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Boring Situations Spawn Paint Colors, Stories, Bingo Games.
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
I work three part time jobs and go to school. I’m fortunate that it seems like my jobs are going pretty well. School is going better too. However, while people complain sometimes their jobs are boring, for me, it’s those times where my mind wanders into a place I call “The Revengeful Cynic/How Can I Make This Interesting Zone.”
For example, I work with paint. There’s one collection that features paint names that focus on things you find in big cities. “Bus Stop,” “Embarcadero,” “The Loop,” “The Ballet,” “Coffee Date,” “Street Market.” The colors are interesting and vivid, but I don’t associate “Bus Stop” with being yellow.
The cynic pessimist in me would love to come up with a collection called “Urban Despair.” A while back, as a joke, I took a color chip and cut it into the shape of a sleeveless men’s undershirt and called it “wife beater.” I think our paint rep got a kick out of it. I’m surprised I didn’t get in trouble for that one. Anyway, my Urban Despair colors would focus on the dark side of city life. A few colors I’ve come up with are Urine Puddle (a sort of translucent yellow color, if you can dig it) Wino (a deep red color, obviously) Dirty Bare Feet (this might have to be a faux finish, given the filth that can be embedded in skin creases can have an interesting look) Homeless (cardboard box brown) and Rent Control (the color of an eviction notice, whatever they look like.) One of my friends on Facebook said I could come up with a sort of “scents in the city” paint additive. His contribution was Urine-soaked alley in summer. I came up with “subway station.” Look for these items in your local home improvement store soon.
Customers can also provide the fodder for fictional characters for short stories. Many a time, I’ve come up with backgrounds for the people I help. I’ve got an idea for a particularly notorious customer who has quite a rep at the store where I work. I call her the “Sand Colored Paint Lady.” This is actually a more complimentary name than others I’ve heard. Anyway, my story is that after a half hour spent trying to please her (and giving her a discount because she’s complained to the manager on duty) her car breaks down and she demands a ride from me. I refuse to take her home, driving her around the city for hours until I drop her off in the middle of nowhere, as punishment for driving the entire store crazy.
Last semester was a frustrating one as I adjusted to grad school. I did well, getting A’s in both classes, but there were times when I wondered if I was losing my sanity. According to one of my classes, poor grammar is totally acceptable, I guess, and in addition, teaching composition seems like a hopeless endeavor, and even though I believe reading can really help people become better writers, apparently the only person who shares my opinion is Stephen King. Ah, what does he know? Anyway, for kicks (mine) I made “Presentation Buzzword Bingo” cards. I thought of possible words that would be said during the semester-end presentations and decided to throw in some words my instructor might say. I figured the cards would help me pay attention, since it seemed the majority of the presentations focused on student engagement. Hearing the same thing over and over again would probably make my mind wander, and I must say the cards helped. It was fun to see how many times the word “pedagogy”, “engagement”, “student” “teacher” and “curriculum” would show up. I also threw in the “f-word” and yes, I ended up getting Bingo several times. In case you’re wondering, no, the students didn’t use the f-word in their presentations. I’ll let you figure out in what context that word came up.
I will say that playing Presentation Buzzword Bingo helped me engage with the presentation, and I paid more attention to the students who were explaining how curriculum played a part in education and helped pupils learn. Boredom averted. BINGO! Maybe I can create the cards and sell them in order to help pay for school. I’m willing to bet, however, that I won’t make nearly enough on the cards to make a dent in