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They say you can tell a lot about a person by her garbage, but I think my recycling is rather more revealing.

Positive Changes

I’ve decided that this summer will be the Summer of Self-Discipline (doesn’t that sound fun??). It’s very hard to change bad habits, but I’ve found that one easy way to do this is to replace your bad habit with a slightly less-bad habit.

For example, I used to drink wine most evenings. I wanted to quit doing this, because it’s expensive, unhealthy, and puts weight on. But I had a problem: when I didn’t have some wine, I wanted some really badly!

Now, I don’t know if this is just a weird quirk about me, but I don’t like to want things I can’t have. If I want something, I prefer to have it.

So I found a solution: instead of wine, I wait until I actually crawl into bed every night, and then I have a couple of fingers’ worth of good whiskey. See? A healthy swap!

Maybe I’ll turn this into a healthy living/personal coaching blog and teach all of you how to be as healthy and disciplined as I am.


Sister Cities

Here’s why I’m a bad blogger: I recently returned from a week-and-a-half long trip to Philadelphia and NYC for work and to visit my mom and my friends. Here are all the things that I could blog about related to this trip:  Continue reading “Sister Cities”

WordCamp Philly 2014

On Saturday, my colleagues and I gave a talk at WordCamp Philly on how to get a reputation for outstanding support without significantly increasing the time you spend giving it. If you’re a developer, designer, or website builder (or if you ever have occasion to work with clients), check out our slides here!

Karen Alma

Two of my colleagues (Deborah Beckett and Elizabeth Urello) and I spoke about support at WordCamp Philadelphia this weekend. This is a modification of the talk I did in Nicaragua a few weeks ago. Elizabeth Urello gets credit for the original idea 🙂

Sadly, these images don’t let you hear our delightful anecdotes and as I like simple slides with not too much info you will just have to imagine the spoken bit. Someday soonish I am sure it will be up on So stay tuned.

Here are the slides:

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A Biblical Plague

There’s a grasshopper outbreak in Albuquerque right now, which may not sound like much, but actually, it’s quite disgusting. They’re all over the place, scampering wildly away from every step you take, like ripples on a pond. On runs, I’ll sometimes accidentally step into a particularly undisturbed area of them, and they’ll ping off the bottom of my hat’s brim, like hailstones. There are so many, they’re showing up on the weather radars.

At night, they plaster themselves to the outside of my screen door, like remora.

The other night, I found one on the floor of my living room. I’m not really squeamish about bugs, but these are so big. They’re the size of a NYC roach, which is an entitled, pushy size for a bug. So I put a water glass over this one and decided to collect it in the morning.

When I lifted the glass off and poked it with a tissue…it was still alive. These things can survive for ten hours without oxygen. If you thought that the plague of grasshoppers was one of the more nancyish plagues, think again. These things are like the walking dead.

(I picked it up in some tissue and threw it outside. Even disgusting grasshoppers have a right to live, I guess.)


On Routine

Remember those bullshit personality tests you had to take in high school that were meant to help you learn more about yourself? And they had five or so personality ‘types’ and those were basically: the madcap adventurer, the dreamy creative, the supersmart genius, the popular social bee, and then, like, the efficient, rule-following accountant?  Continue reading “On Routine”

Some Thoughts on Elliot Rodger

In the aftermath of every tragedy, the tendency is to launch the discussion into a wider sphere, a more abstract, theoretical sphere. Then, there are people who want to rein in this tendency, to bring the focus back to the solitary act, divorced from its context, to have a more comfortable conversation that implicates only one individual, not any sector of society, a conversation that focuses only on the madness we all recognize as such, rather than the poison that floats unseen beneath the surface of our daily assumptions. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Elliot Rodger”

When to Move

I tend to move cities about every four years. This is not a planned thing, it’s just a pattern that seems ingrained in my unconscious, like I’m some kind of slowly migrating bird that only wants to live in progressive cities with a vibrant theater scene.  Continue reading “When to Move”