100 Things I Learned in 2008, Part II


I know! I know! You’ve been on pins and needles, those of you not on tenterhooks. (Go on, click. I didn’t know what they were, either.)

Here’s the second half of my Sweetly Grouchy Look Back at 2008. Which, to wrap it up in a sentence, wasn’t bad, exactly, but felt an awful lot like having a baby elephant: a long time in coming, and at the end of it, you end up with…another elephant*. (Although, hey, I guess if you’re the Mother Elephant, that’s a good thing.)

All right! Enough of this jibber-jabber! Let’s get on with the main event.

And hey, if I don’t see you before then? Have yourself a merry little new year!


  1. Never schedule a haircut while your stylist is going through a divorce.
  2. The new stuff of today is the #@%*! crap of tomorrow.
  3. There’s no place like home.
  4. Especially when I’m the only one in it.
  5. Although visitors of both the two- and four-legged variety are welcome.
  6. Money is AWESOME.
  7. When the action is “networking,” the equal and opposite reaction is “cave time.”
  8. A multitude of puzzlements are made clear after spending a little quality time meditating on the size of the left half of the IQ curve.
  9. Backup.
  10. Backup.
  11. Backup.
  12. Just because something is the opportunity of a lifetime doesn’t mean it’s the opportunity for you.
  13. Blogging is nice, but it’s good to be in print.
  14. Doing stuff is a lot harder than naming stuff.
  15. Root canals are every bit as horrifying as you’ve been led to believe.
  16. And twice as expensive.
  17. And my previous dentist? IS AN ASSHOLE.
  18. Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but without it, your filing system might as well be on Jell-O.
  19. White people love their fifteen minutes.
  20. Having principles can be costly.
  21. Because, like the old saw about divorce, they’re worth it.
  22. Once you let your freak flag fly, it’s hard to put it back in mothballs.
  23. Never underestimate the power of a good subject line.
  24. If I’d gotten what I wanted at 22, I’d be dead by now.
  25. Ditto 25, 28, 31, 35 and 40.
  26. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I’m ready today.
  27. In order to get anything meaningful out of your life, you have to be ruthless about what you let into it.
  28. Don’t try to manage anyone else’s expectations until you’ve got a firm grip on your own.
  29. Bread is the devil.
  30. The lovely, lovely devil in white vinyl hot pants and a push-up bra.
  31. There are two things you can never have too much of, and one of them is music.
  32. Random acts of kindness happen far more often than you have your eyes open to see them.
  33. Underwear stretches.
  34. A lot.
  35. Denuding your toiletries of their signage is a subversive delight.
  36. Surprisingly, it also makes performing your ablutions more enjoyable.
  37. Provided you have a good memory.
  38. There are many reasons to own Photoshop, but making people laugh is numero uno.
  39. When in doubt, engage in a little manual labor.
  40. Preferably the kind that makes the world a better place.
  41. “The world” being anything from your sock drawer to…well, the world.
  42. I’m going to make a fantastic old lady.
  43. Buy art.
  44. Even if you’re broke.
  45. Especially if you’re broke.
  46. If you don’t hang out with your betters, you’ll get worse.
  47. Fortunately, the opposite also holds true.
  48. If you really figure out where you’re really supposed to be, that you found it out late won’t mean a damn.
  49. For better or worse, 2009 can’t possibly be anything but incredible.
  50. I’m not nothing without you, but I’m sure as hell glad you’re here!

Next 100 Things: December 2009! In the meantime, you can still enjoy the even more distant past:






*None of which has to do with the fine photo illustrating this post, which is most clearly not of an elephant but rather that pachyderm beloved of French and non-French Absurdists alike, the rhinoceros. And because you may not click through (hey! you’re busy!), I’ll give you the title of the photo right here:

“Homesick,” by Merlin Mann via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Someday, I really need to do a post on the use of illustrations in text. Or at least, of the way I use illustrations in text. It might be illuminating. Just like illustrations are supposed to be


  1. how could you best yesterday’s list!? How the f*&# do you do it, greatness who is Colleen?

    Okay, you had me at #28–in a mirror, that is, all called out and still in pjs; then you slayed me with #48 because doing YOU, while best done now, must be done whenever you can muster it. . .then back to #12 for the freakytimingsyncoftheday–how did you know I’m madly editing my resume for something that will cause me an assload of new work which may or may not satisfy #s 20, 27 or 40.


  2. Okay, #8 is awesome. (I almost said, “brilliant” just to be cute.)

    And #35-37 are still cracking me up.

    And oh, #48. Thank you for #48. That one I’m grabbing and holding on to tightly well into the new year.

    You rock.

  3. #42: what are you going to make her out of?
    #2- kind of like food!
    #7: bin laden is on linkedin?
    #22: and why would you want to?
    #18: is that why all my important stuff seems to be covered with grapes and pineapple?

  4. Yep, I am on board with #48 as well. These lists are really fun. I went back and read 2007 too. Best of luck and I look forward to reading about your adventures in the new year!

  5. OMG, you guys! You’re all making me scroll back and forth and stuff! Is this my punishment for making the list long?

    Dy – The big secret is that we’re all working on the same thing–getting down with (if not around entirely) the challenges of life. That’s it. So if I do what I do and share it authentically, and you do what you do (etc), we all get maximum juice out of the gigantic (but time-delimited) orange we call “life.”

    Or wait–an orange is already size-delimited, by sections. So whatever works for you! Rock the f*ck on, girl…

    Diane & Dana – I’m not sure yet, but maybe The First Book should be about #48. Do you think #48 is a good title? Would it make it to the NY Times Bestseller List? Would it top out at #48? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!

    Chas – RE: #18, could be worse; could be mini-marshmallows.

    Jean – And until he was 25 or so, my ex, The Chief Athiest, thought it was “Excuse me while I kiss this guy!” Which only made him revere Hendrix all the more. I mean, that takes some stones, no pun intended!

  6. a. I laughed out loud at the Purple Haze mishap. My friend thought the Jim Croce song “Operator” was in fact titled “Arboretum.”

    b. I’m so with everyone else about #48. Write the damn book. I just cannot stop myself from setting deadlines for myself for when I’ll have shit figured out. I think I actually need an intervention in that regard.

  7. I found your blog through the Power of Less Challenge – and I’m so very glad I did.
    Your list has me nodding in agreement, and laughing out loud several times. You have an insightful wit and a knack for presenting those gems of wisdom with humor and brevity.
    I’ll be back for more!

  8. Mary – There’s a reason I married that man and the reason is he’s HILARIOUS. The joke is king; all hail the joke.

    Jacqui – Thank you! And huzzah! I’m pretty stoked about the Power of Less Challenge. I’ll probably write about it eventually (hey, I committed to posting 5x/week this year!), but in the meantime, if anyone is looking for support in making a change they’ve committed to, check it out.

  9. Great list. Re 18, the one about consistency being a hobgoblin, I only heard this expression for the first time last week in a book I was reading, and now I’ve heard it twice more since! I love those insignificant little coincidences! (BTW, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s original quote was ‘Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’, which changes its meaning significantly).

  10. Re pins and needles and tenterhooks – the Yiddish word “schpilkes” (courtesy my friend Bonnie, my source of all things Yiddish) is another one witih the same meaning.

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