Because of blogging, I’ve been exposed to people who know me only through my writing. One of them wrote me and asked if I could do a sample reply for an advice blog. Being me, incapable of writer’s block, I wrote back: “I can write five so you can pick and choose.” Answer: “Ha, well, I would like it in a week, if you could.” Me: “A week? My imperfectionism stipulates I’ll have them done in a day.”
I fired them off. Two were serious and three were humorous and also addressed the topics. The blogger wrote back: “Crap! I liked them all. The funny ones made me laugh and think. What do you do for a living?” Me: “I carry around hospital supplies. I write because I don’t know how NOT to.” Answer: “The one about being ridiculously honest? That one should be a TikTok. So over-the-top, but true. I spit my coffee a little reading it. It’s good.”
So, humble-bragging aside, my first piece of advice? DON’T let me write an advice column. All of y’all will be wearing clown shoes and dating known felons before the week is out. Some of you already are. You must be. You’re reading what I write.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.” — Robin WIlliams
As for my smaller lighter brooch I made and wore today, it was wildly successful. Sure, I had a couple of eyerolls and a bit of derision. 98% was effusively humorous. One person asked me to make one for her husband, who struggles to avoid losing lighters. I imagined him on the construction site with a lighter-brooch on his shirt, while his coworkers chortled at him. The woman at the gas station thought it was both practical and creative. The booth clerk at the flea market said, “Art is in the eye of the beholder. That’s fairly creative, X.”
Though I make these things to be creative and for self-amusement, I also accidentally discover human behavior lessons by doing so.
You’ll hear me say with regularity, “Anything can be made into a brooch if you’re audacious enough.” The fact that I have one made out of a pregnancy test should be proof enough of that.
“Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” -Oscar Wilde
Rare is the person who directly expresses displeasure. Not so much about the specific idea or implementation; rather, the IDEA of such a thing. Those people are to be avoided. It belies a lack of enthusiasm for creativity and the autonomy of others to be ridiculous. People who can’t engage in random acts of ridiculousness aren’t part of my tribe, to put it mildly.
People who directly say, “It’s not that clever or not appealing” either do so because they are honest, which is truly a great thing, or they can’t help but to express negativity, which is its opposite. I’m carefree about people’s reactions but I do notice when someone isn’t engaging in a spirit of enthusiasm or encouragement. Life is bland enough without encouraging more of the same.
To everyone who thought it was clever, thank you. To those who didn’t, I can’t hit all home runs. But out of the hundreds of people I ran across today, my cigarette lighter brooch was the most singular thing I saw anyone wearing today. And that’s a home run each and every time – in part because it gives people the opportunity to be amused, annoyed, or to interact. I can’t be certain that NO ONE has ever made a working cigarette lighter brooch. But I am certain that the idea came to me from the mist of my own mind – and that no one I know has ever seen one. Until today. That makes me happy.
The best line I came up with today was a play on words: “Can I send you a Bic pic?”
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
Oof! Wearing my blue vest and blue shirt to Sam’s club might have been a mistake. I’ve already helped five customers and I’ve only been here 15 minutes. The plus side is that I can totally wing it. I am so amused to think that these people I’ve interacted with think I work here. One lady was looking at clothing and asked about another size availability. Without batting an eye, I told her that the best sizes and selection are kept over at Target. She laughed and smiled. She thinks I work here though. .
During the cheesecake fiasco at Whole Foods the other day, I bought a reasonably-priced jug of protein powder. I should have known!
Anything reasonably priced at Whole Foods is 100% a mistake. Trust me.
It’s like buying your auto insurance from a guy named Honest Pete. You just don’t do it.
This brand is plant-based. Today, I made ten servings of it. The label said “French Vanilla.” The flavor is so opposite the label that I decided it is a new form of reverse marketing.
I made mine with skim milk. When I took the first gulp, the truth is that I thought it tasted like a chalky fart.
Yes, you read that right.
