Things I’m Genuinely Bad At, Part Two

Some time ago, I bared my soul to the world in the iconic post Things I’m Genuinely Bad At. That was the essay wherein I composed what may be my greatest line of all time: “You are probably never going to be a pop star and I am probably never going to be a neuroscientist, so it’s time to let certain dreams go so that we can focus on what’s truly important: making a lot of money while looking hot.”

O YOUNG TORI!!!!!

Anyway, today is not a day for nostalgia. Today is a day for self-reflection, for self-flagellation, for staring into the mirror and shrieking “WHY, CRUEL SELF, WHY?” And so I present you with Things I’m Genuinely Bad At, 2017 version.

Answering emails and texts in a timely fashion. It’s just too much stimulation, okay? Note that in 2013, I was also bad at this.

Maintaining a healthy level of skepticism about hippie remedies that I read about in comment sections. Now and then I find myself reading an article about Natural Ways to Remain Fabulous in Your 80s, and someone in the comment section says, apropos of nothing, “I eat a teaspoon of coconut oil mixed with lots of cayenne pepper every morning. It stimulates digestion and doubles as a preventative measure against common household pests! Also, I heat rocks in the oven and place them on my temples every time I have a hangover. I swear it works!” If I stumble across a comment like that, I cannot help but believe it. There’s something about the misspelled innocence of certain comment sections, the enthusiasm of crunchy oversharers, that instantly turns me into a disciple. “THIS PERSON IS FULL OF LIVED EXPERIENCE,” my brain shrieks. “HEAT UP ROCKS IN THE OVEN IMMEDIATELY.”

Getting MacArthur Genius Grants. This one’s pretty embarrassing, LOL!

Sitting still for long periods of time. Halfway through an hour-long phone interview the other day, I was leaping around my kitchen like a gnat, silently screaming into the phone. If a sermon is too long, I may sketch out story ideas in the margins of the bulletin. If you are in a band and your set is longer than 45 minutes, I can and will plot your death. How can we as a culture buy into the paleo diet but not understand that humans were not designed to sit in meetings, like, ever???

Longboarding. My fear of “going too fast” really bites me in the leg here.

Staying warm. Left to my own devices, I produce zero body heat. This is why you can occasionally find me sitting in my local gym’s steam room in full winter regalia, despite aggressive signage demanding that people steam in “shorts or bathing suit only.” Put on a bathing suit in January? Are you KIDDING?

 [Formerly] Fighting off fungus gnats. If you spoke to me during a certain few weeks in early December, you know that I was a woman possessed. Charlie and I have many, many houseplants in our apartment and they came down with a nasty fungus gnat infestation, for reasons that I cannot pretend to understand. I waged war against them for a couple of weeks, sobbing at my own futility (there are only so many gnats a lady can crush with her bare hands before going nearly insane!!!!) until finally, a few judicious insecticide purchases from Amazon killed most of the awful little beasts. I like to consider myself a compassionate person; I dislike eating meat for the obvious reasons, I would never crush a baby sparrow underfoot. But when it comes to fungus gnats, I turn into something else entirely—a thing without mercy. In the immortal words of James Cameron’s Terminator, “It can’t be bargained with; it can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop—ever—until you are dead!”

To the Unnamed Literary Magazine [Video]

This is currently my favorite thing I’ve ever made. Backstory: there is one literary mag (which I will NEVER name) that I really really really want to be published in and I worry that this particular love story will never happen. The submission process can be fairly heartbreaking, so I tried to exorcise my demons the best way I know how: THROUGH THE MAGIC OF FILM. And through never, ever washing my hair.

A Few Brief Thoughts on Being Legit [Video]

Addicted to iMovie and I’m not ashamed.

After re-watching this movie enough times to realize that it’s totally embarrassing genius bipolar, I have come to several conclusions.

Things I need to work on:

1. Talking loud enough to be heard over the rollicking soundtrack that I totally don’t have the rights to.

2. Narrative arc.

Things I don’t need to work on:

1. My hilarious fake-crying. #noregrets

Things I’m Genuinely Bad At

IMG_2041

In this age of self-help books and post-postmodern selfawareness and black holes that creep ever closer to our lonely planet, threatening to incinerate us into ash (shh, just go with the imagery), it’s important to occasionally take a good hard look at things we are bad at. File this under Getting Real, my friends. You are probably never going to be a pop star and I am probably never going to be a neuroscientist, so it’s time to let certain dreams go so that we can focus on what’s truly important: making a lot of money while looking hot.

I’ll start: here are eleven things I’m truly terrible at doing. If life were a Ferris Wheel, I’d be on the bottom rung in these vicious arenas (TRIPLE MIXED METAPHOR–HAS THAT EVER BEEN DONE BEFORE?!).

1. Drawing. I can’t even draw a circle, much less forge a Picasso well enough to buy myself a car. Note that I once almost spent $50 at Blick Art Supply. What can I say? I am a creature of delusion.

2. Sight-reading. Musicians, you have my undying respect. HOW DO THOSE LITTLE BLACK SQUIGGLES TRANSLATE INTO SOUNDS IN YOUR HEAD? YES I TOOK PIANO FOR 13 YEARS, I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

3. [FORMERLY] Salting things. I have, however, improved greatly, thanks to a certain incident with homemade apple cider caramels.

4. Throwing away clothing tags. I always feel like I might want to return it, and that if so, I could somehow reattach the tag, even if I’ve already worn the clothing item to the biannual Bloomington Homeless Mudslinging Contest. I realize this makes me 1 step away from a bag lady.

5. Watching horror movies. Cue a bare branch skittering against a frosty window—cue me on the floor in a dead faint.

6. Returning emails. As you know, I hate the Internet.

7. Accepting genuine help from other people. Doesn’t that make me such a brave, tragic figure?

8. [FORMERLY] Waking up/being a morning person. But now that my fabulous roommate is letting me use her juicer, I have lots of incentive to get up early and shove gnarly kale stems through a loud crunching thing that’s sort of like teeth!

9. Finishing large salads. I am just NOT a salad person. And this is NOT me trying to be the “cool girl”–I don’t eat burgers and I hate beer, so you can just let go of the mental image of me in a White Sox hat, shoveling down stadium nachos like one of the bros (OH WAIT THAT HAPPENED). Please note: small salads, I’m cool with.

10. Making regret-free purchases. Anyone who has ever shopped for clothes with me has probably also wanted to kill me. I can deliberate for hours over the smallest incidentals, and I yell things from the dressing room like, “I mean, I’m worried it might stretch out a little?” and “Is this floral pattern too similar to that baggy overshirt I got at Village Discount that I have literally never worn?” What can I say? I’m 50% Scottish, AND WE STINGY.

11. Knowing which of my emotions are real and which are byproducts of delusional perfection fantasies. It’s fun to  be a gUrL.

Now you know lots about me. What r u bad at?