Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tiny Hats on Cats

A few weeks ago I got a second kitten. His name is Maxwell, and he's only got three legs. They don't know how he lost his arm, but I assume it was a shark attack, like that surfing girl in Hawaii.

I've been making tiny hats for him out of construction paper, because I don't know what else to do with all this damn construction paper. So yeah, I'm not just a writer and illustrator, I'm also a friggin' milliner. Are you jealous of my skills? Are you impressed I know the word milliner? I thought so.

I regularly upload new hats to my Instagram. Gimme a follow!

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So dapper. Ladies don't even notice his gnarly stump leg.

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Gotta catch 'em all bat at them half-heartedly and then take a nap.

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Don't drink the tea, it's full of bugs.

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He's a big fan of Final Fantasy, even though he can't work the controller.

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Pepper was feeling left out. She ate the tiara afterwards. Rude.

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Unlike the original pilgrims, he brought the natives a half dead mouse
instead of pox blankets.

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Arrrrrrr.

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I don't actually know his birthday, but whatever.
Like he even knew what was going on.

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Ugh, Maxwell. Cultural appropriation is NAGL.

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I had to make sure Pepper still knew she was KWEEN.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

7 Reasons Getting A Kitten Is Awesome And Also Terrible

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Well, it's finally happened. I've adopted a kitten of my own. Her name is Pepper and it's all I can do to not bake her in a quiche and eat her, she's just so cute. Even when she's sinking her teeth into my arm flesh, which is approximately 100% of the time.

Here are seven reasons adopting a kitten is awesome. Mostly.

1. Inviting a kitten into your home is a great way to relinquish control in your life.

It takes roughly 12 seconds for a new kitten to lay claim to your home and all your possessions. For the next 12-18 years, there will be a tiny creature in your home who believes it is the boss of you (which, over the years, you will begin to agree with).

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I can't eat a sandwich anymore without allocating a portion of my turkey to the cat. I can't sleep comfortably anymore, because she requires the exact center of the bed, meaning I have anywhere between 1-3 limbs dangling off the edge of the bed. Sometimes while she sleeps, in order to make myself feel better, I whisper to her, "I saved your life, I can take it away."

2. Kittens teach you to be flexible in life. 

This is mostly because kittens are so physically flexible themselves. It's a well known fact that kitten bones are made of chlorosulphonated polyethylene, and they will essentially take the shape of whatever container suits them.

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It's impossible to not draw parallels to your own life after watching a kitten melt and take the shape of a gravy boat or that sawed-off human skull you bought for six dollars from an Aghori guru while on vacation in Nepal. You look at the kitten and think, "I should learn to compromise more. Maybe I shouldn't have shoved Karen off a cliff in the Adirondacks because she wanted to go hiking and I wanted to smoke weed in the tent and eat Sun Chips. And I definitely shouldn't have hacked her corpse up and buried it in a shallow grave. Hmm. You live, you learn, I guess."

3. Owning a kitten is a great way to channel your maternal instincts into something without actually having to commit to birthing a human and raising it for 18 years.

If I'm honest with myself, this is probably the main reason I got a kitten. I need to channel my love into something that doesn't actually require a lot of upkeep, unlike a spouse or a '61 Thunderbird. And kids? Please. I can't imagine being a parent.

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4. Kittens will help you get over your body issues. 

At some point your kitten will see you naked, and it straight up won't care. You could parade around your living room wearing a woman suit while blasting "Goodbye Horses" and your kitten won't so much as bat an eyelash. Side note: do kittens even have eyelashes? I'm suddenly freaking out that I don't know the answer to this.

My kitten has taken to watching me shower. It was awkward at first.

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She wouldn't stop, so in retaliation I started singing 98 Degrees songs at her while she pooped. We agreed to respect each other's privacy in the future.

5. Kittens cure loneliness. 

Having a kitten around is a great excuse to talk to yourself without feeling like a loser. I mean, you'll still feel like a loser, just less of one.

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It's sort of like going on a date with someone in a medically induced coma. Maybe your words aren't really sinking in, but it doesn't matter. You get to talk uninterrupted, and when it comes right down to it, isn't that what matters? It reminds me of the time in fourth grade when I had to give a speech and I chose to talk about Sailor Moon and I went over the allotted 10 minutes but I didn't want to stop talking because I had barely started explaining Sailor Saturn's seizures, and I really wanted to tell everyone about how she gets possessed by Mistress 9, but Mrs. Hawk said I needed to wrap it up, and I was so mad that I didn't even get to touch on the Dead Moon Circus, and...

6. Cats will love you feel indifferent toward you unconditionally, no matter what.

It's nice to know that I can gain 200 pounds and grow a long, greasy wizard beard, and my cat will never leave me (mostly because she can't figure out doorknobs, but let's not split hairs).

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7. Kittens teach patience. 

Any cat owner knows you have to be on the ready with your camera phone at all times, because when a cat does something cute you have to be quick, lest you miss out on literally tens of Instagram likes.

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I actually filled up my phone with cat photos and videos. Like, to capacity. I got an error message that said something along the lines of, "Really, dude? Enough with the cat pix. There's no more space. Go for a walk. Look at your life choices. Maybe catch a matinee. I hear Fruitvale Station is great." Or something like that. I forget. 

Follow me on Instagram to be inundated with kitten photos.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Me Want Food

Ladies and gentleman, we are living in the future. Stem cells can essentially be programmed to become any type of cell in the body. HIV is no longer a death sentence. There's even a chick in Georgia with bionic hands.

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Medical and technological breakthroughs are happening every day, but none of this compares to the fact that you can now order food on your phone without having to actually talk to anybody.

My phone has essentially become a food ordering device, and I'm not even ashamed a little.

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Having food delivered is an exciting experience. It makes me feel elite, like Tywin Lannister or Suri Cruise. It's summer, so my giant standing air conditioner is always on full blast, and because it's noisy I don't always hear the delivery guy knock on the door. To combat this, I'll position myself at the front window so I can see anyone approaching. I'm on the first floor, so I have a perfect view of the sidewalk outside.

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Yesterday, while waiting for my spicy tuna rolls to be delivered, I noticed a portly woman approach my building and take a seat on my stoop. This didn't bother me, as I'm used to my front steps being utilized by the public. I live a block away from a 24-hour nightclub called COMPLEX, and on the weekends, there's a steady stream of drunks collapsing on my front steps to call cabs or take quick naps.

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I don't mind the drunk folks pausing on my steps at night to smoke cigarettes or give each other Rusty Trombones (or whatever they do, it's dark, gimme a break). They typically don't linger, but it was a different story on this particular afternoon. I stared out the window at the woman, sitting on my steps like an old tater tot. "You better bounce before my food arrives," I muttered to myself. "I ain't sharin' my spicy toons."

She remained there, and about fifteen minutes later the delivery guy arrived on a scooter. I was about to hop up and run around to the front door when I noticed the man say something to the woman on my stoop. I couldn't hear him, but he pointed to the food. I watched as the woman waved her hand at him, seemingly annoyed. The man looked around confused, said something else to the woman, who threw up both her hands and shouted something back. The delivery man furrowed his brow and left. Since I couldn't hear the conversation from behind the glass, I had to estimate.

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What it boils down to is that this woman sent my food away because she did not personally order it. I had never felt so utterly betrayed by another human being in my entire life. Flummoxed, I leapt to my feet, wheeled around to the hallway and out my front door to chase down my food. On my way I made sure the stoop goblin knew I was displeased.

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The delivery guy had already hopped on his scooter and was buzzing away, so I had to actually run in order to catch up to him. Luckily he hit a red light at the end of the block and I was able to intercept my food. He searched his pocket for a pen, I signed the receipt, took my bag of food, and trudged back toward my apartment.

Approaching my building again, I could see a small crowd had gathered on my front steps. The same woman from before was still there, but she'd been joined by another woman who looked like she might be related, along with a chubby young boy. Either this was the woman's family, or she had somehow started multiplying like a gremlin after midnight. I preferred to imagine the latter, because it allowed me to hate these newcomers and assume they were treacherous villains.

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Fun fact: this is also how Kardashians are created.

I assumed this woman and her relatives had chosen my corner to meet up before heading off to someplace else—probably Century 21 or a cave full of orange Fanta and a hundred VHS copies of Encino Man. The woman from earlier had slid down the stoop to make room for the kid, who was seated next to her playing a Nintendo 3DS.  I stood for a few moments, waiting for the lady to notice me hovering over her and make some room so I could march up the steps and get back into my apartment, where I planned to angrily eat my lunch while glaring out the window at this family of stoop stealers, but the woman didn't even glance my way. She just stared off into the distance while I waited impatiently. She seemed to be almost pointedly ignoring me. Finally I became fed up and craned my neck down at her.

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"You're blocking the way to my building," I replied coldly. "Please move." The women let out the most laborious sigh, and scooted a mere six inches. I glared at her and wedged past.

I ate my food at my desk in rapid agitation, the rich flavor of tuna barely registering on my tongue. The bitter taste of loathing was too powerful for any savory dish to penetrate.

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The Stoop Witch of Astoria and her band of gremlins soon disappeared, and haven't returned since. I feel like I should take some precautions against future problems, though. Does Amazon sell bear traps?

Author's note: Well holy shit, Amazon does sell bear traps.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Blunder Years is in stores!

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My book The Blunder Years is released today! To celebrate I got a new kitten. Her name is Pepper and she sneezed into my coffee while I was typing this.

Here are some handy dandy links to purchase my book, which has been called "hilarious" by friends who are hoping to get something out of me.


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Walk It Off

As a kid, I had poor critical thinking skills and rarely considered the consequences to my actions. When I was six, I spent half an hour spitting into a dime store squirt gun, and then for some inexplicable reason, squirted it back into my own mouth. I became so nauseated afterword that I threw up in the parking lot of a Safeway. Honestly I'm gagging just remembering it.

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I'm not sure what my thought process was with that one. I actually can't even begin to explain why I thought it would be a fun idea, but then again I don't know why I did most things.

In third grade, my antics started to land me in trouble. I had a habit of disrupting class, especially during science. I couldn't be bothered to learn the difference between herbivores and carnivores, or what caused rain. In my mind, "rain is magic" was a suitable answer for weather patterns, and I spent most of the daily science lessons drawing pictures and quietly passing them to the girl who sat next to me in class, Lee Sugars.

I had a crush on Lee, but I also hated her guts, and I think the feeling was mutual. As a result, every note I passed her was either mean, or disgusting, or both.

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I had a tendency to take whatever recent lesson was being taught and turn it into an inappropriate doodle: Helen Keller with giant torpedo boobs, two Martin Luther Kings making out (sometimes with torpedo boobs of their own), and so on. Because of this, my teacher Mrs. Bateson hated me. She sent me to the principal's office literally every week, and even though I usually deserved it, I still felt like a child martyr and detested Mrs. Bateson for what I deemed to be unfair prosecution.

She also looked like a thumb, which only added to my dislike of her.

Mrs. Bateson finally drew the line in October that year. The class was making jack-o-lanterns out of construction paper and she'd put on a CD of Halloween sound effects—rattling chains, crackling thunder, yowling cats and the like. When Derek Stevens got squeamish at the sound of beating hearts and nervously asked Mrs. Bateson to turn the CD off, I loudly told him to "quit being a pussy."

In my defense, I didn't even know what a pussy was. I barely knew what a vagina was, let alone its noms de guerre. Hell, I still thought girls peed out their butts. I thought "pussy" was a gently mocking term, synonymous with "wimp" or "wuss," so I was baffled when Mrs. Bateson lost her shit over it.

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I wasn't sure how to respond. I truly didn't know what was so offensive about what I'd said, but Mrs. Bateson wasn't having it. At recess, she made me stay behind to discuss my behavior.

"Adam, you can't use that word," she told me. "It's not a nice word."

"Yeah, ok, sorry, I won't do it again. Now can I go? I can hear them starting foursquare and—"

"We have to discuss your punishment." I narrowed my eyes at her suspiciouly. There was a field trip scheduled that afternoon to tour the Hancock Ice Cream Factory, and everyone in class was excited for the ice cream we'd inevitably get at the end of the tour. I was nervous my punishment might involve the field trip. Mrs Bateson continued, "I think it's only fair that during the field trip this afternoon, you shouldn't be rewarded with ice cream like everyone else."

I couldn't muster any words, I could only stare at Mrs. Bateson, who herself seemed unfazed. I could almost make out the hint of a smile on her thumb-face.

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I knew from experience that I couldn't argue with her. I pouted through lunch, scowled through the van ride to the ice cream factory, and lingered in the back of the group frowning while a cheery, elderly woman in an apron pandered to us about how interesting the history of ice cream was.

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At the end of the tour the cheery lady handed out cones to everyone—except for me, of course. Mrs. Bateson took the ice cream lady aside and explained that I was a demon child and didn't deserve treats, so I was forced to watch everyone else enjoy ice cream around me. I was stewing in disgruntled self pity when Lee Sugars sauntered up to me, a cheshire cat grin plastered across her face.

"You can have my cone, Adam," she said sweetly." I don't even like ice cream." I gave her a cautious side-eye, but my gluttony overtook me and I accepted her offer.

My tongue had barely touched the chilly sweetness of Huckleberry ice cream when Lee turned away from me and hollered to Mrs. Bateson.

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Mrs. Bateson turned and shot daggers at me with her eyes.

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As the group was ushered out into the parking lot, I leaned in and whispered into Lee's ear.

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During the van ride back I kept my eyes fixed on Lee, willing her to spontaneously burst into flames. I fantasized about the van crashing into a semi truck of toxic waste, which would spill on Lee and burn her skin off. The entire time, she grinned back at me like a smug weasel.

When we arrived back at school and one of the chaperones opened the van's sliding door, I unbuckled my seatbelt and angled toward Lee before hopping out of the vehicle. "This isn't over," I told her. She glared back at me, her stare icy. I shifted away and scooted across the seat but before I could hop down to the sidewalk, I felt a forceful pair of hands on my back and before I knew it I was flying out of my seat. I hardly registered that Lee had pushed me—I was falling, face first, toward the pavement. It was only a few feet, but to a child it seemed an eternity. Time seemed to slow as I careened toward the concrete.

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I landed on the right side of my forehead. The sound from inside my own skull was sickening, like having your head inside ceramic vase and someone whacking it with a hammer, except my head was the vase and the earth was the hammer. After the collision I remember little. Chaperones clamored around me, kids murmured and were shooed away. The aftermath is a blur, but I recall being seated in the nurse's office, a kindly young redheaded nurse holding a bag of ice to my forehead, and myself screaming and screaming with tears running down my face.

In retrospect, I don't accurately remember the pain, just shrieking nonstop like I was dying because the pain was so severe. "Your mom will be here at 3:30," the nurse told me. "Just try to calm down until then." I glanced at the the clock. It was only 2:30. I could see the principal in his office. He was talking to someone on the phone, laughing jovially like nothing was wrong. Why was nobody worried about my injury? Why wasn't I in the hospital? I might've had a concussion, or maybe cerebral edema. There might be internal bleeding!

I thought of Mrs. Bateson, up in room 227, chuckling to herself that her least favorite student was downstairs dying from massive head trauma.

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Nobody took things seriously in the 90's. Teachers didn't need to worry about their shortcomings being captured on camera phones and uploaded on YouTube. Kids were too busy huffing scented markers to notice they were being neglected by their caretakers. It was no wonder the administration couldn't care less. If they just kept me contained until the end of the school day, I'd be my mom's problem.

When my mother did arrive to pick me up, I barely noticed because I was too busy howling.

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The office aide told my mom that I'd fallen out of the van, even though I'd spent the last hour screaming that Lee Sugars had shoved me.

I probably should have gone to the hospital, but like I said, it was the 90's. This was before Gwyneth Paltrow taught us that bread is poison, before we knew measles vaccinations caused children to mutate into lizard monsters.

The next day, I had a big bump on my forehead where I'd landed. The swelling went down, but the bump never disappeared completely. It actually changed the shape of my skull slightly, and the lump can still be felt.

I feel like that bears repeating. I'm 26, and I still have a bump on my head from when I fell out of a van eighteen years ago.

Is it too late to sue? What's Gloria Allred's email? I'm assuming it's xXxKoRnFan69xXx@hotmail.com.