Someone once told me that in life, instead of just paying people to do work for you, you should always try to do something yourself at least once. "That way," he said, "you'll know how much you're willing to pay someone to do it for you."

That piece of advice has always rung true for me. I already have a natural tendency towards fixing things myself, as Colure can attest. Granted I've got a better success rate with plumbing than, say, electronics, but I do what I can.

I'm also fussy about having random people in the house. Call it paranoia, suspicion, or just plain rudeness, but I don't much care for it and like to avoid it at all costs. So, at no point in my life will you ever see me hire movers, cleaners, or probably even painters (even though sometimes the thought is incredibly tempting).

That being said... there are three things that I will never, ever attempt to do by myself, and will gladly pay anyone whatever exorbitant fee they require of me for the service. Some of them are based in lack of knowledge. Others because, well, they're kind of icky. All are based in utter fear.

1. Car Repairs - I once took the ASVAB, which is a test to help determine military placement should you enlist. I had the second highest score in my high school... but had the lowest score on the automobile section. Period. I trust myself to do nothing more then change a battery, and that's it.

2. Pest Control - This one is kind of obvious. I mean, no one's going to spray their own house with hazardous chemicals. But Home Depot sure sells plenty of mouse traps and other forms of rodent elimination, and you won't see me buying any of it. I'm not saying that I'd only ever pursue non-lethal means either... this is just one of things that I will unabashedly puss out of every time.

3. Ironing - I realize compared to the previous two this is serious weak sauce, but I have an undeniable fear of ironing. I have opted to go to events with a wearing a suits with a topographic wasteland of wrinkles over attempting to use an iron, and why? Because that's a much better option than showing up with a burned shirt, which is what I'm sure will happen if I attempt to use this deadly clothes torturer. Fortunately I have a wife. Unfortunately she hates ironing. We may have to pursue acquiring another weapon of massive wrinkle-destruction.

I'm sure everyone has at least one of these. In fact I'm also pretty sure that the first two are pretty popular choices for a lot of people.

Posted by Kevin on 11:19 AM

Back in August I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo on the basis that:

1) It seemed like one of those things I would regret not doing
2) It sounded cool
3) It was a very slow job hunt day

If you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo, well! You should be. The idea is simple: Write a novel in a month. That's it. No one's saying it's gonna be good. In fact, they warn you that it might very well be very bad.

But nothing's gained from not trying, right? Besides, my wife and a couple friends are doing it too, so, you know, peer pressure. You don't want to be the lone dude sitting outside of the circle.

I have no less than three ideas, although two of them might be the same. One is comedic and the other is not, unless, of course, it is. I'm not sure. I'm not really what you'd call a planner. I stopped doing outlines in college because early on it became clear to me that I was doing better on my exam essays than I was my actual papers, which is not usually how it's supposed to work. The trick was to try to write more like I did when sitting down for a test, so I dumped outlines and just figured it out as I went along. As a result, I started Acing papers, and found other ways to bring down my grades from there. I used to feel bad about this, but it turns out I'm far from the only one - in fact, there's a couple writers I really admire who are the same exact way.

None of this has anything to do with gaming really, except to say that, as a warm-up for NaNoWriMo, I'm going to start trying to use this blog more often - if only to get used to constructing words into sentences once more, if not quite doing actual preperation.

In other words: Still here. Will update.

Posted by Kevin on 1:28 PM