Not Being More Productive at Home

prod 3I take pride in my job.  I like it, I think I’m good at it and I work hard at it.  I can be highly productive at work.  I know how to prioritize and I make daily lists of things that need to get done.  I do not allow myself to leave until the list gets completed or, through no fault of trying, can’t be completed.  I am efficient, and I make the best use of my time.  This is why I think I’m good at my job.  When a person’s productivity is high and their output is decent, they are a good worker and they will be happy at their job.

prod 1I am not always overly busy at work, but being busy doesn’t necessarily makes you productive.  You can be busy and be highly disorganized.  In this case, the reason you’re busy is because your disorganization causes you to constantly revert back and forth between projects without ever actually finishing one.  If a person is productive, then there will be times when they can afford to rest a bit, and they won’t be too busy.

Unfortunately none of this productivity carries over to my home.  It’s like night and day with me.  At work I am organized, efficient and energetic.  At home I am haphazard, sluggish and a mess.  When I return from my productive day at work, I no longer want to be productive.  I know there are things to do, but I choose not to do them.  Most of the time I just forget that there’s something I need to do.  If you read yesterday’s post about not having a dryer, you’ll know that I have to stagger my laundry loads…well, I’ve been home for about 90 minutes now, and I just remembered that I have to do another load of laundry!

prod 2I have read the 8 habits of highly productive people, and it has become my mantra at work.  I just simply can not adhere to it at home.  Sitting here now, writing this blog, I can remember about 5 things I was supposed to do today that I didn’t do.  The reason that there are some days without a post here is because I just forget, and by the time I remember, it’s too late and I’m ready for sleep.  I forget to take things in the morning.  I have very often forgotten my watch or my keys and had to rely on others for help during the day.  Those incidents I hate, because my inefficiency at home has now encroached on my efficiency at work.  When there’s a crossover like that, I have to think it’s time to change.

The only problem is, I don’t know how to change.  There’s no Microsoft Outlook for life!  It helps at work to keep track of my time, and the ability to red-flag things is brilliant, but I don’t have that at home.  I suppose I could write myself notes in the morning before I leave so I will see them when I return home in the evening, but I’ll just forget to look at them or ignore what they say.  The inefficiency and lack of productivity at home really has a negative effect on my homelife and my personal life.  I can’t tell you how many times I have made appointments only to forget about them and be awakened on a Saturday morning by the doorbell, or how many times I have ordered food for delivery (here in Singapore it takes, like, 2 hours for it to be delivered) only to forget and order more food an hour later.  It has become a real problem!  A bigger problem is that I don’t know how to fix it.

Right now I should be packing for a trip to the States, but I haven’t unpacked from the last trip yet because I’m waiting for the laundry on the drying rack to dry so I can put the dirty laundry that’s in the suitcase into the washing machine.  Then I’ll be able to pack the suitcase!  I will also need some of the clothing that I will be washing after I publish this post…ugh…I guess I can always pack tomorrow night, the flight doesn’t leave until 6AM on Saturday morning!

Not Having a Clothes Dryer

dryer 1I know this is going to sound strange, but I actually like doing the laundry.  I like the cleanliness of it.  I like feeling the clean, dry clothes on my skin and folding them into nice, neat little piles.  I can’t explain why, but I like the entire process.  The only think I hate is the ironing…so I have a housekeeper who does that for me!  When I lived in the United States, I hade a clothes dryer.  It was such a convenience to be able to put your clothes in the washing machine and then dry them quickly when it was finished.  My dryer was even stacked right on top of my washer, so the movement of the clothing was minimal.

In Madrid, I didn’t have a dryer, but my washing machine was so small that it didn’t matter because I was doing laundry almost every day, and setting them outside to dry in the desert-like Madrid climate was easy and fast.  I could sometimes bring those clothes in after only a couple of hours.  My washer in China was a combination washer/dryer.  I could set it for 3 hours, and when it was done the laundry would not only be clean, it would be dry as well.  The only problem with this is that it left enormous wrinkles in the clothes that were very difficult to iron out.  But…I had a housekeeper for that!

dryer 3Now I live in Singapore, once again without a dryer.  Only now my washing machine is normal size.  I have a drying rack…like the one I had in college…that barely fits a full load of laundry on it.  I have to stagger my loads every other day so I can be able to hang the laundry out on the rack and have it dry before another load is ready to be hung.  The drying rack just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s on the terrace, so it doesn’t take up too much space, but the Singapore air is very humid, and it takes very long for the clothes to dry.  It’s not like it was in Madrid.  Also, while the clothes dry, they are being beat upon by the damaging rays of the sun, and some of my clothing has started to fade in the areas where it crosses the bar on the rack.  It’s ruining my clothes not to have a dryer.  It’s also making something that I usually enjoy an unbearable experience because of the excessive waiting and waiting I have to do between laundry loads.  I recently got back from a trip, but there was laundry in the basket and there were towels to do.  I still haven’t gotten to do the laundry from the trip because I’m waiting for one load to dry on the rack.

dryer 2I know you’re going to say “just go buy a dryer,” and I know there are some inexpensive “makeshift” dryers out there, but my apartment is fully furnished and I don’t want to buy a clothes dryer just to “donate” it to my landlord when I move away.  I don’t like my landlord that much!  Also, the cheaper, makeshift dryers are not of good quality.  They are made of plastic, and have a drying hose that needs to be placed near the clothes.  Then you zip them up into this plastic tube that inflates and dries your clothes.  The problem with this is that it only dries 5-6 garments at a time and there’s a chance of burning the clothes.  These dryers are not for me.

I need a dryer, though.  The drying rack is ruining my clothes and it’s making laundry time into a chore instead of something I like doing.  It takes too long for my laundry to dry, and there isn’t enough room on the rack for everything I want to dry (I don’t even try to get sheets on there any more).  I don’t know how anyone can live without a dryer.  These people must have quick-drying clothing, or they must not do so much laundry that hey need their drying racks to be immediately available.  Whatever it is, I’m glad they can do it because I can’t.  I will never move into an apartment without a dryer again!

 

People Who Dote on Their Kids too Much

Recently I was at a hotel with a breakfast buffet.  I like those hotels because they provide breakfast, and you can go back to your room when you’re finished to clean up before going out for the day.  Needless to say, I was enjoying my breakfast when a family of 4 sat at the table next to me.  It was a pleasant family with mom, dad and 2 kids of about 10 and 12 years old.

The mother immediately got up and brought back juices for the 2 children.  The father went over to the buffet table and started to fill his plate with whatever he wanted, while the mother walked over with the children and made them hold their plates while she filled it for them.  She then brought them back to the table and continually asked them if they wanted anything else, or she would just get up and get them more juice or cereal or whatever.  She did not eat anything for herself yet, mind you.  The father was quite content with his food and ate his breakfast quietly while mom continued to dote on the children and jump up and down getting them more and more things.  She even wiped one of their mouths with a napkin at one point!  When they were finished, and mom could finally eat for herself, the children got a little “rambunctious” and the family left.  Mom had about 3 minutes to actually enjoy her breakfast.

Now, I may be wrong, but 10 and 12 year olds are fully capable of getting their own breakfast and pouring their own juice.  They can walk over to the buffet and get whatever they want to eat, without any outside help.  The children were not overly obnoxious or annoying to the point where mom might have been doing all this for them so as not to have them get out of hand.  I think she just didn’t know what else to do.  She dotes and dotes on her children as if there is nothing else for her to do in life.

I see this a lot, especially when I lived in China, and the child was the family’s only child. Not only would mom and dad dote on the child, but all 4 grandparents as well.  The children would begin to expect everyone to do everything for them.  They called it the “little emperor syndrome” in China.  These parents that do everything for the child like they are royalty created children that felt like they were royalty.  They created children that expected to be treated special and had a sense of entitlement that I have never seen matched.

Unfortunately, it’s not only the Chinese that do this with their children.  I have seen over-doting parents all over the world.  These people don’t understand that, even though they want to do everything for their children, they are creating people who can’t do anything for themselves, and will expect people to always do things for them.  These parents who fawn over their children and try to anticipate their every need are not helping their children at all.  They’re just making it more difficult in the long run because, eventually, that child is going to hear “no,” and they’re not going to be able to deal with it.

What I’m Reading and Watching About Barack Obama

I know I’m going to get some serious backlash for this one from the so called “Obamatrons,” who love everything he does and will defend him until the terrorists blow something up.  I don’t care.  I have been reading many news articles and news posts, and watching TV reports about some of the crap that the “commander in chief” has been doing, and it’s just really irking me.  Before I go any further, I’d like to say that I’ve been looking at things from both sides (the liberal left and the conservative right), and I’m seeing negativity towards Obama from both sides now.  It used to be the right that harangued him and pointed out his (many) flaws, but I think the liberal left has just about tired of the crap he pulls.

