More Than Ships Passing In the Night

Month: July, 2014

Word Crimes

Well, there’s a first time for everything, I guess. I never dreamed that I would find myself talking about Weird Al Yankovic OR Robin Thicke on my blog, especially since I think Weird Al is kind of annoying and Robin Thicke simply just offends me.

Then my friend sent me a link to this video of Weird Al parodying Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

Can two wrongs make a right?

I absolutely hate the original song. I’m also a conflicted grammar snob: poor grammar annoys me but I do recognize that I make plenty of grammatical errors. I like to think I’ve got the basics down, but I’m prone to my own classic grammar mistakes just the same. I tend to use poor grammar more often on this blog because it is sometimes helpful for conveying a more conversational style of written thought.

As annoying as I think Weird Al is, there’s still a quality of undeniable and, dare I say, inappropriate cleverness to his parodies, that I can’t help feeling some sense of solidarity toward him for taking a song as repulsive as “Blurred Lines” and turning it into something much funnier and more apropos.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do some soul-searching.

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Things that I’m supposed to be doing but am not doing

I have been crazy tired this week. It may or may not have something to do with a certain three-day weekend during which I regularly went to bed anywhere between 12:30 am and 3:00 am (it was so worth it, though). Regardless of the reason, I’ve just been exhausted on all levels. I haven’t even felt like blogging. Usually these posts are an outlet for me, but lately trying to come up with something to write about has felt like a chore. The fact that I used the phrase “trying to come up with something to write about” just underscores the situation. You know, because I’m obligated to keep posting on here. It’s a requirement. Someone is forcing me to do this. If I don’t keep blogging, they’ll fire me.

That was sarcasm, by the way. It’s the best I can do right now. Did I mention I was tired?

I get these spurts of energy and motivation at really inconvenient times when I can’t really put any of it to good use. I have all of these things that I should be doing but that I’m not doing and I can’t seem to find the necessary willpower to do. I know the secret is to just suck it up and do what I need to do. But I’m so tired. So instead of doing what I need to do, I’m just going to write about how I’m not doing those things.

Confession time:

  • Studying for the GRE

I know you’re probably starting to get tired of hearing me talk about the GRE (and how I’m not studying for it), but seriously. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve studied for the GRE in the past two weeks. I can count on one hand AND have three fingers left over on that hand.  I’ve blocked out this nice window from 4 pm – 6 pm when I get home from work. That’s supposed to be my GRE study window. That way, I get it done* before dinner and don’t even have to think about it for the rest of the evening. Solid plan, right?

Not.

What actually happens is that I get home, read a few pages, and fall asleep until dinner time. Or, I get home, don’t even bother opening the study manual, and just go straight into the sleeping part.

Then, after dinner, I’m so exhausted from sleeping for two hours in the afternoon that I have no energy to do anything other than sit around and watch TV.

*When proofreading this post, I discovered that I actually wrote “get it down,” which made me laugh out loud at myself, and I kind of wanted to leave it but my self-editor wouldn’t let me.

  • Going to the gym on my lunch breaks

It’s kind of my thing. I started to do it shortly after I got this job, and have pretty much kept up with that routine since. Well, until this past April, that is. April = upheaval = avoiding extended periods of time alone with my thoughts. So, I started having lunch with my co-workers instead. Then May = law school exams = regular lunch breaks are not a thing during this time. Then, in June, I made a half-hearted attempt to get back into my gym rhythm. You would think that the steadily increasing number on the scale + the food baby that I seem to be gestating on a 24/7 basis would be enough incentive to get me back in the gym. That, and my schedule changing back to more regular hours, which means more days where I actually have a lunch break of which to take advantage.

So, I can’t really explain why it’s already Friday and I’ve only worked out once this week. Nor can I explain why, ever since I got to work this morning (actually ever since I dragged myself out of bed this morning), I’ve been planning out my lunch break: how I will go out to my car, maybe for a little bit read this novel that my friend loaned me because she wants to undermine my GRE study plans (just kidding, A. Looove you!), get sleepy, recline my seat, and spend the rest of my lunch hour napping in my car. And by “planning out,” I mean anticipating it in an I’m-basically-fantasizing-about-my-lunchtime-nap way.

I even thought to myself this morning, “Why am I bringing my gym bag to work? I already know that I’m not working out today.”

Wow. How the mighty have fallen.

  • Cleaning my room

Okay, so I seem to live in a perpetual state of needing to clean my room, all the while claiming that I actually am a neat, organized person.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

The fact is, my room is out of control right now. I’m pretty sure the last time I seriously dusted it was about a year ago. It’s cluttered. It’s disorganized. There are piles of books and papers everywhere. It’s just not a pretty sight. I don’t like it and I often think about it and how I want to just get rid of ALL THE THINGS and transform it into this beautiful, clean, uncluttered, Pinterest-worthy space.

