Monday, September 19, 2011

Party Animal

This is a script I wrote in the spring for the Brown Bag class, but it wasn't accepted. I can see why. Anyway, here it is anyway.

Various Party Goers and Extras, including SLOW GUY and LOUD GUY.

Setting: Common room at a frat house. A beginning of term party, a couple groups of people, including a game of beer pong set up upstage.
Two girls enter.
PEG: Why are we here again?
VICKIE: Because we need to get the most out of our college experience!
PEG: I was planning on doing that in the library, not at some stupid puke fest. Please, Vickie, let’s just go back to the dorm.
VICKIE: Peg, as roommates, we are supposed to face our first year here together, to celebrate little victories, and to lean on each other when times get tough, or hold each other’s hair back if need be.
PEG: Is anyone here even over twenty-one?
VICKIE: Someone had to get the beer. Come on, at least pretend to have fun. For me? (She pulls PEG over to one of the groups, two guys holding red cups.) Hey guys, wild party, huh?
DUDE 1: Last year’s was better.
DUDE 2: Yeah, remember when Josh got all those freshman chicks to jump in the pool?
PEG: Sounds like a bunch of lemmings to me.
DUDE 1: Speaking of freshmen, you two look like fresh meat.
VICKIE: Oh, no, we’re not freshman! We transferred in, so yeah, we’re new and stuff, but we’re cool.
DUDE 2: Sure, whatever. You got names?
VICKIE: Yeah! I’m Vickie, and this is Peg—
PEG: Leave me out of it.
DUDE 1: Whoa, chill out, man.
PEG: (Pointedly at Vickie) I’m not really into the party scene, that’s all. I’m more of a coffee shop person.
DUDE 2: Slam poetry and shit, right?
PEG: Uh, yeah.
VICKIE: Well, I love parties! They just make me wanna break out and go crazy! Hey, what are you drinking?
DUDE 1: Let me mix you something. I’ll be right back. (He starts moving towards a table with bottles and cups.)
PEG: (Pushing Vickie after him) Go with him! Make sure he doesn’t slip you anything!
VICKIE: Jesus, okay! (She goes.)
DUDE 2: You really should relax a little. Everyone’s just here to let off steam and have fun.
PEG: I told you, I’m not in my natural environment.
DUDE 2: Okay, let’s start over. I’m Johnny.
PEG: Peg.
JOHNNY: Right. So, uh, what’s your major, I guess.
PEG: (By wrot, has said it a thousand times) Anthropology, minor in zoology.
JOHNNY: So you dig on animals.
PEG: …Was that a pun?
JOHNNY: It wasn’t supposed to be… was it?
PEG: Nevermind. What’s your major.
JOHNNY: I’m into a lot of stuff at the moment.
PEG: So you’re undecided?
JOHNNY: The whole major thing is stupid anyway. How are we supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives when we can’t even decide what movie to watch? There’s way too much pressure from society, man. (He downs the rest of his drink) You want anything?
PEG: No thanks. (VICKIE and DUDE 1 return.)
VICKIE: Woo! I am having SO much fun!
JOHNNY: Dude, what did you put in that?
DUDE 1: Vodka with a splash of juice.
PEG: You watched him make that, right?
VICKIE: Peg, relax! Just let go! Come on, Drew, show me how to play beer pong.
DREW: Whatever you say. (He shoots Johnny a thumbs up.)
PEG: What a creep.
JOHNNY: He’s not so bad. (Tense silence.) So…
PEG: What?
JOHNNY: What, uh, what do you like about anthropology?
PEG: (Slightly taken aback at further interest, but recovers quickly.) Oh, well, it’s pretty much based on evolution, you know, how new species came about, how there’s a common ancestor for everything, that sort of thing.
JOHNNY: Yeah, I remember something about Darwin from my bio class in high school. It was alright.
PEG: Aside from that, though, some people just act like animals.
JOHNNY: How do you mean?
PEG: The vibe they give off, the stuff they do, how they hold themselves. I people-watch a lot, and it got to be a game I play with myself.
JOHNNY: How do you play? (Suddenly an argument arises at the beer pong table.)
