How to Create Your Own Reality

I have a friend on Facebook who posts things like YouTube videos entitled, I am: A Journey to Enlightenment. I would like to watch this video so I can inform you more accurately of its contents. But when I say I would like to watch it, I actually mean I would NOT like to watch it. Maybe I would like for you to think that I would like to watch it. Don’t worry. I can describe it to you without watching it. There is a picture of the ocean. Across the picture of the ocean is the sentence “You are Life itself pulsating in this dimension.” There. That is as far as I will go. If you want to know more, Google flaky YouTube videos about enlightenment. I’m sure it will pop right up for you.
Now that you have a clear background description of my friend based on her taste in YouTube videos I refuse to watch, I will get to the point of my post. My friend, and apparently the majority of the people posting on her page, believes that you create your own reality in your mind.
If this reality creation thing has any legs at all, wearing this shirt will make annoying people instantly disappear.
I have tried to seriously consider the concept, but I really don’t think I am creative enough to come up with some of this stuff. If I make my own reality, why would I put someone in my workplace to talk about building his own greenhouse all of the time? In my reality, Johnny Depp would be at my office reading me a phone book. I am pretty sure that is how I would have constructed it. Unless I created this reality a while back and I was lazy. I just threw in anyone. The Reality Planner was probably right there but I was all distracted and trying to get the whole thing over with so I could go back to writing my blog.

Reality Planner: What should people do all day in your reality?
Me: I don’t know. What are my choices?
Reality Planner: You could have people live in bubbles in the sky under rainbows and they could fly around on magic unicorns. Or you could have people go to a building with grey half-walls constructed around desks where they will sit and stare at screens while typing.
Me: Whatever, that wall thing. That sounds fine.

This would also explain that guy from Pakistan who came in from lunch the other day totally fascinated with the combo menu from Taco Bell. I could never have come up with that on my own.

Reality Planner:
How about a Pakistan guy who loves Taco Bell?

Me: What is Taco Bell?
Reality Planner: It could be this place where people drive up in their cars to get handed tacos with artificial meat.
Me: Great, yeah. I’ll take like a million of those. Can I go now?

Side Note:
Why do I not want to watch a YouTube video about enlightenment? Do I not want to be enlightened? Can I be enlightened without watching a homemade video with a picture of the ocean? That seems like really boring path. I need instant enlightenment. Maybe something I can hear on the radio. Or… I know… a tea! Lahikmajoedrinkstea will know which tea will lead to enlightenment. Right? And please don’t tell me to drink it while I am watching a YouTube video with a picture of the ocean, because I am not doing that.



Research Links:

To research tea enlightenment, go to lahikmajoedrinkstea.

For further information on how Facebook is full of a bunch of people that you are inconvenienced by actually knowing, go to Vive le Nerd to read a lovely rant on your right to Vulgarity

If you are disconcerted because you are now wondering why the reality you constructed really sucks ass, go
Shouts from the Abyss for a read from a self-proclaimed negativity guru about his boss. Your reality will automatically be better by comparison.

Please feel free to leave any comments about how to construct your own reality below. I obviously need some pointers. Keep in mind that links to flaky YouTube videos will be ignored.

How to Create Drama in your Life and Workplace

A while back, we celebrated National Drama Day. On this day, I requested everyone get pissy about something irrelevant, yell at someone, and report back in. Some of you handled this task more successfully than others.

Next time, let’s all wear t-shirts!
@tcrowe77 set out to accomplish Drama Day with the best intentions, but eventually had to point out: “Hating that my coworker pushes that thermostat to 73 when it should ALWAYS be on 72 is relevant!” I tend to agree.

@gingerblaze participated by eloquently stating, “Why Does Guy On Train HAVE to Talk On His Phone At All?” People on phones are an excellent, and unending, resource for Drama Day.

