Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ever feel like you're in a bad live-action Disney movie?

For the last week or so, I've been battling a pest that has been harrassing me day and night. Somehow, a mouse found his way up to my bedroom on the third floor and cannot seem to find a way to get his mammalian bum back down to the mainfloor. I don't know why he came up here. There is no food beyond the smudges of peanut butter on the mousetraps I set in the 7 corners of my room (yes, there are 7 corners, feel free to come visit and count them if you're skeptical about this heptagonal-shaped room of mine). He certainly isn't up here for the company, unless he gets somes sort of sick satisfaction out of waking me in the middle of the night with his mousy little scratching sounds against the carboards boxes that used to be stacked in one corner (I've since burned the boxes so my mouse has nothing to play with). I thought about trying to befriend the little guy, but he's a rough city mouse, not the well-mannered country mouse that might make an alright friend. No, this mouse has an attitude and needs to go live in someone else's house.

I've tried poison, sticky traps, voodoo curses, psychological warfare, and the time tested dress-a-stick-of-dynamite-up-like-an-attractive-female-mouse* tactics, but nothing seems to work.

*NOTE: the last one is an obvious exaggeration. If you believed me, then you've never tried to rent an apartment in a large city. Apparently there's some sort of standard lease provision against possessing dynamite for the purpose of extermination in a residence that you do not own.

If anyone can think of a way I can rid myself of my mouse, please don't hesitate to throw a comment up on the 'comment' page.

I should be doing work right now, so this post ends here. Sorry crazed fans, you'll have to wait until I have more time to make up stories about Baltimore to cover for the fact that I"m actually living in the garage at my parents' house. I MEAN...damnit.*

*NOTE: I really do live in Baltimore. If you don't believe me, buy a ticket, fly out here, call me, and I'll pick you up at the airport. We'll go out for a dinner of assorted shellfish if that's your thing, or perhaps just find a greasy Pizza joint then you'll get a tour of the 7 cornered room before I send you back on your merry way. I'd invite you to stay but there's no telling what that angry little House Mouse will do when his date doesn't end with the right sort of bang.

Shout outs and Hellos:
M.: I'll take middle spoon if that option is still available.

J Bo: I want to record a song but I cannot play guitar. Wanna be my band?

Elise: Honeydogs. You'll understand what that means soon...

Tom: Yes, that was a very good song.

Jennifer: Operation Hoopoe Bird?

Koelbl: Aw Deesch

Chanti: Send me a photo

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Alright, alright already!

I recently received my first ever threatening letter in my fan mail bag. Fearing that I may soon be facing a very John Lennon-esque fate, I’ve decided to give in to the demands of this sufferer of de Clerambault's syndrome (Check Wikipedia, it’s real. OR, read Ian McEwan’s book Enduring Love, it’s fantastic), and put fingertips to the keyboard once again.

Who are you and what have you done with PaulStorm?
I signed up for a 5K next weekend. Yeah. Me. Running. And not because I’m being chased by savage dogs, octopus police, or crazed fans. I will submit to DNA testing if it becomes necessary to confirm that I am not an imposter. To the sci-fi conspiracy theorists I seem to attract, cloning is not perfected enough yet to make a brainwashed version of PaulStorm. Besides, who would waste the money on making another me when there’s only one Gwen Steffani out there. We will wed one day!

Georgia on my Mind
With the arrival of November also comes my favorite late autumn celebration. It’s a time that brings people together for a singular purpose; we gather, get our fill, disperse, and then sneak back for a little more. Yes, I’m talking about that proud American Tradition, the political protest. On November 18, I boarded a bus leaving from Loyola College headed for Columbus, GA for the annual SOA/WHINSEC Protest. Cost of the bus ride? Zero. Cost of the Marriott Hotel I stayed in? Zero. Cost of the drinks at the bar in the Marriott Hotel? Zero. All thanks to some generous Jesuits and a guy named Frank. And of course, Eric LeCompte (SJU ’98). How did this all come about? Well, after being a part of the protest for 2 years at SJU, I decided I really wanted to go again. A phone call to Eric and a Google maps print-out later, I was heading south.

