Can You Vague That Up For Me?

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Top 10: Things That Set Me Off/Things Not to Say to Me

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Soooooooo…this month’s Top Ten post is all about how not to piss me off. These are in no particular order. They all piss me off equally.

Welcome to the unloading.

10.) The phrases; “But her emails…”, “How much damage can he do in four years?”, “There’s a system of checks and balances in place.”, “I’m not racist, but…”, “Trans women and men aren’t real women/men/are mentally ill/are perverted/etc”, “Global warming is a hoax.”

Just. Fucking. Don’t.

9.) Any iteration of  “So you write porn?”, “When are you going to write a real book?”, “So, like Fifty Shades of Grey?”, When are you going to write something I can read?”, “Are the sex scenes from personal experience?”, “How can you call yourself a feminist if you write romance?”

Again… Just. Fucking. Don’t.

8.) The Pain Olympics (not those horrible videos you can never unsee – seriously, do not google them)  also known as “One Downing” – there are always a few of these types in most people’s circles. Could be a co-worker, a family member, a person you deeply regret ever becoming friendly with, but they all have the same M.O.: You’re in the midst of what you think is a conversation, but before you know it, the Pain Olympics have begun. It goes a lot like this:

Scenario 1:

You: *sad because your cat died*

Pain Olympiad: “That’s too bad. Once, my cat was kidnapped and held for ransom and after I took out a loan for a million dollars to pay the ransom, they took my money and sold my cat to a foreign dictator who said he was going to make a hat out of her. At least you got to say goodbye to your cat.”

Scenario 2:

Coworker: “Hey, haven’t seen you in a while.”

You: “I’ve had a cold. Didn’t want to give it to anyone else, so I stayed home for a couple days.”

Coworker: *strips off work attire to reveal Pain Olympiad uniform beneath* “Last year, I got a cold and spent a three months in the ICU and the doctors had to take half my lung. You’re lucky you didn’t get that.”

You get the picture. Whatever it is, they’ve had it soooooooooooooo much worse, and they want to give you all the details about how their experiences are so much more horrific than yours. In normal conversation, we all share things to let others know they’re not alone in whatever they’re experiencing. One-Downing is a little different in that these people tend to be in desperate need of all the sympathy and acknowledgement that they’re the biggest and best victim of all.

7.) Vaguebooking. Either say it, or don’t. I get that sometimes people have things going on in their lives that they’d like to talk about, but they can’t because there may be other people involved, or they just don’t know enough about an upsetting situation to make a definitive statement.

What makes me beyond ragey is the vaguebooking (or any social media) for attention thing. The kinds of posts that are designed to make everyone feel like they need to fawn over the poster. Examples include things like:

“Well, I guess I know who my real friends are.”

“*sigh*”

“I can’t believe someone would be so mean.”

“Sometimes you have to learn who you can trust the hard way.”

Unless any of those statements accompany a photo of your dog stealing your steak, just don’t. If you’re having a bad day and could use some sympathy, fucking own it. If you’re pissed at someone, own that, too.

6.) The phrase, “Well, it’s not like you have a real job.” There are some people who are under the misguided impression that people who work from home don’t actually work and have all kinds of free time for things like babysitting, or driving them places, or endless phone calls, etc. Bitch, between writing, editing, coaching, audio prepping, website creation and maintanance,  and other client assistance, I’m currently putting in 12 -18 hour days, 7 days a week. Don’t tell me I don’t have a real job.

5.) I understand how incredibly difficult it is to find the right thing to say to someone who’s grieving, but I promise you, “God needed another angel” is never ever the right thing to say. Especially to those grieving the loss of a child.

4.) I believe that often adversity can make people stronger, more resilient–it’s certainly been true in my life. But that growth typically isn’t noticeable or appreciated until well after the fact.  So when others learn of something awful occurring in the life of someone they know, like say,  a cancer (or some other debilitating disease or life circumstance) diagnosis. Saying things like, “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle” or “You’ll be stronger for it” or calling a disease a “health opportunity” because you’ve got that life coach mentality is never ever the right thing to do. If the person in question expresses interest in your life coaching philosophy, bring it up then. But if not, calling a cancer diagnosis a “health opportunity” is not a road you want to take.

3.) Okay, so I’m a fat woman. This is not secret. I’m not particularly happy about it, but overall, I’m healthy (I have the test results to prove it) and I’m working hard on self-acceptance, and when I don’t financially need to put in 12-18 hour days, I’ll work more exercise in. If I make a crack or mention something about being fat, for the love of kale, please don’t say things like, “You’re not fat, you’re pretty.” or “You’re not fat, you’re so nice.” While, I understand that you may be attempting to be helpful or kind, the way that comes off is that you equate fat with ugly  and meanness. In addition to being incredibly hurtful, it’s not a good look for either of us.

