Uh oh.

July 21st, 2008 | Uncategorized


I’m so pumped about my file purge, I can’t stop organizing.

108 Responses to “Uh oh.”

  1. Juliet says:

    errr…Alison…this looks like double layer deferrence. Perfect!

    My friend Andrew recently undertook an inbox intervention for his mate Stef – problem described here: http://tinyurl.com/5oz6fu

    solution explained here:


  2. Bonk Johnston says:

    As a fellow writer I can understand the “delay techniques.” Once, I washed/scrubbed the outside of my fridge instead of working on my thesis.

  3. Jesse N says:

    It might be good to be doing this. You’ll get to work when you’re good and ready. When I get organized, I feel like it clears my head, you know?

  4. freyakat says:

    Hey Alison,

    You might enjoy the following 12-minute animation film, which is about delaying tactics vis-a-vis piano-practicing: ‘Getting Started’ by Richard Condie is available on a videotape or DVD called “Leonard Maltin’s Animation Favorites from the National Film Board of Canada”.

    Or maybe check it out right now….

  5. Kate L says:

    You just gave me a way out of my “Inbox Getting Full” problem with the university e-mail server! Thanks!!! Say, A.B, was that a geologic map of Pennsylvania and New Jersey framed on your office wall? Good for you!!!!!!!

    Kate L (geology perfesser)

  6. Liza Cowan says:

    First of all, What!! How many unopened messages in your inbox? ‘Scuse me, but you need a secretary.

    Second, hip hip hooray to Maggie Jochild for being hired as a staff writer (or Masthead Blogger) at Group News Blog!! Yay Mags. http://www.groupnewsblog.net

  7. kate mckinnon says:

    So what, exactly, was accomplished in your mind by hiding the mess in a folder?

    I can’t see how moving that horrible clump into a hole with a lid made anything better, or easier to cope with. This is mysterious to me…

  8. Ian says:

    I think the next stage must be to work through 20 emails per day to clear the backlog.

    Personally, I’d be sorting them into various categories, and then in terms of priority. Of course, you could’ve answered half of them while you do that!

  9. pia says:

    I loved the video. Simple to the point directions on how to clean up my life – or at least my email box. Its the little steps that put a smile on my face.

  10. The Cat Pimp says:

    Well, I can tell you that you can get a lot more done if you are not berating yourself for having 400+ messages in your email box. So, I can see how it helps. It looks like AB has all sorts of useful folder for the more pressing stuff, anyway.

    I can’t wait till my HP dies and I can get an Apple…sigh.

  11. a lurker says:

    I think you probably do have to clear out the inbox annexe in order for this tip to be productive. but maybe you could make a series of folders IN the inbox annexe and then you could deal with one category at a time:)
    For any one who does creative work (writing, art, dancing, singing, whatever else),I’m pretty sure that the impulse when you wash the fridge or organize your office is actually a sign that your mind is percolating. A friend of mine in grad school once said this, and I’ve found it to be true for me too-there are like 3 week spurts where you put down a lot (let’s say of your diss) on paper. And then there are like 3 weeks where you mess around, and it looks like you’re not doing anything-but actually what’s happening is that you’re working through ideas or sentences while you move around. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it. When the 3 weeks (in our case) are over, you’re ready to write again, because you’ve thought the kinks out. (Doris Lessing writes about a similar process in her autobiography-she takes a lot of short naps while working, which I also do sometimes). It’s all part of the process, as one of my profs used to say…

  12. The Latent Lens says:

    and boy do I ever love the process………there is nothing like the rush and the thrill of creating something that just consumes you and washes you over with sheer and utter bliss (or exhaustion) when its finished………….

  13. Lurker, that cheered me up. Maybe I’m percolating!

    Okay, I know my video was kind of silly. I didn’t actually deal with any of my email. But the way it was before, with all those messages in there, I was constantly losing important stuff, and people would start contacting me multiple times to follow up, and it was a vicious circle. This way, it’ll be easier to empty the inbox every day. If I don’t answer it, it goes in the annex.

