Harry Potter.

Ray sat on my lap through all but the last five minutes of the Prisoner of Azkaban. And this is not a girl with a low restlessness quotient.

Cheap theater good.


Acid Purple or Invisible.

I woke up this morning and had ideas. Now I can't remember what they were. I took a shower and had ideas. I can't remember them, either. I had ideas at work, and they're gone, too. On the way home I realized that I'd slipped into the state of mind where some idea or insight I'd had was causing a domino effect. I almost forgot that one, but I'd taken a moment to remind myself not to fotget at the time. Now I'm restless. The tiger at the zoo paces all the time. The lions sleep but the tiger paces--my Chinese zodiac sign is the tiger. I should be dreaming of flying, of falling off the top of a skyscraper and never hitting the ground. I feel like I won't be the same person when I wake up, the difference of a single hair that's turned acid purple or invisible.
It makes sense once you see it.

Headbanging belly dancers at Metal Goddess.


Yo mama.

Yo mama so fat when she pull her pants down, people start turning into werewolves, 'cause it's a full moon. --Tshirt.



"If the dorks and the non-dorks ever got in a war, I wouldn't make it as a double agent." --Anon.


Their eyes were watching GOD.

So Ray and I went to the zoo today. As usual, after three hours of spazzing out, she fell asleep on the way home. She'd only been asleep for half an hour when I pulled up to the house, and I had a good book. I parked in the shade of a tree along the street and read.

About fifteen minutes later, a car pulls up in front of me and two men get out. They're both wearing suits, and one of them is carrying a bible. They walk past my car, up the steps, and ring the bell at our house for a couple of minutes. Then they walk down the steps, get back in their car, and drive away.

A few minutes after they left, the guy next door started running his power saw again. One of those constant noises you don't notice has stopped until it starts up again.



Work was work again today.


Six Sigma.

I went to a Six Sigma simulation class today. It was the most fun I've ever had at work, ever. We took a ten-minute process and reduced it to ten seconds.

I got to bounce around and shout out ideas. I could do that for a living.



It used to be that all you could get were crappy donuts, at least where I lived. They were all cake donuts, and they all tasted slightly stale. Then I had my first Krispy Kreme.

"Ah!" I said. "There's nothing wrong with this donut! What a relief!"

I was on vacation. When I went home (in Iowa at the time), I had to go back to the crappy donuts.

Colorado Springs has been inundated with Krispy Kreme donuts recently. From what I understand, they make them in Denver, because the actual Krispy Kreme stores in town don't have the capacity to make that many donuts.

At first I couldn't get enough, but I've finally realized that Krispy Kreme donuts are too @#$%*^& sweet. Once in a while, that's all you really want, a sweet donut with nothing really wrong with it. I usually get Albertson's donuts now. They sell Krispy Kreme donuts, too, but I get the other kind instead.


Family resemblance.

Walking along with my mother while she was in town. Sign.


I said, "But I don't want healthy Japanese food."

Mom said, "I thought you liked Japanese."

"When it's dead! Not when it's healthy!"

She said, "I wished you'd been around more when Andy was growing up. The girls have the same kind of mindset, and Matt can fit into that when he's around. Andy's different. He's been off in his own little world for a long time. You know when he saw that sign he said the same thing."

When we caught up to him, I asked him if he'd seen the sign. He hadn't. I started to tell the story, and he laughed as soon as I told him what the sign said.


My folks came out to visit. They were supposed to be here on Wednesday, but arrived on Sunday afternoon, having forgotten to call before they left. At the time, I thought it was strange--they were always so fanatical about calling before they left, in case "something happened."

Cell phones. Social changes. They had three of the things with them.

We did a lot of hanging out; they did a lot of shopping (pre-HS for two daughters and a college freshman son who'd just as soon wear highwater pants, I take it). Thursday we went to the USOTC (US Olympic Training Center) in CS. I'd never been before. "Cinderblock" and "the best training facility in the country" aren't two phrases I'd use together, but there you go. Those things the sponsors pay for are at least adequate to luxurious; those things the sponsors don't pay for aren't. I mean, "be" verb not. We heard lots of stories about the atheletes; the thing that stuck with me the most was that the athletes really are meant to be goodwill ambassadors. After training 10hrs a day, 4 hrs workout, part-time job or school, they still have to do community service. The meeting rooms are open for non-profit organizations to use. Most of the training areas are open to public view, and every half-hour, a guided tour comes through.

