Confused

On Garbage

So I’ve decided to finally finish and edit my novel from NaNoWriMo. Just…

It’s complete garbage.

I didn’t make it 5 words before finding something I disliked, and wanted to vehemently cross out in bright red ink, like slashing a terrible monster or the like. It’s my worst nightmare come true, it’s 87 pages long single spaced, and I would rather print it off to experience the catharsis of burning that piece of $%#^.

10 year old kids can write better than this absolute tripe. It’s like watching a car with a bent wheel try to move, only to have the one side of the car lift and fall like some shambling Igor.

The bonus here is that, at the very least, I can tell it’s garbage.

It’s also telling that writing this abomination took a month, and after having spent months teaching others how to write basic forms of stories in a variety of uninteresting and curriculum mandated ways, I can look back on this thing and tell that it would take much, much longer to edit. Multiple months, to be sure. Five, if I had to guess.

Hulking is not a descriptor I would use for most novellas, but the one I wrote has earned it. Not because of deep, heavy hitting content. It’s also a novella, so not size. No, the hulking bulk comes from the pedantic, terrible pacing and ridiculous attempts at tension by focusing on the wrong parts of the story.

Focus on character would have been much better than focus on environmental factors. I was trying to write a video game, but it’s worse than that because video games present and environment for a player to interpret, and this story rams it down the reader’s throats.

Not to mention all the ‘edgy’ gore, the attempts at horror, action best described as a play by play on a football monitor. Clunky doesn’t begin to cover it, like a blanket for someone who is several inches longer than the motel bed.

There is much work to be done; if it can be salvaged at all. My Dad always could find uses for good quality trash; just the other day, while he was visiting, Dad picked out several doors, hooks, and shelving units that others had thrown out. To him, these items were still useful, helpful.

Some things, though, are just trash.

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Pressure

i think I’ve figured out something that has been bothering me for some time. It’s a helpful thing to know, but it’s an ultimately shallow reassurance. 

I performed a lot during my undergrad: or at least I felt I did. I played euphonium in the wind ensemble whenever I could, culminating in about 6 years of play with that group. I’ve done a lot of performance work on the side, where I’ve done game casting and personal, self published work. Most people would think that someone who has done that kind of work for about 7 years now would be good at handling pressure. 

When performing, there’s always a sense of pressure. You feel stressed: like an egg with just enough force to put you on a breaking point, but it’s the spots where you can handle it. Where you are designed to handle it, even, trained to through years of iterations and luck and work. But you do it and you emerge kn the other side either broken or reborn, never anything in between. 

I usually ended up in the reborn category. I might have played badly or messed up somehow, but I always got to the other side with very few scratches. I would like to say I didn’t feel pride in the work, only in the process; that would be a lie though. I’ve felt plenty prideful of some of the things I have done, marking them like ticking little boxes on the checklist of my life: did you finish this? Yes. Did you get laughs? Check. Did this constitute a life moment? Why not? I spent time on it so it obviously will be a success: check. 

Every moment where pressure had a foothold I’ve looked at it as a personal test; like having the red key for the red door. If I didn’t make it, well it wasn’t of much consequence, since I could double back and get the key later. 

Now that I’m in the UK, things feel different. 

There’s pressure, per usual, but the pressure is far more than having the red key for the red door. Instead, the pressure is one of sink or swim, a primordial struggle where one survives and breathes fresh air on sandy ground or one drowns, their memory only surfaced as a cautionary tale for the young so that that they don’t repeat the same mistakes you did. 

Being in the UK is a pressure unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  The egg analogy from early is the same, except that the pressure is coming from all the wrong places and I already feel like I’m cracking. I know this moment in my lifetime, and the few moments after it, will make my life more bearable or a living hell where I have to struggle and fight for every second of time I can find for myself, let one anyone else I want to keep around in my life. 

I am staring at the  curtain in my room. It’s a deep, opaque black that lets no light through. Even at night I can see the shape of it, breathing in and out as the wind passes by my open window as if it was some shade, a ghost and a harbinger of the worst to come. My stare is consumed by it as I imagine the horrible things that could happen to me this year, but most shamefully that I come back home having not succeeded at what I tried to do. This time, there’s no doubling back for that key. I swim, and start a career which lands me I a life where I have control over what I wish to do, or I sink and come home, only to owe everybody everything and have no means of paying them back. 

