Monday, December 27, 2010

New Blog Started

Because I don't have nearly enough blogs (three and counting) I've decided to create a new one just for my webcomic. It's the most awesome comic you will every read in your lifetime. Enjoy!

http://flibbertyjibbitjamboree.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Sneak Peak Into What I Do With my Spare Time

I've been working on a lot of non-blog related writing projects lately. I will post them when the time is right. In the meantime, I would like to share something personal with you.

Sometimes, when I'm bored or have writer's block, I like to come up with headlines for The Onion. This is a leftover habit from when I used to run a alternative/humor paper. I hope you enjoy this sample of the headlines I've come up with over the years. I should warn you, some of these are based on true stories. I'd like to see if you can guess which ones.

Headline Ideas for The Onion

1) Closeted hardcore sports fan still trying to convince gay friends of his homosexuality
2) Crazy Girl insisting "you never listen" or some shit
3) Nation's Toddlers Express Dissatisfaction with status quo by screaming, rolling on floor
4) New concealer reduces women's age appearance to fetal stages
5) Local Man was like totally wasted off his ass last night, dude
6) Why I hate Couples, by a desparately single female (not humor)
7) Local Dumb and Ugly girl's facebook shows too much face and not enough book- Bimbo Brownbagger
8) Online Doppleganger generator yields displeasing results
9) Every sentence puntuated with glance at iphone
10) Malapropism misdefiled in dictionary
11) White man views only black friends as his own personal, real life magic negro
12) Procrastination Key in Immortality
13) Child of McMansion Suburbs Realizes There Are Many, Many Places Like Home
14) Absence Makes the Heart Grow....Meh
15) Why Marriage is a Social By Product by Boyfriend
16) Stop stalling and make a commitment by Girlfriend
17) First Came Love, Marriage Left Unsatisfied Yet Again
18) John Boehner Threatens to Karate Chop the Limbs off Congress
19) Local Man Drinks too much, Takes advantage of self-  "I woke up with a tube sock around my junk.  I was so humiliated."
20) Guy You're Dating 100 percent full of shit, according to friends
21) Hippie's lack of carbon footprint offset by abundance of dickishness
22) Boyfriend convinces girlfriend of porn collection's rising resale value
23) Recently Single Man Immediatly Gets Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friendster, and LinkedIn Accounts

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stupidity is a Lifestyle Choice

Intellectual elitism. This is the new adage for the American people. It is our political zeitgeist. Because of this, Americans can now add “stupid” to this list of adjectives the world outside their borders assigns them, right between “fat” and “loud.” It seems the American public has lost erudite ways.

Since when is it ok to be stupid by choice? I hate to pull the cliche phrase “When I was growing up...” but when I was growing up, I was taught that the brain is the strongest muscle. I was also taught something else: intellectual elitism is an oxymoron.

In my science class, we would learn that every animal has evolved different survival traits. Cheetahs have speed. Gorillas have strength. Rats have strength in numbers. I remember asking my teacher exactly what survival traits humans have. She didn’t answer with words, she just pointed to her head, and we all understood.

Human beings have (supposed) superior intelligence to all other beings. Our intelligence has made us the dominant species on this planet. Intelligence has advanced civilization, saved lives, fostered technology and the arts, and has even fostered itself.  While advanced intelligence has never achieved celebrity status, it has always been revered. Until recently.

Our recent political discourse seems to demonize anything resembling cerebral snobbery. This confuses me, because don’t we want smart people in politics? These are people who are in control of civilization, so therefore don’t we want people who have the capacity to understand how civilization works? The problem is many Americans are told to vote using anything but their heads. Fiscal conservatives are told to vote with their wallets. Women are told to vote with their uteruses. Patriots are told to vote with their hearts.

When I was a young girl, I asked my grandmother why she didn’t vote for Ross Perot (I was told there was no such thing as a stupid question). She told me that “He’s fit to run a company, but not fit to run a country.” This statement didn’t hit me directly. Instead it led me to form my own political philosophy. As I became older, it became more refined.

Most people vote for someone who shares the same core values as them.  This is the same mentality we assume when we are looking for a life partner. This concept is inately flawed, because a life partner relationship involves only two people. A political relationship involves a whole society. Unfortunately, the life partner relationship is not a microcosm of the prudish American society.

Rather, when we vote for a person, we need to pretend that we are voting for a boss at work. If you were able to vote for your boss, would you rather prefer someone with little experience in your field who happens to share a similar lifestyle to yours, or a person who has experience, intelligence, and fortitude? We want someone that can not only keep us employed, but who can also keep the rest of the company afloat. This is pretty much where the metaphor ends since I don’t want to get into capitalist/healthcare debate.

Perhaps the blame for this brainy bafflement could be at least partly fall on intellectuals. As opposed to physical acuity, mental acuity seems to be squandered. While physical athletes purposefully place themselves on pedestals of inspiration that beckon their followers to ascend to their heights, intellectuals shut themselves out of mainstream society. What we don’t realize is that we have the power to control society, because it is built off of our ideas. We are not part of the machine, but we built the machine.

As I said before, intellectual elitism is an oxymoron. Intellect is what makes us human. Since we are all human, it can’t be solely the property of the elite. We all own intellect, but we have choice on whether or not we use it. The average human has the capacity for great ideas, much like the average human has the capacity to run long distances.  Every human has potential, and it is an insult to ourselves to not explore the wonders within our own minds. If we don’t find our mental skills, it is because we are self-limiting and lazy.

Some say that they don’t have the capacity to solve certain mental problems. Whenever I hear someone say “I’m bad at math” or “I can’t learn a language,” I tell them to do the following:

1) Forget you are bad at X.
2) Accept that every problem with X has a solution.
3) Accept that you have the capacity to find that solution.

If they don’t follow these rules, they are just being lazy.  Our society has always denigrated physical laziness. We need to start denigrating mental laziness as well.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Supreme Extremes

I was a child of polarity. I was either loquacious or mute. I would climb a tree too high just for the thrill of it, or I would cower at the top of a flight of stairs. I would fearlessly ride the 70 mile-a-second water slide at the water park, but I would wallow in anxiety at the sight of the ocean. I would either over perform in school, or spend most of my after school hours in parent-teacher meetings.

I had an older cousin who, being an only child, had a surplus of sibling torture that needed to be expended. Since I was the next of kin in the family tree, the fruit of her ire fell my way.  For example, I should be blind from the amount of dirtballs and household chemicals she flung in my face. I think she might be a huge part of the reason for my hot-or-cold personality.

The inception of this serious personality flaw occurred one fateful evening in the summer of my eighth year on this planet.  We were in Ocean City, Maryland at Trimper’s Boardwalk Rides. I was having the time of my life. I had just finished a funnel cake after thoroughly kicking a fair load of ass at skeeball.

We were wandering around, letting our sugary, fried foods digest, when my cousin made an ominous suggestion. “Hey, you have never ridden...The Zipper. Why don’t we try it out?” A wide, toothy grin spread across her face like a virus at a frat party. I interpreted this smile as Heather is too much of a wussy to handle this ride. “Why you’re right, cuz, I haven’t ridden it. But whaddya say we give it a whirl?”

I was on top of the world. I had ridden all the scariest rides, from the face-flattening Avalanche to the vomit-inducing Crazy Dance. There was no way I would be ousted by a ride so innocuously named as “The Zipper.” I didn’t care if my cousin had ridden this ride before and was trying to trick me, I knew I could handle this task.

As we walked to get our tickets, I noticed that my cousin’s devilish smile had not faded. I thought it was stubbornness, but in my later years I now realized that the smile meant this dip has no idea what she’s in for.

There was no line for this ride, so I had no chance to see the ride in action. We handed our tickets to the mangy carnie and then waited as our seats came into position. By seats, I mean medieval body-shaped cages just big enough for two people. I looked at my cousin, who was still donning a fiendish grin. My pride prevailed and I hopped into the iron maiden. And then it began...

The ride moved four feet and my stomach turned into a centrifuge. I felt like I was being exorcised. I screamed like a banshee through a bullhorn. Tears spewed from my eyelids like flood waters through broken levies. Our cage seemed caught in a perpetual rocking motion. I then realized that we weren’t really moving forward.

The Zipper is a series of free-rotating cages that are hooked up to a chainsaw-like rig. So not only is the cage rotating, said cage is on a rig that is also rotating, and it can alternate directions.  If you are having trouble picturing the motion, imagine you are on an extremely fast merry-go-round. Now imagine that that merry-go-round is on a bigger and faster merry-go-round that is moving in the opposite direction. Now imagine that both merry-go-rounds are moving in three-dimensions. It something close to that feeling. With all these forces at play, even the most minor movement is gut-wrenching. The reason why we had only moved four feet was because the carnie was loading the only other two dumbasses who were “brave” enough to ride this death machine. They were boarded, and the express train to hell left the station.

