Escape of the Day: Make a Big To-Do

…List, that is. Make a list, because it gets sh*t done.

The year I moved to San Francisco (and yes, this was light years ago) I found the very first issue of the now-defunct To-Do List magazine and kept it through three moves across the city. Why? That rag contained a fantastic article called “Quirkyalone” that fed my soul, which its author, Sasha Cagen, later parlayed into a book by the same name. Anyway, Ms. Cagen has been at it again, recently publishing the book To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, and maintaining a fab blog as well. I think her work shows insight and humor.

Go forth and organize your life!

Escape of the Day: Smile


Oh God, I have turned into one of those people who is telling you that if you smile you will feel better. And you! Look at you. You have turned into one of those people who is reading this type of advice. The corners of your mouth are twitching … but you’re grumpy, because you’re not supposed to have to practice smiling.

Hear me out. Continue reading

Escape of the Day: Gaping Void

Gaping Void

I had never heard of Hugh MacLeod’s graphic and contemplative realm, Gaping Void, until today. In it, he explores his own ways of staying creative while juggling a full-time job. He is actually an advocate of keeping, not escaping, the ol’ day job.

On the matter of salvaging creative energy and preventing employers from sucking the life force from you, Hugh has scribbled mad commentary over the past few years–all on the back of business cards. The post “How To Be Creative” covers the territory well. As a bonus, he gives each drawing a Creative Commons license, free to download and add to tee shirts and coffee mugs as you see fit (as long as you’re not selling them). Check it out.

Escape of the Day: Vocation Vacations

Vocation Vacations

Get your dream job without quitting your old one.

Did you know that there’s a travel company that does nothing but book its clients on excursions with professional mentors? Essentially, you can spend several days learning the ins and outs of almost any job. Simply call up Vocation Vacations and say, “Hey, I wanna be an alpaca rancher. Can you help?” And they will. In a matter of time, you’ll be off on a temporary stint to apprentice an alpaca rancher.

The vocation options available range from ho-hum to utterly bizarre. Check it out!

Escape of the Day: Work

Get to work.

No, seriously: work. That’s the escape of the day. I mean, I know the point of this particular column is to remind me/you/whoever of things that revive us when our work beats us to a bloody pulp. But let’s just acknowledge that sometimes, you catch a groove in your work, and it becomes as good an escape as anything else. I just worked myself silly, and I feel great.

If this sounds like some kind of labor propaganda to you, it’s possible that it is. I have, after all, been editing a career guide all day. Do you think it’s warped my brain?

Anyway, it’s all about balance. Tomorrow morning, I’m taking a bike ride along the Pacific.

Escape of the Day: Outdoor Cinema


Search your local listings and find a sweet grassy spot to kick back and watch a movie. It’s summertime, so outdoor flicks are showing all over. Last night I went to Dolores Park, where I had the pleasure of seeing Molly Ringwald pout, jumbo-size, in “Sixteen Candles” on screen against the San Francisco city skyline.

This link could help you find a good venue, but then again, locatings are a better bet. Don’t forget to bring a blankie in case the temperature drops.