Metatalktail Hour: Open Thread! February 16, 2019 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, open thread! And also, my list of suggested topics has turned into such a ridiculous mess that I'm declaring topic bankruptcy and starting over, so send me your ideas!

As always, feel free to talk about whatever's up with you!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:53 PM (94 comments total)

posted by Going To Maine at 5:54 PM on February 16, 2019 [9 favorites]

My time in this part of the world is nearing an end, and I don't envisage returning for anything more than brief visits. A transitional hop, and then distant lands (a plan is forming). But before that, there is still time in the first warm (or, non-cold) days of spring for a few last walks, and some excellent cake. Yesterday, as a reward for various admin (including fixing a mass of dead links on my MeFi profile) saw my late afternoon arrival in Swithland after a long and meandering walk, where the old stables at the back of the posh village pub have been turned into an equally posh deli and cake shop, with seating inside and out.

So I sat outside for a while, with only a happily chirping, and almost spherical, robin for company. And it was bliss. Helped by a large and expensive slice of coffee and walnut cake - a proper one at that, as the outer side was thickly embedded with crushed walnuts.

I had an imaginary conversation with Totoro (it seemed an appropriate name for the robin) while working my way through the sugar-laden wedge of delight. Life on this small island is alway turbulent below the surface (at least for the last 1,600 years or so), and in periods such as now distinctly above the surface as well, but there are still moments and opportunities to breathe in some peace and feel some equilibrium. But, one of my ancestors arrived on these shores from Normandy 953 years ago, and that feels like long enough.

Also, robins can be surprisingly quick at grabbing a beakful of cake when you glance away, and it was obvious this one had practice in the game. No wonder the fucker was as round as a snowglobe.

I like robins, really. Even ones who steal bits of my cake.
posted by Wordshore at 6:03 PM on February 16, 2019 [23 favorites]

I'm learning a new skill! How to trim cat claws so Moose, our temp cat for the month, stops getting stuck on everything.

She doesn't like it. I've gotten one claw trimmed in four days of trying.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:03 PM on February 16, 2019 [9 favorites]

I must give my deepest thanks to filthy light thief, as their post on Monty Don has opened a few doors for me. Watching the small spaces show on netflix has not only given something pleasant to watch with my mom, but has given me a lot to chew on re: my own garden. I'll get into that.
The rain continues, including hail(!) making gardening all but impossible. I could take some nice pictures though. I did manage to implement the advice given to me on askme about the pepper though. And, probably most important of all, I organized my shed. Well- one of the sheds. Turns out I have a lot more useful soils then I thought I did which is nice. I also have my eye on the wall next to the shed. That's where the Monty Don show comes in. In one of the episodes a woman with less space than me in encouraged to grow fruit plants vertically against a wall. Now, she was growing pears, not my favorite, but I had a bit of a Madeleine moment where I remembered eating wild blackberries as I would walk home from school. The damn things are feral in San Francisco, and I bet I could grow some real nice blackberries against that wall, for not too much effort! I know they're adapted to the soil and light conditions, it's not like an orange tree... anyways I'm doing research now, but I'm very excited to add more than lemons to my fruit supply. (There is an apple tree I would rather get rid of, but mom loves it so it stays. The fruit is... eccch)
So thank you again filthy light thief- you've created a monster- a blackberry monster!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:06 PM on February 16, 2019 [20 favorites]

I have a three-day weekend and I woke up this morning with a cold. Thanks, germs. And thanks, boss, for coming to work sick for three days this week.


I had an interview for a job I really really really really really want on Tuesday and I think it went well but I won't know for another week and I might lose my mind and also if I don't get the job I'm pretty sure I will fall into a seriously deep funk that I might not recover from.

So that's fun.
posted by cooker girl at 6:20 PM on February 16, 2019 [12 favorites]

Best of luck, cooker girl!

Today Mr. eirias jumped into freezing water on purpose and then some new friends invited us over for spontaneous cake. It was a pretty good Saturday.
posted by eirias at 6:23 PM on February 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

that I might not recover from.

:( Not good at all! Take care of yourself.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:34 PM on February 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I made the most delicious homemade lasagna soup this week—honestly, I would have paid big money to eat this soup at a restaurant. Perfect for this crazy midwestern winter! If you want the recipe:

I have also somehow recently developed a constant craving for ice cream, which really doesn’t make sense given the weather.
posted by bookmammal at 6:42 PM on February 16, 2019 [12 favorites]

The good news is that I am in the midst of negotiating two job offers. So, come next week Monday I will be doing uh, something. Something that does not involve sitting on this couch.

A Thing that made me grumpy today: someone cut in line in front of me at the grocery store. Just pretended I wasn’t even there. I’m usually not a pushover when it comes to stuff like that but I was so shocked that he just looked through me I decided it was easier to stomp off to a different line. While I was quietly fuming someone came on the store PA system to say the debit machines were not working. I didn’t have cash on me and decided that maybe the universe did not want me to have groceries at that particular time and so I ...left the cart and walked out of the store. I was able to pull dinner together with some stuff from the freezer, so really it was just a dumb thing that I am now over. But now my brain is just befuddled that I did not come home with the things I picked out, because I was halfway to the kitchen before I remembered I still don’t have apples.

Here is a photo of my cat. He has very diligently been keeping me company over the last two months of unemployment.
posted by janepanic at 6:46 PM on February 16, 2019 [10 favorites]

The reigning Jeopardy! champion is a MeFite and also pretty cute.
posted by Etrigan at 6:52 PM on February 16, 2019 [16 favorites]

This has been a really weird month for my family. Maybe the weirdest month ever. Not necessarily bad, but I'm not sure things will ever be the same. Things may seem normal again one day, hopefully, but getting there may be a long process. I know that's kind of vague, but the good news is everyone is healthy and the family is still strong. Perhaps even stronger. As with most of these things, the silver lining is the goodness and support that you find in other people. Anyway, I'd appreciate good thoughts. Challenges are ahead.

Also, we're going on a TRAAAAAAAIIIIIIN in another month. There may even be a meet-up that comes out of it, probably in Portland. I would like to meet some of you people on the West Coast. Stay tuned.
posted by bondcliff at 6:56 PM on February 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

That's a very handsome cat you live with, janepanic.

bondcliff -- what did you decide to do for your western north america train adventure? I just revisited the thread to see if you announced a plan, but didn't find one.
posted by janell at 7:07 PM on February 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I had a stressful logistical thing to do this week, and then someone changed something at the last minute, and then I couldn't get my car to move and had to deal with the last-minute changes without a car. (Last-minute changes required an extra trip to the store and then transporting a lot of stuff from home to work.) And instead of freaking out and having an anxiety spiral, I problem-solved and dealt with it. I am unreasonably proud of this, which is a little sad. But yay me! I dealt with stress like a basically-functional person!

