a cluttered house is now cool

This post may be unusual for the type of content usually shared here, but that just makes it random, which kinda makes it fit. πŸ™‚ Ultimately it’s about enjoying life more, which does fit.

Marie Kondo, of decluttering fame, now has 3 kids, and guess what — her house is now messy. Who could have predicted this? People with young kids understand! You can spend hours cleaning and decluttering, and kids can make it look like tornado came through in 30 minutes or less.

Before children, it’s not that hard to maintain a decluttered home. I mean, it still takes considerable work, but it’s possible. Once you have kids, the dynamic changes. And Marie Kondo learned some things:

1) Kids take up a LOT of your time (as they should).
2) Cleaning takes 10x more time. No, the math doesn’t add up, but some messes cause a disproportionate amount of cleanup, like spilled milk, or those “How did poop get here?” experiences. And just collecting the dirty laundry becomes a scavenger hunt. (The other day we found 7 socks with no match and spent way more time than you would expect looking for a single match.)
3) Keeping your house looking like those in a magazine or TV show becomes less important (as it should).

It’s funny when you have kids and you visit someone who doesn’t have kids, and they say, “Excuse the mess” when you arrive, but you don’t see a mess. πŸ™‚

It’s easy to laugh about how Marie Kondo’s bestselling book was titled, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and her motto on her Netflix series was “Tidy house, tidy mind”, and I’m joking about it now, but it shows how priorities change when you have children. One of her iconic phrases was about filling your home with items that “spark joy”, and it’s good to be organized. (I’m not putting that down — most of us could probably do better with that.) Now she has realized, “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times. I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home. … My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life.” Good for her!

She now focuses on the Japanese concept of kurashi, which loosely translates as “way of life” or “the ideal way of spending our time”, which now is more about decluttering what’s filling up your time rather than what’s filling up your closet. On her website it says, “The true purpose of tidying is not to cut down on your possessions or declutter your space. The ultimate goal is to spark joy every day and lead a joyful life.” I can relate to that. Life tends to be “too busy” and cluttered, with not enough time to do what’s most important. I push back on the busyness and from trying to keep a perfectly-maintained house (which is near-impossible with kids unless you neglect the kids). Life is too short to get caught up in worrying about what someone else might think. If you see my home, it’ll look like busy people with young kids live there. To me, that’s authentic. (I’m not against picking up when company visits, of course, but is it authentic to present an unrealistic lifestyle?) If they judge me for my house not looking like a house in a magazine photo, that’s on them. I don’t have to lose my peace over their judgmental attitude.

Oh, sorry — I started to rant there. One last thing from the article: Marie Kondo now makes it a point to drink tea three times a day and prioritize spending plenty of time with her kids. Sounds like a plan! Now please excuse me, I must go drink some sweet tea. πŸ™‚

P.S. Apparently the idea of having your house somewhat cluttered has actually become popular and trendy, being called “cluttercore”. (I was unaware of this movement. However, this obviously means that I am trendy, perhaps even a trendsetter because I was living in a cluttered house before cluttered was cool.) πŸ™‚

fun-sized candy bars

In a recent post about trying to be a responsible adult with a bowl of chocolate, I ended it with the idea of eating “a reasonably-sized piece of chocolate”. That made me think of “fun size” candy bars. That’s a weird bit of marketing. Does anyone think those bite-sized candy bars are actually more fun?

Plenty keeps me up at night. Global warming. The world my kids will inherit. The logic behind calling the smallest candy bars “fun size” when the real fun comes from eating a mass of chocolate the size of a brick. ~ Jon Wertheim

Can’t argue with that. πŸ™‚ If there were truth-in-advertising laws that applied here, those “fun size” candy bars might be called “small enough to make you mad” or “it’s tiny so we can say it’s not many calories” or “try to eat just one”. πŸ™‚ Some of those are so small that you have to make a concerted effort to make it more than one bite.

One time I saw a 5-pound Hershey’s chocolate bar. I think it was at the Hershey’s store in Times Square in New York City. Attempting to eat that would be a lot more fun than one bite of chocolate. It would be so unhealthy and unreasonable, too, but we’re talking about fun. Healthy and reasonable might be eating a salad instead, and where’s the fun in that? (I will admit that it is possible to make a great tasting salad, but healthiness decreases at an inverse rate as tastiness increases, which is a discussion for another day.)

Also, think about how great a gift it would be to give someone a 5-pound chocolate bar. Young kids would not be able to contain their excitement and astonishment. They might even start dancing spontaneously. Some adults may also not be able to hide their excitement, either. πŸ™‚ The recipient might be excited at having so much chocolate to themselves, or they could share it and be the life of the party. Giving away chocolate makes any party better!

improving Trump’s NFT digital trading cards

Before the randomness, here’s the backstory in case you hadn’t heard about it (which is somewhat random on its own).

