"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn

We are pleased to announce the third annual Board Reunion Tour! Participating retired writers can answer questions during the week of March 27-April 3.

Question #81821 posted on 03/31/2015 1:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I asked this question (https://theboard.byu.edu/questions/76678/) a little over a year ago. Since then, things have gotten monumentally worse. I've found out things about this girl that I never wanted to know... and I probably don't even know half of it. Her behavior has now escalated into illegal activities, word of wisdom violations, self harm, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night, and who knows what else. And now that she's 18, there's not much anyone can do about it.

I'm not really concerned about her leaving the church anymore-- I realize it's not the most important thing to worry about. Right now, I'm just worried she's going to end up in jail or even worse. One of the most frustrating things is that she always acts like nothing is wrong. One day after she'd run away and we all put our lives on hold to spend several hours filing police reports and trying to contact her, she came home and immediately started talking with me about some stupid cell phone game. I wanted nothing more than to scream at her and tell her I don't care about that -- she's ruining her life, scaring her parents and younger siblings to death, and making her family miserable! I just kind of sidestepped the subject and left the room.

She still works at that stupid fast food place and often doesn't get off work until after midnight, and then she sticks around talking to her co-workers for hours after that. Her parents don't trust her to drive herself or get a ride home, so they have to go sit in the parking lot and wait for her to finish, reducing their sleep to just a few hours a night, if they're lucky. She doesn't care at all about how she's affecting their health and sanity in multiple ways. She just sleeps all weekend to make up for her lost sleep, but she doesn't understand that her parents have jobs and other kids to take care of and can't do that. She just yells constantly and insists she's doing nothing wrong. She's become a perpetual liar and very verbally abusive, especially to her mother, and it's breaking my heart.

She says no one loves her and she'll only be happy when she moves out of her parents' house. She's planning on going to college in the fall, but it's not even a sure thing that she'll graduate from high school. I'll be shocked if she doesn't either flunk out of school or run out of money (because she has absolutely no sense of the concept of not spending more money than you earn) and be forced to move back home after one semester, starting this horrible nightmare all over again.

Anyway, I guess my question is, how can I still love her when I don't even want to be around her anymore? I know I need to try to be her friend still, but I'd never be friends with someone like this if she wasn't a family member. I have my own problems to deal with, and she's totally toxic. I just want to slap her and kick her to the curb to get a hard dose of reality. Please tell me how to deal with someone like this... I'm at my wits end. In an effort to be nice, I bought some tickets for us to go to a concert together this summer, but I'm already regretting that decision. I don't know if I can survive spending an entire evening with her. Is there any way to talk some sense into someone like this? I can't even imagine what her parents are going through.

-Frustrated Aunt

A:

Dear Frustrated:

First off, I have a lot of empathy for you, your sibling and sibling-in-law, and all your nieces and nephews, not least this young woman.

Frankly, all of her behavior points to an incipient psychological disorder, most likely a personality disorder along the lines of Borderline Personality Disorder (the self-harm and the glibness, the lack of a theory of other minds, is what tipped me off), but it could be a number of things.

I plead with you, you have some sort of influence on your niece's parents, please encourage them to get their daughter to a counselor. It will do her infinitely more good than this job: I agree with last year's respondent that is a categorically bad idea. 

Yes, she is a young adult, but she is still in high school. I was never expected to work; school was my focus. Is there a way that this family can survive financially without her income? I know that in the post-recessionary economy, many family's finances are tight, but their niece's well-being, as well as their own, is at stake. If she at risk of flunking, I plead with you to help her get a tutor and one-on-one help. Is she in the Salt Lake Valley? Then I would tutor her, pro bono, not a doubt in my mind.

I understand that she is making herself difficult to get along with. But I think a wise, level-headed aunt like yourself is an absolute godsend to her. You don't have to enable her self-destructive behaviors—frankly, I think the parents could use counseling as well after getting her out of the dead-end job and getting her to focus on her studies—but trust me, please believe me, if you withdraw your affection now, the downward spiral could get worse.

Young women who feel unloved, who self-harm, who act out, often feel very misunderstood, even worthless. I think if you use this pivotal moment to tut-tut her and make your disapproval obvious, she'll lash out. I think now that's she's reached her majority, she needs to get into counseling, possibly on medication at the recommendation of a qualified psychiatrist, not me, and take responsibility for a new outlook, a new friend circle, a new high school if that's what it takes.

Why should you love her? Well, she's your niece. Think of her positive qualities: independence, vivacity, probably a reasonably intelligent and loving younger girl inside the shell of someone who has become manipulative and mean under the influence of people who are doing her no good.

PLEASE, if you have any influence, get her out of this job, and into counseling. 

I agree with you that as an adult, she can choose whether to be involved with the LDS Church at this precise time. But her parents can certainly set ground rules of behavior while she's at home, and I think absolutely unconditional love while enforcing absolutely conditional privileges (if nothing else, she can't handle the job, and would be much better served and serving using her rambunctiousness volunteering at an outdoor gardens, or giving music lessons, SOMETHING).

If she indeed has BPD or another serious personality disorder, getting counseling now could not only save her grades and her parents' sanity, it could save her life.

That's what I'd suggest. Love her for her past strengths, the interesting and accomplished woman she certainly can become if she takes responsiblity for her life and gets help for her feelings of self-loathing and lost-ness, and love her because if you don't, you could lose her forever.

---Portia

A:

Dear Frustrated Aunt,

I second Portia in that your niece really needs therapy because something is definitely wrong. I'm not qualified to make any diagnoses, especially with so little information, but check out these diagnostic criteria and see if any resonate with you:

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships going between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • persistently unstable sense of self
  • impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging, such as spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, or binge eating
  • recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviors
  • intense mood swings, usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days
  • chronic feelings of emptiness
  • difficulty controlling anger
  • stress-related paranoia or dissociative symptoms

That's the list of symptoms which characterizes a mental illness called borderline personality disorder. Nobody can make a diagnosis except for a licensed mental health professional, which I am not. It could just as easily be, as a commenter suggested on your last question, a response to trauma such as sexual assault. It could be a lot of things. Even more importantly, nobody can treat a mental illness except for a licensed mental health professional. That means therapy. I understand that your niece is now an adult and so no one can force her to seek therapy. I also understand from your question of a year ago that your sister believes that your niece would react poorly to therapy due to her tendency to shut down. Therapists are used to that and have techniques to deal with it. I think it's time to trust a mental health professional and get your niece into an office.

Getting your niece into an office might be difficult, especially with the current situation as it is. Your sister and brother-in-law are currently going to great lengths to try and protect your niece, which is admirable. They do it because they love her, which is, after all, what parents should do. However, if there is a point between healthy love and enabling, they appear to have crossed it. The truth about these types of behaviors is that you cannot protect someone from unsavory outcomes. You just can't. Your attempts are futile. They have to decide to get healthier. In the meantime, nobody, NOBODY, can protect them from all of the terrible possible consequences of their actions. All anyone can do is love them and refuse to become part of the problem. Unfortunately, your brother-in-law and sister are part of the problem when they do things like sit outside your niece's job for hours waiting to take her home. They believe they have to do it to prevent their daughter from getting into trouble, leaving with someone dangerous, or not coming home at all. It could be that they are right and that any one of those things could happen if they didn't wait outside, but it could also be that all of those things could happen if they do wait outside. In addition, they lose the majority of their sleep, experience chaos, and are unable to spend that time with their spouse or other children while your niece experiences no consequences for her behavior. She can behave however she wants and she will still get a ride home to her warm bed. While your sister and brother-in-law's motives are excellent, the results are unhealthy.

So, how can anybody get your volatile niece into a therapist's office? I imagine the answer has to do with implementing consequences and holding boundaries. For example, perhaps if she will not seek therapy she cannot live at her parents' home anymore. This would be because her presence there is so unhealthy and chaotic, especially for her siblings. She is an adult, and remember, she can't be protected from herself anyway. There are a lot of chances for these types of techniques for other behaviors, too. If she isn't outside within ten minutes of her shift ending, maybe she doesn't get a ride home. If she is yelling or being verbally abusive, maybe everyone else leaves the room until she calms down. If she wants to rant and rage against someone or something, maybe it's okay for ten minutes but no more. Boundaries aren't about punishments. They are about keeping everyone healthy and avoiding enabling behaviors.

I also need to take a moment and stress how difficult all of this must be in your niece. Let's do a thought experiment. Let's imagine that within the past year your entire life had changed. You lost your faith and your close relationships with your family. You have watched your grades tank and your prospects along with them. Your moods go from content to anger to intense sadness within just a few minutes of each other and you cannot control them. Everything that is happening is so intense that the only way you can find to calm yourself is to harm yourself. You don't understand why everyone is so angry with you sometimes, or you do and you can't stop anyway. What do you imagine that would feel like? I imagine I'd feel disoriented, scared, alone, hurt, and angry. I think I'd deserve as much empathy as anyone could give me. I hope people would hold me accountable for my behaviors to help me get better.

One way to improve your relationship with your niece could be to focus on things completely outside of the chaos she reigns down on everyone. In your last question you said you would ask your niece if she had any questions about the church and that she would claim she didn't. Maybe she interpreted your question as you saying that all that mattered in your relationship was the church. (I'm not saying that's what you meant, just that perhaps that is how she interpreted it.) Maybe what needs to happen between you and her is to build a relationship separate from all the negative things that have happened over the past year. Sit down with her and talk about light topics, like television or her dumb cell phone game. If that goes well, talk to her about how her day went, what she likes and dislikes about her job or about school, what her friends are like, if she has any romantic interest. Don't give advice at all during these conversations. Just listen. If that works, maybe start seeing if your influence grows a little.

Good luck, and all the best.

- The Black Sheep


0 Comments
Question #81818 posted on 03/31/2015 12:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear Stego Lily,

You're married now! Will you please fill us in on your wedding day (pictures are always welcome)?! How's married life for you? Is it what you expected? If not, what's different?

-pilipino gugma

A:

Dear friend,

My wedding day rocked. The weather was perfect, which was good since the reception was outside. I got to see a ton of people that I love and hang out with Bronto all day and meet some of his family members and literally NOTHING went wrong. Like really, the only regret that I have is that I didn't get to have any s'mores at my reception. Oh, and that I put the Bollywood song at the end of the playlist so I was inside changing out of my dress when it came on.. But yeah, it was perfect, and I got to talk to people, and hug people and I didn't have to do a line, and we had a dance party at the end, and all my best friends and family were there (except my sister, who is on a mission) and I don't think I stopped smiling for like three days afterward.

As requested, here are pictures. All photos are by Blush Pink Photography. If you happen to live in the Portland, Oregon area and need a photographer, you should look her up because she is incredibly talented, and also super sassy and fun to work with.

 aaron&karissa-76 (1).jpg

aaron&karissa-153.jpg

This might be the only picture that will ever exist where I have manicured nails. Seriously, I hate having my nails painted more than almost anything.

aaron&karissa-231.jpg

Can I just put in a plug really quick for Bed of Roses in Lindon? They are the best florists on earth. The first time I sat down with the florist, I basically said: I like orange, and I like lilies and pointed to maybe three pictures, and she somehow took that extremely limited info and created the most perfect bouquet I ever could have imagined.

aaron&karissa-423.jpg

My aunt made this cake, because she is awesome. And it was delicious. We did not keep with the tradition of saving it until our anniversary, because it was in our freezer and we have no self control. And yes, those are carabiners.

aaron&karissa-426.jpg

I'm still just really sad that I was too busy talking to eat any of these...I did get cream puffs, though, and they were divine.

anonymity.png

We maybe got bored in between the ceremony and the reception, and filled the time by jumping on my cousin's trampoline.

 

aaron&karissa-615.jpg

We still haven't taken the car to a car wash, counting on months of rain and snow to wash it off. That...almost worked. Except for the hearts on the taillights. Those are still there six months later.

On to your second question: Married life rocks, man. The main surprise is that Bronto and I are still basically the same people we were before we got married. I guess I kind of thought that once I got married I would transform into this really mature person who is capable of getting places on time and feeding herself and dressing cute. And...that definitely didn't happen. I'm still late for work almost every day (though by a smaller margin!!) I still hate to cook, and I still have no idea about anything fashion related. And Bronto's flaws all still exist too. But I guess I also thought that I would have to become more serious  after getting married, but I actually feel like I've gotten goofier since I have someone who will laugh at my dumb jokes and be silly with me.

Also this sounds mushy but I'm constantly surprised at how much I love Bronto, and how happy I am. Like, some things still suck about life and being married doesn't make them less sucky, but I have my best friend there all the time to support me and make me smile. And we just have a lot of fun together. So, yeah, I'm a fan.

Peace,

-Stego Lily


0 Comments
Question #81807 posted on 03/31/2015 10:38 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I think me and this guy like each other, but he's 26 and I'm only 19. How can we finally start it off? I feel like I can't be the one to start because I'm so much younger, but I don't want to miss the chance.

-Confused but in love

A:

Confused,

He's 37% older than you. Lots of people will view this as a major problem. But here's how I see it:

Age Graph-page-001.jpg

When you've been together for 80 years, he'll only be 7% older than you. And 7% is pretty much nothing. Actually, you know what? Show him this graph. If there's one way to get things off on the right foot, it's by using math.

