The Case For Routine

Sheldon gets it!It’s so easy to make fun of people who do the same thing over and over: Always sit in the same spot on the couch, have spaghetti for dinner every Wednesday, eat the same lunch after bowling every Thursday.  It’s so easy to think that I’m too cool for routine, for sameness, for knowing what I’ll do when.  I’m so cool that I can use BOTH sides of the locker room at the gym and sometimes use a locker on the right, and sometimes one on the left.  Oooooh.  I am so freaky and spontaneous – a wild and crazy gal!

But here’s the thing: If you do the same thing over and over, then you know where your locker is.  It’s always on the left.  Or the right.  Always there.  And when you come back to it, on the right, or the left, the side you always always use, the combination on your cute little lock will always work.  You’ll never, for instance, try your combination a million times, then go get the staff to cut off the lock, only to look in at someone else’s stuff!  And realize that the locker you just broke into by force was on the right, but your locker is on the left and look!…your combination works just fine on that one!

Routine.  It works.  I am embracing it.

 

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If you give a clown a camera…

I learned that this is what happens if you hand over your phone to a clown and ask her to take a picture of you with another clown:

Clown Selfie6 Clown Selfie5 Clown Selfie4 Clown Selfie3 Clown Selfie1 Clown Selfie2

This is the photo I wanted and eventually got:

Ben is a Clown

We’ve known and lived across the street from Ben since he was born.  He’s wanted to be a clown as long as I can remember.  And now after lots of hard work, he is one!  He’s in THE circus, the big one, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.

Kat and I were lucky to be in Miami at the same time as the Red Train, and we got to see Ben – he was amazing!

I learned that anyone with a ticket can come to the pre-show and hang out with the clowns, talk to the performers, try some stuff.

I learned, from Ben, that if someone asks to hold the juggling pins, it usually means that they can juggle.  A teenage boy showed us that.  His mom told us that she used to be in the circus.  Then she juggled for us.  It was extremely cool!

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How to Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

I learned how to open wine without a corkscrew but I haven’t tried it.  Please try it and let us know how it works!

No corkscrew!

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January 13, 2014 · 5:23 pm

More Thriftier

Here’s what I learned about renting a car from Thrifty: 1. Even after you book a car, sign up for discount emails 2.Circle back to your original reservation when you see a good deal.

I thought I had a pretty good rate for my car rental in Miami, but when I tried the same dates in the link in a promotion email, I saw a rate that was 25% lower.   When I went online to my reservation – lo and behold – it was now 25% lower!  I locked that one in (I feel confident that otherwise I’d have my original price) and now Kat and I have more money to spend* on fancy drinks when she is done with her conference!

Yummy

* and yes, I do get that you don’t get more money by not spending money and yes, I can just hear my father saying “And how much did you save by not spitting on the subway?”  … a reference to a time (apparently) of high subway-spitting fines and his constant reply to our claims of “saving” money by getting a good deal.

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When to Stay Home – Obey the Triangle!

I have finally learned this lesson, in late 2013, many many years after I learned to drive in New England ice and snow: When the forecast includes the word “Winter Storm Warning” or “Winter Weather Advisory,” the decision is STAY HOME.

This is the symbol.  OBEY THE LITTLE ORANGE TRIANGLE!

Active Advisory!

It’s so easy for me to think that I can get where I want to go before everyone else or that the roads won’t be as bad as “they” say or that the forecast is just “off” by some amount of time.  These are all terrible assumptions.  But the worst assumption of all is that the thing I just must attend, the important event and reason to get from Point A to Point B at this specific time, during this winter weather, is important enough to take the chance.

It isn’t.  It’s all miss-able.  Really.

This year, I found myself in a scary white-knuckle drive home from a mid-day company holiday party, with many of other foolish people slipping and sliding, some of them right off the road.   Finally, I learned my lesson: the orange triangle means stay home.

There is a cost to being this conservative, of course.  It means that there will also be really fun events that I’ll miss, due to the little orange triangle’s warning, and then find out that the roads were fine after all.  That happened to me within mere days of learning this lesson.  But that’s the deal – you can’t have it both ways.

It’s snowing and icy out there now.  There is a little orange triangle on my screen.  And I’m staying home.

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Poached

Today I learned how to poach an egg.

Our family has a collection of gadgets to “sort of poach” eggs.  My mom has a pan with a metal insert.  Sally has a microwave gadget. Kat has a cup you float in boiling water.  Steve and I have a blue screw-top egg that goes in the microwave.  A conversation with Sally inspired me to learn to actually poach an egg, the old-fashioned way.

It turns out that it is incredibly easy, following my 1970′s Betty Crocker Cookbook instructions: Boil then simmer one to two inches of water in a pan.  Crack an egg into a bowl or saucer and slip it into the simmering water.  If you have multiple eggs, give them room so that they are not touching.  Optionally, spoon some hot water over the top.  When it’s cooked enough, use a slotted spoon to lift the egg out of the water.

My First Poached Egg

Another day, I will learn to take really good food pictures: to set them up attractively, consider the background, add garnishes, all of it.  (I know a great teacher!)  But if there is one thing I’ve learned from my time posting lessons and the recent many months not posting lessons, it’s to not let the perfect drive out the good.  If I want to continue with sharing what I’ve learned, and I really do, then I have to be OK with imperfect and done.

So stay tuned!

 

 

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ABsolute Clarity

I learned that if you want to learn where each and every one of your abdominal muscles are, as well as which motions in your daily life use those specific muscles, you can accomplish this with two simple steps:

1. Take a Core class that is above your fitness level.  One way to do this is to take it by mistake.

2. Wait 24 to 36 hours

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