Category Archives: Random

Teaching Myself some Cooking Skills

Frankly, I’ve never really enjoyed cooking. I’ve always secretly hoped that I’d marry someone who loved to cook and never have to bother.

Well, we all know how that worked out for me.

Here are some things I’ve noticed about people who love cooking, as well as some theories about why I’ve never taken to it:

  1. People who love cooking often also love eating. I enjoy good food but mostly see eating as kind-of a bother that takes a lot of time and often doesn’t agree with me.
  2. People who love cooking often take one recipe and make it multiple times until they can make it just so. I get bored of this and always try to tackle fancy new recipes.
  3. People who love cooking understand the craft so well they don’t get lost if the recipe leaves out a step. I always get lost. I also have a hard time holding numbers in my head, so I’m constantly checking and re-checking to see if it’s two or three tsp. Or was it Tbsp?
  4. People who love cooking can whip things up, things like stir-fry or pasta sauce, without a recipe. I’m too scared to try. What if everyone hates what I made for them?

So you see, there are plenty of perfectly good reasons why I’m not great at cooking. But cooking is kinda like, I don’t know, driving. An essential skill, which you pretty much have to learn unless you have lots of money or a Very Devoted Spouse.

Neither of which I currently possess.

For a while I’ve been wanting to have a growth mindset about cooking. Even before I left Oregon I was learning how to solicit feedback from my family without feeling insecure, improvise based on what we had on hand, and ask people-who-love-cooking for their advice.

However, moving really provided the ideal scenario for some good old-fashioned cooking practice.

First of all, being alone in the kitchen is everything. Sorry, family whom I dearly love. I enjoy an occasional Sunday morning you-make-the-salad-and-I’ll-make-the-pie situation, but. Trying to get food on the table by 6pm while someone is talking loudly on the phone in the next room, someone else is walking through with their laundry, someone is leaving before supper so they’re just gonna make themselves a quick sandwich sorry if I’m in your way, and someone else wants to ask you about your day while you’re trying to remember if it’s 3 tsp or 4 Tbsp, is nightmarish and I hate it and I’m sorry but that’s the facts.

Besides mostly being alone in the kitchen, I’m also cooking mostly for myself, on mostly limited ingredients. So I’ve very quickly been picking up on the dump-things-into-a-pan-and-call-it-cooking method that’s seemed so magical and elusive when other cooks do it. It’s easier to innovate when you don’t have a lot in the fridge to begin with, and so much less pressure when no one is eating it but you.

I should add, though, that I do cook for Jenny sometimes. Particularly on Monday and Tuesday nights when she works until 9pm and is starvingly hungry by the time she gets home. And I must say that there is great satisfaction in feeding a Very Hungry Person.

Anyway. Since I don’t have much of a social life in Blacksburg yet, I’ve been using my extra time to read books. I live so close to the library I feel like I won the jackpot. So besides silly books and fun books I’m learning all the ins and outs of self-publishing, starting a small business, and now, cooking.

I really just checked out one book on cooking, and you’ve probably already heard of it because it’s rather famous. It’s called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat. I became fascinated by the idea of this book several years ago when I heard Nosrat on NPR talking about how she randomly learned to cook by begging to bus tables at a fancy restaurant and then begging the cooks to teach her, and about how there are all these women around the world who have spent countless hours cooking, becoming these unrecognized experts. She was super interesting.

I don’t have Netflix though, so I haven’t seen her cooking show. And I couldn’t really afford the book. But now here I am, with a library next door, so here I go! I’m gonna learn.

The basic premise of Salt Fat Acid Heat is that, instead of just blindly following recipes, you can teach yourself the basic chemistry of what makes food taste good. So if you have a pork chop, some potatoes, and a few random veggies on hand, you don’t have to try and find a recipe that tells you exactly how to cook them. If you know the correct ways to apply salt, fat, acid, and heat to those types of food, you can come up with several delicious ways to cook them, no recipes needed.

