Archive for the ‘Dumb Stuff I Do’ Category

Why Directions Are a Waste of Time

May 2, 2016

I went to the doctor the other day and got a prescription for Flonase to control my always-present allergies. The pharmacist cautioned me not to let it run down my throat, because it can cause a throat fungus (GROSS!!!) and a whole kerflooey of extra side effects. So, today before trying it for the first time, I read the full, two-page patient leaflet, PLUS the folded-up instructions that came in the box. Confident that I had memorized all the correct steps, I went into the bathroom and

1. Forgot to shake it.
2. Didn’t prime it enough times.
3. Forgot to blow my nose beforehand.
4. Forgot to tip my head forward.
5. Forgot to hold one nostril shut.
6. Forgot to take a moment between squirts in the same nostril.
7. Didn’t breathe in hard enough in nostril one.
8. Breathed in too hard in nostril two.
9. Forgot to breathe out my mouth instead of my nose.
7. Blew my nose afterward, which you’re not supposed to do.
8. Felt it slide immediately down my throat.

Welp… better luck tomorrow.

A Christmas Surprise

December 24, 2011

Well, this post fits perfectly in the Dumb Stuff I Do category.

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m in L.A. One thing I’ve done this year is a lot of baking and giving baked goods to people I need gifts for. Last night I made a big batch of 7-layer bars, which are gooey and decadent and amazing. The thing about them is that the gooeyness quickly hardens and becomes sticky and still very decadent, but also really hard to get a knife through. I thought I had cut them at the right stage this time, before they hardened, but come to find out, they still needed more cutting. And in trying to slice through, I was twisting the knife a little bit, and then something bad happened. I felt a little “snap!” and pulled the knife out, and the tip of the knife was missing. Oops.

I looked around in the baking dish, expecting to see the broken-off part right away, but I didn’t see it. I looked at the bar I had just cut. Nothing. I got a different knife, cut the rest of them (without twisting), sat down at the table and pored over the crumbs in the pan. Nothing!!! Where the H did it go???

So… what do I do? Throw them all out? There are some people in my life — people I’m very thankful for — to whom I could probably give a container of bars and say, “Yeah, just take small bites and chew tentatively.” But I can’t say that to my agent or my therapist. I can’t leave a batch on my landlady’s stoop and say, “Hi Sandy, I hope you and your sisters enjoy these 7-layer bars I made! Oh, there might be a knife blade in one of them. Merry Christmas!”

My instinct is that not giving any gift is better than giving the gift of a stab wound to the hard pallet.

I think I need to give Operation Find the Blade one last go-round. (Never mind that I’m totally manhandling all of these bars in the process.) If I don’t find it… what will I do?

Only the ghost of Christmas future can answer that.

Something's missing...

Do you see part of a knife in here? Me neither.

One of these bars is not like the other/may contain a knife!

Ohhhh, Mornings

October 28, 2011

This morning I looked for my belt for about 7 minutes. “What in the… ” I muttered to myself. “Where could it have gone? Did it fall? I just had it last night!”

“Beeeellllllt!” I called. It didn’t answer.

But then I found it. Around my waist. Where I had put it minutes earlier.

Full House, Empty Brain

July 29, 2011

I was just thinking about Full House, as you do, and it dawned on me that almost every character in that series had a catchphrase.

Stephanie had “How rude!”
Michelle had “You got it, Dude.”
Joey had “Cut it out!” (complete with hand motions)
Uncle Jesse had “Have mercy!”

Now what about Danny, DJ, Aunt Becky, and Kimmy Gibler? I’m sure Kimmy had to have one, right? OK, so now that I’ve got them written down, it looks like only half the main characters had catch phrases. But that’s still more than your average family.

I watched so much Full House, I could maybe win some kind of Full House trivia game show, and with the amount of reality TV happening, a game show about a real show wouldn’t surprise me at all. So it could happen! Facts I know, without visiting any kind of website, include:

Their phone number is 555-2424.
Stephanie’s full name is Stephanie Judith Tanner.
DJ’s is Donna Jo Margaret Tanner.

Actually… I think that’s all I know, other than all the obvious stuff. I would lose that game show so hard! Oh, man. Those are good facts though, right?

