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In Which I Do All of NaBloPoMo in One Day

November 18, 2012

I tried to do the very first NaBloPoMo in November 2006, but I quit after nine days, shortly after posting a photo of my toilet brush caddy. A couple of years ago, I posted every day in the month of June, but I was obviously kidding myself. If it’s not November, it doesn’t count. Since I’m clearly too late to do it this month, I’m going to answer all the daily writing prompts in one sitting. I hope one of them isn’t “post a photo of your toilet brush caddy.” That’s been done to death.

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tell us your favorite quotation and why.

“Hello, I’m Jeffrey, and I’ll be your server this evening,” because it means I can eat without cooking first.

On a somewhat related note, I recently stopped following a blog because the blogger quoted himself in an asinine way. It was one of those allegedly inspirational “simplify your life” blogs so I was probably going to quit reading it anyway as sooner or later those people invariably suggest that the answer to all of life’s problems is color-coded storage bins, but he helped move things along by being a jackass. For the purposes of this story, let’s say the guy’s name is John Smith. Basically what John did was to advise his readers to remember some words to live by, then he set off a stupid unoriginal homily in a quote box, and attributed it to … John Smith! What was he thinking, “Oh that me! I’m so wise!” It would be like me saying to you that when life gets difficult, you should never forget the following:

Get the toilet brush caddy!

— flurrious

Friday, November 2, 2012
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Sometimes I think I would like to live in 1964, but more for the clothes and the furniture and less for the oppression and smaller portion sizes.

Monday, November 5, 2012
What are your thoughts about tomorrow’s election in the United States?

Get the toilet brush caddy!

— flurrious

Being a socialist, free stuff wanting, member of the 47%, I am of course happy and relieved about the outcome, but this election cycle was the worst. I didn’t think anything could get nastier than the 2008 season, but this one was exponentially more heinous. On the bright side, Trump, Palin, and Coulter made huge strides toward their ultimate state of complete ineffectuality and (one hopes) obscurity, and if that doesn’t prove that America is on the right track, nothing will.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?

Self-impeachment. Seriously, people, should this country ever devolve to the point where I am President of the United States, my advice to you is this: emigrate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Talk about the last compliment you received.

Someone told me I was the best! Right before that, that same person described another person’s shiny wide belt as the best! I have also heard her say that barbecue corn nuts are the best! So I didn’t get too excited about the compliment, as it was pretty much “I love lamp.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012
If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

Even the mere idea of doing something new makes me tired. I’ve been working for 33 years. I just want to sit on my couch and read a magazine, is that too much to ask?

Friday, November 9, 2012
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

I would have worn different socks this morning. My feet are super cold right now.

Monday, November 12, 2012
Where is your favorite place to blog?

Because you guys care about that, right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

I did do something brave once, but there’s no way to talk about it without being a self-aggrandizing asshole. It would be like saying that when life gets hard, you should remember this:

My feet are super cold right now.

— flurrious

So let’s just say that I haven’t been entirely worthless every day of my life, but on most of them, yes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

I have no idea. But since it’s almost Thanksgiving, I will tell you about Carol, my former work-friend who I hated, who told me the best meal she ever cooked was a vegetarian Thanksgiving. She invited her non-vegetarian parents and told them there would be no gross animal flesh involved (I’m pretty sure she used those words too, since she was often looking at my tuna salad sandwiches and declaring them to be “gross meat things” because that’s not rude at all) and they said that would be fine. Her parents came, they ate, they said it was all very good, and they didn’t complain that it was ratatouille instead of turkey. The next day she and her husband dropped by her parents’ house unannounced and her parents were eating a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, at which point Carol started screaming at them because, well, because psycho, I guess. She also never celebrated another holiday with them again because: psycho. But now I can’t think of either Thanksgiving or ratatouille without hearing Carol say, “and that food was the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life and they had to ruin it!” by having different food on a different day in a different house. Or in other words: psycho.

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tell us about your favorite pet.

