All posts tagged: Lists

Why I Was Ungrateful For Those Gratitude Lists

For many years, you could spare me your gratitude lists. I didn’t want any of that manufactured positivity. I didn’t believe in it, couldn’t abide by it. The last thing I needed was your swirly font and numbered reasons to dig life, doubling as a reminder of all of the things I didn’t have. Then, faced with a choice to change everything or die, I quit drinking. The first person who really helped me understand how to live as a sober person asked me to send her a gratitude list as soon as I woke up every day. It wasn’t really negotiable. She told me a grateful person had a better chance of not drinking, and my desire to quit was bigger than my hatred of gratitude lists. l had also opened my big mouth and told her I would try anything to get better, so I shut up and sent her five things (mostly) every morning, in a plain black font text thread. My gratitude lists include being alive and they often include coffee, as some mornings …

This is the Broken Glass: Flotsam of a Breakup

(Graphic: Jayme Perry/Yahoo Movies) There are crazy things your mind does to you after a breakup. You associate every single item and smell and taste and feel that you saw, held, smelled, tasted, experienced together as a reminder. A killing, crushing reminder of him. I walk through my house alone now. Memories flow from every painting, candle and bottle of perfume. It all feels ruined. I itemize: He brought me this art, a picture of tribal lovers. We bought this couch together, on St. Patrick’s — a rare daytime date. He was with me when I brought the dog home. She loved him. This freezer made the ice cubes for our martinis. We sprinkled this volcanic black salt on fresh avocados in the summertime. We ate cheese and tomatoes and pork chops at this table. We laughed. We cooked out of this cookbook. Barefoot Contessa. This kettle made his tea in the morning. Here, is the tea he drank. He always liked this nail polish on me. It’s called Heartbreaker. I made space in this drawer for …

The Thrill Isn’t Gone: Learning Guitar in My 40s

(Photo: Courtesy of Joyce Millman) Like most of us, I’ve always kept a list of goals and ambitions in my head. When I was 10, I wanted a pony and an Academy Award. So much for that. But some of the items on my list now have a check mark beside them (get published, visit England), and as for the others, well… my garden is almost ready for its close-up, Sunset Magazine. Those are the dreams I’ve admitted to, when asked. But I also keep a second list, double-padlocked and held close to the heart, of dreams that are too private to divulge, for fear of being laughed at, or worse, being expected to follow through. For most of my life, the same dream sat at the top of my super-secret to-do list: Learn how to play the guitar. It seems like a perfectly mundane goal, well within reach, unlike that Palomino I was going to keep in the driveway. But I couldn’t make myself speak my guitar obsession aloud, let alone actually do something …

Front to Backlist

Two Veddy British Books That List Lists

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) Say it with me: “Listicle.” We all know, from our BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog and Reddit perusals, that articles consisting of lists are pop-u-lar (quick, someone make a list of top 10 Broadway show tunes referenced in web ledes!). We also know that just because something is easy to read doesn’t mean it was easy to compile. This week, we offer two “lists of lists” with the strong flavor of a good cup of builder’s tea. Frontlist: National Geographic London Book of Lists Even one of the world’s most venerable institutions, The National Geographic Society, has been drawn in to the list trend. Its newest title, National Geographic’s London Book of Lists: The City’s Best, Worst, Oldest, Greatest, and Quirkiest by Tim Jepson and Larry Porges, proves Dr. Samuel Johnson’s remark “When one is tired of London, one is tired of life.” England’s capital city teems with people, history, culture, and ideas, and lots of those have made their way onto one or more of these pages. You might be a past or …

18 Reasons I Love Lists — And You Should Too

(Photo: Margit Detweiler/ TueNight) Like the headline says, I love lists. And obviously you do too, otherwise you wouldn’t click all those bulleted, “34 Reasons Why Dennis Quaid is the Hottest Movie DILF Ever” listicles. (Yes that’s a real one. With math behind it.) When I can’t sleep, I make mental lists. I craft acronyms in the shower to remember my tasks. FLAD = Feed cat; Laundry; AT&T bill; make that Dentist appointment. While subway riding over the Manhattan Bridge I make lists on my phone. The thing is, I really love keeping lists everywhere. This has nothing to do with being organized. I have approximately 13 to-do lists going at any one time, across several different platforms. You think I’m kidding. 7 Ways I Am Not Kidding: A few Word docs variously titled ToDo, ToDo-NOW! An Excel spreadsheet where I attempt to organize my life in tabs A Google doc that’s a variation of that sheet, but accessible cloud-style An iPhone Notes list that I usually craft on said subway ride Voice-activated emails to myself …

