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{Friday, October 31, 2003}

“Let’s see, no grass over 1.5 inches tall, yards must be edged exactly 2 inches below the surface of the sidewalk and 3” wide, no exposed garden hoses unless currently in use, no lawn tools or mowers in view unless currently in use. Dead patches of lawn must be repaired using sod, trees are to be properly trimmed, bushes are not permitted to extend within 2’ of sidewalks or driveways, houses are to be painted only with approved colors (see addendum), siding must be in pristine condition without rust or chips. Roofs are to be replaced every 5 years or more frequently if damaged.

No vehicles are permitted on the street or in the driveways that are more than 20 years old unless designated and licensed as an antique. No vehicle will display a bumper sticker criticizing the republican administration, their policies or actions or a state sanctioned religious organization.

No signage is permitted on personal or community property that criticizes the republican administration, their policies or actions or a state sanctioned religious organization. Only those signs that support the above organizations, sports teams and announce yard sales will be permitted. No vehicles are permitted on streets or in driveways that display logos or other business-related matters unless said companies are currently doing work on the homeowner’s premises.

Residents are not permitted to play loud music nor hold discussions that are audible beyond their own homes or property. Garbage cans are to be placed at the curbside within one hour of scheduled pick up and removed within four hours of pick up. Blah, blah, blah…nope, I don’t see anything in the Official Homeowners Association Covenant about building a 40’ wicker man in the back yard and setting in afire. Let’s do it!”

(so glad to be out of Texas and back to the left coast)

by Shawn 3:04 PM

Something Wicker This Way Comes

by MisterNihil 3:40 AM

{Thursday, October 30, 2003}

Count the number across... Looks like about 16. Calculate the number in one circular layer--that's pi*r^2. So, pi times (16 divided by 2 equals 8; 8 squared is) 64. Pi is about 3, so 64 times 3 is (60 times 3 is 180; plus 4 times 3 is 12, so) 192. Round up to 200 to take care of that .14159265358979 you ignored.

So, 200 in a disc.

How many discs? Count the number in one vertical column... Um, call it 25. Number in a disc times number of discs is (25 times 2 is 50; tack on two zeros for) 5000.

5000 is too neat a number, so scrawl 4986 on a small slip of paper and tuck it furtively into the festive box.

I never, ever win. For all that work, so many disappointments. I should just write my birthday or something. Hm, but 2276 is too small. Maybe Jon's birthday, then. 3571 sounds much more likely. Mom's would be way too high, with the October month and the two-digit day putting it into the hundred-thousands.

Or, I could simply walk away from the candy corn jar, with my curiosity unfulfilled but my dignity intact. I think I take this stuff too seriously.

by Sharon 6:03 PM


candy corn

by Fred 12:56 PM

{Wednesday, October 29, 2003}

It was supposed to be just a quick trip to the store. But the zombie attack quickly laid rest to that idea. It's not that I don't like zombies. They're fine, really. And heaven knows, some of my best friends are brain-eaters. It's just, whenever they gang up together and get it into what's left of their heads to attack, it's hard to get anything done. Even a simple trip to the corner store for milk and eggs becomes a hassle. The undead usually keep pretty much to themselves -- I've actually only spoken with the reanimated corpses of my friends Bob and Sarah through e-mail -- but every now and then I guess the hunger gets to be too much, or whatever's on TV that night is a repeat, and they go out looking for fresh brains. Which makes getting around in the city all but impossible. I spent almost fourteen hours barricaded in the Quickie Mart with three other people, fending off zombies. And, of course, the power went out -- doesn't it always? -- and the milk spoiled before I could get it home. I mean, it's one thing to go rampaging through the city, devouring human remains left and right, killing people in an unholy thirst for brains and blood, but some of us need milk in our morning coffee, you know? The living are people, too, you know.

Friggin' zombies.

by Fred 3:56 PM

a quick trip to the store

by Sharon 12:59 PM

{Tuesday, October 28, 2003}

In my garden is a deep hole. Beside the hole is a large pile of loose topsoil. And between the hole and the scattered dirt is one long, guilty face staring up at me, waiting for fire but silently begging forgiveness.

