it's been a sweet love, yeah
November 14, 2022 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Well, excellent friends, it's Monday, again, and this thread must be traveling on, now, 'cause there's too many places it's got to see...

and this thread you cannot change, Lord knows, it can't change.

You know what to do now. 🕊
posted by taz (102 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Seeing an orthopedic this morning, to find out how to reverse whatever I did to my arm several weeks ago. Hoping the appointment goes ok.

One of my siblings was VERY upset about the midterm results and attempted to troll me via text message late last week. I did not not take the bait and they got a bit salty.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:33 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]

Our elderly cat Oliver is having an ultrasound today for a mystery ailment. He cannot have any food this morning, and is wailing piteously, unable to understand why the other cats were fed but not him.

The next few hours will be awful; all I can offer is hugs and apologies: “Oh Ollie, I am so very sorry, you’ll get lots of treats later.” He’s not buying it.

Hearing his loud cries tears me up.

There’s snow on the ground this morning; it was 70 three days ago.

I hope everyone has a good start to their week…
posted by kinnakeet at 4:03 AM on November 14 [21 favorites]

An update on Mango Farm Island for y'all.

(For context, see this thread on Hurricane Ian, but the short version is I inherited a small mango farm in Florida recently. The island was directly in the path of the Cat 4 storm and from afar I was posting updates. Including one in which an infographic posted in the thread spurred me to action to help convince someone to evacuate.)

I was down on the property two weeks ago and to get there, one has to drive past the neighboring town of Matlacha (about 20 minutes away) which suffered catastrophic damage, it will never be the same.

Miraculously, despite the appearance, my house was 95% undamaged, a broken window and outdoor water pipe were the only casualties. Power and water were restored fairly quickly.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the rest of the property. Many of the mango trees were severely damaged, and the surrounding nursery areas were destroyed. Mango trees are very resilient and even fallen ones can be propped back up as long as their root system is somewhat intact. Still, my best guess is that 50% of them are simply gone.

In the aforementioned thread there was some playful chatter about turning the farm into some sort of camping retreat for MeFi. As much as I'd like to say this will be a thing, I ended up putting the place on the market and it's currently under contract (although that could still fall through).

Seeing the carnage in person was just a bit too much.

All I could envision was a future full of anxiety in our new era of extreme weather events due to global warming. This hurricane season looks like it will be slightly below average in terms of strength. I don't want to see an above average season, I'll tell you that.

I said it in the OG thread, but I'll repeat it here: the Mefi community was of great help to me (and others) during the chaos. Srsly, you guys are the best!
posted by jeremias at 4:11 AM on November 14 [45 favorites]

He cannot have any food this morning, and is wailing piteously, unable to understand why the other cats were fed but not him.

Oh, poor Ollie! I hope his appointment goes smoothly.

I'm in a good phase of writing, where characters are developing in ways I didn't plan.

Sometimes it's inconsequential things. Completely out of nowhere, it turns out that my main character owns a knitted tea cosy shaped like a plump hen, with pompom chicks attached.

Also, I don't know if it's my new meds, but my dreams have become very different.
Very visual and intense, with a strong linear narrative, complex characters and dialogue.

Last night's involved a time travelling village, a romance writer who rides dragons, and a significant haystack.
posted by Zumbador at 4:15 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]

Our elderly cat Oliver is having an ultrasound today for a mystery ailment. He cannot have any food this morning, and is wailing piteously, unable to understand why the other cats were fed but not him.

Best wishes for Ollie. Our old man (17 years!) was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last week (which you wouldn't know from looking at his enormous frame), same as the cat we lost about two and a half years ago. My daughter cried for a bit when she found out, which was heartbreaking. It wasn't the thyroid that killed the old cat, but the timing was close enough that it's hard not to associate the two.

I've long maintained that this cat is too mean to die, although in the last year or so he's become a lot more chill, which on the one hand is nice for everyone, but on the other hand is a little bit concerning. He's still a cuddly guy, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:36 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]

A friend of mine who was in a band had the best response to shouted requests for That Song: give the yeller the finger and go, "Here's your free bird."

I'm planning that this week will be one of rest and prep for the holidays after the stress of the campaign season. Of course, I'm just tempting the fates to prove otherwise.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]

Our dog Finn had emergency surgery a week ago after SWALLOWING AN ENTIRE GLASSES CLEANING CLOTH, wtf little dude, and he's getting back to acting approximately like a dog again.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:47 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]

On the other end of the cat life trajectory, our crop of foster kittens is ripening well! They were quite hand shy when we first took them in, but now they are much braver and affectionate. They will be ready for adoption soon, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. MeFites in the Chicago area who are interested in adopting one (or a pair!) of them, drop me a message for more info.
posted by notoriety public at 4:48 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]

Two weeks ago I picked up a rescue dog to foster for a short time. Within a few days the dog and I decided that he should stay forever. Here’s Ozzy!
posted by moonmilk at 5:27 AM on November 14 [20 favorites]

Wow! Ozzie looks like a real go-getter! Mazel tov!
posted by kinnakeet at 5:28 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

Good luck, Ollie!

Good morning, MetaFilter! We're at my mom's in South Florida (drove down last week, though we had to take a day off from driving to wait out Nicole). She doesn't have any pets, and our two cats are back at home being looked after by a couple of great sitters. We've been worried about the older one in particular because of his health problems (currently constipation, thanks to some special food he has to eat due to an allergy). Miss them both.
posted by May Kasahara at 5:28 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

Here's hoping the best for Ollie and Finn.
My daughter's cat Spike got her shots yesterday, so she's feeling a bit grumpy. She wasn't nearly as happy as she usually is to go outside with the dogs for their morning potty time. She's staying with us for the week. rather than accompany the kid for school, and then turn around and come back for Thanksgiving break.
On Saturday, we did the Alice in Wonderland ARG in downtown Houston. Afterwards, we went to Edgar's seafood, and I made the mistake of ordering the dirge, which was a ludicrous amount of roast beef on bread with swiss cheese. The waiter said "good luck" when he put the plate in front of me. I ate maybe a third of it.
posted by Spike Glee at 6:20 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

I am certain it was scripted, just like a lot of other audience bits in the Blue Man Group show we saw this summer, but at one point there was a shout from the crowd for That Song, and the onstage backing band dutifully kicked into it.
posted by emelenjr at 6:26 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

Found out last night that both of my adult children will be arriving here on Saturday and are staying for a FULL WEEK for Thanksgiving and I am riding that high. I just really like them a lot.

It'll be nice to have something to look forward to because this work week is going to be ridiculously busy. Love my job but there's a lot happening this week.
posted by cooker girl at 6:36 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]

I saw Blue Man Group several years ago as part of their How To Be A Rock Star tour, and it was delightful. They did covers of things like I Feel Love and White Rabbit with guest singers and playing their weird instruments and stuff.

I think this current tour is a similarly large scale show, which should make it fun. They're coming to town here, but I'm hopelessly broke at the moment so alas.
posted by hippybear at 6:39 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

I was taken to Ikea this morning for shopping purposes, slightly against my will, but managed to escape to the restaurant for a short while. And discovered that this branch of Ikea - maybe others - now serves crème brûlée cheesecake. Well ... I had to ... so a sort-of isometric view, a side view, the end view, and a sort-of overhead view.

