Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “technology

Climate Change, Panty Raids, and Toddlers (not all at once, that’d be gross)

So apparently there’s this ice shelf in Antarctica that’s about to break off and fuck us all up. It’s “hanging on by a thread” according to climate scientists. When this happens, sea levels will raise 4-ish inches. Goodbye Boston. Goodbye Venice. Good riddance most of Florida.

I don’t know about you, but that definitely reorients my travelling priorities. I’m really glad that after we go to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in October, we’re heading to Malaga, Spain after that for a week trip with my mother-in-law in her time share. I’m hoping to pop across the Strait of Gibraltar (technically the Alboran Sea) to visit Morocco as well.

Based on their coastal locations, I can assume these cities will be altered if a giant ice shelf raises water levels by inches all over the planet.

Thinking about all of that (and puppy mills, ugh, thanks Rolling Stone), I started to consider other places I want to visit. I have the plan to visit all 50 states at some point before age 50. But I also want to go to Italy and visit Venice and Naples. I want to visit Mubmai in India and Osaka in Japan. And I still haven’t been to Boston. I really love New Orleans, and I’m looking forward to visiting again. But these cities are fucked.

I’m glad that 21 people under the age of 21 filed a suit to stop this shit. And I’m really glad this district judge has this to say:

“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

Things like this give me hope. Hope for these folks born after 1990 who I rarely time the time to acknowledge as useful. Hope for my future travel. Hope that though the immediate present ain’t great, the future is salvageable.

On another note, I was in Chicago this past weekend. I visited my family for my mother’s 60th birthday. Here’s what I learned.

  • My grandmother is refusing to do what she said she’d do when starting this experimental treatment, so she’s getting worse while she’s getting better.
  • My parents’ college friends are even better than I remember. They are hilarious. And panty raids in college are a real thing, not just in movies.
    • I’m thinking I really really want to name names for who participated in these panty raids, but all the guilty parties are not yet retired, so I’ll wait for now…
  • Living in New York turns you, and people you know from back in Chicago, into whiskey drinkers.
  • Bridesmaid dresses were not created to look good on anyone.
  • My mother has chosen a theme for her sixties. She turned “50 with a snap.” But her sixties are all about being cool. There’s a hand gesture that goes along with it. I made it up, my mother is now to cool to have done something like that.
  • My entire family need to start going for walks. We are NOT maintaining a basic standard of health, myself included.

And lastly, I’m considering what drastic measures to take in preparation of my friend LaToya’s wedding in May. Is vegan too far? It probably is. I mean, I had a terrible experience with some beef lasagna that I assume was delicious but couldn’t put in my mouth in Paris that made me think vegetarianism isn’t too far off in my future.

I just can’t help thinking of 2010 me. I was unemployed, which wasn’t great, but I went no carb, hardly-no-sugar and had just discovered hot yoga. Maaaaaaan, let me tell you, I was in the best shape of my life that year. But that level of time and diet commitment is just… hard. I probably could’ve maintained it had I kept one of the two going.

I dunno. But I tell you what I do know. I’m not about to go through what bridesmaids all over the world go through. I will make sure that I can fit into the dress I ordered. I decided to order a size that will fit me today instead of some aspirational size. Hopefully I’ll have the problem of needing to have it taken in…

Switching gears again. Do you play the Sims 4? I do, and I’m losing my mind that I won’t be able to play with the toddlers until Thursday night of this week! I’ve downloaded the update, but between visiting Chicago, my work-volunteer-yoga schedule, and going to see a taping of the Harry Connick, Jr. show, there just won’t be time before then.

Seriously, how freaking cute are these toddlers?

ts4_toddlers_thumbnail_v1


Race Baiting. Let’s Talk About It.

Oh yeah, I’m going there.

I spend a lot of time on twitter. Every time one black activist or another posts literally anything about race issues, someone responds with hateful awful language. They usually spout the worst stereotypes anyone has heard about whatever group being discussed.

