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Day #363: Daydreamin’

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The Story:

“Hey… hey, psst! Hey, you better wake up!”

Jeremy climbed towards consciousness at the prompting of a strange voice coming from nearby. Not really awake, he tried to shake the cobwebs from his head but his eyes remained bleary with sleep.  He could swear he had awoken in what appeared to be a large auditorium. Suddenly, Jeremy realized he had absolutely no sense of where he was, a blip of panic raced across his brain and he immediately began to try and make heads or tails of his location… and who it was that woke him. Turning to his left, he immediately felt calmer.

“Missy, thank God. I was freaking out for a minute there. I thought I was in some auditorium or something, it was super weird. I guess I was dreaming because I kept hearing a teacher ask questions and students mumbling answers, I think about health care or something crazy like that… what is it?” As the sleep was falling away from his fogged brain, Jeremy realized Missy, his college girlfriend was staring at him in unmasked anger.

“Jeremy, what the hell? What are you doing here?” Missy hissed, trying to keep her voice down while glancing around nervously. “Why are you in my Healthcare Finance class?!?”she continued, slouching down in her seat as some of the students around her began to turn to see what the commotion was.

Jeremy frowned in confusion and then looked around. He was, in fact, sitting in a large auditorium surrounded by about 100 students- the instructor reviewing slides on the overhead and thankfully, his back was to the class. He remembered why he was here. He had planned on surprising Missy with two tickets to a concert for her birthday and so he waited for her here, where he knew her class was going to be. Arriving a little early, he sat down in one of the seats by the door to wait and must have nodded off, only waking when Missy had spotted him- a good thirty minutes into the lecture. Quietly explaining himself, he smiled his best “I tried my best!” smile and hoped he’d be forgiven. His intentions were good, after all.

Missy, apparently in a forgiving mood, relaxed a bit and turning back to the front of the room whispered, “You might as well stay, if he catches you trying to leave,” she nodded towards the instructor, “he will totally call you out”.

“Really? Crap… I don’t know anything about healthcare, if I stay he’s going to call on me for something, I know it,” Jeremy replied looking nervous and trying to disappear in his seat.

“You’re so paranoid, he’s not going to even know you’re here,” Missy whispered before they both heard a loud voice from the front and saw the entire class turn and face them.

“I’m so very sorry to interrupt what must be an important conversation,” the instructor said to Missy and Jeremy as the rest of the class laughed humorlessly. “Since you seem to have such a strong opinion you just couldn’t keep it to yourself, please… share with the class. What do you believe are the strengths of consumer driven healthcare, Mister… mister…”

“Thompson, sir… Jeremy,” Jeremy replied with a strangled tone. He threw a pleading glance at Missy who just sat there, wide eyed and helpless. Turning a lovely shade of crimson, Jeremy cleared his voice and just as he was about to reply… he woke up.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Have you ever had a dream that was so realistic you actually dreamt while you were in it? Had one of those last night… that’s pretty much all I remember now, unfortunately.

TWO:    Today I sat in on a healthcare debate being held as part of a course for some of our students. I found it extremely interesting as the topic was about consumer driven healthcare plans, something I actually just switched to recently. I made mention of this to the instructor during a break and of course… she wanted me to speak about my experience. Groan. There I was, barely able to understand the difference between an HSA and an HRA and she wanted me to talk about healthcare to a bunch of soon-to-be doctors. Well, despite my face turning the lovely shade of a baboon’s butt, I think I spoke relatively intelligently and even had a few students come thank me for providing insight and asked me questions about my decision.

Actually, I think my face was a little redder.

Love  & Squirrels.

 

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Day #362: I’d Rather…

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The Story:

I’d rather look at ugly faces…

Change my name or talk about cereal.

I’d rather drive across town to deliver pants

Or prick my finger with tiny needles over and over.

 

That's one ugly face...

I’d rather stare at a “Hang in there, baby” poster with a tiny kitten in a tree…

Stitch giant letters on a rebel flag.

I’d rather go nowhere on a bike

Or endure a mess of dog farts.

