Wednesday, March 31, 2010
*Inside the Octagon* (aka a cage- as in cage fighting)
Colin Tu: Remind me why we’re here again, guys?
IS: It’s our turn to show you something we like to do.
Bob: Yeah. Plus, it will be good for you. You know, help you deal with those guys that pick on you at school.
Colin Tu: I don’t know… Wouldn’t you rather just play RPG…?
*Bobdonius and Interesting Steve share a glance*
IS and Bob in unison: No.
Colin Tu: (sighs) Okay. So, what do I do?
IS: Good question! I’m going to attack you, you stop me. Got it? Bobdonius, tell him what he’s doing wrong.
Colin Tu: No… I don’t know wha-
*Interesting Steve attacks! In an act of pure athletic majesty, he runs and jumps into the air, grabs Colin Tu’s head, and throws one leg around his neck while bringing the other leg up beneath Colin’s right arm. In an instant, Colin Tu is on the ground, his neck and arm firmly synched in a fully locked triangle choke*
Colin Tu: Ah, I give, I give!
Bob: See, you did two things wrong there, Colin. First, you don’t say, “I give” you “tap out” by tapping the other person’s body to let them know you quit. And second, you shouldn’t let him do that to you. Next time punch him in the face or something.
Colin Tu: Really? I don’t want to let him do that to me? Are you sure? (mumbling) stupid fighting… I’d win if I had my sword…
IS: What was that Colin?
Colin Tu: Nothing.
*Interesting Steve and Bobdonius proceed to “lay down the smack” upon Colin Tu for another half an hour*
Colin Tu: (panting) Okay guys. I tap. I’m tired of this. Can’t we do something else?
*Bob and IS laugh*
Bob: Sure, Colin. What’d you have in mind?
Colin Tu: (smiling) I’ll show you. Let me towel off real quick though.
*Colin Tu goes to his duffle bag and pulls out a towel, towels off, then pulls out a four foot long Styrofoam guarded plastic sword*
Colin Tu: (calling over his shoulder) Ready guys?
Bob: Sure, Colin.
*Colin Tu smiles and spin around, running inside the cage with his sword held high. Interesting Steve is on the mat, facing the other direction Bob starts to warn him, but is too late, Colin Tu bashes Interesting Steve on the side of the head*
Colin Tu: Bam! You’re dead!
*Colin Tu runs over to Bobdonius and proceeds to beat him atop the head with his fake sword*
Colin Tu: You’re dead, you’re dead, you’re dead! *rears his head and laughs* I’ll show you “Ultimate Fighting!” You’re puny skills are useless against my sword of MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter slaying!
IS: Colin, what the hell?
Colin Tu: No, you’re dead! *runs over and smacks Interesting Steve aside the head again* And the Ultimate Fighting Gods frown upon your weakness, and they give all your skills and all your talents to me!
Bob: You’ve got to be kidding…
Colin Tu: Well, that was fun guys!
Colin Tu: Hey guys, when we get home, do you want to play RPG?
IS: How does he always manage to ruin this?
Bob: I don’t know, dude. I don’t know…
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Colin Tu on YouTube (narrated by Drew)!
I think it's fair to say that most people in society today have noticed a trend among "pretty girls." What it is about them that causes such garish behavior is beyond me, but here's a little something based off an interaction I actually saw at the store the other day. (Rhyme added in because I felt like it, not because it happened that way)
The Pretty Girl
“Hello,” he said, as she walked by.
“Excuse me?” she said, not catching his eye.
“You’re beautiful,” he said, hoping it worked.
“That’s nice,” she said, much like a jerk.
“You’re funny and charming, what every man wants.”
“I know all of this,” she says as she taunts.
“Could we go out?” he asked with some hope.
“What do you think, you stupid dope?”
“Well that’s not very nice,” he said, his cheeks fully red.
“Neither is your face, and I’d rather be dead!”
“Forget you then!” he screamed, as she walked away.
Then she turned and smiled and said, “See you at eight.”
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Without further ado... here is my story: Appearances
His last shower and shave had been over a week ago. His hair was mangy, his beard unruly. The clothes he wore hadn’t been laundered in twice as long. He didn’t feel like the type of person he knew he appeared to be, but that hardly mattered to most people.
Modest Victorian homes lined the street, shaded by black walnuts, hemlocks, poplars, and a smattering of other trees. Most of the lawns were neatly manicured already, he’d bypassed those. This yard looked like it could use a trim, and a few hours of work with the bushes and planters that surrounded the immaculate white house.
He rang the doorbell.
A woman was talking inside, most likely on the phone, by the sound of it.
The door opened.
A woman in her mid-thirties stood there. She was well dressed, wearing golden earrings, and had her hair done as if she were going somewhere.
“May I help you?” she held a phone by her shoulder and eyed him with a disdain he’d gotten used to lately.
“I wondered if you needed some help with your yard.”
“No, we’re fine, thank you.” She moved to close the door.
“Only a few dollars, please.” He’d never been much of a salesman. “I’ll mow the lawn, trim the bushes, pull weeds; anything you can have me do.”
She hesitated and looked at him again, differently this time. She put the phone to her ear. “Jill, I’ll call you back in a few minutes.”
“My husband usually takes care of the yard.”
Fairly typical in a neighborhood where the homeowners had enough to pay him for a little work, but not enough that they’d have a lawn-service company over every week. “Well, if you can.”
She nodded, still standing just inside the door, still measuring him. Whatever she saw in him must have put her at ease. “I’ll open up the garage for you.”
He smiled. At least that much about him didn’t set people off. “Thank you, Miss.”
“It’s Sandy. You?”
She led him to the garage and opened it. “Mower and weed whacker.” She pointed to each. “And gas, if you need it. I’ll be inside when you’re done.”
He nodded and she wandered back to the house.
Most people didn’t expect someone who dressed, looked, and smelled, like a bum, to do a very good job. He liked ruining people’s expectations.
He spent the next hour mowing the lawn into a perfect checkerboard pattern, then went to work on the hedges. He was meticulous; every blade of grass, every clipping got taken care of.
While he was weeding a flowerbed along the porch he caught Sandy watching him through the window. He smiled and continued to work.
People didn’t expect much from him, but that didn’t stop him from doing his best to make sure their yards looked better than they ever had before. It was late afternoon by the time he finished. He stepped back and looked at his handiwork and then looked to the other houses on the street and smiled to himself.
“Finished,” he said when she opened up the door.
The look on her face this time was very different than when he first rang her doorbell: kind, with a hint of pity. “How much do I owe you?”
He shrugged. “Whatever you think is fair.”
She looked him up and down, and then looked at her yard, then back at him again. “Do you want to come in and get cleaned up? I could get you something to drink. You must be thirsty.”
“I could use a drink, if it’s not too much trouble. But I don’t imagine you’re husband would be pleased to have a random man in his house.”
“Nonsense, it’ll be fine. You worked hard. Come in and get washed up.”
“He’ll be home soon?”
“Will your husband be home soon?”
She checked her watched. “In about thirty minutes. Why?”
He nodded. “I’d love to get washed up. Do you mind if I wait until he gets back? I won’t be any trouble. I’ll just sit on here on the porch.”
Sandy ran her fingers through her glossy brown hair. “Well aren’t you a special breed?”
“I don’t like causing other people problems, that’s all. I realized there are certain lines not to cross that make this easier.”
“That makes sense. Well, let me go grab you something to drink at least and I’ll sit out here with you until he gets back. Or would that be crossing a line?” She winked at him and he loosened up a little.
“That should be fine.”
She returned with a tall glass of ice water, which she gave to him, then took a seat on one of the porch’s rocking chairs. “Have a seat.”
He did and drank from the glass slowly, enjoying the cold running down his throat.
“So, Aaron. Do you mind if I ask a question?”
“You’re what, twenty-five?”
“Twenty-two,” he corrected her.
She raised an eyebrow. “Okay, you’re twenty-two. You’re obviously a hard worker. What happened? How’d you end up… well, like this?”
He took a sip and sat in silence for a minute, not sure how to answer, or if he wanted to. “Life.”
“Not the type to open up much, are you?”
“Well, I’m sorry life has put you here.”
She laughed rubbed the back of her neck. “I don’t know. Seems you deserve more, that’s all.”
“Could be nice,” he admitted. “But I’ll take what I can get. Besides, it’s not bad. I make enough to get by, that’s more than a lot of people these days. You take happiness where you can find it.”
Sandy stared off and said quietly, “Special breed, indeed.” After a minute she snapped back. “How do you do it?”
“I don’t know a single person on this street that isn’t some kind of miserable. Jobs they hate, marriage problems, or just little things. But they’ve all got nice homes, food, clean clothes; they’ve got everything they need. You show up looking like last weeks garbage, no offense, and you’re like… well, you.”
