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The Time I Had a Meltdown in Language Arts

May 5, 2013 2 comments

reality_show_meltdown

In 9th grade, all students at my school were required to take Language Arts. To my dismay, this turned out to be a public speaking class disguised as a writing class, which meant that my easy A was about to become a desperate C. Though friends have pointed out that I can be loud as fuck in public, especially while talking about embarrassing stories, I suddenly lose the ability to be coherent when placed in front of an audience.

I start talking about a mile a minute, sweating all the while as my face either turns as red as a drunkard’s, or as pale as someone about to pass out. My eyes will dart all around the room as if trying to identify who from the crowd is about to get up and shoot me. Whatever latent paranoia I have (which is a LOT) kicks into high gear, and I become convinced the audience is plotting my downfall at all times.

So yeah, public speaking and I don’t really get along.

But sadly, this class forced me to do it on a regular basis. It all culminated on one unfortunate day when we had to read a short story that we had written out loud to the class.

The assignment was to write a “funny” retelling of a classic fairy tale, and we all had to choose different ones. As a somewhat angry and depressed teenager, my idea of “funny” was a dark as shit Goldilocks and the Three Bears that took place in an apocalyptic future where weapons were as common as loose change. The body count in my story was startlingly high, and I was probably only saved from arrest by virtue of this being written before Columbine. My tale ended with both Goldilocks and the bears burning to death after Goldie’s flame thrower showers the house with fire. Goldie manically mutters that the temperature is now “juuuust right” as her hair bursts into flames.

I did not know in advance that we would have to read this out loud.

I heard about the change in the lesson plan during lunch, as students who had the class earlier in the day recounted their classmates’ “hilarious” stories. My only thought was, “I’M FUCKED.” I knew very well that my story was going to be seen as the ravings of a homicidal maniac, and I ran to the computer lab to shit out a different story in the ten minutes remaining before class.

I was unsuccessful.

And thus I found myself perched on a stool at the front of the class, having to read out loud some of the most disturbing shit I had ever written. As the bullets began to fly and blood ran from one end of the bears’ cabin to the other, I started to feel like I was watching a car wreck from afar. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop the brutal scene that was unfolding before me. Soon enough, my anxiety crested and I completely lost it. I began to laugh hysterically, describing the deadly fire between giggles as I gasped for air. I actually started crying as I plowed through the morbid tale, laughing so hard that my words about graphic murder came out as squeaks. I eventually slid off the stool to the floor in a desperate attempt to abort the insanity. The teacher insisted I continue reading from the cold linoleum. He did not much care for me.

In the end, I received a C- on the story (my teacher cited disliking “black humor”), and I gained a reputation for being batshit INSANE for the rest of my freshman year of high school. Fucking fantastic.

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The Time My Brother Created Contests

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Hi.

It’s been a while, I know. I don’t really have an excuse, except that I simply couldn’t think of anything to write about. I don’t want to put out drivel simply for the sake of publishing something, but apparently nothing interesting has happened to me in weeks. This is depressing in of itself, but I decided to try and write today because I miss it. I began this blog as a type of therapy for myself – to create something that I can look back on later and say, “Yes, I made that.” Even if it was crap. Because otherwise I leave nothing behind except some body heat and (probable) flatulence. I even went out and bought a new sketchbook to begin drawing again, which I gave up several years ago when my forward progress slowed to a trickle.

It’s always that way when you take up a new hobby. For a while, the learning curve is steep, but your accomplishments grow by leaps and bounds within a very short amount of time. It’s the ability to keep going with a project after you’ve achieved basic competency that sets a talent apart, and I tend to lack that kind of discipline and conviction. How many things have I started and then given up on just as quickly? I hope this blog and writing doesn’t become one of those things.

I’ve been slowly listening my way through this Story Board hangout with The Bloggess, Wil Wheaton, Patrick Rothfuss, and John Scalzi, which I highly recommend if you’ve ever taken a stab at memoir-style writing.

Anyway, aside from me being a sad sack lately, I wanted to talk about my brother’s lovely Facebook contests that he’s been having recently. I’m tempted to start one of my own, but I’m afraid I’d get approximately zero responses, which would be like the time I had a birthday party that nobody attended (true story, and endlessly depressing).