  14. Richard says:

    I laughed out loud when I watched this on YouTube; I do 95% of my work over the internet, and creating an Inbox Annex seems like a great idea ….. except the stuff is still there to be dealt with (as you point out).

    Also, I am in a Glow of Self Satisfaction, because I spent the weekend purging my computer room (which had degenerated into the Junk Storage Room) of recyclable bottles & papers, non-functioning computers and peripherals, purged my book cases of old crap I didn’t like then and won’t re-read now (do I really need my 35 year old freshman college Intro to Psych textbook now? Hasn’t that boat sailed?). Especially with the discovery that the South Oakland County (Michigan) recycling center will take my old, dead computers, printers, text books, soda-pop and beer bottles, etc., and do something productive with them.

    My house is cleaner, has less clutter, and I feel reborn.

  15. Ydnic says:

    How apropos! Just yesterday I moved all my (700+) Inbox messages to a folder I named “temporary inbox.” (I did it because I was troubleshooting a mail list, but anyway) Somehow, it gave me a sense of relief and peace to see that lovely, empty Inbox, though my heart knew better.

    Of course, one could keep it that way by setting up a filter that simply whisks all incoming messages off to the Inbox Annex… evil laugh

  16. Aunt Soozie says:

    uhm, I have 3,930 messages in my inbox…
    however, some date back to, wait, let me check… October 3, 2003.
    Ironically, like Alison and Ydnic, I looked at that today and started moving some into files and deleting some. Something is happening celestially. It must be… or Alison is inspiring us all to purge and get on with life… or perhaps to purge and purge more… so as to avoid getting on with life… take your pick.

  17. Aunt Soozie says:

    oh, yeah… and along those lines,
    I’m having a big yard sale on Saturday.
    You’re all invited. Come take my junk away.

  18. Aunt Soozie says:

    I’m so sorry to hog the blog but I just had to tell you…
    my inbox is now EMPTY! WOWZAH!
    I named my folder inbox archive instead of annex.

  19. Kaitlin Duck Sherwood says:

    Okay, if you REALLY want to procrastinate, read the book I wrote titled _Overcome Email Overload_. (I am not making it up, I really did write that book. Books, actually — one for Outlook and one for Eudora.)

    It’s out of print, but you can read it online; go to

    The most important part IMHO is the first five pages of Chapter 2.

    I don’t think I talked about it in my book, but one of the most important things in dealing with email is to get over the guilt of not organizing things better. Search is your friend. Just having one big “ARCHIVE” folder is probably a win: you will probably not ever save as much time in retrieval as you will spend in organizing. So stop agonizing.

  20. Ian says:

    My copy of the Daily Distress Just popped through the mailbox half an hour ago. Along with a surprise!

    Thank you so much! I’ve had a bit of a stressful week and this cheered me right up.

    I love Anna Beek’s peace rally parody and Andrew Burday’s interview with local residents about The Essential … as well as Kelly Burke’s article about Gay Pride (and Shame).

    It arrived just in time to help me procrastinate just a little more …

  21. NLC says:

    Concerning “losing important mail amid the clutter”:

    Do people know about filters?

    Most mail-readers allow you to define filters which examine the incoming message and place them into an appropriate folder.

    For example, I can define a filter that looks for any mail from “mom@home.org” and puts into the folder “MailFromMom”;
    likewise mail from anyone at “MyCompany.com” goes into the “Work” mailbox.

    Over time I’ve probably defined several dozen filters. Most rarely (if ever) get used. But, on the other hand, 1] if I get an e-mail from someone “important”, I know it immediately, and 2] any unfiltered mail goes into my In box (by now, most of this is junk; but at least it makes it easier to sweep through, looking for anything unexpected that might be important.)

  22. Ellen O. says:

    I’ve created a mailbox I call “Follow Up.” In it, I put things that may or may not need potential follow-up: information on events or classes I might attend, on-line receipts (I’ll look over these at tax-time), website account info. I periodically go through this and toss out-dated emails.

    Some emails I keep because they are clever, funny, or heart-warming.
    Others for reference, for instance, a description of a writing exercise I might use in a workshop. But I have to sort and toss emails just like real paper.

