Category Archives: Writing

Aimless Driving In Wisconsin

One of my most tried and true stress-relievers is to charge up my iPod, gas up my car, buy a fresh pack of cigarettes, pick a direction, and drive. No particular destination, just away. It’s insanely expensive, it runs the car even more into the ground than my daily driving does, and the chain smoking probably isn’t the best for my health, but hey, it’s the best way for me to learn every Rihanna song in my library word for word. That, and it gives you time to think. Time to think about anything and everything. Sports. Jobs. What cutesy thing you should text next to the girl you’re into. Family. Friends. What the best way is to forget that girl. The course of your life. The mistakes you’ve made. How great you’re life could have been if you hadn’t been a dumbass and instead of listening to what your friends and family told you was your best option, you just did what the fuck you wanted to do and felt like was the right choice. And lest we not forget the immemorially bittersweet and hauntingly sublime task of remembering the girl because hey, sometimes you’ll meet people in your life that make you realize that Snoop Dogg was wrong, and that bitches ARE shit. Oh, and, of course, my new favorite hobby of trying to figure out the best and most creative Saw like way of killing Gotye, like he would have to delete his ex off of his Facebook friend list in order to live or something like that, or forcing him to put some fucking clothes on because he is NOT good looking enough to be naked in a music video. But I digress.

Set Blasters to “Kill That Whiny Bitch”

 

The best time to drive-think, I’ve found, is the middle of the night. Unless you’re on a major Interstate, you’ll see maybe four other cars every hour, the stoplights switch to flashing yellow, and you finally get a chance to start living in a Thompsonian manner and drive as fast as you damn well please down the empty streets because the cops that are out give less than one full fuck about you. It’s the emptiness of the road, I think, that really gives you the ability to completely tune out what’s happening around you and just dive into the previously unexplored depths of your head. It allows you to get away from the mindlessness of shitty TV and Internet memes. It allows you to sit there and slow down and actually try to figure out this miraculous little game of “Let’s See How Little We Can Fuck This Up” that we colloquially refer to as life. It allows you to light your fifth cigarette in forty-five minutes, driving at sixty miles-an-hour, weaving in and out of your lane and only be phased by the fact that your voice is almost as gravely as the shoulder that you’re barely holding onto.

But recently I feel I’ve reached a new horizon. I’ve turned down a different road. A road that’s not so easily navigated. Or at the very least the road is transforming into something horribly regrettable. The timers of the stoplights don’t work, so instead of flashing yellows I get solid reds at every intersection. Six beady little LED pieces of shit telling me I can’t keep going, that I need to stop, regardless of the fact that there isn’t another conscious human being within 5 miles of my position. The city has stopped picking up the road-kill, so when you drive over the same road every day for a week, you get to see the stages of decay, from the fresh carcass still intact, legs of the deer still looking as if they’re galloping, to the bloating fly-infested cesspool that forms as the legs straighten out under the influence of rigamortis, and finally ending in the depressing pile of hair, leather, and venison jerky with a center of black and goopy organ nougat.

Even the car itself has started to haunt me. This was the car I learned to drive in. This was the car that’s seen thousands of cigarettes, hundreds of spliffs, a half-dozen blunts and a Crave Case or two. This was the car that saw everything from first dates and kisses to last dates and breakups. This was the car that has the unfortunate experience of seeing me get my first handjob. Hell, with the amount of manual stimulation and fellatio that has gone down (haha, get it?) in that car, I think it’s probably best that we do part ways (I know it’s not romantic, but we were all in high school at one point. As for all that stuff that’s happened after I graduated high school, I really have no excuse). Not even the coolest and most compatible of women have ever stayed with me this long after seeing my penis.

