The end of 2018…progress and the hard yet glamorous process of becoming a lifestyle expert.

Time for an update! And I know all you guys in the Blob have time to read my ramblings, because you’re either rewatching Hallmark movies or still scrolling amazon looking for something to blow your gift cards on. I’m glad you’ve invited the Grownupinternetweblog into your home. Anyways, Merry Christmas, happy Feast of St. Stephen, and happy Boxing Day to readers across the pond (I know all those days are past, but like most teachers this time of year, I have no clue what day of the week it is).

1. Write something for people to read.

Readership continues to be good some days, mediocre on others. But thank you for reading either way. Y’all are very kind, when a lot of this is boring.

2. Save a substantial amount of money.

It’s working! I used Ibotta rebate money to buy Thom’s Christmas present, and Shopkick points to buy groceries for the entire month of December. My links and codes are in the “I’m Here To Save You Broke People” Post, you’re welcome 😄.

3. Get stains out of the rug.

No. This item on the list is a perpetual thorn in my side. And I’m at my in-laws right now, and Mimi never has stains on the rug. She has many secrets—maybe I’ll interview her for the blog sometime this week. She’s an adult, you’d like her.

4. Speak Spanish passably well.

Making slow progress again. Duolingo, subtitles, that one stretch of road where I get Spanish Praise radio…

It’s important to keep it up, I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t happen by osmosis. According to my dad, I could learn any language without tons of trouble, but my parents are totally biased. My mom has my SAT scores memorized.

5. Bake things that start out as dough.

nope. Cookie season came and went with no progress in this area. I bought all the stuff I needed and then was laid up in bed with strep for a week. Seriously, maybe this is psychosomatic—I feel like sickness has stopped me baking a bunch of times this year…

6. Cook a steak.

No, although I did order one from Cheddars—I ordered it medium well and they made it rare and yet I did not die.

7. Get through a long, boring, classic book so I understand cultural references.

I just read a book called Devil in the White City, about the Chicago World’s Fair in the 1890s, and the insurance fraudster and serial killer H.H. Holmes. It was good—the parts about the fair were better than the parts about Holmes. I know true crime stuff is popular. Yes, parts of the book were boring…

I re-read 1984…talk about depressing. CS Lewis was right when he said the hero in that book was the worst.

8. Sit through a long, famous, classic movie so I understand references and jokes.

I watched Coraline when I was sick…it was…very scary.

We watched Die Hard on Christmas, of course—lots of references I get now. I’ve seen it before, but I always get nervous halfway through…RIP Alan Rickman.

9. Learn how football works.

Since most of the world says “football” but really means soccer, there are websites and YouTube videos to explain American football. I have read some and watched some, and now I just have to wait for the Super Bowl to test my new knowledge and try to blend in with people.

10. Learn how finance works. Like, even a LITTLE.

I now know what interest rates are. That’s it, sorry.

11. Expand my food horizons.

We all went out to our favorite place the other night, and I was determined to eat coleslaw with my fish and chips, but I couldn’t get past one bite. Sorry, I tried.

12. Learn to apply eyeliner.

Actually doing ok with this one.

13. Travel. Internationally. Without freaking out.

We are in MA right now, but that’s the same country. Now, the culture is so different from central Texas, it might as well be its own country—different food, history, time zone, weather, accents…

14. Learn how to use a compass. Just in case.

I did get a compass app on my IPad, which means I’ll need the iPad if I’m ever lost.

15. Drive on the highway. Without freaking out.

No, but I didn’t freak out on an airplane while Andrew threw a 10-minute fit.

16. …really, learn ANYTHING about cars.

I watched a video about how an engine works…I was lost in a world of coils and spark plugs, and those are just the things I remember.

17. Learn how the U.S. government works.

At the moment it isn’t working, it’s shut down. So…

18. Keep a plant alive. Preferably an edible one.

No.

19. Fix minor problems with clothes (so…sewing, I guess).

I reattached the arm onto one of my dolls I have in class—he’s a cute little stuffed egg in an Uncle Sam costume that just appeared in my classroom two years ago. I sat on the floor, stitching him up and singing sea shanties, feeling like a homesteader. The kids were glad to see him. That’s sewing but not clothes, I guess.

20. Fix ANY broken thing…just fix something.

I haven’t fixed squat, but Thomas fixed our washing machine and flooded the hallway. I should have him tell the story sometime.

Anyway, in case you haven’t heard, I’m a lifestyle expert now. When I tell people that, they either nod and say “oh…okay…” I think they’re wondering if I’m nuts. My grandfather said “that’s not a real thing”, and Thom ignored me and kept watching Star Trek. But I’m gonna press on and keep saying that, because I think it’s only real if enough people believe it, like (kids, cover your ears) Santa Clause.

Happy new year, team 😎

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