Sunday free-for-all – October 5, 2014

IMG_5105It’s the weekend free-for-all.

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly non-work only; if you have a work question, you can email it to me or post it in the work-related open thread on Fridays.)

Have at it.

{ 505 comments… read them below }

    1. ThursdaysGeek*

      I’ve had them, where dreams got stored as memories. I once remembered that my sister had just gotten a divorce, and I was really unhappy, then I realized I hadn’t spoken to her for some time, so how did I know she was getting a divorce? It turned out it was something I dreamed, but it got stored as a memory.

      My sister had something similar, only much more dramatic. We had both left my parent’s house after Thanksgiving one year, and she left earlier and made great time. I left a bit later, hit icy roads, and it took us 3 days to get home. Years later, she mentioned how terrible it must have been for me to have seen such a horrible accident on that trip, and I looked at her in surprise. She said, “You know, when you saw that car with 4 people who had just been killed.” I told her I knew I would have remembered something like that. She had dreamed about the accident, stored it as memory, and didn’t know it was a false memory for years.

      1. KarenT*

        I have two. One is pretty mundane; I have a clear memory of having the chicken pox as a child, I remember the bumps and being home from school and my mom taking care of me. I can picture the while thing. My mom swears I’ve never had the chicken pox, and when I started working at a day care I was asked if I’d ever had them, so my doctor checked my records (I’ve had the same doctor since I was 13) and it looks like I havent.

        Also, when I was a kid a man attempted to lure me and my best friend into his car. We both remember the same event completely differently with a lot of contradictory details. Only one of us can be right!

      2. The Other Dawn*

        After reading this thread I now wonder if this happened to me. Something silly, actually.

        I vividly remember my mom making stuffed shells filled with a ground beef mixture instead of the standard cheese mix. The only cheese was the mozzarella on top. Years later when I moved out I asked her for the recipe. She said she never made that and had no idea what I was talking about. I insisted she had and she swore up and down until the day she died she never made it. Now I wonder if it’s a false memory.

        If anyone has a recipe like that let me know. :)

        1. Mephyle*

          On the other hand, my kids remember things that I did, said, cooked when they were young, that I have no memory of. When more than one of them independently remembers the same thing, I have to accept that it’s me, not them.

        2. The HR Witch*

          The Other Dawn –
          Here’s a recipe for you, from one of my best friends. Enjoy!

          Evelyn’s Beef-Stuffed Shells

          1/2 pound jumbo pasta shells
          2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (aka EVOO)
          1 sml onion, finely chopped
          3 ea cloves garlic, peeled and minced
          1 lb ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 – don’t use the really good stuff!)
          2 TBS Italian seasoning mix
          Salt and pepper – use the first lightly, the second generously
          2 C pasta sauce (or a little more or a little less, as you like it)
          2 C ricotta cheese (substitute drained cottage cheese if you like)
          1 C shredded mozzarella, plus extra for topping
          1/2 C grated Parmesan (use Kraft for this, real stuff for topping/serving)
          1 lg egg, lightly beaten

          Preheat oven to 350 F.
          Add about 1 TBS EVOO to water to cover, and cook the pasta in boiling water for about 1 minute less than the package suggests.
          Drain and run cool water over the shells.
          While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
          Add the onion, salt and pepper; sauté until softened – about 4 – 5 minutes.
          Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
          Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. When almost cooked through, sprinkle the Italian herbs over it.
          Stir in about 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce, then remove from heat.
          In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and beaten egg.
          Mix well, then stir into beef mixture.
          Lightly butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish; spread the sauce evenly in the bottom.
          Spoon the filling carefully into each shell and arrange them on the sauce. Add extra sauce over top if dish seems drier than you prefer. sprinkle with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
          Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until heated through.

      3. Mister Pickle*

        I’ve experienced something a bit like this. Many years ago I was involved in an effort at work to use Virtual Worlds for meetings and collaborations. We worked with a lot of technologies, but my focus was on an MMORPG called “Second Life” (aka “SL”).

        One thing we noticed was that when people would begin to use SL, after approximately 2 weeks, a number of people would report that they had dreams about SL. All of us being amateur psychologists, we figured that was a sign that a person’s brain had ‘accepted’ the environment as being “real” (or “real enough”).

        Anyway – I spent 8 to 12 hours a day “in” Second Life, 7 days a week (as jobs go, I loved it) for over three years. I had a whole ‘nother life going on in there (“not healthy”, you say? I won’t necessarily disagree) and I still dream about it sometimes. I know I didn’t really live in a castle floating in the clouds, but I did have friends and something that I guess you could call a family, and those relationships were at least partially “real” (although social mores were very, very different from what we deal with day-to-day in Real Life). Healthy or not, I still have fond memories of it as a “place” I used to “live”.

        Second Life is still around. But I haven’t been back in years.

        1. Jen RO*

          This sounds extremely interesting to me. I used to dream about WoW when I played too much, but I always dreamed about playing, not actually being there.

          1. kd*

            I played EverQuest. I dreamt many times of running the bridges of Kelethin, no map just by sight, among other places within the game. I knew it by heart and head, still do I think, although its been many years since I played. Yep, sad but true. But imagine getting paid to play a MMORPG – ha!

            I also have experiences the mom cooking things when I was a kid that she know claims she never did. Brothers and I collaborated and found out – she just doesn’t remember.

            1. Nina Morris*

              I know what you mean – sometimes my dreams are about match three games like candy crush soda saga, and I dream about being in worlds from New Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Galaxy 2. I really like Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars because it is incredibly similar to a Mario game that I dreamt but unfortunately doesn’t exist in the real world.

      4. ThursdaysGeek*

        On the other hand, I’ve had a couple of real memories that I thought were dreams. I’ve been very surprised when I’ve come across a location that I thought was just from a recurring dream.

        From reading others accounts, it sounds like this is pretty common.

    2. coconut water*

      Yes, I had false memories due to Night Terrors. I had them for several years. The Night Terrors felt so real that I’d spend the next day reminding myself it was just a bad dream. Sometimes the dreams involved people who had abused, stalked or harassed me in real life and their behavior in the Night Terror was similar to how they had actually treated me. It would take awhile to “remember” that what happened, never happened. I was very sleep deprived so it was very difficult to deal with sometimes. About a year ago, doctors finally found a medicat that knocked out the Night Terrors. No more “false memories” to deal with!

        1. coconut water*

          Beyond a bad dream in that you can not tell you are dreaming. Your body reacts as if it’s all real. It’s not uncommon to hit, kick, run, scream, sweat profusely. It can involve Jerking awake fighting and being confused where you are at. I’ve opened my eyes during these and my brain will see my surroundings as a place where actual abuse occurred. I don’t see my actual bedroom. It’s absolutely terrifying when this happens. Night Terrors occur in a different stage of sleep than other dreams.

        2. Glor*

          Night terrors are fairly similar to PTSD flashbacks in that your body/brain processes it as real RIGHT THEN, but flashbacks are things that have already happened to you. I’ve had both and they are absolutely terrible and very VERY hard on the body and the psyche. Like coconut water, I’ve been fortunate to find a med that deals with them [although for me they aren’t gone entirely, just way less often/far less intense].

          1. coconut water*

            So glad you found a med that works! Yay! It takes awhile for the body to get back into a good sleep mode. Have you at least had a few nights of the really restful restorative sleep? I call it “delicious sleep”. It makes life livable again. Ahhhhh

            I’ve had both too..real time PTSD flashbacks and they really are hard on your mind,body,spirit. Some people give up trying to find something that will knock the Night Terrors down or out. I completely understand why they give up but wish I could encourage them to keep working with their doctors until they find something that works.

            1. Glor*

              Unfortunately, I haven’t really had GOOD sleep for a while, but that’s also because Sleep Apnea … which we’re working on getting treated! Yay! The one night I had my CPAP study was incredible — I was up and about for something like 1.5x+ my usual day and wasn’t tired at all. I can’t wait to get mine set up!

              But yeah, I do feel you on the “encouraging to work with the doctors,” because the first night that I went without flashbacks/terrors was absolutely incredible. I think I cried when I woke up I was so happy!

          2. misspiggy*

            Ooh, that’s interesting. I know I have a problem with electrolytes and so on, and I get night terrors quite a bit, to the extent that I wake up out of bed convinced I’m fighting an assailant. Will see if upping my coconut water-type intake will help.

      1. Mister Pickle*

        Did someone say “Night Terrors”?

        I started with them when I was 19yo – this was back before the Internet – and they scared the living heck outta me. The experience – paralysis, a harsh buzzing sound, visual and tactile hallucinations, and elevated feeling of ‘fear’ – were bad enough, but after I woke up I was freaking out that I had a brain tumor or something horrible.

        But I went to my school’s medical library and did some reading and in like the 3rd book I checked, when I saw the words “Sleep Paralysis”, I knew I’d found it. It’s harmless (yeah no tumor!) and even relatively common. Although at the time it wasn’t well known. I remember trying to convey the experience to other people on several occasions and they thought I was mad.

        These days, with the ‘net and the Web, it’s somewhat more well-known (and some people refer to it as “Night Terrors”). I’d long had a pet theory that Night Terrors might be responsible for people feeling that they had been abducted by aliens and / or encountered ghosts, and it was interesting to see several other people come up with that theory in parallel over the years.

        If you’ve never experienced Sleep Paralysis / Night Terrors: you’re sleeping, and suddenly you ‘wake up’ – but you can’t move. And (probably) you’re intensely scared. You may experience visual, audio, and tactile hallucinations – the tactile ones were the worst for me: lying there, unable to move, and it feels like someone is touching you somewhere, you don’t know who or why, it might be the devil for all you know.

        Anyway, I’ve lived with them for decades. Knowing what was going on enabled me to deal with them a lot more effectively, and I can use them as jumping-off point for lucid dreaming. Sadly (or maybe not) I don’t get Night Terrors much anymore – which might be an age thing or it might be because I’m on certain medication that inhibits the phenomenon.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I had night terrors as a small child (though I don’t remember them) and I have sleep paralysis occasionally now. It doesn’t scare me much because I know what it is, and if I just wait a few minutes, my body catches up to my brain and the paralysis will break enough to wake me or I’ll go back to sleep.

          1. Ezri*

            I found out last year at Thanksgiving that I had night terrors as a kid, but I don’t remember them. Which is probably a good thing, because my parents said they were terrifying – I was simultaneously screaming my head off and unresponsive to any stimuli. No sleep paralysis anymore, thankfully; my BIL has episodes of that, and he hates it.

        2. Aunt Vixen*

          I have sleep paralysis often, but not night terrors, thank god. That is: when I wake up and can’t move, that’s all there is to it–I’m alert and I know I’m safe, but it’s at least a couple of minutes before I can move or speak. (My husband has learned that just because I’m lying completely still doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t hear him.) I’ve also had it going the other way: when my dad was terminally ill, I had extreme anxiety (shockingly enough) that would keep me awake for a period after my body went to sleep. I would lie there and feel my arms and legs getting heavy and feel my fingers getting cold–and my mind would still be racing and occasionally my heart would thump extra-hard just once. That sucked and I heartily disrecommend it.

          I have also had dreams so vivid that I had to counsel myself out of them when I woke up. A dream where my mother wasn’t paying attention and stepped into a crosswalk as a car came speeding towards her. A dream where a close friend had been killed in a fight and I had to tell his mother. I’ve sometimes called the next day to check on people I had terrible dreams about the night before–not because I thought the dream was real, but just to further persuade my subconscious that everything was okay.

          I also had a dream, one night late last winter, in which my grandfather had told a cousin on the other side of the family that he couldn’t come to my wedding–a few months away–but would send an extra gift to make up for it. I remember thinking that I’d rather have him there than any gift at all; and I remember thinking that I didn’t understand why he was delivering this message through a cousin who was, to him, a complete stranger; and then I remember thinking, still in the dream, that none of this made any sense because my grandfather died in 1995.

          I am very pleased that my vivid dreams and my sleep paralysis haven’t really decided to team up, though.

    3. B*

      Yep, the same. Sometimes i have dreams and store them as memories. Normally particularly bad dreams. When i was about 17 i dreamed my mum told me she hated me and wished she’d never had me. I realised this one was a dream quite fast though as when i went downstairs she was acting perfectly normal!
      20 or so years later it doesn’t make me feel queasy remembering that any more but it did for years.
      Much more recently i had a dream that someone had a go at me for passing an online community i started onto someone who turned out to be horrible. It was days later (maybe even weeks) when i remembered it and was feeling awful, when i suddenly realised i didn’t know anyone by that name in that community and i’d passed it on to friends i knew well. And also that i knew the community is still happy. Was weird to realise it was just a dream.
      (Baby/toddler slings, if you’re wondering.)
      Is anyone else thinking ‘… and then you took off your energy mask and you were Cameron Diaz’. Just me? I’ll get me coat.

    4. De (Germany)*

      I have managed to implant false memories into my brain by imagining things up. I know on some level I did this, but on another level it does feel like a real memory.

      Also, relatives talking to me about things I don’t remember because I was too young has led to false memories.

      I seem to be rather susceptible to this.

      1. Sarahnova*

        Eh, according to studies most people are. It’s surprisingly easy to get people to generate a full-blown false memory of having gone up in a hot-air balloon as a kid; you give them a doctored photo and 5 mins. later they’re confidently “recalling” all kinds of details about something that never happened.

        I do the dreams thing sometimes. I’ve also heard certain family stories so many times that I’ve generated my own “memory” of them.

        1. Waiting Patiently*

          Yep, true. One of my psych professors asked us to right about our earliest memory. I have two, one of me playing with a blue ball with stars on it, I remember dropping it behind the table. While it quite possible this was my ball but the ball could have been a prop for the photo– it was taken at a studio. I think somewhere in my childhood, I saw the photo —it was on a table in our living room, and my brain implanted a false memory about me playing with the ball.

      2. Melissa*

        I have done this, too. I know that they are false memories because I put them there myself, and I’m acutely aware of them. Embellishing memories the same or similar ways over and over again helps, lol.

    5. James M*

      I’ve had vivid dreams that are now part of my memories. I won’t bore you with details, but I’ve gained some insights from them. For example, I know why evil wizards like lightning so much.

      That said, remembered dreams are quite different from false memories.

    6. Waiting Patiently*

      Most of my dreams are just that. I did dream recently that I overheard a phone call or conversation with two people about me not getting a job. I woke in panic and almost in tears because it seemed so real. Then I was relieved when I finally woke up fully. Anyway I did get the real phone call later that day, — I didn’t get the job.

      Another incident, recently I was talking with someone about the “Space Challenger accident that happen when I was I was in the 6th grade. And how I remember being in Ms. Nash class and everyone was excited because a teacher was on board, i remember seeing the explosion, the tv cut out, and our principal coming on over the pa system. I remember being in that class when this all happened”
      The only problem the Space Challenger di aster happened a year earlier. I was in a completely different grade and school. And i remember nothing about it happening during that year. I have no reference at all. It seems like current event and history of this event melted together. Maybe we discussed the Challenger incident in 6th grade but for me it seemed it happened that year. And all my memory of the event has been stored as it happening in 6th grade.

      1. Lulubell*

        I was in fourth grade when that happened, and – this may sound weird – I remember that Punky Brewster did an episode about it seemingly shortly after it happened. In my experience, I was at lunch or recess when the explosion happened – we didn’t watch it live – and when we came back into the room, our teacher was crying. In the Punky Brewster episode, I believe they watched it on TV. For a while I confused the two – did I see it live, or not? I know now that I didn’t – I had written about it in my little diary. Is it possible you did something similar? I thought the show pulled the episode together fairly quickly after it happened, but maybe you saw it (or another program) airing the following year?

        1. Lulubell*

          And now it looks like I may have a false memory about that episode, because I just Googled it, and they don’t actually show it at all. Never mind!

    7. EvilQueenRegina*

      When I was growing up, I had a Golden Retriever called Polly and my cousins (on Mum’s side) had a black Labrador called Dan. One day my dad mentioned remembering seeing Polly and Dan scrapping in the kitchen at Grandad’s. Some of that was plausible in that Polly and Dan did scrap a lot and it probably did happen in Grandad’s kitchen at some point (although the only specific example I remember is the time Polly got her teeth caught in Dan’s collar, and that was at my cousins’ house) but I didn’t think Dad could ever have witnessed it as I thought my parents had split up before my uncle bought Dan, and Dad hadn’t had contact with Mum’s side of the family after that. In the end I asked my uncle just when he did buy Dan, and he said October 1992. Since my parents had split up in September 1992, Dad couldn’t have seen Dan. I had obviously described him and mentioned the dogs scrapping and he thought he remembered it.

      There are a lot of stories from years ago where I don’t know what actually happened because my relatives contradict each other.

    8. steve g*

      I can usually tell they r not real…but it is getting harder with the rise of social media like youtube where every single music video and TV show from history is online. it’s going to be harder for people to tell what they really remember vs saw at a later time on youtube. The people I work with that are 4-5 years younger than me already don’t believe I remember some of the stuff that happened/came out when I was like 4 – but I remember it, honestly.

      A few years ago I was hypnotized for another reason but we ended up going to when I was in the hospital when I was 4 and 1/2. I always remembered bits and pieces of that but it turned into an hour and a half scene in hypnosis….basically I am not trusting of people don’t always see the good in people because the nurses there were mean/cold. So brought it up with my parents and they said the nurses were mean and my mom which was very shy at the time even had a fight with them. So I could have heard this when I was younger and made up the scenes…but….idk it wasn’t like I was going for a moment under hypnosis…I just wanted to try it…it wasn’t like I was going just to remember the hospital. some might think I added some false memories to it but it seems real to me…..

    9. Christy*

      For years, I swore I could remember incidents that happened when I less than one or two years old. Even now, the memories seem quite vivid. However, I eventually realized my mom has photos of all the events I supposedly remember. I think I just imagined the scenarios in the photos and stored them as memories.

      For example, my mom has a photo of me at nine months or so looking into a mirror. I ‘remember’ her cooing and making cutesy noises and all that, but how could I remember something at nine months? There are a few other things I supposedly remember, but my mom has photos of them all.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        I can remember stuff when I was six months old. Since I did not see any photos until I got much older, some of the photos confirmed my memories. Other things I was able to get confirmed by talking with people.

        I think my parents gave me paregoric, when I was a baby. They seemed to skate by that conversation, when ever I asked later on. I was left with “Why did I know that word and yet I was so young?” They must have figured out not to do that because by the time we moved (I was five) the paregoric was long gone.

