Kexiao! Kexiao! (Funny! Funny!)

bya Gabrielle at 5:04 AM

For all of you who have a hard time believing that the Chinese have humor . . . Behold! I have found the proof.

Some time ago I was driving around the Clemson area because that is really all you can do up there besides drink. And we all know that I am by no means a drinker. You can thank not living on a college campus for that. (Thanks, mom. Thanks USC for being so freaking expensive.) But anyway, yeah, I was driving around Clemson when I pulled off in some shopping strip mall parking lot for whatever crazy reason. And that is when I saw it.

Oh, boy, did I laugh. I have eaten at my fair share of Chinese restaurants – all with their respectful names, but I don’t think I have ever seen one as original and humorous as this one. Thank the purple heavens I had my camera at my side. I wish I had gone in to eat, but I guess either I wasn’t hungry that day or I figured out where I needed to be.

But I thought someone else may need a chuckle for the day.

Laughing is supposed to make you live longer.

So laugh because it’s kexiao!

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A Trip to Church

bya Gabrielle at 7:51 PM

So I decided to go to church this past Sunday. I know, I know, go ahead and gasp, I’ll wait. (And just so you know, the church did not implode.)

Done? Alright, well, here is why I decided to attend church for the first time in seven months. I went not for His sake, or my sake, or my mother’s sake, but for my cousins, her husbands and their four month old, Hayden. They had a Parental Dedication. The preacher promised, the congregation promised, God promised, although no one heard him say it, and of course the parent’s promised that they would . . . I guess do everything that the Lord would want them to do in the raising of their daughter. And then they sat down, and the real learning of the day began.

If any of you know me, you know how I feel about churches. In short, I just don’t like them. They are full of hypocrites and liars, fake and greedy souls who care about nothing but themselves. Now I am sure that there are some church’s that have some redeeming people in their congregation, but not enough. And by visiting this new church, I can say that this one was no different.

First, there was the Soul Snatching Greeters. They were strategically placed on the premises to grab new-comers. I was quick to sneak past them. They came close a few times. One prepared a very convincing smile and was just about to put out his hand to shake mine, but I put my head down and ran! He radioed the others so that they may be able to trap me, but I made it through the mine field unscathed. Ah-ha!

And then there was the actually church. Oh, my. It was huge. Not as big as some that I have seen, but it was still too much for the eye to take in. I can only imagine how many trees (and the many homes that they provided) they cut down to build such an atrocity. It makes my stomach churn. I mean, does a house of God have to be this big? I mean does God really care if you build Him a 800 billion square foot building or a little shack? The only thing I can figure is that the people who make these decisions think that God will only love them only as big and as expensive as their church is. What a clever thought!

Inside of the church was the real kicker. They had little information booths like you would find at a sporting event or musical performance. I kept waiting to see a stand where I could buy a hat, a shirt, or a poster with the church’s logo and motto on it, but I wasn’t that lucky. And there was no divine intervention to bring it into being. Darn.

I joined my family on the second row and began the waiting game. Elevator music quietly emitted from the speakers as random people tried to squeeze by to grab a seat. With as many pews as this place had, everyone should be allowed their own. I felt like I was at a sold out movie and there was constantly just one unoccupied seat in the middle of the pew I was sitting on. Trying to allow someone to get by why you are wearing a skirt or a dress is not easy. If they were going to make the church as big as they did, you would think the next logical step would be to allow moving room between pews. I guess they didn’t get God’s memo on that building idea.

But one they did get was: Build two very large screens that will allow you to send subliminal messages to the entire congregation. I averted my eyes as much as possible, but it was difficult. They had the cutest nature scenes splashed across them. Several times I found myself starring at them, and had to pull my eyes away. I wonder how much damage my mind endured.

Five minutes before lift off, a time clock appeared in the bottom right hand corner and began to count down. I was later asked by someone why they didn’t have a count down for how long until the service was over. I thought this was a very good point. I’ll have to tell the Preacher.

