Monday, February 26, 2007

The undeniable anger...

~ Aiden stared out of the big dusty picture window overlooking the inky street in front of the shop. The wind had kicked up and the rain pelted the glass in furious spatters. The universe was angry, he could feel it.
Aiden turned his back to the window. Even if there was something he could do in the way of satiation, he very much doubted that he would expend the energy. He was tired of the game, the only problem was he didn't think he would be allowed to quit playing.
If it was possible though there was one person in the world that would have a chance of knowing how. Hannah Larson. If she didn't he doubted that anyone anywhere did.
The only problem with that was that Aiden was fairly sure of himself when he thought that if she knew of a way she would have told him about it long before now. She hated the game as much as he did. Perhaps more.
For the millionth time in Aiden's 27 years his soul pleaded with the universe for the answer to "Why?"
It didn't come this time either. Aiden hadn't expected it to. Answers to his questions didn't seem to be very high on the universe's priority list.
Aiden reached out and fingered a stick of myrrh in a basket on the nearest shelf. He jerked his hand back immediately and violently when he thought he saw the tiny dragon that decorated one of the incense burners blink at him.
Aiden shook his head and took a deep breath. He was cracking up. Positively cracking up.
And then it spoke. ~
~ From Renee's world

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oops, I did it again...

Actually it was intentional. I hosted SoF practice this week. Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise to me as well. Since my last time hosting I've had the thought that I'd like to give it one more go sometime, just because I think the first try was awful.
Now I could pick it apart and do some serious self criticism here but I think I'll try not to. (I'll save that for school work) What I will do is say that I am glad that I was willing to give it another shot. There is a ton of stuff that could be improved, but it's ok. The main thing that stood out to me was that I wasn't nervous and scared the entire time. What happened happened. I doubt I'll ever be a great host, but I'm ok with that. I really don't want to be. What I wanted was to be able to host without being paralyzed with fear and without feeling like a frightened bunny the entire time. A little bit of the time I'm ok with. That I accomplished.
And now on to the highlight of the evening!
As it happened the Crazy Monkeys, our improv "rivals", were having a show in the lecture hall next to ours. I got a kick out of that. But that's not the highlight! The highlight occurred after both of our respective shows.
We were sitting complacently at Applebee's awaiting our table when who should walk in? Did you guess a group containing several of the Monkeys? You're right!
I don't think that they saw us immediately, but ended up being seated across the restaurant (actually just across the abyss which is the bar area between the two raised dining wings.) Anyhoo, after we've been there a bit a waitress comes over (not ours) and asks who is 21 or up. A couple of us raise our hands, somewhat reluctantly. It seemed a bit odd. She says, "Okay, can I see some ID?" I kinda wanted to say no. After all, it's not as if I asked for this relationship, she instigated the thing.
Murmurs ran around the table about the Monkeys involvement in this. Could it be that they were sending over shots? I ask Benji if he had his lighter on him. Seeing as I wouldn't drink a shot I figured the least I could do is set it on fire and toast the Monkeys with the flaming glass from across the way. He didn't. And they didn't as it turns out.
What did happen is that Andrew (red hair, very funny guy if you ever have a chance to meet him) had their waitress send us over a pitcher of beer and four glasses for the four of us over 21. Luck would have it that only two of those four even drank at all and those two not in excess, but we still highly appreciated the gesture.
Right away ideas of retaliation began buzzing about. Ryan's idea: "Can we send them birthday muffins or something?" (I've never had a birthday muffin, but I would like to some day.)
We consult the waitress and she agreed to get a birthday dessert for Andrew (it wasn't actually his birthday, that I know of)(just thought I'd throw that in)(in case you hadn't figured it out yet) and let us know so we could go and sing to him. It was agreed that the emissaries would consist of the four of us over 21 and our Captain.
The waitress alerts us that our time is nigh. She has a birthday parfait (I've never had that either) with balloons festively tied to the handle. We grab up our beer glasses and troop in a line behind her to the other side of the restaurant, stand in a line by Andrew's table, sing happy birthday to him (all the while swinging our beer glasses like so many drunken Irishmen) and then turn and leave.
I believe that before we walked away he said thank you and we thanked him back but that was the extent of the conversation.
Like a well trained SWAT team we had swept in, done the job quickly and efficiently and gotten back out with ease and finesse.
According to the people remaining at our table they had applauded our singing and a table near ours had joined in. Either it was so bad that they felt pity, or they just got caught up in the comedic joy of it all.
At any rate, it was spectacularly awesome.
Andrew took his balloons with him when they left.

~ "We're pirates damn it, not beatniks!" ~
~ Ryan "T. Rex" Garwood, Captain of the Ship of Fools

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the not-so-good-but-still-kinda-fun-in-some-respects of times...

