A couple of days “off,” which really means “on.” Little online time, lots of time spent cooking (today it was callalou greens which I’d never heard of but which appeared in my veggie co-op box, yesterday it was Ina’s decadent 9-egg lemon icebox cake… yummmmm), hanging wit mah homies (I can hear my kids cringing as they read this, if they did, but they don’t).
Oh, there was some time spent doing serious stuff like bud-get-ing… ugh, but mostly enjoying loved ones and friends new and old, counting fireflies and barely a peek into the news (Strauss-Kahn! Almost ready to do a told-you-so, but won’t quite yet), Diana’s photoshopping onto the Newsweek cover complete with wrinkles (tacky tacky tacky, Miss Tina!), Chavez’s tumor, etc. etc.
In my attempt to simplify, streamline, make more lovely my life, besides looking for the perfect notebook which will solve all my problems I also look endlessly for the best way to organize my digital time. I am loving Evernote to keep all those snippets organized (and accessible from any device, anywhere). Instapaper rules to “read later.” Freedom rocks to keep me sane when I actually sit down to write (which is very infrequently of late). I am checking out a trial version of a program called YNAB (yes, that is what it’s called, which is an acronym for “You Need A Budget” which I suppose I do, but perhaps more than that I need a job…hmmmm), and it seems like fun. (I confess, I used to graph my phone bill, by hand, before I had a computer…I’m a closet geek.)
But what I really thought would streamline my online reading time was putting all the blogs and websites I access into Google Reader. I had to take off the “unread” counter at the top or I become totally overwhelmed (“923 unread items”) when I open it up once a day or so. It’s incredible the volumes of stuff written, and the duplication, and the nonsense. Somewhere within it are pearls, things I don’t want to miss.
My dear mother used to pile up her New York Times when she traveled (including stints for several months), to read them upon her return. She didn’t want to miss anything, as if her own life depended on it. In her later years, when things got a little loopy, she was worried that someone might die and she wouldn’t know about it. (Surely she’s up in heaven reading Peter Falk’s obit right now.)
The sites I’ve subscribed to in my reader are mostly for news, but also for writing/publishing stuff, as well as for “inspiration.” I love to look at art and architecture as well as give in to a periodic desire to peruse the latest gossip, catch up on the latest and coolest science news (for non-scientists, of course), drool over food porn, check out the newest tech gadgets, or center myself with sufi poetry. (I am a woman of many moods, as we all are.)
As my writing here attests (she says, looking at the clock in the corner of my screen with a gasp), I am tired, and a bit silly, maybe a bit overcooked as I sat in the sun this afternoon before I cooked the callalou greens… I actually have a slew of things that I want to blog about, interesting things, thought-provoking things, but instead I’ve decided to continue the “blogging, light” theme, and instead share with my readers (especially the spam bots) some of the headlines that made me question this Google Reader strategy.
You see, rather than view the full text of each article, when faced with so many I just look at the headlines, and click through to the articles I want to read. Here are some of the ones I came across tonight:Practical Etiquette For That Special Time Of The Month (Thought of forwarding to my daughter, but only for a nanosecond) Want to Boost Your Team’s Intelligence? Recruit More Women (and More Diversely) (Well duhhh) James Brown’s Japanese Cup-O-Noodles Commercial
(OK, this one deserves a link, at least to the original video, James Brown!…better yet, here it is:)
A couple more, while we’re at it:Candy: The One Thing Not Linked to Gaining Weight (And what might it be linked to, then?) Sand Castle Consultants Make As Much As $6,000 a Week (Itchy)
What’s incredible is that all those headlines came from my folder titled “News,” as opposed to my folder titled “News Lite,” which contained such titles as “Your Breasts are Thinking of Joining a Gang” and “Your Aging, Deflated Vagina is Like a Hamburger” (I swear it, and these are not some kinky sites, they’re pretty mainstream).
Needless to say I need to do some tweaking to my method, find a way to sift the grain, because when I get behind on my reading and am faced with titles like these I see the beauty of a strict media diet.
Speaking of diets… just yesterday, while sticking a needle in my vein (routine blood test), a woman told me of her new diet. She explained (laughing her, wincing me) that she was once again ready to lose that weight, had come to work all psyched with crunchy veggies and healthy food, only to be greeted by her colleague who presented with her a sticky plastic-wrapped “honey bun.”
“Oh Lawd!” she exclaimed as she switched tubes, then snapped open the tourniquet. “I’ve been craving a honey bun for years…and there it was!”
She just had to, I guess. I stayed strong, and got to a point where I clicked on “Mark all as read,” even though I hadn’t. There is a time for honeybuns, I suppose, but my junk news cravings were just not that strong… today.