Personal Essay Archive

What I Read This Week: April 12, 3013

What I read This Week graphic graphic

Last week was the first ever What I Read This Week; it was the first of what I hope to be many. The long and short of it is I spend a teensy bit more than I’d like reading pixels, and I’d like to be accountable to what I spend my time ingesting. So: this. The tradition continues. This week was lighter — hooray moderation! Here goes…

  • My So-Called ‘Post-Feminist’ Life in Arts and Letters by Deborah Copaken Kogan, “I consider throwing in the towel. The lack of respectful coverage, the slut-shaming and name-calling, all the girly book covers and not-my-titles despite high literary aspirations, has worn me down, made me question everything: my abilities, my future, my life. This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it.” (Source: @sw)
  • One cool, life-shaping fact about me: All my childhood friends are dead. from Jessica Suarez, “As a consequence, I didn’t have any childhood friends. These neighbors I hung out with, they were in their 70s when I was a kid. When we visited my old house years later, we tried knocking on their doors, but all of my neighbors had already died.”
  • New York vs. San Francisco – Disposition Statistics
  • Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins from Leaning in? by Kate Losse, “But the company promoted Sandberg to the Facebook board the day before Boy Kings was published. Sandberg along with many other business women had been qualified to be a board member for years.
  • Worst Baby Names for San Franciscans
  • Life In Your Early Twenties Vs. Your Late Twenties on Buzzfeed, “It’s hell getting old. Well, not always.”
  • How not to say the wrong thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman, “Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens…Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings. When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it.”
  • How to get LESS EMAIL (praise God & hallelujah!) by Alexandra Franzen, “Other days, email is not my (best) friend — more like a problem to solve, or a mole to be whacked. And other days, I feel like throwing my laptop out the window & making a home for myself inside a tree by Walden Pond.” Send less email. Be freakishly succinct. Respond with declarations, not questions.
  • Healthy Eating on Just $300 a Day by “One critic wrote that it takes “laughable Hollywood neuroticism about eating to the next level.” (source: Amateur Gourmet tweet)
  • Photo essay on the Coveteur: Linda Rodin – Founder an Creator, Rodin Olio Lusso.
  • The iPhone Killed My Creativity. What About Yours? [Poll], “By burning through my life’s many empty, wasted moments, however, I am probably diminishing my creative potential. As I wrote in an earlier post: Numerous studies and much accepted wisdom suggest that time spent doing nothing, being bored, is beneficial for sparking and sustaining creativity.”
  • friday’s confesssion: my dreams changed by Tiffany Han, “If you were to ask me today what my dream is, I’d say that I want to change the world. I want to inspire EVERYONE to live the shit out of their lives – in the big moments and in the every day. Starting now. If you ask me next year, I might have a new dream. One that’s so different, I can’t even imagine it right now. And that’s what happens – dreams change.”
  • Tips for Being an Organized Blogger
  • The Illuminated Purposepreneur: Tiffany Han interview, “There’s also a myth that you have to be 110% certain about what it is you want to be doing before you start. I’ve been in business for myself for years and I’m constantly gaining clarity around who I want to work with and the projects I want to take on. Understanding up front that it’s an evolution can help you start taking the first steps. The key is to do something. Anything. You’ll figure out the rest as you go along. Especially if you have that pesky doubt thing in control.”

Real, actual books:

On Internet Reading Habits

I read. A lot. All the time. Too much.

I read to be entertained, to fight off boredom, as a means of avoiding dreadful work. I read to escape, to learn, and to be inspired. There used to be a lot more junk. Nowadays, it’s heavy on the inspiration, learning, and lighter on mindless entertainment. But it’s still too much. It’s a crutch an escape mechanize and I believe it’s one of the things preventing me from really doing things.

Instead of knowing, really understanding something, I get the cliff notes version of life, news, pop culture. While I believe reading on the internet can contribute, sway, and alter my perspective, it also keeps me from going deeper.