Sometimes that activist retweets the words or responds to them, usually highlighting the bigotry, prejudice, or outright racism of the language.

Inevitably, a third person responds, accusing the activist of race baiting.  Every time I see that accusation show up on some activists timeline, I get confused.

My first thought always is: how is it race-baiting to simply talk about and acknowledge that race issues exist? How is that activists to blame for some awful language of some random online troll?

The mere mention of possibly settling Syrian refugees in their home state makes many an online troll express dangerous and scary views. I’m an American born and raised, and the words are frightening to me. I can’t even imagine how those words land in the world of a refugee, simply here to make a better life for themselves.

But then, the part of me that is always looking to try and understand the sliver of logic that usually exists in even the most fucked up arguments kicks in. I think: Do I know anyone who unreasonably lashes out at a culture they don’t understand the second they perceive a threat from that culture?

The unfortunate answer is I do.

In black American culture, there is a lot of intolerance towards others who don’t follow traditional black (read: protestant/intolerant Christian) views. The stereotypes towards the LGBTQ+ community, Asians, Latinxs, and women are damn near intolerable to my ears. They are mostly rooted in ignorant stereotypes because of how segregated so much of the American black population is from the rest of the country.

I think about the communities I don’t hear a lot of aggression towards: indigenous Americans, refugees, disabled people, vets. I’m not sure why those people have escaped widescale ridicule in the black community. Or maybe they have and I just don’t know those people.

Let me finally get to my point.

In the times of life where I’ve been present for one of these ignorant rants against another community from the mouths of black folks, their justification is usually along the lines of, “well, if you didn’t bring it up, wouldn’t have to share my crappy views with you on the topic.”

They literally accuse whoever mentioned the touchy subject last of being at blame for their toxic language. It’s the same though pattern that produces such gems as “I don’t care if you’re gay, I just don’t wanna see that shit” and “This is why the black family isn’t intact, feminism is tearing apart black men and women”.

For the record, I’m not saying that ignorance in the black community makes it okay for the white trolls on Twitter. The ignorance of both makes me sick to my stomach.

What I am saying is that because this toxic pattern of behavior touches closer to home for me, I think I understand this thought process a little bit.

That’s how I know it can’t be tolerated. This gaslighting bullshit cannot go without challenge. I’m not suggesting getting into an online fight with a Twitter troll, but I’m suggesting confronting it when you hear toxic language come from the mouths of your friends, family, and colleagues.

You may not change someone’s mind, but we can at least restore some decency in terms of what is okay and NOT OKAY to say to and about others. Free speech is one thing, but targeted hate speech and menacing is on a whole other level.

Even if you can’t get through to someone, you never know who is listening. Maybe the person overhearing your defense of what is right will come around.

Don’t let the accusation of race baiting back you down from talking about marginalized communities. If your words precede someone spewing toxic language, that’s not your fault. If merely the mention of someone different makes someone go off like a crazy person, that’s not your fault. Don’t let them drag the fight down to their level.

Keep standing up for what matters to you. Keep fighting. Keep speaking up. Continue to fight for your own community and work harder everyday to be an ally to other communities.

Don’t let racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and misogynists turn your words of power into bait.

If you’re looking for a sound argument against gaslighting, particularly in light of the results of this most recent American election, check out this Twitter thread.

twitter-gaslight


And Now I Have Four Sets of Headphones

Maaaaaaan, of course my same day delivery didn’t come on the same day. They didn’t even attempt the delivery. I wasn’t at work for the next couple of days, so it got delivered at some point.

I had originally ordered replacement headphones for my cell phone because the volume buttons on the headphones weren’t working. Then I noticed they were selling them in a two pack and figured that would be a better purchase because it was close to the same price. I don’t really lose headphones, but it couldn’t hurt to have a second pair, right?

Well, I ordered the headphones, then realized I’d chosen free two-day delivery when I meant to choose same day delivery. So I ordered them again for same day delivery.

