Discover more from The Matt Jankowski Club
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
Let's not even speculate about a treadmill in the white house
When journalists or other writers of words describe the current President of the United States (POTUS) they will often use the phrase "sitting president" to establish that the person about whom they are speaking is not only a president, but that they are a president who is still in power right now, and not just some previous president who once held office but does not currently hold office.
I'm not going to bother to look this up, but let's just assume that "sitting president" was a useful differentiator of former vs previous presidents because the former presidents would all be out on golf courses or boats or whatever, but the current president would be behind their desk, just sitting there, signing things into law, as presidents are known to do from time to time.
That's probably historically true, but with the rise of standing desks and new research showing that sitting for long periods is more damaging to your health than cigarettes and sugary treats combined, I wonder how long it will be before "sitting president" is considered an offensive term, and the office-holder insists on using "standing president" instead.
I probably need remedial etiquette lessons
I like to think of myself as someone with an incredible fortitude who goes about my day with an intense efficiency that rivals many of my contemporaries. To further engrain this self-image and earn these accolades, there are a few rules of silverware that I'm willing to bend in order to shave a few moments of time here and there off my day and retain my "efficiency expert" title.
Let me give you two examples.
First, let's say it's the time of day where one needs a bread and butter snack, and there's a loaf of bread and a dish of butter available on the counter. Most people will pick up a bread knife, then slice some bread off the loaf, then take a butter knife and apply some butter from the dish onto the bread from the loaf, and then place the buttered bread onto a small plate and go sit down to have their snack. Instead, I'll go in with my bare hands and rip a chunk of bread right off the loaf without even using a knife, and then I'll just dip the bread chunk directly onto the stick of butter sitting in the dish, scrape off some butter, and bring the buttered bread with me (without a plate!) to wherever I'm going next. In this scenario I've not only saved time by skipping the self-indulgent buttering step - I've also kept two knives and one plate clean by skipping the knife and plate steps as well.
Next, picture a scenario where you are eating a dinner which contains items of large enough size that you cannot eat them whole and they must be cut into smaller pieces -- yet the items have a consistency where they could potentially fall apart. A piece of meat is a bad example here because it wouldn't fall apart, and you'd need a meat knife. A piece of lasagna is a good example because it might fall apart. When given an eating task like this most people who are not efficiency experts will put their knife in one hand and their fork in the other hand and cut one piece at a time away from their lasagna, eating it bite by bite. Instead, I'll skip the knife entirely and just use the side of my fork to cut through the lasagna, and create my pieces that way. No knife even needed on that one.
Giving up a little bit in the way of etiquette can earn you quite a bit in the way of saved time and demonstrated fortitude.
This is not yet banned by any ordinance I'm aware of
It's important to me that I do not disrupt my lifestyle to deal with the bringing outside of garbage and recycling bins. I make a point of emptying these containers quite proactively when they are nearly full, but I will not also change clothes or footwear in order to do so.
This leads to scenarios in the winter where I'm walking around the house barefoot in shorts and a t-shirt, notice that the recycling must go out, and just take it out right away, even if it's 20 degrees out and snowing. I believe that altering my routine to put on socks and shoes and a jacket first would somehow be letting the refuse win, and I don't want to do that.
We're all on the same page now
On some recent excursions dining out on the town, I've had a waiter who used the phrase "it's really killer" at least 10 times when describing the restaurant's dinner menu, and a waitress who described one of their brunch items as being "a game changer".
What zany universe are these people living in where dishes of food have that sort of power? I don't even know what kind of game the eggs benedict are playing in the first place, but I am confident that this particular style of creating them is not going to change the goddamn landscape of brunch.
In case the paparazzi come by
When one is preparing a kettle of boiling water or a stovetop pot of something hot, and needs to pick up the still-dangerously-hot metal object -- but cannot find a set of oven mitts -- a typical backup plan might be to grab a nearby dish towel and pick up the object with the towel in front of your hand. This creates a buffer between the object and your fingers, shielding your frail human body from the intense raw energy coming off the surface of the stove-warmed object.
It's a good idea to do this, and I do the same thing. When I'm doing it that way I make sure to carefully fold the towel over a few times first such that being folded upon itself creates a several-layers-thick level of protection, and such that there is no length of towel dragging on the stove surface near an open flame. This behavior is probably adding some marginal safety to my life via the extra layers and reduced risk of kitchen fires, and I think it probably looks tidier too what with the symmetrical folding and all.