Thursday, June 30, 2005

You Won't Believe The Size Of These Dust Bunnies!

While cleaning my old apartment, I discovered an extremely large and previously unknown subspecies of dust bunny that had long escaped the attention of biologists.

The identity of the new species, which I have named the Semi-Domesticated Giant Dust Bunny (Cuniculus Dusticus), was verified by two independent research teams examining my old living room in South Tampa, a complex ecosystem long neglected by scientists.

After initial study researchers estimate that fewer than three thousand individuals of the Cuniculus Dusticus species exist, all in my former apartment. A formal census of the Semi-Domesticated Giant Dust Bunny's population is expected to land the species on the World Conservation Union's "critically endangered" list, with expectations of Enormous Amounts of Funding to follow.

Except for their incredibly large size (ranging from 4 to 6 inches in diameter), the Giant Dust Bunny strongly resembles its much smaller cousins. Their thick coats of lint, dust and pencil shavings are an adaptation to the apartment's sporadically air-conditioned habitat, where temperatures can range anywhere from 85 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity, researchers say. While adaptable to a wide range of elevations, the species tends to live at heights no greater than 1 inch off the floor, behind most of my furniture.

Greta Dingleberry, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) biologist based in Tampa, Florida, led a team that aided in the discovery of the Giant Dust Bunny. The team found the species behind the sofa, behind the refrigerator, behind each bookcase, in the closet, under rugs, in the pantry, under the stove, behind cabinets, under chairs, and also in various nooks and crannies.

"A number of things distinguish it as a distinctly unique subspecies," she said. "But the primary one above all is the incredibly large size. In addition, the Giant Dust Bunny tends to prefer nooks rather than crannies, which are the favored habitat of its much smaller cousin, the Standard Domesticated Shorthaired Dust Bunny."

"Cuniculus Dusticus is definitely new to science", said Britta Hansing, a biological researcher at the University of South Florida in Tampa and an expert in the often contentious field of dust bunny classification, "It is actually quite amazing to discover such a large species in an urban area." Hansing estimates that the species previously managed to elude recognition by the outside world due to its low numbers, dull coloring, shyness and odd location.

Given that the status of the Giant Dust Bunny is likely to be even more critically endangered after I finish cleaning this weekend, the researchers have not captured an individual for detailed behavioral analysis, instead planning on an elaborate relocation effort to parts unknown.

However, scientists remain hopeful that additional previously unknown species might turn up in my old kitchen. This theory drives their continuing research, and emphasizes the fact that humanity still has so much left to learn, even in the twenty-first century.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I'm not REALLY a Superhero; I just play one on T.V.

From Jim Bliss, that very mysterious young man in London:
(You can read all about his doomsday prophecies here)

The Superhero Meme

1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? (Assume you also get baseline superhero enhancements like moderately increased strength, endurance and agility.)
I would like the power to cloud and control men's minds.
This would enable me to amass a vast loinclothed army of servants who will do my laundry, wash my dishes, tell me how beautiful I am, vote against the Republican party, and cook exotic gourmet dinners. Plus, that sort of thing could come in handy if one is looking for cheap and meaningless sex, which of course I wouldn't do, that's very bad, and really, I'm just saying if. However, the baseline superhero enhancements such as moderately increased strength, endurance and agility would also come in handy for that sort of thing. I'm just saying.

2. Which, if any, 'existing' superhero(es) do you fancy, and why?
Wolverine, Spiderman and Catwoman. I think those are self-explanatory.

3. Which, if any, 'existing' superhero(es) do you hate?
I loathe Supergirl in the most completely heartless manner you could ever possibly imagine; she's insipid, plastic, and far too perky for her own good.

4. What would your superhero name be? (No prefab porn-name formulas here, you have to make up the name you think you'd be proud to mask under.)
Every time I try to think of a SuperHero name, I can only come up with SuperVillain names instead. And really, I would much rather be a SuperVillain because:
A.) plotting revenge is fun
B.) why should we waste all the good technology on science and medicine?
C.) I can't be good ALL the time

My SuperVillain name could be something like The Malevolent Iron Queen or perhaps The Nefarious SuperVixen. I was totally going to choose something like "Pat Robertson" or maybe "Paris Hilton", but those names were already taken.

