#FuriouslyHappy

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The local supermarket had this guy just hanging out in some gaucho clothes. “HELLO! WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY SOME GROCERIES?”  He seems absolutely  furiously happy.

Which brings me to a non-Argentinian post. I’ve read the blog from The Bloggess (aka Jenny Lawson) for years now. I love her irreverent humor, honesty about her life’s challenges, commitment to philanthropy/do-good-ism (often with the assistance of a poorly taxidermied boar’s head named James Garfield), and sharing the horrifyingly hilarious taxidermy she runs into in Texas’s thrift shops. She’s a nerd with an offbeat sense of humor–one of my favorite types of people.

And today her second book, Furiously Happy comes out. If you haven’t read her first book (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened)–do it now. It’s one of the books I always keep on my phone, just in case I need a laugh. The first time I read it, I couldn’t read it in public because I kept laughing too hard. Now, it’s my own personal pick-me-up.

Furiously Happy is all about looking on the positive side of life, despite terrible things happening. Despite every reason that you’re broken, you have a reason to be furiously happy. It’s a message that remains relevant, delivered in the funniest way possible. Come for the uplifting message, stay for the crazy Texas stories.

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Weekly Reading, Vol. 12

We’re (hopefully) reaching a momentary lull in our work next week, so we anticipate spending some time planning our next adventures! We’re going to try to plan a fun getaway for our second anniversary in November. Beyond that, T has been thrilled by our internet access, even if it is slow. He’s downloaded lots of new games for his XBOXOne–and I’ve been rocking XBOX Fitness, which can “see” you with the Kinect and yell at you to lift your legs higher or move quicker. Kind of like a regular exercise class! I’ll be spending some time with my GMAT prep books and working on getting ahead in my Microeconomics class.

Here’s what I found on the internet this week:

1) From The Atlantic, a story about a large collection of historical Louisiana newspapers, with the larger story being about the de-accessioning of magazines, newspapers, and other physical ephemera from library collections can be both positive and negative.

2) Lisa Desjardins left CNN with more than just than generic “thanks for everything” email–she reported on her own layoff. It’s pretty epic.

3) More from the “women just can’t win” category: It seems from a new study that women who promote other women and minorities suffer professionally as a consequence. Also, another tidbit: women are less likely to  have sponsors/mentors, because a young woman and a middle aged man talking over coffee can seem like an affair, and just negatively affect the woman (“she slept her way to the top”) if she is promoted. Hooray.

4) The Soviets of the 1930s had a booming cosmetic industry that’s been widely ignored by historians. But the bottles are pretty and art deco, and the history is fabulous. Read about it here and here.

5) I could spend hours on Photogrammar from Yale, which has a map of all of the 170,000 photos from 1935-1945 from the US Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. Fascinating photos that allow you to zoom in on specific geographic areas and see how the Great Depression and WWII affected your area.

6) Did you see the “Monuments Men” movie earlier this year? I watched it on the plane, and was less than impressed–but the book it’s based on is fantastic. Now, in Syria, there is a whole new group of Monuments Men attempting to save the treasures of the country in the face of terrible looting and damage from the ongoing war. Read the National Geographic article here.

 

I leave you with a gif from “bunny island” in Japan. T thinks this is horrifying–but I think it’s hilarious.

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Weekly Reading, Vol. 11

1) Here’s a fun gallery of cats who served in WWI.  In contrast, our resident stray, Fred, seems to just steal the chicken bones from our trash and sunbathe. 🙂

2) Here’s a great article that focuses on motherhood in Chile, but really just goes into the whole culture. There are lots of similarities to Argentinian culture!

3) Your (and my!) bucket list just got longer. Here’s 52 awesome places to visit in the world.

4) In my fashion blog perusing, I happened upon The Lingerie Addict’s series on the history of Vanity Fair. No, not the magazine–the apparel company! The post piqued my interest because our wedding was maybe five miles away from the original factory. A fun Berks County, PA history experience! I’m excited to see where the series continues.

5) Because I cannot emphasize it enough–it’s back to school time, and that means a whole new discussion on herd immunity and anti-vaxxers. iO9 delves into why anti-vaxxers are misinterpreting that whole “herd immunity” thing, and how it’s an incredibly harmful mindset. Again–it’s been proven time and again that vaccines do not cause autism. Do not listen to Jenny McCarthy.