TOUGH GUY: (Beating his chest with his fist) You wanna go?
PEG: (Pointing at tough guy) Okay, take that guy, for example. What does he remind you of?
JOHNNY: I dunno, a gorilla, I guess.
PEG: Yeah, now you pick someone for me.
JOHNNY: Okay, uh… How about this guy? (Points at a slow-moving guy who walks up to a bystander.)
SLOW GUY: (Speaks slowly) Hey, you wanna smoke some weed?
PEG: Definitely a sloth. (Someone at the game behind them scores a point.)
LOUD GUY: Ha! Yeah!! In your face!!
PEG: Him?
JOHNNY: Oo, tough one. Gorilla again?
PEG: No repeats. Think, what animal has loud displays of victory?
JOHNNY: (Doesn’t even try) I give up.
PEG: A hyena!
JOHNNY: Yeah, I guess works.
PEG: Well, you didn’t have anything. (The attention turns to Drew and Vickie, who are dancing together. Drew sinuously ducks and weaves.) Your buddy looks just like a snake to me. Just look at him.
JOHNNY: Yeah, well, if Drew’s a snake, your friend is a dog in heat.
PEG: Looks like they’re perfect for each other. (Another awkward silence.) Sorry.
PEG: God, I wish they were.
PEG: Animals. I wish they actually were animals. It would definitely be more fun than this. (During this and the next few lines, the party-goers slowly become the animals they most resemble, unnoticed by PEG. Perhaps a lighting change.)
PEG: Total pandemonium. Can you imagine?
JOHNNY (Noticing) Whoa…
PEG: Too bad that’s completely impossible.
JOHNNY: Uh, Peg?
PEG: Yeah?
JOHNNY: It’s not so impossible.
(They both turn to see the mayhem around them. The gorilla is on the table, knocking over cups, snorting and showing dominance [perhaps at another gorilla, perhaps at the only humans left in the room]. The hyena prowls the edges, waiting for the fight to be done to take his share. The dog (VICKIE) is rubbing her butt against something; the snake (DREW) finds a place to survey the scene, looking for unsuspecting prey. The sloth just hangs from something, scratching himself.)
PEG: Oh shit.
JOHNNY: Isn’t this what you wanted?!
PEG: Keep your voice down! We don’t want to startle them. Come on, lets get out of here. (The gorilla fight moves to in front of the door.)
JOHNNY: Got a plan B?
PEG: Who am I, Dian Fossey?
PEG: Shut up, I gotta think! Come on, think think think. (VICKIE comes over to JOHNNY and looks up at him, smiling and wagging her tail.)
JOHNNY: Hey, she likes me! Hey there, girl. (He holds his hand out for her to lick. She starts humping his leg.)
PEG: You got that right.
JOHNNY: (Completely helpless) Oh—uh—hey, could you—shit, um—
PEG: No! Bad dog! Git! (VICKIE scurries off with a scolded look)
JOHNNY: Thanks.
PEG: Don’t worry about it. I’ve wanted to do that for a while.
JOHNNY: Hey, what if we pretend to be animals? You know, blend in?
PEG: Seriously?
JOHNNY: Fine, you think of something!
PEG: No, that’s not a bad idea. Follow my lead. (She gets on all fours and starts crawling toward the door, the gorilla conflict having moved elsewhere.)
JOHNNY: Yeah, real convincing. Here, like this. (He crouches and starts walking like a chimp, leaning on his knuckles.)
PEG: That’s pretty good.
JOHNNY: Please, have you seen Dunston Checks In?
PEG: Is that a nature documentary?
JOHNNY: What a sad childhood you must have had.
PEG: Just get us out of here!
(Suddenly a lion roars offstage. All the animals exit or hide except PEG and JOHNNY, who freeze where they are.)
PEG: Don’t. Move.
(A police officer enters.)
OFFICER: We’ve had a noise complaint from this address. Having a party?
JOHNNY: Uh, yeah, sorry sir.
OFFICER: Well, keep it down, okay?
JOHNNY: Yes sir. (The officer exits. PEG and JOHNNY look at each other.) You wanna get some coffee some time?
PEG: Maybe. I’ll see you around. (She exits. DREW enters.)
DREW: Hey man, thanks for dealing with the pig.
JOHNNY: That was no pig.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


There’s a dot on my hip

Somewhere between a mole and a freckle.

There’s another one

Under the shelf of my chin.

My hands are hosts to over a dozen tiny scars.

I remember only a fraction of their origin stories.

Accidentally stabbing my palm with a pencil

Right in the middle of my lifeline.

Scraping my left knuckles along a spiky pool wall.

Cutting my index finger while carving a jack-o-lantern.

I read a Redwall book as the doctor gave me

Three stitches.

There’s a bruise on my knee that won’t go away.

I’ve had white hair since I was sixteen.

My shoulders

(the first part of my body I ever felt good about)

have soft brown freckles.

I ignore the hair on my toes and under my belly button.

The tip of my nose looks like a miniature cleft chin.

The iris of my right eye has a dark red dot.

Look closely and you'll see it.

My pinkies are double jointed.

I have my mom’s legs,

A fact that always makes me smile.

My feet look like narrow kites,

All sharp angles.

These are my outsides,

The casing of my being.

My temple, if you will.

It will drift, and sag, and pull,

Until it falls away entirely.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

What will be left?

First, though, I want to live

Like my spirit is a spark,

My imagination is oxygen,

And my flesh is crisp dry kindling.

I want to burn with passion and love

Until all that remains

Is the soft, delicate glowing embers.

Winds blow hard, and rain falls thick.

I await for my blaze to simmer down to a candle,

Too far from the wood to catch.

I want to see if I have the strength enough

To be my own gentle breeze

To encourage the flame,

Consume me.

Let me never be cold again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feel the Thrum

Been getting more into poetry. Oh no, I'm turning into one of *those* bloggers. Ugh. Anyway, here it is. It's called "Feel the Thrum."

Feel the deep thrum of a bass guitar.
Let it shake you at the atomic level;
Too subtle to truly feel, but instinctual.
It is enough to know it is there,
Like the sudden brief flare of heat in a lover’s chest
When triggered by the thought of their beloved’s caress.
I still don’t quite know what that is.

Let rest the swift powerful machete swipes that clear away
All the little what-nots and by-the-bys
That fill the dozey spaces between wake-up calls.
Set aside the gas tank and the matchbook;
Destruction for its own sake is perhaps
Mankind’s idea of donning the robe of the Grim Reaper,
By holding the key to the life force behind an
Intact windowpane,
Or deciding the fate of an as yet unsalted slug.

Pause, instead, to fill and expand your lungs to the brim,
Past all enduring,
Until your ribcage pushes out against the walls of your house
To make way for your home.
Live knowing you are alive,
That you are at all.

Now listen up, because that was the easy part.
Look around you, past brick and mortar and lumber;
See only those others that are like you,
And like me, and him and her and them and all.
Did you look? Did you see their faces?
Of course not.
If you had, your gaze would bend to the shape of the earth.
And even if you could, that does not account for
The time that would amass between start and finish.
No one is willing to pencil that kind of compassion into a planner.
No one I know, or you know, or anyone those people know.

Let fly the blinds on your bedroom window,
Allowing the lights of the souls of men set fire to your mind,
Scarring your retinas so you can never look away again.
What? Does that not sound like a good idea to you?
No, not to me either.
Good, then. We’ll all stay hidden away
In our sturdy stoic fortresses of stone.
Safe, safe, alone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I wrote a new script for this student playhouse class I've taken for a few quarters. The theme this time was space. It's called POP. Enjoy! Feedback is always appreciated.

LIGHTS UP on a park, indicated by a long park bench center stage (at least four blocks). Enter Robert and Charles, both with hula-hoops attached with strings around their waists and wearing suit jackets. Robert, who carries a newspaper, goes straight to the bench, sits down, and begins to read. Charles carries a fancy phone and has a Bluetooth piece in his ear.

CHARLES: Daryl, I don’t care what you have to do, get me that deal. (Pause) Well I disagree. I think you’re not doing your best, because if this is your best, it’s high time I find myself a new personal assistant. Are we clear? Now get me that eighty percent, or pack your desk. (Ends the call and sits down next to Robert. Their hula-hoops never touch.) I swear it’s as if that kid thinks he’s still in college.

ROBERT: (Not really paying attention) Isn’t he?

CHARLES: Robert, I’m not a professor. I don’t tolerate mistakes. He’s got to learn.

