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The Fairy's Silver Trumpet

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Birthday Trip May. 12th, 2011 @ 07:10 pm
Meant to post this a long time ago- oops. This would've been April 28 & 29:

Feeling in a funk, I decided to visit IUP for pre-birthday celebrations and to catch up with the few (former?) HC-ers still there. DEFINITELY the right choice! It turned out to be quite the adventure.

I stayed in the apparently-occasionally-bat-infested apartment of Mike's, who had been Erin's boyfriend (Indiana, not Lakewood). No bats ensued, and I remain un-vampired.

Fortunately we caught up with Leah despite her Facebook-less-ness and watched a play she was in about discrimination on campus, where we also met Josie. I didn't expect to see long-ago TOSTafarians Sarah F. and Rachel there, so that was a pleasant surprise. Just catching up at various eating establishments was fun. Common Grounds had "The Best Book on Ponies," and indeed it was. I now know how to catch a pony should the need arise.

"Spring Awakening" was playing at Fisher, so I bought tickets. It was, um... interesting. Not really into pop music in musicals. I WANT MY CHEESY SHOWTUNES! At Whitmyre, we also saw Tim and Tom, who still seem to live in the Great Hall. The basement has been quite snazzily remodeled into a wood-paneled-and-red pool table room. I also spoke to Kevin and Dr. Goebel, which was nice, in addition to finding a fascinating book (“Making Peace with Your Past”) that really seemed to help me get out of my funk. (I’ve since gotten it from Lakewood Public Library).

The night of the 28th was a blast! Josie brought her Xbox 360 Kinect into the Fine Arts room at Whitmyre- the best one was Kinect Adventures (quite a workout), Harry Potter's wand-flicking was kind of frustrating, I felt ridiculous doing the Dance one, and "Lips" Karaoke was... a new meme, I'm sure. While attempting to sing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," the "music video" in the background was not John Denver. It was not peaceful nature scenes. No, it was an anime of giant cobras fighting over an ice cream cone, turning sparkly, learning to share, then being rewarded with giant ice cream cones falling from the sky. We could NOT stop laughing. (Because snakes vs. ice cream cones have so much in common with John Denver).
Expecting to burst out into laughter again with the video, we were surprised that a second foray into "Take Me Home Country Roads" revealed not snakes, but instead Russian dogs being sent up into space, landing on a planet full of flowers and meat, gathering said items, then returning to Earth to rain meat on grateful Earthling dogs. (“It’s rainin’ meat! Hallelujah!”)

These bizarre videos became an in-joke during the subsequent 11:30 PM trip to Eat ‘n Park. I was originally bummed that I wouldn’t be able to have ice cream due to the diet, but after midnight, it was officially my birthday/cheat day, so yay!

By the way Josie, Mike, Leah and I were laughing, I’m sure the waitress thought we were crazy drunk college students (no on both of the latter counts for me).

However, one intimidating-looking tattooed guy at the next table thought Mike was staring at him even though he wasn’t. The man was probably drunk, and later came up to the table ready for a fight, posturing and saying things along the lines of, “You starin’ at me? You some kind of faggot?” I got nervous, as it it seriously looked like Tattoo Guy was going to start swinging. I was kind of trapped between Mike and the wall, so I couldn’t really do anything besides decide that if the other guy hit first, I’d hit back (thanks, roller derby). Wisely, Leah jumped over the seat to inform the management (who didn’t do anything in the end) as Mike calmly explained to Tattoo Guy that he was going to call the police if he did anything further. The situation was tense, but dissolved when the guy thankfully left. Tattoo Guy’s muscular friend in a dark green t-shirt at his table seemed remorseful at what just happened but never actually spoke to us (but did apologize to the management- apparently they had been drinking and had just been in a serious car accident or something. Still, that’s no excuse for picking a fight in a family restaurant and using gay slurs).

Later, after all calmed down, Josie expressed how she couldn’t stand homophobia, and we all agreed (ironic, considering Leah’s recent anti-discrimination play). Mike said the guy was obviously gay (closet case), otherwise why would he think he was staring at him?

Josie purposely said very loudly so all in the vicinity could hear, “IF MEN WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH OTHER MEN, AND WOMEN WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH OTHER WOMEN, THAT’S PERFECTLY FINE!” (All the while, Green T-Shirt Friend had his head in his hands, looking very remorseful, like, “Oh my God... Oh my God...” I felt rather sorry for him, but found the whole situation pretty funny). We were reluctant to leave the restaurant until the friend left in case we were to be jumped in the parking lot. Fortunately, we got home safely.

Eventually I watched “Pete’s Dragon” at Mike’s. Good memories. The next day, I left for home. My GPS wasn’t working and I got lost (I tried to avoid the turnpike), but saw signs advertising “Daffin's, World’s Largest Chocolate Store, Home of the Chocolate Kingdom.” Intrigued, eager for some Junk Day chocolate, and lost anyway, I followed the signs. The store was a lot like Malley’s- locally made chocolate with plenty of newspaper blurbs on the wall. The “Chocolate Kingdom” was a display of some chocolate, some concrete sculptures painted brown of animals, a Ferris wheel with riding animals, a castle, and some other things. The discounted Easter chocolate hit the spot, and eventually I found my way home, almost being late to my own birthday party, partially due to being lost, leaving late, and the I-90 exit being closed.

The party itself wasn’t terribly exciting- just Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Charlie. I got a few things I wanted, but mostly not. It was very quiet. At least I had a memorable weekend at IUP, that’s for sure!

Twit-ches Jan. 15th, 2011 @ 01:00 am

  • 01:49 Dr. Bronner's seems like the Pixar of soaps. The stuff (and history behind it) sounds incredible. (Why am I excited about a SOAP?) #

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Twit-ches Jan. 12th, 2011 @ 01:00 am

  • 17:15 This is my new favorite spice combination EVER (leave out the 2 tbsp salt). It's good even when not in the dressing. bit.ly/6MTZWl #

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Twit-ches Jan. 1st, 2011 @ 01:00 am

  • 17:10 New Year's Resolution: To become totally badass. #

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Twit-ches Dec. 31st, 2010 @ 01:00 am

  • 10:02 Just heard Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" transition into "SpongeBob SquarePants." <3 ! This is the first time I've listened to 106.5 FM in years! #

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» That's what she said
I've been getting into "The Office" recently, as it's the only show that both my roommates and I really, really like (as opposed our individual tastes, which are sports/crime dramas, vampire-related shows and movies, and '60s TV shows/quirky comedies- you can guess who likes what).

Anyway, I am thoroughly amused at the amount of effort NBC put into their "Office" websites. Not just the main "official" one or the Dunder Mifflin, Dunder Mifflin Infinity, or Sabre ones, but also websites that exist within the fictional "documentary" world of the show, many of which are only featured in one episode, but are still hilarious for existing- Princess Unicorn, Dunder Mifflin Second Second Life (sadly it's gone now- I checked, which sucks, because apparently you used to be able to "talk" to the characters), Subtle Sexuality (actually based on one of the many webisodes), Pam and Jim's wedding blog, their baby blog, Andy and Angela's failed wedding website, Ryan's photo blog, Michael Scott Paper Company, Serenity by Jan Candles, and murder mystery dinner parties. There was even an episode where Pam mentions she left a favorable review for Schrute Farms on TripAdvisor, and holy $%#* it's actually there! It's not even a real place!! There's been hundreds of other funny "reviews" by fans as well.

Even some of the characters have their own blogs, which are funny in their own right- Meredith, Creed, Kevin, Twitter pages of Ryan, Kelly, and Erin, and the funniest was easily Dwight's, which was written by actor Rainn Wilson himself.

NBC doesn't even advertise these, really- people just kind of FIND them. It's fun! It seems kind of counter-intuitive as far as viral advertising goes, because the only ones discovering them are already fans (although I must admit, they're making me MORE of a fan, and I am blogging about it- perhaps that's the diabolical plan all along! Bwah hah hah!) But I'm not complaining. The fact that many have their own domain names adds to the whole "this is actually happening" feeling.

The first time I encountered something like these was before Pixar's WALL-E came out. The evil mega-corporation in the movie, "Buy n Large," had its own deliciously evil satirical website. Kudos, Pixar!

Fan sites have been doing this for years- for example, Harpies Bizarre is based on the witches' magazine on "Bewitched" and is peppered with "McMann and Tate" ads, which are apparently so "realistic" that AdBlocker blocks them (?!) so I turned it off. And the Harry Potter sites are too numerous to mention. I'm sure there's more. But I must applaud the "official" sites, even if it is viral marketing- hey, if it's advertising, it might as well be creative!
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