But I know it’s not the car. It’s not the road. It’s not those bastard stoplights. It’s me. It’s my life and my choices and my situation that are getting all fucked up. It’s at the point that I can’t even bring myself to lie about it and tell everybody the same old throw-away, pre-packaged lines that I dole out whenever I don’t want to put the weight of my problems on other people. I can’t even muster up the breath to say, “I’m fine,” or, “Everybody has shit in their lives,” if it’s someone I can’t bring myself to lie to. Now when I drive, it’s like there’s this overload of stuff to think about. It’s too much to be able to sort out and think about in my head as the car ticks over 170,000 miles. How am I supposed to pay 25 grand in student loans making $9.25 and hour? How can I ever make it in the world as some type of writer if I let the shit in my life debilitate me to the point that this is the first thing I’ve written for my pathetic fucking blog in four months? How am I supposed to tell the girl that’s currently fucking me that I really don’t want anything remotely serious to develop out of this? And then the realization that, due to work and sleep and booze and drugs, I haven’t actually seen or talked to that girl in like, two weeks, so I guess she knows I’m not looking for anything and now I’m back to just masturbating. Then there’s the fact that I’ve finally come to the conclusion that moving back home after graduation was the worst possible decision that I could have ever made in my life, as it has pretty much destroyed any chance of a positive relationship between me and my family. And on top of that, slowly my friends have started to move away or get real jobs and have their own lives and issues that they need to deal with, not to mention that I’ve got to deal with being cut out of people’s lives that I actually, genuinely gave a shit about. And then there’s the fact that I kind of want to start going back to my therapist to try and figure out what the fuck is wrong with me and why I constantly feel this more or less even, steady, slow-burn depression and relatively large anxiety issues, but I can’t bring myself to do it because of the resentment that I feel toward him ever since he called this whole shitty downward spiral fall that I’m in the midst of, all the way down to what set it off in the first place. Then there’s the question of whether or not I’m going to get around to the whole quitting smoking thing, and then there’s wondering exactly how far back I’m going to continue to push the line that separates the drugs that I’ve done from those that I’m not comfortable with taking yet. And then there’s the fact that for whatever reason, I’ve got this habit of being really shitty at letting things go, and I have a tendency to, even years later, rip previously healed wounds back open just for shits and giggles to try and remember why it hurt so much, just to find out that if you do such things, all those horrible events in your past, all your wrong choices and bad decisions and unfortunate circumstances and years of being treated seemingly unfairly still fucking hurts, so that when you start to think about life too much, it starts to become overwhelming, and you end up doing more harm than good for yourself. And on top of all of that, I start to wonder why the fuck I know every single word to “Call Me Maybe” and actually got legitimately mad at work the other day when my coworker changed the radio station as soon as it came on.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the blogs that I follow, AdamsDaugther came back from a bit of a hiatus (I don’t care that your blog is kind of girly at times, I like girly stuff. Like Gilmore Girls, Andre champagne, your blog, and Nutz Over Chocolate Luna Bars). She had a post about how she was coming off of a rough patch in her life and decided to rededicate herself to blogging (and cooking). And, with the exception of her using The Notebook as the source of her revelation (Sorry, I like girly stuff, but I made a promise to myself long, long ago that the only time I would ever watch The Notebook would be if I found myself in the position that watching it would help me get laid), I realized I needed to do something, too. I need to get back to doing what I love, to what I want to do with my life. I need to get back to writing and making these amazing connections between seemingly unrelated aspects of life. I need to get back to bringing everyone a little bit of Panda insight. I need to get back to reveling in the awesome things that happen to me, and publicly crucifying those who wrong me. There have been too many boozed out shenanigans and too much regrettable sex in strange places and too many drugged up adventures that have taught me too many little-known rules of life to just keep them to myself. I haven’t spent all my money on bad decisions to just remember them. I need to tell them.

These are fucking delicious.

And it makes complete sense for me to do so. Even though I maintain that, in some ways, I needed a break from reality to post up inside my head, it’s time to get back to being me. Even though this road has been littered with those now-dried up and blowing in the breeze deer carcasses, they’ll eventually be gone. They’ll fix that fucking stoplight on 124th and Capitol to actually match up with the green lights on the road so you can drive from Peawaukee to downtown Milwaukee without stopping once. The rest-stop outside of Johnson Creek won’t have a car just creepily chilling in the parking lot with nobody in it. I’ll drive around Wisconsin at four in the morning and not have to wonder about whether the car coming toward me is a drunk driver or just another fuck-up like me, driving aimlessly to try and drive all the shit and demons from their head. There will be a time that I’ll stay out until five in the morning and drive home as the sun rises into the lavender-indigo sky as I speed past the unfortunate lot of my service industry brethren who are chosen to open the places of employ head off to work propped up by no less than 500 mg of caffeine, and the phosphene-like death throes of the LSD I took earlier that night streak across my perception as the drugs slowly meet their demise in my well-overworked liver, and I’ll realize that, no matter how badly I manage to fuck it up, no matter how much bullshit I’ll have to deal with on account of others, no matter how many people or stoplights continually tell me what I can’t fucking do, and no matter how many times I willingly let people hurt me with the vein hope that they’ll truly realize what they’re doing to me and my psyche and change their mind, maybe my life is way too damn interesting and beautiful to not write about.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Romance of the Panda, Part 2

In light of the single most overrated holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to open up to my blog readers. It’s time you see my romantic side, the softer side of Panda. This is the second part of a three part series.
Feel free to read part 1 HERE.

This is another poem that I wrote for a class. It’s about loss, specifically the loss of a great thing in my life that I took for granted.

\\

Farewell

Tonight will be the first night
I don’t get to go to bed
with you as the last image in my head
and last echo in my ear.
Three years, you’ve been there to
hum me to sleep,
stay by my side when I was sick,
asking for nothing in return,
except to be taken care of.

I grew complacent.  I thought I could
keep you here forever, and so I neglected
your basic needs.  I couldn’t see the obvious signs
that something was wrong, until it was too late.

My sophomore year,
we met in the aisle of Walgreens.
I figured I’d keep you around for the summer,
give or take a month, it couldn’t hurt.
But we started off stronger than I could have hoped,
you spending every night at my place, and it began
to seem like this might turn into
something more than an end-of-summer fling.

The next two years, running on high,
we were both happy with our place in the world.
No worries about graduation, no wondering
what would come next or if I’d move away.
A full year was gone by
and nothing stood in our way, and it seemed like
this could last forever,
and for a while, it was timeless.

But two days ago, you were quieter than
usual, no spritely humming, no soothing songs
to relax me.  I thought nothing of it,
hoped for the best, stayed positive,
maybe just a bad day, not considering
that perhaps your heart had stopped spinning.

Yesterday, you sputtered around in my apartment hopelessly.
Clearly exhausted, I still felt no need
to bother, but this time because I didn’t want to face
the facts, that this was probably the end.
You’d hit the wall, finally exhausted, and I
guess I’ll someday understand.  You
tried and worked your hardest,
did anything for my comfort, efforts that
certainly weren’t well reciprocated from me.

I wish I could say that I was sad, but I knew that
this would happen one day.  College only
lasts so long before the real world calls us to
become real ourselves.  And when it does,
I knew I’d be at a crossroad, a chance to
be a better person, give another one
a better chance,
and that I’d only be able to hope the same for you.

Today, I walked in and you were silent for
the first time in three years and I know
that nothing more can be done.  I don’t argue
or try to fix what is beyond repair, I just walk you out
for the final goodbye, as I selfishly think to myself,
how will I get to sleep tonight?

In the end, it won’t be so bad.  Maybe one day
I won’t feel that I need you, just so I can fall asleep.
Maybe one day I can move on and find a better
version of you, better fit for me.  Maybe one day I’ll
take care of it, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I can’t pretend that this won’t upset me for a little while,
but one day I’ll forget about you, and live my life as it is.
Because after all, you were only a box fan.