So some of you may be asking yourselves, "I wonder what activities Renee engaged herself in on this past Wednesday afternoon..."
Well, I'll tell ya.
Since the Great Snowstorm of 2007 my car had been lost to the world. Buried under a frozen mass. Trapped in an icy wheel lock.
Actually it just had a huge drift behind it. (Massive snow drift brought to you by your friendly neighborhood snowplow driver and your friendly neighborhood guy-who-parked-next-to-me-and-then-dug-out-his-car-and-piled-all-of-that-snow-behind-my-car-thus-making-the-problem-worse-for-me-but-allowing-him-his-own-selfish-ends.) And in front of it. Yes, there was no moving that baby without some serious quality time with a shovel. I needed groceries, but I didn't need them that bad. At least, that's what I tried to tell myself.
The milk ran out first. I knew it was coming, but it still shocked me. There's no preparing for that. One day you have some left, there on the door of the fridge, and suddenly, one cup of Suisse Mocha later, it's gone. Forever.
The bread held on longer, the end coming more slowly for him. He just seemed to fade away, a bit at a time. Almost like someone was taking slices out of his body...I have an alibi.
After that things just went downhill.
I'll not impose the gory details on you, suffice is to say that by Wednesday I had come to terms with the fact that the rations wouldn't hold out for much longer. Up to this point I'd been hoping that the snow would just melt off. In fact, it did, to some extent. About half to my estimations.
I knew what had to be done and I set out with determination in my heart and a stubborn glint in my eye.
After some eye drops and blinking about 50 million times I finally got that blasted glint out and was able to get to the job at hand.
My initial plan was to try to edge the car around the bulk of the drift (since the two adjoining spaces were empty) and avoid any burrowing. As it turned out even though I got it edged mostly into the next space it still ended up getting stuck on some ice anyway and I had to go in search of a shovel for a trivial amount of ice moveage.
God bless the Hawkins tool lending system.
I got it out.
The end.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On the road again...

Some of you may know that this weekend was roadtrip time for the Fools. "Where'd you go?", you ask, edging to the front of your seat. Well, I'll tell ya.
We drove up to SOG's hometown Hammond to do a show for the Towle Theatre.
It rocked!
It was a real theatre. It was our own show. It was not West Lafayette. People were paying to see us.
This is what I wrote about it on the drive home:

~ We're escorted into the back and down a long hallway. Shown where our dressing rooms are. We're then pulled immediately to see the stage. We're in a theatre.
The night is ours.
He adjusts the lights to our liking.
Back downstairs for warmups. We're nervous and jumpy. We're excited and scared. It's almost time.
We stand on the stairs waiting for our entrance cue.
Run Play 5.
An eternity.
We hear laughter from the audience. My captain looks over at me, grinning. He whispers, "Klaus is here, I'd know that laugh anywhere."
We're on. ~

And that's not the half of it! It was awesome. Our audience, though initially quiet and more mature then our usual lot, gave us good energy and good suggestions. The group really acted as a team. We got a standing ovation. It was amazing.

Something else I wrote on the drive back:

~ Have I met you before?
I feel like I've known you forever. You are exactly how I expected you'd be. Can the man and the myth exist as the same being? You laugh. I love it. It isn't cheap. It's the real thing. You feel authentic. I'd trust you implicitly. You are you.
I feel honored to know you. ~

And now I must be off. Ladies.

"I hope you enjoy your foods very muchly." ~ T. Rex as Rigaldo, the effeminate German waiter

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who'd have thunk...

...that getting pied could be so much fun?

So I'll admit it. I was skeptical when I was told that the SoF were going to use a "pie fight" to get the message of healthy alternatives to drinking across to the Recess with Rowdy crowd for the Student Wellness Office. (For a full report on this and other activities of the 9th please see Benji's write up. Yes, I'm to lazy to construct a complete overview for myself.)
I will point out some highlights though.
1) Toilet racing. ("Once this baby reaches 88 mph...")
2) Having my picture taken with Purdue Pete, even though his blank plexiglass stare and little football pad clad legs creeped me out just a bit.
3) Yelling "Supplies!!!" when Peace and Cowboy came back with our shaving cream (only to have to leave again when it was discovered that a bag had been left at Wally World.)
4) And finally, the actual pie fight. Let me tell ya, if you plan on getting into a pie fight, might I suggest having a loader along? I'm serious.
You have your paper plates in one hand and your can of high quality shaving cream in the other. You have to take a moment to actually make a "pie" before you can fight with it. During this moment (and the moment during and just after you pie a comrade) you are relatively vulnerable. Chances are you are going to get one in the face at this time. When you get one in the face you really have to take a moment to at least clear your eyes, if not your nose (breathing is a plus generally.) When you've got that cleared up (no pun intended) you are ready to start flinging again. But there is a problem. You are bereft of flinging stuffs. You have to take the time to make another pie!
If you had a loader (the equivalent of a semiautomatic) you could shave (haha, now that pun was intended) off valuable seconds, thus giving you the upper pie fighting hand.
In short it was a heck of a lot more fun then I thought it would be. I can feel your doubt. Try it. Get a few friends together and have at each other for a minute or two. It's awesome.

