Category: Humor

Viva la Furby

Yes, I know this news is about a week-or-so old, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why it was news at all. For several reasons.

On February 21st, 2013, The Tribune Review reported that a local Pittsburgh woman was arrested for hitting her boyfriend with a Furby. Yes, kids, you heard me: a Furby. And if it’s not bad enough that this big-eyed, fuzzy-bodied robot made the news, it seems the suspect threw said toy at her boyfriend because of “a negative post he made about her on Facebook.” Not only is this laughable on its own, but please, please, please click the link and check out this woman’s mug shot. PLEASE.

I don’t know about you, but there are SO many questions I have:

A. WHY would this man find it necessary to report his girlfriend for a flying Furby?
B. WHO in the hell still owns a Furby?
http://us10.memecdn.com/sorry-furby_o_557845.pngC. DID the Furby actually hurt the man?
and…
D. WHAT could the Furby possibly have done to deserve this?

The Trib article tells us that when police arrived at ONE IN THE MORNING, the man had some red marks on his face and a small, bleeding cut that didn’t require medical attention.

Furby – 1    Stupid boyfriend – 0

I recall sitting in the waiting room for a dentist appointment when this tidbit came over the airwaves—followed closely by a disgruntled granddaughter. Apparently she was angry that her 104-year-old grandmother had to “lie” on Facebook about her age, since the digits only go up to 99, pressing Facebook founders to change this little nugget.

https://meghantutolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Furby-Meme-Trolls-Your-Sleep1.jpgOnce again, more questions. But I’m not even going there. What’s the world coming to?

As a side note, Furbys have always creeped me the fuck out. I don’t know if it was the fact that it often had drowzy drugged up eyelids, or that it spoke some demonic, sing-songy language, or maybe just that it used to wake me in the middle of the night while I was trying to sleep: dee du li da.

Nobody’s safe anymore…

mt

Are we there yet?

I decided to splurge.

Chinese food, in particular the Chinese food buffet, is a horrible idea for someone like me. Not only do I have issues with indulging in tasty food until my stomach feels like it’s housing a village of overweight ninjas, but eating anything fried and delicious tends to kill me—no matter the amount.

But on Sunday, for the hell of it, I decided it was time to partake. The point of my story, leaving out the proceeding belly rumbles and loosening of my belt [and food coma], is that I received this fortune:

Thanks to Instagram!

You are almost there.

At any other point in my life, thus far, I might have tucked the greasy scrap into my wallet and called it a day (I collect fortunes), but I think maybe this Asian voodoo is onto something.

Last year, as I’ve spoken about before, was a helluva roller-coaster ride, mostly stemming from my lack of sleep and sustenance. Still. There are down days and broken moments—shit, I wish I could say I’ve completely “recovered.” But you know what? I think I need those days; we all do, maybe. It makes the sun brighter on the flip. I got it. Cliche or not.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and “getting there,” so it comes as no surprise that this fortune hit me. Almost. The punchline of my life lately: while most of my friends and coworkers consciously work on trying to be more organized, more on top of things, more responsible, less sleepy and less lazy… I’m trying to do the opposite. What do I mean?

  • I see a piece of lint or two on the floor. My gut reaction is to fall to my knees and begin a 10-minute journey across my bedroom floor, with an eye at floor-level, picking up fuzz and hair until I acquire a mass large enough to be a tumbleweed. And now? I try to ignore it. I pretend it isn’t there, reminding myself I can run the vacuum cleaner when I am not in a rush to get somewhere or do something. Take that, OCD!
  • My roommate asks me to watch a movie. While I typically decline or say “yes,” but gather up 900 things for me to do as the movie plays… I’ve been trying to do it. You know. Watch TV, just watch… not attempt to do 19 other things simultaneously. This is still in the works. I’ve noticed, though, that I have been actually attentive enough to understand the gist of movies lately. So there’s that. Suck it, Oppressing Need for Productivity!
  • It’s 10:00 p.m. and I’m yawning. No! This is, perhaps, my worst fear! Becoming one of those people who go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed…at 9:00! The typical me might have brewed up some coffee began a late-night regime of caffeine and cigs, but instead, I’ve been trying to listen to my body; you know, get more than four hours of sleep per night. See, there are things I like to do in the eve, namely creative ventures. Now, I haven’t been closing my eyes at 10, but I have been settling in before midnight. This is a start! Go fly a kite, Self-Induced Insomnia!

