The Not-To Do List

NTDL #52: Word-encies

Word Tendencies. Word-encies.

Have you ever realized (during contemplative self-reflection aka showering, walking places, ‘listening’ in class or in a meeting, being solicited on the phone) that people go through “word” phases? You know, times in your life where you have an affinity towards a certain word? And it gets to the point where you over-use it and you suddenly become VERY aware? Or someone else over-uses a word and that’s all you can focus on? Now, I am not saying that everyone does this. But I am saying that maybe not everyone is fully aware of this being a “thing”. Let me give you a few examples.

1. The General Phrase: A phrase you say in response to things on the daily. You get to the point where it is almost an automatic response and it’s over-use might lead the speaker to wonder if you are actually taking-in what they are saying OR you are just giving an automated robotic response (Don’t worry, robots are cool. Your secret is safe with me).

Mine: Right now…I have become far too aware of me saying “actually though” and “hilarious”

2. The Greeting: We go through greeting phases. How you say Hello and How are you?  This goes through phases throughout your life. I will be the case and point.

Mine: I did not always say hello to someone in such eloquent terms as I do now – “Yo” and “Sup” are sadly my greetings of habit currently (I am so very sorry). But, there was a dark time in my life where this greeting was reduced to the word of “Howdy”. Yes. I did not misspell that. Never in my life have I lived anywhere near the south, ridden horses or listened to country music on more than a “by-force” basis. Despite all of this, howdy would come tumbling out as I greeted everyday people. Dark times.

3. The “word that no one else uses but YOU use more than any normal human being should”: For some reason this word is in your vocabulary and you don’t know how or why it got there.

Mine: Qualm. This is my word of the week (hopefully it will not persist). I have somehow managed to integrate it into conversations thrice…I apologize to those who already struggle to understand what I am trying to say on a daily basis. To be totally honest, I think this might be the first time I have ever even typed the word “qualm”. You see…Qualm’s biggest qualm is that people will qualm about using it in anything other than trying to explain a qualm. Now, did that sentence make you feel qualmish?

4. The Copy-Cat Term: The word you picked up by hanging around someone or a group of people way too much and now use their “General Phrase” way more than necessary.

Mine: “Accurate” – thanks to my sister.

On a super random and sort of similar note…have you ever just said or typed a word that you don’t even know the meaning of? I swear I don’t read as much as I should…but honestly…unless I have a dictionary App embedded (punny) into my pillow, I have no other excuse as to why I use some words. Maybe it’s the copious amounts of random blogs and articles I have read over the years (I usually only get half way through…or past the first paragraph…#AttentionProblems) but I refuse to let that be the reason for my inadvertently expanding subconscious vocabulary.

Can anyone relate? Please tell me I am not alone!

NTDL #51 – The “P” Word

The “P” Word

No, I am sad to say this post will not be similar to Sesame Street. I will not dwell on awesome topics that start with “P” like pandas and play-dough.

Also, the “P” word is not referring to a socio-political, racially controversial, or an academic term that starts with a P an ends in “ism” or “ist”.

When I say the “P” word, I am talking about the dreaded term…


If you have ever been categorized under this before, you know what I mean. Whether it be in the world of sports, work force or academia…this a loaded term.

To have potential is great. We all have it in different areas of our lives. We all especially had it in our youth. Man, “potential”…it was endless! I was in an enrichment class for science in grade 2 and man did I take advantage of that! I am now a 4th year English major who dislikes the use of standard punctuation/sentence structure regulations AND who has very minimal interest surrounding most scientific topics.

I digress.

I just always recall the term “potential” being used on young adults who were past that time in their life where their age was an excuse, and were on their way to being those…disappointments. Not that they are actually disappointments! That isn’t what I am getting at. These people (myself included) who had potential, never asked to be placed in the “potential pot”.

Example Scenario: A tall 12 year old girl (not me, man…wish I had height potential, my genetics decided otherwise. Thanks mom and dad.)

Potential: Wow! She has so much potential in (insert every sport where height is beneficial)!!!

The let down: She tries and tries constantly in athletics. People keep giving her chances because she has potential (although it was her genetic code, not skill, that placed her inadvertently in the athletic potential pot). By the time she is 18, she chooses to not play sports in university because 1. She has a passion for bird watching 2. she has zero coordination which has led her to dislike most sports.

Reaction of others: What a waste of potential. She could have been great. If only she had the work ethic…and skill…and desire…and…etc.

The above is a very general and COMMON scenario.

Anywho. Can anyone relate? Can anyone recall someone who was placed in similar situation?

