Why is House Hunting Exactly like Dating?

So, I mentioned in my last post that Dan and I have become serious about house buying. Woo hoo! But also AAAH scary!

housedate4

I’ve always loved looking at houses, browsing floor plans, perusing open houses and so I thought that the process would be a lot of fun.

Nope.

Guess what it basically was.

Dating.

housedate1

I’m serious. It felt the freaking same dude. Every weekend you’re going out to see them and getting to know them and trying to figure out if maybe there’s a future there. And hi! It was just as stressful. To be completely honest.

One guy would have a great kitchen, but kind of a horrible backyard. Another guy would be like not great curb appeal, but wasn’t looking for cookie-cutter anyway I could give him a chance. Ooh, this guy has a lot of what I’m looking for… Woah, never mind, no way I can afford this guy. It was basically exhausting.

housedate2

We had the long-distance relationship thing. Perfect house, great looking, big lot, kid-friendly. But he was just too darn far away. Like out in the middle of nowhere far away. As much as we loved him, we couldn’t figure out how to make it work between us.

We even had the toxic relationship thing…

One day I swiped right on Zillow. And wow, this house was really attractive. I mean, everyone was going after this house. I tried to set up a private date with my realtor but when I got there, everyone else and their literal dog were there. Like busier than an actual open house.

At first, I was insecure, like should I offer? He’s way too handsome! But he accepted MY offer! Out of everyone! And I was SO stoked!

And then we got the inspection done.

And I was like, wow dude. You need some work. Your AC unit is 30 years old. You need new paint and your pool is trashed, bro. But no, our relationship was AS IS. So OKAY FINE. I’ll just deal with it. Whatever. We can still make this work.

And then the appraisal came in.

20K LOWER than our original deal. He wasn’t going to change. He was seriously NOT GOING TO CHANGE A THING ABOUT HIMSELF, NOT EVEN HIS PRICE. So we were like BOY BYE!!!

And I swear to you, this ex house was pending another girls offer like not even a week later. WOW.

So glad to be out of THAT situation. Not worth it.

housedate3

Things kind of lowkey sucked for the next couple of weeks. I just couldn’t feel a connection with any other house. I was even thinking about stopping the house hunt for a while and like hunting myself. You know? Just to slow things down and figure out what I really want.

BUT… I have to tell you…

Dan and I have been dating a house and it’s pretty serious. Like seriously serious. Like accepted offer serious. We still have to go through the whole inspection/appraisal snafu again. But, I really actually think this one is THE ONE.

Updates to come later!

Another Short Story Finds a Home

TAMELESS (1)

Hey. I haven’t had a chance to share this because I’ve been so busy with NaNo but I had another short story published. Which you can read for free online in the Salt Lily Magazine…

*PG13 warning* This story is a direct modern translation of a scene from Taming of the Shrew. Some of Shakespeare’s inappropriate jokes survived the translation. Plus some swears here and there.

Even if you don’t read the story, you still should check out Salt Lily Magazine. They often feature artists and musicians and just have really great content.

 

READ HERE:

The Parking Meter Dork as told by Alex Ness

What happens when you meet a poet on the internet and he tells you some random guy’s embarrassing story? YOU POST IT ON YOUR BLOG OF COURSE!

 

parking meters

 

THE BIGGEST DORK a Twitter DM composed by Alex Ness

“The biggest dork ever was a guy who refused to believe he was a dork.

He would go to lectures (this was back in college) and after a guest lecturer would discuss a famous epic movie, he’d get in line to ask questions and he’d drop the “Where do you get your ideas from” bomb. People would groan any time his hand would go up, and tell him, “You dork”.

So, despite his being called a dork he didn’t see it.

We were walking downtown on a Sunday night in late summer (before the new semester was to begin.) The roads are nearly empty and he starts asking why he was a dork. He perceived dork to mean clumsy, which of course, fits but is by no means the complete example. So he looks at the three others of us, and says “Could a dork do this?”

And he starts leapfrogging road parking meters.

Every five feet he’d leap and do it well. He had a rhythm. It didn’t look dorky at all. Until he leaped before he looked and on his way down to his normal landing position he saw a former parking meter shaft, cut off, at about 4 feet tall, and about 2 inches from his crotch. He screams in a child’s most high pitch fear voice, he can only slightly adjust his descent, and he gets hit straight in his family jewels. And for the next two hours his voice was high pitch, and he was crying.

