Friday, November 30, 2007

What you long for

Nelly! You come down here this instant! Supper’s ready and your Pa is coming in from the barn!”

Nelly sighed and turned over in bed, face toward the ceiling and undone pigtails fanning out around her on the plain white pillow. Her lips parted slightly as she imagined her lover kissing them once more, and she sighed again.

She then sat up like a ramrod in bed, patted her belly, straightened out her shirt over the long pleated skirt, and headed to the bathroom to wash up. Pa did like a clean girl at his table. Nelly knew the penalty for not being clean, and after that last punishment she was determined not to be a dirty girl ever again.

The thirteen steps down the farmhouse stairs clumped under her sensible shoes, the fifth one from the bottom creaking as it always did, even when a girl as slight as Nelly stepped on it. Pa didn’t like to fix that stair, said it kept the girls in line and kept them away from sneaking out the house. The boys, lucky them, stayed in the guest house out back, and had free run after they turned 13. Nelly was 15, and had yet to make it out of the yard without some brother or other at her side.

No, the rules weren’t fair, but at least there were the parlor books to dream by. A girl could travel to far-off places and learn things from books, and if she kept her mouth shut about them at supper then she could keep on reading them. Pa was all right about that.

Nelly wasn’t so sure though if Pa knew what was in those books in the parlor. He was a simple man, and never did learn to read more that what would tell him if the shopkeepers were cheating him. She wondered though, and so never kept a book for long. This last one had spent the longest time with her, and even then she traded it out every few days for something dull, just to make him think she wasn’t stuck on the picture of the stone man in that book about Italy.

The haunting face struck her first. The smooth whiteness, the lush mouth, the tumbling curls. Strong stone shoulders, slim marble hips, the small shy cock, the rock-hard legs; Nelly was transfixed from the first moment. She knew his name was David, that he was a fighter like her. She also knew he was a statue, but in the long nights alone in her spare bedroom he loved her, taking the place of Pa and the boys.

Nelly knew as long as she kept quiet about that book, she could look at her lover. As her belly swelled, she imagine it was full of his hard seed. As her breasts grew, she pretended they were filling with liquid marble.

Six months later, when the child was born, it was blue as granite. Nelly named him David, and died happy.


This for the Wordsmiths.

Going pear-shaped

I think today might be a single-topic day too. What is UP with that?

No, wait a sec.

I can feel a secondary topic wanting to come on in ahead of the primary one in the queue. Yes, if I give it just a moment more, I can definitely feel something burbling up in the brainpan, rising to the surface, breaking free, as it were.

And this something is: please forgive me for being a bad bloggy friend lo these past few days. I’m laboring under the whole “I gotta new jooooob” thing, and daggone if I’m not actually trying to work. Grr, millennium hand and shrimp…….

If you get that last phrase at all, then I’m pretty sure I love you.

Anywho, please accept my apologies for being self-centered enough to have not visited you much these last few days. I fully intend to rectify (hee! I love that word) that situation over the weekend.


Subtopic 2:
Wordsmiths, darlins. Really. I’m writing mine tonight, and I hope to be able to post it tonight as well to get in under the “end o’ the month” deadline. We’ll see if the magic beans that the IT dude gave me to hook up to the interwebs works at home. My initial foray didn’t go so hot, but I’ve got a new handful of tricks from him to throw into the fertile soil of computer land.

Maybe something will sprout.

(Damn, that was kind of an awesome metaphor.)


Also? Subtopic 3: no headlines again. I’m so sorry. Leave YOURS in the comments if you want to please. I’m getting withdrawal, but can’t organize the kind of time I need to troll the news sites for particularly badly written or confusing stuff. If you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em, mmkay? And thanks.


And now it's time for the...


Point of fact: It is hard to give a cat a bath.

Point of fact-er: It is harder still to give a cat a bath by YOURSELF.

Despite Tammie’s warnings though, I did not get swiped in the titty by the claws of a kitty. Oh noes. My dear Albert was not all swipey, he was, instead, extremely stretchy (again!) and pissy. Oh, the “big eyes” were out in full force as the total impact of his pathetic situation became apparent to him.

Albert’s thoughts, if indeed he is capable of forming any, must have run along the lines of: sink bad, water bad, food giver bad, me kitty mad sad.

Albert, it is clear, is no fan of the bath.

I, however, am a HUGE fan, because what’s funnier than a wet cat? Not much, I tell you. Not much at all.

I know it’s not nice to laugh at a cat, for they are creatures of great dignity and poise, but DAYUM, when they’re all soaped up (a highly unnatural state in which to find a cat) and soaking, they LOOK funny. Add to that the pupils of hugeness and the stretchyness and the desperate attempts to climb ANYWHERE, including the faucet, which results in said soapy wet kitty getting a face full of warm water, causing him to sneeze, well then friends you have a recipe for certain hilarity.

Just don’t lose your grip on the wet kitty, for it is at that point that he will try to use your arms and abdomen as a jungle gym.

It is hard to hold a soapy wet angry kitty by his neck AND avoid getting slashed with razor-sharp claws. Not impossible, mind you, but damned hard.

The bottom line is that Albert the cat got DOUSED in flea shampoo from stem to stern, and the shampoo stayed on him for the requisite 5 minutes, after which he got a lovely rinsing with some luscious warm water (causing a new freshet of HATE to emanate from his dampened lithe form) and a TOWEL DRY from the food giver.

Good news: the towel drying was acceptable, as evidenced by regular-size kitty pupils. Good thing too, because those GIANT things were starting to freak me right out.

Now not only is Albert CLEAN, but the shampoo appears to have killed the fleas. Sweet victory! Amen!!

What poor Al doesn’t know is that he’s going to get another bath in 4 days. And “Revolutionized” in between, and that I have anti-flea SPRAY to spritz him with, and that I am a Tiff on a mission, armed with an arsenal of flea destruction.

And I’m NOT afraid to use it.


Y’all have yourselves a fabulous weekend. I’m going to figure out how to pay off my car, and what kind of insurance I want from this new job, and how to rollover two 401K plans into one new one, watch the Things maybe pass the test for a new tae kwon do belt, go swimming, do some gardening (hellOO rose bushes, meet pruners!) and generally take it easy. If, by easy, you mean do all THAT stuff.

Oh, and websurf. I have a LOT to catch up on.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just one topic? How odd.

If you’ve not been around here long, you won’t know about my deep loathing for spiders.

It’s deep. If loathing was an ocean, my ocean of loathing would go to depths that can’t even be plumbed by the most modern of submersibles. I’m benthic in my loathing, highly benthic. There is no light at the bottom of my depth of loathing, and scary critters with glow-in-the-dark digestive organs roam its inscrutable climes. Oh yes.

