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

Tag: you

What you can do right now

Like you (I presume), I feel sick. And sad. And helpless. And like I just want to find everyone affected by this attack and squeeze them, and let them cry and tell me all about what they’re going through.

But I’m not helpless, and neither are you. Here’s a list of things you can do today – right now.

1) Contact your representative and tell her/him what you want done. It’s fast and SO easy. Think about your stance on gun ownership (Should getting a gun be easier than getting a fishing license? Should it be easier to sell a gun than sell lemonade?), and make it heard.

Contact your Representative

2) Donate to an organization focused on safe gun ownership and gun control. Did you know donations to the NRA spike after mass shootings? Think about that.

Brady Campaign


Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

3) Help the Orlando LGBTQ community process, grieve and recover by donating to one of their organizations.

Equality Florida

The Center Orlando

Zebra Youth

Orlando Youth Alliance

*Update: The Pulse Tragedy Community Fund has been set up by The Center Orlando, expressly for victims and their families.*

4) Share what you know. What other actions can we take today? Please leave your ideas and resources in the comments.

Hearts by Wendy MacNaughton

Hearts by Wendy Macnaughton, @wendymac


Day 72: Bean Day

I’ve been eating a lot of chili lately. A non-comprehensive list of people as beans was inevitable. Here she is:

Black Bean. Everybody knows and loves you. You’re humble and unpretentious, but you can be the life of the party in a pinch. You experimented with veganism in college, but you quit when you realized you couldn’t eat real cheese. You love cheese.

Kidney Bean. Depending on the day, you either look classy or glassy and gross. But even on your gross days, you’re very fit. While you’re not an exercise fanatic, you have a consistent cardio workout schedule and enjoy a good detoxification diet. You manage your blood pressure well.

Soybean. You’re well traveled, versatile and have dabbled in multiple different lines of work. People tend to either love you or hate you, and you’re generally successful with your ventures. You don’t like cold weather. And although you’d never admit to it, you secretly think you’re the best bean.

Garbanzo Bean. You’re a little wacky. Deeming yourself indestructible, you once jumped off the roof of a two-story building with a parachute made out of kale. Most things are funny to you and you are funny to most people. You come from a huge family.

Black-Eyed Pea. A born bean, you legally changed your last name to “Pea” on your 18th birthday, but you regretted the decision immensely when “Elephunk” came out in 2004. Even though you seem a little bitter, people see your softer side and generally like being around you.


Day 65: Five Types of Airplane Travelers

I’m no expert (I don’t even use the “expert traveler” lane at security), but my recent experiences with international travel confirmed the following traveler types.

The Social Drinker
You become fast friends with all the flight attendants before the plane even takes off. If you haven’t finagled your way into first class, you’re either upgraded to business class or you have an exit row seat. During the flight, your charm, wit and amiable attitude affords you a couple of free Bloody Marys and a slew of new Facebook friends who would be happy to put you up the next time you are visiting (insert exotic land here). When the plane lands, you barely notice how much time has passed because you’ve been having such a great time with your new besties.

The Sleeper
Something about travel lulls you. You’re nearly REM cycling at the waiting gate, so it’s a miracle you even make it to your seat. You always request the window, because it’s hard for you to wake up and let your seatmates in once you’ve already gotten comfortable. You don’t read any of the magazines you brought, since you only wake up twice—once when you intuitively sense the beverage cart is passing and again when the wheels hit the ground at your destination. You have a constant crick in your neck, but you’re too sleepy to buy a neck pillow before takeoff.

The Suit-Wearer
You reminisce for the good old days (most likely before you were born), when people dressed up to travel. No matter how long the flight, you wear pressed pants or a skirt, a jacket and uncomfortable shoes. You gingerly lay your jacket on top of everyone’s overhead luggage only after takeoff to ensure no one else disturbs it. Sometimes, you opt for the luxury of reclining your seat, but for the most part, you sit straight up and type quietly on your laptop or watch the in-flight movies. You do not sleep on planes.