I saw a few beautifully familiar faces (Chanti, Dan, Kyra, Hannah, and Daven, you’re all included in that title…well, maybe not Dan. Kidding!) and made some new friends (Geoff, Katie, Megan, Genna, Jack, Frank, you’re all in that lot). I got to go inside the SOA facility and see the genesis of so many Latin American atrocities (the buses reeked of coconut and blared Uber-Conservative Christian Radio. Apparently, I’m going to hell for more things than I realized. I was NOT arrested (maybe next year). I played drums with hippies, paraded the streets of GA with other young protesters, explored Columbus’ nightlife with one of the bartenders I and my Loyola crew befriended, stumbled into Alabama by mistake, and even got hassled by some VERY large Columbus, GA police officers.

Really, the only item in there that needs any elaboration is the little tiff I got into with Columbus’ finest. So there I was, laying on the grass outside of an elementary school, along with Megan and Genna, waiting for the bus full of Loyolans to pick us up for our tour of the WHINSEC. I had one apple, and a Nalgene of water. “Hey, what do you kids think you’re doing?” The voice wasn’t particularly aggressive, but it definitely was not about to follow that sentence up with “if you’re going to sit in our grass, you might as well enjoy a hot dog with us and maybe some lemonade.” Nope, this guy wanted us gone. When I turned around to take a look at who was getting ready to kick us off the lawn, I saw- not one- but seven extremely musculated (made that word up, don’t worry people, it’s not real…yet.) officers with guns strapped to their thighs, biceps (which were as big as my thighs), and torsos. Why does anyone need more guns than appendages? If these were octopus police officers, I could understand the six guns thing, but then I’d be really concerned about why an octopus was wearing a badge and talking to me so rudely. Silly octopi, you can’t talk. Or survive out of water long enough to kick me off the lawn. Anyway, we were forced to get up and go stand on the median in the middle of a busy street. Yeah, the guys who are supposed to keep people SAFE moved us from the lawn of a school to the little strip of concrete separating the lanes of whizzing-fast traffic. WHAT?! I mean, sure, we’re protestors, but come on guys, what kind of trouble am I going to cause with an apple?

Planes Trains and Automobiles
Ok, well there wasn’t a train involved (there could have been though!), but I trekked back to the Midwest for that OTHER November treat, Thanksgiving. The potatoes were mashed with a few lumps (the way I love them), the gravy was thick, the turkey perfectly cooked and stuffed, Jennifer’s pumpkin pie TASTED like pumpkin pie (good job buddy, way to avoid that whole salty brownie fiasco. You’re still not forgiven for putting AN ENTIRE CUP OF SALT into the brownie mix instead of sugar. NO EXCUSES!!), and beautiful Elise made a trip all the way to Fargo to see little old me. Ok, ok, so she really just came for Fargo’s exciting *cough* nightlife, but she let me tag along. When a neighbor cam over to take photos of the family, Grandma hid her face behind a placemat from the table. No kidding, I’ve got the proof. She later called me a sissy for having long hair. Dad’s monster truck now has 6 sets (that’s 12 bulbs) of flood lights on the front, a new cattle guard he welded himself, AND all sorts of toggle switches that may or may not have once been used in a 1960’s NASA shuttle. Those of you who don’t know, my dad built himself a monster truck. It was a 1986 Suburban. Now it’s an 8 foot tall destroyer of all things midsize, coupe, and sedan. Oversize tires, 300 pounds of wrought-iron bumper, more fiberglass than the NHL, and one classy paint job. Yep, everything’s totally normal in the Storm household.

Oh yeah, Baltimore
I’ve come to like the city a bit more now that I’m exploring it a bit. There’s always something going on. I’m usually not at whatever event is taking place, but I hear about it. My students are doing better recently. They bring paper and pencils now. Sometimes they even take notes. No one’s been seriously injured recently. They did, for the most part, fail my last test. BUT, I did have a couple of students who normally do very poorly, pass my test. So hopefully, they’ll continue to work hard.

Since the human attention span is always shrinking and I haven’t done the best job of producing first rate material, we’ll call this the end of today’s update. I hope you found a giggle somewhere. If you found two, put one back so someone else can enjoy it. Don’t be selfish. Besides, I don't want to go back and edit this for quality or content. Yes, this is a first draft, so if the spelling is wrong anywherhe, twoo bod!

Miss you all,