Friday, August 24, 2012

Things that made me laugh this week

This week, I got this stuck in my head:

I first saw it on Tuesday morning, and I'm still hearing it in my head.

This gif is just made of pure LOL:

Yes, I felt bad for the horse while laughing at it.

Breaking Bad had a great scene in it where Jesse, Walter and Skyler are sitting around the dinner table, and Jesse tries desperately to fill the terribly awkward silence:

There is no way this full scene is on the internet legally, but these few seconds are really just the icing on the cake made of green beans from Albertsons, and microwave lasagna dinners.  If you didn't get the reference WATCH BREAKING BAD.  NOW!!!  Unless you have Dish.  Because, as I'm reminded everytime I watch AMC, Dish hates the best dramas on television.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

London Olympics Opening Ceremony


I haven't watched an Olympics Opening Ceremony since Barcelona in 1992.  I just don't get that excited about the Olympics, sorry.  But upon hearing earlier in the week that Mary Poppins was going to fight Lord Voldemort, I decided I had to see this.

I tried to watch it live, or as live as NBC was going to make it, which I think was a 6 hour delay or something.  Not even five minutes in I set the DVR to record it and changed the channel.  Turn of #1: the narrators at the beginning of the program with in and out British accents, trying to pump up the Olympics.  It was awful and I decided I would just wait it out and watch when I could fast forward past the boring parts.

Cue Saturday evening.  I plop my self down on the couch, remote in hand, finger poised over the fast forward button, and I have have to fast forward through the first fifteen minutes or so.  The queen making James Bond wait before climbing into a helicopter and then parachuting from the helicopter into the stadium was kind of cool.  She didn't look too happy to be there otherwise.  Of course she's getting old, it was probably kind of chilly, as the commenters kept reminding us, and it was late.  Plus all she ever does when she goes out in public is smile and wave, so if I was her, I'd look grouchy too.

Fast forward through commercials.

People walking around with sheep and cows. 

Commercials.

Now there are smoke stacks coming out of the ground while a thousand miserable looking people tear up the grass and pull levers and look miserable.  Meanwhile 5 guys in top hats walk around waving their hands in the air.  I think they're dancing.

Commercials.

Kids in beds while doctors and nurses (real sick kids, and real doctors and nurses as the commentors made sure to tell us five times) dance around while lights on the beds spell NHS.  As an American with certain political leanings, I'm jealous.

Commercials.

The kids fall asleep, there's what I think are nightmares.  A REALLY creepy Queen of Hearts rises out of a bed.  It's far creepier than the giant Voldemort.  Then twenty Mary Poppins' fly in and kind of wave their umbrellas at Voldemort and vanquish him.  I say:


I mean, if you're going to take the time to have Mary Poppins fight Voldemort, you could at least have lasers shoot out of her umbrella.

Commercials.

Mr.  Bean.  Chariots of Fire.  That is all.

Commercials.

Something about a girl losing her phone and a guy finds it.  Lots of dancing.  My question is the guy finds her by calling her on a cell phone.  Who's phone is she on?  Did he just call one of her contacts who just happened to be with her at the giant 50 year British music dance-off? 

Commercials.

Interviews with gymnasts.  Fast forward.

Commercials.

Parade of Nations!  We make it halfway through the Bs before more commercials.

As the Parade goes on, more and more commercials get squeezed in.  Two countries go by, commercials.  Three more countries, commercials.  My finger and the fast forward button get acquainted real quick.

Finally we get to the United States and the cameras linger on the athletes and Uzbekistan, and other U countries get ignored.

Commercials.

Finally the host country, Great Britain, which caused me to wonder "Do Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland not have their own Olympic teams?"  I don't know enough about how the whole Great Britain, United Kingdom, Commonwealth thing works, (in fact all I know of modern Britain comes from Doctor Who), but if Torchwood: Miracle Day taught me anything, you will still get punched in the face if you call a Welsh woman English.

Announcement that Sir Paul McCartney will be singing.  I hit stop on the remote and when the tv asks if I want to delete the program, I hit yes.

And that is what I got out of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

BTW:  WTF is these things supposed to be?






Sunday, July 22, 2012

Breaking Bad Ramble

Here I go again, breaking my promise to blog on Saturdays.  As always, I forgot to do it.

Breaking Bad is back.  If you don't watch this show, you should.  I didn't watch it for the first 3 seasons because I couldn't quite grasp the idea of Brian Cranston in a dramatic role.  The only thing I knew him from was Malcolm In The Middle where he played Hal, the barely there dad and husband.  Finally I broke down and watched the first episode because Netflix kept throwing it into my suggestions.

I was hooked.  I mainlined the first 3 seasons that were available on Netlflix and then tracked down the fourth season and watched it.  The fifth season started last Sunday and I've got the DVR set for tonight.

If you're living under a rock and don't know the basic premise of the show, here it is.  Walter White (Cranston) is a high school chemistry teacher with a pregnant wife and a teen aged son with cerebral palsy.  He's in debt up to his eyeballs and frustrated by life.  One day he goes to the doctor for a persistent cough and finds out that he has lung cancer.  He's told that it is inoperable and even with treatment he'll be dead within a year.  Walter wants to be able to leave his family debt free with money to pay for college educations for the kids, so he hatches a plan.  After hearing his brother in law, a DEA agent, describing the insane amounts of money meth dealers can make, Walter decides he's going into the business of cooking and selling methamphetamine.  He finds a former student, Jesse Pinkman, who is a small time meth producer and dealer, and blackmails him into teaming up to sell the drug.  Hilarity ensues.

I'm not joking about the humor in the series, especially in the first season.  Walter knows his chemistry and produces superior meth that soon catches the attention of the local drug lords and authorities, but he has no clue how a criminal enterprise works.  Jesse on the other hand, while not exactly stupid, obviously slept through most of Walter's chemistry classes, and is prone to taking short cuts (as evidenced by his decision to ignore Walter's instructions about buying a plastic container to dispose of a body, leading to me laughing at the same time as being horrified when a half dissolved body plunges through the ceiling.  Watch it.  I'm not describing anymore.)