\\

When we read our poems in the workshop, we would generally read our poems aloud, then have another person read it so we can all hear the poems from a different voice.  Normally, we hold all comments to the end of the second reading.  Normally, we start off with strengths, things we like, etc., then move on to constructive criticism.  As soon as I finished reading it the first time, one of the more reserved girls who sat across the room from me smacked her desk and shouted, “OH MY GOD, you jerk!  I was actually feeling sorry for you.  I thought you were finally opening up to us.”  Nope, just found another way for me to be an ass.  But in my defense, I had originally started it off as a sincere poem about a rather significant (for me at least. That bitch.) failed relationship, and THAT’S when my fan died, so I decided to just kind of switch it up a bit.

Besides, if you want to actually read me being sincere about love, you’ll just have to come back to read the forthcoming part 3 of my Romance of the Panda series (see what I did there?).

Take it easy,

-Panda


Romance of the Panda, Part 1

In light of the single most overrated holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to open up to my blog readers. It’s time you see my romantic side, the softer side of Panda. So this is the first part of a three part series on love.

When I was in school, I was in a poetry class my last semester of my senior year. And so when it came to the week of Valentine’s Day, he made us write love/Valentine’s themed poems. It was originally supposed to be a sonnet, but I couldn’t get it to work well enough with the strict parameters, so I told my professor it was a more “free-form” sonnet, with no real regard for metrical or rhythmical rules. Sucker bought it. But anyway, the following was the result and, unfortunately, is how far too many of my actual romantic pursuits turn out.

Almost Valentine’s Day

Hey, I was thinking that maybe,
Since I’ve got nothin’ else to do,
Instead of being all lonely
Maybe…I could hang out with you?
On, uh, Valentine’s Day
Since all of our friends have dates.
Oh. No, I haven’t met Ray
But yeah, I’m sure he’s great.
And very sweet too I bet
Yeah, that’s fine, that’s cool.
Wow, he bought you chocolate?
Yeah, he seems just perfect for you.
Well, in that case have a great time,
I’ve got to get going to find my Valentine.

\\

Be sure to be on the lookout the next few days for the second and third part of this series, and, as always, thanks for reading.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Top 5 Worst Words and Phrases

As an English major, I have spent a lot of time dissecting language and phrases to understand their true meanings.  So, what I have done here is I’ve come up with my top five absolute worst words and phrases in the American English language lexicon.

5. If x happens, I’m moving to Canada:  There are two reasons I hate this. Number one, it’s old. We hear it a million-and-a-half times per election cycle. Come on, you assholes, be creative about your trash talk. Number two, it’s a boldface lie. Nobody these days puts principle ahead of happiness, so stop pretending you’re better than us.

4. The starving children in Africa:  Thank god they’re in Africa, because I might start to feel bad about them if they were American. There are starving people everywhere, one continent’s poor don’t trump another continent’s poor. Sure, they don’t have the basic healthcare or sanitation that I do, but like I said before, nobody puts principle ahead of personal happiness. I could donate all my extra income to those poor children, but I’d much rather buy a pack of Marb 27s, drink either half a bottle of whiskey or 2 bottles of wine, and end up at Qdoba. And of course I’ll take some chips and guac, I’m drunk. Sober me knows that I’ll barely, if at all, be able to eat the entire burrito by itself, but drunk me doesn’t realize that, because drunk me, for whatever reason, fully believes that I haven’t eaten anything in two weeks, so of course I’ll take ‘em.

3. I’m just saying: Shut up. Nobody says something just so they can say it. There is a purpose behind what you say, so stop pretending that what you say is just some type of random opinion that is meant to float around the universe until it bumps into someone who actually needs it. (Of course every guy you ever date enjoys blowjobs, but I’ll tell you this, he’s not “just saying.” Nor is he “just mentioning” that he isn’t a big fan of going down on you, but he does it anyway because he knows you like it.  Get with the fucking program people.) The only people that should ever use this phrase, I feel, are people in the Mafia. It fits perfectly. “I’m not saying that something unfortunate will absolutely happen to you if you don’t give us this money, but I am pointing out the fact that there seems to be a correlation between non-payment and unfortunately timed structure fires. I’m just sayin’.”

