Sunday, October 30, 2011

Captain's Log, Day 56: Tricks or Treats (but mostly tricks)

          Halloween: the greatest excuse for candy-eating that's ever been invented.
          Haha, no, I'm just kidding; there's more to Halloween than just the candy. It's also an excuse for all the nerds to dress up and not be mocked by their fellow humans--or goblins, or ghosts, or amoebas, or whatever...
          I was actually thinking about making a costume this year, but I never got around to it. Certain other things (school) got in the way. I did, however, manage to attend a Halloween dance and watched part of it. I saw some pretty impressive getups, including Megamind and Metroman, two plastic green soldiers, Sam Flynn (from Tron), a few minions from Despicable Me, and a mummy who lost all his wrapping midway through the dance. I might add that the number of witches, zombies and princesses was up to its usual standard.
          I've had a couple rather decent ideas for Halloween costumes in the past. However, my creative talents were unfortunately curtailed by responsible, wise, and rather stingy parents who refused to both buy the required couple thousand dollars worth of electronics I would have needed or let me use the welder. Sad, I know. I was forced to resort to the Erector set in order to build the cyborg components that I wanted. I was thinking something along the lines of a fully functional robotic arm, complete with hidden weaponry and a targeting visor that could be attached to my head, and maybe a robotic leg too. After about the fourteenth backfire, I was forced to either stop or open myself up to the ridicule of my family, who (I am sure) would have suggested that I go as a disaster victim. On an slightly related note, do not listen to my parents; I did not use up all the band-aids that week. I distinctly remember leaving three, so to whichever one of my siblings did NOT speak up to rescue me from the false accusations...well, I probably already got you back, so don't worry about it.
          Anyway, that year I believe I went as Robin Hood. Actually, I think I probably overdid the Robin Hood thing for a few years, but I loved playing with my bow. Fun times...
          I do remember one year in particular that stood out in my trick-or-treating memories, and that was the year my mom finally relented and let me and Quill go trick-or-treating by ourselves. Of course, that meant first memorizing a map of the streets (a little ridiculous, considering I had a paper route back then), practicing our yelling (in case someone tried to grab us), taking watches so we could meet back at our house every fifteen minutes, and promising to bring our candy back to Mom for inspection before it could be eaten (Halloween is really the only day out of the year where the rules "Don't talk to strangers" and "Don't take candy from strangers" are deliberately broken, and with great zeal too). I thought the most amusing thing about that whole night was my mom's absolute conviction that someone would try to abduct us; looking back on it, I think no one would have kidnapped an obviously deranged movie star or an extremely trigger-happy Robin Hood (DIE BUSH DIE!!!!!!! *twang*), but hey, better safe than sorry, right?
          Needless to say, we returned home safely, leaving a lot of traumatized households in our wake and very hyper from the candy we'd swiped from our parents' handouts ("because," as I explained, "we need energy to go walking that far and we can't eat what we get until Mom inspects it." The way I made it sound, we were traversing the length of the United States when in reality, we had a roaming limit of about two blocks). And despite our parents' valiant efforts to curtail our sugar intake for the next few weeks, I would usually have my candy finished within a few days, with Nemesis a close second. Squirrel's candy would vanish within the same amount of time, but she wasn't usually eating it; she was, instead, stashing it in selected hideouts in her room for easy access in the future. Quill usually was the model of prudence, usually to the point where she still had candy by Valentine's Day or Easter, at with point Nemesis and I would ostentatiously obey Mom's command to "Get rid of it!" which she never really thought through until it was too late and we were having competitions to see how many surfaces we could bounce of off in the shortest amount of time.
          Yes, I know how to patch a wall. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Captain's Log, Day 55: Game On!

          Yeah, I know I'm a little late with this one. Guess what--I'm in COLLEGE. Who would've guessed I'd have to do this much work? Crazy, right?
          Anyway, part of the reason that this article is so late is because my small amount of free time has been consumed by a new obsession of mine: intramurals. I decided on a whim to try to put together a team for flag football about a month ago (I believe I may have mentioned that). I will not go into much further detail; to put it in layman's terms, we SUCKED. We won only one game out of six, and that was by forfeit. We had a lot of fun though!
          A slightly more successful sport that I tried was soccer. I randomly decided to become a free agent for the various intramural soccer teams, so I got to play almost every night. It was quickly discovered that I lacked the necessary coordination to kick the ball and run at the same time (artificial turf does not taste near as good as regular grass, by the way), so I placed in the goalie position and did much better. I actually contributed to winning several games that way, although I did take a few balls to the face, one from an ex-varsity player. Now that should've ended up on about hilarious...
          And speaking of balls to the face, I just started two more teams; a volleyball team and a dodgeball team. I foresee epicness, especially with dodgeball--I created it exclusively with engineering students. We're gonna get slaughtered, but it will be very amusing!
          Now, here's a "sport" I'm never going to play: GOLF. Not unless they change the rules, big-time. My siblings and I found my dad's golf clubs in the garage when we were younger, so we decided we'd try to figure out how golf worked just from studying the equipment. We got the hitting-the-balls-into-holes part right, but we thought that golf was more of a contact sport. Apparently, the temptation to misuse the clubs was just overwhelming. But the duels were fun. It was actually kind of a letdown to find out how "real" golf is played. Frankly, I think everyone would be more happy with our golf--more action!
          Hey, I wonder if I could get the intramurals people to offer that as an option...