Metatalktail Hour: Latest Obsession March 6, 2021 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Happy weekend, MetaFilter! This week, I want to know what your latest obsession is! It can be anything, but links are def appreciated so we can all go get obsessed with it.

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter! Let us know what's up with you!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:43 PM (132 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:45 PM on March 6, 2021 [11 favorites]

Amazon saw me surfing lego sets for my kids for Christmas, and started recommending me minatures, so eventually I bought a miniature room set and built it and it is AWESOME and it was SO relaxing -- you get to focus really hard on something very small and specific but it doesn't matter very much, so your mind is engaged but not stressed. I did this one. Because tiny library! Anyway, I'm definitely doing more, it's very calming.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:47 PM on March 6, 2021 [13 favorites]

I have been weirdly obsessed with 3D printers lately, and I've been toying with the idea of getting one.

The fact that I currently have no idea what I'd do with one has not been as much of a deterrent as you might imagine.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:00 PM on March 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

Clicking refresh to try to get and schedule a vaccine appointment.
posted by AugustWest at 4:19 PM on March 6, 2021 [14 favorites]

19th century women. Went down a huge rabbit hole reading about Louisa May Alcott and her ... interesting father; this lead to rereading my biographies of Julia Ward Howe, Laura Bridgman and Annie Sullivan; now I’m into the dual biography of Alva and Consuelo Vanderbilt (wow!!). Not sure who will be next; might go backwards and do Abigail Adams.
posted by Melismata at 4:41 PM on March 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

I’ve been obsessed with booking vaccine appointments for my parents and finally got that done this morning after many days of clicking/refreshing. I’m exhausted and relieved.
posted by bookmammal at 4:44 PM on March 6, 2021 [14 favorites]

River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey. Alternate US history with queer hippo-riding outlaws!
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:44 PM on March 6, 2021 [6 favorites]

I finally learned how to crochet, and now all I want to do is crochet tiny stuffed things. Crocheting is so much faster than knitting! It is the perfect craft for my short attention span.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:44 PM on March 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

Now that I've perfected air-fried tacos dorados, I've been making them a couple of times a week. Tacos dorados are traditionally pan-fried, and are a medium-crunchy, sort of chewy, not-quite-hard-shell taco cooked with the meat or primary ingredient inside a butter-laden corn tortilla and then filled with toppings. Even using vegan meat or mushrooms and a select few brands of purchased restaurant style salsas, I've nearly recreated my holy grail taco from the now-closed Mama's Mexican Kitchen. I couldn't be happier!
posted by QuakerMel at 4:54 PM on March 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

Countertop nachos.
posted by General Malaise at 5:22 PM on March 6, 2021 [6 favorites]

I know I have mentioned this one million times but I have gone down the Peloton app rabbit hole and am very happy down here. I know, I'm such a cliche.

Also I'm watching Murder among the Mormons on Netflix and it is craaaaazy!!

But my main obsession is trying to figure out where these fucking ants are getting in. They're huge and crunch revoltingly when you squish them. I keep plugging up what I think are the entry points with silicone caulk but there they are again.
posted by HotToddy at 5:22 PM on March 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Countertop nachos.
posted by General Malaise at 5:22 PM

Are you obsessed with watching the video? Or with recreating the video?
posted by QuakerMel at 5:50 PM on March 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

I’m 3 books into a dive into Peruvian (Incan) history, both pre-Columbian & the Pizzaro conquest, and will probably continue it if I can ever get through this interminable self-help book I have to read because of my childhood. I know it’s all touristy these days, but I REALLY want to go walk the Inca road from Cuzco to Machu Picchu right now.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

I was going to say something like "the end of coronavirus lifestyle" (oh, to go to the grocery store without having to mask up first or obsessively declothe/handwash afterward!) - which is true, but other people have already mentioned it. So I'll go with learning new chord voicings and progressions on piano instead. I recently managed to figure out a tritone substitution "in the wild", i.e. hearing it on my own and working it out without getting it from a book. So I'm happy about that.

Second place is figuring out the least expensive way to connect my MIDI-compatible keyboard to some of the less outrageously-expensive Fender Rhodes and Hammond B-3 software implementations so I can noodle around with those sounds (my keyboard has some built-in electric piano and jazz organ sounds, but...meh). Happy to hear any suggestions from fellow MeFites!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Murder Shows
posted by Stanczyk at 6:22 PM on March 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

18xx games! I started playing live 1860 with some friends, I added a few asynch games because why not, and now I have 9 going, from 1849, 18MEX, 1830, and 1889. It's a blast and while I'm still learning how to be good, it is a lot of fun.

Shout out to mefite mightgodking who I randomly found myself in a game with and I said wait I know that user name!
posted by Carillon at 6:34 PM on March 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Are you obsessed with watching the video? Or with recreating the video?

posted by General Malaise at 6:45 PM on March 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm obsessed with finishing this guy.

And my fish tank.
posted by bondcliff at 7:25 PM on March 6, 2021 [11 favorites]

The cutest frog in the world and his friendsnacks the wild isopods. The isopods seem to have a lot of babies. I have no idea if any of my springtails are still alive.
posted by amtho at 7:46 PM on March 6, 2021 [13 favorites]

I had not had an oven for months, and finally I overcame my inertia and ask the property managers to get mine fixed, couldn't be, then they brought a sub standard one and I got my land lady involved and ended up getting exactly the new stove I wanted, by finding a good sale on it. What I didn't know is it comes with a griddle that fits over two burners! It has a quick release surface, which I have never cooked with, but for now, I am the quesodilla queen. I bought shredded cheese and street taco sized tortillas, have various things to put in them, and they are great with soups, and as a small meal later in the evening. It's a small thing, but having a big oven again is great! Yup! I have to become obsesses with walking again, this isolation is getting to me, and the quesodillas are going to add up. So...And I got my van running again, with all new water system, and gas lines, and much much more. Can't wait to get out and about.
posted by Oyéah at 8:01 PM on March 6, 2021 [15 favorites]

I don’t want to categorize this as an obsession exactly, but I have spent the last few weeks rewatching Buffy start to finish (and reading along with the Fanfare threads from 2015). I’m feeling a little bogged down with the grim sadness of season 6 so I’m taking a break from it this weekend.
posted by janepanic at 8:10 PM on March 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

wouldn't call it an obsession, but on recommendation of a friend i recently listened to jamie loftus' (previously, previouslier) 10-part lolita podcast. _content_warning_for_sure_!!! it was excellent. previouslies both describe loftus as a comedian but there is no comedy (or almost none) here. i've never read the book or seen any of the movies; probably will not start now. i'm not much of a podcast listener (except, over the past year, this week in virology). next up, on same friend's recommendation, robert evans' the women's war, about rojava (previously and previouslier).

i think that friend would probably suggest i am obsessed with watching (u.s.) congress on c-span. but i don't watch it that much and swear i can quit any time.

also i have been listening to quite a bit of vladimir vysotsky.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:18 PM on March 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

My tomato, tomatillo, eggplant and pepper seedlings. I go into my boiler room and look at them several times a day. They're the least stressful living things in my care and they're adorable.
posted by centrifugal at 9:46 PM on March 6, 2021 [12 favorites]

Crash Landing on You on Netflix was just delightful and I'm recommending it to everyone these days. My sister got even more obsessed than I did and has gotten her friends into it too. The premise is that an ultra-rich South Korean woman gets blown into North Korea while paragliding and lands on top of a super hot soldier. Romance, adventure and comedy ensue. I just had so much fun in that world.

