Rant Alert: I’m cold, you guys. I’m cold.

I have a complicated relationship with the cold.

I’m usually hot. The summer I spent in New York, a city that fosters a special type of muggy, only amplified by it’s general summertime hot dog water aroma, one of my favorite past times was just going to stand in the Bed, Bath & Beyond fan aisle. All of the display models were turned on, and I’d just… stand there. And it was typically the first moment in the day where I didn’t feel like I would actually rage murder the next person who blew their cigarette smoke in my face as we were walking down the sidewalk. It was brilliant.

Heat makes me feel crazy. I feel faint, but raging. Sick to my stomach, but furious. And mysteriously, a little bit sleepy all the time.

I once yelled, “I’m sorry! I’m just so hot!” in a fight with my friend when I went to visit her in LA. I forgot what we were fighting about, but I definitely yelled it while sitting in front of her open refrigerator, holding a bottle of her rose to the back of my neck. (She has since forgiven me. I think.)

I always run hot, and I know that I’m not great about it. But this morning Facebook informed me four years ago today, I announced my move to Wisconsin. And four years ago, plus a week or two, this hot-blooded person learned about the cold.

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Rombola is the Bomb-ola*

Sometimes in the course of my research/googles-gone-awry, I run into things that are too charming, interesting, or striking for me not to share. No advice, no pearls of wisdom- I’m definitely, pretty much, mostly very certain those are reasons you decide to stop by- just something cool that might brighten your day. This week? The illustrations of John Rombola.

*I’m so sorry.

“Technological Family,” 1966

“Portrait of a Fencer,” 1958

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Fonts and Footnotes: Deciphering Email Signatures

Public domain, 1970.

We survived the first work week of 2018!

Did anyone else feel like it was harder than it should have been? That it shouldn’t have felt like such an unholy slog? That it shouldn’t have left me wondering how much money I would pay someone to wheel me, still in desk chair, the half mile to my car, dump me in, and return the desk chair to my office because I was too tired to move on Friday at quitting time?

I forget the exact figure I decided, but I would pay extra for those who provided in-chair-flight snacks.

The holidays were lovely but fast, so they left me on Tuesday morning, sitting at my desk, looking at my inbox, thinking, “so, we’re still doing this, huh?”

Realistically, the grown-up half of my brain knows that returning from vacation is always hard and is exacerbated by the fact the air just smacks you right in the face every time you go outside. (I looked at my phone’s weather app, and thought, “well, that’s not so bad” when it said it was -2 degrees outside. Something is wrong.)

The dramatic half of my brain is just indignant that anyone is making me do anything ever. #howdareyou

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Do It Better: New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year’s, everybody!

Hope you had a fun but responsible end to 2017. Personally, I fell asleep at 10:30 watching the new season of Black Mirror, woke back up at 12:40, and thought, “well….it’s 2018 now.” I guess you could say things got pretty wild.

But it is now, in fact, the new year which means for many, it’s time to talk about resolutions. My 2017 resolutions were actually pretty successful.

Some of last year’s resolutions:

Pictured: Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff; Who Thought This Was a Good Idea by Alyssa Mastromonaco; One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul; and Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

  • Take a class. And I did!
  • Have better posture. I’m currently hunched over my laptop, through my knees which are tucked on either side of me in my ergonomically questionable Ikea chair. This resolution could have gone better.

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Decision-Making: Science or Just Hunches and Guesses and Stuff?

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Reasons and thoughts behind my decision-making:

Listening to my heart- My heart song is just someone distractedly mumbling about cheese. Sometimes, “Be Prepared” from The Lion King.

A coin-flip!– “Heads, I put on comfy pants. Tails, I also put on comfy pants.”

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Coffee Tasting Experiences: When is Coffee More Than a Morning Beverage

I recently subscribed to a monthly subscription service for coffee beans.

The company sends me a bag of coffee every month, and often times, a small card with a description of the coffee, any particular brewing instructions, or just a particularly artistic shot of coffee grounds.

But recently, the small card including a “digression .”

The card reads: “We find the experience of brewing Beta Blend – of taking that first, refreshing sip after the heavy intensity of our other blends- is a bit like exiting a tucked-away Tokyo sento’s hot tub, dousing oneself in cold water, and then snagging a candy on the way out.”

After googling “Tokyo sento hot tub,” it seems like I finally found a company that understands my coffee drinking experience! For you see, I don’t just drink a cup of coffee. That would be crazy talk! I brew it, make unbroken eye contact with it, find out everything about its thoughts on Picasso’s Blue period, and then I drink it. Here are some reactions to the the coffees I’ve had recently:

“This coffee tastes like taking a walk in the snow, listening to “Purple Rain” by Prince, accidentally ending up in Narnia, discussing Narnia-world history with Mr. Tumnus, and then splitting a candied orange while you wait for your Uber to come pick you up and take you home because you don’t know the way back from Narnia.”

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Evergleam: The History of Aluminum Trees

I live in a studio apartment, and I have a studio apartment sized tree. It’s 24 inches tall, and is made of gold tinsel. Like everything I own, I got it at Target.

I’ve had artificial trees for most of my life. For over a decade, my family had a tree that we assembled branch by branch, each row identified by the alphabet, each year remembering that in a strangely whimsical turn, the Christmas tree company left out the “L” row. There was no L.

As my aesthetic could best be described as “all the colors,” it only made sense that in college, I made the switch from a green fake tree, to a small, iridescent bubblegum pink tree. I also got it at Target.

In college, you could spot these tinsel-trees everywhere. Coming in countless colors, they were tailor-made for a college dorm room, perfectly complimenting your bright blue quilted duvet cover you got at Target, your yellow retro-styled table lamp you got at Target, and your reproductions of vintage French theater posters you got not at Target, but at the campus poster sale at the beginning of the year.

But their history started decades earlier. It’s predecessor was the Aluminum tree.

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