Monday, August 30, 2010

here, hold this

This week, I shall be listing things.  Lists are one of my many hobbies. 

But first, a word about bookmarks: no.

Specifically, I have a problem with bookmarks.  Not a moral or ethical problem, more a practical problem.

Let me clarify further (So I don't get crazy hate-mail from slighted gifters or bookmark enthusiasts): I don't have anything against bookmarks. I think they're keen. Wonderful inventions really. I own several--only one of which I could tell you the precise location of (it's on my refrigerator, because it looks like a magnet...).  But I don't use them for their intended purpose. Mostly, because they aren't where I am when I'm reading. I tend to do this: find a book I want to read, stuff it in my purse, or on the seat in the car next to me... wait, misplaced modifier. I don't put it on the seat of the car next to me. I put it NEXT TO ME, on the seat that is next to me in my car. That's better. Anyway, where was I, other than in the car? Oh yes, bookmarks. See, I don't grab one when I grab the book, because usually they aren't by the books either. I don't buy them either. I see no need.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hippos, giraffs, and house cats

I'm going to say the F word a lot in this post, so please prepare yourself.


There, see?  I said it.  Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat.

Now that we're over that, let me get on with what I really wanted to talk about: animals

My favorite animal that doesn't live in my house is a giraffe. Because I'm tall and have a long neck I often get associated with the noble gangly giraffe, which is really good, because they're not always all that graceful, and neither am I. But they don't talk or make any noises and I certainly do... they just cough to signal danger, which is, as Eddie Izzard says, "very British." I like their little horn-nubs and their eyelashes that go on for miles, like Snuffleupagus, only with spots that aren't round instead of shaggy mammoth hair. Snuffy was a woolly mammoth, wasn't he? An imaginary woolly mammoth, with no tusks? But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Giraffes--long necks, no grace, horn nubs, eyelashes. I think that about sums it up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Delayed Monday Syndrome

Delayed Monday Syndrome© (DMS) is a real thing that I just made up* as a way to explain those crazy weeks when Monday goes swimmingly, only to have another day crash down around your ears in a spectacle of mediocrity.

DMS usually occurs on a Tuesday, but has been known to make random appearances all throughout the week, so don't think that making it past the hump grants any kind of immunity. It does not. Your day can go from "marginally crappy" to "unredeemable without enlarging the broadness of your backside" in less than 5 minutes.

Tuesdays are almost always harder than Mondays to begin with. They're not Monday, so you don't really have a reason for all the dragging, sluggish feelings--sort of like Monday leftovers. And it's not Wednesday, so you don't have that happy, "hump day," half-way to the weekend feeling. It's the forgotten middle child of the early week. And that's a normal Tuesday, so you can imagine how much worse DMS makes things.

An example:

Petunia's** day started with a feeling like this: lazy, worthless woman who can't get out of bed and in to work at a decent hour, thus depriving her hardworking husband of the comfort of a home cooked meal. This is a classic symptom of DMS--the nagging feeling that you left your awesome in your other pants, right next to that tube of chapstick that you ran through the wash resulting in a slightly greasy pair of pants with a suspicious stain you don't want to attempt to explain anyway. However, we all know that one symptom doesn't lead to a diagnosis (otherwise, we'd all be ADHD/OCD/sociopaths with tumors and endocrine disorders... at least, I certainly would be).

Another symptom of DMS is the inability to process minor changes with any semblance of grace or skill, which leads to a heightened emotional awareness that borders on paranoia, with the fervent belief that everyone can see all the flaws of your life like one of those ill-advised lighted make-up mirrors that can turn a confident 29 year old woman into a quivering mess thinking she's only one step removed from the Crypt Keeper and no amount of moisturizer with SPF and eye cream will make her pass for a normal, attractive female... not that I would know anything about that.

But back to Petunia. Less than an hour later, after an uneventful commute where she felt persecuted by the drivers who failed to grasp the concept of merging traffic (it's like a zipper people!!), a frantic search through the crud in her purse looking for the key card to the office so she could climb to the 4th floor only to realize she forgot to take her multi-vitamin and was certain that osteoporosis and cancer were at that very minute creeping into her system, and a phone call that should have been benign, but instead left her feeling like this: useless woman who doesn't understand the basic concepts of modern commerce, thus failing her husband who asked her for help in the first place, because he was busy solving important problems for people with a nationally recognized brand name and thus bringing home ye-olde-bacon so she should stop being a nagging harpy and do things the right way the first time and fix the problems (none of which her darling husband ever said, she just read between the lines--i.e. made stuff up).

A nutritious lunch is passed over in favor of a half-stale bag of mini-marshmallows, where she shamelessly disregards the warning to eat them one at a time.

Sadly, there is as yet no cure for DMS. Hopefully a heightened awareness of the crippling disorder can help suffers identify the early warning signs and ensure that enough butt-broadening substances are near at hand to reduce the likelihood of complete implosion due to the high-pressure suckage at the nougaty center of the DMS day.

