All posts in Stories

  • Encore Performance

    For the record, my mother is a smart, accomplished woman.  She also has ideas.  Lots and lots of ideas.  Lots of terrible, horrible, very bad ideas.  The secret to her success is that given the sheer volume of ideas she generates, statistically speaking eventually she has to have a good one.  Then she runs with that good one and never lets the fact that she had to wade through a sea of bad ones to get it get her down.

    I don’t have any stories about her good ideas, incidentally.  I have lots of stories about her bad ones, however.

    Read more

  • The End (Thank God)

    This one time, someone posted a thread on a Transformers message board that I go to every day entitled “Legends of Batman!” To start with, it was just a bunch of people saying “LEGENDS OF BATMAN!” repeatedly, but I figured, “Hey, I’ve run into Batman a whole bunch of times, who better to tell everyone stories about Batman than me?”

    So I sat down, and started telling the stories as fast as I could remember them. You know, I’d just run into Batman so many times in my life, I’d figure that I’d never run out of stories to tell. But there came a night where I sat there to tell my nightly tale, and I drew a complete blank. Could it be that I’d told every story that there was to tell?

    “Whatcha doing?” came a voice behind me. I whirled about in my seat, and who should I see there standing behind my chair?

    BATMAN! Eating a sandwich.

    Read more

  • Science Unfair

    Let me tell you about the time I flunked the science fair.

    This is counterintuitive, I know, as my understanding is that most science fairs are voluntary affairs and are judged for prizes, not scored for grades in science class.  But no, my 8th grade general science class made entry into the science fair mandatory, and we were all to be graded.  Five years later, when my perpetually overachieving younger brother came through the same class, he just did the same experiment that he submitted for his 6th grade science fair where he measured the amount of mold that grew on different loaves of bread made with different sweeteners.  I seem to recall he went all the way to state finals with that or something, but I don’t quite remember.  I was an extremely inattentive older brother, apparently.

    Me, on the other hand, I had never done a science fair project before, and I was determined to do something truly amazing.  After all, I was reasonably certain that I was going to grow up to be a scientist.  You know those aptitude tests they administer in high school to give students an idea of what kind of career they want to shoot for when they get into college?  I purposely answered everything that would skew the answers towards scientist. My father is a scientist.  My grandfather was an engineer.  My grandfather’s twin brother was a test pilot, which I guess is kinda science-y if you want to really stretch it.  My great-grandfather, I’m sure he did some technical shit or something.  But my dad is a chemist, that’s the important take away here.  Inattentive, remember?

    Read more

  • Bad Odds

    You know what doesn’t mix? Drinking and gambling.

    You know what REALLY doesn’t mix? Drinking, gambling, and a superhero who has an ego the size of Alaska and takes it real personally when he loses.

    On my 21st birthday, I went into Goleta to go to a bar to celebrate (We had bars in Isla Vista with clever names like “The Study Hall” et. al., but they were always so crowded it’d be a miracle if you could even GET to the bar to order a drink). I wound up at this little pool hall bar place. Seemed kind of dumpy, but most bars tend to in my experience.

    I guess they figure that once you’re a few shades to the wind, you won’t care WHAT the place looks like.

    So I’m sitting at the bar drinking throwing back some beers, just kind of soaking up the second hand smoke (I’d quit the previous year and man it was nice to at least smell even if I weren’t smoking myself), when I look at the back corner, and who should I see racking up the balls for a game of pool?

    BATMAN!

    Read more

  • Batdickery

    Here’s an interesting twist about moving out of your parents’ house: My parents actually moved out before I did.

    Yep, it’s true. My parents decided to move to Seattle after my sophomore year, while I stuck around to complete my move to Santa Barbara.  So during the brief interval between when school ended and my lease in SB began, I had like the entire house to myself while all my crap was just piled up in the garage waiting for me to move it out of Fresno forever.

    I came quite close to not being able to stay in California though, as in order to stay in Santa Barbara I had to get a job, otherwise I was stuck moving to Seattle with my parents.

    And of course that was a fate worse than death. I’d been living away from them for two years at this point, I had no desire to go back. So I was willing to take a job, any job, to stay.

    Read more