#49 MC THE SHIT OUT OF AN EVENT

“Well I have a microphone, and you don’t, SO YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY.”

-Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer

Who says you have to write every week to have a weekly blog? God? Miss Manners? The Mayans? One of the benefits of writing a weekly blog while being me is that I actually get to write whenever the hell I want. With or without Emily Post’s approval (it’s cool though, we’re tight. I knew her when she used to wear knickers and throw pebbles at the homeless).

If you haven’t gathered yet, I’m not very good at this “regularity” thing. But if Metamucil can do it for constipated people, then naggy texts and emails from a certain friend or two can do it for me!

Putting that unfortunate image aside, here’s a new thing I did recently:

#49 MC (the shit out of) an event

I’m pretty sure most of you who read this blog know what Paper Darts is (Hi Mom! Hi Grandmom!), but for those of you who don’t, it’s a literary magazine that I run with two of my friends and our somewhat recently acquired minions. A few weeks ago we celebrated the release of our third print issue with Paper Darts Volume Three Super Mega Dope LP (it just spills off the tongue, doesn’t it?) at Honey in Northeast Minneapolis.  We’d hosted two other pretty successful launch parties before this, and being “The Mouth” of Paper Darts, I was always inadvertently thrust into the role of awkwardly bumbling over semblances of thank yous and introductions to the crowd.

But this time, being our official Quinceanera and all, we wanted to do something bigger, something better, something less prone to make jokes about the Nasonex Bee over and over again. We wanted to hire an outside MC. Someone cool and hip and witty and professional who would spring across introductions, soar through transitions, and supply our adoring fans with just the right amount of snarky quips and amusing observations.

But then shit got busy and the actual process of asking someone to MC for us didn’t happen and eventually…

We got me. Again. (Nevermind the fact that towards the end there I did write an embarrassingly long email explaining why my co-editors should totally let me do it and how I’ll make them proud and yes, I promise I won’t use the word “bitchin” this time—let’s just pretend it was purely out of necessity, okay?)

And, though I’m not ruling out the possibility of complete delusion—I was roofied, I swear!—I think overall it actually went pretty well. Better than that stankyass, cheese-hatin’ ho Veganism, anyway.

Here are some things that I learned:

1) Bright Lights are Good! Bright Lights are Baaaad.

The positive side of multiple giant lights shining directly in your eyes? You can’t actually see all the people whose good favor you’re trying to win, and therefore can’t gauge whether or not you’re completely failing! Let me tell you, girl who was constantly frowning all night, you may have been constantly frowning all night, swirling your Girl-tini impatiently, rolling your eyes at my jokes about Facebook, and generally looking like an even more evil version of Gene Wilder, but bitch, I didn’t see it. And if I don’t see something, it doesn’t have any power over me. That’s why Uncle Poltergeist and I are on such good terms. The negative side of bright lights? All the people whose good favor you’re trying to win can see you. Really, really clearly. Sorry if I didn’t properly clean out my eye crusties that morning or something guys.

2) Two Drinks. No More, No Less.

As a wise author friend of mine once told me in an interview where we asked his advice for successful public speaking, the key is to have two drinks, no more, no less, before hitting the microphone. I heeded this advice, and it worked out great! I was just drunk enough to not hear myself that well but just sober enough to understand that I was talking. And that, as we all know, is the best way to make like Stefan Urquelle instead of Steve Urkel. Sweet, dreamy, misunderstood Stefan.

3) Always Bring Your Parents.

Aside from providing excellent fodder for off-the-cuff jokes (“Make sure to stick around for the Cleavage and Cufflinks dance party afterward, and say hi to my parents for me!”) they also serve as a supreme escape plan should shit start to go awry. Because nothing says adult like leaving your own party early to sit in the backseat of your parent’s mini-van, drunkenly wailing about how they should’ve sent you to a normal summer camp to be properly socialized instead of spending thousands of dollars paying for you to play stupid hockey all the stupid time. Generic stuff like that. Just don’t expect them to buy you drinks though, cause it ain’t cool to make your parents pay for your poor taste in alcohol (Windsor!).

