Metatalktail Hour: Beautiful Things July 7, 2018 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I want to know about the most beautiful thing you saw this week. It could be a piece of art in your home, a tree you pass on your walk, a glorious soccer play from the World Cup, an architectural marvel in your city, whatever you've seen this week that's beautiful!

As always, this is a conversation starter, not a limiter, so feel free to tell us whatever's up with you! (Avoiding only politics.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:32 PM (139 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I was walking to the pub last night and I walked by a dog park that had a bunch of dogs playing in a fountain. It was the best thing I've seen all week. <3
posted by Fizz at 5:38 PM on July 7, 2018 [15 favorites]

Tens of thousands of people in Lafayette Square last Saturday no politics, John um, getting together for no particular reason in the 97°F/36°C heat.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:45 PM on July 7, 2018 [13 favorites]

I went to the Georgia Aquarium for the first time earlier this week and the belugas were enchanting.

I took my 5 year old to a bike shop earlier today to get his first pedal bike for his fifth birthday. Barely contained child glee is beautiful.
posted by Jacob G at 5:45 PM on July 7, 2018 [12 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I experienced this week was Thursday afternoon when I noticed the temperature in Central Indiana had dropped below HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2018 [15 favorites]

That would be a thirty eight pound (in weight: considerably more in money) wheel of cheese, which I observed two people carefully moving from a van into a shop. It was ... perfect, and I have been thinking continuously about it ever since.

+ + + + +

It remains hot, hot, hot across Albion. RoofFox continues to sunbathe, people melt into roads, as do lorries, and avoid drunk seagulls, worry about the looming shortage of essential items, and cool down by wearing now-trendy waistcoats and eating traditional deep fried fish and chips. Thoughts of somehow hibernating until the festivals of Imbolc (also St. Brigid's Day, some thirty weeks away) are increasingly tempting.

Further afield, people have better heat strategies for dealing with heat. Over where crisps are called chips, people eat pork ice cream and where a colleague with an interesting first name annually fends off people who incorrectly use social media, a friend who organises events at her library reports an excellent turnout. For a free event in an air conditioned room. Which involves eating (again, free) cake. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maximum allowance of two hundred people were there, ready and waiting, before doors opened.

This makes sense, libraries teaming with cake. And it's not a new concept, as libraries such as Albuquerque, Keokuk, Lamar, Rockville, Somerset and many others will loan patrons a selection of cake pans. Seems sensible. "Bake it, and they will come."

But closer to home, the local church held their annual summer fete earlier today {looks at clock: okay, technically yesterday, now}. This was flagged - literally - a few days ago by bunting which, as I'm 6 foot 3, I helped adjust. Cue comments along the lines of "That's a nice bit of bunting you're holding there" and "I like to see some bunting" from passers by, sometimes meant literally and sometimes said in a double entendre tone. Because England.

The fete wasn't initally thronging with people, partially because of the relentless heat, and partially because apparently England were playing; but, a steady flow of people wandered around. Our local MP (who I continue to engage in low-level cake discovery warfare) didn't show, but did do some nice publicity, while I delivered the same flyers to a generally positive reception (three people offered me tea). Apart from two people unfamiliar with dog shows complaining about a category titled 'Prettiest Bitch' on that side of the flyer (I did not write them; all complaints to the local church).

Anyway, it being an Anglican church meant there was plenty of cake, and the dog show (with rosettes and doggy chews), and the church speciality (strawberry scones), and bell tower tours where an extremely sweaty bearded man with throbbing forehead veins would enthusiastically demonstrate bell ringing and soak nearby tourists with a shower of perspiration, and archery which was worryingly placed next to the dog show (tell Johnny Wallflower there were no incidents), and some Victoria Sponge Cake, and the usual raffle and LGBT and plant sale and (hopefully temporary) tattoo-for-the-children stands, and a tombola where I paid a pound for two tickets and number 135 won me a "Vanilla Cupcake Yankee Candle" and lamp thing which made the Mayor comment 'Just what you need in this weather, something to burn' as she passed by. The vicar spent the day working the crowd in her new hat; and there was also an extensive book sale in the church, in which I spotted the books I had bought two book sales ago, read, and donated back. And cake. Plus various artists in the church (last year's harp player returned, which was good).

I also ate some cake.

The fete was well attended in the end; there were some worries that because of the kickball and the weather and the many other events simultaneously happening that it would be quiet. The numbers did suddenly go down with an hour left as people departed to prepare themselves for kickball, which meant there was some cake left over. This was arranged on platters which will be three pounds each, available after Wendy's service tomorrow morning. First come, first served. Message me if you want the platter with the especially large slice of Victoria Sponge Cake on it, as an elder who owes me a small favor (I stopped a dog from eating the raffle tickets) can keep that one by.
posted by Wordshore at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2018 [36 favorites]

A taco with pulled pork, green tabasco sauce, cheddar cheese, and purple cabbage. Three of them, actually. I just made them and then I ate them.

They were spectacular.

Also I drove home from Canada on the 4th of July and since it's a nine hour drive I always like to get an early start. I was on the road at 5:30AM driving through the Gatineau hills and farms of Quebec and the light was perfect, there was mist in the fields, deer everywhere and everything was just so peaceful and beautiful.
posted by bondcliff at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2018 [18 favorites]

I came back from holiday travel this week to see the rainbow flag being flown for the first time at the college where I work, in honour of pride weekend, right above our new rainbow crosswalk. The small city I live in has a reputation (sometimes fair, sometimes not) for being redneck and backwards, so it was a beautiful sight to see those rainbows.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:49 PM on July 7, 2018 [15 favorites]

I’ll have to go for berry picking at Nourse Farm, where my family has been going for pick your own for about 20 years, this morning, on the first not-searing-hot day in Cambridge in about a week. My wife and I picked raspberries, blueberries, black raspberries and blueberries.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:05 PM on July 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

The wild passionvine creeping up from under our porch bloomed this week.
posted by saladin at 6:08 PM on July 7, 2018 [13 favorites]

I had some trauma-processing to do early this week, so I took advantage of the Wednesday holiday to do a 12-mile hike (that long only in part because I got lost). I went to a park I go to quite often and the first 8 miles or so were the trail I normally take, and I was in my head and not paying a lot of attention, then I decided to try a new detour and ended up (only partially intentionally) in a part of the park I'd never visited before and it was just breathtakingly beautiful. Sunlight filtering through oak- and pine-forest, a small creek running, just exactly the setting I like the most. I also saw quite a few Steller's jays and many gorgeous Steller's jays' feathers loose on the trail. The feathers are a remarkable black-blue -- like, normally you hear "blue black" and it's a black so deep it looks blue, but these are a blue so deep it looks black but simultaneously brilliantly blue.

Working in general right now on processing a lot of endings, both past and current. And I'm letting myself cry about them when I need to, which is not always something I've been able to do in the past and I'm finding it helps.

Bonus beautiful thing which might be cheating because I can't remember if it was this week but I think it was Sunday: There's a ranch near me that raises guinea and pea fowl, and I love driving past it when I can. On Sunday (let's just say Sunday) one of the peacocks was leeeeeeeeeeeeeisurely crossing the road, so I stopped to let him pass, at which point he stopped right in front of my car. I rolled down the window (though I guess we don't roll windows down anymore, do we?) to make encouraging cross-the-road noises, at which point he walked over to my window, raised his head proudly, and made that blood-curdling peacock SQUAWK! noise, then calmly lowered his head and looked at me again. I didn't want him to stay in the middle of the road, so I told him how lovely he was until he looked sufficiently ego-stroked and he continued on his majestic way to the other side of the street.

