Activity from Frowner

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I've screwed up. Help me keep my job?
I do university admin support. Everyone's reports are always late. Unless these are reports which are essential to the immediate function of the school or to continued receipt of grant money (ie, if the reports are not submitted by today, you will get cut off - this is really, really rare and you would have heard from the funder by now) you might be in a little bit of grumpy trouble but you will not be fired. And even the grumpy trouble is not likely to be that serious. Everyone's reports… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 25, 2015
Also, dude, your job is teaching. Firing a competent teacher because they were once on an optional committee and were late with some reports? That would be looney tunes - think about replacing you, the odds of getting someone competent who is a good fit who can do the tough course - you're not infinitely valuable to your institution, of course, but even in this teaching economy, recruiting, hiring and training are a pain in the ass and people don't fire core competent people… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on April 25, 2015

No idea what to wear to friend's wedding? (Male)
Do you have a sportcoat, decent pair of chinos, dress shirt and tie? For example, navy sportcoat, white or light blue shirt, appropriate tie, khaki pants and black lace up dress shoes? If not, do you have most of this ensemble? Can you buy the remaining missing piece? You may be a little bit underdressed, but not grossly so - and it will be clear that you see this as a formal event (especially if you're in a social circle where people don't wear suits all the time.)… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on April 23, 2015
When you look for the jacket, no matter where you go:

1. Remember to budget for tailoring unless it is included

2. Pay attention to fit in the shoulders and to overall length - if you go to a Men's Wearhouse, for example, don't let them talk you into something that doesn't fit in the shoulders/neck or that is dramatically too long in the body. Sleeve length and waist/width are basic tailoring; other stuff is either almost impossible… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:45 PM on April 23, 2015
(Obviously if you have access to a couple of good thrift stores and you're a standard size, you might be able to score something suitable tomorrow that won't need tailoring - but don't beat yourself up if you can't.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:46 PM on April 23, 2015

Is going no-contact my only choice here?
It strikes me that you have a lot of financial power in this situation - it sounds as though your parents have only what you give them? (I'm sure you feel obligated to give them money, but still, they're out on the street if you don't.)

Could you cut off social contact with your parents while continuing to give them money? (Money via check or bank transfer, whatever you're doing now.) It sounds like the money isn't the problem for you. (Although honestly, I think it… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:11 AM on April 23, 2015

Strategies to overcome insecurity/jealousy of husband's female friend?
I think that - absent some significant mitigating factors that you do not describe - your husband and your husband's friend are actually doing things that would make anyone insecure. They would make people feel insecure in an ordinary friendship with no romance involved.

Seriously - repeatedly "taking one person's side" in a disagreement often makes friendships feel really bad because it makes one person feel that they're the odd person… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2015

"You can't handle the truth!" But I need to learn how to...
When you say that you have to make it okay for a person to tell you the truth - that's right, but I think you're putting yourself more in the position of a parent or authority figure than a partner. A parent or authority figure has different truth-hearing responsibilities than a partner because they have different power - if a kid does something awful, it's important for a parent to manage what feelings they show and to clearly demonstrate that they value the truth above all.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:00 AM on April 18, 2015

South American friend is offended that I referred to the US as America?
But the US isn't "America" and the various Latin American cuisines aren't "Spanish". It's difficult to parse just who you are and who she is - is she overreacting in being actually angry? Are you willfully ignorant about a lot of stuff? What is the texture of your interchanges? We can't really know.

If I were you, I'd apologize again without getting into intent, excuses, etc - because honestly, regardless of intent, you said some awkward stuff*… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:21 AM on April 15, 2015 marked best answer
A data point - we learned about Cesar Chavez in my extremely white, extremely conservative grade school in suburban Illinois. I remember it well - it was the first time I'd ever heard of the idea of a strike or a boycott or that picking crops might not be the funnest, best-compensated job ever. What's more, virtually every high school textbook with which I am familiar mentions Chavez - although I haven't seen the conservative ones that tend to come out of Texas, for example. It's quite… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:30 AM on April 15, 2015

Help me save my shoes!
Go to a cobbler! I go to a cobbler with my champagne-tastes collection of eBay used shoes and my shoes are always the most fancily constructed ones there. (Although actually because I buy oddball men's shoes, a lot of mine cost less than $50.) Lots and lots of people bring in perfectly ordinary shoes for small repairs.

