[T]here are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him.
– Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
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I recently tried saving a document as “Stuffs Fo’ Do” (yes, most of my file names are in Pidgin), but received the booped error message “’Stuffs Fo’ Do’ already exists.” So, I tried “Stuffs Fo’ Do_2” (boop!), followed by “_3” and “_4” and “_5” (boop! boop! boop!), before succumbing to the fact that I get plene stuffs fo’ do.
But having a full schedule is no excuse for fatuity, and everyday—neigh every moment—I’m confounded by my capacity for it.
Case in point: My time ill-spent late Sunday night at the laundromat. I thought I was being so productive with my brand new spray bottle of Invisible Glass, trotting between OCDing my windshield and adding softener or dryer sheets. But then I locked my keys in the car—which I’d parked behind a locked and barbed wired gate. Talk about high agitation.
At the laundromat you can buy wire hangers for a quarter a piece. I destroyed a dollar’s worth. Given the frequency with which I pull this sort of tomfoolery, I’d like to think I’ve earned enough skills to consult on the set of a Gone In 60 Seconds prequel. But after contracting tetanus by tangling myself in a bouquet of untwisted hangers as if within the tentacles of Cthulhu, I questioned whether I could get into my car even if I had the key.
Dear Mr. Murphy, the mocker, made sure my phone died right in front of my eyes; so I was left with no other option but to hike the declivity-free road from Kahului to Wailuku with a massive basket of laundry on my head like some third world washer-woman who’d lost more than her way.
The street lights’ arnival mirror shadows had me fretting about my biceps bulking, exacerbating my already wretched wings, and with every passing car I worried (and wished) someone might pull over and attempt to return the idiot to her village.
No one did.
I had at least five long lists of stuffs left fo’ do (there are also exponential, deprioritized files named “Try Fo’ Do Dis” and “Try Fo’ Do Dat”), but having no way of getting to them or the things that would enable their accomplishment, I resigned to crashing on my buddy’s couch and listening to Howard Stern until those tired, popping flashes started to appear in my peripheral and consumed my vision with an unwilling, unaccomplished fade to black.
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Randy Bartlett, friend of the paper and the world’s premier Facebook liker, recently retweeted a link from unclutterer.com with an image of J.K. Rowling’s organizational notes—part of a penned grid that helped her construct the almost 4,200-page, seven-book epoch of Harry Potter & Co.
Having been so recently reminded that mindfulness of dotting or crossing little lines makes a big difference—and a desire to be more than pygmy scribe—I looked at Rowling’s notes carefully in an attempt to assess my own writing processes. At which point, I realized, I have none. At least, none to speak of.
See, I own a pile of notebooks of every dimension, rule and binding; and by the looks of my gallimaufry penmanship, each is seemingly possessed by demons outnumbering the swine in the Gospel of Mark.
Many pages are streaked with mud, embossed by stilettos’ seal and stink of booze. Should there be anything of literary value in any these notebooks, I’ll never know because it’s all mostly unintelligible (except for the curse words, which persevere by sheer adjective strength).
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With nothing scratched off my list(s), in eternal return I’ve only added new stuffs fo’ do. 1) Exorcise penmanship. 2) Seek some semblance of processes. 3) Keep your bloody keys in hand…
Obviously, if these simple things are still issues at this point in my life, I may have to add to my begrudged acceptations that I’m a trickless ol’ bitch. While this means I might be unteachable, I’m going to embrace Einstein’s definition of insane and try to learn better.
So if you see frazzled me fiddling with wires whilst a basket’s atop my head, don’t throw me any bones. I can’t, after all, learn but on my own.
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