Aside from a couple of hamsters, a few goldfish, and a tankful of tropical fish that all succumbed to ichthyophthirius because I was an 11-year-old and giving a tankful of tropical fish to an 11-year-old is not good thinking, I’ve only had two cats as pets. Their lives did not overlap, and thus I can say with complete truthfulness that they were each the best cat in the world. I lost one in 1980 and the other in 2011 and I’ll never not miss both of their sweet little faces.

Friday, November 16, 2012
Would you buy your dream house if the price was right BUT you also were told it was inhabited by ghosts?

Not to belabor the obvious, but if it’s inhabited by ghosts, then by definition it’s not my dream house. It’s not like I sit around in my current house wishing that I had a bigger kitchen, more closet space, and the shadowy forms of the restless souls of the dead flicking the lights on and off. On the other hand, if it’s a friendly ghost, like Casper or that sea captain in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, then I would probably be okay with it, assuming there’s also an eat-in kitchen with a center island.

Monday, November 19, 2012
If you had to get locked in some place (book store, amusement park, etc) overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?

Mattress store.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talk about the opening of your favorite book.

I’ve said this before, but I don’t have a single favorite book because different books are important to me for different reasons. But if I did have one, it would be the dictionary, and the first word in the dictionary is the word “a,” which is defined in part as the first letter of the English alphabet. This would seem like quite the coincidence, until you realize that the dictionary goes in alphabetical order.

Oh, wait, I’ve got something (not really). I once mentioned to a coworker that I liked the book All Creatures Great and Small. I told him it was about a veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales and he expressed interest in reading it, so I brought in my copy the next day to lend to him. When I gave it to him, he was all, “saaaaay, I happen to have tickets to [some play whose name I can’t remember] and since you’re interested in all things English, perhaps you’d like to see it with me.” Okay, (a) just because I lent him a book that takes place in England doesn’t mean I’m interested in “all things English,” and (b) CRAP, I don’t want to go out with this dude. But my tendency to avoid conflict goes way back, so I said, “um … okay, I guess,” and went to see a truly horrible play with him. After the play, we went to a jazz club, where he repeatedly and awkwardly would go, “woo!” at the end of a set and then look over at me like, “yeah, I’m hip.” I thought the night would never end. For the next three weeks or so, I fended off repeated invitations to go out and finally I said, “are you done with that book yet? I’d really like to have it back.” He said, “I’m stuck on the part where he’s delivering the calf and has his arm in the cow up to his shoulder.” I refrained from pointing out that scene occurs on page 1. Eventually I got the book back, but I had to keep it away from my other books until it recovered from being in the same house as a bottle of Drakkar Noir.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Where is your favorite place to read?

This is quite possibly the least interesting question on the internet.

Thursday, November 22, 2012
When was the last time that you cried? Why?

I cry all the time so you can’t go by me, but the other morning I was watching a news segment where a group of people were getting sworn in as American citizens by Janet Napolitano and that made me all teary-eyed. It also made me laugh because when they got to the part of the oath where they had to agree to bear arms on behalf of the United States, the camera cut to a little old lady from Thailand whose face bore the expression, “jigga what?”

Friday, November 23, 2012
What is the hardest word for you to say?

I had a few qualms just now with “jigga,” but eventually I decided it was probably okay.

Monday, November 26, 2012
Do you speak more than one language? How did you learn the additional languages?

English (as you know, I am interested in all things English), enough Japanese to ask a question but not enough to understand the answer, and I know how to say that I have a broken leg in French.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
If you could instantly know any language in the world, which one would it be?

FORTRAN. Wait, is FORTRAN still a thing?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.


Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tell us about three new blogs you found this year.

chew the fat. Mary’s writing is part food blog and part memoir. She focuses on baking, which I don’t do all that often unless it involves hitting a can on the edge of the counter and having biscuits pop out, but her blog is a favorite of mine because she’s such a good storyteller. She also does an occasional food personality quiz, in which she determines who you are by what kind of cereal or Halloween candy you prefer. I found the peanut butter quiz in particular to be frighteningly accurate.

Between Rome and Paradise. I’ve been reading two of Abby’s three blogs for a few years now (and I would have been reading the third, had I known that it might include photos of pole-dancing squirrels), but recently she merged her personal, knitting, and gardening blogs into one, which I appreciate because I can only click on so many things a day. I do have to work sometime you know. At any rate, Abby’s got a brand new blog! Go say hello.

