Demons, part II

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Originally posted February 2004. Jesus, time flies. I gotta get going on this.

On teaching morality

Father: [Closing book, reaching to turn off light] And that’s why you should be a good girl and never, ever lie.
Gamma: Dad, look at me.
Father: I am looking at you.
Gamma: No, I mean directly at me. Straight-on.
Father: Like this, you mean?
Gamma: Yeah, I thought so. Your left eye is bigger than the other one.
Father: Bleener eye.
Gamma: What?
Father: I have bleener eye. That’s why I look brain-damaged in pictures.
Gamma: Heh. Bleener eye? It’s called bleener eye?
Father: Yeah, some people have one eye smaller than the other and that’s what you call it. How about now, are they the same size now?
Gamma: No. The left one’s still bigger.
Father: Hrm. Anyway. What were we talking about? Good night.
Gamma: Good night. And come check on me every…
Father: Every five minutes, sure. As always.

The Leprechaun’s Paw

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We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by building a fire and telling this story to the kids before bed. How do you celebrate?

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Artist’s manifesto, in which Samuel Jackson gets out of advertising and god does a cameo

The work of art should contain the seeds of its own destruction. This can be accomplished by presenting both sides of the story, in one way or another. Here, I do it by leaving comments open, at least until the spammers show up.

Also, there should be a narrative arc of some sort. Yesterday, in the performance that is my life, I hurt someone I love, not to mention broke my own heart by being a jerk in the morning, to which I plead frustrated booga-booga middle-aged male menopause freak out, and was in the evening restored by a hug from Beta.

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Little-known facts about krill

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  • Krill have more biomass than any other organism1.

  • The eyes of krill are high in vitamin A.
  • Most krill glow in the dark, which makes you wonder how smart it is for them to hide from predators in the darkest depths of the ocean.
  • When krill go to an electronics shop to purchase a cord for an Apple iBook, the saleswoman sells them a cord for an iPod, and although the krill inspect it in the store, they don’t notice the big letters on the box reading “iPod” until they get back to their office.
  • Krill young have iPods, so it’s no big deal with the cord though.
  • When krill, during the same visit to the electronics shop, also purchase a new cell phone because the zero on their old one broke, and they ask for a simple one with no doodads such as cameras, and the same saleswoman tells them, oh, sir, none of these cheap ones here have cameras, and they buy one, they later discover, messing around with the new phone while taking a train to Brno in the Czech Republic, that the new phone happens to have a camera after all, a crappy little one that they can’t figure out how to upload the pictures anywhere else but still; and the krill find the crappy little camera nifty in a retro way.
  • Whereas humans can paint a bedroom with no more than two coats of paint and it looks okay, krill need two entire weekends, as well as an extra day during the week, and a total of eight coats: one coat of creamy yellow, three coats of dark red, two coats of transparent gold effect paint, another coat of dark red over that when they realize the transparent gold effect paint is never going to look good, and a sponged-on coat of opaque shiny gold paint over that.
  • While sponging on the final coat of gold, male krill have no patience for female krill telling them they’re overdoing it with the gold. Luckily, adolescent krill thinks it looks okay.
  • The average krill is 16 mm in length.
  • Krill resent being mistaken for shrimp, which happens often, especially at cocktail parties.

1You might want to double-check this particular fact before using it in a report for school.

On linking

What’s up with these sites with no content of their own, only a mass of links on some specific topic (and of course google ads or something)? Some “cello” site has linked me, har har, as has a “flower” site. Today I see a Christian (?) parenting site has linked a post I wrote back in November 2003 on the applicability of the CI4 T*rtur3 M4nu*L as a source of parenting advice. [low-quality screenshot in case it falls off their page]

The Wall by J. P. Sartre

srtre.jpgMig had been planning to post something uplifting today but then it snowed yet again and he made the mistake of listening to Sigur Ros on his car stereo on his drive into work this morning, which combination put him in a frame of mind where all he wants to do is drink a pot of herbal tea laced with a quart of aqua vit and lie down in the gently falling snow and go to sleep while curious deer emerge from the surrounding woods and nuzzle his face with their velvety muzzles1 and so it is necessary that I step in and, in his stead, uplift you with an essay on despair.

It is not the expected, the obvious thing that drives a man to despair which is why a man can emerge in good spirits from 77 days solitary confinement held captive as a prisoner of war in a darkened tiger cage fed only cloudy, contaminated rice gruel and released once a day from his squatting position for a sound beating2 but then find himself, decades later, reduced to tears by transparent glittery gold effect paint and the way that it, applied with a short-nap roller over the dark red walls of a teenaged girl’s room, looks like hell, even the second time.

Not even the second time, applied carefully yet as fast as it would roll on this morning before leaving for work a bit late after letting his wife leave for work early so she could come home early, and himself seeing the younger one, the one known as Gamma off to school at eight; or, to make the actual chain of events clearer: first he got up, and made lunches, and coffee and tea water in anticipation of his wife getting up and wanting fresh tea, and took a shower, and dressed in his painting clothes, and after his wife and older daughter left made sure Gamma, was getting dressed and eating, after which the level of available light was such that he could see the walls in the aforementioned room and he unpacked his roller and started rolling, man. Evenly, from top to bottom, then horizontally to erase any trace of a roller track and leave the walls with a smooth, thin, uniform coat of transparent gold glitter effect paint.

Throughout all this he was keeping a close watch on the time, and was happy that Gamma has turned into the Keeper of Time, so every three minutes when he asked her what time it was and was it 7.15 yet because he had to quit and wash brushes and roller at 7.15 she had a precise answer for him until even she got tired of it and gave him her old Winnie-the-Pooh alarm clock so he would know what time it was.

At precisely 7.16 he ran out of paint, and all the walls of the room were evenly covered and he dashed down to the cellar to wash the bucket and roller and brushes and, on his way out, noticed that it was, for reasons mysterious to him, drying in patchy, flecky flecks and looking in general like crap. He ignored this, though, and washed and dressed quickly and hoped that it would look a lot better when finally completely dry but, eh, it didn’t the first time did it.

Then he swept the sidewalk free of snow, a vain, pointless gesture in view of the constantly falling snow and yet, it gave him a certain measure of desperate satisfaction and something to do while waiting for Gamma and her school friend whose mother drops her off at his house early some mornings because she can’t be arsed to wait around until 8 a.m. to put on their shoes and coats which kept him from getting nervous and hovering around them like some sort of large, male mother hen.

After that, despite his despair, he walked the girls to school, which is quite near the house, and although he was by this time teetering on the brink of a vast and deep and empty abyss of depression and existential futility, it made him feel a lot better and she asked him when he’d be getting home that night and he said a bit later than usual, maybe sevenish, and he even got a kiss goodbye.
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    1If, indeed, deer even possess a body part referred to correctly as a muzzle and if it is velvety and if they “nuzzle” anything with it, let alone sleeping drunken humans who the casual observer would assume present more of a threat to deer, traditionally, than an object of curiosity.
    2Not that Mig, about whom this story is, this being his blog, was ever actually held prisoner in a tiger cage in solitary confinement, or beaten by anyone other than his parents2a or ever actually in a war, or even in anything more military than the Cub Scouts and later, until the organized nature of it began freaking him out, the Webelos. It is more a merely metaphoric thought that occurred to him while washing his brushes afterwards in a metaphorically-susceptible meditative state, a man survives 77 days in a tiger cage and is reduced to tears by a red wall. Like that, rather.

      2aAnd that only rarely and, with one memorable exception, without great enthusiasm.