Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Me Get More Smarter One Day




When I was not yet two years old, I began reading to my mother from a cereal box on the kitchen table.  Suffice to say, my parents were ecstatic to have spawned such an obviously brilliant wunderkind, and visions of Ivy League universities and Nobel Peace Prizes danced proudly in their heads .  Unfortunately, I appear to have peaked at eighteen months as I have spent the subsequent 41 years doing everything in my power to destroy any shred of intelligence I may have once had.  To wit, I have become the human equivalent of Homer Simpson ramming the crayon up his nose to reduce his I.Q. because he was tired of being a "Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world".*



*Further proof of my subpar intelligence: I can't do my son's fourth grade math for squat, but can reference every 'Simpson's' episode since 1989.   I win at life.


While my parents (both highly intelligent and well-educated people) did everything in their power to foster my burgeoning acumen, I handily counteracted each of their attempts with an act of such inanity that it would have had Pauly Shore saying "Dude, that's some stupid shit right there."  Over time, my years of reality television viewing and alcohol consumption opened up my brain like the bomb-bay doors on a Boeing B-29 and spilled all of my parents' best efforts on the ground below.  As a result, I am currently a 42 year old woman with the intelligence of your average ABC Family viewer.  I have the interpersonal skills of an autistic lemur, and generally, whatever puerile garbage I happen to be yammering carries about as much depth and relevance as Jerry Springer's "Final Thought".  Over all, I'm like a quadriplegic in a two-story house: totally lacking in motor skills, and not a lot going on upstairs.  But this year, I vow to change all of that.  2013 will be the year I become more knowledgable  knowledgible. . .the year I get more smarter.

Improving my intelligence has long been a goal of mine, but on my Bucket List it's not exactly number one with a bullet.  Truthfully, it falls somewhere in the middle, between "cut a demo with David Guetta" and "learn how to Dougie".  But as Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj aren't exactly blowing up my phone and I lack the requisite skill set to walk and chew gum at the same time, I've chosen to focus on my brain for the time being.

Unfortunately, my lifestyle isn't exactly conducive to higher intelligence.  I subsist on a steady diet of Starbucks and Taco Bell, my car looks like a family of Sudanese refugees have been squatting in it, and at the end of the day I lack the attention span for anything more thought-provoking than a DVD of "Bring It On".*



*Yes, I own the DVD. . .OK, the complete boxset.  Don't judge; this is not a democracy, it's a cheerocracy.


So, seeing as how my home environment isn't exactly a NASA think tank, I have been making regular excursions to my local library.  As much as I truly do love to read, I am not a fan of public libraries because they are. . .well. . .public.  While the clientele of my neighborhood library is relatively innocuous, the staff is about as friendly and helpful as a team of Stasi footsoldiers and I have zero tolerance for that kind of passive-aggressive douchebaggery.*



*There is nothing passive about my aggression.  


Also, I'm a bigger germaphobe than Howard Hughes. Since I spend the better part of the winter months slathering myself with Purell and popping AirBorne tabs like they're freaking Skittles, the thought of fondling book jackets that have been touched by myriad unseen hands sends a chill through my veins.  But, in the interest of my intellectual betterment, I have sucked it up and begun checking out the classics I "pooh-poohed" in my youth.*


*But only after I rubbed them down with Clorox wipes.  Because. . .reasons.



I began with John Steinbeck, progressed to Hemingway, and gradually made the slow ascent to Ayn Rand.  As I read, I felt my synapses begin to snap open and my neurons -- long dormant -- begin to shudder and slowly creak to life.  The books were like old friends, and as my eyes took in the eloquent prose, I felt a small part of my atrophied brain slowly expanding.  I joyfully declared Project Get Smart(er) a success and estimated my I.Q. to have increased exponentially.*



*Although I have to subtract 10 points for finishing Jane Austen's "Emma" and squealing "Oh my God!  That was TOTALLY based on 'Clueless'!"  ((shame spiral))


Is my quest for knowledge complete?  Probably not. . .and in truth, I don't think I want it to be.  I'm probably never going to write the great American novel, or redevelop Microsoft, or cure lupus, or anything like that; but if there is a small part of me that still believes that someday, maybe. . .just maybe. . .I'll be able to remember where I parked my car in the lot at Target, then my quest will not have been in vain.

Happy New Year!  Don't stop believin'.

xoxo,
Jen






49 comments:

phenomenallass said...

So glad to see you back in the blogosphere again!

As another of the Clueless generation who has felt her IQ slipping over the years, I've also got to suggest checking out www.lumosity.com. I just play with their free stuff, but I HAVE been able to find my car in the Target parking lot a little more often.

Baby steps, girl. :)

Jill N. said...

Welcome back! I look forward to more laughs (with you and at you).

Jen said...

PHENOM - I just signed up with lumosity! Hopefully it will increase my capacity to multitask...or at least give me the ability to multitask.

JILL - Remember what a dipshit I was in junior high? Umm, yeah. Not much has changed.

Erica Burns said...

