1. Most cats are smarter than most Americans because most cats like Vegemite.

2. Mothers are always right. Getting orthopedic surgery on a body part on the same day as your partner will make for a really funny (and drugged out) 48 hours. Then the drugs will wear off, whereupon you will discover the futility and pain of trying to have sex with each other and wish you’d listened to both your mothers when they told you that you were completely crazy for scheduling surgery on the same day.

3. Drinking Smooth Move™ tea when you don’t really need to is not a good idea. Drinking two cups is a disaster of leviathan proportions.

4. After witnessing someone throw something wasteful on the ground, particularly a cigarette, it is really fun to chase them down the street and politely say “Excuse me? Excuse me? You dropped something back there.” The offending litterbugs are invariably worried about their iPhone/keys/wallet for about 5 panic-fueled seconds, then really irate/apologetic/apoplectic/embarrassed/amused/abusive. It’s just as much fun to try and guess their reaction beforehand.

5. When handing out your resume at job interviews it helps to have the right phone number included. It’s best to check as soon as you write the resume, and not after an entire year.

6. Sometimes the most counter-intuitive things are the best for us.

7. Crutches suck. There is a reason humans have two legs instead of four.

8. I don’t know what I believe in anymore. Am I an atheist? An agnostic? A Buddhist? A tree-hugging, dice-rolling, naturist?

9. Buying chocolate eclairs earlier in the day in preparation for visitors who will arrive much later is not a wise move. There will be no eclairs. None. And you will want to throw up on your guests. Try not to.

10. Not being able to see Sarah Silverman’s inspired TED talk in which she tries to destabilize the PC world by mentioning the word “retard” over and over again is going to piss me off for quite a while. The fact that TED are not putting it online makes me want to revoke my membership but has resulted in a few good emails to their ‘technical issues’ email address inquiring about “the Sarah problem”.

That’s all. What about you? Anything good?

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ZOE BROCK was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia. She has lived in more cities and on more continents than she can count (truly, she's a model and can't count) and is currently residing in the deep fog of San Francisco. Her true home lies on the dusty plains of Burning Man where she feels safe and challenged and truly alive. Zoë once had a very popular blog on MySpace and writes everything from awful poetry to truly delicious dark satire, and all sorts of sexy things in between. She has appeared on the cover of Elle magazine, inside the pages of Vogue, Cosmo and Marie Claire, to name a few, and is working on her memoir, an expose of 'growing up model'. Zoë is also a certified yoga teacher. Yes, that means she's bendy.

101 responses to “Things I Have Learned This Month”

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    1. Using logic in arguments only serves to piss people off further (thank you, Overheard in the Newsroom, for bringing this to my attention)

    2. No, sometimes, it really is someone else’s fault.

    3. Then again, to others, you’re someone else.

    4. Your curiosity brought on by someone else’s (those assholes again) mention of Smooth Move™ tea is probably not a friend.

    5. The phrase ‘What would Batman do?’ is a valid and healthy lifestyle choice.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. Yes. My friend Brian is frustrated every time he has to have a political discussion with me. I, on the other hand, have very little belief in logic because I am not a Vulcan.

      2. I agree.

      3. No I am not.

      4. Curiosity killed the cat (that likes Vegemite).

      5. I prefer Robin.

  2. Sarah says:

    1. I apparently have the most kick-ass immune system in the world.

    2. Some people get pissed off if you drive by them every morning, yell out the window, “I’ll call you later,” and never call them. Oversensitive pussies.

    3. In some homes, you can run the dishwasher, washing machine, and turn on the bathroom light without tripping a circuit.

    4. The most driven, emotionally stable, and mentally tough person I’ve ever known is an actual human who can break down and lose her shit at least once in her life. I wish I could hug her right now.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. If that ever fails you… garlic cloves up the bottom is said to help cure a cold.

      2. Those people need to be disappointed by other people more so that they can lower their expectations. Good work!

      3. Not my house.

      4. mental hugs are quite effective too.

  3. Richard Cox says:

    1. You are a tree-hugging, dice-rolling, naturist atheist.

    2. I will not acknowledge your FB assertion that Brian is a better friend than me.

    3. Cats are awesome but they are not smarter than all Americans.

    4. No one likes it when you use Vulcan logic.

    5. Lilliputians unite!!!1!!!HiSS!!!!~111

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. phew.

      2. Don’t. CONSTANT was the word I used. He’s there. Like a bad smell. A really good bad smell.

      3. Just most.

      4. Or use the Vulcan death grip.

      5. Reminds me of a Randy Newman song….

      6. I love you.

  4. Zara Potts says:

    1. Sometimes people are assholes just because they can be.

    2. It is better to give than receive.

    3. Smoking is good for weight loss and stress.

    4. Dogs are a lot nicer than a lot of people.

    5. The South Island of NZ is truly beautiful.

    6. You are awesome.

    7. Marmite beats vegemite any day!

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. It’s human nature to be a prick when you feel entitled to be. I call it the ‘crossing the street theory’. have you ever noticed that when you’re driving a car and someone is crossing the street you can be all “hurry up, dickhead”. Then ten minutes later, when you’re walking across the street and someone in a car is turning, you’re all “Hurry up, dickhead”? we’re all the center of our own universes on occasion.

      2. But I love receiving!

      3. It’s fucking disgusting and smokers smell revolting and die younger. It’s actually not good for stress because it increases your heart rate. So there.

      4. But a lot of people are just as needy as most dogs.

      5. Yes!

      6. So are you!!!

      7. Pfft. My cat doesn’t think so!

  5. Tawni says:

    1. Peroni beer is quite delicious.

    2. I really need to adopt two cats. I am sick of living life without kitties.

    3. I am now craving chocolate eclairs.

    4. I am not craving Vegemite.

    5. See? I need some cats.

    6. I have been watching golf and think Camilo Villegas looks like a wiry, delicate little fairy, with his pointy ears and chin. I want him to sprout gossamer wings and sit on a giant mushroom for me.

    7. I love reading your writing.


  6. George London says:

    1. I spent Friday and Saturday with a lovely dalmatian who in contrast to when I’m usually visiting, pretty much ignored me and I miss having cats.

    2. Mother is upstairs asleep and on most days luckily doesn’t say much because that much being right can piss a person off.

    3. I know nothing about Smooth Move™ tea but suspect it keeps you regular.

    4. I’m with Zara and would add it also make you look cool to non-models.

    5. Handing out narcotics at job interviews has a similar success rate.

    6. Duh. That’s obvious.

    7. I’m ignoring this one because you just wanted to say “crutch” and “suck” in the same sentence. I see through you.

    8. Belief is counter-intuitive.

    9. I have a craving.

    20. I used to know a bloke called Ted but he doesn’t talk about Sarah any more after that… you know… anyway, we don’t talk about that.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. Cats miss being had by you too. Dalmations are spotty.

      2. Time to move back out?

      3. Quickly.

      4. wub

      5. but fun results?

      6. not necessarily. Take my knee for example. For two weeks post-op I was very protective of it. I limped around and barely used it and only found out when I finally got my PT appointment that I should have been walking normally the entire time. The next day I was pain free! weird.

      7. heh.

      8. ATHEIST!

      9. suckerrrrr

      10. Yeah what a tool.

  7. Anon says:

    Things I learned this month:

    1. You can get away with a surprising amount of nonsense – including briefly dozing off – in meetings if you are both charming and competent.

    2. I am very charming and amazingly good at faking competence.

    3. I am a complete asshole when I’m tired or sick.

    4. I am very tired. And, as of 4:30 this afternoon, I appear to have come down with laryngitis.

    5. I have a surprising amount of compassion.

    6. Adoring your family does not preclude you from – just once in awhile, mind you – fantasizing about freezing them, Han Solo-style for, like, just a few weeks. Maybe a month. Or three.

