Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Profile of a Follower: Tabitha

It bothers me that the Internet is so grounded in deception and misinformation.
For example, when I look at the little images of my followers, I have no idea if that is what they really look like, or if that is their real name.
I have decided that I can use my newly acquired librarian research skills to discover the real people behind those follower images, and then turn my unearthed information into a composite image of what the person really looks like.
Today I will begin with "Tabitha".
I start by clicking on Tabitha's picture.
For her profile image, Tabitha has chosen an off-center exclamation point over a blue background. I think this means Tabitha likes to surprise people with her presence, and that she is a generally upbeat person.
Oops, I am assuming Tabitha is a female, a very dangerous assumption to make when using the Internet.
Gender aside, the name "Tabitha" is old Hebrew, and usually means "a gazelle" or "like a gazelle".
I am sad that someone has vandalized the Wikipedia entry on gazelles this line seems inaccurate:
 "Gazelles are known as swift i like men... Drew Rush animals"
Ignoring that, we learn that gazelle are graceful, speedy little antelopes, but unfortunately I have a short attention span for research and now I am just curious who Drew Rush is.
Assuming there is only one Drew Rush on the Internet, a quick search through my many databases brings me to where it turns out Drew is a wildlife photographer, and scrolling through his galleries does reveal images of gazelle.
However, there is an important detail that leads me to believe the Drew Rush on Wikipedia that likes men might not be the same one I have here, for in his bio it states that "Drew lives....with his fiance Mandy..."
Could Mandy be both a man and a woman's name?
"Mandy" is Latin and traditionally means "Worthy of love", but it is possible that Mandy is short for something else.
Amanda, Mandrew, Mandel?
Then I remember Mandy Patinkin.
He is a man with the name Mandy, so Wikipedia Drew and Photo Drew could still be one and the same.
Mandy Patinkin is also Jewish, i.e. Hebrew, which brings us back to Tabitha.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We used to have Special Ed Drama Club once a week, before funding for the program was cut.
We would all troop down to the local theater and a team of trained thespians would teach our students the fine art of emoting through the use of such classic exercises as "Pretend this is a restaurant" and "Pretend this old blanket is something fantastical."
The main instructor was a graduate from the Barney school of acting. You know, large quantities of body language complemented with actually saying "Ha-ha-ha" when you are act-laughing. Her voice was a collision of helium and cocaine, a bubble expanding at the speed of a squirrel's pulse.
Though she managed to keep her merry troupe relatively on the rails.
"Okay everyone, now pretend you are planting seeds! You're digging, you're digging-Lamar hand out of your pants-you're digging. Now put the seeds in and carefully cover them back up-ok Raoul, start putting the soil back on your seeds, no you have to sit back down no you're not done yet no oh Ok Hey everyone Raoul is giving out hugs! Yayyy! He's the Hug Farmer! Lets all be Hug Farmers!"
One thing that eternally amuses me is how well-meaning people not entirely familiar with the special ed population often pretend the students are angelic beings incapable of having flaws of any sort.
I had a student with the most unimaginably foul breath I have ever encountered; from three feet away it smelled like you had plunged your face into hot wet road kill and then rubbed all around in luxurious circles. I know in my last few years of old age I will smell just like that.
His parents were offended when we hinted at the fact that a dental visit might be in order.
His homecare worker dismissed any halitotic observations, simply shrugging and claiming to have never noticed.
And by God, those heroes of the stage valiantly soldiered on when this student stood directly in their faces, his mouth, when open, almost encompassing the tops of their noses and the bottoms of their chins. You just knew that unbearably hot and rancid air was blasting over them and yet their voices never wavered, their eyes never teared.
"Oh, you are an airplane now? Ok everyone, Drew is an airplane. Oh he is making engines sounds, right in my face, oh boy the engine is sputtering motor oil all over me, its flying towards me, its so close my nose is tickled by its uvula-oh oh God oh God save me the plane is going down...."
Each season of theater would culminate in a performance for friends and family. School administrators would come, gladhand around, and then slip out when the houselights went down. Staff who had been to every practice would steel themselves for one last encore of "Make a pizza" and "Be a statue". A hundred guests would laugh at Drew's airplane and pretend not to notice Lamar's hand down the front of his pants, meditatively rubbing himself.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Brief Wondrous Life of Seamonkeys

Purchased Seamonkeys from thrift store. Eager children watched me treat the water in the natural looking habitat with "magic formula".
"Now what?"
Wait 24 hours. Add eggs.
(Below Image: Magical Seamonkey habitat of infinite potential and wonderment)
 DAY 2
"Daddy, put the eggs in!"
Pour packet of magical dirt into habitat.
"Now what?"
Wait 2 days. Longer if not kept warm and near natural sunlight.

DAY 3.
Nothing. Water is dirty.

DAY 4.
Success. Specks of dirt are swimming around apparently under own volition. Using included magnification device reveals slightly larger self-propelled specks of dirt.
"I can't see anything! He's blocking me! I want the noculars!"

Children running through the house sporting new bunny ears.
Suddenly, there is a sound, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

"Daddy, your egg water broke!"
When I was young, my favorite cat died, hit by a car. I used the money I was saving to get him neutered to buy an Atari game instead. It was some complicated high-concept game with its own calculator-like controller. You zoomed through a horrifically primitive approximation of deep space in hopes of finding white squares to shoot. It was unplayable.
The loss of Seamonkeys felt similar to the moment I knew the Atari game was wretched crap.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Able To Contain Myself

I only have eight hours left in my "internship".
Its been real something.
Here are pictures:

Old dudes.

This guy I call Cool Dad. He comes in with his wife and daughter while we are cleaning up after a poetry reading. He asks, "Whats going on here?"
One of the nice old ladies helping out says, "We had some writers come and read their poetry".
Cool Dad stares pensively at a point in space beyond the vision of us mundane 9-to-5 suckers and says, "I read my poetry live. In clubs." Than he dismissively turns on his heel and heads toward the computers.
The holes of the knees in Cool Dad's jeans are perfectly placed and evenly worn. He is sagged just low enough to show a twinkle of boxer shorts. His style is Target-hip and his age is clearly looking back at forty with longing.

 I smelled this lady before I actually saw her. If I were to describe the odor, I would do it in a mathematical formula: Moth Balls + Gingivitis + Human Excrement = Lady coming toward me.
She spoke in a tone of voice that I notice many library patrons using; one of automatic defensiveness and barely contained urges to spit in your face. 
"I don't have an ID but I am going to get on a computer."
Offer guest pass.
Seconds later she came back.
"You have a pen?" 
She scribbles something on a bent post-it and storms away.
I look down at the pen and see

 Mysterious puddle? 
Pen is dead to me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This One is For the Ladies

Ladies, I know its hard being ladies; thinking lady thoughts and living lady lives.
In the 90s, lots of game companies knew it too.

They made all kinds of games, just for you ladies.
Slumber Party, Sealed With A Kiss, Blind Date, Dreamphone.

These games are like coming home from a long day at the office wearing sexy lady work clothes, laying on the your leopard print couch, and letting the New Kids on the Block rub your sore lady feet.
I gathered all the mancandy from these games that I could, and injected them with a little longing, a little romance, and wrapped them up in a beautiful bouquet. Just for you, ladies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thomas Makes a Friend

One day, Thomas met a friend.

Perry's differences made him special.

Perry liked to make Thomas do things.

Thomas was so happy, he wanted to sing a song.

If you're happy and you know it-

Clap your hands!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Thomas Goes to the Beach

One day, Thomas went to the beach.

The lifeguard said "No robots allowed!" Then he made a muscle.

Thomas went back home.

 The End

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thomas Is Often Sad

Hi supercrazyrobots. Do you still like robots? I am still tinkering with my children's book.

Thomas is often sad.

 He feels like every day is not very good.

 Thomas wishes he had a friend.

 One day he saw someone new at the toy store.

She was so beautiful, but Thomas had no money.
Suddenly, the toy store has a drawing. Thomas enters it.

 He really wants to win Beautiful Friend.

 Oh. You didn't win, Thomas.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Special Origin Story

I was working nights at a grocery store, which is a great job to have. You can smoke and eat microwave pizza at 4.00 in the morning everyday. But it got old, like after a day or so, and I thought I had better find something else.

That lead me to the magical world of special education.

I started in a group home.

I had no experience, no background what so ever with a population like this.

As they started to take me on a tour of the facility, I heard a tremendous clatter coming towards me from the end of a long, dark hallway. I instinctively moved closer to the strong-looking woman serving as my guide. 

She was watching me carefully.

The source of the noise came into view; twenty human forms moving quickly down the hall, each with a markedly unique gait, some assisted by walkers, some strenuously rolling the wheels of their wheelchairs. 

They were all grunting and groaning loudly, and coming relentlessly towards me.

An adult man with a strange helmet walked right up to me, stopping only when our chests bumped.

"Um..." I managed.
He lifted one densely hairy, violently shaking hand, formed it into a pistol shape, poked it into my belly, and said "ZOT!" 
Then the whole caravan shambled on past.

On my first day, they brought me into the living quarters where I was to work. As I walked in the door I saw this:
A teenage person in a diaper running at me.
From out of sight, someone yelled "Watch out, he's poopy!"

At the risk of making you ill, I must here point out that poop smells completely different when it is not your own, not a small child's, or not floating safely in a toilet. 

A completely unfamiliar, and yet unmistakably awful, odor was bearing down on me with great speed.

Like every idiot in every horror story, I froze.

At the last moment, the same voice barked "Get back here!"

The running young man made a nice little U-turn without breaking his stride and headed back down the hall.

The source of the voice was an older man who began to train me in a earnest, perhaps over-explanatory style.

He taught me that one guy liked to eat phone book pages, which caused him to poop out giant cannonballs that would not properly flush.

"You have to smash them up with your hands to get them to go down", he told me.

He showed me which guys could not shower themselves.
"Get some gloves on, soap 'em up and hose 'em down."

"None of the guys dry themselves very well, so you pretty much have to towel off everybody".

I left that first day in a daze, went home, pulled out my college degree, and sat with it for awhile, gently opening and closing its green faux-leather binder.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Product Review #8: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

In the year 1977, Carol Moran woke up and decided children's books needed more naked bottoms.
No one stopped her.

She cloaked her madness and naked resolve in a guise of respectability. Citing the growing lack of appreciation for great literature she observed in the young children of the 70s, Carol Moran decided to launch a series of books titled To Children, With Respect. This ambitious project was to team classic literature with illustrations that would bring otherwise moldy narratives to life.

There is so much here for a child to ask his mommy about.

 This is the part in the famous poem when Gilligan and his buddies take Ecstasy and tell each other how they feel.

 Yeah, yeah purple guy, we've all seen your foot between your butt cheeks trick.
 That's a lot of booties going to see Rapunzel.

Uncle Randy and his girlfriend from the city.

 Finally, a break from all the bottoms. Thanks, Carol.

 Unfortunately,  To Children, With Respect did not seem to make it past this volume. Or so my lack of research has led me to assume. 
Perhaps parents sensed Carol's sinister motives and stayed away from the book; only those damned liberal libraries had the gall to purchase it.