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It’s been brought to my attention that I have a knack for convincing the good people in my world I’m competent until it’s much too late for them to do anything about it. It was brought to my attention recently when I mentioned to a friend that I was changing jobs and she said she wants to change jobs, too, but she doesn’t feel competent in anything that’s open on the market right now. I laughed at her naiveté and told her that competency has nothing to do with it. I personally am not capable of carrying out the duties of my current job and I failed miserably at my old job…I spread my incompetence around like a STD but I’ve mastered the art of appearing to be quite thoughtful and able to do many tasks. Now you can, too!

• You need to go to LensCrafters or some asshole hobbit eye doctor and get thick rimmed librarian glasses.
• You should put your hair in a bun, no matter your gender.
• In the course of a conversation, pick something you know about (however little) and pretend to have a strong opinion about it. They will wilt in your knowledge because if you are vehement, you clearly know what you’re talking about. For example, when I was 19 or 21 there were elections going on that I knew nothing about but I was in college and wanted to appear knowledgeable. Or simply repeat someone else’s vehemence (is that a word?) as your own conclusion. I listened to a pundit sarcastically say that Pat Buchanan wanted to nuke the borders to keep the illegal immigrants out. I repeated this in political conversations numerous times at my university and got raves for really knowing my stuff.
• Mention research or statistics. Peoples eyes go dead and they bow down to someone who knows research or can read it. Even if you haven’t touched the research. Spout facts and the people will be believe in your ability. TRUST ME! Note: you don’t even have to spout facts if you don’t want to. Most people will not question you. For example, if you start talking about standardized tests, and you say, “statistically speaking, there is no way for everyone to “pass” a test based on a bell curve so “rigor” cannot be determined by an invalid test,” who is really going to challenge you?
• Make bulleted lists when you go into a staff meeting or when you write a bullshit blog. Be sure to have enough bullet points to seem comprehensive and give pointless details to make the bullet points seem especially important. For example, use “for examples” frequently. Note: Titling your lists as “how to” also gives credence to the idea that you actually know how to do something.
• Shake your luminous hair out with a pensive look on your face. You know how to look competent…you’ve made it this far, right?

I don’t advocate suicide, dear readers, as a stress management tool.

If you want to manage your anxiety in a so-called “maladaptive” way (and why wouldn’t you?), you should consider picking. This involves the pulling of skin to cause pain and injury to relieve stress and give an external source of distraction to the things causing you anxiety. An added benefit is that you feel as though you are in complete control, where you may not feel that way in other area of your life.

Here’s how to pick.
• Choose carefully. A good way to begin picking to go after your cuticles. Many people have cuticle issues so it’ll be less obvious that you are nourishing your wayward cuticles with the covert intent to pull them until they go deep enough to make you bleed. Fingers are a good place anyway simply because there are lots of nerve endings in there—you’ll feel the effects more acutely.
• To prepare chapped lips for picking, you will need to stretch the skin tight a few times, hopefully causing a natural crack to form. At this point, you can go straight for the picking, in the same manner you would on cuticles or you could prolong the suffering by chewing on the lip tissue until such time as you feel ready for pain and blood.
• Take hold of any piece of dry skin and rip it. I find that I have dry spots on my nose and cheeks that sometimes work. Now, there is the issue of people noticing the red pockets where your flesh used to be but this is minor and does not require medical attention, so I believe it’s acceptable (although perhaps not the ideal picking method because of the publicity).

A word on variations. Picking may not be for you. There are many other methods for you to induce injury that is not life-threatening but causes just enough pain to be life-affirming. Cutting is a cliché but I won’t judge you too harshly…although there’s a much greater chance of actually hurting yourself and having to have medical attention. The point of self-injurious behavior is that only you and perhaps a few of your closest companions know you’re doing it. Part of the anxiety management is that you are in control and if you lose control, you’ve missed the boat. I’ve dug my nails into my skin before, avoiding breaking the skin and it was moderately effective. Sometimes punching yourself or a hard surface can be helpful, so long as you are careful not to cause injury requiring medical attention. (A note on suicide: don’t do it.) In addition, eating ridiculous amounts of calories is another strategy since you know it’s bad for you but you do it anyway as an “emotional eater.” You’re a cutter in a manner of speaking.

