Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Strike that, reverse it.

Friday confession day!  Diddly doo!

I would like to share something with you that you have more than likely already picked up on.  It’s an unending source of hilarity for me as well as my close friends, and I think it’s time that I actually addressed it on here.

I consistently use the wrong words to describe what I’m attempting to say.

Once I got into a conversation with a friend about child drop-out rates from school which was going really well until I referenced “truncated” instead of “truancy”

One time, during a conversation about a recent political debate, wherein everyone was so goddam arrogant of themselves and ready to wage political warfare given the drop of a hat, in reference to a debate where the incumbent’s response was terse yet heartfelt, I blatantly misused the word “sardonic” when I actually meant to say “laconic.”

My mom still corrects me today that what I meant to say was “PERSECUTE” and not “PROSECUTE.”

And more hilariously, as well as most recently, I noticed a whole TWO DAYS after I posted my last installment that I mentioned that there was also a sort of crappy fact that a lunar eclipse never garnishes the same amount of excitement as its better loved brother, the solar eclipse.

a lunar eclipse never GARNISHES the same amount of excitement??

Anycrap, what is so SHITTY about this is that for writing purposes, I try my hardest to make sure my grammar is always correct by performing multitudes of spell checks to avoid a misspelled word or a poorly constructed phrase, as well as the well-known and all-feared dangling modifiers.  But even spell check can’t fix the problems that spawn from someone who regularly vacillates between idiot savant and brain dead.

Par example, I was once discussing my feedback on a paper I wrote in an English class where my teacher was trying to help me understand that I had, indeed, made a misuse of a certain participle in the formation of a sentence which left the phrase open-ended and thusly unstable.  What some might call a DANGLING PARTICIPLE, if you will.  And being the cocky sonofabitch that I was back then responded to a tenured professor, “Oh.  You mean a hanging chad?”

How I ever passed that class is still a mystery and an act of grace beyond reason.  It was during the Dubya administration, though, obviously, so I’m just gonna go ahead and blame it on that.

But I have made peace with this personal flaw.  I accept it as anyone would do the same with a niece with an unfortunate harelip.  Thom Yorke has a prolapsed eye but he still has some beautiful pipes.  Carly Simon apparently got fucked over by a total man-slut but still managed to come out smelling like roses.  Michael J Fox has Parkinson’s but he still nails it on timing.  Stephen Hawking lives in a permanent state of this-shit-is-totally-fucked-up-and-no-wonder-he-doesn’t-believe-in-god, but he’s still written a decent book here and there.

So the way I see it is this:  everything that comes out of my mouth (and subsequently through my posts) is a veritable lottery.  I have a very good chance of hitting the powerball as much as I do striking out.  And when my numbers don’t match up (which isn’t that uncommon) it’s only an epicenter for the next belly laugh.  I think maybe I should actually turn this into a new category.  We could all find some really funny crap before too long. Whaddya say?  Let’s make Historectomy!



“Hey!  You guys!  There’s a lunar eclipse tonight!”

“Oh… wow… That’s just amaaaaaazinnnnnnng.”

“No, really!  We’ll be able to see a shadow of the earth over the moon tonight.  This is so cool!”

“Did you not catch my sarcusiasm?  I said that was amaaaaaaazziiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnng.”

“Sarcusiasm’s not a real word.”

“Neither is my excitement for the lunar eclipse.”


If anyone ever wants me to write for a sitcom, there’s my attempt at doing so.


No.  No, I don’t think I belong in that profession, either.

The truth is there is, in fact, a lunar eclipse tonight.  But there is also a sort of crappy fact that a lunar eclipse never garnishes the same amount of excitement as its varsity football team, boinking-the-head-cheerleader, dumb-as-rocks-but-still-lunchroom-royalty step-brother, the solar eclipse.

Lunar eclipse: Aw, you guys caught me blushing!

Solar eclipse: I will destroy you and your hope of any future legacy.

Case in point:

You don’t need to be taken out of class for a lunar eclipse.

You don’t need a shoebox with a pencil hole in it to watch the lunar eclipse.

If you were an emerging civilization before the invention of modern science, you wouldn’t think the lunar eclipse was the sign of the end of the world.

