(no subject)

An anonymous sign taped to a stack of catering boxes in my dry storage area:

If you so much as consider moving these boxes and stealing the cart they’re on, I will hunt you down. No matter where you go, I will find you, and when I find you, you will be know such suffering as English does not have words to express. You will have to convey your anguish via crude drawings and interpretive dance. Which will be its own suffering. This plan works on several levels, all of them diabolical.

… where was I?

Oh yeah. Hands off my cart.
what I get up to in the bathroom

No, That's What Being a Magical Elf is All About

The events described herein took place some Friday a couple of weeks ago, maybe 3 October. I've been telling this story a lot recently because it tends to go over pretty well, and I had a dream about telling it last night -- though for some reason I said 'keta salmon' instead of 'Arctic char' in the dream; I instantly knew that was wrong but couldn't find the right term -- so now I'm telling you lot, because I haven't met my quota for this week. I don't think this is the right medium for it, or anyway, I haven't figured out how to make it work in this medium: this is droll, but, for example, when I told this story to my sister in person, she laughed so hard I was afraid she was going to drive us off the road.

We catered a large event recently, a funeral with some three hundred attendees. Among other things, they had ordered two poached salmon platters. These platters call for one whole salmon each, head, tail and all. I ordered them a couple of days early to give myself some contingency time, and to my not very great surprise the salmon arrived without heads or tails. Apparently the seafood warehouse was out of head-on salmon altogether. As a compromise, they offered to send us two head-off, tail-on salmon, and four fish-heads: two grouper and two arctic char.

Groupers have wide, fleshy, almost froglike heads, totally unlike the hard silvery heads of salmon. Arctic char are closely related to salmon and very similar in appearance and even flavor -- but for the purposes of the food industry, they run about half the size. So, our options were to court the anger of God with hideous mismatched Frankenfish, or to present the customer with fish visibly having only half the intelligence of normal salmon.

The actual solution to this problem was to send Underboss #1 down to the local fish market to buy a couple of salmon heads; we can't technically sell product from there, but no one was going to be actually eating the damn things, and we were backed into a corner. Meanwhile, my suggestions that we attach both bodies to a pig's head with an apple in the mouth, or put both char heads on a single body and tell the customer it was a good omen, went unacknowledged.
what I get up to in the bathroom

(no subject)

Squid's Boss (from phone): Who's handling audits tonight?
Squid: I don't know.
Boss: Why do I even keep you around?
Squid: I have an extremely dextrous tongue.
Boss: What? I -- you're sick! Don't say that kind of thing to me at work, you freaky bastard! (hangs up)

Underboss #2: Do you know where I can find a pencil sharpener?
Squid: No idea. Isn't that why we have pens?
Underboss #2: Are you any use at all?
Squid: ... funny, Boss asked me about that earlier too, but when I told him, he hung up on me.
Underboss #2: I'll use a pen. (hurries out of the room)
fuck you alien

(no subject)

The front hall of my building has an unpleasant smell lately, a bit like rotting vegetation and a bit like dog anal glands. It's not very intense, and it stops at the door of my apartment (probably due to air circulation; I have the windows open all the time in autumn but there's no circulation in the hall), so I don't care. I think it's from the trash cans in the basement, which have been pretty rank recently.

Some pair of giggling idiots who go up and down the stairs once or twice a day -- I assume one or more of them lives on one of the upper floors and not that, say, they just come here to exercise -- has taken to speculating as they pass my door that the smell is coming from here. I don't know why this is; maybe the smell stops when you take the next flight of stairs up. Maybe because I have a dog. Regardless, this drives me insane. Barring a set of unlikely circumstances, they know that the doors in this building stop sound only slightly better than tissue paper and that, if I'm home, I can hear them. The obvious solution to this problem is to wait silently on the landing and kick the door open when they pass, but my door opens inwards, so I may have to settle for taping a sharp note to it.

(no subject)

I have written -450 words since my last update on the subject. At this point a blank screen rewrite is incredibly dangerous, because if I'm not careful I'll wind up rewriting the same five hundred words until I'm too senile to remember where I was planning to go anyway, but I'm orders of magnitude happier with what I have now than with what I had then. I'm not sure even I would have kept reading. I have a better handle now on everything -- universe, characters, mechanics of what's happening in this scene -- and have figured out how to open with a scene in which, while what is going on is bizarre, the perspective character has done it a million times and finds it fairly boring, without instantly crashing and burning. (He'll start to find it more interesting when literal people with guns literally jump in through the window and shoot the place up. I'm concerned I'll create a delete-your-first-chapter problem, but this is only going to go on for another thousand words or so, and it contains a lot of information that would be impossible to deliver in an action scene and which the action scene would be uninterpretable without. And the delete-your-first-chapter problem is not one of my issues, in general. And I'm not defensive, so stop looking at me like that.)

