Thursday, December 13, 2007

InvinciBob revision #3

If you guys remember, I wrote this piece like a year and half ago because a friend had his first encounter with a fax machine. I revisited it for a class and got some really good response, but the prof suggested that I try it from the "other side". So now InvinciBob is tired with his life as a superhero and daydreams about being a normal guy. Hopefully the transitions are okay because this is what I turned in for my final. I think it should be fine, my prof just looks for the effort that you put into changing it. Enjoy!

The Adventures Of InvinciBob

“Duck!” he cried as he slashed Jun, his trusty sword through the air. The young man that was clenched in the fowl’s feathered fist cover his head and curled up in a ball. Invincibob stabbed the zombie duck in the chest.
“Quuuaaaakkkk,” it let out as it fell to the ground.
Sometimes he wished that he could be normal. Saving lives everyday was as boring to him as paper work was to a cop. InvinciBob slumped down in the Leaky Diner booth and sipped his coffee. His purple tights were riding up his butt again. He really needed Susan to fix Wedgy Stopper stitch. It had been coming undone for the last month, but she kept on that she had to take care of their super sonic mouse problem. Boy, it had been a long night of running to corners to pick at the tights where no one could see. A superhero wasn’t supposed to have to deal with these kinds of things.
InvinciBob ran his fingers through his wavy black hair. He really needed to retire. He was getting too old to be fighting man eating zombie ducks. He had to find out who was making these guys. There had been a spike in mutated animals within the last year, but he couldn’t figure out who was doing it or what they wanted. He supposed that he should solve the mystery before he laid his tights to rest. Rubbing his eyes, he paid for his coffee and headed home.

“Good morning Bob,” said Marie From Cubicle One. “Susan wants you to start taking the stairs again?”
“Morning Marie. She said that she’s going to stop buying me new pants every time I gain an inch or two at the waist.” He gave her a grim look while patting his belly. He continued down the rows of cubicles. He took a right at the fifth box back and then a left at the third, finally getting to his desk at cubicle six, row nine.
“Morning Jim,” he said.
“Morning Bob. I heard you in the parking lot while I was getting my coffee. Still haven’t gotten those breaks replaced I hear.”
“Well, it’s the holiday season. I have to think of the kids,” he replied in a dull tone. After working for The Vanishing Pest Corp. for fifteen years, he found himself unable to brag about his amazing career benefits, or lack there of. Jim passed him a page from his newspaper over the short partition.
“Read the one with the Indian Jones look-alike and the fax machine. That’ll cheer you up. What a Putz,” his neighbor said with a chuckle.
Bob took the newspaper and looked at the black and white rows of Funnies. A little man with large teeth brandishing a whip and computer paper was giving a menacing stare at the fax. His buzzed cut hair and backpack made him look like a student who had accidentally stepped halfway into a time warp. In addition to the whip and backpack, the cartoon was wearing a Safari hat hanging off the back of his neck and ropes slung around his shoulders. This guy was a regular Indiana Jones meets college kid look alike! Bob blinked at the newspaper.
College Indy took creeping steps to the fax machine and gingerly pressed the power button. Balloons of sound erupted from the machine, causing the adventure hero to jump back and hold up his whip. With the caution of a nervous cat, College Indy approached the fax machine again and sent his message. After a long silence of empty balloons, College Indy began to walk backwards out of the small copy room, not taking his eyes off of the machine. A loud noise popped up and the man ran back. A message appeared in the small tray. He quickly checked for booby traps with a swiping motion of his hand and snatched the paper. His mission was complete. College Indy cracked a small smile at the plastic box and scooted out the door.
“It’s a hoot isn’t it?” Jim asked as he slapped the palm of his hand down on the top of the partition. “Imagine, some weirdo in a cowboy getup being scared of a fax machine. Hah!”
“Heh, yeah,” Bob pretended to agree. Tucking the newspaper carefully into his garbage can, he made sure that it didn’t touch anything wet. He planned on studying it more when Jim wasn’t watching. College Indy could prove to be the career break that he had been looking for.
Sitting down at his squeaky swivel chair, he pulled out the first case stacked in the IN box. The manila folder made a wobbly noise as he flipped through it. The inspector who had filled out the detailed chart had horrible handwriting that was about the size of a termite. Bob squinted at the tiny boxes. He felt like he was trying to decipher the secret code. He was getting too old for this. Teenaged boys never wrote big enough for his eyes to see and the girls had so many loops and bubbles that their charts looked more like art projects than pest control records. He shook his head and flipped through the pages.
Apparently this inspector had captured a disoriented porcupine in a woman’s front yard. It had been taken down from a tree where it had been munching on leaves and bark. The woman had claimed to see the rodent from outside of her kitchen window and thought it was an overgrown rat. Bob let out a soft snort. Really, a rat? What kind of rat hung out six feet in the air stripping bark and eating twigs? People these days. He turned to the picture that was paper clipped to the back cover. The animal almost looked cute, with its spines erect and rear sticking up in the air.
He glanced at the garbage can. Rolling to his cubicle entrance, he poked his head out. No one was coming. He plucked the newspaper out of the trash with College Indy speed before anyone had the chance to pop in on him. Opening the paper, careful not to make any rumpling noises, Bob smoothed the chronicle on his desk and read the comic strip over again. He hugged his arms around the paper to prevent anyone from seeing what he was reading, a method he had picked up from his seven-year-old.
With slow, precise movements, Bob slid his desk drawer open and took out a pair of scissors. He cut College Indy out the paper and placed him safely into the bottom of his desk drawer. Returning the newspaper to the trash bin, he turned and faced his computer. Okay College Indy, what would you have done if a porcupine showed up in your front yard?

