Category Archives: Lists

Three Things Wot I’ve Been Doing Lately

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Thing Number 1 – Struggling to Travel on the Train

Every few weeks I need to take the train somewhere for my job. Lately I’ve had issues…

  • A couple of months ago I threw my train ticket away in a bin outside St. Pancras station. As soon as I threw it I remembered that I still needed it for the final leg of my journey. Unfortunately it had dropped down through the rubbish, so I had to stand outside the station picking my way through the rubbish bin to retrieve my ticket. Not my finest moment.
  • A couple of weeks ago, at Paddington station, I was just about to go through the ticket barriers to catch a train to Bath when I realised that I couldn’t find my ticket. I retraced my steps and found it in the Costa Coffee shop, on the floor, slid under the stand where you get milk, with just a tiny corner sticking out. If it had slid another inch under I’d have never found it – how lucky was that!
  • Last week, at Holloway Road tube station, I got stuck in these ticket barriers:

Tube station ticket barrier

It turns out you can’t just follow the person in front right through without waiting for the barrier to close and reopen again. I don’t want to talk about it.

Thing Number 2 – NaNoWriMo

Yes, in November I did NaNoWriMo – I think everyone knows what that is, but just in case, it’s National Novel Writing Month, where you aim to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I did it once before. This time I didn’t quite reach the 50K words, I did around 42K, but I was really happy with what I achieved. I needed to do quite a bit of reading research for this which I should really have completed before November, but didn’t, so the majority of my November NaNo time was spent reading rather than writing. Within the 42K words, I have the framework for the whole thing, I got to the end of the story, and there are lots of places throughout where it says things like “Write this bit here”, “Expand this bit”, “Write about that here”. So the bones of it are all there, and I’m happy with that.

Thing Number 3 – Getting Crafty

A while back, a work colleague announced that she was organising a Christmas craft fair for early December, and asked if anyone would like a stall. Well of course I jumped at the chance, what a great opportunity to show off my crafts! Something was niggling at me though and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and then it dawned on me – I don’t actually do any crafts (incidentally, I’m also really excited about the opportunity I have coming up to show off my motorcycle stunt skills…wait…oh crap).

So I bought a selection of cheap unfinished plain little wooden and card boxes, and some wooden hanging leaves, and decorated them with paint, pressed flowers, and beer bottle caps. Here was my finished stall from last Saturday:

craft stall

Did I make my fortune? No. Did I have fun? Absolutely – I really enjoyed decorating the boxes, this was mostly done over November, which you’ll remember was also the month I was trying to write a novel. I really don’t have any artistic/crafty type talent, but I was pleased I managed to do SOMETHING to put on the stall.

EDIT: Neil just reminded me of the other bit to the craft stall story, not sure how I forgot this bit – soon after I had set it up all lovely (as above), and the craft fair was well underway, I decided to quickly nip over to another stall, in doing so I tripped over the tablecloth on my stall and dragged it, along with ALL the boxes, onto the floor, and I fell amongst it all. There was a big crash. I don’t want to talk about it.

What about you? Do you ever volunteer to do something and then realise it was a mistake? Do you save beer bottle caps in case they come in handy some day? Do you ever get stuck in ticket barriers?

 

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It’s Time to Play Again!

Fairground ducks

We previously had such fun playing the Five Truths and One Lie game on here. Do you remember? So I thought we’d play it again. Last time, the prize I gave was to write a poem for the winner and record myself reciting it (prizes don’t get much better than that right?). Darla from She’s a Maineiac won last time:

I thought I’d do a different prize this time, but couldn’t think of anything good, so I’m doing the same prize again.

Here we are then, five truths and one lie about things from my past. Tell me in the comments which one you think is the lie. If more than one person gets it right, there will be a random drawing. If nobody gets it right, I will do a poem for the person who I think gave the best reasoning for their answer.

Only one guess per person folks. You have until this time next week. Ready? Go…

1.  When I was a child I used to think that horses made that clip clop noise with their mouths rather than with their hooves. I think it was probably because when people pretend to be horses they often make that noise with their mouths.

