Three Things

1. How I put pairs of socks into the washing machine and inevitably when I take the load of laundry out, I am missing socks. I do not get that.

2. Getting pleasure out of being cruel.

3. Why Renee Zellweger is successful

1. Old-fashioned wine-bottle-holder from a ship.

2. Photo of Cashel (the castle AND the nephew)

3. A small box of what is known as healing cards. Cards you pick at random – they usually have a small verse of poetry on it, or an inspirational quote – as well as a beautiful watercolor of some kind. These are next to my small container of angel cards. It’s good to have that stuff nearby.

1. uh … writing this?
2. breathing
3. blinking my eyes occasionally

1. Go to Central Asia
2. Publish a book
3. Have a child

1. Be loyal.
2. Love someone with all my heart.
3. Recite all of the words to “Quite a lotta” from Barnum at top-speed. This is usually done with my sister Jean at random family gatherings. I don’t think everyone else finds it as amusing as we do.

1. Restless
2. A good friend, a good listener
3. Funny

1. Turn love into hate. If I love you once, I can’t just say, “Oh, I hate you now” once the break-up happens. I have hated this about myself, I yearned for hatred, but now I see it’s a good thing. I’ve got a lot of great old flames in my life still. It’s cool.
2. Do simple sums without talking out loud and saying things like, “Carry the one … okay … now 8 minus 7 is one …” etc. I can’t do simple math problems in my head.
3. See without my glasses or my contact lenses

1. Tracy Bonham. She has a new album out – I just bought it – she’s just great.
2. Lenny Kravitz. I have all his albums. And frankly, so should you.
3. The soundtrack to Ragtime. Amazing.

1. Anyone who has a kneejerk “been there, done that” attitude about the experiences you have in your life. If you come to someone and say, excitedly, “I just found a new apartment!” and their first response is, “Oh, please, wait til you’ve moved 20 times … see how excited you are then” – not only do I think you should not listen to that person, but I think you should cut them loose. I can’t STAND the “been there, done that” attitude. It is there to stand in judgment of excitement and enthusiasm. I’ve experienced it in comments on this blog too, on occasion. Because I love to write about things with excitement, passion, going over the moon with my emotions … some dipshit always comes along and makes a snark. I think my excitement makes them uncomfortable. You know that type? Is it fun to be like that? Is it fun to puncture someone else’s balloon? Well if it is: then buh-bye. I do not want you in my life. “Been there, done that” is there to rain on your parade. People who compulsively do this SUCK. They are a blight upon this planet.

2. Homophobic comments.

3. Michael Bolton

1. No. Way.
2. hahahahahahahaha
3. Get out of here!!!

1. Irish dancing
2. Gaelic
3. Figure skating at the Olympic level

1. Water
2. Orange juice
3. Ginger ale

1. Little House on the Prairie
2. 3-2-1 Contact
3. Land of the Lost

1. Just LISTEN when someone else is speaking. Don’t sit there planning out your rebuttal, don’t sit there JUDGING every word coming out, don’t listen with the checklist (“Yup – I agree with that … Oh, don’t agree with that … Yup, agree with that one …”) It’s so selfish. You have no idea about the art of conversation. You’re a big fat blowhard BORE. Just LISTEN. Sheesh.

2. Say, “You know what? I messed up here. I’m really sorry.”

3. Keep your mouth shut when you feel like giving unasked-for advice. Learn that sometimes people just need to talk, and share … and nobody’s saying, “Please … give me unsolicited advice.” Have the sensitivity to understand when your precious words of wisdom are wanted, and when they are not. And if you mess up in that regard? Fucking apologize. Mkay? Sometimes a friend just needs to share her thoughts, feelings, experience … she’s not saying, “Please fix this. Please!!” This is obviously connected to #1 in this particular topic. Just shut up and LISTEN. It’s also connected to the nastiness of the “been there/done that” attitude. Oh – so because YOU’VE done it means nobody else gets to have the experience for the first time? Shut up.

Ahhh, that was very cathartic.

(via Princess Dominique)

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88 Responses to Three Things

  1. "dave" says:

    I like the way you write: Mkay.

