Category: Movies


Because my life is pretty much consumed by homework right now, at least until I leave for (and return from) Europe, and because my computer is sick and no longer in my possession, I have turned to mind-numbing movies to fill the silence.  I can’t focus when things are too quiet.  I have to have background noise when I do homework. Actually, I pretty much require background noise always, but that is neither here nor there. My point is that I have “watched” a lot of musicals this week.

Usually, I use my iTunes to enhance my homework time.  I have an entire playlist dedicated to instrumental music.  It includes original scores to some of my favorite movies and the classics, you know, Mozart, Pachelbel, Beethoven, Brahms. Usually, if I listen to words in songs, I’ll sing along rather than actually absorb whatever information I’m reading.

It was a little weird at first, not having my computer with my iTunes to help lull me into the homework zone.  I started by playing the Harry Potter movies sequentially.  Those are movies that I can have in the background and effectively complete my econ homework but that I can also easily get sucked into watching.  Luckily, when I sat down with the intent to do homework, the movies weren’t distracting. In fact, I am so familiar with the scores to each of the movies that not only did I find myself quoting the lines of the movie, I also found myself humming along to the music in the background of each scene.  Nerd alert!

Last night, like the cool person that I am, I sat down to write my discussion questions for Econ and a website review for my Finance class, I decided that I should put in a musical, that way I wouldn’t be too tempted to sit and actually watch the movie.  I started with Mamma Mia and then moved onto the High School Musical Movies.

I didn’t think this would be problematic. I thought that since I’m so familiar with the HSM movies, I would be able to tune out and not care about what was happening on screen.

No such luck.

The HSM movies are so appalling to me that I sit and watch and giggle to myself at how ridiculous they are.  (Obviously, this does not negate the fact that I own all three on DVD, can quote each movie, and know all the words to every single song.) I may be 23 years old, but I can’t help but love Disney.

This led me to think about how awesome Disney Channel Original Movies were when I was younger.  I grew up with Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire; I know those aren’t movies but I loved them nonetheless. I lived for the Zenon Trilogy. Ryan Merriman was my teenage dream, with Smart House and Luck of the IrishStep-Sister from Planet Weird was awesome. I look(ed) forward to Halloweentown every single October.  I didn’t even really like the Thirteenth Year, but I watched that shit every single time I saw that it was on.  I cried when I watched Tru Confessions and told anyone who would listen that Shia LaBeouf’s performance was beyond excellent.

Dude, what happened to the youth of America? Why is everything (with the exception of Wizards of Waverly Place) on the Disney Channel so fucking stupid?!

I guess I’ll just continue watching High School Musical 3: Senior Year as I begin my never-ending finance homework.  Nothing like financial risk to get the mind racing and the blood pumping!

This summer may very well be my busiest one yet.

Not that I’m complaining or anything. Of course.

Since I started blogging, almost a whole year ago, there as not been one day that I have missed.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, like clockwork, I have showed up and put something out there for someone, anyone, to read.

Yesterday, for the first time in almost a year, I went AWOL.

I just didn’t show up.

So, for you who were waiting with bated breath, I apologize. Similarly, if you were worried I had died or had been sucked up by my chest (please reference Dane Cook) by aliens, I’m glad to inform you I am just fine.

What happened is that I actually just got swept up in the long, holiday weekend and forgot it was Sunday.

In fact, this weekend is a whirlwind of activity.

I showed up to my dad’s house ready for a weekend of drunken debauchery with friends and family by the pool in his backyard. But what actually happened was that I arrived at the restaurant for dinner like an hour later than I had originally told everyone I would be in town. Only, after I arrived, I promptly informed my dad that I felt like I was going to throw up and then I peace’d out.  I went back to the house where I found a bathroom just in time to puke my guts out. After throwing up nothing but water and bile (and oh yeah, those two or three Advil I took on an empty stomach- I’m an idiot), I ate exactly two and a half saltine crackers and fell asleep for an hour. When I woke up, everyone was arriving back home, with the food I had ordered in hand.

After that, Seneca and I went to bed early and watched some Forensic Files.

Saturday was even more of a blur.  The day lasted for-fucking-ever.

In a nutshell, the rest of the weekend happened as follows: I probably caught cancer from this shady-as-fuck restaurant called Hibachi Sushi Buffet (it was not my choice), hit my face against the bottom of the pool,  actually won a couple rounds of flip-cup, my computer died/broke, we ate our weight in pulled pork sandwiches, Megan accidentally dumped her almost-entirely-full drink in my lap at the bar we went to, Drew and I got into a physical altercation, Megan walked out at 2am with no word to Seneca or myself, both Seneca and I ended up in tears at some point, made weird references to Hilary Duff for no reason, saw Hangover II, and when we were alerted of bad weather we played a rousing game of Life where I pretended I found out I’m barren and will never bear children(LOL), we also watched a fuck-ton of Lifetime (yeah, including William & Kate, the movie), I quoted William Shakespeare to Seneca in a normal conversation, and I fell in the lake again tonight while trying to get in the kayak.

WINS ALL AROUND.

I promise things will go back to normal.

My emotions are all over the place lately.

I mean, it’s a well known fact that I cry at the drop of a hat, but it’s getting a little crazy.

I think the looming end of Harry Potter is to blame. Honestly.

For the past few months, I have been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks from the very beginning of the series. I am finally a little over half-way through the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it’s been a long road.  I’m just so invested in them and I’m going to be really sad once the last movie comes out and ends it all. I know that the books and movies will live on, but for the past ten years, it’s like I have had either a book or a movie to look forward to. It’s all just going to be over.

(Oh hey, Melodramatic-Katie. I didn’t know you were going to be here today!)

The thing is… since I’ve been breathing Harry Potter for the past few months, my mind is pretty much saturated with Harry Potter information. I use Harry Potter references in my everyday conversations. I’m not mad about this at all, but I think it concerns others, or just leaves them feeling confused. (And I really wouldn’t consider this an unhealthy addiction or obsession or anything, seriously.  I mean, I know someone who is inappropriately obsessed with something of late and I am nowhere near her level of insanity. I just wanted to make that clear… lol.)

Back to my emotions… I promise all of this is relevant.

I do, however, want to preface this example of out-of-control emotions with the fact that I happened to be intoxicated when this event occurred and that this might not count.  So, a few weeks ago, my brother and I had some people over to his house to hang out (and then The Tripod left to go to the bars- you know how we do.) and get crazy. Right before we left, I’m actually not sure what triggered this but whatever, we ended up shouting curses and jinxes at each other. Like, we were having our very own wizard’s duel.  It started between the two other legs of the tripod and myself but then Drew got involved.  Right when I was about to shout Expelliarmus at him, he hurled Aveda Kedavra at me.  It was at that moment that I burst into tears and the duel ended.

Megan stared at us in incredulity while Seneca watched in awe as Drew quickly showed remorse for yelling the Killing Curse my way.  He wrapped me in a hug and told me that he didn’t mean it and that he loved me.  It got serious.  I had immediately told him that it wasn’t nice to kill me and that I would absolutely die if anything ever happened to him and that he should never use that curse, ever.

It was ridiculous, to say the very least. But, every time I think about it, I laugh. It’s funny and cute and kind of a heartwarming moment between him and me.

A couple weeks ago, I was driving home from work and it happened to coincide with the time (Oh Em Gee, Spoiler Alert) Dumbledore dies near the end of HP6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  It also happened to be after a particularly long day of work when I was still very sick and I was exhausted.  So, naturally, when JKR begins her description of the grief expressed by all of the characters in the book, I began to weep as well. Once it started, I couldn’t stop.  I was bawling my eyes out the entire forty-five minutes it takes for me to get home from work.  By the time I got home, my face was red and puffy, I no longer had any eye makeup on, and I was doing that weird hiccup-breathing from the heaving sobs that had flowed out of me.