It was, indeed, most splendid.

('Days until Christmas' countdown)
posted by Wordshore at 7:05 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]

Quietly seething this morning that the meeting here in Canada between the provinces and the federal government re the state of our health care system broke up without any agreement or forward motion. In a nutshell, the provinces are simply yelling "more money" and the feds are saying "ok but collect and share more statistics so we can track performance". I'm 90% with the feds; throwing more money without any plans or benchmarks for success is foolish. Particularly here in Ontario, I think there's an unvoiced intent by the conservative government to let the single-payer system struggle so that they can let in more for-profit health providers. A stealth march to a two-tier system.

Provinces, if you're reading this... get busy. Start planning, start hiring, start fixing the system like yesterday. Show us all what you have planned and how it will help, and THEN we can talk cost sharing.

Otherwise... grateful for the warm early November which has now ended, slightly dreading winter and a COVID resurgence, dreading Christmas as usual (it sucks, for reasons), and counting down the 22 weeks until boat launch in 2023.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:12 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I work in Ontario healthcare, Artful Codger, and I'm pretty sure DoFo is happy to run the system in the ground and claim it was the feds' fault, and "oh gee I guess for-profit will really help Ontarians" etc.

There may be big good life changes for us on the horizon for the New Year, so I am just waiting things out to see how they land.
posted by Kitteh at 7:21 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]

I’m 200 days sober!
posted by punchtothehead at 7:31 AM on November 14 [88 favorites]

I watched the new Interview with the vampire TV series and enjoyed it.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:41 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]

For a year, I've been having difficulty swallowing. Having defeated six other medical professionals, I'm now approaching the final boss doctor: neurology! Just a four month wait for an appointment.

My ceiling replacement slowly continues, with the thought, "I'll just sand down that ugly pine cross beam, won't take long." Surprise! Unlike the rest of my cheap little 80's townhome, it's beautifully grained, rough-sawn, incredibly hard, deeply-stained, oak. My poor sander.

Web training on the professional track with, and really liking it. Lots of stuff I've missed over years of self-teaching.
posted by SunSnork at 7:54 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

I'm in the waiting room at the vet for my old cat Charlie to get some blood work done. He's got a mystery mass in his mouth that we've been treating unsuccessfully with antibiotics, then steroids, for about a month. Tomorrow he's scheduled for surgery to have it removed and biopsied, but I'm afraid at this point we probably know what it is. Aside from having a nasty stinky mouth, though, he's doing pretty well; active, good appetite, snuggly as usual, etc. Fingers crossed it's just a nasty encysted infection that we can clear out.
posted by biogeo at 8:02 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]

I had a euphoric day helping put together window inserts for a winterization program on Friday which involved a lot of bending and stretching. Was sore Saturday, to be expected, but by the end of the day something in my back was just messed up enough so that when I went to get out of bed after reading for a while, I could not. Which, I live alone and this was a problem. I figured out a way to make it work (I have a sort of half-loft bed, this is no easy trick) and called my friend the physical therapist the next day. She came over, prescribed some stretches and last night was better than the night before. My hot water bottle is my best friend.

I was pretty bent out of shape of the timing of this because Sunday I was supposed to go pick up a 3/4 size GALAGA game which I had found a few towns over on FB marketplace for a good price and was certain if I waffled at all it would just go to the next buyer. I had a very nice drive over several small mountains to get to it and had enough gas left in the tank (literally and metaphorically) to put it in my car. On the way driving home it was snowing, first time this season. Just enough to be pretty and not enough to be sketchy driving.

A lot of other things to report but generally it was good to have some Ws but also be reminded of the Ls to make the Ws that much sweeter.
posted by jessamyn at 8:05 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]

I’m 200 days sober!

I love this for you! You're doing awesome, friend.
posted by Kitteh at 8:07 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]

Hoping Charlie has something easily fixable! Fingers crossed.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:21 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]

For the past few years I've been terribly regretting giving away my 2002 Sony Trinitron tv in 2013. At the time I thought "CRTs are common and abundant, I can get another any time I want." Little did I know, that line was probably the best consumer CRT ever made, and any decent size and quality post-2000 CRT is very hard to come by this decade.

Today, after almost giving up, I found a 2002 Trinitron for sale a few towns over and I am going to pick it up tomorrow! It's 27" and 109 lbs, will be our primary household TV and I'm am stoked to have a TV I like in my living room again. Probably the newest TVs finally can do a decent black, but they'll never have that warm glow, and never display my old video games right :)
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:28 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]

I've been home sick with a nasty cold for 5 days- after missing a bunch of work the prior week due to a reaction to a booster shot. Was listening to Sonos radio (it was either Indie Gold or the Third Man Records channel) and they played Portishead's "Sour Times." That track has a really strange chimey/jangly instrument on it... googled something like "instruments Portisheds sour times" and on mobile, the first result was from METAFILTER. It always makes me happy to see that. (The answer is a little inconclusive- it's either a hammered duclimer,a cymballum or a Marxophone.)
I was also just contemplating building an indoor storm window for the one window in our house which lacks an outdoor one, so I guess I'm randomly on the same page as jessamyn. (My plan also involves a wooden frame, but I was going to use plexiglass set in it rather than plastic film.)
I also scanned in a pamphlet from 1974 put out by Shell Oil on energy independence. On the final page, they accept the possibility that there may need to be price controls/profit limitations on the industry. Ah, the days when industry was running scared from the government rather than the reverse. It's interesting to see what the oil industry wanted people to think at that time, but I didn't think it was FPP worthy by itself. So, I dropped it in the Free Thread! I have the pt II pamphlet as well if there's interest.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 8:54 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]

I'm now just under a month away from brain surgery to treat essential tremor that is somewhat unmanageable now, but will grow much worse/unmanageable in the future if not treated. I'm not too worried yet, but I'm almost more afraid of when the fear and anxiety will kick in than the procedure itself.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:02 AM on November 14 [36 favorites]

Good luck, BigHeartedGuy! Modern medicine can be pretty amazing at times, I hope all goes smoothly. I do feel like a jerk for whining about having a common cold above your post.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 9:13 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]

Having a cold snap here in Denver and am discovering that my knees are very unhappy about it. This is new and unwelcome. But apparently not unusual, though my kid did laugh and call me old for looking up knee warmers. Just you wait, kid.
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

BigHeartedGuy: You should see if there are any counseling or other patient support services available for you while you prepare for this surgery. It might make all the difference for you.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]

Your weekend theater update: A Christmas Carol, The Musical opened this weekend to ... not a lot of people, I'm sorry to say. I think we maybe had around 30 on Saturday night, to give you an idea. Worse than Urinetown, a show they said they'll probably never do again because of that. The people who were supposedly seeing me on Sunday are now moving it to next weekend, so we'll see. We actually went out caroling at the Farmers Market on Saturday in an attempt to drum up business.