Each day, he chooses a topic or theme for people to weigh in on, then chooses a “winner” (who receives nothing but a smug sense of self-satisfaction) based on the number of “likes” or his own personal preference. So without further ado, a best of his recent contests! My brother is clearly the creative powerhouse here, and thus technically wins most of his own contests, I believe.

November 27: Terrible Children’s Book Titles

Brother:

  • “Cassie – The Faerie With No Particular Goals or Talent”
  • “All Bees Die: Dealing With Angry Feelings”
  • “Johnny Appleseed – A Children’s Guide to Paternal Identification”
  • “Slapping Is Just Faster Cuddling”

Brenda:

  • “Everybody Poops………And Saves It in Jars in the Guest Room”

Me:

  • “Not In the Face!: A Guide to Surviving Daddy’s Drunken Rage”

November 29: Breakfast Cereals of the Dystopian Future

Brother:

  • “Penance Pops”
  • “Half-Life Cereal”

Sam:

  • “Ricin Crispies”

Brian:

  • “Cinnamon Toast… SHHH! Put out the fire I hear someone coming.”

November 30: Tourism-Boosting Slogans for Crappy Cities

Brother:

  • “Des Moines – Inexplicably French”
  • “Cincinnati – Where Racism Meets the Cloudy Sky”
  • “Sheffield – Come See What’s Left”
  • “Jackson Hole – Fit It All In.”

Brenda:

  • “Schenectady – Home of the Bulletproof Drive-through”

Sam:

  • “Boston – Specialists in Slightly Odd Drunken Male Aggression Since 1647!”
  • “Toronto – Come Wait in a Nice Straight Line.”

Diana:

  • “Barstow…A Good Place to Pee.”

December 3: Frustrated Panda Haiku

Brother:
Girl panda beckons.
I’ll pretend to read instead.
God, I hate the spring.

Children point and shout,
“Silly panda, dance for us!”
Masturbating now.

Mate, or chew bamboo.
Mate, or chew bamboo. Let’s see …
Oh look! A tire swing.

Sam:
Fur tight from eating.
Bamboo is my only friend.
Shame is the season.

Me:
Zoo breeding program,
Workers are showing us porn,
Small junk remains limp.

Oh, God, this ennui,
The dark stench envelopes me,
Lin Lin shit himself.

December 4: First Line of Cookie Monster Apology Letters to the Woman He Loves

Brother:

  • “Me sorry. Okay? Me said it. You like see Cookie beg? You like see Cookie debase himself? Me do it. Me will, girl. Me hurt self. You see.”

Brian:

  • “Dear Krista, Cookie want write for to say how sorry he am for incident at Krista’s sister’s wedding. Cookie feel emotions and not know what to do with them… So he eat cookie and drink schnapps and fight old man.”

Scott:

  • “C is for cookie. Good enough for me. A is for asshole. Not how I want to be.”

December 5: The Teachings of Drunk Miyagi

Brother:

  • “Paint the fence, don’t paint it … fuck do I care?”
  • “You no speshle, Dan-yu-san, you no speshle! Miyagi have whole ARMY of Dan-yu-sans in 70’s, wash Miyagi, feed him, sing him to sleep, play shamisen … soapy … soapyyyyyy……”

Me:

  • “So I tells him, I tells him, I could catch your DICK in my chopsticks, you should have seen his face…”

The Time I Looked at Sexy Halloween Costumes

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

So I know hundreds of blogs have covered this topic, but there were some costumes even I was surprised by this year, so here we are.

Sexy Soldiers

So we have not one but TWO Sexy Russian Communist costumes, and what are essentially Sexy Nazis, but without the swastikas.

Sexy Palace Guard

This just cracks me up since it’s one of the satirical costumes featured in the Girls’s Costume Warehouse video, and now it’s for real. One of these years, I’ll dress up as the Sexy 1900s Steel Conglomerate Tycoon.

Lingerie

So these are PASTIES NOT COSTUMES! Why in the world are they in the costumes section?

Sexy Board Games

I really don’t understand this trend. We have Sexy Etch-a-Sketch, Monopoly, Darts (x2), Tic-Tac-Toe, Twister (x2), and Operation (x2). I was a little surprised not to see a Battleship-themed costume given the movie. Hollywod really missed a tie-in there.