He really was lovely. Some birds you see close-up and think they were more pleasing far away. Peacocks really are just fucking gorgeous.
posted by lazuli at 6:08 PM on July 7, 2018 [27 favorites]

I made a (no-cook) strawberry pie, it was beautiful AND delicious! Went on a picnic in the park with some friends. It was just going to be sandwiches but then I had to run to the store to get disposable plates for the pie, and I decided to grab pasta salad, and then I had to grab a vegan slaw for our vegan guest because the pasta salad had cheese in it, and then I thought since the sandwich shop where my friends were planning on grabbing sandwiches doesn't do vegan I should make him a vegan sandwich spread (mashed white bean/avocado), and then I was like "well if I'm making that many sandwiches I should just make them for everyone" and anyway it turned into Picnic Feast with roast beef, turkey, and white bean/avocado sandwiches, peaches, cherries, veggie tray, pita chips & hummus, pasta salad, vegetable slaw, and the strawberry pie that started it all!

Took a break from the heat at the pool a couple of days this week (now that we live somewhere with pools with nice long hours!) and FINALLY the heat has broken and it's not like living in someone's armpit. Very pleasant today!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:16 PM on July 7, 2018 [13 favorites]

My mom sent me a pile of recipes that date back to my grandparents. Some typed out on index cards. Some cut out from boxes. Some clipped from newspapers. They are just amazing. I mean, there’s a lot of marshmallow, gelatin, and canned meat — so I don’t know that I’ll be rushing to make any of these things. But they are a yellowed, crumbling and fascinating window into the past.

One index card has a cocktail recipe on it and then scrawled at the bottom, in my grandmother’s hand: “Oh. So. Good.”
posted by veggieboy at 6:19 PM on July 7, 2018 [23 favorites]

Twenty five or so years ago, the US Navy gifted the City of Key West with the Truman Annex and surrounding Waterfront. The Annex was almost immediately sold to a residential developer who worked the old military buildings into a very upscale housing complex, which started high dollar and have since become stratospheric in value.
The Truman Waterfront was retained for the public good, and has gone through two decades of bickering and nine different design schemes while mouldering away. At last, work began in 2017 to convert it into a public park and recreation area.
Phase one started with the creation of an amphitheater that no one thought we needed, but turned out to be a smashing success in the first season of operation. This phase was completed just in time for Irma, but the storm did very little damage.
Phase two has been in progress since December, and is just now nearing completion, and the trees and sod are installed. It has already transformed what was disintegrating into a lush and green Oasis on the rock, and I love what they have done with it.
That's my favorite beautiful thing this year.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:23 PM on July 7, 2018 [12 favorites]

I walked across the Bridge of Flowers, which connects the small towns of Buckland and Shelburne in Massachusetts. It's beautiful.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 6:25 PM on July 7, 2018 [11 favorites]

A friend is on vacation on the Olympic Peninsula - which is nearby enough that I could easily go there myself, but I usually don't manage to. The photos she's posting are gorgeous. I keep looking st the sun setting from this side of the mountains and thinking how much more beautiful it must be where she is.

I also just finished a difficult, complicated pottery project that's in a kiln being soda fired right now. It's a porcelain soup tureen with a raised base, wide lid and hollow wheel-thrown handles, decorated with very detailed imprints of bigleaf maple leaves that I tinted with iron oxide wash and green glaze. It's so pretty that I can't believe I made it, provided it doesn't explode or something while being fired.
posted by centrifugal at 6:28 PM on July 7, 2018 [17 favorites]

Way back in November, I accepted our latest (and maybe last) pig half from our pig guy. It was not a great day to butcher pigs - hot and sunny, we struggled against the weather to keep our meat intact. Instead of cutting up the ham for individual meals, this time I kept it whole.

I brought this whole ham home, salted it heavily, and pressed it with a large piece of concrete I found in the yard. About a month later, much of the water had been pulled out and the meat was firm to the touch.

At this point, I put the ham in a modified refrigerator, set the temperature and humidity controls, and walked away. After seven months, things felt right and I pulled out a completed prosciutto this past week.

It tastes good and I didn't die from botulism, so I'm calling it a success. I have some improvement ideas for next time, so I will be looking for some new hogs for some new cured meat products.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:31 PM on July 7, 2018 [21 favorites]

I'm giving harpist Mary Lattimore's latest album another listen and it's my favorite thing to come out this year. (h/t Aquarium Drunkard for the reminder). Stunning. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Here's the lead-off track. You can find the rest anywhere good music is streamed/sold.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:32 PM on July 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

Wordshore’s comment up above.

Also, I spent last week at the most beautiful lake in America, Lake Vermilion in far northern Monnesota, and the sunsets there were better every night than the one before. Just jaw-dropping. The last night we went for a sunset pontoon boat cruise, and a frickin’ bald eagle flew across the sunset.

God how I love that place.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:36 PM on July 7, 2018 [10 favorites]

My commuter bus is the most direct route between several big museums. During summer months, half the bus riders are tourists. (I spend most mornings reminding myself that it's a good thing people who've clearly never taken a bus before have chosen to spend their vacation using public transit.)

Last week, I was seated a little behind a couple who appeared to be middle-aged tourists visiting from South East Asia. I couldn't hear them, but they were carrying on a cheerful conversation the whole way. As we approached the local science museum, the man became increasingly excited. He started enthusiastically tapping his partner on the shoulder, repeatedly pointing at different parts of the building, and leaning across the seat to get a better view. When we were a few blocks from the stop, he couldn't contain himself anymore and stood up. He literally danced in the aisle (silently and without stepping on anyone) for three minutes as the bus approached the stop, then continued to dance in circles around his partner as they walked toward the museum.

Our local science museum is great. It has talented staff and a lovely historic building. But, I've never seen anyone that excited by a museum before. It made me wonder what it would have been like to visit Indonesia on a family vacation with Robin Williams during his coke years. (Fantastic, I suspect.) It was the most delightful thing I've seen in person in a long time.

Also, the lightening storm and thunderclouds that put our local fireworks display to shame on the 4th were awesome. As were all the soaked and giddy people walking back into town and making radically different decisions about how to interact with a downpour and each other.
posted by eotvos at 6:37 PM on July 7, 2018 [21 favorites]

" It's so pretty that I can't believe I made it, provided it doesn't explode or something while being fired."

We're gonna need some pictures when it comes out!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:42 PM on July 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

I'll happily brag about it if it stays pretty (or is an interesting disaster)!
posted by centrifugal at 6:44 PM on July 7, 2018 [6 favorites]

You know, I am immensely grateful to be able to say that I feel as though I've seen a great many beautiful things this week. However, at the moment I think the most captivating is this familiar bluet (Enallagma civile) that I saw when tubing in Lower Greeley Pond on the 4th. They were just swarming everywhere, landing all over me and my tube. There is something about damselflies that I absolutely love—so delicate and elegant, yet so fierce and purposeful at the same time. To be floating in the middle of a pristine pond, surrounded on all sides by gorgeous green mountains, while damselflies dance around me and land all over me was ecstatic. The ponds were absolutely chock full of tadpoles, as well. A great place to get away from things, on a day when I needed to get away from the nation and commune with the land for a bit.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:53 PM on July 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

Two things I've been reminded of:
1. A friend posted photos of some vases she had fired and she declared them not what she had wanted but they were seriously lovely and I'm in awe of those of you who can make pottery.

2. One of my staff went on vacation! She so deserves a vacation! She is one of those people who "takes a day off" but checks and responds to her email all day long even when I yell at her about it and tell her to tell her clients to call me rather than her because she is taking the day off. She is a wonderful person and a stellar mental healthcare worker but she needs to take time for herself! So now she and her family are taking a three-week trip to Alaska and I think she finally left her work phone at home, and I think it's beautiful that she's taking that time and I think it's beautiful that my entire team is like, "Yep, we'll cover for you, go relax!"

