7 Ideas for Lists That I Started and Subsequently Abandoned, and The Reasonings Behind Those Abandonments, In Which I Swear Like a Sailor

by anna on October 20, 2008

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So, in thinking of what kind of list I wanted to make for this week, I had a couple of false starts. So I thought I’d list those for you, because why make this harder than it needs to be?
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  1. The 34 Worst Gifts I’ve Received in My Life. So I was thinking, hey, I’ve got a bunch of ideas for this one–like the time somebody gave me that book, 14,000 Things to be Happy About. I thought this item in particular would make a great list item because it would allow me to create a list that functions at more than one level–making my list a meta View definition in a new window-list, if you will–because the book itself is just a list. A list of a list, like a play-within-a-play! But, you know, more lowbrow.
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    But the book is a list of things that make somebody else happy, which is the heart and soul of why it’s such a craptastic gift to receive. What the hell do I care about what makes that dude who wrote this book happy? Also, fuck you. Oh yeah, and fuck you, too, to the second person who gave it to me like a week after the first copy. Yeah, that’s right, I received the damn book twice. Go ahead, laugh. Everybody’s a fucking comedian.
    .
    Because guess what? Fucking book doesn’t work. You know what’s on my list of things to be happy about? Cymbalta. That’s it. And yeah, there are lots of things in life that make me happy, but guess what? If you have to make a list to remind you of it, maybe it’s not so joy-inducing, you know? Just a thought. So, as you can see, I have a lot to say on this topic. But then I thought, crap, what if somebody who gave me these gifts reads the blog? Then I will feel like such an asshole.
  2. The 32 Worst Gifts I’ve Received in My Life From People I Don’t Like. So, having abandoned the first list in the fear of offending people I still like by describing gifts they’ve given me in my Worst Gifts list, I thought I could isolate the list to people I don’t like. But then I thought, what if all those bad-gift-givers that I don’t like, what if they don’t know I don’t like them? Won’t that make things uncomfortable? Then I would feel like such an asshole.
  3. The 16 Worst Gifts I’ve Received in My Life From My Grandfather. So then I decided it would have to be bad gifts from people I don’t like who know I don’t like them AND who I am sure don’t read this blog anyway. That would be the only way. So after placing all of these filters on the list, I am left with non-monetary gifts given to me by my grandfather. And though there are a lot of gifts I could place on this list, I don’t have any pictures of them, and the reason these gifts are bad is hard to articulate without pictures.
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    By way of example, say I told you he gave me a jewelry box. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? I mean, I’m not big on jewelry or anything, but whatever, it’s not a bad gift. Some jewelry boxes are quite pretty.
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    But what if I told you the jewelry box was one of those ones that you open up and there’s a plastic ballerina twirling around inside in front of an oval mirror with rough edges, that was probably cut by some poor Third World child with only two fingers left. You know, like the one they find in that girl’s room in West Virginia in Silence of the Lambs? And Jody Foster breaks open the lining, and finds polaroids of Buffalo Bill’s first victim in her underwear? And then she sees the diamond pattern on a dress hanging in the closet, and realizes it matches the skin he’s been taking off his victims? And she calls Scott Glenn and she’s like, “HE’S MAKING A WOMAN’S SUIT”? And you’re like, “A suit, Clarice? Don’t you mean dress?”
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    Yeah, like that jewelry box. And I was like 28, so it’s not like I could be reasonably expected to be going through my “princess” phase. But yeah, I don’t have pictures, so the horror of the gifts would be dependent upon my descriptive skills. And eh.
  4. My grocery list. You might think I abandoned this because it would be boring. Au contraire. I decided to abandon it because it would be excruciatingly boring and it might be tipping my cards too much–do you need to know exactly how many chicken nuggets I feed Mini, for example? What if I revealed enough of my lackluster parenting skills to spawn a roast site of me. Hint. Hint.
  5. 10 Costume Ideas. I thought maybe since Halloween is coming up, I should make a list of costumes I’ve worn in years past, just in case some of my readers are still not sure what they’ll be dressing up as, or if they’re trying to round up costumes for the little ones. It would be very Mighty Goodsish, er, maybe Mighty Junior, of me. Or something. Maybe rack up some parenting click-throughs on AdSense. So I started thinking of my costumes, and the list started out innocently enough. A cactus (green sweatpants and hoodie, clothes pins, idea stolen from my friend C). A devil in a blue dress (pretty self explanatory). The Gimp from Pulp Fiction. A hot dog, which I thought about dressing Mini as this year.
    .
    Wait, did I just say The Gimp?
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    See a lot of my costume ideas come from college frat parties. Like the party with the theme, “John Travolta Through the Ages,” that we had with Sigma Chi. There were three rooms: one devoted to Grease, one devoted to Saturday Night Fever, and one devoted to–yes–Pulp Fiction. So all the girly girls in my sorority dressed up as a pink lady from Grease (the greek system-friendly version of badass) or Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction (which allowed them to wear, basically, black pants and a white shirt). Except me (the Gimp) and my aforementioned friend, C (a wallet–yes, a wallet, C loves to dress up as inanimate objects–that said “BAD MOTHER FUCKER” on it). We were kind of black sheep that night I guess.
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    But it was a simpler time then.
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    So, yeah, I don’t know how appropriate these would be for, uh, families. Moving on.
  6. 24,000 Annoying Things About Bloggers and Blogging, Including But Not Exclusive to Myself. This list sounds intriguing enough, and I felt it was a topic I could really sink my teeth into. And with 24,000 items, I could almost cover just the number of bloggers on one topic alone! But then I thought, isn’t that like pissing where you eat, or something? I don’t even know what that means, I just heard James Caan say it once.
  7. 5 Tips for New Bloggers. This is kind of a more positive spin on the last list item, because I sometimes get email from people asking about who designed my site, and where they should go to get started, what’s a good hosting company, and the like. And I do have some good tips, like to register your blog with technorati if you haven’t already. I know a lot of you haven’t, since I can’t favorite you. And I’ve tried. But then, I also want you to favorite me, so it’s not like I’m giving you this tip out of the goodness of my heart. Same goes for twitter. And as for questions about my wordpress theme, which makes me look like I know what I’m doing when I really don’t–the parts of this site that are custom programmed by me are held together by the virtual equivalents of duct tape and spit–well, I would be lying to you if I didn’t want you to go buy it, since I get a cut if you do.