The At-Home-Anywhere
You have no qualms about wearing pajamas to the airport. And if you didn’t think the TSA agents would find you strangely suspicious, you would wear your bunny slippers, too. You come fully equipped with a giant pillow, blanket, headphones and pre-packed meal, plus 18 different magazines, the latest New York Times bestseller and an iPad. If there is an open seat next to you on the plane, you spread out into it and nap (Why not?). You tried to paint your nails once, but the fumes bothered your seatmates.

The Package Deal
Whether there are two of you or twelve of you, you arrive together, check in together, sit together, go to the bathroom together (unless one of you is watching everyone’s stuff), eat together and board together, differing boarding zones aside. You do whatever it takes to make sure you’re seated next to each other, even if it means giving away your window seats and the m&ms you bought in the gift shop. You socialize with others only when necessary, armed with the knowledge that everything you need is right next to you (probably attached to your arm).

Package Deal

Day 46: Cats and Dogs

I started a super cool new contract position at a creative agency yesterday, and will be spending the next few months learning more about cats than I ever dreamed I would know.

Yes, cats.

In the process, I’m sure I’ll learn a bit about dogs, too—but mostly cats. In perusing the brand voice files yesterday to learn more about a particular cat and dog food company, I came across a really interesting chart about the differences between cat and dog pet owners, and how they view their relationships with their animals.

Which made me curious about the differences between my cat and dog-owning friends.

If you have a cat or a dog, why did you choose the animal you chose? And how do you view your pretty pet? As a friend? A child? A sibling? What were you looking for when you found and/or adopted him or her?

I realize the relationship distinctions above require thinking of your animal in human terms; but thinking in human terms is how we make sense of all of our relationships, so it’s not that strange. I freely admit that I view Brian Boitano as my independent roommate (except when he needs food or clean water—then, he’s my little buddy). He’s my company when I come home and he is decidedly not warm or snuggly.

If my lifestyle supported a furry friend, I always imagined I’d run around with a dog. But with all the interesting things I’m learning about felines, I can no longer be sure. I’ll have to discuss it with my new four-legged co-worker, Waffles (pictured).


Day 44: We All Do It

Here are six things you probably do and think no one else does (but they do):

1. Not-so-quietly call everyone ahead of you in the airport security line an “amateur” and then proceed to be the worst prepared traveler ever.

You usually remember to put your liquids in a plastic baggie, but it’s buried somewhere underneath the five-pound bag of trail mix you need to sustain yourself on the two-hour flight. And last time you were in line, you double-knotted your shoe laces and made everyone behind you wait while you tried to untie your shoes with one hand and unzip your laptop case with the other.

2. Sing in the shower because you think other people do it and not because you actually like singing in the shower.

Nobody likes singing in the shower (except maybe the professionals).

3. Pretend you’re asleep.

Maybe you haven’t done it since you were five years old and wanted your dad to carry you from the car to the house (driveways can be very long). Or, maybe you did it yesterday when you heard your partner and/or housemate come home and you knew s/he wanted you to organize the junk drawer. Pretending to be asleep is oftentimes the perfect avoidance maneuver. The only problem is that we all do it, so we all know you’re pretending.

4. Realize you’re wrong during an argument and keep arguing anyway because you don’t know what else to do.

You know the moment—when you’ve been passionately making a point and you realize you either meant to make the opposite point or you actually don’t know what you’re talking about. At that moment, there’s really no turning back, so you keep going until both parties are confused by your vehemence.

5. Say you watch less TV than you actually watch.

We’ve all seen the research about how TV rewires and/or rots the brain. But one half-hour, once per week? Please. Downton Abbey counts.

6. Envision doing something inappropriate at a really inopportune time.

Whether it’s reciting the last scene of Die Hard during your niece’s baptism or unsuccessfully attempting the tablecloth trick on that couple sitting next to you at dinner, you maintain a high (but stifled) potential for inappropriate outbursts at any given time.