Category Archives: education

Relationship Advice from Guru John Gottman

Last week I tasered and dragged the Hubs to a lecture by renowned relationship researcher John Gottman. Yes, you read that right. The Hubs went to a talk on relationships. Better stock up on food and water, cuz the Supervolcano can’t be far behind. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As we walked up the streets of downtown Seattle, I spotted another couple heading the same direction and guessed we were all going to the same place. When the woman left her guy in the dust by crossing on yellow, and then impatiently waited across the street, the Hubs agreed with me. We’re smart only that way.

After reviewing the bad and irrational habits of couples which I personally never do, Gottman discussed the Falling in Love Cocktail, which is how we all got in this mess consists of the following chemicals: DHEA, Oxytocin, Pheromones, Estrogen, Testosterone, PEA, Serotonin, Dopamine, Progesterone, Prolactin, and Vasopressin plus a shot of Grey Goose, shaken, not stirred.


During the “honeymoon phase,” all these chemicals, which thankfully can only get triggered by a few people‘s delicious look/scent/taste, will suspend our sense of fear and impair our judgment. No shit! In fact, a Swiss scientist found that when sprayed with oxytocin up their nose, more people agreed to fund a shifty Swiss dude’s investment scheme than people who were squirted with plain saline. So you should totally not date a financier.

It’s only after the chemicals wear off and we’ve possibly already been to the alter that we sober up that our judgment resurfaces and trust can begun to be built. Gottman defines trust in a broad way as behavior that answers affirmatively to the question “Are you there for me?” And that feeling, that your partner is there for you or not there for you, is created in small moments every day, every week, by listening and sharing openly. I You apparently cannot order it up off the menu.

He truly had a ton of information and a short time to convey it. While Gottman compiled lists of what you should and shouldn’t do, he didn’t really sink into that underbelly of people possibly like me who know what they should do, who know it would benefit the relationship, and yet still don’t do it.

Like how a person who is midway through a totally voluntary, food detox for rational, health reasons (a blog post on that later), walks into a lecture area, smells foreign spices and sees something tasty looking in a steamed wrapper being handed to her by celebrity chef Tom Douglas and eats it. Detox. Be. Damned.

Tom said yak was probably okay on a detox after I ate it.

But excluding me that still leaves a large group of rational-behaving people who exist only as a figment of my imagination would benefit from Gottman’s information on the habits of successful couples.

And by the end of the evening, the Hubs and I actually agreed on a second thing: the yak dumplings tasted awesome. Awww.

Wanna Be a Freelance Editor? Meet Jim Thomsen!

Thinking about freelance editing as a career? Curious about how editors got their work up and going? I was, so I thought maybe someone else out there is curious, too. If so, read on!

Here’s my interview with my friend, Jim Thomsen, former Bainbridge Islander and current freelance editor.
1. You had many years of experience working for traditional newspapers. What made you want to become a freelance editor?
One, I don’t know how to do anything else. Two, I don’t WANT to do anything else. Three, even if I were opening to learning something else, I’m afraid it wouldn’t take because I’m stubborn, petulant and have the attention span of a baby ferret. Four, there’s no place for an experienced editor who commands an experienced editor’s salary in the current job market. Five, I know some authors, and found that some were open to some professional help. And six, it’s fun. My laptop is my office. I can work whenever and wherever I want. I can dress for work in madras shorts and a Wang Chung concert T-shirt (yes, I have one).

2. What’s a typical day for you?
I usually start with a little client correspondence and bookkeeping. And Facebooking, which is as much frivolous performance art for me as it is an essential and demonstrably successful part of building my brand. Then I dive into the work itself. I line-edit for sentence structure, spelling, Chicago Manual of Style conformity and consistency, grammar, and usage. I do some fact-checking. I provide a second line of defense on story and structural issues, red-flagging implausibilities and inconsistencies as I see them, and offering solutions. I keep a separate document for each job in which I summarize problem patterns, while also playing up the good stuff.

Volume and speed are the keys to my success, so, during this ramp-up phase of my business, I rarely take a day off or work less than ten hours.

3. Where do you get your clients? What sort of business promotions have you done and what would you recommend for someone starting out?
I know nothing at all about marketing. I acquired my first clients in a few ways. One, I got to know them in person. Continue reading

an old-fashion (long)house tour

The Hubs Kid had a project recently at school. They spent a unit learning about local Native American traditions, and students all took home paper to be cut and colored into a traditional longhouse.

Naturally, leaving it at paper was not going to happen in the Hubs’ universe in this house, especially since the Hubs is Alaskan and has seen actual longhouses and known actual people who lived in them.

In light of all the screaming and crying good, detailed work that went into it, it seems only fair to have a house tour….
Nice curb appeal, yes?
Side angle, with space for gardening. Must be dinner time… Notice the tiny hide?
This is the kind of attention to detail that makes the Hubs say, “Argh, I can barely sleep around the lousy paint job they did in this vacation rental,” while I say, “What paint?”
Every longhouse with a girl in it totally had one of these outside.
Like the smoke? After much debate about how to create a tiny smoke machine, I convinced him that perhaps a third grade teacher would be happier with air-brushed cotton.

All in all, a fabulous job, you guys!!

Although I’m a little nervous at what might get created here with the upcoming unit on the Sasquatch…

Girly Cupcakes

Just so you know, the Hubs said I shouldn’t blog about this, so Hello! You’d think he’d have learned by now….

This post is brought to you by Facebook and its new anti-privacy rules, because it was a friend of a friend who I have never heard of who posted this photo and my friend, a guy I actually do know, “liked” it.

Which apparently means the whole world gets to see it now, in case you just got out of that coma don’t know Facebook is raping you daily, right now.

Hold onto your britches. Take a gander at the girly cupcakes:
Puts new meaning in the term variety pack, eh?

Okay, focus, readers. Are ya with me? I posted this because I want to ask if you think it was would be outrageoushorrendousdisgusting of me to show this photo to my eight-year-old daughter?

Purely, a hypothetical question, Mrs. Child Protective Services, for the purposes of discussion.

I mean, if I did, I wonder if my child would guess right away what she was looking at or needed a hint from me.

I wonder if she’d then drop her jaw first, and then with a twinkle in her eye, her own drawers to show me hers as comparison to the frosted ones.

I also wonder if young girls should possess a relaxed, secure knowledge of their amazing, delicious cupcakes body.

Purely hypothetical, ya’ll. Don’t go get your panties in a–oh, never mind.

What do you think? Would you show a daughter and not a son? Is age a factor?

This is the kind of thing that happens when lawyers are mommies.

[“Dear tooth fairy, I lost my tooth that I lost today. I am really sorry that its not here….We swear the above statement is true.”]

During the holidays, the Kid was inconsolable at losing the tooth she had just lost, so I suggested a letter to the tooth fairy (btw, Santa she is beginning to question, but the tooth fairy…this is more believable?), and all the adults would swear it was true. No, we had no notary, but it calmed her anyway. We hoped the tooth fairy would go on the honor system.

And she did! Whew! Close one!