Tag Archives: awesome stuff

If Mo Willems Wrote My CV

I’ve been reading this book at least once a week for about a decade.

If you have children, you know about the pigeon. He wants to drive the bus. He wants a puppy. He does not want to take a bath. I’ve read the books by Mo Willems to my children for so long I can recite them. I imagine if Willems wrote a book about my career it would go a little something like this:

My Mom Wants To Publish A Story

Hey! I’m Kid, Let’s listen to my mom talk about writing.
Oh, hello. Am I a writer? I am.
What does a writer do?
I spend a lot of time thinking about writing things.
Sometimes I write things.
I spend a lot of time fixing things I wrote.
Waiting for people to get back to you is a big part of it.
You want to know what I write?
I write about writing.
I write about eating and cooking and reading and knitting.
Have I written non-fiction books about celebrities? I have.
Do I write children’s books? I do.
Am I working on a series of horror stories? I am.
What about grants and scientific papers, do I write those? Yes.
Will I write something for five dollars?
I should be writing right now.
What’s that you say? Anthology submissions are open?



Stuff That Makes Me Bananas.

Just in time for Christmas, and partially because of Christmas, I have compiled a list of things that drive me insane.

Look, it's a banana. So annoying.

1. Mail. Why? WHY? MAIL? WHY? I hate mailing things, I hate getting mail, I hate going to the Post Office to get stuff and/or figure out why they aren’t delivering my mail. 99% of my mail is crap. Almost all of our bills are auto pay, I don’t want any credit cards, I loathe catalogs. I do subscribe to a couple of magazines that pile up in their plastic sleeves for three or four months before I read them, but that’s it. I do not like to send mail. It’s expensive. I don’t even know how much anymore because the other day I was forced to buy some stamps and they gave me something called “Forever Stamps” with no price on them. What does that mean? I e-mail everything. I e-mail my invoices, I pay my bills by e-mail, I e-mail birthday greetings. I’m sorry mail, but I know why you guys are in the hole by about a zillion dollars.

2. Checks. I do not want to have to write checks EVER. I used to hate getting checks, but after I started using a new bank where I can just take a picture of a check with my phone and it’s deposited I realized I just hate going to the bank. Writing checks is a whole other story. First, I have to find my checkbook, then I have to find a pen, then I have to write it down and do math. See how you’re bored right now? I’m sorry stores, I know you get charged fees when I use a card, but that’s a whole other blog.

Recently, I got my oil tank filled up, and the woman from the company said, “OK, can you give the driver a check?”

I said, “Don’t you have my card on file?”

“Yes, but we’ll give you $10 if you pay by check.”


See, they want me to use a check so they don’t get the fee. Which I totally get. But, it doesn’t make it any less annoying.

3. Places that don’t have websites. Listen to me. If you do not have a website, I’m probably not going to be able to find you/call you/figure out your hours. At the very, very least get your establishment on Facebook, though you should have at least a static page with your hours and phone number attached to that. It’s easy. It’s 2011. I don’t want to hear any excuses. How am I supposed to find out about you? Look up your number and call you? See, no. I’m already annoyed and bored. I don’t want to call you to find your numbers or location. I don’t have time for that and also:

4. The phone. OK, I like talking to my friends on the phone, wait not really. I do sometimes. Usually I talk to my friends via IM. I like that much better. Anyhow,  I do not like talking to anyone else on the phone. That includes clients, businesses, people looking for the girl who used to have my number, etc. I also do not like it when people insist on talking on the phone or meeting me in person rather than via email. It is so much less efficient.I like being able to respond in a well thought out manner and have a record of correspondence. I dislike having to call any sort of customer service the most. I’m sure you all do, this is not unique to me.

5. Companies that e-mail me about their great sales and savings EVERY DAY. If you mail me every single day saying: SALE TODAY ONLY, or BIGGEST DISCOUNT EVER (and it’s a standard 10% off every single day) I am going to stop reading your e-mails pronto. Also, I am going to have anxiety about shopping from you. Recently, I needed to buy a new washer and I watched one store’s price on the same washer fluctuate up and down as much as $200 from day to day over the course of 3 weeks. It didn’t make me super confident that I was getting the best deal, however I was super confident that if I had to go to the laundromat one more time, I would become a danger to myself and others.

Contrast that with the few places I subscribe to that only have sales a couple times a year. I call these, “True Sales” and you can believe I shop the hell out of them.

There you have it. There’s a lot more that makes me bananas, but this is the top 5 today. What makes you bananas?


What I Listen To.

You see me walking down the road with my dogs, my sunglasses, my hunter orange stocking cap and safety orange vest, giant, green thermal windbreaker, purple mittens, headphone wires bisecting my front, and you’re like, “Dude, that chick is fly. I wonder what a cool, cool lady like that is listening to on her ipod?”  You probably think I’m listening to something fresh and edgy, since clearly that’s how I roll.

Well I am, bitches. Because I’m listening to nerdy, nerdy podcasts. All day. Well, except when I’m writing because the, “Listen to interesting new information” part of my brain and,  “Create interesting new information” part of my brain can’t seem to party together. “Create interesting new information” likes music. “Listen to interesting new information” likes chores and taking walks.

I get asked a lot for podcast recommendations. Like, three people have asked me. Clearly, there is a high demand for this information. Here’s what I likey:

1. This American Life. I know, it’s everyone’s favorite, but that’s because IT’S SO GOOD. Weekly one hour podcast (it’s also on NPR) usually three or four stories about a theme. It’s alway interesting, and almost always makes me cry,  (though as you’ll see from my other selections, I cry a lot. I have a lot of feelings. I’m a sucker.) but not always from sadness, actually often it’s from happiness. When you subscribe you can only get the most recent podcast, but you can go to the TAL website and stream all the episodes ever. You can also buy them all on Audible, I did that when I first got into TAL and listened to about 3 years worth of podcasts in order. It was awesome.

2. Radiolab .This is a VERY close second. More like 1a. really. Radiolab is a lot like TAL, one hour, one theme a bunch of stories, except the difference is Radiolab is about science where as TAL is more about the human condition. For example the Radiolab I’m listening to right now is about Space, they have three or four different scientists, physicists etc., talking about the universe etc. It’s very good, and makes me feel very smart.  I exclaim “Holy Shit!” out loud while listening to Radiolab at least twice an episode. Also on NPR.

Screenshot of not my i-pod. I have all these apps though, probably because with the exception of the Nike one, they all came with my phone. Anyhow, enjoy your obligatory picture.

3. The Moth. “True stories told live, without scripts, in 15 minutes or less.” That’s the Moth.  Very good. Usually very sad or very happy or both.   Love. Love. Love. the Moth. I like to save them up and then listen to a few weeks all at once. Guess what, ALSO on NPR. I can’t help it. NPR has good stuff.

4. Dinner Party Download. Little 15 minute nuggets of news, history, celebrity interview and a rad song. The premis is, this little download will give you all the tools you need to provide great conversation during a dinner party. It sounds a little lame, but it’s totally awesome. Though topical, they are still really good a few months out, since the news they pick is usually not what’s making the headlines for that week. It’s cute and fun, I always learn something, and never cry 🙂 Also….NPR….

5. Stuff You Should Know. Another solid hour of nerd heaven. This weekly podcast has covered everything from “Ponzi Schemes” to “Human Combustion” to “Ninjas”.  The narrators are funny and easy to listen to. This is important with a podcast, there are a few that didn’t make it on this list because the narrators are a bit meh, though the content is great.  They also take suggestions, so if somehow there is something they haven’t covered on their extensive list, e-mail them. There’s a good chance they’ll cover it.

I think that’s a good start for now. I have more, but these are my favorite, favorites. I also really love audiobooks and subscribe to Audible. I’ll make you list of my favorite audiobooks so far too. Those are real fucking nerdy as well.

How’d I do? Did I miss any?