The Cutting Room Floor

 

I go through periods with this blog where, for the life of me, I can’t think of something to write. Or I can, but the ideas never quite grow legs.

Leg-growing is hard. Just ask a starfish.

I usually blame work for my writing ills. As a matter of fact, I blame work for all my ills, as well as everyone else’s ills. And ills that haven’t happened yet. It probably has a hand in those ills too. It’s like, “Work! Cool it with the ills!” And it’s not listening because it’s out creating more ills.

In these periods, where ideas can’t quite build the steam needed to make it to prime time, the cutting room floor gets pretty cluttered. And it’s a problem because that’s also where I keep my scarves. And my shoes. And my celebrity biographies.

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“This Will Fix Everything”: Things You Can Buy That Will Definitely Fix Everything Forever

This week I went to Target to grab garbage bags. As is Target’s habit, I left with more than garbage bags.

For one, I bought a 2017-2018 daily planner.


I thought to myself, “this will fix everything.” And I chucked it in my cart next to a new scented candle and a pack of pens. I’d later grab a pair of loafers too.

And just to clarify, all these things are not garbage bags.

As someone who is flirting with 30, I’ve realized that there’s no magic moment where “adult” happens. Where you remember to get your oil changed and you don’t forget to load the dishwasher and your desk is a clean desk and no coffee spills on your shirt because coffee is for drinking! Where you don’t worry about fruit flies because you took the garbage out and you like drinking water and you only say cool and normal things because you’re just someone who is both normal and also cool!

You don’t yell, “SAMPLES!” at the grocery store when you see there are cheese samples up for grabs. To my credit, it is cheese.

I know that there won’t be a magic moment where all those pieces suddenly click into place, but some days I have to wonder….can’t one of those things click? Preferably the coffee one? I’m ruining shirts.

I’m also old enough to know that these things don’t matter and everything is fine, but they sure could be finer. And sometimes you need tools that facilitate the fixing of everything. To not make you a type A personality per say, but someone who can fake type A. Someone who cheats on the personality test.

My new planner is going to do the job. It’s going to help me remember errands and bills and tire-rotating and writing and research and probably just general world-saving.

This isn’t like those other things I bought thinking they would fix everything, or at least some things. This planner is going to fix it all.

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National Day of….

Evidently, today is National Polka Dot Day. polka-dot-police-women

…Ok?

Does anyone else find this kind of superfluous? I like polka dots as much as the next person who really likes polka dots, but do they need a day? Last time I checked, you could wear polka dots whenever you wanted. They’re circles, guys. Just wear them.

Admittedly other motifs get their own day. Tartan Day is observed on April 6th, and it commemorates Scottish heritage. National Seersucker Day is celebrated June 11th in honor of seersucker manufacturers throughout the South.

But Polka Dot Day? They’ve been around for a while. They can be woven or printed. They aren’t manufactured by any one group of people. They’re polka dots. I don’t get it.

On an unrelated note, after a little research, I’ve discovered that my birthday is National Cellophane Tape Day. Awesome? The closest the internet can pinpoint to a date of invention is the 1930s, so why May 27th? I don’t get it, you guys! National Day of Confused, amiright?

Who designates these days as particularly polka-dotty? Does everything have a day? What do I have to do to make a “National Day of ________” day? Because I have ideas, you guys!

  • National Day of Buying Colorful Workout Clothes – January 2nd
  • National Day of Buying Regular Workout Clothes When You’re Too Embarrassed to Wear the Colorful Ones in your Apartment Gym Which Equates to Three Treadmills – January 7th
  • National Day of “bloggers wearing long johns because it’s snowing and the week has been hard, so be nice to her, ok?” – January 22nd
  • National Day of Prank-Plotting – March 29th
  • National Day of Remembering Those Pranks you were Plotting – April 1
  • National Day of Hoping Your Coworkers Remember You Don’t Actually Like Chocolate Cake for Your Birthday – May 26th
  • National Day of Flip-Flop Sounds – June 28nd
  • National Day of Being Startled by things in the sky- July 4th
  • National Day of Wishing You Were Buying School Supplies, but Why Do You Need Dividers? – August 5th
  • National Day of Sour Straw Binging – September 27th
  • National Day of Sore Gums from Sour Straw Binging – September 28th
  • National Day of Jaunty Scarves – October 11th
  • National Day of Not Jaunty Scarves, But That One Scarf You Wear Too Much – November 19th
  • National Day of Wishing You Bought More Cellophane Tape – December 22nd

They’re great, right? And just as meaningful as National Polka Dot Day! If not more so. Actually, definitely more so.

I’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you when you catch yourself on fire.*

Thisweek

If you’re reading this, and you’re looking to steal my collection of old bobby pins, this is all you need to know: I HAVE SEVEN FOOTBALL PLAYER ROOMMATES AND THREE DOGS WHOSE FAVORITE GAME IS “WHO CAN BITE OFF THE MOST ARMS?!” If you are not a home-invader, carry on reading.

