Thursday, June 30, 2005


Though there are many reasons for my lack of bloggage, the most recent has been my sudden obsession with pre-Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East. I've been trying to piece together a comprehensive picture of the history of the time, by reading whatever archaeological articles I can on the Internet. It has consumed my every non-working waking hour, and some of my non-waking ones as well, due to some rather strange dreams.

Anyway, to ensure this blog doesn't fall into obscurity (well, fall further into obscurity), here is a link to a little text game I heartily reccomend: Photopia. It really blurs the line between written fiction and interactive game -- it's like participating in an extremely well-written book. It's definately one of the cooler things I've discovered in my Internet meanderings.

Well, back to my armchair archaeology...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tails of Work

Well, I told myself I wouldn't do this, but here I am: writing a personal blog about how crappy my day was. Seriously, this has just been one weird and crappy day.

Ok, to start off with, I slept through my alarm and was fifteen minutes late for work. That meant I had to skip breakfast and such in my insane rush to get ready quickly so I wasn't later than I already was. My boss apparently was having a pretty bad day too, because he was pretty pissed. This isn't the first time I've been late, though I'd been getting better at it lately. Anyway, that pretty much soured my mood for what was gonna happen later.

The night before I'd had some sort of disturbing dream, though I don't remember exactly what it was about. Something about being chased by werewolves, I think. It left me with a weird feeling, though, like everything was surreal and nothing was normal. Mix in a splitting headache (part of the reason I slept in was because I couldn't get to sleep due to this cold or heatstroke or whatever it is), and I was pretty much disoriented, though of course not to the point where I would have a clean concience about going home sick for the day. Just enough to make everything suck.

So that was my mental state when I got called up to pack for the second customer of the day. It was this really obnoxious lady who's been in before, the type who seems to think that the grocery staff are her own personal servants, there to wait on her hand and foot. Of course we have to be polite to her, right, seeing as she's a customer, but it's not easy. So I wheel her groceries out on the cart into the parking lot, expecting her to go to her car like usual. But instead, she walks to the other side of the parking lot and keeps going. There's no cars anywhere near here, so I kind of stopped and asked her where she was going. She got all haughty about it, saying how we shouldn't advertise a service if we didn't intend to follow through with it, and a bunch of other stuff I didn't quite catch. I don't know what service she was thinking of, since we only take groceries out to people's cars in the parking lot, not halfway across town, and we certainly don't advertise that service, we just do it. I didn't tell her any of that though, trying to be polite, so I just apologised a lot and said we weren't allowed to take the carts out of the parking lot. Long story short, we came back inside the store and she demanded to talk to the manager. Once Larry got there I explained the situation to him, and then let him handle it. I think she ended up getting her groceries delivered, or something.

Anyway, I noticed when I came back into the store that the weird feeling from before came back, almost as soon as I walked through the door. I wondered if there was something to do with the air, or the smell or something, so I kinda kept track. I noticed that whenever I walked outside, the feeling subsided, so I started wondering if there was some sort of fumes in the building or something coming through the vents. However, it wasn't constant in the store, either, sort of coming and going at random intervals.

It wasn't until about two hours later that I figured out what was happening. I was stacking a pallet of soup cans when my supervisor, I'll call him "Ed" here on the Internet, walked by, and I suddenly had a wave of dizziness/lightheadedness, and my head hurt like crazy. At first I thought I was maybe somehow alergic to his cologne or something, but I'd never heard of an allergy that felt like that, and I hadn't noticed any cologne smell. But when he came back, the same thing happened. It was the weirdest thing. I started wondering if I was having some sort of nervous breakdown or something.

Anyway, he came by again and started talking to me, but I could barely tell what he was saying at this point, because I couldn't seem to focus on anything. I was getting quite dizzy at this point. And, as if to loosen my grip on reality even further, I started getting this really extreme feeling of deja-vu, like I'd done this exact thing somewhere before.

Then I remembered: it was in that dream! I had been doing this exact thing, and feeling this exact thing, in that dream! That was quite possibly the most bizzare realisation of my life up until that point. All of a sudden, everything started clicking into place, and I started remembering other parts of the dream. And then I remembered the most terrifying part of the dream --

Ed was a werewolf!