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Confuzzled:

You're just outside the half-plus-seven rule. Proceed with extreme caution, if at all.

---Portia

A:

Dear confused,

Just do what you would in any other situation of potential mutual liking. I really don't think the age gap is as big of a deal as people make it seem. My sister's husband is seven years older than her, and my wife is five years older than me; as far as I know, none of us had to do anything differently just because of our ages.

Best of luck!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Confused,

The reason that people sometimes express concern about significant age gaps in dating or marriage is because of the potential for a power imbalance in the relationship. If you date someone who has significantly more education, more work experience, more experience supporting himself, a higher salary, or more life experience in general, you run the risk of feeling like you always have to defer to his opinion because he's so much smarter or wiser or more experienced. (Due to other gender dynamics, this imbalance is often amplified when the man is older than the woman, but diminished when the woman is older than the man.)

I'm not saying that your relationship is inherently doomed—I myself am the product of a couple who were 19 and 26 when they married and are happily married to this day—I'm just saying that this is a potential issue that you need to be aware of. Here's the other thing: Because you're the one who is potentially on the losing end of this power dynamic, it is my opinion that you're the one who needs to make the first move. He may be interested in you, but he may also be thinking that you're too young or that he would be taking advantage of you if he tried to press the issue, so you need to step up and offset the power imbalance.

Good luck!

- Katya

A:

Dear kids,

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I really don't think that's as big of an age gap as you think it is.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear Cog,

The age gap isn't a problem at all.  But, you are 19.  At this point in your life, you should make absolutely certain you know a guy for a full year before you get hitched (unless you BOTH have unmistakable and joint revelation on the topic).

As YOU get older, you are more likely to grow up and figure things out better.

If I had married some of the girls I wanted to marry when I was 19, I'd probably be miserable right now.

That is all.

Horatio


0 Comments
Posted on 03/31/2015 9:40 a.m. New Comment on: #81797 Is there a funny or light-hearted way to respond to Utah-bashing? You know, when people argue ...
Question #81801 posted on 03/31/2015 9:20 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with same sex attraction. It's something that I've kept to myself (as I don't feel ready to talk about it with my family or friends until I make a decision) and I feel that over the years it has become stronger and stronger. I've tried to stay active in the church, I served a mission, and now I'm at LDSBC. But more and more I just feel unhappy and to be frank sad and a bit jealous as my friends, family members and coworkers find people they love and are able to be with them, and even marry them. For me on the other hand, I'm just supposed to ignore my attractions and forge ahead with the knowledge that I will never have a significant other, let alone a spouse or a family. I love the church and what it teaches, but sometimes I really feel like I can never be happy as a loyal member. I sometimes ,(ok often), have doubts about the church. Not about the doctrine of anything Spiritual, just that I will never be able to live a full life within the church. Leaving the church is a huge deal and it's not something I would just jump into, but more and more as I yearn to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, the idea seems more attractive to me. Right now I feel like I've reached a cross roads and I need to move ahead as an active member of the church, or I need to leave it behind and pursue my desire to find a significant other, a and eventually a spouse. I just need advice, what do you think about this? What are some good things about staying in the church? What advantages would I have leaving it? What would you do in my shoes? Is it really so wicked for me to want to love and be loved? This is a really big decision and I just need to hear what some other people think before I make it. Please help me and please be honest, no matter what you say I won't be offended. Thank you,

-Sitting on the fence

A:

Dear Sitting on the fence,

I'm so sorry you're in this place. I am also not straight, and I faced the same crossroads a few years ago, both because of my sexuality and other factors. I tried both of the options you are contemplating, and neither one is easy. Nobody can really tell you which one will make your life easier or better or more fulfilling. It is, after all, your life.

Here's what I know: get a support system and be honest. I understand how scary this situation is. I understand how life-changing it is. I know all of the implications that folks who aren't in this situation might not think about. I also know that the only thing that made this process easier for me was finding people in a similar situation and letting them know what I was thinking and feeling. Talk to gay/SSA people who have decided to stay in the Church and remain celibate. Talk to gay/SSA people who have left the Church (look for ones who are Church-friendly; I promise many of them exist). Talk to gay/SSA people who are making mixed marriages work. Talk to gay/SSA people who are in same-sex relationships but are still as active in the Church as they can be. Talk to all of these people and learn from their experiences. More importantly, share your experiences as well. There's no better way to conquer any shame, guilt, embarrassment, or similar emotions than to talk about your struggles, face-to-face, thereby proving to yourself that you are bigger and more important than those emotions.

If you would like to talk about this more, or if you would like me to refer you to a good group of people for a starting point, please contact me at byublacksheep at gmail dot com.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear you,

My heart goes out to you. No matter what you decide, no matter where life takes you, I want you to never forget this

You matter. Your lifethe sum of your relationships, experiences and feelingshas meaning and worth. You may arrive at a situation that feels like everyone you know is telling you that you're wrong. But your feelings, and the decisions you make, are yours. Don't ever allow anyone to take that agency away from you. It's your life to live and no one else's, and you matter.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear Sitting on the Fence,

Do you mind some company on that fence? I am a man who is attracted to men. What does that mean for me and the Church? What does that mean for my family and me? (parents, siblings, etc - I am single). I'm thankful that The Black Sheep answered, because she was a resource I reached out to when I was first figuring this out (I was 31, I am just now 32 - this is still pretty new to me). Knowing that there are people in the Church, people in YOUR WARD, people in your circle of friends that have had a similar experience is helpful. Talking to people that are gay/SSA in and out of the Church has helped me get over the feeling that I am less of a person for being who I am. Also, it helped me realize that it isn't the only thing I am. I am much more than a member of the Church. I am so much more than a male, same-sex attracted/gay person. I am a bit of a swimmer, I am a bit of a movie enthusiast, I am a bit of a musician. Am I where I thought I would be with the Church and life in general? No. Am I learning to be OK with that? Slowly. I am trying to be OK with not knowing which way that will go yet.

I found a Marriage and Family Therapist who understands the whole church dynamic (he is a member of the Church as well) but hasn't made it a point to try and get me to a particular side of things (staying in the Church or not, etc). A big point of my interaction with him has been getting rid of the shame I carry around with regards to myself and my sexuality, my relationship with God, and with the Church.

So, maybe I wasn't a big help. I think part of that is the answers to a lot of your questions are so dependent on you, rather than us. The advantages for you staying in the Church will be different than mine, and the same for the disadvantages. What would I do in your shoes? I wrote this answer because in a few ways I am in those same shoes. I would realize that there are people who are in-between the extremes of "out of the Church/same-sex relationship", and "in the Church/celibate" because I think that leads well into The Black Sheep's advice of talking to people and learning from their experiences.

"Is it so wicked for me to want to love and be loved?" I'm going to address this directly and say no. Loving someone and being loved is something I want too. It is something most people, if not all people, want. I will not discourage someone from seeking that, nor judge them in where they find it. I think realizing there are more realities than "in" and "out" of the Church will actually make this decision harder, but I think it gives you the most accurate information, and could increase your potential for happiness.

Good luck,

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco

A:

Dear you,

I just wanted to briefly say a few things.

First, it is not wicked to want to love and be loved. God wants this for all of us, too, and He promises it to the righteous, though for some the blessings come sooner than others.

Feeling sad and jealous of others are totally natural reactions in the difficult situation where they have something good that you want and don't - or seemingly can't - have right now. However, I would urge you to look deeper at the rest of your feelings before making your decision.

Do you believe this Church is true? Do you believe it is of God? Do you believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that Thomas S Monson was a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is true, that the ordinances in the temple are real, that the covenants you've made have helped you grow?

If the answer to any single one of those questions is yes, I believe it's important for you to remember that and ponder it. 

I do not know the depth of your struggles, and I can't post a Board answer totally empathizing with you. I do know, though, that there is One who can empathize. I know that He loves you and hopes for you, and that the plan of the Lord for you is greater than you can currently realize, even though during this life living the Gospel requires our willingness to sacrifice of all things. I know that the blessings that come from that sacrifice are many. 

God loves you. That will always be true. He will always want your eternal happiness.

Love,

~Anne, Certainly


0 Comments
Question #81805 posted on 03/31/2015 9:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

Aaaagh! Why has board writer Reunion Week been cancelled?

-No Joke

A:

Dear Oh Yeah?,

Probably because of something you did.

-A Slap to Quell the Hysteria


0 Comments
Question #81786 posted on 03/31/2015 8:11 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Latest question that came to me in a dream: The BYU Creamery has decided to create a new ice cream flavor named after your favorite singer or band. What is its name, and what is in it?

-totally not yayfulness because yayfulness isn't passionate about ice cream, only music

A:

Dear I don't get it either, Portia,

Journey Gelato: Somehow they figured out how to make ice cream that gets better as it ages. They're just now popping open a cask of 1983 and boy is it decadent.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear != yayfulness,

Ice Cream Name: Ingrid Michaelson

Flavor: Coconut, banana, lime, and raspberry sherbet 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger  

A:

Dear not yayfulness,

The ice cream would be called Rachmaninoff, and it would basically be Tillamook Mudslide. Except maybe with some fudge swirls in addition to the chocolate ice cream and amazing, melt-in-your-mouth-with-the-best-texture-ever pieces of chocolate.

-Zedability

A:

Dear inside joke I still don't fully understand:

The line of Sondre Lerche ice creams could include:

  • Phantom Punch (an initial mouthfeel of fizziness, fruitiness, and treacliness, followed by a lingering aftertaste that's more herbal and lavender-y)
  • Two Way Monologue (a side by side doubling of flavors, perhaps peanut butter with chocolate swirl and chocolate with peanut butter swirl)
  • Like Lazenby (a shaken, not stirred, virgin martini redolent of olive oil and classiness)

---Portia

A:

Dear ¬y,

I can't imagine a "Bad Religion" ice cream ever making it out of committee at the Creamery, so I'll instead go with R.E.M. It would be a smooth orange-passionfruit sherbet that tastes incredible at first, gets really popular, and by the time you finish it you realize you probably should have stopped eating 15 years earlier.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dearie,

Weird Al ice cream. I am pretty sure I would hate it. It would either be vegan, or have all kinds of weird stuff in it like twinkies and hot dogs.

Dr. Smeed


0 Comments
Question #81811 posted on 03/31/2015 8:10 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Roll call! Which of you alumni are joining us this year?

-East Coaster up way past her bed time

A:

Dear East Coaster,

Present!

(I hope this helps.  Please don't hate me.)

- Brutus

A:

Dear East Coaster,

Hi everyone! Good to be back for a bit.

--Maven

A:

EC,

Here!

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Paprika,

Yo.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear East,

Something snarky.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear roll call,

Hi! I think a lot of us stayed up past our bed times in anticipation of this event... no? Just me and the east coaster? Ah well.

-Mico

A:

Dear friend,

I'm here.  

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear East Coaster,

*waves*

- Katya

A:

Dear East,

Reporting for duty. 

No Dice

A:

Dear East Coaster,

I'm an East Coaster, too! In fact, I'm actually only about a mile from the coast at this very moment.

-Sky Bones 

A:

Dear East

I'm here with sundry secondary aliases.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Terry,

Yo.

-Azriel

A:

Dear roller coaster,

Autobot assembled.

-=Optimus Prime=-

A:

Dear Boston Brahmin:

How can you miss us if we won't go away? Well, we're baaaaack. (Best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.)

---Portia

A:

Dear East,

Holla.

-Olympus

A:

Dear Coaster,

Howdy!

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear,

Hola!

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear East Coaster,

I never left you.

-Genuine Article

A:

Deary,

I haven't decided yet.

--Pilgrim

A:

Dear Undisciplined,

I currently have three flagette notifications and 30 unfinished answers in the My Incomplete folder. I'm not only back, I'm back in full form!

Dr. Smeed

A:

Dear insomniac,

In and out, maybe good for a few answers. 

Oh, and totally playing into the egomaniacal doctor thing. Say hello to...

-Dr. Claudio, MD

A:

Insomniac, 

I'm here to answer a few upon the encouragement of a fellow alumnus.

-Paperback Writer

A:

Dear go to bed,

Late, but present!

Good luck!
-branflakes 

A:

Dear East Coaster,

I'm here too!

- Lavish

A:

Dear East Coaster,

I'm sort of around—I couldn't resist the opportunity to check the inbox—but I'm traveling this week without as much downtime at a computer as I usually have, so we'll see how many answers I get to.

-Petra

A:

Whoa. Bullet point button so I don't have to paste in from Word. Cool.

Oh right, in character! Uhm...I am still a great balance between a microwave and an oven. That's me. Moderate dude.

-Toasteroven

A:

Dear,

I read the email lazily and thought this whole thing started today (Monday) instead of the less-obvious choice of Friday...but I'm here now!

- Commander Keen

A:

Dear EC,

Checking in.

—Laser Jock

A:

Dear East Coaster up way past her bed time,

I'm here too.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear EC-

Also on the East Coast, also up way too late, also here.

-Foreman

A:

Dear East,

I'm here! 