@debihen expressed her frustration with pedicure issues, “I am irritated that my pedicure chipped. I suspect this will ruin my whole day.” While this seems like a perfectly valid drama day statement, the inherent problem lies in the fact that there is no one to yell at. Both the thermostat and obnoxious guy on phone situations incorporated a focus for yelling, and everyone knows that really good drama requires yelling. This is the reason why I had to yell at @debihen for messing up Drama Day. After all, I have to set a good example. 

To avoid this type of situation in the future, lets take a moment to go over a few Drama Day basics:


No matter the problem, someone else is always to blame

You can’t fully accomplish drama day by acting like nail polish chips are some sort of natural occurrence. You must to find someone to blame for this so you can yell at them. For example, you can yell at the person who gave you the pedicure; unless, of course, you gave yourself the pedicure. In that case, you are going to have to call the 800 number on the nail polish to find someone to yell at. It will take a little longer, but well worth your time.

Always remember that everyone is out to get you.

Let’s say, for instance, co-worker sends you an email without commas. Why did she send you an email with bad punctuation? Because she was trying to get work done? No. She sent you an email with no punctuation because she does not respect you. You are not worth the commas. You should spend the rest of the day carefully composing a long diatribe about professionalism in the workplace and commas. The more people you can CC on this, the better.

Lastly, and most importantly, phlegmy people will not be tolerated.

This shirt will prevent phegmy people from trying to use your clothing as kleenex. I have never actually seen this happen, but you can’t be too careful.

The most admirable outcome of Drama Day was @zippy219 who “picked a fight over nothing with a coworker just because I don’t like her.  She’s phlegmy.” Phlegmy people should always be yelled at as much as possible. If you can’t yell at them, you should at least attempt to spike their tea with Allegra in order to eradicate the cause of your irritation. For any tips of what type of tea is best to spike with Allegra, you should probably refer to my friend lahikmajoe’s expertise at lakimajoedrinkstea. He will definitely be able to recommend something.

@zippy219: I now declare you the Drama Day winner. I didn’t know it was a contest until now, so there aren’t any actual prizes, but congratulations anyway.
 I must also give credit to @debihen for coming in a close second with the very powerful, last minute, drama day rant:
@lgalaviz yelled at me ’cause I did #dramaday wrong. She has ruined my week. #heavysigh
Note how many of the characteristics of a successful drama day @debihen incorporates into this statement. She identifies the problem, assigns blame, and assumes that I am out to get her, thus utterly ruining her week. 

Well done, @debihen. The heavy sigh was a great touch. If only you could have somehow worked in phlegm.
Even though the official Drama Day is over (at least for now) feel free to leave any further rants or Drama Day suggestions below. 

Update on how to maintain emotional stability

@ivycanucchi suggests that wine is also a potential candidate, but if you are out of wine, Xanax wins.

How to Remain Emotionally Stable

Circle of Moms presented a survey that somehow ended up in my inbox. The topic of this survey was…

How do you remain emotionally stable?

As my cursor hovered dangerously over the delete button, I suddenly thought to myself, how DO people remain emotionally stable? Granted, not everyone has multitudes of kids running around, but there are always some days that are better than others. I decided to click on this link, this key to lasting emotional stability.

Upon clicking the link, you will find at the top of the page, Teresa’s comment with the winning total of 44 votes. Her advice is this: “The first thing one can do is pray and to look up for God to guide in the situation.” I don’t know about you guys, but every time I pray to God, I worry about him secretly making fun of me. In case you haven’t read it, the guy was not cool in the Old Testament. He spent most of his time turning people into pillars of salt and unleashing plagues. I find this type of behavior untrustworthy. His idea of guidance would probably be to tell me to build an ark or something. The guy seems to be a bit of a prankster. (Side note: Don’t worry, I can say these things, because I am a very close friend of Satan.)

Maybe person number two has some better advice, scanning down… Ah here we go…

Next, we have Janice who repeats, I’m assuming for emphasis, “Yes, pray, pray, pray.” Crap. Does no one on this damn forum have anything original? Okay, one more…

Tammy also feels compelled to share her religious enthusiasm: “So good to see you and other Moms leaning on God!! Children are gifts from Him to raise for Him.” Okay, that is IT. If your children are ‘gifts from God,’ why do you need a forum to figure out how NOT to go insane because of them? I was right. God has an odd sense of humor.