Friday we went up to Denver. Started with the zoo. New exhibits. Old favorites. No sunscreen. Three teens. Went well. To sixteenth street mall. Three teenages. Rode up and down on the buses while others shopped. Again, went well, considering got lost and three teenagers. Then Casa Bonita. It was like a continuation of the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, only instead of paying entrance fees you pay for food.

So. All of the kids have now moved past the really-annoying-teen-phase now. I love my family, but this is the first time I've seen them in a long time that hasn't had this undercurrent of whiny viciousness running underneath it. I had a lot of fun.

Julia Child.

Julia Child died on Friday.

What a good lady.


I usually limit myself to four-letter words.

English: May the malevolent hedgehogs soil your cornflakes.
Irish: Go salaí na gráinneoga cealgrúnacha do chuid calóga arbhair.

Phonetic: guh SAH-lee nuh GRAWN-yoh-guh KYA-luhg-roo-nuh-khuh duh khwihj KAH-lo-guh AH-ruh-wir.

An tInneal Mallachtaí

via Randy.



[Insert casual insult here.]

What the hell did you say that for?

God told me to.

God sure tells you to do a say a lot of petty, stupid stuff to me.


I mean, he could be telling you to do something important, like take over the world or kill people.

He did tell me something important once.

What was that?

How to win the lottery.


Kind of useless. 'Buy all the tickets, dumbass,' he said.

[Loses it.] Dang ol' God.
Even more easily amused.

Found a place with the FLCL collection for ten bucks. Ordered it.
Maybe nobody else is this easily amused.

Forget the headline on this article. Read down a bit.

"Other new cast members include Miranda Richardson as a newspaper gossip columnist..."

Coooooool. She was in a lot of the Hallmark specials that covered classic fantasy and heroic novels. The one I'm thinking of is Alice in Wonderland. She was the Queen of Hearts.

"Off with his head! Off with her head! Aaaaaaauf weeeeth oll thayh heeey-eads!"

I can't think of anyone more skillfully annoying to play Rita Skeeter. I can't.


Writerly thoughts.

I'm reading another John R Gardner book on writing, On Becoming a Novelist. The other book, I forget the name off-hand, but the one culled from his writing class notes, is much more tolerant and understanding. This one, he's right, you know he's right, but he's a cantankerous old writing teacher that's had it with some particular types of crap.

For example, he goes off about genre fiction, especially sci-fi. (He doesn't call it science fiction; he calls it sci-fi.) As an example of how crappy sci-fi is, he uses...Harlan Ellison.

I've read some Harlan Ellison, that looking back, I know completely abrogates (is that the word?) Gardner's point. But the example Gardner used, from "Over the Edge" (the second Jack the Ripper story), he's right on:

Ellison writes:
"It's not often that people will tell you how they really feel about gut-level things. [...] A psycopath, a butcher, a lecher, a hypocrite, a clown. 'You did this to me! Why did you do this?' Frenzy cloaked his words."

Gardner comments:
"This is not the Pollyanna style favored by hack writers of the twenties and thirties but the hack-writer style that superseded it, disPollyanna. Sunny optimism, with its fondness for italics, gives way to an ill-founded cynicism, also supported by italics [...]. One is annoyed because the whole thing is phony, an imitation of things too often imitated before. The problem with such writers, it ought to be mentioned, is not that they are worse people than those who wrote in Pollyanna. They are almost exactly the same people: idealists, people who simple-mindedly long for goodness, justice, and sanity; the difference is one of style."


I've read two Gardner books, aside from his stuff on writing, Grendel and The Wreckage of Agathon. Grendel, is inspired in places. Agathon is genuinely moving in places. Maybe that's all he was going for. They aren't immortal books, the way Dumas or Robert Louis Stevenson or Tolkein books are immortal. Gardner, as good as he is (and he's saying things I need to hear), isn't everything.

I keep thinking of an old creative writing teacher I had in college. It's like he took the cantankerousness out of this book and skipped the inspiration, and that's what he taught.* I rejected everything he said, because he made it into an insult toward pure dreaming, and how to catch that on paper. Going back and reading Gardner now, I can have respect for it.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Wander, wander, wander.

Lee and I went dropped off the bebe and went wandering today. At one point, we wandered through a natural foods market ("I miss going to grocery stores where you dance in the aisles," he said. "They have pretty good music here," I said. I didn't notice I was bouncing around until he said that) and found bath salts.

One: Tired Old Ass Soak.
Two: Chocolat

My parents and siblings are coming to CS in a weekish. I think I might have to get them one of each.