2.  When I was about 22/23 I went out shopping with my slippers on, and didn’t notice until I was in the shopping mall, and so quickly popped into a shoe shop to buy an emergency pair. I spent rather too long browsing, and after a while was approached by two policemen who spoke to me in kind tones, smiling and glancing at my slippers, telling me it was time to go back to the centre. I wasn’t quite sure what centre they were talking about, but I eventually managed to persuade them that I didn’t need to go back to any centre, and had simply made a footwear error!

3.  In my early 20s I had a makeover done in a magazine. This was my first experience of discovering that magazine/newspaper writers can completely make things up. They printed a supposed quote from me saying “I never thought my hair could look like this, I’ve got curls!” Seriously, who talks like that? (Try saying it out loud).

4.  I was extremely greedy as a small child, and one of the ways this manifested itself was that I used to sneak tubs of margarine out of the fridge and eat them with a spoon. My parents used to find empty tubs of margarine hidden in my room.

5.  When I was about 11/12 (1981/2) a well-known TV comedian kissed me on the mouth backstage after a live show, not in a creepy secretive way, but in a joke way. He did that thing of pointing at his cheek for a kiss and then turning his head at the last second when I went to kiss his cheek. It’s a real sign of how times have changed because there were other adults around, everyone laughed, it was no big deal, and I wasn’t bothered by it (other than feeling a bit silly that he’d tricked me). Now when I look back at it I find it a bit inappropriate, but back then it all seemed quite normal. I’m not going to name him because he’s still a well known personality and these things can get blown out of proportion, it was innocent at the time.

6. When I was five I went on a trip to Malta with my Mum, and we took a ride on a horse-drawn carriage. My head got bashed repeatedly throughout the trip by something hard sticking out of the carriage. It hurt so much I was having to fight back the tears, but I didn’t say a word about it, because I was embarrassed to in front of the man driving (is “driving” the right word?). A couple of days later, I fell down some marble stairs outside the hotel and cut the back of my head pretty bad, I still have the scar. It wasn’t a good trip for my head!

If you’re short of posting ideas, why not do a Five Truths and One Lie game on your blog? If you do, let me know so that I can come and play yours!

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photo credit: Sutton Coldfield Carnival 2012 via photopin (license)

Body Parts Have Love and Hate Things Too

Hands and feet

A few people, like Amy and Mark have been doing this 10 things I love/10 things I hate, thing. I’ve done similar lists on here before, so I thought I’d go for a bit of a different take on it this time with things I love and hate for my feet and hands. Why feet and hands you may ask? No good reason, it just came to me. I’ve gone for 5 each of each for both giving a total of 20 things, which is the same as the general list 10 of each x 2, also giving 20 things (did you follow that? No? Never mind).

5 Things I love for my feet

1. Walking them through warm sand up to water’s edge to get that first feel of the water lapping up on them.
2. Taking shoes off after a long day and wiggling my toes.
3. Trying on a pair of fabulous shoes in a shop and looking at them in those little low mirrors.
4. Pulling warm fluffy socks on over cold feet.
5. A foot massage done on myself (is that weird?).

5 Things I hate for my feet

1. Blisters.
2. Shoes that are too tight and need to be kept on for hours because I’m already out somewhere by the time I realise they’re too tight.
3. Accidentally stepping barefoot on something sharp and painful.
4. Standing in something unpleasant like doggy doo, and then the job of cleaning it off my shoes later.
5. Getting an itch on the sole of my foot that can’t be scratched to satisfaction.

5 Things I love for my hands

1. Rubbing a really good hand cream into them so that they’re soft but not greasy.
2. Freshly painting my nails when I’ve managed to not bite my them for a while and they’ve grown lovely.
3. Holding someone else’s hand.
4. Stroking something soft, like fur (just to clarify, I mean while it’s still on a live animal!).
5. Pressing certain buttons that are particularly satisfying in feel, firm but smooth, a little click at the end.

5 Things I hate for my hands

1. When I bite my nails.
2. When I get a little cut on the end of a finger and it hurts ridiculously too much for the size of it, and continues to hurt and get in the way for too many days.
3. When I’m unprepared for a colder than expected day and my gloveless fingers get so painfully cold that they won’t work properly.
4. When I’m cleaning up something yucky and a bit of it gets on my hand – ugh!
5. When they’re being uncooperative in a fiddly task I want them to do.

