Monthly Archives: August 2011

Me, Myself and Irene

All right, everyone. Enough is enough. It’s time we all come together as a nation and finally fix the biggest problem currently plaguing the U.S.

Our meteorologists are out of control.

But before I go any farther, let me first address your probable shock at even seeing me write this. Yes…yes, I am still alive. Somehow I managed to survive the cataclysmic Hurricane Irene, in all it’s barely category two glory, as it swept across the eastern seaboard. Granted, some of my patio furniture did get knocked over. But don’t worry.

We will rebuild.

And although I was one of the lucky few whose power did not go out, my heartfelt prayers go out to the millions of others who had to suffer for hours in the 70 degree temperatures with no TV or Internet connection (and especially to the ones who got so desperate, they actually read a book).

Barbaric, I tell you.

But at least I survived and will now be able to tell my children all about the storm of the century, where I spent the day watching Anderson Cooper on CNN pretend that the wind was strong enough to knock him over (or, as my born-and-raised Mid-western husband referred to the 70 mph wind gusts, “In Kansas, we call that Tuesday”).

Of course, for all my mocking, there’s no denying that Irene was massive and that in the aftermath of the storm, there was some pretty severe property damage, major flooding, and two dozen deaths attributed to it. That is definitely not something to take lightly.

But what IS to be taken lightly is the hype with which this storm was built up, before, during and after it made landfall, especially in light of the actual devastating natural disasters that have happened this century, from the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to tornadoes that have leveled entire towns. We need to view this storm with some perspective in mind. Considering the sheer scope of it, things could have been much, much worse.

It’s one thing to be prepared and for meteorologists and city officials to preach caution. Prepared is good. Caution is good. But it’s another to blow up a category two hurricane to “God is going to smite the east coast with his bare hands” proportions.

And if the hysteria was just surrounding this particular hurricane, I could probably let this one slide. But I also managed to survive the “massive” eastern earthquake that was felt from Virginia to Canada a few weeks ago. Which, quite frankly, is amazing, considering it was so big I was unable to actually feel it. No wonder those dirty hippies on the West Coast were practically peeing their pants with laughter at our over-reaction. They eat earthquakes that small for breakfast (and then smoke some medical marijuana for dessert).

There are only so many times you can call “wolf,” or in this case, “worst storm you have ever seen ever in your ever-loving lifetime” before you condition people to become complacent about storm warnings. There is already enough sensationalizing in the media. Let’s at least leave it out of the weather reports.

Otherwise, I fear the next “sunny and breezy” forecast will become “skin cancer and wind burn,” and the next thunderstorm will be accompanied by a news segment on how you too can build an ark like Noah’s.

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Two guys, a girl and not a DVD to be found

The life of a writer is tough. I mean, after so many months, you run out of movies and TV series on Netflix to distract you from the fact that you should actually be spending your time writing.

Which means you now actually have to write.

And no self-respecting writer actually wants to write.

Hell, most of us just do it because it’s easier than data-entry or flipping burgers.

So, we writers are endlessly looking for other ways to distract ourselves from creating the next Mediocre American Novel. And thanks to the whole 90’s nostalgia wave sweeping the country currently and my “never say die” attitude when it comes to procrastination, I have found a new way.

Why the hell can’t you find “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place” on DVD? Or Netflix, for that matter? Or, well, pretty much anywhere?

For those of you that don’t remember the show (or are too young to remember…which, if you are, get the hell off my blog, you make me feel old), “Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place” (which was later changed to “Two Guys and a Girl”…because the TV execs apparently finally realized a TV show title should not resemble a haiku…in length or form) was a show that ran from 1998 to 2001 on ABC. From what my old ass remembers about it, it was a good show, not great, but highly entertaining.

But more IMPORTANTLY, it is the show where not one, but TWO of my imaginary husbands got their start. The sitcom featured both Ryan Reynolds and Nathan Fillion as main characters.

I mean, I looked everywhere for this show. To no avail. Even Amazon, which has a page for the “complete DVD set,” has the disclaimer, “when becomes available.” Apparently, whichever company owns the rights to it now doesn’t think it would sell well.

Even the Internet pirates let me down. The only place I could find episodes, besides a few 15 minute, low quality videos on YouTube, was some scary eastern European-ish (or possibly Martian, judging by the language) website, which had the first season, but no dice on the other three (which I’m not linking here for fear the TV gods will go on the war path and take it down).