The show went pretty well otherwise, with two big bloopers:

(a) My Fezziwig dress, which did not have a happy zipper from the getgo, totally broke upon putting it on Saturday night, and crept down enough that I had to run offstage and get the stage manager to pin the bejeezus out of it, then returned. However, (a) obviously not a lot of people saw that, (b) I have on plenty of stage underwear on so you see nothing, (c) the new zipper is blissfully working and I can zip the damn thing myself instead of having to find the lone person remaining in the dressing room to attempt to wrestle it back on me.

(b) One guy missed his cue for his drunk guy solo by being somehow trapped behind sets in the back and we were pretty much out of ideas as to what to do for that minute. Christmas Future asked Scrooge to dance, so good for him there.

But other than one broken costume, I'm making all the set and costume changes and singing well, so yay there. My solo went especially well Sunday :)

Now for the next conundrum: auditions for the next one, Cabaret, are yesterday and today. I was not planning on auditioning for this since (a) it's depressing (i.e. Not The Fun Nazi Musical), (b) they have been advertising that they want "sexy dancers" (i.e. tall/thin*) and god knows I ain't that. There are a couple of older women parts in it, which I highly doubt I'd be cast as (don't think anyone is going to cast me as the prostitute running around in her underwear....) and I'm so-so at best on even wanting, though my singing teacher said she'd cast me as the non-prostitute one. (Don't think the director would, though. At least one very qualified person is auditioning for those.) I note the singing teacher is going for Sally Bowles in this one and is very concerned that they're not going to get a whole lot of turnout for the show since not that many people have expressed interest online. People were encouraging me to audition anyway yesterday and I have been making polite hedge-y noises that boil down to "probably not." Finally told the director yesterday that if she needs warm bodies, literally, to let me know and I'd do it, but otherwise I probably won't? The director said they need a few non-sexy dancers to basically sit around at the Kit Kat Klub and watch, so god knows THAT would be an easy performance/rehearsal schedule at least.

*I note that they were kind of annoyed they got no "sexy dancers" for Christmas Carol, which I will note from the title does not sound like a show that would attract sexy dancers, so none auditioned? They just have one dance that's a "fantasy" and thus made previous people wear sexy Santa short skirts in it. They don't normally body shame here, but this time several of us were feeling shamed for having boobs/hips/stomachs. This is especially annoying when non-thin-non-sexy-dancer people are doing it. But...obviously that's gonna happen in life.

I could just roll in after work and audition, I certainly have the ability to do an audition on the spur of the moment, have sheet music/a resume/practiced numbers from singing lessons, etc. Or I could just passively wait around a few days to two weeks, not put in the work, and see if they need me or not. I really don't care/feel strongly one way or the other on this one. I like being in shows and I don't like that I may not be in any for most of 2023, it's just that I don't super love the ones left on the schedule or feel that I fit them/they fit me. I dunno.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:36 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]

a significant haystack

My next sockpuppet name!


Last night I dreamed I had to move into a dorm? hotel? room with my sister and, for some reason, Kathy Griffin (of My Life on the D-List fame/infamy). I spent 90% of the dream arranging far too many belongings into drawers and cupboards (in that aspect, a standard boring "organizing dream"); the other 10% was arguing with the other two about how much seafood we should order for delivery - my premise was, how much could we realistically eat before it spoiled?

I really don't want to know the psychological interpretation of that one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:01 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

all this talk of old cats and pets puts me in mind that we took our old Chihuahua boy to the vet (~18ish) and he still got a clean bill of health. Cataracts are growing worse, his knees are arthritic messes and he's losing muscle in the rear legs and down some more weight, but otherwise the vets are amazed at how strong he is.

he may be a stinky grumpy evil gremlin, but he's our stinky grumpy evil gremlin and it's good to know he's still ticking after we lost our old girl to an aggressive oral melanoma.
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:06 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

BigHeartedGuy: Hope your surgery goes well!

I had my appendix out (planned) last month and the stuff they don't tell you is the dumbest but most aggravating. Like, they shaved my tummy, and the hair growing back is SO ITCHY in a low-grade, non-stop way. The NP said it's healing great but MY GOD THE ITCHING.

In other words, I am wishing you success, with something pretty inconsequential to bitch about. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:17 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I had a dream about auditioning for Cabaret, except it was in a town 45 minutes away with a different director and doing totally weird shit. Why do brains do this with dreams?!?! That's so dumb.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

I'm going to take advantage of the ailing pets theme to unload/decompress a bit.

Almost two years ago we adopted a semi-senior dog (8 or 9 years old, supposedly) from a great local shelter. Everything went great until about mid-June, when she started being finicky about food. We shifted dog foods, she bounced back, then got finicky again. Rinse and repeat with multiple foods until early August when she threw up and I suspected a blockage. Vet x-rayed and said nope but noted she had lost a lot of weight. Started running tests, blood, fecal, more blood, more fecal, nothing telling. Ultrasound and exam and lab test review by veterinary internal medicine and oncology specialist, nothing. Consulted with an old friend who was at the Purdue U. veterinary school and she was stumped. Five medications in varying combinations, prescription diets and no result, weight keeps dropping. Stool has gradually gone from normal to diarrhea.

(Right about now I'm realizing I should have crowdsourced this on AskMefi. Sigh.)

All the while, as the weight kept evaporating, her spirits have been great. Still tugs me down the street on walks and loves to chase rabbits and squirrels. Lately, though, her chases have been less vigorous, and she's eating only maybe 150-200 calories a day. This morning, for the first time ever, she didn't get up to greet us when we got out of bed.

Wow, this is depressing. I'm sorry.

Anyway, seems like it may be time. And yet it's really hard. She still loves her walks, albeit slowly. She doesn't seem to be in pain. There's a huge guilt thing hitting me, that euthanizing her is making it easier for us, not for her. Or is it the other way around, that keeping her alive is easier, even though it's been so brutal to watch her slowly decline.

Sorry to drop this on you on a Monday. I'm not sure if looking for help, guidance, sympathy, or anything-- just had to talk it out. Thanks for listening, MeFi.
posted by martin q blank at 11:37 AM on November 14 [24 favorites]

- My blood iron panel is now normal and my red cell count is nearly so. I'll presumably continue to bleed from my small intestines forever (yay) but I'm okay at present and my fatigue of this past year is much improved. Now I'm learning how out of shape I am. I was very fit before I fell ill. I'm a backcountry ski patroller and I suspect my participation will be very limited again this winter.

- I correctly identified a Piano Puzzler piece as done in the style of Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908-1992) despite not owning any recordings of his music or ever having deliberately listened to any. So of course I went to the library and checked out a bunch of Messiaen CDs. It's not easy listening.

- Really enjoy watching The Peripheral on Prime Video. I'm a big William Gibson fan and am not disappointed. My wife has no idea who Gibson is and she likes it, too.
posted by neuron at 11:54 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]

Hey BigHeartedGuy, I'm not a neurologist or neurosurgeon, but I currently work with a bunch of them who do surgeries to manage essential tremor (especially with deep brain stimulation) all the time. I've been in the OR for the procedure and it's a pretty incredible triumph of modern medicine. Feel free to MeMail me if you have questions or just want to vent. Brain surgery can be scary, and justifiably so, but these procedures are really well streamlined. Having seen some of the results, I'm excited for you to get some relief from your tremor.
posted by biogeo at 11:55 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]

Hey, Big HeartedGuy, I too have picked up a tremor in the past few years, so good luck!

