Sunday, December 26, 2010

"I Know, I Know..." and "Christmas is NOT Funny."

This blog is more gaunt and emaciated than I had planned. Dusty echoes of past posts and empty words clutter the page as if from some other, sweeter time. Visiting this page is like visiting the ghost town somewhere in the last half of Stephen King’s The Talisman, the town with broken buildings and dirty streets, where a naked, grimy woman stumbles pointlessly through garbage and filth, crying—or screaming, I can’t remember—as she passes us to continue on her miserable way, leaving us with a sense of gloom and an urge to leave this place as soon as possible. Maybe that’s a little much; it’s not quite that bad. Has anyone really ever read that book? I did like ten years ago. Stephen King is smoking something strong, let me tell you. 

It has been a while, though. And if that crying naked woman somehow embodied Popcorn Day itself, she would have stopped when she saw me and said, “Oh, hi there, B-…Brian, right? You’re name’s still Brian, isn’t it? You haven’t changed it or anything? I wouldn’t know; I haven’t seen you for what, two months? Let’s see, you posted on October 7th, and then October 27th came around and you gave us this half-assed post that said, ‘Hey guys, uh, I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long, but I’m going to be gone for even longer because I’m lame and super busy, but I’ll be back by Thanksgiving.’  Remember that? Tell me: when do you celebrate Thanksgiving, Brian? Do you celebrate it at the end of November like the rest of us turkey-roasting, stars-and-stripes-loving Americans do, or do you stack it on top of Christmas like a Canadian or something and that’s what you meant by ‘around Thanksgiving’ because IT SURE AS HELL SEEMS LIKE IT, GIVEN THAT CHRISTMAS WAS YESTERDAY AND IT’S THANKGIVING IS SOOOO OVER!!! YOUR TIDINGS ARE NEITHER COMFORTING NOR JOYFUL!!

This is where I put my hands up all calm-like and say...

The musical I wrote, Forwards & Backwards, took up all of my free time. And all of my other time too. Mr. GPA was none too pleased. However, the show was more successful than I had ever thought it could be. 390 people showed up, some having to sit on top of tables or stand.


It was received so warmly that we’re showing again in January. I see you flaring up, Popcorn Day, but rest assured I will not leave you this time.

After the musical I thought that it would also be a slam-bam idea to release my second Christmas album, Snow. Homework, shmomework, right? 

 [You can even buy this, if you want! Click here! Or down there, if you want to spend less / give me less money.]
Snow - Brian Schroeder

Then came finals, which destroyed me and my posture, but ended successfully with grades that would have warranted a parade in my honor if I was in high school. (That means I did well, which I didn’t always do in high school.)

I was totally jipped out of my Christmas spirit. College allows for almost none; any Christmas spirit a college student has is quickly overshadowed by some guilty thought like “I should probably be studying more instead of decorating my dorm room with cut-paper snowflakes and cinnamon-scented pinecones while listening to My Little Drum by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.”

Which I did, by the way, and thought that thought, and went back to studying when the guilt loomed too heavily. Christmas spirit is hardly allowed at college.

Christmas break came, though, ready or not. And thus began my hectic couple of days peppered with a few moments of sublime happiness: a friend’s cabin, a Christmas party with cousins, and much much more. A to-do list is attached. You will see how well I fared.

1. Upon receiving your final grades, discover that you passed all of them, not with flying colors, necessarily, but at least with a few subdued hues hopping merrily along the ground.
2. Don’t pull a muscle in your back while trying to un-stuck a snowmobile.
3. Make horchata for the first time and drink it in December like the song.
4. Read for FUN, dammit. The Hobbit, maybe.
5. Don’t aggravate that back muscle you pulled while trying to un-stuck a snowmobile a second time.
6. Avoid listening to The Christmas Shoes even once. 
Failed. (And don't click that link if you don't have to.)
7. Get your annual massage with Christie.
8. Don’t somehow jab yourself in the elbow with your thumb and injure it while boxing on Kinect. 
9. Avoid listening to The Christmas Shoes even twice.
10. Don’t throw out your back playing Kinect because it will limit your movement on Christmas.
11. Go to the chiropractor on Christmas eve.

