Feel free to flop around a little
May 22, 2023 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Just like Joel It's your Monday free thread. Have an excellent week! And more Joel
posted by Gorgik (91 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Let's kick off with some Friendly Advice from Luna.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:36 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]

Please, take my advice.
posted by box at 6:56 AM on May 22

Joel, won’t you?

I feel that I messed up this morning already by not going in for a blood draw before breakfast, but I was already running late at the time. I have been putting this off for ages, and I’m worried that a diabetes diagnosis may finally have caught up with me, as it did with so many people on my dad’s side. I got dizzy from low blood sugar (I think) on Friday, which was embarrassing. To admit it to myself, I’m nervous about going in for a blood draw before eating for that reason—what if I faint first? But it has to get done if I need treatment.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:05 AM on May 22 [9 favorites]

I love my coworkers. I'll be out for several hours this afternoon as my really nice allergist/asthma doc combined offices and is now practicing out of a location should be a 30 minute drive. Since this is Pittsburgh, the most direct/fastest route is ALWAYS under construction and one must always double travel time. My morning standup was derailed for several minutes as colleagues gave conflicting advice on routes-to-take. Since switching doctors for allergy/asthma is a separate kind of hell, I'm choosing the drive for the time being.

I dread getting blood drawn for any reason, so I tend to make a formal appointment as then I have the additional motivation to not waste someone else's time.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:16 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

My DM sent a message to the group saying he's not feeling well and wants to delay today's session until June. Since we have a real possibility of TPK (or at least a serious story realignment if our two BBEGs have indeed joined forces) I'm relieved, but also we've been strategizing all month! I want to get to fireworks factory already!
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:16 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]

Reading the new Haruki Murakami cinderblock (recently published in Japan). It's a dreamy, intoxicating excursion into magic realist realms. There's a city surrounded by walls and an imposing gatekeeper and beasts that assemble at the sound of a horn. The Japanese prose goes down like a dark chocolate truffle. It's a novel that you'd like to take on a discount trip on a container ship with bad wifi and a surly crew. Drop into the vortex of its pages and don't come up for air.

And yet. And yet. A few passages not only sexualize minors, they do so in a way that is both disturbingly cringey and gratuitous. The main characters are high-school age, but is that so strange in an era when every third manga, anime and jrpg is either set in a high school or features high-school characters? Not sure as to what's behind this cultural obsession--or when it will complete its arc and disappear.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:23 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]

Countess Elena, when I've gone in to get blood drawn for diabetes-related blood work, they've wanted it to be my fasting levels -- i.e., not eating for the previous 8 hours. So, I would guess that not eating breakfast before getting your blood drawn is the right way to go about it.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 7:31 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

(But now that I read your comment more closely it sounds like that's already your plan, apologies for the unnecessary n-splaining.)
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 7:34 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

We got a holiday Monday here.
Celebrating Queen Vicky's birthday.
Thankful that she had the good sense to be born on a Monday :)
posted by yyz at 7:41 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]

A few passages not only sexualize minors, they do so in a way that is both disturbingly cringey and gratuitous.

I read one Murakami novel, got a creep vibe from it and had no desire to read any others.
posted by Foosnark at 7:48 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

As the only US employee of a Canadian company, it's quiet in the home office here in VA today. Greatly looking forward to my 3-day weekend this weekend, I'm making it a 3.5 day weekend by cutting out at noon Friday so we can get on the road for the 5-hour drive to my favorite state park in VA, Greyson Highlands. Hiking in the much cooler mountain air is in my immediate future. And ponies, lots of "wild" ponies.
posted by COD at 7:52 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]

Y’all I think a trashcan saved my life. I have been sick with the stomach flu and was sitting on the toilet, holding on to the trashcan in case I needed it. The next thing I knew, I woke up on the bathroom floor with a slight bump on the head and a totally crushed trashcan. It broke my fall.
posted by CMcG at 7:56 AM on May 22 [24 favorites]

I work in a heavily non-vaccinated part of southern Vermont. Despite my own vaccination, in February I got a pretty shitty case of Omicron that turned into long Covid.

Over the weekend I had gross sinuses, a dry cough and a bad sore throat. Allergies, I thought.

I was just informed this morning that the student who was coughing all over my class last week tested positive for COVID.

So here I go again. Considering the shitshow Covid was in February, I am not looking forward to what the next week will look like.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 8:00 AM on May 22 [6 favorites]

I am off from work this week, which is odd when one works from home, because I'm still home, which is the office, but whatever.

We have a bunch of IKEA bed slats in the garage from a long-gone bed. We have a black metal (iron?) "R" that we received as a Christmas gift years ago. I'm thinking about staining/waterproofing the slats, lining them up, nailing/gluing them together and nailing the R on it and putting it outside. (Somehow.) I'm not a handy person, but this seems like a neat project that a non-handy person can do.

CMcG! That's scary and amazing at the same time. I hope you feel better soon. (salutes your fallen trashcan)
posted by kimberussell at 8:01 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]

And freedom tastes of reality
posted by mmrtnt at 8:02 AM on May 22

And yet. And yet. A few passages not only sexualize minors, they do so in a way that is both disturbingly cringey and gratuitous.

I used to be a moderate if conflicted Murakami fan. Conflicted mostly because even when he's not sexualizing women, it often feels like he forgets that they're people.

Then I had to read 1Q84 for a class, and - I really, really did not like the way it handled its plot line about cultic sexual abuse of pre-teen girls.