Anything, yes- just about anything

Would be absolutely preferable…

100% better and genuinely superior

Than writing tonight.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been sewing a giant rebel flag all day or if I’m just experiencing writers’ block, but I couldn’t think of one damn thing I wanted to write about tonight. Perhaps the end of this writing journey is so near I can taste it and I have a blogger’s version of ‘senioritis’. Whatever the reason, I’m just not ‘in it’ tonight and have found every excuse and reason to procrastinate- I’ve looked up ‘ugly faces’, searched for the original ‘hang in there, baby’ poster, chatted about cereal for dinner and been almost blown off the couch by some stinky dog farts thanks to my snoozing doxie, Joey.  Let’s hope for some inspiration to strike tomorrow!

Love & Squirrels.

Day #361: Oh, You Work In Movies?

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The Story:

How you know your boyfriend works in movies:

  1. There’s a box of live maggots snuggled up in your fridge.
  2. You’ve built a barn.
  3. You could probably whip up a fake license plate in about 30 minutes.
  4. You know at least five different ways to create green slime. Tempico anyone?
  5. Half of your house goes missing for weeks at a time, only to reappear as the backdrop for some make out scene in a zombie movie a year later.
  6. You’ve decorated a complete stranger’s living room.
  7. A rebel flag the size of your kitchen… is in your kitchen.

    To be fair, that is a 'mini' dachshund...

  8. Runs to Office Max are a weekly, if not daily occurrence.
  9. Finding a hospital bed at a garage sale for $40 is like striking gold and winning the lotto all rolled into one.
  10. Anytime you’re forced to buy something weird or embarrassing, you can say ‘it’s for a movie’ and the cashier thinks you’re super cool. “Yeah, these fifteen boxes of condoms and grape jelly aren’t for me… it’s for a movie”.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Yep, it’s that time again… movie making time. I swear, I end up doing the most random stuff and go to the most bizarre places anytime Andy begins working on a new movie. So far this one has been no different and… I love it. So, gotta cut this short, time to sew a giant skull on that rebel flag I mentioned.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #360: The Girls

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The Story:

They cannot be contained.

They will not be ignored.

Don’t try to cover them up

Or tuck them away.

They will find a way out.

They are professional escape artists.

Straps cannot bind them,

Nor can poorly constructed support.

They will pop them off like rubber bands.

They will force themselves upon the world.

So forget masking tape,

Might as well throw out the stapler.

They are here.

They WILL be noticed.

Crap... now they have a knife!

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      So… yeah, I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship…with my boobs. The ‘girls’ are kind of a force to be reckoned with and to be honest, I’m never quite sure how to ‘deal’ with them. If I had my way, I’d be an unassuming ‘B’ cup, or something similarly manageable. However the powers that be saw fit to ‘bless’ me with a sizable rack at the tender age of 13 (I can still remember the day some boy in my 7th grade art class was so kind as to give them their first moniker… that I will not be disclosing here). I know, I know, “woe is me, I have large breasts, boo hoo..” but having gazongas is not all it’s cracked up to be, believe me. Take today, for instance. Taking advantage of casual Friday at work, this morning I decided to throw on a cute tank top and jeans with a sensible cardigan over top. The tank was one of those with the adjustable straps, and I guess the girls weren’t too happy about the situation so they decided to pop off one of my straps. Great, it’s 1pm and I have to waltz around for the rest of the day with a strap missing. Not having a safety pin handy, I did the next best thing… I stapled the strap back to the shirt. Good as new.

I totally need to invest in this stuff...

Love  Squirrels.

Day #359: Undercut

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The Story:

“OK guys, the challenge this week was to create an original villain with a flaw. Each of you drew a different flaw and incorporated it somehow into the overall story behind your villain. You were given 48 hours to brainstorm and create storyboards to present to our panel of judges. The winner of today’s challenge will gain immunity from tomorrow’s elimination round. We’ve heard from Jacob who created ‘Beefcake’ who suffered from morbid obesity before getting in shape in order to eliminate every carbohydrate from the world. Next up, is Duncan who drew the flaw ‘tiny’. Duncan, please step forward and present your villain,” Starla Gwinn stepped back into the shadows on the side of the stage and out of the heat of the spotlight.

Beefcake will not rest until these sick freaks are brought to justice... or a compost pile.

 

“Um…okay, so my villain’s flaw was that he was tiny, or really really small,” the bundle of nervous and awkward energy in the suspenders and cabbie hat began as his storyboards were brought up on the enormous screen behind him. “So I decided to make him a fallen fairy of sorts. He never quite got the hang of flying and refused to grant wishes or collect teeth or wear the uniform (tutu’s weren’t his thing apparently) so he was kicked out of the fairy kingdom. Swearing revenge, the fairy reject decided to lash out at the one thing he knew fairies loved more than anything else- human children. Vowing to make every child who crossed his path miserable he set off on his quest with hate in his heart and a plan in his mind. He would cut up these children, savagely tear at their flesh and scar their faces. Perhaps then, his clueless fairy brethren would see them for what they were- little monsters,” Duncan glanced up at the faces of the judges and tried not to read into their confused expressions. He plunged on.

Save it junior, I know what you really are... and it sickens me.

“So the fallen fairy sneaks into the rooms of sleeping children all over the world, and with his tiny knife stabs and slashes at their faces and quickly moves on to his next victim before his gory work is discovered by meddling parents. For weeks he’s at it, figuring at least 10,000 children have fallen under his knife. He begins to listen for talk of his work among the humans but is mystified that no one seems to be mentioning it. Eventually, curiosity getting the better of him, he sneaks back to one of the first houses he hit to see for himself how his work has ruined the child’s life. He is devastated to see that nary a scratch can be found on the boy. His face as cherubic and unmarked as it was weeks ago- before succumbing to the fairy’s vicious attack. How could this be? thought the fairy. Shaking off what he had seen as a fluke, a trick of light or freak of nature the fallen fairy went to visit another of his victims, and then another and another- they were all as the first, completely whole and not at all the bloody mess he had hoped. Finally, unable or unwilling to accept that his best attempts at mayhem and violence have failed, he visits his most recent victim whom he cut to pieces only eight hours prior. Arriving at the house, the fairy suppresses an involuntary gag as he flutters over the white picket fence and perfectly tended window boxes of pansies. Arriving at the window directly beyond the family dining room, the fairy peers in and sees the family of four gathered at the table and sharing a meal. The boy is facing away from the fairy so he cannot get a look at any of his handiwork. He watches intently as the mother leans over to serve the boy some tater tots and holds his breath and watches her expression. Surely she sees the severe wounds that must be oozing and scabbing even now. Sure enough, the mother’s eyes grow wide as she looks at her son’s face and almost drops the bowl of tots. Setting the bowl down, she creases her brow and leans even closer to her youngest brat. The fairy can barely contain his excitement- finally, his work is getting the attention it deserves!

What is that on your face, Drew? Is that… is that blood? And look, there’s another scratch on the bridge of your nose… hmm, that’s funny.

The fairy can’t believe what he hears. Funny? Her son being cut up from ear to ear is funny? That is when the little boy gets up from the table, and turning to face the glass of the window attempts to inspect the ‘scratch’ his mother saw. Face to face with the boy (who cannot see him in the shadows) the fairy is horrified to see that for all of his efforts, his slashing and gouging, his cutting and piercing, the only marks on the kid are a few ‘pinpricks’ of crusted-over blood,” Duncan pulls in a long breath. It feels like the first he’s taken in several minutes.

“Okay… um, thank you Duncan,” Starla said, suddenly she was by his side in the center of the stage. “That was fascinating. Judges, do you have any questions for Duncan on his ‘tiny fairy’ villain concept?” she continued, regaining some of her composure. Duncan scanned the judges’ table and was met with blank stares- and a few gaping mouths. “Well, looks like you left them speechless!” Starla quickly injected before guiding Duncan from the stage.

Duncan did not win that night. In fact, he was voted off the second-rate reality show the following evening. Five years later, however, he became the renowned fantasy author who many heralded as the next ‘J.K. Rowling’. And is fallen fairy? He went on to star in a trilogy of wildly successful movies that made him the second most recognizable image in the world- only Mickey Mouse outranked him.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Today I noticed several small cuts on my face and one on the inside of my ear. Peering closer, I saw they weren’t really any bigger than minor paper cuts and that thought struck me as funny. I immediately imagined this little elf creeping in at night and slicing me up good while I slept with dozens of little paper cuts. I think I need to get more sleep…

Love & Squirrels.