Welcome back! I think that I have seriously developed ADD since having children. My attention span is shorter than a gnat's and it's affecting me to the point that *I* am getting frustrated. According to my mom I wasn't showing the signs when I was a kid, but I don't know if I believe her. It's on my agenda to deal with this year to make a better me... also to shrink the size of my ass a few inches because I do nothing but sit on it all day. .. (at my request) my husband got me Zumba for the XBOX and now I have to find a time when I can do it, and know will be awake to laugh at me... as my 9 year old will do.

Abby said...

I also wipe down any DVD cases I might rent from the video store, so not only do I find your behavior normal, I find it mandatory.

Carry on, with your Purelled self.

Jen said...

ERICA - I tried Zumba once. I looked like an epileptic at a laser light show. Not good.

Jen said...

ABBY - Praise Jeebus, I am not alone. ((fist bumps -- but only after we've both washed our hands))

Laura said...

Missed you! Glad you're back.

Now... I am waiting for the Jacked up holiday's blog... patiently... well no not really.

I can do chapter and verse on my dysfunctional family...

LOL

Jen said...

LAURA - Sadly, I have one of those families that's actually really funny and loving and rad as shit. Very little blog fodder there. ((sigh))

Jenna said...

YOU'RE A CHEERTATOR, TORRANCE! Also, welcome back. I have all of Bring It On (zee first) memorized, so if you need to arbitrarily quote an entire movie back and forth, I am here for you.

Jen said...

JENNA - "We're perky! We're cute! We're popular to boot! We're bitchen'! Great hair! The boys all like to stare!" I love you mad hard.

Deborah White said...

Yea! You're back. The void that has been dogging your readers is ready to be filled. Sounds sorta dumb when I say it, but I truely am glad you are back.
--Deb

Deborah White said...

Yea! You're back. The void that has been dogging your readers is ready to be filled. Sounds sorta dumb when I say it, but I truely am glad you are back.
--Deb

Jen said...

DEB - Thank you. It doesn't sound dumb at all; it means the world to me. :)

Winopants said...

Yay, you have been missed!! Bring on the hilarious analogies and sharp life commentary, woot!

Gia said...

Happy New Year lady! And germs are disgusting. The worst is when is someone asks me to touch their cellphones. CELLPHONES ARE SO DIRTY.

Fyre said...

Ok, now I know 2013 will be a good year...Jen's back!! Missed you...glad you are once again willing to share your take on life. Looking forward to laugh-snorting at inappropriate moments!

Jen said...

WINO - Thanks, chica! It's good to be back. :)

GIA - No lie. Cellphones skeeve me out almost as much as ATMs. ((shudder))

FYRE - Howdy! Dude, I STILL have your "Bad Date" contest prize sitting on my desk. I suck...

Tiffany said...

I'm glad you're not dead! I missed your blog!

I don't know that I could do the library thing. I take the short people, but I take a sketchbook and draw the whole time they're reading or looking for books.

mistyslaws said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, lady. The world is now back to spinning on its proper axis again.

Glad to see you are trying to more smartify yourself. It's about time, ya big dummy. :p

Love ya mad hard, girl. HUGS.

kelsofb said...

I don't like Jane Austen novels, but when I found out Clueless was based on Emma my mind was blown. Such a classic movie based off of what I would consider a terrible book. It was too much for my 17 year old brain.

P.S. glad you're back, missed this snarkiness!

kelsofb said...

I don't like Jane Austen novels, but when I found out Clueless was based on Emma my mind was blown. Such a classic movie based off of what I would consider a terrible book. It was too much for my 17 year old brain.

P.S. glad you're back, missed this snarkiness!

Jen said...

TIFFANY - I don't know what it is...I love books, but libraries just make me all stabby.

MISTY - You're a douche. :P xoxo

KELSEY - I know, right? I hate that book too, but 'Clueless'? Pure genius.

mothers little hleper said...

Welcome back
you have been missed!
and I hate libraries too

Erica Burns said...

I did zumba once in my living room when we downloaded the demo, and the kids laughed at me.. I bet I was as graceful as you... hence why I got teh "try at home" kind instead of "in front of strangers" we'll see how it goes

Andrea said...

Welcome Back...and with that I must now pause and sing the entire Welcome Back Kotter theme song..."Well we tease him a lot cuz we got him" (oh sorry, I could sing to myself....Anyways, here's hoping 2013 is totally FETCH!!!!

Andrea said...

Hmmm...not sure if my comment was eaten by blogger....well at the risk of duplicate efforts...Welcome Back, and now I must pause (again) to sing the Welcome Back Kotter song in its entirety..."Who'd have thought they'd lead ya, back here where we need ya"...(oh sorry, I could sing to myself)...Anyways, hope 2013 is totally FETCH!!!!

Jen said...

MOTHERS - Libraries suck harder than an airline toilet. Boo!

ERICA - I thought my kids were going to give themselves an asthma attack from laughing at my sorry ass trying to do the Wii Fit. Little bastards...

ANDREA - Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen, Andrea. It is NEVER going to happen!

TheOtherLisa said...

Hey Jen!! Missed you!

Maggi Shelbourn said...

