Archive for the 'Breaking New Ground' Category

Something New: Zemmiphobia Is Real

Monday, January 14th
I’m realizing that a way to cop out of actually “doing” something new is to “learn” or “observe” something new. I’m full of shit, aren’t I? But that’s not a new thing, so we must press on. Anyway, today was a snow day (also not a new thing, yay for working in a school in New England) and I spent some time in the morning talking to a woman at my car insurance place. They’re still going back and forth with my dealership to agree on a price for fixing my car, and right now there’s about a $1,000 disagreement between them, which I could ultimately have to pay if my insurance doesn’t step up. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but, bleh, it’s still $1,000, which can buy many peanuts. Anyway, I was thinking about that, and then my toaster overheated and broke and my phone was all staticy again (damn you Verizon!) and I was starting to get a little crabby about the state of the appliances in my life. Then I went outside to clean the snow off my loaner car and was reminded to count my blessings when I saw that a tree (a smallish tree, but still a tree) had cracked at the base because of the storm and fallen into the parking space next to my loaner car, missing it by a couple inches. That tree could’ve easily gone either way, and can you imagine if, in the midst of all this pre-existing shit with my car, I had to call the dealership and my insurance provider and let them know that now I’d NOW MANAGED TO DESTROY THE LOANER CAR TOO? As it turns out, sometimes it just takes a little tree to shift your perspective.

Tuesday, January 15th
I said, “So wait, who was Brad Renfro?”

Wednesday, January 16th
I went out with a guy whose last name is also a month. Joe January? Ollie October? Discuss.

Thursday, January 17th
I hardly ever remember my dreams, so you have to indulge me for a minute because I woke up laughing my ass off with this one: I went to a party at my parents’ house, which of course was not my parents’ house (in dreams, why is the place we are never really the place we are, but we never question it?) and there were a bunch of people there that I didn’t know so I was introducing myself. There was a guy playing a keyboard and my mom told me that he was in a country band now but that he used to be in an 80s band.

“What, seriously? What band?”
She shrugged. “Kaja-something?”
“WHAT? Kajagoogoo?”
“I don’t know, maybe.”

Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever said the word “Kajagoogoo” out loud before, but I digress. Anyway, he stopped playing and we talked for a minute, and then he started playing another song. Not Too Shy or the Neverending Story song. Folks, I dreamed about a guy from Kajagoogoo playing She’s Gone by Hall and Oates at a party at my parents’ house. I humbly submit what’s left of my youth and accept the fact that I should clearly already be in at least my 40s. Fine, 50s.

Friday, January 18th
My dad and I signed up to do this! In Chicago! In August! I’m unspeakably excited. Also, um, “pre-game reception with a current Red Sox player”? I’d be happy to meet any of them, even bowling champ Tavarez, but do you think…? Is it possible? Can a girl dream of meeting the captain… of HER HEART? You know something crazy like that would fall out of my mouth.

Saturday, January 19th
Saturday seems to be the day that I make my “something new” assignment my friends’ problem. It didn’t help that I was out with a guy I dated for a couple years, and what can you do that’s new with someone like that? Anyway, he was telling us how he heard about someone who had a fear of something called the Great Mole Rat, which sounds a little chupacabra-ish to me, but you gotta love the dramatic, respectful title. So I found and called a support group that offers to help those who suffer from paralyzing fear of the Great Mole Rat (zemmiphobia!). I was ready to share my woes with the on-call counselor but I got their voicemail, darn it all. Never mind the fact that when I google imaged the Great Role Mat, I realized I probably actually am zemmiphobic. I bet you are too. Let’s work through this together.

Sunday, January 20th
I decided to throw a Valentine’s party! I bought cute invitations and conversation heart stickers and then said “Eh, fuck this” and announced the fiesta via a save-the-date text blast instead. I love parties, but who has stamps anymore?

Something New: Kicking Things Off With A Biggity Bang

The quest to try something new every day and then report in begins…

Monday, January 7th
At 7:15 in the morning, I was standing in the waiting area of my car dealership pondering my cuticles while the service guy got me a loaner so that I could get to work while mine was being fixed (one busted drive shaft and thousands of dollars later… thank God for insurance, huh?). I suddenly heard the faint strains of a familiar song over the loudspeaker, and amid the brewing coffee, flatscreen CNN and bleary-eyed fellow Honda owners, I physically restrained myself from busting a move to Push It by Salt-N-Pepa. I wondered if anyone else was also struggling to contain the funk, but it was too early to survey the crowd. P-push it real good!

Tuesday, January 8th
I met a friend for sushi at a place that makes the spicy scallop maki that I dream about. Seriously, the wasabi is served on a bed of crack cocaine. Anyway, I always order the same thing (since, as we discussed, it haunts my dreams) but today I ordered and ate a piece of eel just to be able to add it to the list. It was new for me because I usually like my scary fish tucked away into a roll with avocado, but today it was straight up unagi. Insert “tastes like chicken” joke here. It may not have been a cow sphincter, but now I’m feeling about as adventurous as Anthony Bourdain.

Wednesday, January 9th
This isn’t something that I did personally, but I can say with certainty that I had never before received a voice mail from a friend serenading me with I Will Survive. He didn’t exactly sing it with feeling, because he’s a straight man, and he didn’t belt it, because he was at work, and he stumbled over a few lyrics, because he had clearly just googled them, but it was still awesome. I listened to it at work, laughing hysterically, confusing Supergirl, and loving the warped moral support that only guy friends can provide.

Thursday, January 10th
I started a writing group with a friend. I want to finally write a novel and she wants to write pretty much everything else. I came up with my general plot, characters and started outlining chapters, so that’s something, and I feel like if I can spend the time writing that I would otherwise spend watching the Top 40 Famous People Who Had Babies And Named Something Totally Bizarre on VH1, then that’s success right there. We haven’t exactly set goals in stone yet, except for the fact that the first rule of writing club is you don’t talk about writing club. No, wait, the actual rules are that you have to wear something purple every day, you do whatever Lila Fowler says, and you’re only allowed to talk to people whose eyes are the blue-green of the Carribean with hair made of spun sugar. I’m realizing that I may not be taking this as seriously as I should be.

Friday, January 11th
I listened to the first hit single by my friend’s son’s new band, the Galaxy Monkeys. He’s the lead singer, plays air guitar, and periodically takes a break to beg for a Sprite. He’s also eight. (When I take care of him and his sister, which is the term for babysitting when you’re 30, I tuck him in and then read him Captain Underpants. His choice, obviously, but come on, that’s fun for one and all. The trick is to read one chapter out loud and then whisper-read the second chapter, at which point the melodic tranquility of my voice puts him right to sleep. Not unlike what it does to my friends and coworkers on a daily basis.)

Saturday, January 12th
Around 11 PM I turned to my friend and said, “Shit. I need something new for today.” First she suggested that I run outside naked, and then said, “Wait, you watched a football game!” Yes! The Pats/Jags game was on the entire time and I didn’t wander away to do laundry or make a phone call. I didn’t watch it INTENTLY, but it was on and I was there and that has to count for something. (Then I called an old football-obsessed boyfriend to clarify that that really was the first time that I had watched a game in its entirety, and he agreed. He also did his now-famous impersonation of what it used to be like for him to watch a football game with me, wherein his voice is totally normal and mine is high-pitched and obnoxious: “Who’s that guy?” “What guy?” “THAT guy.” “In the STANDS?” “Yeah. Do I know him? Is he on Grey’s Anatomy?”)

Sunday, January 13th
I, uh… wrote my first blog entry about doing something new every day. Yeah!