Any body parts you’d like to do a love and hate listing for? (Keep it clean!)

Photo credit: Faceless Bunny and Kitty by Helga Weber

I would have way more time to do cool stuff if I didn’t spend so long…

Gogglebox Steph and Dom

I would have more time to receive baking certificates from Gogglebox’s Steph and Dom (This won’t be impressive to those of you outside of the UK I know, but trust me, Steph and Dom are cool!)

Ever wonder why you don’t have more time to do all the really cool stuff you want to do? These are some of the time-wasting things that stop me doing more of the cool stuff I’m doing in the photos…

– Looking for my keys.
– Looking for a pen.
– Looking for my phone.
– Untangling wires and wondering why the world isn’t more wireless by now.
– Trying to decide what to wear.
– Lamenting over having nothing to wear.
– Trying to decide what to eat.
– Trying to decide what to watch on Netflix.

Still from a film

I would have more time to be in films like this one (yes that’s me in the dark glasses). It’s uncanny how we look EXACTLY like the girls from Sex and the City right?

– Pairing socks (and wondering why socks from the same pairing age at different rates).
– Sitting in traffic (in the car you understand).
– Trying to entice my cats to come indoors (and believing that reasoning with them will help).
– Waiting for things to stop buffering.
– Waiting on hold on the phone (and making increasingly loud scoffing noises each time the recording tells me how important my call is to them).
– Answering unwanted marketing calls (and wishing I was brave enough to do some of those joke things people do to those callers).
– Trying to decide what to read and changing my mind too many times, thus cutting into my actual reading time.

Dog selfie

I would have more time to take selfies with dogs. I don’t have a dog, but taking selfies with other people’s dogs is cool.

– Playing with the settings on my phone, and then changing them back to the settings I had in the first place.
– Staring at envelopes that come in the mail for me for far too long trying to work out who they might be from before actually opening them.
– Rummaging through the freezer hoping there might be a tub of Ben & Jerry’s I’d forgotten about in there.
– Rummaging through the kitchen cupboards hoping there might be some chocolate I’d forgotten about in there.
– Rummaging through various jacket pockets and bags hoping there might be some cash I’d forgotten about so that I can go and buy ice-cream and chocolate…unless…let me just go check the freezer again, I didn’t actually pull the drawers right out and look behind them…

Vanessa and Neil in front of tractor

I would have more time to sit in front of tractors (yes, sitting in front of tractors IS cool. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it!)

– Looking at YouTube videos of cats and dogs doing cute and hilarious things…oh no wait, that IS one of the cool things I wish I had more time to do.
– Examining clothes scattered on my kids’ bedroom floors, trying to figure out if they are for the laundry or the wardrobe.
– Looking at stationery, imagining what I could write in those gorgeous hardback notebooks, or store in those beautiful files, oh and look at that textured paper, and that cute little set of art deco patterned paper clips! (come on, who doesn’t love stationery?).
– Planning little projects at home that I know I will never get around to.
– Googling trivia that neither matters, nor will be retained by me.
– Writing grocery shopping lists that will have completely disappeared by the time I actually need them, only to resurface after the shopping is done.

Camel balls

I would have more time to scour the shops for hilarious candy like this.

What time-wasting things stop you from spending more time doing really cool stuff?

Four Things An Introvert has Trouble Dealing With

Introvert hiding in a sweater

I’ll be fine just here, thank you.

Many of us in the land of blog have declared ourselves to be introverts. These are a few of the ways that my own introversion manifests itself in my day-to-day life. Can you relate to any of these?

