Read Reduction

Used to be I had a reading pile. A to-be-read stack of whole magazines or just torn pages, books I picked up for free, printed online articles I didn’t have time to sit down and devote to immediately and knew I’d never find them again. Links can die, you know. Especially after a few years.

Well, I stopped all that physical periodical hoarding. Inspired by an accidental find years ago. 2014; while perusing positive topics for what used to be an email and US Mail based Midweek Encouragement Newsletter. ME News existed in an era otherwise known as ‘pre-blog.’

In the basest form of self-trickery for knowledge seekers, I canceled nearly all of the clutter subscriptions that lead to clutter. Nearly.

Costco and AAA send me monthly periodicals whether I want them or not. I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer monthly rag. I could stop them simply, but then, how would I know where all the good stuff is happening in Michigan, or discover why a certain product is better than another? Without endless key-word internet surfing for hours, I mean.

Plus, I’d also lose out on letters and phrases. Grade school, I’ve always loved collage. Went through an interesting and a bit obsessive, huge, collage cut-and-paste phase in college. Began as sorority-sister aimed birthday cards on budget. Ala kindergartener-ish: find a pretty picture, add some happy, descriptive 1500 level words and voila!

I also went through a band-love phase where I would use every print version of the band name I could find and pauperize it into wall hanging. I had a double 8”x14” pair-themed set of Duran Duran fonts proudly displayed in my first dorm room. Hmm. Who am I kidding?

So, maybe both of those things weren’t phases. I’m obviously still in a band-loving stage. And, I still cut out words and phrases. Anyway, the point is, now even just those three founts of info tend to heap on my coffee table. Not a real problem. I break them down, take what I need as I read through, recycle the bulk and end up with smaller piles.

My digital stash is overwhelming, though. I leave large articles unread until I have the time. I gold-star articles that may be of use in the future. I subscribe to a few special interest daily/weekly emails for things I am truly interested in. I’d really like to engage with these lurking lessons. I’m really a little stressed out that I will never catch up and, yet, I continue to pull and hold.

826, 180, 11, 109 emails awaiting my attention. Some are new. About 600 are marked for future, do not delete articles, updates, initiatives. Surprisingly the 826 is not my junk box. It also dates from 2010 forward. Pictures, scratch writing, thoughts – these aren’t a concern to me. I’ll get to them. When? Well, when I do.

There’s def a need to tackle. Do I start with one source and read straight through? Oldest to newest in unrelated order? Sort and scour by topic? By informative value or creative enjoyment? Ugh.

This all sounds way too much like a lot of pre-work to manage my actual desire.

The Minimalists, Podcast 286: Enoughism

Free-scape

So, here’s what happened.

I got a email. About gardening. In my very unknown, incoming-only, address.

It’s another account I keep to keep clutter from my real email.

You know, the one that people I actually know have and where the important stuff goes.

Anyway, the beauty of this junk box is that it fills up nicely with coupons and offers and a lotta ‘free.’ I love freebies. Even if I don’t need it, or won’t use it, if it’s free – I snag it and pass it along.

Samples are a great way to experiment, especially for less money. It’s a win-win. For me, experimenting for less is a happy mind expansion thing. Plus, deals and coupons save me money on stuff I know I’m going to buy, anyway. Same sort of mindset as Fetch and Ibotta. I just love layering.

I get a few newsy-type dailies that let me know when and where to find good stuff. I was particularly excited to learn Lowe’s was having a series of garden give-aways. Hypocritical, I know considering how hard I take the ‘annual that which I despise’ obligation.

I shared this with my gardening friend who had already heard about and tried to get into it.

Registration for the first event opened at midnight and her experience was that the site was overloaded and she didn’t get anywhere.

That was a bummer to hear. I’m not that driven to stay up until midnight battling it out with other batty internet users. Strangely, enough, though…

By the time I’d finished my weekly blog, sent it out into the social-universes of FB me, FB Knabble, WordPress, IG and Twitter it was 11:20 PM. I still thought it might be a little over the top to be hovering over my keyboard for 40 more minutes.