Norwegian Wood was the first book I ever read in Japanese (and I am counting it even though I stopped somewhere around 2/3 through because I was getting too depressed) and I will always have fond memories of it, and a city surrounded by walls and an imposing gatekeeper and beasts that assemble at the sound of a horn sounds like Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which is my favorite Murakami book. But, like, enough with the breasts already, Murakami. Your character's eyes are up there.
posted by Jeanne at 8:19 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

Get well soon, all of you who need that.

I keep on thinking that now I will have some time to myself, my family, my friends and MetaFilter. But it doesn't happen. I've realized that I have taken on too much work for too little pay this semester, and it is in part my own fault for not sitting down and thinking it through before I said yes. So I feel I am in a constant energy deficit, and constantly behind schedule. And the meetings keep piling on, far into June where my plan was to relocate to the farm for the summer. (Still working, but remotely).

In better news it's finally getting warmer. I love the noises from the street in summer, people going slowly and chatting softly. And I also love all the fresh produce. Yesterday was one long feast where we took turns at making delicious vegetable meals, I think there were five distinct meals with more than one course + snacks in-between. We have way too much celery and also a celeriac, so part of the project is to think of ideas for using celery that are completely different dishes. My daughter is suddenly obsessed with juicing stuff, which is a great use for celery, so we also had a lot of pulp from the juicer, which I used to to make bread with. It is good. Since she isn't stopping, there is already more pulp, which I think will become a more cake-like thing.

Joel looks so cute and cuddly!
posted by mumimor at 8:28 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]

I'm always up for some Murakami, even with 'and yet'. Hoping it gets to English soon.

Spending my birthday (and a few days before and after) taking care of my granddaughter. My daughter is out of town for work for a week. Her house has amazing internet speed (>300 Mbps download and upload ) and yet my laptop is having trouble loading most sites, especially YouTube. MeFi has been iffy. I can get to almost nowhere, but with great speed. Thinking it's some firewall thingy. Hasn't happened here before.
posted by MtDewd at 8:28 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]

I got XCOM 2.

My productivity has been demolished.
posted by KChasm at 8:35 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]

If anybody actually knows Joel, I'd love some tips to help my foster cat Jonathan Cat learn to eat better. He still licks/nurses his moist food. He's about to turn 14. He doesn't get his face all messy, but he does flatten and spread the food so that it falls off the edge of the dish -- plus, he doesn't eat all the food because he can't get it out of the edges of the bottom.
posted by amtho at 8:39 AM on May 22

Joel is very cute, but our new kittens are pretty adorable, too. Charley and Milly came to live with us a couple of weeks ago. We haven't had kittens around in almost 25 years, so it has been a lot of fun.
posted by briank at 8:40 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

Songs to Develop Dwarf Fortress To - a Spotify playlist by Tarn and Zach Adams.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:11 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

count me in the group of former Murakami fans who got creeped out after a while and then just generally apathetic and tired of his bs

like is there a reason why every single female character with more than just a superficial amount of development and even some who don't really need to have sex with the narrator? is there? really? you really think there's a good enough justification for every single one? especially the ones 16 and under?

it's 2023 and I feel like we don't need really to rehash the Walter Breen/Piers Anthony/MZB convo all over again
posted by paimapi at 9:20 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

I am working very desultorily because I am pretty checked out of this job and anxiously hoping for a call to interview for a job I actually do want. At least the weather is good and lunch is soon.
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]

Kafka on the Shore is the best-written book I ever threw across the room with great force.*

* I did not actually throw it across the room with any amount of force because it was a loan from a good friend but I did finish it and frown really hard.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:03 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]

In unexpected announcements, apparently they're doing a "20 minutes into the future" sequel to Initial D, of all things.

I guess that once again, we're Running In The 90s.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:06 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]

Your weekend theater update:

(a) I went to go see Avenue Q (i.e. The Show I Really Wish I'd Gotten Into, All My Friends Did But Not Me) on Friday, with a group of friends. This helped a lot on my inner mopey-ness on this topic. I had kind of wanted to just hide in the back, not do my usual laugh, and have nobody know I was there, but they all kept turning on the lights and having the cast parade through the audience a lot, so that cat was out of the bag. They all did a good job, of course. So I did have to go around and talk to people afterwards and pretend to be Okay. I saw someone else in the audience I know who also auditioned and didn't get in, so I knew he felt same and said as much to him.

(b) I went to a storytelling festival, where I saw people I haven't seen since pre-pandemic. I did reunite with a nice fellow who used to live here, moved out of state in 2019, and has moved back to this end of the state, if about an hour away, who said he remembered me being very welcoming. That was sweet. He also invited me to an event he's hosting, which may ah, conflict with some things (sigh). Well, maybe. I will note he told an awesome story about his mom's dog going missing and then six years later the dog was found alive (if not super well, but doggie did live another 2 years with his mommy) and he said when someone comes back from the dead like that, he won't tell anyone to give up hope now.

I also found out that an old mentor of sorts of mine died recently, but the funeral is on a day where I have to work in the office/supposedly "adult-sit" employees who don't need it (and have at least 1-2 managers in the office for that!) and am the ONLY one doing so, so I don't think they'll let me out, sigh. I'm debating asking, but that's going to go into Uncomfortable Territory and they do turn you down for asking to be out due to coverage, so.