2. Thanks in advance: Oh, just fuck off you prick. This seems to be a favorite of any person who is of a higher rank than you at your job. This is just a way for some asshole to try to enforce his or her authority over you by assuming your subordination. Well, fuck that. Don’t ever thank me in advance for something, because chances are I will purposefully screw up whatever you ask me to do so as to teach you a lesson about counting eggs before they hatch. You don’t see me taking the time to thank you for reading my blog right now, do you? No, you get thanked at the end of the post, so at the very least I know you pretended to read the whole thing, or at least checked how long it was before you decided it wasn’t worth your time.

1. Haters: I hate this word and people who use it with a burning and everlasting passion. You can’t just label every person who disagrees with anything that you think or do as a hater. In fact, most times when someone says, “Whatever, you’re just a hater,” I’m pretty sure what they really mean is, “You have an opinion about this. Your opinion may or may not be correct. But I’m a jackass, so go fuck yourself.” Besides, look at who uses the word “hater.” 95% of the time it’s used by people who suck at what they do. The criticizers aren’t haters, they’re right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the video you recorded of you singing an a cappella cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework” reeeeaallllllllyyyyy means a lot to you, but you suck at singing and had to pause the song for 5 seconds while you scrolled down the webpage with the lyrics on it because you’re too stupid to memorize the fucking song that you’re trying to sing. God I hate people like that.

Disclaimer: I can all but guarantee at some point in this blog I have used some of these in my writing. I would apologize, but there’s a time and a place for everything, even the worst phrases in the English language. That, plus I’m sure the seven of you reading this don’t care that much.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Fart Etiquette

As many of you can imagine, when I came from the wild, I had to relearn how to live as a human being.  The most difficult thing that I had to learn – something that I still struggle with today – was basic etiquette.  Humans have some of the most absurd rules and regulations of how to behave in front of other people that I have ever seen.  In the panda world, it was as simple as look at each other, allow others to smell you to make sure you aren’t a threat, don’t steal their bamboo, and respect the mating rules (which is basically a combination of first come, first served, and a type of “seat-check” rule for genitals).   But with humans, there seems to be a different set of rules for each and every different person and situation.  Now, I won’t bore you with talking about all of them, but I will focus on one that affects literally every single person in the world: farting.

That’s right people, farting.  You have some of the most absurd rules I’ve ever heard when it comes to farting.  For pandas, we just simply fart.  No special ceremony, no special behavior.  We just let our asses flap in the wind.  But ever since I’ve broken into the human world, I’ve been told, “You know, if you’re going to fart, you should really be going into the other room to do it.  It’s only polite.”  Every single time.

Now, there are a couple of different issues that I have with this sentiment.  Number one, why should I leave the room to do something that everybody does?  I fart, you fart, Obama farts, Glenn Beck farts.  I’m fairly certain Sarah Palin does, but I’m not guaranteeing anything.  Now, certainly I don’t mean to be saying that just because there is something everyone does that they should be able to do it wherever they want, but I’m just saying if it’s something everybody does and it doesn’t hurt anyone, why not?  I mean, yeah, it will smell bad for a couple minutes, and that one person (depending on what they ate earlier) may have to go to the restroom just to double-check moisture levels, but on the other hand, everyone will have benefited from having giggled at least once that day.

Not only that, but imagine the time lost during the day from leaving one room to go fart in another.  Imagine you are at a meeting at work, and you feel a poot slowly creeping it’s way down your colon, weaving in and out of clumped up fecal matter, and you have to get up to leave the room just so you can fart.  Imagine if you missed something incredibly important, like which loopholes your company uses to not pay taxes, or the proper way to cook McDonald’s French fries, or the proper way to perform CPR on an infant (Seriously, do you have any idea how quickly your day can be ruined when your child dies, and you try to eat away the pain but they give fucking soggy fries?).

