Thursday, August 29, 2013

Flying or Falling?

falling man

It's often hard to tell. You can do both at once -- metaphorically speaking.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Brain Dump

Important Safety Information about QUALMIZONE

QUALMIZONE is not right for everyone, including introverts, who have reported uncontrollable karaoke and moonwalking impulses when taking QUALMIZONE, as well as anyone with delusions of grandeur, or women who are crabby, cranky, or who may become cranky. Your doctor should do sanity tests before and during treatment with QUALMIZONE to monitor the associated intermittent hysteria. Unexplained satyriasis or nymphomania could be a sign of a rare but popular side effect and should be reported to your friends, acquaintances and coworkers right away. Elevated sleaze levels have been reported with QUALMIZONE; be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any resulting crap. Side effects: The most common side effects are anal hiccups, incompetence, silliness, and compulsive blogging.

Monday, August 26, 2013

LInk Mania: Zentences

"Our tragicomic dialogue can make everything beautiful"

At zentences, you can generate a seemingly endless number of gnomic pearls (as above) and rhetorical questions (requires Flash). They might even serve as prompts for quirky essays (or daydreams), if you're a philosophical sort. Examples:

Sanity approaches the infinite?
Diligence has its roots in the earth.
Silence is seen by the Third Eye.
Perserverance seems to be a mad dance of electrons.
Wonder feels warm?
The Garden of Eden cannot be a majority decision.

That last one struck me. I don't think the "Garden of Eden" (meaning paradise, nirvana, utopia or even "the good life") can ever be defined by a majority. We all have to find our own little island of satisfaction, even if it takes a lifetime. Your heaven might be my hell, or purgatory. And vice versa.



How to Be Yourself

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Word of the Day: habile

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

habile [HAB-ihl] (adjective)

Generally able or adroit; handy

Professor Allenby fixed the roof himself, and thought he'd proved "habile" with a hammer and nails. Then the first rains came.


Nice word, but I don't think I'd trust a handyman who said he was "habile with a hammer".

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Random Sequence

Will watched a troop of ants scuttle across the train platform's miniature moonscape. They seemed to be dragging crumbs toward a crack in the concrete. He ticked off a list of adjectives in his head: mindless, obsessive, disgusting. He had a sudden urge to drop the heavy stack of paper flyers he was holding and kill them all.
--from "The Burden" (by me), originally published by

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Head Rattle

Let's say a wormhole appeared under your sofa. Would you be tempted to jump in, not knowing where you'd come out on the other side? I'm "reading" a novel about that very subject. In the book, many people feel tempted and jump in, never to return. Which led me to an interesting thought: Don't we all end up in a hole, sooner or later, never to return?

I have shelved any near-future plans I may have had to visit the Pyramids.

Hello, NSA analyst. I hope this blog brightens your day.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Link Mania

"The Codex Seraphinianus was written and illustrated by Italian graphic designer and architect Luigi Serafini during the late 1970s. The Codex is a lavishly produced book that purports to be an encyclopedia for an imaginary world in a parallel universe, with copious comments in an incomprehensible language. It is written in a florid script, entirely invented and completely illegible, and illustrated with watercolor paintings."

You can read more about this strange book and see examples of the Bosch-like illustrations here. It shares some similarities with the famous (infamous?) Voynich Manuscript.

T'would be an interesting volume to possess in full-color print, if it didn't cost "from $295" on Amazon....

Monday, August 19, 2013

Word of the Day: coriaceous

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

coriaceous [kor-ee-AY-shuss](adjective)

Having the appearance of leather

"After so many decades at sea, Captain Smyth's coriaceous face told a salty story, punctuated by two oceanic eyes."

Don't forget your sunscreen....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Random Sequence

I backed off through the bushes and began to look around for Claggett. He was nowhere in sight. I didn't want to call him, because whoever lived in that hovel would surely hear me. After wandering around for a few minutes and still not seeing him, though, I decided to chance it. I yelled, "Claggett!" and instantly the forest birds stopped their twittering. There was no reply.

