posted 2 days ago on metafilter
As it says in the title, I'm looking for recommendations for books that you can't put down and read obsessively, but that leave you unsatisfied and frustrated once you finish it. The book that inspired this question was A Little Life, which I devoured in 2 days, but left me feeling manipulated and saying "wtf did I just read??" by the end. Other books that have evoked those feelings are The Bronze Horseman/Tatiana & Alexander trilogy, and basically anything by Jodi Picoult. I am not sure why I want to subject myself to more of these books but hopefully you all can help me frustrate myself even further!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I can't figure this out. At the start of this month, I got an email at the junk mail account I have at yahoo, informing me that an account had been created in gmail that's only two characters off from the gmail address that I use as my main e-mail account. What's going on?My primary account is at gmail, and it's something like [email protected] (initial, last name, 5 digits). I have a account for receiving spam at yahoo. At the start of this month, I got an email at that yahoo account saying a gmail account was created. The gmail account is just a few mistyped characters off my proper one, like [email protected] (versus [email protected] ). There are hardly any connections between my gmail account and my yahoo account. The email from gmail seems legit. It's from [email protected] When I used the link at the bottom of the email that says: "If you didn't create this Gmail address and don't recognize this email, please visit: URL" I got "Either this link is invalid, or your email address has already been disconnected from the Google Account associated with this link." I don't remember creating [email protected] I did, however, recently sell a few used computers (that I thought I had zeroed out.) Is this anything to be concerned about? What could it be? Are there any precautions I should take? FWIW, my gmail account is on two-factor authentication. My last name is common, but to have someone else create the same email with the last five digits so close to my main account is suspicious. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm a 38F mom and my mother is 61. She "raised" me as a single mother-- bio dad is a true narcissist (I met him when I was an adult and we are NC now). Raised is in quotes because my grandmother did most of the raising. She is also probably NPD or BPD, I'm not sure.My whole life, my mom has been very temperamental and fiery. She routinely yells at people-- if we are at a store or restaurant and something's not to her liking, she yells at the poor clerk/server. This mortified me as a child and I'd usually try to hide, if I could. Her reasoning was that customer service was very important to her. (my thinking-- like it isn't to anybody else?) She has had relationship after relationship with NPD men. The more money and status they have, the better. She lives in a very rich area of California. Most of her friends have always come off as flaky and fakes, just like my mom. I could write a novel about all the things that bother me about her: she seems very un-maternal for one. When she visits my children, when my children cry, my mother will laugh! Not a cruel sort of laugh, but an amused laugh. I've always found it very odd and I don't like it at all. She has always pushed me to do the cry-it-out method with my kids, and probably because of the way she raised me, I have done a 180 and was always very pro-attachment parenting. (side note- it's hard to do that 100% of the time and I feel awful anytime my kids cry, or when I do need to put my baby in her crib and her cry-- I feel like I'm traumatizing them!). Back to my mom: she always has to be the center of attention. She thinks she deserves the best. Even when I was a child, I think she spent a lot on herself but not much on me. She does that to this day. Presents to me are things she would like (like an orange funky looking purse-- orange being her favorite color, and my least favorite color). I live a state away from her and she bought a condo in the town next to my town! Yes, I am very anxious about her moving here! In fact, I wrote her a detailed note a couple years ago about it as well as an honest list of things about her that bugged me. It didn't go over well, and ha, of course she didn't change! She's exactly the same! I don't know what to do. She invited herself up here for thanksgiving, by text: "Kids will be gone with their dad at Thanksgiving. I may come up if ok with you. Let me know since I need to book soon before the rates go up. Thanks!" I have a very hard time saying no to her. It gives me a lot of anxiety. But I get more anxiety by being with her. I was an only child growing up but have a half-sister and half-brother, in college and in high school. As soon as the high schooler is in college, that's when she plans to move up by me! I dearly wish she would remarry and have someone else be the focus of her life, not me. I know I need to put my foot down, but I don't know how. Please help! Pep talks appreciated. She is a bully. Me and my husband agree on this. She even had a bone to pick with him once and said she wanted to discuss it with him. I was worried about how she would handle it and she assured me she would just "talk" to him. No, she ended up yelling at him in public and making him cry! He's 38 years old ffs. She doesn't ever help when she comes to visit me. She sees it as a chance to check out new restaurants and go