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Help Desk: Ask us anything

Rodrigo Cordeiro

If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself in a situation and Googled it to see if anyone else in the world might have gone through something similar and could offer some advice. I do this sort of thing all the time, like last summer, when I caught a nasty case of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Until then, I really didn’t think it affected anyone over the age of 10. It was an excruciating two weeks (like chicken pox, it’s so much worse when adults get it), so I was relieved to find a woman’s blog post during a desperate online search. I really don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t suggested I put my hands in giant tubs of Greek yogurt to ease the pain. I was so grateful to have found her, this angel blogger who made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my misery.

Now it’s time to pay it forward.


Today the Globe is launching a series we’re calling Help Desk, in which we’ll attempt to answer some of the many questions this life poses — especially life in this particular part of the world — for all of us, young, old, and in-between, flush with cash or barely scraping by. Think: How to get a referral to the city’s most elite specialty doctors; how to pick up the earliest signs that your child is abusing drugs; advice for success in Boston’s school lottery; how to make friends as an adult; what are the best rooftop bars that won’t break the bank?; how to find an apartment on Craigslist without getting scammed; the 10 steps to digital spring cleaning; how to get on your kids’ teacher’s good side (and not be a nightmare parent); how to cover up at the beach without looking like you’re ashamed of your body; and should you get a moving permit from the City of Boston, anyway? Is it worth the money, and do the police even enforce it?

These are some of the questions we have. What are yours? We’d love to hear them. We’ve set up a form you can fill out to submit your questions, and we’ll bring the most-asked and most-interesting ones to experts to see if we can get them answered. Or send me, Help Desk editor Chris Morris, an e-mail at the address below with your thoughts, ideas, and feedback. If I’m not busy searching the Web for kindred spirits with unfortunate ailments, I will be happy to help.


Chris Morris can be reached at