Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Can't Decide if it's More Satisfying to Freak Them Out Accidentally or On Purpose

Yes, I really said that today.

I was in Spanish today (shock! I've only been in that class twice a week every week since the beginning of eternity!) and feeling bored because I love Spanish, so I study ahead, so when the teacher covers the material it's difficult to give her my riveted attention. (My life is hard.) Also because at this point in the class everyone was going up to look at a print-out of their grade that she had put together for us. I was first, so I had about fifteen minutes of nothing to fill with boredom.

Boredom should be transported in armored trucks and labeled with warning signs. It always gets me into trouble.

One of my classmates, a semi-friend I will never see again when the semester is over, was standing in front of my desk. I was staring at her. Not on purpose to see if she would stare back (I do that sometimes, but not with semi-friends), but just because she was there and I was bored. She finally looked at me and said "What are you thinking?"

Usually I think about what I say before I say it. But if you hit me with a question when I'm bored, all my self-editing sub-routines are turned off and I'll automatically tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in all its nude glory.

"I'm thinking that you have very pretty eyes."

(Did I mention that there should be warning signs?)

Everyone (okay, only the few people who sit near me- everyone else is smart enough to be on the other side of the classroom, in case I turn out to be contagious) shouts "What!" Including this classmate that I just (I think) complimented. She mumbles something like "Okaaaay" and holds up her planner as a shield between us. Definite freaking out going on.

At this point I am definitely not bored, and I go into emergency damage-control mode.

"Well, I've noticed that blue eyes are usually shallow, but yours are dark on the edges and pale in the middle and it makes it look like they're glowing, and I like that." Damage-control is successful; she lowers her planner and thanks me and then tells me about her children's eyes, and how she thinks my eyes 'have character'. My eyes are occasionally pretty when they feel like it, so I thanked her, and then it was over, and despite this stern lesson I went back to being bored. (Maybe warning signs wouldn't be effective after all.)

I told the Teacher about this, and she laughed at me. Then she pointed out that 'you have really pretty eyes' is actually a classic pick-up line, and she probably thought I was lesbian. Which totally didn't occur to me until she told me.

It's very hard to appear normal when you've missed out on all the childhood training everyone else gets in the public school system.

The Teacher asked me if I was going to ever tell a woman again that they have pretty eyes. She should know better than to ask that kind of question by now.

"Maybe. It depends on whether I actually think so."

Random Post-script 1: I resisted the siren call of m&ms three times today! I feel like I should get a medal of weight-loss honor or something.

Monday, April 26, 2010


(WARNING: If you are chronically allergic to tales of horror, woe, mismatched gardening gloves, mighty and fearsome hunters, and, yes, snakes, skip this post.)

The title is slightly exaggerated. It was only one snake.

But it was four feet long and as thick around as my thumb, so I feel entitled to some exaggeration.

This epic tale begins with our two mighty and fearsome hunters, Macavity and Deuteronomy. They used to be two cute orange kittens, and now they aren't. Funny how that works.

A few weeks ago, Macavity actually caught a garden (non-poisonous) snake and brought it to the porch where he could play with it and it couldn't get away. (This is a very cat thing to do. One of my cats once brought a baby barn owl into the house for the same reason, and seemed surprised when we didn't praise him for it.) There was a flaw in his master plan: we have a gap under our front door that's about three-quarters of an inch wide. Where do you think the snake went?

So five days later I'm walking down the hall and I see the Principal's belt in the middle of the floor. That's kind of strange because he either wears it or keeps it on his dresser, and anyway I thought his belt was wider than that. So I slow down to look at this belt but I'm still walking. And then my brain finally gets its shape-recognition act together and lets me know that's a snake.

I stopped walking.

The snake was watching me very carefully, with its head raised up in the air to make sure it could dive for cover if I turned into a cat. To summarize, I called the Teacher and we spent half an hour trying to chase that snake out of the house. It did not want to go. She tried to lift it on a hoe, but snakes are somewhat slippery and they twist around when you lift them up so the snake just fell right back off. (We decided that if you ever see someone carrying a snake towards you on a stick, you shouldn't be impressed because it's a dead snake.) In the end the snake disappeared behind the bookshelves in the hall.

You don't realize how many snake-sized cracks are in your house until you start looking for them, and then you wish you hadn't looked. For two or three days we had no clue where it was. I kept my bedroom door closed at all times, even when I was only going in for half a minute to get something, and I turned the light on before I got out of bed. Even when your mind knows a snake isn't poisonous, your body doesn't care.

We located the snake in the main bathroom before it disappeared again, and I put a sign on the door saying "SNAKE IS HERE" just so people would keep it closed. We shut the cats in there, and when we let them out they looked smug and there were smears of snake blood on the floor, but no actual snake. This was a problem because the main bathroom is the one with the laundry and the shower. The snake never attacked me while I was in there, but I don't think I've ever been so alert that early in the morning.

Finally, almost a week after I first saw it in the hall, the Teacher found it in the open in the bathroom, and this time she called me to take care of it. I put on my closed toe shoes and a pair of mismatched gloves and went in to take care of it.

It's surprising how philosophical you can become when you're looking at a snake. For instance, I came up with a way to prove that we have a soul separate from our bodies, but I'll go into that some other time. Mostly I was trying to persuade my left hand to grab the snake before it went into one of the snake-sized holes I mentioned. The snake started to slide backwards away from me, which I didn't know they could do. I made a grab for it, and I would have had it because it pinned itself against the toilet, but it's very hard to grab something when your hand is being insubordinate and refusing to touch it. The snake was moving very fast now, and ended up cornering itself in our towel shelf, and this time I did manage to pick it up because the idea of another week of constantly looking for a snake under my foot bothered me more than just grabbing it.

After that the story gets boring. The snake didn't bite me. I took it outside and released it into the wild far from our cats. The next morning I was able to take my shower in my habitual mostly-asleep daze. And after the Principal heard that the snake was gone, he awarded my bravery with an Amazon purchase of my choice.

And see, if I'd known that before I had to go stare down the snake, it would have been much easier to do. As in, I'm wondering if I should take the cats to where I put the snake to see if they can catch it and chase it into the house again so that I can get more free books.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We're All Crazy

In case you didn't already know.

The Principal acquired a beautiful nature picture a few years ago at a company white elephant Christmas exchange. He's had it hanging in his cubicle, but he brought it home a few days ago because he no longer had room for it.

The Teacher and I hung it this morning. She told me not to hang it too high, so I immediately held it as high up the wall as I comfortably could- about six inches from the ceiling. Then I lowered it, but it was too low. We played this game until she took over and showed me where she wanted it. Then I hung it .

It's very nice. Our living room is full of brown and cream, and the picture is full of neutral colors that somehow break up the sameness of the wall without clashing or looking blah. We all like it.

Too bad it's a picture of two mushrooms growing out of a large animal dropping. It will be interesting to see how many people actually notice what it is when they visit.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Uncomfortable Premonitions

One of my cousins is getting married. Since she's been boy crazy from about, oh, age thirteen, I'm really not surprised. It's sort of funny to listen to the waves this is causing in our family because she's only eighteen. (Wow. Never thought I'd put 'only' and 'eighteen' in the same sentence.) I'm not so concerned about it, because honestly, it's her problem and not mine and it's better to get married young than not to get married at all.

Pretty much during the same time period my cousin was boy-crazy, I was very firmly in the boys-have-cooties camp. (Disclaimer: I no longer believe boys have cooties. At seventeen, I'm a little past that. Now I just think they're from a different planet.) Over the years, I have made certain statements that could be construed as hurtful (if you were a boy and took me seriously, in which case you obviously don't know anything about me), dumb (if you were an adult listening to me) or absolutely hilarious (see last parenthesis.)

I wouldn't be too worried about this because I'm almost certain that whoever I marry won't be someone who knew me then. Except that I have a certain immature aunt (honestly, we don't have enough maturity between us to make one grown-up, responsible person, so we share and take turns being the adult; it works for us) about whom I have some suspicions.

I suspect that she has been keeping a not so little list over the years of all the anti-boy, anti-romance things I've said. I suspect that she's hoarding these innocently-spoken words of mine to turn against me when the time is right (ie, when all the planets are in alignment and I somehow get a boyfriend).

On this list are things I said when I was eleven. And twelve. And thirteen. And fourteen. And, cough, maybe fifteen. Perhaps, cough cough, when I was sixteen as well.

I furthermore suspect that on that list will be this particular misquotation: "I think love makes your brain rot because look how stupid all these people are acting." (Spoken while watching a romance. I don't recall which one. There may have been more than one.)

I think my aunt is a menace and ought to be locked up. For her own good, of course.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Lone Survivor Returns to Tell the Tale

Sadly, it is not a tale of success. The last time I did a 24-hr comic challenge I deliberately chose to tell the story of Eddie the Combat Worm, because there's no way to mess up drawing a worm. (Hey, if people can tell stories about rabbits and frogs, why not worms?) This year I took the challenge to the next level by drawing (gasp) people. With hair.

Hair takes forever. If it's black, anyway. White or blond hair isn't too bad.

Anyway, I burned out at 17 and 1/2 pages. And watched lots of silly anime. And had conversations with my friend along the lines of "Wouldn't it be so cool if someone got brain damaged in an accident so that they couldn't make new memories so they got a computer chip planted in their head to record everything for them? What if someone hacked your memories? That would suck" and "What would you do if you were a cannibal vampire and all the other vampires were after you?"

Oh, and I had chorizo with egg (con huevo) because my friend's mom is Hispanic and amazing. And there was a cookie. With sprinkles. And maybe pizza, but I admit to nothing.

It was a very happy 24 hours.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Challenge: Will Any Return Alive?

I don't know about Any, but I plan to.

This is your prior notification that tomorrow, at 10 o'clock, I will sit down to wrestle demons and angels (angels are wrestlers too; just ask Jacob) and drive the gentle muse before me with iron-tipped pen as I embark...

That sentence is way too long.

I'm doing a 24-hr comic tomorrow. If you don't know what that is, it's where you draw 24 pages of comic in 24 hours. I'm going over to a friend's house to do it with her. I wouldn't be at all surprised if my main character murders her main character in the process. 24-hr comics strain even the best relationships. Besides, it'll be my best opportunity to avenge that time she wrestled me off the couch three times in a row. I can't wrestle and am therefore obviously not an angle.

On a side note, read this. If you don't get it, look at the date. If it's still not funny, that's okay. I'll love you anyway.

On a more urgent side note, watch this. For context, Suzie and Joanna both work for Janet Reid, a literary agent as interns (I think that's right). And really, it's the soundtrack that makes this movie. Especially the last four seconds.