A month ago I got a summons in the mail stating that I would have to go to the local courthouse for jury duty. Two days ago, I went.
For that month long wait, I probably thought about the upcomming date at least twice a day. I wasn't pumped about missing a day of work, and I definitely wasn't excited about the possibility of being selected for a case.
The night before I went, I found out that they were actively trying to select the jury for the Tyler Clementi case.
I got more nervous.
I asked my girlfriend, Allie, if she would drop me off at the courthouse, and on the way there, we listened to the radio, when, amazingly enough, an NPR reporter brought up the case! He said that they were having a difficult time assembling a jury for the case, because many of the potential juror's had a viewpoint that got them instantly dismissed.
While Allie and I stared at each other in amazement, the reporter elaborated that many of the jurors believe that the existence of the trial itself suggests that the defendant must be guilty of something. Why would they have a trial unless he did something to warrant it?
There it was. The key to my freedom.
We pulled up to the courthouse where a line of half-awake zombies wrapped around the block, and I could see several Court TV news vans gearing up to report on the big trial.
A little more confident of my dismissal, I hopped on the line.
15 minutes later, I sat in a huge room watching a quick instructional video about how we are serving our country by appearing for jury duty. It looked exactly like every dystopian future I've ever seen in a movie. Just footage of a man's head explaining to us how lucky we are for living where we do, and how we must give back to our country.
Another 15 minutes later, a few of us, split off from the massive pool of jurors, are stuffed into an elevator, on the way to a court room to learn what case we'll be interviewed for. I rehersed my story. I practiced the lines in my head.
"Well why are we here unless some of the charges are true?"
The moment I entered the room, everything changed.
First, we weren't being interviewed for the Tyler Clementi case, which made me breath a sigh of relief, and then realize that I would have to come up with a new excuse.
Second, I almost instantly stopped worrying about that the moment I noticed the court stenographer.
She was fascinating.
Either superhuman or subhuman.
Possibly a ghost.
More likely a zombie.
Sunken eyes, sallow skin, long spindly Nosferatu fingers.
I have no idea why her typewriter thing had such a small keyboard, but her frightening goblin fingers flew over the little keys, while paper the width of a standard receipt spewed out of the back. Why don't they use regular paper? Do they have teeny filing cabinets?
As she typed, her empty eyes fluttered around in her hollow skull. They found me, and stayed. She had chosen me.
To be fair I was staring right at her, likely with a mask of horror on my face, so I can't blame her for staring back.
I still don't know what I was really looking at, though.
Her life is based on converting the sounds she hears into words on a page. Without a break. For hours. There's no way that she has a mind. It would get in the way!
She's just a funnel. Sound goes in her ears and becomes an electrical impulse which flows down her arms and out of her fingertips. She can't possibly process all the legal bullshit that's being hurled at her without end.
Why don't they just use a recorder? She's basically a modern equivalent of the birds in The Flintsones movie that are meant to "record" conversations just by remembering everything everyone said!
She's not real! She's an animal who serves a singular purpose.
Speaking of being an animal, she must be completely wild outside of that courthouse, right?!
From 5:00 in the afternoon until 7:00 the next morning, I bet she's chugging whiskey, joy riding, and hitting mailboxes with a baseball bat.
She must have SO much pent up energy.
It's either that, or she's just as hollow outside of work and she walks around staring at everybody, listening in on conversations and reflexively moving her fingers in the air, phantom-typing.
Maybe they roll her chair into a closet at the end of the work day, and she sleeps in there.
Maybe I'm just wrong and that's not a person. She's a very sophisticated machine used to transcribe conversations, and they wanted it to look human.
They almost got it right.
I kind of hope that she has some sort of effect on what she writes. I hope she's able to add something personal. I hope the transcription of my interview went something like this:
"Judge: Can you think of any reason why you would not be right for this case?"
"Fat Moron: I can't afford to miss work."
"Judge: Fair enough, you're dismissed."
"Fat Moron lumbers out of the room."
"Someday I will absorb his soul."
Hey guys, thanks for making the jump from my previous blog! I always wanted to buy the rights to my own website, and now I've got it!
Over here, I still have every single post I'd previously written. Everything was imported over, including typos and comments. Every Scary Story Time, every rant about types of people I'm annoyed by. So forget the old site, it's been swallowed up by the new one.
You'll notice that it's easier to navigate my posts now. Over on the right hand side bar, you'll see a section called "Categories." There I list the different types of posts you'll find here.
If you want to have an easy list of only scary stuff, click on the "Scary Story Time" category. For posts about my podcast, Will and Bobby Know Everything, click on exactly that! To avoid those common types of posts, click on "Uncatagorized," and you'll get just the posts that I wrote about anything else. It's simple.
Along with the new WillRogers2000 site, Bobby and I started www.WillAndBobby.com where you can go to get content not only about our podcast, but also additional posts from both of us about whatever we think of, as well as exciting upcoming new projects!
Bookmark both sites, because why not?
This week on Will and Bobby Know Everything, Bobby and I welcome my sister Kristen Rogers onto the show to discuss Crazy People!