        My aunt and I used to talk about that moment of cognition, as we called it. We had bits of memories from being very young- like a whirlwind nothing made sense. These memories were fragments. Life happened to us. Then one day, it all started making sense. That was the moment of cognition, where the dots suddenly connected. Going forward from that point, things seemed to be more orderly and made more sense.

        I do remember adults talking baby talk to me and I thought they looked pretty silly.

    10. Anonyby*

      I remember playing under my grandmother’s kitchen table when the Loma Prieta quake hit. My mom swore up and down that while we were there when it happened, I was never playing under the table.

    11. azvlr*

      I have sort of the opposite story. I have a mole high on my abdomen that I thought might be a prehensile nipple. I was sitting with my friend and suddenly remembered “a dream” I had in which she shared that she had one, too. I very awkwardly told her about my dream, then she said, nope it was real. We apparently really did have the conversation and she showed me a very similar mark on her tummy. I think it was my sleep deprived new mommy brain that turned the whole conversation into a dream in the first place.

    12. JMegan*

      I have a very clear memory of hanging out with some friends on the staff porch at the resort I used to work at, and one of my friends telling another that he was “voting them off the island” as they do on Survivor.

      The problem is, I worked at that resort four years before Survivor ever aired. So logic tells me that the conversation couldn’t have happened. But try telling that to my memory, which is 100% sure it did!

    1. Monodon monoceros*

      My old kitty’s name was Puck- I miss that little guy! This comic is funny, thanks for sharing!

  1. Aam Admi*

    Does any one else feel that the participants in the new season of Amazing race seem so artificial and portraying ‘loser’ attitudes. When I watched earlier seasons, I used to feel connected to the teams and even identified some favourites after the first episode. I have watched two episodes of this season and do not like any of the teams. The wailing at the end of the second episode by the women in the two last place teams was disgusting. Not sure if I will watch any more episodes.

    1. Jen RO*

      I didn’t get that feeling, really. I don’t quite have a favorite team yet, but the only team I disliked got eliminated, so I am happy so far.

      I *was* really surprised at the team who won the Save, they didn’t seem like such a strong team to start with… (I have a feeling they will turn out to be the team everyone hates this season).

    2. AdAgencyChick*

      I don’t know whether they’re being fake about it, but this set of teams is probably the most annoying that I can remember. I cannot stand the dentists. Or the wrestlers. Or #thedatingcouple (dumbest hashtag ever!).

      I was going to root for the flight attendants because they’re funny (“Finish that up so I can get some food!” and that priceless this-boat-is-a-bathroom moment), but yeah, once they turned into crybabies that got old FAST.

      I’m going to keep watching because Phil Keoghan is still my reality-show crush.

    3. Mimmy*

      Used to love this show but we stopped watching ages ago…I think we just got bored with it. Plus, it seems like a lot of participants are semi-celebrities (Survivor is like that too).

      1. Jen RO*

        This season of TAR has ex-Survivor contestants… (I never watched Survivor so I have no idea who they are… but that least they’re not Brandon and Rachel!)

        1. AdAgencyChick*

          Brendon and Rachel…oh lord, those two. Definitely high on my list of teams I have wanted to slap.

  2. KarenT*

    Any toastmasters tips? I joined for the first time. I’m okay with the table topics and other meeting stuff, but I’m pretty terrified of the speeches.

    1. Aam Admi*

      It comes with practice KarenT. So try to use every opportunity to speak.
      I have been a TM for three years. I was ok with prepared speeches but used to suck at Table Topics. I devote a lot of time to TM meetings and take on every kind of role because I have noticed the experience translates to gains in my work life.

    2. Grand Mouse*

      One thing I do is notice what I notice during people’s speeches. Usually, not much. So I try to pay attention to things I know are distracting (like forced humor) and not worry so much about the rest.

    3. nep*

      Kudos to you for joining. You’re welcoming a challenge and facing some common but manageable fears. Best of luck.

    4. Not So NewReader*

      They are supposed to assign you a coach/mentor to help you along. Your first speech is just to introduce yourself. Did you get the intro book?

      This is one of those things where I either jump in and start doing it immediately or if I procrastinate my fears get bigger exponentially. I did TT for a while but I procrastinated. Big mistake. Just do it. You are with a group of people that know EXACTLY how you feel. For every hurdle you can mention some one there will tell you how to over come that hurdle.

    5. krisl*

      One of the great thing about Toastmasters (I’ve been in it for about 3 years), is that everyone in the group has been where you’ve been (sometimes also terrified of the table topics) and understands.

      After meetings, there’s usually a few people who will be happy to help answer any questions you have about speeches.

      The important thing is to get up there and try. You won’t get everything right the first time. That’s totally normal. My first speech at Toastmasters, I felt shaky and clutched the lecturn with both hands like it was a liferaft and probably spoke so quickly, it was hard to catch everything. But I kept at it, and I got better. I still have more work to do, but the more you work at it, the better you get.

      Another thing, if you don’t have time to work on it as much as you think you should, that’s OK. Do some work – a little work here and there over time is so much better than nothing!

  3. Windchime*

    Cat post:

    Years ago, I had two cats and even though they were both very young when I got them, they never really got along for more than a few minutes at a time. One was a male and the other a female and they were neutered/spayed. The boy kitty seemed a lot happier once the female was gone (she became ill and eventually had to be euthanized).

    Boy kitty is now gone, too, and I have New Kitty now. He’s two years old and has been a single cat since he was 2 months old. The other night, a neighborhood cat came to the screen door and New Kitty was visiting with him through the screen. Old Kitty would have tried to pick a terrible fight, but New Kitty was just talking and visiting with the other cat through the screen.

    Question: Is New Kitty lonely? He seems quite happy just interacting with the family, but it made me wonder if he needs a feline companion. But I don’t want to deal with cats who don’t get along! How do I know whether or not my cat needs a cat friend?

    1. Monodon monoceros*

      Maybe you could try fostering and see how kitty does? Keeping in mind that kitty’s reaction could vary from cat to cat brought in. Good luck, I lived in a divided household for 3 years with a new cat that wanted to murder my old cat. I will always feel bad for old cat’s last 3 years not being the greatest because I adopted a bitchy new cat (I tried to rehome the bitchy new cat but no takers, and could never bring myself to take her back to the shelter)

    2. Grand Mouse*

      If he’s happy as he is then I don’t think he really needs a feline companion! Especially since he grew up by himself. Cat’s aren’t really social like dogs are. That doesn’t mean they can’t form bonds, but they usually don’t have a strong desire to hang out with other cats. They can be very territorial. Most of the time they do not get along or they ignore each other. I would caution against it for this reason- I have rarely seen it work out and once you’ve made the commitment you can’t just give one back

      1. L*

        I brought home a second cat because I was worried my first one was lonely during the day. It’s been a few years now, and I disagree about them not being social. Many times I’ve seen one cat walk up and start grooming the other cat. The younger one is also quite cuddly and often prefers to sleep right next to the older cat. When I get home from work, they are often found sleeping in the same area, like they will both be on the bed, or both in the closet, or both on their cat tree. I can tell they really like playing together, chasing each other around the house, and having mock fights.

        I like the foster idea. I’d say give that a try and see how your cat responds to it. My cats are only a year apart, so their activity levels are mostly the same and I think that helps a lot as well.

        1. Jen RO*

          Getting a second cat was the best idea I ever had. My older cat is less aggressive and both seem quite happy. I don’t think they will ever become cuddle-level-friends, but they play together all the time.

    3. Schmitt*

      Sometimes it works out. Our Merlin was never best friends with our former cats, didn’t seem bothered when we lost Luigi last year, but when Jenny passed away in May he went to orange levels of clingy neediness. We brought Mo in and while he wasn’t thrilled, she was so blase that he got over himself pretty fast, and they now wrestle and chase each other around.

      The house still felt empty without a cuddly tabby, and we crossed our fingers and got a half-grown kitten, who as it turns out loves other cats and rubs and headbutts on them both.

      From reading the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee fostering website, it seems like it works out with integrating kittens more often than not.

      And sometimes you can adopt/foster-to-adopt with the caveat ‘if it’s OK with my current cat’. It depends on the organization.

    4. The Other Dawn*

      I think fostering a cat or kitten would be a good idea. Not only is it a good test for your cat, but you’ll be helping a rescue group. Rescue groups, like the one I volunteer for, highly depend on foster homes to help with the huge inflow of unwanted cats and kittens. It’s very rewarding personally, too.

      I think it depends on your cat’s age and personality. But since he’s lived alone for a long time, the only way to know how he’ll react is to expose him to another cat within your home. It might go really well, it might not.

      I have 12 cats and obviously not everyone gets along, but many of them do. Some are bonded. They like to groom each other and often sleep together and play together. The cranky ones have learned to tolerate the others without fighting or attacking. Sure there’s some growling sometimes, but even the bonded ones do that sometimes. I have two sisters that are very bonded. Once in awhile one of them flicks their ear the wrong way and they have a sisterly spat. It happens.

    5. Not So NewReader*

      I had one cat for a couple years. One day I brought home another adult cat that I rescued. I knew that the new cat was a pretty mellow girl. My old cat was a friendly but skiddish female.
      Well the new cat hid for about 2 weeks, gradually she came out into our household. Then she decided not to hide anymore. Time went on and the two cats were cautious around each other. One day my new cat and my old cat started fighting. I raised my voice “that’s enough!” and picked up an empty laundry basket, with the idea of putting down over the more aggressive cat. (I knew not to put my bare hands into that mess.) I lifted the basket up and the two cats saw the basket. They immediately separated. Never went through another occurrence. I did start keeping a couple spritzers of water at each end of the house just in case. They went on to learn to eat out of the same food dish together. At night they would tear through the house, it sounded like drag races from one end of the house to the other end. One time they decided to sneak out of the house together.
      I think it helped that they had similar personality traits- both mellow and kind of skiddish but for different reasons.

    6. Episkey*

      Fostering is a good idea. We had a spayed female cat that was an only cat for about 5 years (since she was a kitten) and then we adopted a neutered male young cat (not a kitten, per se, but he was about 10 months – 1 year).

      The female cat never really warmed to him, though the male did try to be friends. They reached mutual tolerance, basically. Then our female became very ill very suddenly and passed away.

      After she died, we fostered several cats for a rescue org. By fostering, we learned our male cat would NOT tolerate another male cat in the house. It was a good thing we found this out via fostering because if we had gone and adopted another male it would have been a nightmare. For a full year, we had to keep our male and the foster male completely separated or our male would try to kill the foster (not exaggerating, he would attack him on sight and go for blood).

      However, our male is generally very good & friendly with other female cats (especially small ones). When we finally adopted again, we chose a petite female and our male accepted her almost immediately. They are pretty friendly, they groom each other & sleep together, chase each other around. They occasionally have hissy spats, but I figure so do human siblings!

    7. Seal*

      When my 2 oldest cats died within 2 weeks of each other, my then-6 month old kitten was obviously lonely and needed a playmate. So when I got a female around the same age from the shelter a month or so later, he was over the moon. At first he acted like a clumsy teenage boy trying to get her attention; she would have nothing to do with him. But eventually they bonded and became inseparable.

      About a year later I took in a 5 month old kitten my idiot neighbors abandoned. The other 2 adopted him right away; he was thrilled. Now I have 3 very happy kitties who wrestle and play and snuggle together – it’s all very sweet.

      As others have said, you might try fostering a young kitten and see how it goes. My experience has been that most cats do very well in a multiple cat household.

    8. Kyrielle*

      New Kitty might be lonely. Generally cats do better with someone to share a house with – but some cats (not many) are loners and do not want to share territory.

      We adopt from a no-kill shelter with a return policy – if the adoption doesn’t work out, the cat can go back and have another try. (You don’t get your money back, but that seems fair.) They also know which of their cats are loners, and keep most of the non-loners (as space allows) in groups in rooms, so you can watch how they interact. They give a good idea of each cat’s personality, and can help you judge your current pet’s personality and try to find compatible sorts. Though really, it’s a guessing game with any cat you haven’t seen with other cats a lot.

      The first few days to weeks is *always* a little fraught, even if they’ll be okay once that’s sorted, because you’re adding a newcomer to an established territory.

      And in general, opposite genders get along better than same, though that’s not always guaranteed.

    9. Ezri*

      I have two cats (the older one was an only child for eight years). I honestly don’t think either of them relies on the other’s presence much. Devi messes with Shadow when she wants to play, but she’s also fine with mouse toys while he happily ignores her. They barely interact outside of scrapping.

      It really depends on the cat’s personality, though.

  4. KCS*

    Age-old question: Female friend is in her later thirties and single. Where can a great single gal meet a great single guy in his late thirties/early forties?

    She’s already done/doing:
    -online dating
    -professional associations & networking events
    -meet friends of friends
    -group dance lessons

    Some of the above things she does because she genuinely enjoys them (e.g., dance lessons, professional events) but I thought they might have led to meeting interesting guys.

    Personally, I met my spouse while voluntering. We were friends first for a few years.

    Anyone have any additional suggestions?

    1. KarenT*

      Has she done meetups? Google meet ups + your city name and you’ll find lots of planned outings.

      My mother is trying to make me join a hiking club because her friend joined a hiking club and met the man she’d end up marrying.

    2. Sarahnova*

      1) Does she actually want more suggestions? Not to doubt your intentions, but unless she asks for advice… you know the drill.
      2) If she has asked for advice… frankly, that sounds like plenty, and if anything, too much. I know it’s incredibly aggravating to hear the “stop looking” advice, but creating a whole social whirl in which some of the elements you’re doing mainly/primarily for Finding A Guy puts a whole lot of pressure on everything. If I were a guy she met, I can see myself running from someone who is so focused on it; every conversation with a new and eligible dude would feel so… loaded.

      There is no fixed or secret way to Find A Guy (or Girl); you’ve gotta enjoy your life in the meantime and see who shows up.

      1. Not My Usual Name*

        I tried MeetUp and Internations, but there aways seems to be a feeling that everyone knows everyone else already. Or you meet somebody nice, and they promptly introduce you to their other half.

      2. AvonLady Barksdale*

        I completely agree. I did everything everyone told me to do– joined Meetup, dated online, went to parties I didn’t want to go to, asked my friends to set me up, volunteered, went to classes, had hobbies, etc. I was always “looking”, though, and I’m sure that was obvious. I met my man in something related to an organization/hobby that was a huge part of my life, a place where I had tons of friends and felt comfortable and had stopped looking for The One because most of the guys in the group were over 50 and/or gay. I was in my early thirties when I met him, it took us almost a year to get together (verrrrrry complicated), and we’ve been together for over 3 years.

        I will say, though, that dating can be a great learning experience and fun, if you approach it the right way. If your friend goes on a lot of first dates, she can still meet interesting people and have great stories to tell. Take away the pressure of “IS HE THE ONNNNNNNEEEEEE?” (not that your friend is that extreme!), and it becomes much more interesting.

      3. KCS*

        Yes, she has “enlisted” me to be on the lookout for single guys for her. When she goes out to these things, she doesn’t reek of desperation or anything. She’s just there to have fun and meet new people.

        I don’t think it helps that her parents are pressuring her to get married Now. (The fact that someone isn’t already married with at least 3 kids by her age is unfathomable to them.)

        1. AdAgencyChick*

          Join a CrossFit gym. At the very least, the men are likely to be attractive.

          I’m only half joking. The people at my CF gym couple up all the time — one couple I know recently got married, another just got engaged, and dozens more are dating. I think it’s because many CF gym owners try to create a community atmosphere — you end up making friends with the people you lift heavy sh!t with.

          I think other specialized fitness classes might also work — but ones that would have a good male-female ratio. (Sadly, my guess is that the group dance classes your friend is going to have more women than men in attendance — and often the men have been dragged there by their significant others. At least, that stereotype has held true in nearly every dance class I’ve gone to.)

    3. Anon Accountant*

      Is she into sports? Does her city have an adult sports league? Or non-competitive sports organizations for adults? How about running? We have 2 running groups where then men outnumber the women. Plus there’s 5k races or other events also with after parties.

      1. Melissa*

        This was going to be my suggestion. I joined a social sports league in my city in grad school to meet new people, and I did. Two people on my team ended up getting married (they met each other in the league). Sometimes they tend to skew young – my team was mostly 20somethings, and I was around 24 and one of the older ones on the team actually. But it really depends on the team, the sport, and the league (I joined kickball, which had elementary school nostalgia for 90s kids lol).

        Running groups and cycling groups are another great place to meet cool people! Running groups IME always have pretty awesome people, and most of the ones I’ve met have people with a variety of experience – from the ones who run 25 miles a week to the ones who are training for their first 5K.

    4. Jubilance*

      I met the most men in my life while I was out just doing normal things – at the grocery store, at the library, getting gas, etc. My suggestion is to also say hello to people, with a smile, even when passing them in the grocery store or waiting in line at the bank.

      1. Mister Pickle*

        It’s been awhile since I was single, but – This. Especially “smiling” – it’s surprising how many people will forget that part.

        I know that I risk being branded a chauvinist, but there are businesses that tend to have a largely male clientele; I’ve personally been ‘hit on’ at Home Depot, a Harley-Davidson dealership, and a Computer City store (do places like Computer City exist anymore?).

        Speaking of Home Depot – there are misc businesses that offer classes in things ranging from Woodworking up to 3D Printing. If that kind of thing interests her, it might be worth a try.

        1. Melissa*

          I also haven’t been single in a while but I’ve met a lot of people – dates and friends – just by smiling and/or making a friendly comment on a shared experience (“Beautiful day – so glad it stopped raining!”). I feel like a lot of times people are interested in you or in talking in general, but don’t want to make the first move or fear rejection. I’m a weirdo and do not fear social rejection from strange others, lol, so I usually like to make people feel at ease.

          (I’ve been told I have a very open face, too, which is probably why I disproportionately get asked for directions, the time, etc.)

    5. class factotum*

      I found a used husband at my college 20 year reunion. That’s about the age where they start recycling. You have the advantage of a common background and someone who has already been through it and learned some marriage lessons.

    6. Traveler*

      I would suggest trying a different version of one of those things. It can seem like you’ve “done” it – but it can really depend on the online dating pool on a particular site, the cause people are volunteering for, etc. Though I think I’ve found that this sort of stuff happens at the most unexpected times.

    7. Starbux*

      I was in a similar situation until a couple of years ago. I did pretty much everything you outlined. I ended up meeting my boyfriend through friends.

      I learned a lot of stuff about myself during this time, including…

      1. Even if I didn’t *think* I was putting out desperate vibes, looking back…I probably was. I was ALWAYS on the hunt.
      2. Expand your social circle. If your friend hasn’t already doing it, I would highly recommend this. Most of my good friends/social circle at the time was coupled up and didn’t really know of any single guys for me to meet. It was very frustrating to go to events/get togethers alone all the time.
      3. Don’t go off a “list.” What I mean by this is as you get older, you tend to develop a laundry list of things your future spouse has to have. Don’t get me wrong – it’s fine to have dealbreakers (for me, the future spouse must be a Christian and a non-smoker), but don’t have too many things on your list or you will eliminate most of the eligible population. For instance, my boyfriend is divorced. I originally said I would never date someone who was divorced but as you get older, that pool gets smaller and smaller. Him being divorced doesn’t take away from what a wonderful man he is.

      I think the key for your friend is that she does need to “put herself out there,” but not only focusing who is a marriage prospect. I wish I had just chilled out a little more, had a good time, and made some good friends of both sexes.

    8. Beth Anne*

      does she live in a somewhat big city? I recently have found some really cool events through It’s a restaurant/attraction review site but they host EVENTS! It’s really neat.

      When new restaurants open they will host an event and you get to try it out for free usually! At the end of the summer they hosted this really awesome event at the science museum. It’s something different…at least you get free food out of the deal.

  5. Ask a Manager* Post author

    1. My recovery from last weekend’s Lasik is going well. I had one horribly dry eye for much of the week, to the point that I couldn’t use a computer as much I normally wanted/needed to, but it seems to have resolved. And now that I’m no longer worried that I’m forever going to have a problem eye that will keep me away from a computer and destroy my career (yes, I tend to overreact), I’m pretty excited about having 20/20 vision.

    2. As of today/Sunday, we’ve officially made it through a year of marriage. (That’s harder than advertised, for the record.) Very excited to finally get to eat the wedding cake that’s been in our freezer for the past year.

    3. I’m on a cooking-with-apples spree. This apple bread is amazing — highly recommended if you’re into eating delicious things. And I’m preparing to make this, possibly to go with the year-old wedding cake.

    1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

      Alison, we share an anniversary! I’m also celebrating a year with my hubby :D

    2. Tmarie*

      Congratulations on the anniversary!

      I had LASIK almost 17 years ago. Now that I’m, ahem, older, I do find myself with 3 different strength reading glasses laying around, but overall, best money I ever spent!

    3. Glor*

      I have a recipe for pork tenderloin with apple pan sauce that’s incredible — bonus for me is that it’s also Paleo-friendly. I can grab it later from my cookbook if you want it!

        1. Glor*

          Well, I seem to have mis-remembered it as having actual apples in the thing, but it has juice and stuff!

          Pork Medallions with Cider Pan Sauce, from the Wheat Belly: 30-Minute [or less!] Cookbook by William Davis

          1/2 cup almond meal/flour
          1/4 teaspoon sea salt
          1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
          1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4″ slices
          2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
          2 tablespoons butter, divided
          1 shallot, minced
          1 cup apple juice [no sugar added]
          2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

          On a plate, combine the flour, salt, and thyme. Dredge each pork medallion in the flour mixture to coat lightly and shake off excess.

          In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Cook the pork for 3 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

          In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cook the shallot, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until it begins to soften. Add the apple juice and vinegar and cook for 2minutes, stirring to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until melted.

          Return the pork to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices, and heat for 1 minute, or until heated through.

          Trust me, this is incredible. I liked it over rice with the sauce poured over it all. Quite tasty.

    4. Not So NewReader*

      I don’t blame you for worrying about your eyes and your career. I have seen pretty calm people become really rattled at the thought of having something happen that would take away their livelihood. It is a serious concern. You have a group of people here that would make sure you had the latest adaptive equipment and you would just keep going. (i.e. No one is going to let you off the hook here, we like it here too much!)

      Do you have to wait for your eyes “to settle” to see if you will need glasses at all? Or are you totally glasses-free now?

      Congrats on your anniversary- gosh that went fast! Here’s to many more! “clink”

    5. Mister Pickle*

      #1: Woo-hoo!

      #2: Quadruple Woo-hoo!!!! “That’s harder than advertised, for the record” – I may quote you on this. I’ve done it, too – twice :( – and it is difficult: two people are making substantial modifications to their life, and change can be hard. But I want to echo the “Congratulations!”

    6. Liane*

      Happy anniversary, and so glad your eyes are better.

      Will have to try the bread, my little family loves to bake–by which I mean, everyone will do it, not just eat what I baked. I brought home a small loaf of Pepperidge Farm Caramel Apple bread last night & it was good but this sounds better.
      But is crème fraîche easy to find in a US grocery & could you sub regular sour cream in this one? (I did look it up on wikipedia & it said it wasn’t as sour as US sour cream.)

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Pretty easy to find, at least in my area — all the major grocery stores seem to have it. But I do think you could substitute in regular sour cream.

    7. Girasol*

      Do homemade applesauce! You can make it thick and chunky. You can make it with tart apples and/or lemon juice (and lemon rind is good too.) You can sweeten with a flavorful honey or with molasses. You can spice with cinnamon, of course, but also clove, allspice, and nutmeg. A batch that’s more like mincemeat than storebought applesauce (that stuff’s like baby food!) can be delicious at holiday season. I buy a couple cartons from the orchard and can but you can whip out a warm applesauce for supper from a couple of apples and that’s good too. (I love apple season!)

      1. Windchime*

        My mom makes her applesauce very thick and chunky and I love it, to the point where smooth applesauce doesn’t really seem like the real thing to me.

        I now make mine the same way. You basically just peel, core and slice the apples, maybe add a little bit of water, sugar and (of course!) cinnamon, and then simmer while you stir occasionally. No need to mush everything up or force it through a sieve; you just cook until it’s about half smooth and half chunky, cooked apples. Yum!

    8. Carrie in Scotland*

      Happy anniversary!

      I tried some avocado bread recently and it was divine. I suspect the apple bread will be similar.

    9. ThursdaysGeek*

      Has it really been a year already? Congratulations to you both! We were told to freeze the top of our wedding cake, but after a month or two we decided it was better to just eat it. It wasn’t going to be nearly as good in a year, and we wanted to enjoy it while it was good. Apparently it’s not necessary to keep it for a year to ensure a long marriage, because our next anniversary will be 30.

      1. Melissa*

        We didn’t eat the cake at all. We did freeze it for a year but we got married 900 miles away from where we live, so the cake was in our in-laws’ freezer. When the one-year anniversary was nigh we tried and failed to come up with a cost-effective way to get and eat the cake, but we also decided that the idea sounded a little gross to both of us and the cake was likely to be off-tasting, so we chucked it. Good to hear it won’t upset the karma :D

    10. Melissa*

      OMG, this year has gone by so quickly – I remember when you took hiatus for your honeymoon! Congratulations! The second year is way easier than the first, IMO (I just celebrated my second anniversary last month. We ended up not eating the cake, lol.)

      At various points in time I have considered having Lasik, but I am currently at the point where I prefer the way I look with glasses. Anyway, I’m glad your recovery went well!

      And one of the reasons fall is my favorite season is cooking/baking with apples and pumpkins. I want to make my husband some homemade applesauce (I hate applesauce but he likes it). That apple cider sangria sounds AMAZEBALLS. I have a recipe for pumpkin apple streusel muffins I really want to try.

  6. Stephanie*

    (1) I’ll concede this is borderline work-related. I’m historian for local chapter of a professional society. The president emailed me the other day, inviting me to a dinner for all the work I’ve done for the chapter. The state’s giving our chapter an award and wanted some reps from the chapter to receive the award. Thing is, there’s a per plate cost. It’s not anything outrageous, but it is a stretch given my pretty tight finances. How would I either (1) graciously back out or (2) ask the chapter to cover my plate?

    (2) Our okra plant went crazy and we harvested it too late (and have foot-long okra as a result). My mom tried frying it (Southerner at heart) and it was inedible (super tough). Thoughts on what to do with it? Is there a Pinterest category for okra?

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      If I were the president, what I would want you to do is to reply back thanking me for the invitation and saying, unfortunately, you aren’t able to budget for the cost of the dinner. I would be so sad if that was the reason you couldn’t go and didn’t tell me because I would fix it.

      My southern mother upbringing would give me hard time doing this on the other end, btw, but I think it’s the right thing to do since they are trying to thank you for doing work for them.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        I like the wording on this. I think this is exactly what to do. It would be a shame not to go and find out you could have gone later, if only you spoke up.

    2. AvonLady Barksdale*

      If you Google “tough okra”, it will give you some ideas, but it may be a slightly lost cause. I love okra so I have a bit of a sad face for you now.

    3. brightstar*

      If it were me, I’d just be honest with the president that things are tight right now so maybe they could find someone else.

      For the okra, have you tried stewing it with tomatoes? You just saute some onions, celery, and bell pepper (the Holy Trinity) and then add the okra and tomatoes and some water and cook for hours. My grandmother used to make this, and I’ve been wanting to cook that, but yesterday at the grocery store okra was $5.99! I refused to pay that much.

  7. Yogurt*

    Does anyone know how to effectively make time for exercise when the only free time you have everyday is 10pm. I also usually start doing my homework assignments during that time, so that exacerbates my workout problem.

    1. Stephanie*

      If you’re ok going to the gym late, look for a gym with extended hours. In college, I used resistance bands and did crunches/pushups/lunges/etc at home. I’d also get a jump rope (er, that might annoy a roommate or a tenant on a floor below if you have one), which are great for leg toning and cardio.

    2. Jillociraptor*

      I just got a mini elliptical (this one: that I use throughout the day at my desk — when I’m on a call I’m mostly just listening to, when I’m thinking about something but not typing. Maybe something like this, or a manual exercise bike or something like that, would let you work out at home while you’re doing reading for homework. Probably not going to be ideal for doing problem sets or writing papers, but you should be able to get in 30-45 minutes most days while reading/listening.

      1. Marcy*

        That’s a great idea- does it make a lot of noise? If it is quiet (so I won’t be one of those annoying co-workers people complain about here), I could hide it under my desk at work and at least get a little exercise while sitting all day.

        1. Jillociraptor*

          It’s definitely not loud, but if you’re in a silent cube farm, it would be audible. I would say it’s no noisier than someone with a slightly overzealous mouse-clicking habit. When my boyfriend and I are both using our office (I work from home all the time and him some of the time) it doesn’t bother him at all, especially with headphones in.

          1. Marcy*

            Thanks! I’ll give it a try. I have a fan I run almost all day so that might cover some of the noise.

      1. Waiting Patiently*

        The same here. Oh how I loveth my bed but I decided to wake up a little earlier to be able to workout.
        Although, now I mostly go running directly after work. It was difficult trying to get myself ready for work after working out. I found an hour that I can squeeze it in.

        1. Waiting Patiently*

          My work life has really been stressful, to the point of where I come home after work, randomly eat and then climb until I have somewhere to be. I find running/walking in the afternoon helps to clear my mind and recharge me. I really love fall afternoons anyway.

    3. Sarahnova*

      If the challenge is just to know what to do at 10pm, there are a lot of workout videos/downloads you could do at that time. I do most of my pregnancy yoga and workouts in my own living room.

    4. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Can you walk anywhere? Even a brisk-paced 15-minute walk during lunch is a start.

    5. chai tea*

      I highly recommend the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred video. You can do it anywhere, anytime, and all you need is a mat and a pair of hand weights. It’s only 20 minutes, but there are three levels, so you can do two in a row if you want to make it more intense. It’s gotten me through many days where I want to work out but the gym is closed/isn’t convenient. Good luck!

    6. Traveler*

      Assuming you don’t want to get up earlier, which I agree with others would be my first suggestion, then work it in when you can. I lost quite a bit of weight a few years back by parking my car much further out, walking for or at lunch, doing exercises while I watched a tv program, putting a book I was studying up on the treadmill, doing a few quick reps of something before I hopped into the shower or bed or whatever. It’s not as perfect as a good solid workout where you get your heart rate up consistently and can check what you’ve done, but it adds up over time.

    7. Wonkette*

      If you take public transit, it’s helpful to get off the subway or bus that’s a little further away from your house or work. I hate exercising at the gym and prefer adding in as much extra walking as possible.

    8. Natalie*

      Depending on the weather in your area, how about biking for transportation? You don’t have to go full tilt and get rid of your car – even just adding a couple of bike-commute days or getting a rack and biking to the grocery store can make a difference.

    9. Merion (de)*

      Depending on where you live and how your surrounding neighbourhood is, you can go jogging. I went from no jogging to 5k, always doing this in the evening. Ok, it was at 9 pm, not 10 pm but I guess it could still work.

      Other things you could do are body weight exercises. They don’t need equipment, besides a wall, chair, table, and you can do them whenever you want. You might want to look at convict conditioning, you are your own gym or similar books. If you google you will find some routines for starting out, too. If you are unsure about the exercises you can look them up at youtube.

    10. Melissa*

      Well, I guess it depends on why your only time is 10 pm – aka, whether that is TRULY your only free time because of immutable appointments, or whether you have some things you can shift around. Personally I always claimed I had no time to exercise until I realized that that was my excuse because of inertia. So I started running early in the morning (~7 am), even though I at the time was NOT a morning person. It changed my life – I love mornings now. And running in the cool crisp morning air is really amazing!

      The thing I did was to set my alarm and fold my running clothes right by the edge of my bed. No snooze. This way, I was dressed and out of the apartment before I had fully woken up and before I was cognitively capable of convincing myself to go back to bed.

  8. Stephanie*

    Oh, also! Any Homeland fans? I’m excited for its return tonight. Season 3 was rough in the middle (I just didn’t care about Dana’s love story), but I definitely cried during the finale.

    (Spoiler warning)
    This NYT article was interesting. I didn’t realize the show was being written as it aired (although that makes sense now):

      1. Stephanie*

        I was trying to find the Saturday Night Live parody of Homeland, but it looks like Hulu pulled it. :( They picked up on Dana appearing randomly to look for Brody.

    1. Traveler*

      I also can’t stand Dana’s storyline. Or the Mom’s either. I want to be sympathetic towards her, because like Skyler on Breaking Bad, I think she’s making the kind of decisions that most moms would make in that situation, but ugh, they make her so unlikable.

      I’m not sure about S4 – not if it sticks the way it ended anyways (besides the obvious, unchangeable part).

    2. Mimmy*

      I was disappointed with last season…can’t quite put my finger on why. I can’t stand Dana Brody. The SNL skit pegged her perfectly.

    3. kas*

      Yes, I’m excited! I did not enjoy season 3 as much. ** POSSIBLE SPOILER. They ruined it for me with “the pregnancy” and Dana’s love story. I’m hoping they come back stronger in season 4.

      I’m about to re-watch the finale to prepare myself for tonight!

      1. Stephanie*

        Yeah, I literally groaned during that reveal. I thought it was a nice touch that there was a drawer full of pee sticks.

        Maybe Season 4 will be the reboot it needs, since things will be so drastically different. I’ll be sad to see less of Saul and his beard.

  9. fposte*

    An internet reference just led me to and I’m finding it absolutely hilarious–it’s jokes created by kids who don’t really get jokes, and they range from adorable to surreal.

    1. Jillociraptor*

      I love it. Similar instant classic: Preschool Gems (both a tumblr and a twitter). As someone who used to work with 2-5 y/o kiddos, the adorable/surrealist matrix hits my funny bone so hard.

    2. James M*

      I remember being really bad at telling jokes, but despite everyone (especially family) telling me how much I suck at humor, I kept at it. Now I can tell jokes bad enough to wilt cacti.

    3. Waiting Patiently*

      Lunchtime knock knock jokes. They never get to the punchline but they are cracking up laughing anyway–which makes me crack up and laugh –or wish they would just get to the punchline…

    4. salad fingers*

      if you go to the ham contest wat will the man say

      you won last year you are not alowed

      Are these jokes or rehashings of past traumas? Whatever the case, I think we found where David Lynch gets his material.

      1. fposte*

        I love this one:

        nock nock
        whos there
        what chickin?
        a frendly chickin

        It’s like a sweet little gift of a story.

        1. salad fingers*

          You work in children’s literature, right fposte? I really hope at one point these become an illustrated book.

  10. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

    Chicken livers, $2.27. Pot on stove, inch of water on top, 15 min.

    Dog cat nap.

    Why don’t I do this more often? You’d think dogs couldn’t get more happy about food because, they are dogs and food is food, right? Whole ‘nother level of ecstasy with a high human amusement value.

    (Use somewhat sparingly unless you want really fat doggies with hip problems)

      1. Mister Pickle*


        There are other, better recipes when preparing for human consumption, but I grew up on stuff like fried chicken livers (with gravy, or with ketchup and Tabasco). Good stuff!

      2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        I love liver but it’s only the dogs and I who do. The rest of the family thinks I am trying to poison them. I got a chorus of “ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” just for making them for the dogs yesterday.

        Silly missing out peoples.

        1. Jen RO*

          Wait, people don’t eat chicken liver in the US? Chicken liver braised in wine with onions is my go-to dish when I want something tasty and easy!

          1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

            Oh they do, but there are a lot of “ewwww” folks also. I wouldn’t say that it is a common thing that people cook for dinner (regional cultural exceptions of course).

            I love beef liver with onions and occasionally want order it when I’m out. My husband says “What, are you an 85 year old man?”. (There’s an association to old people food.)

            1. Jen RO*

              I don’t think I’ve ever tried (or seen) beef liver. Pork liver is fairly common, but I find it too dry for my tastes.

          2. Stephanie*

            Southern cuisine fries them. But yeah, “mainstream” American cuisine in general isn’t big on offal. With Southern cuisine, offal was historically given to the slaves, so there’s also a bit of a class aspect to it. Outside of chicken livers or similar, you’d probably have to go to a specialty or ethnic market to find something like feet or brains.

            I read Gulp by Mary Roach a few months ago and she was arguing how Americans were missing out on easy sources of vitamins and minerals by eschewing offal.

            1. fposte*

              Yeah, America has spent a lot of time defining itself by what it doesn’t have to eat any more. And a lot of that rejection, in the 20th century, involved backing away from anything with flavor or texture.

              (That being said, I’m not a liver fan. From the sound of it, though, I might like brains.)

            2. Jen RO*

              That’s interesting. For a different (or similar?) story, pigs’ feet were one of the few meat-type things you could buy during the communist era, so I doubt many people would choose to eat them nowadays (they even had a name – adidases, as in the shoes).

              Brains are somewhat common, my dad loves them, but the texture is blech to me.

              1. Mister Pickle*

                I picked up some pickled pigs feet about a year ago out of curiousity – maybe they’re awesome and people don’t know what they’re missing? My conclusion: sometimes there’s a reason a food is unpopular.