And so on and so forth.

So I feel for ya, Lunar eclipse.  You’re the geek in this scheme of poorly broken down social stigma analogies.  You’re that kid who eats tuna at lunch and smells like gross fish for the rest of the day.  The one who wears sunglass strap holders to support your eyeglasses.  The 14-year-old that still trick-or-treats by themselves.

You just need to loosen up.  Otherwise you’re going to end up one of those carpet cleaner guys who gets so caught up in your work that you turn every various client’s rug stain into a CSI investigation.

Spoiler alert:  it’s usually kool-aid cherry or wildberry punch based.


Not that it’s completely related, but one time about 5 years ago, I read about a low-flying meteor shower that was luckily enough going to be within EXTREEEEEEEME visual foci to my town (it’s within the realm of “cosmos” as far as I’m concerned, so I’m comfortable combining the two topics in one post).  I was also beginning to see a guy who I was crazy about and eventually became my Chicago compatriot, and so I invited him over to come see it with me.   We had decided to meet up early, catch some dinner, and move out to one of the respective areas around the outerbank levee so we could get away from the light pollution of the city.

The first 2/3rd’s of that plan worked out perfectly.

We got out there and noticed, to our absolute dismay and probably a realization that I was a COMPLETE idiot and didn’t count on there being any restraints designed for keeping morons like me out from scaling the man made hills meant for keeping water from flooding the land or anything else dumb like that, that there was a veritable musical ledger of barbed wire leading up to the pinnacle of the hill.  5 lines of angry metal borders.

And I thought, “COOL!  A LADDER!”

So I grabbed our provisions out of the back of my car and formulated a plan that was absolutely BRILLIANT.

“Okay, what you’re gonna do is climb the wire first.  Then I’ll throw the stuff over to you, all right?!  Then I’ll climb over, and we’ll make it up the hill.  Yes?  YES?  OKAY!  YES!  ON WE GO!”

Would you like to bet how long it took before someone was injured?

I guess that wouldn’t be very fair to judge considering I didn’t have a stopwatch on me.  But it was within a minute, I promise you. Divide your winnings accordingly.

The culprit was, not surprisingly, one of the spikes from the barbed wire that we were attempting to ascend.  And the target was somewhere around his knee.  The fella was a trooper, though, and came back down, simply explaining, “Um… I don’t think this is such a great idea.”

“Noooooo!!… Really??”

“Uh.  Yyyeeeaaahh.  I just cut myself.”

And then he exposed his now bloody knee.

And I suddenly felt like a bad, very, very bad person.  These are the things that would get me put away for spousal abuse, had we been married.

We rushed home where I inspected and cleaned up his now dark brown, caked up ruddy knee.  We debated on whether or not to go to the hospital for a Tetanus shot, which he eventually pooh-pooh’d but we both decided if he woke up in the morning with any feelings of tension in his jaw that he would seek help immediately (thank the all-knowing unknown we never became parents together, at least especially at that point) and he went home.

I eventually found out from other friends that the meteor shower was obscured by too many low lying clouds, which somehow justified our failed excursion, as far as I was concerned.  And luckily enough the area we sought out had explicitly clean barbed wire.  Or maybe he now has some new metallic wielding powers that even Stan Lee couldn’t imagine.  But I doubt it, otherwise I’m sure he would have made our delays on the Chicago train commutes much less infuriating.

Under my skin

So what do you do when you think to yourself before going to bed, “You know, it’s perfect weather outside tonight, and there’s a nice light rain, so I think I’ll leave my window open,” and you drift softly off to sleep nestled in your comfortably simple bed, where you have a really nice dream about riding an elephant, who also happens to be your best friend and speaks fluent Taiwanese and teaches you all the best catchphrases and knows exactly where to find the best


SHITPOCKETS!  How can someone bitchslap me out of my sleep with what I would normally consider a relatively soothing song??



Christ.  I forgot about that goddam brass fanfare.

Guess it doesn’t really matter.  But this is a repeat offender, so it’s obviously someone who either lives here or visits regularly, however I can never predict when he’ll strike.  So what do you do?

