Wand’ring lonely, the cheese did not acknowledge me

I have been sent away to Seattle, bereft of home, hearth, an my honey.  Life is empty, life is drear.  I took part in the computer geek activities that took the first portion of the day, and had a couple hours to kill.  Nothing called to me, nothing sang my name soft and low, so I walked through the cold rains where none knew me and all eyes were filled with suspicion as I passed.  I went down and north, then down and south, and north again.

Until I came to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.

I had no need of cheese, but the glamorous and brilliant-edged Libby, daughter of my soul, once worked there, building her mighty cheese-making arms and honing her magnificent tourist-cutting grin (both thumbs up, of course).  I had my own grin, and the tourists were wary of me.  I walked around the place, viewing it from all angles, considering the ways of it, how it changed the environment by laying as it did.  I thought of cheese that came my way, and stories of the thankless anguish of a cheesemaker’s life, and how things taste better with a bit of good cheese sprinkled over — or how life is better with a bit of a cheesemaker in it.

I pressed my hands and face to the window, hoping that one of the captive cheesemakers within would display their mighty thews or favor me with a well-cheddared grin, but was disappointed and had to make do with being chased off by the proprieter.

Thanks, Libby — I needed the grin.  How you did that from so far away is beyond me.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Baby Got Lyrics

When I’m feeling pleasant, all things in order and making progress in the world, I tend to hum. After a bit, left to my own devices, that will progress to a sort of un-hip scat, and eventually I can be expected to burst out in a line or two of song. It’s anyone’s guess what the song might be — I’ve never known why I pick the bits I pick.

Today is going well. I hummed. Left alone and continuing to thrive, there was a small field of “dah-doo-wah” around me. And then,

Does your girlfriend got the butt? Tell her to shake it, shake it –

– in my best lounge singer voice.

At work.

Er. I’ll just go back to humming for a bit, I think.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

What rhymes with orange?

Last night I hennah’ed my darlin’s head.  She suggested gloves, but I was all manly and stuff.  Besides, the gloves were at the other end of the house, and who wants to walk that far to keep his hands clean?  It’s just skin.  It’ll wash.


45 minutes later her hair was covered in the slop, and so were my hands.  Washing it off, I found that I had a lovely burnt orange complexion on my hands.  And fingernails.

And it doesn’t come off.  Not with soap, nor salt scrubs, nor anything.  I look like my mother was frightened by a yam when she was carrying me.

Far be it from me to fail to admit when my lovely is right.  I just sent her:

  • Oomp loompa doompadah doo
  • I wouldn’t be orange if I’d listened to you
  • Oompa loompa doompadah dee
  • My hands look like yams for the whole world to see
  • I put a henna mudslide on the head of my love
  • Refusing to consider wearing protective gloves
  • How bad can it get? is what I asked of you
  • Then stuck my hands in the staining green goo!
  • Oomp loompa doompadah doh
  • You have the chance to say “I told you so!”
  • You knew I’d turn a bright orange hue
  • Like an Oompa loompa doompadah do!

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

My Marriage Is A Goldmine Of Dialogue

Me:  Let’s go to bed.

Shannon:  Good plan.  You kept me up way too late last night.

M:  I kept you – you kept me.

S:  How did I keep you up too late, Mr. Pokey-fingers?  I was rolled over and going to sleep.

M:  Well, yes.  Obviously.  You know what that does to me.

S:  <stunned look>

M:  I mean, I’m only human, and if you’re going to lie there and do nothing, quietly going to sleep, what do you expect is going to happen?

S:  Are you ever aware of the noises that come out of your face?  When your mouth is open, do your ears close, or do they just not process?  I’m only asking because I’m curious.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Fast Draft Day 9 — Murder, most foul

9:03 — Home 30 minutes

Very tired the last couple days.  Tomorrow, I will rise and type and break and type and lunch and type and so on.  I need to feel like I’m still doing this.  I don’t want to taper off.

