Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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December 13

Something awesome for someone in Chicago

A friend of mine is doing something awesome for me (artistic-wise), but doesn't want to ask/take my money for this. So I want to give him (and/or his family) something awesome in payment. A few things about them inside. [more inside]
posted by katers890 at 6:42 AM - 8 answers

December 12

Name my marimo!

For Quonsmas I was gifted a new pet: a marimo! (Marimo are balls of green algae that live in lakes and also now many aquariums and jars.) My particular marimo came with a jar, a nice wooden tag, and instructions to "Write the name of your new Marimo on the wooden tag provided." [more inside]
posted by Mizu at 11:20 PM - 20 answers

Gimme your cool brown bag lunch tool ideas!

My wife is a nurse and she works long shifts and packs her lunch. She loves cool kitchen food gadgets. Does anyone have any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:41 PM - 11 answers

Good experience-based gifts for 6yo/2yo children in Seattle/Edmonds

We are friends with a family that has a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. I was thinking it might be nice to give them an experience-based gift this year instead of stuff. What are some good things that we can do with them and also take their mom and dad along? [more inside]
posted by matildaben at 1:20 PM - 7 answers

How do I make myself do things?

I've always been really bad at motivating myself to do necessary tasks. However, this has finally gotten to a point when it's actually hurting both my personal / work life. What's the best way to solve this problem? Simply telling myself: "you have to get this done before you can do X" never actually works. [more inside]
posted by aleatorictelevision at 10:25 AM - 16 answers

How do I mindfulness?

The stock answer to everyone who's posted an Ask about being stressed or anxious lately has been "Mindfulness! Meditation!" But, um, what does that mean, exactly? Please share anecdotes, techniques, references. What - exactly - did you do, and how did it help? Walk me through this like I'm five. [more inside]
posted by telepanda at 7:46 AM - 41 answers

December 11

How to approach landlord on previously undiscovered damage from a fire?

On Sunday afternoon (my birthday), there was a fire in the rooming house where I currently live. My room wasn't burned, but this morning I noticed a couple of spots on the hardwood floor where it looked like water had seeped / was beginning to seep down through the walls. A construction worker neighbor of mine confirmed that this is indeed what looks like has happened and now I’d like some advice as to how to go forward. [more inside]
posted by item at 4:00 PM - 6 answers

What is this blue plastic thing?

We got these blue plastic discs at work as part of a promotional campaign, but no one here seems to know what the item does, exactly. Googling has failed us. Has anyone seen one of these before? What does it do, besides stump people? (You can see the full extent of its functionality in the linked video.)
posted by heurtebise at 8:43 AM - 31 answers

December 10

Wrapper's Delight

Inspired by this thread, I'd like to go all out wrapping Christmas gifts for my wife this year. What ideas, concepts, methods, etc. have you used in the past, or seen online that are sure to impress? [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady at 11:20 AM - 24 answers

Looking for a 80s Trivia / Fun Facts Book

Growing up, I owned a trivia book from the mid-to-late 80s (or, possibly, the early 90s) that I foolishly gave away at some point. Try as I might, I haven't been able to find another copy. Unfortunately, I can't remember the title or its author(s). Here's what (I think) I know: [more inside]
posted by GoM at 7:12 AM - 0 answers

December 9

Box Spring Mattress Stuffing?

There is stuffing crammed into the corners if my box spring mattress. Why? And can I throw it away? [more inside]
posted by Sassyfras at 2:23 PM - 3 answers

White Elephant gift for work: Something yellow, under $15, can buy today

White Elephant gift for work: Something yellow, under $15, can buy in-person in SF [more inside]
posted by ad4pt at 10:43 AM - 24 answers

Chewy pencil toppers for adults?

My SO has the endearing habit of constantly chewing on the tops of pens and pencils. Even the really nice ones! I thought I would try to get him a set of chewy things you put over writing utensils, but the ones I found online seem to be bad quality or are overtly aimed towards kids. He rarely uses regular wooden pencils, so the ones built to fit precisely over them might not work either. Are there any other objects that could serve a similar purpose that are appropriate for adults? ++ if shippable through Amazon Prime. [more inside]
posted by leedly at 6:15 AM - 8 answers

December 8

This shivering is bullshit.

So, I lost a fair chunk of weight in the past year, which has had many beneficial effects, to be sure. Unexpected downside: I have turned into a complete wuss about cold. After years of considering myself innately warm-blooded, merrily running around hatless through all the winter months, I am now dreading going outdoors even to grab a quart of milk. This will not do. Fellow cold-wusses, how do I adapt? What are your best tips, tricks and products for dealing with the cold? Or alternatively, toughening myself up so it doesn't bother me so much? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 7:04 PM - 52 answers

December 7

Please help me not be a simmering cauldron of rage

I recently moved to New York City. I find getting around the city seems to involve constant interior thrum of unwarranted anger at other people. I would like to stop being a person who is heading to work or the grocery store while being mad at most everybody else; it's not a good way to live. Any tricks or heuristics or habits of thought you use would be very helpful! [more inside]
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure at 10:56 AM - 41 answers

Fun/funny/quirky/cool "Of The Month" Club for a 14-year-old boy?

My son picks up the mail for us every day and there's hardly ever anything for him. Let's fix that. [more inside]
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:19 AM - 15 answers

Did Guatemala really ban the Magnificat in the 1980s?

In doing research on the Magnificat (Mary's Song in Luke 1 in the New Testament), I keep running across references to the public recitation of the Magnificat having been banned in Guatemala in the 1980s. This smells like a legend to me, but I'd like to know for sure. Is there any truth to this idea? [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:03 AM - 6 answers

December 6

What happened to icicle lights?

For a while in the 90s, icicle lights were super popular Christmas decorations. Not the kind with dangly strings of little light bulbs, but ones that actually looked like lighted icicles. I haven't seen them in years - not in stores, not on anyone's houses. Where did they go? [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:18 PM - 11 answers

Whose ears popped first?

I know why our ears pop, but I'm wondering when humans reliably began experiencing this sensation caused by anything other than having a cold. Today, we are most likely to feel our ears popping in a airplane or driving a car in the mountains. But before planes and cars, and besides the head colds and infected sinuses that have always been with us, what caused our ears to pop first? [more inside]
posted by peeedro at 2:36 PM - 19 answers

I'm ruining my life with self-destructive habits... please help?

How do I stop various self-destructive habits (pornography, time-wasting websites, etc.) that I know are going to ruin my life and my marriage? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:38 AM - 20 answers

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