The pressure is on, and I can feel it.

The King is Dead

Today, a king has died.

I first met him when I was 10 years old. He was a tiny ball of fur, black with a white stripe down the middle along his belly. He was curious, and friendly, and got along well with his siblings. He was adorable, and my brothers and I instantly fell in love with him.

We named him Oreo. Not very original, but it suited him.

As he grew up on the family farm, it became evident that he was the smartest in the litter. He knew his name, and came when we asked. He was a crafty hunter, only matched by his somewhat psychotic sibling, Boots. He adored being around people. At some point, we decided we needed a house cat. Oreo was that cat.

He didn’t live inside the house though. We let him out as often as he liked, and so he became very social with the neighbourhood cats. I always liked to imagine he was stalking and hunting with his little pride of cats while he was away. When he came back, several of his posse would come back and wait for him while he ate.

He was such a bad ass that dogs were often afraid of him. Between him and a golden retriever puppy, he assumed dominance. He fought off angry german shepherds. That cat was strong and proud, and nothing would take him down without a fight. He was truly the king of the neighbourhood.

He wasn’t always in the city. We used to bring him to the cottage. Because he was unused to cages and didn’t like them, we would let him roam around the car. One minute, he’d be on our laps: the next, my dad would be shooing him away from the dashboard. Most of the time, he was content to get attention and sit on the dash where it was warm, and thankfully out of the way for most of Dad’s driving.

The last time he went to the cottage was when I was 14 or so. He decided to hide on us when we tried to bring him back to the city. It took us almost 2 hours to catch him, between about 10 people looking. On top of that, he was ornery and upset during the trip back: we decided that was going to be his last trip there.

We brought him back to the farm every once in awhile, but those visits soon stopped: the rest of his litter, and even his mother Liquorice, had all started to go missing: killed or become strays. Regardless, we didn’t want the same happening to Oreo, so we stopped bringing him.

When I was about 19, Oreo began to get sick inside the house. Dad wasn’t happy about that happening on his expensive carpets, so the decision was made to send him back to the farm to live his days out. Unfortunately, barns are hardly cat proof, and when our neighbour went to feed him, he escaped.

We thought we would never see him again.

About 6 months later, after a Canadian winter, my brother and I were working, moving lumber. We hefted a particularly large log when we heard a noise. We had no idea what it was, so we listened. We heard it again, and it sounded a bit like a raccoon. A third time, and we were incredulous: raccoons don’t meow, and all our cats were dead. There was no way both of us were hallucinating, so we went looking for the source.

Defying every expectation, the King was still alive: nothing but skin and bones, minus a good number of teeth, and smelling like a ragged corpse but… still alive. After some coaxing, and a little bit of food, Oreo came out of hiding. Just like was in the past, he was extremely friendly and happy to see us. He even Remembered Steely, and rubbed up affectionately with the beast. I wonder to this day if Steely knew Oreo was alive all this time.

The problem presented to us was that Oreo would not be allowed back in Toronto; but there was no way we were going to leave him on the farm. This is when my brother Sebastien came to the rescue: because he was relatively independent and living in Ottawa, he would take care of Oreo with his girlfriend, Megan.

After driving to pick him up, and then making the long trek back to Ottawa, Seb put him through the vets. A few thousand dollars later, Oreo no longer had worms, was no longer sick, and was about as well as could be expected from a 10 year old cat with the feline version of AIDS.

From then on, every visit to see Sebastien and Megan was a visit to see Oreo. He hated the cute bandanas that the vet would put on him. He demanded your attention when you were watching a movie. If you were sleeping on the air mattress, he would join you (though I suspect it was more because of the air mattress than the person, but I digress).

This year, he went blind in one eye. Months passed, and Oreo was still the same cat. Then, two weeks ago, age hit him right in the sweet spot.

FAIDS has kicked in with a vengeance, and diabetes had robbed him of his sight. His inner ear had gotten messed up, causing his sense of balance to become completely screwed up. Instead of spending most days sitting on chairs and pretending to be human, or getting chin scratches, his day by day life became a struggle to find his litterbox and his bed.

