Friday, January 24, 2014

They Don't Call It Dope For Nothing


Photo courtesy Flickr

Linda Ronstadt recently shared a matter of fact personal history of illegal drugs with a PBS interviewer. She hadn’t touched “injectables”, she said, cocaine made her nose bleed, and she quoted a friend as saying that weed made her want to crawl under the bed with a box of graham crackers and not share.

Poetry is where you find it, particularly poetry with dust bunnies in its hair.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Twelve Ways To Save Time In 2014


Photo courtesy Flickr


Hire work done and do your own cooking. You are likely to come out even or ahead on money and nutrition.

Get enough rest.

Simplify inventory.

If your produce comes on a cardboard tray covered in cling film, cook the whole amount and call the leftovers “salad”.

Structure a meal around fruit or vegetables, filling in with protein and carbs. You’ll have happy innards and be lighter on your feet.

Shop once a month for everything except fresh food.

Keep one or two rolls of quarters on hand as well as a comfortable number of small bills.

Define a personal uniform. 

Turn off the television.

When you buy something repeatedly, buy three. Replace the replacement when the time comes to re-supply.

Stock your pantry with food that does not require refrigeration. Buy what you eat, eat what you buy. You’ll be set for emergencies and the odd budget crisis as well as for surprise visits or after-school raiding parties.

Throw indoor birthday parties in the family dome tent. Seat the kids on a picnic cloth. Leave both doors unzipped for safety. Clean up by tipping the tent into a waste bin and then hose it out in the garden.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rags Revisited


Photo courtesy Flickr

A contemporary chanted the latest iteration of a lament I’ve heard numerous times since the mid-2000s. Her suburban closet is crammed with clothes she never wears. New things are not the same quality as older ones. Getting dressed to drive somewhere usually means dressing for exercise.

Editing wardrobe drives conscientious housekeepers crazy, because it seems so wasteful. It is also not simple to define why or when to keep something. I used to devote good hours to helping friends decide how to evaluate their inventory. Now, I think, it’s every person for herself, and with good reason. Each life has its particular needs, and each life its particular social context.

It’s not that big a deal. Clothes are expensive and hard on the environment, but one closet does not make a crisis. A righteous fashion person noted that “style is how we get our energy”, and I do find that the small effort I make to put myself together for a public outing is often rewarded by feedback from the street. Behind a steering wheel, most of the feedback is for the machine.

Dress for the weather and for who you are and what you will be doing. Chose clothes that travel easily. Dress so that you can run, if necessary, or walk home in an emergency. Wear stuff that makes you feel good. It is true that the street reviews instantly, and that designer clothing ages one.

I stumbled across “Cayce Pollard Unit” on Flickr some time ago and find the notion valuable for paring my own choices back to living tissue. Wikipedia discusses CPU in depth. I have never regretted passing a garment along, no matter what it cost me. Impatience is a useful virtue. The design principle is to work fast and edit later. One can do a “chicken purge” by discarding whatever sticks between the fingers when slapping one’s personal racks, but discarding into trash bags that then live in the garage until they cool off.

Buckminster Fuller’s I Seem To Be A Verb is a worthwhile exploration of shifting cultural emphases and both versions of the preppie handbook good resources on the classic. I dress in a summer neutral, beige, and a winter neutral, black. A Parisienne and Bay area hipster both assure me that black is the all-time go to.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If It Looks Good Now...


Photo courtesy Flickr

Late winter is a good time to choose a place to live in Seattle. The environment is as dismal as it’s going to get. Anything that feels like viable shelter under these conditions will only get better as the seasons progress.

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