Monday Prompt: Do Something You’re Shitty At, Like Drawing Architecture

Branching out can be the goddamn worst.

Lately I’ve been trying to do things I suck at, or straight-up don’t know how to do. I’ve been experimenting with crochet, and yesterday I tried making work lunches for the week ahead of time.

I also tried drawing some buildings, because I can’t.

Draw-This-Castle

A part of me thought, “maybe if I try drawing buildings, I’ll discover that I’m a natural! Maybe I’ll really love it.”

Humans are Dumb, Ugly, & Uncreative

Ziggurat

When I was a kid, my mom accused me of plagiarizing a short story I’d written.

It was a “12 Days of Christmas” thing about the chaos that took over a house as each of the gifts literally arrived on the doorstep. The Lords A-Leaping were trying to hook up with the Maids A-Milking and Ladies Dancing. The profusion of birds were pooping everywhere. The pear tree died from lack of watering.

A creative djinn had engulfed my brain and the words oozed everywhere. My little Shirley Temple hand couldn’t keep up with the sheer mass of ideas that were coming out.

I was proud of the fucking thing.

My mom read it with wide eyes, then asked where I’d gotten it from.

I said I wrote it.

She said she doubted it.

I went upstairs and cried and vowed to never write anything again. (She later apologised, and I continued writing things — obviously.)

Ancient Aliens

That feeling of betrayal and frustration comes to me when I watch Ancient Aliens

The crux of this show — for those of you who have social lives or poor cable packages — is that aliens exist and have messed with humanity.

Every episode looks at a creative historical figure or a feat of architecture/science and argues that aliens helped out.

Da Vinci? Inspired by aliens. Pyramids and monoliths? Made by aliens.

Other people who hung out with aliens: Jesus, Moses, Socrates, Tesla, Einstein, the Nazis, the Mayans & NASA. Oh, and Bigfoot. Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) were put here by aliens to do their bidding and hang out in underground tunnels under the United States. Or something.

The underlying assumption of the show is that humans are super-dumb and uncreative and haven’t accomplished anything on their own. 

Because we’re the worst.

Humans are derpy ape losers who have never done anything worthwhile.

It’s a bit defeatist: if the only great things came from aliens, why are we even bothering? Can’t they come back and just give us more stuff? Why aren’t they here? Why aren’t they fixing the shithole that their supposed inventions have given us?

Ancient Aliens is laughably bad — so much so that there’s a cult of people that sarcastically watch it. What ludicrous stuff will they postulate next? Will anything in the past be spared? Possibly most important: how big will George Tsoukalos’ hair get? (Pictured above: looking pretty big!)

It’s not like I take the show very seriously. I don’t believe in aliens — I just like their kitschy cult status.

And I’d like them to stay there, away from human accomplishments.

I want to claim everything awesome I do as my own.

Not that I’ve done anything awesome. But I might. 

[edit] This was my 300th post! The aliens helped. 

What an ADORABLE place to get murdered!

While driving in Roanoke, VA, you may spot a giant coffee pot emerging from a building.

What a precious little coffee klatch,” you think.

And then you’ll be confused at the sign, which boasts performances by “Hicktown” and “Pretty Pistols.” 

The Coffee Pot is actually a restaurant/bar. According to this article:

“In the 1950s, it reportedly was the site of an emergency birth, supervised by employee Marie Crowder, who in 1995 told The Roanoke Times that she tied off the umbilical cord with dental floss and wrapped the newborn baby in tea towels.

“Around the same period, the bar served as a makeshift shooting range for a group of Korean War veterans who wanted to get in a little target practice with their carbines and sidearms.”

So cute!

Less cute is the fact that in 2006, people got into a fight in the parking lot and someone died. Apparently altercations happen frequently there.

For this reason, my parents told me it was inadvisable to swing by for drinks, despite my enthusiasm for its structural charm.

But look at the logo:

It’s a visually appealing place, one must admit.

Here’s a final side shot of that marvelous coffee pot.

For better or worse, it’s an officially-recognized historic place.

If anyone knows of any quaint coffee shops where I won’t get shoved into traffic, please let me know!

Happy travels,
Starling

Hotel Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia has an awesome spirit. Lots of vintage stuff, local eats, and arty shops.

Last week, my family and I had lunch at Wildflour Café, an indie local-food joint.

Then we walked around downtown, which had some of this stuff going on:

Yes, we totally got to ride on this. It was free.

Mom & Jacob love each other!

Then we swung by the Hotel Roanoke to take some arty black and white photos. (Okay, that was my goal.)

This place is open for weddings, if you wanna be fancy.

My brother lost patience with my photography & curled up in the lobby with his Nook.

With the exception of the broken, creepy choir children out back, this is a ritzy hotel.

With beagles. Wonderful beagles.