I must have said it out loud or something, because I noticed that everybody there was kina looking at me with this weird expression on their faces. But that wasn't the weirdest part. That came when I looked at Ed and realised that he was turning into a werewolf in front of my eyes! It was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen, and I don't scare easily. There was this fur sprouting from everywhere, and his eyes had turned a sickly yellow colour. His face was actually shifting and changing shape, making these little crackling and popping noises. He snarled and lunged at me, but it was like playing a video game for the second time, because all of this had happened exactly this way in the dream. I'm not even sure if I was in control of my own actions, because I dodged out of the way just in time, and kicked him in the side. He came after me, snarling and knocking over displays, but I didn't run. Maybe having seen it all happen before in the dream gave me a kind of surreal confidence, but running away just didn't even occur to me. We fought, man against werewolf, fist against claw. He was several times bigger and stronger than me, but my foreknowledge of his actions gave me an edge, so that we were about evenly matched. I don't know how long we fought, but it seemed like forever.

And that was when the leprechauns showed up. Hundreds of them, charging in formation, spilling in through the automatic doors and rapelling down from the ceiling on tiny little leprechaun ropes. They leaped on the werewolf, attacking him with leprechaun swords, swarming him like a colony of crazed Irish ants. There attacks seemed like they must be nothing more than pinpricks, but the werewolf reeled under their assault. He swatted at them desparately, sending dozens of them flying, but for every leprechaun that fell, twenty of his bretheren were there to replace him.

It looked like the leprechauns were about to win, when the werewolf managed to catch one of them in its mouth and eat it. Suddenly, the werewolf's strength had increased seven-fold! It began to tear into the leprechauns, throwing them and clawing them and generally destroying them. The leprechauns started to retreat, and the werewolf charged, straight at an attractive female co-worker of mine. I had no choice but to act. I grabbed a nearby can of beef consommé, and hurled it at him with all my might. It struck him in the back of the head, which I later learned was his one weak spot where he was vulnerable. He crumpled to the ground, and exploded in a flash of light and a puff of smoke. The werewolf was gone.

Immediately, the leprechauns shouted with joy, and somehow they managed to lift me up on their shoulders and carry me around in victory. Their cheiftan later told me that the werewolf had been plaguing the local leprechaun tribe for a hundred years, using the magical properties of stewed leprechaun to keep himself alive for all these years. It had been prophecied that one day, one of the "Big People" would step forward to be the champion of the leprechauns, and rid the world of their tormentor. Apparently, that's me. They say I'm now entitled to half of all the leprechaun gold they own, which I guess isn't that bad.

So in the end, it wasn't that crappy of a day after all. I still have that soup can, sitting on my coffe table right now. It's in pretty good shape, considering. I, on the other hand, did have to go to the hospital for stitches, and apparently I'm gonna have a pretty nifty scar over my left eye. Not to mention the fact that all the broken ribs are going to make it difficult to go to sleep tonight.

I just hope I don't sleep in tomorrow, too.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Jungle Quest!

One day there was a monkey. That monkey had a banana. But not just any banana, this was a special magic golden banana. It had the power to control the weather. The monkey had found this banana lying around in some old abandoned Aztec temple. Of course, by "found" I mean "stole" and by "lying around" I mean "carefully tagged and secured in an archaeologist's backpack". Also, the monkey was named Jules.

When the archaeologist discovered that the magical golden banana was missing, he became wroth. He searched around for the culprit, and quickly discovered that it was Jules who had stolen his banana. The archaeologist -- who was of course named Bill -- pursued Jules and attempted to kill him with a twelve-gauge shotgun. No, I don't know why he just happened to have a twelve-gauge shotgun. Maybe he was afraid of elephant attacks or something. Mind you, there are no elephants in Central America. But the archaeologist didn't know that. He was an archaeologist, not a botanist.

Anyway, Bill shot Jules and retrieved his golden banana. Bill was haunted for the rest of his life by nightmares of Jules' ghost. However, Bill didn't care since he now had the power to control the weather. He became rich and powerful and eventually he became King of Paraguay in an unrelated adventure. He had seven wives and a hundred and twenty-three children and eventually died at the ripe old age of ninety-three. He was mourned by everyone in his kingdom.

Meanwhile, Jules didn't actually die from getting shot, as it was just a flesh wound. Jules went on to be the sidekick of a small English boy named Eugene who had a series of heartwarming adventures involving smugglers and counterfitters and the occasional pirate. However, since that fateful day in that temple, Jules has always walked with a limp. Also, he has never been able to do a cartwheel since then.

Jules currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Chee-chee, and three children. He now writes Hollywood movie scripts for a living, along with a thousand other monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters. Jules' random typewriter attacks were responsible for the movies "Funky Monky" and "the Aviator". His enjoys stamp collecting, birdwatching, and a good pipe of Old Toby. He also has a gambling problem and is no longer legally allowed to enter Las Vegas. He is also barred from a small town in Idaho for unspecified reasons.