Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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November 26

Assume that I am isolating/masking and encouraging others to do so.

Is there anything I personally could do to help nurses in my area? Or even, like, one nurse? [more inside]
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:52 AM - 5 answers

November 23

The next best thing to going there: ISO virtual experiences for 2021

A few weeks ago, I attended a week-long writer's conference that took place entirely on Zoom. It was a much better experience than I thought and since my travel wings have been clipped, I'd like to find more things like that for 2021. Please share your recommendations for upcoming virtual conferences, courses, workshops, and other events. [more inside]
posted by rpfields at 6:16 PM - 3 answers

November 20

Paying a transit complaint fine at the NJ municipal courthouse

My friend is unable to go down to the municipal courthouse herself to pay a transit citation she received (it is a transit complaint with a court summons, but no court appearance is required). The fee is $74. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:22 PM - 4 answers

Help me buy this sold-out Japanese planner (or suggest alternatives?)

I'd like to buy this Jibun Techo DAYs 2021 planner, but it's sold out everywhere I can find it in English, and also the few places I've found it in Japanese. If you're actually literate in Japanese (unlike me), maybe you can help me figure out where to purchase it online? Bonus: peek at my persnickety list of dated, daily planner demands and suggest alternatives! [more inside]
posted by knucklebones at 12:14 AM - 5 answers

November 19

Unconventional Shed Construction

What are some of the most unusual and/or clever ways of building small structures? [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix at 2:33 PM - 18 answers

How did the Confederacy raise the money to pay for the war?

What is the Cliff's Notes version of how the Confederacy raised the money to pay for the the war? Did they levy a tax? Who bought their bonds and who was left holding them when the war ended? Was it simply expected that land owners would pony up?
posted by John Borrowman at 1:11 PM - 2 answers

Abstract sculpture toy sets?

A few years ago in a museum gift shop I saw a large set of irregularly-shaped plastic pieces that could be combined to make abstract sculptures. They came in a plastic canister that was about 18" tall. Now I cannot figure out the name of this set. Does anyone know what this is called? I would also love to learn about similar art-making toys.
posted by mortaddams at 9:25 AM - 10 answers

November 17

Mask donation

Anywhere I can donate my old/unwanted masks? Is that even a thing or is it gross? [more inside]
posted by greta simone at 6:58 AM - 14 answers

November 16

All the outdoor Christmas lights are broken?

This is a question I don't even want to try to google. Of 8 strands of outdoor LED Christmas lights, only one half of one of the strands will light up. First, how and why? I believe they are only 3 years old and they were working last year. Second, do I try to fix them, or just buy new ones? [more inside]
posted by kitcat at 11:15 AM - 8 answers

November 15

ER doc says COVID is fading away? WTF?

My wife's boss forwarded to her an email purporting to be from an ER doc in Atlanta who says COVID is withering away. My wife is beside herself. But, I'm at a loss as to how she might respond. [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad at 11:40 AM - 26 answers

November 14

Delicious, consumable small business X of the Month gifts

I’d like to give some small monthly X of the month style gifts to family for this holiday. I’d really like to support small businesses while I do it, and prefer consumable items (cookie of the month, interesting vinegar with an easy recipe, etc). I’d like to support artists and crafters and small businesses. I don’t really have room on my walls for more art/etc so would prefer ephemeral gifts. Would appreciate your suggestions! [more inside]
posted by arnicae at 5:33 PM - 14 answers

Music history / appreciation audio books / podcasts?

I'm planning a road trip and want to dive deep into music. Please recommend an audio book, podcast, or maybe even a class! Something like Ken Burns' jazz documentary, but preferably where they play full songs instead of clips.
posted by rebent at 1:02 PM - 11 answers

How to dine together separately

We are going to have Thanksgiving "together" with 4 people seated on one side of a picture window and 4 on the other side. 2 people are hard of hearing. Any suggestions on how improve the audio beyond "2 phones on speaker phone"?
posted by arnicae at 11:16 AM - 10 answers

Wherever you go, there you are... but better?

Have you ever made a big move rooted in general life dissatisfaction/ennui/adventure seeking? How'd it go? [more inside]
posted by ambulanceambiance at 5:47 AM - 15 answers

November 13

Armenian charities in a time of conflict

I've seen news articles about fake relief funds posted by bad actors, shady gofundmes, and dubious links on tumblr. I want to donate, and I want to be sure my donation goes to a real charity that will actually help people. [more inside]
posted by the liquid oxygen at 8:43 AM - 6 answers

Outgoing USPS Mail Missing: What To Do

Yesterday evening I dropped off two expensive returns in a USPS mailbox. The box said that the pickup time for all mail inside is 10am on weekdays. I just checked the tracking number for both returns and neither are showing up as having been processed. Shouldn't both packages be in the system by now?
posted by Kitchen Witch at 12:04 AM - 12 answers

November 12

Non-miserable Solo Thanksgiving in 2020?

Because I'm not a selfish monster, I won't be joining beloved friends for a festive meal. I love Thanksgiving, love cooking, don't own a car so can't do a fun drive or anything like that. I will be making pies for some neighbors, but the thought of sitting down to a table for one is bringing me almost to tears. Trying to focus on giving thanks for the blessings I do have. Seeking suggestions ... not sure if I should even bother. Thank you! [more inside]
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:23 PM - 30 answers

November 11

Birthday party but in the dark and freezing to death

My 7 year old is celebrating her birthday with her best friend, with a nighttime picknick in a park. At 5 deg C. Please help me brainstorm 2 or 3 activities to keep them busy and warm. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 1:30 PM - 19 answers

November 10

teach me how to read again!

i used to devour books, to the exclusion of everything else. (hx: i am bipolar with adhd) lately i can't even sit still to read even a few pages and there is SO much i want to read! how do i re-train my brain to do this?
posted by megan_magnolia at 3:08 PM - 22 answers

the most fun PAPER mail-order catalogs for browsing (not buying!)

I used to enjoy leafing through the various full color mail order catalogs that would show up in the mail like a force of nature. i haven't received any catalogs in years and years, but I'm tempted to sign up for some just so I can leaf through them and marvel at this brave world that has such things in it. What catalogs might I want to order? [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 3:04 PM - 41 answers

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