Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ice Breakers

My friend Kaytlynn recently wrote about things that make her feel uncomfortable that totally shouldn't, all of which I could completely relate*.

*Follow her blog.  If you like mine, you will love hers.

The first of those things was ice breakers.  You know, those "games" that bosses, trainers, or orientation leaders use to start a group session in order to get everyone relaxed and acquainted with one another.

Ice breakers aren't too distressful for me.  My heart rate increases a bit as it nears my turn, but otherwise, I don't fear saying a sentence or two in front of a group of strangers.

Most of my anxiety comes from listening to the other people.  I can't stand watching someone crash and burn.

As a result, I find myself smiling in moral support as they sheepishly try to describe to the group their love for different types of shoes.

"My name is Katie-Lee and I love shoes," a red-faced girl says to the group, though she only looks at the discussion leader.

"I mean, I'm not like obsessed with shoes," she corrects herself.  "But I have a lot."

She's crashing.  And burning.

"Not, like, a lot of shoes.  But more than most people."  She shakes her head and then adjusts her hair, guiding it back behind her ears, as if that will put her back on track.

"I've been collecting them for a while, and I have so many that I don't really wear them that often, so they don't wear out.  And my feet stopped growing when I was, like, seven.  So I've had a lot of time."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Picking Up Dog Poop

Warning: The title of today's post is not a metaphor for anything.  The following post is literally about dog poop.  Almost entirely.  If you're not in to that kind of thing, might I direct you to greener pastures?  Perhaps click on one of my "popular posts" over there on the right.  Although, the one titled "Attn: Soon-to-be Uncles" talks about baby poop.  And the one titled "Penis" actually talks about elephant poop.  So steer clear of those two.  But everything else is poop-free, so you should be safe with those. 
*   *   *

"Time for a walk?"
It is almost always dark when I take Sadie for a walk.

Working nights, I don't see much daylight.  And as a result, neither does my dog.

So when we go on walks, not only do I need to make sure that I have a bag to pick up her poop, but I also need to have my cell phone for its flashlight app (which is really nothing more than a "turn-on-the-camera-phone's-flash" app). 

It'd be easier if Sadie pooped in just one place.  But she does this thing where the squats, looks up at me (every single time, it's kinda awkward), and then begins her business.  As she's doing it, she moves forward on the grass, using only her front paws.  She just dangles her back paws an inch or two above the grass, I assume because she doesn't want to step in shit.

As she shits and moves across the grass like a mischievous circus dog, she continues to shoot glances at me to see if (or make sure, I'm not sure which) I'm still watching.

And yes, yes I did just describe, in detail, the exact way my dog poops.

You're very welcome.

Needless to say, it is much more difficult to track down all of her little droppings in the dark when they are spread out over a large area, as opposed to normal dogs that poop, you know, in a pile.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Great Divide

Recently, I've been really getting into the mysteries of space and all that good stuff.  So I was excited to tackle this month's Dude Write Flash Fiction prompt, based on this image:

Here's my take.  Weighing in at 301 words, here's "The Great Divide":

*   *   * 

The image of the face on the planet that we call Mars was in their history books.

It was one of four potentially habitable places in our solar system where they had left evidence of their existence.  They had also built structures on the planet Earth and two of the moons of Jupiter.  Pictures of those structures could also be seen in their history books, next to the one of Mars.

We eventually figured out the mystery of the pyramids -- that they had been there long before the Egyptians and that they were an obvious signal.  More than a signal, they were a gesture -- an indicator jutting out of the ground and pointing to the skies as if to say there!  That's where we are.

More accurately, that's where they were.

When we finally developed the ability, we traveled to them, but most evidence of their existence had eroded, disintegrated, and disappeared -- a casualty of an incredible amount of time, like everything else in the Universe. 

Their planets were barren.  Potentially habitable, but barren nonetheless.

When we got there, we did not find their buildings.  We did not find their bones.  We did not find their history books with pictures of the face on Mars, the pyramids on Earth, or the ice sculptures on Europa that we would never discover.

The only thing we found on their planet were massive pyramids.  Large, impossible structures that triumphantly towered over the alien lands while everything else had crumbled.

The massive pyramids stood there, waiting for life to spring up around them once again -- not so that they could once again be revered -- but so that the life could evolve into something intelligent enough to realize that they were pointing to our sun, saying there!  That's where they are.

-Youngman Brown

Head on over to Dude Write to check out the other entries, and come back on Feb 22nd to vote for your favorite!

Dude Write

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anonymous Unite!

Last month, one of my favorite bloggers, MOV, wrote a really great post.

After reading a really great post, I usually leave a comment, telling the blogger how much I enjoyed reading his or her post.  In this fashion, I scrolled to the bottom of the post and began typing words of praise.

But as I was writing, I noticed the last comment that had been left by an Anonymous user:

After reading this stirring comment, I looked at the words that I had begun to type, and realized that nothing I said could compare.  Clearly, this Anonymous user had a better understanding of MOV's post than I ever would.

Not only that, this Anonymous user was polite.  I hadn't even thought to start my comment by classifying myself as a regular visitor and politely addressing everyone.

I felt bad for him.  He had asked everyone how they were doing, and not a single person took five seconds to reply.  I could see him sitting there, refreshing the page over and over again, waiting for someone to write back and tell him how they were doing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

(Packing) Heat

"You're the one who called late on a Friday night?"

He said it irritably, in a way that sounded stale -- as if he had said it over and over on his drive to my apartment.  He had molded, shaped, and rehearsed the line too much, and in doing so, it had lost some of its bite.

Therefore, I was still ignorant of the fact that this man hated me.

"Yea, sorry to bring you out in this weather on a Friday night.  It has been off all day," I told him.

"You should have called during the day," he said.  As he passed by me to go up the stairs, he added: "Like a normal fucking person."


I'm almost always shocked when people are mean to me.  It's weird.  My brain does this thing where it assumes that people are decent human beings.

Crazy, right?

This, on top of the fact that he was at my apartment to do his job, left me speechless as he trudged up the steps.  I mean, ever heard of professionalism?  When I called the 24-hour emergency number that I had been provided upon moving in, I assumed that it would connect me to somebody who would rather be doing anything else than coming to my cold apartment and trying to make it otherwise.

But this irritable?  Please.

He went to work on the heater, which was in my kitchen.  He didn't say much, other than the pouting, grunting, and cursing that you might hear from an inebriated sports fan whose team just lost.  Or better yet, like that little kid in Walmart whose mom just told him he can't have a toy that he wanted, but he's forced to stomp around behind her while she buys everything else in the store*.

Monday, February 4, 2013


"Gimme somethin'," he said to her.  "Just somethin' to work with, here."

He was shivering, kind of.  

Naturally, she thought he just needed a bump.

He'd been off the stuff for weeks, though.  He was shivering because being honest made his teeth chatter -- as if the vulnerable request of reciprocal love was of a freezing cold nature.  He needed to know that after the snort and fuck, her eyes saw into his soul, too.

"You ain't gotta beg," she said, cutting two lines.

And he took it; he was addicted.  Just not to the stuff going up his nose.

-Youngman Brown

Cue the song:

This is my entry to the 100 Word Song competition on Dude Write, where we write a 100-word piece based on a song.  Head on over to Dude Write and read what it inspired the other guys to write about.