Because Fancy is my name.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten a couple pieces of great news for my freelance work. Little bitty ole Chronderlust led to my new column on the Hairpin, Ask A Fancy Person. and a job as the society reporter for Charleston City Paper. Someone passed that along to an editor at Cosmopolitan, and I had my first piece published there this week! I couldn’t be more excited about these fun things I’m getting to do and write about. Thanks so much for reading Chronderlust, and keep your eyes peeled for more of my writing around the web and in print! I wouldn’t get to do any of this if you weren’t reading this here.
So if you’ve been living on the internet for the last couple days, you’ve probably heard about Heartbleed, a staggering security bug that is ravaging somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3s of the internet, depending on who you ask. Or maybe you live on the internet and haven’t heard about this– that’s okay, too. I’ve been pretty surprised that this isn’t front page news, a trending topic on Twitter, and the name of a vegan cafe in Berkeley already; it’s hugely important but flying mostly under the radar.
This isn’t a tech site, obviously, and I’m not any kind of expert on computer security, but I try to be helpful and explain stuff in layman’s terms. If this ends up getting like, three of my readers’ ish locked down, I’ll consider it worth it. I talked to a couple tech-y friends (some in security, some just more knowledgeable about systems, and a few bona fide geeks who love this stuff), took a ton of notes, asked a lot of questions, and got some info about what’s going on, how concerned you should be, and what steps you should take. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you probably saw that this is almost certainly going to touch you in some way, so maybe take some of these steps. The right people are pretty freaked out about this– I plan to take their advice and I think you should too. The worst thing you can do is assume this is no big deal and take no action.
Everyone who knows me, with the notable exception of my mother, agrees that I am a Clean Person. Staci’s house is kept at all times at hospital-grade sterility and Pottery Barn catalog levels of lovely, and she considers the Dairy Queen to be the absolute height of filth, so in recent years I decided her opinion is not one I can take into account. Sorry, Mommy! Everyone else, though– they all agree I keep a real clean house. There’s pretty much nothing worse in the whole world than staying the night with a friend, or being invited to your cousin’s for dinner and finding that everything is covered in a sticky film, or that there’s cat pee staining the rug. I’m not saying you’re that cousin, but if you are, I want to show you how to dig yourself out with a minimum of cussing and sweating.
It was not always this way. To paraphrase 1 Corinthians, when I was a college student, I swept as a college student, I laundered as a college student, I Windexed as a college student. When I became a grownup, I put the ways of college behind me. I first got my own space about four years ago. Initially, I was so pumped because any mess I made was my mess, and I was the only person I had to clean up for. I had a washer and dryer at my place for the first time ever and I had a dishwasher. After four years in dorms and keeping it as clean as I could in the wake of seven suitemates, I was in tall cotton, and I let it get filthy. I embraced dimmer switches and lived out of a series of piles.
That worked for me for about 3 months and by September or so, I hated everything. I had always dreaded cleaning as a kid– and to be honest, it’s not like I love it now– and I didn’t want to devote my whole Saturday to Windexing baseboards and polishing silverware. I was also living on $12,000 a year, and couldn’t afford stuff like Pledge wipes, which were suddenly a luxury item. So I decided to change.
The entire point of being a morning person is so that you can be a complete and total jerk about it all the time.
I am a morning person. I am a complete ass about it. Like, “oh, you just got up? I went to barre class, made some scones, did all my laundry, and read six chapters of Ulysses. Also, they were not sold out of maple bacon doughnuts when I got there. I wish you’d be there! Would have saved you one! They’re super good. One day!”
It was not always this way. Back in the day, when I was a baby Kentucky, I would sleep until noon, no problem. This might be because I was a teenager and apparently teenagers’ circadian rhythms are on like, 27 hour cycles or something. One time, my dear grandmother woke me up at like, 9:30 and I complained bitterly for about a month.
When I was in college, I needed to work in addition to taking classes, so I scheduled all my classes on Tuesday and Thursday so I could sling overpriced lipstick the other five days. This effectively means that I was in class from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on those days, which is kind of a feat for most students. It’s not ACTUALLY a feat, but if you’re in college and you tell someone you take 8 a.m. courses, they think you’re some kind of sainted freak. After that, I got a job that started at 7 a.m. where they would fire you if you were late, so I just kept the ball rolling. ANYWAY. I learned a lot about getting up early and its benefits.
The phenomenon of the webcam girl is perhaps the most baffling of all things in the modern world. How is it possible that there are people who look so good on webcam that there are other people willing to give them actual money just to look at them on webcam? I feel like the weird lighting of your house, the graininess, and the requisite sound delay make the whole thing unsexy by default. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that you look 87% less hot on Google Hangout than in real life.*
But in this, our rapidly shifting universe, there will come a time when you need to make yourself presentable via Skype or something like it: Friends and lovers move abroad, get deployed, or decide having a cell phone is a racket, you decide you want to look at your sister’s face and she’s off at college in Vermont, a company in Seattle wants to make sure you don’t have a face tattoo before they hire you sight unseen, whatever. It’s incredibly stressful, because not only do you have to look like yourself/professional/hot, you also have to give the other person your undivided attention and make eye contact, unlike phone chatting. That said, there are some steps you could take so you can feel confident and attractive.
My first, and best, suggestion is to be really good looking in real life. That will get you pretty far in this whole Skype game. Barring that, check out some ideas after the jump.
I hope you’re enjoying yourself as much as I am.
- Some states that didn’t make the cut, one of which is Transylvania. If it had worked out, I would be a vampire.
- In case this list of things to read that I give you each week isn’t enough, here are more things you could be reading.
- This is the best story about bootlegging in Pakistan I’ve ever read.
- Let’s all begin to preface any question with “point of information.“
- Tallahassee is not far from here and I’m sure one of you owes me a present.
- I’m anti-Yelp for a ton of reasons (e.g. unreasonable people write insane things than then people get fired), but it’s telling that you can’t make much stick to them.
- I can look at these weird gendered ads for hours.
- Why isn’t this titled “How to Rent a Car without Getting Divorced or Committing a Felony”? “Aneurysm” seems pretty optimistic.
- Now that I could see Bill Murray at any moment, I’m brushing up on things to talk to him about, like the place in Illinois where they filmed Caddyshack.
- I started doing this this week. Do you want to join up?
Hi! I missed you. I moved, started a new job, got food poisoning, and have generally been so unable to blog it’s been kind of sad. But I’m back now, and I’m excited to be with you again.
In the meantime, aren’t you just SO glad to learn there’s a word for my weird book hoarding?
Okay, more fairly, he’s probably the world’s only famous bugler. Here’s a great article about him from the Oxford American’s archives. Can’t wait to hear him play in 3 hours!