Or if you find a recipe, you can adjust it to fit your exact ingredients, and you can use your own skills and taste buds to ensure it comes out delicious even if it means deviating from the recipe.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I’m still in the “fat” section. But did I use the book to make my own mayo the other day, so that was cool. Much more delicious than store-bought mayo, I would say.

Then on Wednesday I was at the farmer’s market when I saw a strange vegetable that looked like a snozzcumber from The BFG. “What is this?” I asked the lady behind the counter.

“It’s a bitter melon,” she said.

“How do you cook it?” I asked.

So she started explaining the various ways you can cook it, including the Chinese way (she was Chinese), and I whipped out a notebook and started writing down her directions.

I mean, look. The problem with me is that I still get bored with cooking and if someone is selling snozzcumbers and telling me the authentic Chinese way to cook them, you better believe I’m gonna try it.

So today I cooked the bitter melon the Chinese way, and then I realized that I had to taste the food before serving it because Salt Fat Acid Heat told me too. Over and over again.

I took one bite and started laughing. “You’re not gonna like this, Jenny.”

“Really?” said Jenny.

“Yep. It’s bitter.”

Jenny took a bite and made a face. “Yeah, I think I’m just gonna have the pork.”

I’ll confess though, I ate the bitter melon. Because first of all, food is food. And second of all, I get kind-of fascinated sometimes by weird food even if it’s kinda gross. Part of me wonders if I just cooked it wrong, but part of me is like, I mean, it’s literally called “bitter melon.” So, like, no one should be surprised that it’s…bitter.

Now I just need to learn how to make frobscottle I guess.

Anyway, if you enjoy cooking, please tell me your advice. Especially if you’re someone who used to not enjoy it, but learned how.


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Giveaway Winners, and a Few Random Thoughts

Last Thursday I did three giveaways: One here on my blog, one on Facebook, and one on Instagram. Today, I randomly selected the winners!

First up we have our Blog giveaway where I asked for your favorite Christmas tradition. Our winner, Laura, wrote, “My birthday is near Christmas and I think it’s neat how everyone feels so celebratory around my birthday! 🙂” Congrats, Laura!

Next, our Facebook Winner. On Facebook I asked entrants to name their least favorite Christmas song, and our winner, Nikki, wrote “I really dislike All I Want For Christmas Is You!!”

Finally, on Instagram, Lyn was our winner. Lyn wrote, “I entered because, well, it’s not often my friend’s imaginary and ill-fated romance for me enters into a book.”

Yes, Lyn was in my book, at the end of chapter 7. Congrats Lyn! You may not have won the heart of the architect, but you won a copy of my book!

(By the way, a big thanks to all 3 of you for responding to my email/DMs so promptly! I’ll have your books in the mail tomorrow.)

Now, on to my random thoughts.

I found my Instagram comments so fascinating. I asked people to write one thing they hoped to do in 2021 (although any sort of comment counted as an entry), and I’d say 90% of the responses were “travel.”

Of course, that would be my response too. But it made me think: do most humans have an inborn desire to travel?

If so, how can that be so? Haven’t most humans, for most of human history, not really traveled much?

Why do we travel so much? Because it’s cheap and easy? Because we see so many amazing places on Instagram? Because the ease of travel mean that our loved ones move to far-flung corners of the earth?

Or do we just want to travel because of all the Covid-related travel bans? Do we just want what we can’t have?

I was also fascinated by how many people thanked me for not requiring them to tag friends in order to enter the giveaway. I know that the whole “tag all your friends, follow this whole list of people” strategy probably nets an Instagram page an impressive amount of new followers, especially if they’re giving away really expensive, awesome stuff. But it’s such an annoying system, and it’s strange to me that it’s just the Accepted Way Instagram Giveaways Are Done.

