March 1, 2010

So what if you don't know how?

Dear Blog, I’m sure you’ve been reading my recent posts and thinking, “Why can’t I dabble in hobbies for which I have no aptitude or training, like my pal Diana does?”

Well, there’s no reason why everyone can’t do like me and take wild stabs at things they’ve never done before. As long as there’s no danger involved to yourself and others (like dabbling in Air Traffic Control), what have you got to lose? There’s definitely a certain thrill to trying something absolutely new, even if you don’t prove to be a natural. (Like for example, I’ve not been hearing “Wow, Diana--I love ‘Living in Catmandu,’ it seems you’re a natural!”)

Worried about looking foolish, Blog? Well, the key to that is to be sure to publicize ahead of time that you realize you are going not going to win any gold medals for your attempt. The only way to really look foolish is to be blind to your own shortcomings. Kind of like ninety percent of the people who audition for network talent shows like “American Idol” or “So You Think You Can Dance.” Now if Julia Louis-Dreyfuss seriously auditioned Elaine-style for SYTYCD, that would look foolish.

But because we know she knows she sucks, we can’t get enough of watching her dance that way. See how it works?

Now Blog, I’m not only going to suggest this little scheme, but actually give you a boost. I’ll provide a couple of nifty examples you can try yourself!

Home Spa Treatment Concoctor

For what Bath & Body Works charges for its products, you’d think you have to have an advanced degree in chemistry to make that stuff. Sixteen bucks a jar? That’s expertise, right?

Well, actually, you can make stuff just as good. Fight the Man! The Home Spa Treatments Man is goin’ down! (Er, would it be ‘Woman’?) Anyway, all you need is some cheap generic olive oil (I use Roundy’s), and either some kosher salt or granulated sugar. If you want to feel even more like a skin chemistry pro, get some Vitamin E oil at a place like Walgreens. And if you don’t mind spending a bit more, get some essential oil in a fragrance you like.

Just mix the olive oil in a jar with enough sugar or salt to make it the consistency of super wet packing snow. Add a little Vitamin E (I put 6-8 drops in a 6 oz. batch) and a couple drops of the essential oil. That’s it! You feel all cool about your mad spa skilz AND you save money AND you get super smooth!

Flower Arranger

I have no training in the fine art of flower arranging (which is actually more complicated than you might think), but I’ve found the secret to doing it in a fashion that looks completely professional. Just copy a professional!

A couple years ago equally inept husband Davie and I went on an outing to Joann, to become pro flower designers. We looked through all their pre-made silk flower arrangements till we found the one we both liked best. Seeing as it was for sale at Joann, it was made totally out of elements you can buy at Joann. So we went around the store finding all the elements, then took them home and assembled them like the arrangement. And see how nice it turned out?

Never underestimate the wonders of copying, Blog. In fact, training at anything starts out as copying someone way better than you, whether the skill be extreme ice tunneling or making cakes that look like subatomic reactions. Actually, there may not be anyone around to copy yet in either of those fields, but you get my point.

You may find you actually have some hidden skill worth developing. Or you may just end up with a half-assed copy of someone else’s thing. But either way, it’s gonna be much less a waste of time than playing Peggle for two hours.

Yeah, I’ve done that. What? It’s Peggle, how can I help it?

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