Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, July 19

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JB / July 6, 2008 5:29 PM

Damn near everything.

matt / July 6, 2008 7:13 PM

Eggs over hard, I can never get the yolk solid without overcooking...

Ramsin / July 6, 2008 8:47 PM

Pretty much everything I've tried.

Leelah / July 6, 2008 11:27 PM

1. sing. I'm terrible at it, like, reject American Idol bad, only I know I'm horrific. That does not stop me though.

2. Interviewed for a job. I wanted it, but the colossal shutdown of my brain proved otherwise (in retrospect). I provided a series of ridiculous responses to their questions. For instance, they asked me, "We have a large and varied department. What could you bring to the department?"
My response? "Well, I don't know your department, so I don't know what I could bring."

jennifer / July 7, 2008 12:02 AM

a self-diagnosed perfectionist, with the anxiety to prove it, I can't recall anything that I've failed at. trust me, that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I've likely just repressed it.

mo / July 7, 2008 3:35 AM

Acting. *shudder* I tried out for a play when i was a teenager, and it still embarrasses me to think about it.

There are plenty of things I've failed at, but that's the one thing that I should have known better than to even try.

Oh, and dating. I've failed spectacularly at that.

Klutz / July 7, 2008 9:27 AM


I was always the last one picked for a team in gym class, and with good reason.

For example, in softball, I rarely made contact with the ball, and when I did, the ball wasn't going far. So, if I managed to tap the ball, my only hope for making it to first base was to run as soon as I made contact. In my haste to get running, I'd let go of the bat at the end of the swing, so that anyone standing along the third base line was in danger of getting their knees taken out!

At least that was an improvement over when I actually used to run with the bat......

Bill V / July 7, 2008 9:51 AM

I own two guitars, have been on and off with lessons and practicing, and I still suck!

Kevin / July 7, 2008 10:36 AM

Morse Code and Spanish. I'm a smart guy and almost everything else I've tried I can learn. I know alot of nouns and verys in Spanish but just can't conjugate worth a darn...

As far as morse code, it just all sounds the same to me...and it's still required for higher level Amateur Radio licenses, even though its the equivalent of latin these's handy to know, but it's a dead language for all intensive purposes....


jennifer / July 7, 2008 10:53 AM

College: four different schools, three completed semesters.

J.S.M. / July 7, 2008 11:00 AM

For 20 years I have remained skillful at playing any instrument I encounter, except the piano. I'm left-handed, and for some reason, the piano is the one instrument my brain won't rewire for my hands. Damn you ivories!

This question is frighteningly timely. I've recently been forcing myself to accept that I have to change careers. The thought of this is scaring the hell out of me.

curtain / July 7, 2008 11:27 AM

Any activity that requires me attaching something to my feet - skiing, ice skating, rollerblading, sex.

corinna / July 7, 2008 11:34 AM

I'm really bad at making U-turns. Not in any kind of metaphorical sense.

I was fired from a janitorial company in college for being "the worst trial captain in our history."

samuel butler / July 7, 2008 11:56 AM


Took freshman Spanish three times, failed all three times.

Did I mention it was at Northwestern? And yes, I did eventually graduate.

No me gusta comprender Espanol!

Spook / July 7, 2008 1:22 PM

lush Ferns year around. Hard to do it year round in the unforgiving midwest winter, but each year I try anew

Onid / July 7, 2008 1:57 PM

Skiing. I used to go skiing every year with my friends and I would come up with tons of excuses about why I couldn't turn (The sun was in me eyes, there must have been ice there, there must have been a "rut" in the snow) and one year at the bottom of a very high mountain in Utah I came to an epiphany. I just plain suck at this.

Justin / July 7, 2008 3:34 PM

I utterly fail to find any redemptive value in marketing and to understand the resurgent popularity of bangs.

chadmagiera / July 7, 2008 4:01 PM


Alison / July 7, 2008 4:36 PM


I don't think fail is a strong enough word for what happens when I try to do it.

Steven / July 7, 2008 4:52 PM

Heterosexuality. It wasn't so much that I was a failure at it as that is was just plain gross and disgusting. I still have nightmares.

Alexandra / July 7, 2008 4:53 PM

Playing softball. Cannot hit or catch for the life of me.
I also cannot keep orchids alive.

not that kate / July 7, 2008 4:57 PM

Being friends with my ex.

jc / July 7, 2008 4:59 PM

I agree with Alison on math. can't do it to save my soul. . .tried to do long division the other day, wanted to cry.

