Hello Blog, long time no see … You need direction like a plant needs water … bad. I mean, you’ve done alright as a cactus, but I’ve been known to kill those as well. Like a withering plant, you need sustenance. In the land of Blog, that equates to quality content, consistently posted. So I ask myself … why am I struggling to so hard … Continue reading 3 things you can do to make sure you get your blog out regularly
So … the obligatory Thanksgiving post.
I was listening to NPR yesterday as I roasted Brussels sprouts and prosciutto in the oven and reduced a pan of balsamic vinegar to a rich, syrupy consistency (classy, no?). The recurring theme on the radio seemed to be manners, conversation, and surviving the awkwardness of family gatherings. Because you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose family.
Because you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose family.
The survival technique was this … avoid controversial topics. Don’t talk about religion, politics, or current events that may spark passionate debates about the morality of interceding in world affairs. Keep it light-hearted and try to be a good listener; include the hard of hearing in your conversations by speaking loudly and wildly gesticulating.
…include the hard of hearing in your conversations by speaking loudly and wildly gesticulating.
The passionate citizen in me cringes to hear this advice. Continue reading “Let’s talk about Syria … and other topics to not bring up on Thanksgiving.”
It’s a thing. It’s a person. Well, at least we can all agree that it’s a noun.
These days public programs and services are “suffering cutbacks,” “struggling to find funds,” “threatened by budget cuts,” et cetera, et cetera…
The kind of verbiage journalists use is almost automatic when it comes to these boring-but-staple news stories about budget cuts, and the subtle ways in which journalists use words can skew them if repeated enough times.
For instance, entire cities are facing deep budget cuts (as opposed to large budget cuts) … you know, because a city can feel pain and experience particularly deep incised wounds. Looming (perhaps even treacherously looming) cutbacks threaten helpless public programs and exert power over them through intimidation. And not only can these budget cuts threaten, they can also hit things … like schools, or low-income housing programs. Because these programs and services are actually victims of domestically abusive budget cuts.
I bought 18 boxes. It’s not enough.
It’s taken 12 for the living room alone. My best guess is that it’ll take 6 more for the kitchen, and Lord only knows how many containers it will take to wrangle all the contents of my bedroom closet.
But then that’s it. It will be done. I will have packed away all of the things in my life. All that will be left are my fears and ambitions; the time I’ve whiled away and the time I have left—as empty and full of potential as all the unfettered space remaining in my apartment.
I’m not moving; I’m just packing. The idea came from a blog post written by the current sweethearts of Minimalism, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who maintain a blog called simply “the minimalists”.
As men of great ambition Joshua and Ryan threw themselves with the full force of men on a mission to become the penultimate minimalists.
I am never, not ever, satisfied with my apartment. And even tonight I sit pondering about whether to move this shelf or that plant—if I angle my couch diagonally maybe finally it will feel right. I’ve been looking for that right feeling for about two years,
… as though there is some perfect combination of furniture and household items that will make everything okay,
as though there is some perfect combination of furniture and household items that will make everything okay, if only I could just figure out what it was. Maybe with enough experimenting I will happen upon this magical configuration and then I can finally be at peace. I am a restless soul in this apartment, with my constant rearranging, and though I feel like Sisyphus laboriously rolling my rock uphill, I continue to do it week after week. And, like Sisyphus, I know somewhere (not so) deep in my psyche that my labors are equally as futile.
My apartment has grown to mythical proportions
My apartment has grown to mythical proportions, taking on far more meaning than a dwelling ever should. Because my apartment—just as my bedroom was when I lived with roommates and earlier as a child with my parents—is the physical manifestation, a metaphor if you will, for my mind. In times of distress it falls into chaos, my stuff strewn across floor and furniture abandoned until I should need it again, at which point I panic because I can’t find it anymore. It fluctuates between this condition and a very infrequent state of immaculate cleanliness in which I go mad and binge on cleaning, folding, sweeping, vacuuming, organizing. I want to take control of my apartment the way I want to take control of my mind; with an iron fist and absolute discipline.I WILL get my shit together.
I WILL get my shit together.
And this rigid cleanliness is really just a blank slate on which to pile more of my chaos; the neatness and the cleanliness is not sustainable because one day soon—tomorrow, in fact—I won’t feel like doing the dishes or folding my laundry and ergo it will not get done. And chaos will ensue.
The rearranging is ineffectual; I won’t like it in a week. I always do (not).