Free Thread Returns
January 10, 2022 11:03 AM   Subscribe

We had a free thread last week, and it was nice, and so by gum we're doing it again. Come on in and chat about whatever, share wee links, tell everybody something weird or interesting you just learned or that you've studied professionally for 20 years, whatever you feel like.

I'll reiterate the "what's the big idea" graf from last time:
The goal: a no-structure, low-heat, low-stakes conversation space. There are lots of opportunities on MetaFilter for pretty serious and difficult discussions; this isn't meant to be one of 'em. In here, aim for friendly chatter, wierd facts, obscure expertise, odd snippets of Internet Stuff, that sort of thing. Leave angry-making politics updates, doomscroll fodder, and hot-button stuff for elsewhere. Moderators will keep an eye out for flags in here just like anywhere else, but ideally it won't be necessary to do much active moderation in this kind of thread.
There was also some discussion and brainstorming in MetaTalk, if you're into that sort of thing.

And that's really it. This is free-form, go wild. Nice to see y'all.
posted by cortex (376 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
For my part, I just finished cleaning the MetaFilter Corporate HQ kitchen (aka the kitchen in my house) while listening to Chvrches' Screen Violence for the nth time since it came out and man I love all their albums but this might be the best one.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


I'm working on getting my mother's affairs to her specifications. Kinda heavy.

I'm working on assisting a non-profit to lobby the state legislature for better health care, both physical and mental, and more support for affordable housing. Landlords have a lot of sway in our state's legislature, and our governor is really resisting Medicare expansion. Lots to do.

I'm prepping a resume for some part time job applications.

I'm exercising to rehab my patellar tendinitis.

I'm enjoying my dog trying to get the yummy treat out of her Kong.
posted by conscious matter at 11:10 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Chvrches is good, but I insist on pronouncing the "v" in the middle. Ch-vrr-ches. Don't do weird things with your band name and expect me not to pronounce it. Looking at you, Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
posted by mrgoat at 11:12 AM on January 10 [40 favorites]


Ch-vrr-ches.

dear god what have you done
posted by mittens at 11:16 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


My 5-year-old and I did hair masks this weekend for our very dry, winter-damaged curls, and she just found the whole process enormously entertaining. In general my grooming aesthetic is "as low-effort as it takes not to look like a cave troll," but I admit it is delightful to do hair things together with my youngest. Even when it means I have to wear a gigantic bow out of the house so we can "be fancy and match, mommy!" (Like, I'm in my 40s and rockin' a JoJo Siwa bow, is what I'm talking about here.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:16 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]


My clothes are too big because I've lost about 20 pounds, but I don't want to buy any more because 1) I hate going anywhere because covid, and B) It's kind of a nice problem to have.

Now I need to go look up what is a "hair mask."
posted by JanetLand at 11:18 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


I picked up my vanity plate for my motorcycle this morning. I took some guff from my friend for voluntarily interacting with the DMV, and she has a point, but with everything going on in the world, sometimes we need a little bit of silly fun in our lives.
posted by Maxwell's demon at 11:19 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I love Robert Smith as guest vocalist (on that CHVRCHES track, but also this Japanese Popstars song or that version of Not in Love by Crystal Castles)

ch-vrr-ches
posted by dismas at 11:19 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Inspired by mochapickle, I baked a butterscotch pie on Friday. I was really happy with the way the crust came out (I am not always). I have also managed not to eat the whole thing (I do not always).
posted by holborne at 11:21 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


There is one surviving poem attributed to Yang Yuhan Guifei, the "heroine" of Song of Lasting Regret. It is surprisingly wuxia in sensibility.
posted by Quasirandom at 11:24 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


My clothes are too big because I've lost about 20 pounds

I can't count the number of times I've heard people say that if you lose weight, "your clothes will fit better." The assumption seems to be that nobody wears clothes that actually fit.
posted by FencingGal at 11:24 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


Took the dog out to the Central Valley on Saturday for her 3rd (4th?) official agility trial. She did well in the first run: hit everything we needed to, came in under time!

And then in the 2nd and 3rd runs, out of nowhere, she decided she hated the dog walk. Got 2/3 of the way up the ramp, clearly said, "Hell no!" and jumped off. So I got disqualified on those two runs.

Happily, the afternoon runs involved no dog walks, and we did fine. Came home after a long day outside with 2 qualifying runs, and 2 first place ribbons (mostly because there were few other dogs in our classes running the same jump heights).

Agility events are a fun way to spend time outdoors, if you enjoy watching dog after dog (and handler after handler) try to get through the same course as fast and accurately as they can. You learn to see where the problems are, and how some people are just shockingly good at communicating with their dogs. And how brilliantly athletic some dogs can be.

My sister ran her daughter's dog (sister is retired, daughter works full-time, dog really needs the exercise). He did really poorly on three runs, but hit everything he needed to on one of them, so he got a ribbon too!

Happy tired dogs. And exhausted human beings.
posted by suelac at 11:26 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Free Thread Returns

If the thread was so nice, why would I want to return it?
:D
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:27 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


This thread introduced me to Achewood so I started reading it from the beginning and just read the final comic this week. I'm sure you're all wondering what I think of Achewood since I started as a blank slate and just spent 2.5 years reading every comic, and the answer is: it's okay.
posted by Tehhund at 11:27 AM on January 10 [31 favorites]


Lincoln created the U.S. Secret Service on the day he was killed.

A strawberry isn't a berry, but an avocado and a banana both are.

When the pyramids were built, mammoths were still around. Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.

If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.

Dennis the Menace (US) and Dennis the Menace (UK) both began in March 1951. They were totally different comics with different characters begun by different creators, each without any knowledge of the other.

If you look at the large scale structure of the universe, it looks an awful lot like a brain cell.
posted by WCityMike2 at 11:28 AM on January 10 [28 favorites]


The thread about emailing authors reminded me of when my daughter was in middle school and was assigned to do a creative project about a book she'd read. She made a chess set out of clay based on the characters and creatures in some fantasy novel. She sent pictures of it to the author and she got a warm and delighted response. Everyone was happy.

Years later, another daughter made me a Father's Day card based on puzzles from the video game The Witness. I tweeted a picture of it to the game's lead developer and he responded with a comment that pointed out a nuance of the card I hadn't noticed myself. I send a note about all this to my favorite video game podcast and they read it on the cast and talked about the whole thing with great delight. Hearing my favorite podcasters talk about how clever my daughter is might be my favorite Father's Day present ever.
posted by straight at 11:29 AM on January 10 [36 favorites]


If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.

This made me laugh.
posted by straight at 11:32 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


A strawberry isn't a berry, but an avocado and a banana both are.

This reminds me of a quote about the difference between knowledge and wisdom:

Knowledge means that you know that technically, a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom means that you also know that nevertheless, tomatoes do not belong in fruit salad.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:33 AM on January 10 [30 favorites]


Gave some unexpected realness to a semi-estranged family member and it felt pretty good.

Also, person with whom my second date in June was to get my second vax shot and I are getting our boosters together tonight <3
posted by wellred at 11:33 AM on January 10 [32 favorites]


Severin just dropped their mega-ginormous folk horror box set, with a bunch of the titles, including the very cool 3+ hour doc on folk horror also going to Shudder. I'll be binge-watching as much of that as I'm able, and from the looks of things, multiple other horror nerd MeFites have the same plan.

Get ready for FF to get witchy and culty for a while, everybody.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:33 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


I started a new blog! As part of a New Year's resolution to write more. I've only written a single post so far, and was planning to announce on projects when I get a few up, but here's a link anyway. It's about my years long saga in using an automatic (machine learning based) tracking software.
posted by dhruva at 11:34 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Imagine how horrible life would be if cats could laugh.
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:36 AM on January 10 [19 favorites]


I did not keep up with the first thread and got hopelessly behind and then it was just too much to catch up. :(

But here is the thing I wanted to add, The Gardiner Brothers (Irish Dance and contemporary tap) Dancing on Christmas Morning in Ireland
They are SO GOOD and I love to watch them. Brothers, but not twins. They often post short 25ish second videos without a satisfying ending: Good Times, Freak Out, Merrily on High

If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.
I did not think this would work. But then it did!
posted by Glinn at 11:38 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


So I am an amateur folksinger and the high point of my week is going to play at a weekly open mic at a congenial brew pub near me. Every week each player gets to play two songs, except the host chooses (months in advance) a "featured performer" for each week who gets to play SIX songs. And this week the featured performer is ME! I am so excited and terrified that I get to play six whole songs for an audience that may approach twenty people!
posted by Daily Alice at 11:39 AM on January 10 [55 favorites]


"Now I need to go look up what is a "hair mask.""

It's like an ultra-heavy conditioner that you put on your hair and leave in for 15-30 minutes before rinsing out. I'm super-careful about keeping my very dry hair reasonably well-moisturized (largely because it's far less work than dealing with it dry), but this winter's been very harsh since Christmas, and since my 5-year-old wears hats every day to go outside (and won't let me put her hair up at night, so she wakes up all tangled), hers is even more dry than mine.

Anyway, drugstore hair mask, big poofy showercaps so we didn't get any on the furniture while it sat, watched a cartoon together, and then rinsed out our hair, and we both have much smoother, better-behaved, less-tangled hair so this morning was not a battle to tame her hair before school. :) She's at an age where she finds all beauty tasks fascinating and elegant and special and grown-up, and I am not a mom who provides a whole lot of satisfaction in that realm. (I own eyeshadow? Maybe? But I don't know where it is, and, uh, I am just now realizing I haven't used it since before Covid so it needs to be thrown out anyway. Maybe I already threw it out?) Anyway, it was legit fun to do with her because she was so excited; maybe I'll get tinted lip balm and we'll really go all-out!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:39 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I invested in a bunch of cheery patterned socks between Christmas and New Years, when it started to look like January might not be fun (understatement, but). My socks today have flowers on them. Yesterday they had sheep. You can't even see them between my work shoes and slacks unless you're under my desk--they don't show when I'm standing. But they make me happy.
posted by bridgebury at 11:40 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


The last thread introduced me to L'Imperatrice, which is not exactly my thing except it seems to be kind of my thing. So I've been playing various bits of their stuff and I've been enjoying it.
posted by PussKillian at 11:41 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I'm sure you're all wondering what I think of Achewood

Back when I first discovered Achewood, I sent one of the early strips to my sister because I thought she'd enjoy it too*. But her first question to me was, "Is...is Philippe a talking dildo??" 😄

* (Narrator: she did)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:42 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


it's almost 4am here and im awake because im browsing the spidey tag on tumblr while writing fanfic. yet tomorrow (ha) is a working day. my life is full of pleasure and pain.
posted by cendawanita at 11:42 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


GamesDoneQuick is running this week if anyone wants to watch speedrunners destroy games for charity -- in this case the Prevent Cancer Foundation. There's a FanFare thread too, which I can't link because I'm at work, and MeFi isn't blocked but Fanfare is.

Also, I follow pro-wrestling and everyone is scratching their heads at the fact that Mickie James -- who is currently the Impact Women's Champion -- was announced as an entrant into WWE's Women's Royal Rumble. Meaning, they actually announced that she was coming, and touted her as being the champion of another company.

WWE has barely even acknowledged that other promotions exist previously. The main reason for all this is that, when you exclude the women on the roster who are having other matches that night, WWE literally doesn't have enough women to fill a 30-person rumble, so they had to invite back a lot of alums -- Mickie, the Bella twins, Kelly Kelly, Lita, etc.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 11:42 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Free Thread Returns

If the thread was so nice, why would I want to return it?


No no no you're reading that wrong. Thread Returns cost money on all other days. Today, they are free.

I have a friend whose husband can't really tolerate strongly scented stuff and it's a developing issue. So she just dropped off a huge box of fun hair and skin products all of which have various amazing smells. I am now, at 53, a woman who wears "night cream" and wow it's kind of nice. I am usually a no-makeup-moisturizer-when-I-take-a-shower-sunscreen-when-I-remember person so this feels very fancy.
posted by jessamyn at 11:44 AM on January 10 [22 favorites]


Finally broke my not-reading streak with this (so far?) gentle scifi which I feel a lot of folks here might vibe with.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:48 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


For reasons that are unimportant I've found myself watching many different videos of orchestras performing One Winged Angel, from Final Fantasy 7, live.

I think this one from 15 years ago is probably my favourite because there's just something about a mop haired Nobuo Uematsu rocking out on the keyboard that I find absolutely delightful.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 11:50 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I also started a new blog! I was an OG blogger, and ran my personal blog for 12 years, before giving up in 2012. Here I am, 10 years later, giving it another go. This time I am just posting the hundreds of food photos I have been taking for the last 20 years.
posted by briank at 11:50 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


It was dry and sunny this weekend so I washed my wife's car. I also decided to wax it and used a clay bar for the first time. It's pretty labor intensive, but man it looked really nice afterwards
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:51 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I keep batches of homemade yogurt rolling forward, and my favorite part is always adding a dollop of the previous batch to the prepared (denatured-and-precautionary-sterilized and cooled back down to optimal temps) milk for the new lot. Because I get to inform the lactobacilli etc in the transfer spoons that "A new life awaits you on the offworld colonies!"
posted by Drastic at 11:54 AM on January 10 [56 favorites]


I have been reading Our Beloved Kin by Lisa Brooks, a history of King Philip's War (New England, 1675-1678) told from the Indigenous perspective. Partly because portions of it take place right in my southeastern Vermont neighborhood (like, literally, where I am sitting now), and partly because it really upends the standard narratives which are based on contemporaneous English documents (a surprising volume of which have survived). This conflict put an end, for good, to the shaky but largely peaceful relations between Native Americans and English settlers which had existed for a half-century or so. It was also the beginning (or escalation) of large-scale removal of Native Americans from their land, and of the crafting of an American identity on the part of the settlers, since they fought this war without help from their home country. I recommend the book to anyone interested in Native culture and the evolution of the still-ongoing saga of Native dispossession.
posted by beagle at 11:55 AM on January 10 [19 favorites]


Got a voice call from my mother's house in the middle of the workday, which almost never happens. As soon as I saw the number I was wondering if someone was in hospital or worse.



Turns out she rang to say that the car passed its MOT (annual vehicle safety test).
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:57 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.

*tries it* goddammit, he's right
posted by cortex at 11:59 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


I spent a good part of 2021 listening a whole lot to Destroyer's (2020) Have We Met, and "Cue Synthesizer" pretty much on repeat.. I feel like Dan Bejar scales a mountain of pretentiousness and reaches this weird peak of very-funny + heart aching sincerity.. I can't find any friends to talk about this.
posted by elkevelvet at 12:00 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


I (over)slept very deeply and soundly last night, which possibly has something to do with yesterday being the first day in weeks I didn’t drink. Both the not-drinking in itself, and also the not-utterly-despairing mood which made the not-drinking feasible. One day at a time. Aiming for tomorrow to try to be a little better still.
posted by notoriety public at 12:00 PM on January 10 [33 favorites]


Like briank I have also made a tentative return to blogging. Mine is a low-effort affair where I write a little about random LPs and CDs on my shelves.
posted by misteraitch at 12:01 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


My lifetime-favorite Achewood strip is the one where Philippe gets into the mushrooms. I cackle helplessly every time.

My pal Syd Straw posted about the great songwriter Richard Buckner on FB today and it gave me an opportunity to share another favorite thing: his performance of "Gauzy Dress in the Sun" from Asheville, SC, in 2001. (This was also on my MeFi mix of a few years back.)

Speaking of Syd, she was the star of an episode of my latest podcast, which The Atlantic named as the 8th best of 2021!

And after spending the last year-and-a-half buried in someone else's archive, I'm looking forward to spending 2022 mentoring other producers at work and getting back to my own music.
posted by mykescipark at 12:01 PM on January 10 [14 favorites]


It's still cold (January amirite) but all the snow is gone and everything is back to the normal mid-South wintertime brown and green. Also, the sun is back after a 2-3 week hiatus so all is well again. I made orange marmalade yesterday and it set up extremely well, though the recipe was a little on the fussy side, or at least fussier than I recall from last time. We got to babysit our new grandson on Friday night and that was a real treat.

Today is the First Monday of Ordinary Time and it feels nice/comforting. Lent is some ways off this year.
posted by jquinby at 12:04 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I'm eating some green beans
posted by supermedusa at 12:04 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


My 10 month old baby who has been essentially silent except for crying or laughing at our attempts to get him to talk decided he could babble after all Saturday afternoon and he hasn't stopped since. He has talked to himself until he fell asleep for every nap and at night the last two nights.

Not really relevant to the actual pandemic threads, but I'm not as risk averse as his mother is and it's worrying me that he has only seen other members of the family three times with no plans for that to change in the future. My family's all dead but my in-laws have decided their vaccines make them invincible and are tactfully avoiding calling us crazy for not bringing him to see them. I'm kind of on their side but I'm not really willing to argue it very hard yet.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 12:05 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


I highly recommend Sean Carroll's Mindscape podcast today with guest David Reich on Genetics and Ancient Humanity.
posted by effluvia at 12:08 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I feel like Dan Bejar scales a mountain of pretentiousness and reaches this weird peak of very-funny + heart aching sincerity

I really only know him at all from his off-and-on appearances on New Pornographers albums; I've never listened to Destroyer proper. I should give it a shot some time, it'd be interesting to see what he operates like on his own and I wonder if some of the things I find a little not-quite-what-I-want on his NP songs would gel more in his own context.
posted by cortex at 12:10 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Over Christmas I made this Gramercy Tavern gingerbread with Guinness stout except I divided it into two 6-cup Bundt pans and one of the cakes I immediately sliced up and froze. I've made it many times before and I am here to sing its praises. It is INTENSE and so good with my morning coffee. Also good with bourbon. It's notorious for sticking to the pan but if you butter it with a goal of getting as much butter as possible on the pan before flouring it, you'll be fine. Actually, you know what would be good is this cake with bourbon whipped cream.