And to martin q, all I can offer is sympthy. The fact we tend to lose our best friends is the worst thing in the world..., or pretty close to it. Keep her happy until it is time...
posted by Windopaene at 12:10 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]

(posted this to the Zeldo pajamas thread by mistake)
can anyone who watched the "Attack on Titan" series explain to me: in what possible imagination does the omni-directional mobility gear make any kind of sense?
posted by elkevelvet at 12:10 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]

martin q blank: I am so sorry. I can tell you this much: after I put my poor old girl to sleep last fall, I was suddenly certain that she had been in more pain than I realized, for longer than I knew. I am not telling you that's how it is with your dog, not at all. It was just a perspective shift I wasn't able to have beforehand because I wanted her to live, or at least to pass away in her sleep so that I would not have to make the choice. You might want to talk to somebody else you trust who sees your dog on a regular basis, not necessarily the vet, and see what they think.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:18 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]

We had to put our dog Max to sleep today. Of course it was for the best. Max was blind. Some dogs adapt to it. He did not. He was diagnosed as having dog dementia. Along with his blindness he had an eye infection that... was bad. He whined a lot. He was suffering.

I know it was for the best. But I can't stop crying right now. Sorry.
posted by Splunge at 12:30 PM on November 14 [26 favorites]

I read Beef Beef Beef and was reminded of a similar story as someone posted as a comment. Not claiming that we created the game (we didn't) and I'm sure others have done it. This is my story.

20+ years ago I was working as an assistant call center manager at a company with multiple locations. The person in charge of all call centers (Joe) led weekly teleconferences with us and it was really just 45 minutes of Joe talking. He had two unfortunate habits:
* he recycled a lot of phrases (for example, "2000 pound gorilla");
* referenced the day's tech or entertainment news.

After a couple of months, we realized this pattern and our location began a game of Bingo (well, BingJoe). We came up with the list of common phrases, then each week we would swap the recent news for whatever we guessed he would go with. Using Excel, someone would create bingo cards, we printed them, and we would head into the call. We made sure we were muted and started playing. Fun!

Eventually, the other locations heard of our stunt and wanted in. More bingo cards were created and sent across the country via email. We definitely listened during the call and the winner was identified by the first email received from the manager of the winning location, identifying the person with bingo. Fun!

The fun came to an end when *someone* said "bingo" during call.

Joe had just uttered the winning phrase and the winning call center wasn't on mute. Thank goodness we were as it was a "holy crap" moment for all of us.

Joe stopped, asked if someone had a question. The manager of the call center with the winner covered with saying that someone coughed. Not sure Joe believed it, but continued on.

At that point we realized we would have to stop the game. Maybe we played once or twice after, but my boss put a stop to it on our end as we were too comfortable. I've seen other "tech bingo" cards since and there's at least one website where you can create your own:
posted by bacalao_y_betun at 12:44 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]

Splunge, I'm so, so sorry. We had to put down two of our other cats over the last year, and it's a completely gutting decision even when you know it's the right one. I still miss them and feel the emptiness in my heart that they left. Be kind to yourself, I'll be thinking of you.
posted by biogeo at 2:10 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]

martin q blank, my thoughts will be with you, too. I really hope your dog can make a turn-around still. Watching a companion animal waste away is awful.
posted by biogeo at 2:11 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]

So one of the gangsters that hang out in front of the school has acquired a huge pitbull. They are actually illegal here, so it won't last forever, but it created a dilemma for me on my evening walk with my dog, who is in every possible way identical with The Dog from Footrot Flats (I mean, people stop me on the street to inform me of the obvious, and once when I was walking him near the Palace, some Australians thought he might be Mary's dog, also a silly Border Collie, though far better behaved than mine).
The pitbull looked nice enough from a distance (and most of them are really nice dogs), but what if the idiot drug dealing cokehead isn't in control of it? Who knows? I've known those kids since they were toddlers, and they are just not very smart. Otherwise they wouldn't be criminal.
The alternative would be to take another route, which I eventually did, but that brought the risk of extremely fashionable ladies walking their tiny aggressive dogs, which are definitely not trained in any way. My dog should know that he is bigger than those little pests, but he just doesn't get it. I mean, when he finds a mouse, he calls me for help. He is not a brave dog, he is The Dog. Suddenly our peaceful evening stroll had become fraught with danger.
We are now officially exhausted. And reading all the stories here, I am grateful to be that, now. I won't think ahead tonight.
posted by mumimor at 2:18 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]

they are just not very smart. Otherwise they wouldn't be criminal.

Uhhhh. This doesn't really track with basically anything I've ever observed about humans. Plenty of smart criminals out there, plenty of total dipshits who are law-abiding. Honestly along with the pitbull disparaging, all in all a sentiment I expect on my Nextdoor, not my MeFi.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:49 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]

There actually was a MeMail request for the Part 2 of the 1974 Shell Oil pamphlet on energy self sufficiency. (Part one is upthread.) On the theory that if one person is interested, perhaps there are more, I scanned it for you good people. "There seems to be a reasonable chance that enough oil will remain to meet the requirements of the Free World [sic on "Trump Caps"] until 1980."
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 3:00 PM on November 14

So my reply to WPOFIBH was deleted and I am fine with that. This is the free thread, and we all need to be nice, I get that. But I just want to make it clear that the guys in front of the school are actual real gun-toting, drug dealing gangsters. Who went to school with my kids and came to birthday parties in my apartment when they were kids. I am not in any way joking or dramatizing this.

Most of my activity here on metafilter doesn't make a big deal of the fact that I am not rich (I was almost evicted recently) and that I live in a complicated neighborhood, where rapid gentrification is mixed with real hard crime. If you came here as a tourist, you'd think it is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the world. But one of the kids I know is paralyzed after a shootout, and one of the dads in our parent group almost died when he tried to intervene in that same fight.
posted by mumimor at 4:24 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]

Well, last week a 14 year old came into my son’s high school, and fatally shot another student…

The ubiquitous of guns seems like a problem.

After being closed Wed and Thursday, and then Friday for Veteran’s Day, there was a mass walkout planned with a demonstration planned at city hall today. So most of the kids are alright.
posted by Windopaene at 5:09 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]

Our pets are extensions of our souls, I feel. I am so sorry for everyone who has lost or is facing the loss of a beloved family member. I know that pain and uncertainty, too, and I truly feel for you.

BigHeartedGuy, many hugs to you! I am confident you will feel much better once it's over - it's the waiting that's the worst part.

I'm looking forward to a wedding next week one day for the son of a friend of mine, followed sadly the next day for the funeral of the daughter of a friend of mine. Both of these people are in their early 30s. I've retyped this next sentence a dozen times, but I cannot express the range of emotions over these two events.