I would wear a shiny black catsuit with a glittery utility belt, mask and dangerously pointy boots. Thousands of evil henchmen would be at my beck and call, and my signature weapon would be the ZS-4500 Super Kill-O-Zap Ray Gun with sniper accessories. My lair would be in Washington D.C., because that's where all the fashionable SuperVillains live these days.

5. Is there an "existing" superhero with whom you identify/whom you would like to be?
From strictly a fashion standpoint, I really have to choose Batgirl, who is quite svelte and wears adorably slinky little catsuits and shiny capes. Also, her boots are smokin' hot, and she has enough room in her utility belt for mints and chapstick. Not only that, but her mask always makes her look slightly confused, which describes me most of the time. Just the other day I accidentally drove to Tarpon Springs while trying to reach an appointment on Bearss Avenue. Although I'm not as bad as my brother, I have also been known to completely space out on things like the day of the week, people's names, my telephone number, and whether or not I am, in fact, due at a meeting in five minutes.

To be honest, though, I really just want to be Darth Vader.

Tomorrow on Random_Speak: Finding Self-Fulfillment and Joy While Cleaning!
(Same bat-time, same bat-channel)

Sign Me Up!

Actually, I suppose one doesn't really need to be a SuperHero or a SuperVillain to achieve Psychic Dominance. All you need to do is send away for the special mail-order course!

Monday, June 27, 2005

And Good Times Were Had By All

Well, the party is over. I've checked all the closets, the cupboards and under the bed: the guests have all gone home.

All that's left is a rather seedy assortment of bottles (both empty and full), my rather seedy neighbor next door, and my rather seedy self. Empty beer cases litter the kitchen, which is overflowing with unwashed wine glasses, unwashed trays, unwashed bowls, and unwashed utensils.

I may have to move again.

Of course, that would mean another party, more bottles, more unwashed glasses, trays, bowls and utensils-- which is rather a bother. I suppose I shall have to stay put for now, but I could really use a good housewife, someone to wear poufy Donna Reed dresses, wipe my fevered brow, and clean house while I sleep.

The party was chock full of artistic and nerdy goodness. I had never thought to combine these two groups of friends together before, but my secret fears of an explosive matter/anti-matter reaction never materialized.

As it was a Sunday evening, the sensible people left between 10:00 and 11:00 pm. However, as we all know, I am not qualified to act as a sensible person.

Instead, I imbibed more than humanly necessary and went out with a couple of highly irresponsible persons to some place I forget in downtown, where I listened to wild gypsy music and danced a faux tango with a lanky bartender from Serbia. There may possibly have been a conga line involved; however, I am pleading my Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Bedtime was 4:30 a.m. after catching a ride with a highly suspicious Polish cabdriver.

And we all lived Happily Ever After, although some of us may have hangovers and mysterious bruises.

The End.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good Old-Fashioned Entertainment

Because I have been so responsible and well-behaved this week, I decided to take a break from organizing things in order to loiter irresponsibly with my neighbor downtown.

We had a few beers and things, ate pretzels and chocolate chip cookies at the Dali Museum jazz night, went out for a spot of sushi at Hook's, which had some lovely, buttery salmon and saki, then ambled aimlessly for an a.t.m. where no a.t.m. was to be found.

Later, we oozed on over to the State Theatre to hear a charming little band called The Dead Kennedys; perhaps you've heard of them? They may be slightly long in the tooth-- but are still good, wholesome entertainment despite their lack of Jello. In fact, the only refreshments to be found were an assortment of alcoholic beverages in the front room. So, I made do with a fizzy little beer.

The band was quite energetic and full of rollicking good fun, frequently making friendly gestures and comments to the crowd of local music-lovers who really seemed to enjoy dancing, diving off the stage, flinging beer, ripping off their shirts, and poking people in the eye with their pointy mohawks.

There was no lack of searing political commentary and charmingly artistic tattoos-- and the moshers were so adorable! Half of them couldn't have been more than 17, which made them only a couple of years younger than I, of course. It was really quite festively invigorating, and this morning I feel refreshed and ready to face the world after such good times were had by all.

To-day I shall plan tomorrow's little Artists & Nerds get-together for my new place.