Another random thought: I enjoyed reading people’s least favorite Christmas songs, but compared to the other two questions I asked, I didn’t get nearly as many interesting answers. Here’s my theory: a positive will always be more interesting than a negative. Liking something is inherently more interesting than not liking something.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I’ve noticed this about people in general. The guy who was obsessed with trees, and could name every species in his home state, was much more interesting than the guy who never watched Star Wars. And yet people often mention things they don’t like, or movies they have never seen, to try to prove that they’re interesting.

(This is not to say that everyone who entered the Facebook giveway was boring, LOL. I mean, I was the one who asked for your least favorite Christmas song. It just made me think about that concept in general.)

The one exception, I think, is coffee. No one cares that you like coffee. (But then again, no one cares if you dislike it either.)

(Although to be fair, no one probably cares that I like tea either, and yet I put it in the title of my book. Haha. I’d better stop now.)

Those are my random thoughts of the day. Thank you all so much for participating! I loved reading through your comments.

Leap Day: What I Wish it Was

man jumping over white fence

Photo by Ady April on

Sometimes at night I lie in bed and imagine what would happen if I had more time. What if a magical fairy came to me and allowed me to step outside of time for a while? What if I could go work on some sewing projects, answer some emails, read a good book, and catch up on sleep, and when I was done, no time at all would have passed in the “real world?” Wouldn’t that be amazing?

It occurred to me yesterday that while we’ve manipulated the system to give us one extra day every four years, we do absolutely nothing remarkable with that extra day. I mean, unless you’re a woman who decided to propose to her man. But I’ve never heard of that actually happening. (If you’ve done it, though, I’d love to know!)

Here’s what I think we should do with Leap Day:

I think it should be extra time. Extra time to do whatever projects you’ve been wanting to get done. I think everyone should get that day off, unless you’re a firefighter, ER nurse, nursing home caregiver, or some other such someone’s-life-depends-on-this worker.

In fact, if we can wedge an extra day into the year, why can’t we sandwich an extra day into the week? I don’t think February 29 should be on a Saturday. I think it should get its own special week day. It should go Friday February 28, Leap Day February 29, Saturday March 1. The calendar can squish two dates into one square like they sometimes do when they only have five rows of weeks but the month stretches into parts of six weeks.

And then, we should spend Leap Day doing all the things we wish we could do if we had more time. I mean, we couldn’t catch up on grocery shopping or anything, because the stores would be closed. But we could mow the lawn, paint the kitchen ceiling, start writing the book that burns within us, sew a gown, and catch up on sleep.

What do you think? Should we petition the government to make this a thing? LOL. But seriously, what would you do if you had a truly extra day?

(P.S. I considered writing my thoughts on women asking men out, but I decided to save that for 2024, haha.)

Things I’ve Been Googling Lately

coffee apple iphone smartphone

Photo by Pixabay on

As a glimpse into the random things I’ve been thinking about lately, I thought I might do a blog post discussing my recent Google searches. I google things all the time. Who doesn’t? Here are some of my searches:

1. Norman Rockwell white

Backstory: I collect other people’s diaries. I find them sometimes at thrift stores and garage sales. They’re rarely scandalous, unfortunately. They’re mostly about dentist appointments and the weather.

Anyway, the most recent diary I found was a Norman Rockwell-themed one at a thrift store at the coast. It was full of these beautiful Norman Rockwell illustrations. So after reading the author’s musings on dentist appointments and the weather, I started flipping through the illustrations.

It struck me as odd that everyone in the pictures was white. Rockwell seems like he’s presenting this sort of nostalgic, idealistic America, so where are the minorities? Am I overthinking this, or was Rockwell insinuating that the ideal America is a white America? To find out, I googled.

