'm going to need to be able to focus on other things now.

Please don't let the Orange Menace cut Vocational Rehabilitation funding, everyone; that's going to be the only thing keeping me afloat at school. And, uh, please pass along any leads to scholarships, because I'm going to be incredibly broke.
posted by Soliloquy at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2018 [8 favorites]

Y'all, I swear, in March and April something tilted somewhere, because it has been A Spring. But it's nice to have a chance to ponder on the good stuff, because the bad stuff has been taking up a lot of brain space.

- I am tentatively slated to take prelims and propose in the fall; I'll finish up my coursework in the spring and then be a candidate. This is simultaneously good and terrifying.
- We are trying to buy a house. (This is simultaneously good and terrifying.) We had the inspection Friday, and in general it looks good, other than a couple things we're hoping the sellers will come down on. Our agent is confident they'll play ball, because at our price point, it's all HUD/USDA/VA loans, and if they sellers don't want to play ball, the next inspection is going to find the same thing. Cross your fingers, please.
- If I don't drink today, I will not have drunk in 38 days. Reality unfiltered is longer, rougher, tiring, different. But I still think I feel better than I did drinking at the levels I was drinking at, so sobriety will continue for now.
- Relatedly, I am getting caught up on cleaning up after past self.
- Past Self somehow managed to win the advising award for my college this spring. I'm still not sure HOW, but it was a nice, needed boost.
- My puppy got a clean bill of health today at his annual check-up, which I'm grateful for, because he somehow got middle aged when I wasn't looking.
posted by joycehealy at 3:20 PM on May 21, 2018 [9 favorites]

Kittens! I’m rather excited, as it has been roughly 15 years since I had a kitten in house. AskMe about names coming soon, as the Mr. and the Boy are insisting on keeping their shelter names and that just will not do.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:31 PM on May 21, 2018 [9 favorites]

My folks just had to put our last old cat to sleep. When we got her as a tiny grey kitten 18 years ago, we named her Japu after the little elephant in a book about an elephant who is chosen to lead the Maharajah's parade for Holi and gets decorated - it's a beautiful book with black and white photographs from India probably in the early 1960s? Anyways, this was one of my favorite books and so we got this grey kitten and decided to name her after this sweet baby elephant.

Then she started bullying the adult cat.

Then she bit the vet and drew blood, and they noted that she was a Hellish Beast and would require multiple attendants and probably anesthetization any time anything more invasive than looking at her was required.

So we changed her name to Emma, after Emma Goldman, Radical Anarchist, standing up to the Capitalist Pigs at the veterinarian's office and bringing hope to the downtrodden and generally being a curmudgeonly grump who lures you into a false sense of security by rubbing against you and purring until suddenly she attacks. She's been getting older and stiffer and more curmudgeonly but also doing things like voluntarily sitting on your lap and purring as long as you definitely don't try to pet her or make eye contact. She lived a very nice last few years spent mostly in a cat bed in a splash of sunlight, with brief trips to the kitchen for canned food (often warmed up) and a swat at the dog. I got to skritch her this morning before coming back home, and my parents decided this afternoon that it was time. I'm sad, she was a very pure embodiment of Catness and a Good Cat.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:47 PM on May 21, 2018 [12 favorites]

Felicitations to new kittens and wishes of safe passage to cats at the end of their life. Love to you both.
posted by lazuli at 6:50 PM on May 21, 2018 [6 favorites]

So I've been laid up for about a week now with the twisty ovarian cyst of doom. Monday afternoon, I hear Kid Ruki come home from school, but then the doorbell rang immediately after the door opened, so I got out of bed to find Kid Ruki standing on the porch with a police officer. I am holding a pint of Ben and Jerry's in one hand, a spoon full of ice cream in the other, the dog is barking furiously at my feet, I can barely stand up straight, and I haven't showered in days. And now there is a surprise cop on my porch. He asks me if I know anything about the neighbor behind me, which I do not, and says some more things, but the dog is still barking, so all I make out is "elderly woman" "son died" and "power lines." He leaves and I eat my melting spoonful of ice cream. I figure out that our male neighbor, who lived with his mother, has recently passed away and the police officer is doing a wellness check on the mother, because of some damage that was never repaired after the recent storms. I then watch from my kitchen window as the fire department broke into the basement door. I can't look away, I need to know, suddenly filled with guilt over a woman whose existence I didn't even know of until ten minutes earlier.

There is no body. The house is empty. They secure the house and leave. I fight back tears.

Today is my birthday.
posted by Ruki at 10:05 PM on May 21, 2018 [12 favorites]

(((hugs))) Ruki, if you want them. That all sounds very overwhelming. I hope you find some space to have a happy birthday :)
posted by rawrberry at 1:52 AM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've made eight benches, one 48x48x32 3-d printer stand, ten tables, four office desks, six shelving units, 16 target holders, eight tactical stands with cut outs for dynamic shooting practice, three picnic tables, and replaced 12 electrical cord ends.
I've also learned how to pour concrete; and replaced 12 electrical ends. And a light switch.

Were this to be made into leaflets; and dropped in key locations; the war on terror would quickly be without opponents. Fear my crafty!
posted by Afghan Stan at 8:22 AM on May 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Over what period of time did you make all that?!
posted by limeonaire at 9:42 AM on May 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Saturday, I went ahead and had a friend over for vegan chorizo and roasted sweet potato tacos, along with homemade corn and pineapple salsas, cilantro-lime rice, and a creamy vegan lemon-blueberry pie, and that was fun. We watched Mad Max: Fury Road as part of her continuing education on cheesy action movies.