He was confined to a single, but large, room for his safety. When Sebastien came back to Toronto to help my dad out, he brought Oreo with him. I watched as he spent his last days trying his hardest to meander around my dining room, his incontinence causing me to feel angry, and then guilty. This wasn’t the cat I remembered.

What I remembered was a proud, powerful cat with sparkling green eyes and a fierce sense of intelligence. A strong lion: and the sleeping sack of ever diminishing skin and bones was nothing like he was. I became angry, thinking how this could have happened. I then felt guilt for judging a creature who had no business being judged: he was living his life the best he could.

So I cleaned the floor, and I pet his now bony spine. He didn’t even have the strength to meow.

Today, I left with a little goodbye, thinking I would see him tonight. I left to go see a friend I hadn’t seen in some time, and have a good day. I made a grave mistake, as Oreo’s condition worsened: a terminal tumour threatened to cause him unbearable pain before he passed.

Sebastien, braver than I would have been, made the tough decision of giving Oreo a painless passing, a sweet sleep. I can imagine me being there, looking into his unseeing eyes as the light of life dimmed. I can imagine what it would have been like to wish him goodbye one last time, and thank you for being such an amazing friend. I imagine I was strong for him, and held him one last time like I used to so long ago.

I did none of these things. I was oblivious, and by the time I got home, it was done. Oreo was no longer with us.

I owed him so much, and couldn’t be there for him when he needed me; once, when he needed a new home, and once when he needed to go. I don’t think I will forgive myself for a long time.

Regardless, Oreo was the best cat I have ever known. Sweet, intelligent, and confident. I love him. I will miss him.

I am sorry I wasn’t there Oreo. I’m so happy Sebastien and Megan were. I am so happy that, with them, you were able to have a long and happy life. I’m sorry you had to go. I understand why you had to, though, and I’m glad it was peaceful.

The King is dead, and a little piece of me died with him.

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Well that was a surprise

OHSHIT

I will not lie when I tell you the following:

I had COMPLETELY forgotten two things. First, that this blog pressed to Twitter; second, that this blog subsequently pressed to Facebook and my Tumblr. As a result, I totally typed a post that was about as emo as a sad clown convention and it was posted to the world.

Smooth moves, Ahab.

Initially this discovery was followed by fear. “OH NO MY VIEWERS CAN SEE MY EMO SIDE” I thought. “THEY SEE MY WEAKNESS.” My thought process came to the conclusion that this was about as awful as it could get, and so I tried to delete any and all traces of my emo-tastic shame, the same way that most people try to mop up a murder. Needless to say, it had about the same results, which means to say, none at all save for a lot of guilty looks coming from my general direction.

But hilariously enough, the post got more views than some of my videos. In the space of about 4 minutes. That is both sad and amazing, since I feel I put a lot of effort into entertaining in my videos, and that post was meant to be a whiny bitch, and despite that got more exposure.

I figure I might as well keep writing then, occasionally, whenever I’m feeling offbeat or sad about something in real life. If you haven’t noticed, I’m about as natural in front of a camera as most people are trying to conduct an interview, which means to say that I feel like there is an actual level of perfection that needs to be achieved. When I write, I tend to flow out onto the page, and so a very different image results from it.

If you are curious to see that image, who am I to stop you? SlowWolf? Bah, not enough e-fame to do any ordering around anyway.

Welcome to my personal blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however brief, even it’s less than a second or so. Seriously. It’s okay for you to just… wander away and surf elsewhere. Might I suggest my YouTube channel?

-Phil

5 Minute Short Story: 2 Men and a Wall

A man walked by his favourite shops as he always did. First the bakery, with the sweet smells of succulent confections drifting by him still as he passed the deli. The sandwiches there were amazing, stuffed with ham and beef.

And normally the third stop was stopping by the wall. There was a wall separating the deli from the next building, a library of sorts that the local university made good use of. There was something different this time though: there was a man standing facing the wall.

The walking man, named Jeff, stared for a second. Why on earth would the other guy do that? Standing in front of a wall. Its silly! Suddenly, the man started smacking his head against the wall.

Jeff ran towards the man. “Stop! Stop! Why are you doing this?” he asked.