ROBERT: You’re a wonderful role model, Charles.

CHARLES: Kids these days.

ROBERT: (Indicates paper, which his eyes have never left) The rest of the world isn’t much better.

CHARLES: As long as I can retire on some white sandy beach with WiFi by the time I’m forty, I don’t care about the rest of the world. (His phone vibrates in his hand; he activates his earpiece.) You’d better have some good news for me. (Pause) Ah, much better, Daryl. You have redeemed yourself—(Pause) What do you mean, there may be a hitch? (Robert ruffles his newspaper pointedly, Charles begins to make his way offstage, still speaking as he exits.) Do you know how many resumes are sitting in my inbox, Daryl? Young hopefuls who would do anything for your job, and I mean anything…

(Robert sighs and continues to read his paper. After a beat, enter Daisy, sans hula-hoop. Let it be known that this is very unusual. She instead wears a white belt around her waste. She sits down on the bench next to Robert, humming some perky tune, perhaps fidgeting. Robert glances at her pointedly, as if to see what kind of person would be so happy for no reason. He then sees that she does not have a hula-hoop like he does, and he scoots down the bench uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact, perhaps hiding behind the paper. She turns and looks at the front page, sighs, and with a resigned air, begins:

DAISY: When will there be happy things on the front page? (Robert says nothing, and over the course of her speech he becomes more and more uncomfortable) Always stuff about politics or epidemics or, you know, whatever. It’s like the bad stuff is the only thing worth paying attention to. What about a nice big picture of a village in Africa someplace getting a new well? I’d read that story!

ROBERT: (Tightly) Quite.

DAISY: Aww, come on, they’d sell a million copies! Wouldn’t you read that story? All the little kids with their pretty white teeth, or the ones they’ve got left, smiling so big you’ve got to stop and think, wow isn’t that nice? Seeing little kids smiling always makes my day, before they know any better to start worrying about stuff. Those were the days, huh?

ROBERT: Miss, what is it you want from me?

DAISY: Want?

ROBERT: Yes, from me. There are plenty of benches in the park, and you had to sit here at mine.

DAISY: It’s just a bench.

ROBERT: It is. That’s… true.

DAISY: And benches were made to sit on.

ROBERT: That is their primary function, yes.

DAISY: And are useful as places to meet people at, and a lovely place at that. Would you look at all those flowers?

ROBERT: Ye—no! Not for meeting people. You meet people at meetings.

DAISY: Well what is it we’re doing here if not meeting?

ROBERT: This was not a prearranged agreement to socialize.

DAISY: Not that you know of.

ROBERT: Look here, miss, you—

DAISY: Daisy.

ROBERT: Excuse me?

DAISY: My name is Daisy. (She offers her hand.) You shake it.

ROBERT: I know what a handshake is!

DAISY: What’s you’re name?

ROBERT: It’s Robert.

DAISY: And shame on you for making me ask. What harm would it do? We’re even now; it’s only fair.

ROBERT: We are most certainly not.

DAISY: Can I call you Bobby?

ROBERT: I would rather you didn’t.

DAISY: Woops, I bet your girlfriend calls you Bobby, huh?

ROBERT: No one calls me “Bobby”. No one.

DAISY: Not even your girlfriend?

ROBERT: I don’t—

DAISY: You look more like a Bobby to me. Wait a second. (She reaches over and ruffles his hair a bit.) There, now you look
more like a Bobby for sure.

ROBERT: (Clutching at his hula-hoop, embarrassed) Don’t do that!

DAISY: That gets in the way, I bet.

ROBERT: It’s just where it’s supposed to be.

DAISY: It doesn’t really do anything, you know. (She gets right in his face) See? (He scrambles away, possibly holding her back at arms length.)

ROBERT: This is highly irregular!

(Charles enters from where he exited from earlier, looking triumphant.)

CHARLES: He might be a pain, but he certainly doesn’t crumple under pressure. (He notices Daisy for the first time. Robert lets her go abruptly. Charles looks at both of them with objective curiosity.) Oh, hello, miss.

DAISY: What is with you guys and your misses? I’m not a debutante, for goodness’ sake.

ROBERT: (Clears his throat uncomfortably. Polite out of habit, not necessarily by choice.) Charles, this is Daisy. Daisy, this is Charles.

CHARLES: I say, Robert. When were you going to tell me about this?

ROBERT: About what? There’s nothing to tell. I just met her.

DAISY: And we’re getting along swimmingly.

CHARLES: So, Daisy, what do you do?

DAISY: I’m a kindergarten teacher. Don’t you just love kids?

CHARLES: I wish I could remember being that young.


DAISY: It's a shame more people don't.

CHARLES: Young lady, I can’t help but notice, you don’t have…

DAISY: Before you start, yes I do. It’s right here. (She indicates her belt)

ROBERT: I would hardly call that personal space.

DAISY: I wouldn’t wear it if I didn’t have to. They don’t in lots of places.

CHARLES: No personal space?

ROBERT: Don’t—but—how? How is that possible?

DAISY: I can show you if you want.

ROBERT: Who, me?

DAISY: Sure.

CHARLES: Oh, that might not be such a good idea. Robert hasn’t cut loose since college, there’s no telling what could happen.

ROBERT: (Highly embarrassed) Charles! Not in mixed company!

CHARLES: Come now, she’s really not the type who would care.

DAISY: I’m not, honestly. What happened in college, Robert?

ROBERT: No, really, I couldn’t.

CHARLES: Go on; inform this young lady of that time you—

ROBERT: No! Stop right there, Charles!

DAISY: You’re killin’ me, here! Just tell me!

ROBERT: (Imploringly to Charles) Is this really the time to bring this all up again?

CHARLES: No time like the present.

DAISY: Right. What he said.

ROBERT: (Flustered, stalling) Well it’s—you see I was quite young, and, being immersed in my studies, had little experience when it came to… personal relations… Well you know how it was back then. Students were experimenting with larger allowances, and I became… somewhat fascinated, almost enamored with the cultural significance of our particular generation, and--

CHARLES: Out with it already!

DAISY: Robert!

ROBERT: (In a rush) I—I opened my space!

(Stunned silence)

DAISY: I knew it! I just knew it!

CHARLES: I wish I had been there to see it.

ROBERT: (To Charles) I should never have told you. (To Daisy) He hasn’t let me live it down since.

DAISY: (In awe) How could you ever close it again, having lived that?

ROBERT: Well, when my father found out—

DAISY: Why should that make a difference?

CHARLES: Oh, you don’t know his father.

ROBERT: I had a very strict upbringing.

DAISY: Well so did I. It was the thing for parents to do back then.

ROBERT: More so than others.

DAISY: I couldn’t have been—

CHARLES: I wouldn’t dispute this one, my dear. His father was particularly formidable.

ROBERT: He was.

DAISY: (Shit just got real) I see.

ROBERT: Anyway, when he found out what I had done… It’s just safer inside.

DAISY: (Pity) Oh Robert, you can’t really think that, can you?

ROBERT: Yes. Yes I can.

DAISY: Look… I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life or anything. But I can maybe show you… This works for me. And, yeah, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people just need their space. But it’s worth a shot.

CHARLES: No doubt, it is an admirable enterprise, but…

DAISY: It’s so much more than that! This is a lifestyle choice that is becoming more and more rare, just because people are scared.

ROBERT: There is a great deal to be—scared of.

DAISY: I’m not saying there isn’t! I’m scared every day.


ROBERT: Really?

DAISY: All the time.

ROBERT: But you seem so… happy.

DAISY: I am.

ROBERT: How? (Then, almost desperate) Please, tell me how to be happy.

DAISY: Well, for me, it was just a matter of being okay with not knowing what might happen next. (She thinks) The more space I kept to myself, the more disconnected I felt. I felt like I was saying no all the time, whether I wanted to or not. (Joyfully) Now I feel like I wake up to every day saying, “Yes. Yes, I will take what live has to give me, and goddamn it if it isn’t a hell of a ride.”

CHARLES: (Generally uncomfortable by how far this whole conversation has gone) That’s quite commendable, Daisy. I hope we meet again. Sometime. (He starts to exit, turns back) Robert?

ROBERT: (Visibly shaken) Yes, Charles?

CHARLES: Shall we?

ROBERT: No. No, I don’t think so. (He looks at Daisy, who is beaming as the realization dawns on her.) I think I’ll stay a little while longer.


ROBERT: I’m staying, Charles. I’m tired of being scared all the time, of not feeling comfortable in my own skin.

CHARLES: You can’t be taking this hippy seriously.

DAISY: You can stay, too. But you won’t. That’s okay, as long as that makes you happy.

CHARLES: (At a loss for words) It—that doesn’t—(Trying to reason) Robert, we’ve known each other for a long time.

ROBERT: We have.

CHARLES: Right! So, you’re just going to give your life up to go live on some commune, smelling flowers and getting in touch
with yourself? Is that your plan?

ROBERT: (Looking at Daisy) I hadn’t really thought that far.

DAISY: Doesn’t it feel great? (They share a moment, in which Charles is decidedly left out.)

CHARLES: Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Exits)

ROBERT: I’m still not sure what’s happening.

DAISY: You’ve done it before.

ROBERT: It was such a long time ago; I barely remember anything.

DAISY: But you know how.

ROBERT: Will you help me? Please? (She nods kindly, helps him remove his hula-hoop. He stands there, somewhat embarrassed, smiling nervously.) Now you’ve got me beat.

DAISY: Oh, I’m sorry! That was so unfair of me–hold on. (She turns away from him and removes her belt. She turns around slowly, smiling gently. He is in awe for a moment, and then turns his face away, again embarrassed.)

ROBERT: Forgive me. (Daisy walks to him, reaches out, and turns his face towards hers. He gasps at the contact. She then takes his hand and places it on her face.)

DAISY: There is nothing to forgive. (She kisses his hand.) You are alive. There is no reason or need to feel ashamed. Just be.

(She pulls his face to hers and kisses his cheek. His eyes close, he breathes deeply, resting in her touch. She lets go of the kiss, touches her forehead to his. He tentatively kisses her. She kisses back. They break apart, holding hands. Then they both start to laugh, first softly, then building to a crescendo as “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” by Cat Stevens plays and)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

And I call myself a blogger.

Actually I don't, because that would make me a hypocrite. But like any self respecting Silicon Valley girl, I'm sitting in a mostly empty coffee shop, which was until about an hour and a half ago pretty busy. And what do you do in coffee shops? People-watch, but of course. Not too many people to watch at the moment. Slim pickings.

To my right: 3 programmers (surprise surprise) chatting about start-ups and the iPad and how someone else had the same product 5 years ago.

To my left: a dude on his laptop who was just recently shaken from her revery by an unexpected visit from a friend--a married father of two, in tow along with the two tots behind his wife.

In front of me: a door to the upstairs section of the building, where people escape to in order to get away from that loud coffee grinder (which isn't really that loud).
Next to that door: 4 arm chairs, three of which are occupied. Not sure what they are talking about. One of them is very handsome.

Across the room: the counter, which a small line has formed to order their different teas, lattes, pastries, etc.

I myself am sporting the remains of an apricot bar and a lukewarm no-longer-hot chocolate. Fun fact: I am supposed to be working on a little summary write-up. Urgh. And I won't have any time tomorrow, but no matter. This helped me get the juices flowing, I guess I'll work on that. Or I'll just futz around on Facebook. Either way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chapter 12: Middle Colonies 1600-1700

Quite a few in this one. Sorry, I know I'm just pumping these out, but I actually have a little bit of time. Here we go!

"In 1663, Rhode Island and Connecticut belatedly obtained royal charters; Plymouth never so succeeded." Neener neener!

"Imperial bureaucrats believed that the proprietary colonies should first be converted into royal colonies and then consolidated into an overarching government like the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain." No! That's a terrible idea! Shit took forever to get done and there was a fuck-ton of paper work and... just no. Bad idea.

"By smiting the Dutch, the [English] crown hoped to strengthen its own power within a more consolidated empire." I'm sure it would also feel pretty smug to know that historians are tying verbs such as "smite" to it. I know I would be.

"The Dutch economy also benefited from a liberal government that adopted policies of intellectual freedom and religious toleration unique in seventeenth-century Europe," and in some parts of 21st-century America. (Womp.)