So, imagine my response when Thing 1 announced this morning that there was a spider in the car.

I do believe I (largely) involuntary uttered an crudity for self-love. Thing 1 does not get shocked by this, as he has discerned that Mom (that’s me) tends to shout random bad words when upset.

The spider was tan, about the size of a new pencil eraser, and sitting just to the left of the volume control knob. This put said viscious Tiff-killing arachnid within INCHES of my person.

Inches is not far enough.

Despite being currently engaged in the practice sometimes known as “dropping the kids off at school,” I began behaving like I was about to be dipped in scalding acid, complete with flailing, shrieking, and exhortations to the poor 12-year-old Thing 1 to “kill it! FIND some thing and KILL IT!”

Thinking quickly, Thing 1 grabbed a CD case and tried to smash the evil beast, but suceeded only partically in the smashing. If, by “partially,” you mean that his attempts at carnage only managed to disengage the spider from its comfy spot. Yes friends, the horrific demon of Athropodia disappearedinmyCAR.

But to where? It truly HAD disappeared, and even though I didn’t really WANT to find it, my efforts to calm my nerves with the thought that maybe it had been taken up to heaven like Ezekiel (or poofed into the ether by some other similarly magical happenstance) were shot completely when Thing 1 opined “ya know Mom, once I’m gone to school you’re going to be alone in the car with that spider.”

Gee, thanks buddy. You're a BIG help.

Dreadfully, it was only about 40 seconds after THAT gem that he said “I see it!” and, just for effect, stared right at ME while shouting his good news.

Friends, I’m here to tell you that much headslapping occurred, because this woman thought the daggone thing had landed in her hair (somehow? Gravity went backwards? Yes? Spiders are sneaky bastards, and so I wouldn’t put reversing gravity’s effect among their heretofore unknown bag of tricks.)

But no, the spider had landed in the spot under the ashtray where the phone charger goes.
The car, somehow, and certainly not due to any panicked white-knuckling on MY part, started swerving again, and I lost sight of the fact that people expected me to move up in line every so often. Sometimes people have no idea of where my priorities lie. Sweartogawd. I think I might have screamed a tiny ladylike scream that may or may not have caused the crack in the windshield to lengthen by several inches, then began frantically seraching for something, ANYTHING to kill that little futhamucka before I was left alone in the car with it.

I spotted a book of “Bible verses of Advent.”

Desperate times being what they are, and me being determined to off this wee tan SOB by any means necessary, I snatched up the tract, angled in on the multiply bejointed spectre that was starting to crawl TOWARD me, and, slapping the verse-infused weapon of doom down hard, I shouted:


Whaddaya know? It worked.

Plus which, it made Thing 1 and I laugh so hard we were both in tears by the time he had to get out of the car.

“Death by Jesus.” It’s my new band name.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Well, I'm here

And as a show of good faith, I'm not posting (extensively) from work on my first day.

I did, however, make sure I knew how to work the 'puter from home, which may be from whence near-future posts come. Life in the cube farm will be different, but not as bad as I had envisioned. I'll tell you all about it.



Thanks for all the suggestions re: fleas and computers over the past couple of days. Y'all RAWK, and I promise I'll listen.


How long do you think I should wait to put Firefox on this new electronic rig? Or, if you're not a lover of the Firefox, then what cool new browser is out there that I can slap onto this 4-letter-word box o' mine? It's pretty and shiny, and deserves so much more than IE, don't you think?


More tomorrow. For now I have a pile of SOPs and assignments and stuff to look through. Might as well my FIRST day a good one, in the hopes that those which follow will be in the same pattern. Yep - it's a whole new Tiff.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One More Day (or three)

This is it folks. My last day at Current Job. I've been here just about 2 n' a haf years, which is just about the shortest time I've spent at any professional job.

Wait - is that true?

University 1 - 6 months
University 2 - 8 months
Pharma job 1 - 7.5 years
Pharma job 2 - 6.5 years
Pharma job 3 - 8 months
Current Job - 2.5 years

Huh. It's actually the third LONGEST I've been at a job. Ain't that some shit?

Tomorrow starts the tenure at Pharma Job 4. A whole new company. People ask me if I'm excited, and I have to answer that I have VERY mixed feelings about leaving. The group of people I work with now are fantastic, knowledgable, kind, inclusive, and professional. Haven't ever been a part of a group that functions so well and is chock full of a broad scope of expertise. Leaving THAT is going to be very difficult.

Also, as mentioned before, I'm having to give up my office.


I'm excited about new challenges and new horizons, about the change itself, about meeting new people and possibly being able to build something at this new job that works well and is valued by the company. Also, the paycheck ain't gonna hurt none.

I've never job-hunted just for money before. This is my first experience. Yes, I'm 45, what of it? I've spent my career on the hunt for new experiences, for new knowledge, for more marketable skills, and once I got that all under my belt I guess it was time to look around for something that would help me realize my dreams for the second half of my life. College for the Things, retirement savings for me, paying off the credit card debt I've amassed recently, putting something away for vacations, being able to contribute to charities, all these things are on the big list of "what I plan to do with the enhanced income."

College and credit cards first.

It's exciting to move on, yes, but the excitement comes with knowing that I'm giving up comfort, a finite set of expectations, a work environment I'm used to, working relationships I've built, and a group of people who are friends as well as colleagues. It's not an easy thing to do.

At least THIS time I'm not moving hundreds of miles away, like I did last time. That, in and of itself, makes this move at least an order of magnitude easier to take.


The three days mentioned in the title? How much time you have to write a wordsmiths story.


Albert, the cat who never goes outside, has fleas.

Cruel Nature, to visit me with such a curious affliction.

As a consequence of the fleas, Albert got his first bath last night. Not surprisingly, Albert didn't much CARE for the bath. Albert's main expression of dislike is to streeeeeetch out to twice his normal length, swiping paws at anything he can get his claws on. The dish rack was a handy target last night.

He's getting another bath tonight - this time in flea soap. The Palmolive didn't cut it, for he was a-scratching again this morning.

In addition to the feline bathing rituals, I'm also vacuuming like a crazed woman, washing everything that's washable, sweeping and mopping until every surface gleams, and then starting all over from the beginning.

Effing fleas. Stupid miserable effing daggone nasty little biters. I can feel them on me now, crawling around in their psychosomatic manner, just LOOKING for the right morsel on which to chomp. They all need to die.

What more do I do to ensure their swift eradication? I'm a woman on a mission, y'all.

Thanks, in advance, for your help with this urgent matter.

Monday, November 26, 2007

So Tired

Oh, my friends, such wonderful news.

I am tired, or, as we like to say here in the Souf, "Ahm Tahrd." Yes, I'm tired, and what's more, I needed to be, so much so that once I GOT tired I enjoyed it more than I thought possible.

"What ho, Tiff?" you might be asking. "How can being tired be a good thing? Have you gone off your nut entirely? Has the rain and fog of recent days gone to your head and fungus'ed it up in a nasty gray tangle of confusion?"

Why no, I would answer. You must of course consider that when I say I'm tired, I mean that I've bought new tires for Tinkerbell, and them new tahrs is makin' happy like a couple of horny bunnies.

Really? Really.

My Tinkerbell is a wonderful car, and I love her very very much. She is reliable and low-maintenance, which is a good thing in a car. However, a while ago she started to shimmy and shake when she got to about 70 (which, as anyone who drive in NC knows, is the lowest acceptable driving speed on most roads).

I lived with the shimmy for a while. For a good LONG while, aamof. For a good longer while than the while should have been, to be blunt. I'd baby her up to about 68, then accelerate really aggressively until I got her up to about 75, when the rattling and shaking would stop somewhat. That worked for a few months, until Tinkerbell caught onto my schemes and started shaking at 67....then 66.....then 65, and up to 73, and all of a sudden there was no good speed at which to drive her without gettin' all shook up.

It was time to get tired.

4 shiny new Pirellis later, Tink and I are a happily commuting team once more. Them new skins roll us along with nary a shiver. It's a beautiful thing, it really is. Why, I can get her up to 80 without her blinking an eye. Not that I INTEND to, mind you. Rather, it simply happens, and if I'm not paying attention, I'm sure she'd go faster.

These new tires are to Tinkerbell what new sneakers are to a kid. I'm CONVINCED she feels better.


Speaking of new sneakers, I got some yesterday.

They have skulls on them. This makes me happy. Clearly, I have a lot of kid left in me.


Still raining-ish outside. Woohoo!! Yeah, my hair is a mass of curly-wurlies, but I do not care, for I am not so OCD about my hair as to even have what is adorably called a "hairstyle" so the random meteorologic influences thereupon don't phase me.

This is why hair clips were invented, after all.


Also - My "say goodbye to Tiff" lunch at work has been postponed until tomorrow. Daggone it. I was really looking forward to some lobster ravioli in a sherry cream sauce, with a nice mache salad on the side.


Posting after tomorrow might be spotty, y'all. I have yet to see what the internet access is at the new job, and until I figure THAT bit out I might not be able to post.

Makes me think I need to get a personal 'puter for home.

But what kind? Any idears? Your help is most appreciated.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's raining again

It rains, and the sound is still so unusual as to be poetic. Spatter and splat, the rain falls. Slick as a whistle the sidewalks gleam.

Raining. Again.

I'm not tired of it yet. Breathe a sigh of relief. Each moment of rain takes us one step back from the edge of disaster. Each drop wets the way for the one to fall behind it, circulating moisture through this dry earth, this parched land, this unweeping sore spot.

It could rain all night, and I'll lull myself into thinking it's doing the good that needs to be done, soaking the earth, filling the lakes, mapping new highs on the dry lakebeds. I'll imagine riding on a raindrop all the way to earth, the concussion of the final hit against moist ground, the shattering into a million droplets of good, the glimmering final ride to usefulness. I could be the bottom of the lake, the edge of the shoreline, the browned tips of long pine needles, the skinny fence slats, each of them drinking up the clouds that fall.

Keep on raining. I don't mind one bit. Frizzy hair and all, let it come.

I'll launch a prayer of thanksgiving as the curls draw tight. Say thank you, thank you kindly, because it looks like it's going to rain awhile.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And all of it is true.

So, Buzzardbilly has tagged me. Taggity taggity tag we go, running around the playground. I like being tagged! I won't run away! I'm terrible at dodging! I'm really slow too! TAG!

And here's what I have to do...

Post 8 random and interesting things about myself that nobody knows.

Dude? NOBODY? Really? In over 600 posts, is there anything I haven't told y'all about me (besides the things I'm not prepared to tell anyone just yet)?

Apparently so, and here they are:

1) I don't feel the need to make my bed very morning, yet LOVE it when it's made. It's a daily struggle, people. Choice 1 - Spend two minutes making the thing and being all Martha-happy when it's done, or Choice 2 - NOT making it and being a tee-tiny little housekeeping rebel? Hint: the older I get, the more tempted I am to make the bed.

2) Despite #1, I do not make the Things make their beds. Unless Grandma is coming. Which is when they also have to brush their hair.

3) My favorite part about going to sleep is the "lying in bed after the alarm goes off and remaining in the nice cozy warm soft place of rest" for as long as humanly possible. Anyone who's read here for any length of time know that I do have fantastic dreams, but they're not my fave part of sleeping. This "laying about in bed" is why weekend mornings are my absolute favorite time of the week. Yup, weekend mornings even beat out cocktail time.

4) I had the distinct pleasure of talking with dear Tracy Lynn Kaply the other day. For reals! On the phone! It was like talking with an internet supah-star! Her energy is infectious, her scope of knowledge is immense, and I'll say right here that she's better than most stand-up comics I've ever seen. The woman is funny, people, and has great taste in personal-care items. Go on, ask me how I know. ;) I'm stockpiling the energy right now to talk with her again soon, because dudes, the residual energy present after hanging up with her propelled me through a day-before-thanksgiving trip to WalMart in a state of zenline satisfaction. That's some powerful phone mojo, right there.

5) I missed my chance to be on teevee when in the eighth grade. The middle school musical of which I was a part was given the chance to be on local teevee, and I did NOT make the cut. I was not an "emoter" at the time - far too self-conscious for anything like that. As fate would have it, one of the girls that DID make the cut wound up with her OWN teevee show - "The Beth and Bowser Half Hour," and thus I hated her. But only in secret. I was a seething mass of conflicted emotions, a 14-year-old mess of "don't care" and "I want that."

6) A few years later I was on teevee. Well, it was only as a phone call taker on the public stations fund drive thingie, but at least ONE cameraman liked me because it was MY face that was plastered all over the breaks. Oh, I pretended to be all self-deprecating, but inside I was all "woohoo!!! Look at me!" Once again, a living oxymoron.

7) Shoes and me have only a passing acquaintance. Wear them when I have to, take them off whenever I can. Including at work. My normal working position is slouched down in one chair, both feet up on another chair in front of me, shoes off. It's a darned good thing I have an office with a door that closes.

8) Sadly, as of next week, I won't have an office. No door at all. I am not sure what to think about this, except that at the first chance I get I'm going to start begging for one. I love having an office. I do NOT want to work in a cubicle. this is the worst part about this new job. If anyone FROM my new job reads this, please take note of my strong desire for an office. It's STRONG, y'all. I've had an office for the last ten years, and have gotten very very used to it. It's better for everyone if I have one. The shoe thing is just one reason.