So I’m almost there, huh? I like it. I really do. I feel like a freak for trying to relax, trying to be lazy sometimes… but. It’s nice (and necessary)!

Any resolutions/goals for you all coming to fruition in 2013? Tell me I’m not the only one who picks lint off of my carpeting!

Best,
mt

Inspired on a drive

It’s where all my big thoughts happen. The car. For some, it’s the shower. For others, it’s right before sleep. Either way, it’s always inconvenient. Am I right? Tonight, as I drive, my brain fills up like a birthday balloon. Don’t worry. I’m being safe. Talk-to-text helps.

A former professor, dear friend and [now] collegue—what an honor!—Lori Jakiela asked me to talk to

her blogging class about my job. During my full-mouthed spiel, I realized how incredible we are. Writers. Or: people who spend their time gushing, thinking about what people need/want/wish for. I know. Crazy to articulate, but just… some of the most incredible creatures I know are writers. Why? Because they have a greater understanding of things: the subtleties of culture, the depth of our interactions, colors and light and all the while, a meticulous eye on themselves.

Writers take big gulps of the world and hiccup beauty. Simply put. And seeing these young ones so open and excited about writing—well, that’s not something I get from my Comp gig. Most of my students are finding ways to dodge my two-and-a-half-hour night class. It’s obligatory, a required course, and so one might expect that they’d run flailing in the other direction.

But what is it about the aspiring that is so damn… inspiring? I’m by no means an expert; I mean, I’ve got oodles of experience now, writing and editing. But I never feel “complete.” Is that a writer thing? Maybe it’s like when I write the best poem in the whole-wide world, and then the next day, I read it again only to find it might be the worst poem in the world. Ha! It’s frustrating. To never be all-the-way good. But that’s why we keep going, right? It’s become some sort of a catalyst.

But that’s just it. You can never be too good at writing. Hell, you can never be too good at anything when it comes down to it. But since I was going on about lists and how to simplify for the reader, catch their attention, I thought I’d make one of my own.

Orwell gave me some of the greatest advice, and so this list is a mash-up of that and my own experience. While all of these tips aren’t relevant to every type of writing, I compiled a more encompassing list—one that I feel covers the basics, you know? I hope you enjoy! [And if you have any to add, leave me some words!]

TIPS FROM A SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL WRITER:

  1. Read. This is something I can say and say and say, have had profs say and say and say, and still… one must discover for his or herself—reading will inspire. But moreover, reading will help you to understand your own thoughts, style, voice more aptly. Good books or bad books, they will help. So just do it. Don’t argue!
  2. Find your big league. This kind of  goes along with the last one. Find the writer(s) that makes the hairs on your arm stand up. For me, Margaret Atwood embodies the very style that I’d hope to someday achieve; even her prose is poetic. Sometimes I carry her around with me in my pack for inspiration.
  3. Invent your own language. Don’t re-run tired words and phrases, those you hear every day. Make it new. Need a metaphor? An analogy? An image? Make up your own. This is an especially great way to introduce humor, but it isn’t necessary to be funny. Fresh words. Fresh thoughts. Uniqueness is key.
  4. Short & sweet. Don’t we all love to show off a little? Some of us have great honkin’ vocabularies, where we make sport of words like “loquacious” or “parsimonious“; no matter how seamless, words like these are off-putting to the average reader—use as few of them as possible. Keep things succinct, in general. Sentences, paragraphs, all of it. The world is impatient, but more than that—it will make you use more powerful words and constructions.
  5. Revisit aloud. Self-editing isn’t easy. My advice? Don’t just re-read your work, but read it OUT LOUD. That’s it. Open your mouth, say the words… does it sound right? Hide in a closet or a bathroom if you have to [but watch for that dastardly echo!] It also helps to give yourself a day or two in-between, an intermission. Like I told Jakiela’s class: imagine that mindset you have when you invite someone to your house for the first time. Make that an important “someone.” You know that feeling when they walk in for the first time and you sort of envision your home as he or she is seeing it, for the first time. Suddenly, every little spot on the carpet and every book covered in dust stands out like it’s been spotlighted. Get there.
  6. What you see is what you get. Let’s face it—the public has turned into a lusty-eyed pack of big cats, hungry for aesthetically pleasing visuals. It’s like we’ve suddenly snapped back to that age where we more apt to flip through a picture book than read. Look at how violently Pinterest has taken off! No one has to get TOO involved. Just play with pictures! The lesson in this: clean up your blogs; clean up your webpages; clean up your form on the page. People are more likely to read something that LOOKS good. Sad, but true. Inserting funny pictures helps. Ha!
  7. Stop. Drop. & Write. This little nugget is more like lifestyle advice. As I was saying above, inspiration isn’t always convenient. Because of this, I find myself jotting things down in parking lots, at stop signs and in coffeeshop queues. Keep paper and a pen handy at all times—stash some in your car if you have to—but don’t shut that thing up inside you that is urging you to expel. Even if it means being late to your friend’s wedding. [Oops!]
I’m going to end there. I could go on and on, but… [:
mt

Dear 2013 | Resolutions, Replays & Ridiculousness

You may wonder what I expect of you. Chances are that, already, I have overblown your proverbial balloon with 200-ton expectations and a heaping mountain-sized dose of blind optimism. My bad.

2012 was something like hell for me. While it had its high tides, its low blows seemed near fatal, at times, and mostly just… well, depressing. So, yes, the dawning of a new calendar on my wall [the 2013 I Can Has Cheezburger LOLCat Calendar, to be precise] has my eyes a-glitter with some serious hope. This just HAS to be the year they invent affordable jet packs or a Transatlantic tunnel.

You know… I had so many expectations for last year—so many goals and resolutions that I never got to. I mean, I could spend all day listing the personality flaws that need fixin’, the calories I should be cutting and margins of productivity I wanted to conquer, but I’ll refrain to save you some jive bitching. [I really should take up drinking or something…] Anyhow, let’s face it;
you kind of sort of owe me one. No?

In ranting and raving about the year past, let me also note that I’m not the only one with a steamship full of disappointments [sinking ship?]; it appears 2012 wasn’t a bitch for just me. Nearly everyone I talk to had a shitty year, too. 2012 was amaze with separations, sicknesses, deaths, moves and heated political debates. I realize most years have ups and downs, but last year, in my rear-view mirror and the mirrors of many others, those 365 days smarted some sick-nasty destruction. Personally, by December, I was rooting for the promised end of civilization [See: End of the World.]

In conclusion: you should be preparing for a stellar year. We deserve it! [If it takes a dozen or so HJ’s to accomplish this, I’m willing. Just sayin.]

Sincerely, your friend,
mt

In an attempt to keep my resolutions both optimistic and generic, I drew a doodle to commemorate:

https://meghantutolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/d5924548543b11e29b9b22000a1f96c5_71.jpg
Thank you, Instagram! [Follow me: 1flychicken]

…Oddly enough, it’s only January 7th and already I received my first speeding ticket, fallen down the icy stairs and hurt myself, had about three zombie dreams aaaaaand got my period. Really, 2013? Can we try a little harder…?

END OF THE WORLD | Nearing the apocalypse with chicken wine…

[Thanks to NASA/media.techeblog.com]

I’ve been railing on about the end of the world all year, perhaps, but just lately it’s been feeling inevitable. Ha! Not really, but it’s December 18th, and with a mere four days until Earth’s supposed finale, I’ve been questioning everyone.

“So what IF it were really, positively, the end of the world on the 21st—what would you do, starting now?”

The responses have been both sad and funny, all of which have made me think a lot. Of course, peeps are asking in response, almost sarcastically: “What about you?” To which, I have yet to respond. In lieu of my blogging endeavors, I thought I’d make a post about it. And then ask you lovely people.

If I’m scaring you, or you’ve been fearing this on your own accord, let NASA assuage your worries.

The first thing I’d do if I got the news rightthissecond? Leave work and never come back. I’d snatch up the few necessary items of importance that I have hangin’ about in my office: a photo of Jake, my cardboard robot chicken,  my favorite Papermate Flair Razor Point pen, the Instagram-ed/printed/laminated photo of my friend D and I in Cape Cod [that always makes me smile], and my favorite rock [long story.]