The man gave an angry stare at Jeff. His unkempt beard and scruffy hair indicated that he was a student, and they were going through finals. “You don’t know, man. You can’t know. Things look really bad, okay? I’m going to fail, and it’s all my fault.”

“That’s why you’re smashing you head against the wall? The only thing you’re going to get is a headache!”

The student shook his head vigorously. “No man, this? I need this. Just go away.”

And what else could the Jeff do?

5 Minute Short Story: Lost Man and a Fish

He got lost.

And oh boy was he LOST. Just looking around the area, there was no way he wasn’t completely and astoudingly bereft of direction.

He stood at the corner of a street full of colourful clown, each with a bright red nose, multicoloured hair, and many multitudes of horns, prank flowers, and bowling pins being thrown around like money in a mall. The buildings were charming, small and brick with little windows and vitrines choc full of the latest goodies.

He had one thought though, and that it was he was lost. Where did the clowns come from? Who knows, they probably belong there; but that was the difference. He didn’t.

All of a sudden, a large fish flips its way over to him, and asks him if he can spare some change. Well, not to a fish no! He didn’t have any sand dollars. The fish took this news bitterly, however. The fish splashed angrily, but it had no effect.

He then woke up. What a strange dream, he thought, I could have sworn I was going to punch a fish.

The man, now aware that he was in bed, then promptly passed out once more.

Top Ten Reasons Why Moving In After Frat Boyz Sucks

VIKINGS DO NOT CLEAN

Just today (at the time of this writing, which is May 1st/2nd) we moved out of our old house, my friends and I. Our house, A.K.A the Castle, was a great place: but due to whatever reasons we decided to, we moved out into this new place.

This place was nearby, and was well known as an establishment for rockin’ keggers, the kind people actually paid money to get into. It was that house in the neighbourhood, and still we moved in.

Every experience is a learning experience. I learned that moving into a house like that was a $&$#ing terrible ordeal, and that, in short, sucked.

1. Moving sucks. Period. It could be for any number of reasons, like the fact you’re leaving your home behind, good memories, you’re being forced to by the mob, it’s being done at gunpoint, but basically because MOVING REALLY SUCKS.

If you’re moving at all, I hope you have a damn good reason.

2. They don’t know what a mouse is. Or how to find and get rid of one, for that matter. I’d like to say that the cupboards were spotless when we found them, but what really happened was the horrible smell of bleached mouse crap. It was inspiring… it really motivated me to kill it with fire.

3. There was a ceiling? Really? Cause I had no idea before I decided the music was so awesome I’d punch the ceiling. Now I’ve left my mark on something! I can die happy.

And he might.

4. And that reminds me there’s a wall… Cause I had forgotten that the walls aren’t made of Unobtanium and as a result might chip and break if I punch it with my fist.

Oh well, I think it adds character, don’t you?

5. Tape is for &$##*(@, You don’t use tape in a manly house to put up posters and such, no. Also, you can’t just use the built in closet, ’cause that’s for sissies. You want posters? NAILS IN THE PLASTER. You want a shelving unit? UP ON THE WALL, USE A BOLT GUN.

Oh, thanks frat guy. It looks awesome. My room could be a ^$#*ing CHAPEL because it’s so HOLY. I was thinking of installing some holes anyway. I’m glad you made up my mind. It spells class. In moderately sized holes.

6. I’m too lazy to take off my shoes. So, instead of taking them off and keeping the hardwood floor safe to walk on in socks, you’re going to stamp the dirt so hard into the floor that the wood goes from cedar to ebony eh? It matches the curtains you left me. Thanks. Oh, and now the tiles in the kitchen don’t slip? That’s good, I’ll be sure to walk around bare foot on the dust encrusted tiles so I don’t slip and break my neck.

Besides, I’d rather have foot fungus anyway.

7. Loving the long showers. And it’s kinda obvious. The grout at the base of the shower is gone. Arrividerci, great grout, sayonara. Au revoir. You’re now gonzo, bereft of existence you now litter my bathroom floor. If you didn’t provide an entrance hazard for rodents you’d be useless to everybody. The grout has now joined the garbage disposal, a malignant memory on a forgotten parquet. The grout is no more.

However, your hair is quite spiky. I approve.

