April 21, 2008 - Leave a Response

Does anyone else feel like there is not enough time on the planet to pursue all of the things we are supposed to be doing as the young, educated, moderately hip professionals that we are?

In addition to pursuing a graduate degree (what else does a 20-something do during a recession?), I am also learning to cook. But not just COOK, of course, but cook gourmet. It’s not enough anymore to crack open “The Joy of Cooking” and make some braised beef. I feel intense pressure to be talented in organic fusion gastronomy, to whip up a tasty, macrobiotic meal in under 30 minutes, all while World Beat music plays in the background. I should also be interested in wine.

And of course, there is my health. I should be taking yoga…wait, not  yoga, pilates. Wait, not pilates, spinning. No, Tai-Chi. No, no, salsa dancing. But don’t forget weight-lifting! And if you’re 25 and haven’t run a sprint triathalon yet, well you’re pathetic. And hiking!! I should be going on hikes every weekend, in my crisp new outdoor performance gear, carrying my shiny Nalgene on my hip. Did I mention hip-hop dance class? I should be going to those, too.

And culturally, there are about 4,000 books I should be reading…but sweet God, don’t forget to stay on top of current events! I should know my Sunni from my Shiites from my Shia. Kurdistan from Kerplackastan. The latest price of oil. The lastest Obama campaign gaff. And what’s going on with China,  lately? Tibet something? This is hard stuff, people. I can barely remember the name of our Speaker of the House (Pelosi?!) although kudos to me for knowing that she’s female (right?).

And recycling. I am trying to recycle! I swear to God! I’m shortening the length of my shower, I PROMISE. Just LAY OFF ME. Ok, maybe I sometimes still let the water run while I’m brushing my teeth because I find the sound strangely soothing but trust me, the guilt…oh, the GUILT I feel about it afterward is terrible. I am buying more “green” products, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes pass over the 2 oz bottle of Method handsoap for the 3lb tub of Walmart brand hand cleaner. It’s difficult to be a cheapskate in these ecologically conscious times!! So cut me a break.

And what about the drums my husband bought me for my birthday? Shouldn’t I have mastered them by now? Shouldn’t I be taking lessons from the guy that sweeps up at the Music Mart, even though they’re $30 a pop and we’re saving for a house? And the guitar; how can any self-respecting Ingrid Michaelson fan NOT be learning the guitar?! I’m sure I can squeeze in five minutes of playing sometime in between brushing my teeth and reading the book I have sworn to finish by the end of the week.

Flossing! I don’t floss enough. And I don’t ever remember to whiten my teeth, shit!! I just don’t like leaving those trays in my mouth for 45 minutes. And shut up about the strips, OK? They always dissolve onto my tongue and taste like crap. I used to feel like quite the health-conscious individual when I bought my Sonicare toothbrush, but that’s not enough anymore. Now I need mouthwash and special toothpaste to keep my teeth from turning opaque. I can’t afford all this shit! I am still trying to find the right powder bronzer, you think that trial-and-error process is CHEAP?

My mom sent me a link to the World Health Organization website…they have this massive Climate Change and Health Directive (it’s the theme for this year’s World Health Day). It’s just pages and pages of information on the effects of global warming and health, all the kinds of pertinent, up-to-date data that I feel I really, really should know. But as I was skimming the Introduction paragraph, I was seized with panic and then depression. It wouldn’t matter. I wasn’t going to retain anything from this article. All it will do is make want to know more, and then it will be one more thing to add to the list, the horrible, sprawling list of Things I Think Intelligent, Self-Respecting Adults Should Know And Do.

So I skip to the conclusion, find a quote on global consciousness I like and put it on my Facebook page. Phew. At least I’ve done something constructive today.


April 10, 2008 - 2 Responses

i am officially having a quarter-life crisis. How cliche. It’s one of those big, boringly-typical types where I am having a conflict of identity and a feeling that I need to make a giant, scary, veering turn to the right, far away from the path I’ve been walking down so far. cue that stupid song from “One Tree Hill”.