Building a relationship with a cobbler is a good idea. Any cobbler should be able to fix your shoes given the issue, but if… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 AM on April 15, 2015

What are your favorite diet friendly sweet treats?
Is she drinking diet soda? I noticed an odd effect when I quit (which was hard! really hard!) - moderately sweet things taste a whole lot sweeter. So roasted sweet potato chunks might as well be pudding, and average grocery store peanut butter with sugar tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup. I have found that this helps with sugar cravings - if I want something sweet, an energy bar or a graham cracker with peanut butter or even just a tsp of sugar in my coffee have the effect that a… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:15 PM on April 14, 2015

The eternal search for the perfect bag
If your macbook is 13" or the itty one, what about the Billykirk leather satchel? It's not cheap but you can sometimes score them on eBay. I have had experience with their canvas messenger bags via eBay and they're nice.

Or have you thought of trawling Etsy? There are usually a lot of US-made nice leather satchels on there.

If you're looking at eBay, vintage Coach briefcases are very nice - some of them aren't very deep, though, so read… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on April 14, 2015 marked best answer

Request for Disguised Veggie Recipes!
These sweet potato biscuits? I recently made them with only 6T of fat, clabbered almond milk (1 T vinegar per cup of almond milk) and no added sugar, and they were still plenty sweet. They have been a total hit every time I make them.

Also, you can microwave the sweet potato.

I assume that these would also work with squash or pumpkin.

Also, what about things like sweet potato muffins?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on April 14, 2015

What are fun, complicated dessert recipes I can make in my home?
Smitten Kitchen Bakewell Tart. Lots of fun. I've made this both vegan and non-vegan, but the vegan version needs the (veganized) Martha Stewart marzipan recipe as the basis for the frangipane.

I have made many apple frangipane tarts, some brushed with apricot jam and some not. Again, veganizable.

Smitten Kitchen linzertorte is also very fun - it's not a croquembouche in its beauty, but if you either do a good job with the pastry lattice (very… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:25 AM on April 13, 2015 marked best answer
Also pavlovas, generally.

I have always wanted to make things like Tarte Tatin and carmelized pineapple skillet cake, where you cook/carmelize the fruit in a skillet and then bake a cake on top and invert the whole thing, but I have never really had the right skillet.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2015

What to tell my daughter about her boyfriend's porn habit?
Can you suggest that she look around on the internet for other advice on this? I think that it's a tricky thing to negotiate, because there are several things in place - a generally misogynist culture which tells women that they are never "enough", and a weird sexual culture which tells us that in ideal relationships no one ever fantasizes, watches porn, etc. Plus the whole "teenage boy may well get some really stupid ideas from porn" business. I feel like it's important… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:15 AM on April 13, 2015
One thing that I hope your daughter will pick up in some way, whether from you or from other resources: it is okay, and can even be healthy, for her to look at porn/sexual stuff. This issue often gets framed as "men all naturally want to look at porn, a thing that has no interest for women, and women just need to learn to ignore it", and to my mind this is part of the cultural discourse which helps delay women in finding out what they actually are interested in… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:13 AM on April 13, 2015

how should i have handled this?
You did the right thing. I understand your SO's disappointment because he thought he was going to get a bike, but my thinking is this way:

1. Even where claims to things are murky, the original owner has a little bit of an edge. So if Billy got your ultimatum and didn't respond for four months and your SO took the bike, that would seem legit (although I would still probably return the bike if it were me) but if there's some overlap in time/communication and you… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:23 AM on April 12, 2015

Not happy in new town but husband loves it...
What I'm noticing here is that your husband isn't hearing you, and that concerns me. He gets very angry, you're saying, when you talk about being unhappy. That doesn't sound so good. Also it sounds a bit like you're doing all the emotional work in the family - you're the one who is worried about the kids being lonely, for instance. Does he think about that?

I know it does take work to settle in a new place, and it does generally take a couple of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:54 AM on April 12, 2015

Losing weight as a vegetarian
Substantial body composition changes at the gym started for me with 30 minutes of elliptical-as-fast-as-I-can-sustain plus about 25 minutes of weights plus about 10 minutes of floor exercises four times a week. This has caused me to lose a little fat (my waist, ankles and knees are trimmer) and to build (for me) a lot of muscle. I also bike around town, but that has never really done much for me except to keep me relatively heart-healthy.

On those occasions when I… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:35 AM on April 11, 2015

What Would Kathleen Hanna Read?
Laurie Penny has a new book out. I own it but haven't read it. In general, I like her work.

I feel like it's weird and potentially appropriative of cultural capital for me, a white person, to recommend books by women of color, but I also feel that it's important to recommend them and while others might have better recommendations you might find Black Girls Are From The Future of interest.

Also, Roxane Gay's essay collection… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:18 AM on April 6, 2015

Difficult Wedding Guest Quandary
Something you could do that would be relatively easy - let's assume that the guest can eat a salad but nothing else, right? You could delegate your maid of honor to stop at a Whole Foods or co-op, etc, and pick up a couple of different kinds of pre-packaged snacks that the guest can eat - something that doesn't require refrigeration. Any large natural foods store will have tons of this kind of thing, whether it's gluten-free soy-free date bars or non-FODMAP crackers. Then… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:06 AM on April 6, 2015

Did I emotionally violate myself, or did he emotionally violate me?
I notice that you have described only two frames available here - either you set yourself up to be hurt or you should be upset with him for actively hurting you.

Can you think of this in a more neutral way, like "sometimes two people who are good for each other and care about each other can still, though no one's fault, say things that make each other uncomfortable"?

It's not unreasonable or abnormal for someone to ask for a follow up… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:43 AM on April 3, 2015 marked best answer

what can I cook with this person?
How about roasted vegetables? Or roasted vegetables that get incorporated into something - say you roast vegetables, toast some nuts (that you can eat), cook some grains and mix it all together into a delicious salad, maybe incorporating some cheese or meat?

Or what about preparing the interior for tacos and each topping your own? Cook some kind of slow-cooked meat or bean interior? Or what about pulled pork?

Or how about making filled… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:49 PM on April 2, 2015
Or pupusas - bean for you, cheese for him!

Or what about moussaka? It's elaborate and does involve eggplant, but I've found that meat eaters tend to go for it.

Or I bet he'd like sushi - you could start off with the cooked kinds and it really is very easy. I know he doesn't like rice qua rice, but it's a bit different in sushi.

Sweet potato hash browns are also good.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:58 PM on April 2, 2015

Humor books for 12 year old
What about some older stuff? At that age, I just loved James Thurber (both essays and The White Deer and The Thirteen Clocks - the latter two still crack me up...and indeed, went over very well as a read-aloud to other adults.)

And Daniel Pinkwater's memoirs and books - the Snarkout Boys in particular.

At that age I liked Robert Benchley, Please Don't Eat The Daisies, The Egg and I and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2015
At that age I also really liked the old Bloom County compilations and old Doonesburys - they are text-heavy and take quite a while to read. Bloom County, of course, went off the rails and became totally misogynist plus dull after about 1982, and Doonesbury got depressing and occasionally reactionary in the late eighties.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on April 2, 2015

My colleague has disappeared
Tomorrow, say to your boss, "Boss, I've been worried about Clelia because we've become friends during our time here. I know it would be inappropriate for me to ask you for any details about her, but just to set my mind at ease, could I ask you to confirm if you have heard from her or from a relative about her absence? "

It's possible that he hasn't heard from her but has heard from her mother or something.

Can you call the cops anonymously?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:42 AM on April 1, 2015 marked best answer
This just seems like a boss problem to me. "Have you heard from Clelia, boss?" "Well, that's not something that we really talk about here." [or whatever vagueness] versus "Have you heard from Clelia, boss?" "She is away for a few days and will be back in the near future."

