26 February, 2011

Miniblog Part 2: A+ For Douchery

Welcome to another Miniblog. This is part 2 in my “5 Things you wouldn’t fucking believe happened to me - but did” series; this episode is called “A+ For Douchery”. Just as a refresher, this series explains 5 things that have happened to me based on my nerdy/geeky/computer/video game experiences as a woman who is into geeky things and also works in the video game industry. Keeping with a common theme here, I will be explaining another thing that you won’t fucking believe happened to me when I was working at Best Buy and starting my cultural embarkment-of-no-socially-acceptable-return into Geekery/the rest of my life.

So I work at Best Buy during the holidays and the summers to afford my secret/not-so-secret WoW addiction at the time (it was a very dark period in my life- I don’t want to talk about it… Let’s just keep it at the fact I pulled mad aggro with my Destro ‘Lock). I was going through school on a Communications and Information Technology Degree, which was half writing essays and half actual computer hardware/software stuff in labs.

The new GM at the time had asked me to go into the Geek Squad department, he said it would really help out my career.

1. Lie: He didn’t even know my last name, never mind bothered to remember what I went to school for

2. He wanted me to go into Geek Squad so he could reap the benefits of a hot girl offering (geeky) services. <-- Another manager’s words, not mine

He said I needed my A+ Certification but Best Buy would pay for it if I passed. Also a lie: as I knew a lot of people who got screwed by this pretend promise. I decided I was intrigued by the possibility of having an A+ Technician Certification on my resume, and decided to look into it for myself, and not him or Best Buy.

I found myself in Chapters later that week, milling around the computer guides, looking for the infamous Michael Meyers gold and red A+ book. It was pretty pricey and it weighed about as much as I did, but I figured the first step would be to buy the book, study, and take the test at my leisure. I hauled the book to the front cash, nobody was really there, and one of the young guys behind the counter greeted me and waved me over.

Let me set this up for you; pretty, blonde, green-eyed, tall, petite girl, hauling a computer technician book isn’t exactly the norm in the field (I can say this because I went through 4 years of computer science classes where one of my two female rivals went by the name “Kevin”, and the other one looked like Napolean Dynamite).

I get to the counter and there’s a jock-looking guy standing behind the till. The awkward “did you find everything you were looking for” speech came and went as he grabbed my book to scan it in. The dialogue (although not verbatim, but similar) went something like this:

Jock: “Oh, you know this is a computer technician study guide, right?”

Me: “Yep.”

Jock: “You know someone who is studying for their A+?”

Me: “Yeah, me.”

Jock: “Yeah right.”

Me: “…”

Jock: “Girls don’t buy books like this.”

Me: “I'm actually in Computer Science at University.” (Note: Not entirely accurate but comparable)

Jock: “I don’t believe you.”

Me: *Raises eyebrows*

Jock: “I just mean, usually computer stuff is done by guys, that’s all I meant.”

He rings me through and I hand him my credit card. He makes a face/noise about how much a book about computers costs. I take my book and receipt.

Me: “I should have bought shoes instead”

As if this conversation even happened. I'm not sure if my quip at the end was makeup or shoes, but I made it, and the guy laughed. In the back of his mind you know he was probably thinking “You should have”, which might have been a better idea because I never ended up going for the test and I still have the book.

The point is I read the book, and I made notes, and I studied for it. However, those who went to college or university will know that sometimes you don’t have time to study for something that isn’t a necessity or worth marks, when you have other things that need to get done. Like farming mats to make my Frostweave Armor or running instances trying to roll on a dropped Terokk's Shadowstaff… and homework if there’s time.

Identity in Second Life

There are many things in life that we are sure of; things that pulse in recognizable patterns, reliable processes etc. Things like the stock market: we know how this works, and we know what influences fluctuations - some people can even predict outcomes based solely on patterns. However not everything is predictable or pattern based; take for example the human brain. No amount of studying, research, interviews, or patterns can allow us to see what influences the mind. Nothing can be predicted, no action can be accurately analyzed, and it can be said that we might never know why someone does something; this is what makes the study of performed identity so fascinating. Also, with the internet as a new means of socialization and the overwhelming presence of millions of people online, it is easy for ones own identity to get lost in the undertow and never really stand out. Thus the creation of online personas that encapsulate the identity of what the culture industry deems attractive begins. In the article Deception in the Virtual World: A Semiotic Analysis of Identity by author Jonathan Matusitz, he states that:

“Semiotics has been applied to the notion of virtual community as the global network, the unlimited, self-organizing nature of cyberspace, and a phenomenon of ‘wired identity’. In communication, to know the identity of those with whom we communicate is a key to the understanding and the evaluation of an interaction. However, […] web users are oftentimes performers, deliberately altering their identity. Indeed, one of the characteristics of the Internet is that it has been associated with freedom of self-invention, […].”

This quotation embodies the tone of my paper, to look at the traditional view of communication as face to face and knowing what the other person looks like has dramatically changed into a new sort of web frontier, allowing us to chat with dozens of people at the same time while not knowing what any of them look like. Linking performers to avatars – virtual representations of someone’s identity - is interesting, linking the similarities like altering identity and creating self-invention.

This research paper will look at the attraction to create online identities in Second Life and how though cultural hegemony and the Social Learning Theory people feel like they need to adhere to a media standard. The main theory that will be the backbone of this research will be the Marxist Social Learning Theory, stating that people act in a way that is socially acceptable and consume traits and values that are part of a hegemonic society and culture industry, like views on beauty or personality through culture. This is cross listed with Antonio Gramsci’s ideas of cultural hegemony, and how individuals are herded into one way of thinking because they fall short of society’s standard bar. These ideas are important to talk about due to the tremendous pressures on individuals by today’s media coupled with the freedom available online to encompass any desired identity; to ultimately act out whoever you ever wanted to be. This is certainly exciting to look at and to find out why anyone would want to be another version of themselves completely, and why one might feel like they needed to live up to the hegemonic norms set out by society.

I will be looking at 4 research papers in a mini literature review, in order to give context to my own paper and to map out the main points in the creation of online identity in virtual communities. The first author discussed is T.L. Taylor and her article Life in Virtual Worlds: Plural Existence, Multimodalities, and Other Online Research Challenges. This article is very interesting because she focuses on online embodiment and the “kinds of bodies created and adopted in virtual worlds and the ways digital bodies are intricately tied to life online” (Taylor, 2). What is most important to note is that Taylor suggests as soon as a user logs into a virtual world they immediately have two bodies giving them a plural existence (4) and “while some users maintain a consistency within a single avatar or character, many do not” (4). Throughout the duration of the article Taylor givers her experiences chatting with many avatars who explain that the real world in many ways has rejected them and for them to create an alternate persona online is a way to express suppressed emotions or feelings (5). This makes a good article due to the connection it has with my own research and the number of answers it has already found that can be linked to my own thesis.

