Dirty Q-Tips

This weekend we had a party at our apartment and about 15 people stopped by. My husband graciously cleaned the house before the party so I could do all of the food prep. Everything was spotless.

I made sure that I emptied the bathroom trash right before the party, to keep the house spotless before guests arrived. Then about half way through the party I was in the bathroom and I noticed that there were three very dirty Q-Tips in the trash can. I only noticed them because there was nothing else in the trash.

At first I thought they may have been my husband’s Q-Tips, but I realized I emptied the trash after his shower, and he would have never let his ears get that dirty. So it was definitely one of our guests.

Our Q-Tips are right out in the open, so anyone who wants to use them can. But, the color of the used swabs in the trash led me to believe that the person who used them hadn’t cleaned their ears in quite a while. So while I am glad they cleaned their ears at our party, I hope that they invest some money in cotton swabs in the near future as who knows when they will be back at our place where they can clean their ears again.

But to whomever had the dirty ears, don’t feel bad. I had a mortifying bellybutton experience at the dermatologist last year that I can tell you about sometime.

It was definitely worse than your three dirty Q-Tips.

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Sweet Singing in the Choir

b929b112660c32b65d6077d249b2e294I sing in a community choir in Brooklyn. Over the past 4 years, the membership cost of the choir has doubled and the school we are associated with has shortened the number of our performances. This fall we went 3 weeks with inadequate light in our rehearsal room before they changed the lightbulbs and the staff was annoyed that we even asked to have the bulbs changed.

We always have a winter concert in January or February, and that means having rehearsal on MLK Day, an observed holiday in NYC. We also have a summer concert that happens right after Memorial Day and we have to rehearse on Memorial Day.

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Facebook

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Changes to the Facebook platform were reported in the New York Times this morning. It seems as Facebook is changing their algorithm to prioritize friends and family in the newsfeed over viral content.

I deleted the Facebook app and messenger app from my phone about six months ago and have limited my interactions by logging in once a day during the week and ignoring it on the weekends. When I log on, I tend to any messages I have, delete any memories I don’t care about, and check my notifications. Then, I log off.

I have threatened to completely leave Facebook in the past, but haven’t brought myself to actually leave the platform. After reading today’s news, I realized that prioritizing friends and family wasn’t going to pull me back in. Limiting my Facebook usage sprung from two other issues I have with the platform.

 

The first is logging on and immediately being emotionally bombarded about things that don’t matter to me. A good example of this would be a devasting post about a death of a young family member of someone I haven’t spoken to in 20 years. It may be sad, but in the grand scheme of my life, it’s not important. These “emotional bombs” were getting too much of my empathetic attention. The kind of attention that should be reserved for people who are actually within my real friends and family circle.

The second is the growing psychological findings that people who are truly unhappy post more on social media than others. In addition to this, Facebook “likes” act like dopamine in the brain so people who need mental validation to increase their emotional stability often post more than other users to get that positive high.

When I read about the above, I started realizing that some people I frequently see in-person, who are not happy with their lives for one reason or another, fall into the trap of constantly posting about how wonderful their lives are on Facebook. I often wonder aloud, “You literally just told me how unhappy you are, but yet you seem to be having the time of your life as per your Facebook page.” So, I started questioning a good deal of what I was seeing in my timeline. This realization of this highly curated content made the whole platform seem inauthentic, so I stopped constantly scrolling through my newsfeed as it was all starting to look like fake news.

I have found limiting my use of the platform has greatly improved the quality of my day to day life. However, my time away from Facebook hasn’t given me back a ton of time. I still find myself on Instagram wasting an hour, or two, of my day. But, I do walk away from Instagram feeling more positive and less emotionally drained than I would if I had spent the same amount of time on Facebook.

 

Shovel it, Please

I am feeling old and grumpy as hell today. Sorry to anyone who may have encountered me in my fury.

We have a law here in NYC that you have to shovel at least a four foot pathway for pedestrians in front of your property.

For the past 6 winters this piece of crap CVS on Nostrand Avenue does the laziest job of shoveling and I am sick of it. So today I decided I had enough of their crap and I reported them to 311. Perhaps 311 is a black hole of complaints, but it still felt good to report them.

The owners of the property never shovel, they took the self checkout lanes out of the store so the lines are too goddamned long, and their prices are higher than Manhattan.

Just look at that lazy shoveling job:

I’m turning into my father.