Metatalktail Hour: Open Thread! August 18, 2018 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, an open thread. Talk about anything (except politics)! And don't forget to drop in over at chat and visit their Chaturday Night Live gabfest.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:49 PM (85 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm at my wits end with the tomato nonsense. the sudden appearance of ladybugs means there is a least a little aphid presence. Some one mentioned that the curling leaves may be fungal- so since there is new growth I'm gonna go buy some copper fungicide tomorrow (aka Bordeaux mixture) and hope for the best. I have sowed my mitsuba seeds in a slightly unorthodox pot, and I have pulled my giant parsley plants which had gone completely to seed. The weather sucks. After a few sunny days raised my hopes- the last few have dashed them to pieces. I'm still getting plenty of herbs for the table though, and good news! the zucchini plant hasn't given up yet- I've trimmed the yellow leaves and the new growth is going crazy, including some baby flower buds. ah zucchini, you never give up.

In other news, I'm re-doing my dismal resume, and i might be applying for a local job soon! It would be within walking distance of my house and pretty low key. fingers crossed! Since I only have one class this semester it would mean work most of the week- and I wouldn't have to work on campus.

Oh and- here's a sleepy silly bee eater.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:19 PM on August 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

I'm excited to be going back to school in a week for a change in careers, going from a librarian to a paralegal. I'm on staycation for two weeks, working to get myself and my physical surroundings ready to start learning again. It's been over 2 decades since I've been in school! I found Coursera's Learning How to Learn exceedingly helpful in getting my brain back in gear (and it's free if you don't want their badge/diploma) and I've been cooking up a storm in preparation for having less time in coming weeks. Saturday will be my cook for the week day when classes start on August 27.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 6:22 PM on August 18, 2018 [12 favorites]

Warning: Long, boring, overly-detailed story about shit you don't care about coming up now:

Today is one of those days I wish I had a rewind button.

Last week I put a table saw on Craigslist. My wife bought it used about 20 years ago and it's had very light use since then. I knew it wasn't worth much but I figured I'd get a couple hundred dollars for it and I'd get it out of my basement, making way for a new saw I recently purchased.

After a week of no bites I got a guy who was interested and he came by at 9:00 AM this morning. We made the deal, he gave me the cash, and I proceeded to disassemble the saw so we could get it out of the basement. I removed the motor and put it on the extension table, which juts out from the side of the saw. I then removed the four bolts that held the saw onto the base.

As soon as I removed the last bolt, the weight of the motor tipped the saw over. Things went in slow motion as this 200lb saw started falling off its base. I managed to catch it in time, but not but before all the crap on the table, including the motor, fell off and landed on my concrete basement floor with a huge crash.

Shit. Keep in mind the guy that just handed me a couple hundred dollars in cash is standing behind me.

We put the motor back on, fired it up, and of course it didn't work. I couldn't even turn the motor manually.

I gave him his money back, apologized for wasting his time, and he left. Now I'm out a couple hundred dollars (or, rather, my wife is) and I'm stuck with a big, heavy, useless table saw in my basement.

I spent about half the day trying to repair the motor. I managed to get it unstuck but it still won't run. They no longer make the motor, I can't find a used one, and the mount is part of the motor housing so I can't just use a generic one without doing a lot of machining and spending more time and money than the saw is worth. I asked a friend who is an expert at servicing woodworking machines and he said this type of saw isn't really repairable anymore.

I listed it back on Craigslist at a huge discount, and even offered it up on a Facebook group for free, but no bites yet. I may have to scrap it.

But, oh well. It's only a thing. Other people in my family had a worse week than I did.

My wife has been away all week and the other morning she texted me, saying her sister and our brother-in-law were on their way home because they had a fire in their house. It's a nine hour drive from our cottage so they had a long time before they came home to find the attic apartment on their three-story, beautiful victorian home in Dorchester had been completely gutted, with the rest of the house sustaining severe water and smoke damage. It was very weird seeing a house I know very well on the TV news. They'll have to move out for up to a year while they get it repaired. Still no word on how it started, though the attic had been undergoing renovations.

They have insurance and a big network of good friends, so they'll be ok.

So, yeah, it's been a weird week. Amy comes home tomorrow and next weekend we head to Maine for our annual Mt. Desert Island camping trip. Life is still good.
posted by bondcliff at 6:30 PM on August 18, 2018 [15 favorites]

Hello. I haven't done anything interesting of late, apart from working, enjoying the last period of my 40's, and wandering around rural England, looking at cake (and eating some of it). Including a few nice items of baking, and some supermarket cakes, in a church presentation on clocks earlier this Saturday gone. The weather here has also turned pleasant, which has (finally) led to some good walking opportunities in order to wear off said cake, especially at night. So, life on that front is good. Especially when there is coffee walnut cake involved.

+ + + + +

A recent conversation on social media reminded me of an unfortunate boss I had, in academia, a long time ago. Like, multiple decades ago. He was unfortunate in the manner of unfortunate things kept happening to him, and it would be awkward to point out some of these things as he would get super-stressed. The burying the lede FPP is closed else I would have put it in there, but this is one example of how I dealt with the boss:

Me: "Ummmmm, I don't know how to put this tactfully, but I think there may be water in the carburetor of your new car."
Boss: "Huh? I've only had it a week and it was fine this morning when I drove in to work. Why on earth would you think that?!"
Me: "Ummmmm, while you were in a meeting, university security came round to see you. Someone stole your car and drove it into the river."

Fun times.

+ + + + +

Finally, and because of MetaFilter rules I can't make an FPP about this but can stick it in a comment here. Andromeda, an online colleague of mine (who is also a super-smart coder, librarian and math person), went to Bozeman and stumbled across a museum. Not the one about the Rockies, or the one with guitars in it, but one with retro computers and memory storage in it (the 'American computer and robotics museum'). Andromeda made a Twitter pictorial thread that went viral and it looks like exactly the place I want to visit. I mean, look at that 32K of memory from the 1960s, heck.

The Twitter thread is worth a look, and it generated some donations (it's only a tiny museum) and even motivated the museum into opening its own Twitter account thingie. So, there's that.

Wishing you all an enjoyable outdoor time of the year.
posted by Wordshore at 6:38 PM on August 18, 2018 [24 favorites]

Alright so I've stored a whole host of weird things for the past few years in our garage. We cleaned it out a few weeks ago, and I showed my wife that I'd saved a bunch of old snow and summer tires over the past few years.

So, this week I started building a 10 tire tire wall for her work. I drilled holes on Tuesday and Wednesday - 3 drainage holes per tire, plus 18 connections between the tires, and all the side holes. Friday and Saturday was putting an oil paint on them to seal the black stuff from coming off... Next step is to finish and stain the wood frame, from there, I'll dig two holes, mix and pour the concrete footers and get this thing up... before it gets too cold to swim... because my wife has already built the workout for her clients, and this is going to be the hellish surprise that they aren't expecting in the middle of their workout...
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:22 PM on August 18, 2018 [5 favorites]

We're dropping our son off for a week of Gramps Camp before school starts on Friday (why does school start on a Friday?!). We're overnighting here, then tomorrow hitting a spa resort that's about halfway between here and home. It's absurdly expensive and I always feel several twinges of guilt when we go there (which is less than once a year) but ye gods being a working parent is exhausting.

