"Childhood obesity is a growing problem" -DU Headline
Question #91380 posted on 06/09/2018 9:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What have been your favorite books you read in the past year? Or just your favorites of all time? Please just talk about books and how great they are :)

-Rita Booke

A:

Dear Rita ~

  • The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson. I suppose Oathbringer in particular, as it came out this year, but I did reread all three books (before, and again after it came out), and I love them all soooo much.
  • The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life by Robin Zasio. This was a HUGE game changer for me. I was already on a path to decluttering, but this gave me the tools to deal with it mentally. It helped me understand why I make some of the decisions I do, and helps me break the clutter cycle. It also gave me tools to deal with other things in my life, where the same principles apply. It's on my list for a re-listen soon. (The Audible narrator is easy to listen to, too. Bonus!)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. I read this book as a child and remembered loving it. So when someone gave it to me in a stack of old books they were giving away, I devoured it. I still love it. But man, reading it as a mom is a very different experience than reading it as a kid.
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. It's like Percy Jackson, but with Indian mythology. I love other religions, so this was a fun, light read.
  • Emma by Jane Austen. Here's my Goodread's review of it: 
    I used to dislike Emma. She’s a well-intentioned girl who is too full of herself and causes all sorts of problems. She would frustrate me to no end.

    I read it this time for a book club, and was surprised to find that, while the problems frustrated me still, Emma did not. I found her relatable in ways. She really does have a good heart, and she really is trying to do the best for everyone she loves. But she is not vain. When Mr. Knightly chastises her, she respects him and takes his chastisement well. And when she is proven wrong, she is truly humbled and repentant of her actions. It doesn’t always mean she reassesses her other options, especially at first, but the further along the story goes, the more she matures, until by the end I truly like her. And I think I like her more for watching her journey.

    I find myself thinking of the characters often, even weeks later. Each character seems to be characterized by a single overarching attribute. It’s almost a study in various character traits. And I see myself in many of them. When I’m talking too much about nothing, I think of Miss Bates. When I am overly cautious, I think of Mr. Woodhouse. When I share information in social settings, I wonder if I’m too much like Mr. Weston. And when I am kind to everyone, and even love them, when they display potentially annoying traits, I think of Mr. Knightly.

    I definitely appreciated this book far more this read-through.
  • Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. It's an end-of-the-world, if we got hit by a massive nuclear holocaust. It was written during the Cold War, when that was a legit fear. It helps you see, through a fictional lens, things that would be necessary in emergency preparedness in such a scenario. (There's another, One Second After by William R. Forstchen, that deals with the same thing, but EMP. And has more violence.) It's fascinating to think about (also terrifying) and makes me feel guilty when I think about my food storage and other emergency prep.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Light, but fun books. It's sci-fi meets fairy tales. I'm not usually a sci-fi girl, but I surprised myself by loving these.
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved this movie growing up. And then another movie came out that changed things. So reading this book was scary for me—which version was accurate to the book? Turns out, my version was. Phew! It is a heart-breaking and heart-warming book. I think every little girl (and little boy) should read it. It's a great example of how to stay strong and kind when everything around you falls apart. (And that means it's ok to be angry and cry sometimes.)
  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale. This is a graphic novel that we got for Dragon Baby. (She loves graphic novels.) I read it, and bawled my way through half of it. It is Shannon's real life memoirs from about kindergarten to 5th grade, and all of her friends along the way. The good, the bad, the ugly. I read it feeling like she addressed and validated my childhood insecurities. I've noticed that whenever Dragon Baby is going through a hard time with friends at school, she reads this book again. I think it validates her, too.

This doesn't cover all the books I've read since last Alumni Week, but I think it does cover my favorites.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Rita Booke,

I finally started reading The Lord of the Rings series. I'm taking it slow but I've been wanting to read them since I was a kid. I'm somewhere in the middle of The Two Towers and I have loved it so so much. They're interesting because you really don't get any inner dialogue. Everything you know about the characters is what they say out loud to each other. It is entirely up to the reader to get to know the characters and to empathize with them. The emotions of it are much more subtle than the movie. It makes them more poignant if you ask me. 