In extreme cases, DMS may develop into the more serious PMS (Prolonged Monday Syndrome©) which requires chocolate, salty foods, a tear-jerker movie, an electric blanket, and hopefully some furry beast to snuggle with.

*I even googled it to be sure.

**Names have been changed to protect the identities of the poor, bewildered sufferers of this tragic affliction

Disclaimer: DMS is often confused with the Sneaky Hate Spiral, which Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half was so kind as to inform the world about. Without her research, DMS may have gone undiscovered so trot on over there and tell her how thankful we all are.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dancing in the dark

Anyone with automatic motion detectors (or whatever those thingies are called) on the lights in their office can probably relate to this little tale of coordination (or lack there of) and situational awareness (or lack there of).

My office has its lights on a motion sensor. My job doesn't require a lot of moving about most of the time. Because my department consists of set-our-own-hours type contractors, it's not unusual for me to be alone in my area of the building, even during "normal" business hours. These quite times are a blessing to my productivity, but often result in sudden black-outs as the building decides that I'm not really there because I haven't moved anything more than my fingers in whatever interval of time it deems significant for deciding such things. Usually, I just raise my hand in the air, and roll my chair about until the lights come back on. But on super quiet days when multiple gesticulations are necessary, I start devising new ways turn the lights on--often in time to whatever music I happen to be listening to.
I've been known to "put my hands up in the air and wave them around like I just don't care." Sometimes, though Sharif don't like it, I will "rock the Casbah."

Friday, August 20, 2010

The internet knows I like David Bowie

I love Pandora. I really do. It's like making an instant mix tape... except we don't really make mix tapes anymore, we make "playlists" but that just doesn't have the same ring. Anyway, let me just reaffirm that I enjoy and appreciate the whole Pandora thing, and we give them our money to have the fancy desktop whatsit.

That being said, when listening to my playlists, somethings I begin to wonder if Pandora is really paying attention. For instance, these things go together: OKGo, Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab, The Gorilliaz—this is acceptable. But don’t put crazy 90’s dance music in my mellow station. I don’t care that this song features a “dynamic female vocalist” or “minor key tonality.” Is it mellow? No! So don’t play it on the mellow station. Play it on the Usta-Usta station, or the Perky station, or anything else where BPM is a significant measurement. I can understand getting confused and playing The Smiths or even The Cure on my Grly Girl station, and I'll let that slide and just kindly notify Pandora that those songs belong on my Whiny Boys station. But MC Hammer in the midst of Coldplay & Travis? Honestly, that's not ok. My Bustamove station can handle the Hammer pants, so just scoot on over there and leave my soft-spoken UK boys alone, thankyouverymuch.

Besides, those little descriptions of why they're playing the song are really just an excuse to mock the magic behind Pandora. I am grateful it exists, but next time you read those things, do it in Strongbad's voice. And "many other similarities identified in the Music Genome Project" is really just a fancy way of sayind "a bunch of other stuff we couldn't be bothered to put here" and that is totally something Strongbad would say.

Plus, there needs to be something more than just Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An open letter to my shoes

In the time-honored tradition of many of my friends, and folks across the world wide web, I present to you this bit of inane babble from several weeks ago.

Dear Shoes,

It is incredibly unhelpful when you are not where you are supposed to be: a.k.a. on my feet, or in my direct line of sight. Those are the only helpful places to be, as anything else, as my dear friend The Gruss would say "smacks of effort."  Because I chose to spend all my spare time this morning with my new bff, The Internet, I don’t have any time to play hide & seek with you. I know you like to play coy and hide in the strangest places (the bathroom, under the bed, in the pantry, etc.*) but I don’t really have time for those sorts of things now. I'm making such an effort here, by changing my location, and thus allowing the "in my direct line of sight" to fall on many different places.  I'm trying to make this work, so please meet me half way. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Consistency--one of many traits I don't have

So, I like to write.  I like to talk.  I like to tell stories.  About those things I am fairly consistent.  In terms of liking them at least.  And I'm fairly consistent about telling stories & talking.

What I'm not consistent about is writing.  I enjoy it.  I start to do it.  At one point, I was an avid journaler.  That point is not now.  Now, I think about all the things I could be journaling, or blogging, but things rarely get past that thinking stage. 

I'm inspired by the blogs I enjoy reading.  I laugh and think harder and find the similarities between the posts I enjoy and my own strange world.  See, these are the kinds of things I should put in the links section--so others can see the kinds of things I enjoy and see if they might enjoy it too.  But that would require that there be something here that would draw people to it, and since this blog has been in existence for years without a single post, I'm not really holding my breath that such a thing would happen.

So, the 2.5 people who stumble across this randomly--this is it.  I don't have much hope that I might actually get any of the 15 or so potential entries fleshed out enough to publish.  I might, which would be a surprise to just about every one.

But suffice to say that I like to write, and I think about doing it, and I've got lots of ideas that would be fun to write, but when God was handing out things like determination, follow through and ambition, as far as I can tell I was off asking for extra helpings of "ability to accessorize" and "skill with make-up."
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