shopping. Sometimes she'll promise to make dinner, and part of me wants to believe her. Last time she was here (and my half-bro and sister were here too-- all underage), not only did she not make dinner, but she made drinks (I forget what-- I don't really drink. some kind of tropical drink. mai tai?) and she even gave some to my 15 year old half-brother! I was livid! But no, my doormat self didn't say anything. Partly, I was so in shock (but also, not in shock. Honestly, was I really surprised? It's very fitting for her character. She's very irresponsible, texts and talks on phone while driving for instance. Doesn't feed them enough to eat-- I think she has an eating disorder too). Then finally she went to get McDonalds at 8pm-- well, my kids are little and I'd already had to make them dinner at 5pm like normal. So I really dread her visits. I find I don't really like her at all as a person. She's very materialistic-- for herself only! She loves to shop, especially at high-end stores. And she'll give me (on rare occasions) her old fancy purses, but something will be wrong with them, like the zipper won't work. But she'll think it's the most wonderful gift anyone could possibly receive! She rarely will give things to my kids, and again, they're things she'd like. Slightly age-inappropriate clothing, things that are too dark or edgy. One shirt from France (oh lala-- I was supposed to be wowed by that) still had the security tag attached so I couldn't even use it. I have friends whose mothers help them out immensely! Babysitting, cooking, cleaning on occasion... I find myself a little jealous, and very sad. I keep wondering what is wrong with my mom. I read all these books trying to understand her, as if understanding her would help me. Yes, I've been seeing therapists for a long time and they all (3 of them over many years) agree she is self-absorbed.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A few weeks later they went after the newborn goats.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you help me identify this plant that sprouted in a desert garden?http://imgur.com/a/XIGlQ (Apologies for using imgur, it seemed like the thing to do 4 years ago.) The location: Las Vegas The Environment: Shaded most of the day by a mesquite tree. Afternoon in total shade from the building. Abundant watering. The loam on the ground is mostly from the nearby mesquite trees.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
He has been maniacly hiding -since always- his phone from me. I'm not even "allowed to touch it". Dumb question, but lately I'm just freaking out about it.Two years in a relationship, the man of my dreams, and now we are planning to live together. Everything is going great and I couldn't be happier. If there only wasn't this one thing... He has always been doing this. Taking his phone everywhere even when he is showering. He puts it under the bed on his side at night. He never let's me even touch it; no joke. When he wants to show me something on the Internet I always have to give him my phone. It's kind of disturbing to me.. I have never even been alone in a room with this freaking thing! I know that a phone is a person's very personal space and it's good that everyone has a personal space that not even the parter has to know about. I have too, but I don't mind if he looks something up on my cellphone if he is out of power. I don't really have any secrets from him. Of course I wouldn't like if he read the conversations between me and my best friend but I also trust that he won't do that. I have talked to him about it and he said over and over that "it's the way I am. I just feel uncomfortable without my phone. Has nothing to do with you". And when I asked him jokingly to even touch this thing he said no. "No one touches my phone." I don't know but this seems kind if suspicious to me... I'm planning to live with this man and I fear that he is keeping some serious secrets... My biggest fear is that he is dating someone else over the Internet. He is usually not that type of man, but I'd say if someone is so obsessed he might be hiding something very hurtful. How would you handle this? Thank you in advance

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Years ago, I read about an interesting sci-fi novel about the sudden development of FTL technology that normal civilians could build and use to explore the universe. I can't remember its name. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?I remember from the review I read that the FTL technology would work by first teleporting into orbit to get rid of the atmosphere around it and then teleport to whatever star system you wanted to check out. It was set in the modern world basically - maybe some near future tech? I don't remember anything else though.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My husband's hats smell like sweat and dirty hair. Does anyone have best-practices recommendations for washing hats like this or this that won't result in a misshapen or shrunken hat? Would dry cleaning remove the body oils and smell without damaging the shape?