I'll be leaving this work team in a couple weeks, and from all reports my new manager is equally good about not guilt-tripping anyone for taking their allotted time off or working "only" their allotted hours (we're officially not allowed to work overtime, but a lot of people do and just don't ask to be paid for it), but I am so going to miss my team and especially my manager. She's retiring, and she has really shaped how I view managing people and community partners and clients, and I know I'm going to carry on what she taught me but it's going to be hard without her take-no-shit presence.
posted by lazuli at 7:00 PM on July 7, 2018 [10 favorites]

I spent most of this week feeling utterly spoiled. Here on the Central California Coast (midway between LA and SF, actually 5-10 miles inland), for over a week we had highs between 65F/18C and 75F/24C and lows between 50F/10C and 60F/16C. It usually gets warmer than that during the day (in the summer) and cooler at night (all seasons). I've gotten by here for 12 years with no A/C but this was the most comfortable early-July I've experienced yet. Because of the fire danger (due to recurring drought... have I mentioned it hasn't rained in months?), the landlord banned fireworks for the 4th of July, and it was quiet here, except for the usual sound of the larger trucks on southbound Highway 101 a hundred yards away. Also banned: outdoor grilling/BBQs; so it really didn't feel like "the 4th", but then I haven't felt much like celebrating it since 1980. Sorry, no vacancies here at the Hillcrest Ranch apartment/mobilehome complex, but they're talking about relaxing zoning rules in the City of San Luis Obispo (aka SLOtown) a few miles north to build an apartment building more than 3 stories tall. Now all I have to worry about is if the appropriately-named Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant west of me goes Chernobyl before it's scheduled shutdown in 2025. In the long term, the Pacific Coast in this area is mostly bordered by high bluffs so only a few touristy 'beach towns' are threatened by the first 20 meters of sea level rise. Yep, I picked the right place to spend my "diability/retirement" years.

But then, in my celebration, I totally jinxed myself. The forecasts had tentatively predicted little heat waves several times the last month and Friday it hit. Hard. From 60F/16C right here at dawn to 107F/42C at noon, almost equal to the hottest inland areas (where it's usually 10-15F warmer; on the beach it didn't get over 90F/32C, but that's still hot for the beach). It was only semi-uncomfortable inside the Foopartment thanks to the window fans at opposite ends of the place doing 'flow-through' in from the nicely covered porch in front and out the sunny side of the building; plus keeping some ice packs in the freezer for placing on/behind my head and between my lap and my laptop.

Then after the temperature dropped to 65F/16C by midnight, it went back UP in 3½ hours to 80F/27C... I had rarely if ever seen the nighttime temp rise like that... YIPES! But it held steady until dawn then rose to a high of 102F/39C, and is right now (at 7PM local time; over an hour before sundown) back down to 80F/27C, notably lower than yesterday at this time. WHEW.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:06 PM on July 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The: Lazy web -- is there a difference between damsel flies and dragon flies? Also your photo made me insanely happy. So pretty and magical!
posted by lazuli at 7:08 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is the end of week three of being unemployed. I've been trying to do all the things that sort of fell off while I was busy working 12 hour days: Yoga. Housework. Playing with the cat. I've also finished a sewing project that had been languishing on my craft table since January.
Lest anyone worry that I may just decide to indulge in leisure indefinitely, I had a meeting with a temp office on Friday and I have a job interview (a direct hire, not through the temp office) on Monday morning. If I don't get the job it sounds like there will be lots of work through the temp office, which is a pretty good place to be in. I've been celebrating by watching the Steven Universe episode bomb and eating sheep's milk yogurt.
posted by janepanic at 7:11 PM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

58 perfect, beautiful Georgia peaches sitting on my counter to get ripe enough to eat. Because the peach truck came by, and only sold 25-pound boxes, so what could I do but buy one?
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:14 PM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

I have been sorting through a bunch of things that have been in deep storage because of clothes moths. I "found" (I say "found" because I knew I had it and knew it was in storage, I just thought it was in a different place) the most beautiful chiffon gown with a bodice made of feathered chiffon strips. I bought it for an event that I did not attend because of a terrible thing that happened in my life. and I've never worn it. It's beautiful and I think I no longer care about the terrible thing )well, emotionally, at least; intellectually, it remains offensive). The dress survived the moths but I still have no reason to wear it and nowhere to wear it to. But it's there--along with a few other beautiful things I have which have been spared the infestation.

I'm taking a posh trip with my parents this year. And I have several beautiful dresses to wear to dinner but the white one is too much a ballgown. It's nice to have choices, though, and generous parents. I was out to dinner with them the other night and they are beginning to seem old--it's difficult. But I look forward to this posh trip with them.
posted by crush at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

My grandfather, who hasn't been totally coherent due to Alzheimer's in years, sitting by my grandmother's death bed and telling us, in clear, full sentences, how lucky he was to have her as "his lady" and how it was hard but beautiful how she would go back to the earth and the Lord.

i'm not crying you're crying
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:17 PM on July 7, 2018 [44 favorites]

Gosh I've been in Maui all week and there's a lot of nice stuff here, but I think top would have to be this sunset the first night I was here.
posted by aubilenon at 7:18 PM on July 7, 2018 [13 favorites]

Sure lazuli, they are separate suborders within the insect order Odonata. Dragonflies are Anisoptera, while Damselflies are Zygoptera. Damselflies are typically smaller and more slender, and when they land they fold their wings over their backs—if you look closely you'll see that their whole thorax is kinda set at an angle to allow this. Dragonflies tend to be bigger and beefier and when they land, their wings are spread out—they can't fold them away. My Insta actually has a few recent pictures of both dragonflies and damselflies which I think show the differences reasonably well.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:30 PM on July 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

WidgetAlley, I'm totally crying.
posted by lazuli at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

Left my bike in the office Tuesday afternoon, rode home Wednesday around noon. Seattle was sunny and warm. Up through Myrtle-Edwards park, through the Interbay bike trail (which is not that pretty, unless you like freight train yards), then along the ship canal trail through Fremont, through the U District then along Greenlake (not my pics :-) ). Everyone was out, boating, cycling, walking, running. Seattle at it's finest.

In the summer I try to commute along this route as much as I can. It's longer than my normal route (about 13.5 miles total), but its beautiful and relaxing.
posted by Gorgik at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The, oh, neat, thanks! My mental concept is definitely just "dragonflies" (which I love!). I'll look into whether damselflies exist around here and if they do, I'll start looking for them, too! (I only recently found out that there are hawks other than red-tailed hawks here, and I've been delighted to try to learn the differences between them. I like the thought of having another discernment exercise!)
posted by lazuli at 7:33 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

We have a 1999 Jeep which has seen better days. But it runs and is paid for, and is perfect to get to the train station and the occasional ride to the shore. For the last 2 years, the thingies that hold the lift gate up have been malfunctioning, either slowly dropping the lift gate on me while I unpack the back, or giving up and letting the lift gate clock me on the head. That hurts.

Did you know they sell those parts (they're called lift supports) online for only $17 or so each? They do! This afternoon I set out with misterussell's ratchet set and I changed them myself. He helped hold the lift gate up because he objected to me using my head to do it. Fair. The most beautiful sight I saw this week was that lift gate, standing tall on its own and knowing I managed to fix something on my own car.
posted by kimberussell at 7:34 PM on July 7, 2018 [23 favorites]

It's been high season for fireflies lately, and I think the most beautiful thing I've seen this week was when me and the PITA daughter went out last Saturday around 10 pm to check on the horses because a couple different neighbors were setting off some giant-ass fireworks for more than an hour. All the fireflies were hanging way up in the trees exactly like little fairy lights. It was so magical!
posted by drlith at 7:35 PM on July 7, 2018 [10 favorites]

We have not been out to dinner in ages, mostly for economy, and a lot due to my husband's weird hours. He did a really good job this last month, and had a big bonus, so he wanted to take me to dinner.

We went to a local place that we've been wanting to try. They have a 5-course meal for $32, a few bucks more if you want Prime Rib (which we did, so $36). Service was slow, due to several seatings and we were in the middle seating, but we eventually got our drinks and food and it was lovely.

