Top 5 Worst Calendars of 2013

When shopping for a calendar turned into an extended exercise in yikes, I decided to share. If you really think about wall calendars, they’re all a little strange–flowers, pets, farm animals, sports teams, scenic views, children dressed like adults–but these are each in one way or another, a new level of terrible. I give you, the worst calendars of 2013.

The rules: No Cafe Press weirdness (examples: this or this). Too easy. You could fill up a top fifty list in 5 minutes on there. Calendars must be offered on websites which feature mostly mainstream products normal people could conceivably want.

The Worst of the Worst

5. Butter my ButtFull title: Butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Classin’ up the joint, I see. Well, I’ll be.

4. Underwater Dogs. What. the. fuck. This gives me the shivers, but people love this calendar: 58 positive customer reviews.

3. The Peeps Show. Something the quirky-hot-girl in a romantic comedy would come up with. Listen, honey, you’re not that charming. Just stop.

2. Thomas Kinkade: The Disney Dreams CollectionAppalling. There is so much sentimental bullshit crammed into this, its hard to know what to say.

1. Celebrity Feast. I take that back. Now it’s hard to know what to say.

Runners up:

Breastfeeding Mamas. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for breast feeding, empowered moms, cute babies, and going topless. I’m just saying: wouldn’t this look great on my desk at work?

One Direction. Its like there was a most-unintentionally-homoerotic photo contest.

 

Ma’s Dolls. Six haphazard snapshots of super creepy mice dolls. Alright.

Goals for 2012

I decided to make my 2013 New Years Resolutions public. At least as public as a blog read by exactly 2 people can be. Partly for purposes of accountability, and partly so that I do not loose the piece of paper I wrote them down on and forget what they were. Without further ado then, my resolutions, in order of importance, are:

5. Care for skin. This means sunscreen. And aloe, and lotion, and no more super-hot showers.

4. Weigh 125 lbs. I’m not going to tell you how much weight loss will be required to achieve this. Suffice it to say that it will be challenging, but neither impossible nor unhealthy.

3. Achieve a modicum of financial stability. Pay off some debt, spend responsibly, find a more lucrative job, develop a small savings account, win lottery.

2. Graduate! I am currently two classes (6 unites) behind if I want to graduate in December 2012. Somehow, I’m going to have to find some way to make up for this. But how?

And, the big one…

1. Write everyday. I mean fiction. If you count journals and letters, I actually do this. But I write fiction, and do pretty much everything else, in slightly frantic bouts spanning 1-4 days, with respites in between of inappropriate duration. This must stop! This is not the first time I’ve made this particular commitment, but this time it’s the serious number one thing. I will call in sick to work, I will miss an assignment at school (anathema!); if I have a 103 degree fever I will write about my visions, if I’m on a road trip I will pull over by the side of the road, if I’m tired I will drink a case of 5-hour energy. This one is the one.

Notes from a Writing Workshop

While looking through my files in search of something else (obviously) I stumbled upon the list of requirement from my senior writing workshop. They read,

No crying, and absolutely no single tears.
No vomiting, except in cases of drunkenness or illness.
No opening the mouth without speaking.

(I have to admit, I had been guilty of the vomiting thing.)

Other rules for this class included, but were not limited to:

Double space everything, and print only on one side of the paper. No, I don’t care what the college says. Writers hate trees.

I will lock the door behind me. Don’t knock; if you arrive after me, you cannot come in.

In the (unlikely) event that anyone ever asks me to lead a workshop I will adopt all these rules.

Bad Teacher

Guess I need to start vetting art books better before I bring them into class. One of my fifth graders discovered a photo of a live pig with the word ‘fuck’ spray painted on it’s side during our half hour reading time yesterday.

Another student insisted that a group photo of French street artists included several who were “showing their privates.” However I contend that those are just the kind of shorts French people wear.

Needless to say, the art books are extremely popular during reading time.

Um…so, like, blog or what?

I have been sick. I have addressed this issue by taking the world’s grossest vitamins and lying in bed reading eight (count them eight) Meg Cobot novels. That’s two whole series. Consecutively. I’m not even kidding.

What is it about illness that leaves you longing to read about 2000 pages of mindless crap about tall guys with great abs who fall inexplicably in love with obtuse and accident prone but otherwise average women, instead of, you know, Waverly (which is what I told people I was reading, when they asked–thank God (and my boyfriend) for the Kindle) or Skippy Dies, which I have seriously got to finish someday? Also, run-on sentences. The woman leaves us all babbling about guys asses in jeans and the complete unfairness of existence for, like, paragraphs on end. I’m even starting to write like Meg Cabot. Christ. How embarrassing.

