Sunday, December 16, 2007

Semester in Review via iPod Playlist

Today I finally managed to overcome laziness, weather, and general impetus to stay in Norman and drove back to AR. And the trip went well, for once - no major pre-trip screw-ups, no iced-up roads, no engines falling out, etc.

Anyway, I listened to my "A Drivetime Mix" playlist as I drove. (I only named it "A Drivetime Mix so it'll always be at the top of the list). It's an ever-changing collection of whatever I'm into at the time, and I clean it up every few months or so. As I'm listening, I realized that it was kind of a "semester in review" sort of thing - nearly every song had some sort of memory or moment attached to it. I decided to catalogue some of my favorite moments here.
  • Hello - Hawk Nelson: Frontier City with Jules and Jack. Sibling rivalry, outdoor concert, and the neverending word games in the grass.
  • Stronger - Kanye West: scaring Sweetie in the WalMart parking lot. (See? Told you that you knew the obnoxious rap song I meant ...)
  • Go That Far - Bret Michaels Band: Rock of Love night with my girls! Yelling at Lacey and laughing at Bret. Oh, Bret.
  • When You Were Young - The Killers: finally five-starring a Guitar Hero song on hard. Never before has my pinky finger been so useful.
  • Show Me the Money - Petey Pablo: Julie's gangsta theme. Rocking out in the car until people around us just have to look.
  • Suck My Kiss - Red Hot Chili Peppers: Alyson and Lola finally getting into the GH craze, shouting "suck my kiss!" at the television
  • Paranoid - Black Sabbath: late-night Rock Band at Kevin and Joe's. The guys makes the girls sing hard rock songs, and the girls makes the guys sing "Roxanne."
  • Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys: Lola, totally sober, singing songs like a drunk person. "Hol'day in C'MBODIA!"
  • Welcome Home - Coheed and Cambria: venting a little stress by belting angry revenge-song lyrics; taking Rock Band to a whole new level by both singing the vocals and playing the main guitar part simultaneously. Kneel, for I am truly a Rock-Band badass.
  • Talk Dirty to Me - Poison: more Rock of Love goodness; also, botched lyrics ("At the drive-in, in the old man's corpse" rather than "old man's Ford.")
  • Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n Roses: finally, FINALLY, beating the guitar battle with Slash and shouting celebratory swears at the television; also, my discovery that I play better standing on my couch. The taller you are, the harder you can rock apparently.
There are some other amazing memories as well, although they come without a theme song. Fangirling out about ANTM with Allie, casino night at Riverwind (I guess that does have a theme song ... Alyson singing "Ladies' Night"), Joe offending people of all creeds and races at IHOP, endless quoting of Wizard People/Dr. Tran/youtube videos, late-night WalMart runs (why? because it's THERE!), and any post-midnight phone call from Julie. They always mean good things.

This has been easily one of the best semester of my college life, due in large part to the people involved. Mel, for helping to make me a published writer and for goading me until I wrote a 50,000 word novel; my fellow intro classmates, who took awesome lessons from Batman and came out all the better because of it; my family, for being there any time I need them; the guys, for being the newest facet of my social life and for making nearly every night memorable; and, of course, my girls. You ladies made this semester completely badass, and I love yall!

Oh, and thanks to Fig (my bug). For not falling apart this time around. =)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

No (Dallas) Love: Redux

Yall may remember a post I did a month or so back about my terrible luck flying home for visits?

It hasn't changed.

Wednesday morning, I got up at about 7 am (and, seeing as I was out late the night before, this was not a fun concept). My flight was supposed to leave at 10, and I was gonna get in town shortly after noon.

At 6 pm, I finally, finally straggled into the Little Rock Airport. Finally. I kid you not; it took that long to go from OKC to Dallas to LR.

The problem was that a storm hit LR right when our flight was supposed to land. We circled the city for nearly 45 minutes before the pilot announced we were low on fuel and were going to divert to Tulsa.

Tulsa. Putting me essentially right back where I'd started hours ago. So we flew to Tulsa, refueled, chilled on the tarmac, and got back in the air way too long afterwards.

Once again, I could have driven here and back again in the time it took me to simply fly here. You can be damn sure I'll be driving home for Christmas break (and all the others too, if I can swing it). I'm tired of my travel being in hands other than my own.

On the plus side, I did get to sleep in a chair instead of on the floor of the Dallas Love airport thsi time around. What a difference, man.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Mist To Be Missed

I apologize for how quiet this blog's been lately. My responsibilities caught up to me, and I've been completely swamped getting them all covered. Hopefully I'll be back to regular updates after this.

