Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Try To Copy Cartoons; or Why I'm Stupid Sometimes

So, sometimes I'm kind of an idiot.

It's not intentional! It's not like I think 'wow, that's a REALLY stupid idea. I'm going to do it now!'. I just don't think, sometimes. It's like my brain goes, 'OK, you wanna do this? Alright! I'm stepping back. Enjoy feeling like a COMPLETE dipshit in a moment. And learn from your mistakes this time!'

This all started when I watched Tangled with my little sister.

Tangled is an awesome movie, first off. I highly recommend it, even if it did lead to me being stupid. But the relevant factor is that one of the characters has a swordfight with a number of others, except he doesn't have a sword. He uses a frying pan. And later, one of the other characters uses a frying pan to take out a bunch of guards, and that first character says "Frying pans! Who knew, right?"

Keep that in mind.

The other night was a birthday party for my dad. My extended family came out, we had steak, it was a wonderful thing. I also may have had a bit of alcohol. KIDS, DON'T DRINK UNTIL YOU'RE LEGAL. I'm legal. So ha. ANYWAY,  I wasn't that bad. My sister and I were doing dishes, and I was drying a frying pan.

OK, so my sister has this tendency to sing while she's working. Normally I'm down with that, but I'd had a crappy day and my head was on the verge of exploding with pain. I flailed at her with the frying pan from across the room, yelling "STOOOOP IIIIIT" or some other super-mature thing like that. She stopped for a moment, pointed at the frying pan, and we said, in unison, "FRYING PANS! WHO KNEW, RIGHT?!?" which is that quote from the movie I wanted you to keep in mind.

ANYWAY, then she started singing again. I don't remember what it was exactly, but it was probably one of the songs from Tangled, since we'd just quoted it. I got pissy (pissier), and flailed at her again with the frying pan.

The only problem was, she'd moved closer to me than she had been before.

I clocked her RIGHT in the face. Like, full on KAPOW! with a frying pan. In the face.

Since it WAS an accident, I immediately dropped the stupid frying pan and started apologizing and babbling about how I'm stupid and oh my god I'm so sorry and holy crap your face is gonna BRUISE LIKE HELL and ha this would make a funny blogpost and I'm SO SO SO SORRYYYYYYYY!!!

She, being the wonderful she that she is, has forgiven me for being stupid. My parents... they SAY they've forgiven me, but they will, at the very least, be giving me shit about this until... well, forever.

And this, children, is why we do NOT copy cartoons. Tangled was an animated movie. I should not have tried to do what they did. No flailing around with frying pans for me, EVER AGAIN. Although it's turning into a lovely threat for when my family pisses me off. I just start mumbling about a frying pan and then... well, whatever.

My point is, I'm stupid sometimes. Also, don't try to copy cartoons. It ends in pain.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Chickens Are Evil

Chickens are evil demon birds from hell.

They really are.

I love them when they're on a plate in front of me, all cooked and edible. But when they're alive, and running around? NO. Absolutely not. They're evil.

This is a problem because my parents recently got chickens. There are now six of them running around in my backyard. Squawking and clucking and shedding feathers and crapping everywhere and CHASING ME!

And yes, I am fully aware of how stupid that is. I am over twenty years old. A fully grown, fairly competent adult. And I am afraid of chickens.

Please proceed to get your mocking out of the way now. Yes, yes, ha ha ha, she's scared of chickens, ha ha ha ha it's sooooo funny.

Done now? Good.

BUT THEY'RE EVIL! They really are! They RUN at me, all six of them, like they think I have food or something, and when I don't they try to PECK ME, because maybe they think that will make me give them food! NO, it won't! All that will make me do is screech and kick out at them. Stupid birds.

Now, if there is something between me and the chickens, like a fence or a wall or a town or something, then I'm fine with them. They can flap around and eat things and squawk all they like. Whatever, they can't get at me. But when there is nothing separating me from them, I have problems. It may be stupid, but there it is.

When I was little I was chased by chickens at a petting zoo, so I think that's what my dislike of them stems from. At least, that's my best guess. I could be totally wrong. But I don't think so. I think that chickens have always been out to get me, because I can see through their evil plans to take over the world!

