Friday, August 29, 2014

Two sides.

Everyone knows that saying "there are two sides to every story." At least, most everybody in the English speaking world does. In my life I have also found that some of the best stories come from knowing the two separate sides and view points of one same event. I always find myself asking Peter's perspective on important milestones of our relationship together. I love hearing the other side of our first meeting, our first (and last) kiss before his mission, our wedding day etc. I probably always will.

One of my favourite two-side stories happened in March of 2011 when we were inseparable best friends. It was the Saturday afternoon on a long weekend. We had attempted (and been kicked off of) Haiku stairs that Thursday night/Friday morning, had a large birthday gathering at Waimea beach for our friend Brian's birthday, attended Azriel's mission call opening, and essentially just been going and going for two days on very little sleep. We were sat in our spot in my Hale's lounge (if you ever needed to find either of us, that spot was essentially a given for our whereabouts) doing homework. Actually, Peter was doing homework, I had placed my laptop on the desk and leaned my head against the back of the couch where we sat, claiming to just be "resting my eyes," but really was hoping I could sleep fast and deep before we had dinner. As I drifted off, my mind was in the scrabble of last minute thought dumping that occurs as you doze, you know, the floating extras of thoughts that dance rapidly around your brain, none of them very long lasting, and all of them fast appearing. One of these thoughts was Peter's name, probably because he was who was next to me, and I was indubitably, although I would deny it, falling in love with him.
Just as his name appeared in the forefront of my memory, Peter spoke to me. "Yes, darling?" He said, (I should have known we would get married, what 19 year old "platonic" best friends of opposite genders casually refer to each other as darling as often as we did?)
Startled, I jerked awake. I told him, "nothing," and got back to work.

As we walked to the cafeteria about half an hour later, I asked Peter about what had happened on the couch. I swear I had not spoken aloud, but as soon as I had thought the name "Peter," he had answered me. How could such a thing happen? Had I called his name? Had I reached forward without realizing it? Was he secretly a mind reader and had made his first slip up at protecting his superpower??

"Your name floated to my mind, and a second later you answered me. Did I say something out loud??" I asked him.
"You thought my name?" He questioned back? "Really?"
"Yes! And you answered!"
"Huh, interesting" he told me.

As it turns out, Peter doesn't have psychic powers. He told me we were sitting on the couch, me turned facing him as I tried to nap mostly upright, and he was working on a paper. As I drifted off I was silent, until suddenly and forcefully I called out "mmrrreeeggghhhh."
Think the sound a duck makes, but deep in the nasal canal and mixed with the sound one makes as they strive desperately to open a jar, or push out a stubborn bowel movement. Possibly both at the same time.
Surprised by this sudden and unattractive outburst by his seemingly sleeping companion, Peter answered warily, "uhhhhh, yes? Darling...?" Trepidatiously testing to see if I had suddenly had an aneurism or was possibly about to soil the couch we shared. Surprised I had woken up, and continued with my homework.

Peter found it so funny to know my side of the story that he enjoyed replicating my outburst every few hours for the rest of the day, claiming that was now his name. I mean, sure, every guy wants to know that when a girl thinks of him as she falls asleep she nasally replicates some sort of ugly bird mating call. Right? Right. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After reading this you will literally defecate.

I am a big fan of the English language. I am a fan of words and the power they have to create images, sensations, and emotions within a person. Technically, I cannot state accurately that I'm a fan of the English language because I am largely stunted in my study of languages, thus English is the only language I have an astute understanding and comprehension of.

One thing that I love is the duality of certain words. I am all about using words in ways that they are usually not used. Peter recently laughed at the way I compliment things, stating that calling houses "mighty"is not a general tactic of many. Funny sounding or not, however, I am not misusing that word. "Mighty" has many ways it can be used, let us take a gander to for some examples:

adjective: mighty; comparative adjective: mightier; superlative adjective: mightiest
  1. 1.
    possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size.
    "three mighty industrial countries"
    • (of an action) performed with or requiring great strength.
      "a mighty heave"
    • informal
      very large.
      "she gave a mighty hiccup"

adverb: mighty
  1. 1.
    "this is mighty early to be planning a presidential campaign"

If you ask the Google machine for the definition of "mighty," it even offers you a graph indicating the word's use from 1800 to now. If that isn't exciting, I don't know what is! Thanks to the internet, you can now select your vocabulary for exclusiveness or lack of current use and be a true hipster. 

