• Want a story created on the fly? I’ve got you covered. Please note, it’s going to get weird.

    I used to tell the kids stories before bed. Anna, in particular, used to love them. I’d start at point A and move to point B using a rambling plot that never made much sense until the story ended. But I never started the story with a plot in mind. I’d start with one character. Then I’d just build from there on the fly, speaking the words as my brain supplied them. My only restriction for a story would be that it couldn’t start with some starry-eyed damsel trying to get with some dude as her sole purpose in life because, nuh uh. Life’s got more to offer than that.

    JT started losing patience with my absurd stories years ago. He’s pretty grounded, and I’m quite the opposite. He’s still able to summon an appreciation for the ridiculous, especially when he is the ringleader, and, though his humor doesn’t trend anywhere near as dark as Anna’s and mine, he shows potential. I’m always glad to see that he’s kept some of his appreciation for the ridiculous, because I know embracing absurdity and allowing my imagination to run wild has served me well over the years. It’s helped me get over some internal struggles, and it’s a key component of my ability to troubleshoot obstacles that block my path personally and professionally. It sounds like I’m making excuses for being flighty, right? But retaining the ability to consider that anything is possible, regardless of how absurd it might sound on the surface, is helpful in more situations than you might think. Relax. I’m not suggesting that unicorns are really a thing that exist in this world. Although they did show up in Anna’s story last night. And I said that the people who don’t believe in them were drinkers of lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid as children. It made sense within the context of the story. Ask Anna.

    As I alluded to above, the stories have started again. Anna asked me for a story night before last. Greenie, the caterpillar, was the protagonist. It was such a rousing success, that I told her another one at her behest last night. It was about unicorns. Did you know that they pee on humans? And that they eat brussels sprout leaves? No. Not brussels sprouts. Brussels sprout leaves. It’s a very important distinction. If you give them a whole brussels sprout, they will shoot you the evil eye, and they will load up the brussels sprout in their butt and shoot it out at you. It will hurt. Plus, it’s no fun to be hit with a brussels sprout that’s covered in unicorn poo which is red with sparkly, shiny [Ed. Note: Redundant. Dumbass. Love, You] flecks in it. Trust me on this.

    And now that you’re kind of horrified that poo was a feature of the unicorn story, I’ll get to my point. There is this thing called Rory’s Story Cubes that you really need to get if you want to compose some kick-ass stories. Check it out.

    The alien, the scary shadow (or is it a MONSTER?), and the sheep walk into a bar.....

    The alien, the scary shadow (or is it a MONSTER?), and the sheep walk into a bar…..

    So, here’s the thing. I could tell you the story that I’d compose from this, but I’ll let you in on a secret. When the alien, the shadow (or is it a MONSTER?), and the sheep show up, the story invariably goes very, very dark. Why is the sheep involved in the darkness? I have no idea. Somehow the sheep always ends up in a river because the alien is chasing it with a giant probe. And if I’m telling the story to Anna, I’m trying to avoid telling her what aliens do with the probe. It’s all very stressful. Look. My brain’s in charge. I just voice her content. So, make up your own story. Have fun with it. This game rocks, and I haven’t even tried it with alcohol. Please report back if you do.

    August 22, 2015 • Family matters, Featured, This makes me happy • Views: 34

  • My Favorite Albums: Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes

    I played this album constantly in high school. And it’s still in rotation today. How’s that for a ringing endorsement? I love every single song on this album, and it would be nearly impossible to single out a favorite. Therefore, favorite album status.

    August 16, 2015 • Music • Views: 39

  • I should probably stop texting people. Or maybe interacting with them, period.

    When you get a bad review from one person, you know enough to discount it. Maybe a second person echoes the sentiment. You think, “Hmmm, I’ve heard that before. Thanks for your input. I’ll take it under advisement.” But when you hear similar statements from more than two people? It’s a bit hard to dismiss what they’re saying. Therefore, it appears that I’m not so good with the texting. Which is odd. Everything’s fine by me. Sure, I appear to be having an entirely different conversation than the person on the other end. But at least it’s a sociable event. And I think it’s nice to have that quality time. Maybe no progress is being made, if there’s progress to be made. But whatever. I don’t often have an agenda when I’m texting people. It’s more of a “Hello.” Or as verbose, random and rambling as I tend to be, it’s more of a “Hello. How are you doing today? I’m fine. I saw a turtle on my walk today. It was walking. The turtle, that is. Slowly. The turtle was walking slowly. I was walking fast. I think I’ll have some watermelon. Did you see Focus? I love Will Smith. That man is all kinds of hot. It’s probably time for a browser cleanse since I can’t find that juicing article I bookmarked anywhere. Do you find cheese to be a weird food? What I mean is that sometimes you feel fine after eating it, and sometimes you just feel like you want to launch a grenade at your stomach and be done with the whole thing?” Yeah. That’s a mess for anyone to attempt to untangle. And that’s about what it’s like. It’s actually worse, if I’m honest. Matthew says that I’m famous for starting a conversation in mid-stream leaving him completely in the dark as to what I’m talking about. For example, when we received our tickets to the DMB concert, I texted Matthew to let him know that we were all set. Except it was more like I texted him to tell him this long story about my interaction with the FedEx guy and his opinions about DMB and concerts in general. And the text conversation started like this: “Knock on the door. When I opened the door, I couldn’t help myself and I said, “Yay, our DMB tickets.” And he said, “Yeah, you never hear about them anymore. They’re not popular anymore.” Somebody’s a sourpuss, huh? 😏” Matthew was like, “Whuh?” Because, context, and end result = DMB tickets? But I was more interested in telling my story about the conversation that the FedEx fellow and I shared than in actually sharing any useful information. And I know this to be true in other interactions as well, since I’ve heard this from other people, too. I have no idea why I do this, but I’m helpless to stop it. I do it on the phone as well. People call me. I answer the phone with some sort of sentence that NEVER begins with the polite and customary Hello that people expect. It’s typically an enthusiastic launch into a topic of my choosing which is unfortunate for the person who has called me with their own topic already in mind. And they can’t really derail me to address the topic they’ve already picked for discussion as I’m almost manic with purpose. It’s bound to feel rude to squelch that kind of enthusiasm. I think I’m already an eccentric old person. And I’m not old enough to be eccentric. Wait. When does eccentricity hit anyway?

    August 14, 2015 • I have issues • Views: 100