I'm not quite sure what to do for refreshments, other than serve plenty of booze, but the music should be no problem. All I have to do is pick up one of these:

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Finally Moved In...

Well, this has been an utterly exhausting week, if I may say so.

Rather fortunately, I had thought to hire some excellent movers (Small Moves, Inc.) -- but rather unfortunately, none of them turned out to be cross dressers this time. I was quite perturbed.

Almost everything is tucked away, except for my dishes and Egg and Napkin. I also still have to clean the old apartment; perhaps I can fake a seizure to get out of the whole business.

Can you believe it took an entire week to regain online access other than at work where I cannot blog?

Other than that, not much else happened except for a party at my friend Debbie's house (where she served my fantabulous lasagna recipe) and a summer solstice party (where I ate the best curry lamb stew EVER and then was rained out when I tried to make s'mores).

Now that I'm moved in to such a cute place, I think I will throw a party.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Moving Day!

The movers will be taking my incredibly heavy furniture today.... I'm wondering if one of them will be a cross-dresser like the last time.

So, tonight I shall officially be a resident of St. Petersburg.

There will still be a ton of cleanup work at my old place, however. ugh.

I may be offline for a couple of days until it's all sorted out and my online service gets connected at the new place....

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Can't Pass Up A Book Meme -- They're So Sassy

From Theomorph:

How many books have you owned?
I'm not really sure that I want to answer this one... over 1,000 currently I think (I haven't counted lately). I am geeky enough to seriously consider getting an antique card catalogue... or perhaps designing a small database with a cute little user interface...

What was the last book you bought?
The last time I went shopping I think I bought the following:
1. a biography of Hannibal
2. a book of naughty old poetry called Forbidden Fruit
3. a book of Shirley Jackson stories
4. a new copy of Foucalt's Pendulum by Eco (to replace one that I've mislaid)
5. Last Love In Constantinople by Milorad Pavic (because Dictionary of the Khazars was kind of groovy)
6. a teensy cookbook with a lovely lamb recipe

What was the last book you read?
I am in the middle of several, a couple of which I've already read:
1. Comprehensive Chess Course (a friend lent it to me, and I keep putting it down then picking it up again)
2. Boswell's Life of Johnson, volume 2
3. Silas Marner
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. The Complete Henry Root Letters

What are five books that have meant a lot to you?
Only five? A few I've really liked...

1. Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)
2. Where The Sidewalk Ends (Silverstein)
3. Labyrinths (Borges)
4. Philisophical Investigations (Wittgenstein)
5. 84, Charing Cross Road (Hanff)

Jim Bliss (although I vaguely recall that you may have done this....?)
Mr. Anigans (because I dig your film choices)
Ms. Vile (because I know how much you love memes)
Laziest Girl (although you may have done it already and I missed it...?)
Carmi (because you have an interesting perspective on everything)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ask Me About A Fabulous Career In Bitching

Mood: slightly peevish
Forecast: perspiration and aggravation
Outlook: languishing

I have been neglecting my blog lately due to work projects and activities related to moving; it has been quite an aggravating week, which has sadly diminished my usual ladylike charm.

I am still packing books and art.

I have a mountain of laundry and cleaning to do.

I am working quite a bit.

I am cranky from not getting enough sleep.

I am craving fresh apricot cobbler, which I am unable to make because I cannot find apricots anywhere!

I have still not won the Florida Lottery, which has caused me to sink ever downwards into a spiraling vortex of despair.

However, I have managed to participate in a few interesting and sordid activities this week: imbibing toxic substances 'til the wee hours, Flirting and et cetera in quite an abandoned manner-- and listening to a very cool jazz jam session at the Blue Martini in St. Petersburg. The various musicians rotated in and out of play; most were very good and only a couple had musical disagreements. They will be moving this to Monday nights at the Ringside Cafe, so if you live in the area you should definitely check it out.

Back to packing....

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Survey and Market Research

As of late, there have been remarks that this blog does not contain enough sex and violence to retain market share among corporate America's target audience. As a result, our investors have expressed a great deal of concern.

However, we here at Random_Speak feel that you, our core customer, should remain the focus of our mission statement. Therefore, we have appointed a committee whose duties will be to: A.) examine ways to improve customer satisfaction, B.) hold meetings and C.) look very concerned about the whole thing.