8. Everything is a sticker surface, and double sided tape is a statement. I gotta admit, even I was impressed when I found a picture of Jesus made out of errand strands of double sided tape littering the inside of my new closet space, interspersed with irremovable tears of stickers. I called up the Pope to check it was a miracle!

I got an answer. Turns out it’s just an idiot who decided to sticker up the house with YOUNG AND RECKLESS. It’s a badass older version of YOLO right? Right?

What’s that smell? Oh, it’s angst stickers.

9. We decided we wanted a petting zoo. So we bred dust bunnies in such large quantities that it required not one, but two professional cleaning crews to actually round them up once we left. It was like hunting for diabolic and disgusting easter eggs.

They were big enough to kill a grown man. I named one Caernabog. It had sharp, pointy teeth, and required that we use our last remaining holy hand grenade.

10. I heard you like booze. So we boozed up your floor, we boozed up your wall, hell! We boozed up your ceiling. We knew that, upon entering the house, you would love to mop the floor AND the walls too! Also, I hope you don’t mind that we used the wine to make it look someone had been brutally murdered on the spot.

What am I doing?!

I have NO idea what I'm doing. Where's this space come from?

I have no idea what I want to write.

This is my second time writing that sentence tonight. It’s only showing up once because the first time I did that, I followed it up with a bunch of gobeldy gook that unfortunately resulted in my closing the internet and wiping my gobeldy gook.

The gook looked like this:

Qlskc aldic q;ekjcv w n erhois nfoiq dnf cmiqpwejf apsdochnqpwoeuzlkzlsp qpwo lkf qpoiusdpnbgpouqh dpo lupo uhapsod fqpowud fpaso qrjodhuf qpwoe rqpo wiuerhp as fpoqwopieruypslk,nvpqouh qp woiur hpoq whrfpq ofpo qwf q f pqowuhr poqhwpo fpq hwf 9qw 9f98 hqwpohf poq8whf qw8f hq f qpwf qwf pqw f8qw hfpo8qhwpfo8h psohdfpokjch  pqouhcolkjhlvmnlxzkjnv olijnsdlkqhpeourqh dkjvn lzkxihu pq l.

And that was supposed to represent my thoughts.

They still do, as a matter of fact. And I’ve typed an re-typed the next section at least 3 times with the aim of trying to create something to help my thought align themselves to something useful.

... precisely.

Totally hasn’t happened though. Which is puzzling, as normally when I tell my thoughts to do something, they do it. Or they get the soap. And by soap, I mean I totally mind crush them.

And I suppose that’s a pretty apt way to explain how life is at the moment, actually: it seems like although I do things, things aren’t apt to fall into place unless I glare at a problem with great disdain and displeasure. It’s a glare so sour that most things pickle on the spot; but nooo, life seems to find a way to go “uhh, how bout no?” and continues to do its thing regardless of what I want.

Upside, things that I do want are increasingly awesome! For instance, my girlfriend Kitteh and I made our anniversary, and neither of us have died due to bodily harm and/or mental onslaught! It’s pretty fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, I’ve been doing well in school too, for the most part. And my HoNage continues to get better, and remains a way to feed my insatiable ego and remind me that I am still fabulous and fantastic.

I don’t know why I feel at a loss of control of things; it probably has a lot to do with the preoccupation I have with my lack of money and independence, although maybe a crippling feeling of “WHERE/WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOOOOOOING?!” has a hand in this.

-Phil

WTF Saturday Night

A Quiet Start
A Saturday night, a long time ago in a city that is, at the moment, a few hours away, I was alone. Which, really, wasn’t so bad. I was kinda prepared for a slow night of gaming, reading, maybe some food and then bed. As I begin to meander to my room, I get a text. Expertly twirling my phone from my pocket, the text read “Hey can I come over? Is there anything going on?”

It’s from Kitteh! Well, I’m totally cool with her coming over, so I wrote back “Yeah, sure. Nothing’s going on though.” Didn’t matter to her, she came over anyway, and brought some drinks with her. And who am I to refuse drinking with a pretty woman?

So we’re having some drinks when the idea of watching a movie comes up. Considering that the rest of my housemates are gone, it means we can watch anything without bugging anyone. Not that anything would bug anyone, but it does mean we had free reign of my buddy’s X-Box to watch movies.