Why is it that we require so much validation and approval in order to make those big life decisions? Ok, I guess maybe everyone isn’t like that. There are some people, blissfully unfetered by social constraint, by obligation, by the idea that they need talent or money or intelligence to do whatever it is they want to do.  These are usually the people that spend months “backpacking in Europe” which I think is code for “smoking hashish and sleeping with dirty hostel tenants in Europe”. They’re the people that go to college for musical theater, after spending four years doing “props”.  They’re the ones that are always starting those shady internet-based supplement businesses or becoming stand up comedians.

They don’t care! Whatever it is in life they want, they do it. And I used to scoff at these people, laugh at their foolhardiness. Surely they’d end up miserable in the gutter with their MFA in Contemporary Lesbian Film. There’s no money to be made there! Of course, it’s much better to be like me, I’d think, with a sensible degree in cubicle anthropology and a minor in stapling. I’ll be the one with the solid paycheck and the 401K! I’ll be the one whose parents write about proudly in the Christmas letter (three paragraphs down, after a lengthy narrative about putting in the  new sewage tank).

But now, just a few years later, I am having my doubts.

I am at a point in my life where I have done every sensible thing that can possibly done, when I’ve listened to every conservative nail-biting voice in my head that has said, “That’s not practical! How will you make money? Buy the sensible shoes! Eat more fiber!”.  I’ve jumped through every hoop, I’ve initialed and signed, I’ve flossed. My God, I’ve flossed.

And after all that, all I can say is, “This is it ??? THIS is what I get for all my prudence and cautious judgement???”  There is not reward, no gold medal, no warm and fuzzy feeling. I just feel…unfulfilled. Like I haven’t lived up to my end of the bargain with God. I get the feeling he is looking down on me and going, “WTF, mate? That’s not what I wanted you to do!”

I feel this immediate need to stop what I’m doing write now and finally listen to what I want for the first time…ever. To stop brushing off my talents and passions as “hobbies”. To actually suck it up and just DO what I want to DO with my life.

But I can’t! I am utterly paralyzed by this need to have someone else essentially give me permission. I need someone to say, “Tai, you are a great (fill in the blank). You should pursue it! It’s the right thing to do.” Because apparently, I am incapable of making an autonomous decision. I am a puppet. I am at the mercy of your discretion. I am a coward. I am lame.

So that’s where I am right now. I am thisclose to just fucking DOING it already; I’m so almost possibly ready to stop whining and blogging and fretting and just go and do what I want to do with my life and my career. But I’m not quite there. Maybe the first step is to stop flossing?


for the lazy

March 29, 2008 - One Response

Earth Hour.

For those too lazy to be bothered with an entire Earth day.

57 things you didn’t want to know about me

March 10, 2008 - 2 Responses

1. What time did you get up this morning?   9:45AM, but that’s just because daylight savings made my body think it was 8:45AM. So it wasn’t technically sleeping in.

2. Diamonds or pearls?   diamond-encrusted pearls  

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?   JUNO (FOR THE SECOND TIME WOO)

4. What is your favorite TV show?  My favorite “new” show is What Not To Wear on TLC. I want Clinton Kelly to be my gay dad. My old standby: The Simpsons, duh

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?  oatmeal, hard-boiled egg, coffee, the still-beating heart of a young goat
6. What is your middle name?  Victoriaaaaaaaaaaa

7. What food do you dislike? ground beef, hot dogs, chicken wings

8. What is your favorite CD at this moment?  The Kooks or The Hush Sound – Like Vines
9. What kind of car do you drive?  Cars are so polluting. That’s why I use a rickshaw pulled by a horde of immigrant children.
10. Favorite sandwich?  First of all, its “sammitch”. Secondly, it will forever be turkey, provolone and yellow mustard on wheat. but I’m willing to admit a well-made falafel sandwich is close second
11. What characteristic do you despise? self-absorbed-ness-ity. And I really hate people that ingest too much silver and turn blue. Tacky.

