Saturday, December 30, 2006

Taboo and Family Holidays

As a final post for 2006, here's a look into a Midnight Shoveler Christmas.
I love going home to my family for the holidays. We usually play Scrabble, make inside jokes, and complain about being loved too much, therefore getting overspoiled in number of presents (I've never seen the point in this last one.) This year we even sang songs as I played piano. No joke. First, Hark the Herald Angels, and then we moved on to Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it was family singalong nonetheless! We also read The Little Match Girl on Christmas Eve (a spoiler: it doesn't end well- Hans Christian Anderson ends the delightful Christmas tale of a poor Russian street urchin with the words frozen and corpse.).
But the best part of this nontechnological time at home was playing the 2-person version of Taboo. It's the game where you see a word on your card like 'Elephant' and you have to make your teammate (my sister, the only other player in our version) guess the word 'elephant', without using gestures or motions. The tricky part is that you're NOT allowed to use certain words, also on your card, which would usually be used in describing an elephant (say, 'Africa', or 'tusks'). But our sibling bond is often stronger than words. Our dialogue went like this:
"Napoleon Dynamite's favorite thing, not a liger, is..."


And my personal favorite:
"No. Egg. Eggbeaters."

Happy New Year, all, and thanks for reading. See you in '07!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Room is Alive

Every time a strong wind blows on my poorly built, poorly maintained, and poorly storm protected windows, the plastic sheeting on it puffs out and the blind opener stick takes on a life of its own, moving out into the room about a foot. I also have a toilet that likes to talk to itself all day, and a door that growls every time it's opened (like my stomach, it is never satisfied). So I have come to decide that my apartment is alive, and it's trying to tell me that I'm getting what I'm paying for.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ginkgo Vomit

It's hard to be mad at a tree. Trees are what makes a town feel cozy, make us paper so we can draw comics, and the world should have many more of them. A tree looks fashionable and chic in all seasons, and doesn't even have to dress in layers in the winter. Winter snow on a maple tree? So hot right now.
But when it comes time for the ginkgo tree to drop the fruits of their sex, I want to run for my life. The berries fall off the trees and squish on the sidewalks, and then emit the most disgusting rotting smell. What's sadder is that not all ginkgos have to drop fruits, but some do, and it seems quite voluntary and random on the tree's part (maybe the other trees have to help memory loss and menopause...or is that St. John's Wort?). And it so happens that all the ginkgos of Pittsburgh live all around my house, so I have to cross the street back and forth about five times on my way to class and work just to avoid getting their rancid ovaries all over me. At least I think they're tree ovaries. I could be wrong, but the plant gonad reference was just waiting to be set up there. They've been periodically dropping fruits since the summer- there is no one 'fruit' season for the ginkgo. They're EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I don't even feel like walking someplace new in fear that my shoes are going to get covered in gingko fruit. And then I'm that guy at the grocery store that everyone thinks has dog poop on his shoes. When will the deciduous insanity end? Tree, tree, stop sexing on me.