Why don’t you get yourself an absurdly big table to use for folding laundry? The themes of my life last year were: adhesives and excavation. I learned how to stick things together with so many wonderful products, but that’s not important here. Excavation is the big idea. While cleaning out the garage, I opened a box that had sat there for decades. I knew there was a table in there, but I knew it surely had to be ruined from the harsh winters and humid summers. It’s been exposed to the elements for probably nearly twenty years, so when I opened it, I was expecting to light it on fire to get rid of the ruins, but it was in astonishingly perfect condition. Twelve feet long with inlaid wood that makes me feel like I should spread maps out all over it and plan an expedition. But, it’s even better for laundry. You can do weeks of laundry and fold it on a twelve-foot table and have room to spare. It’s a game changer. 


Why don’t you install a rainfall shower ASAP? Go get one now! It’s like being on vacation, but you’re at your own home! Cultivating that feeling of vacation is one of my only ambitions in life! When I lived in Paris, I had a stunning apartment with a shower designed by a fool who didn’t expect water to splash all over the bathroom past the pointlessly placed glass barrier. Very annoying, so I never gave these shower fixtures another moment of thought until Amazon suggested I get one. How dare they study my data so well to know it was exactly what I didn’t know I needed?! For only fifty dollars, I now feel like I’m a sultan standing under a waterfall, but I’m just in my basement. It’s wild. And it feels luxurious. And it’s just so fun. You need this upgrade for your mental health. You’re worth it. 


Why don’t you get a set of thank you notes to send out when you appreciate something or someone or some action? We don’t say thank you enough. We don’t appreciate enough. We just expect things and I’m very guilty of this. But still, we can always try to be nicer people. I just sent thank you notes to the new President and First Lady and then more notes to the new Vice-President and First Gentleman. Having President Biden and Vice-President Harris in positions of tremendous power gives me such happiness and gratitude and I wanted to share that with them. I know it’s a silly gesture, but it meant a lot to me. Remember just how far please and thank you can take you.


Why don’t you make creamy vegan cauliflower soup? You’ll hear more about this later, but I’m healthy again. Now that Joe’s president, I seem to actually want to focus on my health and stay mobile. It actually seems worthwhile to be alive again! I’m trying to eat more fruits and vegetables always but I didn’t know what to do with a cauliflower. It didn’t tempt me, but I had a flashback to Branson and I knew to make a soup. And now that I have a Vitamix blender, it literally ripped the ingredients into silky perfection. There wasn’t a drop of animal fat in it, but it tasted luscious. You wouldn’t believe there wasn’t cream. It was like being back at The Lantern restaurant in Luxor, where Debbie, rest her soul, made some of the most magnificent soups I’ve ever had. My soup felt decadent but it was just cauliflower lol. Here’s the recipe. Do it just as they say. 


Why don’t you use community resources like an art center? The Des Moines Art Center sent me a virtual image of a painting that wasn’t on display done by an obscure artist that I’m obsessed with. It was just the nicest thing in the world. I didn’t even really expect to get a response to my very specific email sent at like three o’clock in the morning in a deranged fit of research, but a few hours later, I was looking at a gorgeous and chaotic watercolor of Venice done in the 50s by a man named Robert Brady. You’ll learn too much more—and yet nothing at all really about him—in my next travel blog. It was a treat to be able to see that painting. I just love to experience all the things that were impossible and simply unthinkable years ago. In the past, I would have had to go there, ask curators, maybe fill out a request form. Maybe not, but I doubt it would have been so simple to see the painting. But today, in 2021, I have a digital copy of a painting hanging in my kitchen. I get to enjoy it now while letting the original rest in an acid-free box. Living in the future is just wonderful, and absolutely astonishing sometimes.

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