And now I have four sets of headphones.

And the volume buttons still don’t work.

I figured out it was due to the phone being messed up. One lousy little half-empty travel-size bottle of Listerine and everything goes fuzzy.

Well, not literally. The phone’s functionality has almost completely returned. That makes me very happy because I love my phone and I’ve finally got the settings just right. Fingers crossed that this phone will last until the newest Samsung Note 6 (or Note 7 Edge if the internet rumors are to be trusted) comes out.

So maybe I have to restart my phone to get the microphone on the headphones to work.

And maybe the S Pen is a little temperamental.

And maybe the phone mutes itself for no reason out of nowhere.

And maybe the phone turns itself up to the loudest possible volume for no reason out of nowhere.

But it’s my phone and I love it. And it’s really not in the budget to replace it right now.

That money has to go towards the laptop. Eventually it will stop working because I spilled a glass of red wine on the keyboard.

And Chris was just saying how I’m less clumsy with all the aerial yoga…


Hindered And Helped By The Internet

HINDERED

Stupid internet with it’s tickets-only-available-online stupidity. In my last post, I spoke of how I was excited to go to the next event for BBQ Films.The husband and I were going to get dressed up in our 1950s best (or the only outfit we have that would make a fair approximation), and go see Back to the Future next weekend.

But… all the tickets are sold out online. There isn’t anywhere to physically go pickup tickets. I hate that!

When our mothers came to town and we went to go see Motown the Musical, buying tickets online was frustrating (and expensive), so I just went to the box office and a real live human person helped me find the perfect seats.

This isn’t an option for BBQ Films, which is understandable as all of their events are funded by tickets sales and sponsors.But still, I had no recourse once I saw the tickets were sold out online.

HELPED

A couple of Google searches later found the Twitter account for BBQ Films. They said they might have some tickets available on Thursday, but we’d have to join the mailing list and implied Twitter stalking would help.

So now I know what i’m doing Thursday.

HINDERED

I’m trying to be a good Wine School Pupil. I joined up wholeheartedly. But then… I couldn’t find any of the wines. After striking out at my favorite wine shop, I took to the internet.

All of my usual places to purchase alcohol online failed me. I just knew Binny’s Beverage Depot would have what I need. They always have what I need. But not this time.

I was starting to get discouraged. Comments on the Bordeaux NY Times article were starting, and I really felt some kind of way about the people commenting who drank substitute wines. I didn’t want to be a substitute wine drinker, but unless my wine guy called me back saying he found it, I was screwed.

HELPED

Then it occurred to me, I hadn’t asked Google for help. Well, I had asked, but I was asking the wrong questions.

Googling online wine shops was how I went about it at first. When I got wise, I went straight to Google Shopping. They have this crazy index of pretty much everything available for sale online.

So I Googled each of the three  wines listed in the article. Immediately, I was directed to a couple of different wine shops. Because I’m a nice lady, I’ll tell you where I found it.

Premier Wine & Spirits is a specialty shop with four different websites, and three brick & mortar locations in NY State. This is my first time ordering from them, so who knows if it will work?

I do shop online quite a bit though, and I’ve never had any issues getting alcohol delivered. I ordered a bottle of the Château Bernadotte Haut-Médoc 2009 last night, so I’ll let you know how long it takes to get here and what shape it’s in when it arrives.

I chose this bottle because it was the cheapest of the three, but they are getting over on shipping costs. The wine itself was only $34 including tax, but went up to $49.15 with standard shipping. Good thing I didn’t want it overnight, I would pay double for the wine.

I hope next month’s Wine School choices are more readily available.

Can I just say those people take identification seriously? Based on all the information I had to enter to prove I was me and to purchase the wine, I was feeling suspicious. But a check online on Webutation and a look to see if anyone identified the website with scams (they didn’t) made me feel pretty good. At least I’ll know the culprit if my identity is stolen over this. Knock on wood.