I puttered around prepping for the next-day work-day by re-filing blog fodder, and just generally straightening and restoring my desk back to the ‘real job’ configuration. At 11:47 the idea was still free-floating around in my head. I still had a bit of time on my non-gardening, don’t-like-to-get-too-dirty hands.

I turned up Spotify and tuned into Grandson. It’s not the kind of music you can tune-out to. Hence, the love. The first time I heard Grandson was through an IG video reaction site; totally recommend a follow. Besides the music/reaction, dude’s got an oddly sense of humor. (Links’ll be below.)

11:58, I thought I’d just try and slip into the site. Get queued up. No dice. Just a bit of a reprimand that it wasn’t time, yet.

So, I outed. Then, I inned. And outed and inned. Mmm hmm. Turned into an online version of the day after Christmas at Wal*mart at 4:00 AM in Tennessee. That’s a story by itself. Never again, folks. Never, again. Although, I did end up at a Michigan Kohl’s one black Friday. 5:00 AM. Easy in, easy find. Horrible two and a half hours of standing in line to check out. Never, again, to that, too. At least Kohl’s, handed out candy canes.

Stroke of midnight at Lowe’s online, I got it right! I got right in.

But, of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Quote for the Week:

Grandson: (do you have enough love in your heart to go and get your hands) Dirty

Recommended reactionary: @fablefil

Milk and an Air Horn

About the milk:

I found this sweet-sad note from my father to Jeff. I don’t have Jeff’s original part of the email, but the subject reads, ‘Carnation Milk.’

From: Dad

Sent: Monday, May 27, 2002

To: Jeff & Jodi

Real funny! Keep them coming!

I really enjoyed your visit. I wish we could have spent more time doing things together that guys do. Maybe things will turn around someday for the both of us. Let’s keep the faith and try real hard.

Miss you already,

Dad  (It’s not often that a guy has three dads)

P.S. Jodi, are you going to change your email address to “Korte.”

About the air horn:

There’d rarely been a night when Jeff hadn’t woken up at least once. He’d wander the house, have a snack, watch tv or get on the computer. I’d gotten used to that and barely noticed anymore.

one night in early June 2004, Jeff had decided that he did not want to possibly disturb Nannee by using the computer in the office room next to hers. Instead, he’d gone to the den and fallen asleep to the TV.

In the morning, Nannee let Jeff know she’s had a very rough night. She thought she might have been having a heart attack and called out to us repeatedly. At the other end of the house, we had not heard her. She insisted she felt fine that morning, and p’shawed the suggestion that she visit her doctor, saying it hadn’t been that long ago that she’d seen him.

It was Jeff’s idea to provide Nannee with an air horn. I wasn’t home when they tested it. As we went to bed, I worried that we might not hear it with our bedroom door closed. Jeff assured me, we’d hear it, but left the door open to ease my mind.

The next night, I heard the air horn. Jeff heard the air horn, and with the windows open on that cool June night, most of the neighborhood probably heard it to. I was already jolted half out of bed, when Jeff took off from his side, closest to the bedroom door.

He got there first and called back to me to call 911. Nannee went by ambulance to Bixby, then by ambulance to Toledo. The Bixby doctor was quite angry when he spoke to us following some tests. He ordered a stomach pump, curtly demanded to know who her doctor was and then left us in the curtain-divided emergency room.

When he came back, he was more subdued. Nannee and her doctor must have known her digestive system was failing. She hadn’t shared that with us. She had told us, though, that she didn’t want to die in a hospital.

Quote for the Week:

2017 07 11 Not every profession can laugh at the jokes jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

An internet search found this joke. I’d wager this was likely it. ;-):  Carnation Milk Joke

Not true, but: Carnation Milk Snopes

Air Horn: There’s an App for That

Crush

Crush sucks up a lot of my daily life.

Most late afternoons, my perpetual lists and lists of lists are updated, reworked; feasible within normal limits of someone who has no other circumstance or person requiring energy divergence. Daily, I corral 4 or 5 must-do’s, herding them to the top of the list. There are always a few wishful thinking “If-I-Feel-Like-It’s” further down. Eventually, the IFLI’s rotate into prominence, and other not-so-urgents take their place. The harder things and the piddily things slide up and down; the regular things are the ones I remain committed to.

