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Wellness Wednesday for November 16, 2022

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

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Butt wink. Squatting mottizens, how do you combat your butt wink?

From Greg Nuckols' guide on squatting:

What do I do about buttwink?

Buttwink is the nemesis of many. If you aren’t aware, buttwink occurs when the lumbar spine rounds and the pelvis tilts posteriorly a bit at the bottom of the squat. As previous mentioned, this increases shear forces on the spine, and should be avoided as much as possible.

The first thing you should figure out: Is it buttwink, or is it simply your spine going back to neutral? If you squat with a hard arch, your lumbar spine is hyperextended and your pelvis is anteriorly tilted throughout the descent. When you reach the bottom of the squat, what looks like buttwink at first glance may simply be your lumbar spine and pelvis moving from hyperextension and anterior tilt back toward neutral. Get a video of your squat from the side, and see whether your back looks like it’s going from a big arch to a smaller arch, or whether it’s going from a slight arch to being rounded.

If it is buttwink, the first thing you should do is test whether you can actually squat to depth without buttwink. Some people’s hip anatomy simply won’t allow them to. You can use this assessment to find out:

The one little thing I’d change about the assessment the way it’s presented in this video: drop your chest a little closer to the floor so that the assessment more closely mimics a horizontal squat.

If you pass this test and you can reach the required level of hip flexion without buttwink (your hip crease can get behind your knee without buttwink), then it’s not a mobility issue – it’s a control issue.

There are two strategies you can use to try to address this problem:

  1. Remember the difference between squats and deadlifts: most people naturally brace better for anteriorly loaded movements.

Start with a goblet squat. See if you can squat without buttwink when goblet squatting. If you can, add load each session until it simply becomes challenging to get the dumbbell or kettlebell in position to keep goblet squatting. After that, move on to front squats, which are still anteriorly loaded, but more challenging than goblet squats. You should be able to front squat without buttwink after really mastering the goblet squat. After 4-6 weeks of front squats, move on to high bar back squats, which you should be able to control well at this point. If that goes well, then give low bar back squats a shot (if you want to low bar back squat).

  1. Use progressive range of motion. See how deep you can squat without your butt starting to tuck under. Set the safety pins to that height, and squat to the pins, starting with a slightly lighter load than you were squatting before (since it’s a little hard to squat to pins). Squat down to the pins, let the bar rest on them for a second (don’t bounce the bar off the pins), and come up. Every week or two, lower the pins one position. Keep going until you’re squatting to depth.

Is it really something to worry about? I've been squatting for years and it never caused me trouble.

What are the best socks I can buy that can withstand washing in hot water and the dryer on high heat?

Wash cold, line-dry, as the mantra goes.

I wear Darn Tough wool socks. They're phenomenal. The lifetime warranty is legit, too. They replaced all of mine after two years. $17/pair, but totally worth it. https://darntough.com/products/mens-merino-wool-1437-no-show-lightweight-athletic-socks

Strong upvote for Darn Tough, but they are mostly available only in the US. If you're based in Europe, then I can also recommend Smart Wool.

Is it laundry heat that wrecks socks? I feel like I go through sports socks in no time flat these days, but I've always used medium to high heat on non-dress socks. I was wondering whether that's because my time sense has changed with aging (I could swear my teenager was a toddler not too long ago...) or because I've put on too much weight (it's just 10 pounds, but the holes are always on the bottoms of the socks, so that's got to be where all the tearing force is..) or because I've got some invisible foot fungus that eats through cotton like acid.

If chicken is pink does that always mean it's dangerously undercooked? That's what I was taught as a kid, wondering if that was a hypersafetyism

Yep. Though I've found if you wrap the chicken in bacon the pink will bleed through to the chicken even though both have been cooked thoroughly.

don't mess with chicken or pork when it comes to cooking

Zie Germans supposedly eat raw pork and they seem fine.

(On the other hand, the article claims that it's also popular in Poland but I don't recall ever running into that, so maybe the whole thing is a myth.)

Pork is literally twenty times safer than it was a few generations ago. That's probably still not safe enough for some people, and of course a good cook can avoid undercooking without going too far in the opposite direction, but amateur cooks who really hate overcooked or dried out pork should at least be aware that it's no longer quite as much of a necessity to err on that side of the line.

Well, some people eat chicken sashimi.

Poultry generally has a high risk of salmonella and to be sure it is safe most people cook it to a high internal temperature. But not everyone agrees. For a more moderate perspective, see acclaimed chef James Peterson who says a properly roast chicken will be pink in some places but it's probably fine if it's internal.

Well, some people eat chicken sashimi.

Torisashi, it's called. People expect it to taste bad, but it actually tastes better than cooked chicken, IMO.

It's probably dangerous in the sense that you're more likely to get food poisoning by eating it raw than by eating it cooked, but the chances are still low in absolute terms, at least based on my experience of eating raw chicken several dozen times and never getting sick.

For white meat, I'm pretty sure yes: "medium rare chicken tendies" shouldn't be a thing, but 165F is too high. There's a "more than you ever wanted to know" article about it from a guy who used to be a good food writer.

TL;DR holding at 145-150 for at least a few minutes is just as safe as an instant read of 165.

from a guy who used to be a good food writer.

Now he's a good food vlogger that makes my wife sick.

Wait, how?

She can't handle his forehead-mounted camera shots. I tried to show her some of his videos and she turned green and asked for a written recipe.

I am guessing it's because Kenji likes to strap a go pro to his head and record as he cooks. I can imagine that someone might get a touch of motion sickness from watching that.

Any tips to avoid 'keeping score' when it comes to living with others? I understand it's an unhealthy mindset to have, but I can't help but feel that I pull more of the weight in my current living situation.

We've tried sitting down and formalizing who does what - but then the chores don't get done in a timely fashion and it drives me crazy, so I do them anyway.