We adopted this demure fellow when he was four months old, and weighed just under forty pounds. The Humane Society assured us that he was unlikely to grow larger than sixty-five pounds, and was every bit as docile as his first few days seemed to indicate. A bottle of penicillin later, and our now-healthy puppy turned into a non-stop action furball!

Yes, we were naive. At eight months, ninety-five pounds, still growing, and holidays approaching, we begin realize just what we've commited of ourselves. Cough up the funds for cageless boarding, or suffer the trauma of a cross-country flight (twice)? Risk exacerbating the separation anxiety of an abused puppy, or terrorize the (much smaller) family pets on the east coast?

We don't have the answers yet. But we wouldn't trade our little bundle of joy for the world.

by Faith 11:40 PM

In my garden

by Shawn 11:55 AM

{Monday, October 27, 2003}

What I remember most is the feel of the drill.

Jonathan and I are law enforcement agents, subduing two criminals. I tackle one man and pin him to the floor, kneeling on his biceps. He has an electric drill in one hand, and he keeps bringing it dangerously close to Jonathan. I wrench the drill out of his grip. With his free hand, he digs a finger into a wound on my leg. I warn him to stop it, or I will drill a hole in his head.

He persists. I place the eigth-inch drill bit against his forehead, off to one side, and reiterate my warning. He laughs cruelly and digs at the bullet hole in my leg. I turn on the drill. It vibrates against his skin before it bites and begins to bore. When it whines against bone, I give him another chance to relent. Then I press the drill, grinding and smoking with a sound like a dentist's office, until it punches through into mush. I am angry now. His body goes limp.

Jon asks, aghast, "Did you cut off his hand?"

"No," I reply with satisfaction and revulsion, "I gave him a lobotomy."

I wake up and can't convince Jon to wake up enough to hold me.

by Sharon 11:47 AM

I'm not scared of you anymore.

by Fred 7:22 AM

{Sunday, October 26, 2003}

Inspector Tarkowski knew that it was going to be a difficult crime scene for her staff. It was always tough when kids were involved. The first victim, a woman in her mid- thirties had been found in the woods with her clothing and the most of her head missing. The scene of crime guys had their hands full, they were outside, it was raining, and a shotgun blasts at close range left quite a mess, and spread it over a large area.

Inside it was a whole other brand of difficult. The modest house was neat as a pin. Studio portraits of children decorated the walls, all with matching frames, and artfully arranged. A vacuum cleaner had left neat trails in the nearly new carpet. The kitchen was spic and span. Shelves were dusted, counters wiped down, and three children lay dead in their beds. It did not take long for the investigative team to piece together the events of that night, but they all suffered through enormous emotional consequences. Miranda Hammerschmidt had bathed, killed, and tucked her children into bed. Then she removed and neatly folded her clothing, walked out into the woods behind her house, and blew her head off.

Sergeant Dennis Morgan, desperate for someone to blame, thought that Martin Hammerschmidt, distracted by work, hobbies and new friendships should be held responsible for his wife’s actions. Detective Fabian Finch, single, childless and intense, reacted with anger toward the victim. He thought Miranda a cold-blooded bitch, and could not understand how she could do such a thing, why take them with her. Officer Clancy Witherspoon, a grizzled veteran, did not even attempt to call up his carefully cultivated tough-guy persona. He wept openly over the pajama-clad bodies of the children, the exact same ages as his grandchildren.

Inspector Tarkowski, devastated by the case, never looked to demonize Martin. He came home late one Friday night to find his world had ended. He didn’t see it coming, but even if he had been paying attention, he never could have. Even though she had never met Miranda, she knew her. She knew that Miranda had cared for her children. They had been the center of her life. Inspector Tarkowski knew that hers was an act of desperation, but also one of love. Miranda did not want them to be afraid, and she could not leave them alone.

by mews 4:55 PM

the unthinkable

by mews 11:08 AM

{Saturday, October 25, 2003}

Eating that which eats me

I think you’re blowing this all out of proportion. If you think about it it all makes perfect sense. See, it’s not like it was just a bunch of random killings or anything; they all deserved exactly what they got. “Just desserts” and all that.

