Metatalktail Hour: What's New, Pussycat? May 11, 2019 10:18 AM   Subscribe

(Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh) Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! It's time for Eurotalktails! (Which is supposed to be the first weekend of the month but sometimes new months surprise me.) This week, I want to know what is NEW in your life? What are you doing that's new, that's different, that's something you've never done or tried before? Did you hang a new piece of art? Take a class? Get a pet? Jog a whole mile? Watch a Wes Anderson movie for the first time? Tell me something you've done lately that's NEW to you!

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter, and we want to hear everything you're up to! And shoot me suggestions for future metatalktails!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:18 AM (111 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

My brother just got me this shirt as an early birthday present, and it's my favorite gift ever.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:41 AM on May 11, 2019 [16 favorites]

I've really been discovering the joys of Ebay and Etsy. I bought a couple of bolo ties, a necktie with the "flying toasters" screensaver on it, multiple corduroy blazers, and some other silliness.

Years ago I was part of an online group called the "League of Extraordinary Penpals" and I rejoined recently, which has been fun.

My love of Telephone Pictionary is somewhat well-documented, and I've recently started yet another gamey/art project that will take probably 1-2 years to complete. Basically, it's Telephone Pictionary, "Multiverse Edition": a chain that's only 9 steps long, but each step goes to two separate people, leading to two different interpretations of that step, and so on down the line. Step #9 will require 256 different people; 511 people will be involved in all. Each step is being filled out on a piece of cardstock that measures 5 inches square. I'm scanning everything and backing it up on the cloud; when it's finished, I'd like to display it on a web page, and I'm not entirely certain how I'll go about that yet.

On an unrelated note, I've been considering changing my MeFi username recently. "duffell" was my IRL surname when I opened my MeFi account, and it's now the second half of my (hyphenated) surname. I don't really like it as a username. But then, I've been here since 2006 but really only became super-active on the site in the last few years, and after quite a long time, I feel like I'm *somewhat* of a known quantity here, so I'm a little reluctant... but I do have some other fun names in mind. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone here who's changed their handle.
posted by duffell at 10:58 AM on May 11, 2019 [11 favorites]

Last weekend I made jam for the first time - it is very tasty, but a bit over thickened.

I also went to the opening ceremonies and start of the Kinetic Sculpture Race for the first time (Baltimore Sun photo gallery of some of the entrants and event website). The start of the race was so fun, but I think next year I might try to go to the bit where they have to take their creations into the harbor instead.

Today I went to a neighborhood street fair that was pretty fun and may go to a brewery I haven't yet tried to see an acquaintance's band - if rain and laziness don't keep me on the couch.

I'm finally kicking in to "activity" mode after what felt like a particularly long and lazy winter, and it's a nice feeling.
posted by the primroses were over at 11:07 AM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

I just got back from Rhodes, which was a first-time visit for us (me, partner, mother & sister). We'd been to Athens and some of the other Greek islands (Santorini, Crete & Mykonos) before but never Rhodes, and it was really nice. Super chill, good food, lots of birds and lizards to look at. The weather was apparently unnaturally cold for Rhodes (low 20s/high 60s-low 70s) and a little cloudy on a couple of days, but that's how we like it and it sounds like it was better than the weather England had last week.

One thing that was weird is that there's a huge fur industry there that caters nearly exclusively to wealthy Russians; it's like a normal touristy kind of place with ceramic souvenir stores and places you can buy fresh olive oil, interspersed with GIANT FUR EMPORIA covered in cyrillic signage that are all closed at the moment because the season hasn't really started yet.

Other firsts: it was our first time at a five-star adults-only boutique hotel and that was GREAT (if that sounds like it might be your thing, I can totally recommend it). So relaxing. Staff were super friendly, really nice facilities, very quiet vibe. We also ate grilled manouri cheese for the first time, which was extremely delicious. Our primary form of entertainment was Phase 10 and Heads Up (which partner & I are uncommonly good at when I'm describing and he's guessing, plus he does all the appropriate impressions and offers corollary memes & weird facts).

We got home about an hour ago and I kinda wish I'd waited until tomorrow to open my mail because it's all "you need a new mortgage deal!" and "your gynaecologist has booked you to have surgery real soon even though she said she'd order and ultrasound first!" and now my holiday chill is ebbing a little in the face of all of the phone calls Monday has in store for me.
posted by terretu at 11:23 AM on May 11, 2019 [8 favorites]

I joined the PTA at Little eirias' elementary school.

I also fit my first Gaussian mixture model. Somehow that was less daunting...
posted by eirias at 11:47 AM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

I missed a memo some plz halp what is eurotalktails
posted by lazaruslong at 12:07 PM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I missed a memo some plz halp what is eurotalktails

On (usually) the first Saturday of the month, the Metatalktail thread is posted earlier in the day, when it's evening for Europe as opposed to the usual evening-in-the-continental-US time. The "programming note" on this Metatalktail from June 2018 explains in more detail.
posted by jedicus at 12:22 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm doing the Zombies Run couch-to-5K app. This isn't the first time I have done couch-to-5K, but it is the first time I've done it while being chased by zombies. (Also, I just finished week 3, which I think is the first week when you are actually chased by zombies.) I'm making good progress, and I'm really excited to finish it, because I want to move on to the regular Zombies Run. I did that a few times before I realized that I should use the 5K version, and the regular version has more story.

I also discovered a lovely, sorta hidden bike/ running path that is right near my house. I didn't realize it was there, because the part of it closest to me is closed for repairs. So anyway, I ran on the cool bike/running path for the first time, and that was great.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:52 PM on May 11, 2019 [9 favorites]

Today for the first time I finally found a big enough patch of wild leeks that I could harvest some, when I was out walking the dog and accidentally got onto a different vague unmarked trail than the one I intended to follow. We fried them up this afternoon with fiddleheads from our property and mushrooms from the grocery store.

The dog I was walking is a new one, adopted just a couple of months ago after our previous dog died unexpectedly at not quite 5 years old. (He was having dental work and for unknown reasons he didn't recover from the anesthesia.) I still miss the dog that died but the new one is sweet and full of energy and it's fun to have a new dog project. She has a lot to learn but she's smart and eager to please. According to her DNA test, she's half American Staffordshire terrier, 1/4 Australian shepherd, and 1/8 lab. She's a nice-looking dog, a liver brindle with greenish eyes and prick ears. Maybe the ears come from the mystery 1/8. I learned today that she is not afraid of kites, just highly interested. (I used to have a border collie that was terrified of them.)
posted by Redstart at 1:03 PM on May 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

duffell, I was one of the Original Mefites, with user #206 and the handle "wendell". It wasn't my "real" name, but my Professional Name I had used for multiple creative endeavors, from radio DJ in the late '70s to blogging in the late '90s, with the domain name In fact, the first post I made here, with a witty pun at the end, got its first comment from mathowie: "Nice one, foopster", solidifying the wendell=foop connection. It wasn't until 5 years later, soon after the $5 memberships became available that I spluged on 4 of them for $20, including "oneswellfoop", partly to discourage anyone else from claiming it, like happened to the .com domain, motivating me to register the .net. But it was another 5 years later, when my only Professional/Creative was doing a little online writing at a place that paid well, that I reconsidered "wendell" completely, disabling that account and 'Filtering only as "oneswellfoop". I also changed my ID wherever else I was wendell (a couple of them I tested out "someothercraig" based on my real given name, which at the time was dominated by a WebListmaker and a latelate talker.) So, to make a long story short, my MeFi handle change was part of a long story. I would never discourage anyone from changing their handle... I know a couple other MeFites who have done so, but they were both doing the "Brand New Day" thing and I like them under their new identities just as much as (if not more than) their old.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:06 PM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