An all time favorite is The Wind in the Willows. I rarely pick up a book twice, but I've read that one three times I think? It describes and evokes incredibly abstract emotions which I felt most strongly as a kid and early teenager. It amazes me that those emotions are not unique to me. 

I mentioned this in another answer. But what I really love about books is how well I get to know myself when I'm reading them. That's honestly what I do when I need to come to myself again. 

Babalugats

A:

Dear Rita,

I mentioned most of my favorites from the past year in this answer, but here are a few more:

  • Wool, Shift, and Dust by Hugh Howey – A post-apocalyptic world where humans survive a toxic external environment by living in huge underground silos. But what's really going on outside (and inside) the silo?
  • The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – Let's mix traditional Russian mythology with Russian history and a stubborn young girl unwilling to submit to cultural expectations, shall we?

--Maven

A:

Dear Skeeter,

I sadly haven't read that many books in the last year, so I'll go with some of my favorites overall:

  • By Brandon Sanderson: All theMistborn books, The Rithmatist, and The Way of Kings (I haven't read much besides those yet)
  • By Orson Scott Card: Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind
  • By Garth Nix: Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen
  • By Brandon Mull: The Fablehaven books
  • By Rick Riordan: The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Patton
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Wandering Realities by Steven Peck
  • And of course, Watership Down by Richard Adams

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Ms. Skeeter,

Well, I finally got into Brandon Sanderson, and I'll fight anyone who says they don't like Mistborn. But because I feel like enough people hype him up on the Board, I'll talk about some of my other favorite books I've read this past year.

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It's definitely got some very, very weird parts, but it's a compelling story and has interesting characters that kept me engaged and guessing about what would happen next, and I like Gaiman's writing style a lot. Plus it made me irrationally excited to go to House on the Rock in Wisconsin.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. Imagine a post-apocalyptic world, but where the apocalypse was caused by zombie ant fungus mutating so it can infect humans. Then throw in some good interpersonal relationships developing in that nightmare world, and you've got a great book! (But even if you don't read the book, at least read the article about zombie ant fungus, because holy cow).
  • An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. This is accurate yet engaging historical fiction about the Dreyfus Affair, an 1890s scandal in which the French government framed a man for treason simply because he was Jewish at the wrong time in history. It has interesting implications for our day, and is utterly fascinating.
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. If you don't know who Malala Yousafzai is, you definitely should! She stood up for women's and children's rights (especially the right to an education) in Taliban-controlled Pakistan, and was subsequently shot point-blank in the face by the Taliban, and this is her story.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I finally finished it! And it's worth the hype, and the many hours it will take you to finish reading it. 
  • Making Money by Terry Pratchett. I will recommend Terry Pratchett to anyone who listens, and this is one of my personal favorites by him.

-Alta

Question #91321 posted on 06/09/2018 9:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I know many of you are Brandon Sanderson fans. Does anyone have any cool Cosmere theories or interpretations?

-I am a stick

A:

Dear stick,

Spoilers for the Cosmere as a whole (but mostly the Mistborn series and Stormlight Archive) throughout my answer.

One of the things I love about the Cosmere is that it's so ridiculously Mormon. For example:

