All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun

I’m the lead copyeditor in my office. The other day I overheard my boss telling someone not to get hung up editing text because, she said, she doesn’t know anyone who cares as much about grammar as I do.

Wow, I thought. What a compliment. I do love grammar. I’m so glad it shows!

I'm pretty sure this means I'm the coolest!

I’m pretty sure this means I’m the coolest!

Then I kept thinking about it, which has always been my fatal flaw. Soon I was over-thinking it.

Wait a minute, I thought. I don’t want to be the person who loves grammar the most. “There goes Stephanie, Queen of the Anal-Retentives.” That’s what people think when I walk by, I bet. Caring about grammar is for old ladies and William Strunk. Man, I need a hobby.

If you, like me, have taken your passion for grammar or something equally fusty to what others might consider an extreme level, you may not have heard of “hobbies.” A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment. You find one of your own by thinking of the things you like.

Things People Like

  1. Hitting stuff with sticks
  2. Pretending that a strand of yarn is actually something else
  3. Taxidermy
  4. Horses?
I'm having a hell of a time thinking of things today.

I don’t really know what people like. This, probably.

You leverage the thing you like into a hobby that incorporates it. For example, the people who like hitting things with sticks often enjoy golf, baseball or hockey. People who pretend a strand of yarn is actually something else like to knit or crochet. Those who enjoy taxidermy might visit museum dioramas as a hobby, or make those creepy bell jar specimens that every mad scientist seems to own. Sometimes people combine multiple things they like — polo was invented by people who enjoyed both horses and hitting things with sticks.

Hobbies are great for a number of reasons. They are more interesting to talk about at parties than what you did at work that day, unless you are a spy or the person responsible for cataloging everything owned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Too, they are a good way to attract a partner who may also be interested in tricking fish into making fatal errors, slowly running through neighborhoods and parks in tiny shorts, or trying to breed two dogs together to create a perfect version of the same dog for other people to judge.

Isn't it nice that people can enjoy the same totally weird stuff as you?

Isn’t it nice that people can enjoy the same totally weird stuff as you?

I’m having the worst time finding the perfect hobby for myself. I made a list of things I like, but I can’t say it’s helped much.

Things I Like

  1. Reading books about grammar
  2. Stripping wallpaper from my living room walls
  3. Going to the dump
  4. Alphabetizing spices
  5. Staring at my cat

None of those things are a good basis for a hobby. They don’t include other people, for one thing. Alphabetizing spices is not a group activity, especially if the other members of the group are the kind of people who have to recite the alphabet from the beginning every time they try to remember a letter in the middle.

These things are difficult to discuss at length at parties (not that I can discuss anything at parties), and they’re certainly not what I would call cool. At this rate, I’m never going to be invited to Hobby Lobby to lobby with the hobbyists.

I assume that's what goes on here.

I assume that’s what goes on here.

I’m no quitter, though. I’m going to keep trying to find the perfect hobby with different combinations of my interests. If I have to invent one, so be it. I won’t be the girl who cares way too much about grammar anymore. I’ll be the girl who takes her cat to the dump. Or the girl who strips wallpaper in alphabet-shaped patterns.

…I’ll keep thinking.

Everybody’s Got Something to Hide, Except for Me and My Monkey

Remember that time I was mad at every single person and object on the entire planet for no reason at all? I figured out what my problem was.

I had way too many monkeys.

Not, like, actual monkeys. I should back up.

Last week I asked my boss, Ike, if it was alright for me to stop going to a meeting that always leaves me with a feeling similar to the kind one might experience after repeatedly slamming one’s head into a brick wall.

A brick wall that won't listen to any of your ideas and gets really upset when you question it.

A brick wall that won’t listen to any of your ideas and gets really upset when you question it.

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Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab

You’re a quick-witted bunch so I imagine you’ve already picked up on this, but I like lists. I like the way they highlight important things. I like the way they bring order to this crazy world. I like how nice and clean they look. (I’m sorry if you’ve heard all this before. I like talking about them, too.) I especially like lists because they’re helpful in almost every situation. If you’re going shopping, what should you bring? A list! If you’re writing demands in a ransom note, how should you arrange them? In a list! If you’re trying to win Trivial Pursuit and you need the name of a 19th-century Hungarian composer, what should you say? Liszt! See? So handy.

In four and half years of writing a list-based blog, this is the first time I have used that pun. I AM NOT SORRY.


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No More Mister Nice Guy

A Mathematical Proof (with no Actual Math)

Given: 1) When someone’s being a jerk, everyone says they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
2) My bed has four perpendicular sides.
3) I have been acting like a real jerk.
4) This never used to happen.



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I’ll Follow You into the Dark

Not so long ago, my house contained two cats: Sir Winston Purrchill and Benito Meowssolini. I don’t know if it was nature, nurture, or the way my roommate and I named them after warring leaders, but they couldn’t have been more different.

Winston, who is shy and sort of weird about keeping things clean, spends most of his time hiding under large pieces of furniture, trying to eat people’s hair, and unraveling toilet paper rolls because he thinks it’s funny. If I had my way, that’s what I’d spend my days doing, too.

Benito, on the other hand, loved meeting new people, chatting up a storm, and was not at all concerned about the amount of time he spent rolling in dirt and drooling on himself. We took him in after I’d watched him prowl our alley for a year, but once he was inside, all he wanted was to be outside again. He’d sit in the window for hours, throwing his entire body into the glass if a bird, human or fellow cat happened to come by.

Like this, only somehow more cartoonish.

Like this, only somehow more cartoonish.

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