Monday, May 21, 2012

Time To Write

Making people miserable should not be the purpose of any writer. People are quite capable of doing that on their own. To me, a great writer is defined by the depths to which they can take their characters, while still being able to help them out again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Little Things

But it is hilarious and you should read it:

1. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

4. That’s enough, Nickelback.

5. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

6. Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the “people you may know” feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

7. Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message board or FAQ’s. We just figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.

8. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

9. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

10. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

11. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

12. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

13. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I trying to finish a text.

14. Was learning cursive really necessary?

15. LOL has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.

16. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

17. Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

18. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

20. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G as in…(10 second lapse)…ummm…Goonies”

21. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.

22. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

23. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

24. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

25. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

26. Bad decisions make good stories.

27. Whenever I’m Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!

28. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem.

29. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

30. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.

31. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

32. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

33. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.

34. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

35. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

36. When I meet a new person, I’m terrified of mentioning something they haven’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

37. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

38. Why is a school zone 30km/h? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles…

39. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

40. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

41. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to with it.

42. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…

43. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

44. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There’s nothing like being made to feel like a fat %$#@! before dinner.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kids are Hilarious

My brother's friend's girlfriend was babysitting (I think), and took the toddler into a coffee shop where she spotted an old man.

Kid: Why doesn't your skin fit your face?
Old Man: It's because I'm old.
Kid: How old are you?
Old Man: I've forgotten.
Kid: When I forget, I look on the back of my panties. It says I'm 2 to 3.

This one is an older story from some Christian family friends:

It's time you knew the truth. Santa isn't real.

Kids (with appropriate looks of shock and alarm):
He's NOT???

No, I'm sorry.

What about the Easter Bunny??

No, the Easter Bunny isn't real either.

The Toothfairy?


The kids look at each other in horror.


Sunday, October 23, 2011


Everyone seems to dislike authority, but at the same time appreciate it as the One Thing You're Actually Allowed (Supposed-to) Hate.
Teachers, bosses, those annoying people in any admin department anywhere who tell you that no, you can't pass Go, and by the way you're going to be nailed into a chair to fill out a stack of paperwork before you can escape their lovely bleach-scented office.

From the age of 0, our parents are our caregivers. They protect us, direct us and implore us not to eat peanut butter off the floor.
At as early as 2-years-old kids can join pre-school, which marks the beginning of a 12-or-so year period of being institutionalized. Meal-times, break-times and assignments are all predetermined. Yes, you need to use your brain, but only within the limits set for you.
After graduating, those same 18 year olds who have been longing for freedom are shoved out the door and off the cliff of childhood, into the world of rent, jobs, or maybe further schooling. That saying that "Freedom restricts; Limits set free" is true. All of a sudden there are 8 million choices and directions to choose from. All of a sudden, no one makes your decision for you. And all of a sudden, because we can't blame our shortfalls on the "institution", life is huge and impossible and filled with people-types you'd only ever seen on TV.

A lot of my friends pursuing the arts express the desire for a mentor - SOMEone who will take you under their wing and direct you through this vortex of unlimited possibilities and directions so that you can keep moving forward, and in the right direction.

Mentors are wonderful. I love making friends with my teachers because they have a crazy set of experiences that I will probably never match, but the strangest part about it is that some of my TEACHERS have expressed the desire for someone to mentor THEM.

Everyone wants to be great, and they want someone to show them how to get there. Maybe the world does work in a crazy convoluted circle where everyone can mentor and be mentored and somehow everyone spirals upward together. However, in my opinion, there are usually a few people who are the most valuable mentors, and those are the people who think for themselves. They continue to absorb information from every source they come across, but they are also the ones who aren't afraid to walk alone. They don't need anyone's approval or permission. They aren't waiting for someone to do it first, or to show them how. They dream - and then they plot and plan and figure out a way to make it work, and then DO, and they follow that dream without second guessing it.

Maybe people like that don't even exist. Everyone struggles with red tape and technical difficulties and stupid systems. Everyone's human. Everyone has doubts. But doubts by themselves aren't dangerous. It's acting on them - or rather, not acting because of them - that makes us lose the will and drive to do the things we are passionate about.

Getting by in life is easy. Get a job. Pay the bills. That's all you really need. But if you want something more - if you want to paint or dance or design or travel or sculpt or write - then do it. Do what you need to do so that you can do what you want to do, as my Mom says. And once you've decided what your dream future looks like? Start working on it. Write more, draw more, invent more, learn more. Even if no one is holding your hand anymore, or telling you that, no, that steak you left out on the counter overnight is probably not healthy.

Michael always says, "Everyone can draw. The more you practice, the better you get." For every 20 pages of junk you write, there will be one page that is brilliant. Get the bad pages out. Get the lopsided drawings over with. Everyone knows how to draw, write, paint, dance, do whatever POORLY. It's because we're scared of taking a wrong step that we don't even try stepping out on our own, but the art Gurus seem to always say "Give yourself permission to be bad."

For anyone that's been forced to play Hungry-Hungry-Hippo 20 000 times, you'll appreciate the fact that you are now stuck with a useless talent and will need to intentionally lose a few times so that you aren't labelled the Hungry-Hippo-Nerd. Now imagine that your 6-year-old sibling forced you to do something you actually cared about 20 000 times. The trouble is, it's hard to find teachers, mentors or family members that will force you toward your dream, especially if your dream is obscure.

So, in conclusion:
To be happy in life you have 3 options.
1 - Invent a robot that will kick your butt closer to your dreams.
2 - Make yourself really really badly want something that is incredibly easy to achieve.
3 - Get trampled by a dinosaur.

Or you could simply reject the options I've laid out for you and figure one out for yourself, because I in no way have any authority over anyone or anything. Including my potted plant Frodo. Can't do a single trick.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Day

School's in again! And that means tests, which means procrastination, which means blogging!

Unfortunately it also means that my risk for catching the plague is at basically 100% as soon as I set foot in the dark, dank hallways of the U of C for yet another year, starting yet another degree. My accomplishments as-far in this school year:
Filling a few garbage bins with Kleenex
Thoroughly aggravating my nose.
(My nosebleeds have joined the competition to fill a waste-basket of their own. This one's my own personal curse. Don't jump on the bed when you're five while holding chop-sticks, kids. It's a bad life decision.)

Anyway, instead of studying, I squeezed the last little bit of intelligence out of my mind to read a book. If you want a book that tears your soul out, read "One Day". It's fantastic. And I want to burn it (now that Becca has recommended that option)!
You could also use it as a medium to experience a good love-hate relationship toward an inanimate object if you're into that sort of thing.


It's basically a love story between Emma and Dexter who have a PG-rated one-night stand on their university grad night. For the next 30-odd years, we join them on July 15 to witness the progression of their separate lives, linked mostly by postcards, letters and the occassional phone call. Life and it's complications hold them apart, but they watch each other with a special something reserved only for each other. The narrative is cheeky and sarcastic and at times tear-jerking, but always hopeful.


UNTIL... 30-odd years after they met Emma and Dexter FINALLY get together.
And then EMMA DIES.

OK OK - So it's a masterpiece of craftmanship, has a great message about "not changing the world, just the little sphere around you," is entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny (No, actually. People in the coffee-shops/on the bus would stop and stare at me, or maybe glare, thinking I was laughing at their mid-calf socks and shorts...)

But REALLY?? I understand it's great literature and David Nicholls is probably filthy rich by now. BUT I think they should put a warning on books like that, kind of like a G-PG-PG13...R-X rating schematic on a SADNESS scale.
Or else they could sell an alternate edition thats literally cut in half so it just ENDS when they finally get to-fricking-gether.

Still bitter.

I want to hug my boy and tell him not to get hit by a bus, please. Dad's making pie (Mom didn't believe him when he told her so). Pie's good incentive for a visit from a boyfriend though, isn't it?

There Will Be Pie... (the sequel to There Will Be Blood, if you didn't catch that)

Good eatin! ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars

(NOTE: I DIDN'T WRITE THIS! My Dad emailed it to me and I thought it was hilarious)--

A Creative Writing professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called "The Tandem Story." The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me.

The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent.. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail.

The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:


(First paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(Second paragraph by Bill)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his trans galactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning.

The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.

"Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mother ship launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race.

Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized even poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. " Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no,what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo. I guess I've read too many Danielle Steele novels!"








In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


A+ - I really liked this one..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Empty Cup

It's exam time, and job-hunting time, and dealing with life time, so obviously I'm going to procrastinate on everything and write a blog...

As my Sobomnin (martial arts teacher), Michael taught me a lesson a few weeks ago: he gave me a teacup filled with tea and told me to examine it. "Get to know that cup. I want you to know it, feel it, taste it, know the color, the smell... Know that cup like you would marry it." (Those probably weren't his exact words but, as my Grampy always says, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!")

He gave me a few minutes. Then --
"Do you know that cup like it was your firstborn child?"
"I feel like I just gave birth."
(Those also were nothing like the words we actually said.)
"Good," he replied. "Follow me."

And then he led me on the most meandering sprint around his house that I've ever experienced: up the stairs, around the kitchen, down to the basement, turn on our heels and sprint all the way up 3 flights of stairs again -- all while holding my teacup and trying not to spill on the carpet.

We ended in front of the sink.
"Here, have some more tea."
He filled my cup until it was overflowing.
"Ready to go again?"
I dumped a bit out so the tea wasn't so close to the surface.
He filled it to the brim again.
I dumped a bit more.
He filled it back up.
"No, I'm going to spill!"
"OK, well what do you need to do?"

So, with great remorse for my firstborn tea, I dumped the whole cupful into the sink.
Aaand, we went for another sprint - one that was much easier this time because my cup was fully empty.

As a reward for my brilliant decision to leave my old, cold tea behind, the next time we returned to the sink Michael filled my empty cup with raspberry juice.
("Enjoy! Comagain!")

Now, how would it have been if my cup was still full of cold tea dregs when he'd filled it up with juice? The fresh, cold juice would have been contaminated by the old tea. (Gross for a normal person's tastes, I'm sure, but I probably would have enjoyed the weird beverage... But that's beside the point.)

The lesson, he said, came from his old Hapkido instructor. When students are too full of their own opinions and expectations, how are they to learn anything?

They need to first open their minds - "empty their cups" - so that the knowledge and experience of the new instructor, new experience, or new perspective, has a place to go.