Tag Archives: creativity

OMG It’s a Sappy Father’s Day Post

Look at us goofballs.

Look at us goofballs.

I talked to my dad on the phone today. It was a 37-minute conversation, which is longer than usual. Happy Father’s Day!

I didn’t do anything else for him in the way of buying him anything or being sentimental, so as far as he knows, this is all I’m planning for Father’s Day. Hint: the “as far as he knows” was foreshadowing. Stay tuned.

In that 37-minute conversation, I spoke to my father about creative pursuits, and we were talking about how you have to make time for them, and how that’s not easy to do since flossing and an 80-hour work week take a lot out of you.

So I jokingly said that I was going to give him an extra hour every day for one calendar year, but that he had to spend that hour doing something creative like molding little figurines out of clay or making friendship bracelets with Mom.

Now, this is a gift I have no capacity to deliver on, especially considering the time machine I’m currently building is little more than a protein powder tub with a hat on it, but we all know that it’s the thought that counts.

But there must have been something of a boomerang in that thought because it came whizzing back and whapped me in the face just as I started to type out this very blog post.

If I could give my dad anything, what would I give him?

I’m at that time in my life when I can stop being a leech and contribute in a positive way to my family. In hindsight, it’s possible I’ve always had that ability, but starting late is better than never.

As someone on the receiving end of fatherhood, I’ll probably never understand what goes into it. I have, however, babysat a small child. This child did not trust me at first, did not even let me hold her hand and cried when she saw me. Three months later, I miraculously sung her to sleep and have yet to recreate the same sense of accomplishment in my professional life.

So maybe fatherhood is something like that, love and dependency and vulnerability combined. And it’s also sending your adult children pictures of Mom while on vacation in Colorado and encouraging them to write blog posts in pirate speak. It’s demanding to see boyfriends’ resumes and making sure family vacations aren’t too expensive and being the one to pack the car for road trips. It’s making/laughing at fart jokes and quoting Monty Python and Lord of the Rings and tricking Mom into seeing Hellboy and taking your daughters out to dinner. Maybe that’s some of what it is.

I don’t know what the perfect gift is for my dad. I do want to give him an extra hour a day for the next year, because he’s earned it. I want to give him yellow aspen trees all year round. I want to give him the same sense of joy he had when he was chasing my siblings and I on the playground and I want to go to his piano recitals even though they’re boring and watch him graduate and tell him that he can do anything, because he can.

And maybe, just maybe, the best way to say all of this is to buy him some athletic shirts with my sister, so when he’s at the gym at 5 am, he can remember his daughter(s) first thing in the morning and the fun we’ve had together and how much we love him. Happy Father’s Day.

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A Harrowing Trip through my Thought Process. Bring Your Galoshes.

This would have been the picture for the coffee post, even though it’s not completely relevant.

It’s 10:30 am and it’s time to blog. I’m running some raw ideas through the meat grinder of my brain.

My sister’s wedding is tomorrow, but I don’t want to blog about that because I’ve been talking about it constantly and I’m sure people are wondering if it’s even real. (It’s happening tomorrow, by the way.)

So I trashed wedding topics, and moved on and tried to think creatively. When I try to be “creative,” I tend to look around my room for inspiration, which often leads me to killer ideas such as “what if my clothes came alive and tried to kill me” or “what if my lotion came alive and tried to kill me” or “what if my bed came alive and tried to kill me.” You see, I mean killer in the literal sense of the word, not in the sense that any of these ideas are good. Room-based inspiration does not often work for me.

I discarded those killer ideas and transitioned to sweat-based ones as I considered blogging about the wedding guests’ sweat potential. The extreme heat at this outdoor wedding, the high amount of social interactions, the excitement, and the nervousness will create the mother of all perspiration-inducing cocktails. It’s going to be a moist one. But then I considered that not only is this pretty gross, but it’s also about the wedding, which I didn’t want to write about.

After I tossed that idea out, I looked to my right and saw my coffee mug, which appeared to be empty. I picked it up and found a different situation entirely. There were a few mouthfuls of lukewarm joe left, and I was a little happy about that, so I considered writing an overblown piece on how incredible and amazing and wonderful it is when there’s coffee left over in the mug that you didn’t know about. But then I thought, well I wasn’t that happy about it. This might be a little hard to do. So I didn’t do it.

I moved on to consider blogging about how I’ve been following a lot of people on twitter lately. But if you just read that last sentence, you know as well as I do that my twitter antics are likely a dead end. So I buried that one too.

At this point, I have roughly 5-15 bad ideas buried in little idea coffins in my idea graveyard, a place I visit regularly. Some of these little guys even become zombies and try to eat my brains and make it impossible for me to think of other ideas, or become ghosts that haunt me continually with false potential.

Just when I was about to despair, I stumbled upon the idea of writing about how to unleash my creative potential, which in my mind was literally about unleashing some kind of monster named “Creative Potential.” Seconds later, I realized that this very literal interpretation of creative potential and the word unleash is not actually creative. So I hung up my hat, downed a cold brew, sighed a great sigh, yearned for more in life, and then published my thought process for all to see.

You’re not alone if a good idea escapes you. Don’t be jealous of the people that do have awesome ideas, because that could be you someday.

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All Your Ideas Belong To Me

Attention everyone,

I’ve claimed all of the ideas. If you have any ideas you’ll need to send them to me immediately. I recently went through an alarming and ultimately unnecessary period in which I felt like I was running out of ideas. After only a short while, I realized that you creeps were taking all of them, and that’s not fair. In order to correct this, I went ahead and patented, copyrighted, trademarked, and carved in stone my absolute and total right to every single idea in existence.

As the idea holder, you can expect me to rule with the fair grace and efficiency of an evil queen. My decisions will be arbitrary but absolutely binding. Those with good ideas will be rewarded with a moment in my presence and those with incredible ideas will be killed in order to keep them from threatening my rule. If you don’t like this system, please let me know immediately so I can have you eliminated.

In order to send me your ideas, I’ve invented a system of computer correspondence, or compcorr, for your convenience. Of all the platforms I’ve developed, there is one called Good Mail—or gmail—that I consider the best and most intuitive. One of the things I’ve learned as supreme idea queen is that some ideas are better than others. The moment you feel yourself having an idea please send me a compcorr and then forget you ever had it. I would say that I appreciate your cooperation but that means you have some sort of choice in the matter, which you don’t, so that sentence is meaningless.

What I mean is, I would like to thank myself for coming up with this incredible idea and being brave enough to claim everyone’s intellectual property as my own. I’m in awe of my own power and I know all of you agree. Should you find this arrogant or self-assuming in any way, please let me know in a compcorr so I can put a chip in your brain and monitor you for future insubordination. Don’t try to resist. Even the very idea of resistance belongs to me, so you can see how pathetic and pointless that would be.

I look forward to hearing from all of you without exception.


Emily, Idea Empress

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