A)  Quietly fume and call the police to report a noise disturbance

B)  Take it as a cue that this guy wants to start an impromptu flashmob and run outside and begin to dance

C) Say fuck it, pour yourself 2 fingers of bourbon, and sit down to your computer… and begin to plot your revenge.

You can see I opted for number C.

So I’ve been awake since about 1.  And it’s just been downright goddam delightful, because I continue to be serenaded by the most efficient ghetto blaster of a car audio system.  I’m actually kind of impressed by his guts to keep blowing this shit because this is, for the most part, an incredibly tame neighborhood.  I would have thought some strong-willed patriarch from another apartment would have surely paid him a visit at some point.  But I guess I shouldn’t speculate because I’m sure as shit not wasting my time going out there.

Plus, I’ve lived in a noisy neighborhood before where this type of crap happened on the regular.  During my junior year of college I moved in with an amazing friend from work and we lived in the low-rent, thin-walled, undergrad party central.  The only problem was we didn’t really get down as hard as our classmates, who proved to be MARATHON partiers.  They could start at 3pm chugging insurmountable quantities of Bud and Coors, knock it off by sunrise, sleep like vampires for the better part of the day and come alive again at 3pm the next day, ready to begin all over again.  And god save you if it was LSU’s football season.

Basically, I’ve learned that calling the cops is relatively futile, and by the time you’re awake enough to realize what’s going on, you might as well take a deep breath and join the party.

But I think I already mentioned before.  If someone compromises my sleep, they’re essentially compromising my sanity.  And… also… I think I’ve mentioned this before, too.  I’m a vindictive bitch.

And you, sir, just poured yourself a perfect storm.

Respect thy elders… and produce

Question for ya.

What would you do if you watched a person, a person much, much older than yourself, do something that even a 4-year-old understands is wrong?

Would it depend on the severity of the act?

Lying on your taxes?  Maybe the international “eeesh” look.

Child abuse?  Alleyoop that shit to CPS- not your problem anymore!

But what if it’s something that straddles this weird line of “not a big deal” and “what the hell did I just watch?”

I just got back from the grocery store where, not surprisingly, given the lead in to this post, that exact event occurred!

I was walking through the produce, inspecting the tomatoes and peppers and contemplating a salsa in my future, when I saw these giant avocados which were absolutely perfect; still sturdy and lent the perfect amount of springback to light pressure and, I don’t know, I was already in a southwestern mindframe, saw nothing less than the perfect backbone of one solid guacamole. I began picking some out when I noticed the price tag, which had no doubt been set by a neo-third reich gestapo.  All thoughts went swiftly back to the pre-envisioned salsa and I moved along.

Because I was shopping in the middle of the day, on a Monday, no less, I encountered a very particular demographic of co-shoppers.  Not that I’m really analyzing them or anything because it’s pretty clear most of them could tell you who the attorney general was during the the Eisenhower administration…from experience.  I actually prefer this over going shopping on a Thursday afternoon where you will inevitably encounter a number of pissed off young mothers who just can’t seem to understand why their children prefer fruit roll ups over hard boiled egg whites, or even worse, a Friday night when you are surrounded by a slew of emerging adults who have just discovered that vodka can be mixed with veritably any ingestible liquid and it will be InstantPartyHolyShitBruh!  

Not long after though, as I waded through the purples and the vidalias, I caught a glimpse of something… odd.  I can’t really liken it to anything else, but at that moment, I knew exactly what behaviors Pit Bosses look for on all of those tiny little surveillance videos.  It’s just that perfect mixology of nervous, guilt, and eagerness poured into a too-small glass.  There was this woman who, if I had to guess, was several decades older than I was, standing as still as an unposed mannequin, except for her eyes, which were darting back and forth, and then every so often she’d shift her head abruptly (not unlike how an owl almost defies the laws of being a vertebrate) and inspect her surroundings her periphery didn’t cover.


If it had been an avocado.  Had it been two avocados, hell, three! I would have smirked and moved onto the dairy section.  But this was like watching the Coney Island hot dog eating contest.  This woman was the KOBAYASHI of smuggling this produce item into every available opening in her clothing.

This was about the time that I realized I was the ONLY witness to this.  And being that I had recently noticed the cost of the said produce items that were swiftly being shoved into her clothing, my mind somehow became a running cash register of all of her contraband and eventually it became less of a running tally and more of a high school football game chant.