  • The whole series, but so far especially Warbreaker and Mistborn, deals with humans becoming gods and gods who were once human.
  • In Mistborn, unbeknownst to society, most religious texts that have been corrupted by the machinations of a supernatural evil being, and the only trustworthy texts are the ones written on metal plates.
  • Sazed specifically in his interactions with Wax: a god who is limited by law and seems bitterly unfair in the episode with Lessie, until Wax understands things from the correct perspective, after which he wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Both Preservation and Ruin were necessary for the creation of life: opposition in all things, anyone?
  • There's a physical realm and a cognitive realm but everything is matter in both of them.
  • The climax of Words of Radiance is the moment when Kaladin rejects moral relativism, repents of his sins, and is willing to sacrifice himself--at which point he is saved by divine intervention.
  • The climax of Oathbringer is the moment when Dalinar embraces his agency and his need for redemption, and these are major and blindingly Mormon themes of the book.
  • I'd say Dalinar is Joseph Smith because he's so obviously a prophet restoring lost truth (he sees visions of god, translates ancient religious texts, and as a consequence is in conflict with the religious establishment of his day for crying out loud). Except that personality-wise he's closer to 110% Brigham Young with a giant sword, leading his people off into the wilderness thanks to his prophetic vision.
My pet Cosmere suspicion (doesn't quite arrive at being a theory) is that the whole thing is going to turn out to be even more Mormon than we can currently appreciate. As we find out more about Hoid, Adonalsium, the Shattering, and Realmatic theory, we will see even more about themes like agency, human apotheosis, opposition in all things, prophets, and Mormon cosmology, and the list above will expand dramatically.
 
If you add up all the fractional subconscious conversions he's responsible for, Brandon Sanderson is probably one of the best missionaries for the Church's worldview in the world. 

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear I ~

Definite spoilers here. You have been warned.

I'm curious if the second half of the Stormlight books will actually be reclaiming the Tranquiline Halls. But, turns out, the Tranquiline Halls are actually Damnation. And it's not dead people fighting, as they believe, but life people who have figured out world hopping. OR! Maybe it is the dead people. And all the people we think we're done with (*cough* Sadeas. Amaram. *cough*) are going to come back and be thorns in our side again.

Ok, the more I think about how to answer this, the more I realize I have far more questions than theories. SO MANY QUESTIONS. I know I have had theories previously, but I just can't dredge them up right now. Sorry! (But if you want to discuss questions and possible answers, which I suppose can be considered theories, let me know.)

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear stick,

Here's my chemtrail, Elvis lives conspiracy theory: So, Braize is Damnation. We found out Odium's name is Rayse. What's the other name that fits the pattern? Mraize. He's more than just some Ghostblood bro. He's Odium's human alter ego! Soon, all will be revealed!

- Eirene

A:

Dear brown and sticky,

*SUPER EXTRA MEGA SPOILER ALERT*


*LIKE SERIOUSLY DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN'T READ MISTBORN: SECRET HISTORY AND THE WAX AND WAYNE BOOKS*


Okay, are we alone? I hope so.

I'm deeply, deeply suspicious of Kelsier. I do not think that his dabbling in Hemalurgy will go well and I'm pretty sure he's going to end up as an antagonist down the line. He scares me worse than just about anyone else in the cosmere.

-Inverse Insomniac

Question #91411 posted on 06/09/2018 8:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So i am struggling with the concept of messing up. All. The Time. I understand grace and the role Christ has in our lives. It is just hard when sometimes change takes time. I am not a very patient person (another thing i am trying to work on) not that it is necessary a bad thing but when it comes to change it really doesn't help me.

How do i stop from not being discouraged because I want to change and be perfect but that takes time and that in and of itself is hard.

-Trying

A:

Dear Trying,

I think the distinction that you made between knowing what grace is, and how to feel it is a very important one. One of the most wonderful parts of the gospel is knowing that Jesus Christ atoned for us and all that brings, but trying all the time is hard. The other day in my personal scripture study I read Ether chapter 12 and I found some verses that helped me understand how I can feel His grace and have the patience to keep on going. This is answer's a bit long but bear with me! It gets good. I promise!

We know from Ether 12:27 that our weakness is something that helps us come closer to God. 

"27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Messing up is not an enjoyable experience, but it will bring us closer to God and make us who we're supposed to be. But how does it help us? And how do we keep trying when it seems like we aren't making any progress? Ether 12:28 helps us better understand how this process works.

"28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness."

Here we see that faith, hope, and charity, brings us unto Christ. I think these attributes help us come closer to Christ in two different ways. The first is that when we have faith, hope, and charity, our hearts are humble and we're willing to follow God and accept his help. The second is that when we act in faith, hope, and charity we receive blessings that help us in our righteous desires. To explain this in greater detail I'll break down Ether 12:31-34 to show the specific blessings we receive from faith, hope, and charity.

"31 For thus didst thou manifest thyself unto thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in thy name, thou didst show thyself unto them in great power."

When Christ's disciples had faith, Christ showed himself unto them in great power. When we have faith we can see the hand of God working for good in our life. One think that I think is hard about trying to improve is that we often feel like we have to do it alone, or do it all. We aren't alone and we don't have to do it all. If we exercise faith we will be helped with great power.  Reminding ourselves of the times that God has helped us and others in the past makes it easier for us to have faith that he will help us know and in the future.

"32 And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared. 33 And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men."

I find it very interesting that verse 32 say "wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared." One possible interpretation of that passage is that without hope we won't be able to endure to the end. Continuing along the path of righteousness the best we can is hard. We won't always see immediate results or have it easy. There will be times in our journey that for our personal good we will feel weak, or stretched, or uncomfortable, or incapable. During those times the hope of a better tomorrow can give us the motivation we need today. God loves us and has prepared amazing blessings for us. We might not receive them now but we will receive them eventually. That is something that is very comforting to me.

"34 And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father."

Here we see that in order to inherit our place in the mansions of Heavenly Father we need charity. Charity is one of the defining characteristics of God, so it makes sense that to be like Him we must learn to have charity. I also think that having charity makes our mortal journey easier. When I focus on myself I typically become pretty frustrated with my lack of progress. However, when I think about others there's always something to be happy about! To me the reason that missionaries are so happy is because they are constantly serving others. Loving and serving others also helps us have more empathy and patience for ourselves.

In conclusion, increasing our faith, hope, and charity will help us have a good attitude and receive strength on high. We aren't meant to be perfect all at once or even in this lifetime. Instead of focusing on what we lack, focusing on what God does for us can help motivate us to keep going. 

If you're trying to follow Jesus Christ you're going the right way. If you think about it, time doesn't really matter to God. As long as we keep going in the right direction we will arrive. To quote Elder Larry R. Lawrence "To Him, our direction is ever more important than our speed."  God is on our side and that makes us part of a pretty good team. Hope this helps! 

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Your Best,

I can relate to this question quite a lot. I tend to be very unforgiving towards my own weaknesses and foibles. So, I'll share some of the things that have helped me the most in learning how to extend patience and understanding to myself. 

  1. Therapy. If you go to BYU then you can get free counseling sessions. The sessions I've gone to were immensely helpful in allowing me to develop a more healthy mindset and realize that I really was doing better, and logically had a right to expect better things of myself than I was. 
  2. Yoga. Doing yoga relaxes me and helps me see outside of my current limitations. Also, it's really nice to have something that I can feel like I'm good at. However, I don't think you necessarily need to start doing yoga to receive these same kinds of benefits. Just find something you truly enjoy that you can practice on a regular basis.

Good luck, my friend, and I hope that you will begin to not only know of grace, but feel of it too.

~Anathema

Question #91409 posted on 06/09/2018 8:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear Anathema,

noun:
1) a person or thing detested or loathed:
2) a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3) a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.

[http://www.dictionary.com/browse/anathema]
(and 4, of course, as explained in Board Question #88565...)

... How do you feel about this? Have you come to reclaim a happier definition for a seemingly dismal word?

-Guesthouse

A:

Dear Austen,

Well, the question you linked to--while containing the main reason I chose this 'nym--didn't quite have all of it. 

