Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quikblog: bleachers and wwk

"Associate with people who are likely to improve you."
— Seneca

Today, I conquered two fears.

Fear number 1: Bleachers
Sitting on bleachers is scary. Walking on or underneath them can be pretty bad, too. Running up and down bleachers is terrifying. Until today, that is. Steph B, the ultimate workout partner that she is, helped me overcome my fear of running up and down bleachers. Steph never shies away from any route or distance when we run. When I told her that I'd always wanted to try running bleachers but I was kind of freaked out by the idea, her response was simply, "I'll do them with you. It's no big deal." She led the way and I really enjoyed it.

Fear number 2: Shopping after sundown at the sketchy Shop Rite near the 'boro
No, this Shop Rite isn't populated by vampires; but, it might as well be. The first time I went to this grocery store, Betty accompanied me. We were stocking the 'boro fridge for the very first time. I kid you not, as we parked the car, Betty turns to me and says, "Don't go to this store by yourself and especially don't go here at night." That was it, zero explanation. My mother also believes that 24 hour gyms are "a mugger's paradise". Anyway, her warning stuck and I rarely went shopping there unless accompanied by broad daylight or a pack of German shepherds. This evening, I had neither aforementioned means of protection and my fridge was without soy milk due to the recent special k with red berries binge I've been on. A visit to the sketchy shop rite was a necessity and much to my delight, not sketchy at all. A sixteen year old cashier even made small talk with me about the seltzer I purchased. Yes, I know I went in for soy milk but a deal is a deal, readers.

Along with my other impulse buys, I spotted the item pictured below. I didn't buy these snacks, unfortunately. I guess I'll just have to make a repeat trip.

Have a wonderful Wednesday,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bedside blogging: surplusage

Sometimes I think I should sign Gretchen Rubin's name along with mine at the conclusion of my posts. Essentially this makes me the jerk in the group who texted and played Words with Friends while the smart and interesting kid did all the work.

What I'm saying is I get a lot of ideas and, I think, happiness from Ms Rubin's book and website, The Happiness Project.

A year ago, I purchased her book, The Happiness Project. Her memoir of a year spent on becoming happier is one of my favorite non-fiction reads. Wait. Move your arrow away from that X, this isn't a book review. It's Thursday night and I'm blogging from bed, noone writes anything substantial in those conditions.

On the subject of writing and Gretchen, Gretchen also produces an internet piece to her book. Her Happiness Project blog, daily newsletter, and (my favorite) daily moment of happiness are always chock full of interesting and uplifting content. It's also completely free.

Below are some reasons why GR would be my first round pick for an author fantasy league:

She writes about writing. How difficultly awesome is that? Remember, I'm duvet deep right now; a certain amount of leniency for potentially made up adverbs like difficultly is appreciated. In the past, she has posted tips for writing from famous authors like Mark Twain and Flannery O'Connor (see below):

Three of Mark Twain's Little rules for Writing:
7. An author should say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.

8. Use the right word, not its second cousin. *(tenth grade offenders take note: he,she,it, this, and that are all the boring second cousins noone wants to sit with at Thanksgiving.)

9. Eschew surplusage. (Peppernpoppy is a repeat offender of this rule: see the explanation of not-pants if you're wondering what I mean. If you're still not sure, google surplusage. I did. I also had to look up eschew.)

10. Not omit necessary details. (Get it?!? Oh Mr. Twain, if John Steinbeck and I weren't meant for one another, I'd seriously consider letting you take me on a riverboat picnic.)

Her Moment of Happiness daily email rocks my socks off...daily. MOH emails consist of one inspirational quote from famous authors, philosophers, and the like about happiness. This email arrives in my inbox every morning and I look forward to it. I save the especially good ones in a memo on my phone. I've used them in class, I've texted them to friends who have much better things to do, and they have proven useful and poignant in random situations.

Her emails and posts are full of useful and fun links. From links to controlling clutter and creating a budget to tumblers of interesting and calming photography, her website is a truly wonderful place to "waste time" on the interweb. Although, according to Bertrand Russell, "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Go on, guess where I got that one from.

My weekend looks to be filled with bleachers packed with maniacal wrestling parents, plunging v-necks and bowling shoes, and football and four-leggers. I personally cannot wait.

and Gretchen Rubin

Keally P and I are embarking on a February Photo A Day challenge, so far so fun. I was a bit late to the party so I started with Day 2. Join in!