Wishing everyone peace and kindness, hugs where needed, and everlasting friendship.
posted by annieb at 5:12 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]

Life is chaos. Be kind.
posted by Windopaene at 5:21 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]

So November 14, 1969, I was in a VW bus headed to the Moratorium March in Washington DC.
I was with three friends, and one of them is now my wife of almost 52 years.
Needless to say, an important trip.
posted by MtDewd at 5:25 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]

After getting pinned on the front page for the kittens, I am mildly freaking out and realizing I need to up my game. Pictures of them all can be found on the pics channel of the Metacrafts Discord.
posted by notoriety public at 6:58 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]

Our cat, Soxie, is also ailing and it's clear her time with us is drawing to a close. She's been a very good cat for the most part, but is getting to the point where she is not enjoying life at all. She had some kind of weird seizure the other day, has not been able to groom herself properly for a while now, has lost lots of weight and is not at all the cat she used to be. We're currently struggling with whether just letting her go would be the kindest thing or whether she is still content despite not being what she once was.
posted by dg at 8:31 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]

Over the weekend we had visitors: when we lived in Brooklyn, our neighbors were college friends of my partner. Naturally, we hung out quite a bit, in fact the whole, small apartment building hung out together quite a bit. Then they had a kid and we had a kid and then another and another. And our four kids grew up together for a very brief time: Still, child-hood time is intense and it all sits pretty prominently in the archipelago of memories and feelings of their childhood. While doing a semester abroad in London, the oldest of our neighbor came over to visit. And the kids all hung out and went out and stayed up late talking (we could hear them from the next room) and - it was rather fantastic.
Sunday afternoon we drove across town to go to a flea market and on the way we passed a piece of graffiti, "Das ist nicht unser Krieg" ("This/that/it is not our war"). Frankly it's a shitty, cowardly sentiment (likely out of the AfD) and I listened to the conversation as it turned and wandered around to that conclusion. Which led to a bit a digression about which German phrases are particularly good (I apologize but I can't remember where that landed - I know "kampf trinken" ('fight-drinking' when you get to a party and have to drink hard to catch up) and "vorglühen" ('pre-glowing' it's 'pre-gaming' but of course more poetic) came up there was another that was good as well, though it escapes me)) and then our oldest said, "The one I always like is, "Denk an die Liebe" "remember to think about love" or, "think about love."" It's a piece of graffiti that you see here and there and it's true, you see this phrase and you think thoughts that are the opposite of "It is not our war" - like "don't think of a blue elephant" you read and it and think about love and what does that even mean and is love even relevant why not and etc.
Which is good to bear in mind as it's the most horrible time of the year. The time when it's dark by four and though it has been unseasonably warm, as often it's about 40 degrees fahrenheit and 80% humidity which drives the cold through you and grabs your bones. It's hard not to think pessimistic thoughts, to reflect on how incredibly fucking tough it most likely will be for the kids (the sunset that day was a wash of turquoise and orange and brown that was compliments of the ICEngine - as a kid the key just never had that hue, those hues (there was an article about climate scientists looking at Turner's paintings to get a sense of the smog of London of the 19thC and looking at the skies I feel the same way - the kids have never known different though and I feel ashamed to be leaving them this.) They were at Tempelhofer feld - the old airport and thought it was great. (I held my tongue).
This time of year I count down the days with my neighbor, when our paths cross - "Only 37 more days until the solstice!" and keep to myself until then, knowing what I do have to contribute rarely helps (myself included).
posted by From Bklyn at 3:20 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]

From the department of Real But Somewhat Bizarre Ad Copy: "Since 1953, Kork-Ease has provided shoes and sandals for every woman's needs. Our comfortable and stylish shoes keep women on their feet all day long."
posted by taz at 4:20 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]

I always knew there must be some use for corgies.
posted by hippybear at 4:57 AM on November 15 [5 favorites]

My niece just tested positive for flu and Covid so Thanksgiving's off. I was looking forward to seeing everybody but dreading two hours on the road each way with a toddler so overall I think it's a wash.

It probably goes without saying that the grandparents think we should come anyway because they'll totally keep her away and she'll be over it by then anyway. I told them that whoever gets it from her won't be such as immunocompromised grandma or unvaccinated-because-his-dad's-a-magat little brother. We're all vaccinated but you don't go run your car into trees on purpose just because you put on your seatbelt.

Besides, the Tiny Monster just got over his first cold this week after a week of snotty misery. Why go pick up fluvid at grandma's when we could stay home and eat a whole turkey by ourselves?
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 6:02 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]

Ages ago, I lived with a science school teacher. (He now does demonstrations and exhibits for a science museum.) He complained that one of his best students was in a gang, and planning on becoming the treasurer. Treasurer is a high status/low risk position, and you're relatively unlikely to get yourself killed. The kid studied hard in school, because he considered it free training.
Marc was uncertain what to do. On the one hand, he was a really good student. On the other hand, the kid was in a gang.
posted by Spike Glee at 6:14 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]

So I am on the last day of a spontaneous five-day staycation; I was looking forward to quiet time alone in the apartment, getting on top of some house-keeping and organizing duties to do while my roommate was out at bowling or out at work. But a whole bunch of things conspired to take my "alone time" away in pieces:

* On Friday we had to drag the super over to check out a spot on my bedroom ceiling where the plaster is coming loose. He made an appointment to come back and fix it today (Tuesday).

* On Saturday I had to head out to the gym, and my roommate was home until a movie date later in the afternoon.

* On Sunday my roommate skipped bowling because of a bear of a work week, so he was around all day. And I also wanted to stay home to corner the exterminator and ask him when the hell we were going to get something done about the rats we've been hearing in the walls.

* On Monday my roommate announced that he was working from home in the morning because he had a doctor's appointment mid-day....he said that there was "a chance" he would be coming home to work from there afterward as well. I think I pouted a bit when he said that, and he saw me - because he then said as he was leaving that he "Prooooooooooobably?" was going to be going on to the office after all.

* Which brings us to today, where I have to wait for the super to come fix the ceiling.

Fortunately, though, the sorting-and-organizing I had to do was actually quick work - just corralling some clutter in the living room, re-sorting some things in my office (read: actually putting it away). Pulling out a few things I know I will be using soon. I also got a couple of things that gave us tiny bits more storage, and had time to deliberately choose some decorative bits out of my closet and clean them up too:

* I got one of those over-the-toilet storage shelf sets, and we put that together on Friday and that let us squeeze a bit of space in there. (If nothing else - it let me move both my electric toothbrush and my roommate's razors off the edge of the sink, where they were always in danger of falling.)

* I have two tall bookcases on either side of my bed in lieu of nightstands, and on Saturday I got a board long enough to bridge them; it was long enough that I could simply place them on top of the shelves across both, no tools needed. I'm still figuring out what I'm going to put up there.

* I cleaned the snot out of the kitchen cabinets while waiting for the exterminator on Sunday, and that let me come up with a detailed meal plan for the week; the momentum also let me get the bathroom and living room cleaned afterward. I had a very rich chicken-and-Chinese-cabbage soup simmering away in the crock pot through the day. And the exterminator was a new guy who seems MUCH more hands-on in terms of getting problems sorted, and was able to get into a boiler room (the older guy always threw up his hands and said "It's locked, I can't get in") and put traps down, FINALLY.

* My roommate did NOT come back home after his doctor, he went on to work. So I was able to tidy the office and do all the decorate-y stuff I'd wanted after all, and even got an apple cake in the oven.

....Best of all, I just called the super about the ceiling fix - he says he's coming by at about 10 am and will only need to be here for 20 minutes. My roommate will be heading to work then as well. So I have the luxury of a whole day to devote to more "nesting". And today is payday so there may be an Ikea run - I saw that they have this random decorative thing, and I realized it could be a good starting point to make a fake armillary sphere.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]

BigHeartedGuy - my late Dad developed Essential Tremour some 25 years ago, before there was any real treatment for it... and it kind of ruined a lot of his retirement. At its worst, he couldn't even write. If he drew a line, it would look like an EKG, or aftershocks on a seismograph. Food would fly off his fork. Etc.

So it's good that they can now treat it. I saw a program on how they came up with the stimulation fix - fascinating stuff. I wish my Dad could have received that. Best wishes for a stress-free procedure and for full suppression of the tremour.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:09 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]

Very snowy in Denver suburbs this morning, but the sun has come out and now it's just pretty and sparkly. We are due to get some more Thursday. We're heading to TX after that to see friends for Thanksgiving week, thankfully it looks like we won't be battling bad weather to get there. I am not confident in my mountain driving, much less with snow involved.

(I think we're going through Raton NM, hoping the roads are good)
posted by emjaybee at 8:26 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure Raton NM is even there anymore after these summer's fires in NM. :(
posted by hippybear at 9:09 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]

Decided not to audition, but did check the callback list this morning. 13 people got called back, my singing teacher included. She said only 18 people auditioned in the first place. Oy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:18 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]

I was at a party tonight, on a Tuesday. It was a strange party, but very nice.

The thing is, though the party ended at a sensible time, I always find it difficult to go to bed when I've been out. My anxious mind needs a lot of smoothing after an evening with total strangers, even when it goes well. I walked home, walked the dog, and then I've been watching Michelle Obama and Stephen Colbert, and the Tasting History channel, and I am very tired, but I can't sleep. I wish I could take the day off tomorrow.

Does anyone have useful ideas for this kind of situation? I have a feeling a lot of you know it.
posted by mumimor at 4:17 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]

Warm milk?

posted by Greg_Ace at 4:55 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]

I have trouble sleeping now and then. It used to be a much bigger problem until I started listening to audiobooks that I've heard, usually more than twice. Familiarity removes any suspense but following along (usually) takes my mind off whatever bone(s) it's gnawing and I drift off.
posted by kingless at 5:50 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]

Let me introduce you to my favorite thing ever, the Cognitive Shuffle.

You can read that article for details, and you can even download an app, but it's really simple. It's a way of making your brain slip into idle mode so the sleep subroutines can kick in. Here's how I do it:

Think of a letter of the alphabet.
Start counting your heartbeat.
Every eight beats, think of a word that starts with your letter.

I hope it works for you. Pleasant dreams.
posted by MrVisible at 6:09 PM on November 15 [9 favorites]

^ ^ cool idea!

> Does anyone have useful ideas for this kind of situation?

I used to have some problem with insomnia. I've since learned:
- I should have some physical activity during each day
- I read in bed, every night, fiction only, usually 30 min or so, til my brain-pan says hey, let's sleep now
- if you can' t sleep, for whatever reason, get up and do something fun or rewarding. No sense wasting the time.
- if you had a good time at that party, that's a high, yes? Ride it. Sit up, reflect on what you enjoyed and the new people you met, complement yourself for being a valued friend, reward yourself with something...tea. Ovaltine. My late night tipple is chocolate almond milk.

(I'm also one for taking long and interesting walks when I'm leaving a party but still very much awake. Not always advisable now that I'm a senior, but fuck that)
posted by Artful Codger at 6:15 PM on November 15 [6 favorites]

In a similar vein to MrVisible's technique, when I'm having trouble sleeping, I focus on my breathing. I breath a bit slowly, counting on the exhale. After I hit four breaths, I reset the count so that I'm not focused on how high the number is getting. This works pretty well for me most of the time.
posted by mollweide at 6:35 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]

The cognitive shuffle is quite effective, but I prefer the visual version I figured out for myself. Only works if you can visualise things easily.

I choose something that I don't have strong negative feelings about, and then try to remember small visual details about it. Preferably in a predictable, listed way.

Like what outfits characters were wearing in a show I watched. Or small visual details I saw on my daily walk. Did I see anyone at the gate? Further down the path? At the first corner?

I just relax and let my visual memory surface.

Another version is to visualise a routine task, step by step. Like filling a bucket from the rainwater tank. Focusing on sound, touch, scent, visuals.

Verbal thoughts seem to keep me awake, and visual ones are closer to dreaming, and seem to relax my mind.
posted by Zumbador at 7:12 PM on November 15 [7 favorites]

That's a very interesting point, Zumbador. I hadn't consciously realized how important visualizing was to the process.
posted by mollweide at 7:31 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]

On a different note. I seasoned a small tri-tip roast with Spike seasoned salt, fresh chopped garlic and basil microwaved for 20 seconds in enough olive oil to cover the little roast, which I baked in a ceramic casserole in a 350° oven for a while, checked back, checked again OK rare and nice. I sliced some without even letting it rest. I seized upon a pomegranate and put about 1/2 cup of arils over the slices, I had dragged through the pan drippings, for flavor. The last part was sun dried tomatoes I also put over the slices. This combination of sweet and tart was a great complement to the medium rare roast. Just so you know, it is pomegranate season in So Cal. I had already eaten Thai red cargo rice with cream and honey, for an afternoon snack, so the meat and fruit was the entire dinner.
posted by Oyéah at 8:42 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]

Ollie has triad disease. It’s treatable and could have been much worse. This is a condition involving liver and pancreatic inflammation with some IBS thrown in. He’d been eating prodigiously with no weight gain. We are all relieved and hopeful now that he is on medication.

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all who wished him well; I’m certain it made a difference.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:28 PM on November 15 [15 favorites]

Some good news about Charlie. The vet wanted to delay surgery until we get more bloodwork results, which have come back totally clean except for signs of infection. It's not certain yet, but it's looking more and more like this is just a really stubborn infection rather than a tumor. He got a slow-release antibiotic shot yesterday and was already seeming perkier today, so I'm feeling a little bit of optimism. He's 16 but I hope we can have him around for a bit longer.
posted by biogeo at 9:59 PM on November 15 [15 favorites]

Can I tell an Old Person Story?

In the pre-internet days, a co-worker taught me a trick that helped me absolutely rule the process of ordering tickets from Ticketmaster. In those days, to buy concert tickets for in-demand shows, you had to either line up early at a participating music store or (weirdly) grocery with a Ticketmaster link and hope for the best or you could call your local Ticketmaster office over and over until the line wasn't busy and then take what you could get.

