Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So I Had A Hallucination

Hallucinations: Does anyone know much about these?

I'm pretty sure I had a severe hallucination yesterday; my first in fact. My friends will argue that this was at least my second ever since I saw a little boy disappear out of thin air at an Arby's 2 summers ago and then reappear in the parking lot just seconds later. But that one, I'm sure, was not a hallucination but rather a realistic manifestation of evil in human form. I know what I saw and one day I'll be getting a lot of apologies. We'll talk about that one another time.

What happened yesterday, I'm sure, was a COMPLETE hallucination and I'm sure this has never happened to me before. I'm not a great sleeper; I never have been. It usually takes me an hour or two to fall asleep each night and I need absolute silence in order to do so. I have one friend who lives in Toronto who used to tell me in a thick old man Toronto accent that that was a sign of a guilty conscience. Maybe. But lately it's been worse and I've been suffering the results of being sleep-deprived in my classes each day where every time I hear someone say "hello" I think they're saying "pillow." So yesterday I decided to come home in the afternoon for a bit and attempt a nap.

Napping is a pretty foreign concept for me. I can hardly sleep at night; why would I try to sleep during the day? But I heard a while ago that every hour of sleep you lose and fail to make up takes off a decade of your life and makes you 30% more likely to contract leprosy and while my skin is already halfway there during the winter, I would really like to avoid that one.

So I napped. And it sort of worked. Until the hallucination happened: I woke up after about 30 minutes and looked toward the door in my room. As vividly as I've ever seen anything, I saw it coming toward me. It was a GIANT black spider with looooooooong spindly legs all moving up and down. It was gliding about a foot below the ceiling toward the bed. Now you're thinking, "well that's not so crazy. Maybe it wasn't a hallucination." The spider was about the size of a giant beach ball. Still smiling?

So I FLEW out of bed, put my hands over my head and ran to the door screaming, bent over the whole way. I flipped the light on and looked in the direction the alleged spider was heading, my heart pounding faster than I think it's ever pounded before. I've really never been afraid of spiders before but what I had just seen was making me reconsider the whole thing. I looked around for about 2 minutes before I finally started to reason through the situation. I then had the following conversation with myself, aloud:

Eli: Where did it go?
Eli: You know it probably wasn't real. I don't think spiders can be that big.
Eli: I know what I saw. I didn't make that up!
Eli: I'm kind of hungry right now. Do I have any string cheese?
Eli: Don't change the subject. Where did that spider go?
Eli: Oh, it was probably just a hallucination.
Eli: No, don't say that. Then that means I might be going crazy.
Eli: Well I am talking to myself.
Eli: Good point.
Eli: Thanks
Eli: Oh and I don't have string cheese, just a block of something.
Eli: What's the difference between block cheese and string cheese?
Eli: One is stringy.
Eli: Thanks, I know that. But why is it stringy?
Eli: I don't know. I've never thought about it before.
Eli: Do you think you can die from eating too much cheese?
Eli: You can die from eating too much of anything.
Eli: That's true. I bet I'll die from eating too much popcorn.
Eli: Yeah or something stupid like candy corn.
Eli: True. Because when there's a big bowl full of it I can never stop eating it.
Eli: I would like to die from eating too much cheesecake.
Eli: Yeah, then on my tombstone they could write "Rest in Pieces."
Eli: Hahahahaha. I get it! Like pieces of pie.
Eli: Yeah; then below that they could say "sorry for the 'cheesy' comment above."
Eli: hmmm. . .ok.
Eli: OK, I think I'm going to finish my nap and then go find some cheese.
Eli: What about the spider?!
Eli: Didn't we establish there isn't one.
Eli: Oh. Right.

I'm not sure if I should be more concerned about the hallucination or the full-blown conversation I had with myself about the hallucination in which I took sides and argued vehemently for both ways. Or maybe I should be concerned that in my moment of great alarm I couldn't even carry on a conversation with myself about a giant spider that posed a serious and imminent threat without getting side-tracked and start talking about cheese. Either way, It Just Gets Stranger~

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thanks For Not Being Forward

It's time we talk about email forwards. My relationship with any of you who may have sent me any of the following forwards will likely be awkward for a little while. Nothing we can't overcome I'm sure.

