Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scorpions on a Plane Part 2: The actual story about scorpions...on a plane


This is the way in which words fail me. They used to overfloweth from my mind, but recently the ideas gently boil but never seem to bubble over. I get all anxious and lazy and procrastinate. Then I feel bad about procrastinating which causes more anxiety followed by mild depression. I am pretty sure there are pills for this, but for now I'll settle for excuses.

Which finally, after several months of reluctant whimpering, brings us to part 2 of my bug blog:

(psst, here's part 1 in case you missed it)

I am exhausted. The previous night's dehumanizing battle with the cockroach has left me uneasy and sleepy all at once. Now I am finally tucked in securely between my parents in seat B, waiting for the plane to take off up to altitudes far beyond the flight of the palmetto bug. Passengers are still filing in as my weary head falls on my shoulder.

"What! Are you serious?" I hear some muted commotion breaking out a few rows up. I open my eyes to see what's going on.

A woman is creeping down the aisle, ducking below open luggage bins. She approaches a flight attendant politely.

"Excuse me, sir," she taps on his shoulder," There is a scorpion in the seat next to me, and it just stung my son."

Ok, now it's my turn: "WHAT? Are you serious?" Let's put aside for the moment that I am trapped yet again with a terrifying insect. What is even more shocking is the absurdly calm demeanor of this lady. The way she approached the attendant you'd think she was maybe hoping to get a blanket maybe possibly if it's not too much trouble. Who reacts this way when their child is attacked on a PLANE by a venomous, possibly deadly, creature?

"Oh dear, it seems a hideous scorpion is in my child's seat. Well, isn't that odd? Oh, look at that. He just stung my child in the face. *bzz* (hits attendant paging light). "Don't worry son, I'm sure they'll be with us right after the beverage cart is sorted."

This is sort of a fun game, actually. To help you appreciate the absurdity of this situation, come up with the most far-fetched, horrific attack you can imagine enduring on the plane, and then pretend to respond to that by calmly pushing the attendant light above your head.

*bzz* "Ah, yes. It seems a tiger has mauled my son. Whenever you get a chance an extra napkin would be great."

*bzz* "Oh, hi. Could I get a Ginger Ale, please? Oh and also, it appears that an alien has just exploded through my son's abdomen. Thanks."

That is seriously how flatly and matter-of-factly this lady was. She must have been from the West coast. Anyway, maybe I am just a fear-monger, but if I were her I'd probably react with slightly more arm flailing and substantially more screaming.

Anyway, the jokes didn't come until later. First, there was panic. For all I know if there is one scorpion on the plane there could be more, and suddenly I start having flashbacks of my sleepless night. I feel phantom legs crawling up my arm, curved tails poking through my seat cushion. My cozy comfort zone has suddenly turned into a potential death trap.

The attendant bravely approaches the boy where the scorpion was STILL HANGING OUT, picked it up with some cocktail napkins, put it on the floor and promptly (if with slightly fey sass) gave it a good stomp.

After the scorpion was rendered harmless, the napkin was slowly unfolded and the contents examined by every passenger on board with facial hair.

"Excuse me, I have a beard. Let me take a look."

Although the inspection took place out of earshot, I gathered from the furrowed brows and nodding that the scorpion was not of the deadly variety. I'm sure that sting still hurt like a mothertrucker, but the kid stayed put as we began our pan-american travel.

Needless to say, my sleepless night was followed by a sleepless flight. It was a severe 24-hour case of the creepy crawlies.

So let that be a warning to you. You never know where the hell your plane has flown in from or what kind of extra passengers may be on board. Check your seat before you sit. This is true for most seats, really.


the end.
i feel better about myself now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this blog has been brought to you by zicam: when getting a cold scares the shit out of you

Scary shit went down at CVS today. I stopped in to the one in Midtown on my way out of work in search of some Zicam (god damn it i can't believe i am getting sick AGAIN this season.)

I was browsing the back aisles immersed in my search for the magical orange box. "Is it with the cold meds? The cough drops? Vitamins?" Finally, I spy a pack of nasal swabs next to the emergen-C, but just as I reach out to grab 'em I am startled by a thunderous commotion at the front of the store. The automated doors have swooshed open and a man (black male, in his 20s) comes barreling in shouting:

"EVERYBODY FREEZE!"

My first reaction was a slow removal of my cellphone out of my purse, but I second guessed myself. He said freeze, maybe I should just comply until this is over. Does he have a gun? I tried peering up the aisle but I couldn't quite see what was going on. The lady next to me did the same. Maybe I can go out the back way? No, he'd see me there. I could dive behind the pharmacy counter if he starts firing...

A million scenarios run through my head in those 10 awkward seconds. I have to say I was more bewildered than scared. Holding up a CVS in broad daylight? When the pharmacy counter in the back had easy access to a phone?