And just yesterday, I was driving home from work when (SPOILER ALERT) Dobby died.  I sob uncontrollably when I watch the movie (EVERY SINGLE TIME), so it’s no surprise that the book brought me to tears.  The grief Harry experiences, the burial, the words Luna says on his behalf… I just think all of it is so precious and heartbreaking.  Dobby was so pure of heart and an innocent, and the loss of his life is a travesty. Bellatrix Lestrange sucks, and I hate her.

It just seems like I’m always in my car when I’m having these emotional events.

This has got to stop! Except, I never want it to because that would require me to not listen to Harry Potter in my car, and I just don’t want to stop doing that. It makes my commute enjoyable.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I never would have guessed I would have gotten so involved in the series when I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Not in a million years.  Even upon seeing the first film, I never thought I would feel such an affinity towards these characters and this world J.K. Rowling created. I just don’t know what I’ll do when it’s all over. Maybe once it’s over I won’t be so weepy about all things Harry Potter. Probably not, though.

Does anyone else feel this way about Harry Potter?! I know I can’t be alone in this.

I have a problem with roadkill.

At 23, I should probably not think of wild animals in terms of Disney creatures that have homes and families and feelings. I know it seems ridiculous, but I just can’t help it. In my head, I only see Bambi’s mom, or the Beaver family from the Chronicles of Narnia, or Simba and how he ran away from Pride Rock after Mufasa’s death. These poor animals have others counting on them; they have responsibilities and a family to come home to.

When I see a raccoon’s guts splayed on the side of the road or a deer laying broken on the shoulder, my heart breaks.

On my way to work last week, I burst into tears when I saw a black cat squished in the middle of the road.  I cried for the little girl who loved that cat with her whole heart, I cried for the other kitty cat friends that Blackie had, and I cried for the person who hit the kitty and killed it.

It’s so sad to me and I can’t help but be really, really upset by it.

I hoped that I had hit my quota for roadkill for the week, but it seems that the universe had other plans. Yesterday, I experienced the most traumatizing roadkill event to date. I probably won’t tell it right or be able to express how deeply upset I was by this, but I’m going to try.

I was driving to meet my brother for dinner when this occurred.  I was driving happily, listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on CD, and I was halfway to my destination.  Just as I was picking up my phone from the passenger’s seat of my car to call Drew to ask him where he wanted to go for dinner, it happened.

By chance, I happened to notice a deer on the shoulder of the highway.  I can’t remember now what it was that made me come to this conclusion, but something told me that something wasn’t right about this deer. For one, it was not dead.  I could see its eyes and they were wide open.  Then, all of a sudden, it was picking itself up off the pavement, only it wasn’t going as it should have.

It all happened pretty fast, and I was driving as I was watching this, but I did see enough to be traumatized.

Poor Deery was having trouble standing up and I could tell that something was very wrong with her (I’m assuming?) hindquarters.  Deery couldn’t put any weight on her back legs. She began dragging her back legs as she tried to get away from the highway and the cars driving so fast past her. I had passed her and my vision was blurry with hot tears when I had dialed Drew via speed-dial on my phone.  By the time he picked up the phone, I was in the throes of a full-blown grief-meltdown.

What was so upsetting to me was that I did not see any vehicle near her that looked like it had been hit by a dear.  I didn’t see anyone around other than me and the other cars driving past this suffering animal. I couldn’t understand how someone could hit a deer and leave it to die in such a painful and agonizing way. The fact that where she had been hit was on top of a hill worried me.  Without the ability to use her back legs, how was she to navigate that hill to get back into the wooded safe haven? I think about it now and my heart hurts. I imagine that she fell down the hill and lay at the bottom, wishing to die because of the pain.  It is terrible, but I would have preferred someone shot her or something, to put her out of her misery.  It isn’t fair.

I explained what happened to Drew through thick sobs. He laughed at me.

