A newspaper we read reported that an Austrian attorney vacationing in Florida was bitten while sharkfeeding, and died. However, a member of my nuclear family is now studying law, so that’s not funny. Neither are anthropologist jokes, by the way, for the same reason, so please: anthropologists: no funny accidents!

OTOH, Gamma and I were looking at a map that accompanied the article. It was a a simple world map, showing where sharks commonly ate people. The United States was red on the map, as was Australia and so on. I explained to Gamma that land sharks were a big problem in the United States, and Australia, and told her about the old SNL skit. She laughed politely.

That’s a banana, and a sandwich, and a couple other things

Changing diapers and cleaning vomit raised my gross-out threshhold. I am usually the person in charge of cleaning cat vomit and piss, and litter boxes are my daily chore.
I don’t mind litter boxes. Sometimes I am a little boy hunting for easter eggs again; sometimes I am on a desert planet mining for spice, or sand worms.
But this morning, boy.
We’ve been wondering, the past few days, where the lunch boxes all went.
They were right here before Gamma went on vacation (she got a week off from school to ski).
Now where’d they go?
I was putting her lunches in tupperware boxes this week.
Then, this morning in her room, warning her she would miss her bus: I spotted one on her bookshelf.
WTF? It was still full – apparently she’d forgotten it there and never took it to school.
But full of what, after at least a week and a half?
It looked, from the outside, as if it could be full of rabbit, or a white guinea pig.
I did a little dance, and sang a little song.
Gamma said I should take a picture of it so she could have a look when she got home.
She got a fine laugh out of the whole thing.
Here’s a picture (click the thumbnail, and a larger image will appear, as if by magic): gammalunch.jpg

Little-known facts about the barnacle


  • The life cycle of the barnacle looks like this: egg, little guy floating around, adult with his head stuck to a rock by one of the strongest known natural adhesives, waiting for food.

  • The barnacle eats krill.
  • The barnacle is sick of hearing Does it have a sister called Nora?
  • The barnacle now believes in the Law of Attraction because all his boss’s clothes were eaten by rats.
  • The barnacle used to think its sex life disproved the Law of Attraction.
  • Although maybe the barnacle wasn’t focusing its thoughts clearly enough in this respect. Wasn’t putting itself in the picture, as it were.
  • So if you find yourself having sex with several magician’s assistants in a rocket, thank a barnacle.
  • At any rate, the barnacle is careful to think only good thoughts, since the rat thing.
  • The barnacle is an arthropod, as are spiders, prawns, and yabbies.
  • In the Middle Ages, people allegedly thought barnacle geese came from goose barnacles, possibly because of the similarity in names.

Winners of the 2008 St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest

The winners of this year’s St. Valentine’s Day limerick contest will be announced by the judges themselves, a plague of jellyfish.
Hi. We just flew in from the ocean someplace, and boy are our arms tired.
Thank you, we’ll be here until Thursday. Don’t forget to tip the bartender.
We would have announced the winners on time, but we were busy stinging some wind surfers.
Also it took us forever to agree because there were so many brilliant entries, multiplied by there being millions of us. Did you know that when one of us is attacked, it somehow signals the rest of us, maybe some hormone or something is secreted, what do we know, that sends the rest of us into a sexual frenzy, resulting in millions of new jellyfish?
Can you imagine if you could put some of that into aftershave? You’d be a millionaire. Unless it stung like jellyfish venom. We’re not chemists, what do we know?
Here’s a picture of mig’s website traffic graph this month: stats.jpg.
So if you’re afraid no one sees the literature you are producing here, you can relax.
[Sound of a jellyfish drying up]
Would you mind turning down those spotlights a little? Thanks.
Without further ado, the winners!
Third place goes to lisad. We liked watching Badma Khanda fry taters.
Second place goes to d because there’s nothing a jellyfish plague likes better than Nigella Lawson.
First place goes to 1904 because if there’s anything a jellyfish plague likes better than Nigella, it’s coprophagy, cannibalism, original sin and Otgonbayar.

Extra-├╝ber-first place honors go to Jann, for whom we had to create something even better than coming in first this year because she not only wrote a ton of limericks, all of which are perfect, meter-wise or whatever you call that (what do we know, we’re jellyfish) she also worked in love, and everything else (well, not everything, 1904 did that).
Best limerick making fun of the limerick contest goes to Mark. S., who missed the deadline but it was Mig’s own fault for not closing comments on the post.

All of the winners deserve not only a big round of applause, but also a prize, which this year will be a discount on Horst’s book, which Mig helped write. Mail Mig at his gmail account (metamorphosist) to negotiate the level of discount, if you don’t already have a copy of the book. If you don’t want the book, Mig will buy you a beer next time you come to Vienna.

to everyone who entered!

How to be idle

Gamma asked me what I was reading.
How to be Idle,’ I told her.
‘What’s “idle” mean?’ she asked me.
I told her it was sort of like ‘lazy’.
‘Hah!’ she said. ‘No one has to teach us how to be lazy, do they now!?’ she laughed, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
I had to wonder whether I’d been sending the wrong signals, father-wise.
Because Gamma and I are not lazy, just, sort of, disorganized, in what I consider as not only a bad way.
Tom Hodgkinson runs The Idler and has written a couple books on the subject. I read reviews of the new one, How to be Free, and decided to buy the first one from his website sometime before Christmas.
I also ordered a copy of the magazine, The Idler.
They never came, although I’d paid for them. After a while I mailed their site and got a nice message back from someone, apologizing for forgetting to send my order.
I couldn’t get mad, could I, without being a hypocrite.
The package arrived soon afterwards.
I found both magazine and book enjoyable, the book more so because the font was slightly larger. The work-less-enjoy-life-more angle is encouraging, one hears too little of that nowadays. A bit more emphasis on drinking and getting fucked up than I needed; on the other hand the idea expressed that being organized actually helps one idle better was interesting. I may try that soon.
In fact, I’m now trying that idea with Gamma, trying to find a way to employ organization and discipline as a way to minimize crises (losing things, looming deadlines) in order to maximize fun and sleep.