Metatalktail Hour: Open Thread! July 20, 2019 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, open thread! Tell us some cool stuff!

I got distracted by Blown Away on Netflix (which jacquilynne posted about!) so I'm a little late to post this week!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 7:07 PM (78 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

My attempts at learning Spanish continue apace. I am reading my way through the Spanish-language picture books at my library and have graduated to elementary school readers. I've been reading a K-2 series about the solar system which is pretty good because I usually know, like, the Neptune facts so I can do an okay job decoding what the Spanish words are. I am pretty good at understanding the stories other people in my conversation group tell, but I struggle a lot telling my own stories, since I don't know a lot of past-tense verbs yet. All my sentences are like "Yesterday, I was in the party" instead of "I went to the party." It's a process!

Meanwhile non-stop summer birthdays for my kids and all their cousins whose birthdays are all between the end of May and the middle of August. Nano McGee turned 3 last weekend and she wanted a birthday dinner that was "rainbows, unicorns, blueberries, and blackberries" and this is what I delivered!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:00 PM on July 20, 2019 [15 favorites]

I'm planning to teach myself to use a sewing machine! I'm very excited! I've inherited my mom's machine recently, but have been wanting to learn for years. I recently ran across this wonderful video which finally laid out the very basic basics of how a machine works and it has been a huge help. It's really taken the mystery out of it.

In other news, after moving cross country back to my home state, I'm job hunting and considering which church I want to join. I'm not sure I want to go back to the church I've gone to all my life. I visited a United Methodist congregation this evening. It's a huge church, but they have a smaller service on Saturday at 6 pm. I enjoyed it very much. I also attend a career transition group there on Mondays. It a wonderful group that this church has been hosting for over 30 years.

And, as my friend says, that's all the news that fit to spit!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 8:56 PM on July 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

We went to an insane water park today. By water park I mean a giant man-made lake in the middle of farm country, packed with every kind of person and many kinds of giant lake novelties, including multiple enormous water slides. The lake was shallow and sandy, the drinks were cheap (although not that appealing in quantity, all things considered) and the temperature right around 100 degrees. It was astonishingly expensive as well! Although if we’d been there all day it would have been a good value. I coated my indoorsy son in sunblock when we arrived, but later he took his shirt off. And that’s why he has a shirt-shaped sunburn.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:56 PM on July 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

The bottom bracket on my bike started creaking recently, and I decided to try fixing it myself instead of taking it into the shop (again). Tooling up for the job was fun: I acquired a cheap-ass torque wrench and a set of hex sockets; found an old Williams socket wrench in the garage; increased the lineup of interesting goop for the bike goop shelf with some anti-seize; and ooh, shop towels! Nice, fresh shop towels lined up on my w/d in the garage, the big red 8mm hex and all the other tools ready. Yesterday the final bits came together and after work I got the bike up in the stand and immediately took it back down. Fifty Newton-metres of torque to loosen the crank bolt is too much for my flimsy work stand.

Got the cranks out no problem, and un-threaded the BB with ease. Cleaned it all up really meticulously and promptly got anti-seize compound EVERYWHERE while prepping it all to go back together. I've had copper boogers all day today, and little smudges that just keep popping up everywhere, on my clothes, on my napkin, when I get up from a chair, little misplaced glare grease smudges on the periphery of my beard, on the inside of my socks? I'm wearing gloves next time.

It went back together very easily, the first time, the second time, and the third time I re-assembled everything. Forgot a dust cap the first time, and tonight the creak remained so I took the cranks off again and put an extra few Newton-metres into the cups. That seemed to do it! Of course, it's not a truly successful repair unless you identify at least one more tool that would have made it easier. Now that I have all these socketing ratcheting torquing tools I need to get the special bottom bracket tool that fits onto one of those. The manual wrench is brutal. 50N⋅m is no joke.
posted by carsonb at 9:31 PM on July 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

I don't have any posts this week, it's been kinda crazy. The perks of my job go above a discount though. Lots of dogs come through our sliding doors, and all of them like attention. We got a bona fide celebrity pooch today, Benga! I got to hold her, and her owner handed me her dog's business card, which is an all time first for me. A dog with a business card!
In not so great news, some dipshit stole one of my baby jade plants out of my front patch. Sometimes at work people come in to buy replacement succulents and mention that the original got swiped, but hey! It happened to me now! I got a euphorbia called "sticks on fire" as a replacement, largely because it's super cute, AND it's super toxic and if someone tries to swipe it and they get some of the sap on their hands they'll get a nasty surprise. If that one gets stolen too- I'm putting in a cactus. Price of making your front area nice, always going to be some entitled asshole who thinks "ooh pretty" and takes. I'm somewhat irrationally angry about this still. Oh well.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:57 PM on July 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

Despite the ongoing political nonsense happening in my city, the weather is sublimely subtropical, I have three brunches and some sort of driving-range moment (?!) over the next two weeks to attend and then it's my summer break! Summer school's been going well - my normal teacher colleagues are always lovely but this summer we have some also-lovely temporary teachers who are dedicated and professional - and I'm back on the keto train. Overall: 11/10, would summer again.
posted by mdonley at 10:11 PM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've been revisiting some of the things I used to do with my kids to distract them. The one I'm going to tell you about is called "The Broken Tongue".

It's pretty simple; pretend that your tongue is broken. So here's what you do: let your tongue fall out of your mouth. Don't move it at all, just let it sit there on your bottom lip, sticking out of your mouth. Try not to move it. Pretend it has no feeling whatsoever. Now start talking. Tell somebody (preferably somebody you know) that your tongue is broken. Or if nobody is around, just tell yourself that your tongue is broken. Continue to have a conversation. Obviously your pronunciation will be totally off, and this is where the fun is. Some words come out fine, others not so much. You'll also notice that your inflections will change. You might notice that you're saying things that you wouldn't normally say, in ways that you wouldn't normally say it.

In other news, I left my phone out on the deck last night and it rained. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not borked, but I think it is since it doesn't seem to want to charge anymore.
posted by ashbury at 10:19 PM on July 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I went to film festival movie with a group today and everyone loved it and I wanted to but I kept falling asleep
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:36 PM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

rednikki and I saw a grizzly bear standing by the side of the highway waiting for a break to cross the road. It was almost black with a blonde face - not just the snout, the whole face.

I wasn't able to slow down early enough for rednikki to get a camera activated, but I did slow down enough that we were able to look right into its face. What a beautiful animal.

After we passed it lumbered across the roadway and into the forest on the other side.

We were on Highway 16 heading from Prince George, BC to Edmonton, Alberta, between 50 - 100 kilometers from PG.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:47 PM on July 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

I recently bought a second gen Probe GT in good survivor condition to use as my daily driver. IMO it was kind of sporty looking but nothing super exciting especial considering it's 26 years old. This proves not to be the case in general however. I've constantly got people complimenting me on the car, telling me about the one they or a buddy or a favourite teacher owned or wanted to own, appreciating the colour etc. Young/old, male/female doesn't matter. It's weird and fun.
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 PM on July 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I ate two bricks of curly fries at the state fair and it was glorious.
posted by kendrak at 11:09 PM on July 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

Two pretty exciting things happened this past week.

A while back Ms. Alchemist and I came to the conclusion that, with the ways the apartments are built in Copenhagen, the only way to get a larger bathroom was to get a larger apartment. So we made a list of our main requirements and have been apartment hunting the last 6 months (we're in no rush). We may have found "the one"! Today we are going back for a second look as well as a closer look at a contender (just in case). Exciting to think that we may soon have a new place with a - aaaaahhhhhh - larger bathroom.

In other news, a while back, I supported an Indiegogo campaign, for a danish-designed electric bicycle (link here to Strøm indiegogo campaign for those interested in more info). They had the usual production delays, but I had no problem waiting (although it did reveal to me that there are SO MANY whiny complainy supporters when the most miniscule thing goes awry in a campaign. Sheeesh people, what do you think this is?!?! be cool.) The bike arrived last week and after assembling it and charging the battery I went on my first ride, and it was AWESOME! Now the 9 km I have to work will fly by, and the HATED headwind is banished from my life :)

The absolute last exciting thing is that I had dinner at noma again! The 2.0 version after they reopened in their new location just outside the city center. The "summer" menu is purely vegetarian and it was SO impressive. Can highly recommend if you are around these parts. Rene and the rest of the staff were just as attentive and professional as always and the new locationis simply beautiful!
posted by alchemist at 11:43 PM on July 20, 2019 [9 favorites]

With the Eastern North America heatwave all I'm really doing is hiding from the accursed daystar. But I've been doing some good reading lately, my most excellent acquisition being The Raven Tower by Anne Leckie of Ancillary Justice fame. I found The Raven Tower just as delightful and innovative, in a less sci-fi setting.
posted by XMLicious at 11:55 PM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm avoiding thinking about some nasty health news by travel planning. Less than a month left until Worldcon in Dublin which will be my first ever con and wow I have nerves and also I won't know anyone and argle, but it's going to be an adventure. Though I would appreciate if they released the programme already because I'm a planner and I am yearning for the opportunity to overschedule myself to hell and back. Mind you, the Hugo voter packet alone was worth the admission price and now I have a week to make some very very hard choices and vote already. (S.A. Chakraborty's City of Brass is so damn good that I bought #2 immediately, but also Rivers Solomon completely knocked my socks off with An Unkindness of Ghosts and that's just the Campbell argh.)
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:22 AM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

It has been an unbelievably shitty month up here in Alaska but I just baked an absolutely gorgeous and incredibly tasty rhubarb-almond cake, made bagels when it finally was cool enough for a 500 degree oven and went on a whole bunch of gorgeous hikes with my idiot dog. Points for trying, I hope.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:55 AM on July 21, 2019 [11 favorites]

I am almost about to switch over to freelance from full-time, and I should be excited and trepidatious; instead I'm worrying obsessively over whether my over-responsible colleague/immediate boss will end up collapsing from stress and overwork once I'm not there full time any more (everyone else is young and inexperienced). I wish a certificate of common sense were required for people to run a company.
also I can't with the heat and humidity around here, even though it's like this every year.
In slightly more cheerful news, when Bruckner is good he's really fantastic. My theory is that he was actually an alien who arrived on earth in early adulthood, which would explain why his first three symphonies were too weird to work, why his main instrumental range seems to focus on the viola and higher-range cello rather than the violin (different standard range on his planet, clearly), and why he never did quite grasp the normal endurance and lung capacity of earth-origin human beings.
posted by huimangm at 2:03 AM on July 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Well we’re coming up for another heatwave in France which will not be fun, but after two weeks of horrible insomnia after seeing if I could remove a night time med, I started it back up on Friday and slept for 12 hours then and last night.

Off for lunch with a friend who I had acupuncture with yesterday. Meeting Fraula tomorrow if anyone wants to pass on a message as she is missed here! Fizz, sending you hugs.

Eyebrows, loving your feast Instagram! I used to speak Spanish and have lost it, but thinking about getting it back as there is so much amazing music coming out of Spain and South America (Rosalia and Bad Bunny especially), I would love to understand more of what they are saying.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:17 AM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I had an MRI last week to gather more info about my bulging ovaries, whether there's any endo going on etc.; I should find out what the next steps are tomorrow, when I see the doctor again and he tells me what the magnet tube discovered. Also, thanks to this thread and childbearing being a forever no-from-me, I'm going to see if I can talk him into taking out my fallopian tubes while he's in there, assuming he wants to do surgery. And after that I will need to hold myself back from returning to the GP who told me last autumn that my pelvic pain was "probably just IBS" and strongly encouraging her to give more of shit next time she's doing her job. I could have had this figured out months ago, and I'm extremely bored of needing to pee all the time.

In the meantime, I'm taking a small break from working on the incredibly long (for me; 115k+ and showing no signs of stopping) fantasy thing I've been working on for a few years to write a short story to read aloud at a friend's birthday story night next week. The theme for story night is planets, but I've ended up going with identity and oppression, loosely robed in enough planetary nonsense that it fits, because I have like one topic these days. It's been nice to take a break from the long thing, but equally I'm hoping to have draft zero on long thing finished by the end of the year, so I will need to Get Back On It shortly after. Everyone I know is mostly done turning 30 now, so weekends should free up a little more after summer is over, in the service of getting this one done at long last.
posted by terretu at 3:29 AM on July 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

Oh what a day, what a glorious day!

Do I ever have some cool shit to share with y'all.

So while the everyone else was having a heat wave we had the first really and truly official summer day of the short summers in the PNW with toasty but pleasant 75 degree highs, clear skies, clean water and no heavy pall of wildfire smoke... which is likely coming, all right after a good dousing of rain.

And I did a totally new thing and tried my hand at video DJing for a DJ gig and totally blew some minds in a new way.

A lot of my favorite music has some really amazing video art to go with it that I've wanted to share for many years and I managed to actually pull it off. I have also been craving playing the music I actually listen to at home and not just the music that I like and that will make people dance and get what they wanted or didn't know they wanted.

There's a thing that DJs like to do- that I like to do a lot - and that's try to tell a story or find some kind of thematic arc or theme with music, and this can be as complicated as applying advanced music theory to blend, miter and mix one song in to another, or as simple as sticking to a genre or tone. One looks for similarities or contrasts to blend into each other and juxtapose. And this can get wonderfully complicated.

This time I tried to do that with both the music and the accompanying video and tried applying those creative media knitting and weaving skills to both the video and audio to form a cohesive arc and curated theme and a telling of a story, complete with foreshadowing and reprises and fugues and so on.

I also curated the videos and visuals to match the values and aesthetics of the venue, which is a very inclusive and super aware intersectional endeavor. Objectified or overt sexuality is right out, as is simulated violence - but I also navigated more subtle themes with the intent to lift and empower. There's a lot of music I wanted to play, but that I felt the video might be disrespectful or just unwanted - most often because it was DIY fan music video stuff that borrowed from cinema footage, not official music videos.

First, a logistical side note to help calibrate and frame and describe how deep I dive and nerd out on this stuff. This isn't just a playlist and it took many thousands of kilocalories.

This required:

15+ miles of hiking to the bus to get to town, hiking around town and so on just to get high speed wifi and download stuff over 3-4 trips.

10+ GB of files.

8 hours of HD video sorted down to about 2 hours.

20+ hours of sorting, viewing and listening to the playlist and utterly obsessing over it.

3+ hours of trying to get the video projector to work at full speed frame rates due to the lack of a proper video adapter/cable because the nearest Apple store or whatever is 3-5 hours away and USB video projectors shouldn't even be a thing.

Visiting something like 10 different stores trying to find anything that would Lego together to work.

Going through 3 borrowed computers until a friend offered to loan me their computer with a plain old HDMI out and modern video card at the very last minute less than 6 hours before showtime.

And some rather alarming non-zero amount of cups of coffee.

The theme or arc for this playlist is "the rise of consciousness from complexity and emergent behavior" or "life finds a way".

And I apologize for the lack of a one click YT playlist - this is intentional for privacy. When I make and post playlists they get blown up and videos end up deleted and stuff. Build a private playlist or rip them at HD and throw them into VLC, eh?

Playlist. (Warning: Flashing/strobing lights, etc.)

Lorn - Tattered Flag (Bladerunner)

Ulrich Schnauss - Illusory Sun

Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy

Plaid - Hydrosphere

Plaid - Wallet

Max Cooper - Order from Chaos

Christian Loffler - Haul (ft. Mohna)

Lusine - Just a Cloud

Plaid - Tether

Sascha Funke - Mango

Max Cooper - Resynthesis

Weval - Someday

Floating Points - LesAlpx

Jon Hopkins - Luminous Beings

Max Cooper - Rule 110

Jon Hopkins - Everything Connected

AOKI Takasama - Rhythm Variation 02

Luke Vibert - I love Acid

Plaid - Do Matter

Lorn - Anvil

Lorn - Void

Aphex Twin - t69 collapse

Aphex Twin - Vordhosbn

Squarepusher - The Exploding Psychology

Ulrich Schnauss - Monday Paracetamol
posted by loquacious at 4:46 AM on July 21, 2019 [14 favorites]

This has been one of the more shittier summers I can remember. This week, my amazingly sweet, nerdy, kind, magic-trick-loving, 26-year-old nephew overdosed. It may have been intentional, but nobody is saying much yet. I miss him terribly and feel awful over the demons he was facing.

And a few weeks ago, I learned that I may lose my job next year, due to some restructuring that will happen over the next six months. I'm worried, because I'm too female and too old to easily slide into a new gig in tech these days.

But some things don't change, and one constant is that Joan Jett still rocks her fucking ass off, and I got to see her play last night. \m/
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:26 AM on July 21, 2019 [26 favorites]

I'm so sorry SuperSquirrel.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:50 AM on July 21, 2019 [7 favorites]

Must be a good bear day under_petticoat_rule, we're at a cabin in MB with a European friend who hasn't seen a bear outside a zoo and we spotted goofy adolescent black bear looking for grubs at the side of the road. Not as impressive as a grizzly but cool nonetheless.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:04 AM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm sorry to hear about it, SuperSquirrel.

My health and everything else is super shitty, which isn't helped by the miserable heat and humidity. A heat index over 115 is too hot to bike in. Too hot to do anything, really. I've been making up for it by watching horror movies and listening to a lot of metal. I'm finally gaining a pretty good working knowledge of sludge metal bands from the early 90s to the present, so it feels like I'm being productive even though this is kind of the opposite of productivity. I know this site isn't exactly packed with metalheads, but yes, of course I am totally down to swap album recommendations.

I always think I want to move to New Orleans, but days like this make me feel like I'd spend the whole summer bored out of my skull indoors. On the other hand, if I'm going to have to deal with miserable heat, I'd rather be bored in New Orleans than small town suburban Maryland.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:08 AM on July 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

I got to see Iron Sky: The Coming Race in the theater on Friday, and while it's not as funny as the first Iron Sky, it's still packed with B movie awesomeness including Hitler riding a dinosaur. I'm really hoping for a sequel set on Mars now.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:15 AM on July 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

Been playing a new game on my phone, working on my app, and just generally trying to survive the heat. Damn, it's hot.

Swear to god I'm gonna move into a place with air conditioning. One of these days...
posted by klevertree at 9:42 AM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I am sitting at a train station and my train now has 100 minutes delay. But it's a good chance to catch up on metafilter, which I've hardly read all week due to visiting people with small humans who wanted attention all. the. damn. time. How do you parental people survive?
posted by lollusc at 9:52 AM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I realized this week, after living in this body for forty years already, that I don't have a mind's eye and when other people say they are visualizing things, it's not just a figure of speech. I think there may have been something about that on Metafilter and I thought of course I visualize things, but... I don't. There's a lot of stuff going on behind my eyelids, but pictures aren't it.

It's funny, because I have really vivid dreams and I dreamed a painting once! A really intricate painting that my internal camera would zoom in and out from, but when I'm awake, nope.

I get the results from my first sleep study on August 1st, and in the meantime, I feel like Schroedinger's narcoleptic. I wasn't scheduled for a MLST right away due to a miscommunication between the sleep specialist and me. No one's fault, really. How could I know that things that were normal for me were, in fact, not normal?

So now I'm killing time getting to really know my body and brain and my biological quirks. How is spatial memory my best memory when I can't visualize? Why do I remember my dreams better than real events? This stuff is fascinating to me.
posted by Ruki at 9:54 AM on July 21, 2019 [14 favorites]

I did a bunch of community stuff this weekend. Saturday I spent the day having a bake sale and lemonade stand with some moms in the neighborhood to raise funds for Immigrant Families Together. We raised more than $700! Woo!

Today was our monthly neighborhood backyard grown food swap. Some months are better than others. I have about zero need for more tomatoes, so I got some Egyptian walking onions that I'm looking forward to planting and a couple of nectarines. A lot of people brought herb excess, but I'm in herbs up to my eyeballs.

I love our little community inside of the sprawling megalopolis that is Los Angeles. I'm so grateful for the privilege to live here. I do wish it was a little cooler, temperature wise, but you can't have everything.

I have gotten quite a few chocolate peppers this week, which are super cute and tasty. Also, some regular bell peppers. I'm overwhelmed with the cucumber harvest this year. There are so many pickles! Also, made my 5th batch of marinara this week. Tonight's dinner is going to be a fresh tomato quiche. Yum.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:29 AM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

In a few more weeks, I am going to experience a bigger life transformation than has been the case for more than a few decades now.

In September, I turn 53 and a half, and, begin fulltime study as a doctoral student at the local university's Mechanical Engineering department.

So, as a post menopausal middle aged old crone with trifocals and no upper molars, I've promptly gone out and spent my tax refund on getting my hair done in purple.

Take that, incipient old age!
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:52 AM on July 21, 2019 [45 favorites]

The weather has been gorgeous in Seattle this weekend, my runner beans are spitting out delicious beans (my kid has eaten ALL of them, so some need to ripen in the next few days when she’s not here), and I’m getting a lot done. I recently made a terrible mistake and lost all my core friendships, so there’s plenty of time to be productive, with the added bonus of burying my feelings! Yay?
posted by centrifugal at 11:55 AM on July 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

We had a dangerous heat wave here recently (like much of the US) and also, on the same day, an explosion and two fires at power stations around the city. That wasn’t great (but happily no one was injured)... My own house did lose power for a few hours, but stayed cool, and the cats were fine. Little eirias has been a bit of a train wreck after all that time cooped up, so we spent a good couple hours at the park this morning to get her back in sorts. Only kinda worked...

This has been a month of hardly being home for me, and Clan eirias will have a few more weeks of that as we embark on a big road trip circling around to Mammoth Cave, the Outer Banks, Niagara Falls and Toronto, and then home via Canada and Michigan. I don’t know why but I’m hardly ever excited about vacations these days, mostly nervous, even though I know they are good for me, or at least I am told so.
posted by eirias at 1:53 PM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I’ve been sick with a nasty summer cold since Wednesday evening. This has coincided with a big ol’ heat wave here on the US east coast. I’ve spent more time indoors these past four days than I care to do during summer, but it’s had its benefits. To wit, I caught up with my Marvel movies. Ant-Man and the Wasp... good! Into the Spider-verse... really, really, really good!

I would like to stop snifflng and snuffling and snorting and sleeping now, please, and get back to my usual life.
posted by cheapskatebay at 2:00 PM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I bought a $300 drone on closeout for $60. Had a great time shooting video high over a Cape Cod League baseball game. Went home, put the drone on the counter, popped the battery to recharge it, and the batter promptly slid off the counter and dropped into the dog's water bowl. Oh well. Went on eBay and ordered a new battery.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 3:19 PM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

This week I helped marshal a women's charity bike ride for an Orthodox Jewish organization that benefits a camp for sick and special needs kids. It was amazing riding bikes with so many women who happen to be from this particular religious sect. (There is also a men's ride for this charity, held separately later in the summer.)

There was a *wide* range of fitness levels, as well as adherence to religious rules such as covering one's head or wearing extra coverings over the legs, which seemed crazy to me since the high was 90 degrees. This felt like a brief peek into women's Orthodox culture. (I am not Jewish, but my ex husband is Jewish, and I've lived in NYC for decades, so I heretofore considered myself glancingly familiar with the various sects of Judiasm.)

Did I mention this was a 100 mile ride in somewhat hilly terrain? Not everybody does the full century, but all the participants are celebrated and get to ride over the finish line at the camp together at the same time. Also, the organizers were pumping the dance beatz sooooooo loud over the PA, it felt louder than many metal shows I used to go to way back when. There was ebullient dancing and festivities, but I was so tired from watching over my riders, the heat and the early start, that I hid in the main camp building and showered and figured out where my bags were. But I'm definitely doing this ride again, if given the chance!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:20 PM on July 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

We flew down to Maryland this weekend to visit my brother and his family. The planes don’t have air conditioning, which is only really a problem when it’s super hot on the ground like it was this weekend. And then you hear Tower tell you, “Hold short while we work your release” and you slowly melt in to your seat.

The high heat can cause turbulence as the warm surface air convects upwards, but we got lucky this weekend. The only issue we had was over central Jersey when Control descended us right in to the cloud layer. Those big puffy clouds that look so pretty from the ground will really toss you around when you fly in to them.

Tomorrow I take the other plane to the avionics shop where it will get a major upgrade and finally enter the 21st century. New digital instruments, new autopilot, and a few other goodies. I pushed hard for this and did all the planning and prep work, so I’m glad we’re finally getting our new hardware installed. With any luck, our other plane will get the approvals for the same upgrade soon and then we’ll have two very capable machines.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:56 PM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

A couple of weeks ago Rose was eating corn on the cob on the back porch when Beans came over to sniff the situation and Rose calmly stopped eating and said "no Beans, corn isn't for cats. It's for women, like me."
posted by saladin at 5:03 PM on July 21, 2019 [9 favorites]

The news of the impending heat wave made me panic, a little. I told Mr. Mon Dieu that we needed an A/C unit for the bedroom. I have bad insomnia, often waking at 2 or 3 a.m., and cannot go back to sleep. I feel it's largely due to a small and stuffy bedroom.

He said okay, as I pointed out that I would be wicked crabby without some relief from the humidity. Soooo humid in Maine.

I started cleaning out the bedroom, which was full of junk. When we first moved into this little cabin, I was super frustrated at the lack of closets. I ended up putting a ton of things under the bed. When that space filled up, I put some other things next to the bed, extra laundry basket with my stuffed animal collection, garbage bag of long-sleeved shirts (my husband's), etc. So I hauled everything out into the living room and sorted through it in record-breaking time. The heat was coming! The humidity was coming! Needed to clear it out, dust and vacuum, and make our bedroom a hospitable place, instead of a dusty cave of junk.

I even sorted through my shoes, and got rid of all the ones I hadn't worn in years (hello, Mod Squad style black suede boots, purchased on Oxford Street in London, in 1998, worn a handful of times, as they hurt my feet something awful, but I paid 50 pounds for them, and they were from London! Now someone else can enjoy them). Shoes that didn't fit! WHY was I keeping them? I read an article on Sunk Cost Fallacy before doing this, to keep myself focused, and it helped a lot, I think.

Saturday morning, we took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, picked up the A/C unit, went to a home goods store (Christmas Tree Shop), and grocery shopping at the big Hannaford in Augusta, which has way more selection of goods than our local Hannaford. I want to go back another day and look at the international section, but did buy a can of fava beans, which we can't get locally. Will try them out with some recipe (suggestions welcome).

I carried the A/C into the house myself. Mr. Mon Dieu assisting, I installed it, plugged it in, and by gum, it works! Ahhhhhhhh. I slept all night, and only woke to hear Mr. Mon Dieu making us coffee, then went back to sleep. Got up at 8:30 a.m. Not 2:00 a.m., not 3:00 a.m. 8-freaking-30 a.m. Blissssss!

I have an in-home sleep study this Friday night. It's a device that I have to pick up, bring home and hook up, then return the next day. My Nurse Practitioner, who is my primary caregiver, used to work at a sleep clinic, so she knows her stuff. She is also around my age, is very calm and practical, and has treated things like hypothyroidism, diabetes, blood pressure stuff, and found a BP med that I can tolerate. I went back for a BP check recently, and it was 20-30 points lower. I have a physical in August, and a follow-up visit with the diabetes counselor, who I also like a lot, she has 30+ years experience and is very encouraging and knowledgable. So grateful for the care and support from these ladies.

Anyhoo, here is a photo collection of my adventures in bedroom clearing. Found some old stuff, that was just shoved into old suitcases and bags when we moved into this joint in 2016. I guess I can thank the heat wave for motivating me to tackle this project (and maybe my thyroid pills, which I have been taking for 1 year, and upped the dosage in April per my NP's orders). I might even start exercising again! Wishing everyone the best of the bestest rest of summer days! If your life has been a Debbie Downer, I hope it gets better soon! I love you all! <3
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:04 PM on July 21, 2019 [16 favorites]

Of course it's been brutally hot in the garden center. But I have made a friend there. She's the only other person who doesn't support the orange demagogue. Plus she's nearish my age and is a bookish nerd.

So, after getting cleaned up after work today, she, her husband and I went to historic Thailian Hall to see a local production of Five Guys Named Moe. It was stellar. You could tell the performers and the musicians were enjoying it as much as the audience.

It's good to have something fun to report from the land of the hot and sweaty.
posted by mightshould at 5:42 PM on July 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

On Tuesday, I hosted an Eef Barzelay home concert in my living room. I was looking forward to it all summer and it did not disappoint! He sounded so great and played a few songs from his upcoming new album. And while he didn't play my all time favorite song, I probably would've sobbed through the whole thing anyway.

And, I've been eating leftover meatballs and watermelon ever since so that's an extra plus.
posted by Twicketface at 6:27 PM on July 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

Today I led a ritual laying-on-of-hands blessing for our departing UU minister.

Two years ago, I was so freaked out by the thought of speaking in front of a group of 10 people that I barely made it through a train-the-trainers training.

After that, I made it a point to learn how to teach adults. I practiced and I practiced, mainly with my then-staff of 4 or 5 people. About six months ago, I earned a promotion that regularly has me leading trainings of 4-25 people. About three months ago, I led a portion of a training that required me to speak into a microphone to about 100 people. Microphones have always been even more of a phobia to me than even public speaking. I did well!

About three months ago, I had an inexplicable conversion experience and apparently now I am pagan but I am still very shy about talking about it, because I do not know what the hell I am doing nor have I settled into any sort of stable belief system.

Today, on the referral from a fellow congregant, I led a pagan-ish ritual for 50+ people that required using a microphone and blessing a minister who has had an enormous impact on my sense of self both internally and in the world at large.

And I nailed it. I had to go stand under some trees for a couple minutes afterward to re-ground and get my shit together because I was shaking so hard from the energy, but holy freakin amazeballs, I had an entire congregation breathing with me, visioning with me, blessing with me. And what I love is that we were not invoking any sort of divinity, we were just harnessing our own power and sending it along to bless him. And I facilitated that.

I am so horrendously sad that he is leaving, but I am happy that I get to hold onto that, that I created and led a meaningful send-off.
posted by lazuli at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2019 [20 favorites]

Wonderful, lazuli.
posted by jamjam at 8:05 PM on July 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought I'd take an opportunity to post an update on the discussion some of us had in this thread about red lipstick.

The MAC Retro Matte in Ruby Woo arrived about a month ago. I had ordered a purse case at the same time, to keep me from losing the lipstick, and it arrived about a month earlier. Slow shipping was the price I paid for such a deep discount!

I'm happy with it. It's much better than anything I could have gotten for the same money at the drugstore. It's definitely not as rich a red as the Lipstick Queen Sinners I got it to replace, but it's a nice matte finish, sets quickly so you can easily put on two coats, and stays really well. But I think if I get another one when I have the money again, I'll try the Russian Red.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:30 PM on July 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Big virtual fistbumps to those dealing with health problems. (Real fistbumps would probably shatter our rickety handbones.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:44 PM on July 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

we were just harnessing our own power

That's the point. WE are the Gods and Goddesses. WE created them. They created us. When we evolved, we had to make creation stories. But the true power lies within us, which you discovered. Kudos! Keep on, keepin' on!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:37 PM on July 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I had a luthier friend over for dinner, coincidentally. Showed him my unwieldy guitar and he said yeah, it needs a setup, so I brought it to the shop.

Scene: guitar store in Berkeley a block from my house. I crack open the door with guitar in tow. A tiny windowless room with maybe 3 square feet of standing room becomes barely visible after a cloud of weed smoke dissipates through the open door. The den is stuffed with guitars and gear in various stages of repair and disrepair. There are about 5 guys hanging out with guitars who all look like they work (and/or live) there. ‘Hi, who’s in charge?’ This being Berkeley, nobody wants to be in charge. Finally the acoustic guitar guy emerges. He looks exactly like you’d imagine, like something time-traveling in from Woodstock.
‘Hi, I was wondering whether you could maybe check the action on this guitar.’
‘For you?’ - Here, dear reader, he literally looks me up and down and gives a little pause
This is why I generally avoid guitar dude spaces.
Anyway, I’ll pick up the guitar tomorrow and hope it’ll be easier to play.
posted by The Toad at 9:43 PM on July 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

On Tuesday, I hosted an Eef Barzelay home concert in my living room. I was looking forward to it all summer and it did not disappoint!

Nice! I haven't really followed his career or anything, but after I mixed Clem Snide once just after they released End of Love I went right out and picked up the album, and it's one of my favorites. It gets an obsessive listen for a few days at least once a year, and the whole "it's OK to incorporate noisy chaotic guitar in a quiet pop song" vibe has been a big influence in my playing in the current band I'm in.

‘Hi, I was wondering whether you could maybe check the action on this guitar.’
‘For you?’ - Here, dear reader, he literally looks me up and down and gives a little pause
This is why I generally avoid guitar dude spaces.

Yeah, fuck those guys. Hopefully their repair skills are much better than their social skills.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:06 PM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Marie Mon Dieu, good luck with your sleep study, I did an at-home one in June, it works well if you can sleep in one position all night to avoid the wires tangling. I did manage to get some sleep, they told me they only needed 4 hours to get the data.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:05 PM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I wish I could tell you something cool. Last night was brutal in Hong Kong, and it's just so hard to see how we recover from this point.

What's cool? I had a chance to live in this glorious city. I'm going to go for a walk up to the peak and try not to only think about what feels like an implosion. There are police everywhere. I had coworkers asking me if they could sleep at the stores because they were afraid to go home to the new territories.

Also, I love my big stupid blind dog.
posted by frumiousb at 3:41 AM on July 22, 2019 [16 favorites]

I'm currently in Austin, Texas at a tech conference for work. I'm speaking on Tuesday.

I was invited to speak at this conference (and the European version a few months back) by one of the senior developers at the company putting it on after we got to talking over Slack and he said I should come talk about some of my work with their product.

He and his coworker solicited a quote from me to use in the opening keynote speech.

I'm a little overwhelmed. I keep bouncing back and forth between "This is all really cool" and raging impostor syndrome.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:31 AM on July 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

I went camping this weekend and had booked it before the Midwestern heat wave. My original plan of a 12 mile hike was now unsafe and the rangers did not want anyone on the trails. My alternate plan: drop my my lawn chair in a shallow riverbed, smoke a joint, and people watch drunk floaters for half the day. A+ Would do again.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:42 AM on July 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

Oh! And during the blessing I mentioned that we were on Miwok land, and one of the longer-time church members said afterward that that was the first time he could remember any church member acknowledging the local indigenous people, and while I am sad that is the case, I was pleased that he was pleased and I hope that we can start growing that awareness into something more.
posted by lazuli at 6:22 AM on July 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

We spent $200 on two additional fans for the stage for our two outdoor gigs this weekend, one at a winery where the heat index put the temperature at 105º when we took the stage at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, and another at a private pool where the heat index put the temperature at 108º when we took the stage at 2 p.m Sunday. I look forward to that pool gig every year—in lieu of paying musicians for the summer concert series it runs, the pool gives temporary memberships to the band members.
posted by emelenjr at 7:18 AM on July 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

Two divorced siblings (of which I am one) who basically despise each other will be celebrating their parents' 50th anniversary this weekend. I hope to have delightful awkward stories to share rather than miserable ones. Also I hope I get to see ocean other than just from airplanes.

The good part is that it's the beginning of my vacation (mainly staycation), so there will be fun things afterward.
posted by wellred at 7:30 AM on July 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

We have guests constantly, but recently my dad came to visit!

I spent yesterday reading a good book while riding on the back of the recumbent tandem bicycle. It was sunny out. There was lots of good summer fruit.
posted by aniola at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

My parents, my brother, his SO, my SO, and I went hiking at a creek up in the mountains. There was a really cool swimming hole, and one of my childhood friends randomly happened to be there with her wife and their kids, and they came along with us to get bbq after. It was a great day all around. This was the first time my and my brother’s SOs met one another and they got along really well. It was a good day.
posted by cirgue at 8:29 AM on July 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Update: They wound up not using my quote, but I've run into someone who is very excited to attend my session tomorrow. Apparently the thing I'm presenting on is exactly what she's looking for to solve a problem she's having. Go, me.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:29 AM on July 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm a day late for commenting. Sigh. Last week, I took a vacation day, so I had a 4 day weekend. I had planned on catching up on household stuff and doing some big time sewing for me! And just enjoying being at home. I got 50% of most of those things. Went thrifting on Thursday with my son. He found and excellent pair of Teva sandals and was all happy!
Friday was ok, just hotter and more humid than anyone needs. Mid Ohio. Nuff said.

Saturday, got up with a burning throat. (Should throw in that I was just recovering from my annual bad case of poison's always something. Sigh.) I assumed it was allergy related and went about my business. Partner got off early, and we threw together some trail bologna,
Cheese cubes and crackers and headed off to a winery nearby. Had a lovely afternoon, and all the while my voice was going all Lauren Bacall, head hurting, muscles aching...yep, I have succumbed to the summer crud. Sunday was 30 minutes up, thirty minutes down, as is today. I texted my director last evening to give her a heads' up that I wasn't coming to work today. So here I am on the sofa, with newly inside cat Teddy attending to my comfort as only a fluff ball giant cat can provide. (Other side note-we almost lost Ted a few weeks ago. He stopped peeing. Some heroic moves by our vet clinic and 10 days of nursing the big guy and we have a winner! I'm uploading a photo, will pop it in a separate message, since I need to do that with my more sigh.)

I can't tell you all how much I love Metatalktails!!
posted by LaBellaStella at 9:48 AM on July 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

Theodore the Big. I am not great at linking...sigh.
posted by LaBellaStella at 9:52 AM on July 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

LaBellaStella, your photo is password-protected. Need to see kitty!
posted by lazuli at 10:06 AM on July 22, 2019

Lazuli, can you point me to dummy proof instructions on how to post nice pics?! I checked the permissions on my docs page, and it says viewers can download...I can copy and paste and see the pic. Aarrgghh...I want you to see him!
posted by LaBellaStella at 10:39 AM on July 22, 2019

OK, so it looks like you can:

1. Open your photo on Google Drive.
2. On the top right of the page, click the three-vertical-dots for "More Actions."
3. Click on "Share."
4. On the bottom right of that box, click "Advanced."
5. Under "Who has access," you'll probably see something like "Private." Click the "Change..." next to that.
6. I'm guessing you would then choose the middle option, "On - Anyone with the link."
7. Click "Save."
posted by lazuli at 11:37 AM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Allow Fig to re-introduce herself --

I didn't suddenly (nor sparkily) button, I just wanted to ditch any association with my STBX who chose the handle "Mr. Fig". Card Club, repeated favoriting, etc will all still continue with minimal service disruptions.

Things are somehow both really good and really bad for me right now. It's a weird juxtaposition, and I've been all over the place emotionally. It's just a temporary morass to step through, though, and I see more light and good things up ahead. In the last week and a half, I had bad divorce news, a grandparent have surgery, an emergency plumbing repair to the tune of over $1K , and just complete garbage at work. But! I've had great moments with friends, new bf continues to be terrific, improved water pressure at my sink, and other little victories. So, yeah. It's a lot to deal with. siggggh. I'm grateful to have this community.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 12:00 PM on July 22, 2019 [29 favorites]

My little family (three humans, two cats) has quadrupled our living space over the last week! We are IN the new house. IN IT.

Also in it: a million boxes waiting for me to recover from this summer cold.

My partner took the child to Texas for a few days for a family visit, so it's just one human and two cats and a bunch of snotty tissues right now. This is actually rather nice, I have watched some Tuca and Bertie and some Spider-Verse and had one really good benadryl-assisted sleep. The cats are feeling clingy so I have the hairless one perched carefully on my knee as I type this.

I have replaced a toilet seat and three drawer pulls. I am poaching a chicken tonight. Small goals, easily achieved.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 2:48 PM on July 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Sparkly Buttons, I like your new name.

Lazuli, and anyone who wants to see the big cat who lives with me, I think I have enabled you to do that . Thanks, Lazuli, sorry it took me a while to get to it.
posted by LaBellaStella at 3:59 PM on July 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I feel some better knowing I am not the only one hacking and coughing. Misery really does
Iove company.
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:01 PM on July 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yay, fuzzy kitty belly! Totally worth the wait.
posted by lazuli at 4:21 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

He's Theodorable!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:31 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Look at all that FLOOF on Theodore’s belly!

I like the name Sparky Buttons as well. New beginnings... :-)
posted by bookmammal at 4:49 PM on July 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

(Blushing) He is rather magnificent, our Teddy. You can't tell from the pic, but he has curly belly ringlets, although some got shaved off during the scary time. Ted showed up around three years ago, skinny, covered in burrs and totally bewildered. He was so floofy, we couldn't tell what his sex was...I actually tried feeling up the poor guy, which confused both of us and did not yield any definitive answer. Had to take him to the vet for a bite wound a year ago and found that he is a neutered male. No chip, and we have to guess that based on his condition and how dispirited was, he was probably abandoned. Well, he's ours now, and that is that. He's a huge lover boy, and is feeling very full of himself. The other cats are all like, yeah, that only goes so far, lol! By the time cold sets in, things should be pretty well balanced with the herd. I have made secret cat beds all over the house, liberally spritzed with Feliway. We have three outside cats, who have apartments built in the garage, and 4 (counting Teddy's new to being inside status) inside/outside kitties.

Thanks for listening to me ramble while waiting for the cough meds to kick in. Hope everyone else not feeling well has a better day tomorrow!
posted by LaBellaStella at 7:07 PM on July 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

rednikki and I are currently taking care of this mountain of a cat, Kymani. He's funny, affectionate, soft and massive. And he has the tiniest kitten-like meow.

His owner said he's a Maine Coon, but I think he's a Norwegian Forest Cat.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:42 PM on July 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

He was so floofy, we couldn't tell what his sex was

Same deal with my fluffyboi Niko. I had to take the shelter's word for it when they listed him as male; the relevant anatomy is completely concealed by the impenetrable wall of floof at his far end. (The vet thinks he's at least part Norwegian Forest Cat like Kymani.) His kid brother keeps trying to sniff his butt, but he has to root around in there to find anything to sniff.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:58 PM on July 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

All the cats are the best cats!
posted by bookmammal at 8:11 PM on July 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Sparky Buttons, you've inspired me. I've been meaning to switch to a new username for a while now but didn't want to do that while in the midst of Telephone Pictionary.

But yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and do it and reintroduce myself to folks as needed.
posted by duffell at 9:00 PM on July 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

duffell is gone, long live sugar and confetti
posted by sugar and confetti at 9:01 PM on July 22, 2019 [16 favorites]

I have been busy!

My parents came to visit. That went about as well as I could possibly hope. My parents are great, but I don't do well with round-the-clock contact with literally anyone.

After that, we went on a vacation to Detroit. Detroit is cool and fascinating, and I have lots of questions. There may be an AskMe in my future if I can figure out how to formulate my questions.

Now I am in New York. I went to the Codeland conference, which is literally just the best thing in the world. I am, on some level, always going to feel more at home in New York than where I currently live, which is too bad, because there is literally no way I could afford to live here. I am soaking in the New Yorkness before I go back.

Oh, and I applied to the Business Analytics program at my friendly local business school. I cannot believe that I am contemplating having anything to do with a business school, because I am opposed to the concept of business school on principle. It seems like a possible way to get some skills that could be relevant to my non-business goals. Anyway, there may be an AskMe about that, as well, assuming that I actually get in.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had a date Tuesday that was dinner at a Nicaraguan restaurant and a make out sesh on a blanket in my backyard.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:03 PM on July 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

I had the following conversation with my daughter just as we left to take our dog for a walk:

Me: Are you sure you want to bring that wand along?
DD: Yes! I will show it to the butterflies and they will think I am a butterfly. Better than plain old me.
Me: Plain old you is wonderful!
DD (dismissively): I'm going to be a butterfly princess. That means I will be a butterfly and a princess at the same time.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 12:49 PM on July 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

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