Jana Says

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Tag Archive: lists

My completely rational irrational fears

I originally posted this almost two years ago. But since I’m in San Diego this week, and many of you are new around these parts and might have missed it the first time around, I’m resharing. You can also read part 2 when you’re done!

One thing I’m more than happy to admit about myself is that I have many, many fears. Some of them are completely rational. Most of them are not. In fact, not only are they completely irrational but most of them are completely avoidable. Yet they continue to plague me, sometimes on a daily basis. 

I couldn’t even tell you WHY I fear these things. My time would be better spent living in fear of things that are real, like the black widow spiders that live in my neighborhood. Or the threat of a gas build-up in my house because the knobs on the stove like to turn on ever so slightly on their own (you know, not enough to start the burner but just enough to let the gas seep out). Or my neighbors being involved in a drug related shooting because I’m 99% sure they’re running drugs out of their garage. 

Nope. Instead, I find myself living in fear of:

  1. Horses. They’re gigantic and unpredictable and they pretend like they’re all sweet and awesome but really, I’m pretty sure they’re plotting against me and they’re secretly violent. When you’re that big and a fly can scare you, you need to stay the fuck away from me. Also, when I meet someone who also doesn’t like horses, we’re instantly BFFs. Because THEY GET IT.horses
  2. Setting my hair on fire. My favorite, and pretty much only, part of my appearance I like is my hair and I do almost nothing with fire. So of course I’m paranoid that I’m going to get involved in a Michael Jackson-like incident.
  3. Barbecues. Not the social events but rather the physical grill that you use to cook the food. I will not go near ours, not even to turn it on, because I fear singeing my eyebrows off and I won’t let my family use any of the ones in public areas because I’m convinced people pee on them. It’s useless to convince me otherwise. 
  4. Drive by shootings. I live in the sticks, across the street from a farm, and my neighborhood sits on a golf course. In other words, prime locations for a drive by. See also: being abducted.
  5. My cat being eaten by a wild animal. This one is not completely ridiculous. I have an indoor/outdoor cat and living in the country means there are all kinds of animals living outside, too. But she sleeps inside almost every night and she’s crazy fast and agile and she didn’t die during the 2 weeks she was missing. But the fear is real.
  6. Losing my teeth. I do not come from a long line of people with good teeth so genetics are not on my side. Despite how meticulous and ridiculous I am about oral hygiene, I can’t help but think that one day, all my teeth will fall out. 
  7. A car falling into my windshield. Specifically when I’m driving behind one of those trucks that hauls all kinds of different cars and all the cars look like they’re one bump away from coming loose. Can’t they secure them just a little  bit better? Like with chains instead of tape?

    My personal horror movie

  8. Tunnels. If you ever want to see my knuckles turn stark white or see me stop breathing, drive through a tunnel with me. I have an immense fear of the walls caving in and/or getting stuck in one. True story: when I drove from college to Key West with some friends for spring break (remember this one, Steph?), I had to drive through the Fort McHenry Tunnel (outside Baltimore). I wouldn’t let anyone speak for the entire duration we were in the tunnel. It makes me that crazy.Instant fear. Just add traffic and high speeds.
  9. Birds. Also bats. Not only do I fear them nesting in my hair and shitting on me, I’m confident they carry all kinds of diseases and I want no part of that. Another true story: one summer, when I was a sleepaway camp counselor, a bat got into our cabin. I hid under my blanket and let my campers fend for themselves. Because fuck them and that bat.

This is actually my nightmare:


2016 update: The bathtub crashing through the floor and landing in the kitchen, mowing off my toes, falling into my washing machine (it’s a top loader, very deep, and I am short. This is a terrible equation), and every single unidentifiable bug or spider that leaves near my house.

Now that you all know how I’m sufficiently crazy, what irrational fears do you have?

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Bus boy, bartender, ladies of the night…

I am not what you would call “career focused”. Don’t misunderstand; I take my work seriously and I do my best (well, usually). But being CEO or some high powered, high priced fill in the blank has never been important to me. And I’ve also had a slight lack of focus for much of my working life. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve finally put it all together into a job that not only I’m good at, but I’m completely equipped for and motivated to do and work towards that proverbial C-suite (even if I truly never want to be in the C-suite because that means pants and pants are stupid). 