Also, I have been playing a lot of Spelling Bee and now my sister and I are getting competitive.
posted by carolr at 4:24 AM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

My latest obsession has been watching Schitt's Creek on Netflix. This has to be one of the best comedies I've ever seen.
posted by Roger Pittman at 4:30 AM on March 7, 2021 [12 favorites]

I went down a rabbit hole of Russian language refresher courses and found one at Middlebury College. That reminded of that guy I knew, wasn’t he at Middlebury?

I finally remembered his name and found his obituary. He died in 2011 and he had so many amazing life experiences.

For a year or two we spent eight hours together every Saturday - my role was to fix everything wrong with his website and printer and internet but make him think that he did it. I knew he’d had a fascinating life but we never became closer than our business relationship.

I hadn’t thought of him for years - for more than ten years anyway.
posted by bendy at 4:35 AM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

And another one:

I spend a lot of time down rabbit holes.

Tonight I started thinking of movies I really like. I did a search on iMDB and scrolled through the first 1450 titles.

There were some movies I remembered but they sparked memories of other movies whose titles I couldn't remember.

What movies are these?

1. catch snitchy? - edward norton
2. marlee matlin and james carville? documentary
3. stephen king four stories (cockroaches, buried on the beach, grass growing…)
4. bjork thing
5. jeremy irons
a. twin gynecologists
b. having an affair with his son’s fiancee, Juliette Binoche
6. kid who lives in the clock in grand central?
7. the guy who lived in the fake neighborhood with the cameras on all the time
8. the rose family divorce - danny devito and a woman who is probably taller than him.
9. sf fixer upper house - Potrero
10. keitel and winslet in australia - something about cigars
11. five (grams)
12. parents are not aware of drugs. two kids on drugs - basement, suburb home
13. bomb guy in middle east - explodes at the end - woman director ❤️
14. the one where the guy shows up on christmas with a stack of posterboard notes and a boombox
15. asian girl/older man on train
16. fast, cheap and ??? - documentary, naked mole rats
17. tom hanks on an island
18. salma hayek threesome on vacation
19. scarlett johannssen and kevin spacey in japan
20. madonna first movie, drying armpits with hand dryer
21. the swimming pool? young woman, middle-aged woman, pool boy? (not porn)
22. medical students experiment with near-death experiences - kiefer sutherland
posted by bendy at 4:45 AM on March 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

bendy—I think I know some of them—
2. Could be the documentary The War Room—about Clinton’s first presidential campaign, but Mary Matalin and husband James Carville were both featured
7. The Truman Show
9. Pacific Heights?
14. Love Actually
17. Cast Away
19. If you substitute Bill Murray for Kevin Spacey—Lost in Translation
20. Desperately Seeking Susan
22. Flatliners
posted by bookmammal at 5:41 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

... for once, the useless movie trivia in my brain might be useful?!

5 a) Dead Ringers
5 b) Damage
8) Guessing Wars of the Roses? DeVito directing, starring him and Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas
10) Holy Smoke

Maybe 1) is Death to Smoochy?

Now I have to go back to my regular job where I have to teach children (online) and no one cares about obscure Oscar factoids
posted by bookgirl18 at 6:12 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oohhh... I think I have two more!
11. 21 Grams with Sean Penn?
16. Fast, Cheap, and Out Of Control
posted by bookmammal at 6:29 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

#6, kid in the clock, is Hugo. Very good.
#13 is The Hurt Locker
could #8 be Ruthless People? Ah, google says no—the name is Stone in that movie—but everyone should watch it anyway.
posted by Orlop at 7:00 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Cooking and meal planning. I am getting back on the cooking horse more properly after dealing with a broken oven and a knee injury, and I also want to get into the habit of using up stuff in the house as much as possible, and not wasting things.

So I spent a couple hours Friday planning out my lunches and dinners for a solid week, and have been doing some batch cooking and baking, along with some strategic grocery shopping, to make sure I am all set for a wide variety of things to grab servings of and assemble meals that way, either a packed lunch or an easy dinner:

* a lentil/bacon/herb salad
* super-simple potato-leek soup
* a quiche lorraine (there are a ton of recipes out there, I"m probably going to wing it)
* a cake sale with more ham and cheese and maybe some olives thrown in there
* a white bean salad
* asparagus/almond confit
* Some cheese and nuts and sliced sausage for snacking
* classic financiers
* breton butter cookies
* Another triple-chocolate cookie (the cookie is chocolate, and it has chocolate chips and cacao nibs in it)
* And I also have a baguette, sliced ham, and sliced cheese to make jambon-beurre and croque monsieur as I choose.
* And will be doing socca for a quick snacks.

I'm making a lot of this today so that over the week, whether I am sleepily packing the day's bag lunch or I am home from work and trying to figure out "what's for dinner", I need only open the fridge, grab something from box a and something from tupperware B, and round things out with a handful of salad greens or some soup and a hunk of bread, and I'm done. This will also kill some stuff that's been lurking in my pantry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on March 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm not so sure I'd call it an obsession, but my pandemic hobbies have been embroidery and crochet, and I have a couple projects going in each of those.

I did not know about those miniature kits, and they look absolutely adorable and fun, so I might be picking one of those up, thanks EM ! And I am now smitten with Evan the frog.

Two Fridays ago, I talked to my boss in his office for about 30-45 minutes (we work on different shifts, so we see each other about once a week), and I found out that Sunday that he tested positive for Covid. I (and another coworker) was put into a 14-day quarantine. My other coworker got sick a few days later, and her whole family has Covid now. I tested negative the Weds after (Day 5), and have felt fine. Just to be absolutely certain, I got another test on Friday (Day 14), and was gobsmacked when it came back positive! So, 10 more days of quarantine for me (at least, as long as I stay symptom-free). I feel lucky that I'm feeling fine so far, and also very thankful that I took quarantining seriously and didn't go back to work after my negative test, which is an option I had. The boyfriend has been delivering me groceries and I can work from home, so my basic needs are met. I am a little nervous that I'll get sick in the next few days, but there's nothing I can do about it. And - staying at home because you're under a governmental health dept order feels different than staying at home out of a moral responsibility. The contact tracing process has been pleasant so far -- very kind and knowledgeable people on the phone, and the daily questionnaire is easy and works well. So, I've had plenty of time to work on crochet and embroidery, and have at least another week to do so.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 8:06 AM on March 7, 2021 [24 favorites]

Oh no, Sparky Buttons! I hope you continue to stay symptom-free. I know several people who tested positive but never had any symptoms, so that is a possibility.

