Possibly a bad idea

I didn’t feel like looking for the official Nanowrimo icon for 2008, so I’ve inserted a magician’s assistant.

Life is a series of compromises.

Reasons to be pessimistic about Nanowrimo, for which I have registered but cannot recall my login info:

  • no plot, characters, genre, or other details in mind
  • leaked way too much mojo last time
  • it’s kind of a silly thing to do

Reasons to be optimistic about doing it:

  • it’s all in good fun
  • it will make me look busy at work
  • I will think of something
  • when it’s over, you have a manuscript of some sort

Sometimes when I write, it’s this sort of automatic writing thing, where all I need is a blank page and a relaxed mind, or maybe a word or two or three, and the story writes itself, or I just write down what the characters say, but often a real straitjacket of strict rules helps.

In case I find myself in the latter situation, you are cordially invited to contribute rules of your design in the comments, which I do not promise to, but might, apply, and for which I would be grateful.

That band, you know, with that guy

Traffic was light, I was remarking to Gamma when this woman just zoomed onto the traffic circle thing in front of me, necessitating a braking maneuver, which involved a little braking and more honking. I was still bitching about her to Gamma when she stopped suddenly at the intersection instead of going on through and swerved a little and I noticed an old lady on the sidewalk teetering on her bike, trying to hold something and then gesturing at it in the street.

There was a hat in the street. Did she drop a hat?

Some young people were talking to the lady. Then I noticed the old guy attached to the hat, the other people were helping him up. I started to get out of the car but they had it under control, it looked. He was gesturing pretty good, it looked as if he was telling them he had gone off the curb and lost his balance, and toppled right over, like a tree.

He got off his bike and the woman did and they walked off, a little dazzled.

An old guy I know had a flat in front of my house. We got home, and there his car was, with a flat. He started walking to the gas station to get a pump to fill it back up. Come on, geeze, let me drive you, I said.

It wasn’t a bad idea, the way he parks in front of our house he manages to block anyone else from parking there, so it’s totally possible someone got tired of him doing that and let the air out. Or the little boys who scribble graffitti on our mail box let the air out, or something.

When he filled the tire, he left the valve cap in the street. Then I took him home to get his other car. We had to go twice, because the first time he thought he had forgotten his house keys, discovering when looking for them that he had not, in fact.

The next day he picked up his other car, the one with the flat. The tire appeared fine, but the valve caps were missing from all four tires. He figures someone stole them, we figure he mislaid them. He gets so excited when things happen, practically anything.

The other day, I had to google free-associated phrases to find the name of a band I couldn’t remember, one of my favorite bands.

Not, you know, those other guys, from Finland.

With the cellos.

A different band.

The story starts when the protagonist opens a lost diplomat’s email

Pew-pew-pew! Lasers! Pew-pew-pew!

Nanowrimo. On the one hand.

But, on the other hand.

Who knows?

I’m tempted.

I have this mental image of a rusty bus overgrown with blackberries, being jumpstarted by kids plugging half a mile of stolen extension cords into a socket at a dialysis center.

Who knows?

I googled “plot generators”.

Castles are popular.

In her new book, “How to be an explorer of the world,” Keri Smith mentions a meditation exercise used by Leonard, which involves imagining being Leonard Cohen. What exactly would he have to do?

Weasels Kittens ripped licked my flesh ears

The kittens have discovered Beta’s harp big time*. Louie likes to climb to the top and sit there. Gamma says he looks like the Lion King.

Last night we let them scamper throughout the house, instead of locking them into the guest room while we slept. Today, our ears are very clean from being licked all night by purring kittens.

It sort of felt like being Gulliver, asleep on a beach getting washed by little people.

Going through my journal, I found a list of things I wanted. I wrote it back in July. Apparently, things one can affect oneself tend to be achieved more readily when one takes concrete action than when one does not, whereas things one cannot directly affect (as far as I can see) could possibly happen even if one does nothing beyond wishing for them. Although, who knows what one can directly affect. Maybe there is something to the power of prayer, or something.

Like, item one on the list: new eyeglasses (due to blurry vision and headaches). I made an appointment with the eye doctor and now have new eyeglasses. It took me maybe a week from making the appointment until I had the glasses. Or, item eight: a theremin. Solution: buy one. That worked, same as for item nine, an electric cello. On the other hand, there is item four: Reaganomics (i.e. the neoconservative agenda) disgraced. Who would’ve thought, back in July, huh? Or item five: nationalization of certain sectors of the economy. Looking better, although I had been thinking of things like infrastructure, security/military (rather than the current trend towards privatizing that stuff) and extractive industries (proceeds of mining, forestry, etc ought to go to “the people” rather than some firm that did not, after all, have a hand in the production of the natural resources exploited) and not banks and stuff, but it’s a start. Solar roads and slot cars: nothing there yet, as far as I know.

So, I guess, the idea is to keep hacking away at stuff, step by step, where one can hack, and not give up on the big stuff, either. Small steps.

Bran linked to an encouraging article on late bloomers. So, yeah, I guess, keep hacking away.

Had a dream night before last that an old guy’s pants fell down, and a nightmare that my cello was all beat up. It has sustained another nick, a piece got chipped off, that always saddens me, and reminds me this is why I was originally interested in carbon fiber cellos. But in the dream it was awful, the back was cracked so bad the neck was wobbly.

*The harp is in a soft case, so they probably won’t damage it.


Everything is going as planned.

(scroll down the page a little, maybe)

Sserd liatkcoc

The wind is loud in the chestnut tree outside the window.

Disaster has not struck. The sidewalk is covered in leaves. They are wet, so they do not kick up so well when you walk through them, and many are still mostly green, because it was so rainy and windy last night, so they are not as blindingly gold as they often are, but they are still really super pretty, green with gold edges, and it is still nice to walk through them.

Rounding the bend in the freeway, a wall of low cloud rolls over Vienna like a white catastrophe, pushed by another wall of grey cloud shaped like a snowplow blade, or the walls of dirty snow beside the road at the end of winter in cold places.

Traffic is pretty light.

The kittens are cuddly, and the woman is in a good mood.

He doesn’t realize until he’s already feeding the cats that it’s only 4.30 in the morning. He thought it was later.

He’s pretty hungry when he gets home from the city. He eats and reads and talks and goes to bed.

The rain gradually stops.

He makes a little effort and shakes off the tunnel vision. No cars in front of him and none behind him. Things are mostly black, with a little brown, and the road is silver, slick with rain and stretches out in front of him until it disappears. He wonders how low the coefficient of friction is. Pretty low. No way could he stop quickly, at this speed. No choice but to keep going. He checks the rear-view mirror. Some cars way back there, headlights in the dark. He takes his foot off the gas and the car gradually slows. This would work, as a way to stop, taking his foot off the gas.

His daughter’s dorm is across the street from Vienna’s best single-malt shop! Why didn’t anyone tell him? And over there? she says, over there is another dorm where they have better parties. She gets out of the car and runs into her dorm. He lifts his hand to give a little wave but she doesn’t look back.

Driving in Vienna in the pouring rain at night is quite disorienting, but he pretends to know what he is doing and see where he is going, and nothing bad happens.

The rain is pouring down when they leave Starbucks, so they stand under an awning and finish their chai and share the sandwich. Despite the awning it rains into his shoes, the backs of his legs get wet somehow, it’s raining so hard. She talks to a friend on her phone, the same friend. The rain doesn’t slow down, so she packs his camera and he puts her new dress under his coat and they run for the parking garage. The parking ticket thing is soaking wet by the time they get to the machine, but it still works.

She decides to get the white dress with black dots. He pays for it and they leave the store. She says she’ll get him something at Starbucks. It’s starting to sprinkle.

She tries on several more dresses. At one point she starts talking, and he assumes she’s talking to him, and answers, but it turns out she’s talking to someone else on her phone, a friend she is meeting later. He’s glad she sees her friends, and makes new ones. Another guy waiting for another woman trying on dresses too gives him a funny look because he was talking to someone who was talking on a phone, not to him. He looks back at the guy like, did someone say they were interested in what you think?

She comes out of the dressing room and shows him the first dress she’d tried on, cocktail dress, white with black polka dots. She looks beautiful, and happy. She has a big grin and her pale skin and dark hair, all that, look beautiful. Young and happy. He’s glad they finally got to do this. She goes back into the dressing room to try on a few more dresses. He looks at himself in the giant mirror at the end of the corridor. He is a sad-looking cunt, he tells himself. Jesus. That hair. Suit’s okay, but work on the posture. Get some sleep. And some exercise. He hates surprising himself in mirrors like that.

After work, he drives to the parking garage by Schwedenplatz. It is drizzly so traffic is slower than usual and it takes him nearly half an hour to get there and he starts getting antsy and thinks, no wonder I’m always rushing my kids, I’ve done it to myself all my life. He resolves to stop. Walking to the store, he calls her and she is already trying stuff on, she says.

So when are we going to buy that dress, she says. And he says, after my next paycheck. Two weeks from now, how about that? He’s been waiting to do this forever. What evening is best for you? Email me, or I’ll call you.

There’s this hotel on the Ring in Vienna somewhere, paneled and stuff, not far with the opera, and this guy was in it, years ago, with some guy from work, at happy hour, for a drink and at the time he thought he’d like to take his kid there for a cocktail when she started going to college, and he could even get her a cocktail dress or something. She’d probably like that, he thinks.

Today’s Horoscope: Taurus

You could entertain others with your wit and charm which may be because you are in a humorous mood today.

Have you heard the one about the astrologist who fell into the log chipper?