Just as I came to grasps with the reality of the situation, the same man lets out a laugh,
"Naw, that's my girlfriend. I'm just playin'."

What kind of an ass thinks that is funny? I am pretty sure it's illegal...like yelling "fire!" in a theater or something. I can only wonder how the clerks reacted. I am still not sure who he was talking to or if he really pretended to have a gun. It was outrageously irresponsible either way.

At this point the box of Zicam is clutched precariously in my shaking hands as I make my way to register. Apparently, the man is still there waiting in line. I try to act cool, but it's not long before he starts making a scene again.

"That nigger is still working here?" He mocks a young employee that is stocking shelves next to him. "Man, that nigger sold me some mints."

I took a glance at the would-be robbers' eyes which seemed to be slightly glazed over. He's on something, obviously. The older clerk, possibly a manager, asks the man to please settle down.

"Man, I'm just tryin' to buy a lighter."

Then a woman who seems to know the man comes out from the cosmetic section. He shouts something incoherent in her direction and she says,

"Whatever, you called me a bitch in front of all Peachtree."

"GIRL I AIN'T CALLED YOU SHIT....." in a snap he has totally lost it again and starts yelling at this semi-amused semi-stunned lady. Weighing my options I decided that a cold is probably not as a bad as a knife wound, so I inconspicuously rested my Zicam on some Christmas cookies and took off for the door.

I could hear the manager demand that the man leave, and as far as I could hear I think he finally complied. What a mess! It made me see how I would react in a situation like that if it was real... and I honestly I don't think my reflexes were so great.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Present for one who has Passed?

So, I was doing some Xmas shopping at Overstock.com, and I just took a browse through their "health and beauty section" only to find a selection of items for the...less than healthy.

Half off casket, anyone?

Whoa, what?! I mean... I was just looking for like a gift basket of, you know, hand soap and moisturizers. That really caught me off guard. Caskets are pretty much the last thing I would expect to find under health or beauty.

Does anyone else find it particularly morbid that someone would go shopping online for something like this? I mean, especially Overstock.com. That is so bizarre to me. First of all, the logistics of having something so massive shipped...Second, really? Overstock? Where exactly did these come from and how can they have an over abundance of caskets? I guess people aren't dying fast enough. We gotta put these babies on clearance!

Anyways, I think I'll stick to shopping at like shanalogic.com where I know I won't find anything disturbing. Althouuuughh....50% off is a great deal! As Allyson said, "it gives Black Friday a whole new meaning." Hmm. How do you decide on a product that isn't going to get any customer reviews?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shane's Tourist Facts: Paducah, KY

Shane went to Paducah, KY on a biznass trip two weeks ago. Why? I'm not sure. Apparently people in Paducah also need styling irons and shampoo. I had never heard of Paducah before, but I enjoyed creating various nicknames for the town such as "po-dunk-ah," and "pa-dunka-dunk." After a month of speculation and anticipation, Shane finally arrived (by propeller plane) into this fine Southern city. I couldn't wait to hear what Paducah was really like. Unfortunately, I never found out.

Me: So what are you doing now?
Shane: We just had lunch, and now they are showing me around downtown Paducah.
Me: Ooh! So what's downtown Paducah like?
Shane: Um (audibly distracted) there's uh, buildings...some are taller than others. Like, there's a four-story building. There's also trees.
...
I waited for more, but that was it. That's all I got. Why would I need more, really? The imagery was so strong, I felt transported to this quintessential American town which, by Shane's vivid description is CLEARLY not at all in a desert.

I was suddenly reminded of Paducah's famous tourist slogan: "Come to Paducah: The city of variously sized buildings!" Or: "See the 4-Story Building!" and "Paducah: Now with more trees!"
Oh, Shane. Future travel guide author extraordinaire.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the gospel according to Chance

I had the pleasure of interviewing Atlanta band The Lord is My Shotgun for Southeast Performer Magazine. The final, edited article will appear in December's issue, but there were some choice quotes that didn't make the cut. Singer Chance Walls was an absolute riot, and I had to publish some of his more memorable moments somewhere. Enjoy:

on our inalienable rights:
"We're talking about the constitution here. The Founding Fathers were very libertarian. They were like 'are you cool with just this? Yeah I'm cool with this' and it was just 1. love thy neighbor and 2. mind your own fucking business. And they were cool with that."

on getting signed:
“There’s nothing a record label can do for me that I can’t do for myself. If sittin in that booth was a record exec and just a rich ass fucking cool millionaire, I’m gonna choose the rich ass cool fucking millionaire because, you know what? Together we’re going to do the same thing. Either I have a dude that’s completely in it for himself, or I have a dude that’s wealthy and doesn’t give a shit. I’m going to pick the other guy."