Also, my poor dog. We have had the most epic few weeks of snowfall. Feet of powder. He had a lot of fun in it before it started getting so deep, way over his head. Then it rained, then it froze again, so now we have feet of icy rubble. The sidewalks had a thin sheet of clear ice on them, then everyone broke it up with their cleated boots, so now the sidewalks look like they're covered with broken glass. You have to climb a rubble mountain at every intersection in order to cross the street. My front door froze shut. My garage door froze shut. My back gate froze shut. Every car that tries to move immediately gets stranded on the ice. Anyway, the snow is still way over my dog's head and going for a leash walk is a weird, fraught, unsatisfying endeavor. We are going stir crazy.
posted by HotToddy at 12:11 PM on January 10 [13 favorites]


it turns out it's not unusual for a newborn to be a batman
posted by Clowder of bats at 12:12 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Since it turned genuinely cold after the first of this year, and then we had our first bit of snow last Friday, my bird feeders have been so busy. I'm still seeing my collection of assorted small brown birds (house finches and sparrows), but now Eastern blue birds, dark-eyed juncos, a red-bellied woodpecker, and a Blue Jay have visited. It's so much more fun watching new species. And, dark-eyed juncos look like a pudding cloud dessert.
posted by gladly at 12:13 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


A nibling in the middle grades has a birthday coming up and requested adventure books, so I have been reading a dozen recent examples of those. I found it anxiety-provoking at times, as I am A Sick Person and have enough peril in my life that fictional peril is not my idea of fun, but I wanted to get him what he wanted, of course. These were the winners:

Cleo Porter and the Body Electric by Jake Burt
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
96 Miles by J.L. Esplin
posted by jocelmeow at 12:14 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


The 2022 Year Of Pie project is underway, thanks to all the help from everyone on Ask! There's gonna be a lot of pie! The first pie is Evan Kleiman's Basic Apple Pie as recommended by BlahLaLa. I'll be making a different pie every week-ish or so until either 2022 tuckers out or I do. Here's my project link on Instagram if you'd like to follow along.

And holborne, your butterscotch pie is on the list! I'm so looking forward to that one!
posted by mochapickle at 12:21 PM on January 10 [16 favorites]


My friend and I got photographed wearing brown paper bags over our heads at yesterday's Giants game!
posted by AJaffe at 12:21 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


I got tired of brewing coffee with a button and, for the first time in years, pulled out my big hourglass and boiled up some water and made myself a large cup of coffee. It tastes weak, because I haven't done this in a long time and the grind was off by a lot, but I enjoyed myself immensely sticking my head into the cone and smelling it as it brewed, which I can't do with the button machine. I'm glad I have the button machine, but I missed the sensory joy of doing it the hard way, with glass and water and care taken. Yum, coffee.
posted by Callisto Prime at 12:27 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


OMG HotToddy, that looks so wonderful! I recently got a free bottle of stout from my online grocery (they throw in free samples of stuff sometimes) and I was going to save it for Guiness braised short ribs, but now I think I have to make the gingerbread. I even have all the ingredients!
posted by taz at 12:28 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Did someone say Flea Thread?
posted by lalochezia at 12:32 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


My favorite/least favorite Destroyer memory:

I had a job doing weekend help desk support which was both very interesting and very chill. As in, I had the whole building to myself for six hours a day two days a week, and spent my time listening to tunes and playing old video games on an ancient laptop.

So one day I'm playing Fallout and jamming to Destroyer's Rubies, and I'm battling ghouls and European Oils is on and, for the first time in months, my boss walks in, just as Dan Bejar is singing "She needs release
She needs to feel at peace with her father, the fucking maniac..."

At full volume, of course.

She looked at me askance as I scrambled for the volume knob, and then explained what she was there for, as if nothing had happened.

Oddly enough, I was promoted soon thereafter.

To sum up, Destroyer is awesome.
posted by MrVisible at 12:34 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


"Lincoln created the U.S. Secret Service on the day he was killed."

Is this the Lincoln Facts thread? I have two particularly excellent Lincoln Facts:

**Speed of information transmission:
In 1841, it took 110 days for news of the death of President William Henry Harrison to reach California.

In 1860, news of Abraham Lincoln's election reached Sacramento (now the capital of the relatively new state of California), by telegraph to St. Joseph Missouri, and then by Pony Express to Sacramento, in the world-record time of 7 days and 17 hours, which made international news for the astonishing speed of the communication.

In 1864, news of Abraham Lincoln's reelection reached Sacramento instantaneously, via the transcontinental telegraph that had been completed during the Civil War.

(Which, BTWs, I was sort-of irritated that nobody in high school history class told me that the Union built a whole transcontinental telegraph while prosecuting the Civil War ... they were always banging on about "more railroads in the North blah blah blah" to talk about industrial capacity, but duuuuuuude, they moonshotted that telegraph straight to California while in the middle of an all-out war, that's much more vivid.)

**Mary Todd Kicks All Available Ass:
Well, this is more informed historical speculation than a fact, but here you go: Mary Todd probably convinced her family to let her marry Abe Lincoln by getting knocked up on purpose and telling them they didn't have a choice!

Abe had just returned from riding circuit, as he did every year. Mary met him in secret at some point shortly after his return -- at the time they were not supposed to be seeing each other, there'd been a broken engagement and her family was furious, AND he was on the opposite side of politics from Mary's brother-in-law (in whose house she lived) and had pissed him off.

Mary returned home one day and informed her family she intended to marry Lincoln that weekend ***AT THE CHURCH,*** which at the time was what you did when your family disapproved of the marriage, and which would have been a huge scandal for a family like the Todds. At that point all of the servants were sent out of the room, and the Todds closed themselves in the parlor. When they emerged half an hour later, Mary's sister was sobbing, her brother-in-law was white and shaken, and Mary, triumphant, was getting married to Abe, at home like a proper young lady, that very weekend.

And then Robert arrived juuuuuuuust about 9 months later.

People widely speculated she overcame her family's opposition to the match in the most direct and unarguable way available to her, and alllllllll of Springfield counted down the days until Robert arrived.

(We also know that early in their marriage, in 1842-1843, until a little after Robert was born (I think), they lived in a boarding-house-type single-room arrangement in a local tavern. And we know, from the other people who lived in the tavern and commented on it in letters and diaries, that they had a whole lot of very noisy sex. Anyway, one of the incontrovertible facts of American history is that the Lincolns really liked to bang.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:34 PM on January 10 [77 favorites]


Oh, also, encouraged by my long-ago memories of "Mefi mix, Please enjoy" — one of the music recognition services asked "what are songs that lots of people keep asking 'what is that song?!' about" and then curated that down to fifty little-known artists and released "Shazam Predictions 2022", which I've copied from the original Apple Music playlist into one at Spotify so that more people can enjoy it.
posted by Callisto Prime at 12:38 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


My wife and I are trying to find a house that her parents can buy and be much closer to us in their retirement...unfortunately, we live in one of the hottest real estate markets and there just isn't very much inventory.

I took a huge paycut to work in something resembling what I went to school for and that's going pretty well.
Trader Joe's just took away a ton of benefits retroactively and that makes my decision look even better.
Don't be surprised if your local TJs suddenly has picketers and a union drive...
posted by schyler523 at 12:46 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


I was flicking through the channels the other night and came across a Korean music station, and in particular this. It is amazing.
posted by essexjan at 12:46 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Thanks, Callisto Prime, and thanks Eyebrows. Now I like the Lincolns even more.

Recently I discovered that a MeFite is limited to 2000 contacts. Sigh.

Today my grandson, who is 6, asked me if I was a celebrity as I walked him to school. He promised to tell everyone he knew (so many people! Every flavour of relative, all the neighbours, all his friends, all his classmates, their parents, and on and on) to subscribe to my YouTube channel so I could make a lot of money, enough to buy a Nintendo Switch. Then I had to explain that I did not have a YouTube channel. He loves me anyway.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:48 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


I’m slowly making my way through two books right now. One is Dangerous Liaisons, the 18th Century epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, which is absolutely living up to its high reputation. On the one hand, it feels incredibly modern in its aesthetic sensibilities, on the other, the society it describes is so different from our own that I sometimes have absolutely no idea why people react the way they do, and this isn’t helped by the fact that every teller is limited, and that some of them are not trustworthy in the least. But, somehow, because Laclos keeps the focus on human emotions, which haven’t changed much in the history of ever, it’s easy to empathize with everyone, even the nogoodniks, and to understand them as people.

Oh, and one fact which I learned and absolutely blew my mind, is that besides writing this classic of world literature, Laclos also invented the explosive artillery shell, which is a hell of a double legacy.

The other book I’m reading is Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria, which GenjiandProust has been telling me to read for six or seven years now.

It’s absolutely living up to its reputation. Since my local library only had an electronic copy, I went to the trouble of figuring out how their ebook system works, and ooh boy is it inelegant and annoying. There are two options, one some kind of Adobe thing which means I have to make an Adobe account and they’re not a corporation I trust with my personal information at all.

The other option, which is some web-based system called OverDrive, is at least registration free, but requires being constantly connected to the internet, and I like reading without being connected to the internet, and I keep flipping pages by mistake, and there are other small annoyances.

Despite all that irritation, A Stranger in Olondria has no problems keeping me engaged. The world is richly imagined, and the story is interesting enough, to pull me along. What I like most about it is that it doesn’t feel plotted at all. I never feel like I can see the gears of the story grinding along, the main character just gets caught up in a difficult situation and tries to make his way through it.

That it has something intelligent to say about the relations of people from the periphery of the world to the centers of power, is an added bonus.

I’ve been on a roll lately of loving the books I’m reading, and it looks like it’s continuing.
posted by Kattullus at 12:49 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]




Apparently because I have money and time yet value neither of them, I bought a large format camera - a Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic press camera (not entirely sure of the vintage, probably late '50s - early '60s). It produces images on negatives 4"x5" and came with a bunch of film holders, the "Graflok" ground glass viewer, both a Polaroid and Fujifilm instant film backs (sadly the film is no longer made), the original flash (flash bulbs? in this economy??), and the original metal trunk carrying case. I'd guess the whole kit weighs about 30 pounds.

It came with a 90mm lens (equivalent to about 28mm in "full frame" 35mm format) but I think I'd like to also pick up something in the 210mm range for portrait work. Film arrives tomorrow.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:55 PM on January 10 [13 favorites]


Recently I discovered that a MeFite is limited to 2000 contacts. Sigh.

This is arbitrary and can very likely be changed so I encourage you to ask them to change it.

I have dropped off my car at the mechanic because the tire was flat-flat on Saturday night. You are welcome tire-changing AAA guys that I decided to wait until it was not pissing down rain and/or eight degrees out before I had you over to put the car's spare on. I am so grateful to have a mechanic who, while incredibly busy, was willing to find some space for me to put on a new tire. And time to get to figure this all out because... where am I going to go?
posted by jessamyn at 12:56 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


This is still working well for me five months in. 31kg used up so far, 40 to go.

Our resident fluffy idiot is recovering well from his second DeAngelis cruciate ligament repair. That's two Christmases in a row at two grand a pop, but at least he's run out of back legs to tear to pieces now. He's not putting weight on it yet but the vet is very happy with the way it's healing up and has told us that whatever we're doing is clearly working so keep doing that.

All we did was keep him quiet in a doggy playpen for four days post surgery, then let him out to do pretty much anything he wants except go belting out the front door and across the street to the oval when the big dogs play there of an afternoon, which is how he damaged his second cruciate to begin with. He won't be doing that again for at least three months, and given that one of those big dogs has been seen grabbing another dog by the foot and dragging it, perhaps not at all.

He's still our little three-legged hoppitamoppita right now, but we should be able to start taking him for short walks again in about another month. Until then he'll have to content himself with his usual indoor role as the Cuddle Police, making sure neither the smoochy one nor the deaf one is ever allowed to get more pats than he does.
posted by flabdablet at 12:56 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I am having The Dinner Problem today, in that I made dinner yesterday and don't feel like doing it again. There are four humans and three animals in this house, can't somebody else do something? I also live in a place with terrible takeout and delivery options. What I would do for a vat of pho and a bundle of spring rolls to appear on my doorstep at about 6:30.

My kid's first bank card arrived today, for her first, newly-opened, savings account. Good timing since the tooth fairy lavished her with a 5 dollar bill last night. We used dental floss and the gentlest of tugs, and she now has the classic double gap on top.

Instead of traveling next week for work I am... not doing that. It feels responsible and sensible and I am mourning it anyway. Oh foods of the East Bay! Oh tasks I enjoy doing in person, and which are unsatisfying and logistically complex when done remotely! Oh Pegasus Books, how I miss you!
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:57 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I miss Pegasus Books, too! Plus the Cheese Board and the farmers markets and just so much from the East Bay. Please enjoy them all yourself as well as on my behalf next time you are able to get there.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:07 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I have most of the week off from doing things since the play started this weekend. I could go back to karaoke tonight and I am not going (the DJ's daughter got it, most likely there since nobody was masking up there but me), and I canceled my vacation in March. I'm bummed about the former and relieved about the latter, as a covidcation sounds like no damn fun at all, especially if I come down with it away from home and run out of money to pay for a hotel room for weeks. I'm probably quitting doing much of anything but plays (which I admit I should not be doing either, but at least everyone masks there) at this point. As someone in the play I'm in said the other night, it's hard to make plans when you can't rely on the plans. Seriously, how the hell is anyone going to plan an event that takes weeks or months to plan and then everything goes to hell because of covid?

I still haven't heard back from Bona Fide Masks yet, but the Internet seems to be indicating they are having the same issues with no responses than I am. Presumably Honeywell will provide me N95's tomorrow, but since my receiving mail is going terribly of late, who knows there. I'm still waiting around on an Amazon package I was supposed to get this weekend.

My work today is quiet, at least. So there's that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:10 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Also, I wish it was possible to unflag comments. I accidentally flagged something, and I don’t know what I flagged it as, and it’s eating me inside, even though I know that the mods say that flags are only something they pay attention to in the aggregate. But still, it would be nice to be able to unflag.
posted by Kattullus at 1:15 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


My favorite Achewood is maybe the one where Teodor becomes furious that somebody gave Philippe a chocolate bar with a business card taped to it on Halloween. The image alt text says simply, “We got three of these.” I laugh so much every time, although some language in there did not age well (link). Actually, the best single strips are probably about the only game in town and being honest with yourself. I think about those a lot.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:16 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


taz, yay! Post back with your results! Remember, as much butter as the laws of physics will allow and you'll be good. You will love it!
posted by HotToddy at 1:18 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


You know how sometimes you sample a band's music and it does nothing for you, and then sometime later you do so again and not only are you into it but you wonder why it didn't grab you the first time? That's me and Rammstein right now. It's like, when I start a walk, I don't always have "Mein Herz Brennt" going, but when I do it feels like my personal theme song. (Link is to piano version; the original is really my jam, but the video is... disturbing.) I'm pretty sure that my gateway drug to the band was this, which I first saw in this post on the blue.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:27 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I will admit, in the privacy of this thread, that I kind of keep hoping someone will be like "I miss [Metafilter Deadname]. Whatever happened to them?" or even "[MeFi Deadname] buttoned? Oh no! They were so great." Like I know it's silly, but I've been on Metafilter for so long and I've met so many wonderful people and close friends here, and it feels very odd to be here under a different name even if the old one had become untenable; like, I'm having a conversation with people I feel like I know fairly well, but do they know me? Do I seem like an interloper? Do people know I'm still me, even though I'm a different me? I wonder if other people who have opened new accounts feel the same way.
posted by an octopus IRL at 1:30 PM on January 10 [21 favorites]


Hi everyone! January is a tough month any year at my workplace, because that is when the students get to do experimental work and testing and all that and we have to be there all the time. So I didn't open last week's thread, but this week I was determined. It's so nice to see how everyone is doing.
Me, I'm going to be a grandmother for the second time. And I've been so worried because the number one grandchild in the universe didn't really get to know me in his early life because of lockdown, but this past week he proclaimed that it was good to see me, and that I am good at play dough. (When his sibling arrives, there will be two number ones, don't worry).
COVID is finally getting at me. I mean I've gone through the same as everyone, but I've been able to keep up my spirits and tell myself that this too will pass. But I would like it to be over now, please. When it gets at me too much, I listen to Stromae, what a maestro for our age!
posted by mumimor at 1:31 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


I'd guess they don't, unless you out yourself?

I sometimes think that I miss a person, but it also seems rude to call out that they're gone or that you wonder where they went, I suppose.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:31 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


The other option, which is some web-based system called OverDrive, is at least registration free, but requires being constantly connected to the internet, and I like reading without being connected to the internet, and I keep flipping pages by mistake, and there are other small annoyances.

Various pirate releases are pretty easy to find with a few moments of web searching. If the library won't play nice then you could perhaps download one of those, read it using whatever ebook reader you prefer, then delete it when you check your library loan back in.
posted by flabdablet at 1:31 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Heh. Just yesterday I came across a comment by fraula in one of the Stromae threads and I thought hm I haven't seen them around for a while now, and lo, the account was disabled. It's very unnerving to see this in a strange internet sort of way.
posted by dhruva at 1:32 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


That's me and Rammstein right now.

Andy Rehfeldt just wants to help.
posted by flabdablet at 1:35 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I just finished season one of The Detectorists and so far it's a pretty great show. Light, good humour, and no violence. I look forward to each episode, but I'm trying not to binge too hard on it.
posted by patternocker at 1:38 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.

If you put your bicep on your ear and flex, you can hear your muscles. The harder you flex, the louder it gets.
posted by clawsoon at 1:39 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


So ch-vrr-ches...

Question

Chvr-ches like Chevron or like Choo-Choo?

I definitely like former pronunciation.
posted by djseafood at 1:40 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So in other musical notes (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), here's something that I noticed that I wanted to talk to someone about, but I don't think anyone I know would care or think it as interesting / curious, but one of my favorite songs is Marcus Mumford singing When I Get My Hands on You, with lyrics by Bob Dylan, as part of The New Basement Tapes (selected current musicians record rare Dylan music from 1967). What's interesting to me is that the song is sung and presented in a straightforward way (and in fact it seems most people view it as quite romantic, with people saying they're going to play it at their wedding, etc.), but the video is ... rather threatening, claustrophobic, and exhausting in a surreal way. It feels to me like Mumford, or at least the video director, is kind of saying, "okay here is this objectively great song" (that he does an objectively super great job with), but "jeez dude, respect and all, but these lyrics, I mean they're kind of low key creepy, actually?" (which I agree with if that's what being suggested)

But maybe that's just my inflection. What do you think?

