Friday, August 24, 2012

Tunnel of MURDER Love

Christie and I went on our annual Minnesota State Fair trip yesterday. It’s the best thing that exists in Minnesota, or maybe the entire country, and we’ve even decided to go back again in a few days because we didn’t get to eat everything we wanted to. I mean, I only had one Pronto Pup. ONE. It’s like I didn’t even go. 

In my defense, however, I also had a thick slab of spicy bacon on a stick, three cups of chocolate milk, a bag of Tom Thumb Donuts, and Bacon Flavored Ice Cream.  And I registered to vote, had a blood sugar and BMI screening (I passed both with flying colors), took a vision test, sampled honey, learned about a revolutionary new hose nozzle, pet a baby goat, met my favorite radio announcer, and went down a big slide on a potato sack. 

After a few hours, our stomachs became too full to walk anymore so we decided it was time to go home. And then we saw Ye Old Mill. 

Apparently it’s been a ride at the State Fair for 98 years, and we’ve never even heard of it, so we decided that it was 100% necessary that we took it for a spin. We paid our $3 and then learned that The Old Mill is actually one of the last remaining Tunnels Of Love in the country. 

Now I’ve never been in a Tunnel of Love, but I understood that they're romantic boat rides that take young lovers through dimly-lit tunnels, accompanied by glowing pink and purple hearts. Most of the couples nervously look around, maybe hold hands, while some of the more confident ones make it to second base.  I may or many not have learned all of this from Hey Arnold. 

This is going to be cute! we thought, as we loaded our rickety red boat.

We entered the tunnel, and this is what we saw. 


And we continued to see only that for a few minutes. We had no idea how fast we were moving, or whether we were moving at all - just complete darkness. And all of a sudden I realized Oh crap, maybe this is actually a trick Tunnel Of Love that is actually a haunted house. Something’s totally going to jump out at me, and I’m going to fall out of the boat and into the dirty State Fair water and drown. 

I was a little tense.

Soon enough, we saw light coming around the corner and I thought that maybe, thank God, the ride was over, but then I saw this. 


Yes. A dim forest filled with LSD-soaked leprechauns playing a silent “We're Going To Eat You”  tune on their pan-flutes. But as soon as they appeared, the current took us away from them and into complete darkness again. 

After a short sojourn of terrified darkness, we once again happened upon a forest. 

And this continued. 

By the end of the ride, I was thinking, My God, these demonic leprechauns are going to come alive and tear my eyeballs out and force my head under water, where I’ll drown and reanimate as one of them.  

So I tried not to think about it. 

ME: Haha, Christie. Let’s take a picture.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bloggess + Narnia = Some seriously screwed-up sleepwalking.

Before I went to bed last night, I read two chapters of Jenny Lawson(The Bloggess)’s book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and then three chapters of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Apparently the combination of the two broke something in my brain. 

I have this thing that I do every once and awhile, where I wake up from a dream but still think I’m in that dream and so I act a’fool. It usually happens when I’m sick, as you know. 

But I’m totally healthy now, so I blame Jenny Lawson and C.S. Lewis. This is what happened: 

At 2:30am I rushed out of bed because I heard that Jenny Lawson was going to visit my house. She would be stopping by in her sleigh, because The Bloggess is actually the White Witch of Narnia. 

I was excited though, because every year she has a contest called The Bloggess’ Beautiful Corgi Contest (or BBCC for short) and my Corgi won! 

I don’t own a Corgi in real life, of course, but in this dream I did. And I fully believed that my bedside lamp was that award-winning dog. So I unplugged my Corgi from the wall and walked over to the spot in my room where I knew I would have a good vantage point to see The Bloggess of Narnia.  Standing proudly with my famous Corgi in my arms, I straightened my pajamas and awaited her arrival. 

And then I woke up.

So I plugged in my lamp, fed it a Milkbone and went back to bed. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blogiversary III or I guess my un-famous friends aren't as appealing as The Bloggess

This third Blogiversary comes quick on the heels of one of the most important days in Popcorn Day history. 