Then we left, driving down the country road, there was a deer, who ran into the nearby field, and stopped with his prancing buddy, to look at us.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:40 PM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

lazuli, I've never seen a place that had one kind but not the other! Once you start looking, I bet you'll spot them right away!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:40 PM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, and this tiny Giger-esque monsterling is a damselfly naiad. (I love that the nymphs are called naiads.) They spend a year or so in the water eating mosquito larvae and generally being super useful, and then emerge onto land and shed their exoskeleton to gain their adult form. They only last a month as adults, just long enough to breed. If you look around when they're just appearing, you can often find the moulted larval exoskeletons clinging to tree trunks and the sides of wooden buildings and such. Earlier this year I found a teneral dragonfly, one that was brand new and hadn't finished shaping and hardening its adult body yet. Super cool! You can see its (very blurry) moult on the far left in that picture.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:50 PM on July 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

I re-organized my little kitchen and did a deep clean. The new space meant I could tuck a wooden bench under one of the windows. My sister and I ate family dinner on that bench every night growing up, and it's one of my most cherished items. I love having it in my kitchen. I poured myself a splash of wine in a mug and watched the golden hour sun illuminate the verdant summer green of my neighbor's backyard. My apartment has old, gorgeous wooden floors and I watched the sunlight on them, too, wondering what stories they hold. Friends, I am happier than I've been in a very long time, and so grateful the everyday things are so wondrous.
posted by missmary6 at 7:54 PM on July 7, 2018 [17 favorites]

Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The -- thank you! I have so many new things to look for now.
posted by lazuli at 8:02 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I saw this week and pretty much every week lately is my 18-month daughter learning to speak. It is stunning, awe-inspiring and mostly beyond my comprehension. She is so cool. It’s the most beautiful thing. Except, of course, for when she giggles.
posted by pixlboi at 8:04 PM on July 7, 2018 [18 favorites]

Mine are mostly in keeping with the "beautiful food" theme around here. This week I discovered a place near work that makes sausage-and-sauerkraut sandwiches to die for (I'm not usually a sandwich girl, but their bread is about as far from the standard Japanese white sponge as imaginable).
On Friday I made up for a disappointment by using the potatoes someone had given us (my husband works out in the middle of nowhere and people grow veggies and give them away...) to make latkes, and served them with homemade applesauce. I make applesauce often--it's my dad's "recipe," ie chop a bunch of apples coarsely, do NOT peel, and simmer, bashing occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they become applesauce--and it's usually good, but this was my first time trying out latkes and they were JUST RIGHT. They looked nice and they tasted exactly the way they should. TRIUMPH.
Also I used this year's first fresh habanero in a batch of Thai green curry; lovely fruity heat.
I also found a bunch of fresh apricots at the supermarket and bought them because they were so beautiful, but now I don't know what to do with them. Ideas?

Today is the first day since...Tuesday?...when it has stopped raining for more than ten-fifteen minutes at a time. The heavy rains meant our orchestra retreat was canceled, the origin of the disappointment referred to above, but...well, unlike some people in the regions affected by the rains, we're all alive and healthy and have houses to live in, it's not worth being miserable about. I'm having a peaceful dreamy weekend at home and trying to get the stuff done I usually don't have time for. Life goes on.
posted by huimangm at 8:15 PM on July 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

That would have to be my young dog's happy smile as he raced up and down a wooded trail on a hike with his terrier friend. Happy dog, happy me.
posted by HotToddy at 8:41 PM on July 7, 2018 [10 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I saw all week was my girlfriend. She is in the middle of a 3 week stint of travel for work, and I flew out and surprised her for the holiday. All good.

Today, back in hometown, I had to work on the engine to my truck in the heat. Today, the most beautiful thing I saw was the ice cold Pilsner Urquel sitting in my frig when I came inside. Only one left, but she was beautiful while she lasted. About a minute and 11 seconds.
posted by AugustWest at 8:50 PM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

I made a curtained porch bed and the monsoons are here so I’ve been reading beside the rain.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:54 PM on July 7, 2018 [13 favorites]

Ohhh, I miss reading when it's raining! When I was a teenager I used to take an Agatha Christie novel and sit under a giant golf umbrella. I love reading now when it's raining but we've been in such a drought. Jealous!
posted by lazuli at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

My six year old son running to greet his grandmother with a big hug. Beautiful.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:57 PM on July 7, 2018 [6 favorites]

It has been a gorgeous week here in the northern hinterlands and we took advantage with some beautiful adventures like a coastal bike ride, a trip up a mountain, and a hike over a pass to a glacial lake. We return to our regularly scheduled crappy cold/windy/rainy summer programming tomorrow, which is probably good for at least a bit since everyone in the state is a little exhausted.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I saw this week was my partner, who can be somewhat reserved in public, smiling and dancing to the killer sounds of The Damned rocking our faces off at the Crystal Ballroom, wearing her favorite boots and jumping rather wildly. She is so, so beautiful.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:14 PM on July 7, 2018 [12 favorites]

I took the advice from this thread on awesome underwear (thanks blnkfrnk) and got my husband some great ones for his birthday. The most beautiful sight I have seen this week is him modeling that underwear for me. So gorgeous.
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:45 PM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

I saw a bat in my yard for the first time in many years . That made me very happy. Plus, it was an exceptionally beautiful evening, lovely weather after a nasty heatwave and quite a colorful sunset as a backdrop for the bats appearance.
posted by iamhere:youarethere at 11:03 PM on July 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Today the North American monsoon showed up in Tucson, blanketing us with clouds and bringing a fairly pretty sunset.

Otherwise, yesterday I was able to meet up with a friend I haven't seen in person in four or five years, I got the AC working again in my car which qualifies as beauty in Arizona, and earlier today I got my first competition win in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in several years (until this summer, I'd been out of the tournament scene since 2016). So it's been a pretty okay weekend so far.
posted by egregious theorem at 11:22 PM on July 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

A vintage pink and chrome Schwinn bike in near pristine condition on the local yard sale site. Due to a knee injury, I'm prohibited from riding bikes, but it was so beautiful that I almost dropped the hundred bucks just so I could look at it every day.
posted by Ruki at 11:22 PM on July 7, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have new windows! They are amazing! Finally. They arrived on Monday. They are actually incredibly boring windows, but oh my god I'm so glad to be done with this and at least now anything my apartment complex sticks me with can't possibly be something that requires shutting my cats in the bathroom every day for weeks at a time!
posted by Sequence at 11:44 PM on July 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

I have seen and walked on what parts of Mars are like. With oxygen; of course. And just a little bit of humidity; and a touch of the convection oven aspect. Cheap sunglasses too.
posted by Afghan Stan at 12:13 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

I marched the Pride in London parade.
posted by nikaspark at 12:56 AM on July 8, 2018 [10 favorites]

My two kittens continue to give me great joy with their curiosity and affection.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:11 AM on July 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I saw this week was the culmination of years of wishing and, at least, 6 months of planning.

I now have a reservation at The French Laundry.
posted by alchemist at 1:23 AM on July 8, 2018 [21 favorites]

We're getting about three strawberries each every other day at the moment, and they're beautifully delicious. It's been so long since I ate anything other than crappy strawberries from the store that every time I bite in I think, "well, this is going to be a watery disappointment but whatever" and then it ISN'T, it's the platonic ideal of strawberry flavour. The strawberry plants came free when we ordered some dwarf fruit trees in the spring and they've been the most edible thing we've grown so far this year, what a fantastic gift from the universe (/plant company).

Also I went canoeing on a lake on a lovely day with my sweetheart and it was beautifully serene. It was one of the activities on offer at my work company picnic, which was fun all round - there was music, ice cream, frisbee, wonderful weather and a very cute miniature pony which thankfully didn't look too traumatised by the miniature-pony-for-hire lifestyle.

The other great thing that happened this weekend is that mr terretu and I both got new (to us) bikes! Accidentally much nicer bikes than we intended (Dutch hybrids), but comfortable and well-fitting enough that I don't regret spending more than I planned on them. We were both remarking that neither of us has had a bike that actually fits us well since we were 12 or so (tall people problems). We took them out for a short ride yesterday and we're planning a longer one today.