  2. red says:

    I love saying “mkay”. It’s so rude.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Gawd, I adored Land of the Lost.

    We even had a cult of Enochs in High School (well, we spelled it “Enox” because it looked cooler that way): we put up little pictures of him around the school and scribble little phrases like “Cogito ergo Enox” on test tube labels and stick them everywhere.

    Yeah, we were weird.

  4. Patrick W says:

    This was a nice piece but wait until you’ve said “mkay” as many times as I have than we can talk. Also, off the subject, what a shame about the Yankees. I reallllly hated to see them lose.

  5. Cullen says:

    Land of the Lost! Yes!

    Emily has a link to a cool LotL site.

  6. red says:

    Cogito ergo enox …


  7. Just1Beth says:

    Please tell me when I am doing #3. I have such, such, SUCH fear that I do that wayyyyyy too much! (catholic guilt, catholic guilt. Talk to me long enough and I will admit to personally hammering the nails into Jesus on the cross…)

  8. red says:

    pat – i know. i’m in mourning, mkay?

  9. red says:

    beth – your advice is NEVER unsolicited. at least i never experience it that way.

    love you!!

  10. red says:

    Marshall, Will, and Holly
    On a routine expedition
    Met the greatest earthquake ever known.
    High on the rapids
    It struck their tiny raft.
    And plunged them down a thousand feet below.

    To the Land of the Lost. (ROAAAAAAARRRRR)
    To the Land of the Lost.
    To the Land of the Lost.

  11. Just1Beth says:

    PHEW!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think most of my family would agree with your statement, but I like your opinion better than theirs most of the time anyhow, so HAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  12. red says:


  13. red says:

    Actually, you do have an AHHA in there

  14. Jayne says:

    Beth! I had the exact same fear when I read that – only more specific “Sheila’s talking about ME!” and the whole guilt thing, too. I’m the scary stalker of this website offering unwanted advice from my blowhard perch of superiority….

  15. red says:

    Jayne – no no no no!!!! Not you!!

  16. red says:

    “blowhard perch of superiority”

    hahahahahaha Yeah, that’s the first phrase that comes to mind when i think about your role in my life.

    “Man, ever since our old Trixie Belden days, she’s just been sittin’ up on her blowhard perch of superiority…”


  17. Jayne says:

    Sheila, I’m too paranoid to believe you, but thanks anyway. It’s okay, I’ve accepted my annoying geekiness. I cringe when I comment to your site because invariably you’ve got a ton of other people all commenting at the same time and I read what they’ve written – witty and sharp most of the time – and then there’s me, “dum de dum de dum…um…blather blather blather…dum de dum de dum.”

    Of course, that doesn’t stop me from commenting.

  18. Jayne says:


  19. red says:

    I am also an annoying geek in many areas. It is hard to just accept it … but once you, in the words of my friend Ann, “propel yourself into the blazing star”, it gets easier.

    If you ever stop commenting, I’m coming after you with a meat cleaver.

  20. Stevie says:

    Man, I loved 3-2-1 Contact – and I think I was in my 20’s when it was on! What a geek I am. But I’m a remedial kids TV guy. Currently, I love Blue’s Clues, and was devastated when they replaced the host. I mean, how gentle and perfect was Steve? I kinda get teary when “It’s time for so-long.” At least I always get the answer right on Blue’s Clues; not the case with Jeopardy.

  21. red says:

    3-2-1 contact was just amazing. I was particularly enthralled with the Bloodhound Gang.

    “Whenever there’s trouble
    We’re there on the double
    We’re the Bloodhound Gang …”

  22. red says:

    I was not aware that they replaced Steve. He was perfect – not cheesy at all.

  23. mitch says:

    Sometimes a friend just needs to share her thoughts, feelings, experience … she’s not saying, “Please fix this. Please!!”

    Uh ooooohhhhh…

  24. red says:

    Mitch – Is this news to you?

    If you’re saying “well sometimes people DO want you to fix all their problems” – that is not what I am addressing here. I am talking about something different. I’m talking about people who give you “advice” – when you didn’t ask for it. Chez Miscarriage, my favorite old blog, no longer there, called it “assvice”.

    One must acquire the wisdom to learn the difference between “advice” or “assvice”.

    Also: if ANYone gives me advice in a tired “been there, done that” tone – I don’t want it anyway. It’s a way of cutting off somebody else’s first response. It’s a way of invalidating somebody else. It’s a way of not letting someone experience the fullness of whatever it is they’re going thru.

    Go hang out on a fertility blog or a miscarriage message board – or any pregnancy parenting board in general and you’ll see what i mean.

    It’s mostly “assvice”.

  25. This Life says:

    Three Things

    A meme! A meme! My kingdom for a meme! I haven’t done one of these in, what? A couple of months? So v v excited. THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND: How anyone could think Jack Nicholson is sexy. The rules

  26. Stevie says:

    Assvice – love it. I have a friend who thinks that every friggin story someone tells her is a secret plea for her to “fix” it by giving advice, loudly and insistently. I finally had to just not tell her anything. I tried to say things like, “I’m just sharing what happened, I’m not looking for you to solve it or give me your opinion.” But that would generate her opinion about how much I needed her opinion. Once she said to me, “Nobody seems to take my advice!” Well, duh. I don’t think she ever realized how pathetic she seemed, being this big spouting fountain of unwanted assvice.

  27. Emily says:

    Ah, yes. The obligatory sacrifice to the Sock God. He *is* an angry and greedy bastard, isn’t he?

    And on people just listening…one of my favorite lines from The Nanny Diaries was when Nanny was out of town with the insufferable family she worked for and wished that females had the equivalent of a prostitute for when they were away from home and needed company, except instead of a hooker, you’d get a girl to show up at your house with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, killer margarita mix and a copy of Heathers who promises to just listen to you bitch your head off.

  28. Stevie says:

    God, Emily, that would be great, wouldn’t it?

  29. red says:

    It’s actually funner to just listen, too. Then you don’t have to get all stressed out when you don’t solve all their problems.

  30. Stevie says:


  31. Lisa says:


    When Alex was three or four, we were “All Blues Clues, All The Time!” at Chez ThisLife. Alex ate, drank, and slept that show. We had all the dolls (even a Talking Steve that I had to drive to the outer edges of Central Arkansas to buy for his 3rd birthday) and almost all the videos.

    One night, we were watching Homicide (or maybe it was L&O SVU) and the actor who played Steve was on there playing a MURDEROUS high school student. A Murderer! Steve! I was flabbergasted.

    Right then I knew he was not long for Blue’s House. I guess he wanted to be a “serious” actor.

    So now they have Joe, who sucks.

  32. red says:

    OH my God – Steve playing a murderer?

    That would be like Mr. Hooper playing a gang lord.

  33. Lisa says:

    Yup. I’m pretty sure it was Homicide. (I’m seeing him in front of a yellow wall, and their interrogation room was yellow brick. God, I’m a geek.)

    He played a nerdy kid who got revenge on his tormentors by killing them. As you do.

  34. Stevie says:

    Lisa – HAHAHAHA! I know, it’s horrible to think Steve actually has a career and wants to be something other than beloved by millions of three-year-olds (and one or two old farts)! I mean, you never saw Fred Rogers showing up as a self-asphyxiation victim on CSI:Oakhaven.

  35. mitch says:

    Nah, not news to me – just one of the first big lesson I ever learned about how different guys and girls are (between the ears, anyway). Fixing things is totally a guy thing; wanting people to just shut up and listen is something women (I’m generalizing) crave, and it drives men nuts (’til they learn better. As I did. I think).

    I’m talking about people who give you “advice” – when you didn’t ask for it. Chez Miscarriage, my favorite old blog, no longer there, called it “assvice”.


    Gotta use that.

  36. Stevie says:

    “In the same year he began with Blue’s Clues, Steve Burns put in an appearance on the popular TV show Law and Order. In the episode ‘Cruel and Unusual’ (original air date 19 April 1995), he played Kevin Jeffries, an apparently drugged-out kid who died while in police custody.”

    Gotta love the internet.

  37. Stevie says:

    More Steve scoop: his official webpage is and he mentions there that he has appeared on BOTH Homicide and Law & Order. :)

  38. peteb says:

    The sock monster only takes one of the pair.. any other disappearences are a mere figment of the imagination.. either that or a sock thief.. ewww!