There was a male college student living by himself in an old apartment. There was a small hole in his room’s wall, and he could peek into the next room from there. His next-door neighbor was a young woman. The woman apparently wasn’t aware of the peephole, so the man thought himself lucky and fell into a pattern of peeping on her.
Then, one day…
Around 3am, the man woke up to the sound of shuffling. Wondering what it was, he realized that it was coming from next door. Maybe she brought home a guy? Feeling his excitement mount, the man looked through the peephole. The room next door also had the lights off so he couldn’t see that well, but he could see two shadows for sure. The man felt the thrill well inside him, thinking This is it! when he noticed something was off.
The big shadow that he assumed was the man kept moving, but the woman wasn’t moving at all.
When his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he realized that the man was punching the woman. The woman seemed to be be gagged, so even if she wanted to scream all she could do was grunt. In the end, he couldn’t even hear the groaning anymore. Then the man’s shadow left the room.
A home intruder!
The man decided to call the police, but he stopped in his tracks with the phone in his hands. If he reported this to the police, his peephole would be discovered. Wanting to protect himself, the man wavered.
Within a week the police showed up at the apartment. Apparently, the woman really was killed. Inevitably, the police found the peephole and asked the man if he’d seen anything.
The man replied, “I didn’t even realize there was a hole in the wall. I never noticed anything unusual that day.”
He was asked several more questions, but it didn’t seem that the police suspected him of anything. He couldn’t forget having witnessed the murder, but the guilt of not reporting it to the police quickly evaporated. Even two weeks later, the culprit was still on the loose.
Then, one day…
Around 3am, the man woke up to the sound of shuffling again. However, ever since the incident next door, no new tenants had come to live there. Even so, the sound was definitely coming from next door. Trembling, he peeked through the hole, but he didn’t see anything moving. Thinking it was his mind playing tricks on him, he began to move away from the hole.
Suddenly, as if trying to fill up the small hole completely, a wide-open bloodshot eye appeared. The man could only stare back, frozen with fear.
Then, a raspy woman’s voice rang through the silence.
“You saw, didn’t you?”
Turn on the lights.
In the past few months, my girlfriend and I have decided that it's time to make an important change.
Let me get this out of the way:
On Episode 4 of Will and Bobby Know Everything, Sara Mercadante joins Bobby and me via Skype. The topic this week is Dating.
Listen as Bobby and I go out of our fucking minds.
Maybe it's because the host isn't with us in person, or maybe it's because Bobby and I had more coffee than usual, but regardless of reason, Bobby and I are out of control this week. It's awesome. Listen close.
Now this is important:
We're all adults here, right? Well in the show this week, we discuss something that might be considered immature and gross, but I say suck it up and let go, and have fun. Yes it's gross, but it's also fucking hilarious.
Look for it on iTunes and Stitcher!
It's a fucking good one, tell your friends, because everyone should hear this horse shit.
Send any comments or questions to WillAndBobby@gmail.com
Bobby and I are always looking for new hosts for the show! You can tell it's pretty laid back and stupid, and this episode is a good example that you don't need to be with us in person, we'll take hosts from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a strong internet connection. So please let us know if you're interested, I don't give a fuck who you are or what the fuck you want to talk about, it's just for fun, so email us!
Episode 5 next week!
Hey guys, get to iTunes or run on search on Stitcher, because Episode 3 of Will and Bobby Know Everything is now online!
You can also listen in your browser via this link: WBKE on LibSyn
This week, guest host Samantha Short leads a conversation about what is listed as The Work Force, but is mostly a discussion about an asshole boss she, Bobby, and I have all shared.
Also we discuss a giant baby that Bobby used to live with! Who tried to get me drunk! How can you avoid something so intriguing??
As always, feel free to ask any questions or send any comments to WillAndBobby@gmail.com.
If you're interested in hosting a future episode of Will and Bobby Know Everything, just e-mail us, we're open to anybody, from anywhere! Because Skype exists!
So go ahead and listen, it's a good one!
Episode 4 next week!
Sleeping is total and absolute bullshit.
Actually, I don't. If we ran out of butter, and fucking Norway started making fun of us, I wouldn't post a video to them. I wouldn't speak broken Norwegian while trying to mock them in accidentally hilarious ways.
Maybe I would, actually, that sounds kind of fun. Especially the threat of eating butter in front of a bunch of people.
I'll pay for the flight.
Episode 2 of Will and Bobby Know Everything is online!
In this episode, Bobby and I are joined by special guest host Tommy Becker, who comes by to discuss the state of crime in the world today. Specifically, we try to figure out the best way to murder each other.
It's a lot of fun! I hope you guys like it.
Same rules as last time, find it on:
The iTunes app for your iPhone, by searching the show's title.
The free Stitcher (podcast directory) app for your iPhone or Android phone, by searching the show's title.
No matter what, just enjoy the show!
You can make any comments of love or hate, or send any questions or requests to this blog or to WillAndBobby@gmail.com
Episode 3 in a week!
Hey everybody, the first episode of my buddy's and my weekly podcast, Will and Bobby Know Everything, is now online! And though it's 11:53, technically speaking, I DID get this episode up on Monday!
In this podcast, Bobby and I are joined by special guest host Michael Costa to discuss the very common fear of public speaking.
We also discuss drowning in soup.
