Thursday, June 01, 2006
Things I Don't Do
- Heat. Maybe it’s the Swede in me, maybe it’s the Northern Town upbringing, but I wilt in the heat. I’ll switch to hybrid cars, I’ll support mass transit, I’ll cut down on travel, but you can pry the central air conditioning from my cold, dead hands. I wonder if any Canadian colleges have openings?
- Botany. Never cared, never will. If you want to see my eyes glaze over, just drop the word “azalea” in my presence. (“rhododendron,” “peony,” or “vinca” will have the same effect.)
- Nascar. I don’t care how much flak we Northern liberals take for it, I just don’t get the appeal. It’s traffic, and I get enough of that without watching it on tv.
- Singalongs (other than ‘happy birthday’).
- “Team-Building Exercises.” The tyranny of extroversion in our culture reaches its shark-jumping moment here. I would rather visit the Evil Dentist than endure a team-building exercise. I once took out my contact lenses shortly after chopping jalapeno peppers; I would rather do that again than endure another team-building exercise. The worst part of team-building exercises is that you aren’t allowed to object to them. Be very suspicious of anything that can’t tolerate rational scrutiny, whether it’s the Bush administration or some cornflake trying to tell you that devoting a workday to a rope trick is the secret to success.
- “Get Psyched!” (also, “Get Pumped!”) See “Team-Building Exercises.” I manage my own emotions, thank you very much.
- Camp. I came to this revelation in my twenties, when I was *#$) poor. “Roughing it” is fun only if you aren’t roughing it in real life. No, thanks. If I want a real vacation, I’ll take several days in a nice hotel in a big city. The hotel will have central air. The city will have events. Life will be good.
- Chuck E. Cheese. ‘Nuff said.
- Watch tv on a cell phone. Are you *(#()$(@#%& kidding me? Is there such a shortage of tv that we’re reduced to watching it on one-inch screens in every spare moment? This is a solution in search of a problem.
- Anything involving Adam Sandler.
What don’t you do?
I don't do loud. Loud music, loud tv, loud talking. Loud is bad.
I don't do hot. Which has been difficult this week as the air in our building has been out. The basement was a balmy 84 degrees and it was a minimum 5 degree increase for each floor. Counting ballots on the 4th floor at 5:00 yesterday after only 4 hours sleep the night before.. something else I'm adding to my 'don't do' list.
I don't do uncomfortable shoes. I don't care how cute they are, if I can't be comfortable they aren't for me. (Hence the several shoe boxes of new shoes in my closet.)
I don't do flip-flops. No how, no way. Nor thongs (same principle). Nor Birkenstocks (because they remind me of camping). I also don't do ice cream that has bananas in it.
I don't do sweatpants or pajama pants outside of the house.
I also won't learn how to clean fish, because that would mean I would have to DO it -- and I don't clean fish.
I don't do uncomfortable shoes -- that is why I always wear Birkenstocks (and I like them because they remind me of camping... which I like, when it isn't hot...)
I don't do bathroom cleaning, much to Lovely Wife's chagrin. I don't know why. I clean the kitchen in detail, dust, sweep, etc...but somehow I don't see the bathroom.
I don't do tents. Cabins are better.
I don't hunt, which is not a popular position in my small, rural town. I don't see the "thrill." It would be more attractive to me if I had to stalk the prey and fight it. Or if I were really hungry...both options, really, have no appeal to me. I would rather take a picture.
I don't do the heat well either. I grew up in Texas...spent a long summer in undergrad holed up in a small, upstairs garage apartment translating Greek and sweating with no AC. I would rather die than to return to that. In fact, after this hot weekend, I think I really would die. So, the AC was cranked, and I still had a fan on me.
I don't do small-talk well. I was incredibly shy as a kid, and I really am now only functionally conversant. Blah, blah, blah about the weather or such...I think I will poke myself in the eye, thank you.
I don't do jokes about my daughter dating very well. She is extremely cute (not just saying that). So, I get a lot of: "the boys are going to be all over her" or "she is going to be a little heartbreaker" or some other "funny" observation. I know what little boys think. I know I want to have a sexually liberated, strong feminist daughter...just not until she is...oh...out of college.
I don't do well with thoughts of teenage years: my own, my daughter's, etc.
I have never done nuts. Can't stand em. Not any of the nut family. Yuck.
We all sit around and mumble about finishing our copying, prepping for the first week, etc. I feel like Virgil dropped me off at the wrong place, or maybe the right one.
It is the most godawful three days of my year.
What I don't do is games. I'm not talking Clue or Monopoly here, but the games people play--head games. When I discover someone is playing games with me, then it's all over. They cease to exist as far as I am concerned, and they know it, and they know why. If they need their existence back, they have to earn it--and I'll let them earn it. I'm not an unforgiving sort. But the price is no more games.
I started this strategy as a child, thanks to certain social practices within my extended family, and continued it through 15 years in the private sector and now several years into academia. It always works, perhaps because gameplayers are fundamentally cowards, and easily intimidated. I think that's why they play games in the first place--they don't have the self-confidence to operate in the open.
Any hot drinks (even hot chocolate). I'll occasionally drink an iced coffee.
High heels. Ow.
Then again, flip-flops.
Skintight clothing (I enjoy breathing, thanks) and miniskirts (give me long, swishy skirts any day).
crowds! except in very small doses.
and the ever-unpopular hot. (is everybody's air on the fritz this week?!)
my mother has been known to say that if she wanted to spend a week washing dishes and making beds, she'd stay home instead of going camping. :) I don't have much strong feeling about it one way or the other...then again, I've gone camping just a handful of times in the last 10 years.
&bull flame people online or otherwise
&bull watch the news
&bull stalk - am currently on the other end of this. if someone doesn't vibe with me i "get it"... and leave them alone; i don't start a blog (or two) documenting my hatred for them or my obsessions with their every thought...
&bull fruit in ice cream (ouch)
&bull make films of my pet with objects on her, or doing embarrassing things, and post them online
&bull cheap shoes
&bull tent camp (but cabins are wonderful!)
&bull hang with people who are off their meds (see stalking comment above)
&bull war (see flame comment above)
&bull jogging (ouch!)
&bull lastly, cell phones. just don't get it.
I don't sign any important degree/related academic-progress form without it passing through the hands of my trustworthy program administrator. He knows the minutia bureacracy rules better than me, and he needs a copy of all those forms. Students desperate to graduate and submit something by a deadline don't like it when I tell them this (I direct a graduate program).
I don't watch TV, except when I'm trapped in a hotel room.
I don't do flat geography. The midwest will never see me.
I don't do fancy hotels or restaurants. Not against it - I just don't appreciate it.
I'm with you on much of your list. Heat's intolerable. Botany? Let's just say I'm rather bad at it. NASCAR? I like my horsepower to come with hooves, please!
- watch American Idol
- eat hot dogs - any food that is made by basically squeegee-ing up whatever is left on the slaughterhouse floor is a big no-no with me.
- drink alcohol in the hot sun
- give in and buy a minivan just because I have 2 kids
- turn my husband's shirts the right way when I wash them because he has thrown them in the hamper inside out. He gets them back the way he's put them in, except they're clean.
- empty the Diaper Genie
- be courteous to a cashier who is not courteous to me
- team building, never again these stupid touchy feely trust exercises
- also don't do touchy feeliness - no hugging unless we're in love (or you are my sister's two children) please
-Not big on the hot - but as I live in North Scotland, can't really grumble!
- I'm not keen on 'brainstorming exercises' - usually end up with a list of unrelated, unrealistic points that nobody does anything with
I hate 30 minute meetings that last 1.5 hours. Get in, get on, get out!
I don't do bureacracy. If a step can get skipped, I'll skip it just to piss someone off.
I don't kiss up to politicians just because they "may" give us money. If it isn't an election year, they don't care. If it is, you can't get close to 'em anyway.
I don't do whining. Not from my students, not from my staff, not from my kids, and especially not from faculty...but a little from my wife because she needs me to listen to her think out loud. ;-)
My big one would be cold. I hate hate hate being cold. I can stand heat, especially dry heat, but cold, no! (Yeah, this makes no sense for where I live.)
Reality TV. I just don't get it.
Babies. I don't want to make them; I don't want to hold them; I don't want to change them. When they're fun to play games with, then give me a call.
people who think dressing up like stuffed animals is sexy
bathing suits (although that might change in another 15 pounds)
sneaky and conniving
camping unless there is no chance that I will hear electronics, generators, or engines
Mel Gibson after "Thunderdome"
- I don't pretend that I think being a stay-at-home parent is "the world's most important job" or "the hardest job a parent can have"
- Harry Potter
clothing bicyclists wear
small clothing in general (short skirts, shrunken-looking jackets, etc.)
hot weather (I fear global warming terribly.)
cell phones (though I finally caved and bought a pay-as-you-go for emergencies)
Suits, for one. Sportcoats when absolutely necessary. Ties, usually, for another. A sabra friend once told me that the Knesset went downhill fast after they started wearing ties and coats.
Cell phones. I may reconsider in future as working public phones are increasingly rare and often surrounded by questioable retailers. for now, though, no cell and no walkie-talkies, either. Volitional isolation in the interest of quiet time is a priceless self-indulgence.
Anything that smells, tastes or feels of coconuts. Early-acquired aversion, alas.
American Idol, Survivor, Fox News or, for that matter, just about any television outside of Turner Classic Movies and PBS. With the exception of "Doctor Who." Okay, I'm a hypocrite. Sue me.
Harley-Davidsons. This is naked bigotry on my part; I started out with a Triumph, dallied with an odd Honda, then ended up with an elderly BMW. Harleys are handsome but their combination of price and the louche "faux biker" culture (with accessories) distances me.
Worry(much) about having not made cuts on tenure-track jobs over the years. I figured out, about a decade ago, that the pool of aspirant academics was full of much younger and more ambitious and active sharks than I. So, I work a non-teaching job in my original field, teach "recreationally" when a local school needs me and research at my own pace. Life could be worse; I might, after all, have to wear a woolen suit on a regular basis.
online lists. You know the kind where someone proposes a bizarre topic for a list in their blog and then readers offer their own lists as a comment.
... wait a second here !!!
Skirts that end mid-calf-- what have I got to hide?! My "virtue"? They're unflattering and too conservative. Besides, I'm a gym-rat/biker/jogger enthusiast I can't stand the restricting sensation of long, baggy clothing.
Tents-- you always wake up damp, cramped, chilly, and bug infested. That does not qualify as relaxing.
Visible Panty Lines-- just say no. I refuse to wear the same type of underwear that my mom picked out for me when I was 10. It's not sexy OR comfortable OR attractive. It looks cheap and slovenly. Say what you will about thongs, but at least the wedgie effect is ~90% less severe.
Junk food or Fast food-- I was raised better than that. It's gross and unhealthy and the most obvious sign of an unrefined palate. I personally believe that if you can't take of basic hygiene and health by the time you're say, in your mid-twenties, you have no right to call yourself an adult. (I'm 18 actually, but still!)
Political Pundit/Zealots-- What is the appeal? Gosh, Rush Limbaugh is NOT Jim Morrison, stop worshiping him already! They don't even hold public office!