                I love beef liver and onions! My father, for reasons I’ve never really understood, really liked cafeteria-style restaurants, and they frequently featured liver and onions (in the midwest, at least).

                I’ve only had brains and sweetbreads a couple of times, but I rather liked them. But that was before all of that bovine spongiform encephalopathy stuff came down.

          3. Elizabeth West*

            They do where I live–but it’s kind of a niche item. So are chicken gizzards and hearts. Which, BLEAH.

            PS–I don’t like liver either, but I recently tried haggis and it was kinda good. :)

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      You just reminded me to get some marrow bones when I’m at the grocery store today. My pup has been a giant pain in the ass lately (“Mama work from home now???? Oooh! Mama PLAY AND GIVE TREATS ALL DAY!”), but a good bone will keep him occupied for hours, then he’ll pass out from ecstasy and food coma. I’m also going to pick up some antlers.

      My dog is super food-motivated, and while I wouldn’t necessarily call him picky, it’s all about the meatiest, stinkiest stuff you can find. Sends him into a frenzy of want. At least he’s predictable.

      1. BRR*

        I tried giving my dog a marrow bone but I put it on a towel to contain the mess and he folds the towel over to “bury” the bone for later. It’s disappointing because they’re so much cheaper than rawhide.

        1. AvonLady Barksdale*

          We always give our dog the marrow bone outside– if he eats some grass or dirt with it, no problem. Less mess, keeps him occupied for a reaaaalllly long time.

      2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        My dogs have such a weird dynamic, giving treasures to them like that never ends well. One of them eventually ends up with both with Jerry Springer style drama ensuing prior. I’ve tried to teach them that half a loaf is better than none but both of them want ALL.

    2. fposte*

      My childhood dog disliked liver, and since that was the distraction treat used in our obedience class she appeared much more obedient than she really was.

    3. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*


      So, after giving them a little treat of it yesterday, I made their food for this week of mostly their normal food – turkey, brown rice, spinach, peas, but also put in some chopped chicken liver and then used all of the broth from cooking the liver as the broth base.


      The are already crawling all over me and begging for lunch about four hours early.

      Where are the distraction marrow bones when I need them???


      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        This cracks me up, just because I know it way too well. Silly buddies! Here’s a good one for you: for a while, I took treats on our walks so we could work on “sit”, “stay”, etc. Then I broke my foot and winter struck and our long morning walks shortened and the pup put on five pounds, so no more treats. OK. Then he lost the weight and I got the treats out again, but the dog only got them on walks so we could avoid anymore weight gain. STUPID AVONLADY. One morning at 3am, he started fussing, and since he had been sick a week before and had acted similarly, I got out of bed and took him for a walk around the block (boyfriend had just come to bed and had to be up in 3 hours). He peed a couple of times, wagged his tail a lot, seemed perfectly fine. So we went back to our building… where he promptly sat and gave the air a “shake”, waiting for his treat.

        TL; DR– My dog once begged for a walk at 3am just so he could get a damn Wellness Bite.

    4. Episkey*

      Actually, they are really great for dogs who have cancer, according to Dr Dressler (holistic vet). My dog has cancer (I posted on an open thread a couple weeks ago) and now I incorporate cooked liver (beef or poultry) in every meal for her. My issue is that they smell TERRIBLE cooking. Awful. I’m a vegetarian to boot, so it is truly nausea-inducing to me. I tell my dog all the time it’s a good thing I love her lol.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        Awwwww. I can imagine that is especially tough for a vegetarian. What a wonderful doggie parent you are.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        I am impressed that you are doing this. And you’re right it does smell terrible. It makes me nauseous and I am not vegetarian.

  11. De (Germany)*

    I am going to the US tomorrow. I am so excited – I went once with my parents when I was 13, 17 years ago. But now is with my husband and I am really ridiculously excited. We are going to see Seattle and San Francisco and Yosemite and Redwood and the Grand Canyon.

    Did I mention I am excited? :-) also nervous – I hope nothing major goes wrong…

    I also realized that this is the first time I have more than two weeks off work ever. And the first vacation longer than 10 days since I stopped going on vacation with my parents.

    1. Auditoholic*

      San Francisco is amazing! I haven’t been to any of the other places, but we loved our vacation in San Fran!

    2. Not So NewReader*

      So that means next Sunday you will still be in the US. You will have to let us know how the trip is going,

      I’m on the opposite coast, so it wouldn’t be me, but it would be cool if you could meet up with some AAMers while you were here.

      Have a great time. I am sure you will have an enjoyable and safe trip.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Whee! Have fun!

      Yosemite is AWESOME. The valley is the most amazing thing ever. The air is so clear it looks like you can just reach up and touch the mountains, but you can’t because they are very far away. At least that’s how it was when I went. :)

    4. ThursdaysGeek*

      You may have arrived in Seattle by now, so I’ll wave to welcome you. You won’t see it, because I’m on the other side of the state: the dry, desert side where people don’t come to visit. :) Enjoy your visit!

    5. Melissa*

      Yay! I am a U.S. native and have only been west of the Mississippi River once (for a conference in Albuquerque, NM). I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Jen RO*

    This week I gained a whole lot more sympathy for people with allergies. On Thursday morning I ate a hot dog, and by Thursday afternoon my entire body was covered in welts. Fun times! I had to leave work early to go to the hospital (I was starting to feel pain when I swallowed and I figured better safe than sorry), I took another trip to the hospital on Friday morning when Welts Part 2 happened… and the pills have turned my brain into mush so my German class yesterday was pretty much a fail. This sucks and I hope it’s just a temporary thing! I’m seeing an allergy doctor on Tuesday and, while I’m not really expecting to figure out what I’m allergic to, I hope that at least he will tell me that I don’t have to keep taking these pills for the entire 10 days initially prescribed!

    (I also hope that my new German teacher and fellow students turn out to be more fun than they seemed during this first class. I miss my old teacher!)

      1. Jen RO*

        Danke! I’m almost recovered, and since steak and fries are on my approved foods list, I just had the best lunch ever.

    1. Glor*

      Oh my word, that’s terrifying. I totally hear you on the “better safe than sorry” with swallowing-with-pain, especially since I do have death-level allergies and trend towards paranoia when others get triggered. It’s scary! But depending on what meds they gave you it’s entirely likely that it’s temporary. When I’ve had extended-course pills after an allergic reaction, it’s been steroids to help my system flush the allergen… and while the side effects suck [hulk-level appetite GO!] they do work and do help, and the effects are definitely temporary.

      good luuuuuck!

      1. Jen RO*

        Thanks! I think it’s a good thing that I have no idea how allergies work, or I’d have freaked myself out. Now I’m just having a hard time keeping away from all the forbidden goodies in the house…

      2. Canadamber*

        Oh, I get the feeling too! What are you allergic to? For me it’s peanuts and tree nuts and I’m definitely not as careful as I should be, which has led to some scares. I keep Benadryl on my person at all times when I’m out and I have never had to use my Epi-Pen.

    2. Mimmy*

      Oof that’s scary! Glad you’re okay! Allergies really can be scary….my 12-year old niece has a life-threatening peanut allergy, to the point where my sister and her husband scrutinize every. little. thing. whenever they go out to eat. It can be really upsetting for everyone :(

    3. Melissa*

      I had a really random allergic reaction once that was kind of like mild anaphylaxis – I broke out in hives all over my face and neck and my throat swelled, and I found it difficult to breathe. I’ve never had an allergic reaction to any food in my life. Some awesome friends walked me to the ER and the only thing they could do was guess it was shellfish, because I had had shellfish for dinner – they even gave me a huge bracelet that said SHELLFISH ALLERGY on it. That would’ve ended my existence because I LOVE seafood.

      Long story short, we never figured out what it was but it was not shellfish. I never went to see an allergist either.

      So here’s to hoping it was maybe a random one-time reaction?

  13. Lulubell*

    Here’s a random question I’ve been saving for the Sunday open thread: what is the history of chocolate teapots on this site – is there a funny story? I’ve been a dedicated reader for about two years now – I know and appreciate the Wakeen references, and many other inside jokes that developed from questions here. But I am so curious as to how a chocolate teapot became the unofficial mascot for this site, and if such a thing actually exists. Any insight?

    1. Chocolate Teapot*

      Well, as it was my idea, here is the official explanation. (Alison feel free to add any parts I missed)

      I have never been keen about putting personal information on public websites, even things which are quite generic, but I wanted to give context when providing anecdotes. So I came up with the idea of Chocolate Teapots as something silly but which could be developed. So as an example my job title is “Assistant to the Head of Chocolate Teapot manufacture”.

      Alison used the phrase in response to a reader question, and it took off from there, with the whole business of Milk and Dark Chocolate spout attaching divisions, experience in Handle Development and new chocolate tempering equipment.

      Oh, and the term comes from “It’s about as much use as a Chocolate Teapot”, which means something useless. Ashtray on a motorbike is another variation I have come across, but I think the teapots have more possibilities.

      I certainly didn’t expect it to take off like it did, but I am very pleased!

      1. Waiting Patiently*

        I figured it was to protect information. I always thought it was a very clever way. And it always drum up great visuals when reading.

      2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        We at Wakeen’s would like to thank you for the teapotty inspiration. The entire Wakeen family is indebted to you and your royalty check is in the mail.

        Honest. Really this time. In the mail.

      3. Liane*

        As a chocolate addict, I adore this trope. I don’t recall how or why I found this site–but am pretty sure this is one of the reasons, besides the good advice I stick around.

      4. matcha123*

        Wow, that’s neat!
        I totally thought it was something that was like…industry lingo or a TV reference that was just way over my head :)

  14. Ludo*

    I feel haunted by a friendship break up two years ago. It was my best friend. We’d been best friends for nine years. I moved across the country to support her after her divorce and we fought constantly for a lot of reasons. I was bitter that I moved there for her and barely ever saw her. She was upset that I was struggling and trying to get her to spend more time with me. She was suddenly moving very quickly in a new relationship (I hear they are now married and quite happy) and I was worried about her getting hurt again. Neither of us handled it well. Within six months of me moving there we had stopped talking completely and we haven’t spoken since.

    I’ll be fine for months and then something reminds me of the friendship or the fight and I feel sad all over again for days. I’ve moved back to my beloved home state, have a job I love, have other great friends but none of those friendships are like that one. I think more than anything I just want to apologize for how I acted (I didn’t handle what I saw as a rejection of my friendship very well and I was scared and lonely and unsure in a totally different culture with no support system) but I have no way to do so. I tried reaching out to her about a year ago only to find out her number had changed, she doesn’t use social media and she changed jobs right around the time we had our falling out so I can’t even email her work email.

    1. anon here*

      Sorry you’re burdened by this.
      Sounds trite and perhaps oversimplifying, but you do yourself a favour to let go. Not to say completely forget about her and abandon all possibility of being in contact again. But let the past be. Nothing will change what has happened. Sounds like you’re carrying around a heavy load — and really, where does that get you? Drop regret. You went out of your way to help her (and how!); the fact that things did not pan out the way you both might wish — no one’s fault, it seems to me.
      Wishing you all the best.

      1. chai tea*

        Totally agree with this comment. I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way, but I think that the more effort you put into the friendships you have/new friendships, the better you’ll feel.

      2. Ludo*

        That’s the weird part about it. It will be months and I won’t even think about it. Or when I do it is in passing and I don’t feel any regret or sadness. But then out of nowhere it hits me and makes me sad again. Maybe it is just something that will keep getting better with time.

        1. anon here*

          Sounds like you’ve got a good attitude about it — you seem open to allowing it to dissolve and remain where it belongs: in the past, which is gone and unchangeable and not worth any precious time or energy. All best wishes. You’ll find your peace.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      This is so sad. It sounds like you had each other’s best interests at heart. Friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We don’t get to pick which category a friend gets placed in. And we don’t understand why they are there then gone. I hold on to that saying about friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We have to just believe that we have filled our purpose in their lives and now it is time to move on. Maybe the reasons why will come later on, maybe not.

      One cool thing that I have heard and I want so much to believe: If you happen to think of someone from your past out of the blue for no apparent reason, that is because they are thinking of you, too. It could be that your former friend mentioned you in warmth to someone else or thought of you warmly and you felt the vibe from that.
      I know. Off beat stuff. But it helps me to put this odd/sad stuff into a peaceful place.

  15. Big Fork in the Road*

    What are people’s processes in trying to decide a big life altering decision?

    Right now, I’m on a course that will lead me to do something I feel uncomfortable about despite preparation. The course I want to go in requires me to delay things that I feel are already delayed in.

    1. NZ Muse*

      I don’t know if either of these will help, but my processes are 1) pros and cons list and 2) which am I more likely to regret?

    2. Waiting Patiently*

      As mentioned, weigh your pros and cons. Talk it over with trusted friends or family. Listen to your gut.

    3. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Some things can be delayed indefinitely, some things can’t. A PhD can be delayed indefinitely, getting pregnant can’t (for most people, and I say this as a woman in her mid-30s whose clock doesn’t tick). Buying a house can also be delayed indefinitely, but traveling around the world to see an elderly loved one can’t. I can’t say much about process, though. It’s important to look at why you would be required to delay something and whether that’s really ok with you. If the big life-altering decision involves a partner, then it’s important to consider his/her feelings too, and really, really talk about it, maybe even with a counselor.

      If your course involves getting married and you feel uncomfortable about it on any level, don’t do it. Same goes for plastic surgery.

    4. Jubilance*

      Do you feel uncomfortable because you think it’s a bad idea, or because it’s just out of your comfort zone? I think deciding that is key and figuring out if your plan is a “good” plan, with lots of backup options, or if its one of those “horrible doomed to fail from the minute you start unless all the stars align” plans. If it’s really good, and it’s just stretching you out of your comfort zone, just remember that when you feel uncomfortable is when you grow as a person.

    5. Not So NewReader*

      Find one major solid reason for doing x or for not doing x. I mean the kind of reason that twenty years from now you will say “Yeah that was a good reason for not doing it (or doing it).”

      When looking at choice A and choice B think about “If choice A goes horribly wrong, what will be my options to correct my course?” Then do the same with choice B.

      Then look at your commitment level. Can you honestly say “If I pick A I am going to walk through hellfire and brimstone to make it work?” Do the same to B.

      I have made decisions that others consider a radical shake up. I just smiled and nodded, because I knew with every cell in my body that I was going to make my choice work. I was going to make the best of it no matter what happened.

      Maybe something here will resonate with you.

    6. fposte*

      In addition to what people have mentioned, I sometimes find it helpful to visualize what my life is like if I do X vs. if I do Y (or don’t do X).

    7. SherryD*

      Trust your gut.
      And don’t stress out TOO much. Most decisions are reversible (except the decision to procreate!).

  16. Schmitt*

    I guess I finally feel like an adult (three cats, a marriage, and a mortgage later).

    I was never, ever an organized person but when I started work I had to figure that out PDQ. Thought nothing of it until several years later my wife and friends start bemoaning how organized I am.

    You can tune them out for a while but eventually you realize you’ve just made an itemized list (with deadlines) and a guest spreadsheet for a surprise birthday party. You frown and think about that for a second, but then shake your head and tsk: That’s the only way that makes sense!

    Right? ;)

    1. Schmitt*

      Antidote for that:

      Notice a roller marble coaster for sale on a website. Say to the wife, “I was so jealous growing up, my best friend had one and I didn’t.” Says she, “I always thought they were cool.” Look at each other for three dawning seconds, turn back to the computer and jab the “order!” button like it’s going out of style.

      It’s a kit, though, and we haven’t had the four hours to put it together yet!

    2. Melissa*

      I was never an organized person before I started my PhD program. I am on the other end of it now and I constantly get comments about how organized I am, how efficient and how much people appreciate that I get things done early/quickly/ahead of schedule. It feels like they are talking about a completely different person, lol.

      I love spreadsheets.

  17. Cruciatus*

    While I didn’t like the ending to the book “Gone Girl”, I have to admit it was pretty fun watching the movie (which is very good) with a theater full of people who had not read it and were shocked by certain events…

    In other news, don’t let a mostly white caterpillar touch your skin because you will then have red bumps all over for days. It was the White Hickory Tussuck Moth Caterpillar. Just got on my shirt while outside. Didn’t realize it was venomous until 2 days later when I saw the rash. I think all the benadryl I’ve sprayed on myself has made me very highly flammable. I’ll be fine but ugh!

    1. Rebecca*

      I saved this to my DVD queue on Netflix! I can’t remember the last time I really wanted to see a new movie release.

    2. The IT Manager*

      Hmmm …. I just ripped the audiobook for Gone Girl and figure to listen probably before I catch the movie on DVD (I have tons of unlistened audiobooks though.)

      However I think I’ve already been spoiled by hints picked up in the media and most definitely by the chapter titles that showed by ripping the book – if the bug spoiler is what I think the big spoiler is.

    3. Mister Pickle*

      I’d never even heard of this book / movie until maybe a week ago, and then I’m seeing stuff about it and little ticky boxes are getting checked-off in my brain: [X] Directed by David Fincher [X] Soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross [X!?] Neil Patrick Harris [X] Sela Ward – basically, now I’ve gotta see it.

    4. Jubilance*

      Confession – when everyone was reading Gone Girl & talking about “the twist”, I Googled to find out what it was cause I didn’t want to actually read it. When I found out what it is, I was actually disappointed.

      1. fposte*

        It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? But then I always thought that the reason why MacDuff escaped the “no man born of woman” thing in Macbeth was pretty contrived, too.

      2. Melissa*

        I was ambivalent; normally I believe that books upon which movies and TV shows are based are pretty good, and so I kind of thought about reading the book. But I became so tired of seeing the advertising for this particular movie that I lost all desire to read the book. It just looked so annoying. I just read the Wikipedia article for the plot and I agree that the plot twist is disappointing and not at all unexpected.

    5. Melly*

      I was with my daughter and nieces and nephew this weekend at a fall party. There was a bucket of gourds for the kids to choose from and one of those white caterpillars on one of the gourds! I had heard about this poisonous caterpillar but didn’t really know if it was an internet hoax. I semi freaked out which caused like 3 kids to gather around. I didn’t know what to do with it! My ever so sensible 5 year old niece told me to put the caterpillar on a tree where no kids could reach it!

  18. TheSnarkyB*

    Uuggghhhh I miss you guys!!!
    2.5 months into the new job. Surviving but just barely.
    2 weeks into the second new job. Totally underwater, but hopefully I’ll pull myself out this week.
    But I miss you all so much! (and also miss all the other things in my life that aren’t work). Any words of wisdom?

