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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

"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...

It had been over a year since I got a hair cut and my frock was getting "trapped in my armpits every time I move" long. That last time I got it cut, over a year ago, I had run to a train station Supercuts on my work lunch break to get a $15 discount trim. I don't even remember when, before that, I had last gotten a "real" cut at a "real" salon. You know, one of those salons where they actually shampoo and blow dry your hair. I don't remember the last time I dyed my hair either, but...

Have you ever put off doing something because it seemed overwhelming, complicated, daunting, only to find when you finally did it, that it wasn't a big deal at all? I do that all the time. All. the. time. I build things up so much in my mind and get so anxious over them, panic over them, that I put them off, procrastinate, to protect myself. I do it at home. I do it at work. I do it while traveling. I do it with my life list. I do it with my life. In the same way that I leave work...

I make projects for myself. I would say, "I always have so much to do." I would say, "I'm always too busy." But, in truth, I know that, on some level, there are very few things on my ever expanding to-do list that I actually have to do. I just make things up and decide that I need to do them and add them to my to-do list. One after another after another. And then I panic, constantly, that I have too much to do, that I am always so busy. Because my to-do list is long. Long. ...

"Who has a job lined up?" I don't remember, now, who it was who posed that question. A professor? A dean? A parent? A volunteer? It could have been anyone, really. I don't remember who specifically it was that asked, but I do remember that someone, whoever it was, posed that question to the lineup of graduating LAS students the morning of our graduation ceremony. "Who has a job lined up?" whoever it was asked. And no one at all could say that they did.   [caption id="attachment_75141" align="aligncenter" width="1400"] Undergrad college graduation in 2003. [/caption]   The job market in 2003 was particularly...