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Neighbors are suing us for a money grab and now I'm unsure of how to behave when seeing them. My insurance will cover the costs so only slight financial hit. Money isn't the problem but now it's so very awkward. Starts with dog and ends with fetish site pictures.Our neighbors door faces ours. We're about 15 feet apart. A few months ago, our special needs daughter had our dog outside and he bit the neighbor (the husband) in an effort to guard our daughter. I totally take responsibility for this and we will pay a hefty fine. The dog wasn't given a muzzle order because animal control deemed him not aggressive or vicious. In any case, I almost had a stroke when I heard about this and thought I would die. I felt awful. I went over to the neighbor and assured them that they will never see him again as I would be sure to walk him elsewhere and never bring him out when they're outside. Some background. I get along with the husband as he's a great person and very friendly. The wife is cold and hard to talk to. I knew very little about them and only said hello and goodbye. They're career people and I'm at home a lot. A couple weeks ago, we were sent a letter from a lawyer saying they're suing. My insurance adjustor says maybe the wife prompted the husband. We're in Canada and so they are not out any money. He was playing outside the next day and went to work immediately. So now they can only sue for "stress" etc. I googled his and her name and figured out more about them. Yes, he's a great guy....but the wife... She has a social media site where she posts daily pictures of her sexy feet. Including hashtags about shoe fetishes etc. So now when I go outside and one of them is there, do I smile and say hi like I used to? Ignore them? I'm the type that wants to get along with everyone especially neighbors. I'll do whatever it takes because you never know when a neighbor needs help and vice versa. I don't hold grudges and feel ill will towards people. What's the right way to face these people? As for the site, it was kind of odd but the many many pictures makes me think this woman suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Are there any amazing benefits to my child playing in team sports? And if so, where can he learn these without playing team sports?My boy played soccer this past summer and didn't like it. He didn't abhor it, but he expressed it many times that he didn't like playing it. Long story short, he doesn't equate the participation of organized sports activities to playing (he prefers imagination-type games, like Zombies, where you run around trying to avoid zombies catching you). I am totally fine with this, and am very happy that he stuck with it as long as he did. He'll still go to practice if we ask him, and will enthusiastically do the drills, but he's not 100% loving the experience. While contemplating whether to pull him out, I wondered if there are any benefits to having him do an activity he doesn't absolutely love (but doesn't absolutely hate). I can think of some potential reasons, but I can also think of alternatives that he would enjoy better. For example, by sticking with soccer: - He'll learn to put up with tasks that he doesn't absolutely love (alternative: homework!) - He'll learn to be patient as he disciplines and trains his body to perfect a specific skill (alternative: art classes) - He'll be exposed to "coaching", which isn't like teaching in school (alternative: art classes, maybe?) - He'll be exposed to other people who have different interests than him (alternative: ?) Is there an irreplaceable benefit that only team sports has? FWIW, "individual" activities, such as swimming and martial arts are not interesting to him either. Again, I have no problem pulling him out, and if I do, I'm not worried about him not getting enough exercise, because he's pretty active and we'll find other things to do. But I just don't want him to miss out on an amazing growth opportunity because he's slightly annoyed right now! thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time [SL p4k] "Ambient is a great meeting point: not so much at the center of everything, but floating just above, in a perfect geosynchronous orbit, within reach. At its best, it casts enough shade to dampen the extraneous while causing a shift in our perceptions, enough to take us out of time and place, to wherever we need to be."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
#GoodMuslimBadMuslim is a podcast by Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh. Tanzila 'Taz' Ahmed is Campaign Strategist of 18MillionRising and wrote a thought-provoking article about interracial dating, "[m]ost importantly, my career was about training and educating people on social justice issues. The last thing I wanted to do was come home to a space where I had to continue to educate." In May 2016, Taz was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for AAPI Art and Storytelling. To close out the White House ceremony, Taz read a poem from her chapbook called "Mom's Belonging". Zahra Noorbakhsh is a comedian and has a series of articles entitled My Infidel Husband. Recently she wrote about her intersectional coming-out story where her sister asks Zahra, "Orlando must have been really hard for you. Are you okay?" Don't ask who is the 'good' or the 'bad' Muslim; read about the concept!