Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
April 3, 2018
No. I do not think that.
Category: Miscellany

Quote from a woman at last night's writing group meeting, to which I did not respond because doing so in full would have completely derailed the discussion: "When I'm at the store, I always stop by the toy section. I hope y'all don't think I'm a pedophile."

But really? Is that a thing anyone would think? There's no reason to assume that an affinity for toys suggests a sexual attraction to children -- heck, most of the toy enthusiasts I know wouldn't want kids anywhere near their collections. That's not to say that a toy collector couldn't also be a pedophile (though, as far as I know, I don't know any collectors who are into kids). I'm just saying that Uncle Touchy's G.I. Joes would be off limits to guests in the naked puzzle basement.

-posted by Wes | 2:45 pm | Comments (0)
February 27, 2018
You shall look fairer…
Category: Miscellany

So I was at a bar the other night, and I considered sending a relatively attractive woman across the room a drink and/or risking what little social self-confidence I possess by approaching her and saying hello. But then I looked at her again and thought, "You shall look fairer ere I give or hazard." And I smiled smugly to myself and kept sipping my 50-cent beer.

(The significance of the quote? It's spoken by the Prince of Arragon in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice... and I'll be playing that haughty prince in an upcoming production of the play. More on that another time!)

-posted by Wes | 4:15 pm | Comments (0)
May 16, 2017
Nightmare Fuel: A True Story
Category: Miscellany

I heard you like nightmare fuel? Lean in: let creepy Uncle Wes tell you a tale of terror.

This is a true story that happened to me when I was a younger man. I remember it like it happened yesterday... except I remember it even better than that because it happened roughly thirty minutes ago.

I had just returned home from work. After washing up and changing out of my work clothes, I entered my room and felt a cold tickle along my shoulder. I reached into my t-shirt sleeve to scratch the imagined itch, and when I brought my hand back into the light I noticed something... unusual... between my fingertips. The first point of confusion was that the thing I held appeared to be a bit of thread -- which was curious because, while it did appear to match the checkered shirt I had worn to work, I had since removed that shirt and was then clad only in the t-shirt I had worn beneath it. The thread's color suggested that it had not come from the t-shirt, which was white, and it would have been odd for a thread from an outer garment to somehow work its way under my undershirt. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 10:04 pm | Comments (0)
April 30, 2017
They’re so 144!!!
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So this weekend I got to be "that guy" (or at least one of "those guys") at the East Coast Comicon in Seacaucus, NJ -- by which I mean that guy who's interested in this super obscure thing that nobody's heard of. Since this sounded like a more comic-focused con than most of the ones I attend these days, and since I'm currently all about Madballs (I mean, I'm always all about Madballs, but right now I can actually walk into stores and buy them!) I went to ECC with a mission more specific than my neverending quest for cheap toys: to acquire Madballs comics from the 1986-1988s Star series.

Of the multiple vendors I asked, only two even seemed to remotely know what I was talking about. One didn't have the books on hand, but he did get excited and asked me if I was familiar with a particular artist (I wasn't, but I also don't know the names of the Madballs artists). This artist, he said, not only drew for the books, but was actually in attendance at that very convention and had lots of relevant art with him! I spent a good amount of time looking for that artist and was disappointed when I couldn't find him, but I did find the work of an artist (with a different name) who had done Garbage Pail Kids art. Still, it was clear that that vendor at least sort of knew what Madballs were, even though he got certain details confused. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:58 pm | Comments (0)
June 23, 2016
Friendship is Magic
Category: Miscellany … Serious

Today, as a student and I perused a list of writing prompts in search of an engaging topic, we happened upon one that tasked students with describing how to make a new friend.

"How about that one?" I said. "That looks like a fun prompt."

"I don't have much to write about that," replied the student. "My best friend -- he just came up to me and said, 'Will you be my best friend?' I said, 'Okay!' And we've been best friends for three years."

And I was fascinated by this revelation, because it just seemed so simple -- and because, I guess, that really is how friendship works for children. I think that's even how one of my most enduring childhood friendships started; we met in the 2nd grade and remained close until our sophomore year of high school, when he matter-of-factly informed me that we could no longer be friends because he needed to be with "his own kind." (He was Korean American. I am not.)

I smiled at my student and said, "Huh! Maybe I should try that."

But then it dawned on me that I *had* actually tried that -- and in the past few days, no less. When I asked if that person wanted to be friends, the answer was an unequivocal "no." (The explanation -- which I didn't ask for -- was this: "You and I are just so different.")

My student smiled back and said, "It couldn't hurt."

-posted by Wes | 1:00 am | Comments (0)
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