2.) “This is a Christian nation.” Hard NOPE! One of the ideals this country was founded on was religious freedom and the separation of church and state. We need to adhere to that. STAT.

1.) Other random things that set me off are;

People who lie–especially when their story changes depending on who their audience is and what they want from them.

People for whom literally every last thing in life is a goddamn competition–not people who try to better themselves, people who have a pathological need to prove their superiority to others–even those they supposedly care for

People who are awful to their children and view them as extensions of themselves or belongings as opposed to individuals.

People who leave their animals out in extreme weather.

People who try to impose their religious views on everyone else.

People who constantly assume the victim role and refuse to take responsibility for their own shit.

People who plagiarize or otherwise take credit for someone else’s work.

Okay, so…I’m thinking I should probably stop now. I’ve got a ton to do today, and I need to get moving. Feel free to share what sets you off. An be sure to check out Gwen’s post and see what sets her off, too.

Top 10: Character Traits I Like Writing

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I actually like all of these traits equally, but since I numbered all the other posts, I prefer to stick with the pattern.

10.) Bookish – I like writing characters that are at home in a classroom or library and value learning…which is why I guess I’ve written a number of teachers and professors.

9.) Funny – I like characters with a good sense of humor. Actually, I feel that way about most people–real or imagined.

8.) Curious – I suppose this is where some of my own personality comes into play–I tend to end up down a lot of rabbit holes thanks to curiosity, and so do my characters.

7.) Artistic – I’m drawn to creative people–artists, musicians, writers, photographers, woodworkers, etc. I love delving into the minds of people who create art.

6.) Loyal – Loyalty is one of those double-edged sword traits that’s fun to explore. It can be an incredibly noble trait, but it can also be harmful when characters are loyal to people or ideas they’ve outgrown or aren’t who and what the characters thought they were.

5.) Quirky – I love characters who are a bit odd or unconventional. I feel they’re more true to life–at least, truer to the people in my life, I guess. I find them more interesting, more engaging.

4.) Awkward – Awkward can be fun or it can painful, but I think it’s almost always relatable and it can reveal a lot about a character.

3.) Unpretentious – I prefer people who are down to earth and comfortable in their own skin. I think that for the most part, my main characters are kind of WYSIWYG.

2.) Empathetic – Empathy is so important. Even if a character doesn’t start out with empathy, it’s a trait I want them to develop by the time their story ends. I’m not sure it’s possibly to truly love another without the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes.

1.) Resilient – Like real life, characters tend to go through a lot of shit. Even if that shit knocks them down, I think that the struggle to rise again is fascinating to write. Everyone’s journey to getting the fuck back up again is different, and it’s enjoyable to explore the different ways that trust and strength and perseverance factor into resilience.

What are some of your favorite traits to read and/or write? And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ list of favorite traits to write. Jess, Gwen, Deelylah, and Kris.

Top 10: Quotes I Say from Movies/Shows/Songs

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It’s time for another top ten post, and this month is quotes. In our house, we quote stuff allllllll the time.  Also, this is probably going to be more than top ten–it might even be top ten from each thing I quote regularly.

Top Ten Labyrinth Quotes: 

10. ) “Say your right words.”

9.) “Goblin King! Goblin King, wherever you may be, take this child of mine far away from me!”

8.) “I wish the goblins would come and take you away. Right now.” (It never worked.”

7.) “You remind me of the babe.” (This inevitably turns into a sing along.)

6.) “Oh, please. I haven’t said it in such a long time.”

5.) “Well? Laugh.”

4.) “No, no, no. Of course, not!”

3.) “Nothing? Nothing? Nothing, tra-la-la-la?”

2.) “Ohhhhhh, what a lie!”

1.) “It’s in the rules.”

Top Ten Buffy Quotes:

10.) “This could be mathier.”

9.)  “Lie to me.”

8.) “Button, button, who’s got the button. My money’s on the witch.”

7.) “It’s a ritual sacrifice. With pie.”

6.) “Right. Wasn’t here. Didn’t see it.  Couldn’t have stopped you.”

5.) “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.”

4.) “Can you vague that up for me?”

3.) “Bored now.”

2.) “What is your childhood trauma?”

1.) “It sucks beyond the telling of it.”

Top Ten Princess Bride Quotes:

10.) “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.” (Said any time a wedding invitation arrives. But, I also got to open a wedding I officiated last year just. like. this!)

