Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It Is My Birthday.

Well It is 1:00 and nothing terrible has happened to me so far so this is undoubtedly an improvement on my last birthday.

I am now 24 years of age.
I don't like cake but I do like pancakes- if I was going to have a birthday party it would look like this:

This party includes Hellboy and Nate the Great - both love pancakes.

One would think that I was an adult by this point. Nope.

  1. I fear the bank. 
  2. I found a baby squirrel on Friday and brought it home like a five year old asking, "Mom look what I found. Can I keep him?"
  3. I cannot figure out how to tip or split bills at restaurants thus I have a fear of waitresses as well.
  4. Last year on my birthday I set myself on fire so I might be doing a little better now.

The story of my last birthday is too wonderful - I cannot help but tell it again.

Last year I start my birthday off by making breakfast for the entire school (this is my workstudy job) it is a busy morning in the kitchen with James- the other breakfast cook.
 It is right at the beginning of the year and everybody shows up for breakfast and is gung-ho so we know we are going to be really busy (pretty soon breakfast attendance will drop off when everyone starts sleeping in again and people sprint across campus to their classes with bed-head and wrinkly dress pants at precisely 8:27 in the morning).
The pilot light for the huge flat-top grill is off and we aren't going to be able to make scrambled eggs which is a national emergency - so we mess around with it some and try to figure it out. This hasn't ever happened before and we aren't sure what to do. We call our boss and we are on the phone with her still trying to figure it out.
We both stick our faces down right below the grill and are looking into it.
We put the lighter in it.
A huge fireball engulfed our faces.
A litany of simultaneous shouting occurs:
ME: Oh SHIT! CUSS! * HAHAHAHAHA SHIT! HAHA (Laughter - I laugh when I get hurt for some completely unknown reason. My friend Liberty once said that I was possessed.)
BOSS (on the phone): WHAT HAPPENED? ..... LIZ!?!! WHAT HAPPENED!
STASH: WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID! (who had walked into the kitchen but was standing further away)

What happened was - we had left the gas on for too long before we lit it.
The gas then proceeded to blow up in our faces.
Apparently this gas also had not been given that distinct gas smell - sooooo even though we had our faces in it we did not smell anything.
Resultantly my eyebrows received a significant trim and the very front of my hair was singed off - as a result I proceeded to grow extremely funny looking bangs for the rest of the year.

I once wrote a post about my hair.

Mags you have to be in this picture with me on the internet because it is my birthday and I say so. Ha. 
Needless to say there were all of a sudden some mandatory meetings for kitchen supervisors on how to light various pieces of equipment. Which we went to and people were like, "When are we ever going to do this?" And I was like, "You aren't. James and I lit ourselves on fire so now we have to have some safety meetings about it."

Slightly different Adele lyrics- "I set fire to my face - watched it burn..."

Well it is 1:00 and compared to my last birthday things have been completely mundane- I could go for a fireball about now.

Also since now I am thinking about goings on at breakfast - I want to tell you about James' dream.
 James had a dream about us making breakfast. We were trying to cook breakfast but there were these huge two-foot long bugs everywhere in the kitchen. James turned to me and said, " Look. I just don't think that we can start cooking breakfast until we kill all the bugs. I mean it is just too difficult." And then he looked at me and I was standing there with a massive Kitchen knife skewering all the bugs I could see and I said, "WHAT do you think I HAVE been doing?!?!"

Well it is 1:00 and compared to my last birthday things have been completely mundane- I could go for a fireball about now.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tired and Ire.

Anger and I have a special relationship.

Things that make me mad:
  • forgets lunch-
    • Response: I am followed around by an Eeyore-esque rain cloud of gloom and doom. Even when not hungry - it appears that food is the light and joy of my life, but then we already knew that.
  • I meet a Jr. High kid that likes twilight---
    • Response:  weeping and gnashing of teeth / sackcloth and ashes
  • someone wakes me up from a deep sleep -

During college I worked the breakfast shift in the kitchen so I had to get up at 5:45 every weekday morning- thusly I was always going to be early and people were always waking me up by talking loudly in the hallway right outside my dorm room. 

check out my pink pajamas and swearing teddy bear. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Marbles and an Octopus costume.

I stumbled upon our old marble-works play set.
This was the result:


Also here is this doodle of an Octopus Costume:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great Books and the Discussion Method

This is a comedy blog where I post cartoons.
But sometimes my other great love wanders in here and I have a hard time pushing it out- the classics and great books. This post is about them - I am totally breaking my "not just talking about school" rule.

Background: I attended an entirely discussion based - (NONE of our classes are lectures) classics college program and graduated. I am feeling a little "school-sick" here in August. (For more information google Thomas Aquinas Collge or St. John's College to learn more about great books).

Thinking about the fact that I am not going back to school in the fall makes me aware of a sort of empty void. When I graduated so many people asked me (most of them not very familiar with my educational background or the kind of school that I attended) “ Aren’t you glad to be done?” or “You are finally finished whoo- woo!”… To which I responded courteously,  “grumble…mumble… no idea….what they are talking about,”.  In some ways yes I am happy to be done, but in most ways, I am not happy. It is not like I will ever be done wanting to read great books and discuss them – and Thomas Aquinas (and St. John’s) were places in which these books were the focal point of my life, they took precedence over everything else I did. In many ways I have lost the love of my life, reading the Phaedrus cemented that for me – “be a lover of wisdom” shouts Socrates as I walk back into the hustle and bustle of the city, not knowing when I will see him again. Knowing that this all consuming education might never be the case again cast a kind of funereal pall over graduation.

