Freshly Failed Friday!

Today has been an awful awful day.

Today has gone beyond failing and into the realm of, “How could that have possibly happened? How could a zombie figure out how to push the self-destruct button for the end of the world? Who plans these double apocalypses, anyway?”

It has been that bad of a 24 hour period that I will let you contemplate button-pushing zombies and links to two of my most favorite youtube videos ever instead of writing a normal blog post.  Then, we can all return to playing video games and forget that this post existed.

Tomorrow, I am sure will have a nice scene of happy failing.

For now, though, here are teensy videos of amusement!

The first is a video about a hedgehog and his kitten friend. I love hedgehogs, and hope to own three of them in the future. Their names will be Mortimer, Maurice, and Mambo.  Mortimer, because that is a perfect hedgehog name.  Maurice, because that is the first name of my favorite composer, Ravel.  Mambo, because that seems to complement the other two nicely and I like it.  Anyway, hedgehog+kitten=twice the cuteness, so enjoy!

Hedgehog+kitten cuteness:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D36JUfE1oYk

This second video is my most favorite clip from Whose Line is it Anyway? (U.S. version), in which Colin Mochrie is the only one to keep it together.  For those of you who are not aware, Whose Line is a show where four improvisers take to a stage and create comedic scenes.  Most of the time they succeed, but sometimes someone falls apart, which only makes things funnier.  It sort of relates to the above link, in that the word “Meow” becomes significant.

MEOW!= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ki02SYxoow

I hope you enjoy these two videos.  Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Edit/Note:  I said this is an awful day not in relation to current events in the news, but because I unintentionally hurt someone I care deeply about today.  It will get better, but feelings take time to heal. If you want my opinion on current events…yay equality!

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Like a Tea Tray in the Sky

Yesterday, I failed at my job.

However, I failed with such energetic enthusiasm and willingness to try that I gained some respect from my coworkers. Or maybe they were laughing at my wimpy toothpick arms.  Regardless, I didn’t get in the way or break anything, so if I provided some extra humor with my humble work contribution, then I am okay with that.

Where I work, I do banquet serving.  For the most part, I clean, polish, and organize things as well as *gasp* serve food.

In order to serve food, the food must be transported to within serving distance of tables.  Here is where my wimpy toothpick arms become a liability.  To transport and serve said food, one must carry a tray and move the food from the tray to the table.

The problem is, the trays are incredibly heavy.  I can balance them on my hand without a problem, but when I try to let go with the other hand in order to move a plate of food from the tray to the table, my arm begins to protest.  A wimpy toothpick arm does not have the capacity to hold a heavy tray all by itself, and instantly starts to wobble.

My first day at work, I was taught how to hold the trays.  When the lady who had taught me proper tray transporting technique saw my shaky and slow progress of dessert distribution yesterday, she adopted a look of amused pity and said, “Here, why don’t I help you with that?” I then followed her around the table (carrying the tray with both of my hands!) while SHE removed desserts from the tray and placed them on the table.  Earlier, she had sensed trouble and came to my rescue to distribute a smaller tray of vessels filled with cream.

My supervisor offered to transport the tray with dinner plates for me, which was great, seeing as how that eventually meant he dropped them instead of me.

My serving partner acknowledged that he was going to be the one to carry out the tray of dirty dishes, which was also great, as it meant that I was then shown how to efficiently use tray space to maximize the number of dirty dishes that could fit on a tray.

All I can say is, I am fortunate that my career goal is in music and not something relying on tray transporting.  While I know my arms will get stronger over time, it will be a while before I’ll be able to manage the heavier trays.

It also does not hurt that I enjoy polishing silverware!

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Searching For Words

Today’s failure happened in the early hours of the morning, like all the most interesting failures do.

At about 1:00 a.m., I hand my sister my phone.  On it, a word search app game was activated.  For this app, you are timed on how quickly you can complete the word search.  When I handed my sister my phone, I said, “Here, see if you can beat this.”

That was a mistake.

My sister then proceeded to work for at least an hour trying to beat my record. She succeeded, and shaved about 4 seconds off of my number one time.  I was passed the phone.

Now, while I was good and tried my very best to make minimal noise while my sister was trying to beat my record, she was a brat when I was trying to regain my title.

