88 thoughts on “Tuesday open thread

  1. At the end of yesterday’s thread, Ivy wrote: “I am disappointed in this season’s Athleta styles because the range of colors is so grey and muted. The options are charcoal, navy, black and light heather for everything!” I totally agree with her!.

    But for anyone like Ivy and me who loves to wear color, I have discovered a new clothing source: It’s a British-based company called Kettlewell Colours, and colorful basics are what they do! They even break down their colors into “seasons” (like the book “Color me Beautiful”), so you can go right to the colors that will be most flattering on you when you’re looking for items. They’re kind of expensive, and the fit can be tricky for me (they don’t have petite sizes), but I really love the idea of a clothing company that doesn’t make everything in just black and shades of greige. I have a purple cardigan and a cobalt-blue jacket from them, and I love them both.

    If anyone is interested:


  2. Anyone watching The Crown?

    I was struck by the similar dynamics evident in Succession. In Tom Wambsgans and Diana for example you have what it must be like to marry into a business where your in-laws are also your boss.

  3. This article hit my news feed: https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/attention-deficit-trait-how-to-cure-a-mental-traffic-jam and a couple of the statements resonated with how I’ve been feeling lately:

    ADT isn’t typically caused by a single event, but rather a “series of minor emergencies while he or she tries harder and harder to keep up.” … In turn, they feel a constant low level of panic and guilt.

    So I’ve been focusing on taking a walk during lunch to make sure that I get some exercise and sunshine, eating well, and this weekend I:

    Reached out to some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and started a new series of Zoom meet ups.

    Put the exterior holiday lights back up and on (we took them down for our new roof/solar project)

    And put up our Christmas Tree!

  4. Rhett – Love The Crown! The actress playing Diana has her “peeking slyly from under her bangs” look down perfectly. I also really like the actor playing Charles – so much hunching! He was also in Durrells in Corfou on PBS. And who doesn’t love Helena Bonham Carter? She’s always excellent.

  5. “In turn, they feel a constant low level of panic and guilt.”

    I can SO relate to this. It’s just been one thing after another and really hard to concentrate. To cope, I’ve been taking mini-breaks, taking walks, exercising more and making sure to schedule in down time for TV watching.

  6. ADT is exactly what I have. Ideally I wish I could drop 25% of my typical workload. That would free up some time to relax, as well as handle all the additional school and general life responsibilities. As it stands now, I continue to take breaks and walk or run in the middle of the day, but the workload doesn’t stop (people are so needy). So up until 9pm, I’m constantly jumping from one thing to another thing and trying keep up.

    For the last few months I’ve made an effort to not work on the weekends. That is my time to fully relax. I really look forward to the weekend.

  7. I just got finished setting up the slow cooker – doing chuck roast meat in what will become the broth for Taiwanese beef noodle soup. It already smells delish and it has hardly gotten going. And all I will need to do this evening, is fix the noodles and dunk the baby bok choys in

  8. I haven’t started the Crown but it’s on my “want to watch” list. I’m almost done listening to the podcast “You’re Wrong About” series on Princess Diana and Princes Charles. What a screwed up family. One of the hosts commented that it’s a human rights violation to force people to be born into the royal family and their way of life and I can kind of see his point.

    I love color – thanks for the suggestion NOB. We have enough gray in Seattle this time of year – I don’t feel the need to add to it.

    And I’ve found a daily walk to be critical to my well-being. I started because I’m sitting so much more now that I work from home. But the mental break is good and it really helps my back.

  9. And who doesn’t love Helena Bonham Carter?

    Have you read about her background? Her great grandfather was H.H. Asquith the British PM and later 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith. Her grandfather was Spanish diplomat Eduardo Propper de Callejón who is credited with saving 30,000 people from the Holocaust. His wife (Helen’s grandmother) was the heiress to a French banking dynasty who grew up here.

    She’s what they call POSH.

  10. I also watch and really enjoy The Crown. That said, I cannot imagine what it’s like being The Queen, or Prince Philip, or Prince Charles, or Princess Anne or whoever, and having this totally unauthorized (by them), dramatized account of the most intimate moments of their lives being up there on Netflix for the whole world to see. What a strange life they lead. Very privileged, of course, but very strange.

