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This is gonna be about Band-Aids. It's pretty great.

Archive for the ‘Week 1: Anything’s Possible, Yo’ Category

Five. Post number five. This is not my finest hour…

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Well, loyal readers (reader? There’s gotta be at least two people reading this thing), I’ve come to a standstill. I’m… not exactly 100% sure if I need to include a visual aspect to this blog. All of the examples we saw in class were pretty visually intensive, except for some brave soul who wrote a haiku.  I’m not really into haikus, though. Chances are, this blog will be full of ‘em in about four or five weeks, but for right now I’m keeping myself both dignified and totally haiku-free. But in terms of visuals, I’ve got a camera now. So I’ll be filling this thing up with pictures in no time. Just not this entry. I’ve got about an hour before class starts and I guarantee you I’d spend most of that hour trying to figure out how the camera works. So let’s not do that.

Ok there is nothing going on here. In my brain. Nothing. Normally I am amazing at school-stuff. I can write up something at the last minute, turn it in, and get decent grades (B’s at least) every time. Every. Single. Time. I never draw a total blank like this. So now I’m forced to compare my frustrated, self-hating anger to something with a Band-Aid so that I can desperately squeak by with five blog entries before class starts. This’ll work. I’m angry. It hurts that I can’t come up with something cohesive and well written. And if Band-Aids are supposed to be a comfort, or something that helps along the healing process, then Band-Aid blogging will (hopefully) help me cope with my pissed off-edness.

So here goes. I like to write. I like to know that every word I’ve picked fits perfectly with every other. I like knowing that the length of each sentence fits in perfectly with all the other sentences. This blog may not look like much, but I’ve spent upwards of two hours on most of these little story/essay doodles. This one I’m not editing. This one I’m not sparing a single second that could be used to add another sentence or two and pad out the length some more so that it looks like I’ve been doing more work. If there was a Band-Aid for this kind of pain, I could put it on my head, or my brain or eyeball or something and I would just have the drive to portion out my work in equal, easy-to-manage bits and pieces that would make this blog assignment both super easy and super-fun. There could be some kind of Band-Aid that would keep me from blasting out crappy half-assed homework assignments at… 3:45 PM before class.

Gotta keep going, though. Can’t not turn in an assignment. Maybe doing this’ll be healthy. Maybe by hashing out all of my deep-seated homework-related issues on some blog that a bunch of strangers will read will cure me! As if some magic Band-Aid got wrapped around my face and I’m no longer some horrible combination of slacker and anal retentive super-nerd. That’d be great.

 

Crap crap crap class is starting blog out.

Band-Aids.

 

Written by mandudeman

February 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Number Four. Yeehaw.

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Howdy, pard’ners-

So, in lieu of the desperate stretching-to-make-these-posts-about-Band-Aids that I’ve been doing for the past couple entries, here’s a childhood memory of mine that is actually centered around Band-Aids. No joke. Ready to… read a story about Band-Aids?

Of course you are.

Put yourself in sunny North Carolina. The Outer Banks, to be specific. Now, add in a family. Can’t be just any family, though. Since this is my memory, let’s go ahead and make it my family. Chances are, the average person reading this doesn’t have a perfect mental image of my childhood to fall back on, and I don’t feel like wasting a ton of time giving a lengthy description of each parent’s physical features, so let’s make this short but still sweet, shall we? Mom. Dad. Older sister. Me (age 14 or so). Dog. There we go. Now, let’s take this picturesque family and sit ‘em down to dinner in their happy vacation home on the beach.

We’re having lobster.  I’m a fan of lobster. It’s not my favorite crustacean, but it’s not like I’d complain about eating lobster, so I’ll just continue on. Now, I wouldn’t call myself the king of lobster de-shelling, but half the fun is in the sweaty, rage-fueled, lobster-insides-soaked battle just to eat dinner, so I tend to enjoy the giddy thrill of taking apart an entire animal an eating it piece by piece. It’s pretty great.

