Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Author Anne Lamott is turning 61 and took the opportunity to write down “every single thing I know, as of today.”

It’s a lovely list, full of the poignant and practical advice for which she’s known. It can be moving and a little sad, as when she touches on the challenges of family and death, but she also brings out useful truths on such topics as the necessity of exercise and writing shitty first drafts, the beauty of life and persistence and the fact that any of us are even here at all.

I especially like #2:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

You can find the rest of her list and more on her thoughts in her Facebook post.

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The Gender Politics of Pockets by Tanya Basu.

Conditions are ripe for a revolution in pockets for women…

Go ahead and laugh if you like, but if you do I will argue that (imho) you are probably male. In my experience men often don’t realize that women’s pockets can be a total sham. This is why I liberated my father’s 1960s suit from the back of his closet in my teenage years (well, that and my flings with Vespas and British ska). This is why I adore the idea of Saint Harridan‘s suits for women (inside pockets ftw, people!). This is why I spent a not-insignificant amount at my local tailor to have the front pockets in my new jeans boosted to adult size. Yes, I do want to carry more than a tube of lip gloss in there. Crazy talk, I know!

I don’t use a purse.* You wouldn’t either if you spent as much time as I do thinking about disasters and alien invasions and the zombie apocalypse. When that sort of thing happens you just have to run, you know? Can’t be stopping to find your designer bag. And then what? You’re out in the forest with no phone or money or credit cards or keys or hair band (don’t even get me started on women and hair in action movies**). If I must carry larger items I go for the backpack. (And yes, I two-strap it:)

Addendum: For those of you who want more on the long history (and sad demise) of women’s pockets, check out this useful Marketplace article on the subject: Why women’s pockets are useless: A history. Thanks to my mother, who remembers having similar thoughts 40 years ago, for the link.

* I find them a hassle, easy to forget in inconvenient places, tough on the shoulders, and prone to removal by passing ne’er-do-wells. Although I do like saying “ne’er-do-wells.”
** I’ll just mention that when Sarah Connor tied back her hair in Terminator 2, I cheered. Honestly, have these people never tried to fire a rifle on a windy day with long hair? Not recommended.

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Something Nice

I did a good deed today. No need to get into specifics, but let’s just say that it involved a banking error of no inconsiderable size. I expect it will make several people’s lives easier and that felt good. And hey, doing for others is one key to happiness. I recommend it:)

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Pieces I want to read, have just read, or am reading again:

Writing Stuff:
Random Stuff:

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That’s right, Canadian citizenship! It’s officially official. Break out the poutine!

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Pope Francis Says He Would Definitely Baptize Aliens If They Asked Him To

If – for example – tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ … Who are we to close doors?

So in addition to focusing on the issues of poverty, inequality and other related topics, the Pope is open-minded enough to include aliens in his view of the future. Nice.

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My holiday wreath remains on the door because there’s still a little pile of snow out in the front yard. Impressively, the snow survived yesterday’s 70F weather. The house shades that section of the yard from sun most of the day, and layers of traction control sand provide the snow with a bit of a buffer, a turtle-like defense against Spring. I’m almost rooting for the little guy, persistent as it is.

Almost:) Happy Spring!

^ Not my front yard, but oh so pretty all the same.

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Some days are just off, for whatever reason. Days when you hit all the wrong buttons on your computer, make foolish mistakes because your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, fumble everything you touch and your nose won’t stop bleeding. Yeah, it’s that kind of day for me.

What to do in the face of such pitfalls?

Keep going.

Apologize to self and others for calls not made, for eating too much cake (or not enough), for not finishing the to-do list or not writing the perfect story. Do better next time.


Even if it happens to be April Fool’s Day.

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I got into knitting a while ago and loved it (making things, yay:), so much that I would keep working even when my hands, wrists, and shoulders asked to stop. Then they forced me to stop, and decided they would make typing a challenge too. Obviously, Something Had to be Done.

My issues are well controlled now that I’ve cut back on knitting, but I do sometimes need to massage a muscle knot. I use a tennis ball or a frozen lime against a wall to target trigger points in my back, but because pain can be referred from the real problem area, getting just the right spot can be a bit of a challenge.

Enter this handy interactive trigger point map, which I found quite useful for my shoulder issues. Once I figured out that the pain actually originated from a point two inches to the right, the situation improved dramatically. If you have similar problems, I hope you find this tool helpful. Because writing, to paraphrase my grandmother’s comments on old age, is not for sissies.

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Dear Air New Zealand and Australia.com,

Please stop showing me perky web ads with weather maps of your fair region. I know that it is summer there when it is winter here, but you don’t have to rub my face in it. I know that my −24C is your +24C, but thinking about it makes me want to cry. I also know how lovely it is Down Under, how full of stunning vistas and sumptuous wines and delectable foodstuffs, and sigh as I peer over the wind-swept mounds of snow outside my window.


So please, please, Air New Zealand and Australia.com, stop rubbing it in. Have pity on a poor Northern Hemisphere-ite, and let me freeze in peace.

Yours in winter,

J.R. Johnson

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