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Care to jump on the bandwagon? Here’s what to do:

  1. Write a “list” post on your blog.
  2. Copy this code, and paste in the text of your post:
  3. Either comment or email me at anna at abdpbt View definition in a new window dot com to let me know you’re participating, and I’ll link you up below.
  1. Keely
  2. Christine at the Bookbench
  3. Becky at Suburban Matron
  4. Jenni at Oscarelli
  5. Eliz at TinksMom
  6. Katrina at KitKatsKnits
  7. crazylovescompany
  8. blissfullycaffeinated
  9. libbylogic
  10. Ginger at Ramble Ramble
  11. Michele at Dogslife
  12. Pauvre Plume
  13. Giyen at Bacon Is My Enemy
  14. Shonda

{ 25 comments }

Jim October 20, 2008 at 5:39 am

Crap, I’d better watch my step if I don’t want to make the top 24,000 on the blogger list. Bah, screw it. It’s probably too late anyway. Here’s one…people who missspeel words on your blog.

Jim´s last blog post..Sunday Randomness

Christine October 20, 2008 at 5:49 am

I was inspired by you, and posted a list today on my blog at http://www.thebookbench.blogspot.com/ I copied the code, but am having trouble linking it up. My favorite frat party costume: The Fallopian Swim Team- a bunch of guys dressed all in white with long white stocking caps on their heads.

Christine´s last blog post..This Hockey Mom’s List of Hockey Books

csquaredplus3 October 20, 2008 at 6:16 am

I piss where I eat all the time – big mistake.

I like the devil in a blue dress idea for halloween. And yes, you said “The Gimp”. But I knew how you meant it.

Keely October 20, 2008 at 6:50 am

My child hates me and got me up REALLY early, so here’s my list, typed to the soundtrack of “duct-taped toddler”.

Onlyl 7?

Keely´s last blog post..I’m not even going to tell you what I do for a living

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) October 20, 2008 at 7:49 am

I have no list, except for one that is titled “Posts I’ve read so far today that are all kinds of awesome, the kind which should cause me to just stop reading all others now” upon which I would put this post. So hilarious!

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)´s last blog post..say my age, bitch!

becky October 20, 2008 at 10:22 am

Thank you for: 1) the horrifying description of the jewelry box. 2) the cactus costume idea, which I’m going to use if my husband’s and my plan of going as Seafaring Criminals–him a Viking, me a pirate–doesn’t come together. 3) This list carnival–I’m am all listed up so check it out! 4) the tip about Technorati–I just signed up and you were my first fave!

becky´s last blog post..Four Conversations with My Neighbors

jenni October 20, 2008 at 11:07 am

My husband used to give me the worst. gifts. ever. I think I may have done a post on it, but he’s give me so many bads ones, I think I may do another.

jenni´s last blog post..Listless Mondays: Oh So Random

Katrina October 20, 2008 at 11:20 am

I’ve had some really awful gifts before. I usually try to save them for white elephant gifts the next year. The problem usually comes when you forget who gave you the gift in the first place.

Katrina’s Latest List: 15 Names

Katrina´s last blog post..15 Names List

eliz October 20, 2008 at 11:28 am

I listed. Then I copied and pasted, but your button isn’t showing up on my site. What am I doing wrong?

It puts the lotion on its skin … it puts the lotion in the basket ….

eliz October 20, 2008 at 11:44 am
blissfully caffeinated October 20, 2008 at 11:46 am

That’s a list to end all lists. Love it! Especially #3. Anyone who can connect a gift from their grandfather to Silence of the Lambs is A OK in my book.

