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May 11, 2009

My Overactive Imagination

I recently started a new job. At work yesterday, I went on a little quest to collect to mail. I was told that the hallway I would have to walk down in order to get to the mail room would be creepy. This was an understatement.


I walked through the door marked "Employees Only" and I was stopped dead in my tracks. The hallway was long and narrow. It had high ceilings. It was like being backstage. It was poorly lit by high, florescent bulbs. Worst of all, it smelled like Abercrombie and Fitch. My first thought was, "Oh, no. Horror movies have scenes that start like this."

The punky, anti-social, starved for affection girl (played by me in this reenactment) walks slowly down the hall. "Josh?" She says because the hallway smells like him. "This isn't funny." Of course, for us it is because we know what happened to Josh in this very hallway just moments before.

Josh (played by Jackson Rathbone or Paul Walker) is some pretty, blonde haired kid who was wearing a backwards baseball cap and a flannel over a the Number Twelve Looks Like You t-shirt. He thought it looked cool and no, he doesn't know the band nor the Twilight Zone episode from which the band stole its name. Sadly, Josh is no more. He's hanging from parts undetermined in the mail room (perhaps, the hanging could be connected to some joke incorporating the homophonous "male". Or, maybe this is a PG-13 and that would be taking it too far.) The punk girl opens the door and screams. The homicidal maniac pops out from behind something and...

The punk girl punches him in face, knocking the sucker out cold. Or, she just gets the mail and heads back to work
Either way, I imagine all future trips to collect mail will be super quick because it was a very creepy hallway.

April 30, 2009

Aww...

This little kid melts my cold, cold heart.

These kids do, too.

They have become my new favorite study break, after Free Rice and Peter Thiel, of course.

September 13, 2008

Friends and Family

I'm in a competitive Knit Along on Ravelry and a new pattern came out on Thursday. This was perfect timing for me because, even though this means that I'm a whole sock behind the rest of the knit along I had just finished a project and so was in perfect position to cast on.


So, I frogged a scarf that I found when I unpacked my boxes of books (it had some unintentional increases and decreases in places it shouldn't have them) and I sat down to try to make some progress on this new pair while watching the glorious Michael Weston pretend to be a weakling with asthma. The pattern was inspired by The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe and I was very excited about it.


Sadly, I could not get the cast on ( for which I found a online tutorial) using my double pointed needles. I finally gave up, frogged that, too, and decided I would take this opportunity to investigate a Michaels that is near an awesome mall not far from my house (but further than the Michaels at the Mall just practically down the street from my house.)

When I reached my reading threshold for Friday afternoon, I put myself in the car and headed out that way. I wandered around the Michaels (which had a better yarn selection than the one near my house) and filled my basket with some lovely Bernat yarn in some pretty, pretty colors that was on sale! Excellent. I also picked myself up a pair of circular needles that were the same size so that I could make the Turkish cast on work.

I wandered around for a while, looking at their Halloween decor and just enjoying being alive in the Autumn in Buffalo as a first year PhD student ( one has to enjoy such moments as this is only time I will ever be a first year PhD student...or, at least I hope this is the only time I will ever be a first year PhD student.) and then I made my up to the counter. There was one register opened and then the customer service desk. I was in line behind an adorable gay couple buying a floating ghost. The woman at customer service finished up what she was doing and said she could help whoever was next, I deferred to the couple, but they told me to go ahead.

The woman started scanning my yarn and said, "Wow, those are down to a dollar now?" And, we had a nice little chat about yarn and needlecraft. She gave me the total and as I was about to swipe my card, she said, "Wait a minute, I don't work tomorrow." She reached into her apron and pulled out a friends and family coupon. Apparently, it was friends and family weekend and she had them to give discounts to her people. But, she gave it to me! I was shocked. That was so kind.

So, I'm thinking that I may, when I'm done with these socks, pop back over to Michaels (pick up some more yarn) and give her the socks. Unless I chicken out because that's a little weird.

March 12, 2008

Tom Cruise Crazy

Last Night, I had this crazy dream that I was back in high school (although, it wasn't my high school) and there was a political uprising among the students led by a Frenchmen named Michel. Michel and I appeared to be involved in the dream, but there was some tension. Anyway, I was going to see the Frenchmen give a speech about something when I got a phone call. I answered and it was my Mom. She told me that I needed to come home because there was something wrong with my Grandma. Now, this is not improbable, as my Grandmother recently fell and broke her hip. So, I did and Grandma was at the house. The dream logic must have failed here because what I remember happening next has nothing to do with anything that came before.