Over the past 40 years or so of my life (give or take about 15), I have received email forwards of many kinds which have intrigued, manipulated, and irritated me to no end. Here I present the various types and what to look out for:

MANIPULATIVE RELIGIOUS FORWARDS
These, I think, start somewhere in the south. They are usually created by the same people that walked across the Bible belt throughout 2008 chanting some cute slogan using words that rhyme with "Huckabee." They come in two main types. The first (and possibly the most annoying) are an almost endless string of sayings in size 200 font separated by the cheesiest computer graphics you've seen since computers began. So that you'll recognize these emails quickly, one of the first quotes is usually either "every time a leaf falls, an angel is hugging the Earth" or "a sunset is just God's way of sayin' 'so long'!" Because of the length of these emails, it takes several minutes for them to load all the way.
The second type of MRFs have a looooooooooooooong story about some child who watered a plant every day because the Bible said we should respect all living creatures; then at the end the plant inevitably saves his life and as one friend tells the boy how lucky he was, the boy says back "yeah . . . luck" as he swears he sees a cloud in the heavens wink at him.
The reason MRF's are manipulative has to do with the way they end; they usually say something like "funny how most of you will forward funny emails but you'll think twice before sending one about God!" The really blunt ones might actually tell you the heavens weep when you delete their emails (as if heaven doesn't have better computer graphics than presented in the MRF's). To the untrained mind, these statements may be enough to get you to send the emails on, fully believing that this is the ultimate test of faith, and pressing that delete button will be counted against you at the judgment day. I on the other hand am ashamed to forward these on; but it has nothing to do with my belief in God.
MANIPULATIVE PATRIOTIC FORWARDS
MPF's are similar to MRF's. Every once in a while these are somewhat pleasant. Often they seem completely fabricated. And their hidden purpose is usually to show why one political party hates soldiers. Either way, I steer clear of people who make their political choices and major life decisions off of what they've read in these emails.
The manipulation section is similar to the one found in the MRF's except it will say something like, "the soldiers have the courage to fight for you every day and some of you won't even have the courage to send this to your friends." And so some of us will forward it even though much of it seems packed with lies and one-sided rhetoric in some vein hope that this will somehow be the equivalent to serving in the military for a couple of years.
INAPPROPRIATE HUMOROUS FORWARDS
These always come from the friends that would never tell me an inappropriate joke in person; so I end up reading far into the email sometimes before I realize that it is, in fact, an IHF. I usually just delete these and then spend the rest of the day wondering if that friend sent me the forward on accident.
OUTRAGEOUS PETITION FORWARDS
These are often touted as my favorites. They usually have some completely fabricated story about a time when justice wasn't served followed by a plea to email-sign a petition. I say "email-sign" because instead of actually signing something, you are asked to type your name at the end of a long list and then send it out to every Cindy Lou and Mary Beth you know so they may do the same. I've often wondered how they would go about collecting these in the end. In brief, it may look like this:
Mur Derousthief was caught in 1992 murdering an entire town of 3,000 in Iowa after plotting the entire thing for over a decade in his basement. He killed everyone in the whole town so now, after only a few short years in prison, the judge decided to set him free because there is noone left from the town to prosecute him and the judge ordered [a city near you] to give him a $300k home and a large stipend each month unless 10,000 people sign this email petition. Before you delete this email, you should know that one person managed to get some of the killings on tape . . . and he was laughing the whole time! And now he's in charge of Disneyland!!!
Then you have to scroll down the page for about 12 minutes to get to the bottom to find out if the friend who sent it to you actually email-signed the thing before sending it on. I'm always amused when the friend hasn't signed; it's as though they see that the entire thing is completely implausible, but they want to send it out to others just in case.
The other OPF's can be grouped with the MRF's because they're all about churches' freedom of religion. These will usually have some story about how a certain senator is moments from getting some piece of legislation passed that will forbid anyone from believing in God unless we can get x number of signatures on this petition. And this seems perfectly reasonable because we've seen thousands of bills that we've never heard of, but undoubtedly would completely turn the country upside down, stopped in their tracks when some techie in Washington rushed into congress with a thousand pages he printed off from the petition email he just received. Right? Wrong:(
TACKY GRUSOME FORWARDS
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase stop sending me these! If you love sending me forwards that's fine but I can't do the TGF's anymore! I never know they are TGF's until it's too late because the subject usually just says something like "interesting pictures" or "must see" and for all I know I'm about to stumble across some neat shots of deep sea creatures having a picnic together. Instead I'm unexpectedly bombarded with the most horrific pictures of some bear attack in Wyoming that tore an entire family reunion apart, cheesy matching t-shirts and all. I usually spend the rest of the day curled up in the corner crying (as if I needed anything else to be terrified of) after exposure to the TGF's.
I'm hoping we all have a better idea of what to look out for. The Internet is a scary world; and one day those that started the forwards will have to answer for their actions. They'll probably do it in an email.
It Just Gets Stranger~

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Pie Massacre

One funny story for you all . . .

