humor

The Return of the Halloween Stereotypes!

Yo, yo, yo, everybody! I couldn’t stay away from you guys for long without feeling lonely…

Hey, didya know tomorrow’s Friday the 13th? Didya also know I can’t write a post on Friday the 13th because I’m working all night? Yep. Making money sucks.

Any who, just like last year, I hereby present to you the infamous Halloween Stereotypes:

The Halloween Music Fanatic: Just as there are White Christmas fans, so are there Monster Mash fans. These weirdos listen to loops of I Was A Teenage Frankenstein in one ear, while, in the other ear, they are jamming out to Nightmare On My Street–a classic by the Fresh Prince.

Identifiable by these traits:

  • Vacant stares
  • Are constantly humming creepy tunes
  • Hang orange and black lights as their haunted jukebox plays
  • Headphones–lots of headphones

The Candy Thief: What’s that you say? Why, yes, this does apply to parents; but they deserve their own list of stereotypes. These miscreants steal bite sized goodies out from under your green painted nose–then, they eat it in front of you! MUAAAAAHHHHAAAA!

Identifiable by these traits:

  • Briefcases in which to stow their stash
  • Sunglasses–at night
  • Sucky costumes
  • Rampant acne
  • Compulsive drooling

The Store Wh–I mean–

The Store Bore: Ever known one of those people who loves to go to Wal-Mart in October to see the Halloween section? How about a person who visits the costly costume stores working out of rented Circuit Cities? At least a few, right? Or not–hell, even I fall into this category.

Identifiable by these traits:

  • Drains the gas every weekend
  • Has money which burns literal holes in their pockets
  • Becomes bored within fifteen minutes of visiting their favorite store
  • Wants to buy the animatronics way out of their price range

Well, that’s six so far, only twenty-five left to go…

Heh. That’s a lot.

I wonder if I’m that creative?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

Flying With the Drunk Butterflies

As of late, I have been stressed.

This is all thanks to college and work and my third novel–not to mention, the amount of people telling me I need to be social, and the tumultuous roller coaster ride of becoming an effective adult.

Hang on…let me take a breath…

Okay.

I admit that I’m not as good at managing it sometimes, but I suppose everyone can have their imperfections…at least I hope so. If not, then I’ve been a friggin’ android all my life; yeah, get to referencing some Blade Runner, a movie I haven’t seen yet…

Yay?

What’s made it easier? Well, butterflies, of course–the Cinderella of the Ugly Step Moths.

Now you’re thinking:

Butterflies. Duh! Who would not have thought of them?

Answer: Normal People, otherwise known as, Not The Weirdo Talking About Blade Runner and Butterflies.

Other-Otherwise, not you guys, ’cause if you were normal, you would have switched off your computer or tablet or phone the minute this post popped up in your feed.

OtherOther-Otherwise, we’re all weirdos.

Yay?

Right, butterflies. They’ve appeared in swarms recently. Dunno whether it’s the cold weather, or that the Moths have finally struck down Butterfly City in a great and terrible flap of their mildewed wings.

I don’t mind the swarms; in fact, I rather love how the butterflies seem to swarm me in my “downer” moments, brightening me instantaneously!

On the college campus, during the mile and a quarter walk from class to my car, these butterflies float from flower to flower, springing to the air as I pass beside them. They flutter up to my face, say hello–maybe prepare to take a little butterfly poopsie on my glasses–and are gone before I can blink three times…or is it four?

When I run through the fields behind our neighborhood, it’s as if the butterflies are practicing a chorus line. A voice races to mind, “Presenting, for one night only, The Winged Rockettes–ah, damn, they already copyrighted that.

I almost apologize for screwing with their routines, but then I remember the butterflies are the ones screwing with my routine. But is it purposeful? Or are the butterflies drunk out of their minds on sweet, sweet nectar?

Right now, I’m imagining Dennis the Menace as a moth, and the Cranky Old Man as a walking butterfly. Gee, the things your mind’ll create, am I right, guys? What? No, I’m far from drunk, just buzzed is all…

To the point of this wayward post: amid their flighty antics, the butterflies are inadvertently bringing relief to this ofttimes treadmill of a life. Not to sound weird, but their swarms seem to suck out all the negativity and stress from my mind, and kick their dark asses to the curb.

Maybe the butterflies will enroll in WWE after Broadway?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

 

Middle Schoolers Can Write! Seriously, People!

What’s up, my people?

Sorry, was that too out-of-the-gate?

Here, tell you what, I’ll call you folks from now on. Just folks. I promise.

All right, so, guys, I gotta tell you about this sweet class I got going at college. Yes, as you might have been able to divulge from the title, it does involve middle schoolers and stories. Good to practice those reading skills whenever you can.

Further information:

I am scheduled to teach a single sixth grade class, with a partner, for a whole hour. We’re required to construct a lesson plan, and, you know, all the other blah-de-bloo. It is to be presented on November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Lucky us…

Kids, hey, we need you to pay attention! Oh my God, I think–

No…

They’re psyched out on crap loads of candy! Run for cover! 

Well, barring any unforeseen candy psychoses, I think we’ll be all right…for a little while.

Anyways, back to the point of the post, which is sixth graders writing stories.

Personally, I’m in love with the concept, but maybe that’s just ’cause I’m a writer. I dunno.

Some of the more memorable bits of these students’ writings were:

  1. A story beginning with “It was a dark and snowy night.”
    • Golly, what a classic!
    • And they changed stormy to snowy.
  2. A story about Santa crashing through a kid’s bedroom wall, and not apologizing.
    • Christmas Genius at its best, my friends.
  3. A story about a witch going to the grocery store.
    • I mean…hey, a hag’s gotta eat.
    • Props for creativity.
  4. Not a story, but one student telling me all about how he loved playing Dungeons and Dragons with his uncle.
    • He was also quite polite and shook my hand; told me he was making his own board game with his best friend.

That is just the beginning–kidding, that’s actually the end.

Those four things are the only events that took place in the hour and a half I spent at this middle school. Other than that, I sat on the ground and stared at a wall and talked to myself about how Kraft Mac and Cheese is a disgusting choice of food.

Wait, you guys aren’t actually that gullible, right?

Right?

‘Cause I was totally lying about the Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Yeah, Uh, I Wash Dishes Now, Guys…

You guys remember how I had a job, a legit working job? Yeah, well, that went the way of the blue suede shoe–and, if I’m gonna be honest, I am a little glad about it. The atmosphere was startlingly negative; that and the safety stuff wasn’t as strictly followed as it should have been…

But, hey, that’s what we got quitting for, right?

Wrong?

Maybe?

Either way, I’m a dishwasher now. At this little joint called Great Wolf Lodge, maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s pretty much all across the entire United States at this point, and, the way they’re headed with this place–we might have near total world domination on our hands, folks.

I have no say in how that domination crap goes, though, since I just hide out in the back of the separate kitchens and shovel dirty dishes into these monster washers, some sorta industrial machines. The load of work is easy, save for the times when everyone in the lodge decides to eat at the exact same time, as well as Closing Time.

Yes, my friends, I have to spray out the giant monster washer at the end of the night. Trust me, there are no redeeming qualities about that; except, you know–ah, pooh, I’m at a blank.

When I finish I’m covered in this disgusting sludge of onions and carrots and crusty pizza sauce, something like this:

IMG_0223

Yep. Not a pretty sight, or picture.

A perk: I get to nab leftover food sometimes. The cooks could leave out a whole tray of chocolate-caramel brownies, and us dishwashers and servers will pick off whatever we can before the supervisors come running into the kitchen.

Try hiding a mouthful of chocolate and licking crumbs off your lips when talking to one of those guys, huh? I haven’t actually had such an experience, but I can imagine it is no fun–seriously.

We also have this squeegee blade in the big kitchen that we use to slide water and gunk off the counters. Pressing it to the metal and gliding it this way and that reminds me of washing windows, and then I laugh–and the servers and cooks give me funny looks. Hey, that rhymed!

A good thing is, is I can see myself continuing in this job for the next two years, at least. Who ever knows what the future holds, sure, but I have a feeling about this place. I got them good vibrations. You get what I’m sayin, homes?

Just nod your head and smile. It’s fine if you don’t.

Kidding, man, you are so screwed.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

Oh, The Types of People You Meet In College…

I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent dude. I graduated high school, for one; also, I ponder the deeper questions of the universe constantly, such classics as, “How long to cook macaroni and cheese?” and “Do dogs really love us, or are they more affectionate towards the food we give them?”

I’m on the average level of smart is what I would call it. Trust me, there’s no secret Will Hunting/Steve Jobs conspiracy going on behind closed doors. What I know is what I know, eh?

You getting me, folks?

Segway into college, and here we are at UCCS, one of the many centers of knowledge dotted across this gigantic blueberry of ours. Classes are long, packed; sometimes it doesn’t seem as if they have an ending–but, they do, trust me.