I don’t remember much from this point. It was as if God were playing a game of trick pool, and he was using Earth as his cue ball. Everything was spinning out of control. The only way I would be able to recreate this feeling in my adult life would be by spending too much time with my frenemy, Jose Cuervo. My insides felt like they were being processed through a meat-grinder. My visual memory is limited to blurry shapes and darkness. I felt a warm liquid near my ears. I thought maybe my ears were bleeding from my own screams.

Later I would learn it was pools of saliva emanating from my cousin’s mouth as laughter erupted from her like lava from Mt. Pele.

After what seemed like eons, the hellish journey was finally over. As our cage inched closer to the unloading zone, I tried to compose myself. I had lost some hand-eye coordination due to extreme vertigo. I’m also sure that my excessive crying had led to dehydration.

I heard the click of the cage handle, and I breathed a sigh of relief. The door began to open, and I believe I saw providence on the other side. Then around the door emerged the troll-like face of the carnie operator. He was wearing the same smirk that my cousin was wearing. He spoke forth the words that were powerful enough to open a Pandora’s box worth of emotions from me:

“You kids wanna another ride?”

I was frozen with fear, and I felt like my soul was melting. It was like his mouth was the Arch of the Covenant.

My cousin nodded emphatically, and then the door clanked shut. It blasted in my ears, like a gas truck crashing into a fireworks factory. Also, in the cab of this gas truck were my closest friends and family, and the fireworks factory was located in Santa’s palace.

The next few minutes are a total blank. For all I know I could have reached total spiritual enlightenment. The next thing I remember was coming to on a sidewalk bench, my shirt soaked with tears and sweat, and my mother hugging me and stroking my hair. When people passing by asked what happen, my cousin explained, still donning that demonic grin, “she got caught in The Zipper.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Flibberty Jibbit Jamboree: SUPERSIZED EDITION

This FJJ was inspired by true events. Some instances have been slightly exaggerated for comedic effect. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. (Click for big)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rejection Collection

I was rejected by McSweeney's, again. But I don't let this get me down. I've learned that in order to be successful, you have to learn to deal with failure. Persistence is key. Here are some statistics that you may find intriguing:
  1. The Diary of Anne Frank was rejected by 15 publishers.
  2. Lord of the Flies was rejected by 20 publishers.
  3. Stephen Kings Carrie was rejected by 30 publishers.
  4. Jack London's first story received 600 rejection slips.
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was rejected by dozens of publishers. The only reason it was picked up by Bloomsbury is because the CEO's granddaughter begged him to do so.
So in the interest of good humor, I've decided to post my rejected submissions to McSweeney's "Lists" section. And here the are:

Thrilling Documentary Titles that Cleverly Disguise Their Boring Subject Matter
  1. Dye Hard with a Vengeance: How to Dye Your Fabrics without Getting Blown to Smithereens 
  2. The WWF: The Wonderful World of Fungi! 
  3. Let's Go to the Post Office!
  4. Lethal Tampon 3:  Avoiding Endometriosis
  5. Pill Bill, Volume 2- Healthcare Reform, or Here come the Bribes
  6. Crouching Carpetbagger, Riding Wagon: The Midwest Migration
  7. How Astrology can KILL YOU!!  But probably won't….
  8. Putting the RAP in ScRAPbooking
  9. A Time to Quilt
  10. The Hot, Steamy, Sensuous, Exciting, and Thrilling Sport of Golf

Lies "Insert Name Here" Told You
  1. A degree in liberal arts will help provide for your future. - Guidance Counselor
  2. It is wise to put money in your 401k. - Accountant
  3. "Synecdoche, New York" is a great movie. - Roger Ebert
  4. Democracy is a political government carried out either directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (Representative democracy). - Wikipedia
  5. That halter top looks great on you. - Sales Clerk at Dress Barn
  6. I will remember you. - Sarah McLachlan
  7. You will never amount to anything. Just kidding! You see kids, that is what we call "reverse psychology". - Psych Professor
  8. Free Masons DON'T run the country. - Shifty-Eyed Government Agent
  9. You could win money instantly! - Pepsi, Coke, Snapple
  10. I love you. - Elmo, Ex, Mother
 


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to Deal with Humans

I traveled to Chicago this weekend to visit my mother. She lives there part-time because her company’s headquarters is there. This time around she invited me and my stepsister to come with her.