It's a weird show, just listen to it.
Assuming you have iTunes installed on your computer, you can go straight to the page for the show by clicking on this link:
If you HAVEN'T got iTunes on your computer, you can go directly to the source, the website our podcast is originally hosted on, and either stream or download the episode by clicking on THIS link:
If you have an iPhone, just search for the show in the iTunes app.
If you have an Android phone (this will also work for iPhones), you should download the free Stitcher (podcast database app) and search for the show to STREAM the episode.
No matter what you do, just enjoy the show, subscribe, and pass on the good word! This is a stupid fucking show for the whole family to enjoy! Aside from children! Because of the explicit language!
Bobby and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kevin Townsend for creating the logo for the show, Tommy Becker for creating the theme song, and Allie for helping edit the show! Thank you so much!
Please feel free to lend feedback, ask questions, or make requests here or by e-mailing WillAndBobby@gmail.com
Enjoy, it's funny!
Episode 2 comes next Monday!
Hey guys, I just read some disturbing news. SEVERELY disturbing news. Evidently it's Friday, the 13th. Not only that, but we'll be having ANOTHER Friday, the 13th in 13 weeks! These are dark days, indeed. 2012 is supposedly the year that the world ends, and based on the aforementioned facts, I have to assume that this rumor is true.
The fact that there will be two Friday, the 13th's in 13 weeks is UNDENIABLE PROOF that the world is ending.
(Disclaimer: I don't believe in any of that bullshit)
More disturbing than that is the fact that evidently I haven't posted a scary story since Halloween. I used to post these goddamn things too much, but now I find out I haven't done it in nearly a quarter of a year!
So here we go.
I should tell you that at some point I had read so many anonymously written creepy stories, that I began to rediscover stories I'd already read. I was worried that maybe I'd read them all. So I branched out. Via Google Reader, I searched for certain keywords like "creepy," "scary," and "weird." Again, I would just come across new blogs with the same old stories.
Until I found a new source.
Japanese horror stories and Japanese myths.
At first I was reluctant, because I had considered Japanese horror to be a little too bizarre, and less frightening than strange. To be fair, I was basing that assumption on the commercials I had seen for movies like The Ring and The Grudge, which looked like shit.
I decided to give anonymously written Japanese horror stories a try. And I was not disappointed.
Yes, these stories are different from anything else I have read. And no, I don't like all of them. There are urban legends about mythical creatures which are half-man and half-dog. Those stories, I don't like. But the Japanese have a very different approach to stories about ghosts. Their concept of ghosts seems to be wholly different from anything we have in this country (United States). I find it to be bizarre and disturbing. The mental image that the following story creates is both surreal and terrifying. The person who translated and re-posted the story I bring to you today (http://sayainunderworld.blogspot.com/) uses letters in place of character names. Today's story is told about a man called "Y."
So, yes, it's pretty different, but let it wash over you.
Here we go:
It happened on the seventh day after his granddad's death. On that day there was a storm warning for the area where Y lived and in spite of the murderous wind Y didn't have enough money on him to take a bus and had to walk home from school. He struggled all the way to keep himself from blown away and it was already past seven in the evening when he finally arrived home. He took out the key from the bag and opened the front door.
As soon as he was in, he saw the door to his own room, which was visible from the front door, open, as if to welcome him. He could see from the opening that the light and the TV had been switched on, as well as the halogen heater, which was the sole source of heat in his room.
It must be mum. She was considerate enough to have my room warmed up before I got home. Y thought happily, and he called out to her in a voice more cheerful than usual.
But strangely, no one answered Y. He looked around the front door and noticed there was only one pair of shoes that belonged to Y (note:Japanese people leave shoes at the front door before entering the house) and neither his mum's nor dad's shoes were there. Then Y remembered everyone in the family apart from Y was going to be home late, due to them attending a memorial service that was being held for his granddad. Who could be home then? Y was afraid that it might be a burglar.
Y tiptoed to his room, and fearfully peeked inside through the door. In the room there sat Y's dead granddad with his back to the door.
The moment Y realized that it was his granddad, his fear vanished into thin air. Y was the sort who could never watch horror movies without having someone beside him, but although he knew he was seeing a ghost it was different when the ghost was his granddad's.
Tears rushed to his eyes out of love and gratitude that his granddad cared enough about him to visit him even after death.
Granddad gave a few of his characteristic coughs and clumsily scratched at the back of his head.
"Granddad." When Y called, grandad slowly stood up and turned around.
And as he turned, as if by a trick, the outline of his body became slightly blurred.
Granddad's face looked as if covered in red ink.
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?" Granddad called Y's name.
The voice was as he remembered it, but the intonation was somewhat strange. It was too monotonous. Granddad used to speak with a strong accent, but his voice sounded artificial as if it had been computer-generated.
Granddad took one feeble step towards Y.
"What happened to you, granddad?"
Y said, growing anxious because granddad was acting strange.
Granddad again coughed a few times and scratched his head.
"Granddad, did you try to come home?"
When Y asked, grandad looked up at the ceiling as if he was trying to think a little, and said;
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?," uttering exactly the same phrase and in the same intonation as before. Y found that disturbing, and began to think maybe what he was seeing in front of him was not his granddad at all.
Granddad was still staring at the ceiling. From his fingers some purplish-red liquid trickled to the floor, making a small pool on the carpet. Moreover, when Y looked at him more closely, he noticed that granddad's arm was bent at an unnatural angle; and the length between the shoulder and the elbow was longer than a normal person's upper arm should be. Granddad wasn't like that at all when he was alive. Maybe this thing was something that was pretending to be his grandad.
Y slowly start to back away, being careful not to make any noises. Despite that the thing that was pretending to be his granddad seemed to have realized Y's intention and, stretching only its neck, he stared at Y.
Oh no, it's looking at me - the moment Y thought it, the thing's face was right in front of him.
Its body was still standing where it was; the only parts that moved were its head and neck. The neck was now like a over-stretched rubber band. Before his eyes, purplish-red bubbles formed around its mouth.
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?"
He ran for his life and took refuge in the nearest bookshop. He was scared to be alone in the house. He couldn't go back until the rest of the family was home, by which time it was past 9pm. He told them what happened to him but none took him seriously.
That night he was forced to sleep in his own room, where the red granddad appeared. Y felt uneasy. Whenever he closed his eyes he feared that he would see that red face the moment he opened his eyes again. But in the end fatigue took the better of him and he fell asleep.
When he woke up the next morning, his face somehow felt itchy. He went to the bathroom and looked himself in the mirror; his face was wet with purplish-red juice.
From then on he stopped sleeping in his room. Because he wasn't sure if he could manage to escape like the last time if the thing appeared to him again.
To this day Y still says, "that was definitely notmy granddad."
Bonus points for bullshit: it also has weird long arms that pop out of the ground around it, with sharply nailed hands which will grab you told hold you in place for some goddamn chomping.
Take it easy guys.
Hey guys, yesterday all I did was basically announce that Will and Bobby Know Everything exists. Tonight I have the first few minutes of the show online for you to check out!
Right now I have the show out for review by iTunes and a great app called Stitcher, so while you'll be able to get episode one on either of those services, for now you can only listen to this clip via the hosting site, Libsyn.
Basically, just play this file and check out the first few minutes of Episode 1: Public Speaking, with guest host Michael Costa!
I hope you guys like(d) it, and if you want to ask any questions or give any feedback, feel free to do it on this blog or e-mail Bobby and me at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!
Episode 1 goes live on Monday, January 16th! Stay tuned!
I'm really goddamn excited to announce a new project my friend Bobby Koester and I have been working on: our new comedy podcast which will begin ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!
A huge thanks to Kevin Townsend who created this logo! You should check out his blog to see not only his work, but also the incredible things he finds: http://blog.sevenknotwind.com/
On WBKE, every week we will have a new episode with a guest host who brings a topic to Bobby and me, which we all then dissect. While embarrassing ourselves.
The show will be free of charge and easily available online.You'll be able to get it on iTunes, Stitcher (more another time) and Libsyn, which is where the podcast itself is hosted online.
The podcast is essentially just a talk radio show available whenever you want it to be. You can download it to your phone or stream it on your computer. Honestly, it'll be so easily accessible that you can listen to it at your house while you're getting ready for work, continue it during your commute, and finish it at your desk.
I should suggest you wear headphones if you listen to it in public, though. The subject matter is safe, but I curse a lot.
Maybe too much, but I also don't care.
It's a weird funny show that I think you'll really be able to get into. And potentially involved in, but I'll explain that at some other time.
I'll actually explain a lot at some other time, I just want you to know that Will and Bobby Know Everything is coming.
Whether you want it to or not.
It'll be kind of weird if you explicitly don't want it to, though, because you could always just ignore it.
But, come on, don't do that.
Has anyone ever told you you're kind of a jerk?
Kaboom. More very soon.
A few minutes ago, I glanced over at my phone and saw that I had gotten a couple of text messages. I tapped on my inbox and saw that I had received both messages at the exact same time from two different phone numbers, neither of which are in my phone book. Just random digits.
I tapped on the first one. It simply said, "Like."
Then I tapped on the second one: "Love."
Weird. Really weird. The likelihood of receiving two anonymous texts from two different numbers with similar messages has got to be slim.
I sat up straight in my chair. It was time to play detective.
I'm always down for a good mystery. Always. I'm not a conspiracy nut, really. I'm just a big fan of having something odd happen, as long as it's harmless. I seek it out.
There's a huge book store in New York called The Strand, which boasts an inventory of "18 miles of new, used and rare books." When I was 18 or 19, I walked into the deepest darkest corners of the store on the off chance that I might find a creepy old tome hidden behind some Sue Graftons. No luck. Bummer.
It's exciting, though. It's fun to think that that there's something taking place that relates to you, but you're not privy to all of the information. I love the idea of Urban Legends that have some basis in reality. Fascinating. Why couldn't there be a magical book laying flat on a low shelf in a dark basement corner of a bookstore? I've seen that shit in movies MANY times. It happens!
One of the biggest events of modern history to be enshrouded in mystery was the JFK assassination. Thousands of people believe and investigate numerous theories as to how and why he was killed, as well as who did it, and whether or not the government was involved. There's even a theory which suggests that after he died, his body was taken, and his wounds were modified to make it appear as if he were shot from a particular angle. Why? Well who knows. We'll find out the truth in 2017 when the documents regarding the event are released.
I should say, before I get back to the mystery of the friendly texts, that I'm no stranger to high stakes intrigue.
About four years ago, I was leaving a class at Rutgers with my messenger bag over my shoulder. It held a few notebooks, a pair of headphones, and my Sony PSP (one of the most advanced handheld gaming systems the world has ever known [it kind of sucks]). I walked to my parking space, and put my bag on top of my car while fumbling with my keys. Ten minutes later, I pulled into my driveway and realized I had driven home with my bag on the roof of the car.
I got out of the car, but obviously, the bag wasn't there anymore. I quickly drove back to Rutgers, and looked around my parking spot. No luck. I then took the same route home as I had earlier, desperately looking for my bag. It was gone. Maybe for good.
The next day I was sitting in one of my classes which took place in a large lecture hall. About ten minutes into the lesson, the professor was interrupted by a student who addressed the room and held up a bag. My bag. He said he had found it on the side of the road the previous night, and based on a schedule inside one of the notebooks, he figured out that the owner must be in the room. Excited, I claimed the bag, thanked the guy, and he left. I walked back to my seat and checked the bags contents.
As I expected. the PSP was gone. Being that I had expected to lose everything however, I was pretty fine with it. Especially considering the PSP kind of sucks (as I mentioned).
So there I was sitting in class with my stuff again, talking to a friend about how lucky it was that the guy thought to check for a schedule, and how it was cool that he actually bothered to do a decent thing such as bring the bag back to it's owner. I assumed that he wasn't the one to steal the PSP, based on how helpful he was, and that someone else probably found the bag first. Realizing that, I said this:
And seriously, I actually said this. Honestly. I swear. Here's what I said:
"Y'know, it's weird, but how cool would it be if there was a message scrawled on a page of one of my notebooks, like an old detective story."
My friend basically rolled her eyes at my geekiness. So I just sat there. But then my curiosity got the better of me, and like how I actually looked for an old cursed book in The Strand, I childishly checked my notebook for a secret message.
And I found one.
As of when I'm writing this, I can't post the proof, but rest assured that I'll update this post TONIGHT with a picture of the message.
But anyway, what I found was a message lightly written in pencil on the last page of a marble notebook. It was a phone number with the instructions to "Coll Pedro" written beneath it.
I told you I'd give you proof. I just took a picture of the page and the message, but I scribbled out the guy's address and phone number:
I was stunned. And really fucking excited. This was exactly what I was hoping for.
So obviously I pretended I didn't care for a couple of days. Because as much as it was thrilling, it was also kind of scary.
Eventually, my curiosity go the better of me, and I called the number. Pedro answered. I explained that I was the guy who had lost the bag. I said I got his message.
He told me he had something that belonged to me.
Like a fucking film noir! Awesome/terrifying!
He asked me if I knew what it was. Also scary.
I said it was a Sony PSP, and he confirmed that was what he had, he just needed to verify that I was the owner.
Now I realize that this whole thing doesn't make any goddamn sense, but I hope the insanity of this story is itself proof that the tale I'm telling is true. Truth is stranger than fiction.
I know that it's illogical that somebody should find a bag, take the expensive gadget out, leave a scrawled message, and go. How would he know the bag would ever get back to me? How would he know that somebody else would find the bag and be smart enough to check for a schedule? How would he know that same person would also be decent enough to go looking for it's owner? Finally, how would he know the owner would be a goofy man-child who goes looking for secret messages?
There are so many variables at play there that you can't truly expect those events to play out properly. It's incredible.
But fortunately they played out EXACTLY right for me to be on the phone, getting quizzed about what he had in his possession. This means that he also thought it likely that someone would find a bag and go looking for secret messages and phone numbers, and care enough to call. Mind you, the message in the book said nothing about recovering a lost item. It merely said to "coll" Pedro! Very bizarre.
But I passed the test. He gave me his address and told me when I could come by to pick it up. I questioned whether or not it was worth it. His house wasn't exactly in a bad neighborhood, but it was certainly a strange enough situation that I was considering letting him keep it. After all, I had already thought it to be gone forever.
Then I realized I was only half way through Crash Bandicoot. I grabbed my coat and ran out the door.
(That's a joke, I actually talked about it with a friend who said he'd come with me. Curiosity got the better of me once again so we went.)
I called Pedro from outside his house, and he told me to come right in.
I said I was running late for a class, and so I wasn't coming in. Instead asked if he could meet us outside. A couple minutes later, who I can only describe as a human version of Super Mario walks out of the house, with a dirty grocery bag bunched up in his hands, which, by the way, are completely covered in white powder up to his elbows. Got the image? Mario. Short, fat, mustachioed. Arms covered in white powder. Dirty grocery bag.
He quizzes me again to confirm that I'm the owner of the bag. The odds of me being some crook who correctly guessed that he had a PSP are unreasonable, but whatever, I confirm who I am, and he hands me the dirty bag. My PSP. Great. Let me get the fuck out of here now.