So,'s that? Is that enough? Have I said any of that before? Do I now seem like a conflicted mess of human wreck, what with the conflicted emotions and sloppy work habits and utter laziness?

Well, too bad. That's part of the charm of me. Heh.

I'm supposed to tag other people for this, but as sure as I know I've got ten toes I'm also sure that none of y'all are thronging around the ropes of my personal battle space waiting to be part of my tag team. Nope, this is a personal cage match, no seconds allowed.

But, if you WANT to play along, I can't stop you. Nor would I want to. Just build your own cage and have at it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Should you choose to accept it

Ah, the old Mission Impossible thing.

Something a little different here at NAY today: I have an assignment for you, but only if you want it. Yes, I'm channeling old teevee shows here, because I rather liked how all that spy stuff went down in a terrifically passive-aggressive manner, and I can DO passive-agressive when necessary...

"Sure, go ahead and put yourself in danger, but only if you want to. It's not up to ME, really, it's all about you. YOU'RE the thrill seeker here, I'm just giving you a chance to get your jollies on. Oh, and you have ten seconds to decide what you're going to do."

Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, poof.

Thinking on it a little, what do you think happened if Jim decided NOT to go on the mission? Who would go lolloping along to the very cool theme music THEN? Who would look sharp in a sharkskin suit and chiseled jawline if NOT Jim? Were there back-up Jims out there ready to go on an Impossible Mission if he simply didn't feel like it? Who was gonna save the world THEN, I ask you?

Nobody, that's who. We'd all be sunk.

Same goes for THIS mission. And while not impossible, it is up to you to decide if you want to take it or not.

Yes, I'm talking Wordsmiths again.

Just LOOK at the picture we have for this month's challenge, and tell me that you can't think of some kind of story to go along with it. It's a beaut, that much is for sure. By one of my favorite artists, if you must know. Yeah, I picked the pic, and I'm proud of it.

What's the dude doing? Who's crawling around up there? Why are the clouds brown? A cypress in the background...could this be somewhere in Italy? What's up with the eyeballs, anyhow? The helmet, is he spaceman or centurion?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write a story of 500 words or less about this picture, and post a comment at wordsmiths saying that you wrote it (and how we can link to it).

Come ON, y'all; we have T-day and a weekend ahead. There's TIME. Time to think about this, to mull it over, to cogitate and form a thread of an idea that you'll weave into a story. Time to put the words down, count and rearrange, to buff up or pare back.

And, as a special one-time-only bonus, you have more than ten, in fact, have until the end of the month.

Should you choose to accept this assignment, that is.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Putting too much thought into it

You ever try to do something, or work out a plan, or create something, and




I know I have. Usually it's a product of overthinking. Does that sound weird? Is it possible to think about something too much, to over-plan it, to work out so many of the details that the GOAL of the exercise gets lost?

I submit that it is.

Staying oriented to a goal is important, of course. The trick is to not get caught up in the backwaters and eddies of details, to not give in to the various meanderings of minutia that can swamp the whole process in trivial mire.

Sometimes it's good to just say "go," and stick with whatever happens. Build yourself a good enough starting place, and jump right the hell off of it.

If that doesn't work - get someone else to give you a shove.

Know what I mean?


Jumping off this year is to "do" the holidays now that the Things' Dad and I live apart, how to negotiate the dangerous waters of the 50:50 splits, how to approach the whole season with anything akin to responsibility and tact, as well as joy and satisfaction, is an exercise in maneuverability that I've been putting off thinking about.

And Thursday is Thanksgiving.

Thursday is the day that we usually "switch" parenting responsibilities, and this Thursday is the day that they come to my house. But when? And who eats where? And with whom? For how long?

My jumping off point is fairly firm. I feel good about where I am in life, and am NOT overthinking this transition. I'll have a turkey breast cooking and some Thing-approved side dishes, I'll have cider for them and bourbon for me, I might have a friend or two over, I might not...

and it'll all be fine.

I'm ready to say "go." No need for shoving, but thanks for the offer. ;)

If you're travelling for the holiday, please be safe. Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all.

I'll probably be here tomorrow too, so just in case you've got nothing better to do, whyn't you come on by and set a spell? See you then.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A cheese a bean a meat

Over the weekend, while hanging out with a friend, I was feeling a little silly and started singing a song I recall from childhood. My quasi-melodic utterances were met with a blank stare from the aforementioned friend, who perhaps might have been thinking that right then was a good time to say 'buh-bye' and head toward home.

So, of course, I felt compelled to explain what the song was about. Me being me, I explained it badly.

For what it's worth, the song I was singing is sung to the tune of 'Turkey in the Straw' and goes something like this:

On the farm we grow the food
that's everything we need to eat
It's a fruit a veg a bread a milk
a cheese a bean a meat!

And was part of some Saturday morning school house rock-ish thing in which a farmer (Farmer Brown, maybe?) was explaining to all us overprivileged children from whence cometh their food.

In my memory, the spot was done in a kind of wobbly watercolor wash of earth tones. That part might be wrong, as colors do fade over time, and this particular memory is a good 35 years old.

Upon further investigation, I find that Farmer Brown never made an appearance on Schoolhouse Rock, and the only site I can find that cites these particular lyrics is one that loads terrifically slowly and wants me to become a member in order to peruse the forums, in which the specific citation is hiding. I'm not so much a joiner as all that, but was certainly gratified to know that there's at least ONE site out there that repeats there lyrics, because there is a little place in my psyche that could cause me to believe that I might have made the whole thing up.

It's not too far out of the realm of possibility, y'all. The making up of things and all.

This moment in time has lead me to ponder a bit on the 'forgotten songs of youth' thing. The Farmer Brown song is just one example of how a song that HAD to have been seen by tons of kids back in the day has now been almost completely wiped from the retrievable common experience...

The 'Digger the Dog' song is similar.

What, you don't know that one either?

Digger the Dog
Digger he goes with you
When you explore
Just pull his leash
and go for a walk
He's your dog
For sure!

"Where ya going Timmy?" "Walkin' Digger, Mom!"

It was the jingle for a doggie pull toy that make its appearance when I was a kid, and over time I've found that the ONLY people who remember this song are almost exactly my age. That would mean that you'd need to be 45 or so to have any recollection of it. Am I wrong in this? Are there younger/older folk out there who remember this insanely catchy jingle and the dog that went along with it?

(For what it's worth, I found this site while looking for the Digger song lyrics, and I have the strong notion that there will be many MANY hours spent looking through the archives. Y'all - they talk about Spudsie, which I'd completely forgotten about, but now remember having, and through that single wee mental prompt can see the basement in the house I grew up in, cool orange "not a fireplace" and hooked rug wall hangings and all. Whee!!)

Anywho, all this mis-remembering and internet sleuthing has got me thinking: what are some of the vaguely remembered songs of YOUR youth? Camp songs, jingles, sing-in-the-car-on-long-trips songs, etc, they're all fair game. I'd love to know, for I, apparently, am in a nostalgic mood.


And ANYONE who remembers Farmer Brown, please PLEASE tell me. I feel so alone in that one....


(P.S. - New Wordsmiths challenge is going up today.)

Friday, November 16, 2007


Day go by fast. Zoom! Go day, go! Run run run!


Holy smokes, folks. No post yesterday, a late one today, what wrong with me?

I know what's wrong - it's this damned work. The announcement that I was leaving my current job was responded to by my boss with "OK, but can you do these two projects before you go?"

Of course I said yes.

Yep - those
two projects on top of two I was already working on, on top of transitioning responsibilities for a metric assload more projects to four other people, on top of wondering when in earth I was going to do all the administrative stuff I've never done all along, has made these past couple of weeks very interesting ones.

I truly have never been as busy in this job as I have been for the last 8 days. You know what's really weird? I LIKE it. I like being busy. I like the panic that comes with just-a-little-too-much to do, the push toward
daily productivity, the press of responsibility and the feeling of accomplishment when something gets finished.

Hi, I'm Tiff, and I'm a stress puppy.

Shameful, really, that the overwhelming natural urge toward complete
slackerdom can be overridden so easily by the lure of the "white hot monkey rush." Clearly, I can't commit to being one or the other type of person, oh no. It's important for me to be able to swing back and forth between the two extremes! Why pick a persona and stick with it? How boring. I'd much rather be surprised at who jumps up to take the reins on any given day....

When you learn that one of the voices in my head isn't even a GIRL, I guess you can begin to understand why I have such trouble with consistency in outlook.

All those voices though will make for some spectacular turkey day company. They're great guests, they mostly all get along, and I don't even need to set out the good china or, quite frankly, an extra place setting for them. They get full when I do, and take turns talking.
Heh - if it was just me and them I'd be pretty happy, I guess.

But I have a whole lot more to be thankful for this year than just being able to
wrassle the voices into order. A roof over my head, a new better-paying job, wonderful friends, peace of mind, healthy children, loving family, and all the other accouterments that I could ask for, which are quite possibly more than I deserve.

Like my new

yes I did.

That Thanksgiving Day parade is going to look so freaking SWEET on my new 32" flat-panel HDTV with SURROUND SOUND.


I love Weezer. Just thought y'all would like to know that.


Best wishes for a terrific weekend! I'm out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bend to my Will

Just so you know: I'm being productive today. I figure that being productive two weeks before leaving a job is better than not being productive at all. Can I get an Amen?

Had my exit interview this morning, went smoove as glass. Even told the HR gal what I thought of this company. Oh, it's not BAD, it was just the truth. She thought it was a "good observation."

And I'm DYING to tell y'all what I told her, but there were terms like "this conversation won't go beyond HR" and "confidentiality is important" being used in the interview, which I take here to mean that I perhaps shouldn't be spreading my awesome corporate insights all over the beautiful interwebs.

Sigh. What use is being awesome if you can't bore everyone else to tears with it by telling them about the awesome thing you did?

Let's move on then. We'll just skip the awesome. You'll have to imagine it.

I saw a deer on the road this morning. Well, I THINK it was a deer. It was large and fuzzy, and terribly terribly dead. Here's a thing about me - I can take the sight of dead things on the road - I'm not terribly squeamish, but this particular "possibly a deer" had an added feature that nearly gakked me out this morning.

Please stop reading now if you're easily grossed out.

What is it that nearly cause me to experience an emetic event all over sweet Tinkerbell, you ask?

Why, nothing more than Deer Chunks on Asphalt.

Oh yeah - there were big ol' hunks of deer thrown all over the road. I swear to God I saw the thing's liver on the double yellow line, complete with skidmarks where said clod of organ meat must have slid along the pavement after being forcibly ejected from the deer. There was a hoof on the other side of the road. I think a set of deer ears was in a low bush.

That sucker was freaking decimated, y'all. The vehicle that hit it must be smelling like venison jerky (now with FUR!). I cannot fathom how there wasn't a dead CAR on the side of the road alongside the deer. I know from personal experience what a deer can do to a car, and if a car hit that deer, then that car should have been lying in a ditch not far from that deer.

But, no car.

Maybe it was a semi what as did the hitting. Really though, don't you think a deer could SEE a semi and get out of its way?

I'm thinking that maybe deer aren't so smart. Certainly this one wasn't.


There was also a woodchuck-ish thing in the road. Nice pelt. Almost whole. In WAY better shape than that deer. No chunks.


November mocks me with the temps in the 70's and the sunny sky. November wants me to go outside and play. November is taking my focus and streeeeeetching it out like Silly Putty so that the to-do lists get fuzzy and plans get put off. November wants me to walk around in fallen leaves, warm my face in the low-slung sun, breathe the afternoon, feel the change in season, luxuriate in the glow of vibrant trees and golden light. November wants me out there with it, instead of in here without it.

I think I'll go.

Just as soon as I'm done with this report.

Because y'all? Today I'm being productive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh, the shame, the horror

I've been tagged to participate in some soul-baring by my buddy Utenzi, and because I'm up to my sizeable ass in work, there's no better time to take a break than NOW to write a post.

What? Isn't that the way everyone does it?

No matter, because it how I'm doing it. Hey - remember those "cute" sayings back in the day that went something like "musicians do it with rhythm" or "carpenters do it with wood'? Yes? We all thought we were so very very clever. Well, I'm having a brain blast back to that day, and I have to say that a procrastination "do it" would be kind of funny, like

"procrastinators do it....later."

Heh. I might just wear a baseball tee emblazoned with a shiny iron-on sticker of that saying. It would be both a fashion statement and a life statement. How divine.

Ennyhow, here's the meme-y thing, which is all about me baring my soul to y'all. Yep! It's one of THOSE things. Heaven help you all if you choose to read it, because I might just be going into TMI territory again (hey Rick, be careful).


Yeah, there are rules:

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player list 6 facts/habits/secrets about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Here we go!

1) You're never really clean until your ears are swabbed out.

2) I hate the way cat pee smells, but I love the way boxwood smells.

3) Having two kids is great, but I would have had many more if they weren't so daggone expensive.

4) As a result of those 2 kids, I have a tremendously gigantic and hideous varicose vein in my left leg. Come next Spring, I won't anymore. When I was pregnant with Thing 2, the doctor informed me that I had varicose veins in my vagina. I could have lived the rest of my life without that knowledge. Really.

5) There's a tiny ring of yellow around my pupils. I'm very keen on that. Thing 1 has the same thing, only his yellow ring is wider. That boy has some gorgeous eyes.

6) My baby toes are so small as to almost vestigial. Seriously. The toenails are about the size of a grain of rice, and the whole toe is only about a half an inch long. My brothers used to call me "Flintstone Feet" because of this whole stubby toe thing.

There! 6 facts/habits/secrets. I hope y'all feel better for knowing them, because I sure do feel better for telling you them. Yes, it's good for people to know about what they can expect to see if ever they have a chance to look into my va-jay-jay. Or eyes.

Hey - as for the tagging, here we go!

Riley (well, it's really Jess, but the whole R thing was too good to not maintain)
Red Shoe

Have a sooper day y'all. I'm out.

Monday, November 12, 2007


cash advance

Kick me again, life, why don't you?

Here's a little tidbit about my ohsopersonal life:

Apparently I'm not done with this whole menopause thing.


There I was, so serenely sailing through this period (hee!) of adjustment to this period (whee!) of hormonal stability and interesting skin changes, when BAM! Here comes another uterine sputter.


It's been MONTHS, y'all.

It's gotten so I don't even KNOW when "something" is going to happen, and I got very quickly out of the habit of carrying around emergency supplies, and got very quickly used to LOVING the freedom from all that folderol, but NoooOOOOooo! Here comes the folderol again.

You know what? I've had 34 years of this crap. You'd think Auntie Flo would know by now that after 34 years of not ONCE being invited over to my place, she's leave me the hell alone. Auntie Flo, it would appear, is maybe not so much with the waiting for an invitation. She's persistent, I have to give her that. Still, can't she take a hint? Or maybe 34 freaking YEARS worth of hints?

I had forgotten what bloating was like, and didn't miss it.

I had forgotten what the backache was like, and didn't miss it.

I had forgotten what the maintenance was like, and for SURE didn't miss it.

And yes, I'd forgotten what the gastrointestinal side effects of Auntie Flo's visits were like, and most certainly didn't miss wondering how a dog had gotten into my house and farted the place up....

(boys? you do NOT want to question too deeply here. I'll just bet though that the girls know what I'm talking about)

The real kicker? The real kicker is the sensitivity to alcohol that comes with the advent of each visit from my dumbass Auntie Flo. One drink and I'm loopy? Pshaw, that's crazy talk! Kuh-ray-zee!! And yet, so true. It's the harbinger of all the good things to come, if by "good" you mean crampy achy bitchy bloaty things.

Crap crap crappity crap crap.

Not even my daily dose of liquor can save me.

Yeah, kick me again. It would beat the hell out of the backache.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm thinking about moving

This is another disjointed post, because there is still much to do at work, and not enough time to do it. I was up at 4:45 this morning trying to finish off some stuff to send back out for review in order to get a document done by this morning so the client could file it and get their stuff done on time, but come to find out that the client now has changes that they need to wait for from someone else, and so Monday is the new deadline.

Sure coulda used that extra 90 minutes' sleep. Or used that time spent on something else, like the two new projects, the archiving, the training of folks who are replacing me, the cleaning out of my office, the paying of bills, etc.

Instead, I'm posting. Priorities, people!


I love me some Sitemeter, I really do. Sitemeter is a gift, an addiction, a curse, and a hobby.

It tells me who's coming in from where, how long they stay, where they go from here, and if they come back. It tells me where they LIVE, for Pete's sake, and what Internet provider they work for, what system they're using!

It also tells me that more people come to NAY on WEDNESDAY than any other day of the week.

Wednesday? HUMP day? The traffic in Fridays stinks, and Fridays have historically been the day into which I actually pour some effort! Fridays are headline days! There's an actual attempt at humor! Gah!

This tells me something else. Well, maybe TWO things. Number 1 would be that nobody cares about Friday headlines (and really, why should they?). Number 2 would be that lots of people come here to read on Wednesdays ONLY.

Which leads me to a tiny conundrum: do I continue to do headlines, becaus they're kinda fun and I love me some snark and sometimes think I'm the funniest person evar, but do them on Wednesday; or, do I stop doing headlines altogether? One option would have me putting MORE time and effort into a post, because it would be going out to more people (that crazy Wednesday crowd!) which means that I would need to make my output funnier (or, just funny); the other option would see me canning that particular brand of post altogether.

I just don't know which one is the right side of the fence to fall over.


In case you're curious - a LOT of people are still looking for pictures of Lucille Ball, and they wind up at this site as a result. I continue to be amazed.

Oh, and Beefeater pics are big too.


Ladies, how in the heck do you keep purses from sliding off your shoulders? I have one purse. ONE. I don't like it, because it doesn't stay on my shoulder.

This is why I carry the world's ugliest bright pink backpack with me almost everywhere. It fits stuff, and it doesn't slide off.

Still, I'd like to know how y'all manage to keep shoulder-strap purses from sliding off the shoulder they were designed to hang onto. Am I missing some crucial part of purse-preparedness? Is there purse tape, much like (I've just found out) there' s "boob tape"? If so, where do I get it? Does it stain my clothing? How much does it cost? How much do you use?

Clearly, there are stunning gaps in my girliness. Shoulder purse protocol is one of them.


Yes, I just said boob tape.


That's the thought I'm leaving you with today, and throughout the weekend. May your days be merry and bright, and I'll see you back here Monday. Remember, even though Monday is a day off for some of us, Veteran's Day is Sunday. A salute to all our veterans is in order - so find one and say thanks!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Zing! Just like that.

Jiminy crackheads y'all! I'm mostly better! The ick has decided to flee, which is good, because catching a disease that mostly affects goldfish was not a proper way to be sick.

Heh - the weak humor is back, so I must be feeling better.

Now, to rid myself of the lingering embarrassment of the voices in my head...


2.5-hour midafternoon naps ROCK.

Waking up to 20 or so e-mails from work, and the ultra-complicated WHITE HOT MONKEY RUSH job that blew into a smithereen of bits and pieces that I now have 4 hours to pull together was not so much with the rocking.

Anybody wanna lend a hand? Anyone?



My older brother went to a college that has a turkey as its mascot. Let that sink in a sec...

OK, so last night, in my dream state, I dreamt (dreamed) that I was visiting him at his dorm in said college, and the hallways were absolutely LINED with metal shelves stocked to the brim with cans of soup, and Ramen (FSM-ism must have been a popular religion, I'm guessing), and crackers and all kinds of "college food."

And it was all free. Just a little bonus for attending a school with a turkey as its mascot.



