Without a to-do list I'll spend hours surfing the Internet, watching funny YouTube videos and reading weird news stories, like the controversy about the guy who was kicked off a flight because he refused to pull up his baggy pants, but a guy on a different flight who wore no pants at all except for a pair of women's underwear was allowed on board. (Side note: That story made me wonder if he normally walks around with just women's underwear on. Like, does he go to work or the grocery store dressed like that? He looked pretty pleased with himself in the picture that was taken of him, so I'm thinking that he probably did it just to see if he could get away with it. Or maybe he really does go out in women's underwear on a regular basis.)
1. Go to the grocery store before 10 A.M. in order to avoid accidentally slamming my shopping cart into someone else's and to avoid standing in lines behind people who sigh really loudly and make passive-aggressive remarks about people who cut in front of them (though I must admit that sometimes I'll sigh and make remarks too, or, if I've already had coffee that morning, I'll say, "HEY! The back of the line is over THERE, MISTER! Yeah, I'm talking to YOU!")
What I did: I went to the grocery store before 10 A.M. I tried to avert my eyes and not look judgmental when I saw someone trying unsuccessfully to climb over the barricade to the liquor aisle (in Illinois it's illegal to sell alcohol before noon).
2. Figure out more ways to save/earn money, since I recently realized after getting paid from my retail job that my earnings from that job don't actually cover half my bills like I thought they would (I miscalculated my earnings, mainly because of the taxes); they barely cover a third of my expenses.
What I did: I picked up an extra shift at my retail job, and I worked extra hours at my website job too. I went online and searched through my grocery store's weekly ads to find coupons and managed to clip a few, though unfortunately I didn't have as much luck as the folks on Extreme Couponing do in finding coupons. (It's just as well, because I don't have room in my apartment for fifty extra pounds of meat or a dozen extra bottles of laundry detergent. I suppose I would if I took out my furniture, but I don't think that it would be very comfortable to sleep on several boxes of frozen dinners or a bunch of milk jugs.)
I thought of other possible ideas for saving money. Idea #1: Shave all my hair off so that I don't have to spend money on haircuts or hair products anymore. On the other hand, since it's summer I'd probably have to spend money on sunscreen so that my head doesn't get sunburned. I have a round face, so if I did get sunburned my head would end up looking like one of those talking M&Ms or a giant red gumball with eyes.
3. Go to the only place in Chicago where it is almost guaranteed that I won't get hit on by guys: Boystown, to attend either the Pride Parade or the Pride Festival.
What I didn't do: Go to the Pride Festival. When I first moved to Chicago, I went to as many festivals as I could like any other wide-eyed tourist who had not yet realized that most festivals sold the same overpriced food, drinks, and souvenirs. Also, the thing about hanging out at an outdoor festival for too long is that you're often left with no choice but to use one of the Port-a-Potties. And in my opinion, using one of those is like eating off of someone else's dirty dinner plate or blowing your nose with a used Kleenex. I did go to the Pride Festival last year, though, and I had a nice time; I also got a free rainbow bracelet and a free magnet with a picture of a male underwear model on it.
What I did: attend the Pride Parade. I saw Governor Quinn, along with several other politicians, waving at the people watching on the sidelines. I waved back. I saw drag queens dancing in colorful costumes. I saw a bunch of women on motorcycles riding around, including one woman riding a motorbike with an inflatable woman sitting behind her. I saw a guy wearing a coconut shell bra and a hula skirt playing the trombone. I saw a bunch of people yell out, "WOOOO!!" every time another float or a group of dancers/politicians/activists passed by. (And eventually, I started WOOO-ing too.)
I saw several good-looking guys in tight shorts dancing to songs by Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. Side note: I couldn't help secretly wishing that there was at least one event each year where good-looking, muscular, straight guys felt comfortable enough to walk around in tight shorts (though preferably not women's underwear. I'm not judging any guy who does wear it; it's just that I'd rather not walk behind any guy on the street wearing nothing but a pair of women's underwear, you know?) with their shirts off like a lot of the good-looking, muscular, gay guys do at the Pride Parade.
It was one of those rare days in Chicago where the weather was beautiful and mild. It was also one of those rare days where I didn't feel tired, stressed out, or easily irritated by anything and everything. Instead, I felt happy to be watching the parade, happy to be living in Chicago, a city that still thrills and surprises me even though I've lived here for years, happy to be outside, happy to be around other people who were cheering and waving for the beaded necklaces that the people in the parade were throwing to them. But most of all, I felt happy because I didn't have to work.
What about you? What do you think of to-do lists? If you have one, then what's on your list?
Side note: Michelle Davidson Argyle, who is a novelist and writes the blog The Innocent Flower (her blog on writing was one of the first blogs I started following when I first started blogging, because it's filled with interesting stories about her experiences as a writer and great advice on writing and self-publishing), is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of her novella Cinders. In honor of her celebration, she's hosting a giveaway where you can win an autographed copy of her book and an autographed bookmark. Stop by her blog to check it out!