After crying my eyes out and having him listen to me wail wordlessly, I tried to change the subject. He didn’t because he probably didn’t want to seem insensitive since I was so obviously upset. He’s such a good brother.

When I finally got the words out to ask him where we should go to dinner, he replied, “Well there’s this new venison place…”

That’s when a sob escaped and I hung up on him. I grabbed a mostly clean napkin off the passenger seat and wiped my eyes and blew my nose.

He called back.

“That wasn’t nice,” I cried.

He was joking and he was trying to make me laugh, but I wasn’t ready yet.  So I cried on the phone some more, cursed society and contemplated calling the police (or ANYBODY!) to have them come rescue Deery (or at least end her suffering).

I didn’t call the police, but I haven’t been able to get the image of that poor deer dragging its back legs out of my head.

I just can’t handle roadkill. It really hurts my heart.

On Monday morning, one of my coworkers alerted me that the world was predicted to be ending this coming Friday, as in Tomorrow. She said she heard on the radio that we could forget about coming into work on Saturday because the world was ending Friday night. I don’t know if this was a national prediction or if it was just one that was spread through West Michigan, but either way, I guess people were pretty serious about it on Monday morning.

Obviously, she was sharing this news with us to mock the crazy people who 1.) predicted this, and 2.) called into the radio station to discuss their plans for the week to prepare for the world ending on Friday night.  In fact, the seven minutes following her divulgence of this information, those of us in the office mocked the general public and made sarcastic comments about not being “saved” and how we’d be left on earth to face Hell (except I was serious about experiencing hell- because let’s get real, I’m definitely on God’s shit list).

Seriously, if I’m going to believe anyone about the world ending, I’m going to believe the Mayans or Aztecs or whoever the fuck came up with that calendar that ends in 2012. (I’m clearly well-versed in end-of-the-world conspiracy theories.) I just feel like that’s probably legit.  At least, more legit than some rando hyper-religious alcoholic/meth-head cult leader sitting in a lazyboy in the middle of a corn field during his four day bender shouting at his cows that the world is going to end. I mean, that profile may not be accurate, but it’s probably pretty close.

If the world does end tomorrow night, though, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.  I did not live this week as if it was my last.  I mean, I did get drunk on a Monday night and I did get to color code my planner up to the first week of July, but that is just not enough.  I mean, just today I spent my free time this evening finding a new ringtone, doodling in my econ notebook because I didn’t feel like thinking, poking around on facebook, twitter and tumblr, making dinner and taking care of Chiefy, who, incidentally, is experiencing some health issues.

The world just can’t end tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to wear out my new ringtone. I haven’t had a chance to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I haven’t gone on my Study Abroad trip yet! I still have Taylor Swift’s concert to look forward to in July. My driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2013! I have food in the fridge that is still good after tomorrow.

Even if the world ends tomorrow and a bunch of people get to be saved by Jesus, I hope I’m left here.  With all the other ruffians and rejects. It’ll probably be more fun anyway because the only people left will be those with a sick sense of humor and a moral compass that doesn’t point due north, like myself. We’ll have a blast. And that way, I can still use my non-expired driver’s license and enjoy all the food still in the fridge. And all of Hollywood will still be here (because they’re fucked), so I can still see HP7.2 in July when I get home from Europe. Basically, my life will be no different.

So, I guess, here’s what I have to say about the end of the world, should it come tomorrow night: bring it. I’m ready.

I guess this might see unrelated, but maybe I'll do this sexy hair shake in preparation for the world ending.

I have talked a lot lately about how sick I have been.

The thing is… I really thought I was getting better.

Even when I went to hang out with Grandma yesterday, I kept talking about how much better I feel from the misery I experienced last week, when I thought I wanted to die.  No matter how many times I watched Tangled, I still felt like death.  I still went to bed taking a pretty intense drug cocktail and woke up each morning taking that same mix of medications.

I have since weaned myself off of most of the drugs and have been living life among the living and well. Finally.