Yesterday I met Jenny Lawson, also known in the blog world as The Bloggess. Millions and millions of blog followers, a book that’s been on The New York Times best-sellers list for months, and I met the crap out of her.  

I mean, of course, that I went to a book signing and exchanged a stammering sentence or two with her while someone took our picture. Compared to how I had planned our interaction to go, this was a big disappointment. It wasn’t her fault; she was classy and sweet. It was me. Because apparently I become an insecure seizing mess whenever I come in contact with someone I admire. 

Take that time, early on in Popcorn Day, when I commented on Emerson Merrick(from An Apple A Day)’s blog and she commented back on mine. Feel free to go back and look at the comments section, in which I had an all-caps freakout about the fact that she commented, and then deleted it and wrote a slightly smoother comment. And THEN I wrote another one that actually responded to her post. 

This is how it works, my friends: when I come in contact with celebrities, all I want to do is flip out. Because apparently I’m a 14-year-old girl. BUT I usually catch myself, and go into a mindset of, Hey, if I act really chill and clever maybe they’ll think I’m cooler than all of their other fans and then we’ll become real-life friends. 

Which is so likely. 

Another example of this is when I met another hero of mine, Andrew Zimmern, at a book signing. Sometime in my twitchy interaction with him, during which I told him that I don’t have any cash to give him for his book but would appreciate just a picture with him, he gave me a free copy in which he wrote, “You owe me $20.” 

Because he’s Andrew Zimmern and he’s awesome. 

[There’s a picture of me over-reacting to this like a little girl somewhere but “I don’t know where it is.”] 

Okay fine, here’s the picture. 

[I'm so embarrassed that you're seeing this.]

As I went home, I desperately tried to think of a way to become that cool fan that Andrew Zimmern decides should be his friend and invites over for dinner all the time, so I tried to think of something clever to tweet him.

@DayOfPopcorn  @AndrewZimmern: You were great today! I’m that guy you gave the free book to. I’ll get that $20 to you STAT. 

@AndrewZimmern  @DayOfPopcorn: That was a joke. The book’s on me. Have a good day. 


@DayOfPopcorn  @AndrewZimmern: You SURE? Haha, just kidding. I know it was a joke. Thanks! 

[ME, internally: What is wrong with me? Andrew Zimmern’s never going to invite me over for dinner now.]

And then last night I met Jenny Lawson. She was brilliant.

As I waited in line for her to sign my book, I went through the same failed thought process in my head: What can I say in my short amount of time with her that’s clever enough to make her want to be my real-life friend? 

Once I reached her, I got all stuttery and nervous and this is pretty much how the whole interaction went: 


ME: ...Hi! 

JENNY: [signing my book]

ME:  ....haha! It’s already signed because I pre-ordered it and you sent a signed bookplate with it, but HAHA! I want you to sign it again. Awkward. Funny funny. Thanks.

[ME, internally: What the hell do you think you’re doing? That’s not funny or clever. Recover! Recover you idiot!]

JENNY: [smiles in a picture with me and Christie]

ME: Can I get a picture of just you and me? Because I’m a bigger fan than Christie is.

[ME, internally: Okay, that was supposed to be funny. BUT IT WASN’T. That’s you’re girlfriend you just shafted out of a picture. Not only are you not funny, you’re also a total dick to your girlfriend.] 

JENNY: Sure. [awkward chuckle as she smiles with me.] 

[I Instragrammed the sh** out of this picture.]

And then I got up and knocked over Copernicus, her taxidermied monkey, the subject of one of my favorite posts of hers. 


ME: Whoops, I knocked over your monkey. 

JENNY: Oh, that’s fine. His name is Copernicus and he’s drunker than I am. 

ME: Haha! 

[ME, internally: WHY DID YOU CALL IT HER ‘MONKEY’? YOU KNOW ITS NAME. Now she doesn’t even think you’re a fan. In her eyes, you’re a person who just happened to walk into the line to have her sign a book you haven’t even read and you don’t know anything about Copernicus and OH, you’re a total dick to your girlfriend.] 

ME: Thanks so much for doing all this. It was wonderful to meet you. I’m such a huge fan. Thanks.

[ME, internally: You’ll never be her real-life friend.] 