There’s no way to avoid life’s cruel, incessant lashings. Here’s what you do when difficult times descend:

• You carefully examine the rubble of your cookies. Your immediate thought is that you could never overcome this woeful obstacle.
• You put the cookies out of your sight for 35 seconds.
• You can’t get the cookies out of your mind. Your immediate thought is this is an unacceptable position to be in and dammit, you’re a strong woman who’s over come unexpected cracker crumbles and apple mush.
• You search your mind and soul.
• Endless time passes. Perhaps upwards of 15 seconds.
• And then. Your eye catches the box of tissue on the corner of your desk.
• You take your package back out and excitedly dump the destruction of your cookies on your tissue.
• You pick through the rubble and eat what you can, savoring every sweet bite.
• You say, “fuck the rest” and expertly through the tissue and cookie grains away. You don’t need that shit. Now you can get back to the full-fledged, good-time cookies still waiting for you.

Let the snow fall down, half a foot
let the rain fall down, half an inch
freeze, five hours
serve with slippery roads
and unbecoming falls from grace.

Eating French Fries
1. Always eat fries in pairs of two, who are very close to identical length. Do not eat one, four, seven, or eleven fries at one time. Only two. Think French fry twins.
2. If you get to the end of your fries, and you discover a single fry left, you should tear said fry in have and eat it as two fries. This is not the ideal situation since they are not true pairs, but in a bind, this works.

Losing a Man
1. Tell him you want to spend loads more time with him.
2. Tell him you want to be exclusive.
3. Give him an old-school casual greeting.
4. Mention your favorite color is red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, white or black.

Hemming Your Pants—N/A. Leave well enough alone and contact your mother.

Adopting a Pet
1. Take him/her to the vet immediately.
2. Have vet remove all cancerous cells promptly.
3. Constantly worry that he/she has cancer.

Dating
1. Do not do anything I have done.
2. Do not do anything I have done.
3. Do not do anything I have done.

Taking Pain Relievers
1. Keep well stocked at all times in every situation. Work, home, car, purse.
2. Do not buy two bottles of Ibuprofen and accidentally take both bottles home when you meant to have a bottle at work because then you’ll be in pain without relief.

Cooking
1. Invite someone over, preferably a hottie.
2. Tell him/her you have lots of kitchen items to cook things in.
3. Tell him/her to have at it because you ain’t cook.