That bit of the dream was after I dreamt of snowshoeing through slushy woods, showering fully clothed, watching a quadro (the natural progression from duo and trio, yes?) of Sino-European tourists jump out a 7th-story window into a dumpster full of trash (perhaps they could find the elevator? or that's how they do it back home?), and talking with my Dad, who was straightening up the room those tourists had just vacated because "honey, they just left it such a mess."

And there was knee-boarding, a mange-infested dog, a guitarist singing Christian songs who FOUND the dog and was keeping her and her puppy in the dorm room with my brother, shower controls in the living room of my 2-room hotel suite (which had no real doors), mismatched furniture in said hotel rooms, and a former colleague that claimed that one of my friends once thought he was gay, but only for a couple of days. Apparently, their makeout session in the back of a van on the way home from a gig convinced him that he was not, even though they didn't go "all the way." Her hair looked great.

So, yeah. Parse THAT, oh ye who can, for I cannot.


It's going to be a very very busy day folks. Much to do. Once I get this tangled mess of a project out, I have two more WHMR projects to start on. And finish before I leave this job in 2.5 weeks.

Sure, I can do that.


Oh, and a QotD for y'all! What do you want for Christmas (or other religiously significant holiday that you choose to observe) that you're secretly kind of afraid to ask for or get for yourself?

For the record, I'd like a new teevee. Seems like a frivolity, but that 19-inch sucker I've got tucked into an armoire in my LR just ain't cutting it. I can't clearly see all the glory that is the "after" on all those HGTV shows from all the way across the room. Oh, the horror.

How 'bout YOU?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

'Snot a pretty thing

Who turned on the freaking FAUCET IN MY HEAD?

Amongst the glory that is fall in North Carolina, an "ick" has snuck in. This ick is, to all appareances, the mucus-producing kind.


I can hear my own heartbeat in my ears. Sputum production is waaaay up, vision is blurry, throat is the variety of scratchy that not even a lovely warm cuppa joe can soothe, and the brain is being stomped on by some variety of really pissed-off little multi-legged critter.

So, no post today, except for me whining about feeling icky.

Oh, and perhaps to moan about the work I still need to do, in an ASAP manner. It's a darn good thing I don't ACTUALLY shuffle paper for a living (I'm more an electron wrangler), or else them thar papers'd be slightly damp on their return to their rightful owner. Damp with the sweat of my brow, yes, but damp also from the astounding fluidic output of my cranial region...


Y'all go on and have a better day than I'm having...mmkay?

See you back here tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Started this post at that time. Therefore, I am happy.


(Rampant use of quotation marks ahead. You have been warned)

The trees changed color last night. No lie, y'all. Yesterday there wasn't much uh nuthin', and today there are glorious fall colors bedecking the woodses around here. I thought about taking a picture of it as I driving into work, but because I was driving I thought better of it. Yay for being responsible!

Also, it was cloudy.

Alas, no rain.

Or is it alack?

A little more research on this point reveals that the definitions for these words are almost exactly the same. So why does "Alak, no rain" sound so odd?

(AND, as a total aside, why don't we say "Alad, no rain"? Is the "las," which can reasonably be expected to be a diminutive of "lass," meaning "girl," be taken to be laden with sorrow, and so much so in fact that the extra "s" can be lopped off the back end and still connote an atmosphere of regret? Why "las" and not "lad"? Look - the "lad" doesn't have to be truncated one tiny little bit to fit into the 4-letter scheme we got working here, and I would submit that young males are as capable of engendering regret in the hearts of their forebears as young females are, so why NOT "alad"? And hey! Why should it be that "alad" is the beginning of the name of a great youthful boy adventurer and there are no princesses or girl pirates with a name like "Alassin"? Huh? Why IS that?

These, in case you did not know, are the kinds of thinks I think when I'm being ornery.)

Bottom line here is this: Little-used words get lonely, people. We need to bring them out, dust them off, use them like the tools they are, and put 'em on a near shelf to use again soon. Words like that sort of thing., honestly, they do!

So today, I would ask you to use the word "alak" more than once when you are experiencing the need to utter a phrase that is suffused with the aura of a sigh. Or maybe use it as a cuss word, that would work too!

To wit:

"Alak! My alaking engine caught fire!"

"Alak you, you alaking alaker!"

"That alaking idiot cut me the alak off in traffic!"

You know, like that.

Let me know how that works for ya, mmkay?


I'm out. Gotta go do work more than usual to prepare to switch jobs in three weeks. It's time to see just how much I can get done in that time to catch up on all the stuff I haven't been doing in the last 2 years.

Have a good one!

(Ended this post at 11:28. 17 minutes per post - that's not wasting time y'all! Woot!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hey Monday!

The other day I watched a blind man try to light a cigarette in the wind. I thought about trying to help him, but then didn't know how I could 1) broach that topic and 2) do any better than he was doing.

I do believe I've got me a new simile for frustration though.


Saturday was the Royall Mills Centennial Celebration in ye old Wake Foreste. The Tiny House was on display, as were 13 other houses in the village. I told folks coming through the door that the Tiny House was the "before" to all the other "afters," because after reading all the descriptions of the other places I realized that the TH was the only house on the tour that had NOT been extensively renovated.

Ah well.

My buddy Oldfriend came down to participate in the festivities, and we would have gone to the "opening ceremonies" and the pot-luck lunch, but being as how we were up until 3 a.m. that morning doing our best to kill a very large bottle of Jim Beam, we weren't quite up to the task. At least we didn't try to dye our hair this time...

If I'm correct in my estimation, there were at least 100 people who traipsed through the TH. Some were neighbors (HI!), but most were "interested parties," and at least one was from as far away as Los Angeles. Oldfriend and I switched shifts acting as tour guides at the TH through the afternoon so that we could each get out and get a gander at the other houses in the neighborhood. It was a sublimely gorgeous day for a bit of gawkery, with temps in the 60s and a sunny blue sky.

One of the folks who came through my house was a very old, very tiny woman, who announced to me that I am living in her mother's house. Miss Dixon went on and on about how my table was right where her Mama's used to be, and how her Mama used to bake bread in the corner of the kitchen where my desk now stands, and how in my bedroom her Mama had a big iron bed for herself and a smaller bed for the grandchildren (because there were always grandchildren around, it seems). I met people who used to play in my house when they were children, and told me stories about the neighborhood as it was back then. There were people there who knew the TH when it was full of family, full of bustle and children's voices, full of the smell of baking bread and the business of generations gethering in one place, full of screen doors banging and card games and calls for supper and men walking home from work at the mill, and I could almost hear the Tiny House sigh in pleasure to have the familiar souls of those it had known before come through the front door again. My Tiny House has a rich past; it is my intention to honor that past and ensure its survival long into the future.