My big pandemic purchase is an aerogarden, which is a truly idiot-proof indoor hydroponic plant-growing system. I cannot believe that I spent $100 on a fancy flower pot, but I have managed not to kill a bunch of herbs for the first time in my life, and that's something. So my current obsession is trying to figure out things to do with dill, because my dill plant is growing at warp speed, and I have to prune it every day so it doesn't block all the light from my other plants.

Tomorrow, my state opens up vaccine eligibility to almost everyone. (They're opening it up to anyone with pre-existing conditions, and they have defined pre-existing conditions so broadly that it covers more than 80% of the adults in the state.) I am actually not sure that I qualify: I need to contact my doctor to clarify. But it definitely feels like the end is in sight. My brother, who has a congenital heart condition and actually is at high risk, has his first vaccine scheduled for Wednesday. I don't think that I'm going to get it for a while, but I feel like a weight has lifted every time someone I'm worried about gets it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:24 AM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

Movie #3 above is Creepshow.
posted by hippybear at 8:30 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oh my gosh, Sparky Buttons, I hope you continue to feel fine!

My current special interest is understanding how nonprofits are run. I discovered the other day that ProPublica has a searchable database of nonprofits including archived Forms 990 and I have whiled away a few merry hours this weekend trying to learn how to read them. What are the parts and pieces here and which ones do I care about? What can I infer about an organization’s history from a longitudinal collection of annual filings? And how might I graph the information to understand more? Any MeTa readers who share this special interest and have stuff to say, hmu :)
posted by eirias at 8:48 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

My current obsession is Major League Baseball: So I get the Phone App to listen to any team play, and that's what I like playing in the background. Starting now with spring training games. Just a baseball lover. It is relaxing! To me anyway a great background noise for one who had to be around 2 many aircraft and have bad tinnitus... Really disappointed with the Kansas City market not working out on my streaming options as I don't have cable and they blackout the games in the metro.., will have to discover new ways to catch their games online.
Oh if the meta filter fantasy league baseball is playing this year please send me an invite - if possible to my mail. I was playing before and missed out the last couple years. Please everyone be safe and play ball
posted by Upon Further Review at 8:48 AM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

I keep falling down various rabbit holes of Irish history, thanks to various online talks, and my ongoing obsession with the National Library of Ireland’s Flickr Feed.

My latest “discovery” was a Cost of Living Report from 1922, with average prices for food and clothing, etc. I’m fascinated by it because (a) this is from before the Irish Free State existed legally and (b) the fact that the “recent troubles in Dublin" (AKA the Battle of Dublin) gets blamed for the 10 day delay in the report. Interesting priorities.

(Oh and the Irish President’s new puppy Misneach!)
posted by scorbet at 8:49 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've been pretty obsessed with imagining that I can afford to have all of the things from Unlogical Poem.

I pretty much wear only thrifted clothing but I actually ordered not just this dress but also this one. It was a massive splurge, but my birthday is coming up and I can't wait to be covered in chiffon cats.

I've also been making more necklaces thanks to the wonderful ideas mefites gave me in this AskMe thread.

Also I just started planning to make a website (my first!) about my little free garden. I'm hoping it will be a fun little resource for anyone who'd like to start their own garden.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 8:58 AM on March 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

Omg, EM, I missed the part about your miniature kit. I am doing the exact same one! Except I'm turning it into whatever you would get if Shetland Sheepdogs could read and had a bookstore devoted to their interests. I'm getting miniature photos printed of my and my friends' Shelties for the photo frames, changing the book category signs to Herding, Barking, etc.
posted by HotToddy at 9:18 AM on March 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

Merge Dragons, a phone game where adorable little dragons gather resources for you and you build them a nice home. Set after some kind of sorcerous zombie war, healing land is part of the resource gathering.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:35 AM on March 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

Ooh, I've had a miniature kit for a while now, should get on it before they herd us back to the office.

I'm currently slightly fascinated by the history of the Crusader kingdoms, especially Outremer. I'm fairly up on the contemporary European history of the era, but it turns out that the reason western countries were comparatively saner was because they exported all their particularly colourful characters there. I'm still chewing through Sharon Kay Penman's The Land Beyond the Sea (great disability/chronic illness representation), but the detours into Wikipedia to check on the fates of people there and their descendants are even more fascinating, in the "if you wrote this in a book everyone would think it over the top" way. I suspect the locals weren't amused though, because wow that was a couple of centuries of very regular razing everything to the ground.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:08 AM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Going through one of my periodic "can I just never take my hands of the keyboard?" computering phases. There's actually very little you can't do with Emacs and a programmable keyboard, and it's fun (for certain values of fun) to find the obscure keyboard shortcuts.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:08 AM on March 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm moving 1,000 miles sometime in the next six weeks or so. I've lived in this apartment for ten years, longer than I've ever lived anywhere in my whole life, including when I was a kid.

I am getting rid of books. I have too many fucking books. I have to fucking stop acquiring books. I suppose I could sell some of them but it's too much of a fucking hassle. I'm keeping some.

I have too much stuff. My goal is to make it all fit in one small moving container. I don't have much furniture, but I have stuff. Kitchen stuff, cloth stuff, antique mirrors, paintings, maps.

I wander from room to room, get overwhelmed and go back to reading online, or foraging in the kitchen.

It doesn't help that I have no deadlines. It doesn't help that I'm a procrastinator who always gets it done at the last minute.

