Wednesday, October 31, 2012


When humans finally go paperless, I have faith we'll find new reasons to cut down trees.

In the future, televisions will have antennas again.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home alone

Followed closely by washing my face then looking up in the mirror.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pretty sure this is how it ends...

One day, as I was walking home from class, I became vaguely aware that my insides were planning an attack. I don't know how it started, but something was definitely strange, and it was burrowed deep inside my chest. Suddenly, before I could cry a feeble plea for help, my innards had set my world on fire.

Now, I'm not in the medical field. I've never taken an anatomy class in my life. In fact, I'd be a little stressed out if my life depended on accurately pointing where my kidneys are.

So let's just say that tiny balls of burning hate were rapidly fermenting somewhere between my ribcage and where I imagine my stomach probably is.

This was made infinitely more annoying by the fact that I had just finished taking a midterm and was basking in the excitement of the banana and jar of peanut butter waiting for me at home, which I could no longer fantasize about as I had lost the ability to walk without falling oh-so-romantically into the arms of the nearest stranger.

After one sharp blast of fiery pain that could very easily have been an alien bursting from my chest, I decided medical attention was probably something I should consider. So I sludged quite pathetically to the student health center.

After filling out some paperwork with self-diagnosed symptoms and some very vague analogies, I was led to an examination room, where I would wait for the doctor to simply confirm what I already knew: mutant fire ants had burrowed deep into my insides. I would either die a martyr or breed the ultimate demise of the human race somewhere in my chestal region.

So I waited. I waited for about 10 minutes when...

Hold up.

That can't be right.

Sure enough. The pain was gone. Seriously. It poofed. It poofed out of my body, and I felt like nothing had happened. No alien infestation, no hate monsters, no mutant fire ant colonies spelunking in the cavern of my soul. Nothing. Just the goop that's supposed to be there.

I didn't...I didn't really know what to do. I mean, when you feel fine, you don't have to go to the doctor, right? You shouldn't waste their time, right? They've got other stuff to do, other dragon wounds to stitch up.

But you're already there. You're in the office. They know you're there. You can't just...leave.

Or can you?

I mean, they don't know your name. They don't know who you are. How would they know if you just walked right out the door and never looked back? How would they know!

If they catch you. If they catch you they'll know.

Hey there. Where are you going?

Um. Yeah, my thing went away.

I'm sorry?

I had a pain in my chest sort of like someone was giving my insides an Indian burn, but it's gone now, so it couldn't've been so bad, right?

I guess not.


Do you get heartburn?

Not...not usually.

It was probably heartburn.

Well, that can't be right.

If you have any more problems let us know.

Trust me. You'll be the first to know. Right behind the team of strangers I assemble to carry me over here.


All that being said, I refuse to believe my injury was simply "heartburn," and, I'll be honest, I'm a little offended by his accusation that I can't accurately assess pain.

Thankfully, my inner chestal region has been fire-free for almost 3 years now. And, guys, assuming it was heartburn, I've had late-night-pizza on multiple, very sad occasions since then. I'm gonna be just fine.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dear Santa...

This has been a very cold week. My demands are strictly utilitarian.

Please bring me a house-broken fire monster.

If you are out of house-broken fire monsters, I will take a space heater.

If you are out of space heaters, I will take a heap of blankets and a wish.

If you are out of wishes, please have a heart to heart with Mother Nature and let her know that I now have 7 fingers battling frostbite and what appear to be early signs of trench foot.

I would tell her myself, but the postman looked at me weird when I gave him an envelope addressed to "outside."

Merry Christmas, Santa.

But seriously.


Monday, October 8, 2012

The story of how I became a hobo, then not a hobo, then a hobo again

Every year a brand new flush of 20 year olds dance out into the night to celebrate their 21st birthdays at alcoholic raves with their VIP rooms and...and basements with...strobe lights and confetti cannons...

Okay, so I don't actually know what people normally do for their 21st birthdays.

For my 21st, I flopped around the attic of a creepy haunted house drinking rum and texting nonsense words to my friend Laura.

But this isn't a story of how I have no idea what social norms are.

No. This is the story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down.

This is the story of how I was homeless.


But I'm getting ahead of myself. To understand the story, we'll need to go back a little. Back to:

For my interested public that doesn't know, last year I studied in France for 9 months. Since I was in France for so long, it's safe to say I wasn't in the United States.

While I was off frolicking into the sunset with Jean-Claude and his pencil stache*, I was relying almost exclusively on my roommates back home to set up our living arrangements for the fall. That's totally reasonable, right? LITERALLY EVERYBODY DOES IT.

(*should be changed to "off smearing nutella on foods you don't normally smear nutella on")

Long section of the story short, that didn't happen for a reeeally long time. It actually wasn't until I was back in the states in JULY that my roommate Sarah informed me that she had found a house!

Fast forward to:
All of my most valuable possessions in tow, my mom and I arrived in Knoxville a little after my other roommate McCall (who had been studying in Brazil). Right away something wasn't right.

The house looked...sleepy. Like me whenever I have a paper due. A little bit loopy. A little bit grimy. We approached the creaking facade with trepidation; the half-mowed lawn revealing a treasure-trove of misplaced toys and tree stumps once hidden by 3 feet of grass.

Inside was no better. Significantly weirder, but no better.

Society tells us that this behavior is compartmentalized under "crazy." But what society doesn't account for is that when every popcorn on your popcorn ceiling is connected by one very large dangly black cobweb, YOU SWEEP, DAMMIT. YOU SWEEP UNTIL YOUR ARMS FALL OFF AND THEN YOU WIGGLE AROUND TIL THEY GROW BACK AND YOU SWEEP AGAIN.

But the overhead spider suburb was the least of our worries. There was black mold in the bathroom; a gaping hole in my window, leaving me exposed to the elements and also murder; a very adorable baby plant growing into the kitchen; fun noodles, a stuffed tiger, a Jesus portrait, a syringe, a spidery lamp, and a greasy hot-cold pack scattered willy-nilly about the house.

Sidenote: McCall's upstairs room was accessible through a floor door that had been sawed in half with 2 red handprints scraping down the underside.

Conclusion: something would kill us eventually.

And our parents left us there. Because they love us so much.

But we had high hopes. I mean this house had so much potential! Such high ceilings! Such wooden floors! Such walls! We would stay strong.

So for the next 48 hours, we cleaned.

Even one of my best friends from high school came up to celebrate my 21st birthday, and we put her to work.

We scrubbed, we swept, we held our breath when we showered. Everything was fine, it was fine, IT WAS FINE. EVERYTHING WAS FINE.

Well, everything was fine.
It was a Sunday. I remember because it was my birthday.

We went to introduce ourselves to the upstairs neighbors and ask if they wanted to share wifi. That's neighborly.

The girl seemed nice. She seemed confused. She asked us who we were renting the house from.

OH, you mean the creepy landlord guy who'll only talk to Sarah and only over email? That landlord? The one who only left us one key out in the very open very public mailbox? That one? Yeah, he's ours. Shh shh, it's fine, it's fine.

Mhmm...okaaay. Alright well, I'm pretty sure that 'upon' isn't supposed to be there. But you lost me on that first part. 'Forecloooosed?' McCall? Do you--you don't know what it means either? Okay, well, it sounds serious. Let's just make sympathetic agreeing noises.


I'm sorry, what?

I went into panic mode.

I was alone. My life was an abyss of nothing swallowed in darkness. Nothing would ever be right again. Nothing would ever be the same. We'd be kicked out of our home. We'd have to live on the streets and feed off the scrappings of homeowners. I've never been very good at scavenging. Oh well, who needs to eat anyway? It's not like life is important. I'll just lie here. Tell the next predatory bird that passes through that I'm ready to die.

Yeah, so while that was happening, McCall (bless her little Aryan heart), pretty much took the reins on this one. She used the internet from my iPhone (thank Jobs I just got one of those), and set up 5 house visits in 36 hours.

Because she's awesome.

And I'm completely and totally useless.

But that night was the scariest of all the nights. After seeing 2 houses, we had to venture back to the haunted house to sleep. The problems were getting worse. The holes in the walls, the mouse poop in our food, the spiders in my nightmares--it was too much.

We met Coco. She showed us a wonderfully nondescript house with lavender walls and no foreclosure.  We knew almost immediately that this was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives, or at least the rest of the night.

We met back up with Coco to sign the lease. I wrote a lumpy check for the rent. We then ran as fast as we could back to the haunted house, grabbed as much stuff as we could carry, leashed the dog, ran by a bank, withdrew $400, and sped over to the new house.

We pulled up real creepy behind Coco, flashed our lights, slipped her the cash, and got our keys to our brand new house with no power. But WHO FREAKING CARES? There's something about the transition from squatting in a house to living in one that is very refreshing. 

We laid out a sleeping bag in the largest room, conserved our 2 flush quota, and slept soundly in the darkness that is our adulthood.

The next day we strapped our mattresses to the roof of the car, realized the doors were strapped shut, climbed through the windows, and set off the car alarm--all under the watchful gaze of some not-so-strapping construction men across the street.

But we didn't care.

We had done it.

Or rather, McCall had done it. She passed my first test of adulthood. It was truly an honor to rock back and forth next to her, watching her flex her grown-up muscles and solve a real-world problem.

Oh and one other thing.

Stacey Campfield is our new landlord.

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