First, it’s the golfing.  I give the man some credit for trying to stay fit and playing a sport.  As the president of the United States, he must not have much time for exercise, but I’m reading too many things about his golfing occurring at times when he should be running the country, or at least acknowledging that things have happened.  Let’s face it, the man can even have a press conference from the golf course if he wanted to, I’m sure the press are there (they follow him like puppies).  If he did, it might give the important news the sense of urgency that it deserves.  He was playing golf while riots were happening in Missouri, he was playing golf when an American was beheaded by ISIS, he was playing golf when MH17 was shot down in Ukraine.  He was playing golf, he was playing golf, he was playing golf.  I could forgive his being on the golf course when those things occurred because it’s impossible to actually know when they will happen, but don’t finish the game!?!?  You stop right away and address the matter at hand.  You chose to take this job as US president, Barack, it’s a 24 hour job!!

Next, it’s the “executive orders” that he has put into play.  Just because people disagree with him doesn’t give him the right to circumvent those people.  It’s called “checks and balances” for a reason, Barack!  It’s a government, not a monarchy!  He can’t go around making his own decisions and enacting laws without having the support of the government.  Now look, because of his “executive order,” impoverished public school districts all over the United States will have an influx of illegal immigrant children that don’t speak English and don’t even have parents to take care of them.  These kids are going to be flooding already overloaded schools.  Is “His Highness” planning on increasing funding for these schools so they can have the resources to handle the influx of illegals that he’s flying around the country on the taxpayers’ dime?  No!!  He just expects it to get done.  He’s like a horse with blinders on…he gets one thing in view, and nothing else matters, not even things that are adversely affected.  Then he goes to play golf.

I also get annoyed by his secretiveness.  He didn’t tell a soul when he traded several known terrorists who threatened the United States and its citizens time and time again for 1 prisoner of war.  How many other prisoners of war are there, what makes this one so different than all the others that you have put the United States and its citizens in danger by releasing evil terrorists to bring one back.  Nobody was consulted, he just did it on his own.  I’m also a firm believer in the idea that Obama ordered the IRS to target his opposition, and the people that oppose him.  If you read about all the agencies and “charities” that were targeted, many of them have Conservative or Tea Party affiliations.  How serendipitous for him that the IT department at the IRS are a  bungling group of complete fools, that they can destroy hard drives and lose not a couple, but hundreds of e-mails that could shed light on this scandal.  Way to cover your ass, Barack!  Thank goodness for senators that don’t take crap in the hearings and are actually trying to get to the bottom of this.  I don’t think that many e-mails from that many hard drives for that specific amount of time could be lost, and I agree with the senators on the committee…I don’t believe them!  And don’t get me started on that whole affair in Benghazi!!

I know that the news is skewed, and not everything that is reported is actually the whole story.  I’m not naïve, I wasn’t born yesterday.  But, I have been hearing just too many negative and stupid things about this man FROM ALL POLITICAL SIDES that I’m believing a lot of it.  This man has changed the United States for the worse.  I sincerely hope that he hasn’t ruined the careers of those that have been associated with him.  I actually like Joe Biden and, while I’m not a big fan of Hilary Clinton, I don’t think she’s horrible.  I hope hitching their wagons to Obama hasn’t ruined everything for them in the future.  I know if I were a politician, I would definitely NOT want to be associated with this moron!

There are so many other things about this administration and “the man who would be king” that just get on my nerves and make me realize that he is destroying the country little by little.  He was not ready for this presidency, and he acts like a little child whenever he meets any resistance.  In fact, he acts like a child all the time.  Take a look at the photos of the world leaders from the recent NATO summit in Wales…who’s that moron in the middle that has to wave at the camera like “look at me mom?”  Why it’s the leader of the United States of America!  And it’s not the first time he felt the need to wave at the camera.  I guess he really DOES think everything is about him and damn anyone who doesn’t agree with that…then he goes to play golf!!

obama wave 1

Photo of the NATO world leaders in Wales recently. Who’s that idiot waving in the center?

obama wave 2

It’s habitual! Check out this 2011 official UN photo!!

 

“Irregardless”

irregardless 1“Irregardless” is not a word.  I don’t care what people say, or how many times I hear it (like nails on a chalkboard), it will never become a proper word.  If you look “irregardless” up in the dictionary, it’s called nonstandard and colloquial.  It actually dates back to the early 20th century, with a link to colloquialisms in Indiana (USA).  Recently (early 21st century) it has begun to get more and more use.  IT’S STILL WRONG!

