Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gimme some castles. Gimme some underwater.

Something of a role reversal going on tonight. The after dinner hour found him sitting in the auntie chair, bundled in the cigarette-burn blanket, dandling a cup of tea, and humming "Shake It Off" in a tuneless daze. While I sat at the computer and played a video game.

In his defense, he is sick and shaky and, at this point, not a little mindless (and blaming me, I'm sure, for the Mariah). In my defense, the game is Cloud, and has apparently been crafted with me in mind. Little, black-haired anime boy, flying around in his nightshift (that's pajamas, not Commodores), chasing around a silmaril of sorts, making cloud designs. After a few minutes, I abandoned my bunnies and duckies and just went wandering. There's a lot that could be added, but the idea is fantastic. And I think I stumbled, Ender style, on some kind of Bermuda Triangle that was never meant for gameplay. No Hive Queens as of yet, but I'll keep things updated.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Curiosity killed the cat, you know.

I dreamt I was walking through a maze of office cubes with my Quenya-speaking uncle (yes he does, and not just in dreamworld--though it's fair to say that the borders for him are a bit blurred). At some point I lost him but continued on my way, staring at walls covered with calendars of kittens, and pink reminder notes and, reasonably enough, evil versions of Successories posters. Each glossy and professional and innocuous but for wry, dark twists on the mottos.

And the photos had been slightly magicked. Nothing too wild--but they moved in their frames and bumped at the glass and made muffled sounds. Before I woke up I passed one of a dark-eyed, dark haired woman who turned to me. Her hands were together and her fingers shuttered a golden bird that cried. She just smiled and winked at me under a gloomy perversion of "A bird in the hand."

Sunday, November 27, 2005


The numbers for the five day weekend have just come in:

79 beers drunk (including company)
48 and 1/2 hours slept (excluding naps)
60 hours spent in pajamas (exactly half the weekend)
1 episode of AirBender watched
1/2 a cigarette smoked
23 emails mentioning (okay, slandering) in-laws
5 miles run
1 drunken rendition of Sweet Caroline
uncounted mint Hershey's kisses consumed
2 trips to Target
1 christmas tree to be purchased

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Final thoughts.

12:08. We've dropped off our precious cargo at their respective doors. All decorum is thrown to the snows and I become increasingly annoying and shrill. I recommend that we blow through all stopsigns, as no one is on the roads. I start ticking off the names on my current shitlists. I draw up grand plans for Christmas decorating. I demand a mild bean burrito.

The pilot indulges my last request in a desperate stab at silence and wins the gamble. I sit and mumble around tortilla and don't care that there is no response to my (profound) theories about fish fries and Kiss 98.5. But as my senses probe through lettuce and tomato the last cogent thought is that five vodka tonics have done their part in priming me for the realization that Mighty Taco has been serving up Chef Boyardee as hot sauce. And it rocks my world.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

And why the hell not, I ask?

J: "Have we got everything?"
A: "Yeah, just put the wine in the black bag with our slippers and my PDA."
J: "All right. Let's go."
A: "What's that?"
J: "What's what? Oh. Well...nothing. That's just in case we get stuck there overnight."
A: "Um. No. You cannot bring The Lord of the Rings Trivia Game to Thanksgiving."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

That's all I got.

When all else fails, just make an avatar of yourself. Compliments of BFJFY.

Monday, November 21, 2005

"Serum" makes it sound much cooler.

We just had a delivery. Any package is cause for celebration, but this one was full of smelly face lotions, so I allowed myself a few extra skippies and an outburst of "yay"s. Admittedly, I have a problem. I cannot tell how many jars and gels have been secreted away throughout the house. I have three different tonics just for my hands--one for fingertips alone. The bottom of my drawer is peppered with seemingly identical containers that I can sort and select by touch. The bathroom is like a minefield. The words white tea and alpha hydroxy have an embarassing power over me. It seems that I am both shallow and self absorbed. But this should come as no surprise--two of my last three posts have revolved around the WB, for chrissakes.

The most recent addition to the horde is a mushroom-based face stuff. Sounds weird. Looks weird. Should work. And considering all of the fresh mushrooms that I've been eating lately, I had hoped that maybe those expiring out and those sinking in would meet and "activate"(!) in some kind of age-defying fungal magic. Nothing. Nothing but smell. But I suppose the least of my worries is that I should walk around smelling like a plate of chicken marsala. The worst is that the combination of about three dozen brands of lotion makes me shrink and shrink like Lily Tomlin until I have to live in a Barbie house and eventually I run down the drain with the rest of the shampoos and conditioners and citrus flavored soaps...

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Tonight's episode of Smallville will be showing the new Superman Returns teaser trailer. We will be taping it. Hankies will be at the ready.

Last night we stood in the kitchen discussing the man himself for the uncountedth time--so stridently that I think we may have driven our landlady into the snows. The standard half dozen or so topics were raised. That Superman is to America what Jesus is to Christianity. That it's no coincidence he popped up around the same time the U.S. was becoming the major superpower. That he is arguably the most complex and fascinating comic book character (sorry, Bats.) That he can only be portrayed by the best of men--also, is this quality a requirement for the job or the other way around (does the role make the man or the man make the role?)? That Chris Reeve defined the character for our generation.

And finally, that, at any time, there can be only one Superman. And that somehow Reeve understood this down to its essence in passing on the red cape. In any case, the thought makes his death a little easier to accept.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where you lead, I will follow.

I'm going to state very quietly, very gingerly, that I think, within the past couple of hours, I may possibly have started to emerge from The Funk.

I can't be sure, but I suspect that it has something to do with Rory and Lorelai patching things up. It had troubled me so.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Has it been so long?

Jorinda and Joringel. Witch freezes boy, transforms girl into a bird. Boy unfreezes, becomes a shepherd, searches the woods for the witch's castle, finds it by way of some lucky dreaming and a curious flower, frees girl from spell. Smoochie woochie.

But a sad story, at it's edges. It seems that Joringel is the only boy in the whole of the Black Forest with any sense of fidelity. Before finding and freeing Jorinda, he must first release the many birds that have been languishing in cages for lord knows how long. Hundreds of cages with hundreds of abandoned loves. How many had sung away their bloom in bird-form, waiting for boys that never returned? How many had passed out of youth, into sad, childless years, and now teetered into old age and senility?

My guess is that when Joringel transforms the birds back to "maidens" what he finds instead are the husks of women--bitter and hopeless, with pale flickers of humanity, but with a powerful sense of betrayal. And when they see what they've become, they weep and rage and beat their withered limbs and curse lovers and love in half-remembered languages. And become a new breed of witches.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

...and geeks.

After a particularly heinous Wegman's experience:

"Do I really look like one?"
"No. Stop being so sensitive."
"It's not the first time I've been called a freak by a total stranger, you'll recall."
"Oh, you mean those dudes in front of Panos? Years ago?"
"Well, two times in one decade is more than enough to start a person thinking."
"She misspoke. She should have said asshole."
"Yes! Asshole! I would have accepted asshole and moved on! Not so with freak."
"She said freaks. It was plural. It was meant for the shoppers in general."
"Yeah, but I was the head freak. I was what elicited the remark, and she went with freak as her insult of choice."
"Well, maybe you shouldn't have tried to run her over with your cart."
"Well, maybe she should've waited her goddamn turn. There's such a thing as market courtesy, you know. She apparently needed to be schooled in it. And I was the one to do it. People just can't go stepping out of turn. I had been patient enough...and my turkey was thawing."


Saturday, November 12, 2005

The hole-dwellers.

"I almost feel that I dislike you both, but do not let us be hasty."

Pretty much. I think that another version may be in order. That seems to be the tune I'm singing lately.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

When she was small.

Day eight-and-not-counting of current funk:

In a desperate stab at inspiration I decided to fry up every mushroom in the house and dump them into a can of Progresso. I figured I'm too squeamish to try any banned substance, but reasoned that maybe a half-pound of very tame, very legal produce should somehow approximate the potency of one good hallucinagen. At best I would encourage some thought-provoking visions, at worst, I would get about a week's worth of riboflavin in one lunch.

But it seems that I can stomach neither lawbreaking nor large amounts of fungi. My meal is ruined and my paper remains blank.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

That's it, we're moving to Germany.

The Kansas Board of Education has voted six to four for setting new "science standards" that will allow doubt to be cast on the theory of evolution. Now, I'm all for the questioning and reworking (even debunking) of any theory through research and new evidence, but what I read next struck fear into my cold, damned heart:

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

Um. Is the Kansas Board of Education really allowed to do that?

Either way, as I'm sure that, when the time comes, we'll be in the first lot tagged for "correction", I've had our bags packed and our tickets pending.

Witchy woman.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm in the fiercest of slumps and that I believe a hex from the subject of my three last flubs to be at the root of it all?

Well, I am, and I do.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Level up.

We began yesterday with Christmas lists. Inevitably, this spiralled into simply "what the hell do we want for the house?"--innocent enough discussion for a lazy Sunday. But it seems that the phrases "video game room" and "complete overhaul" have a combined power that is too much for even the most unflappable of men. Add a little online browsing and some offhand comments about color schemes and we were packed into the car before I could retract anything, weather-be-damned.

Things went smoothly. Decisions were made quickly. There may have been some choice remarks made in the Target parking lot about Eagle scouts and their supposed knot-tying abilities. But we made it home without sailing off into the breeze and with only the one minor fracas.

And now the work begins. Furniture will be moved. Consoles will be stacked just so. I've heard whispered plans for something secret and big that I know only as "the control(ler) tower". The crayola-box desk has been banished to the basement. Artwork is being selected. Lighting has been approved with screensavers to match. We're making the slow progress into streamlined and mature.

Oh, and then there are the blueprints for the NES cupholder. But I guess everything is two steps forward, one step back.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I ran across the game Go (igo in Japan, pinyin in China) and it's balls-hard. It's a maddeningly pared-down version of chess (which I do not play) and involves surrounding and destroying the enemy (everything's both simpler and tougher in Asian incarnation). It was invented by a Chinese emperor sometime around 2000 B.C. and became one of the four essential art forms of chinese gentry. Japanese samurai were encouraged to master it. It stresses patience, strategy, cause and effect, and the principles of balance.

I've played at least ten rounds on super-retard setting and managed to capture five pieces.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Quiet, creeping madness.

Major suckage. Good thing the scan came out so shitty. The pic just wouldn't budge. I screamed "What the fuck?" once, very loudly, and promised to follow it with certain unprintable invectives if things didn't shape up, but remembered that if I can hear the nicotine wench next door warbling to Our Lady Peace, she can probably hear me too.
Instead I decided to even the score by not giving the little lady any hands. Let's see how well you cast spells now, mein frau. Heheh.

I'm sure to reap a nice kharmic whollop from this.

Better than ice cream.

New addiction. Hershey's (Limited Edition) Dulce de Leche syrup. I've been pouring it on spoonfuls of Cool Whip Lite and pretending that they're sundaes. So. good.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blame game.

At five-thirty yesterday, our landlady called asking if we were going to hand out treats.
"No. We'll be gone."
"Well, then I guess we'd better turn off all the lights, because no one here has candy."

I wondered briefly if she was, in her awkward, blubbering way, slamming us. We live downstairs and I realize that it's easiest for us to deal with the brats, but I also realize that we took a shift last year with nary a bag or a 'thank you' thrown our way. That she is the homeowner and ultimate responsibility falls to her. And that when you perch a grotesque, orange, inflatable monstrosity on your top porch, you are pretty much broadcasting to the neighborhood kids "Come and get your Sugar Babies here!". It's simply unconscionable to decorate and not deliver, and it galled me that she thought to saddle us with the task.

And so I managed to convince myself out of guilt. We abandoned our post under the pretext of chivalry--"We're going to help a friend hand out candy--don't want to leave her on her own, you know!" (never mind the fact that our landlady is a young, single, female homeowner herself) and left her to deal with whatever eggs and toilet paper she had coming to her.