Last month, we watched Pacific Rim and ate risotto; next month we're going to watch Black Panther and eat homemade curry and naan. (Coming soon: An Ask.Me on everyone's favorite vegetarian lentil-based curry recipes!)
posted by PearlRose at 9:51 AM on May 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

We took our son to Canada's Wonderland, a big amusement park just north of Toronto. My 7yo pumped his fist when he was measured to be tall enough to go on the biggest rides there. We got in line for the biggest coaster there, the Leviathan, which has a drop of 306 feet. After half an hour, I was starting to feel a bit panicky and just about noped out. But I got in there next to my son and wife, and strapped in. Had a few tears well up as we took the long, long trip up the first hill, and then closed my eyes for next minute or so as we went down the biggest hills. I opened them once we had slowed down a bit and weren't going plaid. In high school and university I spent quite a bit of time on cliff faces and mountains, so it's not the height that gets me, it's the falling. Anyhow, made it to the bottom without screaming, and got a high five from my little guy. Noped out on the second biggest roller coaster there, but enjoyed a couple of the other coasters that were the big ones when I was there in the 90's. I don't recall being fearless when I was 7 like he is.

I will say that the Big Engineering Dollars have been applied nicely on the new big coasters. Even through my terror, I noted the smooth ride and more gentle curves. We rode a wooden coaster later that didn't have banked turns, and that was far less pleasant. These new ones are all about speed and not attempting to snap your neck.

New this summer, a couple of neighbourhood boys have been allowed by their parents to go visit friends unescorted. So on weekends we get knocks on our door. They have decided they like the game system we got last month which plays vintage NES and SNES cartridges. It's been pretty funny watching them debate the relative merits of Phoenix Suns vs the Jordan-less Chicago Bulls when playing NBA jam. Or trying to work out the special moves on Street Fighter. I hope we can delay their interest in FPS games, because the modern ones won't be played in our house.
posted by thenormshow at 1:29 PM on May 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

It's not the weekend any more, but just got the happy reminder that my office is giving me this Friday off as part of the Memorial Day holiday, as well as Monday - something I'd totally forgotten.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

So I've been asked to put up a display of my photography on a wall of a diner in my neighborhood. I'm both excited and somewhat freaked out about having to choose which images to print, frame and hang for this.
posted by octothorpe at 5:09 PM on May 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

I decided, mostly thanks to some peer pressure from a friend I haven't seen in a while, to attend my college 30th reunion this weekend. Looking forward to seeing some old friends and catching up with people I barely remember. Also feeling like I'm supposed to being feeling more anxiety about this sort of thing? At any rate, I got my haircut today as a concession to not looking all faded and raggedy. My work place is going through some disconcerting organizational politics at the moment, and I'm hoping the reunion trip gives me a bit of perspective on it. Or at least a distraction.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:04 PM on May 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I normally get my short pixie hair cut once every 4-6 weeks and I never get the choppy look I request so I decided to do it myself.

This seems to be a thing like "well done steak" and "really spicy". Most places are just not going to do it no matter how much you try and convince them. My wife also chops her hair up after she gets it cut.

Mr. gudrun is on a campaign to rid the neighborhood trees of their invasive vines, and had his hand saw bounce back and cut his hand even through leather gloves

Did he learn why they call them Razor Saws? Because I learned that a few weeks ago.
posted by bongo_x at 11:43 PM on May 22, 2018

Did he learn why they call them Razor Saws? Because I learned that a few weeks ago.

My father called me a few days ago to ask my opinion on a small cordless chainsaw he intended to get. After determining what he wanted to use it for, I suggested a reciprocating saw with a coarse wood-cutting blade instead.

Chainsaws, cordless or not, are best not used at a relative height over, roughly, one's midriff. Using one for cutting branches off trees while standing on a ladder is strongly disadvised too.
posted by Stoneshop at 11:09 AM on May 23, 2018

So, after my health scare a couple of weeks ago, I finally got my test results. My EKG was perfectly fine, and my blood sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin, and liver and kidney function are all completely normal. I'm pretty happy about it. Well, that and the fact the doctor (yes, a different one this time) didn't give me grief about refusing to take the statin the other one prescribed.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:12 PM on May 23, 2018 [7 favorites]

Speaking of which, I gave blood today, for the first time in awhile, after being denied the last time I tried for low iron. I’m not looking for accolades, but I am kinda proud of myself because it would have been easy to say I don’t have time.
posted by Night_owl at 5:46 PM on May 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

My screens came today! They fit the windows. I my windows and ordered screens from Texas and they sent me some tight fitting screens. Good on ya, Texas!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:44 PM on May 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Well, I finally feel ready to be able to share the next big update in our big scary (for us) story. I'm 14 weeks pregnant! I'm still dealing with transitioning from worrying about never getting pregnant to now worrying about the little loaf (all the scans show signs that they're a wriggler!). But I'm trying really hard to accept as much joy in the process as possible.
posted by like_neon at 3:49 AM on May 24, 2018 [20 favorites]

YAY! 🤞🏻
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:41 AM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yay like_neon!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:25 PM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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