Procrastinating on my New Year’s Resolutions

Hey, have you heard? It’s a new year or something. And we’re all supposed to make big resolutions or goals or intentions or whatever.

birdbox
Going blindly into 2019.

I’ll admit it: I do get caught up in that whole resolutions business. It’s just the excitement of closing a chapter on something old and getting a fresh new start on something new. If my unconventional, nomadic childhood taught me anything it’s that you can totally run away from your current, crappy situation and start all over somewhere else with a new fake life and backstory. (Just kidding. Mostly.)

But to be honest, 2018 wasn’t that bad for me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like earth shatteringly great of anything either, it was just…..there. I guess it was better than 2017, but not “my best year ever!” or anything. And that’s fine by me. There’s something to be said for just an average year with no major highs or lows.

24-it-is-possible-to-improv

Professionally, 2018 was a pretty good year. I’m getting the hang of the freelance life cycle. I had a couple of clients cut back or go away completely, had some new clients and new projects to work on, the usual ebb-and-flow, and I was prepared for all that, both financially and emotionally.

Last year, my professional freelancing resolution was two-fold. The first was: Say yes to everything, even things that I think I don’t know how to do or areas where I don’t consider myself an expert. And I did do that, for the most part. I took on projects in areas that were challenging and guess what? I figured it out. I had to Google a lot of stuff but I got it done.

The second part of my 2018 professional resolution was to walk away from projects that weren’t worth the time or trouble. Which I did in a couple of instances. I went with my gut and walked away from a couple of projects that were more stress than payoff.

Now, I find myself thinking about what I’d like 2019 to look like. And, I don’t really have any great answers yet. I’ve read a bunch of other blog posts on setting goals, listened to a couple of freelance podcasts, and even recently joined in on a freelancers Twitter chat on the topic.

And what I learned is, man, freelancers really REALLY love to make goals. Like, really specific, actionable goals. And they love to make lists of all those goals. Lots and lots of lists.

It made me think that I really need to get my shit together. To really sit down and think about this a whole freelancing business a whole lot more. Maybe I need to do like a whole Poe Communications Freelance Business Retreat.

So, after all this, my resolution is this: I resolve to make some really good resolutions at some point in the future. Maybe in like 2020.

planning-some-big

But if you too are looking for some resolution inspiration and can’t wait for my retreat, the fine people at Goop have a list of some incredibly inspiring and impossible ones (because….of course they do). I do suggest, however, ignoring anything that Mario Batali has to say: he’s gross and we all know the real reason he wants to “unplug” from social media, emails and texts.

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2013 Better Watch It’s (Undoubtedly Large and Pregnant) Behind

Hi there! Did I miss anything around these here parts? Did we go off the Celebrity Pregnancy Apoca-Cliff? It’s sort of like the fiscal cliff combined with the Mayan Apocalypse.

Ah…..I see from recent reports that yes, yes we have fallen off the Celebrity Pregnancy Apoca-Cliff. (Please stop tweeting pictures of your baby bump).

Don't worry. I shan't be posting pics of my stomach.
Don’t worry. I shan’t be posting pics of my stomach.

OK then, so we already know that 2013 is probably going to suck. And be full of fat (fine…. ‘pregnant’) celebrities.

Maybe, before drowning my sorrows in a pile of buttered Pop-Tarts, I should look back on 2012. Even though 2012 retrospectives are sooooo last week.

One of my absolute favorite blogs has started a tradition of this end of year questionnaire, which I think is brilliant. Plus, since remembering things isn’t my strong suit, answering these questions will totally tax my brain, and that’s sort of like exercising, which is one of my New Year’s resolutions (Along with cussing less. Yeah, good luck on that one. I actually might amend that to “cussing less at work.”)

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Participated in the purchase of a house. Ate kangaroo in Australia. And pigeon in Spain. Hugged a koala bear. Fought the law. (Actually, I may have done that before)

Koala and Poe

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions and will you make any for next year?

