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[sticky post] Live By The Golden Rule

Just because people around me act as if they are still teenagers is no reason for me to react as if I were still a teenager.

Since leaving East Lansing I've realized that a large part of why I was so miserable in high school wasn't the way people treated me, it was the way I reacted to that treatment. I let the horrible behavior of a few people make me so paranoid and over-sensitive that I assumed everyone wanted to be just as evil to me. If they weren't being actively evil at that moment, it was because they were setting me up, or because they didn't want to look bad in front of a grown-up, or they had some other reason to lie. If I heard laughter but not the joke, I assumed I was being laughed at. Beyond the paranoia and sensitivity, the other part of my reaction was the classic "hurt them before they hurt you." Not healthy then, and not healthy now.

I have to remember that the odds are good that the half-heard comments and stifled laughter are not about me at all, and even if they are, I need to look at the people it's coming from. Are they people who's opinions I give a flying f**k about? Chances are that they aren't. Easy to say, hard to act on.

Live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to.

I've edited this a couple of times to improve phrasings. I'll probably make further changes. The most recent change was to move the picture from the bottom to the top.

Big news

So, I posted about this on Facebook last week, and figured it was about time I talked about it here: my husband and I are expecting our first kid this spring.

We are ridiculously excited and absolutely terrified all at the same time.

I'm doing pretty well. Mild nausea and an unpredictable appetite, but I've only actually thrown up a few times. We had a scare the other day, when I started bleeding more than I was prepared for. (Some spotting/light bleeding is fairly normal. I didn't realize how much bleeding was still considered "light".) But an ultrasound showed that everything looks normal and the heart is beating away just like it should, so it was a false alarm. The doctor said we were still right to come in and have it checked. Much better to be paranoid about that sort of thing.

Anyway, that's the big news around here.

The last big change was in June, when we bought a house. I don't remember if I posted about it or not.

Great Phrase

I've been mainlining episodes of A Way With Words lately, and in one of today's episodes somebody called in with a fabulous phrase.

"A pound of pennies" is used to describe someone who is worth having around, but is also a pain to deal with. So you might talk about a co-worker who has a valuble skill but an annoying personality as, "he's a real pound of pennies."

What do you guys think? Is this a useful phrase that needs to become widespread?

The warning of Icarus

The other day, I was listening to an episode of the radio show/podcast On Being. Seth Godin was the guest, and he had some thought provoking things to say.

If I were to ask you to tell me the story of Daedalus and Icarus, what would you remember of it? What lesson do you think we should take from it?

My thoughtsCollapse )

Note To Self Re: tights

Dear self,

If you are at the top end of the weight range for one size, and the bottom end of the weight range for the next size up, and it has been more than a week since you weighed yourself, go with the larger size. Also, the weight range is more important than the height range.

Just what I was looking for

Back in February 2012, I did a post asking if anyone knew a simple way to price compare different cuts of meat so that I could optimize my meals per dollar (as opposed to pounds per dollar).

I got some good advice on figuring out how many meals can come from a given amount of meat, but less on my basic question.

The other day I found this post through Pinterest.

Here's the key part:
Bone-in chicken is about 1/3 waste; bone-in pork is about 1/6 waste; bone-in beef is about 1/5 waste. Here’s how you calculate the prices to see which is best.

•Chicken: multiply by 1.5 to get boneless equivalent price
•Pork: multiply by 1.2
•Beef: multiply by 1.25
•Hamburger (80% lean): multiply by 1.2 to determine actual price per pound (you won’t be eating the 20% fat, right?)

A story I love, by a storyteller I hate.

I'm sure you've heard about it by now. The movie version of Ender's Game has finally materialized from the mists of Hollywood. Half of geekdom is passing out from glee, while the other half is passing out from rage at the idea that Orson Scott Card and his toxic views will be getting that much money and attention.

I thought long and hard about what I should do. This is what I've come up with:

I will be going to see it. I've loved the book too much and for to long not to see how they adapt it. But I really don't like the idea of my money going to support a man who's views I disagree with so profoundly. I haven't bought any of Card's books in years, not since I first learned how horrifically anti-gay he is.

Inspired by something I saw online, my plan is to donate an amount equal to what I spend on the movie tickets and snacks to LGBT groups*, both in my area and in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Card himself lives. That will more than balance out the small amount of my money that actually ends up in Card's bank account.

I still haven't decided if I'll tell the groups that the donation is "In honor of the author Orson Scott Card" or not.

*If anyone has specific groups to recommend, that would be helpful.

Added, 11/6/13; 10:40am
Unless I hear something bad about them before Friday evening, this is probably the North Carolina group I'll be making my donation to. GSAFE: Gay Straight Alliance for Education

Music Rec

If you like Adele and/or Amy Winehouse, you'll probably like Alice Russell. She's pretty much halfway in between the two of them.


Implementing the Life Navigation Hierarchy

Following up on this post.

This post is going to be about one way to keep track of the things you want to accomplish at the various levels of the hierarchy.

These are the only things on your portable to-do list. It can be a notebook, an app, or anything similar that you like. The only requirements are that can easily be carried around with you and can easily be edited. Each Action should each include what you need to do, where & when you need to to it (if either of these are limiting factors), and what Step they're part of. Cross things off as you do them. Once a day update the list by referring to your list of Steps for new Actions.

Each Step is written at the top of sheet of paper. Each sheet should have a short description of the Step, the deadline for completing it (if any), and what Project it's a part of. Under that should be a list of the Actions necessary for completing it. Update your Steps every 2-3 days by looking down a level to your Actions (adding, subtracting, and making any needed notes) and looking up to the Project list for any new Steps.

Each Project is assigned a file folder. Write the name of the Project on the tab; and a short description, the deadline (if any), and any notes on the front of the folder (or on a post-it stuck to the inside of the folder). Inside the folder will be the individual pages of the Steps that make up the Project as well as any notes that don't fit on the folder itself. Incomplete Steps should be loose at the front of the folder, while completed ones will be clipped together at the back. Update your Projects every week or so, referring to the levels above and below.

Goals are each given a hanging folder, which will contain the relevant Project files. Completed Projects should be moved from folders to envelopes (or other more contained storage). It's handled pretty much the same way the file folders are, except only checked & updated approximately once a month.

An Enterprise should be in a file box or drawer. Put the name and deadline on the front. Any relevant notes should either be taped to the outside of the box or put in a folder at the very front. If an Enterprise doesn't have enough Goals or associated notes to justify an entire box/drawer, another option would be to color code the hanging folders for each Enterprise. That is, all the Goals for Enterprise 1 are in red folders, Enterprise 2 uses blue, and so on. Update the Enterprises every 3-6 months.

Themes are less contained. Yes, all the Enterprise boxes associated with a given Theme should be kept together and updated about once a year, but there's more too it than that. Walk around your home regularly and look for any new (lower case) themes that may be visible in the decor or in your entertainment choices. Talk to your friends and family and ask them if they've noticed anything along those lines in your life. If you do notice any new themes, decide if you want to develop them into full fledged Themes.


I don't know if the details of this would work for anyone else, but it's probably enough to get folks started. Right now I'm working on getting my home office set up to start implementing this.

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