Thursday, August 31, 2006
It started with these pictures and an idea from a denizen of our Great Northern Neighbor:
The idea was to write a murder mystery.
So, for the past couple of weeks your humble blogger Tiff has been working on this project with several other bloggers, although each of us has been working in isolation. We've all been writing about the same thing, but without knowing all the facts. We've been trying to explain the same murder by blaming someone else, knowing that quite possibly someone else was trying to blame us for the very same murder.
There are whores and priests and servants and Bishops and affairs of the heart and sins of the flesh involved, as well as a ghost.
I am this fellow. His name is Aldoux. He has quite a little secret.
Please, go to The Hyperion Institute to find out Aldoux's secret and to see if YOU can make heads or tales of what really happened.
Then come back here to tell me whodunnit, 'kay?
A bouncing baby blog was birthed yesterday (though you didn't know it because I didn't have internet access yesterday), and is the new home of the 500 Word Challenge. The co-parent, if you will, is the ruggedly handsome and spectacularly talented Kingfisher, who will help me raise this baby as my co-moderator.
Please go visit, and take part in the next iteration of the writing challenge. If you do, you get a pretty little button to put on YOUR site. See? There are PRIZES involved!
Oh, and while you're there, feel free to suggest a picture, song, phrase, quote, or idea for the next challenge! It's all about YOU, after all.
Also, later today, I'll post something that I'm also very excited about but can't tell you about yet.......just know that it's a very cool idea come to fruition through the efforts of multiple bloggers working their mad writing skillz.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
All little girls want to be princesses, right?
All but me, that is.
When I was young, I would rather have been the king or the jester or the scullery maid (beautiful natch) than the princess.
Princesses had to stay clean, and pale, and soft, and couldn't run or sweat and had to take baths in goat's milk and patiently await until their prince came to nab them and start in on a life of producing heirs to the throne.
Princesses had to learn to dance. Princesses had to obsess over fashion. Princesses had to have someone else wash their private parts because they were too precious to touch themselves. Princesses had money but nowhere to spend it. Princesses couldn't pick their lovers and had to marry for their Daddy's power. Princesses had to go to bed early. Princesses had to ride in litters at the faire instead of walking amongst the smells and sights and sounds and tactile overload. Princesses had to be good. Princesses had to be dainty.
Princesses, to my mind, had no fun.
Much better to the be king, all-powerful, noble, war-like, scion, rampant, rougue, alpha, revered, dangerous.
Much better to be the jester, wearer of bright clothing, keeper of secrets, turner of tricks, teller of jokes, confidante, and spy.
Much better to be the kitchen maid, to carouse with the stable boys and knights and nannies, to feel warm sun on face and arms while scattering feed for the chickens in the early morning, to grab a meat pie from the larder before heading out to cut parsley and rosemary for the evening meal's meat, to lift your skirts for bonnie young men without thought to the carnality of the act or how "proper ladies' wouldn't do such a thing, to eat heartily, to wear comfortable clothing, to run rough hands through clean hair after a dip in the mill pond.
Nope, not a princess, not me.
Other fantasy characters I would be in lieu of the whole princess thing:
Wood nymph - able to speak to trees and write their stories in mushroom ink on white birch bark. Sleeps in a chestnut hull. Eats one blueberry a day in summer, one corn kernel a day in winter. Has the power of levitation.
Half-changeling gutter snipe - dirty but beautiful street child, who, at the age of 13 and on the cusp of womanhood, is discovered stealing a chalice from a tinker's stall by a young nobleman, who immediately recognizes her fierce spirit and trains her to be his personal bodyguard. Is tremendously strong and has preternatural jumping ability. (I have, uh, THOUGHT about this one for a long time....)
Cannibal queen - do you need to ask why? The human-skin bikini alone is reason enough!
So, what would YOUR alter-ego dress up as for the next masked ball?
Monday, August 28, 2006
If only for a little bit o' something.....
I have an idea!!!
Let's talk about me for a minute! Specifically, let's talk about things I have done that are/were ill-advised or that perhaps tipped over the line into downright dangerous.
Why, you ask? To which I reply - why NOT? I'm human, I've done "things," I'm not just boring middle-aged Tiff, I'm also quite possibly the most senseless human being to ever tread the surface of this planet!
To wit, some stupid things I've done:
- drinking until I puked in the bushes outside the dorm where the kegger was being held.
- putting up this post
- skiing on a slope far too advanced for me.
- driving with a migraine aura.
- debating religion with a born-again christian.
- standing toe-to-toe with a boyfriend's pissed-off former lover, who outweighed me by a considerable amount and was a few inches larger than me, and talked her off her indignant pedestal with a well-placed "I'm sorry you're angry, but there's nothing I can do about that."
- agreeing to play backgammon in the room of a guy I'd just met, who thought that agreeing to play backgammon was the equivalent of me begging him to sleep with me. It wasn't, but I wasn't strong enough to stop him.
- jumping off a 35-foot-high water tower into a resevoir.
- keeping snakes as pets
- getting involved with someone who felt like it was my job to save them from themselves.
- making my Mom cry, on purpose
- trying to drown my brother
- making a u-turn in the middle of a 4-lane road at 4 a.m. after partying all night. The nice policeman seemed a little taken aback that I could pass the field sobriety test.
- sleeping with people I'd just met.
- waiting too long to go to the hospital to deliver Thing 1. They don't allow pain meds after you're 7 centimeters dilated, apparently. Who knew?
- telling a posse of male prostitutes who were propositioning a bunch of us high-school girls on a band trip to Montreal that they'd have to pay ME to "do me right", and that none of them were pretty enough for any of us. I was 16, and was the only one who had the knothead to speak up to those overly-perfumed wanks. I'm still proud of that.
- adopting procrastination as a lifestyle
- taking a puff of that joint that one time that had that wacky PCP shizz in it that made me get all paranoid and crazy. If I'd known it was laced, I would have stayed away.
- holding on to one guy so tightly he HAD to dump me. hoo-boy, what I didn't know then about jealousy could fill a book.
- trying to swim the length of the pool underwater with just one breath.
- thinking that "elementary springboard diving" would be an easy A.
- not eating for a month because I was "upset."