One thing which tickles my feathers and makes me giggle is when someone uses a word that I haven't heard in a long time, or even better, when they use one in an accurate but rare way. For example, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald surprised me this week as I read The Great Gatsby and he chose to use the word "ejaculate" to discribe how a gentleman said a phrase suddenly. The author has used this term correctly, but I definitely don't read that phrase on a daily basis.
A new fun word you could try using is, "billingsgate." Definition: coarsely abusive language, as in, "Modern billingsgate betrays puerile imbecility of pundits" - (headline in the Rome (GA) News-Tribune, March 4, 2006). WOAH, SO MANY NEAT WORDS. High five to Georgia! 

Something I have a hard time keeping up with, though, is when a word is selected for the distinct purpose of bastardising its use beyond recognition. This happens often in slang and informal language. Take examples such as "sick" or "crazy" to indicate expressive greatness. Because I was once a youth myself, I am pretty fluent in their terms and colloquialisms, thus will attempt to give you an example indicating how both "sick" and "crazy" can be used to indicate a positive or pleasurable experience. 

Youth 1: Yo, dude. Wassup? 
Youth the II: Holla, my bruddah! 
Youth 1: Didn't I see you getting totally jiggy at Dylan's sick party last night?  
Youth the II: fer shizzle my nizzle, that was one crazy par-TAY. 

It would seem to uninformed onlookers that these two youths had attended a gathering filled with vomiting youth who also had escaped from a Psychiatric institution, but NO. Instead, both "sick" and "crazy" here are being used to indicate something which was close to out of control. 

These kinds of terms I often explain by assuming they have been formed in an attempt to express hyperbole and exaggeration. They are both extreme terms, and thus when used communicate an idea of extremeness. 

Here is when I condemn and put my figurative foot down. Why are we destroying the word "literally," and can we please stop it? 

  1. in a literal manner or sense; exactly.
    "the driver took it literally when asked to go straight across the traffic circle"
    • informal
      used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.
      "I have received literally thousands of letters"

My father, being a Linguist by profession, can probably tell me a long list of other words from the English language where the second dictionary definition completely contradicts the first, rendering it completely useless, but this makes me all sorts of angry in my heart and I'm much less educated about those words, so I am fighting for literally. 

If we go back to the term "sick" as being used colloquially to express something good or enjoyable, there is something very wonderful to help us in understanding its proper use: context and situation. I have never misunderstood someone in their use of the term "sick." "Literally," on the other hand, provides no context clues at all. 

If someone tells me, "she literally has three eyes," I would be immediately searching for a documentary on such an individual so I can learn the medical implications of such a condition. The word "literally" is designed to tell me exactness, so that is what I am taking from the things you tell me! There are dozens if not hundreds of words to express hyperboles, metaphors, similes, and other such situations if you wish to express someone has a pulsating zit right between their eyes. Try, "it looks as though she has a horn protruding out of her face, she probably won't be able to sleep on her front tonight without drilling a hole into her mattress first." Awesome! Through my education in social customs and the English language, I know that you are exaggerating! I also know you're probably not a very good friend, and I should avoid you if I'm breaking out. As soon as you add the term "literally," though, I have been trained to abandon all of my expectations of figurative language and remember that everything you told me is true. LITERALLY. 

"We need to set up a charity for this girl!" I will think to myself. "Why are people dumping buckets of ice on their head if this girl can't even SLEEP safely?! Surely some doctor somewhere has a cure!"  
Peter and I are still very much enjoying the show "Bachelor in Paradise," and there are a lot of poor "literally"s being abused and misused every episode. Our favourite has been "I am literally speechless right now." 
"But... but... but..." we stammer at the screen, "but you just had the speech words coming out of your mouth. You are speaking. Right now. If you were a cartoon you would have a speech bubble, and it would be full of words."  
Another girl told a fellow contestant, "you are literally killing me right now," and while I do not hope to be murdered, I have now decided that if I ever am faced with someone who wants to harvest my organs and begins to attack me, my last words will, nay, must be "you are literally killing me right now." There is literally no other way. 