I did manage to keep my New Year’s resolutions, but since I made them so impossibly obscure, this is not a major feat. My resolutions for next (this) year are to cut back on the swear words.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few people I know squeezed out some babies this year. The world now has the pleasure of knowing Miss Maddie, Miss Olivia and Miss Lucy Pepper.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

We weren’t close any more, but yes.

5. What countries did you visit?

This was a very good year for travel. There was Turkey. Germany. Thailand. Australia. Costa Rica. Spain. Plus New York and Austin this past weekend.

my fish

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More patience when it comes to dealing with the stupid people of the world. On a related note, the ability to hold my tongue. I’m way too forthright.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

July 9 because that’s when we bought the house (painting of said house below)

IMG_5980

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

Made a gateau, which is like a fancy cake. Oh, and didn’t die while scuba diving.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting asked to become the president of the Maldives. I had shoes picked out and everything. Rude.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, thankfully. Actually, I haven’t had a cold since July 2011. I know that because of this blog. I did, however, have quite a few dental procedures this year, which is not awesome. New resolution for 2013: fewer dental procedures.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Yikes, that’s difficult. I participated in the purchase of a lot of lovely things, but didn’t buy any of them outright on my own. I’d have to say our painting of Sonny the Longhorn. He’s my favorite purchase this year.

Sonny

12. Where did most of your money go?

That is a really good question. I suppose it went on travel and eating, to some extent. And clothes, since I’ve put on a few pounds thanks to travel and eating. And shoes. Always with the shoes.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I got really excited about Australia, particularly the koala hugging. This was also the year that I finally liked scuba diving after we saw a manta ray in Costa Rica. That pretty much helped me turn the corner from anxiety and fear to enjoyment.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?

David Guerra’s “Titanium.” Love that jam.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

Happier and fatter. Perhaps a tiny bit poorer. I definitely put less money into my savings in 2012, which is unfortunate.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

My running regime has really fallen off the rails. Also: more writing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less time in the dentists’ chairs.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

With XFE and his family at our house. Stuffing our faces and going to museums, mostly.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

This is like Sophie’s Choice. How can I choose? Impossible. I do love me some Duck Dynasty. And anything with gypsy or housewives in the title. Or gold. And those Property Brothers can do no wrong in my book. Alright, alright – any home improvement show imported from Canada will do.

duck dynasty PHILosophies meme life is good

20. What were your favorite books of the year? 

Hmmm, I did read quite a bit, and not just US Weekly, but I’m having a hard time recalling any ‘favorite’ books. Also: I read and then toss, so I don’t even have any lying around that I could tell you about. I do, however, have this helpful book list for perusal. There was also this gem. Currently, I’m reading this, but I wouldn’t say it’s been a favorite. Maybe another 2013 resolution should be “keeping track of the books you read.”

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

The above mentioned Titanium. Old 97s, always. This and every year. Other recent purchases appear to be Two Door Cinema Club, Neon Trees, Dev, the Ting Tings, the Shins, The Hives, the Limousines, the Cataracts, Muse. Nothing too revolutionary.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

We’re so busy watching reality TV, we don’t go to movies very often. And by ‘very often,’ I mean ever. BUT, we did go see Django Unchained on a rainy Sunday in Austin this past weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse. It was very, very violent, but pretty good.

23. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

I turned 40 this year, which is apparently a really big deal and necessitated a trip to Australia. We spent the actual day in Cairnes and had dinner at this really lovely place called Ochre. XFE also threw me a pre-Australia “surprise” birthday party. I say “surprise” because someone let the cat out of the bag while telling me how funny XFE’s Evite was. Which was fine by me because I hate surprises.

That would be me, about to dominate that shark cake. And it's 40 stupid candles. Don't worry. I got them all.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I would have been more satisfied with the year if I would have pushed myself a bit more to get out of my comfort zone. I think I’ve become a bit complacent in some areas of my life, but rest time needs to be over. Also: quit worrying so much about sharks and other animals.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Two words: No Sleeves.