The sermon was less than spectacular. I took some notes. They were a lot different than my mother’s. but they helped pass the time even if they were, well, only bits and pieces of what he actually said. But I picked out the main ideas, and that was what I was taught in school whenever I read or studied. I’m so going to hell, I know.

There was more talk about people not related or involved in the bible than those who were. At one point I found out, “That OhMiGod, I killed Jesus.” And that committing crimes was okay as long as your motive was rooted in the right place. I’ll be sure to tell the judge that if I ever get arrested for stealing, killing, or whatever random thing I may get in trouble for. I also learned that righteousness was a thirteen letter word that no one really can define. Or enjoy. Because it is some imaginary place called Bountiful. Through observation only, I discovered that to become a preacher you need only to take a theater class, learn some good jokes, and have some confidence in your lies.

I think I could have summed up this post by simply saying – Modern Churches, I just don’t like them. And with that . . .

This is Maniac Gone Awry

Over and Out

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Beam Me Up To Sector B

bya Gabrielle at 6:30 AM

Of all the places I thought I would meet the Holy One of Sector B, I would have never guessed it would have been on a secluded park bench in the middle of a swamp, but I did.

I’ll give you the rundown, but you’ll more than likely never believe me. No one ever believes someone who has met or seen the Holy One of Sector B, because it doesn’t just happen everyday, you know. He doesn’t just bless everyone with his presence. He just visits the crazy people who are sane enough to tell the people who will believe only that the person telling them is certifiably insane. At least, that is what he told me . . .

So, there I was, out looking for strange and unusual creatures with an itch to talk. For hours it only seemed the mosquitoes had anything to say. All I could get out of them was some some annoying “buzz buzz buzz”, which I could only make out as profanity against human kind. I’ll spare you their insults for another day. I’ll just say it had a lot to do with a product called Off and lots of hand slapping. I would have laughed at them, but I didn’t want to get eaten alive. And they would have. Oh, they would.

As the sun started to drift further back to Earth, I took a seat on a nice wooden bench, afraid that my day in the swamp had been wasted. I thought it might be a good time to head back because my beloved baseball team would be coming on shortly. But then I thought about it and said to myself, “They are 12.5 games back. It would take a miracle for them to win even the wildcard. The Holy One of Sector B(Baseball) would seriously have to pull some strings. But since that isn’t going to happen, there isn’t any reason to rush home.”

As my synapses finished shooting that thought around my head, there was this wooph sound behind me. It sounded like a big squirrel had fallen from a tree branch as he jumped from one to another. You know that sound, I’m sure. It’s a funny sound. But since I hadn’t seen a squirrel all the live long day, I didn’t think it was a squirrel that had landed behind me. Curious as to what it was, I turned my head slowly to see.

Coming from the bushes, and brushing off some muck, leaves, and the remains of a tree frog on his right sleeve, the Holy One of Sector B came walking toward me.

“Damn, you killed the only living creature that would have talked to me within a 3.4 mile radius. Thanks.”

The Holy One of Sector B looked down and plucked the remains of the tree frog off his right sleeve and held it up before his spectacles and said, “I was aiming for the bench, but a mosquito flew in my eye and . . .”

“I totally understand,” I said, totally interrupting him.

“What? You fly too?”

“No. I rode on a motorcycle without a helmet once. I cleaned out mosquito guts from my teeth for a whole week.”


“Yeah, that is what I kept saying.”

There was silence for a bit. I was trying to get the mosquito thought out of my mind, while the Holy One of Sector B tried to make himself look more Holy. After getting most of the swamp off his clean white uniform, he came and sat beside me.

“So, yeah, you’re right about one thing. Your team is most definitely going to need a miracle if they hope to see any kind of post season.”

“You think so?”

“Oh, I know so. But, I’ve got some good news.”

“Really? Did you save 15% on you car insurance today?”

The Holy One of Sector B looked at me really annoyed. “That was really lame.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help it. . . but you really have good news?”

“Yes, Maniac, I do.” He paused for a moment, then said very seriously, “I deal in miracles.”

“Like the Gunslinger delt in lead?”

“Your testing my patience, Maniac. Do you wish to hear my Miracle Proposal?”

“You sure know how to make a bride blush, Holy One of Sector B.”


Ok. Ok. Ok. I’ll be good. It must be this swamp heat getting to me. Either that or I am in the early stages of Malaria.”

When I got the stare of death and total destruction, I knew it was time to shut up.

“Here is the deal, Maniac. I was on my way to see me some goat haters up north about a miracle that they wanted, but when I heard you mumbling to yourself about how your faith in your team was going kapoot, I decided that the goat haters had hated this long – they could hate a little longer.”

” . . .”

“What, nothing to say?”

“Decided to listen.”

“Impressive. Seems your type can learn.”


I spoke too soon, it seems. But getting down to business, Maniac. Here is the deal. Your team needs some luck, a miracle. Well, I will give them that. In a form of a cake.”

“A cake?”

“Ask questions later. Listen, Maniac, or I’ll give the cake to your other favorite team. I believe the wear pin stripes.” And I didn’t mumble another word until the Holy One of Sector B left. “The cake will give them courage, endurance, faith in themselves, and most likely the shits, but they’ll get better, at least their percentage of winnings that is. And hopefully, with any luck, I put the ingredients in right, and they’ll make it to the playoffs, no problem. But don’t be asking for a World Series now. I don’t bake cakes that big.” He swatted at a mosquito that was sucking his Holy blood, and I could of sworn I heard about a billion angry “buzzs”, but I kept my mouth shut for fear of screwing up the entire rest of the season.

He said a few more things to me. Nothing all that important, all except for some pretty cool trades that were going to take place at the last possible second and how he had made some pretty crazy miracles in the ninth inning and some other crazy situations for some other teams. I had to bite my tongue pretty hard a few times there.

And that was how it happened. Now I just sit and wait and hope the right people eat that cake. And that Mr. High and Holy got all the ingredients right and that they were measured correctly.

But as you all know I could never let an interview go without a few pictures. The latter is my favorite. For obvious reasons.

And in closing, all I have to say is, ” GO BRAVES!”

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Berry Berrry Land

bya Gabrielle at 5:56 PM

You won’t find Berry Berry Land on any map. At least I haven’t. And no one that you talk to will be able to point you in the right direction. At least no one I talked to did. But it does exist. Yeppers. And I know because I have taken pictures of it. The rarest pictures indeed. How did I find it you ask? And how do you get there? Which of the cardinal directions do you take?? Those are the same questions I keep asking myself. And the answers? I simply just cannot remember them. Why?? Why, Maniac can you not remember?!? I blame it on the Berry Wine that I could not stop drinking. It was just that damn good.

But the good news is that my trip was not in vain. I do have pictures to share that prove that I indeed was there. Even now, as I look at these pictures, I think that it might be possible that there is a lingering bit of berries on my taste buds. Or it could be that I am merely insane. But until I have proof . . . that Berry Berry Land was nothing but a sick joke my drunk inner child played on me – I will continue to believe that the beautiful land of Berry Berry Land exists!! I do believe in Berries. I do!! I do!!

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Holy Crap I’m Going To China

bya Gabrielle at 12:37 AM

Yeppers. You read that right. I, Maniac Gone Awry, am indeed flying to the other side of the world to both live and work in the grand ole land of China. Taizhou, China to be exact. (It is several hours south of Shanghai. I’ll most likely get malaria and then right before I die from that, I’ll get trounced by a typhoon. At least I would be going out in style.) But that is some 54 days away. So . . . until then, I am going to stick to regularly scheduled programming. I am so very far behind. I’ve had to postpone so many enlightening assignments. My other day job, which was truly wretched and soul sucking, if you didn’t already know, kept me from expressing myself. My advise to you: Don’t ever, ever, ever read gas or electric meters unless you have a death wish or like to inflict pain upon to your soul. But now that that has passed, we can all move on to bigger and better things. The life of a Maniac Gone Awry. Stay tuned for brain cell exercises.

The pictures I have placed here for your viewing pleasure are those of my school. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention one key bit of information – I am going to be teaching. Teaching English. To Chinese students. God rest their souls. Heh.

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