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I have been afraid of Pinterest for three months.
First I was afraid because I thought it was a do-it-yourself acupuncture play-by-play.
Then I was afraid because you needed an “invite” to even join the site, and thinking back to my high school days when I’d wear a denim buttoned shirt on top of denim relaxed-fit jeans…well I didn’t think I’d make the cut.
Lastly, I was afraid of what it was doing to its users. I’d quietly watch the socially-adjusted Twitter and Facebook addicts I used to know, and suddenly they weren’t posting about what they’d had for breakfast or what they were wearing via a self-portrait pic in the mirror (where they were giving a peace sign and pursing their lips, no doubt). Instead, they had linked up their accounts to Pinterest, as it sucked their narcissistic updates dry and replaced them with….pins.
“Sally pinned some food to her “food board.” She didn’t actually eat any food…that we know of.”
“Amy pinned this amazing couch to her decor board, because it’ll just be PERFECT for that beach house she owns in her dreams.”
“Sarah pinned spiked-heel sandals to her fashion board. Sarah’s thick ankles will not support this look, but her board is one pin fuller.”
If it sounds like I’m making fun of Pinterest, YOU ARE WRONG!
Pinterest is a revolution, to undo the years of damage caused by social media. You see, Facebook and Twitter encouraged you to actually interact with people, so you could share the mind-numbing details of your life, even “@ messaging” specific people at times, forcing them to reply. But now……you can make all these boards and pin all this shit and it’s all for YOU! Sure you can follow people, and re-pin their pins (WTF?), but in the end it’s all about how pretty your boards look. It’s like having the walls of your home covered up in all your awkward hopes and dreams in a cut-and-paste collage…but without actually ruining your walls! That’s a win for both wall care and family relationships. Instead, Pinterest kindly offers to get “all up in the walls” of your mind’s daily obsessions (if that’s not Pinterest’s slogan already, they should pay me a large sum to use it).
The net effect of obsessive “pinning” means less time actually telling people about your life (with the rest of us being forced to “like” your updates out of obligation), and more time spent alone, protected by the virtual walls of your favourite things, regardless of if you’ll ever have said things. And BONUS: the more time you spend doing THAT, the less time you’ll spend talking to your friends and loved ones about: all the re-decorating you want to do, all the clothes you want to buy, all the hair products you want to try, and all the places you wish you could visit. And the net effect of THAT? Well…there will be nothing left to talk about, and in this eerie silence, brains will simultaneously light up, ideas will be exchanged, and…cancer will be cured.
In case you thought I was above all of this…as of this weekend I am a happy and dedicated pinner! See here, look how happy I seem in my profile picture, I’m even staring up at you from an angle! Here’s what all my pinning will now spare my friends of in future conversation:
1. Whenever I’m feeling all emo about lost love and if I’ll ever find it again, I’ll pin the shit out of my “Writer Inspiration” board instead of talking about it
3. Whenever I feel like being a shopaholic, I’ll pin a bunch of clothes to my “If I Could Shop All Day” board instead of going on a shopping spree, then bitching to my friends about how I’m broke. That’s a double win, friendship AND bank account score!
So…what are you waiting for?
PS: This post was in no way related to where I’m at with my writing projects and publishing experiences, which has clearly been this crazy blog’s trend for the last six months! I’ll still return to that luscious blogging well for every drop that it’s worth, but in the meantime my writer thoughts will be more organized and more personalized (but just as insane) in my free monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. The first issue is coming up on May 2nd. NOTE: if you haven’t read any of my books, this newsletter will contain spoilers, so either shape up and read my work or ship the hell out! Thanks, love you.
These are the real-life accounts of a chick who tried writing 50,000 words in 5 days, a goal that could only be accomplished by sinking into the dark recesses of one’s mind, often bordering on the edges of: madness, sadness, and occasional maniacal laughter.
Sunday March 4th
6pm: I just washed my hair. Only the writing gods know when the follow-up washing will occur. It’s frightening and exhilarating all at once.
