Posts tagged ‘authors’

It has a Name!

31 January, 2012 | | 2 Comments

So, it’s been 4 weeks with the horoscope, to mixed reviews.  The ManFAQ, mayitrestinpeace, was usually only a single question – not a bad gig if you’ve got a week to write it.  This sucker, man – do you realize there are 12 of those things?  Each week?  What was I thinking?

But there are good sides.  I’ve touched people’s lives.  Amarina wrote in from Australia to say that her horoscope from 2 weeks ago was “spot on, mate!”  Inga from Germany told me hers last week was “frighteningly to the pin” which I’m reliably informed means that I got it right.  Several Canadians have mentioned that the forecasts seem too accurate to be just chance, and 90 percent of Americans polled indicted that they were considering taking out restraining orders because their horoscopes were not just forecasting their futures, but actually creating them.  

However, this has only been the case when those horoscopes have been, well, not to put too fine a point on it, lousy.  For those few times I’ve indicated a pleasant week ahead, smooth sailing, you’re rockin’ out this time – dead wrong. 

What can we derive from this?  Either (A) I’m a prescient genius, (B) everyone’s been having a really shitty month, (C) shitty prophecies are self-fulfilling, or (D) all of the above.   Since I have yet to win the lottery, I can safely discount (A).  I think we can probably safely chalk up (B) to the fact that it’s January.  That leaves (C), which tells us that people generally expect things to go wrong and are usually unsurprised to find themselves once again ankle deep.  Here’s where we pull out the Philosophers.  Who can help us? 

Thomas Hobbes, of course!   Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.  Since we know the lives of men (and ladies) are mostly pretty bleak, we can simply quote Leviathan:

“Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

From now on, I can predict with pedagogical prescience that my astro-illogical dances with your destiny will be entirely accurate.  From this Friday forth, may I present:  The Hobbesian Horoscope.

Doomed, we are.  Doomed.


A Thankful Countdown: Day 3

21 November, 2011 | | No Comment

I’ve decided to count down to Thinksgiving, and take a moment each day to think about things I’m thankful for. 

Number Three:  Books.

The reading of them, the writing of them, of the making of books there shall be no end.  I surround myself with them, in part because they help insulate the walls in the wintertime, but mostly because I’ve so often found a wonderful world waiting for me on the other side of a wall of words, full of magic, of science, of fascinating characters, of bastards and dastards and witches and bitches and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. 

My favorites have always been those that reference books that have come before, whether those of the author or others – the quiet in jokes that solidify the conversation between reader and writer.  When the protagonist mentions something that happened in Oz, or Middle Earth, or Narnia, it’s a wink from the author, saying, “I’ve read those, too.”

The three lunatic children have been known to describe the house as living in a library, and for the chance to offer them two thousand passports to distant lands, I am thankful.

This is not a review of The Phantom Tollbooth

5 October, 2011 | | 7 Comments

Look, parenting has its challenges.  We know that.  We embrace it.  But still – some days, the life of a parent takes turns that are uneffingimaginable.

Some nights are even more bizzare.  Take tonight – please!

No, OK, but still.  I got them to bed.  SOBUMD and I were in bed.  She paused to use the restroom, I paused at my PC to turn this damn thing off – and a light came on, flickering, like a bad horror movie with no soundtrack, the only sound a soft footfall like you hear just before the words you know are coming, the scream, the – no, not a scream.  Just a quiet voice from behind the flashlight:  “Daddy, I’m still hungry.  Can I have a bologna sandwich?”

The following exchange is a verbatim transcript of my life.

Number One Son:   Can I have a bologna sandwich?  I ate all my dinner.
BUMD:  No you didn’t, you – oh, wait, that was yesterday.  Damn, you did eat all your dinner.  Stop pointing that light at me.  OK, let’s look downstairs.
Number One Son:   I did eat all my dinner.
BUMD:  Yes, an entire chicken drumstick.  But still, OK.  So, we have bread that I have to slice, which I’m really not up for, or we have the sourdough that you didn’t like, or I can get – oh, hey, we have cookies!  You can have a bologna wrap, or you can have a fresh-made chocolate chip cookie.  Your choice.
Number One Son:   Cookie.
BUMD:   Deal.

I walked around to turn off the Human Tape Recorder’s light, and by the time I was done with that he’d walked into his room, munching on a cookie.  I followed him in as he started climbing into his bed.

BUMD:   You are NOT getting in that bed eating a cookie.  In the chair, at the desk, now.
Number One Son:   Mmh.  OK.
BUMD:   While you’re there at the desk, you can finish the cookie and your reading log!  Here they are in front of you, and here’s a pen.  I know it’s not due until Friday, but you haven’t filled it out all week.  What did you read Monday?
Number One Son:    Fmmtm Tllboof [pointing to Norton Juster’s Phantom Tollbooth]
BUMD:   Ah, great book.  So, write it down there!
Number One Son:    OK.
BUMD:   OK, you need a “thoughtful thought” about the book.  Tell me something about the main character.
Number One Son:   Milo is a weird kid who doesn’t understand anything at first.
BUMD:   OK, I’ll take that.  Write that down.  Have you finished this book?
Number One Son:   [silence]
BUMD:   Hmm.  [flips through pages remembered only dimly, if fondly]  Do you remember how Rhyme and Reason returned?
Number One Son:   Yes.
BUMD:   Tell me.
Number One Son:   They rode on the back of a demon named Ri Ghastly, who told them they were no strangers to love.
BUMD:   What?  [flips through book faster]  I don’t remember that.  Tell me more?
Number One Son:   He said we’re no strangers to love.  You know the rules [singing] – And – So – Do – I …
BUMD:   What?  BOY?  Did you just Rickroll me?   Did you just sit there and Rickroll your own father?
Number One Son:   [giggling] It’s not a Rickroll if it’s not a video!
BUMD:   Get in your bed.  Get in your bed right now!!!
Number One Son:   [still giggling]
BUMD:  I cannot believe you would Rickroll your own father.
Number One Son:   [still giggling] I was just singing!
BUMD:  In the bed with you!

I don’t know what’s scarier – that he Rickrolled me, that he KNEW HOW to Rickroll me, or that he pulled it off so well.  I’m still laughing at Ri Ghastly, but still – “Huh?”  Damn, he got me again.

A Brief Weekend Recap While the Cleaning Crew Vacuums My Office

3 October, 2011 | | 5 Comments

Since  I can’t get anything done for a while anyway, it’s a good time to update you on the events of the weekend.  Not that they were overly exciting, but still, they happened, and as we know my devotion to absolute veracity and disclosure is notorious.  Besides, I really need to post more, since this is now an award-winning blog.  My unending thanks for this honor go to Diane Henders, whose devotion to veracity is nearly as notorious as my own.  Plus she’s cool.  I know I’m failing to follow the rules set forth in the nomination, but I may get to them in another post.  Right now, we have a weekend to recap, and the vacuuming professionals are halfway done.

Pop Tarts

Pop Tarts Made While Listening to a Pop Tart

Saturday the Reigning Queen of Pink helped me to make Pop Tarts.  Since the rolling of dough and the spreading of fillings requires some modicum of inspiration, we listened to Katy Perry – nothing like Katy Perry for making Pop Tarts.  We also made cookies and crepes, since she’d requested the latter the night before (and rules by divine right), and who doesn’t like some cookies?

The best line I heard on Saturday was “Hey, wake up, September ended!”   I’d’ve posted it myself if I’d thought of it.  The next best line of the weekend was from Number One Son, who said “Daddy, I saw a fox on the deck this morning.”  Chances are, he saw a fox on the deck that morning.  We do have them in the neighborhood, and he described it well enough.  Wish he’d gotten a picture of that – he said it was standing on the rail of the deck, which must have been a sight. 

The main plan for the weekend, barring foxes, was recovering the dining room chairs, which is a good time, and getting the new clock up on the wall in the bathroom.  So you can imagine my surprise when, Saturday morning (after coffee and pop tarts), SOBUMD told me that our bedroom’s Feng Shui was all wrong, and I needed to move all the bookcases and shelves, remove and reinstall the light, and move the bed.  Well, you can just imagine what I said to that!

If you imagined the words “Yes, dear,” you may now award yourself 5 Internet Points and a cookie.  It actually takes longer to describe the work than it did to accomplish, but I’m still getting used to waking up on the other side of the room.  It’s like a room in my house has been rearranged… 

Having moved the bedroom, I promptly enlisted serious help in recovering the chairs, since the first thing required was to remove all the legs – which are bolted on.  Once again, the RQoP stepped up to the challenge, sitting down with an upside-down chair and my ratchet set.  By the time I had finished my beer, she was done – it’s good to be the king.  From that point, there was nothing left to do but pull the old fabric off one of them, use it as a template for the new fabric, and start cutting.  Bending over the table with the shears for that long (there are five chairs) gave me a new regard for handling textiles – now I know why Nike and Gap pay those overseas factory workers so much money! 

I only finished one chair, but it looked so good that another beer was called for.  What with one thing and another, the weekend moved on to Mark Twain and what he would have thought of Dr. Who.  I suspect he would have liked the show.  In fact, I’m a little surprised the Dr. hasn’t shown up in Hannibal, MO, yet, come to think of it. 

Biker Bear

Does This Looks Like Pedo Bear to You?

But the weekend ended, as all weekends must, and Monday dawned early enough to bake the rest of the cookies to have with our coffee and pop tarts. 

As the Squirrel Nut Zippers drove me to work this morning, I saw a guy with a Teddy Bear helmet ride by on a motorcycle – cute little floppy ears standing up in the wind.  Nothing like a Monday morning to make you say, “Huh?”

Without further ado, happy October to one and all!  Oh, hey, the vacuuming is done!

The Naming of Rabbits is a Curious Thing

14 July, 2011 | | No Comment

This morning, SOBUMD and I took the Reigning Queen of Pink to her latest endoscopy; getting to be old hat for her. Today, just to mix things up a bit, she brought her stuffed rabbit.

Down The Rabbit Scope!

Down The Rabbit Scope!

The admitting nurse was brilliant, including giving the rabbit a wrist band – raising the question of the name (Sarah, for those keeping track).  The nurse mentioned that she had a rabbit at home, a very large one. I of course had to ask if it was named Harvey.

“Actually, we call him Stew.”

As if we needed any more reason to love her than that, she cheerfully tagged the bunny as well, complete with an allergy alert bracelet around the ears.  As a Build-a-Bear rabbit, I figured the rabbit was probably still pretty allergic to the tough loving stuffing process, already well documented here.  Then it struck us:

This being the RQoP’s rabbit, we decided she was probably allergic to carrots.

Anyway, I’ll save the pictures from the endoscope for the Holiday Letter (nothing says Merry Freaking X-Mas like a blow-up picture of someone else’s insides!), but the preliminary results looked good.  Another endoscopy, another set of slides, another day.  All is well.