Easy and I agree that we will try the recipe for Skirt Steak with roasted whole plantains with the wine. I’m pretty excited about that.

HINDERED

I had a very indecisive 20 year old visiting this past weekend for her Spring Break. I wanted to show her NYC in all its beauty, but that proved difficult. She’s not a fan of art, sports, museums, history, eating when you’re not hungry, spending a bunch of money, theater, or overspending on shopping.

Unfortunately, that also meant no going to the Biennial exhibit at the Whitney. But hopefully one of my new maybe-friends in NYC will go with me.

She arrived in the middle of the week, so by the time Saturday rolled around, she was shopped out. Easy and I forced her to go with us to a Latin restaurant and to a jazz club, so I at least wanted to have her do something she’d be guaranteed to enjoy on her last day with us.

If you missed that list of things she was against (at age 20!), you know I had my work cut out for me.

Suffice it to say we spent hours at Central Park while she tried to figure out what she wanted to do. I could’ve offered up Chelsea Piers, but I really didn’t want to take her bowling. Then I thought about High Line, but we were already at a park, so heading to another one just seemed wrong.

Hopping on the internet for what do to in NYC ideas when you’ve ruled out food, drinks, arts, sports, history, theater, museums, and shopping is just painful.

HELPED

We ended up on the Staten Island Ferry so she could get pictures of part of the skyline and the Statue of Liberty. While we were waiting on the ferry, she mentions that she’s going through ice cream withdrawal.

I remind her that I said, “this is New York City. Anything you want to do, try, eat, drink, whatever, it can be done here. Anything in the world, literally, anything. Just pick something, and we’ll go find the best version of it New York has to offer.”

I said that hours before she mentioned the ice cream.

But at least we had a goal. Searching online for great ice cream in New York is super focused and wonderfully easy. Between Google, Yelp, yellowpages.com, and Zagat, we found a lot of great ice cream options.

Because she waited 6 hours to finally decide on a New York adventure, most of the places were closing for the night. But seeking out great gelato, egg creams, frozen yogurt, and ice cream in New York at places only open after midnight is it’s own mini adventure.

We ended up going on a food truck search for Wafels and Dinges. They weren’t hard to find. The truck was parked in the West Village, so after that we got a slice at Joe’s Pizza and then popsicles at Popbar.

For an improptu food tour, it was quite successful. Wafels and Dinges has been voted some of the best food truck food in the country, and it was so delicious, I didn’t even care that I froze while eating ice cream outdoors.

I would have kicked myself had I let my girl leave town without trying a slice of classic NYC-style pizza. She eats super slow, but she finished her slice exactly as I finished mine. In the 20 years I’ve known her, I’ve never seen such a thing.

And the blood orange popSorbetto was so freaking delicious. I took it home and shared it with Easy because it was that cold outside that it didn’t melt in the 40 minutes it took us to get from the Village to Bed-Stuy. I am looking forward to trying the frozen hot chocolate some Saturday after the soup kitchen once it’s really warm outside.

All of that delicious food was made possible because of a simple online search and hopping from place to place based on what Google told me was nearby.

So sometimes online sucks. But I have to admit for every problem I encounter, the internet usually has a solution if I’m patient enough to reword my Google searches.

Image via popbar

Image via Yelp


Too Much Online Shopping

Do you do too much online shopping?

Well, it’s official that I do too much online shopping. You know how I know?

I was leaving for work the other day. I had on my phone a test message from Amazon telling me I had a package coming by 8:00 pm. I knew it was the Season 4 DVD of Leverage, which I pre-ordered the day I found out when it was coming it. But I had to leave for work by 6:00 pm.

As I was heading outside to my car, I saw the UPS truck up the street. My car was parked near it. As I approached my van, the UPS man was coming out of a building. He saw me and flagged me down.