My attempt at beating the record went something like this:

Sister: I beat it!

Me: You are a butt of the biggest degree. *takes phone, begins word search*

Sister: *maniacally laughs the entire time I am trying to regain my record*

Me: *finishes word search* HERE. BEAT IT!

Sister: *stops laughing abruptly, takes phone back*

Me: This is fun-

Sister: Shh!

Me: *quietly grinning in a mocking manner*

I beat her score by about 7 seconds.

The abrupt change from my sister laughing to scolding me into silence was well worth the next hour and a half or so.  That period of time also reminded me why it is a stupid stupid thing to challenge her at something she feels competent about.  At 3:30 a.m., she tossed my phone back at me, grinning.  She had beaten my record by about 3 seconds.

In response, I kicked her out of my room.

Alright, I did not do that because she beat me at a word search and I still haven’t regained the title yet.  I needed to sleep, and she kept talking! So, she needed to go.  This late night word search competition is also why I did not wake up before noon today.

Next time, I will remember to challenge her to a late night word search competition during the day, and not right before I need to go to sleep. Or, you know, not challenge her at all so I can have some sort of time record on my game.

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Be Prepared

Today, I was unprepared when asked to do something.

My mother asked me to please go outside and check to make sure that the windows on our car were rolled up.  Curiously, she apologized for asking me to do this.  Wondering about the apology but not worried about it, I agreed.

Upon opening the front door to our house, I understood.

It was raining.  Not any sort of mild-mannered, gentle-as-you-please sort of rain, either. The sky was dumping buckets of raindrops that were more like giant rain blob monsters.

After scanning the environment for a path that would minimize my exposure to the rain and deciding that such a thing did not exist, I took a deep breath, and dashed outside.  I ran across the yard and around the car, running my hands along the edge of the windows to make sure they were well and truly rolled up all the way, then sprinted back to the front door and into the house.

All of this took less than a minute.  Time does not matter much to giant rain blob monsters though, and this translated into me being drenched.  My clothes were so soaked I had to change them before sitting down on the gloriously dry furniture, and my hair was dripping for several minutes.

Why didn’t I use an umbrella, you ask? I didn’t because I-You see, I didn’t-oh phooey.  I’m human that’s why, and the adrenaline rush of, “I can out race giant rain blob monsters” convinced me I was a superhero.  I completely forgot umbrellas were an option.

I hope you’re happy, weaseling that answer out of me like that.

Tomorrow: I will give you an update on this month’s composition project and which Brahms’ violin sonata I have decided to work on.

Until then, happy failing!

An Electrifying Tail

Hello followers!

Unfortunately, I did not fail in any inspiring or spectacular way today.  So, I am going to have to do something that I did not plan on doing. I shall talk about a past failure.

A few weeks ago, I went to the equine therapy center (that place I volunteer as a sidewalker at) for the first time. While I was there, my sister, who interned at the center this past spring, was asked to “catch some horses.” Catching horses refers to putting a bridle and reins on a horse, then leading them to the stables.

One of the horses she was asked to catch was Dreamer, who is her favorite horse. However, he was in a paddock that was partitioned off by an electric fence.  There are two wires that form this electric fence, and to “open the gate” in it, you have to grasp these plastic handles on each wire and unhook them from a pole. Once a person and/or horse has gone through the gate, you rehook the ends of the wires (which, of course, are made of metal to keep the current going), and the gate is closed with the current complete.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.  When I tried to rehook the ends of the wires, I found that the plastic handles did not quite give me enough control over the metal hooks.  I kept missing the space where the hooks needed to be placed.

So, without thinking, I adjusted the metal hook with my bare hand in order to get it back into place.

It worked.  But, I also had these thoughts…

1 millisecond before touching the hook-“I probably shouldn’t be doing this.”

1 second after touching the hook-“Oh, that’s right, I shouldn’t be doing this because this is an electric fence.”

2 seconds after touching the hook-“I can feel the current, wow it feels thrummy.”

3 seconds after touching the hook-I feel a soft WHUMP as the current went through me and into the ground. I also let go of the wire.

And then guys, after the WUMP, my ankle……….twitched.

