Several times today I’ve removed my jacket while wearing earbuds. Some sort of static electrical charge is generated by the motion of my arms through the sleeves, and it goes right up the wires into my ears. Not a pleasant sensation; like the auditory version of chewing tinfoil on fillings. I wonder what the brain thinks of this. As I understand it, dreams come from the spurts of electricity generated during sleep; the brain gets all this juice, and tries to make sense of it by forming the jolts into plots and characters, grabbing whatever scenery and costumes are handy. Electricity from the outside just doesn’t have the same effect. Just as well, or there would be clubs where people hook up jumper-cable clips to their ears and have pedestrian visions in which they are late for a test for which they did not study.
I wonder if early humans in the cage had dreams that involved being unready for throwing a crude stone-tipped spear at a wooly mammoth. When I think of how the plots of my dreams use the innumerable details of modern life, I wonder what it was like to dream when you had very little raw material.
That vacation was a bad idea. Can’t get used to the idea of giving a single tin fig about anything, including the unlikelihood anyone would make a fig out of tin. But I use “fig” as a stand-in for the usual bit of scatology you find in that cliche. Or is it a metaphor? Or an axiom? I know it’s not a proverb. That’s one of the things that annoys me: when people say “I couldn’t give the proverbial tin fig,” or some such locution. Nine times out of ten there isn’t an proverb attached to the the figure of speech. Sometimes there’s an axiom, but no one ever says “I couldn’t give an axiomatic sauced gander,” or something like that.
I want to open a restaurant and serve Axiomatic Sauced Gander now.
Interesting: when you pinch someone’s butt, you goose them. When you look at it, you take a gander. Is the act of looking away leaving a gander? Well, as the axiom says, need a gander, take a ganger; have a gander, leave a gander.
No, I haven’t been hitting the Vicodin, but it’s tempting. I go back for the recapping of the tooth on Thursday; in the meantime, John Henry is driving the spike every time my teeth touch. I’m almost nervous to ask the dentist to recap the tooth, lest the camera swing over to that baldy campy guy in “Airplane.” “Well, first there was a gum, then there was some teething, and then the tooth came out, and then it was all happy until it got a cavity! And then it was sad, but Mr. Laughing Gas came along with his maaaagic balloon and everything was ducky.”
To continue our waterfowl theme.
One of those days where there just wasn’t enough celebrity idiocy to fill the blog beyond five posts. The Sheen schtick is thin and old, mostly because people are bored he doesn’t seem to be giving public displays of self-destruction on an hourly basis anymore. The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on, but the dogs bark, as the proverb has it. No, wait. The camels, having writ, bark at the caravan. No no. The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on, that’s it.
Do I have that finger quote right? Le googling . . . not exactly. Hey, it’s Omar Shazaam, the guy who wrote “Desiperado,” that poem the Eagles based an album on. He also wrote the The Rubiat, and here’s the line:
Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Willy-nilly? Not once, but twice? Well, he was a mathematician first, and poet second. The only line I knew growing up was “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” He was a Sufi, or Dervish. (Yes, they whirled.)
I bought another software bundle yesterday, because I love getting lots of programs that possibly duplicate programs I have already, but have new icons. One programs renames files, something I use for pictures. Another monitors network activity and throws up warning signs any time a program wants to sneak outside for a smoke; another suspends programs that aren’t being used at the moment, but nevertheless consume processing power. There’s Parallels for quick dips into Windows, which I like. But I was intrigued by Civilization 4. Never played any of the Civ games, and was always intrigued. Why sure, I’d love to build a civilization. I like sim games, provided I can build what I want. The “game” part of the experience, for me, is design, not tweaking tax rates so I can generate enough money to build a train station. Boring.
So I loaded up the game, chose the “Roman” option, called myself Lilecus, and sat back for some civ-building fun. I was presented with a screen that showed one blocky jaggy warrior-guy standing with a flag. Off to the side: his twin. I clicked on him, and he grunted some form of Latin. I clicked on the other guy, and some space was highlighted with pieces of bread and gold. I clicked here and there. I clicked on buttons and got some option-overload menus. Had no idea what to do.
At this point many Civ fans in the audience will be screaming no, no, it’s a great game! I have no doubt. Its fans are legion. But I could tell I had absolutely no time for this, and I just didn’t care.
This, however, is a different story.
This game I will play, even though it’s a console game.
Snow today: here’s another spiny floe that refuses to go down. I repeat: you brush up against these with a naked limb, and you bleed. They’re cactuses made of water.
This continues to interest me, year after year. It’s a holdover, a relic, something that once connected to the casual everyday use of classical motifs. Now nothing around it draws from the same source. But there it is.
Oh, man, I miss the novel. I’m sad it’s done. I start revisions next week, and will also return to #5 in the Mill City Quintet series. (Completion date: August 9. Mark my words.) If I’m serious about this series, this means I have to bang out 2, 3, and 4 in short order, which would be good if I’m serious about the self-publishing e-pub thing: people like series, and presenting the series in rapid succession would be a good thing. There’s also the pleasure of plotting out a five-book arc – AND including “Falling Up the Stairs” and its sequel as part of the cosmology of the stories. I mention this only because I’m standing at the kitchen island right now, around midnight, and this is when I usually write fiction; it seems odd not to making stuff up. Makes me itchy.
On the other hand: just got an email confirming a dinner coming up soon. Me and the guys from the Valli. All of whom are in the novel, and will be in the second and fourth. You can lament the dullness of the day, the grind, the drill, the duties, but there’s something wonderful to be said for getting together with friends and telling them they’re all in the book, and the book is good.
Writing the Valli novel was the smartest thing I’ve done this year. It refocussed everything. I am in possession of a big story. It has no vampires. There are no kings or werewolves. No mastermind capitalist behind the scenes pulls the strings. It’s not predicated on deep conspiracies that span decades.
New Comic Sins. Working on the Joe Ohio access issue; more tomorrow, and I appreciate your patience. See you naround!
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