I Just Realized, You Don’t Really Know Me.

Eco light bulb

This epiphany was a lot more eco-friendly than the last one.

I had another epiphany. You’re probably thinking, “Wait, didn’t she just have an epiphany like two days ago?” The answer is yes. Yes I did. Then, today, I had another. So that makes my epiphany count two for the last week. Impressive, no?

Anyway, I was talking about how much I love writing this blog and how marvelous my readers are when I realized that we really don’t know that much about one another. I plan on rectifying that today. What follows are the must know facts about Girl on the Contrary aka me.

1. My favorite actor is Alan Alda. I love him with my whole heart. Comedy, drama, writing. The man is a true legend.

2. My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. Although, you probably already knew that.

3. I could eat Italian food everyday of my life.

4. I practice yoga twice a day. Morning and night. I am SO zen.

5. I love hand-written cards or notes.

6. I miss Uganda every single day that I’m not there.

7. I have two dogs. A boy named Hansel and a girl named Liesel.

8. I love frozen yogurt.

9. If I had a cagillion dollars, I would spend my entire life traveling the world and writing about it.

10. My favorite book isn’t by my favorite author. My favorite book is Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski.

11. I absolutely love the Ricky Gervais show “Extras” and watch and re-watch the episodes all the time.

12. When I have a really truly terrible day, all I want to do is watch Disney movies.

13. I re-read all 7 Chronicles of Narnia every December. I was given the box set of the books when I was 10 and have been reading them every since. One of the best Christmas gifts ever!

14. My favorite color is green.

15. I drink lots and lots of tea.

16. I attempt to make every thing I say a song lyric. That includes singing it. Another little known fact is, my sister absolutely hates that I do this.

17. No matter how spicy something I’m eating is, I add Tabasco.

18. My favorite piece of furniture is a brown rocking recliner. My Popsie used to rock me in it when I was a baby and when I was 20 and going through one of the hardest times of my life, he gave it to me. It is both comforting and comfortable. Also, so retro.

19. When at a Starbucks, I always order a non-fat chai tea latte. It’s my drink.

20. I really want a chia pet.

21. I have always wanted to wear a tuxedo.

22. In the case of a zombie apocalype, I think I’m screwed.

23. No one ever expects it of me, but I am a HUGE American football fan. I also love football aka soccer with an equal passion. If it’s called football anywhere in the world, chances are I LOVE it.

24. I could play board games all day long.

25. I really really love marshmallows.

I feel like if I write more than 25 facts down then I am just being self-indulgent so you will just have to learn the rest over time. What I would love to hear about now are some little known or well known (totally up to you how known you want your facts to be) facts about you, my darling readers. Please share! I’m in quite a sharing mood today.

I Hope They Let Me Blog At The Asylum.

Mad Hatter

I went to Starbucks the other day. I walked in, I stood in line. I noticed that people were sort of smiling at me in an indulgent way- the way you look at a child when they are telling a less than amusing story but you want to encourage them to continue so you just smile and try to follow along. Then, I realized something. They weren’t smiling at me indulgently, they were smiling at me uncomfortably. All the people in line at Starbucks were very uncomfortable. And it was because of me. What could I have done, you might wonder, to make all of these people (and there were a lot of people in there) so uncomfortable? At first, I had no idea, and then I realized something. I. WAS. SINGING. I was singing out loud. I was singing at loud at Starbucks. Granted, it was a great song I was singing- and really they should thank me for exposing them to such stellar music. All the same though, I can understand why they were uncomfortable. I mean, being around people who are clearly bonkers can be awkward. I accept that- I just never realized that what I really needed to accept was that I was the one who was bonkers. But clearly, I am absolutely mad. I was singing in public and didn’t even realize it. Again, it was a great song, but still.

I’m not sure if this is the worst part or the best part, but I wasn’t all that embarrassed. I just sort of shrugged, ordered my coffee, and went my merry way. At least some people got a good story out of it. But you know, I’m wondering, if at some point, I should be worried because this incident all by itself is hilarious and harmless but coupled with last weeks “dancing” I am starting to question my sanity. Am I becoming more Mad Hatter and less Alice? When people refer to me as “eccentric” (which I’ve always taken as an immense compliment) do they really mean “insane’?

My Mom says no. She says that it’s great that I am so uninhibited. I’m thinking that maybe I should get some inhibitions. Then, my Mom reminded me that I had enough inhibitions in middle school to last me a lifetime. The lady makes a good point.

The Mad Hatter and Alice weren’t all that different anyway. All the same, I really hope they let me blog at the asylum.

Killer Birds!!!

scary crow

Devil bird.

