An Infinite Number of Monkeys

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Friday, July 18th, 2014
2:49 pm
This one is a little outside of format, as it originated in my postbox rather than online in my mailbox. It was completely unmarked on the outside, save the bold black type that promised 'important personal and confidential information' and that it was crucial that I 'open immediately'. You will be surprised to find that I was disappointed.


To Whom It May Concern at BankG.com

Yesterday I received mail from your company, or at least somebody who purported to be. I was promised that there was 'important personal and confidential information enclosed'. I was never one to miss a chance for a leg up, and thus you might not be surprised to hear that I snatched it up and tore it open. Feel free to picture, for a moment, the disappointment, and perhaps the touch of betrayal on my face when I realised that our 'first impression', at which no man receives a second chance, was in fact some cheap one-of-a-thousand auto loan refinancing solicitation.

The information which was personal was in no way confidential, and that which was confidential was by no means personal, if you receive my meaning. And I regret to say, none of it was important. Now, I suppose it's possible that the intended contents of my envelope 'hae gang agley' as the poet Burns might have said (woo not one of those words triggered the autocorrect -CJ), and if that is indeed the case then please follow up with a corrected version and we'll speak no more of this. Otherwise I shall have to say thank you for a well meant but lamentable attempt at securing my business, and if we meet on the street I shall trust you not to try to make eye contact.

David Warwick
Acquisitions and Releases
The Mirthful Brothers, LLC

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
5:01 pm - Earworms. For you! In your head!
First, a classic for those who play other people's songs. (And honestly, that's just about everybody. Even Prince.)

Jack Hylton--if you know the name, you know the song. He wasn't a one-hit wonder, but now it's the only song most folks remember.

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Saturday, June 21st, 2014
11:14 am - It's technological! It's only $20!
Note to self: Ponder.

It's not an iPod but I could stop fighting with the earbud jack.
Looks like it could be used as a regular plug-it-in headphone.
But not wireless. Blue tooth models look like they start around $60.
I think I'd look kind of goofy in them.
But I'm going to be singing to music they can't hear, so coals to Newcastle.

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Friday, June 13th, 2014
3:13 pm - Mongols in Towers shouldn't throw Cats
During last night's bouquet of storytelling a phrase came up that read with some resonance.

"I am a stubborn mare sometimes, and must dangle my own carrot."

That sounds like a lot of my life.

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Thursday, May 8th, 2014
6:39 am - Friendly Skies
I cracked my head on the door frame, a reminder that just because the RJ was a bigger aircraft than the airline's Brasilias, it was still far too small for a Big and Tall shopper like me. As I worked my way to my seat, trying not to clip anybody with my bag, I saw row after row of small people, of skinny people. It was like I was flying out of Bob Hope Airport. I could feel them judging me, each hoping I wasn't going to sit next to them. Close now, I looked up the aisle toward my seat. The other Big and Tall shopper on the flight met my gaze from under his cowboy hat, and we nodded at each other in commiseration.


After the complicated ritual required to stow your carry-on, squeeze into your seat, wrestle your seatbelt out from under your ass, and then fish your entertainment out from under your seat by Cirque du Soleil levels of contortion... well, traditionally there's a minute of silence, as even observers are a bit sweaty and winded. But eventually you come to the awkward conversation. Well. Awkward for me, at least; some people are good at it.

"Where you headed?"
"Chico."
"Mmmm. Nice place."
"Yeah, it is. Going to see my girl. ....What about you?"
"hrm? San Antonio."
"I know somebody from there. Nice place."
"Going to judge a show, and teach a class."
"....Horses? Can you make a living doing that? Professionally?"

He shrugged, as if to indicate that it was not something one did for the money. Whether it was for the honor of the sport or the paucity of the paycheck was a question left to be asked by only the most gauche.
We sat in silence, he perusing his newspaper and I my phone, for just the requisite time to psychologically say 'I am not deliberately breaking off communications' and then we both deliberately broke off communications. For the rest of the flight, we silently worked on the delicate balance of not touching each other and me not getting clipped by the beverage cart.

