Oh what a week it has been...

So if you are fiercely dedicated to this blog (and why wouldn't you be? It's basically the best thing on the Internet. ...right?) then you noticed that I didn't post a single thing last week. 

And none of you panicked.

Which I assume means that you all were following my Instagram story very closely and you knew how insanely busy I was at a work conference. 

But you have no idea...

Let me take you through my week of absolute insanity: 

Monday: Woke up at 2am to drive to the airport for my 5:40am flight. Luckily the whole WHO AM I debacle got solved in the nick of time, so I ended up making it through security no problem. 

At 11am, I checked in at my hotel in Memphis and promptly NAPPED MY BUTT OFF. It was glorious.

Monday Night-Thursday Night was spent LEARNING ALL THE THINGS AND MEETING ALL THE OTHER BOOKSELLERS AND AUTHORS IN THE LAND AND IT WAS GLORIOUS AND THE MR REALIZED MY EXTREME AWESOMENESS: 

The Mr reacted appropriately when he found out I met @hankgreen. #wi13

A post shared by Emelie Samuelson (@awkwardlyaliveblog) on

It was amazing. And exhausting. But mostly amazing.

Friday: Flew home. Read three books. Very happy.

Saturday: Back to work at the bookshop all day and then immediately after work I went up the street to the church where The Mr and I run the youth group. Saturday night was, of course, our annual overnight lock-in. We "slept" for maybe 5 hours. Maybe. Once again, things were amazing and exhausting.

Sunday: Up at 7am to make breakfast for 15 teenagers before church - skipped out of church early to head to the bookshop where I was hosting a dinosaur themed birthday party for a dozen toddlers. This is when things REALLY get crazy.

The birthday party was scheduled for 12-2pm. So imagine my surprise when all of the guests show up at 11am. 

Me: Hi!

Birthday boy's grandmother: Hi!

Me:  So... I had noon?

Her:  Oh no. I sent out invitations that said 11-1...

Me: Great!

So... cut to a dozen phone calls to reschedule the pizza delivery and also to get the birthday boy here on time, which was harder than one would think, since his mother wrote down that the party started at 1. 

YEAH. 

Did I mention how little I had slept at that point? VERY LITTLE. 

But somehow, it happened. It happened in a blur, but it happened. The pizza showed up at noon instead of 1pm, the birthday boy got there by 11:20, and I went to bed at 3pm and I think I might still be sleeping now as I type this. 

All I know is that it's good to be done with it all and back to blogging with you wonderful people. 

Good night. 

Let’s Build A Sand Castle - A Guest Blog Post from the Black Sheep Theorem

Hello, friends! Over the next few weeks, I am away for my wedding and honeymoon, so I've invited some of my favorite writers to keep you entertained in my absence! Enjoy!! 


Many many eons ago (This was back when I was a kid in the last century) I was idly sitting at my grandparents home doing what I usually do best. Eating chocolate. 

Good times. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze flowing. So I was rather enjoying the day sitting out front on the patio.

This is too good to be true. In comes mom to disrupt what would be the last few moments of peace that I would enjoy that day. Apparently, mom and the other ladies of the town had decided it would be “take-your-kids-to-the-beach-day!”

Unsurprisingly, I was not quite thrilled about this invitation. I said NO. I grew up in a beach city, used to holiday at my grandparent's town which was again a beach town. So a trip to the beach does not really fascinate me. The allure of something very precious is lost when you have easy access to it.

Mom was growing concerned that I would grow up to be this fat hermit, who hates social interaction and is incapable of the mundane conversations. (I liked to think I would grow up to be a fucking lone wolf)

She threw my sand sculpting tools (which I had bought a few weeks ago…... because reasons) at me and told me that I shouldn’t have bought the tools if I was never going to use them. Well fuck. I was being guilt tripped. It worked. 

I reluctantly got dressed picked up the tools and met mom at the patio. The gang was all there. 

