28 October 2009

The Yipiyuk

Since this is my blog I can tell the stories I want, the way I want. As my father always says, “If a story’s worth telling, it’s worth telling well.”

When I was growing up, going out to eat was a big treat for us. My dad received a bonus at work and decided that we should go to a nice restaurant. We had a really nice time together and when we were waiting getting ready to leave my older brother decided he wanted some ice to chew on. He grabbed the pitcher that had very little water but was half full of crushed iced. He picked it up and tipped it towards his glass.

My dad watched and said calmly. “You’re going to get all the ice.”

My brother replied. “I know.”

He tipped it further and all of the ice moved in one big mass out of the pitched and into the glass. The problem was there was too much ice. The column of ice encased the glass, filling it, and scattering across the table. He put the pitcher down quickly and we left the restaurant with the glass surrounded by ice on our table.

My older brother really liked to be spontaneous. The house we grew up in had a basement with a door at the top of the stairs that led into the kitchen. He would wait at the top of the stairs with the door almost closed looking through the crack at people’s socks. When he saw mine he would throw the door open and grab my ankles yelling, “The Yipiyuk will not let go.”

The Yipiyuk
By Shel Silverstein

In the swamplands long ago,
Where the weeds and mudglumps grow,
A Yipiyuk bit on my toe...
Exactly why I do not know.
I kicked and cried
And hollered “Oh”—
The Yipiyuk would not let go.
I whispered to him soft and low—
The Yipiyuk would not let go.
I shouted “Stop,” “Desist” and “Whoa”—
The Yipiyuk would not let go.
Yes, it was sixteen years ago,
The Yipiyuk still won’t let go.
The snow may fall,
The winds may blow—
The Yipiyuk will not let go.
The snow may melt,
The grass may grow—
The Yipiyuk will not let go.
I drag him ‘round each place I go.
This Yipiyuk that won’t let go.
And now my child at last you know
Exactly why I walk so slow.

21 October 2009

Memorable Halloweens

When my little brother was eight he went trick-or-treating with my dad. Our neighborhood is quiet and we know our neighbors well. My dad would stay on the street and wait for my brother to walk up to the houses to get his candy. At one house there was a really neat looking statue on the porch. It was a fish monster with flippers in a wet suit and it would move back and forth. My brother retrieved his candy and walked off of the porch. The fish monster followed him down the steps and when my brother turned around he shrieked at the sight of this monster following him and booked it towards my dad who was standing in the street. The funny thing was they were video taping it so we have a copy of it. The guy’s costume was really good. He had on a full wetsuit and mask and he was standing on an extension cord so it looked like he was plugged in. I would feel bad except a couple of years ago my brother stood on the porch in a dark cloak and scared the kids who came to our house.

I am quite a bit older than my little sister and I liked to take her around trick-or-treating. There was one year that she got quite a bit of candy and we were going to go to one or two more houses before heading home. We were walking on the sidewalk and I noticed a bunch of teenagers coming towards us. I wasn’t sure how I felt to have them trick-or-treating. As we continued the sidewalk became uneven making my sister trip. Her bag fell open causing her to lose quite a bit of candy into the dark bushes. As I was helping her up the teenagers ran over to see if everything was okay. There wasn’t a street lamp near us and my little sister was nearly in tears when she realized she had lost so much of her candy. All five boys took large handfuls of candy from their bags and put them in my sister’s and then after making sure she was really okay went on their way. I am very grateful they were willing to do that.

One of the coolest costumes my mom created was for my older brother many years ago. He decided that he wanted to be Zaphod from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” My mom made a head to sit on his shoulder that had a had and sunglasses and another arm from a sleeve that she attached so the hand would be in his pocket. I think one person identified the costume and knew about Douglas Adams and the books.

14 October 2009

Stupid Protagonists and their Arch Nemisis

Note: This one is more of a rant than a story and I apologize if that offends anyone. My opinions are rather strong and there are times when what I say now may not be what I want later. Oh well, enough with the disclaimer, on with the show.

I hate stupid.

I hate stupid villains. I really do. I am sick of reading books or watching movies where the villain isn’t really a villain but more of an annoying hindrance. What is the point of the villain if they aren’t going to do something evil? I also hate it when the only reason the villain has for his evil plot is “I hate the world.” That isn’t a reason that is grasping at straws because the writer couldn’t come up with anything better to write. I want a truly smart evil villain that nearly wins because that makes the protagonist that much cooler. Who wants to defeat an idiot who doesn’t even have a good excuse for what he is doing? Who would rather defeat an evil villain who actually thinks he is trying to help save the world and that sacrifices are absolutely necessary?

My husband and I rented a movie last week. Truthfully we were hoping for a comedic light hearted movie but didn’t get it, we rented “Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li.” It was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be but I enjoyed it once I stopped looking for any humor. I have to say that the villain Bison, was very villainous and evil. I was really impressed with his character overall and was glad that he wasn’t stupid at all. He was actually quite freaky. He knew when it was a liability to have someone around and he didn’t care what it took to reach his goal, which wasn’t destroying the world but trying to make a section of it a better place in his mind. He wasn’t perfect but it was cool.

I hate stupid protagonists. I understand that there are times when a sequel is going to come out so leaving the villain alive is important but I hate it. If the bad guy has killed hundreds of people and is determined to get revenge, why leave him alive? Don’t put him in some “indestructible” cage where he will never be able to escape. Just kill him and come up with another villain for the next installment. The protagonist thinks that he is better than the villain because he respects life. There are times it is absolutely necessary that people die because they are EVIL.

I hate stupid love stories. I like romance where there is a happy ending but I don’t like it when there is an evil character who magically turns to the good side because of love. I like it to be believable, yes even in fantasy/sci-fi. Romance is great as long as it is moderately realistic.

07 October 2009

Stuffed Animals

My younger sister loves animals. She has always loved animals. When my mom would go walking every morning, pushing her in the stroller, my sister whenever she saw a dog would ask the owner for the name. My mom knew everyone by their pet’s name because of that. Not only did my sister love real animals, she loved stuffed animals. She actually would take our stuffed animals and say they were her own, especially if they were dogs. When the local Shopko went out of business my mom purchased several collars since my sister wanted to put them on her animals. Mom found her purse strap missing one day and soon realized my sister had taken any strap she could and attached them to the collars so that she could drag the animals on a walk. My sister’s favorite animal was a large dog who she dubbed “Barky” and the other four dogs (and I think one cat) were aptly named “Barky Two” “ Barky Three” etc.

When I was in high school and going on school trips I always got sick. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t use to eating out every meal (my family rarely ate out) or the odd hours I kept but it was always miserable the last day coming home. On one of the trips I swiped my sister’s teddy bear because he was soft and just the right size. (I had stuffed animals but none of them were bears or nearly as cuddly.) That year I received a teddy bear for my birthday. I named him Chester and my sister was happy when I took him on the trips instead.

When my little brother broke his ankle he was miserable for several days and I ended up loaning Chester to him since he wanted something to hold. My little sister decided that it was time he had a teddy bear as well and the two of us managed to find a cute one. He ended up naming Touchstone since we saw “As You Like It” that year at the Shakespeare Festival. It was exciting for him to sit in an aisle seat and have his leg propped up on a little camping stool and wince as the actors ran up and down the aisles during the play.