As time goes on things get more serious as Walter and Jesse go deeper into the criminal underworld.  They both grow and change; Walter becomes more and more ruthless; Jesse loses some of his naivete, but not enough to keep from being manipulated by more powerful people around him (including Walter, who despite claiming to care for Jesse has no problem with using him as a pawn and a shield).

The acting on this show is just amazing.  As I said before, I only knew Brian Cranston as Hal, and he was hilarious on that show.  Sometimes, especially during the first season I get a Hal sort of vibe from Walter, but that soon goes away.  When Walter stares down a rival meth cook in the parking lot of a hardware store, you're actually scared for the rival.  Jesse started as a one note joke, (ha ha, look at this high school drop out in his baggy pants.  He doesn't even know that metal conducts electricty) -and according the creater of the show, he was supposed to die at the end of the season- but Aaron Paul really brings a lot to the character.  You believe how conflicted Jesse is in all the things he is made to do by Walt and others.

Here, just watch these videos, because I don't think I can adequately describe how great this show is. FYI: Lots and lots of spoilers in these vids.




Finally to lighten things up a little (does not feature any previously mentioned characters, but it's great anyway):

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Videos and Recommitment To Blogging

I don't know why, but I find this commercial highly amusing.  I guess I'm the kind of person the advertisers are going after.  The kind of person who thinks shouting "Whoo!  Dachsund!" is hilarious.
I also think the Geico commercial with the piggy going "wee wee weee" all the way home is funny (the first one where he's in the car with the pinwheels).  I laughed out loud the first time I saw it.

This week I heard this song and it brought back memories of the 90's.   Ahh the 90's.  They were so awesome.

Anyway, I've been gone for awhile.  I just haven't had the energy to blog.  I'll get an idea and think, "I oughta take note of that," and then I get distracted and completely forget about it.  I suppose I should make a schedule.  I think I started with a schedule back in May, but that went out the window pretty quick.

I'm going to take this moment to recommit to blogging here at Completely Unoriginal Thoughts on a regular basis.  Every Saturday.  I need to move on from posting videos from YouTube and actually write something.  Starting next Saturday.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

(Remember the old SNL skit with John Lovitz?  The one where he's always lying and saying "Yeah, that's the ticket"?  I don't know, just random memory).

Oh, one more video and I'll stop.  I promise.  I love me some old school muppets, no Elmo for me.  I hate the song being parodied, but I love cookies.

Crap.  Now I have the original stuck in my head.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America

Happy B-day America.  I made a cake just for you:


I also wanted to share with you the most American thing I've ever seen.


If this does not make you proud to be an American, you might be one of those fascist-socialist Euro-Canadians Fox News is always warning us about.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No fancy name for this post.

This week has been a long one.  I spent Sunday night in the emergency room with my son, then went to work on Monday with no sleep.  Luckily I was able to leave at noon, but I still had to hang around the Walmart pharmacy for an hour to pick up antibiotics before I could go home and go to sleep. 

I stumbled upon some movie trailer recuts that had me giggling.


 
 These are two of my favorites, but you can spend hours on youtube looking at these things.

I got this song stuck in my head this week and it's not even the Fourth of July.  Please don't click if you have no sense of humor about America or are offended by gratuitous repetition if the "F" word.  Warned.

True Blood starts tomorrow; excited about that.  Last year I did recaps of the first 3 seasons of True Blood (check here, here, and here), but the fourth season just pissed me off.  It was almost as bad as Torchwood: Miracle Day (10 hours of my life I will never get back), which is saying something.  It was just a mess, too many stories crammed together, and they broke up Jessica and Hoyt.  Jason?  Seriously?  Jessica honey, no, no, no.

Anyway, I guess Paster Newland is back - as a vampire?  Russell Edgington will be back (squeeeeeeee), and I'm guessing Tara will either be a zombie or a self loathing vampire.  Please don't make her a ghost.  Just when you think Tara can get any worse they'll make her a ghost that's always following Sookie around, being alternately sassy and mopey.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I hate treadmills too

I found this the other day:
I laughed and laughed.  Then I watched it again and laughed some more.

I love how at one point the cat's hind legs are sort of walking, but the rest of its body just says "f--- it"

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to fly again

My son has a thing (by thing I mean obsession) for sharks.  Not really a reason for a blog post, but it does explain how I ended up buying this DVD:



If you'll notice the shark has an airplane in it's mouth. 

When I first saw the cover I thought "That's an interesting piece of artwork showing how mega this shark is."

Except it is a literal interpretation of what actually occurs in the movie.

A giant shark leaps out of the ocean, 30,0000 feet into the air, and snatches an airplane out of mid-air.

Don't believe me?  Proof:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Looky What I Got

Thank You to CLR at The Slow Dripped Life for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award.
As these things go there are a few things the recipient has to do:
  1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
  2. Answer the 7 questions.
  3. Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
  4. Award the 7 more deserving blogs.
Let's start with the questions.

What's you're favorite song?
I don't have any favorites.  15 years ago it was Bohemian Rhapsody.  This week I'm kind of stuck on Lippy Kids, by Elbow, Sealgopur by Sigur Ros, and Somebody I Used To Know, by Gotye (which I like to pronounce Got-Yee). 

What's you're favorite dessert?
If it has sugar in it I will eat it.

Which do you prefer:  White or Whole Wheat?
Whole wheat bread, white for any other grain based food.  I've tried the whole wheat/multi-grain pasta, the texture-to me- is not worth any health benefit.

What do you do when you're upset?
Go to sleep.  If I'm really upset, the only thing that makes it better is to sleep.  I usually feel better and think much more clearly afterwards.  If that's not an option (like I'm at work) I'll go for a walk, but that is usally only a short term solution.

Which is your favorite pet?
If we're talking what type of animal, that will have to go to cats.  If we're talking which cat is my favorite pet, it will have to go to Jerry.