I was at work and one of my coworkers was asking me if they should say something to some people who seemed to be milling about and talking heatedly about a table we had in our main aisle. I asked what they would want to say, people are allowed to have conversations. They were mostly just animated, they weren't loud or anything. Then the coworker said, "People I think have been asking for autographs. But, if those people want special treatment from me, well they have another thing coming!" With this the coworker stormed off.


Then someone asked me for a copy of Andrew Morton's new book about Tom Cruise. I said I'd be happy to help and I knew exactly where they were...on the table where the people were having the heated discussion. So, I walked over to the table, asked them if I could grab something. They slid down a little and I picked up the book and one of them, a man, said, "You know that's not accurate." I looked up (well, down really) and realized the couple talking by the table were Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I said, "A customer asked for it. And, I don't censor, sir. Besides, maybe the customer is looking for a good piece of fiction and has already read all of Jane Austen." I smiled and walked away. Now, the me that was dreaming was a little flabbergasted at what Dream Me said but I did feel pretty pleased with myself.


I woke up wondering what would possibly bring Cruise/Holmes to my little part of the world. I figured, in the end, to just let my brain do its thing and enjoy the ride. With that, I am leaving you with a piece I found on YouTube. This is a video set to the Jonathan Coulton's "Tom Cruise Crazy". The video is from YouTube user MoronDude.

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September 06, 2007

First Impressions

I used to be into reading books about relationships. Some of them were fun because they were really more like lit crit than advice ( for example: Jane Austen's Guide to Dating) and others were more philosophical (for example: If The Buddha Dated) and some of them were more physchological. In that last category, I'm goint to place Mr. Right, Right Now, although I'm sure that as a book it firmly belongs in relationships and dating/ self improvement. It was an interesting book that encouraged reader to be interesting, to be authentic, but above all to enjoy themselves and love what they are doing. It was full of tips for little things that you could do to look your best and little tips of how to treat yourself just a little bit better, but that made it all worth it. There was a bit in the book, and now that I think about it, it was probably based on some of the same research that Malcolm Gladwell's Blink was based on, where the author but forth the notion that the brain makes a snap judgement about a person in the first 30 seconds to five minutes of meeting them. And you then spend all subsequent interactions sort of gathering evidence supporting your initial reaction. That's what makes first impressions so important. They provide the foundation for how a person will view you, barring some outside interaction or something very big happening.


And, if that’s true, for better or for worse my first interaction with the Welsh (and therefore first impression of them)happened in June of 2004. A group of us were queuing for tickets to the opening day of Wimbledon. Just hanging out, having some wine, preparing to sleep on the pavement and eat take out that was delivered right to us on the sidewalk when we met a young Scottish fellow whom we call “Flashy McKilty”. Now, he was a nice enough lad, we chatted and discussed what our plans were while we were on this side of the pond and then Flashy McKilty went off, presumably to scandalize some more foreigners. And, we thought that would be the last of seeing him. Our group was to break up for a couple of days following the opening of Wimbledon, with my sister and some of her friends staying to watch some more tennis and our friend E and I heading off to Wales. So, much later in the night we were pleasantly surprised when Flashy McKilty turned back up with…. Ta Da! Welshmen! (And, while that isn't an exact quote, that is pretty much how he introduced them to us). Apparently on his travels, Flashy had met these fine chaps named Kip and Owain and felt that they needed to be introduced to us so that we could get a real insider’s look at the part of the UK we were headed to. E. once described Kip and Owain as the perfect Welsh comic heroes. Kip would be the swarthy, used-to-work-in-the-fields-and-now-works-in-the-mines-all-the-while-playing-rugby-on-the-weekends representative of Modern Wales while Owain, was tall and lithe and could very likely have stepped out of a tapestry depicting Arthur and his knights of the round table or a tale from the Mabinogion.


The first thing they said it was, “It is untrue that the Welsh are always drunk and singing. However, we are drunk and we may break out into song.”

Fantastic. In my opinion, we couldn’t have had a better introduction to the Welsh because these chaps were amiable, they were a great laugh, they were incredibly pleasant and they suggested all sorts of fun and wonderful things we could do (of course, none of it fit into our plans.) Although, our first impressions of actually visiting the country were pretty incredible as well.

June 06, 2007

Penguins. Pragmatics. A Joke from Preston.