3 other women who I couldn’t care to know (even today) and 8 other kids whose names I still don’t care to know. I mean 8 other evil little boys. I don’t know if they were really evil. But somehow I judged them to be evil the moment I saw them.

Anyways, we commenced our walk towards the beach. Me clutching my tools and those 8 little assholes being as loud and obnoxious as possible. I did not understand why were they so excited about going to the beach. So most of the walk to the beach was spent me judging them and the other ladies trying to rein them in.

After few minutes of walking, we reached the beach.

The boys were onto business. They immediately removed their little flip flops and started using them as tools to somehow mold the wet sand to resemble a sand castle. Amateurs. 

Not one to be subdued, I made a suggestion that we could use my tools to build this sand castle. It would turn out better and possibly even prettier. 

One by one each of them turned their heads towards me. There was a look of disapproval in their eyes. This was intimidating. I felt like this is some kind of a board meeting wherein I made an objectionable opinion.   

I knew I had to be strong. I looked each one of them in the eye daring them to overrule this suggestion.

At last one of boys who was the tallest and the skinniest of them all spoke. “or maybe you could remove your flips flops and help us. It would be faster this way.”

I was appalled. As a child, I was told that hygiene and quality were of utmost importance. And this rabid monkey had just suggested I do something that completely defiled those sacred rules. Naturally, It was getting clear that we were having creative differences on this project. Our philosophies did not align.

This was a matter of quality vs speed. It’s what you believe is the right thing to do. And I was being horribly outvoted 8 -1. 

I did what I believed was the right thing to do and to this day I stand by my decision. I walked out. 

I set out building my own perfect sand castle a few feet away from the boys. It was a solo operation and it was very, very slow. I had to first decide on the structure of my new sand castle. After being reasonably satisfied with the image that I had built up in my head I set off with building the foundation.

I looked over at the boys. Naturally, they had built a huge form of deformity that resembled what I thought looked like an ant hill. Heck, even ants build better shapes than this monstrosity. They were now trying to pile up the sand higher and higher. I assumed they were trying to make the structure bigger than it already was.

After some time sun was near setting and the world was covered in a soft orange hue. The ladies told the boys and me that it was time to wrap up and leave. 

The boys meanwhile had built this monstrosity.

I had pretty much finished building my castle and was really happy with it. I thought it was perfect for a first attempt at building a sand castle. 

I was proud of my accomplishment. It would stand tall like a monument for the next few hours for the visitors to look and marvel at. It was a welcome reprieve from the monstrosity that the boys had built.

My suspicions were true. The rabid monkey was really evil. He got intoxicated by the power of his followers and the castle he had built. He became the mad king. This always does not end very well. He announced to his followers “You know what would be a great idea, destroying the sand castle we built by kicking the shit out of it”. 

 

What. The. Fuck. 

He was the first one to kick. Something must have snapped in him. His followers were obviously enchanted by him. They followed suit. 

One by one each one of them participated in this debauchery and I saw them tear down the mountain of sand. 

The demolition was nearing completion when a little boy ran towards my sand castle. 

I only saw madness in his eyes. He had gone insane by the sudden rush of adrenaline by destroying something.

It took me a few seconds to register what he was about to do. He was about to destroy my sand castle.

I wanted to put myself between him and my beautiful sand castle.

I was a hair of a second late and the damage was done.

Rage consumed me and I quickly shifted gears from wanting to be a roadblock to wanting to ram this zombie with full body force onto the floor. 

I used all my might and pushed him as hard as I could. I don’t know where all that strength came from. There is something about you wanting to protect what you love. He staggered a few feet back and lost his balance and fell butt first. He wailed in agony. I screamed. I was half annoyed that he hadn’t got hurt or had a nosebleed or something. The rest of the boys looked at us as if in a trance. One of the ladies who was apparently this little asshole’s mom ran towards her son. 

I charged at the boy once again.

Someone caught me mid-action. I thrashed and wailed while they furiously tried to constrain me. I was blind with rage. I did not care.