When I applied to be a writer, I knew that I wanted to take the name of a strong female character from a Terry Pratchett book. More than that, I wanted to be one of his witches. Mainly because being a witch in his universe means taking care of all the ordinary things of life, out of which magic happens to sometimes arise. I relate to this in that I often dream like a poet, but in order to realize my dreams, I have my feet solidly planted in logic and hard work. Basically, I wanted to be able to capture this dichotomy of the fantastical with no-nonsense ordinary life in my 'nym.

Granny Smith was too old sounding, especially since I was just 19 when I applied (and man, that seems really weird since I'm 21 now, and has it really been almost two years ago since I started the application process?). Same with Nanny Ogg (and not to mention that I didn't really want too strong of an association with a character known for making innuendos). Agnes was too plain, Tiffany wouldn't be recognized as from Terry Pratchett, and Magrat just sounded... bad. That left Eskarina and Anathema. 

I ultimately went with Anathema out of a kind of bitter joke with myself. 

You see, I was consistently bullied and generally disliked by the majority of my classmates from the time I was in third grade all the way through eighth grade. I came to just expect people to dislike me when we first met. Things got better once I got to high school, but I still didn't have particularly good friends. In fact, it wasn't until this past year that I was able to say for the first time that I had a strong group of good friends. 

So I chose Anathema over Eskarina to hearken to my failed social life.

But now the 'nym means something else than my past as a pariah, which I alluded to in Board Question #90441. I hope that in a way I have reclaimed the word 'anathema'. Because what it represents to me now is the sum of my experiences as a writer. And hopefully readers who read my responses under this 'nym have come to associate anathema with a sense of whimsy coupled with a love of learning.

~Anathema

Question #91384 posted on 06/09/2018 8:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear Anathema,

Tell me a story about your latest adventure, or your most exciting planned adventure.

-Rainbow connection

A:

 Dear Rain,

Of adventures, I shall tell you three:

The first is the adventure of the day. It is the rising sun catching the clouds with gold, lavender suffusing the air with delicate fragrance, and working in a room with a window peeking out into the blue, boundless sky, framed by trees reaching their greening boughs heavenward. It is the road stretching on before me as I walk through the countryside with my father.

 34873437_824434901080932_4319490485518336000_n.jpg

Simply, it is the adventure of breathing in the life that fills my experience, characterized by a hope for such things as paint streaked dawns laced with morning blue clouds.

 

The second adventure is the adventure of progressing. It is learning how to bake challah bread on a Sunday afternoon's whim.

34747381_824426124415143_1669096828928262144_n.jpg

It is developing the strength and balance to flow through yoga poses.

yoga.jpg

It is the adventure that comes with new capacity.

 

The last adventure is the adventure of anticipation. It is the excitement of planning to see at least some portion of the wondrous scenes of Earth.

Yosemite_falls_smt.jpg

(source)

This adventure will be realized in July.

~Anathema

Question #91335 posted on 06/09/2018 8:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is your favorite purchase of the past year and why?

– Consumer

A:

Dear Consumer ~

Easy. My vacuum bot. His name is Wyndle. I even vinyled him. (Bonus points if you know where I got his name.) He’s basically my 4th child. (He even wakes me up in the middle of the night sometimes, which lessens his favorite child status every time.) I love him because I wake up every morning to vacuum lines. I no longer have guilt every time I step on a Cheerio that I'm sure has been there for days. I feel justified when my kitchen floor is a mess at 8 am, because I now know that my kids are just messy and it's not because I haven't swept in a week. Yellow and I clean up our house every single night. This is a big deal. I love him. (Wyndle. Also Yellow.)

IMG_7950.jpg

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Doctor,

One of my favorites is definitely a mini-fridge for our upstairs so that we can store milk for Lil' M. and don't have to go downstairs to get it for him in the middle of the night. To be fair, he doesn't mind drinking cold milk, so that's wonderful for us.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Consume,

This is pretty out of character for me but I'd probably have to say my movie pass. I never go see movies, but I heard about the movie pass in January and I decided that I'd try it out, and go see more movies. It's been a lot of fun for me, as a person who never sees movies, to experience movies at the theater. Also, before they changed the rules on seeing the same movie more than once I got to see A Quiet Place several times.