Coincidentally, they were shooting a scene for Transformers III just blocks from the apartment. It was an action scene, so it took up the entire Michigan Avenue bridge as well as several blocks surrounding it. As you can imagined, crowds swarmed in many areas, not only to see the action, but also because of the detours in several areas surrounding the scene, being that it was blocking one of the most major arteries in the city. There were several crowd control agents at many of the major intersections. These people had probably the worst job imaginable. They were yelling at people not to stop in the roadways, not to wait in stairwells, basically doing everything to keep traffic flowing. Because people, especially tourists, are stupid, a lot of them were getting yelled at. These crowd control agents had the worst job because their job is vital to keeping people safe but they are hated for it.

I was walking down a stairwell to get to the Chicago Riverwalk, and one the people in front of me stopped to answer a text. The crowd control agent yelled at him to keep walking. As he started walking again, he said “Jeez, what a bitch. Why did she have to yell at me?” As we reached the end of the stairwell, I said “Look behind you, and then look up.” He looked behind him and then looked up. “When you stopped, we all stopped. That’s why she yelled at you.” I pointed out how some of the people caught at the top of the stairwell were stopped in the street, and how that could cause accidents. It’s amazing how defensive people can get when the perceived to be threaten by authority.

A similar incident happened later after my family and I had just finished an architectural river boat cruise. The whole cruise of about 200 people had to exit off of this one platform. One of the geriatrics stopped to talk to one of the crewman, effectively blocking THE REST OF THE PASSENGERS from exiting. The crew member did nothing to move this person out of the way, they just stood there and answered her inane questions. After about ten seconds, I asked the woman kindly but forcefully to move out of the way so that the rest of us could exit. She looked at me as if I had asked her how much she would charge for a hand job. Her icy demeanor didn’t bother me though, because it was effectively melted by the gratitude of the HUNDREDS of people behind me.

We are social creatures, yet we do not understand our own social hierarchies. We don’t know how crowds work, we either defy authority completely or follow it blindly, and we seem to favor emotion over logic. All of these situations are dangerous for both personal and societal well-being, especially the part on authority. We will gladly defy our doctors, teachers, career mentors and other figures of personal authority, but then we will blindly follow figures of societal authority, as seen with the Nazi regime. I think the crux of this problem is that people do not bother to make themselves aware of themselves, their environment, and their situations. Some people just sleepwalk through their lives. I’m guilty of this every now and then. Sometimes I’ll be deep in thought, or just too tired to concentrate. However, when someone wakes me from this mental slumber, I am grateful. Unfortunately, most others react with defensiveness or disgust.

This problem can be solved if people accept the following truths/life lessons:

1) There is a big world around you, and there are billions of other people in it. This can be explained by this Venn diagram.
2) You are not the smartest person in the world. In fact, you are probably not even in the 80th percentile. However, the more you come to grips with this fact, the smarter you will become. A model or method might seem illogical to you, but you should accept the idea that maybe it works for reasons you can’t understand. Because I love making graphs, here is one that represents IQ distribution:
3) Question everything, but question it without bias.
4) No one is out to get you, or purposefully trying to piss you off. In a crowd of strangers, no one cares about you enough to try to get under your skin. Sure, some things people do may seem illogical, but no one is doing just to piss you off.
5) You will find that you will be a lot happier if you live by The Golden Rule. I know this seems cliché, but there’s a reason why some things are cliché.
6) When you are caught in a mass of people that needs to be managed, do what you can to help. For instance, on airplanes. Whenever I get the aisle seat, I always unload my rowmates luggage from the overhead compartment while we are waiting to exit. This saves time and minimizes blocking the line to exit. Let me see if I can illustrate this one:

I believe that if one person starts following these rules, then their effect will spread. One will find that they are happier, smarter, and more connected with the world. As a good friend of mine once said “We are all connected by a web. If one of us pulls just a little, we all move.”

Friday, June 25, 2010

Because it had to be done...

I have posted a shirt for sale based on yesterday's Flibberty Jibbit Jamboree. Please see the sidebar under the heading "SHIT."

Yes, I am a sellout. Worship me, capitalist scum!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Some of you may have noticed a few new things around here. I decided, after four long years, to redesign my blog. By redesign, I mean simplify. I decided to go with one of Blogger's templates so that it would be easier to enable many of Blogger's gadgets. You will now notice a few new features, and some old broken features that are now fixed. I will be adding some small features in the future.