"Hey listen, if someone wants to come at us and throw us a bunch of money then fuckin A, bring it on, man. All that’s gonna do is enable me to get my message out to more people. I’ll take it. As long as it’s not coming from some sort of political terrorist foundation....There’s so many of those, we know, that are funding bands. I’ll take it."

his special request that i couldn't honor:
"Please put that in print: If you don't give a shit please contact Chance from The Lord is My Shotgun 'cause he wants to talk to you. 'Cause I wanna know how that fuckin feels. Ignorance is bliss? It must be. Because there's a lot of of it, seems to me, in the White House."

(my favorite quotes that i DID include in the article)
On subscribing to a particular point of view
"You don’t have to be a Libertarian. You can be a Jedi Fucking Knight, man, I don’t give a shit."

On living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle:
“A lot of bands say that they play for the sex, drugs, rock n roll thing and that's fine, man, but there's no real gratificiation in any of that shit. Not to say that I don’t have my fair share of it even as I sit here right now talking ot you. .. I'm no stranger to sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll... at all. I'm no saint, but I'll still wake up in the morning as a third party freedom fighting motherfucker. "






Wednesday, September 12, 2007

flight of the polaks

I love Flight of the Conchords. So much. I've loved them since their stand-up days, and even more now with their HBO show. However, the one thing that distracts me from every episode is how much Jemaine looks like my dad. Seriously! Every episode I just stare at Jemaine and think how much he looks like my dad when he was younger. I've mentioned this a few times to friends and nobody really believes me, having never seen my dad when he was young.

Well folks, I finally have photographic evidence! Check this out:

My dad, 1969. Jemaine Clement, 2007 (they both play guitar, too!)


Still don't see the resemblance? Maybe this will help:

With glasses:

Eh? Eh? Anybody? Also, please note my dad's super rare 9-string hollow-body electric guitar. Crazy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

a haiku

I blogged all over
myself and now it seems I
need a towel. Gross.

when gross things attack.

What's more terrifying/bizarre than snakes on a plane? What about...SCORPIONS ON A PLANE?

This isn't a screenplay proposal, folks, this is a true story. An autobiographical story, in fact. Come with me now as we venture to terrifying heights.

Ok actually, "heights" isn't really appropriate here because this all happened before the plane took off. You know what? I am terrible at introductions. Let's just dive into the story.

To fully appreciate the extent of this disturbing experience, you have to understand that it was the second of two arthropod attacks within 24-hours. You see, it was time once again to visit the bro out in Seattle. It was his birthday and my dad's birthday so celebrations were in order. I was sitting on the floor in my room packing the final items when something large and brown scurried in my peripheral vision.

I glanced over my shoulder, and to my utter horror, a massive, revolting, winged coackroch came stomping brashly from beneath my bed.

I couldn't even move. I was paralyzed with fear. The idea that I had been sharing the floor with this beast and that he could of, at any time, walked ON me or in my SUITCASE made me sick. After my brain finally comprehended the urgency and potential threat of the situation, I leaped up off the floor and into the doorway. The damned intruder literally ran me out of my own room.

Panic begins. I loathe and fear the roach more than any other species on the planet. Even though they pose no real threat, besides completely grossing me out, I find them terrifying. I would much rather be faced with a venomous snake curled in my bed or a bear with teeth barred than this creepy crawly FLYING critter.

See, snakes are cool looking and, I think, kind of pretty. So what if it bites me? I call 911, get a shot, and a cool story to boot. I mean, and that's only if it's venomous. No big deal. Bears are furry and therefore cute and non-threatening. Plus, as a mammal, they are easier to personify, and I can easily imagine reasoning with the bear during an attack. "Don't hurt me, bear," I would say. "I just want to hug you." He would stop mid-growl, cock his head like a curious pup, and I would give him a little cuddle. Surely he would then decide against mauling me, and we would skip off into the woods, hand in paw.

Yes, this is totally irrational, but so is my fear of roaches. Really, it's at phobia-like proportions, and a "phobia," by definition, is an irrational fear.

Of course in my brain it all makes sense. This is why big flying roaches are the WORST:
1. It has no coolness or cuteness about it AT ALL
2. It is freakin HUGE and tank-like, nearly indestructible
3. I cannot squish it or stomp it like other bugs. Maybe you can, but the crunch sound is way too much for me to handle. I would probably vomit immediately afterwards.
and finally...
4. It has wings and could therefore fly on my face.

I am being totally open and honest with you right now. My greatest fear in life is that a roach might fly on my face.

So you can imagine when faced with this potential threat, I generally freak the f- out. It was nearly midnight, my roommate was locked in her room and not answering my pleas for help (even though I COULD HEAR HER TYPING ON HER COMPUTER! Bitch.).