11pm: Since my writing week technically doesn’t start until tomorrow, I’m writing out plot points as I watch the “The Walking Dead” (this is how my writing voice sounds when I’m making excuses for myself out of laziness. Umm.)
Monday March 5th
10am: I just opened my writing document. As Borat would say, “Big success!”
10:45am: Writing the first few pages is always the hardest. I only wrote 400 words in 45 minutes, when I should be writing 1,500 words an hour to meet my goal. I don’t even know where 1,500 words an hour came from, do people even write that much?
I’m going to the gym.
1:30pm: The gym was packed, and silver hair was abundant. My observation: when you go to the gym on weeknights (like me and my demographic usually do), they play hip hop songs about guys jizzing on girls in night clubs and girls finding it amazing (‘cause yes, that’s every girl’s dream). When you go to the gym in the daytime however, they play songs like “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain. My conclusion: older women have more confidence.
PS: yes I showered after the gym, but no I did not wash my hair. Viva la resistance!
6:15pm: I’m at 5,000 words. My daily goal is 10,000 words so I’m halfway there, and it’s not like I have a bedtime. I may even watch an episode of “Smash” tonight AND still hit my goal. Who would’ve thought?!
12:35am: So I totally didn’t have time to watch “Smash.” Instead I distracted myself with doing laundry, then came to the conclusion that 1,000-calorie-meals would make me sleepy and inhibit my writing, so I had to end up eating THIS instead. So lame.
I also reached my goal of 10,000 words in the first day. I guess that’s kind of a big deal, but when you’re alone in a hermit writing-cave, there aren’t a lot of people to share it with.
Tuesday March 6th
3:00pm: I’ve written 3,500 words so far. At this point into the “Year of the Chick” sequel, I’m writing about the excitement and thrill of the discovery of yourself in another. That weird and crazy soul-mate thing. When I’m forced to write about less fun things later, like conflict and impossibilities, I will probably vomit (the price to pay for writing something that’s inspired by real life). But for now it’s fun.
Lyrics from my playlist: “I’m waiting, longing for you. One more, night and then I’m gone…I am your visitor, I’m on the other side of your wall.”—Head First by Goldfrapp
12:01am: Met the goal and surpassed it, with 11,000 words for the day. Things that helped: choosed meals with 30 seconds or less of prep time. Will I actually write 50,000 words this week? That would be a miracle…
Wednesday March 7th
7:30pm: a good friend with the day off work convinced me to brush off the hermit life and try to write in Starbucks. That venue is where I wrote the majority of my screenplay, so it seemed like a good idea, plus it would give me the chance to talk to another human being, since I’ve literally been talking to myself as I write out the dialogue. (Example: “You’re wearing a Snuggie…at two p.m…in the middle of summer?!” Okay that’ll work, then I’ll add “If I ever have a son, I’m gonna make him my monkey-butler. Shirtless with a bow-tie all the way…” Yep, that’ll work great, okay, good job, self, now high-five! (It’s alarming how comfortable I’ve become with talking to myself)).
Why I was productive at Starbucks: an elderly man decided to sit beside me on the couch. He spilled his coffee everywhere, smelled of stale urine, and kept leaning on me after he fell asleep with his sunglasses on. This made me write faster than I’ve ever written in my life so I could get the hell out of there. 3,500 words in 2 hours. A new record. I’m considering kidnapping him…
1:10am: I finished my daily quota, which in total amounts to 31,000 words in 3 days. This would’ve seemed insane to me last week, but if I can do that, maybe I can truly reach my goal, of 50,000 words by Friday.
On the down side, sinking deeper into the plot has made me realize that here I am, dedicating hours and hours of my life to writing about someone (loosely) who probably hasn’t thought of me in ages. His perfect little “society and family approved” life hums along, while I re-hash the past for the sake of creating art. And there’s a ninety-nine percent chance that this art will never make it big. It can be borderline-depressing, but if my only alternative is to be a normally-functioning human who doesn’t dwell on things, then it’s inescapable. I will never be normal.