You see, I had potential to be a model…

But my dreams were derailed by chocolate and biceps.

Photo on 2014-03-04 at 21.41 #3

Photo on 2014-03-04 at 21.35 #2

NTDL #49: Hyperbolic Syndrome

Get a test back you thought you failed…you passed…with a “B”: “THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”

Drop your phone on the sidewalk…tiny scratch on the screen: “WHY ME! What did I do to deserve this! Worst day ever!”

Didn’t fall asleep until 2am, had to get up at 6: “Oh my GOD, I got ABSOLUTELY NO sleep last night. I have such a long day ahead of me. I might as well give up all faith in humanity now.”

See a cute chubby kid dutty wining on youtube: “That is officially THE FUNNIEST thing I have EVER seen!”

Dear reader,

Have you, or someone you love, ever done any of the above? (ooo that rhymed) If you respond “no”…well then you are in some serious denial my friend. I personally think I do it a lot. But I also know some people who take exaggerations to a whole-notha-level.

I call this strange phenomenon…

“Hyperbolic Syndrome”

There is one symptom…though it is not exactly easily diagnosed because we ALL do it. It becomes more obvious when the listener picks up on the speakers incessant hyperbolic speech…then they can’t stop focusing on it.

Symptom #1 of 1: You can’t seem to make a statement/respond to someone/tell a story without using what academics term as “absolutes”. You speak in a constant exaggeration.

Example: Never, Always, Best, Worst, THE MOST…etc – These terms signify something universally valid…when really MOST of us use it to make an exaggerated claim which technically is not true. That girl’s outfit you just made fun of probably isn’t the biggest tragedy ever. I think some things could elicit more tears and remorse. Just saying.

This being said, exaggerated terms are great. Don’t stop using them. They make conversations and stories fun. BUT they are meant to give an emphasis of opinion and should be used a little more sparingly…maybe? If you emphasize EVERYTHING then you are essentially speaking in constant hyperbole and everything you actually want to focus on will just seem to blend into the mundane stuff you attempt to make exciting all the time.

I was going to end on an ironic note by using an exaggeration, but that would be the most predictable thing ever.



NTDL #47: The Shamefully Unshameful Walk-Of-Shame

Scenario: It’s 10 am and you are walking home in one of the following outfits:

1. High heels and the dress, skirt or super classy outfit you wore last night

2. Sweat pants and sweat shirt with heels in hand (minus heels if a guy)

3. Combination of any of the above plus unwashed face and a but of a stagger in your step

4. Hair that looks like it once looked nice

We’ve all been there. We’ve all walked that.

I have witnessed them all. Girls with their head held high because they are trying to pretend that they are going for an abnormally early stroll in stilettos (calf workout right?). Or their head held low because if they don’t make eye contact with you then you can’t seem them…right?

Love the logic. Anyways…

What is worse than the above? When your casual walk in the early morning is misinterpreted as a Walk-Of-Shame. Let’s be honest. I’d rather actually be walking a Walk-Of-Shame than be just walking and people thinking I had a “long” night. It’s a lose-lose! No one wants a Shamefully-Unshameful-Walk-Of Shame (too much?) Not only did you not have a crazy fun night…but people are assuming you did which makes you feel worse because if people are going to assume those things you’d rather them be accurate! So on-lookers are judging you despite your well-intentioned “I’m going to go to bed early and wake up and get a coffee while everyone else is hung over tra-la-la”. Like…really?!

It’s the gods of social mockery emphasizing how lame you are.

Case and point:

Walking to the gym on a beauty Sunday morning in what now seems like a questionable clothing choice: Over-sized sweat pants, teal running shoes, bright yellow t-shirt (obviously over-sized too…) and a messy pony tail to top it all off. I walk by a house where 4 guys are sitting on the front porch (probably have been there all night) and they start chanting at me “Walk-of-shame! Walk-of-shame!” How does one refute that? I had 2 choices…

1: “Umm excuse me, no. I’m a very classy young lady and am just innocently walking to the gym because I was lame and stayed in last night thank you very much.”


2: Walk by. Hold head high. Laugh and keep on moving.

I chose the second option…but what would you do?

How many times have we seen someone and just assumed? It’s weird but people do wake up before 10 on Sundays (not just because they are trying to get away with something that isn’t really that bad because what are you “getting away with” really?) People will judge you for every and anything you do anyways!

I say, embrace the stare. Work those presumptions.