I think the weather is seriously fucking with everyone's heads. I can deal with snow, and I can deal with cold, but there is ice everywhere. I am so frigging tired of ice. Every morning, I hack away at the ice on the sidewalk in front of my house, and then some of the snow melts during the day, and it re-ices over night. There's a city-wide ice-melt shortage, and I'm feeling very smug, because I ordered a 25-pound bag of ice melt from Amazon. And that's nice, because it means that I've managed to get my sidewalk mostly clear, but most of my neighbors have failed to de-ice their sidewalks, so walking is a little treacherous. My next-door neighbor can't get her car out of her driveway and told me that she's just not going to use it until everything thaws in April. That's how sick of ice everyone is. I am googling airfares to Honolulu every day. Remind me not to complain when it's really hot next summer!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:11 PM on February 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

I turned 50 and the same day, a letter arrived with an invitation to join AARP. Hot damn, would you give me a MINUTE?

My favorite low key entertainment is British antique expert shows where a couple guys or gals (wish there were more gals) go around to some shops and try to make a bigger profit from the outing. Recently finished Clash of the Collectables. Little bit of history thrown in, generally interesting. Very low key - a temporary balm from life and current events.

Other good ones include Find It, Fix it, Flog It (where they buy stuff, get it expertly fixed up and then try to make a profit and beat the other team) and Money For Nothing (where junk that is being thrown away gets restored or made into art by local craftspeople, and the host tries to make a profit for the people who were throwing the thing away).

Good travels to you and your family, bondcliff! And that is indeed a handsome cat with janepanic.
posted by Glinn at 7:12 PM on February 16, 2019 [9 favorites]

posted by Going To Maine

Can I borrow this?

22oilfkj will be a villainous code for a Nordic energy Baron.
posted by clavdivs at 7:23 PM on February 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was sitting here, thinking about going out to a makers' fair, a club, etc. tonight, when I was overcome, by turns, by tiredness, then sadness, then sickness. Sometimes one's body says no. So now I'm curled up on the couch, rewatching Howl's Moving Castle for the nth time, trying not to do much of anything at all except feel OK. It seems like it's going around.
posted by limeonaire at 7:33 PM on February 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

I've mostly been at home recently, as my kid has had more snow days than school days in the last two weeks and I take that as a general indicator to stay home. I managed to get to the charity I volunteer with on a day they're not usually open for volunteers, which was nice after not being able to get there on my regular day for two weeks. It was fun to see the flurry of people there.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:50 PM on February 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Life is full of change right now but so far it is all fairly comfortably paced. We are moving inland soon so as to avoid another hurricane Florence experience (well, everyone hopes) and that feels positive because we will be going to a bigger house and we all need more space. I hope to be able to do a number of things I cannot do here, one among those is get a printer which I will I trust have room for, so that I can print out hard copies of my poems and arrange them into categories and create manuscript that actually has a decent arc to it. And other reasons.

Writing a lot and really digging in. I had a funny emo spiral today though. Had been feeling a little blue and crumbly and lost and a poet whose work I had admired came along and said she would love to see my work and to exchange work at draft stage and learn from each other.

Nice, right? OH but it plunged me into this silly spiral of "I am a fraud, she will see I am just a pretender, all my work is trash, this will be horrible" and of course I said "I would love to exchange work" even though I was panic breathing at the time...... I was pretty shocked at how much of that self-negation I had stashed away, whew!

Also the ddddd key on my keyboard is going wonky so if any of those are missing, that's why.
posted by luaz at 7:52 PM on February 16, 2019 [9 favorites]

I've been spending a lot of time on the couch with a broken ankle being stared at by my dog, who himself has just had some major surgery and is now in both the cone of shame and the spanx of shame.
posted by Rumple at 7:53 PM on February 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

Not a whole lot to report here, just trying to survive the winter when my super active children cannot go outside and burn off some of that energy! My car's battery died and thanks to an unfortunate incident with it slipping on the ice in the driveway while we were trying to move it out of the way, it is now totally immovable because there's no traction and it's in the low patch in the driveway. Nothing to be done until tomorrow when we can either replace the battery or get it towed! (Ironically it's supposed to be getting serviced on Monday so at least I know where to have them tow it if it comes to that.) We'll be racing the snow tomorrow, though; my car's blocking our driveway so my husband can't pull his car in, and our town has a ban on on-street parking when there's an inch of snow, but it's 3500 pounds of car on tractionless ice that has to be moved uphill!

I've gotten a lot of compliments on my cooking this week. Apparently my middle child (who complains constantly that he hates everything I cook when talking to me) brags non-stop to his 2nd-grade class about all the stuff I make, and at teacher conferences this week my cooking was a major topic of conversation, along with my kid's lunches (which are these elaborate salads because that's what he wants to eat and who am I to say no to veggies?). Then my husband's coworkers got in a conversation about how jealous they are of his lunches, which are basically dinner leftovers packed in bento-like containers. Anyway I have a lot of warm fuzzies about this because it's so nice that someone's noticing my effort at making healthy and delicious and pretty meals! (Lord knows my kids think it's just "what mom does.") And I often wonder if I'm cooking enough or if I rely too much on takeout and leftovers, so it's always a good reminder that, no, I'm actually cooking a lot and I shouldn't beat myself up over it if sometimes I just Can Not and we get takeout.

The lunch that got hubs' coworkers jealous was pork tenderloin medallions with apples and onions, green beans, and mashed potatoes (picture), and I do love how the divided containers make every lunch look pretty! They're leftover from a weekend family feast, which we are still doing. Recent efforts have included a French feast of cheese gougeres, boeuf bourguinon, noodles, mixed green salad with walnuts, goat cheese, and cranberries, and peches cardinal, and a British(ish) feast of bone-in beef rib roast, Yorkshire puddings, pan gravy, peas & carrots, Caesar salad, and couscous, the last two of which aren't super-British but I like them. :) Next weekend I think I'm going to try steak au poivre for my husband's birthday and go for a bistro theme.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:58 PM on February 16, 2019 [15 favorites]

In my seed ordering, I came across this - a phallic butternut variety called Dick's Pick.

My question is, how many employees were in on the joke and how many are innocently grateful to Dick for his excellent squash selecting abilities.

Emmy Rae's pick in this category is Honeybaby - sweeter and nuttier than a classic butternut. Real beauties.

I have to limit the number of experiments I try each year. Buying a bunch of $4 seed packets adds up. So on the experiment list for next year is this Bossa Nova zucchini. It looks like a beauty, and AAS hasn't steered me wrong yet with their awards.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:04 PM on February 16, 2019 [13 favorites]

Oh man, good luck with the ankle, Rumple. I'm about 9 months out from my break—same ankle!—and it will get better with time and physical therapy. I definitely slept on the couch for about 3 months, though, and I was in PT for about 6 months. Now I'm in a city where walking is practically mandatory, and it's going rather well. I'm starting to get to a point where I don't always have to cling to the handrail on the stairs. Though earlier when I was getting on a bus, I definitely was surprised to step into some soft dirt I didn't realize bordered some cobblestones and slip off to the side a little bit while waiting to get on. It startled me and made me mad that no one had thought to fix it.

