posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm having trouble letting go of my childhood home that I inherited, and the lifetime of stuff inside it. I could use some advice about how to move on.So here's my situation: Both of my parents passed away in a relatively short period of time. They left me with the house I grew up in, and a lifetime of stuff inside. I don't have any siblings, other family members are distant, and the house is the last major connection to my past. I've been slowly going through my parents' stuff, picking out what I want to keep and saying good-bye to the rest. It's emotionally taxing, it's keeping me from moving on with my life, and yet I don't want it to end. When I spend time in the house, it feels comforting and warm. I get to be around all the things that remind me of my past. I get to go through my parents' stuff and understand them better, and that brings up all sorts of unresolved issues that I've been working through. But the house is also emotionally overwhelming, and I've spent plenty of time there avoiding doing any physical or emotional work towards my goal of moving on. It's a roller coaster with sudden highs and lows. I saw a grief therapist for over a year, about the deaths in general and about this issue. After I got to the point where I didn't feel like I was progressing in therapy anymore, I discontinued the sessions. I feel like there's only so much progress that a person can make in the aftermath of a death, and that at some point the rest of the grieving needs to come after a period of moving on. And so I think about the stories of siblings who will get together over a few bottles of wine and reminisce about their parents, many years after they've passed. But that particular way of grieving isn't in my future. And the uncertainty about how I'll continue to grieve in a few years, or decades, is making me cling to the connections to my parents that I do have. Another complication is that, apart from the deaths, my life has been going through a transitional period that hasn't settled down yet. (And focusing on the house is preventing my life from settling down.) So the memories in the house are a symbol of stability that I'm missing in the rest of my life. My parents' hometown is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't be happy living there, so moving in isn't really an option. I'm going to rent out the house, and keep some of my parents' stuff in storage. But going back to an empty house and a storage unit won't ever compare to the richness of the memories the house evokes today. I've also tried writing down some of my memories, and bringing my boyfriend over for visits where I tell him stories of my family. But, like the physical stuff I'm hanging on to, it doesn't seem like enough. So I guess what I'm looking for is both ideas for other perspectives, activities, rites, etc. to help me get to closure, and also ways to be more satisfied with the amount of closure I'll be able to get.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"This week I may be jailed for writing a book on human rights abuses." by Rafael Marques de Morais Maka Angola Blood diamonds author Rafael Marques de Morais facing defamation trial after returning to Angola Angola's de Morais charged over diamond book 2011: My stand against Angola's blood-diamond generals: The main body of evidence consists of cases I have exposed since 2004 in a number of reports on human rights abuses. Last September, I published a book, Diamantes de Sangue: Corrupção e Tortura em Angola (Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola), exposing the web of corruption and the atrocities committed over the past two years. Dealing with two municipalities, Cuango and Xá-Muteba, the book reveals over 100 killings and the torture of more than 500 individuals.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Hivemind! Throw ideas at me! I'm looking to get a small token of "thanks for letting me hanging out in your place for a week" for my long-distance girlfriend's roommates. Ideally Everyone is in their 20s and are grad students. I've been visiting for a week. Girlfriend and I are very considerate in the sock-on-the-door department, but I'd like to maintain goodwill nonetheless. I like both roommates; they are very cool people. So far all I can think of is candy, but I want to get other ideas and my brain is not working.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Adapted and developed by Greg Daniels for NBC, the American version of The Office debuted on March 24, 2005, and viewers and critics were intrigued from the start. More than 11 million people tuned in to watch the remake of the British series' pilot, and it was met with negative reviews from critics who were disappointed that it seemed like a cheap carbon copy. The following week, though, Daniels' series proved that it could and ultimately would shine on its own, as the episode "Diversity Day" introduced us to the real Michael Scott, and how this horribly awkward goon of a Dunder Mifflin boss would affect the lives of his poor office drones.