I didn’t laugh, much, because I thought he ruptured his scrotum or individual nuts.

I offered to take him to ER. He cried for two days almost and told everyone how he was so great leaping the meters. Well, he neglected to tell the whole story, and while I avoided laughing at him and others finished the story, he couldn’t see how he slam-dunked the last chance to not be seen as a dork.

He was not only a dork, he was the Dork King.”

 

Alex Ness is a writer of prose, poetry, and sequential fiction (comics). From the state of Minnesota he shivers and writes in the basement of his home, covered in cats, and drinking Diet Mountain Dew. He loves myth, legends, and the power of words to tell epic and universal truths. His work can be found here https://www.amazon.com/Alex-Ness/e/B00TYW7724

Trying to Remember: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

This is a series where I try to write the synopsis of a movie BASED SOLELY on my ratty childhood memories of it.

Scooby-doo-on-zombie-island

SCOOBY-DOO ON ZOMBIE ISLAND

Um, okay. Spoiler Alerts. Maybe. Hahaha

So Scooby-Doo and the gang have split up and gone their separate ways… wait… isn’t this the plot of the live-action movie? Hmm not off to a good start… Okay, so Daphne and Fred are like in a random marketplace or something and this girl naaaamed… Leyla?… tells them that she lives on an island in the Louisiana bayou and that the island is TRULY HAUNTED. Daphne who is… like an investigative news reporter now, for some reason, is like YO! LET’S GO! And they have to gather the gang back up, which apparently isn’t hard once they tell Scooby and Shaggy about all the Gumbo that they will eat there.

So this gruff riverboat guy takes them to the island where Scooby gets into a fight with a catfish for some reason. And then they meet Leyla and her sister… um… blonde Leyla. Blonde Leyla is pretty hospitable, except that she doesn’t like Scooby because he’s an icky dog.

Daphne immediately goes into the kitchen to film some like reporter thing. And while she’s filming, a civil war ghost appears and carves “GET OUT” on the wall with his sword. So Daphne takes a spoon and starts scraping the wallpaper off (Lol is this memory even real?). Leyla is like WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY ARE YOU DESTROYING MY KITCHEN?! And that’s when Daphne is like Hey this wall has been made from an old pilgrim ship… or something like that.

shiplap joke

omgshiplap
OMG SHIPLAP!!

 

So anyways, one night, zombies start chasing them. And there is a SUPER COOL THEME SONG THAT PLAYS. And then I think maybe Shaggy falls into a pit or something? Iono. But the sun comes up and the zombies, like, slink back into the mud and disappear.

So probably some other stuff happens and mystery-solving that I don’t remember. But then they discover that Leyla and Blonde Leyla are actually… evil cat people (???). And gruff riverboat guy is actually an evil cat person too! So they’re stuck on the island. And all the cat monsters have been trapping people and sucking out their souls and turning them into zombies… I think to be able to live forever or something? And also I feel like there’s some big monologue about how their feelings were hurt by pilgrims or whatever.

anigif_enhanced-8738-1413402888-22

Anyway, Scooby saves them somehow, but I don’t remember. I think he breaks their little green scepter thing that sucks out their souls… No, wait… that’s the live-action version again…

Um. Scooby saves the day and gets a Scooby Snack. THE END!

 

GOES AND READS THE ACTUAL SYNOPSIS

Wow. Pretty bang on.

 

 

 

Trying to Remember: Kiki’s Delivery Service

The other day, Dan was asking me about Kiki’s Delivery Service. (You know, one of those two in the morning conversations.) And something occurred to me…

THIS MOVIE THAT I HAD WATCHED LIKE EVERY DAY AS A CHILD WAS BARELY IN MY BRAIN ANYMORE. How can that be possible? I know I’ve seen this movie more than a dozen times. So what? Fifteen little measly years can go by and erase this BEAUTIFUL CLASSIC MASTERPIECE FROM MY LIFE???

So, I had an idea. (You know, one of those two in the morning ideas.) What if I tried to explain the movie with only the vague bits and pieces that I remembered? And ALSO what if I embarrassed myself by making it a whole series on my blog?

Beautiful. Let’s do it.

kiki

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE: A VERY SHODDY SYNOPSIS

 

Okay, so there’s this witch with a big red bow and a black cat. And she lives with her… family (???) in the woods (?????). And the family is like, Hey now, your power is flying on a broomstick so you need to go and do something with your life and… help people probably. So, I guess this child witch has come of age and ventures off to… venture, I guess.

