Series: Sites and Apps

I tend to use a handful of sites and apps regularly, and I thought it’d be fun to start a list. (Lists are fun. Lists make me feel accomplished with little work.)

Let’s start with Pinterest.

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I’ve heard criticisms of Pinterest that I think can be mitigated or eliminated with some good old Best-Use Practices. In other words, YOU MAY BE DOING IT WRONG.

Some of my friends feel Pinterest is a waste of time–and like any other cool thing on the Internet, it can be. But also like any other Internet thing that is also a reflection of you, it must be curated. I don’t mean that in an annoying, high-falutin’ way. I mean that if you want it to be useful for you, interesting to you, and appealing to others, you’ve got to do a few things:

1. Follow accounts and boards you find interesting.

On Pinterest I may not get the most enjoyment out of following the “Hope Chest” board of a 20-year-old girl dreaming of rings and engagement photo shoots.

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However, she and I may love the same kinds of recipes, art, or shoes. I choose which boards to follow, not just which people.

Your own categories or boards will grow as you discover what you find useful (recipes? home design ideas?).

2. Create content that excites, stimulates, and appeals to you.

If you really like what you pin, you get several useful things from your effort. You’ll have one place to visually scan categories of your favorite things or primary aspirations. This served me well recently when I was seeking a new tattoo design to celebrate my 40th birthday. I pinned designs I really loved, and as I examined that board, my own idea began to form.

Pinning only what really appeals to you also helps like-minded pinners find you. You may discover someone who really inspires you, as I did with artist Rowena Murillo.

3. Let Pinterest be what YOU want it to be. 

It’s a tool for you. If you want to catalog recipes, awesome! If you want to create outfits on Polyvore and share them, that’s cool, too.

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You may be dreaming of your first home, or maybe you’re interested in going Paleo. It’s all there, but the site will serve you best if you remember that it’s your servant, basically. You create and share content that helps you.

I had a similar conversation with myself when starting Grammarish.

On this site I don’t have to post about a certain thing; unlike my last blog, which was tied to food, I can write about anything here. And there are no rules as to timing or length of posts, either. No guilt. Just a place to be myself and talk about what interests me, in hopes that it will at times be revelatory, useful, humorous, or inspiring to me and to others.

 

Fear the Jean: American Apparel Edition

I lived through the 1980s, and I remember these jeans, which is more than the audience being marketed to here can say: Image

I think I am getting hives. Whether it’s the acid wash or the cut, I can’t say. Can’t…deconstruct…feelings.Image

This would go really well with my old ESPRIT shirt and chunky jewelry. And Coty Wild Musk. Actually, though, my first thought was of the Mom Jeans SNL skit. If you are ready to go deeper into the rabbit hole, here’s another version–not so much a Mom jean. More of a straight time machine back to 1987. Paired with Minnetonka lace-up boots, a Def Leppard T-shirt, and a lot of hairspray: Image

On one hand, I can appreciate a high waist, particularly after having two children AND witnessing the cracktapular havoc that super-low rises wreaked on our culture. Plumbers have nothing on that trend. On the other hand, these jeans are not what my eyes can fathom as attractive.

Capt Herb: ATL Legend

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Capt Herb, ATL Legend

I’ll never forget Capt. Herb’s voice–one that’s guided me through many a commuter rush hour. Atlanta loves you, Captain. Thank you for your service to our city.

Capt. Herb’s Bio

ADHD: Yeah, It Exists, No Matter What the Attention-Seeking Doctor on TV Says

In the past year or so, my son Noah was diagnosed with ADHD. It’s been a hard road to walk (and that’s a post I’m not writing today), but along the way I learned that I have ADHD, too.

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Suddenly MANY THINGS from my childhood onward made a lot of sense. My adult life makes more sense. Medication has helped both Noah and me to function more successfully in the world.

You know what sucks more than having a condition like ADHD? Having people tell you it doesn’t exist. Morons like this guy perpetuate this myth to the detriment of people like ME and MY SON. Why do people harp on this condition in particular? Do they tell people with depression to get happy? Do they tell anxious people to relax?

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The moment ADHD comes up in a conversation with someone who doesn’t know I have it or that Noah has it, I often hear some version of clucking about “kids these days” being “overmedicated.” No one can usually specifically name one of these children, accurately describe the condition of the child, or remark on the effect of the meds, and relate the doctors’ determinations (often it’s an anecdote about a child they know tangentially). But they can go on for a good while about kids, you know, these days.

Here’s the truth: families go through a lot, generally speaking, before medicating a child. No one sees it as a first option. No one I know takes it lightly. It cost us many hundreds of dollars to first assess what was going on with our son, and then to seek the right treatment–in fact, that’s an ongoing process. It hurts when people flippantly protest this treatment in a general way.

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For Noah, medication is involved, and his teachers from both kindergarten and first grade can testify that it was and is sorely needed. It has made a nearly immeasurable difference in his behavior and academic performance. For example, this year Noah went from not being in the highest reading group–something I knew wasn’t reflective of his innate abilities–to reading at a fourth-grade level. In first grade. Because now he can sit and focus long enough to realize his potential.

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Please learn about ADHD for yourself from reputable sources before forming an opinion. I’ve included some resources on this page for further reading.

New Decade, New Ink

I’m going to be 40 this month.

I don’t usually think much of birthdays; I enjoy cake, ice cream, and loved ones, but I don’t care if others remember it’s my birthday. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it or be surprised. Low-key is fine with me.

There’s no denying, though, that 40 is a marker. I prefer to think of it as a badge of ascension and pride rather than a scourge of shame, which I think is what prompted this move. Why should 40 be anything but awesome? You’ve figured out who you are. You have zero time for any kind of malice, artifice, or duplicity.

In a painful (SO PAINFUL), hours-long process, this artwork was made a part of me. I think it expresses beauty, accomplishment, talent, and wisdom, and those are things I both strive for and am happy to have.

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Proverbs 16:31
Gray hair is a mark of distinction, the award for a God-loyal life.