You had me worried there for a minute...I need your special brand of snark to get me through the customer service part of my day job. So happy you're back blogging away! 2013 can commence.

When Pigs Fly said...

I feel like I've been losing brain cells since college. I'm a germaphobe too. I have a feeling using all those Clorox wipes is not helping. I may be cutting down on the germs but I'm probably giving myself cancer. I could use rubber gloves. Ahh... See, not real smart these days.

Jen said...

LISA - Hi, Lisa! Thank you. xoxo

MAGGI -2013 is gonna be amazing, I can feel it. :)

PIGS FLY- I had to carefully weigh the OCD vs. hypochondria factor. Guess which one won?

Frances Gronlier said...

Oh Jen!!!! This 2013 is now complete for me. So happy you're back. Reading all the possible germs I could be getting has me shaking in my prego panties. Guess where I'll be going? CVS.

Brett Minor said...

I am SO SO SO happy that you are back. I missed you.

Here's a library tip if you're interested. I use the internet to find what books I want to read. Then, I log on the library website to order the book. They call me when it comes in and I just have to go buy and pick it up. Little interaction with people and NO thumbing through books on germ-ridden shelves. I love it.

I took on a huge book challenge years ago that will take me a couple of decades to complete, and love it. I stopped reading for some reason and this started it up again. I love it.

Kelly said...

You're a cheertator, Torrence, and a pain in my ass!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo!

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

Welcome back! ( Now I have the theme song to Welcome Back Kotter running in a loop through my skull)

I love this post like I love you- mad hard.

I never lose my truck in Target- only because I always park in the same area... and I am one of the few people that I know sporting both my husband's business decal and an NRA sticker. ;)

WeezaFish said...

Woo hoo you're baaaaack! Missed you man. My youngest is starting preschool next week and as I venture back into adult world, I wonder if all those years of toddler speak made some part of my brain switch off. My memory's got worse for sure. Working my way through the free classics on Kindle! Do think there's a lot to be learned from the Simpsons also, have to say.

QOE said...

Yay! You're back! While you were gone I had a contest in my head where we all voted on a new name for your blog. Just so you know, it was a tie between Talkin' 'bout my "Jen"eration and Sparkle, Baby: Luxuriating through life.

P.S. That Shakespeare mofo totally ripped off Taming of the Shrew from 10 Things I Hate About You. Not cool, Billy boy. Not cool.

Eunice said...

I missed you so much! Best news of the year so far that you're back. (Heh, we're only three days into 2013!)

If it's any consolation, I'm 51 and on the penultimate module of a distance learning BA. And if I get the final grade I'm hoping for, in 2014, I'll go on to an MA. Smartifying can be done!

Jen said...

FRANCES - When are you due? You've gotta be getting close now! :)

BRETT - Online book reserve is my raison d'etre. And now that I have a Kindle, I can hole up in my house like Salinger and let the books come to ME! Huzzah!

KELLY - Don't put the "duh" in "dumb", Tor.

JOHI - You can guarantee mine is the ONLY car in P-Town with an NRA sticker...I am forever amazed I don't get keyed for often than I do.

WEEZA - Everything I know as a parent came from the Simpsons. . .wait. . .that can't actually be good. . .

QOE - And Romeo & Juliet? Pfft! Total rip-off of "Step It Up", yo.

EUNICE - Good job, Girl! I didn't go for my M.S. til I turned 40. It's never too late. :)

Janene said...

Don't hate the library because of the germs, Jen. Libarians provide great services (finding things = good!), and we're expanding into different areas all the time. I might not love you so much if you keep dissin' my field. Just sayin'.

Good to see you back. You've been missed.

Kari said...

Just really, really glad to see you back. You and your snark were sorely missed!

TheChickIsRight said...

ZOMG! I am so thrilled that you are back! The interwebs did not have the same luster without you in it!

Welcome back! I totally felt stabby without a regular dose of your rapier wit and snark. Much less stabby now. Thank you! :-)

BTW - I totally love Ayn Rand! *fistbumps* My favorite Ayn Rand book/ novelette is Anthem. Short. Sweet. Yet powerful.

Laura said...

Jen...

then do a contest for the most jacked up holiday story... silly

on a side note... I miss Dylan. Is he ok?

lauralhottman@gmail.com

Justamom said...

Thank the goddess your back. I too are making the effort to read the clasics, but instead of the library. I am using my nook and the library. You can get alot of electronic books from the library for free now. Same books no germs...YEAH....

Justamom said...

Yeah, your back...Life has been darker without you...

I too am trying to improve the brain by reading the classics. I have escaped the germs by using my nook. You would be amazed how many electronic books you can get for free from the library

Headset Hellion said...

Yayyy, you're back! This probably sounds silly, but when I saw your blog was down, it made me sad! Thanks for cheering me up on a "blah" kind of day!

Leslie said...

You're back!!! yay!! I was so bummed when I checked in and you were gone. I really enjoy your blog and I am glad you're back!

And total fist bumps on the germs on books. And how about magazines on airplanes and in waiting rooms? yukky!

Leslie

Allyson Ford said...

I'm going to join in with the hip hip hurray crowd and welcome you back :-)