If your boss thinks that admitting that someone is on a permitted leave of absence is a violation of privacy...well, when you first wrote… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on April 2, 2015

What are the best brands of frozen pizza?
You're in Minneapolis? Go to Seward Co-op (or probably the Wedge or Linden Hills). They have some in-house locally made frozen pizzas - the name escapes me but they are packaged in clear plastic. I also like Amy's although it's a bready crust.

The Home Run Inn frozen pizzas are really fatty but they sure do taste a lot like pizza from actual Home Run Inn. My parents jazz them up with mushrooms and so on.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:48 PM on April 1, 2015

hip to be square?
A possibility: do you feel that your life is missing the meaning that it had in the past? It sounds as though your past self had a whole ethical system for interacting with the world and like you were able to [mostly] live in accordance with that system. While I'm sure that you're going to get a huge dose of "my life is meaningful now" once you are actually responsible for a fun-size human, maybe another way to approach this would be to try to think of some things that you believe… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:06 PM on April 1, 2015 marked best answer

Would you rather...?
Srsly, live in Seward. Seward is very nice, very safe, near lots of stuff. Don't get fooled by all the muggings around Marcy Holmes into thinking that any neighborhood in central MPLS is dangerous - people get mugged in some of the near-UMN neighborhoods because there are lots of drunk or sleepy college students with phones and laptops.

Or what about over near Abbott Northwestern? There's quite a lot of that part of Phillips that would probably meet your standards.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 PM on March 30, 2015
Bloomington near Open Arms is a bit exciting for someone who is new to living away from campus. I've got lots of friends who live over there but the housing stock is a bit run down and honestly, the city has been screwing over that part of Phillips for many years because it is poor and majority non-white.

However - check out apartments that are near the express buses to the UMN. They only run morning and afternoon, which is a drag, but they are… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2015 marked best answer

Please help me understand social justice rhetoric!
To approach this from another angle: there's a well-intentioned but ill-thought-out trope in social justice oriented circles in which people who are members of a group (or share many characteristics with it - white cis gay dudes share a lot with white cis straight dudes) strive to effectively convey their politics by saying negative-yet-general things about a group that they are part of. White queer people complaining about white straight people, for instance. It's a really different thing to… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:24 AM on March 30, 2015 marked best answer

It's not that I mind having more friends, but...
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're not being flirtatious or indicating to women that you find them sexually desirable.

This seems reasonable, but - as you know in activist circles - for the lord's sake, don't "go for the kiss" without explicit consent. I mean, you obviously know that, but it's an important thing for people giving advice to know - there are sweeping "romantic gestures" and "indications of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:57 PM on March 27, 2015 marked best answer
Although I totally concur that you should not "cuddle" before sealing the deal about actually going on a date. It's confusing and honestly, I think that it leaves a lot of space for you to be taken advantage of by young women who (much like me in my mid-twenties) who really like semi-romantic attention and are not sure how to manage relationships.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:01 PM on March 27, 2015
And (and then I'll stop commenting, but if it's useful, feel free to memail me) no matter what people in your social circle may say about cuddling being this totally neutral thing:

1. If someone wants to cuddle and isn't leading you on, that's a sign that they really do view you as totally safe and only a friend.

2. Otherwise they are leading you on, and it will mess with both your head and the friendship.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:15 PM on March 27, 2015

Do I give back a lot of money that no one will ever ask for?
One day they'll do an audit with an external auditor and you will be on the hook. I hate to say it - because holy crap, that's a lot of money! - but you don't want to be dealing with this in 2018. I am in accounting training and I do a little bit of accounting support work at my job, and believe me, there will come an audit. Two years is not very long in accounting terms, because an external audit is a big deal and is done regularly but not Every Six Months or anything.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:01 AM on March 27, 2015

Two days in Boston - what should I do?
I mean, they were great sandwiches - I don't regret them at all.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:31 PM on March 11, 2015
Reporting back some time later:

I did not get as much done as I wanted, which I suppose was predictable.