My friend Preston once told me this joke:


There are two penguins up at the North Pole. They are sitting down to dinner and one of the penguins says to the other penguin, "Can you please pass me the salt?" to which the second penguin replied, "I AM NOT A TYPEWRITER!"


I was lying in bed this morning and this joke popped into my head. When I first heard it my response was, "But, there are no penguins at the North Pole. There is only one penguin in the Northern Hemisphere, and its equatorial." I think Preston at the time told me not be such a jerk, which was immediately followed by, "THAT is the one thing about the whole joke that bothered you? That there are no penguins in the Northern Hemisphere? It didn't bother you that the penguins were sitting down to a meal or that they speaking English or that they even knew what a typewriter was?" Of course, if I thought about it, these things would bother me. But, the first thing that bothered me, the thing that made everything else that was to follow bizarre yet irrelevant, is that the penguins wouldn't have been at the North Pole in the first place.

This joke didn't pop into my head because of the original discussion, it popped into my head because that's how I've been feeling the past few days...like a penguin at the North Pole making a simple request for some salt and being told in a raised voice that my interlocutor was not a typewriter. I've made a lot of references to the pragmatics of things lately, whether at the pub or just in general and I am left wondering, am I, by going about things the way I've always done them (which would mean in an American style) that I am doing wrong? Or, have I recently come into contact with a number of people who either have no social skills or who are being intentionally obtuse?

I like pragmatics. Not just because people don't say what they mean, but because when we use language in generally has some intent or purpose...something that we want to get done beyond the simple passing on of information. Pragmatics textbooks are full of examples of ways that we can use language to do things. There are classic examples of how, just by speaking the words we make something happen (For example: a wedding. " I now pronounce the husband and wife." when said after an exchange of vows signifies a marriage.) But, more often than not we get things done not by using the literal meanings of words, but through some sort of metaphorical or extended meanings of words. "Can I sit down?" isn't a request for you to verify whether an individual has the capacity to sit. Its something you say in order to get invited into a longer conversation. Its also something you say when you want someone to move their coat off of a seat so that you can sit down.

I'm not quite sure of the pragmatic intent behind, "Please pass the salt." aside from wanting the salt, but I have to figure it out, because I'm tired of hearing, "I AM NOT A TYPEWRITER!"

May 30, 2007

Surf Clouds

Sometimes, Cardiff has the sort of clouds that you expect to see in snaps taken at sunset by tourists visiting the beach. They have this salty, swept in from sea look that is harsh yet soft, backlit by the setting sun. Its one of the things I like about here; different enough from the methane sunsets of Iowa to be remarkable.


I was thinking today, while walking back from an interview at a coffee shop that a good cup of coffee from the same place you always get it is a little like making the bed in the morning. There are these steps and procedures that you have to go through if you are making it, and you might think, "Why bother?" Why mess around with hospital corners and making sure everything gets tucked in? Why bother count the seconds it takes to brew a shot? You have other things to do; the world is a busy and chaotic place.

Well, I reason that you bother because then, every time you see your bed its a reminder that there are things that you have control over. That maybe the universe isn't such a chaotic place; there is some sort of order. And you aren't bringing anything left over from yesterday, like twisted and mangled sheets because you kept tossing and turning before you fell asleep into the next day. Getting the same cup of coffee from the same place is a little like that. Its a reminder that there is order in the vast universe. A universe that may possibly be friendly because the barista that you see every Thursday and Saturday and some Mondays and Tuesdays has bothered to learn your name and not just your drink. Maybe I'm being optimistic and maybe its just subconcious, but I think these reminders of order are important to us. And even if they are the tiniest of things, they still do us good.

October 30, 2006

Preparing For Halloween.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There is no logical reason for this. I do not dress up for Halloween. I do not do anything in particular to celebrate it. Its mostly that I like this time of year. School is underway (and, being a huge nerd that is very important to me.) The leaves are changing. There is a crispness to the air and the hint of snow to come (or, at least there was prior to moving to Cardiff.) And, all kinds of excellent fruits and vegetables are in season. User groups are taking time out to exchange pumpkin recipes, there are caramel apples in the farmer's market. It is a spectacular time of year where it feels like things are coming to fruition. I just love autumn, I suppose, and Halloween is a celebration firmly rooted in the middle of it.