A co-worker taught me this trick, which made getting very good seats to concerts extremely easy with that old system. At exactly the time tickets went on sale, you called in to the Ticketmaster office of a Division I sports school in an entirely different city than you wanted the tickets in. The bored, bemused person manning the office would answer on the first ring, and having nothing better to do, would log in to Ticketmaster and secure you the best available tickets at face price. It worked like a charm, all for like a $0.75 long distance call.

I was actually pissed when they went online, because my trick did not work for gaming that system.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:30 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]

In pet news, Rango got skunked for the second year in a row. I left to take kiddo to the orthodontist and when I got back, doggo was soggy and happy after an emergency Dawn/baking soda/tepid water bath and Comrade Doll was exhausted. She was just sitting there seething and Rango was like, "BEST DAY EVER! I almost caught a skunk, then I got a bath!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:32 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]

Utah is getting a new flag and the final design for legislative approval has been released. Always with the beehives. Sucks if you have melissophobia I guess
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:00 AM on November 16

Almost a 1200-day streak on Duolingo, and they make the UI unusable and destroy (that is, "convert") my Spanish lesson progress so that I'll never finish the skills tree. I know it's free and all, but it's really frustrating. I don't think I'll be back. But then for a while I have been thinking that it's time I moved on to an intermediate Spanish lesson of some kind.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:13 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]

A co-worker taught me this trick, which made getting very good seats to concerts extremely easy with that old system. At exactly the time tickets went on sale, you called in to the Ticketmaster office of a Division I sports school in an entirely different city than you wanted the tickets in

A friend of mine once spent 15 minutes on the phone with a very nice woman at Ticketmaster asking her questions about various shows and events. The moment the clock struck noon he switched from yokel-asking-questions-about-Korn to telling her exactly which tickets he wanted for a sure-to-sell-out show. He claims she applauded his ingenuity.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:50 AM on November 16 [6 favorites]

Back in the day I camped out for 2 days on hard concrete with several hundred other fans to get tickets to see Prince in my hometown where he was playing for no discernible reason. It was a total party. People were kind, you could leave the line for food or bathroom, sleeping on a sidewalk is terrible but walking up with a bunch of like-minded people ready to jam to Purple Rain yet again was amazing.

Ticket buying has changed so much over time. My only strategy is to buy fan club memberships if I care enough, and to be right at my computer when they go on sale. Also, to keep trying over the day because cards get rejected over time and seats free up again. I refuse to buy for more than face value, so Craigslist has been kind to me, but I never go secondary market online.
posted by hippybear at 12:05 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]

Thanks for all the good advice, I will try most of it next time this happens, and it will.

Now, winter is coming a few weeks later than usual, but in the usual menacing way, with cold winds that run in circles, carrying leaves and plastic bags and babies' socks up into my fourth floor window's view. After a while we get used to winter and settle down with all the hygge, but I feel the first few days are always a bit unsettling.
posted by mumimor at 12:33 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]

Dirty Old Town, you reminded me of the olden times when Ticketmaster tickets were available at grocery store customer service desks in Chicago! I used to live halfway between a new shiny Dominick's and a rather run-down Dominick's and if I HAD to have tickets I'd go to the old dingy store and be the first (and only) person in line. My hardcore Cubs fan sister used to take a vacation day every year for first ticket sales and instead of going to Wrigley (she lived a block away) headed to one of the stores on Broadway and snapped up tickets for her preferred games.
posted by sencha at 12:51 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]

As long as I'm at it, this is Charlie.
posted by biogeo at 1:57 PM on November 16 [8 favorites]

My work continues to have VPN issues. Which is to say it's supposed to update with New Branding, but literally nobody in tech has any idea of how to fix this. I was finally told "log into this VPN address, it should work on its own, if it doesn't, log out and log back in again in 20 minutes. I have so far done this three times now. I will keep trying it until the end of the day, at which point I plan to write back to tech support saying "since clearly this will not work, is this really THAT IMPORTANT to happen, or shall I go out and sacrifice a virtual goat because clearly nobody else has any better ideas as to how to fix this?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:49 PM on November 16

I'm just sick about the Respect For Marriage act that is making its way through Congress right now. It's not an equality bill at all. It's a states rights and religious liberty bill that will actually give same sex and interracial couples less rights than they currently have now under Obergefel and Loving. Everyone is touting it as a win, but fuck this lesser tier of rights thing. That's not equality at all.
posted by hippybear at 5:57 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]

Lucky. I am so lucky.

I had a cardiologist appointment on Monday; he wanted to do a sonogram and an EKG, check out where my heart is after almost a year with this pacemaker/defibrillator in my chest, and just over a year on that medication, carvedilol.

Before the tech was even done with the sonogram she was all smiles and festive (and she is not supposed to say or show anything but we're friends over the years, and the test just had her gassed) and my cardiologist came in, took one look at the sonogram results, huge smile, big laughs. My cardiologist has got just this big hearty laugh, and I heard it a lot on Monday. Last year, when he found out what shape my heart was in, I didn't hear even a chuckle from him, he was dead serious and all frowny; that's how I knew how screwed I was. It was the first time since I've known him that I didn't hear that laugh, see his merry eyes.

Turns out that my heart is in better shape than it has been for years, they've got results going back 18 years, ever since this whole thing started, the heart attacks, death, etc. He didn't even consider an EKG, because of what he saw on the sonogram; he listened with his stethoscope and liked everything he heard, told me he'd see me in a year.

I suggested that he jam in another machine or two since having this one gave such a good result; he didn't think that would be a good idea.

(aside: This pacemaker/defibrillator connects over bluetooth (I think it's bluetooth) to either an iPhone or a standalone unit that ties into my internet connection, which will report immediately to my cardiologist and he'll immediately report to me: Get to the hospital. Now. Anyways, the manufacturer kept putting me off, supply shortages, no machines available, blah blah blah. I was no way going to put it on my iPhone because I don't want to be tied to an iPhone until The End Of Time. About four months ago I got tired of the game, called them up and got redneck, told the person that the call was not going to end until I knew the machine was on its way to me. They said that couldn't be done; I said let me talk to your manager, the game is over. I went up and up the line, regardless what they said I said "Nope." Turns out they sent me a dedicated iPhone, which is great, because I can travel and still be alerted if my heart goes left-handed for whatever reason. I've never gotten redneck with my cardiologist -- never needed to -- he had no idea this part of me, it gave him even *more* laughter, even happier eyes. We had fun.)

I've been scared shitless this past year, felt I was walking a tightrope, didn't dare go anywhere where I might be exposed to Covid, etc. etc. I had no idea that the machine can actually strengthen a persons heart; I knew that about the carvedilol but I didn't know it about the machine.

Anyway, long message, sorry to go so long but it's just such great news for me. Time to get back on the bicycle, for reals.

I hope that this finds all of you in great health, unafraid to go into a grocery store, happy to be heading into the holidays.

tl;dr -- Lucky. I am so lucky.
posted by dancestoblue at 6:25 PM on November 16 [21 favorites]

Dancestoblue I am so happy for you!! Glad you get some relief and the chance to relax a little.
posted by emjaybee at 9:49 PM on November 16

Dancestoblue - congratulations!

