Thursday, August 16, 2012

WFMAD: Day Sixteen.

Today’s Prompt: As fast as you can, write a list of all the things you have learned in your life. Do NOT be philosophical or abstract. “You can’t change other people” won’t cut it for this exercise. “Don’t eat spinach at a business lunch because it’s hard to tell if it’s stuck in your teeth” does.

Okay, the "as fast as you can!" thing always put a lot of pressure on me, and this will involve using my brains so I will actually be going slower than normal, but I still like this prompt. Fun. Let's hit it: Knowledge!

In the middle of the country, I learned that if your car suddenly starts to sound like a motorcycle, it needs a new muffler. I learned that in Brazil, they speak Portuguese even though most of the rest of the continent speaks Spanish. I learned that Hawaii is way farther south than you think when you're a kid. I learned that Yellowstone is one big humongous supervolcano and if it blows up we are all pretty much toast and I have been terrified ever since. I have learned that just using water combined with vinegar is the best cleaner and saves you a bunch of money. I learned that cheap earrings break easily, but if you get to wear them once and feel really kick ass while you do, then they are normally worth it. I learned that going to concerts alone can feel awkward at first but as soon as the lights are low and the music starts you're fine. I learned that I'll never be able to make food taste like my grandparents did and like my mom did and that is just the way it is. I learned that I can place an embarrassingly small number of African nations on a map. I learned that I can never live in Texas or Oklahoma because I think I have that thing that's the opposite of claustrophobia, where too much open space freaks you out. I learned that Oregon is the country's largest exporter of blackberries and hazelnuts and for some reason I like sharing that with everyone who visits. I learned that sometimes large city parks can be much scarier to walk in alone than the middle of the woods. I learned that Chicago was home to the first skyscraper and that for the first ten years or something after the Empire State Building was built no one occupied it because no one could afford to. I learned that sometimes old radiators flood hot water in the middle of the night in old apartment buildings and you shouldn't leave pictures anywhere near them. I learned that cutting the gross fat off of chicken is easier to do when the chicken is half frozen. But it's still gross. I learned that I should not walk barefoot in Prospect Park in Brooklyn in the summertime because I will inevitably step on a bee. I learned that waking up early is often the best thing you can do in your day, even if it's the thing you want to do least at the moment. I learned that getting a dog who is already really, really old is okay and he might just live and love life way past everyone's expectations. I learned that even if you have a GPS, a paper map is still often better. I have learned that if I am better at voicing emotions instead of keeping them inside, things are normally better for everyone, but not always. I have learned that learning a language is something you have to work at everyday or else all of the knowledge disappears because our brains aren't wired to work like that when we're old.

That seems like a sort of unsatisfactory list, really. I'm sure there's a lot more that I've learned, but there's fifteen minutes worth for you.

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