And I suppose that brings me to where I am today. Feeling nourished, Popcorn Day?  I don’t want to give you too much too soon; you may get diarrhea.

So I shall return to regular posting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“Why I’ve sucked so hard at blogging lately” or “Is Brian posting on some invisible blog we don’t know about?” or “I wish I could juggle better”

So it’s been three weeks since I’ve posted something, which is, like, unheard of here at Popcorn Day. I’m so sorry, my dear readers.

I planned on this, my senior semester of college, to be busy, but controlled.

Eighteen credits = doable.
A job = possible.
A blog = yes! Plenty of time! 

All was going according to plan until I realized that this was my last semester in which I can present the musical I’ve been writing for four years, Forwards & Backwards, to the only people that care about it here at Bethel. 

Our official picture:

That being said, "Popcorn Day time" has become "Forwards & Backwards time", and I’ve neglected you.

The bad news is that I’m probably going to continue neglecting you until after November 20th, when maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to breathe a little bit. I’ll come back around Thanksgiving to find a gray and emaciated Popcorn Day with sunken eyes and stuff it so plump with holiday spirit that the walls of its stomach will explode. The life that comes back to Popcorn Day will be more inspiring than that horrible Christmas Shoes song (I recommend that you don't click that link), and the world will start spinning again, I promise. In the meantime, I have to be crazy someplace else.

To keep you entertained until then, here are links to my most recent sculptures. They’re web-based, so you can all see them! Yippie-kai-ayyy!! 

Anyway. Catch you on the flipside, readers. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice Chinese Food with Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history and cultural." *

An interesting little piece of realization came to me the other day while eating food from the Asian line at the Dining Center: Chopsticks are shockingly accurate instruments for gauging how high-strung a person is.

For example, people who can be described with words like chill, laid-back, or easy-going tend to have no problems whatsoever using chopsticks. Their wrists are calm, their fingers are unperturbed, and the chopsticks look like natural extensions of their body—like a Buddhist Wolverine. 

[He must do yoga.]
On the other hand, people who, say, are a little more stressed-out than others, maybe breathe a little too much from the chest, maybe bounce their legs up and down when sitting idly on a chair…(you know, people like me…) CanNOT work those damn chopsticks. 

People like us, who maybe idolize relaxation, go on trips just for that reason, or take time out of our day to sit in a hammock and relax even though all we can think of the whole time is what we’re going to blog about next (hellooooo), have some problems. We tend to go towards three techniques of chopstick usage:

1. Eat a third of our meal before giving up and searching for a fork, mumbling something like, “Errr…give up…I can’t…damn…FORK!” 

2. Go completely ape-sh** and use the chopsticks to stab at the chicken in our lo mein with bloodshot eyes and a strange sense of obsessive patriotism. 

[This is the second draft of this drawing. The first one is far too creepy, so I'm leaving it out. 

Oh, what the heck. Here it is...]

[I think this qualifies as "ape-sh**." 
And yes, those are American flag lightning bolts.]  

3. Buck up and pretend like everything’s normal, and hope that nobody sees the mangled mess of appendages and wood coming out of our wrist. 

So that settles it. Chopsticks usage has nothing to do with practice or culture. If you can’t use chopsticks, your character is to blame. The only probable solution is to quit your job, drink more wine, take up yoga, maybe some Ritalin, move to Asia and become a monk, ring more gongs, light more incense, probably smoke pot, stop watching Jersey Shore, and breathe from your freaking abdomen. This hasn’t been proven, but it has got to be more effective than practice.

*This title is quoting the wonderful, lost-in-translation inscription on most chopsticks packages. For those who are wondering if there's a point to this, or if I'm just making fun of the Chinese. The latter, people; the latter.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Centennial (which actually means 100 YEARS, but I don’t care that I’m using it incorrectly. Anyway…)

I’ve been waiting to write anything for this, my 100th POST, and put it online for fear that it wouldn’t be big enough for all the splendor and glory of this monumental day. This post should be—pardon my use of such a common word of this generation—EPIC. I’m talking a moon-landing-ticker-tape-parade-erect-a-statue-in-my-honor kind of post, people. I’ve already put up 99 good ones; it’s time for EPIC.  