Anyway, just eat more protein than usual, take vitamin D3 and vitamin C while you're stuck inside growing bones, and take it easy. Much love!
posted by limeonaire at 8:14 PM on February 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

janepanic, is that furniture in your cat pic or is the cat sitting on someone's lap while they wear a glorious two-tone wool skirt?

I imagine that being a pencil skirt and I want to wear it to all the winter parties with black tights and black shoes and a black turtleneck.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:18 PM on February 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have to limit the number of experiments I try each year. Buying a bunch of $4 seed packets adds up.

Seconded. I bought my year's supply from Rohrer Seed, from their Pennsylvania Farm Show stand, and the first four herbs I started failed. I emailed the company, and they replaced the failed seeds promptly. Could not ask for better customer service. My experiment is going to be growing my own popcorn from seed.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:28 PM on February 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

I’m sitting here aching to tell someone about the cookery of Carol C. over on Rate My Plate and the roasting thereof. I don’t think there’s enough there for an FPP, but I am dying.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:28 PM on February 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thanks limeonaire! I broke it about 3 weeks ago. I’m going to be in NY City for the first time in mid April and I’m hoping I can more or less walk and be able to visit galleries and whatnot. I have one of those knee scooters and it’s been a lifesaver vs crutches: I can take the bus and teach in a way crutches were making really difficult.

Anyway I am anticipating months before it is even close to normal but hopefully I don’t have to learn NYC on a knee scooter!
posted by Rumple at 8:31 PM on February 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I just got back from a dinner with church friends that was absolutely lovely, AND I found out some things that were shocking. One person, a lovely lady in her 70s, casually admitted to being a swinger, and it was met with "oh yeah, Congregation Member X said that he and this group of friends were all in very close relationships with each other, in all senses of the word" o_O And that's just the tip (heh) of the iceberg of the interesting dinner conversations that were had. It was something else, and way better than I was expecting. I almost backed out last minute, and am so glad I didn't. I even made some friends (or, took the first steps towards) in my age group, which is something I want to do more of. All of my recent new friends have been a lot older than me (not a problem! See above! They are awesome people that I appreciate very much!), and I want to expand my peer group too. Partially because they might be or know know some single men....

I've been looking at online dating sites/apps here and there, and it is scary and horrid. I'm realizing that I have no idea how to meet anyone for even just a casual fling nowadays. When are we getting that Metafilter dating offshoot site up and running? Maybe I can use the Card Club formula to set up Metafling of the Month ( kidding! Totally joking ..... ...... .... maybe.)

Countess Elena, Thank you so much for posting the trials and tribulations of Carol C. I laughed out loud a lot scrolling through that.
posted by Fig at 8:59 PM on February 16, 2019 [17 favorites]

I am also recovering from a broken ankle. I broke three bones and dislocated it on the morning of New Year's Eve. I was switched from a cast to moon boot after 2 weeks and it makes all the difference. I am booked in for surgery to remove two screws on March and I can't wait because they said I'll be full weight bearing after that.

I love my knee scooter but I'm basically trapped in my house by three steps (I can crutch down but haven't figured out how to get my scooter down by myself safely).

I'm mostly going ok but am finding it frustrating because we moved to a new house two weeks before I broke my ankle and I want to go exploring.
posted by poxandplague at 10:53 PM on February 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

I love the endless rain and cold (and, hello, hail this week) so much but tomorrow morning will be clear and we’re taking the boys to hike our favorite loop in the Oakland Hills. The almost-five-year-old is starting to process some recent family deaths (my mom and his great grandmother just before Cmas) and he’s _desperate_ for some outside time after the last week of rain. A half day in the redwoods will do us all good.
posted by not_the_water at 11:16 PM on February 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

The ambivalent tickle at the back of my throat has resolved into a cold and I've lost my voice. But! I kinda like losing my voice because it's one of the few conditions that make it socially acceptable to skip Sweating through Small Talk Half-Frozen by the Conviction that I'm Doing It Wrong, so as long as the cold doesn't get much worse than this, this is totally cool.

Yesterday one of my supervisors complimented my dedication and forbade me from doing any work this weekend and when I got home my partner surprised me with Susan Orlean's The Library Book, and it feels like the stress I've been carrying around for weeks is starting to leak away and tentatively let my brain rediscover, at least for the next few days, not living in a constant low-level state of work project panic. So that's nice.

I'm also re-reading Saga to accompany my partner's first read-through but can't bring myself to finish Volume 9 because FEELS.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:27 PM on February 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

janepanic, is that furniture in your cat pic or is the cat sitting on someone's lap while they wear a glorious two-tone wool skirt?

Alas it is neither. It is a foldy bit of a very old Ikea blanket.

While I may be a bit biased in agreeing that he is indeed very handsome, I would like to note that about 20 minutes before this photo was taken he puked on the couch. CAT LIFE.
posted by janepanic at 11:52 PM on February 16, 2019 [11 favorites]

I had a nice acupuncture session yesterday which helped with some back pain, but I’ve been so so tired recently, will have a blood test this week to see if it’s from a reason other than fibromyalgia (cross your fingers!). But I will drag myself to see Hayley Kiyoko and also an overseas friend this week!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:58 PM on February 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm starting to think that, out of all things that could connect me to my Chinese heritage, it is going to be cats from the internet. A lot of really cute videos are coming out of China! I mean, giant country, cats are relatively cheaper than kids, people use their phones a lot more and have a better chance at capturing whatever insanely cute cat action is going on, etc.

I am super stressed about work. Next week, I have to hand off a project to another team. Even though I've had months, I still don't feel like I have an adequate spiel prepared, and I am not naturally good at / already practiced at explaining things to people (and / or I still don't have the mastery of my project necessary to give an easy explanation).

But this weekend is our shape note convention, which is always nice, and also, convenient for procrastination. Gulp.
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:03 AM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

Sounds like you're all having weird weather wherever - I hope the time of icy sidewalks is over soon.

Big change for me - I did an introductory farm-change facilitation course - a few very intense days. Mostly group work - which this INTJ (well I look like that from the outside anyway) really enjoyed.

I've wanted to move towards facilitation for ages and this one is tailored for agronomists, farm-consultants and farmers. Really exciting, (very) scary as they want us in the field (litterally) soon. But it's another step on my targeted shift from straight landscape to landscape/agronomy.
posted by unearthed at 1:05 AM on February 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

Not much going on here. I have been working overtime all winter when my colleagues have been relaxing because I like money, and they are all starting to return to the area. Everyone is frantically getting back into work mode but I never left it so feel very well put together at the moment.