- Eirene


0 Comments
Question #81806 posted on 03/31/2015 8:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

When does the tram to the top of the Y open?

-No Joke

A:

Dear Nomar,

Hopefully never. If my 2 year old son can hike to the Y, nobody else has any excuse.

Especially my younger brother who barely made it after two hours and throwing up three times.

Dr. Smeed

A:

Dear humorless,

I assume you mean, "Where is the tram to the top of the Y Open?" Unfortunately, the Y Open tennis tournament has been canceled indefinitely and the tram has been removed. The Y Open Committee decided that the player at the top of the Y had a significant advantage over the player at the bottom of the Y and it was unfair to continue the tournament until a solution to this problem can be found.

-=Optimus Prime=-

A:

No Joke,

Hopefully never.  Because then people would get up their more frequently and quickly, only to realize just how disappointing it really is.

At least now you get up there and look around and say "at least I got a workout" before trudging back down and never, ever, ever doing it again.

That is all.

Horatio.


0 Comments
Question #81800 posted on 03/31/2015 8:07 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Dear 100 hour Board,

"Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt", right? Well, I've put my foot in my mouth so often lately, I've got athlete's tongue. The problem is, when I'm happy, I tend toward the loquacious; I'm always the first to raise my hand, or chime in with my 1/2 cent. If I'm being quiet, I am most likely very sad or angry. When I'm intentionally quiet, I become more and more withdrawn and lonely. Also, I don't have a lot of opportunities to practice my social skills, because I'm a stay at home mom, starved for any conversation at all. How can I put more thought into what I say?

Thanks
~Hymn 232

A:

Dear Stay at home Mom,

Yes, but also, "'tis better to be yourself and apologize when you accidentally say something dumb, than to cease to speak for fear of causing offense."

I know how you feel. There's just something about being in a hyper mood that can cause our filters to disappear. It's happened to me many, many times.

But the thing is, we all say dumb things sometimes. You can't make your way through life without accidentally offending someone along the way. Frankly, we all have days where we say things that make us look like complete idiots. Don't shut down completely for the fear of how you are coming off to other people.

That being said, there are some things you can do to strengthen the filter in your head just a little bit. The thing that helps me most is to analyze my motives for saying something before I actually say it. Before you say something, think, "What am I trying to accomplish by saying this?"

Of course you can't do this with every little thing that you ever say, but if you notice that you are starting to get a little carried away, that's the moment to start pondering what you say before you say it. Typically, in a setting where many opinions are being given, I have a rule for myself that if I'm only saying what I'm about to say because I want to look intelligent, I don't say that thing. If I think what I have to say could add to the discussion or help someone else, I say it.

I think this is a pretty good rule to (attempt to) follow.

Just remember to go easy on yourself when you mess up. Not everything you say will be perfect, and that's okay. Also, remember that being loquacious isn't necessarily such a bad thing. I tend to really like people who talk a lot. It can be fun to be around people who have a lot of opinions, as long as they are willing to listen to others' opinions, as well.

Love,

Vienna


0 Comments
Question #81803 posted on 03/31/2015 8:07 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How far is it humanly possible to walk in a straight line, assuming you couldn't bring anything with you, you were well fed and watered at the beginning, and you were allowed to stop and rest at will? How would that change if you could bring as much supplies as you could carry? Or if you had a bike? What if there were no restrictions, and you had all the world's scientific knowledge at your disposal, but you could still only bring what materials you start with at the beginning of the infinitely long theoretical road?

-Carson

A:

Dear Carson,

Not very far, because the Earth is round, so a straight line would go out into space.

-->Captain Obvious Literal

A:

Dear Carson,

At first, I thought the emphasis was on how hard it was to walk in a straight line (e.g., it's really easy to wander around in circles, especially in rough terrain), but I'm pretty sure you're asking how far someone could walk without extra supplies before they die. On that assumption, I'll throw out some guesses for each of your scenarios. Some basic assumptions: we're on level ground, it's cool enough outside that you don't sweat easily, and it's cloudy so you aren't getting baked by the sun.

In the first scenario, water will definitely be your limiting factor, unless we're assuming the person has access to a stream or something. A moderate walking pace is about 3 miles per hour; let's assume that our person is in pretty good shape and could walk, say, 10 hours a day. The usual rule of thumb is that you can go about three days without water, although it'll depend on how hot it is, how hard you're exerting yourself, etc. By the second day, I'll say you're only at 60%, and by the third, you're at 20%. I think it's pretty safe to say you'll walk less than 3*10*3 = 90 miles, and probably more like 3*10*1.8 = 54 miles. (Even if you're still alive after the third day, you won't be going anywhere fast.)

What if you had a bike, with attached bike trailer, and all the water/food you could carry in the trailer? A typical bike trailer can carry around 100 pounds; let's call it 50 kg. That's 50 liters of water. An adult male age 19–30 needs around 3.7 liters of water per day. You'll obviously need more since you're pedaling a bike, but let's say you take it easy (remember, you're also hauling a trailer) and go 12 miles per hour. I'll guess you'll double your water needs, so call it 7 liters per day, meaning you run out after 7 days (but you have another three days, as above). Let's assume you're in wold-class, Tour de France shape, and still assume 10 hours per day, in which case you'll travel around 12*10*(7 + 1.8) = 1056 miles. This is very unrealistic, in my opinion, but it's an upper bound, anyway. (What about food? I'm assuming you have something really calorie dense, like sugar and vegetable oil, so you can add another few kilos on your bike trailer and not make a difference.)

No restrictions: does a spaceship count? We've repeatedly put men on the moon, which is 240,000 miles away, so we could clearly go at least twice that far with just what we started with and without running out of air, food, etc. We're also discussing manned missions to Mars; they won't happen soon, but could happen in the next couple of decades. I found calculations for a Hohmann transfer orbit from Earth to Mars, which is one of the proposed trajectories for a manned Mars mission; in the particular scenario outlined in the calculations above, on the way to Mars, a craft would cover 1.4 billion km (890 million miles), and I'll assume the same on the way back. Unlike my calculations above, I feel like this is a lower bound, not an upper bound; I think we'll just keep getting better and better at keeping people alive over long distances. Who knows what we'll be able to do in 100 years?

—Laser Jock


0 Comments
Question #81815 posted on 03/31/2015 4:50 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So. Today someone mentioned The 100 Hour Borg in a question. When I found it, I immediately proceeded to read the entire thing (because who needs to do Physics homework, anyway?).

First off, props. That was great. We were just studying Dracula a couple of weeks ago in my English class, and I loved how there was a similar embedded narrative thing going on.

My question is, who came up with the idea to do that, and who wrote it? Was it one writer, or were there multiple contributors? And did you really get Divine Comedy to participate?

-Locutus

A:

Dear Speaker,

Borg Week was actually my idea, pitched during a spirited Board party at Foreman, Commander Keen, and Gimgimno's house where a bunch of us all watched Star Trek: First Contact and made inappropriate jokes. Some of the non-nerd normal folks had to be brought up to speed on Borg mythology, but for the most part everyone was on board. I think Hobbes wrote up the blog post narrating it (though I might be wrong about that), but I don't recall who wrote the CSS to actually make the Board front page all black and green on the last day. I don't remember Divine Comedy participating, but we did a lot of other things with those cats, so if anyone remembers otherwise, they can chime in.

I'm glad it's looked back on fondly, because if I recall correctly, the immediate reaction from the readers was overwhelmingly negative. Funny how things change.

-Cognoscente, who still loves Trek


0 Comments
Question #81812 posted on 03/31/2015 4:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What films are you looking forward to this year?

-Cinephile

A:

Dear Cinephile

I have three young children, so the number of films I see in the theater will be far fewer than the number on my list below, but I'm likely to try and catch these films in the theater/through Redbox/in three years on Netflix.

In order of release date:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Tomorrowland
  • Jurassic World
  • Inside Out
  • Ant-Man
  • Pan
  • Pixels (excited-ish, like the short that inspired it, not excited that Adam Sandler is involved)
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Fantastic Four (excited-ish, love the source material, but there's never been a good FF movie and I'm not confident this will be it)
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

-Humble Master, who also looks forward to the little films that come out of nowhere

A:

Dear Cinephile,

There are a number of movies that I'm really looking forward to seeing this year.  They are (in the potential order that I will see them)

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Tomorrowland
  • Spy
  • Jurassic World
  • Inside Out
  • Minions
  • Ant-Man
  • Pixels
  • Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Man for U.N.C.L.E.
  • Masterminds
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Spectre 
  • The Hunger Games
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Of those, I'm most looking forward to Spectre as I am a huge James Bond fan and Star Wars: The Force Awakens since Star Wars is awesome (if you try not to think about the prequels too much).

I sure hope this helps.  Please don't hate me.

- Brutus

A:

Dear friend,

I was going to say Beauty and the Beast, and then I realized that it isn't coming out until 2017. And then I found out that an adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd is coming out soon, and it stars Carey Mulligan, and that makes me really happy. So, that one. Also, Jurassic World. Because Chris Pratt and dinosaurs.

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear Cinephile,

Inside Out (because I'm a Pixar fan) and The Martian (because I enjoyed the book and I like Matt Damon). However, I find that the films I anticipate the most often disappoint me, so my favorite film of the year will probably be one that I haven't even heard of yet.

- Katya

A:

Dear film lover:

Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, since I missed it at Sundance by clicking too slow and having another tab open where I was chatting with Zedability.

---Portia, Queen of Sundance 

A:

Dear Cinephile ~

Are there any Disney or Pixar films coming out? Oh, right. Inside Out. Because that are pretty much the only movies I actually go to the theater to see these days. 

So, no. Not really. Sorry.

~ Dragon Lady

A:
Dear Cinephile,
  • HECK YES THE MARTIAN! That book is fantastic. I am so happy that they're making a movie out of it.
  • Ant-Man and Age of Ultron because I will probably never not see an MCU film.
  • I'm actually not all that excited about Inside Out, oddly enough. I love Pixar, but I don't see an interesting plot emerging from the conceit. Dollar theater it is.
  • Pan looks interesting (I'm a sucker for fairy tale adaptations and I just watched Finding Neverland).
  • I really really want Pitch Perfect 2 to live up to my expectations, but I am 90% sure that it won't.
  • Um, a new Star Wars and another Jurassic Park?!! Goodness yes.
  • Goosebumps sounds like it'll be good and has Jack Black. I'm in.
  • I want to see Cinderella and Tomorrowland and the Good Dinosaur because Disney's been doing well recently.
  • I'll probably see the last Hunger Games and the new Maze Runner because the other movies were pretty good and I don't want to read the books.

-Inverse Insomniac


0 Comments
Question #81808 posted on 03/31/2015 4:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which writer would win in a pop music trivia contest?

In a comic book trivia contest?

In a Harry Potter trivia contest?

In a U.S. History trivia contest?

-Trivialities

A:

Dear Trivialities,

If you're including alumni, then Humble Master would win in a comic book trivia contest, hands down.

- Katya

A:

Dear trivialities,

Niffler might win a Harry Potter trivia contest.

Dear Katya,

There seems to be a new kid here who knows a thing or two about comic book trivia.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Humble Master,

Are you saying we need to have some sort of Comic Book Showdown?

- Katya

A:

Dear Katya,

I wasn't, but I am now. Where is this M.O.D...I need to look up his name...hold on...I keep thinking of the Marvel character...

Where is M.O.D.A.Q.? Do you want a trivia challenge?

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Vain Master,

Make that two showdowns for you. 

—Niffler

A:

Dear Humble Master,

I'll compete. But I'm not going to make any claims about how well I'll do. Especially on DC topics.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Niffler and M.O.D.A.Q.

Well, this is a touch awkward to admit, but having highjacked this answer thread to this point I don't really know where to go from here...

Anybody have any suggestions?

-Humble Master

A:

Dear trivial,

I feel like I would be fairly competitive in a pop music trivia contest. But then, all Board writers are, as a group, remarkably well-informed, so who knows?

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear Trivialities ~

I would like to nominate Optimistic. or D.A.R.E. for the U.S. History trivia winner.

~ Dragon Lady


0 Comments
Question #81809 posted on 03/31/2015 4:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

Who grew the bestest Mustache March mustache?

-No Joke and the short TCMBC

A:

Dear Joke,

There's not really much of a chance that I lose this one.

Mustache.jpg

-The Man with a Mustache


0 Comments
Question #81804 posted on 03/31/2015 2:56 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So are you aware of any injuries/accidents/deaths (at BYU or wherever in the world) that involve those rolling bookshelves (high density library storage)?

Any funny stories you have with your encounters with these nifty storage devices?

-Liquid Paper

A:

Dear Patron,

For the most part, they don't move when there is a person in them. However, if a step stool is left in between aisles, it will get closed upon.

I say for the most part because one time my coworkers and I were having a race to see who could shelve a set of new periodicals the fastest, and I was almost caught in one that was already moving. That was fun.

-A Librarian


0 Comments
Question #81802 posted on 03/31/2015 1:44 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are some of your favorite user names used by non-writers?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear YOU AGAIN!,

My Name Here has always, always held a special place in my heart. My Name Here has just been through so much over the years and asked so many alternately amazing, funny, heartbreaking, and weird questions. I'd be amiss not to mention My Name Here. Here you are again, asking another good question! Honorary mentions: Anonymous, Confused, Just Asking, Girl, Guy, A Reader, None, My Name There, and people who write something like "Robert My Name Here." Oh, Robert My Name Here, are you hilarious or dim-witted? We'll never know. 