Why I’m Thinking of Trashing My To-Do List

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/ TueNight) I’ve always got a to-do list going. Occasionally that list is in the “Fresh” stage, when most of the items have been recently added. Sometimes, roughly half of the items are checked off, with the rest awaiting completion – I call that the “In Progress” stage. But most often, my list is in the “Can’t-Stand-to-Look-at-It” stage, where the tasks that remain glaringly undone remind me of failings both large and small. One such task that lives on every list I’ve compiled over the past six months is “Get Direct TV.” It’s a concise and seemingly benign line item, yet its simplicity belies the pain-in-the-ass job that it actually is. Because of the smart phone, no place is sacred or safe from the tyranny of the list. Sitting on the toilet, I type “Almond Butter” into the subject line so I remember that we’re out of it. Instead of “Get Direct TV,” the phrase should really read: “Do a competitive analysis of all TV/internet/phone service providers in my area by calling each …

Susan’s Beauty Wish List for Fall

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight) Honestly, the only lists I make are about beauty products. Specifically, the ones I want NOW. Autumn is such a great time of year — it’s cool but not uncomfortably so (leather jackets!), you can switch out your flip-flops for fall boots (I would sell my soul for THESE) and you can wear a little more makeup, without the fear that it will melt off under the sun. This is my current beauty wish list for the upcoming two months. 1. Red Lipstick. Fall is the only time I feel comfortable wearing a true red lip. Lipstick Queen Silver Screen Lipstick in Have Paris, $50 (If I splurge), Rimmel Moisure Renew Lipstick in Diva Red, $7 2. Red Nail Polish. I tried this color when getting a manicure last week for the TueNight party. Now I need a bottle at home! Essie Nail Polish in Jump in My Jumpsuit, $9 3. A New Blur Cream. Right now I’m obsessed with blur creams. They give your skin a filtered, “blurry” look — similar to how you …

My System: One Blackboard to Rule Them All

(Photo: Adrianna Dufay/ TueNight) Who: Adrianna Dufay, founding member of TueNight  System: My family uses a huge (4′ x 6′) blackboard on our kitchen wall that holds our weekly family calendar, nightly dinner reminders, grocery list, general to-do list and notes passed back and forth. Inspiration: My husband and I both work full time, have lots of evening events and have two kids in two different schools. We’ve experimented with different calendars for years now — online or not, separate or together, paper or write-erase, monthly or weekly— and this is the system that has inspired the most calm. How it works: On Saturday morning, we turn on cartoons in the other room and banish the children. Then we pour ourselves some coffee and dump everything from our shared electronic calendar (and anything else we forgot) onto the board. As we talk through the next week, we’re writing our to-do list on one side of the board and groceries on the other. How long it takes: It takes about an hour, but when we’re done with that, we’re ready …

Margit’s Note: Your Kiss Is On My List

Buy paper towels. Send this post to best friend who should totally be reading TueNight. Read local voters guide to prep for important November 4 midterm election. Buy Ruby Jon apples and Concord grapes cause they’re in season and yummy. (Thanks for the tip Kim O). Plan Halloween costume. Sexy lobster? Better than this. Go sob in yoga class. Read Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham so not stuck with nothing to say at work drinks. Pour a glass of wine, submit photo of most recent meltdown to reasonsmysoniscrying.com. NSFW version: Pour a glass of wine, look at the 15 Best High Heels for Your Penis. Because you need to know. Buy TueNight book as stocking stuffer for your sister. Don’t do anything until October 25 when Mercury is out of retrograde. For now, just make lists. 🙂 This week, we list it out: Rachel Simons shares her list on a mirror. Adrianna Dufay shares it on a blackboard. Amy Barr ditches her to-do list. While I embrace mine. Susan Linney lists her fall beauty picks. Joyce Millman …

What I Found When I Unpacked My Kids’ Backpacks

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) It’s always fun to unpack the kids’ backpacks after a day at camp. Here, some of my findings: My son: Exploded ketchup pack, possibly multiple packs Several rocks. Important-looking Candy wrappers, various Muddy socks, heavily worn, freestylin’ in the main compartment Rain poncho from yesterday, still wet Favorite baseball hat with ketchup damage Three napkins, unused My daughter: Upside-down water bottle, half full, half of contents in formerly dry change of clothes One clean sock Wildflower book. Not ours Rain poncho, wet Uneaten yogurt from two days ago hidden in a secret compartment Random sticks One makeshift white headband Three napkins, one obliterated And this: