Monthly Archives: August 2015

My Future (Hopefully)

I’m four seasons into the TV show Californication. It’s a great show. Hank Moody is one of the funniest characters ever put on the small screen. I love the way that he lives. Well, not the alcoholism and sex addiction. The way that he works is what I love: write something, collect your cash, spend the cash, write something else. No matter what other troubles he has in his life, he always has freedom that is not found in many careers.

That is the kind of life I want. I want to work on my own terms. And I want the variety of work that Hank receives (screenplays, novels, biographies, etc.). Of course, my dream job would be to write for television. I’ve always been absolutely enamored by television. I love the way that television can invest develop stories for years and years. I also love the way that television can truly make people feel for the characters in a show and really affect people who watch.

How can I get there? That’s the million dollar question. How does some kid from a small town become a television writer? I think that there are obviously a couple of things that a person needs.

The first thing that someone needs is ideas. If you don’t have ideas, you aren’t going to be able to sustain a career as a writer of any kind. I think I have some ideas. Actually, I have one idea that I hope nobody steals, because it’s that good of an idea (I’m not even going to tell my readers, all six of you). The only thing I’ll say about my golden idea is that it is an anthology drama based on true events. I have ideas for comedies as well, because I think I’m funny enough to write comedy. One idea is a small town politics comedy. I know it’s already been done (Parks and Recreation is a favorite of mine) but I feel like I can bring a different point of view to it and it would feel quite fresh. Another idea I have is a comedy that kind of explores the chemistry between three people: a woman, her boyfriend, and a guy who is sleeping with the woman. I don’t think that dynamic has ever been explored and developed through a whole series and I think the premise could go for five or six seasons without getting stale. I have others, but they aren’t good enough to mention (or maybe they’re so good that they are a secret).

The other thing a person needs is talent. It’s pretty simple: if you can’t write, you won’t be a successful writer. I think I’m pretty good at this point (narcissistic, much?) but who am I to say. If you’re reading this, you could COMMENT on this post and let me know if you think I’m good or bad. I PLEADED FOR COMMENTS IN MY LAST POST, BUT I GUESS NOBODY HAD THE TIME TO TYPE UP A FEW THOUGHTS THEY HAD ABOUT MY WRITING.

I could come up with some other qualities a person needs but I don’t want to risk sounding too generic (perseverance, dedication, courage, all of that other bullshit).

Am I rambling? This post is called My Future (Hopefully), not How To Be A Writer (Written by someone who isn’t even close to being a Writer). Let me get back on topic.

My future. What can I say about that? I guess the most I can do to illustrate my future is to lay out my plan.

I plan on getting a 3.999 GPA in high school (one A-minus in ninth grade history…) and an ACT score of 30+ (I’m projected to score between 28 and 31). These grades and test scores in addition to my extracurricular activities and demographic (rural) should allow me to have my choice of whatever college I want. I would like to go to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (my cousin from California is actually applying to the U of M as we speak. He might even play hockey there). I’ve considered getting out of Minnesota for college but decided that I can’t stand the weather anywhere but Minnesota (it’s not that we Minnesotans love the cold, it’s just that we loathe the heat. And while we’re on the subject of Minnesotans, if you ever meet one of us, please don’t go “Oooooooo. Meee-nah-soh-tah. Uffda.” We’ve all heard the whole Fargo imitation before, and very few of us speak with that much of an accent)

At the U of M, I plan on majoring in English. This is for two reasons: it gives me some more experience for my writing, but it also provides a good basis for law school, should I decide to take that path. This brings me to another reference to Californication.(Spoilers for Californication upcoming). When Hank is being charged with statutory rape, his attorney tell him that she wrote a novel. It failed miserably, so she “sold out” and went to law school. That is what my plan is. Try writing for a year or two. If I find that I’m not good enough or don’t like the way writer’s live, I can go to law school and pursue my other interest: law (I might minor in pre-law while at the U of M).

All through college, I’d be writing. Working on a novel, maybe a TV pilot, maybe a screenplay for a movie (I have some movie ideas as well, my favorite being a horror movie that is going to stay secret for now). I plan on living off-campus through college so I can have more space. I’ll work through college (maybe clerk at a law office, a la Rudy Baylor from the novel The Rainmaker by Jon Grisham (a favorite book of mine, and one of the first adult novels I ever read).