I've recently gotten my Foldscope out again after several months of sort of forgetting about it and as usual I'm having tremendous fun and can't figure out why I let it collect dust for so long. I've levelled up my wet mount slide making and dark field techniques and this week observed my very first tardigrade! I've taken to hooking the scope up to my webcam in my office and just keeping the feed up on one of my monitors while I take calls, like the world's tiniest terrarium. If you are at all dorky about biology, I highly recommend picking one up for yourself. I got my work to buy a couple class kits (I work at a university, and they are relevant to some of the missions of my unit) and I feel like hardly anyone I work with is fully grasping the awesomeness of being able to LOOK AT A TARDIGRADE WHENEVER YOU WANT. Like, come on, people. Are we really this incurious? I caught some videos of rotifers feeding. I found myself at dinner with a person studying to be a middle school science teacher tonight and we bonded over it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:33 PM on August 18, 2018 [9 favorites]

I've been struggling a bit the last two weeks. New job, kinda -- same organization, same title, different team -- and my new boss seems to like to have loooooots of vague, agenda-less meetings, and I'm finding it really frustrating; the new team has about double the workload of the old team and pointless meetings are not helping. And I have visions for how things should shift a bit, but those are like two- to three-year plans and I keep getting frustrated that they're going to take so long and I need to figure out how to chill. Also I just tapered off prednisone (poison oak) and the NP warned me that I'd likely feel depressed and anxious when I stopped it, so I'm thinking that's not helping.

On the plus side, I currently have turkeys peering in my window, which is exciting for the cats. And I went on a lovely soul-restoring hike today with a friend. And I saw multiple baby deer today, and bunnies, and hawks, and some formation of mystery birds that we couldn't figure out. And I kind of stopped scheduling social engagements because of the new job but I just realized that's really not a good idea so I'm trying to reach out to people again. Also I stopped at PetCo on the way home today and an adoption agency was there so I got to both play with kittens (and two puppies who may have been up for adoption but may also have just been a customer's who left them unattended in a shopping cart for a moment; that was unclear) and see a super-adorable flame-point Siamese-type kitten get adopted, which made me happy.
posted by lazuli at 7:43 PM on August 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

I am feeling crunched under a bunch of life stuff all coming due at once, plus my kids being in the couple weeks between camp and school where they're with mom all day, and I gotta tell you, I'm pretty ready to run away from home!

I'm almost done with a christening gown for my nephew (fancy, super-long skirt, frills and flounces), and then next weekend you'll all have to do without me because I'm flying to San Francisco for his baptism. Also doing an absurd quantity of back-to-school forms and stuff, there's so darn much!

This marks one year since we moved (almost exactly), so we feel a lot more settled and have the kids enrolled in various activities, and it's nice to start to feel like we're in our place and we have things to do.

I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with all my sudden free time when the boys go back to school -- I mean I still have the toddler all day and we have activities and appointments, but SHE TAKES A NAP for 90 minutes, so I'm going to have 90 darn minutes all to myself every. single. day. What riches! I think I'm going to READ SOME BOOKS, ones that require concentration to follow the plot, since the last few weeks I've been reading very light books with extremely predictable plots that require no concentration to keep track of what's going on because my kids are interrupting me every paragraph or two.

Anyway! I'm excited for fall -- cooler weather, copious free time!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:03 PM on August 18, 2018 [11 favorites]

I bought a bootleg copy of Season 1 (the only season) of 60's TV drama "Then Came Bronson". I'm enjoying it immensely. The pacing is very different, though.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:07 PM on August 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

And now I'm singing Long Lonesome Highway (yes, I know the lyrics) and remembering, fondly, 1960/70-era Michael Parks, on the bike in the opening sequence.

Don't remember a single detail about the actual show (e.g. genre), however. But, that's OK. I remember what's important.
posted by she's not there at 8:15 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

We're definitely in the "millions of peaches, peaches for free" phase of moving to the country. I've processed about 30 lbs in the past week into pie filling and jam, which pales in comparison to the amount of fruit rotting on the ground. Peaches come at you fast. I made some spicy peach jelly today using the peach juice I strained off the pie filling and a generous amount of sambal oolek and sweet mother of pearl is it good!

It was also a surprisingly good year for the chickasaw plums--I read somewhere the other day that they are pretty cyclical and have a bumper crop every 3 or 4 years and we definitely must be in one of those years. I've mostly been making those into jam (plus a batch of IRL ice cream social ice cream) because they're very, very tart. I may try a compote with the 8 lbs or so I've got sitting in the fridge right now, though, although I'd also like to try out this bacon/jalapeño wild plum jam recipe I found today. There's probably another 10 lbs of plums on the trees ripening so porque no los dos?
posted by drlith at 8:28 PM on August 18, 2018 [11 favorites]

We are at the Outer Banks for our annual anniversary long weekend - tomorrow with be 27 years. I spent 5 hours sitting on the beach reading today, broken up only by a couple of dips in the ocean. It was glorious. Our plans to go out tonight were derailed by a very severe thunderstom that pounded the area for over an hour. We gave up on going out and watched Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist on Netflix instead. Hoping for a decent beach day tomorrow - the forecast is not encouraging.
posted by COD at 8:51 PM on August 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

On the off chance that anyone has been wondering, my husband is still stuck in Canada, courtesy of US CBP. We've lawyered up and I think we're getting good advice. He has an appointment at the US Consulate in Toronto on 6 September, which is the earliest possible date. There is no... discernible? legitimate? reason for the US to deny him entry, so we're hoping for another TN-1. We are also aware that even if the Consulate grants the visa, the rando at the border checkpoint can just as easily throw it in the trash. So we wait, and prepare contingency paperwork.

In the meantime, Mr. Ant ordered a van from Ford back in February. After several delays, it is now ready for pickup at the dealer... 900 miles from here. (That dealer you buy Transit vans from is just east of Kansas City, MO. Our plan was that Mr. Ant would ride his motorcycle there, load his bike in the van and motor home. Obvs, our plans have changed.)

So tomorrow morning I will take the dogs to the kennel *COUGH* SLEEP-AWAY CAMP and I will work 12-6, then go to a colleague's farewell party. On Monday at oh-dark-thirty I will board one of several planes that will take me in the direction of KCMO and eventually I will hopefully leave MO with a belly full of BBQ and a long-wheelbase, high-roof Transit with dual sliding doors, and 8-way adjustable leather seats. I will take US and county highways in order to break in the engine, by varying RPMs and gear positions. I resume work on Wednesday at 9:30am.

So in the midst of all this quotidian drama, keep a good thought for me and Mr. Ant? We've been married ten years and while we've spent time apart (work and holiday schedules) this is longer and involuntary. We miss each other like crazy. Also, I'm really tired of minding the home place. It's technically a farm, though all we grow is trees, obese coyotes and lazy deer. It's still a bit of work, though, with the mowing and the trailmaking.
posted by workerant at 9:39 PM on August 18, 2018 [46 favorites]

I arrived in San Jose CA Wednesday and went to a party that evening. I was ravenous by that time as I'd had nothing since breakfast on the plane at about 9am est (surprisingly good). Now it was 7pm and I mowed people down to get at some food. Then I felt much better and was able to greet old friends and make some new ones and do some first-time IRL meetings (including the host of the party).

WorldCon opened on Thurs. and I walked over almost a mile about 9am to get my badge at the Convention Center. The program guides hadn't shown up yet but finally did about noon. Went with friends to a local restaurant for lunch. CQ Yarbro, co-Guest of Honor, is a friend of mine so sitting at the table with her in the CC lobby meant I got to meet any number of authors, like Bob Silverberg.

However, the CC is so damn big my joints began moaning at me fairly early on. And the reeboks I wore told me that my arches and its arches didn't match up, and I got a blister. Friday, I sort of wandered over late-ish and checked out the Dealer Room and spent more money than I should have (but got some book and some gorgeous rings). Hung at the CQ Yarbro booth and watched her sign lots of books. Some new limited and celebratory books will be coming out soon. Friday evening spent in a saloon-type area with more old friends with much hugging.

Today (Sat) my ankles had swollen up so much that I took the day off and went with one friend to a burger bar and then back to their house to drink, wait for it, a 1997 CHATEAU D'YQUEM half-bottle. A truly spiritual experience. They've been holding on to it since the last time I was out here (in my RV 2009). Good good friends.

Tomorrow is a birthday luncheon but I'm getting a ride to and from so no more walking. Yay. And Monday evening I take the red-eye home. I'm pretty sure this is my last ever con and I'm okay with that. I'm glad I came as I may never see a lot of these people IRL again.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:58 PM on August 18, 2018 [12 favorites]

I liked Alex Strangelove (on Netflix) as a gay teen romance more then Love, Simon cause it felt more specific to the experience. ALso it;s very cute and fun and the actors all look and act like teens which is a refreshing change.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on August 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thanks as always for the chat threads; it's fun to read what everyone is up to. Workerant, I hope everything works out more efficiently than I imagine it might.

My husband is off at a wedding I couldn't go to because we get kids on Monday at school and the logistics didn't work, which has left me alone BUT with the right amount of time to get my classroom ready without anyone caring that I am spending too much time at school. It's more or less a win for both of us, although I am jealous of all his northern WA hiking this week (thanks, Ask Metafilter, for the suggestions).

The other win is that my initial middle school orchestra class sizes of 69 (?!wtf), 24, 67 (?!wtf) and 40 have settled into a more reasonable 60, 38, 49 and 50 or something like that after much work from me and from the counselors. Still kind of bananas, but everything but the 60 7th graders is pretty workable and I have Plans for that. Let's just hope recruiting is only medium-successful for my beginner classes, or I'm in trouble indefinitely. The good news is that I'm a hell of a bargain for the district on a per kid basis so I'm pretty sure my job is safe, which is nice for a music teacher in times of cuts.

In other news, Alaska is pretty wet in August and the dog is enjoying it more than I am.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:32 PM on August 18, 2018 [11 favorites]

Welp, I'm losing my job in the worst way possible: It's closing, and it seems to haven broken my heart and a fair amount of my spirit. It's really making me loathe people's good intentions and words without work to back it up. I just did one of the most difficult things of my entire life and... people are fucking dumb and I'm feeling really cynical right now.

On top of this I came back to find a for sale sign on the rental house I've been staying in for over two years. It's really sudden, and they're showing it every day now, so I'm already effectively and instantly homeless due to the lack of privacy and having my space invaded.

For fuck's sake I came home from the final community meeting to some yuppie scumbag (I'm sorry) incredibly entitled and out of touch boomer doing a Facetime walkthrough of the property where the cat in my lap was acknowledged but I was treated like furniture, and then commented about in third person to some unseen buyer some offhand comment like "I think they're musicians or something" and then "Think AirBNB!" I just burst into fucking tears in the middle of it all.

But wait, there's more! My insurance keeps fucking with my prescriptions and disqualifying them for weird reasons. I'm apparently experiencing anti-trans bureaucratic bullshit and abuse and need to switch insurance providers or something, so the smoothly oiled machine I worked so hard to get working w/r/t getting all my prescriptions right keeps getting fucked with and dismantled by my insurance, and this has sent my levels and emotional stability all over the fucking map and it's totally unnecessary and harmful.

And I'm stupid poor. Like, if I tell people how much money I usually have and they often gasp and look uncomfortable. I worked for 4+ months for around 1k total take home pay, which I pretty much spent entirely on stress management in the form of bike parts, weed and food/bar tabs. If anything I'm more broke than when I started the job because I broke/lost a bunch of tools and stuff in the line of duty and ended up spending money helping people.

My summer went from kickass to totally shit in less than a week, and, frankly it's kicking my ass.

If someone told me to just have a good cry I'd probably just start yelling. I broke and/or wore out my crybox last week.

I really, really wish I could hit pause on the world and get it to slow down right now.
posted by loquacious at 1:00 AM on August 19, 2018 [23 favorites]

I'm slowly sipping my way down a warm, delicately spiced rum toddy - my end of week treat, and it's most appropriate since finally the unseasonable weather has broken, and it's cooled down again, with a stiff breeze to boot.

I can hear the kids laughing in their room as they play with some new lego sets we got them today. It's so nice, now they are 4 and 6 they play together perfectly most of the time. They are joys to me, and - shockingly - to each other, mostly.

I like to run, and have been grappling with feet injuries for nearly a year now. I had a backwards step last weekend. I spent most of Sunday moping around, down in the dumps and believe it or not trying not cry. Thankfully a meeting with my podiatrist on Friday has given me some form of hope for the future. Running is a very important part of my mental health regime, and I really would like to get back to racking up the miles without thought.

Finally, this is the second week where my weekly cooks have really smashed it out of the park. This week we're having panang curry, chicken tacos (I make this kiwi fruit salsa, it works very well), cauliflower curry that is great (Babar's - a Malaysian brand - curry powder really is in a league of its own. I generally avoid premade powders, but this one is worth it), and pizza (I'm nearing the height of my pizza powers, these days. They are things of beauty).
posted by smoke at 1:37 AM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Loquacious, I hope things start turning around for you buddy. It's super frustrating when your housing is unstable, and you're having challenges with medications.

Dr Lith, the Sambal Oolek sounds amazing! You must make some nasi lemak to enjoy it with! I favour brisket or chicken. :)

Workerant, the coyote is unbelievably plump! I can just imagine it waddling through the fields at night. It reminds me of a fox I saw in the park next to the train station as I headed to work last week. I rounded a corner, and was like "Woah! You're a fox!". I could see the fox step back and - at the same time - say, "Woah! You're a man!"

We stared at each other for a few seconds, contemplating our similarities, before going about our respective tasks of ferreting for rubbish in the undergrowth and scuttling off to catch the train.
posted by smoke at 1:44 AM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

Tired of bike shops fucking up my bike, I finally bought a bike stand + complete tool set. Managed to fix half the problem the last shop caused, but made the other half.. worse. In that the front derailleur is in need of serious adjustment. Friend w/extra pair of hands & eyes will help in a couple of days. I miss riding that bike. It's important. I've recently been convinced I should name it, which is Emotionally and Intellectually Fraught but fuck it, doing it anyway. (This from the person who will delete and recreate RPG characters and redo those early levels over and over and over again until the Right Name is determined)

talktail --> cocktail --> I've really gotten into nonalcoholic cocktails lately. Some kind of flavored and/or fizzy beverage, plus bitters, plus other things. Teas and citrus are the dominant flavors right now.
posted by curious nu at 1:59 AM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yesterday afternoon my bff came into town to visit. We went to Hendrie Valley Park and saw ducks and swans and some raccoons (!) splashing around in the lake. We also saw many, many chipmunks. On the way home we stopped and picked up a pint of peanut butter ice cream from the co-op. Our plan was to take the ice cream to another nearby park but we needed spoons. It occurs to me now as I type this that the store very well may have had plastic spoons we could have purchased, but in the moment all I saw were the clean metal spoons near the (unattended) fair trade coffee station. As we were getting back into the car my bff said "uh, are we going to return these spoons?"
Me: "That was not my plan, no."

The ice cream was delicious.
posted by janepanic at 2:47 AM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

Mentally preparing for probably having to leave my entire life behind in half a year is rubbish. Making plans for how to handle such an eventuality is beyond depressing, especially when you start looking at how it impacts continued access to my daily medication (hint: it means a massive disruption in the best possible case, which is likely to have permanent long-term health implications). Meanwhile my housemate is being an absolute shit of the worst possible kind, and I am fucking sick of being treated like hired help or something by them. They're supposedly moving out soon. If they don't, I might have to kill them.
posted by Dysk at 2:52 AM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

The past two weeks have been incredibly frustrating. I interviewed for a new job, it went wonderfully, and they decided to hire someone else, so I'm stuck in a job supervised by a woman I can't handle. Back at the end of June, the person I'd been dating since September did a full scale, classic ghost. I've (sigh) started back on the internet dating world, and I'd been seeing someone very cool pretty regularly since July. Well, Monday he texted me to say he'd decided we were not compatible. News to me, but... okay.

So I spent most of this week in a bit of a funk. FORTUNATELY, I left on Thursday to go to a conference in Kenya. This is my first trip in Kenya since 2009. I'm just leaving the coast to go back to Nairobi for the conference and it's been wonderful. I've eaten so many chapati in the past day and a half, and I just ate a platterful of squid and octopus that were caught this morning. I haven't forgotten all my swahili, I dipped my toes in the Indian Ocean, I pet a lot of doggies, and I added two new primate species to my life list: yellow baboons and Angolan black and white Colobus. I'll figure out the job and the man situation, I hope, but for now I'm soaking in the fact that I'm back in Kenya and I'm a lucky person and I get to travel around the world talking about and finding monkeys and that's good enough for now.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:15 AM on August 19, 2018 [21 favorites]

Oooh, I would love to see a colobus in the wild! I didn't get to the Abedare park when I was there, which is apparently prime spotting ground. They are gorgeous.
posted by smoke at 3:39 AM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I saw some Guereza black and white colobus in Nakuru around Lake Naivasha when I was here in 2008, and we have King black and white colobus where I work in Côte d'Ivoire, but my best friend did his research on these guys, so it was very cool to get to meet the monkeys.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:49 AM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Angsting a lot this week about job-related stuff, see relevant AskMe, and reminding myself how lucky I am to have two non-horrible options to choose from, knock wood.
Last week was the summer holiday and I mostly spent it peacefully at home watching the high school baseball tournament, otherwise known as the defining factor in Japanese masculinity (honestly, I think you could get a pretty good paper out of it, maybe a book). My husband had a couple days off too and we went and did the tourist thing in Kobe for a day, goodness are those hills steep, but it was a lot of fun.
It has been actually, honest to God COOL in the mornings and evenings lately. It's a fluke, no way summer is over yet, but it feels like heaven.
This Sunday there was no orchestra rehearsal on account of last week was our concert, so I a) did some freelance work at home, b) ate leftover ultra-spicy Thai curry made with a homegrown habanero for lunch, c) went to hear (part of) a high school band concert (colleague's daughter in the clarinet section), which made me kind of tear up over how innocent and joyful they all look, even though high school band culture around here can be kind of toxic, d) did some other minor errands of no account, and e) got my nails done. This happens like twice a year when I can grow my nails out a week because of no orchestra, but now I have delightful sparkly nails which will last a while and hopefully help get me through the work week.
Oh, and I braved a department store to get my husband the uiro he's been craving. It's a variety of sweet bean jelly, I guess; he really wanted the watermelon flavor, which is even colored watermelon-wise, but they had already stopped selling it for the summer, so I got coffee flavor instead for the resident coffee addict.

Very best wishes to all the people struggling right now; strength and support.
posted by huimangm at 4:11 AM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

I bought a new bike. New to me -- it's ten years old, but it's mint. Barely been ridden, not a scratch anywhere. It's just a step up from my current bike IE a bit better components, a bit better shocks but it's just so pretty. Eye candy. A white GT. The guy I bought it from is falling off his wallet, just dropped five grand on a dual suspension carbon frame custom built bicycle that I bet is still mint in five years. I'm glad he got it though, he's living a really nice life and appears to be enjoying it.

I'm going to swap out my tires from my current bike -- they're my favorite tires, really aggressive tread, they'll dig me out of anything except thick loose sand. Lots of ppl call them tank treads, cuz they really do kick up a racket if I'm on concrete but mostly I'm not on any roads anyways, too many close calls with morons texting. So I'll swap out the tires, both of my dérailleurs on the Raleigh are real high quality so I'm gonna swap them out also.

There's nothing wrong with the Raleigh, it's a great bike, it handles really nicely, compared to my first mountain bike it's like a cutting horse, where that first bike was, well, maybe not a draft horse but absolutely not a cutting horse. So the Raleigh is fine, but not great. The old saying -- "Good is the enemy of best." -- well, I can't say that the new GT is "best" but it is goddamn sure beautiful, it is light and nimble, bright bright white. Eye candy.

I'll totally get the Raleigh in perfect shape, sell it for a fair price. One of my sisters in Illinois doesn't have a decent bike, I'd totally get it ready to roll and ship it to her -- I wonder how much that would cost. Her husband, he's got a nice bike. But not my sister. The frame is XL but that's deceptive; my sister is 5'9" and she could ride it no problem, just get the seat in place...

Anyways........ Psyched about the new bike. Psyched about not just the bike rides but also the pushups I've thrown into the mix, and wondering what is next. The pushups, once I learned to do them with correct form, they're just amazing, really helping strengthen my core....

Lots more going on of course but I could go for hours and I don't want to and you don't want me to.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:54 AM on August 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm getting a partial knee replacement in about a week. I live alone. I'm a little worried how I'm going to do after the first week when I will have someone with me 24/7, because I am already not very plugged in to social support locally.

I'm doing all the things I can to prepare ahead of time, but I'm worried. I have rides to most of my PT appointments set up, thanks to people on Facebook. I have done my best to stock my freezer and my larder. I have been cleaning a lot.

But my washing machine is finicky at best, and overflows from the wall sometimes. It's not an easy fix, because it's an older house with small pipes with a new washer. The water output is too fast for the small pipes to drain away. I'm going to buy a bunch of underwear I guess.

And there are a few steps to get out of the house. (It's a one-level house otherwise.

So I suppose I'm just worried. :-(

On the bright side, I managed to get 4 tickets to our local Hamilton run. Two decent seats together on two separate dates. So that's good.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:35 AM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

I'm taking a week out on the Olympic peninsula (WA) with my whole fam: my parents, my 3 sibs and their SOs, several nieces & nephews, and my wife, daughter, and mother-in-law. We've rented a huge house and we're just sort of hanging out for a week, doing puzzles, making and eating food, going down to the beach, a few of the adults occasionally sneaking off to the woods to get mildly stoned.

There's a little chalkboard at the front entrance to the house, for notes, and people keep changing / modifying what's written there until it's nonsensical. After several changes last night, the board read "Mother's trafficked scones are delicious. And FORBIDDEN. - Washington's toast".
posted by duffell at 6:18 AM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

In exciting news, the bank has not realised that I am actually three cats in a trench coat and have given us a mortgage. THE FOOLS! Survey is happening next week and then it is just...waiting for various local council searches to return and then we can look at exchanging. Meanwhile, I have to figure out how to fit boxes into this flat and wrangling exchange and giving notice (one of these things is not happening until the other does).

I'll just be over here, huffing into a paper bag and upping my anxiety meds.

Also. Caaaaaaaaaaaats. Sooooooooon.
posted by halcyonday at 6:32 AM on August 19, 2018 [16 favorites]

It was ten years ago today that I joined MetaFilter! It's still my very favourite part of the internet and feels more essential than ever. I'm so grateful that it's here, and that you're all here. Cheers!
posted by oulipian at 7:38 AM on August 19, 2018 [16 favorites]

Stewriffic, I'm thinking of you. Wish I were local so I could help in person.
posted by lazuli at 7:41 AM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hugs or fist bumps to everyone who could use one.

We have another foster dog, Chiko. His name was unclear at first because he has bounced among a few homes and shelters. We were told at first he was called Whisky, but closer examination of some paperwork showed he had been called Chiko for seven years.

