Showing newest 24 of 26 posts from February 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 24 of 26 posts from February 2011. Show older posts

Sunday, February 6, 2011

24HBD #24: Cartoons

So one of my favorite cartoons from when I was growing up was Reboot.  It was about these dudes who lived inside a computer, and these “games” would drop down into their world, and they would enter them, and be in the game, and it was super cool, and everyone was green or blue or something.  It was on at the same time as Beast Wars – in the morning, before school.


Oh man, one of my favorite cartoons from when I was growing up was Beast Wars.  It was basically Transformers, but instead of cars and planes and 90s mixed tapes, they were all sorts of animals.  I still have some action figures that transform.  Poorly.

Another really sweet cartoon I always watched (this time after school – prime time baby) was Batman Beyond.  I still think it’s the coolest Batman series – I have all the episodes on my computer right now, but I don’t watch them because I am a grown up adult and I don’t have time for such things.


But man cartoons are awesome.  Let’s watch some.  After I take this nap.

24HBD #23: 80s Movies

The eighties?







The eighties.

24HBD #22: Awkward Moments

Some experiences stay with you forever, burned into your synapses for all time.  Most of the time, the people who were with you will not carry the same burden as you, because they don’t understand.  Let’s talk about it.

Here’s a situation:  Mary and I went to a co-worker of mine’s house to watch a basketball game.  We met some people there for the first time.  He stuck his hand out for a handshake, and then Mary and I both stuck our hands out.

Easy, right?  He shakes one of our hands first, then the other.  This is what should, and should have,  happened.

Instead, he went for mine, then changed his mind and went for hers, then changed his mind, and…

It was kind of like walking straight towards someone in the hallway, and you both kind of feint in one direction, then the other, then the other, and you know you’re both thinking “Come on, COME ON, this needs to get worked out before we get too clo-“ and then you’re right up at each other, and you have to stop walking and go “Hahnyeahblueah sorry, oops!” and fumble around and make awkward eye contact because, unlike normal human beings, you can’t have a 2 second conversation with a stranger without making weird noises like you’ve been raised in a box.

So anyway, handshake guy – instead of shaking one then the other, he just scooped both my and Mary’s hands in one, sandwiched them with his other hand, and gave us the double handshake.  It was my first experience with the double handshake (Mary has another one), and I found it awkward.  First of all, my hands are much bigger than his.  If anything, I should have been the one to double handshake him.  Second of all, WEIRD. 

This will be one of those things I look back on with that horrible feeling in my stomach, knowing that what happened was unavoidable, but knowing that doesn’t make anything better.

24HBD #21: Pet Peeves

I have two pets – they are cats.  One is a Charlotte cat, and the other is a Charlie cat.  They both have tails.

Charlie is great, because he is enormous and fluffy and the friendliest.  He is not great because throughout the winter, his long hair will become matted, and he needs a shave in the summer.  He is not great because having a cat outside (and feeding it there) draws all sorts of neighborhood animals who treat you as if you are theirs.

IMAG0977 IMAG1034

Charlotte is great, because she is beautiful and sweet and cuddly.  She is not great because she will not really let you pick her up or sit in your lap (but when she does it’s the best), and sometimes she throws up on the carpet and we have to clean up after her poo.

IMAG0040 DSCN3372

Overall, though, our pets are great because they have awesome personalities, and they look good with our things.  By things I mean possessions.  The things we own in and out of our house.

24HBD #20: Most Influential Year In School

lololololololololololNo brainer!

The most influential year of my schooling lifestyle choice career had to be my sophomore year in college.  In that year, I started dating Mary, got into the Crazy Monkeys, and signed the lease at 219 Littleton.  As a result of those actions (probably not so much the third one, though), I am now happily married and have the best friends.

2007: a very good year.

I realize that none of these things have anything to do with actual schooling.  I suppose, if I went back even farther, the most influential year in school for me would have been my junior year of high school when they had a career fair and I decided to become a pharmacist, which meant that I either had to go to Purdue or Butler, and since Purdue’s application was easier, I did that one and got in, but then changed my major to math education before I got there because I job shadowed a pharmacist and decided it wasn’t for me, so I started on the education track, which led me to meet Mary and Mike, which both got me married and into comedy.

2004: a very good year.

24HBD #19: My Biggest Fault

Man, these topics of late are all about things bad about ourselves.  What we could change, what we could have, what is terrible about us.  Bad luck of the draw, I guess.

I suppose what I consider to be my largest fault would be a lack of motivation towards certain things.  By “certain things”, I mean “things that are not playing computer games”. 

I have a huge problem motivating myself to do schoolwork, pay bills, research options for travel, fix things around the house, etc.  Two lightbulbs have been burned out in my bathroom for around four days now, and I have yet to take the two minutes out of my not-very-busy day to remedy the situation.

Every once in a while, it’s true, I get small bursts of can-do that let me get some stuff done.  Once I actually start working, it gets easier.  It’s starting that’s so hard.  I suppose a lot of people have trouble with this, but I find it to be an extremely annoying character trait.

Mary is pretty much the opposite.  I mean, she likes relaxing as much as me, and putting off grading seems to be par for the course as far as teaching goes, but she is totally focused and motivated when it comes to anything else.  She gets stuff done.

A good example is the Christmas lights. (The plural/non-plural subject-verb agreement in that sentence is messing with my head, but I assure me it’s totes correct.)  I only just took them down this week, but they’ve been disconnected since New Year’s.  Yep, there had been unpowered strings of lights hanging off my house for around a month before I took them down, and it only took me about ten minutes.  BUT I COULD NOT GET UP THE GUMPTION TO DO IT.

I could always just lie to myself, and say it’s because “I know what’s really important in life.”  But I know better.  I know that playing zombagame isn’t more important in the grand scheme of things than getting my sixth graders’ tests graded. 

The truth hurts.  Well, no.  It doesn’t.  But it’s irritating.

Oh, and Narcissism.  I’ll take Narcissism too.  Totes Narcissistic.

24HBD #18: Superpowers

I would focus on what superpowers I think I already have, but we kind of already covered that in the “mundane skills” post.  So, I will have to talk about what superpower(s) I would like to have.  Should be fun.

I think if I were to be given a superpower, I would want it to be (obviously) awesome.  The most awesome thing I can think of would be something like what the Green Lantern has.  That ring can do pretty much everything, including saving the world.  So awesome.

So I guess, what that means is I’d like to have complete control over everything, and I want to be able to make anything appear, and do pretty much anything I want.

Which, when you think about it, is sort of a cop-out.  Kind of boring, to be able to do anything.  It’s why Superman is the worst, and why Batman is the best.  When you can do anything, nothing is exciting, because there’s no danger.

But I’m not trying to sell anything, I just want it for me.  Yeah it’d be totally awesome to be Superman, even if it’s boring to read about.  So yeah.  The Lantern thing.  Woo me.

24HBD #17: Were it Were

Mad high school picture editing skillz!So in the previous post, we were celebrating our mediocrity.  Now we have been asked to despair in it.  Someone/Something I’ve always wished I was?

Ever since high school ended, I’ve wished I was in a band – and not the cool kind.  Not the kind that earns you millions and gets you the chicks.  I’m not interested in the millions or the chicks.

I miss the driving beats, the thump from the timpani you feel throughout your whole body.  I miss being part of a musical machine.  I miss bouncing back and forth while the tubas play “hey baby”.  I miss the wall of sound. 

Like I said in the Christmas post for some reason, I recently took my saxophone out of its case and played a few things on it.  I was surprised at how easily it came back.  Of course I wouldn’t have the same stamina as I had when I practiced every day, but all the notes came out.  My fingers moved almost on their own.

It felt soooooo good to play that thing again.

So that’s what it is.  I miss being a part of a band.  I miss the Christmas songs, I miss the pop covers, I miss playing classic rock adaptations during halftime.  I miss sitting in the orchestra pit and not actually seeing a single musical during high school.  I miss it more than I think I understand.

Not sure how to end this one.  I’m not going to resolve to join a community band or anything, because I don’t know if there is one, and I don’t think I’d go through with it.  Who knows?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

24HBD #16: Mundane Talents or Skills

Like a boss.I actually think about this one a lot.  I would like to share two things with you.

First of all, I am a middle school teacher.  I teach sixth and seventh graders maths.  Or I try to.  One of the things you really need in order to learn the maths is a pencil.  This pencil needs to be sharpened.  Now, most classrooms have a mounted pencil sharpener somewhere which is made of metal, and can not be ever found in stores.  My classroom is no different.  For some reason, my students can not sharpen a pencil in this pencil sharpener. 

They will grind a fresh pencil down to a nub in thirty seconds, and then blame me.

I take a lot of pride in the fact that I can then walk over to that student, and sharpen a perfect pencil in around five seconds.  I am the best pencil sharpener I know.  Take that, America.

All right, now I told you that story so I could tell you this one.  Well, not really, but I thought I should cover all bases possible.

Best Game.Another thing that I am really great at is Sonic Spinball.  Oh yes, the game for the Sega Genesis that came out about three hundred years ago.  See, we had a Sega Genesis when I was in elementary school.  This was the normal time to have one of these machines.  Then, the PS1 came out.  Then the PS2 came out.  I still just had the Sega Genesis, and I still just had the same six games for it.  Since Sonic Spinball was one of those games, I became stupid good at Sonic Spinball.

Now, flash forward – I am a sophomore in college, hanging out with The Crazy Monkeys for around the second time, because I am new.  I notice that they have a Sega Genesis (in a box), and (omg.) a copy of Sonic Spinball.

At this point, I was really excited.

I rounded up everyone who wanted to play.  The way multiplayer works in Sonic Spinball is pretty simple – everyone just takes turns playing the single player game.

So I went second, after someone.  Maybe it was Kaz.  It’s not important, because whoever went first played for around ten minutes and then died. 

And then it was my turn.

Around two and a half (some say it was four.  Some say it was five.  Some say it was two days.) hours later, the ending credits of the game rolled off the screen.  We sat in silence, looking at the blank television.

Then it sprang back to life, saying…

This never happens to me.“Player 3, start!”

And that’s how I ruined that party by playing Sonic Spinball through to the end in one sitting while everyone just watched me, and how I ruined that particular game for everyone who was there because now what would be the point in playing it?

I don’t know why, either.  I still play it.

24HBD #15: Cleveland




Cleveland Rocks.

24HBD #14: Dogs vs. Cats

Which is the better creature – dogs or cats?
Let’s be honest.  The only reason this debate exists is because they are the two most common house pets.  The only reason we don’t have a Dogs vs. Pythons debate is because people are irrationally afraid (see how I did that?) of snakes.  I think it’s a carryover from evolution.
I call “stupid argument” and give it a tie.  I like them both.  They’re both cuddly, devoted, awesome pets in their own way. 
Shut up world.  I win.

P.S. in a perfect world, cats would win by the simple fact that lolcat pictures exist.  Every cat is born slightly schizophrenic, which is awesome.

24HBD #13: Irrational Fears

I consider myself a pretty rational person.  I don’t worry about stupid things, like zombies or the apocalypse or aliens or botulism.  I don’t think I will die from dried rat urine on a can of soda I drink, or from a sliver of crystal that finds its way into my bloodstream.  I don’t pay much attention to the chain emails that say “Snopes certified!” at the bottom, because I know they’re not.  I’m not worried about AIDs-laced syringes hidden in payphones, and I don’t think it’s very plausible that tanning beds will cook me alive from the inside out – but I don’t tan, anyway.  Waste of money.

I do have an irrational fear, though, and I think it’s one that many people share.  I have a slight fear of dying in a plane crash.  Totally irrational.

I’m not going to bother going into the statistics of it, because I know that everyone who’s reading this can use Google.  But the probability of dying in a plane crash is probably worse than the probability of dying of falling down an elevator shaft. 

I know all this.

It’s just the total and complete helplessness of it all.  You can’t do anything to save yourself if you’re miles up in the sky.

We humans like to be in control.  That’s why most of us prefer to drive instead, even though we all know idiots in our lives, and we know those idiots have driver’s licenses, and logically we can’t all know the same idiots, so there have to be lots of them out there driving their cars at us like giant bullets fired out of some giant car-gun.  But we drive anyway.

It’s somehow not as scary.


I really hope the next topic ignites some kind of passion in me.  This is getting sad.

24HBD #12: Christmas

What a mess.So Christmas.  Surprisingly hard to write about.  But let’s bunker down and do it.

So my memories of Christmas from my childhood revolve around being warm and tired.  This may sound strange.  Let me explain.

We always went to the Christmas Eve service at our church – we went to the Clayton Presbyterian Church, which was only a few small town blocks from our house.  Some years we walked, but most of the time we drove since it was winter.  The Christmas Eve service usually started around 9:30 PM, and lasted until 11:30 or midnight.  So I was always very sleepy afterwards, and the car ride home could not last long enough.  Tired and warm, I would get into bed and wait for morning.  Christmas was so exciting.

I just thought of another thing.  Our church’s choir was really good.  I compare every church choir I ever hear to that choir, and they always come up short.  When I was little, my mom would perform with them in their Christmas Cantata, and I just remember the force and power of that music.  It was like a wall of sound.  It’s still the reason why those classic carols like O Holy Night, Carol of the Bells, and Greensleeves are my favorites – minor chords, and blasting harmonies. 

Which brings me to music.  Man do I love music.  The other day I got my saxophone out and started playing it.  It started as a joke, but I kind of got into it.  I really miss being a part of a band.  It’s the wall of sound again.  Nothing like it.  So that’s Christmas, I guess.  Being warm, tired, and surrounded by a wall of sound.  Hot diggity dog.

24HBD #11: 12 Rhyming Couplets

There once was a guy
who was eating a pie.

When asked “why the pie?”
he couldn’t say why.

They saw through the lie,
so they all said goodbye.

Now alone with his pie,
the guy wondered why

he hadn’t been sly,
and made up the why.

For up in the sky,
the big sun makes him fry.

In calculating pi,
in the math he came by,

to discover just why
his crisping was nigh.

Answers did he scry
for preventing the fry.

A solution was pie,
spread low to high

all up from his thigh
to the top of his eye.

So his friends all said bye
from his lie of a pie.

24HBD #10: Travel Desires

“Where is one place you’ve always wanted to go?  Discuss the benefits of this place.”

This coming summer, Mary and I are going on a European vacation.  We are flying in to Germany to visit a friend of hers, heading to Switzerland to visit a friend of mine, then staying in France for a week before leaving from London after a three day stay there.  It should be a lot of fun.  I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, and now I am having my chance.


1stPlaceSanFranciscoCableCarsThere is a much closer place that I think I almost always want to go.  Europe will be fantastic, and will fulfill a wish I’ve had to visit.  But I would really love to just go hang out in San Francisco for a week.

I realize this is cheating, since I’ve been there.  My Aunt and Uncle live there with their son, Ben, in an incredible house that they have spent years renovating.  I have only been there a handful of times – if it’s more than two, I’ll be surprised.  I love the city – everything there just oozes cool.  Like I said, Europe will be fantastic, and we will have a great time, but it doesn’t have the allure that San Francisco has for me.  I think it’s because I haven’t been to Europe, so I don’t know what to expect.  After we come home, I will probably have similar feelings about it as I do for San Francisco.

Since I’ve been there, but only as a part of family vacations, and before I was of an age to actually go wander around on my own, it has always left an unfinished taste in my mouth.  I want to really get in there and explore the city.  I want to wander around and take pictures, go into weird little stores and buy weird little things.  I want to show Mary the places I know, and find new places together.  It’s a beautiful place, and having been there only makes me want to go back.

24HBD #9: Utopias

The absolute first thing I think of when someone draws a piece of paper out of a cigar box that has the word “utopias” written on it is the 22nd episode in season 10 of The Simpsons.  In this episode, Lisa and the other members of the MENSA society of Springfield make an unsuccessful attempt at creating a utopia.  Stephen Hawking was there too.

I tried to find a video clip, but I was unsuccessful.  I am bad at internets.

But then, I looked again!  And I found it:

This is one of those episodes that has stuck with me over the years of The Simpsons.  I think it’s because of Stephen Hawking.  That guy’s the best.

24HBD #8: Theme Songs

Here’s my method – I am going to “shuffle” through 10 songs from my music library.  Ignoring similar styles and repeat artists, I will then assign that song to a mood or moment.  This will be a lot easier for me than just trying to think of random songs for random moods or moments.  That would take forever…

Ok, here we go.

My D*** S***s, by Giant Drag

I love Giant Drag.  Unnecessarily lewd song titles aside, their sound is really great, and their songs hit you in a hard-and-slow kind of way.  This is a song for getting pumped up in the car on your way to some kind of nerve-wracking event, such as your very first improv show.

Sexy Boy by Air

This album – Moon Safari – stands near the top of my favorite albums of all time, ever and always.  This song – this album – is perfect for chilling out, but staying upbeat.  Stay in your seats, close your eyes, lay back, tap your toes and enjoy the ride.

Phantom Part II by Justice

This is a song for breaking things.  The angry-faced fist pump is the only acceptable dance to perform to Phantom Part II.

I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor by Arctic Monkeys

Fast-paced, clever lyrics set this song apart.  Keep this on your list for your next fancy party, but make sure there’s a dance floor.  This is a song for celebrating.  Remember that thing you needed to get pumped up for?  This is a song to listen to after you nailed it.  That improv show you were worried about?  Well, you brought down the house, so treat yourself and your friends to some Arctic Monkeys.

Evening At Lafitte’s by Squirrel Nut Zippers

This is a song for white wine, nice ties, and yard parties.  This is a song for twilight, candlelight, and swing dancing.  Class the night away.

Little Motel by Modest Mouse

This is a song to get lost in.  Had a bad day?  Having a bad week?  Embrace your melancholy.

Girl and the Sea by The Presets

Haunting, beautiful, empty, remorseful, longing reminiscence - all things this song makes me feel.  It sounds like summer in a long-ago, yearning sort of way.  It speaks of things once-felt, regrets and wishes and far-off happiness.  Wait until that chorus kicks in, at the same time lost and empty.  This is a song for lens-flare sunset memories.

Play My Darling Play by Katzenjammer

Silly, sweet, and bouncy, this is a song for a first date – but only cute ones.  Awkward blind dates don’t count.

White Knuckles by OK GO

Motivation is hard to come by.  If you need some, pop in some OK GO – specifically, their 2010 album Of The Blue Color Of The Sky.  Man will these beats get you on the right track.  Listening to these tracks is probably the reason I built that deck so fast this summer.  I guess I didn’t apply that logic to fence construction, though.

Creep (Acoustic Cover) by Anberlin

Sometimes, you just want to be sad.  This is a song for sad.

24HBD #7: A Movie Review

For topic #7, we have to write a review of our favorite movie/book/TV show/music.  Well, I do a lot of that already.  I thought about writing a review of my favorite movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but then I realized that I’ve already done that.

So I’m going to repost, from way back on 1/31/09:

I'd like to talk a little bit about my favorite movie, mainly because I've just recently decided (or realized) what it is. It's Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Realizing that this is my favorite movie has also caused me to realize that Bill Murray is probably my favorite actor.


Because towards the end of the movie, in the scene where they find the Jaguar Shark, there is more emotion in Bill Murray's expressionless face than I think I have ever seen on an actor's face ever. And that scene is when you (or I, I guess) realize what the movie is actually about. It's not just a quirky, dry comedy about life on the sea, and it's not just a love story, and it's not just about revenge or rescue.

It's a story about a guy who just wants to be admired, like he used to. It's about a guy who just doesn't care enough about anything anymore to care about anything anymore. And then he starts to. It's about a guy who, at the end of everything he's ever had, finds a little something else to have.

And then he loses it, and it's too much. Everything is too awful and beautiful and meaningful and meaningless and he can't decide which he wants to believe, because he believes everything and nothing, and he just wants the world to leave him alone for a while. Provided that it still takes care of him.

And then everything breaks again. But as its breaking it's fixing everything that's been wrong with his life. And at the end, he is happy in his misery.

That's what I see in Bill Murray's expressionless emotional face at the end of that movie.
It happens shortly after
this picture. It looks about like that, though. If you haven't seen it, you need to watch it. And if you have seen it, but don't really understand what I'm saying, you should watch it again.

And if you've seen it, and you hate it, then I guess that's ok too. We just have different tastes.

24HBD #6: Friends

Due to en extended shopping-trip-turned-jump-start-session, I only have about fifteen minutes to write this blog – which is a shame, since I have some of the best friends. 

Like I’ve said numerous times, the friends I have, I have largely because of the Crazy Monkeys, and situations encountered as a consequence.  There is no substitute for good friends, and I truly believe that the friends I have would do anything for me if I asked.   I’ve managed to surround myself with a pretty great group of people, and I don’t know what I would do without them.

“I'm not one for making speeches, but, ah, my heart is very full at this moment.” –Michael Scott


24HBD #5: Alter Egos

Alter Egos aren’t just for superheroes.  We all have different personae that we fall into depending on our surroundings.  So why are the schizophrenics so ostracized?  They're just more out with it.

Anyway, I thought I’d list some of my alter egos.  I’m not even sure what my regular ego is.  Oh wait, it’s

Ego the First:  Regular Tim


Regular Tim is a pretty normal guy.  He makes the appropriate amount of jokes during conversation, is an active listener, and enjoys a ridiculous burger.  He doesn’t really like sharing food.  If asked, most people would probably describe him as “pretty okay”.

Ego the Second:  Husband Tim, or Johnny Homeowner

n13730705_39818201_2067 IMAG0594

Johnny Homeowner is also a nice guy, but he is a nice guy who is married and owns a house.  He orders pizza like a champ for his hungry wife.  He builds decks and fences.  He insulates pipes.  He shovels the sidewalk, and gets his wife, Mary, unstuck from the snow.  He buys apple juice (Simply Apple!) when he goes shopping, because he knows she likes it (and he knows if he doesn’t, he’ll hear about it later).  He almost always saves the last bit of juice or milk for his wife.  He doesn’t like cleaning bathrooms.

Ego the Third:  Cartoon Tim


Cartoon Tim is a cartoon.  He doesn’t contribute much, but he makes a swell profile pic for Regular Tim.

Ego the Fourth:  Comedy Group Member Tim, or Frim Tanklin, or Skim Janklin

n13730705_42022184_8690 15315_976150494558_13730705_52957716_5755689_n

Comedy Group Member Tim has been a part of The Crazy Monkeys, and now is a part of Ad Liberation.  He networks with other groups’ members like a boss.  He attends festivals when they are made available to him.  He hosts games.  He makes the jokes, and brings the funny.  He goes where nobody else does, because he knows somebody has to.  He refrains from cursing, unless it’s appropriate for the situation.  He is a team player.  He likes Chain Murder Mystery.  He is the sweatiest guy.

Ego the Fifth:  Internet Celebrity Tim


Internet Celebrity Tim has tens of internet fans who follow his doings.  He updates his Facebook profile picture on a weekly basis, to keep it fresh.  He writes recipe blogs that are read by his mom and Joey Rintoul.  He gets free swag, then obsesses over it.  He shows up in Google searches, as long as quotes are used.  He takes pictures, and posts them online – but only after tweaking the contrast.  He RT’s others’ posts on Twitter, and he @replies celebrities as if they were his best friends.  He is at the center of a spiderweb of connectivity, even though he is just a fly that happened to get stuck there.  He has a webcomic that remains un-updated, and an MSN spaces account, just because.

24HBD #4: Methods of Destroying Traffic

Before we can properly delve into the topic of “methods of destroying traffic”, we must first consider what it means to “destroy” traffic.  Premature to even that, we must look at what traffic itself refers to. 

Traffic could mean any of the following:

  • Dozens, even hundreds of cars gridlocked during rush hour
  • Or, simply, cars of any number driving on the road
  • The 60s English rock band Traffic
  • The 2000 movie Traffic starring Benicio Del Toro

l_125302_0181865_a3297809In the interest of saving lives, I have decided to consider the ways we can destroy the 2000 movie Traffic starring Benicio Del Toro.  More specifically, since this movie came out in the year 2000 (the year 2000), I have decided to consider the ways we can destroy the VHS of the 2000 movie Traffic starring Benicio Del Toro.

Once we decide that what we are in fact “destroying” is merely a VHS tape, the methodology of such an action becomes rather clear.  We have a variety of choices to consider:

  • stamping, smashing, or otherwise bludgeoning the tape into nonexistence
  • casting a magic spell to transport the tape into the heart of a volcano
  • setting paper clips on the tape, one by one, until the eventual increase in weight crushes the tape outright
  • giving the tape as a present to an infant human child, who will inevitably try to eat it
  • giving the tape as a present to an infant wolf pup, who will inevitably try to eat it
  • setting the tape on some railroad tracks, and waiting for a train
  • going bungee jumping with the tape, and forgetting to strap it down
  • going skydiving with the tape, and forgetting to strap it down
  • fire

In any case, destroying a VHS copy of the 2000 movie Traffic starring Benicio Del Toro is a seemingly easy feat.

24HBD #3: Defining Childhood Memory

11-29-2009 3;00;07 PM33The actual topic was “When someone mentions childhood what one memory pops into your head?  Explain in detail.”

So I’ll talk about the time I fell down a hill, cracked my head on a stone, and showed my dad my skull.  Fun times.

My family was on a camping trip – my uncle Barry was there with his family, also, along with my grandma and aunt Patty.  We were camping up down in the “land of 1,000 lakes” “Land Between the Lakes”, which is Minnesota in Kentucky, I think.  I am not exact on the details of where we were, but I know we were camping.  I don’t really remember how old I was, either.  Maybe 4th grade.  Around there.

Anyway, we had gotten our tents and things set up, and my cousin Matt and I decided to climb one of the many hills that surrounded/ensconced/characterized the campground.  We climbed all the way to the top of an I-Don’t-Know-How-Tall hill, and it was pretty cool.  We could see all around us for a pretty good distance – or as good as any distance could be in a wooded area.

Then we started back down.  The ground was chilly and damp, and there were fallen leaves everywhere.  We began to go faster, and run a bit.  I remember my cousin yell “It’s like skiing!” as we slid and ran down the side of the hill.  “…yeah” was my shaky reply as I tried to stay right behind him and match his moves.

I’d never been skiing. 

So the inevitable happened – Matt made a turn, and I didn’t.  I lost my balance, and tumbled down the hillside.  In my mind, it was a craggy mountain peak, but age lies.  I fell, headfirst, straight down for about a thousand miles before landing (yes, on my head) on a rock. 


Man, that hurt.  I grabbed my head and rolled around for a while.  I didn’t black out or anything, which meant nothing to me.  I didn’t even know that was a possibility.  My mom ran over and asked “are you ok!?”  “….no” was my shaky reply.

So my parents sat me up on a picnic table so my dad could take a look at me.  By then it was dark, so by light of a Coleman lantern my father examined my horrific and debilitating wounds.  He looked and poked around for a while, then very calmly told my mom not to come look at me, but to go find out where the nearest emergency room was.  He also told me what a nice, white skull I had.  Compliment sandwich.

So we (carefully, because we were in deer country) took a winding, forty-minute drive to the emergency room.  We had to stop to let a couple of deer cross the road.

At the emergency room, they asked me what happened.  They were very directly asking me.  So I told them, they affirmed that my parents weren’t beating me, and the wait for the fix-em-up guy began.

When it was my turn at the healing store, they took me into what I’m sure was a standard doctor/fix-em-up room, but to me it seems like it was one of those giant observation rooms with the lights and windows and gawkers.  I felt like I was in some kind of space movie.

Anyway, the doctor was really nice, and he talked with some kind of thick accent my tiny, underdeveloped mind couldn’t wrap itself around.  He shaved some of my hair off, and then proceeded to pick up each side of the cut to scrub the bone underneath.  No big deal.  I was fine.

I ended up getting four stiches, and the cut on my head only bled one drop, once.  I can’t remember if it was during the initial injury, or if it was when the doctor was cleaning the dirt and camping out of it.

n13730705_44297338_1135Since my mom buzzed my hair up until I was in high school, the scar was very visible for a while.  Every time my hair was short, you could see this half-inch or so line of no hair.  I thought (still do) that it was pretty cool.  The doctor said I was lucky to not have passed out, to not have bled everywhere, and to not have hit my head an inch in any direction, because then I probably would have died.  As it was, I hit a rock with my head in the only non-bleeding, non-passout, non-die part of my skull.  Which my dad has seen.

My parents get to see parts of me that I wish I could.  My dad has seen my skull, and my mom got to see the extra pigment clumps on my irises one time at the eye doctor.

Life is not the fairest.

24HBD #2: Funniest Moments

YearpOkay, maybe a top twenty was a little too ambitious.  I barely made the deadline for that last one.   Maybe for this topic, I’ll just ramble on about whatever.  Seems to be the way to go.

I feel that in my life, I am surrounded by comedy.  Besides the obvious facts that I am a member of an improv comedy group and have friends in other improv comedy groups, my life just seems to be funny.  Teaching is a surprising source of hilarious stories.  There is apparently something inherently silly about putting thirty kids in a room together and expecting to teach them maths (or sciences, Englishes, social studies, or whatever subjects fit your situation).  It doesn’t have to be funny, but for whatever reason it turns out that way.

I smile a lot.  I think I must go through life in a bemused sort of stupor, because I find the funny in everything.  It doesn’t matter how serious or dangerous or somber the situation – I will always find a way to turn it into a joke.  Maybe it’s the way I deal with things – breaking the ice, even inappropriately so, is my way to ease tension around me. 

'Ey Bruce?!There’s that old stupid thing everyone quotes – “Laughter is the best medicine”.  I don’t know if that’s true or not – laughter certainly helps things, but I think using the word medicine is taking it a little far.  Maybe it’s mental medicine.  All I know is that I’m kind of a smartass, and I am extremely lucky to have found people to surround myself with who have that same sort of vein running through them. 

I was going to try to think of the funniest moments from my life, but nothing stood out.  It might be because of the time limit -  it really sucks the memory out of me.  I can remember lots of times where I was laughing, but I can’t remember what I was laughing about.  But maybe it’s better that way.  The joke doesn’t really matter – it’s the result that’s desired.  Making people laugh means making people feel good.  There’s something about cheering people up that’s so alluring.  It’s not the reason I got into comedy, but it’s a big reason for why I still do it.

In closing, I will leave you with this picture of Charlie the Cat (who you may remember from the last post), bereft of fur.  Funny right?

Poor Guy

24HBD #1: Best of 2010

For this topic, I had to consider what I wanted to focus on.  The best ‘what’ of 2010?  So I decided to look back through the pictures I took for my Picaday blog, and pick the best twenty.  So here are my 20 favorite pictures from 2010, in chronological order.


01-22-10  Monkeyshoes At Greyhouse


I took this picture during a Crazy Monkey show at Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.  The Crazy Monkeys means a lot to me – both as a group that includes and has included some of my very favorite people, but as one of the main forces that has shaped the last few years of my life.  Had I not joined the Crazy Monkeys, my life would not be what it is today.  I would probably not be married to the same person, as it was a trifecta-type friendship that included another member that brought Mary and I closer together.  I would have never performed improv comedy, and I would not have the friends I have today.  Some things shape our lives in ways we can’t know or understand – but the Crazy Monkeys have affected me in a very real, visible way, and for that I will always be grateful.

01-31-10  The Double Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger at D.T. Kirby’s


I don’t think I have to say very much about this burger – I mean, just look at it.  In lieu of a hamburger bun, these patties are lovingly placed between two grilled cheese sandwiches.  The freshly made fries are thinly sliced, allowing for maximum coverage of mustard, or any of the sauces that D.T. Kirby’s sends out on its platters.  If you haven’t eaten this monument to the achievement of mankind, you haven’t really eaten.

02-05-10  A Snowy Walk Home


Mary and I were walking home one night when I took this picture.  I don’t remember what we were doing out in the snow this late at night, but I do remember loving the walk.  Downtown Lafayette is very quiet late at night, and the snow on every surface really enhanced the feeling of quiet aloneness.  It was a nice walk – a walk, by the way, to our first apartment together.

02-10-10  Charlotte the Cat


I have had Charlotte the Cat since I was in fifth grade.  She came to live with Mary around about my junior year of college – a move that has made her life much, much happier.  The first year I went to college, I remember coming home after weeks of being away to find a cat that had not moved from one spot on my bed, except to eat or use the restroom.  In fact, I don’t think she ate any food for the first week or so.  She didn’t deal with change very well.  Since moving to Lafayette, though, she has been through four moves to different apartments (and one house!), so she is basically a nomad now.  She is quite literally the prettiest cat alive, and you will be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.

03-24-10  Burgeoning Collections


I started buying records after Matt Van Noy gave us a record player as a sort of wedding present.  I was going to buy it from him, but he ended up just giving it to me.  Matt and I have not always been on the best terms – especially in recent times – but I do love the guy.  And I do love listening to records.

03-28-10  Eating at Chipotle


Mary and I eat at Chipotle probably more than we should.  It’s impossible, though, to not eat there often.  It’s way too good.  We always get the same thing – Mary likes chicken soft tacos with a little bit of pinto beans, lettuce, sour cream, and cheese.  I like the barbacoa soft tacos with some fajita onions & peppers, their tomato and corn salsas, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.  There is nothing better, and I want some right now.  Now.  I wannit.

04-04-10  Jealousy


My mom has this really sweet camera.  I walked it around the yard in Clayton and took some pictures.  Needless to say, it takes way better pictures than my phone.  This is one of the best pictures I have ever taken – quality aside.  I just really like the way it’s composed.  I am tooting all of my own horns right now.

05-03-10  In The Alley


In the alley behind our downtown Lafayette apartment, there was this cool gate.  It was kind of falling apart, and it didn’t really look like it would open if it needed to, but it still made for a good picture.

06-19-10  Fancy Party!


Mary and I bought our first house!  We love it, and couldn’t be happier.  What do you do when you buy a house?  Have a party!  We enjoy dressing up and having fancy snacks, so we invited all of our friends to do the same.  We made fancy snacks, wore fancy clothes, and lived the night away.  We have since had two or three more fancy parties, and they are a super fun time.

06-20-10  Mike Has a Bag On His Head


Mike totes has a bag on his head.

06-24-10  At The Beach


Mary and I went to the beach.  It was the fun.  I also really like this picture.

07-18-10  Moose In Cor d’ALene


My brother got married over the summer!  So, in fact, did my current sister-in-law.  Anyway, they had a beautiful wedding in Cor d’Alene, Idaho, and we got to have a really fun vacation as a result.

08-10-10  So I Built This Thing


Over the summer, I built a deck and a fence.  It was probably the largest project I have ever undertaken, and I have to say I pulled it off quite nicely.  It’s probably not the best deck that could have been built, but for a guy who does not carpenter any type of carpentry ever, I think I did a pretty great job.  Also now we can have fancy parties outside!

08-25-10  Spiders EVERYWHERE


Seriously, there were so many spiders in my yard.  And this is a picture of a spider web that I consequently took because of it.

09-19-10  24 Hour Comic Book Day


We had a 24 hour comic book day!  I was the only one who made it all 24 hours.  I did not make the required length comic book, but I made a shortened one that actually wrapped up.  Comic accomplished!

11-08-10  Toothpicks


I took this picture of some toothpicks.  Hurrah.

11-11-10  Charlie the Cat


My mom’s cat, Charlie, has come to live with us!  He is a big ol’ ball o’ cat.  But he’s great!  We almost lost him there, though, when he went missing for a week.  But he came back, and now we have him, and everything is fine.  FINE.

12-12-10  Piano Time!


A friend of the family had to get rid of this piano, so my mom bought it and basically gave it to us.  Really cool!  I love how the keys are a little chipped and weathered.  Gives it a neat look.  Neither of us actually play piano, but I am planning on learning.  Might as well!



Christmas!  Totes Christmas.

12-31-10  KFC Tribute


For New Years this year, we all went down to Louisville and ate fried chicken at the Sanders’ gravesite.  It was a touching moment.  You can read more about it here.