  11. I haven’t watched The Crown, but after watching the Queen’s Gambit it’s now a recommendation for me. I mentioned to DH that I really need to up my tv watching game.

  12. We’ve been watching The Queen’s Gambit which is quite fun – drugs and chess, what’s not to like? I can’t get into the Crown for the same reason I never followed Lady Di – I am just so not into royals. I might get us started on a show called The Magicians – anyone watched that? We finished Warrior Num so are looking for something else, and it has to appeal to DD

  13. Any leads on super soft sweatshirts? I like really soft sweatshirts. They don’t have to be all cotton; in fact, some combo of cotton and modal or rayon is usually how the fabric gets less stiff. I haven’t had a lot of luck finding them this winter. I’m talking about pullover sweatshirts here, though I’d look at zip-up too.

  14. I couldn’t get into The Crown. I like history, reading about castles, royalty and such but had to abandon The Crown. Lady Di was such a big deal growing up. Several of my friends cut off their old fashioned braids and got “modern” Lady Di haircuts. We were bummed that we didn’t get to see The Royal Wedding. The home country didn’t have color TV and this most important event was not broadcast. We made do with coffee table books with color pictures.

  15. The Crown is much more than Lady Di. I am always googling the stories int he show because there is so much history and it goes back to the 20s/30s. I love this show even though I have been a little bored once in a while when they go too deep into the history of Wales. Just not my thing, but I LOVE this series. I only have four episodes left in the new season and I am saving them because I don’t want to rush through this 4th season.

    Queens Gambit was also wonderful. The attention to detail with the clothes and props etc – so good in addition to a wonderful story.

  16. Rocky, Super soft sweatshirt ideas – Vuori sold at Nordstrom and Vuori. Athleta has cozy karma and cloud fleece line. Z Supply has some super soft, but sometimes their quality isn’t great after many weavings. SOL-angeles has some soft tops too.

  17. Mooshi – as usual, I found The Magicians books to be better than the series. Some odd stuff in that show – you may want to preview an episode.

  18. Odd in what way?
    Warrior Nun was entertaining, but truth be told, it is profoundly anti-Catholic.

  19. Louise,

    Are the home country royals a big deal? It looks like quite a few of them still have their lands, jewels and palaces. And I didn’t realize that royalty wasn’t abolished there until 1971.

  20. Btw, thanks to Fred and Milo (I think) for the discussion on PTO days. I was working on my list of work days by location (for tax purposes….and was shocked at how little vacation I have taken this year. I mean, I know I haven’t gone anywhere and the crisis has made unplugging kind of impossible….but even I was shocked when I looked at it on paper. Since my bank is full, it’s really depressing to see how much I’ll lose. So, in my own little rebellion (yeah, it’s not really a rebellion to take your vacation days), I went and blocked every Friday for the rest of the year.

    Like someone else said, I actually prefer to take Mondays as my three day weekend, but that doesn’t work as well right now. Fridays are fun to get a head start on the weekend, but man I love Sunday nights knowing that I still have a bonus day ahead.

  21. Rhett – not anymore on a national scale but some families are important at a local level. Many entered politics and movies to keep themselves in the limelight. Palaces have been converted into hotels. You should check those out.

    The home country looks at the same British history in a different and negative light. The home country thought of Lord Mountbatten as the great villain and architect of the Partition (I realized only later that he was Prince Charles beloved uncle).

  22. @Sunshine –
    In addition to taking Fridays (which obv you need to switch to Thursdays for 12/24 & 12/31), can you block e.g. 8-10am on all the rest of the Mondays as ‘out of office’ and record as vacation time? So, yeah, that’d amount to a whole 1.5 vacation days for the rest of 2020, but would that help you out?

  23. Thanks to the poster who said that they have learned to not take on their partner’s stress. I’ve been thinking about that a lot the last few days as DH has been stressed. It has been a good reminder that I can only control my own emotions. I’ve been embracing the slower pace to life as I’m able to focus more on my health.

