posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm really terrible at improvising decor stuff, so I'm hoping to work off an image. But I can't seem to find any images of dining rooms that match the mood and functionality I want mine to have. Can you help?I'm going to put the tl;dr right here: I'd ultimately like a dining room that feels good to hang out in! And looks good because it's the first thing your eyes are drawn to when you walk in the house! Basically, I do NOT want a formal dining room. It will be the default place to eat since all I can hope to fit in the kitchen is a tiny table (nook). What I'm hoping for is: Functionality: eat meals do homework (daughter) do crafts with daughter hang out and read a book or whatever for when I want to be by myself and avoid the television have tea/coffee with guests Mood casual cozy low brow (or at least not of high brow) family What I have so far: So the dining room is super visible and open, since it's the front room on one side of the house. I guess it would actually be a front room if the kitchen were big enough to eat in... Basically, the house is split in two: if you come in the front door, the staircase upstairs is directly in front of you, you go left to enter the living room, and on the right is the dining room. It has no entrance, per se, it's just three walls formed by the front (outer) wall, side (outer) wall and the wall that divides the kitchen from the dining room. it's north facing. Has a huge window on the front-of-the-house side, low to the ground. I don't know the size of the room - neither tiny nor huge, and kinda square-shaped, not rectangular. The flooring will be a dark walnut coloured engineered hardwood. We haven't bought a table and chairs yet. I'm painting the walls white for now since I can't seem to make a color decision. I'm thinking feature wall - maybe wallpaper? I bought a navy and white rug I thought I might put down under the table. I seem to be drawn to navy, ultramarine and teal? I have a handy husband and am enthusiastic about DIY. Any help with ideas, pictures and search terms that would help with colour palette, wall and other decor and furniture would be hugely appreciated! Googling "cozy dining room" isn't working; it give me rooms that are still too fancied up.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Japanese Cheesecake. Chicken Gyros. Deep Dish Pizza. Giant Cookies and Vegan Cinnamon Buns. Every week, Megan Ogilvie of The Toronto Star writes The Dish, where she takes popular local eats to food scientists and dietitians to determine how good (or bad) they are for you. Readers provide suggestions and are often surprised by how many calories they're getting from their favourite food. And in the case of one popular 1.5 lbs roti, the people of Trinidad & Tabago were not amused by the recommendation that Ali's roti is meal for two.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've got one of these little Moleskine Messages note-book mailers that I'd like to send from USA to germany. But the woman at the post office said "Nope, we can't send it because the stamps are in the wrong spot."weight is about about 5 grams so I need 4 forever stamps. The problem: my forever stamps were to big to fit on the front of the card, so I put a couple on the back, with a little arrow saying "More stamps------->". I've already affixed $2 worth of postage to this envelope, but I'll do what it takes to get it to the recipient. Should I stuff it in a mailer and send that? Should I put some more on the lower right corner? Should I just drop it in a mail box and see what happens?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm going to a work BBQ tomorrow and I need to bring a dish but... I'll be traveling with a giant suitcase all day. So it needs to be something that packs well.My office is having a BBQ tomorrow afternoon after work and we are all bringing dishes. My coworkers are bringing: pork belly, chicken wings, salad, booze... that's all I know of thus far. What can I bring? The problem is that I'm heading out of town immediately afterwards and will have my giant rolly suitcase with me. I need both hands to lift it while traversing the subway. So whatever I bring to the BBQ has to be in a tupperware which is rattling around in my suitcase through three subway trains and a dozen staircases before it even gets to the office. Then it has to sit around for eight hours until the party. So I need something that travels well. Please give me recipe ideas! My strength is baking, so cookies/brownie type recipes are great. Or anything else that might be fun for a bbq and doesnt rely on looking good. No mushrooms or beans because, yuck.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a friend from Europe who is fascinated with Native American history and culture. I'd like to get them a gift for less than $100. They speak/read English, but not perfectly, so a text-heavy book might not be the best.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A year or so ago, I saw a movie that was a psychological mystery/thriller in the vein of Circle, Cube, or Exam, or at least that's how I think of it. Needless to say, I can't remember the title of the movie, but I can remember a few details, which are inside. (Possible spoilers, if you care about that sort of thing.)So here are the details I (think) I remember. I may be conflating certain details from this movie with Triangle, though: A sort of nebbishy guy, probably in his mid-30s, finds himself in a place that appears to be some sort of institution. (In my mind's eye, I see him as Steven Furst, although it's definitely not Steven Furst, who was in his 50s or 60s when this picture was made). There's some sort of Nurse Rached-y woman who's doing intake or something. Eventually, he gets moved to a room that looks like a classroom, where he's sitting with a group of people. I think they idea was that they were all supposed to confess about bad things they did. He keeps insisting that he doesn't belong there and that he didn't do anything wrong. Sometime soon after, he leaves the classroom and is standing in a hall, where he meets a woman. I think they eventually team up to escape, and I seem to recall a scene where he climbs out a grate in the ceiling, maybe? Anyway, he eventually gets out and winds up, I think, in a park. This is the part I think I may be conflating with Triangle: I think it ultimately develops that he's killed a child? Maybe his own child? The movie was in English, but wasn't a British picture; it was either a US or Canadian release. Does this ring any bells?