If It’s Not Catalan, It’s Crap! (My Trip to Barcelona)

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My husband and I just got back from a trip to Barcelona, Spain – our first vacation outside of North America.

I did a lot of research while planning this trip so we wouldn’t come off as dumb Americans in a foreign land. I also practiced my high school/Floridian Spanish for months leading up to our trip. For the most part, I think this effort paid off and we came off as dumb citizens of some ambiguously white country, but not necessarily Trumpland. (A fellow tourist from Italy thought we were Dutch, which is awesome. One of our servers at a nice restaurant said she thought we were French, but she might have just been fucking with me.)

No matter how much you prepare for visiting another country for the first time, there are going to be surprises. I will share with you some of mine.

Myth Versus Fact: An Examination of My Own Preconceptions About Barcelona Versus My Actual Experience

Myth: Most people in Europe speak decent English.

Fact: About half of the people I encountered were worse at English than I am at Spanish.

(Note: I am not fluent in Spanish. Duolingo puts me at about 50%, but as I’ve mentioned before, their program isn’t necessarily the most practical for traveling.)

I was really looking forward to testing out my Spanish language skills, so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too easy to speak English with everyone. That being said, I was surprised to find that so many people working in positions serving tourists spoke little to no English. I’m talking about people working at Barcelona Sants train station, servers in restaurants, that sort of thing.

I didn’t encounter a single cab driver who spoke English. No big deal. I can, “Vamos a la playa” my way to the beach. The problem arises when the cabbie is trying to tell you, in rapid Spanish, that he can’t take you to Barceloneta beach because (and here is where my Spanish falls short) something along the lines of lots of people in the street and when you nicely ask him, in Spanish, to please speak more slowly, he starts gesticulating and pointing to some government building and several other areas on the map and shaking his head. No bueno. (I saw on the news that morning that there was some Catalonia versus Spain shit going down, so I assumed that’s what he was talking about. More on that to follow.)

Myth: Everyone in Barcelona speaks Catalan and Spanish. Catalan is appreciated, but Spanish is fine.

Fact: If it’s not Catalan, it’s crap!

As I mentioned before, I did my research before this trip. I knew that Spain was divided into semi-autonomous regions, with Barcelona being in Catalonia. I knew that Catalans are very proud of their culture and language. I also rationalized that since Spain is spoken in half of the damn world and everybody in Catalonia speaks Spanish, they would still appreciate that I was making the effort to communicate with them in one of their languages instead of expecting them to speak English.

They were underwhelmed by my Spanish.

Every time we went out to eat, I would order for us and speak with the servers in Spanish. I wasn’t perfect, but we were able to communicate. At the end of the meal, my husband, who barely speaks his native language of English, would say, “Compte, si us plau?” and they would throw a damn party. (That’s “Check, please?” in Catalan.) He only knew that damn phrase because I told him. He didn’t even pronounce it correctly. It really chapped my ass.

When we were in Sagrada Familia, I asked a man working there, in Spanish, where the bathrooms were. He got huffy and said something about my “Castellano” (Spanish) and answered me in English. I have to assume he was pissed I didn’t use Catalan, because I know my Spanish for asking for the bathrooms is on point. (I even made sure to use Castellano rather than Español so as not to confuse anyone. Didn’t matter.) He would have rather spoken English than the tongue of his oppressors. My bad, I guess.

Note: I did not realize, until getting to Barcelona, how high tensions are between Catalans and Spaniards. I also didn’t realize the vote to secede was coming up on October 1, or that Spain might not recognize the validity of the outcome. It’s obviously complicated, and we don’t hear about any of this in the United States because we’re so consumed with what the man-child we have in office is doing. I know it’s not all about me. Honest.

Myth: Spanish food will be awesome! Yay!

Fact: I hope you like octopus.

I figured that a city on the Mediterranean would serve a lot of seafood. That’s cool – I love seafood! I did not realize it would be all the weird shit like octopus, squid, mussels, etc. Where the hell were the empanadas?

Part of the problem was that we never really got on the local eating schedule. In Spain, they eat lunch, their big meal, in the afternoon. They eat dinner at 10pm. I just couldn’t do it. We ended up eating tapas for nearly every meal, and small plates of shellfish get old after a while.

But what about jamón ibérico?? Everybody told me jamón would be life-changing. Eh. I mean, it was tasty, don’t get me wrong. But so was the Publix bacon my husband cooked for breakfast when we got home.

We did have one amazing dinner at a restaurant called Tickets that we had to reserve two months in advance. The food was incredible and interesting. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That being said, the cost of dinner was INSANE. I’m glad we tried it, but damn. It’s a good thing we were tipsy when the bill arrived.

Myth: A ten hour transatlantic flight is going to suck donkey balls.

Fact: International flights kick ass.

I don’t particularly like flying. I’m not afraid of crashing or anything, but I do get nauseated with a side of claustrophobia. Airplanes just always seem like big germ-mobiles crammed to bursting with cranky people and their stinky food.

International flying is a whole other thing.

The plane was bigger. The seats were bigger. We flew economy plus on the way there, and I actually had too much leg room – my feet barely touched the floor. It was bananas.

The plane was kept pretty dark for both our overnight flight to Barcelona and our daytime return flight. (I don’t know if there is some psychological voodoo at work with the lighting, but the other passengers were much less annoying than I am used to when flying domestic.)

We had those entertainment screens with all the movies/tv/games you could ever want. (Those are hit or miss on the domestic flights I take.) On top of all that, they bring food constantly. Each flight had two meals and a couple of snacks. I was never hungry. I know people will make jokes about airline food, but I liked it. I liked unwrapping all the individual components. What in here? Potatoes! What’s this? Ice cream! (I also get excited for the tiny ketchup bottles that come with room service at hotels. Sue me.)

Basically, our flights consisted of me sitting on my ass in a mostly comfortable seat, eating snacks and watching tv. For ten hours. What’s not to like about that?

Next time I go home to Michigan, I’m flying KLM by way of Amsterdam.

What We Actually Did in Barcelona (Pictures!)

(Click on individual photos for full size and complete captions!)

We’re Here!

Our first evening, we grabbed a bite in a tapas bar recommended by the front desk person at the hotel. (We had flown overnight, leaving Atlanta at 10:30 pm on Friday and, after adjusting for the time difference, arriving in Barcelona around 5 pm on Saturday.)

It’s funny that this was the first place we went since it was probably the least touristy spot. There were no individual menus – they were just posted on the walls. In Catalan. (Even our Google Translate couldn’t figure out what they said, as you’ll see with our final bill.)

We ended up talking to one of the servers who spoke halfway decent English (except that he kept calling me “sir”) and ordering a few of their popular dishes. We were tired and didn’t care much what we were eating. I will say that this place, Bar Mut, had the best tomato bread of anywhere in Barcelona. It was awesome.

 

Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres

We took the high speed rail from Barcelona to Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali Theatre-Museum. (The high speed rail was awesome. Quick, efficient, comfortable.)

The Dali Museum was incredible. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of his work. I’ve previously been to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida (both the old and new ones), where the second largest collection of his work is housed. The museum in Figueres in much, much larger. There were paintings, sculptures, and jewelry created by Dali, as well as works from other artists from his own personal collection. If you are a fan of Dali and are in Spain, you have to visit Figueres.

Park Güell:

I’m glad I didn’t realize what a climb it would be to get to Park Güell, or I might not have wanted to do it. We didn’t pay to go inside and see the monuments, but the view from the top was breathtaking.

Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is arguably the most famous building in Barcelona. We knew this was something we wanted to see inside and out. The story itself is fascinating. Started in 1866 and still under construction, this architectural masterpiece has to be seen in person to be appreciated.

Trying to take pictures of Sagrada Familia is like trying to take pictures of the Empire State Building; You just can’t capture the enormity of it.

But here are our crappy photos anyway. (Our resident Catholic is at work while I write this, so I will do my best to caption the pictures. Don’t expect much.)

Amazing Dinner at Tickets

I mentioned earlier that we had an amazing dinner at Tickets restaurant. The meal was a series of small courses chosen by the chef. We didn’t give them any restrictions (other than a price point that eventually went out the window).

I took photos, of course, but we were drinking a LOT of wine, so I can’t remember exactly what everything was. I’ll do my best. Also, sometimes we started pawing at the food before I remembered to take a photo. Oops.

 

Fun fact: One of the servers in the dessert room was from Kalamazoo. She volunteered that information when I mentioned that she looked American. How crazy it that? (Kalamazoo, a Michigan town of < 80,000 people is my hometown too!)

More Barcelona…

Random photos as well as famous modernist building La Pedrera and the Block of Discord.