What I discovered was fascinating. Basically, Rockwell was very interested in the civil rights movement, but the people at the Saturday Evening Post pretty much wouldn’t allow him to put black people in his cover paintings. Once, he painted a picture of a boy in a restaurant, and the waiter was black, which was okay because he was in a servile position. Near the end of his time at the Post, Rockwell was allowed to paint a picture called “Do Unto Others,” which depicted people of a variety of ethnicities and cultures all standing together. The article I read thought that was a pretty radical move for the Post, showing that they were slightly changing their attitudes due to the civil rights movement too.

But apparently, Rockwell wanted to paint pro-civil-rights pictures, and that’s a big part of the reason he eventually left his position at the Saturday Evening Post. He then went on to paint a famous picture of Ruby Bridges, as well as a painting about the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, and a painting about housing integration.

I found this fascinating. Still, I think it would have been nice if Rockwell would have integrated minorities into his “normal” paintings too. Nostalgic pictures of boys and their dogs, but more ethnicities than just white.

2. Ruby Bridges twitter

That Google rabbit hole made me realize that Ruby Bridges is still alive. Which I mean, logically she would be, but in my head I think of her as a historical figure, not a now figure. So I found her twitter, but she hasn’t posted since 2014.

3. Robert Downey Jr Eyes

Somewhere on the Internet, someone found old paintings and statues of historical figures and drew them as normal, 21’st century people with 21’st century haircuts and clothing. It was very cool. But when I got to Alexander the Great, I saw that the artist had drawn him with two different colored eyes. Did Alexander the Great have two different colored eyes?

So I googled, and apparently he did, according to the wikipedia page of notable people who have heterochromia iridis. (It seems that our intel on Alexander’s eyes comes from the historian Plutarch.) But that list included a lot of celebrities, so I googled them and looked at pictures of their eyes.

Robert Downey Jr’s two eyes look exactly the same to me. But maybe the discoloration is so subtle you can’t really see it in a Google Images photo. Like my friend Andrea from SMBI. Once I was studying next to her, and I happened to look at her eyes from up close, and I was like, “wait, is your one eye a darker brown than the other?”

“Yes! I’m so excited that you noticed!” she said. Because it really was a very subtle difference. The guys at the table didn’t believe us, and it was awkward because to know for sure they had to stare deeply into her eyes.

4. Jesse Applegate

I googled Jesse Applegate, because Mom was on the Lost Oregon Facebook page reading me these crazy stories of people who’d traveled the Applegate Trail.

5. Primary Schedule 2020

For some reason I became interested in politics. I’m not sure why. So I’m closely following the Democratic primary race, even though it doesn’t look like Tulsi Gabbard stands a chance anymore. (I was very excited at the prospect of having a president who wanted to get out of wars instead of into them.) Somehow I still get sucked into the drama of everything even if there’s no one involved that I actually support.

6. Zillow Oregon Coast

I’m always looking up housing prices just because I’m obsessed with houses, Okay? Also, while walking through Yachats I passed this phenomenal house that looked like something a handsome multi-millionaire bachelor in a Korean drama would own. I wanted to know how much it cost. Almost 2 million, turns out.

7. Rosemary Clooney

I randomly discovered that the older sister in the classic Christmas movie White Christmas was named “Rosemary Clooney.” Any relation to George Clooney? I googled. Yep, she was his aunt. I’m so fascinated by the way celebrities are related to each other. There’s this illusion that anyone can become a star, but it sure seems to help if your Aunt paves the way for you. Just sayin’.

8. Know it by heart

I heard this phrase recently, and I thought, “I say that all the time, but it’s a weird idiom.” It gives this idea that if you memorize something, it’s so deep in your heart that you can’t forget it. But often it’s just words in your brain that you need to regurgitate for a test, and the meaning never really penetrates.

9. Vistage

The word I was actually looking for was “vestige.” Thanks Google! You’re a pal!

10. let’s get married lyrics

I read on Twitter that everyone who proposed using the song “let’s get married” ends up divorced. I’d never heard of this song, so I googled it. I guess the objectionable part was the oft-repeated line, “We ain’t getting no younger, we might as well do it”? Like, that’s not a good reason to get married or something? I still don’t really get the tweet, so I guess Google wasn’t much help this time.