The other thing is a song I just came across via youtube yesterday that I like a lot: U&ME by alt-J. Here's what I don't know: did this show up on my Youtube recs because they're just pushing it out to everyone, like with Wet Leg, when I thought I had somewhat uniquely stumbled across this great brand new music when in fact everyone and their brother were seeing it in their youtube video pushes, or is it because I've been watching a lot of skateboarding videos lately? (alt-J isn't new, but the song is; the video just sort of randomly has skateboard stuff on it for no apparent reason).
posted by taz at 1:42 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I have Many Projects around the house that Need To Be Done before I go back to work in less than a month, but instead I am procrastinating by reading this thread. Aaaaaaauuuugh!
posted by inexorably_forward at 1:48 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Humph, I like the old free thread better. These new-fangled threads just aren't the same.
posted by dg at 1:52 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


On my first attempt at Wordle, I guessed the day's word in six tries. Yesterday, I made it in five tries. Today, four! What will tomorrow bring?
posted by SPrintF at 1:55 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


On my first attempt at Wordle, I guessed the day's word in six tries. Yesterday, I made it in five tries. Today, four! What will tomorrow bring?

I'm more worried about next week.
posted by clawsoon at 1:57 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Some friends of mine in the same industry I'm in voted to unionize today and I'm so freaking proud of them and the work they put into the effort. I'm very hopeful that it can lead to some good changes throughout the industry.
posted by matcha action at 1:57 PM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Good news from me for a change!

I splurged on a wee bit of real feta cheese and have put it on plain water crackers then dusted with fresh cracked pepper. It's devine.

And all of this is because I am spending a FULL weekend at home since the parental unit is doing well enough with the drop-in caregivers that I am able to actually go home for an extended weekend!

Gaaaah! I needed this break. Awesome!
posted by mightshould at 1:58 PM on January 10 [20 favorites]


Chvr-ches like Chevron or like Choo-Choo

It was like Choo-Choo, but now I'm going to switch to Chevron. Good call!
posted by mrgoat at 2:02 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


That's me and Rammstein right now. It's like, when I start a walk, I don't always have "Mein Herz Brennt yt " going, but when I do it feels like my personal theme song.

I really was hoping this would be the year I'd finally get to see Rammstein at the LA Coliseum, but my gut says it will be the third postponement. I have tickets in the FEUERZONE!!!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:06 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


We have always pronounced it Ch-vrr-ches in our house, just like that contemporary horror movie The Vuhvitch.

In other news, last year I bought poha on a whim from the only Indian specialty grocer in Kingston, thinking that "flattened rice" might be just a kind of fluffier delicious rice. After I read up on it we tried using it when we ran short of oats for granola, and now we've pretty much forsworn oats and just make poha granola. Try it!
posted by Shepherd at 2:07 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


The Family Circus by Dan Bejar
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:14 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


So the grandson and my wife and I got to talking about earrings at Christmas, and my wife "loaned" me one of her studs to show the kid that gramps had pierced ears too, and now I'm kind of busy trying to find decent (i.e. a metal with a lineage that isn't "it's shiny, what more do you want?!?") captive beads in non-abusive sizes for the first time in uh like 20 years. So that's how my January is going.

On the musical front, Apple Music's Infinite Playlist has been kind of wild - normally my musical tastes could probably best be described as "quirky", I like covers and mashups and ADHD-focus-enabling techno, but when the infinite playlist goes off of my French Immersion playlist like Stromae or L'Imperatrice into kind of French Gothic horror like La Femme or Juniore it maybe a bit of a reach, but sure, I can hang with the goffs. But then it goes off into Angèle and Therapie TAXI and it's so bubbly and bouncy and I can't help but like it?

*sigh*
posted by Kyol at 2:15 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Humph, I like the old free thread better. These new-fangled threads just aren't the same.

Try wearing it around the house for a few days to break it in.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:28 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


flabdablet, really glad to hear your dog is recovering well from that! My puppers had similar surgery in the fall of 2020, though we had to go the TPLO route, and recovery was complicated by the fact that she rejected the plates and had to go back for a second surgery to remove them...and then had an infection that went from "hey, we have a problem" to "OMG, she's burning up" in the space of about 24 hours. Last winter was a long one of careful walks, avoiding ice, followed by a spring of her back in recovery & on very potent antibiotics, and finally me holding my breath every time she ran...until sometime this summer when I realized she was recovered and I didn't need to stress out anymore.

Anyways, she's all good now and I'm glad to hear yours is too!
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


The inspiration for my username is living out his final days. The vet is coming on Thursday to do an assessment, but my gut and heart are telling me that it is time to let him go. The atmosphere in the house is somber tonight, but Wigford is getting lots of pets and love. If there is something beyond, I very much hope that the companions of his youth are waiting for him.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 2:33 PM on January 10 [33 favorites]


My family loves dogs, but can't have one where we live. A friend of ours has an incredibly sweet Lab mix named Kona, whom he lets us borrow for weekend visits now and then. Despite my repeated words of gratitude, I still doubt he knows how much Kona coming to visit means to all of us.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 2:37 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


We made a homemade margherita pizza last night that turned out awesome. First pizza I've ever made at home that didn't make me start wishing I had ordered takeout pizza. We also made wings in the new air fryer, and they were just as good as what you'll get at any sports bar. The air fryer was acquired last week by my wife returning two pairs of really not her style pajamas my mother bought her for Christmas. So yay for Macy's return policy.

Now if I can just figure out how to make Mexican food that rivals the local Mexican restaurant....
posted by COD at 2:42 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]




Among my friends, I am well known for two things: (1) my ardor for spring; and (2) my bone-deep loathing of winter. (The two are not unrelated.)

I hate the period between New Year's and the spring thaw. Haaate it.

Part of the reason for that: There's nothing to look forward to. The holidays are over, and it's just three months of sleet and darkness. Who came up with that bullshit?

So I'm thinking: I'm going to invent a February holiday, to light a hearth in this bleak time.

So far, I know that this holiday has three pillars:
  • hot cocktails
  • lasagna dinners
  • 90s hip-hop
If I know anything in this world, I know that these are the correct principles to kindle the kind of fellowship I'm after.

But I need a good name. And I need a good lasagna recipe (relevant AskMe).

If you feel moved to help with either, please do so!
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:06 PM on January 10 [16 favorites]


At 13yr old I went to the second ever Space Camp and our shuttle burned up on re-entry because of a broken tile that I the commander didn't try to send somebody out to fix because I was too smart and knew it wasn't possible but didn't realize that it was just an excuse to send another kid out on the floaty space walk simulator thing. Cue Columbia.

I also got into a bit of 'trouble' one night when the counselor walked into the room to find me sitting on the couch between two girls in the pajamas watching TV. There had been a party earlier and all the other boys left and I just hadn't noticed, I grew up with sisters, we're just chilling and eating the leftover pizza.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:11 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


If you missed the post a day or so ago featuring Stevie Martin's YouTube videos, take a minute to try one. They are very funny.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:12 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Carnival is between Christmas and Easter. Go all in!
posted by mumimor at 3:17 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I'm going to invent a February holiday, to light a hearth in this bleak time.

Well, that sounds amazing. I'd be in for all of that.

In the meantime, you might enjoy the primroses were over's 5th Annual Mefi Valentine Mail event. It's fun! Signups are through Thursday, Jan 13.
posted by mochapickle at 3:18 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Don't do weird things with your band name and expect me not to pronounce it. Looking at you, Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

You may or may not know of the town in Quebec with the excellent name St.-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha! — this is to the best of my knowledge the only settlement in the world with a name containing two separate punctuation marks.

Because I sometimes think of things in terms of wagers, I find myself wondering if WCityMike2 bet he could make a hundred strangers around the world stick their fingers in their ears and wiggle them around.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:27 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


escapefromthepotatoplanet: I've always wanted to invent my own holiday. Statistically speaking we already have "Blue Monday," and that does tend to coincide with a day off from work for a lot of people. So why not turn it into a holiday? One in which you drink funky beverages (whether or not they have alcohol in 'em, up to you, but try to get creative about it) and go to the Dollar Store and decorate with whatever cheesy, preferably cheap/fake tropical, decor you can find. If you have alohawear of any sort, pile it on top of your giant sweaters and just generally look as stoopid as you can, in the "I'm trying to pretend I'm tropical in January" sort of way.

So far nobody has ever had any interest in doing this with me, but I leave it here in case that changes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:27 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


The CBC ran a story today about a disappeared cat being found and reunited with her owner. Before you think that this is not much of a story, you should know that the cat ran away in 2010.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:35 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


If we're doing favorite Achewood strips, mine has to be May 19, 2005.

It dropped just after the hype for Christo's Gates in Central Park, and punctuated a week of strips about Roast Beef and Ray driving the Volvo of Despair. I was a laughing wreck for over a minute. Literally fell off the couch laughing in front of four other people in the office, to whom I could not possibly explain what was so damn funny.
posted by thecaddy at 3:37 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Can we get a hand for mochapickle, whose Apartment Therapy January Cure 2022 thread is nudging a few of us to get some things done?

I finally dusted off my rigid heddle loom. It has been scaring me, because no matter how many times I read the beginner's book, I could not get my head around translating the pictures into physical motions. Turns out that one YT video solved years of vague shame and I was able to get it warped, and even wove a little test piece. Very pleasing!
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:39 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


Glad to see so many of the OGs taking up blogging again. I more or less never stopped, though the pace of posting during some eras was geological. Recovering Physicist from 2005 (an exploration of non-falsifiable hypotheses...), Kinda Different from 2015 (notes of a lifelong Easterner transplanted to the Twin Cities), Suddenly at Home from 2020 (timely essential news of the pandemic: TBTF for Covid). The latter I update about twice a week. Oh and a daily dad joke from 2019 (what more is there to say?). Try the Portfolio link there.

P.S. Every Suddenly at Home pandemic update concludes with a frippery, and the current issue's is the sublime video oeuvre of Stevie Martin, and thanks to AllShoesNoSocks for posting that.
posted by theoriginalkdawson at 3:49 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I've picked up a new endeavor over the past couple of months. Learning Swift and SwiftUI. Swift is fine. Mostly logical. SwiftUI is also not terrible. But sometimes feels like a game of calvinball with inconsistencies in how various elements are described. Isn't quite the pure chaos I feel when I try my hand at CSS, but feels like a similar neighborhood. Oh well, it's starting to make sense now and my apps are mostly working. Which either means I'm winning, or I've succumbed to the madness.

I'm a bit old though. Every day when I fire up Xcode and have to wait for my project to compile, or deal with Xcode crashing once or twice a day, I find myself overwhelmed with nostalgia for Delphi. Instant compiles even on big projects. An extremely consistent and logical language & core libraries. A tightly integrated environment for building interfaces visually. Delphi was a thing of beauty. Xcode is not nearly as much fun.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:51 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Every day when I fire up Xcode and have to wait for my project to compile, or deal with Xcode crashing once or twice a day, I find myself overwhelmed with nostalgia for Delphi.

Funny thing... I was looking at the TIOBE index today, and noticed that Delphi/Object Pascal is at #14, in between Go and Classic Visual Basic. I have no idea if it's the same Delphi that you're nostalgic for in any meaningful way.
posted by clawsoon at 3:59 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I don't really have much to post about but I did want to post in the second ever free thread because I want to encourage this sort of thing.

This week a bowl I made on my lathe took a journey from Natick, MA USA to a town in Southern Poland and I was sent a photo of it in its new home and it made me kind of happy and proud. I have decided to put a world map up on my shop wall and put a little pin in every location where one of my things has ended up, which by now is quite a few locations. Making things that are worth giving to people is sort of a new thing for me.

I'm reading a book about Dick Proenneke and, although his isolation doesn't appeal to me, his craftsmanship sure does. Dude was amazing.

I tried Wordle three times before it took. It's been a fun daily distraction.

Thanks for the thread, Cortex!
posted by bondcliff at 3:59 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


I said it before, I say it again: I like this thread, do more.
It's a good time to buy fresh pork, if that's a thing for you, so we got a couple pork shoulders and some ribs and I got to use my new heavy duty sealer. I'm thinking pozole, and more char siu that I can seal and freeze. I wanted to buy a whole fresh ham-- I always want to buy a whole fresh ham, by the way-- but no room to store and process in our current iteration. If eternity is two people and a ham, then this love will last forever, right?
Ugh, ice. I have no way of using this glorious outdoor deep freeze, pooooop.
posted by winesong at 4:00 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


In 1963 Frank O'Hara threw a party for Edwin Denby's 60th Birthday. (PDF)


Dick Proenneke could make boot straps from a twig and two pine cones.
posted by clavdivs at 4:02 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


A few years ago I made a fairly popular thread which only avoided deletion as chatfilter because of a moderation mistake. I suggested to the moderators that people seemed to like it, maybe chatfilter wasn't so bad, and maybe they could do a weekly chatty thread like they did over at Fark.

It seemed like the suggestion to "be more like Fark" wasn't taken kindly. So I apologize for any role I may have played in delaying the coming into existence of this thread.
posted by clawsoon at 4:08 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Yesterday was our one year anniversary of adopting these lovelies. They got the toy for Christmas and absolutely adore it. This is the only thing they've ever played with together at the same time!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:23 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


noticed that Delphi/Object Pascal is at #14

That is the exact Delphi I was referring to. A little surprised it's as high as 14. The parent company did its best to make it unappealing by marketing it solely to Enterprise with pricing to match. But it is still around. Every now and then I think about picking it up again, but decided to let nostalgia remain nostalgia.

It's a shame though. Object Pascal was as easy to learn as Python, but had the advantages of being strongly typed. Had Delphi been more open, I could easily see it being dominant or at least a top 5 language.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 4:27 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I have decided to put a world map up on my shop wall and put a little pin in every location where one of my things has ended up

But first, you're gonna have to send things to the top two corners.
[/Hedberg]
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:27 PM on January 10 [13 favorites]


You know what holiday happens in February, that you can celebrate with drinking, sex, splitting logs, and overthrowing oppressive systems? That's right, Lincoln's Birthday.

I feel like lasagna would fit right in.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:32 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


It seemed like the suggestion to "be more like Fark" wasn't taken kindly.

Wow that's old Mefi DNA, there. May as well have said that Plastic does it.
posted by thelonius at 4:38 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Not sure if I'm up to splitting logs, but I would be totally down for playing with Lincoln Logs.

EM, I am keenly interested in more info the Lincolns' noisy sex life.
posted by HotToddy at 4:41 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I spent a good part of 2021 listening a whole lot to Destroyer's (2020) Have We Met, and "Cue Synthesizer" pretty much on repeat.. I feel like Dan Bejar scales a mountain of pretentiousness and reaches this weird peak of very-funny + heart aching sincerity.. I can't find any friends to talk about this.

I loved Destroyer for a while, but then Kaputt became one of my favorite records of all time, ever. I didn’t connect with the next couple as much, but Have We Met I was really enjoying, then have forgotten to listen to for a while. I need to go back to it.
posted by snofoam at 4:42 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Serene Empress Dork our cats just have a three-tier version of that toy and now I have a little FOMO. But the nice thing about the smaller one is that one cat will stand with one paw through the middle and the other reaching over the top to try to get the ball that way. The bigger toy looks like it might lose that feature.
posted by fedward at 4:47 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Ch-vrr-ches.

I listen to a lot of Blvck Ceiling and I call them BLUH-VK CEILING.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:48 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm reading Impossible Vacation. Gosh, I miss you, Spalding.

On the other hand, we just got a new dishwasher, which is so square and shiny stainless that I'm reminded of the robot in "Intersteller."
posted by Rash at 4:50 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


They are completely different in every way but after they released the album Destroyer, my brain cross-wired Black Mountain as Destroyer, so now two Canadian musical outfits are permanently fused in my head. I'm always delightfully muddled when somebody mentions Destroyer and I start mentally rocking out to Future Shade, and then I switch gears and mentally bliss out to Kaputt.

Of the many things I'm confused about this is one of the sweetest.
posted by Shepherd at 4:54 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I am reading Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, which is lovely, and reminds me of being little.
posted by Maxwell's demon at 4:57 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


There is one surviving poem attributed to Yang Yuhan Guifei ...

Oh, I am definitely here for neat/obscure/small-corpus poem-filter with interesting backstory. I'll contribute "If only I were a whale" by Charlotte Stieglitz, the author of six poems who is famous in part because she stabbed herself to inspire her husband to be a better poet.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:58 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I have been struggling with a Big Life Decision and generally feeling lousy and surly and then today something clicked (acceptance? dopamine?) and now I am feeling fine and even optimistic.

It is cold as balls here and my doofus cat keeps trying to track dirt into the bed, and my other doofus cat yowls piteously for no discernable reason at random times, so all is well.
posted by emjaybee at 5:00 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, which is honestly a really lovely book. The author dug into a lot of neglected sources (I particularly remember him looking at letters between women to illuminate Mary and Abe's marriage, which were all right there in various collections, but had been largely neglected as "domestic" rather than "political" and thus of no interest to historians). It's a lot less-interested in "Mary Todd Lincoln: Madwoman or Shrew?" than in two complicated, brilliant people who had a fascinatingly transitional marriage between old-fashioned marriage and modern "companionate" marriage -- they married for love and physical attraction, crossed class lines to do so, Lincoln was an involved and attentive father (although a wildly lax one, as half of Springfield complained), they enjoyed banging one out for many years. Abe was more involved in the domestic sphere, and Mary in the public sphere, than was typical just a few years earlier. When you read it, there's an awful lot of their marriage that would be more at home in a modern advice column than in a traditional early 19th-century marriage.

There have been more reevaluations of their marriage in the years since, and re-readings of contemporary/just-post-death accounts that relied heavily on Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon, who was Lincoln's first biographer, and who HATED Mary Todd, passionately and personally. Also by revelations that Lincoln may have had -- or thought he had -- syphilis when he broke off their first engagement, and that it had nothing to do with Mary being "crazy." (Lincoln apparently told Herndon he thought he'd caught from a prostitute in Beardstown, which when I heard, I went, "Yeah, sounds about right for Beardstown," although I guess it's mean to drag a town for the quality of its 1830s brothels some 190 years later.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:03 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


If you look at the large scale structure of the universe, it looks an awful lot like a brain cell.

Here it is laser-etched into a cube of glass, sculpted by Bathsheba Grossman from data in like 1998. Looks like she is not making this item any more, but you can get our stellar neighborhood, a coronavirus, and such a deal of other skimble-scamble stuff.
posted by theoriginalkdawson at 5:04 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


EM, awesome, thanks! I read a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln many many years ago but it was def Madwoman or Shrew? and came down Madwoman. Can't remember what it was. I prefer to believe in Abe and Mary!: People Are Trying to Sleep in Here! and am ready to embrace Lincoln's Bday as my second February holiday, Feb 14 being the day my divorce decree was entered.
posted by HotToddy at 5:14 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Those laser etchings are great, theoriginalkdawson, and I think you just may have provided me with a few gift ideas, thanks!
posted by mollweide at 5:17 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Dis is good thread.
posted by introp at 5:21 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


escape from the potato planet: "So I'm thinking: I'm going to invent a February holiday, to light a hearth in this bleak time."