Today, my family and I went to see The Mist after Thanksgiving lunch. We knew it wasn't going to be anything uplifting, but we love Stephen King and The Mist has long been one of our favorites.

Folks, don't go see The Mist.


The story's good when the movie keeps with the novella's line, but there was a ton of unexpected gore and the CG, while decent, showed a whole lot of cheesy baddies that would have been scary had they been seen less. To top it all off, the ending was the most wrenchingly painful thing I've seen in a long time.

And actually, seeing as last Monday my apartment's parking lot was completely smothered in pea-soup-style mist, I'm quite glad I hadn't seen the movie at that point. I would've decided "the hell with this" and gone back to bed. Sorry Mel, I do love Intro, but I'm not gonna wade through face-ripping-baddie-filled mist to get there.

However! I did have a hardcore fangirl moment at the beginning of the movie. The main character is an artist who creates movie posters and such. At the movie's opening, he's working on an image of a gun-carrying man. The more I look at the man, the more familiar he gets. Then we see the rose being painted next to him, and I about hit the roof. It was Roland! King's gunslinger, right there on the canvas! It seems like a clever and backhanded way for King to get people talking about a Dark Tower movie/miniseries.

I can only hope they do it better justice than they did The Mist ...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hardcore Bug

More fun at WalMart today.

I saw a VW Beetle leaving the lot as I got there. It was cute and yellow and bumper-stickered, as so many Bugs are; however, the windows were rolled down and the driver was BLASTING deathmetal.

That's right - the sweet, free-spirit car was zooming around blaring "HATEANDDEATHANDKILLANDMAIMANDYAAAAAAAAAAH!" I thought it was damn funny.

I need to go to WalMart more often. They have such great characters there.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Brattiest Brat to Ever Brat

This morning, I got up and headed to WalMart for a quick grocery run. I was low on some essentials, and it was about to be a bad situation.

I do my shopping and head out to my car to load it all up. Parked beside me is a woman, also loading groceries, and her daughter, probably ten years old and blonde, and wearing a shirt with a rather trampy-looking poodle which reads, "Sweetie." Shirts like that bug me - show me, don't tell me. Girls in "sweetie" and "princess" shirts generally tend to be the opposite of that label.

I pop the trunk and start moving bags. Out of nowhere, the little girl goes, "Me Gles? Megg Les? I don't understand." After a minute, I realize she's trying to sound out my license plate: Meggles, an old nickname of mine that, seeing as it's on my license plate, I can't quite shake. Gotta get a new plate. This one destroys my credibility.

So Sweetie keeps trying to sound out "Meggles" to get a response out of me. I just tune her out. Suddenly, she looks right at me and says, "What a stupid license plate. Why would anyone put something so dumb on their car?" as if I can't hear her.

She then moves on to my clothes. "Why would someone wear black on a sunny day?" she postulates to the air. "People like that are so depressing." I look down at my black-and-gold camisole and cropped black jacket and think, bitch!

This little critic goes on to pick at my car (who drive a blue car?), my groceries (is all that for just one person?) and my makeup (black around people's eyes makes them look like raccoons). That last one stung - I know my face is awfully delicate for black eyeliner, but I think it's a good look for something different! Plus it gives me sex appeal: something a ten-year-old little stick knows nothing about.

This girl just kept going and going. I was just waiting for the little brat to go into more personal details, like, "Fight Club is not a funny movie! Arrested Development was canceled for a reason! Your antiquated Christian ideals are laughable!"

On top of all that, her mother was right there! And Mrs. Sweetie didn't have a word to say. Either she was ignoring her precocious little darling, or she didn't realize the person her daughter was lampooning was all of three feet away, listening to every word. No, Mrs. Sweetie just kept loading her groceries in a slow, defeated way without a word.

What I really wanted to do was roll up a magazine, pop Sweetie on the nose like a disobedient dog, and tell the mom to retrain her puppy. Instead, I opted for a little psychological warfare.

I got into my car, cracked the windows, and delved into my iPod. I turned on the most obnoxious rap song in my iPod's arsenal, the one that makes my whole car vibrate with the bass. You know the one I mean. While I could still see Sweetie's lips moving, I could no longer hear her at least. Quiet, sweetie - Kanye's talking.

