Monday, October 25, 2010


I'm an incurable optimist. I hide it well since it almost invariably leads to disappointment and I think it would be hard for my friends to see me disappointed all the time.

I try not to be an optimist. I tell myself not to get my hopes up and not to fantasise about how well everything is going to work out and how much better my life will be when it does, but inevitably the sneaky little bitch optimist inside me will do it anyway, whispering all the while about how it doesn't really hurt to fantasise and it's not like I really believe things will work out the way I imagine they will.

Yeah, I totally believe it. And the thing is that no matter what it is I'm trying, all the fantasies turn out the same - I end up being totally awesome at whatever it is, which naturally leads to glory and riches. For example, before I started this blog I had this conversation with myself:

Me: I think I'll start a blog
Sneaky Bitch Optimist (SBO): I'm going to start a blog and it will be so awesome and popular that I'll end up writing a column for someone who will actually pay me and then I'll be asked to be a guest on some television show and then I'll get my own show and then...blah blah blah...glory and riches!!! GLORY AND RICHES!!!
Me: That won't happen. No one will read it and if they do they won't even like it anyway.
SBO: GLORY AND RICHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes it also leads to me ruling the world but I'm at least ninety seven per cent certain that that won't actually happen. Glory and riches though - I'm so certain of that one that I can't actually make myself believe that it might not happen. In fact, the older I get, the more surprised I am that it hasn't happened already.

Keep in mind that realistically, I know how ridiculous this is. I just can't make myself actually not believe it.

But a constantly thwarted expectation of glory and riches isn't the only way my incurable optimism makes my life miserable. She makes me buy clothes that are too small so that they'll fit when I lose weight and then they sit in my drawer as a constant reminder of yet another goal that I haven't yet managed to achieve. When I haven't been swimming in five weeks, and despite the fact that I was not a good swimmer to start with, she aims to improve on where I was when I last made it to the pool so that I'm hopelessly discouraged when I not only fail to achieve that goal but am also unable to match what I managed five weeks earlier. SBO leads me into disappointments that I should not have to experience by overcoming every ounce of realism and rational thought that I possess.

But it doesn't end there. I've wasted countless hours reading books and watching movies that I've known were awful within the first couple of pages or few minutes respectively. Because SBO is always convinced that they will get better. She made me sit through all of Hostel, and she almost made me go see the sequel because even though I hated the first one the sequel really did look like it might be all right and surely I was just the tiniest bit curious about whether it actually was? That's the only time that I've ever managed to defeat her. Because the thing is that sometimes she's right. Not often, but just enough to reinforce the idea that if I stop reading or watching I may be missing out on something.

It's not just with books and movies either. Most of the too-small clothes she's made me buy I've eventually been able to fit into - just not in the timeframe that she led me to expect. And sometimes things really have worked out as I've imagined they will. Of course, sometimes they've gone as I've imagined only to go horribly wrong later on, but that's the thing - I just never can tell whether she'll be right or not.

That's why I haven't given up on the glory and riches.


When it comes to thinking up titles I do one of two things. Either I come up with an awesome title and then struggle to come up with something I can write that fits it, or I write something and then struggle to come up with a title that isn't completely lame. Unsuccessfully. Always unsuccessfully. So when I decided to start a blog I didn't even bother. I just decided straight up to call it Stupid Title, since anything I came up would eventually sound stupid to me anyway.

If you're here then you already know that didn't work out. I was thwarted by the fact that someone who had already taken that name. So I went with Dumb Title, which is almost the same except not because I wanted Stupid Title and I don't like to be thwarted. What's worse is that I visited Stupid Title to try to see who had stolen my name and the page was blank. So if you know who stole my name and then did nothing with it, or you if ever happen to meet them, punch them in the face for me.*

*Please do not actually punch them in the face just because I said so, as that would make me feel bad and I don't actually condone violence in any way.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So you've decided to start a blog - Step 1: Become disillusioned with Google autocomplete

I decided to start a blog (obviously), but I was not really sure where to go from there so I turned to my old friend Google for advice. With high expectations I typed in the words 'so you've decided to start a', eagerly anticipating the moment when Google successfully identified what it was I had decided to do. It didn't come. I kept typing, certain that Google's autocomplete function - that had always known me so well in the past - would come through for me yet again. I typed the 'b', the 'l' and the 'o', pausing between each to give Google a chance. By the time I got to the 'g' I was completely disillusioned, forced as I was to enter a search query without the assistance of autocomplete.

Things got worse from there. A quick scan of the first results (which really, is as far as I ever get with a Google search) yielded nothing that I was actually looking for. Through autocomplete I knew that Google had a lot to offer me if I had decided to steal cable, become a goth, be a ninja, go to work high or be a bottom (after some debate I decided not to check that one out), but it had nothing on my decision to start a blog. I could, of course, have tried entering different search queries, but I had already been distracted by one particular autocomplete result that very nearly prevented me from continuing with my intial search at all...

So you've decided to start a blog - Step 2: Become evil

All right, so first of all I owe Google autocomplete an apology. The fact that 'so you've decided to become evil' was the very first thing you thought I was looking for obviously proves that you know me just as well as I thought you did. I do, however, find your insistence a little irritating. A person can have more than one hobby. Yes, I realise that you offered me ninja, but we've been down that road and I'll return it if and when I'm ready. I do not and never will want to be a bottom. I'm going to assume that was your idea of a joke.

Second of all, this is where I had to take a break since research had become involved and that inevitably led to procrastination. Weeks of procrastination.

Finally I decided enough was enough, returned to Google and clicked on the first option it gave me, for reasons mostly having to do with being too lazy to trawl through all the results to find the most suitable (yeah, you might notice a theme here).

The website was extremely comprehensive. It defined evil, described the benefits of being evil, and even went so far as to give a quick quiz to help you determine whether or not you're actually qualified to be evil. So naturally I had a quick look at it and decided I couldn't be bothered. I did click on the link titled 'Make your own evil plan', which was a multiple choice plan generator, and I did start it....but there were a lot of questions, and I got bored.

That's when I remembered why I often talk about world domination but have not yet managed to take over the world - because it seems like a lot of hard work and I quite simply can't be bothered.


So you've decided to start a blog - Step 3: You know what? Figure it out yourself.