And that was the entirety of my reaction. I didn’t feel or receive a painful shock.  I have always had unusual luck/responses to electricity, though, so that was not as surprising to me as it has been to the people I have told.

That story was also an elaborate setup for a recent failure that my mentor told me about.  I was lucky compared to the squirrel that was on his property.

What happened? In his words, “We had a squirrel who met a shocking end on our power pole.”

You read that correctly, my mentor and his wife had a squirrel die on their property because it electrocuted itself. They even had to have the city come out to fix the situation.

I, of course, could only point out that it was a stunning conclusion to a current event.  Only one jolt and that squirrel went off the grid for good.

I warned you about the puns.

What is the point of these failures? You should turn on the AC in the summer, but not in that way.  A slightly more serious interpretation is this: Remember that even when you think something you have done registers as a particularly stupid failure, there is always someone else out there who has failed in a more stupid fashion than you did.  So, you should do a happy dance to celebrate not being them.

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

“His Reindeer Flies Sideways…”

More on that title in a minute.

I would like to jump straight into today’s failure.

Today, I failed to receive my diploma.

This is not due to any incomplete requirements or failed courses.  No, the reason for this failure can be summed up in one word.

Books.

Now, to begin all this explaining I have to do, I must tell you about one of the policies of the university I graduated from.  At my former college, if a student had a fine, fee, or outstanding balance on their university account, a hold was placed upon it.  A hold could prevent the student from doing fun stuff such as registering for next semester’s classes or deferring their book purchases to their account.  In the case of graduating students, a hold would mean that they would not receive their diploma until the hold was removed.

Ah, you’re catching on.  Very good!

My hold was placed on my account for a different reason.  Earlier in the semester, I had checked out 8 books from the library.  They were due on….today! June 8th! (8 books on the 8th, anyone else feeling the Twilight Zone vibe here?) However, the university felt I could not be trusted to return those books by the due date, and so a hold was placed on my account.  Normally, the diplomas are mailed out four weeks after the graduation ceremonies.  That fourth week began today.  I failed to receive my diploma today because hold or not, I wanted as much opportunity to finish reading those books as I could get if I decided to finish them.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I chose to have the option of reading books I had checked out from my university’s library over my diploma being mailed out at the same time as the rest of the diplomas. 

I have claimed to be many things over the course of my life.  Normal has not been among those many things.

Some of you might already know what the title of this post references.  I did not know until I googled it a few minutes ago, but someone created lyrics about reindeer to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance.” There’s a nice little flash animation posted here: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/reindeer. I don’t know if it’s the original or not, but it’s the first hit I had on the googlin’ track.

However, the lyrics I heard were slightly adjusted from that version. The version I was serenaded with went, “His reindeer flies sideways, your reindeer flies upside down.  Her reindeer flies backwards. My reindeer is dead! Bom bom bom.”

The lyrics for both versions are almost the same.  I am making a big deal out of the version I know because while it is not life changing or anything, the first time I heard it was at my graduation ceremony.  The person I was standing next to began singing as soon as we reached our seats and were standing in front of them while waiting for the rest of the graduates to file in.  Meaning, I heard this little ditty performed repeatedly for a solid 20 minutes.  It is now burned into my memory.

Pity me.

Nevermind, don’t do that. Instead, take good care of your reindeer.

There is not much left to say, except that for those concerned, yes, I did turn in all the books today.  The hold is now removed.  The failure of not receiving my diploma today will be erased when it arrives at some point within the next week or so.

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

That awkward moment when…

…the big fail of the day was discovered at 1:00 in the morning.

All I needed to complete was one run of laundry.  I have been catching up on laundry all week, and I needed to coax one more run through the washer and dryer in order to not have to worry about a clean wardrobe for a week or two.

It was not meant to be.

At midnight, I put my last run of laundry into the washer.  I put in the detergent, closed the lid, set the knobs and pressed start. You know how it goes.

At 1:00, I walk into the laundry room to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  I was thinking how odd it was that I had somehow missed the angry BZZZZZZZZZZZT!!!!!!! that signals the washer has had enough, and the clothes are in the whatchoo see is whatchoo get stage of cleaning.

I walked over to the washer, which was stopped, and raised the lid…

…only to find that the interior was flooded with water.  I looked at the knob that indicates where the washer is in its cycle, and noticed that it had stopped halfway through the washing process.