Time for another snack.
posted by mareli at 10:42 AM on March 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

Forensic Files, for us. Episodes are 20 minutes long, we pause and discuss who we think did it and what science is relevant, we look stuff up on the internet, we compare to other cases and other episodes. It's engrossing enough that we're enjoying it, but not so much that I can't pause an episode to go take the dog out or get us a snack. The wife is a biologist, so she really enjoys the science. We don't have the attention span for much else these days, so we've been striping FF and I'm not sorry. (Periodically she recognizes someone from her former LEO days, which is always trippy. Then there was the time they used stock footage of a prison, and we were both like, uh, we know that camp and it is nearby, not in NJ like the episode is talking about...)
posted by joycehealy at 10:58 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Wrinkled Stumpskin, thank you, now I have major emacs nostalgia! At an old job, I used to do alllllll my editing in ESS: SAS, R, LaTeX, and then a gnu makefile to put it all together. That’s looking pretty darn desirable now because the last several months my RStudio install has been barely usable due to some network drive nonsense. Wonder if I should just give up and embrace the retro...
posted by eirias at 11:20 AM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Like carolr, I’ve been watching Crash Landing on You. It’s my first Korean drama and I have to admit that I went into this pretty ignorant about Korean politics and culture. The fateful meeting (and continued meetings) of the protagonists is pretty far-fetched, but based on my internet research the show’s portrayal of daily life in the small North Korean village is fairly accurate and it’s presented respectfully. I’m obsessed, but the length of each episode requires that I pace myself (most are ~90 min). I’m making plans to watch the penultimate episode tonight (wine or ice cream, hmmmm, or maybe both).
posted by kbar1 at 11:21 AM on March 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

3d printing QTPy-knob media controllers (from MeFi's Own™ todbot)

weirdly obsessed with 3D printers lately

We should talk. I (currently) work for a charity that uses 3d printing for good.

The cutest frog in the world

Squee! Evan is adorable.
posted by scruss at 11:51 AM on March 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Homemade Kayaks.
Plywood kayaks.
Skin on frame kayaks.
Strip built kayaks, particularly Nick Schade's kayak videos.

Those are three separate rabbit-holes, and though I'm only linking to youtube, there are probably books and gear and forums full of people with opinions for all three. I started watching a few months ago when I was looking for a woodworking project, and now I am in the middle of building a cedar strip kayak. Never mind that I have never kayaked in my life.
posted by surlyben at 12:43 PM on March 7, 2021 [9 favorites]

My mom, who i have a complicated relationship with, though it is and has been good for the past 15 months or so, is finally several years sober and buying a house this year with her husband of 10 years, so i've been doing the whole zillow day dreaming thing. Except. . . its real? The move isn't until september but its into the mountains and looking at houses with big yard and places for chickens and fruit trees are keeping me going right now.

Otherwise i've been trying punch embroidery, and I've finally found the fabric that allows for the size of hook I want.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:02 PM on March 7, 2021 [7 favorites]

Not really an obsession, but a definite enthusiasm, is my renewed interest in shaving with straight/'cut-throat' razors. I first dabbled with them about 6-7 years ago, but now with more money and time to spare I've acquired some good-quality vintage razors and have been getting better and more consistent results using them. Successfully scraping one's face with an extremely sharp century-old blade can spice up the dullest lockdown day.
posted by misteraitch at 1:17 PM on March 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

Why couldn’t that countertop nacho lady put some wax paper down first? Or would that stop her from going viral?
posted by dianeF at 1:20 PM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Now that Wandavision is over I have no current obsession. I think I have a background one warming up that is going to be "figure out my next job," because I am getting that bored, itchy feeling.
posted by emjaybee at 1:36 PM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Also not an obsession but certainly something that is interesting to me, I've been thinking about thermodynamics off and on for years now. It's pretty complicated stuff and I really don't understand most of it. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that no matter how frozen something may be, if it's melting on the surface it's at least slightly above zero.

And this: are the attributes of a frozen item the same at -50 as they are at -100? Obviously it depends on the thing but the answer is quite possibly there is a difference.

I also discovered that there is a term for the item preceding the first in a list. You know, like "first", "second", "third"'s called "zeroth". Who knew?

I've also been looking at and listening to albums that were released in 1972. Every year has its fair share of gems but 1972 was pretty special.
posted by ashbury at 1:43 PM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Also, we watched the UFC bout last weekend (and caught the highlights from last night, we decided we didn't want to pop for the PPV and I'm glad we didn't, my wife conked out at like 9 with tax flu + cramps), and what do you know, it is a skill and not just two people mollywhopping on each other, and I can feel an interest budding that I cannot afford until I get my damn dissertation done.
posted by joycehealy at 2:30 PM on March 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm running Ubuntu Touch on my smartphone, and liking it; it's a bit of an obsession in itself. Two weeks ago I found out that there is an app for it that connects to Pebble smartwatches. So naturally, I had to get one and it's great. Did you know that after Pebble was bought by FitBit, a merry bunch of volunteers started Rebble in order to keep most of the Pebble ecosystem alive? Guess I should post an FPP about this soon.

I really love outdated but formerly high-end tech. I can heartily recommend living in the past: it's a lot cheaper!
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:43 PM on March 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

*vax flu. We're lucky, someone else does our taxes. :)
posted by joycehealy at 2:44 PM on March 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

Timberborn! I am most grateful for hydropsyche's recommendation. Even though it's only a demo, it's the peaceful-but-challenging survival/citybuilder I desperately needed.

Also: beavers.
posted by BrashTech at 3:06 PM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

4. bjork thing

Dancer in the Dark
posted by Redstart at 3:53 PM on March 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

If anybody else is interested in the MetaFilter Fantasy Baseball league for 2021, there's an invitation link in my profile.

The league was...a little weird last year.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:18 PM on March 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also: beavers.

YES. Beavers are so cute. They are underrated, and need to have a moment. Beavers are new otters, you heard it here first.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:25 PM on March 7, 2021 [9 favorites]

I'm obsessed with the royal drama, obviously. Also, of late, Morse Code and how one puts it into knitting.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:32 PM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

First name: Lieutenant, last name: Columbo
posted by snerson at 8:26 PM on March 7, 2021 [7 favorites]

I have been obsessed with 1. Trying to get the vaccine, 2. Trying to find out why my Unemployment has been cut off, 3. Trying to sign up for social security. So many phone calls to overwhelmed government agencies and the impossibility of signing up or getting any reliable information on multiple vaccine portals, the Texas Workforce Commission website and

1. After 6 weeks of trying, I actually managed to get a the first vaccine and have an appt for the second. Gov. Fuckup Abbott pulled the organization of vaccine delivery from a multiplicity of qualified health organizations and decided that the state would take over the delivery and they totally fucked it up. County public health depts. had no way to register and assign appts and it was a total bungled shitshow concurrent with the snow apocalypse electricity & water outages.

2. After jumping through every damn hoop the Texas Workforce Commission has set, with a balance of over $5000 left in my unemployment claim, they cut me off but advised me to continuing submittting claims and paperwork and to keep calling 3 different overwhelmed phone lines for contradictory advice. They still have not processed my appeal that I filed over 6 weeks ago. My friend is advising me that I should call my fukken useless turd of a state senator to look into it. I need to make the call but I loathe the man. Been struggling with this crap since Jan. 6th.

