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.