Please allow me to give you all some real advice on how to stay sane.

First of all… Stop yelling.

If you go around yelling all the time, no one will know when you are seriously outraged. I know this guy who yelled at his kid to eat a hotdog. If you are yelling at a kid because he won’t eat a hunk of processed meat, what are you going to do when he comes home with that DUI? All your cards have already been dealt. You are going to have to fake a heart attack or something.

This shirt is for people to wear to Little League games…
or when watching any of the Real Housewives reality series.

I do realize that I may have, quite recently, told some of you to go to work during  #dramaday and yell at people, but that was for fun. Yelling at people for your own amusement is totally different.

Secondly…  Quit letting stupid things get to you.

A woman from cubicle world (i.e., the place I work) once spent an entire day calling the city of Garland to complain about Vietnamese people having a party across the street from her house. Apparently, these people had some beer and left the bottles in their front yard. I am not sure why it was of particular importance that they were Vietnamese, but it was.

She kept calling all these people and telling them she knew the mayor. I kept thinking that if she really knew the mayor, maybe she should just call him with her complaints directly. When she ran out of people to call, she spent the rest of the day asking everyone in the office if there was some sort of Vietnamese holiday she didn’t know about. As if anyone needs a holiday to drink beer in their front yard.

I can see how it would be troubling to look across the street at the evidence of a party to which you were uninvited, but why get all worked up about it when you can use the situation to your advantage? The Vietnamese people have a yard that is already messed up. Grab a lawn chair and a couple of big forties, and head on over. You won’t even have to recycle.

This shirt will either provoke racial tension, or prompt people to bring you beer.
Let me know how it works out for you.

My final bit of advice for maintenance of sanity: Rant on Twitter.

Aside from vodka, ranting on Twitter is my main source of stress relief. I spend most of my time on Twitter in some form of rant, and I’ve found it to be very helpful. The people on Twitter are both witty and very smart (I’m not sure if they are real, but let’s just keep that between us, okay?). They have helped me through several existential crises, and gave many helpful suggestions for dealing with overbearing family members (and this wasn’t even during the holidays).

So, if you are losing your emotional stability. Please feel free to talk to God to see if you need to build that ark. But, if you don’t hear from him immediately, try the virtual people on Twitter. They are always there waiting, safely tucked away in your phone.

Addendum…

I must give credit where credit is due, Circle of Moms member, Reiko, earned 33 votes with, “Have a stiff cocktail and take a deep breath.” Thank you, Reiko. Your survey votes are now at 34.

Update on how to improve your life by going to Harvard

I would like to extend an invitation to all my virtual friends to join my imaginary Harvard canoe team. Gigi will be in charge of the megaphone, and rebecca_ods is our first official team member. I don’t know how many rowers are actually on a canoe team, but I am sure it is flexible.

The rowing is imaginary, but the pints are real.

 


All proceeds from the Harvard Canoe Team will go towards improving my son’s substandard education. It was suggested that a good way to remedy his mediocre educational opportunities would be to send him to Montessori school, so that is where the funds will go. Not for actual Montessori school tuition, but for a large sign that says, “Montessori” that we will hang above the door of his current school. So, who is with me? All we need is a canoe and some oars.
And a megaphone.