  39. red says:

    Mitch – actually I was mostly referring to women. The “assvice” comment came from a blog that was pretty much ONLY women. An infertility blog. You would not believe the assvice that went on.

    New parents in general – male and female – many of them think that THEY have INVENTED parenting … and if you don’t do things the way they did things … that you are just DYING to hear their assvice.

    I know it comes out of insecurity. It’s still very annoying.

  40. peteb says:

    dammit.. “disappearances”

    and I thought I had ‘preview’ sussed. sheesh.

  41. Mitchell says:

    oh god…im the blow-hard assvise giver!!!..i just know it…why are all ur best friends convinced we are the culprits?? hahaha….also I hate hate hate the “been there/done that”… you haven’t because you are not me!!!!

  42. red says:

    mitchell – hahahaha you are not!

    As a matter of fact, I come to you specifically. “Tell me what to do.”

    On one memorable occasion you prefaced it with: “I am about to give you the worst possible advice …”

    Of course it turned out to be the BEST possible advice!

  43. Mitchell says:

    i love that lead to such good experience/stories…how is Siobhan??? Did she finish the marathon okay?

  44. red says:

    She did great!!!!

  45. Mitchell says:


  46. mitch says:

    And Siobhan woulda done really good if she’d have slipstreamed behind that Kenyan guy up that hill…

    …oh, never mind. I’ll just listen.

  47. sadie says:

    Great meme. If I gain the initiative, I’ll swipe it!

  48. Missy says:

    Today I feel like the most disaffected and annoying person in the world. Then I read your post. Somehow I feel a little bit better. Thank you.

  49. Laura says:

    Sheila, I never imagined the amount of assvice first time pregnant women get, not to mention horror stories. I know labor will suck, and I’ll be wanting to kill my husband…but I don’t need to hear about 30 hours of labor, back labor, “tearing”, etc. If it happens to me, I’ll deal. I also have a friend/mother of twin 4 yr olds, whom I truly do love, but she seems to take it upon herself to tell me various ways my life will suck after the baby’s born. Thankfully I have numerous other friends who have a much more laid back and positive outlook on parenting, otherwise I’d be scared out of my wits (more than I already am).

  50. Lisa says:

    Oh, Laura, honey, it doesn’t get any better. When the baby gets here, it just gets worse. I had so many Mommy Drive-Bys I had to put a red light on my ass.

    My mothering assvice? Don’t tell anyone where the baby sleeps. Trust me.

  51. Laura says:

    I might just let the bitch in me take over and say something like we stuff the baby in the closet at night.

  52. Light & Dark says:

    I’m still very much working on when to “just shut up and listen”, but the kill-joy “been there, done that’s” bring me as close to giving a beating as this pacifist ever gets.

    BUT! I have finally figured out the sock thing!! See, the rapid spinning of the washing machine propels the socks into another dimension, where they transmogrify and come back as coathangers.

    Never enough socks… always more hangers than you can possibly account for. See? Two mysteries solved with one theory.


  53. Jen says:

    “Michael Bolton is a no-talent assclown.” :)

  54. Just1Beth says:

    aaahhhhhhhh, Mitchell and Jayne… kindred spirits!! We should really get together and give unsolicited blowhard advice, especially to pregnant and parenting women or Steve from Blue’s Clues. “And furthermore, your baby should ALWAYS be put to sleep on her back and be breastfed until she is 19 years old. As for Steve, you’ve been “at college” far too many years. Maybe you should change your major.”

  55. Threesies

    Another meme via Red: Three Things I Do Not UnderstandThe enduring popularity of Will and Grace.Calculus. Why “System Of A Down” has sold a single CD.Three Things On My Desk (Work edition)Two empty liter bottles of water.A blessedly idle telephoneClutt…

  56. JFH says:

    I studied the sock phenomena and came up with the following scientific and logical conclusion:

    The sock is the most intelligent of all machine washable clothing. Obviously, the intelligence isn’t uniform across the board; for example, sweat socks are not nearly as smart as a nice pair of black dress socks. Incidentally, clothes that require you to hand wash them, much the way a servant or slave would his master in ancient Rome, are smarter than socks, but still socks rank pretty high up there on the fabric intelligence scale. Of course the smartest in the whole bunch is the silk tie. Any garment that serves so little purpose (and is uncomfortable to boot), yet still “makes” you shell out over 100 dollars to buy is not just a genius, but an evil genius.

    Okay, we got a little off track there… sorry.

    Socks in the washing machine mingle freely (compared to how they are bound together in their prison, er, sock drawer, and also when they are on your feet), and can easily exchange ideas on how to escape… Cue The Great Escape Theme… Some plans involve going “over the fence”, i.e. through the narrow space between the wash basin and the washing machine body. Other plans involve sneaking out with the “Russian peasants”, i.e. work clothes, by hugging close to the inside of pant legs. When they get the chance (for example as your doing strenuous yard work or exercising), they make their break hoping you won’t notice that sock left behind in the trail.

    It’s so obvious, now that y’all know the truth isn’t it?

  57. "dave" says:

    assvice watch:
    My step son talking to his pregnant girlfriend, (and keep in mind, while I love them dearly this pair of 19-year-olds need to be congratulated when they get their shoes tied correctly) – he actually said to her over the phone:
    “You’re acting like you’re the only woman that’s ever been pregnant!”
    Keeping silent I thought, he’s gonna need a lot of time to recover from that one!

  58. red says:

    Lisa – I love that term too: “Mommy Drive-Bys”. I’m not even a mother and I know what they are!!

  59. red says:

    mitch – actually, siobhan did great all on her own. she has been training for months. so she didn’t need no Kenyan. she did awesome.

  60. red says:

    JFH – brilliant! You are so spot on that sweat socks are not as smart as other kinds … why is that??? why is this a universal???

  61. Great list and I’m with you on the socks and Lenny Kravitz! I loved how you elaborated too!

  62. mitch says:

    siobhan did great all on her own.


    I could do that. On a bike.

    Grats, Siobhan!

    Now, if you’d only taken my assvice…

  63. red says:

    Are you trying to embody all the qualities that annoy me right now?

    “Hey, I just ran a marathon in 6 hours!”

    “Oh yeah? I could do that.” Long pause. “On a bike.”

    “Uhm … could you just let me have MY moment of glory? Why do I care if you could do it on a bike? This is MY moment.”

  64. Cullen says:

    Great job, Siobhan. You’ve inspired me to get off the couch and start … crap, I’m already tired.

    My dad — one of his huge pet peeves — has always, as long as I can remember, safety-pinned his socks together. Cuts down on their lifespan, but he never lost a sock.

  65. red says:

    cullen – I am an idiot. I cannot believe I never thought of that!

  66. Cullen says:

    Don’t feel bad. I grew up with it and I have never done it.

  67. Mitchell says:

    Jayne and Beth..we should our own talk show!! If Gayle(Oprah’s b.f.f.) is qualified then so are Sheils’s best friends…being single, childless and gay, i think i should handle all the child rearing advice!!

  68. JFH says:

    A mesh “sock bag” works too, I mean if you really want to get serious about the issue. (You don’t need to put the sweat socks in there, they’re not smart enough to escape, always trying to “tunnel” out even though the wash basin is made out of stainless steel!)

  69. Lisa says:

    I keep all my abandoned socks in my laundry basket, just in case their mates come back. Right now I have about four — they’ve formed quite a group, especially now that an Army-issued sock has joined them.

    He’s a wild man.

  70. Mitchell says:

    wow…more typos than actual meaning!!! sorry!

  71. red says:

    mitchell – I love your typing. You know why? Because it is sheer unadulterated emotion.

  72. siobhan says:

    ack!! don’t post my time!! please!
    just say: “she finished.”

    everyone erase my time from their memories!
    i ran slow.

  73. red says:

    argh! erasure!

  74. siobhan says:

    yeah, was planning on telling no one my time!

  75. Lisa says:

    Mitchell –

    From what my boys tell me, the gays are the BEST babysitters EV.ER.