Oh, so, I love running and also turned 40 last October. I was in great shape at the beginning of the year and thought it was going to be "my year". Well, fate intervened with an injury and then there was a never-ending heatwave in the summer and I just never quite got it back together. That was pretty irritating, but I finally feel like I am getting my shit back together. I signed up for a race on March 1st and have been running every day for the past three weeks or so. I'm definitely not in great shape, but I am totally doing well for February, so I am going to go right ahead and jinx myself now. This year is going to be my year.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:00 AM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

Yay LiteraryHero, my longitudinal running bro! I, too, feel like my body is finally sorting itself out after a spell of injury that was kicked off by a hamstring strain doing deadlifts (I felt it go, it was like a little "ping!" of disappointment, as I knew immediately what had happened). I had a quite lovely 26km run on Saturday (indoors, still waaaaay too frigging hot outside for that kind of action. I hate u summer.) I, too, am not fast at the moment, but I'm backing way off that until I manage a month without even a whisper of injury.

I'm rocking a case of Sunday night blues tonight, there's one part of my job that is sucking like hell right now and it's spreading into the rest of my work like a cancer. Also my wife is off to frigging Bali for a work offsite, for a week. Far out, so jealous. We had our "offsite" in the big room at the bottom of our office.

That aside, everything is actually going quite well. I had delicious homemade wonton noodle soup at the in-laws tonight, I'm taking my little cat Dusky off to get speyed tomorrow. And we got a lovely batch of peaches this weekend, too.
posted by smoke at 2:25 AM on February 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

I’m leaving for my big cross-country road trip tomorrow, and I can’t sleep! I still have to pack the van and do last-minute stuff in the morning. Even with what is bound to be a late start, I’m hoping to get at least as far as Palm Springs by the end of the day. I’m excited and terrified.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:49 AM on February 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

After a relatively quiet 2018 season (post Ivan) the hordes have returned with a vengeance this year. They are all driving huge SUVS and acting like everybody will do what they say, right NOW, or there will be TROUBLE.

With our usual professional panache, they generally get a GFY, and a quiet chat with a law enforcement representative. Also, towing charges are $450 this year, up from an eye-watering $385 last year.

The new mayor decided to block off the three middle blocks of Duval Street for a "pedestrian-friendly" experience on Fridays and Saturdays from now until April, and it appears to be well-attended, and a cataclysmic traffic clusterfuck. Bicycles were supposed to be encouraged, but the PD decided otherwise, so now it's Deathrace 2019 on Whitehead and Simonton streets downtown.

Luckily, I'm an early riser so I can get my stuff done and go home and stay there on the weekends. The weather is pretty spectacular, the temps are in the high seventies, and work is transitioning nicely into a professional, experienced team. So that's all good.

Have a nice February! Come see us in May.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:08 AM on February 17, 2019 [8 favorites]

I won't have to contend with snow for the rest of the weekend, luckily enough, but it's been intermittent buckets of the stuff. The weather seems more cyclic than usual. ...but that's probably just me.

Of late, I've been scaling back my writing to make room for more reading, and ... well, the balance doesn't precisely work like that, though the scaling back for writing part is true. For the reading, it's like: I've been grabbing epubs off Project Gutenberg's latest books and random books lists, but so far I've managed to finish only a couple of those. I really do appreciate that Project Gutenberg provides epubs sans images. I've also been attempting to learn programming again, though since I've set it aside for a while I may have to do some review, because my memory for specific syntax and formatting is nothing short of awful.

This will probably be the state of things for a while, at least. Me-wise. Weather-wise, we're still hoping.
posted by redrawturtle at 5:18 AM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just boarded the first of three buses and a train that will be carrying me London-wards for the next six hours. It's for what promises to be a fairly dull workshop that I need to do to get my paws on the grant I won a couple of weeks ago. This remains a large net positive but it's a bit of a hole in the weekend and will be 6 hours back tomorrow evening also. Cornwall remains pleasantly mild.
posted by biffa at 5:30 AM on February 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

My darling hubby just left to deliver our last remaining peacock to a fellow enthusiast, a 3-hour drive away. He really enjoyed the creatures, who do this. Right outside my home office. But only in the spring! Which lasts about five months, apparently. I was feeling really guilty for "making him" get rid of the beautiful boy because though I tried not to complain, I often failed. Oh so often. Then I realized that it has been TEN YEARS. The other two cocks and the hen have fallen to the foxes over the past couple years. I will miss the displays, but I am secretly glad and looking forward to a lovely, peaceful spring this year.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:39 AM on February 17, 2019 [11 favorites]

I started a new job recently and really like it. I had a tumultuous 2018 work-wise and left two jobs after working at each for six months and I am looking forward to a little more stability in 2019. My new boss is the antithesis of my previous bosses and it is so refreshing. I also get to command satellites, so that's cool.

I went to a knitting MeetUp at my local library this past week and that turned into all of us meeting up for a "galentine's" evening the next night. Yay for new friends that live close to me!

I've made batches of congee a few times in the last couple of months and eat it for breakfast during the week. I am 100% a savory breakfast person and this has been nice to add to my morning rotation.
posted by source.decay at 6:02 AM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

halfbuckaroo, I recognized Key West from the street names. I miss it very much right now, but for the reasons you discuss, I am sure it does not miss me. But I will be back someday!
posted by Countess Elena at 6:45 AM on February 17, 2019

We are getting closer and closer to adopting a cat. Yesterday we visited a sweet little cat at a foster home, but it didn’t feel like the right cat for us. Today we are going to a rescue cat adoption event where there will be more cats, but I’m wondering how we will know if any of the cats are meant to be ours if they are stressed out in some foreign room? My kid has been reading all of the adoptable cat descriptions and wants the cat that can open cupboards, the cat that jumps in the sink when you wash dishes, the cat that jumps in the dishwasher, and the cat that cuddles with guinea pigs. Much to his disappointment, we are looking to adopt just one cat.
posted by Maarika at 7:26 AM on February 17, 2019 [10 favorites]

I am so itchy. The simplest thing, like clothing rubbing against my leg, makes me want to scratch. And I've been slowly ceasing the nailbiting. Because of that, I inflame the skin when I scratch because I don't know my own power yet. And then it gets warm and itchier.

I think it's just dryness and winter rather than allergies -- I've been using the same detergent, same soaps, and the same creams as usual. I have Aveeno super-dry-skin lotion in-house because this happened last year too. Today I'm going to dig out the humidifier and run it in the bedroom at nights.

Or Google says it could be perimenopause. I'm so much fun!
posted by kimberussell at 7:34 AM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

This has been a very itchy winter for me, too. I am using lotion like a maniac, just so I can get through the day without scratching the skin on my calves off. Not sure why this winter is so bad, although the temperature has been up and down constantly….
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:38 AM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

My baby is a happy child and discovering movement which is exciting. The cats have not figured out how much danger they are about to be in once she can crawl for their little fluffy attractive tails. She fascinated by them. The cats tolerate her and have gotten good with allowing her to pet them and not complain about it. There current tatic is to move two steps away when fed up which will soon be ineffective.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:39 AM on February 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

Vicarious cat happiness here. Perhaps when we move we will have a good space to bring a cat into, that would be super!