Not only that, but my main issue is where the hell are we supposed to go?  The other room?  Where the hell is this “other room?”  The kitchen?  The bathroom?  The study or the billiards room?  I don’t know about you, but what happens when you get to that other room?  Obviously, yes, you fart, but then what?  Do you just leave?  Do you have any idea how horrifying it is to walk into a room where there isn’t a living soul and yet it smells like rancid ass?  Sure, if it’s the bathroom, then whatever, it’s not a big deal.  But when I walk into the kitchen, I don’t want to be met by a mysterious invisibly butt-cloud.  And not only that, but what happens when you walk in on somebody farting?  What’s the proper way to deal with that situation?  Do you just act like it’s completely normal, like handwashing, and just start a conversation?  Or is it like being at the urinal; no eye contact, no talking, period?  Or is it like being walked in on during sex and you just kind of stare at the person trying to figure out something to say to them but at the same time you’re trying not to burst out laughing because that would offend the woman that is currently playing host to you, and thus you are just sitting there, speechless, until the other person leaves the room shaking his or her head.  And what about when multiple people need to fart?  Do you go one at a time, or if you’re good enough friends can you just hotbox that bitch?

Or maybe I have been duped this whole time?  Perhaps it is just one of those secrets of the rich, that the phrase began because there is actually a room solely dedicated to farting in, but the rich are simply too snooty to actually say, “the farting room,” so they just say, “the other room.”  And how convenient would that be?  You could deck it out to be perfect for farting.  You could have a super-high-powered ventilation system that whisks away all the irritating fumes, an oxygen bar in case you know it’s going to be a string of farts, a couple of lighters to light them on fire if you must, and a TV that has nothing on it except for a news crawl.  It would also have it’s very own toilet because hey, you never know when a really clean fart will turn into something else.

Well, that’s all the hot air I’ve got for now.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Illness: An exposition on gas stations, lawn care, and cute babysitters

I don’t know about you guys, but I hate being sick.  Not because I sit around and wonder if and when I’m just going to die of this plague-like illness.  Not because I contemplate whether or not I should take a nap instead of a shower.  Not even because I’m forced to come to the realization that I might have to curb my nicotine consumption in order to make a speedy recovery.  No, none of those are the reason I hate being sick.  Rather, it’s because you become an asshole, even if you don’t mean to be.

You see, every time you get sick, everything becomes a hassle.  Everything becomes annoying.  Even the slightest inconvenience becomes the harshest tragedy (I need an appointment for you to tell me to hold down the fucking option button when I restart my computer in order to fix it? (Your boss is dead, start thinking for yourself, you pretentious ass)).

Have you ever driven somewhere when you were sick?  It’s probably the worst possible thing you could do.  God forbid that the lights don’t change just because you are the only one at the intersection. And that son-of-a-bitch at the gas station who took the pump that you normally take (not to mention that he’s facing the wrong way), and all but one of the other pumps there are taken so you have to go to the one right in front of the one you normally use, but it’s on the inside part of the pump stations, and the idiot across the center area between the pumps parked really far away from his pump, and there is a car waiting immediately behind the car that took your pump, so there is absolutely no way in hell that guy can possibly even get out of the gas station until you or the person who parked really far away from the pump gets done, but that lady who parked really far away from the pump has three kids that she needs to make sure don’t pee themselves, or accidentally blow up the gas station, or ask why that huge man washing the windshield of his car has such big lady breasts, and you need cigarettes and you’re sick, so tough shit for that guy.  Maybe he shouldn’t have taken my spot.  And don’t even get me started on those fucking do-gooders who give up their right of way so that I can go in front of them, making me look like the asshole as I end up doing the whole kind-of idle my way up through the intersection, but also slamming on the brakes a couple of times because I can’t figure out if they are going or not because whenever I go, they go type of things.  I don’t think you understand how much Robitussin I’ve taken today, so I’m pretty sure you don’t want me making difficult decisions with a hurtling, two-ton rolling chunk of metal.  Just take your goddamn right of way.

