The Truth About Working From Home


I work from home. I spend the first part of the day in my pajamas. Around lunchtime, I take the dog out for a nice, long, head-clearing walk. I listen to a lot of NPR and podcasts to create the illusion that I have people to talk to. But it hasn’t always been this way.

I’ve worked in my share of offices, large and small. Before I started working from home full-time I worked in a very small office. Since our company’s home-office was several states away, so we were basically working remotely. When I started, there were five of us who came into the office on a regular basis. When our company finally decided it was a waste of money to keep our office open, there were only two of us left — and my co-worker had abandoned the office long before it closed. That winter we were getting large amounts of snow a few times a week, and more often than not I couldn’t get to the office. It quickly became clear that I did not need to be in the office every day.

So I moved closer to my friends and family, and decided to go into the office once a week just to check the mail and whatnot. It wasn’t long after that that we got word we’d be closing the office. Continue reading

Commenting on the Internet: Rules for Sane People

Marchange, Flickr Creative Commons

I don’t know what has ever made me think commenting on the web would be a good idea. I mean, it doesn’t matter how much you think a site might have a “community” feel, and that you might be able to engage in an actual exchange of ideas with the people there. Even if it doesn’t degenerate into outright name-calling and verbal assaults, it seems that no one is capable of an actual discussion and someone always starts becoming vaguely insulting. (Just ask Liz Lemon, she found this out when frequenting Mommy Blogs.)

This has happened to me a couple of times recently. I went to one of my favorite sites, where many of the same people get into discussions day after day, and I had the misfortune to run into bullies of sorts. The kinds of people who just come at you with hostility, not matter what you’ve said, and if you try to make your point heard they just shut down. It’s as amusing as it is frustrating.

I think it’s sad that you can’t just have an exchange of ideas, but it’s clear that this is virtually impossible. Most people can’t even do this in person, why should I be surprised when they can’t be civil on the internet? So I think normal people need help navigating the world of online discussions. It’s not going anywhere, so how do we — as rational beings — deal with the not-quite-trolls, but still-pretty-nutty-internet commenters out there? Continue reading

Game of Thrones, My New iPad, & Other Things I’m Obsessed with This Week

It’s my first full week back to work since before Christmas, which has the potential to be depressing, but luckily I’ve got some distractions — one of which I am typing on, the other I am watching.

Over the past few months I’ve been considering two purchases: a new laptop and a Kindle. I don’t really need a new laptop, mine works fine, but it’s heavy and traveling with it is a bit arduous. During my last trip to NYC I walked from my hotel to the venue where my conference was. It wasn’t far, and I like to walk, but I was carting a big overnight bag with my giant laptop stuffed in it. I may have dislocated my shoulder. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to buy the MacBook Air (refurbished, of course) that I had been eyeing.

Continue reading

Why I Upgraded to an Old iPhone

I have long had a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. I don’t know how I ever lived without the GPS and I love having a camera at the  ready every time I see something weird or my dog does something cute. But I hate feeling constantly connected to the internet. I almost never use it to check my email unless I’m traveling for work, and I only really use it for Facebook when I’m mobile uploading a picture — or I’m on an awesome trip and feel the need to tell everyone what I’m up to, but there are fewer and fewer of those trips lately. I don’t allow push notifications because I don’t want to be pestered every time I get an email or a Facebook message. Continue reading

The Fine Art of the Status Update

By webponce, Flickr Creative Commons

When I was in college AIM was all the rage. “Away Messages” were the “Status Updates” of the early 2000s. I used to get annoyed to no end by people with literal away messages: “In Stats until noon” was awfully boring. I was a fan of song lyrics and cryptic inside jokes. If I was at dinner you could count on, “At the meat market with the Smurf.” The “meat market” was what my roommate (Smurf) and I called our cafeteria, where girls who didn’t even get out of their pajamas to go to class would put on heels and formal wear for dinner. Now that no one uses AIM anymore, Facebook status updates and Tweets have replaced away messages. And I take my status updates very seriously. Continue reading

Sell Your Stuff! Buy a Tiny House!

bpf_original_playhouse-exterior_cover-horizontal_h-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-616-462I admit it. I’m a bad blogger… at least in my personal life. Between the full-time job, freelance assignments, and my side-projects it can be hard to muster up the energy (or subject matter) to post here regularly. But I can usually count on NPR to give me a little kick in the writing pants. This time it came in the form on “Tiny Houses.”

I have been on a “Stuff Boycott” for almost a year now. Basically, I have begged and pleaded with my friends and family not to give me what I refer to as “crap.” This includes but is not limited to: candles, books I won’t read, and knick-knacks. I have torn through my closet and dressers. I’ve gotten rid of clothing, old dishes, an arm chair and more stuff I just didn’t need. There are people all over CT getting use out of my old junk.  Continue reading

The Cableless Life

Quite often when I’ve moved I’ve spent the first few days, weeks, or even months without cable. There is just so much to do when you’re moving it’s easy to forget about something as non-essential as cable. Back in the days when I had roommates we would sit around talking, maybe watching a Red Sox game on the bunny ears, and save a few dollars on cable until we just couldn’t look at each other anymore. This time, though, I made a decision not to get cable. And so far, it ain’t so bad. Continue reading


If you haven’t already discovered, you really should…

It’s a lot like WEBook or EditRed only this is strictly for books — and has an actual publishing company and its editors scouring its pages for the next big thing! HarperCollins UK thought it up,  and as a former HC employee I can tell you, they’re leading the way when it comes to the publishing industry’s digital revolution. This is just one example.

Some of us are better editors than writers though, so you can also sign up with the site and start looking for talent — helping promote the best books on the site so they get read by HC. It’s an idea far past it’s prime — and way less expensive than paying literary scouts and agents big bucks for bringing you the next J.K. Rowling. Or you can just read some good, or not so good, stories while you’re sitting at your desk, bored by the world of blogs!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I have an account, and have even posted my latest attempt at fiction novel. I’m hoping the Authonomy community is helpful enough to make it a better product!


After reading through the boards* that came across my desk today for various columns and news items, I have come to a conclusion: I am  the only person left in the world, under the age of 35, not using Twitter.

I am fine with this because, despite my general tech savvy, I just don’t understand it. I’ve heard of companies using it to update customers on sales, which makes sense, but I imagine that most Twitter posts look like this:

“I am sitting at the bus stop.”

“I have a meeting from 2-4 p.m.”

“Does anyone know what a red rash with green puss indicates?” Continue reading