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Dates, Lock-ins, Roosters

June 19, 2008

Yesterday, I caught this article on Slate.com that discussed how people read online. Most of the piece, while amusing, kind of falls in the ‘well, duh’ category:

To really get your attention, I should write like this:

  • Bulleted list
  • Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming
  • Short sentence fragments
  • Explanatory subheads
  • No puns
  • Did I mention lists?

See what I mean? Funny yet obvious. And yet… I tend to break most of the ‘best practices’ listed in the article.  My posts are full of long blocks of text and I often make you scroll down the page. (as Michael Agger writes “… I’m probably forcing you to scroll at this point. Losing some incredible percentage of readers. Bye. Have fun on Facebook. “) Oops!

For those of you who have stayed with me this far, I thought I’d offer up some ‘online-reading-friendly’ fare – a bulleted list of my own random”Best Practices” also known as “Stupid Things Britt Does that you should Avoid Doing”:

1. When making trips to Paris, it is a fantastic idea to check out sites like “what’s on when” (note: this site is also great for U.S. cities. Pittsburghers can click on the link and get details about the Three Rivers Arts Festival). They will clue you in to the fact that on the first Sunday of the month, many of the major sites around Paris are free. HOWEVER. Before getting all excited about the prospect of FREE entrance to The Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay, one should make sure that you are in fact visiting on the FIRST Sunday of the month.

Otherwise, you will find yourself looking like an absolute idiot as you are turned away from the Denon wing of the Louvre for not having a ticket. As your face turns crimson in embarrassment, you might consider leaving but then you’ll remember that you just spent 18 Euros on 3 audio guides. So you go ahead and spend the last of your Euros for a max of 3 hours of touring. This will lead to an empty wallet, loss of the title “best trip planner ever” and many jokes at your expense.

Bottom Line: When traveling, always know the day’s date.


(Having a grand old time annoying BF with my antics outside the Louvre. Note that this is before realizing that I got the dates wrong.)

2.  Do both of the following apply to you:
– You leave the house well before your housemate in the mornings
– Your front door, once locked from the outside, can only be unlocked from the inside with a set of keys

If so, then be warned: do NOT put your keys in your purse and then take your housemate’s keys and use them to lock the front door while said housemate is still sleeping.  Otherwise, they will be very, very angry with you and leave mean (if justified) voicemails about how you locked them in the house and they are missing ‘important’ meetings. This will inevitably lead to you sacrificing your lunch hour to drive back home and let them out of the house and then take them to work.

Bottom Line: Don’t lock your housemate in the house on workdays.

3. If a rooster is standing in the middle of the road you take to work and you are running late, do not honk. The rooster will just start to crow. Crowing is cute but uneccesary, you are already awake and it doesn’t get you to work any faster.

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