I could write five chapters on Easter Sunday and the hilarity that ensued from beginning to end, but the best part was going out to get ice cream for dinner with my grandparents and my grandpa getting out of the car in his slippers (to the surprise and horror of my grandma) and then somehow making it all the way back home before realizing he'd lost a slipper along the way like gosh dang Cinderella.
I'm living in a sitcom over here, y'all, and I absolutely love it.
Welcome to Skirts with Pockets, a weekly collection of the online articles, websites, and other links that I've loved and now want to share with you. Please excuse any stray candy wrappers that fall to the ground as I empty my virtual pockets.
Every time I see photos of Jeff's desk in the wild, I smile and think of what a nice person he seems like and what great products he creates and how much I want this ampersand sweatshirt. (If my Internet fairy godmother is reading: cranberry, size medium, please and thank you.) Looking at my own desk, I can see how I've been inspired by his set-up in a variety of ways, so it was a treat getting to read about some of his favorite details.
I was raised by nerds, so I had a very complicated allowance system as a child. (It involved a daily chore chart and an incremental payment system that reset weekly and after any day I failed to complete all my tasks.) It was a brutal set-up that encouraged my brother and I to help out only when we had external motivation, like wanting to save up for a toy or a bicycle or a computer. Once the allowance got cut off in high school, helping out around the house stopped, as well. I feel miserable about that in retrospect and take responsibility as an adult to change my behavior going forward, but I was thrilled to read this article. Society as a whole will benefit if more of us have the opportunity to grow up with healthy attitudes about money, plenty of practice managing our finances, and a willingness to help out in our families and our communities.
A few weeks ago, I took a four-day class to learn more about the software that Tennessee state employees use for managing contracts, tracking items to be paid, paying estimates to contractors, etc. The software is complicated enough to warrant a 300-page manual and a 400-page training guide, and even those don't go into every detail or exception. The whole thing is bananas, and I love it.
During the class, the instructor paused to ask some review questions. One of the questions just wasn't clicking for anyone, and the instructor was gracious in saying that she should rework the question to remove the ambiguity. She then shared advice she had been given in a technical writing class:
"Don't write something so people will understand it. Write so they won't misunderstand it."
I wish I could give attribution for that quote because I have shared it at least a dozen times already. It resonates with me as a person who spent a decade creating brochures, posters, websites, and the like, but it's also something I try to achieve in all my writing—whether that's a tweet or a blog post or an email or even a Post-It note with a reminder to self that I won't look at for three weeks. (It's definitely good advice for anyone who does online customer support. Cough, Squarespace, cough, don't get me started, cough.)
Anyway, I really like the idea, and I look forward to carrying it with me.