Last weekend I challenged myself and cooked coq au vin in honor of it being Julia Child’s birthday. A few conclusions I have drawn:

  • It is hard to say ‘coq au vin’ and not feel comically pretentious unless you are 1) Julia Child, 2) a French person, or 3) joking.
  • Raw chicken is a special kind of horrifying.
  • When a recipe calls for you to ignite cognac in a pan, it would be nice to have a roommate.

I was afraid of catching on fire. I tend to flail around when everything is fine, so I don’t suspect I would do well when faced with a coq-au-vin-fire, otherwise known as le fire. A roommate could help me put out the fire. A roommate could flying-leap me out of the way when the flames got too big. A roommate could throw blankets at me and yell, “STOP, DROP AND ROLL! STOP, DROP AND ROLL!” Or, a roommate could point and laugh while I really smoothly and cooly yell at the fire to “STOPIT.”

Contrary to my introvert leanings, as someone who frequently and audibly relishes having a space of my very own, I have recognized a lot recently that there are moments when a partner in crime would be nice:

  • A roommate calls you out and says, “NO! Don’t buy the skinny-jean-overalls online. They will be horrible, and you will hate yourself.”
  • A roommate won’t lose the key to the mailbox. Not that I did, but…I totally did.
  • A roommate will water the plants when you’re too tired and watching MASH and the plants are just too far away at their distance of 10 feet and “don’t all plants die anyway?”
  • A roommate will cut your taking-out-the-trash, cleaning-the-kitchen, talking-to-the-neighbors rate in half.
  • A roommate usually comes with at least one major kitchen appliance that you don’t have and now, don’t have to buy!
  • A roommate can investigate the weird creaking from the other room that you’re pretty sure is robbers but is in fact, your jenga tower made of yogurt containers in your refrigerator finally falling over. BUT IF IT WAS ROBBERS, THANK GOODNESS FOR MY THREE VICIOUS ROBO-DOGS! (that’s right, they’re also robots. They’re terminator-dogs.)

I’ve had great roommates in the past. I’ve also had major duds. There was the roommate who waited until the first moment I opened my door to tell me the internet wasn’t working, and I “need to call Time Warner.” She had a phone! There was the roommate who put old food in the recycle bin, and then lectured me when I threw things away that could have been recycled. Clearly I did not understand her system. There was the roommate who told me I’d be attractive “if I didn’t wear such granny clothes.” Just because you don’t appreciate a cardigan doesn’t mean I’m a “granny.” It just means I’m not chilly at that moment, and I bet you are, dummy! At the prospect of getting a roommate, their faces flash through my mind and I am reminded that my apartment is a mess, but it’s my mess, and leave me alone about it! But sometimes, sometimes, I see the point of having one around.

*Draft #1 of the Friends theme song.

What gets you moving?

  
This week I was explaining to my friend my current exercise regiment. It takes a little backstory: You see, I work at an astoundingly large company, and live ten minutes away from that astoundingly large company. It stands to reason, my apartment complex is riddled with people I recognize from work. They’re nice people, but I do not want to run into them at the gym. If I see coworkers at the gym, they will see me sweat. They will see the jiggling. And because I am Southern, I will feel compelled to talk to them despite my introvert-inner monologue yelling, “JUST GO HOME!” 

So instead of subjecting both parties to those interactions, I sequester my exercising to my apartment. I bought an aerobic step. I bought hand weights. I bought fun workout clothes. I’m very excellent at buying things.

These are the workout clothes I purchased.

 
I’m just so bad at working out. About ten minutes in, I start thinking, “why have I done this to myself? This is the WORST THING YOU’VE EVER HAD TO DO!” After explaining this to a friend (who also happens to be a coworker! I don’t live under a rock all the time), she gave me the advice, “you just have to find the activity that gets you moving. If you like to garden, garden. If you like to vacuum, vacuum like crazy.” This is pretty good advice, but what if the thing you like doing is sitting down with three fans pointed directly at you while you read a book? “….Well, then you monitor your food intake.”  

Given how much I like salt & vinegar potato chips and cheeseburgers, I decided to mull over this exercise lark. So here is my list, guys. The things that get me moving:

– I see someone from high school in the grocery store. Flying-leap into the spices aisle! 

– Someone said, “space isn’t that cool,” and I have to explain why it is. Stand back, because explaining-arms are flailing-arms. (FYI, space is the coolest.)

– Someone played “Minute without You” by Hansen

– Winter in Wisconsin. (I’ve never wasted more time walking around a grocery store than delaying the walk across the parking lot to my car.)

– I forgot to set my alarm in the morning.

– A bee

For now, it is summer, and I have not mastered my powers of harnessing bees. The majority of people from high school live in North Carolina, and most people, thanks to Bill Nye, realize that space is as cool as it gets (I mean, asteroids, right?!). I guess I must continue to exercise the old fashioned way: working hard and remembering deodorant.