Who do we know’s goin to hell?!

And it went on.  I suddenly realized why she was wearing sweats.  This woman was a seasoned professional.  I kind of actually started to vacillate between in a state of complete disbelief and a bit of utter fascination.  I was just stuck in this suspended animation of Not Do I Understand What Doing You Are.  Isn’t anyone 20+ years above you supposed to be an exemplar of the grace of age and wisdom?  You know, apart from watching all those Hoarder and Intervention shows.  I just stood there in unbroken wide-open-eyes for a solid minute while I witnessed the stealth of a geriatric bandit.

Which was when she noticed me.

I didn’t know what was coming, but suddenly we were in a visual standoff. She knew that I knew that she had seen what I had seen.  An infinity of mirrors awkwardness.  And now there were two deers staring into the headlights of each other’s eyebeams.  This went on for about 3 seconds but felt like the length of a Baleen whale if you counted it inch per second.  She finally broke by shrugging and pushing her cart into the deli area, no doubt to scope out her chances of bogarting some cold cuts.  I proceeded to laugh in disbelief that someone just made out with about several weeks worth of an expensive salad garnish.

But what if it were a philosophical conundrum?  Like if Joe couldn’t afford the medication to save his wife’s life so instead he stole it from the pharmacy?  What if Jane’s husband needed an exuberant amount of omega-3 fatty acids or else he’d die?

Eh, I doubt it.  That lady just wanted some cheap guacamole.  And now she gets to waddle through the rest of the store like a penguin with a watermelon between her thighs.  Well thought out, you enfeebled shoplifter.

Loaded gun

And now.  Another installment of a conversation with the Most Brilliant Person Alive.


MBPA:  You worked at a toy store?  What was that like?

Ashlin:  Oh, it was all right; it had it’s moments.  Sometimes we were allowed to play with a bunch of new toys that hadn’t been marketed yet.  There was this really cool thing called an “Airzooka” that we had a blast with.

MBPA: An “Airzooka?”

Ashlin:  Yeah.  It was a pretty simplistic model of a handheld air cannon.  It had a plastic tube with a bungee on one end and you pulled it back to release this highly concentrated ball of air wherever you directed it.

MBPA:  Whoa.  That’s pretty cool.

Ashlin: It was pretty cool; someone could do it from really far away and you could still feel it go right through you.

MBPA:  Like chili?

Ashlin:  I… …shit.  Well playyyyed, nastyass.

A, my name is Ashlin

I was given a somewhat unique name for the time that I was born.  I like it.  It works.  Not to toot my parent’s horn or anything (which now means I will blow the bejeezits out of it) but I think the flow of my full name is great.  Ashlin Phillips just sounds…good.  There’s a great proportion of the L’s and neat layering of the S’s throughout.  I’ve got both soft and hard P’s and my first name doesn’t end in -ey, like the majority of my 80’s born compatriots (not saying there’s anything wrong with that, trust me). Don’t believe how important the proper structure of a name is?  Go read the first iconic paragraph of Nabokov’s “Lolita.” Yeah.  That shit makes a difference, at least among the pedophilia demographic, but I’m getting away from myself; you know what I mean.  I met a Phyllith once, and all I could think of to pronounce her name correctly was to imagine saying Phyllis with a severe lisp.  It was fitting though; she was a total bith.

My parents admitted that they almost named me “Chloe” but changed their mind after I was born and they took one look at me and said, “That ain’t no Chloe.”  I have to agree.  I hear “Chloe” and I think of the white fluffy girl kitten from The Aristocats.  Everybody knows if my character were to be likened to a cat, it would be a bit less shi-shi and much more plain old-fashioned fucked up.

This will be the only cat picture you will have to endure on this blog. It's an analogy. Just go with it.

The only problem with my name is that it’s extremely similar to several other more common names that people are more familiar with; Ashley, Allison, Allen (which I have been called before, on more than one occasion).  I even worked with a girl once named Ashli Lynn, which was interesting.  When I introduce myself to new people my age, there is a very good chance that I will get the “Wait, what?” face, then most of the time those people will lean in as if the difference in inches between where they were a second ago will make a dramatic difference in what they just heard.

A lot of times, depending on how long I know I’ll be around the person, I’ll allow them to contently refer to me by another name and not bother correcting them.  I just don’t see the point.  Especially with those in the older community.  I think I broke an old man’s brain once when I was very young and the look on his face of so much frustration was disturbing since he had such a difficult time pronouncing my name correctly that it was as if I was asking him to understand quantum mechanics.  I just ended up feeling like a bad person when I watched his frustration turn into a dejected look of “Does not compute,” and I walked off with a new understanding of when to hold em and when to fold em.

I actually watched this type of shit backfire once in high school from an observer’s perspective.  I was moving around to different classrooms making an announcement with another member from choir, who, leeeeet’s calllll- Ãmie (pronounced “ah-mee.”) We got into one particular class before the other students began filing in when another girl, we’ll call Jenny, from a different chorus class walked in.  She was older than Ãmie, not that it matters now, but think back to when you were in high school- a year’s difference can very well equate into a huge power shift, given the right circumstances.  This girl walked in and noticed us, and lent a brief greeting.

“Hey Ashlin!  Hey Amy!”

And began unloading her books in the normal fashion.  A few seconds passed by when Ãmie made an audible throat clear the caliber of an aggressive librarian, and then called the girl out, in front of her entire class, saying, “Um, Jenny?  Jenny??  It’s AH-MEEE.”

Thus spoke Zarabitchtra.


A person’s name is extremely important, as far as I’m concerned.  I cannot stand when a person I highly dislike says my name; it’s almost like hearing a cringe-worthy auditory event, like listening to a car accident.  Shove your title full of horrible weeping and gnashing of teeth.

At the same time, hearing your name spoken by someone you really care about is an afternoon on the beach in Utopia.  When I was 16, I encountered my first epic love, and the two of us were playing basketball in my driveway.  I was fumbling with the ball because I’m hopeless when it comes to sports, and we ended up shouldering one another and me trying to overcome his +20 lbs over me when I heard the simple phrase:

“You can’t push me over, Ashlin.”

Oh.  Oh-hoo-hooo. No, that sounds like small potatoes, you guys, but it was like sticking my finger in my mouth and then placing directly into a light socket. Then jumping into a pool full of electric eels.  With a hairdryer.  My insides did an acrobatic act and I shoved the ball into his stomach so he wouldn’t notice the swooney eyes I was stuck with for the next several seconds.

And things really haven’t changed since then.  I still do mini brain-backflips when a guy I like casually mentions my name either to me or within earshot to someone else.  And it’s the same in retribution, too.  I love when a person who I care about’s name comes up in conversation because it’s the representation of our friendship and anything else.  Especially since I’ve moved away from a number of my best friends, when I do have a chance to catch up with anyone and I’m able to mention what Sarah’s up to, or Jamie, or Brian, I’m brought back to previous memories of some of my favorite people, and it makes me feel a little closer to those who I miss so greatly.

My mom used to tell me that hearing me say “Mommy” would give her a zing through her heart.  It took a while, but I finally understood what she meant.  And it had nothing to do with the fact that I had just shocked her because I had just discovered rubbing my socks on the carpet and using my finger as a weapon on a really dry day.

Libretti, subscriptti, wasteoftimeee

When I first moved to Chicago I worked, for the better part of a year, for a very famous Orchestra which shall not be named:

I worked in what was known as the “Priority Seating Department” which was just a glorified title for sitting on the phone all day with geriatric subscribers attempting to move their seats around and possibly throw in a swindle here and there by tacking on additional tickets for shows that weren’t part of their packages.  Everyone started this job out the same way, myself included.  You began by feeling extremely evil for attempting to hawk these a la carte performances of “The Planets” or “John Williams Tribute show” which would basically butt rape these kind person’s social security, but then you eventually got to a point where it became a game of how well you could pitch Bartok to a generation only concerned with Chopin and Debussy.

“I see you’re subscribed to the Early Baroque Masters program.  Have you ever heard of Ligeti?  I think it would be right up your alley.”

Hiyoo, pretentious references to differences in composer styles.  Check.