One thing that was clear: He had previously lived in Francophone households. Because if you asked him if he wanted to go outside in English, he basically dog-shrugged. If you asked him in French, he went dog-bonkers.

Anyway, for a dog who's been through quite a bit and only has six teeth left — hell, even for a dog without so much drama and with all his teeth — he is incredibly friendly and affectionate. He's a model of resilience and good behavior. And he's become my little shadow.

(If you are in Montreal and looking for a dog, get in touch. This is an A+ #1 dog.)
posted by veggieboy at 9:01 AM on August 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

So I didn't get the internal job I applied for, seems I made the shortlist but no cigar. I'm still in a bit of a grump as the decision seems to have been made with at least a hat tip to one of the Directors playing favourites. But I'll live and there will be other jobs.

On the plus side, I've kept with the daily walking habit and am now doing two loops around the park for 9.5km total, it's paying off in terms of seeing my pace and cardio improve. I'm even starting to consider upping the pace and running again. My Canadian citizenship exam is in September back in Calgary and I've managed to persuade work that I can do meetings there that week so they're covering flights and hotel which saves me a bunch of money. More importantly, one step closer to citizenship in my adopted home.

Overall, positives outweigh the negative. Onward.
posted by arcticseal at 9:55 AM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

My one cherry tomato plant is now up to 487 tomatoes. My one black/purple heirloom pear tomato variety is producing well, but I'm having a hard time finding something to do with them. They're too small for processing...they're like 80% skin and seeds. I don't like the flavor as much as I like the cherry tomatoes so I'm not eating them raw. I tried oven-roasting them in their skins but they withered away to nothing. At this point I'm considering just yanking up the plant and paying more attention to the paste tomato varieties that are plugging along and producing big old fleshy tomatoes perfect for sauce, salsa, and canning whole. But then I feel bad for the black tomatoes. I'm the one that planted it. It's proudly producing perfect black tomatoes. And now I'm thinking about killing it because I don't have a personal use for the tomatoes. Who am I to decide what lives and dies? Is a living thing only useful if it is useful to me, the human?

Crouton-petters over here with me, yer queen.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:14 AM on August 19, 2018 [13 favorites]

Some years my spouse and I celebrate our anniversary by going out to dinner, others by saying, "happy anniversary". There was even one year where we only remembered a few days later. (The great thing about that is that you've both forgotten, so no bad feelings.) This year our daughter asked a few times what we were doing to celebrate, so we actually went out to a show. (We brought her too.) It was super fun and it was fun to celebrate in a bigger way than most years. (Okay, we did do big celebrations for our tenth and fifteenth.)

We got out to Port Townsend to see family (including extended family that had flown in for a visit) and all got to go to the fair together. There were the cutest bunnies and goats, I got to guess how much candy was in a jar, and we watched people riding competitively. And the next day we had a glorious thunderstorm.

We've had rather too many inside days during the week and will have for the upcoming week as well (forecast: smoke) but at least we've a second box fan now with a filter taped to it, so our house continues to be healthier than the air outside instead of exactly the same (like last summer). Maybe we'll manage to go blackberry picking this morning before it gets bad again. I need more pie.
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:22 AM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I quit Twitter this week. Turns out deleting fifty thousand tweets is kind of hard, but I made it happen. I did appreciate the irony of registering as a developer and getting an API key just for the purpose of quitting, but I wanted to empty my account and leave it active instead of letting it lapse and fall into other hands.
posted by fedward at 11:30 AM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’m planning for my trip home on Wednesday, spending the first few days with my parents, my lovely mum took a day off work as she had to work the weekend (normally a Monday to Friday job) last time I was home, and my trip coincides with my hometown’s Arundel Festival, so we will be doing laughter yoga! Very excited! My four week run of little pain seems to be up however, hopefully this shoulder pain will subside by the time I travel.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Last week I put a table saw on Craigslist. My wife bought it used...

I was sure this was going to be a story about your wife buying the saw from you that you were trying to get rid of.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:13 PM on August 19, 2018 [16 favorites]

I'm up and around a little today after two weeks of feeling deathbeddy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:14 PM on August 19, 2018 [11 favorites]

Guys, I fell on my right hip the morning of the 19th Metafilter meet-up in Portland. NBD, I thought, as I continued watering the garden and doing various chores. Tonebarge and I went to the meet-up and continued about our various quotidian duties that day (July 21st). I had a spectacular bruise and some pain, but kept walking on it. Oddly, the hip pain kept getting worse and 15 days later, I finally went to the doctor. It surprised everyone, especially me, when the x-ray showed that I had fractured my hip in two places. Reader, I broke my hip and walked on it for 16 days! No wonder it hurt so much! Anyway, I had a total hip replacement on Aug. 7th and am in the recovery stages now. I'm gonna be good as new, just wait. Soon I hope!
posted by Lynsey at 1:20 PM on August 19, 2018 [28 favorites]

I went to feed a vacationing friend's cat today. Ended up spontaneously spending an hour unwinding a ton of bindweed/morning glory from the plants in her garden as a surprise favor. This is someone for whom my feelings are drifting past the boundaries of friendship, but now is not the time for us to discuss that. I hope having slightly less yardwork to do makes her happy.

I've been getting actual recognition for some good ideas at work, am teaching a friend to make pottery and have surprised myself by being a good teacher, and have been spending s little money furnishing my house with art I actually like. Was briefly sad about summer ending until I had a picnic at the park with my kiddo the other day and remembered the sheer loveliness of cool air sliding over you in late summer evenings. I've been having a really rough time with feelings and dread of the future as a potentially permanently single person, but the tangible things of my life are lovely.
posted by centrifugal at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

Oh my goodness Lynsey, I'm glad you're recovering! I hope it's speedy.
posted by Caduceus at 1:53 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lynsey, last time I broke my hip, it was in two places but there was no displacement so it was hard for them to diagnose. (And no treatment except rest and patience!) Was one of your fractures in the trochanter?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Let's see... friends of ours are expecting a baby Any Time Now, so I've made a batch of Maximum Chocolate ice cream for the mom-to-be for after they're back from the hospital, since the mom-to-be loves it. We went berry picking with my parents yesterday at a farm that's been around since 1722, and while the raspberries were really fragile, since we've had a fair bit of rain, we picked a couple quarts. Also picked up 10 lbs of the farm's amazing tomatoes for $15, because when their tomatoes come in, they really come in and they sell 'em cheap.

The raspberries were so fragile that I processed them for ice cream pretty much as soon as we got home. That meant mashing them up with about 1.25c sugar per quart of berries and slinging the mash in the fridge overnight. Strained all the seeds out this morning, ended up with about a quart of great raspberry juice/nectar/seedless glory. I'll use about a cup mixed into a batch of my standard ice cream base to make raspberry ice cream. I have so much of it that raspberry sorbet is pretty likely sometime this week.

Dr Bored for Science and I are both getting ready, as I think I've mentioned, to apply for Real Jobs (read: faculty jobs) this cycle for the first time, so we are a collective pile of stress, raw nerve endings and anxiety. Hence the ice cream (Dr Bored For Science doesn't drink). We've been getting lots of feedback on statements and such, which is helpful. I'm giving an invited talk in about 10 days, which is also a bit stressful in its own right. Practiced a version to my research group last week, figured out my existing version wasn't as useful as I hoped, rebuilt it, need to practice again.