1) You’re in a small group situation. Finally you’ve not only managed to think of something to say (a feat in itself), but plucked up the courage to actually say it. You wait for a pause, start, and one of the following things happens:

  • Someone else starts talking at the exact same second that you start. You immediately stop talking and berate yourself severely for getting it wrong.
  •  You’re mid sentence and someone else in the group interrupts you. At this stage it’s not so easy for you to stop talking. You’d given yourself the pep talk – Come on, you can do it, just start talking, stop being silly, just do it!, you’d launched into it, and now you’re into the home straight; it actually takes a different kind of confidence to stop at this stage, and you don’t have that, so you just keep going, desperately hoping for a freak lightening storm to arrive and throw the power out.
  • You’re half way through your story when a couple of others in the group start up their own separate conversation. You’re faced with the harsh reality that you just weren’t interesting enough to hold the whole group’s attention (but you knew that anyway). There is now only one person listening to you, and clearly they’re only being polite. All you can do is stare intently at that one person, trying your hardest to act like you were only talking to that one person anyway, whilst racing through as fast as you can to get to the end of what you want to say.
Girl hiding her face in her hands

You can’t see me right?

2) You tell someone that you will email or text them, and they say “Or just give me a call”. Just? Just?! No no no no, emailing is a “just”, texting is a “just”, giving someone a call isn’t anywhere close to being a “just”.

3) Someone is blocking the way that you want to walk. You say “Excuse me”, but horror of horrors, they don’t hear you! You’re pretty convinced however that everyone else in a 5 mile radius DID hear you and they’re all wondering why you don’t just say “Excuse me” again, a bit louder (Ha, as if THAT’S an option). There’s only one thing for it, you must pull out your phone, tap the screen a few times while looking slightly concerned, and make a little “ooh” noise. This indicates that there is something on your phone alerting you to the fact that you no longer need to go in that direction, but instead need to turn back and go in a completely different direction. Keep looking at your phone while you execute the manoeuvre. No one will suspect a thing.

4) You’re in a large group situation, maybe a party, or the dreaded “Refreshments and networking” section of a conference, or as I like to call it, the “Refreshments and stand there awkwardly wondering how soon is too soon to go back and sit in the conference room ready for the next talk” section. You’re pleased that someone you’re reasonably comfortable with is talking to you. And then from nowhere they decide to throw you to the lions by doing one of the following things:

  • They say “Anyway, I’m just going to go and say hi to a couple of people”, and off they go, leaving you standing there wishing you possessed that superpower of being able to just go and say hi to a couple of people. If you’re at a conference, you’re lucky, you will probably have been given some papers, these papers are your new best friend; there is no limit to the number of times they can be read.
  • They say “Come on, I’m going to introduce you to a couple of people.” This has the exact same effect on you as if they’d said, “Come on, I’m going to take all your clothes off you and parade you around naked for a while.”

Introverts unite

Seriously, how do we get through the day?

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Image credits:
Girl in sweater –  Nguyen Hung Vu
Girl hiding face – Matthew Loberg
Introverts unite – Kappy V11

Two Ways I’ve Been a Master Recently, Oh and Some Kittens

A little round-up of three things I’ve done lately (you HAVE been wondering what I’ve been doing lately, right?)…

NUMBER ONE – I graduated from my MA

Vanessa Graduating

Funny story – when my certificate arrived in the post, I saw that it said “Master of Arts in Education”. I then had this conversation with Neil:

ME: Oh, I didn’t know it was Master of Arts that I did.
NEIL: Well what did you think MA stood for then?
ME: I just thought it was the first two letters of Master’s.

Yep, that’s right, I took a whole big qualification without actually knowing what it was I was taking. Fairly typical. But nevermind, I got to graduate at Canterbury Cathedral, and the Archbishop of Canterbury did the welcome address at the start of the ceremony, so it was all rather grand. This was my very first Graduation because we don’t tend to have high school graduation ceremonies over here, and I never completed my first degree, so this was extra exciting for me.

NUMBER TWO – We got some kittens

Our lovely cat Dory sadly died a couple of months ago, and so in January we got a pair of kittens, Freddy and Lola. Aren’t they so cutey wutey fluffy wuffy gorgeous lorgeous? Oh come on, even if you’re not a cat fan, just look!
Kittens called Freddy and Lola

Of course kittens, like babies of most species, pretty much have no sense of danger. Careful as we are, there’s been the odd occasion where, for instance, we’ve been walking down the stairs and accidentally launched a kitten off the end of our foot and watched him fly a little and then tumble down the stairs while we run down after shouting “I’m so sorry I’m so sorry I’m so sorry”. They don’t seem to mind though, they just bounce right back up, instantly forgive us, and carry on chasing a spec of dust or whatever.