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

A:

Dear Consumer,

House.jpg

It's blue and it's all mine.

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

- Brutus

A:

Dear Consumer,

My wife and I moved to California two years ago, we bought a Prius last year and love telling people about how great it is, and this summer my hair is officially long enough to put into a man bun (not that I would ever actually do that, because... no).

I have officially collected the full White Liberal Starter PackTM.

Seriously, though, the Prius is great. We hardly ever spend anything on gas anymore, and while I usually walk to work and take the bus to school, I feel a lot less guilty now on days when I do have to drive.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Consumer,

We bought a second car! We've had one car for ten years, which was crazy. D.A.R.E. rides his bike to work most days, which helped, but we've been majorly inconvenienced by extra church meetings for the last few years (shakes fist at twice-monthly ward council). Anyway, it's a Ford C-Max Hybrid, and I love it. It has fancy buttons on the steering wheel, and a spot for my sunglasses, and a big enough trunk area that I can make trips to the hardware store without having to get all my wood cut down to size.

new car 1.png

We were also forced to buy a new oven recently, which I wish we hadn't had to do, but ours kind of...exploded a bit. It made a muffled WHUMPF sound and the element stopped working. When I went to replace it with a new part I found that some of the wires were burned. Replacing an element is one thing, but I was not about to try rewiring a whole oven, so we bought a new one. It's nothing fancy, but it does have a flat top, which is nice.

new oven 2.png

Our oven dying also gave me the opportunity to clean the spot where the old oven was AND HOLY COW DID IT NEED IT.

oven floor.jpeg

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear Consumer,

My #1 is my Duchess gaming table (see Board Question #91317), but I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to this super sweet quick-drying nail polish solution and this super cheap nail art tool set. I've been a big nail painter since my middle school days, but never a skilled one. UNTIL NOW.

-Olympus

A:

Dear Consumer,

I think it was the registration for a Turkey Trot 5k last Thanksgiving. Even though I didn't end up training for it like I hoped it would motivate me to do, the experience of running a race again was exhilarating and motivated me to find a running buddy. I'm really not much of a runner any more (well, I wasn't even that good when I was in cross-country in high school), but I'd like to keep signing up for 5- or 10k's regularly because it's really fun for me to have that kind of competitive outlet that's not a huge commitment.

Runners-up (ha) include Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife's online marriage course and a SnoozeShade cover for our Pack n Play that helps Boy-ahrairah sleep better while traveling.

-Owlet

A:

Dear Consumer,

A Toyota Sienna. It's incredibly useful, and a dramatically better road trip machine than my wife's incumbent car (a Corolla that was totaled in Hurricane Harvey), especially with two kids, travel crib, etc.

My runner is the first TV I've ever purchased, a Vizio M65-E0 65" 4K TV. It's awesome in its own right, and it also let ye olde wedding present TV move upstairs to a comfortable yet useful retirement in front of the elliptical trainer.

My wife's first reaction (before I mentioned the minivan, which she then agreed with) was an Instant Pot pressure cooker, and given all the delicious food that has come out of it that's a strong contender for me too.  

~Professor Kirke, living the suburban consumerist dream, apparently

A:

Dear Consumer,

I have bought so many things in the past year, mainly because I moved into my own apartment and started a real adult job. In chronological order, the five that I feel have had (or I anticipate will have) the biggest impact on my life are:

  • a Nintendo Switch
  • a car
  • a queen-size bed
  • a suit that actually fits me and isn't eight years old
  • a food processor
-The Entomophagist
A:

Dear Consumer,

Literally every single time I've purchased ice cream over the entire last year. Also, I went on a study abroad and it was amazing. (Which is largely due to the fact that I bought ice cream at least every other day.)

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

I ended up spending more time in bookstores this past year than I've had the chance to prior. This resulted in wonderful purchases: books. I'm particularly happy with Elantris, Way of Kings, and Oathbringer.