    1. Ruffingit*

      I have some, having started a new job almost four months ago and having some life stressors at the moment – SELF CARE is huge! Even if you can only find five minutes in the day to take some deep breaths and clear your mind, do it. Make time for yourself even when you feel like you have none. That has helped me keep it together in the midst of crazy busy times.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Definitely. Do not use busyness as an excuse not to take care of yourself. Even small things like a soak in a warm tub can be a tiny bit restorative.
        Make it a habit to connect to one friend or family member every week. No excuses.
        And lastly, remain committed to your long term personal goals. It’s real easy when things get frantic to say “aw, that new car was not that important, I think I will spend the money on a collection of pinball machines because I want them and I so earned them.” Don’t fall into this pit. Remember your goals and stick to them.

  19. Rebecca*

    No kitten sightings from the semi stray Mamma cat. They’d be 6 weeks old now. She comes regularly for a snack, no kittens in tow, so I hope the kittens are being kept inside and are being taken care of. I keep telling her I’d love to see her babies, but to no avail :)

    I was able to pick up some nice Danskin Now items from my local Walmart for my walking excursions, although I found out last night that I need 2 pant layers! It was 47 degrees and windy, and my legs were a bit cold with just the compression leggings. I found some other items on, on sale with a discount and free shipping to boot, so hoping this will help. As an aside, I love internet shopping as I live in a rural area with very few choices, as in, I can go to a thrift store, Walmart or Kmart to buy clothes unless I want to travel 45 minutes to over an hour away in one direction.

    And more good news – I bought women’s size XL flannel pajamas last spring, and they were too tight. It’s getting colder here, so I tried them on again, and they fit! The scale number hasn’t gone down much, only a few pounds, but I am definitely smaller. Yay!!

    1. nep*

      Good for you.
      For sure, the number on the scale is not the be all and end all. I don’t own a scale; always go by the way my pants fit.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      When I have lost weight, I either lost inches or I lost pounds, never both at the same time.

    3. danr*

      try this for the kittens… take the food outside by the place where you think the kittens are. Put the food down and sit nearby, keeping still. Mama cat should come to the food and pretty soon the kittens will follow. Repeat and eventually they’ll come to you and then mama cat will wean them and expect you to be the prime feeder. [grin].

    1. TL -*

      I’m so excited! I think this season is going to be much better than last season and I think they’re prepping Regina for some major character growth, which excited me.
      also, I’m very interested to find out more about the book.

    2. Felicia*

      I think it has a lot of potential to be amazing, and then lots of potential to be disappointing. but im excited to see how it goes. I’m not excited about the whole Frozen plot though

      1. Melissa*

        I’m one of those people who really loved Frozen, but the way that Disney is shoving it down our throats is really making me lose the like. I wish they would explore some of the other fairy tale characters they briefly introduced, like Cinderella or Rapunzel. Rapunzel got like 10 minutes and no development; that would’ve been interesting. Where’s Mulan? Where’s Aurora? What’s going to happen between them?

    3. hildi*

      I don’t want her to go back to evil! I think she’s a really good, sympathetic character now that she’s chosen to make herself a little bit more vulnerable. I just watched all three seasons on Netflix the past few months so I was blown away by the ending of Season 3 with Robin Hood and his wife. WHOA. Regina was robbed!

      I think bringing in villians that aren’t long-term characters is a good idea. The more you know of Regina’s & Rumple’s back story, the more I loved them and hated they were evil.

    4. Melissa*

      I don’t like it. When she first said that the problem with the book is that villains are always seen in the worst light, I got excited because I thought she was going to use the newly discovered time-traveling power to go back in time and portray herself more sympathetically in the Enchanted Forest, which would mean more Enchanted Forest scenes (Storybrooke is increasingly boring to me) and a lot of Regina redemption! But then she went the more generic threatening route of finding the writer and forcing him to give her a happy ending, which to me doesn’t really jive with the New Regina trying to find smoother, less evil ways of finding happiness and contentment for herself. I get that she’s upset because of Robin, but…still seems out of character after all of the development she went through. Plus I feel like OUaT crossed a line they can’t go back on easily – she’s now a completely sympathetic character, and although I LOVED Evil Regina and wouldn’t mind seeing her again, they really need to come up with a better reason for her to go back to being Evil Regina.

      Still, she’s the only one I’m really interested in this season. They’ve already done so much Killian/Emma will they/won’t they that it’s getting really old and her reason is so contrived (seriously, Henry is a preteen, I’m pretty sure he can deal with his mom dating someone). Mary Margaret is much less of an interesting, badass character than she used to be. They’ve demoted Henry, defanged Rumpelstiltskin/Gold (and not because of Belle – they’re cute together) and I do not like their casting of Anna or Elsa. So really I’m hanging onto this because I want to know what happens to Regina.

  20. Anon Accountant*

    I’m pleased to say the issue with my 17-yr-old relative that was driving my car w/o my permission but only with permission of my mom and other relatives has resolved peacefully. Her grandmother is allowing her to drive her car now. There were a few days of hard feelings after I told them she couldn’t take my car w/o my permission anymore but so far it’s working out that she’s driving her grandmothers car.

  21. The Other Dawn*

    I started my karate class last Thursday. I am still sore! I enjoyed it, but I was surprised at how uncoordinated and off balance I was. My niece seems to think its because of my weight loss, that I’m not yet used to carrying around my new weight. I guess that could be true. It’s was a little overwhelming trying to keep up too. So many moves to learn! I’ll have to practice at home.

    1. Trixie*

      I think I would be feeling a little uncoordinated and off balance in something as new and different as karate. There’s no muscle memory so its all brand new. Once you nail the movements, you can work on your balance and coordination. Then your breathing improves. Very much a work in continual progress.

    2. Jen RO*

      I suck at anything that requires coordination – whether it’s aerobics or Dance Revolution. I feel for you…

      1. The Other Dawn*

        I used to take dance class as a kid and I’m usually quick to learn things, so this just totally surprised me. I know I can’t expect to excel at everything though so I’ll just need to practice. What was even harder were the warmup exercises: progressive sets of push-ups, sit-ups, ugh!

      2. Stephanie*

        I take kickboxing classes. I was practicing right hooks on the punching bag. I got a really good swing in for one…and completely missed the punching bag and fell to the ground. I don’t think anyone saw me fall into the corner.

        1. The Other Dawn*

          LMAO! It happens. I once had to go to physical therapy for my back. I was doing my exercises on the table and one of them required me to get on my side and partially recline. My hand was sweaty and when I went to push myself up on my arm, my hand slipped off the side of the table and I fell on the floor. Lol lucky for me no one was around.

        2. TL -*

          I just fell while hiking and I’m pretty sure I sprained my ankle something good. I was jumping off a rock no more than a foot high – I feel so dumb :(

  22. BRR*

    I lost my phone last weekend at six flags. It fell out on a roller coaster. I saw it move on find my iphone from one location in the park to another during the week (the park is only open on weekends now) and I tired calling it but no answer. The battery is dead now. I’m trying to figure out what to do. I have a business card in the back of my case (which is partially translucent) so if it’s found they know where to call and don’t have to dig through their lost and found records (which I’m assuming they don’t do for every phone). I’m not eligible for an upgrade for 8 months. I have an old phone which I hate. It never worked quite right. I was thinking of calling my carrier to see my options and if I don’t really have any activating my old phone and using it for a week or two to see if they find my current phone. I’m not sure if I should just suck it up and buy a phone at cost or maybe get one from ebay. Thoughts?

    1. BRR*

      Also I tired calling lost and found but they have a blanket response of I should wait for their call and if not they can’t do anything.

    2. Jen RO*

      Don’t want to be a downer, but if the phone was on the move and no one answered… I doubt it’s going to show up in lost and found. It’s probably someone’s “new phone” now.

      1. BRR*

        I can take solace in that it’s in lost mode, passcode protected, and once I report it lost it can’t be activated by others on my network. Not to mention it fell out on a roller coaster so besides being able to connect to the network I have no idea what shape it’s in.

        1. Bird Trainer*

          Do you know where the phone fell? If it was directly under a ride it was probably in a restricted area where some random person couldn’t reach it.

    3. Waiting Patiently*

      At this point, i would report it as lost/stolen and reactivate the old phone until it’s time to upgrade. They probably will never find it. My daughter left her glasses in a locker and she got the same blanket response. We will call you when we check the locker. No phone call.

    4. Treena Kravm*

      If you don’t want to use your old phone for the next 8 months, you can try swappa. The people that sell phones are given them every few months so they know all the features and can really sell them. When they get their next replacement, they want to unload the phone and it’s in pretty decent shape. I got an iPhone 4S in Jan ’14 for $200, which was impossible any other way. At the time, they were still charging $600 for it without the upgrade/contract discount. It’s in perfect condition and I’ve had no problems with it for the past 9 months.

  23. chai tea*

    I have a few pairs of leather knee-high boots that have seen better days — the soles are completely destroyed. The leather itself is still good-quality. I don’t really feel like I can donate the boots in such bad condition, but it would cost $40-50 to have them resoled, which doesn’t seem worth it if I don’t plan to keep them. Any thoughts on places that could use them or other uses for them?

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I would call shoe repair places.
      Use the third party context. “I was wonder if you knew of anyone that would repair boots and donate them somewhere? Does anyone in our area do that?”

    2. Jazzy Red*

      chai tea – don’t give trash to charity. That’s not “charity”. No one will be excited about seeing a nice looking pair of boots with trashed out soles. Besides, if you can’t afford $40-50 to resole them, how do you expect people who shop thrift to fork out that kind of money?

      Throw trash in the garbage, where it belongs.

    3. EG*

      Post them on your local craigslist as a giveaway. Someone might be crafty and in need of the leather.

  24. The Maple Teacup*

    Any suggestions on what to do with used weddings rings than no longer serve a function? My soon to be ex-husband filed for divorce, and now I have extra jewelry. One suggestion I’ve had is to throw them into a large body of water while yelling my frustration to the universe. Though symbolically interesting, this option seems wasteful to me.

    1. Ruffingit*

      I pawned mine. They weren’t worth a great deal to begin with, but the extra money I got sure did help at a time when I needed it.

    2. Steve*

      I would at least take it to someplace that buys gold/jewelry, a pawn shop, a “we buy gold” place, or something along those lines. If you want it gone badly enough to toss it into the ocean (and I can totally understand why) at least get some benefit from it being gone. And if you don’t even want the benefit of what cash it may bring, make a donation to a women’s shelter or something else that you would feel good about (like a charity you like but one you know that he would hate!)

    3. Traveler*

      Melt it down and turn it into a different kind of ring – a I’m single and have a new chance at life and am awesome ring?

      1. The Maple Teacup*

        Haha. Good suggestions. The rings don’t evoke strong feelings of wanting their immediate destruction or such(hence not throwing them into an ocean). Selling them is an alright option for me.

        Traveler, I like the idea of re-forged “I’m Awesome” rings. Do you guys know the specifics of how to do that?

        1. salad fingers*

          No, but I see a business opportunity if there are any jewelry pros on here looking. That truly is a great idea, Traveler :)

        2. Diet Coke Addict*

          Is there an independent jeweler in your area, or a Jeweler’s Row in your city? Most independent jewelers will do that or be able to refer you to someone who can. When my grandmother died, my mom had her wedding rings melted down and the diamonds separated into three necklaces–one for her and her two sisters. A good jeweler will be able to point you in the right direction and give you some ideas for redesigning your own ring.

          1. Traveler*

            Yep, an independent jeweler should be able to help you make this happen. I didn’t do this personally, but I’ve known people who have melted jewelry down for other things and they just used an independent jeweler as I recall.

        3. KAZ2Y5*

          If you can find a good independent jeweler, they can do wonderful things. When my son got married, he wanted to use my late husband’s wedding ring as his ring. I volunteered my ring also if he wanted any diamonds on it (I had lots of diamond chips in mine). To make a long story short, they made his ring and I got a pair of earrings with what was left. And they both were awesome!

    4. Elkay*

      If you have kids one of them may like it. I’ve known a few people who’ve worn their parents’ wedding rings after a divorce.

      1. azvlr*

        My mom took the diamond out of her ring and had it remounted into a lovely necklace for me. I still have mine and if my kids want them someday, they can have them. They are worth too much (cold hard cash, not sentiment) to throw into a deep ocean somewhere, but not worth the hassle of selling them somewhere, especially a pawn shop. Who buys their wedding set from a pawn shop anyway? Yeah, my kids can figure out what to do with them.

    5. class factotum*

      My husband took his wedding ring from his first marriage (I did not have anything to do with the breakup of his marriage – I met him after it was over) and had it made into earrings for me. The ring had seven small diamonds, so now I have a pair of long dangly earrings, one with three diamonds spaced evenly down the chain and the other with four diamonds. One of the earrings is longer than the other and I love them.

    1. Jen RO*

      Best: Not many things to choose from… I did have a great steak today!
      Worst: The allergy mentioned above.

    2. Diet Coke Addict*

      My best and worst are the same: moving into our new house! Best because it’s lovely to feel settled (we’re all unpacked and have hung all of our pictures, etc.) and to have so much more space and a much more enjoyable place to live. Worst because I’m still exhausted from the past week–so much running here and there, work, and generally feeling up-in-the-air. I’m glad it’s over and I’m looking forward to feeling more like “home.”

      1. The Maple Teacup*

        Best: I tried the new Tim Hortons dark roast coffee and found it tasty
        Worst: I had to host a BBQ for one of my clients. Party planning is not an enjoyable or relaxing endeavor for me, and I felt alert/uncomfortable the whole day. At least I didn’t give anyone food poisoning.

    3. Elkay*

      Best: New job!
      Worst: Trying to break my new walking boots in, I had a full on toddler meltdown about them today.

    4. Mimmy*

      Best: Tie between seeing Les Miz on Thursday on Broadway for our 15th wedding anniversary and making new friends at an event on Friday

      Worst: Thankfully, nothing–just panic over my data analysis assignment (which is now finally turned in!)

      1. Not So NewReader*

        If you want to share how you made out with that assignment, I’d like to hear. Am cheering for you!

        1. Mimmy*

          Thank you, I will let you guys know! Long story short, during a phone call with him that Monday, he tried convincing me that the assignment wasn’t as hard as we were all making it out to be. I thought it was BS and even verbally, he wasn’t making much sense. We’ll see what happens when he grades it!

          1. Not So NewReader*

            I have had profs like that. They cannot instruct a person how to find their way out of a paper bag. For them assignment descriptions come with needless layers of complexity and references to totally irrelevant topics.

            In some cases, I have found that TPTB know the prof is a little daft and are trying to ease the prof out of his job.
            In other cases, the prof had the criticism of everyone on the faculty for teaching way over the students heads.

            What is good here is that everyone is complaining. That sends a message. Hopefully he will grade on a curve or he will change how he presents an assignment in the future. Most profs know that if the answer is “blue” and most of the students answer “pi to the 27th power” the question is a badly worded question. I have also had luck trying to figure out some of the psychology behind their questions and developing a correct answer that way. “No, this question sounds like he means x but he actually means y.”

    5. littlemoose*

      Best: finally got an answer from the doc about what might be causing my recurrent illness (for which I have been hospitalized thrice in six months). I may wind up needing surgery, but at least now I have an answer, where before the hospital docs were just like, “Hey, we don’t know why you keep getting sick.” Also got a few interesting cases at work, which I love.

      Worst: terrible insomnia last night. Pretty sure I’ll get a migraine today, as I usually do when my sleep gets messed up.

    6. Hlyssande*

      Best: Learned how to arm knit and made myself an infinity scarf in less than two hours this morning. Aw yeah.

      Worst: Day 4 of flu-shot-induced migraine.

    7. Gene*

      Worst, wife had surgery on Wednesday to biopsy a mass due to her cancer history.

      Best, mass turned out to be a fluid-filled cyst, took a sample of the cyst wall for biopsy just to be sure.

      1. QualityControlFreak*

        Surgery sucks, no way around that. But I agree with fposte, this sounds like a really good outcome. It’s good with a history that she’s under (medical) surveillance; it will keep her healthier long-term. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

    8. Treena Kravm*

      Best: Just booked a weekend getaway to the mountains! We’re going to be staying inside an old railroad car and go hiking and hopefully swim in the lake if it isn’t too cold. This will be our third real vacation in almost 5! years. First was a 5 day getaway to NH in 2010, the second was our honeymoon in August. We travel a lot, but not so much for real vacations.

      Worst: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the ring off the toilet bowl. No matter what I use, it’s there! And it wasn’t there when we moved in so I know it’s possible. Driving me nuts

        1. fposte*

          Won’t that scratch the porcelain? I’ve scratched it just with a ferocious toilet brush sometimes.

            1. fposte*

              Good to know on both–I’m in a hard-water area so everything gets rings and calcification eventually.

    9. Anonyby*

      Best: I’m predicting it will be Game Night tonight. (My friends and I play tabletop rpgs, and rotate between five games.) Last time we had this game we pulled of an insane rush of a heist, so this week will be the fallout from that. It’s the GM’s fault for having an open-ended game and letting us play on a naval-run island! (Our characters are thieves/pirates, and we forced the base commander to hand over half of his fleet-five ships in total.)

      Worst: I had a cold this week, and while it was mild, it completely sapped my energy and will to get anything done. :/

      1. spocklady*

        Anonyby, that sounds awesome! I am so excited for my return to tabletop gaming next Saturday (our game has been on hiatus because everyone has been so busy the last few weeks. boooo.).

        Best: Made plans to take my mom out to brunch (belatedly) for her birthday; had some super nice snuggle time with the dude.

        Worst: Felt really bad when the initial brunch pans didn’t pan out because I’d forgotten I was working that day. I felt like the world’s worst person until I was able to pull it together.

    10. louise*

      Best: Got our dog from the shelter! Technically only a foster because she still has to have another treatment for heartworms (wherein we have to take her back and LEAVE her at the shelter a few days–how horrible!!) but we are counting her as ours. She and our older dog are getting along famously, a small miracle as we’ve never seen our older dog bond with another animal.

      Worst: having some issues at work. Today is my 90 days and these aren’t things I’ll get fired over or anything, just things I wanted to be successful at that aren’t going well.

    11. Elizabeth West*


      Worst: I got almost no sleep on the Caledonian Sleeper on the way up–the person in the compartment next to us coughed all night. My compartment mate said she took that train nearly every week and that was the worst night she’d ever had. I hope her return was better. The Man in Seat 61’s website did NOT mention that the walls in the sleeper are like paper. I was so tired I could only shuffle around the city centre in Inverness and I didn’t really get to explore the city. (I did try haggis–it was actually kinda good.)

