Tag Archives: fail

Too Tired to Think Straight: The “Tired Derp”

As a person who usually fights sleep for hours before finally closing her eyes, I’m one of the world’s worst at actually understanding when I actually need to sleep. Thus, sometimes I end up saying and doing some pretty silly things in my super-tired state, which I like to refer to as “Tired Derps.” Here’s a few gems from my experiences:

  • Walking all the way to a building on my college campus, only to find out when I got there that not only was I at the wrong building, I was trying to go to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday class on a Tuesday. (Remember, kids, staying up all night to finish a paper can sometimes make you a little crazy!)
  • Taking off my glasses for the night, but putting them in my purse instead of on my bedside table as usual. (You can imagine the frantic flurry of searching the next morning!)
  • Experiencing temporary dyslexia by reversing a couple of letters in a street name I was supposed to find. (Needless to say, I figured out my mistake pretty quickly.)
  • Trying over and over again to type the word “infinite,” but constantly spelling it “inflinite”, “infinatie”, etc. (Did that while assembling yesterday’s post! LOL)
  • Forgetting that a restaurant was only in Shelby, NC, and driving all the way to Forest City, NC (30 minutes in the other direction) before realizing my mistake. (SUPER herp derp!)
  • Waking up from a 3-hour night’s sleep and not remembering who I was or why I had to get up at such an ungodly hour. (I did remember after about 3 or 4 minutes of concentration, LOL)
  • Driving home, only to miss the turn-in to my driveway by almost exactly a mile. (…How?! ROFL)
  • Hurrying out the door to Sunday school, only to realize that I forgot my keys…ran in, got my keys, left my purse; ran back in, got my purse, left my Sunday school book. (Scatterbrained much? Haha)

Have You Ever Had a “Tired Derp?”

Do you have a funny “Tired Derp” experience? Share it in the comments!

My Big Problem: Worrying that I’m Not Good Enough

Officially speaking, I should be a high achiever in adult society. After all, I performed very well all through school (from kindergarten up through grad school), and I have natural talents scattered throughout the arts and technology. Why, then, am I still at home at age 28, having been unemployed for almost 4 years?

Part of it I can blame on the lack of jobs in my fields around home. My skills in creative writing, music, and web design/development don’t seem to be in much demand around here; retail workers, nurses, and industrial workers are more needed. Plus, I’ve had a plethora of health problems which have kept me from working (not least my crippling headaches which have made even “fun stuff” impossible–more about that in a later post).

But there is another part of this that up until last Sunday, I had completely failed to acknowledge. Despite my skills and knowledge, I lacked one important thing to make me a self-starting dynamo: faith in myself. And that, more than anything, has kept me not only unemployed for years, but sick and depressed as well.

The Epiphany

Sitting in church on Sunday, August 11th, I listened as our pastor told us exactly what God demands from us–utter trust. “But sometimes,” he said, “we are too stubborn to depend on the plans God has for us…or we are too fearful of where those plans will lead.”

I sat in the pew, silently angry with that statement. Where had all of “God’s plans” left me so far? Waiting 4 years for the right job opportunity, one that I actually had the skills for? Trying to write a novel that I wasn’t even sure would have an audience when it was finally finished? Making music that it seemed only I would ever fully enjoy, playing away at my keyboard in the basement? I was such a useless human being! Why had I even been made, if this was all I was capable of?

And then, a thought that was most definitely not my own burst like a bubble into my mental stream of self-hate: “You are capable; I made you that way. You just haven’t trusted Me yet.”

In that instant, anger turned to tears; I wept the rest of the sermon, as if each tear were a frustrated prayer, prayers I thought God had put off indefinitely. That one thought, which I firmly believe was a thought from God, had started a cascade of new understanding.

What God’s Little Nudge Was All About

Like I said, by all outward appearances, I should be a very successful person; not only do I have a lot of skills, but I have dreams and ambitions. I daydream about the reception my first novel will get from the public (in these daydreams, it’s always overwhelmingly positive). I think about performing onstage as a solo pianist and singer, in some unnamed auditorium full of family, friends, and fans. I plan for a future in which the money raised by these creative efforts goes toward repairing my parents’ house (the only house I have ever called home), tithing to my church, and preparing a beautiful wedding at long last for myself and my boyfriend.

But in some part of my mind, all these dreams have been reduced to just that: dreams. Increasingly, I have come to believe that I don’t have the skills to make these things come to fruition.

I wasn’t always this way: I remember sharing my talents joyfully with others, and seeing the happiness I brought to their lives by doing so. I am a pleaser, and am happiest when my works give joy to others. But my first foray into the working world soon quashed that idealistic spirit. I learned, shatteringly, that sometimes my best would just not be enough, as I struggled to teach middle-school Language Arts and found myself overwhelmed by the mental workload, demanding time schedule, physical strain, and emotional toll of the job. My hat is off to teachers everywhere; I attempted the job, thinking I would make easy work of it because I was “so skilled,” and I simply could not do it–I nearly committed suicide just to escape it.

What I had not realized until last Sunday was that the scars of teaching school had never healed; indeed, they had spread infection into every last bit of my spirit. Because of my massive failure in teaching, I had learned not to trust my own instincts about the quality of work I produced. Even as I confidently told others that I simply wasn’t made to teach and that I would soon find my “place” in the world, the doubts snuck in: “What if I’m no good at ANYTHING anymore? What if I’ve lost my touch at absolutely everything?”

Subsequent attempts to work resulted in failures as well; I got a retail job that I had to quit after a week because my legs swelled and bruised so badly I could barely walk. Not to mention the webdesign job I got, in which I gave the customer every chance to veto any design components, and I presented the person with the finished product only to hear “Can you design it all again? This isn’t what I want.” It seemed, at least in the working world, that my efforts would be either frustrated by my own disabilities or pooh-poohed by the people I needed to please. It all began to feel absolutely hopeless.

As silly as it may sound to those who have never suffered depression, anxiety, or just plain ol’ self-doubt, these thoughts and situations began to cripple me mentally. I stopped applying for jobs because the massive lists of required qualifications intimidated me. I quit sharing my music with others for a long time, because I thought it “probably wasn’t good enough for anyone else to hear.” I even quit writing on my novel for almost a year; “after all,” I thought, “who’s going to want to read a book like mine? It’s so different from everything out there–it’ll probably never sell anyway.” And I kept writing my blog here, but every week I went without comments from readers left me more and more desolate. Was anybody even reading? Was it even worth it to continue anymore?

This horrible little merry-go-round of self-hatred was what God was trying to free me of that Sunday morning. In fact, He’d probably been trying for a lot longer. But on Sunday morning, I finally heard Him, and the merciless round-and-round in my head stopped at last.

Where Do I Go from Here?

“So what do I do with this?” I found myself wondering, after the bulk of this very blog post had crystallized into an understandable form. “Now that I know to depend on God, where do my dreams and ambitions fit into that?”

I’ve prayed about it quite a bit over the last week, and here is what I’ve come up with:

  • Quit trying to do everything myself out of pride. I need a support system, full of people who understand what I’m trying to do and can help me do it better. (And I also need to actually listen to their advice instead of being offended that they’re offering me advice.)
  • Quit pre-disapproving my efforts before I show them to someone else; I need to give someone else a chance to observe them before I haul off and hate on myself for “not being good enough.”
  • Quit being afraid to share my efforts because someone else might steal them. God gave my talents to me, not to hide them or hoard them, but to use them for His glory. It’s not about me anyway!
  • Quit being afraid to attempt things which I’m not sure I can do. The worst anybody can tell me is “No” or “Try again.”
  • Quit being afraid! THIS most of all!!

So, from today forward, I will seek to connect with people who are professionals in all my fields of talent, people who know the business well and can guide timid little newbies like me. After all, I know that God will lead me to the right people, if I will only step forth in a prayerful decision.

This really terrifies me, to be quite honest; I’ve become so withdrawn and isolated that stepping outside this shell feels like putting my toe out into a frozen wasteland. But I have to, if I’m ever going to “make anything of myself”–if I’m ever going to actually live my life instead of being scared of it!

(I hope my story will help others break out of their own merry-go-rounds of self-defeating intimidation and depression. Let me know in the comments 🙂 )

Cooking Fails: I’m Not Alone!

My cooking fails are pretty legendary (not quite as legendary as this triple-layer-fail above, but pretty amazing). From burnt popcorn that set off my dorm’s fire alarm to Hamburger Helper that overflowed out of the skillet and covered about half the stove, I’ve made some pretty big kitchen bloopers in my day. But it looks like I’m not the only one with problems in the kitchen–at least, if these pictures are to be believed!

Someone took the directions a little too literally–and mathematically. XD

We’re having fried eggs for breakfast…and fried shells, too, apparently.