- thinking that getting a PhD would be "too hard."
Yep - I've done some stupid stuff. Some if it was brainless, some of it was pretty fun, some of it was dangerous (but still fun), some of it was just plain dangerous, and some of it has led to some significant emotional scarring.
Think you can tell which is which?
Now it's YOUR turn - what's a stupid thing you've done that you'd like to tell the world? You're among friends, so SPILLLLLL!
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I'm on a 6-month-old baby's schedule.
On a NORMAL day I loves me some sleepy time and try to get my 8 a night, but on a sick day it's like I'm welded to the bed, like it knows I'm feeling bad and molds itself to my contours in a giant soft embrace, and who would want to leave a giant soft embrace, anyhow?
My favorite part of sleeping is when I'm not asleep but not awake either, in which the world isn't quite as hard-edged and my body feels weightless, still lifted by dreams from reality. The absoLUTE best time is when, in that half-awake state, I realize I'm in the MOST COMFORTABLE POSITION EVER and I can't feel any part of my body more than any other part, as though I've achieved some kind of gravitational equilibrium......mmmmm.......
Now, this might seem weird, but every morning when I have to get up I'm a little bit sad, and every night when I go to bed I'm very happy. I just freaking LOVE to sleep.
I love my dreams (mostly, except for those horribly scary ones that always, always include something bad happening to my children (and why IS THAT, anyhow?)), I love to throw the comforter over me but leave my feet out, I love to turn the fan on so it gets slightly chilly and I can feel like I'm camping on a late-September day in New England, I love the dark and the quiet and the release of sleep.
Yes, being sick DOES have its payoffs. Nice medicine to take away the symptomatology is one, the other is as much sleep as I can get, whenever I want it.
As a result of getting all that sleep, I feel markedly better today. A BIG change from yesterday, to be sure, when I felt as though it was nearly impossible to form a coherent thought, and got dizzy while trying to get to the bathroom to not throw up, and nearly choked myself while simultaneously coughing up a lung lobe and dry-heaving. Oh yes, good times.
I don't fool myself that my seemingly near-complete recovery from the bonanza of badness that I experienced yesterday is maintainable - it IS morning still, and the wide stretch of afternoon lies before me, waiting for me to try to do too much in my false sense of recovery, only to whap me upside the head with yet another round of "how bad can you FEEL?"
Which is why you must now excuse me while I go plan when I'm going to take my afternoon nap. I still feel a little feverish, and I'm sure more sleep is the only cure.
(BTW - thanks to all who offered their best wishes for a speedy recovery. Im srue they're helping!)
Oh, and Rick? I got fifth picture for the next challenge. It's a grand good one too. Heheheheheh......
Friday, August 25, 2006
Oh, man, am I sick.... click the button to hear my impersonation of a drag queen pre-hormone shots.
Because I am feeling like the underside of an ocean trawler today, there will be no headline linky action, and possibly no HUMOR at all. Just staying upright is enough for now.
But first, I just want to thank the foul viral incursion that has taken over my respiratory system for the lightheadedness, snot, gravel voice, double vision, and burning lung action I got going on. I shudder to think how bad it would be without the half a bottle of "Wal-Tussin" I pounded this morning.
Heh - I just thought "I'm so sick my FEELINGS are hurt," which about sums it up.
Also, I bit the hot bullet of embarrassment and entered a writing competition hosted by Clarity of Night. Actual prizes are involved! What a concept. I don't have any notion at all that I'll win anything (I'll leave that Mr. Schprock), but hold out hope that my entry didn't make anyone shoot coffee out their nasal passages.
I offer it to you here in lieu of an actual Friday post:
One Shot Left
“One shot left,” thought Brynne as she changed cartridges in the medium-format camera she always used for night work.
It had been a tough assignment from the photo desk, to take a shot of a rising moon that looked “spooky,” and for the last few nights she’d taken dozens of shots all over town, and was disappointed in what appeared in the darkroom.
The city just wasn’t right, there was too much light.
So on the last night of the brightest part of the moon, as it teetered toward waning gibbous, she loaded up her gear into the Packard and headed west, away from the lights, to find “spookiness.” She stopped not far from Deposit, on a gravel road flanked with firs, knowing that the direction was right and the trees would be perfectly craggy against the light if she got the exposure right.
Brynne hauled tripod, sandbags, film cartridges, and camera from the vast trunk of the black cruiser, jumping at the night noises of the forest, and feeling spooked enough for three people. The sooner she was done and back in the bright city, the better, she thought.
Once the equipment was ready, the moon was rising. She set the apeture and f-stop to capture the backlit clouds and rattled off a couple dozen shots.
As she stepped back under the cloth hood to take one last shot, the first wolf took her leg in his still-changing mouth, eager for the taste of meat.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Shall we dive in and see what's at the bottom of the bin? Hold your nose and let's go!
I feel it's imperative to establish something right now.
The coolest Muppet ever is Fozzie Bear.
Say what you want about his stupid jokes and his over-the-top approach and his neediness, he's still cooler than even Beaker or Professer Honeydew (thought, man, what a schtick THOSE two had), or Statler and Hilton (though, man, what a schtick THOSE two had) or Kermit and....
Oh wait. Miss Piggy.
Shoot. Maybe SHE was the coolest Muppet ever.
Or was it Grover? Animal? Sam the Eagle?
Argh!!!! This requires more thinking! And perhaps a Top Ten List just to help me sort though my conflicted emotions on this highly important issue.
A poem in honor of my dogs
Dogs are great,
Dogs are cute
They like to run and
sleep and toot.
They sometimes like
to un-lid bins
of household trash
and then dive in
Chicken skin and
coffee grounds and
gross meat juice
potato peels and
old snot rags
they strew about
and roll around
in reeking heaven
on the ground.
But dogs get caught
and shut inside
the dark garage
where they can't hide,
to wait until
Mom comes home
to wash them down
with the garden hose
while gagging at
their rancid fur
their blackened feet
those dirty curs.
Sure, dogs are cute,
"man's best friend"
they love you to
the bitter end.
We love them back
our fuzzy pets
just not so much
when they smell
And, even though it's apparent from my recent audioposts that I do indeed have a markedlly pronounced accent, this blog will retain its name.
