Archive for Fun

The pratfalls of growing up

Recently, I’ve had a hankering for play.  Of course, with nobody to play with, I’ve begun playing a cheap X-Box version of Tony Hawk American Wasteland to wile away my hours of free time.   Amongst all this free time, I have had a lot of time to reminisce about my childhood and lit upon all of the fun I had at McDonalds and other places with those playplaces.  Those cramped tubes, those unsanitary ball pits, those smudgy windows where I could wave to Mommy and Daddy as they undoubtedely wished they could be up there playing as well.  And then I remembered the day when I was no longer allowed to play, when the hand of the Hamburgler was no longer far over my head but somewhere around my ears and shoulders– The beginning of the end of my childhood.  Some may say that it was a rite of passage, and indeed I was mildly excited when I realized that I was no longer considered a “little kid,” by the mere fact that I was finally tall enough not to be allowed into the mazes of tubes and ladders and slides — no longer allowed through the three-foot diameter portal of joy.

But, as the initial excitement of growing up faded away (relatively quickly), my brothers and I fell upon the question of why they didn’t make claustrophobic tube playgrounds for “big kids”?

Of course, the concept of playgrounds for adults is nothing new — in fact, Germany has begun construction on such a thing, including chess and badminton and — things adults already do.  But what about the colorful tubes?  Windows you can peek out of?  Those tic-tac-toe boards?  The “captain’s ships”?  The wonderful smell of sweaty plastic?  The fun of being smooshed up against some other random kid while trying to pass each-other in opposite directions?  The bumps and bruises on your knees from crawling around on all fours?  And getting lost in it all like there’s nobody that can hurt you in your protective spaceship/homebase/cocoon/hive, and forgetting that Mommy told you that you have to clean your room when you get home?

Quite frankly, I miss it.  And I’d assume that there are plenty of other college students and even parents feeling the same way as they watch their younger counterparts peek through windows and wave at them and appear at the bottom of the windy slide moments later in a fit of giggles as their hair stands up from the massive static accumulation.  Don’t we need the colors to interrupt the mundane blacks and grays and browns that permeate our society?  Don’t we need a metaphorical way to block out the world and have the chance to just peek at it from behind protective clear plastic?  Don’t we need a break from Sudoku and crossword puzzles and video games?  Don’t we need a place to call our “captain’s seat” until we’re bored and we can just hand it over to the next person without any risk of a huge corporate failure and need for a bailout?  Don’t we need to invigorate our senses with that musk smell that is apparently all the rage?  And what better way to meet your future soul mate than by awkwardly bumping shoulders and hips as you pass by with awkward hello’s and mumblings of “gotta get to home base”?  And we could all do with a few more bruises on our knees!  Last of all, couldn’t we all do with the sudden amnesia and carefree attitude that comes with entering into that impenitrable castle of plastic?

So, scale up the tube diameter, add a few more twists and turns to keep it interesting, amp up the classic rock, keep the smoothies flowing — what could be better?

It’d be the most fun I’d ever have working out.

playland

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Valentine’s Day Speshul … ART

In honor of Valentine’s Day this week and everything that is love-related, Jordan and I have created this work of art/monstrosity to more fully celebrate/commiserate this wonderful/horrible holiday. But, as this picture can be greatly misunderstood and often very confusing (as most great works of art are), I feel it needs some explaining, so, I have numbered key points of the picture and will describe them in depth.

Valentine’s Day Speshul

1 – The beginning of this monstrosity.  Jordan took it upon herself to draw a woman’s (it actually looks more like a young, pre-teen girl, which makes it even more disturbing) head on a rather fit man’s body, although, a very short, buff man.  It is wearing a mesh shirt in order to show off the large amount of chest hair this creature has accumulated.  Drawn by Jordan

2—In tandem, I created this next creature from my nightmares, a man’s head on a rather model-like woman’s body.  The head could be that of an army general, complete with a five-o’clock shadow from a long night of intensive training, a very short buzz cut, and eyebrows that more resemble the end of a cow’s tail.  The body,  in contrast, is that of a very slim, very posed woman.  It is clothed in the ugliest of swimsuits that many of you may have seen on TV.  Both Jordan and I agree that we will never understand how anybody could think it is a flattering look for any body type, but, to each their own, I guess.  The boots are, of course, very tall, and made of plastic.  I once saw boots like these in a shoe store – ridiculously tall and made of plastic/rubber.  I tried them on, but I was wearing jeans, so I was unable to put them on to their fullest height.  Drawn by me.

3 – In order for the girl-head-man-body thing to retain at least some portion of its dignity in relation to its counterpart, it is standing on a crate thing to get closer to matching the height of the model-man thing.  Drawn by Jordan.

