May 26, 2015

The Paper Towel Piece


A screenshot of a brilliant movie idea. Taken back when Ellen Page was naming other people's dogs on Twitter.

It's been a while since I've done anything with inanimate objects. This isn't a story I wrote for this blog specifically; it was for my Submissions box on Tumblr. I figured no one would send me submissions, and thus would never take the time to read the guidelines.


The story's pretty similar to my duct tape and Band-Aid® stories in terms of characterisation and plot.

The Paper Towel Piece

Once upon a time, there was a piece of paper towel. It was made out of 90% recycled paper, and it was proud of this. "I'm more environmentally friendly than you," it bragged to its non-post-consumer-waste-manufactured counterparts, who merely shrugged (as paper towels do) and waited in their comfortable, 2-ply, perforated rolls.

The paper towel rectangle, along with the rest of its kin in the same package, was eventually taken and put into a paper towel dispenser. 'This is it,' it thought. 'Soon, they'll witness my superiority!'

It felt itself being pulled out of the dispenser. Its time had come! It felt wetness soaking into it, and was about to pat itself on the back for a job well done, when it heard:

"Man, these paper towels suck so much. Why does our school keep buying this brown shit when it doesn't even work?"

"Yeah, I know! It just spreads shit around! I swear to God, it's anti-absorbent. Like, it doesn't clean up spills, it makes them bigger."

"Whatever man. Grab that white roll in the closet. Good thing M. LaChance keeps one around."

And so, the paper towel rectangle learned the disappointing truth.

The end.

May 23, 2015



Found this picture on my laptop. Don't know who the original artist is; thought it was appropriate for today's subject.

Didn't update Tuesday; spent the past week or so at other people's houses without my laptop. I came back to over 80 emails in my inbox, and it made me want to scream.

Anyway, just a little blurb about my mother's childhood for today, since she used to live in Hong Kong back when things were... different. Half of this conversation took place in Cantonese, so parts have been translated.

My Mother's Family

"Mum," I said, "tell me about your childhood. Anything interesting?"

"No," she replied, "not really."

"Well then just tell me about your life."

"It's pretty boring. We used to live in a stone house. Then, we moved to a wooden house, in one of the poorer areas (she didn't specify where, she literally said "poor-people area"). Your grandfather gambled a lot. He gambled all his wages away, so we had to move. After that, he managed to stop."

I asked her where she went to school.

"My brothers and I went to private school. My father worked two jobs -- as a streetcleaner, then, because some of the garbage he picked up was saleable, he would resell whatever he picked up -- and he put us through school. We were too stupid, didn't do well enough on our tests, to get into publicly-funded schools."

"Then what?"

"Then I went to nursing school*."

"Tell me about your mum. Did she work?"

"She didn't work until I was in middle school. Then, she worked at a perfumery, bottling perfumes.

"She's amazing (or "formidable", this was a little harder to translate). If she had learned to read better -- she was nearly illiterate -- she could have done great things. Her memory was incredible -- she only ever had to see or do things once and she would remember everything. If I ever touched the flowers or disarranged the house in any way, she would come home, see it, and beat the lights out of me. I remember once, I accidentally burned the sleeve of my new jacket** while cooking. My mother beat me like crazy after that."

My aunt, washing the dishes laughed sympathetically. "You're lucky you even got to go to school," she said. "We had to work because we didn't have money. And I met your mother a few times, back in Hong Kong. She had a sharp tongue, complained about a lot."

"She is very smart," my mum said. "She lives in welfare housing now, with my older brother and his wife."

* There is more to the story, but she didn't elaborate in this conversation. Basically, she had to choose between arts and science in school, and she chose science. She told me that she really should have chosen arts, because she was much better at those subjects, but she chose science because she was young and stupid***

** This jacket, transliterated as "meen lap" from Cantonese, is a super warm, down-stuffed [overstuffed], silk-encased affair. They're very expensive.

*** One of my favourite stories from my mum is about how "stupid****" she was when she was very young. She used to ride the bus, look out the window (as one does), and notice that the road and outside environment were passing by very quickly. "I wondered how they made the world outside move to transport us from one place to another," she said, "and I didn't realise that we were the ones moving. I was super confused; in my head, I just had a giant question mark."

