It’s spring. The birds say so.

About Nothing

Earlier this week I was startled by the sound of loud popping noises that sounded like they were coming from just outside my window. When I walked toward the sound of the noise, they began again – and it was clear that rather than something sinister, the popping was caused by a confused woodpecker of some kind trying to break into my house via the skylight.

He failed, thankfully. But obviously, if the glorious weather we’re having right now wasn’t enough of a sign, the woodpecker reminded me – spring is here.

This morning, just as I sat down at my desk, I heard a thud on the office window next to me. I turned to see a dazed bird flying away, and got up to see if it had actually made it or was lying on the pavement. There was no wounded bird in sight, but that’s when I noticed a robin in the tree outside the window, busily building her nest.


These photos are bad – they’re taken with my phone, and there’s a pesky tree branch blocking most of the nest from my vantage point – but I’ve been watching her for the last half-hour, and she’s definitely nesting.

On the left is what I can see from my office window. On the right is as zoomed in as my phone will go, with the red arrow pointing to the robin’s tail as she was – I’m guessing here – fluffing pillows or something.

Ordinarily, my favorite part of having this tree outside my window is when it’s bursting with color. But this year, I’m really hoping the leaves stay away for awhile yet. I want to see some baby birds.

In Which I Chat with Robin Leach on Twitter

About Nothing

Oh, social media – you never fail to delight.

I woke up this morning to find that Robin Leach’s official Twitter account had sent me a message. Yes, that Robin Leach. Mister Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Mister “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” And I am neither rich nor famous, indulging on neither champagne nor caviar on a regular basis.

So, yes, I was a little surprised – until I realized he’d made the same mistake other Twitter users all over the world have already made, thinking the @andiamo in my name is that of a restaurant or club.

In this case, apparently one of the guys from the Pawn Stars reality show took his girlfriend to a Las Vegas steakhouse for her birthday, which Robin Leach obviously felt was critical information to share with his followers:

It’s not surprising that there are multiple Italian restaurants called Andiamo, and tagging the wrong account is also not an uncommon Twitter error to make. I get so many messages from people at restaurants or night clubs called Andiamo that I’ve long since given up replying to each of them to tell them they’ve got the wrong Twitter account – but I couldn’t pass up replying to Mr. Leach this morning:

I thought that was that. But if I was surprised to see the first message from Robin Leach, I was downright shocked to have him actually reply to me:

So, today, Robin Leach and a mistake on Twitter have served to amuse me to no end. And that certainly isn’t what I was expecting from my Sunday.

Now, should I take this as a sign to have champagne and caviar for lunch?

Full conversation below:


About Nothing

I saw this quote on a friend’s Facebook page not long ago, and immediately fell in love with it. I, too, want words for complex emotions. Perhaps we should just create them?

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.

– Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Exactly One Life

About Nothing

I know I just posted a quote that made me sit up and take notice, but I’ve got another one to share. I can’t even explain why this one jumped out at me so much, since when you read it you’re thinking, “Well, duh.” But somehow? Somehow it’s a concept that most of us forget (or ignore) too easily.

There are a few more quotes on this page of Colin Wright’s site that I liked, but this was the quote that, when I saw it on Pinterest, led me to hunt down the author in the first place.

So. What are you doing today with your one life?

The Brick’s Gonna Start Chipping

About Nothing

I like quotes. I know not everyone does, but I do. I love ’em. I’ve got books full of quotes that meant a great deal to me as a teenager that make me cringe a little now, but that’s the beauty of such collections – they double as time machines.

At any rate, this quote, posted today on Twitter by Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz from this blog post, is one that resonates with me right now. I’m guessing you’ll understand why.

I’m not giving up. Quite the opposite. As ugly and awkward as it is to take three strikes and refuse to walk away from the batters’ box, I plan to keep throwing myself against the wall of technology and behavior change and making life better until something gives. Either my head’s gonna crack open or the brick’s gonna start chipping.

Yes. That.

What’s inspiring you to take the next step forward today?

photo by Raymond Brown

When it Had Been Effortless

About Nothing

Hemingway, on his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald, from “A Moveable Feast:”

His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.

Tender & foreboding, & applicable to pretty much anyone who is naturally gifted at anything.