I also like when people write something long in their nym. And when people use another language in just their nym; it is cute and like a little secret. I want to say Armadillo Fedora but he is a writer now. Even so, he started as a reader and I just always liked that nym and his questions (Ardilla Feroz, yes I know what your nym actually is! Although I have no clue what it means). Whenever I see "Maddie" or "Madelyn" (especially with the smiley) I hope it is our dear reader from ~2009/2010 who asked a million questions and forced a rule change for how many questions someone can ask at a time. Oooh, and people who make puns or pop culture references are wonderful, clever people. I'm sure there are a lot of great reader nyms I'm leaving out, which is why I gave some general guidelines to what makes a user's nym stand out to me. 

But here is my real answer. My favorite nym of all time is from Board Question #68535: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming, what do we do we swim, swim HO HO HO HO HO HOOOO I LOVE TO SWIMMMMM TO SWIIMMMM AHHHH TO SWIM AND SWIM." The way it goes into all caps on the "HO HO HO HO HO HOOOO" part never fails to make me giggle. 

-Mico 

A:

Dear My Name Here,

As one who has a standardized closing line, I always appreciate those 'nyms that that have a closing line. The first that comes to mind is:

--Kool-Aid Man Smashing through a Brick Wall

P.S. Oh-yeaaaaah

I also like 'nyms that are from other languages. I can't list my favorite, because it is my off-brand 'nym for when I submit questions and (for this week at least) I am a writer. One that comes to mind is: El Guayo.

If your 'nym comes from a movie quote, I may just love you forever. Case in point: -Large Talons and Mico's reference above.

Regardless, I love all of you readers. Just know that. And... Wait for it...

 

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco


0 Comments
Question #81799 posted on 03/31/2015 12:20 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
How do you deal with loneliness? I am at a point in my life where although I go to classes every day, work a part time job and assist a single's ward on Sunday I don't have any friends. I try to be friendly with people and get to know them, but I've found that I'm pretty forgettable and not very interesting to others. I try to focus on my job and school to distract me, but I just ache from loneliness I yearn to be able to spend time with other people and be able to open up to and trust. I have gone to therapy at the clinic in the Wilk, and although my therapist has been very supportive and become a good friend to me, as soon as I leave I realize the only person who has the time of day to listen to me is someone that is paid to do so. I just feel so alone and although I know it's not something super serious, it makes day to day life really hard. Have any of you experienced something like this? How did you get through it? How did you get out of bed each day with the knowledge that no one cares if you don't? I just am at my witt's end and I don't know how much longer I can put up with this. Thank you for your help,

-Alone

A:

Dear Alone,

Oh, I know exactly how you feel. Loneliness and I have been far too close for comfort at a couple different times in my life. The two times that stand out in my memory are my junior year of high school, which you can read about here, and the couple months after I returned from my mission. Life during both of those periods of time was pretty rough, but I am probably more grateful for those times of my life than any others. I have learned so much from the trial of loneliness, and I think I finally know a few things about how to combat it. I hope that something I am about to say can help you:

1. Don't allow your loneliness to influence your self-esteem. Remember that loneliness is an incredibly human emotion, and something that each of us has felt. Feeling it yourself does not mean that you are an outcast or that you are unwanted. It just means that you are like everybody else in this world. We all want to feel loved and included, and to be able to appreciate those feelings, we must also understand what it's like to be lonely.

2. Don't tell yourself that you are forgettable and uninteresting. NO! YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD! No child of God is either forgettable or uninteresting and telling yourself that will only make life hurt more. As The Black Sheep says below, confidence is key. Believe that your friendship can be valuable to those around you. Believe that you can influence the lives of others for good and that you have many wonderful qualities to share with the world. When you start to believe that, others will, too.

3. Pray to be able to find friends. I have a strong testimony that prayer can bring important people into our lives. It may not always happen in our desired timing, but I know that my life has been incredibly blessed by specifically praying to find and cultivate friendships. I believe the same thing can happen for you.

4. Be a yes man. Say yes to anything social that you are invited to, even if you feel uncomfortable or nervous about the thought of going. Attend ward functions and activities, even if you have to do so alone. During the first couple of months after my mission, I found that my roommates weren't super keen on attending ward activities, but I always wanted to go to them because I wanted to make new friends so badly. So, what did I do? I went to the activities alone. Sometimes this made me nervous, but in the end, I made many friends in the ward that I would not have made otherwise. Don't fall into the trap of giving some lame excuse for not going to something just because it makes you feel anxious. I know this can be hard advice for many people to take, but honestly, you have just got to conquer your fear. In fact, I think it deserves it's own bullet point on this list.

5. Conquer your fear! Honestly, fear is the number one thing that keeps people lonely. Fear keeps us from getting involved, from inviting people to do things, and from being ourselves. One of the scariest things to many of us is the thought of being socially rejected. We don't want to invite people to do things or put ourselves out there for fear of rejection. Well, everybody gets socially rejected but you will never make friends if you don't just face that fact and accept that the benefits of conquering your fears will far outweigh the moments of hurt.

6. Do what you can to find even just one friend. One thing that helps to offset the fear a little is to organize events and get-togethers with somebody else, so even finding just one good friend can really help you to find more. Even if that one good friend is a family member, go with it! Do you have a cousin you are close to? Go to social events with your cousin/friend/whoever and it will be easier to talk to people. Invite a couple people to go do something with you and your cousin/friend/whoever. Approaching social activities in this manner always makes it a lot less daunting.

7. Rather than focusing on how you can make more friends, focus on how you can be a better friend. Like I said in point #2, there are people out there who could really use your friendship! You are certainly not the only lonely person in this world, and you have the power to ease the burden of loneliness, not only for yourself, but for another, as well. Pray to recognize those who may need a friend or an encouraging word and look for service opportunities.

Now, there is something else I want to say to you. I want to say that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we end up going through a time of loneliness in our lives, and that's okay. Just remember that loneliness does not last forever. One of the hardest things about feeling lonely is that you often feel like you are always going to be lonely, but that's a lie. You will not always be lonely and sometimes we just have to continue trying and above all, implement some patience in our lives.

In the meantime, don't let some feelings of loneliness control your happiness completely. I want to second what the other writers said and suggest that you get out and do something, even if it is alone. Sometimes I do this even when I'm not feeling lonely at all. I've been to movies alone before, and sometimes I even take myself on mini vacations. Just last week I drove to Wisconsin by myself, just for the fun of it. Realize that loneliness does not mean you have to stay home alone. You can still get out and enjoy life. You can still engage in activities and have little adventures, even if it is by yourself.

My heart goes out to you because I honestly do know how you feel.  But I also know that there is so much to be learned from periods of loneliness in life. The first thing is empathy. I am grateful for the times I have felt lonely because they have opened my eyes to the needs of others and helped me to become more understanding and empathetic.

I am also grateful for the times I have felt lonely because every time I conquer loneliness I come out of it stronger, happier, more aware of who I am and better able to love myself and others. Loneliness is one of the most difficult trials to deal with while we are in the midst of it, but I promise that better days will come.

With much love,

Vienna 

A:

Dear Alone,

The past couple of years have been pretty lonely for me in general, though maybe for different reasons than you have been lonely. I basically got into a string of serious relationships while friends moved away after college and I never replaced those friends. Suddenly I didn't have any friends in town at all, and I hadn't made any friends in years. While I was friendly with a lot of people, I felt like I forgot how to make friends. Here are some things that have worked for me:

1. Get a hobby. It doesn't have to be expensive or overly time-consuming, but it should be interesting or unusual. If you want to be more interesting to people, become more interesting. This is one way to do it in a quick time frame.

2. Be confident and honest. Most everybody operates on a set of social norms that function to keep us from being too obnoxious and selfish. The problem is that if everyone is overly concerned with those social norms, we are all eerily the same. When I am focused simply on being appropriate and distantly friendly, I don't make friends. When I am a little more honest about who I am and how I feel, which includes being louder, more rambunctious, more empathetic, and more honest about my experiences, people are more willing to do the same and I can find my kindred spirits. The second I appropriately shared some of my emotional reactions and more private interests to someone at work, I had the beginning of a friendship. It's scary because it makes you vulnerable, but some vulnerability is key to relationships.

3. Make people feel important and heard. One great way to start conversations and increase closeness is to remember the details of what people mention and then ask them about it the next time. How did the test go? How was their date? How was that book you saw them reading? People like to feel heard, and so they will talk to people that hear them.

4. Stop it with the invalidating yourself. If anybody on the planet told you that they were facing this situation, would you tell them "it's not something super serious"? I doubt it. This is painful. Let yourself feel that. You don't have to win the pain Olympics to get to have pain.

Hey, you know what? I'm really good at being honest without being offensive at all. If you want to have dinner with me (assuming you live somewhere around Utah or Salt Lake Counties) I'll give you my honest but gentle feedback.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear Alone,

I have struggled with this for a long time. I never have had a large circle of friends, and moving (geographically, or just "moving on") tended to leave a lot of relationships behind. I mean, sure, we're still friends on Facebook, and if I post a quote from Parks and Recreation, they comment on it and I like it, but I don't know that I'd feel comfortable asking "Hey, I'm going through a rough patch this month. Can I bend your ear for a while?" As I sat down to write this answer I came up with a few ideas, based on things that have helped with my loneliness. Your mileage may vary.

  • Meet with a family member or a person you would call a close friend. FaceTime or Skype are both awesome ways to have some interaction without having to travel thousands of miles. Brutus, the Board writer, was in San Antonio last year and I drove down to visit. I had a blast, despite almost being assassinated by his Blankie (it's a long story but take a look at Board Question #22919 if you are curious). Loneliness abated.
  • Reach out to a stranger (in safe situations). I saw a guy on a park bench playing Ukulele a few weeks ago, and asked if I could listen to him play for a few minutes. We talked and I had a pleasant conversation. It turns out he and I had the same first and last names except for one letter. Loneliness abated.
  • Find someone that is interested in something you are and do that thing. Are you into board games? Organize a board game evening with people that like similar board games. Do you like cooking? Organize a dinner party. Loneliness abated.
  • Be okay with being by yourself sometimes. I am still learning this. If I can't find someone that wants to go to the movies, or I am not feeling particularly outgoing, I sometimes make a conscious decision to go to the movie by myself, and enjoy it. Sometimes being around people and enjoying what they are enjoying is as social as I feel like being. In those cases, as long as I don't get down on myself for "going alone" and see it in a positive light of "I didn't spend the entire day in my room, go me!" I see that as loneliness abated.

I hope you realize the caliber of the people who co-answered this post. Honestly, you've got some pretty rock-awesome people that deal with similar issues in their lives. You are like us! I can think of several other Board writers, and several great authors of literature who have similar histories of feeling lonely. You aren't alone in that feeling, and that is an encouraging thought (to me at least). We are all ordinary people, trying to make connections in this pretty big world, and sometimes that is hard. I think the fact that you asked a question about this is an example of reaching out for connection, and hopefully you won't feel as lonely after reading these. Don't discount yourself. Realize that you have a very different view of yourself than those around you. If it helps, I don't care if you got out of bed today, I care about YOU.

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco


0 Comments
Monday, March 30, 2015
Question #81798 posted on 03/30/2015 9:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
I served a mission in Mexico where no matter how fancy or simple, your foot is you never served with plain water. Most people would make juice at home and if they didn't have time they would buy Soda, or as a last result make Zuko (basically Mexican koolaid). Anyway, it's something I got very used to and since getting home haven't been able to adjust to. Every time I have a meal with water, it tastes so bland and doesn't completement the food at all. I would love to have something with a little more flavor, but juice is expensive (at least for a college student), and soda is not healthy at all. What are some things I could drink that would add some flavor to my meal without it being really unhealthy? Is there anything I could add to my water to give it some sabor? Thanks for you help!

-Bottoms up!

A:

Dear Wade,

Yes. There are a few options. You can choose from a variety of non-caloric drink flavoring products, including Crystal Light and MiO. It should be noted that these contain artificial sweeteners (usually aspartame). There are valid reasons to avoid aspartame: you don't like the taste (it can be "too sweet" or leave an aftertaste), or you have phenylketonuria (PKU), a birth defect that causes aspartame to be a poison to you. Other than that, aspartame is safe (not, as a top Google result for aspartame says, "By Far, The Most Dangerous Substance on The Market That is Added to Foods"). Other artificial sweeteners have had legitimate questions raised about potential health effects such as weight gain, but so far the research on them is limited and dubious. I'm not a doctor, so if you die it's not my fault, but I believe that if the taste isn't unappealing to you and you don't have PKU then one of these options is your answer.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Bottom Feeder,

What you said is true. My foot has never been served to me in Mexico with plain water—or any other beverage, for that matter.

But might I recommend an iced herbal tea of oregano and rosemary, to allay the inevitable stench?

--Ardilla Feroz

A:

Dear Bottoms ~

Put fruit in your water. Have a pitcher of water in the fridge with fruits so the flavors can infuse throughout the day. Lemons and limes are popular options (but I personally think they are gross). Berries, with or without herbs (like basil), I think are my favorites. This is a great article with tips and recipes.

~ Dragon Lady


0 Comments
Question #81785 posted on 03/30/2015 8:07 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do you know anyone who applies the cosmetics onto the deceased in funeral homes? What are the job qualifications for that? Do they go to beauty school and take like science classes too (because don't they inject stuff into the bodies to make them look as life-like as possible)? How long does it take to place the cosmetics on the people? What are the products? What are the hours like? (Is it like on-call)? Do you have any idea how much it costs?

-Vogue Villain

A:

Dear VV,

Like Dr. Smeed mentions below, the actual person who applies makeup to a corpse is usually also the person who embalms the body and prepares it for the funeral.  I have a coworker whose husband is a mortician and she said that most people who work in the field are trained to do everything in mortuary science, from embalming and reconstructions to cosmetics and cremation. 

In terms of the hours, it depends on how busy a funeral home is.  The woman I work with told me that for the most part, her husband is able to take care of everything during the normal hours he allots for a typical funeral package.  If things are really busy (like multiple funerals on one day) she says that she will help by dressing the bodies and doing the makeup while her husband makes other arrangements.  

Most mortuary science schools offer a two year associates degree, but bachelor's degrees are becoming more common. There is a large gap in costs for mortuary science schools - it can vary anywhere between $10,000 - $60,000 depending on what type of degree you get and where you go to school.

I hope this helps.  Please don't hate me.

- Brutus

A:

Dear V2,

I had the fortune to teach a funeral director on my mission, and we met him at work on a few occasions. He ran us through the process from reception, to embalming, to reconstruction (not pleasant, as you might imagine) to dressing. He also took us to the crematorium. It made me seriously consider going into the mortician trade; if I have another midlife crisis, I just might pursue it.

Anywho, funeral cosmetology is an elective class for most people pursuing credentials in mortuary science. The makeup process doesn't take very long, not any longer than someone putting makep on their own face. This depends, of course, on the condition of the body; sometimes families will request restorative or reconstruction procedures that can take several hours. Sometimes, the circumstances of their death also necessitate facial reconstruction if the family wants an open-casket funeral, which can take a day or more. In normal circumstances, the makeup is normal makeup bought in bulk, or from Wal-Mart to save costs. It's really nothing special. A mortuary science degree covers things like embalming procedures (what I assume you mean by "inject[ing] stuff into the bodies") as a matter of course.

He worked pretty odd hours, as he was in a larger funeral home so there were many funeral directors and they rotated shifts. Much of the preparation work was done by apprentices, but my friend still did a lot of the hands-on work of preparing the body. He made it a point to oversee the whole procedure for every person he was responsible for. He liked making connections with the families, and making sure that they were as comfortable/comforted as possible. The funeral director usually makes all of the arrangements for the ceremony, he even said that he would be the guy who coordinated with bishops (and pastors, rabbis etc.) so he could have full accountability from beginning to end. Spending the whole process with the same corpse from reception to burial was something he took professional pride in, I really don't know how common it is. That means lots of weekends and more than just 9-5.

Dr. Smeed


0 Comments
Question #81797 posted on 03/30/2015 6:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there a funny or light-hearted way to respond to Utah-bashing? You know, when people argue and rant that Utahns are the worst, the rudest, the most conceited, the whatever-est, and say "I NEVER want to live in Utah"...etc. There doesn't seem to be any point in actually discussing it and I sometimes wish I just had something clever or silly-but-kind to say back instead. I like it here.

-Utahn

A:

Dear friend,

There are a few different approaches you can use here. You could go for the snotty, self-deprecating angle and say something like, "Huh, I've always wondered how I became so rude and conceited and bad at driving and generally awful. I should have known it was because I grew up in Utah!" This will make them either laugh or feel really uncomfortable; you'll have to read the situation and decide which is more likely. 

You could throw out some awesome Utah facts, like "Yeah, some things about Utah culture irk me, too, but how rad is it that Utah gave women the vote 50 years before the rest of the country? And they're the first state to pass a statewide anti-discrimination law for LGBT people!" Or, "You might be right about Utah drivers, but can we focus on the fact that Footloose, Galaxy Quest and Luck of the Irish were filmed here?" Or, "I just have a hard time believing that the state that brought the world fry sauce could be all that bad."

Or you could just sing the state song at them until they shut up. This is the approach I tend to use with my husband. It doesn't usually work, but I enjoy it.

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear Utahn,

I used to be a Utah-basher. I did it because I didn't identify with the culture, and when you feel like an outsider it's natural to act in ways that differentiate you. When you hear people bash, they're really confessing feelings of being ostracized. Show them kindness.

And on a less saccharine note, every state has its own idiosyncrasies, and Utah is no different. Utah has an insular and sometimes myopic culture. It also has world-class national parks and outdoor recreation, a highly educated and prosperous workforce, an incredibly robust economy, low crime, low taxes, and affordable housing. The climate has variety without extremes, and the state doesn't (usually) have to worry about earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. We also boast an excellent symphony, one of the best-known film festivals in the world, several museums and historic sites (and a planetarium and a huge new aquarium), and a broad variety of great dining. Oh, and Google freakin' Fiber in TWO cities now. Utah isn't for everyone, but it's definitely got a lot to offer.

So take that, haters.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear Fellow Utahn,

Charitably buy them a Greyhound ticket somewhere far far away. That way, they leave, and you're the nice guy! 

No Dice


1 Comment
Question #81796 posted on 03/30/2015 6:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the best class to take to fulfill the Civilization 1 GE? It doesn't need to be the "easiest." I just want a class that will be intriguing and something that I will enjoy learning!

-Willing to work hard

A:

Dear hard,

I took TECH 201, History of Creativity, with Professor Davis. He was a great lecturer and the class itself wasn't too bad. You just have to stay on top of the final project and remember to take the online quizzes.

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Athena,

Well, this is a refreshing question! I would recommend CL CV 201, Comparative Literature, if you enjoy reading. We read The Odyssey, the Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, selections from The Canterbury Tales, and other great works. In my class, we had 1-page papers due every other week. Some of them were analysis, and some of them were "imitation" where we attempted to mimic the style of the author. We also went over important historical events and movements in the arts regarding other media, like visual art and music, and talked about how those things influenced the authors. It really opened my mind to history and made it fun because it was all about stories and characters. If you're a strong writer and not afraid to do some memorization regarding important people and events, it's definitely a class that will make you think. It's not full of busy-work, and the in-class discussions are thoughtful. The professor I had, Stanley Benfell, was awesome at challenging students' claims about religion, politics, ethics, etc. and helping us look at things from different angles.

-Owlet

A:

Willing,

Music 201 (and 202) taught by Luke Howard. I have to say that signing up for Professor Howard's class is an absolute must, or I can't offer my recommendation. He was one of the most engaging lecturers I've ever had and I still think about his class 10 years later. Instead of being a class about only music, Professor Howard ties in painting, sculpture, architecture, and literature that is contemporary with the music that you're studying. It's a fascinating whole-art-world view of musical development in history. As far as work goes, there were a few short papers, and several ID tests where he showed art and played music in 30 second clips and we had to identify the artist or composer. Hard, but an awesome skill that still kicks in when I go to art museums and listen to music. To top it off, Professor Howard is hilarious, engaging, energetic, and has a cool accent (favorite quote: "Aah-t, or as you Americans call it, 'art'...").

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Willing,

I can't speak for the Civ 1 requirement (I had a rather unspectacular world history class), but for Civ 2 I took Music 202 with Dr. Howard and LOVED it. It's one of the few classes at BYU that I would seriously consider retaking if I had the opportunity. Dr. Howard is hilarious, brilliant, and Australian (an amazing combination), and music history is a fascinating topic, so you really can't go wrong.

Listen to the mustachioed man. He speaks the truth.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Will,

I loved Hist 201 with William Hamblin. He focused the class on Jerusalem as a microcosm for the world and I thought it was fascinating.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Willing,

I currently think my Art History class is interesting, but hate the amount of work it takes (mainly in the form of readings). So, maybe you're one of those people for whom that class is designed.

-Zedability


0 Comments
Question #81794 posted on 03/30/2015 5:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour,

So, when I meet guys at random places and they ask me for my number, I always give it to them. I just can´t help it! I am horribly bad at turning people down in person.

The problem is, if I´m not interested in them I usually text them back one or two times and then stop responding to their texts, which also makes me feel guilty, but not quite as guilty as just turning them down on the spot.

So, my question is:

Is it better to just say no and not give your number to a guy than to do what I am doing? Which will hurt their feelings the least?

Rejection is the worst, no matter which side you're on. And I know, because I've been on both sides plenty of times...

-Guilty

A:

Carol,

It hurt a lot more to call you and not have you answer. I really felt like we made a connection at the bowling alley last Thursday. I wouldn't have asked for your number if I didn't feel there was something real there. I'm not some guy who just goes around asking every girl he meets for their number. Next time, just be up front with me, Carol.

-Kevin

A:

Dear Guilty,

Here's a response for you: "I'm flattered, but I'm unavailable." If you're not interested, cut it off from the first.

Sincerely,

The Cleaning Lady


0 Comments
Question #81790 posted on 03/30/2015 4:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My roommate pointed out that I don't eat all day. I do tend to eat a little dinner at night (like a sandwich). This isn't deliberate exactly, I'm just really busy with school. My roommate also pointed out that since I also work out every day (since I enjoy it) I am probably hurting my body and need more food.

Other than being a little tired, I haven't noticed this impacting me over the past 4 weeks. I'm average weight (maybe a little over?), but don't think I've lost anything significant. My clothes fit about the same.

Is this bad? Should I be concerned? Should I make myself eat more?

-Food isn't bad tasting, but takes an annoying amount of time to eat

A:

Dear Tantalus,

I talked about something similar in Board Question #80280. Basically, although you feel fine now, it really isn't great for you to eat so little. You should talk to an actual nutritionist for real advice, but from what I've learned, it can have negative effects on your body. If you eat more (healthy food), you may not only have more energy, but you could also avoid difficulties in the long-term. Not receiving proper nutrition now can leave you with health problems when you're older. It's also not a great habit to develop. Having a healthy weight is great, but if you're like me, you don't lose or gain weight for anything. It's not the only factor in determining your health. In fact, people aren't released from therapy for eating disorders when they've reached a healthy weight alonethey have to demonstrate a healthier mindset toward food as well.

Mico also mentioned that you might want to track your calories and nutrients for a week or two just to see if your one meal is even close to the recommended daily amounts. That's a pretty quick way to know how you're doing. 

BYU offers free nutrition counseling for women if you're interested in that. The fitness trainer interns can meet with you for free too and might have some good ideas about how your current workout fits into your eating habits.

-Owlet

A:

Dear Food,

Seconded to Owlet's suggestion to speak to a nutritionist. If you happen not to be a woman, there is also nutritional advice (general advice and strategies, especially for people on the go) available through YBeFit,  and registered dieticians are available for consult at the Student Health Center, usually after a consult with a physician if you are concerned.

If taking time to eat is a concern, I have a perspective on that. I have a similar feeling that eating takes too much time, and I have a job that sometimes keeps me on my feet for multiple hours without a break. I had a different reaction to this issue though - eating only fast food. I had to come up with some strategies to bring my eating under control, because I was 316 pounds, and everything hurt. This started after a period of treating food like a bother, and skipping a lot of meals. I ended up binge eating a lot.

I started doing meal prep a couple times a week, and making everything in the meal either heat-and-eat/precooked, or designed to eat cold. The kinds of foods you eat can be important, but ultimately a calorie is a calorie. As long as you aren't eating one macronutrient (carb/protein/fat) at the complete exclusion of the others, you can start to develop some healthy eating. Having a handful of nuts, some cheese, celery or apples and nut butter on hand was amazing. Just a little something at regular intervals while walking to my next "thing to do" was enough to keep my energy up, and keep my cravings for awful food choices down.

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco


0 Comments
Question #81793 posted on 03/30/2015 3:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Hey, I've searched in the archives but I would like more info from y'all. I'm thinking of taking the REL C 393R class LDS Temples. I love learning more about temples and other LDS such things, but I don't want to take this class if it is something I'll already know. I've been on a mission, I've been through the temple read a few books about them. I guess my question is how deep does this class go? If it's basically temple prep then I would rather focus my attention other places.
Thank y'all,
Overachieving student.

A:

Dear Overachiever,

You have to take it! Like Dragon Lady says below, the class really doesn't cover any sort of spiritual temple preparation. Instead, it focuses on the history of temples, both ancient and modern, and on architectural symbolism. I also remember learning a lot of inspiring stories about the people who worked to build the temples and the sacrifices that they made.

But the number one reason you should take this class is because the professor, Richard Cowan, is amazing.

He is one of the most Christlike and wise old men I have ever met! He is legally blind, but he hasn't let that keep him from living a full and wonderful life. I learned so much from his example. Take the class!