How to improve your life by going, or not going, to Harvard

When someone close to you looks at you and directly asks, “Don’t you want the best for your child?” It calls for a little reflection. However, what I consider best for my child, and what you consider the best could very well be two different things. With all due respect, there are different ways of raising a contributing member of society. –Is that what I am supposed to be doing here? Sometimes I miss the obvious.–
I just want to make sure my kid is happy. If a successful career complete with wife and kids make him happy, so be it. Maybe he wants to be a serial killer, or just loot stores for television sets. That would be fine too.  Perhaps he wants to be a Southern Baptist Snake Handler or a Tea Party Activist. Now he is pushing it, but I would still see my way through to support him.  I just want him to have a fulfilling life, however he defines that for himself. All I ask is that if he is going to be a serial killer, not to bring any severed limbs to the house. We never have any room in the freezer as it is.
This shirt helps serial killers to relate better to the general population. 
Stating you are NOT a serial killer will generally put people at ease. 
Maybe my kid wants to go to Harvard, or the local community college. I am fine with either. Granted, I’m not paying for Harvard, unless it really improves your life in a measurable way.  In that case, I might go too. Has anyone out there been to Harvard? If so, please explain objectively how this experience has improved, or downgraded your life. Also, were you on one of those rowing canoe teams? Are those at Harvard? I have always wanted to be on a rowing canoe team where you row the canoe with the guy yelling through a megaphone, then go out for pints after.  Maybe it is the pints that are appealing. Either way, please advise.

How NOT to Raise a Child

This is probably going to be a multi-part series. I may have to split it off into a separate blog.

TOPIC ONE: How NOT to Choose a School

I am feeling angst because a very close family member disapproves of the school where I am sending my son.  From what I gathered of the conversation, I should be sending him to a school full of Asian or Indian kids, because their performance is so much better than that of American children. I love our school because it is diverse, the teachers are kind, and my kid is happy there. Are these the right reasons? Also we don’t want to move to a fancy neighborhood so my son can go to school with a bunch of kids raised by tiger moms. No offense if you are a tiger mom, but I have sat next to you at little league games and you guys really stress me out.  

This shirt is for tiger moms to wear as a warning to others. Now people won’t have to give up a perfectly good seat on the bleachers to avoid you when you start screaming at your kids. 

In my defense, I stated that our selection of neighborhood and school was carefully thought out and I would appreciate her not treating our educational choices as haphazard decisions. However, in retrospect, we did choose our house because the lot has nice trees. Also, we drove by the elementary school down the road and didn’t see any police tape, chalk outlines, or obvious drug trafficking, so we assumed everything would be okay. Apparently, it is far from okay. According to the school ranking system, our school is only RECOGNIZED. A really good school would be EXEMPLARY.  Even though we are still one notch above those poor souls who are only ACCEPTABLE, it was a rookie mistake to choose a house because it has nice trees.

This shirt is for those of you who are recognized. You worked hard to achieve this, and it would be a shame for people to not recognize that you are recognized.
This shirt is for those of you who are acceptable. If you are not acceptable, wearing the shirt might help you out for a while, but I can’t guarantee how long the illusion will be maintained.

Personally, I work very hard to achieve ACCEPTABLE in my own life, and it is not as easy as one might think. Maybe it is not the school my son goes to, or the house that we live in. It could very well be me that is lacking in what it takes to be RECOGNIZED or EXEMPLARY.  I asked my son when he was two years old if he wanted to be a child genius, and he said ‘no.’ Maybe I should have pushed harder, but that ship has sailed. Now he is like every other slacker American kid playing with his Nintendo DS instead of learning to play the viola. This is not because of the educational system. It is because of me. There it is everyone… it is not the fault of the wonderful teachers at my son’s school, it is not the rating system, the problem is me. He could have cured cancer if I didn’t buy him Super Mario Cart.
And NO… if you are EXEMPLARY, you do NOT get a damn shirt. Don’t even ask.

How to Choose a Career

The following is a description of my husband’s behavior after he buys an item at the store. This narrative is not particularly important in the specifics of job hunting, but does eventually apply to the entire scheme of things. If you are reading this rather than looking for a job, you probably need a break anyway. Writing cover letters is excruciating. 

Husband has now finished his purchase. The cashier counts out a five and several one dollar bills for his change. The item is in the bag, and at this SuperCenter, this moment in time, this particular transaction is now complete. The cashier is standing there, waiting for the next group of items to roll down the conveyor belt. A line of people are standing there, expecting to move forward, and on with their lives. None of these things matter to my husband, as he carefully smoothes, straightens and arranges all of his bills with each the president’s head facing the same direction. I, on the other hand, never want to hold up progress in a SuperCenter, which is why I always wad up the whole mess of dollar bills and shove them in my purse.