The upshot is that the 502 words I have now -- squeezed out in fits and starts since last Saturday; I don't think the daily update thing is going to work for me anymore, given the state of my life -- are impossible to read. There's too much worldbuilding in too small a space, mostly delivered in the form of parenthetic phrases, such that by the time the end of the sentence arrives the reader has forgotten what the beginning was about. Also, the adjectives and adverbs are packed too closely together, and on my workaday prose, that doesn't feel lush, it feels purple. This bit will probably grow 50%-100% in revision. Terrifying. Still, much better.

Also, I have written possibly my most confusing-out-of-context sentence ever.

Scent of Water was approaching Wakefield, trailed by the other four members of its menage in ascending order of their ability to quickly disentangle themselves from its personality; Fiveness had hardly budged, but Nostalgia was practically on Water's heels.

Put that in your brain and smoke it.

The way the character dynamics are working out in this thing, it may very well fail the Bechdel Test, the Ledhceb Test and what I just named the Bedlech test via a completely random and innocent scrambling of letters, success conditions for which are:

  1. It must contain at least two male and/or female characters

  2. Who talk to each other

  3. About something other than a nongendered or genderqueer entity

I'm cheating, of course. As someone points out in the thread I linked to, the Bechdel test ceases to function in the presence of such characters. Nishimura seems to be the only one with a romantic subplot coupon -- Wakefield appears pretty much asexual and may be a virgin -- and is probably going to redeem it with the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, which would mean passing the Bedchel Test at least, but at this point I don't think the Mad Scientist or Nishimura's friend the male-identified revolting monster have anything to say to either each other or Wakefield that isn't about one of aforesaid women or one of several sexless creatures.

In other news, I am not to be trifled with while I'm recovering from a Ren Faire drunk:

oneironaut says, "Hmm. Cladistically speaking, birds are reptiles. I've never eaten one of your conventional scaly reptiles as far as I can recall, but when people talk about reptile meat I always get the impression that it's somehow different from mammal meat. Yet your grouse, a reptile, tastes like venison."
oneironaut says, "Conclusion: deer are reptiles."
Vinci the Magnificent says, "You're distracting me from my horrible movie, and making the roommate choke on her ice cream."
im in ur futuristic settin drawin ur art

I Think I Swallowed Some Elder God

Have changed the (tongue-in-cheek) scathing pop culture commentary tag to belated reviews because that's the only kind of review you should expect to see here: It's not unheard-of for me to see movies opening weekend, but I have to think about them for a long time before I'm ready to review them, and I operate well behind the curve on nearly all other sorts of media.

Collapse )


The Incredible Hulk opened today, so I did the obvious thing and went to see Iron Man again. There are problems with this film. It is still awesome; I begin to suspect, on the basis of the acting, that it has supplanted Spider-Man as the best of the recent crop of comic book films, and while X-Men will probably always be my favorite (as distinguished from the best), this one is a close second.

Collapse )

On the way out of the theater we passed a standing advertisement for another Downey film in which he is billed as 'Downey Jr.' and because I've been deeply immersed in the linguistiblagosphere recently this is fascinating to me. In my dialect, obviously, the Jr. is not part of his surname anymore than a Ph.D. would be (or is. I know essentially nothing about him), and does not fit next to the bare surnames of two other actors. Anyone have a dialect that disagrees with mine?

Tomorrow: Hulk. The run-up to this film has been surreal. I'm two or three Bacon degrees removed from Tim Roth, depending on how you count, in a way that occasionally results in me being forwarded little bottom-quoted notes from him with Deodato sketches attached. Above that is my father's girlfriend's friend's (I believe that's how it goes) clueless note about how my father might be interested, and above that is my father's keyboard-pounding fangasm, because he and I are very alike.
what I get up to in the bathroom

Once I Came up with the Country-Wide Monster Orgy Everything Fell into Place

Today I had the pleasure of struggling to write the first sentence because it's hard to put words together, instead of struggling to write the first sentence because I have no idea what the fuck is going on. Then I finished struggling with the sentence and wrote another 401 words, for a total today of 413.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, lilairen!

This is my strangest setting ever. I knew it was pretty weird, but only now that I'm trying to render parts of it in a format that is at least first-draft levels of accessible do I realize how very bizarre it actually is, in much the way that my habits seem only mildly awful and socially unacceptable until I try to explain them to someone else. This thing feels weird and foreign even to me, which is intriguing; usually things out of my own brain feel prosaic to me. It makes me worry that it's full of darlings, or possibly that I have a tumor.

(no subject)

I'm in the market for a(n English) term for the petals of a flower, collectively. I'm aware of corolla, but there are obvious problems with that; I'm hoping there's a term I've missed that bears a clear resemblance to foliage, plumage and pelage. I could just make one up by analogy, but what I'm coming up with is mostly appalling -- petallage is technically fine, but, well, I have my self-respect. Bractage is possibly acceptable,¹ but most people don't know bract. (Interestingly, it and petal are both from Latin words referring to metal plates. See also foliage. Anyone know how that happened?)

¹ Bracts are not petals, but neither are the things I need the term for. They're more like tentacles than they are like anything else, but no one calls them that; they also resemble leaves, feathers and, very slightly, fur, but the terms for all of those things give the wrong impression. Foliage, for example, says very strongly to me that I am dealing with something plantlike, which is not the case here.