So far, seems like a quiet, fun night for just me and m’lady. That’s something I’m cool with.

Escalation
While we’re in the middle of watching Kill Bill, the rest of my housemates come back home with a couple of other friends. Not that I was expecting them, but I wasn’t sure when. So the atmosphere of the room went from laughing at the copious amounts of hyper high pressure blood to barely being able to hear the T.V at all. Noise everywhere! When everyone got settled though, we all started laughing at the ridiculousness that is Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2.

Pretty much this.

After 4 hours of watching movies though, people get hungry. And what a better way to be less hungry with a group of people than to go the nearest McDonalds? Just as soon as we have some home made Jalapeno Poppers.

McD’s, or that run in with Brigit
As we hop into the van to get to McD’s, we realize there’s not quite enough seating for everyone. So I volunteer to stand where there isn’t a seat. I felt pretty badass.

The McD’s is only about 3 minutes away by car, so it didn’t take long to get there. Much like Russian clowns exiting a clown car, we piled out of the van and got inside the McD’s.  It’s one of those newly renovated ones, with the McCafe and the many attempts to make the fast food joint look like a fancy upscale restaurant. Which is hilarious considering that I go there to eat the complete opposite kind of food.

As we get inside, we line up. It’s not a super long line, but it takes awhile to get through the people in front of us. As we get closer and closer to getting to order, a brand new group of people gets in line behind us. What kind of people? Well, it’s 2-3am on a Saturday night: drunk, loud, and dressed to… impress other students. In any case, there were at least 3 girls and 2 guys or so.

I was standing next to my housemate Steve. He quickly gets initiated, against his will, into a conversation with one of the girls. We quickly found out her name was Brigit, that she was “Soooooooooo drunk, lol!” and that she wasn’t kidding. At this point, Kitteh was finished ordering and she was waiting on the other side of a throng of people waiting to get food. I looked at her, smiled, and then froze as something began tickling my ear.

I’m a lot like a dog. If someone I’m comfortable with (Read: Kitteh) scratches my chin, or my ears, I really enjoy it. In this particular case, I was not comfortable with this. I couldn’t really turn around, and being not comfortable turned very quickly into being really, really awkward. From what I could hear behind me, and from Steve laughing next to me, it was Brigit who was scratching my ear with a $20 bill.

If I thought this was awkward, I hadn’t seen Kitteh’s face yet. I looked to my left, and I’ve never seen her so angry in my life. I mean, it wasn’t the kind of angry girls usually do when they just ignore the shit out of you either. It was the kind that definitely meant she wanted to kick some ass.

And so joyously!

It’s at this point that Brigit saw her face too. She immediately went from laughing her ass off to realizing “oh shit.” Now I know how scary Kitteh can look when she’s angry, but Brigit just booked to the other side of the line, and didn’t come back to bug people for a good 2-3 minutes. When she did though, she proceeded to poke the guy in front of me with the same $20 bill. When he turned around, Steve immediately looked at me.

“Phiiiiiil. Why would you do that?”

Well shit. It wasn’t me! I didn’t do it! Seriously! See the outrageously drunk woman behind me? She did it! And then he framed me for it!

Yeah, he didn’t believe me.

After ordering some McMini’s, I reunited with Kitteh. We started talking about Brigit and what the living ^%$# happened when all of a sudden Brigit started shouting.

“Like, oh my gaaaaawd! How did you know my naaame?! You’re psychic! You can read my mind! Ohhhhh miiiiiii gaaaaaawd! Why would you doooo thaaaat?!”

Steve is laughing his ass off, as is most of the rest of the line. Brigit is freakin’ out. Kitteh and I are just standing there, food in hand. What the heck just happened?

It’s at this point that Kitteh makes he way to the Ketchup for her fries, and that Steve makes his way over. Turns out that Brigit bet him he couldn’t guess her name.  Which she told us not 5 minutes ago. The rest from there was history.

We grouped back up and made our way back to the van, which took about 5 minutes to get everyone else’s orders. Once we got rolling, we saw Brigit and her friends trying to jay walk the street. What a perfect opportunity.

We screamed past them, honking the horn as much as possible. I’ve never seen women run in heels so fast in my life.