Sometimes reading takes my focus. Sometimes reading makes me feel bad. And sometimes reading is just procrastination.

I’d like to be held accountable. While I’m not longer hitting refresh on celebrity gossip blogs, I read a lot of things that should really fall under “April, mind your own business.”

In an effort to track how much I read, there is a google doc that I update with the article name, URL, and a quote. I am now going to share a week’s update with you all. Here we go.

What I read This Week graphic graphic
  • Productivity Playlist, aka How a college drinking game inspires my productivity. by Tiffany Han, “Y’all know I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique – as a way to remian productive, you break your work into 25-minute sections, taking a 5-minute break after each burst of work.”
  • On Owning All of It by Lisa Congdon, “Another thing I learned from Cheryl Strayed last night is that the pain of editing a book is necessary, just like the pain of editing your life (your relationships, your work) is necessary. I am learning that owning the entire experience of my life, even the really hard and shameful parts, is critical, not just to being a good writer, but also to being a good human.”
  • 5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in San Francisco + Our Story on Oh Happy Day, “We wanted to give up, but then I tried looking for 1 bedroom apartments with bonus rooms. I found a vague listing that was half the price of the two bedroom apartments we were looking at. It was located on the best street in San Francisco but there weren’t clear pictures or many details.”
  • Why You Should Fire Yourself on Copyblogger, “There are two essential ways a small business owner works — in their business or on their business. Working on the business means stepping away from the daily grind to do some planning and strategic thinking… Most small business owners get caught up in working in their business all the time, and never working on their business.“So,” I said to Alex, “fire yourself as the copywriter and hire yourself as CEO.” …Make sure to think completely objectively about your business, and be prepared to make hard decisions. Push yourself to think creatively and strategically… A good rule of thumb is to fire yourself for a day or two every quarter.”
  • If You Want to Be Married Young, You Should Marry While Young on The Atlantic, “To decide to romantically cohabitate with another person for the rest of your life, to make a family with that person, is to go to war. To borrow the language of my mother — you had best love their dirty drawers, because you will be seeing them…The dynamics of power — societal and personal — are inseparable from marriage.”
  • Nora Ephron’s Rule of Four: How To Intrigue and Satisfy Your Dinner Guests on Apartment Therapy, “In particular she talks about meeting Lee Bailey, who more than anyone else inspired her to find her own unique, personal style of cooking and entertaining. It’s from him that she learned what she says is one of the key elements to a successful dinner party: having a fourth food on the plate that’s unexpected and delicious.”
  • Rick Ross, Don Draper, and the fantasy world of masculinity on Feministing, “It finally hit me: Rick Ross is basically hip-hop’s version of Don Draper… They are both products of fiction. They’re both identity thieves whose actual life stories hold the potential to ostracize them from their chosen communities. But more importantly, they both have constructed elaborate fantasy worlds around an idea of masculinity they know isn’t true to who they are.”
  • Fired SendGrid Developer Evangelist Adria Richards Speaks Out on All Things D, “And I do believe there is good to be found in this situation. Debate and recrimination can and must give way to dialog that explores the root causes of these issues in the tech industry.”
  • How to Get a Black Woman Fired in Six Tired Steps by Channing Kennedy, “let’s look at the other side and examine how trolls, mansplainers, amateur Internet career counselors — plus some self-identified feminists and well-meaning types — willfully or unwittingly contribute to a pattern that just so happens to rescue large groups of professional white men from the unchecked tyranny of individuals who aren’t professional white men.”
  • Tyler, the Creator – Wolf review on Pitchfork
  • MISS MANNERS: Thank You Notes – Courtney Khail stops by to teach the art of thank you notes. on Rue Mag, “Thank them for the gift. Let them know how you will use it… Reference the past and look forward to the future.
  • The Anti-Social Era: Lessons Learned from Vimeo Founder Jake Lodwick on PandoDaily, “Millions of people use Vimeo. How many people use NowDoThis, his personal task app that never gained popularity? It doesn’t matter, because the product’s success is contingent only upon Jake finding it valuable. If that is the philosophy by which you approach entrepreneurship, you will succeed. … Lesson 2: Coming to terms with failure is not enough — you must learn to ignore shame… Life lasts a long time. You can disappear or be useless for weeks. Lesson 3: Sometimes it is ok to be nobody, useless, anti-social, and alone. If you are coming off several years of hard work, you can disappear and be useless for months… and the only impact that it will have on your success is that it will make you more successful. You are missing out on nothing.”
  • America is raising a generation of interns on The Week, “There has been a cultural shift toward something more sinister — that you have to invest in yourself and we are each out there on our own,” Perlin explains. “There is no idea of a social investment in our promising young people. Increasingly, you invest in your own human capital or your family does. There is no sense of shared responsibility.”
  • The Joke’s On Us? by Fictive Kin, “Yesterday, on the heels of its acquisition, popular recipe site Punchfork closed its doors. This kind of acquisition / shutdown combo is increasingly common these days, but there were some things about the way Punchfork bowed out that caught our eye: The fairly callous exit post, The ominous shutdown banner. The complete lack of any communication about what would happen to user data.”