Except a couple days ago, I noticed that every time I yawned my throat screamed at me to stop doing that. It was always like, Bitch, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. But, like, sometimes you just gotta yawn. Just like sometimes, when I’m at the grocery store and I am reaching to the top shelf to try to grab a box of risotto and a stretch comes outta nowhere, you just gotta go with it. So yeah, I just stood on that bottom shelf at the store and stretched my body all over the other types of rice on the shelves. I didn’t care that it was a Saturday afternoon and there were hoards of people walking by. You just gotta go with it. You can’t fight it. Because it just feels too good.

So as I was sitting on the couch, just doing nothing and basking in my unshowered sickness, I yawned. I disregarded my throat’s warning and immediately wished I had stifled the shit out of that yawn.

My throat is on fire.

At first it was just when I yawned or when I swallowed. And it came and went, or I just didn’t notice it.  But tonight, the fire is raging unapologetically. My throat is not speaking to me other than to say fuck you; I hurt, too.

So we’re both very unhappy and I’m at a loss. I took some Tylenol to help with the pain, but it hurt going down and I just want to find a garden gnome and drop kick it. I feel like that sensation would make me feel better. I mean, I’m trying my best to not yawn. And not swallow. (Not in a dirty way, you sickos!) Which, let me tell you, is difficult.

I keep being told to go back to the doctor, but I’m seriously avoiding that. I just found a doctor locally and I don’t want them to think I’m using them to get drugs. I’m really not. I just haven’t been this sick in a while and it’s not my fault that I had a muscle spasm and then got a really nasty sinus infection and that my muscle spasm didn’t go away for, like, two weeks. I can’t help it that now that all of that original stuff seems like it has finally sorted itself out, my throat is filled with the wrath of the devil.

My life is so hard.

Besides doing homework all weekend, I saw a bunch of movies I had never seen before.

It started with the absolute worst movie I have ever seen in my entire 23 years of life.  It’s some eighties movie my mother picked because she has this thing for Michael Douglas. The movie is called Romancing the Stone.  If you can catch a clip on youtube and want to be appalled, by all means, go ahead and watch it, but I’m telling you- it’s bad.  The storyline is beyond ridiculous, the sound and visual effects were the worst, and I hated every minute of it (and I slept through most of it).

After that, though, I put in No Strings Attached. Now, if you’re thinking that I watched the HBO Special of *NSYNC Live at Madison Square Garden for their No Strings Attached tour, you’d be mistaken.  I do, however, own that, so it wouldn’t be that farfetched. I am actually speaking of the Natalie Portman /Ashton Kutcher RomCom No Strings Attached.  If you haven’t seen it- you must.  It is beyond adorable and while it is completely predictable, it is funny and cute and everything a romantic comedy should be.  I don’t really know how I feel about Natalie Portman. I mean, her performance is fine and I have no qualms about her being in the movie. I just have no thoughts on her, really, on anything she’s ever been in. I just feel so blah about her. But even with that perspective, I loved the movie. It was precious and had heart and made me laugh out loud.

Today, we went to a movie theater that shows movies at a delayed release type of thing. We saw Arthur, the remake.  You know, the one with Russell Brand.  I have seen the original. I own the original and honestly, I really kind of love the original. It’s old and silly but it’s cute and like it.  However, the remake was excellent. It was similar enough to the original to call itself Arthur but it strayed and became its own movie at the same time.  Russell Brand was outrageous and ridiculous but completely perfect for the part.  I even cried a little bit. But mostly I laughed a lot and kept thinking, omg I love this so much and THIS IS SO GOOD!

Finally, the movie marathon that was this weekend ended with Life as We Know It with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.  Oh, and that hot guy from Sweet Home Alabama, but he has a minor role. It counts. He’s in it. And he’s still hot. Even though I hate Katherine Heigl in real life, I can’t help but love everything she’s in, starting with Wish Upon a Star, that old movie the Disney Channel used to play when I was, like, ten years old.  Anyway, this movie… I don’t even know what to say about it.  I thought it was gonna be just like Raising Helen, which I haven’t seen since it first came out on DVD because it’s too sad… or something. But this one… it’s really, really good.  I laughed, I cried, I knew what was coming but I loved it anyway.