What is your biggest fear?
Awfully personal of you to ask that, so I'm going with a joke answer: people with disproportionally small hands.

What is your attitude, mostly?
First off, this question is worded weirdly, just getting that off  my chest.  Second off-spacey.  Is spacey an attitude?

Ok, now 10 random factoids:

  1. My left foot is smaller than my right foot.  I ususally don't notice it unless I'm wearing shoes without laces.  Then the left shoe is looser than the right.
  2. Additionally the whole left side of my body is just stupider than my right side (I'm right-handed).
  3. I've lost 50 pounds in the past year.
  4. I can crochet a baby blanket in a day.
  5. I'm so slow at knitting that it can take me a week of very diligent work to do a scarf in garter stitch.
  6. I'm looking at the Kreativ Blogger Award and wondering why "Award" is in brackets.  Is it a design choice?  Is it supposed to be sarcastic?  Also, there is no "e" at the end of Kreativ, and though I can accept that it starts with a K, the missing "e" I can't forgive.
  7. I will correct other people's spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, but never see my own mistakes.
  8. I am a comma abuser.  I've become so concious of this that I agonize over whether to use a comma in a work email even though 99% of the people reading the email won't ever notice it.  It's the two people who will notice that I want to impress.
  9. I'm intrigued by the semi-colon; but I don't think I ever use it properly.
  10. I'm bad at coming up with random facts about myself.
Now for my awardees:

Hektor Karl at After Troy-Hektor Karl
Ermie at Just Ermie
Rhi at Weird and Important

--and I don't have anyone else.  I'm going to do like Absonditus Creations of Art Of A Hidden Heart and open it up to anyone who would like to self nominate.   Just leave a comment and I'll make sure to add you the list.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So for your entertainment, my countdown of Doctor Who's companions from worst to best.

Now for anyone who wants to pick at this list, a few caveats:
  • I'm only including the companions that appeared from the Ninth Doctor onwards. The only pre-Eccleston doctor I ever saw was the Sixth Doctor, he looked like a clown, the production design wasn't even cheestastic, and I had no clue what was going on.
  • This is not a comprehensive list. This is kind of a swiss cheese recap thing, because I know that I should probably include that dude that Nine and Rose picked up in Dalek, who tried to send future ideas back to himself. That's all that's going to be mentioned about him.
So, on with the countdown:

Amy Pond
I really wanted to like Amy Pond.  I really tried to like her, and I even kind of do a little from the 1st season she was on.  By the second season I couldn't stand her.  It might be because she never wore pants.  Doesn't she get cold?












Mickey Smith
Mickey was kind of an accidental companion who got mixed up with the Doctor just because he was trying to keep his girlfriend.  He was all right.  I did like how he evolved into a more badass character.  Until he married Martha.  Why Russell T. Davies?  Why?



Martha Jones
I should have liked Martha better, but they really screwed her over making her the rebound companion after Rose.









Rory Williams
Rory is awesome.  Too bad he has to be married to Amy.








Rose Tyler
I don't know exactly what to say about her except I like her better than most.  Maybe because I associate her with the Ninth Doctor.  Billie Piper did something to her teeth somewhere between the end of series 2 and series 4 that was really distracting.  Not that that has anything to do with anything, but just figured I'd put that out there.





Donna Noble
I love Donna because she was the only female companion who was not in love with the Doctor, or tried to seduce him in a bout of pre-wedding cold feet (looking at you Amy).  She was just his friend, and she was awesome.

Captain Jack Harkness
Because he's Captain Jack-freakin'-Harkness.



Bonus:

Last 3 Doctors from best to worst:

9
11
10



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Night Wrap Up

I feel bad that I haven't been posting so much since A to Z ended.  Without the pressure of a challenge forcing me to post everyday I have gotten a bit lazy.

So I'm going to do what I did last week and post some stuff that came up this week.  I think I'll try to make this a regular thing-post every Saturday at least.  And maybe once more during the week.  I don't know.  Definitely Saturdays though.

Anyhoo,  I heard this song this week.  People always have something to snarky to say about it, but how did it become so popular?  Hypocrites.  Also, I just realized, 20 years later, that he talks about getting shot at.

At work, one of my new duties is to send out a report to the floor with a list of available work.  Background: I work in a call center for a credit card processing company.  You know when you run your credit card or debit card at the store?  We are the middle man that transmits the information from the store to the bank.  My department makes outbound calls to reprogram credit card terminals to a new processing platform (not going into details, it's kind of confusing, and probably proprietary information anyway).  Well, I send out a report that says we still have 250 merchants to call who haven't been called yet that day.  People start FREAKING OUT because I didn't give the correct number.  Whatever.  The ONLY reason I send this report is because about 50% (and I am not exaggerating this number out of frustration) of the phone agents figure someone else will do the work and don't bother to look for it on their own.  One of the other Team Leads comes to me and says "So, uh, the wayward children (that's what he calls them) are a little upset because of the report."  My response: "If they did their jobs, I wouldn't have a chance to screw up my own."  I am SO tired of hearing people bitch just to bitch at this point.  And that turned out way more ranty than I planned.

On  a lighter note, I got 90 minutes of Community this week.  Sadly they have only been renewed for 13 episodes next year, and I guess the fired Dan Harmon, the show runner, so I don't know how those last few episodes will turn out.  And now 4 minutes of Troy crying:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ten-year-olds are gross

Why tell a kid to wash his hands before making no bake cookies, when he's just going to stick his hands in his arm pits IMMEDIATELY after washing them?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I have had a week where I really didn't feel like blogging.  My duties at work changed so that I sit in a cubicle all by myself, staring at a computer all day; doing reports, updating spreadsheets, writing procedures.  It's not hard work, just time consuming so most nights I don't feel like being on a computer.

So, just some random things that happened this week.

