You heard it here last -- Go Native! Unplug!

I don't know who is reading my blog, but I can see some of the search keywords people use to get here, and it's kind of amusing:

"is bok choy supposed to have bugs in it?"  

"boys tutus"

"is it supposed to rain tomorrow am"

The first two make sense. Boys in tutus is a favorite topic of mine. And the bug choy incident still makes me recoil. But I've no idea how or why this blog would come up in a search for weather. Funny that the person didn't include a location. Surely it's raining today, somewhere.

I'm also sorry I don't have the answer to the bug choy question. In my opinion, no, it shouldn't (have bugs in it). Even though I know that's not very green or organic or earth-friendly of me to say. (Really, it was the bugs tucked inside the shrink wrap that was so odious. But here I am, still defending myself, what is it…a year later? Yes, a full year. That was last March 15.)

Meanwhile, I'm trying to be free and in the moment…yet, through that ever-mysterious alchemy of nature and nurture, I’ve passed onto Wally my crazy, neurotic mind. Today in the morning instead of his usual question about whether or not we can someday take the Acela train (faster/more expensive, though I’m not even sure how fast since the U.S. still has the old railway tracks and that’s the limiting reagent, plus the absurd number of Northeast stops…how is Rhode Island entitled to 3? Wouldn’t one suffice? Maybe two, so we can visit Vince’s parents?), today instead, there we are on a mild spring morning here in Chelsea, admiring the purple pansies on 9th avenue (the flowers), and there’s Wally saying, “I’m going to die?”

Someday – yes. Hopefully not anytime soon. Agh. Whaddya gonna do? It’s just how he’s wired. Apples don't fall far.

In other news, this great minimalist mom--also named Rachel--who owns two pairs of jeans and lives on the Isle of Man (between Ireland and Great Britain), a 20 minutes walk (no car) from the nearest potential person-for-her-toddler-to-hang-out-with (okay, fine, playdate), mentioned me on her blog today, in her pitch for an unplugged week (or at least day). The unplugged day starts this Friday evening, March 23 sundown to March 24 sundown. Do you want to join? It's part of the Sabbath Manifesto project - I can't remember if I mentioned that before on my blog, or just in conversation.

Here's the description of the National Day of Unplugging from the cause page:

"The National Day of Unplugging is a respite from the relentless deluge of technology and information. With roots in Jewish tradition, this modern day of rest was developed by Reboot as a way to bring some balance to our increasingly fast-paced way of life and reclaim time to connect with family, friends, the community and ourselves. Shut down your computer. Turn off your cell phone. Stop the constant emailing, texting, Tweeting and Facebooking to take time to notice the world around you. Connect with loved ones. Nurture your health. Get outside. Find silence. Avoid commerce. Give back. Eat Together."

Funny, this other Rachel, the minimalist mom, was just recently rereading Steven Pressfield's The War of Art, too, "[renewing her] commitment to acting with intention and no more Zombie surfing". Everyone should read that book. Take it out of the library. I'll return my copy soon.

I was thrilled Rachel quoted my Facebook signoff, (though a bit mortified to see I'd used the word "degree" twice in a row, in such a public way!).

I love how she gets the fact that those incremental degrees add up to major part of your life. She writes:

"Take that time you would have spent checking email, browsing JCrew or pinning craft projects on Pinterest and use it to feed yourself in some way. Cook, read, rest or create. Take those tiny undetectable degrees back.

They don’t feel like much in a day.
But in a month, in a year, in a life time, they add up.
Those small degrees are novels, half marathons and vital sleep."
This other Rachel has got all kinds of great stuff on her site about paring down and clearing away clutter--physical and mental--to make room for the things you really enjoy. Here's the leaving-Facebook manifesto she posted in January. 

And yes, that Rachel is surfing around on this Rachel's blog and this Rachel is surfing around on that Rachel's blog and we're both linking to each others's sites and all kinds of others, pointing the way to more surfing on the part of our readers, even the ones who just want to know if it's okay to eat the bug-covered bok choy they got from the farmer's market, and all the while we are both saying "Stop surfing. Go outside. Go to the farmer's market. Go don a purple tutu (boys, too!). Go play with your kids or buy strings for your old rusty guitar that you always sucked at but loved playing, and start playing it, for Godsakes." We're both here in our virtual worlds giving a plug for unplugging and go joining the real one. Yes, I know. Whaddya gonna do? The world is lit by lightning.* We could carve the message into a tree, but fewer people would see it (and it might be harmful to the tree).

By the way, judging from the sky now, It looks like it might rain, today. You heard it here, first.

"Bright before me, the signs implore, help the needy and show them the way."**

* Tennessee Williams, "For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura" (The Glass Menagerie)
**"I think it's gonna rain today", Randy Newman 


  1. My friend Pedro Clark Juliano;s mom is from the Isle of Man. I wonderful place, I hear..

  2. Is that right? I wonder why she moved. It does look beautiful.

  3. All kids figure out they're going to die when they're about four or five. I suppose it's possible that neurotic New Yorkers' kids might get a jump start of a few months. What seems more likely is that parents with more existential angst feel a greater pang when their kids first grasp their own mortality.

    Lots of kids believe in Santa Claus and his colleagues, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, long after they lose the pure innocence of days piling on top of each other forever. Perhaps those imaginary benefactors help the parents hold on to the illusion that their kids believe they are excepted from existential realities.

  4. Wow.

    It's really nice to know people this smart read my blog.

  5. Did you see this on abc today?
    How Many Facebook Friends Do You Have? Study Links Narcissism and Facebook Activity

  6. I'm drinking a beer and unwinding now by reading your blog. I LOVE that there is a parallel Rachel across the atlantic!

  7. Gabby - thanks for the link - will check it out. Taylor - thanks. Wish I had even the teensiest bit of skill in making something look nice, but alas, I don't. Eli - I know! It's awesome. Parallel worlds. Altho she's way more hardcore about downsizing than me, from what I can tell. Enjoy the beer!

  8. I did "beetles in bok choy"

    Why are you coming up as the expert ?


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