I mean, I can dream, can’t I?

However, similar to my dilemma with studying for the GRE and going to the gym, the scenario with my room plays out something like this: I get home from work, go upstairs and set my stuff down while glancing peripherally around my room and thinking to myself, “I cannot deal with this right now. I just can’t.” Usually, I placate myself with some vague assurance that I’ll work on it after dinner, or tomorrow, or next weekend.

The road to hoarding is paved with good intentions.

I’m even trying to bribe myself into cleaning it. Lately (as in, for the past three days), I been wanting to take up sewing, to the point of actually finding a sewing machine that I want to buy. Now, let’s just overlook the unlikelihood of my ability right now to actually follow through with learning how to sew, even if I did buy a machine. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but self-motivation and follow-through are not my finest qualities right now. The point is, I’m trying to bribe myself this way: “No, you can’t buy a sewing machine unless you clean your room. You do not get to introduce any more potential mess-making objects into your life until you deal with the mess that’s already in front of you!” (That’s kind of deep, right? Think about it.)

Is my bribery attempt working?

Do you even need me to answer that question?

  • Flossing my teeth

Some of you may remember that back in February, I started a blog about flossing. The goal of the blog was to help motivate me to practice hardcore oral hygiene in order to fight the gingivitis to which I am annoyingly prone. Those efforts went south fast. Around the beginning of (wait for it) April, I gave up on that blog altogether.

Since then, my oral hygiene efforts have gone in fits and starts, but are mostly characterized by a failure to launch. I used to at least be fairly consistent about flossing every night. I don’t even do that anymore. I brush my teeth twice a day and that’s pretty much the extent of my oral care. Sometimes I think about flossing when I’m getting ready for bed. And then I think about how tired I am, and somehow that is a sufficient enough reason not to bother with it.

My next dentist appointment is at the beginning of August, by the way.

Shrug.

  • Ordering more contacts

I wear daily disposable contacts, which are awesome for about eleven months out of the year. Then, I hit that last month’s supply and every morning when I put my contacts in, I think to myself, “Man, I really need to order more contacts before I run out.” And then I promptly forget about it until the next morning. It just so happens that the last time I ordered contacts was… about a year ago. Around the same time that I last dusted my room, incidentally.

Now, you might be reading this and thinking very loudly at me, “Girl, go order your stupid contacts right now. Stop writing about how you’re going to run out of them and just do it.”

In my defense, I actually tried to do that when I first started writing this post. But I don’t have my prescription with me. So, there you go.

Now, maybe you’re wondering why I’ve just subjected you to a rather extensive post about what I’m NOT doing. Or, maybe, you’re waiting for the surprise change of direction – you know, the part where I’m like, “So, yeah, I haven’t been doing any of those things, but let me tell  you about the awesome things that I HAVE been doing instead!”

Hm.

Well.

This is awkward.

Let me get back to you on that.

Kindness

I think kindness is highly underrated and also one of the most important things ever.

And I say that because I’m not a kind person.

And I’m NOT saying that because I want you all to contradict me and tell me how kind I actually am.

I’m not a kind person. Kindness does not come naturally to me.

Kissing up comes naturally.

Avoiding conflict comes naturally.

Being polite comes naturally.

Feeling guilty comes naturally.

Not kindness.

But I work at it because I want to be kinder. I work at it because I really do think it is one of the most important things ever. I work at it because, as someone who perpetually struggles to see in black and white those matters which are distinctly gray, kindness is the only filter that makes sense to me. If, when I die, the only thing that people remember about me was that I was a kind person, I think I would be okay with that.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon looking up quotes about kindness on Pinterest. I printed out some of my favorites and put them up around my cubicle. It looks a little cheesy, but the reminders are for my own benefit. Here are some of the ones that I put up:

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I have this quote posted in two different places in my cubicle, because I liked it so much.

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I know there’s going to be some snark-ass smarty-poop who will inevitably come up with obvious instances to disprove the “every time” generality of this quote. I’m familiar with the concept of sweeping generalizations. I know them when I see them. But there is so much right to this, that if you’re just focusing on when it is wrong, then you’ve totally missed the point.

(Also, I apparently cannot even write a post about kindness without resorting to preemptive name-calling)

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As a chronically guilty person, I need this reminder every now and then to just give myself a break. Otherwise, I wear myself out agonizing over every little thing that I am doing wrong or have done wrong in the past. The ability to be kind to yourself shows a certain self-respect and self-worth. How can you be kind to other people if you don’t even know how to be kind to yourself?

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Who am I to judge? Who am I to presume that I know your full story? I would rather give you the benefit of the doubt on the assumption that what I can see is but a part of the bigger picture. We are so quick to over-simplify each other, to jump to conclusions, and to use those conclusions to form judgments.

Kindness is grace in action.