Dear resurrected writers of the 100 Hour Board,
Can you regale us with a story? Or tell us what you want us to hear? If there's anything that you want the Board community to read, let this be your question.
I've always wanted to explain my process for choosing which alias I chose to write with, as it was never random (and I tried my best to make them seem like entirely different writers without actually ever lying). In short, here's how I decided on which 'nym to use:
Pilgrim: I wrote with this alias when I was away from home. I started writing for the Board on Day One of my four-month homeless stint. Most of my first answers were hacked out on shoddy wifi signals late at night from hostels throughout Europe or India. Even after I finished my travels and moved into a home, my job had me away from home and backpacking about 16 days every month, so I used this alias when I was at work or otherwise away from home. A lot of those responses were written on my phone from my sleeping bag from the outskirts of cell phone range.
Hamilton: I wrote when this alias when I was home. I felt I needed a new alias when I finally stopped traveling and sleeping on friends' couches or up Provo Canyon.
Eliot Rosewater: Plain and simple, I wanted to start writing without everyone associating my answers with Pilgrim or Hamilton. By the time I started writing with this alias, my life had calmed down quite a bit and so I was mostly writing from home.
Pi: I started using this alias when I moved to Philadelphia to start medical school. After I started using it, I wrote as ER while I was on campus, and Pi when I was home.
--Hamilton, with some help from Pilgrim (who was going to write up this answer from his tent some time over the last few days, but who definitely forgot)
P.S. This means that I had over 600 responses, even if the alias stats page doesn't combine my different aliases. Not that anyone is comparing, but that'd put me roughly in the top 60 or 70.
Once, I was having a super grumpy day, and I happened to be out in public. And some old guy had the nerve to say hello to me as he walked past. How annoying, those elderly men. I turned around to give him a grumpy hello, and I saw that it was one of my favorite apostles. And I thought, Huh. God does have a sense of humor. So instead of a grumpy hello, I gave him an awkward hello and felt embarrassed and a little excited for the rest of the day.
Still no BMW. :(
- Beemer(less) Boy
This may seem like common sense, but try not to marry someone unless you're mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stable. And be pretty darn close to positive on where you stand on important issues. Otherwise, you may realize a few years into your marriage that you're a completely different person.
Dedicated to ER, asker of questions.
Here follows one of the most depressing stories of my life.
My husband and I had been planning a trip to Disneyland/California Adventure for almost a year. We had attempted to plan our trip many times, but things got in the way and it needed to be postponed more than once.
Finally, the time came. Our trip was planned to perfection, I had my collection of Disney Star Wars pins on my lanyard packed to come, and our park snacks were individually packaged in our backpacks.
The beginning of the trip proved quite awesome. It was amazing amazingness, and I had never been happier.
However, tragedy struck when I least expected it.
On day three, in the bathroom next to King Triton's Carousel, I was initiated into the Disneyland Hurling Club. I had caught the flu, and it evilly decided to show up during my much needed and most anticipated vacation. We had to leave early, and while my feet and blisters were most grateful for that, it was a disappointing end to our trip. However, I was totally stoked to get some more Star Wars pins for my collection.
Is anyone else in the club?
I've actually never eaten branflakes. I don't really like Raisin Bran anymore either.
Mr. Hypatia and I live in Edmonton, AB. Also known as Deadmonton or Stabmonton. I'd like to take this opportunity to explain from whence these monikers hail. Guns are super-duper illegal up here so everyone just uses knives and machetes instead (in fact, our building was broken into just last week by a machete-wielding gang, but that's a story for another time).
The Husband and I were riding the train home from a dinner party a few weeks ago. We were the only ones in the car (it was around 3am) until a very drunk, very naked man boarded our car. He was holding a bag, which said "EVIDENCE" across the front, from which he began pulling clothes. He regaled us with tales of his recent release from prison. Through some brightly colored language, he conveyed that he was hungry and had no money. Just when I was feeling sorry for him (every human deserves a good meal), he pulled a knife from I don't want to know where and suggested very strongly that we offer him money for...food (forgive me for being skeptical as to his motivations).
