Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Holi-what?

December 11, 2012

Over the years, and especially since moving to a coast far, far away from my childhood trauma grounds, this time of year for me just tends to be a time of coming together in increasingly smaller groups to avoid hordes of consumers eager to trample me to death over the last nightmare-inducing talking toy or Golden Girls boxed set. I’ve so lost my way in this corporately co-opted “season” that I can barely be bothered to think of anything I actually need, aside from quality alone time with “The Talkening” so I can put my gaming OCD to rest over that electronic abortion. Seriously, Bioware needs to hemorrhage a few more folks, most especially anyone who had anything to do with the percentage of dialogue versus the percentage of action that DA2 has (75% vs. 10%…there’s walking too). In the local parlance, “it ain’t what it used to be.”

While few people really want to hear extended tales of my youthful exploits that don’t involve me adding to an impressive adolescent scar collection, or teaching my brother to fear every waking moment, it should be noted that I wasn’t always looking for the nearest fallout shelter with internet access and console gaming around this time of year. I was once a doe-eyed holiday youth like any other.

Between my grandparents and my aunt & uncle, Christmas always seemed like something out of one of those pop-up books where the decorations come alive and everyone is smiling. For many years, my uncle actually had one of the coolest tree skirts: an honest to goodness gingerbread village, complete with a “don’t EVER, E V E R touch that” train, pond with magnetically moving ice-skaters who only seemed to fall when nobody was around to watch the giant mutant hand deliver digital justice (get it?), and a plaster of Pairee mountain with skiers. I don’t know why, but I never felt compelled to mess with those plastic schussers. I know how bad it can suck to bite it hard on a steep, icy slope. Regardless, that tiny town, and the visit to sing songs and eat until the crying began were some of the happiest moments of my childhood.

As the distance from that life and time increased, so did, by an inverse proportion, my desire to do anything even remotely festive. Achebeyo and I even started one of the laziest traditions ever not long after we first met: the Christmas Chair. As the name might vaguely suggest, it was a chair…for Christmas. As a concession to the mandatory color scheme, we threw a green table cloth over it and put anything we bought for each other in it. On Christmas eve, we’d stay up all night watching the same two or three DVDs on a 20″ tube television from 15-feet away, and then wake up with stiff necks and back pain to open our gifts. Hey, it worked for us. I’ve since been convinced that one (new each year) tiny concession toward seasonal tolerance WILL be implemented. Ah, the wonders of couple-hood.

Occasionally, we’ll get an invitation to spend time with my father and his wife (and sometimes other semi-homeless people he’s more than a little worried about) on Christmas. I have to admit, while I would normally be quite comfortable concocting a previously unknown bowel disaster to stay glued to the couch and whatever game I’ve been fortunate enough to be gifted, spending time with my dad is fun. As you may or may not have noticed from his comments here and there on this blog, he’s one funny paternal monkey. I see where I get all this awesome from. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that he has the power to remind me that this time of the year isn’t all about buying things and feeling as if love should be measured in return receipts and credit ratings. It’s about being able to write a humorous tale or two the day after about everything that made someone (even if it wasn’t me) laugh.

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If Meh was a country, I’d have been born there

November 2, 2012

Many of you have hinted (and by you, I mean me) that I should write about something other than myself. Since I spend 90% of my time with myself, and the rule is write what you know, it seems only natural that I should continue down that path. Plus, once I’m all famous and reclusive, I won’t have to waste time going back to explain how it all came to be; I can just link to the awesome and be done with it.

The thing is, this is all still relatively new to me, this whole writing for someone other than myself deal. In the past, I wrote online in places that were designed to ensure the maximum amount of sympathy for my perceived misery in a realistically normal life. Did I hope people read what screamed from my soul to the page? Of course. Was I trying to entertain? If by ‘entertain’ you mean garner unreasonable sympathy and attention, then yes. However, there’s only so much ‘woe-is-me’ writing that anyone but a caked-up goth teen can take before they want to slap the emo out of you.

Prior to the rise of social media sites and micro-blogging, but after my extended stay at hotel Moodydude, I let my writing taper off into poorly written “poetry” and one-liners outlining horrible story ideas. I was so disgusted with myself that I talked myself out of writing entirely. It was easier than…

You know what, I’m not feeling this one; seems a bit pretentious to share what seems to be advice on writing when I’m still honing my own story-telling skills. This isn’t the happy ending to that coma-inducing stuff up there ^; it’s the uncertain, yet exciting, beginning. If you aren’t feeling the usual mojo on this one, it’s probably because I’m forcing it. You deserve better, and I’ll give it to you. Just not right now.

Hop on over to my friend Katie’s blog and read her quirky-fun take on travel, public pooping and face-feeding for a bit. I’ll be here when you get back, I promise; maybe with all-new tales of misadventure and bodily injury, like the time I dove head-first off of a cliff to avoid imaginary bullets from a plastic gun. See? You know you’ll be back on the off chance I share that gem.

An open letter to sharks

October 25, 2012

***This was going to be a post on my brother’s pants-wetting fear of spiders, but I feel this is the more pressing issue right now***

Dear all of you,

This is getting serious. I’m afraid I’m going to have to put my foot down on this whole surfer-snack thing you’ve got going on. It’s getting to the point where I can’t sleep at night wondering how long it will be before you’re sending your spawn through my plumbing and into my warm, comfy bubble bath. Let me make this clear: mi casa-tub is certainly not su casa-tub. Capiche?

While you may have no choice but to live in the ocean, where Nature has designed you to fit perfectly and have the appropriate sustenance for your biology (plus, all the water you can drink), we humans have the the need, nay, the RIGHT to invade your home and declare you evil killers in the name of “because”.  So what if we have to have special equipment to spend any significant time on or in your demesne. You think that gives you the right to follow your centuries upon centuries of instinct and mistake our wild movements as the ineffective flailing of potential prey? I don’t think so, misters…and missuses. Ma’ams?

Look, if we could engineer some sort of SCABA (Self Contained Above-water Breathing Apparatus) suit for you, we’d…well, we’d likely use it to parade you around in front of large crowds for profit, turning you into whores, but that’s not the point. The point is, we’d allow you to serve our best interests on land, so why not cut us some slack in your one and only home environment. Heck, you’d even be able to visit your family members who are serving valiantly as eye candy right now in our many wonderful aquariums, habitats that are likely better than your ghetto homes in the seas (no offense to ghetto sharks, yo).

Look, all I’m asking for here is a little accommodation. I mean, we do you the favor of siphoning off as many of the inferior species in your environment as we can so that you remain top dogs down there. We also do our best to push your food sources closer to you by making our shorelines barely habitable with pollution of various types. The least you could do is respect us as the rulers of 1/3 of this marble and not cull from our vast and ever growing herd. If you cannot, or will not, see eye to eye with us on this, there will be consequences for this deliberate act of aggression.

All around the globe are what we refer to as “rednecks”. You may have witnessed them tossing explosives into your home to see what weaker species can’t take a little shock wave. They’ve also been kind enough to dispose of their bottles and cans in your realm to promote awareness of our needs and habits, as well as refilling your homes with human-filtered “water”. Now, it doesn’t take much to fuel the ire of these folk, and they are more than willing to paint you as the demons of the sea you seem to relish acting like. Once that ire is up, you can bet your toothy asses there will be hell to pay in the form of tournaments and cullings designed to teach you the valuable lesson of moderation and respect for life. I don’t think either of us wants that.

In closing, I just want to say that if you could see things from our perspective, you’d realize that we just want an amicable end to this senseless slaughter of innocent surfers, swimmers and divers who may or may not look like prey when they visit your home. When you’re ready to come to the table with open arms, so are we.

Sincerely,

McLandbound

Wait, what?

October 22, 2012

Brainfart. That’s what I should have called this place, as it already has me pulling out my satchel-hair trying to figure out what to write. Who knew that just coming up with a name would have the power to stop time and my brain simultaneously? When you write for yourself, it tends to be easy: you map out the list of people who will pay, you bemoan the lack of riches, bitches and glory life isn’t drowning you in and you swear you’ll change all that. It’s not the same when writing for an audience. Those kinds of warning bells ring loud out across the ether(net) and will get you a nice cozy onesie with locking sleeves. So you ponder…and stall…and distract yourself with every teensy, tiny thing of zero significance you possibly can to delay coming up with something someone else you may not even know might find entertaining. Welcome to my now.

This place will be where I’ll offend, bore and possibly berate you, all in the name of amusement. Largely mine, of course. I don’t expect anyone to believe me, follow me or otherwise march to my tune. I just want someplace to make an anonymous ass out of myself from time to time, or, if you know me, let you see how effed up my brain can be at times. I’ll tell you right now that I don’t care what you think, but we know that’s a lie…a sexy, sexy lie. I care, I’ll just try to keep you in the dark as to when.

If you don’t know me personally, and are curious as to who hides behind this dichotomy of self-denigration and pompous self-absorption, here’s a brief bio:

  • Born in Maryland, but grew up in southern California (which I still call home to this day even though I haven’t lived there in over 20 years).
  • Joined the military to escape what every teen sees as the end of the world in a family that “just doesn’t understand me”.
  • Decided that the military was full of morons determined to drag me into their mental abyss and found an honorable discharge with severance pay after 10 years.
  • Was married, but got inoculated (now have a loving relationship without the governmental and religious bondage).
  • Engage in the self-esteem eroding profession of acting (part time).
  • Work as a full-time network engineer (but in the words of Randall from “Clerks”, BADLY).
  • Love to travel with my girlfriend (to places where people don’t know how screwed up I am at first).

That’s enough to choke on for now. While I tend to think my particular wit is best applied at the 1-2 sentences every other week, I think I’ll start flexing my word-nuts a bit and see what happens. Maybe nothing, but maybe something awesome.

– McDuck


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