I keep having ideas for posts right before I fall asleep or while I’m driving home from work. Those are not ideal times to write blog posts. I did find this gem online today and figured it would be a nice first post of 2016 until I can find time to write something longer. Happy New Year, everyone!
For most of my teens and early 20s, I really resented my childhood and the way my parents chose to raise me. I resented that I didn’t grow up in a sitcom where every problem could be solved in 30 minutes or less. I resented that I didn’t even live in a family where I knew I’d see both of my parents every day, maybe share a meal with them or have a conversation about how our days went. As an adult, I’m thankful for my childhood and for having weird parents because everything else in life seems so much easier now.
A few weeks ago, there was a pretty big storm. That night, I came home to a blackout. Once I got into the apartment, I lit the giant candle that I keep on the stove for power outages. My iPhone was dying , and had I realized I would be coming home to a power outage, I would have charged it on the drive home. However, I was issued a new Droid phone at work that day and had just charged it. I was thankful that I still had a way to call the power company to make sure the outage was reported and to check on how long it was estimated to last. I also used some battery power to send a tweet:
Anyone else get the urge to watch movies during power outages? Guess I’ll just read an eBook by candlelight. #goodnight #15%batterypower
— Angela VonSchmittou (@scarletloser) September 20, 2013
Oncor already knew about the outage and estimated it would be fixed by 2 am. It was just after 10 pm at that point, so, I decided it was The Universe’s way of telling me to chill out and go to bed early because I hadn’t gotten much sleep that week. I had tortilla chips and frosted cornflakes from the pantry and got ready for bed. So, I took a very quick shower by candlelight and laid down in bed. Then, I heard a soft rustling noise. I hoped that it was just Elska in the other room, but I knew it was a big roach (we call ’em “waterbugs” in the South) walking on paper. Normally, I just vacuum up waterbugs, and then vacuum the entire apartment, hoping to smother it in dust and pet dander. No power meant no vacuum. I lit my power outage candle again and got out of bed to look in a paper bag by my bed where I suspected the roach was. I didn’t see anything in the bag and the noise had stopped, but I kept looking. Then, I felt something under my foot…
I’m pretty sure I called the roach a GD em effer as I ran to the bathroom. I knew I had to act fast, so I got a wad of toilet paper. Then, I got a bigger wad of toilet paper. After flushing the bug down the toilet, I washed my foot and rubbed it with anti-bacterial stuffs. I had the heebie jeebies, but I was pretty proud of myself because I’d never “directly” grabbed a roach like that before. I went to bed, feeling accomplished and began to mentally list the reasons why the the day had been good.
I began thinking about how I did most of what I did during the blackout on autopilot because I was used to it growing up. Whether it was because of a storm or because someone forgot to pay the electric bill or because we couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill, I knew what to do and what not to do during a blackout. As a kid, the electricity always seemed to go out right when I was taking a bath. My dad would bring a candle or flashlight to me and would stand outside of the door while I finished rinsing off because I was afraid of the dark (well, not so much the dark as ghosts; we lived in a haunted house). I’d finish my bath and my dad would remind me that we have to worry more about living people than dead people and everything would be okay. If my mom was home, we would all sit around, talking in the candlelight for awhile. Sometimes, my dad would play his acoustic guitar and that would sooth all of us. When I was ready for bed, my parents would tuck me in, making sure that I felt safe in the dark. They’d even leave a candle burning for me so I could fall asleep. I was reminiscing about all of this when I heard the click that meant that the power was now working. It was 12 am, two hours before the estimated return to service time. I continued to lay in bed, mentally listing good things about my life until I fell asleep.
I noticed recently that I had a bunch of unread messages in the bulk email folder. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not always prompt about replying to emails, texts, or people standing in front of me (while that last bit is meant to be funny, it’s also, unfortunately, true.) I decided that the most productive way to handle this would be a rapid-fire response to the bulk emails on my blog, based solely on the senders, subjects, and two-line previews. Here we go!
I’m Asian. My skin is flawless.
You say that you will ship my meds “DESCRETELY”, but you haven’t figured out Caps Lock or spelling. Please forgive me for not trusting you.
Je suis désolée,
Dear Pamela Anderson,
Dear Credit Report Center,
I notice that there is no content in your message about my free credit score. You’re ahead of the game.
