Horrible Lists

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year?

Yes, it's been a while. Don't make a big deal about it.
So every year I make resolutions, ridiculous unobtainable resolutions, and every year I feel like a total failure when I don't manage to commit to any changes, meet any goals, or do anything to change the miserable hand-to-mouth slacker existence that is my forever history. Why should this year be any different.
So with no further ado, my New Year's Resolutions for 2014:
1. Shrink to a size 8. - I know that all of the advice people say don't focus on the size. Fuck them. I don't want to be healthier or more fit, I don't want to feel better, or commit to a better diet or 'right size, or whatever else the fuck is the buzzword of the day. I want to be thinner. If I could cut this fatty fat off with a kitchen knife, I'd be screaming and slicing right now. And I don't really care what anyone thinks about that. How am I going to do it? Right now it looks like low carb dieting, exercise and a healthy dollop of yoga is the way to go, and yes that will have the side effect of making me healthier, and yes it will have the side effect of making me more toned and perhaps even more relaxed, but don't kid yourself - I don't give a shit about any of that. I just want to be thinner.
2. Learn to play the piano. - It's kind of random but whatever. I always wanted to learn, and since I'm now starting to develop arthritis in my hands, now is the time. So I'll be spending time doing that.
3. Get a job as a Java programmer. - It's time to pick an actual career. So I pick Java programming. It pays well, and it sounds cool and there's a shortage. We are all going to totally ignore that I first have to learn to program in Java. I have books for that. And some YouTube tutorials. Mostly I just need to get through the interview. Then I can copy and paste from stuff on the web. It'll be fiiiine. Just...whatever.
4. Knit some socks, and maybe a cable sweater. - I have a lot of yarn. I don't want to give it away because I'm greedy and I think if I actually applied myself to it, I could be a decent knitter. And plus it's a way to ignore the devastating wasteland that is my life. Try to be depressed about your general lack of accomplishments when you're counting stitches on a lace pattern. I dare you.
5. Finish a quilt, like all the way. - What I said about the yarn, but for fabric, like times a hundred. Or a thousand. Or maybe a hundred thousand. Did you know fabric rots? It does. Over time. I love my fabric like golden treasure, but it deserves to be used. I have an accumulation of fabric that is older than the years of my life. (I do, thanks to the generous contribution of a fabric hoarder relative, who gave me a portion of HER ridiculously overgenerous stash, because 20 55 gallon storage containers of fabric that isn't being used and probably isn't stored properly in the first place DESERVES to be doubled!) So I need to use that. Thread rots, too. Even the polyester core stuff.
6. Publish something already! -  Or you know, at least submit something. Ok, submit something, already! But no, the goal is publish something. Because you know, we did say ridiculous and unattainable.
7. Get rid of one grocery bag of stuff a week. - Ok, or 52 bags. 52 bags of crap I don't want, things that might be useful for someone else, toys that my children outgrew a decade ago, expired toiletries, linens that no longer have a bed to be one, dishes that I hate, and general crap. I figured out that if I can reduce the size of my storage unit by half, I'll have enough to pay for a monthly membership to crossfit, which brings me to:
8. Start doing Crossfit. - At least until I either a. get to the correct size or b. get so severely injured that even the Crossfit fanatics say 'enough already, moron! Cut it out!' Seriously, I like the idea of Crossfit, and the lingo, and the excuses to by more workout gear to leave around in stinky reuseable grocery bags. And the whole process appeals to a certain masochistic bent that should be pretty obvious by now. And since all of this awesome self flagellery deserves to be shared...
9.  Write one blog post per week. - I sort of wanted to say write one per day, but that's just too unrealistic, even for me. So that's at least 52 blog posts. But since I need to add an element of the impossible, I will add:
10. Take more pictures. - And post one with each blog post. Because I hate to take pictures. Maybe I should add a photography class to my list of things to do. But I'm not going to. Because that's waaaay too attainable. However there's always...
10. Finish my damned degree. - Seriously. Just. Finish. It. Before I've literally spent so long putting it off that I have to just start over from the beginning...although, that has a certain appeal. And last but most important:
12. Drink more wine. - Because after I've totally failed at all of this crap, I'm totally going to need it.
Well that's it, that's my dirty dozen. It's ridiculous isn't it? I left out a couple that I've been toying with like run a marathon or write every day or move to a different state  but seriously let's save something to fail at and despair about next year, right? Ok, your turn! If you got this far, I challenge you to leave a comment about your resolutions, and no crap about how you don't have any. Share, share, that's fair.
Ok, the picture:
Say Goodbye to Alladat!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Presents to Avoid on Valentine's Day