The second article Moving Beyond the Game: Social Virtual Worlds by author Betsy Book looks at the differences between online games and online social communities and their relation with the real life contributors as online avatars. She finds some noteworthy facts, like how the majority of users make an avatar which is much different physically than their real world self, and how a computer code used to represent oneself is in all actuality, it’s own identity with its own physical appearance and temperament (Skwang). However she also says that a large number of avatars on social communities prefer to keep somewhat true to their real form since it is easier to create friendships and relationships (8). Books brings up this constant struggle between conforming to society’s standard of attractiveness and the idea of setting oneself apart to be unlike everyone else. I feel these are perfect themes and they relate well to my thesis on online identity.

The third article Digital Literacies of the Cybergirl by Angela Thomas says that our online personalities are constructed through several factors, like ethnicity, gender and age, and these factors helped shape our identity online. Interestingly, she mentions the assembly of our physical self is made by the kind of clothing we wear, the makeup or hairstyle we have, any features like piercings of tattoos also make up who we are (358). She says this lets other people “read” us accurately and then they can begin to conceive who we are as people. This article was included because this is a very relevant point in my own research; if people judge our appearance to gain perspective of who we are, and then we can alter our appearance online to let other people view us the way we prefer to be viewed.

The last article looked at is by Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa & Anya Lewin, entitled Introduction to ‘The (Digital) Culture Industry’. The authors state that mass culture is created by avatars that consume products available in the real world, and how desires can be brought to light online that might not ordinarily be expressed. These are important ideas to relate to consumption by online personas in order to appear to and abide by hegemonic culture views.

The culture industry has been looked at and studied numerous times, and just recently it has come into light as being present in the most unusual of places; online social communities. These communities like Second Life – a virtual world – are built upon the idea that all avatars can do whatever they want to with no restrictions or boundaries created by physical laws or even the media. While Second Life is used by some people to escape the routine of their everyday life, the appeal lies in the absence of traditional construct. However, it seems that while popularity grows Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony becomes present, where big corporations with an attendance in Second Life are contributing by creating products that avatars can consume. The bigger the company the more dominant the need for consumption is, since it is dictating what is important to have and consume even in a virtual space. The media’s influence is certainly present on Second Life, having brand name items and products that cost money to obtain, thus only available to the upper class with the financial freedom to obtain these things that create a status.

Everything is related to status on Second Life; default body parts and cheap accessories scream low class and even in Second Life where people go to escape real world consumerism, it is present even from start up just like in the real world. There is no way to outrun the class connotations, and everywhere you look there are items to be bought or sold that contribute to the huge in world economy. Social Learning Theory states that people follow social norms to feel accepted, and to feel like they belong. Having a real life based on the horrors of consumerism is exhausting, so people retreat to a virtual community to feel like they can be accepted no matter what brand they wear or what they look like. The media and culture industry has created this identity monster, where every person is held against a nearly impossible standard of beauty and success, and wherever people go, virtual worlds included, they cannot escape the media and the culture industry’s pressure to consume in exchange for a status.

An obvious link between the culture industry and the media and our own identity is present, with virtual communities being a viable way to finally be able to achieve those hegemonic ideals of beauty and status. In real life it is impossible to adhere by media’s standards, where online you can create your avatar to be the essence of who you always wanted to be, complete with the items and products you always wanted in real life. Communities like Second Life are a way for avatars to escape unfeasible real world standards and easy transfer into that obtainable body or identity because it’s so easy to get. Such is the example from researcher T.L. Taylor and her conversation with an Avatar named Michael, who admitted he goes by a different persona online as an escapes from the real world because “the small community he lives in has in many respects rejected him” (Taylor, 5). Cultural Hegemony is certainly present in these ways, and by way of a community devoid of governing rules, yet chalk full of hegemonic norms set upon itself by its ruling class, the culture industry.

Now we will shift more into the aspect of identity and the creation for online worlds. The main focus of this paper will be on identity, and how it is formed on Second Life through the culture industry by looking at the Social Learning Theory, and cultural hegemony. I will be doing a mini case study on the experience I have created with my own avatar, its identity formation, and what draws people into these worlds to edit their online identity. Second Life leads avatars to contribute to the culture industry’s hegemonic identity by allowing them creativity, physical appeal, and freedom, although it can be argued it’s a controlled freedom by the media.

Firstly, avatars are drawn into Second Life by the creative independence. This means that someone can be their own cultural producer by creating products to be sold in the Second Life community. Not only does this tempt users to join in hopes of monetary gain, but it allows for them to be the makers of their own products and materials – their own culture – which they most likely cannot produce in real life. A teacher can suddenly utilize virtual materials to build an online home, a handicapped person that otherwise might not be able to make clothing can suddenly do so with a few clicks of a mouse, and a doctor can learn visually in online spaces nowhere near a hospital. The creative potential is enormous and allows people an unlimited amount of options pertaining to what they can do on Second Life. Creating products is just one method, how about creating a whole business? The entrepreneurial potential is there, and it’s certainly more cost effective. Artists of all kinds are drawn to Second life not only to showcase their talent, but to draw upon a whole new fan base. Holding virtual concerts, galleries, and viewings of individuals work can open up so many possibilities for real life opportunities. In my own experiences with Second Life, I have always been drawn to creativity and was excited to see if I could program something. However, the actual time it took to make objects was far more time than I initially thought, leaving my creativity somewhat crushed.

The next way users are drawn into Second Life is the ability to physically construct yourself in a way that you would want other people to see you. This is the most blatantly obvious example of cultural hegemony, where the media depicts what is acceptable and what is attractive in terms of appearance. In a sea of other people inhabiting Second Life and virtual communities everywhere it’s important to set yourself apart by creating a customized appearance because “the avatar we choose to be becomes part of our online identity” (Cohen).

There are three ways in which players can showcase their identity through appearance on Second Life: 1) to follow your own personal appearance as closely as possible 2) to deviate extraordinarily from any real world physical ties 3) to create a hybrid of these two to portray the user as a little of each. For example with my own avatar it made a slight transition from start to now, where I started out trying to make my avatar look exactly like myself. I found that a lot of the customization was a little tricky to master and it was hard to distinguish the face enough from the default settings so I had a hard time trying to recreate my own features. I then picked up several body parts and objects along my travels and my avatar got a little more customized but still did not look like me. I decided to settle on the tall long blonde hair as a consolation, and accessorised with things I would actual wear. I feel like my avatar is a glamorized version of myself; where my physical traits in real life show up on my avatar yet the actual facial construction was not the same. I stuck to trendy ripped skinny jeans, large heeled wooden platform shoes, and a bohemian inspired long sleeved printed belly short topped off with star shaped sunglasses for fun. Where I would wear these in real life, I don’t, and the meaning of that is up in the air. Generally, I stayed mostly true to my own identity, and didn’t dress or represent myself in a dramatically different way.

Librariandreamer’s blog tells us that “to edit the presentation of the ‘self’ is part of human interaction” and I felt that I had to create and edit my appearance because it was a way for people to take my identity seriously, and to become involved with other people who are also searching for a new identity. I feel like that for some people, Second Life is just that; a second life where one could escape from their reality to become something that they aren’t because it is new and exciting and is a way to be someone who you always wanted to be. The appeal to embody an identity that is far beyond your own is certainly attractive, and the ability to physically portray yourself in the most attractive way and to finally be able to live up to media’s standards is something that would draw most people in at least to experience it.

The last area that would draw people into Second Life as culture creators would be the freedom it emits for all the avatars. Second Life is known for not having any real life laws or government involved which is the basic premise behind most people interacting in this world for entertainment purposes. In a world where anything is possible, you can be anything or anyone you ever wanted to be or look like and where you can actually fly, there is something intoxicating about having no rules or authority governing your actions. The next aspect of freedom that anyone can appreciate is of course money. Financial gain is a major feature in the attraction to Second Life, where avatars can collect Linden dollars in exchange for real world currency. Using Second Life’s entrepreneurial creative aspects, users can create products and items and then sell them to other users for these Linden dollars, then trade them all in for an American cheque.

Another aspect I find so fascinating is how some users escape into Second Life to pursue career options or interests they have in real life; this includes having a business, owning an island, and even changing gender altogether, which people might not be able to experience otherwise. Matusitz says that “web users are oftentimes performers, deliberately altering their identity. Indeed, one of the characteristics of the Internet is that it has been associated with freedom of self-invention, such as intentional gender swapping”, this quotation shows that the freedom available in virtual communities can be seen as a catalyst for identity switching, giving people the choice to create whichever identity they want to embody as a way to express themselves and their individuality. To tie into this I will be referencing Robin Ashford, who created a male avatar and a female avatar as a social experiment, wanting to see if either avatar was treated differently by other players. Interestingly enough, her findings showed that as a male avatar she was taken more seriously and felt she could finally portray her true self without being judged on her “ladylike-ness.” The best part about this experiment wasn’t her findings per se, but that at the end of her post she apologizes for tricking people into believing she was a male in real life since she portrayed one on Second Life (Ashford). This definitely relates to the online identity as a performance, and how gender swapping is a form of freedom experienced by many users. The idea that a man feels like he is supposed to be stereotypically “manly”, physically attractive and rough, is a hegemonic idealization created by the media. Therefore, when someone who is a woman portrays a male avatar, I find it interesting that she is apologizing for doing so, when there are no rules saying you have to play as your own gender or even race. Media has told us how to behave and any variation from that learned norm is to go against the Social Learning Theory and the media as an “outcast” or “trickster” which is fascinating.

Second Life is a social networking site, a support group, a chat room, a business conference, and a political sphere all rolled into one. The multifaceted nature of this type of online community allows for so many people to find a personal use for it at all ages. One of the best aspects for avatars of this virtually rendered space is the “ability to visualize their social world” (Boyd, 122) and to be able to see the physical embodiment of another avatar’s ideal identity. People are also using Second Life as a means to be their own cultural producers, Cox et al call this being a Prosumer (13) and it allows avatars to create these products and sell them back in the community, starting a circle of mass consumption and production which adds to the idea that cultural hegemony is apparent in Second Life.

Identity is something that is constantly created and shown in a variety of ways. What if you could escape to an online world where you could be a multimillionaire, an astronaut, own an island, fly or even switch genders without violating society’s norms via the Social Learning Theory? It has been shown that identity can be created for a number of reasons online, and how we construct our own is how evidently we would like other people to view us. Whether we are using Second Life as a means of escape, entertainment, creativity, or freedom it is evident that each person has their own reasons to become involved blurring the lines between virtual worlds and real worlds (Siemens). These are just some of the attractions to create online or alternate identities, and shows us how our wants and need for social acceptance through appearance or success - online or off - has been instilled into us by the media, and the desire to fit into hegemonic norms. Thus, the Social Learning Theory is present in Second Life, letting users participate in cultural hegemony by creating and consuming goods to adhere to a preconceived social standard set forth by the media.

19 February, 2011

The Shadow - A Short Story

The Shadow - A Short Horror Story by Clover


“I can’t thank you enough for coming over Jen, this storm is horrible!” Mrs. Trey said as she hurried down the stairs to greet me. Mr. Trey smiled as he closed the door behind us – wind whipping violently outside - and proceeded to pick up a piece of note card that was on the front hall table.

“This is our emergency contact information,” he handed the paper to me, “we’ll only be gone a few hours, the party is only a few blocks away so call if you need anything.”

“I just put Jack down; the baby monitor is in the kitchen and the bottles are in the fridge. Other than that help yourself to whatever else may be in there,” Mrs. Trey laughed softly as she fastened her earrings and slipped her black heels on, “we won’t be later than midnight, this storm is supposed to get worse.”

Mr. Trey put his hand on his wife’s back, and gently ushered her towards the door. “Oh!” He turned around and fished through his pockets, “here’s $20 for the pizza, and we asked to have it delivered for 9:30pm.” He winked once as they turned and headed into the wind outside.

After the Trey’s had hustled to their car, I smiled. This was the first babysitting job I’ve had in over a month and it would be so nice to be able to have some spending money again. I loved sitting for the Treys; the baby was always asleep and I had to do little more than eat pizza and watch sitcom reruns until midnight.

I headed upstairs just to see Jack; I wanted to see if he wanted a bottle before I sat down to watch Seinfeld. He has a condition where he is unable to cry, so he makes really cute murmuring sounds instead when he wants something so you have to listen carefully. I peeked into the crib and lightly stroked my finger on his cheek which startled him awake. Jack huffed and gurgled, but closed his eyes again, and was asleep before I could even leave to grab him a bottle.

An hour later I was watching Kramer swim the East River when the wind really started to go crazy. I muted the T.V. and got up to pull the curtains aside so I could watch. The sky was pitch black even for October and the lamps outside cast billowing shadows that seemed to move with the wind. The streetlamp on the Trey’s lawn caught my eye as it seemed to flicker; the light sputtered sporadically then ceased, leaving the shadows to hide in the dark. I watched as a lamp on the end of the street died, then the one beside that one, and one by one I watched as each streetlight was seemingly blown out leaving the block in darkness.

The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I looked at the fallen leaves outside collect into a mass as the wind pounded against the house, beating the windows like a battering ram so hard I thought they would shatter into me. I didn’t like the feeling of this at all, something seemed off. The lights inside the house twinkled as they wavered - then silently went out - leaving me standing alone in the shadows, cast by a slight glow through the window from the moon. Goosebumps formed as I gingerly ran my fingers down my neck, as I casually laughed out loud. I hated the dark; I was scared of it. I had never heard the wind like this before, or felt such unease.

I decided to call the Trey’s to ask where they kept their candles or flashlights, while the soundtrack of the wind still thrashed against the windows. I felt my way around the living room to the front hall where Mr. Trey left the emergency contact information, bumping myself against the couch or a chair a few times. I grabbed the phone on the way from its cradle and scooped up the paper, holding it up in front of the side-window of the front door to read the number scrawled in ink. I turned the phone on to hear silence – the line was out. I swore out loud as I turned my head to look out the tiny window. The moon lit the driveway as I noticed something being blown outside by the wind, a black cloud. Was that a shadow or an animal? It disappeared as my heart started to race.

As I set the phone and card down on the table it caught my eye again, a black shadow being carried by the wind towards the front door. Something was definitely there - it wasn’t a shadow - and I caught a glimpse of what looked like eyes before it dissipated into the howling wind again. I took a few deep breaths and tried to calm my heart now thundering in my chest. “Impossible” I said to myself, the last of the air escaping my lips as I searched for any explanation that came to my head. I backed up into the hall, away from the window as a swelling black mass came up the front steps and onto the porch. The wind screamed and pounded the front door like a rabid animal trying to break in. I jolted farther away from the door, now my slight discomfort had escalated to blinding panic.

The house shook as the wind slammed again and again into the door, I fell to my knees and gripped the wood threshold as I witnessed the doorknob turning. I yelled out as the door flung opened and slammed itself back, smashing the side window as the wind hurled the glass into me. A frightening, deafening shriek came from the open door, and I had to throw my head in my hands and cover my ears. Wind and black rushed into the house, carrying leaves and glass shrapnel like a freight train. All I could do was lay in a crumpled heap listening to my heart roar, and feeling the dripping sensation of my blood trickling down my skin. My body was paralyzed, the wind holding me down as I heard a sound that filled me with absolute terror - It was a baby’s scream for help.

I forced my legs to work and started climbing on all fours up the stairs, the wind and debris pummelling me to stay on the ground; I had to turn my head to keep from having glass thrown into my eyes. A black cloud at the top of the stairs blasted my ear drums like a jet engine, a mouth forming in an open gape and charged for me. I yelled out as it passed through me in a swirl of black, filling my lungs and making me feel tingly. I punched and kicked the air as I struggled for control over my legs. I ran up the stairs while the glass was flying into me like darts, I tried to shield my face as I looked down to see my skin open and blood streaming down my arms and felt the hot, familiar taste of blood fill my mouth.

I threw open Jack’s door to find the windows blown out, and Jack bright red and screaming for me. He was somehow screaming on the top of his lungs as he was engulfed by the black cloud, holding him up and swirling around him. I ran full speed into the cloud throwing my whole weight onto it as I fell on top of the baby trying to protect him using my body as a barrier. The crib seemed to levitate before it exploded, sending the baby and me hammering into the wall and dropping onto the floor.

I was in the fetal position with jack pushed into my chest, my body wrapped around him. I felt my legs lifting up, and I heard my back cracking and being slashed, my clothes tearing off my body like they were being ripped off by clawed hands. Then as soon as it started it stopped – and all I saw and felt was black.


“Ok, do you mind telling me exactly what happened, Paul is it?” The young officer had her notebook out and her pen was furiously scribbling.

“Ya it’s Paul,” Paul was looking at the ground, “like I said, an order came in earlier tonight for a plain cheese pizza to be delivered here for 9:30pm for the babysitter, I was told she had cash so I didn’t bring the debit machine. I got here a little later than I should have, I got lost, I'm a new driver and I took Fairview Street instead of Fairview Road.”

“So you got here what time would you say?” The officer jotted down everything; you never know what will be important in an investigation.

“A little after 10pm. I pulled up to the house and knocked on the door. I must have stood there for 5 minutes and no one answered, I figured the babysitter was just mad I was so late so she wasn’t answering the door. If it’s more than 20 minutes late my boss gives the pizza for free, and I knew someone was home because all the lights were on, so I just put it on the porch and left.” Paul looked at me, “If I knew this was going to happen I would have called you guys myself, I get stiffed all the time so I thought nothing of it.”

“It’s okay Paul. If you think of anything else please let us know.” The officer turned and headed towards the squad car. The illumination from the streetlamp outside the Trey’s house allowed her to add a few last minute notes. The Chief walked up to her cruiser and handed his own notebook to her.

“I have the parent’s statements here. They said the babysitter was always great and it didn’t seem like her to take off. So we’ll put a cruiser by her house in case she comes home later tonight.” He scratched his head. “Just another flakey teen I guess, taking off to do something more exciting on a Saturday night. Apparently they had to unlock the door to get in, and they noticed she was gone; she must have had a spare key to lock up when she left. All the lights were on, the television was on, and the baby was sleeping away in the crib. They were relieved everything was okay, but they seem pretty worried she skipped out. Well, when she gets home we can make a report and ask her why she would leave a baby alone in a house. May as well head home and get some sleep, Kennedy.” The Chief waved as he walked over to his car and got inside.

Kennedy stood leaning on her open cruiser door watching the Trey’s holding their baby and saying goodbye to the last officer, before vanishing inside. She sighed loudly, and hoped her own teen would be more responsible when babysitting.


The Trey’s were in Jack’s room putting him into his crib, when Mr. Trey with a furrowed brow, spoke first. “It’s just not like her, Meghan. The T.V. was on for Christ’s sake, why would she do that? She loved Jack.”

Meghan scoffed. “Obviously we aren’t very good judges of character, Ross, if we trusted a girl to come into our home and up and leave a baby with a disability alone without telling anyone.” She looked down into the oak crib and smiled at Jack, tenderly adjusting his sleeping hat.

“What’s that?” Ross said, as he caught a glimpse of something. He leaned in and pushed the hat back with his thumb. “Meg, was this always here? Did Jack always have a birthmark above his ear?”

“That is strange isn’t it,” Meghan bent down closer to study the black mark, slightly bigger than a nickel, above Jack’s ear. “I guess that’s the wonders of newborns, you’re always learning something about them.” Meghan and Ross kissed Jack’s head as he slept, flicked the light off and closed the door. As they walked down the stairs Meghan proceeded into the kitchen, rambling about responsibility as she left Ross’s sight. Something glimmered and caught his eye and he stopped in the hall to kneel down to pick it up. He studied it as he turned it over in his fingers. He shrugged and stood up, putting the small piece of glass on the hall table. Meghan was still talking from inside the kitchen, “First thing tomorrow we are calling Jennifer’s parents; I want to give her a piece of my mind as soon as she gets home.”

Jennifer never came home.

11 February, 2011

The Raven - A Short Story

Anne was a good kid.

She was a firecracker; always bouncing off the walls and laughing... She had a god laugh. You know, the kind that you can hear down the block. It sounded like a hyena and a cough at the same time.. It really was a weird laugh.

It's just as weird seeing her lying here, listless, like she barely had enough energy to open her eyes. Her mother and I worried so much when she started chemo... We didn't know if she could handle it, especially after the way she reacted.

It's just so different seeing her like this. She looks like a manequin form a store - she hasn't moved more then her arms to reach a glass of water in hours. She hasn't smiled in days... Weeks.

I don't know what else to do.

I didn't know how to tell them.

I know my job isn't easy.. You have to do things you don't want to do everyday.

I've done this before, but, it doesnt make it any easier. It makes it harder. Everytime I tell somebody it's like I don't know what to say.

How do you tell somebody something like this?

I walked into the room, and stood before the family, watching Anne laughing as her dad try to "steal her nose", and her mother watching them with a smile on her face.

They had come in for a routine checkup - Anne had been feeling ill lately - and came in for bloodwork about a week before.

"I bet it's low iron" Doug had said.

I stepped up to them as they glanced up to me. I wasn't going to waste anymore time, I was just going to tell them.

"It's probably just the flu" Ashley had said.

"It's cancer" I said.

I wanted to smile as I remembered.

It was this past October, a lot of the birds were starting to fly south for the winter.

I was outside sitting on the back porch with a little bag of bird seed my mom brought home for the bird feeder.

I was feeling kinda of bad, so i had gone outside for some fresh air.

I had been feeling funny lately. I was tired a lot, and my hands hurt in the mornings.

I was grabbing some seeds from the bag and gently scattering them onto the small strip of grass we had. It was never much fun to play outside.

There were a few birds that had noticed what I was doing and started pecking the seeds from the ground. A sparrow, a few brown speckled ones, one with yellow...

Then out of nowhere a big black bird swooped down and scared the other birds away. It stood there eating and I watched. I sprinkled some more and he hardly flinched even though I was so close to him. Finally the bag was empty, and when the bird had eaten everything he looked at me with yellow eyes.

He flew away. I knew I probably would not see him again.

I closed my eyes.

We had just gotten back from the doctors office.

I knew it wasn't serious but Doug wanted to be sure... You know how he worries.

She was in the car looking out the window silently as we pulled into our driveway.

"Common hunnie" He said lovingly.

Anne smiled and hoped out of the back seat, took her daddy's hand and they made their way up the steps to the front door.

I smiled too. I looked over at the for sale sign blowing in the wind.

Our house was a little small. We were planning on moving soon. I was 2 weeks pregnant and we needed a bigger place for our family.

The birds were marvelous here. Alwys bright and colourful, always singing. It was such a beautiful house. Beautiful neighbor hood.

I grabbed my purse and was about to shut the car door when I saw something.

It was a big, black feather. It was fluttering down from the sky, like an enigma.

I had never seen ravens around here.

It frightened me.

"You coming Ash?" Doug yelled from the porch.

I looked at the feather that landed in front of my feet... like it meant to land there.

"Ya, I'm coming." I yelled.

I shut the door and quickly walked inside.

I held Ashley until she had stopped crying.

We were in our room at home, still realing after hearing Anne's bloodwork results 4 days ago.

Ashley got up and went to call her mother, Anne's grandmother, "It's about time we told everyone," she had said.

The shock was still great. I got up and walked to the window, looking outside.

The for sale sign was gone.

We can't afford to move anymore... not with medical bills coming.

All of a sudden a huge black thing flew right up to the window and landed on the windowsill.

Yellow eyes pierced me.

I felt a pang of fear, but only for an instant, and it was gone.

I'm lying here.

My parents are downstairs talking to the doctors.

I know what they are saying, I hear the nurses last night.

It has spread into my brain. The doctor told the nurses the chemo stopped working, and my body was becoming tolerant of the radiation.

6 years isn't a long time.

I should have 70 more.

My eyes were glassy as I stared out the window from the hospital bed.

Something caught my eye.

That big black bird. The one with the yellow eyes. It was looking right at me.

Only it wasn't outside.

It was perched above my closet door.

It stared into me.

I started to get tired.

I closed my eyes.

Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'


Bleak December - A Short Story

I walked up to the church door.

God I loved the smell of freshly fallen snow.

It was grey out, cold, I got to the main door and I stopped.

I remembered I was so lonely. Something hit me.

I was overcome with bitterness.

How dare he.

I waited in the closet.

It was so dark.

I was afraid to turn on the light.

I heard footsteps.

Julie was such a sweet woman... How could I have done this to her.

I froze as the door opened, afraid to move, afraid to breathe.

"Hi sweetie," she said cheerfully, "did you have a productive day while I was at work?"

She walked over to him and kissed his cheek - he still smelled like me.

"Ya baby, i missed you."

That liar.

She turned and started to leave.

I couldnt help it.

I sneezed.

I met her at the beach.

I used to go down there all the time at night. To get away.

I loved my wife but lately I couldnt stand being around her.

She was laughing - skipping the the water - playing with her dog who was playfully chasing her.

She looked like a goddess.

Her dog came up to me that night. We spent the whole night talking.

I hid my ring in my pocket that first night.

I ended up telling her I was married a few months later.

We kept seeing each other. I knew it was wrong.

I didn't care.

I don't believe in hell.

We met at church 8 years ago.

I always went to church.

I sat in the front row, he was in the choir.

We used to make eye contact the whole service.

He had such a beautiful voice. Like an angel.

The choir sang at our wedding. The ceremony was wonderful.

I was so happy. He used to sing for me.

He stopped singing lately.

God won't forgive me.

Not after what I've done.

She found me, and ended up leaving him.

That made me happy.

We've been together for a year now.

He stopped going to church when we met.

He says he doesn't believe. I'm ok with that.

As happy as I am, I have sinned so great.

I will never forget Julie.

She was such a sweet woman.

I'm so Lonely.

I never felt this.

As I stood on the cobblestone pathway leading to the church's door, sunday visitors walked by me, nudged me with their shoulders as they walked past.

I have gone to this church all my life.

27 years I have walked up these steps into the door.

I was always happy.

It was cold for December.

I turned around and walked back down the cobblestone path, away from the church.

I walked past the side walk.

A family was on their way to church, dressed in their Sunday best. Singing and laughing.

I walked off the curb.

The father took his eyes off the road for a split second to smile at his wife, who looked lovely.

She screamed a second later.

Too late.

Horror Haunted - A Short Story

A little dity I whipped up when I was on my horror story kick.

"Hey! that's not fair!!" I laughed, as Todd ran off ahead of me, hidding playfully in the hanging curtains.

The fair was his idea, he always wanted to go, but his mom wouldn't let him. Apparently she said the place was too dangerous since the rides are so sketchy looking.

Marie was always so paranoid about everything, she was always in a bad mood. I heard Todd's dad Mark was always threateningto leave her.

But she died last march, and the carnivals are always here during halloween, so Todd finally said he'd go.


"I'm coming!" I said, and tried to feel around in the darkened room full of dead ends.

I got to the part where I last saw him.

There was a wall.

"Was this always here?" I wondered out loud


No answer...


I heard knocking.

Where was that girl?

"Yoo hoo... Karen?" I didn't get a response back. Someone definately was knocking on something.

This was getting weird. I had a weird feeling in my stomache. I started running around the mirrored and covered maze, trying to find the exit. I saw a glowing red sign up ahead.


It dimly glowed.

"What the... Where the hell am I?"

I turned around at the hallway I just came from.

It was gone. Replaced with another sign.



I walked out of the hall of mirrors hoping Todd would meet me out there since we lost each other inside.

No, no one was there.

Not just Todd, but... anybody. The carnies were not there, there were no people...

The grounds were pretty much empty.

It started to rain, and I started to get worried.

I remembered he had his cell phone on him, so i took out mine and dialed, hoping to hear his ring from inside.

"This number does not exist. Please try your call again."

"What?" I said, "That's impossible... I just called you an hour ago..." I muttered to myself.

I sat and waited.

I waited 2 hours and no one came out. I figured he must have come out a different way and not seen me.

Maybe he went home. I'll call his house tomorrow.

I walked home, all the while having a really creepy feeling.


I woke up this morning in a great mood.

The trees were shades of reds, purples.. It was beautiful. I love fall.

I walked downstairs and found breakfast was made, and the kitchen was clean - for once - and the newspaper was on the table.

"Morning babydoll," My husband Mark smiled sweetly up pouring orange juice for me. "You sleep ok?"

I smiled at him and nodded. He sat down to eat when the phone rang.

"I'll get it" I said, as I picked up the phone.


"........" Silence was on the other end, "Um... hello.. I'm sorry, I think i called the wrong number."

"Oh?" I questioned. There was a girl on the other line, that sounded like she had seen a ghost. "Who were you looking for?"

"Um, Todd, Todd Jackson?" She sounded very confused.

"This is the Jackson house..." I started to wonder what was wrong with this girl.

"I'm sorry, this will seem very rude... but who am I speaking to?"

"This is Marie? Who is this?" There was silence on the other end. The girl then told me her name and became silent again. I became very uneasy about this girl on the other end of the phone.

"Marie Jackson? Is your husband's name Mark? Do you have a son named Todd and a daughter named Jenifer?" She sounded almost hysterical.

"Yes... my name is Marie Jackson, I do have a husband and daughter by those named, but I don't have a son. I'm sorry you must have the wrong number after all. Please don't call here again." I hung up the phone.

"Honey, who was it?" Mark asked.

"I'm not sure, someone named Karen. Wrong number."


I had the weirdest day at work.

The fair was leaving soon, and everyone was called in to help. It was my day off. I hate that.

So there I am, sweeping the pathways when this kid runs up to me out of breath.

She screams something to me about the mirror hall, and asks if I'd seen another kid, who was here yesterday about her age.

I told her I only worked Wedensdays because I have another job to save up for college. Pays me more then this place ever could.

She screamed at me to go into the mirror hall and something about her friend not coming home.

I just told her listen, I work this gig part time, once a week, I don't know anything about yoru friend. All I know is I'm getting paid $8.25 an hour to sweep peanuts from the stairs.

She was freaking out, threatened to call the police. Said I kidnapped this kid.

What a nut. I ended up calling the police on her, they took her home.

We don't need more freaks here that aren't even getting paid for it.


Todd is still missing.

After the police took me home that day my parents made me see a shrink. They told me I had problems I needed to work out.

The fair packed up and left soon after. I haven't heard from Todd since that day.

It's like he just vanished and everyone forgot he existed. Even his parents.

My doctor told me the Jacksons never had a son. Todd was never a real person, that I made it all up in my mind due to some traumatic issues I must have had as a child.

No one reembers Todd, no one from school... nobody. How is this even posible? I ask myself that every day.

It's been a year since it's happened and I've made peace with it. Theres nothing I can do to change anything even though I don't understand it.

I sighed and flopped onto my bed. My cell phone starts to buzz.

"That's weird." I havent had many friends since everyone thought I was crazy.

I couldn't find my phone! Where was it? It stopped buzzing.

"Ahh hear it is." It was under a pile of papers on my desk. I looked at the phone, there was one new text message.

it only said one word.


09 February, 2011

5 Things you Wouldn’t Believe Happened to Me - But Did

This blog is split into parts. The overall title is called:
5 Things you Wouldn’t Fucking Believe Happened to me - but Did

Miniblog Series 1: It’s a Man’s World, Baby

In case I have never been clear about myself let me make myself perfectly clear now: I am a female geek. I mean, I know there are geekier women out there but I'm pretty geeky. I’ve always been drawn to nerdy shit; My dad used to get Nintendo products through his work when I was just a kid, like 5, and I remember having two of those old grey brick Gameboys and all the games for SNES.

When I was growing up I played mad video games. I would play them all the time. And as a girl, I was asked to go to the mall a lot, or I was called on the phone, sleepovers etc. I had female priorities, but I also had instinctual ones; namely pwning mad noobs. I remember getting the new Zelda Majora’s Mask when it came out, and I was obsessed. I was dating some dumbass at the time and he had called my house and asked for me, and my mom came down to the basement (nerd lair) to get me. This is literally how the conversation went:

Mom - “It’s for you, it’s whatshisface.”

Me – I'm busy

Mom – What do I tell him then?

Me – Tell him I'm busy (playing Majora’s Mask, never looking up once)

Mom – But what do I tell him you’re busy doing?

Me – Playing Zelda

Mom – I can’t tell him that

Me – Then hang up

I have no idea if my mom hung up or said something because I just heard her walk up the stairs. I'm pretty sure that was the last time that guy called me, which was fine, because when it comes to Zelda you will lose… Every time. This is coincidentally the same conversation that would happen if you asked me to pick between Jeff Goldblum and ANYTHING ON THE PLANET.

Someone - “Oh Amanda, your house is burning down and you have the choice between saving a basket of baby animals and Jeff Goldblum”

Me – “What kind of animals?”

Someone else – “Cats”

Me – “Jeff I'm coming!

No I'm just kidding; I would’ve picked Jeff Goldblum anyway.

Anyway what was I talking about? Oh right. I have chopped this blog up into 5 pieces to talk about the 5 things you won’t believe happened to me but did.

Miniblog Story #1: The Customer

So I worked at Best Buy for a long time, a couple years or so in between university. I was kind of the Jack-of-all-Trades there, I was put into every department possible, they just hired me back on and stuck me wherever so I would have a job. Most of the time I was in the cell phone/iPod department, which is where I stayed the majority of the time I was in school. I was in school studying Communications and Information Technology, and Applied Computing. Already I was kind of setting myself up for a life of “but you’re a girl!” but that was okay with me because I knew I could do it.

The summer is a very hectic time for our computer department, because kids going back to school upgrade and buy new computers, so the employees are stretched kind of thin. Our GM knew I was into computers and going to school for them, and they just needed just another body to stand in there and grab things, but knowledge was a bonus. So one night he asked me to stay in the computer department to cover someone’s break, so I went willingly because I loved computers and I actually knew what I was talking about. It’s kind of late in the evening, maybe around 7pm, and the traffic had died down, and it was somewhat dead in the store until two older guys (mid to late 40’s) come wandering into the department. I went up to them and said hi and if they needed help.

Immediately I noticed them staring at me, I couldn’t tell what it was but I knew something was going on, so I just smiled. One of them was looking around the department and said they needed to know about some model computer we sold and I offered to take them to it and tell them more about it. The second guy looks at me and asks “You work here right?” And I said of course I did, you would be amazed at the number of times I got asked if I worked there wearing a best buy uniformed polo and khakis. The first guy, tentatively, asks if I knew anything about computers, and I said I was studying computers as part of my degree, and I am very knowledgeable. The second guy then asks if there was anyone else working in the department, without looking me in the eye the whole time. I said not at the moment, but I would be happy to help you. The first guy then uttered the words: “Is there a man here we can talk to?”

At this point I don’t remember if the look on my face said shock or disgust, so I walked to the Geek Squad room where my GM was, and right away he looked at me and said “what happened?” I explained that there were two men here who felt uncomfortable talking to a woman about computers, and they specifically asked to speak to a man.” My GM at this point said “Are you fucking kidding me?” and walked out of the Geek room. I walked to the break room and just sat there for a bit. Later that night one of the other employees commented the two men probably said that because I looked like Barbie.

That was one of the most degrading experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I felt like my self-worth was cut in half even though I could guarantee I knew more about computers then 90% of the department, most of whom were all teenage kids. It was like how I looked trumped everything else, and made me feel so small, and for the first time in my life (unknowingly not the last), I felt like the road I was on may not be the easiest road to brave, but I was going to do it anyway. And I did. In 2009 I graduated (with Honours) with a 4 year Communications and Digital Culture (formally I.T.) Degree with a minor in Applied Computing. 16 people were in my specialization, and there was just one woman. Can you guess who that was? Damn right it was me.

06 February, 2011

STAR WARS! Meant for you, which occupation is? Hmm?

My job is a bag of mysteries some days - a literal Marry Poppins bag of random shit - which I love and adore. We have a chat program at work that connects everyone from every office into a big chat room, and some days it’s pretty legit, and other days it ends up being a hilarious clusterfuck of links, you tube videos, and nerd/geek references. Basically it’s heaven for geeks.

One day it was the mind blowing you tube video of Money for Nothing with Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits, Sting, Eric Clapton & Phil Collins… together! Mind…blown. I’ll link the page Here  in case you want to see.

Now, if I haven't explained already I work at a gaming company, so the majority if not all the employees are gamers, creatives, coders or testers; most of which are into playing games and geek stuff. So it’s safe to say we have a healthy buffet of nerdish links we share.

Star Wars is a popular topic in the office, as a few of the guys are obsessed with it, and there was a link to a quiz of sorts, to find out what career would be good for you from the Star Wars universe. So I decided to take the quiz to see what I would be, and analyze my results for you. I’ve included the link so you can also see what you would be SPOILER ALERT* (I already know the office guys are the Sith Apprentice).

Start: (I'll highlight my choices in green)


Do you consider yourself a rebel?


1) Fuck the Establishment!

2) I'm usually told when I can use the restroom


First of all if I was a rebel I would get the crap beaten out of me constantly. I can’t afford to be a rebel, my skin is too delicate. I'm not really the anarchist type, although I might be able to pull off the homemade-pike-bomb-made-out-of-a-water-bottle-thrown-into-a-library look. Unless you have to wear orange - I look better in earth colours. So I can’t actually pick rebel so I have to take the other answer even though that’s not true.


Can you Dance while shackled by the neck?


1) I will never do that again!

2) This question has made me feel cheap and dirty

3) I call that an average Tuesday


I have chosen this answer because I don’t actually dance shackled, although from what I could tell it would be pretty easy to do. Also I feel like I'm a good enough dancer I could break it down and still look fly. Plus I like to try everything once, you know what I mean?


Would you be comfortable murdering the population of an entire planet?


1) That’s totally not cool

2) As long as I could wear a big sweet helmet!


I don’t actually know what the allure of wearing a big helmet is; you’d get hat-hair, and it would probably be hot in there, maybe sweaty, and I’d imagine my makeup wouldn’t look very good once you took the helmet off. I’d have to carry a mini hair straightener with me and I refuse to do that. I’ll have to side with the hippies on this one, especially if the planet was cute Ewoks.


Are you comfortable with capturing people and/or aliens for money?


1) Ooloo ooloo

2) As you wish

3) Money is of no interest to me


See, I don’t really hav a problem with this one because it doesn’t say “capturing and torturing” or “capturing violently” or “holding physically against their will once captured”. So basically I'm selling people, which means I have now participated in trafficking humans/aliens. Which I’m pretty sure if a crime if not a felony of some kind. If we’re talking like, Sand People capturing of robots I’d be cool with that. Is that the risk here? I need more information.

Also, the first answer, wtf is that? Is that even a English, or is that just a sound? I didn't expect an onamonapia as an answer to something. Ewok noises don’t count as answers. The second answer makes me seem like someone’s bitch and I'm not about that either, and the third answer is just stupid. How do you support yourself without money? You know what that’s called? Being a trophy wife or homeless person. This is a tie between the random OLOLOLOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL answer and the last one, which means It’s a tie for what job I’d get.


Ewok Chief / Jedi Knight.

Firstly let me explain the disappointment with Jedi’s for being so lame, you should at least care about the money. At least TAKE the money, common! Also, how does dancing shackled once lead me to be an Ewok Chief? Ewok Chief had a rough time in his early 20’s and made a few mistakes involving a pole and some shackles I guess, let’s not judge. Also who the fuck employs an Ewok as a sex slave? Furry… lovers. OK, now this quiz is starting to creep me out.

One last thing, the “evil” result is a Sith Apprentice, which by the way I would have done 2/3’s of the things they asked me. Like “What would you do if Jar Jar tried to force his way into your social circle?” I’d spread a rumour about how he likes to wear women’s lingerie, or the next closest result in the flow chart “cut him in half.”

This flow chart was very deceiving, I didn’t even get a chance to do bong hits with Jabba. Flowchart fail. Worst. Quiz. Ever. Also now I'm picturing the Ewok with a golden sex bikini. ONCE YOU SEE IT, it can't be unseen.


05 February, 2011

Scumbag Steve Usurped my Blog

This is a new meme that everyone should know. It’s called “Scumbag Steve”, and according to Knowyourmeme.com his real name is Blake Boston and basically the meme runs around the fact that everyone knows a Scumbag Steve: a friend or acquaintance who is a scumbag.

A friend from work and I tweeted about this link (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/scumbag-steve) and were laughing, when out of fucking nowhere the real Blake Boston tweets us. This is not a lie. My original post was to make my own Scumbag meme, but this has took a hilarious turn (as is my life) and the real Blake Boston has tweeted me. I will address the progress of this first and how it started.

A friend from work, Richard, messaged me a funny meme on Twitter. This is the timeline of the tweets:

Richard messages me this:

HILARIOUS meme... http://thechive.com/2011/02/04/everybodys-least-favorite-house-guest-scumbag-steve-30-photos/

I send a tweet out after going to the link and laughing my ass off:

http://ow.ly/3QMen @richardyum GOD damn that is hilarious, #ScumbagSteve I like the arrested for stealing playboy and Doritos

I immediately got the following tweet in response:

@BlakeBoston617 Blake Boston : @Amanda_Lei @richardyum this on one of thosse memes or some knows me.just playin

I decide this guy is just a weirdo and ignore it, and decide to tweet two of my own Scumbag Steve quote, just for fun since it was a trending topic on Twitter:

#ScumbagSteve "No man, I got mad plans tonight." - Hang outside Pizza Hut Saturday night oogling 13 year olds who come in with their moms

#Scumbagsteve : Invites himself over - Eats all your watermelon

I then get yet another response from “Blake Boston” about the tweets I just sent:

@BlakeBoston617 Blake Boston : @Amanda_Lei hahahhaaa thats funin funny

I get a direct message from Richard in my inbox, and we have a small conversation that went like this:

Richard: whoa.. the REAL scumbag steve just tweeted us... feels so twilight zone yo.

Me: Lol I doubt that's him.. Equally may be a scum bag tho

So this morning I look at the tweets on my computer (I was on my blackberry before) for a closer look at Steve. This is where I looked up the meme and his real name and found out that yes, his real name is in fact Blake Boston, and he actually tweeted me. I message Richard again this morning:

Me: Lol omg I think you're right I looked up his name, it’s the same real name... Omg hahaha

Richard: OMFG

Me: I am dying laughing I'm writing a blog about it

Richard: You should marry him

Me: Ewww

I look up “Steve” aka Blake Boston’s profile on Twitter and it says: Im Blake Boston.Im from Boston. I guess Im also a meme (whatever the f*ck that is). scumbag steve. whatever. FUCK YA IM SCUMBAG STEVE.DEAL

…I have found the real Scumbag Steve everyone. And he lives in Boston for REALSIES. And of course this would happen to me.

/EDITORS NOTE/ Saturday 5pm

Scumbag Steve found my blog, and my blog comments on my personal twitter account. I will show you the jpegs of me talking to a friend, and him commenting on them.

On a different note, I decided to make up an additional meme based on a girl scumbag (everyone knows those). I have included 17 quotes from Scumbag Jenn and the original in case you would like to make and submit your own (I sense a contest coming).

Scumbag Jenn Original

Typical Friday Night for Chris

So today I am minding my own business on You Tube watching dumb videos of cats or something when my MSN goes off.

Now for those of you who don’t know, MSN is kind of like the Bat Signal, and I'm Bruce Wayne, only poor and not as good at spelunking. When the signal goes off that you have a message, you’re like “OH SHIT, it must be important”, because no one uses this shit anymore. Basically Facebook is the new black, which once was MSN. Anyway.

So I have it on 24/7 for nostalgic purposes mostly, and I have a couple friends who aren’t on Facebook/much (the HORRORS!) I talk to on there. So when the orange blinker goes off I rush to my Bat Cave and take out the BatWing on that Ma. *clicks to open*

I will now share the delight I found on the other end of this message. Please note that I would normally just close it out right away but I thought I might as well get a blog out of this. I swear to you I have not edited it in any way except pasting it on a background in Photoshop.


Chris thatguyulove says (10:18 PM)


Manda ♣ says (10:18 PM)

whos this

Chris thatguyulove says (10:18 PM)

does it matter?

i am a complete stranger

Manda ♣ says (10:18 PM)

If you’re a complete stranger then it matters how you got my e-mail and why you would message me in the first place

Chris thatguyulove says (10:19 PM)

im young and intellegent and overall a very good person

wana chat a bit?

im looking for a girlfriend, maybe

Manda ♣ says (10:19 PM)

Lol are you kidding me right now, is this a joke? how did you get my email

Chris thatguyulove says (10:20 PM)

you gave me it

i think it sometime ago, years?

im sure it was worth it if we went this far

you probably liked me

hey did you want to chat?

Manda ♣ says (10:20 PM)

uhhh sadly no. i have someone

Chris thatguyulove says (10:21 PM)

aww, well, im sorry to hear that Manda

if your not happy


Manda ♣ says (10:21 PM)

i meant sadly for you, not for me, I'm great

Chris thatguyulove says (10:21 PM)

well, don't be afraid to exercise your options

its ok.

i understand and respect you

hes a lucky guy

Chris thatguyulove says (10:22 PM)

can we still be friends?

Manda ♣ says (10:22 PM)

Lol I don’t think I want to exercise your option. I don't even know you so i dont think we were ever friends

Chris thatguyulove says (10:22 PM)


this is true Manda

but, well, I have a girlfriend also.

but a lot of the times shes really a bitch.

Chris thatguyulove says (10:23 PM)

so i just need somewhere to go and talk with


Manda ♣ says (10:23 PM)

you dont have any friends, chris?

Chris thatguyulove says (10:23 PM)

if you dont want to chat or keep me in my list thats ok

i have lots of friends, but the more the merryer

Chris thatguyulove says (10:24 PM)

merry er?

Manda ♣ says (10:24 PM)


Chris thatguyulove says (10:24 PM)

see, your making a difference

Manda ♣ says (10:24 PM)

technically i learned that in grade 1

Chris thatguyulove says (10:24 PM)

im not that stupid

come on

its a my free pass for being a ditz

Chris thatguyulove says (10:25 PM)

and now i have now more

what are you up to tonight?

ok i wont keep you

well thanks for taking the time to stop by and chat with the coolest guy in the world

Manda ♣ says (10:26 PM)

Jeff Goldblum?

Chris thatguyulove says (10:26 PM)


Manda ♣ says (10:26 PM)


good day sir

Chris thatguyulove says (10:26 PM)


Manda ♣ says (10:26 PM)


Nobody admits to not knowing Jeff Goldblum around me. Nobody. What a wack job.

-Clover out

02 February, 2011

Quote of the Day: Science

Science is unique in that its methods demand not only that the ideas proposed be tested and replicated, but everything science comes up with is also inherently FALSIFIABLE. In other words, unlike religion and politics, science has no ego and everything it suggests accepts the possibility of being proven wrong, eventually. It holds on to nothing and evolves constantly.

— Peter Johnson, The Zeitgeist Movement.

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