    My daily four mile walks had been getting too easy where I’m walking close to a 15 minute/mile pace and not getting my heart rate up at all. The last week or so has been much colder, so I’m wearing my new winter walking boots and new winter coat. The winter gear probably adds 5-10 pounds, so now I feel like I’m walking while carrying weights. It is funny to me that the extra weight is noticeable as I’ve lost close to 40 pounds and most days feel like I haven’t lost anything. A big highlight today was that this is the lowest I’ve weighed in 7 years.

    Fred is my walking inspiration. Thanks Fred for keeping me motivated!

  24. Louise,

    I was thinking about that in terms of long term vacation planning. It was very cool staying at the castle in Germany. And the idea that you could not only tour the historic castles and palaces of India but also stay there adds a whole new dimension. I was looking at the Umaid Bhawan Palace which is the worlds largest private home.

    You could visit, tour the palace and the museum and then, because it’s also a Taj, you could check in, have dinner and spend the night.

  25. “He was also in Durrells in Corfou on PBS”

    THAT’s where I saw him!! Am thinking of The Crown, now that they are getting to an era I remember. But we just started The Mandalorian, so lots of other stuff to get through first.

    Belated congrats to the college-acceptance crowd from yesterday! I am looking forward to DD coming home and can’t believe that’s already here. Particularly glad since she’s had some issues with an unidentified man checking out their house at night a couple of times — she’s managing it, school and local cops are aware of it, my dad is on the alert, they’ve installed some temporary lights and such, but I’ll still be happy just to have her here and not have to worry about it. Oh: don’t know if I reported it, but she and all her roommates avoided getting Covid from their friend — although the one friend who had lunch with him ended up having to spend the full 10 days in the quarantine hotel. Seems like a little karmic justic for the House Princess. ;-)

  26. I am looking forward to DD coming home and can’t believe that’s already here.

    DS is coming home Saturday and will be home through January.

  27. Rhett – yes, she is amazing as Thatcher.

    Mooshi – Sorry, I watched the Magicians awhile ago not long after I read the series so don’t recall exactly what it was I didn’t like. The show was just off. Moody teen angst, except they aren’t teens. Mopey, whiny, moody feel to it. I didn’t care about any of the characters and just couldn’t get into it.

  28. Thanks Rocky! My petty motivation is that if I were to die from covid that people wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh well, TCM was fat so it was her own fault.” Ha

  29. I thought I posted earlier, but I may have clicked away before I submitted…a little crazy week.

    I watched The Crown’s first two seasons, then it took awhile to get season 3 that I didn’t have to pay for. Now, I feel like I need to go watch at least the end of season 2 to get caught up.

    Liked Queens Gambit and am watching the newest installments of The Great British Baking Show as the release them each week.

    Overall, I feel that I am not productive and TV is sucking up too much of my time and then I think, oh just one more. I am trying to limit myself to one episode or show each evening. Except for last night, I have gotten to bed on time for a week. It feels so much better.

  30. My petty motivation is that if I were to die from covid that people wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh well, TCM was fat so it was her own fault.” Ha

    Hey, man, whatever works.

  31. The Magicians was a reasonably good book series. The main protagonist is somewhat Holden Caulfield, it is hard to get invested in his problems. The middle book was half about a fascinating secondary female character, and our “hero” on more of a quest, so my favorite. I did not think I would like the TV series, so I passed. I will be watching His Dark Materials, season 2, even though I didn’t find the first season had the real feel of the book. Mostly for Ruth Wilson, who is fantastic as Mrs. Coulter. And the Bear. Maybe they will increase the CGI budget, too.

  32. “I am trying to limit myself to one episode or show each evening. ”

    Yeah, I try to do that and usually end up watching at least 2. That’s what’s nice about the GBBS – you have to wait. Same with Mandalorian.

  33. My petty motivation is that if I were to die from covid that people wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh well, TCM was fat so it was her own fault.” Ha

    TCM – LOL ! That is so brutally honest.

  34. @TCM – That is a fantastic and difficult accomplishment!! You should be proud, and I admire your turning the lemons of 2020 into lemonade.