Now I’m trying to think of my own list so that I can get that cute little button.

blissfully caffeinated´s last blog post..Alert! Alert! Fall Has Been Spotted In My Neighborhood.

blissfully caffeinated October 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Here’s my list, yo.

http://tinyurl.com/6nsfol

It’s not nearly as kick ass as yours, though.

I definitely needed a push to post something today. Thanks for the idea!

blissfully caffeinated´s last blog post..Alert! Alert! Fall Has Been Spotted In My Neighborhood.

crazylovescompany October 20, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for some inspiration this morning! I would put the graphic on the sidebar instead but I’m having technical difficulties.

crazylovescompany´s last blog post..Loving Listlessness Mondays

Libby October 20, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I do love lists. Mine is a bit political this week, but I think you’ll enjoy it…

MC October 20, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Makes me sad for your grandfather. Maybe he genuinely thought you would like it.

Ginger October 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Oh was there any doubt I’d be back with my list? You make it easier for me on Sundays when I’m all, what should I post this week, and then I’m all, dunno, but Monday’s taken care of thanks to Anna. And then I stop talking to myself cuz it weirds my husband out.

I might cry if you ever end your fight against listlessness.

Top 5 Ways I Fake It

Ginger´s last blog post..i love boobies

PauvrePlume October 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Dude, someone totally bought me that 14,000 Things To Be Happy About book!!!! And the absolute worst part was that it was some dude I used to work with, and with whom I spoke on approximately TWO occasions. Either I’m pathetically readable, or this guy had the nerve to assume he was doing me a favor by implying that I was an unhappy shrew who deserved self-help enlightenment. Either way, he clearly had a death wish. Or, at the very least, a “I will never speak to you again” wish.

In other news: Cymbalta really makes you happy? It hasn’t been so generous to me. :(

I’m gonna make a list soon…
Glad you enjoyed the PhD Comic I posted :)

PauvrePlume´s last blog post..Grad student life isn’t so bad sometimes (like now)

anna October 20, 2008 at 4:32 pm

@MC I can see why you would think that, and perhaps my post seems heartless. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it that very little thought was likely involved in it.

@Pauvre Plume I recently switched to Cymbalta, and yeah, it does work for me. I was on Wellbutrin for many years, but it finally petered out. It’s probably a misstatement to say it “makes me happy,” but it does make me feel normal, able to function normally, not get overwhelmed and super tired, not be able to get out of bed, etc. Have you tried other kinds?

@Ginger, it really helps to have certain days devoted to certain things, huh? I have lists on Monday and Tanya/alternative friends stories on Fridays (if you’ve noticed a theme). It makes planning my posts much easier.

Michele October 20, 2008 at 6:37 pm

I too participated in Listlessness Mondays. Thanks for the great idea. I had planned to squander this Monday with something vaguely intellectual and that would have been so wrong.

I found your response to Ginger interesting. You plan your posts? What a concept!

Michele´s last blog post..New Cookbooks. Yippy!!!

PauvrePlume October 20, 2008 at 7:33 pm

OK, I finally got my list done…better late than never, or whatever. Anyway, here it is: http://layoder.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/things-that-make-me-go-hmm-today/

:)

PauvrePlume´s last blog post..Things that make me go “Hmm” (today)

Mary Anne October 21, 2008 at 6:36 am

Typical. I showed up a day late for the party. Friggin job…having to work instead of blog, the nerve! I could have used this too. I was struggling so hard I had to post an old joke!
Ok so if I had showed up on time, and if I were to do a list, mine would be the 14,000 Questions I’ve Asked Anna About Word Press and All Things Blog bc I’m the one with all the questions she’s talking about up there. :)

Mary Anne´s last blog post..Best Southern Belle Joke Ever

PauvrePlume October 21, 2008 at 9:27 am

Thanks for linking me up, Anna.
Oh, and I wanted to share one of my no-fail, totally simple Halloween costume ideas: go buy a lame (or non-lame, whatever you prefer) slip, and then write “Freudian” on it in big black marker. Or blue marker. Or red marker. Again, whatever you prefer.
:)
And yeah, the only other anti-dep. I’ve tried is Celexa, and it basically just plateaued on me. Which is why I switched over. I’m convinced that I’m immune to medication. I’m actually getting weaned off it (which I’m VERY excited about). We’ll see. Is it bizarre that I’m sharing such personal info in a “Comment”??? Perhaps.

PauvrePlume´s last blog post..Things that make me go “Hmm” (today)

anna October 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

@PauvrePlume, hey I’m writing about it in my blog, so who cares. I wonder why they would put you on Cymbalta after Celexa. Why not Lexapro, or some other SSRI? Cymbalta is the equivalent of the Wellbutrin/Lexapro cocktail I used to be on, and if you had success with SSRI, I’m not sure why they would switch.

Signed,
my MD is in Bullshit

Tabitha October 27, 2008 at 10:39 am

I cant believe you pimped the crazies! (the roast the bloggers site) really who is so lame that instead of writing about their own life they have to create an entire blog tearing apart someone elses? BTW. Love your blogs.

Souther' Mother November 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm

I love the Gimp, but the Bad Mother Fucker wallet costume is fucking awesome.

What sorority were you in?

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