Granted, those plans are kind of stupid, because chickens are pretty dumb. Said plans don't really have much chance of success, but... well. That doesn't change the fact that they're trying to kill us all in our sleep! Evil birds....

So that's my irrational rant about why chickens are evil. Do the world a favor; eat more chicken! Get more of the monsters out of the way so they can't plan to kill us all! Save the world by eating chicken! YOU CAN DO IT, I HAVE FAITH IN YOU!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Living In A College Town Is Both Awesome And Awful

I live in a college town. Part of the reason for this is because I go to college. As it is in New England, there are a variety of colleges nearby. This town, and the towns around it, are very into colleges.

That being said, there are both positives and negatives to living in a town like this. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, personally, but there are still some downsides.


1. There are SO MANY RESTAURANTS! Apparently college kids like to eat a lot more than non-college people do, because there are a ridiculous amount of food-related places around here. And a ridiculous variety. We have the usual chains, like everywhere else, along with some less mainstream places. And, since this area is very much a home of the Flower Children, we've got a lot of hippy-centric restaurants as well. Which is awesome! I mean, most of them are vegetarian or vegan, and I don't eat there because I like meat (a lot), but I'm all for other people eating their veggies.

2. There are SO MANY BOOKSTORES! There used to be a lot more, but, sadly, a lot of them are gone. Still, the ones we have are pretty much awesome. There are the chains, of course, but there are also independent bookstores. Some of them are USED bookstores, which are even better! As a bibliophile, I always want more books. As a college student, I can't always afford them. Hence, used bookstores are fantastic! They're better than chocolate.

3. Places that deliver food, DELIVER FOOD REALLY LATE! I mean like 2, 3am late! It's beyond awesome. Ice cream or Wings or Chinese food at 2:30? It's the best thing in the world.

4. There is a lot of free public transportation. I do not drive. This is lovely for me.

5. There are lots and LOTS of free entertainment type things. There are concerts in the center of town, there are movies that the college plays for free... And even if some things AREN'T free, you can usually get a student discount. Which I LOVE! And I plan on taking advantage of for as long as I can get away with after I graduate.


1. THE STUDENTS. Yes, I am a student as I say that. But I mean THE OTHER STUDENTS! The people in the apartments above mine, for example. They're bros. The kind with the sideways hats and the basketball shorts and the drinking until 3am where they vomit/piss off the stairs onto people's cars. I do not care for students like this. Actually, I'll go so far as to say I HATE THEM and wish they would all go away. Far away. Like, Siberia-level far away.

2. THE NOISE OF THE STUDENTS. As I live in the center of town, I hear a lot. Like the drunken morons stumbling back home after a night out drinking. Granted, this probably happens a lot in other towns too. BUT STILL! I don't like it.

3. The way stores run out of STICK-EMS IN SEPTEMBER AND JANUARY! You know, the little sticky-strips that you use to hang stuff on the walls? The only kind of stuff you can use in dorms? Sometimes they're called Command Strips, but I don't know if that's universal. I HATE that they're never available near the beginning of the semester! You'd think that stores would ridiculously overstock, but NOOOO, they wait around and say, "oh, we're out of them already? Just like the last sixteen years I've been working here? Huh, that's so ODD!" Morons.

4. THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE! As I've already stated, I do not drive. This does not mean, however, that I don't know a crap-tastic driver when I see one. And there are SO MANY IN COLLEGE TOWNS! There are also a bunch of old people in this particular college town, which I'm not sure is universal or not. BUT OH MY GOD, LEARN HOW TO DRIVE! I suck at driving, so I don't do it! You suck at driving, SO DON'T DRIVE!

I'm sure there are others, both of the positives and negatives. But these are the first ones that spring to mind.

Why My Cat Is A Dumb-Dumb

My cat is stupid. No, that's putting it mildly. My cat is brain-damaged. No, that could be taken offensively. My cat is a basket-case of crazy. Still not right...

Ah. Got it.