Both of us work full time and have busy lives, so I understand that things slip through the cracks. But over time it does wear on me. How have y'all figured out how to deal/live with a situation where you don't feel the housekeeping is equitable?

Don't assume too much, it will drive you crazy. You will draw up straw characters in your mind whose only purpose is to spite you by leaving work to you. A great way to grow to hate them. Instead, try talking to them in a serious way and on a detailed practical level instead of vague terms like "not clean enough" etc. For this you have to think through your expectations, what should the kitchen be like, the bathroom etc. in detail and what is precisely bothering you about their current state. If the roomies dismiss you or don't let you explain (in good faith), then they are disrespecting you.

I'm much tidier when living with someone compared to living alone because I want to be considerate. But sometimes people can be oblivious and literally not see the mess, because their eyes adapt to it, like banner advertisement blindness on the web.

Reddit (I know this isn't it anymore, but whatever) likes to always suggest the nuclear option (move out, cut him off, get divorced, quit your job etc) but compromises are possible and it requires honest talking without fear.

The key is not to take it as a deep personal attack by default (not saying its impossible that they are jerks) without closer evidence of this. If it turns out that either they are incapable of maintaining a standard you want, or they don't respect you enough to give compromise a chance, then it's best to move. They aren't your spouse or family members where the pressure to work out something would be much higher. Here you can just move and stay friends without this stuff poisoning the relationship.

Living with other people is fucking hard, heck it's hard enough to live with oneself. These problems are normal.

I feel like I should’ve specified this is a long term partner hah. Thanks for giving a measured response, I was surprised by the level of ‘just find different people’ in the comments.

I feel like I should’ve specified this is a long term partner

Yes! This makes a huge difference! Are you considering children at some point? That makes a huge difference too.

the chores don't get done in a timely fashion and it drives me crazy, so I do them anyway.

In a long term relationship, it's possible this isn't the most useful way of looking at things. It might be useful to consider other perspectives, or at least specify what exactly "the chores" entail, and what exactly is bothering you about pushing them off, and whether there's an area of homemaking comparative advantage for your partner, even when thinking about the problem more generally.

It's easy to fall into a hole of dishes, floors, bathrooms. Dishes, floors, laundry, bathrooms. This can be crazy making for some people.

We have cats, some chickens and may get a pig. I know that no matter how dirty our house gets, or how stressed he is, my husband will definitely remember to do important things to keep them alive, even if they were my idea and I kind of forced them on him, and I tend to forget about them. If he went on a trip and I forgot to look after them, he would be very angry, and rightly so, they might die or something. But in general, he's the person who makes sure they're alright, because he simply is, and if he was feeling very stressed about that, we'd probably be better off not having them.

He is also fire keeper. He likes fires and cares about them in a way I do not. When he does not make a fire, our house is heated by a gas furnace, because I will definitely not make one.

Meanwhile, we also have a baby. We both know without discussing it that I will get up in the middle of the night with the baby. If she's going through something and I have to get up three times, I'll do that. If I have to get up five times, I'll get up five times. This is completely independent of the state of the rest of the house. There are valid reasons why it traditionally makes sense for women to stay home with babies and young children, and this is true even though I don't care that much for babies in general. This is my specific baby, and I probably won't give up or get mad at it even on two hours of sleep. Due to circumstances, husband is currently stuck with more childcare responsibilities than I am. It's terrible. We both hate it. It will be solved when we get different jobs, or when the children go into preschool. Maybe when both things happen.

There's a difference between things that should be solved internally -- by talking things through, making lists, assigning tasks, and so on, and things that should be externally -- by getting different jobs, getting rid of pets, getting rid of dishes, changing heat sources, getting a washing machine, hiring someone to deep clean the bathrooms, stuff like that.

I think guessing instead of communicating is often the problem. And not even that you are necessarily guessing totally wrong, maybe you're in the right ballpark. Maybe they actually don't care about your opinion or your point of view but perhaps they don't reflect much on it, or some 9f the details aren't quite right in your mental model of the other person's behavior or concerns. When you put it into words, however, it gets processed explicitly and people can realize that they could put in more effort.

However, some people get defensive out of an ego thing. They can surely not be inconsiderate, that would make them a bad person, and they are surely not a bad person, and such people often start gaslighting the other, like not letting them finish, dismissing everything by default, laughing, saying that it's all nonsense and just imagined etc. I've known people like that and it is the worst. In case of a long term partner it should be possible to actually talk and listen (not with the TV running in the background and the like).

Also if this is a romantic partner, think through whether your real problem is indeed the cleaning or something else is bothering you about them and it's just easier to swipe it under the "cleaning" umbrella.

It partly depends on how committed you are to your roommate.

I am usually the messier person in this situation, and did not like having neater housemates. They would get upset with my slovenliness, and I would get upset about them being judgy and uptight. They thought I was free riding, I thought they were making unnecessary work for themselves. One older woman was especially terrible to live with, because she didn't realize that her preferences were preferences, and thought that my other roommate and I were simply bad people for having messier living standards. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/she-divorced-me-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink_b_9055288

The solution was to eventually marry someone about as messy as myself. We now clean up (not very thoroughly) about once a week, and feel better about ourselves afterwards. In the meantime, we have a baby and a toddler, so things get very dirty. If we ever have money, we will first clean up what we ourselves notice, and then hire someone else to come in and clean the things we do not notice, which is a lot.

Other reasonably stable situations have included living in households with a full time homemaker in them, in foreign exchange and English teaching situations. I was still messier than them, they still ended up doing way more housework than me, but they seemed to consider that their actual job, and not something to get resentful over.

Something to consider when having these conversation is that having to maintain higher cleanliness standards they prefer wears both on you and on the other party, but the other party might feel ashamed to admit their actual preferences, leading them to promise to do things and then not actually do them. Maybe they say they will scrub the bathroom once a week, but to them that means a bit of spraying and a couple of wipes, and to you it means some kind of deep clean. When bringing this up, try to remember that it is likely that what they are doing represents their actual preference. They are cleaning until they are comfortable with the situation, and a bit more than they want to make you more comfortable. They may not have an intuition for what will or won't bother you.