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Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
12:43 pm - Breath of Fire
This weekend I worked at Penguicon ('worked') because my sweetie runs registration. There was a balloon guy doing balloon things at a booth across from RegDesk, but I didn't really notice until I came down for my shift and there was somebody in my chair. He was mostly brown and I admired the workmanship even as I relocated him so I could work. Some time later, somebody asked if I'd gotten the coyote that Amanda had brought me; the light came on, and I suddenly became more fond of him.

Not having owned a balloon for quite some time, I'd not realized how ephemeral they are. That night, his tongue (having shrunk more, possibly because it was a different color) dropped like the first leaf of fall. By the time we had made our way back to the Plantation, the first visible signs of decrepitude had crept in around the edges. Wilting, sagging, wrinkling... he was not exactly talented at the sitting thing before, but now he said he much preferred lying on one side, thank you.

And it was now, of course, that I thought "I should get a picture so that everybody can see how cool he looks!" And about five seconds later I felt foolish. I considered getting a picture now, but he wanted to be remembered as he was, not preserved forever the way he is. And it would be even better for the folks who hadn't seen him, because they'd imagine him bigger, plumper, with a series of balloon supports that mimicked muscular structure. Racing down the convention hallways, vaulting over Yu Gi Oh players, stealing Bento boxes... He paused a moment for breath, the darker brown skin lightening briefly as he inhaled.

Yes, he thought that would be the best way to be remembered.

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Saturday, April 19th, 2014
5:02 pm - Effective Scriptwriting
I recently re-started watching The West Wing. I had gotten as far as the first episode previously when Anne sat with me and directed me firmly but with gentle nature. (She is a school teacher. She's an expert.)

Much like The West Wing, Sports Night was written by Aaron Sorkin. And when I watch SN (which happens on a somewhat frequent but irregular basis) there is always a moment in an episode that fills me with feels and makes me cry. Not always in the same place, not always the same character, but always there somewhere.

West Wing took five episodes. I'm not saying somebody was slacking off, but somebody was slacking off.

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Friday, April 4th, 2014
10:19 am - Like I need a hole in my head.
I have a hole in my head.
Well. Technically, I have two holes in my head. At least they're right next to each other. Ulcerations in my hard palate--my dentist says they just happen, and nobody knows why. Just like the Bell's Palsy I had last year. Apparently, despite the plethora of living things crawling around in my mouth, they don't get infected, and they usually go away in a week and a half or two weeks. But in the meantime, my mouth hurts, and my teeth ache from the swelling, and eating is always an exciting experiment. Lots of yogurt and beans. And... it constantly feels like there's a hair tickling the back of my throat. But I gave up fishing for it.

In other news, I've dropped 20 pounds in the past six weeks.

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Friday, March 28th, 2014
12:02 pm - Wandering
I was racing through Bridgeport, trying to find/get to Union Station (a doomed venture, but a story for another time), and I paused briefly when I saw this: A big square brick building.

Well... great, you say, so what?

The legend on the building front, "11th Ward Democratic Party" is written in huge solid font, and carved into the stone. This is a building that isn't going anywhere, built as a settled long term location. This is how rooted the party was--brick and stone, raised, as both parties were, by rival mob factions. The glory days of the political parties have faded somewhat--the building is now shared with a set of apartments. But it still holds an aura with enough gravitas that I pause briefly to admire it.

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
1:34 pm - Metapheriffic
Union Station is, to me, a microcosm of Chicago. Passages are filled to capacity with people, to the point where it's difficult to find a break to join the stream, let alone go opposite it. It may be dingy in places, but it's clean. There seems to be one restroom for the station, always busy and frequent location of the 'somebody else's luggage steeplechase'. It, of course, opens directly out into one of those streams, people flooding toward the escalator and daylight.
And the guy who's going up the walking half of the narrow escalator still says "Excuse me," to every person he bumps past.

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8:46 am - So it goes
Back when I was living in the city, I used to look forward to walking to the bayside park, or going up into the mountains to stomp around. Four months ago, I took a trip and awakened my need for steel canyons, restaurants, culture, the constant low hum of background activity, and most importantly a functional public transportation system. A twenty-four hour world.

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Friday, March 14th, 2014
10:20 am - It's on like Prince Brand
And lo, hidden below the Cut, lay the richness and vastness of his ACUS itinerary.
Read more...Collapse )

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Sunday, March 9th, 2014
7:28 pm - The eternal debate
Amtrak from Pontiac to Chicago
$100 (or so) round trip
Six hours travel time
Somebody else has to drive
I can read or mess around on the laptop
Only three departures a day
Random delays caused by freight
Takes me right into the center of town

The little blue car from Lake Orion to Chicago
$100 (or so) for fuel round trip
Five hours on the road
Can stop for food, or to look around
Must stop for rest breaks
My schedule is my own to keep
Traffic
Takes me wherever I want to go

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1:32 pm - I'm going *shopping*
Stolen from lil_m_moses:

Lots of excellent books only $2 on Kindle today! Titles include:

Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Coraline
Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon
Ray Bradbury's Stories and Dandelion Wine
Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
and lots of other titles I recognize

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_al_ft_brwse?_encoding=UTF8&node=7533915011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1TQD6RMQZ1RM1AXPC4EV&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1747388442&pf_rd_i=1000677541

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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
2:17 pm
I'm thinking of giving up some of my fear for Lent.
But I'm afraid of other people finding out.

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014
10:19 am - I'm not a doctor, but IFIAYAQ
Some of you may have noticed that yesterday I was pretty miserable.

Cloaked for those who may be squeamish about bodily fluids.Collapse )

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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
6:05 pm - AmberCon Update: Schedule submitted
As one of the official Cool Kids, I here display my finery like a peacock at Studio 54 who just got a new pair of sunglasses.
AmberCon 2014 RequestCollapse )

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Monday, February 24th, 2014
10:35 pm - Linkspam, babies!
There's a crapton of backlog of stuff y'all should see that came up while I was out of the country. So I'm putting some of it here.

http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=87294
Ain't no Party like a Gatsby Party

http://feministing.com/2014/02/17/watch-ellen-pages-coming-out-speech/
What it says on the tin. Our baby is growing up.

....No, I guess that's it. Rather anticlimactic, I suppose. But still, that's two. Click away, my darlings!

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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
3:02 am - WinterLong
Honestly, it was straight out of some cheap, cheesy horror flick--the storm, the power outage, the alarming noises. And it would be far more amusing if he weren't in the middle of it. He thrashed his way through the darkened room, barking his shins on something as he moved toward the french doors, flapping energetically in the rain-soaked wind blowing into the room. A lightning strike threw brilliant light across the field, and the forest beyond. Too brilliant--he threw up his hand, but could not stop himself from being blinded, the vision of the grass and trees burned into his eyes.

He threw his hands out, searching and finding the door frames, and pushed them closed while he blinked himself back to normal again. Once the doors were latched, he peered out through the glass. But the darkness outside matched the darkness inside, the thick storm clouds covering the moon. Except... his heart lurched. A small green point of light moving slowly outside. No, two! He thrust his head against the window pane, vainly trying to see harder. They looked like glowing eyes, which didn't sound that far fetched after all else he had seen this week, and he began to keenly feel the lack of the pistol he'd lost in the creek.

Perhaps whatever it was had noticed him; it stopped and turned to face him, moving closer, and he took a half step back, panicked. Just then, another crack of lightning, and he saw clearly that there was nothing outside. It was just a reflection in the glass from the room over his shoulder.

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Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
1:43 pm
I'm goin' home to see my Father
I'm goin' home no more to roam
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm just a going over home

Just a few more weary days and then I'll fly away
To a land where joys will never end I'll fly away

#Texorami

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