Saturday, April 28, 2012

Star of the Class

Taking any creative writing course is a bit of a risk.  You're guaranteed plenty of characters and over-shares which make me fundamentally uncomfortable.  You're also guaranteed a fair amount of pretentious shits, but I've already gone over that in a previous post.  I'm currently taking an intro to poetry class which I enjoy immensely; my teacher is beautiful and sensitive, and encouraging, and....sigh. Though things got pretty awkward when the 30 year old in class wrote a poem about a vibrator.  My eyes widened in horror as what she described dawned on me.  I prepared for supreme discomfort when we workshopped her poem, readying my pencil to take notes for this very blog post; however what I didn't realize was that someone entirely different would be the star.  We shall call him Randall of Monster's inc. (because he looks exactly like him).

Randall of Monsters inc. established himself as the class oddball on the second day.  "Hi my name's Randall of Monsters inc. and my favorite writer is Randall of Monsters inc." he informed us.  Oh no. He also has the tendency to stare at you with a creepy crooked smile for long periods of time that would compel Stephenie Meyer to never describe a crooked smile as sexy again, and laughs randomly to himself.  But it was his descriptions of poems as fluvial, and saying that he simply enjoyed the words in the poem that really established him in our class. "I liked the words in this poem," he would say in his mumbling clipped speech.

Our professor, patiently, "Which words, Randall of Monsters inc.?"

"Just you know, the words."

Bless him, our beautiful/precious/wordsmith/clever professor has yet to give up on him.

It comes to vibrator poem discussion day and we've all gone around saying what we thought of the poem: moments that worked well and things that could be improved.  It's relatively painless except for one person lamenting that women get all the fun toys to play with (that was uncomfortable: I nervous-laughed), and then we come to Randall of Monsters inc. I tense, readying myself for the weird encrypted comment he's about to make.

"I thought it was very orchidaceous," he says.


Well dressed/ funny/bright smile/encouraging professor says, ever patiently, "What uh - what does orchidaceous mean, Randall of Monsters inc."

"Oh, you know just.. orchidaceous," he begins, glancing at the giant ass dictionary he brings to every class, keeping his current place with a sprig off a lupine flower (I shit you not). He finishes his ramble with, "well I don't really know what it means but this poem is definitely orchidaceous."

My head is now on the table I am laughing so hard, my face is bright red, I'm almost in tears.

Our professor, bless him, moves on.

I glance over to the copy of the poem that he had marked up for the poet's editing purposes.  He had drawn a series of pictures on it.  Not to mention he has circled the word Meditation in the title of the poem, drawn and arrow with the words "this reminds me of this" which points to a picture of a small factory.  Why he has chosen to do this I have no idea. He honestly terrifies me.

This is what I got back on my poem. My favorite moment is when he underlines jealous and just writes "jealously lol"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

If There's One Thing I Truly Don't Like...

I'll cut right to the chase on this one; I don't like when human people dress up as characters that totally obscure their human qualities. Example, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Pooh Bear, and FUCK Tigger, none of them are okay. I'll credit myself as a rather precocious child in this respect, or at the very least tell myself that that's why I fear these creatures that bring so many joy.  I knew, and know that it's not actually Santa or Turk from Tarzan greeting me from that big, vision obscuring costume, it's god only knows who!

As a child I used to cry when taken to see Santa, I knew that it couldn't be him. No way that he would be in my pre-school classroom listening to all the stuff my classmates wanted for Christmas so close to D-Day. I called bullshit on that one. So who was this impostor? Why would a normal guy want to dress up as Santa and let little kids sit on his lap, whispering in his ear all day. A pedophile that's who. Granted as a child I had no concept of pedophile but the idea wigged me out nonetheless.  On the dreaded day when Santa would come to town, I would hide surreptitiously by the cookies until he left.  Oh those sugar cookies, what fluffy delights.  Though of course my pre-school teacher would eventually fox me out, telling me I couldn't have my present unless I sat on his lap. SEVEN HELLS WHY? I just wanted my picture book without having to sit on this cretin's lap and tell him fruitlessly what I wanted.  What a waste of time! He didn't have the power to tell Santa what it was I wanted.  Only the letters that my parents took one afternoon and mailed to Santa could.  Man, they were gone for a long time on those days.  How far away was that post office? I kid. 

Even Disney World, a place of magic and delight, was not devoid of these horrific creatures. Goofy at every turn, shaking his body like a tourette's patient, his tongue perpetually out.  And those huge eyes, what lay behind those black eyes? What creature, what sort of sweaty man? Nothing about him or any of the other creatures were okay. I'll watch a cartoon if I want to spend time with Mickey Mouse thanks.  Not to mention they always walk over and immediately invade your personal space like that most annoying part of a haunted house, you know like that zombie guy that just hovers over you, not scary but merely like he don't know what else to do.  They're just there and you're like "sup bro?" but they don't answer, they just breathe on you. That's what these characters do, they assert themselves into your day without permission. It's the only rape that Disney is capable of dreaming up and therefore just as bad.  I'm forced to recoil and slither away as they over exaggerate their dismay at my dismay.  Reaching their arms out to hold me again.  Insert an internal scream of dismay here (I would point toward Liz Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf personally). 

As a college student, I found that I'm okay with one of our mascots, but that's only because I spotted him without his mask-helmet on and know that he lives next door in a respectable fraternity house. As long as I tell myself that it's just that guy, I know his origin, know him to not be a raper, and am able to smile for a picture. Some solace is achieved. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

I Feel Bad For My Parents

My co-author has been very nostalgic lately, remembering those simple days of our 90's childhood. It has got me remembering all the wonderful things we partook in; Bike Horses, Pokemon, Pokemon School (yeah we created Pokemon school. Normal), playing kick ball with a grand total of five people (uneven teams, ALWAYS had a ghost man somewhere), alas.

One thing we did almost constantly however was put on shows. We would take pop songs of our age and we would "make up dances" and appoint a singer, and then put them on for our family. To my parents, I am so sorry, for I did not comprehend at the time why you might not want to come see these.

The first was "Believe" by Cher. A mediocre, obviously first-time performance.  We merely did simple dance moves on Quimsical's grandmother's hill as the music played in terrible quality in the background. "Lucky" by Brittany Spears however was an entirely different ballgame. It was LEGIT. We had a backup dancer (this did cause some controversy because she insisted upon being the ONLY backup dancer and a certain someone got it into his head that he too wanted to dance; foolish youth), we had a Lucky (further controversy, I'm not proud of it but I certainly wanted to play the principle role, in fact I could not understand why I was not chosen. I am NOT a background character to be forgotten in the shadows. I am Lucky, hear me roar!

Thus, two performances had to be done, one with me as Lucky and the other with Quimsical's sister as Lucky). We had sets, we had broken costumes that were too big for us, we had it all man. I thought Lucky was the single greatest thing I'd ever done in my life. I used to have thought processes like: man, I have extra time between this line and when I have to go receive my award (Britney never makes it clear what exactly Lucky is winning an award for...curious). I would improve getting ready in sadness. I AM MERYL STREEP. Though, at the time, I would have thought myself more a Lindsay Lohan (oh how the mighty have fallen).

We expected our parents to be present at these events, didn't understand why they wouldn't be. They should be there to see us shine. I was later told that my rendition of Lucky and gross over-exaggerated lip-synching of the words nearly reduced one of our friend's sister to tears from trying to hold in laughter, something that I would unknowingly do several times in my childhood career. My poor parents had to watch me do these things too, and then tell me that I was good and clever and the best part of the show when it was over. Poor souls.

And then there was the time when I was nine and my mother had just become pregnant with my younger brother.  The Rugrats movie had just come out and we had all gotten it into our heads that we should throw my mother a baby shower, singing the songs from the movie (namely the scene with all the babies in the hospital).  How sweet of us. We're all such loving children. Right?  The hitch is that my older brother's friend's mother was over while her son played at our house.  She came to the shower and, to my immense surprise, didn't know that my mother was pregnant. My mother hadn't told anyone outside of immediate family. Awesome. I had told everyone I knew so you can imagine how this shocked me that my mother hadn't immediately informed her of her new condition. My poor poor mother. How her cheeks must have become inflamed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Childhood in the 90s - A Stallion With Pedals

Here is the second post pertaining to my Olympian-status childhood in the 90s. I feel like those were the days when forming a bike gang was cool, accepted, and feared by those not included. Fuck no we didn't wear bike helmets. That would have made us the Steve Urkel of bike gangs. My friends and I, including Audecdote, were much more better..

We would meet up in the morning, not on the sidewalk like any dumb old kid, we met up in a bush. You heard me. We had a completely concealed sanctuary shrouded in shrubbery, with enough room to stand. Eat your heart out sheet-fort kids.

Once we had met and written down a detailed account of the current and predicted weather forecast in a Harry Potter journal, it was time to ride.

I'm going to ask you to play this song while you read the next part:

Imagine the silhouettes of three comrades, faintly coming into view against the blazing backdrop that is the morning sun. We rode with conviction, plowing mercilessly over any ant or twig that came in our way.
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We fucked bitches on the reg. Or did we? No, we didn't. We glided over the concrete coming to our final stop. A final stop that only a regular Evel Knievel or Jackie Chan would dare attempt. What was it you ask? A poor excuse for a hill in my Grandmother's back yard.

We lined up our bikes as they whinnied and neighed in protest. Here's where I'm gonna mind fuck you. We pretended our bikes were horses, no, not horses, but GIANT stallions, their muscles rippling and their hooves the size of garbage can lids. The sweat dripped down the sides of our faces from the velvet riding helmets that sat atop our heads, secured by a delicate and choking leather strap. Remember when I said we were way too cool to wear bike helmets? T'was because we had access to fucking velvet riding helmets. Let me reiterate that we were the cool bike gang.

"HIYA, Lightning!" I shouted the name which I had bestowed upon my bike, pointing forward and then quickly retracting my hand to get it back on the bike handle.. I mean, mane. My stallion cautiously descended the hill that was at a near-90 degree angle, and by 90 I mean 35.

"Magnum, ride!" Audecdote shouted on my coattails. The name came from the brand of the bike, however, I now realize that it sounded like she was shouting some sort slogan for a condom campaign.

The third, in elegance as usual, simply acted as if she was giving the horse a firm kick to the sides to get her horse moving.

Down we rode in slow motion, the wind blowing in our faces, forgetting about the world around us and focusing only on the task of making the next jump: the drop-off of the driveway into the neighbor's lawn (a good 2 feet).

Most importantly, what happened when we came into contact with another bike gang? I'll tell you this much, the kids with the velvet helmets definitely owned.

It went something like this:

Clearly we were Liv Tyler. 'Nuff said.

Hi Scott

It's amazing how one man can ruin your life. For Quimsical and I, it's Scott, a painter often employed by both of our families. He is also as silent and unassuming as the wind...

Let me take you to a lovely Spring day of my youth.  I'm in Quimsical's kitchen and we're under the impression that we have the house to ourselves, giving us free range of our emotions and fantasies (don't be dirty, our friendship is pure and lovely, you sick fuck.). We're making lunch, pretending that we're on a cooking show, obviously. The cooking show featured a saucy wench with a sailor's mouth, obviously.  Quimsical played the saucy wench, obviously.

"You better get that pan out of the oven soon or it's going to go down faster than a cheap whore!" Quimsical screams, slamming a pan onto the granite countertops. I cackle with glee.

Quimsical crosses the room to turn on music; The Goo Goo Dolls. We begin to sing the songs at the top of our lungs, not musically either. Instead, we rely on singing as though we have no concept of how singing works, screwing up our voices so that our speaking voices sound like Jewish-smoker-mothers. Obviously.

We calm down after we've eaten our sandwiches as we typically do. Crazy subsides with a full belly. Shortly after we've begun talking like normal human beings again, Scott enters the room.  The two of us freeze, giving each other the same terrified look. There is simply no WAY that Scott did not hear Quimsical yell about cheap whores. Fuck.

"You guys have pretty great singing voices," Scott says with a rueful smile. My first instinct is to kill him, gouge his tongue out so that he may never speak of this occurrence again. We've got to cover our tracks man.