When I had my first baby and no washing machine, I washed clothes every two weeks, sometimes every three. Sometimes I bought baby clothes because it was easier than washing that week. That wasn't because I thought someone else would wash them if I just held out long enough (I knew for sure that they wouldn't). It was because I was more willing to wear the same shirt three times than sit at the laundromat reading sad texts about the screaming baby. Clean people sometimes don't realize that people really live like this when they aren't around, and make comments like the messier person is just waiting for them to do the housework for them. That probably isn't true.

Anyway, in the long run there are two solutions. Find a housemate with similar preferences, or the neater person takes on more homemaking duties in exchange for the messier person doing something else instead (usually involving spending more money, but it could involve things like homemade decorations or gardening or something else non-financial to make the living situation more pleasant)

A one-off action that I would strongly suggest and which shouldn't take much effort to do is to minimise the potential for mess to develop. A sink full of dirty dishes is a lot easier to tackle if you only have 4 dishes available instead of 12. If the bin is always overflowing get a smaller bin. If you have 6 dirty tea towels get rid of half of them. Don't have open shelves brimming with knickknacks.

Beyond hiring a cleaner or living alone there's either conflict with no guarantee of resolution, or accepting a choice between coming to terms with doing the chores or coming to terms with the chores going undone. Right now you're getting the worst outcome by doing the chores while bristling that they're going undone. You can either enforce your expectations or adjust them, whichever path you take you'll have to trade something away.

And they say mental labor is a women problem (dang, my effortpost on ML has been delayed by 11 month by the war).

Doing the chores anyway is how you end up drawing passive-aggressive cartoons about your situation. Add "managing the chores" to the grand list of chores, so your share of physical labor is lower and you can spend your time haranguing your mate about doing their share.

Find roommates that have similar cleanliness standards to yours. Additionally, some people have hang-ups about doing work that they see as beneath them, like cleaning, especially if they're doing it for someone else, such as you, the roommate. I don't have this issue whatsoever, but I've known multiple people who do. I don't know of a system that will fix these issues.

It's hard though. People will rarely admit to being messy out of shame. And if they do admit to it, they are probably way too messy even for people like OP's roommate. There's no objective scale for messiness and the discussion will be obfuscated due to shame and self-image/status games. Some may also just say that they are messy because they aren't 100% tidy and want to appear chill and laid back and not some uptight person, when in fact they aren't laid back.

Some things are just hard.

Tidiness is practically immutable beyond a certain age. Your roommates are messier that you are. This likely doesn't bother then. In fact, without you they would be living in filth and fine with it.

I don't think any system of chores and keeping track will do anything except to alienate your roommates. Maybe they will grudgingly do a few extra chores, but it won't solve the root issue: they are not tidy and you are. No system is going to fix this. Notice how everyone here is just spitballing solutions without giving examples of how it worked for them. It doesn't work and will worsen the relationship with your roommates.

So... while we're spitballing, here's my proposed solution. Fix the problem with money. Hire a housekeeper to come in once a week and clean.

Second best solution: Overcome your natural tidiness and just embrace the filth.

Would the uneven pull of your roommate make more sense if you interpreted it from a conflict theory rather than mistake theory perspective? If it's only a mistake, then as you suggest it should be fixed already, but given it's been wearing on you over time, maybe it's a conflict. That doesn't necessarily mean your roommate is malicious, just that they are wired differently from you, and would rather avoid chores even if that means the place is less clean or efficiently run.

At which point you'll have a choice. Either design a system that allows a judicious outcome even when the two participants are fundamentally in conflict in some aspects, or move as soon as you can in seek of an environment without a conflicting party. Both easier said than done, of course.

Invert it. Instead of having a schedule or a table of duties or a checklist, have a log of who did what. Leave the doing to the volunteer, and carefully write down everything that actually gets done. Then shame whoever does disproportionately less.

You can spice it up with a pot of money into which everyone pays equally, and which paid out regularly in proportion to who did how much - though that requires a scoring system.

It's not an unhealthy mindset. Why should it be ? You don't have to be pedantic about it, but the general trend of who is mooching off is really worth noticing.

Dear Mottizens who are adult children of divorce (Yes, ACOD that exists), Any words of advice on someone who will probably join your ranks soon?

It's not exactly a secret (to me) that a large portion of my happiness is contingent on my parents happiness. Unfortunately my mom and dad are like oil and water. They are both good people, but not for each other. And they will probably split up soon.

Situation obviously sucks for me to even think about because;

  • Parents will be lonely. That too as they get older. My younger brother left the country for college and that was difficult for them to deal with, I will leave the country for graduate school too in a year and that will be very difficult for them.

  • My mom can't financially support herself. I'm not in the position to financially support her in the short term.

  • My moms side of the family is scattered all over the world, and she didn't do quite a fantastic job of making that many lifelong friends. So, her loneliness will become a crippling issue.

  • Neither of them is in the best of health.

  • I won't be able to return to their country for a very long time.

  • List goes on.

I wish I could give a rats ass about my parents like many do, but for the good and the bad, I can't. My parents always tell me to not worry about them all that much and worry about myself. That is rational. I know that intellectually, but deep down within me I fail to see a life where I am happy where my parents are not. I wouldn't say I am a "mamas boy", just that my relationship with them is good, perhaps one of the few good things I have.

You go to tell them to fuck off and live your own life. It may seem mean but there is no other way. It's not your problem if they are lonely or have no money. They had their whole lives to figure that stuff out. Now it's time for your life.

Realistically, do you think there is a plausible future whereby both of your parents are better off post-divorce? I assume they don't make this decision lightly at their age, so you'd hope they each have good reason to believe that they'll be happier single. In which case, perhaps you're wrong to write "a life where I am happy where my parents are not", because they would actually both be happier.

And if that's not the case, and you have the time and capability to help, maybe you could encourage them to date and find more compatible mates who can provide one another social, financial, and health support.

I can relate to your desire to see your parents happy and how that affects your own happiness. My parents divorced when I was a child, so I have had a long time to get used to it.

My mother was in a number of relationships and remarried twice (the third marriage has stuck thankfully) but my father never got back out there and has been single for 25 years now. My dad seems happy enough being a bachelor. I just worry as he gets older and stops working he will be especially lonely. I am learning to release myself from a sense of responsibility for the core problem and focus on being in touch and supportive.

They will find ways to deal. If they split up they are doing so understanding how it will impact them. Don't put pressure on yourself to fix the situation. It will be a difficult time for them. Stay in touch and encourage family to do the same. They may also surprise you and be happier apart.

The only thing I can recommend is to have a schedule for calling them and stick to it. Like, literally create recurring events in your calendar, "Zoom with Mom on Tuesdays, Fridays at 19:00, Zoom with Dad on Mondays, Wednesdays at 19:15". Don't worry that it will feel forced or artificial, they will both appreciate it.

I started doing this years ago, as simple as I call them every Saturday no set time but we stick to it. It's an easy thing to do, and they always appreciate it.

In this post, @Walterodim confessed to his coffee and whiskey habits, which got me wondering:


How does The Motte enjoy its coffee and whiskey?


Coffee

I prefer buying fancy, freshly-roasted light roast beans and doing a pour over in a Chemex. I grind my beans in a DeLonghi grinder (middle of the road quality wise), put the grounds in an unbleached paper filter that has been rinsed to remove the papery taste, and then pour hot water (slightly cooler than boiling) from a gooseneck kettle over the grounds. Then I drink the coffee black, in silence, while it's still piping hot.

These days I've moved to a place where I can't get good beans at an affordable price, so I often get mediocre stuff and put a splash of milk in it to take the edge off of some of the less appealing flavors.

Occasionally, on Saturday morning or during holidays, I'll make myself an Irish coffee. I make a cup of coffee, add a shot and a half of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey, whip some cold cream with a cheap little milk foamer, and then pour the cream over the back of the spoon so that it settles on top of the coffee. These days, since it's autumn, sometimes I'll sprinkle a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the cream. It's a nice little treat for a lazy morning.


Whiskey

Ah, the water of life. I prefer Irish whiskey and Tennessee whiskey. I usually have a bottle of Red Breast 12 for sipping, Tullamore for mixing (or for my second glass), and then Four Roses as a "multipurpose whiskey." I like to drink my whiskey neat with a small splash of water. I used to make old fashioneds, but I don't feel that they're much of an improvement over just drinking the whiskey neat (and I'm lazy).

When it gets cold, I like to make a nice hot toddy with some cheaper whiskey. I boil some water, pour it in a mug, stir in a bit of lemon juice and honey and add a shot or two of whiskey. I like to use a covered Miir mug because it prevents the drink from cooling down too quickly as I sip it. This is one of my favorite winter drinks.

At home, I usually make a mug in a Turkish coffee pot. I buy pre-ground coffee and almost certainly don't follow the "correct" technique, but it's good enough. Now and then I top it up with some condensed milk.

At work or when I'm particularly lazy at home I make instant coffee.

At coffee shops I usually get a latte or a flat white. Plain Americanos are always way too watery.

Coffee

Cheap medium roast, small cold brew filter pitcher in the fridge to last me a week or two, to be poured with some milk and usually chocolate syrup over ice. I only drink a little coffee and I only drink it when I'm tired enough to need a quick wakeup, so trying to brew it each time is both inefficient and a catch-22.

Whiskey

Either:

  1. Peaty Scotch. I still fondly miss the top-rated Laphroaig Cairdeas year I was gifted once. I know that objectively a peaty whisky tastes like someone poured gasoline in a swamp and urinated in the gasoline and set the gasoline on fire, yet somehow that tastes really good to me, and I haven't yet stopped being fascinated at trying to figure out why. I don't like fancy brandies/tequilas/vodkas/rums nearly as much, I don't like most beer at all, yet I really love burnt swamp piss. Trouble is that I can actually taste price differences here but so can my wallet. Fortunately just a little of this stuff goes a long ways, and I can settle for a good Irish whiskey like Black Bush without feeling quite as much like I'm literally pissing away money.

  2. Bourbon or Rye, mixed. Crown Royal might be my favorite, but with cola or limeade or just a little vermouth the distinctions between different liquor quality levels get drowned, so I don't get too picky.

Coffee: I'm not picky about, I'm happy with just about any beans, but will pick a nice ethiopian light roast or Hatian dark roast if those are options. If the baby is sleeping I even have some grounds to make a quiet cup.

Whiskey: my preference has been McAfee's Benchmark Old #8 brand bourbon. It's a bottom shelf brand that's smooth and got some nice flavors. I don't care how it's served neat, on ice, mixed etc. If I feel like a treat, or it's my birthday, I'll splurge on an islay scotch, but those are too pricey for meet to feel good about keeping all the time.

COFFEE: I can drink any sort of swill, really. Like, if it's good coffee, great! But even the worst sort of charred bottom-of-coffee-maker-jug crap gives you the most imporant effects: coffeine and a working bowel in the morning. I always drink my coffee black, no milk, no sugar.

WHISKEY: Not really my favorite, as far as the hard stuff goes. If there was a need to get drunk fast at some point in my life, I'd probably just shotgun vodka like in the old days. Liquor, maybe.

Assuming this isn't some sort of odd American Psycho parody.

I don't care much for coffee but I like drinking quality espresso in warm milk. 1:4 diluted or so.

Also, when I need to be wakeful I chew roasted coffee beans. Vastly cheaper than energy drinks, actually tastes pretty good to me.

Whiskey - don't like it. Rum's much better. If quality, I'll drink it neat.