Just this afternoon I was at Walgreens when I heard behind me-in one of those thick accents that make people outside Kentucky think creepy banjo music-"Ma said they was selling licker up here now!" I am purposely misspelling "liquor" to make a point here. "How much is it here! She said it was supposed to be cheaper!" The exclamation points aren't hyperbole.  This man was actually shouting like the person he was with was hearing impaired.  "How much is that bottle of Jo-se Cuer-vo?!  Sixteen dollars?!  I ain't payin' sixteen dollars for Jo-se Cuer-vo!"  I don't know, maybe you had to be there. 

They also had wine in those little cartons like chocolate milk come in, which I found...odd.

I heard this song on the radio one day on my drive to work.  It reminded me of highschool since it came out at about that time.  A walk down auditory memory lane.
It was my brother's birthday Friday.  I didn't forget it, but every birthday reminds me of the Flight of the Conchords song "Hurt Feelings" where Jermaine says "The day after my birthday is not my birthday, Mum."  I crack up everytime I hear that, probably because of the New Zealand accent.


Oh, and I saw this on the internet one day.  I don't recommend it for everybody, because even I was a little afraid that I might have come one step closer to insanity after watching it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflecting on the A to Z Challenge Reflections Post



I heard about the Challenge back in December of last year, and debated whether I was going to do it.  This site had existed for about 6 months and I was having problems getting into the blogging thing.  I finally made the plunge and signed up for it.  I was at first daunted by the task of posting once a day, mostly because I can go a little overboard when I start writing and just keep going no matter how far off point I get, so the suggestion of keeping posts under 500 words definitely helped me to keep length under control.  Also I didn't feel so bad when I had nothing to say.

I did learn some things though.  I learned that ubermensch is a word. I learned that I CAN think of something to put down even if it was just a YouTube video with a description.

Easiest post? Luck, a piece of fiction that I thought up in a few minutes while laying in bed one morning.

Hardest? V-Day.  I had already gone the route of just listing words that start with U, and I didn't want to repeat myself.  So, I just rambled on for a while about words that start with V.

Best part of the Challenge?  Getting to visit some great blogs.  I didn't get through the entire blog list.  Sorry, I only have so many hours in my day.  I did find a few that I enjoyed visiting daily.  I also loved receiving visits from others to my blog and I got really excited every time I got a new comment on one of my posts.  I am, however, a bad visitor in that probably 75% of the blogs I visited I didn't leave a comment.

So, overall I would call this a complete success.  I am notorious for starting things and not finishing them so I'm really proud of myself.  I went ahead and added a page up there at the top with a list of all my A to Z posts, in case anyone wants a walk down memory lane, or in case any stragglers come by and want to see what I did last month.

Special thanks to all my followers and for everyone who left me comments.

And a final note:  During the Challenge I did 5 posts of fiction.  I remembered that I really liked writing fiction.  So, I decided to start a second blog called A Creative Exercise that will be devoted to writing.  I'm one of those insane people who plan to keep more than one blog running.  So, hop on over to my second home. I've already posted my first message to the masses.

Image courtesy of here

Monday, April 30, 2012

Zombie

For the last day of the Challenge I chose the word Zombie. 

Slightly off topic, but I wonder how many other participating bloggers are going with Zombie today?  Imma go with....25%.

Anyway, zombies are hot right now.  So hot I even fought my way through Pride and Predjudice and Zombies (never again will I be tricked into reading Jane Austin). I don't know what it is about them that people like.  Maybe because it's a way to justify fantasies of blowing peoples heads off when you're having a bad day.  How many conversations have I had detailing what I would do during the Zombie Apocalypse (coming to a shopping mall near you December 21, 2012)?  The CDC even used the idea of an outbreak of Undeaditis to illustrate emergency preparedness. 

Anyway, I wanted to make a point here about zombies that I'm not going to articulate very well.  In many modern zombie stories, the surviving humans turn out to be 100% worse for the protaganist than any walking dead.  Like Shane in The Walking Dead, or the soldiers in 28 Days Later (side note: 28 Weeks Later sucked so bad because the attention was turned away from how horrible people can be when facing the end of humanity to a Rage infected Robert Carlyle stalking his kids through London.[side side note: I understand many people don't count Infected as zombies, but you know what? I don't care what you think.]).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yonder

The following is a flash fiction, sort of fan fiction, borrowing a concept from Stephen King's Dark Tower series:


"The thinny takes you over yonder." 

The old man gnawed a sliver of wood, rolling it from one side of his gummy mouth to the other.  His black eyes, surounded by a web of wrinkles so complex it would have given a spider a run for its money, squinted in the harsh light of the desert.  His head cocked to the side when the wind brought the sound of the the thinny to us where we stood at on the edge of the arroyo.

"Yonder?" The air was unbearably hot, and sweat poured down my brow and over my cheeks.  The sound of the portal whined like a mosquito in my ear, and burrowed deeper in my mind.  It was a profoundly unpleasant noise.

"Aye." The sliver rolled back and forth.  "To the other side of the universe.  So said my Papaw.  It's bigger these days.  Used to be you couldn't hear it from here."  He sniffed and hiked up his sagging pants as if the suspenders he wore were just for show.  "I ain't goin' any closer, and if I was you I would just head on back to the ranch and forget this."

"I can't."  I stared down the arroyo that meandered through the scrubby bushes.  The rains had ceased weeks ago and the stream bed was dry, hard and cracked.  I had been in this world for 2 years and this was my only chance.

"No tellin' where you come out.  Or if you come out."

"It has to be better than here."  I turned to the old man and extended my hand.  "Thankee Sai, for your help."  He took my hand and shook it, a single pump up and down.  Then he turned and left without another word.  That's how they did things here.  No long goodbyes.

I stepped down into the dried up streambed and started walking.  As I moved down the arroyo the whine of the thinny grew louder, more intense, and began to shift and distort until it was no longer unpleasant.  It called to me with sounds of home, promises of a world lost to me.


*Image from here

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xenu


We all know who this guy is, at least we do since Tom Cruise showed us the cray-cray. Allegedly (per Wikipedia)," Xenu, with the assistance of psychiatrists, summoned billions of his citizens together under the pretense of income tax inspections, then paralyzed them and froze them in a mixture of alcohol and glycol to capture their souls. The kidnapped populace was loaded into spacecraft for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth). The appearance of these spacecraft would later be subconsciously expressed in the design of the Douglas DC-8, the only difference being: 'the DC8 had fans, propellers on it and the space plane didn't'. When they had reached Teegeeack/Earth, the paralyzed citizens were unloaded around the bases of volcanoes across the planet. Hydrogen bombs were then lowered into the volcanoes and detonated simultaneously." Wow. And that's just the beginning.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winter

Winter is my favorite season.  At least I think it is.  It has been 12 years since I have been through a snot-freezing cold winter (that's when it's so cold that when you breath through your nose the inside of your nostrils stick together.  That only happened to me?  Moving on...).

Before the age of nine I only remember living in warm Mediteranean type climates (due to a military upbringing).  To me snow was exotic and magical.  I used to sit in front of a fan powered on high, wrapped in a blanket, pretending to be an Eskimo.  To us, 50 degrees meant it was time to pull out our heavy coats.

Then we moved to Michigan.  I remember being so excited about moving to Michigan.  Michigan was in the US!  It was in the North! It was January!  I imagined pure white blankets of snow piled here and there in drifts, coating tree branches and the roofs of houses straight out of some crappy Thomas Kinkade painting (no, it's not too soon).  Children would be making snow men and snow forts, and there would be sledding and ice skating.  This was me thinking of Michigan in winter:

We get off the plane and what do I see?  Jack-squat.  That's what.  There wasn't a lick of snow on the ground.  I WAS HEATED.

It did eventually snow, and my poor brother found out what happens if you lick cold metal.  We did go sledding (on flattened cardboard boxes), and built snowmen and had snowball fights.  We "skated" on frozed puddles in parking lots.  Oh, and after a couple of years the first day of 50 degree weather was "let's pull out the shorts" weather.  Ahh memories....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V-Day (no, not that one)

So, I'm running out of ideas here and all I can think is "Five more days.  Five more days."  I guess that could be "Roman Numeral V more days" (hardy-har-har).

At first I was going to write about vision, but was it going to be the physical act of seeing?  The kind that inspires people to do great things?  Or the kind you get after eating certain types of mushrooms?

There's a line about vestigial virgins in the novel Small Gods by Terry Pratchett that had me giggling for 20 minutes.

Then I thought "Vegetables.  That's easy!"  Except just like eating the recommended daily servings of veggies, a post about them never happened.

So I went online and Googled "Words that start with V" hoping for inspiration, but all I got was a list of worlds that start with V.  Thanks a lot Google.

Words like vegan (sorry, the animals are what make food taste good), and veterinarian (I wanted to be a vet when I was younger, but thinking back on it there is no way in hell I would have made it into vet school), valkyrie (are those the woemen in operas with the horned helmets and breastplates?  No?  OK), velocity (no comment here), and lots of words that start with vena, all having to do with circulatory system.

I'm done.  (Four more days.  Four more days.  IV more days.)

ps.  While searching for pictures of the letter V, I came up with the TV show V which I had totally forgotten about.  I never watched the new series, and the only thing I remember from the original 80's series is the lizard baby.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ummm...


I don't have anything planned for U.  I can't think of anything to write about.

The fiery English alphabet picture U no73635Up
Under
Unctuous
Urgent
Uncle
Ubermensch
Urkel
Udder
Ugly
Ulysses
Umber
Use
Utter

There.  U is done.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tanka

Before we begin, I feel like I have to explain what a tanka is.  Long story short it's like the better known haiku, except instead of a 5-7-5 count the tanka uses a 5-7-7-5-5 syllable count.  Enjoy. 





Thunder rumbles and
rolls through the hills as rain pounds
on the roof, gurgling in
the gutters and splashing
on worn stone walkways

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Short Story Saturday

Part Two of the story started yesterday.

“I'm so tired of this, Rick. When are you going to get a job? All you do is sit around, watch tv, play games. Is this one of your new 'let's mess with Em' games? Because I'm sick of those too. You need to grow up.”

He stared down at the scuffed brown boots he wore. “I mowed the lawn yesterday.” 

“You have a degree. You have student loans to pay. You can't run from those forever.”

“I was thinking I should go apply for grad school.”

I was thinking we still have a position open in marketing at Brown Webster,” she countered.

Brown Webster was the company she worked for. He imagined going to work with her everyday, and tried not to imagine choking her one day as they drove down the carpool lane.

“Em, I don't think--”

“Of course you don't think!” she pushed past him. “I have to go to work. I'm going to be late now because of you and your games.”

She covered her face with her hands and for a moment he panicked. She was going to cry and was going to be the bad guy after all. But when she lowered her hands her eyes were sad but dry.

“When I come home tonight, I don't want you to be here.”

Rick nodded slowly. “Yeah. I guess that would be best.” He shuffled his feet. Even though he wanted this it still felt awful. It would have been better if she had screamed and thrown something.

She grabbed an empty laundry basket. He watched her sadly and realized that maybe he didn't want to all of it to be over. He still loved her and knew that pretty much all the misery of the past 6 months had been his fault.

“You're in my way.” She was standing with the basket propped on her slim hip. He was blocking her way back to the stairs.

“Oh. Yeah.” He stepped aside. “Em.” She stopped. “I'll go. I won't be here when you get back. But do you think...?”

“Rick, I can't do this. It feels like I'm dealing with a twelve-year-old sometimes. I love you, I really do, but I can't carry you anymore.”

He nodded again. Looked down at the floor. She didn't move. Maybe she was waiting for his reply. He looked down at her small feet. She was still wearing her fuzzy green house slippers. Her shadow slanted away from her and he saw his own shadow pointing towards her. Only that wasn't right. The light was to their left. He glanced to his right and there was his shadow laying sadly on the concrete. He looked back at the shadow pointed at Em and realized it wasn't attached to anything, it was just a black smudge on the floor like a discarded rag. Then it wiggled.

“Em?'

“I have to go to work.”

“Em. Emily!”

“What!?” she snapped,whirling around--

--and the shadow leaped into the air, and as it flew it expanded and unfurled like two giants wings sweeping towards her.  She had no time to react. He tried to reach her-his arm went up, one foot lifted to take a step; and the shadow was on her, wrapping around her small body like a soft black robe. Without a sound she disappeared.

The shadow crumpled, empty, to the floor in a puddle that spread like an oil stain. It expanded in a perfect circle, thinning until a circle of gray concrete appeared and grew larger as the ring of shadow grew thinner and rushed to the edges of the room. Then it was gone.

Rick stood alone in the basement. The light bulb dangling from the ceiling pushed the shadows into the corners. He stared around him, at the laundry basket lying discarded on the floor; at the washer and dry and his bike. It was all still and silent as if the shadow had swallowed all the air in the room.

His vision blurred. “Em?” The word fell softly as a he watched a shadow slide across the floor towards him.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rick

Another Flash Fiction Friday.  This is actually the beginning of a longer story I'm working on.  Enjoy.

They stood together in the basement. The light bulb dangling from the ceiling pushed the shadows to the corners, but Rick still felt uneasy.

“You are ridiculous,” Em said. “Seriously, how old are you? Monsters in the basement?”

“I never said monsters,” Rick replied. He glanced around the room again, at the washer and dryer and the plastic table they used to fold laundry on before dragging it back upstairs. His bike was in one corner, banished to the basement until spring. In another corner stood a stack of plastic totes filled with Christmas and Halloween decorations. “I just said I'm kind of weirded out.”

She waved her small hands around the room. “Nothing here. Maybe if you got a job and left the house once in a while you would have better things to do than make up stories about the Boogeyman Man in my basement.”

Her basement. She never let him forget that it was her basement, her house, her job that paid the bills. A year ago they had been soul mates, but that was before he was fired from his assistant manager position at Cheddars. Before she realized that he was a 17 year old in a 30 year old's body and there was nothing she could do to make him behave otherwise. Before he realized that if she couldn't change him with subtle hints she would belittle and insult him in every way possible. His friends went from “artsy” and “interesting” to “lazy” and “useless”. His tattoos were no longer “intriguing”, but “stupid”. His beard went from “sexy” to “Why don't you shave that thing off? No one wants to hire a guy who looks like he's homeless.” At this point he stayed because he never wanted to be the bad guy in a break up.  It was also easier than finding another place to live. He didn't know why she let him stay.

“Let's just go back upstairs,” he said.

“No,” she said, flipping her dark hair over her shoulder. He used to love that hair. It was black and shiny and smelled like lavender. “Where's the monster Rick?”

“I never said there was a monster,” he repeated.

He never did say there was a monster, but the basement had been really creeping him out the past few days. There were noises, like whispers from far away, and shadows in places where shadows shouldn't be. And just this morning he had seen one of those shadows move.

Of course he shouldn't have told Em about it. She had immediately rushed downstairs just to prove him wrong.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Questions

Hey! 


Now some random questions.


Q. Do you ever doubt the existence of people other than yourself?
A. Weird as that question may be, the answer is yes.  Yes I do.  How do I know that people exist when I'm not around, hmm?  Just because you say you do, I'm supposed to take your word for it?



Q.  If you try to fail, but succeed, what did you do?
A. Failceed.


Q. If a baby's leg pops out at 11:59PM but his head doesn't come out until 12:01, which day was he born on?
A.  Ummm... I think you have more important things to worry about if *a* leg comes out before the head.


Q. What's the difference between normal ketchup and fancy ketchup?
A. You squeeze fancy ketchup with your pinky sticking up.  Also it's fancy "catsup".


Q. Why do we sing "Rock a bye baby" to lull a baby to sleep when the song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle on the ground?
A. Because they need to learn a lesson about what happens if they DON'T shut up and go to sleep.


Q. Does a 'Marks-A-Lot' marker, mark any more than a regular marker?
A. I don't know, but you can get a lot higher on the fumes from a Marks-A-Lot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pets

I have 3 cats. Tom and Jerry, who are brothers I have had since they were kittens, and Sunny, who showed up on my porch one day last August half starved but extremely friendly.

Jerry does what he's going to do and the others just go along for the ride. Jerry is the most stubborn of the three, but he's still my favorite. He's the type of cat who would be in the ruling class if only cats had thumbs. To keep him in his place, I like to rub his tummy and sing "I got that Jerry tummy" to the tune of "Moves Like Jagger." He doesn't get as much joy from that as I do.

Tom is the kind of cat who figures if he can't see you, you can't see him. If you pick him up he just goes limp, so you can flop him around, if you were so inclined.

Sunny is the kind of cat that people who are allergic to cats hate. If you walk into my house, he will be there to greet you like a good host, and the second you sit down he will be in your lap.

A few nights ago, I heard the cats ripping into something.  I was in bed and debated whether to check it out.  I thought they had gotten into the utility closet (where both the litter box and food are kept, which is why the door is always open) and were tearing into the bag of cat food.  Finally, to save myself the effort of cleaning up cat food the next morning, I dragged myself out of bed to slap some sense into them. (No animals were physically harmed during the writing of this post, though I probably hurt their feelings when I cussed them out.)
I get into the kitchen and what do I find?  Jerry had jumped onto THE TOP of the refrigerator and pulled down the bag of cat nip kept there.  He had chewed a good sized hole in the bag and scattered nip all over the floor as the other two cats rolled around in ecstacy, little green flakes coating their fur.
I took the cat nip and put it in the laundry closet and went back to bed.  Two minutes later I hear the sound of a small package hitting the floor and realized that there were still two bags of cat treats on top of the fridge.   I get back to the kitchen and Jerry is standing there with a bag of Whiskas Temptations in his mouth while Tom and Sunny loitered around waiting for him to give them their treats.

I blame my mother.  She had visited the week before and was always giving the cats treats.  I'm a mean cat mommy and only give them treats once a week.  I figure they got used to daily snacks and decided that if I wasn't going to give them anything, they would get it themselves.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Out of Context Science

Just wanted to point out one of my favorite non-Blogger sites, Out of Context Science.  This Tumblr site is devoted to excerpts from reputable journals of science taken completely out of context that leave you scratching your head.

I'm not a scientist-nor do I play one on tv-but I can generally get an idea of what the original article is about just by the excerpt, but some of them leave me doing that head tilt thing that dogs do when they hear a high pitched noise:

Here are a few examples:

"it is optimal that she be exposed to the number of planets between five and eight days later"
                              Algorithmic Education (including the Mathematics of Cramming)


"to our knowledge, this represents the first description of nasal packing with strips of cured pork for treatment of life-threatening hemorrhage"


"The wrinkly balls did not yield all of their mysteries."
 
 



So if you have an interest in science and ridiculous sounding excerpts, visit Out of Context Science.


*Image courtesy of Puppy Toob.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NaNoWriMo

So, I was looking into this NaNoWriMo thing.  Basically for those of you who don't feel like following the link, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  During the month of November participants work to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  The moderators of the event apparently don't actually verify the work, they just count the number of words. 
I wonder how many submissions they recieve that are just swear words repeated 50,000 times?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mapinguari

Cryptozoology is a fascinating field of study.  You get things like Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, and the Mapingquari.

What's a Mapinguari?  Well, according to Wikipedia, it has "one eye, long claws, caiman skin, backward feet and a second mouth on its belly".  I also read somewhere-but I can't find the source at this time-that one of it's special powers was to turn day into night by it's very presence.  So according to the internet it looks something like this:
Except maybe not so plush.

I understand that many cryptids have some sort of basis in reality, or at least resemble animals that could possibly exist.  But what on earth were the people smoking when they came up the the Mapinguari? 

Current theories include prehistoric ground sloths or some sort of giant primate like Sasquatch, but then that just means a cryptid was derived from cryptid which is just kind of...wha...?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Luck

It was a coin toss, easy enough to beat, but as she grasped through all the lines of probability, she found no way to win. 

She could manipulate the coin to land any way she wished, but she could also see all the outcomes of the results.  Her opponent would call heads, she would make the coin show tails and win the right to choose the first cup.  The crux was in the final outcome.  In one future she chose wrong and drank poison.  In another she chose the correct cup, but later that day would choke on a particularly tough piece of bread.  Every line she pulled down and studied resulted her death.  Whether she was first or her opponent, she always lost in the end.  She could see no alternative to the situation.

She glanced around the room at the others gathered there.  This was a dangerous game, you only had a 50% chance of surviving to the next round.  She had made it through 4 contests, all dependent on her ability to manipulate the toss and forsee the results, but it looked like her luck had run out.

"Shall I call it then?" her opponent asked.

"Go ahead." 

"Heads then."  The moderator flipped the coin.  She didn't bother manipulating it as there was no point.  It was the end of the line.

The coin was made of gold, the head was some king who never existed in this universe, the tail a creature no longer living on this world but thriving on another.  As it flipped and glittered in the lamp light, she felt a queer tug in the part of her mind that explored all possible realities .  She grasped it, with shaky mental fingers and pulled the new world toward her.  It came to her reluctantly -it was a very small chance-but she wrenched it into existence with a smile.

Oh you sly universe.  I only looked at the possibilities where I manipulated the coin.

The coin landed tails up. 

"Challenger drinks first," the moderator said, pushing the tray towards her.

She lifted the small clay cup to her lips with a wink.  "Cheers".

It seemed her luck was still with her.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Keeping Up

Two weeks into the Challenge, and I'm actually keeping up.  I'm so proud of myself.  I can actually see myself finishing something I started for the first time in I don't know how long.

I'm trying to do this right by visiting other sites from the linky list.  I'm also trying to keep up with the sites I follow.  I work full time with a 1 1/2 hr round trip commute.  When I get home I have lot to do before I can sit down and focus on this thing.  Plus I need 8 hours of sleep a night or things get ugly.  After the first 2 days, I decided to set a schedule.  And after 2 days of that the schedule went out the window.

(part of my problem is that the blogs I follow only show on by reading list every other day, and they only show under my profile every 2 days.  Anybody else have this problem?  I have tried contacting Blogger about it, but I'm just going in circles there.)

I try to comment on all the sites I visit, but sometimes I skip that part, because I don't have anything interesting to say.  So, if you don't see anything from me every few days, just remember: it's not you, it's me.
That said, I'd like to point out some of my favorite bloggers so far. If you're not on the list remember:
I kid! I kid!

Adjective, Not a Noun by K.S. Lewis.  Her theme is excerpts from her work in progress.  I don't understand what the plot of the book is, but the bits and pieces she lets us see are very interesting.

Absconditus Creations.  I mentioned this site in my Versatile Blogger Award post.  I still like to visit on a nearly daily basis.  The theme for the A to Z Challenge are drawings with little poems describing them. 

Just Ermie.You should check out Ermie's plans for world domination.

mirabile dictu.  On this blog Cherstin Holtzman is detailing the process of handwriting her first novel.  I just found her a few days ago, but I love the way she writes in her blog posts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Junk

Have you ever seen that show Hoarders?  I have, and I know that these people have a real mental illness, but I use it as a reminder of what could happen if I don't toss stuff.

I'm not a hoarder.  I don't think I'm really a pack rat either.  My problem is that I keep stuff because "I might need/want it some day", but then 2 years later I look at it and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

I used to do this with old notes from highschool and college.  I might "need" my notes from 10th grade history, in case I had a 10th grade history test I needed to take 3 years later.  I also used to do this with my son's school work thinking wouldn't it be nice to have this little memory of when he was in kindergarten and wrote his 'e's backwards.  Do you know how much crap kids bring home from school?  I tossed a lot of things, but it still piles up before I start grabbing handfuls of papers and throwing them in the trash.  I have enough drawings of sharks, thank you very much.

Most recently it was moving house.  I moved into a 3 bedroom house nearly 2 years ago.  I only needed 2 of those bedrooms so I used the 3rd room for storage.  Well, my mother was coming to visit so I had to clear out the room.  So I'm going through these boxes that have been locked in a room for 2 years and I came to the realization that if I haven't seen it this long, I obviously don't need it.  Some of this stuff has been in boxes and storage bins for 4 or more years. 

So what did I do with all my junk?  I consolidated and hid it all in various closets around the house.  Sure I got rid of some old childeren's dvds and a few board games, but the majority of it I kept.  What I'm going to do with scraps of paper, nick nacks I don't even like anymore, half finished crochet projects, two (that's 2) Christmas trees and books that I have no desire to read again (but I might want to read them again-but I know I won't), I don't know, but I might need/want them sometime in the future.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Imagination

So here's something that started out strong and petered out real quick.  There's no point to it.  I just needed to have something to go with Imagination.
I made this ALL BY MYSELF.

Imagine a world where people run around in tastefully placed fig leaves, riding unicorns, and drinking honeywine out of goblets made of rainbows created by the Keebler Elves.

In this land maidens with long hair keep dragons as pets and valiant knights have to pretend they're not allergic to dragon dander when they go to the maiden's magic apartment.  "Oh, you have a dragon?  I 'love' dragons.  Look, he's rubbing his green scales all over my black slacks.  Isn't that nice?"

Here you can always tell who the  bad guys are because they always wear black, have greasy black hair, and long mustaches that they twirl evilly around thin fingers as they knock lollipops out of the hands of small children.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Haiku

he stalks on soft paws
tail twitching waiting to bring
death to feather mouse


sunshine on the grass
and summer breezes carry
the scent of water


cold snow drops into
my collar from a branch above
hidden in the night

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Game of Thrones

STEVE HOLT!
I am  a regular viewer of Game of Thrones.  I am also reading the books.  I got halfway through A Feast For Crows before I broke my Kindle in a tragic knee meets screen accident.  So until I get a new Kindle, or just break down and buy it in paperback, the reading is on hold.  I figure it will be a couple of years until we get to that book anyway (fingers crossed for 3rd and 4th seasons), so I can slow down.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is pretty popular show, so of course the internet has put it's own spin on things.  My favorite site happens to be Arrested Westeros which does a mashup of screencaps from Game of Thrones and quotes from Arrested Development.  If you've never seen either show, a lot of it will make no sense to you.  If you are like me and watch Arrested Development on Netflix, A LOT, it's Huh-Larious.


Lucille: You’re my third least favorite child.Michael: I can live with that.
My Mother, The Car - 1x08

…and we’re back!

Michael: You burn down the storage unit? T-Bone: Oh, most definitely.
Top Banana - 1x02

And just for the heck of it, some Joffrey slapping:

Good Lord, I hate Joffrey.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday

Ok, I'm doing something a little different today.  No comedy, just my first Flash Fiction.


The old woman lowered the bucket into the well and brought it back up with the winch. Her back made a painful protest as she lifted and poured the water, which emitted a faint sulpherous smell, into a yellowing plastic jug. She thought of all those warnings they used to give about reusing plastic containers; how the plastic supposedly leached toxins into the liquids and foods that they contained. If only those concerned officials had known what was coming, they wouldn't have worried about a few cancer causing molecules in a water bottle.

Grunting she hauled the water back to the hut she had erected near the well when she found it 20 years ago. It was nothing more than rusted metal, plastic sheeting, and bits of wood hodgepodged together to provide shelter. Inside, by the dim light of an oil lamp, she poured some water into a pot on the wood stove used for cooking and heat. On a flat slab of wood balanced on two old wire spools she chopped anemic looking carrots and a slightly moldy potato. She wished she still had a bit of meat left over from a deer carcass she had scavenged several days ago. The thing had had a fifth leg hanging from its belly, but appeared to have died of natural causes. It had still been in one piece, more or less, and she had hurridly hacked off a chunk of flesh and shuffled home as coyotes yipped and barked in the dusk. She didn't want to be out after dark. There were worse things than coyotes in the dark.

The carrots and potato went into the pot. She sat back at the table and stared at the gnarled hands resting on the surface, the right one still gripping the knife she used for everything. Her knuckles were knobby. It was becoming harder for her to fully extend her fingers. Dark blue veins bulged and slithered under cinamon-colored skin when she tried to make a fist. When had she gotten so old?

Memories welled up: working at a bookstore, nights drinking and talking with friends. Earlier memories: catching frogs, eagerly waving her hand in the air in class, the scruff of her father's 3 day old beard; all before The Fire had turned the world inside out. There were others: flames, ash, years when the sun remained hidden by dust. There was a man with wavy brown hair, gentle and doomed; childeren laughing, running, hugging her legs, then coughing blood, large dark eyes staring sightlessly from pale, hollow faces. She closed her eyes and saw another man with white hair and black eyes, and her stomach tightened with a cold rage that had never left her, even after so many years.

She could feel the night closing in on her little home, opening like a void in the world.  Tonight there were no coyotes yipping, and that was a bad sign. It meant that the shades were moving across the land. The old women opened her eyes, leaving her memories and prepared for the night.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Horrors

So Easter is on Sunday, and instead of reflecting on the sacrifice Christ made for me and His eventual Glory and Resurrection, I would like to focus on this:


First thought: Pure Nightmare Fuel.

I have watched this four times and each time I'm more and more disturbed by it.  The bunnies are screaming silently as they slowly melt away.  Just look at their faces and try not to see the horror in their beady little candy eyes, and imagine the terror they feel as they realize there's no escape from  total obliteration.
So yeah... Happy Easter.