So, that was our trip to Barcelona. We didn’t get to see every last thing, but in less than a week we struck a good balance between exploration and day drinking.

It was a wonderful vacation, and a great way to visit Europe for the first time. It might have even made me appreciate the United States a bit more. (Especially the giant cheeseburger and fries I ordered as soon as we got home.)

¡Gracías Barcelona!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be Silent

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I don’t know what to say anymore, but I don’t want to be silent either.

A year ago I wrote this, which started out as a review of the movie Straight Outta Compton, but it naturally turned into an indictment of police brutality against black people. Another year has passed and today my social media feed is filled with news of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was pinned to the ground by police and shot dead. Philando Castile being shot by police during a traffic stop. I watched the video. It is horrifying. (In the day it took me to finish writing this, I had to update the information above to reflect the latest police shooting of a black man.)

I remember seeing the video of Rodney King being beaten by police 25 years ago. I remember being shocked that it happened. I remember being more shocked that the police officers went unpunished. In 25 years, nothing has changed except that I am no longer shocked. Still horrified, but not shocked. It doesn’t matter that these murders are caught on video. The police are killing with impunity and people can yammer about #AllLivesMatter as much as they want, but police are killing black people, specifically. All lives aren’t at stake here; Black lives are.

I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I don’t know where I fit into this discussion. My whiteness protects me. I have never felt fear when being pulled over by police. I can drunkenly approach a couple of cops and ask them about their weapons and they will answer me and chuckle.

Then I thought about how I feel when a man calls himself a feminist and speaks out against campus rape culture. Do I appreciate his involvement or do I think, “That’s great that you care, but you will never understand the vulnerability that comes with being a woman”? Both, I guess. Maybe if more men became involved in the discussion, the focus would be on how not to rape rather than how not to be raped. Maybe if more white people become involved in this discussion we can shift the focus back to the real problem: the police.

Why should my black friends have to teach their children how not to get shot by police? That’s like teaching our daughters how not to get raped. Stop putting the onus on the victim!

Dear fellow white people, please just ask yourself this question: “What have I told my children about the police?” Have you told them that if they are ever lost, they should look for a police officer to help them? Now take a minute and ask your black friends what they have told their children about the police. (If you don’t have any black friends, watch this.)

There is a problem with the police in this country. We need to fix it. If we don’t, this country is going to explode. I’m old enough to remember the Los Angeles riots after the LAPD officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted. If we don’t stop this insanity soon, the whole country is going to burn.

Nobody has the luxury of ignoring this any longer. I don’t care what race you are. This affects all of us. I don’t know what to do. I have no fucking idea. All I can do is talk about it. All I can do is tell you I care about what’s happening. I will continue to have uncomfortable conversations about white privilege. I will keep challenging the idea that we live in a post-racial society just because we have a black president. I will keep stating what should be obvious: BLACK LIVES MATTER.

I won’t be silent because silence implies acquiescence. I don’t want there to be any doubt about whose side I’m on.

 

Pure Bullshit

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If you seek a pleasant peninsula, try Florida instead.

Today I came across an article declaring that Michigan is America’s #1 State.

I’m from Michigan. I spent the first 28 years of my life there, and I can tell you that this article is full of shit. If the categories are “Least Drinkable Water” and “Most Boarded-Up Strip Malls” then we might have had a chance at #1. Let’s look at what actually went into this “best state” bullshit, shall we?

“The Motor City’s become a scrappily rising underdog you can’t help but root for, but Michigan’s greatest strengths lie in the state as a whole.

Nope. Listen, we all want Detroit to make a comeback. But as long as you can buy a 2,000+ square foot home for $500, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of work to be done. (Go ahead and look at the crime map for that neighborhood. Zoom out a little. Zoom out a little more. No thank you.)

Alright, Detroit’s a war zone. Okay. But what about the rest of the state?

“Did you know Michigan has more coastline than any state other than Alaska?

I think maybe we need to have a talk about the difference between quantity and quality. “Coastline” doesn’t do you a lot of good when the average temperature for Lake Superior is 40 degrees. I spent summers swimming in Lake Michigan at South Haven, but you wouldn’t catch me going much further north for a dip.

But what about the beer, Tina? What about the damn beer?

“Did you know it has such an embarrassment of beer riches that you can easily hit Bell’s and Founders in the same afternoon?”