That was the last we saw of Brigit.

Headed Home
At this point, we headed back home (A.K.A, the Castle. That’s a short story for another time) and piled out of the van. At this point, Kitteh remembers she forgot her drink at the McDonalds, curses and swears, and then proceeds to describe exactly how mad she was at Brigit and it was being that angry that caused her to forget her drink. At this point, we were inside the house, and Ryan, my other housemate, decided to start trolling.

“How mad would you get if I started scratching Phil’s ear?”

“I’d hit you.” Simple enough answer. It’s at this point that Ryan started scratching my ear.

So as I was just standing there, Ryan scratched my ear. As he scratched my ear, Kitteh then proceeded to smack him silly, which evolved into a pillow war.

After about 45 minutes of provoking Kitteh’s wrath, I needed to walk her home. We ate our food, put on our coats, and left for her place. We talked about Brigit, the lost drink, the car drifting closer to our sidewalk, the dodgeball that had been launched from the passenger side window.

Wait, what?

As the ball flew uselessly beside us, we saw a campus police car start following the drive-by-dodgeballers. Kitteh and I btoh just looked at each other, shrugged, and contemplated how that car looked a lot like Ryan’s car, and that we’d keep the dodgeball as a trophy of our passive ninja-dodge skills.

Conclusion
Once I had walked Kitteh to her room, I got back home only to find the rest of my housemates laughing their asses off. Why? because Kitteh was right: they were the ones who threw the dodgeball at us.

Exhausted and exasperated, I went to bed. Quiet nights at the Castle just don’t exist.

The Gritty Truth About Valentines: Or What It’s About

So we’ve come to this time of the year again.

I can see it all now: the posts and tweets about being alone and needing a loved one, the cries of forever alone and the dreaded friendzone echoing loudly in the halls of the interwebs, clattering with calls of over corporatization and money grubbing, only to be mashed together in one messy, confused, and altogether pointless noise that makes up the loudest section of Valentine’s day.

Why is that? I mean, are there really that many people who are that upset with Valentines day?

How can so many people be so together in their alone-ness, and why don’t they seek to end it?

I’ve thought a lot about Valentine’s in the past: both from the perspective that it sucks in years past (cause, you know, “fuck being the only single frenchman on the face of the damn planet” is an attractive mentality) and from the opposite viewpoint that says it rocks (“I’m sexy and I know it” style). What’s interesting in both these perspectives is the assumption that Valentine’s day should be about couples only: if you’re not in a thing with someone, you dun goofed, and you should be ashamed of yourself for not being in looooove with someone else.

Assuming, of course, that love means being in love with someone you eventually want to do feather bed jig with.

There’s the problem: why is love always assumed to only matter if it’s with someone you want to potentially shake their sheets?

Here’s the way I see Valentines: Valentine’s day is about love. Of that there is no doubt; but why is it always about docking your submarine/equine mounting? There’s more than just that to love, isn’t there? For instance, most people have parents. Do most of those parents love their kids, no matter what? Ideally, one would hope so. For those lucky/unlucky enough to have siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, wouldn’t most of those people also love? What about friends? The ones that usually end up in the same stupid situations you do?

It seems obvious to me there’s a lot of love in the world when you look for it.

“But Phil!,” you might say, “what the hell do all those people have to do with Valentines day and me being so alone/angry/upset/eatacat/sad about the whole deal?”

I’m here to advocate an attitude change. I think that the people who think they are “forever alone” and friendzoned need to realize that Valentines is not all about the thrill of the bone, nor the opportunity to simply kiss another person. Or date. It’s a lot simpler than that complicated ^$#^@&#* we put up with ever other day of our damn lives.

Valentines needs to be a lot less about performing a mattress hoedown and a lot more about celebrating love as a whole. Celebrate ALL the love!

For all the people who don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend to spend Valentine’s with, I have a challenge for you. I want you to look at who in your life loves you, and celebrate that. If you can recognize that you are indeed loved, guess what?

You won’t go alone a day in your life.

If no one loves you, then I’m sorry to say the best I can do is link a picture of a dinosaur.

So at least there’s that.

Happy Valentines everyone! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go fill in the circles on a scantron sheet.

Seriously, I have a midterm. It stops now.