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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Aftermath

My wife always says Easter is her favorite holiday in the "candy" category. About a week ago, I asked her if she'd "blown her load" on getting her Easter candy fix. I knew the answer would be NO, and it was: "Oh God, no! I still need more jelly beans and peanut butter eggs and all kinds of shit--I'm going to Walgreens!"

Well, now we have been basically satiated, but we're not finished with all the candy. Knowing my sister's candy-eating prowess, and that she has two small daughters, I assumed there was probably lots of candy there, too, and maybe some fighting over it. I decided to write them a play involving all the Easter candy I could think of.

It has been confirmed that the gist of the scenario is dead on, but my characters are calmer and more civil than the actual toddlers... still, I can say: BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Frog in a Pipe

Beefy treefrog sheltering in a PVC pipe. He scooted downpipe when I started eyeing him, but I found that when I covered the opening completely with the camera, the interior was lit by sunlight coming through the pipe--eerie vortex effect achieved.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Down with Garfield

If you've lived more than ten years on this planet, you may have figured out that the least creative, least surprising, least mind-taxing comic strip in print is Garfield. If you have made this assessment, you will be pleased to know that I began boycotting Garfield as early as 1983. Years previous, in second and third grades, I’d finished a few of my friend’s Garfield collections and felt comfortable with them. However, by grade 5, Garfield was an altogether too-accepted running dog of grade school mediocrity, and I was rapidly souring on it. Mrs. Hampton, my teacher, had Garfield and Michael Jackson plastered on our classroom’s every surface. They became a one-two punch of Orwellian brotherhood–”join us in predictable vapid loyalty to Mrs. Hampton’s mainstream tastes or just sit there deprived of fun.” Stephanie Long and Michelle Hawkins rubbed Teacher’s shoulders while I fumed. Garfield was not funny, and Michael Jackson was not cool. I wasn’t joining. Our big rewards were Garfield stickers and, for a recreational milestone after completing some big study unit or "fall quarter," we would be shown “The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller.” For Willard, MO in 1983, this was probably pretty progressive, but I was already poisoned. My only feeble resistance to their bogus mass-consumption was “not really being into it.”

Eventually this would lead to minor displays of “bad attitude,” and it finally culminated in my refusal to do a report on some topic because I felt all the good topics were taken by the students who were in the fold. When confronted over why I failed to complete the assignment, I said, “Because I thought it was a buncha shit.” This got me put in the hallway with, among others, Richard Peck, the mean kid who once pushed me down on the playground and ripped my favorite corduroy pants. So began the corrosion of my conformity, and my bitter, near-everlasting gobstopper of virginity.

Thanks Garfield, you unfunny piece of shit.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yardwork Archaeology plus Defensive Snake

Ancient Cartilaginous Duckling Unearthed

Yes, it was a weekend that demanded yardwork galore, which in my yard means fighting vines. While pulling some out of my hedge, I unearthed a crumbling ducky portion with the bleached color and translucency of cartilage.

Then I ripped up a root and flipped a garter snake into play. I grabbed it to make sport of it, as one must do with a little harmless snake. At first it was cute, so I decided to get my phone and take its picture. Then the trouble began. I'd held it for 20-30 seconds before it started to excrete a stinky defensive juice--enough that it was dripping off my fingers, so I didn't want to step inside for my phone. Looking around for a bucket to put him in, he got mad and started striking, so I wussed out and dropped him. Then I flipped him outside and scooped him into a styrofoam faucet cover, got the phone, and started taking his picture.

That was when I discovered that the garter snake's natural enemy is the iPhone. The snake started gaping its mouth and striking at every slight movement of the phone.

 Maybe the reflective logo or the lens look like predatory eyes. Either way, after getting juiced with all that stinky brine, I was determined to take a cool picture. I tried a few times to shoot him in mid-strike, or even with his mouth coming over the lens, but with the delay of the photo snap, I would have been tormenting him all day, so I finally dumped him out and let him go.