In Which I Unexpectedly Get Sunburn in the Middle of Winter

Image result for sunburn
This picture is physically painful to look at. Ow ow ow ow.

So now that I’m back from college, I finally have a room to myself. While my roommate was fine and all, there’s nothing quite as nice as getting home from work and knowing that nobody else will be in your room when you walk in. And knowing that I had a whole private room to myself, I did the only logical thing a person would do. I started sleeping in the nude.

I don’t recall doing this before college, but now that I was back home I tried to take full advantage of this newfound freedom. No roommate, no clothes. That was my new motto.

I did this for several wonderful, dream-filled nights, and I gotta say, it has its benefits. It’s how God intended us to sleep, I’ve been told.

Then the other day, I’ve noticed that my skin felt irritable. I put a shirt on and every part of my back it touched seemed to sting slightly. When I put on my jacket, the fabric touching my arms felt just as bad. What is this? I wondered. Why does my skin hurt?

I went the next few days like this, the conditions only getting worse and worse, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Was I having an allergic reaction to something? Did God actually intend for us to sleep fully clothed, with this being his way of punishing me? I only figured it out when I noticed that my arms were much more red than usual. (Not sure how I didn’t notice that sooner.) I pressed my finger against my skin, and when I let it go it left a white spot that I gradually returned to the surrounding pink. And then the explanation all unfolded in my mind within a matter of seconds. It felt like I had reached the big reveal in a mystery novel, and suddenly everything fell into place.

The light from my window gave me sunburn. 

The way my bedroom’s set up, the sun shines right on me each morning. I usually like that, because it keeps me from sleeping in too late. Except the last few nights I slept in until noon, meaning the sun was roasting its way through my back, arms, shoulders and potentially my nether regions without me even considering the idea that it would be a problem.

Let this be a lesson to y’all. Never sleep naked, or you will be roasted alive. Or at the very least, close the blinds.

On the bright side, you know how I’ve often talked about my failed attempts to get a tan? Well here is my chance to be the tannest white guy at Binghamton when I go back on the nineteenth. I just have to sleep on my back one day and sleep on my stomach the other, switching back and forth. Keep this up for a few weeks, and I’ll be like a human leather glove. 

There’s a bright side to everything, people. Remember that as you go into the new year.


The Little Engine Tag: (That’s right. I’m starting my own tag)

So I did an award post a couple months ago, and a thought occurred to me while filling it out: why can’t I make my own blog tag thingy? For one thing, I’d make sure all the questions are actually fun and thought-provoking, and can’t simply be answered with a boring one or two word answer, which is often the case. Also, I’d get free publicity! And I’d provide all those suffering from writer’s block some much-needed relief.

(I hear writer’s block is at its worst in the spring. Okay so I made that up, but it’s probably true.)

So I went ahead and invented my own blog tag, and here it is.

It’s called the Little Engine tag, because why not? The picture above is to be included in all future responses to this tag, unless the blogger in question simply doesn’t want to include it. In that case I am powerless to stop them.

Naturally, there are some rules to this tag, namely:

  1. Each answer you give to a question has to be more than two sentences long. Or at the very least, you have to make those two sentences meaningful.
  2. There will be two bonus questions at the end, that the blogger gets to change to whatever they want to ask when they nominate someone else. The first six questions, however, are set in stone.
  3. At the end you must nominate three to five other bloggers. Okay, so you don’t have to, but that would be nice if you could. (I want my blog name to spread on for all of eternity.)
  4. You know how sometimes in quiet classrooms, they’ll be that one guy clicking his pen fifty times a second, and it’s annoying as hell to everyone else? Yeah, don’t be that guy. This doesn’t apply to this tag so much, but more to life in general.

Now, onto the questions, which are:

1.) What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

(This question was designed to let you rant about something people do that bugs you. For example:)

I for one, hate when people call me “buddy.” It just always feels condescending, even when it isn’t mean to be. I also hate people call me “dumbass,” for more obvious reasons.

2) What is your favorite song at the moment?

(I included this question because I want to be exposed to more music.)

One song that’s been consistently in my head for the past six months is Where is my Mind? by the Pixies. I heard it on The Leftovers and I’ve been loving it ever since. It is the perfect song to bob your head to.

3) Who is your favorite blogger?

(Besides me, of course.)

Right now I’d pick The Mostly Confused Teenager, despite the fact that she hasn’t posted for a while. It’s just that many of her posts like “Those Crazy American Commercials” and “Being French,” are hilarious and well-written and I would like to get more of them, please.

4) What’s the nicest thing you’ve seen someone do recently?

(You can also write about something you did, if you want.)

There was a little kid in a wheelchair at McDonald’s the other day who went up to the counter alone and asked for an ice cream cone. The problem was that he couldn’t hold the cone and still steer back to his table at the same time, so my manager went over and helped him out, despite the restaurant being very busy at the time. This surprised me because said manager is usually a very rude, standoffish woman, but apparently she has a soft spot for handicapped little kids. (Then again, who doesn’t?) So this was a nice heartwarming moment in an otherwise terrible day.

5) What’s something you regret doing?

(Note: don’t pick something that you regret not doing, because those are usually more painful than funny.)

I regret buying an HP printer, because those are the worst, because I have never not had a problem with it since the moment I first set it up.

I also regret giving my friend one of my lottery tickets.

6) If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be, and why?

I for one would take my High School Musical 2 dvd, because Troy and Gabriella are my OTP. Then I guess I’d take some scissors, in case I need a haircut. Oh, and a pen cap to chew on. 

Pfft, this is so easy.

Now for the bonus questions: (Remember, you can change these to something else if you write your own post.

7) What past fad do you think should make a comeback?

Personally, I hope planking becomes a thing again. I find it hysterical. Remember this, anyone?

8) How would you describe the perfect date?

Mine would be: drive in theater, with the movie being Stephen King’s IT: Part One. Obviously this would never happen, but hey, I could dream.

And now for the nominations. You could nominate anywhere from three to five people, or not at all. But because I’m trying to start a new trend, I’m going to nominating quite a few, and I’ll be calling them out by name.

  • Engie, from Musings from Neville’s Navel. I know you’re busy with college and all, but screw college! This tag is much more important.
  • Liam, from This Page Intentionally Left Blank. I know you’re busy battling pirates and sea monsters right now, but as they say, the pen is mightier than the sword. Likewise, this tag is mightier than anything you could possibly be doing, so drop everything and get on it.
  • Susannah from Susannah Contra Mundum, because of your Lilo and Stitch GIFs.
  • Gwendolyn, from Apprentice, Never Master, because you didn’t actually think you’d be able to get out of this post unscathed, did you?
  • Shanti, from Virtually Read. I know you just did an award post, but technically this isn’t an award post. It’s an inconvenience more than anything else. 
  • Katie, from Spiral Bound. You are my mortal enemy, and hopefully you’ll expose a weakness by answering my questions. 
  • Confused Teen from The Mostly Confused Teenager, because the blogosphere needs you back. 
  • Kedslover from Alternative Sunny Days, because you are chiller than an ice cream cone.
  • Derek, from The Edwards Edition. Where you been, man? And don’t use life as an excuse, because I already called dibs on that one.
  • Literary and Lovely, from Literary and Lovely. I approve of your use of calculators.
  • Evi, at Adventures Through Pages. This is punishment for posting almost as inconsistently as me.
  • Aspen at AKA The Author. I read you were sick with laryngitis, so I decided to make life worse for you by pressuring you into this. 
  • Elm from Just Call me Elm or Something. If you were an actual elm tree, I probably wouldn’t chop you down unless absolutely necessary. 

Well, that’s ten people. Hopefully enough to spread this tag across the universe. I probably forgot someone really important to nominate, so if you’re one of those people I missed, I’m very sorry, and feel free to do this tag anyway, because you deserve it.

So the Craziest Thing Happened Last Night

An actual real-life photo

I was about to go to sleep, when I opened up my eyes to see a giant ass spider hanging above my face. I quickly rolled out of the bed, turned on the lights, and regarded the slightly-larger-than-average creature, which was still hanging there by a single web.

“Hello, Mr. Spider.”

“Hello, Matt.”

“Whatcha up to?” 

“Nothing, just . . . hanging around.”

“Oh,” I said. “Well, it’s kind of making me uncomfortable, would you mind hanging some place else?”

“Oh,” Mr. Spider said, sounding genuinely hurt and embarrassed. “I’m making you uncomfortable?”

I observed my feet and sort of half smiled in order to lighten the blow, “Yeah, you kind of are.”

Mr. Spider suddenly rose up the web so he was at eye level with me, and his voice deepened and grew darker and more mysterious. “What are you gonna do about it?” He taunted, his voice growing louder like thunder: “THIS IS MY BEDROOM NOW. I AM THE DARK LORD OF ULDAR, AND NO MORTAL BEING COULD POSSIBLY DEFY ME. NOW RUN ALONG, YOU TWO-LEGGED FILTH, LEAVE THIS ROOM AND MAYBE I WON’T SUCK THE BLOOD FROM YOUR VEINS—“

It was at this point that I took my brother’s old physics textbook, opened it up and closed it around him, crushing him, eight legs and all. I put the textbook away and went back to sleep. “Spiders are stupid.”


In other news: You know that “Sarcastic vs Genuine” quiz I posted awhile back? Well, here’s the answer key:

  1. Sarcastic
  2. Genuine
  3. Sarcastic
  4. Genuine
  5. Genuine
  6. Genuine
  7. Genuine
  8. Sarcastic
  9. Sarcastic
  10. Genuine

Don’t get too upset if you didn’t do so well, because let’s face it, there’s really no way you could’ve known for a few of those. 

Sarcastic or Genuine? A Game You’ll All Enjoy

I am occasionally a very sarcastic person, making random, unnecessary comments towards people with the ferocity of a particularly angry kitten. While this has its perks — it’s given me a bunch of wonderfully like-minded readers — it does have its downsides. For example, some people will read my sarcastic comments and think I’m being genuine. Or people will read my genuine statements and think I’m being sarcastic. You can see how this could be an issue, right? 

For example, take something I said in a forum a few months ago: “Treating women as human beings? That’s crazy!” 

Now imagine if someone had read that, without knowing much about me at all. “Wow,” they’d say. “Matt doesn’t think women should be treated like people? Well it looks like he’s just shown his true colors.” Then said person would unfollow me, and start an online petition demanding I delete my blog and jump off a bridge. Because this is the internet, millions of people would sign that petition without even bothering to fact check, and the next thing you know I’d be plummeting off the nearest bridge, wondering how it all went wrong. 

So to avoid that situation, I’ve thought of a game designed to test and improve your sarcasm detectors, particularly when it comes to me. Below are a list of sentences from past blog posts taken completely out of context, and in the comments below you’ll have to decide whether it’s sarcastic or genuine. Winner gets a shoutout in the next post, along with a high-five and bragging rights. S/he also gets the title of “Head Engine.” (It’s like a head minion, but not quite as good for the environment.)

So just to make sure we’re clear, this is how you’d answer them in the comments. Each statement will be numbered: 

  1. “The best feeling ever is when you tell a joke to a group of people, and none of them laugh.”

Your comment would be something like, “1: sarcastic.” Perhaps you can include an explanation to why you think it’s sarcastic, but I wouldn’t take points off if you didn’t.

So: let’s begin.

  1. “I felt really bad about it, too.”
  2. “I love it when it rains outside.”
  3. “Things would be so much happier there if they all just, like, chilled out, y’know?” 
  4. “But we also got a tiny tardis, so all its flaws are forgiven.” 
  5. “I was like Employee of the Month material, right then and there.” 
  6. “This is a tough one.” 
  7. “Everyone there was friendly and likeable.” 
  8. “Thanks for the pep talk, Dad.”
  9. “I expect a birthday cake from each of you.”
  10. “I don’t usually condone murder, but someone needs to kill that guy behind me who kept clapping every ten minutes.”

Good luck in the comments, although I must say, I doubt anyone will get all of them correct. There are some tricky ones in there.

A Few Quick Questions for Y’all

Question #1: Have you seen Interstellar yet?

Question #2: If so, what did you think?

Question #3: How many fingers am I holding up? Think: balance of probability.

Remember that your answers for these questions are roughly eleven times more important than you’d expect.

Just, y’know, try not to spoil anything.

My Quest for a Job

This girl is way too happy.

A little while back, my family went to New Hampshire to celebrate one of my cousins graduating from college. (I feel like I’ve mentioned this before.) Sometime during the party, I took a break from mastering Guitar Hero and sat down next to my aunt, in the chairs surrounding the fire pit.