The internet apparently decided it was January 18th, but declaring the first Friday of February as "Good Day" seems like an excellent holiday idea.
posted by team lowkey at 5:26 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This week's prime number is
7,483,380,851,629,471,399,769,184,387

Congratulations to this week's winners:
Sheila, Esteban, Norm, Devin, Hortense, Ewen, Lupe, Piotr
posted by sylvanshine at 5:28 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Darn it, I was off by 2.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:34 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


chvrches, I loue it.
posted by clavdivs at 5:35 PM on January 10 [16 favorites]


metafilter posting: do the links with no search is like boiling a pot of air. Hunt down links only to find first post was bester.
previous. from 2010.
'The Air Force of the U.S. Civil War'
posted by clavdivs at 5:46 PM on January 10


chvrches, I loue it.
posted by clavdivs

Eponystvrical
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:54 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


Okay an octopus IRL, I'll bite. I wish we heard from stavrosthewonderchicken more often.
posted by Rash at 5:59 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


Las t September was my 20th anniversary as a Mefite. Although I mostly lurk I’m here every day. Every. Day. My family doesn’t understand, which is cool because this place probably isn’t their bag. I love it here.

I made savoury bagels yesterday. They are super delish! I was pretty proud of myself since bread-making is something I only occasionally dabble in.

Gabriel’s the band is pretty awesome. That link goes to their first EP. This one goes to their new one. Such an interesting combination of old timey music and new.

Loving the Achewood - never read it but now I guess I’m gonna have to.

Also loving the Lincoln stuff.
posted by ashbury at 6:07 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]


Bizarrely, I'm Lincoln's 7th cousin 5 times removed. :)
posted by WCityMike2 at 6:08 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Yesterday, I cut my finger with my shaving razor, and there was like, Sam Raimi levels of blood. On the walls and mirror and everything, a real crime scene. It wasn't a serious cut, neither particularly deep nor wide, but wow, just a gusher. Right on the fingertip too, which is somewhat annoying.

I am living a little dangerously, using what is sometimes optimistically called a "safety razor" but to be fair, there are no cuts on my face. I just kind of fumbled it while cleaning it after finishing up the shave.
posted by rodlymight at 6:14 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


And speaking of stavros, yesterday I was wondering if miguelcardoso ever visits or has a sock puppet account. He was a lot of fun but I worry that even mentioning him will bring out the wolves.
posted by ashbury at 6:16 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]




Sympathizing with everyone looking for holidays to fill up the period. I didn't realize it's a quiet period. Over here we have some more coming our way. With Tamilians comprising the main Indian community here, Thaipusam is big here and it's coming next week and Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year for the related cultures) is coming in February. Religiously I celebrate neither but otoh who doesn't love public holidays and reading a fresh round of horoscopes... Happy incoming Tiger year everyone!
posted by cendawanita at 6:29 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Here's a Lincoln fact I cut out of a shipwreck-related FPP before posting--the short of it is a famous shipwreck narrative may have influenced Lincoln's views on slavery:
  • 1815, the Commerce: R. Gerald McMurtry's "The Influence of Riley's Narrative upon Abraham Lincoln" [PDF; cw: racism / racist language] offers extracts and context for James Riley's An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce, Wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa, chapter 3 of which is a brief account of his shipwreck--but it's the frequently problematic bulk of the text about being enslaved in North Africa that McMurtry summarizes to explain its influence on Lincoln and opposition to slavery in the US. Donald J. Ratcliffe's "Selling Captain Riley, 1816-1859" corrects the number of copies sold but reinforces the narrative's significance in media / popular culture.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:30 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


You know what holiday happens in February, that you can celebrate with drinking, sex, splitting logs, and overthrowing oppressive systems? That's right, Lincoln's Birthday.

I have always liked that he shares a day and year with Charles Darwin. Two guys who between them did a whole lot to shift the 19th century toward the 20th, both arriving February 12, 1809.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:33 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Last night my wife and were woken up at 1:30am by a strange sound. At first we thought it was a keyboard, playing disconnected and dissonant notes. We nearly pissed ourselves, and then we held hands and started for the basement, calling "Hello? Hello?" Naturally this woke up the 9yo, who was suitably terrified. We made it to the main floor and the sound was louder, only now it was more like creepy carousel music. I stuck my head out the front door, nothing. I stuck my head out the back door, and the sound was louder. It wasn't a weird intruder playing the digital piano to his own nightmare soundtrack, it was coming from outside and it was LOUD.

We spent the next two hours furiously scrolling our community social media groups, and were validated in our experience. Even people from across the inlet from us were hearing the spooky sounds, variously described as windchime-like, sky-trumpets (with the reptilian weather-controlling machines behind it), screeching, and sing-song nursery-rhyme. I took a video to capture the sound because I just needed evidence. It stopped around 3:30, and we got a little bit of sleep.

Anyway, today there is a tweet from the railway company saying it was their unloading machinery, and they are very sorry.
posted by arcticwoman at 6:36 PM on January 10 [41 favorites]


Kind of Lincoln-adjacent: I'm reading Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, and was wondering how he knew about all these private conversations between generals--how detailed did the proverbial Civil War diaries get?--until I realized that it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Still great.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:37 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


The railroad was unloading the calliope from hell? They slipped into some Ray Bradbury timeline?
posted by Oyéah at 6:47 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I made gumbo tonight. My recipe should include the line "REMOVE BATTERY FROM SMOKE DETECTOR BEFORE STARTING ROUX", and "Remember to re-install the smoke detector battery as part of clean-up!" I'm still working from home, and while none of the thankfully rare Zoom meetings have had a "please use your camera so we can see you" requirement, I had a meeting today where I switched it on for a moment while the cat was in front of it.
posted by coppertop at 6:47 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


The railroad was unloading the calliope from hell?

I've seen that episode.
posted by clawsoon at 6:52 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


My wife texted something about hearing a Carpenters song somewhere and I made a We’ve Only Just Begun joke and now I think maybe 50% of what I know about music arrangements came not from college music theory classes but growing up singing along with those 8-tracks on family road trips.
posted by fedward at 6:54 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This January I am doing a postvent calendar with a friend & a friend of hers who I have never met irl - it's like an advent calendar for people who did not really have their shit together & didn't think of it until too late for it to be an advent calendar. So we each bought 24 small items and passed 12 on to each other person and the three of us ended up with 24 wee mysteries sealed in paper bags (not even fancy wrapped! just paper lunch bags!) and I have to tell you something: this. is. a. blast. So far I have gotten chocolate, scratch tickets, lip balm, hot chocolate, fancy hand cream, more chocolate, and a very special herbal cookie for adults only.

I mean, Xmas advent calendars are fine and all... but having a tiny surprise treat every day through a cold grey January? I think we might be on to something here.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 6:58 PM on January 10 [27 favorites]


Even people from across the inlet from us were hearing the spooky sounds, variously described as windchime-like, sky-trumpets (with the reptilian weather-controlling machines behind it), screeching, and sing-song nursery-rhyme. I took a video to capture the sound because I just needed evidence. It stopped around 3:30, and we got a little bit of sleep.

I think you would very very much appreciate this True Story From My Hometown - something similar happened in 1754, where everyone in town was awakened by these god-awful noises and freaked out, thinking it was either Judgement Day or attacking Frenchmen or something. They posted guard in the town square overnight, sent a brave squad into the woods to investigate the next morning - and discovered it was a bunch of frogs.

Now, here's why I ultimately love this story - at first people in my town were embarrassed about this and got a lot of ribbing from everyone in surrounding towns. But after a year or so, they decided "what the hell, let's own this." And so there is a frog on the Town Seal, the pond where this happened was named Frog Pond, and for a while the town bank printed its own scrip with frogs on it. There was epic poetry about this, and even a comic operetta. The story gets told to schoolkids in town even today (I first heard it when I was like six).

I also spent a fascinating two hours with a herpetologist while I was researching an article about the legend - she was inspired to study frogs because she also grew up there and heard the same story and got fascinated, and she has a theory that instead of frogs fighting each other over water in a drying-up pond, it was frogs who found their mating territory shrinking and were basically panicking. If you listen to bullfrogs calling, you notice that they tend to coordinate their calls so they're not shouting over each other; but the stress from the drying-up water might have made them panic and all shout at once, and that was the noise.

I am also a bit startled to see that thing I wrote cited as a source in a Wikipedia article, I have to admit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:00 PM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Ok, I'm gonna use this thread to share my usual annual online destination for CNY: Master Tsai's Horoscope for the Year. Don't mind the English, and please enjoy the bluntness (though he's gotten nicer over the years now that more Anglophones found him). I certainly do. I'll probably share the more Feng Shui-trained ones too, once those videos are up.

ETA: oh wait, here's one from Joey Yap
posted by cendawanita at 7:11 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


He was a lot of fun but I worry that even mentioning him will bring out the wolves.

Tie 3 cocktail sifters to the wolves, try not to insult the queen and have a decent recollection to the finer points of Rabelais.
posted by clavdivs at 7:12 PM on January 10


They posted guard in the town square overnight, sent a brave squad into the woods to investigate the next morning - and discovered it was a bunch of frogs.

Oh this is really delightful. I just love that they decided to own it and make it their thing.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:24 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I am planning to paint a mural in my bedroom and am so excited to do it. I have a stencil of birch trees and leaves, which I am going to use as a template to draw (with watercolor pencils, which I think will dissolve into the latex paint - testing that this weekend) a fantasy forest with a low blue moon and sparkly stars and pink and purple trees. I am going to buy the paint this weekend and then I have some tests to do with materials to make sure they will work the way I think they will, and then I can get started. I am pretty psyched.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:28 PM on January 10 [14 favorites]


It's very odd to hear you go oh February is quiet - it's Chinese New Year! We are breaking out the pineapple tarts and loveletters, the malls are playing the irritating-yet-irresistable CNY music and the youngest picked a cute tiger decoration for our front door. I don't have to do red packets post-divorce (FREEDOM!) but I do have to make sure all the children don't spend 'em in one glorious spree immediately after.

I should spring clean the day before so I can be slovenly for a week and shout "tradition!" when someone in the house complains.

In other chat, I am fostering four kittens and want to share their names: Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Mistletoe and Stockings. They have finally reached peak adorable stage where they are full of zip racing around the house, and then collapsing in a kitten heap to get belly rubs and purr.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:31 PM on January 10 [22 favorites]


"This January I am doing a postvent calendar with a friend & a friend of hers who I have never met irl - it's like an advent calendar for people who did not really have their shit together & didn't think of it until too late for it to be an advent calendar."

The liturgical Christmas season runs from December 25 until February 2 (Candlemas, 40 days after Christmas, and also when you bless the candles for the year), and the Pope doesn't take his Christmas decorations down until February 2! (Although, to be fair, he doesn't put them up until Christmas; the ones you put up BEFORE Christmas are ADVENT decorations, and those are different.) (St. Blaise's Day is Feb. 3, which some of you may be thinking of, as the day when priests crossed candles in an X and blessed your throats, but that's AFTER Christmastide, by one whole day, and the candles totally have to be blessed on Feb. 2 before they can bless your throat on Feb. 3.)

Anyway, "postvent" is probably liturgically more defensible than Advent, as Christmas has always been celebratory, and Christmas-to-Epiphany or Christmas-to-Candlemas has always been a celebratory period. Advent seems to arise some 200-250 years after the Christmas celebration period was created, and was probably initiated as an analogy to Lent (a period of preparation before a major celebration). DO YOUR POSTVENT! It's much more liturgically defensible!

The liturgical thing that's kinda fun about Advent is that unlike any other period in the liturgical year, the Scriptural readings move backwards, starting with "Oh hey this weird guy who is also God is coming," moving to John the Baptist announcing Jesus, then to Jesus doing weird shit, then to "oh hey, this virgin is pregnant, WEIRD," then to "DUUUUUDE GOD HAD A BABY!" Advent is a very odd time in the Christian liturgical calendar! Lent is much more normal!

(ALSO, TIL I'm the sort of person who thinks Advent is fun because the Gospel readings move backwards.) (Who am I kidding, I knew that about myself when I was 14.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:46 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


Oooh if it ends on Feb 2nd, that takes you directly into CNY lolllll. My friend's Malaysian-Canadian household's new tradition of having a CNY Xmas tree is totally fitting for the season then! (She couldn't be bothered having to put up a tree and then take it down immediately to put up the CNY decor)
posted by cendawanita at 7:52 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Oh I listened to my first episode of LeVar Burton Reads podcast, started at the beginning of 2020 with “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear while painting and it was EXCELLENT holy cow. Thanks again to Comet Bug for suggesting this podcast in one of the many podcast Asks. A++ will recommend a lot.

arcticwoman, I would be freaking terrified. But lucky you had family to share the scares with, and then neighbors, and then resolution, hooray!
posted by Glinn at 8:03 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I am happy to report that chocolate babka was indeed included in the Katz gift box and it's due on Wed. Not sure I can last that long.

Recently finished A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit. It bolstered my faith in humanity and made me consider becoming an anarchist. Picked up The 1619 Project after that and am getting a lot out of it, but my next read is definitely going to involve some escapism.

Family gathering for the coming weekend was postponed, so I spent the weekend finishing my xmas lego set instead of making baklava. The complexity of the modern sets boggles.
posted by calamari kid at 8:14 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


I love the postvent idea! Something to look forward to in the month of suck!

Tonight while home alone and not at karaoke (I'm told that NOW the staff is masking up....), I'm (a) drinking peach wine, (b) detangling a ball of yarn for freaking hours, (c) watching The Great Christmas Light Fight, (d) attempting to talk a friend into begging to get into the next play--he did not audition tonight because of a hurt knee, but they are obviously short on dudes for this show and I am about 95% sure he'd get called to be recruited to join it anyway even if he misses the first round. (I definitely have enough experience with this theater now to be sure of this. Literally they will be all "You got a penis, you're in.") Oh yeah, and someone auditioned last night IN A CAST and in our current play we have one guy who can barely walk as a lead.

No response from him yet on my very good arguments, but we'll see.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:21 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Just saying hi - I've been on mefi for at least 14 years. I pop in and out on the green but almost never talk on the blue (despite being a constant lurker) and maybe it's time to change that? And approx 200 comments-in a free thread seems as safe a place as it can get?

(hi!)
posted by kitkatcathy at 8:39 PM on January 10 [63 favorites]


One of my New Year’s intentions is to be braver, so basically what kitkatcathy just said (up to and including the timeframe). Hi!
posted by kwaller at 8:55 PM on January 10 [33 favorites]


It is also funny to read olde time writing by pronouncing s as f when it is written like f. Like houfes (houses) is pronounced hoo-fez.
posted by snofoam at 9:52 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I went to Disneyland last week for my 34th birthday. It was the first visit I'd had in six years, which is a big gap for someone who used to go every week when they had an annual pass. One of my friends was supposed to go with me but she and her bf caught COVID last minute (😭) so I went by myself. It was sublime. I wore my little birthday badge with pride and cast members went out of their way to gift me free passes to certain rides and experiences I no longer knew how to access. I got to be around hundreds and hundreds of masked people, which was a HUGE improvement from the isolation I've had for two years. And I let myself be a kid. I walked 9 miles and laughed the whole time. I helped a little girl get Elsa to blow her a kiss during a parade. This was my dream birthday on so many levels and while I am sad my friend couldn't come, being able to go by myself was a huge gift. Now I am back at work, which sucks, dealing with parent stuff, which also sucks, and just confronting the reality that is 2022.

But last week, I got to be 13 again, and I healed so many times over that I think I'll at least make it to February mostly unscathed.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 10:49 PM on January 10 [31 favorites]


I'm:
- Editing a book of mine Limited Run Games is publishing
- Working on another (EPUB), about early Atari arcade games, including making cover art for it
- Revising a third ebook for a second edition
- Working on questions for an indie dev Q&A for Game Developer
- Being distracted from all the above by AGDQ. Argh.
posted by JHarris at 11:31 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


It is also funny to read olde time writing by pronouncing s as f when it is written like f. Like houfes (houses) is pronounced hoo-fez.
posted by snofoam

Thus spake snosoam
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:31 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Fee fells feefells at the feefore
posted by JHarris at 11:32 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


fimon the fadduthee ftrangler... ficth feditiouf fcribef from thaefarea...
posted by flabdablet at 11:57 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


we had to go the TPLO route, and recovery was complicated by the fact that she rejected the plates and had to go back for a second surgery to remove them...

Ow ow owie ow ow. Glad she's come good now.

I feel very lucky that our fluffet's tiny little legs can get away with a fishing line repair rather than the way more invasive TPLO that works better for bigger dogs. If only having bigger knees made them as amenable to quick repair as the joints on huge machinery... sigh.
posted by flabdablet at 12:58 AM on January 11


So my son put on Angry Birds 2 on Netflix the other day, and I couldn't have imagined a movie that I would be less interested in. Like the title pretty much states that it's the most derivative corporate garbage of a kids animated movie.

Except it's laugh out loud hilarious? I had to then research it a bit because why would this movie have redeeming qualities, and apparently the first one sucks. But it seems like even though it was generated by corporate fiat, all the talent behind it just kind of ran with it. Am I losing my mind?
posted by Alex404 at 2:05 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


nthing ricochet biscuit - DarwinDay is definitely an option for a mid-Feb knees-up although https://darwinday.org/ seems to be moribund. I've celebrated it on the reg since 1983 after Salem State College hosted a 1982 symposium to recognise the centennial of his death. The first year I made lab-pizza with cheese cut into a map of the Galapagos Islands random melt-blobs. Eventually, in the 90s when I had access to a petty-cash slush-fund, it was departmental donuts. Pretty much everyone enjoyed the donuts; but every year it like a total surprise - so it never really took off as a religion. The day has been taken up with enthusiasm by Humanist Associations in several countries. Exactly a week later, the 50th day of the year is TinDay [50Sn geddit?] which is celebrated by imitating the cry of tin; donuts optional.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:12 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


My band’s album came out last week. I hate it. I put out a tiny ep of my own solo stuff as partial revenge for making me include a bloody saxophone in a mix that already had far too much going on.
posted by aesop at 2:22 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


John Peel -- and given I listen to BBC Radio John Peel (aka 6 Music) -- hated anything that had a sax on it. Friends Don't Let Friends Just Say No.