So this is what I want in my life. My goal is to be successful enough to drive an Audi R8. Hopefully writing can do it. I’ll end with my usual plea to tell your friends about this blog and follow me. I’ll follow you back and you’ll get some fun posts in your feed. Also, leave comments and let me know what you think.

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Yes, I’ve Done Some Stupid Shit

But this was probably the stupidest.

It was the first week of summer last year. Me and my friends were all excited to do some really dumb shit: drink, smoke weed, and other shit like that. We all wanted to get high once before we smoked weed for the first time. Upon asking our former friend/druggie (I say former friend because he’s one of those liberal people who are way too liberal and he is always spouting some bullshit about equal rights for starfish or some shit like that), he recommended that we try something called whip-its.

What is a whip-it? A whip-it is when you take a can of whipped cream, depress the nozzle gently (not so much that the cream comes out, but just enough so that the nitrous oxide leaks out), and hold the nitrous oxide in your lungs for as long as you can. The result is a very short, very intense high. It sounded good to us. So me and my friends went into the local gas station (Kwik Trip, great gas station/convenience store chain in the midwest) and bought what can only be described as a comical amount of whipped cream. We got different brands: Reddi Whip, Dean’s, among others (We decided that Dean’s was the best). We all had our arms full. But then, we came to realize it might look suspicious if we by forty cans of whipped cream. So we also went ahead and bought one gallon of ice cream and a bottle of chocolate syrup. We went to the cashier to buy our stuff. The cashier gave us a strange look. “We’re having an ice cream party,” I said. That must have done the trick, because she checked out all of our whipped cream.

We walked with our ludicrous amount of whipped cream to the park (the park is sixty-feet from the police station. We walked right by it). We got to the park and our druggie friend, who had done this dozens of times, decided to show it how it’s done. He took of the cap, slowly pushed down the nozzle, sucked in the gas, and laid back. After about a minute, he sat up.

Upon seeing this, me and the rest of my friends were excited. We each grabbed one of the cans and did exactly as he did. The gas came out and we sucked it in and held it in our lungs for as long as possible. Upon exhalation, my body felt as though it weren’t there. I started seeing stars. It was so relaxing, yet intense at the same time. I laid down and let the nitrous oxide work its magic. One of my friends started to run around (he obviously didn’t do it right and wasn’t getting the effect of the “drugs” or else he would be so relaxed he couldn’t move). After a minute of us lying around, moaning in pleasure, we slowly started to get up. We did it until the cans ran out. There were five of us and about forty cans, so we each probably did eight whip-its.

After we ran out of whipped cream, we were all very excited to try smoking marijuana. But we couldn’t do it that night: my Lutheran friends had confirmation. We decided to keep hanging out until they had to leave. We started eating the ice cream that was slowly melting. We started getting sick of sitting around and started walking around again. After a while, we returned to the park. We still had the chocolate syrup. The druggie friend took the chocolate and did something that thoroughly made us worry that we could get into some real trouble. He took the chocolate and squeezed it onto the street, drizzling the chocolate into a penis on the road. It was a very detailed penis: two balls, a shaft, foreskin, and a lot of hair. The chocolate penis was made complete by some squiggly lines at the head of the penis. These lines were clearly represented ejaculate. After our initial panic, we decided that it looked like it were going to rain very soon, so it would be washed away very quickly.

I walked by the chocolate penis every day that week, hoping it would be gone. It faded slowly. It took eight days for that thing to go away. I must respect how long it lasted. During those eight days, it rained a lot at night. So every morning I expected it to be gone. It just wouldn’t die.

This was my first experience with “drugs” and getting high. I’ve done more drugs after that day. We did some whip-its on the last day of school while having a bonfire. After we completed the whipped cream cans, we threw them into the fire. They all exploded and left a big hole in my friends fire pit. Well, they didn’t all explode. One of the cans shot out like a bottle rocket. It flew for about fifty feet and had about seven seconds of hang time. We were impressed.

And of course I have done other things. I once took a pill with a friend that was supposed to make me “super trippy and see colors and shit,” but it didn’t work. And I have smoked weed a few times. The first time was quite the deal, with the whole football team (don’t be too impressed. In a town of our size, the whole football team is only about 25 people) and a couple other kids who were deemed cool enough to join us (the night has come to be known as “The Clan Bake”). I took a hit out of a pipe and it wasn’t really working (apparently it doesn’t the first time or something), so a senior pulled me aside and let me use Big Betty, a large, green bong. One rip of the bong and I was pretty gone. After we all got baked, we drove to town and walked through a haunted house. This particular strain of marijuana left you relaxed, so we went through and giggled at all the people dressed up as monsters and ghouls and axe murderers (the people were pretty pissed at us).

Do I endorse any of the actions described above? No, although I think that marijuana is safe enough to be legalized for recreational use. Don’t do whip-its. I haven’t since the time they all exploded. Apparently, if you do them, you can kinda just fall down dead.

Before I end this post, since I have such a large audience (6 followers) I feel as though I should remind you that there is a comment box down there for a reason. Feedback is always appreciated, whether positive or negative. Compliment how funny and witty I am. Or you can chastise me for how stupid I am for doing all of these stupid things. I don’t care. Just say something. It can even be jfkdlshgjhgjsdghjdshgjdsgjjsdgjh, I don’t care. Just acknowledge the comment box’s existence. Thank you for reading (hopefully someone reads this).

-Devon

Education: A Deeply Flawed System

There comes a day in August when I accept the fact that summer is going to end soon. Today was that day. I went shopping for both school supplies and clothing. It was while I saw shopping for my notebooks and new clothing (when my mom told me to get some “swaggier” clothes, I almost threw up) that this reality hit me. School is going to be returning very soon. In a few weeks I will need to start waking up at seven in the morning, going to school for seven hours, and then go home and do homework for an hour or two.

I’m not very excited to go back to school. Very few kids ever are. There must be some kind of deep flaw in are education system if we cant even make are kids excited to learn (do you see what I did there?). I recently saw something on Twitter (because everything on Twitter is true) that said that students in schools these days have as much stress on them as former psychiatric patients in asylums. Is this true? I can’t say. But as a student, I must agree that schools need to commit to change before they begin losing students.

I’ve always had an easy time through school. I am intelligent, fairly popular, and get along with my teachers quite well. I’ve never had much of a problem with school aside from the fact that it is usually quite boring. I learn the things that my teachers teach very quickly. Others do not. I can sit there while the teacher is lecturing and do my homework. However, the problem is in the kids that need to have the material reiterated to them. Many students need to really think and work through problems in their homework. Homework that takes me twenty minutes might take less intelligent students four or five hours. In a school like mine, where almost everyone is in a sport or other after school activity, these students don’t get home until after six o’clock pm. With four to five hours of homework (on an average night, many nights have more homework than that) added to the sport or other activity, and it’s already ten or eleven o’clock before they can have any free time.

A schedule like this creates a feeling of apathy towards grades. Many kids my age want to have fun and be social. They have to choose between doing their homework or having fun. What the hell do you think that they are going to pick? These kids know that they aren’t going to do well on the homework without help from the teachers, so why should they even do it when they can go out and have fun instead?

These kids aren’t going to want to go to college. To them, college is just a more advanced version of school with more homework, harder exams, and a more rigorous schedule. And with the cost of living being so high today, these kids are going to live a tough life, scrapping by with low paying jobs (I’m not saying that people without college degrees are necessarily making very little money, I’m just saying that in this day and age, less high paying jobs are available for people without college degrees).

Is there a way to solve this problem, but beware; it sounds like a teenager’s christmas list. Less time in school. Cut the boring lectures from an hour and a half to an hour. In a day with four classes, that would shave off two hours and keep the students engaged and focused for a longer time. If cutting time off the school day is not an option, a four-day school week could work. Give the students Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. It would give the students more time to have social lives and be with their friends.

The school I attend to has come up with some very interesting strategies for limiting homework time, particularly in math classes. The first strategy involves the student watching a ten minute video every night introducing a new concept, whether it be long division or the Pythagorean Theorem. Instead of the student doing the homework at home, the student does it in school with a teacher present for help. I think it is a great system and am highly anticipating trying this new way of teaching (I have two math classes: Advanced Algebra in Semester 1 and College Algebra in Semester 2).

Another way math classes are trying to cut down on homework time is by making homework optional. The teacher provides the students with homework, but it is up to the student to decide what they need to do to learn the topic. The student’s final grade is reflected solely by test scores, which I feel are the best way of showing what the student actually knows. I’m very excited for this change in the math curriculum.