Sexy Breakfast Cereal

This also baffles me. These aren’t even costumes. Why did Kellogg’s think anyone would want these?

Sexy Fruit

Okay, so I know corn isn’t actually a fruit, but it’s fruit-adjacent. Or something. Is there someone out there seeking some hot corn action?

Sexy Booze

Sexy Jager Bomb, Rum, Martini, and Beer. Sure, why not. They’re no more stupid than the rest of these.

Sexy Non-Sexy Things

Cindy Brady is seven years old. Little Orphan Annie is 11. Just think about that. Brian from Family Guy is a cartoon dog. When’s the last time you thought about the insane sex appeal of golf, one of the most boring sports ever? There is a girl here sincerely trying to stir your loins as a pink TV remote control.

Sexy Bizarreness

And here we have the weirdest ones, at least to me. When you were watching the Honey Badger video, were you thinking how much you’d like to fuck that animal who eats poisonous snakes and munches on bees? The next girl has a terrifying gaping maw on her bright pink stomach. Is this one supposed to be referencing something? And the coup de grace is the Sexy Tarantula, who appeals to absolutely no one on Earth, except perhaps some creepy guy who masturbates to Arachnophobia. We must stop this madness.

The Time I Posted an Animated GIF

September 24, 2012 3 comments

The Time I Watched Birdemic

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Epic Birdemic fight scene! Look at those hangers beat back the avian horde!

 
So I have to admit, I’m a sucker for really terrible movies. Well, at least as long as I’m allowed to make fun of them.

I watched MST3K often back in the day, and enjoy RiffTrax now. Whether it’s awful cinematography, atrocious editing, or clunky (yet quotable!) dialogue, I just can’t get enough.

My favorite for a while now has been The Room, starring the vaguely European melted visage of Tommy Wiseau, who also directed, wrote, and produced the thing. Rumors regarding the production of this film are endless, but it’s clear that the tragedy was inexplicably well-funded. And there are just so many quotable lines (“Oh, hai, Mark!”, “You are tearing me apart, Lisa!”) that the whole thing has become a cult movie experience complete with midnight showings. I went to one in NYC where the theater floor was so littered with spoons by the end that you could hardly walk.

Manos: The Hands of Fate (on YouTube here) is another oldie but goodie, and was reportedly made only as the result of a bar room bet. The plodding pace, ridiculous editing (the camera used could only record 32 seconds of footage at a time), dubbed voices, and the beauty that is Torgo make this movie a keeper.

And who could forget Puma Man or Space Mutiny? There are just too many to list, but you should really check some of these out.

Last night, I loaded up the RiffTrax version of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, released in 2008. The audio for half the movie is so low that no dialogue can be understood (not that it matters), and a good portion of the running time is dedicated to the slow driving and parking prowess of the lead actor. For 45 minutes, a boring and stilted love story takes place without a bird in sight. Then suddenly, as the leads are consummating their union in a dirty motel room, a bunch of poorly animated CGI birds start bombing the city. Literally, they fly with fighter plane sound effects, and leave “explosions” in their wake that look like someone held a lit match up to the camera. The birds appear again and again, sometimes sounding like planes, sometimes like seagulls or hawks, but always loud and annoying. Each time, the birds are clipart or animated GIFs that barely move their wings at all as they hover and screech. Random assault rifles and handguns appear out of thin air to combat the aerial menace. Happy Meals are begged for, and stock options are discussed. Polar bears eat things, such as seals. Spruce bark beetles are total assholes. The moral of the movie appears to be that you need to stop littering, or else you’ll be killed by birds. Makes sense.

A sequel is reportedly in the works, which is pretty exciting. Will it cost more than $10K to make? I hope not – I’d like it to preserve the charm of the original.

The Time My Sister Spilled Everything

July 6, 2012 Leave a comment

messy_eater

While growing up, my sister had a unique ability to magnetically attract liquids and foods to her clothing.

Seriously, no matter what the situation or how careful she was being, by the end of a meal, she would be so splattered with sauces that it looked like she had just come from a paintball arena.

No one is really sure why this happened. Perhaps it was just adolescent klutziness, or maybe because she is left-handed but was forced to use right-handed implements. Regardless of the reason, it caused a lot of distress for my teenage sister. She couldn’t be trusted in a restaurant or at home, and she frequently had to change clothes after each meal. We couldn’t have a family dinner without at least one glass tipping over and covering the entire table with milk or soda. Each time this happened, my sister would frantically apologize while my dad let out a stream of swears and ran for the nearest towel. More often than not, after this spill was mopped up, she would knock over the refilled glass and the scene would repeat itself, only with even more colorful curses from my dad.

My sister was banished to the opposite side of the table from the rest of us, like we were at the Last Supper and she was the only apostle on the near side, covered with food. We weren’t trying to be cruel, but her left elbow was completely unpredictable during a feeding frenzy, often jabbing into someone’s side or flailing into someone ELSE’S cup, strewing its contents onto their plate. Her placement at the table was more like a quarantine for our own protection.

She also had a tendency to stuff WAY too much food into her mouth at once. It was like she had been starved and was fighting off territorial dogs for her dinner. In an infamous restaurant incident, she once stuffed an entire loaf of bread into her maw at once, nearly choking to death. The rest of the table looked in awe at the empty bread basket and my sister’s rapidly purpling face, only putting two and two together when the international choking symbol was performed. Until then, her fellow dinner-mates simply didn’t think that what they were seeing was possible. She also once almost died from eating mozzarella sticks like they were jello shots, not realizing that the hot cheese was like molten lava in her throat. She would also eat a pile of rice so quickly that she’d manage to inhale the grains into her nose via the back of her throat. Suddenly, slimy grains would creepy out of her nostrils like little maggots, forcing her to run from the table and go blow them all into a tissue. The experience was, reportedly, quite painful.

Now that my sister is older, her predilection for decorating herself with foodstuffs seems to have gotten much better. But I still wouldn’t sit to the left of her at a table if you paid me.

The Time I Wanted to be a Junkie When I Grew Up

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

So there was this anti-drug PSA in the ’80s that tried to scare kids by saying that, “No one ever says, ‘I wanna be a junkie when I grow up.'” Here, you can see it below if you want to relive your “Just Say No” days.

 

When I was little, I usually said that I wanted to be an alien when I grew up. However, after seeing this PSA, my new default response was, indeed, “I wanna be a junkie!” I was around seven years old and cute as a button, and I loved the reaction I’d get from saying this. Most people would be horrified, and glare at my parents with undisguised hostility.

My family had always been suspicious amongst the other parents at school, mostly because of my mom’s refusal to wear bras in public, her overall hippie ways, and our conspicuous absence at church. Strangers would accuse my mom of putting false eyelashes on me as a toddler, but my natural lashes were simply absurdly long. When she’d tug at my eyes to show them that my lashes were real, they’d still continue to shake their heads in disgust. (Side note: Long eyelashes are not all they’re cracked up to be. Bugs often land on mine and get stuck like they’re in a venus fly trap, and I have to wear my glasses halfway down my nose so that they don’t touch my lashes. Just saying.)

But I was completely oblivious to my parents’ embarrassment, and would gleefully tell anyone in earshot that all I wanted in life was to become a junkie. Except that I didn’t really know what a junkie was, but I figured it involved a lot of screaming, sweating, and running. I also thought it meant living in a cardboard box on the street, which perhaps wasn’t too far from the truth. I begged my parents to let me live outside in a large appliance box, but my pleas were ignored. Considering that a family of six deer lived in our backyard at the time, perhaps they were worried I’d be hooved to death? I assume it would be traumatic to go outside and find your daughter impaled on a set of antlers.

Eventually, I got them to agree to let me live in the box, but only indoors. I set up my box like a fort with blankets, magazines, and a flashlight. I also shook a little empty soup can full of pennies at my sister, asking her for change. She was not amused. I would randomly start tugging at my clothes like the girl from the commercial, rolling around on my blankets and screaming like a banshee. I thought the whole thing was pretty fun, but my parents were beginning to worry that there was something wrong with me. This was around the time they decided to take my college fund and use it for a cruise to Alaska, since I was obviously committed to being a homeless drug addict. (Note: This is a complete lie. I wasn’t really that committed. And my parents funded my completely useless degree.)

As I remember, I lived and slept in my box for about two days before the novelty finally wore off. My brother, who was in college at the time, found it completely hilarious, but I think he was the only one. And I wonder why I didn’t have that many friends as a child.

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