"The mix was too heavy for cowbell, my dudes."
posted by k3ninho at 2:42 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I’m reading this thread in a hotel room at 3:00 am and it is cheering me up immensely. I don’t like traveling under normal circumstances. I came here to compete in an age-group fencing event (everyone masked and vaxxed but there are no guarantees) and have been living on trail mix rather than eat out. I won my event and will be masking around my spouse and staying away from the two year old grandchild until I get a negative test. What a life.

I had a little flurry of sales of my books and I realized that the y-axis on my Kindle publishing report had been changed so that I’m selling more than I thought! I may make back the costs of my cover designs at this rate! Also, a friend passed on a nice comment by someone she knows, someone who liked my books for good reasons.
posted by Peach at 3:18 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


Alex404: Am I losing my mind?

The summer before last I watched Angry Birds 2 with my then-five-year-old son and, yeah, it was unexpectedly good. What little I’ve seen of the first one seems awful.
posted by Kattullus at 3:20 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Springfield, Illinois, is my home town. When I was growing up in the 60s, the rumor among the fifth graders at my school was that Mary Todd was still alive and if you went to the tomb, you could hear her scratching to get out. I did a book report on a biography of Mary Todd, which is how I knew that Herndon, who as Eyebrows says hated her, ended up controlling the narrative around her with his Life of Lincoln. And also greatly exaggerating the Ann Rutledge story (but I cannot say enough good things about the now-defunct Ann Rutledge Pancake House).

There is also an angel in that cemetery that supposedly turns around at midnight.

I only found out recently that my high school was built on the site of the cemetery that preceded Oak Ridge and that Lincoln's son Eddie was originally buried there. I'm really bummed that I didn't know that when I was in high school.

For another Lincoln's tomb–adjacent story, read the tale of Roy Bertelli, Mr. Accordion. I briefly took lessons from him in the 70s, but he fired me for my insufficient dedication to the accordion.
posted by FencingGal at 4:29 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


kitkatcathy: " (hi!)"

Hi!
posted by signal at 5:30 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I came here to compete in an age-group fencing event

Fencing seems a sport made for these times: everyone wears a mask, and if people get within six feet you can stab them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:45 AM on January 11 [36 favorites]


As part of my new job, I quit all of my social media. I've started spending more time here again...after about 10 years of very infrequent visits. I'm much much happier here than Facebook and I'm glad to be back.

These Free Threads feel like a throwback to the Longboat era (albeit on the Blue not the Grey), and that's nostalgia I can enjoy...
posted by schyler523 at 6:07 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Fencing seems a sport made for these times: everyone wears a mask, and if people get within six feet you can stab them.

Also gloves. That's been making the rounds of the fencing world for a while now.
posted by FencingGal at 6:19 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


On my first attempt at Wordle, I guessed the day's word in six tries. Yesterday, I made it in five tries. Today, four! What will tomorrow bring?

As a follow-up: yes, I got today's word in three!
posted by SPrintF at 6:31 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


I had to then research it a bit because why would this movie have redeeming qualities, and apparently the first one sucks. But it seems like even though it was generated by corporate fiat, all the talent behind it just kind of ran with it. Am I losing my mind?

Well, James Cameron directed Piranha II, and the latter-day Universal Soldier films are supposed to be better than their predecessors, so it's not impossible. The Wikipedia article on AB2 says that it's the highest-rated videogame adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes; granted, that's a pretty low bar, but still.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:53 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I don't know what made me think of it, but I figured I'd share my cat story.

A couple years ago, we had our bathroom renovated. This involved (among other tasks) tearing a giant-ass hole in the floor where the toilet was, redoing some of the plumbing, patching the hole, installing the new toilet, and laying tile over the whole thing. The excavation happened in the space of a day, and by 5:00 the floor had been replaced around the new toilet.

That night at dinner time, we couldn't find one of our cats. "She probably got scared by the noise and hid in the closet," we reasoned.

An hour later, we heard piteous mewling. From underneath the new bathroom floor. The contractor had left for a minute to get something, come back in, and straight-up walled the cat into the floor.

Panicked phone calls were made. The contractor agreed to be back at 6AM. At 6:03, we found our too-curious-by-half grey tiger-striped cat, standing in a surprisingly spacious gap between ceiling and floor, looking FURIOUS.

I dubbed her: The Cat of the Amontillado.
posted by Mayor West at 7:07 AM on January 11 [53 favorites]


We had something similar happen with a gerbil we were pet-sitting, but it was in drywall so we tore it out ourselves because the young owner was due back :) lived with that hole in the wall for years afterward.
posted by Peach at 7:15 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Mayor West, I am choking on my tea! Ow!
posted by mochapickle at 7:26 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


For folks who enjoyed our 2021 video game metatalk, I made a post over in the FanFare club: what're you looking forward to in 2022 game-worlds?
posted by curious nu at 7:27 AM on January 11


Since other people are doing it... I've been religiously lurking on Metafilter for almost 20 years. Thought I'd drop in.

I'm trying to teach myself Italian, and have worked up to the point where I can read simpler novels. I'm reading the first Harry Potter (yeah, I know) and muggles are 'babbani' and Albus Dumbledore is 'Albus Silente.'

The foreword by the translator notes that in hindsight, they would have picked a different name for Dumbledore, but by now he's famous enough in Italy that they can't change it.
posted by uberfunk at 7:28 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


Managed to not post my wordle for the day on social media.
posted by joeyh at 7:33 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


John Peel -- and given I listen to BBC Radio John Peel (aka 6 Music) -- hated anything that had a sax on it

Well, he did have Blurt on for one session... [CW: skronk]
posted by mykescipark at 7:33 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Fencing seems a sport made for these times: everyone wears a mask, and if people get within six feet you can stab them.

I don't know about fencing, but I practice kendo - and while you wear a mask if you have earned bogu (and those of us who haven't wear our usual COVID masks) one of the core parts of kendo is showing your ki (spirit) through your kiai - your yell or scream. You don't score a point in kendo without proper ki-ken-thai-ichi, or the spirit, sword, and body being together. Anyways, while we try to be safe at practice, and it is only open to the vaccinated, the amount of yelling in kendo makes it a lovely place for spreading COVID, even if I can hit people with a stick.
posted by nubs at 7:36 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I get the saxaphone hate, but I wonder how John Peel felt about trumpets. I am a sucker for trumpets. See: CAKE
posted by patternocker at 7:39 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Did you blow it on Wordle today? Just gin up a good score with fraudle.biz.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:54 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Did you blow it on Wordle today?

Shockingly, I got it in two. I may be done with Wordle, I don't think I will ever do better.
posted by nubs at 8:01 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


nubs: We yell in fencing as well, though it is less approved of than in kendo (people argue about it regularly on social media). Some screech. Some make a sound that could be described as loud intense prolonged bleat. I myself bark, I am told.

Also face masks are hard to keep on under the fencing masks and I saw more than one young person rip off a fencing mask after a touch with the face mask coming with it. It’s fortunate we were in a large open convention center.
posted by Peach at 8:04 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Panicked phone calls were made. The contractor agreed to be back at 6AM. At 6:03, we found our too-curious-by-half grey tiger-striped cat, standing in a surprisingly spacious gap between ceiling and floor, looking FURIOUS.

A very similar thing happened with Neil Gaiman and one of his own cats, a story which he shared during the last few days of her life.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:09 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I dubbed her: The Cat of the Amontillado.

For the love of God, Montresor!
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:14 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I am currently bouncing off of books I thought I'd enjoy as I begin a new year of reading.
Neal Stephenson's Termination Shock is just too much poorly written expository dialogue even for him.
Cloud Cuckoo Land (Anthony Doerr) just didn't draw me in; and I got halfway into Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz only to realize I just didn't want to read that story.

Oh well, my "to read" list still has lots to choose from, and I'm over grinding through books I don't enjoy.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:29 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


OHenryPacey, have you tried Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire? I am currently on Susanna Clarke's Piranesi and liking it. Also enjoying the Murderbot books so far, although they are short.

I gave Neal Stephenson up as a bad job some years ago, I sympathize. Man does he need an editor (and someone to weed out all the strawmen).

Oh! Have you read Pynchon? I loved Inherent Vice and Against the Day, and they have the expansive, digressive thing I used to like about Stephenson (in fact that's where I suspect he got it). Gravity's Rainbow was an important read for me, once upon a time.

You might also be interested in Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, which I was enjoying when it was recalled by the library some years ago and which I refuse to buy (my shelves need fewer bricks). So I have not finished it yet, but it was promising.

Apologies if these are all on your "to read" or "already read" piles, I have a hard time resisting a book rec.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:46 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


floor cat is listening as you micturate
posted by flabdablet at 9:01 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the suggestions Lawn Beaver.
I've read all of Pynchon, and some of my favorites multiple times. Last year I reread all of David Mitchell after loving Utopia Avenue and realizing he was still working within one entire consistent universe across all of his oeuvre. I might revisit Pynch this year, but selectively.

I totally agree that NS needs an editor, and for this one, a heavy handed one.

I've read many many recommendations for Piranesi. I might give it a go, but i hated reading Jonathon Strange as she attempted to out DFW DFW with an entire second novel in tiny script footnotes that required the reader to bounce back and forth across pages for a thousand or so. it was all affectation and I found it highly annoying. Hopefully she's not tried to be so clever this go round.

The Luminaries was not on my radar, but sounds intriguing and right up my alley!
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:02 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


That's been making the rounds of the fencing world for a while now.

Yeah, it came up in conversation with a university friend of mine who was captain of the fencing team back in those ancient days. I didn’t think it original to him, but it was new to me when I heard it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


if people get within six feet you can stab them.

If you're armed with a rapier, but that's for Zorro, or the Three Muskateers. However, with a foil, you can kinda push your opponent away, with a well-placed thrust.
posted by Rash at 9:18 AM on January 11


Well, my only human interaction in the past week was fencing, and I just tested positive, so there's that. I knew it was a risk, but also it's the only thing that's ever gotten me to exercise regularly, so what to do. I am vaccinated and relatively healthy and will almost certainly be fine, but it still sucks.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:20 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


> Looking at you, Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Say! What, now?
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 9:23 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


TERMINATION SHOCK SPOILER WARNING








The one good gonzo moment (most NS novels have one, it seems like he writes outwards from them — with a Doppler effect going on that means the further into the book he gets, the more bored he gets and the faster he wants to get to the end, so everything compresses — he doesn’t need an editor, he needs a logarithmic word processor) involves a Canadian Sikh stoner / ski bum / stick fighter snowboarding down a Himalaya to fight a Chinese wuxia staff fighter as part of the no-guns-allowed skirmishes that ACTUALLY GO ON at the disputed Line of Actual Control between India and China. The actual
fight scene is a disaster, but it goes by quickly because we’re already expecting the usual relativistic narrative compression. He then gets turned into a cyborg commando. There’s also a weird line about a blowjob delivered deadpan by the Queen of the Netherlands to the forty-feral-swine guy. You really don’t need to read the rest of the book, and I say this as someone who has a shelf slowly sagging under NS books.
posted by sixswitch at 9:28 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Just came in here to say Grade B maple syrup is better than Grade A. No one else seems to realize this. Share with those who deserve the best.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:36 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


Well, my only human interaction in the past week was fencing, and I just tested positive, so there's that. I knew it was a risk, but also it's the only thing that's ever gotten me to exercise regularly, so what to do. I am vaccinated and relatively healthy and will almost certainly be fine, but it still sucks.

I'm sorry this happened, but thanks for sharing. This is good for me to know. I'm immunocompromised, and my doc had OK'd me fencing outside with masked, vaccinated people, but with omicron, I'd decided I'd best give it up for now. Looks like it was the right decision.

I hope you get through this quickly and easily.
posted by FencingGal at 9:45 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Ssssshhh, caution live frogs, if word gets around then we'll never be able to find the good stuff anymore!
posted by Daily Alice at 9:45 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


You won't be able to find Grade B syrup at all, because the grading system was changed in 2015.
posted by fedward at 9:46 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


So far, the best novel I've read all year -- and since I just reread all the Murderbot Diaries and am working through the Books of the Raksura, this is very high praise -- is Six Harvests in Lea, Texas by Sam Starbuck. My elevator pitch for it is "Dust Bowl magic realism."

Link is to the free version on AO3, but if you want to support the author, as I'm about to go do, it's also available on the Big River and other outlets.
posted by Quasirandom at 9:48 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


There's nothing to look forward to. The holidays are over, and it's just three months of sleet and darkness.

I scored a hefty batch of good-quality Xmas chocolates for really cheap on December 27th, so there's February 15th to look forward to, at least.
posted by mediareport at 9:48 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Alex404: "So my son put on Angry Birds 2 on Netflix the other day, and I couldn't have imagined a movie that I would be less interested in. Like the title pretty much states that it's the most derivative corporate garbage of a kids animated movie.

Except it's laugh out loud hilarious? I had to then research it a bit because why would this movie have redeeming qualities, and apparently the first one sucks. But it seems like even though it was generated by corporate fiat, all the talent behind it just kind of ran with it. Am I losing my mind?
"

I had the exact same experience with the Trolls movie. Like, how much is left at the bottom-of-the-barrel that you're scraping out troll dolls? But it is a legit funny movie with great music. And if anyone is still in the dark about the Lego Movie, that is the GOAT kid's movie.
posted by team lowkey at 9:52 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


No, no, the GOAT kid's movie is My Neighbor Totoro. That thing is toddler crack, I tell you.
posted by Quasirandom at 9:55 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


No, no, the GOAT kid's movie is My Neighbor Totoro. That thing is toddler crack, I tell you.

True of course, but that is official canon, everyone knows it.
posted by mumimor at 10:04 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


And Miyazki says you should only let 'em see it once a year.
posted by Rash at 10:07 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Destroyer Announces New Album LABYRINTHITIS, Shares Video for New Song

I'm not sure if I'm more excited for this or the new Father John Misty. And I'm not sure what that says about me.
posted by MrVisible at 10:09 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Out of 20 people auditioning for a show, 17 got a callback and I was not one of them. Now, at this theater that may very well just mean that I am in as ensemble with no named part, which I already do and that's fine and it's not like I was madly in love with the parts in this anyway. But I can't help but look at that (SEVENTEEN OUT OF TWENTY and one of those other 3 people just said she didn't want a name part anyway) and think, "I am just THE WORST FUCKING PERSON HERE." Seriously, when girls who were asked to do character voices and didn't do 'em got a callback, and a girl who seriously stumbled through reading the script got a callback, and a girl in a cast got a callback, but I'M THE WORST??!?!? How come I think I'm doing well but everyone else can see how AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL I am?

(Also, I went to the periodontist and that's always a litany of Things Jennifer Can Never Do Right With Her Mouth there, too. How many times do I have to point out that gag reflex = "no, I can't do that thing you keep asking?")

How am I supposed to love myself and think I am great when the entire world has a long list of things I am awful at and do badly and wrong?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:22 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


((((((jenfullmoon))))) that's all the hugs to you, dear.
posted by mumimor at 10:26 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Hey jenfullmoon, just let me say just going to the periodontist means you are doing something right! It means you care about yourself and the health of your mouth and, yeah,it's their job to nag you about an impossible level of hygiene, but, hey, they care about you too.

I will 2nd the (((((hugs))))) as well.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:32 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


jenfullmoon,
I owe you a memail, but until then, let me just say that I suspect the reason you didn't get a callback is because that company knows you're committed, that you will be there for them in the chorus, on the technical staff, wherever. Some of the other audition disasters likely aren't as reliable or the director feels like they have more fragile egos that need to be stroked, and hence they get the attention.

If I need to make it shorter: you're too good for them! You need to tell them "no" once in a while (even if that goes against what you want to do).

(Also, please, please tell me the guy you tried to get to audition was not THAT ONE. You need to stop doing that to yourself.)
posted by sardonyx at 10:42 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


jenfullmoon, we love you! I think you’re pretty terrific!
posted by mochapickle at 10:47 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


How am I supposed to love myself and think I am great when the entire world has a long list of things I am awful at and do badly and wrong?

Trick I use to deal with this is pick one particular thing I'd rather be less awful at, something I'd like to be able to do less badly and less wrong, then start doing that one thing regularly.

First part of any practice session is deliberately trying to zuck at it even worse than I already do, pushing harder and harder to do it so badly and wrong that I can't do anything but laugh. This conscious feeling-out of of the textures and boundaries of wrongness subverts the customary perfectionist pressure for an utterly unrealistic rate of improvement, the inevitable failure to achieve which has so often served as a total showstopper.

Deliberately being terrible at things can be huge amounts of fun, and it also means that all I need to do in order to achieve some degree of genuine improvement is relax and stop trying to be terrible. And because momentum is a thing and almost everything actually does improve if I can find a way to practice it while staying relaxed, this genuinely helps.

One of the things I've been trying to be less awful at for many years now is playing drums. Given the above approach, I'm sure you can appreciate just how grateful my neighbours must be that my kit lives in a shed that's a long way down the back paddock :-)
posted by flabdablet at 11:03 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


This thread is now about listing ways jenfullmoon is awesome and great in lots of ways, and doesn't afraid of anything.
1: Jenfullmoon auditioned for that show at all - that's more than a lot of people did! And even without a callback, I am sure jenfullmoon did a fantastic job.
2: Jenfullmoon went to the periodontist. Many people are afraid to do that! Jenfullmoon is great and brave and the periodontist is a poopyhead for being bad.
3: Jenfullmoon writes a lot of awesome stuff on Metafilter.
4: Jenfullmoon is not the worst. There are tons of people who are worse than jenfullmoon. I'd list them, but there's like, a lot, and they might be embarassed.

Sorry, I wish I knew you better. Someone else take over.
posted by mrgoat at 11:15 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


5. Jenfullmoon doesn't make other people feel like they're shit.
posted by vers at 11:21 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


Happy Delurking Day to kitkatcathy and kwaller!
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:25 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Y’all! The University of Georgia’s football team has won the College Football National Championship for the first time in 41 years. I went to school there and I’ve been a big college football and Georgia football fan for my entire life. So it was with great conflict and trepidation that I decided to go up to Indianapolis for my first game in 2 years, the championship. I’ve been very Covid-careful and I’m boosted. I’m also a nose doctor and I’ve managed to avoid getting sick while actively seeing sick patients, so I have a lot of faith in my Halyard duckbill N95 that I’ve worn 8 hours a day for the last 2 years. But it was still something of a harrowing experience being surrounded by 70,000 people.