Committee members are hand-picked subject matter experts and anxiously await your feedback.

Our goals:
1. To improve customer satisfaction
2. To retain our high-value customers
3. To increase brand awareness
4. To eat, drink and be merry
5. And much, much more!

The Random_Speak committee will do extensive research on the latest cultural trends, then triangulate that with blogging audience demographics. They will then compile a thoroughly-written and boring report that illustrates to shareholders how this blog can find success within its niche market, whatever that turns out to be.

Random_Speak will adapt to changes in the search engine market, as well as changes to our industry and marketing goals. When consumers search for "violent midget families on skates", "enormously bland sexual handkerchiefs for sociopaths", and "horribly violent forks that maim sexy drunken co-eds", we want to be Number One!

We will use verbatim customer comments to understand their general thoughts and market behaviours using specialized text analysis for linguistic extraction. Additionally, a market segmentation study will identify our target demographics, geography, lifestyles, and socioeconomic status. This will allow our marketing program to develop a clear, branded message, as well as to focus on the subset of consumers who are most likely to read this crap.

Brief Marketing Survey
1. Should we rename this blog, which has an incredibly lame name-- keeping in mind that people do Google this name?

2. If this blog is renamed, what would be a good name to reflect its content? Unfortunately, "The Hot Librarian" was already taken.

3. Due to the low percentage of sex and violent content should we: A.) Start posting more photos of animals without pants? B.) Earnestly list ways to violently maim aggressive drivers talking on cell phones? C.) Discuss sexually suggestive celebrities who smoke crack and get arrested? D.) All of the above?

4. Please inform us of your response to these core phrases:
A.) Chaos, panic and disorder
B.) Drunken spending sprees
C.) I like cheesecake
D.) Also, unsuitable men
E.) Cheap, meaningless and rather sordid activities
F.) Plotting revenge is fun
G.) Especially in odd situations

Thank You for your support.


From this weekend:


Some friends and I went to see The Delusionaires this weekend at the Emerald in St. Petersburg. They're an odd fez-wearing retro swing-ish sort of band, and I thought they were cool. There was a manic sort of sax player and a bit of screaming involved... good entertainment for a Saturday night.

However, I completely missed seeing Madame Butterfly this afternoon because the Palladium theatre sold out! Which, like, never happens! All the retirees arrived before I did... boo-hoo

The Garden in St. Petersburg-- yummy late night eats with a jazz band outside. I had some deliciously melting lamb with crisp asparagus and a light white wine that did not taste like vinegar this time. However, the advertised strawberries and "chantilly cream" were not available. I languished in despair for the remainder of the evening.

Cafe Tsunami in St. Petersburg-- They serve some very good Asian fusion fare, as well as sushi. My friends and I sampled several of their appetizers (including some yummy Filipino lumpia). Not bad at all...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

It's Hotter Than Hell In Sunny Florida-- Wish You Were Here!

It is now hot enough to fry eggs on sidewalks.

More depressing news: I am only halfway through packing all my books, which have been secretly eating chocolates in order to gain weight, giggling at me in their little papery voices and rustling their pages in a taunting manner. They've been so bothersome and uppity lately. Perhaps a little Obedience School is in order...

So, to get a little "me" time I thought I would procrastinate and go bake myelf in sunny Gulfport today. My friend Cynthia and I sweated through the various artsy shops there, almost passed out from heat exhaustion while eating grilled corn and pressed cuban sandwiches, then lightly perspired while rummaging through odd antiques. Even my terribly chic complexion (pasty geek-- it's all the rage!) may possibly contain a tinge of color.

We had a lovely time walking over to Gulfport beach, which was blindingly blue and white; it smelled gorgeous, a lovely mix of sun and salt, grass and suntan oil. Strolled a bit around the Gulfport Casino, which has occasional dances to 1940s and 50s swing...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Burn All The Books!

Oh, why did I ever learn to read?

I've packed box after box after box of books in preparation for my move: trashy history, vague philosophy, slutty memoirs, weird fact collections, cheesy science fiction, slobbery frothy poetry, edible fiction, non-stodgy nonfiction, antique anecdotes, artsy-fartsy and random oddities.

And I still have a couple of bookcases to go.

I suppose it's just another symptom of my gradually progressing neurological disorder.

