Random Stuff List

January 3, 2016


Hi friends! It’s our first Random Stuff List of 2016. Who’s excited?

1. I just got back this week from spending the holidays at my family’s house in Buffalo. We always do Christmas a bit strange. Instead of opening presents and having a big meal and doing all those Christmas things on Christmas Day, we end up doing it on whatever day everyone can show up. So our “Christmas” wasn’t until the Sunday after Real Christmas.

Which meant I spent Real Christmas on the couch, introducing my parents to the joys of binge-watching reality TV. I may never give my parents grandkids, but I’d like to think I’ve given them something almost as wonderful. Like, say the knowledge that a show called Married at First Sight exists and it is AMAZING.

2. How was your New Year’s? Did you make resolutions?

I’m usually all about coming up with a big long list of resolutions, which I tell myself that I’ll start once the semester starts. Because, honestly, how can I be expected to achieve goals when I’m on vacation and I’m not even required to put on pants? And then by the time the semester rolls around, I’ve completely forgotten about my resolutions because PANTS ARE STUPID WHY MUST I WEAR PANTS?

This year I decided instead of coming up with a big long list of resolutions, I’d go with the one-word year technique that my cousin told me about this past summer. Basically, you just choose one word to focus on that encompasses all the things you want to do and accomplish during the year.

I tossed around lots of different possible one words. Like “progress.” (BOR-ing. It makes me sound like a bank.) And “balance.” (That made me sound like I’d be doing yoga all year and eating way too much quinoa.)

And then I finally decided on my word, which is “More.” As in more long walks. And more live theater. And more enthusiasm about work. And more pedicures. And more writing. And more movies watched in cinemas. And more blog posts. (Not just Random Stuff Lists, I swear!) And more time spent with family and friends. And more long baths with more fancy, smelly bath stuff.

Another more for 2016: more baths with more fancy, smelly bath stuff.

More of this please!

Admittedly, there are a few things I should probably try to get less of. Like, say, binge-watching Netflix. And pants. Seriously, guys, PANTS ARE STUPID.

3. If you haven’t come up with any resolutions yet, may I suggest this post I wrote last year with all kinds of fantastic possible resolutions that I made just for you?


4. Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, I found this Freakonomics podcast on temptation bundling to be really interesting and helpful.

The basic idea is that you do something you want to do but find hard to do (like working) while doing another thing you enjoy doing (like drinking… okay, maybe working and drinking aren’t the best combo… but you get it, right?). Eventually, you start to equate the hard thing with the enjoyable thing, which makes doing the hard thing a whole lot easier.

My hard thing is taking long walks and my enjoyable thing is listening to podcasts. Because NERD.

Listening to my shows while walking

Listening to my shows while walking

Now if only I could find something enjoyable to do while wearing pants. That might make me enjoy wearing pants more. Or not. REALLY, YOU GUYS, PANTS ARE SO STUPID.

5. Speaking of podcasts, how are we feeling about the new season of Serial? I’m not as completely addicted to it as I was to Season 1. Not that I don’t completely fangirl out every single Thursday when there’s a new one. I’ve also started listening to Slate’s spoiler podcast about Serial. Because I’m the kind of nerd who listens to podcasts about podcasts.

6. Other podcasts I’m completely addicted to: 99% Invisible (which is always full of interesting facts to share at parties… if I ever went to parties), The Moth Podcast (which always makes me cry at least once per episode), and Mystery Show (which solves important mysteries like how tall is Jake Gyllenhaal).

Are there other podcasts I should be obsessing over? What are they??? Tell me now!!!

7. Another one of my “more” resolutions for 2016: more homemade food. I’ve gotten pretty good at making huge pots of soups and stews and stirfries on Sunday, so that I can then eat leftovers on weekdays because, I mean, I ALREADY HAVE TO WEAR PANTS, WHY SHOULD I ALSO BE FORCED TO MAKE FOOD?

My first soup of 2016. It was very green. And cheesy. Just the way soup should be.

My first soup of 2016. It was very green. And cheesy. Just the way soup should be.

But I’d like to work on making things that I usually would just buy — like bread and pizza dough and pasta and stuff. I even bought yeast the other day and I’m not afraid to use it. (Okay, I’m a little afraid to use it).

8. Another thing I want to try making: sauerkraut. Which is completely bizarre because I don’t even like sauerkraut, but I read this article about it how to make it in a mason jar and now I’m obsessed.

9. More cooking related news (can you handle it?): I need to get serious about my slow cooker.

This recipe for slow cooker baked oatmeal looks AMAZING, but I’m confused by the timing. It says it needs to cook for four hours. Does this mean I have to wake up in the middle of the night to get the whole thing started so it can be ready for breakfast? Or does this mean I need to start eating oatmeal for dinner now? PLEASE TELL ME IT MEANS I CAN EAT OATMEAL FOR DINNER NOW.

10. I love this article on how caring less means less stress.

Things I need to care a whole lot less about: staff meetings, the state of my eyebrows, and, you-guessed-it, PANTS.


That’s all folks. Tell me about your resolutions, your podcast obsessions and your hatred for pants.



I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm Claudia said:

    Meh. Pants. Who cares about pants. The good thing about working from home is that I can spend my whole day in my pajama. I wake up, have breakfast, sip my tea while reading emails. Then stay in my pajama till when it is bed time and I finally shower.
    Claudia recently posted..Why Iā€™m going back to Mendoza in 2016 and you should too

  2. On January 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm Nancy Mihalich said:

    I finished binge-watching Master of None on Netflix. I can’t wait for the next season! I love the Netflix exclusive Jessica Jones, too! My fourth semester of French starts next week and I can’t wait to get better at reading, writing and speaking French!

    • On January 3, 2016 at 3:14 pm Sally said:

      I loved Master of None. I also really like Jessica Jones, but here’s my thing about all those dark Marvel comic shows, they’re just too dark. I don’t mean psychologically, but physically. I watch TV on my little laptop, so anything too dark, is kind of hard to see. Maybe I need to upgrade to an actual television… but I have a feeling that won’t exactly help with my resolution to binge-watch less. šŸ™‚
      And congrats on learning French! That’s awesome! I always wish I was better motivated when it came to learning languages. Even when I was living in a country that spoke a different language, I was hopeless. Alas, maybe one of these days!

  3. On January 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm Claire said:

    Other podcasts I enjoy are Stuff you Missed in History Class and Sawbones (an MD and her husband talk about the stupid things we humans have done in the name of medicine).

  4. On January 3, 2016 at 5:38 pm Iain said:

    Everyone keeps telling me to check out the serial podcast, i supposed i should!!!

    My two favourites are:

    Layovers: Basically two guys talking about the airline industry (bit geeky)
    The Pete and Sebastian show – two american comedians shooting the shit. pretty funny stuff!

    • On January 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm Sally said:

      Thanks for the podcast suggestions. And, YES, you should definitely check out Serial. I suggest starting with Season 1. It was so good and addictive and extremely frustrating (but in a good way… promise!).

  5. On January 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm Anna said:

    I feel ya on the hatred of pants; I looked down after church today only to find out my new pants had stained my hands blue (which had then transferred to my face)….
    As for podcasts, I’m a huge fan of John and Hank Green’s talk show podcast (their tagline is ‘a comedy podcast about death!’) and I also love NPR’s Note to Self, which is about the intersection of technology and our lives. And, if you’re into history at all I highly recommend History Chicks, as they tell the stories of notable women in history. Also Grace Helbig’s talk show podcast is always hilarious!
    If you can’t tell I’m slightly obsessed with podcasts….

  6. On January 3, 2016 at 9:54 pm Melanie said:

    My podcast obsessions: History Chicks, The Memory Palace, Lore and You Must Remember This. Also my New Years resolution is to make homemade pierogi, that’s totally a legit resolution right?

    • On January 4, 2016 at 11:59 am Sally said:

      Ooo, thanks for the suggestions! I love Memory Palace — need to check out the others.
      Also, homemade pierogi? That’s an AWESOME resolution. I maybe need to steal it. šŸ™‚

  7. On January 4, 2016 at 8:10 am zoe said:

    My family does Christmas on Real Christmas day, but I still pretty much spent the day on the sofa treating my parents to things like the goat version of O Holy Night (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h2jmNU_6UI) which I maintain enriches their lives more than grandchildren ever would.
    zoe recently posted..Australia: gone down the beach

  8. On January 4, 2016 at 7:01 pm Angela said:

    Your posts are so fun. Thank you for sharing.
    Some thoughts:
    Sauerkraut is something that is fermented. Perhaps you could make something else fermented that would still meet your need to make something in a new way without making something you don’t like. Some other things that are fermented could be: pickles, Tempeh, Miso, Yogurt(I know everyone does this but it’s cook still), Kefir, Kombucha and Kimchi : )
    Also – did you know that you can make oatmeal in a rice cooker AND lots of them come with a timer so you can put everything and set it to be ready when you get up. IT”S AWESOME ; ) Which doesn’t mean you can’t eat oatmeal for dinner it just gives you more choices. I think you can eat anything for dinner or breakfast for that matter. I mean who doesn’t like cake for brekkie and than my gosh you have all day to work it off LOL

    • On January 7, 2016 at 10:58 am Sally said:

      Good suggestions on the fermented food items! I definitely want to try doing pickles this year.
      And, unfortunately, I don’t have a rice cooker. But I ended up using the recipe I posted and baking it in my oven and it turned out great.

  9. On January 4, 2016 at 10:26 pm Leslie in Oregon said:

    Sally, you have a beautiful dimple on your left cheek! Is there another one on the right side? And your first soup of 2016 looks delicious… please consider posting its recipe!

    Re your queries: (1) I make resolutions all the time, but none specifically prompted by the start of a new year; (2) I don’t listen to podcasts while walking because I’m supervising two off-leash dogs, Bob and Henry, and listening for cars and coyotes, and (3) I don’t much like pants and usually wear them only outside when my legs needs protection.

    Happy New Year!!

    • On January 7, 2016 at 10:57 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Leslie. Yep, I have dimples on both sides, but they’re not super deep. They only really show up when I smile with my lips closed for some reason.

  10. On January 5, 2016 at 4:05 am Priya said:

    I like the one word idea. I might steal that for 2017. šŸ™‚
    Priya recently posted..A Reflection On 2015

  11. On January 7, 2016 at 9:10 pm Cindy said:

    I read through everyone’s comments and can’t believe no one has suggested the podcast Stuff You Mom Never Told You, so good! And totally feeling the no pants rule…tonight I try to rip off my jeans but they desperately held on for dear life right around my ankles, ha!

  12. On January 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm Elisa Zen said:

    Hahahha the heck with the pants!!


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