The LOOK, however, is about to change.
LASTLY (Wake up! We're at the end!), I have a little contest for you! Woo!!
It's time again from the "Challenge of 500 Words", but this time I want your pictures.
Yes, YOU READ THAT RIGHT! You can provide the picture from which all interested folk can write a story of 500 words or less, to be featured on this here site as a little linky lurve back to YOUR site, on which you will post your story.
(Man, I'd totally love it if someone would make a sweet button or graphic y'all can display as proud participants in this literary exercise. Anyone?? Hmmm?)
Anyhow, here's the deal - the FIFTH person to e-mail me a picture of their choosing (and please, no porn or depictions of graphic violence) is THE WINNER! We will use your visual muse to stimulate our cortices to produce art of such quailty that the earth will be a better, shinier, happier place.
Oh, and just to be fair, I promise not to just use something of my own and SAY one of you sent it to me too.
firstname.lastname@example.org is my e-mail.
Ready, set, GO!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
He needed to feel needed.
He needed someone to make him feel strong, to allow him to be tender, to bring out his best, to beg him to be his worst. He needed this more than he needed air and water, and in turn he needed someone to need him more than those other things, to be complete with him, to speak to his soul and tell him their secret name. He would give that person everything they needed, and so much more, if only they would let him.
The man spent long years looking to meet the heart that could fill his, to meet the mind that called to him, to meet the soul that could wrap him in acceptance. The resonant ache of his longing mockingly filled the empty space in his arms, the boom of loneliness woke him to his isolation, he ate and drank and slept with need filling his chest like broken glass.
Endless days on the hunt revealed no mind, no soul, no heart with a need as powerful as his. Of course friends were generous, lovers plentiful, success a certainty, his life was not empty, but still the need remained. He was tired. He called out in exhaustion to his god to rid him of the pangs his search engendered, he prayed to this god to sweep him clean of his dreadful awful emptiness, and though on occasion he found solace for a few moments in the musk and flesh of those who touched his skin, they did not touch him.
After so long seeking, he gave up. He was lost. He was done in by his own hard longings. He called himself a freak, an abberation, an oddity of emotion; he built walls of stories and acquaintances to occupy him while he tried to expunge the bleeding seed of desire from his every waking moment. His overwhelming need to be crucial to one other heart’s existence sputtered, hesitated, and guttered in the wind of self-doubt.
What awful loneliness, what searing pain, what monstrous grief he harbored at this loss, until, so hardened to his own self, he stopped believing he had ever needed in that way, and therefore covered his grief by heaping derision on any man who he felt harbored that capacity. He was callous and brash, superficial and cruel, an impenetrable husk smothering a still warm but shameful need.
Despite this wicked change, from time to time while deep in sleep he would hear a faint echo of something that stirred his need and kept its fire lit. Upon awakening he would wonder if the shuttering of his great desire had caused a madness to creep into the space that was left when he had torn out his need and replaced it with scorn. He listened, and, when he did, the heart-halting whispers entreated him to remember, remember, remember, to not give in, to hold fast, to persevere. He took no action at the voices passionate cries, because he was afraid of the painful dredging up that the remembering would cause. However, pain be damned, he mightily held open one last door to the hidden place in his soul, in case the echo grew loud enough to feel.
So in doing he was not completely undone after all.
There could be more.
He waited, in thrumming anticipation, while the echos grew stronger and his ears pricked for their next message. The beat of his heart grew more robust, the anticipation of his rebirth was delicious agony. He knew with certainty that that strange and distant need was calling to its own, and he was answering with burgeoining hope.
And at length, without warning or preamble, he knew the one had come. A surprise from the dark reaches of wonder, the soul, the one, the dream had arrived, calling the name he’d long forgot. One true heart that heard his. One true soul that sought his. One true mind that met his. Those eyes, like pools into which he could fall forever, looked back at him and called out his need’s true name through the long dark halls of his self-doubt. The reverberations of his naming plowed through the ash-heaps of remorse, scattering pretense and blowing away the grit of hard defense.
He was thereby redone, forever found, set deep into the need of one akin to him, at last whole, and home.
My Deadly Sin Score. (dun dun duuuuuun!)
Which is a direct ripoff from Rick's site (and hey, Rick, we got the same score!), which I'm sure he "borrowed" from someone else, and so on and so on and so on.
No matter - good clean fun deserves to be perpetuated, and the knowledge gained therefrom should be disseminated far and wide for the common good.
(An aside - The same goes for fun that's not necessarily clean, but you won't find that here, because, as has been said before, we're keeping it clean for the kiddies.)
I dont' usually cross-post to stuff I've done on other sites, but figured that if I tease you with something like how I'm doing on covering the seven deadly sins, then you'd rush right over to check out my overall level of soul squalor first and stay for the rest of the goodies. Things like "where's Hell?" (like I would know with my pathetic score) and "what IS a river midget anyhow?" and "who has the most beautiful body of 2006"?
You know, CLEAN stuff like that. For the kiddies.
It's all there. Go, enjoy, then come back and tell me what YOUR deadly sin score is.
Note - new motto!!! Thanks Q, for bringing it up on such a personal level.
New fabulous word you MUST know:
nudiustertian (nu-di-uhs-TUR-shuhn) adjective
Of or relating to the day before yesterday.
[From Latin nudius tertius, literally, today is the third day.]
I have one last question for y'all, then I have to go tend to the riptide of work that's flooding around my office, threatening to wash me overboard in a surge of deadlines (way to go Tiff! Create and then beat a metaphor to death!!):
Are any of you perfectionists?
If so, how do you deal with the pressure to always be right, to always be complete, to always do everything the absolute BEST IT CAN BE DONE?
Isn't that a lot of stress? How do you deal with it?
FYI - This question has NOTHING to do with any of YOU, so don't worry that I think that maybe one (or more!) of y'all has issues, because I'm sure you DON'T, but maybe, if you are a tiny little bit perfectionistic (or more!), you'd let me know how you handle the drive to be the best at anything you choose to do.
I'm in your debt if you do, because I'm stumped on something and need your help.