So my honey made an incredibly sweet, and rather expensive decision to be home with me on Valentine's Day this year, and in honor of that, I've decided to post some of the worst Valentine's Day presents I could think of. Fortunately, I've never received any of these items, and I'm hoping it stays that way:

  1. Gift certificate for a tune-up. Or a car battery. Or anything car repair related, really. Because nothing says romance like 'do something about your raggedy car!'

  2. A one year membership to a dating website. It's not working out with ME, but I'm sure there's SOMEONE who wants you.

  3. Any kind of cleaning products.

  4. Lingerie. Several sizes too small. That smells like someone else's perfume.

  5. Anything living, that wasn't previously discussed and agreed to. Because nothing says 'I love you' like the pressure of an unwanted living thing to care for. (This includes plants AND unplanned children, just in case that's not entirely clear.)

  6. Food you don't like. Especially when you've mentioned it several times to the giver. Even more especially when you know the giver DOES like it. Can any one say 'Homer Simpson?'

  7. Nipple clamps. Unless you're into nipple clamps. Which, for the record, I am not.

  8. A surprise visit to a tattoo parlor, to get the giver's name permanently inscribed on your body. Just...no.

  9. A split lip. Don't think this one needs any further explaining...but perhaps I shouldn't listen to Billy Bragg quite so much.

  10. Anything involving the words 'let you.'

  11. Money. Especially at the end of the evening. Especially, especially in a hotel room.

  12. Any kind of processed cheese food.

I will admit that I am not the most gracious gift receiver in the world. There have been times when I wish I could take back my words, or expression, upon receiving something that seems so patently wrong, or odd, that I cannot imagine how the giver could have gotten drunk enough, or hit on the head hard enough, to think a particular gift is a good idea. And yes, there have been a few times when I've had to eat those thoughts, because who knew how amazingly useful that ladle was going to turn out to be? But honestly, Valentine's day is a gimme, isn't it? I'm just saying, the gifts here are practically tradition:

Candy...unless she's on a diet, flowers...unless she's allergic, jewelry...unless she's conservative, lingerie, perhaps...unless she's body conscious and you've never been able to get her to admit to her actual size, a card, you can do a card! Just, what to say on the card...should it be funny? Or sweet? Or over the top romantic? Uh...you know what? Maybe, it's not so much a gimme after all. But if you're not alone at the end of the evening, you probably did good, umm, ok. You probably did ok.

Happy VD Day. And good luck.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hoarding Impulses I'll Never Understand

So I've been watching Hoarders off and on since it started. I'm not sure, really, if it's a guilty pleasure or a form of therapy. It's possible I'm waiting for the episode where someone gets crushed under all that stuff. I have to say that I do find it gut-wrenching when they tell you at the end that a house is condemned or that the owners can't afford the repairs needed to live in it. I kind of feel like if they want to risk their lives in their rotting house with the bad wiring and all the damage from the years of hoarding...well, if it's no longer stinking up the neighborhood, attracting vermin and spilling out onto the sidewalk, why is it anyone else's business? Ok, maybe that's mean, but really, it's their nasty, disgusting, mess of a formerly nice house, isn't it? And what is with these people who move themselves out of their homes for rusty tools and unopened packages of plastic containers? Why can't you open the packages and put some of that other crap IN them? At least you'd have more space! That said, there are some hoarding impulses I'll never understand. For example:

  1. Animals. That's not a collection, that's like making a job for yourself that you don't get paid OR thanked for. And believe me, those animals might love you, but they won't hesitate to eat you, when push comes to it.
  2. Animal skeletons. Fluffy is DEAD! Let GO already.
  3. Human waste. Really? In what world is this anything but GROSS?!?
  4. Rotten food. It's ROTTEN! ROOOOOTTTTEEEN! This isn't 17th century Russia you know. You can't just disguise it under a sour cream sauce and serve it to the neighbors. No, you can't.
  5. Plates. I don't get plate collectors. They're plates. Plates. Just plates.
  6. Dolls. A house full of dolls is just creepy. Don't try to deny it. You know it's true.
  7. Anything from a dead person. Especially if it includes the stuff above.

I'm sure there's more stuff, but honestly I had to stop watching Hoarders for a while again, after something I saw in the last one made me throw up. Literally. Still whenever I get the urge to buy more fabric, I turn it on, at least for a few minutes. Then I walk around the house saying, "There but for the grace of God, there but for the grace of God..." Because, let's face it, I may still die under a mountain of fabric.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What I Ate Today

It's been a while, and I know the curiosity is building, plus the list is short, so:

1. Two plates of Indian lunch buffet from Masala Of India at Northgate, along with two (small) helpings of kheer and two cups of chai. "Breakfast" with my friend Rachel is always an adventure!
2. A Cayenne Hot Chocolate with a shot of espresso, and a chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookie from Chocolati Cafe. Fuel for writing...a totally necessary thing.
3. Steak, potato salad, and cabbage, along with a second helping of cabbage, and a glass of water.

And actually that's all. Huh.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Teacher Hall of Shame

So we've gone through a lot of teachers. Between myself, my younger siblings, cousins and many friends with kids, it's kind of inevitable that we would. Besides that, parents talk. A lot. Especially about teachers. I won't lie to you. Our kids are...challenging...for most teachers. Why? Well, I like to think it's because we teach them to think for themselves, and most teachers are uncomfortable with kids who do that, but...maybe it's something else. Maybe it's because we're black. Anyway all time worst stories about teacher are:

  1. The math teacher who thought no one should correct her when she put a wrong answer on the board, and then held a grudge the rest of the year when it happened.

  2. The teacher who thought it was appropriate to post a nasty comment on her blog. On the Internet. (I think it was supposed to be a sekrit blog. On the Internet. With names. And pictures.)

  3. The teacher who thought eating mustard from the package required an EMERGENCY, SAME DAY, IN-PERSON conference. Why? Still not sure...the major argument seemed to be that this behavior might cause some kind of school-wide mustard shortage, but...REALLY? EMERGENCY? Did this bitch have any idea what it does to a parents heart rate to be called in the middle of the day and told you need to come in for an EMERGENCY conference? Grrr!)

  4. The history teacher who assigned the essay, "Where did Hitler go wrong, and how would you have done things differently to win WWII?" (I'm not making this up. Really.)

  5. The substitute who ran a popular after school activity, and then got arrested for child molestation. (Every parent's worst nightmare, and somehow the fact that my kids weren't involved in what happened doesn't make me feel much better.)
  6. The physics teacher who broke the blackboard during a demonstration of gravitational force, and then followed that up by setting the school on fire while subbing in the chemistry room. Fun? Yeah, kinda, but still a scary nightmare. Also possibly a secret drinker, but that smell COULD have been due to too much cologne...

  7. The teacher who choked a kid. (Yep. No joke. If it makes you feel better he did get suspended for like two weeks. No it wasn't my kid, but seriously?)

  8. The calculus teacher who broke down in the middle of class and just left. Forever.

  9. Not a teacher but I'll include also the parent who sent an inappropriate email out to all of the other parent in the classroom, directed at one kid in particular, and then when she was told to stay away from that kid, did everything she could to be 'friendly.' (STILL want to sucker punch THAT bitch.)

  10. The Japanese teacher who was very complimentary until she found out the kid wasn't part Japanese, and then froze up REAL QUICK!

  11. The science teacher who spent most of the year talking about her previous career as a research assistant in Antarctica.

  12. The teacher who flat out lied about something a student had done, got caught in the lie IN FRONT OF THE PRINCIPLE, and then tried to say that the essence of the issue was the same, regardless of whether the lie had been told or not.

  13. The math teacher who thought the person in a cast should walk up three flights of stairs so she wouldn't be inconvenienced by meeting in the office. And then spent most of the conference talking about her multiple master's degrees, like anyone gave a shit.

  14. The teacher who *might* have been a crack addict. Never could confirm it, but suspicions were high, and highly suspect paraphernalia was sighted.

  15. The English teacher who corrected grammar that wasn't incorrect. And didn't apologize to the student, or look at all uncomfortable when it was pointed out that the correction was clearly designated as incorrect in a contemporary grammar book. Or change the grade.

I'm sure there are more. And to be fair the next post will be the good teachers. By name. We loooooove our good teachers. They have an amazing positive impact on children's lives. Maybe that's the reason we want to tie all the bad one together, pour gasoline on them, and set them on fire. Oh, and what's with gym teachers? They give a psych test, and if you fail, you're hired?!?

I now open the floor to nominations. No names please, just minimally identifying characteristics, if they're appropriate, and the basis of the nomination.

Friday, January 28, 2011

6 Reasons I Should Really Post More

Well, here we are at the end of January. How are your New Year's Resolutions doing? Mine...look at that shiny thing! What were we talking about? One post a week shouldn't be that hard. It really shouldn't. So here are some reasons I should post more:

1. It's a much better way to procrastinate than digging dust bunnies out from under the couch.
2. My blog is an excellent place to remind myself of all the things I'm supposed to be mad about.
3. If I post more, no one will ask me how come I don't post more.
4. I said I'd do more to publish my writing, and it counts as publishing my writing...doesn't it?
5.If I posted the grocery list to the blog, I wouldn't have to worry about losing it in the store.
6. I said I would blog more, and allegedly it's important to do what you say you're going to.

So, look for a weekly post on Friday. I like Friday as my deadline day, because if I miss it, I can always claim I tried to post and I was so drunk I couldn't get the mouse to the "publish post" button. It might even be true...occasionally.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Things to Get Those ‘Not Friend’ Friends for Christmas

You know who I’m talking about. That ‘friend’ who always seems to look at the dark side of things, is happy to give unasked for advice for fixing yourself in ways you didn’t know were broken, and who constantly apologizes for not thinking to invite you to the amazing thing they did last week. Sure you could just forget them at Christmas, or give a generic card, but that just looks like there could have been an oversight (like them not inviting you to any of the last several dinner parties they threw, and mentioning that pregnancy scare when they ran into your parents at the mall). I say your best bet is to spend a little time, and maybe even a little money – on wrapping paper – and make sure your frenemy knows you were thinking of them this holiday season…and sharpening the good knives.

  1. Awkwardly sexual boudoir photos. Include a perplexed-sounding note not quite implying that a significant other mentioned that this would be a welcome and appreciated gift.
  2. Used make up. Especially effective if given with the gentle suggestion that the really horrible shade of orange lipstick you got for your daughter’s Halloween clown costume is much more attractive than any other choices you have seen recently. Or ever.
  3. Make up remover. This one is self-explanatory. If this seems too extravagant, a couple of those free soaps and shampoos from your last hotel visit. Style points for a pretty wrap job.
  4. A pet ferret. Try to find one that bites. And snores. Make sure you give it in front of kids if there are any, so they can put lots of emotional pressure on the deserving recipient to keep it.
  5. Botox injections. Always fun, and half price if you catch the right Groupon.
  6. Coupons. Grocery coupons, drug store coupons, any coupons really. Coupons are a great way to say, I didn’t think you were worth a real gift! (Homemade coupons for useless stuff are extra fun. ‘Good for one girly chat!’)
  7. Expired candy. Valentine’s Day candy is fun, if you include a note that says something like “This Christmas, wanted you to know how much you’re in my heart.” Bonus points if the candy is also open, small hole are poked in the bottom of each one, and all the good ones are gone.
  8. Tube socks. If that seems too useful, then cheap scratchy pantyhose, in the wrong size.
  9. One of those seven day free trial offer cards to a gym. One that’s nowhere near work or home. Put it in a really pretty gift card and present it with the comment, “I KNOW you can use this!”
  10. A book on dressing professionally. If you gave that book last year, a book on etiquette.
  11. Tickets to an event that occurs when the ‘friend’ is going to be out of town. Make sure travel arrangements were booked. Bonus points for an event they would actually want to attend.
  12. A gift certificate to a restaurant where you got food poisoning. Try to tell the story of your horrible malady at great length sometime at least a month before the gift is presented.
There are a lot more things I could suggest. Spanx, for example, or a good self-help book. But the real key to this kind of gifting is finding the sore spot and choosing something that will jab right in it, and maybe even draw a little blood. After all, you've put up with more 'help and support' from this person all year than anyone should have to without committing a little mayhem. 'Tis the season to show them how much they're appreciated. Not.