NUMBER THREE – I was an MC

Vanessa being interviewed
I was asked by my good friend Mike (hello Mike, you still read my blog right?) to be MC at a regional final for a poetry reciting contest called Poetry by Heart which is for 14-18 year olds. One of the schools taking part had also sent along two students to act as reporters for their school magazine. At the end of the evening they asked if they could interview me (that’s what the picture above is). They asked a series of questions like “How did you get to be the MC for this event?”, “What was it like being the MC for this event?”, “As an MC, how do you think the evening went?” Then they paused and looked at each other, and did this whole “You ask her” “No you ask her” thing, finally one of them plucked up the courage and asked “What is an MC?” Ha! So for anyone else who doesn’t know, an MC (in this context anyway) is Master of Ceremonies, basically being the host, introducing people, stringing it all together, ordering everyone around (well I think that was part of it anyway).

And there we are, see, that’s how I’ve been Master twice. Oh and don’t forget the kittens.

More Stuff I Do That I’m Hoping You Do Too

Following on from Five things I do that I wonder if you do too, and Using my knife as a mirror and seven other quirky things I do, I bring you – More stuff I do that I I’m hoping you do too

1) Have you ever thrown away a food wrapper into a colleague’s bin at work rather than your own because you’re kind of embarrassed about the number of food wrappers already in your bin, and you don’t want the cleaning staff to judge you?

Man denying knowledge of chocolate wrapper

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using memegenerator.

2) Do you ever sit and imagine what fun you could have if you were someone’s pet cat or dog, but with the brain you have now? The tricks you could do to impress them, the cute stuff… and similarly, how much fun you could have if you were a baby with an adult brain, do you ever think about that?

3) At least three times per day, do you go to your phone/computer/device with a specific purpose of something you need to do, but instead get distracted by the first thing you see on there, and forget to do the thing you went to do in the first place? Three times a day? Who am I kidding? More like every hour right?

Distracted on computer

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using memegenerator.

4) When on public transport, do you ever get up and walk towards the exit, but then realise you’ve made a mistake and it’s not your stop yet. Rather than going back to your seat though, you get off anyway because you would look a fool to go back and sit down right? Far better to have to wait half an hour for the next bus/train, or walk in the dark and rain to get to where you really wanted to get off? At least this way you’re the only one who knows you’re a fool rather than a bunch of strangers you’ll never see again.

5) Do you find yourself questioning everything you’ve ever known about life when you come across someone who doesn’t like either tea or coffee. What, neither? But surely tea? But surely coffee then? No? NEITHER one?!

No Way

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using this other memegenerator.

Any things you do that you secretly wonder if everyone else does too?

My Year in 365 Words

Photos of Vanessa's Year 2014
At the start of 2014 I decided to keep a word-a-day journal over the year. It turned out to be quite an interesting exercise. Some days a word naturally presented itself to me, but other days I had to think a bit deeper – either because it was a day where nothing of particular interest happened, or because several things happened and I had to decide which one to pick. Sometimes I tried to find a word that could relate in some way to all the things I wanted to use from that day. Even on days where I did know which one thing I wanted to record, it wasn’t always easy to describe it in one word.

On three similar occasions I broke the one word rule by pushing together three letters and a word to make one word because it was important to me to record those in that way. A few words were used more than once over the year, and I was ok with that; if something was significant more than once, then it was. And as I was typing this up I discovered one day where I had forgotten to write a word at all, and I have recorded that one as “Blank”.