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What could be the problem? What should I do?A while back I turned on my computer. I hear the hard drive spinning up, the fan, two beeps. After a few seconds a little box comes on the monitor saying "No Signal" and the monitor goes to sleep. I check the HDMI connection on both ends. Seems good. I pull the HDMI cable out of the desktop computer and plug it into my laptop. The laptop and monitor work fine together. I unplug everything, open the side panel of the tower, and poke around, wiggle the cables, make sure the graphics card seems to be seated properly. Everything seems OK. I close it back up and plug it all in and try again. Same result: No Signal. Well, I need something on the hard drive, so I pull the drive out, put it in an enclosure, and access my files via my laptop with no problem. Hard drive seems fine. A while later, I take the tower into a PC repair shop. The guy plugs it into power and attaches it to a monitor. Power on and the computer starts to boot up. The logo of the motherboard appears on the monitor. Text on the monitor says PCI failure [no hard drive], no bootable media, attach bootable media and retry. I notice he is not using a HDMI cable. He tries the same routine with an HDMI cable with the same results. The computer seems to be able to send output to the monitor. He opens up the tower, pokes around, finds nothing amiss. I return home, plug the tower into my monitor and turn it on. I get the same result as back at the repair shop. OK weird, I guess it works. I power off and go get my hard drive, plug it and everything else back in, and boot up again: No Signal. I attach the laptop to the monitor: works fine. I get a brand new HDMI cable and connect the tower back to my monitor: No Signal. I carry the the tower over to my TV and plug it in with the HDMI cable that is currently attached to my Roku: No Signal. I open it up and take the hard drive out and try again with the TV: No Signal. I take it over to the monitor and try with the new HDMI cable: No Signal. Not sure what to do. It is mid-tier (lower mid-tier?) computer from 2011, specs below. I would be willing to pay $1-200 for a new graphics card, but only if I was fairly sure it would fix the problem. Could it be the motherboard? It doesn't seem like the motherboard has onboard graphics. Can anyone confirm? I have the skills to replace the graphics card if I can determine which one to by, but I replaced a motherboard once before and it was really stressful trying to seat everything without using too much force and getting everything to fit in the case. I barely kept myself from throwing the whole mess out the window but it got done. Taking it back to the shop is also a pain for unrelated logistics reasons, but maybe they could test the graphics card and motherboard more thoroughly? I have the laptop, so I am not desperate for a second computer, but I prefer the desktop for 1) gaming and 2) when I need to work for long periods of time and can use the full keyboard, widescreen monitor for comparing documents, desk chair for comfort, etc. Maybe I should just wait until I can afford a new one? I hate to throw it out or even donate it if it is a simple fix as the specs are fine for my needs. Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-770T Storage: 2x1-TB Hitachi 7200 RPM drives Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 Memory: 2x2-GB DDR3-1600 RAM modules Operating System: Windows 7

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I use Outlook for work on my Mac (El Capitan 10.11.6). There seems to be no way to make the computer have Outlook be the default client, so this is a last-ditch attempt to find an answer. According to Microsoft, in theory you just open the Mail app and then use Mail's preferences to choose Outlook as the default. It doesn't work. You can tell Mail to use Outlook at the default, but it reverts back to Mail almost immediately without you telling it to. What am I missing?The only thing I am finding on google is that other people have this problem. You can't set it from Outlook, either, so the Mail preferences approach is supposed to be the workaround. It's driving me batty.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Photographer Kevin Horan took portrait photos of goats. Who could say "No" to that face? CHATTEL: A Portrait Study more Chattel Prefer people? Try Street Census. Vertiginous photos of Earth and Space? Visit To Earth. Do not view Life Everlasting this month. That is reserved for MementoMoriOctober.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you give me examples of companies providing timely, useful customer service via Twitter?Whenever my power goes out at home I tweet @eversourceMA with my town and street and within a minute they provide me with an accurate estimate of when they expect service to return. This is an amazingly useful service that they provide. I don't have to go to a web page and fill out a form, I don't have to send an email that will never be answered, I don't have to wait on hold for an hour. I send a quick tweet and I get a response. What other companies provide services like this via Twitter? Have you had a problem solved quickly via a company's twitter feed? I'm not talking about the automatic "We're sorry this happened, please DM us!" responses you get if you put [company] and "sucks" in the same tweet, but actual useful service? It can be automated or provided by an actual human, as long as it helps. I ask because I suspect I could be taking advantage of other services but I still don't always think "I could use Twitter for this" when I have a problem to solve.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you recommend books, movies, or other media about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the USA?I'm a white woman who wants to learn more about HBCUs in the US, especially what it's like to attend one. I'm up for fiction, non-fiction, movies, documentaries, blogs, music videos, fraternity/sorority websites, you name it. This is for my own personal interest, not for any kind of project. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The word chameleon is often broken down to mean "lion on the ground," which is quite odd for what are generally tree-dwelling lizards. But if you look further at the etymology of its name, it indicates it could also mean "small lion," potentially because some have head-crests that could resemble a lion's mane. Oh, and people in Shakespeare's time thought chameleons ate only air, an idea that can be traced back to Pliny the Elder's description in Natural History. This notion of eating air, or surviving for long periods with no food, also fostered the notion that chameleons represented strength to survive, as possibly referenced in the Bible, so it could be that chameleon really meant "small lion" for its strength, not its appearance. Then again maybe "chameleon" was named by someone who saw a Namaqua chameleon, or one similar to these brown to grey lizards that dwell in the western desert regions of Namibia, South Africa and southern Angola, often walking slowly across the ground. As seen illustrated as the chameleon of the Cape of Good Hope (Caméléon du Cap de Bonne Espérance) (Archive.org book view) in A relation of the voyage to Siam : performed by six Jesuits sent by the French king, to the Indies and China in the year 1685 by Guy Tachard, some renditions of the chameleon had a bit of neck frill, and it really does have a shorter tail than other chameleons. All that said, Afrikaans common names for chameleons are likely more fitting: verkleurmannetjie (colorful little man) or trapsuutjie (treading carefully) (Google books preview of Chameleons of Southern Africa by Krystal Tolley, Marius Burger).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My 17 year old son has US size 17 feet. He has had trouble with ingrown toenails, which I think is related to the fact that it is difficult to find shoes that fit him comfortably. We've been ordering online, but he finds the having-giant-feet thing a little embarrassing, so I think he is settling for whatever comes in the box, even if they don't fit exactly right, rather than having us return and reorder. I'd like it if he could actually enjoy his shoes, rather than endure them. So, big foot men, how/where do you get your shoes?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is there a tool that allows you to compare the 2016 US presidential polls versus this point in time in previous years - in real time?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Cyberdeck64 by D10D3

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"American Male, a short film [~6 min] from MTV's Look Different Creator Competition, is a gritty look at how gender norms make it hard for us to be who we really are." [content warning: some violence]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
As useful as round-ups, retrospectives, and anniversary pieces can be for making sense of historical events, there's no substitute for going back to primary documents. And an exceptional primary document quietly appeared on YouTube Sunday: the WSNS Channel 44 Chicago broadcast of the July 12, 1979 double-header between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Those baseball games, only one of which was ultimately played, lived on in infamy under a different name: Disco Demolition Night. Previously, Previouslier, Previousliest

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm 27 years old, designated male at birth. I recently recalled a bunch of gender dysphoria from when I was in middle school/high school, and I'm trying to work out if it matters, and what exactly I am. A part of me worries that it might just be a rational response to toxic masculinity rather than anything to do with me myself.Executive summary of my life: I was born with low muscle tone and jaundice. I am no longer yellow, so one of those healed. When I was little, I wouldn't say I had many strong preferences gender-wise. I was never really cool with overly aggressive or war-themed toys, nor did I beg to wear dresses or makeup. I was diagnosed with mild Aspergers' pretty young, and never really had many friends of either gender. My elementary and earlier years are honestly a blur. My father, a non-smoking runner who spent a lot of time at work, was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer that nonsmokers get. He passed away when I was 12. In middle school, I'd say my sexual awakening was pretty tinged with shame. For one thing, I was a faithful Presbyterian, and didn't really get what masturbation or sex was in the context of my faith. So I felt really guilty about the times I masturbated. And I also realized I have a paraphilia I'm still not comfortable with (feederism, which I'd much rather keep as a fantasy than a real life thing because it seems unhealthy and dangerous), but was especially disturbed by then. I became curious about the idea of myself as a woman, and kind of had thoughts (I don't know if ideation is the right word) of castrating myself. I don't know if that was more shame, normal puberty mental exploration, or what. I have no frame of reference. In high school, I developed some mild and undiagnosed depression. I thought depression was sadness, so the crushing apathy didn't mean anything to my mother or myself when I described it and how it made it hard for me to do much beyond the minimum schoolwork. I graduated with good grades, but I think it's mainly because honors and AP courses at my school were surprisingly forgiving and easy. I think the teachers just didn't want to deal with helicopter parents so long as a student was turning in enough work, even if it was done poorly. I got into a selective "public ivy" college, and had an emotional breakdown shortly before going to campus. I felt extreme anxiety and sadness, and then dissociated to an extreme amount. My mom later confided to me she thought I wasn't ready, but didn't know what else to do. I had trouble making friends, and the depression made schoolwork near impossible. My mom finally realized something was wrong and got me with therapists, but because she had heard from autism groups that asperger's and depression are comorbid, she took that as a sign I should go to therapy for aspergers. I ended up getting a lot of lectures about time management and executive functioning, and felt like nobody was taking me or my confusion or pain seriously. By sophomore year, I was holed up in my room and not going to class. I flunked out. Eventually, my mom found me a psychiatrist. A regular psychiatrist, who doesn't focus on Aspergers and pretend everything will work itself out if I get told to write to-do lists and check the clock more often. I tried anti-depressants and found a set that worked for me. I'm on an SNRI and Welbutrin. I started running, and began feeling better. I got my associates in Comp Sci, and I'm now in my senior year at a public university. I met my fiancee and moved in with her. The college is a bit more of a safety school, but I honestly feel way more welcome and happy here. I was never super-competitive. My mood is in a good? place. I've been reading "The Windup Bird Chronicle" by Murakami, and Creta Kano's sensation of pain being very strong and unbearable, then completely gone (dissociation), and then back in a healthier amount reminds me of my journey with depression. These days, I find myself not feeling much anxiety or sadness, or much bliss. It's more than when I dissociated, I felt near nothing except a sterile kind of sadness, and now I can enjoy things or get excited about them in the future, but I go back to my baseline apathy really fast. Me, Physically: I'm 27 years old, white, slightly overweight by BMI and appearance. I used to weigh a lot more before I started running. I naturally grow a good amount of white hair. I don't have much upper-body muscle, and my legs don't naturally show much muscle unless I flex for some reason. I don't like the idea of becoming more muscular. I have a beard, but mainly because my fiancee likes how I look with a beard. I have a minor issue with compulsive hair pulling when I'm stressed, so I find a beard a bit of a liability there. Appearance and fashion-wise, I'm not too into male aesthetics, so I mostly just ask my fiancee what she likes. I tend to wear H&M stuff and baby it so I don't have to buy more fast-fashion junk that wears out after a few washes. Me, Sexually: I tend to fantasize about curvier or fat female partners. When I view porn, it tends to be softcore or lesbian porn. I find the framing of heterosexual porn ("BRATTY ITALIAN SLUT DESTROYED BY MONSTER COCK") weirdly violent and ultimately gross. If I masturbate without pornography, I tend to not actually insert myself into the fantasy, or imagine my partner paying attention to my nipples. Penetration is an aspect, but I think mainly because that's the most analogous thing to what I'm doing with my hands? I've tried picturing myself as a woman and found it nice, but not really a game-changer. My fiancee, who I love dearly and find amazingly hot, is going through a bit of a dry-spell libido-wise. She's bisexual, and also extremely concerned about what me and others think about her. She once confided in me that she thinks it's boring when I have sex with her in the missionary position, but she never wants to try any other position, and it's hard to get her to want to have sex more than once a month or so. And she felt to guilty to say missionary sex was boring, that when I pressed her for more, she felt really guilty and refused to talk about it more. So that's an issue perhaps not entirely parallel to what's going on in my head. Me, Socially: I have a pathetic number of friends. It's my fiancee, and one friend from my first shot at college, and a bunch of acquaintances I'm not that close to at all. I'm not great at making friends. Hobbywise, I like crafts. I like cooking and baking. I'm into crochet and knitting, I'd like to sew were it not for the expense/tools/space issue. I never really got into sports, probably largely because I'm clumsy. I like running because it's non-competitive and gives me some time to be alone and focus. Me, and Masculinity: I generally find toxic masculinity antiquated and depressing. To me, it looks like men posturing as dumber and more violent than they are, for a fragile sense of safety from either outsiders or other men. It feels like middle school bullshit carried over into adulthood. Living in an age of police, guns, and standing armies, it seems really weird to link strength and deterrent force to a person's genitalia. A woman with a gun is just as capable of harming someone as a man with a gun. I don't really see a lot of masculine alternatives to it that really feel so much like masculinity as "not being an asshole." Me, feeling guilty: I don't honestly know if I could transition, even if I were convinced/deduced beyond a shadow of a doubt I'm 100% trans and not just depressed about the patriarchy. It reminds me of how I once wanted to quit caffeine to see if it'd help my mood, but realized quitting caffeine would probably be more inconvenient and likely to get me depressed than my mood would actually change. This is a facile comparison, but I'm bad with words and kind of ranting at this point. Also, considering this isn't a problem that makes me feel in pain (like, I worry dysphoria might be too strong a word when I really just have no love for being a man), sometimes I wonder if I'm just jealous of trans people knowing so much who they want to be after I've been and remain somewhat aimless. But that gets to be a catch 22, because if I hated my body to the point I wanted to harm myself, I'm of the mindset I'd worry about that far more than this kind of soul searching. I'm not really sure I've made any kind of sturdy point. I guess I'm just dumping a bunch of words about what's been casually bothering me. If anyone has any thoughts, I appreciate them. Thanks.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My latest temporary job is coming to an end this week and I have six months of living expenses saved up. Rather than jumping into another temp office job, I'm looking to use the time in a more productive way to further longer-term life goals, such as moving to a new environment in another part of the country and improving my quality of life and improve my (especially mental) health. How can I maximise the time and resources I have to get out of my rut and into a life that's more worth leading?I'm 30, single, no children, no plans to find a partner or have children - this is me building a life for me and no-one else. :) I've been working a temporary office job for the past six months or so. It was only ever meant to last for three months but kept being extended on an ad-hoc basis - it was ended with a week's notice last Friday. (Part of me would have preferred it to last for just the initial three months, to reduce the "do I get to go to work next week?" uncertainty I've been struggling with for months, but what's done is done.) The job was never a long-term career option for me - it was always a temporary stopgap which has served its purpose. I've been in a rut of these on-off jobs for over a year and I want out. I have around six months of living expenses saved up. I don't want to burn through my savings drifting around playing Cities: Skylines and eating cheese, but nor do I want or need to rush into another awful job with a long, horrible commute that's going to exacerbate my mental health problems. This is partly a move to change my lifestyle to one that is more conducive to good mental and physical health in the long term. This, to me, is an opportunity rather than a setback. A temporary job has ended with a good work record and reference and I've got a significant amount of money saved up - it's not like I've been fired for cause and have 42p in the bank. It's an opportunity to look around, reframe things, fix rubbish things that have built up in my life through inertia and exhaustion and try and improve my lot in life rather than scratching around for another shit job in an area that I don't really want to live in anymore. I have a couple of areas in mind that I would like to look into moving to - target areas, as it were. There are jobs available in those areas and the cost of housing and living is reasonable. There are things I've identified as being particularly bad for my wellbeing - a car commute is a significant negative factor, so I'm looking at smaller towns and small cities where I'd be able to live and work in the same place and walk or bike to work, and dump the car. (I don't want to live and/or work in a big city again. I've been there and it's just not for me.) Although it isn't strictly relevant to the question, my #1 target area is north or mid-Wales, followed by Shropshire or Herefordshire, and finally (in a distant third because of distance from family) County Durham and Northumberland. I've picked areas that are big enough that I can be flexible rather than zeroing in on one specific town, but I have a clear idea of the kind of place I want to live in within those huge areas. I've started applying to jobs in my target areas - initially I'd do something similar to what I've been doing recently, but with a view to eventually furthering my education (possibly using the Open University or similar distance-learning) and moving into more technical and challenging areas of work rather than doing admin forever. I'd also be more than open to non-office work in those areas, especially if it were outdoors, but I'm mindful of the fact that it's much easier to get a job doing what I'm doing now than trying to convince an interviewer that I'm capable of changing. Long-term (we're talking years here) I want to look at alternatives to endlessly renting a house. That's not something that's ever going to appeal to me as a lifestyle for ever. For example, eco housing and self-building or renovating really appeal in terms of providing a sustainable, more ethical and lower-cost lifestyle for myself in the long run. But that's years in the future and requires a lot more work financially to make it happen. So, how do I use this opportunity and this money to maximise my chances of reaching my short- and long-term goals and avoid falling into the trap of another year of more of the same? If you've ever relocated like this (to a specific area because you wanted to take steps to improve your quality of life, rather than moving to an area just because a certain job was there) what did you do to make it a success? What challenges did you face - did potential employers raise an eyebrow that someone was applying from so far away, for example? I'm super excited to finally have the means to start making a few changes in my life. :)

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