I tried restarting the washer and adjusting the clothes in it before attempting another restart, all with no luck.  I woke my mother up for help (this is not as rude as it might seem, as my family is frequently up late into the night-we’re a group of night owls), and she tried a few things, to no avail.

Soooooooooo in other news, my parents bought a brand new washer today!

I have also been trapped in the house for most of the day! Why? The failure is not that I killed the washing machine (it was old and we thought it would die months ago), but that the clothes in the washing machine included all of my pairs of non-pajama pants, as well as a few critical undergarments.  Using the washer to dry the clothes has not been possible for most of the day, as the water from the washer leaked into the surrounding area, including the floor under the dryer.  We had to wait to dry that area until the washer was finished leaking, a process that lasted several hours.

…..yep.

What a day.

I only needed that washer to live for 30 more minutes, too.  However, while today has not been 100% optimal on the clothing front, it did give me the opportunity to relax and do nothing but play video games, read, and watch the Belmont Stakes (yay American Pharoah!) for a few hours.  It was one of those times that life conspired to force me to take a break and simply enjoy it.

It has definitely been worth it.  Hope your day has left you with less inconvenience or as much of a smile as mine has done for me.  Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Day 2

Yes, I know.  What the title of this post lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in accuracy.

Guess what, though.  I have exciting news. Ready?

IT IS ONLY DAY 2 AND I HAVE ALREADY RACKED UP A SUITABLE FAIL TO TELL YOU ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s get some context going first, and then I will tell you about the failure.

This week is a week of, dare I say it, cleaning.  In case there are people out there who have forgotten how tedious cleaning can be, I am going to remind everyone that cleaning is the boring adult stuff you try to spice up by pretending you are keeping the nation’s secrets safe by hiding them in the newly organized bookshelf or that you are dusting for fingerprints when you are really…..only dusting.  Cleaning is a good thing in that it allows you to have a nice, organized space in which to do the fun adult stuff, such as build a fort.  Or, erm, practice your violin and finish writing up a budget for the month.

Today, I have been cleaning my room.  I will probably have to finish it tomorrow, as I am taking the time to go through every item in it with the goal of getting rid of as much stuff that I do not need as possible.  Taking an extra day in order to clean my room properly is fine by me, however, I discovered something in my room today that shook me to my core.

In a paper bag that was in a tote bag…..was a moldy banana.

Upon discovering this moldy banana, I finally understood where the odd smell had been coming from for the last longer-than-I-care-to-count number of days.  This moldy banana changed my perspective about myself, too.

You see, I do not consider myself to be a moldy banana type of person.  I am a person that likes bananas, and I am a person that likes to not have food molding in my room.  The bag with the moldy banana challenged both of these ideas. When I discovered the paper bag with the green-and-white mold in a banana form on the outside of the bag (I did not open it, you see), I was horrified.  Not only was this a waste of good fruit, but I had to touch it in order to throw it in the trash can.
Additionally, this is the third time I have found myself to be the cause of a moldy banana in the last couple of months.

My life has not always been this way.

For me to have the oversight to let not one, not two, but three bananas grow mold and leave them in a variety of locations shows how busy I have been in the last few months.  It also gives me bonus points for creativity. The banana in the locker can be attributed to consecutive moments of “Eh, I’ll do it later” laziness, and the banana in the car can be attributed to forgetting that I had not eaten the banana in my lunch that day, but the banana in my room is a sign of me simply not being aware that there was a banana.

Instead of responsibly bearing fruit (and yes, I intended to make awful puns throughout the year), I mismanaged my bananas.

Takeaways from this failure? Easy. Attention to detail is important, especially in the explanation and prevention of odd smells.  From this streak of moldy bananas, I can say that I probably need to get a little more sleep each night so that I can be more aware of where I leave things, and have the energy to complete little tasks, such as throwing away an old banana, as I become aware of them.  While a few moldy bananas do not, technically, constitute an inspired failure, they are related to my almost clean room, in which tons of inspired failures (especially related to playing violin) will be happening.  Plus, they make for an entertaining story.

I shall close with a classic today: “Life is full of surprises, I hope the next one isn’t a moldy banana.”

Happy failing!