I went into fight or flight mode (okay, let's be honest, I was all flight) but was petrified of getting off the train and having this still-half-naked, knife-wielding man follow us onto a dark platform. So Mr. Hypatia struck up a conversation with him about how, "yeah, the man is totally keeping us down," and, "oh, brother, pigs are the WORST!" (I'll add here that Mr. Hypatia served an LDS mission in the worst part of Anaheim and has much experience with drunk, cracked-out hobos.) Having felt he had found a kindred soul and comrade, naked man lowered the knife and excitedly conversed with my husband.
Eventually another drunk hobo got on the train which distracted naked, knife hobo long enough for us to make our escape.
The moral of the story is, if you can't beat 'em, and you don't want to get stabbed, join 'em!
- Hypatia, who is dismayed that Canada is not at ALL what she expected
This is one of my favorite stories. It all begins (as most good stories begin) with a girl. I was recently broken up and looking for love. On a friendly outing to a Thrillionaires show I met a (female) friend of a friend with whom I got along well and who was pretty. So, doing something I have almost never done, I got her phone number from our mutual friend and asked her out. During our conversation we discovered a mutual interest in mountain biking. Being the ambitious guy that I am, I found a nice, semi-challenging trail and called her the next day to ask her on a mountain biking date. She accepted.
We had agreed to meet at noon and head up the mountain together. However, I got a call from her around 11:30 indicating that she was stuck at work and would be a few hours late. I used the opportunity to eat a burrito. But minutes after I finished my meal, she called back and told me (paraphrasing), "screw work, let's go." So we (me + her + burrito) went mountain biking.
She was good. Because I knew the trail, I went first, but she was riding my back tire the whole way up (this, for those who don't know, is impressive). I pushed harder, she followed. I pushed harder, she followed. My burrito started to object. I suddenly became aware of a pressing need to rid myself of said semi-digested Mexican delicacy, but found no way to do so while still escaping notice. And there was no way to get far enough ahead that I could take care of business without her being there as witness. So I pulled my bike to the side of the trail, dismounted, and addressed her.
"Would your opinion of me decrease significantly if I threw up right now?"
"Um... no, I don't think so."
"Well ok then." And I turned and vomited in a bush.
She just stood there watching me until I finished. When I was done, she said, "ok, you ready to go?" And we mounted up and continued our ride up the hill. I was humiliated.
At the top, we rode to the edge of a cliff and went to sit down with our legs dangling over the edge. I sat first. When she came to follow my lead, she immediately jumped up and started to scream. After asking a few hasty questions and performing a quick inspection, I discovered that my date had sat so forcefully on a small cactus as to imbed the cactus with its 2-inch spines deeply into the right cheek of her posterior. Immediate action was required. I wrapped my arm around her waist and removed the cactus with a fair amount what might have otherwise been very inappropriate contact. The operation completed, we sat on the cliff reflecting on the double humiliation of our first date—me donating a burrito to a bush and she requiring minor invasive hind-quarter surgery.
We kept the cactus to show to people.
The Man with a Mustache
(By the way, it didn't work out between us. But not because of the date.)
I substitute taught jr. high and high school for a while, and I made a bunch of girls in a jr. high English class cry by telling them the saddest six-word story (that may or may not have been written by Ernest Hemingway on a bet).
"For sale; baby shoes. Never worn."
Man, I choked up just typing that. The girls were crying their faces off.
Dear ER ~
Once upon a time I was in college. But for whatever reason, I was sleeping at home. Now that I think on it, I think it was the summer before I went to China, so I was living at home to save money. Anyway, my bedroom is across the hall from my parents' and my mom was out of town. It was just my dad and I home.
