Deciding to do nothing in 2014 turns out to be something. I can’t win.

I decided this year that I wasn’t going to have any New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure why or even when I decided this. It’s possible that in the weeks leading up to the end of the year I was busy thinking about other things. Except I forgot to think about what to get for Pam for Christmas, so what WAS I thinking?

And just to be sure that I wasn’t accidentally having any New Year’s resolutions, I checked Wikipedia to make sure that I understood what I was talking about. And as it turns out, people for thousands of years, even before Jesus, have promised themselves that they’ll do better in the New Year. They plan to repay their debts or to return borrowed objects. No one was trying to lose ten pounds, but it was ancient Greece so no one needed to. You know, they were all Greek gods, remember? Yeah, I didn’t, because I wasn’t thinking.

So it was true, I wasn’t making any promises or New Year’s resolutions to myself. At least not on January 1st. Because I know better than that. And I don’t want to change. I would like to stay exactly the same. Generally happy. But no, that wasn’t going to happen, either. Because I bought this book. And I read it, which is an accomplishment in itself. Except that it’s a book that is mostly full of pictures, so I can’t really pat myself on the back too hard for that.


This is one of the saddest fucking books I have ever read. And also the funniest. Together. In one book. The pictures are ridiculous, as you can tell by the cover. And the stories, except the ones about the dogs, are gut-wrenching.

The book contains two posts about depression, one of which is also about suicide. And at least three of the chapters are about how much Allie hates herself. And it’s all funny. But sad. And I’m guessing you’re getting that part, because I keep saying it over and over again. But that’s also what the truth is: Comedy and tragedy. Shakespeare figured that out a long time ago, but we don’t listen. So people need to keep writing books so we can learn this over and over again.

And ironically, although this book made me cry it also made me hopeful. First, I am hopeful that Allie will start to like herself a bit more, because she wrote an awesome book with funny pictures and a lot of truth in it. But also because I am writing a funny book about a mostly horrible experience, and I wasn’t sure that it would work. But now I think it can.

And bonus, Allie’s book also proves that you can write a book about nothing, mostly. There is a whole chapter about trying to clean the house and then playing on the internet instead. Like I said: This is truth, people. Gospel, even.

Anyway, this isn’t really even a blog post. It’s more like a book review. And it’s not really about New Year’s resolutions or the lack of New Year’s resolutions, except to say that you can have no plans to change yourself, and then be changed anyway.

Also, don’t stop buying books. That’s not the point of this post, either.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Some holiday punch

Happy Boxing Day! For the longest time, I never knew what Boxing Day was. I always thought that it was the day when you finally became tired of all the holiday madness and wanted to punch someone. But no, it’s the day when you put stuff in a box and give it to the help. Seriously. I probably laughed out loud when I read that the first time, because it seems so snooty. So check your calendar. Does it have Boxing Day on it? What does that say about you?

And yes, I will be doing something to celebrate Boxing Day because I enjoy holidays that involve prejudice or any activity that divides people into groups so they can be treated differently. I am going to box up the old coffee maker and give it to the ARC. The coffee maker works just fine and has for the last 20 years or so, but we got a new one yesterday from my mother-in-not-law. The new one is very pretty and modern – stainless steel to match the other kitchen appliances and programmable.

And I don’t know how to use it.

I read the directions last night, which was a Christmas miracle, because I usually just throw them out. And I filled it with water, put in some coffee grounds and punched some buttons to program it to make coffee at 5:30 a.m. Or at least that’s what I thought it would do. Right now I am not drinking coffee and it is 6:30 a.m. I may go downstairs right now and plug in the old coffee maker, so I can have some coffee. Hang on.

OK. Coffee is being made. How do I know? It sounds like a helicopter is taking off in the kitchen. This is the other problem with the new coffee maker. I can’t tell if it’s making coffee, so I just stand there staring at the pot to see if there is any coffee dripping into it. And cursing.

So, all this hubbub is just a friendly little reminder from the people in the world who are trying to do something really nice for me. They are letting me know that change is hard. I like the idea of having a new coffee maker get busy at 5:30 making coffee for me. But right now it’s doing nothing. And I will have to work harder than normal to get it to do what I want. And I don’t like extra work – at least not extra work that I didn’t choose. But I’m going to try again tonight by re-reading the directions and pressing some the buttons to see what happens. And if it doesn’t work, I may just punch someone.

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