4 – Small dog peeing.  Rather self-explanatory.  I was thinking about the many funny animal videos that Jordan, Lyndsey, and I had been watching the previous day.  Drawn by me.

5 – There is a video going around of this cat whose meows sound like it’s saying “old man Johnson” and a few other strange things.  This portion was inspired by that.  Drawn by Jordan.

6 – The moon in the shape of a heart surrounded by flowers.  Pretty easy to fathom, right?  Drawn by Jordan.

7 – Jordan is currently painting this picture of a man kissing a horse.  She cut both pictures out of separate magazines.  The man was originally kissing his wife, but she didn’t feel that was good enough.  This is the man and his horse away on their honeymoon on the beach.  What a happy couple… Drawn by Jordan.

8 – Big BIRD pondering about a BEE.  You figure it out. 😉  Drawn by me.

9 – Birds flying off into the sunset.  They just so happen to make a smiley face.  How quaint.  Drawn by Jordan

10 – A cheeseburger floating on the horizon.  VERY romantic.  Drawn by Jordan.

11 – The shoreline.  They’re on a beach. That’s the surf.  ‘Nuff said.

12 – A tribute to Star Wars, some people’s version of love.  At least, the ones who live in their mom’s basement, play World of Warcraft all day and have Star Wars/Trek parties.  Inside the saucer is that big blob guy from Star Wars being slain by an onboard Jedi.  Drawn by me.

13 – Here is an arachnid’s version of love.  Here, you see a black widow eating her lover after all the steps have been completed for reproduction and expanding the colony.  There under her living-space is her laptop – The two met on the web.  Ha ha!  Pun.  Drawn by me.

14 – Neil Armstrong on the moon looking buff.  “History Buff” is the title of this portion.  Ha ha.  Drawn by me.

15 – Spiderpig.  This really has no relevance to the theme, but Jordan felt like drawing it.  Drawn by Jordan.

16 – The Dolphins of Earth ascending into space from the ocean before Earth is destroyed by the Vogons to create an interplanetary bypass.  Their last message to the people of Earth is, “So long and thanks for all the fish.”  It’s an allusion to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about.  Drawn by Jordan.

17 – And, last but not least, my and Jordan’s signatures.  Someday, this masterpiece will be worth millions.

(To see the full-size image w/out numbers, go to my flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/amandelia/2255766265/)

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A musician, not a body-builder

So, I was challenged by a friend to do some push-ups.  It was here that I realized that I am a musician, never a fitness guru.

Number of push-ups: 7

 Then I realized that I was using the muscles in my lower back to do those push-ups and that REALLY hurt.

So, seven is where I stand.

Can YOU beat me??

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I am America’s Next Top Model!!

I watch a ridiculous amount of television. So much that I have realized how often MTV does America’s Next Top Model marathons.  It’s ludicrous how much it sucks me in — I just can’t seem to peel myself away from the television set when it’s on.  It may be because the photographic art is something I find absolutely fascinating.  It may be that I enjoy watching the over-blown drama between all those estrogen-filled girls in one small house play out.  It may be because I find Tyra Banks or “Miss” Jay absolutely hilarious.  Or maybe it’s because I secretly want to be like those high-rolling almost-famous ultra-gorgeous girls on that show.

 Personally, I think it’s the last reason.

So, I took it upon myself to see if I really had what it takes to be AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.  Of course, I downsized it a bit — I took all the pictures of myself by myself, wore a lot shorter heels, and my “catwalk” ended up being the hallway in my small dormroom+kitchen.

So, here are the three criteria I judged myself on: Pictures, “the walk,” and personality.

Criteria 1: Pictures

Frankly, I feel that I failed miserably in this area.  Possibly because I do NOT have the body of a model, nor do I have any freaky facial features like a “five-head” (large forehead), eyes that are too far apart, strangely poofy lips, cheekbones that could gut a fish, an almost manly jawline, perfect skin, or a uniquely shaped nose.  And the braces kind of ruin the whole “fierce” effect and turn it into a more… “In the process” look.  Also, I am incapable of taking a serious picture — I feel slightly vain when I try it.  And I feel I look even more ridiculous when I don’t have my face in some kind of contorted position.

On the plus side, I think I could look pretty fierce if I put on a huge amount of dark makeup and rat & hairspray my hair to the point where I look almost like a white black person, I could look “fierce” enough to make it.  But sadly, I am running out of hairspray, and I don’t own enough makeup for the “undead model” look.

