There’s this thing called “sledding” that people sometimes do when it gets cold enough to freeze your dog solid and a few inches of snow happens to be covering the ground. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. I’m sure many of you have even participated in it at some point in your life. Nothing beats memories of your parents dragging you to a large hill when you’re barely old enough to walk, and then pushing you off of it on a small plastic board at fantastic speeds. It’s where every good childhood scar starts.
I, personally, haven’t really gone sledding much in my life which is why I am informing you on the topic. And the only reason I’d consider going now is to simply try and hurt myself and the other people I’m with as much as humanly possible — which is exactly the mindset I was in the other day when my friend, Ronnie, asked me if I felt like dying. I replied with a swift “god yes” and the deal was done.
Gather ’round, children, and I will tell you a tale. Way back in the year 2004, I thought it would be a great idea to fall off a shelf that was about fifteen feet off the ground and land directly on my ass. I immediately felt the effects of my little incident, because it seemed that I had broken every part of my ass ten times over, and thrown it in a wood-chipper for good measure. I was pretty sure most of my tail bone was located in my neck. For those of you unable to understand just what happened, here’s a quick diagram of what it felt like:
Somewhat recently, fellow resident of the Sneer House, Lisa, and I took a trip to the Midwestern United States’ Largest Flea Market, which is conveniently located just north of Cincinnati. For those of you unfamiliar with the large scale flea market, let me just describe it as an expansive building filled with booths that are full of an array of garbage that is for sale. Some of the booths actually sell quality items, and you wonder what they are doing there, but mostly it seems to be junk that fell off of the back of a truck and these people scavenged it and put low, low price tags on it — or absurdly high price tags. For those of you who ARE familiar with flea markets, you know that the “bottom” in my title means a butt.
I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.
However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.
We are all of us adults here on this site, writers and readers, well-wishers and detractors. This naturally means that we are all well-acquainted with that sluggish beast known as Procrastination. Society views Procrastination as a blight, a rotten spot on anyone’s character. Procrastination is a heavy shame and people want it stamped out. But this is a new day, a new era. Like other old prejudices, the irrational hatred for slacking around still lurks around, but we can’t really be surprised by it. I mean, after all, old-fashioned race-ism still lingers around and that malarkey is so outdated, I mean really.
But I am here to explain how all the haters are hating a painful misconception! AS USUAL.
That’s right. Anyone can make procrastination WORK. You can still be productive while procrastinating, you just need to open your mind and get over the fact that you might not be succeeding in producing the finished product you might have NEEDED to finish. But I think maybe we should reconsider this current lifestyle of “deadlines” and “you have to complete this specific thing I paid you to complete.” It’s all so narrow-minded, and I can’t support that foolish mindset. This is not an article about what I do and do not support though. Oh wait, yes it is. Because:
I Support Making Procrastination Work for YOU
Jesus fuck it’s summer already. Well it feels like it has been summer since March, and I’m not entirely sure that there should be a single date declaring that it is indeed Summer. I simply go by the tried and true method of knowing when it gets too hot to function normally, then it’s summer. I don’t care if it’s the middle of December, if the temperature gets high enough to make me lie on the ground and give up on life, then it’s fucking summer. This is where we’re at now, and I damn well barely made it from my car to my front door yesterday before I accepted my fate and just let the sun finish destroying my will to live, which basically means it’s time to never go outside again until Winter blows in around next February.
As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of summer, though I must admit that I do despise winter a tad bit more, just for the fact that I can walk around outside in my boxers in summertime without a hint of officers threatening to take me down. I suppose that works both ways though, as the rest of the city has no problem doing so as well, along with the random assault of naked babies in grocery stores. It’s just not very appetizing to be getting my three month supply of Ramen noodles, only to see naked baby wang come flying around the corner. You also have the thousands of people who have no air conditioning, thus spending every waking moment of the Summer sitting outside, listening to country music, and hollering.
Before actually working at a party supply store, I was unaware that there are party supplies for EVERYTHING. I had previously been under the notion that people weren’t so stupid that they would need to run out and buy a giant bull skull to complete the look of their “Tex-Mex party,” which would just end up looking like a regular party except with a giant shitty foam bull skull hanging on the wall.
While perusing the mind-numbing amount of overpriced shit for parties, I wandered upon a section, nay, an entire AISLE, just for celebrating old people’s birthdays and such. Well, let me rephrase that since it’s not entirely the truth: An entire aisle just for mocking old people’s further decline into a miserable old age and eventually to a depressing death that will most likely be filled with memories of the time their children bought them a fake jar of Viagra for their 60th birthday.
Some would call them “gag” gifts, and I suppose they are. Only I have never seen so many, and some so completely brutal, in one area before — all for simply being old. It’s as if to say “Congratulations on living for 3/4 of a century and accomplishing more than most of us ever will, now put this chicken suit on and DANCE YOU OLD SHIT.”
I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?
As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.
With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.
Brutal fact of life: Gaming will never, ever be as cool as it was in the late 80s/early 90s. Why? Several factors contribute to it: 80s/90s hairstyles, general inability to see how much we would laugh at ourselves in the future, etc. But the biggest thing that made the time so awesome was that it was all so new. Sure, games had been around for over a decade at that point. But after the video game crash in ’84, the future of gaming was mostly relegated to being bulletpoint features on shitty home computers from Radioshack. Then came the NES, and everything exploded. Gaming, as it turned out, was the real deal. And it wasn’t going anywhere. Suddenly the entire subculture of video games went mainstream, and few people were ready for it — especially the people that quickly saw they could make a boatload of money from them.
Magazines based solely on games literally sprung up over night. The two most prominent being Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Gamepro. Immediately out of the gate, Gamepro seemed to be the far more “color by the numbers” magazine created by people who had no clue what to do with a game magazine, and were just throwing stuff together in a way they thought would look cool to kids. Featuring blindingly bright layouts (I still can only see in shades of neon pink thanks to Gamepro), giant cartoony art, and a general mishmash of coverage more suited for an ADHD-addled chimp.
Gamepro quickly garnered a reputation as being that one kid who would always scream for attention on the playground, but no one would ever come close to him for fear that he would never leave you alone again. That didn’t stop Gamepro from making money though, since this was a time when you could put out anything game-related and kids would choke it down as fast as possible. Gamepro quickly saw that their aberration of a magazine was making gobs of money, so decided to take the next logical step and made a TV show.
In 2001, I landed what I consider to be my first “real job.” I say this because this was the first job I ever had that I would willingly tell people about. Instead of hiding my employment status behind mumbles, I would gladly sit down with you and tell you at great length what my job is, where it is, what I do at it, and a million other details that would cause you to want to punch me if you could just stop feeling so damned happy for me long enough. So after I get the call telling me I have the job, I am given instructions on where to go to do a piss test. Now normally they do these pre-employment, but I was told that the facility this takes place in was under construction and had just re-opened to an extent. “To an extent” was an exact quote from the lady talking to me, just so you know.
I arrive there, wearing some fairly nice clothes. I got the job so I decided I could drop the illusion that I knew how to dress, but I didn’t want to start dressing like a complete scumbag until I was there a few months… so I was in something sorta in between. Like if someone woke you up from a deep sleep and yelled to hurry up because one of your family members just decided to get married on the spot. You wouldn’t have time to put on a suit and tie, but you wouldn’t go in anything that smelled like three days worth of ass. That was the balance I was striving for.