    7. I miss self-delusion. Among other things/people.

    Specific to some of your points:

    1. Cats also like toying with things they plan to kill. Perhaps they actually hate Vegemite (which I’ve never had so I won’t judge) and are just fucking with you and it.

    2. My mother is the exception, if that is a rule. And I don’t believe this is the place to go into details but I came up with a rather guy-centric solution to a minor post-vasectomy complication. Pain is temporary. Sex is… well… it’s temporary too but, like, less temporary if you’re really horny.

    3. Oh. My. This gives me a terrible idea for my next meeting. Let’s test that charming theory of mine.

    4. Heh. The last time I was at Pearl Harbor, I saw a lovely young French couple strolling towards the memorial. She proceeded to blow her nose and drop the tissue idly on the ground. I actually picked it up – cautiously – and insisted on giving it back to her. It was fun playing the “ignorant American/language barrier” game until she found it easier to take back the snot rag than continue dealing with me.

    6. See 2.

  8. Anon says:

    Ha! Oui, c’est moi. When I’m not busy commenting obsessively on this board, chasing away my children’s nightmares, chasing after my children, drinking heavily or performing high-risk extractions of wounded kitties, I while away the hours picking up the boogers of foreign nationals. I’m a regular frickin’ James Bond.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      well somebody has to. now, shall we drink?

      i’m on the red vino and typing one handed. there go the capitals.

      • Anon says:

        Madam, I am a cad. Had I known you’d be joining me, I would never have started without you. Sadly, I polished off the LeCinciole two nights ago (I think) but I’ve been nursing this Dalwhinnie. It may be the cure for my laryngitis.

        • Zoe Brock says:

          Another cure for laryngitis is to stick a clove of garlic up your pooper.
          And you probably caught it from that French woman’s tissue.

        • Anon says:

          That would be an impressive germ! My stab at diplomacy was… seven? eight years ago? Whatever, it’s been awhile. And considering your Smooth Move self-dosing, I think I’ll pass on taking medical and/or pooper advice from you, dearest. Nothing personal. I mean, given my ethnic heritage, I’m a big lover of garlic. Just, like, not that way. We’re just good friends.

        • Anon says:

          Ha! I just noticed you suggest the garlic to someone else above as well. Tell the truth – you’re just going to suggest it to anyone for anything to see if someone will do it, aren’t you?

          “Huh. Your transmission, eh? You know, I heard if you take a clove of garlic and….”

        • Zoe Brock says:

          The garlic is heartbroken.

          You’re right, that would be an impressive germ. A bit like the weeds that hid in my soil for 6months and then popped up miraculously overnight and took over everything. It’s like battling zombies out the back of my house. I’ve given up. I can hear them moaning.

          Oh shit…

        • Zara Potts says:

          Anon, seriously. You are fading away. I think you should EAT the garlic – don’t put it up your shitter.

        • Zoe Brock says:

          One up, one down. That’s the way to cure everything. Including transmissions.

          Oh Zara! You’re looking up at me and my tampon halo with such love and amazement!

        • Zara Potts says:

          One up, one down??? That’s brilliant. I’m going to use that as my mantra from here on in.
          And yes, I do look up at you and your halo with love and amazement.
          You can add adoration to that as well…

        • Anon says:

          Zoe: I’ve seen the movies. Fire. It’s the only way, since weeds don’t have brains to make headshots on. Print out this exchange to explain the situation to the police afterwards.

          Zara: Don’t hate me because I’m svelte! And, seriously, I do love garlic – wintering some in the garden right now for next summer. Take a bouquet, clip the tops, throw in a(n un)healthy pat of butter and bake on low heat for an hour or so…? Mmm-mm! Spreads like the butter it’s baked in. A little bread, a little brie…. Sigh.

        • Zoe Brock says:



          I make soup from chicken stock and roasted garlic bulbs when I’m sick. And then I put it up my bum.

        • Zoe Brock says:

          ps Zara- the one up, one down comes from an Italian fashion editor who assured me that garlic cloves (from both ends, meeting in the middle) was the cure for any ailment. xx

        • Zara Potts says:

          You have no idea how much I am laughing right now..

        • Zara Potts says:

          Just the words “up my bum’ give me the giggles.

        • Anon says:

          LOL. You’re like a rectal Cato the Elder – “Carthago delenda est – so I can stick them up my ass!” Well, except he never said that… and you’re not ugly, dead, Roman or male. But whatever.

        • Zoe Brock says:

          otherwise known as “putting something on the shelf”

        • Jude says:

          Anon: Hahahaha! Have just noticed your gravatar. That’s hilarious!

          Darling Zoe – I just have one word for your statement, ‘mothers are always right’ – HA!

        • Anon says:

          Wait – the nesting is getting me confused. Is “putting something on the shelf” a euphemism for “but whatever” or “butt whatever”?

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh great. Now look what you’ve gone and done with your ‘mothers are always right’ comment!

        • Anon says:

          Thank you, Jude. It was just a healthier choice, although Zara seems to be quite concerned that I’m taking it too far!

        • Zoe Brock says:

          re: putting it on the shelf.

          “To shelve” is to put something up your bottom, or onto “the shelf”.

          If you try to stick something up there you’ll quickly discover why the term was coined.

          sorry mum and Jude.

  9. Brad Listi says:

    I don’t know what I believe in either. What’s that quote? It’s amazing how much you learn after you know everything.


    Also: I learned this month that I can’t help but talk to people on elevators. I mean, it’s something that I’ve known about for a long time. But this week it finally occurred to me that I tend to say stuff to random strangers on elevators. Particularly if it’s just the two of us in there.

    I hate myself.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      Look. It’s better than trying to talk to people on escalators. Especially one’s going in the opposite direction.

      I think it’s nice to reach out to people, especially strangers. Unless you’re wishing that you weren’t the entire time, in which case you simply have Tourettes. Have fun with that.

      • Brad Listi says:

        It’s just one of those things where I feel foolish. Two people standing there in the same elevator. Three feet apart. You should at least say hello and fondle yourself a little bit. It’s the decent thing to do.

    • Greg Olear says:

      One time, while at Georgetown, a group of people, none of whom knew each other, got on an elevator at the same time in a sort of creepy building off-campus. One of them, a rotund priest, turned to face the rest of us, and said, “I guess you’re wondering why I’ve gathered you here today.” We all laughed. That is the gold standard of elevator talk.

  10. Zoe Brock says:

    Maybe you need to wear headphones when you go out in public. That way you could pretend you’re deep into your trance music and can just nod your head at people.

    Or you can face the facts and admit you’re a friendly dude.

    Or you can worry about it.

    Yeah. Get really nice and worried. Go on!

  11. 1. Sometimes taking one on the chin and standing your ground will terrify the other person far more than when you actually fight back–metaphorically or not.

    2. The four sexiest accents that can come out of a woman’s mouth are, in no particular order: Czech, New Zealand, Scottish, Australian.

    3. Getting a new, better job than the one you have is now entirely a matter of networking and contact; education and merit no longer play any part in the process.

    4. I feel far better about myself when giving someone my honest opinion than I do telling a white lie for their benefit.

    5. Reentering the dating scene after being in a nearly seven-year relationship can range from awkward to downright terrifying. All sort of skills are rusty and/or broken.

    6. Cold pizza and/or cold fried chicken remain as valid a breakfast selection at 30 as they were when I was 19.

    7. Despite being nearly identical in ingredients and construction, the Crunchie remains utterly inferior to the Violet Crumble. This has been confirmed though repeated taste comparisons.

    8. Conversely, I have no ability to differentiate between Vegemite and Marmite. I am repulsed equally by both.

    9. Being the only guy with a full beard at a party or bar where all the other men are predominantly clean-shaven will net you a significant amount of female attention.

    10. Faith, confidence, and instinct may help keep you afloat, but only willpower will paddle you to shore.

    11. It is possible to miss one pet dog far more than all past ex-girlfriends put together.

    • Zoe Brock says:

      1. This would help if you had a smaller chin? Or larger?

      2. I have two of those naturally and one more in my repertoire!

      3. And it helps to not have comments about The Shelf pop up when you get Googled.

      4. I agree. I told someone the other day (they called me out of the blue from someone else’s phone) that I couldn’t “authentically be happy to hear from (them)”. It just came out. I felt very honest and I get the added bonus of knowing I will never get a surprise call from that shithead again.

      5. Just remember to keep it trim down there and use a nice deodorant. You’ll be golden. x

      6. Yum

      7. I AGREE!

      8. You are clearly not a cat.

      9. beards. clit ticklers. love ’em.

      10. and oars. or big hands.

      11. hahahhaahhahahahahahahhahahaha. nice.

  12. D.R. Haney says:

    Everything I’ve learned in the last month would be a downer to hear, so I’m happy to reset the clock with the wisdom of numbers one-ten.

    Meanwhile, Zoe, I’ve been meaning to thank you for six months already for the ride you gave me to TNB-LE. That was very sweet of you, but the night developed in such a way that we barely interacted after we brushed each other onstage, as seen in the clip currently on the TNB main page.

    Excuse me? You dropped something back there!

    I jest.

  13. Hi Zoe:

    Wonderful post, my dear. And as much as I love dogs, I do agree that cats are pretty darn smart. In fact, I think there’s a Russian proverb that goes something like, “A cat always knows whose meat it’s eating.” And I guess instead of meat, you could also substitute the word, “Vegemite.”


  14. Brigid Brock says:

    2. At last she realises! Mothers ARE always right. And forget the cat, it should have been number 1! xx

    • zoebee says:

      yeah yeah. But we all know I was adopted, therefore you are not my mother and therefore you cannot always be right.

      (runs and hides)

  15. Brigid Brock says:

    It better be a good hiding place. I’m going to find you….. Numero Uno!

  16. Slade Ham says:

    I am not happy about not seeing Sarah’s TED talk as well. Supposedly it took an incredible standing O according to the Twitter feed. I’ve never been a huge fan of hers (admittedly it was fun to watch her get punched in the face in The Way of the Gun and I LOVE the filth, I just don’t find HER funny) but hearing how she pushed the boundaries at TED made me smile. The word “retard” is awesome and misunderstood, regardless of what Chris Anderson thinks.

  17. jmblaine says:

    Number Four!
    Number Four!
    Number Four!

    I hate/love when
    a TNB post
    makes me immediately
    want to write a copy cat
    TNB post.

    & that you still have the
    Tampon Gravitar

    Would you consider
    naming your book
    or your boat
    Tampon Gravitar?

  18. Ducky Wilson says:

    I try to know nothing. It works better for me.

    But I’m very tempted to buy vegemite for my cats.

  19. LOL Myke says:

    This month? Hmmm.

    1) I am deathly afraid of garbage disposals. This tidbit will not unlock any profound mental doors of discovery, but it is funny. I have to leave the room. I can’t listen to it. And, No, no horror stories involving Garbage disposals.

    2) Women only want you when they can’t have you. When they’re made aware that they could potentially still have you, they no longer want you again. Time to become unattainable again..

    3) “Taco Burger” scares the hell out of me. Much in the same vein as a Burrito Sandwich, Soup Kabob or Fried Water would, it boggles my mind.

    4) I’m a complete sucker for a happy ending, and let myself get emotionally invested way too easily. I cried and sobbed like my favorite pet had died at the end of Tin Man, an old SyFy miniseries “revamp” of Wizard of Oz from ’07.

    5) Myspace is almost officially dead. I can’t bring myself to delete until I figure out what to do with my old blogs. Rarely did I write them outside of the Myspace Blog window. That’s a lot of Copying and Pasting I have in store for me.

    6) A friend of mine died of a heart attack at 32 years old at the end of January. He was in much better physical condition than I am, and took much better care of himself in general. I need changes or I am completely fucked.

    7) Again, I am always late to the party here. Hope the both of you are healing well. Be well 🙂

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