Something which is very much not beautiful in Cambridgeshire at the moment is the grass. It hasn't rained here since the 2nd of May and the official report on when it might again is basically ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. There might be thunderstorms next weekend (the humidity is slowly starting to ratchet up), or it might stay hot and dry until the end of July. Even people who complain during rainy summers and start talking in April about how they want it to be perfectly sunny and nice from then on until autumn are beginning to realise that they didn't mean it quite this literally. The design and position of our house keep it remarkably cool inside with good cross-ventilation, so as long as it doesn't get deathly humid we should be just fine here even if it stays warm. But, wow, this is not the crappy British summer of my childhood.
posted by terretu at 1:57 AM on July 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

The goal keeper from my team helping England into the semifinals!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:59 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

We've been lucky enough to spend the last week in the dolomites, largely around Cortina though with some drives further away. The weather varied from sun bleached to rolling thunderstorms which can both be pretty impressive. We drove the road from Cortina to Bolzano, which is well known for being amazing and it was. If we'd stopped at every restaurant with an incredible view they would have been able to roll me back into Cortina. We did some walking and electro-mountain biking around Cortina, the biking let us see some fantastic views. There was one place where we came out of a disused railway tunnel and the valley up to Cortina opened up in front of us that really stuck in my mind. We're finishing the holiday with 3 days in Venice, which is scorching. We got the vaporetto from Sant Elena to piazzale Roma at sunset last night and that was pretty memorable.
posted by biffa at 2:03 AM on July 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm happier now than I've ever been in my life.

I've finally learned to be happy even though there are things in my life that aren't perfect. I let the imperfect things go and am focussing on the good things - of which there are so many that even the crappy things are mostly OK now.

I'm very fortunate, my future looks bright, I have a solid plan in place for the rest of my life. I gave up shame and self-deprecation and shut my mom's voice out of my head altogether. Shoutouts to my therapist, Adderall, and my own rockstar self.

You can do this too - I believe in you.
posted by bendy at 2:19 AM on July 8, 2018 [26 favorites]

I saw happy frogs after some crazy summer rain.
posted by runcifex at 3:20 AM on July 8, 2018 [10 favorites]

Got back to room after breakfast, turned on tv and James Bond was just sailing into Venice in Casino Royale. Clearly its a sign - James Bond tour of Venice!

But first Merano, unexpectedly at the first stop on the way, the Energy Observer renewable energy.powered yacht was moored. Now that is beautiful.
posted by biffa at 3:36 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

The most beautiful thing I've seen this week was from my hammock yesterday. To be honest, I heard it more than I saw it. It was a group of little kids, about 5 of them (between maybe 5 and 8), playing together in a moving knot that involved chasing each other with squirt guns on a warm and sunny day. I live in a 8-story apartment building near similar buildings, most of them with grassy areas and/or mini playgrounds. Parents can let their kids just kind of roam in a way that is familiar to me from my US childhood but not especially common in urban areas in the US today. So seeing these kids free to be kids was just beautiful and made me super happy. No cake or bunting, though. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 4:23 AM on July 8, 2018 [9 favorites]

As an addendum, I have been reliably informed that all the remaining cake went quite quickly this morning, raising more funds and feeding attendees. Also, someone took a nice picture of Anna, the folk harpist, playing in the church during the fete yesterday.
posted by Wordshore at 4:31 AM on July 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

My wife and I went to Ottawa for a few days. It was part of our new tradition of going to Canada on the 4th of July. Our first stop was the The Canadian Museum of History where I wanted to see the special exhibit on The Franklin Expedition. I was prepared to head straight to that exhibit on the second floor, but she insisted we had to first see The Grand Hall.

She was right. The exhibit of totem poles of the First Peoples of the Pacific coast is amazing. The gallery is beautiful, it really shows of the size and grandeur of the totem poles, and they are presented with a great deal of respect for the people who created them. Wikipedia: pic1, pic2

We saw a lot of other beautiful things over the week but that was top of my list.
posted by maurice at 4:35 AM on July 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

My next door neighbor tiny 3-yr-old is fascinated by my little floofy rescue dog, Max. But she’s also Very Afraid of Dogs, even ones that look like a stuffed toy. We’ve lived here a year. Max has learned that she is excited to see him, and if I give him permission will frisk through the grass to greet her through the bars of their patio fencing. Her mother and teen brother have laughingly told me she asks about Max every day. But she’s been afraid to do more than talk to him, despite the coaxing of many adults. This week, though, her cousin (chatty little girl of about five) came over to visit her. To my pupper’s delight, this little girl actually pet him! Doggie joy! The most beautiful thing I’ve seen this week is my little neighbor taking confidence from her cousin, reaching carefully out to confront her fears, and finding a soft and warm little bundle of love as her reward. (And made Max SO HAPPY!)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:59 AM on July 8, 2018 [39 favorites]

Last night curling was cancelled because the Zamboni broke down and they couldn't groom the ice. So we retired to a nearby pub instead, where one of our team ordered a beer tower for the table. I was not aware that bars would bring you 96 ounces of draft beer (Bell's Two Hearted Ale) in something called a beer tower, with a spigot for pouring. It was glorious.
posted by COD at 5:22 AM on July 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

I've had a sort of rough couple of weeks, so I came up to my parents' house again this weekend to commune with Triceratops and celebrate my dad's 54th birthday. Yesterday, we went out to the seacoast and I threw the biggest rocks I could manage info the ocean, imagining that they were my supervisor and my ex and enjoying the very satisfying plonking noise and resulting splash. Once I stopped being angry, I remembered that the NH Seacoast is the most beautiful place.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2018 [16 favorites]

I took a day off earlier in the week and went to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition so I saw almost too many beautiful things to fully appreciate them all. However a couple of pieces that stuck out to me were Refuge by Cathy de Monchaux - just an amazing piece of wirework sculpture that had a sense of seeing into a secret world. I also loved Mark Alexander's Wrestling with Angels - I genuinely thought it was a gold bas-relief sculpture but when you look closely it's actually an incredibly realistic trompe l'oeil painting.
If you're in London over the summer I can't recommend the exhibition enough.
posted by crocomancer at 6:53 AM on July 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

Spouse and I drove to Hershey over the holiday to meet my twin niblings (boy and girl). They were born at 30w5d and have been on the planet and the NICU for three weeks. I was allowed to hold my niece and coo soft words to my nephew in his isolette.

Then we went to Troegs for a bite and a brew and came home.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:08 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Received some terrible new this morning. My grandfather died last night.

This is him.

He was a son, brother, father, grandfather. He was a politician, a writer, a revolutionary (he was active in civil disobedience when fighting against British Imperialism and fought for India's revolution). He once got stabbed in the ass by a gangster because he was defending a local business from being blackmailed.

This is a photo from when he was much younger. He died at the age of 98, in his sleep. I just wanted to share what an amazing person he was. I don't think I'll ever be as cool as him, and that's ok.

posted by Fizz at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2018 [48 favorites]

Fizz, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I mostly stayed indoors this week, as we had feels-like-100ºF temperatures pretty much daily Monday through Friday. I did get to see amateur fireworks lighting up the whole city while getting a lift back from July 4 board games from some very kind friends (thank you!). I spent most of the week indoors, finally getting around to watching The Bridge/Bron/Broen (I'm not done with S1, no spoilers please) and teaching my cat to get used to an asthma inhaler (he still squirms a lot but doesn't immediately hide under the couch afterward, so that's progress). Yesterday the heat finally broke in time for my boyfriend's goddaughter's second birthday party, which was definitely the most adorable thing I've seen all week. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the amazing 3D cake her grandfather made for her.
posted by capricorn at 7:28 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

So sorry, Fizz.
Also, I will have to go back and look at all the excellent things posted here.

But for now I am posting this single-take wedding proposal from 2012, which fabius was very clever to remind me about, in an Ask today.
posted by Glinn at 7:28 AM on July 8, 2018 [10 favorites]

I'm so sorry for your loss, Fizz. He looks like he was an amazing fellow. And his moustache is wondrous.


My tribe just had our annual powwow and they've been posting pics to their FB page. There have been so many wonderful photos but I think this one is my favorite and is the most beautiful thing I've seen this week.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:33 AM on July 8, 2018 [17 favorites]

I am sorry for your loss, Fizz.
posted by Wordshore at 7:34 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry, Fizz.

She was right. The exhibit of totem poles of the First Peoples of the Pacific coast is amazing. The gallery is beautiful, it really shows of the size and grandeur of the totem poles, and they are presented with a great deal of respect for the people who created them.

