Fair’s a fair

These aren’t pumpkins. They are abominations that yearn for the sweet release of death

To say that I have been somewhat overworked lately is much like pointing out that a dude who just toppled into the tiger pit at the zoo may need assistance.  It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been overworked, to the point where I started to question whether I really wanted to keep pouring time and effort into this writing thing, and the futility therein.  I usually get like this between the end of September to the beginning of January, what because winter and Christmas are basically horrendous and will be the first things to be banned as soon as I am carried into political office on a wave of ponies.

My descent into insanity usually begins with the gigantic county fair, which kicks off in the last week of September and consumes most of my time for most of the month.  The fair is unlike any of the little BS “community days” that used to be held back home in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.  It’s a celebration of country life, and is also probably where two thirds of the teenage pregnancies in the county come from.  I’ll keep you posted on those numbers in nine months.

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Ponies for Tophat

I hate politics.  I really do.  Unfortunately, I am also in a line of work where it is completely and unavoidably in my face pretty much all the time.  I’m still not sure why all of these politicians send me mass emails.  My newspaper isn’t exactly what you’d call… national.  Local politicians are a bigger deal for us out here, because honestly, if people want coverage of the national issues there are about a million daily news sources who are better staffed to handle the waves of bullshit coming out of our two major political parties.

That’s not to say that the people in my area don’t care about the Barack Obama/Mitt Romney throwdown that is shaping up in November.  I’ve found, however, that your odds of convincing someone to vote one way or the other is completely impossible.  It seems like 90 percent of the voting population is so fiercely loyal to their political party that if you even dare to say something bad about it, they will straight up murder you.  Maybe it’s my rampant pessimism, but I find that to be pretty depressing.

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That first cuppa

Welp, ruined that.

I don’t really know much about coffee.  Caffeine is one of those things that any kid who had a childhood worth a damn knows about, and believe me I’ve had plenty of that over the years.  But coffee, aah, that’s like the big brother of carbonated beverages.  While Mountain Dew and Pepsi are out playing on the swings and Coke and Dr. Pepper are building sand castles in the yard, coffee is reading about the stock market in the paper in a full suit, ready for a day of sticking it to the corporate work week.

I think I really assumed that as I got older, carbonated beverages would stop really being a dominant thing, slowly phased out in favor of coffee.  This never happened, so there was no real way to adjust.  Then, last week, I had my first honest to god cuppa coffee, and good lord I screwed it up.

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On adulthood

Either bow ties are hard to draw or I am just THAT terrible at this.

Being an adult is not something that has ever come naturally to me.  Sure, I may legally fall under that determination, and yes, I have managed to live by myself for the past five years without breaking anything, burning down my apartment, or accidentally offing myself in an unfortunate cooking accident, but I’d say the fact that I still list these as major accomplishments every day is a sure sign that I may never get to that point.  It’s like this quote that I am blatantly altering to fit my own needs:  Some are born adults, some achieve adulthood, and some have adulthood thrust upon ’em.

That’s the way society is set up, however.  If you haven’t quite gotten the hang of it by the time you’re done with school, then buddy you’d better figure it out on the fly.  But when all is said and done, I still feel like a kid.  I giggle loudly at inappropriate moments.  I have no desire to settle down and start a family.  All I want to do is goof off, hang out with friends and play video games late into the night. Is that so wrong?

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Zug zug! A tribute to peons

Me not that kind of orc!

DABU.

I can remember my first night at college.  I was arriving on campus about a week before most of the student body, due to an aggressive band program which required me to stand out in the blazing heat of the summer and get yelled at for not holding my trumpet a certain way by annoying music majors.  This also meant I was arriving before the college’s “welcome freshmen” program went into effect, and on that first night I found myself relatively alone in an empty dorm hall with little to do.

I played Warcraft 3 all night. By the time I arrived at college, I was knee deep in the orc campaign, and I spent many hours of my free time ordering Thrall and his forces to victory, building elaborate villages on the back of those lowly, reliable peons.  This week I found myself thinking about those peons again.  I’m starting to relate, as it goes.

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28

Nothing like a shirt you will wear once to usher in another year of not screwing up being alive.