3. Years ago, I signed up for a Social Security web account while I was still working using my work email address. I tried by web and phone to update my email but was unable to get it changed without it being active. Any new passwords had to be snail mailed. So I contacted my former employer to reactive my old email for a few days and they graciously agreed. So between having the old email active and waiting 4 weeks for the password and code letters, I managed to get into my account. Spent just shy of 6 weeks getting this resolved.

In summary, I have had a nearly full time job trying to connect for government administered services. And now I'm obsessed with cursing my state's wrongheaded incompetence. Sorry for being so cussy and out of sorts. It IS getting better.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:15 PM on March 7, 2021 [9 favorites]

How jazz chords work. 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13th... I mean I've always liked that rich sound but only learned basic children's piano with chords based on triads. It's always fascinated me how jazz players seem to play all the 'wrong' notes, but it sounds good. It's magic, if I add some random keys into a chord it DOESN'T sound good, it sounds horrible. How do they do that?

It's not magic, but it is fascinating. And now all triads sound flat and boring.
posted by ctmf at 9:18 PM on March 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

Mildly obsessed for several weeks now with the story of Joan of Arc. Did that really happen?
posted by Rash at 9:44 PM on March 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Vintage bubble glass bud vases - like these - in blues and greens and pinks and other glorious shades. Before summer ends I’m going to put a flower in every single one of my vases and group them together in a beautiful bubble glass posy.
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 12:10 AM on March 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

I’ve always been an obsessive type. Knitted a big bag of gorgeous Norwegian mittens during the knitting obsession of 2017-2020, for example. What is strange right now is that for the first time in my life I have no obsessions at all—no urge to create or engage with a thing. Can’t muster enthusiasm or even interest for the activities I once found necessary. I sure hope this feeling goes away.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:28 AM on March 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

3 ingredient peanut butter cookies.

1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg. 12 minutes at 400 degrees gets you a baker's dozen crisp, slightly sandy-textured cookies. It's ludicrous how simple these are, and how many times I have made them this month.

Also: actually using my rowing machine and making playlists for rowing.
posted by Otter_Handler at 5:20 AM on March 8, 2021 [11 favorites]

pretty much the same as they have always been
posted by thelonius at 6:16 AM on March 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Young Gun & Silver Fox, who inexplicably make the smoothest AM Gold music I have ever heard produced in the 21st century. What if Blue Jean Committee, but absolutely serious?
posted by emelenjr at 7:37 AM on March 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Holy shit! That Young Gun and Silver Fox stuff is FANTASTIC!
posted by jonathanhughes at 9:14 AM on March 8, 2021

Not an obsession, really, but I wasn't able to get corned beef last March, and I love New England Boiled Dinner, which tastes better than it sounds. I got some corned beef, it's cooking now with onions, carrots, potatoes, and, soon, cabbage.
posted by theora55 at 9:44 AM on March 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Following up just to urge all of y'all to try out the Breton Butter Cookies I discussed above - I made those this weekend and they were bloody amazing. And they came together really simply, with some pretty basic ingredients - just butter, egg yolks, salt, baking powder, sugar and flour. Spring for one of the fancy-ass brands of butter; one of the two-stick packages will give you enough, and leave you with some butter left over to go on bread and rolls for a few more days. (Or do what I did and make only half the recipe, and you end up with even more fancy butter left over.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have begun, gone through, and am coming out the other side of a modest obsession with Print-and-Play boardgames, spawned from watching this review of Button Shy games and these reviews of one-player PNP games. You can get raw files for between $0 and $8 from PNP Arcade, PNP Paradise, and on various “Files” pages on BoardGameGeek, including for games that the full, pro-versions of could cost $20. It’s the IKEA of table top gaming.

It’s a good excuse for being kind of arts and crafty -the modest pleasures of cutting things with scissors and then trimming the edges- and is cheap! (As long as you have a printer, enough ink, some card stock, and maybe some sleeves if you want to be very thorough. I’ve found a few actual gems, have tried some games I never would have otherwise, and spent a surprising number of hours cutting paper, slipping it into sleeves, and packing those sleeve into little boxes.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:21 AM on March 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

I am utterly determined to read Being No One by Thomas Metzinger (for which I entirely blame mefi's own Peter Watts). its probably going to take me months to get through and is on the outer bounds of my capacity to understand (due to lack of background on the subjects, not any innate lack of ability of my part---so far!) currently working my way through chapter 2. so far its very interesting!
posted by supermedusa at 10:25 AM on March 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

I am currently obsessing over Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. I'd seen so many recommendations here on MeFi for this series over the years but never picked it up till now, and man, I am EATING them like candy. The other low burn obsession is learning Mathematica. I got sick of R stats and decided to move away from open source, and so far I'm oscillating between joy at getting something right and anguish at realising how much I still have to learn about the basics of the Wolfram language.
posted by dhruva at 10:34 AM on March 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

I got a bird feeder two weeks ago, with seeds I knew our resident pair of cardinals would like, and then I added a tube of nyjer seed to try to attract some goldfinches I've seen in the neighborhood, and then I saw a bluebird in the yard for the first time ever so I added a ring feeder with mealworms, and all three feeders are hanging where I can see them while I work. Today alone I've seen a pair of nuthatches, some black-capped chickadees, our cardinals, two kinds of sparrows, a tufted titmouse, and a big blue jay who I hope isn't going to be too comfortable. My kids have gotten pretty good at identifying the birds and get excited when they spot a new one. I'm not sure if it rises to the level of an obsession, but it certainly is enjoyable to spend some time watching the birds every day.
posted by SeedStitch at 11:15 AM on March 8, 2021 [7 favorites]

I've been burning a lot of beeswax candles over the winter and feeling a tad guilty at how fast they disappear, as they are more expensive than regular candles.

So I became obsessed with making the cheapest beeswax candles possible myself, and doing it responsibly (Ie, not getting cheap supplies from overseas, shipped by Amazon or from slightly sketchy suppliers on Etsy or Ebay).

So it turns out that one of the largest makers of natural raw honey in my state is about a 20 minute drive from me and they also sell bulk beeswax. The largest size they sell is 20 lbs, which is a lot to handle, so I went with 5 1lb blocks.

I obtained some natural wicks and some glass votive holders and got to melting. I've never really made candles in bulk, and while the basics are easy, there are a lot of details to obsess over, such as making sure the wicks are centered and straight as possible and trying to avoid burning oneself and/or getting wax all over my kitchen.

But I'm pretty happy with the results: The smell of these is fantastic, mainly because the beeswax is unfiltered, which also gives it the classic golden yellow color.

The standard votives are the way to go for the budget conscious, since they last much longer than "open air" ones (about 10 hours for the bigger size votive). If you buy pre-made candles online in bulk, you might be able to get them for an average of $2.50 each.

However based on the raw materials, mine cost $1.20/each to make, *and* they smell nicer, last longer, and were ethically sourced (as best as I can gather). Plus the process was fun, once I got the hang of it.
posted by jeremias at 1:13 PM on March 8, 2021 [18 favorites]

I have not been able to make my own (lumpy, badly centered) ceramics since last spring, so now I follow a bunch of ceramists on instagram and have been learning the vagaries of how to buy small batch handmade goods that way. You have to be quick on the paypal draw to get what you want! My office is gradually filling with small vessels and consequently I have had to learn to water houseplants more regularly than was my wont. It's very pleasing to peer over my monitor at plants and planters and prisms and a few crystals.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:24 PM on March 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

That Young Gun and Silver Fox duo remind me of Steely Dan.... thanks for the mention above, emelenjr. I now have a new group to enjoy.
posted by mightshould at 1:46 PM on March 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Watching Reels from artists at work on Instagram is my soothing activity du jour.

Colored pencil
posted by sugarbomb at 5:19 PM on March 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Sugarbomb, if you haven't already seen it, I recommend Painting with John on HBO. It's John Lurie telling stories about his life, while painting watercolors. His paintings are kinda wonderful, and the stories are delightful, or horrifying, but mostly delightful. But each episode has broad sections devoted to watching close-ups of him put paint to paper. It's rather glorious. I think you might like it.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:10 PM on March 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

2020 really became a year of actualizing a lot of things I'm low-key curious about. Got into candlemaking too, and yarn dyeing. Finally bought an electric spinner (I've been using a Russian spindle mostly). But I've been pretty bad at tracking the work in any meaningful way, so this month i finally put money into another thing I'm low-key keen on: my own personal website. Now i have a focus on where to collect all these little stories of mine and for mine. It's been fun, getting back into the swing of things of making a website though I've fully committed to just being a normie and utilise the free weebly website builder that comes bundled with the hosting.
posted by cendawanita at 9:54 PM on March 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

Not my obsession, but a dear friend inherited a couple of nice fountain pens from a relative, and fountain pens is a hobby I have dabbled in so I showed him how to clean them, gave him a bottle and a couple samples of ink, and he is deep diving into the world of vintage pens.

He writes notes on a notebook and texts me photos of the notes, which is adorable.
posted by gauche at 8:18 AM on March 9, 2021 [6 favorites]

Hiking. Twice a day, five days a week, for a year now.

Black powder shooting. So dirty, simple, and satisfying.
posted by Seamus at 8:40 AM on March 9, 2021 [4 favorites]


I made the mistake of clicking on a youtube video by one of that hobby's biggest proponents and ended up down the rabbit hole of watching all of the videos I could find then buying the "bible" on the subject.

Thankfully I came to realize: a) that I don't need another hobby, b) I am afraid of heights, c) it's expensive and d) the world doesn't need yet another motorized past time. Still, it looks fascinating.
posted by drstrangelove at 9:45 AM on March 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've got several episodes of Joe Frank's old radio program and have been listening to them while doing chores. Something so soothing about his voice and style, even when it's dark or sad, that has been comforting.
posted by Twicketface at 11:08 AM on March 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Seasoning my cast iron skillet! I'm not talking about just putting some oil on it after you cook and then popping that in the oven. I'm talking about scrubbing it with sandpaper until it's bare, shiny cast iron and going from there.

I have about 22 coats of flaxseed oil on it now and it's so slick and shiny I can literally see my reflection in it. I'm probably going to make an AskMe about it because I think I'm going to start over and want to know why a bit has flaked off.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:28 AM on March 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Thanks to the post on the Blue I've been watching an episode of Taskmaster pretty much every day, which counts as an obsession for me.

Normally I'd be growing a bunch of vegetable seedlings right now to be ready to plant once its warm enough but every available space is already filled with small succulents that my wife's been growing since the fall which we're going to put on a green-roofed storage area in our yard. So either no vegetables this year or we'll just buy plants from the garden centre in May.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:59 AM on March 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

3D tours of hotels and holiday homes. I love exploring buildings! I wish they had these for every stately home ever so I could just wonder around and admire the architectural features and the wallpaper and the furniture.

Here is a link to a random one. If anybody has any other suggestions I would really love to hear them because I can't seem to Google for them effectively.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:01 PM on March 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have a fairly advanced case of cinephilia, and in the Before Times I gravitated toward a lot of artsy, complex, and international movies and TV. But after a year of trying to teach online, help my daughters learn online, and completely homeschool my son (for whom the online classes in our district just weren't working) I have found that I just don't have the bandwidth left to really enjoy analyzing complex narratives right now. So I have started watching Gunsmoke. I am currently all about Gunsmoke. It's great: Everything is wrapped up in one hour. There’s no character development. Marshall Dillon, Miss Kitty, and Chester are completely unchanged from episode to episode. You could watch them in random order and it wouldn’t matter. Watch each season backward if you want. There’s no symbolism, no subtext. It is what it is.

This is my official endorsement of Gunsmoke for your late-pandemic era viewing pleasure. It ran for twenty years--there are 635 episodes plus some TV movies, so you’re set for a long time. (There are also 480 episodes of the Gunsmoke radio show, which ran for nine years. I listen to those in the car sometimes.)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:46 PM on March 9, 2021 [9 favorites]

I think I'm going to start over and want to know why a bit has flaked off.

There are previous threads and AskMes about seasoning cast iron with a lot of info in them, but the short version is that flaxseed is brittle and can flake off - as you saw. Best bet seems to be to use plain old canola oil, thinly coated (that's very important!) inside and out, bake upside down at 350F for an hour, let cool completely in oven, start on next layer. Plus canola doesn't stink like flaxseed oil does when it burns...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:06 PM on March 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Thanks, Greg_Ace. I'm doing super thin layers (lightly apply, then wipe off). I might try a different oil, might just take it down to bare metal again and give it another shot.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:12 PM on March 9, 2021

Roller skating. I got myself a shiny new pair of skates and I'm ready to rollllll!
posted by medeine at 2:34 PM on March 9, 2021 [6 favorites]

Climbing gym's been closed for a year except for a brief period. Bike ended up going to a better home a few months ago. Ancient Tesco stationary foldy-bike finally became unworkable for reasons of space. So it was either gradually rot in the chair or become a Person Who Runs. Only three runs in but all the fuss about running turns out to be warranted. Have never run a significant distance in my life until now --- the lungs are willing but the, erm, thigh-fronts? are weak. It's great, though.