Here's something you may not have noticed: I started a new blog. It's called Econduct, and it's a blog about going green for those inclined to do so. I will also be starting a similar, but different, green blog in the future.

Stay tuned for all the marvelous things to come....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Visitors

This morning I was visited by two old friends who I hadn't seen in quite some time. I blinked when I first saw them; I thought I was hallucinating. Surely this could not be the two friends be standing before me! What a joyous occasion!

I've been friends with these two since before I could remember.  I used to call them Leftie and Rightie, because they always came in a pair. They had been with me through many trials and tribulations. They have always been quick to make myself and others laugh. They are quite big and hairy, you see, and they use their physical appearance to their comical advantage. They love to dance as they are very active beings, despite their size.

It was many months ago when I saw them last. This may not seem like a very long time, but this seemed like eons to me. The three of us were inseparable for most of our lives.  Their absence was troublesome at best. It was a heavy sadness. I felt like the three of us had been carrying a fifty pound weight, and when they left I was forced to carry the burden myself. Over time I got used to their absence, except in one specific avenue: photographs.

Before they left, it seemed like we were in every photograph together. Then after they left, I looked very lonely in every photograph, even when I was surrounded by others. Even when I was smiling I looked sad. It was because they weren’t there.

Then, out of thin air, they appeared just this morning! I woke up and there they were! I almost didn’t recognize them at first being that they had lost a lot of weight. Fortunately, they hadn’t changed much more than that. Also, they promised me that they would return to their original size so that they would make me laugh once more.

As soon as we kissed our hellos, I took a picture of us back together again. Here it is.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened Today

I have been craving massive amounts of fruit lately. Many of my friends have been visiting me, and when they ask what they can bring, I say something like "Junk food, pears and strawberries. In fact, nix the junk food. Just bring the pears and strawberries."

Yesterday I was watching a Blue Planet marathon on the Discovery Channel, and this advertisement for Edible Arrangements kept popping up. Every commercial break, my couch would become drenched with the drool that was coming from my mouth. I almost went and ordered one for myself.

Then, as if by the power of magical thinking (or perhaps telepathy?), one arrives at my doorstep this morning.



Doesn't it look scrumptious?

This delectable delight was sent to me by my relatives Tamar and Michael, and I am tremendously thankful for it. Also, it is but one of the many gifts that have been sent to me over the last few weeks. I received everything from crossword puzzles, hilarious books, and dozens of flowers to waterfalls of Starbursts, boxes of mac n cheese, and a giant stuffed dragon. I thank you all for these gifts, and I look forward to paying it through.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Convalescing, Or The Beginning of the End

So I'm a week out of surgery and I'm on the mend. I had a double mastectomy, which included a simple mastectomy on the left and a modified radical on the right. Modified radical means they also cut out some lymph nodes from the armpit area. Because of this, I have tremendous pain in my right arm. But for those of you who remember how I was diagnosed, you will know that this is nothing new for me.

I got the pathology report back yesterday, and I'm pleased to report good news. The left breast was entirely cancer free. They extracted only nine lymph nodes from the right side, only two of which had any remaining signs of cancer. The dead tumors that they found were around 1 mm (about the width of a hair). Overall, it's an excellent report, which means an excellent prognosis.

My surgery was last Tuesday. I barely slept the night before. I got out of bed at 4 A.M., showered, and woke up my friend who was coming to the hospital with me. Before I left, I put on lipstick (in honor of this book, which I honestly have yet to read):



Then I took a sexy shot:



I took some token power objects with me to the hospital. One was a sock monkey I named Emily. Emily was a gift from my officemates:



I promised my friend that I would sing a song right after I got out of surgery. I sang it several times in the recovery room, and then belted it out on the way to my room so that my family would be able to find me. My friend got some of it on video.



I am now resting comfortably at my parents home for the next couple of weeks. I still have the post-operative drains in me. They are quite a nuisance. I am on Percocet at 10 mg. Because of this, I have spent most of my time here:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sticky Comics

My awesome friend at Sticky Comics made an awesome comic about my (not-so awesome, but thankfully one) boobs.

http://www.stickycomics.com/boobs-in-heaven/

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Small List of Big Things

Here is a small list of things that happened to me in the past few days:

1) Tonight, I played the piano.
2) While driving this morning, I stretched out my arm to turn the radio down.
3) Yesterday evening, I bought shampoo.
4) Yesterday morning, I drank a cup of herbal tea.
5) On Monday, I took a shower.
6) On Sunday, I drank a glass of wine with friends.
7) On Saturday, I did the full warrior pose in my yoga class.
8) On Friday, I rode a bike for 30 seconds.
9) On Thursday, I drank Oban.
10) On Wednesday, I got an email from my doctor.
11) On Tuesday, I got a pet scan.

Here is why this little list is so big to me:

1) I have not been able to play in the past few weeks because of swelling in my right hand. Now I can.
2) Up until then, I was not able to stretch my arm without immense pain.
3) My hair is starting to grow back.
4) Herbal tea can interact with chemo. Now that I'm done with chemo, I can enjoy a nice warm cup.
5) Because of nausea and weakness, I could really only take baths for the past few months. Now I can stand in the shower and not worry about falling over.
6) Now that chemo is over, I can drink again. I hadn't had a drop since my birthday (October 3).
7) The full warrior pose requires stretching of the arms. See number 2.
8) I used to bike everyday, up until my diagnosis.
9) I was celebrating.
10) It was good news.
11) I'm cancer free.

Sometimes you just gotta sit, breathe, and enjoy the little (and big) things in life.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To Hell with Cancer

The first leg of this journey is complete. On February 4th I completed my last round of chemo. The side effects where a bit harsh this time around, but I was reassured by the fact that THIS WAS THE LAST TIME I WILL EXPERIENCE THEM. As I was laying on my aunt's couch rollercoastering through bouts of nausea, I kept thinking "Bring it on bitch. You will be over soon."

It's about three weeks later and I'm feeling good. My white blood cell counts are up, and I'm feeling strong. I can't wait to start doing all the things I used to do, like biking, hiking, camping. I made a promise to myself that once this is all over, I will never skip the oppotunity for adventure. Unfortunately, those things will have to wait a bit longer as I still have my surgery to look forward to.

Truth be told, chemo is not that horribly bad. Don't get me wrong, it's by no means fun, but it's not like how it is in the movies. It used to be like that before the medicines and dosages became more targeted. As far as the side effects go, it's kind of like being pregnant (so I'm told). You wake up feeling nauseous, swollen, tired, but after awhile it goes away. The big differences are chemo makes you lose your hair and pregnancy gives you a baby.

The hairloss was not devastating for me. I loved my hair, but I always wanted an excuse to shave it. This afforded me that opportunity. Once it comes back, I may keep it short for awhile.

I've taken a good look at my life these past five months, and one thing has bothered me. I realized that most of my time, energy, and conversation has been devoted to this disease. I seem to have put myself into a category. I want to avoid the label "Cancer Survivor" as much as possible. This is not only because I hate labels, but also because it doesn't tell everything about me. I have survived other trials, arguably worse than this one. So if I had to label myself as something, it would be simply "A Survivor."

Speaking of surviving, there are ways you can help others survive this disease. An old family friend is doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and she is doing it in my honor. If you care to donate, please click here: http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk/WashingtonDC?px=1003944&pg=personal&fr_id=1910

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Drafter of Laughter

Note: I wrote the beginning of this entry awhile ago. It took me that long to complete this.

I always have ideas rolling around in my head for topics to write about. One has been swimming around in my head for awhile, but it wasn’t until earlier today that I was thoroughly motivated to write this idea.

I was in a deep funk this morning, partially from lack of sleep, partially from emotional turbulence. I met up with a friend to go to a yoga class, and during the last 10 minutes of the class we did the corpse pose. This means we lay on the floor and rummage in our own thoughts. As you can imagine, my thoughts went to some pretty dark places. Normally I’m very in control of my thoughts and emotions, but even the strongest person has a breaking point, and I feel I’ve been walking on the edge of mine. Normally when I do a meditative pose, I take my mind to some beautiful landscapes. One time, I had something akin to an out-of-body experience. My mind traveled to the top of Mount Etna where I slid down the summit on the back of an emperor penguin while a cloud enveloped us. We stopped at stand selling flavored honey, and we fed each other strawberry flavored while the cloud lifted us away. LSD was not involved.

This time around my thoughts turned to grey shapeless images of sadness and solitude. I opened my eyes and stared at the ashy-black ceiling of the studio's and followed the lightly swinging white paper lanterns, and I tried to take myself into outer space. But my thoughts were heavy and kept me down to earth, and I felt myself sink into the floor. Some force was pulling me down into the ground, and I felt like I was being buried in sorrow.

My life is very scary and chaotic right now. Much of my future is uncertain, and that which is certain is not very pleasant. I know the next couple of months will bring a great deal of physical and emotional pain. While I know the physical pain will quell and desist with time, there is really no telling when the emotional pain will die. I will be very disfigured for a good long while, and this will take its toll on the rest of my life. I know I’m a strong person, but I’m not made of stone. This will affect my possibilities of engaging in any sort of intimacy, engaging in any sort of long-term relationship, having children, etcetera. I’ve had problems even just getting dates in the past three years, so it was like I was already in a hole, and then the ground has sunken even further. All of this was weighing on me in the last ten minutes of class.

After the class, my friend and I offered each other our reviews, being that this was our first time at this particular studio. We both agreed that we liked the class overall, but then I told him about my gloomy mental turn at the end. I was still a little lost in my thoughts, so only bits and pieces of what he was saying was filtering through. “I go to good places blah blah blah drift off yadda yadda yadda my thoughts are awesome yakety yakety yak…” But then he said something that stuck. “When my mind starts to turn that way I just stop.”

Just. Stop. I’ve repeated this mantra to myself many times, but not in recent past. Sometimes you see yourself on the edge of a plank, and you forget that the only thing that brought you there was your own two feet. Just. Stop.
Then I thought of something a family friend said to me: “Find things to make you laugh as often as possible.”

So here it finally is, a list of things/images/people/other nouns that make me smile or laugh at any time:

1) This scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYtjpIwamos&feature=related

2) This picture of me and my friend. He threw up not too long after this photo was taken.

3) This scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekkldCWkibw&feature=related

4) This issue of The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/2056-06-22/

5) This one requires some backstory, and it may leave a bad taste in some mouths. I frequently lurk this online forum called Something Awful. The users on this forum talk about everything, literally. One day, a user had posted that his dad just committed suicide and that he was feeling lost and helpless. This was the FIRST RESPONSE to the post: "I know I'll probably be attacked for this (video games are for losers, etc. ), but this is exactly how I felt when Aerith [a character from Final Fantasy] died. I honestly didn't know what to do, I was pretty much in a daze.. I would go into battle without any materia equipped, I'd forget to heal my characters after battles, completely neglected my chocobos. I would just go to the Golden Saucer and dick around for hours at a time playing minigames... I just didn't see any point to advancing the story, how could there be a story without her? Well, it took some time, but I got over it (and took my revenge on Sephy [KoTR + Mimic ftw]), and the point is, I'm sure you will too. If there's anything I'd take from this, it's that life goes on even after losing a loved one, it's just up to you how long it takes. Goondolences."

6) I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL.

7) Mustaches.

8) Helen Keller went to town, Riding on a pony, Stuck a feather in her cap and called it DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRERRERRRANNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH

9) David Sedaris’ essay “Next of Kin.” This is tied to the next item on this list.

10) The memory of watching my best friend reading “Next of Kin” on the beach and laughing so hard she frightened some people.

11) Christopher Moore’s book Lamb.

Feel free to post some of your happy thoughts.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Someone Broke Into My Apartment Last Night

I have been up half the night gripping my floor and crying so hard I can barely breathe. I got home around 1 AM last night only to discover that someone, or perhaps several people, broke into my apartment yesterday. I am guessing they disguised themselves as delivery people and fooled my landlord into letting them into my apartment. I am so overcome with emotion right now. I can't believe something like this could happen to me.

Here are some pictures of the aftermath.








The bandit(s) had plastered every single flat surface of my apartment with post-its. Here are some more detailed photos:








There was one of these for every member of my family.


I think Jemaine Clement is the most beautiful man alive.


Neither I nor google know what "snarflehazen" means. I'm gonna guess it's hungarian for the f word.


Even my cat was hit by this post-band-it.


They even left some graffiti on my keyboard and bookshelf.



The notes where everywhere. I have a feeling I will find more over the next couple of months. I have strong suspicions about the identity of the main culprit, and I have a feeling that she (err uh OR he) had some accomplices.

I was crying out of love. I was gripping the floor because my heart was filling with happiness as a balloon fills with helium. I was afraid that if I let go, I would float away. I have the best family and friends in the world. No doubt about it.

P.S.- In case you weren't aware, my intials are HBO.