Now kids, do I think that the education system is going to change anytime soon? No! The adults running it are probably a bunch of stuck up assholes (I have no way of knowing this). Here’s a recommendation from me: take a really easy, bullshit class every semester. This bullshit class will act as a study hall for you. Here’s an example; I’m taking Film Studies in the first semester this year. Total bullshit class. Here’s another tip: take classes that are taught by teachers that are pushovers. “Devon, did you do your homework?” “No, I didn’t understand this. Can I turn it in at the end of class?” A normal teacher would say something like “Yes, but you won’t get credit for it.” A pushover teacher would say “Of course! I hope you start to understand it!” I’ve had some pushover teachers in my day (upon my requesting, one teacher actually let me practice moon walking during her lectures! I still can’t do it very well) and the classes are basically study halls.

Thanks for reading. It’s fun bitching about how much school sucks.

-Devon

A Darkly Humorous Situation From My Twisted Mind

Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times. One minute you’re thinking “Thank God I don’t have to write another post today” and the next you’re thinking “That is comedy gold. I must write it down!” I was thinking about what the most awkward situation ever would be. Think about it for a second. I bet you won’t come up with one better than mine. Here goes nothing. This might be rough because I’m writing this down on the fly without much planning. I’ll see where the story takes me. Without further ado, I present The Most Fucked-Up Hospital Room of All Time.

The mother looked at her son. The father looked at his brother. The father also gazed upon his son. The mother glanced at her grandson. It sounds like one big happy family.

However this was not your average birth. Sure, the labor and delivery of the child was no different from the birthing of any other child, but this one was different. It was different because even though there was a brand new mother, son, father, brother, and grandson in this hospital room, there were only three people (excluding the nurses).

If you haven’t yet connected the dots, the child wasn’t conceived by your typical couple. This child was the spawn of something far more sinister and taboo. The child was born of an incestuous relationship.

It was truly a scandalous affair. The mother did dearly love her son, and the son was quite fond of his mother. It only felt natural that the two should make love. So they did. They did everything correctly in their illicit relationship; they made sure to use all of the proper contraceptives. Unfortunately, even with proper use, condoms only work ninety-eight percent of the time. It was that two percent that manifested itself during this incestuous relationship.

Which brings us back to this oddest of predicaments. What does the son say to his new son/brother in this situation. He decided to be blunt. He leaned over to the child, putting his mouth next to the child’s ear. “Welcome to the world,” the son whispered. “I’m your new brother-father. The woman holding you right now is your mother-grandma.”

Upon hearing this, the nurses began to whisper amongst each other. The mother looked at them. “It’s a long story,” she lied. It really wasn’t. She had caught her son masturbating to some perverted porn that showed a mother and son having sex. Upon seeing her son’s nude body and the kind of porn he was watching, she decided it might be fun to imitate the people in the video.

The mother’s brother entered the room. “Is he healthy?” he asked.

The mother grimaced. “Oh, I sure hope so.” She looked at the infant in her arms. “I hope you’re not retarded.” She held the child up to her brother. “This is your new nephew.”

“And grand-nephew,” the father/brother informed.

“How are you guys going to raise the child?” the mother’s brother asked his nephew.

“I don’t know. I’m the child’s brother, so I feel like I should do some wild stuff with him, like smoke weed and shit like that, but if we do smoke weed I feel like I should scold him, because I’m his father.”

“It’s going to be a balancing act,” the mother said.

Another person burst through the door. It was the mother’s mother. The father/brother’s grandmother. “Is it retarded?” she asked immediately upon entering.

“We don’t know yet,” the father/brother answered.

The grandmother glared at her grandson. “And while we’re on the subject of retarded,” she began, “What in the hell were you two thinking?”

“Why don’t you just rejoice that you have a presumably healthy grandson/great-grandson,” the mother/grandmother asked begrudgingly.

“Actually,” a nurse chimed in, “The child is showing some autistic behaviors.”

Everyone looked in the room looked at each other.

Two days later, the mother left the hospital with her son and her son/grandson.

Fifteen minutes after leaving the hospital, the child was alone, sitting on the steps of an orphanage. The son was glad that he wouldn’t have to raise the mentally impaired baby.

The mother was happy that the whole thing cost way less than having an abortion.


Dark, I know. That is some black humor. It probably plays out better in my mind. I can almost picture it in my head. But there you have it. That is how I write. My best work? No. My worst? No. And now that I have an audience (3 followers!) I look forward to hearing what you have to say about this venture into story writing.

-Devon

I should probably add that this story is ENTIRELY FICTION and that I have NEVER had this happen to me.

