Cyber Monday

What's the opposite of a shopaholic?

It took me five hours to decide to buy a pair of glittery heels and a grey peacoat tonight.  Wild times at the drudgery bin.

Image via Gatewood Hall.


7 Foxy Dudes Whose Names are Not Ryan.

Dear Ryan Gosling, 

Alright, we all get it.  You're handsome.  But you've had your day.  To save your ego from inflating out of control, I think it's time to objectify some other sweet man flesh.

Like Bret McKenzie.

Or Donald Glover.

Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg 2GETHA 4 EVA.

And then there's John Krasinski.  Hiding hickeys, no doubt.

Even Dick Van Dyke got some moves.

And, of course, Redfoo, who knows how sexy he is.

I'm sure you're beginning to see a pattern about the type of guy I like, Ryan.  And you...well, you're good-looking and all, but I guess you just don't have enough verve and pizzazz to keep my attention for long.  To be honest, you're kind of one-dimensional, hiding your flat persona behind that charming smile and those intense eyes.


Okay, fine.  One picture.  But that's it.  And no pictures of you with a dog--that's cheating.

Also: beards make you look a little chubby.  No offense meant.

Now.  Go get on that multi-talented, funny-guy train.  Some people work for their adoration, slacker.

Fond regards,
Tracy Thunderbolt.

Images via Amoeba, Paper Blog, Homorazzi, Screencave, Grigware, Vegas, and Perez Hilton.


Gray Friday

The manager slowly realized that opening the doors
at 3 pm Thanksgiving day had been a terrible mistake.

I've never gone shopping on Black Friday--and I don't think I ever will--but not because I'm afraid of the crowds or because I don't like shopping (although both of those are true, in general).  I like to think that people are really just perpetuating a grand myth about the day, and that in reality there are just a few people milling around the stores, chatting and lazily running their fingers over cashmere scarves and diamond necklaces on their velvet display cases.  I don't know where everyone else is, but I assume they are at the beach or something, sneakily updating their Facebook statuses so that everyone else who is secretly not shopping either will think that they are out snagging awesome deals amid the kerfuffle of crazed consumers.  I'd like to be on the beach at midnight tonight, all bundled up and huddled in a tent until morning arrives and the fun begins.

Image via calisphere.



Turkey Time

Today we're making hand turkeys in class.

I have high hopes for hilarity.

Image via here.


Rainy Days

I love the rain.


Wait.  Ahem.


There, that's right.

Maybe it's because I've spent my entire life in Southern California, where rain steals into town in the night like an outlaw or a luxury dog spa; but instead of creating a cozy, romantic, book-cocoa-fireplace atmosphere, the sky wrings itself out while everyone is asleep.  We wake up to splotchy sidewalks and soggy newspapers.  Not a cloud in sight.

Sometimes I turn on rainy sounds to fool myself into thinking that maybe, just once, I will have an entire day of sweet, puddle-stomping, cuddle-inspiring, Gene-Kelly-impersonating rainstorms.  But that never happens.*  It has been one of the great sorrows of my life.

This will never be me.

However, I've learned that the weather, like everything else in this jaded world, has a price.  One night I left my phone charging on the window sill, then put on my headphones and read for a little while in bed.  Half an hour later, my mom came into the room with the house phone and asked why I was calling.

"I'm not..." I replied, but when I looked over to where my phone was sitting, I found that rain was streaming in through the open window and pooling on the window sill so that my phone was drowning.  I can only assume that after I coldly ignored its plight, the phone took matters into its own hands by calling the house for help.

The internal speaker never worked after that, but I think that was less because of mechanical problems and more out of resentment on the part of my phone.

Last weekend, I tested my theory.  Rain that was predicted for the morning still hadn't made an appearance by 2 in the afternoon.  So, I gathered up my coffee, a bag of trail mix, and my laptop and went out on the porch to enjoy a lovely afternoon snack under a close, gray sky.  Just as I took a sip of coffee, the first, small raindrops began dotting my keyboard.  Right on time.

