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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

I hate baking. I think it's one of those things that I like in theory. I mean, in theory, I like the idea of baking. I like the idea that with some eggs and flour and sugar I can make magic. I like the idea of fresh baked apple pies with a glistening lattice crust. I like the idea of rich, chocolatey layer cakes topped with gooey buttercream and thick ganache. I like the idea of warm muffins bursting with fresh blueberries straight from my oven. But, out of theory, baking is just messy. [caption id="attachment_93049" align="alignnone" width="1400"] Baking is just...

I took the last week off of work. My office was already going to be closed for two and a half days for the Thanksgiving holiday so, really, I was just taking 2.5 more. I have about a bazillion unused vacation days so I'm on that year-end scramble to use it or lose it that's also buying me an extra week off in December. I had no plans for my week off other than to snuggle with my cats and to get shit done. Because, really, that's my plan for every moment of free time I have: snuggle with my cats...

It's that time of year again when I start thinking ahead to Christmas. And when I think ahead to Christmas I start spending all of my spare time shopping for presents online. But then, of course, I find a million things I really want for myself instead and I start making wish lists of all those things I found that I would buy for myself if only my bank account had a positive balance. So here are some presents you should give me for Christmas or my birthday because maybe you secretly love me and have more cash than I do....

My bedroom is pretty blue. And by pretty blue I mean really blue. I mean, I suppose, I also mean it's a pretty shade of blue too. But you know what I mean. Anyways. My whole apartment is pretty blue, decorated in shades of teal and turquoise and aqua. But, sometimes, I just kind of want a pink apartment. And, sometimes, I just kind of want a pink bedroom. My bathroom is pink. I lucked into an apartment that came with a pink-tiled bathroom. It's one of the things that sold me on the place. So, when decorating, I went with...

"No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important." On Sunday, Facebook memories reminded me that it was a year ago since I had read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and started to KonMari my entire apartment. Over the next couple of months I took everything out of my closets, everything out from below my bed, everything out from my kitchen cabinets, and sorted through each and every thing, one by one. I held every item I owned in my hands, felt every...

Recently I've been going through all of my old blog posts. Ones from 2006, 2007, 2008. The last time I switched hosting and themes I lost all of my featured images (🔝🔝🔝) so I've been replacing those. I've been updating broken links. I've been adding more photos since I used to only post one or two and then link to now-defunct gallery pages for more. I've been cleaning up typos, adding alt tags, cross linking, writing meta descriptions. And, wherever possible, I've been reworking them to align with my SEO strategy. Of course, most of the posts are hopeless. They are...

Two weeks ago, I had no idea what to do at the Wisconsin State Fair. Or, I guess, any state fair. I'd never been to one before and only had a vague idea of what to expect: farm animals, carnival rides, and a lot of fried foods. My friends and I were planning a weekend road trip to see the En Vogue / TLC concert, watch the world cheese curd eating championship, and, yes, eat a lot of fried foods. But we ended up doing a lot more than we thought we would, like watching a pig race, playing bar...

I can't remember the last time, outside of Nathan's Famous on the Fourth of July, that I saw such a large crowd gather to watch an eating contest. Fire marshals walked the aisles to clear the path of stragglers. Families were sitting on each other's laps to get in close, to fit more people on a third-row bench (the first rows being taken up by die-hard Hanson fans who were claiming seats well in advance of the night's upcoming concert.) And the crowd continually gained mass outward into the fair. But, as everyone started chanting "Joey, Joey, Joey," it became...

It had been two years since I last took a vacation. Two years since I boarded a plane. Two years since I left Illinois, the Chicagoland area, at all. I hardly believed it myself when I went to write that in an Instagram caption three weeks ago, but, it's true: I didn't take a vacation, travel anywhere, leave Chicago, in 2017. The last place I traveled to was New Orleans, Louisiana, and that was for a conference in 2016. I just haven't felt like traveling. Going. Leaving. Moving. And then, this Fourth of July, 21 months after my last vacation, I went to...

I used to watch the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on TV every Fourth of July. For some people, Independence Day meant fireworks, barbecues, parades. But, for me, it meant sitting in front of ESPN and watching a row of gurgitators consume as many hot dogs as was humanly possible in 12 minutes.   [caption id="attachment_75834" align="alignnone" width="1400"] George Shea announces the 2018 Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.[/caption]   In 2007, I watched the Super Bowl of competitive eating from my couch, at home, when Joey Chestnut ate 66 hot...