You’d think after a million kazillion years in existence, Mercury, the planet of communication, coordination, thought processes and travel, would figure out how to get moving in the right direction. But alas, it’s started moving backwards in its orbit yet again, which means lots of chaos for us mortals. From now until July 20th, you should expect things to get messy. Yes, Ami spilled her salad on her foot today, but that’s not the kind of mess we speak of. Mercury in retrograde leaves in its wake epic miscommunications, technological meltdowns, and general mishaps of all sorts. Which basically means, back up your hard drive, expect delays at the airport, and for God’s sake, watch your tongue when having a serious conversation of any type with the people you love. The next 19 days are going to be rough. May we suggest giving yourself small daily rewards during this time of reversals, errors, delays and malfunctions? Here are 19 ideas, one for each day until Mercury finally rights itself again. Trust us, you’re gonna need ‘em. Keep reading »
This morning I woke up before my alarm went off and started mindlessly surfing the web on my phone. A few random clicks led me to this article about how Gmail’s Organized Inbox feature will literally change your life. I read through it, thought, Huh, that sounds kinda cool, and then fell back asleep, relegating my Gmail thoughts to my groggy subconscious. By the time I’d woken up again, gotten dressed, made breakfast, and turned on my computer, I had forgotten about the article I read earlier that morning … until I logged into Gmail, and, like the Manchurian Candidate carrying out an assassination order, mindlessly moved my cursor over to the “Configure Inbox” button, and clicked.
Boom! Life. Changed. Keep reading »
My brother and his girlfriend are visiting me in Nashville this week, and I’m so excited (and honestly, a little nervous) to host my first real live house guests. I mean, I’ve had friends crash on my couch for a night or two at various apartments, but I’ve never really had people fly to a new city and stay with me — and for a whole week too! I’m dedicated to being the best host I can be, so I’ve been eagerly compiling bits of advice for having house guests, and polling the other Frisky ladies for their favorite hosting tips. Check out our top 10 after the jump, and feel free to add your own tips in the comments! Keep reading »
“Mona wanted me to tell you that she’d really like to spend more time with you the next time she’s in town,” Ami IM’d me the other day. Mona is her mom. “She’s, like, obsessed with you.”
“I would love to see more of your mom next time,” I wrote back. “We should all go out for pedicures and a glass of wine.”
“Oh, she’d love that,” Ami typed. “She’ll be so excited.”
Shrug. What can I say? Mothers love me. Keep reading »
Ami had a friend in college who taught her the acronym PAFU, which stands for People Are Fucked Up. At the time, she thought it was funny. More than 15 years later, she’s adopted it as her life motto. It’s the truth, people can be major assholes. Sometimes they don’t mean to be — and sometimes they do — but it’s a cold, hard fact that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about other people’s fucked-up-ed-ness, except have a solid coping strategy for how to let their crap roll like water off a duck’s back. (Thank you, Jinx Monsoon). It ’tis what it ’tis. Encountering assholes is part of the human condition. Here’s how to deal…
As a jobless Master’s graduate swiftly approaching 30 years old, I’ve been seeking whatever sage advice I can get (Susan Miller of Astrology Zone is my most frequent source of guidance). When Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” video in response to the Boston Marathon bombing went viral, I decided to perk my ears to the knowledge bank that is every “Ask Amy” video ever.
“Ask Amy” is a series of short advice videos that are part of Poehler’s online network “Smart Girls at the Party”; each is a response to a question that any viewer can leave in the comments section of the Smart GirlsYouTube channel. In the most recent episode, Poehler ruminates on the bombing at the Boston Marathon in the context of the media barrage that is so intrinsic to everyday life.
“I kind of feel like my eyes need a break, don’t you? If you do, take it. It’s okay to not be looking at what everyone is looking at all the time. To know what you’re ready to see and not see, and to be okay with letting some things rest in peace.”
What struck me about the video was Ms. Poehler’s cadence. Not only is she sincere, but so calm and focused on what she’s talking about. Unlike the plastic-sounding replies to Seventeen’s “Why Me?” section, Amy responded to her inquirer with such genuine thought and care (not surprising as the entire Smart Girls enterprise is dedicated to “cultivating the authentic selves of young women”). In an effort to exercise some self-care of my own, I decided to watch the entire series of “Ask Amy” videos to uncover what other gems of advice my favorite TV role model had to offer. Here are some of my favorites. Keep reading »
I am biracial, borne of a Taiwanese mother and American father. My features are decidedly not Caucasian, but hard to pin down to one specific category, a tiny frustration that gets at the heart of humans, because subconsciously, we all live to categorize. I deal with a host of questions pertaining to my background from “What you mixed with, girl?” to the timid “What … background are you?” I will entertain these questions, my response varying on the scale from begrudging to enthusiastic. It’s a conversation that I have a lot, and I’ve come to just suck it up and deal because people do not deal well with ambiguity. To categorize, to separate, to push things into clearly labeled boxes soothes the mind. It sets expectations, dictates how to behave, and prevents you from making statements like the ones I’m about to discuss. Keep reading »
When I was in middle school, I was picked to become a peer mediator. At the time, I was just stoked to get out of classes for two days for program-mandated training, but it ended up being some of the most useful stuff I learned in school. The theory behind peer mediation is that kids benefit from resolving conflicts without the express involvement of authority figures, and without the threat of disciplinary action. I only actually mediated on a few cases when I was in school, but the basic tenets of mediation theory and conflict-resolution philosophy have always stuck with me.
The key to winning any fight is not to fight at all. But if that’s an impossibility, then try these five tips that will help you successfully navigate — and resolve! — any conflict.
Keep reading »
We all know the trope: a young college student leaves the country for the first time and then returns home acting the part of a world-weary jetsetting dilettante.
We all also know that that person is annoying.
While there’s nothing wrong with going on an awesome vacation and coming back feeling relaxed and happy, there’s a fine line between wanting to tell your friends how cool it was to deep sea dive in the Indian Ocean and being a humblebragger. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross that line. Keep reading »
So, huge news: my boyfriend Nick and I are moving from Portland to Nashville, Tennessee! Remember when we visited last year and were totally smitten with the city? Well, our lease is up at the end of this month, and we’ve decided it’s the right time to give southern living a try. Neither of us has ever done a major move like this. We are incredibly excited. We are totally terrified. And we are full of questions about everything from packing logistics to saying goodbye to our dear friends, which is why I enlisted my lovely and wise coworker Ami, who is something of a moving expert–to give us some guidance. Read on for our moving Q&A, and please feel free to add your own tips and suggestions in the comments (we’ll take any help we can get!).
Alright, take it away, Ami…
Keep reading »