Tofugu. Tofugu is a quirky blog about … well, I hate to say about “all things Japanese” because it reminds me of a colleague who tried to turn “all things English” into a mating ritual, but Tofugu really is about all things Japanese. It’s about the culture, food, and language; it’s sometimes serious and sometimes just nutty. There are too many notable posts to link to, but a few recent post titles are, “It’s Hibagon! The Smaller, Cuter, Japanese Version of Bigfoot,” “Conquer Your Fears By Eating Them With Halloween Bento Boxes,” and “The Japanese Are Giving Everyone Incurable Gonorrhea.” I am also in love with the “How To Be A Baka Gaijin” series, apropos of which I would like to belatedly apologize to the people who were on the same train with me from Narita about all my oversized luggage.

Friday, November 30, 2012
What has been the hardest part about blogging daily?

It’s been going pretty smoothly, actually.

  1. November 18, 2012 3:38 PM

    Dammit! I was hoping for another, long, drawn-out attempt at NaGonWriNoMo. This is just what I needed today – thank you for the laughs, Miss Flurry.

    It’s amazing to me that anyone manages to post every day. I was two paragraphs into this post and decided I was exhausted. But you know what I always say: [something about a toilet brush].

  2. November 18, 2012 3:44 PM

    Thank you so much for mentioning me! I feel so honored! I loved and read all of James Herriot’s books but I’ve never had the experience of someone trying to use his works to pick me up. I think I would have had to have replaced all of my volumes of his work, including the collections of dog and cat stories after that experience. And possibly started wearing a flea collar to work.

    Also on the subject of animals, I too had an aquarium when I was nine and now I wonder why fish are considered such a great ‘first pet,’ given that cleaning the thing, keeping the water balanced, and making sure I didn’t select fish that wanted to kill each other was actually more challenging and baffling than taking care of my dog. I admit to occasionally being soft-hearted and giving my dog and extra treat now and then with no ill consequences, while giving the fish a flake or two much food would leave half of them floating at the top of the tank in the morning.

    Given that I am a food blogger, the story about Carol is priceless. When I was a vegetarian, I did have the opposite happen to me on Thanksgiving (i.e., being served meat when the person knew I didn’t eat it). So I’m usually pretty sympathetic to people who share my former ideological convictions but then someone who is vegan will say something like: “how can you eat ice cream and pet your dog?” Which is pretty funny because my dog would eat an entire chicken if I let her (although I do stick to the skinless chicken breast, having er, learned my lesson about appropriate food intake with the fish). I wonder how Carol’s nice parents ended up with Carol as a daughter?

    All Things English went on to date two other women in the office at the same time, eventually marrying one of them. The two women had been friends, but ended up fighting over this guy. I have never understood it. Except for the fact that he was gainfully employed, he was a giant zero.

    My brother and his girlfriend gave me the aquarium and it was one of the most angst-filled experiences of my life. They ate frozen brine shrimp that came in a big brick and I had to chip off the exact right amount every day, but I’m sure I got it wrong and overfed them. Nor could I ever get the water temperature right. It was basically two days of “ooh, pretty fish” and then weeks of watching them succumb to disease.

    Carol always claimed her mother was crazy and awful, but in every story she told about her, Carol ended up looking worse.

  3. November 18, 2012 6:28 PM

    A writing prompt for Thanksgiving Day but none for the weekends? Must be a Canadian thing. The last compliment I received was along the lines of look-at-you-skipping-down-the stairs which I interpreted as you-are-so-spry-for-your-age. I cry witnessing kindness (which says what about me?) And FORTRAN is DEAD, plus all software development has moved offshore. (Thanks for mentioning my new three-in-one blog! I predict the pole dancing squirrel will get the most hits ever.)

    I just noticed that the Thanksgiving Day prompt is the one about crying. It’s as if they’ve spent the holidays with my family or something. I also cry witnessing kindness, but people being what they are, that one doesn’t come up all that much.