I guess it all started when I bought a squeaky toy for my golden retriever. She was scared shitless of the damn thing. So, after several days of barking at it, hiding from it and avoiding eye contact she did what seemed to her to make all the sense in the world: she ate it. And well, see, that gave me the idea. So you see, my boss had been riding my ass for months; nothing I did was good enough for him. He didn’t like the way I filed forms, filled out expense reports, backed up my files, he didn’t like the way I typed for god’s sake. So, I ate the s.o.b.

Then there was Marcy. She broke up with me when she met that new guy, Stan, or uh, Dan, or something like that. Then she had the nerve to ask if I’d pet sit for her stupid cats for her while they went to Bermuda. The cats were kind of gamy but Marcy was surprisingly tender. Lot more that she ever was when we were together I’ll tell you.

I guess from there it got even easier. Door-to-door salesmen, they’ll piss you off let me tell you. The there was that guy next door who wouldn’t turn his music down, and they loud guy at work, and Pastor Farnsworth with his old testament sensibilities, and then…

by Shawn 2:11 PM

{Friday, October 24, 2003}

Terrorists obtain experimental military samples of secret technology recovered from the site of the Tunguska Blast. Turns out that the Blast was actually a cover-up; Russian scientists had discovered a way to make soldiers that were invulnerable to death -- Zombie soldiers. Problem was that once dead, the soldiers were no longer discriminatory in who they killed; friend or foe; animal or human. The manager in charge of the experiment had the area blasted to the ground. The terrorists release this chemical agent in nine major urban centers in the USA, mistakenly believing it to be a highly virulent form of smallpox.

T+ Three months: Over 80% of the people in North America have died or joined the ranks of the undead. The world places the US, Canada, Mexico, and many other Central American nations under strict quarantine. Everything overrun by zombies. Within five months, the living population of North America from Alaska to the Panama Canal is only 5% os what it was before. Estimates of the zombie masses range around 50% of the previous population.

T+ 9 months: An international coalition establishes supply lines to small, beleagured communities of humans are established with semi-regular airdrops of food, weapons, and other supplies. From these small enclaves, the humans begin to reclaim the continent. Surprisingly, there are people who willingly come to join the survivors in the fight against the zombie hordes.

T+ 15 months: Significant advances have are made in reclaiming cities and containing the zombie menace. The US government is reestablished and offers hefty incentives for volunteers to fight the undead horde. Accepted procedures for killing and disposing of zombies are established. Transmission of the agent is thoroughly understood.

T+ 16 months: With the influx of militia volunteers, a horrible secret comes to light: When the zombies swept across the nation, they destroyed vitrually all natural food sources - livestock, chickens, vegetables, and fruit. Faced with no other options, several outposts turned to the only source of flesh available to them. They ate the zombies they killed.

Surprisingly, the zombie flesh - softened by bacterial decomposition in death, but kept fresh by the chemical agent - is amazingly tender and tasty. Disregarding the source of the meat, zombie flesh was found to rate among the finest steak available. Eating zombie steaks after a good day's sweep becomes a common way to celebrate.

T+ 19 months: Several gangs in North America have established a brisk trade in exporting zombie steaks to gourmands around the world.