And with that, it's time to go make dinner. At least it's cool enough that we can have the windows open for the first time in weeks.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 2:58 PM on August 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

We just got back from a weeklong vacation out west. it's been a couple years since our last proper vacation, and I really needed time away from home. The week prior, we had to put my older kitty, Lucy, to sleep because she had a tumor eating a hole in the side of her face. It was awful and we were both sobbing for the whole weekend. So now we are leaving my remaining cat Lloyd alone, and it's terrible because he's only ever lived with Lucy, and he's 16 and older cats are not good with change. So that stress going into the trip didn't help. But once we got off the plane, we could kinda pretend it was ok.

We spent most of the time with my brother and his partner, which was nice because he's been living on the other side of the world, but it was also frustrating because he can be a challenging person to be around. But we all had a good time, and despite any frustrations, I found myself not wanting to come home at the end.

I know it's high time to plot a move back to Ye Olde Family Stomping Grounds, but holy crap there's so much work to be done here in order to make that happen. And it feels like an insurmountable mountain to climb that I just stop thinking about it. So I don't even know where to begin. But it needs to happen. I'm tired of generally talking about Wanting To Move, as I'm sure my friends are sick of hearing about my Wanting To Move.

Life coach? Therapist? (I have no insurance.) Headhunter? All of the above?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:11 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

We've had our first weekend without scheduled obligations in awhile, and it's been really really nice. Friday night I made Serious Eat's pressure cooker mushroom risotto for the first time, and while I don't know that it was risotto precisely, it was very very good. We were tucked up into bed by 10.

Yesterday my wife slept late. I walked the puppy and goofed around on the internet and did a little work and read and drank some coffee and folded some clothes. We got her car inspected and did a Target run and watched the Panthers game.

Today we made crepes for breakfast, did our fantasy football draft (so that was a scheduled thing, but it happened from our couch, so that was pretty damn low key). We've been working on unpacking (we bought a house in June and we're still unpacking, trying to make sure we actually get organized and don't just shove things in corners). We're going to do the leftover risotto with some shrimp in a bit. It's been a nice weekend.
posted by joycehealy at 3:33 PM on August 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

It's my birthday today!

...I'm spending it alone in a soulless corporate apartment in North San Jose, but the new job is going fine (I think?), I just signed a lease on a nice-ish apartment in SF (for a truly obscene amount of money per month, hoooly shit) and I went to Trader Joes and bought myself all the snacks I could carry so things could be worse. One year ago, struggling to write my thesis while coping with the untimely illness and death of my supervisor, I could not have possibly imagined myself where I am right now, but life is never dull, I guess.
posted by btfreek at 5:00 PM on August 19, 2018 [14 favorites]

Got home from 2 non-sequential weeks of vacation last Sunday, and have had a hard time settling back into my life. Turns out that I would much rather eat too much and laze around than get back into my regular exercise and food routine.

That said, I did spend 5 days mountain biking in Colorado, which was wonderful, and inspired me to buy my first mountain bike in over a decade (my last 2 were stolen out of my garage and I never replaced it after the 2nd one was taken). It's a used Trek Lush with full suspension, which makes riding it rather like driving a couch. So lovely. Hopefully I'll get back into riding on a regular basis now.

mid-afternoon on a Sunday: really I should be doing laundry and making baking for the week. In a little while, maybe... Instead I'm watching fanvids from the last ever Vividcon.
posted by suelac at 5:03 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Getting ready for school and finishing revisions to an article at the same time. Not really advisable scheduling on my part, but, well...

I baked these brownies for the department's beginning-of-the-year potluck; they always go over well.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:28 PM on August 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm doing a bit better today and seemed to finally be catching up on sleep deficit. (See, all those years ravin' my face off was just training for this, right?)

I'm engaging myself by sorting and preparing my camping kit and bike, as I like the activity as it's own process and it also makes me feel a lot more secure to know I can just go "Ok, I'm out!" and go anywhere else.

I think I'm going to go camp on my friend's co-op land this weekend for a few days or a week or so, and there's at least one other person that's offered camping land for longer term. I might actually get to have a go at intentionally staying outside for a full year. I've almost done it, just in bits and pieces.

I actually have wanted to do this for a while now.
posted by loquacious at 6:40 PM on August 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

*seemed* to finally be catching up on sleep deficit

Well maybe not. I also seemed to have just broken the screen on my damn phone, wee.

Hey, Universe, knock it off, eh? I just did a ton of good work for a lot of people, why you keep kicking me now? You just took my BT speaker, my coffee flask and my good multitool and and my favorite pocket knife. Staaahp.

I swear a huge part of my experience with HRT this summer is being a confusing mix of terrifyingly present, mindful and acutely witchy one moment and totally ditzy and lost the next. Halp.
posted by loquacious at 6:57 PM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

A dear friend of mine flew came into town to visit my spouse, me and Pittsburgh for the first time. We spent a nice Saturday together eating, visiting the Warhol and watching the Pirates beat the Cubs.

Today we had brunch, then she went to watch the final game of the series while I hung out downtown in Market Square reading, people watching and drinking iced tea. It was lovely. The sun was shining and there were lots of people playing games, petting dogs, laughing and generally being good to each other.

The kittens and cat are thriving. Rose (aka Rosie) is a tiny, sweet, wild, absolutely fearless little creature. Luna remains reserved, mysterious and insists on playing fetch at occasionally opportune times. The old man Wigford tolerates them with a fair amount of grumbling and frequent smackdowns of Rose when she gets too wild.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

Happy birthday, btfreek !
posted by lazuli at 8:03 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hang in there, loquacious. I hope things turn around soon. You're a good person and you do good things.

At the beginning of the month our lemon hybrid car that was more or less ruined by the dealership finally died. They put a failing hybrid battery in to replace the failing hybrid battery that it started with when they sold it to us. We already owned it it when they installed this aftermarket battery without telling us they were doing that. Tried to not tell us what was wrong at all. It never got more than 27 mpg as a civic hybrid. The replacement I bullied the new sales manager into working up for us is a pretty decent Mazda 3, but I'm unhappy how much extra it's costing us and am overall mollified only enough that I'm not going to bother with the effort of reviewing them negatively all over the internet. If you're in the Portland area, feel free to ask me over memail though, I'd be happy to share. Or ask if I manage to make a meetup.

This last week my wife had a psychiatric med withdrawal response scary enough it drove us to the ER after going to Urgent Care in the morning, and on the advice of Urgent Care over the phone. There they diagnosed it without really doing any tests or anything, just kind of assuming, and our copay was 250 for the privilege. They seem to be right, as it's going away, slowly, but I'm still scared and I'm mentally girding myself for something else and to actually look at suing if something else ends up serious enough. If it is just withdrawal from the changes I'm cranky at her new psychiatrist for failing to have her taper slowly enough. It was an expensive mistake for us.

I'm so tired. I can't even follow the news anymore. I stay out of the megathreads. I'm soon going to make a couple of big political donations and just try and keep my head down until we are less run ragged by health issues. I still need to get back to treating my pinched nerve more actively but at 60 a PT session or specialist visti it adds up quick. We're switching insurance next month to get away from COBRA or whatever with my wife's old insurance, as the recruitment agency her current gig offers insurance after 3 months in a contract. Hoping she'll get hired on full time. Full time insurance will probably be better than the contractor insurance, and we need decent insurance. I wish the American education system did more to prepare you to navigate American institutions like the health care system and voting and paying taxes and bills and how to negotiate about things like cars and apartments and all this shit.
posted by Caduceus at 8:26 PM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Happy birthday btfreek!
posted by ellieBOA at 9:49 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's been a simply SPECTACULAR summer here, although a lot of people not used to the continous heat are complaining - me? I LOVE it so I have been thoroughly enjoying the 9km bike ride to my new (well, since Feb 18) workplace. Previous workspace bike trip was very short but was into the center of the city, new workplace is in a more industrial part of the outside of the town - so you can't have it all I guess.... but the ride is nice and we have a "bike super highway" that cuts through green spaces and goes around and avoids the car filled streets.

Ms. Alchemist and I are in the final stages of the culinary discovery of our neighborhood where after living here for about 6 years we decided to eat our way through all the local restaurants. Every single one, no skipping allowed. So that's about 20 places, once a week and we are down to the final four. No bad meals yet thankfully. We have found 2 places we definitely want to get back to and a few (mostly thai and indian) where we feel that it would be "good takeaway but don't need to visit again". Surprising that all of this was within walking distance but we never really "saw" them and always planned our reservations for the city center.

I am also preparing for a trip at the end of september to a conference and then, as referenced in an earlier metatalk, a side trip for dinner at The French Laundry. So, on top of getting conference info requests ready and preparing my session calendar I am also obsessively finding places to eat in the host city and also in and around Yountville. I love the planning stage almost as much as I love eating my way through my days abroad. I love seeing the reservation confirmations all lined up in my inbox and then finding out other activites to do whenever I have a free, non-eating moment.
posted by alchemist at 2:22 AM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm on vacation for a month because I somehow made it to the end of our leave year with twenty-odd days I need to burn off or lose. I'm not really going anywhere in particular, so I'm mostly just hanging out at home and around my town. (I have a day trip or two planned closer to payday, though.)

It's been pretty okay so far--I've been getting in a lot of XBox time, and I've seen a couple of movies that Mrs. Example didn't really want to see--but there's been an electrician working in the house next door for like three days now. In between the loud, wall-rattling sawing into the drywall to (I assume) run cabling, he indulges in long bouts of tuneless, aimless whistling. I may cut my vacation short by doing a murder.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:48 AM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh, and the Puppies thread reminded me of something I can't remember but isn't really AskMetaFilter-worthy: I read a science fiction short story recently where a woman is working on a tedious project in a boring office, and SPOILER:

It turns out that she and everyone else are all uploaded personalities assigned to work on tasks for their unethical boss. When they're done, their memories get wiped and they get put on the next project. No one's really sure how many iterations they've been through. It ends with her and her coworkers plotting against the boss.

Anyone know what this is? I want to say it's (MeFi's own) Charles Stross, but I can't find anything that sounds like it during a cursory look over his short stories.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:52 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Life is such a mix of everything. Things are good for me and my lil family, but change is a coming and the idea of being responsible for how things change is still so overwhelming.

My partner has just gotten news that he is being offered a fellowship at an archive that is a major source for his research; this is BIG for him and for us. But how do people do this? It requires residence, and moving someplace for 4 months with toddler and me (I work remotely, it could be worse) is a major decision. I don't want to stay in rural Ohio without him, it would be so isolating and weird. We moved here for his job, not mine, so I work in our house all day long and talk mainly to a few other parents and to the daycare staff.

Working remotely is also very weird. My office is small, and two of our people (married) recently experienced a totally wrenching loss and are on leave. I have been in very loose touch and mostly get news through my colleague/supervisor. I have picked up some duties from one of them, which helps me feel like I'm being useful to them, but I can't really drop dinner off on their porch every week, which is all they would need from me if I was there. The loss is not mine, and we are not close outside of work, but my colleague and I were pregnant at the same time and have children the same age, and I can't help aching for them.

There is a summertime sadness hovering, that end-of-summer feeling. My kid doesn't want to go to daycare, she clings to my knees, and while the days are hot, the evenings have started to turn cool. The year turns.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:00 AM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I closed my Twitter account on Friday and am trying to use my Mastodon account more. I have been finding some great MeFites to follow -- including the poster of this thread -- and hope to find more. I have put #metafilter hashtag in my profile along with my username (I only use terrapin here now, where it used to be what I used everywhere).

My Also On in my MeFi profile is up-to-date with my Masto account, but here is:
posted by terrapin at 9:40 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have been a moderately heavy smoker (~20/day) for a couple of decades and a smoker for just over 32 years. I stopped on the 23rd of July 2018*.

*Of course i've stopped before but this time its different. it was researching nicotine's impact - the hijacking of the dopamine pathways, just like addictive social media apps are designed to - that's freaked me out. I fell off the wagon a couple of weeks ago in a beer garden in Berlin ;p but got back on without a fuss or the purchase of a packet i.e. am breaking many of the past behaviours and rationalizations. I've also been looking at it as one day at a time and not "OMG its lost and gone forever etc etc".
posted by infini at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2018 [23 favorites]

Hugs to everyone who needs one, and an extra hug for loquacious
posted by infini at 11:58 AM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

I am soo sleepy on this medication (I've been on it for ten months). Thursday I napped for four hours and slept for nine. Friday and Saturday I slept seven hours/night (the equivalent of only five hours for a normal person), and last night, I was so sleepy that I slept for 13. I'm still sleepy! I took a nap during my lunch break! I feel a two and a half hour nap coming up (after work). I still have things I need to Do. Garrgh.
posted by typify at 1:34 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Although I am very very happy to be able to get medication. Here is a picture of me before & after (replace anger with tears).
posted by typify at 1:45 PM on August 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

CONGRATS INFINI! I'm over 5 years smoke free and it's one of the best things I've ever done for myself. The hard part's mostly over now, you just have to keep going!
posted by elsietheeel at 4:34 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

So I started my new job 3 weeks ago. It's both boring and stressful and so far I only have 8 hours of good mental functioning a day, so my work/life balance is fucked.

I'm so glad to have a job. I'm so glad to have this job. I'm glad I took a demotion for it even. I just wish I was already 6 months in so I knew what I was doing and not feeling so lost and overwhelmed and then maybe could actually function after work.

Also a billion hugs to loquacious.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:38 PM on August 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

Hang in there, elsietheeel.
posted by lazuli at 8:08 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Last night there was a session on #metoo in primatology to try to put together a code of conduct for meetings and field sites. Someone was sitting behind me, and my friend was like "Wow, that lady looks a lot lke Ashley Judd!"

Surprise! It was Ashley Judd! She happened to be in Nairobi and she came to our session and offered some advice about codes of conduct and then afterwards she thanked me for the comments I made, remembered my name from those comments, and gave me a hug.

It was pretty amazing.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:08 PM on August 20, 2018 [27 favorites]

Anyone know what this is? I want to say it's (MeFi's own) Charles Stross, but I can't find anything that sounds like it during a cursory look over his short stories.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:52 AM on August 20 [+] [!]

Does Vernor Vinge's The Cookie Monster sound right?
posted by rollick at 6:38 AM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

... also this just happened
posted by ChuraChura at 8:32 AM on August 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Block that weird tweeter.
posted by infini at 9:23 AM on August 21, 2018

I went snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez yesterday! It was amazing. I swam in a school of thousands of sardines, saw sea turtles, tons of schools of tropical fish, there's a coral fucking reef! And it's a national park, so the sea life is very nonchalant about humans and just sort of treats us like we're other boring rando fish. Clown fish just casually swimming by you like you're all in a big crowd in a subway station. A needlefish just hanging out by himself watching life go by as the eight of us humans and so much other sea life paddle and swim past. So fucking awesome!!

I am very scared of water, because I grew up in a city where there wasn't really any place to swim and only learned to swim/float as an adult. It still is mindboggling to me that you can float around weightless in miles and miles of ocean, any three inches of which could technically drown you, and teeming with all kinds of wildlife, and SURVIVE! I think of the ocean as inherently dangerous.

But Jacques Cousteau called this place the aquarium of the world and I have a mild obsession with aquaria and it's all just so cool! So I had to snorkel for the first time anyway.