Okay, I like beer too, and Bell’s is awesome, no doubt. But you know what is great about Bell’s? I can go to the store here in Atlanta and get some. Restaurants have it too. It’s almost as if you don’t have to live in that shitty state just to drink their delicious beer. Oh wait, it’s EXACTLY like that.

“Did you know the UP is so remote and uniquely beautiful that it almost feels like a secret 51st state where they inexplicably love British meat pies?”

My husband is a Yooper. He grew up in Escanaba, on the coast of the part of Lake Michigan that is too fucking cold to swim in. I’ve been there many times. The meat pies – called pasties – are indeed delicious, but meat pies only get you so far. What about the remoteness and beauty? Well, the UP  is remote. You have to drive at least an hour if you want to buy your clothes anywhere other than JC Penney or Shopko. Or if you want to go to a concert. Or see a real doctor.

“Did you know most residents are more than happy to apologize for Kid Rock?”

I’m sorry. But we also gave you Eminem, so…even?

“Michigan is home to the greatest sports city in the country.”

The actual fuck? The Detroit Lions are the worst team in the history of people getting together and throwing balls at each other. Their fans, of which my husband is one, are going to hate me for saying that. Lions fans are like that girl you were friends with in high school whose boyfriend constantly cheated on her. Every time she would break up with him and say “No more!” but then they win one game and the next thing you know she’s letting him break her heart again every Sunday. Every fucking Sunday.

“You can point out where you live just by showing people your hand.”

This is true and everybody does it and it’s kind of funny, but really? If your digits are even a little bit flexible, you can make just about any state work. I just flipped my mitten hand and turned it upside and now it’s Florida! Also, we have Google Maps now, so who cares?

What did the article have to say about the worst states?

“The worst state in the union? Yep, that would be Florida. And Ohio, labeled by Thrillist as ‘the Florida of the North,’ is right near the bottom at 48th.”

Okay, that cracks me up because I left Michigan to move to Ohio and then I left Ohio to move to Florida. (I recently left Florida to move to my current residence in Atlanta, GA.)

Florida is awesome. I mean, the people are batshit crazy and racist and it’s too hot to go out in the summer and there are hurricanes and flooding, but the beaches are amazing. In any “Top Ten Beaches in the United States” list, there will always be a few from Florida. Do you know how many Michigan beaches are on those lists? None. Because it’s Michigan and it’s mitten-shaped coastline is unusable for most of the year. Also, the houses in Florida are affordable and there’s no state income tax.

And if Ohio as “the Florida of the North” then Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the Alabama of the North. When my husband was a kid, he got the first day of hunting season off of school. It was a school holiday. He had a mullet until his second year of college. Trust me, with Michigan, the further north you go, the more “southern” it gets.

Now I live in Atlanta and I love it, but I’m not going to tell you why it’s so great. We have too many people here as it is. Check out Detroit instead. I hear it’s a buyers’ market.

 

 

A Peek Inside My Brain: My Swype Custom Dictionary

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There were no copyright-free images of cell phones from this century.

If you really want to know what’s important to someone, take a peek inside their phone’s custom dictionary. Which curse words do they use enough to add? What prescription medications are they on? What’s their WIFI password?

With the exception of my WIFI password and email addresses, here is my unedited custom dictionary. I curse a lot. (Big surprise.) I like Mexican food. I talk about health issues more than I thought. I’m constantly looking for better makeup.

But really, the first entry says it all.