Also, distant but warm hugs for all who are feeling less than their best.... looking for good turning points soon for a lot of things!
posted by luaz at 7:43 AM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Update: A tow guy came and was able to jumpstart my car so my husband could drive it to the repair place. Throughout the entire car drama I didn't slip on the ice, but while bringing my credit card out to the tow guy, I took a HUGE theatrical all-four-limbs flailing fall on the ice. Oh well, at least I have nowhere I need to go today and my car is at the fixer guy!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:28 AM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

ice falls can be horrible. Also, I learned a word for ice-falling: Biffed. I biffed, you biffed, etc. Hope you are okay!
posted by luaz at 8:31 AM on February 17, 2019

A little bit sore (sore hip, achy back) but no damage done! Probably a few bruises tomorrow.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:51 AM on February 17, 2019

I think it's just dryness and winter rather than allergies -- I've been using the same detergent, same soaps, and the same creams as usual. I have Aveeno super-dry-skin lotion in-house because this happened last year too

kimberussell, true story, the supposedly hypoallergenic Aveeno lotion turned out to have an ingredient I'm sensitized to—so definitely gauge, when you start using it again, whether it actually makes the itching better, and try something else if not.

poxandplague, I'm so sorry you're also going through the broken-ankle thing. The stairs, God, yeah. I felt very trapped in my house for those first 3 months. The solution is to scoot down on your butt (start by scooting off the couch in your front room and crab-walking to the door) and/or crab walk, depending on how far apart those stairs are, then pull yourself up on the other end. I bought lobster-claw and hand-X-ray oven mitts just for use on my front walk, which has irregularly spaced stairs and burned me the first time I had to navigate it to go to and from a doctor's follow-up last summer. I imagine the same might work well for you in the winter!
posted by limeonaire at 8:57 AM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

My wife and I very seldom do anything much for Valentine's Day (other than our traditional meal of the heart of some animal - so far we've had antelope, pig, cow, and lamb, I believe, and this year will be chicken when we get around to making it to the butcher - we're also not super fussy about the exact date) but the Wolf Conservation Center in New York was running a Valentine's Day mating season lecture, and my wife is writing a novel about wolves, so it seemed appropriate

It was fun! We went to the themed lecture (which turned out to be fairly grim - the center's mission is species recovery for the red and Mexican gray wolf, which are both hugely endangered to the point where breeding usually involves carefully planned artificial insemination), a night in a pleasant hotel, and then back in the morning for the general winter lecture, which was much more cheerful.

We got to see the ambassador wolves up close and caught a glimpse or two of the red wolves, which neither of us had ever seen before, and heard lots of stories, many of them about carrion. (Roadkill deer are the sole source of food for the wolves waiting for release into the wild, so they don't become fond of the taste of livestock. The ambassadors, who are not release candidates, eat mostly expired meat from the local Whole Foods, apparently.)

Then we listened to several episodes of the extremely good Farm to Taber podcast on the way home. Not, perhaps, a romantic Valentine's Day for most people, but perfect for us.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:23 AM on February 17, 2019 [13 favorites]

This winter weather is whacky. We've had rain and snow, off and on. Last week, the lake was sheer ice, due to rain melting the top cover of snow. Some ice fishermen came around and set up shop. We stayed home so I could get pictures of eagles. The group to the right of the large maple trees didn't leave out any fish, but the group beyond the trees did. My new camera has a zoom lens, but it was a bit too far for me to get much definition, however, I did catch this guy (or gal) scooping up a fish. Today there is someone else who set up a flag on the hole with the clear shot and I am again hopeful of getting a better picture this afternoon.

Then we got snow again, and my husband had to take a snow day, it was just the timing, and we didn't get cleared out until mid-afternoon. People keep posting crap about how Spring is only 34 days away, and I'm like, maybe for you, but for us in Maine, it's really the 3rd week in April, or maybe the 1st of May before we see true spring. Then we get mosquitoes, try going for a walk in May and see how they laugh at your DEET. Still, we have a nice view, so I can't complain about that.

Yesterday, we went to see Alita: Battle Angel, and I really enjoyed it. That was part of our Valentine's Day date. Haven't been out to eat in ages, so we went to a local chain restaurant (local to New England), as they were serving steak with lobster "pie" -- that is, a small chafing dish with lobster and butter. The steaks were filet mignon, and underdone, then overdone, then chewy, and the waitress overly chatty, you know that feeling when you're finally left alone? And then oops, the steaks are raw, then you have to sit and feel uncomfortable and powerless because someone screwed up and then it doesn't get fixed right, more awkwardness, then an ernest manager coming over and squatting at the table so his face is level with it and you think, oh, now I remember why I don't go to chain restaurants anymore, and how the steak is always so awful there, and it's now my mission in life to hunt down a really good cut of filet mignon and make it a home so I can eat in peace, braless, and have no chatting, not be seated next to the bar area under a giant TV because the main dining room is closed and they don't want to inconvenience the servers (an actual sentence that came out of someone's mouth), or maybe I will win the lottery and go to a really fine dining restaurant in a place where there are palm trees, and warm breezes wafting over my face on a patio, with the sun setting over the ocean, and even tho' it's not Maine, they will know not to overcook a damned lobster and drown it in salty butter, because they know that no one likes rubber bands in butter, and no one wants to chat endlessly with the server while trying to hold down a conversation on a Valentine's Day date and hearing about how stressed out the cook is making steaks for everyone, but hey, I now know how many cats she has (7) and where she lives and what she is planning to do today, who she is dating and her whole goddamned life story, so there's that. Then my husband rounded the bill up to $100, tipping over 25%, and I was like, wtf, but hey, a little wine and no food makes people generous. I have a $100 bill in a teacup in my cupboard, emergency money, and this feels like a steak and lobster emergency to moi.

But, at least I wasn't the bank robber who slipped on the ice, that guy had a worse day than mine.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:27 AM on February 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

If there’s one thing I don’t miss about living i Canada, it’s the ice during winter. I had fallen so many times (In the grandest fashion and most times, in front of an audience.) that I’d resorted to er, scooting on icy sidewalks. Horrific. I hope everyone recovers from all their icy mishaps.

Etrigan, I don’t get home in time for Jeopardy and actually cancelled my cable service this week so I had to google who you were talking about. It’s exciting to have a MeFite on Jeopardy and makes me wonder how many MeFites have been on the show. I also now have a little online crush on that mathematician contestant from Portland, ha!

Fig, I hear you on online dating. I had a date with a really nice man that I met on a dating app, but had to decline a second date because well, as nice and funny as he was, I just didn’t feel the attraction/connection. It’s always sad when that happens, but one can’t force these things.

Eyebrows McGee, your dinners and bento lunches sound amazing.
posted by theappleonatree at 9:52 AM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I am sick, possibly due to something dumb I did, but possibly not. It's a long story involving bacteria. I'm mostly better today but I feel bad about having to peace out on parenting. I'm traveling a lot in March and have been telling my husband to please take entire days off parenting, me and kid will occupy ourselves...aaaand then I get sick.