Racism: From the Viewpoint of a White Teenager in Minnesota

Racism. Is it a problem? Perhaps. Should I be allowed to speak about racism? Um, probably not. My small Minnesotan town is as white as the snow that covers our streets for four months of the year. According to Wikipedia, our small town of only 1,300 people is 97% white. Only 0.7% of our citizens are black. Our town is so predominantly white that we call an italian boy in our school black (he is olive-skinned and clearly not black). We actually call people who are darker than the rest of us pale-skinned Norwegians black. So it is pretty safe to say that I don’t have many actual black friends (aside from the olive-skinned kid).

So what do I know about black people? Stereotypes. I know every bad stereotype of black people in the book: sagging pants, inarticulate speech, big dicks and big booties. And I can’t forget to mention that most people around here are scared of black people. The only time people around here see or hear anything about black people, it is some kind of riot or gang related killing that is plastered all over the news.

Our town is quite conservative and rooted in the past (which is somewhat odd, as Minnesota is considered to be one of the most liberal states in the country). This is especially of the elderly population that makes up 29% of our population. These people have never grown up around any black people and have come to despise them for some reason. This was made very clear to my by my grandpa. A while back, people were trespassing on my grandpa’s land and dumping garbage. They had made quite a mess of his land. I went with him to help clean it up. While we were cleaning, he looked at me and said “Devon. I think I know who did this.” I had ideas of my own, but simply asked him who he thought it was. He looked at me with eyes filled with rage and said, “That damned nigger family that just moved in.” I had met this family. I didn’t particularly like them, but they were nice enough people, and they definitely weren’t dumb enough to do such an awful thing to his land. I shrugged his comment off and kept cleaning.

People around my age have a completely different view of black people. We don’t vehemently hate them, or even hate them at all. We respect them and think of them as equals. But this respect comes with an element of fear. In a situation where my grandpa would fight a black person because he hates them, me and my friends would run away because we fear them so much. This fear is caused by two things: our parents and the media. Clearly the media doesn’t paint the greatest picture of black people. But it is growing up with our conservative parents and grandparents and hearing these horror stories of what that “fucking nigger” down the street did, or what that “damned coon” said about something. We have no choice but to believe what they are telling us about black people because they are our elders and we have to respect them.

The fear that our elders have instilled in our minds is really quite comical. Without trying to sound arrogant, I’ve come to a conclusion that while all races and peoples have their own unique traits that differentiate them from other races. But I can’t say the same about some of the other people my age. The funniest thing is at a basketball game. We’ll be warming up and the other team will enter the gym. Most of the teams we play are all-white teams. When these teams enter the gym, only a fleeting glance is passed their way. But when we play a team with one or more black players, these glances turn into stares. Jaws are agape. Beads of sweat start to form on their brow. Suddenly, a game we will go on to win by thirty seems daunting.

But my generation also loves black culture, and that is most clearly shown by the music that we listen to. Sure, I listen to some pretty white music at times (I’ll even admit that I’ve jammed out to some Taylor Swift; Shake it Off is one hell of a song) but my favorite genre of music is rap. My generation is absolutely enamored by rap. My favorite rapper is Kendrick Lamar. If there is one artist that has made me love black culture, it is him. He is very socially conscious in his raps, touching on topics such as police brutality, gang violence, alcoholism, and racism in general. If you ever want to listen to a song that truly portrays the frustrations of racism, listen to Lamar’s song The Blacker the Berry. In it he talks about the “race war” between black people and white people, but also points out hypocrisy in the black community, stating “So why did I cry when Trayvon Martin was in the street? When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me? Hippocrite!” It is an amazing song. Another great song is Jesus Walks by Kanye West. It splits its time talking about religion and police brutality, but it portrays its message well (and Kanye’s production on the song is phenomenal).

One other way that my generation has learned to embrace black culture is through Key and Peele. Key and Peele is a comedy Central sketch comedy show. It deals with race, racism, and black stereotypes. Me and my friends have seen every single video on YouTube and could quote them all day long.

I might not be from Baltimore or Ferguson, where this is more of a problem. But maybe the issue needed an outsider looking in. I honestly think that when my generation takes over and is running the world we wont have issues with race relations. We idolize black culture; rappers and athletes like LeBron James are our generations heroes. We might have issues now, and we need to find a way past these issues to make way for the more accepting people coming up.