NTDL #46: The Puddle Jumping Myth

No one ACTUALLY likes puddle jumping. Well…sort of…

Before I get into that rant, let me just get this one thing off my chest:

  • Puddle “jumping” seems to imply you are missing the puddle…and that is not very exciting. You are just being a very aware and practical walker and avoiding getting your feet wet. We should possibly consider re-wording this socially strange phenomenon.


You are probably like “Hold up. I love puddle jumping”…but think about it for a second. You are going out of your way to “jump IN” a pool of water and letting your feet get soaked. It is going to cause you more grief than pleasure really. Now you have to change your boots/shoes (I’m always in shoes…curse you puddle gods), socks and pants. And don’t even get me started on taking off wet clothing…it’s so terrible. (Spandex-wearing people, yah feel me?)

Alright, I’ll admit, I do occasionally like stomping in a puddle BUT I find it more enjoyable telling people about it than actually doing it. It is one of those acts where it makes a great story, but in actuality it was not that eventful. There was puddle. You jumped in it. You soaked the bottom half of your body. Congratulations.

Now sometimes people are in a hyper-type mood and

go crazy and jump in puddle…and that is fun…but let’s debunk this Puddle Jumping Myth once and for all. It is simply a socially acceptable and contained rebellion against the status quo of Puddle Avoiding. Nothing more.

Now…if you REALLY want a good story…stand by a big puddle when a car drives by. OR jump in one while your friend is walking by and they don’t expect it. You usua

lly get more soaked than they do but it is funny…until they hate you of course. Anyways, this is way more entertaining. Way better story. Let’s move on to bigger and better things people. (I was going to write bigger and wetter but my mind is permanently in the gutter…and I am now hysterical writing this actually…)

Okay. Regrouping.

Jump in puddles to your heart’s content people! But go big or go home. Dive in the damn puddle. Don’t just walk through one and go on twitter and be like “OMG I went puddle jumping today. So fun #Yolo #SorryNotSorry #ImSoCray”

Rachael Out



NTDL #45: Pockets. Friend or Foe?

Like friends, pockets come in all shapes and sizes.

They always seem to be there to lend a helping hand.

But if you think about it, does your pocket want what is best for you? Are they actually always there for you? Or do they pick when the time is the most convenient for them and their busy pocketing schedule?

Digest that pocketing conundrum.

Seriously though, when was the last time you threw something into a pocket and easily found it the next time you went to go find it? I know some of you are thinking I am crazy, but the people who are thinking that are clutter freaks and keep all pockets organized like every other aspect of their lives (I’m bitter because I’m jealous, don’t take it personally).

Pocket Scenarios:

The Clean Pocket: Only time I ever find the pockets of my backpack/coat/purse clean are when…

  1. I have to catch a flight therefore I must check all pockets and empty them of liquids and sharp things – so I obviously end up emptying them completely. 
  2. I get SO fed up with carrying around SO much extra useless stuff that I “might” need, or I needed at some point in the past four months, that I purge everything completely. Bam! Taking control of my life one pocket cleanse at a time.

The Magnetic Pocket:

Scenario – So yesterday and I did a pocket cleanse. 2 days later = pocket-astrophy!! I go to return something at a store and…my head phones are tangled in a pair of earrings which have latched onto my soaking mittens that got my receipt wet that I need at this very instant. Did I mention that there was also a granola bar (I might get hungry), 3 nickels (I swear they are more useless than pennies) and a bobby pin (clutch find) in there as well.

Anyways. This pocket of mine asserts it’s agency in my life through collecting copious amounts of random stuff and wreaking havoc on anything it can get a hold of. Pocket, I hear you loud and clear! Just…maybe once…leave my headphones alone? They aren’t as nimble as they use to be. All those knots are really taking a toll.

The Disappearing Act:

I put my lip balm in my coat pocket five minutes ago. You ask if you can borrow it. I say no problem. My pocket disagrees. I look through my pocket…no lip balm. I look through it again…no lip balm. I empty out everything from that pocket…still nothing. I look in the other pocket and empty it…nothing. I go back to the original pocket…TA-DAHHH!!!! Magically appeared. Wow. There goes five minutes of my life.

Money Pocket:

You put on a pair of pants that you wore last week OR bring out your winter jacket that you haven’t worn in 8 months…reach in your pocket and…MONEY! I swear, no matter what happened to you the rest of the day, your spirits were definitely lifted. I think the luckiest I have been was finding $50. That find might have been followed by me sing/rapping “Make It Rain” because $50 puts me in the “not broke for the next 20 minutes” financial bracket.