1. Harvard Art Museums were the highlight of the trip (except for the T, I love the T - I'm sorry, Bostonians, it may have sucked mightily during the winter but it's still a miracle of speed and reach). Main floor is a little weird; stairs are weirdly narrow even for skinny urbanites; quiche in the museum cafe was top of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:39 PM on March 25, 2015

Clothing allowance for a 15yo girl?
A thought - it might be worth checking in with your niece to make sure that she is finding appropriate clothes at thrift stores. Not that thrifting isn't great, but if you're a non-standard size or your town is very small or your thrift store cuts deals with pickers before things even get out on the floor, that can make matters very difficult, especially for teenagers. (Around here, I can no longer find anything in the thrift stores that isn't last year's Target and Walmart where once I was… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:10 AM on March 25, 2015

Little embroidered riding hood
I would sell it unless you'll have a friend who would really, really appreciate it. When I give special vintage stuff to friends (I collected stuff back in the nineties when you could find amazing things in thrift stores), I usually try to feel confident that they'll take care of it - it can be really sad to give someone an irreplaceable embroidered jacket, for example, only to discover that they've left it in the mud at a punk show while drinking and it's totally ruined. (Not that it's my… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:12 AM on March 25, 2015

Looking for super-comfortable mens' boots. I can shop in NYC or online.
Do I have a tip for you! (Or at least, do I have a tip that involves saving some money on a very expensive boot.)

I have a wide forefoot and need either a roomy toebox or stretchy leather. Tricker's boots are incredibly durable and their country line is very wide.

My suggestion would be to go to Graham Fowler and try on the Stow and the Burford, then order from Pediwear. Normally I would not want to do a small business out of money, but… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on March 24, 2015
Sorry restless_nomad - there was no reason to assume gender, especially since I don't use he pronouns myself and yet....I wear men's boots!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:13 AM on March 24, 2015
If you see a pair of boots you like and they have a smooth leather or rubber sole, you can take them to a cobbler and ask to have one of two things done:

The cobbler can glue a robust textured sole-cover on the whole of the front of the foot - a variety of textures are available, from slightly-coarser-than-sandpaper to deeply textured like a work boot;

Or he can knock the heel piece off and attach an entire vibram workboot sole. This will of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on March 24, 2015

Bespectacled? Yes, Be Very Spectacled 2: Electric Boogaloo
Funnily, I was just thinking that your old, old wire frames were kind of a good idea. I think the gold was good on you but a more classic shape - like the round frames linked here - would be nice.

It seems like you tend to want to keep your frames a long time, so you want something very classic. (Me, I would probably change every six months if I could afford it.)

Shuron makes the classic browline frame that has been so very,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:05 PM on March 19, 2015

Friend is addicted to heroin. Do I tell her parents?
I will tell you what someone told me when I had a question about a friend's heroin use: heroin addiction is terrible, it distorts people's personalities, it breaks up friendships. I didn't want to believe that and yet everything came to pass just as I'd been told - off the heroin, back on the heroin, off again, lying to people, overstating progress on quitting, lying about other stuff, relationships falling apart. A huge part of my social circle came apart around someone's heroin addiction.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:22 AM on March 19, 2015
Also, on mature reflection: you don't know enough about her relationship with her parents to consider telling them, and you don't know what's pushing her to use. I assume some people end up using heroin basically because they have addictive personalities, it's fun and it seems socially acceptable, but the people I have known who used heroin were doing it (and actually, initially, other substances - pot isn't bad in itself, but it can be used badly) to cope with deep personal pain. In one… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on March 19, 2015

How to deal with percieved invasion of privacy?
I've found lots of USB sticks (at work - people tend to leave them) and all I've ever done is open them up to see if I can quickly identify the owner. (I have a duty of care here, as a lot of them belong to students.) It's just not....interesting enough. (I mean, plus I'm at work. But I wouldn't anyway.)

As to people spending a lot of time mocking you - it's unlikely, because they don't know you and they'd have to open and read a LOT of material… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:50 AM on March 17, 2015 marked best answer

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