While she’s flying around looking for a place to be a witch, she runs into another witch flying along with a white cat. She tries to talk to her, but the other witch BLATANTLY SNUBS HER. And she’s like WOW what a little B-witch. And then that witch character never appears in the story again… I’m pretty sure…

snot

Okay, then she ends up in this… French looking town? And finds a bakery and tells the old woman, “Hey, I can help you deliver your rolls by flying all around town.” And the old woman says, “Cool. You can live in my attic if you want.”

So, she… delivers bread around town… getting to know townspeople and stuff. And like helping them? Okay, maybe I’m actually thinking of Pollyanna… I don’t know. I legit am getting a headache, I am trying SO FREAKING HARD TO REMEMBER THIS.

Um, alright, so there’s a nerdy boy with a striped shirt and they become friends. And… some stuff happens… and she can’t fly for some reason… and it’s important that she fly because of… another reason. So this cute nerdy boy takes her on what I think is a bike. Lmao I don’t know why I’m imagining a blimp / bike. I think that’s wrong. But whatever, so this kid takes her on a blimp / bike and she gets it to fly. And they… deliver… the bread.

notablimp

Um, The End. I guess.

 

GOES AND READS THE REAL SYNOPSIS

 

Okay. Wow.  What? Not even close.

Why do I not remember this? IT’S SUPER CUTE. Where can I buy this movie??

The FACE

Okay. I’m pretty embarrassed to share this piece of information with you… because it’s going to ‘out’ basically every guy I’ve ever been attracted to.

So, sometime during my mid-twenties, like already married and everything, I was talking to a best friend of mine about past dating life, celebrity crushes and that sort of girl gab… And I told her that I have a really, really specific type that I like physically…

 

REENACTMENT TIME. Two friends having a shallow conversation over a tray of chicken nuggets.

Me: So, every single celebrity and guy I’ve been attracted to has the same face. The Same. Exact. Face.

Her: Haha. Okay, like what?

Me: Brown eyes. Most importantly.

Her: Most importantly?

Me: As big as humanly possible. Freakishly big brown puppy dog eyes.

Her: Is that it? They all have big, brown eyes?

Me: Well… And I like brunettes.

Her: Sure. A natural with the brown eyes. Short hair or long?

Me: You know that sixties hair where it’s like swooped over but still with decent side-burns?

Her: Ooh yeah.

Me: I like cheekbones. Like when their cheeks ball up when they smile.

Her: Oh yeah, that’s cute.

Me: Just a lot of face. An overwhelming amount of face. Like the chunkier the dude the better.

Her: Uh…

Me: And like, I know I should probably be trying to breed out my big nose, but I love long noses. A real man’s nose.

Her: You… you know you just perfectly described… feature by feature… Woody from Toy Story, right?

Me: …

Her: …

Me:

jcena

!!!

 

No, this is not a joke. And no, this is not an exaggeration either. I have no idea why I didn’t put it together sooner. Honest to goodness, not lying or making this up… three of my past love interests have even told me DIRECTLY that other people say they look like Woody (my husband included).

And okay, this best friend I was talking to reassured me that every girl had “A Face”. And she showed me hers. Hers was normal. Hers was like a Ben Affleck looking face. MINE IS A CARTOON TOY OKAY? HOW IS THAT A NORMAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE?

And like the creepiest part of it… is that I have always loved Woody. A little too much. Like once I got a Woody doll as a Christmas present and I actually cried over it. I do not know why I’m so attached to him as a character. I think maybe… loyalty? He’s super loyal throughout the series? (I’ve heard #4 is questionable here. I haven’t seen it yet) But, Toy Story One came out when I was five… which is a pretty impressionable age, right?

lmao

Another theory here. It’s not actually Woody. It’s Daniel. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that I was actively and purposefully seeking Dan’s exact face. Not to mention really specific personality traits that my husband has perfectly. It’s… very odd. I don’t know that I believe in soul mates, but it honestly almost feels like I remembered what Daniel looked like and I was trying to find him.

Either that or I’m really hot for Toy Story. Whatever.

I Randomly Generated an Emotional Short Story using only Shrek References

shrek

Swamp Feelings

A Short Story
by Val Manwill

Shrek had always loved the stinky swamp with its bad, bitter boulders. It was a place where he felt lonely.