So at this point in lobsterpalooza, I’ve had a few appetizers but hadn’t had the chance to dive into the main event. But when I did, I went for it with gusto. I just tore right into that bad boy. At one point I gave up on using the normal, lobster-dissection tools so I could tear the red menace apart with my bare hands. I start pulling the two halves of a claw apart. Won’t budge. I flex my muscles and really tug at that juicy red claw. I can feel some structural weakness start to open up- I know the battle is mine. I go for the killing blow, every muscle in my body exerting way past any normal comfort levels, all for the sweet, sweet taste of claw. I can almost feel it’s buttery, tender warmth. It’s mine. A wet crunch fills the room, and the deed is done.

I look down at the smashed and broken lobstery victory in my hands, but there’s something off about this feeling. If only I could figure out what…

Oh.

Look at that little jagged bit of shell.

I think it just sliced into my pinky finger.

(Yeah, yeah, yeah- this isn’t exactly life-threatening. But I’m young, and more than a little squeamish, so just go with it).

I look closer at this particular pinky finger. Sure enough, there’s a cut. I try to move it, and the second I do a single drop of blood rises up from the little tear in the skin and starts to ooze its way down my hand. Well, I’m sitting down at this point, but that doesn’t keep my stomach from turning and my vision to blur as I get a serious case of lightheadedness. I need to lie down. Now. Fumbling out of my chair, I head for the nearest bedroom (my parents’, as it turns out) and delicately lay myself down and stare at the ceiling. I’m not sure how much time’s passed, but my dad’s there, having checked in to see if I’m ok. I show him the cut, and then he’s gone from my field of vision. Suddenly there’s something pressed into my hand, and my dad’s back- asking if I feel better now that I’m lying down. I half-lie my way to a yes (nothing hurts worse then wounding a 13 year-olds bizarrely inflated sense of pride), and with my remaining fingers peel apart the Band-Aid my dad had given to me, putting it where it needs to go. I feel better, but still not great, and decide to stretch out my recovery for another 10 minutes or so.

When I’m rested and ready, I bravely attempt the stair back to the kitchen table. A little less hesitant with every step, soon enough I’m back at the table. Every action cool, and calculated, nothing left to chance. My hands perfectly steady, my resolved steeled. I finished the hell out of that lobster.

Written by mandudeman

February 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Post #3. Go time levels have reached critical lows.

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Well, post #3 is here already. This time, I’ll be delving into an injury from my childhood. An injury I almost certainly put a Band-Aid on. Probably. Well, in reality there’s almost no way to verify if I actually used a Band-Aid or not. I was a kid, though. And this injury was hand-related. As in, a cut on my hand. So the chances are pretty high that I ended up using a Band-Aid for this particular injury.

And now, the set-up.

The injuries in life that have a lasting impression on us, the memories of pain, blood, and frustrated, frothing fury- they tap into a primal part of our subconscious. Some long-dormant feeling that leaves an imprint in our memories that can last for years. I’m talking, of course, about Mario Party for the Nintendo 64 game console. Any (and I mean ANY) rational person who played this game as a child knows what I mean. On the surface, it seems completely harmless to have your favorite Nintendo characters competing in an interactive board game with all sorts of zany twists and prizes. But there’s something menacing just below the surface. The game gives every player ample opportunities to screw his friends over in order to get the highest score and win the board game-y setting. But even that’s commonplace, to some extent, in video games. Except for one teensy tiny little detail.

Now, my memory’s just a little bit fuzzy, so I had to do a wee bit o’ research to gather up all the intricate details of Mario Party’s crushing grip on my fragile young psyche. So with the aid of Googling “Mario Party hand injury,” I can now give you, the reader, the full lowdown on what this game did to me. Basically, in the world of Mario Party, you maneuver around a giant board game mat, and after every turn all the players play a quick game-within-a-game (known as ‘mini-games’ to just about anyone who’s ever owned a Nintendo). But there’s one mini-game in particular that still haunts me to this day- “Pedal Power.” The name alone sends a slight chill down my spine.