Or have you ever had a conversation with someone while sick?  It’s like every single conversation you have with everyone is the same.  It’s like every time someone talks to a person who is sick they just get dumb.  Take, for example, this excerpt of a conversation I had with my mom when I was sick, as I was laying on the couch, covered in a couple of blankets and a box of tissues within arms reach.  My mom walks in and asks, “How are you feeling?”  To which I reply, “Like shit,” as if my general appearance were not enough for her to realize that I was not quite at 100%.  Almost every question anyone asks you when you’re sick seems completely absurd, and is always met with the same bitterness and ugly rhetoric.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”  “Sure, you can go die in a hole.”  “I’m heading out, are you going to be OK here by yourself?”  “No, of course not, I’m fucking 22 years old and can’t handle a cold without someone holding my hand all the way through.”  “Are you going to do anything today?”  “Besides being worthless and dying alone on this uncomfortable couch covered in cat hair?  No.”

But perhaps the worst thing that anyone can do when you are sick is lawn care.  Not necessarily all lawn care, but the kind my neighbor Chad does (I have no problem with the old ladies with hand-held sheers snipping away at elongated stems and branches of their favorite shrubs).  You see, Chad is the kind of guy who has a tool for every occasion.  He’s also the kind of guy who spares no expense.  He does the normal mowing of his lawn, but he does it with what has got to be this, like, 65 horsepower beast that has no business doing nothing but cutting grass.  And then he trims all the edges of the lawn with some massive gas-powered not-so-much-trimmer-as-it-is-chain-saw.  And of course he can’t just leave all the grass and leaves on his lawn, but he gets out his leaf blower and will not stop until every possible loose remnant of organic material is halfway across the street.  And what for?  So his son Landon can run around on it until his older sister pushes him down and he starts to cry like the little five-year-old boy that he is?  So he can fulfill his earthly duty to do manly things?  No.  It’s so he can say, “Look at my beautiful house and property.  Look at what I’ve gotten for my family.”  Please, Chad.  Look at what you’re doing to me.  You are destroying the few precious hours of consciousness today by revving up your motherfucking lawn toys.  You are single-handedly overcoming 4 Advil to give me a headache.  You are making me regret taking Mucinex because now my nose isn’t fully clogged and I can smell the fresh scent of your gasoline fumes and sweat-covered, doughy body.

But I would gladly put my foot in my mouth if what he was doing was for something greater.  If what he was doing wasn’t going to be all for naught in a week.  Because, you see, all lawn care is like what glass ultimately is:  temporary.  He’s just going to have to break out the mower, the chain-saw-like trimmer, and the leaf blower again in a week.  And on top of that, winter will come around.  All the grass is going to die.  And next spring it will start to grow back and he will do all of this shit all over again.  And I will eventually get sick again and get pissed off at him again.  But maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll get a real job and move out of this shit-hole city I grew up it.  Maybe someone famous will read my blog and realize that I have talents that need to be brought up to the big leagues.  Maybe Chad will bring back that really cute babysitter from this last summer and maybe I’ll just happen to be doing yard work myself when she is outside playing with the kids.  But then again, screw doing yard work.  And screw being sick.

Take it easy and stay healthy,

-Panda


I Hate Lettuce

Did you ever notice how people think we’re stupid?  Not the kind of stupid like “I failed all my schooling so I had to join the army” stupid, I’m talking the “Oh, I like shiny things” stupid.  I mean, everyone is always telling you the obvious things but making them seem profound.  Everyone is trying to the most insignificant things seem important.  I’m talking about nutritional-facts-on-bottled-water level of bullshit here.  There are examples of this garbage everywhere you look.

Take for example whenever you are looking to get a new or used car.  The salesperson usually goes on and talks about this and that and specifications of exactly how many liters the engine is and how many horsepower it is as if I’m about to haul around an entire Amish village but don’t have enough reins to use actual horses.  But then they also bring up something I find interesting: power windows and power steering.  Really?  Now, I remember in the old car we had when I was growing up there being the hand-crank variety of windows, but I never remember being all that upset that I had to take five seconds out of my day to do so.  And with power steering (for those of you who don’t know what power steering is, it’s the reason for the difference in effort that you have to exert between turning the wheel with the car on and off (This means that you can eat your Big Mac even while turning, as long as your good at the whole palming the wheel things (But speaking of eating in the car, have you seen the size of cupholders in new cars?  They are fucking insane.  And they even have those flip down things with the soft-ish rubber/plastic things that hold smaller drink cups in place, but even those are way too big for normal people containers likes cans and 20-ounce bottles.  It’s as if the car companies are telling us that the smallest soda we should ever drink while driving a car is 68 ounces (It’s a Toyota, you know they were probably like, “I know it’s too big, but Americans will just get bigger cups to fill them anyways, so don’t sweat it.”))).  But really, they literally don’t even make cars without power steering anymore.  It’s ancient technology.  It’s like a rotary phone or a television dial or children’s toys that you actually had to push around by hand before the kids these days just got fucking lazy and can sit on the couch while they dick around with the remote for their fire truck trying to find a way to get it to drive over their sister.