Seriously, any one of these movies, hell, all of these movies (except Romancing the Stone), are worth watching.  I mean, yes, I tend to be easily amused and generally like most movies I see, but I don’t think that should discredit my praise for these RomComs.

I can’t blog today. I’m sick.

I’m fairly certain I’m dying. And if it’s not that I’m dying, I wish it was because I am miserable.

So, I had big plans for this week because I had, like, three consecutive days off from work.  I had biiiiig plans. I was gonna vacuum. And do all my laundry. And actually get ahead in all three of my classes this semester.  I was going to catch up on all of the TV shows I haven’t had time to watch (because I spend all my time either listening to Harry Potter or watching it on DVD (and blu-ray)). I was going to color-code my planner for the next month and really just bask in the glory of all of this Me-Time.

As I previously mentioned, I had some unexpected and extreme neck pain pop up and leave me completely useless.  I wish I could have snapped a pic of what a pathetic baby I looked like, all crooked and in pain.  I would have shared it with you so you could all laugh at me and feel sorry for me.  Because, dude, the pain was so bad. I mean, I wouldn’t liken it to childbirth or anything but it was far more than just a regular crick in the neck.  I mean, this is Day Three of this type of trauma to my body and I just… couldn’t stand it anymore.

After waking up nearly every hour (EVERY HOUR!!) last night because my neck wouldn’t stop hurting let alone allow me to find a comfortable way to sleep, and after finally popping 600mg more of Motrin at 4am, I resigned myself to the fact that I just was going to be tired for the rest of my life.  Finally, at about 7:15, I heard Chiefy Poo getting yelled at.  This was interesting because Mr. Poo Poo Face never gets yelled at.  He just doesn’t get in trouble.  He’s Mama’s little angel and Tam just fawns over him.  It’s almost ridiculous.  But sure enough, this morning, I heard Tam yelling at Poor Baby Chiefy.

“No! Chief! No! You come here! RIGHT NOW!”

I did some weird, highly attractive roll/flop out of my bed and made my way towards the stairs to head upstairs.  But then I turned around to put some pants on. And then I went upstairs to see what Chief had done.  I found him sitting by the front door with his perfect, sad puppy eyes looking up at me and his feet a curious shade of dark brown.  This is interesting because Chiefy is a lovely golden blonde color.

That was about the time Tam pointed to a hole in our yard that was not there yesterday.

I laughed and then grabbed my neck in pain and asked her if she had gotten the very important email I had sent her yesterday.

Lately, I have taken to sending emails to Tam at work with silly words in the subject line, such as “Urgent” or “Very Important” or even “Please Read Immediately!” and then there is a solitary picture of Chief doing something adorable.

For example:

Subject: Important Info.

Chiefy loves his toys!!

And that’s it. That’s all that I put in the emails. Bahahaha She never emails me back.

Yesterday, though, I sent an email where I displayed my true colors.

Subject: Urgent!!!! HIGH PRIORITY!!

Chiefy has been naughty.  He tried to dig up a plant outside my room!

She didn’t email me back.

Obviously, I’m a tattle tail.  But, like, Chief must view me as his equal, and therefore discredit my ability to scold him.  When I asked him just what the fuck he thought he was doing when I interrupted him digging on the dirt off to the side of my patio, he just kinda looked at me like excuse me, you’re interrupting my fun. I guess I’ll just go over here and bark at some geese and then run around the backyard like a maniac. 

So I just said, fine, but I’m telling Mom. And you’re gonna be in big trouble. Or, at the very least, going to miss out on a treat later.

Tam apparently saw the email but quickly forgot about it.  Because she baby’d him the normal amount she always does, so she clearly didn’t mind that the backyard is a mess because this dog likes to dig.

