“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
To a psychologist – or at least to this psychologist – the most interesting thing about earworms is that they show a part of our mind that is clearly outside of our control. Earworms arrive without permission and refuse to leave when we tell them to. They are parasites, living in a part of our minds that rehearses sounds.
Rather than rehearse our plans for the day, idle thoughts, or lists of things to remember, the inner ear gets stuck on a few short bars of music or a couple of phrases from a song. A part of us that we normally do not have to think about, that should just do what we ask, has been turned against us, tormenting us with a jukebox request that we never asked for.
“Can I be honest with you? I realized that I’m tired of most food photography lately. I’m tired of taking photos of food, and I’m really tired of looking at photos of food online (perfect meals and those perfect table settings). It all looks the same. The faux-urban-rustic aesthetic, with mason jars for glasses and twine-wrapped napkins. The perfectly placed spoonful of brown sugar on the table (in a vintage/antique spoon, please), the sugar crystals artfully scattered around the spoon. You know what I’m talking about. I want real photos of food. Pictures that make me feel something (other than, “oooh, where can I buy this?”). I want a food photo to appeal to my creative side, or to challenge me, or make me think. I like photos of food that give me a true sense of place – pictures that are not styled and glossy, but real and down-to-earth. The internet LOVES food. Without a doubt, my food-related photos are some of my most popular photos. Pretty photos of food can earn you a million “likes” and “reblogs” and shouts of “how lovely!”. But that’s too easy, and I’m uninterested. I want to tell a story. I want to make you feel something, to experience it with me – the way the sun felt that day we had lunch on the patio, the creeping melancholy of a breakfast alone, the happiness of a lunch of fresh oysters & white wine, the lazy conversations with friends that took place over a Sunday roast. Food is about so much more than the actual food itself.”
“Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing — but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.”
“My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules: 1. Avoid alliteration. Always. 2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.) 4. Employ the vernacular. 5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary. 7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive. 8. Contractions aren’t necessary. 9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. 10. One should never generalize. 11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” 12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches. 13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous. 14. Profanity sucks. 15. Be more or less specific. 16. Understatement is always best. 17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. 18. One-word sentences? Eliminate. 19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake. 20. The passive voice is to be avoided. 21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms. 22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. 23. Who needs rhetorical questions?”