I have a new boyfriend! He's a gem. We have both officially told each other "I love you" in less than 2 weeks after meeting, which is bananas and unexpected and terrifying, but also just incredibly amazing.
I've never been this gaga over anyone, and he feels the same way. (#FigsWeeklyLoveLifeUpdate)

He is very big into tabletop gaming (to the extent of working at GenCon every year), and this past Tuesday took me to a game night that his friends run at a local bar. That whole world is new to me. There were a ton of people there! Right after we walked in, some person asked if we wanted to play Baldur's Gate (a sort of D&D-esque game? I don't know what to call it) so we did. I had no idea what I was doing, but didn't totally embarrass myself or my boyfriend, so consider that a success. The part that surprised me the most is that there was a point in the middle (after the traitor was identified (me, natch)) where some chart was cross-referenced, and then we all read part of a book? That had a scenario and what we were supposed to do. So complicated.
posted by Fig at 1:25 PM on May 11, 2019 [44 favorites]

"I missed a memo some plz halp what is eurotalktails
On (usually) the first Saturday of the month,"

Yeah, generally I have a reminder in my calendar so I don't miss the beginning of the month but sometimes the system breaks down if one of my kids is sick or something, since it requires a bit of advanced planning where I line it up so taz can fire it off, instead of doing it during my own shift like I usually do.

The "new" thing I am doing is that I joined a Spanish conversation meetup! I am terrible! But I am doing it! And everybody was really nice!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:44 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

We were finally able to get a puppy recently, my first dog ever! She tries to eat every single thing she can fit into her jaws and she is very happy when she manages to eat the thing, edible or otherwise. She is the best.
posted by randomnity at 1:52 PM on May 11, 2019 [17 favorites]

Nothing, like, *thrilling* and new but we are winding up the end of the school year here and I'm cranky and my students are getting increasingly weird and I'm trying to explicitly not let that get on top of us and it's...kind of?...working:

1) I had a little station as parents exited our final concert on Thursday where they could fill out a positive note for their kid or the orchestra at large. New idea! Good idea! We posted them on the wall outside our room yesterday and the kids are absolutely reading them and smiling as they walk by, and they were a great thing to have in my hand as I received the usual complaint emails the next day (the cafeteria was too hot and I should have managed to avoid conflicts with unrelated events at entirely different schools, in case you were wondering).

2) Our awesome PE department puts on a mini triathlon (250 yard swim, 5 mile bike, 1.75 mile run) every year, and this year we got about 150 kids signed up to do it (most do relay teams) and maybe 50 more volunteering in some capacity. I did a bike leg for a teacher team and really tried hard to get kids to sign up and try a new thing and understand that you don't have to be good at a thing to do a thing, and some of them listened and signed up to participate or to help out. It's such a great end-of-year tradition and community builder and I was really stoked to see a whole bunch of 7th and 8th grade orchestra nerds out there biking and running and volunteering and smiling.

3) Here is a face-redacted picture of three adorable 7th grade students who were absolutely devastated that I did not wear my vest on what they had decreed as "Dress Like Ms. Charmedimsure Day." In my defense, I was not informed that it was DLMCD until they showed up in my room that morning and I was wearing my triathlon tshirt in anticipation of the afternoon's festivities. In their defense, on a solid 80% of days in 4th quarter it would have been a very safe gamble. It made my day regardless.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:55 PM on May 11, 2019 [19 favorites]

I’m raising a daughter.
posted by bondcliff at 2:20 PM on May 11, 2019 [32 favorites]

I'm learning to make shiny stuff from circuit board and epoxy resin. The circuit board part isn't new to me, but the resin is. It catches the light in a way that makes the copper in the circuit board sparkle! Especially if you bring it out a little by sanding some of the varnish away.
Some examples of my first few tries can be seen here, towards the bottom of the page.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:56 PM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm officially managing people (well, a person) for the first time and it's been going well. I didn't hire her, but I hope I would have had the foresight to hire her, because she is awesome and I love working with her. I'm still trying to balance in the good area between "micromanaging" and "abandonment," and she's trying to figure out where to land between too many updates and too few, but we talk about it and I think we're navigating it well. We're both new to the jobs, which are new to the organization, so there's a lot of "Well, I guess we'll kind of just wing it?" happening, so it's nice that she's pretty flexible and responsive.

I am newly eating pescatarian, though I did so 20+ years ago so it's not new-new.

Also my laptop seems newly broken and I fear I may need a new one this week. Given that it's seven or eight years old, I guess I shouldn't complain, but it's an expense I was not anticipating.
posted by lazuli at 3:20 PM on May 11, 2019 [9 favorites]

We will be spending Memorial Day weekend moving. Only going 5 miles but still, ugh. Tried a new to me brewery today, mainly because there was a Puerto Rican food truck parked there. The beer was good, the food truck was literally a guy and his Puerto Rican grandmother making empanadas and sides. They were just as good as you are thinking they might be.
posted by COD at 3:27 PM on May 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

I have a tiny garden and I planted one rosebush that's doing well. The rest of it I just kind of walk around and look at because I don't know what to do with it yet. I feel like someone with their first house obsessing about the lawn... But I'm a female in NYC and probably way past the median age of a first home buyer....and I'm just a renter. But it's progress, and it's new and I'm excited.
posted by bquarters at 3:47 PM on May 11, 2019 [6 favorites]

Soursop ice cream, which is very good! And also an MBSR class, which will also hopefully be very good.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:00 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

I am all new! This semester I ended up teaching all new classes which was a nice change although a lot of additional prep. I also ran my first (and second) half marathon this spring, and have my third scheduled for June 2. I taught my oldest kid to ride a bike without training wheels, my youngest is now potty trained and the middle one, well is middling (heh). I also started a PhD program in a field that is tangential to my own, and am super happy with it so far. I'm doing it mostly for self improvement because I don't think it will give me much of a career boost (and I am 40 anyway, so don't know how much I will change my career in the future).

Also, and this is a little thing but probably my favorite, I found some time to do some coding and made a story maze maker for primary school teachers. A friend of mine is an elementary school teacher and we got to talking about his job when he mentioned he made these mazes by hand and it was very time consuming. I was like...I bet I can figure out how to automate that and I did! Yay! Also, while figuring it out I learned all about self-avoiding walks and hamiltonian paths, which, let me tell you, super interesting.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:06 PM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

One of my children was home visiting and took out the garbage without having to be asked. That is NEW!
posted by AugustWest at 4:19 PM on May 11, 2019 [16 favorites]

I testified in front of a new (to me) legislative body this week. And they voted to unanimously support my issue and move it forward on the consent calendar (which is a good thing.)
posted by gingerbeer at 4:20 PM on May 11, 2019 [27 favorites]

I'm starting a new job in June, eek! It's a nice pay bump, but I'm more excited about the mandate and resource I'm going to get to, you know, actually do the job.

An interesting observation is that since I handed in my resignation, my stress levels have fallen through the floor, but my performance hasn't. I'm just much more focused on what I can do, rather than what I can't; I'm not dwelling on stuff that goes wrong, and I don't care as much what others think. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be what working feels when you're not very anxious.

It's a nice feeling; I'm going to try my utmost to preserve it when I start at the new job.
posted by smoke at 4:40 PM on May 11, 2019 [31 favorites]

Lots of new or newish things. I went to Berlin for the first time recently, and got to meet up with a MeFite there, which was super fun. Especially since he let me rant on and on about how exhausting it is to be a chatty American around Swedes and also let me tell him too much about my sex life.

Speaking of which, I don't really have one yet but I am on Tinder (new) and dating women (newish), which is exciting. (I had three good first dates in a row, which never, ever happened to me when I was dating men. So odd!) Thus far I am making new friends rather than finding lovers and that is excellent. Friends are gifts that keep on giving, if one is lucky. I also went to a local writers festival (lots of classes, primarily for fiction writers, as well as panel discussions, etc.) last weekend here, and it was terrific.

In other news, toward the end of this summer I will have an opportunity to feel abandoned but promise not to make it all about me when my kid and her family move 3 hours away, by train, so she can start college. Which is super exciting and amazing but still makes me sad. Just yesterday her new landlord confirmed that her family qualified for an apartment close to the university, and gave her a move-in date. Yay!

I am truly excited for her. She is giddy with happiness and so is her husband. Still, their move will be a huge loss. Now I see my kid nearly every day. In only two months she and her family won't be a 6-minute stroll away. But it is right and good that my kid gets to go off and make her own life with her family. I am happy for her and sad for myself; I know it will be great for her, and I will be fine. They want me to visit and I will. TL;DR: Change is hard.

But not all change. I am loving the new MetaFilter friend-linking rule. Thanks Cortex and mods!
posted by Bella Donna at 4:41 PM on May 11, 2019 [21 favorites]

Oh wait, here's something new: I made a Chinatown movie reference in a comment and nobody liked it. Apparently I misread the room. It had not occurred to me that any part of the blue would be indifferent to such a thing. Also, belated congrats to Fig on having a new sweetheart.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:50 PM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

The semester is finally over (for a whole 2.5 weeks!) and I got out of work early on Friday (yay summer hours!) so I rode my bike to check out a new (to me) park here in Philly.

Also trying out a new pink nail polish tonight, in celebration of having my Saturday evenings back from school, at my favorite gay piano bar.

Also thanks to the show High Maintenance and the Blue thread on the nudist resort, I spent most of yesterday evening relaxing in the (not) buff at home which confused my wife and dog but felt nice!
posted by lazaruslong at 4:58 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

I got my girlfriend a very cool old school wall hanging zodiac chart. She likes that stuff as a not serious thing, but this is actually beautiful so I'm into it. I'll have it sitting on her bed when I drop her off at her house post-vacation and I'll be like "Go sleep, I'll see you later!" all cool like and she'll walk in and see it and boom I'm the best boyfriend ever.

It's hard not telling her my plan because I like to tell her fun stuff...

Hanging out with my mom now and spending the night. We've only cried a few times talking about my dad and other stuff! Yay! Kohl's made a powerful enemy in me today, but that's another story haha. (Running errands with my mom is fun.)
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 5:00 PM on May 11, 2019 [11 favorites]

I started a pottery class on Tuesday! It's so much fun, even more fun than I expected. It's six weeks of wheel throwing with unlimited practice time in the studio, and I really like the general vibe of the studio and my instructor. Here's my most recent cylinder- better than the day before even if it is rather squat :) It's neat to see slow but steady improvement as I practice.
posted by Mouse Army at 5:02 PM on May 11, 2019 [8 favorites]

Oh yeah, I know what else I did this week. For the first time in my life I made a thing and sold it for money and now a thing I built gets to go off into the world and make its own art.

Now I need a new project.
posted by bondcliff at 5:11 PM on May 11, 2019 [30 favorites]

Forget it, BellaDonna, it's MetaFilter.
the only Chinatown reference ANYBODY gets any more, and there are too few of us.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:14 PM on May 11, 2019 [9 favorites]

But that's the one I used! <3
posted by Bella Donna at 5:23 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

So, since I have had asthma, but not now, since my mom died with obliterative Alzheimer's, and my dad had Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia, and wet type macular degeneration...I am very nice to my central nervous system. I live in a state with legalized marijuana, and I haven't even read up on what all is available since it is not on my menu, right? Even the resiny plants in my duplexe's back yard are an interesting phenomenon, only. But I have a friend here, who has complained about his inability to sleep, since I first met him. Last time I saw him he said he was taking some marijuana as a sleep aid. He said that he is not smoking it, a friend gave him marijuana gummi candies. Whooda thunk? It unnerved me when I realized there was pot in the back yard, until I read the law. I realized I have some old hippie paranoia to this day, but it is legal. So strange.
posted by Oyéah at 6:01 PM on May 11, 2019 [8 favorites]

bondcliff, I literally got tears in my eyes! It is magical to me that people can just...make musical instruments.
posted by eirias at 6:27 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm listening to Brad Paisley live on a stage about a block from our patio. It's nice being four stories up. He's the headliner for this year's Songwriter's Festival, which is something I really enjoy every year.

Most of the people in town came specifically for the festival, many are in the music biz, and it's a delightfully mellow crowd. There is great music everywhere from 10 am until 10 pm all four days.

Excuse me while I bliss out. ;)
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:34 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've been training my kittens to adjust to harnesses for the last couple months. They've both enjoyed constant window privileges since I adopted them back in December, and now that their first California springtime is here, all the colors and smells and sounds of the outdoors are making their tiny adolescent hearts sing for the wonders of nature. So I'm trying to allow them some vigilantly monitored outdoors time each day.

Today I accompanied them off of the porch and out to the common area of our duplex for the first time. Mrs. White, our ADHD little girl, was chomping at the bit to go bounding off into the universe, but she took to the harness just fine. Her brother, Colonel Mustard, is more the congenial stoner type with a mild anxiety disorder, so he mostly stuck to the stairs, but constantly worried and bit at his harness. In general, they were very good kitties, and got a gold star.

I will give them a pass on the joint core meltdown that occurred when they both got suddenly super-overstimulated by [birds / cars / grass / smells / ???] and made a beeline in opposite directions ... but everybody's safe inside now, and they're passed out in their customary shape on their butterfly chair.
posted by mykescipark at 6:37 PM on May 11, 2019 [18 favorites]

Starting a few months ago, I began playing D&D on a Twitch stream with a few of my friends and friends thereof. This is big for me because I hate how I look on camera, but I really wanted to play D&D with them, and I felt the need to not be controlled by camera fear for once. I've really enjoyed the game and the team so far. It's a very small stream with just a few viewers, all known to somebody who plays, so that's fine too. I've really built confidence in this way, not least because when I looked at the recording, I saw that I did pretty much look as I was afraid I did. But it was done, and I was good, and I didn't have to dread that any more.

Posting fic for the first time in years, collecting new ideas for others, embracing this trashiness within myself.

One friend is talking about starting a podcast, and if she does I want to be on it, because something else that I hate about my recorded self is my voice. It is femmy and reedy and sounds like it is used for calling dogs in from a porch, which, to be honest, it is very good for. I used to perform on stage, but the voice kept me from getting heavily into acting, because it is not transferable. Sometimes I even think about starting a podcast reading public-domain stories in my fuckoff ridiculous accent for an audience of friends and wellwishers, just to work through this issue.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:38 PM on May 11, 2019 [13 favorites]

I did karaoke for the first time! On my little brother's advice, I sang his go-to song (Blank Space). Later in the night, my friend and I sang Shallows. She was Bradley Cooper, I was Lady Gaga.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:43 PM on May 11, 2019 [12 favorites]

I went to a party, alone, that was given by someone I only sort of know (who Miko introduced me to!) and it was a good time and I brought something nice (instead of just being like "My gosh I managed to get here I can't also go SHOPPING") since it was a potluck and I talked to a lot of strangers, even started up some conversations. And it mostly went well, it was only a little bit weird. And when I was done being there I said goodbye to my host and left before the party was over. Nice job me!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:06 PM on May 11, 2019 [33 favorites]

I’m getting ready to go to Portugal for the first time! We’ll be in Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto in June. Any tips welcome!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:10 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

Today was my first day at my new job! I'm employed! I'll be thirty in a few months and today I finally feel like an adult, after all that school and all my surgeries... I'm an adult! It's at my local garden center too- so I'm doing what I love!

