Three lessons I could be done learning in 2011.

As 2011 ends and everyone is looking expectantly ahead, I am taking a look back to see what things I did or said or thought even though I knew better.

Despite a conscious effort to behave rationally and think critically as often as I can, I find there are some lessons I can’t seem to accept. These things, despite the empirical evidence of many field trials, I feel the need to revisit and revisit. As if somehow nothing other than the passage of days will change a lifelong truth for me.

To wit:

  • I do not like bleu cheese.  Conservatively estimating, I’d say I’ve tried bleu cheese two hundred times in my life.  Since the first taste, I have hated it. Almost instinctive reaction from my body of SWEET CUDDLY KRAKENS WHAT THE HELL IS THAT POISON GET IT OUTOUTOUT!!!!!   And yet, several times a year I will try it, because some of my foodiest pals love it.
  • Waxing is non-essential for me. Hirsute I am not.  Despite what Cosmo or porn or my real-life friends-who-are-good-friends-I-talk-about-this-stuff-with say are fantastic results with very little negative effect, waxing any hair on any part of me is overkill.  The five hairs that make up the eyebrow of my right eye do not need heavy-duty grooming. Ever. Still.
  • I love human error. Simply put, I have a soft spot and a funny bone for the things folks do that prove we’re human, especially when there’s no lasting trauma and it makes me laugh.  America’s Funniest Home Videos, damnyouautocorrect, The Jersey Shore and more. I try and stay away, to turn my eye to some more “worthwhile” endeavor.  But I love it when people fall down on the dance floor and I need not be ashamed.

So, as I anxiously await all the gloriousness that is the next trip around the sun, I think I’ll resolve to stop learning these lessons I already know, and just accept them for who I am. These, and my runner-up life lesson:  I always laugh at the Bad Astronomer’s puns, and that’s okay.

Cheers for the new year!


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. When I was a D&D-playing teenager, we would always go over to my buddy Scott Christian’s house. His mom would always come upstairs to bring us snacks, and those snacks always-always-always included pickled bologna.

    Than and now, I f-ing love bologna. Yes, I know how learned you all are when you tell me “but if you know how it was made, you wouldn’t eat it.” I don’t care if it’s made with the radioactive assholes of a thousand endangered yaks, I will still mow it down.

    The pickled bologna looked amazing, but when I ate it, my mouth invariably took control and spit it out. Here’s the thing: like your continuing bleu cheese experiment, every single time she brought those snacks up, I would stare at the delicious-looking pickled bologna and think “but it looks so good, maybe it will be good this time.” It never was. I have spit out more bologna than (insert your favorite porn-star name here) shooting an episode of (insert your favorite 80s sit-com here).

    Makes no sense why we keep trying something we obviously don’t like.

  2. I love bleu cheese, but I know what you mean because I’m exactly the same with raisins and scotch. Everyone is always extolling the virtues and every once in a while I say, “well maybe I was wrong. Maybe I got a bad one last time. I’ll try again.” And it always ends with me making cat gagging sounds and trying in vain to wash the taste off of my insulted tongue. So if you’re a raisin or scotch lover, you can always invite me along because then there will be more for you.


  3. I have had the very same experience with bleu cheese. I think I’ve gotten through this year only trying it once, maybe twice, though, so I’ve gotten better.

    Human error’s good for a laugh. I love autocorrect mishaps a lot. But I comment to say that Kurt Vonnegut once wrote about how people falling down was one of his favorite topics with his sister. It was just a thing they shared, and he’s so delightfully sentimental when he writes about it that people falling down sounds like the purest of joys.

  4. I love bleu cheese, but I can empathize because I feel the same way about mushrooms. Blegh. Time to stop trying them.

  5. I’ve found that my tastes can change over time, and that I can like something I’ve previously hated, or hate something that I’ve previously enjoyed. For this reason, I will occasionally try things I’ve disliked in the past, and if I still dislike them, I’ll give them a couple of years before I try them again.

    I’ve also on occasion made an effort to develop a taste for something I’ve disliked. I’ve hated green and bell peppers since I was a kid, but I do recognize that they’re packed full of nutrients. So I made myself eat them instead of picking them out of things, and I’m now at the point where I don’t find the flavor offensive. I’m probably not going out of my way to make stuffed peppers any time soon, but I’m not going to shove them to the side of my plate if they’re served in a dish any more.

    Except Brussels sprouts. Those things have no reason for existing.

  6. Maybe I’m not as stubborn or something. If I don’t like something, I don’t keep re-trying it. Carrots for instance. Devil food. And no amount of persuading me will make me like ’em.

    1. Witchsmeller: But, ladies and gentlemen, we all know that carrots are the Devil’s favourite food!

      – Black Adder I, Episode 5: “The Witchsmeller Pursuivant”

  7. Lessons I SHOULD be done learning, and yet I go back for more; that would be me and the dirt bike. I am WILLING myself to be a good rider. I have crashed and knocked myself down more times than I can count. And yet I get back on. In my quest to become a better rider I have taken a motorcycle class. This was a huge help! Now I just mostly fall in the dirt. My husband, to his credit, has been a huge supporter of my investment in protective gear! It is ridiculous, I look like a blue power ranger…

  8. I don’t particularly love chocolate either. It took years to like it and now I go through phases. I only like bleu cheese in particular situations. But too much starts to taste suspiciously like vomit and dirty goats.

  9. I love you A and I love the funny face you make when you taste blue cheese. So I am sorry, but for now I may still have to force it on to your plate in various combinations.

    The chocolate, however I will resolve to take off your hands.

    I’m doing this friend thing right aren’t I?

    Happy new year darling!


  10. A Master Chef friend of mine said among chefs you get ONE thing you don’t like. Still, I’m not sure moldy cheese is allowed on the list. And mushrooms? Not an option. Carrots? Really? Effing carrots? Well, I commend anyone who keeps trying.

  11. I have tried olives over and over and over and yet an olive by itself will still make me gag.

    However, I have forced myself (through repeated inclusion of olives in many, many, many sweet vodka martinis) to actually like them when they are mixed with other ingredients whether a Greek salad, a tapenade, or a fully loaded pizza.

    Still not my favorite but perseverance, and loads of vodka, win the day.

    1. Olives are one of those things that I keep trying, and trying, and trying, and I just can’t seem to like. Last attempt was in New Orleans, when I tried to get down a muffuletta studded with chunks of olives. The sandwich looked so good! But those olives just ruined it for my mouth.

      Most Extreme Elimination Challenge used to be one of my favorite happytime shows–“contestants” were basically falling and crashing into walls the whole time. I’d laugh so hard I’d literally fall out of my chair!

  12. Onions. Can’t abide them. The Clantons and Earps were the best of buds compared to me and onions.

    And mayonnaise. Blecch! Why do some restaurants put that foul crap on burgers but not mention it with the other ingredients on the menu?

    Carrots, mushrooms, chocolate – yum. Blue cheese – I’m with ya on that.

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