My thoughts on: Procrastination


There are about 100 things i should be doing throughout the day. Whether it be clearing those 750 picture off my phone (pictures mostly of very important food) so i can actually take pictures for work, sign up for that class to get a certification, work on that novel, or organize my desk— i would be mortified if i was able to watch a re-play of the day before i went to sleep each night. What would be on that tape? During my free time, i would be watching myself watch cat videos and read AMAs on reddit. (I must have spent half a day reading Jackson Galaxy’s AMA). Every night, i lay in bed thinking about all the things i put off for the next day. And because i’m such a nice person and i hate it when i beat myself up about things— i blame any and all outside factors for my inability to make the next day a tad easier for myself. Like what, you may ask? Why, i’ve made a list!

5) Netflix. This is going to date me a bit— but when i was in college i lived for car-naps. I purposely scheduled my classes with a 50 minute recess so i could drag myself to my car for a nap. Then i had a bright idea- what if i could watch TV in my car? Madness! It was 2005- there were no iphone or ipod touches. I had a motorola razor for crying out loud. So for Christmas of 2005 my parents got me a portable DVD player… but that thing had a terrible battery life. Then the Christmas of 2006 i got a PSP. The only way to watch TV was to buy those UMDs. I had 1: Family Guy. Which held about 4 episodes that i watched over and over. Christmas of 2007 i got a video ipod and stopped studying in the library. No matter where i was on that Akron U campus- i was watching Seinfeld on a 2 inch screen. Luckily i graduated in 2008… or else i would have been in trouble. NETFLIX makes it possible to watch TV where ever you are, and no matter what you’re doing. I’m a simple woman, and i love my stories.

4) GOATS. Have you seen those videos of screaming goats? Sometimes, when i’m working on the computer (and watching my stories on Netflix) i remember that YouTube houses so many magnificent videos of goats screaming. If you were to go back in time and tell 17 year old Tara that her novel keeps getting pushed back because she gets distracted by videos of goats screaming on YouTube, she would have responded with “Wow, the future sounds AWESOME”

3) YouTube WANDERING. It starts by a goat video. Then they suggest a video of a cat eating a banana. Then a cat eating a footlong sub. Next you’re watching the final scene of Full House. Then a guy jumping off a roof into a pool. And suddenly, you have fallen deep into the YouTube and found you’re watching a childbirth video. You respond by turning off your computer and stress eating a bag of Fritos.

2) SPELUNKY. This is a small little game that is super punishing but incredibly rewarding. I find that when i leave the house in the morning my mental “don’t forget” list runs as follows: Keys, checkbook, wallet, phone, planner, PS vita. During those times throughout the day where i could be thinking about my future, balancing my checkbook, making grocery lists, reading a book… i break out that stupid game. Someone who answers to the name Adam once said “you’ll never beat that game”…. so i beat it. After i beat it, he said “you’ll never make it to the secret level.” And so. My side quest in my life so far in 2014 has been to beat the secret level and rub it in Adam’s face.

1) NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES. Our grandparents, and our parents, and even younger versions of ourselves used to only have to put aside 1-2 hours a week for the shows that we loved. They came on once a week, after we ate dinner. The mentality of the programmers were “what else are people doing at 8PM on Tuesday night? Lets entertain an otherwise dark and boring hour.” We whined and complained when we had to wait full 7 days to watch the other part of that 2 parter. We would look at the clock, and see it was 8:56 and say “they’re never going to be able to save the president in 4 minutes… no… no… they wont—” and then it happens. TO BE CONTINUED. Now Netflix has solved that problem. Instead of waiting until next week, they put on an entire series at once. So instead of sitting on the couch for an hour on tuesday evening, you’re in your underwear for 8 hours avoiding texts such as “Sally just had her baby!” or “We’re just gonna order appetizers until you get here” just waiting for that epic moment when George Michael Bluth does his impression of a chicken.



My thoughts on: Bad Dates

I was doing some aimless facebook wandering tonight and came across an old boyfriend. “Oh i haven’t seen him in a while i wonder what he’s up to?” So i moved my mouse over to the “Add friend” button when i stopped. “Wait, Tara, hold on. Didn’t he make you mad once, and you made a scene in front of all his friends?” So i didn’t send the friend request. But it did make me curious to look up all those people i went on terrible, terrible dates with. That’s why Fabebook exists, right? That and to take picture of food. I don’t know why people keep using it to capture major life events. More pictures of food, people.

So i made a list of the top 5 worst dates that i’ve been on. And after i finished writing the list, i leaned back and smiled. GONE are the days of dates for me. Through marriage, i have earned the privilege of mindlessly looking though pinterest without pants or makeup, eating ice cream while with the company of a man. Marriage ain’t so bad.

Top 5 worst dates: 

5) The Litter Bug: I had picked him up and we had planned to go to the drive in. He got in the car, opened up the newspaper (yes, this was about 10 years ago) and started listing off the movies as i drove. Once we had decided on one (and i think it was Vanilla Sky), he balled up the entire newspaper and threw it out of the roof of my car. Mortified, i backed the car up and made him pick it up. Yeah, that was a pretty bad date. Vanilla Sky was good though.

4) The old one: This one was a set up. I had gone out on a few dates with this one fellow, decided i didn’t much care for him, and astonishingly enough, remained friends with him.(He passed away a few years ago and makes me sad thinking of him) He set me up with one of his friends- who was 36 (and i was 24-25 at the time). He was a high school math teacher, and showed up to our date in a crisp blue button down shirt, and khakis with chalk on them. At this moment, i wished i lived under Cat Law, because i would have got up out of my seat and just walked out the front door. We had terrible dinner conversation- he laughed like a crazy person at all his lame jokes, told me that he DIDN’T WATCH TV, and (much to my surprise) loved rap. We met up with some of my friends later in the night, and he insisted on walking me to my car. I put a hand on door handle, gave a wave and blatantly lied and said “Thanks for a nice evening”. In which he interpreted as “You touch boobs now?”. I backed up, let out a laugh, and cringed. Then i drove away. In a different universe, he’s writing down a list of HIS worst dates, and i would fall under number 4- girl who lied about having a nice night

3) The one who wasn’t so bad: I met this one during my “Lets find strangers on the internet” phase. We met for coffee at starbucks, and other than the fact that he was short, he wasn’t half bad. Did i go home and immediately write in my diary about how great he was? No. But the winter of 2004 was long and boring. He had traveled a lot, so i had to listen to a lot of stories about how wonderful planet earth was. Yawn. But we had the same taste in everything, and he was a doctor- which was pretty impressive after dating a lot of directionless college freshmen. But after one decent date, he told me the next day he had got back together with his ex. Being the type of gal who swallows rejection elegantly, i gave a gentle sigh, nodded, and told him to screw off.

2) The Notebook Guy: We sat next to each other all though my American Religious History Class. This was my very last class in my very last semester at Akron U. I thought he was cute… and like a true crazy person, i got his email address off the roster. After the last class, i sent him a painfully sad email asking if he wanted to get coffee sometime. Something along the lines of “hey, i’m that weird chick who sits next to you. We talked about how excited we were that gta4 is coming out that one time.” He agreed. We got lunch at Chipotle (which was dreadful). I found out he was a Marine- impressed. I found out he liked country- i could look past it. He suggested i come back to his house while he grabbed his mail. He showed me his serpent collection- lizards and snakes and fish. As i was uncomfortably scanning his DVD collection, i let out a laugh and said “The Notebook?” And he looked at me, very sternly, and said “Yeah, why? It’s a great movie. Nicholas Sparks is a great storyteller.” I let out a sarcastic laugh, and he continued to stare at me like i just called his mom fat. And that was the end of that.

1) The Musician: Going on a date with a musician, in my experience, is like being the girl in a john mayer music video. And this is a very lame thing. I wasn’t a cast member in the date, i was an audience participant. Instead of the conversation being along the lines of “So what’s for favorite movie of all time?” I got strange questions like “If you were in line in the grocery store, and a shark cut you in line, what would you say to the shark?” (I think he thought he was showing off how clever he was) Or, and i hope everyone is reading this on an empty stomach, because it’s hurl worthy- He wrote down on a napkin yes or no, gave me the pen and said “Do you like my brown eyes, circle yes or no.” And when the date was over, he shook my hand. /facepalm.

My thoughts on: Cats

The stray cats in our neighborhood are becoming quite the problem. The woman across the street, bless her heart, just keeps feeding them. This food gives them just enough energy to get it on (verly loudly and publicly, i might add) and have bunches of kittens. And then she feeds the kittens, and then they get it on. It’s a vicious cycle and i’m getting to the point where i think i should step in and trap these cats and get them fixed. This realization came when i noticed, as she was walking her dog, that she had about 9 cats “escorting” her down the sidewalk. I have to admit, I was a tad jealous. Because cat affection is hard to get. And she had close to (i’m guessing here) 15-20 admirers. In our household of 2 cats, i only have 1 admirer. The other, i’m certain, is plotting to kill me. So yeah, i’m a bit jealous. I heard that this place in Massillon will fix the stray cats for free if you are able to trap them and bring them in, and i am really considering doing this. If i don’t I’m quite certain that in a year or two, our neighborhood will have to submit to Cat Law. But then i thought, maybe cat law wouldn’t be so bad.

Top 5 reasons cat law would be better than human law

5) You can destroy things in the name of anger. This is a totally acceptable way, in cat world, to express how you feel. Gone are the days of counting down from 10, going for a run, or taking any prescription drugs to tame your feelings. Get rejected for a date? Knock over a lamp. Boss being a jerk at work? Poop on the floor. Did the restaurant overcook your steak? Shred someone shoes to bits. Not only will you feel better, but the other cats will take notice and admire you.

4) You can destroy things in the name of happiness. Cats do this weird ‘kneading’ thing when they’re happy. Usually to all my favorite blankets. They claw at it, ever so gently, while purring. I googled it once and it has something to do with feeling comforted when they’re kittens. Who knows, cats are weird. In my heavier days, my gut seemed to be like a wonderful water bed, and they would knead and purr and it was so cute i just let them go ahead and do it. And it’s the reason all my fat clothes have tiny holes from where their claws would get stuck , they would panic and dash off, taking some of my shirt with them.

3) Acquire a deep, profound feeling of importance simply by gazing out the window. Our cats spend most of their time gazing out the window, darting their heads back and fourth with every simple movement from the outside world. Sometimes, when something epic goes down (like a robin hunting for a worm in the front yard) Maiev (our cat) will dart from one front window to the next, securing every possible entry point the malicious robin could possibly breach. And there is nothing you can say or do to tear her away from her duties- not even with the suggestion of some fancy feast. To Maiev, she is the guardian of the estate, protecting it from sparrows, moths, and the occasional breeze-carried maple leaf.

2) Decline all social invitations by simply walking away. So, has your childhood friend Mittens invited you out to dinner to meet her current boyfriend (in a long line) Mr. Fluffy? It’s hard coming up with excuses on the spot, we all know this. “Sorry, Mittens, I have an evening planning of pooping outside of the litter box and scooping litter all over the floor” or “That chick i live with just bought a new pair of shoes so, naturally, i have to destroy them.” Gone will be those days under cat law! The typical response in these situations is to stare blankly at Mittens for a few moments. Once you have developed an adequate feeling of awkward, you will now walk a few feet away, lick yourself, and continue the awkward stare until Mittens discovers a butterfly to chase around.

1) Sleep when you are tired. There is no set schedule for sleeping like there in under human law. You don’t sleep when the sun goes down, you sleep when you are tired. Lets say you spend a few minutes chasing a fly around the house. Once it’s deceased, it’s time for a 3 hour nap. Get a drink of water? Nap. Throw up your Friskes? Nap. Notice those people who live with you are sleeping? TIme to sit on their face and nap.

My thoughts on: Toys

During my family’s 4th of July picnic we got to talking about old toys, and i had mentioned how I have been looking for an old Tamagotchi on ebay. Not to collect, but to actually play with. Fast forward a few weeks later, and my pretty awesome sister in law says that she found one for me in the 35 cent bin at the goodwill. I don’t know how she finds such cool stuff at the Goodwill. I go a few times a month and the most surprising thing i’ve ever found in those bins was a dead bug. So tonight i sat down, opened the package, and started to get a refresher course on how to take care of pixels. As i was reading the instructions, i discovered that it was a newer model of Tamagotchi and it had passwords and codes and points that you could log into their website of Tamatown. This came as GREAT news, seeing that i didn’t have any real plans for the evening- i could spend it on the computer in an imaginary town for 12 year olds. So i put on my stretchy pants, cut up a plate of watermelon and parked it in front of the computer. I typed in and nothing came up. So then i googled TamaTown, and discovered a cold hard truth- TamaTown had been shut down. I guess the kids are too busy uploading relationship pictures to facebook and uploading duck-faced selfies to instagram.

I”m still going to play with it, though. It’s just going to live a sad, solitary existence, never knowing what could have been. Maybe when it’s older, i’ll explain that the town she lived in was destroyed, and she was born 2 years after the dust had settled. In the meantime, while i wait for this stupid egg to DO SOMETHING, i’ve comprised a list of my top childhood toys. (And not the obvious ones either like Malibu Barbie. The random ones that just somehow stuck in my memory)

My top 5 toys growing up

5) Shadowgate for the NES: I’m only going to put one game on here, even though there are plenty. I didn’t know the name of this game until i had described it to that dude i married (and this was before we were married). I had described it as “It scared the pants off me it was so creepy. It was a screen-by-screen game, and it had two torches on the side. If you ran out of oil, the torches went out and a creepy skeleton got all up in your business.” Immediately, Adam google’s Shadowgate and i recognized those screenshots. Those creepy, 8 bit screenshots.

4) Barbie’s Soda Shop: I tried to google this just now to make sure it was a real thing, and i couldn’t really find anything. All i know is that it was on my christmas list one year, and my grandma had bought it for me. We were over at my grandma’s on christmas eve, and i just had to open it while we were over there and fill the cups and plastic soda fountains with actual soda. Long story short- I never wanted to play with it after that because it was always sticky.

3) Casio Secret Sender: This was kind of like a pocket organizer. You could type out journal entries and then lock it with a password. A few years ago i found my old casio, turned it on (and it came on!) and tried desperately to remember the old password, but i couldn’t. And way back in the ancient 1990’s there weren’t back up methods in case you forgot your password. So as it stands, the names of all the boys i had crushes on and the friends that i was mad at that week are forever locked on purple and pink Casio. Oh, and the “secret sender” part was the best part… when you had a friend over… who had the exact same model. You could sit across the room and send messages. I remember once sending a message (don’t ask why this sticks out in my brain) “Blues Traveler is the best band ever”. /facepalm

2) Barbie Fashion Designer for PC: I remember loading this bad boy up in the CD-ROM immediately after turning on the computer and firing it up through DOS. Oh, DOS… how you creeped me out. But come to think of it, the black screen with the white print still kind of creeps me out today when i boot up my computer. I blame DOOM (the first game that i ever snuck around to play, got scared and ran out of the room. Those mosnters get right up in your screen, man.) I got Barbie Fashion designer for my grandpas Christmas dinner at the Knights of Columbus (or the Elks club, i can’t remember which). It was actually pretty cool- you picked out which type of clothes you wanted (shirt, skirt, pants, etc) and then you got to make the pattern. Once you were done it was put on a pixelated barbie and walked down a runway. And if you REALLY liked it, you could print out the outfit on this special fabric-y paper and put it on your barbie. Not bad, 1995.

1) Slip n Slide: OH WAIT, i never got a slip n side even though i really, really wanted one.

My thoughts on: World of Warcraft

I was peer pressured into playing World of Warcraft. After months of nagging, Adam had finally convinced me to set up an account. It was late on a Saturday night, and we had just got back from El Rincon where I consumed a couple margaritas. Once we got home, Adam sat me in front of my computer, and told me to pick a race. “The one that looks like a cow!!” So he picked a Tauren for me. Then I was to pick a class. Since we had played the trading card game for months leading up to this epic moment, I picked the class I played in the card game: Paladin. Then came the name. Let me just say, for anyone thinking of playing WoW, dont name a character after consuming any alcohol. Because of my misstep, I leveled a Tauren Paladin for 90 levels under the name ProfessorCow. /facepalm. So i’m going to list off the reason i suck at warcraft, for no other reason than to feel better about myself.

Top 5 Reasons why I suck at World of Warcraft (or any multi player game)  

5) Too much reading. I have no idea what they want me to do. My eyes go straight to loot, money and xp. And when i can’t figure out what the heck i’m supposed to do for the quest, i yell at the screen and quit.

4) Too much math. Buffs are stupid. In my mind, a .03 bump to defense over 37 seconds doesn’t seem worth the pressing of a button. Which is apparently why i suck.

3) Don’t know anything about the Lore. And don’t much care.

2) I panic very easily, and become a button masher. The panic button-mash technique served me well during the Sega Mortal Kombat days… when there was about SIX buttons. But on those nights when I’m healing and the tank decides to be a hero and everyone is taking damage and i’m running out of mana… my face gets real hot and I start button mashing. And when you button mash on a keyboard, bad things happen. I’ll bring up my task manager, print screen, open the home bar, and minimize the entire game.

1) Internet people are jerks, and I am very sensitive. I just don’t have thick enough skin to brave the viciousness that internet people can dish out. I absolutely hate to be called a noob… even if i am new at a game. I want to, of course, be the best player that any of those fellow dungeon mates have ever playing with. But the reality is, I suck. I suck real bad. And the truth of the matter is when I start to panic mid dungeon, I will turn off my whole computer and leave the room. Don’t tell Adam I do this. According to him, dropping the group in the middle of a dungeon is tantamount to setting someones PC on fire.