Won't lie, I panicked at first. We had to leap off the side of the boat right into the ocean and the first time I did it, I panicked feeling like I couldn't breathe and was sure to drown. And I started hyperventilating and REALLY couldn't breathe then. But the guide made me slow my breathing and taught me how to use the snorkel and showed me a seaturtle and things went much better from there. We had four other dives and I was able to do them all, and pretty independently, too. Swimming around in the ocean just looking at fabulous sea life and hearing nothing but the rhythm of my own breath and some chattering from the fish -- it was enchanting.

I admit, I was still panicky the whole time, though, and it felt like a big adventure! Even though it's just a day at the office for the guide, for me the whole experience was magical and honestly pretty scary. I'm so happy to have done it.

I've been in Mexico for a nearly two weeks and have had so many interesting and wild experiences, and the whole vacation has been great. There has been so much to see and learn and experience and it seems that by being pushed out of my comfort zone like this, in such a fun, and kind, and positive way, I feel like I'm shedding some of those mental shackles that I usually carry, the things that keep my imagination from really playing as freely as it should. Life is huge and I sometimes forget that. But it's easy to remember when you're standing on the Avenue of the Dead, or swimming with thousands of sardines all turning in one way and another as if with a single mind, or walking on the streets that Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to, or floating down a canal that the Aztecs used for floating farmland, or eating tacos from a guy whose been selling them just at the same corner for as long as I've been alive (32 long years), or just sitting at a fire by the ocean smelling the saltwater and the charcoal. Damn, I know I am as small as the grains of sand I'm walking on, in the grand scheme, and being in the midst of so much hustle and bustle and magificience really makes it impossible not to remember that, and there's a lot of freedom that comes of being so small in such a big world.

I have had so much fun and this vacation has been so freeing and yet I'm actually starting to look forward to going home again. Crazy, eh? Maybe it's just Stockholm Syndrome

Also, @veggieboy, my Parisian grandmother had a long succession of dogs named either Whiskey or Bobby. The dogs named Whiskey were always called Kiki. In fact, the Whiskey that was around when I was a child was never called by his "full name" that I remember -- he might have never known it, and only knew himself as Kiki at all. So maybe that's how your little Whiskey became known as Chiko, too? Or maybe not. But Whiskey is such a common French dog name (I don't know why!) that I think maybe Chiko came about as a nickname for it. Of course, my childhood cat was only ever called Bobo despite being named Alex, and the cat before that was Booboo despite being named Bill, so since when must nicknames and names related at all? Good luck to Mr Chiko in any case, he deserves it (and lots of love)
posted by rue72 at 10:31 AM on August 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

typify, thank you for that before and after photo. It made me smile and I reaaaaly needed to smile today.

This weekend, I had an epic battle with a wasp that got in through the bathroom window. We were chasing each other around the apartment for a good 40 minutes; I felt like Karen Black in “Prey.” Although my cat Jimmy (here, on the right) valiantly tried to swat it to death, I finally managed to kill it with a bottle of hairspray and a Dansk sandal. I hate summer.
posted by holborne at 10:47 AM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Does Vernor Vinge's The Cookie Monster sound right?

That's the one. Thanks!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:20 PM on August 21, 2018

...Sooooooo sometimes when I'm bored, I Google the names of old boyfriends, or friends, or people from my past that you idly wonder "gee, whatever happened to that guy?"

And that is how today I learned that the dude who was the early-20s love-of-my-life who became a "what-the-fuck-was-I-thinking" was arrested in January and is currently serving 5 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

Shout-out to the folks in MetaChat this afternoon for helping me for a few minutes get through the initial mental processing hurdle; I was hung up on wondering "I know I was a little clueless, but how did I miss THAT particular red flag back then?" I still think it's a sad story, but I"m also grateful that my only grounds for dumping him were "doesn't have a job" and I was spared ONE MOTHER-LOVIN' ENORMOUS MESS, thank God.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:46 PM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

Moved the college freshman into her dorm yesterday! It was so, so hard to say goodbye and I cried but then we got a text much later that basically said, "Hung out with [friend from high school] and new friends we made and we had dinner and went to one of the beaches*" so now I don't have to worry about her social/emotional health, I just have to worry about her grades!

*she's in Chicago
posted by cooker girl at 6:07 AM on August 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

In every computer science class I have ever taken, there is one annoying dude who needs to announce that the material in this class is really easy, and he does not understand why anyone would even need to take a class to learn this stuff, and obviously everyone is going to be really bored and get an A, because only really dumb people who shouldn't be studying CS at all wouldn't know this stuff by now. This is, I think, an act of aggression: he knows that it's not easy, and he's trying to make everyone else feel stupid. This guy is also never anywhere near the smartest person in the class. And I can't decide whether I should ignore this year's dude or passive-aggressively take every opportunity to humiliate him and show him up. (Because I'm pretty sure I could. I could, for instance, sweetly ask him to explain concepts, since this stuff is easy for him, that I don't think he wouldn't be able to explain.) I should take the high road, but he's making other students feel bad, and I feel like I should do everyone a favor and leave him in a metaphorical pile of blood in the middle of the classroom floor.

(Really, the TA should do something about it, but the TA is three months out of undergrad and has never TAed before, and that's probably too much to ask. Although dealing swiftly with this dude is probably a really basic CS instructor skill, because there really does seem to be one of him in every class.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:29 PM on August 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

Take him down, for all of us. If it encourages him to shut up, everyone wise will learn better.
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on August 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

Else, not wise - but I guess both work!
posted by smoke at 4:36 PM on August 22, 2018

Arrrgh, yeah, if you can find it in yourself to either shut him down yourself or talk with the TA and have them shut it down for you, 'cause that sounds like just the worst, and people like that need to learn some humility. At the very least ask him why he feels the need to come to class when he obviously knows everything. :P
posted by Aleyn at 9:22 PM on August 22, 2018

Arbitrary - I suspect that instead of an act of aggression against other students, that guys who are like "this is easy" night secretly be deep-down afraid that they're not going to get it and may be putting up an aggressive bluff as a front. It is aggressive, yeah, but the intent may not be "I'm dicking with the rest of the class because I'm a jerk" is all.

I suspect a quiet, but public, "the gentleman-doth-protest-too-much" bluff-calling might curtail this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:37 AM on August 23, 2018

I think I'm just going to handle it like a grown-up. The next time he says that something is easy, I'm going to say "it's great that it's easy for you, but it's new to me, and I know I'm going to have to work really hard in this class. If you want to help the rest of us understand it, that's great, and otherwise you can do something else and we'll work on it together." The only issue is that I don't know that it's going to help the other students, because everyone may expect me to be a dingbat, since I'm old and female.

I don't know if he's exactly dicking with the rest of the class. I definitely think he's trying to establish himself as the alpha, smartest-person-in-the-class dude, and the knock-on effect is making people feel bad.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:39 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know you have a plan already, but to put my two-cents' in: I would just form a study group that doesn't include him. The study group will pretty inevitably become the top students in the class (or at least will quickly be perceived that way), and having a bloc of explicitly hard-working, serious students at the top of the class (aka, leading the class) will encourage a more serious, cooperative atmosphere for everybody. Bluster guy will quickly realize that hard work and studiousness are what's cool in your class, and he may still brag, but he'll brag about different stuff at least (like how many hours he's putting in or whatever). Plus, study groups are fun and helpful regardless :)

To be frank, I had a similar problem in some of my accounting classes, and that's how I (inadvertently, at first!) solved it.
posted by rue72 at 8:40 AM on August 23, 2018

I actually got a ZozoSuit (previously). I wasn't totally expecting to. It looks very clever. Anyone else?

Have not *used* it yet, but I'm going to keep it clean in case it works and other locals would like to give it a try.
posted by clew at 2:26 PM on August 30, 2018

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