You know how you drive past a weird part of town and realize that the municipal wastewater treatment plant must be nearby? It was exactly like that but without the nostalgia. You have to drive a mile to rid the smell from the interior of your car.
The grit and residue left in my teeth was remarkable. Had someone thrown an urn of ashes in my face, I wouldn’t have noticed, probably even if threw the actual metal urn in my face, too. I decided that it reminded me of a mix of flatulence, diet tonic water, black licorice, and the tears of Tibetan monks.
As I stood there drinking it, I read the label. I couldn’t find “bile” anywhere in the list.
By the time I finished the serving?
I realized that it tastes so terrible that I LOVE it.
Just ignore me if I swallow and shiver as I imbibe it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I grow horns or an extra ear after drinking this stuff.
It’s rancid. I’ll buy it again if I catch it “on sale” at Whole Foods. Or possibly in their dumpster. Yes, I’m conflicted!
I went to the grocery store after work. Yes, despite the glamour of my storytelling, I sometimes visit one. I do like some aspects of Walmart+ and delivery but there are times when going inside yields interesting interactions. I had my fill of Walmart yesterday, after having to go there for cheesecakes. Whole Foods dropped the ball in that department. Cheesecake is no laughing matter, as the Great Cheesecake Skirmish of 2016 proves.
Today, I shopped and then realized I left my wallet in the car. That led me to entertain the Salvation Army greeter twice before entering the store.
Before I got there, though, I was turning right. The car in front of me zipped away incredibly fast. I looked – no traffic turning toward me. As I turned, a truck came around through the yellow light going really fast. As expected, a horn blared at me, loud and long, like a mother-in-law complaining about the gravy. I turned into the grocery store parking lot. The truck was turning there, too, but was detained by oncoming traffic. As I exited my car, I noted that the truck was pulling into a nearby spot.
Before I thought about it too much, I approached the older man and said, “Hello, sorry about not seeing you coming from the other direction. If you’d hit me, I’d have done at least $4 damage to your truck with my little car.”
I pointed toward my car as I spoke.
He laughed. “I was a little enthusiastic with the horn! Sorry about that.”
“No need to be sorry. You could do it in Morse code next time, though, to confuse everyone who wasn’t in the Navy or has a ham operator license.” I grinned.
He laughed again. That was two laughs in ten seconds.
“Do you like that car?” He said. “It seems small.”
“Yes, I do like it, and especially the $150 payments. And it is so small that I have to get out just to change my mind.”
That brought out the third laugh from him. “I needed a laugh! This morning was the worst.”
Because I had to go for laugh number four: “The worst? The worst is realizing that it’s your wife’s birthday at 9:02 p.m.”
He did laugh. “Have a good day,” he said as he walked toward the store.
“Honk if you need me,” I quipped as a parting shot. He grinned and shook his head.
To the rest of you, honk if you need me. You’ll know it’s me when you see the weirdest sky blue Spark with a front license plate that reads “Divine” on it.
If you do honk, could you do it in Morse code? Thanks!
If you have a front license plate – or a holder, you might want to check your vehicles!
When I took off the flimsy license plate from the front of my attractive clown car, I had a flash of inspiration. I was going to paint it and decorate it. Of course.
I realized that I should revive an old trick of mine: secretly put NEW plates on other people’s vehicles.
And so, today, I put one of my special creations on someone’s vehicle.
Today’s proudly asked: “AM I CUTE??? CALL XXX-XXX-XXX.”
I’m laughing even as I type this.
I love you all and one of you needs to walk around to the front of your vehicle. Or don’t. Just expect a confusing phone call from a stranger, and/or a potential love interest if they think you are cute.
I don’t want to live in a world where someone doesn’t invent cat mittens or broccoli-flavored chocolate. Enough with the conventional, as if we all enjoy the same level of normalcy. Without the zany, my life would be miserable. And stop arguing about the ‘best’ foods. There’s no such thing. We are all individuals and taste is wildly subjective, as is taste in hair, purses, clothing, cars, furniture, music, and lovers.