Looking back over them now I can’t remember what quite a few of the words relate to, but nevertheless, seen as a whole, they tell the story of my year in 365 words…

Essay, Hope, Suzanne, Hurt, Voice, Routine, Stereotyping, Panel, Worry, Gender, Conference, Soup, Plan, Octopus, Dentist, Singing, Strategy, Caroline, Cards, Literally, NVivo, Honoured, Theorists, Battered, Bluewater, Confused, Stabbing, Poster, Which, Quantitative, Windy, Extravagance, Putney, Drudge, Coffee, Graze, Reflecting, Meritocracy, Admiral, Swimming, Operations, Surprised, Scuppered, Sleepy, Love, Cost, Booth, Void, Tired, Trimming, Invitations, Dare, David, Filing, Angry, Woburn, Schools, Guy, Lots, Fajitas, Mud, Irritated, Chuffed, Yvonne, One, Sigh, Piercing, Manchester, Hacked, Writing, Deal, Dropped, Duke, Pleased, Productive, Eek, Idiot, Proud, Amazing, Mum, Methadone, Voice, Embassy, Confirming, Strike, Sleepless, Faint, Sofas, Amused, Shortlisting, Stressed, Energy, Continuing, Remote, Psycho, Furniture, Redo, Mike, London, Blue, Emilia, Walking, Grass, Accepted, Struggling, Struggling, Blue, Wondering, Trays, Easter, Facebook, Back, Art, Blackmail, Staff, Masquerade, Delightful, Policy, Parents, Identity, Time, Sarah, Pizza, Stacey, Westwood, Disgruntled, Deadline, Chapman, Changes, Eurovision, Fifteen, Intolerance, Knocked, Disgrace, Preparation, Neon, Luxury, Malfunctions, Arms, Plumbing, Ninja, Pickups, Planning, Anxious, Packing, International, Satisfying, Hectic, Tax, Seven, Relaxing, Back, Overload, Salad, Edward, Dolphin, Dogs, Party, Pam, Unfair, Flowers, Productive, Ruth, Meritocracy, Cancellation, Fondness, Wheat, Pirate, Coastal, Excellent, Refund, Simon, Relaxing, Sue, Pimms, Dresses, Sun, Underachievement, Uncomfortable, Crates, Last, Thankful, Pleased, Face, Delayed, Jamie, Maidstone, Small, Resolving, Appraisal, Progress, Unreasonable, Ale, Torrential, Burgers, Tidying, Hope, Praise, Analysis, Brownies, Bike, Earnest, Dashed, Broadstairs, Apes, Disproportionate, Writing, Horses, Governance, Impression, RIPNaz, Deal, Relieved, Appreciate, Ramsgate, Canterbury, Articulating, Reflections, Slots, Hope, Searching, Squeak, Limbo, Dog, Bronchitis, Rainbow, Healing, Gloomy, Expectant, Unbelievable, Over, Alton, Rita, Water, Back, Washing, Outlet, Quotes, Speakers, Smugglers, Games, Seizure, Enjoying, Washing, Completed, Gag, Absolute, Maps, Jet, Girls, Mount, Intrusive, Nearly, Cocktails, Blank, Pam, Bubble, Planning, Jacqueline, Networks, Birthday, Beagles, Robots, Desk, Orthodontist, Personnel, Happier, Baking, Pondering, Pretzels, Eclairs, Operations, Opticians, Cake, Interviews, Loving, Danish, Factor, Bus, Neil, Lethargic, Dentist, Bagels, Comfortable, Medium, Scrape, Possible, Manage, Oops, Laptop, Rainham, Willow, Score, Berlin, Finalising, Operations, Filming, Exclude, Missing, Mummy, Spread, Dragging, Together, Blood, Pleasant, Jerk, Better, Planning, Promising, Good, Rooms, Fireworks, Cakes, Power, Kicked, Smooth, Communications, Pumpkin, Productive, Figuring, RIPSuzy, Masonic, Works, Bell, Baskets, Disposing, Sad, Game, Zone, Packed, London, Black, Trust, Rolls, RIPDory, Tree, Preparing, Thirteen, Seasonal, Paint, Fluffy, Selfie, Improvement, Mockingjay, Shopping, Manchester, Stollen, Trisha, Coach, Leicester, Balloons, Sixteen, Sneaky, Baileys, Bluewater, Suzanne, Dad, Messing, Christmas, Pride, Sales, Attempting, Wonderland, Indecisive, Bang.

 Wishing you all the best for 2015!

Bad Analogies

Anna Loggie (Analogy) being reprimanded

I had planned on announcing the winner of Come and play with Lorna to win an Amazon gift card today, but I can’t yet as I’m waiting for the winner to get back to me about something first. But in short, if you haven’t received an email from me, then you haven’t won. Sorry!