I backed slowly out, keeping tabs on Little Miss Thang without ever looking directly at her. The music's still pumping, Mrs. Sweetie's still oblivious, and Sweetie is turning like a little radar dish to keep an eye on me. Right before I drive away, I suddenly snap my head around and lock eyes with the little brat. I point to my eyes, then point to her - got my eeeeeeyes on you, baby. The kid's eyes get HUGE and she yells something that can only be "Moooooooooom!!" But Mama Sweetie is still preoccupied with the groceries,so she is left to wail alone as I race out of the WalMart lot all gangbusters.

Someone's gonna be looking over her shoulder for a few days now. Sorry, Sweetie! But a little childhood trauma is said to do wonders for one's disposition.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Language Sponge

Last night, I was determined to get out another 800 words on my novel. However, I have internet ADD. Things didn't go quite the way I'd hoped.

I'd started reading a new webcomic, Ctrl-Alt-Del, the other day. I've had a lot of people recommend it to me, and I finally decided to take a little time and page through the archives. And I loved it! It's a gaming comic like Penny Arcade, except it doesn't make me feel like a noob!

So last night, I decided to read a few strips. And then just a few more. And maybe just another story arc, until boom. I caught up to the current strips. Five years worth of comics, and I powered right through it.

Once I realized I'd caught up to the present and blown most of my evening, I decided to stay up a little later and do some writing anyway. But after all that comic reading, all I could do... was write witty banter.

I was trying to write this tense, suspenseful scene, but I kept turning out these horribly corny Schwarzenegger-esque puns and action-movie style bravado! It was totally wrong for the scene. Finally I deleted my sad, sad attempt and called it a night.

The problem with me is I am a language sponge. The longer I spend around someone, the more I pick up their talking habits. For instance, my friend Lola is forever telling people and things that they need to calm down! And now, a year into our friendship, I'm doing it too. My friend Julie tends to maow at people to get their attention; I catch myself doing it too.

It's the same with movies and books. After watching the Pirates movies, I talk in an up-and-down Jack Sparrow sort of way; after watching Wizard People, I drag aaaall my seeentences ouuut like Brad Neely. After reading the Dark Tower books, I keep catching myself wanting to use the High Speech; thee-ing and thou-ing and thankee, sai and all that.

I think it may be a throwback to my drama days ... when we did Steel Magnolias, I spent two months with a drawl so thick I was nigh incomprehensible at times. It's not even a conscious decision to affect these different speaking styles; it just sort of creeps in sometimes.

I guess this means I need to better choose my media while I'm writing this novel. No sense in getting my genres all screwed around.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I am up way, way too late. Check the timestamp at the bottom: it's nearly 5 am. I'm not on good terms with 5 am, but tonight's just been one of those nights.

I actually went to bed earlier. I had a slow, solo sort of day, and everyone else had plans tonight except me. I got to feeling kind of lonely so I opted to go on to bed and not dwell on it. At about 2:30 am, my phone rings.

Me: Mmmph ... 'llo?
Julie: Megan! Zombies in the park! It's like magic! You have to get up!
Me: .... but--
Julie: Okay-great-I'll-see-you-here-in-ten-minutes-bye!!

Now while that may seem like gibberish, I speak Julie. I knew exactly what she was trying to tell me.

Zombie is a concoction our group of friends developed during Night Games (actually proposed by the ragged, shambling guy in the picture there). It's sort of like tag - one person's it, the rest run from them. Except when whoever's it catches someone, they bite them (we're a close-knit group, but bites are generally restricted to arms and shoulders). Boom. Two zombies.

These two keep going, chasing down and biting the non-zombies. It becomes exponential after a while, and the last man standing wins and gets to be the starting zombie next round. It can be kind of scary - you see someone once, and they're running and hiding besides you, then a few minutes later they've been turned and they're coming after you. It's got a nice horror-movie sort of twist to it.

Also, zombies have to shamble around and groan a lot. You can be slow, Night-of-the-Living-Dead zombies or Dawn-of-the-Dead sprinting zombies. It must look really strange to anyone passing by, but it's late. No one frequents parks at that time of night, save for us.

Anyway, it has been awhile since we had Night Games, and I hadn't been sleeping that well anyway. I got up, got dressed, and met the group at our usual spot. And then proceeded to chase and bite people for three hours straight.

It really is fun, no one just goes out and plays like that at our age. I really hope to make a habit of it.

But in the meantime, it's 5 am. And I am wiiiiiide awake. This does not bode well for my sleep schedule, but it's so worth it. Night Games make my weekends great.