Yesterday afternoon, whilst I have been looking for jobs and seriously jonesing for a bit of home, I received an email from my Father mentioning that he and my Mother would be dressing up for Halloween at their respective jobs. My mother wears the same thing every year: she dresses in all black and wears a pointy witch's hat. I do not know what my Father will be wearing this year (as he didn't tell me, he is going to send me a picture when he is all dressed up), but I have an image in my head of him dressed up as a Christopher Lee-style Dracula. The Halloween celebrating of my parents does not stop there, though. For, you see, they have a cat.


mitts.jpg

We have had Mittens since she was a kitten and since I was seven or eight. That is not the best picture of her as it was taken with a mobile phone, but you get the point. Mittens is a venerable, old kitty who spends her days lying about the house, asking to go outside, playing with bits of string, and talking my Mother into giving bits of chicken or fish. However, this year Mittens will also be dressing up for Halloween. Under normal circumstances, I do not approve of dressing up your pets. Poor little fur babies already have on a coat, what do they need a hat and gloves for? And, as for how Mittens actually feels about being dressed up, well, just check out the look on her face.

hallokitty.jpg


I am not quite sure what she is supposed to be. I think it might be a bat. Or, perhaps even a dog. The only thing I can say about this photo, other than it made me smile, is that it looks like Mittens has put on a little weight. Although, it could just be the way the costume is tied around her neck.

October 28, 2006

Some more thoughts on karma

I'm one of those people that thinks we are here to learn something, that we are meant to get something about of this experience. Someone once explained to me the philosophy of a medieval Shaivaite philosopher named Abhinavagupta as the philosophy of being completely human and completely divine. This is, for sure, a simplification. I have read twenty pages of a translation of one of the prolific Abhinavagupta's texts, so I am by no means an authority. It is doubtful that whomever informed me of this was an authority either. (Although, I believe Yoga Journal may have discussed him in a piece a few years back on Tantra.) Anyway, I've come to understand is that we are finite manifestations of the infinite, or the divine if you prefer. So, we're all in this collective graduate program with the infinite is our mysterious, elusive and somewhat unreliable (at least from our perspective) dissertation supervisor. That might be a metaphor that only works for me, but I think you get the point. Its not like we can make an appointment with the infinite, go the the infinite's office, have a seat and say, "So, I've been looking at my data set and I seem to be finding a lot of interesting things going on with aspect in relation to the context of "going to the pub". Would you have a look and comment on what I've done? It seems I'm going to be taking this in a slightly different direction from the plan." Which, as far as life goes, is pretty common, deviating from the plan.

Anyway, This has surely been the week for karmic discussions, because its been a popular subject. Waiterrant has posted a piece about not stealing tips hopefully garnering customer loyalty and the BarmaidBlog posted something about good deeds being their own reward. These things got me thinking.

We're an instant gratification society. The notion that things should happen immediately (we get to see the baddie get their comeupance at the end of the movie) is something that is very important to us. But, karma, if it is the cosmic law of cause and consequence, would have to apply at the cosmic level and not necessarily the micro level of each individual situation.

One of the things that Meditation Neal said on Tuesday was that we make the world around us. So, if you put in the time and the effort and you work really hard hoping to get a first (if you're British) or getting a 4.0, there is a good chance that this will happen. At least that is what I was told when I was little. But, to say that formula is the tried and true method that always works is wrong and there are thousand counterexamples to it. What we put into something is only one factor in determining what we get out of it. It is probably more accurate to say that there is a high correlation factor between things like hard work and getting what you want. But, if you have ever taken a stats class, you know that correlation does not prove causation.

I don't remember what my original point was. Perhaps it is that doing the right thing is one step towards making a better world. Which would make doing the right thing its own reward if you then got to live in the better world. And, in the service industry anything that brings about customer loyalty is definitely its own reward. So, to borrow a metaphor I have already used, if you want to carve pumpkins, you have to plant pumpkin seeds. I read once, again most likely in Yoga Journal, that from the right perspective we could see our lives unfold and how certain actions and intents manifested ourselves. There are ways to gain some of this sort of perspective, yoga or meditation or what have you. Its just a matter of starting to put in the work, I guess. (well, doubtful that it is just a matter of putting in the effort. Its probably more a matter of putting in the effort, your intentions about the whole process, the frequency of the effort, the temperature of the room in which the effort takes place, etc.)

What I find interesting about karma is the connection I have made to "living in the now" previously. Planning for the future seems to be at odds with living in this moment. But, I'm sure that is a discussion for another time.

October 27, 2006

Thinking about Practicing Living

"The way most people should behave is to live in the now. This transcends any dogmatic or cultural teachings and is not a question of ethics or other philosophy. You are here, so why not devote yourself to it fully? Lose yourself in the act of what you are doing. Pay attention to the details of life without getting lost in dreaming." by gitm of everything2.com

Ironically, while reading this brief opinion piece on e2 (that I happen to agree with) I was thinking about what I wanted to write. Then, I had to stop writing to take off my shoes and have a sip of wine. Clearly, concentration isn't my strong point today.

I have been thinking. I have been thinking about ethics. I have been thinking about places I could look for a suitable job. I have been thinking about Six Apart's new blogging platform I have been thinking about calling my Mama. I've been thinking about a lot of things, but mostly I've been wondering what it would be like to not think for a minute.

Meditation class did not go well this week. I had a bit of a fight with my sweetie before class and so when I should have been meditating, I was thinking about all of the things that were said and that weren't said. Then, Meditation Neal talked about Karma. I like karma, its a good concept. Its the cosmic law of cause and effect. And, what's interesting about karma is that the word itself simply means "action" (Thanks, sensei).

Of course, the doctrine of karma is a bit more complicated than that and includes one's intent along with their actions. Which, in the middle of meditation class got me back to my ethical musings. The word "ethics" has a Greek/Latin derivation and, according to The American Heritage Dictionary has its roots in the Greek word "ethos" or "character". So, while "ethics" seems to be about who you are, in a black and white code of conduct sense of the word, "karma" seems to be about "what you do". While I don't think there is much difference between these two things (at least for the purposes of my current musings) I still think this is something that is interesting and may merit further exploration (although, for right now, its a little off topic).


When I was little, and I'm sure countless of people across the world have had this experience and some other little kid on the playground was nasty to me my Ma would say, "Well, what goes around comes around." And, as a kid, I just got this mental image of a gigantic circle that had some sort of nasty energy burst that would slam into people and things. Or, that actions were boomerangs and you couldn't escape them coming back at you. The point my Mother was trying to make was that if you don't want something to happen to you, then don't set the precedent that it is okay to do that thing. I kept on thinking about boomerangs, but I guess somehow it sank in because I'm talking about it now. If you want to carve pumpkins in October, you have to plant pumpkin seeds in the beginning of summer. If you want to enjoy life, you have to learn how to stop being distracted and just live it.

I'm having tremendous trouble with this last one. I'm sure this could have been a much better entry, but I keep getting distracted by things I think I should look at on the internet.

"Living" as an action is something that so often gets pushed into the background. As human beings, as long as we are alive, it is something we are always doing. We can sleep, but we are living, we can go to work, but we are living, we could rob a convenience store, but we are still living. As an act, it is one infrequently comes to our attention. But, it is an important one. What we do while we are living has its consequences and makes its statements about who we are as people. We spend so much time buying, selling, sleeping, eating, worrying, hating, dancing, drinking, loving, laughing, fucking, shouting, driving, sitting, waiting, cooking, cleaning, watching, hearing, studying, showering.... and we spend so much time thinking about how to do those things, that, as the article I quoted earlier, we don't even bother to give them our full attention and really do or enjoy them.

Well, I would like to do more just living. Meditation is a practice of just living. I would like to build up that practice. I have decided to set a goal of introducing, at least in the beginning, ten minutes of meditation into my days. I'll let you know how that goes.

September 30, 2006

Mishearings...

The Welsh word for wine is "Gwin" (said: gween). As we have learned in week 1, if you like wine, and would like to tell people this, you'd say, "Dw i'n hoffi gwin coch." ("coch" is said, like "Kahch", with that nice German "ch "sound at the end.) You'll want to remember that later.

In 2004, when I was in Europe with Beth and E we played a game. The rules of the game were thus: When you mishear someone, you give them a puzzled look and then repeat what you think you heard them say. For example, while we were in Barcelona, I said, "I think this side street connects to our alley way." But, E heard, "Does this kid's salad contemplate the literati?" You can see why it is an amusing game. I still like to play it. Earlier today John said to me, "I think I have collected some more bugs." At least, that is what I thought he said. What had actually come out of his mouth was, "Could you hand me the cotton wool buds."


The first week of Welsh class, we spent a lot of time telling each other the two or three things we knew how to say in Welsh that we liked. One of my classmates didn't come to class on Thursday. We turned up at the Humanities building at the same time and I waited for her while she chained up her bike. As we walked into the building together she said, "What did I miss yesterday? I just couldn't manage getting up yesterday morning. I went out with some friends on Wednesday night and just had too much green cock." A puzzled look crossed my face. My first thought was, "Wow. That is really open of her." It was immediately followed by the thought, "This is too early in the morning to be talking about sex toys with a stranger." Then she stopped walking and said, "No. That can't be right. Greeno cock? Gwin coch?" Realization dawned on me.

"Ah," I said. "That's competely understandable. Gwin has that way of creeping up on you." I was very grateful that I hadn't decided, in that moment, to play the game.

August 18, 2006

Moving: The TV Licence

The British have a quaint custom known as the "TV licence".  Back in the day, before Sky and digital and telly being beamed into your house, back when the BBC made large strides to appear to be something run by the government for the benefit of the people you had to licence your TV in order to generate revenue in order to continue creating BBC programming.  Now, with the BBC beaming its fare all over the world (and collecting ad revenue from it) and with cable companies providing people with crazy numbers of channels, I really wonder if the licencing is still necessary.  But necessary or not, it is still in place,  which means that we need a TV licence in our new place.

 

 

Continue reading "Moving: The TV Licence" »

July 08, 2006

Out Loud

“You think I’m talking just to hear myself talk?”  –Bill Cosby.

    Maybe I do like the sound of my own voice.  I don’t know.  I do know that I love language.  All language.  My language.  I like the well-crafted sonnets of John Donne as much as I like the colorful metaphor and imagery put forth by the Manic Street Preachers.  I find both to be evocative.  
    I must be weird.  I like being alone.  I like silence.  I like space.  These are not human norms.  Preliterate, tribal societies don’t have the concept of personal space that we have.  Life is a social thing, something that is spent, by default talking with and being near the same small group of people all the time.  I dig my clique, don’t get me wrong.  And I would go to great ends to see them happy and safe.  I know, that would make me not weird.  
    Its more... I like to talk about ideas.  Language is an idea.  Language is a different idea for everyone.  This is something that we do all day, everyday and I suppose in the space of our tribes, what we say, what we reference is common.  You don’t have to bother to define it further, because you were all there when it happened and saw it happen and understand what is being described and what is meant.  Guess you had to be there.  Literacy changes that.  Literacy creates language that spans time, place, class, and gender.  It gives language the appearance of being stark, immutable and the status quo.  Maybe its that I do a lot of identity theorizing.  But written/oral, person/persona, image/content, these are distinctions I can make and do make.  When I talk, I like talking about ideas.  Feelings are for feeling and living is for living they don’t need to be discussed.  I like to separate ideas out from emotions so that, like play-doh I can observe them, roll them over and manipulate them.  I like to engage with them.  Maybe that’s not weird.
    I like saying, “ I learned this thing...” And I like getting excited about it and I like telling people about it.  I like when this happens for other people.  The classical world doesn’t interest me, except when I get to hear it filtered through the excitement and presentation of my friend Elizabeth.  So, maybe this isn’t separating things from emotion... maybe its just separating them from things that aren’t love.  My point is, she’s not telling me about what’s going on in her life or what people were wearing, she’s connecting with the past and something beyond the immediate, getting excited about it and sharing it.  I like that.  I like that a lot.  
    


 

--August 2005 

May 06, 2006

I don't know why I was thinking of this....

John, I want to say when he was 12 or 13, was hit in the head with a brick.  I don't remember the details of what he told me happened, exactly (and actually, now that I think about it he probably doesn't remember them either).  Apparently, he and his friends were messing around and some how this brick-hitting happened.  His friends thought he was dead, but he wasn't and they took him to the hospital and when people asked him what happened he said he fell.  Now, the truth is, one of his mates was responsible for the brick-hitting.  John said that when people asked him about what had happened he thought about his friend's parents and how good they had been to him.  He didn't want to see them hurt by anything bad happening to their son, so he said he fell. 

 

Now, for some reason, the truth of the situation came out, as it always does in big situations like this, and his mate's parents made his mate go and apologize for all the trouble he had caused.  John's parents had only heard John's story so when his mate turned up to apologize to them for hurting their son they were perplexed.  If I remember correctly, John then got into trouble for lying.  

 

I was thinking about this while I was walking home today.  You know how random stuff just pops into your head.  I was listening to  The Barenaked Ladies If I had $1,000,000 and singing along while I walked down the street.  Its weird how stuff can just pop into your head sometimes.  So, I texted John a line from the song, "If I had $1,000,000, I would buy you a monkey".  When I see him later, I'm going to ask him if he knows where its from.  Then, if he doesn't, I'm going to play it for him.