Eh, that’s enough for now. I dearly love Google. I still remember the days when I’d try to look up pop culture references in the dictionary or encyclopedia, haha.

Your Darkest Secrets May Not Be Safe

woman holding no comment signage

Photo by Lukas on

When I was sixteen, I wanted to keep a diary, but I was terrified of other people reading it. Also, I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. So I began typing up my diary entries and emailing them to myself.

That way, they were protected by a password at least.

However, I used to have nightmares that I would accidentally press a wrong button, and WHOOSH! All my deepest darkest secrets would be emailed to real people, not just myself.

It never happened. But the nightmares were terrifying.

That’s what I’m reminded of right now, because I accidentally posted an unfinished draft I wrote last fall.

Thankfully it didn’t contain my deepest darkest secrets. But it’s still embarrassing. And it still gave me that feeling of WHOOSH! Can’t take this one back.

Here’s what happened:

Last fall, I had a really cool dream, and it gave me a fun book idea that merged with a book idea I’ve had for years. I was really excited about this. I wanted to drop all the projects I was working on, and focus exclusively on this new idea.

(I didn’t. But later, I did use the idea for my NaNoWriMo book in February, where I ended up hating it before I even reached 30,000 words because I forgot to put humor in.)

So I pulled out my phone, and started to write a blog post about what it’s like when a shiny new idea jumps in my brain and tries to take over.

Now, let me make it clear that I have endless ideas but limited follow-through. Which means that I have many, many unfinished blog post drafts. Right now, I have 107 drafts on WordPress and 24 drafts in the notes app on my current phone. This one was nothing special, just one of the many.

But this particular draft, about new ideas bounding in and trying to take over, I must have written when I was not connected to the internet. It was saved to my phone as a “local draft,” but was not saved online, and because of this it always floated at the top of my “drafts” tab on my WordPress app.

Okay. So then today happened. And I’m still very baffled, but here’s what went down:

I got a notification on my phone that someone had commented on my last post, “Endings and Beginnings.” I clicked on the notification to read the comment, which brought me into my WordPress app.

After reading the comment, I clicked over into the “Reader” tab to see if Trudy Metzger had posted anything recently. After scrolling down and seeing that I’d already read everything, I exited the app.

Then I went on Twitter. As I was scrolling through the tweets I saw a tweet from myself, posted one minute prior, linking to a blog post.

“This is strange,” I said to myself. “I haven’t posted in like, a week.” But I clicked the link, and it went to my blog, and there was this unfinished blog post from last fall.

Now, I have no idea how I managed to accidentally post it. I’m baffled. It must have posted while I was bipping around in the WordPress app, but it wasn’t like one slip of the finger would post an entire blog post. I would have had to click “My site,” and then “Blog Posts,” and then “Drafts,” and then “Publish.” That is four clicks.

Frustrated, I immediately deleted the post. My blog automatically links to Twitter and Facebook, so I went on Twitter and Facebook and deleted the links. One person had already “liked” the Facebook link.


Then, I realized that everyone who is subscribed gets it emailed to them automatically. And there is no undoing that.


Then I went of Facebook again, later, and there was ANOTHER link automatically posted. Multiple “likes.” One comment saying that it was a broken link, and the suspense was killing her.


Okay FINE. For those of you who desperately want to know what dumb unfinished draft was accidentally posted, here it is in all it’s glory:

It happened again. A new idea, shiny and bright and big, came barrelling into my brain, tossing her glossy hair and dominating all conversation.

I keep zoning out, completely missing my friends’ conversations, as I play around with plots in my head. More than anything, I want to start this book. This new book. Because surely this is the best new idea that ever existed.

But I’ve been ’round about this town before. And I know that while I’ve been gifted with gallons of ideas, I only have about half a teaspoon of follow through. Every new idea ends up the same way: a beginning. That’s all.