If not, I usually enjoy it in cocoa, 50 ml of rum in a frozen beer stein of cold dark cocoa.

If not, I usually enjoy it in cocoa, 50 ml of rum in a frozen beer stein of cold dark cocoa.

Never heard this one, but sounds pretty good.

It's a long drink named after a dead commie, which kind of feels appropriate.

Funny how genetic tastes are. Not only I came up with the drink independently, I also found that amaretto also goes very well with it.

Recently I've been putting in some egg nog and that also works.

The only hard part of making it is mixing up cold milk with cocoa if you're using artificial sweeteners like I do. (have to get teeth fixed, too lazy to call the dentist as I eat basically nothing sweet).

My wife is slowly shaping me into a coffee drinker. Before her it was all water for me in the morning. I still choose to avoid coffee for the most part, but when I do I'll get a nice caramel iced coffee from the local coffee shop on my way to work. I can't drink hot drinks for the life of me.

Part of the problem for me has been sensitivity to bitter flavors. I found out a few years ago I'm a super taster, which explained a lot about my pallette. I really can't stand the bitter of the whiskey (or coffee for that matter) so I'll either sweeten it with something or I won't drink it at all. I've found a bit of simple syrup can go a long way in making it easier to drink, and on the rocks feels better in my mouth.

Frankly, I prefer a good beer usually. That or rum. If I'm drinking whiskey or scotch it's usually because I'm tasting with a friend, that's about it.

4R Single Barrel is the best readily available bourbon imo, I try and never run out of that stuff. The Wild Turkey offerings are also good value as a daily sipper and rarely run afoul of the collector/flipper mania.

I can also give high, high marks to Redbreast's cask strength offering and the Lustau edition, Lustau in particular is excellent for getting people who don't like whiskey into whiskey as there's no need to fight the drink as is common for most hard liquors.

Decent to good scotch kind of starts at the $100 mark, but scotch is my preferred tipple. It's just so much more interesting than bourbon; I can pick apart a small amount of scotch for hours. Bourbon I end up drinking too fast because I look for more in the glass than is generally there.

Scotch I enjoy neat with a small splash of water depending on the proof. Bourbon, I occasionally like a small rock or two, as the hazmat proofs are generally cheaper than scotch even if they're harder to come by.

Back in my college dorm days, I used to make do with pouring instant coffee powder into a bottle of cold water and swigging it like that.

Being less depressed and living with a girl who would leave me if I indulged in such habits, I just make reasonably decent instant coffee, hot water and all. Really bourgeois, but the things we do for love..

As for whiskey, my opinion is the cheaper the better, because fuck me if whatever ineffable taste and aroma the expensive ones have are worth the steep increase in price. Although I'm partial to a little JD these days, that's about the sweet spot as far as I'm concerned. On the rocks if the mood takes me, with a bit of soda or water otherwise. I drink to get sloshed anyway, it stops mattering pretty quick!

Back in my college dorm days, I used to make do with pouring instant coffee powder into a bottle of cold water and swigging it like that.

Good lord, I thought I had seen the depths of college depravity... I stand corrected. I hope you're ok now bud.

Oh and for cheap whiskey I highly recommend Rebel / Rebel Yell. (They rebranded for wokeness.) Although not sure if you can find it in the UK.

The abyss and I prefer comfortable silence rather than speaking terms these days haha

Thanks for the rec, I haven't seen any of it around in the UK supermarkets, but I'll keep an eye out! And even Jack Daniels seems cheap af compared to Indian prices, so I'm not complaining either way haha.

I have a Mormon-like attitude to stimulants, so I don't enjoy either.

Which drugs do you like?

YT and Reddit are probably the biggest vices I've not been able to evade.

Folgers. Black.

Whiskey on the rocks. I'm slowly opening up to the more expensive side of things, and would be open to suggestions in the $50-100 range.

@TheDag, count me as a vote for spending the extra couple bucks on Jameson over Tullamore.

I do love Jameson but I drink too much to justify the extra $20-$25 per handle. Then again I am slowing down so maybe it's worth it.

I'll try Tullamore / Jameson and report back.

Around me, it's more like $25 vs $30 for a fifth. A bigger gap could swing that.

Yeah I thought Tullamore was similar price to Jameson but someone downthread said it wasn't. I'll have to check.

Locales may vary, but I just checked Total Wine near me and Tullamore Dew is $22/750ml while Jameson is $24/750ml.

Sadly my state only sells liquor in ABC stores which makes it far more expensive. Alas.

I'm slowly opening up to the more expensive side of things, and would be open to suggestions in the $50-100 range.

Redbreast 12 is on the lower end of that and is a pretty noticeable upgrade over Jameson.

Redbreast 12

Well, that was delightful. Thanks for the suggestion, and the permanent doubling of my whiskey budget. Anything else you'd care to recommend or suggest avoiding?

I managed to totally miss this and obviously the thread is dead now, but on the Irish whiskey front, I personally don't think much of high-end Bushmills options for their price (have Bushmills 16 currently, not worth the price tag, even though it's decent). On the flip side, I love the whole Spot lines of whiskeys, although they're kind of pricey.

Really though, the whole Redbreast line is fantastic and probably the best value in Irish whiskey - not cheap, but reasonable price point and great quality.

Coffee: Iced Tea with with a lot of sugar

Whiskey: Cheap, preferably not at all, I can't control my boozing habit, so its best I avoid it altogether.

coffee

cheap light roast out of a percolator drunk black. I barely even taste it. I also like to buy ice black coffee from anywhere but starbucks.

Whisky

transmogrified into rum and mixed something like 1:1 with Dr. Pepper.

I do not have a refined palate and actively resist gaining one.

Whiskey coke can be pretty good too.

Every morning after my workout I make a Moka pot of cafe Bustelo on the stove. I use a breville milk frother to heat and froth two cups of milk, normally with some kind of sorority girl flavoring mixed directly into the milk like a brown sugar maple or a toffee nut, I love a good bitch coffee. That's my morning ritual time to relax and decompress, then I put it all together and wake up my wife for morning coffee.