-Vienna

A:

Dear Overachieving ~

I took it long ago. It's not about the temple ceremony; it's about temples. I don't remember details—it was a long time ago—but I remember learning about the Salt Lake City temple construction, the direction angel Moroni faces and on which temples it is not East (or which temples don't have a Moroni). I remember discussing Mormon Temple Myths, which was a fascinating lesson and I wish I could remember more of it.

It is not Temple Prep. Going on a mission and having your endowment will not give you much of a leg up in the class, if any at all. 

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Oso,

That was the very last class I took at the BYU. Brother Cowan is an incredible wealth of knowledge. It isn't temple prep, it didn't even go into the endowment, but it is fascinating. It was very academic, of course it was taught by a very faithful LDS scholar, but Brother Cowan did not dwell too much on faith promoting rumors or stories. It was about the histories and important dates of the temples in this dispensation.

As Vienna said, Brother Cowan is legally blind. That made it all the more amazing when he would put a transparency in the projector, stare at the back of the classroom, and 'read' it word for word. He knew his temple history like nobody else, not because he was reading it but because he had written most of it.

Take the class, you'll enjoy it.

Dr. Smeed


0 Comments
Question #81791 posted on 03/30/2015 3:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you consider it stealing if everytime I saw a "Give a penny, take a penny" holder I always took a couple of cents even if I didn't need it, but never donated any?

-Brenton, FBI wannabe

A:

Dear you,

Yes. And not just stealing, stupid stealing. Keep it up for a year, and you might have a couple dollars. Almost literally anything else, legal or illegal, would be more profitable and more efficient.

Don't do it.

-yayfulness

A:

Brenton,

You do know that these aren't free change donation bins, right? Like if I saw a bucket on the street that said "give a flower, take a flower" and I felt like I needed a flower, I'd take one and that would be fine. The flower bucket is there to give flowers away to people who want one. But those change holders are for people who end up a few cents short at the register and need a penny or two to pay the exact amount. That sign does not mean "If you want a few extra cents, help yourself!"

Just sayin'...

-The Man with a Mustache


0 Comments
Posted on 03/30/2015 11:41 a.m. New Comment on: #81784 So I live several stories high (like 11) in my dorm/apartment complex, and I like to ...
Question #81784 posted on 03/30/2015 9:44 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I live several stories high (like 11) in my dorm/apartment complex, and I like to compost. However, I'm not interested in going all the way down and outside when I have extra scraps of food (and I also don't like to collect and store scraps because it smells)... so I've decided to throw my scraps (bread crusts, apple cores, orange peels, tips of carrots, mushy lettuce, nut shells, etc) out the window. Now I've looked outside and there is a small patch of bushes directly beneath me so I wouldn't be dropping it on people... but do you think I'd get in trouble for doing this? Would you do it?

-Freshwerf

A:

Dear you,

I like composting too, however, it seems like this might make your apartment manager mad because it might lead to a smelly mess that someone else would have to clean up (especially if you are not going to bury it), and it wouldn't contribute to the overall attractiveness of the complex. I was going to mention that putting your food scraps in the garbage is just another way of composting, just in a landfill; however Uffish Thought commented that sometimes organic material doesn't decompose in landfills because of the anaerobic environment they can sometimes cause. Sky Bones found a TED talk that talks about that very subject. You can view it here. So I guess you could just throw your scraps away, and run the risk of them never decomposing, or you could see just how patient you apartment management is. 

Good luck!

-Squirrel

A:

Dear Freshprince,

Whenever I'm walking with like a banana peel or something, I make a point of throwing it to some plants rather than putting it in the trash, but that's about the extent of it. I think that you don't have to feel too bad about putting scraps in a landfill, but if you don't, I'd find some other way to take care of them than throwing them out of your high window.

If you really want to make a difference, stop using plastic bags from grocery stores. Get paper instead. It's super easy, the bags are bigger, and you can recycle them. Those plastic bags will practically never decompose anywhere.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear Freshwerf ~

Get a kitchen composter. At the very least, it'll take you a couple of days to fill up and you can carry it down when you're already going somewhere else. (Do you have somewhere outside to dump compost?) You say you don't like to collect them because they smell. Get a kitchen composter with a filter and you won't smell it. 

Or! Do something cool like worm composting (vermicompost)! I keep wanting to do this, but have never tried. Many people just keep the composter under their kitchen sink and no one is the wiser. 

Lastly, do not throw your food out an eleventh-story window. So many things can go wrong here. With the slightest breeze you could plaster your building (including other people's windows; pray they're not open!) with your orange peels. Imagine being the poor person, on their way to a job interview or a first date, who just happens to walk by your building at the wrong time and gets mushy lettuce in their hair. Just... no. Don't do it. Please, there are so many better ways to compost.

~ Dragon Lady


1 Comment
Question #81787 posted on 03/30/2015 9:44 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is your second toe longer than your big toe?

-WQW

A:

Dear Weird Question Wednesday,

My right one is, but my left one isn't. It's so bizarre; I feel like a mutant.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear you,

My second toe is barely longer than my big toe on both my feet. Interestingly, my mom's cousin's kids have toes so long that they almost look like fingers, and stick out about an inch farther than their big toes

-Squirrel

A:

Dear WQW,

When I first read your question, I immediately thought, "Of course my second toe isn't longer than my big toe!"

However, upon examination of my feet I discovered that my second toe actually is longer than my big toe. Wow, I guess I don't know myself as well as I thought I did.

Just in case you wanted to know more about my feet (and why wouldn't you?), I also have two toes on each foot that are somewhat webbed.

A word of caution, DO NOT google "webbed human feet" for an accurate idea of what my feet look like. I did that and GROSS. My feet do not look as disgusting as those pictures, I promise.

Dear Yayfulness (below),

Now I'm gonna spam your inbox with pictures of my feet. But really, get ready.

-Vienna

A:

Dear WQW,

Nope, distinct length distance there.

Dear Vienna,

Please please please never allow me to see your feet.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear WQW,

Yep. Runs on my mom's side.

-Owlet

A:

Dear friend,

Nope. I do, however, have what my podiatrist calls "pre-bunions." Also, yesterday I wore sandals to work and one of my students told me I have "a weird toe." When I asked her what was weird about it, she shrugged and said, "It's just really weird." I have no idea what that means, but, there it is.

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear World Quo Warcraft:

I do indeed have the feet of a statue of a Greek goddess. Thank you for asking.

---Portia

A:

Dear Terry,

No. My first three toes are all nearly the same length. Nearly. But the big toe is the longest.

-Azriel

A:

Dear WQW ~

Yup.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear WQW,

On my right foot, yes. On my left foot, no—
My big toe's as long as my index toe.

-100 Hour Bard


0 Comments
Question #81778 posted on 03/30/2015 9:44 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the LDS Church's stance on investing in the stock market? I am currently interested in learning more about the topic, and I stumbled across this article: Investing for Beginners. It seems like a good enough article to learn investing, but I'm not sure if the principles live up to the church? So what is the LDS Church's stance on investing for beginners, and do you think that this article that I attached is acceptable?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Anne Sams

A:

Dear Wade,

I don't normally come out and state things as doctrine, but I absolutely believe that there is nothing about making investments that is contrary to the standards of the Church. The Church officially opposes gambling but making investments is not gambling. The main difference is that when you buy stock you are buying ownership in a company. You are actually purchasing something of value as opposed to simply betting. That doesn't mean people can't gamble on the stock market. Day trading, (most) options trading, and other kinds of trading are much more akin to gambling than making informed investments. When done in an educated and wise manner, investing can be a fundamental principle of provident living. The Church itself has investments through its asset holding company, Deseret Management Corporation.
 
-M.O.D.A.Q.
A:

Dear Anne Sams,

I agree with MODAQ and have a few things to add.

The Lord has actually commanded the establishment of a joint stock company by revelation (to build and operate the Nauvoo House, a boarding house) and instructed specific individuals to invest in it. In that same section, you'll note that the Lord is encouraging them to make a long-term investment (no day-trading) and specifies certain ethical and financial standards for the management of the company. 

Lorenzo Snow and Brigham Young supervised the establishment of a joint-stock company to provide cheap goods to people in Utah, the ZCMI, and encouraged people to invest. (Now, there's still a joint-stock company that provides cheap goods to Utah: Walmart. WWBrighamYoungD?) Beyond the fact that the Church itself and prominent leaders thereof have established joint-stock companies and invested in stocks, the Church also receives donations of stock.

So anyone who thinks the Church opposes investment in joint-stock companies is just ignorant. That said, the Church has encouraged us not to be dumb about it. So let's talk investment advice.

Many of the principles of that article are good (don't try to time the market, don't try to pick stocks), some are bad (it recommends against total market ETFs, which are a great option), and some are just ridiculous (it says "buy low, sell high" as if really wanting to is all that's necessary). I've already written up my personal investment advice for the uninitiated here, i.e. hold some cash/cash equivalents and put everything else in S&P 500 Vanguard ETF shares or similar. Read the whole post. A couple years after I said that, Warren Buffett—arguably the greatest investor of the last 50 years—recommended about the same strategy to his own widow. (My idea, guys...yeah, right.) 

Currently, I put 95% of my 401(k) retirement fund investments in a low-cost S&P 500 index fund and 5% in company stock. I hold my mid-term savings 60% in a Vanguard stock index fund and 40% as cash. So although I'm not professional (and since this is the Board, you know we disown all liability should anyone actually follow our advice) my money's right about where my mouth is. 

I'd tell you to get professional advice, but there's really little hope there; professionals are motivated by commission and/or repeat business. Just listen to me and Warren Buffett and that's probably about the best you can do. Good luck! 

~Professor Kirke


0 Comments
Posted on 03/30/2015 8:17 a.m. New Comment on: #81762 I want to learn to document ceramics and pottery in an archaeological context -- is there ...
Question #81788 posted on 03/30/2015 7:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was reading question Board Question #71545 to my roommate and when I said, "Stained Glass, and Animal Restraint," she thought I had was talking about a class called "Stained Glass and Animal Restraint." What would be the syllabus for such a class? What department would it fall under? Would it have prerequisites?

-The Cousin of Freshwerf

A:

Dear you and your cousins:

Course Syllabus

Stained Glass and Animal Restraint, HIST 489

Instructor:     Dr. Portia of Belmont

Office:          The Universe

Email:           portiaofbelmont@gmail.com

Office Hours:  24/7

 

Materials

Textbooks: Animals in Early Medieval Art, Carola Hicks. Animal Encounters, Contacts and Concepts in Medieval Britain, Susan Crane

Prerequisite: HIST 202, equivalent, or instructor's permission

Purpose and Objective

What is the relationship between master and servant, the archetype of the Wolf as embodiment of The Wild and the Dog as Man's Best Friend? Did this relationship between Man and Beast change over the course of the Medieval era? What is the history of domestication of animals in the Western world, and how does one see this relationship reflected in Christian art?

This course will explore the meaning of restraint as found in animal imagery throughout Medieval European stained glass artwork. As Carola Hicks puts it, "animal ornament is a crucial element in Medieval art, especially in Britain where pagan imagery from the Celtic and Germanic traditions was adapted for use in Christian art." From the patron saint of Animals, St. Francis of Assisi, to Ambrose's views of birds as models of "social and sexual restraint" (Crane, 84), we will explore the Medieval view of animals, wild and restrained, through primary sources, written and visual. 

dogsstainedglas.jpg

Unit 1: Tally Ho! Medieval Hunting: Praxis and Social Norms

From the woven Bayeux tapestry to stained glass images such as the one shown above, Medieval Europeans had a near-talismanic relationship with hunting dogs. We'll discuss how the hunt penetrated all manner of literary and visual metaphors. For example, The Parlement of the Ages presents an early "stages of man" allegory using a young hunter with his crossbow ... and, of course, his trusty dog on a leash. 

 st_francis_animals_window.jpg

Unit 2: All Creatures Great and Small: St. Francis and Love of Animals, Unrestrained

What would St. Francis's views on animal restraint be? It's easy to guess that he may have had more sympathy with the stand of PETA than his contemporaries. By viewing animals as agents in their own right, St. Francis set the stage for Enlightenment-era debates regarding the status of the souls of animals, and what our responsibilities and obligations towards them may be as human actors.

As a Christian saint, we'll have ample opportunity to examine stained glass representations of Francis from throughout Medieval Europe, and debate how the current Pope Francis may or may not carry on his legacy.

___

All university policies regarding cheating, harassment, and untoward behavior apply. Be prepared for a collaborative project with the School of Arts, to be discussed in further detail the first week of the course.

---Dr. Portia of Belmont


0 Comments
Question #81789 posted on 03/30/2015 5:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Which is more effective in finding an eternal companion, Tinder, YSA activites, or random calls through the BYU directory?

-On the hunt

A:

Dear you,

YSA Activities.

 boardpic.jpg

 

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear World,

More or less called it.

~Professor Kirke


0 Comments
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Question #81783 posted on 03/29/2015 9:26 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are you supposed to air dry bras?

-pregunton

A:

Dear pregunton,

Because dryers are serial bra-killers. Seriously. They can mangle the straps, get the hooks caught in other parts of the bra and rip it up, and most importantly, create weird creases in molded cups that will never, ever allow you to wear that bra with a fitted t-shirt ever again. That's not to mention shrinking issues.

If you typically buy cheap bras and aren't worried about replacing them, I guess you could go for it anyways. Using a dryer instead of air drying does tend to make the band tighter, which is nice. But air drying bras definitely helps them retain their shape and functionality longer, which is important if you're investing in good-quality bras.

If you want, you could use a bra wash bag to offset some of these effects, but they're really intended for washers more than dryers.

-Zedability


0 Comments
Question #81768 posted on 03/29/2015 8:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It's a Tuesday night. I finished almost all of my homework and got some work done on updating my resume. Classes went fine, and I was able to see friends throughout the day. I even had time for some Smash Bros. and a couple of episodes of Parks and Rec. And, I did all of this early enough to get a decent amount of sleep tonight.

And yet...somewhere inside I just feel kind of empty and dissatisfied.

Part of it could be hunger, I suppose. But I also sense something deeper.

I'm not really asking you to solve this for me. This is likely something personal that I'll just need to spend some time working out for myself.

I'm just wondering, do you feel this way sometimes? Do you know why you feel like this? And what do you do to make things better?

-Sitting and Waiting

A:

Dear Waiting,

I think we all know the feeling you are talking about. One of the great challenges of life is determining what fulfills us, and you are right when you say that it's something we each have to figure out for ourselves.

For a long time, I wan't sure what made me feel fulfilled. I tried putting everything I have into school and that didn't work. I tried putting all my focus into music and that turned out a little better, but still not great.

I finally figured out that, for me, what makes me feel fulfilled is the feeling that I am influencing the lives of others for good. For so long, I thought I would find fulfillment by focusing on my own goals, but it it turns out I am much happier when I focus on what I can do to make others' lives better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not perfect at this, but just knowing that I am trying helps me to feel fulfilled.

So, on days when I am feeling unfulfilled, the best thing I can do to make it better is to be around people—to listen to them, to laugh with them, to help them if I can, and to accept their help when I need it.

Some other things that help me to feel fulfilled are scripture study, temple attendance, writing songs, creating things, traveling, spending time out in nature, writing in my journal, and going to the gym.

Also remember that you can always pray for Heavenly Father's help to figure out what things will make your life feel more fulfilling. Good luck!

Love,

Vienna

A:

Dear siddanwaid,

Honestly, I felt like that for like a month before I met Madam Insomniac. I wondered what was going on, because I had a good job, school was going well, I had a great time with my roommates every day, I was doing well spiritually, etc. Finally I determined that I was desperately lonely, which was still weird. I was rooming with two of my best friends and we lived in the most awesome singles' ward ever. But the fact remained that there was something (or in this case, someone) missing from my life. So I prayed about it and not two weeks later met the woman who would later become my wife.

Anyway, that is to say that I had needs that weren't being met at that time, even though I was in an otherwise great situation. I'd do some self-evaluating to try and find what's missing.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear Demeter,

These are the first three things that stood out to me that might have been missing from your day:

  1. Building relationships, although you did mention seeing friends.
  2. Spiritual stuff. I'll be the cheesy one and say that Church-related things help me feel fulfilled, like praying, studying, doing things for my calling, etc.
  3. Having a hobby. I'm not sure if Smash Bros. and Parks and Rec. count as hobbies. Some people feel more satisfied when they engage in a creative or physical activity.
After I made that list, I realized there are actually so many other things that could be it. Like, what kinds of food did you eat? Do you exercise regularly? What opportunities have you had to serve others lately? Like you said, this is something you'll likely need to figure out on your own, but maybe those are some starting points for you.
 
In the end, it could just be one of those days. I think we all have them now and then. Sometimes I know why I feel like this, sometimes I don't. If you're stuck in a funk, think back on it tomorrow or next week when you're not feeling this way, and it might help you to put things into perspective. One of my favorite quotes recently is from Boyd K. Packer: "Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life." Here's another similar one from him: "It helps a great deal if we realize that there is a certain healthy element in getting the blues occasionally. It is quite in order to schedule a good, discouraging, depressing day every now and again just for contrast."
 
-Owlet
A:

Dear S&W,

Oh man that totally describes much of my life about 5 years ago. I had just graduated from BYU and moved to Boston to start the next chapter of my life. I was living in one of the coolest cities in the world and surrounded by people at church and school who I liked and who liked me. I was in the stage of my education that I was proactively getting all my work done and I was, if I may say so, destroying my grad school courses. This was the life, right? But as the months wore on, I felt that gnawing feeling on my soul that made me feel empty, unfulfilled, and worthless. When I examined my life, I found that I had holes that I was ignoring. My testimony was stagnating, I was developing an addiction to pornography, and I was single and had few close friends.

So I did what Vienna, Insomniac, and Owlet suggested. I worked on getting more spiritual, more socially well-rounded, and more generous. I joined the Church's 12 step program for addiction recovery. I formed closer friendships with people, studied the scriptures more, and tried to get myself into a better place by looking outside of myself. I started working in the temple once a week. I met my wife and got married. I have a kid. I'm working my dream job. I can say with absolute honesty that my life has become more meaningful to me in larger steps over the last 5 years than at any other time in my life. By and large, I am generally happy and content with my life.

But sometimes I still feel empty.

With all respect to Vienna, Insomniac, and Owlet, I think it's important to realize that you can be doing everything right and still feel like something's wrong. And I think it's wrong to say that feeling that way means that you necessarily need to find something in your life to fix. Sometimes it does. But sometimes, even when your life should be fulfilling and you're making all the right moves and doing all the right things, you still feel empty. I mean, that's life, right? We are imperfect people in an imperfect world that basically never works the way we expect it to (for good or for bad). Much of the time, doing all the right things makes you feel good. Some of the time, it doesn't.

When I feel unfulfilled, I do take some time to reflect on my life and see if I can identify some things I can be doing better. But for my own mental health, it's really important for me to recognize that there might not be a reason today. It's nice to be able to say, "this is just one of those times that I can't explain why I feel this way." I acknowledge it and then I wait for it to be over.

I realize that this might not be very comforting. But I can say that I get out of those funks faster and healthier (less frequently resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating or pornography) when I acknowledge it for what it is instead of scurrying around with the assumption that something is broken and I need to fix it.

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Sitting and Waiting,

I was going to say just the same thing as The Man with a Mustache. We probably shouldn't expect to be perfectly fulfilled all the time, as we probably won't feel perfectly fulfilled all the time. Trying to force things to be better when things are all basically right may make things worse and probably won't work anyway.

Not to get all psychobabbly on you, but I believe that sometimes the best thing to do is to be present in the moment and accept the feeling consciously. "I am here, sitting on my bed at the end of the day. I can hear my roommate in the next room washing the dishes. I had a good day, I was productive, and I had some fun. I feel that something is missing, and that is okay." The therapists at work like to say that when our thoughts are in the past we are prone to depression, and when our thoughts are in the future we are prone to anxiety. It's only in the present where we can feel whole. That's an old sentiment, but I think it applies here, too. Fear the hole in your life and you will find the hole in your life.

I'm not actually that touchy-feely in real life.

- The Black Sheep


0 Comments
Question #81782 posted on 03/29/2015 8:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

This is a weird question, but for some odd reason, it's been on my mind for a while.

So if you're doing IVF, the man has to provide a sperm sample, right? Normally he is given pornography and then provides the sample. What if it's a Mormon man doing IVF? What does he do? He can't feel comfortable being asked to watch pornography, right, but how else would be able to provide a sample?

Sorry this is weird, but IVF is a real possibility.

-Concerned

A:

Dear concerned,

According to this site, a man's partner is permitted to be with him in the collection room when the sperm sample is retrieved. I imagine that's typically if not universally true.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear concerned,

I hope I'm not being crass, and I really don't think I am, I just want to check to see if you are aware that men can produce sperm wholly without pornography. 

I just... think that is common knowledge you should be generally aware of. Yayfulness' answer is still great and spot on, but the way you worded the question made me want to clarify just in case

If you're interested, a couple past questions gave opinions on what to do in the context of medical necessity to produce a sperm sample: Board Question #19316 and Board Question #50587.

-Mico

A:

Dear you,

I'm struggling to put my feelings into appropriate words for this answer. I apologize if this comes across as blunt.

Honestly? Don't worry about it. If you are going through In Vitro Fertilization, there is almost nothing less important than worrying about the sperm retrieval process.

If you're struggling to get pregnant right now, well, this next part is something I don't have to tell you. Infertility is unimaginably painful if you haven't experienced it. It's like the air gets sucked out of the room a little more every month, over and over, year after year. It's like a scab that won't heal, and every time you see your friends' adorable baby and toddler pictures, the scab gets scratched and starts to bleed a little more. It's a feeling of emptiness and inadequacy and hopes that never stop getting dashed.

Fertility treatments give you back some hope, but it's not easy and it's not cheap. By the time you and your Reproductive Endocrinologist arrive at IVF, you've usually tried two or three other treatments without success. You're probably thousands of dollars in the hole. IVF usually adds another 10-to-15,000 to that number. The woman has to endure three months of injections and bloating and hormone cocktails. The man has probably been on the phone for hours dealing with unhelpful insurance agents, trying to figure out how to cover everything. You go to one doctor appointment in an endless series and he tells you that your levels aren't quite there yet, and prescribes another two weeks of meds, and you realize you have to figure out where to find the $600 you need to pay for them.

By the time the egg retrieval day comes, you are both exhausted, physically and emotionally and spiritually. And I promise, I PROMISE, that when the doctor hands the man the sterile cup and leads him to the room, that lurid titillation will be the FARTHEST THING IN THE WORLD from his mind. All he will be thinking about is his wife, sedated and prepped two rooms over, and that everyone in the building knows exactly what he's doing, and that all he wants is to finish as quickly as possible. And he will probably be praying as hard as he can that the sample is viable, and that the egg retrieval is successful, and the implantation beats the 65% odds of failure and that you can finally finally have a family like everyone else.

There are SO many things to worry about in the process of IVF. Don't worry about this.

---still hoping


0 Comments
Question #81781 posted on 03/29/2015 7:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it possible to determine the color of an m&m by touch alone?

Let say you have a large bowl of m&ms. You are blindfolded, and can eat as many m&ms as you desire from the bowl until you eat 3 brown ones, then you must stop. Would any of you be able to differentiate brown m&ms from other colors just by touch?

-Yum

A:

Dear Wade,

No. That's not possible. Unless you're Daredevil. But then you could "view" photographs and "read" computer screens by touch, too.

I really hope they don't include that ability in the Netflix series.

-M.O.D.A.Q.


0 Comments
Question #81780 posted on 03/29/2015 7:32 p.m.
Q:

Dearest 100 Hour Board,

So question. Taylor's Swift song Out of the Woods cannot be found on YouTube. Yeah, yeah, there's a live version but I'm looking for the album or radio version. I know she wants people to buy her music, like the actual CD or from iTunes so that explains why this song can't be found anywhere on YouTube. Why, then, has she allowed Shake It Off, Blank Space, Style, and many of her other new songs on YouTube?

Goodbye,
Scarlet Flamingo

A:

Dear Sasha Eduardo,

"Shake It Off," "Blank Space," and "Style" all have music videos. They are put on YouTube by her record company so they don't violate copyright. Record companies produce and put out music videos as a promotion for music sales. Any usage of the songs on YouTube aside from the official music videos is a violation of copyright.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Flamingo,

More specifically, those are the three songs on 1989 that have been released as singles. Releasing singles predates full albums as the dominant way to publish pop music, and even though consumer tastes have shifted to the album, and then to digital as the preferred way of purchasing music, record labels and artists still use singles as a way to promote certain songs, especially for radio play.

-Cognoscente


0 Comments
Question #81779 posted on 03/29/2015 7:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and it got me wondering: how do you become featured on the show? Do you have to pay to be on it? Throughout the show they showed to-be brides trying on dresses, but these women were never featured. Then sometimes they show women who had bought a dress from them a couple of months ago get married in the dress. So how do they decide to show someone who gets featured or whether they show your wedding or not?

-sci-grrrl

A:

Dear sci-grRrRrrrRRl,

To be on Say Yes to the Dress you have to apply. You can apply directly on the Bridals by Lori's website. The person applying doesn't pay anything to apply, but conversely they don't receive any compensation either. They don't even get reimbursed for travel or purchases made at the bridal store! (That last part surprised me, actually, but that's reality TV, folks. In reality, people don't just buy you a wedding dress, but they will film you while you do it yourself.) If the show's Supreme Bride Picker (I hope this is the job title) likes your application, they will contact you to "discuss your wedding and your interests in the show." 

I haven't been able to find anything concrete (or even vague) about how they decide who gets featured at length. Maybe the Supreme Bride Picker chooses a bunch of brides, films them, then picks whoever was the most interesting/dramatic/all-around-neato and features them. Also, since the boutique is a regular store, they also will have regular people trying on dresses in the background. 

-Mico


0 Comments
Question #81777 posted on 03/29/2015 5:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

How do people who weigh a lot (like over 400 lbs) go to the bathroom? Most toilets can't hold someone over that weight, so...curious.

- Jack Vandermuffin

A:

Dear Jack,

There are multiple companies that make toilet seats and toilet supports to facilitate those who are obese or have other health issues in "taking care of business."  If you are particularly interested, information on one such company, Big John Products, can be found here.