Okay, well this was a long one, and I’m spent. Lucky for you though, I already have next week’s topic picked out.  Which means that maybe, just maybe, I’ll channel my inner Metamucil this time.

So thanks friends, and join me next week, when I (dun dun dun)…

Try to learn how to dance!!!

Later brahs.


*All images courtesy of Eyetography, those talented bassnerds.

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#50 YOU GOTTA ILLUSTRATE YER NEUROSIS, MAN

“I just don’t want to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member.” –Woody Allen

(paraphrasing Groucho Marx, who may or may not have been paraphrasing Freud)

(Preamble/Prologue/Sidenote: I realize that this post is like, what? almost a month late or something.  I could heehaw about how “I got busy” and “I don’t have a scanner” and “my dog ate my laptop” and wah wah wah, but you don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to write it [even if I just did] so let’s just skip it, eh? I’ll be better next time, I swear, I’m good fer it!)

I know what you’re thinking:  Regan Smith? Neurosis? Get right outta town. But the fact is, despite my regular calm, cool exterior, I am–like dear, disgusting Woody Allen up there–actually quite neurotic some of the time.

So, like any other dog-fearing citizen (seriously, my dog ate my laptop, if that isn’t a reason to be more afraid of canines than god then I don’t know what is), I’ve decided to deal with my neuroticisms by exposing them, and myself, in the form of SOME TOTALLY CRAPPY COMICS!!

There are a lot of these actually, but here are the ones I managed to scan at work before one of my fifteen bosses decided to come back from the bathroom like a weirdo. Things I will ask you to kindly disregard:

-Pencil lines (there are many)

-Repeated words (I have brain aneurysms)

-Poor scanning (it’s not my fault. realz)

ONE COMEEK, Ah Ah Ah:

I worry about becoming a stagnant, directionless, boring old biddy more often than is normal for a 23 year old semi-beboppin bitch.

TWO COMEEKS, Ah Ah Ah:

I obsess over people who are insanely talented in music, art, writing, etc. even though they probably all eat oatmeal for breakfast and go to bed at nine. Lameoids.

THREE COMEEKS! Ah Ah Ah:

I don’t think the internet likes me that much. It checked maybe on the Valetines “Bee Mine” Nasonex Bee card I gave it.

Coming up next week? Something great. Trust.

 

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#51 WHAT, ME VEGAN?

“She’s the kind of vegan that just drinks until she’s not hungry anymore.”

-Randy, Friday night at the CC

One day when I was in high school some poetic soul handed me a few brochures about animal cruelty and, having quite the poetic soul myself at that time, I decided to save the world and become a vegetarian. For weeks I struggled silently against the delicious forces of evil. Oh, cheesy chicken surprise for dinner again, Mom? No thanks, I ate a big lunch. You like pepperoni on your pizza? Whoops, I forgot I’m allergic to Red #5. Things were going great (!) until my brothers caught on. Several days and infinite merciless taunts and intentional carcass-centered dinner requests later, I broke.

Over the years I’ve tried to have a conscience about it. I only eat meat when someone serves it to me (or when I’m at a restaurant, or when I go to my parent’s house to steal food, or when I crave it) and I always brake for baby cows crossing the street… but the fact remains. I like live animals a lot more than I like dead ones. And while I don’t believe that humans eating animals is inherently wrong, I do believe that the way the meat I can afford is produced is undeniably pretty grody and cruel.

So, like any other logical young go-getter would do, I decided to make up for my years of indirect quadruped slaughtering by undergoing one week of intense non-animal product consumption (I heard that’s how god balances these things out anyway).

That’s right, for “one week” I became an “all out” vegan!!!

Here’s a photo recap of how it went:

ME BEFORE VEGAN WEEK

ME DURING VEGAN WEEK

ME AFTER VEGAN WEEK

In all honesty, despite what the image of that peaceful, self-satisfied little ginger monkey might tell you, I actually did a pretty crappy job. After only four days of strict veganism my friends got me a little tipsy off Grandpa’s old cough medicine and FORCE FED me nachos and cheese curds until my eyes hurt. Not the most noble way to go out (especially since I just lied about the force feeding part) to say the least.

