Activity from Frowner

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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
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?
Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Several other questions:

1. Are there bagels in Boston? I mean good bagels? Here in Minneapolis we have one source of bagels that people from the East Coast allow as how they're acceptable if there's nothing else, but I would like someday to have an East Coast-approved bagel experience.

2. I notice that there is a part of Boston marked "Chinatown" on the map. Are there… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:15 AM on March 10, 2015
So holy gee, I notice that the Booksmith place is open until 11pm on Saturday night. There used to be some late night used book stores here in MPLS, but not any more, and I'm not sure they were open past 10pm.

I think (if all goes as planned) I'm going to go to Harvard Square (and see the Harvard art museums and the glass flowers) and Porter Square on Saturday and then maybe Booksmith that evening. And then other museums and a visit to the Fens on… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on March 10, 2015
Okay, now I have changed my plans. Saturday is still going to be Harvard Square, etc. But on Sunday I think I'm going to hit the MFA and the Isabella Gardner museum, then take the T to Jamaica Plain and go thrift shopping and to the Lucy Parsons Center. I think I can fit all this in if I get to the MFA when the doors open and get en route to Jamaica Plain by 3pm. That allows two hours per museum and one hour of spare time/food/walking. I know it's sort of scanting the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:10 PM on March 11, 2015
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

Shady co-worker, but maybe I don't even care - report or ignore?
To me this sounds like "weird guy with poor boundaries who says something that sounds - on paper - way more inappropriate than it actually was". I would say that unless you literally, actually think that Bob is going to do something to imperil the project (not just be kind of weird in conversation) you should let it alone. If Bob is equally weird/boundaryless again over chat or email, that's the point to kick things upstairs - but "Oh, I have friends at… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:52 AM on March 10, 2015

How to cope with being unpopular
Are you sure these are your people? Anarchists can be mean as fuck, they're all insecure inside, there's a lot of gender bullshit no matter how queer everyone is. I have quit a couple of "anarchist" social circles (I mean, I'm in an anarchist social circle right now, but it's a bit healthier.)

1. What draws you to these people? What parts of it are the political ideas, what parts are the day-to-day stuff, what parts… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:14 PM on March 6, 2015
Oh, hey, also - sometimes having a friend who is a bit older and can see you as a Young Person With Potential is helpful. I know those sound like the words of a loon, but...well, okay, look, I made friends with a couple of younger people over the years who I could see were awkward and unhappy but who were also interesting and smart, and part of my goals in being their friends was to be kind to them so that they could have a base of security. They are… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 PM on March 6, 2015

Kill 'em with kindness strategy is not going to work on me.
I wonder if, in your concern for anonymity, you're not leaving out some important details.

Like, if this person was a difficult pill before all this, that gives things a different feel. Or if you asked them "hey, would you mention on Facebook that [husband] is doing some [popular, widely-used service that is low stakes] now" and they refused, that's different from "would you send all your network a press-release-like document of Joe's… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:57 AM on March 4, 2015

Stories of people finding success/fulfillment late in life?
A project I am part of is almost entirely people under 30. (And me, and a few others.) We have one volunteer who is retirement age and not only is she one of the key people in the project but she...I dunno, she really fits in. She has a lot of professional skills that she applies to this project, which is great, but she also does a lot of stuff that I at least did not really expect from someone in their sixties - she does a lot of set up/check-in for the punk shows that we host, for instance.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:11 AM on March 3, 2015

Should I tell my former employer why I left?
You should not do this. I know someone who did this, and it came back and burned them in a LOT of ways. What happens is that people will leave that company, you may encounter them elsewhere in new roles (you'd be surprised!) and they will remember you as a negative person who Said Mean Things and was not a team player and it will hurt your job chances. Even if there is, say, one manager who really, truly wants to hear what you have to say in order to make improvements,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 AM on March 3, 2015

The cotton boyshort underwear that changed your life
Thirding Gap - don't get anything with lace or funny stuff, as those fall apart and itch. I bought a bunch of pairs early last summer and all are holding up well except one, and even that one is holding up better than a lot do now.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:33 AM on February 28, 2015

My boyfriend "forgot" me and let his ex stay during the holiday with him
I think that while you are dealing with a lot of childhood pain, he's dealing with a lot of adult pain. Maybe a way for you to think about this (unless it seems wildly unlike his actual personality) is to think of how traumatic it must have been for him to have to deal with this sudden visit from the ex who abandoned him when he might have been dying, and how intense it must have been for him to have to deal with her on his turf. Maybe he got overwhelmed by the thought of trying to push her to… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:08 AM on February 22, 2015 marked best answer

"As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset, I am in paradise..."
I really like PJ Harvey's "Last Living Rose".

