Saturday, January 28, 2012

UNLUCKY's First Review

It is difficult, sometimes, to properly review the work of a friend. There is always a concern at the back of your mind that you may either be: a) not critical enough, and make excuses for them just because you like them so much and don't want to look like a jerk, or b) overly critical, because your expectations match your regard for that person, and you will more than likely be let down because they weren't able to deliver.

Luckily for Unlucky, I didn't feel the nagging need to rewrite my friend's work, and it's easy, laid back style allowed me to read it for the fun piece of fiction it really is.

Unlucky does not pretend to be the next great American novel, but it certainly doesn't need to be. Initially the story falters as it attempts to set its tone, but once the reader recognizes the thought patterns of high school students, the way that they perceive their contained world as the absolute beginning and the end, as well as the way they build fantasies into the reality around them, this novel (novella?) becomes much easier to read.

Stepping into the setting of Unlucky is like simultaneously re-experiencing the past and finding yourself in some strange alternate reality. The hero of the story (as a hero he must be, considering the hero-journey he embarks on), despite all of his dopey charm and silliness, manages to pull the reader into his quest, absurd as it may seem. Riddled with the delicate nuances of teenage politics, as well as characters that are striving toward some sense of legitimacy with their observations, Unlucky is perhaps more genuine writing than many of the more acclaimed authors of today. I found myself laughing out loud as I followed Sean in his search for a stolen piece of Americana: A Britney Spears poster that he had found and taped above his locker. 

There is nothing too profound about this work, but again, it never pretends to be profound, and it is that honesty that gives Unlucky its value and charm. Though I would have liked to have gotten to know some of the secondary characters better, they all are just that, secondary, revolving around the universe in this work that is Sean Donner. With some more cultivating, this piece could easily have become something like The Big Lebowski, but as it is, it's a joyful story with an almost fairy-tale like quality.

Jennifer Hughes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Met You Once

Sometimes I come across as kind of a dick. Let me explain myself.

 I might be in a situation when someone wants to introduce me to a person or I have to meet someone. This is all fine... unless I'm never going to see that person regularly. What I'm trying to say is that I don't like having acquaintances. Whenever you see that person again, all they have to talk about is whatever was going on in your life when you met them.

Let's pretend for a minute, that I've ever said a funny thing in my life. I know it's hard but try. (That's what she said) Let's pretend that when an acquaintance and I met, I said something funny or memorable about my crippling fear of spiders. This is all the acquaintance knows about me. So months or years later when we  happen across each other again, acquaintance says something like, "Run into any spiders lately?" I don't remember our first conversation anymore; it's not that I'm mean or don't genuinely care about you, it's just that I have other things going on in my life; a lot of other things, actually.

It's just that conversations with acquaintances are always so awkward and I feel that they really much be awkward for both parties.

So you see, I'm not a total dick. I would just much rather be friends rather than acquaintances. Either that, or we can meet once and never cross paths again. It's all I'm asking.

Another thing I've noticed that's extremely awkward and therefore on the topic at hand, is elevators. Often times they are located in lobbies of buildings near a reception desk of some sort. So you walk into said lobby and what do you really have to say to the receptionist but "Hello." "How are you?" and "Have a good day"? Now granted sometimes you'll have to ask where something is or some other related question, but I'd venture to say that in most situations you're not going to have much of a conversation with this person.

So here's the awkward part. You walk into the lobby, say your hellos and how are yous while you're walking to the elevator. Then you push the button and wait in awkward silence for the elevator to make its way to you. I think elevators know this too, because they always seen to take longer when you find yourself in one such awkward situation.

Then when the doors finally to open, there's a single fat, hairy guy standing there, also going up seventy-five floors. So you walk in, because really, what else are you going to do? The elevator doors slowly close locking you in this small, cramped space with the largest man you've ever seen off a motorized cart at Walmart. Up you go in silence. It takes minutes you're sure and this guy is standing unreasonably close to you.

You try to think of something to say but all that comes to mind is, "This is the slowest elevator ever!" You can't say that, it will only make the situation worse, and so, the silence remains, until at last the doors open and you're finally free to go on your way making a mental note to take the stairs next time, it's more healthy anyway.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In Preparation...

On February 2, 2012 my first printed book will be available for you all to buy and read. With this date fast approaching, I found it to be a good idea to give the world a quick preview. It is the tale of a young man and his Britney Spears poster. Enjoy!


It would be a morning just like any other; nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just like every morning that came before, Sean was walking to his locker. The halls were crowded and he could hear bits of every conversation he passed. His schoolmates were sharing important stories from the night before, gossip about who had broken up with whom and who had hooked up with whom to get back at what’s his face for being such a douche. It all seemed unremarkable and forgettable, and that it was.
As he neared his locker, Sean spotted something truly remarkable; a Britney Spears poster lay forsaken on the floor. It wasn't of high quality nor was it very large, but it was beautiful in its own way. His dark brown eyes widened and sparkled as he stared at the abandoned poster. Sean had been a Britney Spears fan since day one and seeing this poster forgotten on the floor filled his young heart with both sorrow and excitement; sorrow that someone had treated it so shamefully and excitement that he had found such a great treasure. It was a confusing time.
So, he picked up the poster and carried it the rest of the way to his locker. Sean no longer heard the pointless stories of sleaze and infidelity; not even when they were about him. His mind was racked with the question of where his poster would be displayed. Upon arriving at his locker, he spied the perfect place in the wall between his locker and the ceiling. He decided that it would be best to carry his very non-athletic yet somehow all-American looking body on top of his locker and tape his newest obsession to the wall.
Finishing his work, Sean looked down the hallway and saw the assistant principle, Mr. Dahline walking towards him. “Aw Snap!” Sean shouted as he quickly jumped off the locker. It was against the rules to climb on the lockers and Sean liked to appear to be an upstanding citizen of the school.
“That’s just perfect.” Sean stated as Mr. Dahline walked by, “I’d do anything to make sure this poster stays here.”
“Would you even go on an adventure through the stinky bog?” Reid questioned.
Sean immediately stopped what he was doing, “What do you mean? You’re not planning on stealing my poster are you?” He paused and watched Reid closely as Reid struggled for something to say. When it was clear that Reid didn’t have the words, Sean went on, “That’s all the way on the other side of the school in the Agriculture wing. Why would it end up there?” “Well, someone might take it. I mean, it is a poster of Britney Spears.” Collecting his thoughts Reid paused, “Umm… oh yeah. You never know, some farm kid might take it.”
“Yeah, I guess. It seems really weird that you’d say that though. I hope for your sake that you don’t steal this poster. You remember how mad I was when you stole my Christina Aguilera poster; I put peanut butter in the door handles on your car, I completely colored your windshield in with green window paint, and lit a screeching fireworks bomb outside your house every night for a week. If you steal this poster, I’ll be even madder!” With that Sean closed his locker and went to class.
Before lunch, Sean went to meet up with his friend Marcus. Walking through the halls of the high school was always an adventure. Between the new couples making out, the old couples breaking up, people talking about who’s dating whom and asking, “What does she see in him?” the high school hallway experience would lead anyone who doesn’t belong there to the brink of insanity, if not passed it. Today was no different and on top of all of that, Sean was worried about the safety and security of his Britney Spears poster. He also wondered why tons of people weren’t giving him compliments about his poster. If he would be honest with himself, this lack of attention hurt his feelings, but he didn’t let on and down the hall he went.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thinking Of Something Funny

Everyday at work I have a lot of time with my thoughts. Believe it or not, being a Janitor doesn't take a lot of brain power. So I usually fill that time thinking about the characters in books I'm writing and how they'll react to the things I'm about to do to them. If I'm not thinking about that, I'm paying close attention to things around me, whether it be conversations people are having, strange things I notice throughout the day, or mother's rooms.

Today started no differently. I was going to clean shoe marks from the walls under desks in a whole bunch of offices, but then, life never let's you go a long with your plans, does it? You see, I was cleaning to the side of one such desk and reached over for a rag that I'd been using. Retrieving the rag and moving back to my starting position, I found the corner of the desk with the side of my head. Everything got blurry and I stumbled around a bit. The rest of the day was kind of a blur and now here I am at home wondering what happened to the day.

I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere, but I'm not sure where it is. If you find it, please tell me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Open Letter To... Maybe You?

I've been bothered over the last two or something weeks by the amount of people who are taking the things I write and joke about seriously. On this blog you might remember a post about the Mother's Room and in my most recent article in Y Fashion Magazine I wrote about Runway Models. The comments that followed both of those little bits of what was supposed to be fun, explain to me, often in simple terms (I'm guessing so my actually really smart brain will understand it) why the things I wrote about are the way they are. This isn't bothersome to me because I personally need everyone to think I'm funny, but because I'm hoping to use my grand sense of humor professionally. This is why I write all the time.

So today I was thinking about this and found myself coming to a startling conclusion. I realized that in both cases the people who think that I'm not funny or don't understand my humor are women. This is even more troubling to me, because I firmly believe and, in fact, know for certain that I don't have too much else to use to attract the lady folk. So if they don't even think I'm funny, what else do I have to live for?

So ladies, and anyone else who may have misinterpreted the things I've said ever, let us all be on the same page now, when I say that nothing I say in this blog and probably in Y Fashion is serious. I'm very intelligent and I know why things are the way they are, I know how the female anatomy works, and the only reason I ever write  about such things is to bring people joy.

