7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 150)
Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on a writing project that I haven’t been at liberty to talk about, but now I can finally announce what it is: I’m a contributor to Hallie Lord’s new book called Style, Sex, and Substance, which has just been made available for pre-order on Amazon. Go check out Hallie’s announcement to find out more, and to see who the other nine contributors are. I’m so excited — it’s going to be a great book!
One of the reasons I’m looking forward to our trip to Yale is that we’ll get to see a lot of my husband’s old friends. To give you an example of what these guys are like: A certain friend from his fraternity (who shall remain nameless, for reasons you will understand shortly) told me when I first met him that he was part of a secret society. Wow, interesting! I asked him if it was Skull and Bones, the mysterious super-exclusive, super-secret group that has captured the public imagination for ages. He said no, his secret society was called P*ss and Moan, and their mission was to go around and urinate on the door handles of the other Yale secret societies. These are my kind of people.
I just found the coolest blog gadget ever: I was browsing a new-to-me blog called Penniless Parenting, and down at the very bottom of her page (all the way down in the gray area) she has this nifty widget where you can find out what vegetables are currently in season in your area. Click on the blue arrows next to the place and the season to customize it for yourself. I love this. It’s so helpful to people like me, who have zero understanding of seasonal produce cycles (I had such a suburban upbringing that in childhood I didn’t even know that there were growing seasons — I figured that everything just came out of the ground all the time).
The way I originally found the aforementioned blog was because the author did a post about reusable toilet paper that was making the rounds. My original reaction was WTF!!! (What Tremendous Frugality!!!) Then I realized that I love the post, because I can appreciate people who question assumptions, and who are willing to do things a little differently to live out their ideals. Who’s to say we must flush our used toilet paper? In fact, maybe those of us who are still buying Charmin (or, okay, the generic store brand that’s like a cross between tissue paper and tree bark) are the ones who are missing out! There are over 40,000 Google results for “family cloth,” which is the fancy way of saying “reusable toilet paper,” so obviously a lot of people are doing this. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. Fluffy disposable toilet paper in roll form is a relatively new invention…and families do go through a lot of it…and it would save money not to buy so much of it…and reusable cloth toilet paper would be better for the environment…
However, there is no point in me spending one more second pondering this. My husband, who doesn’t even like to think about where yogurt comes from, would still buy toilet paper if it cost $100 per roll and we had to sell our car and most of our furniture to afford it. So let me turn the question over to you instead: Would you consider switching to reusable toilet paper? I’m especially interested to hear the thoughts of those who use cloth diapers, since it’s kinda the same thing.
I am officially 100% on the cloud. For non-nerds, this means that all of my computer documents are set up on programs that store them in a centralized database — so I can then access them from any computer, or through an online interface. I was already mostly there from switching to Gmail for email, and Evernote for notetaking. The last step was to get a free Dropbox account. I simply moved everything from my My Documents folder, where I store all my important docs, to my Dropbox folder. Dropbox then backs them up on a central server, and I can still use them on my computer when I’m offline.
To give a practical example: When we take our trip to the northeast in a couple of weeks, I’m going to borrow my mom’s tiny Netbook so that I can do some writing without having to lug around my heavy laptop. All I have to do is install Dropbox, and everything I have on my home computer will be right there on the Netbook — and any changes I make from the Netbook will automatically be synced, so I can get back to work on my home laptop without worrying about whether I have the latest version of the file.
This is nerd nirvana, folks.
I was just doing some searches as part of take #4, and I would hereby like to congratulate blogger extraordinaire and 7 Quick Takes regular Megan of Sorta Cruncy for being the #2 Google result for family cloth.
I like being busy, but this week was bad-busy. Within the span of four days we had a soccer game, a birthday party, trick-or-treating, two Masses, a radio interview, and a benefit dinner that somehow involved me staying out until 1 AM — and that’s not even counting the routine stuff like homeschooling, writing work, and the general toil it takes to keep this house running. I think I need to apologize to some folks who emailed me about making plans during this time, because my introvert pendulum swung a little too far the other way, and I responded with all-caps proclamations that how nobody would ever see me again because I was preparing to become a suburban hermit. I said that I was making plans to disconnect my phone, unplug my internet connection, and arrange to have groceries delivered because I was never, ever setting foot outside of my house again. Now that I have had a couple of days to recover, my view is more moderate, and I think I’ll eventually be open to leaving the house at least once a year.