From here, I’d get gas and a coffee drink at Sheetz—and probably a meatball MTO [an indulgence that I never indulge in!]  (: Then, I’d hit up the liquor store and buy seven bottles of chicken wine, Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon, and scavenge the Youngwood area for cocaine or crack or speed or meth. C’mon. Who wants to sleep right before the end of the world? Not this girl. Lots to do.

First thing is first: I’ve got some people to smooch. I think there is a running list of like 10 (really, there are more, but don’t judge me!); honestly though, I’d settle for hitting up the top 5. With only a few days at my disposal, I’d try to accomplish this in one day. I’d waste one bottle of wine on this, driving double-fisted: water and wine. How would I approach the smooching situation? I’d probably just do it. If I felt the need for words, it might be something like: “C’mon, all I’ve ever wanted to do is kiss you. Let me.”

Romantic, huh? What can I say?

It sort of reminds me of that moment in Grease 2: “Let’s do it for our country.” Haha… yep.

HAHA priceless face on this chick… [thank stagevu.com]

Once all smooching happened (or didn’t), depending on my locale, I’d probably head home and say my farewells to Matt and the cat, pack up some clothing items, my computer, my writings and showering things. I’ll be on the road for the rest of the “end.” While still in the Greensburg area, I’d try to find my other friends, you know? But I mean, this all wagers on what everyone ELSE is doing, obvi. Kelly, Amy, Adam, all thems. [:

Next stop: I’d visit my mother. On my way to her house, though, I’d buy a delicious chocolate-y cheesecake and some serious fast food. Also, I’d swing by downtown New Ken and score some tree. There is reason for this. My mom used to be a hippie, so I think I’d want to smoke with her. More for her than my reasons. She might need some to calm her down, as it will be a pretty stressful time for everyone, I bet. We’d smoke, eat and pop open my second bottle of chicken wine. I’d spend a day with her and the cat, and then leave her with the remainder of tree and a bottle of chicken wine.

Three bottles down, four more to go.

Rex Goliath—the 47 lb. rooster! LOVE!

Ok, off I go. I think, next, I’d visit my aunt, my step mom, Wendy, Shawna, Bobi… the historical peeps in my life. I’d have to. Whether I see them often or not, they are some of the most important people to me. Does that make sense? I’d at least give them a squeeze, a smooch on the forehead and just tell them I love them and thank you. I think Wendy and I could drink a bottle of my chicken wine together and have a blast: reminiscence and be goofy. We’d laugh a lot, I bet. Sometimes I’m sure that she and I have a similar humor. Perhaps it rubbed off in adolescence?

Next, I’d head across the river to see my sister, brother and nephew. I’d ask him to color with me. I’d hope we could color for a good while and just hang together. All of us. I’d ask him a lot of questions, like: “What do you want to be when you grow up? And: “What do you think you’ll look like when you’re 20?” This is kind of sad, and I’d probably cry. He may or may not understand that. Only kiddos like him are a reason to be sad for the apocalypse. I might ask him the meaning to life, too. I’m thinking, if there is a solid answer to this, only a kid would know. Not a grown up. We’re jaded and analytical and overwhelmed by the mundanity of day-to-day existence. I think kids are smarter than we are for this reason. Honest and typically untainted.

THEN! With three more bottles to go [counting down and mapping by wine, apparently] I’d route my way to McMurray/Canonsburg to visit with the surrogate family. I’d squeeze L [a.k.a. “the Peanut”] so hard she’d poop her pants. Ha. But we’d color, for sure. Maybe cut up some paint swatches and get crafty. I’d get her a Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and some gummies. If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that gummies, crafts and kiddos are the cure for just about any kind of sadness you can experience. True life. [“Real talk,” as Ernie would say.]

While there, I’d hug M, wrestle with Big D, then enjoy my third-to-last bottle of chicken wine with… Miss D. We could chain smoke cigs, laugh about goofy things and hopefully get to peep the stars/sky/moon for a bit. And the Koi! Even after our hang sesh, she could go be with her family and I’d probably tent-up on the front patio and hang with the fishes for an eve, getting to see the big clear sky. That place is like a vacation sometimes. No worries. All beauty. Nothing is mine to do or fix or clean or stress over. You know? Except when I break shit… ugh.