He was a green, scary, muskrat stew drinker with green skin and large hands. His friends saw him as an old-fashioned, obnoxious ogre. Once, he had even revived a dying, legless gingerbread man. That’s the sort of man he was.

Shrek walked over to the window and reflected on his muddy surroundings. Duloc teased in the distance like fighting dragons.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Donkay. Donkay was a big donkey with a hideous tail and powerful fur.

Shrek gulped. He was not prepared for Donkay.

As Shrek stepped outside and Donkay came closer, he could see the important glint in his eye.

Donkay gazed with the affection of 3765 ugly fine fairy tale creatures. He said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want friendship.”

Shrek looked back, even more gassy and still fingering the Shrekish goblet. “Donkay, ogres are like onions,” he replied.

They looked at each other with angry feelings, like two breakable, burnt blind mice saving at a very ogre quest, which had Smashmouth music playing in the background and two shreky uncles swamping to the beat.

Shrek studied Donkay’s hideous tail and powerful skin. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Shrek in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you Donkay.”

Donkay looked god-like, his emotions raw like a prickly, pretty pitchfork.

Shrek could actually hear Donkay’s emotions shatter into 7420 pieces. Then the big donkey hurried away into the distance.

Not even a drink of muskrat stew would calm Shrek’s nerves tonight.

THE END
Many thanks to the plot generator for this piece of important literature:

Almost Getting Killed By a Pen Lid

During the school play, we were all goofing around on stage after a show. In this particular play we had a cap gun, which isn’t unusual for a school play. We were annoying theater kids so OBVIOUSLY someone had the gun and was swinging it around and yelling… probably while singing show tunes or using some kind of bad English accent. I mean, whenever were we not doing that stuff? What else do you expect from us?

Anyways, after pointing the gun at just about every single person in the cast, he holds it over his head and pulls the trigger. KA-BLAAM! It was the sound that you would expect from a real gun. I mean, we all stopped in our tracks, like what? Did that Pinocchio gun just become a real gun? On the ceiling above the stage (yes you could see the ceiling, it was a small stage) embedded into the tile was a blue pen lid.

pen lid

Someone had shoved a pen lid into the barrel of the cap gun and it had shot out as if it were an actual bullet. Now, obviously, some high school kid did this as a joke. I’m sure they just thought it would be funny to see the gun jam and then we would have to adlib some crazy thing on stage. BUT I think they seriously underestimated the drama of the drama department.

I immediately jumped to the conclusion that, HOLY FRICKIN TOLEDOS, this was a set up to have someone in the cast killed.

makin

At the end of the third act, the gun is shot randomly around at the cast during a struggle… so if this one actor hadn’t been goofing around before a show, someone would have gotten a pen lid stuck two inches into their body. It was like wedged so hard into the ceiling too. I remember we had to stand on a chair and really yank it down. I mean OBVIOUSLY, this was the dealings of a MURDERER. I was ready to call the police.

Looking back at it now, I’m sure it was just someone in the cast who was trying to play a prank. I’m sure they didn’t come forward at the time because I was about to slap a pair of handcuffs on someone. I never found out for sure who did it, even though you bet I tried, Watson.

clueb

So anyways, that was one of the times I almost died in front of an audience.

COLLECTIVE: THEATRE MISHAPS (PART ONE)

WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST LIVE PERFORMANCE MISHAP STORY?

(Some of these stories have been re-written / re-worded for clarity sake.)

 

#1

I was teching a show once when the power blew out. The theater went completely pitch black for a full couple of minutes while I ran all the way to the power box to flip the breakers.

#2

My hair got caught in another actor’s button while my character was passed out. Both the actors on stage spent several minutes trying to get my hair free from the button, but they ended up having to rip my hair. The audience absolutely lost it and thought it was the funniest thing ever. I managed to maintain my composure and not laugh or open my eyes.

haircaught

#3

I once went down a dark hall to opening curtain and banged my shin into a wooden box. I was out on stage with my legs bleeding all over. The show must go on. Later turned into a huge blood problem called Mersa and almost lost my leg.