It’s even possible that my poor sleep has been because I haven’t been typing more.  That’s frightening.

Tonight I had to do the thing every writer dreads.  I’d slipped several hundred words of really lovely dialog out — it sparkled, it danced, it toyed with the reader’s expectations while delivering more than was promised.  It was subtle and witty and had flair and flare both.  And it took the scene in entirely the wrong direction.  It would, in fact, have led to sensible behavior that just doesn’t work in an adventure or romance based story.  Since mine is both, this was a problem.  I ranted to Shannon, since doing that frequently produces what I will call wisdom from my mouth.

“The problem is that, from the beginning of that block of text, the scene goes awry.  It’s great dialog, though.  I hate to lose it.  But it’s in the way, and the only way to get the scene back to where it just has to go is to start both characters in the scene’s starting position, and if I’m just going to recurse the scene I should cut the words and –”  I clapped hands over mouth.


“No.  Noo no no no no.”  My words were probably muffled through my clasping hands, but the meaning carried on my wild rolling eyes.

“You’re not going to tell me, are you?  You’re just going to stand there hiding your chin and doing the potty dance, scaring the cats ….”

“I have to murder my darlings.”

“Maybe you can save them for later.”

“No, they have to go.  They were so young and vital….”

“Well, do it quickly, and it won’t be so bad.”

“If you had to kill me, would you mind less if you did it quickly, or would you still feel badly afterward?”

“Depends on why I’m killing you.”

“Let’s say it was the cat, instead.”  Then I went and murdered my darlings.  They didn’t look accusingly, just held expressions of love and respect for me, accepting the wisdom of my choice on their behalf.  

I can still see their faces when I close my eyes, all those innocent words….

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

What’s this gray thing in my head for, if not a toy?

I had a floating holiday that needed scheduling, so I did that — use it or lose it.  Selecting December 12 arbitrarily for the occasion, I requested the holiday.  There’s a notes section, though, and it’s always dangerous to leave those unattended around me.

Notes:  Feast of Ma’arrat al-Numan – During the First Crusade, Crusaders breach the town’s walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants on this day. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resort to cannibalism.

I sometimes wonder what the supervisory staff thinks when they read my leave requests.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Hive Mind

Yesterday there were three micro-naps through the day, and by the end of the second one my brain was largely back to what I will loosely call normal (but actually mean at median functioning for me).  My posture improved, my energy was soaring in small fits, and I was optimistic again.  All was well, as well as all could be, with the exception that the rash that had broken out under my arms was still present, if improved.  I voiced these observations to Shannon, who was driving us along a road lined with fields of clover.

“…so it’s all much better except for the armpit hives.”

The moment sang with a crystalline chime that I hadn’t heard for ten days, and I was beset with visions of what an armpit hive must be like; I pictured skeps on legged platforms, clustered at the corners of the fields, armpits (sans shoulder, sans arm, some hirsute, some shaven, one with a tattoo) hovering industriously over the clover, buzzing to and fro.  I saw armpits back at home base, shaking and spinning in tight circles to communicate to the other armpits where the deodorant fields in flower might be found.  There were pitkeepers (not apiarists, but axillarists) with hooded coveralls and cans of smoke coming round to harvest the hives.

It’s lovely to be healthy again.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Bubbling up from the past

I don’t recall how it came up.  Something my coworker said about her teenager needing large sums of money to stay entertained.  However it came up, I related this:

Back in the day when I was a teen — you couldn’t go uphill to school both ways because gravity and inclined surfaces hadn’t been invented yet —

Read the rest of this entry &raquo;


We go now to seek one of the Big Five game animals of the suburban veldt — the beanbag chair. Michael has been forced to the kitchen chairs or the floor when all three of us sit, and that isn’t tenable.  We have our porters, our skinners, and have practiced the lore of the region and the calls for our quarry.

We fully anticipate bagging our trophy this morning.  The sport of Men is yet practiced in distant Hillsboro.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry