Friday, February 23, 2007


is still the new Brown.


So, to fix my ripped arm I’m on some moderately powerful drugs. Now when you hear moderately, powerful and drug in the same sentence you expect to hear the words, “and its side effects are…” (You might also hear the words Sky, Diamond and Goo Goo G'Joob, but those are not the kind that my doctor prescribes…At least during work hours. What she does during her off hours is entirely her business.) .

A pleasant surprise. I did not hear those words.

A less pleasant surprise. She handed me a folder. A folder of side effects, “Side Effects: A through M”, and another folder “Side Effects: M through Z”, and yet another, “Side Effects, 0 through 9, also including special symbols and punctuation marks excluding “!”.”, and finally, “Side Effects!”. That last folder was either exclaiming in surprise or in horror, or in horrified surprise.

“Side Effects! Yes, things that you could not imagine as side effects are in this folder. Bricks, Truffles, Cell Phones, Puppies, Promiscuous Capitalization, Sudden Stoppage of Life, Sphygmomanometers…”

“Wait, what was that last one?”





We weren’t quite done yet, “Side Effect…the Comic”, ”Side Effects the Song”

And that was it. They had me sign a waiver. Waivers make me nervous. You know that every waiver has a provision in there for your sudden untimely demise.

“I waive my right to the candy kept in the kitchen…and I completely understand that at any moment come to a sudden an untimely death and this sudden and untimely death is no fault of the creator of the waiver, even if he/she is directly responsible for the death, it is not their fault because I signed this waiver.”

Now, the moment I signed the waiver, they began to refer to me as the “Specimen”. It might just be me, but isn’t specimen a downgrade from patient? (Specimens are always patient, because most specimens are in a state of not being alive. Patients aren’t specimens all that often. I was the notable exception) Rarely do you see medical shows where the pretty doctors desperately try to save the specimen’s life. No, they dissect the specimen to save the patient’s life.

So, that was my naked ploy for sympathy. Did it work?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


So I finally unpacked.

A month after I returned to Jersey.

I’m not normally this tardy(Well I am tardy, but not this tardy.), but unpacking is a bitch. Packing is also a bitch, but Unpacking is a much larger bitch. It is to Packing what um…a large thing is to a much, much, much smaller thing. (When it comes to similes and metaphors and illustrative language, I have no peer.). Aha! Packing is to unpacking as a cabbage is to a large, angry anaconda.

(A large, angry Ninja anaconda! Anacondas are deadly, but imagine anacondas that could use shurikens and look cool dressed all in black from their heads to the tips of their tails. There would be no stopping them.

…rustle rustle…

Guard One (The newbie, first day on the job, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Full of enthusiasm and a can do attitude. Will die in the next minute, quite possibly with a shuriken horribly inserted where no shuriken should go): Hey what’s that sound?

Guard Two (Obviously a veteran of thirty years, a person who knows that not investigating that rustle is probably the wiser course of action, but who will allow himself to be swayed by his youthful comrade’s enthusiasm, and will accompany him into the darkness to investigate that rustle.)

Guard One: What the he…snick. (Snick being the sound that shurikens make. Well known fact.)

Guard Two (A strong silent chap, not given to verbosity or emotion.): Ninja Anaco…snick.

…rustle rustle…

Ninja Anacondas. Unstoppable. Like Mutant Toasters. Teenage Mutant Ninja Toasters.)

Unpacking is a bitch. But I finally needed to get around to it. The delicate balance, the circle of clothes, the System was becoming dangerously unbalanced. The cycle works like this: Dirty clothes dumped in the washer, clean clothes in the dryer and other clean clothes in the laundry hamper. The temptation to use a closed suitcase as a raised clothes platform was too strong to fight. That became a repository of clothes of indeterminate party affiliation. They might have been clean but ended up on the floor, or they might have been dirty and ended up in the dryer. (Clothes are ambulatory at night. Well known fact.) The indeterminateness would force me to wash them again, but there were already clothes in the washer which could not be emptied until the drier was emptied, and that was waiting on the hamper which was waiting on the washer and now the suitcase. Chaos. Mobs roamed the streets. Lawlessness. People using ”U” instead of “You”. The end of civilization as…Well, you get the point. Mildly unpleasant.

Unpacking is a bitch. I cranked the suitcase open. I began to remove stuff from it. And then I realized that a) Stuff that I had packed had disappeared into thin air. b) Stuff that I hadn’t packed was sitting in the suitcase. Grinning innocently. The kind of grin you hear when a Ninja Anaconda is stalks you.

Given the facts I could come to only one conclusion. Stuff in a suitcase comes alive when the suitcase is closed. Some stuff eats other stuff, (ergo the missing stuff), a predator prey relationship. And then once the hunter stuff has killed, and partially devoured its prey, it brings the remains back to the other stuff in the suitcase. The other stuff is suitably impressed. They dim the lights, put on a little Barry White and let nature take its course. And one transcontinental journey and a month later, the little spawn grin up at me as I stare down at them, wondering what the fuck happened. (The explanation of course is that the fuck happened.)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Temporal anomalies occur all the time. Sometimes they are interesting ones. For instance, the Terminator goes back in time to fight a rogue…um…shining blob of mercury. The coolest blob of mercury ever.

I have my own temporal anomaly. My past haircut is always the best haircut I ever had. My current haircut is always the worst haircut I’ve ever had. The only explanation for that is that some vast machine intelligence sends a Terminator into the past every four weeks or so. This relentless killing machine retroactively changes my haircut to be my best ever. And…I dunno. This doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere. The terminator haircut bit worked well I thought.

I was mistaken

I turn on my laptop mid flight. The little wireless signal light flickers on and off as my wireless card hunts desperately for a signal. Any signal. It’ll take what it can get. It isn’t proud. It has lost it’s last shred of dignity, as it sits on the sidewalk, desperately pan handling for a signal to satisfy its dreadful habit. One of these days it will catch a signal. Maybe the one that the machine intelligence uses to communicate with the Terminator. And then it will die in an orgasm of delight.

That last phrase sounded icky. Lets change it to, “And then it will die in an explosion of delight”…yeah…that was better.

I know absolutely nothing about the constellations in the sky. But when people ask me if I know what constellation it is that they are pointing at, I reply, without missing a beat, “The Big Dipper.” It doesn’t matter. Any constellation is the “Big Dipper.”

“But I don’t’ see it.”

“You’re looking at it from the wrong angle, and this is the wrong season.”

“Which one is that one, then?”

“That’s the Big Dipper.”


“Astronomers are not a very imaginative lot. It’s called the Big Dipper. What’s next? The Moderately Sized Spatula, the Hidden Saucepan? The Great Colander? You know those names make no senses in a constellational context. But the Big Dipper does. Think about it.”

And some point those last few lines became a dialog between me and an annoying whiny voice in my head. Not that I hear voices in my head. A hypothetical voice.

No voices here.