Now for reasons you will probably be able to guess, I did not want to sit next to my aunt. I only did so because it was the only available seat, and I’d already made it clear I that I was planning on roasting marshmallows. As usual, I sat down for about ten seconds before she started prying into all the details of my life, sort of like how a deranged cannibal would pry out someone’s liver. I responded politely and all, but a keen observer would’ve noticed that my eyes were twitching from the intense desire to roll them, over and over again.

Anyway, after lamenting over how my parents didn’t send me to a proper catholic school like she did with her kids, she asked me if I had a job yet or not, to which I said no.

“What? You don’t have a job yet? But, you’re sixteen!” She called to her husband who was about twenty feet away. “Hey, did you know Matthew doesn’t have a job yet?”

“What?” he said, “I had my first job when I was eight years old.” And so the rest of the family members had a very long and nostalgic conversation about their first job, and they only roped me back into it whenever I thought I was safe to leave. This long and boring conversation got me thinking: hey, why don’t I have a job? I started to think about what my fictional mentor, Dr. Cox, would say if he found out I didn’t have one, and decided it would probably be something like this:

“I’d lu-hove to give you a little speech on how sad and pathetic your life is but unfortunately, Sheila, I’m just not a very big fan of talking to people who contribute absolutely nothing to society. Honestly, I’m better off talking to a car, or a desk, or oh, gosh, I don’t know, the very chair you’re sitting on, right now. Because at least that chair is providing someone a place to sit down. Sure, that someone is just a sad, unemployed jackass, and all the chair’s really doing is allowing said jackass to sit and ponder upon his own jackassery, but we shouldn’t judge the poor chair just because someone like you happens to be using it.” He would then start talking to the chair in a soothing voice, saying things like “It’s okay,” and “someone better will come along…”

Imagining Dr. Cox insulting me multiple times a sentence got me motivated, and so I started applying for jobs as soon as possible. First I applied for a movie theater, then Denny’s, Hannaford’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Shoprite, Dunkin Donuts, another Dunkin Donuts and finally McDonald’s, all of which were nearby. You may find it surprising that I applied for McDonald’s last, especially since as of 2013, there are more McDonalds than people in America today. (Don’t look that last part up; just take my word for it.) I’ve decided that I’d only apply for Mcdonald’s as a last resort, mostly because my brother works for Burger King, and if I got a job at McDonalds we would have to be enemies. As in, even worse enemies than we are now. (And besides, I heard that job’s terrible.) And as of now, not a single one of the other restaurants has replied to me. Yet.

I know, it’s been less than a week, so perhaps I should be a bit more patient. But considering that my brother literally only applied for one job and got it two days later, I thought this whole process would be easier. Maybe I’m just really bad at filling out applications…

(Ha, who am I kidding? I’m not bad at anything.)

So, what do you think? Should I be more patient? Should I apply to more places? Should I join the circus? If I do get hired by McDonalds, would that make me morally obligated to murder my brother and steal his crown? I sincerely hope not. What was your first job, if you’ve had one? Have you ever had the McRib? If so, was it any good?

Sixteen is an Overrated Age

I’ve never done the daily prompt for The Daily Post, but I think I’ll give it a try today, with the prompt being, “Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.”

I have yet to turn sixteen, which may surprise everyone, considering how super mature I am. I’ll be turning 16 in May, and I could picture myself now, in little over a month.

Obviously, I’ll be driving my totally bitchin’ new car to school each day, (a convertible!), with the top down no matter what the weather. Because weather ain’t a problem for those who need four separate hands to count their age.

I’ll probably have grown five to ten inches by this point (16-year olds are tall), and I’ll be sporting a magnificent beard for all to marvel at, and I’ll never have to worry about acne again. If all goes according to plan, I will look like this guy:

I’ll also have all the wisdom and experience that only those sixteen and up could have, and I plan to live happily with the knowledge that 90% of young adult novels and high school dramas center around protagonists my age. There’s also a much higher chance of me making it onto an MTV reality show. *crosses fingers*

But honestly, I’m also a bit upset to be turning 16 so soon, if only because Christopher Paolini published Eragon at fifteen, and I really wanted to beat his record. (You win this round, Paolini.)

I’m also slowly turning into an adult, and that’s a terrifying prospect. I mean, have you ever talked to an adult before? They’re horrible. They’re all “Ooh, taxes!” and “Ow, back pain!” and they lack the “Go binge-drinking!” attitude us teens seem to have, which depresses the hell out of me.

Now I know how Holden Caulfield feels.