Every two weeks, our lifestyles expert, Cosmos Catalano, will answer your questions. Have a question for Cosmos? Write him at email@example.com.
My next-door neighbor and I share a compost bin in the summers to try and cut down on our trash. This is our second year composting, and up until a few weeks ago everything was going fine. Then, when I was throwing out some eggshells, I noticed a pretty large pile of onion skins on the top of the heap. I don’t want to cause trouble here, but it’s my understanding that onion skins don’t break down, and can stall the process of an entire bin. Am I right to think that they should be avoided? And if so, how do I confront my neighbor about her ill-advised composting practices?
–Not So Easy Being Green
One thing you need to know about gardening is that you can’t just throw everything in there. Gardens are nature’s tattoos, but you can build things on them. You will find this with large cities. Everywhere you see a skyscraper, there used to be a garden. If you’re serious about your question (which maybe no, maybe you’re a pervert) you need to think about This.
The second thing is try to use at least a little common sense. For example, some tomatoes take years to break down, but some of the new metals they’re making will disappear in a day. I don’t know what kind of a budget you’re working on, but “if you really want to love her, show her the way,” as they say.
Last thing is, you mentioned “trouble.” Well, real trouble is when your health fails you and you have nothing else in the world. Nothing. I don’t know your relationship with your parents– maybe you loved them. But my guess is that you think yourself inferior and wretched. Watch your parents die, for once. Then, know inferiority.
I hope this helps,
Is there a polite way to tell someone they’re standing too close to you? I have mild claustrophobia and occasionally when I’m in line at the movies or the airport, for example, a stranger will be too close for comfort. I don’t want to have to explain, ‘I have mild claustrophobia.’ I should mention that I’m also very shy.
There are very, very few ways to overcome shyness, that is for sure. Look at me.
One of the reasons you might be shy is because everyone is always looking at you. Look at me. They see you and they take in everything you are wearing, or even if they don’t, you certainly get into their line of sight. Do you know the human brain retains over 90% of the images, sounds, smells, and tastes it encounters on a daily basis? Look at me. A fact like that is certainly something to think about, now look at me.
The other thing is that speaking up is difficult, because you don’t know what they will think of what you say. Your space is their space, too, you know, look at me. In fact, because you’re so shy, maybe even more of your space is theirs than theirs is yours. In America, at least, we own land. We are not like other countries. Look at me. We have rules, regulations, and we are landowners. That mentality is in our veins now, and when you navigate society, you need to be prepared so look at me.
And most people are. There are a few people—look at me—that just don’t get it. These people are socially paralyzed. They will spend their whole lives in a state of shy claustrophobia, and it will only get worse, and why can’t you look at me is it that hard to look? We have Meals on Wheels for these people during the holidays, but that’s not every day. Plus, consider how it easy it is for you to forget something, Violet, Violet who is rude and should look at me Violet why don’t you look? Many, many people simply forget other people. Those people who are forgotten, because they made a decision long ago to avoid others—those people, no one remembers. Look. At. Me.
Now, look at me. Have you been looking at me the whole time? Impossible, this is a screen. But look at me. Why were you trying? If you knew that it was impossible? What were you thinking, now look at me? Don’t you think that was silly? Why do you try to do thingslookatme that are a waste of other people’s time? Because you let yourself get too comfortable look. Who ever told you life could be comfortable at? Your Mommy or your Daddy? How old are you, Violet?
Now look at me. Are you looking? Good. Because I am your stranger, and you are either my Violet or nothing to anybody at all.
I hope this helps,
My mom started reading 50 Shades of Grey.
–Fuck from Seattle
I hope things are well. As per usual, if his hearing’s up to snuff, please read Stan the italicized text. (He’s really going to be happy this week!)
Dear Stan you old Fuck from Seattle,
It’s good to hear from you again. I see that your little plan worked out. Now, for the first time ever (and last, as I swore), I will do it: I will apologize in my own column.
You were right. You got me. You win. To quote your letter sent fifteen years ago, (and printing this is the worst part, believe me), “Someday, someone, somewhere—in our lifetimes, Cosmos—will publish a book called 50 Shades of Grey. And when they do that, you better fucking apologize, you balls-deep cumbag.”
Well done, Stan. It happened.
Stay true old friend,
Thank you Laurie.
I want to tell you that I am still incredibly serious about moving to Seattle from Chicago. Nothing is happening here. The rest are beginning to take the road Stan’s on. I am alone.
And I must reiterate: I know watching Stan’s physical deterioration cannot be easy. I know that. I could help you. We both loved him– you as wife, me as friend...we did. But he is gone now and a vegetable.
I swear to Jesus I will love you like he never could. If I have to beg, make me. I will get down on the fucking floor and lick your shit. Because I want brown; I need it. The sepia surrounding our past no longer interests me.
Let me know, and you stay true as well.