Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Friday: Better Times

It's entirely possible that the weather will actually be nice this weekend. I didn't even need the A/C on today until after 2 pm! I am very happy about this, people! HUBS has been very stressed getting ready for the school year to start next week (he's been working 10 or more hours a day for two weeks), and we both need to get out a bit.

I've had a very productive day. I applied for three jobs, evaluated my freelance rates and exercised. I like days like this, when I get real stuff done all day long.

Well, I hope you've got something nice planned this weekend. But, if not, here's some things to help keep you happy indoors.

1) Make this weekend body positive.

2) In time for the tail end of Olympic fever, I bring you the Olympic Scrunchies tumblr and this Smart Money article on the true cost of getting to the games.

3) Ever wondered what cats get up to when we let them outside? Check out the Kitty Cams Project.

4) Boredom might be good for your creativity. Who knew?

5) Wild author and advice columnist Cheryl Strayed talks about writing, reading and learning.

I Entered A Contest

If you head over to the Cottonelle Facebook page and click on Name It in their timeline, you can enter to win some cool prizes. Just like I did!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

TV You Should Be Watching

Isn't television a frequently wonderful thing? I've always been a TV lover, and since HUBS and I are currently people of modest means, most of our nights are spent in front of a weekly television series discussing the vagaries of human motivation. Or, sometimes just laughing our asses off. But, you know, either way it's fun!

We've come upon some shows recently that I would be remiss not to discuss with you. They are all funny and thought provoking, and I think you'll like them.

1) Veep

I like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, so I had decent hopes for Veep. Who knew it would turn out to be one of the more surprising new shows in years? As you can likely guess by the title, she plays a US Vice President. And she just happens to be dealing with a distant daughter, scheming lawmakers, a president who doesn't much respect her, a pregnancy scare and her own struggles to push her political agenda while under intense media scrutiny. I know, it sounds hilarious! Actually, that's one of the things we loved about the show; it manages to be truly funny while still dealing with insider political stuff very realistically. The first season has finished showing, but you can watch it on HBO GO. Favorite Line: "I am going to throw up a leg."

2) Girls

I freely admit that Girls is one of those shows where I initially thought Great, just what we need. Another young-pretty-white-people-in-New York show. How could we ever get enough of those! But, I kept hearing about it and when we decided to give it a try we sort of hated most of the main characters...and found them fascinating. Creator/writer/producer/star Lena Dunham has given us the most confused, self-absorbed group of fuck-ups who still manage to be watchable that I've ever seen. They are brutally aware of their friends' foibles while being blind to their own. They also constantly get themselves into funny bits of odd trouble that you simply can't look away from. In short? They're young, stupid and human. I enjoy Girls a LOT more than my young-pretty-white-people-in-New York barometer should allow me to, which is a huge testament to the joys that lie herein. This is also over for the year; watch on HBO GO. Or, wait until the first season DVD comes out. Favorite Line: "I know all the dick moves, OK? Don't be a dick."

3) Episodes

Episodes is, by far, one of the funniest shows that's come along in recent years. If you haven't heard already, Matt LeBlanc (yeah, Joey from Friends) stars as an uber-douchey version of himself in this show about the making of a sitcom. We get a view of the unbelievably hard work that goes into making even the most mediocre of TV shows, all while providing steady laughs when the characters inevitably blow up their own lives. This one's still playing on Showtime for a few weeks, but there's a whole first season available on DVD for you to catch up on. Favorite Line: "Well, I guess things did get kinda blowy and sucky."

What shows do you look forward to every week?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuesday Tipday: How To Say No

...These women were unable to say no. You don't want to end up like them, in a bundle on the floor with your ass showing, do you?

If you look at a women's magazine in any given month, chances are you will come upon an article discussing how hard it is for women to say no to demands on their time by other people.

Not only have I never been one of these women, but I don't entirely understand them. Maybe it's because I don't have children or tons of family responsibilities, or maybe it's because a sometimes not so gentle undercurrent of depression runs through my everyday life. Either way, I'm pretty good at saying no.

So, for everyone who has trouble with it, here are some steps you can take to free yourself from the tyranny of yes.

How To Say No

1) Start with yourself. "No" seems so negative, doesn't it? You probably don't say it because you're afraid of hurting people's feelings or seeming selfish. The first key is to stop thinking about "no" in such negative terms. When you say NO to other people, what you're really doing is saying YES to yourself. If you're faced with a business offer or invitation, or asked for money you'd rather not give, think about what you need to do with the time, money, knowledge or whatever else has been asked of you. When you think of saying NO to others as simply saying YES to your own life, it's easier to realize it's not so bad.

2) Work up to it... If you really can't fathom turning down any request, you may need to ease yourself into it. Would you like to come to my Bachelorette finale viewing party? asks the woman at work you hate talking to in regards to a show you happen to also hate. Tell her you need to check your calendar, then when she asks again a few days later, thank her for the invitation and tell her you've got a family event that night. She doesn't need to know that "family event" is code for a long bath, delivered pizza and a Gilmore Girls marathon with your husband.

3) ...But don't coddle yourself. The white lie route will only get you so far. Plus, you can't do that forever. Eventually you're going to have to bust out the dreaded two letter word. Practice with those small, everyday questions if working up to no keeps you stuck in I'll-think-about-it land. Do you want fries with that? NO. Can I talk to you about our new credit protector plan? NO. Are you alright? NO. The sex was good last night, wasn't it? NO. You get the picture...

4) Stay positive. Remember that you're only saying no to say yes to your own needs. As a result, it's often a good idea to couch your response in as much positivity as you can, depending on the situation. Here's how this works. You get the question: We really need a new chair for this event. You've worked with us for a long time, would you like to take over? You think: The reason they need a new chair is because the stress of planning always drives the previous chair insane. I am too busy, important and happy to go crazy right now. You say: Wow, thanks for thinking of me, but, no. I really have too much going on to devote enough time to chairing the event. I'll certainly volunteer again, though! See? Easy!

Now go take that bath, eat that pizza and watch TV. You've earned it!

What do you have trouble saying no to?


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