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Frances Gabe, inventor of the self-cleaning house, has died. This NY Times obituary is a lengthy tribute to a remarkable woman and includes videos and diagrams of her remarkable invention. [Previously]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Why isn't Cartoon Network promoting the new episodes of Adventure Time?I've been watching a lot (a lot) of Cartoon Network -- it's basically what I have on in the background most of the time in my house -- so I have a pretty good sense of the rhythms of their promos, bumpers, etc... And, I've noticed that they haven't run any promos for new Adventure Time episodes. Not for the "Elements" series that ran in April nor for the new episodes airing right now (and I'm like 80% sure that they also didn't promote the "Islands" series that ran in January). If not for the fact that it's programmed into the DVR, I would literally have no idea that new episodes were airing this week despite being exposed to many, many hours of Cartoon Network per week. The closest thing they have on right now are commercials for the latest Adventure Time DVD set. So, what gives? Of course, anyone can speculate as to possible reasons, e.g.: CN and AT producers had a falling out and CN wants to bury the new episodes but are contractually obligated to air them in a prime time slot, CN doesn't think AT needs on-air promotion because they do so much better in other promotional channels and/or have such a solid fanbase, CN doesn't want to promote a series that's winding down, etc... But does anyone have any solid leads (i.e.: based on more than just armchair speculation) on why? Of course, I will also accept that there is some chance that CN just happens to be airing AT promos only and exactly when I happen to not be watching it (e.g.: when I'm at work during the day, Mondays to Fridays). But, if that's the case, I would also appreciate if someone could substantiate this by providing a time and show where these are airing.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for an app that gives me workouts that take into consideration the constraints of the day (time, intensity, energy), instead of a regular long-term plan?So I'm kind of a newbie at going to the gym and as of right now, I'll usually go in and do about 2/3 cardio and 1/3 strength, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how much time I have or how tired I am. I don't really go in with a plan. I just kind of do whatever, and use the machines that are open. I often lose focus and end up drifting around or half-assing it. I want an actual trainer but I cannot afford one. So maybe there's an app out there that will give me what I want, which is basically this: You can adjust for: --Fitness level (right now I'm very squishy and out of shape and have never been athletic at all) --Time (like one day I may only have 30 minutes, another day I may have an hour or more, totally depends on how the day shakes out) --Cardio and strength training ratio (like one day I may want to do 50/50, another day maybe only 70/30) --Intensity (one day I may be really tired and just want to go to gym to keep the habit but might not have the energy to be really into it) For example: Wednesday--I have only 45 minutes, I have energy so want high intensity, and I want to spend half my time doing cardio and half my time doing weights. Saturday--I have an hour and a half, I'm a little tired, so maybe I want to spend 3/4 of my time doing low-intensity cardio, and 1/4 doing low-intensity weights. Is there an app where I can plug these things in and they will churn out a workout for me, based on my fitness level that I can adjust after I feel my fitness improving? My main goal is to actually just get myself to a gym relatively frequently (at least three times a week if not more), and stay long enough and do enough to feel good about myself. Sometimes I'll look at a workout that I'm supposed to do that day and it's just too long or intense for that particular moment, so I just end up getting discouraged or just skipping it entirely. I just want to get into better habits and not waste the time I'm in the gym trying to figure out what to do. Are there any apps out there like that? I'll pay, though I don't want to pay a subscription. I'd go up to $10 or $15 for an app. I'm a mid-30s woman with a YMCA membership in Brooklyn if any of that matters. Oh, and I have an updated iPhone. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