Grade: B+

 Criteria 2: “The Walk”

I’ve never been proud of how I walk.  In fact, I feel rather ungainly when I walk. My brother’s walk has been characterized to be kind of like a walking gorilla of sorts.  So, as I am related to him, we have slightly similar walks.  BUT — I was pleasantly surprised when I attempted the “model wind-in-the-hair” walk that I actually WAS getting a pretty good breeze.  Although, when I put on some heels (only three inches for fear that I may break my ankle attempting this dangerous activity), the quality and speed of my walk decreased dramatically.  Buy hey — with a little practice, I’m sure I can be a walking typhoon.

Grade: B+

Criteria 3: Personality

I’m awesome.

’nuff said.

Grade: A++++++

Okay, seriously.  I’m sure I’d come off as rather… misunderstandable?  I doubt I’d make many friends of the girls, because, well, I’m addicted to being aloof.  But, no matter.  I wouldn’t be there to make friends, would I?  I’m there to be AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL!!

 …

I need to stop watching so much TV.

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I wanted a Fish, But Decided to Settle

I have recently acquired a new roommate who brought with her a very rare and valuable commodity in the college-life world — A pet fish in an actual fishbowl.  I found this absolutely fascinating and I was feeling much jealousy towards this person who seemed thirty times happier than me because she had a pet fish who needs her and loves her unconditionally.  So I vowed I would also acquire a fish.  I was later advised by Jordan that acquiring a fish would be a terrible idea, in that I would have to take care of the thing, ie, clean it’s bowl, feed it, clothe it, and live every day of my life in fear that I would inadvertently kill it.  Both of us later found out that along with her fish, Mellissa also brought with her an item the likes of which we had not seen since our childhood — A Nano pet.  Well, we were both absolutely fascinated with this seemingly trite trinket, but Jordan volunteered to raise the tiny, fragile, needy, pixelated dog, and so began our renewed journey into the world of virtual pets.

Jordan tended to the dog throughout that day, but grew tired of its frequent cries for attention.  She, still enoying the idea of having a virtual pet, and I, increasingly jealous of her having a pet and I not, decided to go in search of a better, less needy virtual pet.  Thus, we came to rest on the idea of owning Tamagotchis.  Yes, the pixelated blob-like egg-encased Japanese creatures for ages 8 and up.  So, with Newbert in tow (whew, almost used his real name!), looking very ashamed for the both of us, we made an exodus to the local mall (Walmart), and went on the hunt for Tamagotchis.

I had never realized how long it had been since I had been in the toy section until I realized that I couldn’t find the Barbies anymore — They had all been replaced by those hedious things that girls nowadays strive to become; BRATZ DOLLS.  But that’s beside the point.  We scoured the toy section in search of these elusive Tamagotchis until we turned around and found an entire small wall of end-of-shelf space dedicated to these lovable virtual creatures.  Thus, we begane along discussion of how pretty the eggs and casing had become, and how the creatures can now have carreers of their own.  Tamagotchis can now even link to other Tamagotchis via the AIR.  As in, wirelessly.  Through the air.

Anyway, I decided to get a beautiful green Tamagotchi (4.5!) with a lovely peacock feather pattern, while Jordan opted for the colorful geometric-stained-glass patterned casing for hers and we made our way to the front of the store to make our purchase.  Of course, Newbert was still following, but at rather a larger distance as Jordan and I discussed how much TAMAFUN we were going to have.

We arrive home and quickly open the plastic encasings of our new babies (Newbert left as quickly as possible — He wanted nothing to do with this childishness) and brought our new pets to life.  It was truly a miraculous and magical experience.  Suddenly, there was this shape-shifting egg on the screen from which a small white blob would appear and bring joy and love into my life to fill the void which I was looking to fill.

In reading the instructions, we found out that our Tamagotchis could become friends, and have a life-long friendship.  So much so that if they got to be good enough friends, they would have an “egg”, and the next generation of Tamagotchis would emerge.  We only had one problem, though — both of our Tamagotchis were female.  But we then learned that this, in fact, was not a problem.  They just had to be “really good friends.”  So, we had loads of fun having our Tamagotchis (I named mine Chirp and she named hers Hawly) visit eachother and play give eachother gifts.  It really is a bucket of laughs.

So, the Tamagotchis went to sleep sometime around nine and we were free for the night.

Sunday arrived and me and Jordan went to Stake conference, Tamagotchis in tow.  We sat by Newbert, who was simply ashamed for us when we brought out our new pets and began to play and get overly-excited about connecting again and giving eachother gifts and such.  ‘Twas a meeting that I shall never forget, because sometime in the midle of the second speaker, I get a notification from my Tamagotchi that I have been ROBBED of all the points I made playing games and had not spent at the shop yet by a masked and dark-looking Tamagotchi.  I had over 800 points stolen from me!  Right in the middle of church!

Moral of the story — you could never get robbed and recieve gifts and play tug of war in church with a real fish.

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Making the Milk Run

Milk runs are a funny thing… Dad gives you money at 10:00 at night, tells you to go buy milk, you sit around until he gets impatient and tells you to GO. NOW. So you go, and get the milk.  But many detours are taken along the way.  You take the long way, because you don’t really want to go home because nothing good is on TV right now because all you have in network TV, and anything is better than that. 

You get into the store, and take the long way to the milk, taking your own sweet time, probably making a pass down the makeup isle (or whatever isle guys tend to enjoy — makup isle for me), maybe look at a few things and put them in the back of your mind to buy later (because all your dad gave you was three dollars to BUY MILK), and then finally get to the milk.  Now here is where it gets complicated.  There are about twenty different brands, percents, sales, and stuff to choose from.  You wrack your brain as to what color the cap on your milk is, and what the little picture is on the sticker.  You finally end up just picking the same color cap with the cheapest Fresh Price Price.  You open the fridge (real effort is needed here.  You’re TIRED.  And bored.), and wiggle your hand around all the cold milk to try to reach the stupid handle on the milk, and after you finally get a grasp on it, you actually have to get the milk OUT of the jaws of the fridge. 

The top obstacle: The price stick thing that just too big.  The bottom obstacle: The little barricade keeping the milk from falling out all over the floor, which still looks a little flimsy so you help the next cartons of milk down so they don’t fall against the “barricade.”  Your quest is to get the milk OUT of these jaws of the fridge.  You pull the milk and it’s stopped by both of these obstacles.  Okay, now you have to get creative and pull it out by the top.  With a little bit of fancy maneuvering and pushing of nearby cartons, you finally manage to get the milk out.  That’s the most exciting thing that’s happened all night!  And of course you help the next milk cartons down so they don’t come crashing down on the floor and make your flip-flops all sour-milk smelling the next day. 

Next, you walk (slowly) back to the register, hoping beyond all hope that you’ll see a friend somewhere in the store, also making another pass down the makeup isle (or card / tools / toy / candy / school supply isle) making sure you didn’t miss anything, and finally make your way to the longest check-out line, even though all the self-checkout isles are open.  Now, all this time, you are feverishly texting people you know in hopes that maybe they also have to make a grocery-store run so that you will have at least ONE social experience on this draining milk excursion.  You sit there and hold your milk, feeling very silly standing there with three dollars and a carton of milk.  You avoid eye contact like the plague, denying that yes, you are on a 10:30 milk run wearing your work shirt that still smells like Chinese food. 

Suddenly, your fingers start to freeze, which creeps up your hand, and up to your wrist, which is very unpleasant because of the abundance of veins in that particular area.  You switch hands and suddenly, you find out that yes!  You do know somebody that just HAPPENS to have to get tuna at the SAME store at the SAME time! (YOU know who you are)  They get there while you are still in line (yes, it’s been about five minutes and the same lady is still up at the register trying to haggle prices with the cashier or something), they arrive, harrass your dumb little milk run, get their tuna, and come up and wait patiently in line behind you, continuing in harrassing you and making you regret ever having made this stupid milk run. 

You get up the the register in hopes that they’ll have those little individual chocolates up there.  Not so.  Bummer.  The person in front of and behind you (your “friend” [jk]) puts those little separators between your item and theirs, just in case the lame-oh cooties of your dumb milk run spill over onto their equally as obscure and odd items.  I mean seriously… TUNA?  Anyway, you pay with your measly three dollars, take one last longing glance at the candy and put your milk in a plastic bag.  Now, many would NOT consider this odd, because the veins in your wrist are still sore from holding that stupid milk and you’d rather make it easy on yourself by putting it in a bag — besides, you need more trash bags. 

Your “friend” continues harrassing you about your pansy-type milk-in-a-bag ways, and tries to steal your milk.  Sure, his INTENTIONS may be good, but all it succeeds in is causing you undue stress at this late hour.  You oblidge and let this PERSON carry your milk, even though now, you are PERFECTLY capable of carrying it on your own, and walk to your hideous excuse for a car.  It doesn’t even have a CD player.  It has a TAPE player.  Who has TAPES anymore?!  Well.  You let your “friend” stick the milk in the back, and then they insist on closing your door for you.  You oblidge.  You have no choice, as they have a death-grip on the door meaning “you will LET me close this door.  Please?” Goodbye?  Yes.  Finally.  (jk) You drive home, this time taking the faster way, because you know you just HAVE to blog this epic experience.  Then, you thank heaven that you weren’t buying something stranger.  Like TUNA.

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