After I wrote my original answer above, I actually ended up purchasing a new laptop that can handle me constantly programming on it. So far I'm happy with my choice, and I'm hoping this laptop lasts me for several years.

~Anathema

A:

Dear you,

All the plane tickets I bought to visit minnow. I can say with certainty that I have spent over $1000 on my boyfriend, but every cent was worth it.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear you,

For the first time I live in an apartment where I have my own room and my own personal space. It's freeing and wonderful and I feel very satisfied when I pay my rent every month.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear Consumer, 

I'm a big believer in buying experiences, not things, so my husband and I still live in the same 1-bedroom apartment we moved into 7.5 years ago, drive a hand-me-down car, and generally don't make many fancy purchases of consumer goods. 

That said, we're willing to spend money on fun experiences and memories, which for us often means travel. We took a 2-week trip to Malta, Tunisia, and Sicily, and I think those plane tickets were probably my favorite fun purchase for the year. 

In less fun but more purposeful purchases...does a baby count? Surely $65,000 in medical bills (thank goodness for insurance) counts as a purchase. If I had to choose a favorite specific purchase of that whole experience, I'd say the bill for $450 we got for "resuscitation." $450 is a steal for having a baby who can breathe. 

- Petra  

A:

Dear friend,

Cookie brownies. I'm a simple man with simple joys in life. Tickets to see Loving Vincent were probably a close tie though just because of the three long years I spent watching that Kickstarter become a glorious reality. Also my boyfriend's birthday present and my mom's Mother's Day present because it made me happy to make them happy.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear Consumer,

Up until last week, it was a new showerhead to replace the disgrace of a showerhead that was in my apartment when I moved into it last summer. Infinitely worth it, especially considering it cost like $20 and is such a huge quality of life improvement that I use every day. All of you readers with crappy, low-pressure shower lives out there, you have no idea what a good shower head can do for your life. When I first moved into my apartment, the water stream was so weak that it was like trying to take a shower by walking through a gentle rain. It was awful. 

However, I now have to say that my best purchase of the year has been tickets to see Paul Simon on his farewell tour. I splurged for a nicer ticket than I normally would buy, and it was totally worth every penny. 

Honorable mention goes to the blender I recently purchased which has inspired me to have fruit and veggie smoothies for breakfast and lessening the likelihood that I'm going to die of some sort of vitamin deficiency because of my woeful stressed-out single grad student diet. 

-Divya

A:

Dear Consummate Vs,

MoviePass. I've had it for seven months now and have used it to see 47 movies. So far it's saved me about $400 and it's encouraged me to go to my favorite place (the movie theater) even more than I would otherwise. Did I need to see Hurricane Heist? Probably not. But thanks to MoviePass I can now participate in those classic late night convos where people ask questions like "What is your favorite hurricane-based heist movie?"

-Art Vandelay

A:

Dear con,

Either a stroller or a portable phone charger.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Consumer,

I got a 2018 Hyundai Tucson a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it! My poor little Jetta had served its time and I needed an upgrade that was taller with all wheel drive. 

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Consumer,

Cast-iron skillet: $5

Mom jeans: $20

Becoming my mother: priceless.

Babalugats

A:

Dear you,

Plane tickets! I'm going to NYC in July mainly to see the Spongebob Squarepants musical, but I tell people it's to meet my boyfriend's family and visit my sister, all who live there. But no, it's really to see Spongebob.

-Ace

A:

Dear,

I bought a tiny toasteroven that also has slots to do standard toasteroven things, and it's great. It doesn't take up much more space than a regular toaster, but I can roast garlic or bake a potato or make other small things without heating up the whole oven, and I love it. I think krebscout recommended it to me, so hooray! 

Tune back in next year to hear if the weighted blanket that's on its way to me now is worthwhile or not. 