6) Finally, iO9 has a great article about hidden paintings. In other words, famous artists re-used canvases (which could be incredibly expensive!), and new technology is allowing us to see what they painted over. It’s really mesmerizing.

 

Weekly Reading, Vol. 10

1) Texas Monthly has a haunting, powerful story of the woman who witnessed hundred of lethal injections in the Texas prison system.

2) Delaware just passed a new law about digital inheritance–or what happens to your digital life and property when you’re gone. It’s excellent, and it’s time for states to start thinking about this very real issue.

3) Ever wonder where the five day work week came from? So did the Atlantic. I had to laugh at the predictions that by now we’d have a 15-hour workweek!

4) The Atlantic continues on a stream of great career-themed articles by talking about something I’ve known forever: no one is actually listening on a conference call.

5) Bolivia now boasts the world’s longest urban cable car system. What a cool way to commute to work! Linking the very disparate La Paz and El Alto, the system is as much an experiment in urban planning and social change as it is a fun, easy way to solve a mass transit issue.

It’s the weekend! Sit back, relax, and enjoy what’s left of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, or one of the last few weeks before it get insanely hot in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Weekly Reading, Vol. 9

It’s finally Friday! We’re high-tailing it out of work early today, and taking Saturday and Sunday off to celebrate T’s birthday! I think this counts as our second full weekend off (excluding our trip back to the States in July) since we started here. Maybe our third. Regardless–it’s well-deserved.

He doesn’t read the blog, so it won’t ruin the surprise when I say that we’re going to have a party/asado with the coworkers, drink some beers, and have some ice cream cake. We may even be able to talk him into going to the club!

1) To Work Better, Work Less feels entirely appropriate given the above statement–but it’s a sentiment I highly support. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of pulling endless hours just to keep up appearances. Do your job, do it well, and do it in 40 hours. Give yourself the gift of a personal life.

2) A Salmon Cannon helps get fish over the biggest dams in the Pacific Northwest. I think it sounds like a zany Monty Python weapon. Somewhere, there are bears planning a field trip to these dams for the flung food.

3) This is an excellent article from NPR about parenting styles around the world. I can definitely attest to the late bedtimes children have here! It’s not abnormal at all to have a toddler at a midnight party. I’m not sure I’m fully up to leaving a child outside of a store while I shop (Denmark), but I have definitely admired the independence children exhibit down here.

4) In light of the absolutely tragic events this week, here’s a 2013 Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Robin Williams that is pure gold from start to finish. The world lost one of its best.

5) The Smithsonian Libraries’ Tumblr is posting all sorts of wonderful GIFs of historical etchings, drawings, etc.

6)  I love this infographic about the five levels of business attire from Business Insider. I hate when companies just say “business casual” because there are just so many geographical and generational variations–particularly for ladies!

7) Owls are weighed while wrapped up in little blankets like bird burritos. This made my day.

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Happy weekend, everyone!

Weekly Reading, Vol. 8

1) I love the show Archer. It’s fun, it’s smart, and it’s incredibly edgy. Here’s a Q and A with one of its hilarious stars, Aisha Tyler.

2) One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a while was “20 Feet From Stardom” about background singers. And I was transfixed by Merry Clayton’s story of recording one of my favorite songs–“Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. Here’s Gizmodo’s story on it.

3)  I’m currently in the throes of reviewing all of the math I’ve ever learned in preparation for the GMAT. As I was getting my butt kicked by a review of quadratic equations, I found this article from the New York Times on why Americans are so bad at math. Apparently I am not alone.

4) On that note, T and I have been enjoying doing our math review over at Khan Academy, an online learning resource that allows you to learn all sorts of things in an interactive format, complete with badges and points.

5) A recent study found that women were more likely to be lied to during negotiations. This particular study focused on large-dollar transactions (cars, real estate), but the same’s been found in salaries.

 

Weekly Reading, Vol. 7

1) I have been following this “Motherhood Around the World” series on one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, since it began. They profile American women who are raising their children abroad, and describe the unique cultural differences in raising children and living life in general. The most recent post in the series highlights Germany.