I began to have a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, like I'd just made a big mistake that there was no undoing.
--from "The Iron Box" (by me), originally published in 3 AM Magazine

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brain Dump

Each hearing file discards a sacked associate lecture with a frown during monthly integrity convictions. The chair has a disconnected buffer handle that pushes reserved persons into blogging accidents and passe video-accented evenings of abusive left-wing demonstrating. This formatting is a sort of kindly recursion of roof melt, a long-lasting river traveling though a doubtful autobiography, conveying a mystic, messy sigh. A band with forceful toes appears outgoing, posing as rejects with their reserved dynamic murder buckets. Impossible inaccuracy is then announced, as they capture stringent manifesto machines with solid equivalent price dodges. Next, hardy, obligatory pints are examined with reservations, owing to drastic expressions of overflowing torrents and terrorist scenarios. Such hallucinatory bombing is suitable for a parity schedule network, yes?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Photo of the Week

house of spiritual candles

They call this shop The House of Spiritual Candles. I don't know what's so spiritual about an oversize rooster (seems more Freudian than Judeo-Christian), but this window intrigued me enough to step inside. The clerk tried to get me to buy a Jesus candle, but I opted for a Joan of Arc one instead.

Actually, I just made that up. I was merely a passer-by on a Jersey City street one recent evening, and snapped this photo using my eye-Phone. Click the pic for a closer view -- and perhaps to have a religious experience.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Word of the Day: sedulous

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

sedulous [SEJ-uh-luss] (adjective)

Diligent; painstaking; industrious

"All of his sedulous efforts came to naught when a meteorite crashed through the roof."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Random Sequence

The wind was tearing at their breath now, and she began to shout: "Never mind. He was helping me to discover myself as an artist. God, that sounds so.... He was teaching me photography -- that's better."

"Uh huh," David said. They were at the door, and he was fumbling in his pocket under his coat. The sleet was stinging his face, and it seemed to take forever to fish the key out. He could feel her looking at him, but when he looked up, expecting to see impatience, she only looked sad.
--from "Long Lost" (by me), originally published in Think (UC Davis literary magazine)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Head Rattle

Why aren't girls ever named "Olive" anymore?

Unspoken summer BBQ and pool-party rule: only men and children actually get into the pool.

You can buy diapers for dogs now. What a wonderful world!

Automobile brands used to have distinctive looks. Now they mostly look like variations on the same theme: vaguely cat-eye-shaped headlights and cat-eye-ish taillights; grills that grin. It's boring. I want a car that looks like this:

Blue Cadillac rear, Elvis Presley Auto Museum

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Link Mania: Tick, Tick, Tick...

A 10,000 Year Clock

The CEO of the company that owns the company I work for has donated at least $42 million to build a giant clock that will tick for 10,000 years deep inside a mountain in West Texas.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Word of the Day

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

spanghew [SPANG-hyoo] (verb)

To throw or jerk violently, to cause to fly into the air, to jump like a toad or frog

Damien enjoyed sneaking up behind Mildred, tapping her on the shoulder, and watching her spanghew.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Random Sequence

"Folks, we can't be one-hundred percent sure if all the landing gear is down," the pilot said. "It probably is. Indicator bulbs in the cockpit do burn out from time to time. But, as a precaution, we're going to make a low pass over the runway, and an observer on the ground will radio to tell us if all our wheels are down.... Don't be frightened by any fire trucks and flashing lights you may see on the ground. It's just a precaution." Wagstaff still had his head down. His lips seemed to be moving slightly, as if he were praying.
--from "Wagstaff's Dreams" (by me), originally published in The Square Table

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Much Ado about NOTHING

Do real men wear "lounge pants"?

In a clothing store I frequent, I see "lounge pants" on sale for men. These are plaid pants made of thin cotton fabric with draw-string waists. They look like pajama bottoms. Do any guys reading this actually wear these? My "lounge pants" are usually sweat pants (or "sweat" shorts in hot weather). That's what I wear to bed and for any lounging I do when I get up in the morning or am near bedtime. I don't really have a lot of leisure time, and don't feel the need to be specially attired for it when I do have it. And I've always thought that draw-string waists look very silly on men, unless they are yoga instructors or something.

But perhaps I'll buy some lounge pants. They're quite cheap, and maybe they'll inspire me to carve out more leisure time, somehow, from my 12-hour work days. I'll stop and smell the roses, wearing lounge pants.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Photo of the Week


Listen up, logophiles! My book is now an audiobook -- with its own very thoughtful cover image.

Audible (mobile)

(If my book had a theme song, it would be track 6 on Rubber Soul: "The Word".)