Speaking of awesome. Please, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, read this article by the Ship of Fools own Scott "Klaus" Parker. I swear it is one of the most hilarious things I've ever read. And be sure and click on his links. Cause they may be the punchlines to jokes.

~ "Come on kid, get out of the way!"
"I warned you!" ~
~ Peace as World's Worst Zamboni Driver

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More on Aiden...

~ Hannah Larson was old. She'd outlived her friends and husband. She'd outlived her son and daughter. She was getting close to outliving her grandson. Nobody really remembered her actual age, but it didn't matter. Hannah Larson was old. Very old. And she knew things. She knew things about The Boy.
In some small way she hoped that once he had served his purpose, and thus she served hers, she could finally die. Her grandson had never married. Once he was gone she'd have no one. No one in the world. She doubted that there was a person alive that could handle that.
Hannah Larson knew why God had created man. Because He was lonely. ~
~ I made this!
A Selfish Production

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The donor...

~ ...The questionnaire, though only 2 pages, seems long and arduous.
Have I been to Africa? No.
Am I on any medications? No.
Have I had sex with a man who had sex with another man since 1977? No.
He takes my blood pressure. The worst part in my book. I always feel like my head is going to explode.
I complete the survey and scrawl a signature. I'm immediately escorted to the interrogation cubicles.
Put this under your tongue. I'm doing a finger stick, it might sting.
I'm given a t-shirt. Cotton for blood. Seems like a fair trade.
It's not initially obvious that my levels of iron are normal. I'm forced to wait while my tiny blood sample is centrifuged.
The ok is given and I'm put in The Chair.
Squeeze this three times, hold on the third. Good vein you have there.
I perpetually expect this to be the time that I don't flinch and tense. The needle goes in. This is not the time.
Squeeze every 5 seconds.
I always find that disconcerting. I feel the needle move as I flex. I am expressly aware of the blood leaving my arm. It causes a bit of a strange dull ache. The nurse distracts me with small talk. It goes quickly. I have good veins.
Yes. A positive.
Go have a cookie.
Don't lift anything heavy.
Leave the bandage on for half an hour.
I am the only student there at the moment. Just about the entire 6 man crew address me by name by now. They seem inordinately concerned with my well being. Perhaps I appear pallid. I assert my autonomy.
No thanks, one juice is plenty.
I'm feeling fine, but thanks for asking.
After the obligatory refreshments I rise to leave.
Part of me stays.
45 minutes well spent.

Yes, if you haven't guessed already, I gave blood today (and got a surprise free t-shirt!).
I encourage all of you who are eligible to take the time to give blood. I realize that my description of it makes it seem worse then it is. That is because I have the habit of taking an everyday occurrence and writing it in as dramatic a way as possible just to exercise my literary skill. It's not that bad.
It really doesn't hurt, it really doesn't take that long, and it really could save someone's life. And you get a cookie for it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

His ghosts surrounded him...

...He walked through the halls of his house. It wasn't small, it wasn't that big, but it was most certainly empty. He heard creaking, he heard doors shut, he heard laughter. He heard another life.
He went outside for an armload of kindling and caught the slow creak of chain on wood. In the deeper twilight underneath the large maple tree the ancient swing swayed gently.
He sat in front of his fire, his chair pulled up close. The flames cast jagged shadows across his face. He moved closer. Closer to the warmth, closer to the light, farther from the shadows.
They say that no man is an island. It's not true.
His head slumped forward. He dreamt of peace.
His ghosts surrounded him...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Back during break...

...I had a dream. Like mine are most the time, it was incredibly vivid. When there is emotion in my dreams I usually wake up feeling them as strong as I would if the thing had happened in real life. That can get irritating if I can't exactly remember the dream, let me tell ya. But anyway, back to the story.
I won't tell you all about the dream. Suffice is to say at the end of it I was floating on my back in the water. My eyes were closed, I could feel the water gently lapping against the sides of my face, caressing my arms. There were no sounds to speak of but the whisper of the tiny waves. My entire attention was focused on that liquid.
And then it was gone. I have never in my life been so abruptly jerked from a dream. There was no gradual pull of consciousness. No juxtaposition of reality and specter. One moment I was in the water, the next I was completely aware that I was lying in bed on my side. I wasn't totally awake yet, but the dream was gone completely.
It was disconcerting. I didn't want to leave that other universe.

In other news this is my 100th post so, booyah.
If you learn just one thing from this blog I hope it's:
~ Never play leapfrog with a unicorn. ~