“ An African Brush-tailed Porcupine was found on April 30, 2006 in the front yard of Mrs. Apranza Frisco…”

Boom. Scrape. Boom. Scrape. Boom. The windows of Mrs. Frisco’s house were rattling. He tightened his grip on his pen and clipboard. Instinctively his pen hand touched his sword.
“InvinciBob, you have to save my house from that evil porcupine!” Mrs. Frisco squealed, her hands at her cheeks and eyes wide with fear.
“Don’t worry ma’am,” he said, holding out his hand to stop her jabbering, “I have everything under control,” he continued in his deepened tough guy voice. He gave her a nod to reassure her and set the clipboard on the kitchen table. InvinciBob strutted out the front door and placed his hands on his hips.
“Okay, you evil Porcupine, we can do this the hard way if you like, or you can get into the cage over there in the InvinciVan,” he told the snarling beast with a small gesture towards the vehicle.
Boom. Scrape. Boom. Scrape. Boom. The porcupine got closer to him.
“I will never surrender to the likes of you InvinciBob!” With that he jumped and spun with a booming crash as he landed. His quills rose as he prepared to shoot.
“You’re not scaring me Porcupine. I know very well that porcupines can’t shoot their quills. I paid attention in zoology you know. They don’t call me InvinciBob for nothing,” he said with a smug grin. He crossed his arms over his chest and waited for the porcupine’s next move. The animal slowly turned around to glare at him. His clawed feet tore up the grass in the pivoting motion.
“My lawn!” squealed Mrs. Frisco.
“That’s what you think, InvinciBob. Dr. Gizmo upgraded me with ejecting quills and steel tipped claws,” he said with a garish laugh, lifting one sparkling paw off the ground and patting his back. “One of these babies into your stomach and you’ll never get it out. Dr. Gizmo enhanced the barbs with flesh eating bacteria that feasts on my victim’s body after I impale them. The hole will be so big that you could fit a log through it.”
“A fixed up porcupine,” InvinciBob said, more to himself than to the porcupine. “Who is this Dr. Gizmo?” InviciBob demanded.
“You’re worst nightmare.”
The porcupine jumped around again and began to shoot deadly quills at InviciBob. Doof, doof, doof. The quills came shooting out at him.
“Noooooooo!” he yelled, slashing though the massive quills with Jun. He blocked the mutilated spines from puncturing his skin with his shield and ran at the porcupine. He jumped and cut the tips of the spines off his back. Sttttssss. Steam left the quills as they deflated on the mutated porcupine’s back.
“Noooooooo!” the porcupine mimicked InvinciBob’s yell. The porcupine spun around and flung his claws down at InviciBob. ‘Sheungk, sheungk, sheungk. The pan sized paws bombarded his shield with weight and ferocity. InvinciBob swung Jun at him with all his might. Jun connected with the porcupine’s nostril.
“Yoooooowwww!” the porcupine roared in pain. InvinciBob took advantage of the animal’s agony and lassoed a chain around his body. Pressing a button on his belt, the chain retracted and pulled the miserable porcupine into the van’s cage.
“Take that you engorged rodent! I am InvinciBob! No one can defeat me!” he said with triumph. Sheathing Jun back at his hip he started for the front door. Mrs. Frisco ran to meet him.
“Oh InvinciBob! You’re my hero!”
“All in a day’s work, ma’am,” he told her with a toothy smile. He took up his clipboard and wrote in perfectly legible handwriting “Pest secured by InviciBob”.
Once the rate of demon animal appearances had increased, the bureau had begun to require super heroes to record their missions. It was work that most heroes detested, but he loved it. The paperwork made him feel a little closer to the normal world. Hopping into the Invincivan he drove towards the correctional facility where morphed animals were being tested.
“Hi, Dan,” he said. “I’ve got a live one.” He pointed to the back of the Invincivan.
“Go ahead and bring it to lab two, InvinciBob”
While the lab technicians froze the giant porcupine, InvinciBob took the opportunity to scout out headquarters. He wanted to tell them about this Dr. Gizmo fellow. It was valuable information that needed to be addressed right away.
“It’s urgent,” he told the guard.
“Sir, you need to make an appointment.”
“I’m a super hero.”
“You need to make an appointment, Sir.”
“This is important.”
“An appointment, Sir.”
“Fine! Make me an appointment.”
“You’ll have to go down to the front reception desk and schedule an appointment with the secretary there.”
“What? But that’s all the way on the other side of the facility.”
“There is no need to raise your voice, Sir. That is where you make the appointments.”
“This is ridiculous.”
“Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Emmy is in California!