I just finished a Hannibal rewatch (the first in quite some time) and it has eaten my brain (heh) again. I want to stop people on the street and yell at them about Hannibal. I am only semi resisting the urge to just start back over at S1E01 again. It's bad. My YouTube recommendations are a Hannigram trash fire. I tried to find some fic but my old fandom problem of being 100% here for the canon and 0% interested in fanon or AUs or even much in the realm of what-if is really getting in the way. (I think the main reason I got so into writing fic in the Doctor Who universe is that the canon has a ton of room for moar canon, writing fic that is basically an unaired episode but maybe with swears or smooching is pretty standard. You don't find a lot of coffee shop AUs because you can make that setting be perfectly harmonious with canon with just a little bit of set up.)

Anyway, whenever fandom takes over my life it's usually because something else is happening that I'd rather ignore, and that thing right now is work. I've gone from feeling like I'm killing it to feeling like I'm a total failure in the span of a couple months. It's not great. And also just in general *gestures around at the world*

Murder husbands are better.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:06 AM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

ice falls can be horrible. Also, I learned a word for ice-falling: Biffed. I biffed, you biffed, etc. Hope you are okay!

posted by biffa at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2019 [13 favorites]

Crying laughing at the cookery-of-Carol-C comments! Hilarious runs of internet comments are one of the best things in life. Puts me right back in love with humanity.

Anyway. Got divorced on Valentines Day, and am having surgery on the 19th to address my rebellious female plumbing. Meanwhile my actual plumbing, like, the plumbing in my house, has decided to mutiny also. I'm so, so exhausted.
posted by HotToddy at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2019 [11 favorites]

Was just informed that the foster gargoyle has a meet and greet Tuesday with another of our shelter pups who’s been SUPER depressed since he was returned. All of the sudden, ALL the feelings ( we realized pretty early on that she probably needs more people than us, much as we love her, and hoo boy, in retrospect to commemorate the one year anniversary of our heartdogs passing by volunteering to hang out with an elderly dog who had a GINORMOUS mammary tumor removed, with all the oozing incisions, sleepless nights, and pants-shitting terror that that entailed, maaayybe not the best idea)I’m thrilled at the thought of her finding the forever family who deserves her, and just as ecstatic that my other sad little buddy has a chance to be sprung, but oh I shall miss her. ( Feel free to keep fingers and paws crossed that it’s a good fit folks!)
posted by jacy at 12:51 PM on February 17, 2019 [8 favorites]

Restless_nomad, I read your comment about the wolf species recovery efforts as "breeding usually involves carefully planned artificial insemination, a night in a pleasant hotel, and then back in the morning," which made me laugh out loud. A few times. <3<3<3
posted by taz (staff) at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh, and bookmammal, I WILL be trying that soup, oh yes. Thanks for the link!
posted by taz (staff) at 1:11 PM on February 17, 2019

taz—hope you like it! Be sure not to omit the red pepper flakes or the cream. They add the extra oomph that takes it up to the next level!
posted by bookmammal at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

This morning, around 10:30 a.m. PST, else get led to when they typed into their address bar? The page said " is now registered with" Was weird.
posted by bz at 1:32 PM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hah! I'm not entirely sure it doesn't - there was a whole sequence in the slideshow about the reproduction experts from Cornell who come down to manage it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:06 PM on February 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

bz, "why so serious?"

Kidding! It was actually a planned transfer, but catching it at that moment would definitely have felt bizarre!
posted by taz (staff) at 2:09 PM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

RN, I enjoy imagining the wolves rolling around in abandon in the 1000 thread count sheets, slurping champagne, and snarfing up chocolate mints from under the floofy down pillows.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:13 PM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

This morning, around 10:30 a.m. PST, else get led to when they typed into their address bar? The page said " is now registered with" Was weird.

What taz said; we were moving the domain between registrars and that made for a catch-22 moment where until the transfer was complete we couldn't set up the nameservers at the new registrar, but because of DNS propagation there was a potential delay after setting up the nameservers before the site displayed correctly. Stickly little hurry-up-and-wait game on our end, though frimble had the details nailed down ahead of time so we were able to immediately throw the appropriate switches.

Which meant a nearly seamless transfer, but you're one of the lucky ones who got a glimpse of the sausage-making.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I wanted something sweet, and I decided on caramel corn. After reading the recipes of death, I took a look at what I had, to make it more healthful. So I popped some corn, a big pan full. I had some brownish sugar but maybe large crystal date sugar or some such thing. Next time piloncillo. I poured a half can of sweetened condensed milk in a cast iron small skillet, and poured in maybe 3/4 cup of the mystery sugar. That stuff bubbled up like crazy and I stirred it into the popcorn. I added coconut, cinnamon, cardamon. Next time I will remember the vanilla. I pop the corn in extra virgin organic olive oil. If you want the caramel corn less sticky it goes in a baking pan to a 250° oven for a couple of stirs over 15 minutes or so. The recipe is delicious and has less sugar and no added fats except for the popping oil. Otherwise I am OK. I am going to make this again. I envision popcorn balls with coconut, pumpkin seeds, and chopped, dried pineapple. Yes, yes I do, especially since I can't steal bites of Wordshore's cake!
posted by Oyéah at 3:20 PM on February 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

Deepest sympathies to ice bound, sick and broken ankle afflicted.

We got 60" of rain last year and the trend continues into this year, with rain projected for the next week. Which is great for the water tables, and we're thrilled it isn't ice, but it'd be damn nice to see the fucking sun already.

We got a 2015 Ford Transit cargo van a couple of weeks ago and plan on converting it into a camper van as we have funds available. Today we had a new stereo/bluetooth/backup camera system installed, so we're happy with the first upgrade. Next week I pick up our insulation (wool batts!) and we will install those so we can remove them when we have to run all the wiring. We have to design the electrical system now so we can wire for everything even though it may not be added for a few months.

We're excited about being able to escape with the dogs and sleep and pee without having to talk to anyone. And weirdly, we're relieved we'll never be homeless. We named the van Vanessa. I haven't setup the IG yet, but we're gonna call it Vanesscapades. Next weekend we're taking her to visit a friend who has gobs of welding equipment to see about making us a raised bed platform.

It's been a nice distraction from the neverending ShitShow in DC.
posted by yoga at 3:27 PM on February 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

We usually don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but this year, our basement sump pump died during a flood and my husband had to race to Home Depot do get a replacement while I wielded buckets. Valentine’s Dinner was overcooked by the time he got back and we had installed the new pump but at least the damage remained minimal.