One of the big museums in Chicago (natural history, maybe?) has a room full of totem poles, and I remember as a kid sneaking off and sitting there for as long as I possible could. So much power and strength and serenity.
posted by lazuli at 7:47 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

It's the Field Museum, lazuli. We were there in April and the totems are gorgeous and powerful and I could have stayed in that room for days.
posted by cooker girl at 7:55 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

OMG Glinn, thank you for posting that. I gotta go find some tissues now.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:02 AM on July 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

The longer I live, the more I love bird songs. Which substantially end after the 4th -- I finally wondered this summer if this is related in part to the fireworks.

The housefinches' long liquid trills, the robins' cheeriup cheerio cherrios and the Bewick's Wrens, who have 14 buzzy rattling songs (!), are always a delight but one morning a week ago it was mallard ducks and a northern flicker -- our woodpeckers, and yours, too, as they are nationwide with 400 local names or so I have read -- with an almost rhythm of quack, quack quack from 3 ducks and one flicker with his oowackawackawacka! obligato that was pure jazz for a moment or seven.
posted by y2karl at 8:07 AM on July 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

I'm sorry for your loss of your grandfather, Fizz. It sounds like he was a cool person, and that's a great photo of him.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:23 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was on hospital call this week so it was all death and misery and the most beautiful thing I saw was the faces of my wife and children when I came home. I’m off today and will spend the day at Golden Gardens beach in Seattle surreptitiously getting (legally) high under a beach umbrella watching my kids from a distance exploring the tide pools and throwing crabs at each other.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:49 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Look at this. It's like the setting to a fairy tale.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:51 AM on July 8, 2018 [9 favorites]

Meanwhile, elsewhere in rural England...
posted by Wordshore at 9:09 AM on July 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

I do love a good village fete. Even better if they have a potato henge.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:35 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Fireflies. Most years we see one at a time if any but this year there were at least ten blinking on and off in the backyard. I hope this means their decline has halted.
posted by Botanizer at 9:40 AM on July 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

> cooker girl:
"It's the Field Museum, lazuli. We were there in April and the totems are gorgeous and powerful and I could have stayed in that room for days."

I see a trip to Chicago in my future....
posted by maurice at 9:47 AM on July 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's like the setting to a fairy tale.

For ants !

Upon review: We have no fireflies here but I remember fireflies from my summers in Salina. I so miss them.
posted by y2karl at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Rehearsing open-air theater at the marina park yesterday afternoon. The weather had broken from the heat wave we've been having. The lake was calm and nearly still it was moving just enough to make the gentle sound of waves on the shore. The sound and smell flashed me back to happy memories of summer vacations at Grandma's lake cottage. A soft breeze was rustling through the trees, accompanied by the merry chirping of swallows. It was like a John Clayton Adams landscape come to life.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

The wild passionvine creeping up from under our porch bloomed this week.

Mine is also related to a wild passion vine. What are the odds??

I have a monster passion vine that shouldn't even exist, because it's somehow rooted between the siding of the house and a concrete slab. I don't know how it gets food or water, but it is glorious, and this spring it sent out runners all the way under the patio, so now half of the house is covered in this massive passion vine.

One day last summer, I noticed a ton of caterpillar droppings underneath the plant. (My eye is trained for that sort of thing because I'm always on the lookout for tomato hornworms this time of year. But anyway.) On inspecting the plant, I saw dozens and dozens of spiky orange caterpillars. I almost went off to find the bT spray, but fortunately I looked them up first and discovered that the caterpillars were the larval stage of the Gulf fritillary butterfly, which only lays eggs on certain species of passion vine -- one of which should not exist on my back patio, but manages somehow.

So this year, with this spring's under-patio runners, there's about three times as much passion vine covering my house, and there are roughly three times as many caterpillars, and they're starting to emerge from their chrysalises. Yesterday morning after watering my garden and picking tomatoes, I sat in the sun for a little while and watched clouds of bright orange butterflies floating through my backyard. From my front window, I can see them inspecting the flower beds across the street. As much as I enjoy watching the caterpillars go from tiny little squiggles to monstrous-looking things to chrysalis to butterfly, I also feel like I'm providing the neighborhood with butterflies, and it sort of feels like a public service.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2018 [16 favorites]

(And Fizz, I'm really sorry for your loss.)
posted by mudpuppie at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Following a link off a link from a story on the Blue I found the discovery of what may be the earliest work of Leonardo Da Vinci. Or maybe not. Either way, definitely beautiful.
posted by scalefree at 10:29 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

help I am trapped in choral evensong and the temp/new organist has no concept of volume control and no one can hear any of the singing and am not sure which is going to burst first my eardrums or the stained glass windows oh heck this is the protestant remake of spinal tap and he's found the volume 11 setting and now the vicar can see me typing must go
posted by Wordshore at 10:52 AM on July 8, 2018 [23 favorites]

I just mowed the back yard. There are baby bunnies in a patch of weeds! I won't be trimming the weeds because BUNNEHS!

Sorry for your loss, Fizz.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:09 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

And the same for me, Fizz.
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry Fizz. He looks like a cool person. So I guess the apple didn't fall far x

This is so trivial, but I've had a ridiculously stressful year, with a job that I should love but that actually entails 36 people demanding shit off me from 9am Monday til 5pm Friday (and that's not including my actual clients). When my partner and I decided to book a holiday this year I had 1 stipulation: no humans for miles around. We did it - we found a lovely little place in Southern Spain. We arrived yesterday and this was my view waking up this morning. I'm the happiest (and most pantless) I've been in a long time. And breathe...
posted by billiebee at 11:57 AM on July 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

I stood outside the front door to wait for dawn: half moon and stars and moth flutter gave way to diffuse sunlight and the woods filled with the dawn chorus.
posted by pracowity at 12:28 PM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

This weekend i attended one of my elderly aunties birthday party, her 80th.
So lots of birdlike old ladies, gossiping seriously.
Wordshoresque amounts of cake, followed by unbelievable amounts of cold meats and mayo salads. There were about 50 people, food for 80. The question can i eat this? would never occur to my aunts - the remains of the cold meat which had sat on a sunny terrace for 6 hours where served up for lunch today, once more placed into the sun.
We ate it all up and live to tell the tale.
posted by 15L06 at 1:19 PM on July 8, 2018 [10 favorites]

Wordshoresque amounts of cake

I feel like the metric unit for massive amounts of either cake or cheese should be 'a wordshore,' as in "The vicar ate a wordshore of cheese in one sitting."
posted by mudpuppie at 1:51 PM on July 8, 2018 [22 favorites]

I watched Sorry to Bother You. It ain’t pretty but it’s a thing of beauty.
posted by The Toad at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


Everyone must stop whatever they are doing immediately and go watch Glinn’s video (but actually here is the original) because it is the most beautiful, inspiring thing ever in the history of the entire universe and I have loved it for years and possibly contributed roughly 12,311 views give or take 30 dozen solely on my own and even know the choreography and the precise moment the family members are brought in on the skype laptops and it’s just everything in the world that is good and loving and beautiful all wrapped into one video that makes me weep with joy every. single. time! (Also, I really, really love this video, have I mentioned that?) Btw, this couple are incredible, check out their other videos on their channel.

I’m gonna cheat a little bit and pick something beautiful from last week, or two weeks ago, or whenever I first watched it — “Nanette,” the Netflix special from Australian comic Hannah Gadsby. There’s an FPP by Bella Donna that has some incredibly beautiful reactions and personal stories/comments.

The power of this piece of work is mind-blowing. It has opened so many new, hard-to-reach doors in my heart on my self-love and self-acceptance journey. I have watched it 4 times now (I apparently like watching things more than once, so sue me!). I’m pretty sure when I play it next, instead of buffering, Netflix is just going to pop up a personalized message, “Really? This again?!” YES, NETFLIX! AGAIN AND AGAIN!
posted by bologna on wry at 4:40 PM on July 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

Just got back from 3 days at a lake house with my mom. The house owners are her best friend Mimi from childhood (they met in 5th grade and are both 74 now) and friend's husband Fred, who is just the best. Helped Fred with the gardening and we took a trip to the dump to get rid of the brush that we cleared off the property. While on the trip we meandered down the country roads that run along the Connecticut River and ended up at the Goodspeed Opera House, which is a cool old gem. Drove on by and landed at Harry's hotdog stand in Colchester - awesome dogs. Back to the house where more old friends came by for a bbq and we ended last evening with fireworks watched while sitting at their private beach. Mom and I have been going up to the lake every summer for almost 20 years. We call it Lake Heaven. It's her annual getaway and since she doesn't like to drive I have been her accomplice - lucky me!