I haven't been able to tell stories since early pandemic--I can't really write any of my usual ones, pandemic kind of killed my old ones, I haven't had any "moral of the story" stuff happen to finish any properly. I don't know if I'll ever be able to again. I hope so. I note the guy I talked to was all "eh, I don't do morals, I just end them," but I note his had one, eh?

(c) Folks, I have a dilemma. I have been planning on auditioning for Much Ado at Home Theater #1 (this upcoming week). I love Beatrice, but my Shakespeare expert friend is auditioning and we all know she'll get it, so that pretty much leaves "serving wench" roles for 2 ladies left and I dunno on the probability of my getting in this. It overlaps by a month-ish with Something Rotten at Home Theater #2, which bugs me because I wanted to do that one too and that's too much of a gap to do both. But if forced to choose between the two, I'd probably say Much Ado.

Meanwhile, another castmate of mine mentioned auditioning at Farther Away Theater (45 min drive) to do Spamalot. I was all "huh, I saw Spamalot once, that was fun, I'll audition for this just for kicks," which I did last night. I auditioned there once before and found it to be SUPER clique-y in the audition, so I was all "no way in hell am I getting in, this is just for practice."

Here's the kicker: only three women auditioned for it, so I got a callback (Tuesday) automatically. They would like more women, and found it ironic that for once they had very few women and yet a lot of men. This makes sense for this show, I suppose, but looking at the parts for women it's just Lady of the Lake (not gonna be me, that's fine, I think the brassy blonde auditioning with me should get it) and "Laker Girls" and apparently they are hot sexy ladies dressed in skimpy clothing. I remembered it didn't have "parts for women" really as a majority of shows do not, but not that it was a Sexy Lady Show. I will note that none of us auditioning fit into that category, more like Girls Who Got The Boobies/Stomachs. So...I dunno. It might come out like when I did Christmas Carol and they were expecting Hot Sexy Thin Ladies to audition and then got..girls with boobies and couldn't do Sexy Costumes.

I wouldn't have figured I could get in here, might be nice to get "in" with other theaters/expand my experience, experience could be fun, people seem nice, and the timing of this means I COULD also do Something Rotten because there's only a week overlap and I know Home Theater 2 would let me miss a week under that circumstance. Mostly the only bad things about Farther Away Theater is the distance--I've decided 45 minute drive is about as far as I feel like going--and their shows run 6 weeks so that means I can't go watch Much Ado or some other shows I already have tickets for. But the weather is nice for that sort of drive, at least it isn't Rainy Season Slog. And missing my friends going for Much Ado.

I note either way I probably wouldn't know what I get into until the weekend. Callbacks for women are Tuesday and callbacks for men are Saturday at Farther Theater, Much Ado auditions are Tuesday/Thursday, no mention on callbacks. This is a level of weird I was not expecting here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:06 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]

Had a complete failure at Ikea this weekend which, since I don't have a car, turned out to be incredibly time consuming and expensive. I wanted to get a divider for my wardrobe so I could put some shorter drawers in it (rather than the enormous full-wardrobe-length drawers) but it turns out that between the time I bought the wardrobe and now they've changed where the door hinges are, and the new dividers don't work with the old wardrobes because they conflict with the door hinges. So everything has to be returned (2nd cab ride, first was getting everything home) and I have to buy new large drawers which I will buy dividers for so they work more like the short drawers I wanted in the first place. But I might just get the drawers delivered which would be $25 rather than the $40 cab fare (plus tip).

I had a dream my temp job hired me full time but then I woke up and they didn't :( they've extended me a couple times though. I don't love the work but I am extremely grateful for it since there are basically zero jobs in my industry right now. If they could just keep extending me until my industry picks up again I would be very very happy.
posted by matcha action at 10:17 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

All the talk of cycling in prior threads is giving me difficult feelings.

I'm in a new town in a new state, where it's already 20° hotter than I'm used to, plus humidity. I've gone from cycling a half-century every weekend to being too afraid of heat exhaustion to go out even once. Plus I don't know any of the routes, and there's so much construction happening everywhere that I'm concerned about being constantly and unexpectedly pushed into traffic. But mostly the heat scares me.

Of course I'm slowly packing on weight from not having that 2500 calorie burn every weekend, but even more, I'm desperately missing the emotional and psychic and spiritual release. I'm told we'll easily clear 100°+ over the next month or two, which literally sounds like death on two wheels. I'm totally at a loss for what to do. Cycling is so foundational to my identity and I'm starting to fray at the edges mentally.

(I spent my entire pandemic lockdown on an indoor bike, and there's no way I'm going back to that.)
posted by mykescipark at 10:35 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

That's what biking at 5am is for, mykescipark!

But really, just consider it a new activity you're doing. Start with a 10 miler and see how it feels, and gradually increase your distance. See if you can figure out routes that just meander near your home base. My dad is a biker and says he's almost never more than 10 miles from home even on his 50+mi rides, which makes it a lot easier to bail if things get hairy.
posted by obfuscation at 10:44 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]

It's been almost two years since Mrs C dislocated her kneecap at work. From a walking point of view, she's 99% recovered, but she has been reluctant to try biking again. We've committed to a 10+ km ramble on bikes around the Toronto Islands, next week, with out-of-town friends, so we're heading out for a short ride this afternoon to get back on that bike. That tender break-in period...

I try to bike often, but my century rides are behind me. I'm more into rail-trails now.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:26 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

I don't have the technical smarts or the time to design a FPP around this, but hey look!

