Activity from widdershins

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Reasonably affordable, experiential gifts
I love these ideas and am totally stealing them for date night. My marriage thanks you.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:46 PM on June 21, 2017

Making an apartment home
So there the trick to making an apartment feel like home is to make sure it appeals to all the senses - obviously sight, but also touch, hearing and smell. (I'd argue taste as well, but we'll leave that one out for now.) You do that by making sure you have the right balance in every room for:
- different levels of light
- color
- softness/textures
- scent (or at least the absence of bad smells)
-… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:37 AM on June 19, 2017

Outdoor speaker solutions
I'm not clear on whether you want the sound system to live outside permanently? If not and you're willing to move the speakers back into the house when you're done, I think Sonos is exactly what you're looking for, as long as you can plug them into a power outlet.

I have two, love them, and plan to add more.

Edited to add that there's a current promotion of $50 off two Play1's, so basically $350 for two great speakers.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:31 PM on June 12, 2017 marked best answer

Between an aging sailor's memory and contradictory written sources
Fascinating and charming.

This story reminded me of the recent 'what do I need to know in order to become a Canadian' AskMe, in which one of the answers was to make sure to take any opportunity to point out 'he's Canadian, you know'. As a Norwegian, I must say we also EXCEL at this, and I'd like to submit this story as evidence Exhibit A.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:27 AM on June 11, 2017

There Once Was a Groundskeeper...
I am not usually a supporter of football or hooliganism, but I have to admit I loved this story. Great read.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:25 AM on June 5, 2017

I took a trip to crazytown, but now I'm fine! Hire me!
I really think it's OK to say that after 15 years, you needed a break. A LOT of teachers get burned out, and 15 years is a long and honorable time to have taught. So you took a break, recharged and realize that you really miss teaching, and now you're back. Spin it to your advantage! You have fresh eyes and are super motivated because you know exactly what you're getting yourself into and exactly why you want to do this again. No apologies, no regrets. You know you're a great teacher -… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:04 AM on June 2, 2017

Gay Vulture Dads
I read this story yesterday and was surprised the article didn't reference And Tango Makes Three - a wonderful children's book from 2005 about the 2 gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo who raised a chick together (Tango, because it takes two...). It is honestly a great children's book that I have given as a present many times. As same-sex parents, we found it a wonderful way to show our kids diversity in families, and a very gentle way to teach them that homosexuality is indeed found in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:45 AM on June 2, 2017

A New Blue for Crayola & You!
Umm... cobalt? Maybe it's my monitor or layman eyes, but that color looked really cobalt to me.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2017

Forgotten Giants
I *heart* these. What a great project. My kids would adore coming across these in the woods. Who am I kidding, I would adore coming across these in the woods.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 9:02 AM on May 5, 2017

Advice for where to live in northern New Jersey
I work in real estate development and I agree with Miko and MattD that Newark is booming right now. It has long had a terrible reputation but it is very rapidly changing. We recently completed one project there (I won't self-link but memail me if you want details; it's gorgeous), have another one going and there will be many more. A Whole Foods just opened there last month, and Marcus Samuelson is about to open a restaurant within the next 9 months I think. If you're able to buy, this is a… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 1:55 PM on May 4, 2017

plush baby toys in the washing machine?
Yes, they'll be fine. Honestly - if they don't survive the washing machine they're not worth it. Are you going to handwash them every time baby spits up on them or gets them messy? Hint: No. You will be far too busy doing literally anything else.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:18 AM on May 3, 2017 marked best answer

"We will all need each other in the days ahead."
This makes me want to cry. What the FUCK is wrong with these people.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:06 AM on May 3, 2017

Speeding/Disobeyed traffic control device ticket in NYS
OK, clearly consensus is to pay up. Thank you everyone!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:28 AM on April 25, 2017
mikepop, I think that's exactly what happened. I know my speedometer isn't off, or at least, not off by much, by times that I've driven past the 'you're going at XX speed' digital signs. That would explain why the number was so much higher than I feel it actually was. Good catch.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:19 AM on April 28, 2017

"Car cries are like, extra cathartic. What's with that?"
My mom died almost 7 years ago (which does not seem real *at all*, I just had to triplecheck my math) and I recognize all of these stages. I was messed up in weird ways for about 8 months after she died, even though (or perhaps because) I'd had a very difficult relationship with her. Grief hurts. And it's random. And it breaks us open in ways we don't recognize until years later. Thank you for posting cortex.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:50 AM on April 28, 2017

Cape Cod MA or Fernandina Beach FL?
I lived in Tampa and spent a fair amount of time on Jekyll and Amelia and they are both absolutely beautiful. However, I have to echo what the above posters say. Politically, it is just not liberal. I didn't find the racism to be as blatant as it was in, say Tallahassee (where I lived for one hellish year), but it is still simmering right under the surface. Also, global warming is making it even hotter (and more muggy and buggy), so if that's not a pro for you, I would consider it a strong… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 5:32 PM on April 24, 2017

Is it possible to cut off just *one* toxic family member?
I came in here to recommend Walking on Eggshells as well. This sounds incredibly familiar and it's an awful family dynamic. My mom was never formally diagnosed with BPD, but when I did the checklist I was able to tick something like 17 out of 18 boxes. Good luck - this is so hard.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by widdershins at 2:02 PM on April 3, 2017

Introducing the Faves & Flags roleplaying system
Fabulous.
posted to MetaTalk by widdershins at 7:14 AM on April 3, 2017

What You Need To Know About Stillbirth: 4 Mothers Living Through Loss
A tough read. Not that I would have expected anything different, given the subject matter.

I was pregnant with twins 11 years ago. At the 20-week check-up, it became clear that one of them wasn't growing as fast or well as the other one, and at 31 weeks, she had run out of amniotic fluid and we had to do a c-section. I was so damn scared. My story has a happy ending - they both turned out happy, healthy, smart and amazing - and words cannot describe how grateful I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2017

The Apathetic Children
Really interesting article. I honestly expect to see more stories like this as the refugee crises worsen around the world. I wonder if part of the reason that it's only happening in Sweden so far is that subconsciously these kids know that their bodies will be taken care of by the government - I doubt that would be the case in, say, Sudan. Much to ponder here - thank you for posting, neroli.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 11:13 AM on March 28, 2017

Steel Magnolias: An Oral History
That was a really enjoyable article, and I agree I would have loved it to go on longer. I haven't seen this movie in ages and this just made me realize I'm way overdue. Thank you for sharing, leesh.
posted to MetaFilter by widdershins at 7:27 AM on March 28, 2017

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

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