He spoke to me, by my full name, and told me to hold on a second. Fifteen seconds later, he emerged from his truck with my package. He had me sign for it right there and wished me a good evening.

I was glad to have my DVD, which I had been wanting for months. But I felt like perhaps I do too much shopping. Wedding gift deliveries aside, this man knew my name. He recognized my face and grabbed my package out of the truck.

Does your UPS man know your face? Your full name? If he does, you do too much online shopping. Because of my own experiences, I’ve come up with a list to help you realize you’ve gone too far.

Disclaimer: I don’t have any solutions to the problem. I don’t intend to stop my online shopping, it’s so convenient since I’m usually sleep during business hours.

Signs You Shop Online Too Much

  1. Your UPS man knows your face.
  2. Your UPS man knows your full name without looking at the package.
  3. You get a delivery at least 4 times a month.
  4. You know your debit/credit card number by heart
  5. Your computer has all your purchase information saved.
  6. You get at least 5 e-mails each morning at 6:00 from stores advertising sales for their special customers.
  7. Your husband/parents/roommate has stopped asking what’s in the package unless you bring up that it’s a gift.

Once you’ve realized you do too much shopping online, I have no idea what you should do next. Consult your budget I guess. But if you stay in the lines and don’t overspend. I don’t see the harm.


I’ve Got A Week To Myself

The husband goes to band camp every year. He goes as a teacher. I met him right before band camp and I ended up taking a clandestine trip up there. I’ve never spent the night in a guy’s dorm room until I was 25 years old, and this is after 4 years of college and 3 years of grad school.

But for the husband, I slept on the world worst mattress. I’m convinced those who don’t graduate from his school are victims of those mattresses. There’s no other explanation.

The first year, I felt like such a dip off at this band camp, but I felt a lot better about it after his roommate that year ended up as a groomsman at our wedding. Can’t be a true dip off if he put a ring on it, right?

Last year, we were engaged and I felt just slightly less like a dip off because I had a ring and he had a room to himself.

This year, I can’t even do it. I just can’t bring myself to sleep on that craptastic mattress again. I don’t even want the husband to do it. I’m going to suggest he take our air mattress and just lean those terrible beds up against the dorm wall for the week.

While I won’t be staying overnight at band camp and trying to blend in with the students and hope no one asks too many questions the next morning, I will be driving the husband there today and picking him up Friday.

Friday is the kickoff of our first family vacation. It was supposed to be his parents, my parents, and a niece and cousin of our who are both pre-teens. But his parents had a scheduling conflict. But it will still be our first official family vacation. We’re going to Wisconsin Dells. Too bad we already scratched Wisconsin off our state list.

But what to do while the husband is away at band camp? I’ve got a couple days off from work this week. It’s been a while since I’ve had to fill days of my own time without him around. I know we go days without seeing each other because of our work schedule, but not a whole week.

I can’t think of anything because there’s nothing I don’t do just because he’s there. Maybe I’ll take a crack at the PlayStation3. I miss the Sims since I don’t play it on the laptop anymore.

That’s pitiful, isn’t it? I can’t think of anything better to do while I’ve got a week alone than playing video games. But it’s what I’ve got, and I’m gonna roll with it.

Any suggestions on better my-husband-is-out-of-town activities?


And Now I’m Worried

The husband and I sat down today. We had been planning on it for a while. We were going to chase our dreams. We were going to throw caution to the wind in hopes of fulfilling the hopes of our lives. But first… We had to come up with a budget.

I’ve decided I married a five year old.

The husband is not bad with money. He keeps track of his bills, he doesn’t over-spend, he has his shit together. But for some reason, talking about budgets makes him sit cross-legged on the floor and stare with glazed over eyes into the distance.

He’d definitely five years old.

After a general talk about our finances in the coming year, I knew that we needed to come up with a budget. Now that the husband will be only a musician and not a musician/music teacher, our income is going to drop by tens of thousands of dollars. That’s a lot ‘o money.