Meems / July 7, 2008 5:13 PM

skiing, basketball,
learning an instrument,
saving money, figuring out what I want to do with my life

zoenotcool / July 7, 2008 5:22 PM

- The Series 7 exam (twice)

- learning German

- remembering Swedish

- playing 2 instruments

- sticking with things/finishing projects

- most math

- most science

- most sports

- several close female friendships

JasonB / July 7, 2008 5:22 PM

1.) "fitting in"
2.) optimism

p / July 7, 2008 5:31 PM

somebody told me it's an american thing to accept that one is "not good at math" and leave it at that- while other cultures treat that like saying "i'm not good at reading." you better practice till you Can do it.
that said, i'm not good at math. failed everything that even resembled math which, to me, included chemistry. better throw Science in with my failures too then.

Summer School Math though- i was damn near a genius mixed in with some of those mongoloids.

fluffy / July 7, 2008 6:44 PM

marriage, dating, watercolors, ceramics, keeping my apartment tidy, managing money, being one of the cool & fascinating people, returning phone calls.
I wish I knew GB was writing about Claudio (tamale guy)- I know him. we went bar hopping and dancing a few weeks ago.

jgs / July 8, 2008 10:37 AM


sky / July 8, 2008 11:48 AM

Geometry changed my love of math forever. And then physics came and kicked me when I was down.
Speaking of being down, waterskiing. I suck. And the pressure of 5 people staring at you offering sad pieces of motivation is equally horrifying.
Horrible=my comprehension of spanish.
Saving money, just does not happen. I'm going to stop this list before i get too depressed.

Janaynay / July 8, 2008 11:54 AM

1. Relationships and dating in general. I suck at them, and not in a good way...
2. I'm going to second "sky" and "Meems" and say saving money. It's almost like it's burning a hole in my pocket.
3. holding my tongue.
4. volleyball
5. not using cigarettes to deal with stress.

jen / July 8, 2008 12:38 PM

communication. not so much in general, but in discussing things i need to with people that matter. much easier to type and send an email.

dan R / July 8, 2008 12:41 PM


(sobs into pillow)

Gaigen / July 8, 2008 12:47 PM

Mustering sympathy.

(laughs at dan R)

See what I mean?

annie / July 8, 2008 1:26 PM

Public speaking, acting (Mo, I bet we have a similar H.S. try out story), drawing, painting (and I'm talking painting your walls..can't do it), managing money, dealing with stress, guitar lessons (I blame that failure on the size of my poor little Irish fingers though),Tres Leches cake, Angel Food cake, bartending, completing chores at home, training a dog and most recently Kayak lessons, but I'm giving that another shot.

d. / July 8, 2008 2:42 PM



anne / July 8, 2008 8:25 PM

For some reason, growing mint in Chicago. Dies on me every time.

Fear of failure is probably the only reason I've not _completely_ convinced myself I'm an utter failure at other things. Lately, I've actually been thrust into trying other activities that I would have normally given up on, so that's good.

jared k / July 9, 2008 1:33 AM

It's been a tough trick to pull off but throughout my life I've massively failed at:
- trying to seem interesting to other people
- trying to seem normal to other people

Life as less than an afterthought; I live within some kind of null dimension, I guess.

Kanye West / July 9, 2008 8:57 AM

inspiring all yall losers to touch the sky! Like I do every time I open my mouth!

Brandy / July 9, 2008 10:02 AM

1. Batik. Great at dying fabric, but put hot wax in the mix and I suck.

2. Math Team in high school. I *was* a great honors math student, but I didn't have the chops for Math Team.

3. Speech Team in high school. My sense of melodrama wasn't developed enough to hang with the Speech kids.

4. Driving a car. I've got a great intuitive sense for using a stick shift. Steering?... Abysmal.

Happily there's a couple things I would have put on this list a year ago (love, managing money) that I've gotten much better at in 2008. Hooray!

chandler / July 9, 2008 10:38 AM

Convincing others that Texting kills. Whether it's the long drawn out text 'conversation' or the sweet and cowardly attempt to arrange a date via text - if you want to go out with people and have sex with them, maybe try using your voice.

kate / July 9, 2008 10:39 AM

Bags and most other games that involve throwing something at a specific target are involved. I have no aim. None.

Other than that, I'm kind of good at lots of things. Spanish, math, pool, cooking, arm wrestling, clothing advice. I'm not awesome at anything, but I'm pretty good at a lot of stuff. Just not throwing things... :/

Dubi / July 9, 2008 11:06 AM

I tried to organize a mass dance of (Michael jackson's) thriller.
I saw that Chicago was not represented in Thrill the world and thought that I should step up to the plate. Little did I know,
It turned up to be a bigger task than I thought. after the venue I counted on backed out, I had to call the event off and refer people to Kanosha.

igo / July 9, 2008 12:42 PM

Accounting. Accounting. Accounting.



lmy / July 9, 2008 1:35 PM

failed with my ex three times - i know he loves me, but he's so young.
i also can't save money - been living paycheck to paycheck since birth.
been working on ayn rand's atlas shrugged for maybe five years now.

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