And I suppose it doesn't help that I keep having to sit down and peek at pages. In fact, I've accidentally started re-reading The Prodigal Rake, which is really a wonderfully trashy autobiography written by William Hickey, an eighteenth century Englishman who led quite an interesting life: he embezzled money from the family business, fell into bad company, drank enormous quantities of alcohol, squandered money on fast living with loose women and eventually became a lawyer. It's really quite amusing, as he talks about his pimples and hangovers, eighteenth century condoms, disasters at sea, offensive scatalogical jokes and brawls.

In the introduction to his memoirs he notes "there are many low and indelicate anecdotes related, and many gross and filthy expressions used, by no means suited to meet the eye of any chaste person, and, of course, not at all adapted for critical disquisition." And what better recommendation can we have than that?

Oh, why can't I be a good person and watch television instead? I heard Beverly Hills 90120 and Survivor are good shows...

Welcome Back To Search Engine Theatre: How Do People Get Here?

female assassins that kill
embalming courses in limerick
cutest outfit ever blog
sid vicious did my dishes
oversized peoples heads
topless at thirty
"human furniture"
bowling alley microbes
cat in a baby carriage
national sea monkey day
fantasy fest drunks
goats dressed up as clowns
Laws doing with shooting alligators
he farted first
shake hands or hug on first date?
fat guy by the pool
Chinese wooden penis festival parade leonard nimoy
historical photos of hypertrichosis
are you psycho
pulmonary berries en cream
coughing fetish
Random Pointless Facts
pictures of poofy headed baby chickens
random monday apple
big bavarian boobs oktoberfest
parakeet poop on furniture flying in house
annette funicello bosom
"ovarian torsion" alien

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Odd Art: The Revenge

This velvet masterpiece of vivid pathos was painted by an anonymous (and possibly embarassed) artist. The striking imagery and social commentary are truly a sight to behold-- perhaps a subtle reference to the postmodern agony of urban life, or possibly a subconscious manifestation of the artist's inner demons.

No matter.

The important thing is that this amazing work is available for us all to study and admire.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Horror.... The HORROR!

Thank goodness I'm moving soon, because my psychotic neighbor is driving me crazy this week. I may have to kill him in a Terribly Painful manner. Any suggestions?

He has persistently asked me to
A.) go with him to a Donna Summer's concert,
B.) kick his cats, and
C.) go with him to someplace completely unintelligible

He has repeatedly attempted to give me
A.) random plant pots,
B.) strange newspaper clippings, and
C.) his cats

None of that would have been quite so unnerving, except for the fact that he is also a horribly unattractive alcoholic thirty years my senior-- who is addicted to Donna Summers.

He also went on a surreal rampage last night: banging doors, throwing things, talking to himself, and swearing awful things to the very cute biracial couple who live next door. I was ALREADY CRANKY over being ill and not having any nookie or berries, so I promptly marched over to the landlady and complained in a very reasonable manner.

Should I:
A.) purchase a ladylike tommy gun and "bust a cap" in this clearly deranged person?
B.) egg his car?
C.) hire a mime troupe to harass him at work?

The days until June 18th are moving

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ready To Move...

As I hadn't died or expelled any internal organs this weekend, I decided that to-day would be a great day to ooze my way over to St. Petersburg to sign the lease for my adorable new apartment.

Coughing and wheezing in a stylishly consumptive manner, I signed away (with purple sparkly pen) oodles of my money for deposit, first month's rent and last month's rent. Oh well, it was just burning a hole in my pocket anyway.

Being the geek that I am, I thoroughly enjoyed measuring things at the new place, jotting numbers down, drawing cute little diagrams, and measuring again. Hopefully I can fit all my bookcases, or I will be stacking my collection of circus freak books on top of the refrigerator. I think I shall spend a bit of time tomorow doodling my new layout...

higher rent for a slightly smaller apartment
slightly longer drive to funky activities in Tampa

adorable 1920s bungalow with hardwood floors, vintage tile and molding
large, shady backyard with trees, koi pond, and a yummy pineapple plant (almost ripe!)
indoor washer/dryer
gorgeous neighborhood with brick streets and oak trees
short walk/drive to cute park and various places with good food
a next-door neighbor who isn't psycho like my soon-to-be-ex-door neighboor (yay!)
non-evacuation zone!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Interpretive Dance: The Scourge Of Our Times

Before I contracted this horribly annoying illness, I actually had a life; I dined out; I chatted with friends; I even went to see a local production of Machinal, which is loosely based on the 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder.

The play was fairly well done with groovy little modular sets, clangy sound effects, a vaguely feminist theme, adorable costumes, and only a certain amount of over-the-top melodramatic acting (we are naming no names).

However, the finale was unfortunately infiltrated by a baffling "interpretive dance" number, which made absolutely no sense in the general context of the play. Actually, interpretive dance never makes sense in any sort of general context. It's even rumored to be some sort of diabolical plot by the French.

The various actors contorted themselves and bent various body parts interpretively, picking up the star so that her crotch would be prominently displayed at all times. They swooned collectively to one side so that the left half of the audience could get a proper spread-eagled view. Then they swooned collectively to the other side so that the right half of the audience wouldn't miss this exciting body part. As an added precaution, the cast then sagged languorously towards the center so that The Crotch was carefully shown with a reverence not usually seen by those unfamiliar with the oeuvre of Jenna Jameson.

I fear that the entire experience extensively damaged my entire immune system-- just another example of the serious menace that interpretive dance poses to our society. This menace has not only wormed its way into otherwise respectable plays, but has also been seen on television, in movies and in schools across the nation. Not only was I, a modest young person, exposed to this traumatic experience, but frequently so are innocent children! Not only has interpretive dance been shown to damage the immune system, but it is also suspected to be a leading cause of violence and mental illness-- do we really want to expose children to this?

There is no excuse for forcing upright citizens to view such horrors of the liberal arts, especially when the interpretive dance isn't really interpreting anything beyond crotches, armpits, crotches and genitalia.

I feel quite sure that it's a precursor to a hideous Mime Invasion, but it may already be too late to stop.

Our culture indeed has slid far into the abyss.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Slightly Unwell

I'm feeling rather ill to-day & called in sick. Laryngitis & sore throat & a terrible headache. Going back to bed with some fashionable toe socks and a yummy book: Herodotus-- The Histories..... a better blog post tomorrow.

Favorite quote from this book so far: "In old days the Telmessians had pronounced that Sardis would never be taken if Meles, who was king at that time, carried round the walls the lion which his concubine had borne him." (The editor notes: "It is curious that H. narrates something so unusual without comment: why Meles' concubine should have borne him a lion is not explained.")

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

La La La.... Stormy Weather.... La La La

I think the monsoon season has begun again, although drizzle is better than sizzle, I always say. Friendly cockroaches are parading two by two into everyone's houses, my current hairstyle is "nuevo afro", people are glowering at the sky, and even my brain is damp. However, no one is frying eggs on sidewalks, at least this week.

As I languish decoratively at my computer desk, I'm admiring the soggy scenery and thinking ahead to-- you guessed it!-- Hurricane Season, which is every Floridian's favorite time of year.

In fact, I am already thinking ahead in quite a responsible manner, taking stock, looking pensive and making a plan:

My Hurricane Season Preparedness Guide

1. Move
(I briefly considered moving to South Dakota, but then I remembered their lack of charming tapas eateries. Instead, I am moving to a "non-evacuation" zone in St. Petersburg)

2. Buy tons of bottled water and cookies, in case of emergency
(You just can't be too careful these days)

3. Buy duct tape to cover windows
(This actually does no good whatsoever. However, it really is quite the fashionable thing to do)

4. Buy tons of canned goods to donate to worthy causes after Hurricane Season ends
(Unfortunately, I still have last year's canned peas staring grimly at me)

5. Fill bathtub with clean water
("They" always say to fill the bathtub with clean water in case of emergency. I suppose I shall just have to take a nice relaxing bubble bath)

6. Buy oodles of batteries
(I do this every year, but then I can't find them, or they're the wrong size or something)

7. Buy charming rain slickers
(In several colors, of course, to match a variety of little outfits. One must not sacrifice fashion for practicality)

8. Place all important documents in a watertight container
(As soon as I can find them, I will)

9. Learn to make even-numbered lists


P.S. Did you know that I am now #2 on Google when you search for fuzzy drumsticks?