The plaintive note along with the aforementioned chewy cupcakes makes this all the funnier.

Hey, I’ve made those pancakes before–they make great Frisbees!

This is, um…a rather creative take on boiling pasta…

Mmm, melted cutting board, my favorite!

I’m sensing a distinct lack of a muffin tin here.

Yep, that’s an ELECTRIC kettle burned onto a stove eye. I think Grandma may have been oblivious to what “electric kettle” means.

I’ve heard of sticky rice, and I’ve heard of rice cakes. This right here is a giant rice CLUMP.

That egg is not just hard-boiled, it’s PURPLE-boiled.

Um, I know dry spaghetti looks like long fireplace matches, but dang.

Methinks somebody microwaved this can with the metal lid on.

Whatever this may have been before the oven got to it, it is now “Unrecognizable Nom.”

And these three images teach us that food should never be cooked on a bare oven rack…

Yep, I’ve burned several thousand calories with this method, and it did help me lose weight–sorta, in a roundabout way…LOL

In case you were wondering, plastic doesn’t really cook things that well on the stove.

This has to be the laziest addition of cheese to pasta I’ve ever seen.

Pro tip: When there’s heat in the oven, that’s a good thing. When there’s an actual FIRE in the oven, something is WRONG.

Design Fail: Red Backgrounds

In my quest to keep trying new designs and learning new code in webdesign, I’ve come up with some accidentally awesome designs over the years. Some of the code and colors that I thought would probably never work turned out beautifully in the long run. But, as with any trial-and-error process, I have ended up with a few misfires as well. The following design contains one such misfire.

When I designed Version 13 of my main domain last year, I was trying a new type of color scheme–purposefully using contrasting colors.

The problem does not lie in this concept, but rather the choice of red for my website’s background color. Since I don’t often use red in my designs, given that I personally dislike the color, I wanted to try something different in my design color schemes this time around. And for the most part, the resulting color palette of tomato red, creamy orange, and bright periwinkle worked pretty well…

It worked well enough, that is, until I realized how stressful on the eyes that red background was.

The Problem

Though I had taken time to view each page before I uploaded my site, just to make sure it all displayed properly, I didn’t take into account how the colors would affect extended reading. One of my friends brought this up as I was discussing my recent website work, saying, “You know, I love going to your site, but that color hurts my eyes after a while.”

I was stunned, and then, after a moment of thought, I understood. I had made a similar mistake using bright red as a background color several years before, as a newbie designer, and back then, I had received similar comments. But I had foolishly thought that a darker red would not trigger such problems. Obviously, I was wrong. And if even a good friend could not view my page without problems, how badly had the design choice affected visits by other Websurfers?

Great Website Colors: A Balance Between Striking and Relaxing

If I did this design over again, I believe I would choose the same color scheme–but with a definite change. I would reverse the usage of the periwinkle blue and tomato red, making the blue the background color and the red a lightly-sprinkled accent color. The main reason? Blue is a much easier color on the eyes than red; it makes reading website content easier, which would make my visitors much happier.

Yet, as designers, we don’t have to retreat completely into neutral, “easy viewing” colors. Instead, try using powerful, vibrant colors in smaller doses, balancing them with softer, more neutral colors for an overall attractive design. In fact, a little kick of color in the right places can really make your website design sing with purpose!

For instance, I could still use that rich red color, but only sparingly, much as one uses a strong spice in cooking–I could use it to attract attention to updates, draw the user’s eye to the navigation section, or just add bits of visual flair around the mostly-blue page. It would add a little punch of red, but not too much that it distracts or makes the page difficult to read.


If you’ve learned that your website’s color scheme is a little too strong for people’s eyes, learn from my fail: try making the softer/neutral color the background, and use the strong colors as accents and attention-grabbers. Who knows, all it might take is reversing two colors to positively change how visitors use your site!

“Well, It’s Fixed, Ain’t It?” Crazy and Hilarious Repairs

The Internet is chock-full of people repurposing items…but the people responsible for the following set of pictures took “repurposing” to a new level. Repairing various items with only the tools and materials on-hand sounds like an admirable, MacGyver-esque task, but sometimes, the results are less than professional and more than a little crazy.

Each of these pictures features a “kludge” (a funny/crazy repair of this sort)…scroll down and get ready to laugh and/or be amazed!

Well, it does the job well enough, I guess…

I dunno about you, but I think I’d just knock.

When you don’t have an oven or a microwave…use a space heater!

Replace the headlamp, you say?…NAAAAH!

This coffeemaker’s lid has been pried open, the filter looks like repurposed paper, and the coffeepot doesn’t even fit under the spout. This is about as kludgey as it gets.

Well, the good news is that their new soft-top (soft-tarp?) kinda matches the car paint…

When you REALLY don’t want anybody getting into (or out of) the house.

All’s well until those chains break and send kids hurtling away like rockets!

No, no, I meant put the hangers on the CLOTHES rack, not the OVEN rack!

This looks like an engine fire waiting to happen.

I don’t think the child safety belts will reach out the back that far.

Good news: this car is now road-trip-ready. Bad news: no more seeing out the back window.

I’ve heard of using duct tape for everything, but using the whole ROLL on ONE thing? LOL

Well, I guess this kinda covers the hole in the road. Sorta.

When you absolutely NEED a fan pointed in a certain direction, at a certain height…

Not sure whether this guy was trying for a super-cool spoiler or a radio antenna with better range.

I love how most of it is wrapped around with yellow electrical tape, as if that makes it 100% safer.

It’s a Frankencar!

So, someone is familiar with the Internet, but not tile repair.

Of all the chairs to put in a vehicle, they chose an uncomfortable-as-all-get-out plastic school chair?

See more hilarious kludges at: There, I Fixed It

I Heart Typos

Typos are just funny. When you know what the person meant to say, and yet it came out so differently…it’s hilarious. That’s probably one reason I love sites like Lamebook and WTF AutoCorrects–the funniest moments come from those inadvertent mistakes in a status message or a comment, and it renders the whole sentence as nonsense. Both sites, as well as thousands of others across the Internet, are brimming with typo examples that make me giggle.

But it’s not just online that typos appear for a quick laugh. Signage, especially handwritten signs or movable-letter signs, can be just as full of errors and lead to a snort or snicker while driving down the road. (I actually had to pull off the road into a parking lot one time because I had driven by a prom dress shop whose sign read “BUY YOUR WHOLE PRON LOOK HERE.” I was laughing so hard at the unintentional Internet porn reference, I was crying and couldn’t drive. XD)

As a former English teacher, I’ve seen my share of typos and their written counterparts in student work, and I see a lot of them online. I know I really shouldn’t laugh at typos, but should madly correct them with a grumble and a swipe of my red pen. …but I DO laugh. Often. And without holding back. Each typo I see is a little unexpected jolt of “LOL” in the middle of a day of “BLAH” or a session of “OMGIHAVETOREADTHIS???REALLY?!”.

I think typos and autocorrects give us all a little mental break, even if we have to go back and fix them. It’s fun to realize everyone’s still human!

Examples of Typos that Make Me Laugh

For each of these, click the image for a larger picture.

I love it when people confuse hungry with Hungary. Then I can come back at them with a joke about heading to Turkey if you’re Hungary. XD

Typo + irony. Guaranteed to make a Robin laugh.

“Carpet the day,” hmm? LOL

Both the typo and the commenter’s response give me fits of the snickers.

Homophones are hard to tell apart, aren’t they? (I should know, I had to teach and reteach about how to spell different words that sound alike while I taught school…)

The graffiti itself is merely laughable. The reply is delightfully snark. XD

Hilarious (and somewhat accurate, considering the state of Myspace?) autocorrect.

Autocorrect + lots of win in reply. XD

So…much…fail…can’t breathe from laughing at the multiple autocorrects!

Credits to Lamebook and WTF AutoCorrects for the pictures and the hundreds of hours of LOLs. 😀

Warning: Laptopless Week Ahead

Due to an unfortunate accident involving my laptop and a violent meeting with the floor, the blog posts this week will be a little less quality than usual. My faithful little buddy is currently in transit to the fix-up place, so I’m having to bum computer time off family and friends until it returns home. At least it was only the LCD screen that was damaged–I lost no data! (In fact, it kept its screen working for five minutes when we arrived at the computer “emergency room,” but could not keep up the charade for long. Its graphics card, RAM, and hard drive appear to have suffered no damage at all.)

Also, once my laptop is fixed, I would like to implement a couple of changes to the layout, but I’m leery of changing anything because it seems every time I change something, the whole site goes bonkers and I get a page full of errors. Maybe some more study on WP coding would do me well, even though all the changes I’ve tried to implement before were so-called “valid code.” *sigh* WordPress, why must you be so difficult to understand?