Also, I cried today. Something tells me it’s not the last I’ll see of “Sad-Bags McGee”…
Lyrics from my playlist: “And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd, ’cause these words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.”—Breathe by Anna Nalick
Thursday March 8th
5:15pm: 5,000 words in the bag and we’re still on track. It’s amazing that I haven’t run into writer’s block yet, probably because I know how much I’ll hate myself if I waste a paid vacation day. Hooray for the fear of self-loathing!
I can’t go to the gym, I can’t go grocery shopping, I actually can’t be around anyone. I’m all alone and it has to stay that way, because I’m writing about the hardest thing a person can write about (besides child-trafficking or serial-killing ): falling in love. I’ll have to go back later and inject in some humour, because non-stop cheese-ball romance I simply will not do; besides, Nicholas Sparks already has it covered (not that I didn’t love “The Notebook”…*sniff*). For now though, writing in the emotion is hard enough.
Oh, I washed my hair today. I don’t know if it makes me less “legit” as a writer to not stay greasy, but I have pretty long hair and it was getting to be ridiculous.
Lyrics from my playlist: “It must be your skin, I’m sinking in, it must be for real, ’cause now I can feel.”—Glycerine by Bush.
1:24am Another 11,000 words were written today, which means I only have to write 8,000 tomorrow to meet my goal of 50K in 5 days. On Sunday that goal seemed impossible, but now with burning eyeballs and crusted tears on my greasy face I’m almost there.
Lyrics from my playlist: “Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again.”—Lovesong by The Cure
Friday March 9th:
6pm: I only needed 8,000 words to meet the goal, but I was in the zone and wrote 9,000. I hadn’t written 9,000 words by 6pm all week, so I guess this was the most productive day.
51,000 words in 5 days….oh writing gods, I did it! And all I had to temporarily sacrifice was my sanity, my eye-sight, and my finally-repaired heart which is now all shredded once again,…for the glory of stupid art.
I would’ve rather sacrificed a baby at the altar.
Lyrics from my playlist: “Here I am, lost in the ashes of time, but who wants tomorrow? In between, the longing to hold you again, I’m caught in your shadow…I’m losing control.”—Afterglow by INXS
Saturday March 10th
10:45pm: I wrote another 7,000 words today, with the help of my cat on this spinster-like Saturday night. There was no need to write today but I wanted to, I guess that’s how badly I want to share this story with the world.
Lyrics from my playlist: “To find a way, to open up again, and learn to take, all the beauty that’s inside.”—Ring the Bells by Satellite
I need a few more thousand words next week and I’ll reach the end, with more colour to be added in later.
I’m so ahead of the game in fact, that I’m going to bump up the release date of the “Year of the Chick” sequel from September to late June. I just decided this now from the comfort of my bed. That’s the fun part of doing everything yourself: total control.
As a teaser, below are twelve lines from the sequel. I’ll post more teasers along the way at my Facebook Author Page, along with updates about the release, and general awkward thoughts.
From the “Year of the Chick” sequel (due out in June 2012)
“Suddenly he dropped my hair like it was a used up condom from “Motel 6.””
“Apparently it was illegal to open people’s mail…? That was something I never would’ve learned in the plastic bubble of my family, considering all my mail was opened by my parents, read, and summarized by the time I got home.”
“I need a long-distance boyfriend like I need genital warts.”
“I waited for the tears to form in my eyes, followed by a trip to the women’s bathroom where I’d hide in the stall and weep, then pretend I was vomiting if anyone came inside. Been there, done that.”
“At that exact moment, I heard two eager halves of a mouth snap shut on a ginger molasses cookie. “
“My mother was busy calling one relative after the next, convincing them to skip the hotel and stay with us for the wedding. Her hard sell was the enormous number of cots that could fit in the basement. Good god.”
“”Who works out that much? Seriously, his upper body is shaped like a pizza slice.” She pretended not to hear but I pressed on. “So El, did he take off his shirt? And if so, does he have greasy pepperoni nipples?””