Post-work early evenings, an hour’s worth of unlisteds begin. Walking comes first, if possible. Postbox mail retrieval, plant watering, clothes changing, disassembling my lunch box, dinner, dirty dishes, assembling lunch, cat tending, prepping clothes for the next workday; all rote. Then, the decisions begin.

Some days the mail purposely remains unread. Nothing-to-handle piles itself up on the sideboard. Seeing it sitting there is a stressor semi-easily re-categorized as semi-ignorable. On the days when action is required, I clump the must-handles together, and rifle and toss the rest. Unless it’s a magazine; then, it piles itself on the coffee table for another someday. Under the handle it once rule if I am holding a bill, I want to pay it, file it, and be done with it. I take myself upstairs and wait for the computer boot, all the while staring at my list.

A problematic get it-out-of-the-way temperament derails me. Payment secured or scheduled, logic dictates continuity; other acts must follow. I update my register, review the budget, log expenditures in EPS.* As long as I am sitting at the computer, I might as well delve into the weight of main and multiple email accounts, checking for more required payments and due date reminders hiding between notifications: Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook, Word Press, Sparkpeople, MyPoints, E-Reader, Kohl’s, Pet Supplies Plus, Current, Vermont Country Store, FTD, The Grommet, Living Social, Groupon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Sears. AT&T, Verizon, Zingerman’s, Costco, Kroger, Daytrotter, MeetUp, Snapfish, Omaha Steaks, Live Nation, Amazon, Expedia, Women’s Ministry, Crafty Kids, Brad’s Deals, What on Earth.  Click, delete. Click, delete. Occasionally, just delete. Unless MyPoints has a click-thru, or if I haven’t logged my nutrition or exercise into SparkPeople, or if an email actually looks save-for-a-later-date interesting. Coupons don’t get deleted either. Discounts should never be sneezed at.

Down to 601 unread emails, I’ve been sitting for another hour now. If I haven’t already taken my evening walk, by this point, I’m not likely to.  I log out of my inbox and the news pops up. All sorts of things distract me; horrific, entertaining, intelligent, dumb. Unlimited information streams nurture fears of missing important pieces of the world. Cruising creates another time crush, which I eventually abandon out of boredom. Before kicking off the internet, I convince myself I should make sure I’m not missing a Facebook birthday. I should play moves in my current 30 Words with Friends games in the interest of promoting myself as being responsive, polite player, and for the added benefit of possibly making another move later.

Glancing at the list, I bite my lip and sigh. Not enough time for that, not enough concentration for that, not enough enthusiasm for that, before I do that I have to do this. Between overwhelm and laziness, I succumb, self-offering certain possibilities for tomorrow.

On these strangely justifiable late weekday evenings, the mindlessness of Candy Crush is enthusiastically welcomed. It’s a wind down experience; a blanking, mind-numbing, pre-retiring near-necessity. After using all 5 immediately available plays, I smooth into another crush. This one involves cookies and pastries that thankfully don’t resemble reality. When those plays have dwindled, I flip back to the first crush, and back to the second crush, and back to the first crush. Until the next energy deposit is 20 minutes away and I have cruised past a decent bedtime for a responsible adult.

Somewhere in between, sometimes, some things get done. I’m not sure that the reason I don’t do these things is because I don’t want to do them. They’re on the list because I want to do them. I have plenty of time; not enough incentive. Plenty of responsibilities; not enough reasons for resistance.

First thing amid the disappointment of morning, the list is reappears. Contemplation, evaluation, reprioritization, recommitment: re-ordered as attainable tasks I aim to accomplish, today. I set the bar again, prepared to leap past it, though I fully expect the crush.

 

Quote for the Week:

The remedy for responsibility is candy crush

Enjoy this week’s Discovery Links

Crushing Demographics: http://www.mnn.com/money/sustainable-business-practices/blogs/candy-crush-saga-addiction-is-worth-millions

Hedonic Adaptation – No Pay for Play: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&qpvt=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=3292BD8E7F5DD384DD333292BD8E7F5DD384DD33

Non-Addictive Stress Relief Games: http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/tp/games.htm

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PS. EPS = Every Penny Spent, spreadsheet of where the money goes, and goes, and goes…

PSS. I don’t pay to play, never will.