While I’ve been traipsing around the working landscape, it also occurred to me that there are a good number of jobs that I would be 100% completely and utterly terrible at. I asked my husband for input on this list as well and here’s our top 10:

  1. Golf caddy. Not only do I hate golf but as The Husband put it, I’d get asked “what club should I use” and I’d reply “I don’t fucking care”. 
  2. Pirate. The energy that goes into being a pirate just seems excessive. Plus, I don’t really like boats. 
  3. Cult leader. Unless it’s the leader of the “do whatever the fuck you want” cult, I’m not cut out for that kind of leadership. My husband is. It’s actually a tad scary.
  4. Boxer/MMA fighter/Ninja. I’m too clumsy to be a ninja and as for the other two, well, I’ll leave that to people like Kathy who are in shape.
  5. Sport announcer. I like sports. I just don’t want to announce them. Also, I lose focus easily and my co-host would be all “DID YOU SEE THAT?! THAT WAS THE PLAY OF THE YEAR!”  and I’d be all “Nope. I missed it. I did see that bird over there, though”.
  6. Reality show star. A) Is that even a real job (The Husband says it is)? and B) I don’t want to be famous.
  7. Farmer. Probably one of the most difficult jobs around. I, however, don’t like to get up early, I’m too lazy to garden, and barnyard animals smell terrible. Hard pass.
  8. Long haul trucker. I have a terrible sense of direction. I’d take a wrong turn, end up God knows where, and abandon my truck and whatever I’m hauling. 
  9. Prostitute. Diseases and going to jail aside, I’m not good late at night and I’m not really great at pricing my services either. A pimp seems like it’d be the way to go here but I feel that could get tricky (no pun intended but LOL at my terrible joke anyway) without a contract and unless we’re hitting up Saul Goodman, probably won’t be able to get that done. 
  10. Hedge fund manager. What the fuck is a hedge fund? 

Then we had this conversation:

Husband: I do think you’d be an excellent executioner? 

Me: Like in the old days? When you chopped people’s heads off?

Husband: No, now. You’d be good at pushing the switch for the electric chair. 

Me: I disagree but we can debate that if you’d like. I’m open to a new perspective. 

(P.S. For the record, I would not be good in this position. I have strong opinions about the death penalty and the moral, legal, and ethical issues surrounding it but for the sake of this post, let’s just see the humor in the conversation.)

Oh, and here’s the song the post title comes from:

What jobs would you be terrible at?

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Thanks, but I think I’ll pass

I am decidedly not a trendy person. I don’t wear trendy clothes or use trendy language (and often have to use Urban Dictionary or rely on the kindness of others to explain such things to me) or have trendy home furnishings or anything else. I like what I like and I stick with it. That works for me.

That said, I might occasionally partake in something trendy. Like, I watched Stranger Things on Netflix this summer. I know who Chrissy Teigen is. I am waiting for The Girls by Emma Cline to come in at the library. So, I’m not totally living in my only little Jana sized bubble. However, there are a number of trendy (or maybe they’re not even trendy anymore. I don’t know) things I have not nor will I actually do. 

For instance:

  • Bulletproof coffee. This is essentially coffee with butter in it. I feel like Paula Deen had something to do with this trend because I’m confident she’s in cahoots with the butter industry (is that a thing? I feel like it’s a thing) but seriously. Butter. In coffee. No, thank you. If I’m going to put butter in something, it’s going to be a cookie. 
  • Contouring/nontouring. So, more work for makeup. Not going to do it. I have my 10 minute routine and unless I’m being photographed for some professional reason, I’m not adding anymore time to it. Maybe not even then. Hard pass.
  • Tiny houses. FUCK THAT SHIT RIGHT NOW. I get that it’s environmentally friendly and economical (unless you have one of those pretentious Tiny Houses like on that show Tiny House Nation which I watched for approximately 4 minutes before I went all ragey) and a wonderful, practical solution to homelessness but unless you want me trading my tiny house for a jail cell, I’m not living in one. I need my space, y’all.
  • Ombre hair. Not even sure if this is still a thing but I have basically the equivalent of a long haired animal living on my head. My hair is dark and thick and long and curly (well, unruly, but let’s just say curly for now) and I can’t even imagine how much money and time it would take to ombre my hair. I don’t want to sit still that long for anything that’s not a book.
  • Oil pulling. It sounds gross, it seems like it hurts, and I’m fine with a toothbrush and mouthwash. Sometimes I even floss! I know. I live on the edge.
  • Those long, pointy, oval shaped nails that look like talons. OMG, how do you function with those? Like basic functions like buttons things or wiping or typing a text? Doesn’t all kinds of shit get stuck in them? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW (fellow old ladies, please tell me you get that). So I’ll stick with my short, square nails that enable me to go to the bathroom and not fear impaling my uterus. 
  • CrossFit. So this is all the rage right now. And I’m intrigued by it but I’m wholly uncoordinated and I’ve heard there’s the box that you have to jump on for one of the exercises and I’d most likely miss the box and fall and break something so skipping this one is more for my personal safety considering I was taken down by a rogue grape a few weeks ago. I can’t imagine CrossFit ending well for me. 
  • Bullet journals. Like CrossFit, I’m intrigued by this one. If I had ambition and remembered to actually keep track of shit, I’d be all over it. I’ve seen examples of ones for mental health and for books, not just for your daily life, and those seem like they’re more up my alley but they also seem like a shit ton of work and let’s face it, I’m pretty fucking lazy. So Goodreads and a daily planner and ye old blog it is. 

How about you guys? Do you participate in trends or abstain? Or some combination? 

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Jana’s Bad Day Recovery Plan

Do you guys know the Limp Bizkit song “Break Stuff”? Yes? No? Think you do but you forgot? Pretending not to because it’s a Limp Bizkit song?

Totally understand that last one.

Regardless of how you answer the question, though, here’s the first verse:

It’s just one of those days
When you don’t wanna wake up
Everything is fucked
Everybody sucks
You don’t really know why
But you want justify
Rippin’ someone’s head off
No human contact
And if you interact
Your life is on contract
Your best bet is to stay away motherfucker
It’s just one of those days

That was my day yesterday. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong including an unexpected trip to get my daughter’s finger examined (middle finger, of course, because she’s my child. Except mine would get hurt from overuse instead of tumbling). Fortunately the finger isn’t broken (thank G-d for small miracles) but all the other things sucked a fat one. 

Days like yesterday throw me for many days to come because I am a creature of routine and habit and to-do lists. I need organization and structure in my day, at least during working hours since the rest of my day is subject to chaos and when my working hours are destroyed, it’s hard to get myself back together. 

I mean, I do eventually get my shit in check, mostly thanks to my foolproof 12 step plan:

Step 1: Overuse the word “motherfucker”. Scream many other expletives. Mostly at people who can’t hear me because the last thing I want is a rumble. I don’t need that Sharks vs. Jets shit in my day.

Step 2: Call the husband. Talk nonsensically and bother him at work for about 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Avoid problems by scrolling through all the social media.

Step 4: Declare I hate my life and sketch out a plan to run away and live in a tiny house in the mountains away from everyone except my dogs and cat. 

Step 5: Call the husband again. Repeat Step 2

Step 6: Eat dozens of Cheez Its or chips or something else bad for me. Seriously contemplate getting drunk in the middle of the day. 

Step 7: Realize getting drunk in the middle of the day is, in fact, a terrible choice. Praise myself for making one good choice. Use it as a gateway to calm the fuck down and start refocusing. 

Step 8: Put on a good playlist and sit for a song or two to center and get in a good place. 

Step 9: Examine my initial to-do list. Prioritize and determine what needs finishing or attention immediately. Decide to work on that in the short time I have left during the day. Make a new to-do list, realizing that nothing I do is actually urgent and if it has to wait a day or two, the world will survive.

Step 10: Berate myself for overreacting. Berate myself for berating myself. Take a detour from work to eat more Cheez Its. Berate myself for that but tell myself that Cheez Its eaten while in the midst of a terrible day don’t count. Fill up a huge glass of water to cancel out the Cheez Its. Bring it upstairs because real work gets done in the office, not the living room. 

Step 11: Sit down at the laptop. Remind myself that everyone has bad days, has unproductive days, and anyone who says they don’t is a big fat fucking liar. 

Step 12: Accept all that happened, get over it, and move on.  

Bonus step: Complete one task, no matter how small. Call it a good day. 

The best part is, if you guys need it, my plan is totally free for you to use! It’s not foolproof and doesn’t always work but it’s mostly useful. Especially if you throw a nap or a few solid of hours of Netflix into the mix. 

How do you guys get on track after a bad day?

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P.S. There’s no podcast episode in the post today BUT you can listen via your favorite podcasting app! iTunes approved us! 

A list of things I can’t stand including thinking of post titles

Just about two years ago, I wrote a confessions post about some pretty substantive things that make my angry. As I’m suffering from minor writer’s block/idea deficiency and also I’m already in vacation mode (we leave for Boston in less than a week!), I decided that it’d be a good idea to update that list except with really small petty things that annoy me rather than things that are major or important because that’s how I’m feeling right now. It’s also an accompaniment to this post about all my pet peeves which made me realize I should do a post about all the things I love so I don’t always come across like a curmudgeonly old man.

So, here’s a not at all complete list of things I hate (also known as major first world problems):

  • Oranges and all of its related orange-citrus brethren. 
  • Horses. Keep them away from me, please and thank you. 
  • Hangers that are all askew and face different directions. Not to mention when they’re mixed with wire hangers. 
  • Punctuation abuse. Especially on professional signs. Guess what? If you say you’re “licensed and insured”, we’re not doing business. 
  • Seeing someone in a movie or on TV and not being able to remember where I’ve seen them before. 
  • Thinking of titles for posts.
  • Typing in a password and being told it’s wrong even though I know it’s right. And while we’re on the password subject, being asked to change it every few months or so. NO, M&T Bank, I don’t want to do that. I can barely remember this one and now you want me to have a new one? 
  • Bad handwriting on feedback forms. How can I fix what’s wrong if I can’t read what you wrote? (I don’t have a problem with bad handwriting in general. Just when I need to read it). 
  • Finding a movie on HBO and coming in halfway and then wanting to record the next showing because who wants to start a movie they’ve never seen in the middle only to find out that this is the only showing. WHY YOU TEASE ME, HBO?
  • Realizing a dog who’s not my dog has shit in my yard and the lazy ass owner didn’t pick it up. It’s all fun and games until someone steps in dog shit and tracks it in the house. 
  • Speaking of dogs, why does my dog wait until I’m actually and finally comfortable to whine at me that he needs to go out even after I’ve just let him out and he chooses not to do anything except walk around and bother the cat?
  • This little piece of my car door that won’t attach to the rest of the door and flaps in the wind when I’m driving. 
  • The term “hack” as in “life hacks”, “productivity hacks”, “cooking hacks”. Can’t we change it up with “shortcuts” or something else? I also hate the terms “solopreneur” and “lady boss”. 
  • That iTunes will not let me change my user ID. Fuck you, iTunes. 
  • Bad people like the Duggars getting second chances. Look, I’m all for giving second chances but not in the manner that they’re getting. I felt the same way about Michael Vick. He did his time, paid his penance, whatever you want to call it, and he totally deserved to be given a job and all of that but not in the manner that he did. If you do something as bad or reprehensible as the Duggars or Vick, then you should not be put in a position where people use you as a role model. Yes, you can argue that they deserve adulation because they reformed but let’s be honest, have the Duggars truly reformed? Have they apologized for all the hate they’ve spewed or the hypocrisy in which they’ve conducted their lives? Have they adjusted their beliefs after seeing the damage its done to their family? No, they have not. So maybe thrusting them back into the spotlight with millions of dollars and paid vacations and all that jazz is blatantly wrong. And shame on TLC for giving it to them. And shame on me for writing about it and giving them even more attention. (You sort of knew this rant was coming, right?) But I still fucking hate them.
  • The Oregon Trail app no longer works on my iPad.
  • Being told I need to drink wine. No. I don’t like wine. I will stick with my beer.
  • Fees attached to buying concert tickets. Really, they’re expensive enough. Why do I need to pay an extra $40 billion in processing fees? And what exactly is a “processing fee”? Sounds like a scam to me. 
  • Website design. I need to design two websites as well as a complete makeover for this one and while I’m good at content, I’m terrible at design and I can’t afford to pay someone to do my designs. Awesome for me. But thankfully Fiverr exists so I can get a few things done there for cheap until I can afford something better.

Let’s end this on something I don’t hate. Another episode of The Armchair Librarians! This time we talk about finding time to read and assorted other topics because reading rabbit holes are easy to find when you’re me and Steph. A few things: one, this is one of the websites I need to design. Two, there’s a terrible echo towards the middle and end of the recording that makes it sound like Steph is in a bathroom even though to my knowledge she isn’t and I can’t edit it out so we apologize for that. Three, I finally figured out how to get this thing in iTunes so it should be there next week. Four, we have a few tweaks we’re making to the quality of the podcast so look out for those in upcoming shows (read: not this one or the next).new_logo_edit


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