Facebook and Instagram Fined $1.3 Billion, Ordered to Stop Sending EU Data to U.S.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 11:41 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

Right - for the record, mods, I asked if it was okay to post this link, and have not gotten a definitive response.

So - I've been loosely connected with the former Marvel writer Len Kaminiski for some time now. He was part of a crowd I ran with in my 20s and is now just a Facebook contact. If you ever read IRON MAN or VENOM or GHOST RIDER in the 90s, or you read anything about War Machine, you've read his work.

Len is really not doing well right now; he has been on disability for several years (arthritis, carpal tunnel and depression), but then suffered an accident last year that left him in a wheelchair and stuck him in a poor-quality care facility that's been doing nothing to take care of his injuries. They're basically just letting him sit there while they take his money - over the past 8 months he's lost his home, his savings, and all his insurance, and they're garnishing his disability payments. He told no one about this until sometime last month.

There is now a GoFundMe set up to get him money for an apartment (so he can finally LEAVE that bloody place), some better medical care and a lawyer to sort out everything.

If it is okay, I will post a link; for the meantime MeMail me if you want the link.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:00 PM on May 22 [5 favorites]

mykescipark and Artful Codger, WRT the cycling: I'd say take plenty of water (I actually got a larger Camelbak during the pandemic, when I couldn't depend on park water fountains being open), plan routes with rest stops at convenience stores along the way, and have a plan for getting a ride home if you can. That's how I'm planning to train for RAGBRAI, wearing elastic knee braces and building up my mileage.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:25 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

We decided to get some cheap-ass shelves for our library while we wait to be able to afford and schedule somebody to properly put in the built-in shelving we stole from our old house (which was demolished) and have in our garage, instead of continuing to have our books in boxes. Now we need to figure out the cheapest shelves we are willing to live with. Suggestions welcome. We don't want, like, bricks and boards, but maybe Ikea-level, unless there's something cheaper than Ikea.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:37 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]

We don't want, like, bricks and boards, but maybe Ikea-level, unless there's something cheaper than Ikea.

Walmart or Target probably have some flatpack that will meet your needs.
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]

I'm in a new town in a new state, where it's already 20° hotter than I'm used to, plus humidity. I've gone from cycling a half-century every weekend to being too afraid of heat exhaustion to go out even once. Plus I don't know any of the routes, and there's so much construction happening everywhere that I'm concerned about being constantly and unexpectedly pushed into traffic. But mostly the heat scares me.

If you haven't already, find a local cycling club, possibly via meetup. They'll know all the routes. Find one that has a variety of ride options so that you're in a group that's friendly to multiple skill levels. You'll need to get used to starting early, like at sunrise or a little before. I'm in Arizona and once we hit summer, you either ride early or you don't ride. (Recently had my brother in town and he lives in a much cooler area, and he just couldn't drag himself up that early to get started. Where he's at, you can start mid-day and it's no issue. I told him that here, you HAVE to start early.) One of the little bonuses of starting early is that there's a lot less traffic.

Meanwhile, my training for the big bike event has ended up meaning I got a bunch of rides and gotten into better shape, but without the "event" part. The other day, exactly one week to where I would be lining up to start the ride, I tested positive for stupid damn Covid. I'd been at a company conference in Florida and was hoping that I wouldn't bring back that nasty souvenir, but here we are. I'm looking for other rides later in the summer in cooler areas and there's a few promising ones I've found. It still doesn't take away the sting on this one though.
posted by azpenguin at 2:24 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

Thanks Halloween Jack. Yes, water. I've also experimented with cycling more or less along (or intersecting) the routes of commuter trains, so I can hop one home if I need to.

I'm not normally a morning person, but when I do make the effort... early mornings are magical.

Note to self - when the Southern Ontario summer really hits, get up before dawn once or twice.
posted by Artful Codger at 2:37 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]

Y’all I think a trashcan saved my life. I have been sick with the stomach flu and was sitting on the toilet, holding on to the trashcan in case I needed it

Last night a trashcan saved my life
Last night a trashcan saved my life on the toilet
posted by cubeb at 3:02 PM on May 22 [4 favorites]

A much earlier draft of Elton John's Somone Saved My Life Tonight, Sugarbear.
posted by hippybear at 3:34 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]

I'm severely deficient in executive functioning and my home is a tip and I rarely eat. Just this weekend I started a "do one task a day" goal and have been successful so far. I got a freebie though because my toilet tank broke into three pieces Saturday night and the maintenance guy for my building came in and replaced it this morning.

I was pretty embarrassed because the toilet hadn't been cleaned in a few months, but the maintenance guy and I bonded about executive function stuff and I recognized a kindred spirit. I apologized for the state of the toilet and mumbled something about "having stuff going on," and said, "at least I don't have to clean it now."

Very refreshingly he said, "yeah it was pretty gross." But he replaced it without complaint and even reinstalled my bidet attachment even though he wasn't supposed to. It was all very matter-of-fact and we had a regular conversation during and after.

As a bonus, he wants to take this big antique pine hutch that I got from my great aunt after she passed away. I'm trying hard to get rid of everything and this will be a huge win.

