14991 Ask MetaFilter answers by jessamyn (displaying 1 through 50)

Our neighbor has a huge cedar tree right next to the property line. This tree has been topped in the past, is rotten inside, and subsequently has a heavy broken branch being held up by the telephone line. I can't get anyone to take action- what can I do to get this cleared up?
comment posted at 1:04 PM on Oct-18-17

I've realized I don't chew very much and actually enjoy the feeling of little food chunks going down my gullet. Apparently, soft foods should be chewed 5-10 times and tougher foods (meat, raw veggies) should be chewed up to 30 times! I probably chew most foods 5 times max. My tummy and bowels are fine, I'm not gassy/belchy, and my teeth are fine, so this seems to work for me. Does anyone else do this, or go to the other extreme and chew, say, 50 times before swallowing?
comment posted at 1:14 PM on Oct-18-17

I am a shy reserved person, and whenever people feel the need to point this out I feel slightly offended and awkward. What is the best way to react?
comment posted at 1:26 PM on Oct-18-17

I'm terrible at the crawl stroke and can't seem to get better. Can my swim workout consist of the sidestroke and breaststroke instead (or anything but the crawl)? Details further on.
comment posted at 1:29 PM on Oct-18-17

How can I best help my semi-retired mother bolster her Microsoft Office skills? The programs and tutorials that I have found so far at the library seem to be geared towards people who can barely click a mouse and the programs at community colleges seem geared towards tech-savvy students. I am looking for something in-between. What are some of the best methods to boost her proficiency from a 1.5/5 to a 3/5 or better?
comment posted at 1:31 PM on Oct-18-17

I've made a fair few lifestyle changes to save money, but I've still got a ways to go before I pay off my debt. What's the one lifestyle change that saved you the most money?
comment posted at 8:03 AM on Oct-17-17

I am in a legal dispute over the value of a house in PA. I want the value to be lower, the other party want it higher. We are therefore using appraisers. The report from the other party's appraiser came in, and it's a little higher than expected. On closer inspection, in calculating value from comparable sales in the neighborhood, it appears that the other appraiser has included some asking prices (i.e. pre-final sale) in the report, and these are being represented as actual closing prices.
comment posted at 7:18 PM on Oct-16-17

I'm generally a very gassy individual, but have always ruled my the activation of flatulation with an iron fist. Of late, my grip on power has weakened, leading to some unfortunate situations. What is the most acceptable way to handle this?
comment posted at 4:34 PM on Oct-16-17

That would be me, apparently. Is my wife correct?
comment posted at 11:53 AM on Oct-16-17

I'm interesting in your local fast food traditions.
comment posted at 6:30 PM on Oct-15-17

I've read the directions, watched the YouTubes, looked at animations and graphics, but my neti pot fu is still lacking.
comment posted at 6:06 PM on Oct-15-17

I have been told that a Masters in MLIS can be quite versatile and can even stem outside of the library career. What luck have found with your MLIS outside of libaries? Is researching possible with companies, governments, non-profits, and academic research without the doctorate route?
comment posted at 2:55 PM on Oct-15-17
comment posted at 2:29 PM on Oct-16-17

I don't understand what all the facial products are for. (Toner? What *is* toner?) I wash my face with water, and moisturise with Aveeno if I feel it needs it. That's all. Would it really improve my skin if I used actual products? I don't have acne, but I sometimes get spots, and my skin is always a bit bumpy - I think they might be like little blackheads (not always black though), just little lumps with fat in, not infected or sore.
comment posted at 1:35 PM on Oct-15-17

Next weekend, I'm visiting Vermont for the first time ever. I'll be flying into Manchester, NH, on Thursday, renting a car, and driving around solo for four days. My itinerary is open ended -- I just want to get a feel for the state, hopefully catch the leaves before they go brown, visit some small towns, and stuff myself with tasty food. The rough plan right now is to drive up to Montpelier and use that as a base to explore. Vermonters and those who know the lay of the land, do you have any tips for me? Any small towns I should visit or festivals I should be aware of? I happen to be a gay dude, so if there are any awesome gay bars, I'd love to know about them too.
comment posted at 3:14 PM on Oct-14-17

Hi! Someone I know has had to move back in with her parents, probably temporarily, to help care for her mother after a big surgery. There are some complicating things -- she's depressed, just had a disappointment with regards to her treatment options, and now she's comparatively isolated while helping take care of her mother. I'd like to give or send or offer her something that would help lift her mood, if possible. What would have helped you while you took care of a parent?
comment posted at 5:53 PM on Oct-13-17

I need to attend and participate in a meeting at work on Monday morning with my boss’ boss. I’m going to need help in giving off a neutral demeanor (positive may be a bit much to ask).
comment posted at 2:08 PM on Oct-13-17

Recently my partner violated my boundaries & as we discuss the issue I find myself reviewing my own boundaries where both my actions and the actions of a friend became problematic.
comment posted at 12:17 PM on Oct-13-17

I (menopausal, mid-50s, female) am experiencing a very small amount of dark, almost chocolate colored discharge from one duct of one nipple. Discovered a month ago as a tiny drop on my bra and otherwise has to be expressed, not spontaneous leaking. Things that make it worrisome: only one breast, dark {maybe bloody} color, started spontaneously, decades post-lactation. My doc *thinks* she palpated a small mass upon exam, but is unsure, and thought it felt like a duct, in any case. My nipple symptom continues and nothing showed on that ultrasound. Now I need to go for a breast MRI. What the heck, breast?
comment posted at 8:45 PM on Oct-12-17

what candies have the texture of Flintstones vitamins?
comment posted at 7:16 PM on Oct-12-17

My partner's personality changes for the worse when he drinks, even in small amounts. Not sure how to deal; looking for advice.
comment posted at 2:27 PM on Oct-11-17

Just got back from my first trip to Ireland, and I'm in withdrawal. I'd really like to keep in closer touch with the country and the culture and learn as I go. What are some good places to do that?
comment posted at 11:47 AM on Oct-10-17

I have a yearly family gathering coming up on Sunday. I'm suffering a reasonably serious bout of depressing brought on by $reasons, and I have no idea how I'm going to get through Sunday without cracking up completely. Truly.
comment posted at 9:38 AM on Oct-10-17
comment posted at 11:38 AM on Oct-10-17

Today is the 3 month anniversary of my mother's death. After the funeral, I intended to promptly send thank you cards to those who attended the service or sent flowers/money/food. I think about it every single day, and I've even started to draft some of the cards in my head, but I haven't put pen to paper.
comment posted at 6:18 AM on Oct-8-17

I would be very grateful if I had some feedback from some of you guys in order to help make his site look and sound better!
comment posted at 6:58 PM on Oct-10-17

I have received drunk texts by the guy i am seeing for a while, which were quite bad and accusing even though I am certain I have treated him properly and really tried to make him feel comfortable. Afterwards he said he did not remember anything and ' I should not take seriously what people say when they are drunk'.
comment posted at 6:54 PM on Oct-6-17

Today, after my mother in law mentioned her phone number being spoofed, I got curious and googled my own number to see if anyone had reported it as a spam caller. What I found: Someone else with my same last name is listed as the owner of my phone number; their listed address is a very similar address to mine--one that has caused mixups in the past. What might have happened, and what, if anything, should I do about it?
comment posted at 10:35 AM on Oct-6-17

I am trying to start a meditation practice, and I'm curious both about how people meditate (how often, how long, guided or silent) and also about how/whether people incorporate the lessons(?) of meditation into their daily lives.
comment posted at 9:28 AM on Oct-5-17

I feel like I know all the stuff I should be doing, but what are your mental hacks for combating seasonal affective disorder in the moment? I'm already sick of being irritable and ready to crawl in bed by 8:30PM and it's only the first week of October. What do you tell yourself to feel less down about axial tilt?
comment posted at 11:47 PM on Oct-3-17

Has anyone had to deal with obsessive, possessive ex-girlfriends. in their relationship`?
comment posted at 8:32 AM on Oct-2-17
comment posted at 8:14 PM on Oct-5-17

Dude and I flirted for months. Dude subsequently starts dating someone else and tells me about it in an abrupt way. Dude then sends me an awkward message. How should I respond? More inside of course.
comment posted at 8:40 AM on Oct-2-17

The last 3 years have been a shit show, and all the way through my best friend has been pretty good at being there, despite living on the other side of a large city. Now it's reached the pinnacle, and my dad has died - and she's totally just stepped back and is acting weirdly. Any ideas?
comment posted at 12:29 PM on Sep-30-17

I'm wondering what are people thinking about as they fall asleep. Do they play any mental games? Or do they picture themselves painting a wall? This is primarily a question for those who don't have trouble falling asleep.
comment posted at 8:22 PM on Sep-29-17

Is there a particular personality test you've used that you learned from? Which one? Why?
comment posted at 8:26 PM on Sep-29-17

We're going to update the small bathroom in our small condo in Portland, Oregon. In Europe, it's common for interior doors, including bathroom doors, to have glass in them. I'd like to replace the current solid door with one that has opaque translucent glass for reason explained below. Even though it won't be possible to see who is on either side of the door, how concerned should I be that potential buyers unfamiliar with this feature will be weirded out by it and look elsewhere?
comment posted at 8:47 AM on Sep-29-17
comment posted at 9:20 AM on Sep-29-17

I recently remembered that in elementary school, for a kid's birthday, the teacher would spank him/her over her* lap, and the number of spankings was how old the kid was. We would all sing along and cheer "and one for good luck!" at the end, with accompanying bonus spank. We may have also gone up and each spanked the birthday kid, but my memory on this is hazy. This seemed totally normal then (early 80s, Midwest), but I can't imagine it happening now. What other normal childhood things from way back would be considered really outrageous today?
comment posted at 8:54 AM on Sep-29-17
comment posted at 1:49 PM on Sep-30-17

Please help me have a productive dialogue with my dad about racism in comedies and trans rights in all movies.
comment posted at 9:03 AM on Sep-29-17

Why would a doctor refuse immediate payment? The one doctor that was recommended to me in a sub-sub-specialty (scuba ENT, if it matters) takes a long list of insurances, but not mine. I called them up and they don't take "self-pay" (aka non-insurance) patients. Why?
comment posted at 9:40 AM on Sep-28-17

After a prolonged illness, my stepfather passed away last Friday. I need help with so many things involving the death of a parent, as well as helping my mom with the loss of her husband. Snowflakes inside.
comment posted at 9:08 AM on Sep-28-17

If a stranger's walking down the street looking like they're in a hurry that's not the right time to strike up a conversation. If you and someone you know are in a long elevator ride and the other person is not wearing headphones or otherwise obviously distracted it's probably polite to at least say "hi." What about everything in between?
comment posted at 9:49 AM on Sep-28-17

I'm looking for video series to watch for times that I'm at the gym (elliptical or rower). Something bright, mostly episodic, and will not make me feel uncomfortable if someone else sees what I'm watching. Absolutely no laugh tracks. Something I haven't seen already.
comment posted at 10:30 AM on Sep-27-17

My husband passed away recently and I am trying to coordinate his headstone. Basically question about how you would interpret language or any other ideas for language.
comment posted at 4:38 PM on Sep-26-17

I am going to be flying in/out of Midway in a few days. I've flown out of O'Hare several times, never Midway, though. The company I'm doing business with has changed my itinerary, such that my last meeting with them is 3:30-4pm and my flight departs at 5pm. Convince me that this is not a terrible idea.
comment posted at 4:28 PM on Sep-26-17

I'm looking for good or well-known examples in rock, pop, and indie of songs that tell a story (not just a single scene/moment, but songs where there are multiple elements along a timeline: A happens, then B, then C, etc.). Really, any musical genera is fair game, with the exception of songs from movies/musicals. Thanks! :) Strong examples: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (George Thorogood); Richard Cory (Simon and Garfunkel); Billy Brown (Mika); He Went to Paris (Jimmy Buffett); My Old School (Steely Dan); Maxwell's Silver Hammer (The Beatles); I am a Can of Tuna (The Chenille Sisters); Major Tom (Peter Schilling); Bullets (Passenger); Sunny Came Home (Shawn Colvin)
comment posted at 1:24 PM on Sep-25-17
comment posted at 8:38 AM on Sep-26-17

How to be empathic about anxiety without giving myself anxiety at the same time?
comment posted at 7:59 AM on Sep-25-17

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