Just Happy Things February 4, 2020 12:02 PM   Subscribe

The week is just starting and I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed. Let's talk about something unrelated to politics. Share something happy with the community, anything at all. Maybe you had the opportunity to pet/play with a puppy. Or it could be the tasty grilled-cheese sandwich you ate for lunch. Whatever it is, share a bit of your happy with the rest of the community. As always, be kind to yourself and to others.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 12:02 PM (107 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I plan on playing Bloodborne tonight, and eating cut up oranges that have been pulled out of the fridge. They just taste better when they're cold. These are the things I'm looking forward to that are going to bring me some happiness. Also, Mrs. Fizz and I are watching our way through Downton Abbey and we're enjoying hating on certain characters and being really catty with our comments.
posted by Fizz at 12:05 PM on February 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

Yesterday I went for a long walk and listened to the most recent episode of This American Life, The Show of Delights. It was delightful.
posted by amf at 12:16 PM on February 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

The sun is coming back. Mornings and evenings are noticeably lighter now. February and March open out really quickly.

Nights are lit by the waxing moon, with Venus clearly visible.

Spring flowers are coming up. Snowdrops, little irises, an optimistic crocus here and there.

Cats don't know there's anything wrong with the world. They still twine round your ankles and ask for breakfast, same as always.

I seem to be singing OK at the moment. My voice wasn't working at all in 2018, so I switched teachers. After a year's work, I've got to where singing feels good again.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:30 PM on February 4, 2020 [20 favorites]

My husband just picked up my parents from the airport and they're heading here! Excited to watch their reunion with their grandson.
posted by peacheater at 12:45 PM on February 4, 2020 [9 favorites]

I saw two dogs playing in the dog park on my bus ride in this morning. They looked so happy.

I have tickets to a Kesha concert in May and am stupid excited about it. Her new album is a total bop.

It's no longer pitch black when I leave work.
posted by athenasbanquet at 12:50 PM on February 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

I took a wonderful, unscheduled nap with my lovely cat, Phoebe. She is soft and warm and snuggly and opinionated and kind. I love her.
posted by bookmammal at 12:51 PM on February 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

I found there's a group that's training for our local half marathon in March so I joined them for an eleven mile run at the weekend and it was great fun and the weather was really lovely for this time of year.
posted by crocomancer at 12:54 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Today, I am wearing a sweater I knit out of yarn I spun, socks I knit, and a skirt I sewed. Besides undergarments and my shoes, everything I have on is something I made myself. I'm pretty pleased about that.
posted by darchildre at 1:08 PM on February 4, 2020 [31 favorites]

The ukulele I impulse-ordered on Friday is waiting for me at home!
posted by wellred at 1:11 PM on February 4, 2020 [12 favorites]

I recently intervened in our old dog's medical regimen, and omg, she's doing so much better. She was on two medications, one of which I think is absolutely helping her, and the other of which I pretty much feel like was making her dead before death. She's gone from being mostly completely zombie-like and often unable to walk or even stand, to zooming around the house again, and galloping on walks. She still suffers from some old dog maladies, including some Alzheimer's type stuff, but SO MUCH BETTER now. She's eating better, she's so much more active, and so much less "oh, here's a corner; I will stand here immobile with my nose stuck into a dark corner for no reason except I can't figure out what else to do." *Time passes*

She's old. She will die. We know that. We want her end days to be as good as possible, and this change has made a huge difference. I'm so glad. (And so sorry that our regular Vet died a couple of years ago; he was a wonderful human who was a personal friend, and a great veterinarian. We've felt so lost without him.)
posted by taz (staff) at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2020 [32 favorites]

I have a job interview tomorrow.

I was at the grocery store today getting stuff for my mom and I noticed Chef Boyardee had these "throwback" cans of beef ravioli, lasagna, and beefaroni. Man, I grew up on those canned pastas and a couple years ago I tried a current version and they sucked so bad. I was so disappointed. But throwback! Maybe they taste like the ones I remember! Even if they don't, I got the joy of being able to buy them and bring them home and my husband is just as excited to try them as I am!

Yay being a latch-key kid of the 70s and 80s!
posted by cooker girl at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2020 [21 favorites]

We saw a financial planner today. We've been scared to face whatever reality we created for ourselves, but as soon as he started talking we knew he was the right person to help us. We feel better already.

Also, one of my friends got a kitten. He's lovely and is full of big, rumbly purrs and likes to nibble on your nose.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 2:05 PM on February 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

I'm recovering from some nasty week-long viral crud and am really enjoying being able to breathe through my nose, and speak entire sentences without convulsive coughing.

My daughter is a year and a half, and she is a little firecracker with pigtails and I love her dearly. She tries to run the household with a vocabulary of, like, twenty words. This weekend she wandered off in the house and returned clutching $50 cash in her tiny fist and handed it to me before going back to playing. We have no idea where she found it.

My son is almost five and is excitedly asking if it's his birthday yet. He thinks age five equals adulthood and often talks about "on my birthday I will be a grownup!" He wants a "dark blue" bicycle, and a rainbow themed party with a "rainbow balloon" cake. He's just entered the "watch this, Mom! hey, watch me!" phase where he does some little trick (tosses a ball or twirls on one foot) and I enthusiastically exclaim "wow, cool!"
posted by castlebravo at 2:08 PM on February 4, 2020 [18 favorites]

I got some really nice recognition from the CEO twice in the past week - one for noticing a software problem that was an easy fix to make our end -users happier and the other for speaking up when everyone else in the meeting was fully ready to plow ahead with a big announcement about a feature that wasn't fully deployed to all customers.
posted by Twicketface at 2:39 PM on February 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

Holy shit, I bought a house! And it’s kind of a wonderful house!
posted by thivaia at 2:46 PM on February 4, 2020 [35 favorites]

Like amf, I came in to plug the This American Life episode on delight! The segment where a 5-year-old is giddy about riding the bus made me laugh out loud multiple times. And I could listen to Bim Adewunmi for hours.
posted by sugarbomb at 2:52 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I took out 25% of my annual sales goal with one sale yesterday.
posted by COD at 2:57 PM on February 4, 2020 [20 favorites]

I won a small fellowship that will ensure I actually get a paycheck this summer as I finish writing up my thesis! I'm very relieved.
posted by sciatrix at 3:04 PM on February 4, 2020 [35 favorites]

I started doing Yoga with Adriene (on multiple MF recs) and am on Day 7 of my 30-day program and am 1) amazed at how inflexible I had become and 2) amazed at how much more flexible I am already!

I’ve apparently become a terrible cover thief. The other morning the good-natured man who shares my bed growled in my ear “You had a successful night last night.” I’m always amazed at the way he makes what could have been a fraught situation into something funny and loving. I have a girlfriend who also has this talent and I think it’s just the bestest way to be. I’m so thankful for both of them.

Last night I stupidly broiled polenta in a Pyrex baking dish and two seconds after taking it out it exploded in my face. Nobody was hurt! My dog was in the living room hiding from the kitchen exhaust fan and I seem to have been just far enough away. And now the kitchen floor is freshly washed!
posted by HotToddy at 3:05 PM on February 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

I'm getting new artistic inspiration from some larger collage and multimedia projects and dug out a sample Krink squeeze bottle alcohol ink marker that I'm turning out to absolutely love - such a pleasure to use, such good control, and even though it had been in a drawer for easily a year the ink is just fine.

Also my cats are really great, and the rescue I adopted ten months ago who was terrified of having me look at him now insists that I sit on the bed and hold him when I wake up in the morning and when I get home from work.
posted by bile and syntax at 3:18 PM on February 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

A friend who had dropped off the radar abruptly for a few weeks finally got back in touch and I have been enjoying his messages tremendously, with an extra dose of gratitude on top.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:32 PM on February 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

A few weeks ago, I took my cat to the vet for his regular checkup. In the waiting room, there was a woman with her three month old puppy, and a big, barky dog (and its owner) at the other end of the room. My cat does not care about barking dogs at the vet, he just puts on his grumpy old man face and declares the whole thing to be some kind of bullshit until we get home.

But the puppy, well, he was scared of the big, loud dog. So what does he do but stroll over and sit down directly on my feet, a position from which he would. not. move. Not even to go with his owner when she had to go pay the bill. I imagine he was thinking "nope, I'm just going to sit here and chill with this... uh... bear or whatever it is." It was hilarious and cute and I'm not even a dog person!
posted by FishBike at 3:37 PM on February 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

I posted about this on another thread as an anti-fuck (it is too a word), but...Mrs. Example and I got our indefinite leave to remain applications approved just last Friday. As of January 31st, we're permanent residents of the UK. It's been a long, hard, expensive road, but we're finally here.

Now for Phase 2 of Operation Filthy Foreigner: TAKIN' ALL YER JERBS.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:00 PM on February 4, 2020 [22 favorites]

Here is my list of happy things:
Thinking about the face Marc Maron makes on GLOW when he's irritated
A person I had a great date with texting me silly things
Coffee with mint cocoa creamer
Lunch and drawing intention cards with my 2 besties
Getting to see a favorite child soon
Connecting with a friend about how her toddler is growing into a very spunky little personality
Getting nice comments on a very labor-intensive cake that I made for a friend and getting to see the look on his face when I did the big reveal
Planning other cakes
Colors, pretty much any interesting color, in a plant or the sky or my coworker's shirt, I have a synesthesia around color and I love it
Liz Phair's voice
Getting a hug from my wife tonight when I get home
posted by fairlynearlyready at 4:04 PM on February 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

There are a lot of hard and shitty things happening right now, but my Yiddish class starts back up tonight and I am pleased!
posted by ChuraChura at 4:04 PM on February 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

My babies at work (12-18 months) painted at work today. Since it's winter, we have a winter theamed board going. I printed out pictures of boots, dropped paint and glitter on them, and sandwiched it between two pieces of plastic wrap. The babies banged on the plastic wrap to spread out the paint. They're so cute! I forgot to take a picture today, but here's an old picture of Ezra from Thanksgiving (hopefully the link works)
posted by kathrynm at 4:09 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

kathrynm, your link works. Adorable!

We recently picked up a Wii U (I know, we're rather late to the party), and this weekend we played Super Mario 3D World, and Mario can be a cat! Cat Mario can claw enemies, and CLIMB WALLS! And then we played Yoshi’s Woolly World, and it is the perfect feel-good game. Mildly challenging, low pressure, and ADORABLE.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:15 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I finally did the annoying work task that has been sitting at the top of my to do list for nearly two months and made me want to close my computer and go to bed with a case of the vapours every time I saw it. I'm not going to say it was easier than I thought, which is often the case with these things. It was pretty much exactly as irritating as I expected and it took about five hours. But now it's done! Hurrah!

(In related PSAs, if you want a quick response to an email, don't include a request for a whole lot of stuff that will take the person about five hours to do in the same email as the quick question).
posted by lollusc at 4:19 PM on February 4, 2020 [7 favorites]

After literally a decade-plus break from my first brief exploration of it, I started messing around with block-carving and -printing stuff again last week, and made a linocut this weekend that I'm actually really happy with and getting some what-comes-next ideas about as I limber back up on the medium.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:30 PM on February 4, 2020 [12 favorites]

Nights are lit by the waxing moon, with Venus clearly visible.

Not in the good ol' Pacific Northwest... ☁️🌥️🌨️
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:59 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Well, a lot of you gave me the support to feel better about stepping away from my toxic mother. What's funny is I've been thinking and I realized that whenever my phone rang I was always so glad to see it wasn't her. So I do feel pretty happy that now I can look to see who's calling without gritting my teeth.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:03 PM on February 4, 2020 [13 favorites]

First two kids of the season born on the farm today (to sweet Cinnamon, the most affectionate doe you ever did meet). Goat baby tax!
posted by youarenothere at 5:15 PM on February 4, 2020 [20 favorites]

I have taken to buying a Trader Joe's bunch of roses, once a month for my round kitchen table. The table is in a corner flanked with south and west windows. The roses and fruit bowl glow morning and evening through window lace light!
posted by Oyéah at 5:50 PM on February 4, 2020 [9 favorites]

I wrote an article in which I explained that a nineteenth-century book that a lot of historians thought was One Thing was very much A Different Kind of Thing Entirely, and got a very nice note from a historian indicating that the book would be reclassified pronto as the Different Kind of Thing Entirely in the new edition of the bibliography he was co-editing. This may be the first time in my career that specializing in 19th-c. religious fiction has had immediate practical use value...
posted by thomas j wise at 5:56 PM on February 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

I had a vacation day yesterday (Super Bowl Monday*) , and I spent some of it baking and eating a loaf of cranberry bread (Martha Stewart's recipe) and while it doesn't look as pretty as Martha's, it's delicious.

*As a person who's taken belly dance classes for several years now , Shakira's performance made me so happy. JLo too, but I can actually do some of the things Shakira did.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:05 PM on February 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

while it doesn't look as pretty as Martha's

As a relative of mine liked to say, "Ehh - my stomach ain't got eyes."
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:22 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Jolene turns two next week and already blew apart any of y'alls Ms. Parton challenges
posted by East14thTaco at 6:32 PM on February 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

Today was a travel day and literally everything went right: the freedom frisk was gentle and efficient, the flight was on time and smooth as silk, I made all my transit connections with almost no wait, and I got to the hotel just in time to register for an extra workshop at this conference I’m attending. Amazing.

I recently finished the Imperial Radch trilogy and I enjoyed it so very much. Is it possible to love a book tenderly? That’s sort of how I felt.

Little eirias wrote a poem about sadness today at school, not as an assignment, just because. It scans remarkably well for second grade. I see a future in writing for Hallmark.
posted by eirias at 6:50 PM on February 4, 2020 [12 favorites]

I played Settlers of Cataan for the first time on Monday, after watching the super bowl with friends, while tipsy, and won, bizarrely. Honestly, the fashion in which I won seemed as if I had a keen understanding of the rules and exploited them to my advantage, but mostly, it was me just asking "hey, uh, can I do this?" and my friends looking at each other like, "oh, there's just no way that's possible" then checking the rules and finding out that, yeah, I could. It was both fun and maybe a sign that it might not be the game for me.

Going to see Knives Out tonight with Mrs. Ghidorah, which I'm pretty happy about. We haven't seen too many movies together recently.

And, just to go with the post, for a good lord that's good grilled cheese sandwich, try the following:

pulled pork
nice bread (for your definition of nice)
southern carolina mustard based bbq sauce
gouda cheese
butter, though that could be overkill.

Heat the pulled pork, mixing with the bbq sauce. You could add all sorts of things in here: diced jalapenos, sauteed onions, more cheese; go crazy.

Smear the bbq sauce across the inside of the bread. Cover one slice with cheese, then pulled pork, then cheese, then the other piece of bread.

Here, buttering the outside of the bread is optional. Cook the sandwich in a pan. Crush the ever living fuck out of it with a foil wrapped brick. I mean, who has a sandwich press at home, right?

With the bottom side of the sandwich all nice and crispy, flip the sandwhich, and lay a slice of the cheese on top of the sandwich, letting it start to melt. When the second side of the sandwich is crispy, flip the sandwich, and grill the cheese into the bread. Repeat with the newly crispy side of the sandwich. Grill the cheese (on both sides) until it has reached crispy nirvana. Slice diagonally (because we are not monsters) or, into strips, because we will be dipping the sandwich into a steaming mug of cream of mushroom soup.

This was easily one of the most popular items at our restaurant.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:00 PM on February 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

I made a recipe I'd really wanted to try on Sunday and it turned out great and easy as well. (Lady and Pups' Chicken Galbi Ramen)

I saw a peregrine falcon on my walk home from work last week and a great blue heron on a lunchtime stroll yesterday.

I got return address labels as a freebie from a charity!

The gym in my apartment building finally switched back from the terrible ineffectual equipment wipes they were using recently to the better-quality ones they used to use.
posted by capricorn at 7:01 PM on February 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Okokokok, at like...2:47 Michigan time, I made an order of grilled cheese, and Chili.

A grilled cheese, Fizz.

I say, a good cook does the best they can with what's given.
A chef has to go out and find the best things to cook and serve.
Today, I used a warm bread knife and dang if the bread bowed less. What's happy, back to work after a week of bad knee. Broke but oddly grateful.
posted by clavdivs at 7:30 PM on February 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

We got my son some electronics-building-toys for Christmas. A few weeks later, he built a circuit that worked like a primitive memory: a light shining into a sensor that kept the light on. You could interrupt the path between the light and the sensor, and that would turn the light off, and then it stayed off until and unless an external light source was used to trigger the sensor, which then turned the circuit's own light back on. I was overjoyed at the time and couldn't wait to use it to talk about how systems can maintain their own stability.

Separately, I was treated very leniently when I was recently stopped by a cop while my son was in the car. I mentioned to him that, if our skin color were darker, I probably would not have been let off with a warning.

Anyway, it's Black Lives Matter week at my son's school. I had a really interesting discussion with him about how stereotypes persist in our culture, and we got to draw an analogy between the continued transmission of bigoted ideas in our culture and the persistent memory in his circuit. We talked about how we participate in the cultural circuit, and how if we want to change the circuit's behavior, we need to intervene, because it has mechanisms to stabilize itself. It can be rare for me to have that kind of success in communicating with my son, but every once in a while it's possible to connect what needs to be said very directly to the stuff he's interested in, and then it's like magic.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:48 PM on February 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

Duke. Duke is the happiest thing. The fluffiest boy. Maximum cute. Soft like an angel- loud like a... well he's a malamute he's talky. Kept flopping over to rub his head on things and attempt to go between our legs for pets and rides. Truly- the best boy.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:00 PM on February 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

I went to Learn The Words, Bitch last night and it's just my favorite show. It's a lipsyncing competition with open sign ups and the best crowd. Some of the performers are drag queens trying something out. Others are people finally showing everyone what they've been singing in secret in their bedrooms, and the crowd is there for it. The only time i've seen the crowd turn was two white girls doing Missy poorly. Otherwise it's people showing their true selves and the crowd telling them they are loved. It's just the best.
posted by Uncle at 9:20 PM on February 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

My cat slept with me for the first time ever last night.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:25 PM on February 4, 2020 [27 favorites]

Recently while wandering around town on a dull, blustery afternoon and feeling pretty down about a number of things, I stopped by a cozy little Montreal-style deli that I used to love but hadn’t been to in quite a while.

The place was quiet and the staff were in the middle of preparing for the evening. Since I happened to be seated at the counter and was showing a keen interest in all the food being prepped (even after finishing my poutine), I was recruited as the taste tester for a bunch of other things on the menu, including smoked meat, smoked salmon, matzo ball soup, and best of all, chopped liver with gribenes.

Amazingly, nobody in the place aside from the head chef was a fan of chopped liver, so I performed a valuable service by trying several generous samples from a fresh batch while he dialed-in the correct amount of seasoning. It made me so happy and was exactly what I needed at that moment. The staff also sent me home with a tub of the stuff since I’d been so helpful, and possibly also because they could tell it had really cheered me up.
posted by theory at 10:16 PM on February 4, 2020 [18 favorites]

I had to look up "gribenes" because I'd never encountered that word before...and now I want some really really badly. Lucky you!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:39 PM on February 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

theory, I'd just sent my mom off to the library to pick up a copy of the book Eating Delancey, which is chock full of recipes and stories about Jewish food. (It's a big, heavy book.) My mom was literally just talking about gribenes, which she misses from her own childhood, and now I'm wondering if Greg_Ace knows that it's pronounced like GRIB-uh-ness and not like gry-beans.

And I'd scrolled down just to tell you all that this thread was making me crave grilled cheese, but theory's post is making me hungry for all the childhood-recalled food I could get in Buffalo...but definitely can't get in Chattanooga. (I probably shouldn't have read this thread at 2:30a!) And I still have a week before I can get a real bagel, lox, and schmear.

This is the year that I'm working on noticing unpleasant things happening in my business or life and not absorbing that unpleasantness. (The world situation is a bit harder.) It's only 5 weeks in, but I'm maintaining my happy place by using my word-of-the-year. (Ample. It's not just for bosoms anymore!)

Oh, and ChuraChura? Zei gezunt!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 11:51 PM on February 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

After hearing and reading about it for so long, I've finally watched the movie "My Neighbor Totoro" on Netflix, and I am happy.
posted by applesurf at 12:26 AM on February 5, 2020 [13 favorites]

The Wrong Kind of Cheese: So much of the food at Jewish delis reminds me of stuff I ate growing up with Scandinavian-American family members in Minnesota. I think it's partly why I dropped by that place when I was feeling lousy and I was unconsciously seeking out comfort food. Cured salmon, smoked fish, pickled herring and various other pickled things, liver, rye bread, latkes with caviar that are like rarakor with roe... it feels like coming home.
posted by theory at 12:44 AM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

As a lark over Christmas holidays, I bought a trio of swan plants (milkweed), hoping we’d get a caterpillar or two. Fortnight later, I bought three more. As of this morning, we have 13 chrysalises and 14 caterpillars. This one should emerge soon. I’m binky bonky for butterflies!
posted by lemon_icing at 1:53 AM on February 5, 2020 [9 favorites]

Gribenes is the stuff that goes in potato kugel and makes it transcendent instead of just a potato onion muffin. It’s also the stuff that, if you’ve been helping in the kitchen and in general been a mensch, your mom will let you nibble on from time to time.

So good.

Oh god, this is so wrong (and definitely tref), but hear me out: grilled cheese with gribenes in the middle.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:24 AM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

I had an excellent panino today.
posted by mdonley at 3:43 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

My brain is BACK. I switched migraine preventives at long last after doctor wrangling and I am thrilled so far because as much as I loved not having migraines, the brain fog most of the morning was brutal. Waking up with full sentences and knocking off my to-do list by early evening feels like I've levelled up x10.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:18 AM on February 5, 2020 [9 favorites]

Sunday I got engaged. Next week we close on a house.
posted by jzb at 4:40 AM on February 5, 2020 [20 favorites]

I love the turn this conversation has taken! My family is terrible at even pretending toward kosherness and have always loved cheese on our deli sandwiches but no mayo. NEVER mayo (unless it's like, chicken salad with mayo already in).

My favourite grilled cheese is 12 (or, you know, lots of) grain bread with muenster (why don't Canadians eat muenster?) and some nice grainy mustard.

My ukelele is beautiful and so much easier on my hands than a guitar.
posted by wellred at 5:15 AM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's one week until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. ONE WEEK!!!! The Twins made a massive trade yesterday (goodbye prospect Brusdar Graterol, hello new starting pitcher Kenta Maeda) and although I'm sad to see Graterol go, I think it's a good trade. MLB is switching from Majestic clubhouse gear to Nike, so all Majestic jerseys are half-off to make room for the new ones. I bought my very first jersey ever - Berrios #17. (As you can see, I'm a fan of the pitchers). I'm so freaking thrilled!

I decided to try macrame on a whim and am pleased with the results. I made a wall hanging for my sun room. I have a lot of empty walls in the house and just sort of realized that I can fill them up myself with my low- and medium-brow arts and craft projects. Sky's the limit.
posted by Gray Duck at 6:31 AM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

OMG now I'm really craving my Grandma's borscht.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:38 AM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

It's official! We're making challah at the bakery now! First batch wasn't up to snuff but I know what went wrong and we'll have it for sale within the week!
posted by East14thTaco at 6:41 AM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

I get to work from home today because of the Chiefs' Super Bowl parade. No way am I going down there to stand around in the cold for hours (especially when I've already got a cat on my lap and one more to either side), but I'm enjoying the local news coverage and the intermittent groups of happy fans hoofing it past the house on their way to Union Station. I'm not a big NFL supporter, to say the least, but even I have to admit it's been an exciting few days in KCMO.
posted by slenderloris at 7:18 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yesterday I was in my car waiting for kids to exit the school bus, and two little girls galumphed out of the bus and then they went skipping down the sidewalk. You can tell when a little kid has just learned how to skip.
posted by scratch at 7:19 AM on February 5, 2020 [11 favorites]

I met a big friendly doggo last week, and when I knelt down to greet it properly it started to groom (aka lick) my hair. An odd but reassuring experience.

Just after that, my new colleague and her husband took me out to their local Indian restaurant (Sizzling Dhaba [Winnipeg, MB]) and it was ace!
posted by scruss at 7:26 AM on February 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

"Gribene" as a name doesn't tell you much about the internal structure (like "toluene", it predates IUPAC) but it appears to be an amorphous solid containing aromatic onion rings.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:35 AM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

LOL. Thinking of it pronounced "gry-bean" is awesome. [It's grib-uh-nuhs, or at least in the Boston Yiddish accent which can be weird.]
posted by wellred at 7:39 AM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Currently waiting for my mum at the Eurostar terminal!
posted by ellieBOA at 7:50 AM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was homesick. I booked eye-wateringly expensive tickets and went home instead of trying to talk myself out of it. Hugged my parents. Met my best friend. Got in some long walks at my favourite haunts. Revelled in winter sunshine and nippy evenings.
It was good.
Love this thread. Thanks for starting it up, Fizz ♥️
posted by Nieshka at 9:12 AM on February 5, 2020 [11 favorites]


Next time you roast a chicken, take the chicken itself out to rest and then fry potato dumplings in the roasting pan. The dumplings pick up all the chicken fat and the bits of chicken skin and mmmmmm.

Roast chicken and potato dumplings. Definitely a happy thing.
posted by rue72 at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

By the way, since we're talking recipes :P I'll share my old-dog-won't-eat-aaargh recipe, in case it helps anyone else. I cook a chicken quarter (leg-thigh piece, bc it has more flavor than breast) in the pressure cooker with about a cup or 3/4 cup of water, about an ice cream scoop of rice, and a handful or two of small mixed frozen vegetables (ours has green beans, potatoes, carrots, red bell pepper and peas -- no corn); cook on high for 30 minutes, allow it to depressurize naturally. We shred / cut the chicken into small pieces (she has some issues chewing) and give her a portion in her bowl with a couple of tablespoons of the rice / veg. Save the rice and veg mix together with its liquid in a container in the fridge and add to the chicken (and heat it all up a bit in microwave) as needed.

She's actually eating this, which is a marvel because she's been refusing anything but just cooked meat of some type, and hardly eats any of that. If we added anything else, she just wouldn't eat. Canned dog food or kibble is right out. We've fed her steak, chicken, ground beef, pork, liver, and, in desperation, Spam, but she's barely been eating it, and getting so thin. But she will eat this! I usually do a light sprinkle of garlic powder, too, to rev the flavor. (I know, garlic isn't supposed to be good for dogs, but that's contested for very small amounts, I use very little, and it helps). I think pressure cooking it all together is the key (because we tried rice and veg, sweet potato, etc. in her meat bits before, and it was no-go) because the non-chicken stuff becomes totally infused with the chicken flavor and it's all soft enough and small enough to go down easily. (Believe me, if she KNEW she was eating carrots at all, she would be So Mad. Dog is not a carrot fan. In the old days she used to expertly deconstruct her bowl of food and manage to eat around every single little carrot bit)
posted by taz (staff) at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

I didn't watch the superbowl, but saw one commercial that just slays me with the smiles: the Doritos Cool Ranch one. The entire thing is just spot on perfect and I absolutely love the horse going "neigh" at the end.
posted by mightshould at 11:35 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Roast chicken and potato dumplings.

My usual method is to roast the chicken off the bottom of the pan in a V-shaped rack (with some water in the bottom to keep the dripping fat from smoking before it has a chance to accumulate); meanwhile I'll cut up 3 or 4 potatoes into 1" - 1.5" pieces and season them. Once the chicken is maybe 2/3 done - and the water has evaporated off so just the fat is left - I stir the potatoes around in the pan and stick the whole business back in the oven for everything to finish cooking. The potatoes come out crunchy brown outside, fluffy inside, and tasty oh yes.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

We've fed her steak, chicken, ground beef, pork, liver, and, in desperation, Spam

Do you know if your dog would be interested in fish?

My dog looooooves sardines. She's not a morning person and won't eat before her walk, so if I really need her to eat breakfast, I give her a can of sardines (with skin/bone and canned in water). I pour it over kibble so that the kibble soaks up the extra "juice," but rice would work, too.

I'm sorry that your pup is having so much trouble!
posted by rue72 at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

We have tried fish! She used to eat sardines (and some other fish things) happily, but in this stage of food refusal won't touch it. Now that I've adjusted her medication, though, I think I'll try it again, just in case; thanks for the reminder! The fish oil would probably be good for her joints if she'll eat it.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:02 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

At my doctor today, my “numbers” have improved to the point where at every visit, I am instructed to take less and less medicine. Having your doctor be happy with you for serious lifestyle changes over the course of time is rewarding in a way that few things are.
posted by 41swans at 1:55 PM on February 5, 2020 [14 favorites]

I currently have 666 favorites :D
(thanks, 41swans!)
posted by Sparky Buttons at 2:26 PM on February 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

This is such a comforting thread. All wishes for more happiness for everyone.
Someone recommended Florence Price's music--I want to say it was someone on MetaFilter, but I can't find it if so--and I'm finally starting to listen to it, and this sonata is SO GOOD. (It's also kind of making me cry, because my father would have loved it, but there you are.)
posted by huimangm at 3:21 PM on February 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

Kato the Cat continues to amuse me. If I walk into the bedroom, he immediately jumps up onto the bed and rolls around, waiting to have his belly rubbed, as seen here, with bonus pics of his various activities.

Kato likes looking at the birds on the suet feeder. We have at least one pair of Downy Woodpeckers. You can see here, from the male pic taken a month ago, to the female taken today, how much our snow pack has eroded.

We have a snow storm coming tomorrow, which will last two days, and there will be some ice on Friday, followed by more snow. I am grateful that Mr. Mon Dieu has vacation time, and he is taking both days off. I've made some cretons, some chicken salad, and some apple bran flake bread. I used the Kellogg's bran muffin recipe, but I subbed in bran flakes for the all bran, added an egg and some cinnamon and ginger, plus a tiny bit more flour. I grated one large Granny Smith apple into the mix, but I think I could have used two. I baked it at 350 for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick came out clean. Mr. Mon Dieu got up and stole a piece in the middle of the night, so I guess he liked it.

The sun is rising earlier and also it's rising more to the north. Here is a pic from December 12, 2019.

Here is a pic from this morning, February 5, 2020. If you put them side by side, you can see that the sun has moved left, up on top of the hill across the way.

Last week, I saw two eagles circling above the lake. The tree branches are in the way, so I can't take pics, but it's mating season. I feel lucky to be witness to nature in all its forms here, even as Kato the Cat brought down the curtain with his scrabbling at the feeder. I told him he'd do it, but he didn't listen, silly old thing.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:33 PM on February 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

Happiest thing in weeks: it's raining! So much rain! Like, more rain forecast over the next five days than we have seen in several years. At the high end of the forecast they are suggesting it could be around 300mm of rain over the next five days (the lower end forecasts around 150mm, which is still huge). It might fill some of the reservoirs that were perilously close to completely empty. And it's actually enough to have a solid effect on the bushfires. (It's also enough that it could potentially cause flooding, but we won't talk about that.)
posted by lollusc at 4:50 PM on February 5, 2020 [13 favorites]

(That's like a third of our annual rainfall total, but all at once).
posted by lollusc at 4:51 PM on February 5, 2020

I have tickets to a Kesha concert in May and am stupid excited about it. Her new album is a total bop.

You are in for an amazing night. She's touring with Big Freedia right now and if you have never seen Big Freedia perform before please let me advise you to not miss the opening act.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:52 PM on February 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

Oh gosh, what a great thread! So that's one of my joys right now! But wait, there's more....weirdly, many of them are work related.

*After 15 years and 2 reorganizations and much uncertainty, we finally have a leader at my workplace who is amazing. She is energetic, and smart, and does so much for us. The future is uncertain, but we have a chance of making it through this horrible higher ed environment in this state.
*Related: Today a program was announced that partners with a local high school to bring students to our campus. If all goes as planned, it will bring more enrollments here, and especially exciting, more underrepresented and first-generation college students, which is our specialty! I am SO excited about this!
*We received notice of a small grant funding today
*I had to send an email that I was scared to send to another grant partner, basically saying "we are at an impasse to recruit the types of students you/granting agency want into our program at this time." I was scared because we are over a semester in, and in summer, this lead grant partner was really pushing moving super fast. But it was fine! She wrote back and said, don't worry, hang in there, we will figure this out when we meet at the annual meeting later this spring! Yay !
*My kids, at 14 and 11, remain both maddening and absolutely delightful. I'm so happy I'm their mom.
*I'm making chicken piccata for dinner. It smells really good in here.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 5:35 PM on February 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

Oh, AND...my spouse went to Costco yesterday and bought me some new dry erase markers for work. New dry erase markers are always delightful!
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 5:36 PM on February 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

It's snowing here in Austin. The girls are delighted.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:45 PM on February 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

My mother finished her last radiotherapy treatment and has, as predicted. got worse. But now we are in the period where we can see the teensiest, tiniest improvements and I am utterly sick with relief. Also, the internet - which has been out for 10 days due to a lightning strike - has come back. Probably just in time to go out again due to flooding (because, Australia!) but I've got a serious case of cabin fever and a Netflix backlog. I have made myself a small pot of delicious sencha and peach tea and I am drinking it out of a ridiculously pretty little Chinese-style tea cup.
posted by ninazer0 at 8:51 PM on February 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

I have two fresh loaves of the glorious cinnamon bread from Wagner’s European Bakery in Olympia, WA. It is the best cinnamon bread in the world. One is for eating this week and one will go in the freezer for dark(er) times.
posted by centrifugal at 9:42 PM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

This week has been one of mixed results. A festering personal issue is still festering; it's not likely to either improve or deteriorate, so I'll take what I get, and smile. On the other side of the ledger, two of my stories are being published this week in smallish venues. (yay)

Also, I finally got the words down to another song for the fiddlers. (Oh joy) I play rhythm guitar, so I stand in back of the group, but what the hell, it's show biz.

My computer came back from the shop Tuesday. The old hard drive turned into a hockey puck last week, so I got another one, and I was lucky to have been able to clone the goddam hockey puck before it went tits up. (yippie) (I don't know what SSD is, but I guess I love it.)

My silver lining has a cloud, but I still have the dirty side down (so, yay again). I know something awful just happened on the national level, but it somehow has been seared out of my brain and I hope I never find out what it was.
posted by mule98J at 7:33 AM on February 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

My boyfriend gave me the best birthday present I could ever ask for: a love note and plane tickets to come see him. So happy right now. My heart is very full. My boyfriend, my dog, my parents, my friends -- how did my life fill up with love so suddenly?
posted by rue72 at 8:48 AM on February 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

A reply to an ask, that I can't make, according to the basic format. I have musicians in my immediate family they are musically gregarious, finding play dates is a feast of possibilities. Anyway...
My band found our excellent drummer on craigslist.
I wanted to ask, "That is all well, and good, but did they come in the original box?"
Then it gets worse. Living alone has its pros and cons.
Things went south in my neighborhood last week, I was not involved except to be friendly with several people of the puzzle. Again this morning, Police type vehicles were on this tiny section of street, visiting with my neighbors. It is not over, as major crazy has a way of persisting, like a hole formed in the seductive, soft candy shell, of hell. I have lots of windows, to ignore, except for the excellent clear blue skies of this February day. Just to mention, this is a lovely piece of street, with a mix of people, old home owners, renters, new buyers to the gentrification.
posted by Oyéah at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

One of my roommates has a 9-month-old cat, Zut. Zut is all black (although, in the right light, she has very very very faint stripes) except for 8 white hairs on her chest.

I do not know where she learned this behavior but, every time I come home from work, from wherever Zut is sitting, she'll look at me, close her eyes, nod her head back and make a little "Mewp!" noise. It's, like, the feline equivalent of "'sup?" and it makes me happy inside every time she does it.

I'm at work, but I'll try to post appropriate cat tax later.
posted by hanov3r at 12:36 PM on February 6, 2020 [9 favorites]

It’s not fully public yet, so apologies for being vague, but a stressful situation resolved itself in an incredibly beneficial way. The fear I had been feeling has been replaced by optimism because the way this very quickly played out was very much like the universe repeatedly shoving a Magic 8 Ball in my face showing “all signs point to yes.”

I recently scored some amazing vintage finds on the cheap, specifically a grey double breasted silk trench coat that has a very fancy label but was in my budget for a needed spring weight jacket. It’s a delight to wear and touch and it is stunningly crafted. Buying high-end clothing affordably secondhand has become my thing. I’ve been replacing my wardrobe after a getting sober weight loss and I think this is the best way to do it.

Fashion entertains me in a variety of ways. While I love hunting down good deals on classical pieces that fit my style, I also made a hobby of finding wildly impractical pieces and posting them on my social media with snarky commentary. Today, I bought a domain so I can blog the good and the bad, and I’m really excited about that. It will be a good creative outlet for me and since I don’t actually get out of the house much to wear my finds, I’ll have a place to show them off. Also, I managed to snag an iconic domain name involving pockets, thanks.
posted by Ruki at 12:52 PM on February 6, 2020 [9 favorites]

I think I’m gonna get to leave soon.
posted by ferret branca at 1:20 PM on February 6, 2020 [11 favorites]

I just billeted for a week a nice young chorist from Riga, Latvia.

Latvians are really into their choirs, including huge massed choirs.

This was a smaller tour and involved a concert with some local vocal groups in a lovely colonial era church, in whose graveyard the original real life Miss Havisham from Great Expectations is said to be buried.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:07 PM on February 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

Fizz: I plan on playing Bloodborne tonight

I can't even get past the first boss battle! ARGH, that game is so frustrating!

I might get my Death Stranding platinum this weekend, though.

Keep on keeping on!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:32 PM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just received a late Christmas parcel in the mail from my Mum. It was just stocking stuffers (tea towel, puzzle book and a bag of Cadbury's Magical Elves chocolates), but it cheered me up immensely after a bit of a rubbish day at work.
posted by Kris10_b at 4:26 PM on February 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

I got a big raise. :)
posted by Kitchen Witch at 8:49 PM on February 6, 2020 [10 favorites]

I was greeted home from work with the most delicious hug from my taller-than-me-13-year-old daughter.
posted by gryphonlover at 9:45 PM on February 6, 2020 [6 favorites]

A good friend and I have a Friday night totally free of childcare and other responsibilities to just hang out, get some dinner, drink beer, and play a board game. I am really looking forward to it.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:32 AM on February 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just heard a talk in which the speaker said two things:

1. In India there is one neuropsychologist for every twenty seven MILLION people
2. Actual patient care requires intensive individualized follow up

And she proceeded to tell us about a time when she worked with a vulnerable (poor, low IQ, previously intractable epilepsy) patient experiencing significant stigma that was threatening her marriage even though her disease had been managed - and how the solution was for this neuropsychologist, whose theoretical case load could include twenty seven MILLION people, to personally invite the in-laws of this one patient to her office to discuss the realities of the condition - and so she did that, and she saved a marriage, and six years later her patient is still happily married with a child.

How does this even. I mean. I had to leave the sessions and go stare at the snow for a while, tears pricking my eyes. How is it that some people faced with a workload that is never ending and literally impossible respond to it by deepening their own humanity? This is the closest this atheist gets to reverence.
posted by eirias at 9:38 AM on February 7, 2020 [10 favorites]

I just got official permission from my boss to miss an outreach event (as long as I organize it and get IRB approval) to go see Angelique Kidjo's once-in-a-lifetime 60th Birthday Party concert at Carnegie Hall with my mom for her birthday. I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ChuraChura at 9:42 AM on February 7, 2020 [10 favorites]

I'm currently reading a book which has a chapter about the evolution of the American beaver, so I was wondering whether we have beaver populations here in Scotland. It turns out that as the result of a reintroduction programme, yes, we do now, and I live in an area where the beaver population has grown so much in the last five years that we're now exporting beavers to start colonies elsewhere in the UK. Which I thought was pretty awesome.
posted by offog at 10:35 AM on February 7, 2020 [9 favorites]

I finally got and installed a graphics card that's powerful enough to do VR stuff and hooked up an HTC Vive system that I've had sitting around for... ummmm... 17 months.

And then I played (and watched my gf play) Beat Saber for HOOOOURS and it was joyous and amazing and so much fun.
posted by hanov3r at 11:53 AM on February 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just saw Jason Alexander at lunch and I did not embarrass myself by saying something dumb to him about his being a nap-under-the-desk hero to me. I am very proud of myself.
posted by queensissy at 5:14 PM on February 7, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm currently on vacation in Ilhabela, Brazil, a small island off the Atlantic coast 4 hours from Sao Paulo. It's quite beautiful, plus it's more of a place for locals, not as many Chilenos, Argentinos or Gringos, and people, while super friendly, don't really speak any Spanish. All these things are good, they make it more disconnected.
posted by signal at 5:18 PM on February 7, 2020 [5 favorites]

I got the Platinum for Bloodborne. Played through the game many times, could never force myself to not do the Gehrman (and Moon Presence) fight. Swallowed my pride and felt stupidly good when that trophy popped. Five years in the making.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:19 PM on February 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

The kitten that moved in last May is such a character. Links to Instagram evidence:
Exhibit 1 (just taken a few min ago)

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:00 PM on February 7, 2020 [8 favorites]

Sparky Buttons, I'd say that kitten has grown into a very happy cat! Good job!
posted by mightshould at 3:28 AM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

We had a family birthday dinner for my oldest son last Monday. All four grandparents were there and the siblings & niece & nephew who live nearby. I was overwhelmed that our aging parents are alive and in reasonable health, that not only do my husband and I get along with our families but our families get along with each other, that my husband is doing great after bypass surgery, and that the birthday boy was eating me out of house and home. He was under two pounds at birth so to see a robust preteen is fantastic.
It was like a tsunami of gratitude. Like many of you parts of the past year have been challenging but coming together to share a meal with family (or friends) will always bring me joy.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:01 AM on February 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Just showed my kids Mary Poppins (which neither my wife nor I had seen since we were very young) and they were very impressed. My son now believes it is the best movie ever. My daughter could not stop herself from running around and jumping during the chimney-sweep dance.

I always have earworms, so Julie Andrews has been pestering me all weekend to feed the birds.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 9:33 AM on February 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

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