That said, the night was glorious. UGA exorcised some tremendous demons by beating Alabama, coached by Nick Saban, quite possible the GOAT at his job. And we did it with a former walk-on quarterback from south Georgia (like me), whose ability has been questioned by the Georgia faithful on a weekly basis all year long. The boy even has a flip phone so that he can’t engage in social media and see all the negative takes about how he’s doing his job. But he has a damn heart of steel and ice water in his veins and threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter (both to freshmen) to clinch it.

Indy was charming (albeit really chilly for a Georgia boy), I got to reunite with cousins that I haven’t seen since 2019, and we friggin won! How Bout Them Dawgs?
posted by Fritzle at 11:28 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


- The one good gonzo moment (most NS novels have one, it seems like he writes outwards from them — with a Doppler effect going on that means the further into the book he gets, the more bored he gets and the faster he wants to get to the end, so everything compresses — he doesn’t need an editor, he needs a logarithmic word processor)

This was my experience with Seveneves, where the Hard Rain bit was terrific and as we got farther from it I. just. couldn't. go. on.

- Book that I can recommend: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. SF about messing around in the multiverse and surviving meeting yourself.

- jenfulmoon is just the best.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:59 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I want to talk sewing machines, Italian vintage sewing machines.
Now, the most famous name in Italian sewing machines is Necchi, and rightfully so, I have a Necchi supernova mark II and wile a little temperamental with the tension it will see throw ANYTHING.
But in the last few months I have fallen in love with a 1970 Vigorelli Maxi 3000. She does not like multiple layers and for that she is prone to missing a stitch now and then, but she has some embroidery stiches that come out as nice as a contemporary eltronic Bernina. But her main claim to fame of the Vigorelli Fantasy, the Vigorelli Maxi 3000 and the Vigorelli Maxi 7000 is the horizontal movable bed. The machine embroiders in a straight line from you, and the bed and the feed dog moves horizontally, trasporting the fabric sideways for a massive 17mm wide embroidery pattern.
It is so completely crazy and I love it.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 12:13 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Does anyone know about donkeys?

A poem I'm writing has a donkey in it. What does a donkey's coat feel like? Any other donkey info you'd like to share? I've been watching youtube videos of donkeys and looking at donkey sites, but I don't have have access to a donkey. Tell me your donkey stories!

(Jenfullmoon is AWESOME and SO BRAVE.)
posted by FencingGal at 12:31 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


On my first attempt at Wordle, I guessed the day's word in six tries. Yesterday, I made it in five tries. Today, four! What will tomorrow bring?
As a follow-up: yes, I got today's word in three!

I kind of hate that you pointed out this thing to me, but am grateful it can only be played once per day! Four tries yesterday, one today (added difficulty being today's word was in US spelling).

- jenfulmoon is just the best.
Not just the best, but the very best.
posted by dg at 12:32 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Donkeys' coats feel like thick wool felted blankets. Their manes are like a stiff brush. Their muzzles are like velvet.
posted by essexjan at 12:33 PM on January 11 [15 favorites]


I now really, really want to pet a donkey.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 12:43 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I know about donkeys! They have a winter undercoat that comes off in big soft tufts into a much sleeker summer coat, which is like a horse's, but rougher. Kind of like some of the dogs with hair-not-fur.

They say "haw-he" not "he-haw" though they often string several together once they get going. It takes a little working up to the full sound.

I had to change my shirt many times because ours would rub his face under my armpit. Apart from that, though, he didn't like face rubs. Neck scratches are where it's at.

Donkeys like cats better than dogs, which are basically coyotes, as far as they're concerned.

A donkey doesn't kick or bite you on accident. He also knows what you want him to do. He just has to decide whether he's onboard with your agenda.

When you have a carrot or peppermint they want, they can extend their lips forward like whoa.
posted by DebetEsse at 12:50 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


sharp pointy objects, search for a donkey rescue in your area, I'm sure you'll find one where you can offer to help out for a day and, in return for a little shovelling, you'll be able to pet donkeys to your heart's content.
posted by essexjan at 12:52 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Do donkeys do the adorable, excited up-down head bobbing that horses do when there's an extra tasty treat involved? (Pretty sure I've given donkeys caramel corn before, but can't recall their reaction.)
posted by vers at 12:54 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I was hoping to get in before people were actually helpful and assert confidently that donkey coats feel very donkish. Truth be told, extremely donkish, like the most donkish thing ever.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:58 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


So, I am very interested in neologisms and loanwords and when new words enter the language. Not often can one pin it down with any precision.

Happy fifth birthday to kompromat, which came into our lives this week in 2017. (Warning: politics megathread inside)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:58 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


When I was a child, at my first riding school, you had to ride the donkey if you had fallen off in the previous class. There's nothing wrong about donkeys at all, but they have their own mind at at a completely different level from ponies. So you would be just sitting there, waiting for whatever the donkey decided to do. If you were at the farm, you would most likely just be sitting at the middle of the round. If you were on an excursion, the donkey would trot along with the ponies, but at their own speed. If I were to say something positive about the experience, it would be that donkeys were unworried. Yes, we would fall behind, but the donkey knew that after a canter there would be a walk, and their stable trot would get them there. They were never lonely or scared.
posted by mumimor at 1:03 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I'm reading Death With Interruptions, which is all the things I usually don't like about a book - translated from a foreign language (Portuguese), and wordy, so it needs a bit of concentration. But I'm enjoying it very much indeed.
posted by essexjan at 1:04 PM on January 11


I'm re-reading the entire X-Men Claremont run. They just 'died' in Eagle Plaza and the Outback era is about to start.
Highly recommend.
posted by signal at 1:06 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Being somebody who does not work in media but has worked in advertising and often under the stultifying grip of MBAs, I feel like the Angry Birds 2 phenomenon happens sometimes with properties where genuinely talented writers realize that nobody is paying attention any more and they can do better work. I vaguely feel like the Universal Soldier movies kind of did this; there was this pivot point after it was all straight to DVD where somebody just said "hey, let's go nuts" and nobody was there to stop them.

See also The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and the famed watermelon scene: there's a watermelon in the middle of a shot partway into the movie, which the director tossed in just to see if anyone was paying attention; when it passed without comment they knew nobody was even reviewing the dailies and they just went ape for the rest of the movie.
posted by Shepherd at 1:07 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


A big thanks to everyone that summoned Dan Bejar in this thread because he just dropped the first song off of his new album LABYRINTHITIS.

Tintoretto, It's for You.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:12 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


JHarris: Working on another (EPUB), about early Atari arcade games, including making cover art for it

If you need beta testers to read this, I will happily jump on that grenade.
posted by hanov3r at 2:53 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


For anyone who took a gander at Alice and her offspring, this puppycam link should keep working through their visitation here.

They're still just blobs / dumplings, but cute ones. They won't really start to *do stuff* until probably next week, when they'll likely start stumbling around like little drunks.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:57 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


late to the donkey party, but if it hasn't already been mentioned: donkeys and mules can be ferocious herd guarding creatures.

my friend's several horses were getting harassed by a neighbours' dogs, it was a real problem (and probably a matter of time till the daytime dogs turned into an evening coyotes situation). She took in a rescued mule and that little blighter took care of the situation. No dog problems, no coyotes.

He'd been mistreated and only really let my friend get close, and he even let her ride him. She grew so fond of that guy.. he recently passed, but I think his final home was a good one. Donkeys and mules are great.
posted by elkevelvet at 3:13 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I grew up with a 4 day weekend in February. I was surprised to find out that other places didn't get off of school for the Rodeo.
posted by eckeric at 3:39 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


mumimor, when you had to ride the donkey in class, was that a punishment for a clumsy kid or was it giving the clumsy kid a ride on a no-worries, donkey-will-handle-it mount?
posted by clew at 3:46 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


late to the donkey party

I'd be totally happy for the donkey party to go on and on. Thanks for all the posts so far. They are delightful.
posted by FencingGal at 4:00 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Knowledge means that you know that technically, a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom means that you also know that nevertheless, tomatoes do not belong in fruit salad.

This reminded me a story from my middle school days. My best friends and I played D&D a lot, and our other friend wanted to join in after a while. He knew nothing about the rules or systems, so we had to explain all the different concepts to him. To help him understand the difference between the intelligence and wisdom stats we said something like "intelligence tells you it is raining, wisdom tells you to go inside". He played a fighter, with very low intelligence and even lower wisdom. He was fighting an ogre in an arena and it raised its club over its head to smash him. He was unsure of what to do (he hadn't quite grasped that he should just think of what he'd do in that situation, and then the rules would tell him if he succeeded), so he asked our DM what his wisdom told him to do. The DM rolls the die, looks up and says "duck".
posted by botono9 at 4:04 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


donkey party

Isn't he the guy in that Cervantes novel?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:41 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


The Donkey Sanctuary!
A recent video - so many donkeys! on a morning turnout. (FB link)
posted by Glinn at 4:52 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Señor Gato and I have settled into a comfortable co-existence.

Turns out he is a sweet, easy going dude*, who likes a quiet no-fuss life with frequent cuddles. No issues with any of the important stuff, including visits to the vet.

Which is nice. :)

(*Results may vary according to species polled.)
posted by Pouteria at 5:35 PM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Our next door neighbors have two miniature donkeys are they are SO PRECIOUS.

The first one they got is named Luna (we call "LOOOOoooo-na" from our field and she talks back) and she's a Mediterranean donkey who is a lovely soft dark brown and LOOKS LIKE SHE DIPPED HER SNOUT IN HOT COCOA. Like, her snout is this perfect blorp of 3 shades darker. She's adorable and VERY SOFT and likes attention and is gentle. She likes carrots and apples.

I will try to get a picture tomorrow if it isn't too windy.

(This is not to dismiss the second donkey, Heidi, or the two miniature goats, but I just don't know them very well yet.)
posted by introp at 6:54 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


There is a donkey sanctuary in Tehachapi, California, also a Thai Buddbist meditation sanctuary, and a cafe, called Thaihachapi.
posted by Oyéah at 6:54 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Our next door neighbors have two miniature donkeys are they are SO PRECIOUS.

I did a trail walk with a miniature pony and watched it eat a hotdog (bun and all) in a couple of bites. Does that sound right to anyone?
posted by elkevelvet at 7:06 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


The fact that jenfulmoon even auditioned in the first place makes them waaaaayyyyy braver than I am!
posted by HotToddy at 7:40 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I've started a shabby little website, which is right here, and was assisted by the very kind folks at askmetafilter. It's concerned with not giving a fuck. I would have posted more, but a lot has been happening (including the person whom I love most in the world testing positive this very day), but I'm committed to putting up a piece on how I think the Democrats are going to win in November.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 9:56 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Thanks, y'all. You're very sweet.

I'm not sure if it's fixable if I'm naturally sucky at the thing I want most to do in the world (and seriously, should not have watched CODA again tonight!) but I did arrange to meet with a friend of mine online tomorrow to talk about making improvements in me. She used to be a theater person and also pointed out that this theater has probably already pigeonholed me as "not very good," and god knows I don't have any singing training, so that could be a factor too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:43 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


This weekend I started having chest pain and shortness of breath while doing some moderate activity. The symptoms went away when I sat to rest. These symptoms were identical to ones I had in 2012; I got a stent then. So I went to the ER. My EKG was normal but the ER doc and hospitalist thought I ought to get an angiogram (aka catheterization or "cath").

But my blood tests showed severe anemia and my iron level was near zero. Something in my GI tract was slowly leaking blood; I was a few years late for my first screening colonoscopy. Not a good situation as stenting a coronary artery requires anticoagulants. So I was admitted to the hospital, drank a gallon of fancy laxative, and spent all of Sunday night on the toilet. At some point in the middle of the night I suggested to the nurse that someone come clean the toilet as I had "committed a war crime" on it. The cleaning never happened.

On Monday morning they scoped me. (If someone offers you propofol, take it.) My colon was normal. In my stomach were three AVMs (arteriovenous malformations), dilated blood vessels that tend to bleed intermittently. The AVMs were destroyed by cautery (burning).

Spent the afternoon in my hospital bed and pacing in the hallway expecting to get taken for the cardiac angiogram. The cardiologist showed up at 5:30 and said sorry, we can't do an angiogram today or tomorrow. It turns out the the cath lab had a part on Friday and half of them are out with Covid or quarantined for exposure. Maybe I can get an angiogram as an outpatient later in the week. I got a dose of iron intravenously and was discharged at 9:00 pm.

This morning I called the cardiology office, left a message, and got a return call a couple of hours later. The woman said I was to come for an office consultation with a PA and the next available appointment is in late February. I said that wasn't right. She said she'd look into it and call me back. I didn't get another call. I'm thinking I'll go to their office tomorrow. Or maybe go to the other hospital.

I feel fine. I took it easy today and have had no symptoms except that walking the dog on our hill is a bit taxing. I'm staying home; have tons of sick leave available. It sounds like I'll get caught up on my recorded football and basketball games and Letterkenny. Possibly my chest discomfort and breathing is due to the anemia. But if I have a bad narrowing in a coronary artery I'd like that treated, please and thank you.
posted by neuron at 11:40 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


There's apparently a nationwide blood shortage, on top of everything else, so I really want to get to the blood donation center near me, but since I don't drive, "near me" means 2 buses on the coldest week of the year. I will suck it up and make it work, but there are so many hospitals within easier public transit distance of me, it's a little frustrating my only option seems to be out in the county.

The lovely mochapickle mentioned it upthread, but just a reminder that you can still sign up to exchange valentines if you like. I'd forgotten I signed up to get cards from the card swap run year long by the indefatigable Sparky Buttons so getting fun cards this week about people's favorite soups has been very warming. (January is national soup month and February 4th is national homemade soup day, speaking of upcoming holidays that can be upgraded into bigger celebrations as suits your festive needs.) I have never been to a Carrabba's (chain Italian restaurant in the US) but my sister loves their sausage lentil soup, so I'm going to try this copycat recipe this weekend.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:48 AM on January 12 [6 favorites]


Barn Sanctuary, which is near me, has five donkeys. They have been featured on an Animal Planet show called Saved by the Barn, which I've never seen because I haven't bothered to figure out cable.

Sasha Farm, also near me, has just one donkey now. I have been there and seen donkeys, but haven't touched them. I'm just startled by how beautiful donkeys are.

Perhaps when COVID is better, I can go visit the donkeys.

Neuron, I have had severe anemia, and it can really mess you up. I couldn't walk across a room without getting winded. Is your hemoglobin low enough for a transfusion? I hope you get this resolved soon. (Friendly reminder to those who can: please donate blood. Blood donors have saved my life more than once, and COVID has caused tremendous shortages. On preview: what the primroses were over said.)

jenfullmoon, can you work with an acting or singing coach?
posted by FencingGal at 4:50 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


Maybe those are normal donkeys, and we are giants.
posted by thelonius at 5:01 AM on January 12


I like free thread.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:43 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Today's wordle was tricky for me because of differences between British/Canadian English and American.

I post about Wordle here because I don't like Twitter. I'm trying to stop.
posted by nubs at 7:58 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Wordle is so out. Go minimal with Letterle.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:08 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


I don't like Twitter. I'm trying to stop.

Twitter, explained in 15 seconds.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:10 AM on January 12 [6 favorites]


I'm debating doing so, specificically if I/my voice as it is is worth the cost since the one person I knew who does that is quite pricey. Literally am I worth that much money or not?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:15 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


jenfullmoon, you said this is what you want to do "most to do in the world." I don't know your financial situation, but what are you going to spend the money on that's worth more to you than that? If this person is good at coaching, it could really be a game changer for you. It could be the difference between longing to do something and actually being able to do it.

Theater is tough because you rely on other people to give you the opportunities you want - it's not like writing (which I do), where you can just sit in your house and do it no matter what anyone thinks of your work. And it's possible you will still have trouble getting callbacks - that's just how theater works. And you can be rejected for reasons that just seem silly. But working with an individual teacher at anything is so much better than trying to learn on your own. No matter what happens, don't you want to feel you gave it your best shot?

Again, I don't know your financial situation, but if this truly the most important thing to you, it's absolutely something to spend money on. And you are totally worth it.
posted by FencingGal at 8:27 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


Literally am I worth that much money or not?

I mean, I think you are worth whatever the amount is; but I don't know your life and all of its needs and wants and priorities. But if this is your passion & dream, then I think its worth finding a way to do it.

Whatever you decide with this, you are still a fantastic person who deserves all the best.
posted by nubs at 8:31 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


Is your hemoglobin low enough for a transfusion?

Not quite. Transfusion criteria have gotten stricter, athough my heart problem may make me more eligible. But at least the bleeding problem is solved.

Donate blood, y'all.
posted by neuron at 8:37 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


The best advice I got as an actor from a coach/director is this: always go hard in rehearsals. Give it everything you have. Do 10 jumping jacks before you get on stage. Make sure you're alive, present, and in the moment, and have some adrenaline in you. Remember that acting for theatre is only remotely like acting for the screen; you have to act BIG because the audience is so far away. Think about how big Hannah Waddingham (in Ted Lasso) is in her presence, how she owns her place and projects everything she does. She's a veteran stage/musical performer, and she has to reel it in for the cameras.

If you're too much, let a stage director tell you you're too much. That's a much more rare comment from a director than "let's run it again, but give me more."

Go hard.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:39 AM on January 12 [6 favorites]


What are the second and third stages of delurking? I have commented occasionally and have a contact through a music thing I did a while ago (but not a lot happened after that, no fault of anyone). As for commenting more, I find others have usually said, better, or from a better perspective, what I might have said myself, so at best I just nod my head in agreement silently in the background. If this wasn't the thread it is, I'd probably delete this too, thinking better of it...
posted by aesop at 9:26 AM on January 12 [11 favorites]


Aw, aesop , nice to see you.

Sometimes when I’m flat I try to be a better reader - if I see a thread with a good article but I don’t have anything to add I’ll find another paragraph to pull from the article, or something to look up that’s context, and comment with just that and "I wasn’t expecting that" or "who knew?" Or even just "good find, thanks for posting".
posted by clew at 10:04 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


I can't count the number of times I've heard people say that if you lose weight, "your clothes will fit better." The assumption seems to be that nobody wears clothes that actually fit.