I was sound asleep when I felt something hit me in the chest. It roused me a little, but not by much. Just enough to swat at whatever it was and go back to sleep. Except, it hit me again. This time I woke up a lot more and pushed it away again. It felt like a small, warm, hairless bat. What the heck? I was just considering going back to sleep, when this unknown object thumped me on my chest again. At this point I started to freak out and instead of just pushing it away, I pushed it away and held onto it, wondering what in the world I was going to do. It was pitch black and I couldn't see a thing (I grew up in the country. No street lights pouring in my window). Suddenly my door flew open, my light flipped on, and there was my dad, looking frantically around. Apparently I was screaming, "Get off me! Get off me!" I have no recollection of screaming, but he certainly does.
Now, let's look at this from my dad's perspective. The timing couldn't have been worse. Just a week or two earlier, Elizabeth Smart had been kidnapped. The same night, a family friend's daughter had been kidnapped only a mile or two away in very similar circumstances. Her story ended up much better than Elizabeth's, but was still held overnight, raped and beaten several times while he told her about all the other girls he had done this to, then killed (there were several cases of unsolved kidnappings that they think he must have been responsible for). Then she was chained up the next day while he went to work. She finally escaped by using a fire extinguisher to repeatedly beat at the chains until, hours later, a link finally broke, then she snuck out and walked to her dad's office.
Now imagine my poor dad. This story, who happened to a good friend's daughter, was very fresh on his mind, when he's awaked in the middle of the night by his own teenage daughter screaming, "Get off me! Get off me!" I feel horrible about the terror I must have put him through, but in the moment I wasn't thinking of his terror at all. I was thinking of my own terror.
The light flipped on. I looked down to see what I was holding that had been thumping me.
There was nothing in my hands!
My dad frantically asked me what had happened as he searched my closet, under my bed, out my window. Through my sobs I explained that something had been hitting me in the chest and I didn't know what it was, but I had grabbed it the last time and now there wasn't anything there. He asked if I had been dreaming. I didn't think so. It had been so real. But by this point I was much more awake than I had been at all during the thumpings and I started to doubt myself. Maybe I had been dreaming. What other explanation was there? So my dad went back to bed, not being able to sleep well for the rest of the night, worried that he had left his baby girl in a room with a rapist and murderer. I cried myself back to sleep and actually and a very good night sleep. (Again, sorry dad.) The last thing I remember was rolling onto my side and thinking it was funny that my arm felt so cold.
The next day I called my best friend and told her the whole frightful tale. We both speculated on what could have happened. We analyzed every detail of the story, trying to figure out if it could have been a dream or not. And then I remembered the coldness of my arm and it hit me what must have happened.
This is when I am very sad that I'm writing this. This part is so much better acting it out in person. I apologize in advance.
When I went to sleep that night, I had been laying on my side. My arm was bent so my hand was up by my face. Apparently I had fallen asleep directly on my arm instead of having it a little in front of me.
Have you ever stood in a doorway with your hands pressed to the side for as long as you could, then stepped out of the doorway while lowering your hands to your side and relaxing them? What happens? Your arms naturally drift back up, right?
So I fell asleep with my arm bent, hand up by my face. I must have rolled onto my back, my arm moving down to my side. But my arm had been in the bent position for so long, it naturally drifted back up to a bent position and hit me in the chest. I pushed it away. It drifted back up, so I pushed it away again. It drifted back up the third time, and freaking out, I pushed it away and held it. My left hand held my right hand. So when the light turned on and I looked at my hands, it appeared as if nothing was there. I just assumed that I must have pushed it away and held it with both hands.
It is now the family joke. Randomly (usually when I do something stupid) someone will turn to me, bend their arm up and thump themselves on the chest with their hand and say, "Nerrr!"
Thankfully, I now find the story hilarious, so I just laugh when they mock me. (And then I usually turn and apologize to my dad. Because, really. There is no worse thing for a father to be put through.)
~ Dragon Lady
Based on your 'nym, I figured I would share a story that happened to me once when I worked in an ER, shortly after I left the 100 Hour Board.
It was a dark and stormy night...
Actually, it was an uncharacteristically warm New Year's Eve, and I was working the overnight as an ER tech. I was reaching the bottom of the pile of my scrubs drawer and ended up with a mismatched pair. Not being particularly fashion conscious, I got dressed and went to work. That night, a lady patient was having a particularly bad night. She had relationship trouble and had overdosed on this medication and that - all over the counter - and we were administering activated charcoal through a tube in her nose to keep the medications from killing her liver. She, it turns out, was particularly fashion conscious, and immediately on my entering the room became fixated on the fact that the two colors from my scrubs were not complementary. She told me so, and used some choice words (meaning of the four letter variety) to describe my parentage, and then proceeded to vomit dark black charcoal and beer and pill fragments all over my mismatched garb. I was standing six feet away and she still managed to get me.
I changed. The only scrubs I found weren't a match either.
Later that morning (after midnight), a particularly inebriated gentleman patient of the Spanish speaking variety kept trying to get out of bed. I kept reminding him he couldn't walk and since I speak Spanish, I was assigned to watch him frequently to make sure he didn't wind up falling out of bed. A few hours later the doctor asked me to do a "road test" to see if he could walk well enough to discharge him so we could free up the room. I lowered the rail, and we made it five steps from the bed when he belched, and then EVERYTHING came out. He started crying and collapsed on my shoulder, hugging me and sliding down my person vomiting all over my neck until he was curled in a fetal position around my legs with a slowly spreading pool of urine and the unmistakable smell of fecal matter as the man sat on my shoes.
An hour later I walked out of the locker room shower wearing paper scrubs (which finally matched) and borrowed sandals - my clothing and shoes having been tossed unceremoniously into the trash. I drove home and slept it off (after another shower at home).
12 hours later I showed up for my next shift. No big deal.
That was my messiest experience in health care.
You wanted a story...
Have Fun Storming the Castle,
A little while ago I came home from work and Lil' Master asked if I would play superhero with her. I told her I would absolutely play superhero, but I should go put my contacts in first (I have learned that glasses are not appropriate apparel for playing superhero, as the odds of injury to the glasses and the wearer of glasses is high). I came out of the bathroom and couldn't find Lil' Master. I called out to her, and walked around a little bit looking for her when she jumped out from behind a door and yelled, "I'm gonna get you!" This is what I saw coming at me:
Moral of the story: Lil' Master is awesome.
Once upon a time, Mr. Olympus and I lived on a street that sported a lot of prostitutes. One night as we arrived at home, we pulled up in front of our (very secure) building and parked. When we weren't looking, the most regular of the prostitutes (we called her Melinda, but one time she salaciously informed me that she called herself Cupcake - when I asked, she said her mother called her that, too; she was of the proud variety that wears sweats and a hoodie and hunches over the fire hydrant on her corner) came up to the car and knocked on Mr. Olympus' window. He glanced up at her and rolled it down a few inches.
"Hey, business is slow tonight, could I have a couple bucks for some chips or something?" asked Melinda.
Mr. Olympus, wanting to politely send her on her way as quickly as possible, passed a dollar or two out the window. She thanked him and ambled off toward the gas station.
As we locked the car and headed inside, Mr. Olympus froze.
"I just gave money to a prostitute. Out my car window. .... I'm really glad you were with me."
<gales of slightly nervous laughter>
*While I know prostitution and begging are actually very tragic, this story is still kind of an amazing one.
So, the how of the situation is rather long and complicated, but basically my grandmom, who has Alzheimer's and has just generally always been a very difficult person, is living with my mom and her "legal" life (i.e., official IDs, insurance, etc.) is just a mess so we've been having a very difficult time trying to get her into a nursing home or even a senior day care center. Anyway, I take my grandmom out with my kids usually every Wednesday afternoon just to get her out of the house and help my mom out. It's often not a pleasant experience but occasionally I have a good story to share.
About a month ago it was a cold, rainy, just dreadful Wednesday and I was out with my kids and grandmom and we're trying to pick somewhere to eat. My pregnancy cravings kick in so McDonald's it is (in my defense, I hadn't been there in a long, long time). My grandmother always tries to tell you she's not hungry and when you finally convince her to order something she always orders the same thing as you. I knew she wouldn't eat a Big Mac so I get her a snack wrap instead.