I love getting comments on here. I love to hear feed back. Just please don't explain things to me; I already know and it makes me feel like you're not enjoying my talents that I live to share.

With that said, Am I the only one who has thoughts which make me laugh uncontrollably in public? It's kind of embarrassing. Sometimes I just start laughing and can't really explain why in such a way that it will remain funny.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ways To Get Up or Down

I was just sitting on my couch watching TV and started thinking about way to get from on elevation to another. Elevators, escalators. And then I had to think because I ran out of such machines. What else transports us up and down. Trams, ski lifts, The Power Tower.

The Power Tower does not really fit with those other things though. The only purpose of the Power Tower is for thrills, peeing yourself, barfing, and basically just wanting to die. It's a thrill ride for people that like being shot into the sky or dropped from way up in the sky. It sounds terrible to me but apparently it's quite popular in some crowds, like amusement park goers. I hear they really think it's a good time.

Anyway, lets get back to the point, shall we?

Elevators and escalators don't really work in the same category as Trams and Ski Lefts, and the Power Tower belongs in the same category as bungee jumping. So I'm going to spit them up and discuss pros and cons.

Elevators VS Escalators
Elevators are pretty quick and will carry you up multiple floors, but some people (not me) are very claustrophobic. For them elevators feel like a tomb.

That reminds me when I die, I want one of two things done.

Option One
I want a tomb! This would of course require copious amounts of money and so I'll have to start selling some books or something but I know exactly what it should look like. I even drew it late one night for my buddy Kelly E. (You know who you are! Do you read this?) So I don't have to explain it I'll draw it for you on "Paint".
This is what I just came up with.
Let me explain this. I will Rest In Peace in the big grey rectangle. There is a statue of me riding a Clydesdale. (never mind that it looks like a really ugly pony in the picture) I'm holding a a big awesome sword to the sky. The best part about the whole thing are those little white dots on the ground. They are flowers called Simbelmyne. They grow on the graves of kings in Rohan. Yeah, the one from the Lord of the Rings. This is what it looks like.

Option 2
If I can't have that, then whatever. Just throw my dead body in a ravine and walk away. It's not like I care. I'm dead now anyway.

Back to the point Escalators, elevators, ski lifts and trams are different.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where The Old Yeller Fern Grows (And Lassie Is Not There) (Or Beethoven)

I like movies about animals. That's a fact. There's no way around it. Animal movies = Awesome. Here's the thing though. There are some animal movies out there that are not as awesome as others.

These movies all end with the animal dying. Why the hell would you do this? It's always dogs, too have you ever noticed that? People in the business of making a terrifyingly sad animal movie know that it won't have the same affect on people if you end the movie with a dead cat. Saturday Night Live knew years ago that if you kill the cat, people laugh. That's why they made Toonces The Driving Cat. If you don't believe me, watch that  link. I'll wait.

You laughed, didn't you?

Back to my point. They always kill the dog! They do this because they suck and they know you will cry. Not just cry, they know that you seeing the story about a dog dying will ruin your day. That's what these assholes do.

These movies are stories of hardship and overcoming the said hardships and you feel great about your life and your heart is warmed. Then, the dog damn dies, the kid cries and your life is destroyed forever.

So, "Where The Red Fern Grows" is terrible for another reason other then Big Dan and Little Anne (the dogs) dying. This reason is: there is a little human child that falls on a hatchet and dies. And here's the kicker, We don't care! We don't care that he dies because he was a bully. So what! The child has a small behavior problem probably because he realizes that he lives in the middle of nowhere and a hundred years ago and I'm pretty sure the kid knows that the people on the other side of the TV screen watching and hating him, have everything he can't even imagine existing and that it's awesome. Just maybe that's why he's such a giant douche.

So why do they make these terrible movies? I don't know but they ruin our lives. If you don't believe me, watch this! Your life was never the same, was it.

Also, I realize that Lions are cats and I said we laugh at cat's. This is THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Noticed Something

I've spent what I'd call an average amount of time in malls across the United States. I've noticed a few things.

1)Escalators are just as easy to go up as they are down.

2)Carousels are wicked awesome!

3)Skylights are a must. They make you feel like you're actually outside. As do the trees.

4)Orange Julius has one customer a day.

5)Bathrooms are impossible to find.

6)There is a National Mall Radio station called NMR800AM and it's horrible.

7)Hot Topic went from too much black to too many colors in one day.

Also, because of malls I've learned something about Hell. Ready for the seed of knowledge? Here it goes.

Hell is a never ending mall in which every worker at every kiosk tries to sell you their lotion, toys, frames, belt buckles, or whatever other useless crap they are quite literally pushing in your face, and each of them stops you to try to sell their products. And because you're such a nice guy, you stop and listen.