I assume at this point, with only two bottles of chicken wine left, that there isn’t much time either. I would try to find Ernie. I’d like to spend my last moments with her, if I could. I think she gets it, and I know, she is fearless. But she’ll probably have her own agenda. If she is too caught up, I’d probably just go to the ocean. Alone. If not with Ernie, I’d want to be alone. And wait for the end kissing to the beautiful sky and ocean with my last two bottles, coked-out, reading a book or something—also writing and doodling. Yep.

I must add, I’d be praying that this apocalypse would have NOTHING TO DO WITH zombies. Ugh, especially the fast ones like on 28 Days Later. I mean, it’s called the “Rage Virus.” Enough!

UH… HELL NAW. [Thanks to 28dayslater.wikia.com]



So there it is. Personal and semi-compact: my end of days. But here are some of the more comical and/or important responses I’ve heard thus far:

“I’d let out all the dogs in the shelter down my street.”

“I’d make some calls, apologize to a few people for some shitty things I did.”

“I’d unlock all of my guns.”

“I’d lie in bed with my husband, the dog between us. That’s it!”

“I’d curl up in a ball and cry.”

“Drugs. A lot.”

HA! Some of these are stellar. But…
Now, it’s your turn! How about you? Tell me things!
mt

Christmas Rant | Retail Woes, Ugly Blow-Ups & My Grinch-Sized Heart

I want to hurt people.

No…let me rephrase that. I’m not a violent person. Really. It’s probably hard to believe I could hurt anyone. Just look at me. I’m a four-eyed, sweater-clad twenty-something with a graduate degree in poetry. So let me put it this way: I want to hurl shopping carts at people—but not really hit them, just come close enough to send them running in the other direction, preferably out of the shopping mall all together and back to their cozy suburban dwellings.

It’s the time of year that gets me. I become loudly disgusted in humanity: prone to fits of Tourette’s-like cursing, erratic driving, and sometimes when no one is listening, I revise the words of popular Christmas tunes to sing about murder, prostitution and all-around mayhem. It’s cool. I would never do anything about it. It’s just a thought.

I know. I realize it’s a hell of a time to be ornery, especially for someone like me—noted to have an almost tragic “hippie optimism” and a deeply rooted humanitarian-style set of personal politics. But let me explain.

It isn’t the grinning array of elves and Santa knick-knacks, nor the multi-colored strands of lights outlining every house. In fact, I enjoy the décor. Well, all but those obnoxious ballooning blow-ups strangling the lawns of Greensburg. Talk about overdoing it. I thought lawn balls were lame. But now we’ve got puffy Snoopys and snowmen, carousels and over-fed Santas… Look, people, chances are if you’re a suburbanite like me, your green space is already limited to a patch of scraggly yellowing grass, maybe a shrub or two, but most certainly not enough room for a life-size team of googly-eyed reindeer. Just sayin’.

Thanks to the NYTimes.com for this pic.

I’m still trying to figure out the whys of this. What happened to me? What happened to my Christmas?

Retail is the most obvious scapegoat. I like to blame the years spent holed up in a 12 by 12 room, on-camera, counting money in a grocery store’s cash office. For years, it was nothing but me and seven endless hours of looped Christmas music (a day) counting someone else’s dirty money. I only ever emerged when called upon to handle extra-bitchy customers. More than likely, our system was declining their gift cards, or they wanted to return their holiday turkeys and hams before they had a chance to enjoy them. Hey, customers can be smart. They found them for two-cents-per-pound cheaper at Shop ‘N Save or Community Market. And I’m supposed to give a shit. Because now, I have to throw these things away. Yes, for public safety reasons, Giant Eagle automatically assumes all perishable returns—no matter how well they are sealed—were injected with cyanide or simply left to grow bacteria in your backseat for days.

“But wait,” a customer might point out, as I’m disposing of their 20-pound mistake. “Are you sure you have to pitch it? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. I just found it cheaper somewhere else.”