Thank you ever so kindly,
P.S. — Is an empty credit score better than that of a homeless ghost/Nick Miller?
Dear SeniorPeopleMeet Dating,
I have forwarded your email on to my mom.
Keep on trucking,
Dear Angelina Jolie,
Your email looked alot like the one from Pamela Anderson. I didn’t realize you were friends. Is she your wet nurse?
Dear Vydox Male Enhancement,
Sure, I’ll try a free 14 day sample of your product. To clarify, how much growth can I expect if I start with nothing?
Well, that was great! I feel like I really accomplished something. I’m going to go call my mom to find out if she’s given up Cougardom for good. Happy Saturday, everyone!
I had such difficulty trying to figure out what I’d say for this progress report that I kept putting it off entirely. Should I just skip the post this week? Should I make this a monthly installment? Should I report on the progress of things that weren’t included in my list of goals for this year? Should I do a reader poll to see what
my mom readers think I should do?
Then, I realized that part of why I couldn’t figure out what to do was because I didn’t want to admit to myself how lazy I’ve been about my goals so far. These aren’t resolutions made for the sake of having them. These are things that I actually want to do, need to do, and thought that I was ready to commit to doing. I started out strong on some of these things, but have really slacked off on everything but blogging at this point, which surprises me. The amount of work it takes me to plan, write, proofread, and illustrate each post…I just kinda thought I would have given up by now. So I’m proud of myself for at least being gung ho about one goal this year. (What the hell does “gung ho” actually mean? I’d google it, but I’m kind of in the middle of something right now and I’ll forget later.)
Even so, I’m mostly focused on how disappointed I am with myself about not being gung ho (that’s right I’m gonna use it again and again until someone tells me what it means) about other things on the list. I should have finished Amanda’s sunglasses bag by now. I should have finished Casual Vacancy by now. I was working out three times a week, but have slacked off on that for both legitimate and Pinterest-related reasons.
By Wednesday night, I found myself playing games on my phone instead of doing any of the things that I should have been doing — that I would have preferred doing. This was because I was disappointed in myself for not being gung ho about every goal on my list. I realize that it’s okay to be more excited about some goals than others, but that doesn’t make me feel better.
I decided to start this blog for fun, to practice my CG skills, and to have online marketing portfolio of sorts. When I started, I knew that I wouldn’t really know exactly what would work until I tried it, which is why I split the posts into three themes. The progress reports are making me dread the one thing that I’ve been gung ho about this year. So, new strategy. I’m only going to check in when I have something exciting to say. Well, maybe not exciting, but you know, something other than “I finished the October issue of Real Simple magazine this week.” (That’s true, by the way.) So, yeah, the Progress Reports will not be as frequent, but they’ll pop up occasionally.
Examples of my gung ho-ery thus far:
Mondays are going to be my day to pimp out my friends (or anyone/anything else that I like) in a very non-pay-the-rent way. In my first post, I mentioned my friend, Teresa. She’s currently doing a Twelve Posts of Christmas feature on her blog. Her first post really grossed me out, but also really made me laugh. She wrote about how eating boogers sort of became her thing and defined the person that she is today in a very roundabout way. To my knowledge, she’s no longer a booger-eater, although I think she does like beets.
We all have gross-out stories from our childhoods that are funny as crap now that we’re adults. It’s these stories that you tell to others so that they can reply, “Ohhhhh,” as in, “Ohhhhh, that’s why you’re such a weirdo.” It’s like it restores people’s faith in a logical world. Weirdos don’t happen randomly. No, my friends, they are made. They are made through a combination of hardwork, dysfunction, and grossness. Finding the delicate balance between these three things is what determines if you’ll end up being a blogging sensation that’s sweeping the nation or a serial killer. Every now and then you really screw things up and end up with someone like Psy, but I’m sure he’ll be okay in the long run if he invests well now.
I was a pretty gross kid because, you know, I was a kid. Since my mom grew up in the Philippines, she made me eat things on a daily basis that she insisted were food even if the other kids in the neighborhood insisted that she was a filthy liar. All the kids who made fun of me then have now decided that the gross foods are culinarily adventurous. I’m pretty sure the neighborhood kids thought I was going to go the One Hit Wonder route, but instead, I grew up to be a very boring adult. I have also steered clear of boogers for a good two or three years now, but I will never like beets.