Now, granted, a lot of my frustration stems from the fact I am of the Internet generation, where we literally can have everything at our fingertips. Any information, any image, any video. So the fact that I can’t have something makes me want to throw a Generation Y-sized tantrum.

And so, I say we Gen Yers and Xers no longer stand for this. We want the crappy, laugh-track sitcoms from our youth and we want them NOW. So let’s flood the Internet with our demand for more Berg! And Sharon! And that guy on the left that no one can ever remember the name of!

It is our instant-gratification, self-entitled RIGHT!

Plus, I think we can all agree the world needs even more scenes of a shirtless Ryan Reynolds.

P.S. Between obsessively trying to track down episodes, I did do SOME actual writing. So for you suckers hard-working people with actual jobs that want to waste even more time, you can check out my latest two posts for the Weekly Dig, where I bastardize the Bard’s work after seeing Shakespeare in the Park and get all gangster on a trolley. And, of course, my latest Advocate humor column, where I reveal my brilliant new plan to make new friends based solely on their pop culture preferences (you Next Gen Trekkers are in…Original Series? Hit the road, loser).

Motivational Poster Monday!

Yup, it’s Monday again.

And here in Boston, it’s a dreary, rainy day.

Meaning my motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch, eat questionable leftover Chinese food and Google myself* is at an all-time low.

Luckily, amongst all the “Aprill Brandon: Poster Child for Stupidity” results,** Google also found these old motivational posters I made a few years ago at work (while I was probably supposed to be doing something else…like my job).  

And so, I thought I’d share them for all of you out there who are also struggling to find some motivation this afternoon.

Oh, and apologies to all my friends who are actually featured in these.

*Not nearly as naughty as it sounds, Grandma. I swear.

**Seriously, that was one of the results. If that unwarranted hatred doesn’t signal I’ve made it, I don’t know what does.

(Just click on the images for a larger view).

Hair today, shaved tomorrow

I know I’ve been writing about my dog a lot lately. And I’m sure it’s getting annoying.

But good news! I promise it will stop.

Right now.

Right now…

After this post…

WAIT! Wait, don’t leave! I promise this will be the last time but ifyouleaveyounowyou’llreallyregretitcausethispostisatleastmildlyamusing
andit’snotlikeyouhaveanythingbettertodoandohheydidyouhappentoseewhere
typingthewordsclosetogetherlikethismadeitspelloutthewordtitheh.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’m sure you guys are tired of hearing about my dog. But in my defense, writers tend to write about things they know. And since I now work from home, most of the things I know revolve around spending 10 hours a day stuck in the house alone with Buffy.

Ah, yes, the glamorous life of the freelance writer (I also now know 52 ways to make Ramen taste less sucky…The key? Drink heavily while cooking).

The other thing that happens when you spend this much time at home is that you notice just how truly dirty your house is. I mean, when you leave to go to a job every day, it’s easy to ignore the pile of dishes, the crumbs, the beer pyramid on the coffee table, the hobo who has taken up residence in the southwest corner of the living room. But when you can’t escape the filth, you’re forced to deal with it on a daily basis and…*SHUDDER*…clean. Like regularly. And not on my preferred former cleaning schedule of “I can’t take it anymore…where’s the mop? Sh*t! Do we have a mop?”.

Which, brings me back to my dog. With this new cleaning habit I have acquired, I also now notice just how much dog hair he sheds on a daily basis. Whereas before I was used to the random “dog fur tumbleweed” moseying through the house, it has now escalated to “Indy running away from the giant boulder” proportions.

There’s so much hair that I’m starting to suspect Buffy isn’t even really a dog, just some mutant strain of dog fur that once rolled through a puddle of nuclear waste, became self-aware and started to asexually reproduce.

It never used to be this bad. At first, I thought he was shedding so much just out of spite because I refuse to let him eat that uppity cat next door. But then I realized we now live in a place with seasons. Like, four of them. And four seasons means cold and hot. Which means pets gain and lose fur on a regular basis. Which means 94 percent of my life will henceforth be devoted to sweeping.

Not that I’m bitter.

Or anything.

I mean, it’s just EVERYWHERE! Every corner! Every crevice! It gets into the fridge! The A/C vents! The couch! And the last straw…my BOOZE!

Oh, and I’m pretty sure the majority of my major airways. Maybe even the minor ones.

It just floats through the air, with the greatest of ease, settling on everything like a 1930’s dust storm.

And I am at my wit’s end. Which is why, depending on just how many more vodka and cranberry juices I have tonight, Buffy will wake up tomorrow morning looking like this: