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.
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.
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?
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.