The setup for “Pedal Power” is simple, for the most part. The player has to ride a bike that’s hooked up to a light bulb, and only by pedaling fast enough can the player create the energy required to light the bulb. Also, there’s a big angry ghost chasing you. And if you don’t light the bulb in time, the ghost eats you, or something. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, that’s because I left out the most important part- the only way to pedal the bike is to move the joystick in circles as fast as possible. Now, the fastest way to move the joystick is to press the tip into your palm, and then rotate said joystick tip as fast as you can. Coincidentally, this is also the fastest way to tear a giant blistery gash into the palm of your hand. Did that stop me from pedaling that damn ghost-bike until pain throbbed from my fingertips to my elbow? Of course not. Did it stop any of my childhood friends who owned the same game from doing the same damn thing I did? Pretty big ‘no’ on that one, too.

And it’s not just me and the weirdos I knew growing up who suffered from this particular video game injury. There are whole internet communities based on this phenomenon. Nintendo even released a free glove to anyone who bought the game (several years after the fact, mind you) as a way of saying “we’re sorry about that scorched hole in your right palm.” While the intricacies of the game itself I didn’t remember so well (remember, I had to Google my way through this blog post), I can vividly remember fighting through some serious (for a kid, anyway) hand pain for the desperate glory of getting one more star point than my cousin. Totally worth it, by the way. Plus, if I won that extra star point, I could wear my Jurassic Park Band-Aid like a badge of honor. Which I probably did.

Written by mandudeman

February 2, 2011 at 7:40 am

Post number two. It’s still go time, but significantly less so.

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Hoo boy. I have not been keeping up with these as regularly as I assumed I would. Well, as there’s no use crying over long-overdue, procrastinated milk, let’s go into entry #2, shall we?

Entry #2 begins with a vague, oversimplified question:

What do we use Band-Aids for?

Personally, I use Band-Aids for small cuts, scrapes, and the like. Injuries that aren’t really that serious, but might be in a tender area or are painful enough to warrant some kind of treatment- those I consider a good excuse for a Band-Aid. Now at this point, I would cleverly segue into the main idea for this entry, but I’m tired and subtlety does not seem to be my strong suit right now, so I’m just gonna jump right to it.

My mother, sister and I always see every movie nominated for the Best Picture Oscar during that time of year when they announce the nominations (you know… right around now). And this weekend’s movie of choice was The Fighter. I wasn’t expecting all that much, honestly (sports movies aren’t really my bag, so to speak), but the movie goes on and I start to get sucked in, and by then end I had to restrain myself from leaping out of my seat and shouting for blood as the big, end-of-movie boxing match wound down to its last moments. Now, in the movie, when Mark Wahlberg (the titular fighter, for those folks that haven’t seen the film) gets beaten down by the stress of relationships, money troubles, and professional boxers punching him in the face, he ends up wearing quite a few bandages in several scenes. And considering I’ve had Band-Aids plastered all over my brain for the past week and a half, my mind leapt right to “BANDAGES MOVIE BANDAGEBLOG GO GO GO THINK THINK” Sadly, that frame of mind lead to a complete dearth of new and different blog ideas, but it DID leads me to my next point.

Which is this: back when Brandon Viney was guest speaking, he really drove home the idea that we all need our passions on the side. Mine happens to be the whole movies/TV thing. It’s what I like. I tend to get a bit overwhelmed when I see something (a TV show, movie, or whatever else) that I can really connect with- as I watch it, I feel a bond growing with what I watch on the screen, like I’m a part of what’s going on, and the message in this particular piece of entertainment has been tailored specifically to me. Once I’ve seen all there is to see, I spend the next couple of days immersed in whatever it was I just watched. It plays in my head when I walk to school. When I eat. When I sleep.

Now, here’s the part where it all connects back to Band-Aids. Remember how I use ‘em for a specific purpose? You know, that first little paragraph up there. Well, it turns out that I use TV and movies for their own purposes. If I cut myself, I can grab a Band-Aid, put it over the cut. Problem solved. If I’m too tired to get up in the morning, I think about The Fighter. I remember leaving the theater a bundle of raw energy and inspiration. And then blammo. Instant wakeup. Problem solved. In each case it’s a different kind of solution for a different kind of obstacle, but by thinking about it enough the two have become synonymous with each other in my mind. And the idea that I have different tools to overcome different varieties of “I’m feeling like crap” is comforting, in its own way.

Written by mandudeman

February 1, 2011 at 6:37 am

POST. NUMBER. ONE. It’s go time, people.

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So… I was all prepared to write this after a long night of horrible awful exercise, and then describe all the pain and soreness and weary bleary tired feelings that I get from working out. ‘Cause, you know. Band-Aids. They’re great for that whole pain-injury-discomfort thing. And I’d be writing this little short story in a sweaty over-exerted heap on the floor of my apartment. I thought it was a prettttty cool idea.

But my exercise buddies all canceled, so I’m stuck writing this in bed. Totally fine, no pain whatsoever. It’s disappointing, really. So, rather than think up a new idea, I’ll just go into the details of last night’s exercise routine. I’ll relate it to Band-Aids at some point. Although I don’t actually think I have to do that if I’m writing about injury, or pain, or being stabbed in the face or being kidnapped and forced to wrestle a bear while slathered in honey or something. I think I’m getting off point here.

So last night was day (or night, I guess) two of INSANITY. Basically, it’s a brain-drainingly intense cardio workout that you do every day for 60 days. Considering I’ve never really exercised seriously in my life (the magic of a 20 year old male’s metabolism has kept me rail-thin but also rail-weak and rail-feeble), I figured it’d be neat to actually be in shape for once. Plus, I could just walk around shirtless all the time-  people would inquire about how I got my fantastic, TV-quality abs, and every time I’d respond by shouting “INSANITY” at the top of my lungs with my face about three inches away from theirs. And that would be a totally legitimate response.

Well as it turns out Day 1 wasn’t the horror I was expecting. I made it just fine to the first little thirty-second ‘get a drink of water/catch your breath’ break, and even though everything after that was excruciating to the point where I wanted to scream, the fact that I lasted through that first bit gave my spirits quite the boost. So when I woke up the next morning with every muscle stiff and sore, I was determined to power through into Day 2 (I also plan on making my syntax a lot more exercise-y, so expect me to firm the buns and thighs of writer’s block and bulk out my creative goals to the max as this blog continues).

So… Day 2 was a little teensy bit different. Different in that I was gripped with horrible workout fatigue about 7 seconds into the warm-up. Aaaand it only got worse, to the point where I was moving about half the speed of everyone else and really over-using that thing (I’m pretty sure it’s a thing- I swear) where you grunt and the grunting helps push your body through whatever kind of fitness-y type activity you were trying to do. As I type this out, I’m overcome by how horrible this image is, especially considering the door to the gym was open… and the door is right next to Shafer (you know, that gym door on the little path that leads to the cafeteria). So for anyone who was just trying to get a late-night meal and was forced to hear UNH UNH UNH mingling with the strains of exercise-video soft rock, I’m truly, truly sorry. Also, I’m getting off-track again. BAND-AIDS. PAIN. There we go. Well, as the workout continued, I got to the point where I could actually see the sweat dripping down my eyes and onto the floor, but I powered through to the max and finished all of DAY TWO.

But when the exercise ends, the real fun begins. You know, the fun where I’ve become this barely functional half-person who sputters and wheezes in a thick winter coat worn over gym shorts and a t-shirt, meandering along the 20-minute walk from the gym to my place. It was snowing, too. Did I mention that? Snowing. So I end my evening by cooking dinner in an exhausted stupor while waiting for the snow to melt off the gym shorts that I’m still wearing for some reason, and then gorging on as much food as I can with no regard for silverware or the fact that I should let hot food cool before putting it in my mouth. All this before passing out in bed and disregarding the 100+ pages of reading I was supposed to do for a 9:30 class the next morning.

I woke up with burns on my tongue and a throbbing, aching pain that’s now spread through every inch of my body. I had to grit my teeth to make it up a flight of stairs. If only Johnson and Johnson would make a Band-Aid that could fix that.

HA. Band-Aids.

Written by mandudeman

January 28, 2011 at 6:26 am