THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #113

LOVE:

Pomodoro Technique:

pomodoro1

I have been insanely busy since the day I returned to America. It’s ridiculous, and I don’t like living this way! Don’t get me wrong, I like being busy, but I like to be busy with things that are enjoyable to me. When my time becomes completely filled up with work, cleaning, trying to exercise a bit, and taking a full load of college classes…well, I have completely lost control of my life. It used to be so easy to rise late, buy some nibbles at the boulangerie and tan on the beach for a few hours reading a gossip magazine. Now I’m lucky to have a moment to watch thirty minutes of television while washing the dishes. I have been overwhelmed, so I started looking into time management techniques to help me out. I tried a few, but the only one that makes me feel like I have a bit of control is the Pomodoro Technique. In this, you work for twenty-five minutes and then take a five minute break. This half hour is called a single pomodoro. After you do four pomodoros, you are allowed a fifteen minute break. This is far from perfect, but I feel that it has been helping me out with my course work, which has been tremendously helpful. I know that reading a chapter of a textbook will take a certain number of pomodoros, and I know that I can get a few little tasks done during the breaks. I think I have adult onset ADD, so this has been helpful!

New York Times Mini Crossword:

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I have never been a crossword person. They make me feel stupid, and I’m not stupid. I’m actually very intelligent, but some of the creative clues throw me for a loop. I enjoy the crosswords in the gossip magazines, because I know that I know all the clues about Jamie Lynn Spears and the latest “girlfriend” connected to One Direction. A regular intellectual crossword, though? No thank you. Recently, I downloaded the New York Times app, and I adore it! It’s great to get the news delivered this way, and then have fascinating stories to peruse when I have a few free minutes. When I was in a cemetery in Nice, I read the most fabulous story about longevity. Fascinating stuff about olive oil and walking. But the best part of the app is the mini-crossword. It’s literally five by five, and I can solve it in a minute and a half. It’s thrilling. I like a quick and easy reward. I’m like the laziest dog in the world expecting a treat for rolling over, but I love it. When I wake up each morning, it’s the first thing I do. And then I begin my day feeling magnificently superior. Try it reader. The app is flawless.

HATE:

Probably Inability to Attend OSIRIS Exhibit in Paris:

OSIRIS_3058351336028768482

One of my ambitions is to get scuba certification and then go diving off the port of Alexandria to see the Ptolemaic Egyptian ruins that are just under water. I’ve had fantasies of this ever since news reached my ears about it. Then I saw pictures and I lost my shit.

Aleksandria-Riny-2

It’s stunning. I’ve babbled on endlessly about my aspirations to anybody who would listen. A couple of years ago, I was sat next to a professional diver on an Amtrak train, and I talked his ear off from San Luis Obispo all the way to Oakland. I’m sure he was glad when I got off and he carried on to Seattle, but I wanted to know everything about diving! I don’t know if I will enjoy it when I finally get around to it, but I am sure as hell going to try. When I was in Paris last month, I saw an advertisement at FNAC that made me nearly curl up in a ball and sob and sob. From the eighth of September through the end of January, there is going to be an exhibition of relics from the Alexandria site at the Arab Institute. I died, reader. I have to go. I have to see it. There’s no indication that this is a traveling tour, which crushes my soul. How, though, can I justify a few days in Paris to my wallet after being back for barely a month? I can’t, but I have done much dumber things in my life with my money. I don’t even think this is dumb, it’s just tricky. I’m really trying hard lately to be fiscally responsible, but it’s difficult when the world taunts me this way. I’ve already planned out my itinerary for the four days I’d be there. I need to get a sugar daddy who approves of my Egyptological passion. Do you know any?

Enjoying Justin Bieber’s New Song:

[This video is a bunch of shit, but I’m all about the beat.]

I’m really disturbed, readers. I’m uncomfortable, nervous, and I think I might have broken into a rash. You see…I liked a Justin Bieber song. I’m not that judgmental when it comes to music. I don’t care what you listen to, as long as it isn’t Chris Brown. (When you mess up as monumentally as he did, there is no forgiveness from me.) I preach the blessings of pop music far and wide, and I have more photos of Harry Styles saved on my iPhone than most teenagers. I feel no shame about my love of celebrity and pop. I could never get behind Justin, though. I never disliked his music — even though I never got why you’d be sitting by the fire eating fondue — I just sincerely disliked him as a person. He has spent years acting like an idiot. (That drag racing in Miami story gave me life, though.) He came off as the biggest asshole in the world. And he’s entitled to be an asshole. He’s rich and famous. I get it. I just don’t get why he chose that as the image he wants to present to the world. So, even though working at school brings me into contact with Bieber more than I want, he has never been on my mind. Well, he was on my mind a little bit when he posted this picture:

justin-bieber

We all have moments of weakness.

When I was in Europe this summer, that “Where Are Ü Now” was everywhere, and I found myself bopping to the beat. That warble thing drives me crazy in the best way. I liked it so much that I actually downloaded it. I’m embarrassed but also kind of proud and also mortified. I just want to dance to that song 24/7. Whatever. Only Beyoncé can judge me.

New Photo Layouts in Instagram:

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Last night, when my iPhone updated the apps, I was appalled and disgusted by the newest version of Instagram. The new gingham filter is lovely, but I love me a good filter. My irritation comes from the new photo layouts. Now, for reasons I will never willingly understand, you can post landscape and portrait photos in addition to the traditional square. I AM HAVING NONE OF THIS. Half of the fun of Instagram is the challenge of getting your photo cropped just right to fit within the confines of a square. It’s supposed to be like a polaroid, not a regular camera! Photography isn’t supposed to be simple. It’s supposed to force you to be an artist, and the square forces you to think creatively. Now you can just slap up any old picture. I am already beside myself with anger. I posted one just to see how it went, and I felt utterly and thoroughly disgusted with myself. Edwin’s portrait on top of my espresso machine was adorable, but I felt like I was cheating.

Espresso queen. #cat #pet #coffee#zombieprincess

A post shared by Benjamin Phillips (@bdphillips) on

 

I didn’t have to zoom or stretch or crop. I just put it there. It wasn’t a puzzle and it wasn’t a challenge and it just wasn’t fun. I can’t see myself using this feature. (But Lord knows I will. I like to sound like an old man, and I often behave like one, but I do eventually give into modernity. I mean, I was just looking at Apple Watches and seriously thinking about acquiring one. Who am I?) Go back to the old ways, Instagram. I will always love you, though, whatever you do.

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