Monday, November 29, 2010

To My Mind

Dear Mind,

I know that you are just doing your job, and I greatly appreciate your assistance in all my creative endeavors, so be aware that I mean no disrespect when I say this:
It is 2:30 AM. I have school in a few hours. Shut up.
We will talk in the morning. Until then, find some way to amuse yourself -- give me a really trippy dream or something -- just let me sleep, for the love of Dionysus.

Your pal,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Exclusive News

You know how at the end of news reports when the newscasters sign off, the lights dim and the camera zooms out and the anchors turn to each other and start talking about things you can't hear? I hate that part cause they're totally shutting me out of the conversation. It makes me feel like they're talking about me or something...

This is how I imagine the conversation at the end of a news report to go:
"Hey, Stu, do you think those idiots bought it?"
"They always do, Tracy. And now we can talk about them all we want right in front of their faces and they wont even hear us."
"Suckers. Let's go egg all of their houses tonight."
"We can take the news-copter."

I just can't trust them when they do that. It's not like there's any way they could be talking about anything benign, because we can't hear them... Because of those secret ending conversations, I am under the distinct impression that news anchors really do know everything, but they refuse to tell it to us because they want all the power for themselves.
Those jerks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I honestly can't think of a thing to write about. Perhaps it's cause school started, but I really haven't thought about anything of significance for a couple weeks. I guess school's doing its job and crushing my soul like it's supposed to... Anyway, I don't want to let my readers down, though I'm not quite sure what NOT letting them down entails yet. I'll get back to you when I figure that out. In the meantime, please accept this unfinished song I wrote a while back about nothing in place of an actual post:
Got Nothin'

If I could write a song right now about a bird, a tree, the sky, I'd do it

Unfortunately all my inspiration's fled, I lost my chance, I blew it.

So what do I do now?

This song is about how...

I got nothin'

No words to fill this empty page

the blinking cursor on my screen is taunting, daring,

every teasing flash declaring the simple glaring fact

that I got nothin'

The words and meanings bounce around

out of my reach, but still inside my head, colliding,

fighting me, inciting my admission of the fact

that I got nothin'

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rendering Futile

In this day and age we are always losing things, especially keys and wallets. It's practically unavoidable. Fortunately, somebody recognized this as a problem and invented this:

This is a device that you can attach to both your wallet and your keys so that you can locate one with the other. It really is quite a brilliant idea for people who are always misplacing one or the other.
Unfortunately, I am not one of those people, and I have lost my wallet AND my keys, proving that most handy inventions are pretty futile if you're a big enough dipstick.
Thus inventing is set back another few years.

... If anybody could find my wallet or keys, that'd be really great. I really need them so I can drive and buy stuff...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Rising Crop of Superheroes

So, you know how when Bruce Wayne was a kid, he got attacked by a flock of bats that left him with a lasting fear of bats that he eventually harnessed in order to become Batman? Well, after yesterday, I believe that there very well may be four new superheroes, each named "Waspman" in the future. It's just what happens when four kids --ages five and under-- upset a large swarm of wasps. With an average of 14 stings per capita, and three hours of howling to wake the dead, I am adamant that my nephews will some day be wearing tights and fighting crime. There is no other way.
So, Nekoda, Kayden, Jackson, and Zackary, I look forward to you saving me from some giant robot death ray several years down the road. Until then, store that trauma away and let it fester.

That's right... Let this fuel your nightmares.

I wonder if any of those wasps were radioactive...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Nice Voice

Since about the time I hit puberty, many years ago, I have had the misfortune of being severely challenged in the face-to-face interpersonal communication department. To put it quite simply, I am awkward. Speech, body language, the whole shebang; I just don't navigate casual social encounters with other humans very well. Naturally, the fact that I'm aware of my awkwardness manifests itself just as awkwardly, and the result leaves me looking introverted and antisocial to any stranger or distant acquaintance I may come in contact with (of course, good friends can just read my mind, and my parents just smile and nod and frantically hope that some day somebody will want to marry me.) This is bad, considering I have a job where I'm supposed to be able to talk to people and fix their problems. Recently, my boss hauled me in to her office to discuss complaints she's gotten that I have been brushing people off when they ask me questions. We talked about it and finally deduced that I'm not refusing to help, I just don't say anything before going to fix a problem. I also don't make eye contact, and I answer questions in a manner that tends to suggest that I hate everyone. Since I don't want to lose my job, I figured I ought to at least make some effort to come off friendlier, so people don't think I want to kill them, even when I do. It was then that I discovered "the nice voice."

Apparently I have two voices: the first being my normal voice which is deep and calm, and serves its purpose when it isn't stuttering like a motorboat engine. The second is high, cheerful, and inexplicably has a Southern accent. I have no idea why it is like this, but I also cannot do anything about it. As much as I may try, my friendly "customer service" voice continues to address everyone as 'darlin' and slip 'y'all' into the conversation at frequent intervals.

Usually I have some far-fetched answer that I can use to explain this sort of thing, but this time I can honestly say that I got nothing. All I know is that now, whenever I have a friendly conversation with somebody I am not very well acquainted with, I wind up very very confused.
I guess the "friendly" setting on my vocal chords somehow got stuck on "Southern Telemarketer." Typical. You don't use a feature for a while and then when you try to, the programming goes all wonky on you.
Well... I suppose I'd better start looking for the owners manual, or I'll get fired for not taking my job seriously...

Stupid mysterious vocal phenomenon...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Share the Load

This is Nekoda

Nekoda is my nephew. He is five.
Koda is a typical five-year-old, if not a bit more rambunctious and prone to fits of terrifying malevolent rage (pretty sure he's going to be a supervillain when he grows up,) but that's not the first thing you'll notice about him should you decide to engage him in conversation. The first thing you WILL notice is that Koda is a questioner. A relentless questioner. Unless he is sleeping or his breath is being put to some other use (ie. screaming,) Koda will be asking questions. His mother -- my sister-in-law -- is the main victim of this, especially since his father -- my brother-- has the good fortune of being Deaf. I hadn't really realized the magnitude of this behavior, however, until yesterday, when I babysat Nekoda for only two hours. It was then, as I teetered on the edge of madness, that I realized how much my poor sister-in-law endures, and I decided that, out of respect for her, I would dedicate this post to her, and put all of my readers through just a fraction of what she puts up with every single day. This woman is amazing and she needs to be recognized.
This is what an hour with Nekoda sounds like:

Hey what is the hottest pepper in the world?can it burn through your tongue?what's under your tongue?is it blood and spit?can the hottest pepper in the world burn through your tongue until it's just blood?why don't girls like hot peppers?do you like hot peppers?is the hottest pepper in the world yellow or green?what's it called?do daddies like it?does it taste like the sun?what does the sun taste like?can you touch the sun?what would happen to you if you did?would you burn up?can God touch the sun?what would happen if he did?would he die?can he eat the sun?what is hotter than the sun?is lightening hotter?is the sun the hottest fire and lightening is the hottest electricity?what happens if lightening hits you?can you cook with lightening?do you want to see my spider?why do spiders like to eat flies?does he want to bite me?how do you know?did he ever bite you?have you been bitten by a bigger spider?what color is it?what is the biggest spider in the world?does it eat flies?can it eat birds?how does it eat birds?how does it chew the birds?what are bird bones made of?what are people bones made of?can you break it?can the sun break it?how tall is the sun?is it so so tall all the way up to God's house?can a bird fly to the sun?what are bird feathers made of?do birds only lose their feathers when they are sick?are the feathers dirty?what would happen if I put it in my mouth?why would it make me sick?how do you know?are you so so smart?even smarter than daddy?where is daddy?does he have his phone?daddy says I can play video games whenever I want?why can't I do it right now?where is the remote?can I go to Laurel's house and get it?why not?where is the case for that movie?what is this movie about?is it real?is Lightening McQueen real?why is he not real?can cars really talk?why do you want me to be quiet?why do you have a headache?do you need medicine?does it hurt so so bad?how did you get a headache?why am I talking too much?why are you closing your eyes?are you asleep?why does your head hurt?did you hit it?what happens if you hit your head?how hard is your head?what is the hardest thing in the world?how hard are diamonds?can you bite it with your teeth?would it break your teeth?can diamonds melt in the sun?but I thought you said diamonds were the hardest thing ever but the sun is in space is space bigger than the earth?are there diamonds in space?can a rock cut a diamond?what about a knife?how do you put diamonds on the edge of a knife?what would happen if you cut your finger with it?would it hurt?would it cut all the way down to your blood and bones?would you die?would you go to heaven?is there food in heaven?why don't you know?because you've never been there?do people get so so big?how big?can they be really really big all the way up to God's house?why?if you ate so much food would you get really really big?if you ate one hundred foods would you get so so big?why would you get so fat?how do you get really tall?if you were so tall could you fit in a house?are houses so expensive because they are so big?are cars?who made cars God or people?does God know how to drive a car?why can he do everything?why are you shaking your head?why don't you know?why do I have to go to bed?why do people have to sleep?will I get so sick if I don't sleep?does God have to sleep?do birds sleep?what kind of animal doesn't sleep?none of them?why not any of them?what are pillows full of?how do they get the feathers from the birds?do they die? do they fall off? are there germs in my pillow?will it make me sick?why are you screaming?is there something scary?why are you pulling out your hair?does it hurt? what is hair made of?where does your hair color come from?why are you running away?aunt Erin?hey!hey!come back!

As I said, this is only an hour worth of questions, I have no desire to find out what an entire day is like, but you can only imagine. Also, keep in mind that most of this is backed up by a chorus of "Hey! Hey! I'm hun-gur-ee" from his younger brother, Kayden, regardless of whether or not he just ate. Also, there's a baby.

If ever you think your life is frustrating and you can't take it anymore, you are more than welcome to borrow Nekoda for a few hours; I guarantee your outlook will change greatly.
Now I think you should all go send a box of chocolate and a medal to my sister-in-law, Sarah, for keeping this force safely contained and far away from you.
Go on, do it. I'll wait here.

How to Suceed in the Music Industry

I've been thinking lately about how Lady Gaga is just about the biggest thing since sliced bread right now (neurotic, sparkly bread,) and I got to wondering what makes her so successful. I mean, besides the fact that all her songs are infectious ear-worms, and she is pretty much the embodiment of every single shiny thing that has ever mesmerized you into becoming a drooling shell of an intelligent human for more than five minutes. I've been analyzing Lady Gaga's music videos, and I have been able to identify one specific formula that she follows pretty much every time. It goes a little something like this:

She writhes

She sparkles

And she makes out with a pile of gay men.

You got that? Writhe, sparkle, and make out with a bunch of gay dudes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. PROFIT!

Brilliant! The secret to Lady Gaga's popularity, and it's so simple!
I finally understand the music industry now! All you have to do is those three things, and also pretend to sing (autotune can be your friend) and you're on your way to stardom.
Thanks Lady Gaga!

Actually... I think that may be why Twilight is so popular as well... Bella does each of those three things at least once throughout the series...
There you go, another mystery solved.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There he is! But why?

Here in the U.S. of A. there is one person that is possibly the most widely sought of anyone in the world. I'm willing to bet that you have spent at least some measure of your life looking for this man, and no matter how many times we find him, he always manages to hide again. We have followed him around the world, but somehow he never manages to stay found. Somehow, wherever he goes, he always manages to keep everyone asking "Where's Waldo?"
That's right. This guy:

A tricky fellow indeed, but have any of us really ever stopped to question why we are searching for him in the first place? What has Waldo ever done to merit so many people looking for him? Come to think of it, I'm not even sure what Waldo does. He travels, and I'm sure there's some story behind it, but heck if anybody ever reads the little postcards up in the left corner of the page. As far as any of us are concerned, the books have no words; just a skinny nerd hiding among thousands and thousands of people in hundreds of locations. An ongoing game of extreme hide and seek. Even though we have absolutely no reason to look for him, he still hides and insists that we find him. Heck, sometimes he even has the audacity to make us track down his travel gear as well, or even his friends (Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and... the dog... which I'm sure has a name that starts with a 'W'.) And the saddest part is, we keep doing it! We keep looking for him even though we've never had any reason to. At least Carmen Sandiego is a wanted criminal so we have a reason to look for her, but, as far as I can tell, Waldo is just a traveling nerd.

Here's what I think:
Waldo is incredibly insecure and is desperate for attention. He's smart enough to know that most people will drive themselves mad in the name of a challenge, so he hides, and challenges us all to find him. We spend days foaming at the mouth in desperate search for him, our thoughts fixed upon only one thing: finding a striped dork. It's a foolproof way to get millions of people to think only about you, if only for a brief period. This attention-seeking behavior really seems to have gotten out of hand -- eating up all of Waldo's finances, and landing him in plenty of sticky situations -- but all attempts to help him overcome this have been in vain. His therapist has tried, but whenever it comes time for their appointment, Waldo is nowhere to be found, leaving only a note with a general location of where to find him. His case is pretty near hopeless; every time someone else starts looking for him, it reinforces his obsession, but nobody is ever going to stop looking for him because of their own selfish obsessions. Humans can't turn down a challenge.

Waldo is a very sick man, and you're just making it worse.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Worthy Aspirations

It's interesting to think how a single revelation or discovery can change your entire outlook on life as well as you life's goals and aspirations. It only takes a few seconds to change you forever.
I had such an experience yesterday when it was revealed to me by my cousin that you can buy bulk glitter in buckets by the pound.

In. Buckets.

In a single moment, all my life dreams of being a movie star, a superhero, a famous writer evaporated to be replaced by the singular desire to dive naked into a pool full of glitter.
My life will never be the same again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

To My Unwelcome Guests

To the colony of baby spiders that has taken up residence in my room,
This is just a note to voice my disapproval about our cohabitation. I understand that you are young and you have not yet been able to get on your feet yet -- your mother has tragically passed on by now so you can't get any help from her, and your father... well... she probably ate him, so he's not much help either -- however, I don't tolerate freeloaders, and since you aren't even paying rent, I'm going to have to ask you all to pick up and move out. I can't afford to house all five billion of you, and I'm feeling a little cramped, not to mention the fact that your manners are atrocious. Civilized roommates do not swing from the light fixtures and leave their webbing all over the place. I had assumed you would begin taking the hint yesterday when I started taking the initiative to forcibly "remove" a good number of you with my thumb, but it seems as though you have not yet gotten the message. Let me put it simply for you: I want you out. Tomorrow I get out the vacuum, and then if all of you still aren't out by the time you start getting big, I'm going to start spraying. It's your choice.
I'm sorry it had to be this way, but as I said, I do not tolerate freeloaders. However, I am not completely heartless. I have managed to secure some positions for the lot of you in the pest control department of the garden. My father is the manager, and he would be happy to accommodate you. I can only hope you choose to take this opportunity over the alternative.

Do Not Touch

Today the family and I went to a cave, which was pretty cool. At the beginning of the tour, the guide instructed us that we were not to touch the walls or rocks. I have never, in my life, wanted to touch a rock so badly. I am positive that if the guide hadn't told me not to, then I wouldn't have wanted to. I'm not the only one who wanted to either. You could see the aching desire clearly written onto the faces of each of my family members, and the yearning had us all on edge, so much so that we all became livid if anyone even came close to touching the wall, such as in the case where my three-year-old nephew accidentally hit his head on a low hanging structure and every single one of us turned and hissed at him that he was not to touch the walls. By the end we were all half crazed and it was apparent that this madness was tearing us apart. The tour guide had to have known of this; in her hundreds of tours through the cave, she must have, at least once, noticed the wild-eyed twitching of her charges.

Shouldn't this sort of thing be taken into account when leading a group of humans through anything, be it a museum, cave, or what have you? There is no better way to get an entire group of people wanting nothing more than to put their hands on something than if you tell them not to.