One with a link: I read this a couple months back and was pretty obsessed with that story for a while. Fascinating; I'll buy a copy for the first MeFite to ask.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:11 PM on March 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Weaving with a pin loom. It's portable, keeps my hands occupied, and has sooo many permutations. It has been a perfect activity while stuck in a chair getting chemo infusions. I have finished the chemo, but am still really enjoying the weaving..
posted by annsunny at 3:37 PM on March 9, 2021 [7 favorites]

A few I don't think other people have said yet:

10. keitel and winslet in australia - something about cigars
This is almost certainly Jane Campion's The Piano (Harvey Kietel and Holly Hunter in New Zealand)

14. the one where the guy shows up on christmas with a stack of posterboard notes and a boombox
Love Actually

16. fast, cheap and ??? - documentary, naked mole rats
Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

18. salma hayek threesome on vacation
Possibly Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona?

21. the swimming pool? young woman, middle-aged woman, pool boy? (not porn)
François Ozon's Swimming Pool
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:30 PM on March 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Late to this, but: as per my last couple of AskMe's, I leaned in to a pang I'd always had for the silent promises held by fungi, and have been on a wild ride since November, starting from a local introductory course (though nothing like what radical mycologist P. McCoy's online courses encompass, by the looks of it) to socially-distanced forays with some seasoned locals, to devouring books by Long L.W., A. Pouliot, and any other fungal narrative work I can find, to scouring online image troves for folios of long lost codices by early illustrators (in various corners of the world), to figuring out what decolonising mycology would entail (starting with better remembering Roger Heim, and in parallel somehow addressing Mattirolo's fascism), to overcoming cultural blindness (p. 4) to certain species, and chancing on my own first local secret patch of C. lutescens (not my photo).

I'm not yet sure how I'm going to turn this into a career pivot, but its grip is not letting up :-o
posted by progosk at 1:44 AM on March 10, 2021 [4 favorites]

The Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet movie was Holy Smoke.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:03 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

Obsession? OBSESSION?!?

Look at this work, ye mighty, and despair. Fourteen years of ongoing labor, still not complete but getting darn close to it. I may have a heart attack when it is finally installed and operational. I suppose the owner may too.
posted by aramaic at 7:44 AM on March 10, 2021 [10 favorites]

> The Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet movie was Holy Smoke.

posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Le Crueset hunting is my latest hobby! It's mostly about the thrill of the hunt, sourcing discontinued pieces/colors and haggling for a good deal!
posted by ramix at 9:27 AM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

Devils Rancher, which books are you reading?
posted by orrnyereg at 10:47 AM on March 10, 2021

> 10. keitel and winslet in australia - something about cigars

This is almost certainly Jane Campion's The Piano (Harvey Kietel and Holly Hunter in New Zealand)

No, the earlier mention of "Holy Smoke" was correct. There's no mention of cigars in the plot summation I found, but it's got Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet; she's a 20-something Australian woman who falls under the influence of a cult-leader-like guru while on a backpacking trip in India, and Harvey Keitel is the dude her parents call in to deprogram her.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:07 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I can't play the recorder any more because of the arthritis that has made it hard for me to cover a couple of the holes so I bought a kalimba! I'm having so much fun and love making music for myself again.
posted by manageyourexpectations at 12:47 PM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]

Blaseball has eaten my life and I don't have anyone to yell about it with yet. I don't even like sports! But this is amazing! It's like if Night Vale was sports!

Also I learned to sew my own shirts! And I am 2-for-2 on finishing and mailing baby quilts on time.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:23 PM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]

Records are My Thing and have been for quite some time, and today this, which I somehow managed to get a copy of, arrived in the mail.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:55 PM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

Happy weekend, MetaFilter!

I started writing this comment to object that it is in fact Wednesday. Pandemic fog is quite a trip, y'all.

New video game obsession: Valheim. You are a Viking who needs to build a house to keep warm and dry while monsters try to eat you. Here's someone who built Notre Dame cathedral. I've only built a little mead hall so far but I have ambitions...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:36 PM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

Le Crueset hunting is my latest hobby! It's mostly about the thrill of the hunt, sourcing discontinued pieces/colors and haggling for a good deal!

One day, I was riding my bike, and I happened upon a yard sale. They had a Le Crueset piece on sale. I asked about it, and she said it was for sale for $10 and I paid her and had my friends come back to pick it up.

I still have it. It's flame orange, $10 at a yard sale. I barely use it now.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:58 PM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]

Cruising the Cut. and really Narrowboat videos in general.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:00 PM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh Justsomebody I love Valheim, and playing it with my friends is now my main form of socialising. I am currently trying to build a proper harbour with stone walls for our boat, after which we're going to build a stone wizard tower in the middle of the water and then cover it in dwarf eyes.

I've been talking for ages about how I want a game that involves scavenging the environment to slowly build a furnished house and landscaped gardens and Valheim is so almost that perfect game.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:03 PM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

My big thing of late has been Reaching Out Unconditionally. I like to send HI! I HOPE YOU AND YOURS ARE WELL! mesaages.

I've realized that some people in this world have many, many categories of friends and constantly re-rank them based on What They Have Done Lately. And some of them they really miss and some of them... meh. But me, I've got two categories: Acquaintances I Wish I Had More Time For; and Ride Or Fucking Die.

I just want to say that however you and yours have dealt with the pandemic: GOOD JOB! I know your people love you and appreciate you and miss you.

I sure miss mine! Let's get some shots and then see each other again! And then do some shots. Jay-z Chrysler, I miss people. That's my obsession. I miss my people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2021 [17 favorites]

You want to hear about my new obsession? I'm riding high upon a deep depression, I'm only happy when it rains!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:43 PM on March 10, 2021 [4 favorites]

After watching Crash Landing on You mid last year, I got obsessed with KDramas, and started dabbling about learning bits of the Korean. Then sometime just before Christmas I found the KPop group Stray Kids, and apparently the stress of the past year has me regressing to my 13 year old self, and I'm now obsessed with a boyband.

I'm double their age, and most of the content is in Korean, but there is sooooo much of it that I'll be down in this hole for awhile I think. Thank goodness the internet didn't exist when I was 13, I'd never have graduated high school.
posted by kjs4 at 11:01 PM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

My latest obsession is Loop Hero, a neat little rogue-like/lite computer game from Devolver Digital. It's an interesting twist, because you don't control the hero, you control their environment and try to make it possible for them to advance as far as possible.
posted by nubs at 9:36 AM on March 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Floam! This griddle has a nice groove all around the three back sides, and a deeper double well in front, so if I wanted to make fajitas or stir fry, or mongo scrambled eggs, I could. It is narrow, but I am using street taco sized tortillas, it will go one size bigger for quesodillas. It will make stuff, it is fun, and it comes right off the stove for easy cleanup, and I store it in a rolling kitchen table shelf, when I am not using it. The stove has five burners, and the grate over the burners is this continuous thing all across the top, and it is firmly in place so, no shifting. Big fun, this stove. A while back I bought an antique 1911 waffle maker, that will do well on this too. It has a rotating waffle iron, and a collar that holds it. I still want to look for a cast iron griddle for this stove, I have not ever cooked with teflon, and this isn't the time to start. I am strung out on sliced fresh apples, with cinnamon sprinkled over, and a piece of cheese that fits each slice, for a 120 second trip through the microwave. I call these Manzanachos, and it is my go to breakfast, with a slice of toast, that has fruit butter or peanut butter.
posted by Oyéah at 7:24 PM on March 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

might just take it down to bare metal again and give it another shot

Yeah, don't do that. Just keep re-seasoning with another layer of canola every time you notice a bit of the flaxseed flaking off. Eventually you will come to embrace the vital spiritual knowledge that imperfection is the very essence of seasoned cast iron. What the flaking is trying to teach you is that attempting to rush the seasoning process is immoral. If you're counting your coats you're doing it wrong.