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear Kvothe,

I BOUGHT A CAR! It was the most money I've spent in my life ever! BUT I BOUGHT A CAR!

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 

A:

Dear Consumer,

The trees for my yard (pacific sunset maples and a purple pony plum) because it means someday we'll have shade, plus they're pretty. Also the finished basement family room because I was able to banish all the toys downstairs where I don't have to think about them too much.

--Maven

Question #91424 posted on 06/09/2018 10:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear Tipperary (and others),

Please tell me a story about an embarrassing or hilarious experience you’ve had recently.

-Rainbow connection

A:

Dear Connection,

Here's something really embarrassing that happened recently. When I saw that you specifically asked this question to me I was like "Do the readers think that I'm particularly embarrassing?" "Does Rainbow Connection know who I am? Does she know my embarrassing personal experiences?"And that's when I realized that you asked Board Question #91206 which asked us what type of questions we like to answer. I said that I like to tell stories, so you asked me to tell a story, and I had a mini freak out over it. Real smooth Tipperary...

Anyways, that's an incredibly short story so I won't stop there. A few months ago I had a trio of mishaps very close together. They were pretty awkward in the moment, but they make for good stories now. I guess good things do come in 3. Or maybe that was bad things...

 

#1.

There was this event that I really wanted to go to but I needed a date for. I was trying to figure out who to ask, and I remembered a girl from a class I had taken the semester before. So I decided to call give her a call, but it turns out that between the class and when I asked her out that she had started dating someone. Pro tip: don't ask out people who are dating someone. You will feel awkward and foolish.

#2.

So I managed to find a date for the event that I really wanted to go to. The event was on campus so I decided to get ready early and do homework while I waited for my date. So I went home, got dressed and ready to impress, put on some cologne, and went up to campus to study. So I'm waiting for my date to show up when she texts me to tell me that she had to stay late at work and wasn't going to make it for our date.

So there I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. So I spent the rest of the night with my homework. It wasn't too bad though. My homework was very impressed and we had a lovely night together.

#3

Shortly after the first 2 stories took place, I started talking to a girl that I had dated in high school. Specifically she's the girl that I attempted to kiss in Board Question #90481. If you don't feel like reading the link,we didn't kiss, and things ended badly. Anyways, we started talking and I suggested that we go on a date the next time she was in town. She said she couldn't make it down to Provo, but she invited me to go to her brother's wedding reception a week later. I thought that going with my ex to her brother's wedding reception was a bit of an odd date, but I accepted.

So a week later I'm getting ready to go up to the reception and she texts me and says "Just FYI, I have a date." Wait, she has a date? That's not me? So, due to some misunderstanding, I thought that I was going on a date with her to the reception. Turns out, she thought that the invite was separate from me asking her out. So instead of going on a date with my ex, I was about to 3rd wheel my ex at her brother's wedding reception.

As fun as that sounded, I already had enough awkward for the month so I texted her and backed out. 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading those stories as much as I did writing them. They were awkward in the moment but just thinking about them makes me laugh now. Good times.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Rainbow,

Because Disney World is a vacation destination that attracts so many families with young children, there are specific policies we have to follow when a registered sex offender is requesting to visit. We collect specific information like phone number and prospective travel dates and do some background research, and will contact the guest within 4 business days to give them a final answer on whether or not they'll be allowed to visit.

Last week I spoke to guest who was wanting to travel with a family member of hers who is a registered sex offender. The guest wasn't entirely satisfied upon hearing our policy, as she was hoping for a more immediate decision. I told her that unfortunately there was no way for me to guarantee anything, but if she could provide the information we needed, she would be hearing back shortly.

The guest replied that she didn't feel comfortable providing her relative's information without his permission, which is a valid point. However, she then asked if hearing the story of why he's a sex offender would allow me to make a definite decision.

I answered negatively.

She still told me the story.

It was awkward.

I have no idea why she would consider his sexual history to be fair game for sharing with strangers, but his phone number is private information.

Love,

Luciana