Afterwards I tweeted her twice, and shortly after realized that I did the exact thing with Emerson Merrick and Andrew Zimmern. Why do I feel the need to impress celebrities so I can become their friends? Why can’t I just be satisfied with my normal, un-famous friends, who have accepted that I’m a total spaz? 

Probably because going thrift store shopping with The Bloggess or eating something strange with Andrew Zimmern or taking a segway tour with Oprah or sharing a panini with Albus Dumbledore or playing Scrabble with Barack Obama would make me the coolest cat around. 

Or maybe throwing some popcorn around with the 58 of you readers is pretty nice too. Happy blogiversary, friends! 

UPDATE: And then Jenny Lawson's book made me sleepwalk.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The internet has broken my brain.

Allow me to backpedal a little from that statement: I think my reliance on the internet has broken my brain. 
Let’s say I’m writing something important and I stop to think about the best way to word a phrase. My fingers, then, automatically open up Safari and I click through Facebook, Twitter, and my emails. That’s not what thinking means, fingers. 
My cursor travels a worn path, zipping from page to page and landing on nothing in particular. Email, work email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, email, work email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, email, work email, Facebook...

And my eyes, being the idiots that they are, just lazily watch, only focusing on things that seem able to entertain for at most four minutes.

My brain’s broken.

Either that or my fingers have a mind of their own and they’re trying to break my brain.
Or they’ve already broken my brain, and my fingers and my brain are working together to turn me into a human clicking machine that single-handedly (or -fingeredly) keeps the internet going. It’s all just a ploy by the internet itself to take over the world. 
Okay, I take it back again. The internet has broken my brain. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey Folks

Remember when I used to write on this thing? 

Shut up, computer.
My other blogging friends can attest to this: it’s always bizarre blogging again after you’ve been away for awhile. And by “away” I mean “forgetting.” On one hand, I don’t want to apologize because it’s my damn blog and I can write whenever I want. But on the other hand, I’m not the total douche-mobile as the previous sentence suggests. 
“I’ve been SUPER busy,” I feel I should say. But really I’ve just been doing grown-up things that are just strange to me. So I guess what I really mean is, “I’ve been SUPER unfunny.” 

My time has been filled up with things like working lots of hours and paying bills and moving away from thieves (also known as roommates) and spraying mice with Fabreze and being locked out of houses with golden retrievers and going grocery shopping and pretty much having a quarter-life crisis each week which resulted in the acquirement of a record player, a hammock stand, two legal pads, and the way things are going, probably a banjo, a unicycle, and a ferret or something. 
Okay, maybe some of those things aren’t necessarily unfunny. 
But the deal is, blogging has once again gone to the wayside. 
So while I’m avoiding apologies and explanations, I will say this: consider this my knock at the door, saying “Can I come crash on your couch again? I have some funny stories and lots of popcorn.” 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Doings of Our Generation: The Tired-Off

I’ve covered some important phrases of our generation on this blog: The Origin of Epic Fail, and a quite thorough investigation into The Like-Legit-Like Sandwich. Both posts are scientifically accurate. They're like, legit, like... 

In that spirit, I would like to explore my generation’s doings. 
For the first installment of Doings of Our Generation, I’d like to explore one of the most common: 
The Tired-Off
Here’s some information we should all know before we go any further: We humans get tired sometimes. This is why sleep exists. However, sometimes our busy schedules cause us to stay up late or wake up early. Occasionally both happen in the same 24 hours. This usually results in a feeling of fatigue. 
Can we all agree on that? Good.
We then go to work or school or church or wherever and at some point in the conversation, we yawn and let slip these fateful words. “I’m tired. I only got like five hours of sleep last night.” 
But as we’re saying these things, we can see in the eyes of the people around us that we have just awoken something beastly. Something unstoppable once it’s been started. A pandora's box of no-nos. We try to stop ourselves before we say how many hours of sleep we’ve gotten, but we can’t. The toothpaste is out of the tube. We utter the dreaded phrase “like five hours of sleep last night,” and we can see the people around us instinctually readying their mouths to say that which comes so strangely natural to all people...
“That’s nothing. I got only three hours of sleep last night.” 
The Tired-Off has begun. 
It works the same as any other Something-Off: a Sing-Off, a Pie-Off, a Dance-Off...they’re all escalating competitions where each competitor has to bring something bigger and better than the one before. And thus begins an onslaught of miserable statement after miserabler statement, all revolving around sleep deprivation...
“Whatever. I didn’t even sleep last night. Too busy.”
“I got like five hours of sleep...THIS WEEK.” 
Other people join in the conversation. People we don’t even know. 
“I’ve been averaging about four hours of sleep a month.” 
“Last winter I took one nap and that was it.” 
“From November to March I didn’t even blink.” 
“Last time I slept, I was eleven years old. And I only got five hours.” 
We wish we had never said anything. Not because we feel like a wimp for complaining about our five whole glorious hours of sleep, but because we’re sure that this will never end.
“I slept once when I was a toddler.” 
“I was born without eyelids, and my doctor wanted to fix it but my parents decided not to because they knew how much work I’d have to do later in life.” 
“My last name is Nuncaduermo, which means ‘I Never Sleep’ in Spanish. My great great great great great grandfather was known for being too busy to sleep, so he acquired that last name. No one in my entire family has slept a wink since.” 
“That’s interesting. My last name is Schlafenie, which means the same in German. Same story. Six generations, no sleep. How many hours did you get last night, again, Brian?”

There's only one loser in the Tired-Off, and what's surprising is that he's the one who got the most sleep. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I’m not even a star athlete in my DREAMS.

I dreamt a few nights ago that I, 23 year-old Brian, was on a middle school football team. And it was played on a basketball court. With basketball jerseys.  Perhaps it was basketball. There were definitely football elements to the game, though. 

Anyway. I was the worst out of all of them. I knew this (1) because of knowledge of my real-life history with sports, (2) because of my lack of interest in all sports, and (3) because when my team referred to the skill level of our opponents, they said, “Don’t worry, it’s like we’re playing a team of Brians.” 

Nonetheless, I was on the team. And given that our opponents had the same skill level and drive as yours truly, my team didn’t take the game very seriously. They did fun between-the-legs dribble moves, and little behind-the-back passes all night long. Well, until the end of the game, when they realized that our opponents had somehow slipped an extra point in there and taken the lead. 
So we huddled. The team captain started the conversation:
CAPTAIN: What the heck, dudes? How did they get in the lead?
ANOTHER GUY: Yeah! What the heck?
ANOTHER GUY: The heck is going on here!

ANOTHER GUY: The heck!
ME: This is how I always dreamt it was inside an Athletic Elite huddle.
CAPTAIN: Kid! Not now. 
ANOTHER GUY: Yeah kid!

ANOTHER GUY: Kid, knock it off.
ME: This is fantastic. 
CAPTAIN: Shut up. Okay, we need a plan to get another point in a few seconds. The problem is, they’re all going to be trying really hard to block all of our good players. This is why I think we should give the ball to Brian. Like a diversion!
ANOTHER GUY: Yeah, a diversion!
ANOTHER GUY: Diversions are sweet.
ANOTHER GUY: Diversion!
ME: Bullocks. 
I was really unhappy that this was the decision, mostly because that meant I had to pay attention. Up until now I had just been pretending to play and reading Christmas cards. 

CAPTAIN: Brian, this is our only chance to win this thing. You have to give 110%.
ANOTHER GUY: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” -Hebrews 12.1! 
ANOTHER GUY: Out run, out hit, out play, out hustle, out WIN!
ME: Seriously, the stuff that inspires you guys does nothing for me.
So we got back on the field (OH SH** I MEAN COURT) and lined up the play. And that was the first time I saw who was guarding me. 
[I must have really been into those Christmas cards.]
Sliding past my dainty opponent, I took the basketball and made the shot. While hooting and hollering, I took a victory lap around the court, but then stopped because none of my teammates were joining me. 

ME: Guys, come on! WE WON! 
CAPTAIN: Big whoop, Brian. You made one shot.
I think I’ll lump this dream in with the rest of the bullying I went received when I was actually in sports.