All About The Color (Color Color)

color-picking-tools

Do you ever see a person’s logo and think to yourself, “They are NOT sea foam green.” Because that happens to me a lot. Sometimes it’s with a friend who is so closely associated with a color in my brain that every other color falls short. Other times, it’s just with a stranger who doesn’t seem to realize the message she’s conveying with her color pallet. (Colors are important, people!)

Here are a couple of my favorite tools for picking a color scheme.

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Back up your devices with Dropbox

backing up with DropboxI am a total space cadet at remembering to backup my computer… and my phone and… my everything, really. I have a very nice and nearly indestructible LaCie hard drive that works well, but Time Machine has always bugged me. For starters, it takes forever.

I haul my laptop around almost everywhere so asking me to sit still long enough to backup my whole computer is not going to happen on the regular. I’ve never understood why it has to back up all of my files anyway. Less than 10% of them have changed since the last time. If only Time Machine could detect new or updated files…

Enter Dropbox. I’ve had a paid account for a while. My office uses it in place of a traditional shared server and I routinely use it to send large files to freelance clients. Over the last year or so, I’ve become more and more obsessed with it. Recently, they upped the space in their paid accounts to a terabyte, which is a heck of a lot of room.

“What could I possibly do with all that space?” I wondered. Um, how about backup all my devices in a way that doesn’t require me to rethink my whole life.

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How the 12 Days of Christmas Really Work

This post is written by Laura e. Crook as part of my Teach Me Something series. Since the first post was a tutorial, I wanted the second to be informational—more than a cocktail party fact, less than a full blown Wikipedia entry. When Laura went off on a Twitter tangent about the real story behind the 12 Days of Christmas, I knew I had my girl.

12 days of christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… the harsh truth that the first day of Christmas is actually December 25th, not the 14th.

Wait, what?

Like a lot of things we take for granted, the twelve days of Christmas have their root in the Catholic Church. (Thanks a lot, God! Way to ruin Christmas by making it later, am I right? Well, yes and no.)

What we think of as the “Christmas” season (starting anywhere between November 1st and 25th, depending on how far department stores want to push it), is actually known as “Advent.” The four weeks leading up to Christmas Day are historically devoted to preparation and expectation of the arrival of the Christ Child. It’s a time for meditation and contemplation—all great things for the end of the year.

But back to Christmas! “So why twelve days? And what happens on the twelfth day?” Well, I don’t know why there are twelve days, and the real question isn’t what happens on the twelfth day, but the twelfth night? For that we’ll have to ask our buddy Shakespeare. (I’m kidding, but the play Twelfth Night does take it’s name from Epiphany Eve, which is January 5th, and the Twelfth day of Christmas.)

The twelfth day is Christmas’ last hurrah before the season of Epiphany starts on the 6th. (It’s also when people in New Orleans eat a cake with a tiny plastic baby baked in it, but hey, I’m not one to judge.)

“What’s so special about Epiphany?” you may ask (or not. I don’t care because I’m going to tell you anyway). Epiphany is when the church celebrates the arrival of the Magi! Also known as the Wise Men, they didn’t arrive until significantly after Jesus was born. We’re talking up to two years later. WHAT. I know. All those beautiful manger paintings are a lie. They also probably weren’t kings and we don’t know if there were three of them—we just say three because there were three gifts.

Also Santa is fictional, the dude he’s based on was Turkish and everything you ever thought you knew about Christmas is a lie.

But on the bright side it’s totally valid to wish people Merry Christmas well into the first week of January, and now you have a story to tell at parties if you want to sound like a pedantic religious nut.

And honestly, why wouldn’t you?

The Best Things I Read This Year

the best things I read this year

Back in my pre-teen LiveJournal days, everyone kept running lists of the books, movies, and televisions shows they consumed each year. We set arbitrary goals for each category (25 books, 50 movies, etc.) and tracked them all in a sticky post pinned to the top of our journals.

I’m not really sure why we did this, but I always liked it. Partially because it allowed me to quantify things that otherwise can’t be quantified. (If I can put it on a list, I’m being productive! It wasn’t a waste of time!) I haven’t updated my LiveJournal in years, but I remember how much I liked being able to look back and remember books or movies I loved but had already forgotten. (I’m perpetually that person who gets asked for her favorite movie and rattles off the same three titles she’s been recalling for years, even if she hasn’t seen them in just as long.)

These days, I don’t consume nearly as many books or movies as I used to but I read a shit ton of blogs, articles, and the like. I tweet the ones I love and share favorite passages on Tumblr but most of the things we read online are here today and gone tomorrow. I think that’s a shame. Some of them are fucking awesome.

So, without further rambling, here are the best things I read this year. I collected them all in an Evernote over the last twelve months, revisited them all while traveling earlier this week, and have collected them here for your enjoyment. All of them are available online for free and in their entirety.

(This list would probably make a great companion for your flight/train ride/drive home this week. Just saying.)

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Five hundred twenty-six hours…

my-2014-travel

I’ve recently been thinking about my goals for 2015 and, in the process, revisiting the ones I set for this year. One of my biggest was to travel more.

That’s exactly how I phrased it. “Travel more.”

As I flipped through my iCal, I realized that I actually followed through on my half-assed vaguery. I traveled quite a bit this year—more than I ever have before. I took seven trips total, all long weekends and most of them with Blair.

Because I appreciate data, I crunched the numbers. And because I’m me, I also made a hand drawn infographic plotting the month, location, and purpose for my trips. I was going to leave it in my sketchbook but then I was procrastinating actual work the other day and, well, here we are.

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