#4

I was a maid in the play and I was supposed to come out and give one of the actors a cup of tea. One time during a live performance I couldn’t find my prop teacup and in a panic another actor handed me a random glass to take out. It had some kind of liquid in it but I didn’t pay any attention to it. I gave him the glass and returned backstage. The other actor who gave me the glass freaked out and asked me why I hadn’t told him not to drink it. I asked him why, what was in it. He said, “I don’t know, I just found it out in the hall.” Glad I hadn’t poisoned him!

spittake

#5

Once in Three Musketeers I was to put my head on a solid box after a battle scene. Someone mistakenly put a different a light weight box down.. during a fight scene my head went thru the box and caught my head and ears… the light came up again and I lied there in the box for four or so minutes until the scene change. The show must go on.

#6

I was once in a play that was specifically put on for Elementary kids. In one scene, I had to read a book with my back turned towards the audience. The prop I had was an old medical book with illustrations. And I swear every single time I cracked the book open it would open to a big drawing of a penis that I would accidentally flash the kids with!

book close

#7

It was the last show before striking the set, and I had done the show so many times that it was all second nature to me. So, in my off time, I settled in and started playing Zelda on my DS. I got so absorbed that I missed my cue for about 10 minutes and they couldn’t find me. Pretty embarrassing.

#8

When I was Friar Tuck in Robin Hood. I had costume mishap. There was a part where I swing Robin Hood around on my back. One show, his sword caught my pants and pulled them down. I ad-libbed and said, “Robin you’re a leg man I see.” To this day people think that was part of the script.

pants

#9

For class, we decided to do the ending scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. We weren’t able to get a sugar glass bottle made in time so we decided to use a real one. Big mistake. Somewhere in between breaking the bottle and the tussle, my partner pushed my hand back and I cut up the side of my nose with the glass. We finished out the scene, I bowed and then ran to the bathroom to take care of my bleeding face.

#10

My first show after having a baby was “Annie.” I was Lily St Regis and at one point rooster would throw me over his shoulder and run off stage. Well, this particular show, when he threw me over his shoulder, I ripped a huge fart. His mic was right next to my butt sooooo the whole audience heard it.

 

Part Two comes out next month! If you have any mishap stories to contribute be sure to send them to me!

The Puppet Switch

This is my all time favorite theater mishap story to tell. I can’t help laughing anytime I think about it.

So I was in this darling children’s play. My friend had written a stage adaption for the children’s book Ferdinand the Bull. And in this play, we had puppets. When the bull characters are kids at the beginning of the play, they are portraited with puppets. The actors would be on stage with our little puppets walking them around… almost as if we were out there playing with stuffed animals (just to give you the idea). Then at the very end, we would get into our full bull costumes in order to become ‘the adult versions”.

super cute
This…
713TEUDfOrL._UY445_
… to this.

It was a day play. And since we performed for school kids we typically held shows in the morning. One of my fellow actors had a night job as a security guard at the time. We’ll call him… Ryan, or something. So more often than not, Ryan would work a graveyard and then come straight to the theater right afterward. So in his defense… that would make any human being just a wee bit more than loopy!

I was supposed to come barreling out with my puppet (Torpedo) run him around the stage and start fighting with Ryan’s puppet. We had this like goofy little fight choreographed where the puppets got up on their hind legs and kick each other, spin around and flip! It was really cute and the kids loved it.

So I get ready to bust out through the curtains like any other day. I hear my cue. Bam! And what do I see? I don’t see Ryan with a little puppet. Oh no. I see Ryan in his grown-up bull costume on all fours.

Ummmmmm kay.

There was this weird moment where the play just froze. I completely stopped dead in my tracks and stared at Ryan. Ryan looked back at me with this freaking unforgettable face. His smile said this is perfectly normal. But his eyes said I’ve made a serious mistake, please help.

help

Um, the show must go on, I guess? I kept going with the scene. I ran around and fought Ryan with my puppet. Everything that we had blocked out with these little toy puppets, he now had to do himself. I can’t even begin to tell you how awkward that was. Slamming my little-stuffed animal into his head and him like wiggling his arms and batting the puppet around. I don’t know how it was even possible to keep face and not laugh at how confusing this must be to the audience. Like, why?? What is the artistic direction in this? Why are these kid bulls hanging around this creepy adult bull? I don’t even know.

The best part is, he was in too deep. He couldn’t even fix his mistake, because now the audience thinks that’s part of the show. He had to do THE WHOLE REST OF THE SHOW in this adult bull costume that’s only supposed to be at the end. Every weird thing we had blocked with the puppets, he had to try to mimic.

… Whenever I have a bad day, I just think of this.