  1. adulting – Adulting is hard AF. Sometimes you have to text about it.
  2. Alexa – Honestly, no fucking idea. I don’t know anyone named Alexa, let alone anyone I text about enough to need her name in my custom dictionary. Alexa, if you’re out there, who are you? Why were you important to me once?
  3. arugula – Arugula is my favorite salad green of all time and I eat the fuck out of it.
  4. ass – self-explanatory
  5. asshole – self-explanatory
  6. Ayanna – a super cool girl from high school who lives in the city I just moved to. What up Ayanna?
  7. bitch – self-explanatory
  8. bitches – when there’s more than one.
  9. boob – Sometimes I want to talk about one of my boobs.
  10. Boobies – Sometimes I want to talk about both of my boobs.
  11. Boobs – see above
  12. Bukowski – My dad sent me a book of Charles Bukowski poetry for my birthday and I’m still trying to figure out if I like it.
  13. bullshit – self-explanatory
  14. cantina – No idea why or when I’m talking about cantinas.
  15. Celexa – Because sometimes you need to counsel your best friend on anti-depressants that have worked for you in the past that she might want to try.
  16. Chobani – My favorite yogurt. I eat the fuck out of this. But you have to watch out for those Chobani flips. They’re addictive.
  17. Cinco – Probably added this when I was deluding myself into thinking I would go out for Cinco De Mayo. I did not. But we did get Mexican takeout from our favorite place.
  18. crap – self-explanatory
  19. crappy – self-explanatory
  20. cryotherapy – Fucking lady problems. You don’t want this done to your cervix. Trust me. You’ll be texting about it for weeks.
  21. Cunt – self-explanatory
  22. Cunty – Acting like a cunt. Duh.
  23. Damn – How is this not in the default dictionary. It’s pretty fucking tame.
  24. Dekalb – Moved here 3 months ago. Still not quite sure if it’s pronounced “De-kalb or De-cab”.
  25. dick – self-explanatory
  26. emasculates – Um, this is a real word that wasn’t in my dictionary so I had to add it. I’m guessing Swype was designed by a man. Also, I should probably be nicer to my husband.
  27. emojis – When you want to talk about emojis.
  28. farting – It happens. Sometimes you have to talk about it.
  29. Fortysomething – This is me. I’m not happy about it.
  30. Fuck – self-explanatory
  31. fuck – self-explanatory
  32. Fucked – self-explanatory
  33. fucked – Yeah, I guess I say “fuck” a lot. Enough to need separate entries for my capitalized “fucks”.
  34. fucking – verb form
  35. fucks – more than one fuck.
  36. Gaby’s – Gaby is the realtor who helped us find our rental house. I had a love/hate relationship with Gaby. It’s complicated.
  37. ginormous – Bigger than enormous.
  38. Glominerals – Best mineral foundation out there, but make sure you google that shit and find the best price.
  39. GTA – From my brief love affair with Grand Theft Auto. I eventually gave up when it took me an hour just to get C.J. on his fucking bike.
  40. hell – self-explanatory
  41. hooker – This is a real word. I don’t know what I was talking about that necessitated my adding it to my dictionary, but it should have already been there.
  42. incisor – Those little teeth in the front. They come up in conversation more often than say, molars.
  43. Inseminated – When you’ve been trying to get pregnant for over two years, you will talk about sexy shit like this.
  44. Jordana – I always think I want to try this cheap-ass makeup, but I never do.
  45. kombucha – Bought three bottles of this on a day when I was feeling particularly white. It was okay.
  46. Larabar – Fucking love these motherfuckers. I eat them every day.
  47. lasered – Recently got my face lasered. Want to do it again.
  48. lotta – Slang for “a lot”. Not to be confused with Ray Liotta. “All my life, all I ever wanted to be was a gangster.” Shit, I need to rewatch Goodfellas. I love that movie.
  49. milani – Cheap-ass makeup. Their eye shadow primer is the shit.
  50. motherfucker – Maybe this should be two words, but this motherfucker ain’t got time for that.
  51. Nyx – Best cheap makeup there is.
  52. orgasmability – An important consideration when trying new medications, like the Celexa mentioned above. (For the record, Celexa did not affect my orgasmability. Prozac though? Dead from the waist down.)
  53. Parilla – La Parilla is our favorite Mexican restaurant for takeout and the reason I am seven pounds heavier than when we moved here three months ago.
  54. pissing – self-explanatory
  55. porn – self-explanatory
  56. redneck – Maybe this should be two words or hyphenated, but it’s not like a redneck is going to know the difference and complain.
  57. Revenant – I literally texted this once to my husband as a Redbox suggestion. He brought home “Sisters”. Hilarious though. (“Sisters” that is. I still haven’t seen “The Revenant”.)
  58. Sammiches – Sammiches and Psych Meds is the first website that ever paid me to write. I love them.
  59. schmoopy – My husband and I call each other this because we are gross and like Seinfeld.
  60. selfie – I hate myself for having added this.
  61. Selfies – Still hate myself, but everybody knows you can’t get a good selfie in one try.
  62. Seltzer – The name of my husband’s and my former primary care doctor. That dude was just counting the days to retirement. Can we get some Xanax? No, we could not.
  63. semen – Another delightfully unsexy term that couples struggling with infertility talk about over text messages. “How much semen did you give in your sample?” “About a quart or so.” “Impressive.”
  64. Shit – self-explanatory
  65. shit – self-explanatory
  66. shitty – self-explanatory
  67. smeller – I am a super smeller. I can smell things nobody else can smell. Sometimes I text my husband about it when I’m following my nose all over the house trying to decide what smells weird. (It wasn’t his gym shoes, by the way. It was the Chlorox Clean Up I used on the counters! I know! I was surprised too.)
  68. smuckers – They make the best natural peanut butter ever. But you better log that shit in your calorie counter because it adds up fast.
  69. sonofabitch – Son of a bitch is just funnier as one word.
  70. sumbitch – It’s even funnier when you spell it like this!
  71. tankini – I have no idea why this is in my custom dictionary. I’ve never worn a tankini.
  72. Topamax – This shit will cure your migraines. It makes soda taste weird, but it’s worth it.
  73. twerked – From that one time I wrote about Miley Cyrus? I’m really not sure.
  74. WHR – This is the company that handled a large portion of our relocation to Atlanta. They were great.
  75. Willivee – This is the name of a street a few blocks from us. I want to buy a house there, so I search for houses for sale on Willivee and Trulia says, “Bitch, you can’t afford that.”
  76. yardwork – I love doing yard work and apparently I love it so much I want it to be one word. But seriously, yardword helps me stay fit and stay sane. It’s the best thing ever. And yes, I’ll totally rake your leaves for you this fall.

There it is. If you’re feeling bold, leave a comment with some of the weirdest words from your custom dictionary. Only your phone knows who you really are.

 

 

The Konmari Method: You Are Hurting Your Underwear’s Feelings

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpLately, the awesome ladies in my circle of awesome ladies have been talking about the Konmari method of tidying as presented in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. When I heard them extolling the virtues of the Konmari method and showing me pictures of the “before” (ginormous clothing mountains that eclipse entire bedroom sets of furniture) and “after” (neat closets with space to spare), I downloaded the book immediately.

I’m not someone who has trouble purging old possessions. My parents are hoarders, and I think it turned me into the opposite. If I haven’t worn something in a while, it gets donated to a local charity. I’ve actually found myself looking for something I wanted to wear and then realizing I already donated it. I am fine with this. If something is no longer serving its purpose on a regular basis, it doesn’t belong in my house. (Do you hear that Bryan? Just kidding. Mostly.)

That being said, I knew I could do better. And I did. After reading this book, I went through all of my clothing in the manner prescribed and ended up donating two giant lawn/leaf garbage bags full of clothing, along with half a dozen pairs of shoes and purses. It’s not even like my closet was overflowing when I started. It was a little crowded, but everything fit. I liked Kondo’s idea that holding onto things that don’t “spark joy” gets in the way of enjoying the things that do. I can get on board with that, especially regarding clothing.

Still, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book. Here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads to explain why. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to tackle your glut of possessions using the new-agey Konmari method or if you just want to muscle through it the old-fashioned way by loading up on crystal meth and playing your favorite CD on repeat.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This lady is a little out there for me.

On the one hand, she wants you to anthropomorphize your possessions. How would YOU like to be crumpled up and shoved into a drawer? No? Then don’t do it to your underwear. Um, my underwear hugs my ass and genitals all day, so I think it’s happy to get a reprieve from that chore regardless of whether or not I fold it neatly or shove it in a drawer.

On the other hand, I finally found someone who is even less sentimental than I am. I have no problem throwing a greeting card away after I read it and appreciate the thought. But this lady? She wants you to keep almost nothing. Her philosophy is that once you have looked at something once and enjoyed the experience, that item has served its purpose. Old photos and love letters? Cull those fuckers. Never mind that they take up little space. Small child no longer sparking the joy of a newborn? DESTROY IT. (I might be exaggerating a little on that last point.)

Listen, the TL;DR on this book is: Put all your shit in a big pile and get rid of the stuff you don’t need, use, or love. You know you have too much shit. Just fucking do it already. You know you wear the same five outfits every week – get rid of the rest and stop lying to yourself. The end.

View all my reviews

 

5 Things You Should NEVER Say to an Infertile Couple

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When the subject comes up, well-intentioned people inevitably say one or more of the five following comments. Depending on my mood, I might nod along or change the subject. (Sometimes I have to suppress my face-punching reflex.) I’ve decided to address these issues, so nobody else has to suffer…

For the full article, please visit Sammiches and Psych Meds.