Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Worth of Writing

My friends at Grammarly pulled together some interesting data and bundled it into this nifty infographic. They then asked if I'd let them guest post on my blog for a day. Well of course I would! And that was before they offered to bribe me. For real. In exchange for a simple blog post, Grammarly is donating cold, hard cash to Reading Is Fundamental. Because  literacy changes lives. This is how you spread the good.
 
This infographic brought to you by my friends over at Grammarly, a group of grammar nerds that have teamed up to create the best online grammar checker the world has ever seen.

So hey. What's writing worth?

 
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Thirty Degree, Guaranteed Cranky, Threshold

Barriers. I've talked about them before. These are the things that keep us from doing what we all know we're supposed to do. For some people (me) it's exercise. I know I should. And I want to - I really do. 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day staves off migraines in a big way. So, honest. I'm motivated.

And yet.

Something stands in my way. That's a barrier. The trick is figuring out what that barrier is. For some people, it's as simple as packing a workout bag and setting out exercise clothes so the morning is a no brainer. In my case, It's the cold. Once the outdoor temperatures drop below 30 degrees, I'm done. Guaranteed grump point. No. I will not go out on an interval training walk/run. My toes are already painfully frozen in my sneakers. There aren't enough clothes in the world to make it okay. Going out on a bike ride is out of the question, too. My fingers and toes ache. What I really want to do is go out into the frigid morn and slam my face into the wind chill that riding would entail. Ever frozen the snot in your nose? Trust me. Do not want.

Last night, it struck me that I've filled my life with ways to make life harder. Plenty of people don't have a dishwasher, so I can't complain about that. Much. I *do* when I'm washing my third sink full of dishes for the day. But you know, cooking. Just cooking is more difficult - I'm working with a two burner propane stove with an oven the size of a bread box. Not to mention a tiny refrigerator and no microwave. I can't pull something out of the freezer and put it on the dinner table an hour later. This has done unfortunate things to my culinary skills and to my diet. Heck. Just taking a shower means kitting up and walking the equivalent of a football field, in the freezing dark, so I can plug the marina shower with quarters in exchange for two minutes of hot water. Then there's the walk back. Managing electrical load - I cannot be warm and vacuum the floors at the same time. It will blow the circuit breaker. The heat has to be shut down, then I can tidy up. This is essential, because my other guaranteed grump point is having my floors crunch when I walk on them. I've tried to find a medication to treat that.

99% of my barriers come down to the cold. So many people are bothered by the lack of sunlight at this time of year. Not me. Couldn't care less. In fact, I'd be grateful for the return of the rain. It would be warmer and as a  boater, I have the gear for 40 degrees and rain slanting in sideways. Frost? Not so much. If it snows this year, I may snap, take an ax to the dock lines and aim for the south Pacific. I do still love my boat - even with the challenges and frustrations. And yes. I am well aware that makes me perverse. Hush up and help me find a place in Fiji or Tahiti where I can moor the boat.