Monday, August 21, 2006
However, being with them reminds me of just how poor my memory is. For example, I had forgotten that we had a "suite cat" for a while during the 2 years we lived together. A CAT.
I forgot a CAT!
I remember the fancy-schmancy makeup mirrors that 2 of us had, and the hours and HOURS spent primping in from of them, trying out all kinds of 80's eyeshadow combinations, but I forget a CAT.
I remember kissing a boyfriend in the basement of the library wing while it was under construction, and what he called his cartooned baseball (Thoreau, y'all.) but I forget a cat.
I remember steak nights at D-hall and the chili and homemade bread on Fridays at Chandler and the walk to "up campus" and getting my mail at the student union and what the lobby of Wine-Price looked like and how to cut through Wilson Hall to get to the quad, but I forget a CAT.
I remember pink overalls and blue oxford shirts and polos layered under oxfords layered under sweaters and popped collars and boat shoes and painter's pants and web belts and fire-engine red chinos, but not the cat.
I REALLY don't remember the sounds the cat made when we brought shrimp back from D-hall.
But 2 of my friends did. One of them in a spooky kind of "brain of steel" way that makes me fret about just how obtuse I am to have forgotten these things.
And I wonder, all that time she was drinking those sloe gin fizzes way back then, did she know something about its special brain-enhancing powers that the rest of us didn't? Because, man, even though that stuff is foul, I might have switched over to keep a few more synapses firing.
Because all that Busch beer I drank (quarters, anyone?) didn't help a whole lot, as far as I can tell.
Mmmm, beer. Beer in pitchers. Beer in pitchers that you buy for $2.50 and drink out of plastic cups while sitting at JM's on Friday afternoon listening to Flock of Seagulls or Wham or Duran Duran or Bruce Sprinsteen or Madonna or Prince and hoping that the cute guy sitting next to you in the booth will have to scoot over so that your thigh will touch his and maybe he'll feel a little bit of "like" for you and maybe something will start at long last because you've been friends for long enough and want a little something more and the beer is helping you to feel like maybe you're pretty cute and this might just be the night that when "Little Red Corvette" comes on he'll take you to the dance floor and breathe in your ear while you try to find the beat together.
Yep, maybe THAT'S why I can't remember the cat.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
2 kids in the spa tub in the master bathroom imitating whales, 1 teevee iterating all the news that's fit to yawp about the facts on the Baby Jeebus's nemesis the anti-christ, and snow crab legs steaming in a big pot on the stove.
It's like nothing joins up around the edges in my house!
The quiet tub action calls for Lawrence Welk and blankets that smell like lemon balm and naphtha, the teevee calls for a blood ritual or at least a good piercing, and the stove calls for a cool afternoon by the shore in Maine waiting for the boil to be done so that sandy blanket shroud can be pulled from the tomb that holds the lobster and potato(es) and cherrystone clams that will be eaten by a bonfire and toasted with Narragenssett Pale Ale....
Y'all, I have not one clue about how to sew up all those disparate pieces into one whole cloth.
And really, I don't care.
Neatness is overrated.
Friday, August 18, 2006
It's Friday and I'm over my funk from yesterday.
It's Friday, I'm over my funk from yesterday, and I think I've swung WAAAAY over to the other side of the emoti-meter, stright on to "giddy as all hell."
Therefore, let's commence to abusing some Yahoo headlines!
(click on the link to get the REAL story, if you're so inclined. I didn't, but that's because I didn't want to squash the giddy I got workin' here today....)
Letter threatens to blow up Taj Mahal
In breaking news, the letter "X" has sent a missive to the rest of the alphabet, threatning to "ex"plode an "ex"pensive landmark if greater use of its "ex"cellent properties as a standalone letter are not "ex"pedited.
Barry Manilow to have hip surgery
Because, dude, he's SO not hip anymore, but this new procedure is totally supposed to fix that.
Researchers link music tastes to HIV risks
(I had something here about show tunes and disco, but because it was in extraordinarily poor taste I opted out and herein offer my apologies to the entire gay male community. Guess I'm still not over the 80's.
Come to find out, youths who are hooked on GOSPEL music, among others, are at higher risk for HIV. This makes no sense to me, because those kids aren't SUPPOSED to be gettin' it on, are they? Huh? Are they?
Please note that being addicted to classical music was not among the increased risk factor music listening group. Feel free to insert your favorite band geek joke here. I know none of them are true, but I don't feel it's my place to disabuse you of any misgotten notion that band "wallys" are asexual freaks who don't get bizzy under the bleachers on Friday nights during the football game. Believe what you want, but this girl KNOWS better. Those marching band uniforms are not as hard to work around as you might think.)
N.Y.C. Mayor Bloomberg woos Democrats
In strange scene yesterday afternoon, New York's mayor Bloomberg got all "girls gone wild" on some young women wearing "Hilary for President" tee shirts in the West Village. Later, he explained his ill-timed "woo!-ing" on a contact high from a hookah parlor he'd just passed while on his daily jog.
Balancing robot may care for elderly
And then, on the other hand, it may not.
South African health chief's ouster eyed
"Sure and he's got a wicked cute ouster," said Mandy Terbuckle, 24, when asked recently to rate government functionaries' naughty bits. "But Tony Blair's is way cuter, and I've heard things about the Pope's that you simply would NOT believe."
Annnnd, once again Blogger is not performing the "insert picture" function, so the chocolate Virgin Mary and the Monkey Gang will have to wait. If not til later, then forever.
I'm sorry, but there's nothing more we can do here.
Have a good one, y'all!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Even though I see the funny side of things more often than not, sometimes things are of a nature that I'm incapable of twisting them into anything even remotely amusing, no matter how hard I might try.
A story of a woman, wracked with depression, who hangs herself. She is found by her mother, and mourned by her husband and young children. What pain she must have been in to take that awful final step into oblivion. How tortured she must have been to reach that decision. What a chasm of loss has been left behind to be filled with her memory.
A story of a man, found years after allegedly killing a little girl (it was an accident, he professes. It still doesn't negate the fact that she's dead). What vast howling plain is the soul of a person capable of committing such a deed, how empty of empathy and devoid of the necessary safeguards of compassion and reason is it to do such a thing?