12. Favorite item of clothing?  my gray hoodie from elementary school that has been washed so many times that its suuuuper soft and has a giant gaping hole in the left armpit
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?  At this point, probably New Zealand, just so I could see where they filmed BLACK SHEEP  Apparently New Zealand’s slogan is: “There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand. AND THEY’RE PISSED OFF.”

14. Favorite brand of clothing?  Free People and Lux, and whatever that awesomely cheap brand is at Target. I’m such a whore for cheap, mass-produced hipster-knockoff crap.
15. Where would you retire to? A lichen-covered cave

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? They’ve all been memorable, but my 23rd birthday involved a PINATA filled with CANDY and LITTLE PARACHUTING ARMY MEN. I woke up the next morning with Jolly Ranchers melted to my skin. So. awesome.

17. Favorite sport to watch?  STEELERS football and KY-Jelly wrestling.
18. Furthest place you are sending this? Space

19. Person you expect to send it back first? No one. I’m so alone.

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night. It’s the blood-sucker in me. Also, have you noticed how loud birds are in the morning? What is their deal ?

23. What is your shoe size?  7…although I have wide, snorkeling-flipper shaped feet, so sometimes I have to bump it up to an 8

24. Pets? One dog, the esteemed Senõr Hervé T. Pugsworth herve.jpg
25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with us? I am getting Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery at the end of April. YAAAAY!

26. What did you want to be when you were little?  A writer, with some great white shark research on the side. I melded the two when I was eight, when I wrote and illustrated a very bloody and moving story about a boy who has his leg bitten off by a great white shark. The New Yorker called it, “Barely legible. Work on penmanship.”
27. How are you today? My teeth hurt. But thanks for asking, jackass.

28. What is your favorite candy?  Twizzlers and gummi octopi

29. What is your favorite flower?   Daisies, opium-flowers, any flower that doesn’t die when I touch it
30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? July 18, 2008. Not only will it be my birthday, but I’ll be back in PA, at Penn State! (If you are in the area, you can find me face down under a barstool at The Phyrst)
32. What is your full name?  The Black Tyrant Tai Victoria “Stumpy” Wischerth-McDonough

33. What are you listening to right now?  The sound of birds twiterpating outside and a bulldozer.

34. What was the last thing you ate?   my heart out
35. Do you wish on stars?  no, but I do beat little kids up

36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?  You know that flesh-colored crayon in the box that was always covered with gross specks of other crayons so that when you tried to draw with it the color was kind of fleshy-gray-brown and ruined your picture?

37. How is the weather right now?  beautiful. I live in San Diego. MWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAH.

38. Last person you spoke to on the phone?  Technically, a fax machine that kept calling our house phone. But honestly, I didn’t really mind. It was nice to have something that wanted to listen to all the details about my functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Hey, did I  mention I’m getting functional endoscopic sinus surgery? I did? Oh.

39. Favorite soft drink?  Diet Coke Plus. Because adding a lot vitamins makes up for the fact that its probably giving me cancer.

40. Favorite restaurant?  The Pomegranate Grill … best Georgian/Hungarian/Russian food ever. Plus the service really makes you feel like your back in Communist Russia. 
41. Hair color? Margarine-colored.

42. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Kid Sister Doll…until I saw Chucky at a sleepover. Then I was forced to remove her head and stuff under my bed, several feet away from her body to ensure she wouldn’t rise up in the night and kill me.
43. Summer or winter? By the look of my jaundiced, pasty skin you’d think winter. But trust me, I love nothing more than to slather myself in SPF 7000 and watch summer from behind my window.
 Summer Tai
44. Hugs or kisses?  are we talking chocolate candy or public display of affection? either way, I like mine with almonds. Hi-oh!
45. Chocolate or Vanilla?  dark, dark chocolate. and also: red, red wine. stay close to meeee.  don’t let me beee alone…
46. Coffee or tea? Coffee.

47. Do you want your friends to email you back? fra….ends? what are those?
49. What is under your bed? linens, bloodthirsty dust bunnies, my unfinished memoirs, the head of Walter Matthau
50. What did you do last night? ate warm brownies and talked wedding stuff with my friend Helen.
51. What are you afraid of?  I have this irrational fear that my furniture is going to rise up against me in revolt and I’ll regret all the times I didn’t put covers on the couch’s arms.