    I can’t remember if FORTRAN was what we used when I took a computer science course in college or if it was Pascal. But the point is that I went to college in the 1800s.

  4. November 19, 2012 3:21 AM

    When I took a basic math class in college(being as most pole dancing squirrels have more mathematical aptitude than I) we spent one day learning to ‘program’ in BASIC, so, yeah, I’m ancient.
    And yesterday a student surprised me by telling me I had pretty eyes. I wish I had known that toilet brush quote, it would have been perfect. Also I used to wear Drakkar, but only because someone gave me a bottle of it. And I hate Jazz.


    You’re a white guy in your 40s; you are legally required to have worn Drakkar at some point in your life. (For men in their 50s, it would be either Brut or Hai Karate). Does your student have a little crush on you? If so, it’s probably harmless. I used to crush on professors in college and the worst thing that happened was that I took a course in set theory. If she’s aggressive enough to compliment you, however, you might want to keep an actual toilet brush handy, to fend her off.

  5. November 19, 2012 12:51 PM

    I took both Basic and Fortran in college, because I am very old. I don’t remember any of it, of course, because…well, I’m old. And while I have retained an amazing amount of fairly useless knowledge (I can sing pretty much any mid-to-late 60s-early 70s TV theme off the top of my head–would you like to hear “Nanny and the Professor”?), I have not retained any dead computer languages to speak of.

    I had a roommate who wore Drakkar Noir. He always spritzed himself thoroughly before we headed out to dance at the gay bars.

    I swear, theme songs from obscure old shows take up about 45% of my total knowledge base. “Courtship of Eddie’s Father”? No problem. U.S. State capitals? PROBLEM. I mean, state capitals don’t come up that much, but I don’t know why I can remember “rubbedah buppy de buh de buh de boy WHOOPS … ” but I can never remember which Dakota is Bismarck and which one is Pierre.

    I would judge your roommate, but I remember a time when spraying toxic levels of Love’s Baby Soft on myself seemed like the thing to do.

  6. Becky permalink
    November 19, 2012 12:56 PM

    Flurrious, you are my favorite. That is all.

    Wait until you see my toilet brush caddy. It’s shaped like a cat. H IS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING.

  7. November 19, 2012 3:35 PM

    I really want to hear the “I was brave” story. Please?? Put down the toilet brush, pleeeaaassse??

    There are too many reasons not to tell that story, and “self-aggrandizing asshole” is only one. But one of these days I will tell you a different story about the time I saved a squirrel’s life. The squirrel probably won’t mind.

  8. November 20, 2012 2:35 PM

    Have a good Thanksgiving! If not, let’s hope for a blog post on it!

    Thank you! I generally enjoy any holiday that doesn’t require that I pretend to like a sweater someone gave me. I hope you have a good holiday as well.

  9. November 21, 2012 6:38 PM

    I was really waiting for the actual toilet brush caddy to come out. Just to know what one actually looks like… as you can tell, I’m not domestic in the least.

    If I’d been thinking ahead, I would have had the kid from across the street stand in the corner of my bathroom holding a toilet brush and then posted a picture of that.

  10. November 25, 2012 6:50 AM

    When I was on the church board, all of us board members took a personality assessment together (unfortunately not the peanut butter quiz). We found out a lot about our communication styles, and one thing several of us let the minister know quite directly was that her habit of saying “You’re the best!” after we had done some monumental unpaid task, instead of giving a more direct compliment (“Thank you for spending three days on ladders rewiring the chapel”) was meaningless and borderline offensive to us.

    The only compliment she ever gave me after that? “You’re the best!” I finished my board term, but quit the church the day after.

    When compliments are reflexive, I prefer the You Are Awesome Cupcakes Are Awesome Lamp Is Awesome kind of compliment to the specific kind. I worked for a woman who really wanted to be nurturing (blech), so she was constantly saying things like, “thank you for all the work you did on that report, you did an excellent job, it makes me happy to see everyone pulling together like this” while looking deeply into your eyes. And if you pointed out to her that all you did was Xerox the damn thing, she’d give you heartfelt praise for your collating abilities. She was a genuinely nice person, but I hated her.

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