I wanted to run downstairs to get a can of Raid, but I'm afraid that if I turn my back on the bastard he'll scurry off and hide somewhere. Then I wouldn't be able to sleep in my room knowing he is hiding in the corner and waiting for me to turn off the lights so he can land on my face. Either way, there was no sleep for me, so I had to take my chances. As a cautionary measure I dragged all of my luggage into the hall and closed the door. I ran for the Raid and an empty Tupperware container (in case I had to use a trap and capture method), and ran back.

What followed was a humiliating, lengthy battle during which I proved myself to be an embarrassment to all of mankind. Here I am, far larger and more intelligent that this roach, and yet I am reduced to a screaming, crying, petrified little girl. I called Shane for moral support:

-"Michelle, just kill it!"
-"I caaaan't!"
-"Spray it!"
-"It'll get mad and fly on my face!"
-"Just step on it!"
-"I caaaan't! I just have to sleep in the car."
- "You have work tomorrow. Don't be stupid. It's just a roach."

HA! Just a roach? Just my worst nightmare!! Waaaah! After whimpering for a while and furrowing my brow, I resigned to the fact that I can't avoid my room forever. So finally, with arm outstretched as far as humanly possible, I released a futile burst of spray. Oh, great. Apparently instead of insecticide I bought Roach Crack. Now what was a casually ambling pest turned into a high-speed racing, flying, fluttering predator. "Ahhhh!" I screamed and ran into the hall again, panting.

This went on for about two hours: Me getting closer, about to spray, him darting off or threatening to fly, and me screaming and running away. At one point I heard him get stuck in a roll of wrapping paper, and the vibration of is vile little wings fluttering on the paper was audible. BARF. Finally, he ventured into my closet and stalled in the corner. I had my chance! Like some sort of pathetic S.W.A.T. team maneuver, I pointed the spray inside the corner of my closet and hid behind the closet door. "Diiiiiiiie! Diiiie! Diiiiie!" I growled through clenched teeth while emptying the remaining contents of the can into the closet; hoping it was a direct hit. Silence.

I carefully peeked into the dark closet to survey the damange. I couldn't see any movement, but I also didn't see the upside down corpse I was hoping for. I stood and listened for rustling and there was none. Is he dead? Hiding? Aahhh! I don't know! So, I closed my closet, barricaded the cracks and put down plastic shopping bags around the door (you know, so that I would hear him moving around if he emerged) ..and I attempt to go to bed...with the lights on.

Needless to say, I slept a total of 5 minutes that night. I struggled through work the next day, and by the time I boarded my afternoon flight I was in bad shape.

"At least I can sleep on the plane," I thought...Oh, if I only knew what was still to come.

to be continued...

i mean...it must be pretty boring in the womb, right?

Hi. My name is Michelle, and I'm a dork.


My "manager" Leigh Ann always makes fun of me at work because we'll start talking about something random and then I have to immediately go online and research everything I can find about it. Like "hey have you heard there is a tomato juice energy drink?" And then I say "wow!" and go online and discuss it, as Leigh Ann says, "in chatrooms, message boards, and blogs."

So, that's what happened this morning more or less. I couldn't stop yawning and I thought, "why is it, again, that we yawn?" I asked my friend Google, and he filled me in on theories of yawning. But what I found most interesting, is that unborn fetuses yawn in the womb! Weeird!! And scientists don't really know why since they aren't even breathing through their mouths yet.

Of course I couldn't stop there...I went on to read more and more about "fetal yawning" and I found this really disturbing movie of a fetus yawning. Babies look like aliens!
Just wanted to share that with you. Also, I have a new hardcore band. We're called FETAL YAWNING. we're intense...ly boring

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Don't you wanna know how we keep starting fires?

The air was filled with the stench of smoke again this morning. It's always surprising and a little haunting to detect; just knowing the vast destruction that is the source of the odor. It's so far away and yet still so very pungent.

...I've been feeling awfully guilty about all this lately. You see, I have a confession to make.
Many, many years ago, when I was just a child, I had a vision. I was visited by a woodland animal spirit, and he bestowed in me a power.
He pointed solemnly and said, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires."
And so I have lived with this heavy responsibility, both a blessing and a burden, for over two decades.

There's been a couple slip ups here and there, but for the most part I've kept things under control. But now…fuck! I seriously dropped the ball, guys. Sorry about that. I've just been kind of busy, you know, between going to see Jarvis and scanning pictures from middle school. I've just felt so distracted lately...but this is no time for excuses.

I never really knew what the hell I was doing anyway, to be honest. Maybe someone else wants to prevent the fires from now on? Yes, that's it. I would like to resign from my prevention duties, that is, if the bear will allow it.

IF THE BEAR IS EVEN STILL ALIVE!
I am such a failure.