Thursday, February 28, 2008

Candles for Men: Manterns Man Candles

Candle Power

Ah, the aroma of a ballpark ("fresh cut grass"), sawdust ("for the rugged handyman"), or the 4th of July ("gunpowder"). All of these manly scents can be yours with Candles for Men: Manterns Man Candles. They also offer candles that smell like beer, dirt, a baseball glove and a tennis-ball can. (I think I'll pass.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Going Down (short fiction)

Going Down

"Is that you, Ned?" Alan asked.

It sure looked like Ned, standing in the corner of the elevator: Ned with dark, dark sunglasses and a fedora. He didn't answer; he only smiled a little, with his lips closed.

"That is you, isn't it?"

Before the man could say anything, the elevator doors rumbled open and several people got on -- too many people. Alan was pressed against the control panel, where he tried not to touch any buttons, and Ned, or whoever it was, was jammed into the opposite corner. Alan could hardly see him behind an obese man in a business suit and an old woman wearing a parka. Ned, if that's who he was, wore a trench coat, which made him look, with the hat and glasses, like a secret agent.

Alan hadn't seen Ned in years, not since losing his job in the big shake up at Klax-a-Co. Ned had been the only decent guy there -- the only one who had protested, at least a little, when the knives had come out for Alan.

It was too awkward to continue talking to Ned (or pseudo Ned) with so many silent people standing between them. Alan would have felt foolish if it wasn't Ned, and if it was -- well, they could catch up when the elevator stopped.

It was an express between the 13th floor and the lobby, and Alan felt his stomach flutter as the car began its quick descent. It was similar to the feeling he'd had in his stomach a few minutes ago, when Dick, his boss, had yelled at him about that idiotic Masterson Report. He hadn't exactly yelled, Alan realized, now that he felt a bit more calm, but it had felt like he had.

The elevator slowed, making Alan feel for a moment as if he weighed an extra 50 pounds, and stopped. The doors rolled open. Sunlight from the glass-walled lobby poured in. Alan had to step aside as the crowd brushed past, and Ned managed to get off several seconds ahead of him. He scanned the lobby, but Ned had disappeared. He had a quick impression of him getting into a taxi outside the revolving doors, but he wasn't sure.

Was it Ned? Was he in trouble again? His head felt light, like a balloon. There was a couch along one wall of the lobby, and for the first time in the three years he had worked in this building, Alan sat down on it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Whether Report

Whether or Not Report

Today: Sunny. Highs in the lower 40s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.

With all the snow on the ground, temperatures in the 40s will undoubtedly result in slush -- an cold, gray substance that hesitates somewhere between liquid and solid. It's ambiguous. Ambiguity is fine in art but annoying on the sidewalks. If the past is any guide, the sun and (relatively) warm temperatures will tempt me to venture out with just my sneakers on, and then the slush will make me wish I'd worn my boots. This is puddle jumping weather.

Monday, February 11, 2008

surreal images at roadside scholar

Spare Me

Check out a series of surreal, minimalist watercolors by Canadian artist Marc Johns at roadside scholar. They are like mildly humorous passing thoughts captured on parchment. And they make me want to start doodling again.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Word of the Day: Boanthropy

Word of the Day

boanthropy (n)

A mental disorder; the belief that one is a cow or an ox.

"Tea will cure your lumbago and strengthen your frail and nervous constitution. It will enhance your virility and cause your you-know-what to grow. It prevents hangnails and may even aid in cases of boanthropy, the bizarre and often mistaken belief that one is a cow." --William I. Lengeman III,

I've never been much of a tea drinker. I used to drink green tea for a while, because of its supposed health benefits, but the awful taste got to me. There wasn't much I could do about it; "they" say if you add milk to green tea, it obliterates the anti-oxidants. Coffee contains anti-oxidants, too, just not as many. So I started drinking more coffee to make up for it. Ha.