The kid’s mother was by this time comforting him who was by now sobbing uncontrollably.

I felt no remorse. I yelled  “let me go! he shouldn’t have done it!”

Anger filled every bone in my body. I don’t think my body had known this emotion before to such an extreme degree. Tears welled up in my eyes. I continued to thrash and try to break free. I hated that I was restricted by the strength of my little frame. My body was weak. 

I gave in after few good minutes of struggle.

The boy’s mother looked at me with disgust like I am some sort of feral creature whose place is supposed to be in the zoo. I looked back at her channeling the same disgust. 

Mother looked at me, her face fuming. She told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t apologize to the kid I would be sent packing back to our home in the city and it would be the end of the vacation. 

I did not apologize. I was not the one at fault here after all. I merely tried to protect my little kingdom. 

As if on cue the kid wailed even louder. He knew that would make everyone even more sympathetic to him and his mom looked at my mom like “well what are you going to do about it now?"

I knew his evil game. I was not about to give in. I looked at my mom like  an adult. Eye to eye. I calmly said, "I am not apologizing to this monkey.” Warning laced in every word as I spoke. 

With that, I picked my tools and kept walking away like a champion with my head held high. Gracefully. 

I do not remember a lot that happened next. I have a vague memory of my mother profusely apologizing to the lady on my behalf. I don’t know. 

Needless to say, we are not friends with this mother-son pair anymore. If I ever came across this asshole again, I might challenge him to a duel 'til death, because this is the war that lasts for generations. 

There was supposed to be a lesson in here somewhere I think, but I can’t seem to figure it out.

P.S: I may have exaggerated the story a bit. Okay, a lot. If there is some zombie youth welfare act or something please don’t sue me.


TheBlackSheepTheorem.com is a blog illustrated by zany ridiculous drawings and the posts are often the result of being

high on caffeine. This blog was also started on a whim during one of the caffeine-fueled nights. These are one of those mistakes that are often regretted after coming down from the high.

 

 


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks from me, please click here

 

Be different.

About a week ago a young girl who frequents the bookshop and likes to chat with me came into the store and told me that Grandparents/Special Friend Day was coming up at her school. Me: Oh fun!

Her: Well, yes, except, my grandpa can't make it.

Me: Oh no... that's a bummer.

Her: Well... I was wondering... since he can't make it, I'm allowed to invite a special friend.... Would you be my special friend?

What's that? Oh, that mess on the floor? It's just my heart in liquid form. Once I regain my composure, I'll get a mop and clean it right up, I promise.

So, yeah, today I got to go to the local Montessori school for two hours and be this girl's Special Friend for the day, which basically consisted of getting to wear a pin with her face on it and going to classes with her to get a peek into her life at school, followed by a choir concert before we were all dismissed and released back into the wild. It was delightful and I have never felt cooler.

At one point in the day, we were sitting in her homeroom (which is not called homeroom, but I can't remember the cute Montessori term they used, so I'm just applying public school terms to this situation) and as I was looking around, I noticed that on the wall above their 3-D printer (whaaaaaaat) were 8x10 photos of each student and a sentence about who they want to be or what they want to do with their lives. It was cute. While my special friend made her homework to-do list for the week, I started reading each kid's sentence. Most of them were standard: "I want to be a teacher," or "I want to change the world," or one kid's read "I want to make the world laugh" (rock on, little buddy), and then I found my young friend's photo.

"I want to be different."

Things in the news have been bleak lately and I've been trying really hard to keep my optimism going and to only perpetuate happy thoughts. If you've noticed, a good amount of my twitter posts consists of cute puppies and other baby animals. I just want to make people smile and to let them know that there are still things to be happy about.

When I saw this girl's sentence, I felt that feeling that I try and make everyone else feel, and all day long I've been trying to figure out why that made me smile. I think it's because people who intend to be different are the people who tend to think about why they do what they do or don't do. This girl, a sixth-grader, is already adamantly refusing to give in to peer pressure and blending in. She has already decided that standing out was better than all that.

