Friday, December 10, 2010

Know How There are Things You Just Can't Make Up?

Part 3 of Sentience will be available soon, I promise, but it's not quite ready yet. So today I've got something a little different.

Sometimes, when you're writing, it's a bad idea to use real stories and just rewrite them as fiction. Even if it really happened, it's not as believable to the audience, and it can seem a little contrived. My life is full of these little incidents (one that was successfully used for a story in my short story writing college class!) and they've made me laugh when I look back.

My Dog Hates the Mailman...
Seriously. She likes coffee though, as does the other dog.

We Eat Lasagna at Thanksgiving...
And oysters at breakfast the day after Christmas. Make of that what you want.

My Painfully Normal (But Still Fun!) Family
There is seriously not a single quirk. My family has normal conservative Christian values. We live in a nice neighborhood, drive sensible, decent cars, and gather for warm fun at Thanksgiving. I'm the only one in the family who has ever had a non-natural hair color (It has been purple and blue before) and my brother is a "token ginger." My dad works with insurance, my mom's a nurse, and we have two mixed-breed dogs. We even have good relationships with our extended family. Spooky, isn't it?

Van Down by the River...
I don't live by a river, and I don't reside in any vehicles, but I do drive a 1992 minivan. My high school's gravel parking lot was quite the medium for leaving donuts and spinning tires and kicking up lots of dust. The CD player will turn off if you hit a bump too hard, the hatch is broken, and the driver side door won't close. I am proud to inform you that its name is Bessie.

Why I Can't Hate on the Twilight Obsessed...
Well, one reason being that I actually like the books. I mean, some people just need to relax, but otherwise, whatever. The other reason I understand their obsession? I was exactly the same way over Lord of the Rings from the ages of 15 to I'm not sure when. I had a soft spot for not vampires, but hobbits. (I think I wanted to marry Pippin. Or maybe Merry. See? It's like totally a parallel with Twilight, with two dudes to choose from.) When I went to see The Return of the King I used nail glue (super glue's slightly less permanent cousin) to glue the tips of my ears together like an elf or hobbit. I knew how to make my ears convincing because it was not the first time they had been glued. I got stares, but I felt like a genius.

Private School Was Pretty Cool
Don't go imagining Chilton or anything. We didn't wear uniforms (though mornings would have been easier...) and we had teachers who were more or less pretty laid back. Actually, I think Hogwarts enforced more rules than my school did. There were actually several times when we were able to convince my high school math teacher to skip teaching and talk to us about "life" (which was often a hilarious comparison of men and women, and an analysis of the differences thereof.) My 12th grade Bible teacher (it was a Christian school) was a touch paranoid and anti-capitalist, and my English teacher was a fan of Buffy. High school, as I remember it, was fairly chill.

Willy Wonka's Light Switch
I'll cut to the chase on this one. The light switch in my brother's room has the ability to, with one flick, cut power to my bedroom. It wasn't always such. My dad once rewired something and when he put it back (the correct way, truly), he discovered that someone who had previously owned the house had made the wiring function the completely wrong way. Imagine my surprise when, suddenly, as I'm minding my own business, the power seems to go out, leaving me in pitch black and rushing out of my room to find the flashlight or another member of my family, only to discover that I alone am without power. Inevitably, if someone is new to my house and has never flipped the light in my brother's bedroom on, they logically go directly to the switch, and the fun begins again.

The Sheriff...
This man was the sheriff of my hometown for around 30 years. In addition, his many supporters in town who planned on re-electing him a couple years ago declared their allegiance via large round magnets on the backs of their cars. These magnets had the sheriff's last name featured prominently in the center. Consequently, many a car in my town drove around with the word GAY in big red letters. I must say, it's not something you see often in the conservative South.

Books Is Yummy
My copy of Twilight has been laying on my bedroom floor for a couple of weeks now because I've been reading it, and every book I read is kept right where I can find it: underfoot. My beagle has also moved into the house because he requires constant monitoring due to his kidneys. Despite the health issues, Buster (real name, I swear) is still the curious little beagle he's always been. In addition, he's recently developed a taste for paper. When no one in the house is home, Buster is zipped up inside a collapsible kennel, wherein he has food, water and blankets and is pretty happy, or so we thought. Turns out, if Buster is left alone, he figures out how to unzip the kennel and get into stuff. So far he's gone after napkins and a packet of peanut butter in my trash can, but imagine my surprise just last night to chance upon a missing ad in the back of my trade paperback copy of Twilight. The ad is merely a black and white picture of the four books in the series. 70% of the page is now gone, leaving Twilight and Eclipse as the only books visible. (Apparently Buster shares my opinions on the first and third books being the best of the four, but I digress.) The opposite page also had a nibble in it. (Fortunately it's only part of a preview of New Moon.) The best part I think, though, is that the half-consumed page now reads across the top "Sink your teeth into Stepheni-" Looks like my sweet little beagle took the text quite literally. And here I thought dogs were illiterate. When I asked him to confirm his apparent consumption of my book, he didn't deny it. At least he's honest.

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