I have lost very much a lot of weight recently and quite possibly my biggest frustration is how my clothes fit now. My thighs were always out of proportion to the rest of my body, and because so little of the weight has come off my thighs (they got smooshier, but not a whole lot smaller) now they're *very* out of proportion to the rest of my body. So I can't go down a pants size, because I still need pants this big to fit my thighs. But nothing else about pants in this size even remotely fits, so I keep taking in the waists and adding elastic and doing all these things just to keep the pants from falling down.

And since most of my clothes before were made by me for me or by eShakti for me, I have gone from clothes that fit me perfectly, to frankenclothes that have been altered to death and still don't fit.

It is seriously pissing me off. I feel like if I've lost this much weight, I should at least be rewarded with being more like a normal sized person, not much less like a normal sized person.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:47 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


The average US BMI is 29. I'm average height. I've had men's jeans in sizes from 30'' to 42'' waist. My experience is that it's easiest to find clothes that fit when you're moderately overweight. Presumably that's where the centre of the bell curve is and that's where they sell the most units.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:21 PM on January 12


mumimor, when you had to ride the donkey in class, was that a punishment for a clumsy kid or was it giving the clumsy kid a ride on a no-worries, donkey-will-handle-it mount?

Very good question. It felt like a punishment, but I don't know if that was the intention. As many above have written and shown, donkeys are incredibly sweet animals.

It was part of school, and generally we went to the most progressive school our parents could find in whichever place we lived, hence in this school there were really cool electives, I had both riding school, ballet classes and swimming lessons and a lot of arts. But in Yorkshire 50 years ago there was definitely a limit to how progressive a school could be. There was physical punishment for boys only, and I remember having to write all of the multiplication table up to 20x20 on the blackboard as a punishment (but a very mild one, since I loved multiplication).
posted by mumimor at 12:52 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


So, on Metafilter, I will read a comment and chuckle or go "huh" and think about it for like five minutes before continuing to read and when I glance at who posted it, it's almost always one of the same ten people and one of those people is jenfullmoon. I don't know you at all but thank you for making our lives a bit better just by being here.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:04 PM on January 12 [12 favorites]


Donate blood, y'all.

Working on it.

I have long been unable to use the mobile blood bank that services my region because the jack-you-up-and-tilt-you chairs that they insist you sit in while donating have a load limit of 130kg and I've been well over 150kg for years.

But I'm currently at 135 and heading for 95, which I expect to reach late this year. So I'll probably still miss out on their next visit, which ends in early February, but I'll be in for sure when they come back in May.
posted by flabdablet at 1:19 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Literally am I worth that much money or not?
You're definitely worth it. Whether it's affordable is something only you can know.

A coach may well be able to give you lots of assistance with 'pitching' yourself for roles as much as actual acting. I know next to nothing about acting, but imagine there's the same issue as applying for jobs - the skill of getting a job is not always the same as the skill of doing the actual job.
posted by dg at 1:28 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Also, Wordle today almost beat me. Took me all six tries to get the word and only then by brute force getting the last two letters :-(
posted by dg at 1:42 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Today, inspired by another post on the blue, I listened to a Cat Stevens album on the bus home. And I realized for the first time that 18th Avenue is about the 1968 Kansas City uprising after MLK was assassinated. The march started at a park on 18th street. (Avenue rhymes better?)

It's absolutely fucking obvious and I'm astonished that I've heard the album a hundred times since I was 10 and never actually understood the lyrics or what it meant. It's a much more interesting song in context. I'm now curious what other pop songs are actually far more meaningful than I've assumed. (99 Luftballoons was also a surprise.)
posted by eotvos at 2:59 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


If you would like a fun video game to play on your Windows or SteamOS machine please check out Buck Up and Drive.
posted by curious nu at 3:25 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Blood donation booked for 10-May. Thanks for the reminder, neuron.
posted by flabdablet at 4:16 PM on January 12 [6 favorites]


I've been a bit sad over the years for not being able to do blood donations. Got a transfusion once. Sorta miss getting stuck for snacks.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:33 PM on January 12


We put an offer in on a condo for my mom 10 minutes ago. The seller is 10 hours out of our time zone so we won't hear if it was accepted until tomorrow. So now we wait. So much nausea.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:10 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


I work with a lot of associations and organizations. There's an organization for *EVERYTHING*. Case in point, there exists the National Miniature Donkey Association.
posted by hydra77 at 5:12 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]


I'm now curious what other pop songs are actually far more meaningful than I've assumed.

There was a recent Ask that addressed one aspect of this: Pop songs that are actually protest songs.
posted by FencingGal at 5:55 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Apparently after your car battery has thoroughly died - even if it’s brand new - you have to drive the car for awhile to reset(?) the electrical systems.

I drove about 8 miles today and had to jump the car (with a portable charger) fourteen times, including twice in the Les Schwab (battery store) parking lot.

I’m exhausted.
posted by bendy at 6:00 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]


Awwww, thank you, y'all *blushes* Especially you, joannemerriam, that really made me feel blushy :)

What I was thinking of with "worth it" was a short story I read years ago (Swan Song, mentioned here) about a woman who was an absolutely awful singer on a planet where you were absolutely worthless as a person without the ability to sing. She took singing lessons anyway even though she was told by her teachers her voice was absolutely awful and it wasn't worth the money to try with her. She did it anyway. THAT was what was going through my head on that. I could presumably afford lessons since the pricing I looked at today wasn't bad, it's a case of "if your voice is so bad, then why bother trying" when I said was it worth it.

I did talk to a friend of mine who used to do theater today and she pointed out that yes, I was legitimately bad (not using those words per se, but yes, they were right to react in horror) in that in that I picked the wrong song on all levels. Shouldn't have done a belting song, shouldn't have done one with long notes when I am untrained, should have done a "character" song, and I should get a coach. Now I know what I did wrong, and I really do deserve to not be in the show after I did that! So I'm gonna kiss that one goodbye and just, y'know, not try again until I've gotten some Zoom lessons in my free time. Maybe book that next week.

Theater is tough because you rely on other people to give you the opportunities you want

Yup. My therapist was all "you define you" and um, a lot of things in the world really do depend on someone else liking you and letting you do things and how they define you. My friend said today that one director would only cast her as the maid or a child, but once he was replaced, the new guy gave her all kinds of roles. Now I know why they think I'm crap, I get it now, and they were right to think so. I agree with that assessment now, and I do need to shell out for training.

Today's news otherwise:

I used a vacation day today to go to the DMV for RealID, a boring chore I don't care about or really need but I assume I'll be forced to do it at some point anyway and my license expires in a few months. Turns out it only took me less than 20 minutes--I brought in like six pieces of paperwork, had an appointment, it was fine. The guy next to me bitched that he walked in without one and had waited 30 minutes and they said "you could make an appointment online" and he wanked on about how he can't figure out the Internet. The lady waiting on me was all "You made an appointment," and I was all "yeah, and I had my pick of what I wanted and did it easily."

My mom got offered her old job back (receptionist) for their busy season this year/3 months, which she lost during 2020. She said her boyfriend wouldn't be thrilled about it and they'd have to discuss it, though she didn't spell out if that's more about health and safety or just not having her around all the time like usual or what.

My friend who got covid says she hasn't had symptoms today, though she wasn't able to get the "free" tests being handed out today because they ran out. Her dad was able to pick up N95's at Home Depot, though, so there is also that.

As for the ones I ordered: still no word from Bona Fide, and I found out the Honeywell shipment has GONE BACK TO OHIO FROM WHENCE IT SHIPPED IN THE FIRST PLACE. It apparently turned around and started going backwards on the 9th when the original estimated date of delivery was the 11th. Despite it going back to Ohio and there's no estimated delivery date now, the company is all "that's normal for it to wander around the country willy-nilly!" *eye-roll* Dude, I know from my job that the shipper can contact the shipping company and check on this, but clearly they would not do so here. Sigh. So, mask shoppers, GO TO HOME DEPOT, NOT THE INTERNET.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:03 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]


Also my dear immunocompromised friend who was exposed to Omicron 5-6 days ago was finally able to track down a test and it was negative.
posted by bendy at 6:11 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


Apparently after your car battery has thoroughly died - even if it’s brand new - you have to drive the car for awhile to reset(?) the electrical systems.
I drove about 8 miles today and had to jump the car (with a portable charger) fourteen times, including twice in the Les Schwab (battery store) parking lot.

Umm, bendy, if you've replaced the battery, there's no need to 're-set' anything that would happen by driving the car around, I don't think? Maybe you need a mechanic?
posted by dg at 6:30 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


if you've replaced the battery, there's no need to 're-set' anything that would happen by driving the car around, I don't think? Maybe you need a mechanic?

The mechanic was the one who told me it needed to be driven around which is what I was doing.

I need to get an emissions test to register it and the mechanic told me I wouldn’t get accurate results until the sensors were reset.

Also, it’s a new battery that has been drained completely and then towed to the mechanic who recharged and said everything about the car is fine.
posted by bendy at 7:45 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Re an emissions test: yes, after replacing a flat battery you need to log a normal "drive cycle". If you roll up to an emissions shop and they ask the computer for drive data and it goes "nope, all I have is like 8 minutes of data" then they'll reject you because, probably, you've just reset everything in a problem vehicle in order to try to get around your emissions test.

But accumulating that drive cycle should absolutely not require a jump start on a good battery. Even cars which gather training data on a battery (new Mercedes, etc.) don't act like that. Something is deeply amiss and/or someone has explained something wrong to you, I think.
posted by introp at 8:10 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Ah, right. It's not about re-setting sensors, but about the data having been dumped when the battery died (I'm a little surprised it doesn't save it though) and needing to get sufficient data built up for a test to work. That makes sense.

But if the battery has been re-charged and is OK (ie will hold a charge), there's no reason why you'd need to jump-start it. If the battery is constantly flat, it's either faulty or your car isn't charging it at all. Importantly, if your battery is constantly going flat, you won't be getting the data you need for your emissions test.
posted by dg at 8:41 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the alternator won't alt.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:49 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Also loving it, roped in by this which I found embedded in Verge, Here comes a special boy: 'Achewood' is back, but TV isn't ready
posted by Rash at 9:16 PM on January 12


Come join the celebration of our favorite under-loved comments of 2021! Jokes! He-Man! And a chance to rain favorites on good stuff you might have missed.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:22 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the alternator won't alt.

The alt alts.
posted by bendy at 10:34 PM on January 12


But if the battery has been re-charged and is OK (ie will hold a charge), there's no reason why you'd need to jump-start it.

dg, I’m at least as curious as you are. I can give you more info in MeMail. It wouldn’t hold a charge today, hence the 14 hood-ups.
posted by bendy at 10:37 PM on January 12


This is such a fun, cheerful, easy, low key thread and a real treat in these stressful times. I love it.

Is there any way to bump it up to the top of the page and stick it there, even permanently, as a kind of collective meeting place, a place to meet and greet the world at the start of day or any time thereafter?

It wouldn't change my life but any little ray of sunshine is welcome and this would be one!
posted by dutchrick at 2:47 AM on January 13 [7 favorites]


it’s a new battery that has been drained completely and then towed to the mechanic who recharged and said everything about the car is fine.

Car batteries will slowly self-discharge any time they're not in use. Discharging a car battery completely and leaving it drained for weeks to months is enough to cause a permanent reduction in capacity even if it was new before this was done to it, because of sulphation. This is why solar battery minders are a thing.

A battery whose capacity has been reduced in this way might even appear to charge more quickly than usual, because the only way a charger can measure state of charge is by monitoring the voltage across the terminals. The speed at which this rises in a battery whose effective plate surface has been severely reduced by sulphation could well make it respond like a smaller battery that's working properly.

So even if your mechanic did leave your battery on charge for long enough for their charger to register 100% state of charge (a dubious assumption to begin with, because that would normally take about ten hours) it's entirely possible that your car both entered and left their shop with a ruined battery that will forever have given its all after turning the engine over once or twice.

The only workaround for this problem that I've ever found effective is to replace the battery again, get it fully charged, then leave it hooked up to a battery minder (solar or mains powered, whichever is less inconvenient) whenever it's likely to sit unused for more than a week.
posted by flabdablet at 2:54 AM on January 13


Is this where I get to share my dying car battery mystery story? I don't care, I'm sharing it.

This past spring, while I was in the middle of a job search, I go out one Monday morning and the battery in my car is completely flat. Like, not even getting the warning lights when you put the key in flat; nothing. No turn over. And, of course, I have a kid to get to school across town, and while I'm trying to figure that out, an email from a potential employer requesting an interview later that day. The car was fine literally two days before. So, I get a family member to come over to get my son to school, and then come back to get me so we can go somewhere and buy a new battery - I mean, the car is 14 years old (an '07 Outback), and it's been a few years since we replaced the battery - and it starts right up, and I manage to get myself back together enough to do the phone interview and I figure everything is ok.

Next morning, the car won't start again. Battery is completely flat. I get it jump started, take it for a drive, let it build up charge. Make sure to run it again in the afternoon. Everything good. Next day - completely drained. This goes on for about a week; I get it to a mechanic who charges the battery, declares it an issue with a loose connection due to corrosion on the cables which they replace. Next day - the battery is dead. I'm at a complete loss, and spend some time going over the car looking for loose connections, shorts, blown fuses, etc. The person who helps me with that is equally confused, and helps me jump start the car again, and I take it for a drive just to build charge and see if anything has changed.

This is the first time since this has all started that I've been driving the car in the evening, rather than in full daylight. And I notice that the light on the rear hatch is on. And so I find a safe place to pull over, and go around to the back, and sure enough - the switch for the light is in the on position. And I remember I hauled the lawn dethatcher back over to my brother-in-law's place on the Saturday before this whole problem started, and must have bumped the switch somewhere along the way, and never realized it was on all this time, draining the battery.

End result, car is fine now and I got the job.
posted by nubs at 7:46 AM on January 13 [16 favorites]


I just went to put Darwin Day on my calendar so I can remember to celebrate it... And apparently I put it on their years ago and have never celebrated it despite the reminders. Past and future Tehhund are truly mysteries to me.
posted by Tehhund at 10:36 AM on January 13 [8 favorites]


Well, future Tehhund is the guy reading and favoriting this in six weeks.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:03 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


And apparently I put it on their years ago and have never celebrated it
A random google search this weekend brought up an askme question with some good answers that I wanted to remember to return to, so I favorited it. Then I realized I had posted it.
posted by eotvos at 11:10 AM on January 13 [12 favorites]


Right there with ya. At least twice I have been reading through an old post and scrolling through the comments, when I think, “Yeah, these are good points they’re making,” before seeing the all-too-familiar user name at the bottom.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:08 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


bendy, it seems like your battery is actually fucked (as per flabdablet's comment). It sounds like the battery is 'new' in terms of how many times it's been used, but has been in the car for quite a while and hasn't been used much. It's passed on! This battery is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet it’s Maker! This is a late battery. It’s a stiff! Bereft of charge, It rests in peace! THIS IS AN EX-BATTERY!!
posted by dg at 12:36 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


I think the point dg is making is that the battery is no longer current and should be discharged from service.
posted by nubs at 12:53 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Nah, it's just pining for the fords.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:58 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


It's joined the bleedin' Choir Unusable
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:01 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Seconding the idea of pinning to the top of the page if that's possible/easy. Enjoying this way more than I'd have predicted.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:39 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


For my first mefi comment ever I thought I would share my latest song idea. I've written songs all my adult life just whenever an idea pops into my head. Recently my wife and I migrated from a queen to a king size bed. As a result, I find that we spend more time further away from each other than either of us really care for . It occurred to me that the solution was for us to meet in the middle. So I'll scoot your way and you scoot mine
Meet me in the middle, everything will be fine
Meet me in the middle, everything is all right
Meet me in the middle in the middle of the night.
Well that was all well and good until I realized this idea was a great metaphor for making a marriage work. You know,
If we both give a little
We can meet in the middle.
THEN I realized this was also a great metaphor for getting along and making things better as a society, especially given our current level of division. So I started with a simple playful idea about the king bed and ended up contemplating world peace. It's all a little bit beyond my comprehension, like so many things in 2022. Happy new year!
posted by Rivvo at 5:13 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


Welcome, Rivvo!
posted by mochapickle at 5:23 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Happy new year!

You too, welcome!
posted by jessamyn at 5:28 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Today's update: the N95 masks from Honeywell finally came this afternoon!!!!

Other than that, I spent most of my day unsuccessfully installing a stupid new work laptop that didn't work, and finding out that more friends got Covid, and hearing about a SUPER TRASHY AWFUL Zoom wedding of a friend's shitty relative that starts with fighting and drinking and of course ends with all parties getting Covid and immediately heading to his mother's to share the wealth. Except for the Covid part, and how awful the bride is, it's quite funny.

I have a strange request: anyone interested in posting an FPP about Prince Andrew FINALLY losing his titles today? Sadly I posted the Julie Nolke thing, so I can't do it today. But gotta love the whole "Harry just wanted to go part time and lost his ASAP, Andrew keeps his for years and only loses them once a lawsuit is imminent" irony of it all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:45 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


So the chocolate babka did not arrive last night. Some foul nonsense about a "mechanical failure" in Louisville, KY. I suspect foul play. All day I was wracked with anxiety in fear of further delay. But worry not, for today it has arrived, and I sit with a warm slice on my plate and am already anticipating the slice that will go with tomorrow mornings coffee.
posted by calamari kid at 8:21 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


So I am an amateur folksinger and the high point of my week is going to play at a weekly open mic at a congenial brew pub near me. Every week each player gets to play two songs, except the host chooses (months in advance) a "featured performer" for each week who gets to play SIX songs. And this week the featured performer is ME! I am so excited and terrified that I get to play six whole songs for an audience that may approach twenty people!

I will have you know that there may have been as many as TWENTY-FIVE people in that room tonight. And me and my six songs KILLED IT!
posted by Daily Alice at 8:54 PM on January 13 [34 favorites]


I love this thread so much. I find it comforting, and apparently I am not alone. Many thanks to cortex and the mods for making this a thing.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:36 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


I recently got an official ADHD diagnosis and am on guanfacine as it shouldn't conflict with all my other shiny pretty pills. I haven't seen any real effect yet except for my blood pressure dropping hard... at least until today, when I'd skipped last night's dose in sleepiness, and then deep into a spreadsheet got a call from an unknown number.