Whiskey I drink single malt on the rocks, normally with a good book, Plutarch's Lives these days. For a long time I was a bourbon drinker, from starting drinking to a year or so back. I feel like bourbon is easier drinking for beginners, and you can get drinkable bottles at college student prices. While bourbon prices have skyrocketed in recent years especially for higher end bottles, cheap bourbon is the best deal out there because the strict regulations on labeling bourbon makes even a lower end product consistent.

a Moka pot of cafe Bustelo on the stove

Awesome! I only use mine when I want to take the time to whisk up some Cuban coffee.

I got an Aeropress and enjoyed it for a few weeks... but since then I've been too lazy to use it since my husband brews a pot every morning. The quality difference doesn't matter enough to me to make up for the minor hassle.

I'm not too picky with coffee. I'll sometimes add almond milk/honey.

I enjoy Rebel Yell for whiskey, although I do like Irish. Know any good relatively cheap Irish whiskey?

Tullamore is not bad, about $20 a bottle where I live. Writer's Tears is also pretty good and not much more expensive. I don't like Jameson, I think it's overpriced and just rides on name recognition like Jack Daniels.

I wouldn't really go cheaper than that since below that grade of whiskey the quality really drops off and you start to get really flat, boring, and/or astringent stuff. We probably have some whiskey snobs floating around here who could give some more interesting recommendations.

Hmm didn't realize Tullamore was so cheap I'll check it out.

Tullamore Dew was my favorite in grad school. The store by my apartment stocked it on my recommendation, actually. The owner hadn't heard of it, but since I was asking for it by name he asked if it was a great whiskey; my response was "no, but it's a good whiskey at a great price". Since those days my wallet has gotten fatter and so have I, so optimizing price-per-volume isn't as important, but I'll probably get some again one of these days for sentimental reasons.

OK, now we're talking. I'm also a Chemex guy, grinding with a Baratza Virtuoso plus and tinkering with grind settings depending on what's brewing. I switched over to an electric gooseneck kettle last year (Brewista, with the wood accents) because the heating time is better and I appreciate being able to set it to exact temperatures. I'm typically doing a bloom with 100g of water, second pour to 450g, finishing with 750g with pulse pouring. The amount of beans will vary a bit based on what I'm brewing, but I start with 17:1 ratio, so 44g of beans. Always drink it black, usually out of my favorite mug that I won in a race.

I'm extremely partial to fruity, floral African coffees, particularly Ethiopians. I also enjoy some of the funkier fermentations and experimental stuff though, which tends to come more from South and Central America at the moment. This Wilton Benitez bag is a recent example and it's delightful. My wife prefers more chocolate and spice, so we'll grab a decent number of Guatemalan stuff for her as well. I probably drink more coffee from Rogue Wave than anyone else; they're in Vancouver, often post a 10% discount code on Reddit, we benefit from the exchange rate here in the States, and they're an excellent roaster. I also order from JBC frequently (see the link above) because they're local and very good. Vibrant in Philly is always great too, they tend to have excellent Ethiopian beans.

Whiskey! I am a bourbon guy, through and through, but I actually enjoy pretty much everything. Almost everything is neat, just the occasional couple drops of water for the hazmat-tier proofs. I don't really have one go-to bourbon because I'm a sucker for variety. My favorite thing that I have on the shelf at the moment is EH Taylor Barrel Proof, but among things that aren't obnoxiously hard to find, the New Riff Single Barrel is really nice. I tend to prefer heavy oak and sweet things, less on the spice, but I'm always happy to make an exception for a good rye. My wife absolutely loves whiskey sours, and she's not wrong, but I'd rather just drink them neat. Eagle Rare is the go-to there - kind of blasphemous given what some people pay for those, but it's a $38 bottle here, so whatever.

I hadn't tried Irish whiskeys much until we had a trip to Ireland, and it turns out Irish whiskey is good too! I came home with a bottle of Yellow Spot and Bushmills 16, which were surprisingly good deals at the Dublin Airport Duty Free. I'm still more partial to Redbreast though and keep coming back to Redbreast 12 because of the killer balance of price and quality. I do like Redbreast 15 more, but not $40 more.

Related, I love a good rum on a hot summer day. Foursquare rums are absolutely fantastic.

I just drink whatever medium roast is cheap at Costco, with plenty of whole milk and maybe a bit of honey to make sure I can't taste the coffee.

Don't drink alcohol, but when I did it was usually that Costco vodka with either honey and lemon or milk and their cheap (just under the abv% for liquor tax) Bailey's knockoff.

I got a great new software development job that's easier and much higher-paying than my old one, but the first few weeks have been really rough. I work from home and find myself just playing endless videogames rather than working, then staying up really late and still mostly playing videogames just to get an hour or two of work done. Don't know what's going wrong really--I think I might be stressed or burnt out, but I need to get some work done to give my new employers a good first impression.

Crazy thing is, it's a great job, I'm really good at it, and I only have to do 1-2 hours of focused work a day to excel. But even that seems to be beyond me currently. Anyone else been in a similar situation and have good tips for how to concentrate?

Are you both gaming and working in the same machine/room/environment? Because I would strongly suggest never doing that.

IMO you need a work space completely distinct from your recreational space. I work from home and have a separate work set up in a different part of the house. Yes this means I have to double up on chairs, desks, monitors, etc. Else the alternative is working in a cafe, like other commenters suggested.

If you roll out of bed and sit down in the same place you previously racked up 5000 hours in Dota, then you will be overwhelming your brain with "it's time to relax" triggers that you have conditioned yourself with over time. You need to create an environment you associate with focus and work (and only work). You can also add other work triggers, like getting dressed as if you were going to the office. Basically, you must embrace the good screen/bad screen meme - they cannot be the same screen.