Also, the Pogues' "London You're A Lady" is kind of schlocky and overblown, but I really like "your headdress is a ring of lights, but I will not follow them".

Really, a lot of Pogues songs are set in London - "The Old Main Drag" ("I went down to the 'dilly to check out the scene") for instance. A lot of the songs on "Rum, Sodomy and the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:32 PM on February 20, 2015 marked best answer

The other shore looks nice, but the bridge makes my skin crawl
It seems like you're conflating a whole bunch of stuff as "social skills that are just a grinding charade". I get by just fine in life never talking about sports at all, for instance, because being interested in sports isn't really that important a social signal except to sports enthusiasts. But dressing appropriately, asking polite questions about people, that kind of thing - those are all ways that we negotiate the fact that we don't know anything much about each… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:40 PM on February 18, 2015
On occasion, I've sat down and made a list of all the things about human society that I just don't understand: small talk and flirting; allegiances to sports teams, political parties, and other group identities; fashion and dress codes; and so on. It is a long list.

Also, have you thought of trying to understand these things? Some of them are really interesting! You could read all kinds of books on fashion, dress codes,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:01 PM on February 18, 2015
So basically what you're saying is that you hate talking to people unless you already know them well? I am still having trouble with this question, because it's difficult for me to understand what a connection with other people is besides socialization/communication. That's what I do for fun with friends, after all - we talk, mostly.

What does your ideal connected relationship look like?

I feel like… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on February 19, 2015

"What's the Matter with Kids Today?"
The twentysomething generation is balking at work, marriage and baby-boomer values. Why are today's young adults so skeptical? - the canonical Gen X Time article from 1990.

How well I remember when I was the slack one. It was a great decade, actually. I am only sorry that the Millennials and Z-ers or whatever they're called are not having nearly as good a youth.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:51 AM on February 19, 2015 marked best answer
(I mean, due to the economy and increasing inequality, not due to any innate lack of capacity for fun or happiness.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:53 AM on February 19, 2015

Does my flirty, older, married coworker like me?
He might "like" you without intending to do anything about it - that would by my read. It's possible that he both loves his wife and his family and has a little bit of a thing for you. He may believe, or be telling himself, that he doesn't come across as having a crush. (Which to my mind he does - I mean, my best friends don't check in before and after trips unless there are some unusual circumstances.)

I'm very much of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:48 AM on February 16, 2015

Indoor cats: to vaccinate, or not?
Get the rabies shot. If your cats ever have contact with a bat (or a squirrel or a raccoon, etc) and they haven't had it, there will be trouble. We had a situation where we thought our vet had slipped up and not given the rabies vaccine because someone at the vet's office misread the records, and our cat caught a bat, and the first vet I talked to said that the normal policy was to euthanize the cat. The next vet said that the alternative was one year of in-home quarantine with contact only… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2015

Giving a gift to restaurant staff?
If this were me, I would get a thank-you card and write something nice about the restaurant and the staff and then provide an extra large tip to be divided amongst the servers. (Perhaps discuss this with the manager beforehand to make sure it's split up as you prefer.) Any material gift for a large group of people known only in a professional capacity is going to have drawbacks - someone will be in recovery or allergic to gluten or boycotting Target or whatever.

The… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:03 AM on February 11, 2015 marked best answer

What finger foods would be good for a hot sauce tasting party?
Roast yam fingers - can be served room temperature and taste good with hot sauce. Roast cauliflower florets, the same.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:56 PM on February 10, 2015

Is she taking that off because she wants to or because she has to?
Something I've noticed, from knowing friends who are or have been dancers: a lot of the guys who go to strip clubs like to imagine, on some level, either that the women are super into it and super into just being so hot or else that they're helpless economic pawns of the dudes watching. And really, it's just a job - where some of the customers are okay, sometimes management is okay, but a lot of times the customers are creepy and/or pathetic and the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 PM on February 9, 2015

Dumbbell exercises, lunges and your opinion about bodyweight squats
Thanks, everyone so far! I will definitely try goblet and/or overhead squats.

I do split squats, actually, but not weighted ones yet - I'm very wobbly, for one thing, and two sets of eight on each leg (I just made that up; I don't really know how many to do, but that seems to work) is all I can manage.

You are looking for active or tricky lunges that you can go quickly. This makes me nervous. If you are in the weight room, you probably… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on February 4, 2015

Mother is too reliant on me - how do I navigate this now?
I am in the process of losing my own mother to early-onset dementia. We were not close, and I know this hurt her. There are a variety of reasons for our lack of closeness and I don't feel especially guilty about this, but I do feel regret and would go back and do it differently if I could.