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My partner and I are considering a move to Los Angeles. I have gathered from previous questions and short visits that thinking of "Los Angeles" as one giant city is both overwhelming and not actually helpful in figuring out whether or not we would be happy there. Can you help us narrow down our thinking to specific neighborhoods that might be a good fit?I have checked out some previous questions, but it's hard to tell what information is still up-to-date. Ideally, we would like to live in a walkable neighborhood that is within easy commuting distance (either via transit or bike) to USC, where my partner has been offered a position. I will continue to do mostly freelance work from home, or from a few great coffee shops in our new neighborhood (this is where you come in...). It is important to us that we live in a neighborhood that has a grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. within walking distance. My partner has a driver's license, but I do not -- it would be ideal for us if we could do most of what we need to do (commute, grocery shop, some socializing) either on foot or by public transit, and to maybe use a car share service on the occasional weekend. (Are car share services a thing in LA like they are in the Northeast?) To give some context, we currently live in Philadelphia (Cedar Park/West Philly), and really love it -- it's a city of tight neighborhoods with lots of great food, theaters, music venues, etc, and we don't drive anywhere on a regular basis. We like having green space in our neighborhood, shopping/working at our local food coop, and having independent and used book stores and record stores nearby. We enjoy taking short (and long) Amtrak trips to visit other cities, and we also travel by air quite a bit. My partner's position in LA is only temporary (two years), so we're not thinking about long-term settling so much as a short-term adventure. We will definitely be renting. We are both 30 years old, no kids, one cat, and have never lived farther west than Chicago or Cleveland.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Last fall, the FCC voted unanimously to eliminate its own sports blackout rule. At this week's NFL annual meeting, the league approved a suspension of the rule. The blackout rule, which came into effect if a game was not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, was enacted in the '70s in order to prevent cable companies from airing events broadcast on local stations. Other happenings at the annual meeting include the yearly hilarious coach photo, discussion of potential rule changes, and the announcement that one of the league's London games will be broadcast on "a digital platform" for the first time.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
After many years of ambivalence, two years of infertility, some surgeries, some IVF, and 9 months of actual pregnancy, I am about to have a BABY. Due to placenta previa, it will be a scheduled c-section, which is great because most likely me and baby will end up alive! But sad because I'd hoped for a natural childbirth to balance out the scientific conception. My hospital does "gentle" c-sections, so I'm allowed to do immediate skin-to-skin, play music in the operating room, and even "read a poem or a story."That was my midwife's suggestion, and I'll admit I found it hokey. But as the date nears, I'm thinking, eh...maybe that would be awesome? SO I TURN TO YOU. Give me your favorite poems about motherhood/fatherhood/babyhood/bloodbaths/etc.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
After a long wait a lovely friend of mine has just become foster Mummy to two children who will be staying for the foreseeable future. Yay! I'm meeting them in a couple of days and would like to bring them each a present, but I don't know what to get them. The girl is 8 and the boy is 6 and I have no clue what these age groups are into. I don't want to ask my friend as I'd like it to be a surprise (and also she'd just try and talk me out of it). So I'm asking you lovely people instead.All the children I know are either younger (my eldest niece is 5) or older (my friends have kids in their early teens) and I don't want to get them something too babyish or too grown up. Ideally I'd like things that are cool for their respective age groups but I don't know what those things are. For example my niece loves MLP and Equestria Girls - is that too young for an 8 year old? And I have no idea what boys are into except NERF guns and I'm not sure what my friend thinks about guns-as-toys. I usually like buying books but I'd like to stay away from them this time - I have no idea of their "reading age" so I don't want to end up with something too advanced/not advanced enough. I need to be able to pick them up in the next day or two so things which are mainstream enough to get from a department store/large toy shop as I don't have time to order online. Any ideas welcome, thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Wine-loving mefites: please give me your best wine resources, texts, online communities, podcasts, apps... and anything else you think would help a reasonably food-savvy mefite looking to move beyond "well, I remember I liked this one... I think?"Not much more to add - I really enjoy wine, but have never really bothered to retain much knowledge about it. I'd like to knuckle down and start to learn - so please point me at stuff to study and places to learn and discuss?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Javier Grillo-Marxuach [prev: 1 2 3], a writer on the first two seasons of Lost [prev: 1 2 3 4], attempts to answer the question "Did we know what we were doing, or were we just making it up as we went along?" Much like the TV series itself, the answer turns out to be much more complicated than it seems. [A 17,000-word memoir].