A story of suicide bombers barely old enough to shave, strapping explosives to their chests and proudly snuffing out the lives of strangers in a bid to enter the afterlife as a hero, a martyr, a paragon of religious fervor who is worthy of dozens of otherworldy virgins. What's to be gained from this? What's to be learned from the mass extinction of shoppers at the bazaar, or commuters on the bus, or travellers in the plane?
A story, told many times over, of genocide, fratricide, infanticide, suicide, pick-a-"cide," of violence or graft or jealousy or helplessness or victimzation that's enough to make a dedicated ignorer of angst a complete welter of emotion.
Every so often a door in my created reality opens a crack to the outside world, a gap just large enough to pain to enter. I try to shut it out, but know it's out there, waiting for my next weak moment. How to fight it? How to live with the knowledge that out there are people suffering so greatly that the thought of it is strong enough to take my breath away? How to deal with the inhumanity, the poverty, the violence, the pain of the collective suffering of so many?
It's far too difficult to try to understand, all on my own. It's far too difficult to try to fix, all on my own. It's far too difficult to try to fight, all on my own. So I shut the door again, and try to find my sense of humor, using it to fill the gaps to keep me safe inside my own little world.
And somehow, that just doesn't seem right.
I should be angry. I should have an outlet. I should open that door and embrace what pain I can, absorbing it and vanquishing it. I should DO something, anything, to help.
I should, but instead I hide in my comfortable world, in my artificial reality, ignoring the shouts of despair that are still faintly present, no matter how many layers of ignorance and avoidance are applied to the cracks I've tried to fix.
And then I shame myself with my weakness, believing, wrongly, that shame is action enough.
Some days are just LIKE that, I guess.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
When I do it.
However, there are times when I get caught up doing "something else," like e-mailing people or exchanging IMs or taking personal calls or wandering around looking for someone to play with, which really eats into the ol' WORK time.
For example, here is an excerpt of an exchange between the lovely and powerful Wordnerd and your humble correspondant from yesterday, in which topics were changing pretty fast and furious. It has been edited to protect the identities of those those might be recognizeable, and I took out all the parts in which we prattled about children and husbands and periods and which boys is the cutest. It's better that way, trust me.
And is WAY better than really doing work.
Tiff: Tell me about the blogrings!!!
Wordnerd: They're kinda cool. I kinda tend to stay in my own little solar system, so adding some blogrings has been great. People come visit me because they are determined to, say, read one blog per day from Southern Blogs till the list is complete.
Tiff: Ooooh, color me intrigued. I've got a jones for a metric assload of readers.
Wordnerd: What kinda bling you lookin' for?
A pause of about 5 minutes gets put here while Tiff does actual work......
Tiff: Oops - sorry, got waylaid by somebody wanting something, which interrupted my very important IMing with my buddy wordnerd. Stupid coworkers.
Tiff: Is there a blogring for people who think they're funny but really aren't and then get all depressed when they read othere people's stuff that IS funny and so go wandering off the deep end into a grand funk of "I hate myself"ism?
Wordnerd: Not that I'm aware of, but I'm thinking we could start our own ring!!!!
Wordnerd: "Wallowing in Self-Pity" blogring...come & get it!
Tiff: "more morose than YOU" blogring.
Wordnerd: "You Think YOU Got Shit?" blogring?
Tiff: How about "Ain't that some shit" blogring.
Wordnerd: I'm trying to remember the name of the site that has lists and lists and lists of blogrings
Tiff: I see ringsurf on your site.
Wordnerd: Hell yeah!
Tiff: that's it? I got it right? I SO rock.
Tiff: I'm looking at the blogrolling site now, and am tempted to give it a go.
Tiff: WTF - I use "brilliant" and "give it a go"? What am I, British?
Wordnerd: Someone signed me up for that, sent me an invitation, rather, and I joined, then promptly forgot my login info. So I'm on the list but I can't get in! What a dork.
Wordnerd: I think it was for blogrolling.com
Tiff: see, that's a post right there.
Wordnerd: Yes, yes it is. Will jot down my notes momentarily. Hee hee!
Wordnerd: Know what my problem is? I have these great posts in my head. And I'm working fast and furious when I'm in the car or somewhere that I can't write. Then I get to a point where I can write, and something happens, and I shut down. Hmmm...there's yet another post.
Tiff: I wonder if a recording device of some sort would help you.
Tiff: you know, to cut down on distraction.
Wordnerd: That's another post right there!
Tiff: you're on a roll. go write them down! waste no time!
Wordnerd: It's for the good of the earth.
Tiff: Maybe I'll join a smut ring and start writing filth for fun.......
Tiff: beats the heck out of working.
Wordnerd: There ya go
Tiff: I was thinking the other day "is there such a thing as Christian smut?" I wonder. I don't know why I thought that. What would the guidelines be?
Wordnerd: Hmmm. Now that's one to think on.
Wordnerd: Just type a regular smut post, but infuse the end of each paragraph with a liberal dose of guilt.
Tiff: hahaha!!! I love that take on it!
Wordnerd: Imagine the possibilities.
Tiff: the mind boggles. is there such a thing as "unchristian" bedroom activity?
Wordnerd: Yep. Read above.
Tiff: but wait, eveything would have to be done missionary style. with no french kissing.
Wordnerd: On the bed.
Wordnerd: Under the covers.
Tiff: this doesn't seem like such a great idea anymore.
At the same time - Wordnerd: Lights off./Tiff: with the lights out, and onlythe necessary parts unclothed
Tiff: oops! you were thinking what I was thinking!!
Wordnerd: Does yelling "Oh my God" make it Christian?
Tiff: Yes, as does "sweet jesus", "oh lord", and "who's your daddy."
Wordnerd: I want you to know I am laughing MY ASS off in here right now. My co-workers think I'm tripping.
Tiff: let them.. their lives are empty shells compared with your rich and vibrant existence.
At the same time - Tiff: I am posting this exhange if you're not going to./Wordnerd: You know, YOU could take THIS conversation and make a quite lovely post.
Wordnerd: I cannot believe we were thinking the same thing at the same time.
Tiff: cut that OUT!!!