This time he laughed. “I’ve got my worries and problems. Just none of them seem that important when you’re busy trying to stay alive. It’s not like I don’t wish I was in a better spot, or had more, but right now life’s dealt me a different hand.”
“You don’t seem like the homeless type.”
“You know many homeless people?”
Her eyebrows scrunched together. “I guess not.”
“Then how do you know?”
“Well, usually they don’t do anything. They don’t go find jobs and work; they just beg and wait for handouts.”
“Do you think they start that way? Do you think that’s what they want? Some of them maybe, but a lot of them are just people who fell on hard times, or who put themselves in hard time and don’t know how to get out, so they give up. A lot of them try really hard. They go out and do whatever they can. Do you think I went to college for yard care?”
“You went to college?”
He nodded again.
“So what happened?”
“I got a job, things didn’t work out. Some other stuff in my life fell apart when that happened and I ended up doing this.”
“Well that’s a detailed explanation.”
Instead of responding to what she said, he decided to ask a question of his own. “Why are you all dressed up? I thought you were going out at first. Did you just get back from something when I came?”
“What? No. I just like feeling pretty sometimes, that’s all.”
“Maybe I just feel like being grungy sometimes.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Could be why I’m like this.”
They spent the next twenty minutes talking. She asked questions, he answered them without giving any useful information about himself. She pressed; he resorted to dry comedic responses. She gave up on questions and started talking about herself.
A blue Toyota sedan pulled up, cutting off one of her stories. “Just a second, let me talk to him.” She stood up and walked to the car. “Hey, sweetie!”
Aaron watched from the porch as Sandy’s husband got out of the car. He looked confused at first, and then they both turned so he couldn’t see anything but some tense body language. Chirping birds were enough to drown out their muffled voices.
Sandy’s husband was a bald, gruff looking man. He came up and looked Aaron up and down. “You look like you could use a shower.” Probably word for word what Sandy had told him to say.
He nodded. “Probably.”
“Let’s get you inside.”
Sandy came up behind her husband and smiled. “I told you it would be ok. Maybe I could throw your things in the laundry while you shower? Tim has some old clothes you could wear.”
“I don’t want to be any trouble…”
“No trouble,” Tim said.
Aaron showered, leaving his clothes and bag to be cleaned by Sandy in the meantime. He came downstairs in some old basketball shorts and a t-shirt; both were too small for him.
“In here,” Sandy called from the other room.
He followed her voice into the kitchen. The smell of sautéed onions filled the air. “I should have had him give you a razor to use.”
“Oh, that’s okay. It feels nice to be clean. Clothes are a little tight, though.”
In the dinning room adjacent to the kitchen sat a polished, baby grand piano. He stared at it for a minute, trying to decide if he should ask to play it.
“Do you play?”
“Play us something,” Tim said from behind him.
He pulled out the piano bench. Soft, brown velvet, well padded, barely used. He lifted the cover off the keys and let his hands rest on them. They were cool, smooth, perfect. He tested a chord, and then did a slow scale; almost perfectly in tune.
In a moment he’d stepped back from himself, away from himself, and let his fingers touch the keys. They didn’t move fast, what they played wasn’t complex, but they evoked every possible ounce of emotion the piano had to offer. He’d never been much of a pianist. He lacked the technical skill and musical understanding of better pianists. But the feel of the keys, how each note wanted to sound, that was something he’d always understood.
He played a song with his eyes closed, one he’d written six years ago. When he opened them, Tim was standing next to him. “You need to do something with that talent.”
Aaron smiled a weak forlorn smile. “I just did.”
Tim shook his head. “No, I mean it. You need to make a CD or something.”
“It’s not that simple.” He’d wanted to do something with his music since he first started writing it. But while he was good, he wasn’t great. And in a day where thousands of people uploaded songs onto the internet all the time, being a mediocre pianist who had a special touch on the keys just wasn’t a winning equation.
“Actually…” Sandy stepped up beside her husband. “Well, let’s talk about that in a minute. I made some corn chowder. I know you’re both hungry.”
The chowder was incredible. Much better than anything Aaron usually scrapped by on.
“Where’d you learn to play?” Sandy said.
“I took lessons for a couple of years when I was a kid.”
“Only a couple of years?” Tim said.
“I took lessons for five years and I can’t play that well.”
“Good teacher, I guess.”
Tim looked at him, weighing him. “Sandy said you went to college?”
“What was your degree in?”
“And you’re mowing lawns and scrapping by?”
Sandy touched her husband’s arm. “Leave him alone, honey.”
For some reason Aaron felt he could open up now. It wasn’t that he was shy, or nervous, he just didn’t talk about himself usually. He’d put himself in an interesting situation most people didn’t understand. But right now, he didn’t mind doing a little explaining.
“I don’t get it, Aaron,” Tim said. “You’re obviously a hard worker, you’re smart, and you’re talented. Hell, behind all that dirt, you’re even a good looking kid. Why are you going door to door working for scraps?”
“I felt like it.”
“Do you want some help?” Sandy asked.
“You’ve been very nice already.” Aaron smiled. “Thank you.”
She pushed on. “I have a friend who does music stuff. Organizes concerts, that kind of thing. Can I talk to her about you?”
Aaron laughed. “I don’t see how I could stop you.”
“I’m serious. I want to help you with this. Can I?”
He thought about it. It was almost too tantalizing to touch. Failure, disappointment was something he didn’t handle easily. Not again.
She must have seen the hesitation in him. “I’m sorry. I’m not trying to push you. I just… everyone deserves a chance.”
Tim spoke up again. “She’s right. You deserve a shot… I don’t know if you’ve had chances before. You probably have… Actually, I’m sure you have. What brought you here?”
Aaron breathed out heavily. “I had one too many of my dreams fail. I gave up. I gave up on dreaming, on hoping. I gave up my job; I gave up everything I knew. I couldn’t stand to be around it anymore. Everything reminded me that what I wanted most, the things I tried the hardest on, always failed.”
“So you decided to mow lawns?”
“Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“Are you happy?” Sandy asked.
He thought about it for a moment. “Happier than I’ve ever been. Not as happy as I’d like to be.”
“Well, it’s time we fixed that.”
Aaron recorded a CD. He played concerts. People cried, people smiled, people said he had a gift. Maybe he did, who knows?
He never told Sandy and Tim that he had a bank account worth more than their mortgage. He also didn’t tell them that he still mowed lawns when he wasn’t playing concerts or recording. Sometimes he still went weeks without showering, still wore dirty clothes. Not because he had to –he’d never had to- but because somewhere along the line, after he’d given up on what the world told him he needed, he’d found that the best things in life, and in people, didn’t appear to be what they were inside.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This song is called "Sad Song" it's recorded on a laptop, so the quality isn't mind blowing. And the singing is done by yours truly, which, sadly, also means it's not so mind blowing. But don't let that stand in the way of the natural awesomeness that is this song.
Sit back, relax, and try not to let your ear drums pop.
Click here for the Sad Song
Friday, March 26, 2010
Colin Tu: Hey guys!
IS: Hey Colin
Bob: Hey Colin
Colin Ti: No, no... its Colin... Tu!
Colin Tu: So... I got a cool new game. You guys wanna play?
IS: What game?
Colin 2: Its the best game ever! Other than RPG of course.
Bo: So what is it?
Colin Tu: Rock Band!
IS Is that the one like Guitar Hero only with a drummer and singer and everything?
Colin Tu: Yes! And I got it! You guys wanna play?
Bob: Yeah, that sounds like fun.
Colin Tu: Alright! Its up in my room, come on.
*Up in Colin's Room*
Colin Tu: Okay, first we need to decide on a band name!
IS: How about Fallacy Ridden?
Bob: That name is terrible dude. You need to do something clever, like...
Colin Tu: The Band of Britannia!
Guy 2: Uh no... I was thinking more like...
Colin Tu: Okay, so we are the band of Britannia! Now get into your costumes.
Bob: But I don't like...
IS: Dude, just let it go... Wait what did you say Colin?
Colin Tu: I said, get into your costumes.
Bob: But its just a game...
Colin Tu: Just a game? Just a game! We are the Band of Britannia! How would the king feel?
Quick, put on your costumes!
IS: Sorry Colin, we don't have any costumes.
Colin Tu: That's okay, I have extra. Here, you can be the dwarf- remember to act grumpy like a
real dwarf... and since you are the dwarf you should probably play drums, because dwarfs are good at hitting things.
IS:But I don't wanna pla-
Colin Tu: (cutting him off) And you.... You can be... a wizard! Wizards cast a lot of spells... so you
should be good at speaking. You can sing.
Bob: But I can't sing Coli-
Colin Tu: (cutting off again) And I will be the human fighter on axe guitar! Well, hurry up and get
into your costumes!
Bob: (Mumbles and grumbles)
IS: Just do it dude.
Bob: Yeah, yeah...
Colin Tu: Okay! Now we are ready to play our first show! So, I don't really like any of the songs
on the game, so I'm going to mute the TV and play the theme song from Lord of the Rings on my
Bob: (rolling his eyes) Oh no...
IS: Colin... won't that make it hard to play our instruments and sing along? Plus, that song
doesn't even have words.
Colin Tu: Why would it make it hard? And don't worry. I wrote lyrics before you guys came
Bob: Oh crap...
*Colin hands over the paper with lyrics*
Bob: These aren't lyrics, this is just one of Bilbo's poems you stole from the book. You just
crossed out a few names and put Britannia in their place.
Colin Tu: No, I wrote it! Now, let's play Rock Band!
(Colin starts the game)
Colin Tu: (singing quietly) Oh we are the Band of Britannia... Yeah, we are the band... yeah... I'm
good at this... everyone wants to pay to see my show!
Bob: (just staring at the screen and at the paper)
Colin Tu: You are not singing! We are going to fail!
Bob: We would fail anyway, because that's not the song I'm supposed to sing.
IS: Yeah Colin, I don't think the game will work this way.
Colin Tu: (looking at the screen) Oh great, you guys lost me 300 fans! The King of Britannia kicks you out of his band and gives all your money and all your instruments to me! I mean... someone who looks like me...
IS: Bye Colin.
Colin Tu: Hey wait you guys... Don't leave!
IS: What now Colin?
Colin Tu: Wanna play RPG?
*All characters are fictional until proven otherwise*
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Interesting Steve (abbreviated IS) and Bob (short for Bobdonius) are walking home from school when the front door of a nearby house creaks open and Colin Tu steps out.
Colin Tu: Hi, guys!
Bob: Hi Colin.
Colin Tu: No, no, no! It's Colin Tu!
Bob: Right... Forgot.
Colin Tu: You guys wanna come play RPG?
IS: What's RPG?
Colin Tu: You don't know what RPG is? It's only like the best game ever invented! So what do
you say, do you want to come play?
Bob: Uh, sure, why not.
Bob: Oh come on, he doesn't have any friends.
Colin Tu: I'm right here you know...
IS: Okay, Colin. Let's go play RPG.
*Up in Colin Tu's Room*
Colin Tu: Okay, first we need to decide what kind of characters we are. Interesting Steve, you can be a dwarf fighter.
IS: But I don't want to be a dwarf.
Colin Tu: And Bob, you'll be the human paladin.
Bob and IS exchange glances and shrug.
Colin Tu: Okay! Let's get started! So, your standing on the Wall of Britannia! What do you do?
IS: (mumbled) This is stupid...
Bob: We go east?
Colin Tu: Ya can't.
Bob: Why not?
Colin Tu: Ya just can't.
Bob: Okay, we go north.
Colin Tu: Ya can't.
Bob: We go south?
Colin Tu: Ya can't.
Bob: (sighing) We go west?
Colin Tu: Okay! So you're heading west along the Wall of Britannia! The wall is like... a million miles long! So you guys walk for like a hundred years. A lot of interesting stuff happens in-between. The human fighter gets really old, and the dwarf gets grumpy. So, after a hundred years you've finally reached the end of the Wall of Britannia, and at the end of the wall is a fearsome dragon! What do you do?
IS: We attack.
Colin Tu: Okay, roll the dice.
*Interesting Steve rolls*
Colin Tu: Oh... not good enough! And the dragon eats you! Quickly, human paladin, what do you do?
Bob: Um, I cast a holy spell at it?
Colin Tu: But the dragon has magic resistance and doesn't notice your puny spell. Then he eats you too!
IS: Well that was fun-
Colin Tu: With the puny mortals out of his way the dragon takes all of your stuff and gives it to me! I mean... someone who looks like me.
IS: Well, we're going to go Colin...
Colin Tu: Wait!
Colin Tu: You guys wanna play RPG?
*Exit Interesting Steve and Bobdonius, both shaking their heads*
*Disclaimer: All names have been changed for the sake of the parties involved. Any relation they have to any person, real or fictitious, is simply awesome*