There’s some kind of tenuous connection to be made here between pumps and hearts and love but I’ll leave that to less literal minds.
posted by The Toad at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

Aaaaaand we're getting another snow storm on Tuesday night. Anyone live in a warm climate and want an indefinite houseguest?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:34 PM on February 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

I was going to write something but the cat is sitting next to me on the bed and asking for pets.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:50 PM on February 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

bookmammal, we are eating your soup recipe right now! I read your comment right before I went to the store and I couldn't resist. I added some spinach (and a bottle of red and a crusty loaf of bread) and it is SO SO good! Raves from the family. Thanks for the link!
posted by Cloudberry Sky at 5:29 PM on February 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

My computer died last week, so I'm accessing the internet using an old laptop running an ancient version of Ubuntu and an ancient version of Firefox plugged directly into the modem. MetaFilter works, email works, NOAA works (weather), otherwise access to the internet is really spotty and most sites don't work. Podcasts and videos are out of question. It was kind of nice in some ways to be mostly off the internet for a few days, but now it's getting old. Hopefully I'll be able to get a new laptop this week, though I'm not looking forward to the expense.
posted by nangar at 5:56 PM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Cloudberry Sky—so glad you like it! And yes, a crusty loaf of bread is the perfect accompaniment. I love soup!
posted by bookmammal at 5:56 PM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

ice falls can be horrible. Also, I learned a word for ice-falling: Biffed. I biffed, you biffed, etc. Hope you are okay!


biffa Yes, that's what they said! Though I think it's actually transitive, as in "I biffed it".

This was news to me.
posted by luaz at 8:44 PM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Biffed is a real word. Def used in the Midwest in the 80s, unknown if it's regional or old people.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:51 PM on February 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

For the first time in over a decade, I had occasion to eat an It's It ice cream treat today. And then a second one.

So good. So good.
posted by duffell at 11:06 PM on February 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

I’m currently in Mojave, CA and it is very, very cold.

They closed the 5 over the grapevine into LA, so I ditched my plan of stopping for the night in Palm Desert and went through the Tehachapis instead. I’ve lost a couple hours, but it’s hard getting through mountains in winter. If I’d gone via 80 it would have been worse; I heard traffic yesterday was backed up from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:46 PM on February 17, 2019 [7 favorites]

I am deep inside a nest of tissues that I have been building since Saturday evening. :( I anticipate having to open the door to the postie with a thick layer of sudacream on (part of my quest to retain the skin on my nose) but I am sure they will have seen worse. I would advise not falling into a fitful, fever sleep while watching documentaries about the Tudors as it leads to some weird hallucinations.

But on the plus side, at least it wasn’t an allergic reaction to my cousin's tiny and adorable miniature schnauzer who came to visit on Saturday before I succumbed to this round of pestilence.
posted by halcyonday at 1:16 AM on February 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

fluttering hellfire thanks for the confirm about "biffed". It is definitely regional (never heard in any of the cold zones where I've lived even though I biffed bad! not many years ago, up north.) "Heard" from two, possibly old (depending on what's old) online pals who were in the danger zone for biffing.
posted by luaz at 1:26 AM on February 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

The kids had a school break the first week of the month so we, along with the neighbor whose kid they are friends with, headed down to Austria to go skiing. (I never knew this until I did some googling out of curiosity, but skiing in the US is hilariously expensive - when I 'started' in the 80's on Stratton in Vt., we paid about 20 bucks for the teen-ager lift ticket. Which is what we paid for our teenagers a couple weeks ago. That is to say, skiing is not 'cheap' but it's not what it is in the US, thank god.) And the older of the two is now handily much faster than me. OK, I'm half lame as one knee doesn't really work anymore, but still, he's so much faster it shocked me. And reasonably agile, competent. It shouldn't be anything to note - but it is. Parenthood is a lot of slog, maybe even mostly slog, maybe even more so than just regular life is mostly slog, but then you get these moments of brilliance.

The second moment of brilliance was with the younger, who still skis at my pace. This week of Feb is vacation week for Berlin, Vienna and somewhere in Poland (so I was told) and so hill is littered with groups of small kids (like five, six, seven year olds) following some perky young adult slowly winding their way down the easier slopes. You know, tourists - the local kids move like birds, no comparison. We were going along at a reasonable pace, came upon one of these groups and the last kid had tumbled and was being left behind. Wouldn't have been abandoned, 'left behind', but still the instructor hadn't noticed yet and - you know. But these things work themselves out and I'm plotting my course around this mildly unhappy eight year old, when the younger of our two stops just downhill of this kid and starts to help her up. This 13-year old boy of ours is 'cool': frequently has blue hair, reads manga, was very into the Beasty Boys for a while, then Eminem, has mediocre grades and generally is trying to be at least sixteen, maybe eighteen, right now. But his impulse on seeing this kid is to stop and help her up. And so on, with every fallen kid we come across for the whole week, at least one a day. Yeah, I told him, "Hey man, you're a good guy." "Yeah. I know." "Alright, but if you ever have doubts."

There. I've bragged and I won't deny it, but I do it also with a heaping teaspoon of baffled awe.
(Also, I thought 'scooting' on ice was a totally legit way to get around. I pretend I'm skating, make it a little cooler. If I never fall on ice again it'll be too soon- I swear my head is still ringing from when I was eight at the skating rink.)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:44 AM on February 18, 2019 [13 favorites]

I'm on a killing spree.
I hate fruitflies. But I love my vacuum cleaner. And I'm getting good at this: I can now snatch them from midair.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:12 AM on February 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

I'm 41, overweight, and can jog a mile continually for the first time in my life. I'd started with Couch to 5K and fell behind because nope, I was too out of shape to keep up with the internet's favorite foolproof plan. BUT! I kept the ethos of slowly raising my goals as my body became able to meet them, and met one of my personal milestones (har har).

Sure, it's a nearly 17-minute mile! I "run" like a drunk rhino! I don't fucking care. I can now do something that I couldn't do before, and I'm happy about it.

Also in the DGAF files, I had a Valentine's Day without an internal meltdown about gender roles and how much I am not meeting them. Not the first ever, but still unusual and welcome.

I think I'm turning into a Disney villain. It's scary and someone will probably be along to course-correct me sooner or later, but until then, I keep doing whatever the hell I want while trying to be kind and fair to everyone around me. My "I'm not doing everything right, must be perfect or I'm worthless" circuits burned out as soon as I stopped diverting all of my energy to them. I can't seem to restart them now. Preparing my cape and maniacal laugh.
posted by cage and aquarium at 6:11 AM on February 18, 2019 [19 favorites]

This AskMe about Sunday Routines reminded me that I always thought it would make a good MetaTalkTail Hour theme.
posted by Miko at 7:20 AM on February 18, 2019

Glinn: I turned 50 and the same day, a letter arrived with an invitation to join AARP. Hot damn, would you give me a MINUTE?

If it makes you feel any better, I've been getting invites from AARP and other elder-related services and communities for years, and I just turned 39 in December. As best as I can figure it, they're confusing me for my dad, whose middle name is my first name, and we share the same last name, so maybe some database goof got me mixed with him? And to my slight annoyance (but more amusement), the adverts followed me when I moved to another state. I was invited to a free dinner for two, if I just sat and listened to some retirement community pitch, but my wife said it probably wasn't going to be worth suffering through the pitch, even if they allowed us in there in the first place. I have silver temples and the rest of my hair is getting speckled with grey, while my wife, who is only a few months younger than I am, has a few sneaky silver hairs at most.