Can we instead talk about the things and people each of us loves, in our own way, and the people that light us up?
And while we’re at it, buy each other some cat mittens.
Living seriously is something that we can all agree is for the birds, the kind that swoops down and releases upon our heads.
I will start with a bit of humor for a friend, who will appreciate the inside joke: “My boss told me to start every presentation with a joke. The first slide was my paycheck.”
I went to the Dollar Tree to buy my demanding cat Güino specific cat treats. I ended up helping two Latina ladies with their questions. My bright orange shirt and hospital name tag evidently identified me as an employee. Because I was playing the part of an exemplary employee, I told them to go to Hobby Lobby too, as they were searching for decoration ideas that weren’t going to take all their cash. I used an index card to draw them a diagram of where to find what I was recommending. They were very happy. I’m definitely in the running for employee of the month. And people tell me speaking Spanish isn’t useful. 🙂 Hobby Lobby should write me a check too, as I am certain that once the two ladies go into the store, they are going to get a lot more ideas than they entered with.
At checkout, I saw that the woman in front of me had to leave a few items on the register rail because she didn’t have enough money. I bought them and handed her the bag of her items when I went outside. The look on her face was priceless. “It’s just $5, ma’am. You’d do the same for me if you could.” Covid be damned because she hugged me unexpectedly. “Is it too early to say ‘Merry Xmas?’ I asked her. “No, this gesture is a good start.”
I went over to Garland to use the ATM. A man was standing near the out lot of the parking lot, his driver’s door open. “Can you help me push this a few feet?” he asked as I pulled up and got out to help him. I told him that I couldn’t because I’d had surgery a couple of months ago. About that time, another man stopped and he helped push it several feet into a parking spot. “I can give you a ride to wherever you want to go, as long as you’re not wanting to go to Nebraska. I hate that place.” He laughed. I moved my bags from the front and he got into my car. As we pulled out onto Garland, his cellphone rang. His wife had listened to his voicemail and was on the way to pick him up. “No worries, I said. I can take you home or drop you back at your truck.” He thought about it as I turned right at the light to double back around. “It’s my brother’s truck but yeah, I’ll wait for my wife.” I dropped him back at the parking lot.
Driving down Sycamore, I must have sensed the oncoming yellow car was going to ignore the traffic signal. As I stopped and waited to turn, the car sped through the red light. I honked. The driver proudly waved high with a single finger as he sped away. I could tell that man would live a long, short life. 🙂
When I got home, I opened the fresh bag of cat treats and proudly laid several on the kitchen floor. My cat Güino sniffed them and then walked away. I’m pretty sure he was saying “Kiss my butt” in cat language in the way only a cat can. To prove I am at least smarter than him, I scooped them and put them back into the bag. After he was doing losing his mind with a Looney Loops doo-dad, I put them back down and he ate them like he hadn’t seen food in sixty-two days. The picture shows two of the Looney Loops at his feet.
Afterward, I made 14 servings of protein drinks. After doing it the hard way for a couple of weeks, I bought a cheap blender. Then, I realized I could make a lot more by using a gallon jug and shaking it like a pair of dice at a Las Vegas craps table. It’s good exercise, too, especially when the lid comes off and sprays thick protein drink all over the kitchen. Yes, I did that. I still love eating the powder dry, too. It gives me teeth that thick pie dough look that people find so attractive.
I still have my bedroom in my living room. No couch. Just my red rocking chair. Two big-screen televisions, one of which I sometimes use to stream my window camera view to. The other, to mostly ignore as I play the news. Four cat beds, one cat. One bed, one human. I spend more time vacuuming and sweeping the floor than I do watching tv, thanks to my beloved litter-scatterer.
I’m considering becoming the first-ever minimalist hoarder., but as Steven Wright says, “You can’t have everything–where would you put it?”
Anyway, I hope your day is full of wonder and also a jar of loose, vengeful spiders.