Best advice I read all day

My web browsing can be like a runaway train.

Yesterday I started researching when the video for the new Jessie J single “Burning Up” was going to be released … which led to something about her performing on the British version of X Factor even though she had just been quoted about how such shows are like veal farms … which led to X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who used to be Cheryl Cole, so she must have gotten married … which led to trying to figure out who the heck Mr. Fernandez-Versini is … which led to … I came up for air 90 minutes later, blinking at how bright the outside light was, and way too conversant about what various British celebs had been snapped wearing as they toddled out of bars and clubs.

Similarly, a Reddit AMA led me to a different AMA, which led me to this advice column, which features my favorite quote of the day.

“You say there’s truly nothing like a beautiful face. That statement makes me imagine a giant plate of delicious nachos, a good book, and a cold beer. It makes me think about dogs with weird personalities, and funny children. It makes me think about the sound of rain on the roof when you’re taking a nap in the afternoon. Pretty faces can go f— themselves, compared to peanut butter cups.”

And I’m only “meh” on peanut butter cups.

Cleaning up my act

Recently I’ve been playing a game called “That’s Not Where That Goes.” And by game I mean “never-ending loop of picking up after myself.”

pickupyourshoesThe perk of—and the problem with—living by yourself is that things stay exactly where you last put them. So if I am too tired LAZY to, say, put away my gym clothes and shoes after a workout, they can (and do) linger in the exact spot I kicked them off. Which in the case of the shoes can be literally inches away from where they’re supposed to go, as you can see from the photo at right.

Yesterday I folded laundry and instead of putting away the lone pair of underwear from the batch, I put them on top of the dresser. Because opening the drawer to put them inside just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. (I didn’t actually put them away until after I started typing this paragraph. I didn’t even have to get out of my swiveling desk chair to do it.)

I noticed that I was leaving an ever-increasing trail of detritus in my wake, to be picked up when it finally got big enough for me to pay attention to. Continue reading

Leisure sure takes effort

IMG_3684Me, most of this week.

I think I now understand why most of those Real Housewives act so batty.

I took most of last week off, solely because I had use-it-or-lose-it vacation time to kill before early September. I didn’t have any actual vacation planned, or any milestone events (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals) to attend. Because I’m still trying to pay down debts, I decided to eschew any money-siphoning adventures in favor of just hanging out at home, under the premise that any day spent not-at-work is a welcome break.

“I’m going to be a lady of leisure this week!” I vowed.

Continue reading

When yes requires no

abnegationlogoYeah, I don’t think I’m ready to join the Abnegation faction quite yet.

When I was growing up, my parents raised four kids on a truck driver’s salary. It’s sort of a marvel to me how much we did:

  • Musical instruments and/or lessons: Mark: clarinet; Tina: drums;  Tammy: French horn; me: piano.
  • Sports activities and equipment, as desired/required: Powderpuff football for the girls; soccer and tennis lessons for me.
  • Braces and headgear for three out of the four of us. (Curse Mark and his good teeth, which required only a retainer!)
  • New clothes for school every year.
  • Cars for every teen of driving age.

We had food in the refrigerator, presents on holidays and our own allowances, all in a house that was big enough for us to have our own bedrooms.

“How did you do that?” I asked my mom once, having realized that they managed all of this on less than I make right now.*

* Mitigating factor: CPI inflation. What my dad made in 1980 would translate to nearly three times that amount in 2014, so comparing his salary then to my salary now is deceptive.

“Well, we didn’t do anything,” she replied. And it made total sense.

Continue reading

Solitary confinement

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.48.02 PM20th Century Fox

When we were growing up, the worst punishment my parents could think of for one of my sisters was to make her go to her room and close the door. She’d last five, maybe 10 minutes before they’d see the door stealthily drift open a hair’s width. To her, kiddie solitary confinement was pure torture; my other sister wasn’t a fan of it, either.

Even I managed to eventually do something that warranted punitive action—I know, unimaginable, right?—so Mom did what had worked so well in the past: marched a kid to his bedroom, closed the door, and …

“FOUR HOURS LATER, I finally came to see what you were doing,” she recalls. “I opened the door, and there you were just sitting there reading, happy as a clam. I don’t even think you remembered that you had been in trouble.”

I never outgrew that. A few weekends ago, I spoke to a total of five people. Two of them were baristas, one was the guy who runs my favorite Thai food place, and another was the woman who took my breakfast order at Phoenix Public Market. So my sole conversations were with Mr. Brooks, and they clocked in at about 15 minutes.

It was delightful.

Continue reading

(Law) Suit and (Tongue) Tied

A few reasons that I might not give an assignment to a potential freelance writer:

  1. Pre-emptively announcing that you will be submitting articles not electronically but via typewritten pages.
  2. When I reply that we wouldn’t accept them in that format, calling me “persnickety” and saying something like, “If it’s only 200 words, how long would it take someone there to punch it in to the computer?”
  3. Asking what sort of fields my company specializes in.
  4. When I suggest that you can find such information on our website, asking me for my company’s web address.
  5. Oh, and this is a big one: SUING ME TO GET AN ASSIGNMENT.

Continue reading

Quote

“Toes Shouldn’t Have Bangs”

“Toes shouldn’t have bangs.”

— Jen Ortiz, who wrote my favorite sentence in the latest issue of GQ magazine in a short piece about how fellas need to groom their feet during sandals season. (So use grooming scissors or clippers to trim back your toe hair.)

WHAT SAM WORE: 7-6-14
shirt070614 shorts070614 shoes070614
The shirt: Cotton V-neck T-shirt by Mossimo, from Target.
The shorts: Camo-print multi-use shorts, also by Mossimo, also from Target.
The shoes: All-Star sneakers by Converse, from PacSun.