"Fur trading operations wanted only few colonists, to minimize the costs of supply and to discourage competitors trading on their own accounts." So, they were basically chill Communists? Cool...?

"In 1625, the Dutch founded the fortified town of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island at the mouth of the river." 'Even old New York was once New Amsterdam...' :D

"The bifurcation led to different Indian policies in the two halves of the valley." You lost me at 'bifurcation'. New favorite word, by the way.

"At the mouth of Brandywine Creek (present-day Wilmington, Delaware), the colonists established Fort Christina, named in honor of the Swedish queen." Nonsense! There's no Fort Christina in Middle Earth!

"But the principal explanation is that the Netherlands had a smaller pool of potential emigrants with fewer incentives to emigrate, compared with the more numerous and more discontented English." Hahahaha it's okay, Netherlands, that's a GOOD thing.

"In 1664 the English instigated the second war by sending an expedition to conquer New Netherland." He makes it sound like a camping trip, hehe.

"The Dutch also resented the English troops posted at New York, Esopus, and Albany, where the undisciplined soldiers robbed and assaulted the colonists with apparent impunity," a tradition that would continue for another hundred years until those rowdy colonists finally got fed up with it. Also, it's pretty crazy what a uniform and a gun does to a soldier's brain with regards to justification, etc.

"To their dismay, the Iroquois discovered that the New Yorkers honored the Covenant Chain alliance only when convenient." Yeah, Indians, get used to that... :/

"Feeling betrayed, Penn denounced his opponents as selfish ingrates indifferent to his extraordinary expenses and exertions in securing and colonizing Pennsylvania." Dude, you've got a COLONY named after you. STFU.

"In the mid-eighteenth century, a German immigrant reported, 'They have a saying here: Pennsylvania is a heaven for farmers, paradise for artisans, and hell for officials and preachers." Muahaha! Take that! Also, sign me up.

"But the fractious diversity of the middle colonies also frustrated English visions of an empire responsive to command, especially during war." Yeah, about that...

Chapter 11: Carolina 1670 - 1760

Ah, the beginnings of the American South. Let's dance.

"Eliza Lucas Pinckney described the Carolina summer as 'extreamly disagreeable, excessive hott, much thunder and lightening, and muskatoes and sand flies in abundance.'" Well what the fuck are we waiting for?! Let's go!!!

"In 1670 three ships from Barbados bore two hundred colonists to the mouth of the Ashley River, where they founded Charles Town (modified to Charleston in 1783), named, like Carolina, in honor of King Charles II." Jeez, what a bunch o' brown-nosers.

"The Carolina trader benefited from the native custom of providing wives to welcome newcomers." Exactly how welcome is welcome? ... What? A wife could come in handy.

"In 1682 a Carolinian noted, 'There is such infinite Herds that the whole Country seems but one continued [deer] Park.'" The smell must have been awful.

"The Carolinians justified enslavement as beneficial for Indians, sparing captives from execution and exposing them to Christian civilization among their English purchasers." In other words, hey, it's not like we killed them, we just make them more vulnerable to death via disease and exhaustion. But don't worry about it, they might go to our Heaven-which by the way is the ONLY one.

"The South Carolina elite became renowned as even more gracious, polite, genteel, and lavish than the gentlemen of Virginia." That's not saying much. If you'll recall, the gentry in Virginia nailed you to the wall by your ears if you insulted them.

"Moreover, black slavery made manual labor seem degrading to free men, which discouraged exertion by common whites, who aspired, instead, to acquire their own slaves to do the dirty work." Come on down and buy some slaves! Well? What are you waiting for? Everyone is doing it. You don't want to be not cool... do you? Do you!?

"An official described the colonists as 'stark Mad after Negroes'". In lay terms, that's referred to as "jungle fever".

"Until they could own slaves, the white Georgians considered themselves unfree." Wait, what?

"Because Carolina society so closely resembled Barbados, English officials commonly referred to 'Carolina in the West Indies.' This development was ironic, for plantation society had driven from Barbados the original emigrants who became the first Carolinians." I like this, it's like Taylor is beckoning the reader closer, slightly hunched in stifled giggles as he lets us in on his little joke. "You see it's funny because *giggle* because they CAME from Barbados, and, *giggle*, well you see what I'm trying to say."

Chapter 12 to follow.