Sunrise on the Terrycloth Horizon

June 1, 2011

I have never bought towels for myself. Never. Well, until the other day at Ikea, and tonight on the Crate & Barrel website… and the Pottery Barn Website. Yes, I’m making up for lost time by spending a fortune on an amazing variety of towels. Some are even monogrammed! And for years, and up until the other day, I had absolutely no desire whatsoever to own new towels, whether I bought them for myself or not.

The reason for this is because my parents have always lived dangerously close to the Springmaid Wamsutta outlet in Asheville, North Carolina, which, coincidentally and irrelevant to this story, is right next door to a Bojangles. YUM. Anyway, so my mom always has way too many towels, and has always either given me her extras or has bought them for me at the outlet. And I think I’ve been using towels I’ve had since college. This hasn’t bothered me in the slightest, because for my first five years in LA, my bathroom was a jarring pinky/purply color, and the only way I could see to deal with that was to lean it toward the purple, and away from the pink, by having white and purple accessories. So my sister bought me a beautiful white shower curtain with purple squares, I happened to find a lovely white bath rug with purple squares, and all my towels from college were, conveniently, purple! When I moved to a different bedroom in that house, my new bathroom was just white, so purple went fine… and when I lived in my last apartment, Mary and I had a bunch of different-colored stuff anyway, so it was no big deal that my towels were purple (and a few various shades of blue that had made their way into my collection (via Mom) along the way).

The Pinky-Purply Bathroom of Doom

Close-up on Those Sweet Purple Towels!

Another reason I’ve kept those old towels is that I kind of hate new towels, or maybe the only new towels I’m familiar with haven’t been the highest quality. I mean, not my Wamsutta towels, because those are great quality… but some new towels I’ve used at other people’s houses, when they’re new and haven’t yet been washed 75-80 times, shed lint all over you and, rather than absorbing water, merely push it around, which is quite annoying when you’re trying to get dry, because isn’t that the point of towels to begin with? So anyway, why would I want to put myself through that, when I can just keep my trusty old absorbent purple friends?

So, back to the other day. I cleaned my bathroom and changed out my blue bath rug for my yellow and white one… and I’d recently gotten some new soap in a yellow dispenser… and I happened to have a navy blue hand towel on the rack… and I noticed how lovely everything looked with the blue and the yellow. And I decided that it was time to get rid of my purple towels and move toward a new dawn… a dawn of navy blue and yellow towels… towels that I would purchase myself, and wash 75-80 times if need be, so that they’d absorb.

And throughout all this, I noticed something kind of disturbing… I noticed that I’m actually very attached to my old purple towels, and that all my hemming and hawing about how new towels suck, and the only acceptable towels are old towels, was actually me masking the fact that I, for some reason, am deeply attached to these purple towels! And as I was spending way too much money on new towels online just now (Monograms! Ahahahahahahaha!), I found myself wondering what would become of the old ones. I could use them as rags, but no, they were too dignified for that; that would be insulting. I don’t think Goodwill takes towels, and if you think I’m going to put them in the dumpster, you can think again. I’m pretty sure what’s happening is that I care about these towels’ feelings! I feel like they’re part of me, like we’ve been through so much together, like comfy old pals. And that, my friends, is precisely the reason I must get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Blue and Yellow Paradise! (The tiles and towels look almost black, but trust me, they're blue.)

R.I.P. Purple Towels: 2001ish–2011.

More on Trash Cat Woman

August 25, 2010

Can we talk about how in England, they apparently call the big trash can on the street a “wheelie bin“? Brits are so precious.

Here is a picture of Trash Cat Woman being escorted into a police car. I think we all know, however, that the real story here is the ridiculous getup those cops are wearing. WTF???

*This photo and all my info on the topic is from

Trash Cat Woman vs. Vertigo

August 24, 2010

Did you all hear about this woman in England who was caught on video putting a stranger’s cat in a trash can for seemingly no reason? The article says she has no idea why she did it — that she doesn’t know what came over her. It made me wonder, why do we sometimes do things that even we can’t explain to ourselves?

I’ve heard that vertigo isn’t the fear of falling as much as the fear of jumping. Although I’m not afraid of heights, I understand that. Having spent the vast majority of my life living in cities in the mountains, I’ve often been in high places and had the thought, “I hope I don’t jump off the edge.” Sometimes I’ll even picture myself jumping off, or worse, pushing someone. Mind you, I don’t want to or intend to, even for a moment. It’s just a fleeting thought that I have: “I hope I don’t.” So… did this woman think, “I hope I don’t put this cat in the trash,” but the difference is, she actually did?

One time I did do something kind of similar. Different in that it didn’t hurt any animals, but similar in that I made a really weird choice for no apparent reason. I have no idea why I did it, but I did. This was probably about a year ago or less. I was somewhere kind of nice, like a movie theatre or a restaurant — I don’t remember exactly — and I went to the bathroom. As I turned to leave the stall after having flushed, I glanced in the toilet to make sure all was well, and in fact there remained a single, small, round turd. I had already partially opened the stall door, and I could see the woman who was waiting for the stall, and she saw me; and as I slightly jerked toward the toilet to flush it, in a split instant, I thought, “Nah,” and I didn’t. I just left, and didn’t flush it. The woman entered after me and gave me a disgusted look as she flushed it herself. Why did I do that? I have no idea! I just didn’t feel like it. I just made that decision based on nothing at all, and it really went against the very fiber of my being. I am a very clean person and delight in having a pristine bathroom at home; I believe we each have the responsibility to be considerate of those around us; and I ALWAYS FLUSH THE TOILET, for crying out loud! It’s the most basic of civilized human behaviors! So why didn’t I give it a second flush? I can offer you no answer to that, except it was one of those times where vertigo took hold, and I just did something that I’m not programmed to do. It’s like that one time a robot expresses emotion and everyone stands there shocked, like, “Did this just happen? This is an aberration; this should not be. Take this robot back to the factory and program out the emotion, immediately.” And as the scientist slaps a sticker on the robot’s forehead and carries it off to be re-programmed, you see, if you look very closely, a glint of victorious rebellion in the robot’s eyes.. It did it. It wasn’t supposed to, but it did.

Everyone is saying this woman is an evil animal hater, but she and her family insist that she loves cats. I don’t know what’s more disturbing — the thought of an angry cat-hater torturing friendly felines or the realization that in the case of Trash Cat Woman vs. Vertigo, Vertigo won. At least she didn’t push anyone off a mountain.

Ignoring Neon Signs

April 23, 2010

I was just cleaning out my email inbox, if you can count reducing 2,400 emails down to 1,688, and while dragging things into the trash folder, I happened to open one of the first emails I received from someone I went on one date with last year. This email chain was exchanged before the date, during the “we’ve met once and are going to flirt a little bit via email before our first date” period — and as it happens, there was only one date, because this guy turned out to be filled with douchebaggery from the top of his douchebaggy head down to the bottom of his douchebaggeriffic toes. And do you know what I saw just now in that email? The thing that should have been a red flag from the very beginning? The thing that could have saved me at least two hours of my life that I’ll never get back? He confused “you’re” and “your.” Dear People, what was I thinking?

Aged to Perfection

June 1, 2009

Why do things taste so good when you’ve been drinking?

I just had a couple drinks at the bar, and I got home and was putting on my PJs, and I was in my closet and noticed for the first time since I’ve moved into this apartment that there was a box of raisins on my dresser. Now, I remember that I got these raisins on an airplaine, and as I recall, the last time I was on a plane was when I flew to North Carolina for Christmas. So for some reason… when I moved in March, I chose to bring that box of raisins with me. Sure, I got rid of the slipcovers that were custom made for the couch, and which I’ve wished I had every day for the last three months. Sure, I gave away my vacuum cleaner and my garbage can with the lid for the kitchen, and the lid for the other little trash can for the bathroom, and that whiteboard that I could have used instead of buying a new one… but I kept the raisins. The raisins from December.

And in my state of moderate buzz just now, I opened the box and inspected the raisins for any sign of mold or decay, and finding none, I stuffed several in my mouth, and I’m telling you people, it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted. And I’m pretty confident that anything I put in my mouth right now would take on that title. Something about alcohol makes everything taste so damn good. Is there a scientific explanation for this? If you have any inside knowledge, please let me in on it!