2) Coca Cola has been test-marketing Coca Cola Life here in Argentina for months. It’s sweetened with Stevia and has a green label… and is apparently making its way to US shelves soon. Our take? Weird aftertaste.

3) Levo League  has a great article about how to work out with coworkers. Timely, both for me down here (maybe some Zumba classes in the next few weeks!) and back in the States. A few coworkers are spending their lunch breaks doing either T25 or PyLo (both of which I am dying to try!).  Levo League is a great online resource for women who are Gen Y/Millennial and are looking for some career and life camaraderie.

4) Here’s a really cool look into the American exhibition in Moscow in 1959, where the US tried to court Soviets with fancy consumer products–and the location of the famed Kitchen Debate between Kruschev and Nixon.

5) What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’

6) This article about the rigorous process that all recipes in Bon Appetite go through is a fantastic read.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Weekly Reading, Vol. 6

Long time, no posting on this topic! Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past few weeks.

1) Fast Company wrote a great article about women saying “sorry” too often and its consequences.

2) Zach Weinersmith (the mind behind one of my favorite comics, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) and wonderful artist Boulet did a great Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit.

3) Why Google is so Interested in Kenya’s Transit System.  Interesting–and even more so since my sister just came back from visiting Kenya with her boyfriend.

4) I have been loving College Humor’s video series on “What If Google Was a Guy”–hilariously on point. Here’s Part 3.

5) There is such a thing as an agricultural Roomba, and it is awesome.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Happy Monday, everyone.

Weekly Reading, Vol. 5

So, in case you missed it, Argentina won their match against Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1. Not as rousing of a victory as many would have hoped, especially considering it was the first time for the Bosnians in the World Cup. (And they rightfully looked adorably honored just to be on the pitch.)

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

1) I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was one of those books that everyone and their grandmother seems to have read, so I finally decided to check it out. It was excellent.  I blew through it in an afternoon, and have already started another Gillian Flynn book, Sharp Edges. I could totally see these books being great plane reading.

2) I’ve spent most of the morning with my jaw on the floor from this story on Jalopnik. 70 hour required workweeks with no chance for overtime? Days full of useless meetings? Confusing and CYA bureaucracy? Sounds vaguely familiar.

3) Sadly, Hillary Clinton continues the discussion that family leave just isn’t “possible” in the US yet. I’m still struck by just how expensive and difficult it can be to have kids in the US, one of only a handful of countries that doesn’t guarantee ANY paid time off after having a child.

4) Cuts of meat in foreign countries is a fun adventure. Here’s a good guide to all of the cuts of meat that are in Argentina.

5) Starbucks has hatched a plan to pay for college for some of its employees.

6) How small urban design decisions can be used to deter the homeless and skateboarders.

What’s on our weekend agenda? WORK. Someday, we’ll be done with the seven day schedules.

Weekly Reading, Vol. 4

It’s World Cup time! What does that mean for me? Finding a bar to watch the Argentina games at that won’t erupt in a riot (although I think Ituzaingo is pretty safe overall, regardless of the results), or if one of the games falls during the work day, probably figuring out how to live stream the game into the office (see here for all sorts of good resources on that). Other than that, the goal is to do a very Argentinian manicure for the occasion, and most likely picking up a soccer jersey.

While I contemplate the best way to watch World Cup, here’s what I found on the internet this week:

1) Snarky t-shirts

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2) How the Brazilian Protests about the World Cup could change democracy.

3) I think more than a normal person probably should about intuitive wayfinding in public places (and bemoan the lack of it in many situations), so this article spoke to me about how this stuff works and how we use it subconsciously every day.

4) And, finally, if you have no idea about this whole soccer/football thing, here‘s your primer. Warning: a bit snarky.

Well, we’re off to try to get a phone line in the next week (I know, second verse, same as the first) and hopefully get some rest! We had visitors from the States and Brazil the past two weeks, and several of them came with colds. I think they were so kind as to share them with both T and I.

Pro Traveler Tip: bring your “oh, jeez, I can’t get out of bed and don’t feel like dealing with a pharmacy” medicines with you from the States. In our case, DayQuil/NyQuil, Pepto, and migraine meds. You can thank me later.