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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Month: December, 2012

Day 37: Not About Dating, Part 3

Good morning, blogeeps… er, blops (What’s the shorthand for “blog readers?”), and happy New Year’s Eve to you.

On this last day of 2012, it seems only appropriate to summarize something—like a year of refusing to date. For most of 2012, I was happily buried in enormous work and dance projects. During the rest of it, I complained about how I stink at online dating.

See past blog posts for parts one and two of the “not about dating” series. You will be riveted.

Over the holidays, I took my friend Russ’s Tweeted advice to play hard to get. I stayed far away from Match and ignored every online message and wink that came my way (there were at least three). I also threw a buffer friend between myself and that guy who approached me at the dance club. I don’t go to clubs terribly often, but when I do, I go to dance, not fraternize. C’mon, man!

In retrospect, playing hard to get isn’t really that fun if there’s only one player.

That said, I do have two prospective real-life interests. Make that three.

1) A former high school classmate who lives somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 miles away from me. Also, he might be in a relationship. And gay.

2) The cute United Express pilot who smiled at me in the PDX airport yesterday and then proceeded to get on another flight. What’s up with that? Also, I scowled at him. But don’t worry—my internet sleuthing skills rival the best researchers’ out there. I’ll find him and then do nothing.

3) Seth from The O.C. He’s smart, funny, nerdy and plays music in his real life. He’s the best!

Based on my interests, I’d say my next step is therapy.

Here’s to a year in which I avoided dating at all costs, we all survived a non-apocalypse, Girl Scouts turned 100, my friends and I laughed a thousand timessomeone reviewed my Fringe show as “a thing of wonder” and one of my neighbors burned down our dumpster. Bon Voyage, 2012! You truly were a good year.

Day 36: That Poor Tag

For years, my most risky endeavor was to travel with a naked bag—no luggage tag, no identification, nothing that named my bag as mine. I’m not sure why I never identified it, other than that I always forgot to do it before I left and it always seemed too complicated to find a tag once at the airport (never mind that every counter stocks them).

Last spring, I finally obtained a plastic tag and zip tied it to my bag. I didn’t notice that I tied it to the very bottom until my dad picked me up at the airport last week and I watched him drag it around. That poor tag has swept at least six different airports.

I’m back at PDX today and I think I’m going to leave it. Forever. If I had any science skills whatsoever, I’d collect a sample from the bottom edge and analyze it under a microscope. I’m sure there’s some interesting stuff on there.


Day 35: Imprints

In keeping with the recent post about how we leave imprints on each other’s lives without even knowing it, I thought I’d share a super cool fossil I found a couple of days ago on the Oregon coast.

And yes, I found it during my post-meltdown walk.


It’s beautiful. The shell is gone but the fossil remains.

Give someone a hug today and you might leave a lovely (less rigid) imprint on him/her, too.

Day 34: The Meltdown

Ok. I’ll admit it. I had a full-on meltdown yesterday morning. I’m talking tears, Kleenex and the creation of a giant person-sized blanket nest (in which to burrow). The whole nine yards.

On an unrelated note, check out the recent New York Times article on possible originations of “the whole nine yards.” It’s pretty interesting.

In the midst of the meltdown, I identified four main causes that proved to be pseudo-causes upon even the most superficial reflection. Here they are:

I’m turning 30 in a week. Cliché crisis? Totally. With only a week to go, I was pretty sure I’d made it to the end of my 29th year without having one, but my brand new blanket nest suggested otherwise.

I quit my stable job in favor of a free-flowing freelancing lifestyle. But so far, there have been no downsides. I work hard, I work a lot, I dance often and I pay my rent. All good things, right? But—sob—“everyone thinks I’m crazy.” In truth, I don’t think anyone thinks that. And if they do, I don’t actually care (aside from when I’m crying about it).

I posted two blogs in a row with errors in them. I fixed the errors quickly, but not before the email-reader versions went out. I’ve spent years cultivating a “let it go” attitude (only about the small stuff, of course), but apparently attitudes can be un-done. I’d like to say I inserted an error into this post as an attempt to re-find my Zen state, but I’m pretty sure this one’s perfect.

I’ve never purchased a new item of furniture. The reality is that yes—I have. And even though I’ve purchased new furniture, I’ve never actually aspired to owning new furniture. There’s so much cool old stuff already in the world, I’d much rather continue honing my pre-loved shabby-chic collection. It makes my apartment look like an Anthropologie store. Perfect.

Here’s the probable actual cause:

I spent 36 hours closed inside a cozy cabin on the Oregon coast with five of my favorite family members. In my old age, I’ve developed all sorts of new and confusing allergies, including a pretty strong one to our Christmas tree. With no fresh air (aside from the little bits of oxygen sneaking past the ever-burning fire) and a whole lot of couch time, I desperately needed to get outside, go for a walk and take a breath.

I finally did and had the pleasure of watching the ocean churn and burn some of its own demons in the process. I felt much better afterwards.


Here’s what I learned:

If getting dressed and going outside seems complex and overwhelming, it’s exactly the right remedy. Just do it.

Day 33: Murphy and Newton

Last week, I asked for some blog content ideas so I could stock up before my big January trip. One of the post ideas offered was, “Murphy’s Law vs. Newton’s Laws.” I’m tackling it today because I just so happened to get an applicable Christmas gift that serves as a nice lead-in.

By some happy accident, I acquired “F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers” by Richard Benson at my family’s white elephant gift exchange (I stole it, someone stole it from me, someone stole it from that person and then I secretly traded a glass water bottle for it after the game was over).

The book chronicles test questions and a collection of ridiculous test answers from students. Here’s an example:

Q: What type of attractive force or bond holds the sodium ions and chloride ions together in a crystal of sodium chloride?
A: James Bond

Here’s the one that applies to this post (never mind the funky grammar):

Q: What was Sir Isaac Newton famous for?
A: He invented gravity.

It just so happens that my mother is in the process of finishing writing a pre-teen book called, “Isaac Newton Invented Gravity: and Other Myths.” It’s funny, smart and can get a kid hooked on physics. I can’t wait for it to be published so I can plug it here.

So—Murphy’s Law vs. Newton’s Laws.

The history of Murphy’s Law is actually pretty interesting. For now, we’re concerned with the law itself—“what can go wrong will go wrong” and a variety of iterations stating basically the same thing.

The similarity between Murphy and Newton’s Laws is that they tend to be widely simplified. That’s pretty much it.

Murphy’s Law is a simple statement suggesting a complex phenomenon that isn’t actually a law. For proof, see December 22, 2012 and my family’s white elephant gift exchange (my new favorite book could have permanently fallen into the wrong hands—or the fire—but it didn’t).

Newton’s Laws are complex scientific proofs that describe what appear to be the simple processes we observe every day. A thing moves or rests at a constant speed and in a constant direction until force acts on it (a sitting ball won’t start rolling on its own and a rolling ball will roll until it is stopped). Forces exist in pairs; to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (feet press on the ground and the ground presses back on feet). There are more laws that show how every motion—flying, walking, driving, swimming, sitting, resting, running, etc.—relies on a set of foundational truths about gravity. Newton didn’t invent or discover gravity, but he painstakingly codified how we understand it.

I never actually took physics, but I did take a two-week elementary school Summer Academy course in which I got to ride roller coasters and throw eggs. I feel pretty confident in my assessment of Newton’s Laws.

With that, this post about Murphy’s Law and Newton’s Laws concludes. Thank you for the idea, McLaughlin. Feel free to send more.