There is a woman who comes to the bank frequently (at least twice a week). She's about 70 years old and no taller than 4'9. To be honest she's sort of the epitome of walking misery. She moved down to Utah a couple of years ago from Washington and she absolutely hates Utah and everyone in it and she makes sure everyone she talks to knows it. I wish you could hear some of the conversations I have with her--each is epoch in its own right. I play a fun game with her where I try to get her to say something positive each time I see her. So far I've never been successful. Our conversations usually go like this: (use a really bitter voice when you read her part):

Eli: Hi Alice (name has been changed)! Isn't today the most beautiful day?
Alice: It will probably rain later.
Eli: Oh? Well I heard the forecast. No rain for the next week. Should be sunny and warm.
Alice: Well the weatherman was probably from Utah and therefore a complete idiot! And even if it doesn't rain I still have to live in this hellhole with a bunch of morons for the rest of my life.
Eli: Oh now Alice, it's not all bad. I know lots of great people that live in Utah.
Alice: Yeah right. They probably all moved here from somewhere else.
Eli: By the way I heard you live near your cute grandchildren now. That's so great. I bet you just love getting to see them more often.
Alice: They'll probably stop visiting me once they get busy with school. It's too hot in this building! Can't idiots from this state at least figure out how to make a building the right temperature.

So these conversations go on and on and usually I'll just bite my tongue. Sometimes I stand up for my home state a bit and say something like, "hey now, that's my home and family you're talking about." That's usually followed by some comment about how I don't know any better because I've probably never been outside of Utah so I've been immersed in ignorance all of my life (I'm ignored when I explain how much time I've spent outside of Utah and outside of the United States).

Then Christmas came and went and afterwards Alice came to the bank and said she had some pie she wanted to bring over because pie makes her sick but since there's nothing else to do in Utah and since she's SUCH a good cook she bakes constantly. I thought that was pretty nice of her to want to bring us some. She then told me in a very loud voice that she would only bring some if I made sure my boss didn't have any because she is completely outraged at him and has been so for months for a COMPLETELY unfounded and irrational reason that I won't bother detailing here today. I explained to her (for the 30th time) why her animosity toward him was baseless and even presented the proof that recently fell upon us that shows without a doubt that he is not guilty of what she is so convinced he is, but it was useless.

She called once before she came in, making sure I understood that he was not even allowed to smell the delicious pie. Then she brought it in and complained to me for an hour about every problem in her life. After she left I opened the pan that contained what I counted to be about 13 different kinds of pie, all smashed together. I could have sworn a few flies flew out of it when I opened the thing. It smelled worse than it looked. I of course had to take a picture and post it here.

Oh, and don't worry--I didn't let my boss have any.

It Just Gets Stranger~

Monday, January 5, 2009

You Like-a Shakira?

I'll make it quick. I know I haven't blogged for a while and I have a lot of funny things to tell about. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up over the next few days.

Please enjoy some pictures of my recent trip to Mexico. Krishelle and I left on New Years Day and met Uncle Will and his good friend Andrea in San Diego and then drove down to Rosarito Mexico and stayed in a cool little place on the beach. We of course bought a lot of junk none of us could ever possibly need, including 28 heavy but surprisingly inexpensive Mariachi figurines which we got from an adorable Mexican woman who, when Uncle Will started singing along with the radio asked, "You like-a Shakira?! I like-a Shakira!!" which we of course quoted no less then 5,000 times over the next few days.



Naturally we took food from every questionable street vendor that ever failed a sanitation test and none of us has really felt the same since. And we knew it was wrong at the time but we ate anyway. I even took a couple of bites out of a stuffed pepper that looked like someone had thrown up into it (the taste confirmed this prognosis).

We eventually drove north to Brawley California (where my mom and Uncle Will grew up) and stayed with Nona (grandma) for a day or two. We took Andrea out to Salvation Mountain (where my camera died--we'll have to get the pictures from Krishelle later) and actually took a driving tour of Slab City which was both intriguing and frightening at the same time. If you missed the explanations of both Slab City and Salvation Mountain from my earlier post, you'll want to catch up now.

It was great to see Nona again (we always miss her so much) and we REALLY appreciate her letting us crash her party for a few days.

Flew in last night and about had a heart attack when we stepped off the plane into the almost sub-zero weather. 10 rest-less hours later I was in class, constant stream of tears running down my cheeks (symbolically at least).


It Just Gets Stranger~