He explains that he found the bag in the street, looked inside, and took the PSP because he didn't want anybody to steal it. It doesn't make much sense, but I just want to get out of there, so I thank him again, take the PSP (battery completely drained...I hope you enjoyed Crash Bandicoot, Mario!), and my buddy and I take off.
Mystery solved, although I had to wonder why that guy's arms were covered in white powder. I asked my friend what he thought, he quickly answered, "He's probably a professional gymnast. He was in great shape."
Another riddle un-riddled. And it's this experience that has made me a master detective.
So now all that's left is to reveal who those texts ("Like," "Love") were from. Well it's simple, really. They were messages accidentally copied to me intended as responses to a picture Bobby had mass texted to his friends. This is the picture:
All this bullshit because of a picture of a cat. An awesome cat, yeah, but all this crap I wrote is because of a picture of a cat. Sorry.
On October 6th, 2011 (I give the year because it's almost over), my dog Daisy died. If you have any concept of who I am, you likely know that because I haven't stopped talking about it. Based on the past couple of months, I don't think I ever will. I've written previously about how talking has helped me cope with her death. And I have to take that previous point of view for what it's worth, because now I'm a month and a half removed from saying it, and I can tell you now, on December 6th, 2011, that I can hardly stand to think about my girl, let alone talk about her.
I'm still very upset. And I'm very angry. Not in general, I should say. In general, I think I'm pretty okay, but when it comes to my dog, I'm very, very angry.
Being that I aspire to someday have a career based on my writing, I usually try to revel in ANY extreme emotion, and given how extreme I become when thinking about Daisy, I've tried to write from this mindset. I can't do it. It's too much. I'm so overwhelmed by how much I'm hurt. If that weren't enough, I'm actually annoyed at myself for letting my hurt turn into anger.
We adopted a new dog, partly because the house was too empty without my big goofy girl, partly because we needed someone new to focus on, and partly because of our OTHER dog, Harley.
Lately, out of the blue, I've begun to slip. I'm calling people by the wrong name. More specifically I've been calling our new dog Daisy. Her name is Penny. I slip and call her Daisy. Somethings wrong. I've lost a girl who should have been a long term family member. She was my pet, my friend, and my family. And my brain is trying to reintroduce her, because I can't quite stand life without that stupid fucking dog pouncing on me.
Worse than my interpretation of her death, which is inherently more informed because of my human brain (and because I was there), is what seems to be happening to poor Harley.
Harley is approximately 12 years old. And I have to approximate that age, because, just like all of our pets, he was a rescue. I don't intend to get on a high horse here, but I kind of do, because I'm proud of my family for always adopting a pet who NEEDS our help. There will always be people who buy from breeders, and there will always be people who just shop at puppy stores, but not as many people will welcome an older, potentially abused dog into their house. But those are the dogs who need a home. Daisy was one of them. Harley is one. We don't know what happened to him, but when we got him, he was approximately 3 years old, and was very nervous around men. I have to assume that he was hit by a man.
To take a quick tangent: If you are a human, and you are reading this, and you have EVER abused an animal, you are actually an inhuman fucking monster. One time I was at a party with my friend Bobby, where we saw a guy put his foot down on his cat's neck in some bizarre joking/frustrated manner, and we were inches from fucking killing him. Don't abuse animals. I'm going to turn into a real-life Batman who defends animals. My story parallels Bruce Wayne's: His parents were murdered in front of him. I had a doggy who died and I found out later. Chilling similarity.
Anyway, Harley has been in our family for 9 years, and in that time, he has seen many animals come and go. And he's always been a great dog, but he's been aging. When Daisy showed up 3 years ago, he suddenly got a good burst of speed, and somehow he seemed to be really interested in that girl. He kept step and pace with her, running around in the backyard, despite the fact that Daisy was 4 times his size. She kept him young. Now that she's gone, he's slow, sluggish, and man does he look old.
With any luck:
We're born into a world where we have an established family. We're born into a world where we have parents, siblings, and extended family, all of whom have a distinct love and interest in us. We're coddled as babies (because there's no such thing as some weird, self-sufficient baby), and then during our formative years, our families take care of everything for us. We have homes, clothes, food, an education, and in the unfortunate circumstance that a member of our family dies, magically a funeral has been planned, and all we have to do is show up. Maybe. If we're too young, we probably don't even have to go. Basically, we're accounted for.
At some point, though, we start to expand our interest outside of our families. And I should say that I don't limit "family" to blood. Our family is whoever takes care of us. At some point, we expand our interest outside of those who take care of us out of a sense of duty. And if we're lucky, we meet someone who will take care of us because they want to.
Think about it for a couple minutes, and you'll realize that your parents are nothing more, and have never been anything more than two people who like each other. It's a basic analysis, but it's true. Our parents are two people who like each other so much they wanted to spend most of their time with each other. They liked each other so much that they had children. They maybe liked each other so much that they decided to live in the same house, and forever sleep in the same bed.
Our parents are not obligated to each other necessarily. They just really really like each other. They're what we aspire to not only because they are our reference point for how we're meant to structure our lives, but because family can only go so far.