    My BF and his partner used to babysit for us, and let me tell you, it was non-stop movies and fun until the wee hours. Sleep? We don’t need no stinkin’ sleep! There are Cokes to drink and homemade brownies to eat! And Pringles! My GOD, the Pringles!! They must be ingested in mass quantities! When I protested, I was dismissed. Didn’t I know they were the FUN uncles?!

    So you’ll forgive me if I reject your parenting advice. :)

  76. Jayne says:

    Mitchell! Great idea – you, Beth and me with our own talk show, dispensing assvice to everyone who doesn’t want it! I’m thinking hidden cameras and approaching people on the streets…like overwhelmed mothers and anyone else on the edge… I need to do something new and different with my life anyway – this would be perfect!

  77. siobhan says:

    i know i’m the only one who cares…but we all had to walk the first mile verrrrrry slowly since there was a backlog of 44,000 people. so i iddn’t finish the first mile for 35 minutes. so my total time was around 5:45. again i am the only one who cares, but just wanted to clarify.

  78. DAD says:

    Dearest: your mother would say when asked specifically about her running: “I will tell you how long I ran, or I’ll tell you how far–but not both.” Siobhan ran a gd marathon!! Wow. love, dad

  79. red says:

    dad – hahaha Mum. That’s so true!!

    Go, Siobhan-y!

  80. Two Minute Drill Memeage

    I don’t have the time to really think through the Three Things Meme Red has posted today, so I’m just going to shoot from the hip and see what happens: THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND: 1. Body-piercings. 2. Organic chemistry….

  81. Just1Beth says:

    Siobhan- you should be VERY proud of yourself!!!! Was it true, that the .2 mile at the end feels like 200 miles? Every time I say a marathon is 26 miles, my sister Meredith says, “NO!! 26 POINT TWO miles!!!!!!!! POINT TWO!!” Mitchell and Jayne- I nominate Siobhan to be our first guest. Waddya think? PS Mitchell- I believe I will be consulting you about parenting a teenage girl shortly. According to her rolling eyes, I know very little. And, if you ask me, your Circus Smirkus experience is better than any biological advice anyone else could ever give. You get the real truth from those kids. Don’t ever forget that!!!

  82. Siobhan says:

    Beth–the .2 was AWFUL. i really thought at that point, “I CAN”T DO THIS.” that finish line looked SO FAR away and it felt like i wasn’t even moving towards it at all. what makes it worse, there was this band that was playing at the 25.5 mark and for some unknown reason were playing a song where the chorus went like this “it’s not over, it’s not over”. i was too tired and weepy to yell at them but i felt like being, “SHUT UP!! it IS almost over…isn’t it??? ISN’t IT??” after i ifinished i got both of my legs from thigh to ankle fully wrapped in ice. and then i literally laid down on pavement. i was that tired and hurt!! good times. but i finished.

  83. Three in a row

    Via LlamaButchers and others, there’s a new meme spreading ’round the blogosphere: Three Things. Here’s my take on them: THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND: 1. Why everyone seems to wears jeans or sweatpants all the time. 2. “Anti-war” protests 3….

  84. Just1Beth says:

    Wow- I am so impressed! Of course, I have my marathon injury so I can’t do them anymore. (Wink, wink) Actually, I met Meredith at mile 13 when she ran her first marathon and I ran with her for that mile, cause it was completely uphill. So, on the way back down(I was going back to meet my Mom so we could drive over to the finish line) I pulled a muscle in my thigh. Hence, my marathon injury. Mile 13 was a bitch, man.

  85. Linda K says:

    wow… VERY cathartic indeed!

  86. Linda K says:

    i’m a dork and didn’t link my URL properly… oops.

    great blog, by the way!


  87. Lots Of Three Thingses

    It isn’t a new meme, dagnabbit. It is merely the latest iteration of the “Lets all answer the same bunch of questions” meme. But Kimberly’s doing it, and Sheila’s doing it, so what the hey… THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND:…

  88. Three Things Meme

    THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND:1. How making another person feel terrible for no good reason actually makes people feel better, even momentarily. 2. Why the Red Sox have yet to re-sign Theo Epstein. 3. You know what I’ve also really

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