28 September 2007

Lamenta Says....

A few months ago, I played a game of monsters that conjured Lamenta, a new and odious character to add color my life. I love Lamenta, but she's basically like the caricature equivalent of rain on your parade.

Monsters, in case you are not acquainted with the practice, involves a community composition of a monster portrait. The game is divided into rounds, depending on how many players are available. During each round, players are responsible for adding a portion of a monster body. In a game with four players the rounds are traditionally head, torso, legs and feet. Each player gets a piece of paper and drawing utensil at the top of round one. Drawing monsters ensues.

When a player is finished drawing the particular monster bits of the round, the page is folded over so just a hint of the drawing is revealed. Everyone passes their page to the left (because any good debutante or stoner will tell you its good etiquette), and the next round begins. Lather, rinse, repeat. At the end of the four rounds, there is a great reveal of an oddly pieced together monster. The results are often quite amusing. As an added bonus, you can follow the game with a monster naming ceremony.

Lamenta was borne unto me one rainy Portland night at My Father's Place, a dive where the air is thick with smoke and the waitstaff serves up cheap, greasy spoon breakfasts to be washed down with whiskey in the wee hours of the morning. Sure, playing monsters seems like a childish barroom activity. I have to admit there is a great amount of overlap in the venn diagram of life comparing drunken friends and kids I used to babysit. Indeed, playing monsters was a favorite babysitting activity.

I don't remember exactly what Lamenta looks like, but I remember her to be a bit stodgy. I think she wore a bowler hat with a flower and wellington boots. Her face was contorted with misery and her jaw slack. She looked every bit like a wretched, self-loathing sourpuss. We added a caption of "Lamenta says..." and a speech bubble of an epically proportioned, "WHY?" Now, my friend Ben and I prompt each other:

"Lamenta says..."


Lamenta's voice sounds much akin to Marguerite Perrin, in case you have not heard this exchange. If Marguerite is a God Warrior, Lamenta is a Soldier of Misfortune. She's coincidentally a great scapegoat. Forget Aunt Flo coming to town... when Lamenta comes to visit, you can be certain the apocalypse is nigh.

Today I've oft been reminded of the plight of Lamenta. Sure, I'm not crying out with threats of doomsday, but I'm on the verge of a major crank-a-thon.

The day started out with a 5:15 am phone call. It was a wrong number. Which is particularly annoying when you are awakened with blaring thoughts of bad things happening to important people. Nothing like a good flash of panic to start your day! I spent most of the morning feeling jumpy and wound up. Needless to say, I didn't need any coffee this morning.

As an added challenge, the overnight overnight showers exacerbated my fall allergies. Being relatively new to the hay fever phenom, I refuse to do smart things like taking an anti-histamine before I leave for work or avoiding the urge to itch your eyes. Now I've busted up my left eyeball. It hurts, and it looks as if there is a big air bubble between the white eye bits and the film that rests on top of it. It's gross and uncomfortable.

While I'm nowhere near as miserable as Miss Lamenta, I'm still reserving the right to bitch and moan as I please.

24 September 2007


Perhaps you were not aware, but Crows and Badgers are good companions. True, the two are probably not convening for an inter-species tea party. I don't even think these two animals keep the same hours (though that doesn't prevent me from keeping up with certain company). Nonetheless, once every couple of blue moons/fortnights/ten minute intervals I need a badger to get this Crow back on track.

I believe my Crow-Badger connection was forged in my mind while I was quite young. I can hear the masses now, "Uh oh, Crow! I smell dangerous Freudian-fodder!" Unfortunately for you drama mongers, I am one of those bastards with an idyllic childhood in the suburbs. In fact, I substantiate my claims of Corvidae-Mustelidae companionship with folklore. Or, more specifically, with a coffee table book gifted to my parents some time in the 1980s. The book, Crows by Heidi Holder, took the old rhyme "One for sorrow, two for mirth..." and illustrated it with crows, weasels and badgers. It was one of those picture books that makes young eyes cross as one considers the somewhat hazy difference between artist and illustrator.

To be completely honest, the connection stems from the fact that in my younger days my mother routinely had to badger me to do just about anything that wasn't on my personal agenda so help me, Freud. Now I'm somewhat convinced that some sort of nagging, prodding, and beleaguering is necessary encouragement for my most fruitful endeavors. Now I'm not lazy (refutable), but I am needy. Thanks, Mama Crow!

Anyway, a thoughtful badger (we'll call him Mead Hunter because that's his name) stumbled upon this blog did what figurative badgers do best (i.e. figurative badgering). I had every intention of picking up the blog again, but I was stuck like a sheep on the edge of the cliff. A sheep just waiting for a the slightest nudge before taking the plunge.

I've decided not to abandon the old format of 250 word prose/plays, but rather expand to include my daily adventures. Though my life has fewer groped-by-Listerine-guzzling-man-on-bus adventures than it used to, I find my vanilla flavored existence to be delectable. Luckily for you readers, I've missed writing as means to procrastinate and, I'm relatively self-obsessed, which provides good fodder for bloggery. So sign up for my RSS feed already because as of today, you officially have my permission to badger me about any and all of the following:
  • writing this blog
  • applying to grad school
  • flossing
  • watching less PBS
That is all.