Homo neanderthalensis: I must give my deepest thanks to filthy light thief, as their post on Monty Don has opened a few doors for me. Watching the small spaces show on netflix has not only given something pleasant to watch with my mom, but has given me a lot to chew on re: my own garden.
So thank you again filthy light thief- you've created a monster- a blackberry monster!

I will happily take payment in blackberries, fresh or preserved ;)

I checked out regionally appropriate gardening books weeks ago, and leafed through them enough to get excited to return to my dormant landscape architect roots (studied it in college, but changed majors) ... until I put them back down, and they haven't moved since then :( But they're due soon, so I'll bring them to read on my daily train commute, and start sketching ideas and putting together a plant list, because I really want to do something this year, including tasty, edible plants!

So than you, Homo neanderthalensis, for returning the inspiration to get planting! (Sadly, we're pretty far from Monty's English gardens in terms of our climate, so his show is charming, but can also make me long for wetter lands.)

cage and aquarium: I'm 41, overweight, and can jog a mile continually for the first time in my life.
Also in the DGAF files, I had a Valentine's Day without an internal meltdown about gender roles and how much I am not meeting them. Not the first ever, but still unusual and welcome.

I think I'm turning into a Disney villain. It's scary and someone will probably be along to course-correct me sooner or later, but until then, I keep doing whatever the hell I want while trying to be kind and fair to everyone around me.

High fives and/or internet hugs*, cage and aquarium! (* depending on your preference)

My toddler niece recently declared her preference for the Disney villains, to which my wife said "I think she's my daughter." And I have a poster of the Disney Villains that I got from the Disney Villains store in 199x, so you're in good company :)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on February 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

(Sadly, we're pretty far from Monty's English gardens in terms of our climate, so his show is charming, but can also make me long for wetter lands.)

That is the advantage of his show for me- while our rains come in winter not summer, the whole mild winter/cool or warm summer not too hot weather is definitely similar enough to SF that his tips regarding vegetables pan out for me. But you're in hot lands! you can grow mega tomatoes! Peppers! I have to be very judicious as to what variety of those I plant, but you can go hog wild!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:13 AM on February 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have a paid holiday today! It's very convenient because I also have a sinus cold and feel fuzzy and bleh. I went to the pottery studio and made five bowls, only two of them blatantly off-center. Also trimmed two things and had my first experience of punching through the bottom. :(

My partner is three weeks out from concussing himself on the Devil's Gate (actual name of a feature of our campus) and seems to have recovered his temper and his concentration. Last week he was still having trouble grading more than 3 papers in a row and having to leave the room when our 3 year old was being particularly 3. I have been thinking glum thoughts about the NFL and other high impact sports - it was a mild concussion, medically speaking, and brought about notable changes in behaviour. What are we asking of our sportsballers?

All the vultures have come back so I guess winter is almost over. There are so many that they don't all fit on the watertower and are lurking in the surrounding trees. I don't know why I feel so affectionate about them, it's nice to have them back even though I am not ready for spring to begin. I mean, I am so ready for the ice-and-wintry-mix portion of our winter to be over, but I miss having a month or so of uninterrupted below freezing temperatures, and snow accumulation. This isn't winter, Ohio! Give me a Manitoba winter any day.

The 3 year old received a valentine's dress from grandma and has worn it every day since Friday. We had to wash it before she would get dressed yesterday. I am not sure how long this infatuation will last?

Yesterday I noticed that in every Ask about reading fiction I weigh in on, I recommend Joan Aiken (this is going back years now.) So I guess you should all read Joan Aiken! Young and old alike.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:18 AM on February 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Last week's cold proved to be more serious than last month's cold, as it managed to twig my asthma, despite my best efforts. So I trotted off to urgent care last night, with this new ebook about the life of Edward the VII to keep me company. I don't usually do ebooks or biographies, but someone recommended it to me, and my father asked me if I wanted a new ebook. Because I am not a fool, I said, yes please, and he bought that one for me. I'm probably a third in, and it's so good, but so long and REALLY interesting.

I think this might put me on a memoir and biography kick. Maybe I'll finally finish that Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton? I've been reading that one in chunks - like this time, I'd like to read about his early marriage to Eliza. The last time I cracked it open, though, I skipped ahead to the duel part because I wanted to know about that. It seems to help break up some of the more doorstopper-type qualities of really good biographies.

Who knows? All I know is that I'm finally reading, something I love but haven't really been able to do much of lately. I like to read books all in one sitting, which is harder and harder to do as I get older and busier. But it feels so good to be reading something, having spent nearly three whole hours yesterday looking at words! In a book! Bliss. Maybe I should just cave and move to ebooks, because I can read it on my phone, which isn't ideal, but ...whatever. READING.
posted by PearlRose at 11:23 AM on February 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

The Mr and I are in the middle of 20 days I Ireland, and it is so very lovely, but windy - so windy I had to be caught from being blown down (while on a tour on Achill Island)
Five days in and we find out our house/critter-sitter was rear-ended while in our car, concussed and with broken facial bones. Naturally, the next two days were holidays or a Sunday, so I haven’t heard from insurance yet, but i’m determined to not let this affect the trip. We heard from sitter today, and they are okay,a nd starting to recover, animals and house are fine.
Meanwhile the Connemara and western Ireland remains its heartbreakingly beautiful self.
posted by dbmcd at 2:59 PM on February 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Today I tried the "eggetarian" Indian restaurant near my house and holy crap, I feel dumb for never having had surti gotalo before. It's like veggie chili with shredded hard boiled eggs instead of beans, I guess. Yes, please.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:30 AM on February 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the well wishing! I’m now in Eldorado, Texas planning my next steps. On to Arkansas tomorrow, then Tennessee the day after. Hopefully only three more days of driving, weather permitting. Maryland’s getting hit by snow, but it’s supposed to warm up on Thursday, and I’m hoping the roads will be fine by then.

My big concern is that winter weather will move southwest, which will really mess me up. I’ve had to drive through snow every day so far, although at least today they were just flurries in New Mexico. No more snow!

This drive is getting very isolating, so I’ll try to post here when I can. I’ve got some podcasts to keep me company tomorrow, and I’m going to stop for BBQ somewhere along the way, because I have to.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:20 PM on February 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I hope you're warmed up and fortified by some BBQ by now, shapes! The roads are slushy and gross in the DMV today but I think you'll already be OK by tomorrow. There wasn't really much snow in the end, it was more like a wintry mix that dumped a lot of slush.
posted by rue72 at 12:52 PM on February 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just a reminder to my friends and fellow mefites that signups for MetaFilter's Telephone-Pictionary-by-mail game are still open here. You have until the end of the month (which is Thursday!) to sign up. Background info here.
posted by duffell at 7:02 PM on February 26, 2019

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