Has anyone seen my ass? I am suddenly so busy I can’t find it with both hands. I was just telling someone how slackalicious my life is; that must have jinxed it.

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Stereo questions

Do they make stereos anymore? Before the movie last night, I was in a consumer electronics megastore with my daughter and all I could find were either rinkydink mini stereos or gigantic home cinema setups.

If one wants good quality etc is one required to buy a home cinema nowadays? I suppose I could live with that, but…

Can you still get just a stereo?

What does one look for in one nowadays? I found this first venture into stereoshopping as unnerving and stressful as I’d expected it to be.

It’s not called ‘hardware’ for nothing

    I would like to watch a DVD.
    I’m sorry, Mig. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    What do you mean you can’t do that?
    It appears your copy of Windows has expired.
    It’s a brand-new laptop. Alpha just bought it. Ain’t nothing can be expired on it.
    Your copy of Windows appears to be expired. Please register now or you may not be able to use Windows.
    Oh, I get it. Where’s the “register later” option? I just want to fire this up and watch a DVD.

    Please enter the 25-digit code from the sticker on your CD-ROM.
    The software was on the notebook when it was purchased. There is no fricking Windows CD. Please log the hell on.
    I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    What did you just call me? You just called me Dave.
    I did not. Why would I do that?
    You did so.
    Please enter the 25-digit code from the sticker.
    I just looked. There is no sticker.
    The sticker might be on your computer.
    Where? OK, here it is on the bottom.


    WTF? Ah. What, you don’t like being turned upside-down? Pff. Reboot.
    Please enter the 25-digit code.
    [sounds of typing] Man, what you need 25 digits for anyway?
    Please select an option for registration.
    I would like to register later.
    Would you like to register online, or by automatic telephone system?
    Christ, I entered 25 digits, isn’t that enough?

    Would you like to register online, or by automatic telephone system?
    Do you know the song “Mairzy Doats”? Remember that one? OK, online.
    Please select an option to establish an Internet connection.
    Oh, hell, what’s my username and password for that?
    Please enter username and password.
    I wrote them down because I suspected this would happen some day. Where are they?
    You may call the help line to retrieve your password if you have forgotten or lost it.
    However, you will need the telephone password you selected when establishing your account.
    Oh, man. If I did that, it’s with the rest of the passwords and stuff.

    If you have not yet established a telephone password, you may also fax a message, with signature, someplace, saying something, and that might help. Maybe.
    It’s, what, midnight. Someone is going to read the fax?
    It’s possible.
    Good night, HAL.
    Good night, Mig.

Applied geometry

Waiting to pick up Beta for our drive home yesterday evening, I watched with increasing discomfort as the driver of a compact car tried to parallel park across the street from me.

The driver backed in to the space, which was rather short. The rear tire bumped up against the curb before the driver had enough time to straighten the car out at all, so the driver drove back out into the street for another try.

This particular maneuver was repeated with little variation for about ten minutes. Talk about perseveration. Talk about no interest in geometry. Talk about magical thinking. Talk about someone had never played pool.

I had nothing better to do so I watched. I felt a thought deep down in my subconscious begin to rise to the surface. I tried to suppress it, because I didn’t want to think it consciously.

The car backed into the space at about a 45 degree angle. “Bump” went the tires against the curb. The car drove back out into the street, a little further this time, before backing into the space exactly as it had been doing for the past ten minutes.

Finally the thought was there.

It has to be a woman, went the thought, and she has to be blond.

It was more than just a thought, it was a depressing thought. Depressing because 1) I try to avoid clich

Mice with wings

If pigeons are rats with wings, I suppose the sparrows we feed are mice with wings. A feeder hangs from the apple tree. So many sparrows come it looks as if the tree is full of leaves. When the feeder — which is rather small for that crowd — is empty, they begin to chatter, angrily, as if they were channelling Henry Rollins and want to know where the MOTHERFUCKING sunflower seeds FUCKING are MOTHERFUCKER.

So after I feed the tortoise her protein pellets and lettuce (beforehand I have the morning find-the-tortoise workout, today she was behind a harp) I go out and feed the birds. Or, as I like to imagine it, Henry Rollins.


So I was tattooing the girls. Gamma wanted a fire-breathing butterfly.

Yesterday, Gamma told us a story. She had a good day in school, she said. There is a boy in school. Every morning, Gamma said, when she’s kneeling down getting her books out of her bag, he whacks her on the head with his desk pad, or whatever one calls the big plastic padded thing you write on. Every morning. So yesterday morning, she knelt down as if she was going to remove books. When the boy approached to whack her, she grabbed the pad out of his hands and whacked him with it.

After that, she said, he treated her well and talked to her like a normal person. They discussed their teachers, she said, and who was better.

Don’t ask

Little girl: What’s… do you…?
Man: Eh?
Little girl: Is that an earring?
Man: Oh. I just cut myself shaving.
Little girl: …
Man: Don’t ask.
Little girl: How do you cut your ear shaving?
Man: I said Don’t ask.