My only guess is that the guides have become bitter for having lead group after group of annoying tourists through the same sequence of rooms, giving the same tired out speech about the same things week after week that they have finally begun to take revenge by driving every member of the tour completely mad. There is no way to prevent this madness. Those tour guides are a sneaky bunch.
Be strong, readers. They revel in your pain; don't give them the satisfaction.
Do not touch.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tales From the Lab Assistant's Desk

I work across the hall from the foreign language TA offices at the university. I'm the computer assistant, so I guard the copy machines, tell students it's not my job to lend them dry erase markers or help them pay their parking tickets, and pretend I'm doing something useful for 5 hours or so every day; it's a pretty sweet gig. I learn a lot of things as well, like lately I've been learning that the secret to making somebody really REALLY uncomfortable is to stand way too close to their desk with a group of your fellow TAs and converse in a foreign language while occasionally casting sideways glances at the lab assistant in question and laughing (It's apparent that I need to learn Italian and pay a visit to the Asian Studies TA office sometime soon.)

Another thing I've learned is that the title of Teacher's Assistant doesn't necessarily make you any more logical or competent than, say... the average 5 year old. At the risk of sounding like any more of a jerk, I'll just let the following recent conversation between me and one of the TAs speak for itself:

TA: Hey, I think there's a problem with one of the computers in the lab.(Insert vague rambling description of problem that eventually equates to "it's acting weird".) I think it's a virus. It corrupted my flash drive. Can you fix it?
Me: (After getting up and taking a look) Well, if it's a virus, I can't really do anything to fix it. How about I give you the number for tech support and have you call them to explain the situation?
TA: No, I can't. I'm not a TA this semester, only winter semester. I just stopped by because of the computer.
Me: What? Never mind, I just need you to call tech support because it would be better if you explained the situation to them than if I tried to relay it.
TA: But, see, I'm not a TA this semester, I'm only here because--
Me: That doesn't matter. You're here, and you know the situation better than I do. It would be better if you explained it to the tech guys, cause I'm not really familiar with the situation like you are. I can even call them on my desk phone and do most of the talking, I just need you to explain the actual problem to them.
TA: But I can't, I'm not a TA this semester, I'm just here cause I'm worried about the computer.
Me: So... why does that prevent you from talking to tech support about a situation you understand better than me so we can fix the computer?
TA: Because, I only work winter semester. I'm just worried about the computer.
Me: Just... never mind. I'll call them, you go... not be a TA somewhere else
.... Hello, Tech Support? SI lab. We've got another vague situation up here.
Tech Support: Language TA office?
Me: Yup.
Tech Support: Just hang tight, we're on our way. Jimmy! To the tech mobile!

... Turns out I just had to turn off the computer and switch it back on and the Deep Freeze would fix the problem, so unfortunately, that makes me the moron here, but you get the picture. It helped me learn that I don't need to be intimidated by TAs because apparently it's my job to explain to them that they are still capable of being of use to the human race even if they're off duty. It's sort of like how I stopped being afraid of professors after the second or third time I had to help one of them understand why their word processor was covered in red squiggly lines.
Like I said, I learn a lot in this job.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Intellectual Immaturity

I'm really immature, there's no getting around it. Don't believe me? I challenge you to march on over to my house, ring the doorbell, and say the word "nosegay" to me and see if I don't start sniggering like a thirteen year old boy. Of course, the one thing that does set me apart from a thirteen year old boy is that I'm an eighteen year old girl. Oh, and also, my immaturity is all quite reasoned and analytical. I rather enjoy discussing why dumb things are funny with my similarly immature peers so that there is some semblance of rationality when we start laughing at something stupid. It was through such a conversation that my brother-in-law and I were recently able to determine that "butt" is the funniest word in the English language (even funnier than "nosegay".) You can pretty much insert the word into any situation and it immediately makes it funny. And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't provide you with examples? Probably a mature one, and we can't have that, now can we? Here you go:

On The Simpsons, after Bart narrowly escapes yet another attempt on his life by Sideshow Bob, his family rushes to him and Lisa proclaims her relief that everything is okay. Bart's reply?
"Well, not everything. Apparently someone switched your face with a butt."

Simpsons again. Homer and Lisa are having a Daddy/Daughter night at Homer's office. They decide to prank call Moe by asking for a Mr. Eura Snotball. Moe repeats it, and Homer pretends to take offense.
"What? How dare you! If I find out who this is, I'll staple a flag to your butt and mail you to Iran!"

In Sons of Provo, a movie probably not many of you have seen, A character's nephew gets frustrated with his uncle and storms off, but not before giving us this gem:
"Don't be a butt, uncle Will!"; a site that if you haven't checked out, you should. A flashback shows a young Strong Bad waiting eagerly for his little brother to set up their new printer because...
"Hurry up, Diaper Stripe! I wanna print out that butt I made out of hyphens and dollar signs!"
as an added bonus, here is that butt:

Another Homestarrunner. Strong Bad at a comic book convention runs into his brother who corrects him when he says the year is 1997 by telling him it's 2005. Quoth Strong Bad:
"It might be for you, but {pause} you're... a butt. {smiles}"

Pixar seems to know the effectiveness of this word, as they use it a lot especially in Finding Nemo when Nemo and his three schoolmates swim out to the drop-off and see a boat.
"I know what it is! Sandy Plankton told me! He said it was called a... a butt!"

"Wow... that's a big butt..."

"Look at meee! I'm gonna go touch the butt!"

"...He touched the butt."

Not to mention all the jokes that come at the expense of the land form known as a "butte" as well as the city of Butte, Montana. This includes such moments from Toy Story 2 in the airport when Buzz Lightyear winds up with a sticker on his rear that says "Butte," as well as in Cars where Lizzie slaps a sticker that says "Nice Butte" onto the bumper of a passing tourist. The best though came from Whose Line is it Anyway, where the contestants were having to make up examples of rejected songs for U.S. cities, and Ryan Styles gave us this:
"We call it Butte (not Butt) Montana!"

Okay, you get the picture, it's a great word.Comic gold. (Either that or I'm just really easily amused. Both could be true.) Only problem is, my mom doesn't like the word, and she reads this blog, so I'm going to get in trouble if I don't steer out of this downward spiral pretty fast. Fortunately, there are many synonyms for use in referencing the hindquarters that are all equally as hilarious. I would make my own list, but why should I when Strong Bad has a perfectly good one already?
Strong Bad's list of "Okay for Mom" synonyms:
back parts
boat take
(It is implied that there are many more, but this is all we ever get to see. My mom loves this list.)

So there you go, readers, the secret to entertaining at least 3/4 of the population at any given time, even if your mom is reading over your shoulder (this is going on my theory that most people are secretly really immature. The other 1/4 of the population is your mom.) At any rate, thank the heavens that stupid things are hilarious, cause otherwise, I wouldn't have much of anything to analyze and my life might become meaningless. As it is, intellectual immaturity is a very satisfying practice that I fully endorse, and if you ever feel the need to come by and discuss why the words "bumfuzzle" and "diphthong" are funny or why you still laugh at stupid cartoons, my door is always open.


Intellectually Immature Sites on Which to Waste Time:
Homestar Runner (you know you want to)
The Oatmeal - Dumb Jokes that are Funny
Inherently Funny
More Cowbell
Hark, a Vagrant
Manly Guys Doing Manly Things

Feel free to post your own as well.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simply UnBEARable

Yesterday my father linked me to an article on my University's news page about how the campus Ad Lab recently teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Ad Council to create a new video about fire safety featuring Smokey the Bear. You remember Smokey, right? Smokey was awesome. He was pretty much the coolest mascot ever besides Tony the Tiger. In fact, if Smokey and Tony joined forces, I can bet you that we'd all be sitting around safely contained campfires eating Frosted Flakes instead of doing whatever other lame things we're doing right now. But I digress. Apparently the folks over at the Forest Service wanted to re-imagine Smokey for the younger generation. My father insists that the only way to effectively re-imagine a mascot is to have it rap, but Smokey has already rejected that idea because he knows rap sucks and will not stoop to the lowest common denominator, as evidenced here:
Click here to watch
(This is the old Smokey, of course. You can tell because he's so manly that he could put out a fire just by folding his arms and looking sternly at it. It's times like this that I wish I was a lady bear.)
However, for the NAC, "re-imagining" apparently means 3D animation, and because they didn't want to do it themselves, they decided to turn to college students as a clean, legal source of cheap labor. Now, BYU has a fantastic animation program, and in the highly capable hands of the animation students, any project is bound to flourish. Sadly, nobody informed the NAC of this when they came to BYU in want of an animated educational video about Smokey the Bear, so they gave the project to the BYU Ad Lab.
Long story short, this happened:

I don't know who was the supervisor for this, or how long they were asleep for, but I'm pretty sure they need to be fired. Another person who needs to be fired is whoever gave the okay for this to be released as an official video for the U.S. Forest Service. I mean really, this is just bad. The whole thing looks like it was written, animated, and voiced entirely by one bewildered Freshman with a beginner animation program. Of course, I might have been able to leave the video alone -- just walk away and brush it off as another bad educational video -- had it not been for this article, which praises the project highly, making it sound like a brilliantly crafted piece of educational media. It is this alone that stirs in me an intrinsic desire to tear this video a new one.