    One trick for thinning my in-box: I re-arrange by sender. That way I can see a string of correspondence all at once and keep the ones (often the final one) that I need and toss the rest. Or, all at once, I can toss four days worth of New York Times headlines that have accumulated.

  23. Leah says:

    I think AB is motivating us all to do productive purges! I know I am! Thanks AB for so much but just for being YOU!

  24. Alex the Bold says:

    Bonk Johnston,

    Cleaning the refrigerator? That’s nothing. Penny-ante. Right now, rather than studying for my history final, I’m burning DVDs to organize all the programs on about 100 disks I’ve recorded over the last year. So one disk will have episode 12 of program A, episode 8 of program B, episode 22 of program C and episode 3 of program D. So I have to collect all the A’s, burn them in batches of five (after editing out the commercials), then all the B’s …

    I should finish by December.

  25. Alex the Bold says:


    Oooh. I thought of something that can satiate our need for DTWOF and allow you to get on with the sixteen things you’re doing.

    Run a contest like the New Yorker! Each week, put up a panel selected at random. Text blanked from the word balloons. Whoever comes up with the best balloon filler gets entered into the Beeg Beeg drawing at the end of the year for an autographed copy of your next book-flavored item!

    It’s boffo. It’ll be bigger than pancakes.

  26. Alison Bechdel says:

    Okay, Alex!
    I’ll get right on it.

    Awesome DVD procrastination project.

  27. Alison Bechdel says:

    I lost my yellow letters. I wonder how I can get them back?

  28. rusty says:

    I have an amazing tip for KEEPING that inbox at zero:

    Every day, sit down and go through all of yesterday’s email.

    That way, you have a finite number of messages to sort through each day. Reply to the ones you need to reply to, even in just in a sentence or two, and delete/file the rest.

    Also, the one-day delay can be great for putting things in perspective. I can get easily sidetracked by attending to some emailed request the moment it comes in– often this means I scurry around taking care of other peoples’ business instead of staying focused on my own. Somehow, reading an email the next day takes the urgency out of it, and I can decide more rationally whether I want to take the thing on.

  29. NLC says:

    How’s this sound:

    Write the book on the ‘blog!

    That way 1] readers’ daily D2WO4 jones is satisfied, and 2] can still pretend to be procrastinating.

    Two birds get stoned.

  30. Maggie Jochild says:

    Yet ANOTHER major post on a major feminist blog about the Bechdel Test, this time over at Echidne of the Snakes.

  31. Aunt Soozie says:

    thanks to all of the organizers for the suggestions…
    I liked best the person who said lump it all together and use your search if you need to find some old thang…

    On my screen your words are more orangey… the background is deep gold. still, I’m so glad that you got them back. I despise dealing with loss. though purging is satisfying once it’s faced and acted on… and the calm afterwards… ahhhhh… the feeling of accomplishment… clarity.

    what do you reckon the distinction is there? is it the control we have/take during a purge? while loss, in general, would be something we have no control over? sneaks up on us in it’s own time? when we may not be ready for it?

    Alison, ironic, (or not) that you are exercising this process while you percolate on writing about your relationships. I suspect a lurker is more on target than she/he knows. Maybe you aren’t simply percolating but are indeed working on your book. permanence vs. mortality, attachment vs. letting go, nostalgia, fear of loss, sentiment, things that seemed desirable, necessary… over time seem like a burden, a blockade… I don’t know… topic: is this all my projection? (tawlk amongst yourselves…)

  32. ready2agitate says:

    Not a complete fan, but fwiw, gmail takes care of the problem of people recontacting you about the same thing by stringing together all your conversations related to one post into a single thread. It is a great organizer in that regard (with the drawback that Google is constantly “reading” your email and funneling related links to you).

  33. ready2agitate says:

    Aunt Sooz, I’m with you. Reminds me of a previous thread where someone said she’d determined that keeping everything she had is related to either narcissism or fear of death (or both). Our r-ship to our stuff is such a metaphor for, well our r-ship to our stuff!

  34. NLC says:

    For those who haven’t seen it, check out the Appearances pages:

    November…The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For Tour!

    (Surely Guilford will be included this time ’round….)

  35. Bwahahahahaaaaaa!
    I’m currently DELETING my 2005, 2006, and 2007 sent mail messages from my email program! That’s eleven thousand and forty-five freakin’ messages! That I’ve SENT!

    Don’t worry, I archived ’em first.

  36. It’s taking forever to even delete them. It’s only down to 4300 or so.

  37. I’m feeling less guilty about those few unread emails now that I know how many I actually responded to.

  38. Just to be clear, the sent mail folder generally doesn’t include the mail I’ve sent to close friends. I put all that in peoples’ individual folders.

  39. Ginjoint says:

    Urgh. I want to continue organizing, but I just had surgery yesterday and now my mobility is very curtailed. How frustrating! Especially since my mother is now working on The Closet. She’s in her element, what the hell, let her have at it. My Vicodin is kicking in anyway…

  40. Ayr U Dite says:

    Thought this group might appreciate the following:

    “Aoccdrinig to a recnet sutdy cnocudted at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are sitauetd, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer msut be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed erevy lteter by itslef, but rahter, the wrod as a wlohe. “

  41. Ginjoint says:

    Ooo! Thanks, NLC! I checked Appearances, and you mention coming to Chicago – Women & Kids First, I hope. This time, I’ll be there.

    And Jochild, congrats!

  42. NLC says:

    Ah yes…

    Remember back in the day when They were telling us how great it would be when each of use had a computer on our desk because then everyone would be able to get SO MUCH WORK DONE…

  43. --MC says:

    Did I ever tell you about my Yard Potlatch idea? I’m almost convinced that now is the time to do it. It’s like a yard sale, except with elements of a potlatch — basically, I get a bunch of people to show up at nine on a Saturday (no dealers please!), and at that time I throw open my windows and shovel all the unnecessary shit out into the yard. If anybody wants it, it’s theirs.

  44. Deena in OR says:

    –MC…what a wonderful idea! On a similar note, we had a womens’ gathering in our neighborhood a while back where everyone brought good things they just didn’t want, plus a potluck item. Then everybody walked around and took home things that they *did* want or could use. The hostess provided wine and the space (plus all the stuff she wanted to rid herself of…) It was a wonderful social time. It’s amazing how little ended up going to Goodwill, too.

  45. Aunt Soozie says:

    “throw open my windows and shovel all the unnecessary shit out into the yard”
    I have a friend coming to help me prepare for the yard sale but I like this idea better. Ginjoint… you casually mentioned having a surgery… hope you’re doing okay. sending you some love and some healing energy!

  46. Deena in OR says:

    And on a sadder, unrelated note-RIP, Estelle Getty.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hi all–I’ve been procrastinating from looking at this blog (first time in 3 years!)by perusing the pages of Meetup groups. Yes,I’ve joined 8 groups,and am an asst.organizer for one,and made some new friends.

    The good news is I have a much better social life,and spend less time on the computer. The bad news is I haven’t done dishes in a week and laundry in over 2 weeks. The only paper purging I’m doing is daily paper and newspaper recycling.

    Purge,peruse and then partake of potluck sounds like fun,but I don’t want to have to organize anything else for awhile.

    Thanks for The Daily Distress,which I rec’d yesterday.

  48. Feminista says:

    Oops,that’s me above.

  49. Deena in OR says:

    Could you click on the “Appearances” link above right, and then email me after you’ve read it? Other PAC NW D2WO4 folks, too….

  50. Duncan says:

    I got my copy of The Daily Distress today too! Sweet.

    I guess my Inbox IS my Inbox Annex. Much as I hate my university’s webmail software (compared to Pine, which I used for years), it does let me keep track of which messages I’ve answered (by putting a little icon on them), and I can search for messages from specific people, or on specific subjects. I have a few secondary folders for storage for stray bits of information I want to be able to find quickly, and for running Speakers Bureau. Those are folders I purge regularly. But I’m not nearly as busy as Alison.

  51. LondonBoy says:

    Has anyone noticed that D2WO4 is the formula for sulphuric acid, but with the hydrogen replaced by deuterium and the sulphur replaced by tungsten?

