Why don’t you see if the library of your favorite deceased author is up for sale, scour through the offerings, and then serendipitously buy her personal copy of your favorite children’s book that reminds you of her even though it has absolutely nothing to do with her? Or does it? Having another person’s book really lets you do a fascinating study on them. Any bookmarks, folded corners, sheets of fragile notepaper tucked between pages, an interesting sticker, underlinings, secret codes? Any pages lay flatter than any others? You get what I mean. I screamed with unexpected delight when I found that I could be the proud owner of Barbara Mertz’s copy of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This fever dream of a book is about two children who run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, investigate art mysteries, and befriend reclusive ladies of means. It captivated me as an adult. Never knew of it as a child. For that, I’m sure the police are extraordinarily thankful. What a treat for me to own that book and have that book be Barbara’s own! The world can be wonderfully silly sometimes.
Why don’t you get a COVID-19 vaccine the second you can? I have no data, so I can’t confirm or deny reports that vaccines are being destroyed if they expire before use. I can assure you, though, that in the state of Iowa (at least), if a vaccination site has doses set to expire and there are no appointments for them, anybody who is alive and in the vicinity can ethically get vaccinated before they expire. I received my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine this way. This dose was expiring twenty minutes from when I received it and it wasn’t spoken for. If it hadn’t been for this stroke of luck I haven’t the vaguest inkling of when I would be vaccinated. The rollout has been tragic, but I’m excited about how much better it’s gotten since President Biden assumed power. The shot was painless and it was free. Botox was more painful, actually. To be fully transparent, I had side effects I was not expecting thet were way more severe than I could have imagined, but they were still absolutely not nearly as bad as dying of COVID-19. I look forward to getting my next dose of the vaccine and then, soon, I can spontaneously go for lunch in LA. It’s become an overwhelming fantasy of mine ever since the pandemic began.
Why don’t you take all of the foreign language classes the Duolingo app offers? Honestly, why don’t you? There are no consequences for doing poorly, and there is no tangible benefit to doing well in the app. I’ll explain why in a bit. No matter how many lessons you master or how infrequently you do them, you’re always learning, so there’s no losing. You’re always going to do better by just doing it, even if the app yells at you for missing a weekend. I was curious and so I made it to the top of top of the app. It took many-many-many hours of work to dominate the leaderboard, and it was mildly exhilarating though nothing at all happened when I assumed the leader position for days on end. I was sure that when my time as overlord of Duolingo arrived and ended, I would get some kind of digital reward or recognition. And I was right, I got like a handful of virtual gems, and I was delighted at the pittance. I knew at that moment that there was nothing at the top for me, so now I don’t allow the leader board dominate my life, I just take random classes on whatever language strikes my fancy. It’s liberating and I can order wine in like…literally every country probably.
Why don’t you twirl like a whirling dervish in your home library? I mean this absolutely literally. One of my favorite walking series on my treadmill is a tour of Turkey. I’ve never had much interest in this country other than perhaps visiting Istanbul at some point, but I think I might have had a past life there. Every episode makes me tear up significantly. I can almost cry on cue now thinking about the finale of episode two. We were led to the top of a mountain where whirling dervishes spun with a sense of utter and total serenity. I thought it was spectacular and burst into tears — I think I really miss traveling — and nearly fell off the treadmill. Anyway, I’ve been twirling in my robe in the library ever since and it really is wonderful. Let me show you just how serious I am about this:
Why don’t you buy yourself a Vitamix FoodCycler? This is the definition of a nonessential item, but I will be shocked if a similar appliance doesn’t become standard in home kitchens in the next few decades. It’s essentially a rapid composter, but that definition stretches the bounds of the definition of composting. You’re not making textbook compost; you’re breaking down food matter into viable plant nutrients. It’s about the size of a big bread maker and you load up a bucket with all of your food scraps, hit a button, and within five to eight hours, it breaks the food down into what looks like dirt. It’s truly incredible and shocking to load the bucket with egg shells and citrus rinds and kale stems and excess herbs and withered flowers and coffee grounds and tea bags and pull out maybe a cup of nutrient rich dust that you can add to the soil in your garden. It’s truly an amazing product that makes me feel like I’m doing my part for the planet. I really don’t think I could be without it now that I have it. An absolute game changer.