Bitter Post #1

It’s been a wild ride. After six months of mature and thought-provoking blog-writing in as many blog views, mikeandvalblogging has arrived at a watershed moment. As of the publishing of Mike’s douchey post a few minutes ago (scroll down), the blog pact has been broken. One of us is moving on because the other couldn’t wait to replace the other with a new co-blog-author. That’s fine. It appears that the authors will scatter into the two winds.

A word of warning to the other’s replacement though: While Mike might dream of becoming a comedian, he is actually not that funny. His blogs are accordingly not that funny and sometimes long-winded (see all of his posts). I fell asleep reading one of his blogs once because it wasn’t even funny.  Also, Mike knits a lot. What, does he also like cats and the Golden Girls? Probably. Also he knows how to make toilet wine. Has he served time in prison or something?

So, if you’re interested in replacing Mike, please be named Mike or consider a name change! The site is already pretty well-established and the name is clever. Aside from all the other revamping of the blog, that’s one thing that won’t change.

moving on, and moving up

As life is ever changing like a river, so too is the world of blogging. When I entered into a blog pact with Val about 6 months ago, I was anticipating we would both be in it for the long term. Alas, it is clear that now we are no longer on equal footing. While one of us has gone on to write riveting memoirs and has been published in esteemed fiction literary magazines, the other has, quite frankly, withered. I don’t want to say that one of us is better at blogging than the other (but evidence clearly shows that Val is lazy and sucks), so I just say that we should move on to a bigger and brighter future.

In order for this blog to run smoothly once again, we must “trim the fat”, as a butcher would say. And by “trim”, I mean “get rid of”. And by “the fat”, I obviously mean “Val”. I will be sad to see her go, but before I can fire her I must find a replacement! I suppose that I could try to blog on my own, but I fear that my loose-cannon blogging approach will be better used when I have a calm and in-control partner (just like in cop movies). So, lets look at our candidates!

Name: Pat P.
Pros:
Pat’s strongest suit is obviously his knowledge of writing. With two years of Northwestern University’s English classes under his belt, he is a master of the written word. He is a regular reader of the blog and knows the style of humor on the blog very well. He would be a worthy replacement of Val.
Cons: Although he has been offered many opportunities to write for the blog (and accepted them), he has never actually produced any writing that is usable. I suspect that he has only progressed so far through college through the use of monetary bribes (as well as sexual bribes).

Name: Brian M.
Pros: Brian is not only a talented writer, but is also the only college aged person I know who leads a significantly interesting life. He has previously documented his fascinating tales from his summer training with the English Army (which is probably the most viewed post on the site). His presence on the blog will probably draw a much larger readership.
Cons: Brian is way too busy to regularly blog on here. Having an interesting life obviously results in a busy one, so I doubt he could contribute often.

Name: Chris O.
Pros: Chis is currently dating Val, so he would be able to consult her often if he needed blogging ideas. He is also well versed in politics, which people probably enjoy reading about online.
Cons: The politics he likes to talk about are super boring. He also openly hates this blog. Chris would never agree to write anything if I asked him.

Final Decision: Dammit, I need someone better qualified. I guess I’m stuck with Val for now.

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Plundered Painting

It was a sunny day in Idaville and Leroy Brown stared out his office window. Leroy Brown may have seemed like an average 34 year old detective, but there was more to him than met the eye. While other detectives would spend hours combing a crime scenes for clues, Leroy would simply listen to the facts of a case, and figure out the culprit within a matter of minutes. There was one other odd thing about Leroy, and that was his nickname. While his ailing parents still called him by Leroy, everyone else called him Encyclopedia, on account of his vast knowledge.

An encyclopedia is a big book that is filled with facts. Encyclopedia took a drag on his cigarette and reached for his bottle of bourbon that he kept under his desk.

Bourbon is an alcoholic drink that helps calm down adults when they’re under stress. Encyclopedia was under lots of stress from his divorce and threats of eviction from his landlord. An eviction is when someone is required to move away from their apartment because he or she dos not pay rent.

Sally Kimball stuck her head into Leroy’s office and spoke, “Encyclopedia, I’ve got Clarence Carver here to see you.” He nodded and Sally showed a disheveled looking man into the office.

Clarence read the sign that sat on the desk:

“Brown Detective Agency
13 Rove Avenue, Apartment 14B
Leroy Brown, President
no case too small
25¢ per day plus expenses.”

“Aha…” Clarence said. “So its just a quarter per day?.”

Leroy shrugged. “Thats just a tax loophole that I found. It keeps the IRS out of my hair and lets me write off all my income. For ‘expenses’ I charge two hundred.”

The IRS is a government organization that makes sure that people pay their taxes. Leroy suspected that they were investigating him.

Clarence sighed and relented “Sure, I’ll gladly pay. So long as you can solve the case, I mean.”

Sally walked into the room and picked a cigarette out from Leroy’s open cigarette case. She leaned at Clarence. “Of course he can solve it. Encyclopedia is the most clever detective in town.”

“Thanks Sally” Leroy said with a blush. “Clarence, what is it that I can do for you?”

“Well, I own a local art gallery in town called “Carver’s Canvases.” he began.

“Oh I’ve heard of that!” Sally said excitedly. “You’re hosting the van Gogh exhibit next…”

“We were hosting the exhibit next week.” Clarence interrupted. “But we can’t now, someone has stolen one of the paintings! Everyone was going to come from all around Idaville to see van Gogh’s newly discovered painting, but now its gone.”

Clarence put his head in his hands while Leroy leaned back in his chair and asked, “How was it stolen?”

“The paintings came in last week. I locked up the gallery last night, and this morning the painting was gone. There was no sign of a break in, but I did find this.” Clarence handed Encyclopedia a typed note: “If you want the painting back, leave 10 thousand dollars in a paper bag under Idaville Bridge at midnight.”

“I cant afford that, it would bankrupt my business!” Clarence sobbed.

Encyclopedia read the note several times. “Does anyone else have keys to the gallery?”

“Its just me, two of our curators” David thought, “Oh, and our new janitor, Bugs Meany.”

“Bugs! Its got to be him!” Sally exclaimed.

“Don’t be so quick to judge, Sally” Encyclopedia sighed. “Maybe his last stint in the slammer has changed him.” The slammer is a slang term for prison, where Bugs had been recently on charges of vandalism and arson.

Sally glared at Encyclopedia, unconvinced. Encyclopedia continued, “Do you have any reason not to trust any of those people?”

“No” replied David. “I’ve known my two other curators for 15 years and Bugs has only been working with me for a month, but he’s been a model employee. And even if I did, I have no proof that any of them did anything.”

Encyclopedia thought for a moment. “I think we’ll be able to take care of this from here, David. We’ll give you a call when we get it figured out.”

Fifteen minutes later, Encyclopedia and Sally were standing inside The TigerClub Lounge. Bugs was sitting at a stool in front of an easel and mixing colors on his large palette. Bugs looked up from his work.

“If it isn’t my good old friend, Dictionary Brown.” Bugs said smirkingly.

“Come on Bugs, you know his name is Encyclopedia.” Sally corrected him with a frown.

“Whoops, sorry.” Bugs laughed sarcastically. “I don’t want to get a pretty girl like you upset.”

Encyclopedia interrupted them, “Bugs, do you know anything about the stolen painting from last night?”

“What? Someone stole a painting from the gallery? Thats awful!” Bugs said. “As a fan of high art, I can’t believe someone would do that.”

Bugs motioned towards his painting. It was a large oil painting of a nude woman. With thick brushstrokes, Bugs had depicted the woman in a rude pose.

Sally sniffed in disgust. “Look Bugs, if it wasn’t you that took it, where were you last night?”

“I was here of course, the bartender will vouch for me. I was working on this.” Bugs pointed at the dry oil painting. “I painted the first layer of it last night and I’m going to put on a second layer today. I just need to get this purple to blend right.” Bugs leaned down to the palette and mixed in some more blue.

Sally turned to Encyclopedia and whispered, “I know that its him! He’s no fan of art. He must have stolen it!”

Encyclopedia closed his eyes and thought. He suddenly opened them and began to dial his cell phone . “Nice try Bugs, but after the police get here, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your art” Encyclopedia winked at Sally, “from your prison cell!”

How did Encyclopedia know that Bugs was lying?

I made some hats

I had midterms last week, so I was stress knitting like a fiend. Here’s the two hats that I cranked out.

Hat

And here’s another one:

Anti-Hat

So my point is… can someone more photogenic contact me to model my hats? Or buy them, that’d be nice too.

A Story of Overdose or: Trail Mix-A-Lot

It was the summer of 2011, and I was in a rush. I had two more days to finish a report and send it off to my space bosses in Milwaukee. Before I started on my work, I stopped over to the supermarket to get myself a snack. I browsed through the aisles and passed up my usual work snack of goldfish (the crackers, not the animals) when I saw the area where they held the trail mixes. Trail mix has always been a favorite snack of mine, but I had never bought any before. The simple mix of peanuts, raisins, and m&ms is just amazing, and I don’t absolutely hate almonds. So, I went ahead and bought the package with the best value, so I ended up taking a large 1 pound sack of trail mix home with me.

Arriving back at the apartment, I set up my workstation with the bag of trail mix at the ready, and began to work. I worked and I ate, and I worked some more (while eating). The trail mix gave me energy, and I poured that energy directly into my report. So I would then obviously pour more trail mix into my stomach, to feed that glorious cycle of productivity. I felt good, I felt alive. I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks because they make me feel jittery, but I realized that this must be like what coffee drinkers felt like.”This is how I should live! I could be so productive! This is the best!” I probably shouted to myself between hearty munches on my snack.

It was over in three hours. I had done it. I was happy.

But something was wrong. Something was different. I could still feel the excitement fifteen minutes after I sat down on the couch to relax. But that was the problem, I didn’t need to relax. I couldn’t sit still. I took a glance back at where I had been working. The bag was empty. The large bag full of salt and protein was empty.

Before I try to explain what this did to my body, I should let you know: my body is easily stressed by food. I eat white rice or noodles with pesto for probably half my meals. Pizza is too rich for me, I enjoy it much more when its cold the next morning. If I drink a soda, the carbonation and sugar makes my stomach angry with me for the rest of the day.

I grabbed the package and looked at the nutrition information. “Serving Size: 30 grams. How many grams in a pound? Google says 450. Shit shit shit shit. How many servings is that? 15 servings. Thats too much. I’m going to die. Okay well they always have serving sizes as way too small. How many calories in a serving? 140. Okay, I just ate 2100 calories. Thats how much I’m supposed to eat in a day. Right? I could have that wrong, lets check google… Nope, its equivalent to four Big Macs. I can’t believe this is going to kill me.”

I ran outside and hopped on my bike. I biked 25 miles all while sure that I would die at any moment. I finished up my ride still feeling way too energetic. I then put on my running shoes and ran 5 miles. That seemed to tire me out a little. In the end, I ended up surviving, but I did not feel hungry for the next 36 hours. Seriously, I took in nothing but water for the entire next day. So a word to the wise, if you’re going to be snacking while doing homework, don’t be an idiot and almost eat yourself to death like a freaking goldfish.