When we arrived there on Friday afternoon, the humidity had finally abated after almost 2 weeks of oppressive heat. We had glorious weather the whole time and I am so glad that mom got to enjoy another year with her dear friend at Lake Heaven.
posted by sundrop at 4:43 PM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

ooooops borked that link above - here... note to self: don't make hypertext links on your iPad....
posted by bologna on wry at 4:47 PM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

4 kilos of rhubarb that I turned into jam (mostly with ginger, 1/4 with cherries).

Fireflies in a park followed by a bit of lightning without rain.
posted by bilabial at 4:57 PM on July 8, 2018 [9 favorites]

Finally, the start of monsoon season, downpours, terrifyingly joyous muddy cataracts in the arroyos.

Foraging the once-every-seven-years apricots from the trees at the currently-unstaffed-due-to-renovations [federal agency] building. Successfully improvising not one but two apricot/frangipane/shortbread-crust tarts with them.

Our new ridiculous dog (who has healed our hearts after the death of our first dog back in December), sleeping on her back with all four paws in the air, twitching and woofing in her sleep, chasing dreams of bunnies.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:34 PM on July 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

I just mowed the back yard.

I did a double-take, because I would have sworn that said, "I just moved the back yard." I was all, where the hell did they move it to? The front?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:43 PM on July 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Cripes, has it already been a week?

It's been a weekend full of beauty and stars. I spent most of the weekend with a friend and coworker just... wandering? It started with a long sit and chat on the beach and a really massive, epic sunset of the kind that the PNW can only provide, full of dusty greys and pinks and an entire zoo of different kinds of clouds filling the sky.

Then we spent the last two nights at Fiddletunes just faffing about and wandering, and camping in my back yard under the stars, which was super fun.

Err, that all sounds like date-like activities but it's more like they're close family or a sibling I didn't know I had. It's great, and just what I need is a cool queer sister.

It has been one full week since I put down my e-cig. Go me. I have temporarily turned into that asshole with the minty toothpicks.
posted by loquacious at 7:19 PM on July 8, 2018 [9 favorites]

Even in the best of times I'm pretty cynical about stunt proposals, and having recently been abandoned by my faithless husband of 30 years, I'm even less inclined to optimism. But fuck if that proposal video didn't have me weeping and laughing. Laughter through tears, my favorite emotion. (Bonus points if you can name the movie.)
posted by johannsebastianbachpuppet at 7:41 PM on July 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Not only this week, but the mention of trees in the post made me think. I work odd hours and am routinely out and about before dawn or after dark. I've developed a real thing for trees (the barer the better) placed closely to lampposts, such that the orange output of the streetlight partially illuminates the branches/foliage. I'm doing a terrible job of describing it, but there are a particular couple of trees I look for on my way out or home which just perfectly marry the two. One in a walled off yard belonging to some flats and the other visible on the opposite side of some train tracks, just shy of the station. I think part of the charm is that they look like little havens or save points in a computer game, like in Alan Wake or Nightmare Creatures or whatever. Beacons against the dark yeah? Life and light! I periodically curse my sodding phone camera which can't begin to capture what I actually see.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:24 PM on July 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

This morning I saw sunlight entering a redwood forest through a clearing in the tall trees. Everything glowed.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:41 PM on July 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

Fizz, sorry about your grandad. That ‘stache and those eyes are a potent look!

I saw the first firefly in my yard in *years* last night; a wonderful treat. Perhaps there will be more of them soon. Anyone know if there are things I can do to encouage fireflies?
posted by wenestvedt at 3:37 AM on July 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

As soon as the guy in the wedding proposal video says that the song is about their relationship and the car pulls out, a DEAD END sign is visible over his shoulder. *wince*

Glad it turned out so well!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:43 AM on July 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

This weekend, I drove up to upstate NY with my partner and some friends to run the Boilermaker. There were several beautiful moments - sitting on the front porch of my friend's sister's house, watching a red-winged blackbird strut his stuff and flash his epaulettes in the long evening light; lining up for a 15K race with more than 15K other runners and feeding off the excitement of the crowd; the sheer number of folks in Utica who came out to cheer for total strangers running the race; my partner stopping to wait for me near the end of the course so we could finish together.

Friends, I had not trained for this race. I had run maybe twice in the past 2 months leading up to this 9.3 mile race. So when I tell you that the beer table at the finish line of the race was beautiful enough to bring tears to my eyes, I hope I will no be judged too harshly.
posted by coppermoss at 12:47 PM on July 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I must correct myself on my comment above:
As he was compiling his three-volume Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England States for publication in the 1920s, Edward Howe Forbush was also tallying the colloquial names used throughout the United States of the species described in the book. “It is said it is known in various parts of the country by fully 125 common names,” he wrote of the species we now know as the Northern Flicker.
Wikipedia says 100 common names as well -- still, I seem to remember reading 400 somewhere but then again it could be my unconscious exaggerating.
posted by y2karl at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2018

> It has been one full week since I put down my e-cig. Go me. I have temporarily turned into that asshole with the minty toothpicks.

Show me your ways, oh wise one. Gahh, I just switched to e-cig from about a half pack a day regular cancer stick habit two weeks ago. This is brutal, yo. But I shall do it, damn it. I and my health are worth it. And then I shall end this madness of nicotine one day altogether and be freeeeee.

right? it can happen right? laugh/sob
posted by bologna on wry at 5:17 PM on July 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lol, moderated out of existance on the Saturday MetaTalk thread. Mods be capricious.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:42 PM on July 9, 2018

bologna on wry, (and loquacious) it will totally happen one day. I quit cold turkey and everybody I knew was really irritating for two weeks, then life became more tolerable. You're out of the woods in a month or two. Hang in there.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:26 PM on July 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hi, zengargoyle, I deleted your previous comment. This is a thread of pleasant things, and your comment was ill-judged.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:26 PM on July 9, 2018 [7 favorites]

No problem LobsterMitten, moderators got to moderate. Metafilter is hard because there are so many people of various sorts. I've read worse or better on the blue or the green and pretty much nothing shocks me anymore. Appologies.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:35 PM on July 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks for understanding.

To answer this question - this weekend I saw: a very tiny orange kitten silhouetted in a farmhouse window; a giant fruit-topped cake for beloved person's birthday; a couple of paintings I've been wanting to see; a rainbow against a stormy sky with white puffy columnar clouds.

But - not 'beautiful' visually but beautiful in the 'aw, yes!' way - was a thing in a rulebook of a boardgame.

We've been playing Gloomhaven, which is this gigantic sprawling boardgame that's broadly a series of dungeon-crawls, where you play roving adventurers killing monsters and making shady deals with sorceresses and so on. You pick your initial character without knowing what the powers of the different classes are. So I picked this one that's sort of wimpy, not great for a 2-player party. As we've gone through the campaign, I've been resorting to cobbled-together solutions to try to pull my weight in terms of monster-killin', often feeling like the junior parter; and every so often I get an improbable big win, and it's awesome. I've been making it work. But still. So, while I'm attached to the character, it's also been an ambivalent thing.

Anyway, in this game, at a certain point you retire your character and start playing a new character of a new class. I've been thinking I was a long way off from that point, but -- last night we realized we've been reading the rules wrong, and.... I'm actually right on the verge of retirement. Literally one last mission. It kind of knocked me back in my chair -- out of nowhere, it's just one last fight with my little wimpy scrape-it-together character, and then I will trade up to a new mystery character. I'm excited and a little melancholy!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:33 PM on July 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Show me your ways, oh wise one.