My cat is a dumb-dumb.

Alright, so my cat, Pippin, is a fat gray ball of fluff. She's very pretty, but there is NOTHING going on in her head. In addition to being stupid, she is a coward. Excessively so.

I got her when I started high school, when I was deep in my Lord of the Rings obsession. I named her after my favorite character at the time, Pippin. YES, I know she's a girl-cat, and he's a boy-hobbit. I knew it then, too. I just did not care. He was cool, she was my cat. Therefore, she was Pippin.

At first, the kitty seemed normal. She would cuddle with me, she would play-wrestle with her sister we got at the same time (my sister named her Lupin. My sister loved Harry Potter as much as I loved Lord of the Rings, and had as little issue with gender-related names as I did). Pippin was cute, she was fuzzy, she was happy.

And then... things started to change....

Our cats were indoor cats, because some of our old ones had been killed by cars. One day Pippin got out. We only know about this because my dad found her CLINGING TO THE SCREEN DOOR, screaming in terror at the outside world, desperate to get back inside where she could hide in the ceiling.

She started hiding in the ceiling when the vacuum cleaner came out, when people came to visit, when members of the family got home from school/work. She started running in terror if the dog sniffed her head, or if her sister jumped at her. She got fatter and fatter, since all she did was eat and hide.

And then, last summer, my family moved to a new house.

She. Freaked. Out.

For WEEKS, she hid in the basement during the day, wide-eyed and terror stricken. The other cats and the dog eventually got used to it, sleeping everywhere and clawing the furniture like nothing had changed. But Pippin would not come out during the day. At night, however, she would haul her fat butt up the stairs and then stand in the living room, screaming in terror, because everybody else was upstairs in their beds, asleep. When we came down, groggy and still half-asleep, she ran in fear from us, because we were so scary.

This went on FOR MONTHS! This stupid ball of fluff was afraid of everything!

One time I brought a friend home with me from school, because she needed somewhere to stay over break. We were standing in the kitchen, talking to my mom about... I don't even know, when Pippin came inside. She took one look at my friend, panicked, and started trying to flee.

I say trying because my friend was standing near (not in front of, but near) the cat-door to the basement. Pippin couldn't wrap her tiny little mind around how to get to safety if the cat-door was blocked, so she ran in circles around the stairwell until my friend took two steps to her right, leaving the cat-door clear for my furry bag of neuroses to access the basement.

Another time, over Christmas break, I was home alone and started talking to myself, like you do. For some weird reason, I decided to try talking in a British accent. I was standing at the top of the stairs, putting things away in the closet, talking to myself in a British accent, when I glanced down the stairs and saw Pippin. She was standing at the foot of the stairs, staring blankly up at me in stark terror. For a full two seconds, we locked eyes, me puzzled, her petrified.

Then she ran.

Part of the reason she ran was because she did not recognize me. I hadn't done anything to look different, so it must have been because I sounded different. Because I was talking with a British accent. Which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of! Not the talking in a British accent, the not-recognizing-me-because-I-was-talking-in-a-British-accent.

I have no idea what set her off. I don't know why she's so dumb, why she's so terrified. It started before we moved, or I'd think the trauma of that had something to do with it. But she was a basket-case before then, so I just do not know.

Either way, my cat is stupid. I love her, but she's dumb as a sack of bricks, and she's a coward.

She is my dumb-dumb.

Why You Should Watch Firefly

Now, if you already know what I'm talking about when I say "Why You Should Watch Firefly", I want you to go buy yourself something tasty. Candy, ice cream, pizza, anything you want. You deserve it. You are an amazing person, and you deserve something nice. You know what, go ahead and give yourself a round of applause! You rock!

If you DON'T know what I'm talking about, take a moment and cry. Your life has been empty and meaningless up until now, even if you didn't know it. But fear not! Your hopeless void of existence is about to be injected with color and vibrancy! Purpose! Joy! An explosion of fantasticness! For you will now be introduced to:


Alright, starting with the basics.