Boy, we had a tough trip. I'm very busy right now so I'm just going to copy paste what I told Julie over Gmail chat.

me: the stupid people at the airport had no idea where we were supposed to go. we waited in the regular domestic like for like half and hour and then they told us to go to parcel postal service or something like that. the only person who know what was going on was the manager

me: and then when we got down the pps place, the idiot woman didn't think that she had her rabies shot because the vet put the expiration date for the actual vial of vaccine that she was given. so since that was expired, the lady discredited the part that said that emmy didn't need another shot until jan of 2008
everyone else in the pps place knew what the paper meant, but she insisted that it wouldn't work. so when the supervisor finally came out she was like, oh it's fine.

Julie: oh, christ

me: completely ridiculous. ed said that she was trying to get us on the weather and health certificate too
ed did all of the talking
i would have just yelled at her

Julie: according to the AA information that you forwarded to me, it says to go to the AA cargo office at SFO (you type the airport name in and it will tell you all the information for that particular airport)
i thought perhaps that was wrong since i've seen other folks pick dogs up at baggage claim areas, we went just to be sure and they said to go to baggage claim

me: i was like, the vet checked off the box that says she can fly under 45 degrees, but she was like well it doesn't say how far under 45. we were like, well the airline won't fly her if it's under 20 degrees. so you have the difference of 45 to 20 degree weather

So basically, the people were idiots and jerks all in one. I hate NYC. Anyways, here are the pictures that Julie and Davie sent of the pick up. We thought that she would freak out, but she seemed fine and didn't soil herself. Even the people at AA where we dropped her off thought she was great. She didn't even bark when we left. She's such a good girl.

Uncle Davie made her a little pillow out of a towel and everything!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I took Emmy to the vet to get her health certificate for flying and there was a Santa there! So Emmy has her first Christmas picture and we helped out homeless animals with by doing it. I wish I had my camera with me. The picture would have come out a lot sharper, but we'll work with what we have. We had to scan this one in.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Thanksgiving here was pretty awesome. It was weird because we we're at home, but we had a pretty big dinner. Christopher came out on the Saturday before Turkey Day and then it was a whirlwind of guests after that. Julie, Davie and Mrs. Levie came on Monday and then my parents came on Wednesday. We had a lot of fun hanging out. Julie and I did most of the cooking. Thank you Julie for all of your help! My mommy helped with cutting stuff and my dad carved the turkey like usual. There was so much video game playing going on it was unbelievable. Our tv was barely ever off! Anyways, I think that everyone had fun and there was plenty of food to go around (which is always a good thing).

At the Holiday Bowl hockey tournament.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

another away message update and then some

Couldn't finish that 6th cup of coffee
8 out of 12 pages written + works cited (which is a pain so I'm glad it's done)
8 hours before I have to stop writing

i think if i stay up any longer the essay will make even less sense than it's making now. why did i think that writing about Grease would make the paper any more fun?

it's a good thing that this is only a first draft. i don't know why my prof wants it tomorrow. the syllabus says that the first draft isn't due until next wednesday. at least i have a good chunk done. i'm sure i can expand on the topics more, but i started questioning the system and when i do that i go around in circles and get frustrated with the way that our society has bred us. we're all robots of the system. we're exactly how they want us. i'm going to bed.