****I thought she was brilliant.

... and that's it. Those are all the details my mum volunteered before she got distracted by her Chinese dramas. Stay tuned for my dad's stories. As a totally unrelated side note, Hong Kong has dismal elderly care.

May 16, 2015



Nicole Stamp as Artemis. Still unfinished and badly coloured, may come back and repost when I'm done. And I think I may have made her look a little too shapeless... but that's how those stupid Greek tunics work! They drape and hide bodies!
It's three in the morning!!! I am quite tired. Phew. Hopefully I won't make any mistakes while posting this.

May 12, 2015

Birthday Party


It's a single!

I wanted to finish up the last story with Riley and the old man for today, but I didn't. I'll get around to it at some point.

My friend Sarah is celebrating her birthday, so I recorded a birthday song and drew the album cover above.

May 05, 2015

The Living Food


Relatively quick, unfinished sketch of the old man. Picture him leaning on a cane. In other news, I have a person in mind for Riley's drawing (coming up in the fifth story of the series), so that's exciting.

Another tall tale, in which Riley and the old man return for the fourth riveting installment of the Globetrotter Stories. Their thrilling travels will draw to a close on the 12th -- spoiler alert, the fifth and final story is titled Riley and Death, and I'm in the middle of writing it -- so stay tuned!  [Update, December 18, 2015: I never finished it. I'm now working on a different story that should resolve Riley's storyline] Links to the other stories are at the end.

The Living Food

"Hello, and welcome to the Cafeteria Jungle!"

Riley nudged the old man, who was observing a small line of bacon bits marching by.

"What is this place?" she whispered.

"Th' Cafeteria Jungle," he whispered back, "din't ye listen?"

"We're just in some old, overgrown cafeteria!"

"Now then," the tour guide said, "to your left you will see Lardae incessu, or Marching Bacon Bits. Don't worry -- these little guys aren't dangerous, but they are a little salty." She paused. A few group members gave weak chuckles.

May 02, 2015

The Beer Jar: Beerdel Test pt. 4.5 (Pauwel Kwak)


A picture I found in my computer of a traffic jam on the 401 --- possibly the Highway of Heroes, but it's been such a long time that I can no longer remember where this is --- due to a truck rollover. Photo credit: (c) 2012 L. Caird.

I am in the process of cleaning out my drafts for this blog, and I'm happy to say that there are posts lined up from now until the 12th -- which, yes, is not that many, but it's nice to have some regular content again.

It has been a long, long time since my last Beerdel Test. It had actually left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, not that anyone was really holding their breath. The following text was languishing in my drafts, and I figured I should at least finish off the Three Belgian Beers.

Pauwel Kwak

This beer was a little baffling. I didn't really end up deciding whether it's a fitting lady's beer or not. If it makes a difference, its bottle is appropriately slim.

A preliminary Google search tells me that this beer should be served in a special glass, but I had neither the means nor method of getting said glass, so I stayed with my (Anabelle's) mason jar.

Take note of this, ladies: the first thing I thought of when I initially took a whiff of the beer was "tomato soup". Subsequent sniffs reinforced the fact that my brain wasn't making me think of something [probably] more nutritious than beer. It smelled like tomato soup.

This, another strong beer, poured much darker and clearer than both of my previous bottles. The label boasted of "an uncomparable belgian [sic] top fermentation beer with a unique taste". If my Translation professor 'has reason', and she usually does, I think a better marketing move would have been to use "incomparable". Bygones. Moving on.

A strong, dark ale that smelled like tomato soup. At first sip, it tasted much more grainy than any other beer I'd reviewed so far - perhaps a plus for ladies? I'm actually not too sure; I'm used to lady beers tasting like nothing. It certainly had a higher alcohol - and thus Caloric - content than any other beer I'd reviewed, at 8.4%.

Honestly, I rather liked it, despite the lack of special glassware and such. The point of the glass is, I think, to allow the beer to aerate during drinking, which is perfectly doable when drinking in small, lady-like sips.

Recommended for adventurous ladies and hipsters who don't actually enjoy hops! I think my search for a lady beer has met with some success, with both this and the Affligem Blond.