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is there a list somewhere of actors who have been most used as a one-off person of interest on monster-of-the-week style procedurals?You know what I mean. You're kicked back, watching some rerun of SVU, and suddenly they're badcopping some guy you know you've seen before but you can't place? He's not recognizable enough to be a That Guy but he's been in something else you've seen, you're sure of it. So you go wade through the episode's imdb page and find out he's got like 40 credits, all playing some random ancillary character in a Bones or a CSI or a Law and Order or a Criminal Minds or a Homicide or an NCIS or a Without a Trace or a Cold Case or a Lie to Me or a christing fuck how many of these shows do we need omg but hasn't really had recurring or starring roles in anything. Anyway, I want to see a list of those people. I want to know who's getting work by being juuuust unrecognizable enough that they can have several minutes of camera attention on every goddamned show and you barely even notice. Barring a list that already exists I'd be happy for names. Several days ago I was mainlining some SVU and found one of these people, someone who has just one or two credits in dozens of different shows like this, but couldn't ask because I had already asked a question that week. I'm such a habitual user of imdb that he's been bumped off my recently visited list and I have NO IDEA who he was, otherwise I'd have a perfect example to give you all.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We've got termites and everybody says the place needs to be tented. But we actually want to, like, keep living here and not die.I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will enclose the house in a tent, pump in poison, then happily skip back into the home a few days later...when all of the furniture, sheets, dishes, pantry items, etc. have a nice coating of poison to then give us all cancer. How the hell is this supposed to work? The last time the place was termited was in the early 90s before we bought it. At that point, the house was empty and on the market for several months post-tenting, so I didn't worry too much about poison residue. But now the thought of living with my poison-soaked possessions seems insane. Help me understand how to accomplish this, what the legit, non-woo science is, and/or what you wish you'd known about killing termites. Lastly, any recommendations for exterminators in L.A.?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Friendly people from WOW Cable/Internet/Phone are blowing up my mailbox and doorbell with cheap offers to switch over from Comcast. Is this a terrible idea?I have no great love for Comcast, but their internet is fast. That's all we use them for anyway. But that is costing me $76.95 a month. WOW says they can give me internet and 75 channels of cable for $65. Is it awful and slow or something? What is the catch? WOW says their service is 4 Mb/s. Comcast doesn't specify what I am getting on their site. It's "Xfinity." I am in the Chicagoland area, if it matters.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"This blog is dedicated to discussing games where you play as a frog, but it might also talk about games which just have heavy frog presence in them. The borders are unclear and the road ahead is hazy. Come with me on the journey to be a frog." ♥FROG WORLD♥

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
San Francisco in October for two on a modest budget: transportation and (cooking friendly) accommodationsMrs. CarrionComfort and I are traveling to San Francisco in October for a few days and are looking to stay somewhere affordable and comfortable to have some vacation fun. Where can we stay cheaply in San Francisco (BART accessible) that will provide at minimum a microwave and fridge? We don't need to cook gourmet, but we don't want to eat out every meal. We would also prefer someplace relatively quiet where we can go to bed early. Is the Fisherman's Wharf Hostel any good? Are there other things out there under $130/night? We know about AirBNB but have no experience using it... Also looking for suggestions on where and when to buy cheap plane tickets with minimal layovers. We can fly out of either Bradley or Logan airports. Open to suggestions of cheap and introvert-friendly must-sees, particularly parks and museums.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Our community, like many, will feature fiberglass animals this summer (a la the Chicago cows). I need to decorate a fiberglass fish such that it resembles a classic carousel animal. That entails sanding, painting, shaping the tack, adhering separately molded pieces, and finishing the whole shebang so it can be displayed outdoors. I'm crafty, but I've never done anything like this before... so I have questions. Calling car restorers, boaters, prop-makers, and others skilled in the dark art of fiberglass fabrication!Any advice about materials or technique is welcome! So far, here's what I've got... 1. The fiberglass on the mold is rough and I need to sand it for the finish to be glossy and smooth. Obviously I need gloves, protection from shards and a respirator. Beyond that, must I sand it by hand or can I use a power sander? I can't tell how thick the fiberglass is. Any suggestions about sandpapers? 2. Speaking of the finish, I want a glossy midnight blue that sparkles. I've been looking at paints with "candy" additives or mica-based powders or pearlized additives and think I maybe want to combine them. Any advice? How many coats should I anticipate? And must I spray paint it ? Should I just take the fish to a body shop? Last, with what would you top coat it? 3. I need to fabricate a decorative saddle blanket (e.g., with "tassles") and am open to doing so using fiberglass or Sculpey-esque materials (maybe first covering the fish with plastic wrap so the blanket could be molded exactly). I'll then need to paint it to coordinate with the tack and the metallic filigree (see below) and adhere it (presumably with epoxy resin, I guess). Ideas or advice? 4. However, I have a vinyl saddle and other tack in a good color that's properly scaled. Can I just coat it with epoxy resin and use that to attach it to the blanket? 5. For other decorative flourishes, my plan is to buy flexible resin architectural moldings/decorations, paint them with an antiqued metallic finish and then attach them. Is that reasonable? Is this also a job for epoxy resin or would some other kind of adhesive be better? 6. I may want to add a pole if I can figure out how to align it with the pole supporting the fish on its base (which the project sponsors did not provide). If I use decorated PVC pipe, is there a better option for attaching it other than fabricating a flange and relying on my old pal epoxy resin to avoid fasteners? What else should I be thinking about? I have about two months to finish this piece, so there's time to order specialized equipment or materials if needed, but you can assume I have everything except a spray paint rig. Thanks, folks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My boyfriend has ankle pain that prevents him from doing much walking. This has trapped him in our apartment for nearly a year now. We want to buy a wheelchair so he can go do things again, but don't know how to pick one.We are (and have been) pursuing medical appointments, etc, to try to get a diagnosis and treatment for whatever is causing him pain. I'm not looking for advice on solving the larger problem here; we just want to get him out of the house on a regular basis for fun/social activities without causing him more pain/injury. The relevant parts here are that he has ankle pain that increases the more he walks, to the point that a normal amount of walking causes enough pain that he can't sleep. He also has wrist pain, to the point that writing with pen and paper is a challenge most days; sometimes even type causes him pain. He has wrist and ankle braces; he wears the wrist braces in order to use a cane when he needs to leave the apartment for a doctor's appointment. The doctors will not help us get a wheel chair and are strongly opposed, on the basis that he will lose more muscle the less he walks. They don't seem to understand that this will not decrease his walking -- it will just mean getting out of the apartment and sitting in a wheelchair instead of in a char at home. I have not been at the appointments where they have discussed this, but it is so frustrating that they have spent a year without providing a solution to this major problem (leaving the apartment). Between the pain and the lack of activity options/social activity, my boyfriend is pretty hopeless and depressed. We think we want a manual wheelchair that either I could push him in or he could push himself. His wrists are a concern for pushing himself, but he'd like to at least try, to get the extra exercise. If necessary, we can spend up to a few thousand dollars on this, although less is, of course, preferable. * How should we pick a wheelchair? * What features should we be looking for? * Is there anything that will make it easier on his wrists for him to propel himself? * What other questions should we be asking?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Every now and then I see iTunes Gift Cards drop in price. Just today, $100 cards are on sale for $75. What would prevent someone with a deep bank account from buying 1000 and cashing in? I always figure there must be a catch, but I don't see it.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'd like to be able to color on drawings printed with an ink-jet printer, but using markers smears the ink-jet ink.Recently I re-started my coloring hobby. Back in the 70s when I was a kid there were great books of line patterns, some abstract, some geometrical, some representational, like some of these. I really enjoyed coloring with my Marvy markers and spent many happy hours doing so. I dabbled a bit here and there afterward, but then I stopped. Recently a friend made a few designs of his own, so I decided that I would like to make some of my own patterns so I could print them out when I wanted to color. I thought it would be especially nice to be able to explore different palettes on the same design (which you can't do with a book unless you photocopy/scan it first). But I am disappoint! I printed some out on nice heavy stock paper, started coloring, and the pen ink smears the black printed ink unless I am tediously careful (which really defeats the whole relaxation thing). I tried doing some research on treatments or ways to make the ink set, but the closest I got was a posting on decoupage. I am thinking most of those treatments would be difficult or impossible to color over. I haven't tried heat yet. I am leaving a couple that I printed yesterday for a couple of days to see if it gets better with time. I'm 50 and my hands and eyes aren't as precise as they were when I was younger, so there's no way I'm not going to stray into the black lines sometimes. Is my only solution finding a laser printer? (Or would that even work?) Please tell me clever hacks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am in my first month of nursing school. It is the early 70s and this is a three-year program, hospital-based, all practical training. It is my first day in my first ward... A remembrance, by English professor and disability studies scholar, Janet Lyon.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
This really amazing 7-minute Star Wars animated short, in the style of 1980s anime like Macross, shows a space battle where the Empire are the good guys taking on a squadron of dasterdly rebels. Enjoy missile trails, awesome sudden close-ups, totally radical explosions, split screens of attractive TIE fighter pilots, and a vaguely annoying anime-inspired soundtrack. This PDF shows how it was all made and introduces you to the characters, along with some neat concept sketches.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What 2 things would you recommend a friend do during a 5 day trip to Portland, Oregon in mid April?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I used to be very, very wild. Now I am very, very boring. How can I bridge the gap to get back in touch with the people who only knew me as I was back then? Difficulty level: I don't want to talk about the old days at all.For a lot of people, the transition from wild to boring is just something that happens gradually as you get older. For me, it happened overnight, when I was still young. There was one specific incident that resulted in me packing up 100% of my wildness and moving to The Boringlands for good. The incident itself was very unfortunate but the 'move' was absolutely for the best. I am so much happier being boring and I don't miss anything about my old life at all. A lot of times, I can't even believe the person who lived through the wild years was actually me... it just feels so distant and foreign to recall. As collateral damage to that one specific incident, I instantly dropped the entire circle of friends associated with that period of my life without saying a word -- I just never spoke to any of them ever again, never answered another text, email, or phone call. That was almost a decade ago. Most of them have moved on, but a few of them have been consistent about trying to get in touch with me via email and text over the years, which is so thoughtful and kind. None of these people have been anything but sweet and dear to me, I just associated them so strongly with Bad Times (it's how we all met) that I needed to keep them at a distance while I was busy securing my proverbial oxygen mask. No one I've met since then has any idea what I used to get up to; I keep all of those experiences very close to the vest. Now that I'm at the point where I have the psychological wherewithal to reconnect with my homies of yore, I have no idea how to do so under these restrictions: - I don't want to talk about the specific incident with anyone but my therapist. Any more detail than "And then A Thing happened" and stuff gets dicey. - I don't want to reminisce about when I was/we were all wild, in no small part because I'm (imo, rightfully) deeply embarrassed by and ashamed at the way I used to behave. Mostly, I just don't know how to acknowledge the 180-degree behavioral shift and massive re-prioritizations that have occurred in my life without immediately stepping into a field of emotional landmines. Is it possible for me, as I am now, to rekindle my friendships with all of the people who only knew me back then, with an eye only on the future rather than the past? Specifically, I'm looking for help with finding precise choices of words and/or general conversational tactics that might help to contain or address at arm's length the mess and awkwardness inherent in "Hey, old friend, you've probably gathered that some stuff happened that made me drop out for a really long time, but I can't/shouldn't/don't want to talk about it. Suffice it to say that every part of my life is very different now! I'm sorry and I miss you, can we catch up?" Thank you, MeFites.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need to find some super-comfortable mens' boots. Looking for boot recommendations, as well as places to shop. I can shop in NYC or online.I need to find some comfortable mens' boots. I have a foot issue (Morton's Neuroma), so the boot must have a nice, roomy toe box. It must also be capable of accommodating an orthotic or insert. Finally, it needs to be durable enough to wear in the rain, because I live in NYC and it rains here. My priorities (in descending order) are : comfort, durability, and style. While style is not as important to me as comfort or durability, it is still important. I've been wearing these Timberland boots the last few years, and I really like how they look : simple, black, and almost dressy. I would like to stay with that kind of style, if I can. Looking for any kind of recommendations you may have : brands, models, places to shop (in NYC or online), helpful websites, that kind of thing. Comfortable footwear is important to me, so I'm willing to spend a fair amount of money on these. Thank you for your help.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"What would it mean to live in a society where people seek only the significant same." Reductionist discourses tend to infiltrate both genetic and big data enterprises. Could these discourses imperceptibly close rather than open the prospect for us to decide what we want to become—what we want our futures to be? Could such discourses also "hide rather than reveal the deepest sources of social ills," which shape the evolution of our genes and identities?

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