I forgot the baby.

One frantic cab rush, one grouchy baby picked up from daycare, and now I need to set up some new alarms to remind me that the alarm for when to go pick up the baby is about to go off.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:08 AM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Bella Donna: I love this thread so much. I find it comforting, and apparently I am not alone. Many thanks to cortex and the mods for making this a thing.

I agree! These free threads are the anti-megaposts, instead of concentrated angst, they’re diffuse calm.
posted by Kattullus at 5:48 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


OMG dorothyisunderwood, I feel you. My best friend teases me about my intermittent double-alarm system, which usually involves making and labelling unique alarms in my iPhone (get trip insurance) with daily alarms (take Ritalin) plus adding duplicate (with slightly different times) reminders in my calendar. Then, if there is something that is really important that will kill me to miss, I sometimes set my aging radio alarm clock to blast really loud in plenty of time to get me out the door.

Even if one is medicated, having ADHD is often because managing ADHD is exhausting. Virtual hugs from Sweden to anyone who needs 'em for whatever reason. xoxo
posted by Bella Donna at 7:41 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


after reading about it here, i just tried wordle for the first time. i got it on the second try.

...i don't think i can go on. surely it's all down from here
posted by Clowder of bats at 8:09 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Today’s Wordle took me 5 tries. I love you anyway, Clowder of bats.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:03 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I stared at Wordle, realized I had no ideas or clue and gave up immediately. I am not smart enough for that game, or at least can't guess blank, blank, a blank e.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:05 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Wordle 209 3/6

🟨⬜🟨🟨⬜
⬜⬜⬜🟨🟨
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by signal at 4:34 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I did get into the show, no named part, but some other folks didn't get one either, at least.
And my friend who got Covid last week tested negative today :)
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:00 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Flagged for too clever by half, signal! (Joking) Congrats.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:30 PM on January 14


Wordle 210 3/6

🟨⬜⬜🟨🟨
⬜🟨⬜⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by amf at 3:48 AM on January 15


can't guess blank, blank, a blank e

stephen@jellynail:~$ echo $(grep '^[a-z][a-z]a[a-z]e$' /usr/share/dict/words)
abase abate adage agape agate agave amaze apace awake aware blade blame blare blaze brace brake brave cease chafe chase crane crape crate crave craze drake drape elate erase evade flake flame flare frame glade glare glaze grace grade grape grate grave graze heave image inane irate knave lease leave orate peace pease phase place plane plate prate quake scale scare shade shake shale shame shape share shave skate slake slate slave snake snare space spade spake spare spate stage stake stale stare state stave suave tease trace trade usage weave whale

posted by flabdablet at 6:32 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


....yeah, I'm still too dumb to know what this means, you did some kind of tech search on this?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:58 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Not dumb at all, merely as yet uncaptivated by the elegant power of a Unix command line interface.

Let me break that down:

stephen@jellynail:~$ is the command prompt that I see when I open a QTerminal window on my Debian box. If you've got a Mac you'll see something similar on opening the Terminal.

The prompt is displayed by an interpreter program called the shell, and has three parts: stephen is the username I'm logged on with, jellynail is the name of the computer I'm logged into, and ~ is a cryptic shorthand that stands in for the name of my home folder on that computer, which the prompt tells me is the folder I'm currently working inside.

echo is a command that prints out all the words that follow it on the command line, separated by a single space character. For example, if I were to type the command
echo  Hello there,    jenfullmoon
and then press Enter, then the machine would display
Hello there, jenfullmoon
and then show me another prompt to invite me to enter my next command line.

The $( ... other stuff ... ) construction tells the shell to do command substitution. What this does is run everything between the parentheses as if it had been a command entered at the prompt on its own, then collects up everything that that command would otherwise have displayed on screen as output, breaks all of that up into single words on whitespace boundaries (where whitespace is any amount and combination of spaces, tabs or newlines), then substitutes all of those words into the outer command line in place of the entire $(...) construction.

I'm using it here because the command inside it, which I'll explain in a sec, spits out a long list of words with one word per line. I didn't want to have to reformat such a list to paste it in here, so I used echo $(...) to make the shell display all those words separated by spaces rather than newlines. The effect is exactly the same as if I'd entered
echo abase abate adage agape agate agave amaze apace ...
by hand, but without needing to know ahead of time what any of those words would be; rather, I've asked the shell to have the command inside the $(...) type them all into the echo command line for me. So, now it's time to break down that inner command, which is
grep '^[a-z][a-z]a[a-z]e$' /usr/share/dict/words
grep stands for "global regular expression print" and its job is to test a specified regular expression against every line of text inside a each of the specified files and print all the lines that match.

A regular expression or regex is a particular kind of pattern specification, designed for general purpose text matching. The one I've used here is '^[a-z][a-z]a[a-z]e$' and now it's time to break that down.

First, the single quotes around it are not actually part of the regex per se; they're just there to tell the shell to pass along everything between the quotes completely as-is to the command it's about to invoke, without first scanning it for special shell constructions such as the $(...) explained above. And because those quotes are there solely to tell the shell how to handle what's between them, the shell strips them off before handing the enclosed regular expression along to grep.

So the first character of the regex that grep will see is the ^. That has a special meaning in regexes: "match the start of a line".

Next comes [a-z]. That means "match any character between lowercase a and lowercase z". And there's another of those immediately after; so far, then, the regex is supposed to match any line of text that begins with two lowercase letters.

Next we have an a with no special punctuation associated. That just means "match an a". Then another [a-z], and a similarly unadorned e.

The regex ends with $, which means "match the end of a line". So the whole thing, then, is a specification that matches any line that starts with two lowercase letters, then has an a, then has another lowercase letter, then ends with an e. Blank blank a blank e, in plain English (computers can't just say "blank" - too ambiguous).

The last part of the grep command line is /usr/share/dict/words, which is a pathname describing the location of a file that's preinstalled on most Unix and Linux boxes and contains an enormous English vocabulary list formatted as one word per line. So what I'm asking grep to do here is find and print, one per line, every word listed in /usr/share/dict/words that fits the pattern blank blank a blank e where the blanks could be any lowercase letter.

As one who has been captivated by the elegant power of a Unix CLI for many decades, grep ..a.e /usr/share/dict/words just popped into my head all by itself as soon as I read your comment. So I immediately tried it, which is when I noticed that the output was full of names and initialisms, which is why I had to replace each of the dots in ..a.e with an [a-z] for the second try (a dot in a regex matches any character, not just letters and specifically not just lowercase ones).
posted by flabdablet at 11:10 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Oh, and the ^ and $ got added on the third try, after I saw that quite a lot of what I was getting was words much longer than five letters. If you don't constrain it like that, grep will print lines that the specified regex matches any part of. There's always one more bug.
posted by flabdablet at 11:20 AM on January 15


flabdablet, you are a star, but oh lordy.

There are crossword solver websites out there where you can plug in the letters you have. It's okay to lose Wordle, too, if you'd rather not do that -- I lost a day or two after solving one by sheer luck in 2, and I lost again yesterday, but I bounced back today in 4.
posted by mochapickle at 11:23 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Today, in hard mode but with help from grep:
⬜🟨⬜⬜⬜
🟨⬜⬜🟨⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
I think I'm going to like Wordle.
posted by flabdablet at 11:48 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Interrupting Wordle for a cat update: my husband left a box of Temptations out on the counter, and the cat knocked it over onto the floor, ripped off the top, and ate most of the contents before I caught him. Luckily it was only about a quarter full. When I came in, he looked up like, “Ha! Too late!” and marched away with his tail in the air. Jerk.
posted by holborne at 11:48 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Our totally deaf genius (pictured here waiting patiently for the wriggly drip creature to come back out from its hidey hole in the drain) worked out pretty early that she could get into our bread bin and wreak havoc on the contents after batting open the roll-top door.

I reacted to that by adding a pin on a chain that we could drop into a hole drilled into the top of the box, right behind the closed door's back edge. That stumped her for a while, until she worked out that all she needed to do was apply enough violence to make the door shove the pin hard enough to tear a slightly bigger hole in the thin stainless steel sheet and render it too wobbly to stop the door from sliding on by.

So now I have a half inch long, quarter inch thick roofing bolt and nut fixed properly into a deliberately enlarged hole, with the mushroom head of the bolt just fitting into the space between outer casing and the swing of the door, the tail end of the bolt poking upward, and a hole big enough to take the pin drilled through the bolt lengthwise.

So far her best attempt at defeating this has been to knock the entire bread bin off the bench and onto the floor. It didn't work, but I have to give her credit for a solid try.
posted by flabdablet at 12:07 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Welp, we had a performance last night and it's now canceled for the rest of the weekend (at least) because the musical director got it. "Congestion," he says, he was in the pit, was masked, I briefly walked by him in 2 masks but I'm not worried about it but scheduled a test 5 days from now anyway. No, they won't reschedule or push the show schedule back, which I disagree with, but whatever, not my business. Just saying in these days, they MIGHT want to try pushing back shows rather than having to cancel them.

I presume at this point we'll never make it back to doing the show as other people start coming down with it, which is probably inevitable. It's a really good show and I'm really sad it was scheduled for January 2022 on many levels. Last night two people said it was going around rampant at their jobs and a third person was all "no wonder I feel like crap, I forgot to take my allergy meds" and she was feeling hot last night but the heat was actually on so WHO KNOWS ANY MORE. I assumed she was the one who came down with it once I heard the cancellation news, but so far haven't heard anything there.

A friend of mine wanted to hang out today but I turned her down yesterday, mostly because she wanted me to come along while she dropped by someone's house and I was all "that's not a thing to spring on anyone these days." She briefly dropped by anyway to drop off stuff and I was all "hate to be right about this..." Sigh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:33 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Oh, we're doing cat stories now. My neighbors cat is an incontrovertible outside cat, he was a stray that they picked up who can come and go as he pleases. He's really friendly and meows a lot, I hear him all the time. He wants some scritches, and to come in and look around for a few minutes then he wants to go again. I've only managed to get him to curl up on my lap once for an hour or so as he laid his head in my hand and wrapped his paws around my arm and wouldn't let me stop just giving him a little massage while he took a little nap.

But I swear.... sometimes his meow is video worthy because he's actually mimicking a human "hello" like a parrot or some other bird. I can hear him running around outside going "hello", "hello", trying to get somebody to pet him for a minute or so or let him in to look around.

It's my mission to catch a video sometime.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:26 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


I have a long weekend and my family is away and so I'm baking and watching some tv (finally started S2 of Ted Lasso), and exercising a little creativity.

For those who are into this sort of thing, the annual Three Sentence Ficathon just started. You drop a prompt and someone stops by and fills it in three sentences (or six, or twenty...). Or you fill someone else's prompt!

It's fun, low-pressure, can be any fandom or no fandom at all. Good times!

I've posted my first ever bit of Star Wars fic, I believe, only 44 years after seeing the original movie...
posted by suelac at 10:17 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Alright, I need people to keep me honest:

I desperately, desperately need to do sorting and cleaning-out and organizing of the room that I call my "office and craft room" but is more like "a glorified walk-in closet for lots of random shit". I also need to catch up on cleaning - I was having a little bit of tummy trouble yesterday (nothing bad, likely just something I ate) and didn't really do much yesterday to baby myself a bit.

But my roommate is going to be out all afternoon on a date, and I can take care of dinner by doing a dump-it-in-the-slow-cooker stew out of some stuff around the house. So I can have the whole place to myself, and the time available to me, to do a big Deep Cleaning adventure; it takes me less than an hour to do the regular cleaning (clean sinks and tubs, vacuum floors, tidy clutter) and that leaves several hours left over to get into "sort out that box of Christmas shit you told yourself you'd sort after you moved" and "find a better storage system for your craft tools" and "post the shit on Buy Nothing you've been meaning to post" and all that. And I need to do that.

And tomorrow I need to do a lower-level version of that on the freezer, so I can be really good and do some meal planning based on what's in the freezer "because you made those two nice people help you drag all this food over here from the old place, so for god's sake use that shit." (At least for that I can also offer myself the reward of making a cake tomorrow afternoon - there's a super-simple recipe for a chocolate-mocha cake I can make, and I got some espresso chocolate chips in the supermarket yesterday so I can throw them in.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:00 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


🟩⬜⬜⬜🟨
🟩⬜🟨🟨⬜
🟩⬜🟩🟩🟩 Boo! Only two possible fits here and I picked the wrong one.
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by flabdablet at 8:45 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


I desperately, desperately need to do sorting and cleaning-out and organizing of the room that I call my "office and craft room" but is more like "a glorified walk-in closet for lots of random shit"

You can still walk into yours? I am not worthy, I am not worthy (presses forehead repeatedly to floor)
posted by flabdablet at 8:47 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Well:

I only got as far as "find a better storage system for your craft tools" after I did the regular cleaning. It took me four hours - but it is WAY, WAY more effective, and I even found a couple things to prune and the judicious sorting freed up an entire shelf. And I don't even have to pick up any new storage bins (something I feared I might need to do).

"Posting stuff on Buy Nothing" will happen tomorrow, and "clean out your closet" will be postponed to another weekend entirely. But the whole goal of sorting the craft room was that it was looking so discombobulated that I wasn't using it, and I am now sitting here in that room as I type this. I generated four big bags of paper trash as well.

And as for the dump-stuff-in-the-slow-cooker stew - that used a big whack of the lentils in the cupboard, the second half of the kielbasa I used for yesterday's casserole, a lingering carrot, and a big handful of the dried mushrooms I picked up at this little Indian market I stumbled upon one afternoon a couple months back. And - it smells AMAZING.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:39 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Sarah Anderson of Sarah's Scribbles has a new comic: Cryptid Club. RSS here.
posted by Tehhund at 3:10 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


for everyone who would like to clean or tidy a bit more, there's an IRL thread which is nominally about a set of Tasks Per Day but we are mostly off-piste and using half the tasks as motivation for the Higher Procrastination. That is, told to sort another drawer, I may well say My drawers are fine, I will finally put up those shelves. If the shelves go up, a big win!
posted by clew at 4:51 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Oh hai Free Thread, I just discovered you, you're nice.

Does a Free Thread close at the end of the week or at the end of the month same as in town?
posted by valetta at 5:27 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


⬜⬜⬜🟨⬜
⬜⬜⬜🟨🟨
⬜🟩🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by flabdablet at 8:06 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


🟨⬛🟨⬛🟨
⬛⬛🟩⬛⬛
🟨🟨🟩⬛⬛
⬛🟨🟩🟨⬛
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by Tehhund at 8:40 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I got my first wordle on the fourth row, and I already know this is addictive. Have to keep it under control.
posted by mumimor at 10:20 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I got today's on the 4th row, after getting three yellows on the first row, then four greens, then four greens. FFS, when it's down to only a couple of possible words, how do I keep guessing the wrong one every time?
posted by nubs at 11:02 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I don't want to brag, but:

Wordle 212 3/6

⬜⬜🟩🟨⬜
🟨🟨🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by HotToddy at 11:26 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Wordle 211 2/6 (posting yesterday's results so I can preemptively jinx myself on solving today's)

🟩🟩🟨🟨⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by vers at 2:29 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


OK, I can't even jinx myself very effectively anymore. Sheesh.

212 3/6

🟩⬜⬜🟩🟩
🟩⬜🟩🟩🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Or maybe the jinx is the addiction itself? (allowing one play per day was a very wise choice by the developer, imo).
posted by vers at 2:36 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


If you're a movie/pop culture person, you're probably aware Andrew Garfield has been having quite a good stretch of months with all the movies he's worked on coming out every couple of months, and the inadvertent MCU promotional work he's found himself in (to put it mildly, 🤣). Anyway, yesterday Josh Horowitz had him on his podcast again to respond to all that, and to say I've not stopped smiling won't be an understatement.
posted by cendawanita at 6:04 PM on January 17


I played Wordle for the first time but I am working back through past Wordles. I think having the second-ever Wordle have THREE OF THE SAME LETTER seems like dirty pool.
posted by jessamyn at 6:09 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


What? How do you find past Wordles?
posted by HotToddy at 7:44 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


They seem unofficial (not not nefarious like that app fucko) but the archive I found is here.
posted by jessamyn at 8:25 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I keep wanting to try to make sense of the wordle geometry without knowing anything about the game. Cheers for well-targeted geek advertising.

(Maybe I'd like it. Probably. I've been avoiding it for no good reason.)
posted by eotvos at 8:40 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


i have given up on the crafting room. the only reason i go into it is because i'm storing extra toilet paper on a warping board. i need to find the looms good homes.
posted by Clowder of bats at 9:22 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Do I seem like an interloper? Do people know I'm still me, even though I'm a different me? I wonder if other people who have opened new accounts feel the same way.

100% feel the same way. I was about to gush at someone in comments the other day and realized it might feel over-familiar coming from a username that's existed for less than a month.
posted by Well I never at 8:54 AM on January 18


i'm storing extra toilet paper on a warping board

I guess that's tidier than direct warping your toilet paper?
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:12 PM on January 18


Does that turn it into warping paper?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:50 PM on January 18


Wordle 214 4/6

🟨⬜🟩⬜⬜
⬜⬜🟨🟨⬜
⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

With Wordles, if you think you've got it but aren't sure, do you go with your guess to get the answer quick? Or do you try a new word with common letters you haven't tried to get more letter data?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:53 AM on January 19


ATTENTION WRITERS OF METAFILTER

So....there are apparently a whole ton of ghostwriting web sites which are claiming other legit authors' works as their own on their web sites.

It was "UrsulaV" on Twitter who noticed first, with this thread where she discovered one of her own works on one site and reached out to someone in livechat to ask "what the fuck". They were apologetic, but blocked her in chat. She found another one soon after.

Soon other commenters found other sites doing the same thing - and other authors on Twitter started spotting their own books as well, or fans alerted them when they caught them. (I gave Neil Gaiman a heads-up that one site is passing off his "A View From The Cheap Seats" as one of theirs, and he responded that he's siccing lawyers on them.)

So - Mefi Writers may want to have a quick glance through some of the following web sites and see if you catch anything hinky....

Genesis Bookwriting
The Bookwriting Corp
Superior Writing Hub
Creative Book Writers
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


I want to emphasize I was extremely lucky:
Wordle 214 2/6

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
posted by JHarris at 10:30 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


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