  35. “our new roof/solar project”

    Welcome to the PV club! TMK, the other members here are DD and me. How many panels?

  36. “We were bummed that we didn’t get to see The Royal Wedding.”

    You might want to check out Royal Wedding, the movie in which Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling.

    His love interest in the movie is played by Winston Churchill’s daughter. I’m curious of your home country’s view of him.

  37. TCM, congrats. Your motivation sounds like mine for cleaning/organizing–if I die suddenly, I don’t want people to see the mess.

  38. Cyril Radcliffe is who is often talked about in intro geography/cartography classes in association with the partition of India. He’s the guy who drew the line on the map, and he really didn’t know what he was doing, partially because of the imperial stance on natives, but also because he had just gotten there.

  39. Catching up and sending congratulations to so many of you for great milestones—college and med school admissions, anniversaries, publications, fitness goals…it all makes me smile! :-) Thanks for sharing!

    I am celebrating rain in CA and our third week of in-person school.

  40. We have 14 LG panels. Our largest daily production was 27.08kWh in October. We don’t have a power wall (yet!) Like you, we are looking for ways to shift our electricity usage to when we are generating it.

  41. TCM – I am impressed with your walking pace! You’re inspiring me to work on upping mine.

  42. “we are looking for ways to shift our electricity usage to when we are generating it”

    What have you come up with? Pre-pandemic, the only things I was consistently doing was using timers to run the dishwasher and rice cooker during the day while we were at work/school.

    During the pandemic, our weekday daytime use has gone up, and most days the car is home, so on most days we’re able to make full use of our generation capacity, although we’ve not been able to do that on some days DW goes to the office.

    While there are only a few of us with PV panels, there are others here with time of day metering who could also benefit from shifting their use patterns.

    “We don’t have a power wall (yet!)”

    Do you have net metering?

  43. TCM — Congrats on the weight loss! Your walking pace is impressive. I don’t walk that fast even on the treadmill.

    NoB — I love those colors. I remember you’ve commented on your colorful clothing style, which I imagine is particularly attractive and uplifting during the cold, drab seasons.

  44. DD got a postcard from Northern Vermont University promoting that it is a good place to study during COVID. We found that interesting.

  45. Denver, how did they back that up? “It’s so cold you won’t want to leave your room anyway”?

  46. “TCM, congrats. Your motivation sounds like mine for cleaning/organizing–if I die suddenly, I don’t want people to see the mess.”

    I’ve always worried about getting murdered and having the jury judge me based on the crime scene photos with laundry piled on the kitchen table and dishes in the sink and floors that haven’t been mopped. I imagine some middle aged lady on the jury muttering “you know what’s really a crime? The state of her baseboards” but then I also think, well if I was going to be murdered good thing I didn’t waste my time on any of that stuff.

  47. DD. have you noticed that the college marketing is a little more desparate this go round than when your DS was a senior?

  48. Mooshi – I think Flavorful Origins on Netflix will interest you. Different Chinese foods are shown – quite interesting.,

  49. @TCM. Big Congrats! 40, eh? All since Covid hit? (I’ve plateaued since mid-year…I’m trying to convince myself it’s because I’ve added muscle mass by lifting instead of walking every 3rd day the last 2.5mos…which doesn’t explain the time from June 30-Aug 28).

    @Cass. College Marketing…you think now is desperate? Wait 5yrs (So Ivy’s kid, Kerri’s kids, other 12yos). Big dip in the number of graduating HS seniors bottoms out.

  50. SM, they said Vermont has controlled the virus well and there are a lot of wide-open spaces and outdoor recreation activities.

    Cass, I chalked up the increased mailings to DD having better grades than DS.

  51. TCM – you’re my new role model. I’ve gained weight since this started, but we have entered the time of year when Houston is actually pleasant to be outside. You’re at a great pace for 4 miles – I’m not hitting that at only 2 miles. Congrats!

  52. Lolly,

    Ever worse they make one of those Nextflix series about your murder and the whole country gets to see the photos.

