More fun with bullet points

  • What is it about bullet points?

  • I thought I should write everything in bullet points because
    • I was worried about Internet attention spans
    • Also just having fun
  • Then I decided bullet points were stupid because
    • they debase language
    • they are very very boring
    • they don’t tell a story
    • they are just a summary
    • a summary is like an obituary
    • sitting in a corporate meeting is like going to a funeral
    • we’re watching something die when we’re using bullet points
    • doesn’t the term “bullet” clue you in?
  • So … are you doing the column or not?
    • I want to do it but there are considerations:
      • Can I afford to work on it four to six hours a day?
      • Can I dedicate my life to it like I used to?
      • If I can’t give it everything I have, is it still right to do it?
      • Is there a danger it will slowly decline?
      • Didn’t Seinfeld do the right thing by quitting at the top?
      • What about my other literary interests?
        • Short Fiction
        • The Novel
        • Poetry
        • Literary reviews
        • Spoken Word
        • Performance
  • Publish something every day even if it’s not done?
    • What is “done”?
    • Is “done” an antiquated construct?
  • Where is the boundary between literary product and conversation?
  • Hard to tell, right?
  • Yep. hard to tell.
  • Maybe we’re in a new world
  • Duh, dude! Where have you been?
  • I was on the Internet
  • Yeah, but at Salon
  • What’s that supposed to mean?
  • Are you kidding? Salon was always behind because it was started by journalists, not by engineers.
  • That sounds like some kind of heresy.
  • It’s the friggin’ truth, dude.
  • So is this still bullet points?
  • There’s bullets, aren’t there?
  • Yes but this seems like it’s getting discursive or narrative-like.
  • No, this is dialog.
  • Sorry.
    • Hey. It looks like there are two bullet points there
    • That symbolizes dialog.
    • Sure. Right.
    • Just kidding
    • Who are you anyway?
    • You mean who am I talking to?
  • Yeah.
    • Yourself?
      • Maybe. You sound different from me though.
        • Yeah. I am different from you. I am your smarter faster quicker less bullshit-laden self.
          • If you’re different from me, though, who am I?
  • You’re Older You. Or Older Me. I forget which
  • Oh.
  • Is that all you can say? “Oh.”?
  • No it just sounded kind of harsh.
  • Like I said: Duh.
  • Meaning?
  • Meaning get with the program, slow old dude me.
  • Are we still doing bullet points?
  • No. Now we’re having a dialog.
  • How old are you anyway?
    • I’m 27.
    • Oh. I’m 61.
    • Wow. You’re old, dude.
    • Hey. Easy.
  • I’m your 27-year-old self. The self that would have studied coding instead of literature if you were my age now.
  • You think?
  • Absolutely. You were looking for the new world. This is it. This world we’re creating.
  • You’re creating.
  • We’re creating.
  • But I’m 61.
  • Like I said, I’m your 27-year-old self come back to haunt you and let you know what’s going on.
  • Oh, thanks. Should I forget the bullet points now?

    Yeah. Afraid so. Just follow me. Do what I do.

Have to stop now

Out of bullets.



My husband won’t do his laundry


Write for Advice
Cary’s classic column from THURSDAY, AUG 23, 2007

We were sharing household duties, but then things got out of whack and now I’m ready to bitch-slap my hubby!

Dear Cary:

My husband won’t do his laundry and I want to bitch-slap him. Yes, this is coming from a middle-aged, professional woman. Here’s the skinny: This is my second marriage, his first. And yes, we went into this marriage nine years ago with shared responsibilities. We sort of fell into a pattern, with him assuming all the lawn and maintenance work and me taking care of the home, including the laundry. We both worked full time and both pitched in to do things like cleaning and food shopping, depending on our schedules.

But back to the laundry. I really didn’t mind doing the laundry and did it all on Saturday morning while I cleaned or we cleaned together. But things all changed last October when hubs lost his job. I told him he needed to pick up more housekeeping chores, including doing his own laundry. He did pick up some chores (only sporadically, as long as they didn’t interfere with his obsession with golf) but was pretty lax about his laundry. He soon fell into the same pattern of piling all of his dirties in the laundry room on Saturday morning … for me to do.

I resent this and have asked him several times to take care of this before the weekend but he never does. He has returned to work, but he sets his own hours and has plenty of time to do his laundry. Things have come to a head here lately since I’ve had to assume full-time care of my two grandchildren, ages 2 and 5, while their mother is sick. These little folks generate tons of laundry, and I am now so mad at hubs that I want to punch him in the face. Maybe he will listen to an outside opinion.

At any rate, at least I got to vent!

Thank you,
Buried in Laundry


Dear Buried,

My outside opinion is that you need outside help. You’ve got too much to do. If you can swing it, just hire somebody. If you can’t, then you have to put on paper the number of hours required for all the tasks of running the household, and the number of hours you and he have available to run the household, and stare at the numbers while you weep and gnash your teeth and curse the gods, and then hire some outside help.

Believe me, there isn’t enough time in your week. You may think there is but there isn’t. You may think there would be time, since hubby sets his own hours. You may think it’s a simple matter for him to stop doing what he’s doing. And if you were the kind of person who was very clever about setting up conditioned reflexes in a husband to surreptitiously alter his behavior, you might be able to alter his behavior. But it’s clear from the way you’re approaching this that you aren’t able to alter his behavior. You’ve already lost patience. So stop trying. Maybe in an ideal world he would do what you tell him to do. But I have a feeling that’s just not going to happen. Because at this point it’s not about the laundry. It’s about the power struggle between you two. It’s about pride and ego and unfairness and probably a lot of built-up resentments about a whole bunch of other stuff that you didn’t mention but that you will explain to the therapist you end up going to after this really comes to a head and you throw his laundry into the yard and he runs over it with the mower.

So, what I’m saying is, there might theoretically be enough time in your week if you were different people. If you were people who only did chores maybe. That would mean that you are not really people. That would mean you are machines. I mean, you could cut out rest. Or sleep. Or recreation. Or spiritual time. Or family fun. Or eating meals. Or sleeping in. Or taking care of the 2-year-old, or the 5-year-old. You could cut out all the things that seem inessential and frivolous. But you wouldn’t. You’d do them anyway. Because that’s who you are.

So just hire some outside help. If you don’t have the money to hire outside help, then accept the fact that the laundry isn’t going to get done. I mean, stop doing it. Stop doing his laundry. Leave it on the floor. Let him do it.

You can do that or you can keep doing what you’re doing.

My point is you have to end this thing. You’ll probably eventually have to settle your power struggle with him, but for the time being, use some of that professional salary to get in some outside help. Or just don’t do his laundry.

One more thing: Breathe!