“Who Needs a Wallet/Purse” Pocket:

Pant pockets (for girls) are very susceptible to having things fall out of them. We (mainly me) never learn. Going to the bars, running errands, just walking around in general – you need a convenient place to put your stuff. Debit, cash, ID, phone, top secret documents = jeans or hoodie pocket. I would include shirt pockets but those are only good for pens and pocket squares/handkerchiefs and I’m not in that phase of my life yet where I am in constant need of a pen and pocket square.

There is a Pocket in my Pocket Dear Liza, Dear Liza:

This is next level. Mainly found in winter jackets. Inside your pocket…there is ANOTHER pocket. This is useful for hiding things. But first of all, why are you hiding anything in your coat? This is also super dangerous for losing things. If it’s a magnetic/disappearing pocket…you are out numbered my friend. The pocket WILL win.

Lint Pocket:

There is nothing in your pocket except lint. You might think that “pocket lint” is a ancient pocket-myth but noooo. Those pieces of lint are alive and well and living in a very neglected pocket of yours.


A very vulnerable pocket. It somehow is always left unzipped or exposed. This could be a pocket on a pair of tight jeans or just the small pocket on your back pack you always forget to zip-up. Play safe, double check.


Putting something sharp in your pocket and forgetting. Maybe this is just me. I recommend…not putting scissors, tweezers, safety pins, nail clippers…in any kind of pocket. A lesson from me to you. Your hands will thank you later.

Okay. I had way more to say about pockets than I thought. Unofficial Not-To-Do: allow pocket range to stay suppressed for this long. I feel so relieved now. Anyways,

Have a great day!


NTDL #43: “I’ll Start Tomorrow”

Every. Damn. Day.

I have something everyday that I will “start tomorrow”.

What a terrible terrible terrible habit to have. You know why? Because it leads you to having a Not-To-Do-List. You would be shocked at how long I was going to “start my blog tomorrow”. All of these things “not to do” just building up inside my head…I was bound to get nothing done. BUT despite this very progressively detrimental flaw, I did eventually crawl out from underneath my procrastination rock (it’s a very big rock…more like a boulder) and started this blog.

Irony? I’m writing this post because I’m going to “start studying for my midterm tomorrow”

Common things we are going to “start tomorrow”:

1. A diet – If you have never done this, you are lying to yourself. By diet I mean eating better or less or healthier or…etc.

2. Waking up early – You aren’t going to hit that snooze button…more than 3 times.

3. Working out – You are going to get active today! Especially since you already slipped up on your diet after you slept in and grabbed a doughnut and muffin on your way to work. But then since you are running late you take the elevator instead of the stairs, and by the time you leave work…the only energy you have left is to drive to the drive-thru and grab dinner.

4. A diet – Well since you failed on the diet above, there is always tomorrow. But seeing as there are 3 more hours left in THIS day, might as well eat everything in sight because technically if you eat it NOW you won’t eat it later. (I use this reasoning faaar too often)

5. Studying/ getting lots of work done – You had good intentions. Then you realized your internet connection was super speedy so you decided to watch The Big Bang Theory while browsing Twitter, creeping Facebook photos AND downloading the new Taylor Swift album. 4 hours later…

6. Getting more sleep – You are for sure going to go to bed early tonight! But wait, remember all that stuff you didn’t do earlier? Yeah…it still needs to get done. You’ll get it done tonight and start fresh tomorrow. Don’t sweat it. This is a fool proof plan.

So! In honor of all my “Start Tomorrow” pals, let’s promise each other that we will actually start our goals tomorrow! Even though this is very unlikely, let’s just toy with the prospect of it coming true. Ahh…I’m feeling more optimistic already. I think I’ll celebrate with a PB&J sandwich and starting a new TV series.


NTDL #42: The Fundraising Fatty

I have one question.

Who came up with the idea of selling chocolate bars to raise money?

  1. They are a genius
  2. I dislike you a lot

Think about it. A little kid comes up to you and asks you in a soft almost quivering voice: “would you like to buy a chocolate bar? I’m raising money for the homeless shelter”

Okay. Stop right there. I am at a serious disadvantage here. Not only do they have the benefit of that adorable wide-eyed “I’m so innocent and care about people still” look BUT they are also raising money for a good cause! I have no chance, no choice…check mate! Making me question my selflessness while dangling a sugary indulgence in front of me…WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE.

In my head – Ohhh surrre, act all innocent. Just standing there, with all your will power and such. That’s cool. Do your thing. Prey on the weak. We’ll both see who the righteous one is come judgement day (not sure when this is…maybe halloween…or my next doctor’s appointment…or my stint on the biggest loser).

Anyways. So much for that diet I never started because I ran into a kid selling candy apples yesterday for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. You know what? Why don’t you sell umbrellas! I’d buy one. It would be a win-win. You’d make money AND I would not feel guilty about eating a chocolate bar (though it’s usually plural) that I bought AND I would have an umbrella (I really need one).

Oh! and another thing! Say you were all like:

“I’m not eating junk food for the next week. I’ve eaten terribly lately”.

And then…POOF! This kid approaches YOU!

Wide eyes and all…

Whether it was in front of a grocery store, at a sporting event OR the worst of all…

…your front door.

Well, it must be a sign then! You were not meant to eat healthy. If junk finds YOU, then you are in the clear! It should be “guilt free” because your conscience was in the right place…you gave money to a good cause, and gave sugar to your overly active sweet tooth.

But let’s be honest here. We never really give those kids 2 dollars because we want to support whatever they are doing. We are selfish and want candy.

Nuff said.

NTDL #37: Come Last

By all means, be the fastest. Run until your legs can’t run any more, lap people and do a victory dance when you finish if necessary (always necessary).

BUT! If you are like the majority of the population, you probably won’t be winning every single race. Yeah I know, sad reality check. All those long hours practicing my hybrid victory dance of the Dougie, Cat Daddy AND Gangnam style (The Cat-Dougnam) are going to waste. Despite this, there is an optimistic perspective that has emerged.

Just don’t come last.

I guess I could be talking literally about actually running and physically beating someone out, or generally about any type of competition.

The fact of the matter is that people pay attention to number one (sometimes two and three) and then when it comes to the last person…they send out the Pity Party. This Pity Party is a nice sentiment if you were blind to human nature. We feel bad for you because you came last and might be embarrassed blah blah…but really we are like “THANK THE LORD THAT WAS NOT ME”. Why do you think reality TV is such a hit? We LOVE seeing people suffer. That is why 11 episodes are dedicated to people getting kicked off and 1 to the winner! Tis’ the nature of the beast.

Anyways, before I diverge any more, my main point is if you don’t come in first, finish anywhere but last. Even 2nd last? Yup.

It is like a herd of gazelle being chased by a lion. Is the second last gazelle going to get eaten? No. Is the last one? Yes.

So all in all, go get that literal or metaphorical cardio up! I’ll be seeing you in the middle of the pack someday soon….when I choose to slow down of course 😉


NTDL #35: Bar-To-Bride Syndrome

Oh how I love coming up with imaginary disorders. Disorders in which I can diagnose mass-populations with.

The disorder on the discussion board today: Bar-To-Bride Syndrome

Bar: A place where people gather to socialize and usually consume alcohol. In this definition, it also means clubs and pubs etc. AND in this definition it is stereotyped to North Americans so it involves copious amounts of alcohol.

Bride: The “majority” of the female population hopes to be this one day. Wear a white dress, walk down the isle, say vows…blah blah

Bar-To-Bride Syndrome: When females (or males i guess) think they will meet their future spouse in a bar/club and have expectations that surpass a simple hook-up/one-night stand/etc.

Let’s be real. I’m not a pessimist or trying to be a negative-nelly BUT come on. NO ONE should EVER go to a bar expecting to meet the person of their dreams. On top of that, if you do not meet or hook up with someone on a given night, you are not…I repeat…YOU ARE NOT going to end up a cat lady! (most likely). Think about it. We are all extremely visual creatures. If a man or woman approaches you in a bar there is 99.99999 % chance it is not because of your amazing personality…although I am banking on that 0.00001 %.

Anyways, people don’t go out expecting to meet extremely deep, well-rounded, life-partner potential type people.

If they do meet them? That’s fantastic! Congratulations. I’ve actually met some pretty great friends and significant others while out. BUT that being said, my expectations were actually zero. The thing is that if you go in expecting too much…it ain’t happening.

If you don’t meet these amazing people or that special person? Don’t sweat it. Why?

1. Wrong place to be looking

2. You have to maneuver your way through a lot of superficial, shallow, sleezy B.S to find someone worthy of your goddess/god-like presence.

3. Although lust is a prime component to the beginning of any relationship, there is a good chance that this one night stand is not going to lead to wedding bells. I don’t care if he says “I’ve never met anyone like you before” or “I can’t get over how beautiful you are”. Trust me. He has met a sexy drunk girl before AND he’ll be over your beauty tomorrow 😛

ANYWAYS this is not hating on the hilariously-amazing interactions that take place in clubs and bars. I’m just saying…don’t catch B2B Syndrome. It’s chronic. I’m currently doing a people-watching project to further research and treatment programs.

Party on my friends 😉