Update on away message

Couldn't finish that 6th cup of coffee
6 out of 12 pages written + works cited (which is a pain so I'm glad it's done)
9 hours before I have to stop writing

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

I think all that coffee is giving me heartburn.

My away message currently says...

6th cup of coffee
3 out of 12 pages written
13 hours before I have to stop writing

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, November 26, 2007


I had to write a poem for tomorrow's Imaginative Writing class. I had the option of writing about myself and family or writing a Sestina. I thought that writing a syllabic and stanzaic poem would be easy, but I wrote two lines and stared at the screen. Since Sestina's have a specific form of their own, I combined the two options together. This is what Wikipedia had to say about Sestina's: "A sestina is a highly structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet (called its envoy or tornada), for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time; if we number the first stanza's lines 123456, then the words ending the second stanza's lines appear in the order 615243, then 364125, then 532614, then 451362, and finally 246531. This organization is referred to as retrogradatio cruciata ("retrograde cross"). These six words then appear in the tercet as well, with the tercet's first line usually containing 1 and 2, its second 3 and 4, and its third 5 and 6."

Thank you Wikipedia for saving me time on writing out the explanation myself. Anyways, as you may have guessed, I'm posting my family sestina, cleverly entitled: Seeing Family. Not all of it rings true, but being set to using the same six words is harder than it looks. The words I used were: check, double, confines, morning, reach and home. Of course the poem is repetitive, but that is the nature of the Sestina.

Allison Chin
Novermber 27, 2007
English 559

Seeing Family

When I finish with school, I check
to see if the dog has created double
the chores before I crash to the soft confines
of my bed. The sun is barely shining the morning
that my family is scheduled to arrive. I reach
for my apron and try to tidy up my fur drenched home.

My family is excited to finally get to see my New York home,
where my mother greets my boyfriend and bends to check
out the dog with a warm reach
and tight hug around her neck. My father fumbles with the double
zippers of his green suitcase with bat-like eyes, feeling for the pull tabs with numb fingers. He is tired and grumpy after missing the coffee rounds this morning
in the plane’s coffin like confines.

My brother immediately runs to the confines
of the computer room, where he feels at home.
It is ten in the morning
And he already has to log on to Myspace to check
his messages, starved of teenaged communication. I can hear the double
click of the mouse that is just within his clammy-handed reach.

I try to impress my parents as I reach
for the plate of homemade cinnamon rolls hidden in the confines
of the refrigerator’s concealing double
doors. My boyfriend’s mother is also visiting our home
and I have to hide the sweets and constantly check
to make sure that they are still a secret every morning.

I warm the rolls in the oven for their morning
snack and can see the gleam of happiness in their eyes as they reach
for the soft, sticky sweets. After their first bites, I check
to make sure that they like them and return to the confines
of the kitchen where the cinnamon rolls make the room smell like home.
My father asks me to make more, this time with the recipe doubled.

With my family warm and content they are likely to double
the amount of money they want to spend on me this morning
when we leave my sweet smelling home
and head towards the mall. As I reach
for the stand up mixer in the confines
of Williams Sonoma’s back corner, my mother and I check the price.

We shouldn’t have checked, but we didn’t think that it would be double the price of what we wanted to spend.
Disappointed, I slumped out of the confines of cream and brown colored store like a child who received coal on Christmas morning,
and reached for my keys as we head for home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving post will be postponed

I'm very busy this week so I'll post pictures and talk about my holiday at the end of the week when my stuff is done.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

He's on the plane!

Christopher just called and he's on the plane to Chicago and then Albany! ETA 10:15 PM EST.

I better go mop and start making cinnamon roll dough! We're so excited!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Mommy!

6 days until Christopher comes;8 for Julie, Davie and Mrs. Levie; 10 for Mommy and Daddy. Yay!!! I'm so excited!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Today I made cinnamon rolls from scratch and they turned out GREAT! They were just like Cinnabon, but much cheaper. Hehe. Making them wasn't really that hard, but since it's so cold here the rolls didn't rise. I ended up putting the pan of rolls in the spare bedroom where the sun was coming in the window. Once the rolls started to warm up, they rose nicely. I think I'm going to make these for our families when they come out here. I think that Mrs. Levie and my daddy will like them very much. Everyone else too, but they both have the biggest sweet tooth's in the group I think.