Net positive.
posted by bendy at 4:13 PM on May 22 [11 favorites]

bendy -- that's awesome. I've been really stuck lately and a lot of my life has gone unattended for quite a while, and I sort of live in fear of having someone randomly appear at my door wanting to visit. I'm glad you had a positive and empathetic experience with another human like that.
posted by hippybear at 4:26 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]

Bendy, hippybear, I completely understand. I truly love my home, and I'm so very comfortable here. But I am not the neat-nick my mother is; I have neatly stacked books, well, everywhere and five cats plus two grown kids who live home. It's a well-lived in home. I too, live in fear of someone coming over unannounced, knowing they'll see a dust bunny dash across the floor. After working retail alllll day, I have no desire to come home and clean and straighten here, too. You are my people.
posted by annieb at 4:54 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]

My company is pushing everyone back to the office 3 days a week in July, in a new building, where I have no desk. No, you can't reserve a drop in desk. You have to show up and see if you can work somewhere. Just be happy you weren't laid off like the others.
posted by soelo at 6:03 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]

Well that's certainly a recipe for chaos and mass rage-quitting...
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:58 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

soleo - the job market is so good right now I hope you can find a better job as soon as possible!
posted by bendy at 8:30 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]

Our house is a complete and utter disaster for no reason other than neither of us can be arsed to worry about it. We have no good reason not to clean the bathroom or vacuum or put shit away once a week, but it doesn't get done. We sort of want to care, but we can't bring ourselves to do anything unless we know someone is coming over. We needed some plumbing work done a few weeks ago and I had to clean the bathroom before the plumber got there or otherwise I would have been mortified.
posted by mollweide at 8:48 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]

I feel you mollweide. ❤️
posted by bendy at 9:57 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

My house is also a disaster but it's notable in that for the first time I am purposely living alone so it's MY disaster and I am working through my Anxiety about cleaning.
posted by solarion at 10:10 PM on May 22 [5 favorites]

Another vote for disaster house. I see you all, and feel seen.
posted by Gorgik at 6:13 AM on May 23 [6 favorites]

I try to clean once a week - but I have a weird hangup about not wanting to do it when my roommate is home. Neither of us left the house on Saturday this weekend, and on Sunday I wanted to get out of the house myself, so this weekend was a half-ass job. It's supposed to rain all Memorial Day weekend so I'm hoping to catch back up then.

....Fortunately there isn't much to clean. We're in a Brooklyn duplex, and he's ceded the top half to me (we still share the bathroom and kitchen), so I'm only cleaning the top half and it takes about 90 minutes tops. I found this amazing DIY daily shower cleaner recipe that's simplified that part of things as well (a cup of rubbing alcohol, a cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a couple squirts of Dawn dishwashing liquid).

My roommate has...a different threshold for cleaning. We both usually just tell visitors not to go down to his space. But he has a fairly new long-distance ladyfriend, and gets REALLY motivated to clean when she's due for a visit; so this July there will be a damn frenzy of activity down there the weekend before.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]

I had a brief moment of frustration this morning when Spelling Bee refused to accept ALEMBIC, which would have been a perfectly cromulent pangram.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:31 AM on May 23 [3 favorites]

I'm a neatnik who became that way in reaction to my mother's chaotic housekeeping (my father's housekeeping was pretty vigilant, but I didn't live there). My brother followed a similar trajectory, possibly even more so. We spent the weekend cleaning out the mountains of accumulated cruft from my mother's house to ready it for selling, and bonding over the use of q-tips to clean the little latches on one's toilet seat and other maladaptations.

Now I'm home and determined to rid myself of another half of my possessions.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:36 AM on May 23 [3 favorites]

I remain angry about Spelling Bee refusing PHTHALATE and URTICARIA, two very excellent words. I did recently notice it started accepting TEFF - I'm 99% positive it refused it before.

My husband and I are incredibly fortunate to be able to pay someone to clean for a few hours every other week. Obviously this is a luxury not everyone can afford/justify, but it is so worth it for us.
posted by obfuscation at 7:58 AM on May 23 [1 favorite]

We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese, I know that feeling so well. But still right now I feel I live like a bag lady. I also live with two adult kids, and they are neat enough, but until recently, we also had a roommate, and we lost control over the situation, and now it feels like a struggle to get back in order.
+ we have a dog with a thick coat, and with age he seems to be even more hairy, like an old man is.
Objectively, it might be OK. The other day, to vent my desperation I showed an acquaintance a picture of our dining room, which looks chaotic to me, and he said it looked charming, and lived in, and suddenly I could see it with his eyes. (There's a whole thing in contemporary architecture where they deliberately show normal people's interior design rather than styled photos in their promotional material, and then it has become a style where architects deliberately style their homes to look like non-architect homes).
posted by mumimor at 8:05 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]

after 3.5 years of apparently dodging the bullet, my husband tested positive for COVID yesterday. I tested negative this morning but feel sure I will test positive today. I am a day or so behind him on an identical symptom progression. he tested negative on sunday morning.

we were traveling, so that is probably how this happened, even though we were among the shockingly few people to wear masks on BART, in the airport, on the plane. just wow.

despite that bummer news, my sister's wedding was wonderful and I am apparently a natural a priesting. they say these gigs can pay $$$ so I'm thinking about launching a side gig!
posted by supermedusa at 9:43 AM on May 23 [4 favorites]

Another person living in a too small house with a large dog, two adult kids and their SOs and one grandchild, who is the light of my life but also almost Two with all that entails (extremely energetic, endlessly curious, very low frustration levels and multiple giant mountains of toys and books and snacks, or, like the movie: everything everywhere all at once. ) I have given up on cleaning; it's impossible in this situation. It's embarrassing, because things are always breaking and there are repair people there all the time: last week it was the electricians. I am happy to report that the electrical panel which was recalled in 1974 has finally been replaced with a modern panel, which is nice for my anxieties.

In other house news the guy who my across the street neighbor found, who we are paying in cash, has finally shown up with a crew and dug up the street. The city has been after us for three years to fix our sewer lines because they are, apparently, our responsibility right up to the main sewer line and, in an amazing coincidence, they are both broken. Well, now the street is open for all to view and I am sure it is purely coincidental that the main sewer line would appear to have dropped three feet, thereby identically snapping our lines in the same place. The city engineer was standing there looking tired and a bit grim and he said, well, yes it's clearly been broken like that for a while but he refused to commit himself otherwise. I am looking forward to sending a bill to the city accompanied by a pungent letter from a lawyer I haven't hired yet. If you are an Oregon lawyer who enjoys such things, HMU. I have photographs and the street is sinking all the way down, so all my neighbors are almost certainly ready to hop in as well.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:34 AM on May 23 [9 favorites]

supermedusa I hope you and your husband recover swiftly.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 11:35 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]

minor triumph in getting an IBM typewriter going: Phoenix Typewriter's repair videos are very low key, but show you exactly what you need to do.

But now we're trundling off to St Louis for the youngest of the relatives' high school graduation. I'd never been to a graduation before last year (again, STL), and it's downright weird to someone whose semi-typical cultural experience of leaving school was walking out of the last exam on your own and never seeing anyone again. How can the Rest of the World compete when every American high school is filled with so many exceptional students?! It is truly a Mystery.
posted by scruss at 1:41 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


A couple weeks ago I was given the heads-up that we are inviting 8 people to join the company as interns for the summer. Odds are not all of them would accept, but clearly it would make sense to pretend they all would for safety's sake. My part in this was to try to find desks and chairs for them all, and find places to put them. Oh- and I couldn't actually buy any new furniture unless it was really, really necessary.

I immediately went on a hunt in the three rooms where the interns would be sitting, identifying workspaces that could be cleared off and prepped, or furniture going spare that could be moved. (We have a lot of desks that are doing double-duty as tables-to-hold-shit, and I've gotten good at figuring out how to cannibalize our stock this way - "I can give you a different table for that machine so we can have the desk and I can move it downstairs to where we need it there").

Then last week our HR team confirmed the number of interns who'd accepted - it was now only down to one person in group A, one in group B, nobody in group C, and one in group D. Which was great - because now we needed to find less desks. I went to the people in groups B and C and told them "so we only need to clean off one desk in each of your rooms, so you're all set." Group A already had an empty desk, and so did group D. And best of all - I wasn't going to have to move a desk out of room E and bring it down to room A. Everyone had their marching orders and all was well.

And then today I was told that we now have two people in group A after all, two people in B, and two people in D. I dragged the HR person around with me to the various rooms so she would be able to back me up when I said "okay, you know how I said we only needed one space cleared off? Well...." As for group D - the only way we could fit someone now was by buying a table. During a tense conversation with HR - in which I politely pointed out that I'd reminded them a couple times that I ideally should have known about the table last week so we could get it in time - the team admitted that we still might only have just one person in group D. He was following up with the potential second person this afternoon, and was going to let me know. But we absolutely should check with my boss today about getting a table.

My boss has not responded.

I went looking for HR guy and couldn't find him. So I asked the head of HR where he was; she didn't know. I mentioned my issue.

"....but we don't have anyone for group D," she said. I told her I'd been informed otherwise. She sighed, and said that no, that was not the case. She was going to speak to the HR guy and tell him to slow his roll.

So basically - I have spent the past two weeks preparing for Schroedinger's Interns, and at this point I'm not entirely certain whether anyone will actually be coming up or whether they'll all just be spectral apparitions or what.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:03 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]

Left hand something something right hand....
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:12 PM on May 23

We're going on vacation in like 60 hours, so I put up the June 2023 Trailer Park post early.

As ever, it's a hodgepodge of indie stuff, art films, foreign films, big budget stuff, things that look great, some things that look fine, and several that look terrible.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:33 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]

from one loving disaster house denizen to all the rest of you: a poem —
by Phyllis April King

I do not know what dust is.
I do not know where it comes from.
I only know that it settles on things.

I cannot see it in the air or watch it fall.
Sometimes I'm home all day, but I never see it sliding about looking for a place to rest when my back is turned.
Does it wait till I go out?
Or does it happen in the night when I sleep?

Dust is not fussy about the places it chooses, though it seems to prefer still objects.
Sometimes, out of kindness, I let it lie for weeks.
On some places it will lie forever.
However, dust holds no grudges and once removed it will always return in a friendly way.
posted by scruss at 6:05 PM on May 23 [5 favorites]

The interwebs are being kind to me and I'm suddenly having too much to post on MetaFilter. Can I have a 12 hour limit instead of 24 hours please, just for a week? Thankyouverymuch.
posted by hippybear at 7:43 PM on May 23

hippybear: if you wanna write a post and have me post it, MeMail me? I don't have anything intended to post at the moment if you'd like a substitute.

I have now come back from Spamalot callbacks. It was all singing/reading for Lady of the Lake, which I have no interest in nor do I have the chops for it, and I said as much. Sounds like frankly, I can get in anyway if I want to due to lack of women. Warned the lady I have another audition this week and we'll see.

She said there'll be a second callback on Tuesday with both genders to "pair men with women." Me: "For what, romance or fighting purposes?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:49 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]

Doesn't Lady Of The Lake have, like, the 11 o'clock number in Spamalot?
posted by hippybear at 8:57 PM on May 23

She has "Follow Your Grail" and "Whatever Happened To My Part?" that I remember from watching yesterday. I don't think either was at the 11 point...

Ooh, darn it, I just found a cool thing I need to post ASAP for time reasons because it happens tomorrow. Maybe I can post something later?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:02 PM on May 23

I appreciate your offer, but I was just being a silly whiny baby. Wasn't serious at all. Post your thing! Always!
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]

Head of HR has weighed in on the interns and confirmed which ones are corporeal: Two people in room A, and two people in room B.

I will still need to move a desk from room E to room A, and I need to help a guy clean up the tables in room B, but I will not need to buy another table for room D and spend the rest of the week fretting about whether we will receive it in time.

....I joke that I don't know the first thing about how the stuff my company makes actually works, but the people who do know that don't know how to find desks or order pencils, so that's why I'm here. This week has been exhibit A to prove that may not be a joke.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]

Today I learned that the fluctuations in estrogen in perimenopausal women can cause an inflammatory response resulting in an increase of asthma exacerbations (flare-ups), peaking at the age of 50. HRT is recommended to reduce the frequency of the flare-ups and has been successful in treating women who had asthma prior to menopause.

Yinz, I've been obsessed over the past year at how awful I feel and how much it has affected the quality of my life. I can't even describe the relief that there might be an underlying cause to this madness.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 2:18 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]

When you've had nebulously bad health and suddenly you have a NAME for the dragon that is pestering you? That feels very empowering.
posted by hippybear at 2:30 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]

Replaced a burned-out oven element on a 60 year old oven today that would be really difficult to replace due to its size. It seems to be working now and I've learned some things and I think we've saved the appliance for a while. Thanks to AskMe and specifically Mitheral for advice and patience while I worked through all this.
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Welp, the interns' desks have all been established and accounted for, and I am calling my part in the prep done.

Even here there was some last-minute scrambling -

* The plan was to move a folding table up to a back room and use it to replace an old-fashionedy desk that was being used as a table, so then I could take the old-fashionedy desk and use that to replace an Official Office Issue desk that was being used to hold a spare computer. Then the Official Office Issue desk would be moved down to the room where we needed it for one of two interns (the other intern would be at a sit-stand desk that was already there, and was itself bolted to another sit-stand desk being occupied by another person).

* The folding table I was looking at was too big for the backroom - but, ANOTHER table holding snacks was the right size for the back room. And, there was enough space for the big folding table to replace the small folding table. So:

1. We moved a big folding table up to the snack station to replace the small folding table,
2. We moved the small folding table to the back room to replace the old fashionedy desk, and
3. We then moved the old fashionedy desk to replace the Official Office Issue desk.

And then when we were just about to move the Official Office Issue desk, the guy who was the boss for the interns in question asked if it was possible to have them both in A TOTALLY DIFFERENT room. I walked him down to the two rooms in question to have a come-to-Jesus with him ("So, the only way we can have both guys in THIS room is if you kick someone out and move them into THAT room, because I can't move that other spare desk"). He happily saw sense, and I stole a chair from our reception area while our work crew set the Official Office Issue Desk up in place.

And after all that I learned that we didn't even need to do that until next week anyway, but I DON'T CARE IT'S DONE AND THAT MEANS IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM ANY MORE.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]

Yay for being DONE with a thing, Empress! I am also DONE for a bit.

Hard to relax, though. I am getting some anticipatory grief. An old family friend is in hospice, it turns out -- it came along suddenly, although they had been frail for a while. I'm told that even if I could see them today, they would not know me. As it is, I'm a day of travel away, and I don't even know if I can make the service. Many emotions. Although we were not close as such, they were always part of my life, like an uncle, always loyal and good in their way. There needs to be a better word for "close," I think. I'm not close to the trees outside, but I would sure have some feelings if they were gone.

Which, for me personally, they will be. I'm being priced out at the end of my lease, unless I can get another, smaller unit in the building.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:20 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]

Your theater update: on the one hand, the Much Ado audition went fine for me personally. I'm not gonna get Beatrice (not a shocker, the previous Beatrice auditioned again...twice...and is a lit professor...and looks like Amy Acker...if anyone is going to trump my Shakespeare expert fan for the part, it'd be this one), but the reading went well, and one of my long-lost friends is actually going to be able to do a show this summer!

On the other hand, a total of six people auditioned for this. (I remember them having a lot more in previous years, I have no idea why the dropoff this year since this year's director is, as far as I have heard, not the trainwreck the last two were that drove people out of returning.) Almost all of them were ladies. I asked, "Is the show still going to go on if you can't get enough people?" and he said yes, he'd get some/they'd turn up/they'd fall out of the woodwork somehow and he can do a part. I asked if it was going to be all ladies and he said no, he wanted at least four parts to be men....Added bonus awkward that the guy who did best for Claudio is a teenager (albeit I'm told he's an older looking one, I saw the guy once but can't recall him) and all the ladies who auditioned are older than sixteen. He doesn't care on our ages, but there is a kiss, so um....shyeah.

So. Um. I guess we shall see who he manages to recruit here? Said he'd email on Saturday. I figure I possibly get a better part here even if it's a serving wench, one way or the other?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:30 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]

Do you know that Friday feeling, where you feel you have aged 1000years during the week and even making a cheese sandwich is too much work. That's me right now.

But the sun is shining and there is a lovely atmosphere on the street below. I'm just going to enjoy that from a bit of a distance with a glass of wine. It's Friday, and here, Monday is a holiday. No one is going to demand anything of me for the next three days...
posted by mumimor at 9:20 AM on May 26 [3 favorites]

OK, except for my dog. While I went down to buy a bit of bread and stuff, he found a bag of dog snacks I hadn't hidden away because I thought the packaging was enough protection. Reader: it wasn't. So now he has eaten a month's worth of dogs treats in 20 minutes. I don't think I will have a peaceful night, but I'm still hoping.
posted by mumimor at 12:21 PM on May 26

This sounds like the doggie version of "My mom found me sneaking candy so she made me eat a whole bag of candy for dinner."
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 12:30 PM on May 26

This sounds like the doggie version of "My mom found me sneaking candy so she made me eat a whole bag of candy for dinner."

Well yes and no. My dog has no sense of how former choices affect his current condition. I don't remember the English words for this. He has been very sick from eating too much of different food stuffs, too wrong or just weird food (like plastic bags. They aren't really dangerous, they come out intact in the other end).

It's more problematic that he will eat things that are bad for him, like chocolate or tomatoes. But at this point, where he is over his expected age, I'm just counting every day as a gift, and doing my best to keep him off his hyaena instincts. (He must be 80% hyena)
posted by mumimor at 1:31 PM on May 26

My dog has no sense of how former choices affect his current condition. I don't remember the English words for this.

"Dogs are dummies." :)

(I imagine him laughing when he hears that)
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:54 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]

like plastic bags. They aren't really dangerous, they come out intact in the other end

A thing on boy scout campouts way back in my youth was to give a big dog that eats too fast a whole jalapeño pepper. They have a thick skin and are rather waxy/oily, and if the dog eats it without chewing it will inevitably end up coming out entirely intact before the campout is over.
posted by hippybear at 2:57 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]

Is this some kind of gourmet kopi luwak thing but with peppers?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:18 PM on May 26

The pepper's emergence was the entertainment. It wasn't a culinary experience.
posted by hippybear at 4:42 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]

I assumed as much, I was misunderstanding for comic effect*. Still, "The pepper's emergence was the entertainment" is not a sentence I ever expected to read...

*Shut up, it was funny in my head, so there :P
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:03 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]

Still, "The pepper's emergence was the entertainment" is not a sentence I ever expected to read

posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]

Dog update: it is now morning here, and he is desperate to go down to do his stuff. I'm dragging it, because the park opens at 8AM, it will be much nicer for him to combine his digestive needs with a lot of sniffing and squirrel watching. But I can't explain that to him, can I ? So right now he feels I am cruel and insensitive, but in half an hour he will be a happy dog
posted by mumimor at 11:09 PM on May 26

Weirdly restless night last night - so I took myself out to dinner for a change, at a fancy-pants Italian place (at least it's fancy-pants to me; I sometimes forget I can afford it these days). The gnocchi was good - it's hard to combine potato gnocchi, bacon, and cheese in a way that would be bad - but I really enjoyed the starter, a sort of salad they made out of peas, fava beans, arugula, and mint, with little chunks of cheese here and there. It was simple, but it was exactly spot-on with what was in season now.

But the real star was the gelato food cart that was set up around the corner. The owners supplied gelato for one of the restaurant's desserts, but they also had their own separate setup for anyone who wanted that instead (or for people who just wanted gelato). I hadn't seen them out earlier, so they must be a seasonal thing; they are there 5 days a week in the afternoons and evenings, they said. They had a small selection of "hipster" flavors like chamomile/honey or rosemary/fig, or watermelon and fennel sorbetto with sea salt they sprinkled on top of your scoop. But the turmeric and sour cherry worked, and I happily ate it as I walked home, and hailed my roommate when I got in the door - "I have important news, we are now walking distance from gelato!"

I am on a rediscovery of Italian culture right now - prompted by a new Italian cookbook featuring beans from Rancho Gordo, and a rewatch of Call Me By Your Name - and that seems fitting. ....I will be making my own dinner tonight, however, since I probably would go broke eating out every night.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:08 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]

We landed in Tokyo today and it's as terrific as people say, even if it totally bears mention that people here aren't that weird, there are just a lot of them so weird people take up more up of your eye space than maybe you'd see somewhere else.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:41 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

A thing on boy scout campouts way back in my youth was to give a big dog that eats too fast a whole jalapeño pepper. They have a thick skin and are rather waxy/oily, and if the dog eats it without chewing it will inevitably end up coming out entirely intact before the campout is over.

If I had been on that campout there would have been a huge fight.

And the dog would probably have bitten me for my trouble.

Choosing not to be a scout looks like one of my better decisions.
posted by jamjam at 7:14 AM on May 27

I'm not sure what that fight would have been about.

Dogs of a certain size just swallow things whole. Feeding them a jalapeño pepper doesn't do them any harm, and it pass through them entirely intact. In fact, the pepper is smaller than most of the turds from a dog of that size. That would have been a fight for no reason.
posted by hippybear at 12:04 PM on May 27

I suspect that part of what might have fueled the above fight is whether or not it was morally right to feed something to an animal simply for human amusements' sake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:08 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]

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