I’ve been working on a middle grade novel since this summer, and I’ve been trying so, so hard to keep going even when it feels boring and riddled with plot holes. “I can fix it in the second draft,” I tell myself. “

That’s it. An unfinished thought, ending with a quotation mark that has no quotation behind it.

Hope you’re happy now.

I’ll be over here having nightmares about old diary entries accidentally posting on my blog, or something.

Giveaway Winner and a Few Random Thoughts

The results are in, and Lynette O won the Vibrant Girl magazine giveaway. Congrats Lynette! I emailed you with the details.

Now, for the random thoughts.

  1. I’m taking a red eye flight tonight. I hate red-eye flights, but I’m taking melatonin and praying I’ll sleep.
  2. I’m going to Amanda Gingerich and Bryce Wenger’s wedding, and I don’t really know anyone there except the bride, so if you also happen to be going please say hi!
  3. Recently I’ve been feeling like the only books left to read are boring ones. If you have any recommendations for fun fiction books that are either A. cheap on Kindle, or B. were famous enough in their day that they’re probably in most used book stores, please kindly leave them in the comments.
  4. I have some really cool blog posts coming up. So don’t be discouraged by this semi-boring one.

15 of my Favorite Feelings


Today, in honor of a youtube video I watched once and quite liked, I decided to write down 15 of my favorite feelings.

  1. That feeling when, in the middle of some stressful or generally unpleasant situation, I get a cup of tea and a little space of time where I don’t have to make any decisions.
  2. The feeling of someone gently French braiding my hair
  3. Splashing around barefoot in a summer rain. (Unfortunately, as an Oregonian, I almost never get to experience this wonderful feeling)
  4. When I’m working on a project and suddenly get this uncanny tunnel vision, where I’m so absorbed in the project that I have no concept of time passing.
  5. Public speaking. Oh my goodness. There is nothing like just getting to stand there and SAY the things I think, all at once, in a logical progression, and having everyone just sit there and listen. Amazing.
  6. Being in places or situations that are so bizarre and uncanny that it feels almost like a dream. Such as exploring a huge mostly abandoned mall in Thailand, or having a traffic jam in front of our quiet country home.
  7. Swimming in warm lakes.
  8. Hanging out with a group where it’s easy to just belong, swapping interesting ideas like they’re friendship bracelets.
  9. This is one of the weirder ones, but I have really vivid dreams, and every once in a while I’ll have a musical dream. They are fantastic. Lyrics just occur to me, and everyone around me dances with perfect choreography, and I have a good singing voice, and music magically plays in the background. It’s awesome.
  10. When I pick up a book that I know nothing about besides the title and cover picture, thus having zero expectations, and it ends up being 110% fantastic.
  11. Getting snail mail.
  12. Acting in a skit or a play and hearing the audience laugh.
  13. When I secretly admire someone, and then they pay attention to me.
  14. Sipping McDonald’s iced tea while on a sunny road trip.
  15. Seeing places or things in real life that I’ve only ever read about in books.

I’ve been thinking about #4 recently, and I’ll likely explore it more in a blog post later this week. But in the mean time, please tell me: what are some of your favorite feelings?

April Giveaway Winner+8 Random Thoughts

The winner of my book giveaway is Celina Lynnette! Congrats, Celina!

Sorry, I am too tired to do the whole draw-a-name-out-of-a-hat-and-take-pictures-of-the-process thing.

That means that this post is super short and lame, and not really a proper April Blogging Challenge post. Maybe I’ll go all Emily-of-ten-years-ago and post some random thoughts.

