Friday, September 27, 2013

death to WA

I've never claimed to be a sane person.  Overall, though, I think I come across as relatively normal and composed.  But this post isn't about those typical, stable moments of my life.  This is specifically about one of those moments in my life where I have looked truly, absolutely and most splendidly insane.

I'll set the scene.

2003.  High school.   Chemistry class.

I hated Chemistry.  Of all the classes, Chemistry is where I felt like I couldn't find my ass with both hands no matter how hard I tried.  So I spent most of the 50 minutes of class doodling on one specific sheet of notebook paper that I had contributed to over a span of weeks.  The page was entirely covered with little trees, or bug drawings, or random phrases, or stick people, or whatever I could think of that was not related to Chemistry.

Behind me sat a gum smacking, chair kicking, loud talking, ditz of a human being.  I  may sound like a bitch to describe someone like this, but hear me out.  Let's call her "Wendy Anderson."  She was like the type of person that was a  member of every esteemed academic club a school had to offer, Student Government Association, National Honor Society, Good Job Kids You'll Get Into College But This Shit Doesn't Actually Matter or Make a Difference in Your School or Life Club.  Even if she asked questions like "wait, for years I thought the Japanese were the good guys in World War II, but now we can confirm that I was wrong about that, right?" she somehow aced every AP test.

Day after day I would doodle on my paper like the angst-ridden quiet psycho I truly was, and day after day she would kick my chair as she readjusted her feet to rest under it as she talked to the guy sitting next to her who looked like Skeletor, saying something like "yeah, but Mr. Holmes said we can work in groups for the project, Skeletor, didn't you say that, Mr. Holmes?" *loud laughter, gum smack, chair kick, repeat*

I couldn't take it anymore, I wrote "Death to WA" in a tiny corner of my notebook paper amidst the chaos of doodles.  Nobody will notice this, I thought, like a fucking idiot.  Brace yourself, folks.

One day, Skeletor got a wild hair up his ass and noticed me and my Ted Kaczinski-inspired sheet of notebook paper.  "Hey what's that?"  He said as he grabbed it from me.  "Whoa, this is weird, you've been at this for a while!"  I turn around, and watch in disbelief.

*loud laughter, gum smack, chair kick* "Hey let me see that," 'Wendy' said. *snatch*

"....wow...this is....Death to WA.....is that me??"

Now, I'm not one to think on my feet all the time.  I never anticipated her finding this corner of my twisted brain.  I'm always the last to react in an emergency situation.  If Leatherface came running toward me from 50 yards a way, it would take me until he was 5 yards a way to even realize I was in a potentially dangerous situation.

"Yes," I said.

"Uuuuuhhh....whoa...I didn't realize you felt this way..." she said, laughing nervously.

"You always kick my chair..."  I said, shrugging it off and sweating profusely.

I don't remember exactly what happened after that, the shock of the situation and extreme embarrassment that followed shifted to instinct and survival as my mind went blank.  Like when you get hit in the head with a baseball and it hurts like hell but you just keep smiling and pretending like nothing happened and you're okay. Even as you're slowly dropping to the ground, you give a little wave to everyone standing around you to let them know everything's fine, demonstrating that primal need to save face.

To this day I don't think I've ever looked crazier to another human being, and that's saying a lot coming from a girl who once swept spilled sugar from a conference room table into her hand as she was having a one-on-one meeting with the director and founder of an Architecture firm.

Wendy Anderson has gone on to what seems like a fantastic life, Facebook tells me (she friended me, probably to keep track of my state of mind and geographic location).  I have no doubt she's still laughing loudly, smacking her gum and kicking the world's proverbial chair, but that won't stop her from acing every "real world" AP test, which I guess would be promotions and 401Ks and other indicators of a successful life.  I haven't changed much, either.  I'm still that psycho, doodling and just a few chair kicks from a minor meltdown.  But at least now when someone asks if I want to kill them I'll have a better answer than yes:  "...No."

Friday, September 6, 2013

that southern maryland look

If you grew up in Southern Maryland, as I did, you know there is a certain look among Southern Maryland men that is easy to recognize.  If you did not grow up in Southern Maryland but would like to achieve this look, I have created the diagram below to help you:


A.  Gel bangs.  Hair must be properly gelled with "bangs" combed flat against the forehead.  It is necessary to piece out the bangs in order to show separation, however the most important part of this hairstyle is the blunt line across the forehead.  Like a modern-day, redneck Julius Caesar, you are going for timeless style that says "not only is my hair immovable, you can also use it as a level when hanging up your 8 x 10 of Joe Gibbs in your family room."



B.  Diamond earring.  You shine.  You sparkle.  Everyone knows it, because they see a diamond earring in one or both of your ears.  Elizabeth Taylor was right.  These have always brought you luck, as well.



C. Facial hair.  This is absolutely necessary.  If you do not have a thinned mustache, soul patch and centralized chin beard you cannot be a true Southern Maryland man.  I'm sorry, you just can't.  I didn't make these rules.

D.  Gold chain and Redskins* jersey.  You may choose to wear one gold chain, or several, but it is important that you have at least one.  Depending on your preferences, they can be plain, or come with a pendant of some sort to show off your personality:  #1 Dad  or Yankees or Shart, however you decide to express yourself, the choice is yours.  The oversized jersey is also a key piece to remember.  Please note: It has to be oversized.  If people can look at you and have a general idea of the size of your torso, you're doing it wrong.  It has got to be at least 2 sizes larger than your actual size.  For example, if you comfortably wear a medium, you need to buy an XL.  You get the idea.
*If you do not have access to a Redskins jersey, in a pinch, a Ravens jersey is also an acceptable piece to include in your SoMd ensemble.  In select cases, a Cowboys jersey will also suffice.

E.  Keys to a lowrider truck.  If not a lowrider, an F-150/F-250/F-350/F-CHRIST WE GET IT YOU HAUL SHIT SOMETIMES, ENOUGH ALREADY.

F.  Flat brimmed sports cap.  Put it on your head.  Loop it on your belt.  Dedicate a room in your house to your collection of flat brimmed sports caps.  Take pride in that cap.  Spend a lot of money on that cap.

G.  Oversized jeans.  See D. Redskins jersey.  If a person can look at you and know the size of your lower torso/legs, this is incorrect.  For best results, go to St. Charles Town Center or your local Burlington Coat Factory to find the latest Marc Ecko and/or Sean John styles.

H. Basketball shoes.  You haven't played basketball since you were in high school, possibly not even that recently.  But it is imperative that you have a pair of white basketball kicks.  Please try not to be concerned with the fact that the right shoe in this diagram is facing the opposite direction it should.  This is not necessary to achieve the style.  It's just that I'm lazy and didn't feel like making this drawing 100% accurate.


So there you have it.  With these accessories, you too can look just like a Southern Maryland man.  Bonus points if you are related to someone named Buck, Sherry, Cheryl or Crystal, if you live on Cobb Island or if you own and wear Bud Light swimming trunks.