I love and respect my family. Every member. And in my family, each and every member is particularly interesting (or I'm bullshitting), but the world we're born into is limited. Most of the people we meet the moment we're born are already adults. As we grow up, they're getting older. I don't mean to be grim (which is to say that I'm not being grim for the sake of being grim, I'm being grim because the concept I want to explore is inherently grim), but these people are likely going to die before we do. It happens generation after generation. We should know that. I've tried to. It's fascinating and inescapable, and the fact that it can truly happen at any moment is major bullshit.
When we get to the point that we are expanding our interests outside of our family, we're met with absurd trepidation and apprehension, and rejection. We accidentally make new friends and form complex relationships, and we stumble into traditions and layers of responsibility toward each other. We date a lot, and we try each other out. And it's awkward and dramatic and fun, but eventually we get to the point where we truly want/need to settle down. We build a group of people with whom we hope to share our time in the future, and it's because the world we've always known inevitably has to fall away at some point. In all of these relationships though, most of us obviously hope to have a relationship with somebody that we can create a family with. We want to have children who can one day theorize that their parents are just really tight friends. It's nature. It's ethereal and spiritual. It's evolution. It's done out of love and fear. I can safely say that without the woman I love and without the family and friends I love, I'm an old man. I'm an old man yelling at you to get off my lawn.
Everybody who I care about and who cares back keeps me young and sane. I've seen what happens when you lose your anchor.
It can ruin you. It can turn you into a shell of who you were because you were so invested in their life, and they were so invested in yours. It's disheartening to watch. It's heart breaking. But it's a true testament to the power we can create and share with each other. And it should be comforting to know that people can be so capable of loving one another. I can love all my friends as much as I can stand to, but no matter how much I pour out, I'll still be a shadow if I lose it all.
Have a big satisfying meal. But in a few hours, you're still going to need breakfast. Does it cheapen the meal you enjoyed?
I hope not. But I'm feeling differently. I've mentioned that when I walked my girl, I made her pause and sit at each intersection. The truth is that I really hoped she would connect the street corner with the sound a car makes. I hoped that when those two pieces of stimuli occurred at once, she would respond by sitting and waiting, as I made her do. I was invested in her future. I enjoyed her at the time. I loved her without end at the time. But here two months later I feel less than empty. I feel vacuous. It isn't that there is "nothingness" in my heart as a result of her loss, it's that the space in which she once resided is actively yearning and trying to fill the space. It can't be filled.
I come back to Harley. I am able to intellectualize my loss. I am able to question why my pain is here. I can write a repulsively long blog post dedicated to the feeling. But my poor old Harley is simply vaguely aware that there used to be another animal around. Maybe. Who knows how a dog's mind works, let alone that sad abused boy. Maybe he doesn't remember feeling so happy running through the grass with Daisy. Maybe he doesn't remember rolling and playing with her, but I'll bet that the opposite of those feelings is registering heavily with him.
Daisy was a dog. And she was a good one. But she was a dog. And as hurt as I am, I can reason out the pain. I can riddle out the reasons. I can think. But for Harley, she was there when he woke up and went to sleep. She focused on him. She loved him. She played with him. And he loved her. And without her, he's reeling. Harley lost his buddy.
It's all just some kindergarten buddy system on a global scale. Harley needed Daisy and without her, he's falling. I loved her, and I wanted her forever, but she was always going to get away from me. If life had played out the ideal way, Harley would never have to know a future without his friend.
I don't know where this is going. I can't cap off this theory in a nice clean way. I'm 25 years old, which is a short span of time when gauged against the time of the people around me. I'm inexperienced. I'm a child. But simultaneously these 25 years have been an enternity, because they're all I have known. I'm lucky. I love my family. And I've picked my friends carefully. But I'm still trying to stand up after having been sucker punched by the car that hit my Daisy.
We all need our buddy. We need someone to check in with. No one is obligated to care for us, and I'm one of those who has been lucky enough to find someone who is invested in my happiness and in my health. I hope I don't take it for granted.
I'm sorry that I'm not being very funny right now. But this is a massive side of my personality that I don't want to shelf in favor of writing quippy, sarcastic posts about people I hate. I'll get back to that soon enough. I haven't written a single blog post in over a month, but it's about time that I should try to "speak" again. This is what I have to say right now.
I wish I could say that this is the last time I'll talk about Daisy, but I know for a fact that isn't true. Someday I still have to tell the full story of the night she died. It's a story that I need to tell and which needs to be told for how shocking, horrible and FUNNY it was. It was all those things. But I will say here that I owe a significant debt of gratitude to Bobby Koester, Michael Costa, Allie, and my whole family for helping me to survive it.
I'll put that off for a while.
I guess if there's anything I truly want to say with this post, it's that I think it's okay to need someone's help. And it's okay to talk. And that as much as I talk about how you need the people in your life, the flip side of the coin is that those same people will likely need you one day.
I also want to say that, across the board, I think women are stronger than men.
Coming soon: jokes.