On July 17, 1981 a suspended walkway collapsed in The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, killing 114 people and injuring 216 others during a tea dance. At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history. Construction difficulties resulted in a subtle but flawed design change that doubled the load on the connection between the fourth floor walkway support beams and the tie rods carrying the weight of both walkways. This new design was barely adequate to support the dead load weight of the structure itself, much less the added weight of the spectators. The connection failed and the fourth floor walkway collapsed onto the second floor and both walkways then fell to the lobby floor below... [Additional info and links at Hotel Horror, a page on kchistory.org from the Kansas City Public Library.]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Unfettered capitalism or democracy. You cannot have both. Six months on and six ways Trump is 'dismantling' the US. This is the playbook, as George Monbiot explains, of James McGill Buchanan - A despot in disguise: one man's mission to rip up democracy. Then there are are the men behind the cutain; Secretive Teams to Roll Back Regulations, Led by Hires With Deep Industry Ties. What Is the Far Right's Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I need to buy (or rent) 14" marquee letters, ideally locally in Seattle, from somewhere with a generous return policy. Alternatively, if I could have just the specific letters I need custom made that would work, too.I only need these for a quick thing (they'll be up for less than a day) so I'd like to be able to buy and them return them if at all possible. Googling around I've found a few places that sell them online but they appear to be insanely expensive (e.g., $900 at http://signletterdepot.com/12-on-14-rigid-marquee-letters-changeable-letters.html). Would a place like "Fast Signs" (https://www.fastsigns.com/206-downtown-seattle-wa) be able to produce these? Do places exist that rent sets? Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Does anyone have a good system for discounting their art / creative work for family and friends? Something like "free repair services if I incur no materials cost," "30% off for large pieces," "free customization," or "free services with purchase of large pieces"? Some further discussion below, for context.I have a side business / hobby that I make almost zero money on, but pursue because I enjoy it and can make things people love (either as gifts or as commissioned pieces). I don't want/need to make income off of this, but I do need to make enough to recoup my costs and ideally reinvest in better equipment. The materials costs can often be high (silver), and it's time intensive (lots of finicky soldering, sanding, polishing, burnishing, etc). I am very skilled at this, but am not a professional. My cost model has primarily been modeled on the price of the raw materials, instead of a per-hour cost. Almost everything I make is commissioned, so I work closely with my customers and plainly explain to them where the costs come from (larger pieces = much more expensive). I also have a large catalog of my previous work that I use to illustrate costs. Typical prices are ~$75, but range from $10-$500. I've been doing this long enough that I have customers who recommend me to others, and am sorely in need of a more cohesive pricing strategy. In particular, I'd like to formalize my current free/discount work policy for close friends and family. I'm leaning toward a "x% off everything" discount, but would like to see if anyone else has suggestions.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am participating the in the KTA Trail Challenge 25k hike in September. This is my first hike over 10 miles, so I have a few questions about shoe and clothing choices.The KTA Trail Challenge is an organized event, with food and aid stations, that includes "25k of steep hills, rugged terrain, and wet stream crossings in unpredictable weather conditions." I'm in good shape and do plenty of hiking and trail running in our nearby national park, but have not been on an excursion of this length, so I'm wondering what to wear to stay comfortable. Shoes vs. boots: I have a good pair of lightweight, non-waterproof trail running shoes, and a good pair of all-weather, waterproof hiking boots. I was thinking that the shoes would be better for fatigue, but the boots would be better suited for any wet conditions. What would be best? Socks: I have some synthetic wicking running socks, as well as calf-length SmartWool socks. Not sure which would be better without roasting my feet. Pants vs. shorts: I'm expecting it to be hot, so shorts would seem the obvious choice, but pants might be better for the bugs and shiggy. Are convertible zip-off hiking pants worth the investment? Day pack: I have a small backpack that I am planning to use for carrying a poncho, sun screen and bug repellant, small first aid kit, snacks and water. Anything else I should consider packing?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The great late-night show, @midnight, will air its last (and 600th) show August 4. No more "Points!," no more Hashtag Wars, no more providing a platform for mostly new and lesser-known standup comedians.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
OneDrive for Business recently (finally!) implemented shared folder desktop sync - previously you could only sync to your desktop if the folders were created by you but not if they were shared to you. I can't find instructions for setup anywhere despite detailed searching including limiting results to the last month. Any ideas?This is confirmed on their Office 365 Roadmap site noting "This feature allows users who have folders shared with them from other OneDrive for Business users to be able to take those folders offline in the same way they can take their own files and folders offline today." Details include addition to the Roadmap in June and rollout in July. Various tech news articles are covering it but don't provide instructions. Ideally I would like to provide simple instructions to my remote colleagues as the folders are mine, shared with them. Normal setup for your own folder involves locating a library URL and pasting it into the desktop app but I have multiple folders shared with each person and I'd prefer that it look like a single mapped drive in Explorer as closely as possible. They're not particularly tech savvy, though I could use TeamViewer to do it for them but I'm hoping for a clean solution. Any help appreciated!