These questions have answers marked "best" by the asker.

April 23

Why am I so upset by my friend not sharing a difficult time with me?

My best friend's mother-in-law just passed away after a long illness. My SO and I had been supporting my friend over the last few months as she dealt with all that was going on, but she didn't tell us that her mother-in-law had died because she didn't want us to worry. I'm irrationally hurt about this and I don't know how to deal with it. Help! [more inside]
posted by six sided sock to Human Relations at 12:41 AM - 26 answers

April 22

What to do with an apartment that I need to leave

Sorrowfully, I have not hit it off with my roommates. They are being horrible to me and pushing me to leave. There has been some strong arming to make this early as possible, and I expect more to come. This rental company is not the easiest or most ethical either, so it hasn't been straightforward to get my money back (my deposit). I have nowhere to go, and this has made staying in my space an anxious proposition. I expect harrassment - legal harrassment is a possibility too. Despite this, I have done nothing wrong, and want to make the best of my space. It's one that's paid for for another three weeks, and that many people would benefit from. How can I turn this bad situation into something good? [more inside]
posted by karmachameleon to Human Relations at 7:17 PM - 21 answers

Can [my cat] eat this [plant]?

I'm finally in a place with more sunlight, including a deck. Yay! My cat will eat any plant, indoors and out. I've googled the hell outta this, and still I need help. [more inside]
posted by whoiam to Home & Garden at 12:24 PM - 9 answers

Charging 2018 Macbook Air with a feeble charger: wrecking my new laptop?

I've been charging my 2018 Macbook Air at home using an Anker charger (Powerport II IQ) and a USB-A to USB-C cable (a 3-foot amazon basics one). The laptop has had a couple of strange behaviors lately (not adjusting screen brightness, running the fans constantly) and I'm wondering if charging with a lower-wattage charger than the OEM one is damaging it somehow. [more inside]
posted by ogorki to Computers & Internet at 8:45 AM - 12 answers

Dental protocol on "free" cleaning

My dental insurance offers two free cleanings a year; but is that "free" like beer, or "free" like loss leader, and how do I keep it free? [more inside]
posted by AzraelBrown to Health & Fitness at 7:51 AM - 19 answers

dependable, solid foaming soap dispenser?

I get Method soap refills and put them into an existing foaming soap dispenser. The dispenser stops working way too soon. I'm willing to buy a good one, but last time I tried this, it stopped working pretty soon too. Can anyone recommend one that is dependable? [more inside]
posted by amtho to Home & Garden at 7:40 AM - 12 answers

April 21

Don’t know much about biology 🎶

My mom, who is not always a trustworthy source, has claimed that she and her mother reached menopause in their mid-30s. I know this is possible and am inclined to believe her, but she’s also a difficult person who is fond of both family lore and telling manipulative spooky stories to control me. Is there anything I can do to help me proactively forecast my fertility? [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar to Health & Fitness at 11:00 PM - 8 answers

What is this quote about being scientifically illiterate?

I heard or read a quote in the last couple months (although the quote itself may very well be older than that) describing how being scientifically illiterate was totally acceptable among "educated," "intellectual" groups of people. It was an argument along the lines that saying at a dinner party that you didn't understand science -- particularly Physics, I think -- was totally acceptable in a way that saying you didn't understand literature was not. I think I remember a comparison between the Schroedinger equation or the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle and Shakespeare, although I could be misremembering the details. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
posted by Betelgeuse to Science & Nature at 5:40 PM - 4 answers

Show mentioned on NPR this weekend?

I was listening to an interview with the lead actress in a new (HBO?) movie coming out and I remembered that I wanted to watch it but all I can recall now is that the lead character is a lesbian in a prominent role in her society. She always and only wears black, mourning for the death of a previous lover. I remember the actress said that she had access to diaries and papers written by the actual historical person. Help me find it? Thank you!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat to Media & Arts at 4:20 PM - 4 answers

Middle aged walkabout suggestions

I have had some intense shit go down in the past month and I would like to take a life affirming trip and am looking for travel suggestions. [more inside]
posted by eggkeeper to Travel & Transportation at 3:46 PM - 12 answers

Two-tone red and turquoise hair

Here is my current hair. I'm going for a two-tone red and turquoise look that I can do to myself, and I need it to be one that doesn't require a lot of styling. Looking for ideas for looks / foolproof instructions on how to do them. Little more info inside. [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 3:20 PM - 3 answers

How to Express sympathy to Sri Lankan acquaintance?

I have an email I need to send to a Sri Lankan business associate--what's appropriate to say after today's tragedy? [more inside]
posted by Jon44 to Human Relations at 11:02 AM - 7 answers

How on earth did this happen?

I was texting my mother today having a very mundane conversation. I sent her a message that said "I like the clothes you gave me." She replied, "Oh I'm sorry to hear [stepdaughter] needs so many tests." When I asked her what she was talking about, she wrote back "you just texted me that [stepdaughter] is having a colonoscopy and an endoscopy." I had written absolutely nothing like that and never had in the history of her having her phone. There's nothing like showing up in my text history. I just can't fathom how that happened. Any ideas?
posted by Neely O'Hara to Grab Bag at 8:38 AM - 11 answers

yet another job title question!

Film and television professionals of Ask me, I have a question regarding my job title. Help me please! [more inside]
posted by thereemix to Media & Arts at 6:16 AM - 4 answers

April 20

Concrete Retaining Wall Planters

While on a recent trip in Europe, we saw many retaining walls built with pre-cast concrete rings or boxes, which allowed for planting in the tops of the overlapping rings. Are there any US sources for these, or similar? [more inside]
posted by tomierna to Home & Garden at 3:47 PM - 8 answers

Best SanFran on crutches?

I’ll have one full day in San Francisco next month. Normally I’d explore on foot, but I’ll be on crutches, and, well, hills. So what’s one place I could easily visit that would be accessible and memorable? [more inside]
posted by tr33hggr to Travel & Transportation at 2:31 PM - 8 answers

a festival of colors - sourcing colors

If one were to have a Holi-inspired convivium, (people dance around and throw colored powder on each other and become rainbows,) where would they get the colors? [more inside]
posted by Sterros to Society & Culture at 12:21 PM - 5 answers

How to Quick Pay?

I'm moving Monday, and my new landlord uses Quick Pay to accept rent payments. Cool! I don't need to write checks! But... how do I pay her? She says all I need is her email address. Does anyone here use this Quick Pay? What do I have to do to be able to pay her? Do I need a special account? [more inside]
posted by Weeping_angel to Work & Money at 11:51 AM - 5 answers

Toddling shoes

Google is failing me. A mom was raving about a specific toddler shoe, and I absolutely cannot find or remember the brand! It's not any of the shoes in the numerous Asks either! [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 9:09 AM - 4 answers

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

I'm looking for some authors / historians who draw on the parallels of historical events to give context to today. [more inside]
posted by jacobean to Society & Culture at 7:04 AM - 11 answers

The Mystery is Solved but the Problem Isn't

For a year or so my clothes and bedding were getting small quarter inch tears in them. I finally found the source of the problem. The clothes were getting hung up on the torn grating inside the dryer. help me find a way tp patch this without having to replace the grating or take the back off the dryer. DIY, I don't want to hire someone to fix this.
posted by Xurando to Home & Garden at 6:32 AM - 17 answers

This is (not) Sparta(n)!

I need some brown sandals that work for problem feet, which are also work appropriate for an employer that accepts fairly lax stabdards. I'm trying to decide between Olukai Upena and Chaco z cloud. Opinions wanted. [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 4:45 AM - 12 answers

Can I sail to Hawaii from California without a passport?

I’m having trouble Googling this as all questions seemed to relate to passenger ships and not yachts. It looks like the Jones Act was amended to exempt yachts (assuming it was foreign flagged). I guess the question is, could I reasonably just go to Hawaii and dock at a temporary slip without a government ID? [more inside]
posted by geoff. to Law & Government at 2:55 AM - 5 answers

french, swiss, or german film about two girls that run away - lesbians

I'm trying to remember the name of a film I saw. It was probably made in the 1980s or 1990s. It's about two girls that meet in the countryside while biking. They strike up an unlikely friendship and then run away. [more inside]
posted by cmp4Meta to Media & Arts at 12:34 AM - 1 answers

April 19

Which SSD laptop should I buy?

My Lenovo 11.6 laptop is history (motherboard) after four years, so this is what I need: - Same size and SSD - Considerably more disk space than the 28G the Lenovo had, which after a while wouldn't even accommodate Windows updates - A battery you can easily remove without being a confident tech person! - Under $299 new - Preferably a fairly rapid processor (my other lappies have really slowed down over the years) That's all I can think of for now. Thanks. Some kind of major brand wanted.
posted by noelpratt2nd to Computers & Internet at 7:34 PM - 6 answers

What percentage of the world’s population are firstborns?

A friend who espouses a “firstborn psychology” claims that 75% of the world’s population are firstborns and their negative personality traits have a major detrimental impact on society. I can find nothing to corroborate this. Are there such statistics on birth order? (As a firstborn who doesn’t fit the profile, I’m considered an anomaly, he says.) I’d appreciate anyone’s input on the subject before I attempt to refute his theory.
posted by seekingsethplate to Human Relations at 10:18 AM - 19 answers

Custom Storage Size

I need a large box to store a family heirloom. I'm having trouble finding a size and am considering a custom one. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest to Home & Garden at 8:27 AM - 9 answers

Sources of awesome cards?

I’m looking for your favorite sources for awesome birthday/thank you/holiday cards — witty, quirky, smart, funny, and creative. Bonus points for indie sources. (Super extra bonus points for interesting paper choices.)
posted by Celsius1414 to Shopping at 7:25 AM - 17 answers

Rookie tattoo advice/design

Contemplating taking the plunge and decorating my virgin skin. Specifics about what may be wise/doable inside. Involves detail and musical notation. [more inside]
posted by raider to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 6:51 AM - 19 answers

Reliable 8 mm / super 8 film digitizing in New York City?

I've got some irreplaceable family films from the 1960's and 1970's that I'd like to transfer to high-quality digital files -- or at least as high quality as one can reasonably get out of the 8 mm, Super 8, and Super 8 Ektasound formats. Looking for a reliable film transfer house in New York City that can do the job with minimal chance of loss or damage to the films. [more inside]
posted by Tacit to Technology at 2:13 AM - 2 answers

April 18

What do I make of a good run in with my ex?

I ended a relationship with my partner two times. Both times it was because I felt a general disconnect, didn’t feel heard or understood (a good part of the time) and issues within our dynamic that, at the time, felt unfixable. [more inside]
posted by ygmiaa to Human Relations at 10:06 PM - 20 answers

How do I go about getting a mortgage loan?

I’m looking to buy a house in Seattle and a couple of lenders are aggressively competing for my business. A quick Google search tells me they stand to make quite a bit in commission. How can I as the borrower get the best deal and lowest closing costs?
posted by Dragonness to Work & Money at 7:54 PM - 7 answers

Origin of the quip "the golden years should be called the rust years"

Mrs. Larry David Syndrome claims that her grandfather coined this quip (or a variant of it.) I think it's much more likely to have originated from a comic/humorist and he just was repeating it. (It does follow the pretty standard joke format of turning a phrase on its head by substituting an opposite.) Can anyone tell me who was the first person to publicly say/write this phrase (or a close variant such as "...more like the rust years") and what year that occurred? Or when this phrase first became commonly used?
posted by Larry David Syndrome to Media & Arts at 5:24 PM - 3 answers

Vegan cookbooks or websites for the Eastern European palate

For health reasons, my in laws need to change to vegan / Mediterranean diet like yesterday. These are folks who are used to schnitzel, potatoes, soups with mayonnaise and sour cream. Help me find some resources (books / websites) that will be easily adopted. Nothing adventurous or with novel ingredients. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg to Food & Drink at 2:09 PM - 23 answers

Helping my lower GI tract get its groove back after illness

I spent Monday afternoon and evening purging in a way I didn't even know was possible due to a truly insidious GI bug. I'm technically "better" now but I think my microbiome got all jacked up or other body systems are still out of whack. YANMD, but can I do anything (evidence-based) to help me to feel human again? [more inside]
posted by soren_lorensen to Health & Fitness at 11:30 AM - 13 answers

Plant Identification Filter

It's a flowering tree of some sort. The blooms are slightly larger than a golf ball. It blooms in spring. My grandmother's friend brought back a seed from a trip to Jerusalem sometime in the 1960s, or at least that's the story. She may have also visited Jordan and Lebanon during that trip. The photo is from a more recent planting, growing in coastal North Carolina (Zone 8a). [more inside]
posted by a complicated history to Home & Garden at 8:24 AM - 8 answers

Help me stop researching and finally buy a car

I have been overanalyzing what car to buy for months and could use some advice. [more inside]
posted by JuliaKM to Shopping at 6:11 AM - 25 answers

What software / template is being used for these fancy slide decks?

My younger colleagues at University are using some either template or software to build slide decks that have a web2.0 look and feel, head and shoulders above your average google slides / powerpoint decks. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong to Technology at 5:52 AM - 10 answers

Who is this US academic who taught humanities to disadvantaged citizens?

Several years ago I heard a podcast episode about a US academic who set up a free community program to teach humanities subjects to uneducated or unemployed people in his area. My sketchy recollections include: Initially his idea was treated with derision ('Poor people don't need the arts, they need real life skills' etc) but after a crash course in subjects like philosophy, many of his students were able to improve their lives in unexpected and profound ways, and all found employment - except for one who was fired after trying to set up an employee's union. What was this program, who ran it, and what podcast did I hear about it on? [more inside]
posted by archy to Media & Arts at 4:39 AM - 6 answers

April 17

The mythical power of knowing someone's "True Name"

In some European myths, from Plato's Cratylus to Rumplestiltskin, knowing someone's True Name means having special knowledge about them, or power over them. What kind of powers are those? What about other cultures of the world? [more inside]
posted by kandinski to Religion & Philosophy at 8:43 PM - 16 answers