Tag Archives: random lists

Time for our annual randomized list of words!

I’ve been keeping a public weblog since 2003. That’s so long! Though “keeping” might be an overstatement. Publishing at the rate of 1-3 posts a year, I don’t so much keep a blog as keep the garage open so the blog can find shelter if there’s a particularly bad snowstorm. It’s a free-range blog. With few-to-no traffic-optimizing images.

For the past decade of so, I’ve kept up the old bloggo as a token. Something that says: I am here, I have a website, here are some words on it. I feel some self-annoyance about this. But not enough to make me want to hop on the computer at any regular interval. In my early, salad days on Blogger it was kind of exhilarating to think of all the friends I could make. And did! We had a community! But after almost 20 years living in overcrowded megalopolises, what is more exciting now is all the friends I don’t have to make. How discerning I can be. No offense, humanity. I love people but y’all are overwhelming. Maybe one day I’ll get around to writing something about sensory integration disorders, but not today. Too much going on.

Anyhoo. Here’s my annual New Year’s list of random unranked things that mark the passing of this particular year. Especially now, the value of traditions that mark the passing of time is huge. Let’s reflect. Let’s remember. Even if we can’t string it together coherently. Here we are, we exist, here are some words to prove it.

List of random items from this year, 2020 edition.

Savvy business wins
Clumsy business missteps
A career concluded
A new one begun
A week in Aomori and Iwate
Everyone close to me is reproducing and it is awesome.
Gateways to sake and shochu
ひらがな and カタカナ apps
Chihuahuas, always
Vaccine envy
Living in fear
Mortality, for real
Empathy for those living in greater fear, their whole lives
Empathy all around
Cloistering as a coping mechanism
151 day streak on Duolingo
Making an effort
Sitting down, being humble
Calling everything a “Wet-ass ___” I.E. “Wet-ass Billie,” “Wet-ass shoe-zy,” “Wet-ass chili” and singing to it
Fighting for the diagnosis about 30 years late
Neurodiversity for the win
Chili pepper plants as a coping mechanism
The marvel of others’ transformations
One annual rainstorm
Coming to terms with one’s own past shittiness
Being almost 40
That Karol G song feat Nicki Minaj that has been in my head for 9 months and by this logic should spring forth from my split-open skull like a bomb-ass Latin pop Athena and become Tusa, goddess of wisdom and dance battles
Canceled Christmases still not as bad as my Grandma’s 1930s Christmases
More rage than I used to be capable of
More focus than I once thought I was capable of
Business mentors
Foray into the for-profit sector
The nebulous border of crippling self doubt and steely determination
So many video calls with excellent humans
Go ahead, throw something if it helps
Dreams of the commemorative plates with depictions saints Brené Brown and Malcolm Gladwell sitting on a porch swing reading books that I will line my spinster aunt walls with no joke
The first NYE in many that I’m not behind a bar
Painting one’s nails on the DL during zoom meetings
The angst, stress and heartbreak of being a boss
Cornbread, cakes, pies, and creating gluten and dairy free wonderlands
Alternative baking as a coping mechanism
What we can/what we must


Randomized 2018

A couple years ago, I wrote an end-of-year roundup that is the only kind of roundup I enjoy writing. Having, for work, had to wrangle lists of things like happy hours, doughnuts, and smoothie joints, I will let you all in on a little secret: I do these lists under great duress. I am happy for the jobs, no doubt about it. But every time I sign-on for a new “listicle” (a word that has thankfully fallen into ironic use, to be uttered in quotes or with accompanying grimace) I am encumbered with dread and dark thoughts until the piece is completed. I dislike ranking things. On Goodreads, as on Yelp, I have two modes: 5 stars or nothing. If I love something, I want to tell everyone about it. If I don’t, I’m content to leave it in silence. This is primarily because I’m an over-thinker, and if I had to rank everything from least-to-most favorite, it would take all year.

That is why I like the randomized end-of-year roundups. Because they take 30 minutes, and I don’t have to say x was better or worse than y, or that one made a greater impact, or whatever. It doesn’t really matter, anyway. The government is being run by climate change deniers, so we’re all basically dead already.

Here’s a random list of 2018’s greatest hits, obsessions, milestones, and terrible shit. And there was plenty of terrible shit. But there were lots of the other things, as well.

That book I wrote.
RIP Penny Marshall
Racism: Mainstream and ready to rumble
Misogyny: See above
My nephew Jerry making my heart explode, Grinchlike, from its box
I’ll have What She’s Having podcast
Visiting Dorchester, Mass and meeting an 8-month-old OFD
Live forever RBG
The expense and humbling/grateful slog of a book tour
The post-partumlike depression that comes after your pub date that nobody tells you about
Absence of mood stabilizers
Founding a canned cocktail company
Evan F-ing Klieman!
The Roxane Gay catalog
Meeting a shitton of cool people on tour
Wondering daily if everyone else has gone crazy or just me
Feeling like I’m going to talk to my nieces about this year like my parents talked to us about 1968
One badass denim jumpsuit
Hearing someone use the word “fire” as an adjective in person
Nailed It
Myokos cultured cashew butter
Listening to both CTRL and Z on repeat
Getting all into Poshmark
Realizing Poshmark is actually the world’s crappiest clothing swap
The LAPL Libby app
Seeing the gray hair, and letting it hang

Pick your own favorite!


Since the news of the world and the buzz around my office has been aglow with love and goodwill (notice: took down the Bush countdown! na-na-na-na, hey-hey-hey…) and I’m in process of signing on to volunteer long-term with one of the best NYC charities EVER (which I’m not linking to cuz I don’t know how they would feel about that. Suffice to say it has to do with thrift stores) and the world seems like a rosier place all around despite impending doom…I’ve decided to dampen everyone’s spirits with a random list of stuff I hate more than just about anything else in the whole world. It’s like the conclusion of Bush43’s reign of imbecility has left a huge void in the bile-and-hatred section of my brain. So here’s a rather unorganized list. Please add to it in comments.

Stuff we hate

Paper – it’s obsolete
I don’t know why people still print things. And it annoys me when companies, like, say, the IRS, make me print & sign stuff for my electronic tax return. Cuz I don’t have a printer. That’s why I’m e-filing. Losers.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you”
This is an essential catchphrase for anyone charged with writing condolence letters to people they don’t know very well. I used to get paid to write these letters. I know… it’s just a figure of speech. But really: stop saying this like you’re going to go home and pray about it. Unless you actually are, then please leave me out of it. I have enough problems with the supernatural without your guff sending the hereafter mixed messages.

Just say: I’m sorry your {blank} died.

Robert Heinlein
As a SF nerd, I am always confronted with compatriots who just loooove Heinlein. And then I have to stop being their friend. Because anyone who thinks that Stranger in a Strange Land is brilliant writing is thinking like a 16-year-old boy with a cheesy moustache. There, I said it.

Incessant Photo Snapping (and rude people in theaters)
This clip from Patti LuPone was terrifying for many people, but honestly it kind of made her my new hero. As my friends and family will attest, I have on a number of occasions ranted this same rant at those around me who continue to flash their goddam cameras in my face while I’m trying to have a conversation or eat a damn meal. The question that always plagues me is, well, Can’t you just REMEMBER this instead?

And the gall of people raised in a spectator society to blatantly ignore announcements about photography and turning your cell phones off… the stupid and the oblivious of the world have narrowly escaped getting smacked in the back of the head by a size 9 wedge heel simply because I just lacked Patti’s chutzpah to actually articulate:

So what pushes YOUR buttons?