And yeah, this sounds heroic like maybe they even care that people are starving right next door, but even after I tell them “no-can-do,” they’d pocket their refund like the Scrooges they are and prance out of the door proudly, mentally patting themselves on the back for their two-dollar savings.

Replacements for “My kid made the Honor Roll!” bumper stickers (geekologie.com)

So I’m bitter, maybe. But anyone who has ever worked retail knows that people only grow nastier during
this joyous season. Good will toward men—my ass. It’s probably the stress of shopping, organizing, sending out horrifically worded Christmas letters bragging about their children making honor roll. Thank god my mom never sent out those letters. The most she’d have to brag about would be my growing pile of melodramatic poetry scribbled on notebook paper or how this school year, I wore something other than boy’s JNCO jeans and skater shoes.

But the closer it comes to Christmas, I do lighten up. I swear. It’s just the initial onslaught of a premature-Christmas that gets me: the over-eager shoppers barreling through aisles without regard to the human race, the limited parking spaces, the garbled holiday tunes playing over every store radio.

This year, it was November 7th when I got my first taste of it. NOVEMBER SEVENTH, people. C’mon. I hadn’t even finished my Trick-or-Treater-candy overage and already I’m bumping elbows with crowds of puffy-coated holiday shoppers fighting over gaudy, discounted tree ornaments, and all to Dolly Parton’s rendition of “Jingle Bells.”

I was just trying to buy some damn acrylic paint at Michael’s.

Christmas threw up… (Thanks alleewillis.com)

But it’s got to be more than my seven-plus years working at a grocery store. I think it’s the hypocrisy of it all. We’re supposed to be celebrating a holiday that imposes good values: kindness, generosity, and an appreciation of what we have, the simple things. Yet, there’s nowhere I can turn without catching a stark glimpse of Christmas—the twiggy wreaths hung on doors shiny with metallic paint and stuck Styrofoam birds; the phony LED icicle lights hung from eaves, glowing an aura so fake I can describe it no other way but “death”; and let’s not forget the screaming children everywhere, pointing and crying for the latest video game or Lego’s set.

Maybe more than all this, I’m pissy with myself. Because at some point, we all realize the sham. It’s not hard to sit there and point out the materialism, the chaos, the wide-eyed consumers scurrying for more coupons and sales flyers, but I do it too. Sure, I make many of my gifts, put more thought into them than I should, really. I refuse to buy gift cards and spend too much time trying to find the perfect gift. My idea of a Christmas horror story would be getting a gift from someone I didn’t anticipate and leaving them empty handed. How sad is that?

I don’t know what happened to Christmas for me or anybody
 else. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. Whether I want it to or not, it’ll come every year. And like the Grinch, I’ll stand at the edge of my mountaintop, or more aptly—my soapbox, swearing to myself, a little black heart beating inside my chest. I’ll watch the world frantically preparing for the season and think of hurling those shopping carts.


But truly, I’d like to believe that, like that same Dr. Seuss tale, if all the decorations and presents and roast beast were to disappear, the world would still be singing. But I’m not going to jail for grand larceny to find out.

*Christmas Rant from my reading at Awesome Books on December 8th, 2012.

This all said… Merry Christmas, everyone! [:
mt

Lights out on Greensburg: “Weirdo”

It’s not every day, or any day actually, that this girl goes to the bar. Um… The “Errybody-Let’s-Get-Fucked-Up” gene must’ve skipped this pool. Trust me. I’ve got enough bad habits. I enjoy being social and gabbing and laughing and getting rowdy; it’s just… I prefer it over a latte. Besides a drunk chicken gets herself into a lot of unsavory situations: reckless flirting, a false sense of invincibility, vomiting and [often by the end of the night] end-of-the-world weeping. And for the love of Titan, keep me away from my phone.

All this said, I decided it was time to shelf my need for productivity and join some friends at a bar downtown. My new pad allows me the ability to walk and so I thought I’d stroll down. A lot farther than I figured, but I’m happy for that little feature on my iPhone’s map app that allows one to route by foot.

So as I’m making the turn off of Main Street and toward Harry’s, an ambulance whizzes by and I make my decent into… complete and utter darkness? No street lamps. No neon bar signs. Even the stoplight is blacked out, hanging from its rope like three dark eyes glaring an omen. I stopped in the sidewalk and waited. Listened. From the unlit guts of another local bar came an outpouring of stumbling 30- somethings.

I hesitated in midst of all this, of course, but ambled down the hill towards Harry’s anyway. What the hell. It was definitely more exciting than what I’d been doing previously. When I got there, a few loud drunkards were rolling out the door, beer-in-hand, apparently just as excited. But guess what?! There was light inside the joint!

It was my first time at Harry’s and I must say, probably one of the most memorable bar experiences. Maybe it was because I decided NOT to drink after all [sooooo lame, I know.] But I really believe it was the setting: the bar lined with tiny candles, the shadows of people laughing an harassing one another, the group of new and old friends that I hadn’t seen for quite a while, and even my own thing I had going on—doodling by a wee flame, taking it all in.

The owner, in his attempt to razz just about every warm body at the bar, came over a few times to shine his flashlight on my doodle, snatch it from me and then proceed to show it off to everyone at the bar. But, at some point, this sweet, somewhat gruff gesture was followed by a “Damn, weirdo drawing pictures at the bar,” at which I cringed and got a little blue for a moment. But then smiled because I knew he was just being a jackass, but also because I was having fun and I didn’t give a shit, you know?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m strange, and sometimes it makes me feel 900x more alone. But most times it’s ok. And I realize the best strange is being strange with strangers. Ha. Make sense? Maybe it doesn’t. But I had a good night, even if the power never came back on. Probably because of it.

mt

Poem-A-Day Contest and Sandy

(WEATHER UNDERGROUND/ Associated Press ) - This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM EDT shows Hurricane Sandy over the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and moving toward the north. Farther north, a cold front moves into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley with showers and thunderstorms.
Thanks to The Washington Post [online 10.25.12]

Well, if you haven’t been touched by Miss Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a “Frankenstorm,” perhaps you have already begun a deep hibernation. That or you’re not an easterner. Either way, you’ve heard of it, right? Right. Because the news made it out to be apocalyptic, fetching a few items from the grocery store became its own sort of apocalypse. I’m still pouting because they were out of both my milk and creamer. And god forbid if we needed toilet paper at the time.

While I understand the cause for concern near the Atlantic, the rest of us, in-landers, experienced what was another not-so-uncommon rainy windy cold front. I suppose it could’ve been worse; however, the need for over-the-top adjectives seemed to insight more panic than necessary. OMGSANDYYY GO BUY ALL THE THINGS!!!11

At least we’re survivors. Yes. So. My heart goes out to those coastal folk, because those are the peeps who need the worry and toilet paper and water. If you have extra, send something or donate! Better yet, hit up your local Blood Bank. They could use the pints!

So, beginning tomorrow, I’m taking on a poem-a-day challenge for the whole month of November. Interested? Check out the deets!

If nothing else, I hope to get something from the experience. Chapbook irrelevant. I’ve always wanted to do the whole novel in a month thing, but this seems more my style!

Happy haunting boogers!!!
mt

Falling, fire trees & the Stank Bug Wars

So. It’s here. Fall. And finally we’re getting a taste of this glorious season—and I’m not just talking pumpkin lattes and pastries; though, I think I’ve hit up just about pumpkin-flavored treat this side of the Mississippi. The hillsides are lit up with every fiery shade imaginable, and for once, I’m glad to be a Pennsylvanian suburbanite. There aren’t many times you’ll hear me say that… Let’s face it: unless you’re glued to your careers or your families, most of us are forever planning our escape routes. It’s like one of those emergency exit maps on the wall, you know? I’m sure we all have them taped up in our heads.

We bitch about the cold. We bitch about the heat. And if there is any middle ground, it’s probably raining. So when fall rolls around and the colors pop, I think—just maybe—it’s not so bad.

But then again, the Stank Bug Wars of 2012 make this cooler weather a plight all its own: a battle of wits, perhaps, to keep these resilient, alien-faced troops out of our homes, our cars and, as of the other day (for this girl), our beds. Listen, folks, it’s no joke. These nasty warriors sport camouflage and a visible armor reminiscent of Zelda’s shield. It’s not bad enough they can fly, but these nasty bastards are running amok on stick legs with some ungodly self-adhesive properties, making them more than a bitch to remove from your clothes or your hair.

And if you think I’m being dramatic, I probably am. Bugs are an irrational fear of mine. Besides, according to Stink Bug Smackdown, they don’t DIE. Stinkbugs just HIBERNATE. In your house, people! If you don’t think this is a problem, then why don’t you come take mine with you, huh?!

Oh, and something delicious to remind you about, as my friend just so sweetly reminded me (you know who you are!), there is a recipe for a stink-bug-seasoned bean dip. Yeah, apparently these lemon-headed creeps taste like cilantro! In Bruce Leshan’s article on 9News Now, “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em,” you can find a recipe for Stink Bug Tacos even.

Shit, people… get on this train. You eat the bugs. They leave me alone. Simple.

I drew a little cartoon here. Can I tell you? I actually gagged whilst drawing the “unders.” Gross.

And I think that is about all for today. Up all night grading papers last night, spending my day working…still thinking about all the things I want to do. Such is life.

Hopefully you’re enjoying what is left of the season… sans the stink bugs.

What’s in a name?

Whether you jot it haphazardly in your day planner or use it to sign-off on important life-or-death-style documents, your name has a way of following you. Many of us dislike it. And why not? What a large part of our world, I feel, to be handed over some descriptor without choice. Imagine if it were a practical adjective or title that followed us our whole lives:

Oh, you know Rambunctious, she is always causing a riot!

or

Hey, Awkwardly Poetic, can you start speaking in a language I can understand?

I’m just saying.

If you are happy with your name, carry on. Read this in some sort of forced sympathy. I’ll take it. Still, I wonder—if you do enjoy your name, are content at the very least, do you feel as though it may have shaped your persona at all? Stereotypes are heavy; as much as we all try to refute them, equate them to ignorance or some sort of class issue, they exist. Everywhere. And who doesn’t hear the name of his or her ex and cringe. If you don’t believe that names carry their own social stereotype, type your tag into Urban Dictionary and see what happens. For instance:

1. Meghan 238 up96 down
Meghan is a talented and outgoing individual and is very charismatic. But be careful; she’s smarter than she seems! She’s great at listening and even better at giving advise. Plus, a Meghan’s always good for when you just need her to call someone a bitch. She’s a beautiful person inside and out & is NOT afraid to call someone out if they’re on her bad side.
Meghans are generally brunet with cute freckles
(Thanks to www.urbandictionary.com.)

Without editing this for spelling errors, I’d have to say this is pretty damn accurate. Down to the freckles. HA!

While the second definition reads:

2. Meghan 2235 up1696 down
Meghan is the name for a skanky slutty ho born to backwoods retard parents who cannot spell correctly.
You know that girl Meghan that lives in the trailer park? She’s a total skank.

OMG, did you hear?! Meghan once got eiffel towered at a party! hahaha.

i wish i were as great a whore as Meghan. it’d help if i had her tits.

(Thanks to www.urbandictionary.com.)

Well, I rest my case. And let me also take this moment to assure you that I do not condone any of the hateful, politically incorrect vomit above, but am using it to make my point. Perhaps the author of Definition #2 should channel her explosive passive-aggressive Internet Rage into more thoughtful facets of life—like her own damned writing issues.

Anyhow, back to my bigger point. Some of us refuse our names socially, keeping it tucked in-secret between the tight folds of our wallets, while some go a step further and have it changed altogether. But then there is that middle ground—the one I’m toeing, for instance. I do not consider it awful enough to change; in fact, I don’t even know to what I would change it! But I do know that it’s hard for me to identify with it. And the older I get, the less it means something to me. (Unless, of course, you pair it with my middle name and loudly yell it at an unbearable octave. You’ll certainly get my attention.)

Meghan is too girly, as it has always been for what I feel to be a pretty androgynous being. But now, it is young. Too young. More like that snap I have (somewhere) of a little girl in an Easter dress with white tights and a ribbon on her hat. Or the only snap I could find in a jiff (below.)

I was such an ugly shit. And probably cooking up some horrific plan for world domination. [;

So I’m asking—how many of you feel defined by your name? How many of you don’t associate with it completely? Tell me your name stories! Now! Comment!