He makes good money as a musician and I make good money at my job, so we’ll still be in the middle class according to the IRS and government and them. But things will be very very different.

No more $300 dinners at any restaurant we feel like frequenting. No more shopping sprees on a whim. That thought alone makes me was to act like a five year old. Like the husband.

But we got through the budget talk. We set what we hope are realistic goals for what we can spend each month. We included all our bills, saving for a rainy day, still managing to travel, and maintenance for the cars, instruments, cats, etc.

We also underestimated our income so we’ll have a cushion each month for incidentals, like a flat tire.

According to our budget, we’ll have exactly $4 left over each month after bills, entertainment, tithing, and saving.

We’ve been spoiled in our little world where we have lots of disposable income. But if we stick to the budget, we can still travel, eat out at restaurants, go to movies, shop, and hang out at bars. We’ll just do it a lot less.

Now I feel my eyes glazing over.

And I feel worried about money. I never ever ever worry about money. I don’t like this feeling.

The good news is we plan to re-assess our budget in a month or so to see how it’s working out. And luckily, we can both access our budget in an app that I can get on my blackberry and kindle, and he can get on his iPhone.

Technology may be what keeps us on task.

Or in two months I may be saying we scrapped the whole plan.

But I have faith that the husband is in fact 28 and NOT five years old.

He will check the budget before he goes out to a bar after a gig.

And I have faith that I can control my impulses.

I will not come home with $500 worth of shoes for the husband and myself.

Do you keep a budget? How do you make it work?


Are Bloggers Your Friends?

Would you consider the writers of your favorite blogs your friends? How friendly do you feel toward them? Are these feelings based on many conversations had via comments or actual messages?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently because I’ve been paying more attention to the blogs I read and the people who write them. I’ve shortened the list of blogs I read to only those that I actually read. I will add new blogs that seem interesting, but only if I feel drawn to the writer of the blog.

Is that creepy? Do you all now want to run from the crazy lady who only reads your blog because she feels drawn to you?

I don’t know that I feel like bloggers are my friends though. I don’t know y’all. I just know what you choose to share. I can’t read facial expressions or body language. I wasn’t there when the crazy shit you talk about actually happened. What do I know about how truthful you’re being about how awesome you seem?

Perhaps my love for lack of spelling errors carries too much weight. And I am a sucker for writing that makes me laugh.

I know that blogging communities (20SB, BlogHer, BlogFrog, etc.) don’t really appeal to me. But the little community that develops as a group of bloggers all happen to comment on each other’s blogs feels pretty good to slowly become a part of. Throw in a little twitter stalking following, and suddenly you’re getting a pretty good picture of who a person is.

If you’ve made it to the end of my rambling musings, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Strange New World of Twitter

My first two friends I followed on twitter gave my 30 days before I was like “fu*# this sh*+” and moved on with my life.

They may be right because navigating twitter is soooo much. I feel tethered because I don’t want to be hours late seeing something. But I feel out of it cause I have to do so much extra work to figure out what all these damn hashtags mean.

Also, I don’t know how to find anyone. I’m not on Facebook, so I don’t know how to look people up. All my friends have common ass names, so that’s no good.

How do you navigate twitter? And if you’re on twitter, let me know and I’ll follow you! I probably read your blog, so reading your tweets is a no-brainer


Technically Speaking, I’m Feeling Social

So… I said I wouldn’t get a Kindle Fire because I prefer 3G over wi-fi. But I now own a kindle fire. I’m foiled when I want to do internet things while traveling, and am I’m now considering paying the extra money to make my Blackberry a mobile hotspot. What is happening?

I’ll tell you what’s happening. All the technology and social media I’ve avoided is sneaking into my life. And by sneaking, I mean invited in like a freaking vampire on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I’m currently being sucked dry by Twitter. I said I’d never join twitter. I figured I’d cave and re-join Facebook before I joined twitter. And yet I now have an account. But I don’t know how to use that shit. I get hashtags, which any idiot could figure out. However, it definitely took me 15 min to figure out how to follow someone.

And of course, on thee kindle fire, I don’t get everything all the time, so I had to add this shit to my phone too. Soon I’ll be like the husband, constantly checking my phone. But I will never go full twitter freak. Read: I will never follow Kim Kardashian on twitter.

I may use my kindle for everything on top of books, but I do still use it to read books and newspapers too. So I’m still me a little bit right?

I’m just going to choose to focus on the positive and be glad that I can keep up with all the blogs I like to read much easier with my kindle.

Well, I’m off to download another free android app onto my kindle. Lord help me.

Netflix, Twitter, RSS feeds oh my!

Netflix, Twitter, RSS feeds oh my!


A Newer, Less Destructive Me

I poke fun at the husband often about how harsh he is on phones, but I used to be like him. I would wreak havoc on  a Samsung, reduce a Palm Treo to tears. Don’t even get me started on what I did with a cup of hot chocolate and my first BlackBerry. It was dirty, and it ended in a sticky mess.

But I have mended my evil ways. Also, I upgraded to a much more brick-like BlackBerry. My current one is even lined on the edges with metal. In my quest to prove to myself just how far I’ve come, my latest phone has a touch screen. Yeah, I ain’t scurred. Branching out even furter into the touchscreen abyss, I decide to try out the new Kindle Touch.

Yes, perhaps my older Kindle had to be replaced because I, ahem, broke the screen. But that was the old me. The new me is less destructive. The new me is careful not to press hard. The new me has realized that the damn phone and Kindle makers actually make touchscreens harder to destroy than phone with buttons.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some buttons. My current Blackberry has both a touchscreen and a keyboard. Boo-yah! I love my qwerty, and I’m not switching over ever if I can help it. And so life in my new touchscreen world is doing okay. Kindle is still intact and the Blackberry is surviving life in pockets with keys, rogue makeup, and even the occasionl hairpin. It’s a badass.

I’m starting to see this less destructive me showing up in non-technology related palced as well. Like in my marriage. I thought that the well-known fact that men don’t listen was exaggerated. But it wasn’t. I just happened to date really good listeners. Enter my husband. The man who rarely listens. Unless I’m talking about food, sex, music, or sports, he doesn’t listen. Unless of course the topic could obviously lead to him getting less of any of the four.

Throughout the course of our relationship, I’ve tried various tatics to get him to listen more. When I talk less, it frustrates him because he hates it when I don’t share things with him. That’s right, the man who doesn’t listen wants me to share everything. Go figure.

I’ve tried yelling. He really does listen when I yell. But I don’t like yelling at him and he hates being yelled at. When we realized how the yelling was negatively impacting our relationship, we knew we ahd to try something else. But it was literally the only thing that worked. So the husband decided to just try on his own to listen better.

He still sucks, but he’s getting better. Noticeable improvement. Except for one glaring thing. He can’t keep a secret. I mean he can keep a secret, but not the it’s-not-officially-a-black-box-secret-but-don’t-you-ever-be-the-one-to-bring-it-up-because-you-don’t-have-a-subtle-bone-in-your-body type of secret. When I get around to finishing my story and telling how he proposed, you’ll see what I mean.

I pride myself on being a loyal friend/family member. But I never want to keep secrets from my husband. So there’s this weird conundrum I’m still sorting out. His behavior is starting to ruffle a few feathers for those who’s secrets he’s spilled with nothing to say for himself besides, “my bad, I didn’t realize when you said tell nobody, nobody included [fill in main person they didn’t want to know].”

But I didn’t yell, I didn’t pout, and I didn’t stop sharing. The husband noticed and mentioned that he really appreciated and is working on his blabbermouthiness. So in my new world of touchscreen and sharing with my husband, it seems that I can be less destructive.

What type of self-improvement have you been engaging in recently?