Anyway, you would basically sit there all day, every day, and not unlike many other jobs, the only brief respites you were allowed were to either refill your coffee or go to the bathroom.  We all learned pretty quickly that this could basically equate to a total of about 3 breaks per hour if you timed it just right.  Fill the coffee cup twice between 8 and 8:30 and without a doubt you’d need to use the restroom before 9.

I still don’t consider this as time theft.  I consider it survival.

It really wasn’t so bad, I guess.  Discussing differences between seating arrangements never really bugged me that badly.  What bothered me were the passive-aggressive micromanaging bosses who breathed down your neck and scolded you for speaking to your next door coworker for even a minute.  Yes, I understand time is money and so on and so forth, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all reached a point in our lives where we can fill out paperwork as well as hold a simple conversation with the person next to us.

“Kristen, lunch Friday?”


“HEY GIRLS!  Do you think… maybeeeeee we could… let’s give Mrs. Hazel another call?  Thaaayyyyyynnkssss.”

And then there were the issues that required a certain amount of judiciousness before making the call, figuratively and literally.  If I spoke with Mr. Thompson on Monday and he explained very rationally that he couldn’t talk at the moment because his wife, Betsy, was currently going in for her third renal tumor removal, instead of mentioning out loud how much over information had just been shared, I would casually make a note on his file to “Leave alone for at LEAST 2 weeks- family surgery recovery” and I’d leave it be.

Without a doubt, about 2 days later, my boss would come up to me.

“Heeyyy, Ashlin!  Where are we with Mr. Thompson?”

“I’m giving them a break for a while, they’re recovering from surgery.”

“Ohhh!   That’s terrible!  Well, maaayyyyyyyybeeee we could call them and tell them about Muti conducting The Four Seasons!  That’s always been a very therapeutic work.”


“Yeah!  So, you know… let’s just give him a call!”

And for this reason, I despised my bosses.

My job was not unlike a telemarketer’s position in many ways, although at least I wasn’t doomed to cold calling people all the time, thank god.  But every so often, I’d get a person on the phone who was just too tired with life, or their money-grubbing sons or daughters, or their rheumatoid arthritis robbing them of their articulation, or not taking their meds, that by the time we spoke they just clearly needed an un-faced voice to target their frustrations.  And target they did.  Man, old people are like the NAVY SEALS of outsourced anger and resentment.

“Hi, is this Mrs. *******?”


“Hi! This is Ashlin from the ___ ___ Orchestra.”

“Oh, hello!”

“Hi!  Is this a good time to talk?”

“Yes, of course!  You know, I’ve been thinking about this season… … …”

“…Um.  Mrs. ******?”

“Yes, I’m here.”

“Great!  I’ve been looking at your subscription an-”


“What??  No ma’a-


This was an actual conversation that took place about 3 weeks after I began working there, and so I tried to work with her before learning that I should handle these situations by either A) hanging up and act like nothing ever happened, or B) set the phone down quietly and get another cup of coffee.

A lot of times I ended up doing the latter.  They got to vent their aggressions, and I got coffee out of it, and they pretty much never noticed my absence.  Win. Win.

Finally I got to a point where I was just so fed up with such tippy-toed fairy shit from one side and absolute virulent words of hatred from the other side of the phone that I decided to try a different approach.  Because my position had me at a practical middle-man and subsequently “whipping-boy” status, I just figured why the hell should I have to put up with such crap from either side.  WHY NOT LET THEM DUKE IT OUT THEMSELVES?

I have heard that a customer asking to speak with your supervisor is a veritable death knell for those in the phone subscription community.  But by the time I reached this point, I really didn’t care anymore.  I highly doubted my main boss had the guts to fire me, and if it happened I would consider it a sign from the heavens that I was ready to move on.

It started like this: One day, a gentleman I was speaking with had a very good reason to be upset with me calling, as his file was severely old and it was his wife who subscribed… and who had died several months ago.  The man launched into a thousand angry non-sequitors until finally I heard the phrase,

“Let me talk to your manager. RIGHT NOW.”