The weather forecast claims it's going to rain tomorrow.  One hundred percent chance as of 11:10 tonight, and it's scheduled to start at 0900 hours.  But I know how these things go.  I've been hurt before by false promises - mistakes, they say.  Nobody's perfect, they tell us.  We're only weathermen; we can't be right all the time.  And besides, this is California...if you don't like the sunshine, move to Seattle.

Well, I'm not taking any chances this time.  My heart can't handle being hurt again.  If the rain wants a sacrifice, then a sacrifice it will get.  Tonight I'm going to leave my external hard drive outside on the porch ledge, taunting the clouds to let forth a torrential downpour and destroy the tasty morsel of digital memory.  This hard drive contains all of my pictures, music, and documents - including my senior thesis - and I haven't had a chance to transfer everything back onto my computer after I upgraded to Windows 7.  The rain wouldn't be able to resist such a sleek, valuable bit of technology.  No doubt such a gift would afford us a whole day of rain, plus scattered showers continuing into Monday morning.

I just really hope that the rain doesn't actually start until 9, because I'll be awake and able to rescue the hard drive by the time more than a few drops land on it.  I like rain, but downloading 12,000 songs again would really blow.

*One time I even saw a lightning storm with no rain.  True story.

Image via Tumblr.


Staph Meeting

That's the way I always spell it in my head whenever I say the phrase out loud.  But as much as I want to make snarky comments about the staff meeting I went to tonight, the truth is that the school's meetings will probably be the nicest ones I will ever be forced to attend.  So to celebrate that, I am going to make a list of reasons why tonight's staff meeting was great and definitely better than yours.


- The meeting started at 6:30, so we were all given free Chipotle and gourmet cupcakes for dinner.
- One of the teachers decorated the table as if we were going to a fancy dinner party: silver doily place mats, a shiny snowflake linen tablecloth, silver centerpieces, and blue starry decorative wire stuff wound through the middle of everything.  We also had color-coordinated water bottles and iced tea.  So posh.
- It had a theme.  WINTER MAGIC.  Because we teachers are the magic, and every child has magic in them (I suggested harvesting the children for their magic and selling it for a huge profit on the black market, but my idea was shot down).
- We spent a good half-hour just sitting and gossiping about the kids.  Who's on medication, who needs medication, and all the times we wish we could just smack 'em.
- Other topics discussed included lingerie and fuzzy handcuffs, my boyfriend, breasts, and drugs.  Not all in the same conversation.  Perks of working with all women.
- We were given goody bags.  GOODY BAGS FOR GOING TO A MANDATORY STAFF MEETING.  Despite what I usually say, teaching rocks.  I get fees waived and free checks at the bank because I teach.  Of course, it helped that the man who opened my account is married to a kindergarten teacher, too.
- Did I mention we had free Chipotle?  Looking forward to that carried me through the entire week.

The only thing missing was booze.

Get ready for the Christmas party.

Image via Employment Edification.


War on Whimsy: The Case for Drudgery

Some of you may be asking yourselves, Just why does Tracy hate whimsy so much?  Can't she just let everyone else be while she sits marinating in a putrid puddle of drudgery?  Well, I would like to answer those questions with a question of my own.  

Should I buy these winter boots, or would my feet look too much like a late-70s basketball player's head?

Only Crocs.

As this atrocity of modern footwear suggests, drudgery is the real essence of life.  Whereas whimsy demands a great deal of faith, imagination, and effort just to craft the fragile illusion that life is wonderful and dreamy, sitting back and recognizing the true ugly, tedious nature of the world allows us to transcend the dull work of daily living and laugh at the absurdity and seriousness of everything around us.  Or, we could just stare in barely concealed disbelief at things like bookstore clerk want ads in which "a strong familiarity with the alphabet is essential."


I was going to include more pictures and examples, but...I really do need some winter boots (like theeese, perhaps?), and I think I've made a pretty good case for drudgery.  War over.

Welp...see ya tomorrow.

Images via Rakuten, Tumblr.


The Face of Evil: A War on Whimsy

There is a word which we never speak around these parts.  That word is...whimsy.  I know--I'm sorry I had to say it.  Some of you may even be cringing away from your computer screen right now, your chest caved and your fingers clutching at your scalp, eyes tightly shut as if to erase the word you've just seen, the thoughts it has brought up in your mind.  But friends, do not be afraid.  If we are to fight the spread of whimsy, we must be desensitized to its intoxicatingly precious power.  (Some of the following images may be highly disturbing; NSFW.)

***trigger warning***

Look--look at this tiny house.

And this cakelele!

Look at the way these flower match this vintage fixie!
See how they color-coordinate!  LOOK AT THEM



These are but a few of the many faces of whimsy--the antithesis and destroyer of drudgery.  The blogosphere at large would have you believe that you should surround your body and infuse your life with this dangerous and unstable substance, but I am here to expose this as a base lie.  Don't let whimsy convince you to spend your hard-earned downtime crafting useless household decorations, needlessly complicated desserts, and handmade, heartfelt gifts.

I cannot say this forcefully enough: If you let it in your life, whimsy will destroy you.

A house is just a place to keep warm; food is just a means to survive; gifts are just bribes for surface friendship.  How do I know?  Because I, like you, have seen the comforting, grounding face of pragmatism.  I have heard the soothing, monotone voice of sarcastic, under-the-breath comments. I have felt the warm embrace of realistic, practical drudgery.

And it feels good.

Now that we have all become desensitized against the enemy, tomorrow's post will feature some tools that will allow us to show the blogosphere that glitter, a sewing machine, and a bucket of Mod Podge do not, in fact, make everything better.  Jellybeans and cheese is sometimes an acceptable meal for an adult; creating the perfect, fanciful holiday centerpiece will not gain your mother's approval; and life will go on even if your bare walls are painted plain, old white.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Get ready, interwebs, for an onslaught of drudgery so intense it might just make you want to rip up all those decorative pillows you sewed last spring out of scraps of vintage sundresses left over from your chic, modernizing alterations.  Oh--I'm sorry!  Didn't mean to let all the air out of your hand-sewn, multicolored felt hot air balloon wall hanging.*


Images via Tiny House Lover, Etsy, EtsyEtsy again, Tumblr


Things I Dislike

Grocery shopping on Saturdays.

I'm gon' steal yo' giant paper towels--then I'mma cut you in the deli section!

Shopping is not one of my favorite things to do in general, but grocery shopping is the absolute worst.  In my dream of dreams, there is a golden hour when there are just enough shoppers to keep the employees from standing around eyeing you with palpable apathy and boredom, making you feel like you alone are the reason they cannot leave and pursue fruitful, exciting lives...but not so many that you find yourself in a five-cart pileup by the canned goods.

Maybe on a Wednesday morning or something.

The last time I went grocery shopping on a Saturday was right before Halloween.  At a Target.  On the same day as a community event at which children were running all over the shopping complex trick-or-treating from store to store.

Which...sure.  I can get behind that.  Dozens of little kids hyped up on sugar, scampering about in busy parking lots.  Like rabbits.

The latest Community Population Control Program, coming to your neighborhood Halloween, 2012.

Anyway.  The store was packed, I was in a bad mood, and I didn't even bother to lower my voice as I complained to a friend on the phone about how crowded it was and how impatient I was for people to MOVE OUT OF THE WAY so I could grab my freaking wheat bread and hot sauce.  Three times there were more than four carts in an aisle, twice I was stuck behind the same ambling couple who somehow didn't leave enough room in the larger main aisle for me to pass them, and I swear I waited six whole minutes for a lady to decide which jelly she wanted.  I almost hunted down a bright orange vest from the sporting aisle and started directing cart traffic.

I am not an ambler.  My ideal trip to the store is as quick and efficient as possible.

Next time, I ride.

 Images via Oops, I Said It, Flickr.


Ho, hum.

So...was there something going on today? 

Someone, somewhere, will look up in the sky at 11:11 tonight and see a shooting star, and the magic will be so intense that they will suffer a massive coronary--and die blissfully happy. 

Image via Derrick Writes.


In which Tracy makes a sad confession.

Turns out I am pretty much terrible at this whole write-a-novel-in-a-month thing.

One week in and I'm already pooped.
Only three weeks left to whine and procrastinate!

Look, I will try to blame it on the fact that I've had the cold from hell and I've been exhausted every second of every day, but don't believe me.  Last night I cleaned up my whole area and did laundry.  Tonight I didn't blow my nose once, and I made lemon pull-apart cake, although I did have to stop halfway through because I forgot to make sure we had lemons and the stores were all closed.  Yet despite all this productivity, I still only have 1,773 words written.  That is approximately 177.3 words a day.  And by approximately I mean exactly.  Because I do often leave words one-third wr

Still, I'm confident in my tried-and-true method of leaving everything until the last minute, then working nonstop for hours on end until my fingers, jittering on the keyboard in a caffeinated frenzy, manage to tip-tap-type that sucker into submission.  This is clearly the solution.  Just ask college kids: 3 out of every three students polled can't be wrong--procrastination works!

Images via this Irish Medical Sales site.


In the Shadows

I haven't read it yet.  But when I get some free time, I will.  And I'm sure I will love it.  But despite all the rave reviews, what's still bothering me, for no real apparent reason, is the one description I heard somewhere 'round the interwebs of Kaling as "Tina Fey's cool younger sister."  Maybe it's because I am a younger sister...and an older sister...or maybe it's because I imagine it must be a little frustrating to be stuck in the shadow of a "big sister" figure like that.  Of course, it's not a bad compliment--who wouldn't be stoked and honored to be compared to Tina Fey?  But at the same time...wouldn't you want to be associated just with...yourself?

And in other news...ellipses!  They're back!  Also, exclamation points!!

Image via hearty magazine.


You guys!

It's only 11:37 and I'm turning off the lights and going to sleep!  I think I may be growing up.

Also, I am sick, so I guess that might be part of it, too.



Day of the Dead

"Dem Bones" never sounded so svelte.

Next year, I want to have a Day of the Dead party to celebrate the season of somberness.  Everyone can dress up like a famous dead person (no being cheeky and coming as the Grim Reaper), we set out a funeral spread on black linens and play games like Dead Man's Bluff, and people sing karaoke featuring songs only by dead artists.  Bonus points if the dead person's song is also about dying.

On another note, I probably won't be posting here as frequently this month, because I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo.  Sort of.  I figured, Why not?  I'm a masochistic insomniac - this sounds perfect for me!  Really, it's just the fact that my ego feels threatened by the idea that anybody can write a novel these days.  QUANTITY OVER QUALITY IS HOW THE TWILIGHT SERIES SWELLED TO A GLUTTONOUS FOUR BOOKS - DOESN'T ANYBODY SEE THAT?! I shout down from my high horse.  They should include a clause stating that just because everyone can write a novel, it doesn't mean that everyone should.

Whew.  All that snobbishness has been building up for weeks,
and it is
such a relief to let it all out.

In any case, since I feel so strongly about the issue, it must simply be a coincidence that I am writing a fifty thousand-word novel during the month of November, as I staunchly refuse to actually sign up for the thing.  I have standards, you see.  But in a desperate effort to save my sinuses as they are attacked on all fronts by children's germs, dry air, and little sleep, I am going to be cutting back posting on here.  I know, I know; try not to weep too loudly into your pillow at night.

However, to make up for my neglect, I'll come back and post my entire novel attempt right here on the drudgery bin, so we can all laugh and make fun of it together.  It will be like a weekly serial of hilarious badness!  Huzzah!!

Images via Power On Sound Off and this site..