I was just sitting in my fourth floor office, working away like the little worker bee I am when all of the sudden a huge scary face appeared in my window. My heart skipped a beat, I jumped about a mile in the air, and an almost inaudible screech escaped my lips. I was startled to say the least. Luckily, reason soon returned and I realized quickly it couldn’t be a face in the window- I work on the fourth floor. Unless someone has jumped a few steps in evolution and is now capable of flying there is no way a face could be in my window. Or you know, I guess it could have been a window-washer but flying makes for a much better story. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t really matter since it wasn’t a person at all, I’m just saying a flying person would be cool.

What that scary face actually was, was a devil crow bent on my destruction. That bird was so scary it actually scared the hell into me instead of out of me. And it just kept coming back and flying right at my window and terrifying me. This bird was like super smart/evil. It was using my peripheral vision against me. It’s like the devil crow knew I could only catch a quick view of it and that I might misinterpret that quick view as something like an evil floating face, or ghost, or evil sprite. Which, by the way, are all really reasonable conclusions to jump to when images of things appear in your window. And the devil crow knew this. It knew me. It knew all my thoughts and fears and hopes and dreams and was trying to use them against me. Like Freddy Krueger uses dreams against people to kill them. That’s Freddy Krueger right? I don’t really watch scary movies because my imagination is already pretty overactive and a little twisted and I don’t really need to add more things to freak myself out with. The point is that the devil bird was some kind of evil genius bird that for some reason unbeknownst to me was hell-bent on scaring me to death. And maybe possessing my soul. I’m not too clear on the details.

The worst part was the devil bird brought friends. More and more evil birds flew at my window. And now I think I’m cursed. I mean, that many devil birds outside your office window means you’re cursed right? I’m totally cursed. These birds want blood. My blood. Aw geez. This is bad you guys. Death by killer devil birds.

The Birds

Not even Alfred Hitchcock could figure out a way for me to get out of this. I’m doomed.

Starving Children Jokes Cross the Line.

Crossing the Line

This rock and I have a lot in common.

Who knew I had a line? Not me.

So, I’m writing some posts and just sort of spouting off and not editing myself (not that I ever edit myself because trust me, I don’t). When I read back over what I had just written and it was something along these lines, “maybe, if you read my blog, you are feeding a starving child.” And as I read that and realized that I had actually written it- I thought “Ok contrary one, starving children jokes cross the line.” and then I thought in response to that, “Wait, I have a line???”  I mean, I never say things that really offend people (like discriminatory things) but I have often been heard saying things that one might think of as “off-color” you know, like things that aren’t offensive but are nonetheless inappropriate or cringe-worthy. Occasionally things that have been referred to as “harsh” but boy oh boy when I read what I wrote about starving children- I had to step back and re-evaluate my life.

I’m not going to blog about what I found when I re-evaluated my life because I don’t want to freak you out. I mean, usually I’m not worried about whether or not you’re freaked out- but the new Girl on the Contrary is very worried about freaking you out. Because I freaked myself out a little bit. There is a lot of crazy stuff in this head of mine. You only get a small dose of it. Oops, I may have just freaked you out. Ok- the new new Girl on the Contrary is going to try really hard not to freak you out. Probably. Although my trying hard might mean I will try hard until I forget about it. Which might be tomorrow. Or sooner. Sorry.

So, just so we are clear. Starving children jokes absolutely cross the line. Please make a note of that. Because reading this blog does not feed any children. It doesn’t even feed me.

The Freshly Pressed Roller-Coaster or Irony Sucks

Roller Coaster

It's just like this- only faster

Exactly one week ago today, I was Freshly Pressed.  I was truly astonished. Completely taken off guard. And above all overjoyed. I felt giddy all day long, I couldn’t believe the number of visits I was getting and I really couldn’t believe the amount of comments. It was a true blogging high.

But with every high comes a low. Not really that low of a low but a low nonetheless ( I mean like it’s lower than the high but not by that  much). It was hard to watch my stats fall the next day and the next and the next. And even though my blog is still receiving more views than ever before (and trust me I am thankful for every one of them) I am feeling a lot of pressure (self-imposed) to continue writing Freshly Pressed worthy posts. And that is hard. And you have to wonder, does WordPress hate my blog? Because it seems like WordPress should know about all the pressure that  comes with being Freshly Pressed. And maybe they put on you Freshly Pressed to totally burn you out so they never have to see your blog that they hate again. And then I have to wonder, am I being neurotic and ridiculous? And the answer to that is yes.

The thing about the Freshly Pressed roller-coaster is that it is really fast but it is also like the best roller-coaster ever (because you really avoid that stomach in your throat feeling). So you want to ride it again. And again. But it isn’t up to you- just because you like the roller-coaster doesn’t mean you get to ride it again. You have to earn it. But it’s hard to predict what will earn it and what won’t. So I guess the moral to this story is that being Freshly Pressed is brilliant but you will want more and more of that brilliance and you could really screw yourself up working to get more of it. So don’t screw yourself up. Keep cool, write what you write, and do you to the fullest (I heard a really douchey guy say that once but I can’t help but repeat it in this instance, forgive me). Also, this is all advice I’m giving myself (because if I write it and then look at it later it will be like someone else is telling me and then maybe I will take the advice.) but I hope it helps other people too (because I’m really generous and well-meaning).

And now I’m realizing that this post isn’t very funny and funny is what got me on Freshly Pressed. So it’s like I’m writing a post about trying to maintain a certain standard and that post is actually below the standards I’m writing about. Balls. Irony sucks.

Totally.

Totally

MichelArt.net

I’m trying very hard not to say the word “totally” anymore. Why? Because I had a rare moment of clarity the other day and realized I sound like the movie Valley Girl. This movie is absolutely wonderfully awful. A classic. And though I may enjoy watching it, I would rather lose my voice permanently than sounds like any of the girls in this movie. Here are some examples of the things they say…

” Like, totally.”

“Totally to the max!”

“Gag me with a spoon. Totally.”

Notice a trend? It’s the word “totally”. And I have “totally” been saying “totally” way too often. I don’t know how it wormed it’s way into my speech like a language parasite but it definitely did. All of the sudden I am emphasizing everything I say with the word “totally”. It’s like my sentence doesn’t mean as much if I don’t have a “totally” in it. Terrible. Shameful. Ridiculous.

I realized this embarrassing fact about myself at work when I was in a meeting with a client. All of the sudden it hit me that I had just used the word “totally” 3 times in the same sentence. Gag. I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing myself say. The more I talked the more I realized I sounded like the world’s most ridiculous woman in the world. I was, like totally, humiliating myself to the max, ya’ll. Really.

It’s not that I have a problem with the word totally per se. I just think it is overused and abused in the the English language. I just don’t want to sound like a high school cheerleader because (shocker) I’m not a high school cheerleader. I’m a grown-up (ok I can hear you laughing from here…) I’m at least a somehow grown-up so I should try and speak like a somehow grown-up. Right? Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize I sound very little like a grown-up most of the time. Huh. I’m having another lightbulb moment……

Ok- new goal is not to eradicate “totally” from my speech all the time, just from my client meetings. Forget being a grown-up I want to be a high school cheerleader! (I really don’t want be a high school cheerleader)

You see how I changed my mind in the middle of this post? That’s why they call me contrary. And so it is.

The Dory Theory

I have a theory on life. It’s really brilliant. It’s called the Dory theory. It goes a little something like this- “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

If you didn’t get the Finding Nemo reference then I don’t know why you are reading my blog. You probably don’t belong here if you haven’t seen that movie. Or maybe you do. Maybe you need my blog for that very reason. Who’s to say? Go ahead and keep reading.

In life, you just have to keep swimming. If you stop swimming you will die, like sharks. I don’t know how you you feel about it but I think dying like a shark is probably in the top 10 of worst ways to die. I mean, they can breathe under water and they still drown- and then they just float there and then killer whales eat them and then killer whales poop them out and then fish eat the killer whale shark poop and then those fish poop out the shark poop and plankton eat the shark fish poop. Dreadful. And sad. Poor sharks. I’m sorry to get so graphic but I really wanted to emphasize how important it is to keep swimming.

Dory Finding NemoMaybe, if you are a mermaid this doesn’t seem like such a hard thing to do. Touche mermaid- you have a point. For those of us who aren’t mermaids (and I’m just guessing here but I think the majority of us aren’t mermaids) we have a harder time of it. I think what makes it so hard is that it doesn’t involve actual swimming- I mean it could if you were like shipwrecked and in the middle of the ocean because you would definitely need to be literally swimming in that scenario- but what I mean really is to keep going. Keep living even when it seems impossible and you are overwhelmed by everything. I guess my motto could be “just keep living” but that sounds lame and isn’t metaphorical and doesn’t have a song associated with it.

And sometimes things are really awful and you just want to stay in bed all day watching reality TV (which, let’s be honest makes everything worse) and eating ice cream. But you can’t do that. I mean sure, maybe if it’s like a weekend then it would be ok but on Monday you just have to start swimming again. Why? I don’t know because that’s life. Because I said so? Maybe. Not convinced? Yeah, I’m doing a pretty bad job of explaining it.

What I mean is that if you keep swimming- keep living as best you can- then things will get better. I promise (in a non-binding sort of way). That isn’t to say nothing bad will happen, I know bad things happen all the time and sometimes they happen to me but I just sing the just keep swimming song to myself and carry on. Because at the very least, when things suck, you at least get a song out of it. In fact, maybe I should change my motto to “just sing a song.” That works too.

Ok- so to recap, you should just keep swimming and sing songs. This may be the best life motto ever. And I’m giving it to you for free. Which I think makes me qualified for sainthood when I die.

Catholic St. Dympna

Saint Girl on the Contrary.

Really this is Saint Dympna. Patron saint of the mentally ill, incest victims, and runaways. I may go to hell for this.