Not Here to Make Friends

Reasons why I may not like you:

  • You cross the street against the green left turn signal.
  • At Asian restaurants, you will only order the pad thai, every single time.
  • You’re a child who earnestly belts out showtunes. Every time I see a young child actor sincerely warble “bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…..” I want to glimpse the future where 20 years of working in a cubicle has totally broken their spirit.

Happy Camper

campfireOne of my dreams is to own and operate a campground. I would love to live surrounded by fresh air and woodland creatures, constantly having hair that smells like campfire, and eating s’mores daily. I am so happy when I am in the great outdoors (or for that matter, watching the 1988 comedy The Great Outdoors). I also dream of operating a paddle-up bar on the river where canoes and kayaks can order a cold beer without having to get out of their boats.

It is so fun watching our dog run around free while we are camping. She can dig holes, chase leaves, and pee whenever she wants. To me, the thought of only being able to use a bathroom when someone is around to ‘let me out’ sounds like a living hell, so I relish giving her this freedom as often as possible. I can also sympathize; the elation she feels while running wild and free is similar to the peace I find away from my cubicle and the screen that I stare at for 40 hours a week.

This year, with my birthday falling on a Saturday I decided to plan a camping trip instead of a party. I am looking forward to turning 34 while sitting in a canvas chair, feet propped up on a log, sitting near a campfire along with my friends with a New Glarus beer in my hand. Because let’s be honest, when it comes down to it, camping really just means drinking outside.


The madness started many years ago, when my then-roommate began reading the Twilight books on recommendation by some co-workers and lent them to me afterward finishing. I blew through the first book, immediately hated it, and did not stop reading until I finished the last entry in the series, Breaking Dawn. I would sit in my car reading during my lunch break, so as not to be bothered and also to hide my shame. I immediately passed on the books to another friend, spreading the curse much like the VHS tape in The Ring. It was good to have friends to talk to about how much I despised the weak heroine Bella or Edward’s lack of personality traits beyond brooding and sparkling. It was like a support group for survivors of terribly written literature.

When the movies started coming out in theaters, we agreed to see them together, continuing our hate campaign. Together we suffered through each entry of the ‘saga’ yet again, reliving the sanitized romance through our eyeballs. Finally, the last installment, Breaking Dawn Part 2, arrived in theaters and we had reached the final stretch of our self-inflicted torture.

*Here be spoilers, so if you still plan on putting yourself through similar misery and don’t want to know how it all ends, take a detour to another route along the Information Superhighway.*

In the book version, the entire story builds up to a giant showdown between the Good Vampires (Bella, the Cullens, the werewolves and friends) against the Bad Vampires (the Italy-based Volturi). As a reader, you think that finally something interesting is going to happen and you’re going to get the awesome supernatural bad-ass war you’ve been waiting for this whole time. However, it all ends up a gigantic letdown, as the vampires, those deadly, be-fanged, bloodsucking demons, reach a solution by having a conversation and then they all go home and nobody dies or even gets hurt a little bit. WTF?? Obviously, this would make the worst movie ever.

Luckily, the director and screenwriter of the film version realized this as well, and also have a pretty wicked sense of humor. As the movie reached the big climactic scene, our audience full of Twihards thought they knew what they were about to see. And then, the sparkly shit hit the fan as the patriarch of the Cullen family, the beloved Carlysle, got DECAPITATED by an evil vampire. The theater filled with screams of shock and horror, and I literally LOLed. Finally! This series got good! The movie became an orgy of violence as vampires ripped each others’ heads off, werewolves ran around with limbs in their mouths, and even more fan favorites died onscreen in agony. “No!!!! But that didn’t happen in the book!!” shrieked countless fans, tears washing the glitter off their cheeks. It went on for what felt like 15 minutes, each shocking death drawing gasps of disbelief from the crowd. Then the main Bad Vampire, Aro, gets murderfied by Alice and Bella shoves a torch in his face, and the screen blinks and the movie reveals that IT WAS A VISION ALL ALONG, IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN. It was the most elaborate fake-out of all time. We cheered, booed, and laughed as the realization that we just got mass punked dawned on us.  Well played, movie producers, well played. It almost made suffering through the whole saga worth it.


The Saddest Lunch

Is there a sadder lunch than a Lean Cuisine heated up in the office microwave? Rubbery chicken, limp veggies, and congealed sauce lay atop a squishy bed of rice, and the woman in line behind you, leading the queue of sad secretaries holding their own boxes of nukeable sludge, has the nerve to say “That smells good.” No, it doesn’t. You don’t need her pity sniff. I don’t care if that plastic shell holds Chicken Alfredo or Santa Fe Rice & Beans, every Lean Cuisine smells the same–like failure covered in lo-cal gravy.

You run back to your desk concealing your pathetic lunch in the crook of your arm so no one sees what you have in there, like you just birthed a cyclops baby and you need to get it to the convent doorstep before the church bells start ringing.

The worst part, of course, is that after you eat your warmed over little pile of sustenance, You. Are. Still. Hungry. Seriously, did you just eat moist air? Why does it feel like nothing went into your belly? I haven’t been this disappointed since the Lost finale. Why buy them, you are probably asking. Because I am lazy, and they are $3.