Meanwhile, I’ll be digging under the couch cushions for little bags of peanuts.

Ending 2007 With a Bang

December 31, 2007

I just did the dumbest thing. I was pulling into the parking garage at work and putting my window down so I could scan my keycard, and I was concentrating on the window, because there’s a blob of bird doodoo on the top part, and I didn’t want to put it all the way down and get the doodoo all over the window and between the door panels, which I already did once, and as I was being super careful about that, I forgot that the car was also moving forward, and BAM! I hit the thing on the side of the thing where I was pulling in, and put a big fat dent in the front of my new car. I feel like such an idiot. I’m glad this happened today and not tomorrow, because I can chalk it up to being part of 2007, and I’m moving on to a much smarter 2008, a year in which I will not run my car into anything out of sheer stupidity.

Hello, Operator

October 17, 2007

Welllll, as most of you already know, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet at work on Monday. I emailed a bunch of people in my address book to ask for phone numbers, and I got so many sympathetic and hilarious replies back, it made my day. It’s pretty great that I have so many sweet, funny friends. The other thing that’s great is that I’m using the phone now that I had 2-4 years ago, and after I got it activated, I went through all the ringtones and listened to them (see Appendix A for my rant on ringtones), and it hearkened me back to the time in my life when I was using this phone. My main ringtone reminded me of New Year’s 2004, which I spent in Boston and New York with my friend Elise; the choo-choo train sound reminded me of being in Delaware shooting Jeremy’s movie Wrestling; the “rainforest” alarm sound reminded me of my trip to Australia in March/April of that year with five of my friends, because on the morning we had to get up really early to literally go to the rainforest, I set that alarm so as to be thematic, and for once in my life I hopped out of bed without hitting snooze, because we were going! to the rainforest! Come on guys, wake up!; and so on and so forth, with warm, fuzzy memories for each ringtone.

Screetching subject change: Some of y’all have asked me how I got the high five from Ryan Gosling that I mentioned 2 blentries ago, and truthfully I hadn’t updated you because it’s a pretty boring story and I enjoyed being mysterious, because maybe in your minds you were picturing me hobnobbing with high society and whatnot. Nah… I went and saw a screening of Lars and the Real Girl, and Ryan was there doing Q&A afterwards, and then after the Q&A he actually stuck around to talk to people, so my friend and I went up to talk to him, and we chatted for a second and he gave me a high five. So yeah, booooring. But I thoroughly enjoyed both the five and the movie. In fact, the movie was really, really, incredible, and I highly encourage you to see it. Best movie I’ve seen in years, except of course for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Did I just discredit myself for saying that, and now you won’t go see Lars? Well, your loss… and HP5 was truly a badass movie, even if you aren’t a Potter nerd like I am.

Appendix A: The Ringtone Rant

It’s so annoying how none of the newfangled cell phones on the market now have nice ringtones. They just expect you to download songs, so they don’t bother. But ringtones used to be my favorite part of phones! I used to not buy a phone before I had heard and approved of all the ringtones. I think it’s more fun to have a cute jingly tune than a song, because if you choose a song you like, you will get sick of it and stop liking it as much, and if you pick a song you don’t like, that’s just dumb. In conclusion, I am resistant to change (just call me Gramps) and plan to keep my old-ass phone until it falls apart or I drop it in something wet, and every time it rings its beautiful jingly-jangly ringtone I will feel rapture. By the way, the first time I heard a polyphonic ring tone, as opposed to the single-toned beepity ones that they all used to have, I was visiting my friend Jamie in Brooklyn, heard his phone ring, and thought it was the ice cream truck. Yep.

The Dallas Debutante Debaucle

September 20, 2007

So yesterday I had this audition for the part of a Texas debutante in a TV show. It was a fun part, and I felt great about it and was really excited.

So I get in there all confident-like, and the dude takes one look at me and says, “How old are you?”

“23,” I said. You may think this is an untruth, but you’ll note he didn’t specify whether he meant actual years or how young I felt in spirit. How was I to know?

Apparently this was still the wrong answer, because he said, “They’ll never cast you as Deb. Here. Read for ‘The Mom.'”


The mom? Really?

So anyway, that happened, and I went home to complain to my roommates and run an errand before heading to work, and then something very interesting happened:

I went to the bathroom, then got up and noticed something in my pants that didn’t seem like it should be there. I thought, did the toilet paper get waylaid in my jeans on its way into the toilet? Surely not. I can be on the scatterbrained side, but come on, now. So I reached in and pulled out… another pair of panties. A balled-up pair of underwear that was outside of the underwear I was wearing, floating around in my jeans. The jeans I had worn to the audition.

I guess when I had worn them before, I took them and my underwear off at the same time and folded the jeans and put them on my “clothes chair.” Then yesterday morning I put them on, not noticing that there was a pair of panties inside. Then went to an audition.

Could it be the casting director thought I looked more like a mom than a teenage debutante because no young woman with a large butt tumor would ever be selected to make her debut into exclusive upper-class Dallas society?

I can’t imagine how I didn’t feel anything the whole time… parking, finding the audition, talking to the security guard, standing, sitting, walking, moving around in front of the casting director and all the other people who were waiting to audition… I can only hope this means the auxiliary, contraband panties were flattened against my butt in a way that made them invisible to the naked eye, and only when I shifted things around in the bathroom did they ball themselves up and appear like a freakish butt goiter.

I can only hope.

Swimming Poop, Cover and Pump Included

August 29, 2007

So… A couple weeks ago, my neighbors put a cardboard box out next to the trash with a paper sign taped to it that said, “Swimming pool with cover and pump,” hoping someone would come pick it up. Nobody did, and so it sat there for a few days, and then someone moved it right next to our front steps. Why they would do this I don’t know, because I mean, duh, clearly the kiddie pool didn’t belong to any of the neighbors on either side of us who both have young kids; clearly it should be the responsibility of the house full of four adults who obviously would be the only people to leave a baby pool outside in a box.


At work last week, my co-worker Justin and I were having a conversation across our cubicle wall. It went something like this:

“Did you have a nice lunch, Justin?”

“Yes, I went to Target.”

“Did you buy any fun things?”

“Oh, not really, you know… Actually I was looking for a pool. I think I want to get a pool, like a kiddie pool.”

“So here’s the deal. There’s a pool that’s been sitting outside my house for the last week. Do you want it?”

So anyway, that was Thursday, and that night I put the box of pool in the trunk of my car so I could give it to Justin at work on Monday. So it rode around in my car all weekend including Friday, and then he wasn’t here on Monday, and yesterday was so busy I didn’t have a chance to go get it for him… So for 6 days that box has been in my trunk.

This morning work was slower, and we went down to the parking garage to get it. I pulled it out of the trunk, and he stretched it out to look at it. There was another piece of vinyl in there, and we’re like, “What’s this?” “Oh, the cover,” and then he pulls out a little blue plastic bag and goes, “What’s this?”
And for a fraction of a hair of a second, I was thinking, “the pump?” And then a horrible realization dawned, and I said, praying it wasn’t true, “A sack of dog shit?”

And it was.


I have been driving around town for nearly a week with a pile of DOG CRAP. in my car. And to make matters more ridiculous, all week I’ve been like, “Why does my car smell so bad?” Yesterday I spent my entire lunch break at the car wash, vacuuming every inch of the interior, except for the trunk. Why did it never occur to me that someone would have kindly placed a bag of feces in the box that had been sitting in my trunk for the last week? I don’t know, maybe I had somehow maintained a shred of faith in humanity? Because who does that? Who puts a pile of poop in a pool box?

A Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll

April 18, 2007

I guess I haven’t been paying attention to the news, because I missed it when someone deemed today the official “Drive Like an Asshole” day. All day long, I have been swerving in and out and around idiots. This morning someone in an old VW Beetle cut me off to the extent that I had to slam on my brakes, then swerve into the other lane and lay on my horn; and I would like to share right here that what I shouted was — because I’ve kind of made a half-assed attempt to vary my vocabulary in such a way that makes me slightly less old-man-sailor-like — what I shouted was, “GEEZ LOU-FUCKIN’-WEEZE!” Yes, that’s right. Geez Lou-fuckin-weeze.

But I’m telling you, she deserved it.

Cranky Pants

March 15, 2007

I’m wearing my cranky pants today. Or maybe cranky shoes is more accurate, because it’s mostly because of my feet. As some of you know, I injured both of my feet in early December for the dumbest reason: I wore the wrong shoes in Disneyland. Ironically, these ones, that I was so excited about and bought 2 pairs of. Which apparently have no shock absorption or arch support. And who knew, but apparently I am an old person and have to worry about ruining my feet by wearing the wrong m-f-ing shoes. And even more unfair, as evidenced here, I am very conscious about taking good care of my feet. It would be one thing if I didn’t try, but I do, and feel that this is entirely unjust.

When my sister April came to visit, we spent a day at Disneyland, and something you need to know about us is that we are never half-assed about Disney excursions. When we were little, Disney World was truly the happiest place on Earth for us, and we are used to long, hardcore days of fun (if anything involving anamatronic singing tiki-birds can be called “hardcore”). So when she came, we got a park hopper pass and spent about 4 hours in California Adventure and 6 hours in the Disneyland park. We do it right. Except… I wore those dang shoes, and my feet were fine until we were about to leave, and suddenly I just couldn’t walk. I could shuffle, but couldn’t bend my feet at all without excruciating pain. This went on for almost two weeks, so I went to the doctor who said I had damaged my ligaments. I spent the entire holiday season in sneakers with Dr. Scholl’s arch supports — I even found an outfit for our company holiday party that I could wear with cute sneakers. I have been so good, and have tried so hard to allow them to heal, and for a long time they got slowly better and better. I even went hiking twice, and wore heels one time and boots one time.
But apparently I got too cocky, because within the last week or so, they’ve been relapsing. Now even my cute sneakers hurt, and all I can wear is my dorky New Balance running shoes. I mean, at least I’m getting some wear out of them, because heaven knows I won’t be running anytime soon. I’m so tired of feeling unfashionable and flagrantly ignoring the dress code at work. I mean yeah, I kind of ignored it before, but not flagrantly, and at least that was my own choice.

Even with the dorky sneakers my feet hurt. Pushing on the gas pedal while driving causes sharp pains in my heel, and combined with heavy traffic and PMS, let’s just say that this morning I screamed out a not-so-nice word on my way to work. Grrrrr.

I know I’m being a total baby about this, because I could actually have much worse things to be cranky about, like oh, I don’t know, a terminal illness, and in the grand scheme of things, this is not that bad and doesn’t interfere with my life THAT much. But I can’t do any of the physical activites that make me feel good and not irritable, like hiking, spinning, or anything that involves my feet in any way. That pretty much rules out… everything except swimming, yoga, and pilates, and swimming is usually more trouble than it’s worth because the pool at the gym is almost always packed. So that means I am getting no aerobic exercise and am about to jump out of my skin. And most frustrating of all is that on April first I am flying to Vancouver for a week of skiing with my family at Whistler. I have been looking forward to this trip forever, and if I can’t ski life will be so unfair. I have lots of trouble with ski boots anyway, so I’m kind of feeling like the odds are stacked against me.

You want to know the other reason I’m cranky? For over a year I have been asking for a keyboard tray under my desk at work so I don’t have to hunch my shoulders up when typing. Finally, yesterday I got it. My desk is like a curvy corner, and the dude said he was going to install it right in the bend. Except he didn’t put it right in the middle, he put it like 5 inches over to one side, and it is HURTING MY OCD. I NEED IT TO BE IN THE MIDDLE. It is making me crazy.

So, to recap for you: My feet hurt, my body is fidgety, and my brain hurts because it really wants the keyboard tray to be dead center. It hurts so much, like when I drive over bump after bump with the left wheels of my car, and until I drive over enough bumps with my right wheels, the entire right side of my body screams in panic and agony.

Am I a brat? I sure sound like one. “Waaah, waaah, I might not be able to ski at this amazing ski resort I’m going to. My life is soooooo hard. Waaaaah, my keyboard tray is off center.” I know, I know. But writing about it makes me feel better, so thanks for reading. Know what would make me feel even better? A bloody mary. Hmmmm…