That said, earlier this week my beloved takes me out for a drink. He looks deeply into my eyes and… asks if I have money for the tip. I am busy messing around with the salt on my shot of tequila, so I tell him I have plenty of change, and that he should retrieve it from my purse. So, he reaches into my purse, pauses, then holds up a huge wad of crumpled one dollar bills. The expression on his face is a mixture of disgust and dismay. He is totally ungrateful, I might add, for my willingness to pay the tip. I consider explaining that the bills are like this because I am not an asshole who holds people up in Wal-Mart, but I find it easier to say clearly, in a very loud voice, “Sorry, those are my tips from stripping.”

The thing I like about declaring loudly that you are a stripper, is that everyone can automatically imagine what it is you do though out your workday, or night as the case may be. For example, you can’t just yell out, “Those are my tips from working as an Instructional Designer.” That statement would only confuse people. Plus, I don’t even think they make tips.

This brings us to our main topic of the day: How to Choose a Career. People will tell you all about salary and benefits, but they never tell you that the most important aspect of choosing a career is to get a good title. If you have a good title, people don’t look at you funny when you tell them you are a Dynamic Marketing Associate or a Direct Integration Facilitator. (Resume Tip — For more ridiculous job titles, try Bullshit Job: Job Title Generator. There are tons of them.)

Doctor, lawyer, and stripper are all instantly recognizable, clear-cut job titles with no explanation required. The problem with these obtaining these jobs, however, is often lack of skill and/or qualification… and, of course, proper attire. Lawyers, for instance, wear power suits, so you will need to get one of those. I don’t know whether they come with the power, or if you have to get that separate. I’m sure the salespeople at JC Penney’s will know, so just ask them when you get there.

In the meantime, allow me to share a personal example of how lack of appropriate attire can limit your career options. Specifically, how I blew my chance to be a stripper. 

I once went into a strip club with a group of friends because I had never been to one. (I have never been to a Catholic Church service either, but that is on my to-do list.) Apparently, being a girl in a strip club, the club owner is required to come over and check to see if you are job hunting. Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t even an application to fill out. I’m not sure what the hiring process for stripper typically involves, but this person seemed willing to let me get up on stage within the hour without even a reference check. 


They most likely quit making people fill out the applications. Writing down your references, five year goals and highest level of education would take a lot of the glamour out of dancing in a g-string to heavy metal songs. Plus, I would be really angry if I had to put on my glass platform heels just to end up filling out forms about my previous work experience. Glass platform heels are really uncomfortable.

The reason my stripper career failed to proceed was not because of lack of qualification or skill. I could take the time to mention here that lack of skill is probably why I would have been fired. I happen to be a horrible dancer and I’m really clumsy in heels, but that was not my downfall as of yet. The blunder resulting in my failed stripper career was my failure to have right sort of clothing on hand. The club owner said some of the girls could loan me their items, but I would have felt really uncomfortable wearing someone else’s g-string.

If you are already in a career with an ambiguous title, it is probably too late for you to switch to being a stripper. However, you can always change your title. You should consider a title incorporating words like specialist, or expert. These are terms that make you already seem important with no further action required. Do not use words like developer or consultant. These terms imply action and people will eventually expect you to do stuff. And don’t be a cashier at Wal-Mart SuperCenter. The job title is fine, but you will spend most of your time watching my husband arrange his dollar bills. I’m not sure what effect that will have on you in the long run, but it is not boding well for me.

Did God Create the Universe?

I was raised to not question anything from the Bible, like creation. However, if someone tells you not ask questions about something, that in and of itself is the best reason to delve right into it. After all, you need to know where lines are so you can color outside of them. Therefore, when the Discovery Channel announced that Stephen Hawking would be figuring out if God really created the universe, I was like, “Awesome. Let’s do this thing!”