Day #358: Human Interaction

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The Story:

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      After spending the majority of the day at work holed up in my office proof-reading a few student papers and not really speaking to anyone, I decided to tag along with Andy tonight as he set up for the first day of shooting tomorrow (a film that is). The last thing I wanted to do was sit around the house by myself all night, and when the rest of the crew asked why I would ‘elect’ to spend my evening decorating another person’s house (again for the movie) the first answer I could think of was, “I spent most the day alone so I wanted some human interaction”. This struck them as funny, and Joe, the production manager laughed saying, “and we’re the best you could do, eh?” Yes, Joe… sadly, you were the closest I could come to ‘humans’.

Love  & Squirrels.

Day #357: Cut and Rum

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The Story:

“I’m done!” Marissa yelled from the dining room.

“Already? That was fast…” Cooper thought to himself as he walked from the kitchen towards the dining room. “Marissa never does anything fast, she takes forever with even the smallest of tasks, wanting to make sure every detail is perfect,” Cooper thought as he picked up the pace, he had a sinking feeling growing in his gut. “Why was it taking him so long to get to the other side of the house?!?” he continued to wonder frantically.

Two hours ago Cooper had asked his sister to help him with a project for the school production of Grease II that he was getting behind on and she had eagerly agreed. All he needed her to do was cut out a bunch of pictures that Cooper would later make into a collage. The stack he had given his sis should have taken Marissa at least half the night knowing how careful she would be removing every bit of white space and making sure all the edges were perfectly straight. The fact that Marissa had completed the task in a mere two hours, the time it would take a normal non-OCD person, was unsettling.

Upon entering the dining room, Cooper almost screamed. The scene before him read like some sort of hokey horror film only instead of blood and guts there were mangled pictures, some cut down to the size of confetti; instead of a terrifying  monster, only his sister- who now appeared asleep, lying atop a pile of haphazardly cut pictures, her weapon- a pink pair of scissors, still clutched in her hand.

“Marissa, what the hell?!?” Cooper screamed, unable to contain his horror a minute longer.

Startled by her brother’s outburst, Marissa woke with a start and looked around with bleary eyes, a picture of dissected motorcycle stuck to the side of her face. Taking a closer look, Cooper moved closer and then gasped for a second time.

“Marissa… are you… are you drunk?” Cooper leaned in closer still.

“What? Me, drunk? Don’t… hiccup… don’t be silly, hiccup,” Marissa tried to give Cooper playful shove but misjudged the distance and almost toppled over had Cooper not intervened.

“Oh my God, Marissa, you are drunk!” Cooper said as he helped Marissa into a chair.

Little did Cooper know that his kid sister had quite the history with booze... this photographic evidence was recovered only after the 'rum ball incident' of 2012...

At that moment, the siblings’ mother entered the dining room dressed as if for an event and looking very frazzle, “Hey kids, you haven’t seen a big silver plate with my homemade rum balls, have you? I’m running late for the Richardson’s party and I can’t find them anywhere.”

Cooper’s eyes grew wide as he made the connection of the missing rum balls and his 15-year-old sister’s current state of inebriation. Sliding in front of his sister to block her from their mother’s view, Cooper made an obligatory scan of the room for the ‘missing’ rum balls and told his mother he had not seen them (which wasn’t really a lie, since he hadn’t actually seen them).

“Well shoot, I went to all that trouble… I swear, if I didn’t have my head firmly attached then I’d lose that too… oh well,  guess I’ll just have to pick up some egg salad from the store on the way,” and with that she disappeared from the room, shouting a goodbye as she exited the house through the front door.

Heaving a sigh of relief, Cooper returned his attention to his drunk sister, who was now, thankfully, passed out in the chair. Looking at the table littered with the remains of his pictures, Cooper began shifting them around and eventually found the missing silver plate… but no rum balls. All that was left were 30 discarded toothpicks.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      As she was leaving for the day, one of my students stopped by and kindly offered me a homemade rum ball. Not sure what the occasion was, but that detail didn’t seem important and I graciously accepted. That was four and a half hours ago and I may still be drunk. Ok, not really, but man, those suckers packed a punch.

TWO:    Tomorrow marks the first day of ‘production’ for Andy on this latest film he’s working on and I’ve been trying to chip in and help wherever I can. Today, that mean cutting about 100 pictures out in order to make a collage for one of the sets they are dressing. Cutting a straight line has never been my forte (don’t even get me started on coloring in a straight line!) but I think I managed pretty well, and other than a crick in my neck and a stiff ‘cutting’ hand I made it through.

And yes, the tongue is necessary...

Love & Squirrels.