Wordnerd: Yes. I can. Never mind.
Wordnerd: Have at it, and make me proud!
Tiff: are you SURE you don't want to lay claim to it????
Wordnerd: Nope. All yours.
Wordnerd: It's funny as hell, acshully...
Tiff: Allrightie then.
Wordnerd: You leaving your name in?
Tiff: I'm leaving mine, otherwise how would I know it ever happened?
Tales of the rest of my weekend later today; including "that" breakfast.
UPDATE: (warning - includes talk of mouths and orgasms, though it's not what you might think)
The table was set beautifully, with china mugs and plates, a pewter charger of fresh fruit and granola at each setting. The cup of orange juice sparkled, the coffee was just right and enthusiastically refilled by Mr Hostess, and the meal accompanied by the presence of 3 wonderful friends.
Chatting and noshing, we polished off the first course in short order (because, apparently, talking for 11 hours straight is hungry work), and were thereupon presented with the second. A lovely mound of "something" sat under a heavy dusting of confectioner's sugar, topped with a fresh strawberry. The mystery food wafted odors sweet and luscious, and the first forkful was a blast of everything good in this world that can fit on a plate.
My God. It was some kind of warm doughy thing with sweet stuff in the middle that was seeping out from the cut edges, with some sort of crispy outer crust that was subtly redolent of nutmeg and butter. It hit the pleasure senses with a "bang" and kept on firing with every mouthful.
If anyone ever tells me that there's something better in this world (to eat) than a croissant that is sliced in half, then filled with cream cheese and fresh strawberries, put back together, dipped in beaten egg that's been suffused with nutmeg and rum, then FRIED AND COATED WITH POWERED SUGAR, I will tell them that they are a liar, because there is not, nor will there ever be. My mouth sent signals to my brain of sensual happiness, of physical pleasure, and my tablemates felt it too. Whoever thought up that dish needs some commendation for pleasing 4 women at once.
And even though it was not the last course, it should have been, because the eggs and bacon that were offered up afterward did not meet spec on the orgasmatasticness of the stuffed fried croissant. Probably because eggs and bacon are marginally GOOD for you, and the croissant was just hedonism on a pewter plate.
After brefess was over, one of our number went home. The remaining three therafter called her "The Quitter" and mocked her sense of style. We brave few that were left made a plan, somewhat rashly, to travel to Williamsburg to get a heapin' helpin' of history. We hopped in the hoopties and beat feet down the road, eager to fill our heads with all things olde and ye.
Much to my surprise, historic Wiliamsburg looks a heck of a lot like an outlet mall.
I know! It floored me too! Who know that Ann Taylor was there way back then? Or LL Bean? Amazing. After soaking up the "history" for several hours (history attching it self to us in the form of new shoes and sunglasses and shirts), we stopped at Ye Olde McDonald's for a late lunch and all hit the road in our various directions to be home in time for supper.
Thus endeth the tale of my weekend with the girls. Lagomorphs and Hundreds, history and cute shoes, all in 27 hours.
Way to rock, Dinglediners!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Here we go:
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name) Pepper MitchellTown
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy) Minnie "Peanut" Eminem (blogger's note: hee!)
3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name) K Le
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Blue Dog
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Lee Amity (ville)
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in.) Johke Boves y'all this name is AWESOME!
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (your favorite color, favorite drink) The Blue OJ! I hate this name. Let's make up a new method.........one characteristic your friends would name to describe you, and a body part. Therefore, I am The Verbose Colon!
There you go. Stuff that makes no sense at all, wedged in between blog content that rocks this world and several others.
Oh, and feel free to play along! I'm off to conquer bad guys like The Red Mist, who shall have no fingers with which to tap shoulders when I'm through using my powers of colonic verbosity.
Wow, did THAT sound bad.
Normally I would eschew such grandiosity, because I am a lover of earthy things and would like my great grandchildren to have some earth left to love as well, but this time I caved like a Florida sinkhole to the lush comforts of the 300. Leather seats (heated!), pumpin' stereo system, shiny tires, and enough muscle under the hood to make a race car driver horny. I immediately dubbed it "The Pimpmobile," and set off to the James River Plantation zone, pushing 80 at only 2000 rpm.
(Yes, I love to drive. I love to drive fast. I also realize now that I love to drive fast on country roads in a big-ass car that actually seems to moan with pleasure at high speeds or in tight turns. Oh yes, I love me that kind of driving.)
After realizing that one cannot, in fact, drive THROUGH Fort Lee Virginia (though I tried), and making up a route in my head (because really, who travels with a MAP?), I arrived at the B&B only 30 minutes late, which is pretty good, given that I got delayed 40 minutes by the rental place and probably 15 on my "detour." Awaiting me on the wide front porch were 2 hott chickas with warm hugs and bright smiles and a taste for adventure. The third showed up about an hour later, and we were off and running!
The plan was to hit some big ol' plantations, taking their tours and wandering their grounds in a picturesque fashion while chatting of history and our families. It was a spectacular day, with temps in the upper 80's and a sky so perfect in its late-summery way that if it were any more blue or the clouds were any more cartoonishy puffy I'd say someone had pulled off a tremendous act of fakery. The sun beat on the brick and boxwoods as we professed our love for modern times, in which women can go about with bare arms and nary a petticoat to be found, and our admission that if we lived in "the olden days" we'd be very very crabby beeyotches indeed.
I stood on the ground where "Taps" was composed, and gazed out over the wide James River while red velvet ants marched boldy by. I wondered what the people who started these vast enterprises would think of what they'd become. The Plantations (a farm with one major cash crop) and Hundreds (so named because they were plots of land that could support a hundred people) carved from the woods of Virginia through hard labor turned into tourist destinations could hardly be a future envisioned by their founders.
Presently (well, at 5, when the plantations close and the families who still live in them presumably can come downstairs again), we made our way back to the B&B to freshen up. Our hostess poured wine, and we lounged in a foofy-frilly Victorian parlor on very old furniture while cooling off and killing time until our 6:30 dinner reservation. What peace is to be found in the company of old friends falling back into place, filling in the blanks of our lives for one another, finding the rhythm of conversation and finishing one anothers' stories. Just like we used to.