And so it began. Television producers got together to answer the question, “Is there a meaningful outcome to this story we call the universe?” Commercial sponsors got together to answer the question, “Is Nissan an innovative company?” and “Should you ask your doctor about persistent heartburn?” After a brief promo for a show about people fishing with their bare hands, the program began, and I settled in with my popcorn to ponder our collective fate. That is when Stephen Hawking ruined EVERYTHING. He got himself on TV, and flat out stated that there is no god. There is no controller of our destiny. The master narrative of our religious faith is useless and we are all miniscule specks in an indifferent universe. Dammit, Stephen Hawking! I just wanted to color outside the lines. You didn’t have to burn the whole coloring book!

In short, we are doomed. I have isolated the main problem to gravity. Don’t let gravity fool you. It may be keeping that pencil on your desk right now, but it is bad news. You see, everything around us was created by this giant star exploding billions of years ago because gravity was bored and didn’t have anything better to do. Now that gravity is done exploding stars, it is forcing the universe to slowly spread apart into vast infinite nothingness. We are condemned drift unwillingly into the meaningless void of eternity. Are we there yet? No… and we NEVER WILL BE!

Just when I thought I had stayed up too late without figuring out the universe, I decided to consult with my panel of philosophical experts (Twitter is rampant with philosophical experts). This is what I found out:

@AIRIGOAGAIN believes that we are “masters of our destiny in the same way that sailors are the master of their journey. You can’t control the sea, only react.” When pressed, he did admit that you could control at least part of the sea, “ a really small part, close to the shore. Or the part touching the hull of the ship that is yourself.” However, I wouldn’t recommend getting that close to the water so soon after shark week. Those sharks didn’t look like they were done.

@engr_andy recommends catching up on your karma by reading a story about Buddhists rescuing a boat of lobsters: Good Karma: Buddhists Liberate 500 Lobsters Destined for Dinner Plates. His hope is that “maybe someone will cut my rubber bands off and throw me overboard.” I tend to agree there is a good chance of this. Buddhists always turn up when you least expect them.

According to @debihen, the path to karma and finding meaning in life is more direct than we realize, “Clearly, we tend to complicate things when it’s all simple. Metal Chicken and be kind. Life in a nutshell.” This comment brings to light the impossible fact that the Discovery Channel and Stephen Hawking failed to consider a metal chicken in their ENTIRE god vs. the universe program. @jbrown3079 reasoned that the show was obviously put together “before we discovered the power of the metal chicken.” Frankly, I feel it was an irresponsible oversight on their part and I expect a retraction.

With this in mind, let’s take another look at the universe from a more practical perspective. In the wise words of @msCreatrix, “Here’s the thing about the Universe… It makes as much sense as Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken.” Yes. Yes it does.

So, there it is… Be kind, rescue lobsters when you find them, and respect the power of the metal chicken. We can’t ask religion or Stephen Hawking to define the mysterious pull towards a connection larger than ourselves. But, we can create our own narrative as we make our way through the sea of time. And, if you feel trapped by your circumstances, hold your course. You never know when some Buddhists are going to pop up around the corner to cut rubber bands off your claws.

In the meantime, no more Discovery Channel for me. Tonight, I will follow @feuxdeforet’s advice and watch kitty videos on YouTube.

Wasteland Survival Update

I have updated the plan for wasteland survival based on all of your valuable input. You may now begin hostile takeover of Wal-mart, Google Headquarters, and Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. When attacking Chuck E. Cheese locations, please make sure all animatronics survive in good condition as they are somehow key to the overall strategy. 


All canned goods are approved for hoarding as long as you have removed the labels. Also, hobos and dragons have been added to the list of acceptable pets.



In other recent developments, @AngentDragonFly informed us that PetSmart is now sponsoring pterodactyl adoptions. If you are seeking a pet for the upcoming apocalypse, please consider one of these guys. They need good homes.
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