My mom and I used to go to the Cinnabon in the Sunvalley mall and share one of the big ones. It was a challenge to finish one of those gigantic things between the two of us, but I think we'll be able to finish these off. I just ate two of the ones I made they were so good. I got the recipe from
When I was making the dough, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to make it a little more cinnamon-y. As I said, they were pretty easy, but took forever to rise in this weather. Ed suggested that I put them in the oven on the "warm" setting. I think I'm going to try that next time.

And of course, here are some pictures of Emmy. (These are mostly for my mommy and Julie.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This years pumpkins

Here are pictures of this years pumpkins. I did the Harry potter one, of course, and Ed, Jack and Matt did the RPI one. I tried to carve the Deathly Hallows picture into the back of my pumpkin and ended up with a huge triangular hole. Heheh.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Hand Sander

So last weekend while I was at work on my second draft of the "God's Paint" manuscript I asked my friend Jack if a hand sander was heavy. I wanted my character, Clover, to weigh it in her hand, but couldn't have her do that if the tool was heavy. Jack proceeds to draw me a picture of a hand sander and this is approximately how our conversation went:

"So can you hold it in one hand?" I asked. "I have her saying 'Thanks, Benny,' she said with a small smile. 'Now how do you use this thing?' she asked, weighing the tool in her hand."
Jack continues drawing his hand sander diligently with his head close to the note pad and says "Well actually you hold it with your foot."

I thought that this was so funny that I was near tears. His "hand" holding the diagram of the hand sander looked like a foot. Ah, the clever boy.

Emmy is ready to fight the CA fires!

This is Emmy's Halloween costume.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I had a very good day today. My mean professor was actually very nice, so I'm in a very good mood. A couple of nights ago Ed told his parents that he isn't going to pursue his PhD and they were fine with it. So to me that means that it's official that we'll be coming home after I'm done. Woo Hoo!

I've also included a story that I've been working on. I'm posting the "juvenile" version. I like this one better, but my Prof said that I needed to make it more adult. I've also just written a pretty good short fic, but it's very dark and disgusting. My Prof was encouraging us to push the envelope, so I went for the other spectrum of fiction. If you want to read that one let me know and I'll email. It's a little too graphic to put on here.

Yellow Snow
By: Allison Chin

“Don’t eat the yellow snow,” she told me. I didn’t know why she would say that. It was a free lemon snow cone just waiting to be found by that lucky someone. That day I was the lucky boy. When I tried to scoop it up with my snowball maker she yelled at me so loud that Mrs. Robinson almost dropped her snow shovel. “What did I just tell you? Don’t eat the yellow snow, Dimwit.”
She was right. I hate when she is right. When she wasn’t looking I took a quick mouthful. It didn’t taste like a lemon snow cone at all. It tasted like pee! I had eaten someone else’s pee! I thought that I was going to die after that.
I was mad at her for not telling me that it wasn’t lemon flavored. I was mad when she laughed at me and said “I told you so”. I was mad when she said “It serves you right” when I told her that I thought I was going to die. I was just plain mad. I had just eaten some else’s pee after all.
That night I went to bed clutching my stomach, scared to death of death. When I woke the next morning with the bright, heatless winter sun shining on my face I was so happy that I could have kissed my ugly sister. I was alive! And I told the whole family so. I told Mrs. Robinson who was out shoveling her walkway. I told the milkman. I told my cat, Pebbles, who was looking at the little birds from the window. I told the little birds. And then I told Jeffery Parson, the boy from next door, that I was alive.
“Why wouldn’t you be?” he asked.
I gave him a serious look then; one that I hoped would get how grave the situation was across. “I ate yellow snow,” I said.
“Did it taste like lemon?” His eyes lit up like a Jack-o-lantern on Halloween.
“No, it wasn’t lemon at all.” I shook my head solemnly. He looked so disappointed at this news that I thought I shouldn’t have told him at all.
“What did it taste like?”
“How do you know what pee tastes like?” he asked with a disgusted face.
“Believe me, you just do,” I said. “Don’t eat the yellow snow.” I turned away from him then and headed back towards my house.
“No, I don’t think I will.” I heard him say from behind me. I never ate yellow snow or lemon snow cones again.