Category Archives: One minute read

30 Ways to Measure My Life, and Maybe Yours Too

You might be familiar with the poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. If not, you should read it here or listen to me read it here (yes, this happened.) It’s a beautiful poem, and one that might make you think. This is an excerpt I particularly like:

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.

On a related note, I recently started taking calcium every day in the form of a chocolate chew. I take one every morning, after I drink my coffee so my mouth is warm and it makes the chocolate flavor taste better. Every day a chew, every day a wrapper – a little trace of my life. It got me thinking – what else could I measure my life in? What are the other little traces? So you can read them below, and some are measurable and some are less so. As an added challenge, I drew some of these things.

I have measured out my life with:

  1. Calcium chew wrappers calcium_chew_wrappers
  2. Empty coffee cups 
  3. Used strands of floss
  4. Birthday cards
  5. LinkedIn connections
  6. Pounds gained and lost over the past yearsscale
  7. GPA
  8. Salary
  9. Facebook friends and tagsfacebook_friend
  10. Words written
  11. Email drafts
  12. Journal entries
  13. Ink stains on the bed
  14. Kitkat wrappers found in bed.
  15. Boarding passes
  16. Ticket stubs
  17. Number of pimples popped pimple
  18. Number of emails answered
  19. Protein bar wrappers 
  20. Burned matches
  21. Takeaway boxes
  22. Onion peelsonion_peel
  23. Shopping bags
  24. High fives
  25. Hugs
  26. LaughsIt's laughter, though it looks like vomit
  27. Belly laughs
  28. The kind of laugh where you laugh so hard you cry
  29. Minutes spent living. 
  30. Minutes spent like, actually living. 
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Some Things and Their Places: A Story

Things on Ships:

Pirates

Sails (extra ones below deck)

Parrots

Rats

Engine (depending on the type of boat)

Yar

Swashbuckling

Skipper

Yellow bellies

Things on a Christmas tree:

Hope

Christmas lights

Dream

Half a strand of dead Christmas lights

Tinsel (also all over the house)

Grandpa and Grandma (a picture of them)

A gingerbread man ornament that I always wish I could eat but can’t because it’s an ornament and not actually made out of gingerbread (even though it looks really tasty)

The Christmas ornament that creeps me out but that I keep using anyways

Things in my room:

An empty canister of Nescafe Tasters Choice instant coffee that’s been there for 9 months – could probably recycle this now

A poster on the wall with my goals for this year, and where I spelled “General” wrong so it says “Geneal goals for the year”

Calcium chews – I may have had two of these today since I couldn’t remember if I’d eaten one in the morning or not

A Monster energy drink that I purchased one night in September

Self-reflection

Desk, chair, and bookshelf that were all found on the street

Two cottage cheese containers full of money

A phone book – I thought this would be useful for some reason

Warm

Things in my head:

Memories in picture format

Scent memories – my house where I grew up, pine needles, cologne

Forgotten dreams

Remembered dreams

The indisputable fact that everyone is staring at me

Instant coffee granules

I think he likes me

Ideas like “I could sell my doodles,” or “what if I did man-on-the-street interviews at lunch”

Hope

Pirates

The song “The Christmas Waltz”

Laughter

Things in my heart: 

Ruv

Angst

Hope

Pirates

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Did You Hear the News? It’s Friday!

Attention, Attention! Today is Friday. Everyone, put on your Friday hats and Friday cloaks before heading out into the pre-weekend world, the world that’s on the cusp of relaxation for most industries (with the noted exception of the service industry except for in some locations i.e. business districts).

My Friday hat is in the shape of a duck, which reminds me of an old colleague’s haircut. What does your Friday hat look like? What does your Mom’s Friday hat look like? Have you considered wearing it? My mom won’t let me wear her Friday hat. She says it makes my skin tone worse.

It doesn’t matter what you spilled on your shirts during the week and how many loads of laundry you did or need to do or whether or not you’re certain your life is heading in the right direction because soon enough you’ll be able to forget all and immerse yourself in a world called weekend.

We don’t remember what it was like last Monday. We only remember the weekend’s promise of the perfect balance of productivity and relaxation. On the weekend, if you eat a salad and then a donut within a couple of hours, they cancel each other out.

In Weekend World, people sing and dance and make merry because Monday’s never coming OH GOD IT’S HERE.

Well that was fun I guess.

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The Adventures of Dreamily

Arabic dreams are the most frightful of all

Late at night when I’m a-slumber, Dreamily traipses through the land of nod and discovers many strange and wonderful things and writes them all down in her little notebook. But when I awake, Dreamily has already left long ago with her little notebook and I never can know exactly what she saw.

That’s why I had to start following her on twitter, because she’s a fairly diligent tweeter/instagramer, and man this stuff she sees is weird. Last night, at 1:30 am she tweeted that she saw a full-grown man wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh costume eating pie with his hands on a deserted playground and that she wept but then he turned into a huge baby the size of king kong who wanted her to pick it up so she screamed and ran away.

And then at 3:03am she tweeted a picture of a swamp full of dragon flies with human faces that had gotten stuck from watching the television too close.

At 5:34, she was prowling around someone’s house in Kansas on the night a storm was brewing and a little boy was sitting alone in the kitchen next to the stove with a kettle on it. A door was squeaking somewhere.

6:49 found her interviewing for a job she was completely unqualified for at a techie startup where no one realizes they all have horrible body odor and then suddenly she finds that she’s the stinky one and is mortified but can’t remember which person is her interviewer to ask to leave and go take a shower.

After reading her twitter feed, I usually decide it’s for the best that I don’t remember everything Dreamily sees or does. At least I’m not missing out on any magical feasts.

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In Lieu of Post, a Funny Picture

In lieu of a post today, please accept my offering of a humorous picture, complete with detailed description

This is a picture of my dance troupe circa 1993. I am in the middle, and my sisters are on either end in the lower row. They are not smiling. I am not smiling. I can’t remember what exactly was going on that day, but I do remember my sisters and I both hated ballet, like we would cry and cry when we were going there and refuse to put on our tights, etc.

The only thing I liked were the outfits, and I wore this particular red number for roughly a month after our recital, which was completely FUBAR. The pressure that age is really overwhelming and you should have seen how many cheetos some of the girls were cramming down backstage, just trying to cope with the stress. It wasn’t pretty.

So you can’t blame us for not being able to smile and pretend that everything’s all right when behind the tutus and the glitter, there are four-year-old minds that would rather be watching Barney.

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