Now, as much as I dearly wish to talk about why the video is terrible, I really have no idea where to start, so I guess I'll just go from the top and work my way down:
The opening was fine; just some clouds. Pretty standard stuff for something like this. It wasn't until I encountered the sheer baby-eating terror that was the character models that I began to worry. I tried to be fair. I told myself that the students worked hard on this video for seven months and it wouldn't be fair for me to make fun of it. I asked myself "What if this were my project?" and tried to put myself in the place of the creators. Of course, as I did that, the very next thought into my head was "Oh, wait! If it were me, I would make sure my character designs weren't terrifying before I let it see the light of day." After that I felt justified.
And now, some bullet points:
  • Once upon a time, it was the 80's and animation looked like this.
  • Bad writing + Bad voice acting = terrible characters
  • Aryan male is the hero, girl and black boy are na├»ve simpletons, Latino boy just wants to torch the forest. Oops. Attempt to give characters diversity: Failed
  • Hitler Youth can talk to trees. Why? Nobody knows. They never speak of this power again. Plot hole status: Gaping
  • Worst animated bunnies ever. Project is officially sunk.
  • Smokey has a depressing backstory. The past was drawn in crayon; ask your grandparents
  • "In Soviet Russia, forest burns you.”
  • Smokey is intensely creepy. After much deliberation, I realized it's because he has no fur. Also because he has no soul and wears suspicious jeans.
  • Don't worry. Smokey followed safety regulations and put the fire out properly after roasting those kids.
  • Creepy dad is creepy. He is definitely an accomplice.
  • Creepy dad and Smokey hit the gay bar after hiding the evidence.
  • Rule #1 of fire safety “Only you can prevent wildfires” isn't a rule, it's a slogan. Get it off the list.
  • Cousin Eden says: What about wildfires caused by lightening, diptards?
  • Hey kids! Always annoy every random bearded stranger you meet in the woods about fire safety and a bear in a hat will give you a shiny ranger badge. “Go go, Forest Rangers!” *guitar solo*
  • Ranger Lupe has no purpose. Her existence is a hollow lie. Please to be giving her a purpose, or cutting her from the movie. Thank you.
I don't really know what else to say except for that I hope nobody on the outside ever finds out that this video was made by BYU, or we've lost our reputation forever. Heck, even the target demographic (ages 5-8) isn't going to be fooled into thinking this is good animation. They've grown up with Pixar for pete's sake! Of course, I don't think that this one is really the fault of the students at the Ad Lab. I've seen what the Ad Lab can do. So, what, I ask you, happened here? My theory is that somebody on the NAC wrote the script and the poor Ad Labbers were dragged kicking and screaming along with it. My other theory is that the Ad Lab isn't the animation department, and so they should not be making animations (this theory is not quite so solid; more of a hypothesis really, but I think it has good potential, so I'm seeing if I can get it approved by the committee.) As you can see, I'm doing my darndest to pin this one on the NAC because I respect the competence of my peers. I know how hard it is to have to complete a project in an unfamiliar medium. Until proven otherwise, I'm going to assume that they were held at gunpoint for the entirety of this project.
My final word: The NAC needs to try harder, writing should be left to the writers and animation to the animators, and those members of the production team of this unfortunate creation should seriously consider releasing it under the name Alan Smithee.
As for Smokey, he doesn't need a re-imagining. All he needs is a shovel, a deep, manly voice, and that good old song:

"Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear.
Prowlin' and a growlin' and a sniffin' the air.
He can find a fire before it starts to flame.
That's why they call him Smokey,
That was how he got his name. "

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goody Two Zoos

My family and I went to the zoo yesterday. Is it just me, or is the zoo getting awfully preachy? I mean, really; we went to an animal show, the advertisement of which professed that we would be shown animals, learn about them, and then get to see them up close and pet them afterwards. Awesome, right? You must know that when I say "my family," that includes at least six children under the age of five, so we were happy to have a break where somebody else could entertain the spawn for a while. Unfortunately, the entire show consisted of four animals -- A hedgehog, a python, an armadillo, and a tarantula (so technically I suppose it consisted of three animals and a soul-devouring nightmare beast a tarantula) -- but then the keepers spent almost the entire time running their gums about the environment and habitats instead of the actual animals.

I get it. The environment is awesome. The environment is where we live. The environment cured your hernia. Heck, the environment even bought you a flatscreen tv and it wasn't even your birthday. Can you please just show us the animals now? I can't tell you how little I care about deforestation when the bored three year old on my lap is making a desperate effort to escape.

The thing is, the zoo is where we go to see and learn about the animals. Sometimes we're even interested in their natural habitats, but it is not the time to get uppity about saving the environment on us, because we paid to be entertained. I love the Earth and I'm doing what I can to save it by reusing plastic bottles and walking the five miles to the grocery store, and I really don't want a plug on how I'm destroying the ecosystem when I just want to see the blasted howler monkeys. I will donate to your zoo, and you can use it to save whatever rainforest you want, but tell me about the hawk, not about the pollution that's killing it. Heck, you can even tell me how many owls die every year from poaching, but talk about the animal, not the environment, and then maybe you'll have time to show us more things we're actually interested in during your half hour of allotted time.

There is a place and time to preach to us about the environment, and it's not when we're dragging six or seven young children around who desperately want to see the birds, and won't sit still for a sermon about going green. It's frustrating; please just do your job. When we get home, we will see the pictures on the internet of pelicans drowning in oil and have our hearts wrenched from our chests and be inspired to be more environmentally conscious, but when we're at the zoo and we're holding restless children by the ankles as they flap through the air above our heads, we'd greatly prefer if you gave us what we paid for, cause your preaching is annoying even when we're not trying to keep six toddlers quiet.

Of course, while I just want to see the animals and not hear about how to save them, please don't misunderstand: I want the animals that are in your zoo to be treated with love and respect. They don't belong there. They're far away from home in a strange place where people stare at them all day, and they can't understand why; it sucks. Be nice to them.
And please, zoo patrons, for the love of all that is good, DON'T TAP ON THE GLASS. I'm going to have to start following some zoo patrons home and tapping on their windows when THEY'RE trying to sleep.

Also, for those who run the animal shows and ask for volunteers, be sure to scan the audience and sort out the kids who are calm and smiling from the kids who look as though they are going to explode if they don't get chosen. I don't think you quite understand the fiery hell you're unleashing on the families of the latter by calling on the former.

Finally, "orangutan" does not have a 'g' at the end. Stop pronouncing it like it does. It sounds silly.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Twitard alert level: Red

Eclipse comes out today.
The fans are going to be insufferable. Best watch yourselves comrades.
Keep on your toes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So THAT'S what it's for!

Oh golly goodness! I discovered something big recently. It is most exciting.
So you know how doctors are always depicted with that large circular metal thing strapped to their heads?

A visual aid for those who have no idea what I'm talking about.

I had never even seen a doctor wear one until a little bit ago when I went to the ENT with a bad ear infection and my doctor had one. I'd never had any idea what it was, so I continued to assume it was just for decoration until he flipped it down and used it to look up my nose.
That's all it does. It's a nose mirror.
I wasn't sure if I should be disappointed or not, but then I decided that it was funny because it's always sort of stood out as a way to easily identify somebody as a doctor... and all it does is look up noses!

So, there we have it; another mystery that you probably didn't really care about solved by Erin. Now you can go around telling people that to sound smart... Or... then again... maybe don't.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Literal Definition

I've been watching a lot of commercials lately, and I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that "fresh" can be literally defined as "passing through jets of water midair."