“This cow is not for sale so he’s not gonna get any milk. Or something. I mean he already has a cow back home in his barn. Or a girl. Whatever. “
““You think you can waste six more months sitting in your room to write…BOOKS?” She made it sound like a book was a Playboy magazine.”
““Don’t tell me I’m the first person who’s ever used Super Nintendo in a lady-part analogy!””
“”Everybody wants to find love, but nobody wants to get screwed over. Shit’s bound to happen when those two collide.”"
“This was something more. This was the grand gesture I’d been waiting my whole life to make…”
I’m a cuddler.
But I’m also an expert at being single. By the way, take any negative-sounding term (single, lazy, cross-eyed) and preface it with “expert”. Your confidence will soar.
So confession time: being alone but needing something “graspable” for sleep has been a sad contradiction in my life. In my teenage years, with not a single boy sampling “milkshakes” in my “yard”, what was I to do? I tried my best to cuddle with my standard pillow, but it wasn’t the same as a man (unless it was a replica of a “little person” or wood nymph).
Then a few years back, a revolution was born.
It was a pillow that could span from my head to my toe, and a pillow that was available…EVERYWHERE!
Talk about a breakthrough for desperate singles.
For years before the body pillow, lonely hearts had to slip into sex shops under cover of night, searching for the one blow-up doll that would give the song “Two Become One”some personal meaning (and I don’t care what anyone says, but “Two Become One” is the best Spice Girls song and “Say You’ll Be There” can suck it.)
More recently things became discrete and as close to real as possible, but at what cost?
It was the “Real Doll”, and from the comfort of your home you could order it online (a dirty little Fed-Ex delivery secret). The Real Doll boasted the traits of being pliable yet sturdy, with the ability to warm you like an oven (or plug you like a cork in a wine bottle, depending on which gender of “Real Doll” we’re discussing). But at a price tag of thousands of dollars? Hardly a solution for us common folk.
So with blow-up dolls and Real Dolls as unlikely fixes to the single person’s problem, the hope for having manufactured love was slipping away.
Then came these precious “body pillows”, which made love-simulation worth having again!
You can buy your body pillow at a totally non-judging place like Ikea. If you’re still a little nervous grab a kitchen tool as well, it’ll legitimize your purchase in a flash (just remember that a spatula to some is considered slutty, so stick with something safe like a melon baller).
Don’t rush out of the store or you’ll get “made”. Instead you should savour a one-dollar Ikea breakfast like the rest of ‘em, and trust me you’ll blend right in.
Once your body pillow’s safely at home let the fun begin! Customization options are as broad as your imagination, but if you’re looking for a useful starting point, just remember two important tips:
1: The Internet is jammed with lovely pictures of your Hollywood crushes
2: Photo-quality printing paper is reasonably priced
I will say no more.
So even if you’re destined to be alone, just remember how much worse your dateless predecessors had it. The world is your playground, and a snuggly simulated lover is just a g-rated shopping trip away!
Once upon time I was a laughing little girl. Despite (two) bouts of head lice, a crooked ear, and one post-diaper incident of crapping my pants, I was a happy girl, whose small brown eyes bubbled over with dreams.
After womanly life changes, poor wardrobe choices, and a handful of disappointments, I realized that everything I ever dreamed of might be different from the things I’d truly hold. In the matters of love, I (with the encouragement of society) pointed my finger at those syrup-happy fairy tales. Prince Charming, castles, magic balls, sleeping (or poisoned) beauties, they sucked me in to their edited worlds of joy, and implausible rescues from disenchanted lives.
Or did they?
Fairy tales and they’re makers aren’t exactly innocent in the matters of under-age brainwash, but who is the absolute worst?
I came to this epiphany during a recent jaunt through a toy store. As soon as I walked past the plush smiling bears with their dazzling tummy-symbols, I journeyed back to my long-repressed childhood dream.
It was all because of him…Tenderheart bear. With a big red heart as his Care Bear tummy symbol, he was all about expressing feelings and being nice, and he helped the other bears be as caring as can be. I would watch his exploits on the Care Bears cartoon with glee, and my heart would fill with blinding joy, whenever he brought out the best in his fellow bear.
In other words…he was my childhood version of a “dream man.” Not the handsome Eric from “The Little Mermaid”, but Tenderheart, the one with big supplies of the purest kind of heart. And so, for my whole adult life, I blindly searched for the nicest man with the biggest heart, never knowing that in reality…I was searching for a goddamn Care Bear.
Which means that even though I rejected fairy tales like any grown-up woman should, I subconsciously longed for a talking magic bear to be my lover.
And it’s not like the madness ended there. Every time I’m on a plane and we fly above the clouds, I consider diving straight into those big white balls of puff. I wonder if there’s a secret society in those clouds, with smiling bears, and cloud-made cars, and magic streams from tummies that can turn all bad to good. I’ve never actually jumped from the Emergency Exit though, since reality tells me that the outcome would be less than great.
And isn’t that the only thing reality ever does? Buzz-kill. Which begs the question, why even have all this fantasy at all? Build up the kids so we can crush them later on? Well excuse me, but that seems counter-productive.
I may scold the world but I still want to fix it, so I hereby propose that cartoons be replaced with reality. We could fund it through the government as a Child-Assistance program, and structure it as once-a-week field trips. Field trips would begin at age five, and vary as such: go to a restaurant and watch a sleazy man nonchalantly dump his gal (then reverse roles, because it’s not like women are saints); spend a day on the street in the company of your neighbourhood friendly homeless man; try to endure a three-hour boardroom meeting (there’s nothing else beyond that, just make them endure it); observe a middle-aged woman as she checks her latest matches on e-Harmony…I could go on.
In short: so much reality, so little future disappointment! I wish I could go back…
Maybe it’s too late for our society though, since we naturally coddle youngsters, but if my blog transmits to a brand new alien society, I highly recommend the extinction of dreams (or at the very least, the murder of the sweet and caring Tenderheart).
Right then, time to leave the bear enclave and find a real live man (any man, I guess…)
When I saw this article explaining how boys with nannies are likely to turn into womanizers, I said “Enough!”
Between that article, studies which explain why men are obsessed with boobs, and inventing the term “sex addict” to excuse for infidelity, I am sick and tired of wandering wing-wangs relying on Psychology back-up.
Screw your wing-wangs!
Oh wait, I think that part is already covered.
I suppose the next step is to retreat into the bosom of Feminism, and demand equal rights in the matter of defending female flaws.
Well…no. I’m actually free of shoe-obsessions, or shopping addictions (mostly), or taking twenty hours to get ready for the movies. I do however, have a gender-neutral background full of shame. Up until recently, my life-shame had a crippling effect. But after sharing my story with a team of top-notch shrinks?
I’m officially excused!
And so I give you, a Psychology-approved selected rundown of my flaws:
-I’m sarcastic to the point of meanness, because I spent my early childhood in barrels of acidic fruit
-I refuse to reciprocate friendliness in an elevator, since elevators are like boxes and a box is what I got for Christmas one year (just the box)
-I elbow strangers at the bustling Union Station, since my older brother used to elbow-drop me in the eighties, like it was non-stop Wrestlemania (misplaced revenge? Hell yes.)
-Though I’m nearly twenty-nine years old, a slap fight with my sister is not beyond the prospect of reality. This stems from a past of “high-fiving” our friends until it hurt (or in other words, positive turned to negative equals bitch-slap bonanza…)
-I sneeze like a man. This is definitely a flaw if you want to get a boyfriend, and I blame it on my father, who’s had me shovelling snow, mowing the lawn, and building ready-to-assemble furniture since 1996 (it’s classic “manwashing”…save me before it’s too late!)
Wow, I feel so much better now, and YOU can too! For a free psychological analysis, please contact the celebrated experts via email:
(and for those of you who don’t know me in-real-life: yes, I minored in Psychology…sigh)