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Who's got squishy cheeks? YOU do! Yes you do! Yes you do! And so do all of you! If that's not enough squee for Hump Day, then check out these Golden Retriever puppies. Awww.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've seen a few articles recently about how they found Robert Gould Shaw's sword in the attic of some distant relatives and I'm wondering if it's possible to find out exactly who these relatives were since when I was in seventh grade we watched Glory and a kid in my class distantly related to Shaw (last name: Shaw) brought in what he and his family said was Robert Gould Shaw's sword. Were they mistaken?If it had just been this kid saying it was Robert Gould Shaw's sword I wouldn't have believed him but his mom said so too and she was generally trustworthy. It also sounds like after Robert Gould Shaw was killed the sword was stolen and then found and given to his sister who had a different last name so maybe it's more suspicious and not less that this kid's last name was Shaw? Per Wikipedia it doesn't look like he had any brothers or descendants so I don't know that the Shaw name would have been passed down. So there are a few possibilities: -The family was mistaken -The family was lying -He had two swords and they had one of them -My memory is fault (this was about twenty years ago) -This actually was the sword and they knew they had it and knew it was a big deal to them but didn't know how big a deal it was to historians and so this kid brought it in to show my seventh grade class and then they put it in the attic for safekeeping after we all saw it and then it was discovered again now when they were tidying up Is there any way for me to find out if the people who had the sword were the same family I knew in seventh grade? In case it matters, this was at a private middle school in Rhode Island. It'd be neat if twenty years ago I'd seen the sword that is now such a big deal but I have no idea how to find out if that's the case or not.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In 1984, Richard Bachman's fifth novel, Thinner, came out. It was Bachman's first hardcover release, and the author thought he was on the verge of breaking out (especially since he had recently sold the film rights to The Running Man, his fourth novel). But a clerk at a Washington DC bookstore suspected that Bachman was not who he claimed to be: that "Richard Bachman" was actually Stephen King.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am traveling to the middle of Missouri and need to work remotely for a week along with my partner. I know I could set up a hotspot on my phone but I'm worried about what 40+ hours of connectivity would mean for my phone bill. I also know that only Verizon works where I will be. What options do I have for setting up temporary access to wifi for two?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've found myself in the position of having a large number of ideas for works of art which (1) I know will be well received / sell well but (2) must be constructed in media (painting, for example) in which I have no training.This means that I find myself in the position of collaborating with individual artists, who do the majority of the construction, on objects that I have designed. The artists are definitely creative partners, and I select them accordingly. They need to be properly compensated, too. Is there a business model for someone like me? How do I monetize these ideas?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We haven't had a family vacation in years because it got harder to afford, fit it into the summer working schedules of 2 adults and 2 teens, and varied interests. Now summer is getting closer to the end (due to going back to college dates) and we still haven't planned anything. More inside.So I am trying to plan something last minute and realize it is impossible to please everyone and make it affordable in a short time frame and am looking for some ideas. Background - need to stay in US since not likely to have enough time to get 1 kid a passport (would love to do an all inclusive somewhere but probably out of the question). Flights should be direct and not take up too much time from the Baltimore/DC/Philly areas. We have only 5-6 days due to work schedules. Things mentioned - a beach with blue water, white sand, real mountains, Harry Potter stuff in Orlando, seeing the solar eclipse, variety of casual restaurants, shops / food that you can walk to (once in a town/city), other things to do/see. So I am looking for destination and hotel/airbnb recommendations and things to do. Are there nice beaches reasonable drive to Orlando if we try to do the HP/Universal thing for 2 days then head to a beach area (then back to airport)? Will it be packed in August (2nd week or later). What other places match some of the wishlist (I know can't do it all)? FYI - Family has spent tons of time on MD / DE beaches.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I need protest songs.I need the best protest songs you know, please. Bonus points for 80s songs, but any decade will do. Examples of what I'm looking for: Going Underground , American Idiot and Fight the Power. And as much as I like them, I'm not looking for folksy "paved paradise to put in a parking lot"-type songs right now. I want songs that make my blood boil.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Nicole Chung took her daughter to see an all-Asian-American production of The Winter's Tale. "There are so many different types of inheritances; one I still hope my children can somehow sidestep is the void, the frustration of desperately searching for yourself, or people like you, in a cultural landscape that does not seem to be for you. And what does it say about you, about your worth and your importance and the possibilities open to you, if you can't find yourself at all?"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Otherwise Amazing Boyfriend [OAB] is extremely passive and avoids conflict to the point of his own detriment. Unfortunately this passivity also leads him to lie to get out of trouble, lie to please others, lie to avoid conflict, etc. This has caused huge problems in our relationship. He's improved a lot since then, but I'm not so sure how to move forward.Otherwise Amazing Boyfriend: Sits with me at the doctor's office after his overnight shifts just to make sure I'm not alone. Picks me up from work every time I ask. Apologizes if he misses my call/text. Tells me he loves me often. Drove both ways of a road trip to hang out with my friends and family when I sprained my ankle. Is dependable, listens to me, and has made huge improvements since our original blow-out drama--way better communication, 0 silent treatment, stronger boundaries with ex-wife. Loves his family, great with kids, loves my family, great with my nephews and nieces, my family loves him, his family loves me. The problem: I keep catching him in things. He'll promise something, and then I'll find out later that he didn't keep his word, or maybe he did but only half-way. I'll find out that his ex wasn't completely blocked, for example, when a text comes in while we're together. Nothing too crazy in the texts (anymore--that's why she was blocked in the first place), nothing more than a hey how are you, I got a letter from x place saying y from when we were married, do you know about this etc. But it's the fact that I had to find out later on, on my own, due to my own vigilance that makes me feel like I can't trust him at all. I'll catch him in a lie about something that would probably have been simple or easy if he had just spoken to me about it, but now I have to worry because it was hidden. On one hand I feel like he over-promises things to try and please me and then lies to avoid conflict if it doesn't go exactly that way. He told me they'd have to meet up about the letter from x about y, for example, he lied to my face about what he did that day because, in his words, it was bad timing and he didn't want to ruin the by bringing that up. But on the other hand, I feel like he's just a liar, plain and simple, and I don't want to be with, much less eventually get married to someone I can't trust. He's sworn he'll be honest with me from now on, and so far he's doing it, but I still feel like the other shoe is going to drop in a few months time when he lies about something else. And now I'm becoming a dishonest person too because I feel like the only way to know the truth is to be hyper-vigilant every time he handles his phone, or every time it rings. I've already gone through his texts once last year during the height of that whole "No boundaries with the ex wife" issue, and it was that event that directly led to there being stronger boundaries/blockage in the first place as well. Right now, boundaries seem to be in place, and there doesn't seem to be anything inappropriate going on at all beyond this dishonesty. But it's the dishonesty that makes the whole thing seems suspicious. We've already agreed to work it out, and I've told him exactly how I feel already, so I don't want to rake him through the coals. He's responded by apologizing, expressing regret at his actions, listening to me, and sending a screen shot of the texts the next time she sent one (didn't ask for that, but I appreciated it anyway). I don't know if or how long this honesty will last. It could be a matter of time before we recover and we're setting out to have a great day and then WHAM--here's something else I didn't know. TO BE FAIR: I can also see things from his point of view, having been in a similar position before. My ex-situation and I were in a very co-dependent symbiotic friendlationship thing for a while when I met my Most Recent Ex [MRE]. Things were inappropriate for a while in transition, and eventually I had to exercise new boundaries with him in order to protect my relationship with the ex at the time. MRE was absolutely sure I was sleeping with him and demanded that I cut him off, but I knew that wasn't the case, and refused. Ex-Situation and I are actually best friends to this day, but we had to learn how to respect each other's relationships with other people. He's currently dating someone else, and so am I. MRE and I broke up for a host of other reasons unrelated to this, but even after cutting MRE off for a while, I resumed contact with him once he respected my boundaries. So I can understand the idea of being uncomfortable being forced to cut someone off, and how pushing the issue can backfire. I can also understand not telling the whole truth if I think it's just going to degenerate into a huge drama, a three hour talk, two days of space, and a bucket of tears. Has anyone else gone through this? Do you tell lies to avoid conflict/drama, even though nothing's really happening? Were you with someone who did this? I think it's pretty obvious Otherwise Amazing Boyfriend loves me, and is in love with me. He's also a pretty amazing guy outside of all this. Is it just my own discomfort blocking us from moving forward? Is my reaction to his ex part of the reason why he lies, on top of his lies being the reason I react so badly to his ex? Like a vicious cycle? I'm starting to lose faith in the things he says though, and I've told him this. I can't trust him if he's just going to lie anyway. What's the point?

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