On a side note, I feel that I should get some extra credit for Googling "obese American toilets." You're welcome.

I sure hope this helps.  Please don't hate me.

- Brutus   


0 Comments
Question #81776 posted on 03/29/2015 4:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

This year it's Journey performing at The Stadium of Fire!!!! Last year it was Carrie Underwood and she put on a great show. However, I would like a list since The Stadium of Fire started, with each band/artist who has performed there and in what year. Would that be possible for you to post here? Thanks! Don't stop believin'.

-Wrinkled Rhubarb Shoelace

A:

Dear Impractical Shoelace,

Here is the list of the headliner performances, as far back as I could find sources:

2014: Carrie Underwood
2013: Kelly Clarkson and Carley Rae Jepsen
2012: The Beach Boys
2011: Brad Paisley and David Archuleta
2010: Carrie Underwood
2009: The Jonas Brothers
2008: Miley Cyrus
2007: Brooks and Dunn
2006: Taylor Hicks
2005: Lucy Lawless and the Osmonds
2004: Reba McEntire
2003: Martina McBride
2002: Toby Keith
2001: Sawyer Brown
2000: Alabama
1999: Gladys Knight
1998: Huey Lewis and the News
1997: Natalie Cole and the Jets
1996: Donny Osmond
1995: Barbara Mandrell
1994: The Oak Ridge Boys and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

According to Wikipedia, the Stadium of Fire was created by the Osmonds in 1980, and they were the headliner performers for the first several years. Wikipedia also has a list of all the performers since the celebration's inception.

- Haleakalā

A:

Dear Delicious Pastry Flavor,

Bring me the giant vinyl cutout of Carrie Underwood's eye from last year and we'll talk.

--Ardilla Feroz


0 Comments
Question #81775 posted on 03/29/2015 3:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In India do they give baby showers? I heard on The Mindy Project that they don't because of overpopulation, haha.

-Banana Mama

A:

Dear Banana Mama,

The short answer: while baby showers aren't traditional, they are becoming more prevalent in India.

The long answer: A couple of years ago I met and befriended a woman that was born and raised in India. Her husband was born and raised in the U.S., but his parents were born and raised in India and they would visit their homeland frequently. I've had the opportunity to listen to my friend tell me a lot about her life in India, about the small village she is from, what it was like to move to the U.S. and particularly what it is like visiting India now. Basically, in the ten years that it's been since she's moved to the U.S., my friend says the culture has completely changed and it's rapidly westernizing. People are much more connected to the rest of the world now (though she says more personally disconnected from each other than ever before) and as a result, they're adopting many Western traditions and customs, such as baby showers, for those that can afford it.

Please keep in mind that poverty in India is fairly widespread and while social norms are gradually changing, they are still quite rigid in many places. The perception of a woman expecting a baby in India is socially and culturally very different than that of a woman expecting a baby in the U.S.

-Sky Bones 


0 Comments
Question #81774 posted on 03/29/2015 3:26 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Did any of you guys, as you grew into adulthood, became disillusioned with your family? For disillusionment, the definition I want to use is: "a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be." For me, the realizations were that my parent's marriage wasn't as strong as I thought it was and that my siblings make a lot more poor decisions than I had anticipated.

-Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

A:

Dear that's actually pretty clever,

Oh my yes.

I used to have a lot of problems with my parents. I thought they had bad intentions or hated me or something. As I've gotten older, I've realized that they just really didn't know how to parent very well. That wasn't entirely their fault, but it still did a number on me and I'm working having decent relationships with them right now.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear friend,

I'm kind of in the same boat as you. My parents aren't as strong as I thought they were, and I worry for my siblings a lot more often than I brag about them these days. 

But I take hope in what Ardilla and Mustache have said, because I do love and admire my parents for their role in making me who I am. I'm coming to understand that they're humans like the rest of us - just like I muddle and waffle and dither my way through my own decisions because I don't really know what I'm doing, so too do they. They're doing the best they know how with the resources they've been given. I'm hoping someday I can come to honor their mistakes the way I honor their successes.

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

A:

Dear San Pedro Sula,

I felt somewhat disillusioned with my family for a little while—especially when my parents were having some spats—but I think they're cooler now than I ever have. I don't know why I'd include this response except to say there may yet be things you discover about your parents and family that you will come to appreciate and respect deeply.

--Ardilla Feroz 

A:

Dear Heir,

Somewhere in the middle of my college experience I realized that my parents did a bunch of stuff wrong. I went through several phases of disillusionment:

  1. Shock: I was mildly surprised that they didn't do everything correctly. It really hadn't occurred to me before.
  2. Anger: I felt like they hadn't taught me things that were fundamentally important and that I was seriously handicapped because of it.
  3. Resolution: I was going to make my family better than they made theirs by doing correctly everything that they did wrong.
  4. Forgiveness: I realized that they probably taught a lot of those things to me many many times but that I was too stubborn to learn it.
  5. Admiration: I'm trying to be a dad and I've discovered just how hard it is to do pretty much anything correctly. I now basically worship my parents' ability to have done as much as they did as well as they did it.
So, you see, I've come full circle. Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that this is the right way. My family circumstances are what they are, and I'm sure yours are totally different. But this is how it worked for me.
 
-The Man with a Mustache
A:

Dear Bugs Pennybags:

Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho!

Yes. So much yes.

Considering how most members of my family behave like some combination of characters in a Kaui Hart Hemmings novel and in a golden age of Disney film, how wouldn't I have Balzacian Lost Illusions?

Where to begin? On my Danish side, they were all legitimately insane. There was a set of siblings where there was only one normal one. The others were alcoholics who all managed to die violent deaths, falling out of various watercraft, etc. And/or they would abandon their offspring with their spouses or in-laws, despite pleas to the contrary. (I'm going to go with r-selection strategy on this one.) An anecdote which I'm not sure is disillusioning, or whether it's more of a tips cap moment, is the soap opera of an ancestress maid of mine. She worked for a wealthy bachelor, and on his deathbed, she shows up and claims that her kid is his. I don't know if the courts decided in her favor—DNA testing was invented for my family.

Which brings me to my biological parents. Oh, did I mention I found my long-lost father? Yeah, I did. If I had any youthful illusions that my life was an Emily Giffin novel: ha. ha. ha. HA!

The adoption papers were just casually in a box somewhere and my adoptive father's second wife had them, the key to the information I had most wanted in the first quarter century of my existence. Let me tell you, stalking your biological father on LinkedIn and sobbing as your overbearing non-relative looks over your shoulder is not what Hiccup, Anne of Green Gables, Lorna Doone—need I go on? It was horrifying.

I had had decades to construct a fantasy of how the threads of this story would unravel. My long-lost father was intelligent! He lived in New York! Surely, he was dashingly handsome! I pictured a tale of forbidden, but lasting love, or more sordid, something much darker. As my mother lay dying, I thought I'd finally say, tell me the truth, maybe throw myself in her arms. Between the death rattles and my own awkwardness, it didn't happen.

But at last! I had a name, I had an address!

I stalked my two half-siblings. (In a Shakespearean twist, both my brothers have the same, unusual Nordic given name.) I crafted my best letter.

It had been about a week, no response. I was as low as I'd ever been. Couldn't concentrate, couldn't sleep, basically having a nervous breakdown.

I did get a response, finally. 

I now know far more about the circumstances of my conception than I ever truly needed to. In brief, it was a one-night stand at a graduation party. 

He didn't even know my mother was pregnant! If anything, she abandoned him. Personality-wise, he is indeed clever enough (an engineer), enjoys skiing and reading, and is pretentious and has a lame sense of humor. So I'll take his word for it that I found the right guy. Sounds about right.

How à propos that Florence and the Machine would pop up on my Pandora just now.

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive

In any bildungsroman, our intrepid protagonist must overcome whatever faulty youthful perceptions are holding her back. I was in love with a fantasy. I was looking, in a very real and salient way that I think must be impossible to understand fully unless you've been there, for an identity of sorts. I still have daydreams that my parents stayed together, that they'd be alive and part of my life and love me, that I wouldn't feel so alone.

Adulthood, I think, is realizing that even though we are in some fundamental sense alone, it's okay.

I like George R. R. Martin's take on it, a world full of even more dysfunctional families and illegitimate children:

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” 

---Portia


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Question #81762 posted on 03/29/2015 3:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I want to learn to document ceramics and pottery in an archaeological context -- is there a crash course booklet that I can get that teaches me the basic details to notes? And how do I know all the ceramic lingo? What is a fabric? Slip? Glaze (like what are they exactly).

-Butterfly & Bones

A:

Dear Lepidopteran and Ossa,

The first thing I did when I read your question was to Google "define:slip." I had to scroll down a lot to get past all of the other definitions, but I eventually found the definition: "a creamy mixture of clay, water, and typically a pigment, used especially for decorating earthenware." Based on that, I think that Google's "define" feature or another large general purpose dictionary will probably have adequate definitions for a lot of the terms you're looking for.

However, for some of those more technical terms, here are a few resources you might find useful:

Wiktionary's category of ceramics terms (Wiktionary is not always my preferred dictionary, but I do love its categories feature.)

Glossary of Ceramic Terms from Tulane University

Archaeology Wordsmith

As far as learning about archaeological ceramics more generally, that's going to depend largely on the time period(s) and culture(s) you're interested in. (I.e., the amphora of Ancient Greece are going to be significantly different from the pottery of the Ancestral Puebloans.) Museums are probably going to be a good resource for you, since many (most?) archaeological finds eventually make their way to a museum collection. As a general methodology, I would suggest searching the websites or published catalogs of museums with collections from the cultures you're interested in and then looking up unfamiliar terminology as you go. (Try Googling something like "museum ancient pottery [culture or place]" to find websites. To find printed catalogs, go to a library catalog and do a subject search on "[country] antiquities" or "pottery [country].")

To get you started, Mico found The Florida Museum of Natural History's online collections of historic period archaeological ceramics, which looks like a pretty amazing resource.

- Katya


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Question #81773 posted on 03/29/2015 3:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you rather have your family/friends tell you their serious personal problems/struggles or be completely oblivious to them?

-To hear or not to hear

A:

Dear Ears,

I would rather be told. I try to be a sensitive person, but there are definitely moments when momentary stupidity overpowers my sensitivity and I end up being inadvertently insensitive. If I know what my friends and family members are going through, however, it helps me to be more empathetic and sensitive. Even if there is nothing I can do to help them, I've found that understanding the trials someone is going through always fills my heart with love for them.

I also like to be told because when I can do something to help them, I want to. I don't want any of my family members or close friends to have to bear their burdens alone, so if there is something I can do to lighten the load, I want to be able to do it.

-Vienna

A:

Dear hear,

I would want to be told some things, but not all of them. It's important to be able to support your family and friends, and there are a lot of situations where someone really needs help that you can give. At a minimum, it's nice to be able to know if there are issues you should be sensitive to or considerate of. However, it's possible to start to take on too many problems that belong to other people. There are things that you may not be emotionally equipped to deal with, depending on your own struggles and what's going on for you personally. It's important to not take the "it's important to help loved ones" mindset so far that you can't do what's healthy for you.

-Zedability

A:

Dear THONTH,

It's a resounding "Tell me your struggles!" for me.

Somewhere between my drive to help people and my general nosiness, I've discovered that I love listening to other people's problems so much that I recently applied and was accepted to a graduate program for Clinical Art Therapy. A specific series of experiences (like a dear cousin breaking down in tears in my living room while saying, "It's so good to finally be able to talk to somebody about this!") has shown me that a safe, judgment-free place for people to tell the truth, no matter what truth, is something that many people desperately need, and I'm good at it. Empathy and compassion are my top values in life, and if I can use them to bring my fellow human beings to a place of healing and balance, then why on earth would I not?

Yes, I want to know, and yes, I want to help.

With all the love in the world,

Waldorf, with Sauron by my side


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Question #81771 posted on 03/29/2015 2:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Any thoughts on Seattle's minimum wage?

-Shrinky Dink

A:

Dear Dink Meeker,

When I first heard about the minimum wage change in Seattle a few years ago, I was very confused about why in the world Seattle felt the need to raise the minimum wage so high. Yes, it will allow those working for minimum wage to make a living wage, but in the long run that won't last. Prices or employment will catch up with the minimum wage change. It is simple economics. By raising Seattle's minimum wage, the city is not creating more money, but redistributing the capital already available in the city. That capital is now going to the low-wage workers, giving them more money to spend, and less for the business owners to spend. This means that while people have more money, with which they can purchase goods and services, employers have less money to pay their employees with. They will either need to lay off employees or raise prices in order to make up for the change. Redistributing wealth this way is not going to increase the economy, just change it for a little while. 

I also can't help wondering what these changes will do to tourism in Seattle. It is now significantly more expensive to visit Seattle because of the change in prices. With increased cost of visiting, why not just go on vacation somewhere else? If people stop visiting Seattle due to any ramifications of the minimum wage change, then rather than improving the economy, it will negatively harm it. While this is simple speculation, it is possible. I can see a lot more bad coming from the minimum wage change than good. There are much better ways help out the middle and lower classes.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger  


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