      But going back to London, I actually got the compartment to myself, met some lovely Scottish ladies in the lounge car (a girl and her nan who were going to London to fly to Egypt), and we all got pissed and ate Pringles and laughed our heads off. And I slept so hard I didn’t wake until the attendant knocked with my tea and said, “We arrive at Euston Station in forty minutes.” GAH!

      It’s really hard to make and drink tea on a moving train whilst trying to get dressed and pack in a hurry!

      1. fposte*

        Are you back back, or are you posting from abroad? Have you done the Wales bit yet? A new student was just telling us about studying at the University of Cardiff and said that going by the weeping angels at night was seriously creepy.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          No, I’m still here–but I’m back in London. I went to Cardiff first off. Go to my blog and you’ll see. I just posted my Harry Potter pictures. :)

          Angels…thank you, Steven Moffat, for ruining angel statues for me FOREVER. 0_0

        1. fposte*

          I think it’s actually stomach. It’s a departure from sausage, which is often in intestine.

      2. Carrie in Scotland*

        I’m glad you’re having a great time Elizabeth – sleep deprivation notwithstanding. I’m going on the sleeper in Nov but the cheap seats only (no compartment) so we’ll have to compare stories! :)

    12. Elizabeth*

      Best: Great date Friday night, and while we’re both crazy busy with work this month, we’ve been texting a lot and are making plans for the next time we hang out (though it may be a couple weeks).
      Worst: An interminable Monday and Tuesday (that had me thinking that it was Thursday on Tuesday night), plus slightly dreading the aforementioned crazy month ahead–7 work events between now and the 28th, plus flying across the country to be in a friend’s wedding. November can’t come soon enough.

    13. azvlr*

      Worst: I’m terribly sore from working out and then cleaning my house from top to bottom.

      Best: I can do a full body push-up!!! I couldn’t even do these when I was 17 in bootcamp!

    14. HR Manager*

      Best: no more shingles! Heat is working in the house! And kitties were extra snuggly this weekend (so easily could be a worst, given I had to sleep parallel to my pillow to fit)

      Worst: had to work this weekend; made a dent in my Netflix queue, but only 1 of the 3 movies were any good

    15. ThursdaysGeek*

      Best: our church teens played a live game of Clue, driving around to different locations in town and getting clues. I was in charge of the party at the end. Things were so under control that I was able to post first (it was 9pm my time, they had until 10pm to return). I made tiny pancakes for each guess, but the first guess was right, so only the Mr. Green (spinach) pancake had to be eaten.

      Worst: My new son-in-law fell while fishing early Sunday morning, landed on his jaw, and he’s now in the hospital recovering from jaw surgery. He’s a stay at home dad, and he’s not going to be able to take care of the 2 year old for awhile. That’s going to have to fall on family and friends, since our working, pregnant goddaughter in her last quarter of college is concerned with him. We’ll have the toddler at night, passing her off to friends with non-typical work schedules when we go to work. I need more sleep, because I didn’t have time to recover from the best before we got the worst.

  25. matcha123*

    Do any of you have recommendations for fashion blogs or sites?
    I follow a number of petite focused ones, but at 5’3, I’m at the tall end of petites and the short end of “regulars.”

    I feel frumpy in everything I wear and figured people here might know some good sites or places??

    (And I feel “a little too…” for so many things, it’s frustrating! Face is a little too round, but also a little too oval. Legs are simultaneously a little too long and a little too short. etc, etc.)

    1. Anonyby*

      My favorite fashion site is Already Pretty. Not petite-focused, but it’s wonderful for all body types! Very open and accepting of different styles and fashion priorities.

    2. kas*

      I know quite a few but they’re all on my old laptop and I don’t remember all the links. I’ll try and log on and post a few of them.

      However, I know how you feel. I’m like 5’3/5’4 and thin yet curvy so nothing ever fits right. Jeans are almost always too long, a size small is usually a bit tight yet medium is too big. Buying dress pants/skirts is impossible. I can’t buy half of the things I see online that I like (unless they have a store I can return the items too) because I’m always the non-existent in-between size and I know it probably won’t fit. I definitely understand your frustration.

      I swear I’m about to take some fashion/sewing classes so I can make and alter my own clothing.

      1. Anonyby*

        I’m on the opposite side… at 5′ pants are always too long (even the ‘petite’s!). Also curvy, so there’s that frustration on top. If I finally find something the right length…chances are they aren’t going to have it in my size.

    3. Sparrow*

      These are some of the blogs I like reading:

      26 and Counting
      Outfit Posts
      Putting Me Together
      Wardrobe Oxygen
      You Look Fab (The forums are especially helpful. You can post pictures of your outfits to get advice from other members. You can even remain anonymous by blocking out your face, if you choose.

      Pinterest may also lead you to some sites. You could search for the type of outfit or clothing you’re looking for to get some ideas.

      Good luck!

      1. matcha123*

        Thank you! Looking through them now!

        I knew other people had the same sizing problems I did, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve been fortunate to meet them…might just have to try taking things to a tailor…when I find the time :)

    4. TL -*

      Also 5’3″ and curvy but smaller with short legs. The worst. Gap used to have some nice jeans – the curvy petite, though I haven’t bought jeans in a few years (just get a tailor to hem) and Express is hit or miss – either it fits perfectly, because it’s from their ‘short and curvy’ styles or it fits awfully, because it’s from their “tall and skinny” styles.

      Honestly, I have the most luck shopping more upscale brands – but you have to have the budget or be willing to buy much less. Calvin Klein occasionally has some nice structured dresses that fit curvy yet small pretty well, but they’re $80+.

  26. LPBB*

    This might be a little odd, but I’m wondering if anyone has experience with evictions? My downstairs neighbors are scheduled to be evicted on Thursday and I work from home, so I’m wondering what to expect. Obviously I’m not going to be involved, I’m just curious how disruptive this is likely to be. I really really dislike working from Starbucks or the library, but I might consider it if things are likely to get crazy.

    I have very mixed emotions on this whole thing. On the one hand, they aren’t the greatest neighbors – they routinely have very loud fights at 3AM, let their dog (who barks at the wind) out at 3AM, leave their laundry in the shared washing machine for days on end and use our electricity to wash/dry their clothes, but have the gall to complain about us making noise by occasionally accidentally dropping things. My husband is pretty much at bitch eating crackers stage with these people, so it will be nice to have that stresser removed. But on the other hand, I don’t want to see anyone out on the street and I’m a little concerned about what will happen to their dog. She’s a very very sweet pit bull, but just having a pit has the potential to immediately escalate things during the eviction and will make it much harder for them to find a new place.

    Anyway, any insight into what is likely to happen on Thursday will be greatly appreciated!

    1. KarenT*

      I’m not familiar with the process, but my fingers are crossed it goes smoothly for you and for them.

    2. spocklady*

      We’ve had a few people evicted from our complex, and although the people who are getting evicted have not seemed happy about it, obviously, I’ve never seen anyone make a big scene or anything like that. Seconding the crossed fingers, and sending good wishes for their dog!

    3. CTO*

      It will depend somewhat on your local laws, but the hope is that they’ll leave quietly on their own that day. If they don’t, law enforcement might have to escort them off the property and the landlord will have to clean out remaining possessions for them. I suppose there could be some noise and disruption either way, as even moving peacefully can get kind of loud. The dog, as you said, could automatically escalate things if they need to be forcibly removed from the premises.

      If your landlord would be willing to chat with you, I’d give him/her a call and see if they can let you know what to expect and what time of day to expect it. Sometimes the eviction might be in force at midnight, for instance, so it’s hard to know exactly when the moving will happen.

    4. Blue_eyes*

      Good luck. The guy across the hall from us got evicted a couple years ago. His girlfriend was helping him move and at some point he got angry at her and began screaming “SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL, THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS AGAINST YOU!!!” He screamed it over and over again in the hall until I almost called the front desk because I was scared for her. I was home alone working on graduate school stuff all day. I even walked down the stairs (we live on the 11th floor) so I wouldn’t have to ride the elevator with him that day. I hope your neighbor’s eviction goes more smoothly.

    5. Melissa*

      Unfortunately, my husband was once evicted from an apartment when we were still dating – he was struggling financially at the time. I happened to be sleeping in the apartment when they came to evict him (he was actually at work), so yeah, I experienced it first hand.

      How disruptive it is depends on how crazy your neighbors are. The eviction crew likely won’t disrupt you. Their job is basically to just dump everything out of the place, so when they came, they came with big black trash bags. Everything too small to be carried out alone was stuffed in a trash bag or wrapped in a blanket and dumped unceremoniously on the curb. Furniture was removed and…dumped unceremoniously on the curb. They don’t care what you do with it or what happens to it; they just need you out. I doubt that his downstairs neighbors (he was on the third floor, which was the top) even knew what was going on. The only “disruptive” thing is probably just seeing your neighbors’ stuff on the curb. You’ll probably hear normal moving noises – maybe some scraping furniture if it’s wood floors, etc. – but other than that nothing, unless your neighbors are a bit unstable and decide to try to argue with the eviction crew or something.

      It also depends on their resources, I guess – my husband’s family lived in the area and so lent him the money to get a UHaul and allowed him to live at home for a few months to get back on his feet, so he came and we loaded all of his stuff into the truck together that same day. But if your neighbors have nowhere to go and/or no money to to get their stuff anywhere, who knows what will happen to it and/or how long it’ll be outside.

  27. Nancie*

    Technically this is work related, but it’s so completely WTF and socially weird in general I really hope no one will mind. (It’s also obviously prompted by yesterday’s post, which I read this morning.)

    Many years ago, a coworker’s fiancé came to the office and asked our manager if she could come in right after lunch and surprise him, for his birthday. She said there’d be cake and a singing telegram. Our office is IT, so the mention of cake over-rode the general oddness of the request, and permission was given.

    The singing telegram turned out to be part singing telegram and part male stripper. From the fiancé’s reaction, I truly don’t think the male or stripper part of the equation were a surprise to her.

    It was awkward in so many very confusing ways…

    1. The IT Manager*

      Remind we of this week’s Grey’s Anatomy where Maggie got a singing telegram from her loving but obviously completely oblivious parents for whom this would not a super embarrassing workplace occurrence. Maggie’s adopted and her birth parents don’t get her.

      BTW did think of AAM during that moment. Enjoying this season’s Grey’s so far.

    2. Seal*

      Many years and jobs ago, my boss did something similar for me on my birthday. Very inappropriate and awkward, especially since we were working as coaches for HS students at the time. The kids thought it was hilarious. The parents were a bit less than impressed. I was mortified.

      Later that same evening, my boss gave me a large bouquet of roses and tried to make a pass at me. Turns out my boss had been harboring a huge crush on me for ages (we knew each other socially in college) and had hired me with the intent of us becoming a couple. Her obsession with me was such that she was badly neglecting her job. I was so busy and stressed in doing my job, much of which was covering for my boss’s failings, that I didn’t see the signs until it was too late. After the birthday fiasco, things went downhill very rapidly. I wound up having to file a sexual harassment complaint that got my boss fired.

      To this day I hate work-related birthday celebrations .

  28. Mister Pickle*

    I tend to lag on my television viewing, but I got sucked into How To Get Away With Murder. It’s not perfect – Viola Davis swinging between “cold-hearted defense attorney” and “vulnerable girl who needs help” is not working for me. But so far I like the storylines.

    I’ve also been sucked into @midnight on Comedy Central. It’s the kind of show I usually hate with a passion, but for some reason it’s really working for me.

    1. The IT Manager*


      I am behind too, but I am cutting down my viewing. Only watching Grey’s Anatomy (very good) and Person of Interest (didn’t really enjoy the situation in the first ep but they’re still transitioning to new status quo). Person of Interest gets props for the way they keep altering the world and growing the characters. Lots more shows do serialized TV than there used to be, but this feels deliberate

      Anyone watch Gracepoint yet? I DVRed, and will watch but I confess to wondering how Fox/Americans will screw up an amazing British TV show. I heard that the resolution to the mystery will not be the same as the British show – this disappoints because the conclusion was amazing and utterly heartbreaking. On the other hand, I am glad that Fox is making it a 10 episode (mini)series and not dragging it out too much. That said Broadchurch was has been picked up for a second season (how?) so the Brits aren’t above milking an artistic success for money; in that regard see Luther which got more average, outrageous, and unlikely each season.

      1. Mister Pickle*

        I saw some of the first episode of _Gracepoint_, but for whatever reason it seemed to me like an uninspired re-do of _Twin Peaks_. I wasn’t aware it was based on a British show.

        1. brightstar*

          I didn’t watch the entire first episode of Gracepoint, despite loving David Tennant and Broadchurch. The first episode was a shot by shot remake of Broadchurch.

          I love @midnight though usually I hate game shows.

    2. Stephanie*

      Yeah, I agree on the mood swings. Viola’s doing her best with the material. The students all seem pretty fungible (I can’t remember any of their names and if they all went to jail, I’d just shrug it off). But it’s entertaining and I’m up for seeing where it goes.

      1. Nina*

        Yeah, the only name I know is Wes. I don’t think that’s a good thing; the kids are pretty two-dimensional.

        The plot is really over the top, and Viola’s acting is excellent, but she goes from one extreme to the next. I’ll give it a few more episodes, but I don’t know if I’m in it for the long haul.

        1. Stephanie*

          Yeah, to me, they’re Wes, the Gay One, the Hispanic one, and the Black One. And then there’s Bennett from OITNB. I’ll give it a few more episodes as well. I hope she can keep it somewhat grounded.

          This seems to be a weakness of hers (two-dimensional characters). On Scandal, there was all the (spoiler alert) hand-wringing about Harrison’s death and the only things I knew about the character was that he had some insider trading issues, a fling with the Muslim analyst from Homeland, and expert skill at mixing patterns in his ties and shirts.

          1. Mister Pickle*

            I wonder if knowing the character names is a criteria that networks use for measuring the success of the show? I tend to think of them as Viola, Viola’s Husband Who’s Currently Alive, Gay Slut, Hispanic Kid from Harry Potter, Girl Who Is A Cross Between Jennifer Connelly and Ally Sheedy, Snooty Black Girl, Non-Descript White Guy, and Cute Druggie Girl Who Is A Huge Pain In The Ass.

            I can think of another television series where by episode #2 I knew Captain Mal, Wash, Zoe, River, Jayne, Inarra, Book, Simon, and Kaylee. Then again, that show didn’t get renewed :(

            1. Nina*

              It’s definitely a possibility. It doesn’t help that Annalise refers to them as Mr. and Ms. whoever, but I heard that’s pretty common with law students and their professors. I’d be OK not knowing their names yet if any of them (besides Wes) remotely interested me, but they don’t.

              Like Stephanie mentioned, 2D characters are pretty much the norm in the Shondaverse (even though she didn’t write this one, but produced it) but these kids are written to be so broad (sleeping their way to the top, sucking up, etc) that not knowing their names makes them look worse. I had no idea the tall guy’s name was Asher until I read an article where he was mentioned. Actually, I forgot that he was in the group at all.

              1. Stephanie*

                Well, right. I’ve definitely watched shows where I can’t remember the characters’ names, but I stay interested because I’m interested in the characters. The Sopranos was a good example of this: there were a lot of overweight, middle-aged Italian gangsters, so it’d be hard to keep track of the more ancillary characters, but I still had a good idea of who they were relative to the plot and main characters.

                I know it’s only episode two of the show and the writers are intentionally revealing only bits and pieces, so I’ll give it a few episodes. Not

      2. The Cosmic Avenger*

        Oh hell yes! Is she a cold, emotionless b****, or a panicky, unstable, emotionally labile mess?!? The two are generally not compatible — people that unstable usually can’t remain that calm when shit is going down. And they need better legal consultants, or they need to listen to them more, as one of the rules that I hear most often in legal dramas is “don’t ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer”, and she violates that ALL THE TIME! That, and all the testifying the lawyers wind up doing in front of the jury instead of, you know, presenting evidence. Oh, and the last episode…let me try to be spoiler-free…there was that “surprise!” document…is there no discovery? Did the defense not do ANY research? Gah!

        And not only are there flash-forwards or flash-backs, depending on which POV you want to take, but the later events are sometimes shown OUT OF ORDER. This sometimes works in very intricate, cerebral shows, but I’m not finding this show to be quite that challenging yet.

        So those are my complaints, but we’re still watching it because of the big reveal at the end of the last episode. I was about to cancel the Season Pass near the end there, but the ending made me decide to wait. And I’ve told my daughter, the first few episodes of most shows are pretty clumsy. Still, this one has such glaring issues that I’m still on the fence about it.

    3. Anonyby*

      The only TV shows that seem to really be interesting me right now are Dancing with the Stars, Agents of SHIELD, and Forever. And with DWTS, I’m more interested in the pros than most of the stars this season.

      Agents of SHIELD is off to a good start this season IMO. I’m excited to see where they take it.

        1. Anonyby*

          I’m really feeling for Fitz, the poor guy. I do like how Skye’s matured. And then there’s all the plotlines and hints… aaaah! lol

    4. kas*

      I’m really trying to like “How To Get Away With Murder” but I’m getting annoyed. Everything about the show is bothering me, including Viola’s makeup. I’m pretty much stuck watching it though because I want to find out why the students ended up doing what they did. It’s just weird to me that the students are working the cases and always end up finding something out through a weird connection, etc that results in Viola’s team winning the case.

      I’ve also been watching Madam Secretary and Gotham. Not sure how I feel about either but willing to give them both a shot.

      1. Melissa*

        Viola’s HAIR has been bothering me. Her wig is absolutely awful. They should’ve just had her wear her natural hair and been done with it. But if you’re going to give her a wig, give her a GOOD wig. A well-paid defense attorney/law professor should be able to afford a better wig than that! I love the show but I agree that there are some weird plot holes/nonsensical things (like the fact that this respected, awesome defense attorney keeps missing basic things, like the fact that her client on trial for killing his second wife might have killed his first wife years ago or that her other client bought some aspirin the day before her boss was murdered with aspirin).

        Not sure how I feel about Gotham either. I got halfway through the first episode and I was bored the entire time. Like…there’s really nothing that interests me about an origin story in which Batman is a little boy. Except for Fish Mooney beating up people.

    5. Jillociraptor*

      Brooklyn 99. Oh boy, Brooklyn 99. I haven’t loved a show this much in a long time — we watched the first season at least 4 times between the season 1 finale and the season 2 premiere. Endearing ensemble, fun world-building, characters who are inept at life but great at their jobs (I relate deeply), racially diverse cast where their race is allowed to be part of their characters. Such a great show. Watch it now.

      1. Mister Pickle*

        I’d not even heard of it, but I just looked it up – I’m definitely going to check it out.

        (It has nothing to do with the show, but I love it that Andy Samberg is married to Joanna Newsom)

      2. Nina*

        I tuned in last week and couldn’t stop laughing. “You helped me find my smile” in particular had me rolling.

      3. Melissa*

        Brooklyn 99 is one of my favorite shows on television for all of the reasons you listed. I especially love the social ineptitude of the characters – I feel like characters who are as dedicated to their job as a bunch of police detectives would be socially awkward in a lot of ways. But I really really love that the cast is racially diverse without falling into stereotypes. The fact that Andre Braugher is a COMPLETELY non-stereotypical black gay man in a position of societal power just blew my mind – and he is so super hilarious as the straight man (comedically) in this situation. And the cast is truly an ensemble cast – it wouldn’t work as well without anyone in the main cast. I even came around to like Gina (she was really annoying to me for the first ~2 episodes but rapidly became one of my favorites).

    6. Nina*

      As for other shows, I’m watching Brooklyn 99, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of SHIELD, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, and Blackish. I’m glad that Blackish ended up being a good show, because I was worried.

      Already posted, but I’m iffy on How to Get Away with Murder. If it doesn’t improve after a few weeks, I think I’m out. Sorry, Viola.

      Agents of SHIELD is OK. It looks like it’s losing steam again now that the hype for The Winter Soldier has died down. Hope it improves.

      1. TL -*

        +1 for Blackish. I saw the pilot and laughed but was also like, “oh, cool, they’re actually addressing real issues for a broad audience.”

      2. Stephanie*

        Yes, I was worried for Black-ish, too, but was very pleasantly surprised. Laurence Fishburne is hilarious.

        1. Melissa*

          My husband says that Laurence Fishburne’s character is exactly how he wants to be when he’s a grandfather, lol. Mind you we do not have children.

      3. Melissa*

        I love Blackish! My new favorite show. I was also skeptical so I’m glad that so far it worked out. Love Brooklyn 99 – I’m glad it came back strong.

        Agents of SHIELD…sigh. I wish I could quit it. I disliked the first season very much until the last 3-4 episodes. I liked the first episode of the new season, and the second one was so meh. I feel like it is going to sink back into mediocrity but I got sucked back in.

        I feel silly but I wasn’t aware that Bob’s Burgers was back on! Gotta catch up! I actually want to watch Cristela too; it debuts next Friday and it looks kind of funny.

    7. Melissa*

      I’m glad someone else shares my concerns about Viola/Annalise’s character and her odd characterization swings. I love her as cold-hearted, cutthroat defense attorney/law professor. I am really not feeling the vulnerable/crying/desperate wife part.

      But otherwise I LOVE this show. I also love how different the four main law students are. They’re not all cookie-cutter copies of each other. I hope it stays good.

  29. Jen RO*

    This season of Under the Dome sucks. I wasn’t expecting the show to be anything like the book, so I liked it at first… but oh boy is it going downhill. And I’m shocked at how bad Karla Crome’s acting is – she was sooo much better on Misfits! (Maybe she just got a crap script?)

    1. Felicia*

      The season doesn’t get any better (it’s over here). In fact it gets stupider. I don’t think i’ll watch next season

      1. Jen RO*

        Oh, I hadn’t realized the season was over already. (I watch it in “real time” – it’s not on TV here and we don’t have any Netflix equivalent, so I just stream it for “free”…except I haven’t for a few weeks.) I guess that’s a relief then, I’ll watch the final episodes tonight, get caught up, bitch with my coworker tomorrow, then go back to being excited about Amazing Race and Walking Dead.

    2. The IT Manager*

      Uggg! I enjoyed the first season until the non-ending, and I did not even bother with the second. See comment above about beating a dead TV show for money. Under the Dome should have resolved after season 1 and not come back.

    3. Jen RO*

      So, after having watched the rest of the season…
      Why do Norrie’s mom and Ben and Andrea only show up when the plot needs them?
      Why do none of the main characters give a damn when people close to them die?
      Why does Julia wear high heel boots when she knows that eventually she will end up running away from something? And why does she keep wearing them even after a major injury to the leg?
      Why have special effects when they are so shitty? (The whirlpool thing was embarrassing to watch.)
      “Oh you killed my husband… I LUV U!”

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I still want to know how the hell these people are surviving when someone put a compression bandage on Julia’s leg wound OVER HER JEANS and nobody else thought that was a stupid idea.

        -Former EMT

    1. fposte*

      I’m finding that a piece of it (whatever’s at analytics dot written dot com) is hanging and never loading.

  30. Starbux*

    A few months ago, a friend and I had a falling out and haven’t spoken since. Interestingly enough, I haven’t missed her at all. I think the falling out was a long time coming to be honest. There were many things that had happened during the course of our friendship and looking back, I can see times when she was not a very good friend.

    I won’t bore you all with the details of the falling out, but basically, we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a social situation and she decided to cause World War III amongst our group of friends. It’s since settled down and she’s decided she wants to be friends with everyone again (after telling everyone she needed space a few months ago…super weird).

    Anyway, with the holidays and such coming up, that means lots of get-togethers and parties. I don’t have any desire to rekindle the friendship, but it’s going to be awkward to see her at events. I honestly don’t miss her at all and the time away has made me realize what a drama queen she was (and possibly still is).

    1. Anon Accountant*

      The first party you run into her at will feel awkward but after that it’ll get easier in time.

      And to quote my grandma “sometimes you gotta say good riddance to bad rubbish in your life”. It’s probably a relief to have less drama in your life now.

    2. Artemesia*

      The cordial stranger is your tactic here. Superficial and cheery but don’t be drawn into any personal conversation. If things head that way, head for the bathroom or to get a new drink and then join another group. The trick is to never acknowledge that anything is wrong or become engaged in drama — just cordial and superficial and friendly as if she were a new acquaintance to whom you are being polite.

  31. Anon Accountant*

    I have an appointment with a new neurologist Thursday to see about getting my drivers license restored. My mother has to drive me and will insist on going back with me into the exam room. Last 2 times she kept insisting what my symptoms “were” and those weren’t what they actually were. Luckily my doc was great but he left so I’ll be seeing a new one.

    If I ask her to not go back with me it’ll get very unpleasant at home. Should I alert the doctors office I’d prefer to be seen w/o her present? If so do you have suggestions on certain wording to use to?

    1. fposte*

      You can try, though I think if at the time you don’t seem to be objecting they may not be willing to block her–they’d kind of end up lying about their policies because you prefer not to deal with your mother directly, and even if you talk to them in advance there’s not necessarily a guarantee they’ll note it to follow through at the time. But they may be accustomed to doing so, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask–“I’m going to have a hard time keeping my mother out of the exam. Is that something your staff would be able to help me with on the day?”

      But you probably can’t get out of at least visibly agreeing with them.

    2. Treena Kravm*

      Yes, definitely call ahead and say you want privacy but your mother will insist on going in with you, so you’re hoping that they can intercede on your behalf. Hopefully the person who brings you back will be able to say that it’s office policy to have only the patient back, but if that doesn’t work, the Dr. can do it too.
      Make sure to call morning of to remind them. If they forget then while you’re being taken back, have your mother go into the room and say you need to use the restroom, and tell mom you’ll meet her in the room. Then find someone and say you absolutely need her to be told she can’t be in the room during the exam/portion of the visit etc.

    3. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Yes, absolutely call your doctor’s office beforehand. They will know how to handle it. Tell them that she’ll insist but she may not, under any circumstances, be allowed to accompany you. I know it’s hard, but I promise you, they’ve dealt with “weirder” things. This is not weird.

    4. Anonsie*

      Yes yes yes! They should be willing to tell your mom she’s not allowed into the exam room as if you had nothing to do with it.

  32. Anonyby*

    I’m struggling with dealing with my dad. I’m having to move in with him for financial reasons, but even just trying to prep has me remembering why I was so happy to no longer be under the same roof as him. Last time we lived together, Mom was still alive and was a bit of a buffer.

    One of my biggest struggles is that he’s been complaining for years about his money situation, but yet he’s done NOTHING to improve it. And though I’m trying to clean up my area, I need him to get rid of his crap so I have space, but every time I’m over there and working, he’s sitting and doing diddly squat. So disheartening and frustrating. :/ And when it talks, it feels like he thinks all of his problems were caused by me…

    And yes, I know it’s not a healthy situation to go into. I don’t have a lot of choices. I’m working on getting myself in a better place, but that involves an on-going job hunt that has yielded no steps forward and that I don’t have mental energy to deal with on days that I’ve had to deal with Dad.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Who would he blame if he hadn’t had you? I hope you don’t let that eat at you. That’s a nasty thing to lay on a kid, even an adult kid.

      You are absolutely right about mental energy. Only allow yourself a set period of time to think about Dad and his problems. Then go back to pulling your life together the way you want it. I got to the point where I was timing myself, “Okay the 15 minutes is up for the day, time to think about other things.”

      You may have to stack his stuff on top of his other stuff, so you have some space. I bet he won’t say too much if you just move it. Maybe a friend could store some stuff for you, also.

      I used my “stuff with my parents” to keep me on track in terms of getting on my own two feet. It can be used as a motivator.

      1. Anonyby*

        The Friday before last he let slip that he resents what was given directly to me from Mom (one of the two houses). That has been hard to get past, and has been coloring everything since. He has never come out and directly held me responsible, but they way he talks about money issues and “we need to do x because I’m bleeding money” while simultaneously never DOING anything… Yeah. It’s hard not to come to any other conclusion.

        Part of the problem is that his stuff is already stacked ontop of itself, and as a hoarder he finds it hard to get rid of stuff, even junk. And he’s a serial hobbyist that has to have everything for each hobby. And while I can understand it (being a serial hobbyist as well), I don’t have giant equipment everywhere and in inappropriate areas. :/

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Ugh. And he can’t talk it out with your mom so you’re next in line. That is tough.

          I think the best you can do is protect yourself. Try not to let your finances get mixed with his. Try not to get emotionally involved in his stuff/baggage.
          I also think that as long as he is fixated on the bequest to you, he can avoid dealing with his own grief about the loss of your mom. It’s handy for him.

          Okay, using myself as an example and you can draw what you want or chuck the whole thing: I wrestled with and finally accepted that my parents were not going to help me that much. This was for many reasons, not just their problems that they had at that time. This was a huge pill for me to swallow- like a pill the size of a football field. Gosh that was tough. I mean after all parents are supposed to help, right? No, guess not.

          I’m thinking that your dad is not going to be that much help to you. And sadly, he will not let you help him. This is so hard to confront.

          Look around you with fresh eyes. There are probably plenty of people that are willing to give you “little helps” that could turn into something meaningful for you. Keep your eyes peeled for those people. Expect to meet them.

          Oddly, a casual friend of your father’s may tell him the same things you say but he will hear the friend, where he did not hear you. Sometimes this happens.

          I wonder if your mom knew the story and she gave you that house with the idea that you would have something to launch your life with. Be it because you liquidated the house or because you lived in the house. I think your mom knew it could be tough for you and she was trying to ease things in the ways that she could.

          I ended up telling my father that I gave him my best advice and I had no further advice to give. There were some subjects I just refused to discuss.

          I did end up cleaning his house. Grrr. Ironic to me, because growing up he was all about “clean your room”. So that part did tick me off. I got through it, though. Maybe it was a tad easier because I refused to engage on other topics? Not sure.

          1. Anonyby*

            I’ve been turning to my friends more and more for help, even when my dad could help me. (My friends are amazing help.) And I do have an aunt that has been of some help. Often I go to her, my dad’s girlfriend, and my brother to help me talk to him. Sometimes not even the four of us can make a difference. He could have fixed up and rented out the other house (still in his possession, and that I’m currently in) with the money from Mom’s life insurance. There’s many vehicles that don’t run and we don’t use that could be sold and taken off the insurance.

            With Mom leaving me the house… I’m sure part of it was setting things up for me. Also, this is a family house. Her parents were the original owners, and passing it down the direct line (grandparents, mom, me) preserves a lowered tax rate.

            I know he doesn’t want to be forced out. He’s been paranoid about that since Mom passed (even though it hadn’t crossed my mind until he said it). I think I can use it to get him to clean up and contribute.

            1. Not So NewReader*

              Set a time frame. Does not matter how long, really. But don’t allow yourself to languish in this situation forever. You feel it starting to swallow you up whole, then make arrangements to get out immediately. Barest minimum, keep to whatever time frame you set, though. Be sure to keep seeking advice of professionals, such as a lawyer, too. Know your options.
              And keep talking to those around you, make sure you do not allow yourself to fall into isolation because of this. These types of things can be a long road. I hope, for your sake, things change soon.

  33. brightstar*

    I was in a similar situation last year, and despite getting along great with my Mom, spent 10 months being miserable living with her and my sister who has hoarding tendencies. I found a job fairly quickly, and am now in a great job. I was able to move out after 10 months back into my own place. My experiences has really made me appreciate living by myself again and the ability to be slowly getting my financial life back in order.

    During that time, I spent as much time as possible away from home. One friend agreed that I could come over on Sunday nights to watch The Walking Dead. I would cook and bring over dinner for myself, him, and his brother and we all ended up becoming great friends. This season, they’re coming to my place to watch The Walking Dead. He says he can’t watch it without me.

    1. Anonyby*

      Yeah, both my dad and I have hoarding tendencies, which we got from his father. I’m slightly more under control than he is, but it’s certainly a big stressor.

  34. Jillociraptor*

    Anyone binge watching Gilmore Girls this week? This show is even more amazing now that I’m closer to Lorelai’s age than it was when I was more like Rory’s age.

    1. Treena Kravm*

      As soon as I saw it was on Netflix I said, literally outload, “Nooo, I had so many goals for October!”

    2. Jen RO*

      Can’t get Netflix here, but I was considering a marathon! (Also, shit, I really am closer to Lorelai’s age than Rory’s!)

    3. Emily Shaw*

      I’ve skipped ahead to the Logan episodes now that I’m a big fan of The Good Wife…I think I like Rory less than I did in high school (I’m a year “younger” than her) and Lorelei more. But then I am also almost Lorelei’s age at the start of the show.

      1. Jillociraptor*

        I love this! My favorite thing about Gilmore Girls is all the complex female characters. Actually, all the characters are pretty great and complex. But I especially appreciate the sense of female community.

    4. Trixie*

      I still love so many of Lorelei’s clothes later in the series, like the sweater coats and bags.

    5. Blue_eyes*

      I just had this age realization as well! I definitely identify more with the Lorelai-Emily-Richard plot lines than I did when the show came out. I was really impressed with how well developed the character relationships are even in the early episodes.

  35. nyxalinth*

    I’ve never had a cell phone before, (I’m not terribly social, don’t have kids to keep in touch with, and never had a job which really required one before) and I’m thinking of getting a prepaid cell phone. Prepaid, because my job pays a pittance and because with Winter Coming and the Commute of Doom I’m not sure how long it will last. Does anyone have recommendations for a good, reliable phone and prepaid service? I do want a phone that will let me send emails, look at Facebook, and so on.

    1. Anonymous Educator*

      I’d recommend the Moto X (1st generation). It’s fairly affordable (even off contract) and with the release of the new Moto X (2nd generation) soon, the price on the old one will come down even further.

      1. hildi*

        I’m on my first smartphone and the carrier I have (Republic Wireless) has a very limited selection on what phones are compatible with their service – I have the Moto X and I really love it. I don’t know the difference, but for a first time smart phone person I am very happy with it.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      I have Net10 and an older Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It was great–I can go on the internet anywhere I am, if I have a signal. Net10 has crappy customer service, but I have had very few problems. One drawback is you have to do autopay if you have the smartphone–it doesn’t let you load with a card or whatever the way feature phones do. You have to have a plan.

      But the service is good, and although I can’t use it overseas (I bought a small kid-sized British O2 smartphone to use here and loaded it with a month’s worth of service), it’s been taking all my pictures for me. :)

    3. Melissa*

      You can do prepaid service with most major wireless carriers – I know that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all have prepaid service plans with no contract. You can either purchase a phone from them, or bring your own phones. You can buy older-generation phones for pretty cheap on resale websites like eBay, Glyde, and Craigslist – before I had a full-time job I used to get used phones on eBay all the time, and I sold two near-perfect phones (a Galaxy 3 and an iPhone 4) on Glyde for decent prices. Like, the iPhone 6 just came out, so you could probably get an iPhone 5 or 5c for pretty cheap and an iPhone 4S for even cheaper. I had the Samsung Galaxy 3 and that was also a good smartphone and I think they are on the Galaxy 4 now, so that would also be cheap. You just need to get one that’s compatible with whatever carrier you plan to go with.

      I’m checking out Verizon and T-Mobile’s websites right now and both have a variety of no-contract prepaid phones available for under $200. The picking seem a little slimmer for AT&T, but you could probably bring your own if you bought it on the secondary market. I have AT&T. I used to hate them, but they have improved their customer service and their pricing a whole lot in the last few years. My husband and I got our bill cut by $80 in the last 6 months and we actually have more data and more texting/minutes than we had before.

      I also think that you can get a regular postpaid month-to-month plan without a service contract if you purchase your own phone and bring it with you. You can buy one from the carrier, but you could just as easily buy a used phone, too.

      I had MetroPCS in college, and I think that the area-limited prepaid/no-contract plans are kind of a hassle because if you travel anywhere you might not get service there. That was 10 years ago, though, so things may have changed! If you really wanted to go with an exclusive prepaid service you could check out Cricket – I’ve never used them, but my understanding is that they use one of the major carrier’s network and so their service is a bit better than MetroPCS or Boost while still offering lower prices because they don’t have to do maintenance of wires and cell towers or whatnot.

  36. Shell*

    Bit of musing…

    I don’t think I really appreciated this when I was younger, but it’s incredibly relieving to just have made a choice on something. I’ve been in an emotional tailspin for the last several months (career, relationship) where all the options, if there were options I could see, were terrifying. I ended the relationship and now, a month out, it still stings, but there’s still a relief in finally making a choice (the right choice for me). I’m still clueless career-wise, but just two days ago I figured out a field I want to do more research about (not sure if I’ll pursue it), and even just having that bit of direction is such a huge mood booster. I’m doing so much cleaning today it’s ridiculous. I’m even whistling as I go.

    I didn’t learn how to study until my very last year of undergrad (even though the concept seemed obvious: do it a bit at a time regularly, do not cram/marathon. Still didn’t sink in until I did it). Now I feel like I’m only just beginning to learn How to Be an Adult, even if it’s just “pick a direction, try it, and dust yourself off when you fall on your face.”

