Tuesday, March 25

26 Things I've Learned in 26 Years - not one of them is "laugh more"

Recently I had stumbled on this list someone made about 26 things they've learned in 26 years. I figure hey, my birthday is in 4 days (really???) so I might want to read this. Conclusion: I really hated the list; it absolutely sucked, and nothing sucks more than when you read something expecting to like it and then you don't. Such promise destroyed by list items like "take more walks" "always tell the truth" or "laugh more" ... or at least that's what I think they were, I was too busy making a WTF-Face.

I googled to find the list again for a reference and instead I found about a million 26 things lists. What is it about this year that makes everyone write a bunch of lists?? I read a much different themed list that said 26 things that suck about turning 26. That list was just as terrible, and made way too many allusions to being called a pedophile, and how there are a bunch of hot little Lolita's out there who all think you're 'old'. Also that turning 26 means you're at least 33% dead. For some unknown reason I read a third list that was both ridiculous and ambiguous. You know, Nerds are the best ice cream topping.. etc.. also "laugh" and "don't tell lies". Did you know, at whatever age you are currently at, lies are bad and laughing is fun? Oh, you do? Ok well that guy just wasted 25 years figuring it out then!

Naturally you KNOW I have to make another crappy list, so I have decided it will be somewhat practical stuff that you might ask yourself in the future, or be thinking, to which I have a perfectly good answer for you.

26 Things I've Learned in 26 (25) Years!

26. What gets finger prints and streaks off your Stainless Steel appliances?
Glass cleaner and baby oil.

25. Will making my own laundry detergent save me money?
No. Depends how much Borax costs you where you live but generally making your own detergent will cost you the same, except use more packaging, damage a nice food processor, not smell as nice and do exactly as much laundry. The benefits are that it will clean your laundry way, way better.

24. I've been wanting to dye my hair blonde, should I?
Probably not. As someone who does that from time to time, if you don't already have fairly light hair you really have no business being blonde. Cons: It will cost a lot to keep up, irritate your scalp, possibly causing you to have dryness later, might turn brassy or actually melt your hair if you try and fix it, and lastly it doesn't really look all that healthy. Darker hair ends up looking healthy, in general. Try just lightening your hair, use lemons, whatever is least damaging.

23. My Dad (Mom) doesn't spend any time with me, or call me. Should I be sad about that? I think I should because maybe it's my fault for not being awesome.
Only if other people's failures makes you sad.. if so, go nuts with sadness. If you had a child and refused to get attatched to them, never called them or talked to them, do you think that would make you more normal or less normal? Yeah see, I wouldn't worry about it.

22. I feel terrible but secretly I think making fun of people with mental or physical disabilities is hilarious.
I hate to tell you but, secretly, it's not.. sorry. Neither is laughing at genuinely crazy people. I mean sure, laughing out of nervousness is OK if you are starting to get all afraid of them, but honestly it's just not that funny. They are people who will never have a full chance at life like you do, and families who will always struggle because of it.

21. Where are the places I shouldn't get a tattoo?
I'll tell you something my dad told me when I asked. Draw your tattoo, write down where you'd like it and what colours etc. then put it in an envelope and seal it for 1 year. When you open it, if you still love it exactly the way it is, then go ahead. Chances are you didn't get it for a person, or at a party or because someone you knew got one just like it. Those are what I like to call temporary tattoo occasions. If you must please never get one on: your feet, stomach, forearm, calf, thigh or breast. I don't really like the upper arm either, but this answer is getting long so it's up to you!

20. You know what, that's it, I'm going to crank call the White House.

You really shouldn't. Trust me.

19. What is a good idea to buy in bulk?

Dishwashing tabs, toilet paper. Not: sweaters or milk.

18. I really, really, really want to get married and have kids!

No you don't. No. You don't. You can appreciate and experience both of those things without actually doing them; ask people who are doing them and they'll tell you. If you have any problems in your life, I'd wait until you don't. If you don't have any problems in your life, get married and have kids, and then you'll have some. That one was a joke.

17. I'm really finding it hard to name my cat/dog/child.
First and last names are fun. I like to find a type of food that represents them. If I owned a Bulldog I would immediately name them Cheeseburger McPickleson. For an actual child.. nothing old like Norman and nothing spelled wrong.

16. Is it OK for me to date someone 15-20 years younger/older than me?
Are you in your 50's? No? Then no it's not ever ok.

15. I really hate paying $80 a month on my cable bill.
Write down your favourite shows, it will be less than 25% of the crap you actually find yourself watching. Cancel your cable. Rent those shows or watch Hulu.com.

14. My goldfish looks sick.. do you think it's serious?
Well, depends, I'd google whatever is specifically wrong but chances are you can get something to fix them at Petsmart. Take pictures in with you to show them and don't spend more than $8... unless you have more than one goldfish. If it has black spots on it it's either incurable or it was just sick and it's getting better now. Wait it out with a toilet flusher on stand-by.

13. What is a good silver polisher and cleaner? I have some pretty rough looking silver here.
Toothpaste. Rub it in really good.

12. How many credit cards should I own, and when should I use them?
Two. One that you use frequently with a low limit of say $500, and one that has a large, never-used limit. You should use the first one for: deposits, things that can only be bought online (not ebay), and occasionally gas. Never use them for: christmas shopping, grocery shopping, alcohol, ordering food, impulse items, buying cars or electronics. Use the second card only in life or death situations like: someone literally died and you need to fly somewhere last minute notice, paying for an emergency surgery, emergency dental work, bailing yourself or a member of your family out of jail.

11. I am making dinner tonight and I have no idea what I'm doing. None. What is one thing I could make a lot of that people like?
People like hamburgers, and home made fries. People also like sausage and pasta. If you want a nicer way to make sausage and pasta:
Take the skins off the sausage and break up the meat by hand in a frying pan. Add butter, shake some Montreal Steak Spice on it, throw half a chopped onion in there if you're using really basic canned sauce. Make the pasta obviously.. look at the package for instructions if you're lost on that. Add sauce to the pan, then add "italian spices" which means a mixture of rosemary basil and thyme all in one bottle. If you don't have those, just use basil, add some salt if you think it really needs it. Put the sauce and pasta together. Add parmesan cheese, people like cheese.

10. Look, I have zero idea what to order at Starbucks and it's pretty intimidating to be honest with you. Give me a suggestion!
Buy a coffee at McDonalds. It's really, really good.

9. I live alone and I'm over 30, what's a good pet for me?
Fish. You don't want to be the cat lady.. or snake man, do you?

8. I'm baby-sitting my niece/nephew alone for the first time, I don't want to just watch tv, what sorts of activities would be good to do for a few hours?
Depends on their age but every kid under 5, no-matter what, loves to play "shopping" How: You're the grocery store and they can pick up items (toys) to put in their bag or basket. Kids love imitating adult behavior so give them a fake debit card and fake cell phone and just watch what happens. When the baskets get full you play "supermarket switch" and dump all the items out on the floor and they become the cashier and you become the shopper. The "supermarket" stays closed for 5 mins (lights are off) to the items on the floor all cleaned up.. feel free to go grab yourself a drink. If they're a little older, play a sport together, make some funny rules to it, even a simple board game or reading stories.

7. If you were me, other than being less cute with a much duller personality, what is something you'd do if you had very little responsibilities?
Professional house-sitter. Without a doubt. Ya I have to make some of these questions fun or else I'll lose interest.

6. What is something memorable I can do with my gf/bf on our next date?
One word: consumption. Bake and eat and entire cake, have a drinking contest and watch way too much of a really bad movie. Trust me, you will not forget this date!

5. What is a really good breakfast food I haven't thought to try?
Two Cinnamon Waffles with Peanut butter on one side and Nutella on the other. Don't put any whipped cream on it.. that would be "too much". Less sweet idea? Toasted bagel with cream cheese and a tomato and lettuce. Make sure you don't forget to salt the tomato.

4. You know, I play with my hair a lot. I'm really annoyed by it and frustrated! but still I can't stop.. sometimes I do it in my sleep. I like the feeling, or sound, and I even pull little hairs out if they bother me but I don't talk about that. People try and remind me to stop, I laugh about it, but also I feel stupid like it's a ditzy habit. That's not really considered OCD is it?
I don't know, is it? Maybe not. In my case it is and no it doesn't seem bad at all until you have it explained to you... it's just a quirky habit! I only recently realized that it was something other people do when I was searching for some kind of hypnotism to make me stop (like smoking) and I've been doing it for 16-19 years. It might not be a disease, and nobody will be setting up any foundations for it, but if you wanted to stop "a silly thing like that" you would have by now so you should find a way to get someone to help you do that.

3. What is the best ice cream topping?
Oh Nerds for sure! Alright not really, it's melted Nutella on vanilla frozen yogurt. Just thought I'd throw one of these questions in here.

2. Should I buy or lease my car?
Buy, a used car, preferably 2-3 years old. You can get some sweet deals from people who bought brand new, all upgraded features in their cars and then realized they can't afford the payments after all. Buying new is telling people you like burning 2-4 grand just by driving it off the lot... and if you like that, great!

1. I think I need a reality check. Do you have one?
Yeah. Writing a list about turning 26 when people like Randy Pausch exist. I read his blog updates all the time, even though there is a 100% chance he is going to die I cannot help but hope. He reminds me sooo much of someone I have known, and makes me miss him a lot. What an awesome guy.

I guess I could have added more things to the list like "catch fireflies" and "listen to your grandma" but really the best things you learn on your own or from asking yourself any one of these type of questions. If one of those helped you I think I saved you maybe 30 seconds to 1 min. Ah my work on earth is done! Oh right and try and laugh more often, it's great!


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