Archive | June, 2013

Bread Explodes Ducks

26 Jun

Hey guys!

When I was a tiny human, the park nearest to my home was known for one thing– the Thug Duck.

He was this clean, normal looking duck until you got really close. If you weren’t close enough to the pond to threaten him, you could lure him to the shore with bread crumbs. Slowly, he’d come a little bit closer.

At the top of his little duck head, all of his feathers were up turned– almost as if he were trying to mimic the Elvis pompadour or a feathery afro.

He walked with such a heavy limp, but that wasn’t quite normal either. It was like watching Long John Silver from the Muppet’s Treasure Island. The character literally did not have a leg, and would have swing his peg back and forth to maneuver himself across a cramped ship kitchen. This duck walked just like that.

He’d swing his leg forward with every step and we were never sure whether to pity him… or whether he was a duck with swagger. Honestly, we felt like it would have been rude to ask.

He had this look in his eye, too. Like if you got too close, he’d rip your leg off. You would think, Oh ducks can’t do that. Tiny beak. large human leg. Math. But you’d be wrong– and if you looked this duck in the eye, you’d know that.

More recently though, at this local park, a friend and I were walking around a pond and kept seeing these strange signs everywhere:



If you came to this blog expecting high art, you have another thing coming, bro.

So, apparently, we can’t feed ducks bread anymore. Neither of us really knew why. There were dispensers all around the pond full of “duck food”– which really just looked like dog food.

Occasionally one would look at us with a glimmer of hope, only to see us grab stuff from the dispenser. The ducks just waddled off sadly when we tried to offer them food.

Meanwhile, the geese had a ravenous look in their eye. They looked like they wanted to goose us to death– then again, that’s how the geese always look.

After some highly intellectual deductions, my friend and I decided that the sign meant:


I imagine that it would explode in a ball of flame and gas, but maybe it’d explode into a mess of candy and confetti. I don’t know. I’ve never exploded a duck before.

Really, that was the only logical conclusion.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the Thug Duck since I was in high school…but I’m certain he went out in a blaze of glory.

In other news, I’ve finished listening to “The Ocean At the End of the Lane”, written and narrated by Neil Gaiman. He is a fantastic narrator, but you can read my full review on goodreads if you are so inclined.

I’m now listening to “Guilty Pleasures” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It was free through my public library, and I’ve heard great things about it as an urban fantasy novel with vampires in it. It sounded like a good read.

… but y’all. I cannot get five minutes into it without giggling.

I think something in me is broken. Well, sort of. Maybe.

It is narrated by a lady who has this tendency to make the guy voices sound– oh my goodness, they sound hilarious. Plus, my natural immaturity comes out when I have a story like this one read out loud… I don’t know if I’ll end up finishing it.

I work in disability insurance, guys. If I start giggling in my cubicle, people will think I’ve gone mad.

Audiobooks with Joe ‘Damnation-For-All” Smith

11 Jun

My first experience with audiobooks was as a teenager. As a busy person who spent most of my time between AP study groups and band practice, reading was only something I did in short bursts—like, in those moments when the trumpet section had to spend half an hour working through their part, while the rest of us had to sit there and wait.

Thankfully, we never had any trumpeters with much skill.

Since I was so caught up between school, extracurricular, and copious amount of internet use, I decided to try audiobooks. After all, they’re something you can listen to while studying or while driving. Sure, you can’t listen to them while playing the flute, but you can only expect so much from the world.

In between band and school, though, I actively participated in a church youth group, and I got it in my head to attempt to read the entire bible. Yeah, I was that kid. Also, if you haven’t noticed, the bible is huge. Like the size of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, including all the appendices and The Hobbit. I didn’t have the time, much let the energy to power through it all… so I decided to try an audiobook.

As a student, though, I was cheap and clever. Many classics, including religious texts, can often be found for free as an audiobook, if you search the internet hard enough. For “The Holy Bible”, I found the audiobook under ‘Podcasts’ from iTunes. It had every book narrated by the same guy—seemed legit… until I turned it on.

Immediately, the audio starts with the sounds of thunder and lightning. It goes on for a bit—for dramatic effect, I assume—until a loud booming voice burst into my headphones saying “IN THE BEGINNING”.

I can only imagine that in some studio, there was some older gentleman reading the bible. Then, he is stopped. A producer peeks out from behind his monitor to say, “Try it again. But this time, make your voice deeper—almost scary. Think: hell fire, the plagues, floods to destroy mankind, top it off with a pinch of damnation. Remember, you’re competing against the thunder that we’re putting in the background.”

I couldn’t make it past thirty seconds… and the worst part is that I listened to the first 30 seconds to minute of at least 10 books—and all of them were like that. All of them.

After that, it was a while before I dared pick up another audiobook.

More recently, however, I’ve gotten a job where I’m alone in my cubbie, talking to no one for most of the day. I could listen to the back noise of the office—people walking, the drip coffee makers, the mumbling of a couple of radios, the fax machine… that damn fax machine. OR I could put my headphones on and listen something.

After I went through my entire iTunes library, I decided to delve into audiobooks again—only, this time, it wouldn’t be a free version of The Holy Bible narrated by Joe “Damnation For All” Smith.

Instead, I picked up “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne John narrated by Jenny Sterlin.

Guys, oh my gosh, y’all. It was awesome.

Jenny Sterlin had the perfect voice for this book. She was able to sound formal and smart for younger Sophie, and switch to the old and wily Sophie when she needed to. Even outside of the dialogue, her voice gave me that nostalgic feeling of being a third-grader again. I could remember sitting on the floor of my classroom, listening to my teacher read us a story. There was that feeling of nostalgic captivation throughout the entire story.

Now, I’m somewhat obsessed with finding audiobooks with great narration. I’ve finished Howl’s Moving Castle, and decided to pick up “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” written/narrated by Jenny Lawson—aka The Bloggess. (Really, if you don’t know who she is, you should crawl out from under that rock you’ve been living under and google it).

I figure, a book narrated by the same person who wrote it had to be pretty good, right? Right. Totally

Update: I’m now between three and four hours into “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”– it’s hilarious. I listened to the chapter on her experience in human resources and was laughing in my cubicle. My co-workers gave me looks of judgement. They’re totes jelly.

Peace out my home slices!

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