8 Random Thoughts:

  1. Today I had a grand fight with the printer. The printer won. #secretarylife
  2. I’m reading “Franny and Zooey,” by J.D. Salinger. I wasn’t an enormous fan of “The Catcher in the Rye” (three stars), but am finding that I really enjoy his stories about the Glass family.
  3. Favorite line: “I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”
  4. I used to be appalled when I saw people compare Obama to a monkey/ape. I thought it was extremely racist. But now I see people compare Trump to a pig, even photo-shopping a pig nose onto his face. Can we just not compare our leaders to animals? Thank you.
  5. How many seasons does Oregon have? I’m quite sure we don’t have four. I think we might just have two: Summer and Wet. Thoughts?
  6. I like to read magazine articles about really innovative artsy interior design ideas, but all I can think is, “how would you even dust that?”
  7. I actually wonder the same thing when people have stuffed animal heads hanging on their walls.
  8. There is nothing like the wonderful feeling of discovering another person that loves “The Blue Castle.”

What the World Will Be Like in 10,000 Years

I am going to leave on a trip in a couple hours, so I’m doing kind-of a fun silly blog post today.

On Facebook, I recently asked people to give me their favorite podcast episodes, and one of the ones suggested was called “Ten Thousand Years,” by 99% Invisible. The podcast was about how the government buried nuclear waste in the New Mexico desert, and then called together a number of different types of people to try to figure out how to communicate to future generations that this was a dangerous place. Not future generations as in 100 or 200 years from now, but 10,000 years from now.

Of course this was quite the task, as all languages we speak now will be obsolete in 10,000 years, and symbols change meaning over time too.

The weirdest idea by far, though, was this one:

Bastide and Fabbri came to the conclusion that the most durable thing that humanity has ever made is culture: religion, folklore, belief systems. They may morph over time, but an essential message can get pulled through over millennia.  They proposed that we genetically engineer a species of cat that changes color in the presence of radiation, which would be released into the wild to serve as living Geiger counters. Then, we would create folklore and write songs and tell stories about these “ray cats,” the moral being that when you see these cats change colors, run far, far away.

Of course, this immediately had my mind spinning. Wouldn’t that make the greatest story ever? You have this town, 10,000 years in the future, with only the vaguest concepts of what happened in the 1900s/2000s. But there are these ancient songs about cats changing color, and some weird backwards people actually believe that cats changing color signifies danger. The idiots!

And then someone digs a new well or something, and the cat changes color, and all the old-wives-fable believers flee town, and all the modern people who don’t believe in such hogwash drink the water and slowly die of radiation poisoning.

Okay, maybe that wouldn’t be such a great story. But it got me thinking about what the world will look like in 10,000 years. And making some predictions.

First, I don’t know if human nature even allows us to believe that the world will be around that long. The Christian people I talk to are always convinced Jesus will come back before even 1000 more years pass, and many non-Christian people think we’ll destroy our species, in one way or another, within the next several hundred or thousand years as well.

But if we do make it, here’s what I think will happen.

First, I don’t think the way we live now will continue much more than a couple thousand more years at the very most.

I think world population is going to decrease drastically. Wait, decrease? Shouldn’t we be concerned with overpopulation? 

Well, here’s the rub. Bringing down the birthrate is actually fairly simple. If you give women birth control and educational opportunities, they often choose to have fewer children. This has happened all over the world.

But. No one has figured out how to bring birth rates back up.

So what I see is the world slowly having fewer and fewer people. We won’t have the wo/manpower, then, to necessarily maintain the infrastructure we’ve created. Or massive amounts of people to exploit into making us all the gadgets/etc we want. So the technology-driven consumeristic world will slowly fade, and people will go back to the countryside in order to survive.

(I’m actually loosly basing this urban-to-rural prediction on the shift from the urbanized Roman Empire to the rural-based Middle Ages. One of my professors seemed to think that this was mostly based on population demographics. The Romans just didn’t have many children.)

Oh. Similar note. I think the ideologies that promote big families are the cultures that are going to survive into the distant future. So like, the Bill Gothard homeschoolers are going to take over America. I mean not really. But maybe.

Of course, 10,000 years is plenty of time for the world to become ruralized again and then become urbanized again and then become ruralized again. So who knows at what point we’ll be in 10,000 years.

However, I don’t necessarily think that people 10,000 years from now will have technology that’s the same, or even as good as, what we have today.

We think of tech as this thing that keeps building on itself and getting better and better, right?

But what happens if society gets to a point where we’re focused on survival more than keeping the infrastructure going. I could easily see the tech knowledge we have today being lost. Mostly because most of our tech knowledge is stored on tech.

So, say, an archaeologist digs up a laptop and a manual typewriter. She can take the typewriter apart and figure out how it works, but if she can’t plug the laptop in there is no way to see how it works.

I also think there is going to be a massive digital dark age. So I don’t think they’ll know much about what this age was even like.

Enough of my ramblings. If you want to know what’s been spinning in my head for the past couple of days, it’s these ideas.

What do you think the world will be like in 10,000 years?

Things that Lurk in Google Drive

My friend Janane was looking over my shoulder and laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

“Your google drive! Mine is full of random pictures, and yours is full of random documents.”

This makes sense when you consider that she is a photographer and I am a writer. In any case, this inspired me to poke through some of the random things I’ve written and stored in google drive. Like this bit:

Stand on a stool.

Try standing on your tiptoes.

I’m sorry, I was in a meeting.

I’ll try to answer my phone next time.

Don’t worry, your arms will grow.

Try calling back when I’m not so busy.

Um, context please, Emily of the past? I don’t even remember writing this, and I have no clue what it’s supposed to mean. I think I just wrote down my exact thoughts, sans context, just for fun.

Here’s another:

I want to go somewhere else for a while:a foggy place where I can look sideways into the misty breeze, and read ancient hardback romances, and drink tea from sophisticated glass tea cups. No one will tell me what to do, or even make hints, and I will only write the things I want to write. If I get tired of having no responsibilities, I may get a very small cat. That is all.

And, a little weirder:

Sometimes when I’m lying in bed at night I think things that don’t make a lick of sense, and it makes me happy because it means I am inches from falling asleep. But this afternoon I scrolled through Twitter and thought, “I am grape.” That didn’t make any sense, obviously, but I’m not falling asleep, so what does that mean? That I’m inches from crazy?

LOL, I remember writing that one. I wasn’t falling asleep but I was experiencing a crazy amount of daytime fatigue at that point in my life.

Here’s another.

I thought that in his life everything must happen in the summer, all the colors muted, and the whole town diving into the creek, and people loving each other. I wanted to go back in time and photoshop myself in, so I could have the same memories.

And another.

“I’ll admit it,” he said. “I’m intimidated by women who make more money than me.”

I don’t know what her opinion of him was, then. She was a feminist, but not an angry one. I tiptoed through the conversation, smoothing down the corners.

And a bit of fiction for good measure.

“You see that thing that looks like a really bright star?” Roberta said. We were lying on the trampoline, snuggled into our sleeping bags, and her arm pointed up across my slice of sky like the dial on a speedometer.

“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it a star?”

“No,” she said. “That’s Mars. That’s where I’m gonna live some day.”

“You’re not gonna live there!” said Cliff. “You can’t live on Mars. There’s no atmosphere.”

“I’ll wear a space suit,” said Roberta.

I tried to imagine a grown-up Roberta, wearing a long, floral skirt over her puffy space-suit pants, a prayer veiling pinned up under her helmet.

I guess I imagined her going, but not really leaving.

In the course of my poking around, I also found part of a book proposal that I’d forgotten I’d started, my graduation speech from 2008, a two page “About Me” section I wrote for this blog and then didn’t use because it sounded pretentious, the hastily-designed program for the Christmas Play I directed, and a transcribed interview with my grandpa.

Oh, and contrary to Janane’s claim, I did have some random photos as well.




I can’t be the only one. What are some of the strangest things lurking in your Google Drive?