Then again, I'm no lexicographer.
(I could give you some better examples but nobody is lame enough to put Arby's commercials on YouTube. )
Sure, you can take a picture of produce lying in a pile in a basket or something, but it's only truly fresh if it's been tossed through a jet of water, and preferably sliced in midair. I guess the air unlocks the freshness. All the best restaurants do it that way, and you'd better not believe it if anybody tells you differently.
(Aside: Here's a runner up. )

These vegetables are ALMOST fresh. That colander is definitely suspended, and there's the jet of water, but they are not actually flying individually through it. Also, it took me several minutes of trying and then finally having to look it up to figure out how to spell "colander"

Just keep that in mind the next time you're cooking, otherwise your salad is gonna suck. Unless it's meat of course, Then it must be thrown through the air onto a flaming grill.

If you want to, you can squeeze lemon juice on it while it's in the air, but there has to be a moment of suspension. And, of course, once it's on the grill, you have to slowly brush it with a substance that may or may not be barbecue sauce.

Red substance may be the blood of a thousand militant mountain lions and grizzlies that you felled with a spear, but that depends on how manly you want your salmon fillet to be.

Anyway, that's something they're not going to tell you on the Food Network: If you want it fresh, you gotta toss it through the air. I'll bet you're really happy I found this out, otherwise you might be doomed to a life without freshness, and that would be terrible.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fresh Styles

Today I am very excited.
Thanks to my chiropractor, I am now the proud owner of the SILLIEST SHOES IN THE WORLD.
Check out these fresh kicks:

Aww yeah. Style and class! All the sophistication of wearing toe socks with flip flops, except for with a velcro strap!

These stylish puppies are treaded just like a regular shoe so that they can be worn anywhere. It's just like bare feet, except for they have a slightly smaller chance of getting you refused service at the gas station.

And of course, the sassy toe slots are great for those who aren't afraid to be just a little too sexy.
Perfect for everybody who has ever looked at a pair of tennis shoes and said "Yeah, they're pretty good, but they would be even better if they formed around each individual toe."
Bold, daring, and seductive, these shoes are sure to turn some heads.

...They're also comfortable as all heck, so... yeah...

Thanks Dr. Brady!

(Also, I lied. They're only the second silliest. If I had gotten them in the stunning neon pink/orange color then they would have been the top)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Button

I've been thinking... What if the buttons on the telephone poles at street corners that you press when you want to cross don't really do anything, they're just a great big social experiment? An exercise in futility, if you will. I mean, really. Have you ever gone to a corner and NOT pushed the button? The little dude still pops up and tells you to cross whether you push it or not. I think it's just there to see how many people simply can't resist the urge to push a button. Or perhaps it's there to make us feel like we're actually doing something useful, just like when you were five and you asked your dad if you could help him wash the house and he gave you a toothbrush and said that you could scrub the driveway; you weren't actually doing anything but you felt like you were helping.

It's like you're scrubbing the driveway every time you get to an intersection

Then again, we can't be sure that it really doesn't do anything, so we have to keep pushing it for fear that something terrible will happen. I'm tempted to make a LOST reference, but I wont....
Ah, what the heck

We have to keep pushing the button or something bad may or may not happen!

I've been told that pushing the button sends some sort of signal that tells the light to change faster, but I don't believe it; I've read psychological studies before, and psychologists are like the biggest liars ever, and they don't even feel bad about it because it's for science. All social experiments are just their excuses to play us all for suckers.

Maybe I shouldn't be telling you this... If the APA realizes that I'm onto them, they'll probably send their ninjas to come and bump me off.
Ah well. If I go missing, I need you all to warn the people that the crosswalk button is a sham. They must be told. I have faith in you.
Godspeed readers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Is Not Okay

Hey there, readers.
I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get back into my normal flow coming hot off the heels of my little LOST rant, wherein I shared with you something that is very near and dear to me. Of course, after some deliberation, I figured I could balance it out by sharing something that is very grotesque and enraging to me, so here you go:

I remember well one summer evening during high school, lounging around with a friend in her bedroom, listening to music and chatting. Whatever CD it was that we had been listening to had ended, and I got up to swap it out. Rifling through my friend's CD collection (mostly pop artists I hadn't heard of, being grossly behind on the times.) Finally, a name that was safe and familiar caught my eye.
"Disney," I smiled, relieved as I glanced over the cover briefly. It was sleek and hip with a new trendy sort of feel to it and Disney Mania splashed boldly across the front. I reasoned that this must be the new art design for the Classic Disney albums before brushing it aside and popping the CD into the player...

I guess I somehow missed the pictures. Apparently I've trained my brain to block out images of vapid teen pop stars, cause I was totally unprepared for what I heard next. It took me a moment to process what I was hearing; certainly none of the classic Disney movies had a track that was accompanied with electric guitars and drums. Perhaps this is the wrong CD? No... This song is definitely a Disney song, but... Pretty sure Cinderella didn't sound like this... I began to feel slightly ill as the magnitude of what was happening started to sink in.
"What in the Jiminy Cricket is this?" I turned to my friend slowly, eyes narrowed. (My actual inquiry may have contained more expletives than that, but I'm a bit fuzzy on the details.)
"Disney Mania," she replied with a smile. "They get a bunch of Disney Channel pop stars and have them sing covers of Disney songs."
I gave no response except for my face going slack and my nostrils flaring slightly. Meanwhile, on the inside, I had swallowed my tongue, burst a vessel in my head, and suffered several minor strokes. I continued listening only out of disbelief that such a thing would exist, but tried to be calm and rational even as I heard the beloved anthems of my childhood being tied down, tortured, raped, and then turned into flavorless pop ballads by the dime-a-dozen teen star voices of the Disney channel clone army. I lasted a good while, but my rage peaked when a cover of "A Pirate's Life for Me" sung by the Jonas Brothers began to play, and it was then that I knew somebody needed to die for this.

Seriously, Disney? An album of pop covers of classic Disney songs?? No, not even just one; SEVEN albums of Disney channel stars singing hacky pop versions of classic Disney songs! What was wrong with the originals?! And it's not just pop versions of the songs that make SENSE when you turn them into pop songs (just about every Disney movie ever has a pop version of one of the songs playing over the end credits; it's nothing new) but the songs that are completely stupid and nonsensical if they are sung in any way other than in the style and context in which they were first presented. Examples? The Tiki Room song, care of Hillary Duff; "It's a Small World After All," by the Baha Men (who I actually like, but by singing a cover of a song that annoys the heck out of us even when it's NOT in pop format, they lower themselves to the level of the cast of High School Musical); "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" by Orlando Brown; "Cruella De Vil" by Hayden Panettiere; and, the especially painful cover of "The Siamese Cat Song" (from Lady and the Tramp) by Hillary and Haylie Duff. Not kidding. I mean, I can understand the princess songs, or the big inspirational numbers, cause they already sound like something you'd hear in a pop song, but The SIAMESE CAT SONG?!?! How do you get away with that?? If ever there was a song that only worked in one specific context, that would be it, and yet, it shows up on several Disney Mania albums. There's another thing; to look at the albums, you'd think they were a series, and that each one would have different songs on it... In reality, they just get different people to cover the same songs over and OVER again. Last time I checked, there were more than enough Disney songs to have an entire set of different ones on each album. That is just stupid. If you're going to try to pull off something this heinous, you at least have to TRY to act like you put some effort into it. Plus they sound mass-produced; a big part of what makes Disney songs enjoyable is the soul that the original character's voice actors gave to them -- "Hakuna Matata" would not be the same if Timon and Pumba weren't there with there to give it life -- but Disney Media tries, and what we get is a song with no heart and no meaning; just like it had been thrown together in an assembly line. If I were Walt Disney, I'd be turning in my grave.

I get it; Disney is trying to make their songs appeal to kids, but there's just one little problem: THEY ALREADY APPEAL TO KIDS. Teens too. I don't care who you are, Disney songs imprint themselves on you in early childhood, and their nostalgic value makes it so you can still enjoy them as you grow older. There is no need to make something new out of them, because the reason they are loved is because they're old, we know them, we can sing along with them, and they hold happy memories. Disney Mania takes that familiarity away in an attempt to make them "hip" for today's kids, and I don't know about anybody else, but for me, it leaves behind an uncomfortable imitation that makes me feel cheap and dirty, like I just paid for a lap dance from somebody dressed up as my favorite Disney songs, but who I know full well to be the nutjob who slaughtered the real ones in the first place. Once again, that's just me. And anyway, it's stupid; nobody can be dignified singing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah with an electric guitar, and if you try to look cool, you just look stupider. This is the same reason I hate the Disney Channel. It takes something pure (in this case, the Disney name) and makes it into a soulless cash machine that targets kids by trying to make everything resonate with whatever shallow ideal seems to be popular with the preteen demographic (Just a heads up, it will always be the idea that looks, being popular, and having a boy/girlfriend are the only things that matter.) I hate the superficial oh-so-trendy Hannah Montana fashion pop superstar sort of feel that the Disney Channel generation has given everything, and so I hate Disney Mania for embodying that. I want Disney to remind me of my CHILDHOOD, not my preteen years, because when I was a child everything was magical, and when I was a preteen I wanted to marry Orlando Bloom.

Any kid who grows up on Disney Mania instead of the real thing has been deprived of a childhood, and any parent who facilitates this needs to have their privileges revoked.
Disney can continue to produce shallow, manufactured material for preteens, but they really need to leave the old stuff alone. No good can come from such corruption; only sadness and hate.

I'm willing to coexist just as long as you keep your hands to yourself, Disney Media. If it keeps getting personal like this, things are going to get ugly.
.... Letting the Jonas Brothers sing the Pirates of the Caribbean song is already a crime that will be paid for in blood; you'd do well to watch your step in the future.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If you ever wondered what I think about late at night...

I've decided that I'm going to start running up to random kids on their way to school, stealing their homework, and eating it in front of them. Their teachers will never believe it!
Why would I ever do such a horrible thing? Because no matter who they are and what happens in their life, every little kid is going to remember the one time when this lady ran up to them on the street and ate their homework. Sure, I'll probably get arrested, but who DOESN'T want to get arrested for something awesome like that? Anyway, what officer, judge, or jury is ever going to be able to stop laughing for long enough to convict you of eating homework?
If I can just find somebody to pay me to do it, I'll be well on my way toward my dream of being professionally creepy. It's foolproof!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Inspirational Idiocy

I've been noticing lately that life has this funny way of reminding me that I'm a moron whenever I get to feeling a bit too confident. I get it; everybody needs to be shot down every once in a while to keep themselves humble, but I'm pretty sure that I achieved my magnum opus of stupid this morning when I went to school.

I recently got a bike, the purpose of which being to make it so that I don't have to scale fences and traverse rocky terrain in order to make it to the inconveniently placed bus stop in time (provided the bus doesn't arrive early.) I've been having a bit of trouble with it, however. Between undeveloped biking muscles, springtime allergies, undernourishment, and perpetually weak knees, I've been struggling quite a bit with the hills that I have to ride up whether I'm going to school or riding home (In related news, I now understand what my dad meant by "uphill both ways.") I've been exploring roundabout ways that will help me avoid the worst of the inclines, but those do take a fair amount of time more than the direct route, and this morning I found myself very short on time as I left the house to go to my morning class. I knew I was going to have to take on the big hill leading up to campus if I was going to make it, but I was nervous because the last time I had tried it, my lungs almost exploded and I had to get off and walk. However, I remembered something I had heard from a distant acquaintance who just returned from a two year excursion to Taiwan:
I don't remember what he said, but it was in Mandarin and I'm pretty sure it meant something encouraging like "You can do it" or whatever....
Anyway, I thought about that as a I neared the hill and I worked up my resolve that I was going to make it all the way to the top. My legs strained as the incline steepened and my head began to pound, but I was determined to make it, and I kept my eyes fixed squarely on my goal. As I focused, I noticed that I was feeling lighter than ever, and that the ride up the hill was feeling much easier than it had before. I pressed myself as hard as I could go, straining and sweating, the scenery swirling around me as I became dizzy from exertion, but still feeling like a huge weight was missing from my shoulders, and I knew I could do it. I triumphantly broke level at the top of the hill and continued to pedal deliriously until I reached the bike rack, where I collapsed, smiling victoriously...


A few minutes later as I composed myself and headed to class, I realized that I had left the house without my backpack...
Needless to say, my high didn't last for too long.

It's okay, I didn't really need it, it just means I've completely outdone myself on the stupid once again. This is definitely my greatest masterpiece.

At least until tomorrow when I manage to leave without my pants.
Mark my words, it'll happen; this is me we're talking about.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Oversight for the Ages

The other day I took a wrong turn trying to get onto the freeway and ended up on the freeway heading in the opposite direction. I had to drive for several miles in that direction until I could find an exit and get myself turned back around.

Now, I'm kind of stupid, I'll admit it. It's pretty much guaranteed that on any given excursion to somewhere I don't go very often that I'm going to take a wrong turn. In fact, I've discovered more roundabouts by taking wrong turns than I even thought existed in the state of Utah, true story. Nevertheless, this time I'm going to pin the blame for my suffering on the freeway.
Why, in the name of all that is good, can you not make U-turns on the freeway? Really now! I can't be the only one who thinks this is a massive oversight. Anybody who has gotten onto the freeway going the wrong way knows of the pain of driving for miles in the opposite direction of where you want to go, staring wistfully at the cars going the other way just on the other side of the median. You can see the other drivers smiling, singing, and high-fiving each other through their windows as they make their carefree way in the right direction. Meanwhile, the median, which is standing between you and your dream, taunts and jeers and shouts horrible things about your mother at you as you speed down a dark, endless path towards oblivion. It's torture, that's what it is. An emotional tax on the directionally challenged.

So, why can't we just remove the median? We know how to drive in two lane traffic, and if the freeway included a turn lane, I'm pretty sure we could work it out without too much trouble. Then when we took a wrong turn, we could curse ourselves for a second, but then just glide on over into the turn lane and swing around so we were headed in the right direction and could still be on time to testify at grandma's court hearing. Sure, it might be dangerous, but so is driving a giant metal object filled with highly flammable liquid at breakneck speeds down long stretches of rock and debris strewn road with hundreds of other similar vehicles. Anyway, there are ways you could make it safe, such as (as mentioned before) having turn lanes on the freeway (Meaning a lane to turn from, and a lane to turn into. Makes sense to me at least.)
At any rate, I'm just wondering why this is not something that has been considered before now, because it seems like it could save a lot of people like me a lot of gas and a lot of blind, hopeless rage.

And even if I'm wrong and this is a terrible idea, some consideration might still be nice once in a while. If personal teleportation modules had already been invented like they were supposed to have been by now according to the 50's, we wouldn't even have this problem.
Once again, I blame science.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An open letter to my writing muse

Dear Muse,
It's me, Erin. I'm just writing to say that whatever it is that I did to offend you, I am deeply sorry. I'm going to take the path of least dignity and get down on my knees to beg you to come back to me. I'm serious, I've got nothing! I need you to forgive me and come back so that I can accomplish something that isn't for a class and doesn't make me want to die. My readers are counting on both of us; I can't do it alone.
I'm sorry. I need you. Come back to me.
Most sincerely,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How To Advertise

I saw this sign at the Chevron near my house this morning:

I have no idea what a Thingamajig is... all I know is that I want two.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vigilante justice indeed...

So remember when I told you about my new cat, Batman? Well, he was already awesome, but tonight he really proved himself to me.
You see, I was taking a shower as I often do, and had dumped my clothes on the floor next to the door. Batman, meanwhile, was waiting dutifully for me on the other side of the door, or so it seemed. In reality, he was just waiting until I wasn't paying attention, and when he saw his chance, that magnificent little pervert reached under the door, pulled out my bra, and ran off with it. It took me a minute to track it down when I got out of the shower, but I didn't have time to be angry because I was too proud of him.
I think that the little deviant and I are going to get along just fine.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are You Smarter Than a Second Grader?

Apparently not.
I'm taking an art class right now, and it's a fundamentals class, which means that I -- being a cartoonist, and having taught myself -- am having a lot of trouble. Of course, I know that I need to learn all this, because I'm not very good and I could be a whole lot better if I knew techniques and stuff, but boy howdy, do I have trouble with all that abstract art/shape composition/texture/etc. stuff that they try to foist on you in a fundamentals class... I don't know how, but every attempt I make at abstract art, I somehow fail... I didn't even know that was possible, but I do.
Now, of course this has got me frustrated, but I wasn't going to let it bite me. Strolling through the arts building today before my class, I took some time to admire the many interesting and beautiful abstract paintings lining the walls of the fifth floor, and came upon this one, which I thought to be quite compelling:

(It was actually on its side but blogger wont let me flip the image and I'm too lazy to do it elsewhere)
I naturally felt a bit intimidated by this, but then I assured myself that this student was certainly a higher level art student who has been doing this for ages and that I need not compare myself to them....
Then I saw the tag next to it:
2nd Grade
Abstract Line Drawing

Perhaps I ought to just back down and leave competent art to the real professionals in the Elemantary schools, cause obviously I have no idea what I'm doing.
...Maybe I'll just start closing my eyes and holding my pen in my left hand, that ought to at least even out the score enough for me to pass this infernal class.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"You missed our anniversary to save a drowning child?!!? You jerk!"

I do not profess to be an avid reader of superhero comics, or even a wide partaker in any aspect of the superhero genre, really, but from my outsider perspective (which may not be completely accurate) I've noticed something particularly troubling. This problem can be summed up in two words: Superheros' girlfriends.
Not the ones that are unaware of the fact that their beau is a superhero, but the ones who DO know and STILL get their panties in a knot when their superpowered honey forgets/misses/ruins X event because he was saving a bus full of puppies and orphans from careening off a cliff. What is the matter with these women?! Do they really expect that the people will conveniently stop falling into life-threatening situations just because their man promised to meet them for dinner that night? These gals really need to start getting their priorities straight. And how is it that these fine, upstanding, superheros keep landing girls who completely flip one just because their man has more important things to do than attend their mothers' tupperware party? I mean, seriously! Firefighters' wives don't pitch a fit when their hubbies get called out to pull somebody's grandmother out of a flaming building on their anniversary, I don't see why it should be any different for superheros.

If I ever date a superhero, he has my blessing to miss my birthday if he's rescuing civilians from being vaporized by the blasts from his arch-nemesis' laser cannons. He just has to text me "Hey, bb. Prof. Malaise is ttly pwning the biz. district. Can't make ur bday. sry! :( cu l8tr?" and I will understand.

Really now, gals, priorities...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Na na na na na na na na NA na na na na na na na---

I am chilling on my couch at my new apartment. I'm not alone, though. Who is sitting with me?
Batman is.
That's right, Batman. Jealous much?

By the way, this is Batman:

That's right, I got me a new kitty (who didn't wish to be photographed) and by some remarkable twist fate or something, my family ACTUALLY let me name him Batman :D
I'm psyched. It's not often they let me get away with something like this; I'm not allowed to name things very often...
Anyway, just thought y'all should know, so you can be totally jealous.

I know who's keeping ME warm tonight....
Batman is.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm warning you, Lean Cuisine!

Really now, this has gone far enough! If my depressing microwave meal is packaged in separate, sealed compartments, then there should be no reason for there to be peaches in my teriyaki chicken. If it happens again, I shall be forced to vomit with dissatisfaction and write angry letters to my congressman, the pope, Santa, and Mel Gibson to make me feel self-important. If I am not appeased, I shall begin protesting outside of corporate headquarters and THEN we'll see who has broccoli in their berry cobbler!
...It'll be you, Lean Cuisine. It'll be you...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Truly Smurfing Observation

Alright. I admit straight up that this is cheating. I wrote about this ages ago in my Deviantart journal, but I was thinking about the topic today and I wanted to do something with it on my blog, so I figured I'd just rewrite the original. The only reason I'm bringing this up is so that those who read the first one don't call shenanigans. I am quite aware that I am ripping myself off, thank you very much; I don't need to hear about it.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming:

(Cue happy music: La la la la la la!)

I grew up in the 90's, after the tv show "The Smurfs" was really popular, so I never actually saw it, but a while back I was surfing (smurfing?) Youtube, as I am wont to do, and I happened upon some old episodes, so I watched them. This show is absolutely hilarious. Not like it's actually clever or anything -- it's actually pretty bland and predictable as far as plots go -- but as I was watching it, I noted that the Smurfs all share a curious (and hilariously stupid) quirk. The quirk being that in any given sentence, the speaker will frequently replace crucial adjectives and verbs with variations of the word "smurf"
Here are a few gems that I happened upon:
"I must have smurfed some of my potion on it by mistake!"
"How about smurfing a couple of baskets with us?"
"That old thing is about to smurf apart any minute!"
"Run, my little Smurfs! We have to smurf to higher ground!"
"Oh my smurfness!"
"I never smurfed anything so sad in all my life!"
"Now you know that 'united we smirf, divided we fall'."
"Impossible! Not in a million smurfs!"
and the best:
"That's right! Papa Smurf can smurf anything he smurfs his mind to!"
There is no logical reason for them to do this, really -- it's kind of like me saying "Later today I'm going to human to the store and human up some more of those cookies. They are simply humaning." -- but yeah, it's still freaking hilarious.

Also, I realized that in many cases this can be taken as VERY dirty VERY easily, as shown in these examples which, I swear to Dionysus, I am not making up:
"Step inside, Smurfette, I'll smurf you up right."
"I smurfed her first!"
...... There is no way the writers of this show couldn't have realized what they were doing...
At any rate, I think I've stumbled onto a gold mine. Who needs "that's what she said" when you've got "smurf" ?

A few more things, just because I have the constant need to destroy all that is good and expose gaping plotholes in childrens cartoons that nobody else cares about:
First, the villain, Gargamel, appears to have no other purpose in life other than to capture and consume one or all of the Smurfs (Something about becoming a credible wizard as far as i gathered..) An admirable goal to be sure, but you have to question his methods. While they do evade him quite a bit, every so often he will manage to get his hands on a Smurf and will then cage them up whilst he prepares a soup to cook them in. This gives the other Smurfs ample time to free their comrade and cause Gargamel to fall all over himself and his cat... This has always bothered me in every cartoon of this sort. Seriously, Why doesn't he snap the Smurf's freaking neck as soon as he gets his hands on it? Then he wouldn't need to worry about it escaping (morbid, I know, but practical.)

I also had a wonder about exactly where Smurfs come from. True, there IS a Smurfette, but she was created by Gargamel to stir up discord among the other Smurfs after the series had already kicked off. It was clear that none of them had ever seen a female prior to that, but then where did they all come from? I'm not really pointing out a plot hole here, I'm just genuinely curious about how Smurfs reproduce. The writers can tell me that the Smurfs are asexual and I'll believe them, but they've gotta provide answers, or it just looks like an inconsistency. Speaking of inconsistencies: If the Smurfs ARE asexual, then why does Smurfette's presence even have an effect on the rest of them? Seems like without the need for a sex drive, they would just treat her like any of the dudes... And yet, they all trip over themselves whenever she's around. I'm serious, EVERYONE is sweet on Smurfette, including Papa Smurf, which is more than just a little disturbing considering he's like a million years old... Not even kidding; there is at least one occasion, if not more, where Papa Smurf vies for Smurfette's hand in marriage along with all the others. This is not okay. The writers of this show need serious help.

Finally, I was shocked and horrified by the amount of animal abuse going on in this show. Not only Gargamel's cat, Azrael, who constantly gets stepped on, smooshed, kicked, and shut in doors, but also the Smurfs' own puppy, who, in the episode I saw, got hit on the head by numerous object, and yelled at far more harshly than necessary by many a Smurf. Really, now! What kind of message are we sending to our children? Don't you writers know that it's only okay to drop an anvil on an animal if it can talk? For shame.

Alright, that's pretty much all I can say about that mess. All in all, you've got to admit that as stupid as this show was/still is, the creators , whether intentionally or otherwise, hit comic gold with that adjective/verb replacement thing. Gold. Pure Gold.
And if you don't think so then you can just go smurf off and smurf by yourself in a smirfing ditch!

Naw, really, I'm just smurfing with you.
Have a smirfing day!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Photogenic Phlebotomy

I gave blood today. Partially for the snacks, partially because I like the color of blood, but mostly because I'm a freaking saint. Plus it makes me feel totally hardcore, especially cause I bleed well and I don't get lightheaded or flinch at the needle; when everybody else is turning white and passing the heck out, I can just leap out of my chair and be on my merry way. It's like I just took a bullet then shrugged it off, like "What, that? That was nothing. Just lost a pint of blood, it's no problem." And then I pick up my bazooka and go back to battling velociraptors, then later I go home and cauterize the wound myself with a car cigarette lighter.... cause I'm hardcore! ... But I digress.
Anyhoo, today, I noticed that almost all the phlebotomists there were guys, and that every single one of them looked like a model for GQ. Usually when I give blood there's maybe one dude like that in the whole group, but this time it was all of them. I am highly suspicious... It makes me wonder just what they're trying to pull...Seems like some sort of conspiracy to me.
Am I complaining that the guys taking blood were all ludicrously attractive? Of course not. I'm just always suspicious of sexy phlebotomists because the only other ridiculously attractive beings who make it a common practice to take blood from people are vampires. It'd be a pretty easy way to lay low if they worked at a blood drive, that's all I'm sayin'... Highly suspect, particularly now that they're showing up en masse. I'm onto their little game. I know they're up to something...
Or that could just be the blood loss speaking... Either way, I'm out. Toodles!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Monkey's Uncle

I think that the terms "aunt" and "uncle" don't really rely so much on gender as they do on the role they play in a child's life after the child reaches the age of 5. An aunt's role is to disapprove of you, and an uncle's role is to tease you and tell you outrageous lies that make you paranoid for the rest of your childhood (my uncle Mark STILL has my nose...)

I haven't shaved my legs in a while, and so yesterday while I was wearing capris, I managed to convince my 5 year old nephew, Nekoda (who was crawling around under the dining room table and licking people,) that my legs were feral and that they would bite him if he got too close. He listened with wide eyes, then tried to poke me in the leg. I made a snarling noise and he shrieked and ran away.

I think I'm an uncle.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Usurpers

When it comes to seating arrangements in classes, I rather prefer things to be consistent; if there isn't a set seating chart, then wherever I sit on the first day of class is usually where I sit for the rest of the semester, term, year or what have you. It's a psychological thing; I tend to think better when I stay in the same place every day. Most people respect this, in fact, most people I know are the same way, so it works out and everybody is happy.
In my Biology class, my roomie Beth and I sit in the back on the left side of the room. That is where we have sat since the first day of class and so our unspoken claim has been laid on those spots. This remained unchallenged for a while, until one day we walked in to class to find that three of our classmates -- a boy and two girls -- had unscrupulously taken up residence in our seats. Completely disoriented, we were forced to take seats on the other side of the room. This was not an innocent occurrence either; as soon as we walked in, they met our surprised and slightly affronted expressions with looks of purest hatred, which only intensified the next time we got to class before them and took our proper seats. From then on it has been war; these usurpers exercise every opportunity they get to take what is rightfully ours and upset the balance. It has reached the point where both Beth and I are completely paranoid and race to be there first in order to stake claim on our territory. And heaven help us if we don't, because every time they win, they give us the same glares which speak of nothing but the deepest loathing. I really kinda wish I knew what we did to them, because I'm not kidding about the glares... If looks could kill...
This is really one of those things everybody take for granted until the balance is thrown off. There are certain unspoken rules that should never be broken, and classroom territorial claims are definitely among the things that should not be disregarded. If you want to get by in academia you follow the rules, or forever have your peers wishing you a slow and painful death. Students are territorial.
Don't be a usurper.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Positively Sinful

Now, anybody who is part of any Christian religion and has read the Bible knows that it tells us that it's probably a good idea not to sin. Sinning is always bad, just ask Sodom and Gomorrah... Oh, wait! You can't. They done got smote. Case in point.
Anyway, we've always been told not to sin, but how can you not do something unless you know what it entails? Isn't there some sort of visual aid that can show us what sinning is so that we can avoid doing it? We got nothing to go on!
Have no fear. While perusing a children's book about Jonah and the Whale, I found this depiction of the sinful city of Ninevah, doing what sinful cities do best: sinning.
This is quite possibly the best picture I've ever seen, and definitely the best depiction ever of sin in its natural habitat.
Click on the picture to enlarge it. I promise you, it's worth it. Your eternal soul is in the balance here!

So yes... This is what sinning looks like. Don't do it.

Be thankful. I have just saved you from sinking into the black abyss of sin by taking part in such depraved activities as:
drinking from jeweled cups,

grinning fiendishly,

hitting donkeys with a stick,

having breasts,

cheering out of windows,

wearing magenta,

looking slyly over your shoulder,

holding raves,

or any number of other unspeakable acts that are taking place in this cesspool of licentiousness and degradation.

Thank heavens for illustrated bible stories, that's all I can say. Otherwise we might have found ourselves on the receiving end of a good smiting.

Edit: Okay, I wasn't going to include this, but every time I see the picture it gets harder to overlook. Judging by the looks on the faces of the guy in magenta and the one behind him, there is almost definitely some sodomy going on... There, I said it. Elephant's out of the room.
I'm not going to say anything else, lest it be in horrible taste.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Well, this is a bit embarrassing

So, my pal Grosland's mom, Robin, got tagged in some "Most Prolific Blogger Award" challenge, the rules to which are as follows :

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers.
2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award (see above).
3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we can get to know the other winners.

So yes, she got tagged, and in turn tagged me. I felt quite honored to be chosen and to hear my blog described as "Irreverant [...] with a bit of snarkiness," and my day was most definitely made. Unfortunately, this left me with the challenge of actually having to tag others... This would not be a problem, except for the fact that I do not follow enough blogs to fill this list in the first place, not to mention after you subtract the blogs that Robin already tagged in hers. I'm pretty lame, to say the least. I felt bad though, so I figured there must be SOME way for me to do this. So, I've decided that, since I am a loser who has no friends, I will instead make a list of my favorite blog-esque things on the internet that I think that everyone should know about.

1. The Sneeze - This guy amuses me to no end. He has some of the most hilarious insights, which, incidentally, is where I draw some of my own from. He writes about his kids a lot, but he does it in such a way that is so incredibly entertaining that it works. I particularly like the segment he does entitled "Steve, don't eat it." where he consumes the absolute worst things he can find at the supermarket (or occasionally growing in his yard.) Definitely worth a read.

2. The Oatmeal - This is an illustrated blog, with some comics and random quizzes thrown in. The drawings add so much to this guys already bizarre sense of humor that it is nothing short of hilarious. My favorite is when he gives lessons on grammar, which are effective even while sounding completely ridiculous (example: "When dinosaurs agree on something, they'll often high-five; dinosaurs are all about high-fives." - How to use a Semicolon.) Very entertaining.

3.Cleolinda - Does a lot of things having to do with movies, and her writing is very entertaining. Her Movies in Fifteen Minutes are hilarious.

4. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - I realize this is cheating, but this is a work of such epic amazingness that I simply had to include it. Anyway, it says "blog" in the title, so it works. This is a forty minute (give or take) internet musical by Joss Whedon about what it takes to be a supervillain. It also has Neil Patrick FREAKING Harris in it. If that's not a good reason to watch it, I don't know what is. Also, I urge you to check out the AWESOME fan-made prequel, Horrible Turn. Not an official work, but still utterly amazing.

5. - A celebration of human stupidity. Prime examples of why some people should not be let out of the house. It will have you simultaneously chuckling and slapping your hand to your face with great frequency.

6. Stuff White People Like - A satirical guide to understanding and associating with white people by knowing the types of things they like and why (things such as hummus, Vespas, and pretending to enjoy classical music.) it should at least be able to extract a smile and a nod out of you.

7. Lackadaisy - This isn't even remotely close to being a blog, but this girl is fantastic, so she deserves to be recognized. Her comic, Lackadaisy, is a quirky, beautifully drawn and told story about a 1920's speakeasy and the people who make it work. Though her characters are all represented as cats, it is pulled off fantastically well, and they are all fun and lovable characters. If you have time, I strongly urge you to give Lackadaisy a read

Alrighty, that's it. These are the places where I most frequently get distracted from doing important things, in case you were curious. I think that for now I can consider myself safe, cause at least I tried, even though I am incredibly lame.

New stuff coming soon, I promise.