We sit down, and I'm trying to get my kids settled and grandmom just has no idea how to eat this wrap. It's completely unfolded and she keeps trying to pick it up from the corners and it's just a mess. After telling her at least 10 times to fold it up and eat it like a sandwich I finally just get her a fork and she eats most of the innards. My son starts fussing so I turn to him and don't notice grandmom put her used napkin in her wrap and fold it up and then put it in her purse.
About three minutes later she takes out her wrap and starts to eat it (all folded up like you're supposed to even). Of course she bites into the napkin, spits it out, unfolds her wrap and stares at it in shock. She then proceeds to, very loudly, proclaim that "McDonald's has it out for me!" and "Look what they've done to me!" and "Can you believe this? This place should be closed down!" Needless to say, I was mortified and knew that there was zero chance of trying to convince her she did that to herself. I cleaned up quickly, apologized to the cashier (who overheard everything) and got out of there as fast as I could.
Moral of the story: there really is no safe place to take your crazy grandmom. You just have to constantly be prepared for the worst.
Here is a story I've been wanting to tell. It’s of my favorite date-gone-wrong.
Once upon a time I was 18. The bad kind of 18 where I was completely oblivious to the most basic of things.
During this time a friend of the family decided to set me up on a date with a boy who had been home from his mission for less than a week and had just flown out to Utah for school. My kind of 18 was also the kind where I, not having any older brothers, didn't understand how or why missionaries acted when they were recently returned from their mission.
This young man picked me up and my house. In his car he was playing General Conference. Not even Tabernacle Choir CDs; actual Conference. It was so odd. We drove out to dinner at a restaurant where the table was covered in white paper and we were given crayons for drawing. Service was slow, so we made use of them since he wasn't very chatty. We drew pictures of our houses, families and what we wanted to be when we grew up.
Finally the waiter came by to get our drink orders. I don’t remember what he ordered, but I got a Dr Pepper. As soon as I said it, he commented, “We don’t drink caffeine in my family.” I responded that I wasn't in his family, but if I had been thinking, I’d have told him I wasn't in his family yet. I hate missed opportunities. So much regret!
The waiter went away and we were back to coloring. His mom called while we were still waiting and he took the call at the table. I asked if I could talk to her, took the phone away and his mom and I chatted (his mom was much more talkative).
We ate dinner and the boy didn't say much the entire time. We had plans after to meet up with his friends and see a movie.
As we got back into his car to drive to where his friends were, the next talk that came on the CD happened to be given by the Apostle a member of my immediate family works for. He took that moment to ask if I’d ever been in a Conference talk. I lamented that I hadn't. My mom had, my dad had, both my sisters and even a few cousins all had been in talks, but I had not (and still haven’t, for the record, though I ask every Conference).
His next question was how one gets into a Conference talk. I said, “Either do something amazing, or sin and have a great repentance story.” He then said, “I wish I could be in a Conference talk with you…” The only logical response to this statement, and the one I went with, was to say, “So you’re saying you want to sin and repent with me?”
I still remember the complete horror that overcame his face when he realized where the conversation had just gone. Instead of responding, he turned up the talk and drove me straight home without saying another word.
Dear Good Looking, Intelligent Board Readers,
Terran, but I'm slowly converting to Protoss. "Slowly" because I married a woman who loves Guild Wars 2, and having your wife love a game you can play together is the strongest sales pitch any game can have. (Sylvari Ranger, Fort Aspenwood, character name Lyvynn) I am a devoted mind-slave of Everblight, and I have an unbuilt archangel sitting on my desk next to me. If you know what this means and you aren't already playing with us, for heaven's sake come by Dragon's Keep in Orem and join us. The group gets together every Tuesday night, although I can't make it to those because I do an improv class at the moment.
Still, the shopkeeper, Jeremy, knows who I am, so now you have enough information to figure it out. Let's be friends.
Skytoss is so OP. You scrub.
(Hey, let's get in some 2v2s one of these weekends.)