I look at my mother's life and I see such a lot of constraints on her, and how she was raised to give up a lot of what she wanted and not… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:07 AM on January 30, 2015
Also, is there stuff you can do to make her feel loved that would be easier to schedule, etc? Like sending her silly postcards every few weeks? Or do something that you initiate - maybe both agree to watch a movie and talk about it? Send her a DVD of a movie you think she'd like, not for her birthday but just out of the blue? (My parents at least still do DVDs and CDs and so on.)

I think what my mother really wanted was to feel… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on January 30, 2015

Comfort me with novels
Hilary Mantel has written more than the Cromwell books - I just finished Beyond Black, and it was also gripping.

Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy and her other WWI books are also engrossing. (I really like The Century's Daughter, one of her earlier novels, but it's not written in that same "intelligent, engaging but very flowing and not obtrusive" voice that the ones you're referencing are.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:21 AM on January 28, 2015
Oh, dude, The Line of Beauty is so depressing. But that, and also Hollinghurst's The Swimming Pool Library, which is, I think, a finer novel but on the other hand the manners/non-upper-class-character-at-parties bits in The Line of Beauty are really good.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on January 28, 2015

how I learned to stop worrying and love the gym
I am a hugely anxious, gender non-conforming and kind of fat person who started going to the gym last year. I also just started reformer pilates, which really is substantially populated by very slim dancer types.

So my point is, I totally hear you.

It was pretty difficult to go to the gym for about the first three weeks. I was panicky and grumpy and found getting changed in the locker room really difficult.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:05 AM on January 27, 2015 marked best answer

Only a loser would settle for me
Getting serious about what you already like helps too. When I was in my twenties, I had all these ideas about how to be a real intellectual - I needed to read Lacan and Derrida, for instance, even though I was not especially interested in them. So I felt stupid and useless all the time. Eventually I decided that I would study science fiction, which has always interested me, and read theory about it, and I found that I made much more headway with the smart-people-stuff. Is… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on January 24, 2015

Is it unfair to tell my colleague I'm in love with her?
In a couple of years, you can either look back and say "oh jeez, why did I open that can of worms? I realize now that I was making it all about me and my feelings" or you can say "wow, I was so mature and exercised such self-control and kept my dignity and I am proud of myself for not making a big feelingsbomb".

You will feel better in the long run if you can pat yourself on the back for biting your tongue and moving on. The… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:42 PM on January 23, 2015

No, you really do need to tone it down
How are you in your personal life? It's the rare person who is a pushy loud-mouth only at work. Or even a chatterbox only at work. Ask a trusted friend if you're not sure.

How is the criticism delivered and what is being asked of you? Criticism that is either mean-spirited or asks for stupid/impossible stuff may or may not reflect an actual character flaw on your part, but it's obviously not intended to help you and you should be really cautious.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on January 23, 2015

Will the rear zipper on this messenger bag wear out my clothes?
In my experience, this is a problem more for lofty or loosely woven fabrics and when the bag is heavily loaded - my wool winter coat, for example, has a big worn patch due to my bag's hardware. I would expect wool or chunkier denim (rather than tightly woven, thinner denim) to get worn; other fabrics, not so much. Of course, one reason my coats get worn patches is because I walk or bike long distances carrying the bag, which causes it to rub against the fabric more - if you're looking at… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:53 AM on January 14, 2015

I have no right to be upset, right?
I personally would not rush ahead to do something very fancy and special that a friend wanted to do but was too broke to do and that had never occurred to me until my friend talked about it. That's bound to provoke hyper awareness of inequality in the friendship, for one thing, and it's bound to remind my friend of the limits they're facing right now at a time when things are already difficult. I don't think it's an intentional slight, and there's… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 AM on January 13, 2015
A big part of the thrill (not the only) was the idea of finding places unexplored by my group of friends and bringing those experiences home to share.

And I will quickly add that I get this - it's legit to want to be able to be like your friends in that you are able to contribute something special and interesting about your experiences. I think that's reasonable. Obviously, the world isn't infinite and we can't all be perfect… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:58 AM on January 13, 2015

Fashion help! Should I buy these red shoes?
Trickers brogues are very...clompy. They are not sleek shoes - they're even less sleek than they look in the photo. The Bourton last is also a bit wide - not quite a true wide width, but wider than a regular US size. They are not, IMO, a good sockless brogue.

I mean, they'll last for eternity and they are beautifully made - I would never dissuade someone from buying Trickers. But be prepared - they are big shoes.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on January 12, 2015

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