QOES: What’s the most embarrassing online screen-name you’ve ever used?

Buzzfeed did a funny video recently asking people to remember their childhood screennames from AIM. Hilarious, but also a reminder that I am old because I never had a “childhood screenname.” The first time I went online I was in my 20’s and married.

I don’t really have an embarassing screreenname story. Mark and I shared one for a long time, not realizing at the time that our internet use would ever look like it does now. So my initial screenname, on just about every platform, was “howertons.” Super exciting, I know.

(We have long since given up sharing the same screenname, because THAT’S WEIRD. I’m looking at you, MattandJennifer on facebook. Why do couples share accounts? Which one of you is commenting? Be your own person!!)

I do have a screen name that still haunts me, though. My youtube screenname is KristenInCali. Because . . . I have no idea why. I made it up many years ago and youtube won’t let me change it.

How about you? Have any old screennames you’d like to forget?

QOES: Would you read your child’s diary?

questions of eternal significance An interesting dilemma came up today. India has kept a diary for much of the last year, and usually shares it with me. But today, she let me know that I’m not allowed to read it. And while I’m fine with that, since I suspect her current rants involve how annoying her brothers are and how mean I am for making her unload the dishwasher. However, I can also see how a diary, in the teen years, could leave some vital clues for parents if their teens were really facing some bigger issues. If I had concerns about my teenager’s well-being, I would probably be tempted to go there looking for information. Where is the line between privacy and parenting? Would you read your child’s diary? And did a parent ever read yours?

Questions of eternal significance: Do you have a black-and-white chevron pillow from IKEA?

This may be the most random question I’ve ever asked in a blog post, but I need to know . . . Do you have these chevron black-and-white pillows in your home? IMG_1799 I just feel like they’ve become a Thing. Maybe it’s because I have them. Maybe it’s just the old “when you’re shopping for a Volvo, all you see is Volvos” phenomenon. But I swear, I see this pillows all over instagram. Admittedly. I’m a fan. I have them in our living room, and also in Jafta’s room. IMG_1761 And then when we re-did our own bedroom and I felt like the bed needed a geometric pop, I was right back at IKEA dropping another $10. So cheap! So vibrant! IMG_1755 And then I started noticing the pillow popping up all over instagram. IMG_3162 Then I watched that American blogger movie and I swear it made an appearance at half the houses. THIS PILLOW IS EVERYWHERE. IMG_2988

@jaymedee, @housetweaking, @mydesignfiles, @goodyreid, @freshlypicked, @???, @chriswiegand, @kellycasciotta, @chriswiegand.

Or not. Maybe I’m just following a relatively homogenous group of people who like IKEA and chevron. That’s a distinct possibility, too. But I need to know. Do you have this pillow?? If you do, will you post it to instagram with the hashtag #blackandwhiteIKEApillow?  Cheap pillow fans, unite!

Questions of eternal significance: How are you people watching The Walking Dead?

Photo Jan 31, 6 06 48 PM I cannot even count how many people have told me what a brilliant show The Walking Dead is over the past few years. And it seems like every time it is on, twitter and facebook lights up with people talking about it. Some of the people whose opinion I most trust have insisted I need to watch it, and my first question is always, “Isn’t it a bit scary?”  And everyone assures me . . . No! It’s not that scary! It’s a plot-driven show! image Well I’m calling shenanigans. Mark and I finally decided to give it a try and we got about 15 minutes in before giving up. That crap is SCARY!! First of all, the opening scene with the little girl? HELLO. But what finally did us in was when he came upon that lady zombie lying on the ground. (I’m not even posting a photo of her because I found this so terrifying, but a picture of her is here.) That’s when we were both like NO. Too scary. Do not want. I’m sincere in asking . . . how do you guys watch stuff like this? That image is stuck in my brain. I can’t imagine watching week after week of half-dead corpses walking around. I could barely make it through Dexter. Do you just get used to it? Do you actually like horror? Or do you make an exception because you like the writing?

The last scary movie I watched was Blair Witch Project and I still regret it. I guess I’m a wimp.  I’m still a little bummed because the show really does look fascinating, but unless someone creates a version with the gore edited out, I’m gonna miss this one.

Questions of eternal significance: We’re talking about pens today.

Are you a pen snob? I have never understood the people who buy expensive pens. When I was in private practice there was a guy in my office who kept an expensive Montblanc pen on his desk. Inevitably some intern would grab it to write notes, or hand it to a client to write a check, and it would wind up in the communal cup of office pens, or worse . . . lost completely. And then there would be a bunch of inter-office drama because his pen was lost, and had anyone seen it? Can everyone stop what they are doing and check to see if they have the bougie pen? And I would inwardly roll my eyes because WHHHHHYYYY?? Why have an expensive pen?

I’ve always seen pens as disposable community property. If I loan someone a pen, I don’t expect it back. I would never pay a lot for one because I’m forever losing them. I can barely keep track of my sunglasses. That being said, I AM a bit of a pen snob in that I have a few kinds that I really prefer writing with. They are a bit more than your typical cheapie Bics, but still pretty reasonable. My lifelong favorite pen has been this guy: image I know it sounds crazy but my handwriting just looks exponentially better with this pen. I usually buy these in bulk and have them around the house. Although . . . here’s another mystery of the human condition. Despite buying these constantly, whenever I go to grab a pen from the pen drawer, the only thing available is a bank pen that doesn’t work, an unsharpened pencil, and an orange crayon. Seriously . . . I can never find a working pen, and my mom’s house is the same way. It’s like an awful genetic condition that I’ve inherited. Lately, my love for the Precise V5 has been upstaged by a new discovery . . . Le Pen. I know. The name is super cheesy. But it writes like a dream. I don’t know how this thing found it’s way into my life . . . one day, it was just there, in my purse. But I love it. It’s like a tiny pointed marker and everything I write with it just looks prettier. image How about you? What’s your favorite pen? Are you a snob, or do you care? Do you actually buy expensive pens? Also: Has your handwriting become horrible in the last decade or is it just me? I swear my print used to be cute. Now my handwriting looks like a child. PS Please tell me you’ve seen the Amazon reviews for Bic for Her pens. One of the funniest things on the internet.