Activity from widdershins

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State of MetaFilter, 2017
I also want to extend my sincere thanks to the mods and to the community here. I'm more of a lurker and rarely comment, but I read MeFi every single day. I just looked up my joiner date and almost choked to see that I've been here just shy of FIFTEEN YEARS, which - I can't even... MeFi remains my first stop on the internet and is the only website community I've ever wanted to join (see 'lurker' above) and during the elections it was the only thing that kept me sane.… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by widdershins at 2:04 PM on March 23, 2017

Fiction that changes (daily) lives?
Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time absolutely blew my mind open as a 20-year old. I still think of it often, 20 years later, in so many different types of situations.

It made me think about sexuality in a new way. Even though I intellectually considered myself bisexual before reading it, it was the first book that made me really consider sexuality as fluid for everyone, and how much of our sexuality is a social construct.

It made me think… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:10 PM on March 17, 2017

Darkness is good.
I found that Guardian article pretty terrifying. It summed up in one place in black and white all the various threats to democracy that I've been feeling and seeing, all in one place.

When I woke up the morning after Brexit and saw the results, for the first time I felt a terrible foreboding that Trump might actually win the election - until that point I'd been pretty optimistic that cooler heads would prevail. The morning after the US election I woke up to a text… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:12 AM on March 15, 2017

The friendship of a dog is precious.
Dogs are the best.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2017

Wenk called it “the Kevin stimulus.”
Ha - I just got my own office, and one of my first actions was to put a bowl of mints on my desk. Unanticipated positive: my whole office smells minty fresh. Unanticipated negative: people come into my office and eat them when I'm not around. I'm frequently out of the office, and came back yesterday to find that the mints were all gone, including the very last one. I'm a little torn between thinking that it's kinda rude of people to help themselves to my mints when I'm not around, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:32 AM on March 1, 2017

A Sinful Waste of Time
So after the horror show that was the 2016 election, I decided it was time to support journalism by buying an online subscription to a quality newspaper. I was torn on whether to go for Wapo or NYT, but in the end I decided on NYT since it's geographically closer to me. I didn't realize that with the subscription, you get access to all their online crossword puzzles as well... and I am now completely consumed.

Over the last few years I've been concerned about my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2017

Car recommendations for a growing family
We just a week ago got rid of our Honda Odyssey after 10 years of steadfast service (and we bought it used for much less than $30K). As other posters have said, it's a workhorse.

One thing you didn't mention is the ages of your kids. We have 3 kids, not 2, so we were pretty much headed towards a minivan anyway, but what we found is that as the kids move out of the pre-K stage, you need more room. If your kids will be doing sports, you will want space for their gear.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:48 PM on February 14, 2017
Oh, and I meant to add: don't underestimate the fabulousness that is dual climate controls! Being able to set a different temperature in the back for the kids is gold, particularly on long trips when they're getting hit with a lot of sun.

Ditto for leather seats - from an animal-loving and price perspective, I'm not a fan, but from a keeping the car from smelling like little Timmy's puke from that trip last year perspective, I love them. My commuter car has fabric… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:54 PM on February 14, 2017

I need a car!
Came in to plug my beloved Prius C, a hybrid. And it was not expensive - I got mine 2 years ago this May and spent $18K on a brand new one (they had an amazing deal going on) including 8 year service plan. I tested a bunch of cars as well. The Fit is great if you have a lot of cargo, but it honestly didn't feel very comfortable. I routinely get between 50 and 55 mpg!, the ride is comfortable, and while it's not the zippiest car ever, it drives great and has everything I need. Also, I gotta… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:47 PM on January 27, 2017

Kids: don't believe the Vole troll!
Bamse!!! Right there with you, kariebookish - it's been a long time, but fond memories... Oh, now I'm all nostalgic for the comic strips of my childhood - Sølvpilen, Fantomet, Donald. Back when Donald wasn't a 4-letter word.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:36 PM on January 27, 2017

Ward + Robes
Fantastic. More of this, please!
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:34 AM on January 13, 2017

Now you are about to join another rarified club
I thought the letter was good. Honestly, at this point, I will take anything that focuses on our similarities and our shared humanity instead of our political divides. This letter was respectful and heartfelt and I wish people wouldn't take the cheap shots every. single. time. 2017: Be the change you wish to see in the world!
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:32 AM on January 13, 2017

They're Simple Dogs, Brent.
My sister-in-law adopted a failed service dog for the blind, a black lab. Super cute and cuddly, loves people, well-behaved, with just one minor problem: he piddles every time he gets excited. Which isn't really desirable for anyone (human), but I'm guessing for a blind person it's particularly problematic. Otherwise, A Very Good Dog.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:02 AM on January 12, 2017

A Critique of the Mindfulness Movement
This is reminding me forcefully of our hygge discussion just a few weeks ago...
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2016

Sensually yours (need erotic books/vids recommendations)
Came in to say Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey as well. Delicious storyline, set in an alternate past where sexual practitioners are trained and revered. Great trilogy (and goes on to 3 more books) with lots of sensual sex scenes. I reread all 6 about a year ago after about 10 years since first reading them and they were even better than I recalled.

If you liked 50 Shades and the Sleeping Beauty books, I think you'll also like The Story of O by Pauline Reage.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:31 AM on November 28, 2016

Dealing with estranged parent dying
I echo what most of the posters above have said, that it's an intensely personal situation, and only you will know.

My mom passed while we were estranged. I did not connect with her before she died. I don't have any regrets about it. I always thought I would, but in the end there was virtually no guilt, only a pinprick here or there for things I could have handled better. I had a lot of regret for the things that could have been, but not really for the choices I… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 10:56 AM on November 28, 2016

Settle in: its going to be a long winter
Oh man, as a Norwegian I'm finding both the article and the comments here oddly frustrating. There is nothing that exotic about hygge - honestly, coziness is a perfectly apt translation. And to be honest, I'm getting kind of offended that people are reading white nationalism into this. There is nothing surprising about the fact that as the world appears more threatening, people are flocking to things that feel cozy, feel connected, feel good. Just because something is associated with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:18 AM on November 22, 2016
I take your point, EmpressCallipygos. Particularly because the packaging of hygge makes it something that can be bought, as opposed to created. And your thrift market decor example is apt, because hygge is almost the opposite of elegance or high-priced consumerism - it's literally about taking pleasure in the little things. So the only way to commercialize it is to label it - literally - so that unknowing people will try to buy their way to it. I don't want to put words into Dysk's mouth,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:14 AM on November 22, 2016

“It’s remarkable, and it’s valuable.”
The iguana vs snakes bit - holy shit! I actually screamed out loud.

I figured the dancing bears video might be just the thing to release the tension, and it was! Superbly edited and wonderful.

So in short, I will be watching the hell out of this series. Can't wait till the kids come home from school so I can show them these clips.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:03 AM on November 16, 2016

Strategy for calling your representatives
Very useful, thank you for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:35 AM on November 12, 2016

Of the people, by the people, and for the people: US election day
Another suburban CT voter here - we voted at 8:15 or so, and the ballot counter was already on 900, which is pretty amazing. We normally never have a line, and our wait was less than 3 minutes, but it started to build up behind us, which I also am taking as a very good sign. My 10-year old daughter filled out the ballot for me (we were in the corner, no one could see), she got her own "I voted" sticker, and she was seriously excited to be part of history and get to actually give a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:05 AM on November 8, 2016

"People thought it was a really weird school"
Holy crap, I went to Uni and never expected it to be the subject of a MetaFilter FPP! I also had NO IDEA about this program - it ended almost 10 years before I started. I moved to LA in 10th grade ('86) and Uni was my districted high school, so off I went. Maybe if we'd lived in LA beforehand I would have known about it, but it was never mentioned at Uni. I really liked the school - it was a nice blend of the surrounding neighborhoods, some wealthy, some not - nowhere near as prissy as… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:04 AM on November 6, 2016

Legal Insurance
I am also in a same-sex marriage and we used the legal plan for the following:
- wills (they started with a boilerplate then customized for us; definitely well beyond doing it ourselves)
- minor legal matter
- closing on our first home

It was absolutely worth it and paid for itself many times over. I now work at a company that doesn't offer one, and I've been lobbying them to add it. No reason not to.

I will… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2016

Alexander Hamilton's beany guacamole dip: 18 days to go
I... I made it to the bottom of an election thread before a new one was started. I don't know whether to be proud or horrified at the time I've wasted.

Honestly, I have *got* to stop reading this shit obsessively. I am getting zero work done.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2016

Planning for secret quonsar, 2016 edition
So every year that I read the SQ post and see julen's name I chuckle to myself, because "julen" in Norwegian means Xmas* and I think wow, I wonder if she is just SUPER into holidays...

(I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom with no quirky homemaking hobbies and fear my gift would be nowhere near cool enough. I enjoy reading about the amazingly creative things that people receive, though - a knitted uterus, case in point!)… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by widdershins at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2016

Swings and Roundabout
Holy shit, I cannot believe this article. I worked at UBS for 12 years and recognized Birkenfeld's name immediately. Like jpe said, he completely left out all the illegal shit he did, which is what he went to jail for - smuggling diamonds in a toothpaste tube for a client included. UBS was complicit, and deserved the fine it got, but this guy was not some innocent who just wasn't aware of what he was doing. He knew full well the laws he was breaking, as did the clients, and he had no… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2016

Please help us with some cool elementary school science fair projects!
Thank you guys - I marked as best answers the ones I figured my kids would be most excited about. Definitely welcome any other ideas as well!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:55 AM on October 4, 2016

The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial
Loved this. Gotta admit, I was suckered for a minute.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 6:39 AM on September 25, 2016

Denied
RedOrGreen, you are spot on. I became aware in Kindergarten that something was up with my son's reading, and brought it to the teacher's and school's attention. The principal basically told me a) "boys are slower readers than girls", b) "he's totally fine, I've watched him myself and there's no issue", and c) "not all of your children are going to be as academically talented as your [gifted] daughters; your expectations are too high". We ended up having to pay… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:28 PM on September 19, 2016

“This is what love looks like.”
Oh minsies, I feel you. I had to leave my beloved Thalia behind when I divorced my ex. I was also moving to another country, plus there was just no way I could break his heart and take our dog as well. So I gave her up but I never gave up on loving her. This was many years ago now and she's passed away, but she was loved by my ex (and me from afar) to the end. Big hug to you.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:40 AM on September 18, 2016

What shape are the numbers?
Wow, really interesting to read these responses. I don't visualize numbers at all. I do give them some personality traits, though:

1 is individual (duh)
2 is paired and bound
3 is ... huh, I guess I do visualize some numbers, because I keep seeing 3 dots in a row, like on a die, or ellipses. But 3 is unique, a little edgy and fun
4 is stable, but a bit boring
5 is wealthy and desirable
6 is my favorite number… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 3:18 PM on August 18, 2016 marked best answer

Stylish backpacks for women
I also am completely over regular purses - I'm so done with the back pain that comes from always slinging heavy objects over just one shoulder. I ended up getting a Brahmin packpack, and used it as my primary (only) purse for about 6 years and only replaced it when it was starting to look a bit too worn in for my professional workplace. Brahmin even replaced a strap free of charge when it accidentally hooked on something and snapped.

Just a few months ago, I got this… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:16 AM on August 8, 2016

My God, it's full of stars.
These are absolutely stunning. I normally keep a picture of my kids as my background shot (I know, but it makes me happy), but I had to replace it with one of these. So beautiful. Thank you for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:49 PM on July 29, 2016

The Olympian and the Terrorist
Great article. It is so damn hard to face the talk, the whispers, the silent judgment without becoming bitter, and it sounds like he's doing a really good job of it. I'm in the middle of the Invisibilia podcast about Aarhus that progosk mentioned above, and they call it non-complementary behavior - when you don't respond in kind. I aspire to be able to do this. Thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:02 AM on July 21, 2016

Remember it's your life. Live it any way you like.
So damn good. Man, I'm going to miss this first couple.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2016

Hell has frozen over.
#1, hands down. Much more elegant yet fun, and way more appropriate for a wedding. But would absolutely get both and go with whichever looked better on. [but seriously, #1!]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 12:49 PM on July 20, 2016

most costly and financially most risky type of mega-project
I am a huge Olympics fan - Winter is my favorite (duh; I'm Norwegian), but I'll avidly watch every Summer program as well. I get cable turned on at my house for a month every 2 years, just for this. And then I watch on the apps as well. I frequently schedule vacation time around it (though not this time, and I'm fretting a bit about all the events I'll miss). I went to the Lillehammer Olympics and can't wait to go again someday. I'm not a fan of professional sports, but I looove the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:34 AM on July 14, 2016

Why 'Tough' Treatment Doesn't Help Drug Addicts
I listened to this podcast this morning and really enjoyed it - had no idea Maia is MeFi's own. Very cool. Like Charles_Swan, I also have some conflicting emotions on how to handle addicts who break the law, and this podcast forced me to think about those emotions more deeply, which I appreciate. I recently read this article on harm reduction in Canada, which I really liked as well. Seems like such a small and easy way to improve the quality of life for one of the most marginalized… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2016