I put in a pepper, among other things, and I also lost some more cauliflower to those damn maggots. I've given away a couple of mints I've grown from cuttings to my ex-girlfriend and my favorite local bartender/restauranter (she is the best, and is trying to convert the back into an herb garden for her cocktails and I am glad to contribute some plants to that- I figure, I'll benefit in the end right?) Then in a fit of madness, I bought another pepper and took stock of what's growing. I'll tell you what's really growing in my garden- criminal cats! lounging in my carrot bed! The pupae ladybug finally hatched- showing me a beautiful golden beetle. And finally- a random poppy plant has shown up- it started to bloom yesterday. If I had to guess my soon to be full time employment will probably mean less time for the blog- but... more time for me. This was the best day.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:26 PM on May 11, 2019 [23 favorites]

I grew out my armpit hair.

I always held this secret belief that if most men tried shaving their pits, they would keep it up because pit hair is gross and sticky and why would anyone choose to have it, outside of stupid gendered societal norms? (Note, I stopped shaving my legs 25 years ago, so make of that what you will.)

Anyway, I stopped a couple months ago and you know what? It’s fine. I don’t like it better than being clean-shaven, but I am lazy and so I may keep it this way. I’m not repulsed. It’s fine. I retract all my previous unsubstantiated secret pit hair opinions. I was wrong.
posted by greermahoney at 7:31 PM on May 11, 2019 [25 favorites]

After 4.5 months of unemployment, I have an in-person interview at an awesome company that I've wanted to work with for a couple of years but have been scared to apply to because of fear of rejection.

I won't say the name of the company so as not to jinx it but fuck, drones AND maps. The hiring manager told me on the phone the other day that when I come in I can geek out with another developer on the team about maps.

Fingers crossed.
posted by bendy at 7:58 PM on May 11, 2019 [22 favorites]

Spent the day at the farmer's market and lazing about town with my friend and his kiddo. It was fun. I am exhausted. And I am once again I don't have one of my own because holy crap.

It's too damn hot for this part of the world. I am deeply worried about fire season and am about to go bonzers with a weed whacker, machete and mower to try to manage some fire safety buffers as best as I can.

We had 2-3 of snow just a couple of months ago. We we're snowed in so bad that we couldn't have plowed out the drive with a bulldozer because it would have slid off the hill. This sudden early heat wave is bonkers and not ok and not a good sign for the summer.

And new growth wise I'm already regularly walking around with clippers and a machete and stuff just to idly hack it back on walks. It's kind of a bummer to have to be knocking down new ferns but they're everywhere on paths and sheltering maples and alders popping up everywhere, not to mention like twenty miles of new bramble vines.

I am still working on ambient project, but it's going to be a year-long thing.

Volunteering at the food bank is fun and good for me. I'm honestly hoping it eventually leads to me getting back into working for a non-profit. It's about the most likely place in town for me to get noticed for that, and I have a whole lot of untapped applicable skills. There's not a whole lot out here, but there's a few things.
posted by loquacious at 8:02 PM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

greermahoney, I love that! As a man who kept that hair for ages and then started shaving it, i will say that there is totally a certain pleasure to shaving it and keeping it shaved, once one removes the gendered garbage. for me it’s similar in nature to that feeling of rearranging my living room furniture or library room for no reason - just the change is super satisfying.

My wife said fuck you to norms for her armpits and legs a couple years ago, and I said yes to choosing to shave as a means of self expression and the spice of variety. Highly recommend a++++ would subvert again.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:43 PM on May 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

Discovered the orchestral music of Charles Mingus (Epitaph) and that’s whoa, a whole nother level!
posted by The Toad at 8:44 PM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

Thanks to my most recent Ask I am reading a whole pile of new-to-me authors and books and am very happy about it.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:49 PM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

oh, and here's a funny from my dad just now.

Dad: "(Homo neanderthalensis) did you hear? They changed the theme to morning edition!"
Me: "yeah dad I heard"
Dad: *puffs up like a pufferfish* "THEY CAN'T DO THAT!!!"
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:17 PM on May 11, 2019 [9 favorites]

We’re buying our first house!! We close next week and it has twice the square footage of our apartment and a big lot and I get to take a ferry to work and we can finally get a dog and omg omg omg I’m freaking out and our living room is full of boxes (WHY ARE BOOKS SO HEAVY) and I can’t wait
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:43 PM on May 11, 2019 [23 favorites]

I have a job interview in NYC this coming week. Of course, I am probably jinxing it by mentioning it here. I used to visit my dad and various relatives there every other weekend as a kid, so NY is a city that feels (or at least used to feel) pretty home-y to me. Plus, I know a lot of people there, including some of my closest friends. I’m not going to get my hopes up too much, but if nothing else it’ll be great to visit.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:18 PM on May 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'm seriously thinking about doing a YouTube channel about prehistory, with a lot of stuff about archeogenetics and historical linguistics. Whether this ever gets from the outlining and planning stage to me actually doing it, I don't know. If it turns into something real, I'll post it to projects.
posted by nangar at 10:51 PM on May 11, 2019 [13 favorites]

Nine minutes ago was the first time one of our car alarms woke up the neighborhood in the middle of the night. I have no idea what set it off. It’s the mister’s new car. He parks next to the trash cans, so my theory is that the local extra large raccoons did it. Sorry, neighbors.
posted by Ruki at 11:12 PM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

shapes that haunt the dusk, meetup? Let us know! I'm sure some of the NYC crew would come out, depending on when it is (since we already have two meetups this week). Let us know!
posted by limeonaire at 11:35 PM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Too-Ticky, you're circuit board stuff is lovely! I'm usually a crotchety cynic when it comes to non-functional hardware as art. . . but, these are great. The "do not touch" heart is brilliant.
posted by eotvos at 12:54 AM on May 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I changed careers again! This is my fifth major transition and this one is so right for me at this time (the others were too, but that was then), absolutely loving it. And the best part is that I’m helping charities and nonprofits. There’s so much to learn and it feels great.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:57 AM on May 12, 2019 [11 favorites]

One more thing! I live on a fifth floor with a small balcony and went absolutely bonkers with the container gardening this spring. This has been my first attempt at growing my own food and happiness (pretty things) but so far I’ve got radishes, herbs galore, marigolds and other flowers on the way. I’m even just appreciating the interestingness of leaves like I never have before. Cheap thrills!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:03 AM on May 12, 2019 [7 favorites]

Fig, I m so happy for you! Your happiness gives me a vicarious giddy pleasure.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:47 AM on May 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

A new Ikea opened in central Paris this week, it is 1/4 the size of normal Ikeas and was manically busy and very picked over, but I got two wooden crates and have used them under a mirror that was previously on a stack of books. I then had space for MOAR plants and seem to have made a spring altar!

Yay for everybody with exciting career news, and yay Fig, I really need to open my dating apps!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:53 AM on May 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

Just found out Friday I'm getting laid off in September. I was at the hospital taking care of my mom when I got a call from a co-worker, telling there was a "mandatory" conference call at noon. They told us our facility was being "surplussed" due to a merger. Oh well, that was 37 years of... fun?

With a years severance (God bless the IBEW) and some pension money I'll make 62 and start collecting Social Security. I'm not sure what my plan is for health insurance until 65.

So my retirement plan has become full time care giver, mom's dementia is getting worse.

What a fun weekend, I'm really looking forward to Monday.
posted by Marky at 1:57 AM on May 12, 2019 [17 favorites]

I'm sorry Marky, that is really tough. :(
posted by Literaryhero at 3:13 AM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nothing new to report here, to speak of; look me up around September and I hope I will have several things happening new then, hopefully good ones, knock wood.
I'm very amused right now to be watching (on TV) Severus Snape conducting Mahler's arrangement of Beethoven 7th. Okay, I think his real name is Vladimir Jurowski, but any way you look at it he is clearly Snape pursuing a new career, the resemblance is unmistakable. (Also it cracks me up that Mahler decided to arrange his own Beethoven 7th, what, there weren't enough woodwinds for you?).
Best wishes to everyone who is struggling, not to mention those who are thriving.
posted by huimangm at 6:18 AM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

So, while it may not be Fig-level just yet, I am also seeing someone new. The newness of him is a part of it, but he's also the first person I have dated after doing a lot of healing in therapy, and I actually tell him how I am feeling about things and ask him to tell me how he is feeling about things, instead of the old way in which feelings? Why are feelings? And this new way is so much better. Yesterday we went and saw the cherry blossoms and the mini-zoo in High Park and it flowed into dinner and all told we were together for seven hours and every minute was lovely, even when we were talking about Very Serious Things.

And then we made plans for something happening a few weeks from now (for him to help me with an important event, no less), which did my shriveled little heart a crapton of good.
posted by wellred at 6:35 AM on May 12, 2019 [12 favorites]

I haven’t followed up on any of the new stuff I was going to try & it’s kinda bumming me out. Spent 9 days in Oregon with my dad, who at 79 is beginning to experience early-stage dementia, brought on by hydrocephalus, and we spend a good portion of that time with my uncle, his younger brother, getting bank accounts straightened out, cell phone plan renewed, phone set up, etc. - so thankful that my uncle in nearby, sharp-witted & computer literate. He’s stepping in to make sure bills are payed & that my dad makes his dr’s appointments & such, which is a huge relief, because I am so far away & my dad isn’t good about answering his phone.

We did take some time to get out to the coast for a couple of days & we got to finally spread my grannie’s ashes in a few of her favorite places. That was sad, tough & meaningful. I found myself reluctant to even let her cremated remains scatter to the wind, I miss her so much.

One thing I did on the trip that wasn’t wholly new, but was a different level of commitment, was that I took 4 rolls of black & white film along, determined to shoot it all & I did, under challenging conditions- inclement weather, a malfunctioning lens, which I fixed in a moving car with a jeweler’s screwdriver- & I have been generally happy with the results, though scanning is proceeding slowly. (Along with the usual 450 digital exposures, Jesus, those pile up)

I had a moment a couple weeks ago, after finishing an utterly dry Photoshop manual, where I decided rather suddenly that I was going to re-read all the Richard Brautigan that I’d read in my youth, and have tracked most of it down & am enjoying it immensely— thanks to Jessamyn who provided a spare copy of The Abortion, which has been out of print. It’s bringing back a flood of good memories of my youth in San Francisco.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:48 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

As I’ve mentioned in these threads over the past few months, I’ve been figuring out how to pick up the pieces of my career after being forced out of a job I used to love. I still have a lot of bitterness over the politics of it all and the incompetence and lack of vision of the people who took over and were threatened by me, but whatever.

I was planning on using this time as a much needed sabbatical while I continue school and I’ve been kinda thinking broadly about where I want to be in life ten years from now. Then an opportunity fell into my lap for an extremely part time grant funded job to design and implement an opiate treatment program for an extremely difficult to reach population. The position involves working with a couple of really amazing organizations that I had been thinking would be good to get to know for some future projects anyway. I’d never really built and run my own thing in health care before and I think that’s what I need to learn to do and where I’m headed in the future. So I’ve been doing this for the last month or so and we are about to open our doors and I feel mostly ready.

The other thing I realized is that I need to learn how to schmooze better. Like, not just with the punks and activists who already share my values, but with the “industry leaders” and government agency workers etc, who can make things happen but whom I need to make sympathetic to my agenda. It is super hard to walk into a board room and speak that language and remain true to yourself and it requires skills I haven’t fully developed. So I’m signing up for every relevant conference, lecture, forum, etc I can find that will just get me exposure and practice talking to people. This coming week, I am going away to a healthcare leadership conference at some resort and I’ve been pretty nervous because I’m imagining a lot of white guys in Italian suits talking about their golf game who know nothing about me. But I got an email on Friday from the CFO of Big Ass Profitable Hospital (he’s actually a decent guy) who knows me from school and saw I was going to this conference and asked if I’d help give a presentation with him on physician values on Saturday morning. So that’s kinda cool for my first big statewide medical executive conference.

Other than those two things going on, the money’s running out and I’m going to need to go back to work relatively soon so I’m applying for a couple of not at all exciting part time jobs. I’ve said it before, there are tons of jobs in health care and every single one of them sucks which is why in the long run I’m creating my own job. There has got to be a better way.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:23 AM on May 12, 2019 [39 favorites]

I started a new job as a systems analyst last month. Same department, so adjacent to what I'd been doing for the past 10+ years, but a totally different type (and pace) of work, which means more money and, amazingly, less stress. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing the majority of the time, but everyone else seems to think I'm doing well, so I'm sure that feeling will pass.

I am also (1) growing veggies from seed and (2) designing a garden from scratch for the first time this year. These are two separate projects—the veggies (Asian greens, lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes) are all destined for containers on the deck, but the garden-design project is a massive undertaking in the backyard. We bought our house two years ago, and there's this small (3'–4' tall) but long, steep hill against the rock wall that lines the back of our property. Beyond that wall is just woods, and the previous owners don't seem to have been much for landscaping, so the hill was basically wild. Since April, I've spent who-knows-how-many hours clearing out years' worth of leaf litter, cutting down a number of volunteer maples and oaks, and tearing out grasses and wild raspberries (very cool, but kind of in the way) and poison ivy (much less cool) and any number of other plants that had taken over the space.

It's tough to tell for sure, but I think all of this clearing out has helped with the ticks a bit, too. They're going to be unavoidable to some extent, given that we're surrounded by woods, but if we can at least reduce the number of the little buggers we're pulling off the dog and ourselves, that's still a win.

Anyway, between bouts of clearing out, being who I am, I spent hours researching and making a spreadsheet of the things I wanted to plant in the space, including labels for hummingbird- and pollinator-friendliness, deer-resistance, and berries for the birds. Yesterday, after my second trip to the garden center this season, I planted (and mulched) elderberries, sweetspire, summersweet, and hostas to compliment the assortment of maidenhair ferns, hellebores , phlox, columbine, and vinca I'd planted already. I am having trouble finding the serviceberries, astilbe, and diervilla I want to plant, but I hope to be able to add those (and some more phlox and hostas) soon.

Today, I am putting my feet up, listening to the rain, and admiring the loveliness of the bright blue-green hosta leaves against the darkness of the wet mulch. There is still SO much work left to do, and this will be a multi-year project, particularly in terms of the slope itself (most of what I've planted is on the top of the hill). But it's amazing to look back on the "before" pictures and realize how far this space has come already.
posted by cellar door at 7:26 AM on May 12, 2019 [9 favorites]

Going to Brooklyn for the first time for a weekend next month. I grew up near NYC and have family going back many generations there but somehow only ever made it to four of the five boroughs. We're going to the Gary Winogrand exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum. My sisters from Jersey and Mass are going to meet us there and my nephew who lives in the borough. My wife has a newish job and doesn't have any saved up vacation time yet so we're taking these little micro-vacations this year.
posted by octothorpe at 7:36 AM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh, here's another: So I was listening to the podcast In Our Time the other day (excellent BBC jawn) and the topic was Voltaire's Candide and I realized that Voltaire falls into that category of stuff that like, I know the name, I know in broad strokes who they were / when they lived / what they were all about / historical significance / blah, but I've

The corpus which the above describes is by its nature much larger than the one containing stuff that I have read, but for some reason on that particular day, not having read Candide got stuck in my craw.

So yesterday I took a Barnes and Noble gift card that had been languishing for a bit and went out, bought the damn thing, and started it. And it's really good! And super short! Will likely finish it today.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:04 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh! Upcoming new: for July 4th week, my friend and I are road tripping the deep south: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Three of those states I’ve never been to before, and when we’re done, I’ll be down to just three US states I haven’t visited: North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota, which are all in a row and maybe I can visit next year!

Anyway, excited to see the sights, learn the history, try the food, and meet new people in the deep south. My friend is super into architecture and found us some amazing historical places to stay. (Wish we weren’t going when it will be balls hot, but oh well.)

Also this will be an actual vacation, not the obligation of going home and seeing my family. It’s been a good long while since I’ve had an actual vacation.
posted by greermahoney at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

Let's see: Dr Bored for Science and I are off to a conference towards the end of next week, and it's weird to be done with poster prep early enough that the week before leaving for the conference isn't a mad rush of poster prep and associated stress. Then again, we've both been postdocs for a few years now, and maybe we learned something along the way.

I've had a moderately disgusting cold since Wednesday, which is irksome (but nowhere near as irksome as it would be in a week, because sick at a conference sucks). I do have to give a fairly important talk to my research sponsor's local office tomorrow afternoon, so this cold had better be firmly on the retreat by then. The good news there is that I'd put my slides together when they first asked if I could give the talk, and reworked them before this cold said hello last week, so they're stable. It's also the talk version of a paper I'm revising (the sponsor has "right of first reading" on the work they pay for, mostly to see if they want to patent any of it in conjunction with the university; nothing I do is remotely patentable, and I like it that way), so I've got the ideas pretty firmly in my head, cold or no.

A couple friends of ours (and their 8-month-old son) just moved to Orlando today; we've known this was coming for a year; he's got a faculty job, she's going to work remotely and (probably) look for a local data science gig. Got to hang out with them yesterday, which was good (we'll see them at the aforementioned conference, so that's nice).
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

My boyfriend bought me a '97 Miata last week. I've been taking the bus (and a Lyft when I need more sleep) to my (new-ish) job for 4.5 months. I already saved about $30 in transportation costs this past week alone!
It's also a stick shift, which I hadn't driven in about 15 years. I'm still surprised how easy it was to get the hang of it again :-)
posted by luckynerd at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2019 [10 favorites]

I finally got the last piece done on a project that has taken 12 years to finish and the relief is astounding. I harvested some honey from one of my hives this week and it is so light, it is nearly colorless. Haven't finished straining it, but man, it's really gorgeous. Also, tomatoes are starting to grow and that is awesome.

I'm super irritable today, the commercial holiday stresses me the fuck out and I haven't found a job yet, so I'm in a bit of a grar mood. Hopefully, a shower, straining some honey and making some space for being alone today will be helpful.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:11 AM on May 12, 2019 [11 favorites]

I did a 2-hour judo seminar at the dojo yesterday and today I'm sore in all sorts of different places, but it was a lot of fun. I'm testing for my second-degree black belt in karate at the end of the month and plan to use some judo techniques during part of the test.

In less than a month, I'm going to Japan again with spouse and kid. We're going to go north, to Sendai and Hokkaido, and do a bunch of deeply nerdy anime-related things, which should be fun.
posted by mogget at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2019 [7 favorites]

We just got back from southern Oregon. [I lived there until last year] A friend invited me to help record a CD. It seems her partner (an amazing fiddle player), who died two years ago, left a set of masters of about 40 solo fiddle tunes that she'd meant to record; unfortunately her death put an end to that project.

I used to play with a couple of groups there, and I knew both of these people: the fiddle player and her partner. So, anyhow, her partner contacted me a few months ago, asking if I would come to a recording studio and play my guitar to Seri's masters. She also approached a local bass player for this gig. I jumped at the chance, so she sent me the masters, so that I could work on them a bit in preparation. This proved to be a bit more problematic than if I'd been able to work with Sheri in a live session, and some of the solos just weren't suitable for the mix.

Anyhow, we got there a few days before the studio had been booked, so I had a chance to work with the bass player a bit on some of the more problematic recordings. I'd worked with him before many times in jams, so we were able to dispense with some stuff, and get right into it. We used a laptop and a couple of good speakers to play Sheri's stuff. He decided to used a mic with an acoustic bass rather than his doghouse. We rehearsed in my motel room with the blessing of the manager.

The tech at the studio couldn't have been more professional. He thought it might take 15-30 minutes to do each number (we had selected 36 songs), and figured to have studio time set aside for three hours Friday evening, and perhaps all day Saturday and Sunday. The bass player and I had prepared, though, and suggested that we just do it jam style, with a quick run through before the recording started. This worked well. We made two takes on each song, finishing a third of the songs on Friday, and the rest on Saturday.

We stayed through Sunday, in case we needed to do retakes, but the tech called us Sunday morning, saying all the takes were great, and he'd have the editing done in a week or so. I just heard from Sheri's partner last night. The discs are done, and I'll get a copy in the mail in a few days.

This is the first time I've ever done anything like this. In truth, I can't say that I'm qualified to be anybody's session guy, but I can play old time music, and my guitar makes me sound like I know what I'm doing. Anyhow, I'm still buzzed by the experience. I've been playing with old time ensembles for a few years now: Senior centers, assisted living, and the such. All those are deeply satisfying to me on several levels. But this was an experience with a concentrated sort of positive feedback, and I'm so happy to have had that opportunity to memorialize Sheri's talent.
posted by mule98J at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2019 [22 favorites]

This morning I took my heavy duty cart to go find some air for the tires. The first place I went to gobbled up $1.50 of my quarters and had some weird setting that would pump air for a few seconds then not pump air. It totally deflated the first tire and my 5 minutes was up so I said fuck it & went in search of another pump.

The second pump was identical to the first one, and I was out yet another $1.50 in quarters. Fuck. I went to look for yet another pump & found one. It was cheaper and worked normally, so I was happy to have inflated tires on the cart again. EVen if it took forever to get 4 quarters from the cashier.

By the time I finally got home, my beloved met me in the lobby, looking visibly distressed but relieved. I asked her if she was ok, as she had started to cry. I thought maybe something was wrong with one of our animals. By that time she was bawling and sobbing & saying she thought something had happened to me. Poor thing!!!!! I gave her a big long hug, trusty cart waiting by our side.

I had forgotten to turn my fucking phone on, and she was really worried because I had said I'd be right back when I left. Took me forever due to all the stupid fucking shitty pumps.

Also, while I was out with the second unsuccessful pump, I noted 2 new dings in my front driver's side panel. Pissed me off. I mean it's not a great car or anything, but damn.

The whole reason I went to get air in the cart tires was because we rented a small storage unit and are moving some already packed things into it to de-clutter the condo before we put it on the market in a couple of weeks. Which is also freaking us out because we've been here 22 years!
posted by yoga at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have never gone through selling a house before, and oh. my. god. Like, take all the inherent stresses of moving and raise them to some exponential power. Because it's not just about leaving things decent enough to get one's deposit back, it's trying to address all the endless minutae that a buyer might fixate on as a deal-breaker, as well as scrambling to finish off at high speed all the home-owner projects that I've been half-assing around with for the past ten years but never finished.

My realtor offers her clients a free consultation with a professional stager, and this part of the whole ordeal was pretty hilarious -- lots of bizarrely specific instructions on the exact height that pictures should be hung (and I need to take down the one drawing of a rabbit because--some people don't like rabbits, I guess?), and that I should have a beige (not white) towel in the bathroom, folded in this precise way, and should move the rug one foot closer to the sofa, and so on and on. I'm proceeding with slavish trust in her dicta, because, apart from anything else, it's a huge relief to have some things I don't have to make decisions about.

By absolute dumb luck, I timed the market successfully -- bought the house pretty close to the nadir of the housing crash, and am now selling in a red-hot market in my town. So I should actually come away with a decent amount of money in pocket, which is good because I am impulsively moving to a significantly more expensive city.

Anyway, back to work. (OMG, the sheer tonnage of expired canned goods I have somehow accumulated over the years . . .)
posted by Kat Allison at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2019 [9 favorites]

Congrats to Fig and wellred and what should we name our club because I TOO have been seeing someone lovely and everything is so bewilderingly wonderful!

Also I have a new kombucha habit that I can't afford so I'm trying to culture a scoby so I can make my own.

Also I memorized this poem a couple of days ago in anticipation of a day like today and there is just no pleasure like being able to tell yourself the exact right poem at the exact right moment. It's a perfect spring day here.
posted by HotToddy at 3:13 PM on May 12, 2019 [9 favorites]

We’re nearing the end of a long holiday; we hadn’t gotten away in almost 18 months, so we desperately needed the break. Nothing big happened except for the realisation that life is with mr. lemon_icing gets easier and better and that being transparent with him is effortless. We had disagreements and growls as one does on holiday. But . . . we grinned and it ended.

I’ve never had life like that with someone. It’s been seven years and I’m still surprised that I am happy; that he cares about me.

Last night we had dinner with 10 people I love. I met them at work, then we became friends. We hadn’t worked at the same studio in 6+ years but seeing them felt like I had just seen them all last week.

So maybe I’m bathing in the love and reconnecting from last night . . . but I am content and happy and am glad we added this city to our itinerary.
posted by lemon_icing at 4:03 PM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

"All those are deeply satisfying to me on several levels. But this was an experience with a concentrated sort of positive feedback, and I'm so happy to have had that opportunity to memorialize Sheri's talent."

I hope you'll have a chance to share them with us!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:50 PM on May 12, 2019

shapes that haunt the dusk, meetup? Let us know! I'm sure some of the NYC crew would come out, depending on when it is (since we already have two meetups this week). Let us know!

Probably no time this visit, but I'd be down in the future!
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:28 PM on May 12, 2019

I, Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs just got my Provisional Driving Licence with an eye to blagging some practice off my mates before learning to drive for reals, yo!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:45 PM on May 12, 2019 [7 favorites]

I know that I mentioned this in a couple of Ask comments while it was still is the planning phase, but: I moved to Pittsburgh after a dozen years in Brooklyn*!
*octothorpe, let's trade some food recommendations!

And at the same time, I completed a 36-day typographic drawing challenge. It added a bit of stress top the pile, but also gave me a routine to keep me grounded. And I hope the results will lead to some sale-able products, (posters and whatnot,) and will help me wiggle into some paid design & illustration work in my new city.
posted by D.Billy at 8:15 PM on May 12, 2019 [8 favorites]

Honorable Youngest Daughter and I are attending monthly scrapbooking sessions at a local church. I do scrapbooking under duress (cutting up photos -- seriously?) but I grab a couple of boxes of yarn and my crochet hooks and plan out a new project.
I am almost done with my first granny square lap blanket. And HYD came by yesterday with a Mother's Day card, which she carefully hid from me during the last session. Sweet!
Meanwhile, I enjoy the charged atmosphere of a dozen women with sharp scissors and fancy paper and no one interrupting them. Several teens and pre-teens also attend, so we have a multigenerational thing going here.
HYD usually comes by one a week and plays Left for Dead with her dad, or they play online. This is our bonding time.
And a Happy Mother's Day to all!
posted by TrishaU at 9:13 PM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Wow, I love Metatalktail Hours generally, but this one is maybe the best ever.

I am loving reading all of these.

Huge high-fives and confetti to everyone with a cool new thing to share, and big hugs to those who want them, and thanks to Eyebrows for the question and everyone who posted.

So awesome.
posted by kristi at 11:22 PM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

Well, our 2012 Suzuki SX4 bit the dust about 3 weeks ago. The "check engine" light came on, and thought it might be the catalytic converter. We had an appointment for an oil change, and to get the snow tires pulled off -- we were going to buy a new set of tires -- when it started making alarming noises. We drove it to the dealership, which is now a Mazda dealership, as Suzuki has stopped selling their cars in the states. The engine was blown, the sound was pistons clanking, so we were like, whelp, guess we're buying a new car today!

We got a new 2018 Mazda3 Hatchback, which came with a moon roof and Bose stereo system. It has dual climate control, very important, as I run hot and the mister runs cold. It's also an automatic, and the old car was a manual, so we're both happy to go back to automatic transmission. Not sure how happy we'll be when we have to start making car payments in a few weeks, but this car feels so much safer than the old one (113,000 miles). At least we saved money on buying a new set of tires, this new car has an excellent safety rating.

Been getting into bird watching more and more. I've always loved birds, and decided to try putting out an orange half on the end of my hummingbird feeder's shepherd hook. Yesterday morning, a pair of catbirds showed up, first the female, then the male. Later on, a female Baltimore oriole arrived, still haven't seen a male, but will put out a fresh orange this morning and watch for it.

We had to go do laundry yesterday, so I walked over to the nearby hardware store and picked up a platform bird feeder and another shepherd's hook. I'm going to put it down by the bushes growing near the lake side of the house, which will motivate me to sit outside on the little side porch and practice taking photos with my new camera. Still getting used to the settings, so far, I can use "automatic with no flash" and have experimented with other settings, but it's going to be a learning curve (I have cheat sheets, just have to use them!).

Finally got around to potting up my impatiens seedlings on Saturday! I got about 40 plants, 5 or so each in little 5.5" across pots. This is all because I couldn't find them at the garden centers last year, so I bought a packet of seeds, despite reviews saying how hard they are to grow from seeds (Reader: they are not). The cool thing about impatiens, is once they get bigger, you can take cuttings and root them in water, hence having an endless supply of new plants (my Dad taught me this).

Saturday, we drove to nearby Livermore Falls, to visit a local greenhouse, and I got a hanging plant with blue lobelia, lemon slice Superbells, and a petunia called Bordeaux. We were at Lowes last week, but they were sold out of the lobelia hanging pots. Which is fine, I got one last year that was planted in coconut fiber, and it dried out rapidly when the summer heat came. This one is in a plastic pot, so should retain moisture better.

It's been a cool and damp Spring this year. Last year, it was in the 80's already. Tomorrow, a Nor'easter is arriving in the wee hours, and there is talk of snow, tho' I hope we only get rain and the snow stays in the mountains, where it belongs. I won't say that's new, sure there have been years when it's snowed in May, but I haven't seen it in a long time in southern Maine. Luckily, I have not put my impatiens outside yet, as they have tender stems, and tend to not tolerate frost very well, tho' they do grow well in shade, and can tolerate cool weather.

Going to go set up my new bird feeder now, and watch for more orioles, exciting!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:52 AM on May 13, 2019 [10 favorites]

I tried tennis yesterday. Both my oldest kids play, and the club had an open day and my task was to make a bucket of waffle batter. So I arrived with the batter and the wife badgered me to try the tennis introduction thing they had set up. "But I haven't done any warmup or anything", I protested. "You'll be fine", she replied. Apparently she lied, because today I'm sore after running around for half an hour trying to hit the ball where I wanted it to.
posted by Harald74 at 5:18 AM on May 13, 2019 [7 favorites]

I, too, am starting a new job next week. The last year and a half has been a nightmare -- the job itself has been a mostly do-nothing experience, and the team a collection of abusive right-wing assholes. The whole experience has caused me to spiral into the worst depression of my entire life with anxiety unlike anything I have ever experienced. It's going to take some time to recover, I think, but as soon as I gave my notice last week I could feel the stress and anxiety begin to lessen. It took a lot longer to find a new job than I expected because being middle-aged is like an automatic disqualification for IT jobs now, and I'm not sure that this new job will be anything more than a rebound gig, but it should get me through for a bit.
posted by briank at 8:31 AM on May 13, 2019 [11 favorites]

I don't think I'll ever get used to being buzzed and dive-bombed by rufous hummingbirds. It's like having living knife missiles flying around.

They do this dive-bomb sort of J-hook aerial display where they fly up to about 50-60 feet and then dive at the ground (or your head) at full speed with their wings in full buzzbomb noise mode like a very aggressive multicopter drone, finishing off the dive with a flourish and sort of alarm buzzer call of a noise.

Yesterday one of the rufous' spent hours buzzbombing my head like this, basically any time I was outside at all. I could look up and watch it fly up, hover then dive and go zooming right past my face just inches away. It happens so fast that if I don't look up I can barely notice the hummingbird blasting past me like a rocket, there's just this sudden invisible but loud screech a few inches from my face.

I think this rufous hummingbird in particular might be mad at me for taking down the feeder that he liked fighting over and guarding so much. Bro, you have a billion flowers right now, and you're so fat on nectar I'm surprised you can even fly.
posted by loquacious at 8:33 AM on May 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I am, for the very first time in my life, trying to buy a house. It came upon us suddenly, and I have no idea if we will pull it off, but if we do we will quadruple our indoor living space and it's on a whole acre of gently sloping meadow. Multiple bathrooms, multiple bedrooms, I could have an office, fireplace, deck, the whole enchilada. I hope the universe is pulling for us!!!

Also, I am leaning in to a newish aesthetic, hard for me to describe but featuring more color and shapes than I am used to. Sort of an 80s vibe? Like here are some tshirts and here are my new sheets. This bag is my jam.

Recently I got bangs, too. I have never in my life had bangs, curly hair seemed to rule it out. But I have done it! They're cute if I do say so.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:22 AM on May 13, 2019 [9 favorites]

Just saw a male Baltimore Oriole! Last time I saw one was over 10 years ago, at my folks' house in the Midwest. Super excited!

(I'm also getting dive bombed by hummingbirds, ruby-throated ones).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:23 AM on May 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've been reevaluating REM's post Automatic for the People output and Up is a gutpunch I feel so hard at 43 and didn't at 22.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:50 AM on May 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

I am considering going ALONE to a baseball game. I just don’t know what section of yankee stadium to consider for my best odds of not getting rained in. Maybe I’ll go Wednesday night?
posted by bilabial at 10:07 AM on May 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

OMG, so much is new these days.
  • Living with a partner, such that there's a constant stream of lively, sophisticated, amusing conversation on tap, plus a kind, competent, sensible person around to help plan and do things. Not to mention affection and sex &c..
  • Being in Oakland, having actually bought a HOUSE with a big garden space. Growing vegetables. Looking after three spirited and interesting hens that came with the house.
  • Mostly working from home. (I don't particularly like that, but the alternative is spending too much of my life in a car, so I'll take it.)
posted by tangerine at 1:57 PM on May 13, 2019 [14 favorites]

Saw our first hummingbird of the season here today, too! We get the ruby-throated variety here, and this one flew up to our sliding door, took a long peek inside, and then flew off. I took that to mean "Where the heck is the feeder, lady?! Get on that already." Message received, little one!
posted by cellar door at 2:09 PM on May 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Went to a cob building workshop today! I am very muddy but well fed and it was awesome. It's like working on a giant pottery or ceramics project, which I have some experience with.
posted by loquacious at 9:16 PM on May 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm attempting to learn to play ukulele and while YouTube vids are nice, I'm going to redeem the month of lessons I was gifted last year to see if some one-on-one instruction helps.

I've also started speaking up more at work and the results have been good.
posted by Twicketface at 7:36 AM on May 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

I bought a cowboy hat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:45 PM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I bought a cowboy hat.
posted by The Underpants Monster

Ah, the joys of out-of-context MetaFilter.
posted by duffell at 7:05 PM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Or, if you will, MetaFilter with the context, the deeper story, what the Greeks referred to as the "meta" layer, filtered out.

Metafiltered MetaFilter.
posted by duffell at 7:08 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

We sold out all four performances of our debut run of Thelma & Leweeze: The Musical over the past two weekends. We've never sold out a whole run before. It was awesome to perform in front of really enthusiastic sell-out crowds*. We've been invited back for a 6 - 8 night run in September.

*The place seats 68 people, but full house = crowd in my book.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:50 PM on May 14, 2019 [10 favorites]

This is not only new but probably once-in-a-lifetime: I am currently eating breakfast on the morning of my Jeopardy! audition.

(um what)
posted by wellred at 4:47 AM on May 15, 2019 [23 favorites]

Oooh, good luck! Or is it "break a leg"? I'm not well versed in game show etiquette...
posted by Harald74 at 6:34 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I take "Game Shows" for $200 -- What is wellred auditioning for?
Good luck!
posted by TrishaU at 10:17 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

It seems like half the people I know are having "last-hurrah" children. Not strictly new, but there's a lot of new babies around so I feel like it counts.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:10 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Pals, it was super fun. Now the wait begins - they could call anytime during the next 18 months.
posted by wellred at 6:58 PM on May 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

posted by duffell at 7:02 PM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

OH! duffell, yes, I'm talking about Jeopardy. My new love interest is messaging me right now and we're going out on Saturday. D'awww.
posted by wellred at 7:37 PM on May 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I am desperately struggling not to reply all to this morning's work email that says "there are 69 of you who still need to RSVP to this event" with "Nice".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:46 AM on May 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

Why are you struggling?
posted by Namlit at 5:53 AM on May 16, 2019

I have been having a fire since about 1:00 this afternoon. I have this pretty cool Tuscan looking ceramic column fire pit/ barbecuer and the weather is unseasonally cool here post rain. My toes are warming on it and it is starting to die down again. I roasted chicken and made pitas for late lunch. I have been out on the porch all afternoon. It is so nice! This mischievous wind comes and goes, the clouds are way softened by wind overhead. Doves and mockingbirds have kept me good company, calling out all day.
posted by Oyéah at 5:46 PM on May 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have been having a fire since about 1:00 this afternoon.

I totally read that first sentence as, "My house has been burning down for eight hours and the fire department can't get the blaze put out" and I was just a bit too panicked to read on for s minute. Never been more relieved to be an idiot.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:15 PM on May 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I just watched Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - I Don't Care, which, yeah, catchy soft pop song, but that video is mildly impressive for it's YouTube Poop level of bad video editing (though on reviewing more YTP, I see that those edits are actually ... good). [YTP links to previous MetaFilter posts]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:39 AM on May 18, 2019

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