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Writing Under the Influence

Three weeks ago, I wrote a rambling list of thoughts while shivering on the couch in a sweaty, disoriented haze during The Most Heinous Sinus Infection Ever Recorded in the History of the World, Period.

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not–if I may utilize my stellar Spanish skills–by mucho.

Anyway, after the sinus infection spent the weekend torturing me and then pushed me out the back of its tinted-window van Monday morning, I was so positively elated to be over the ordeal, I forgot all about the list.

Until today.

And since I’ve had a major case of writers’ block this past week (hence the lack of posts), I figure a half-coherent list of musings is still better than anything else I could come up with right now.

So, bon appetit!

1. Why is it always that the song in which I only know five words is the one song I have stuck in my head all day long?  This constant repetition of the first two lines of “La Cucaracha” is greatly diminishing my quality of life.

2. At what point are you too old to have ice cream cake on your birthday?  Because I would like to be euthanized before that age.

3. Is there a more awkward situation than standing on the outskirts of a group photo and not knowing whether you’re in the frame or not?  Seriously, do you squeeze in and smile, stand where you are and awkwardly pose, or just get the hell out of there?

Decisions, decisions…

4. I will consider myself at the pinnacle of social self-mastery when I am finally able to refrain from the knee-jerk response “You too!” when waiters tell me to enjoy my meal.

5.  Why do I always panic and suddenly forget my phone number when someone asks for it?

6.  I’m one of those people who unintentionally creates my own bastardized language by combining words that are similar in meaning.  Like, one time, an old boss once asked me to do something and instead of saying “No problem” or “You’re welcome”, I responded with “No, your problem.”

7.  If I drop my keys on the ground, I’m more willing to believe it’s because they are spiteful things hellbent on making me look stupid in public than the fact that I might just be clumsy.

8.  Carrots are a vegetable that nobody really has a strong opinion on, but everyone has an opinion on carrot cake.

Fun History Fact:  30 percent of our nation’s wars has been caused by conflicting views on carrot cake.

9.  Does the sound of a slide whistle automatically bring perverted images to everyone else’s mind too, or is it just me?

10.  The following things are unforgivably creepy to me:  porcelain doll collections, velvet paintings of sad-eyed clowns or children, mannequins with faces and/or nipples, and ventriloquist dummies.  If I am over at your house and I see any of the above, I will immediately assume you lured me here to make a coat out of my skin.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

11.  Whenever I don’t want to clean a dish, I’ll leave it in the sink.  Later, if I come back around and it’s still in there, I’ll get mad that someone didn’t wash it.  What, do I have to do everything around here?

12.  To me, there are very few life situations for which “Woot woot!”or “Dang.” is not an acceptable response.

13. One of the questions I always ask myself is, if I had a twin who talked and acted exactly like me, how long would it take before I wanted her dead?

14.  It’s amazing how easily anyone can give off a completely psychotic vibe.  If you don’t believe me, next time you’re out walking in public, start swinging your arms in unison with your legs and see if people don’t look at you like you just stepped off the mothership.

(Disclaimer: If any or all of the above statements made absolutely no sense to you, let’s just blame it on the fact that I was heavily medicated at the time and never speak of this post again. Deal?)



the other Mrs. Barstow

Deal. Or is that, NO deal?? You never fail to make me laugh :^D


Good to hear — thanks, Jude! :)

Mom and Pop McDermott

We still tell everyone about your time as a bank teller when you asked the construction worker if he wanted his check cashed in ” . . . big or small balls . . .” Yup, you do have a way with the English language . . . and public relations.


Haha, I consider myself an expert in oration…


Hey there: writing under the influence? I love it. Very nice pics too. I hope everything is flowing nicely out there where Ur hanging out!




Thanks Jeremiah, and yes, I’ve managed to kick my antibiotic habit for the moment, so things are flowing quite nicely. ;)


You’re hilarious! It’s great when we truly begin to get to know ourselves, isn’t it?!

I especially liked #1 (“La Cucaracha”). It reminds me of how often i’ll sing for days/weeks the only few words or lines I know of a song, only to find out from someone who happens to hear me that those aren’t the correct lyrics…


It must be a family trait, because I do that ALL the time. Remember what I thought the lyrics to the chorus of CCR’s “Down on the Corner” were? :)


Here’s a little help for your song problem: riff on it. My current favorite riff is on “The High Road” by Broken Bells. There’s a line I’ve modified so that it sounds like a tough new immigration policy: “Come on and get your oviducts collected at the border line”. Once it’s in your head, you’ll never hear that song the same again.

This entry was so good, I nearly lost my job over it. When you’re on the phone with the Director of a big government agency and he asks why you laughed at his comment about irritable bowel syndrome, do you admit you weren’t paying attention at all in the first place, or tell him to man up and clench those cheeks tighter? I went with “co-worker’s fault”.


Yeah, I like that song. And I had no idea they were offering those at the border. I’ll be sure to pass that along to anyone in the market for a new pair.

And if the Director of a big government agency was telling you about his IBS, I feel like you’re in a solid position careerwise. :)



4. I will consider myself at the pinnacle of social self-mastery when I am finally able to refrain from the knee-jerk response “You too!” when waiters tell me to enjoy my meal.

I do that all the time.

Also, in defense of porcelain doll collections: I grew up in Germany, and they had a lot of porcelain dolls available for very cheap. My parents began giving me a doll every year for Christmas from the different countries around Europe. I never really liked these dolls, it just became a collection somehow on it’s own. Now I gotta figure out what to do with all these dolls. I don’t LIKE them, but they are important to me. LOL. So sometimes, people’s porcelain doll collections are not their decision :)


Ok, ok, I stand corrected. Due to your entirely valid argument, you’ve earned yourself one free pass on the doll collection and made me feel like a huge judgmental jerk all at once. Well played. ;)

(Would it be a fair truce if we amend #10 so that it refers only to grown men who don’t live with their elderly mothers?)

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