A somewhat goofy mini-collection of stuff I’ve been reading, stuff I’ve been thinking about and oh, some completely random crap.
Basically the stuff that never gets mentioned here because I’m not the kind of person who can just make some teeny little point. Not into the whole brevity thing, as the Dude would say.
Actually, I’m under the strict compulsion to write ten pages about anything on my mind. So this is me. Practicing brevity.
Guilty admission: today’s Item! items (man, I love saying that — item items!) are pretty long, all considering. But there aren’t very many of them.
Selma and I have been missing these mini-bitlets collection-of-good-stuff types of posts, now that the hurt-ey arms mean we hardly ever prowl the internets looking for good stuff.
Plus, good stuff to read! Good people to start
obsessively stalking following and paying attention to! Stuff like that.
Warning: it’s an Item! post. There will be exclamation points. Apologies in advance.
Item! Post No. 15 in an ongoing occasionally-updated unpredictable series that also confuses me, so don’t worry about it.
Item! They named a cafe after my duck!
Well, not really.
But they could have. It will happen one day. You should peek.
A cafe named Selma. Beautiful pictures. Myra Klarman, sweet goofball genius with a camera. What’s not to like?
Item! Thoughts about love and communication and stuff.
Two posts I really appreciated. Both from Kate, whom I finally got to meet in person last week, about a day before she headed back to England.
And she’s absolutely lovely, and next time I hope we’ll get to spend a lazy afternoon alone in a quiet cafe together because we are both decidedly not group-interaction people and our first meeting happened in a large group.
Kate did her introvert-in-a-large-group thing: get really quiet.
I did my introvert-in-a-large-group thing: be obnoxiously charming and tell stories and ask questions and play with my hair so no one will notice that I am an introvert and now I have to interact with a group.
I don’t mean to say that it wasn’t a thoroughly enjoyable evening because it absolutely was and every single person there was wonderful, and I would do it again in a second.
Just that Kate and I definitely need to spend some quality time together when we’re not knee deep in our own patterns and other distractions.
Anyway … long introduction aside, here’s what you should be reading.
Her post on faith, love and doing I thought was very powerful. And this one about communication and the different ways it can go horribly wrong made a fantastic point in a memorable I-get-this-now sort of way. Plus she talks about one of my favorite communication books. Worth a read.
Item! This is my new favorite blog and it’s going to be yours too!
I am loving my friend Janet Bailey’s new Mindful Time Management blog. I’ve been
getting on her case waiting excitedly for her to start this thing much the same way that Kelly Parkinson did with me when I started mine.
Not because I’m her friend but because I really, really need the stuff she writes about.
Janet is one of my favorite people ever.
She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s just the right amount of neurotic … and she thinks deeply and carefully about how we interact with our time, where we get stuck and what we might be able to do about it.
I don’t even know which post to link to because they’re all great, but start with the one about pre-deadlines and thinking differently about motivation and make sure you also read the power of the split screen (which is a terrific technique that I’m going to adopt myself as soon as I can type again).
Item! You should spend more time putting crackers on your head!
It’s no secret that I adore Sparky Firepants aka David Billings. That’s Mr. Pants to you. Well, to me. I think I’m the only one who calls him that.
And I finally got to meet him in person too. He came into town and my gentleman friend and I got to spend a lazy late afternoon with him.
I thought this post of his called Be Your Own Bot was fascinating. And moving. And completely thought-provoking. As in, my thoughts! They are still being provoked! I heart Mr. Pants.
Here’s a tiny bit of it:
“It’s funny. We start out in life weird little creatures who put crackers on our heads and yell, “Ga-ZOO ZOO!” just because it strikes us as something we should probably do. We fall down and stay there. Just felt like it. We wear socks on our hands.
As we grow up, other people start defining for us what’s weird and what shouldn’t be done anymore in social situations. It’s not a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s part of life and it’s learning how to function in a world full of people who hesitate to give us money or jobs if we break crackers on our heads. Still, it’s sad to put our crackers away.
You want to keep reading, right?
And while you’re there — if you’re at all someone who appreciates visual gorgeousness and creativity — you should sign up for his Sparky Firepants Monthly Images club and marvel at both his illustrations and his incredible generosity in giving one of them away each month.
Item! Portland is America’s 3rd least wasteful city! Or something.
When I first moved to Portland, the only thing I didn’t madly love about it was the crazy pride.
Seriously, it rivals New York and San Francisco for “ohmygod-we’re-so-great”-ness. Except that, you know, it’s not either of those places or even something that would be mentioned in the same league.
But now I’m part of the cult, organic koolaid and all. And I no longer find it as embarrassing as it probably is.
And one of the many, many things I love about living here is that I’m not the big hippie anymore. The people in my neighborhood are also into composting and growing their own vegetables and eating local, sustainable food and collecting rainwater.
It’s no longer weird here — or even interesting — that we make our own yogurt and cheese, or that we don’t drive or that we boycott box stores. Because it’s Portland.
Item! I’m recommending a web designer! Are you her Right People?
I know I already talked about Kate in the first Item! today, but I was on her site and remembered how much I like both her work and her attitude. And her copy.
And since people are always asking me for website design recommendations (and since I don’t generally like to send people to my designer because he’s busy and because I want him to charge enough that you probably won’t be able to afford him) …
… let me mention Kate and her work, which is gorgeous.
And very affordable.
Yes, the number of people who won’t listen to me about raising their prices is astonishing. So you should really hire her before my brilliant logic convinces her.
Here’s what she says on her own website:
I create websites for small businesses and groups, and specialise in socially responsible businesses and alternative or spiritual ventures. Holistic therapists, alternative practitioners, quirky creatives, people forging careers out of hobbies; I love to work with anyone with a dream!
I firmly believe anyone can have a professional, affordable website, and love to help people get their first home on the web.
If that sounds like your thing, take a look.
Item! Black Hockey Jesus!
Yet again the star of my reading-stuff-online life.
I don’t miss a single post he writes on his provocatively-titled genius blog. And I continue to admire him and his funny, bittersweet wordishness.
Actually, I think the word bittersweet was invented for him because everything he writes contains both of those qualities in equal measures.
His piece Frogs is a wonderful musing on blogging itself (the world and the process), as well as a sweet example of how it’s possible be kind, funny, thoughtful, snarky, compassionate, sarcastic, wise and hurting … all at the same time.
And the one about his daughter’s obsession with weiners is one of the funniest essays on parenthood (and identity in general) that I’ve read.
Keep him company.
That is all.
This was way longer than I intended.
Happy reading. Happy Thursday. See you tomorrow for the Friday Chicken!