Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Songs About Buildings And Food

This is what is known in our household as "The Rig."

"The Rig" came about pretty much by accident and invention. Which is to say I had these things and I made this thing out of them. (This is all just for distraction. The real blog will take place shortly.) The Rig consists of a pizza pan, which we have not baked pizza on for many years, a layer of aluminium foil (to use the Brit verbiage), and a thin-wired cookie rack which we have, in recent memory, used for cooling cookies after baking. I use the rack for the preparation of various things, most recently the baking of frozen empanadas. Today I will be using it for toasting these things called "onion pockets," which are essentially croissants stuffed with broiled onions. These will then be topped with corned beef hash and fried eggs, and there will almost assuredly be a layer of cheese between the components. And, to top the whole affair off, I will be consuming this conflaboration with a pumpkin-flavored ale I picked up on a whim last week. I'm an adult. I can do whatever I want.

Which is what this entry is really about. I have accumulated a problem with a fellow blogger. I am not saying who, because you may or may not read said blogger. But . . . eventually, I have to conclude that some bloggers are lying liars who are telling lies. Sometimes it can be put down to groggy recollection, or dimmed memory, or what have you, but sometimes . . . In the first place, the D-12 Estes rocket engine, in my recollection, was a pretty big motor. So how big was this F-15 model? The only scale he mentioned was 1-24, so unless the things were being strapped under the wings . . . And also, what's this bullshit about not being able to wire the engines to fire at the same time? Electricity moves faster than you do, and I don't care if you count down from fifteen . . . And then, if you had them wired so you both punched your buttons at the same time so that the engines would fire simultanously, what's this crap about the second engine firing after the first engine expired. From the heat of the burning plastic model. Maybe he meant to refer to the ejection charge going off . . . No, wait, that already happened. Or, well, maybe that's what he meant by the second engine. Mmmmmmmmmm no. And what kind of rocket launcher has some kind of cockememe delay built in? Of course it could have been the official, endorsed Estes launcher, but the problem with those was that they were horribly cumbersome and hard to assemble, so I'd think that would've been a part of the story, but the rest of us-- I mean the entire rocketing rest of the world-- figured out pretty early on that the best way was just to wire the neg wire to the neg terminal of a 12 volt battery, then tap the pos wire on the pos terminal and VSHHHHH! Up it goes! And And if this cat was such a sterling model builder, why would he subject a favorite model to such behavior as would guarantee the destruction of the model? And, for the love of God, what kind of idiot looks at a plastic model airplane and thinks for a minute it's gonna fly??? Of course it's gonna cartwheel, of course it's gonna melt, of course there will be an explosion of some sort, and you could've saved all the time and energy by just dousing the goddamned thing with gasoline and tossing a match at it.

I could be wrong. Could be he's just mistaken.

I really hope no one reads this. To that end, I now present, re-printed in it's entirety, a long poem about workshopping poetry over the internet.

MacNeel, MacNeel, don't steal my automobile
I'll take you to a cafe, buy you a big fine meal
Your place, my place, souls left and right
scattered about the floor, the folded pages
hold their faces to the floor, rich souls, poor souls,
beggar souls, theives
hanging with the Christ, unintentionally blessed
and remembered, good souls, bad souls
real souls, naugahyde souls, somebody correct me
on the spelling of naugahyde, big souls, small souls
souls that have to be grown into, souls
that smell like a stepped on stink bug, souls
taken down a notch, lifted off the cross
rolled gold souls, lesser souls, souls
I meant to call yesterday, souls calling in old favors, souls
on ice, souls on fire, souls with broken hands, other people's souls
borrowed, but put carefully back where they were when the charade is done
souls that came in the back way
souls that came in from the cold
souls in heat
souls lost and souls found
soles wandering the befouled edens
of California and Pennsylvania, souls
come home and souls abroad, souls
looking for the right words
oh, now I've said too much
souls finding light of heart
of prozac memories and one night stands
souls finding dirt on window panes
looking through at scrapheap sonsabitches
and harlots of fame and fortune
souls looking to buy, sell or trade
the imagined for the unreal
the ideal for the damaged
the broke for the flush
the moved for the unmoveable
the physic for the metaphysic
the revelation for the typo, souls
yearing to breathe
with the huddled masses, yearning
for the wisdom
of the wretched outcast, souls
you get greedy for, want to pop into your mouth
like a small mouse, feel them struggle against your teeth
hope they won't bite your tongue, souls
forever in torment, forever free, I mean very free
and easy, souls
cut to length, overgrown, ripe with fruits
of deception, nude as birth, heavy
with anticipation, souls
as worn as denim, souls as right as rain, souls
as strange as oranges, souls as plump as grapes;
on the internet, no one knows you're a dog.

PS: Hey, it coulda been worse. I coulda called him on the magnifying dick mirror.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Fix

Jonesey stuck his head up above the turret, just enough to see what was going on, just so that his helmet was the most exposed thing about him, and then enough so that he could survey the entire area. “Clear!” He screamed into the intercom, alerting the gunner to the notion that he could start re-targeting, preparing for the next shot. He adjusted his nosepiece, and got a slightly clearer burst of Alert Red. It was sweet smelling, but still stung, even after a month of continuous use. But it sharpened his senses and clarified his vision, without the side effect of Red Blue, which was that it amplified pain so much that slightly wounded men had been known to take their own lives. (Not Jonesey, not his guys, they were too tough.) But still. This stuff beat the hell out of the old stuff.