    (My partner has just looked over my shoulder and laughed at the idea that I’m still a “boy”. Oh, and he’s now singing Whitney Houston at me!!)

    Well, that’s another three minutes procrastinated away…

  52. LondonBoy says:

    What I was going to say, though, is that a good thing to do with e-mails is to reply immediately. If you can give an immediate full response, do so; if not, say something like “Thanks for your e-mail. I’m going to be looking at this issue on (insert date/time/”when hell freezes over”), and will reply to you fully then.” Then just diarise the response time appropriately.

  53. Ellen O. says:

    Hey, we have a new poet laureate! She’s independent. She’s thoughtful. She’s slightly cranky. She’s an out lesbian who has taught the same remedial English course for more than 30 years. Her name is Kay Ryan.

    When asked if she thought her new position would make it harder to write, she replied, “No, uh-uh. I think it will make it impossible.”

  54. Ginjoint says:

    Yeah, Ellen, and she describes herself as a “modern hermit.” I like her already.

    Aunt Soozie – thanks for the well wishes. I’m sore as hell but otherwise O.K. All this just to have a set of boobs again.

  55. My mom was just telling me about the new poet laureate. We were on the phone, so while she was talking I googled her and said, “Huh! She’s a big dyke.” But I’d never heard of her before.

  56. Holly was just researching Kay Ryan, and found this cool video clip on Poets.org of her talking about reading the funnies in bed with her girlfriend when Boondocks quoted one of her poems!

  57. Feminista says:

    Hey,it’s catching! I just spent 30 minutes sorting through my recipe folder,and a dozen made their way into the recycling bag,something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Now off to make a cherry/apricot crisp. Mmmmm.

  58. shadocat says:

    Hey y’all—go take a look at Holly’s site,http://www.wastefreeliving.com

    A couple of fun posts for the viewing…

  59. sk in london says:

    that’s a great clip of Kay Ryan, thanks for sharing…. i never knew that the US had a Poet Laureate … excellent, even if poetry is stupid and i am a nerd 🙂

    I have a friend who is a psych nurse with the same name and when Ellen O wrote her post i thought, wow! Kay! you are a secret poet too??!
    not quite the same person, but almost…

    sweet to see you playing the piano, and Holly in the little truck-mobile over at The Compost Maven. good energy for the morning.

  60. Monkee says:

    I admit I had to look up the meaning for “procrastination” and I’m finding it difficult to remember where exactly the “r”s go. But check out the comic strip for July 9th from “Rhymes With Orange” by Hilary B. Price. There you’ll find out whether it’s just tidying up or procrastination.


  61. Kaitlin Duck Sherwood says:

    I would urge restraint on using filters (what Outlook called “Rules”) to file messages into folders. It’s okay *for certain uses*, but over and over again the people I interviewed for my book(s) said that if it went into a folder, they never looked at it again.

    So. Filing into a folder is GREAT for mailing lists where you don’t have responsibilities: word-of-the-day, a newsletter, etc. Put those off into their own folders and read them some day when you are procrastinating on your dissertation.

    Filters are also nice for junking spam, if you routinely get spam that is regular enough that you can filter it out.

    If you are really overwhelmed, you can filter messages from people you DON’T know into a folder, leaving messages from the people you know in your inbox. (You need to have everyone important in your address book, and use the filter condition “is in address book” and then negate/invert it.) Be careful though — you are likely to ignore that folder and miss your mom’s message where she tells you she changed her email address.

    Outlook users! Something simple you can do is colour-code based on how you were addressed: red if it is TO you and only you, green if it is TO you and other people, blue if it is CC you, grey if you aren’t even on the CC line. See
    That gives you a clue as to how much responsibility you have to take action on the message.

  62. Monkee, excellent Rhymes With Orange cartoon! Hilary Price is a genius. You should all get her new book, Pithy! Seedy! Pulpy! Juicy!

  63. Lenore says:

    I agree with NLC, and disagree with Kaitlin. I use Outlook Rules extremely heavily, sorting pretty much every single e-mail into folders. I usually get 0-2 e-mails in my inbox. If it’s not spam, I’ll modify or create a rule so the next time I get something from that person it goes into a folder. Unless I set the rule to turn off the unread flag, the messages stay bold, and the folders with unread messages are also bold, and indicate how many unread messages they have in them. If the message goes into a subfolder (I have lots of those, too), the subfolder pops out from behind its parent folder so I can see it. So I can just glance at the folder list and see what categories of new mail I have, and look at the family folder first, for instance. Works for me, but then I’m really a\n\a\l\ detail oriented. I worked up the rules gradually rather than all at once, so it didn’t take up a whole day or anything.

  64. Kate L says:

    According to the attached ABC News story, a court in Athens, Greece, has ruled that the word “lesbian” can be used to identify more than just the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos. Three residents of the island had brought suit to block a more expansive use of the word.

    “This is a good decision for lesbians everywhere,” Vassilis Chirdaris, lawyer for the Gay and Lesbian Union of Greece, told Reuters. “A court in Athens could not stop people around the world from using it. It was ridiculous.”

    No doubt, the Island of Lesbos (birthplace of the ancient Greek poet Sappho) is a charming place. But what would we have done for a moniker if the plaintiffs had won their case? If today’s decision is reversed by a higher court, I propose a contest to select a new name in case “lesbian” becomes unavailable. I’ll start it off – I propose “Kansan”. I’m sure they won’t mind…


  65. Maggie Jochild says:

    Kansan — as in friend of Dorothy? Hilarious.

  66. Wow…the email rules thing is kinda mind-boggling. When NLC first mentioned it, I didn’t get it. If all my mail went right into predetermined folders, I’d have to check them each individually for new mail—it seemed like a multiplication of effort, not a reduction.

    But now I understand, from reading Lenore’s comment, that you just look to see which mailboxes are in boldface–indicating new messages.

    I didn’t grasp this at first because almost ALL my folders and subfolders are boldface because they’re all full of unread mail.

    It would be cool to have stuff file itself automatically.

  67. Fester Bestertester says:

    Concerning the story that Kate L mentions above:

    NPR did a story about this. Apparently confusion was quite common as to how local residents should identify themselves.

    Apparently, a particular issue centered around the large university on the island and Greece’s complex temporary-residency laws which resulted in a whole host of students who were legally identified as “lesbian until graduation”.

  68. NLC says:

    One last note concerning folder and filters:

    Folders are useful –like having a secretary go through you mail and putting them in different piles. But it’s still up to you to go through and read them.

    But, once you get some folders set up, it is useful for helping you prioritize mail. If I’m working and I get three pieces of mail which get sorted into the folders:

    – “From my Boss” (I need to read this now)
    – “From my college roommate (I want to read this, but it can wait ’til this evening)
    – “From the comics-fanboy mailing list” (Can wait until I’m really bored)

    (Also, automatically sorting into folders is nice because I have to keep a lot of mail around for a long time. So, if I have to find that vaguely-remembered design document from nine months ago, I have a pretty good idea where to start looking.)

  69. Kate L says:


    That’s not what I had in mind, but I guess it’s an apt comment. I hereby freely admit that I am KANSAN ! And I don’t care who knows!!!!! Btw, I have counter-protested against the Fred Phelps homophobes on many occasions. It’s sad – once Kansas was known for John Brown (a distant relative of mine), Dorothy, Amelia Earhart, and Ike… now, we’re known for this Phelps guy and his family of traveling protesters. Fester – “lesbian until graduation”? Hey, life begins at forty! 🙂

  70. Pam says:

    I got my Daily Distress today – thanks! Can someone tell me how the sticker works?

    I get a lot of notices from online news and companies I have bought from. One thing I do to quickly reduce my inbox is to sort it on “from” by clicking on the from heading. I then find whole blocks of mail I can delete at one time.

  71. Katie says:

    Duncan – A kindred spirit! I use PINE almost exclusively – I have even been known to use the browser function from time to time. Give me a quick command over a mouse click anytime.

    I’ll go back to monitoring spam now.

  72. Kassie says:

    I got my DD today! Thank you and woooooohoooooo! But, Pam, what sticker?

  73. NLC says:

    Yeah, Pam… what sticker?

  74. shadocat says:

    NLC: Look in your envelope one more time

  75. freyakat says:

    I got my Daily Distress 2 days ago and I still have my envelope, which I just checked.

    What sticker?

  76. Kate Evans says:

    Seeing this, I’m honored that you responded to an email I sent you a few months ago. If I get a build up of more than 10 emails in my mailbox, I start to freak.

    I do have an ANSWER folder, though, that is a delay tactic…and most things that I put in there get answered.

  77. shadocat says:

    freyakat–fish around in the envelope a bit—mine was clinging to the inside

  78. mfahy says:

    Is “inBox-Zero” the reason I haven’t gotten anything I was expecting?

    If not, and it’s my mail-carrier’s fault, I WILL clobber him!
    (even though he is a REALLY hot Filipino guy)

  79. NLC says:

    shadocat Says:
    NLC: Look in your envelope one more time

    Did that. (Checked it real good the first time, too 😉

    So to repeat my (and Kassie’s) question: What sticker?

  80. freyakat says:

    There isn’t anything else in the envelope now (Sticker Search Take 2). When I opened the envelope the only thing inside was the DD.

    Perhaps those who contributed articles to the DD got a sticker (or something else) and the rest of us got just the DD.

    So what is this sticker (to repeat others)?

  81. Oh, man.
    I gave Katie a bunch of old DTWOF window stickers to throw in with the DD’s, but she must have run out of them. I’m really sorry not everyone got one!

  82. Oh. For people who did get one, like Pam, and don’t know how they work…they’re not adhesive stickers, but static ones. They’re meant to stick to a window, which is why they’re printed in reverse.

    Does that make sense?

  83. ksbel6 says:

    Maybe it was the article contributors who got stickers. It has red lettering with “dtwof” and then a little circle picture of Mo grabbing a DD in a stressful manner with her face all scrunched up…looks like she is just about to bust into a wonderful rant and how ridiculous it is to try and take the word lesbian out of common usage.

    Pam…the sticker is one of those nifty “works with static electricity” stickers, so you can put it on glass, and then move it when you want it somewhere else. You peel the cover off the front, then it just “clings” to the glass.

  84. ksbel6 says:

    Sorry, didn’t mean to repeat what Alison said…but hi Alison, and thanks for the sticker 🙂

  85. rebecca wire says:

    no sticker. daily distress rocks, and art is amazing. detail up close is so cool.

  86. Katie says:

    The sticker story:

    I gave stickers to the contributors first- there are actually two different kinds of stickers.

    I was running low, and knew i had all of the DD requests from non-contributors, so I saved the last few stickers and non-contributors just got the DD. Fortunately, there were enough DD’s for everyone.

    If you were a contributor and you got in touch with me a little later, your DD is still in transit, so sit tight. I didn’t have time to do the very last few DDs.

    So I apologize to those who didn’t get stickers, but I wanted to make sure that at least the contributors got them and the SASE folks got the DD they had requested.

  87. Xena Fan says:


    PLEASE stop stalling and write the book or whatever so you can go back to drawing the DTWOF strip!!! I’m having withdrawal pains.


  88. marta says:

    hi alison,
    I just read Fun Home (the spanish version by the way) and i loved it, it really is a great novel.
    can’t wait to your next one!

  89. shadocat says:

    Hey—-for a good time, click on the Waste Free Living link

  90. Str8 But Not Narrow says:

    I think the *only* thing is to delete the hell out of stuff you know you’re not going to read the minute it arrives.

    I also set up free email addys and change them a couple times a year – this is a must considering every outfit you ever buy a pencil eraser from will start flooding you with email spam nearly immediately. I use the freebies for nonprofit groups and stores…stuff I want but dont necessarily want to have to read right there and then (much as I love the nonprofs they will also flood you with fundraising mail.)

    Just helps to keep a handle on the flow, and stops you from having to do so much organizing after there’s already a problem.

  91. Kaitlin Duck Sherwood says:

    Lenore —

    Filters work great for some people. (I’m a heavy filter user.) However, Filters.Do.Not.Work.For.Everybody. My impression is that filters don’t work for *most* people, in fact. (I would have been done with my book at least one year and maybe two years earlier if filters did work for everyone, alas.)

    So if you think that moving absolutely all of your messages into folders will work for you, go for it. Just don’t jump into filtering wily-nily.

    (You *can* filter messages that you won’t absolutely have to read/answer — information-/entertainment-only — into folders. That seems to work for everybody.)

  92. NLC says:

    Right. I think the final lessons are: 1] Nothing works for everyone (you need to find the method that makes your life easiest; however 2] in the end, you still have to do the actual reading yourself; but 3] don’t despair; there are tools out there to make things go more smoothly.

  93. Duncan says:

    Hey — where’s my pony? Wasn’t I supposed to get a pony with my DD? And a free Kindle loaded with the complete DTWOF?

    Seriously — thanks to Alison and Katie for sending out the Daily Distress to us … no, I can’t speak for everybody… to me. You didn’t have to do it but you did, but you did, yes you did, and I thank you. You’ve got plenty of other stuff to keep you busy, and it was damn nice to offer and to follow through on this.

  94. NLC says:

    Yeah, what Duncan said

  95. Kassie says:

    Yes, let me third what Duncan said. It’s so great to have the DD, and to see a bit inside the book promotion process, and have two past episodes to read again to boot! With all that you have going on, and we now know how much email and such you have to deal with, you went to a lot of trouble for us, yer fans. Merci and grazie!

  96. Aunt Soozie says:

    If you took your love somewhere else?
    I wouldn’t know what it meant to be loved to death.
    You make me feel like I never felt…
    kisses so good I have to holler for help!
    Oh, I love that song, what a steamy lyric.
    Anyway, I am sorry that you didn’t get the pre-loaded kindle.
    I’ve been enjoying mine!
    but, alas.. still no pony! Dang.
    At least I don’t have to shovel up after the DD.
    oh, yeah, uhm, thanks again A and K!

  97. Aunt Soozie says:

    you gettin’ some kinda kickback from Holly for the promo? Birkenstock rich compost? 8X10 glossies from that pride march? a little sumptin’ sumptin’ ?

  98. shadocat says:

    Nope—I just thought some people would like to hear Alison play the piano…although 8×10 glossies would be nice, come to think of it.

  99. shadocat says:

    If I were to promo a blog, it would be my own, but it’s such a sad, sorry thing, I just can’t. I do have some nice pictures of my grandbaby there, though.

  100. Kate L says:

    I just tried the Inbox Annex gambit with my university e-mail, and reduced over a thousand messages to 103. Woohoo! I feel young again! I haven’t had so few Inbox messages this entire millenium!!!

  101. David in Cambridge says:

    When I went to watch AB’s video, one of the “related videos” on offer was “Parrotfish in mucus bubble”.

  102. Ginjoint says:

    Speaking of Kindles…I have mixed feelings about those things. So many advantages, but…once they catch on, eventually there’ll be no more book stores. No more delicious smell of a new or old book. And where’s an author supposed to sign?

  103. Duncan
    Go buy some hay. Your pony is on the way.

  104. Ginjoint says:

    oooOOOOOooooo! Wanna read something that will give you chills, it’s so well written? I found this via Alas, A Blog – it’s a librarian’s response to a parent concerned about the presence of a children’s book, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, in the library. The book deals with a little girl’s reaction to her gay uncle’s upcoming marriage. (She doesn’t care that he’s gay – she’s more worried about losing his attention!) It’s written with patience and grace – I doubt I would’ve been able to be this respectful when it comes to this issue; the guy who wrote this taught me something today.


  105. Aunt Soozie says:

    okay Shado… give us a url already!!

  106. shadocat says:

    Soozie; I tried several times, but the computer gods won’t take my post. I’ll email it to you.

  107. Ready2Agitate says:

    Oh man/woman, glad I came back to read that post from Ginjoint from the librarian above. It is a Masterpiece! Glad it is archived here. I’m certain I will refer back to it!