Something else can help is time blocking (e.g. the pomodoro technique). Ideally you'll work in a state of flow where you don't feel the passing of time, but failing that, working in 25 min chunks feels easier and less intimating than a long unstructured day.

Maybe decide on no videogames for a week, and as much videogames as you want after that. You can survive one week, right? Then just take the time where you would have been playing videogames to sit in a chair and be bored. You can survive being bored as well. (Hopefully this will make you so bored that work feels like fun. It works for me.)

This is highly speculative, but what if you tried temporarily downgrading your internet to the cheapest tier and/or swapped out your home router for a beat-up prior-gen model? The idea is to have just barely enough bandwidth to load Stack Overflow, but with a speed and latency too bad to game.

Once your first impression is made, return to old ways. Unless you want to keep it up.

This sounds ridiculous, but I know a couple who did this accidentally by moving to a place with only cell internet available, and it actually worked for them.

(Is it whiningcoil who's in a similar situation with non-starlink satnet here?)

Other replies are better starting points, but failing that try to read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's more about creative work specifically than work generally, but it's short and I found it to be pretty helpful myself in understanding attitudes you might hold towards self-motivated work.

I've been there, it's frustrating. I didn't figure out any "one weird trick" personally, I just gradually got better at forcing myself to buckle down. I still procrastinate a lot but I do also get done what I need to get done. Shorter-term deadlines where I'm accountable to a colleague are helpful. If someone is relying on me to do X at N time, I'm much more motivated than if it's a "finish this eventually" situation.

This service is often recommended, probably worth a try: https://www.focusmate.com/

You have a few options, you could make a habit of going to your local library or cool coffee shop and work from there for the 2 hours you need in the morning, then get back home. Generally if you go in a space that you haven't trained yourself to associate with gaming, you won't game. You could also install something like the paid version of ColdTurkey to prevent you from gaming. Going on the pharmaceutical end, you could get hold of some modafinil and use that to focus, it's much milder than amphetamines and easier to get (I use indiamart and have some indian dude ship it to me).

I actually did buy ColdTurkey but it was too easy to uninstall it, lol. I thought modafinil was generally for wakefulness?

modafinil was generally for wakefulness?

Just like caffeine both keeps you awake and focuses/motivates you, modafinil also has quite significant effects on focus and motivation, it's sort of the intermediate step between caffeine and amphetamines. I wouldn't necessarily use it everyday, otherwise you get used to it, but it could really give you 2 days per week of great motivation.

Have you tried changing your physical location? I realize a coffee shop isn't going to be optimal from a monitors perspective, but it might be worth a shot for some of your work if that's at all feasible.

I've been working from a library quiet room for a couple hours a day. You really do have to isolate yourself from distractions to WFH successfully.

I'll try that, thanks.

My libido fell off a cliff last Saturday (the 5th). Just woke up and it was like sex had lost all appeal to me. I can only get erect with VERY focused extended stimulation. I’m single atm and on a bit of a dry spell so I guess this isn’t a super pressing issue but it feels odd considering I’m only 24. I don’t watch porn so that’s not it. Though I’ve made a habit of rubbing one out to salacious texts from college flings which I guess could have the same effect? Still odd it would affect me this suddenly and all at once. I quit weed cold turkey on the 3rd and have been noticing weird side effects, even though I’ve had multiple t-breaks of similar length in the past with no issues at all. Been waking up slightly nauseous, usually goes away after some dry heaving. Got my testosterone levels checked last week and they’re at 380, which I think is on the low end of normal but shouldn’t itself be the explanation. I did test positive for a UTI last week accompanied by some bladder pain but it went away after 4 days on antibiotics, which I’m still taking. My doctor said my EKG was “slightly off but nothing too concerning” and referred me to a cardiologist and a urologist just to be sure, both appointments set for next week. I suppose they’d have the most relevant advice but this has me extremely concerned and sort of depressed so would appreciate any input. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day without an orgasm since I was 12 and now I do it without even trying. My body fat is at 10.5% and I don’t undereat. I’m not any more stressed than I’ve been at any other point in my life, just minor work-related stuff but I’m financially secure. It has been over a week of this so I’m very concerned.

Try taking 10mg of zinc once a day and see how you feel after a week. I used this to combat the side effects from antidepressants (both reduced libido and erectile dysfunction) and it worked wonders.

I’ve been taking 15mg forever so doubt that would make a difference. That being said this issue has mostly cleared up since I made this comment but thanks anyway. Think it was just withdrawal symptoms.

You’re single and don’t watch porn. Low libido sounds well within the range of normal.

For a young guy?

Yea. Date a girl you’re really into, and if you still have a low sex drive, only then is it a problem.

Alright man this hems a bit close to sounding like medical advice so let me say I've not examined you so it's pretty hard to say

But it really does sound like you're pretty anxious given what's going on. You're getting pretty rapid and comprehensive medical care for likely-nonconcerning things, let that keep happening to be safe, but it does sound like you might be struggling with a bit of anxiety/depression here. That's def. not a trivial possibility to contemplate, but at the same time I've found it can help if you know you're anxious, to realize things you're worried about are not very likely, and that your main battle is to fight the mood rather than something you can't control with your mind like (random example) malaria.

Also, you've been on antibiotics for a bit. That can mess with your gut, which can also mess with your immune system, mood, and even - downstream - hormones. Finish the med course so you don't breed a superbug in your urethra, but also look into probiotics and gut-helping things.

Personally, I have celiac sprue, and my main symptoms if I have gluten accidently are, kinda atypically, anxiety and depression - which I don't have normally. I found that having a good high-EPA fish oil at highish dose for the duration of reaction really helps, but everyone's physiology is different. Some like cucurmin.

Finally, real speculatively - when you're in this freaked-out state, just don't try to jerk it! If you physically need to you won't stop yourself, and if you try to force it you reinforce the anxiety/lack of performance/more anxiety cycle. Focus on a different goal for now lol

Edit to add - this whole situ is actually something that can happen for some time after giving up weed, MJ can become a coping mechanism over time without the user noticing - usually when they're already using it, and then a bad thing happens and they continue, and therefore have no context as to what they would feel like if they weren't using it.

Replied to wrong comment

It sounds like the doctors will identify physiological causes if there are any. If what they say don't end up changing anything, I guess the next logical thing to do is psychological?

Since you're financially secure, maybe take a week off from work and enjoy vacation somewhere warm, and focus on simply having fun and nothing else.

From what I know the testosterone measurement as a single number doesn't mean much without having a baseline number from when you felt a normal sex drive. You need to couple the amount of testosterone with the sensitivity of your receptors to its presence, so for you 380 might be a severely decreased state from normal, even if some other dude might stay year-round at 380 and have high sex drive with that amount.

I was indecently exposed to the other night. A man in a van pulled up beside me, got my attention, and was jacking off and recording me. I'm not broken up about it, but it is affecting me more than I would predict if you asked me before it happened. Have any of you been the victims of similar crimes, and is there anything you can do to stop thinking about it? I think time is probably the best remedy here, but just thought I'd ask.

A fat teenage boy tried to sell me a blowjob, and then just grabbed my crotch when he realized that telling me that he gave straight men blowjobs all the time wasn't working. I smacked his hand away and he left me alone. Like you, this freaked me out more than I would have expected it to, but only for the rest of the day or so. I didn't really do anything special to take my mind off it.

Yeah. No advice, sorry, it just didn't have an impact on me. I'm a guy though so it might be different (even though I was a child at the time).

The general advice to stop thinking about things is to focus on something else and allow time to pass.

Not directly related to your feelings, but did you get a partial plate number or an ID of the van? These guys always make it a habit, and a few people giving the same description might help the police put the fear of God into him. Which in turn might make you feel better.

Part of my experience was him driving by me multiple times trying to get my attention (back and forth, making at least three U-turns). The last time he drove by (the time after he got my attention) I had my phone out and recording. Unfortunately my camera work was bad and it was dark. I did get one salvageable frame of the his plate, but I can only faintly make out two characters, and I'm not certain they're correct. I did file a police report, but they weren't hopeful, and didn't even ask for my picture, though I did show it to the officer.

NExt time, don't film, try to snap photos with a flash. More likely to work.

If God forbid this happens to you again, do you think you'll be prepared to respond appropriately? I wonder how much of your remnant stress is a subconscious feeling of helplessness.

For example, maybe a holistic consideration of your life circumstances indicates that it may be beneficial to start conceal carrying. I'd obviously advise against shooting a pervert unless your life is in danger, but the mere fact that you are armed may make non-lethal aggressions feel more manageable and with you more in mental control.

Not been in the exact situ, but have had some where there's a sexual-related violation that I would have assumed I'd shake off in an hour or three and definitely didn't. Seems to be a pattern in the human brain, the conscious/sober/non-sexual mind underestimates the strength of both positive and negative sexual situations on us.

Time is def a necessary part of getting past it here. Just to give my experience - I'd give it five days of feeling pretty weird about it when you remember it + also remembering it fairly often. If it still bothers you more than occasionally past that you might need more help from friends or whatever resources you can tap into. It's what I've found it takes for me.

I'm sorry, what an awful experience 🤮 I haven't been in that exact situation but some like it. It is upsetting to be disrespected in such a violating manner and to feel vulnerable to perverts while out and about. I don't have any advice, just commiseration.

Thank you.

I wonder what Camille Paglia would have done. She said her Sicilian habit of slapping people who touched her ass without permission has worked very well for her in her younger years.

Kinda. Not indecent exposure, but one time I was driving around with my windows down and some guys stopped next to me at a light, then yelled "lose some weight, asshole" before driving off. Which left me half mad, half wondering if they were stupid enough to think that it never occurred to me "oh hey I should lose weight".

But like you said, time is the remedy. It'll probably bug you for a bit, but after a while it won't even register.

I finally got and am quickly recovering from COVID last weekend. It took me this long to finally get it. I had made myself a nice document on what to do to prevent severity, stuff like licorice root consumption, aged garlic extract, sunlight. But when I finally did feel sick, all I wanted to do was eat haribo gummies and saltines and drink a lot of water.

It occurs to me that reading dating-related content here makes me feel a sense of despair I wouldn't normally feel around the subject. I'm not sure why that is, exactly, since normally if it comes up, I can more or less shrug it off with close enough to apathy. What sorcery are y'all performing that it suddenly feels desperately important when I read discussions here, and pretty much only here?

I want to now go off into a lengthy tangent about my general feelings/history on the subject, but that seems pointless and narcissistic. (But if I should go ahead and post validation-seaking narcissistic ramblings, say so? 😟)

I actually get a similar sense of despair from other relationship forums, particularly on Reddit. Here not so much.

Reddit dating forums are just lonely bitter people justifying being a loser with whatever popular internet ideology (red pill, PUA, female dating strategy, progressivism..) they can latch on to. Here at least a good amount of relationship posts are from somewhat well adjusted people who dare to voice their honest opinions. Those opinions often go into the nastier sides of male/female relationships but at least it’s usually an attempt at seeking truth

One hypothesis is that the rest of the internet is more adherent to progressive niceties, e.g., triggering language = violence. So when you go from an environment that promotes concepts like beauty-at-any-size, to here where rationalists mince few words to tell you that yes, people are indeed shallow no matter what they tweet, that can feel super jarring/despairing.

This is probably why I'm the exact opposite to OP. There's lots of essentially platitudes on this topic in progressive spaces that deeply frustrate me to read in an irrational way and just sour my mood.

It also feels like some people appoint themselves the conductors who make sure the discussion stays on the ideological rails and no one says anything "problematic" in a way that makes you feel managed, which is a deeply annoying feeling for an adult.

Meanwhile it's much easier to just hear someone on the motte say something spicy without feeling any which way about it, even if I don't like the implications.