“Jonesey!” the commander had barked, “We need to put the fix in!” Right, Jonesey thought, who else to put in the fix but us. We’re tough, me and my men, we been through it all, been to Hell and back, we’re a known quantity. We can put in the fix. The thing that happened with Alert Red was soldiers tended towards The Drift. Usually whole companies of them, or at least crews. It was situational. One by one, the soldiers would just zone out, stop thinking, stop acting, and it would go from one man to another. Not Jonesey, though, and not his men. The second he ever thought one of his guys might be Drifting, it was “SNAP OUT OF IT, MAN!” And the guys were back on task and sharper than ever.

So if ANYONE was the right pick to put in The Fix, it was them. Never mind that they’d been up for seventy-two hours, had already taken part in three assaults, two retreats, and the occupation of a city. They’d seen other crews get sloppy in their logistics, driving over cliffs and turning their machines over crossing sand dunes. Jones and his crew had stayed sharp and salty. And if there was a bottleneck at the front that had to be cleared before they could head towards the next assault, So be it.

They adjusted their Alert Red “pitchforks,” one prong inside the nostril, one outside, so that the stimulant came with a slight electrical charge to speed it into the bloodstream. Rules were rules: when you go off alert, get off the Alert, but now that they were going back into action, they went back on the Alert. It gave them an extra jolt of attention span as the Commander pointed out the obstructions to be blown away.

And now he saw them, clear as day. “FIRE!” he shouted, and the tank with a Drifting crew turned into a nuclear sunblast, spinning in infinity. For a moment, he actually thought he saw that face of a once drifting soldier, suddenly alert with tension.

Nah. Just the drug talking.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The World Outside My Window Now

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Am Not A Scientologist, But I'd Beat The Crap Out of Bud Cort*

So I guess I'm back. I was actually off starting last Tuesday, but I gave myself the rest of the week to recover. Hey, you score algebra tests for a month, see how you feel about it. (I also took the time to finish a short story and read up on some Russian history.) Also, I guess it is something of a special sin to have taken the time off during NaBloMoPoDoNaNaNaNaDoReMeFaSoLaTeDoMoFo-Mo-Month, whilst others are straining their very last nerves attempting to make sure they have an entry every single bleeding day. While, at the same time, others are trying to write a novel in a month. Meanwhile, the Writer's Guild has calleed a strike, with the result that there will be a slightly larger dearth of watchable television for awhile. The worst and most immediate effect of this actually is that the Daily Show has gone into re-runs, which on the one hand is a damned shame, but on the other hand, they go on hiatus often enough that the Daily show ceasing to be, well, daily, is far less of a shock to the system than it might be.

But, anyways, Tiff said "Couple weeks - here and gone dude.Come on back." Which is both true and fair enough. And I had meant to start again yesterday, but I really didn't have a subject in mind. (And I didn't see Tiff's chide until the end of the day, by which point I had done all the writing I would feel like doing for the day. And, by the way, the picture above is of an open-faced meatloaf sandwich, which is what I had for lunch last Friday.)
So this morning I stumbled upon a subject. Which is L. Ron Hubbard and the whole Scientology thing. Which pisses me off to no end. (This comes by way of reading that they have begun (or re-begun, or whatever) shooting on the film Valkerie in Germany, which had been postponed due to outrage over Tom Cruise being a loony-- er, Scientologist.) And, of course, as always, I started with Wikipedia, whose entry bears this definition:
"The Church of Scientology defines Scientology as "'the study of truth.' It comes from the Latin word 'scio' meaning 'knowing in the fullest sense of the word' and the Greek word 'logos' meaning 'study of.'""
Which I always look at and go "Huh. Hey, y'know what? That's EXACTLY what I believe in!" And then comes all the wacky alien-brain-theivery, anti-social-dynamic, alienation-as-aromatherapy crap that Hubbard and his ilk started dreaming up after claiming that they were on a search for the truth. (And the weirdest, the weirdest thing of all is that these folks claim that they don't take drugs. EVER.) And, AND, then, and follow me here: they claim that as a religion they have the right not to be @#$%ed with by anybody else, but claim they can @#$% with anyone else's beliefs because-- and this is the esssntial claim-- everyone else's beliefs are wrong. For Cripe's sake-- Cripe is the Messiah to which they pray for deliverence, mostly of pizza-- in the most holy name of Cripe, don't they know Jesus was an alien who brought us painful childbirth as a gift from Cthulu?!?! How ignorant can people be!?!?
Freakin' bastards. Stole my label. Makes me mad.
But I got better things to worry about.
Like my birthday, which is tomorrow, at such time as I will be 42 years old. Or so the chonological record shows. I don't feel 42. I certainly don't act 42. Oh, and hey, I almost forgot: back to Scientology. The Wikipedia entry also had this:

"Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.If you cannot edit this article and you wish to make a change, you can discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or create an account."
I tried to get that to show the way it does on the Wikipedia page, what with the cute little lock icon and all, but as is so often the case, the programming used to create Wikipedia doesn't seem to be compatable with, well, anything. But the gist of it is there. Ah, Wikipedia. You can try to have it both ways, but if yer gonna be open source, that means yer gonna be open source to wackos, wackos who get no better jollies than when they insert insulting copy into what are reputedly reliable sources.
*Why Bud Cort? I dunno. Why not Bud Cort. He probably has bodyguards who would stomp me into the asphalt, then walk off cradling Bud Cort in their burly, tattoo'd arms.

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