9.) “I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped. ” (Said often when I’m on deadline.)

8.) “Life is pain, Highness!”

7.) “Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

6.) “Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much.”

5.) “It’s for posterity.”

4.) “Good night, (insert either child’s ur husband’s or house guest’s name). Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

3.) “Murdered by pirates is good.”

2.) “Jesus, Grandpa, what’d you read me this thing for?”

1.) “Have fun storming the castle!” (Said almost anytime someone leaves the house.)

Top Ten Hamilton Quotes:

10.) “Here’s an itemized list of 30 years of disagreements.” (Sweet Jesus.)

9.) “Uh, do whatever you want. I’m super dead.”

8.) “I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.”

7.) “Take a break. Run away with us for the summer. Let’s go upstate.” (Sung while we’re getting ready for our family vacation in the UP.)

6.) “When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again.”

5.) “We gotta go, gotta get the job done, gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!”

4.) “Pick up a pen, start writing.”

3.) “Write day and night like you’re running out of time.”

2.) “I’m not sorry.” (I sing this whenever someone complains about pretty much anything.)

1.) “I’m not here for you.” (I sing this whenever I enter the office I share with my son and all of his art supplies and gaming rig.) 

Top Ten Miscellaneous Quotes:

10.) “I could talk about industrialization and men’s fashion all day, but I’m afraid work must intrude.” Die Hard

9.) “She doesn’t even go here.” Mean Girls

8.)  “Flames…flames…flames on the side of my face!” Clue

7.) “I use antlers in all of my decorating.” Beauty and the Beast (You’d be surprised how often this one comes in handy.)

6.) “Then go ahead and STARVE!” Beauty and the Beast (What I said when someone dares express discontent with what’s for supper.)

5.) “If you don’t let me gut out this house and make it my own, I’ll go insane, and I’ll take you with me!” Beetlejuice

4.) “I have a permit.” Parks and Rec

3.) “I know what I’m about, son.” Parks and Rec

2.) “C’mon! We have a playdate with Banjo and Wingspan!” Baby Mama (My sister and I say this whenever we hear an especially hipster name. Since she works in an infant room at a childcare center, we say it a lot.)

1.) “In this parade of dumb and stupid, I’m the one twirling the flaming baton.” Gilmore Girls

Yeah…I know. Total overkill, but a lot of quoting goes on over here. What about you? What do you quote regularly? Be sure to check out Deelylah, GwenKris, and Jess.

Top 10: Ways I Procrastinate

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How do I procrastinate…let me count the ways.

10.) Clean. If I need to do something I really don’t want to do, cleaning is a great procrastination technique. Granted, I’m just exchanging one hated thing for another, but that’s usually when my house ends up being the cleanest.

9.) Surfing stock art sites. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I actually spend looking for future character models for cover art.

8.) Menu planning. It’s a necessary evil because it makes our life run smoother, but it takes forever to do (because I loathe cooking  and shopping) but sometimes I use it as an avoidance technique.

7.) Twitter surfing. I use Twitter like a normal person, and then sometimes I fall into the hole of no return–especially during heavy news days. But then, aren’t they all heavy news days lately?

6.) Tumblr. Dear god…I love Tumblr, but I know that whenever  I get on, I’m not getting off anytime soon.

5.) Facebook. Pinterest. Instagram. Please see above.

4.) Reading. I love stories. All kinds of stories and diving into a particularly good book is a fab way to avoid doing other stuff.  I like to call it market research.

3.) Words with Friends. Despite my children actively lobbying for me to join them in the land of video games, I’ve resisted…except for Words with Friends, though, they’ve informed me this doesn’t count as a video game. But I still probably spend too much time playing it.

2.) Netflix. Though, to be fair, I usually only watch it while I’m doing something else–usually something crafty because I’m incapable of just sitting and watching something. Like it’s a biological impossibility. I just can’t do it. I’m annoying as fuck to go to the movies with, because I’m a foot jiggler. I  jiggle my foot because apparently movie theaters frown on people using their phone for a flashlight to check their stitches while watching movies. Whatever.

1.) All the crafting ever. Sewing, knitting, cross stitching, pottery–I love being crafty, and if there’s something I’m looking to avoid, getting my craft on is the way to do it. I’m not actively trying to avoid anything at the moment, but I am making a wedding dress and a flower girl dress. For a July 1st wedding. Because I’m stupid.

You know…sometimes it’s hard to know whether it’s procrastination or just poor time management skills…

What are you favorite forms of procrastination? And be sure to check out Jess, Kris and Deelylah’s lists, too.

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