Friend fraud: To reach out, or let it be?
A number of years ago, a co-worker that I'd kept in sporadic touch with was accused of stealing from the company I used to work for. (We worked at a travel agency and she fudged records/charged client credit cards to get free tickets for herself and her friends.) All of our old co-workers were pretty outraged and cut off communication. I sent her an email that basically said 'I'm guessing you can use a friend about now - I'm here if you need me.' She was really, really grateful and even… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:38 PM on June 28, 2016

When you wish upon a bra...
This part cracked me up because it's so damn true:

Women, however, think: “I’m going to be the kind of person who has hummus. I will buy a tub of hummus to effect this.”

I've actually been thinking about bras a ton lately because I need new ones. The ones I have now have finally gotten too stretched out and I feel like my boobs are sitting lower on my chest as a result. But then I think about getting a bra that actually… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2016

Translated, he says: "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, we are winning this."
So I'm not really into professional sports - it always seems much ado about nothing to me. But when I watched this clip I was immediately lifted into the euphoria of the announcer, and I thought 'man, I should watch sports more often! This must be why fans watch!'

The only sporting event I really get super into is the Olympics. Particularly the winter Olympics. Particularly if Norway is competing. Then that announcer has nothing on me. Probably good it's only every 4 years...
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 10:27 AM on June 23, 2016

Movie: Finding Dory
Finding Nemo is our family's favorite Disney/Pixar film, so we have had this on the calendar since the date was released. We saw it Saturday night and I have to say... I was a little disappointed. Nemo had a lot more humor than Dory. And Ellen's voice was so much more ...optimistic 13 years ago. I also don't think this movie flowed as well as Nemo did.

That said, I loved the octopus and Sigourney Weaver. And of course the cute otters.
posted to FanFare by widdershins at 2:27 PM on June 20, 2016
Yes to the problematic 'crazy' bird and sealion scenes - inclusiveness only goes so far, I guess. I forgot to mention my favorite scene: when we see the lines upon lines of shells radiating out of Dory's parents' home. Deeply touching, particularly as a parent...
posted to FanFare by widdershins at 2:16 PM on June 22, 2016

Tell Me I'm Fat
I really loved this episode of TAL and found it very thought-provoking. I am married to a personal trainer who is not outwardly fat dismissive, but there's no question she thinks fat is at least partly a personal failing. I've been debating whether to tell her about this episode - I'm not sure she's open to hearing it, but it can't hurt, I guess?

I also found Elna's story incredibly powerful, and I really appreciate the article palomar linked above. That woman has… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:25 AM on June 22, 2016

Subject verb agreement
Thank you - exactly what I thought but this had been through a lot of eagle-eyed reviews and I was starting to doubt myself! Thank you again ~
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:50 AM on June 3, 2016
Well, after seeing this lively debate, I don't feel so bad for having to ask the question. It's gone to print with ARE.

Thanks everyone!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:27 AM on June 3, 2016

Getting Intense With Indigo Girls
Thank you for the trip down memory lane, hippybear. I had every single song on every single IG album memorized until Shaming of the Sun (at which point either the albums became less excellent or my tastes changed, not sure which).
Their cover of Romeo and Juliet was just ... gut-wrenching. I always liked the Dire Straits original, but it never pulled me by the collar and forced me to LISTEN the way the IG version did. You just knew Amy was laying her soul and pain bare for the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2016
OK, I'll give CONS a try - had heard good things about it. I didn't like PATBB very much, or at least not the songs I heard. I wonder if it's a case of the music being right for the time and the place, though - I have deep nostalgia for the IG songs I used to love (and still do), but don't feel the need to re-listen very often.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:10 AM on May 31, 2016

Should I help a colleague with a job? Even if I find them mildly evil?
OK, I think the echo chamber in here has made it clear already that you are under no obligation to do this. Learn from my mistake:

I once highly recommended someone for a job that I honestly did not know well, but I was young and enthusiastic and eager to do both parties a favor (that's how I saw it). To cut to the chase, the person was not a good fit and ended up being let go. Because I had so highly recommended her, they waited longer than usual to do it, and it did… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:06 AM on May 26, 2016

Holy crap, that is painful. I mean viscerally, wince-inducing, frantically-scrabbling-for-the-mouse painful.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:00 PM on May 20, 2016

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