-Devon

A Fantastic Fear of Bees

They’re everywhere. There is no escape. Everywhere I turn, one appears, waiting for me to let my guard down so it can inject its poison into my flesh.

I got stung yesterday. Stung by a bee. Actually, it was 3 bees, all at once. I was mowing my neighbor’s lawn when all of a sudden I felt the awful feeling of a bee stinging my ankle. Whenever I feel myself get stung I start shaking my body in a sort of violent dance as an effort to get the bee off of me. After this shaking, I simply run away. I’m sure it looks very comical to anybody who happens to glance my way. Yesterday, upon feeling the sharp pain of a bee sting, I did the bee sting dance and ran away, same as I had dozens of times before (is being stung a dozen times in 16 years normal or do bees just like pissing me off?).

After cowering in my garage for a few minutes, cursing the existence of bees, I returned to where I had left the mower. I continued mowing but didn’t quite feel right. I felt a headache coming on so I decided to try to work faster. Eventually this headache turned into a horrible pounding in my head. This horrible pounding in my head was coupled with a feeling of light-headedness and a sudden feeling of warmth all over my body (it was a hot flash but I didn’t want to say hot flash because it would sound like I was a menopausal woman).

I was fairly certain I was going to die. I managed to find the strength to finish mowing the lawn and began the short walk to my house. The short walk felt like it took hours. I imagine that I looked zombie-like, shuffling along with a pained look on my face. I was beginning to feel what I can only describe as a pressure in my chest, causing breathing to become slightly difficult.

Upon reaching my house, I burst through the door and announced to my mother that I was just stung by three bee and that I was fairly certain I was going to die. My mother told me to grab an icepack and lie down (with a lot less concern than I had hoped for). I grabbed an icepack and retired myself to the couch. She brought me a bottle of water and some Benadryl (cherry flavored, the second worst flavor of medicine, after grape). I drank the Benadryl without vomiting it all up and attempted to take a nap.

I have never been tested for a bee allergy. I have never had any reason to. I’ve been stung many times and never had anything remotely close to what happened yesterday occur. Maybe I imagined all of the symptoms. Maybe if I go in for a allergy diagnosis, all I will get is a psychological diagnosis for hypochondriasis (look it up if you don’t know what it means).

Today I woke up knowing that I had more lawns to mow (my dad makes me mow about 10 lawns in total). The afflicted area (my ankle) felt very itchy, but fine. My head felt fine. I decided that I was fine and started my day. I took our family’s golf cart and drove it to my great-grandma’s house (yes, many people in my town drive golf carts around. It’s not that weird, and it saves gas and ultimately the environment). I started up the mower and began to HOLY SHIT! There were bees everywhere. It was a hot day and the bees were out to play. Last night, I had entered my symptoms into google and found that it was possible that I was allergic to bee stings and that the next sting could be worse (never look up your symptoms online. If you do you will convince yourself you have the bubonic plague or Ebola when really all you have is a cold). I debated not mowing my sweet, old, fragile great grandmas lawn. After deliberating for a few minutes, I decided I should power through and mow the lawn. I saw many bees, but these bees motivated me to move faster (translation: I was running from the bees the whole time which made me mow fast). I finished mowing that lawn in record time. Unfortunately, I had another lawn to mow. Oh boy.

The second lawn I was tasked with mowing was the lawn of a very important building in our town, the Heritage Center. I had to make sure it looked nice. But, to my horror, what should appear? A bee? Hell, I wish it were a bee. It was a black hornet. I had never encountered a hornet in the wild, buy my instincts told me that this wasn’t a good situation. I watched the hornet fly around, basically pissing myself. Suddenly, it flew right at me. I hope nobody saw what I did next. I screamed and dropped to the ground.

After a full minute of lying on the ground in a very public place, I decided that the hornet was gone and that I should get up. I opened my eyes and exhaled a sigh of relief. I had survived. The Heritage Center has a fairly small lawn that I finished with great ease.

I drove the golf cart back home and entered my house. An oasis, a paradise that didn’t harbor a single bee/wasp/hornet/any other horrifying insect with wings and a stinger. Or so I thought.

I walked down the stairs to my room. Upon entering my room, I was greeted by the unmistakable sound of a bee: buzz. I slammed the door shut and thought up a game plan. I grabbed the newspaper (it was a boring edition since I wasn’t in it this week) and prepared for a fight. Wielding the newspaper in my hands I opened the door and gave a battle cry. This was war.

