Monday, March 27, 2006

real zoo experience

We see only the fluffy pretty stuff when we go to a zoo. I was thinking of all the other things that might be going on, maybe some new events to show a wider range of animal behavior than just pacing around and sleeping all day ...

How about:
- the meerkat petting zoo (ankle armor recommended, and count your fingers when done)
- hand feeding the porcupines (they don't actually shoot those quills, you know)
- limbo in a leech pond (get down, get funky)
- a wildcat hugging contest (they look like comfy pillows but it's more like hugging a cuisinart)
- elephant scat scavenger hunt (never know what you'll find)
- lorikeet halloween (they're not just noisy and hyperactive, they're also vampiric ... just hold out your arm & say your prayers)

Yeah. Something like that.


From a chat at the WAP with Andy F. 3/26/06

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

pop star & meltdown

Had a dream that I was someone else, some guy dating a pop star. She was pretty by day, but by about 2am she had melted down to a bubbling pink lump. There were gutters at the side of the bed to catch the goop. At the first scent of coffee in the morning, she would slurp back into shape, smile a big white smile, and blast through another action-packed day. Leaving me behind to face a completely ordinary nothingness.

Had a dream that I was crashing airplanes for fun.

Had a dream that I was building a forest out of a truck full of two-by-fours and a billion nails. My power tools spit out batteries like a machine gun spewing shells. I hadn't been able to read the assembly instructions, since they were written in Aramaic. In the end there was a sorry excuse for a forest and a mountain of dead batteries, leaking shiny green toxins into the ground. A swarm of disgruntled wind-up squirrels chased us off so they could wallow in their agony alone.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

time, numbers, whip

Time goes cruising by again. Editing a novel - I think I finally have the "perfect" ingredients. Mainly I wanted to shoot a few numbers in here, to let you know I haven't been doing nothing ...

Writing Summary: so far in 2006

Stories Written: 10
Stories Word Count: 3,955
Poems Written: 22
Poems Line Count: 495
Nonfiction Written: 0
Nonfiction Word Count: 0
Current Novel Revision: 102 pages

Submitted works: 45
Works accepted: 11
Rejections: 15
Still waiting: 17

Last updated: 3/17/06

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

video delusions

Video games ... what a weird market.

20% of them won't install.

Maybe 30% will install but won't run.

40% of the ones that actually run are repetitive and boring, or they're just like a game you already have.

And if you're really unlucky, you'll get a super-wonderful game that you get addicted to, and it ends up eating whole months of your life.

I used to love video games.

Now it seems best to leave them at the store, all shrinkwrapped and happy, where they can't get into my brain.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

down with power windows

As a long-time sci-fi writer, I used to write about all the wonderful gadgets we'd have someday. Now, everything comes out as deconstruction and "back to basics". The gadgets themselves are fine. I'm bothered by the way companies churn out junk and advertisers convince us we can't live without them.

We're surrounded by buttons, but we don't know what any of them really do.

Last time I bought a car I wanted regular roll-up windows, not the stupid electric windows that stop working when the car shuts off. I bet you can't find a new car with manual windows anymore, and that's lame, any way you look at it. Are we really too lazy to crank a handle? We let the machines take over, just like in the old sci-fi stories ... and now we wait to see what happens next.

BTW ...

Some extra fancy cars have electric windows that will still work when the engine is shut off. But that's a "feature" they can charge extra for. A bonehead remedy for that other convenience they used to charge extra for.

If your car ends up in a lake, you're supposed to exit through the windows because you can't open a door against the weight of the water. With the engine swamped, odds are you can't roll down the electric windows either, and the glass is supposed to be harder to shatter now, to protect you during accidents. Talk about drowning in our own solutions. Eek.

big words from tiny heads

I was talking with a friend, and the subject of "big words" came up. He had never heard of antidisestablishmentarianism ... for a long time it was the longest english word in the dictionary. Not counting self-propagating chemical names.

In a funny bout of tongue-twisters and bad etymology, we came up with these totally useless phrases:

Antiaccomplishmentdisciplinarian -
One of those parents who will smack their kids if they do anything out of the ordinary

Antiestonianditzplanetarium -
A place where anyone who's not from Estonia can go and watch an airhead talk about stars

And my favorite:
Antiestablishmentdiscoplanarian -
A little flatworm who hates to be told what to do, he just wants to dance.