Never deliberately de-season your cast iron. Let its wear pattern record the things it's cooked for you. If you wanted chi-chi you would have bought Le Creuset.
posted by flabdablet at 1:48 AM on March 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you wanted chi-chi cast iron you would've bought Finex, or Borough Furnace.
posted by box at 6:12 AM on March 13, 2021

3 ingredient peanut butter cookies.

1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg. 12 minutes at 400 degrees gets you a baker's dozen crisp, slightly sandy-textured cookies. It's ludicrous how simple these are, and how many times I have made them this month.

There was no way I could read Otter_Handler's recipe and not make these on a Saturday morning. I had the ingredients on hand (the peanut butter was Crunchy style, of course) and an oven. I baked the first batch with 1-1/2 ounce scoops, shooting for 13 as instructed, and they came out of the oven about 4 inches in diameter, with crispy edges and a tender center. I let them cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then shifted them to a cooling rack to cool completely. He's right, they are delicious. Good luck letting them cool completely!

The second batch was done with a one ounce scoop, and they turned out thinner and crispier, and no one is getting any of these. They are almost peanut butter lace cookies.

Thanks, Otter_Handler!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:28 AM on March 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

flabdablet: Eventually you will come to embrace the vital spiritual knowledge that imperfection is the very essence of seasoned cast iron. What the flaking is trying to teach you is that attempting to rush the seasoning process is immoral.

That settles it, I'm sticking with nonstick (hah!).
I want cookware, not a spiritual worldview.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:18 PM on March 13, 2021

Your loss.
posted by flabdablet at 12:52 PM on March 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

I inherited my Aunt Dee's now 75 year old Wagner Ware cast iron deep skillet, it is about 6 inches deep so it is good for stews, and soups, and sauteeing.The lid has special scallop shapes under it for self basting. It doesn't matter what I cook in it, the patina is good, I am careful with it, I wash it still hot, and use little soap, and it is easy to maintain. I bought a smaller skillet with a lid, new it works just fine too. For the most part those are my main pans, unless I am going to make a big batch of something to can, or popcorn. I still want to find a cast iron griddle, I have a friend who had an antique place and he got a huge lot of antique cast iron, maybe there is still a griddle.
posted by Oyéah at 7:48 PM on March 13, 2021

Once in an Askme thread someone mentioned owning an electric cast iron waffle maker -- to general consternation.

I'd thought about the possibility of such a thing before, but that was the first indicator I saw that it might exist, and I haven't read, heard or seen anything since.

I'd love to have one.
posted by jamjam at 8:16 PM on March 13, 2021

My parents had a Waring Waffle Iron, circa 1958, with reversible cast iron plates - one side of the plates did four waffles, and the other side was a flat surface on both plates that would act like a panini press. The hinges were spring-loaded to grow with the waffles. It would also sear the living hell out of a ribeye on both sides at the same time. You could have it Pittsburgh in about 4:00 minutes flat, and the steak needed to be at least an inch and a half thick, or it would be instant medium-well.

Of course the body was solid gleaming chrome with bakelite handles, the size of a Buick, and weighed about 20 pounds, but it lasted until the late nineties with regular use. I think the only reason it got remaindered was that it lived on the bottom shelf in the kitchen cabinet, and it was hard to get in and out.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:36 AM on March 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

There are lots of cast iron waffle makers that are stove-top units, but not electric ones that I've been able to find.
posted by hippybear at 8:02 AM on March 14, 2021

an electric cast iron waffle maker

I have an ancient one that is stainless on the outside but some kind of heavy metal on the inside: the Manning Bowman Twin-o-Matic. I made waffles with it yesterday.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:55 AM on March 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Manning Bowman made some great stuff; I have their smokeless broiler and it's the best broiler I've ever used, but until I read your link I hadn't realized it was a Manning Bowman!

I have a feeling your waffle maker, like my broiler and most of the rest of the kitchen appliances of that era, is chrome plated rather than stainless, and while chrome has its problems, I think it's prettier because it's brighter, and it is also more scratch resistant.
posted by jamjam at 2:04 PM on March 14, 2021

Agreed. My chrome-plated electric waffle-maker is also a Manning Bowman, though more conventional than jessamyn's nifty Twin. I've seen wafflers at street fairs in Germany that spin their irons; I do that myself by wrapping the machine up in a rolled-up towel just after 'loading' it, and turning it over, and then back, hopefully employing even a little centrifugal force in order to get the batter into all the crevices. My Griswold stove-top cast iron allows for the same action with its ingenious ball-joint hinge. (These are easy to see with a search, many available on etsy and eBay.)
posted by Rash at 9:14 AM on March 15, 2021

I have been obsessed with 1. Trying to get the vaccine, 2. Trying to find out why my Unemployment has been cut off, 3. Trying to sign up for social security. So many phone calls to overwhelmed government agencies and the impossibility of signing up or getting any reliable information on multiple vaccine portals, the Texas Workforce Commission website and

Obsession UPDATE:

1. Vaccine 1 and 2 achieved!

2. Cut off Unemployment has been reinstated and retroactive benefits have been paid!

3. Social Security website has allowed me to sign in!

Bonus obsession: Taxes filed and refund received!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:56 PM on March 19, 2021 [10 favorites]

My parents had a Waring Waffle Iron, circa 1958, with reversible cast iron plates - one side of the plates did four waffles, and the other side was a flat surface on both plates that would act like a panini press.

That was the side for pancakes!
posted by bendy at 1:44 AM on March 31, 2021

Other updates: I've really changed up my backswing and I'm no longer cupping my left wrist. The club angle is waaaay more shallow than it used to be and I'm not coming over the top anymore. Shifting my weight more to my front leg before I start my downswing, and I'm keeping my right elbow tucked and getting more consistent contact. Slices and hooks are becoming less frequent. I still chunk the ball. Inside 60 yards I'm hitting the green more often than not.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:54 AM on April 5, 2021

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