And it’s not just the used car salespeople either, but even our teachers.  I’ve taken a couple fiction writing classes at Marquette, and I did fairly well in those classes.  But one thing that irks me is what my teachers have told me about my writing.  They say overall it was pretty good, and with a little bit of revision it might be called excellent.  However, every fucking time I use the word, “gunna,” they tell me that I’ve spelled it wrong.  Apparently, it’s spelled, “gonna.”  Gunna/gonna is a contraction of the phrase, “going to.”  That being said, it’s not actually a fucking word.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s a colloquial contraction used by people to get rid of an extra syllable that we clearly don’t have time to enunciate because we have yet to finish our fucking 68-ounce diet Coke (it’s not that I drink diet soda because I think it’s healthier, or better for my teeth, but it’s because when I drink 68 ounces of regular soda I get a stomach ache, and if I get a stomach ache, I can’t digest the bamboo properly) (And of course by, “68 ounces,” I really mean 27 ounces, because you need to put a shit ton of ice into it, as if the soda doesn’t already come out of the tap cold (Why does soda taste better from the tap than from cans or bottles?)).

But all of that really isn’t all that bad.  I could deal with it, but only if there was just one teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy concession from the world:  Stop making lettuce out to be this magical wonderfood that should be looked at as if it makes any meal so much more delicious and nutritious.  Yeah, I’m sure that club sandwich with a pound various cured meat product and three types of cheese is going to help you slim down that FUPA.   And everyone has eaten at Subway, so you all know that you have to tell them, “just a little bit of lettuce,” just so you can actually have good shit on it.  My issue with lettuce is two-fold really.  Number one is that it sucks. The shit doesn’t hold a candle to bamboo.   It’s just a crispy, green, leafy thing that doesn’t taste like anything, let alone anything good.  (I mean, yeah, we all put it on our sandwiches and burgers and whatnot, but when was the last time that you were actually like, “You know what, I really could go for some lettuce?”  (It’s not like you’re making dinner and you realize you don’t have lettuce and you run to the store because there is just no way that you could eat dinner without it (Even when you’re having BLTs, how many of you would just be like, “Fuck it, I’ll just have the bacon and tomato sandwich?”)))  And number two is that people call food that is really nothing more than lettuce by all these pseudonyms in order to make it out to be something that isn’t lettuce and doesn’t suck.  Cabbage?  I don’t like gross, waxy lettuce.  Cole Slaw?  I don’t like gross, waxy lettuce with a bunch of mayo.  “The dish is served on a bed of crisp romaine.”  That’s cool, I still don’t like lettuce.  “Sir, we’ve got a wonderful baby arugula salad today.”  Goddamnit, I don’t like baby lettuce either.  “And our house salad is carrots, cucumber and mixed greens/spring greens/summer greens/fall greens.”  Fuck you, I said I don’t like lettuce/lettuce/lettuce/lettuce.

And to think that these are only three different examples of the dishonesty and deception that are so rampant in this world today.  I mean, yeah, maybe they are just trying to earn an honest dollar, but then again, fuck ‘em.  They don’t need to lie to me.  So, Panda Cubs, as you go through the world today/tomorrow/forever, don’t let yourself get lied to.  Man up.  Woman up.  And most importantly, get yourself some.

Take it easy,

-Panda