The poor bee didn’t even stand a chance. I was on him instantly. I gave one swift, powerful swing of my mighty rolled-up newspaper. The buzzing stopped. The war was over. I could retire to my room in peace.

Pilot

The first post. This is my only chance at leaving a good first impression. But what impression should I leave?

Should it be formal?
Salutations esteemed readers,
Gross.

Casual?
Yo, what up bitches
No. Too misogynistic.

I’m struggling with this first post. I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’ve decided that the first post should set the premise of the blog, similar to what a pilot episode does fit a television series (hence the title of the post, Pilot).

I think the best way to explain the premise of my blog is to say that there really is no premise at all. This blog it’s meant to be an exercise in writing for me. Posts will have a wide range of different forms: short stories, journal entries, and if I’m feeling brave I might even try some poetry (yikes).

Before I get into all of that, I should start by giving you a lesson on my favorite subject. Me.

My name is Devon. I won’t say my last name because if my friends found this blog, I’d never live it down. I am 16 years old. I have 3 younger brothers. I’m from a small town in Minnesota, population around 1,300. I get good grades in school. I am also very busy with extracurricular activities: basketball, baseball, choir, and concert band. (If any of my friends are reading this and starting to connect the dots, just know that if you tell anyone, I will have to leave the state). This is clearly a truncated version of who I am, but as time goes on more details of my life will emerge. And, due to the fact that my name is androgynous, I should probably state that I am male.

I am about to start my Junior year of high school. This is a very important time. It’s the last full year of grades that colleges will look at. It’s the year in which students takes standardized test after standardized test, with the SAT or ACT (depending on where you live) coming at the end of the school year. With school beginning on September 8th, the thought of being labelled a Junior is quite daunting. Soon, I will have to brace the hardest classes I’ve ever had to take: AP U.S. History, Honors English, Physics, and College Algebra. Will I pass? Yes. I’ll be able to pass the classes without trying. But I won’t get an A. I’ve skated through the first 11 years of my education without paying attention in class or doing homework until right before class. I’ll have to work extra hard, because this year will shape the rest of my life.

However, what the rest of my life will be like hasn’t been decided. I have a passion for writing. I really love it. I have wanted to be a writer for my whole life. However, last year I began to worry about the amount of money I could make as a writer. Is it realistic to see my name on the best-seller list? Not yet, at least. And because it’s my goal to drive around in an Audi R8 when I am older, I began to weigh other career options. Lawyer seems to be another thing that I’ve been leaning towards. A hard job that requires a lot of probably solving and also involves a lot of writing. Not the writing I love doing, but writing none the less. But even though being a lawyer seems great, being a writer is still my dream. And if I can get to the point where I think I’m good enough to make it as a writer, screw being a lawyer. I’ll go on and write best-selling novels and hit movies and award-winning TV shows.

The reason that I have decided to start this blog is because of an article I read. It was written by a writer, whose name I don’t recall, and it gave some tips for becoming a writer. One of his main tips was to write every day. In his opinion, the best way to write every day is to keep a blog. I’m not doing this so that I can gain an audience (even though that would be nice), I’m doing this to become a better writer. Do I expect anyone to read this blog? Not really. Maybe a few people. But I figure if I do this now and hone my writing skills.

And now a little about my style of writing. I like to think that I am a very funny person, so I’m hoping that you will find my writing to be witty and humorous. I’m also not afraid to be controversial in my comedy, even if it may offend. The way I see it is that everything I say is going to be considered offensive by someone or another so I’m just going to say whatever comes to mind. Besides, you don’t even know my full name. Good luck finding me if I say something that really pisses you off (I wonder how many people stopped reading after I said “What up bitches?”). I think my knack for controversial humor comes from my love of TV shows like South Park and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (do I italicize TV show names? Or underline? I guess I don’t really give shit). I also like some controversial musicians, such as Kanye West (I don’t care what the haters say about his ego. Praise Yeesus).

In closing, I hope that people find what I write. I really do. I would love feedback from other people. Encourage me. Criticize me. I really don’t give a shit what you say about my writing because I’m not a professional writer. I’m just a kid with some big dreams. But if you stuck with this whole post, props to you. I hope you didn’t regret it.

Sincerely and Respectfully yours,

Catch ya on tha filp side, homie,

Thanks for reading my thoughts. It means a lot.

-Devon