Even though I didn’t make it a full seven days and even though not eating meat or dairy for a week isn’t truly “living vegan” anyway, I did learn a few VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS:

1) It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp

What’s the worst part about trying to live a certain way? Other people, man.  The consumer world is not kind to a vegan, not even a half-assed one like me. The first night of my experiment I had a dinner hour volunteer orientation at Famous Daves, where everything—even the vegetables—has some form of animal by-product worked into it. Two days later a student worker at my job offered me leftover pizza my coworkers had ordered for lunch and I had to awkwardly explain that I was going vegan for a week. She seemed nonplussed by my excuse and even less impressed with the “blog experiment thing” I was conducting. The worst part by far, however, was learning that my dear, darling Costco apparently hates vegans, too. A sample day completely devoid of joy is no day at all.

2) Patience, Young Grasshopper

I also learned pretty quickly that to be a real vegan in the true essence of the term, you have to be hardcore as shit, and you have to know what you’re doing. There are derivatives of animals or animal byproducts in just about everything if you trace it back far enough. And while ‘Merica has come pretty far in terms of vegan-friendly product availability, it’s still relatively rough, and expensive, for the animal huggers among us.

3) Iz You Iz Or Iz You Ain’t My Vegan

Probably the main reason I suck at being vegan? I don’t have any deep convictions about veganism. Vegetarianism I get, but not eating anything that may have come from animals? I’m not sure I’m really sold. On the health front I don’t really buy that veganism is any better for you than increasing your fresh vegetable/fruit intake, cutting back on processed/hormone injected foods, and making more time for exercise. On the moral front? Well, none of us really wants to go there right now, and I for one got my fill of self-righteousness from both sides in the philosophy class I took freshman year of college. Basically though, don’t do something if you don’t really believe in it, or you’ll end up in a spiral of nacho induced beery shame Just. Like. Me.

All right, so that does it for #51, thanks to all who skimmed or half-heartedly read. And if this entry was too wordy for your poor little brain (mine has already dissolved itself into a quivering blob of cheese curd-like goo), you’re gonna lurve next week, f’real.

Here’s a preview of #50 soon to come!

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#52 START A BLOG

A blog entry about starting a blog. You totally saw this coming, didn’t you? God, you’re smart. And pretty. And funny. Wanna date? If your idea of a hot date is reading all the way through this thing, occasionally commenting, frequently tolerating, and maybe even once in a while telling somebody else about Fifty-two, then damn, bitch, let’s date.

Why Fifty-two? Because I, like you, lover, have a bucket list of some vain, some altruistic, and some just kind of weird things that I would like to do, ideally “before I die.” However, since I’m in the prime of my youth and not really the type to worry about death ‘n’ stuff anyway, it’s more accurate to say that I have a list of things I’d like to do “before I get even lazier.”

Why now? Because if all of us young ruddagers started knocking things off our list in the next few years just think about how much more time we’ll have to do even cooler, more age-appropriate things later! Playing bingo with the biddies down at the parlour wearing nothing but Superman skivvies? Totally. Blowing an entire month’s social security check on creamed corn and coke (the latter left up for interpretation)? Done. Our future geriatric selves will certainly appreciate our current selves for flipping procrastination the bird, stepping out of the ol’ comfort zone, and gettin down to bizness before our knees give out and our fingies curl with the arthritis, afterall.

Which is why I’m gonna make like Mikey and embrace “our time.” Because it’s only so long before Goonies references are no longer retro, they’re just old and creepy.

So, back to #52!

The Rules:

-Do one new thing, each week, for one year (or fifty-two weeks, if math is lost on you). This can be anything from learning how to change the oil in my car, to volunteering at a homeless shelter, to hiking the Superior Trail alone, to making conversation with a stranger every time I ride the bus. Some will be pragmatic, some will be moral obligations, and some will just be vain and dumb, but all of them must challenge me in some way.

-Blog about each experience, each week, for fifty-two weeks.

 

Pretty simple, si?

Hope to “si” (waka waka) you back here next week for number #51!

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