Let’s take it apart.  To “regard” something is to give it merit, to take it into account.  If I hold something in “high regard” I feel very strongly about it, and I respect it.  “Regardless” means that you do not give something merit.  It is not something that matters in the conversation, or in your thought process.  To put the prefix “ir” in front of “regardless” actually makes it a double negative…which, in turn, makes it positive.  So, “irregardless” is actually saying that you don’t disregard something.  So, in actuality, you give it merit and it matters greatly.  Do you see the idiocy behind this word?!  So, when people use “irregardless” in conversation to mean that something doesn’t matter, what they’re actually saying is that it matters a great deal.  So “irregardless of your feelings” actually means “taking your feelings into account.”

Etymologists believe that the word is a bastardized portmanteau form of the words “regardless” and “irrespective,” which fundamentally mean the same thing.  But, when you combine the two, the meaning changes completely.  Some people will say “this is the evolution of language, and this is how languages are born.”  Well, there’s bad words (anyways), which weasel their way into everyday conversation that could one day become regularly used, and there’s bad grammar (irregardless), which will always be bad grammar!

irregardless 3“Irregardless” gained popularity in the early 2000s when the likes of Lacey Chabert and Jamie Pressley used in their movies Mean Girls and Not Another Teen Movie.  Just like the sheep that everyone is, people started using the word (first mockingly, and then for real) because it was used in popular media at the time.  Well, it’s wrong!  It’s not a proper word, and it’s a double negative anyway.  Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary (which hales it as a colloquialism or nonstandard word) says “use regardless instead!!” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregardless)

irregardless 2

 

Description of How I Live My Life…by Meryl Streep

I recently read a FaceBook post by a friend of a friend in which she quoted something from Meryl Streep.  Not only is she a gifted actress (she learned how to speak German with a Polish accent for Sophie’s Choice), but she’s a good person.  So, today, I am letting Meryl speak for me.  Thank you, Meryl, you’re a classy lady!

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

It kind of sums up a lot of my annoyances in one place.  Thanks, Meryl!

meryl 1

Fake Flowers and Plants in the Home

flowers 2The only place fake flowers and plants belong in the home is in the fishtank.  In the fishtank, plastic flowers and plants last a long time, and they do not make the water cloudy or attract algae growth.  This is the ONLY place in a home that it is acceptable to have fake flowers or plants.

flowers 1I grew up with a grandmother who believed in having plants in the home.  Most of them were real, and she took excellent care of them (even worrying when she’d be gone for 2 days, so I had to go water them).  Unfortunately, she also had a garish and gaudy floral display made of plastic, non-realistic flowers.  There were hibiscus and lilies in the display, as well as fake leaves and smaller flowers.  I would always pull the tops off the flowers, because you could just pop them back on afterwards…but it would always annoy grandma and she would yell at us.  I don’t think I have any memories of visiting my grandmother where that fake plastic arrangement, in the ceramic turquoise bowl, was not sitting on her hi-fi radio (with the turntable).  The plastic flowers, in this case, were a throwback to the Great Depression when nobody could afford real flowers for their homes, so they made their own flowers, or purchased flowers that didn’t need to be replaced (like plastic ones).  This doesn’t make it right!

flowers 3Whether they’re made of plastic or silk, they are just not real, and they are very tacky.  They collect dust, and they don’t have a fragrance.  The fake plants don’t grow or move with the sunlight, and they feel scratchy and hard to the touch.  They are not decorative, they are painful.

I can understand fake plants and flowers in stores and offices.  Real plants would be too much to keep up with for the staff that is already working very hard at their normal jobs.  Fake plants in offices actually do make the place feel a little more relaxing than a dead-looking real plant would.  Stores and offices have excuses for having the low maintenance silk or plastic (or silk AND plastic) plants and flowers.  People in their homes do not!  Are people that lazy that they can’t be bothered to water a plant?!  Are they that busy that they have to buy no maintenance greenery for their homes so they don’t have to spend any time taking care of it?!  What’s the deal with people having this fake stuff in their homes?!?!

I still pull the leaves and flowers off fake plants when I find them in a person’s home.  I want the person to know that they haven’t fooled me, or put one over on me, because I was there and I know the plants are fake.  It also makes the people (hopefully) realize just how laughable and tacky it is that they have fake plants in their home.  If they can’t take care of a living plant, then don’t have a plant at all!!  And don’t get me started on those fake plastic bowls of fruit!!!

flowers 4