....And - maybe I need you to put you on a pest issue in my apartment?...we've been hearing rats inside the walls for about a year now - at first just in one spot in my roommate's ceiling/my floor, but then gradually spreading further through the whole floor, and then about a month ago they started to spread up to MY ceiling.

We have been complaining about this issue for a year. The landlord was not un-responsive, but they kept putting this on the exterminator to fix, and he would just shrug and say that he'd put poison in the spots he could get to but "there are some storage areas that are locked so I can't get in...." But when I said they'd started coming up through my ceiling, the landlord finally switched to a different exterminator this month. He came by and listened to our complaints - and then when he got to those locked storage areas, he took the radical step of calling the super and asking "hey, can you unlock these rooms?" Within five minutes, he got in and saw obvious rat activity and put down a shit-ton of poison.

But the bigger issue is - we know exactly where the rats are coming from; they are coming from a side wall overlooking an alley between our building and the one next door. That's where we heard them first, and we were hearing rats outside in that alley before this all started happening. And - that alleyway is locked, and the only person who has the key is....the super of the building next door. I have spoken to the old exterminator, the new exterminator, our super, and our landlord about how "listen, that's where they're getting in, we need to get into that alley and tackle the problem there" but I have no idea why they haven't been able to do that yet. I even tried asking the people next door myself, when I saw a couple people on the stoop and put on a big friendly grin and asked if "hey, I live in this building next door to you - but I'd like to look at my window, do you know how I can get into this alley?" But one of them just got super-defensive, said he was the super of the building and said he wouldn't let me in without my super coming with me. So I backed down. But we're now at the point where the critters are making so much noise they are waking me up in the middle of the night.

I think I need someone with your persistence to call my super or my landlord to say "Listen, someone needs to put bait stations in that alley today."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]

I was finally told by tech support that this doesn't matter and he's closing the ticket. Five minutes after I announced that on the chat channel, a dude was all "Put in a ticket and have Steve do it, he fixed mine in five minutes!" Yeah, well, I put one in last week and both Ralph and Kevin were totally unable to, dude.

Cabaret has been filled without my having to do it. All but one person made it into the show, so I guess they had enough warm bodies for ensemble without my doing it. That's fine, I'll just watch Hallmark every night instead. My singing teacher did get Sally Bowles, so I'm very happy for her!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]

dancestoblue: that is fantastic. More than once, when hearing or reading about cardiac issues, I have thought about you. (And once that was when my mom was going through some stuff. Knowing your story helped.) I am glad things are getting better for you.

I just took an unaccompanied trip out that was longer than any walk I've made since I busted my knee. I was nervous, but nothing went wrong. It wasn't all that comfortable after a while; my knee has this "new" feeling, like a shoe that isn't broken in and gives you the idea that it might never quite do that. But since they put my orthopedist's appointment all the way after Thanksgiving, I expect that they don't think I have all that much to worry about if I take it slow.

Excited that I finally figured out knitting. The first time I tried to learn was before Youtube tutorials, and I managed crochet on my own, but with knitting, I needed to watch somebody do the stitches over and over before I got it. My hope is to make a sweater for my dachshund, who's hard to fit off the rack, but it will probably be warm again before I'm good enough at that. I did find some old skeins of yarn that I could make myself a hat with -- crochet is better for a hat, I think, because it's easier to work in the round. The best would be nålebinding, a technique that might be older than H. sapiens and makes a very tight fabric, but for that you need a very old fiber that you're spinning and plying by hand and joining up with the moisture from your lips. I don't have hanks of wool or bundles of flax lying around, I'm afraid.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:38 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]

I just want to take the opportunity at the bottom of this free thread to brag on my kid, who decided she wanted to act this year, and has shown some real aptitude (her cold reads are ... really good for an 8-year-old, IMO). Through a few twists and turns she's got representation and was invited to audition for a film by a new director who got great reviews at Sundance last year. We don't have any expectation that she'll book it, but we've also been told that we should probably expect to be busy throughout the upcoming TV pilot season, so ... yikes, I guess?

Like, I want this for her as long as she wants it for herself, but it's pretty scary!
posted by uncleozzy at 6:03 AM on November 18 [8 favorites]

Looks like my neighbours in Buffalo are in for a bit of winter weather;

NWS Weather Prediction Center;

snowfall will at times be accompanied by lightning, gusty winds, and rates of 3"+/hr.
This will produce near zero visibility, nearly impossible travel, damage
to infrastructure, and paralyze the hardest-hit communities.
Historic snowfall exceeding 4 feet is likely around Buffalo, NY.
Very cold air will accompany this event with temperatures 20 degrees below

Hamburg a, small town about 15 miles south of buffalo has already got 3 feet of snow.
and the storm is just started.
posted by yyz at 10:03 AM on November 18

Yesterday evening I saw the light show at the Chicago Botanic Garden and it was amazing. They commission artists to create the light displays. They were otherworldly amazing.

Early this morning I saw a Long-eared Owl just 20 feet away while handfeeding my friends: White-breasted nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees.

It's been a pretty wonder full 18 hours.
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on November 18 [4 favorites]

I think I need someone with your persistence to call my super or my landlord to say "Listen, someone needs to put bait stations in that alley today."

In this kind of scenario you need to call the city and tell them that there is a spreading rat infestation coming from that alley. They'll pressure both landlords/supers and do some trapping/poisoning themselves as well as looking at root causes like unsecured garbage bins.
posted by srboisvert at 10:58 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]

In this kind of scenario you need to call the city and tell them that there is a spreading rat infestation coming from that alley.

My roommate and I have actually discussed doing exactly that, pointing the finger at the building next door for blocking our access. But our super and the new exterminator are a bit more active now than they have been in the past (I think they just trusted the last exterminator too much, and he was just lazy), and I'm going to give them just a week or so more.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:00 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos, while I admire your patience and your good-hearted nature, you have rats in your goddman walls. A situation so horrifying that H. P. Lovecraft himself wrote a story entitled The Rats In The Walls. I urge you to bring in whoever might have the slightest chance of being able to help; the city, the state, the Avengers, the original British Avengers, the cavalry, whoever. Go stay in a hotel and have the landlord pay for it. I know you've gotten acclimated to this over weeks, but from an outside perspective it's pretty horrifying. It's such a health risk. Please get yourself out of this awful situation.
posted by MrVisible at 5:24 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]

welcome to michigan (some swearing)
posted by pyramid termite at 6:14 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]

welcome to michigan

I'm with that one kid - why the hell would he want to help them get to school??
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:29 AM on November 19

Finally unlocked the positive covid-19 test achievement today. Day 985 of our pandemic. Was symptomatic starting from about Saturday. Sunday's RAT has an extremely faint line that I didn't even see but a facebook pal alerted me when I posted a photo of it as a negative. This morning's test was a pretty unambiguous solid dark line. Dry cough, runny nose, mild body ache and no fever so far.
posted by srboisvert at 7:18 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

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