And the real, actual books…
– Finished: Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
– Started: Wolf Hall

On our anniversary

Editor’s note: Hello, old friend! It’s been awhile since we talked but let’s not dwell on that. To get you up to speed: many things have happened in the past year (oops, or more) — mainly I planned and pulled off a wedding. I’ve also moved out of the hipster home that inspired this blog’s header, changed jobs, and am growing out my hair after consulting with you guys to axe it all off. Whew! But you don’t need to know that to read this post. Proceed…

(Polaroid by the inimitable Chloe Aftel)

I’ve never really been sad, at least not immediately, that our wedding was over. Immediately after the fact, it was a mixture of feelings — like being over was the natural state of affairs, that our lives would proceed together, the biggest thing to change being our marital status and increased commitment to each other.

One year later, or nearly, I just cried about our wedding being over. It’s not the parts I would have expected making me sad. It is the fact that all our families (and friends) were together celebrating this thing, in each other’s company, and our new future together. They were there for us. It is a miracle that they were togther, in one place, all these people we care about.

They were there because they care about us too. They care so much that they spent money and effort, traveling hundreds of miles, giving gifts, like their time. That’s the thing that gets me. That they came together for us under one roof, eating the cake we picked for them, dancing and enjoying themselves for us.

There hasn’t been another wedding in my family or his since. Weddings and marriages are a rare feat.

We’ve done a lot in the past year but nothing quite so significant as getting married, which I suppose much of life is. Well, at 28, some good stuff has certainly happened and there will be more but it’ll be different, less about our youth and maybe smaller declarations of love.

A Quick Note: You Are Fricken Awesome

Add a unicorn!

I’ll keep today’s post short and sweet. It may have been quiet from me this week but there are a couple reasons. First off, it was my first week of work training! And then, like an unwelcome blemish on prom night, a pretty gnarly head cold took me out for two full days. Finally, while I’ve been up and functioning, you guys kept me busy approving comments and responding! Why is that?

The little lightbulb terrarium post that could (guest blogged by lovely Juile) hit the internet in a big way and I wanted to take time to say THANK YOU to everyone who twittered, blogged or gchated their deskmate with the project. It was pretty amazing to see it first get StumbledUpon and expand from there. It since hit Unplggd, an Etsy tumblr (official or no?), ManMadeDIY, Dwell’s twitter stream and most recently, The Huffington Post. Yeowza. When y’all like something, you like something.

So thank you to folks like Full House Warm Hearts, Happy Hang Around, Peter Sena, Chicago North Shore Home and Beyond, Worldsex Blog (are you for REAL??) who blogged about it*, and to others who have shared in some way. You are mucho appreciated. If you’re new to THH town, I do hope you’ll stay for awhile, follow TheHipsterHome on twitter, tell a friend or two and keep commenting. Hearts!

*Did I miss you? Let me know in the comments!

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