I'm staycationing this week! And I have to say, I've not been nearly as productive as I'd hoped I'd be, but nonetheless I am enjoying my time off. I hosted a ladies' craft night (drinking, coloring and friendship bracelets!) which is obviously every bit as exciting as it sounds.

I also learned to use iMovie (sort of?) and shot a little how-to video about throwing together a home gym for pocket change. Fact: being in a video on the internet is terrifying. So that's probably coming on Monday if I don't pee myself and delete it before then.

My new absolute favorite thing on the internet bar none (and that's saying a lot, because I have approximately 76,896 favorite internet things) is the Astronomy Picture of the Day. I clicked through all the way back to 2010 and there are still 15 years of archives before that. It's like porn for space nerds.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's springtime and that means there will be more bicycles than usual on the road, so for the love of pete let's all of us take 5 minutes and learn How Not to Kill a Cyclist.

It's BBQ season! Despite being a vegetarian, this makes me crazy excited. I love to grill all the things. How about hummus and grilled vegetable pizza, black bean burgers, balsamic portobello burgers, grilled pepper salad or grilled corn on the cob. GRILL ALL THE THINGS.

Bring your floaties — shit, bring your sailboat — to the largest swimming pool in the world in Algarrobo, Chili.

I hate having my photo taken. So if someone did this to me I would probably curl up into the fetal position and cry forever. But it's funny when it's other people!

I think we can all agree that pollution is foul and awful and in general A Very Bad Thing. But this glass beach in California looks positively magical.

I may or may not have (but definitely did) spend several hours exploring these 360-degree panoramic photos of Norway. Absolutely breathtaking. This one is my favorite.

We're hitting a BBQ on Saturday and probably relaxing the rest of the long Memorial Day weekend. 

What are your weekend plans?

How to plant a simple container herb garden

I didn't plant anything last year and I sorely missed having fresh, homegrown things to nibble on in the house. However, with all the other things I've got going on right now, I really didn't want anything that would involve a huge time commitment. With this in mind, I settled on two small container gardens, a hanging tomato and hanging strawberries.

This is the first container garden I planted. It's a collection of kitchen herbs that I know I'll make use of regularly: Oregano, basil, sage, rosemary and a sad little cilantro plant that the woman at the greenhouse threw in for free. The herbs were $2.40 each, the soil was about $4 and everything else I already had on hand, making the total for this project about $13 and change. Not too shabby.

If you anticipate needing to take your container garden inside (because of frost, heavy rain or just to keep growing through the winter) you can pick up some plastic "saucers" in the garden center at places like Lowes or Home Depot to put under your planter to keep it from leaking water and dirt all over your floor. I found them for less than $2.

I used a planter I already owned with some holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. I had a roll of replacement screen laying around that I cut to fit in the bottom to keep the soil from washing out. You could pretty much any material for this: landscaping fabric, an old tshirt, your worn-out skivvies, etc. Recycling!

Fill 'er up!

I planted my poor, gimpy little cilantro plant in the center. I told it that it was because it's the most important and important plants go in the middle, but it miiiiiiight be because it'll be easier to yank it out if it dies. SHHHHHH DON'T TELL.

And then we just plant everything else in a nice, evenly spaced, OCD-friendly ring around the planter.

I keep sticking my face right in this thing. It smells amazing.




Cilantro. Aren't the little flowers adorable? I just learned that once a cilantro plant flowers (or "bolts") it stops growing leaves and is pretty much useless. Sigh. Oh well.

A note on choosing plants: Get things that have roughly the same growing requirements, especially when it comes to sunlight. For example, all of these herbs do well in full sun.

Clockwise from 12 o'clock: Rosemary, oregano, basil, sage and useless but pretty cilantro in the center.

I like to reward myself for a job well done. Or any job done, really.

What are you growing this year?


I love every single one of these 25 Handmade Gifts Under $5. I've made the cookie mix jars before and they're always a huge hit, especially among my friends who think baking is akin to wizardry.

Have I mentioned that I am bad at lady things? I am bad at lady things. Among the many lady things I cannot do: curling my own hair. My arms just don't work that way and pretty soon I'm snipping smelly, burnt hair clumps all over the bathroom floor. So yeah, No Heat Curls? This is amazing.

These are two of my favorite ladies :)
Read this now: What We’re Really Talking About When We Talk About Hillary Clinton Without Makeup. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jezebel.

Matt Taibbi has a great article at Rolling Stone entitled How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform. I'll tell you right now that it's a long read, but this is important stuff. Be informed!

Think you're not strong enough to do strength training with weights? Good news!

About the video below:
1) This guy's transformation is amazing. I blubbed a bit.
2) Who knew Diamond Dallas Page was still out in the world doing stuff?


Happy Mother's Day, Mama Ginger!

My mom and I spent Saturday visiting Grandma and the rest of our family in the tiny town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Yesterday, for Mother's Day, we hit the green house and bought some veggies and flowers for her garden. Then we loafed around on her deck overlooking the little creek behind her house and enjoyed the mild weather.

I am convinced that my mom is a woman who can weather absolutely anything that life throws at her. She has been with me, and put up with me, through times when I'm certain that most other moms would have lost their shit, and she's done it with grace and unconditional love.

Also, she's a stone cold fox. If I have anyone to thank for my good looks, it's her.

Love you, Mom!


The first Beastie Boys record that I ever heard was Paul's Boutique. When I eventually got my hands on the cassette tape (remember those?) I played it until all the print had rubbed off and I'd pretty much worn out these three tracks. It eventually got lost in the sofa cushions of my life, but the Beasties are still one of my favorite bands and make up easily 50% of my workout playlists. MCA was an all-around rad dude and he will be missed.

MCA's Feminist Legacy.

I wrote a little something for Adulting this week about learning to cook for your fellow adults, and while we're at it, let's just acknowledge that instant mashed potatoes are bullshit.

Trying this over the weekend: Hey I heard you like carbs so I got you a bottle of more carbs to cook your carbs in.

In case anyone needs even more reminding to back the F-up and stop auditing women's bodies, and especially moms' bodies: Jessica Simpson and the Acceptable 'Shape' of Modern Motherhood

"There's nowhere to run when the enemy is within." Hahahahaaaaa amazing.

Maybe I need to step up my lunchmaking game? I would like something in a Fraggle, please.

This is something that any runner could tell you, but now science agrees. Listening to music does indeed make you run faster by up to 15%.

NASA Unveils New Information About Saturn's Irregular Moons

Hilarious and probably NSFW. You've been warned: Wilfred - Kiss Me Kat

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

When I began writing this blog, I decided that I would not politicize it. I have always wanted this blog to be simply about life and about living it joyously and on my own terms.

But friends, in the United States of America, to live one's life joyously and on one's own terms is a privilege afforded to some and not to others. It makes me sad and it makes me angry. That in the year twenty-twelve we're even still having conversations about limiting bodily autonomy or whom is allowed to marry whom blows my f*ing mind.

So I’ll just leave it at this:

I hope that in a few decades, we are able to look back on this time in our Nation’s history and marvel at the absurdity of it all.
“How backwards we were! Can you believe that we treated people that way? How utterly ridiculous.”

We have to try to do better for each other. Every day.

Update: Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. President, for trying to do better.

Adulting Step 209: Be able to cook at least four dinners really well

Today, I'm guest posting over at Adulting about an important adult skill - cooking a nice meal for other adults. Go take a look!

Adulting Step 209: Be able to cook at least four dinners really well

And if you're not reading Adulting yet, get thee over to Kelly's blog and learn how to be a real, honest-to-goodness Grown-Up already, will you?

Don't Believe Your Own Hype (The Law of Awesome)

via RedVelvetPress

Oh hey y'all, it's Story Time!

A few years ago, I was contacted by the owner of an art gallery. The gallery was located on Gallery Row - the city's art district - where hip 20 and 30-somethings congregate in their skinny jeans and oversized sunglasses on Friday nights to drink wine and hobnob. The owner said that she'd seen my photographs online and loved them. Would I like to display some for sale in her gallery?

I fancy myself an amateur photographer at best. I make frequently less than zero dollars on my work, and most of what I do is fun and experimentation. This was literally the first time that a Real Person in the Real World (who was not my Mom) had expressed an interest in my photography.

I was over the moon. Ecstatic.

I spent several days matting, signing, pricing and packaging prints and gleefully delivered an armload to the gallery. I signed my name on the dotted line of a 90-day consignment contract and slept the contented sleep of Those Who Have Arrived. I felt suddenly like a legitimate artist. Awesome.

I resisted the urge to pop into the gallery every other day or to email and ask how sales were doing. No no, I would not be a lunatic about this. I would be cool, unaffected and simply show up at the appointed day to graciously collect my earnings and express my appreciation.

The gallery owner was sweetly apologetic.

"None?" I repeated in disbelief.

"None. I'm really sorry. A lot of people looked at them and had very nice things to say! But no one was buying. You know, the economy."

"Of course! The economy. Well, thanks so much anyway. I'll swing by tomorrow and pick up the prints."

And thus ended my first and only foray into professional photography exhibition.

About a year later, I was contacted by a reporter from the local newspaper. She thought what I was doing with my photography - shooting film with vintage and toy plastic cameras - was interesting. She wanted to write an article about it, about me, in the local section of the paper. We made an appointment for an interview and a photographer was scheduled to come to over and take a few photos of me with my giant mess of cameras.

I can't remember ever having been so nervous. The day of the interview, I Cleaned All The Things and when the reporter arrived, she and I sat chatting comfortably in my office for the better part of an hour. Her questions were interesting and I thought I answered well. I'd managed to project enthusiastic collector and avoided crazed camera hoarder. Success.

via LoveCitron

The whole thing went swimmingly. She would let me know when the article would run.

A month passed. I became sullen. "They're not using it," I assured myself.

Finally, she emailed. "The article is running tomorrow!"

I picked up 6 papers on my way to work. Nervously thumbing to the local section, I began to scan for anything awful, anything tragically stupid that I'd said. Nothing. It was great. It was a really great article. The photo of me that they'd used was sort of bad, but I never photograph well (I realize the irony in this) and it wasn't terrible. Success!

And there at the bottom was my website address! I waited for an influx of traffic. For some surge in readership. For sales in my Etsy shop to spike. For an "Attagirl!" from someone.


I was contacted by two people as a result of the article.

Both of them wanted to sell me their old cameras. Pfft.

I was looking for someone to validate me. To tell me I was awesome. And I got knocked flat on my face. I won't lie. Both of these things were pretty crushing at the time. Tragic. The Saddest Thing Ever to Happen in the History of Everything Ever. Weep.

You've got to learn not to believe your own hype. Enthusiasm and self-confidence have their place, sure. But if you're looking for someone else to validate you - with sales figures, visitor counts, Facebook "likes" - you will almost always be disappointed.

via MicrowaveGirl
Your mantra has to be "Be Awesome."
Be awesome even if no one cares but you.
Be awesome even if no one notices.

Write a novel. Run a race. Travel solo. Learn a language.

Whatever it is, do it just to prove to yourself that you're awesome.

And once you do, you'll probably find that Awesome People have this habit of pulling other awesome people and things into their orbit.

That's called the Law of Awesome.