  • Create lists. Many, many lists.
  • Breathe sighs of relief that you are keeping yourself silent.
  • Drink Coke Zero.
  • Feel guilty about drinking Coke Zero and go get some water.
  • Watch your hard-won tan fade.
  • Remember your luminous hair and shake it out for good measure.
  • Distract yourself with all sorts of insignificant things all day. For example, how many tissues are cluttering up your desk anyway?
  • Look for a pet online that you are completely inept to care for.
  • Breathe a sign of relief that you don’t have time to go to the pound today to adopt a pet you are completely inept to care for.
  • Consider your ineptitude for caring for yourself. This will offer amusement.
  • Exercise and eat well.
  • Try to call AT&T. You will not be able to actually speak to anybody who can do anything for you because they sense when you’re about to break up with them and this relationship is all they have.
  • Think of the mayhem that is about to ensue in your book about people dying horribly and how you will be haunted very soon by the images you create in your head.
  • Go to Family Dollar. Yes, it’s ghetto but it’s also fabulous.
  • Plan how many hours of sleep you are going to get tonight.
  • Enjoy Bryan’s descriptions of your heart condition.
  • Appreciate that Keith Urban, even though he is exceptionally well-groomed (to a troubling extent).
  • Make a hair appointment.
  • Make an appointment for a one-hour massage in August.
  • Worry if your dates in the next two weeks are going to judge you harshly because your roots are showing.
  • Continue to watch your tan fade.
  • Fondly remember the time long ago (say, 2-3 weeks ago) when you were fond of that horny Airman.
  • Let the good people of the world know that you know what a chapbook is now and how Bryan patiently explained this to you 5 different ways because he thinks you a simpleton, even though you told him you understood his definition the first time he explained it.
  • Correct emails that are sent to you, grammatically-speaking. You can do this mentally or in a Word document.
  • If you have to use Aspercreme on sore muscles, wash and rewash your hands. Once or twice is not good enough, because should the icy-hot fire somehow get around your what-not area, it will burn for hours and you will be miserable.
  • If you haven’t already done so, just get on with it.
  • Eat chips and chocolate.
  • Drink regular Coke and Pepsi.
  • Go to your bathroom stall at work and take out the book you’ve been trying to finish for weeks and go ahead and read a couple of pages per trip. You can make special trips. This will make you especially happy with feelings that you have duped everyone.
  • Don’t hesitate to sleep. Defend your sleep privileges to the death. If you have to tell the Gays they are too stressful to be around right now, so be it. You’re their Princess; they will surely forgive you.
  • Lay out.
  • Jump in random pools. Or at least imagine jumping in pools irrationally over a period of no less than 5 hours of constant “I should jump in a pool” loops running in your head.
  • Find an Air Force John. He will not have the energy to blow you off. He will want to cuddle with you. Except that maybe he only responded because he’s intoxicated and watching “WifeSwap” when he’s a 26-year-old military man. Anyhow, he will respond if prompted and offer distraction, if not frustration and perplexation.
  • Never mind if “perplexation” is a word. It should be. Own it.
  • Even if you know you will have to write about it again sometime, keep your darkness at bay. It’s the only way to keep from crying racking sobs every day.
  • Do not think about your dead aunt.
  • Do not think about your impending summer program.
  • Do not worry about tan lines.
  • Recognize raisins are good for you.
  • Stay conscious for only mere minutes of time until drifting off into something as close to peace as you get.

Sobbing is never, ever attractive. It makes people uncomfortable.

Sobbing induces other people’s sobbing. It makes the one who started the sobbing feel a little guilty, but not really.

Sobbing is best suppressed after two minutes. One can continue to sob inwardly, but it’s best to be polite about it and shut up.

Sobbing causes mothers and fathers to cry, especially if it’s their daughter who’s sobbing the loudest or the only one who’s sobbing.

Sobbing is a sign of suffering. What can one do?

Sobbing as a memory induces sobbing in the here and now.

 

Sobbing is best left to the experts. Do not try this at home.

It’s not true

what they said

failure

always an option

in all life-threatening and non-life-threatening

situations

Prediction. If I am gazed upon by the sun, I will burn. My skin will peel. Repeat until I get skin cancer and die. That’s failure or success, depending on your life view.

  • Sex.
  • Also, mentioning “sex” in a blog brings you more traffic, or so Bryan says. Put as many sexual tags as you can think of on your blog post. Think hard.
  • Try to find another writing utensil.
  • Tell yourself that this other writing utensil is perfectly sufficient.
  • Upon immediate dismissal of the above point, keep calm.
  • For Christ’s sake, shake out your luminous hair.
  • Distract yourself by considering your freckles.
  • Consider the cost of Claritin, which you had to buy because you needed it, but you would have preferred that the Family Dollar had generic in stock.
  • Email Jade. Email Bryan. Email Melissa.
  • Write random bullet points and hope no one notices the randomness.
  • Think morbid thoughts. Such as all the ways horrible things can befall people: aortic tears in plane crashes, torture, being shot repeatedly in Afghanistan, having your rehab dog shot to death upon returning to Texas, forest fires that incinerate entire crews of smokejumpers in Montana (?) gulches, plane crashes that result in the consumption of rugby players, cutting your own hand off, freezing to death on Mt. Everest, starving in the Alaskan wilderness, dating, ending up in a freezer, being in Iraq, being in Somalia, being infected by the swine flu, having multiple myeloma with a 10% chance of living through the treatment much less the illness, and not having your favorite writing utensil or an interesting blog topic.

SOB with me

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