So then, to dinner.
Baked brie, blah blah blah, wine, blah, blah, blah, ghost stories that really happened to us (plus tears!), blah, blah, blah, dinner, blah, blah, blah, more wine, blabber, blabber, blabber, coffee and chocolate-bourbon pecan pie, natter natter, natter, and 150 minutes later dinner was a memory of great food, many words, and an eventual shouting match to be heard above the din of many happy diners in a room built for echos. (Hello? Indian Fields? Y'all ever heard of carpets? Draperies? Might help with that NOISE issue you got going on.....when I leave a restaurant I do not want to feel as though I've just seen a 2-hour death metal battle of the bands and had to scream to talk to my fellow moshers. Just a thought)
Back to the gentility then.
Which involves rabbits. Lots and lots and LOTS of rabbits.
Apparently, the hostess at the inn has a fetish for stuffed rabbits. And shopping for them. And decorating entire rooms with them.
Rabbits, and pillows. Lots and lots of pillows. And silk flowers, and antique baby carriages, and old dresses on dress forms and pictures of dolls dressed up in old victorian dresses, and the color pink, and lace, and and and....
It was enough to give a Scandanavian the jumping heebie-jeebies, and perfect for those people who love all things Victorian, of which I am not one, but I could admire the effort that went into creating such a haven for those who are.
After a quick change into our PJs, we began the sleepover part of the visit, which involved some bourbon, photo albums, more bourbon, and more pictures. And lots of talking; always with the talking! Who knew these people had so MUCH to talk about? Good grief, I could hardly get a word in edgewise! Buncha conversation monopolizers, is what they are. Going on and on about their kids and their families and their careers and their houses and oooh look, wedding pictures! Man, it's like they just could NOT be quiet!
Or was that just me?
1:30 a.m. the last 2 party girls go to bed, pushing aside pillows and silk flowers and stuffed rabbits to collapse into deep sleep.
Too soon the light filtering through the window got me up, to find that somehow in the night one of those rabbits had crept into bed with me, and I was cuddling it tenderly. I'd tucked it in under my right arm and was grasping its wee soft foot, and for a minute I thought I was holding a baby and got terribly confused. Its sewn-in black eyes and long lashes beseeched me to snuggle it just once more, and I complied, because who knew what terrors could be visited on me if I dissed just ONE of the hundred stuffed bunnies that inhabited the space tucked under the attic in which we were staying? It doesn't bear thinking about, really, and, quite honestly, I needed to make up to all of them for putting some of them in somewhat compromising positions the night before.
As it turns out, the snuggle was a good move, because 4 of the largest rabbits were waiting for me when I opened the bedroom door to the living room. They were apparently on the lookout for me, and could quite possibly have done me a serious disservice if I'd not done the bidding of one of the smaller of their breed.
Sometimes I am so smart, and wisely listen to the voices in my head.
You know, this is getting very very long, and I need to get to work.
I'll have to save the mouth orgasmatiastic breakfast story (among others) for later. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.....
Monday, August 14, 2006
If you're having trouble understanding the Bible (and WHY does bible without the middle B spell "bile"?), I encourage you to check out The Brick Testament. Because really, who doesn't want to see the important messages of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) enacted in LEGO?
(I'm pretty sure this won't offend people....I hope....I think.
I'm VERY sure you'll send me an e-mail if it does.
(There. I made it easy for ya. Have at it.))
As an example I offer "schadenfreude," or the state of being happy at someone else's misfortune. It's perfect, it sounds right, and yet if you didn't know what it meant you'd very likely have some totally incorrect idea about it.
And you would be the poorer for it, in my humble estimation.
A while back, I had a sidebar on this blog that listed my favorite words. When I changed my blog template, of course that big list disappeared, because I was not wise in the ways of the template-changing and blithely assumed that the change would only affect the appearance of the blog, and not the content. I was young and foolish, what can I say?
I now know better, and, though hesitant to be similarly crushed if somehow I should lose my redoubled efforts, I am going to build the list again, starting with a word that I think is NOT used terribly frequently because it sounds a little dirty when it rolls from the pink moist tongue of the supple word pornsters of this yearning world. Why not try to say it yourself and see?
adjective- Glittering, especially with gold or tinsel.
noun- Tinsel; glitter.
[From French, present participle of obsolete clinquer (to clink), from Dutch klinken (to clink).]
Today's word in Visual Thesaurus: http://visualthesaurus.com/?w1=clinquant
"And she looked like a queen as she stood at the altar in her glittering
tiara, her ivory jacket clinquant with sequins."
Gerald M. Carbone; To Honor And Cherish; Providence Journal (Rhode Island);
Nov 20, 2005.
Hear it spoken (not by me).
Words will be brought to the list from different sources, but likely they will come from "A Word A Day," a daily mailing of unusual or interesting words. Anu Garg has been mailing out vocabulary words on a daily basis to an ever-expanding list of people around the world, adding commentary, or themes, or sometimes games, always has an insightful quote of the day. He's sure to use words that have appeared in publications so as not to fill our head with Victoriana (or, worse yet, Renaissance-eeyana), a lagniappe for which I am grateful indeed.
And yes, the sidebar title will likely be "Word Porn," because I'm a whore for the hits I hope it will bring.
Tales of a weekend of rabbits, plantations, and french-fried croissants are in the offing, y'all, so stay tuned.
Friday, August 11, 2006
And while you're at it, feel free to tell me how HILARIOUS the title of this post is.
All right then, where were we?
Oh yes, we've had starters, now it's time for a mache of blues, accompanied by a glass of sparking whine:
When you last heard from your intrepid girl reporter Tiff, she was wallowing in some kind of massive brain funk in which the weight of the universe was resting squarely on her shoulders and she was not at ALL happy with that turn of events.
You will be happy to know that Tiff was able to relieve herself of that burden by the application of several servings of bourbon and a very good night's sleep and is back to her normal ebullient self.
Yay, Tiff! Way to snap back!
Therefore, because it's apparent to Tiff that she needs to capitalize on her bipolarisms, the remainder of this post will be nothing but silly. Maybe not funny, or relevant, but GOD knows it's not going to be self-indulgent claptrap like was spewed yesterday (LATE!, so late!). One can only take so much of that, after all.