[This picture isn't fully necessary, but it felt really good to draw. What can I say? I dream big on special days.]

But, given that I haven’t posted for a week and a half, I figure I should postpone the world-saving, rally-inducing, room-key-throwing post for now and tell you about a dream I had yesterday while I was taking a nap. For only an hour, my brain packed a lot in.

I was working at a doggy daycare. Who knows what influenced me to dream about that, Christie Roberts. As I was cleaning the waiting room, I noticed that Sandy, a friendly yellow lab, had gotten out of the kennel room.  I gently led her over to the door that had been left open and watched as she trotted over to Bunker, a black lab. A woman came up to me and said, “Aren’t they cute? They’re married.”

It did not seem necessary to question this comment about canine matrimony.

I was just about to close the door when the lights darkened in the kennel room. Then up came risers filled with cheering and picture-taking crowds of humans, and a ring circled around Sandy and Bunker, who donned boxing gloves on their front paws. Rearing up on their back legs, they began to box.

ME: Whoa, these dogs box?

WOMAN NEXT TO ME: Yeah. They say it’s really therapeutic for their marriage. Once a week, they just start going at it. Like dogs, hahahah.

ME: That’s funny.

Allow me to mention my memories of what I saw in this dream. The dogs didn’t necessarily look like dogs with boxing gloves. Like maybe….this:

No, they looked like an airbrushed painting of dogs with hairy, human bodies boxing, the kind that artists who have no artistic integrity paint and then sell at the mall next to pictures of Dale Earnhardt and American flag-decaled motorcycles painted in the same style. Something like this…

[Dear Artist, 

Don't you feel like you're kind of limiting your audience to dog-loving boxing fans who have no concept of art or originality? Or do you think that this is reminiscent enough of the cliché poker-playing dogs painting that people will actually buy it and put it in their suburban basement game rooms next to their foosball tables and unused NordicTracks?

Just saying.



Artistically, it was pathetic. But I dismissed that because, hey, two married dogs are lovingly duking it out in my doggy daycare.

ME: Wow. I wish I could talk to them about their marriage.

WOMAN: Well go ahead then!

Suddenly I was transported into Tim and Jill Taylor’s living room on the set of Home Improvement. And it happened just like the way the old episodes would go to commercial—each chunk of the surrounding scene flew off the screen with a sound effect while that chromatic descending music played...starting with the flute, and then with the full band...Bee dee tee teedle-ee dee dee, dah dah, dah dah, dah dah, dah dah…bum bum BUM! (Tim’s guttural man noise.)

I’m guessing you all know what I’m talking about.  

And there I was, sitting across from Tim the Toolman Taylor and his wife, talking to them about their marriage. This is a paraphrase of how the conversation went:

TIM: Oh, blah blah blah. Women blah blah. Men can do much better blah blah. Ah can’t stand ‘em. Blah. Jill’s the worst. Blibbity blah blah.
ME: [Smiling, but considering punching him in the teeth for being so chauvinistic.]
JILL: Do you want me to tell you what’s the problem with Tim?
ME: Sure. [Wanting to see their trademark bickering…considering whipping out my cell phone to take a picture.]
JILL: See that handle on his back?
ME: Um, yeah. [Suddenly confused to see an actual handle coming out of Tim’s back.]
JILL: Give it a pull!

Tim then turned and allowed me to take the handle into my hand.  Then, just like a seatbelt, I pulled out a long, thick ribbon filled with many insults in bold block letters about Tim the Toolman Taylor. I stopped to read one.

“The only people that Google Tim Taylor are Google People.” 

And then I woke up.

I’m not even going to try to look deeper into that one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fan Mail

Okay, this isn’t fan mail fan mail; it’s just an email from my Mom. But she reads my blog and is one of the four comment-leavers that make me feel like I’m actually doing more than sending my stories into a clouded and scary abyss, so I shall share.

So I got an email from her, because we do that...

[A nod to The Oatmeal nodding at Hyperbole And A Half.]

...And the email said:

“I had a dream last night that made me mad during the dream but when I woke up it was hilarious!”

Can you tell we’re related? A run-on sentence used to show how excited we are to write it? That’s us.

“It was about multi-tasked-one-handed nose blowing.”

She’s referring back to this post, probably one of the most absent-minded ones I’ve ever put on this blog (but nonetheless one of the funniest, I think). A complaint about bananas turning into a rant about the fact the Jane Goodall never has to go to the zoo and, you guessed it, my resentment towards people who blow their nose with one hand. Apparently this inspired her unconscious mind.

“I was at work and stopped to blow my nose. Two-handed, of course. My boss walked by with a disgusted look on her face and told me that I blow my nose very inefficiently! She then proceeded to do whatever it was that she was doing and reached over with a Kleenex one-handed, grabbed my nose, told me to ‘blow’, I continued to work on my computer while blowing. She then looked at me and said ‘SEE!? You should be able to keep working and blow your nose at the same time if you only used one hand!’


 [A few things about this drawing: 
1. Since my mom left out what her boss was doing in her dream, I naturally assumed that she was playing badminton.
2. I've found drawing anyone besides myself as a stick figure is really strange. I went through about a million sketches of my mom's head before I found one that didn't completely suck. This one still kind of does, but it's not the worst thing in the world.
3. More offices should probably have badminton. This picture is like a workplace paradise.] 

I will give you, Mom, the coveted label of Posts I End With The Word ‘Bitch’ for that one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Conqueror of the Common Cold

Three days ago I was attacked by a vicious cold—a snotty, congested, achy, pissed off, tasteless wanker of a cold that tore me limb from limb and made me wish I wasn’t taking eighteen credits. Or any, for that matter. A bed was all I could handle at this point.

Yet I pressed on. I went into battle mode. Behold, my artillery: 

Three Cold-Eeze zinc lozenges a day.

Three Airborne tablets a day.

Spicy food (the only thing I could taste) 
and salads with broccoli and spinach for lunch and dinner.

Citrus fruit smoothies between meals.

An entire lake (for drinking)

Numerous Puffs Plus with Lotion

And I have annihilated this cold.  This cold wishes it were never born. This cold is begging me for mercy, like the Legion demons in the bible beg Jesus. “Oh, please, Brian! Don’t cast me out! Allow me to go into the grazing swine!”

“No,” I reply. “But if you must, you may infect Christie for a short time, but be warned: she has the same weapons that I do.”

“Oh, thank you, merciful Brian!”

This cold is freaking done for.

You wanna know why?

‘Cause Brian ain’t nobody’s bitch.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Phrases of this Generation: The Like-Legit-Like Sandwich

Before I begin, allow my to send out a disclaimer that this may sound surprisingly like a rant, which is something I promised would never appear on my blog way back. However, my friends, I think this may be funny enough to lose that negative title and instead be referred to as “a humorous discussion of a subject found annoying by the author.”

There are a few phrases that this (my) generation uses that just don’t make sense to me. Actually, they kill me a little. Or at least figuratively smash my fingers in car doors. My first example of this is The Like-Legit-Like Sandwich. If you haven’t heard of it, once I explain you’ll hear it everywhere you go from the mouths of this wicked and perverse generation.

The moment legitimately became legit the world started losing all coherence and meaning. Legitimately is a pretty word that also sounds long. People should enjoy using it…especially those who could use a few easy, long words to make them seem just above the smart/dumb line (kind of like vocabulary or evidently or obviously). But no, legitimately became legit, and soon everything was either legit or not legit (illegit?).

Definitions of this word have been whittled down to, “You know…it means, like, ‘for real.’”

Then shoot me legit.

And then something happened that changed the entire world forever. Some people with monosyllabic vocabularies who had adopted legit as the hardest word they know found out that they never have to trouble their brains anymore by asking someone, “What do you mean?” or, “Are you telling me the truth?” Instead, they could just say…brace yourselves…

“Like, legit, like…?”

Cryptic? Allow me to explain.

Let’s say I walked up to a friend and said, “Today I took a wolf up to the top of the highest hill in Minnesota and we had a picnic.” 

[Wolves actually have surprisingly balanced backs. They can carry pretty much anything up there.]

After hearing it, he would say, “Wait. Like, legit, like…?”

And I would be forced to say, “Yes. I’m telling the truth. I took a wolf up a hill and we had a picnic of berries and potato chips.” 

[Wolves only eat SunChips in the compostable bags, even though they're noisy.]

Really, it just takes all the conversational responsibility off of my friend, so all he has to do is observe my talking and do something more intelligent than squeak or grunt when he starts to get lost.

This is what the Like-Legit-Like Sandwich is really saying:

Like #1 = Are you saying
Legit = that you’re serious?
Like #2 = For example, you actually sat on top of a hill with a wolf and it didn’t eat you?

And it says this at the same time:

Like #1 = Did you know
Legit = that I have no idea
Like #2 = how to actually form a coherent sentence?

Another use for the Like-Legit-Like Sandwich is when one is trying to explain something that they don’t have the words to explain:

“The lyrics in this song are so cool. They’re like…legit, like…I really like them.”

This is merely using the word “legitimate” incorrectly. I mean, when are words not legitimate? Are there songs that are written with words like “fliminhaha” or “sklideedoo” out there? The words, I suppose, would not be legitimate in that song. But this happening is very unlikely.

[This is the most likely place to hear goofy words like this in a song. 
I dedicate this to my great friend  Billy Sveen.]

This, my friends, is The Like-Legit-Like Sandwich. You will find that the word legit is rarely found without word like nearby. May you be forever annoyed. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DreamBomb, or 50-Word Sagas, or I'm Two-Thirds of a Good Person When I'm Unconscious (Part II)

Just like last time, here are three dreams that I had that weren't detailed enough to give them a full post, so they're written using only 50 words each--no more, no less. In the first two, I come out looking like waaaaay too good of a person. Evidence in Dream #3 shows that I become less of a good person if something disappoints me.

Dream #1:
“Hello, Brian! Would you like to invest in my new product?”
“Of course I would! What is it?”
“Tobacco cookies.”
“Tobacco cookies?”
“Yes, cookies with tobacco in them. All the taste without the smoke! What do you say?”
“No thanks. Let’s go rollerblading instead.”
“Oh, come on!”
“No means no.”

Dream #2:
Next! Oprah brings an inner city class to visit Brian Schroeder, the famous forest restorer!
“We come to you via Skype from the forest Brian restored!” says Oprah.
“Thanks, O. It’s really impor—oh no!”
[Massive noise.]
The children scream.
But the tree only sings a heartwarming song.

Dream #3:

“Ready to see it?” says Grandma.
“When pushed, this teacup reveals a compartment that holds small items.”
“What? Lame.”

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Three Levels of Road Retorts

Let’s say you cut someone off while driving. You’re a nice person and a good driver, but you cut someone off for some stupid, accidental reason. With everything in you, you wish that there existed some sort of message-relaying device on your rear window that flashed, “I’m sorry!” or “My bad!” or “I’m really late for work and I stupidly cut in front of you. I apologize.”

But you can’t. That would be distracting for the other drivers. It may become a cool fad for a while, but it would just end up outlawed…like gangsta tinted windows or blue headlights.

What you’re left with, I’m afraid, is a tremendous feeling of guilt for what you’ve done and no way to reconcile with the person behind you. You look into your rearview mirror to gauge their reaction to your sin. If this person is pissed, he or she will choose one of three reactions, all varying in intensity and emotion. I will list them in order of ferocity, from least to greatest.

1. The Bird

This one is standard. So standard, in fact, that it has lost all its zing and panache and ends up working against the person giving it.

The person who receives the bird will inevitably think, “Oh, this guy’s just a run-of-the-mill cynical curmudgeon. He didn’t deserve to be cut off, but he didn’t really deserve not to be cut off either.”

2. The Snarl

I’ve seen this one work rather effectively in a small number of situations. The point is to make sure that the person sees that you’re pissed. Or, perhaps, intimidate them.

[Also, according to the picture above, you must drive a car that looks like a gremlin.]

Now here’s the kicker: its effectiveness is in its presentation. Speeding up next to the person and making a nasty face is a far too attention-deprived demeanor. Bending your head out the window to catch the person’s eye may also make someone think that either you’re an a-hole or wish you were an a-hole. This decreases the validity of The Snarl.

3. The [Prolonged Sigh]

This is by far the most blistering reaction. The hurt that is being expressed is far more than you could even imagine. It makes you think, How could I have done that to this poor person? Who do I think I am? Why do I even drive? How could I be so cruel? The Road Retort that brought about these questions is this:

This person is legitimately hurt. Not angry, hurt. He probably just got unjustly fired from his job, dumped by his girlfriend because he was unjustly fired from his job, and was late for his grandma’s funeral. You see, he wasn’t very close to his parents and his grandma was the only parent-figure he had in the whole world, but once he started seeing his girlfriend he kind of let Grandma go to the wayside and she DIED without him being able to set things right, and now what does he have? Nothing, Brian. Nothing.  

As soon as possible I am going to invent Rear Window Message Machines.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Someday I Will Have a Need for Each of These (Whoa! Except Item #2. That Was a Close One!)

Every morning, since that day in June when I realized that The Hallmark Channel was playing it from 9am-noon, I’ve watched I Love Lucy with my breakfast.

I love this show. However, I’ve found that the commercials don’t necessarily apply to me. This is The Hallmark Channel, people. In the morning. Let’s be honest: a vast majority of the viewers at this time are bored, retired folks who switch there during the commercial breaks of The Price is Right, or stay-at-home parents who do the same thing. And Hallmark knows it. So, just in case these people flip on channel 46 and catch a commercial, they want to appeal to them. The commercial blocks between I Love Lucy scenes are a rotation of four ads:

(First: A special thanks to Christie for helping take all jokes too far.) 

1. The Snuggie + The Macarena = The Snuggarena.


Somehow, in someone’s mind, this was cool / okay / a good advertising idea. The bile in the back of my throat tells me otherwise.

I’m not purchasing a Snuggie until they add mittens to the ends of the sleeves. OOH! I should copyright that!

2. The Cami Secret

The miracle lie about what you’re wearing underneath your low-cut shirt.

And now…

The Probable Dialogue Between Two Singles Who Met at a Bar and Have Moved On To One of Their Apartments to get Steamy.

[He takes off her low-cut shirt to reveal a bra with a lacy napkinlike device attached to it.]

Him: Uh, what is that? Is it a lacy napkin to keep you clean while you eat spaghetti half-naked?

Her: No, silly! It’s my
Cami Secret. I just hook it on to my bra to make it look like I’m wearing a camisole underneath. The ladies in the commercial reminded me of how horrible it is to deal with two shirts at the same time—all that pulling and adjusting! 

Him: Oh. Okay. I guess that’s okay.

Her: Oh, and this is my Breasts Secret. I don’t have any. I don’t have a disease or anything; they’re just completely and literally nonexistent.

Him: What does that mean? Oh, whatever. Okay.

Her:  Have you seen my Female Genitalia Secret? I’m actually a guy.

Him: Wha—

Her: And have you seen my Leg Secret? I’m an amputee!

This is the degree of manipulation that can come from a simple purchase of the Cami Secret. Give Satan an inch and he will be your ruler.

3. HDIS: Home Delivery Incontinence Supplies

This commercial shows an older woman embarrassed about buying Depends. She goes through a store self-consciously and bashfully goes to the check-out counter.

But here comes HDIS to save the day! Some old celebrity comes on screen and says something to the affect of “Are you tired of buying all of your grown-up diapers in public? Well, at HDIS, you can order all of it online and we’ll send it to you in discreet packaging, so no one will know!”

In the next scene a postman comes to the door of the old lady’s house and hands her a giant, unmarked box. She’s all, “Huh? What’s this?” but then realizes what it is and flashes a knowing smile to the camera.

4. Colonial Penn Life Insurance

Actual dialogue from the commercial:

It went something like that, anyway.  Nothing says “get life insurance” like explosions and murderous neighbors.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eating Crap Causes Crappy Dreams.

My stomach is not what it used to be. In high school, one of my favorite snacks ever was to take the leftover taco fixings—excluding the vegetables—from  my family’s Taco Night, mix it all together, and microwave it.

Seasoned hamburger, taco sauce, cheese, and sometimes ranch dressing to really rake in the ol’ calories. A minute in the microwave later, and I would eat this brown slop with Nacho Cheesier Doritos.

It was my favorite.

Last evening my family had tacos. Around eleven o’clock, I found myself hungry for a little snack. I know! I thought, I should make my signature Taco Slop! 

So I did.

I was full and a little grossed out halfway through, but I still had so much left, so I forced it down.

Bad decision. A half-hour later, I felt like a jar of bacon grease.

I better at least get a good dream from this food, thought I. 

I didn’t, really. Nothing epic like Just a Flying Frog in Paris, or Groovin’ Vatican Style, anyway. The dream I had took place in Europe, where I was apparently traveling with my family.  I had pissed them all off by losing all of my train tickets that they had purchased ahead of time.

There was no way that we were going to buy new tickets, so I had to sneak on every train by lying to the conductors or creating some sort of zany diversion. One conductor, though, I couldn’t get past. This lady caught me red handed and wouldn’t let me on the train.

Me: But I bought a ticket! I just lost it.
Her: Thass juss too bad.
Me: But please, ma’am! My family’s going on without me!
Her: No way. No oness getting on the train wizzout a teekit.
Me: Can I work for it? Is there anything I can do?
Her: Vell, you could verk in the daycare car and tick care of the keeds.
Me: Okay. No problem. I can do that.

So the multi-accented conductor let me on a train and led me to a stinky, crowded train car full of little kids. I was just happy to be on the train.

But wait. There was something fishy going on here. And then it dawned on me. All the kids looked exactly the same! They were all identical, miniature versions of the actor that plays Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter movies! (He’s the ugliest character in the whole cast, even worse than the one who plays Mr. Filch. This is probably because he looks like one of my childhood friends who was always dirty and confessed that What if God Was One of Us? by Joan Osborne was his favorite song. I mean, who in their right minds would like that song? He probably grew up to like Nickleback too. Anyway...) Oh no!

[And yes, some of the kids were wearing earmuffs, okay?]

Then, simultaneously, every one of the Seamus Finnigans crapped themselves.

And then I woke up. It was obviously my stomach getting back at my brain for deciding to shovel that crap down my throat.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dilemma. (Also: this post has very little point.)

I want a banana.

But as you can see, we have a bunch of green bananas and one that’s spotty and bruised. No middle ground. 

What am I going to do? I really want a banana. I’ve had problems with bananas in the past, but this is ridiculous.

I actually had a brainstorm that maybe I could open the old and a new banana, and then eat them both at the same time, somehow splitting the difference.

For some reason this yellow injustice brought two thoughts to my mind, which caused me great anger:

1. Jane Goodall probably never goes to the zoo.

2. I don’t understand how anyone can be comfortable blowing his or her nose with one hand.

And then I became really concerned about my brain, because these two things not only are not related to my banana dilemma, but are also not related to each other. 


Jane Goodall doesn’t have to go to the zoo because she lived in the jungle with chimpanzees for twenty years. She can just fly to her house in Tanzania and walk into her backyard and hang out with them. While the highlight for regular people at the zoo would be the chimps, she would be like, “Yeah, I’ve lived with them and made friends with them out in their natural habitat. I know many by name and I play with them and communicate via sign language with them. The relationship that you guys have with the chimps is merely a blip of nothingness compared to the one I have with a billion of them out in the wild. By the way, I’m pretty much against the fact that these guys are in a cage.”

I envy her.

And the second thought has always bothered me. When I see someone blowing his or her nose with a Kleenex in one hand, I can’t help but picture that person as a child with a snotty green nose, and his busy, overworked mother putting a Kleenex with one hand up to his face and saying, “Blow,” while she’s doing something with the other hand like making dinner or shopping or fencing. 

So when a grown-up person uses one hand to blow his nose, I just can’t handle it. Such a lack of control! I’m a two-handed nose-blower. My message to the one-handers:  Give your nose the proper attention. Two nostrils, two hands.


There's still no connection. 

I walked away from the bananas in an embittered stupor, mumbling things under my breath about Kleenexes and chimpanzees. And still, after writing all of that, I don’t have a banana to eat...or any clue what's wrong with my brain.