By way of consolation, I have an amusing list of collected bad analogies for you, although wait…most are similes, and…is that a metaphor I see there? Anyway, if you’ve seen these before, then I’m afraid you will be inconsolable around here today, I have nothing else for you…

1) Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

2) He was as tall as a 6′3″ tree.

3) Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

4) From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

5) John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

6) She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

7) The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

8) He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

9) Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. (Vanessa’s note – I object to this one being classed as bad, I think it’s actually rather clever).

10) She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

11) The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

12) The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.

13) Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

14) The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

15) She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

16) The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

17) It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

18) It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

19) The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

20) Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

21) The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

DISCLAIMER: Online these are purported to be actual analogies from essays written by high school students, but after digging a bit deeper, I discovered that they’re almost certainly not. This was after I had spent all that time creating the hilarious picture at the top of this post, so I’ve posted it anyway, because they’re still funny, not as funny as, you know, if they really were from essays, but funny anyway!
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photo credit: Original photo Paula Satijn via photopin cc, hilarious Photoshopping by Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Things I Don’t Like That Happen in Restaurants

Man with sandwich board outside restaurant

1. When the server memorises your order rather than writing it down. It makes me nervous. Listen buddy, I didn’t come here to be impressed by your incredible feats of memory, I just want you to get our order right, and I’d feel much more relaxed about that if you wrote it down, ok?

2. When you finally decide what to order after having turned the waiter away an embarrassing number of times, and then it turns out they’ve now run out of that thing because you took so long, so rather than going to your second choice, you panic order something that hadn’t even made it into your final shortlist of five, something that you don’t even like, but once you’ve said the words it’s too late, you would look a fool if you said “No, wait! I don’t like that!” Far better to eat and pay for something you can’t stand.

3. When you order a load of drinks and they add it up in their head, far too quickly for my liking, and throw a random figure at you. Well ok, it’s probably not a random figure, but it may as well be for all the confidence I have in it. Again, I don’t need a demonstration of your impressive mental arithmetic skills my good man, I just want to know that you’re charging us the right amount!

Vanessa looking at drinks

Ok wait, nobody drink anything else until I’ve added this up myself…

4. When they think you’re stupid. I had a waiter in a restaurant once try to convince me that spinach turns white when you cook it. This was in response to me questioning why my spinach risotto was completely white. Seriously.

5. If you’ve gone to a restaurant with a group of people, and you deliberately only order a small bowl of soup and a glass of tap water in order to keep your costs down, and others have had lobster, filet mignon, a crate of wine each followed by aged whiskey, and then someone says “Let’s just split the bill equally, it’s much easier that way!” Yeah, much easier for you if I pay six times as much as my meal actually cost!

6. This is one for my fellow introverts – when you’ve gone to a restaurant because it’s your birthday, and despite you giving strict instructions to the people you are with NOT to tell the server it’s your birthday, they do anyway while you are momentarily distracted by a falling napkin, and next thing you know, you’re being forced to lead a balloon and pineapple dance around the restaurant wearing a penis hat and doing monkey impressions, whilst everyone sings a hilarious alternative version of Happy Birthday and throws peanuts at you.

7. When you’re with people who want to try your meal, and want you to try theirs, and they start shovelling forkfuls of their meal onto your plate and then they’re cutting bits off your meal and loading it onto their plate. No. I’ve ordered this because this is what I wanted. You ordered that because presumably that is what you wanted. If I wanted that I’d have ordered that and if you wanted this, then you should have ordered this!

8. When the meals arrive and you wish you’d ordered what the person next to you has got. But that doesn’t mean you want to start swapping some of yours for some of theirs, oh no no no, number 7 above still applies, got it?

I know at this point, you’re probably thinking “Gee that Vanessa sounds like a real joy to go out with!” so in order to redress the balance, I will finish on a positive note and tell you something that I DO like when I go out to restaurants…

– I like it when numbers 1 to 8 above don’t happen.

There, see, I AM fun to go out with after all!

Vanessa grinning

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photo credit (top photo of man with sandwich board) : pheezy via photopin cc