Before we close, let us look at the title of this blog post. You may be screaming at me, "Melece, you filthy hypocrite, you LITERALLY just misused the word literally. I am literally printing off a picture of you as we speak so I can throw my own feces at it." To that I say, you may be crazy. Literally. Also, that I did not misuse this beautiful word, because at some point after you read this, you will defecate. I hope it is in the toilet, and that it is a positive experience for you, but it is true. Just as literally every serial killer in the world has drank water before killing, and literally every man in the world breathes air. 

Now I challenge you, my dear friends: go forth and use this precious word correctly. I literally dare you to! And may your experiences as you do so be joyous.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My only friends are internet friends

and I just can't work out how I feel about this.

When Peter was on his mission an acquaintance of mine found out I was waiting for him, and she eagerly embraced me into her world of MGs. My life would never be the same.

Missionary Girlfriends (MG) are this insane phenomenon and sub-culture which is booming and real, even if you have no idea of their existence. Essentially they're like mermaids, because they very much exist, just do so in secret. Mostly they function on Facebook groups, sharing stories, package ideas, and, most fundamentally. support for one another. Say what you will about these girls, spew percentages of the success rate of waiting, and offer suggestions that we're all no-life wannabes, but whether they are reunited with their men or not, I found the MG group to be a fundamentally and majorly decent band of girls, just looking for friends that they could share their experiences with.

For me I found instant relief in these groups. Peter and I had not dated prior to his mission, and it was very important to both of us that he serve a full faithful and diligent two years with no distractions from anything at home. With these basic rules of our relationship, I didn't feel I could openly discuss my love for Peter with anyone without being told I was dumb, or immature, or else simply boring anyone I could find to pine at. Suddenly, with my introduction to the crazy, passionate, and at times alarmingly scary world of MGs I had a worldwide outlet for all my missionary woes.

When Peter came home I joined another group, this time originally built for RMGs (Returned Missionary Girlfriends) and to facilitate discussion about the transitions from mission to dating, from dating to marriage, and all the things it contained.

I have now been in these sorts of groups for over 3 years, and it has been a strange and wonderful experience, an experience that I am still living through, but one that I just can't decide if it's time for me to abandon or not.

On the one hand, I have made SO many great fantastic life long friends through these groups and the subculture they have formed. I speak to two of them on a daily basis and miss them when I don't hear from them even though (and here's kind of the "other hand") I HAVE NEVER MET THEM IN REAL LIFE.

Over last Christmas I brought Peter to Utah, where my parents had recently moved, to meet the family. As a lot of these girls live in Utah, I set off to attempt to meet as many of my online friends as physically possible, and I was met with zero understanding from anyone I knew in real life.

"But what if they're 40 year old men?" my father teased me one day, and while I can understand that this is a genuine and real possibility in this world of the internet and lies (hahaha, jk. everything on the internet is true, I know that) that was never a possibility even in the fathomed-est corner of my mind. These girls were my lifelines, my saviours. They were (and are) girls who I depend on in every major moment of my life. I update girls on the internet more than I update my Facebook. Seriously.

So, (and while I'm not entirely sure if this constitutes a point, or if I even have a point, this is my attempt at one for tonight) what constitutes a real and worthwhile relationship these days?

Beyond Peter, I don't have any friends here in Hawaii. I always heard single people complain that when people get married they disappear off the face of the planet never to be heard of again. I even agreed with them because I had experienced it myself, but now as a newlywed, I often wonder how many times it happens just in reverse, that people write off us married fogeys as soon as we don our wedding gear. I suddenly find myself without anyone seriously interested in having me around them, forget being invited to things.

On the internet, however, I AM SUPER UBER POPULAR! I'm like an awesome B-list celebrity! Like, think of someone you once saw in a movie one time as a supporting actor to a supporting actor. You'd probably recognize their face, but definitely not their name, and it would take you a while to work out where you knew them from. Yup. I am THAT BIG on the internet. Okay, realistically, as big as their sibling that you once got to meet because a friend knew a friend, and you were like, sure! I'd love to meet the sibling of that one guy in Troll 2. So big.

Thus I find myself trapped in this daily struggle. I'm not going to let go of the friends that I have made, Hades no, those are my homegirls! I would never trade them in. Instead, perhaps it's time for me to attempt to deplug and search more fervently for a friend that is tangible as well. One I can see once or twice a week, rather than just stalk their Facebook profiles, instagrams, and blogs passionately, because as much as I love Peter, my jobs, and the endless amount of books I am now reading back to back like someone with serious biblio-dependency, I find myself so lonely and eager for someone to spend time with.

Three things I would like you to know as I end this blog post:

1. I am sorry that I have not been funny recently. That being said, I know only 30 of you are actually reading, so maybe you don't mind, but just like to hear me ramble. Thanks. I appreciate you.
2. I am taking applications for friendship and/or advice on how to make friends as a 22 year old married woman with multiple jobs who is not in school.
3. It is 2:19am and my neighbours are making bacon. It smells divine and I am proud of them for recognizing the importance of the meat regardless of what time of day it is. Bless you, neighbours. Now please share. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A day in the life.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Alarm chirps off at 6:20am. I promise Peter I will only press snooze once (but actually end up pushing it three times), I squirm blindly through our sheets to find him, and wrap my arms and legs around him like I'm a koala and he is my hobbit shaped eucalyptus tree. Yum. I smother his forehead in dry kisses before promptly falling asleep again, most likely drooling across his face as I do so.

When I finally do tear myself out of bed, it is 6:40 and Peter is in the living room. I find a bowl of cereal on the kitchen counter next to my daily pills which are lined up like ducks in a row. I munch my breakfast, swallow my pills, and chew my gummy vitamins. I am an ADULT.

Beyond the feeding, watering, and bladder emptying necessities, my morning routine in its entirety is wash face, brush teeth, get dressed, and walk out the door. Today I select a yellow skirt and white blouse which Peter says make me look professional and "purdy." He lays on his stomach, chin in his hands and legs kicking the air each morning as I dress, and I feel comforted that I have someone available to help select an item if ever a need arises. We talk in baby voices complimenting each other and making puns about my bra, ("hehehehe Boobstrap Bill") because we are socially talented and mature individuals.

For my 50 minute commute to work I listen to a book on audio that I borrowed from the library. I do not threaten any of the slow drivers I slug behind even though they are all RUINING MY LIFE by their inability to read the speed limit. I do not pick up any hitchhikers. I arrive to work on time and unmurdered.

My client Stevie (a name I lovingly give him because he is blind and loves his toy piano) is being a champ today, and happily works through both OT and PT services. Six trips to the bathroom, one uneaten lunch, two shi-shi accidents, and three tantrums later it is now the final hour of school and we are to join the rest of the students in Art. This is always the most strange and difficult tasks to attempt to engage a blind 4 year old in. At the request of my classroom teacher I have wrestled Stevie into holding crayons, markers, and pencils and dragging them across pieces of paper so that he can colour with the other kids. If you ever feel that you are performing useless or futile tasks at your place of employment, just remember that 5 times a week I attempt to get a blind boy to colour in the lines.

Today for Art we are given play-doh to squeeze while the other kids colour, and while I am grateful for the activity which can actually be enjoyed by someone devoid of visual capability, Stevie does everything he can to lay down on the desk and sleep. Tough patootie, doody pants. We JUST had nap time, you know? That hour and a half period where you wriggled like a recently shed gecko's tail and tried to bite me when I held your hands to sign and say STOP? Now you will squeeze the doh and like it.
He doesn't like it.
The little boy who I watch M/W/F after school just got the Play-doh Cupcake Factory set and it is the most glorious and beloved of any Play-doh set I have ever encountered. I want my own. It's been officially added to my Rich List. This doh that I force into Stevie's unwilling fingers is not cupcake doh, but it is scented, and I resist the urge to taste it, an urge that I think it best I keep to myself, yet ironically I confess later to the internet regardless.

When I get home I crawl into bed and let Peter do the grocery shopping on his own because I'm selfish. I am grateful I have him now, because in the years after my voluntary exodus from my parents' I have had many panic attacks within the aisles of Foodland, because I evidently do not know what I have spent the last 18 years of my life eating.

Peter wakes me eagerly at 4:30 because it is time for us to watch Bachelor in Paradise. Together we sprawl across our bed eating white bread and Nutella whilst we enjoy and judge the life decisions of a group of adults acting like 13 year olds. It is brilliant, and we ritualistically criticize and pause and rewind so we can fully maximize our viewing experience. The contestants of lurrrve spew meaningless words like "connection" "right reasons" and give us such beautiful quotes as "You are literally killing me right now" and "you know that feeling you get when you get that feeling?" Majesty. I cannot believe Peter and I have a functional marriage even when we DIDN'T meet on national television.

Feeling greatly nourished by our feasting and laughing we venture on campus to attend a workshop of the Jesters Comedy Troupe, a club I cofounded with my friend Dax and forced Peter to be a part of because we were engaged and I needed a treasurer. Even though I have barely anything holding me to this group - hardly anyone knows us really, and usually the workshops function as giant inside jokes  which are loudly yelled while Peter and I sit and awkwardly watch, I am determined to not be wrenched from my baby (which I conceived with a man other than my husband. DRAMA!) thus I am here. Playing Fruit Ninja with my husband, but totally here in every other way. As I've been asked to perform this coming Friday (yay!) I go with the cast for an additional hour and play so hard I'm dripping in sweat, which, I assure you, is even sexier than it sounds.

The rest of the night doesn't exist to Peter or me, because we are now elderly married and asleep by 10:30 every night. YOLO. Our night ends almost exactly the same as it began; I snuggle into my husband, slobber on his face for a moment or two, until I feel his forehead is appropriately dampened by my saliva, and then we each turn away from the other and search for sleep to come take us.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Poverty Games

**If you are a poor newly wed in the need of entertainment, or an intense fan of Petrelly (Petrece?) and want to emulate our lives through imitation, then this blog post is a How-To just for you!**

As Peter and I live on a tight budget we don't have a lot of store bought games in our home. Nevertheless, we are super creative people who can't be kept down by the man, so we play the games we don't have anyway. YOLO! Here are some of our favourites that you can play with only two players; perfect for date nights or for people who only have one friend, just like us.

Mancala is an African game of stones. That's what the internet tells me, anyway. Here are an outlined set of rules also found on the internet for those who have never played:
  • Mancala is played with seven pits per player.
  • Your pits are the 6 small pits on your side of the board, and the larger Kalaha pit on the right hand side.
  • Each player starts the game by placing 4 stones into each of their 6 small pits.
  • A turn consists of taking all the stones from one of your pits, and then dropping a stone into each successive pit in a counter-clockwise fashion
  • If the final stone is placed in your Kalaha, then you get another turn.
  • If the final stone ends in one of your empty pits while stones sit in the pit opposite then all of those stones are placed into your Kalaha.
  • The winner is the person with the most stones in his Kalaha
  • The game ends when all of a player's pits are empty. At that point, the other player places the remaining
    stones in her Kalaha.
We don't have a Mancala board, or rather, we DIDN'T have a Mancala board until last week when I made one out of an old egg carton and a bunch of tiny Legos. SUPER SIMPLE. I don't even think you need more guidance than that... Here's what our board looks like just incase. 

Stunning, right? Our big pits of points were just the carpet to the right of our sides.  
I'm assuming everyone knows how to play Battleship. If you don't know, rules are here. To play Battleship at home without a board all you need is to draw two 10x10 grids on your individual paper - X axis 1-10, Y axis A-J - which you cunningly hide from your opponent to make sure they're not a cheater cheater pants on eater. Pencil in where your ships are on one of the grids, and then continue play as usual. This was one of Peter's and my go-to games to play when we were long distance, seeing as the boards don't need to interact at all. SCORE. 

The Floor is Lava: 
Again, a game that I assume and hope all of you know very well. This filled many of our Friday and Saturday nights when we were engaged because we had no friends and usually we had my house to ourselves as my roommates DID have friends. To play, rearrange the furniture in your home, or just in your immediate playing area, to create new obstacles for each round. Once you have your arena prepared, you then take turns assigning your opponent to retrieve or place an item at a certain spot in the area. You CANNOT TOUCH THE FLOOR, because it is lava, as the game name indicates. Peter and I usually ruled that you could not use the same route twice in one game because we're hardcore and essentially olympians, but do what you prefer. 

Masking tape and small tokens of a uniformed colour (Legos, Bananagram tiles, pieces of paper etc.) create the perfect Checkers board. The last time we played we just used the tiles of the kitchen floor as squares and Bananagram tiles as checkers, one of us letter side up the other letter side down. Pretty much the easiest board ever, albeit a large one. 

Peter beats me at every game we play. It's practically spousal abuse. ;)

The Rainy Day Game: 
This game became to be and named because it was created on a particularly rainy weekend. We used Rook cards which have four colours (yellow, black, red, and green) and assigned a category to each colour. Yellow was Physical Challenge, green: Disney Quotes, red: Harry Potter Trivia, and black: Truth. When we recreated this game the weekend before our wedding with my sister Sharah we switched it up, adding the categories "take an embarrassing picture" and "spot the real trivia fact." The categories can really be whatever the heck you want, and you can use face cards too. Whatever ensures your figurative ship won't sink (get it? Whatever floats your boat?! bahahahahahahaha I am so funny to me).
In order to play, once you have decided your categories, you simply put the deck face down and take turns drawing a card, then completing the challenge attached. 
It's a really simple game. I feel like it doesn't sound simple... but it is. Here is some photographic evidence of how fun it is. 

Here we see Sharah completing "Take an Embarrassing Picture." The picture being her about to receive an intense swirly.
Physical challenge: with a pineapple on his head, Peter must dance and lip-sync to Best Years of Our Lives for my roommates

Granted, with poker you still need a deck of face cards, but chips are something you can improvise with. We generally use Uno cards divided into different colours and distributed as chips. Green = $1, Yellow = $5 Blue = $10 Red = $20. 

As you can probably tell, I'm running out of fun games that we play, especially ones that would be interesting to you. We also enjoy marathoning shows on Netflix, ordering Pizza, making forts, saying we are going to make a fort but then giving up before we start and watching Netflix instead, naked wrestling, shadow puppets on the ceiling above our bed, twerk-offs, gossiping, talking in weird voices, naked hugging, watching fantastic movies that are categorically awful, and planning our future as Rich People (it's capitalised because it's important). 

Marriage is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hitchhikers and my deep deep driver's guilt

The first time I hitchhiked I was 17 years old. I was living in Russia and taking part of the social function of Gypsy Cabbing, which is a unofficial system that effectively allows any driver who picks up a hitchhiker to charge them fare for their ride. As I am terribly unskilled in the language of Russian, the only times I gypsy cabbed was with friends, but it was never something that seemed scary or unsafe to me.

After moving to Hawaii I continued to hitchhike when the need arose. I find it a useful mode of transportation, albeit a difficult one at times. I've never felt as though I was at danger, and I am grateful to the people who are willing to stop and pick hikers up; many have helped me get out of transportation tight-spots.

Once you have stood and sweated while you hitchhike on the side of the road, you start to notice hikers when you are in the comfort of your car. As I drive roughly 80 miles a day M/W/Th/F, I find myself passing those with their thumbs out regularly. If I am on my way home from a job and it is day time, I will pick up hikers that I pass, but out of respect for my husband, my parents, and employers, all of whom would lecture me angrily for hours if I did so, I do not pick up men while alone in my car, and I do not pick up anyone at night. These rules cause painful inner monologues of guilt on almost a daily basis while I pass by, and usually I have to actively fight the decision to do a U turn to go back and get the person in need.

One day of recent past while I drove to school, I saw a lone figure standing on the side of the highway, arm outstretched. I had, just weeks before, hiked from that same spot when my car failed me one weekday morning, so I felt instant empathy and compassion for this stranger. As I came closer it began to rain, and my need to pull over and offer a ride became almost impossible to fight, however, I could see clearly this was a male hiker, and thus I knew I could not stop. He had a bundle at his feet, I assumed a backpack, and soon I was passing him, feeling such sadness for this stranger in the rain on the highway. Then I saw his backpack was actually A PUPPY and it was the saddest thing ever

No one who has a puppy could be an evil man! I thought to myself. He's in trouble and needs a lift! I should go back and get him. 
No. I can't. I don't pick up men. 
Now, Melece, the feminist part of my brain spoke up, that doesn't seem fair. That man cannot help that he has both X AND Y chromosomes. Are you going to deny him a simple neighbourly service simply because he was born with more testosterone than you? 
But he could attack me. People would definitely blame me for my own death. The headline would read, "GIRL WITH SEEMINGLY LOW IQ IS MURDERED BY KNOWN AX-MURDERER HITCHHIKER. DEFINITELY HER BAD." Plus, they'd have an awkward picture of me all over the news, and everything good I ever achieved in life would be forgotten and I would be forever the awkward looking girl who invited her murderer into her car.  
Women are murderers too, you know. 
Melece, I KNOW women are murderers too. I'm not stoopid. 
So maybe you should just stop picking up hitchhikers, then, you big fat sexist. 
I don't even pick up hitchhikers that often! I'm not stopping. When I do pick someone up I am helping them. I am SUCH a good person. 
Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, you dummy misandrist. 
You know what? Fine. I'm going to pick up that man and his puppy! 

But then, of course, I had pulled into work by the time this discussion was finished and the man was probably picked up by someone who isn't afraid of men and who loves puppy cuddles.

Peter does confirm that he would scold me if I were to pick up a man, so really what I am being is a good wife and my husband is the one who is sexist and anti-man. Thanks for helping my cognitive dissonance, Peege. You're the best.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This post isn't funny.

Which is terrible, because it's all about a man who was one of the most inspiring comedic masterpieces of our time.

I received a text from Peter during the last half hour of school today. My client had just had a meltdown over wearing an apron to finger paint in, and after losing his struggle and feeling completely betrayed by both me and his teacher, we were allowing him to take a break with a preferred toy on the floor. The text simply said:

"Darling! Robin Williams is dead. :("

I haven't seen a new film starring Robin Williams in years. I have never met him in real life, or joined a fan club in honour of him, yet this news knocked all the air out of my lungs and made the room spin a little. I felt completely foolish to feel like I needed to sit in a corner and cry over a man I had never known. The feeling grew even more intense and sickening still when I asked what he had died from and learned, "coroner says suicide by asphyxiation."

I finished my school day, then headed off to Kailua to my afternoon job where I watch a sweet little 2 year old boy who has a great love of water and geckos. In a quick scroll through Facebook during dinner time as my little boy ate, I saw my entire newsfeed dedicated to this one great man. I learned I was not alone in feeling personally harmed by his passing, or by his choice to do so.

Now, at home, as I tried to work on another blog post which I have been pushing through to no avail, I couldn't help but to wrestle with these tears that are making it so hard to see, or the fact that my heart feels so physically heavy. To try and understand and explain to myself why the death of a celebrity would hurt me so bad.

Here's my attempt at articulating: My childhood had moments that were defined by the talents and presence of Robin Williams. His voice has been familiar to me since I can remember, and I have spent hours watching and rewatching beloved movies by my own choosing simply because he was in them. I have quoted him and imitated him. I have revered him. His death alone feels like a beloved grandfather who was there for me every step of the way is gone. Yet it doesn't feel as though that is what really makes my pain. It is, in fact, knowing that someone who brought me endless memories of joy and happiness could not comprehend how important and beloved he was in this world. I feel regret. I feel somehow responsible that I was unable to return the favour of laughter to this great man.

I know that a feeling of responsibility is an unrealistic one. Beyond the fact that Robin Williams never knew I existed, suicide is not an act of selflessness. I myself have toyed only too dangerously with suicide, and I know that in those moments there is no one that I was thinking of, no one I was blaming, and no one I was hating except myself.

Know that if you are ever thinking that the world would be better off without you, you are most undoubtably wrong. You matter to someone, you matter to many, and your death would cause so much pain on behalf of all those who cared for you.

Right now I feel inspired by the pain I feel to do two things:

1) Be more active and open about being a friend to anyone I come across.
2) Become someone whose death, when it occurs, will make the world remember all the times I made their life better and smile.

Okay, well, I mean, like, don't SMILE smile when I die, guys. 
Cry a little bit. 
I just mean, think "wow, she was so [adjective here] and I will miss her" 

Because, from Zeus to Hades, I will miss Robin Williams. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Truth or Dare

One of my absolute favourite party games to play is Truth or Dare.

The funny thing is, when I offer this as a suggestion at festive gatherings, I frequently get eyebrow raises or eyeball rolls in return. Regardless, I can be very persuasive, even if faced with a room of nay-sayers, thus the game often commences and everybody has a fantastic time.

Maybe you too are sitting here trying to read this post but struggling because your eyes are straining over the effort of not rolling in a deep sarcasm spasm. If this is the case, then this entry, my friend, is dedicated to you, and The Problem of Truth or Dare. The Problem is, most people seem to have limited this beautiful masterpiece of a game into one truth and one dare, both in the halted mindset of pre-pubescent youths trying the "adult" (and sketchy) party life for the first time in their basements. The truth: "Who do you like??" and the dare: "kiss so-and-so on the MOUTH!"

As a seasoned Truth or Darer myself, I have not played a game which included either of these since I retired my first training bra. It is time for you to do the same, and embrace whole heartedly the beauty which is T&D.

The Truths 

First things first, Truths should avoid delving into love lives at all cost. Ultimately, no one really CARES who likes who, and if they do, that usually means your players don't want this truth to be revealed publicly yet. The art of T&D is being able to embarrass everyone a little bit, but by embarrassing yourself along with them. Therefore, don't ever force someone to answer a truth that you yourself would cringe if it was asked you (same rule applies to dares).
Think about embarrassing things, but do not ask "what's something embarrassing that has happened to you?" People usually repress embarrassing events so that they can function throughout an average day, without needing to go home and cry in their bed. That being said, embarrassing memories are the type which get burned into everyones' brains, so your function in creating a Truth is finding ways to discover these traumas, so that you can enjoy their stories.
Thus, what is something which has happened to you which was traumatising?
Good truths can be things such as:
  • Have you ever, in your teenage or adult life, messed your pants in public? Tell us the story.
  • What has been your most terrifying moment in someone else's bathroom? 
  • Have you ever been under anaesthesia? What did you do/say as the drugs were wearing off?
  • Have you ever used a word incorrectly to an embarrassing degree? In your first language or another? 
  • When did you first learn about sex? What was your reaction? (People usually have hilarious anecdotes about their 7 year old self first being told about the Birds and the Bees. I do (okay, I was 9).) 
  • What was the most embarrassing/painful/uncomfortable date you ever went on?
Another category of Truths goes into the hypothetical. These can be in "If" forms or "Would you rather" forms. Again, think outside of the usual. You want questions that will make people debate and think, and definitely questions that will make them cringe and laugh.
  • Would you rather streak naked through a crowded place filled with your friends and people you admire and have EVERYONE see, or, have your parents streak naked through a crowded place where you see, and you cannot close your eyes or look away?
  • If you had to add an extra limb to somewhere on your body, what would it be and where would you put it? 
  • Would you rather receive $1 million dollars once, or receive $50,000 every time you sneezed, but you also change genders automatically with every sneeze? 
  • If you could be in any movie what movie would it be, and what MINOR or supporting character would you play? 
  • Would you rather eat ice-cream flavoured poop, or poop flavoured ice-cream? 
  • If you were one of the Muppets who would you be? 
The Dares 

Dares are usually the more tricky ones for people to think up, which is a shame, because they also have the potential to be the best and most hilarious part of every game. Again, you want to focus on finding tasks for people to do which will be embarrassing and fun, but not humiliating or degrading. Think of things that people have to put effort into doing, because often their effort alone will be laughter ensuing for everyone involved. Adding time limits to tasks which need a completion can also be helpful because everything is a tad more entertaining when done in panic and desperation. Maybe that's why dating is so side-splitting... 

Favourite dares: 
  • Put something in your back pocket and twerk or dance until it falls out. 
  • Find lipstick and apply it to another player without using your hands. 
  • Attempt to lick your own armpit. 
  • Eat a food of another player's choosing without using your hands. 
  • In your best Gollum/Smeagol impersonation, attempt to seduce another player of your choice. 
  • Blindfolded, apply makeup or nail polish on another player. 
  • Perform a sock-puppet show of Lés Miserables or another lengthy and well known story. 
  • Pick the nose of another player. If no other player is willing, pick your own nose, and show the results like it is a piece of art and you are an art expert/tour guide.  
  • Trade outfits with another player and remain like that for the rest of the game. 
  • Lick the belly button of another player. 
  • Allow someone to post a status on your Facebook, or poke someone of their choice, your friend or not.

Tonight I spent time at a friends house with a group of fantastically creative people. They were not at all hesitant to play T&D and I am glad, because it was legendary. Hopefully this post will have inspired you to get out there and play yourself. 

I believe in you and your creativity.