Before the review starts, I want to quickly say that my interest in the Scream franchise isn't just some bullshit, kitschy interest. I genuinely enjoy these movies as a sort of classic "whodunnit" story. I've been a fan of these movies since I was 10, and while I'll readily admit that maybe part of my enjoyment is based on nostalgia, I also really believe that these movies have a lot of potential. Also, what I'm posting now is a modification of a review I wrote just after the movie hit theaters, you can find a variation of this review on most movie sites. Anyway, here we go, my review of Scream 4: I can't believe just how bad this movie turned out to be, but more than that, I can't believe all the appropriately negative reviews I'm seeing that are missing the reason why this movie fails. Forget all the claims of "the series is starting to show it's age." If that's true, it's only because the writer(s) can't seem to get his (their) crap together. At it's core, this series is about a masked killer with a knife. He's watching you, and no one knows who he is. Evidence suggest it's someone you know. That should be able to work. It worked in the first two (mostly). Here's a good reason to give for why this movie sucks: No one in this movie cares. About anything. Not each other and not the circumstances they find themselves in. I can buy that this series is set in a world where everyone is obsessed with horror movies. It's contrived, but that's fine with me. I just can't understand why it is that, in a group of friends, when one person gets murdered, the others go to a party just after they're done screaming. I should say, though, that I'm being a bit unfair to Neve Campbell (Sidney), Courtney Cox (Gail), and David Arquette (Dewey), whose characters remain fairly consistent with the earlier movies. You do get the idea that these characters truly exist for one another. When one of them is in trouble, the other two come running. The supplemental (they never really take hold) cast, however, are the worst example of expendable 2D nameless victims as I've ever seen. They're all young and pretty (with the exception of Raury Culkin...His lips and eyebrows...Jesus...), but they're all too clever for their own good and lack charisma. They're not interesting or captivating! There are only two new characters in the whole movie (which is PACKED with new faces), who come across as reasonable and interesting in any way, and they aren't given enough to do. The film is also suffering horribly from what used to be the series' defining factor: it's wit. All of a sudden, every damn character that walks onto the screen has some quip to make about horror movie clichés. It's no longer clever to make fun of yourself if that's ALL you do, in the same way that George Lucas' overuse of CG reduces the intrigue of CG. Too much is too much! And not only that, but we're subjected again to the movie-within-a-movie Stab, which was once used by the film makers to show why they're good at making horror movies. In the Stab series, characters are attractive and dull and the writing is unrealistic and goofy. Scream 4 suffers from every stupid b-movie hiccups that the Stab movie wanted to point out as being a mistake. So here we have a "real world" horror movie where, for some reason, characters are quipping as they're bleeding out. Far too many characters have a quick little insult or joke they'd like Ghostface to hear just before they die. It's gruesome to watch, especially one absolutely cringe-worthy moment about midway through the film where a boring character whose hardly been used dies from what might be a physically impossible stab, but not before blurting out a great little reminder of a previous joke. Barf. The wit of the series is gone, replaced with characters who faint with perfect comic timing, and who just won't shut the hell up. Everyone is a horror movie expert, and everyone knows all about Sidney, Dewey, and Gail. To illustrate that point, 18 year old kids refer to Sydney Prescott as "Syd," as if they've known her for years. It's annoying. There's no mystery here. People are dying on screen, but they don't seem to mind, and possibly worse, the world around them doesn't seem to either. So why should I? I got lost in the plot. I've been a very dorky fan of the series for years, watching Scream 3 without hesitation (if you know the series at all, you know how significant that is). I don't watch these movies to watch people die in funny clever ways. The humor isn't supposed to be at the fore front, it's not meant to intrude on the human life-or-death situations these kids find themselves in. It's meant to be human and natural, establishing who these people are and why I should care. For these reasons, the reveal to the killer(s) falls flat. I will say, though, that moments after falling flat, it blows up into one of the most embarrassingly overacted sequences I've seen of any movie. I've read a lot of reviewers talking about how the ending to the movie is very modern. They're right, to be sure, but modern doesn't mean clever or creative. I do think there's some merit to the general idea, but ultimately, it comes across as corny and contrived. I'm a big fan of this series, and if you are as well, then I say without hesitation go see it, but if you're just in the mood for a good movie, you won't find it in Scream 4. You deserve better. TL;DR Scream 4 sucks. Don't see it unless you want to spend the following hour picking apart how the mistakes could have been avoided.
Well, I haven't posted anything here for a really long time, so I'm going to get back into the swing of it by posting a couple of quick scary stories. I'll post some of my own crap soon.
Quick disclaimer: I'm a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I've been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won't always be posting that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I'll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I'll post "scary" stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don't edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!
New Cell Phone
A couple of months ago, my friend's cousin (a single mother) bought a new cell phone. After a long day of work, she came home, placed her phone on the counter, and went watch to TV; her son came to her and asked if he could play with her new phone. She told him not to call anyone or mess with text messages, and he agreed. At around 11:20, she was drowsy, so she decided to tuck her son in and go to bed. She walked to his room and saw that he wasn't there. She then ran over to her room to find him sleeping on her bed with the phone in his hand. Relieved, she picked her phone back up from his hand to inspect it. Browsing through it, she noticed only minor changes such as a new background, banner, etc., but then she opened up her saved pictures. She began deleting the pictures he had taken, unril only one new picture remained. When she first saw it, she was in disbelief. It was her son sleeping on her bed, but the picture was taken by someone else above him... and it showed the left half of an elderly woman's face.
This one constantly gets me, even though Allie pointed out that this woman looks like Liza Minelli. Final story for now: