Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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July 13

Do roommate-finding services work for people who are middle-aged?

My current roommate is taking a job across the country. For twenty-odd years, I've roomed with a friend or friends, so the last time I had to actually look for a roommate, I placed an ad in the paper. Ha ha ha. How does a single forty-something woman find a compatible roommate in Chicago nowadays? Note: Please do not suggest that I move out and find a studio or one-bedroom on my own. That is not on the table at the moment. [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 4:08 PM - 24 answers

She's making jewelry now

I'm always fascinated by once-noted musicians or actors who have disappeared from the spotlight into a "straight" job. Do you know interesting tidbits about what so-and-so is doing now, 15 (or whatever) years later? [more inside]
posted by oceanview at 2:48 PM - 93 answers

July 11

What do I send to a new baby in India?

My friend is an Indian woman living in India who is having her first baby in a couple of weeks. I'd like to send something for her new baby when he or she arrives. [more inside]
posted by Maisie at 11:47 PM - 14 answers

Clock and Selectors

What is this piece of furniture with a clock, large sector to 150 and a smaller selector? [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 PM - 1 answers

what (medical?) device(s?) was this man wearing?

Saw a man on the subway with gauze wrapped around his head from which a bundle of wires emerged and ran to a pouch strapped to his chest. He also had a pouch strapped to the front and another to the back of his waist. What was this equipment? [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang at 8:58 AM - 5 answers

July 10

Help me remember a movie quote about wanting things one way

It's on the tip of my tongue and I can almost visualize the actor saying it, but for several days have been coming up blank. The quote is like "you keep wanting things to be one way but they're not" or "the way you want things to be isn't the way they are." Halp please?
posted by ish__ at 9:17 AM - 6 answers

What is the ideal format for this convention badge?

I'm trying to come up with the ideal form factor for the entry badge to be used at a geek convention. The badge needs to be cheap to produce, and simple in design so registration can be achieved quickly by volunteers, but also sufficiently hard to modify to discourage misuse. I'm currently stuck between the different options available. Is there a magic solution I'm missing, or is this just a variation of "fast, good, cheap; pick two"? [more inside]
posted by DancingYear at 5:33 AM - 15 answers

July 9

Quick/fun birthday gift ideas for new boss

I need to get a birthday gift for my new boss (I've worked there just a couple of months and this is the first office birthday since I started). I'm told we do gifts around $10 plus lunch for the birthday person. Extra layer of difficulty: the birthday is early next week. [more inside]
posted by hansbrough at 7:37 PM - 10 answers

States that don't discriminate on SO or GI in public accomms?

What are the states that have a statewide law protecting gender identity and sexual orientation in public accommodations under state law? Many articles I read cite "several states" but I don't know which states.
posted by rabu at 1:17 PM - 5 answers

Where should my husband and I volunteer in Atlanta?

What organization should we volunteer at for 20 hours prior to September 3? [more inside]
posted by masquesoporfavor at 8:38 AM - 7 answers

July 8

Explain it like I'm five: hiring movers to unload a truck.

In about two weeks, I will have around 12 hours in which to unload a whole lot of stuff into a fourth-floor walkup apartment. I have a few friends who have offered help, but given the amount of crap to be moved I'm pretty sure I will need to hire movers too. I've never done this before. What should I look for in a moving company? Can I ask my friends to help in addition to hiring movers, or will the movers need us to stay out of the way? And how do I estimate how many person-hours of help I need?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:57 PM - 26 answers

Help me find the right volunteering opportunity

For a few reasons including networking and the desire to contribute, I've been thinking about volunteering for quite some time. Trouble is, I'm not sure where to direct my energy. Maybe you have some ideas? [more inside]
posted by cman at 8:29 AM - 7 answers

Going offline with personal organisation

I have good systems for keeping myself organised online, with a combination of calendars, to-do lists, and notetaking. When I look at the time I spend staring at various screens to manage my life, it's scary. I want to try going back to pen-and-paper organisation. What tools or methods would work best? [more inside]
posted by tracicle at 5:17 AM - 19 answers

July 7

What is a healthy response to trying to do a thing that is hard?

My response to trying to start a challenging task is to become cranky/grumpy/etc., and my partner's response is to avoid doing the task. What is a healthier approach? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:12 AM - 21 answers

July 6

Medium-term memory

How do I improve my medium-term memory? I have all my notes to reference from today, and in two weeks my work turns over. How to remember everything in-between? Maybe this is a recall issue. [more inside]
posted by greta simone at 3:36 PM - 6 answers

Date this Billboard!

Driving through Poughkeepsie, NY this weekend, I spied this amazing billboard lurking at the back of a parking lot off Route 9. I think it was quite recently uncovered and, from a quick look at the wood frame, looks like an actual old ad. What year is it from?
posted by minervous at 9:50 AM - 3 answers

a transparent but matte paint?

I'm looking for a transparent paint to cover up a reflective surface (insect wing) such that the surface is no longer reflective. [more inside]
posted by dhruva at 9:06 AM - 15 answers

How to Give the Fado?

My friends will be in Lisbon in October on their honeymoon, and I'd like to treat them to a night at a Fado restaurant. I've done some research and found a few places that look great, but I'm not sure how the logistics would work in terms of my paying. I know that there are theaters where you can hear Fado music, but I'm looking for a more traditional restaurant setting None of the restaurants I've seen advertise gift certificates or another obvious way of my paying for them. How can I do this?
posted by benbenson at 8:04 AM - 2 answers

Help me find housing in New Orleans

I'm moving to New Orleans for a one-year masters program and need an apartment starting this August. I've never been there and can't visit before moving. Please help me find a place to live! [more inside]
posted by DayTripper at 7:28 AM - 6 answers

July 3

How can I make a stranger believe I'm good for $500?

I'm visiting Copenhagen in a couple months and found someone on the Lonely Planet forums looking for extra people to round out his reservation at noma for the exact time I'll be there. I jumped at this chance, as reservations are very difficult to come by and I'll probably only be in Copenhagen once in my life. [more inside]
posted by something something at 4:30 PM - 10 answers

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