He’s so naughty.

But I love him anyway. In fact, I came up with a new nickname for him today: Chef Salad. I’ll see how it works.

Oh wait. Uhm….

My point was, originally, that I haven’t done all the shit I originally set out to do this week, but my original idea to post kind of got away from me because I got to talking about Chief.  The good news is that I finally went and saw a doctor this morning, so I’m on a strict regimen of Motrin and prednisone for my acute muscle spasm in my neck.  And the lady doctor told me that it’s likely that I carry my stress in my neck- something of which I was already aware.

Here is what I have learned about success:

It’s all about managing expectations.

For example, I try to go first whenever I can when giving presentations in class.  That way, no matter how ill-prepared I may be or how often I fumble over my words or even how lame my powerpoint presentation really is, there is no one to compare it to yet.  Going first allows the presenter to set the expectations for the rest of the presentations and is the one that the rest are measured against.

If I can help it, I never, ever go last.  Going last is simply not an option.  I’m not that much of a douche bag that I will email my professor ahead of time and insist on going first, but I definitely try to be that person that is like, “Oh, yeah, no big deal, I’ll go first if no one else wants to.” You know, all nonchalant.  And when someone else is like “Oh, I want to go first!” (because that always happens- there are always other freaks like me who want to set the bar low) I’m always like *Hulk’d up* NO I’M GOING FIRST, YOU IDIOT FUCK!

Just kidding, I don’t turn green, grow three times my regular size, or bust out of my white (??) shirt and purple pants.  I don’t even shout at my classmates. I simply keep it real and let everyone know what’s up: I must go first.

In life, I finally learned to be that kid at a birthday party to have her gift opened first.  There were far too many times I tried to be that girl whose present was so good it had to be saved for last. You know, that whole save the best for last bullshit.  But what parents don’t tell you and what you learn after birthday party after birthday party is that it sucks when someone else gives the same gift as you- or worse, someone gives a better present than yours.  That is a situation that takes you on a bullet train to Sucktown.

The best time to give your gift is first.  That way, you have the best gift of the day, even if it’s just for a moment.  That’s a moment you can’t get back. And, that way, if there is a duplicate gift situation, you don’t look like a dickhole and you don’t have to sit in the corner and cry because someone gave the same gift you did.  You can know that you have won. (Because winning is really all that matters- ask Charlie Sheen.)

At work, you have to manage expectations too. If you do something really impressive one day that is something that is expected to be repeated, you better believe that you have just set a precedent.  You will be held to that standard from now on.  That is totally fine if you don’t mind working your butt off to constantly exceed expectations and/or consistently perform at a high level.  But if you’re lazy as fuck and it was done on a fluke, then you’re pretty much up Chocolate Creek without a popsicle stick. If you’re lazy as fuck at work and really just want to do the least amount of work as possible, then you should never do anything more than what is expected of you. Because that is the kiss of death for you, and you can no longer be lazy as fuck.

I have finally realized that even dealing with some family drama, it all comes down to managing expectations.  Drew and I have tried (and failed at) the being-sneaky approach- that just ends in tears (including my own). We can’t just lie about our plans and spring them on a certain person at the last minute- a shitstorm of drama explodes out of seemingly nowhere.  We have also tried the let’s-be-really-vague-about-our-plans approach and that just ended in bitterness, shouting, resentment, anger, and, yes, you guessed it, tears (including my own).  Being vague has usually just resulted in having to lie (which we all know I am not good at) and/or just really awful family moments.

So, this time, we are trying the honesty-is-the-best-policy approach.  This approach includes telling both parties exactly what’s up and setting clear expectations for everyone involved. That way, when the time comes to leave, no one is surprised or upset.  I’m psyched about this.

Here’s hoping.

So, my friends, go forth and embrace this managing expectations lifestyle I have adopted.  Share with me your success stories. Or just stories about your childhood birthday parties. I would enjoy that as well.