52. Salty or sweet?  Well, thanks to my sinuses everything kind of tastes like wet styrofoam. But its ok, see # 25
53. How many keys on your keyring? only one. The key to your heart
54. How many years at your current job?  2 months. In a related story, I’m also 2 months rage-filled psychotic episode-free!
55. Favorite day of the week?  Saturday
56. How many towns have you lived in? Somewhere around 8 or 9. And it’ll be 10 in July!
57. Do you make friends easily? again with this “friend” word. I don’t make friends easily, but I attract enemies like fat kids on a box of donut holes.

the best laid plans

March 9, 2008 - One Response

In my life, I’ve done some stupid things. Some short-sighted, fool-hardy, immature, fire-hazard, likely-to-be-sued-for-this things.  But far more than doing things, I have planned to do things. I planned to learn how to knit. I thought about running a triathalon. I considered cooking dinner every night. I toyed with the idea of conning a group of raggamuffin children into hand-stitching ‘authentic’ Mexican leather wallets that I could sell out of my trunk at the OB farmer’s market. But, alas, all my thinking and planning and idea-ating never came to anything.

Benjamin Mays said, “Failure is not reaching your goal, but in having no goal to reach.”  But clearly, he is an ignorant slut. It is way, way worse to have a goal that you loudly announce to your friends, something like, “MARK MY WORDS, I WILL SCALE MOUNT VESUVIUS IN A FORTNIGHT, AND WITH ONLY THE AID OF MY SPIRIT GUIDE, MOGISH.”  And it’s way, way worse to make a big show of preparing for your goal; like walking around your house in full mountain gear, your climbing spikes leaving scratches on the hardwood floor.  “Yup, I’m totally ready for this climb,”  you crow to your friends.  “I’ve even been eating Clif bars, ’cause that’s what climbers eat.”

And it’s way, way worse to have preened and squawked about your climbing goal for weeks and weeks and then on the day of the climb, decide that it’s MUCH more important to watch a re-run of Top Chef and drink a beer. Then you have to pretend like you never planned to climb in the first place. Your roommate keeps asking where he should put the oxygen tank you ordered, or the seven National Geographic Adventurer magazines you’ve allowed to stack up on the coffee table.  And you have to act all nonchalant, like “What? Those aren’t mine. I’m into playing the drums now. I am totally going to become a drummer. ”

Anyway, my point is that I’m kind of sick of being that lame person that always has a goal but never does anything about it. So when my crazy friend Jon told me about this thing called a “Mud Run“, I told him to sign me up. You see, I had been considering the idea of possibly getting into shape for some time now.  The problem is, I was stuck in what Prochaska calls the “pre-contemplative stage”, as in, I was sitting on my couch eating a bean and rice burrito and contemplating the idea of contemplating getting in shape.

I knew the only way I could break this cycle was to just go ahead and actually sign up for something that, for better or worse, would force me into action. I figured having the Mud Run looming over my head like the Sword of Damocles would more or less force me into action.  I mean, the prospect of having to run SIX MILES through a MARINE BASE OBSTACLE COURSE would make most people get off the couch, right?

 Ah, but then you don’t know me very well. I signed up for the race on January 12th. It is now…March 8th. So far, my mileage is around 2.5 miles.  Mother. of. God. 

I have three months to get into shape. Like the kind of shape that allows one to walk around in public wearing bike shorts. I’m considering this my wake-up call.  I’ll keep you posted.


March 3, 2008 - Leave a Response

How is it, that the homeless do not have any housing, little clothing, piddly amounts of food…but a seemingly endless supply of cardboard and sharpie markers?

Yellow Mustard Girl

February 28, 2008 - Leave a Response

is back.

Follow me as I document my attempt to become a writer, an environmentalist, a musician, a cook, a first-time home buyer, amateur photographer, free-lance wedding consultant and much more!!!


Well, you shouldn’t be. Snap out of it. God.