And I gladly turned it over to her, who made a combination “I understand” and “Immabouttapuke” face.  She then sat on the phone for at least 5 minutes while beginning a sentence and getting cut off on constant repeat, like this: “I gue-….Yes… Yes, sir, but….Sure I-…Mayyybeee-…oh, uh-huh?”

And for the next several months, I treated any unsavory phone patron the same way.  If I even got the slightest hint at a sense of unfounded hostility or an angry drunk who I called at 2pm who had probably been drinking since they woke up, my first go-to was, “You know, I’m really sorry I can’t get you front row seats to (insert diluted quality performance here), would you like to speak with my supervisor?”

They loved it because getting to speak with the upper-thans is such a great way to feel like they were part of the “elite” crowd.

I loved it because I didn’t have to hear about their deadbeat grandsons while they had ‘roid rage.  And I’m not talking about steroids.

And my supervisors loved it because- oh wait,  no.  No, they most definitely hated it.

Thank you Mr. Ryans and please have a fuck off day.

Win. Win.  Lose. WIN.

And I sat there in contentment for the next several months until I began work as a transcriptionist and another job where I met the Most Brilliant Person Alive.  Where I then found my new source of entertainment.

Early signs of a rocket scientist

Homemade science experiments throughout the years:

Around 3 or 4 years old I was enrolled by my parents in a music class called “Kindermusik” where I was introduced to basic musical instruments and rudiments of musical style.  I got in trouble because I was determined to find out what was inside my maracas by beating them relentlessly on a hard surface.

I wondered what would happen if I swung upside down on the monkey bars for an entire recess period.  My teacher, Kevin, had to pull me down after my legs seized up after the whistle had been blown to come back inside and I couldn’t move.

In first grade we were learning the basics of Mandarin Chinese and I figured I could just string along any set of phonemes and make a sentence, so I tried to have a conversation with our only Asian student in class.  Who was Korean.

Around 7 years old, I put a wad of gum under my parent’s computer desk to see how long it would take for them to notice.  I later rediscovered it myself.  Note: Don’t leave gum under a desk for three years. You know, unless you like a crater of deterioration in your woodwork.

I purposefully put two cd’s into my cd player to see if they would play an early version of what we now refer to as mashups.

When I noticed a small trail of ants in my bedroom one day, I wanted to see if they preferred salty or sweet foods, so I left out crumbled up cheezits and a half sucked on jolly rancher to see which they preferred. (Note:  Ants. LOVE. Jolly Ranchers.)

After having heard of the corrosive effects of Coca-Cola I was speculative and so I accidentally destroyed one of my mom’s earrings; I really didn’t think it would work.

I heard that repetitive auditory learning can be extremely effective in processing information, so I didn’t practice piano for a week and instead listened to the piece of music.  Right before a public recital.

At 13 years old I melted the end of a shoelace to see if it would A) melt, or B) catch on fire.  It melted.  Wait, no, I should explain it became an uncontrollable force that only needed a quick flame as a catalyst and proceeded to melt without abandon and transform into a molten dripping lava beast hellbent on destruction.  At the same time, I heard my mom coming upstairs toward my room while I was doing this so I figured the best thing I could do would be to stop the magma flow, so I frantically searched for any water source I could find, which I had been smart enough NOT to have supplied before my experiment.  Instead, the liquified plastic accidentally put itself out ON MY FINGERNAIL AND TWO FINGERS and solidified instantly, mutilating my right pinky to a deformed tragedy.  The scar remains today.  My mom still has no idea.  She probably does now.

I heard that a good way to measure I.Q. on dogs was to drape a towel over their head and count how long it took them to get it off.  I let the family dog walk head first square into the wall before realizing I should probably take it off.

After standing up too abruptly and knocking the top of my head into an exposed nail on an extremely lowered ceiling, not enough to cause concussion but enough to draw blood, I decided to instead of possibly getting it checked out to wait it out and see what lock jaw might actually feel like if it came to it.  Luckily for me, it didn’t.

And a couple of weeks ago, when I ran out of time to wash a sweater that I wanted to wear but was covered in animal hair from a recent trip, I tried to see what carpet cleaner and a vacuum could do to fix it up in enough time.  Note:  it didn’t. The sweater ended up smelling like fake chemical lavender and soggy pet, and I wound up wearing an annoying cardigan instead.