Category Archives for Letting People In

Some of the Senses

“RS’s RSS” at a glance…


“Each fresh Trump astonishment overrides an old one, as if it were a new file on a hard drive that has reached storage capacity. And the accumulation of astonishments lowers the bar for what’s expected of him and turns all the astonishments into a blur.”Frank Bruni


David Duchovny, heartthrob Hank Moody in Californication and real-life admitted (and perhaps recovering?) sex addict, most known for his role as Fox Mudler in the hit series, The X-Files — can sing too! I had the fortune to attend his sold-out show at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe last night, and though I suspect Duchovny’s voice will never win a Grammy, the Princeton undergrad and Yale English lit grad writes lyrics worth looking up. Pardon the grainy photo, I’m petite and have to stand at the back of the room to see shows. =)



Ever wondered how renowned brands like Crate & Barrel, Zappos, Kate Spade, and Spanx got their start? CEOs and founders from notable companies share how their ideas for a product or company were formed and what it took to get their idea from their mind to the consumer. Encouraging stories of how a little capital, a bit of sweat, a lot of perseverance, and often timing and luck played into their success. The podcast, How I Built This — hosted by NPR’s whip-smart host with an even better name Guy Raz — began in the fall, so it’s easy to catch up. For anyone who’s a creative, an entrepreneur, a creative entrepreneur, or simply curious — you may want to give it a listen.

DANCEDCold, Maroon 5 featuring Future — because despite (and in light of) all the seriousness shared here, sometimes you just have to shake your ass around the house in your underwear.

READ: Some of my fondest memories from childhood took place in libraries. Mostly in middle school and high school. I wasn’t there for the books per se, I sought refuge in the library for the quiet and the camaraderie with other nerds. Rather than play with the rambunctious kids on the playground, the quiet kids in glasses sitting at long wooden tables with their heads buried in books were more my speed. Then there was the time in third grade when a Rastafarian taught me and my all white, air-force brat classmates a skill mastered by savvy business people everywhere. Gathered around in a circle, the man said nothing as he took turns holding out his hand to each child. After he made his way around the circle, he walked to the center and explained to us what a handshake was and why it was important. It was way to make a good first impression and convey confidence through touch. I learned two lessons that day, how to shake hands and to not be afraid of strange-looking men.

This piece An Elegy for the Library  in the New York Times brought back all the memories. Maybe it will for you, too.

Keeping a Journal

I was listening to a podcast this afternoon and took note when the interviewee, writer Patricia Bosworth, spoke about the importance of keeping a journal. I hear this often, from writers and non-writers alike. Like much of the practical and proven good advice we receive in life, things like cutting down on carbs and alcohol, and exercising regularly, I know that I should do those things, but implementation and habit often curtail my best intentions.

Walking and listening to the podcast, I laughed because I had just left Goodwill where I bought not one but four (!!!) journals. I couldn’t help myself, they were brand-new and only $0.99/ea! Admiring their newness as I assessed them in the stationery aisle, I suspected they, too, were good intentions or long-ago resolutions of their original purchasers — the donors who gifted them to Goodwill. That, or the donors were the unfortunate recipients of gifts that had missed their mark.

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Closed for Business, Open for Connection


Hello Readers~

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I thought it was time to update the folks who still find me on this site via my book and a handy Google search for Airbnb hosting tips. I’m not currently hosting and in February moved into a 1-bedroom place across town.

After years of hosting and meeting hundreds of people from six continents, it was time for a little break. The 199 5-star reviews attest to a packed three years.

Friends and strangers continue to ask me if I miss being a host. Though I miss meeting new people, I don’t miss the everyday demands of keeping the house impeccably clean, the bagels stocked, and the TP rolls filled. I liken my three years hosting on Airbnb to an epoch familiar to any artist or creative person. There’s a season for everything. Picasso had his blue period. Airbnb was my time to open my door, heart, and mind to strangers while gaining my footing in a new career.

If you’re reading this because you’re considering hosting, I urge you to try it. For a month, a year, or until you tire of it. I promise the experience will change you.

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Using Airbnb for Rental Income & Investment

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I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dan Lane, host of Rental Income Podcast. Dan is a new host on the podcast scene, but he’s already garnering a legion of followers curious to learn more about rental invesments. When Dan asked me to come on episode 15 and talk about my experience as a host on Airbnb, I was a little hesitant about what I could offer. I wasn’t sure how my short-term rental position as a host could tie into a person’s long-term rental investment interests.

Dan was a kind and patient host and it was really easy to explore how listing one’s own home on Airbnb can be a great way to boost (in my case, double) someone’s rental income for a property. As I mention on the show, it’s ideal that if you don’t want to live on site at your rental, you hire a trusted property manager or on-site host to live at the property and correspond with guests, clean rooms, and be available to guests’ needs and wishes.

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Airbnb Tips for Hosting: The Social Animal

IMG_1778“We have never used AirB&B before so this will be a new experience for us, and, not being social people, we are concerned that we might need to ‘socialize’ with our hosts. That would be so not us!”

I received this message from a guest a few weeks ago and I have to admit, I appreciated her candor. In a perfect world, if I could add features to the Airbnb interface, I would add a personality portion where guests could state their social inclinations. Continue reading

Showing Up

photo (7)On Friday afternoon, as I sorted laundry—matching duvet covers to sheet sets and pairing taupe towels—I went over the details of who’d be arriving at my house that day. I was out of practice. A family friend (and Microsoft intern) had left earlier in the week after a three-month stay. My other guest, a woman from Boston who’d interned at a financial company, had checked out that morning on her last day of work. She’d been with me since mid-June. Continue reading