Instead, "yeah," I say with my nervous laugh (which is a doozy let me tell you).

This would not be the last time Quimsical and I encountered Scott. Apparently he is a talented painter and both our parents would trust him to complete many jobs. In which jobs we would avoid him fully but also betray other odd behaviors such as dancing to See You Again, by Miley Cyrus. God.

Do you have a Scott?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Childhood in the 90s - Pokemania

I'm thinking that I would like to write a series of posts about being a child of the 90s. Probably one of the better decades to have grown up in. I mean, I did some of the craziest shit in the 90s. Crazy as in "would I dare attempt to swing from that tree like that nowadays?!" as well as "You're literally fucking crazy, Pokemon do not exist." (they might).

Speaking of Pokemon, I think that is the first thing I will focus on. Even typing the word gets me all excited and giddy, yearning to earn some official pokeleague badges! Rather recently, my family and I moved, thus requiring a thorough cleanup of my room and of course, the inevitable process of deciding what gets to stay and what goes.

So, I sat there and cleaned my room up, finding things like old pamphlets from musicals I had been in, books I had forgotten I had, old drawings shoved into a binder, and something that was a translucent purple. SWEET BEAN POD! I had stumbled across my old Gameboy Color! I was the cool (?) kid who had this one:

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I actually remember my step-brother once saying: "I want the one you have. That queer lookin' one." I simply believed he could not say "clear" and had some unheard-of speech impediment. Not the case.

I picked it up and held it with such care and reverence that it seemed impossible to me how indifferently I had treated it when I was younger; tossing it aside when I was done with it, allowing the screen to get all scratched up, losing the cover that goes over the batteries. What was once simply a toy was now a treasure and an all too tangible link to my carefree days as a child riding his Big Wheel with his Game Boy in his pocket. The nostalgia set in and I realized I kind of had to shat.

What was more glorious was what I found when I turned it over to inspect it:

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MY FRIENDS! That was the first thing I thought. I mean, how goddamn pathetic. But seriously! Every day I had played this game and trained my little monsters! It's like when there were all those articles in the paper that instructed parents how to care for their child if Harry Potter died in the final book.... only vastly different. There was no article about how to cope with the fact that Pokemon was technically on the outs and that young men in their late teens probably shouldn't be caught playing it in public.

Y'know whuh I says? I says FUCK DAT!

I started a new game and played to my heart's content. I'm still playing, in fact. I played this morning. I then found my Gold Version:

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This required some surgery, seeing as how the battery inside of it had died. Yeah, there is a battery inside of the cartridge. So, if your game doesn't hold a save, Google how to replace the battery and you'll be gold (pff... no pun intended). I went so far as to use a butter knife, two miniscule screw drivers, and a chopstick, I'm pretty sure, to pry that cartridge open and replace the battery by gracefully taping it into place with scotch tape. It worked!

My life became so much brighter! I had a REASON to finish my homework. I was training myself to get all of my work done by like, seven o'clock on a weekday (unheard of) so I could play my game. It worked wonderfully, my grades were steady As, I had time to relax, I was super happy. I even got sucked back into the TV show. Another throwback to my carefree days as a rockin' fourth grader.

 The 8 or 9 year old me was back. The one who adamantly supported the theory that Pokemon, in fact, exist. They just don't want us to see them because we're not ready for them just yet. I convinced a few and drove away a lot more.

My obsession grew and I ended up buying two games from the newer generations (not as good.. noooot as good Nintendo/Gamefreak). I even asked for one for Valentine's Day. Things got out of hand.. I refused a VERY nice offer because I was in the midst of an Elite Four battle.. I mean, you just don't mess with that shit. I tried to re-initiate the offer I had been given once I saved the game.. apparently the moment was gone.

My point: If you can find time to relive something that made you SO happy as a kid (in some semblance of moderation), you will be a happier person. I not only find fun in replaying the games but a sense of comfort in the nostalgia of it all.

Find the time to become a child again for a day or two. It puts trivial worries in perspective and gives you a chance to enjoy the day :)

To close, I shall provide you with the most epic song ever composed:

Comment back with your own childhood adventures!