But also, you know, if only. Because that woman is funny. And smart. And laughing all the way to the bank, probably. That hair cut in her author photo must have cost about $300, if you count in the highlights. And Harper isn’t exactly known for its air brushing.

Just for comparison, today, a bunch of third graders pointed out to me that I had eye liner up by my eyebrow (Although what they actually said say, “Ms Linds, do you have a black eye?”). At like, five in the afternoon. Which means I’d been going around like that all day. Guess I forgot the make-up remover last night. All of my neighbors and coworkers, and the people at Boulange, probably think I get beat. Plus, you know, the children.

The worst part is I can’t even legitimately argue that I’ve been using the excess brain power for writing, since my computer’s been out of commission for something like two weeks.

Funny story:

So, I’m sitting at the Church Street Cafe, typing away (on my novel no less), when all of a sudden a framed photo of an elderly Native American woman (I’m not even joking) jumps off the wall, right onto my table (and my shoulder) setting off a chain reaction that ends with a fresh 16 oz coffee flooding my key board.

That was a Tuesday. I spent the rest of the week waiting, hoping maybe some time to drain and the judicious application of a space heater might dry the thing out enough to, you know, at least flash me the screen of death or whatever. No such luck.

Those are some edits that are gone forever, let me tell you.

A week or so at the Apple Store seems to have resolved the issue, however. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing left that’s actually original to my computer at this point, except the power cord, since I had the screen replaced a while back due to a malfunction, and this most recent crisis resulted in a new case, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, optical drive, logic board, battery, and who knows what all.

I’m not saying I didn’t write all week. I’m just saying 20 notebook pages is like four and a half typed pages, which doesn’t exactly meet my goal…

But today was a good morning, writing-wise, at least. And there’s nothing to do, really, but move on, and hope my own characters don’t start to exhibit too strong a tendency toward angry make-out sessions and premature marriage proposals (i.e. an undue Cabot influence).

Super tiny boarding house style studio apartment, unfurnished

I’ve moved. Not entirely because I wanted to, and yet, here I am. In a $750 studio apartment in the Bay Area. Some would call it The Dream.

Studio floor plan
The floor plan. Big room = office, bedroom, dining room. Small room = kitchen. Bathroom and shower are to be found down the hall.

Room #1: Everything! Because this is a studio!

Super tiny studio apartment
The view from the door. Love the light. The view? I let you know how the naked people look.
Studio apartment closets
Stage Right. That is, look to your left. Double closets: one with doors, one without; site of future dresser and library respectively. Also, strange mystery cubes which have been painted shut. Better believe I’ll get those open.
closer…
Closer…
Studio apartment
Stage left. Primary features: wall where bed lives, door to kitchen, door to closet.
Studio apartment closets
That would be the front door. Closet door to the left.

Room #2: The kitchen!

Entering the kitchen, looking to the left.
Built-in cabinets
And to the right. You can’t tell, but the fridge is smaller than average, and that built-in is HUGE.
Studio apartment medicine cabinet, above the kitchen sink.
Cute little medicine cabinet, above the kitchen sink.
Mystery valve
Strange valve coming out of the floor, exactly where I’d like to put my desk.
Kitchen shelf and hooks
Crazily tilting kitchen shelf. By the way, see that open window in the back ground; yeah, landlord says never to close that. Hmmmmm….
tiny windows
Tiny windows, wavy glass. You’ve got to love the details.

No book reviews…

…although I am currently simultaneously reading Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray (semi-literary, charmingly whimsical, overly ironic book club-style fiction), Dark Inquiry, by Deanna Raybourn (total masturbatory fodder for female and gay male former English lit majors whose soul sucking office jobs leave them unwilling to expend the effort required for reading actual Victorian literature–why can’t I look away!?!), and The Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy (a counter balancing work designed to keep me from imploding in a cloud of purple sparkles). I’ll let you guess which of these three titles I’m most likely to finish first.

In fact, until yesterday I haven’t really had much time for reading, what with packing up all my stuff, moving it to a new house and then (beginning) to unpack it again. After the long weekend certain rooms are starting to look semi-presentable (bathroom, bedroom) while others (kitchen, office) have a pretty long way to go.

I have not even begun unpacking my books, except for the poetry and plays (by far the smallest section) and the old notebooks which I shoved, unopened, into the shelves beneath to my desk. I am fairly positive there won’t be room for half the fiction. I sold several big shopping bags full of old stuff to Green Apple and abandoned another whole bag at Borderlands–but then I went ahead and spent all my store credit (and then some) on a collected Rilke, the newest William Trevor, and a bunch of greeting cards for assorted upcoming family holidays.

Oh well. Pictures to follow (as soon as things are a bit more organized).