Recently former President Donald Trump teased a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” coming up, so some people wondered if he was creating his own political party or announcing his Vice-President. Well, apparently “MAJOR” has different meanings for some people. His big news was that he’s selling digital trading cards (NFTs) of himself in Photoshopped images for $99 each.

What’s funny about it is how the video commercial was done, and how crazy the cards are (in that they don’t represent his actual life at all). See for yourself: Collect Trump Cards. He tries to make a couple of self-deprecating comments, but you know it’s not sincere because he immediately says he’s better than Lincoln and Washington. You can win a chance for dinner with him. It might be eating hamburgers at McDonald’s. πŸ™‚ Watching the video, I wonder if Trump refused to do any reshoots of his presentation or if all the other takes were somehow worse. πŸ™‚

He says in the video that these make “a great Christmas gift”. What follows is just my advice, so do whatever you want with it, but I’d recommend to NOT give one of these to anybody even if they’re a big Trump fan. They are NFTs, which mean they exist in the “cloud” (or, rather, blockchain). Basically, you’re getting a picture that is stored on someone else’s computer. And despite the hype around NFTs, I do not think they are a good investment. (Although standard disclaimers apply with any investing advice. I’m not a professional investing agent, but I will not be buying these. However, while I don’t recommend buying NFTs for investment, I wouldn’t be against selling them if someone wants to give me $99 for a picture I made on my computer. It’s a good deal for the person selling them, but not for most people buying them.) Instead of a Christmas gift, this is a Christmas grift. He’s just after your money.

Supposedly there were 45,000 copies generated, and they are now sold out. That’s sad, that that many people gave him money for not much in return. Also, regarding “value”, each time you sell one, “there will be a 10% royalty on the sale price that will be paid back to the creator”.

Okay, let’s get back on track here (meaning randomness). The reality is sad, and while it was supposed to be “MAJOR”, it was lame. So let’s take it up a notch! Someone needs to create some real trading cards (and not NFTs) that depict the more hilarious parts of Trump’s lifestyle. (Remember that these cards were supposed to be showing “really incredible artwork pertaining to my life and my career”, but, none of them do, except maybe the golf one.) So here’s some ideas:

  • Trump with the buffet of cheeseburgers at a White House dinner
  • Trump flushing documents down the toilet
  • Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at The Four Seasons Total Landscaping
  • Trump saluting a North Korean general
  • Covfefe
  • Trump redrawing a hurricane’s path with a Sharpie
  • Trump saying his tax returns are big and beautiful, and they will be released in two weeks
  • Trump saying he exchanged “beautiful letters” with North Korea’s leader and they “fell in love”
  • Trump saying he will release the “irrefutable evidence” of voter fraud in two days (which he never did)
  • Trump losing the 2020 election by over 7 million votes
  • Trump selling NFT cards

I glanced on eBay and there are a number of Trump parody cards for sale, including several Garbage Pail Kids variations. A search, if you want to see for yourself: Donald Trump parody cards.

Update: I wrote the above a while back, and now some guys have made “Honest Trump Cards”, showing him in front of a small piece of border wall that was built, and Trump mocking a disabled man, Trump pouting from losing the 2020 election, Trump behind jail bars, Trump with burgers and fries, etc. You can see them here: Honest Trump Cards NFTs. Some of them are silly, which fits with the theme, but my favorite is him in front of a partial border wall. He made such a big deal of building a wall (which is not a bad idea), how he was the businessman to get it done and make Mexico pay for it, yet it was an epic fail. It fits in with his career resume, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

holiday meals don’t cause obesity

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be news journalists and magazine writers telling people to not overeat at holiday feasts. So let me preempt their “breaking news” and tell you to not listen to them! Eating more than normal at the occasional feast doesn’t mean you’ll get fat or that you’re a glutton. There has been actual research done on this which showed that the average weight gain for the entire holiday season is just 0.8 pounds. Look at that number — less than one pound! So don’t worry about a meal here or there. It’s your daily habits that determine if you’re overweight or not. Go ahead and enjoy the family get-togethers during the holidays. Enjoy the food and don’t feel guilty if you occasionally eat more than normal.

I’ve ranted on this before, so I’ll just link to that, which links to the actual news article with the research: holiday eating is not making you fat.

If you typically concern yourself with counting calories and saturated fat grams and such, don’t let that keep you from enjoying your meal. As I wrote above, one meal is not the problem. But if you feel the need to have restraint (like if your doctor told you to avoid sugars), then decide before the meal what you will eat and how much, then eat the meal within those boundaries so you don’t ruin your enjoyment of the meal, like I wrote about recently in my post about a bowl of chocolate versus a responsible adult. It’s a mindset strategy so you can enjoy your situation even when there’s restrictions.

Oh, and if someone wants to argue about it before or after your family get-together, you can tell them about the actual study in the news, but if they’re determined to not enjoy their meal, that’s on them and it may not be worth your time arguing about it. Just go eat another piece of pecan pie… πŸ™‚