Firefly was a TV show created by the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Angel, Dollhouse, etc.). It aired on FOX in 2002 for a tragically short run. Only 14 episodes were ever made, and three of them weren't aired in the original run. It was set in 2511, and is a cross between a Western and a Sci-Fi. It's in space.

NOW WAIT A SECOND! Don't leave! I know that sounds weird. Believe me, I know. I was a bit put off at the beginning too. As a child of Trekkies, I thought, 'Argh. Space? Aliens. Super-weird confusing technical jargon about singularities and stupid stuff I don't understand. Weird nonsense. People with plastic stuff on their faces. Laaame.' I tell you now, there are no aliens. There is very little super-weird technical jargon, none of it about singularities. There is a bit of weird nonsense, but it works. Nobody has plastic stuff on their faces.

Firefly is a story about nine people. It's not about the space, or boldly going where no man has gone before. It's about these nine people, the odd little family they make up, and how they survive on the fringes.

In case you couldn't guess, here there be spoilers for the first episode. YE BE WARNED, YE SCURVY DOGS!

Captain Malcolm Reynolds (played by the hilarious Nathan Fillion), better known as 'Mal', 'Captain', and 'Captain Tight-pants', is the leader of the crew. He captains a ship called Serenity, which is a Firefly-classification ship. That means it looks vaguely like a cross between a bird and a firefly. It's back end glows. It's cool. He fought for the Independents in their rebellion against the Alliance (rebels against the big bad government who wanted to crush them), and lost. That loss turned him into a broken, bitter man. But you still love him. Since then, he has been smuggling and hating the Alliance, although he hasn't done much about it.

His second in command, Zoe Washburne, is played by the gorgeously kick-ass Gina Torres. She will shoot you in the face without batting an eyelash, and has followed Mal through hell. She's married to the pilot, Hoban Washburne (called Wash), played by Alan Tudyk. His character is introduced wearing a Hawaiian shirt and playing with dinosaurs in the most hysterical monologue you will ever hear in your life.

The crew's hired gun, Jayne Cobb (the badass Adam Baldwin), may have a girl's name, but he's a man alright. He has a beastly gun named Vera, which has "extreme sentimental value". Jayne is "a trained ape, without the training". He is hilarious. The kinda guy you love to hate.

The ship's mechanic, on the other hand, is the sweetest girl in the 'verse. Kaylee Frye (the lovely Jewel Staite) is a bright, bubbly girl, who has never had any training with machines, but she knows them like the back of her hand.  There isn't "a power in the 'verse that can stop Kaylee from bein' cheerful". You'll love her, I promise.

The last member of the original crew, bringing the cast of characters up to six, is Inara Serra (played by the unfairly beautiful Morena Baccarin). She's a Companion; it's kind of like a high-class courtesan crossed with a diplomat. Or, as Mal likes to say, "she's a whore". Then again, there's all kinds of unresolved sexual tension between Inara and Mal, so we'll forgive him being blunt and rude. He's like that a lot.

In the pilot episode, the ragtag crew picks up passengers on their way to smuggle foodstuffs to a guy named Badger (Mark Sheppard, wonderfully slimy as ever) who has a "very fine hat". The first passenger is a Shepherd, or travelling preacher, named Derrial Book (Ron Glass, who is awesome). At first glance, he's a peaceful old man with funny hair. But if you piss him off, he'll take you out with two punches, or shoot you in the kneecap so that you do a faceplant onto a formerly-on-fire ATV. He's a badass with a secret past. And we love him.

The last important passenger (that we know of), is a bit more difficult to warm up to at first. Simon Tam (Sean Maher, and prettier eye-candy you will not find this side of Lord of the Rings) is a trauma surgeon from a wealthy planet, and seems to have a giant stick up his butt. He also brings aboard a strange box, asks uncomfortable questions, and is clearly hiding a secret.

That secret is in the box, and it is his sister, River Tam (the fabulously crazy Summer Glau). The government played with her brain, making her crazy. Simon got her away from them, but they're now on the run. Their opposition to the government, and the presence of a secret-Federal Officer on board (the minor character Dobson, who was a passenger that I didn't mention before now because he doesn't really matter except in this episode), draws Mal and his crew into conflict with the Alliance, sparking the series-plot.

Throughout the fourteen episodes, they deal with sadistic Russian crime-lords, rogue-Companion seductresses, insane bounty hunters, and Reavers: the most terrifying things that you've never seen. Reavers don't fully appear onscreen in the TV series; their ships do, and the horror and pants-wetting-fear that they inspire in the characters make YOU fear them too. They are "men gone savage". If they board the ship, or overrun a town, or have any contact with normal people, they will, to quote Zoe, "rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order". Not. Pleasant.

Although Firefly had a TRAGICALLY short run (blame FOX; they aired the series out of order and didn't market it properly), it rose again from the ashes as a movie, Serenity, where the crew discovers the source of the Reavers, the Alliance is set on its ear, and we finally get a look inside River's head.

Firefly will make you laugh until you cry. It'll make you cry until you're sick. It'll steal it's way into your heart and your mind until you find yourself saying gorram and shiny in everyday conversation. Once you let Firefly into your life, it is there for good. And you won't mind a bit.

(Firefly is available at least in part on Hulu, and, last I checked, for Instant-Download on Netflix. It's also available on DVD.)

Why Feet Are Gross

Feet are gross.

They just really, really are. I hate feet. I have for a very long time. Part of it is because MY feet are insanely ticklish. Seriously. If you so much as touch my feet, you will probably get kicked in the jaw. It's not that I hate you, it's just a reflex.

Anyway, feet are nasty. They usually smell, even if you're a fairly sanitary person. They smell. I'm sorry, but you, you who are reading this right now, your feet smell.

Plus, the nails are always gross. Cracked, or yellow, or just plain ew. They're different from fingernails, although I'm not sure exactly how. Point is, they're gross too.

And if you're a non-obese person (not to discriminate against obese people), your feet will be bony and vein-y and knobby. THINGS will stick out. I don't know if they're bones, or weird lumps of some unidentified substance, but they are weird, and I do not like them.

The bottoms of your feet are always gross too. If you walk around your house barefoot, to keep your floors from getting trashed, then you realize JUST HOW MUCH FILTH IS ON YOUR FLOORS! Because it's ALL ON THE BOTTOMS OF YOUR FEET! And if you wear socks/shoes/sandals/any combination thereof, you get weird BITS of your socks/shoes/sandals/any combination thereof STUCK to your FEET! There's usually CRAP BETWEEN YOUR TOES! How does this not gross more people out?

This is not all a reflection on MY feet, by the way. My toenails are neither cracked nor yellow. But that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people HAVE GROSS TOENAILS! Which is why feet are nasty. We should make them illegal. ...That might be overreacting. BUT STILL!

Keep your feet clean. Keep them out of sight. Keep them AWAY FROM MY FACE! (My friend has a tendency to stick her feet in my face, because she knows I hate feet. I keep forgetting why I'm friends with her....)

Blagh, I hate feet.

A Weird Thought...

So this was my thought process the other day while getting coffee....

"You ever walk past a total sketch-pot and wonder to yourself, ‘is he some sort of drug-lord? Is he making a deal soon? Crap, what if I wander into the middle of his deal and end up dead? Oh God, what if he’s meeting someone and he doesn’t know what they look like since they’ve never met face-to-face, and so they said “I’ll be the one who walks past you and coughs twice. Follow me and I’ll give you the drugs”.’ And then you think to yourself, ‘oh DAMN IT, I just walked past him and coughed twice! OH MY GOD I’m gonna freaking die!’ And then you wonder if he’s an undercover cop and now he’s gonna think you’re involved in drug trafficking, and you’re gonna go to prison FOREVER, and not the nice prison either, the scary grown-up prison! Not that any prisons are nice, but you're over eighteen now, you'd go to fully-grown-adult prison! You've seen Lifetime movies, you know what happens in those prisons! And just as you've worked yourself up into a near-panic attack, you realize that he’s just a dude waiting for his coffee or something. And then you feel like a moron. You ever done that?"

Yep. My brain does some odd stuff sometimes.

Why Being A Telemarketer Destroys Your Soul

My first job in college, tragically, was something like being a telemarketer.

As the university I attend is a public one, we don't have all the fancy-shmancy resources those private schools do. At least, I assume they do. I could be wrong. But we have to beg alumni for donations, since apparently tuition and fees don't cover everything (my parents were thrilled to learn that, I can tell you).

Since I was totally desperate for a job, any job (that didn't involve working at the Dining Commons, where people frequently dumped their leftover food all over the tables and then walked away laughing), I decided to apply to the Annual Fund. The Annual Fund of AGONY AND DESPAIR! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

For some inexplicable reason, they hired me, even though I had no experience, was painfully shy, and hated talking to people on the phone. This was weird, since the entire job consisted of calling alumni, badgering them with details about how the university has changed since they graduated, and then begging for money. I was not cut out for this job, I assure you, but they decided to give it to me anyway. I can only assume they were also desperate. Or that I somehow managed to make them think that I could talk to people I don't know without stuttering and forgetting what I was going to say (I can't).

WELL, being a telemarketer is misery. I already knew that everybody hates telemarketers, because God knows I do. When I was still living at home, one of the things I always wanted to do when they called and asked for my parents was to burst into fake tears and say something along the lines of 's/he died in a car accident last week! The funeral was yesterday!' and then hang up on their awkward stuttering. Of course, my mother (who is a force to be reckoned with on a par with Molly Weasley) always threatened us with death and dismemberment if I or my sister ever actually followed through on it.

But I never really thought about it from the telemarketer's point of view. I mean, at the Annual Fund of Death and Misery, I sat in a cubicle, staring blankly at a computer screen, headset that hurt my ears clamped on my head, and listened to people abuse me. I was told to '*&%$ off' at least once a day, and once even received a death threat. It was something along the lines of 'IF YOU PEOPLE CALL ME AGAIN I SWEAR I'LL COME OVER THERE AND RIP OUT YOUR LUNGS!' whereupon they promptly hung up.

Being hated by people for a good six hours every day, while sitting in a cubicle in a windowless basement, is not conducive to high self-esteem, or even sanity. Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, plus Saturday afternoons, I sat there, in the most uncomfortable chair ever devised by sadistic life-hating jerk-faces, and was insulted, hated, cursed, and threatened.

And that was just from the other people who worked there.

No, but really, everybody who worked there was a grade-A jerk. The supervisors creeped over your shoulder, listening in on your conversations and docking your pay (which was barely above minimum wage anyway) if you couldn't get the angry deaf old man on the other line to make a donation. The other people in cubicles would frequently start games of 'throw-wadded-up-pieces-of-paper-at-the-new-kid' (me) while on the line with other angry yelling people who didn't want to donate money.

The sad part was, most of the people I called were either really REALLY old, and thus couldn't hear me, insisting that either the connection was bad or that 'you young people don't know how to speak up anymore' (as I shouted into the headset), or people who had just graduated and, as such, didn't have enough money to buy food, much less donate to the place they had just spent thousands and thousands of dollars on for a degree that couldn't get them a job in the first place. I didn't get to call the middle-group, the ones with the money and the incentive to donate. The people who had already been working at the Annual Fund Where You Hate Your Life for years got to call them. And since any and all bonuses depended on getting people to donate money, I didn't get any bonuses.

I only worked their for two months before quitting over Christmas break, but those were the two worst months of my life. Yes, I may only be in my early twenties, and I bet I'll have worse months (if I ever have children, I know I will), but SO FAR... The Annual Fund of Hatred and Loathing was hell on wheels. Or, hell in a cubicle, I suppose. Hey, for all I know, hell really does have cubicles. God, that would suck....

So my point is, next time a telemarketer calls you, hold back on your hatred for a moment. Picture where they are, in a tiny gray cubicle in a windowless basement, surrounded by jerks, being insulted and hated all day long for terrible pay. Shudder in sympathy, and shed a tear of relief that that is not your life.

And then scream something incoherent into the phone and hang up on them.