26. What kept you sane?

XFE, obviously. Even though he also drives me crazy. My great group of friends who want to hang out with me, despite my sharp tongue and antisocial tendencies. Running, when I engage in it, helps keep me sane. And, believe it or not, having this blog as an outlet helps a ton.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

I learned nothing. I am unteachable.

dance contest

Sharks, Butt Slashers, Gypsies: Just A Normal Wednesday

There’s been a lot of interesting news out there lately that I feel compelled to comment on.

Let’s just get the scariest stuff out of the way. Australia is apparently still intent on trying to scare the bejesus out of me.

I quite clearly stated in my resolutions list the other day that “I will not get eaten by sharks in Australia.”

Mmmm, I like me some scared Poe. Get in my belly!

But it seems, Australian sharks are already chomping at the bit to chomp on some Poe toes. According to Fox News (and several other outlets):

Scientists have discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, with multiple generations of the new creature found along the nation’s east coast.

Lemme just summarize here and help you all read between the lines: Australian sharks are actually mutating themselves into some sort of super shark capable of swimming over to the east coast of Australia where I will be innocently scuba diva-ing (What is the active verb of scuba dive? Is it just “diving?” That sounds right.)

See, before this disturbing news, hungry Australian sharks were a bit limited geographically. But not anymore.

Scientists say the discovery of interbred sharks could signal the presence of new “tropical” sharks in waters as far south as Sydney, The Australian reported.

Holy toothmarks, I’M going to be in Sydney!!

The new shark is a hybrid of the genetically distinct Australian blacktip, whose range extends north from Brisbane, and the larger common blacktip found in southeastern coastal waters.

The scientists say interbreeding between the two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change and they also warn that hybridization could make the sharks stronger.

Stronger!!?? How much stronger does a shark need to be? They’ve already got that whole “rows-of-super-sharp-teeth,” natural killing machine advantage over me. And, even though they just got started, these special Poe nibbling sharks outnumber me already.

Fifty-seven of the marine animals were found along a 1,243-mile (2,000-km) stretch between northern New South Wales and far north Queensland, with Ovenden calling the discovery “unprecedented.”

I cannot fight off 57 sharks. I’m just gonna put that out there. I’m pretty sure I can’t even fight off one shark, unless the smell of grown woman urine in the water somehow puts sharks off. Because I will pee myself, is what I’m promising here.

Also on my resolutions list? Do “not stab anyone in the bootie (or anywhere else).” I should have said I also want to avoid getting stabbed in the bootie, a resolution that will be made even easier by the fact that the Virginia Butt Slasher has fled the country.  My friend Kelly sent me this important news bulletin:

A man sought in a bizarre series of buttock slashings that targeted young women at busy Fairfax County shopping malls has fled to his native Peru, police said Wednesday.

Authorities are exploring whether Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, 40, can be extradited to stand trial in the United States, but he has not been taken into custody, said Lucy Caldwell, a county police spokeswoman.

Caldwell said that Guillen Pimentel arrived in Peru about mid-December but that it was unclear whether he had gone there directly from the United States or how he had left this country. He is believed to be staying in Lima, the nation’s capital.

Alright then, let’s get that extradition ball a-rollin’! This man needs to be punished to the full extent of the long arm of the law. Let’s not forget the victims here: women across Northern Virginia with scars on their posteriors.

Also, the whole incident has earned Pimental a catchy new nickname:

Guillen Pimentel’s arrival in Peru generated headlines in a number of media outlets, which dubbed him a “corta nalgas,” or buttocks slasher.

Not on my resolutions list but totally should be: Crashing a gypsy wedding. Well, we might be able to make that one happen this year.

My friend Linda sent me this story a couple of weeks ago.

First the armadillos were coming to D.C., now the gypsies have hit our fine city. And they’re hanging out in the snootiest part of D.C. – Georgetown.

Suddenly, the small, cluttered clothing and accessories store became overwhelmed by a group of women, half a dozen of them, either pregnant or with little children, all speaking in a thick accent she discerned as Irish. They were so intense they scared her, especially when they began to tear through her clothing racks.

Y’all know I love me some gypsies. They’re like my Irish or Roma white trash cousins. And like me, they love to frequent our fair city’s fine boutiques. And…Betsy Johnson stores.