  53. the time of year when Houston is actually pleasant to be outside
    If I tried to picture myself staying in Tampa, it was in Oct – Nov. Enjoy the good weather while you’ve got it!

  54. (Really) petty complaint of the day: I mentioned a few weeks ago that I love the show “This Is Us”, and was very happy when it returned (after a between-seasons break of over six months) at the end of October. Last night’s episode was the third of the new season; but at the end of the episode, we learned that there won’t be any new ones until January! After just having gotten the Pearsons back in my life, now I have to live without them for seven weeks!!

  55. Morning grumble: I cracked myself on the back of the head at the gym last night — failed on a back squat, got too far forward, had to sort of wrench everything to force the weight backwards, so I fell backwards too, and the back of my head met the bar as it was bouncing off the floor and I was on my way down to meet it. So a lovely giant egg, a headache, and some as-yet-undetermined back/hip strain from forcing 200#+ to go the opposite direction from where it wanted to. This is the second time in a month (the prior was a kettlebell to the other side of the back of the head). I am just SO frustrated and angry. My twice-a-week strongman is my happy place, my escape, my little-bit-of-almost-normal. I hardly get to go as it is, between work interfering and periodically getting asthma that keeps me out just in case it’s not asthma. And now I just keep freaking hurting myself, so I don’t even have that. %#!&$#*(@!#$#%$%

    (No need to respond, just venting, because apparently being angry and snarky is my sole remaining outlet)

    On the plus side, the local grocery store finally opened — first time we’ve had one within walking distance since the 1980s, so I am *thrilled*. Although I’d have been more thrilled if it had opened before I discovered Instacart, which now allows me to be even lazier. ;-)

  56. LfB, if you’re anything like me, a string of clumsiness has you wondering if you’re aging in ways you don’t recognize, or if depression is creeping up on you. Hope you’re over it soon. And excuse me for saying it, but one other plus is that you get to go to the gym at all–they’re closed here for at least a month.

  57. Fred – I think most of it has been since Covid. I sporadically update my date in MyFitnessPal over the years with the intention of doing something about it but then never do. My highest non-pregnancy weight recorded was on 1/7/20. The battery in our scale died, and I didn’t weigh myself again until 4/26. I was 9 pounds down, which I assume mostly came off during Covid because I definitely wasn’t doing anything to lose weight before Covid.

    Thanks all for humoring me here to celebrate as I never never never never ever talk about losing weight in real life. I feel like I should apologize for bringing it up here but in my head this anonymous group is my accountability partner. I said a while ago that I knew I was going to lose weight, so now I have to follow through. I have never really tried to lose weight before. I still check the math in my head multiple times a day that I’ve lost weight because sometimes it feels like I haven’t. I still need to lose 30-45 more pounds. It’ll probably take another year or so. I won’t continue to bore you with updates, unless I hit a big milestone :)

    I wouldn’t have been able to lose weight without Covid and the lockdown/shutdown (whatever you want to call March-May). Every year my resolution is to eat out less and to drink less and every year I don’t do anything. The habits to go out to eat and order food and to have HH with DH after work were too deeply ingrained. When Covid hit, I lost all desire to eat out and order food. Habit instantly broken. Stopping the nightly HH was much harder as they had become an unhealthy coping mechanism when DH was super stressed with work. But Denver Dad made a comment about one of his patients quitting smoking after 50 years and said something to the effect that if it matters enough, people change. That motivated me to take a break from alcohol because the nightly HH was getting worse with being home and stressed about the world all the time, and I knew I had to change. Basically I’m trying to eat 1,600 calories a day, which is two 800 calorie meals or two meals and a snack. In order to only eat two meals a day, I don’t eat before 11. I don’t limit any food, except for alcohol, and I record everything in MyFitnessPal. I use a Fitbit to track steps and that syncs with MyFitnessPal

    I’m trying to get a 10,000/step streak going in November as I figure that if I’m outside every day I’ll acclimate to it being so cold. I’m going to try to walk daily unless the wind chill is way below zero as it is hard to cover all of my face.

    The weight loss has been:
    May – down 6 pounds (no drinking alcohol)
    June – down 3 pounds (which is shocking because during and after the riots, I was not very focused and HH resumed)
    July – down 7 pounds (made the goal to get 10,000 steps a day and no alcohol)
    August – down 2 pounds (took PTO and a break from tracking and walking)
    September – down 5 pounds
    October through mid-Nov – down 8 pounds but most of that is in November as in October I was enjoying too many margaritas and now back to no alcohol and walking.

    Ugh. I feel like this is too much navel gazing to post and debated deleting it, but at the same time it feels sort of nice to feel proud of myself. I promise to not bring up again for a long time!

  58. TCM – your posts have been very inspiring. I have been walking regularly as well. I can’t say it’s led to weight loss but I feel healthier. To lose weight, I have to become extremely disciplined about eating. I eat home cooked food so that’s not an issue but I have to cut out any sweet, I have a desire to eat. I drink a little bit of wine daily, so that may have to go. Hopefully, I will begin next year a couple of pounds lighter – I have December to do it. The holidays don’t necessarily mean more eating for me but more time to walk.

  59. TCM I never never never never ever talk about losing weight in real life same. And I’m around people who didn’t know me when I was fat, so they don’t notice either. I’m down ca 55, “only” have 10 to go, am eating the same number of calories as you, divided differently (big breakfast, then several snacks). I go for walks, but really need to be working out—my belly doesn’t need to be this big at this weight—but between the weather, closed gym & pool, and young adult whose favorite after school lounge spot is the best place for me to exercise, I find an excuse not to do it nearly every day. You and Fred are admirable in your commitment to the walking.

  60. TCM — I appreciate your reporting on fitness activities. You inspired me to increase my maximum speed on the treadmill this morning from 3.9 to 4.0 mph. It was only a small step but it felt good.

    LFB – I’m sorry to hear about your injury but I wanted you to know I thought of you the other day when I was struggling to move our 200 lb generator. I was thinking if I did crossfit like LFB and other totebaggers it would not be such a struggle!

  61. TCM that is awesome! It is so nice to hear good stories, as well as positive life changes to come out of this horrible year.

    I just calculated my runs (switched apps mid year) and in 2020 I’ve run over 460 miles. I never was much of a runner, so I’m pretty impressed with this distance. No associated weight loss, but the mental benefits have been great.

  62. TCM. Thanks for sharing. It is inspirational to hear how you have been able to turn the deprivations of this time to something healthful and self affirming. The details too.

  63. Gyms are open here, and I have a membership at one. But similar to indoor dining, going to an indoor gym doesn’t seem appealing right now

  64. TCM, you are doing really well. I am trying to figure out how to deal with winter since I hate running or biking in the cold.

  65. @TCM – Thank you for sharing, and I DO appreciate your detailed post! This morning, I was out for my walk, and I was feeling a little lethargic. (Ok, lazy) And I looked at my Apple watch & my pace was slower than usual. I thought to myself “TCM was up to 15 minute miles – you can stay under 18!” So you are inspiring anonymous internet friends.

    Please do report back & we are all happy to be your accountability partners & cheerleaders (or to give a kick in the butt if that’s what you want too).

    @Rhett & Lolly – I am dying at the thought of the dirty house on the Netflix murder special!

  66. LfB – I am sorry about you getting injured. I know how frustrating it is to be limited re working out during the recovery period.

    I have been stressed about a big presentation to top management about a project I’ve been leading for the last year which happened this morning and it went great. So now my limited gray matter can focus on more fun things like this upcoming holiday, seeing 2 of my kids.

  67. Thanks everyone! And it’s nice to hear that it inspires others. By sharing with you guys what I’m doing, it keeps me motivated too.

    Lemon Tree – your mileage is impressive! I think you have to consider yourself a runner.

  68. “I was thinking if I did crossfit like LFB and other totebaggers it would not be such a struggle!”

    Aww, thanks, that’s nice.

  69. TCM – add me to the list of the people you’re helping by sharing the details. I have now put on about 15 during covid, after being really disciplined at the beginning. I need to get serious as I’ve also shared that I lost about 75 a few years ago. I cannot go back!

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