It also helps that I know her, so I know that her version of different isn't achieved by being cruel or tough, but instead by memorizing strange facts and befriending booksellers. It's by writing silly poems and drawing goofy pictures of people, and by volunteering to help build book displays while her dad goes grocery shopping instead of staying home and taking selfies (not that I think selfies are bad, mind you, I just think that a lot of kids would rather take selfies than hang out in bookshops). She's a do-gooder and an all around cool kid. She's certainly different, but I'm certain that she's not alone.

So for all of you who think that the future is lost and that every new generation is worse than the one before you, I want you to know that somewhere out there, there are kids like this one: kids who want to be different. And I want you to remember that being different is what makes a difference.

And I think we're going to be just fine.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you'd like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks from me, please click here

Don't Mind the Girl in the Wolf Costume, She's Here to Chase the Children.

Yup. Today I dressed up like a wolf and chased a bunch of kids around the woods. Don't worry, Gio was with me.

That doesn't make it better, does it?

Allow me to explain... My friend Jane (who is the owner of Gio's bff, Eli) is a teacher at a local Montessori school (she also makes really cool stuff that all of you should buy - Christmas. Just sayin'). Basically, the girl is an artsy badass.

So anyway, this school is doing a unit called "Cryptid Zoo" - basically, they go out and look for evidence of imaginary creatures. I learned today that there are thirteen core cryptids and then people have also come up with a billion others. Each cryptid has a name, a look, and certain character traits that set them apart from each other and everything else in this world.

So the kids had continuously asked Jane when they were ever going to see any real cryptids. Enter Emelie and Gio. There is one cryptid that is known as the Wolfworm. They travel in packs and run under low-hanging branches to avoid being caught.

Jane totally made me a wolf costume. She also made another costume for another friend of ours, but I'll get to that later.

So, we were running late this morning, but we had to make sure we got to the hiking trail before all the kids so that Gio, myself, and our other friend could go hide in the woods. We arrived literally 2 minutes before the bus. Jane starts telling me to run into the woods and hide until they find me - so I book it. Gio and I passed a kind elderly fellow who was hoping for a solitary hike that morning. I ran past him in my wolf costume, shouting "Don't mind us, sir!" To him I would like to say "sorry"/"you're welcome" depending on how I affected his morning...

When I heard all the kids coming, I went off the path and started to "hide" amongst the trees. As soon as they spotted us, they started running. This would have been awesome if Gio hadn't gotten super excited to see a group of kids. So, I'm trying to run away, Gio is trying to go make friends, and then my pants started falling down. Let me just say that many a young boy probably caught site of my polka dot underwear this morning. Oh well.

So we all started running together and it was awesome. All these kids were super psyched to see some "real" cryptids (even though they could totally tell it was just some weird chick and her dog) and we continued on our way.

Yeah. My morning was freaking sweet.

If that wasn't weird enough, here are two conversations that I had via text this morning:

Conversation 1:

Dragon: Want to go sell some clothes to the second hand shop with me?

Me: When?

Dragon: When is not good?

Me: Right now. I'm being hunted by children by children in a park with Jane.

Dragon: Well I'm in class. When will you be done and where are you?

Not even phased.

Conversation 2 (with my good friend/co-worker whom you haven't met yet and we'll call her "Fiona"):

Me: Craft store today?

Fiona: Ah! Let's see... What time is good for you?

Me: Probably early afternoon. I'm about to go dress up as a cryptid creature and chase kids around the woods, but I don't know how long that will take.

Fiona: Cool! Give me a hollah when you are done terrifying the children.

Again. Not even phased. I don't know if they were scared to ask questions or they just know me well enough to not even worry about it. Either way, I'm okay with it.

Anyway, I know you all want to see evidence of this, so don't worry, I made sure we got photos:

Anyway... What did you all do this morning?