Mo Aliyan, a manager at Betsy Johnson, says the hits by the Irish groups started “in the past four or five months.” He says they come often, “maybe once a week, a group as large as seven, and they range in age from 9 years old to 60 years old. They are either pregnant or have children with them.” Like Johnson, he describes them as having long hair and Irish accents, and adds, “You would notice them a mile away from the way they dress.”

Yep, sure can. They dress a little, shall we say, provocatively.

Gurl, can we get some fries with that shake??

I love how terrified all these Georgetown boutique owners are of these girls.

He calls them “professional criminals,” but says that so far, “none of the ready-to-wear has gone missing,” perhaps because store staffers are usually able to catch them before that happens. “We’ve never had to call the police because we have a security guard. They know not to mess with us,” he says.

Sometimes they do shop, paying with cash or credit cards. What’s always the same is that they arrive as a posse, loud and chaotic. “The first time they came, in I was so scared because there are so many of them,” Krista Johnson recalls. “They scream at you, and the babies scream.”

I’m dying to know if they are hitting up any bridal boutiques.

Funny sidenote: When you Google “Irish travellers in DC,” the first thing that pops up is a TripAdvisor Forum thread that says “Irish Travellers need holiday itinerary hints.” Suggestions include forests, wineries (not sure that’s a good idea), Myrtle Beach, Outer Banks, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, basically, anywhere BUT DC.

The Lazy Person’s Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not really much into New Year’s resolutions. (Wait, is it “New Year resolutions,” or “New Year’s resolutions?” Now I’m not sure….)

Anyway, I’m a work in progress and this project is way over schedule and budget, so making goals once a year seems a bit silly. Plus, I make (and break) goals all day, every day. For example: “I will not make eye contact with crazy people today.” Ooops. Failed the minute I entered the DC metro system.

Or, “I will not cuss at work today.” Damn. Already failed when I got to work and realized I did not have my work badge and had to call a supervisor to come escort me to my floor.

Also: (and far more common) “I will not be a whiny little wimp when my Full Time Lover for Life XFE busts my chops over some trivial little thing, such as my age or clumsiness.” Nope. Chops busted = sniveling and sensitive.

BUT, in the spirit of the New Year, I figured I’d give this whole resolutions thing a go. And, since I am a wimp, I decided to make resolutions that should be really, really easy to keep. Unless I just lose all control over myself. Which could happen. But hopefully won’t.

  • I will not break into a beauty salon and steal hair for weaves.
  • I will not snort bath salts or other toiletry products that are not intended to be snorted. Which I think might be, oh, I don’t know, ALL OF THEM.
  • I will not get eaten by sharks in Australia. Well, I can’t really guarantee that, but perhaps by just verbalizing it, it might come true?
  • I will not get into a hot tub with a weatherman carrying a dog collar. Maybe just weathermen not carrying dog collars? No, that’s not prudent either. So, to recap, no hot tubbing with weathermen.
  • I will not pick my nose and put it on the bathroom walls at work. (Notice I said “at work.” Other locations are fair game!)
  • I will not poop in other people’s yard. Nor mine, for that matter. So no yard pooping, just as a general, overall rule in life.
  • I will not eat mushrooms just growing willy nilly anywhere. I will only eat store-purchased mushrooms. I’ll even stay away from the ones at the farmer’s market, just to be completely safe.
  • I will not stab anybody in the bootie. Actually, let’s just add “I will not stab anyone anywhere.” I feel pretty good about my ability to keep that resolution.
  • I will not use a neti pot. Not that I ever have. Or would. I’m terribly squeamish about putting things up my nose. Which includes my finger, which brings us back to not picking my nose and putting it on bathroom walls. Or anywhere else.

Man, that’s a long list of stuff I can’t do. Really doesn’t leave much in the way of fun now, does it? Sheesh.  Maybe my “to do” resolution list should include “stimulate the economy by shopping far too much” (puhlease, so easy), “watch more bad reality television” (snort. AS IF.), and “subscribe to more magazines.”

If you’re having a hard time coming up with some resolutions, go check out this “resolution generator.” Some of them are pretty funny. And lame.