Anyhow, I managed to get to about half the places in my 2-hour shift, and was mightily impressed by several places that had been totally reno'ed. I now know that there are lovely beadboard ceilings in the TH somewhere above the newish plaster ones that were put in in the 70s. There are lovely beadboard walls somewhere under the layers of "whatever" that were put on in throughout the last century. There are lovely pine floors somewhere under the layers of paint and lino that have been laid sometime in the last 80 years or so. I know there are, because I saw them in other houses just like mine. Whether or not these jewels will ever be uncovered is a question of time and money.

Floors first, because I suspect the dropped ceilings and extra layers of walls serve an insulating function that I do not want to lose just yet. Winters in NC are temperate, but not so temperate that I care to experience them without an R28 barrier between me and them.


Do you ever have big plans for a day, and then just let ALL of them slip in favor of doing whatever the heck you want to?

That was my Sunday afternoon (well, except for the part where I thought I'd lost the banner to this here website, but Tracy Lynn talked me down out of that partcular branch of the crazy tree, thank goodness. Thanks TL!), and it was at once a trifle disconcerting and very very sweet.

There's always tomorrow to wash dishes and plant flowers and catch up on work, right?


Hope your day is going swimmingly. I'm out!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Geekin' to the stars

Dudes - behold, a comet getting its tail ripped off by a solar coronal mass ejection.

Utterly fascinating. Don't even TRY to tell me it's not.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The one in which I tried to do headlines, but Yahoo wasn't helping me out, so I had to do something else

I'd love to see the URL for the permalink to this post....that's one long title right up there, people.

As alluded to therein, the headlines over at Yahoo, which is my normal site for badly-written headlines, are actually well written today. Bah, BUMHUG! There's almost nothing to mock, and, truth be told, I'm not in a mocking kind of mood today. I'm just not firing on all the humour cylinders (and before you shout out "are you EVER?" I would caution against doing so, for not only am I not in a funny mood, really, today, I am also maybe a little crabby and might pop you one in the face if you engage in heckling. Getting popped ain't all it's cracked up to be. I am just saying, is all.)

"Heckle" is a funny word though. Look at it! Heckle, heckle, heckle. Jekyll. Jeckle. Hyde. Dr. Jeckle and Mr Hyde! That's a pretty good idea for a children's cartoon, isn't it? A raucous wisecracking crow engages in riotous antics during the day, and at night drinks a mysterious potion (that might or might not be slightly steaming in a foggy manner) and turns into a monstrous shambling wreck of a human who is, not surprisingly, bent on mayhem and the possible destruction of all things good in this world.

(pretend that the pictures I wanted to put in here of the ravening pair and the ravishing duo actually were uploaded, and that the mathematical formula I was going to ascribe to the magical combination of the two of them is in place, and that you laugh softly at my whimsical sense of humour. You can do that, right? Thank you)

Who WOULDN'T want to watch that, I ask?

OK, so it's not one of my best ideas, I'll admit, but it does smack of stream-of-consciousness, which is a fine way to live a life, insofar as it absolves one of having to create long-term memories or to accept responsibility for one's own actions. Live off the top of your head, I say - live right on top of the curve of reality, soak up the full impact of life like the little rainbow of happiness that you are! BE the rainbow!

Sigh. I sure wish the headlines were better. This rambling on is tiring. Not much less tiring though than the dream I had in which I was at HS Truman's (though, really? it could also have been FDR's) house and he and several young children were
sitting around the piano singing a slightly bawdy song, which I thought was inapproriate, so I pitched in with the "Ma-na-ma-na" song, which was a lovely counterpoint to the ditty they were trilling which, tangentially, involved "little Alice and her pet constrictor," after which time all the children in their white cotton dresses and summer suits began marching around the first floor of the home, up and over the wide first step of the dark wooden staircase that led up to a dark (why dark?) second floor. "Ma-na'ma-na" rang through the high-ceilinged rooms, accompanied by the former President's piano meanderings. The sun streamed in through the double french doors, the sea air flounced the white curtains at the windows, and I noticed a small transparent spider crawling up the front of my black I woke up.

You know what? My brain just ain' innit today. Whyn't y'all go over to Wordnerd's place for a good recipe that's guaranteed to leave you tummy happy and your arteries hatin' you, or head on over to Tammie's for one of the funniest entries I've read in a long time. As bonus for all y'all who might be hesitating - it's about BOOBS.

Is it time to start drankin' yet? Please God, let it be 5 o'clock already.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

October Wordsmiths

For the October Challenge, my offering.

Things The Risen Should Know

Dust spun through the air in the darkness, settling on an empty shroud and the desiccated bones of the unfortunate unrisen. The deep silence of the hall of the dead was darker than the absence of light. So dry, so black, so absent of sensation, that Mulganth thought he’d go mad.

Mulganth had awakened from a bright place into this hell of pitch darkness some time ago. How long he couldn’t tell, for no sun rose and set to signify time. No pangs of hunger clenched at his belly. Mulganth suspected that his belly was somewhere in a jar anyhow. His head felt stuffed with straw, and probably was. How he was getting around was a confusing line of thought that Mulganth wasn’t prepared to follow; it was bad enough to be alone in the dark without thinking about where his organs might be.

Being risen again has its drawbacks, the first of which is to figure out a way to prove that one is. No light to see by, and the rows of coffins in the tomb muffled sound. The wrappings of long-dead ancestors drank up sounds, deadening sense of direction. He was blinded in more ways than one, and wished that he’d never come back from the light-filled halls of Tui-in, where the virgins had been feeding him sacknot nuts and offering him wine in cups of jade..

That had been lovely. This was not.

He’d tried numerous times to go back to sleep, to grasp at the straws of the dream he’d been living; each attempt had failed. Instead of sleeping, and to fill the time between bouts of wrenching sadness, Mulganth explored the tomb by touch. He’d come on the idea of trailing out shreds of his own shroud behind him, tying them to the stiff toes of his bunkmates, a sort of web of discovery, a marking of paths sought and rejected. From time to time he thought he smelled light, tasted sand, and so wound out more cloth behind him in his search for a way out.

The shroud was being used fast as Mulganth’s search took him ever farther from his resting place. He was desperate for light, for air, for a taste of palan and the touch of a woman. He didn’t even care if she was a virgin or not.

Mulganth would have been able to hear his own labored breath, if he had lungs. He worked in silence, winding out the last bits of fabric behind him, pushing on the earthen walls, praying for release.

His finger broke through the wall into air. There was light! Mulganth scrabbled madly at the dirt, casting off the last of his shroud. He burst forth from his grave into a blue dawn. Freedom, sweet freedom!

The first rays of sun touched his grateful face. Mulganth screamed.

Being risen again has its drawbacks; the second of which is a deadly allergy to sunlight, for which the only a proper protection is a burial shroud.