Helping You Help Yourself #46

feature image via shutterstock

I don’t have a dog but maybe you do and maybe that dog needs a bath?

In addition to spaceships and cool hats, NASA brings the world a pretty intense software catalog. Their 2017/2018 one was released, and “includes hundreds of free, royalty-free applications for a wide variety of uses.” If you want to check out some very nerdy software options, here’s your chance!

Live the dream, and get your landlord to replace your appliances.

Last episode we mentioned an app that reminds you to do self-care-related tasks; this week it’s an app meant to aid people with social anxiety.

How to make movie theater popcorn at home.

This is mostly for Laneia but I feel like she probably isn’t the only one who wants to know about how to make a papier-mâché cow skull.

An intrepid reader requested a link about how to clean their shower curtain/liner situation; here is an explanation from Jolie Kerr, who I trust about all things cleaning-related. Also, for people with shower doors, not curtains, here’s a guide for that.

Oh just a guide to tell you how to put a whole dang terrarium inside a lightbulb, no big deal!!!

A beautiful guide from our very own Laura Wooley on homemade play-doh to soothe your soul.

Have you filed your taxes yet, US readers, or taken steps to do so? I wasn’t able to get an appointment with my accountant til April 5th which is making me weirdly nervous but it will be fine. Here are the top 10 most googled tax questions, answered in brief, found through How to Grow the Fuck Up.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


    • Likewise!

      I have been looking at my shower curtain for so long going, ‘I should really do something about that’ Looks like I really should do something about that!

  1. Couldn’t get the link to work but fun fact about plastic shower liners guys: they off-gas carcinigens when exposed to the heat of hot water. I switched to a fabric liner and toss it in the laundry when it becomes yuck.

    • Darnit! I just bought a plastic shower curtain because it’s a bit see-through and I’m scared of closed shower curtains when I am both in and out of the shower (blame Hitchcock).

      • Same! Although back in 2011 when I first found out. The fabric one cost like 3 bucks though and it’s still great– used to have to replace the cancer plastic every year or so.

    • Yes! Fabric liners are the best for washing, makes life a little easier and no plastic stink.

      • Naah, the liner I have right now is a “fabric” liner. It’s not really the regular fabric of an (external) shower curtain, tho. It’s still water resistant. I wash it in the washing machine about once every six months.

        • I just washed my fabric shower liner for the first time and it is no longer water resistant :(

          I think I failed to heed the instructions to wash on the delicate cycle with cold water, so it’s my fault, but dammit!

        • Lady H, the curtain doesn’t need to be waterproof, just water-repellent. I would guess yours still does that? If not, ironing (not tooo hot, of course) could help the coating to do the job again!

        • Oops, I actually meant to say “water-repellent”, but it’s not that, nor water-resistant, nor waterproof. It no longer keeps the water from soaking through the fabric. It’s led to my exterior, decorative shower curtain getting soaked and the bathroom floor getting quite wet. Basically, it doesn’t do its job any longer.

  2. It looks like the way all the links are set up in the article is to go this article and then the site you’re linking to, so none of them actually work.

  3. really the only instructions for making dog baths easier for my pup would be how to get a prescription for doggy ativan. i’d much prefer some tips on how to get your dog to stop rolling in bags of rotten fish, or how to get people in your community to stop leaving bags of fish everywhere. even a buzzfeed list of the top ten reasons why people leave bags of fish lying around all the time would be useful.

    • what is this mysterious community where people leaves bags of fish everywhere? lol I’ve never heard of that!

      • it’s been two different communities now–one, 9 hours north of montreal (lots of hunting and fishing–i have learned that dead fish smell is infinitely worse than dead moose smell), and the other a few hours from mexico city in a landlocked place with no lakes. not a lot in common, but these are the only two places i have had my dog so i’ve developed the impression that fish in a bag in the middle of nowhere is just something people do.

        your response gives me hope for a better dog-walking world.

      • they’re certainly dead when my dog rolls in them. i assume it’s just the remains when they get dumped, but now i’m imagining sadistic fish-hating sociopaths creating bizarro-world “swim with the fishes” death methods for fish.

  4. Okay, Apartment Therapy, seriously go fuck yourself with the seemingly helpful guides that are so painfully obvious. (This is in no way a critique of this roundup, I love this series! And IDK, maybe to folks without a dog this isn’t as obvious as it is to me?)

    I have a Great Dane. She’s 11-years-old and has some issues with slippery surfaces and bathing her is a big pain, so I thought those “5 Foolproof Strategies” would be right up my alley. But no, per the usual, the strategies are insultingly basic. Oh, I need towels? And shampoo? And water? And a dog? And I should close the door and not use scalding hot water?

    That being said, I haven’t ever put a towel down in the tub to prevent slipping as recommended, so that could be useful. But squeezing out a full size towel full of dog hair that’s absolutely soaked sounds worse than just steadying the dog with my free arm, so, maybe not so much. (Especially since they recommend roughly quadruple the towels I need to bathe my large breed dog, who the fuck has 4 towels to spare just for dog washing?!)

    I can’t believe I just wrote this much about washing a dog. My main point is that Apartment Therapy advice always makes me roll my eyes. Either it’s an excuse to affiliate link, or…actually, no. I am pretty sure they only write these for the affiliate links. I’d be much happier with a roundup of whatever they’re affiliate linking as a shopping guide instead of this pretense.

    • I agree that a lot of their tips are pretty obvious but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t think about these things. Maybe you’re just smarter than their target audience.
      Also, I have three towels just for my dog. i keep them separate from my towels so we don’t get confused.

    • I am here to help. I have a history of always having a dog who’d rather shower with anyone else but me…seriously, message me and I will share with you what I know. When I am next lollygaggin online I will look up the magic shower floor thing I bought for my Bobbie and will send you the link. (PS: is it cool for me to post links in these discussions to products for which I haven’t yet figured out how to make any money off of?) In short–a wet towel lining your tub is NOT the answer, it will be wet and will slip just as much as you and Bartholomew already do now. And I do keep 3 towels just for dog washing: One for wrapping around Bob as we run naked through the house to my backyard (while whispering sweet nothings and praying she doesn’t shake), one to actually dry her off once we are outside where she gets to shake and a third because a nice dry towel keeps me somewhat calm once all of this has unraveled in the way that it actually always will. <3

    • Would one of the non slip rubberised mats that stop people from slipping in the bath be useful to help your dog, perhaps?

  5. i like those tips for cleaning your shower curtain although if i’m being honest, i just buy like 6 at once at the dollar store and throw them away every month.

  6. Accountant here. Don’t leave your taxes for the last minute, US based readers

  7. We met on the train on the way to pride. Apparently she was trying to flirt with me all day long and I missed every sign.

    She went to a book signing by my house a few months later and texted me for bar suggestions. We met up and talked for eight hours straight. I didn’t miss that sign.

    • that comment was definitely meant to be posted on a different article.

      but hey, coming back to this article reminded me that I need to clean our shower door, so that’s a good thing.

  8. Like, my mind is just blown from the idea of shower curtain liners. Liners?! The shower curtain is just a sheet of plastic, how does it have a liner? I’m so confused.

    Also I just wipe it down with a cloth and some cleaning spray.

  9. Love the Fennec foxes, looks like my kitty. I am interested in the IDareto social app has anyone tried it?

    In the preview, some of their suggestions are: change your drink order 3 times, and pretend you recognize someone as an actress from a movie. I can see these being fun to try in a metropolis, but in a smaller city you might just come off as confused. Curious as to what some of the other dares are.

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