I turned 28 this month.  For some reason, this birthday has been a hard one for me, which is something that completely blindsided me.  I found myself getting increasingly more depressed, and I actually had to take a good hard look to find out why I was increasingly getting more depressed.  I’ve always been very receptive of growing older.  The crazy, 78-year-old 300 pound man who hangs out at Burger King all day every day is my hero.  “Yes,” I think to myself as I wait for the high school students to grill me up a chicken sandwich.  “Someday, that will be me, spouting insanity about space aliens and talking loudly about my embarrassing medical problems!” It’s going to be pretty fantastic.

But, when 28 finally started rolling around, I just started to get irrationally mopey.  I’m sure everyone has that one moment in their lives when they start to consider where they actually thought they would be fifteen years ago, and then make the mistake of comparing that to where they are in present day.  Sadly, I  started to realize its time for me to give up my dreams of becoming a child prodigy mega genius who also has super powers and can do a back flip.

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In defense of the news

My God. I'm a MONSTER.

Working as a news reporter has helped to broaden my perspective on a lot of things, which has been unfortunate considering I’ve always subscribed to the ignorance-is-bliss mantra from an early age.  I’ve learned a lot about politics in the past five years.  More than I’d like to know about politics, honestly.  Don’t worry.  I’m not taking Five Degrees of Tophat down THAT particular road.  Once you open the door on political debate the only way to close it again is to have a massive falling out with all of your friends and family and never talk to another living person ever again.

What I have noticed, however, is that as a member of the news media people seem to be naturally skeptic that what I am saying at any given point is, in fact, true.  They tell me that the reason for this is because “you can’t trust the media” because the whole medium is “way too polarized.”  Maybe that’s true, but after five years of doing this job, I think I can figure out why.  And buddy?  It’s not the “media’s” fault.

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Have yourself a high tech Christmas

:(Okay, fine.  I’ll admit it.  I hate Christmas.  What do you want me to do about it?  It’s basically out of my hands.  It’s kind of like if someone asks you if you like the taste of flan.  Either you do or you do not, and no amount of convincing is going to be able to sway your opinion in the matter one way or the other.  Come to think of it, I’m not exactly sure what flan is.  It sounds very…  space.  Crap, that’s not the point.  How dare you let me get distracted like that?  My point here is that I dread Christmas every year, and over the years have come to loathe and hate the carols, the presents, the commercialization, and the big fat red man who breaks into houses to win the love of small children.

The problem with Christmas is that it would be incredibly easy to fix with just a few…  minor adjustments.

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Wake up, people: The art of a good conspiracy

We will crush the puny athletic hu-mons!

I’ve been trying to learn more about conspiracy theories lately.  Not because I’m looking to join a movement or to spend the rest of my life in a bunker drinking filtered piss to survive, mind you.  No, I’m learning about conspiracies because they are silly.  I’m fully aware that every conspiracy theory has at least one issue rooted in fact, but seeing where people take it from there is truly a spectacle to watch.  I’m…  only mildly poking fun at people’s beliefs, mind you.  My theory on conspiracies is that I would be much more willing to listen to one if they would present us with a scenario that doesn’t end in society grinding to a complete and utter halt and the world being transformed into glass by nukes.

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Do you remember what you wanted to say?

That post it note has been in this book since 2002. They just don't make post it notes of that quality anymore.

I had a flash of deja vu this month, during an early morning assembly in honor of Constitution Day, which is one of those little known national holidays where we’re supposed to discuss our founding fathers, the importance of the United States Constitution, and the freedoms it allows.  This year, being the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, shifted the focus somewhat onto that instead, and I found myself stuck in an increasingly long assembly at a local middle school wherein students who didn’t remember Sept. 11, 2001, tried to explain to me what it was.

The event was held in a middle school, because someone figured out if you give tiny American flags to groggy pre-teens and play patriotic music at them, they will eventually wave those flags in an ADD sponsored burst of energy.  The rest of the service included a lot of people talking at the crowd, presentations undoubtedly assigned to the students in history class, and the general feeling that the crowd was just happy to be out of their normal routine.

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