As a result I wanted to write some things that I have learned – or tips:

Fall In Love –
a.       Fall in love with the books.
b.      Fall in love with the discussion method.
Discussion is an art form.
-          Ask yourself, “What continues a conversation and what shuts it down?”
In improvisational comedy actors are on a stage for hours at a time, without any previous script making people in an audience laugh. How does this happen? How does the story line continue for half an hour or longer? There is a secret something called a “yes rule” the actors say “yes” to what the other person proposes this allows the story to continue as opposed to shutting it down. [1] Think about what brings a conversation to life. Sometimes opposition enlivens a conversation sometimes opposition is killing it – pay attention. Know the difference.  In class you should be asking yourself, “Is what I am doing fueling the conversation or beating it to death?” Sometimes you are killing a conversation by doing nothing – you are letting it get beat to death right in front of your face. Don’t stand idly by – jump in.
-          We are on a team. You are here with other people who will allow you to see aspects of the text you could not see by yourself. As a class your goal is to seek the author, to come out of a class with a better understanding of the text than you could have had by yourself.  
-          Bringing in the original text empowers the conversation. You are talking to the author, to the book itself, let it speak. It is your job to bring the voice of Tacitus, Homer, and Conrad into the classroom. This is also a great litmus test, “Is this discussion going well?” – When was the last time somebody quoted something from the text itself? An hour – you guys are tanking. It doesn't matter if you feel like you made five intelligent points, you are collectively sucking. Dive into the text itself, we are not here to learn about your opinions.
-          Ask as questions things that you think you know the answer to – be ready to hear some stuff you didn't expect. A question gets other people in the game. A statement puts you on the center stage saying, “I think this and I am right.” You might be right. Whatever. Sacrifice your “being right” to bring others in.
-          Ask yourself “What is my motivation for saying this?” Is it to look smart? Then shut up. This is a hard one for me – Aristotle says if you see that you lean towards a vice, swing hard in the other direction. Say something wrong on purpose – hit your own ego in the face. If you are not talking to learn, stop talking. Am I willing to be wrong? You should be.

The search for truth –
At Thomas Aquinas I feel like the search for truth means, “Look around until you find things that confirm your faith. If anything endangers it, fear not!  For we don’t have to take these ideas or authors seriously, we don’t read from these authors to learn from them anyway, we read them to demolish them.” That is not the search for the truth; it is the search for confirmation.  It is petty, and shallow, it is undeserving of the great books. Work to understand the authors first that is what class is for.
Be a Liam Collins – make a scene. Don’t buy it unless you believe it. Popular opinion at Thomas Aquinas could use some enemies.
Be a Bridget Coughlin – if you believe it know why. "Because my dad said so" is not good enough for Bridget it is not good enough for you either (awesomeness of Mr. Coughlin not being denied).  “Because everybody said so,” is not good enough – of course everybody said so, the student body is made up of people who think the exact same thing. Challenge yourself.

Anyway there are some things that I wanted to say – For all of you that read this and remember all of the times that I did not follow my own advice in class. I am sorry and maybe saying this stuff concretely will help others not make my mistakes.

[1] Examples:
Me: “You are Queen Frostine the candy princess.”
You: “No I am not.”

Let’s try again with the yes rule:
Me: “ You are Queen Frostine the candy princess.”
You: “Yes I am, my full name is Martin McCann the candy princess.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

Elusive Self Confidence

Self-confidence is a mythical animal. I did not know that it was a thing until some people started telling me that I didn't have any of it.
I think most people waver around on the spectrum of self confidence like one of those spinning things in old board games. Everyday you give the spinner a flick and it lands on how you feel about yourself for the day.
Some days you think I am pretty cool - but other days you remember that once in second grade you accidentally sneezed a booger into someone's hair and they found it and blamed you...and you think "I am a looser because of that thing that happened in second grade which came back to me right now for no apparent reason".

(Just in case you missed out on the Moon- Moon saga and have no idea what I am referring to - No really click the link and read it.)
Represented differently thus:

I over compensate for bad days by pretending that I am unendingly awesome which just makes me come off as obnoxious.

However, have also met some people who are unfailingly and constantly on the over confident side of the spectrum. This is annoying - really, really annoying. You might be suffering from over confidence if you catch yourself saying the following things:

1. I am surprised that my essay did not yet win a Nobel Prize. It is so awesome that if it was a book it should be so covered in those shiny award stickers that no one could read the title. (Like Newbery award etc)

2. I am surprised that there is not a Google doodle in my honor... every single day
3. In order to be cooler than me one would have to possess and army of adorable puppies that would appear out of nowhere whenever they wanted them.
4. I read so fast that I literally have no idea what this chapter said, why are you not impressed?

Lastly if I ever write a book I will be sure to stick some fake shiny award stickers on them like this-