    What other obvious-but-not-until-you-realize-it tips to adulthood are there? Maybe I’ll listen better this time around :)

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Make an extra effort to get along with everyone around you. People notice this. This means your neighbors and your coworkers. The pay off for this effort is priceless.

      Certain types of people are way too interested in your failures. Other types of people will be way more interested in your fixes for your failures. (Notice, they don’t care that you failed. Because they know we all fail many times.) The latter group is the group that is going to cheer you on and support your endeavors. And they will be the most interesting people.

      Live in a manner that you are not that old person in the nursing home that says, “I should have taken more chances. I should have been willing to take on a few more risks.”

    2. Sparrow*

      No tips, but good for you for ending a relationship that was not working. That’s a difficult thing to do. Also, congrats on finding some direction for your career! Hopefully things will continue to go in a good direction for you!

    3. Melissa*

      One of the things I told one of my students who was facing some anxiety about making Life Decisions is that there’s no day that you just wake up and feel Fully Adult, for most people – or at least, most of the people I’ve talked to in their 20s and 30s have said that they feel that way. It’s a constant process of learning about yourself and what you want, negotiating the decisions that are right for you and even deciding what kind of person you want to be. I have a friend in her early 30s with a child and she often says she can’t believe anybody let her take care of a small human, lol. I have other friends who have shared the same sentiment, and most of my friends have expressed some surprise that they are actually legal adults who are allowed to do things. I’m in my late 20s, so it’s not like we’re brand-new to this, lol.

      I don’t know, the advice I give to my college students that always seems to relieve them is that they don’t have to have it all figured out. A lot of them feel so much pressure to have picked a direction at such a young age – a career, a grad school, their relationships, etc. I tell them that it’s totally fine that they don’t know what they want to do; that a lot of people much older than them are still figuring that out too and that people change careers all the time; that it’s totally normal to still be exploring and deciding. I always get lots of enthusiastic thanks and hugs after I dole this out, lol.

      I got my most surprising positive reaction though after I told a class that they were all working too hard and that it was impossible, and not desirable, for them to give 100% to every single thing that they did. It was a summer class I was teaching, and my students were exhausted and burned out just 4 weeks into a 10-week program, and I couldn’t figure out why. I had some extra time and I asked them, and they were trying to give 110% to everything – they were staying extra hours at their internship, volunteering extra hours, spending hours and hours on my papers, trying to meet with everyone at the summer host university that could be professionally useful and also trying to maintain a social life and enjoy New York for the summer. I was exhausted just listening to them, and I had just finished writing my dissertation at the time. I told them that it was okay to pick one or two things that they want to dedicate their all to that summer and then pull back a little in the other areas – and gave them permission to do B work in my class if their priorities lay elsewhere. You would’ve thought I had uncovered the meaning of life or the location of the fountain of youth by their reactions, lol!

    1. voluptuousfire*

      I guess it’s just you. ;)

      Personally I hate them. I need my nightly dose of the Golden Girls to wind down. I’m lost throughout November/December without them! If they showed the movies all day and then switched to the reruns at night, it would be fine. But 6 weeks of holiday movies?

    2. The Other Dawn*

      I just saw the commercial today. I don’t watch Hallmark all that much since what I like, The Golden Girls is either on too late or is on when I’m at work. I like the Christmas movies they play most of the time, so I’m looking forward to watching some of them this year.

    3. looksandbooks*

      Omg, the Hallmark Channel is my new guilty pleasure. :) Both my boyfriend and I got sucked into one of their movies earlier tonight.

  37. Sparrow*

    Has anyone tried the Whole 30 eating plan? It’s basically a 30-day Paleo elimination diet – no sugar, flour, grains, beans or dairy. I started it on Monday, but at the end of the week I just couldn’t keep up with it. The problem wasn’t the type of food, it was all the cooking that was required. I usually cook dinnter Mon-Fri. Breakfast and lunch is never planned and weekends are left open in case last minute plans come up.

    But on this plan, I had to cook and plan for all three meals. It was tough. I tried doing prep on Sunday and that helped a bit, but that still wasn’t enough to feed two people for the entire week. I wish I was one of those people that enjoyed meal planning and cooking, but to me it’s just huge chore.

    Anyway, I’m going to try again this week, but I’ve also found that “all or nothing” eating plans don’t work for me. I have to take baby steps and slowly incorporate changes into my diet.

    Also, if anyone has reccomendations for any Paleo food blogs, let me know. Thanks!

    1. mel*

      I was trying out the Fast Metabolism diet this past which is a bit similar I guess, but as of this weekend I’m also not doing very well. I agree, it’s just too much planning for me. Cooking is one of my least favourite things to do around the house, and having to spend all day thinking about food really sucked. Creative projects seemed to fall by the wayside while I spent hours frantically researching recipes that had no this, this and that. I just don’t want to be thin THAT badly.

      On the plus side, I have developed a taste for sprouted wheat bread and brown basmati rice. Also, bittersweet chocolate! I’m just going to keep that up and reduce our dine-outs, desserts and free meals at work, and hope for the best.

    2. TL -*

      Dude, it’s *hard* to plan out every meal. I can’t tell you the number of times I went hungry after I figured out my food allergies because I didn’t plan correctly – and that was with the added pressure of not being able to eat if I forgot. I’m much better about it now, but I still end up on a rare day where food just doesn’t happen for a meal or two. Don’t feel bad about it!

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Agreed. I moved to a sugar-free, flour-free diet. It was like learning to cook all over again. I think the fact that I HATE cooking not only added to my problems adapting to my new diet but also caused my problems in the beginning.
        I still hate cooking, but I feel stronger and for the most part I don’t gain weight.

        Breakfast is scrambled eggs. There done planning my breakfast. (haha) Dinner is meat or fish with salad. Lunch is a pain in my butt. I have to have something portable. And I try to eat 1/3 raw food- veggies, fruit.
        My suggestion is to look for ways to prepare enough food for two or three meals each day. This shapes up into I make a salad that lasts a few days and all I have to do is cook the meat. Sometimes I make a turkey breast or chicken that will last for a few days and then all I have to do is fix veggies.
        The only reason I go to this trouble is because I feel better. I seldom have a cold or a bug of any sort and my mindset is stronger than it was before. I do it for the results I get, not because I actually enjoy it ;) .

        1. TL -*

          If I didn’t get sick to my stomach, have random bouts of nausea, vomiting, and awful stomachaches when I ate things that I’m allergic to – well, I would eat things that I’m allergic to.
          Seconding prepping multiple foods at once. Also, for me, I have a pretty strict list of “places I’m okay to eat at randomly” and I eat from those 2 or 3 places and only those 2 or 3 places. It makes for a boring diet, but, eh, you take what you can get.

    3. Sparrow*

      Sorry, I didn’t get to catch up on responses yesterday – but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that doesn’t like cooking! Lunches are the hardest to plan, but if I can get breakfast and dinner covered I think that will be a good start. Thanks for the commiseration!

  38. Not So NewReader*

    Okay. I have one for the collective genius of the group. I am late to the game with this, so I hope someone is still reading.

    My friend’s sister has things in storage in Prague. It’s in a basement and it’s getting moldy. She is wondering how to fix that from here in the US. (They were missionaries over there and the government mandates that things be held for a period of time before being released. But these things are of sentimental value as well as her belongings.)

    I thought if there was a way that someone could put a dehumidifier in there for her that might be of some help.
    Any world travelers every encounter this? Any suggestions?

    1. Hummingbird*

      Unfortunately, I do not have an answer, but I do not understand why she couldn’t bring her items home with her. Why are they mandating the hold of her items? When can she get them back?

      1. Not So NewReader*

        I’d don’t fully understand, either. But it is something that is mandated by the government. I guess they are doing this because they can. I am not sure how long she has to wait- a couple years?
        Strange stuff for sure.

  39. FX-ensis*

    Where is the best place to find older women to date?

    And which websites are better for meeting overseas penpals?

    1. FX-ensis*

      And also (two more points, no more…I forgot to add above):

      – My boss made a suggestion this week. He likes my work, and is hinting that as part of his plans, I move to his head office and support him in the admin work of our department. Whether he will give me a larger role/more pay/responsibility, etc. I don’t know but then from what he said I surmise he wants to include me as such. However, I have outlined a new career path which is better suited to my skills/talents, and it’s not something I want to give up. It’s a good choice to have, so to speak, but then I’m at a crossroads. Should I ask him what he has in mind, or is it not my business at this stage?

      – I think I may need therapy, but I mistrust medical professionals. I reckon that therapists would only seek to change me, and I cannot be myself or do things I enjoy afterwards. For instance, sometimes if I have little chores to do, I would just go to the gym, do yoga at home, go online, cook or stay in bed until a late morning hour. I’ve had therapists tell me in the past this is “abnormal” and not healthy, and tell me I must be “absolutely nice to everybody” which for me and I’m sure all other people is impossible. I also know friends/family who were depressed and got over it, so I want to also.

      1. Jillociraptor*

        To your question about overseas penpals, consider asking language departments at any local universities (or at the one you attended, if you did). Corresponding with a penpal was a part of my high school and college language courses. I’ll bet they’d be able to recommend a program that would work for you.

        Regarding therapy, to be totally honest, it actually doesn’t work if you don’t think you need or want to change. Usually if you’re considering therapy, it’s because something isn’t going as productively in your life as you want it to go, and you really can’t change that without changing yourself. Your therapist’s job is to help you investigate why there’s a gap between the feelings/behaviors/practices you’re currently experiencing and what you want to be experiencing. If you think the problem is entirely external to you, therapy isn’t going to help. I’ve found that therapy works the best when I make a concerted effort not to be defensive, when I treat their recommendations as experiments to gather more data about what I might want to change, and when I’m really honest with them about what I’m feeling. I’m curious as to what you think you’re going to get out of therapy, if not a changed perspective and potentially changed practices?

      2. Not So NewReader*

        My experiences as an individual are not exactly data on the subject matter.
        But it sounds like you are going to psychiatrists where you might do better with a psychologist. I went to a psychiatrist once for grief counseling. The guy had so much book learning that it straight-jacketed him, he had little to no real life experience. His advice- the little that he gave- totally sucked. I informed him the appointment was over. Dr Ego informed me that I would be back in six months. I agreed with him because that was the quickest way to get out of his office. I got out and never looked back.

        There are different types of psychologists. It might be worth your while to find out about the different schools of thought and the different approaches and chose a psychologist that uses an approach that sounds reality based. People who have too much book learning tend to have no clue how the world works and how life can play out. I hate to say it but it sounds like the people you have seen so far have done more harm than good for you. Added bonus psychologists don’t have heavy reliance on drugs. In my mind that makes them more trust worthy because I feel like I am retaining my control/autonomy. Just my opinion of what helped me, no big social statement intended there.

        Unfortunately, you cannot have both- you cannot “get over” your depression and still remain unchanged. The good news is that your changes should be happy ones. Your life should become less painful not more painful.

    1. Stephanie*

      Aw, thanks for sharing! That was sweet. My sister’s on the spectrum and has her own Disney fixation. She recently discovered Netflix (and Disney available on streaming) and streamed so much that Cox started to throttle our internet and threatened to reclassify us as a business customer.

  40. Holly*

    Just wanted to let everyone know, since I’ve mentioned it a few times in past open threads, that my Dad passed away from terminal colon cancer on Friday morning. I’m taking the next week off to recover (I took off the prior week to be with him in hospice during his last days.) Anyone got any tips for how they got through grieving for a loved one? I think I’m doing okay, but it’s hard to know if that’s just it not-sinking-in or if I’m genuinely okay.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Grief is a big topic for me. There are lots of good books about the grief process out there. Go to the book store/library and carefully pick one or two that resonate with you. (Different authors make sense to different people.)

      Personally, I believe that we never “get through” grieving a loved one. We carry it with us for life. The good news is that the grief changes as we go along. Confusingly, we can grieve each death in our lives differently and that is okay, too because each death is different.

      My biggest tip is cry if you need to. And that need could occur 3 weeks from now or ten years from now. Don’t waste precious time over thinking this. Just go ahead and cry if you need to cry. If you don’t need to cry then bump to the next thing- go to work, hang out with friends, curl up with a good movie, whatever you have going on.

      My second biggest tip is if someone says “oh you should be over this by now” move away from that person. They do not know what they are talking about and they cannot help you.
      I can still pull up a tear or two for my nana. She has been gone 40 years. That’s no one’s business but mine.

      FWIW, I think you are doing okay, too. You spent time with your dad and now you are taking some down time. Very good. Trust your process, don’t over think it. And definitely do not set time limits on grief. Don’t make random decisions like “I should be crying and I am not so something is wrong.” Don’t be judgy with you.

      I am sorry for your loss.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger*

      First, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      Ironically, the best advice I can probably give is to not let anyone tell you how to grieve. Or, rather, don’t let anyone tell you that what you’re feeling or how you’re expressing it is wrong. It’s OK to be OK for a while, and then break down, or lose yourself in your work, or grieve for longer than some people think is appropriate. If YOU honestly feel that your process is unhealthy, unproductive, or otherwise not working for you, then you might need to see a therapist or make some other effort, but otherwise, a lot of grieving is like a tidal wave, you can’t fight it and you can’t run, you just have to go with it and come up for air whenever possible.

    3. Jazzy Red*

      My condolences on your dad’s death. I had a very hard time of adjusting after my dad died. My sister and brother-in-law saw him 2-3 times a week, and I did his ironing & housework on Saturdays, then we would go out for lunch. I worried about him all the time, as we could see his mind was deteriorating.

      After his death, it felt very strange to not have to worry, and to not go over and see him every Saturday (we both enjoyed that time together). At that time, I was only partially following the Lord, but what helped me was visualizing me taking my dad’s hand and putting into God’s hand. I knew that only He could take care of my dad now.

      Everyone handles the grief differently. There’s no calendar with benchmark dates that “now you should feel this” or “now you should be compeletely over it”. You will have OK days, and not-so-OK days (or hours, or moments). It’s kind of like a physical injury – at first you’re in shock, then the pain starts later. Eventually the pain decreases, and you don’t focus on it so much. Sometimes I’ll think about my dad, or catch a wiff of his favorite after shave, and I miss him terribly much. But most of the time, I can enjoy my memories of him.

      It’s good that you were able to spend time with him during his final days.

    4. Aunt Vixen*

      I’m so sorry.

      I “got through” it by doing what I could and admitting when I couldn’t. The first day after my dad’s memorial service I was dressed and on my way out to work, I mean I had my hand on the doorknob, when I was struck with the realization that I couldn’t possibly face another human being. I called in Can’t and went back to bed and didn’t speak to anyone all day. The next day I cried all the way in to work, but I did manage to go in. My co-workers were brilliant about handling me gently but professionally. They knew if they were overtly sympathetic I would fall to bits, so they just sort of quietly made sure I wasn’t overwhelmed (with what would normally be routine tasks) and left it at that.

      In social situations, I recognized the symptoms of anxiety; I knew I couldn’t deal with a crowd, but I was on my way to visit a friend at her home–not even in public–and as I turned in to her street my heart was pounding. In that instance I went anyway and I was glad I did–but it would also have been okay if I had run away home. I felt the same dread on my way to my boyfriend’s house, so it was clearly not connected to fear of anyone else’s social expectations, just that at some level I deeply wanted not to be around people. It got easier.

      My dad died on a Sunday and by that Tuesday or Wednesday, the same distance you’re at now, I’d say I was genuinely okay but it hadn’t really sunk in. I mean–I continued to experience that alternate-world feeling for months. I’d see a family picture with him in it and genuinely not understand how it could be that he was gone. It’s been two years and that mostly doesn’t happen anymore, and I don’t feel physical pain when I think about him, but I’m still grieving. I’m crying a little telling you all this.

      Shorter Aunt Vixen: take care of yourself as best you can. Even if your needs seem unreasonable, go ahead and indulge them. It gets better, or, well, it gets less impossible.

    5. Mimmy*

      Everyone has already given wonderful advice, so I just wanted to offer my condolences for the loss of your dad (((hugs))).

    6. De Minimis*

      Sorry to hear that. We lost my father-in-law to cancer a few years ago. People deal with grief in different ways, and I think the timing can be different for everyone. And it’s an ongoing process–I agree with the comment that we often never really “get through” it, I think we just keep trying to adapt.

  41. Lisa*

    Are rental applications binding? It says that applicant agrees to move forward with a lease, but we haven’t seen or signed a lease yet. We were approved, but references are pending. Basically, its a 1 br apartment with direct access to the street. After some thought, we are pretty much guaranteed to lose a cat as one of ours tries to escape often. With no hallway, we are pretty much going to lose her. I want out of this application wording. Its not a lease, and the place is prime real estate in boston so there is no way this won’t get rented.

    I am thinking the listing agent is just mad that she won’t get her fee. They claim that we agreed to sign a lease, but the lease is binding not the agreement to sign the lease? I am confused, but more important I do not want to basically lose my cat on a flimsy agreement.

    Are rental applications legally binding to force you into a lease?

    1. Jillociraptor*

      I can’t imagine this is true. It’s definitely not universally true as I’ve personally bailed on multiple rental applications, having lived in markets where if you don’t leave the landlord with an application the moment you visit the place you’re unlikely to ever have a chance at it. You probably forfeit any fees you paid on your application but you’re almost definitely not locked into a lease.

      1. Lisa*

        Ok good, I was worried. I want to keep looking, and just got dazzled by the amazing location. I love my cats, and it would kill me if I lost one. Microchipping won’t help if no on finds her or if she is hit by a car. It’s too bad, I am prob out of the running for other apartments by this company then.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger*

      I can’t help with the rental application part, but cats can usually be trained. Use a water gun and squirt them if they come running when you turn the knob. And try to act nonchalant, they shouldn’t think they’re being punished or you’re scolding them, they should just think that approaching the open door == getting WETICKYEWYUCK!!!

      Of course, I had a cat that LOVED the squirt gun, but he was such a weirdo in so many ways. At least he was never a troublemaker, he was also incredibly sweet.

      1. Lisa*

        We tried the squirt bottle on her before, it doesn’t work with her. She keeps trying to get to places she should be at rather than be trained, it only deters her away from the spot in the moment that she is sprayed. Smart kitty just waits and tries again. I want to think that we will be vigilant every time we open the door, but that isn’t realistic.

        1. The Cosmic Avenger*

          Oh well, I’m glad that there shouldn’t be an issue with the rental application, then.

          Look for a place with a foyer with a door on either side, give yourself a airlock catlock. :D

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