I vaped for 6-7 years after something like 20+ of 40-50 a day of handrolls.

On switching from cigs to ecigs, part of the secret is to ditch the guilt about wanting to vape basically all the time, especially at first. Cigs generally have freebased nicotine in them. It's super effective at keeping you addicted. Ecigs do not have the same level of bioavailable nicotine, much like plain cigars or pipe tobacco.

Hit your ecig as often as you like. Go for a low vapor MTL (mouth to lung) system like the new refillable pod nicotine salt systems. (I used a single coil RDA, 2 ohms, 18-24 mg/ml nicotine, basically the same concept and nicotine dose.)

I did not taper down to 0 nic, but that's an option. I found I just vaped more.

On quitting the ecig, I just got sick of the cost, and I want to be free of the addiction. When my battery broke a week ago (the third battery in as many months) I got super pissed off and, err, punched my couch. I mean, I punched a hole in my couch. It's just not something I do, and I didn't like my reaction to it.

So I decided not to freak out, nor buy a new battery.

I'm currently using toothpicks that I dip in mint flavored DIY e-cig juice with just a hint of nicotine. The bitterness seems to be helping a lot, as is the oral stimming.

Oh, I also have permission to smoke/vape all the cannabis I want, which really isn't that much more than normal. Granted, I have the luxury of having a really high tolerance and functionality level and cannabis just makes me go and do more, not less.

A week in and I'm having to remember to take breaks instead of being constantly reminded to take breaks.

I'm done. Even if I chew on minty, slightly nicotine infused toothpicks for the rest of my life my daily nicotine consumption is already 1/100th what it was 7 days ago. I can also barely even stand to be around cigs now.

The people who know me locally are kind of flabbergasted, like "Well, I'll be damned, look at that willpower and kicking ass."

Which is really most of it. I really, really want it. It's not good for my meds, and one of the things on my bucket list is eliminating basically all addictions. Nicotine is the last actual addiction I have at this point.

And, well, I'm trans. I'm on HRT. I shouldn't be consuming nicotine at all. I have huge, huge motivations to quit and take care of myself right now. It's not even hard, it's easy and wanted and needed and is being done, full stop.
posted by loquacious at 10:43 PM on July 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm not an Association Football follower, but did accidentally catch the montage the BBC created (alternative links: 1, 2, 3) of England's penalty shootouts. Which I watched and thought ... "I really know that background tune from somewhere hang on that's The National from that album I loved and stopped listening to during some disruptive period" ...

Quickly tracked it down and it was indeed The National, and the track is (appropriately) England, from the album High Violet back in, heck, 2010. Which I've played through several times since - more people will know the track Bloodbuzz Ohio from it - and enjoyed tremendously. Over again.

So, England by The National has become my track or song to carry me (on a swarm of bees or not) through this hot and febrile and strangest and unsettling of summers. Because I like it, and it calms, and for several lyrical reasons that don't have anything to do with association football. It's not my favorite by them; that would be Slow Show. But England fits, and complements, my mood and current situation perfectly, so it will do fine.
posted by Wordshore at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I played a board game and ate ice cream with new friends yesterday. As someone who was freaking out because my best friend moved away last month, it's nice to know I still can make friends, even when it feels incredibly hard because of my stupid anxiety.

That was a beautiful ice cream cone.
posted by PearlRose at 6:48 AM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Last night my wife and I went for a walk at 9:30 PM or so; the weather has been hot in Toronto lately, but by that point it had cooled down to a comfortable point. I was off sick with a cold yesterday and had spent most of the day falling in and out of sleep and was experiencing a slightly strange but mostly pleasurable sense of detachment from reality as we strolled. We passed a pub which had hung a banner outside with various national flags to promote the World Cup, and they were silently waving, backlit gorgeously by a streetlight, in a breeze I couldn't hear or feel, and the rest of the normally busy street was unusually quiet and still, too.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I can also barely even stand to be around cigs now.

This will just get worse and worse (well really, it's better and better), if you're at all like me or other friends of mine who quit, and soon you won't be able to be within 10 feet of someone who's smoked a cigarette within the past few hours.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:54 AM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oddly, I still love the smell of cigarettes. I quit for the second time about 3 years ago (I quit once for 6 years then my marriage ended and I started again) and sometimes I still inhale deeply passing someone smoking in the street, like a person passing a stranger wearing their ex-lover's perfume.
posted by billiebee at 12:23 PM on July 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

I do that, too. Stale cigarette breath, OTOH, is nasty. How do non-smoking partners put up with it?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:10 PM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

loquacious, I really appreciate your response. It was especially helpful given I'm finding myself doing exactly as you describe -- vaping like a damn strung-out fiend who can't get her sweet, sweet nic fix. Sigh.

I may memail you, if that's okay? Have a couple of additional questions, especially about PG/VG ratio gobbledy-gook.
posted by bologna on wry at 7:14 PM on July 10, 2018

I swam in the North Sea last Sunday (which is why I had no time to catch up with all y'all). It had been a long time since I did that... possibly as long as 20 or 30, I'm not sure. It wasn't too cold, because we have been having some hot weather lately. So I needed relatively little time and courage to get to the part where I could actually swim.
The sea was glassy green and fairly clear, the floor was fine sand with nothing icky between the toes. There's a reason the beaches on the Dutch North Sea coast are popular. There were, however, some jelly fish in the water; I inadvertedly touched one, which made me yelp, and from then on kept an eye out for them. They were easy enough to spot.

It was a very refreshing experience. Salty, but refreshing.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:07 AM on July 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also find horses beautiful in, and I stress this, an innocent and aesthetic way. A good post on the blue about when the lede is buried reminded me of a conversation I had in a village fete a few months back. Though to be frank, any mention of horses in any context brings that conversation vividly back, and if you love horses you may want to avoid reading it.
posted by Wordshore at 4:20 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks wordshore, brilliant story and i really needed that laugh right now!
And it reminded me to go reread some Dick Francis.
posted by 15L06 at 11:58 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Come to Grief to be precise.
posted by 15L06 at 12:07 PM on July 11, 2018

Last weekend was Pride in London, and the streets were filled with shiny happy people smeared in glitter and body paint and wearing whatever made them feel amazing. So many exhausted, silly, euphoric smiles.

Moments of genuine joy are rare in London, and being able to let the joy show is even rarer. We all grow a protective shell of jaded awfulness against the ever more concentrated acid-bath of London life. You see the aggressive, fuck-you joy of victorious sports fans, but actual openhearted, unguarded happiness in public spaces is a rare, rare thing, and short-lived when it occurs.

So it was beautiful to see the glorious, triumphant LGBTQA+ people in their summer plumage, all extravagance and shimmer and sweat, eyes that had started the day looking perfect now thoroughly raccoon'd from parading and partying and dancing and singing and selfie-ing and just being among their people in London.

For a couple of days, London's streets were a touch less mean, and I wish every day were like this. I wish we could all walk the streets and ride the Tube and the bus and go to work and come home as ourselves, rather than go through the unmerciful daily calculation of how much of yourself you can let show before becoming a target.

Maybe I need to get out of London.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:42 PM on July 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:01 PM on July 11, 2018

Sidebar goodness shout-out: Queens, Queens, Queen, Spider, Spider Queen.

Too bad I can't flag the sidebar as fantastic.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2018

Two steps closer to starting my new job. Hiring packet has to be signed by the boss, but I think the fact that there's a hiring packet at ALL means that things are going well.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:48 PM on July 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

When I first moved to my new home in the industrial midwest four years ago, I was astonished at the number of bunnies. The rabbit to squirrel ratio was 1000 times larger than in any city I'd ever lived. I probably drove my friends crazy by bringing it up every time we walked outdoors and had to avoid stepping on bunnies.

But, things are very different this year. The goose, squirrel, and pigeon population are about the same. The seagulls may be up a bit, and the lightening bugs down a bit. But the rabbit population seems to have dropped by a factor of 50 or more. Where have all the rabbits gone? Or did I happen to arrive during an unusual bunny boom?
posted by eotvos at 7:43 AM on July 13, 2018

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