Now, this isn’t a complaint about college classes. Hear me out, I genuinely love this unstoppable access to knowledge that you can only find in a college campus; however, it’s some of the people in these college classes that have me confused, even lost, as to their motivations.

I know what you’re gonna say.

Well, why don’t you focus on your own life, not theirs?

Trust me. I am top priority…not in a creepy, arrogant way, but in–ah, forget it.

There are these types of people in my classes–I should say, specific types of people–that I observe when, yes, I should instead be listening to the lecture. You have to understand, though. I got a compulsion to watch people, to figure them out, and not in a stalkerish way, either.

For example, in my Politics class, there’s one dude who talks like he just walked out of a Brain Factory. One of his choice phrases is “pragmatically speaking;” and when he said it in class, I was thinking, well, hell, I forget what that means, but o-kay.

We are training to be scholars, after all, so give a guy a cheer, right?

Then there’s the people who, when an assignment is due–or, when we had to have read something–raise their heads and stare off into the abyss I like to call, The Oh-No-I-Just-Screwed-Up-Big-Time Abyss.

Four pages of math questions? Nope.

A diorama of the Crossing of the Delaware? No–and, for that matter, who’s doing dioramas in college?

I admit, I am in the Oh-No Abyss sometimes…more frequently in the past few days, but, that’s another story for another time.

Lastly, there is the smallest minority of college classes, the ones…who say nothing at all, have no expression, and take their notes like the dutiful students they are.

And I’m pulling your leg, in truth, because we’re all like that, at least I think so.

I have been known to sit and stare and note take–I mean, take notes; of course, all of what I just wrote when I am not drifting off into the treacherous bowels of my own mind and humming, to myself, the songs I heard on the radio that morning.

What’s a few Katy Perry ditties gonna hurt, huh?

The rest of the class is humming Katy Perry–I just know it; and if they say no, then they are all dirty liars.

And, oh, look at that, I created two new types of people in college classes–

Mind-Hogs and Pop Star Wannabes.

Ya do whatcha gotta do, man, ya do whatcha gotta do…

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

I Have Seen The College Experience, And It Is…

Whoa, early bird much? I don’t think I’ve had a post this ahead of schedule in a few months, but you know what they say: the early bird gets the finger–uh, I mean the worm.     Where on Earth did that come from?

Ahem.

College. A place. A person. A thing. A nou–

Let’s talk about college, shall we? All of us gathered around this digital fireplace? Good. And each of you have marshmallows, with some chocolate? Even better. Eat them now, or forever hold your appetite, ’cause, well, they’re digital.

I’ve been jabbering about college for a while, I realize. Most of you, methinks, are beginning to tire of this senseless insight into the life of one man–ooh, I like the sound of that–struggling to fight his way through the scourges of college education.

On this, you are in the right; or the left, if you’re blind in one eye for whatever random reason.

Why should I continue to assault all you fine people with College 101, when it is obviously the time to be talking of politics and space and how city dumps are hazardous to the environment?

Put simply, those topics bore me, and if a topic bores me, then I will not talk about it.

No, I’d rather converse about the ethics of dish sponges and question the amount of times a shark brushes its teeth per week. You know, common stuff; trust me, you’re not gonna find much deep thoughts here, folks.

For the moment, though, I’m covering college, because, why not?

Ah, but it is such an experience, such a realization, watching these bunches of people file past me on the sidewalk, never seeing me because their phones are literally snatching their faces and ramming them against their screens. That Phone Assault is a real problem, people; be sure to keep an eye out for rogue Androids.

I talk to some people, the rare few that can hear me and don’t stare directly at the ground as they walk from class to class. The dialogue is sparse, yet meaningful. Yes, an example of one of my more intellectually provoking ice-breakers is, “Hey, what’s your major, dude?”

They respond in a manner I liken to the awakening of the mind itself.

“Oh, Science,” or, “Eh, Engineering.”

Truly works of art in the realm of conversation that, as humans, we so rarely tread. Brilliance in a bottle, a favorite phrase of mine. Just picture a rubber ducky, imagine within there is a hidden midget genius, and only then will you wholly understand the phrase.

Yes, college is the centerpiece of the Outside World, or, The Lion’s Den. At every turn await strangers, lurking in the dark corners, lunging at you to ask where they might find the cafeteria…

I don’t know, man. I-I swear.

Then why, oh, why, is there a barbecue stain on your shirt sleeve?

I plead the Fifth!

[Evil Laughter track]

Oh, God! NOOOOOOO!

Whoah, guys, I think your marshmallows just shat themselves. Great! Now there’s chocolate cream all over the carpet! Clean it up, willya? I gotta finish this post here, see?

I feel the need to be formal, to write academically appropriate sentences, but, eh, screw it.

College–Woot-Woot.

That had less of a reaction than I thought it would.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Warning: Adult In Training

This is no joke, folks.

Close your blinds. Shut your windows–both of those reversed, or–ah, screw it.

Tune into the police blotters to hear the news, the deadly truths…

It’s like a horror movie, but real, so…not actually a movie; but never mind the specifics.

Oh no, he’s here! The fearful thing that haunts the cities and the streets–and the vending machines for reasons of constant hunger. It’s–ah, God, but it can’t be; it is the new adult in training!

The horror. Oh, the horror. Screams. More screams.

He has no number–

But all the adults have numbers! Look at Mr. 123, he–oh my God, Mr. 123 is gone and–uggghh!

He has no identifiable tag, or label–

This is getting to sound a lot like a package of meat…

What shall we do against so mysterious, so vast, a threat as this creature?

Silver bullets? Damn. He’s not a werewolf; and yet, he’s always dreamt of being one.

A cross. No. Not a vampire, either.

Books? But he loves them!

Bring out the secret weapon. Give him the ol’ College Try.

Look, all, and gaze in dumbfounded wonder as he struggles to surmount its obstacles. We send test after test in his path; still, he manages to clamber his way out onto the top. It’s incredible. It’s astounding. It’s really pissing the hell out of me…

Seriously, guys, can nothing we own stop this Teenage Frankenstein? He–He doesn’t even have pimples to pop, not that I would want to. Just look at his face: lost in the caverns of his own mind. He is completely distracted, you idiots!

Oh, well, forget it now. The adult’s already moved on, already gone to find another problem to cause him unbearable stress. Why anyone would choose to do so is beyond me, but, let the freakishly large adult child do his thing, I suppose.

But if he starts whining for a binkie, set off the nukes.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

P.S: Love Calvin and Hobbes

Disco Needs A Revival, People!

You guys know how Grunge has been making a comeback in recent years? The flannel is popping up in stores; kids are wearing more and more smiley face Nirvana t-shirts; and bands like Pearl Jam and Bush are gaining dozens of fans by the minute.

For me, Grunge is probably my favorite genre of music. Yeah, say what you want; but, hey, I am still the target audience for that stuff. I only wish I could go back in time to see Nirvana performing live. Oh, well…

You guys know what has not been making a comeback in recent years? Yep, that good friend  people like to shove onto an iced over lake…Disco. Under normal circumstances, I would say that’s for a good reason–all those colorful pantsuits are unsettling–however, I had a change of heart when I was listening to K.C and the Sunshine Band sing Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty) while driving to college.

While it is odd–well, odd is being polite, Disco has a positive feel to it, ya know? You can listen to September on any occasion and have your spirits boosted; that, or any song by the Bee Gees. They just make you feel good.

Now, remember how I mentioned Grunge? Well, Grunge, in a way, is the alter ego of Disco. When listening to Grunge, I don’t exactly feel as positive as when listening to Disco , but that’s not really the point of Grunge.

I listen to Grunge if I need to reflect, and I mean deep reflections.

It’s hard to reflect with Disco if most of the lyrics are about jiggling your bahookie.

Still, in such a darkening world, I feel the need for some old fashioned bahookie jiggling, so long as pantsuits don’t become a fashion trend again. Disco provides the strange light that glows just enough to illuminate a dancing pad.

One more thing I want to add, as well, it’d be great to see a Saturday Night Fever revival–

What?

You say John Travolta is too old?

How dare you!

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

A Journey Through College–Part 1

Dudes, I finished my first day of college today! Whoo-hoo! Are any of you excited for me–or, you know, at least, living reciprocally through my excitement? Hey, do what you folks want. I’m not here to judge…

Either way, boy, was this an interesting day. I’m not gonna go total description: there’ll be no ordered lists in this post; however, I will cover the most significant, perhaps strangest, points–

Well, we’ll start with parking. I know, I know, it sounds boring, at first, but let me explain.

When I have been traveling to the UCCS Campus after work in recent weeks, I have always been freaked out about the parking. Why? They got a friggin’ police station on the campus; yeah, cops in uniforms with non-plastic guns and everything. If I park in the wrong section, then I could get a ticket.

One memorable occasion was when I was first driving to the campus, searching for an unrestricted spot, and a police van pulled into the lane behind me. They followed me for about a mile. The whole time I was sweating and telling myself it was nothing–and thankfully, they turned into the parking garage, instead of pulling me over.

Phew!

Yes, I found parking, went to my freshman-fun-teaching class; it’s called Teaching In a Muggle World. Cue the Harry Potter jokes! I might as well say, too, Harry Potter is one of the reasons I chose to join that class, but the primary–more respectable–reason is that I want to be a high school English Literature teacher.

Any of you guys teachers? I can’t remember off the top of my head; so, if you are, please shout it out in the comments. Declare, with pride, you are, or were, teachers of some subject or other.

Muggle class was fun; although, I was bummed we didn’t just watch the Harry Potter films all day. A wasted opportunity is what I say–and I don’t say a lot in class, so…knowing that, let’s move forward.

Let’s see…there was the scavenger hunt around the entire campus, which wasn’t too bad, considering I run, a lot. I ran around with Gryffindor House–oh, yes, yours truly was sorted into Gryffindor, folks–and we asked these informative people about the different locations and their capabilities.

I remember especially when our group had to enter the library, this expansive, two-story haven of books, over which, I admit, I salivated. But the point of our visit was to collect info about study rooms, so we engaged this kindly old English Literature professor–hey!–and he talked for, say, twenty minutes of the hour given to complete the assignment.

A little preface: the library was our first location.

Now, I did appreciate the professor taking his time to explain the intricacies of the slightly complex library, and he also had that crinkly old man chuckle that makes most people smile…including me. He gave us our answers, wished us luck, and sent us on our way; what more could a guy ask for?

Lunch was burger and hot dogs–actually, who cares about lunch?

Moving on.

At the end of the day, feeling educated after a short session of Harry Potter Scene-It, I stopped outside Columbine Hall to pick up a free Sno-Cone. When I say free, I mean it was free after I had to complete a short survey. Eh, what does it matter? Got a cherry flavored Icee–uh, Sno-Cone.

So, that was it. College. A genuine experience.

It’s gonna be so simple; and I heard, the Chancellor was so impressed with my work ethic today, he’s handing me my diploma tomorrow.

Guess I’ll see you dudes on the other side.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

The Story Of Me and A Piano

There was once a piano–well, more of a decked out keyboard–and a boy who wished to play that piano. Blah-De-Blah-De-Blah. That intro’s kinda boring to me, let me retry:

In the last week or so, I have been trying my hand(s) at the piano, in the off chance that a change of mindset will trigger solutions for a problem in my second novel; however, it is also therapeutic, in a way.

Letting your fingers dance along the keys, one-two-three, three-two-one. Timing perfectly  the exact moment when you snap the pedal with your toes. It’s oddly interactive; and, I say oddly, but really, is it not crazy that a bunch of strings and keys can produce such interesting effects?

In no stretch of the imagination am I a professional. I don’t even think I qualify for a rank amateur. I’m just…playin’, man…playin’ the good songs. Sometimes, though, there are those moments: the Oh-My-God-I-Am-The-Reincarnation-Of-Beethoven moment, then the Oh-My-God-I-Totally-Suck-At-This moment.

I am working little by little on this nifty piano suite from a game known as Heavy Rain. It is a beautiful composition by the late Normand Corbeil, and, though the melody is simple to learn, the tempo and the notes are murder.

There’ll be a quarter note, quarter note, then a whole note; and then a note that looks as if a fountain pen has vomited all over the sheet music. What do they feed those guys? String Beans?

Eh-heh. I hope you got that…

Now, let’s not forget I am still learning, so these notes are slowly but surely making sense in my mind. It’s like I’m carving a new section in the Foreign Languages section of my brain, one entitled Sheet Music. The excavation is taking its time, but it is paving a path, so don’t knock me for that.

It also takes your mind off things, you know? When I’m practicing a song at the piano, much the same as writing, all of my previous worries disappear for the time, only to resurface in droves after the composition, or paragraph, has ended. Hey, you can’t beat ’em all.

Hopefully, some of you can relate to what I am saying. Music touches us in ways stronger than all other forms of art. It pierces your heart instantaneously, rather than build to a climax as in a novel; or the serenity in a beautiful painting.

It can be anything: Frightening. Exciting. Chill-Inducing. Heart-Breaking.

All of those emotions accomplished in the movement of a few keys–a few pitter patters to form a melody.

Beautiful.

What else is there to say?

I got a piano suite calling my name, what about you?

Think daily,

A Southpaw