Herein I offer the main course, a melange of tapas-like odds and ends (and terribly terribly redundantly repititious description) chosen to whet your appetite for the tasty bits:
Politician-in-bikini photos raises French eyebrows
And I'll just bet that's not ALL that was raised. Nudge nudge wink wink...
Moderate earthquake rocks Mexico City
The right- and left-wing earthquakes couldn't make quorum and didn't show up.
Retail sales rebound in July
The service sector went in for the dunk.
Tips for coping with travel
I got a tip fo' ya. RELAX. Dude, you're TRAVELLING! You're not at WORK!
Grab an overpriced beer at the terminal bar and bum a smoke from the pudgy salesman next to you and start talking shit. Make up a name and profession, adopt a funny accent, walk with a limp if ya wanna, and have a ball! Jeez! These peopel aren't ever going to see you again, so have at it.
Also, another tip - in all likelihood there will be STORES where you're going, so unless you're foolish enough to pack your meds in a checked bag and it gets lost, you're COOL, man. Just take a taxi to the Mall once you land and replace your undies and toothbrush and PJs with new stuff! There's not NEED to pack a bag that weighs a zillion pounds when there are stores all over this great globe.
And if you're going to a place where there aren't stores all over? Chances are excellent that the people there are not going to notice you're wearing the same pair of pants 3 days in a row or maybe don't have such great minty-freshness to your exhalations. I'm just sayin', is all.
Bill would help study of ancient remains
if only he wasn't allergic to dust.
And now, links to some very silly fluff as your dessert, and I'm out:
And for the kappa kappa psis out there:
Thursday, August 10, 2006
It is apparent to me that we are all slaves to this master, to this cruel mistress, to the tramping beat of this mighty army. There is no escaping the vast power, no running away.
It makes fools of us all. It betrays our bones and drags on our bits and pieces, it weighs us down and casts the first stone of ignominy at our trudging souls. Time wounds all heels, this much is true. Time adds what we cannot taketh away, and the weight of all those memories clogs our arteries and sludges up our brains, polishes off the sharp corners of our youth leaving the dull pewter of our middle age to reflect our tired faces.
not even a boom left.
and so, because I am crabby and tired and don't recognize the person in the mirror most of the time anymore, I offer up another bit of doggerel I wrote in a fit of "something I like to call poetic license" last week....
and very likely this post will be taken down tomorrow, an exercise in nothing but venting of a deep frustration at every day that takes me one step closer to senescence.
If only I,
the clock bound
could ensorcell time,
the racing spin
of past days
Then future tense
as that which might be
one way or more
And now, I think I might actually feel better.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Lovelovelovelove you, as though you were a big gooey mass of chocolate sauce basted over a caramel creme cake, or like you were a huddle of warm puppies, or as if you were a sandy beach with a rope hammock and bucket of cold beer. Yes, THAT kind of love.
Happy happy, happy love. Snuggly wuggly lub. Huggy, kissy, sweetie-pie double-plus-good LOVE!!
Now, Blogger, as you satisfied? Are you really really blissful that I've declared my affection for you in terms gastronomic, veterinarian, and vacationerific?
Now, get back to work, you beeyotch, before I have to run roughshod over yo punk ass. What's all this about not WORKING this morning? What's all this about not BEING there for me when I need you? What's the big idea about staring BLANKLY at me as I try to access the sweet sweet inner sanctum?
Ain't nuthin but a thang, is what it is.
And if you ever, and I mean EVER, want me to talk dirty to you again, or to profess my undying devotion to you, or tell you you're the light of my life and that I just can't have my bloggy action any other way, you'll step up and gimme what I need.
We CLEAR on that?
As for the rest of whatever it was that I was going to write about to day in an effort to keep up the fine stream on content what as has been chock-fulling this here wee bloggie lately - forget it. My brain, she is an empty place right now.....
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
This is not something I have much skill with. Not that I seek out recognition, but rather that because of whatever it is I AM, I am recognizeable.
(Sometimes as someone else, but that's another matter for another day, and has already been explored here once (or, you know, maybe twice, but I'm way too lazy to go back to the archives to figure out how many times I've flogged THAT particular dead horse).)
Take, for example, my laugh. Well, OK, a lot of you CAN'T take it for example, and sorry about that, but you should believe me when I say that I have been tracked down across entire buildings because someone heard me laugh and just followed the sound. There are people who have commented that a place seemed empty when I'd gone because that laugh wasn't there anymore. (an aside - I hope this is a good thing, and not a cry of relief from the assualted few who were unfortunate enough to be in proximity to the bellow.) In college my friends imitated the up and down swoop of it, which made me self-conscious for a few minutes, and I tried to tone it down to a gentle twittering few-second flight rather than it's natural bursting guffawing zoom. As it so happens, well after college one of those friends told me she'd love to have a laugh like mine.
Now, the laugh isn't something I've cultivated. It just IS. I can't change it any more than I can change the color of my eyes or the thickness of my ankles. Somehow it has become noticeable, an identifier, and thing that makes me forever not-invisible.
And boy howdy, you know that if there were a way to make some money off of it, I would SO do that, because what's the use of having a hallmark if you can't reap some payout?
Anyway, because a life of simple invisibility has eluded me in the real world, I present a somewhat more skewed version of "me" through using a cartoon avatar in the virtual world. Yes, yes, you've seen a picture of me on this blog once, and I was a mere floating eyeball for a long time, but that pink-headed gal is "me" now to a lot of people. She's my little fake, my "other" personality, my cloak of invisibility that allows a lot more freedom than the "real" me might dare take.
(Those of you who know me, feel free to rebut. This is simply my perception, and as such is very likely untrue.)
Which leads me to this: I notice that a lot of people lately are changing their avatars. A lot of people who come HERE have changed their avatars. But why? Why did YOU do it? Why do you not just have your picture up there? Why protect yourself from the rest of us? What makes us relish invisibility? What are the freedoms we afford ourselves through the use of a floating eyeball or pink-haired ghoul or some other not-me choice?
I anxiously await your insights....and maybe an explanation of why you picked what you did.