T+ 36 months: The zombie outbreak is all but wiped out. The US Government has established very tightly regulated zombie ranches where companies can bid for contracts to harvest zombies periodically. Zombie steaks are the new hot dish at high-class restaurants all over the world.

by jal 4:42 PM

I know my place.
I guard it well.
They used to call it a chain,
Or maybe a pyramid.
Certain liberal elements
Would demote us
And call it a web.
But I know where I stand.
I eat vegetables.
I eat meat.
I stand at the top.
And when you waggle your finger,
To tell me there are decomposers,
That what eats what we once were,
That we who eat all
Are eaten in turn,
You'd better snatch it back quick--
I'm dangerous.
I eat fungi, too.

by Sharon 1:59 PM

Smell the ozone from my mind
burning oil, burning time
giving milk and drinking pain
There's a dust storm in my brain

Calling out from massive stink
Awkward stare, I cough and blink
Better dumb and happy than
killing time for killing friends

I'm a snake chewing on my tail
Eating the love that devours me
I am many I am frail
Eating the love that devours me.

Glassy eyed, the killers stare
buys balloons at my state fair
"Can johnny please come out to play?"
the story ends the same old way

I'm putting on my socks alone
the downcast stare, the fall of rome
the pall of happy evil mice
the pull of wicked paradise

Sucking down my lonely soul
Eating the love that devours me
cold and Evil day unfolds
Eating the love that devours me.

Given time and plenty rope
I choke alone on wasted hope
shiny, happy worlds away
cold black evilove seems to say

It ends tomorrow starts right now
the fallen crest the sacred cow
the end begins the life anew
life eats life I grin and chew

by MisterNihil 12:10 PM

eating that which eats me

by Sharon 10:08 AM

{Thursday, October 23, 2003}

I'm a little tired,
but my eyes are still open,
but one thing's desired
by my body; it's hopin'
for sleep, for sweet dreams;
it's keepin' its schemes
in plain sight where it seems
that I'm wired and roped in,
quite all right but I'm gropin'
for the light switch and knowin'
that the night which I'm fightin'
will win in the end;
and the dreams that it seems
against which I've tried to defend,
that I've staved off for so long
'spite their sweet siren song,
I'm hopin' won't hurt me
too much when they're gone,
when I wake up and open
my eyes to the dawn;
when my body's not tired,
I hope I'm inspired
to realize those dreams
and to plan my own schemes
with my body and I
thrown on the same team,
but right now it's sleep
and those uncertain dreams,
'cause my eyes may be open,
and I may be copin',
but I know what's required
and my body's so tired,
and my eyes're now closin' it seems.

by Fred 3:06 PM

There’s been some mistake. You see I am a novelty, funny and just a little dangerous. I was not meant for that impossibly soft skin, the breath so sweet on my face. I am found under strobe lights. Too loud music surrounds me. Edible panties, sex games, that’s what I am about. No one is supposed to know my name.

I am wearing black leather; I carry S&M accessories. I was on the shelf next to “Sweet Loob” for Christ’s sake. I am a joke. She tells me secrets. She wraps her arms around me. How has this come to be? I was not made to be loved. Yet here I am. She calls me Spenser.

by mews 2:40 PM

She has a head full of fluff, (Yeah)
But I tell you that's just the stuff! (Yeah)

White fur, black eyes, and a little black nose,
She tags along wherever I goes.
She loves me a lot.
I'm glad for what I've got.
And she keeps the secrets that only she knows.

She's my best teddy bear, (Yeah)
And what you think, I don't care! (Yeah)

Husbands are silly and prone to frets.
They think about allegiance, and they think about debts.
In her glassy-eyed stare,
There's innocence there.
There's nothing to worry; stop imagining threats.

She has a head full of fluff, (Yeah)
But I tell you that's just the stuff! (Yeah)

She's my best teddy bear, (Yeah)
And what you think, I don't care! (Yeah)

by Sharon 1:57 PM

I'm a little tired, but my eyes are still open.

Or, if you don't like that, try
Head Full of Cotton

by MisterNihil 9:53 AM

{Wednesday, October 22, 2003}

I am watching a movie trailer on my computer, on the television, all around me...

A webcam in the park shows an empty trail at 6 AM. Cut to 6:15, already there is activity. A jogger runs by. Cut to a webcam farther down the river.

Voiceover: "Rescue workers retrieve two bodies from the river after a car crash."

A woman in a rain slicker and hip waders, with a light on her helmet, wades carefully in the waist-deep water. It is still dark morning; dawn has not risen yet. She reaches over a log to wrangle with a body floating face-down in the water. Its hand bobs on the surface, very white.

The local sheriff wades awkwardly, closer to the center of the green, murky creek. He is not as competent as the woman. He maneuvers the other corpse with less confidence. Suddenly it stands up, coughs once, and begins to scream, ripping terror deep from his belly. The sheriff tries to calm him, get him out of the river.

"They flew!" screams the drowned man.

I picture a leather kite suspending a bulbous body, maybe like a mynock. I look downstream, in the growing light, at hairy, vine-heavy trees, and search for a leather wing about to alight.

I say to Jonathan, "Oh, Jon, Jon, Jon. I'm scared. I don't want to see this movie."

He is covered in thick, red ropes, only they are not ropes, but swollen blood vessels, thicker than a thumb, and purple. They run up his arms, up his neck, over his face. He does not look at me when he says, "Are you the whip?" He means, am I the instrument of my own destruction, do I create my own grief?

I realize that the fear is just a feeling in my belly and my head. I could, if I choose to, enjoy the sensation. I don't need to avoid fear.

I wake up and go to work.

by Sharon 11:59 PM

She never much cared for the actual taste of blood - regardless of what popular fiction might suggest - and wasn’t even entirely certain that she truly needed it to survive. What she needed were the memories. The thoughts, the desires, the flights of fancy, the passion, even the pain and heartache. Along with the many, although not all, of the features that one typically associates with vampirism is a lesser known and perhaps more tragic malady of losing the memory of who, and even what, you were before.

It’s a subtle thing at first. Realizing you don’t remember little details such as your phone number or neighbor’s name. Eventually large parts of your past are lost to you: the names of your parents, your children, the face of your husband or wife, even your childhood. Then, even the memory of what the sun feels and looks like; the sound of music, of laughter, the smell of summer and the cold of winter. This is where the blood comes in.

Deirdre laid back into the welcoming cool grass and gazed lovingly up at the waxing moon reflected in her nocturnal eyes. But it wasn’t the moon she saw at all, but instead, instead it was a warm summer day, children playing in the park, a dog barking, bread, there was fresh bread somewhere and soft, silky sheets. Swimming at the lake, walking in the forest with Thom, making love, laughing, crying, watching movies and riding horses in Hawaii. As the comforting, warm blood surged through her so to did these memories. Not her memories, true, but instead borrowed memories, stolen really never to be returned to their rightful owner. But then, their owner no longer needed them as Deirdre so desperately did.

by Shawn 11:58 PM

There’s new blood in my veins, rosy and red;
It’s all that remains of me that’s not dead.
I thought I’d crave brains or be out of my head,
But a zombie mundane I’ve become instead.

by Fred 4:00 PM

This is a fun exercise. I don't have an instrument with me, and I'm makin' up songs. Another First Drafty Song for eventual public performance:
I don't need a place to sleep
words to speak or food to eat
I just need New blood.
I don't miss your curvy hips,
your laughing kiss, your sharpened wits,
I only miss your blood.

Your cry roars in my ears
Your voice roars in my heart
Your words roar in my brain
Your blood roars in my mouth.

I won't be your lover dear,
your wasted year, your biggest fear,
I only want new blood.
I don't have a thought today,
a role to play, a place to stay,
My only thought: new blood.

by MisterNihil 3:38 PM

It's after noon, so I'm gonna post a topic, but there just aren't enough of us writing. Maybe what we need is
new blood

by Fred 12:30 PM

{Tuesday, October 21, 2003}

It's a first draft. I'll play with it more and complete it later. No really. Actually, I may sing it tonight, in public no less, if I can come up with a bridge...

I'm so very tired of running away
I didn't sign up, I'm quitting the game
but I'll keep running
until I run back into you

I won't stop running until I'm nowhere
I'm taking my ball and (pause) I'm out of here
but I'll keep running
until I run back into you


by MisterNihil 6:03 PM

keep running

by Sharon 2:04 PM

{Monday, October 20, 2003}

Technolust is not an uncommon condition. I know this. I accept this. But I still seem to get odd reactions for the tech I lust after.

For instance, for a very long time, I wanted an AT-AT. I mean, think of it! You could walk anywhere, and crush your enemies. Who wouldn't want that?

Whell. Then I saw the Wild, Wild West movie with Wil Smith and Kevin Kline. Why should I struggle with four rickety legs when I could have eight high-tension ones?! Ah, bliss.

I'm not sure where my desire for a defibrillator originated. They've always been kinda fascinating ("Clear!"), but I think the tour of Ceton Hospital, where the nurse zapped a piece of meat with a first-aid, idiot-proof, talking model ("Charging... Administering shock...*bzzt*"), honed my desire into full-bore lust. The fact that Jonathan is unsettled by this simply sweetens the deal.

Did you know they have defibrillators in the airports? I mean, right there, on the walls! Yeah.

A recent insight has brought my attention to more traditional instruments of mayhem. Careful reflection reveals that a low-tech solution might provide even more viscerally satisfying revenge on all-night car alarms, SUV-driving yuppies, and small, annoying dogs. What precipitated this change of heart, you ask?

I saw Kill Bill on Sunday. Baby wants a katana, bitch!

by Sharon 5:29 PM

This replaces my wish for a Home Defibrillator Kit!

by Sharon 12:09 PM

{Sunday, October 19, 2003}

"I'd rather be in bed."

by Fred 2:26 AM

{Saturday, October 18, 2003}

Once a week, I have a conference call first thing in the morning -- Eastern Time. For a West Coast, self-employed girl who really enjoys her sleep, this is something of a trial. I've found, though, that once the call is over, the morning is amazingly peaceful. My puppy is still groggy and calm, the children have not yet arrived to terrorize the school across the street, and I am fresh and motivated by the prospect of a new day.

There is definitely something to be said for sleeping in, though. Often, when Bryan leaves for work at 4:30 AM, the dog will claim the still-warm spot on the bed and curl up next to me for the remainder of the morning. We doze together, and when I finally wake I am greeted by the enthusiastic puppy kisses of my little guardian.

I'd like to think that I could be like Margaret, waking early every day to steal a few extra hours. I'd like to use the time to take up jogging, or at least power-walking, gaining both exercise and a tired puppy in the process. (Any tips, Margaret, on how to get up early??) But it is far more likely that most of my days will be like this Friday, waking barely in time to call my meal "breakfast." That's just fine with the puppy, and it's mostly okay by me, too.

by Faith 8:04 PM

{Friday, October 17, 2003}


by Faith 12:05 PM

{Thursday, October 16, 2003}

...went to that LARP. Because at that LARP, I met Dax. Through meeting Dax, I went on a few dates with Dax. Through dating Dax, I met Dax's friends. When meeting Dax's friends, I met Jonathan. Upon meeting Jonathan, I was not impressed. Because I was unimpressed, I was able to be friendly with him, chat with him. From this friendship grew more friendship. That friendship resulted in the discovery of pierced nipples. This discovery cast Jonathan in an entirely new light. This favorable light caused me to be intrigued. Being intrigued led to spending more time with Jonathan. Spending more time with Jonathan allowed me to learn of his wish to move to Texas. Sharing this wish inspired me to follow through on my own. Moving across the country together helped us to get better jobs. Having jobs that paid better but didn't always include benefits prompted us to start marriage plans. Setting plans in motion can often feel like grabbing hold of a passing locomotive. Grabbing a passing locomotive seems to precipitate most of the best things in my life.

by Sharon 11:59 PM

I'm glad that I decided to keep the airplane, at least for the moment. Eight-Zulu-Charlie has become such a part of Who-I-Am; the thought of selling him -- er, it -- felt less like a business deal and more like an amputation.

Instead of massive paperwork and hidden tears, I will have the new joy of flying myself from one coast to the other. Seeing the country with an eagle's eye, passing over vast stretches of unscarred land, being able to imagine what it looked like before we came to dam up the rivers and pave over the forests.

But mostly, I'll be re-united with the joy that comes with knowing -- when the pressure of the day gets to be just too much, I can slip out to my airport and slip out of my worries. Climbing into the cockpit, I climb into a world where I am in control and my world is at peace.

by Faith 11:00 PM

Faith says they're like table topics, and I agree. So here's a table topic from last Saturday:
I'm glad that I...

by Sharon 6:51 AM

I am an early riser. This has served me well. I get the day when it is fresh, when the air is clean, sounds uncluttered. I rarely sleep in, not even on weekends; I would rather have the new day than a couple extra minutes of sleep. I share this tendency with my mother. As a child I was rewarded. Every Saturday for the last thirty-three years, my mother has breakfasted at Famoore’s restaurant. When I was a little girl, Famoore’s was owned by Ralph. Ralph cultivated his image as a curmudgeon; he was foulmouthed and bossy with his waitresses, who ignored him completely. He yelled at his mother, the cook, when she got behind on orders, and he was loud and bombastic in expressing his conservative political views. He had a soft spot for red-haired freckled girls though. I got a free cinnamon stick every visit. Ralph is the only person who routinely called me by a nickname. He called me Carrot-top, which never made sense to me really. First of all my hair was never that day-glow orange red of the blue-eyed redhead, it like my eyes and freckles were a coppery auburn, and besides, as my seven year old self pointed out: carrot tops are green

Ralph did not believe in spending money on fixing up the place. When I was a kid, the bathrooms were scary with a bare “Psycho” bulb hanging from the crumbling ceiling. The dingy linoleum was peeling off the floor and the walls were so coated with grease that it was impossible to determine the actual color of the paint. But every Saturday morning they were packed. Famoore’s had the best breakfast in town. The eggs were always cooked to perfection, the bacon was thick and just the right crispness, the sausage was homemade, and Famoore’s home fries were the gold standard for fried potatoes everywhere.

Ralph’s mother had a stroke when I was in high school. Ralph sold the place to a long time waitress, and never came back. Louise (I think) fixed some of the cosmetics, but she did not change the basic formula of good food + plentiful coffee + reasonable prices = loyal customers. I have a lot of fond memories of Famoore’s beyond the food. The first time I ordered coffee in a restaurant was there. I was probably fifteen, and the waitress brought me cream, sugar and watched expectantly while I drank it black. I introduced my future in-laws to my mother there. My mother and I both tend towards the garrulous, but my mother-in-law talked her way into legend that day. The two men at the table, both naturally taciturn fellows exchanged precisely (and I am not making this up) three words in about two hours: “Good hash.” “Yep.” Famoore’s was the kind of place my in-laws favored. I believe that Famoore’s greasy spoon ambiance and our obvious loyalty to it reassured them and affirmed me as a reasonable choice for their youngest son.

My palate is bit more sophisticated these days. I don’t think the industrial coffee there would appeal to me much anymore, I like my fruit to be fresh and seasonal, rather than canned. I prepare wholesome meals for my family. I like sushi and exotic Indian foods. But when Saturday morning roles around, my thoughts turn to salt and grease. I miss my Mom. I guess that’s why they call them HOME fries.

by mews 12:36 AM

{Wednesday, October 15, 2003}

I sleep like a spoon
each morning and night,
wrapped in your arms
and curled up so tight.

You steal all the covers
and mumble and mutter.
Troubleshooting iMacs,
you sound like a nutter.

You get hair in the sink,
on the floor, in my food.
It's worse when you shave!
You're one hairy dude.

You bug me about eating
veggies and greens.
This stress on nutrition
is really quite mean.

And then there is driving,
straigtaways and curves.
Being a passenger's
hell on my nerves.

Then nighttime again,
being watched by the moon,
when you hold me just right,
my beautiful spoon.

by Sharon 11:59 PM

The pitter-patter of the first few drops of a summer downpour ... just after you've started across the parking lot with very full paper grocery bags.

That pitiful yelp of a puppy who's just tripped over himself & is flabbergasted that he has an inch more paw today than he did yesterday.

Wooden chair legs, cracking as you realize you've tilted back just a little bit too far.

The overly-fizzy sound just after opening a bottle of soda that means you're about to get drenched.

Alarm clocks.

Whining, struggling motor noises from your cross-cut shredder as you realize the thing it is trying to digest is also the edge of your shirt.

That noise a lightbulb makes when it explodes.

- and -

The tell-tale Rat-a-Tat-a-Tat-Tat-GRIND--CRUNCH! that means you've just put your mother's good spoon down the in-sink garbage disposal.

by Faith 6:38 PM

Spoon. I have no ideas for a spoon piece at all. Maybe something will come to mind if I just start typing.

Ya know, every time I hear the word spoon I think of the Tick. No, not A tick but THE Tick. It was after his battle cry. “SPOON!”

I have a spoon. It’s a plastic spoon. It’s not heroic; it’s not a battle cry; it’s neither engraved, magical, historical nor anything other than functional. It is that. Other than that about the only thing that can be said for it is that it will outlive me, it will outlive all of us. I’ve always had a problem with people calling plastic flatware “disposable”. I mean I know we’re living in a disposable culture, use it, toss it, and move on. Planned obsolescence. But the thing is, plastic never becomes obsolete unless it’s broken. We burn through a box of plastic silverware - which is of course NOT, silver, but you know what I mean- and toss each of these little tools into a landfill where they will outlive the human race by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years.

Hmm, there’s a seed of a story maybe: The human race has been run and an alien people come to Earth to learn of the people that once inhabited this place. What do they find? Plasticware! What would they make of this? What would they believe these relics to be that were so important to us, so sacred that we would make them of such material as to far outlast us?

But alas, my time is up. In reverence to the sacred plastic spoon I will post this little rambling and delete the original.

by Shawn 4:05 PM

It's a verb. It's a noun. It's concave. It's convex. It's

by MisterNihil 4:13 AM

{Tuesday, October 14, 2003}


by Fred 1:19 PM

{Monday, October 13, 2003}

your skin
your hair
your dark, dark eyes
the curve of your back
and how you let me look
your smile
so coy through eyelashes
and your hat
as cute on me
as it is on you
angling and positions
and coincidental happenstance
on purpose
your hair
your hands
your funny accent
I can't quite place
your voice
how strange this all is
thinking of you
thinking of me

by Sharon 11:59 PM

"I don't freestyle much but write 'em like such (word)..." - Public Enemy

Today, there's not a whole lot on my mind that hasn't already been there for awhile now. I realize that I've been carrying around a lot of the same thoughts for more than a few years now: questions like why am I still here? where else should I go? and how do I work through the hassles of everything that lies in between? I've been trying to finally work through some of these questions and formulate a plan, but let's be honest: I am not a man known for decisive action. I don't know exactly what I am a man known for. Maybe that song I wrote once. You know, about the penis and the blender? It's probably the closest I've ever come to fame, and I do often get forced into performing it in front of others. At any rate, it's more likely that than the decisive action thing, which is ultimately what's left me stranded in this one-horse town writing songs about genitalia and household appliances in the first place.

But I digress. Also on my mind today is the campus sketch comedy show I'm a part of this year. Although I'm not sure if a final date, time, or even channel have been set for our weekly episodes, we tape a live show this Friday night. Somehow, I've been roped into performing a small role in a couple of sketches -- although the producer still hasn't explained why he thought of me when he cast the part, and none of the other writers have to memorize lines. I didn't even write these sketches -- which will probably to be my excuse if my parents ever see a tape of the performance. It's not quite "My penis is as big as a toaster"-style comedy, but the lines about syphilis and masturbation could be embarrassing. It's probably the sort of thing to make my mother wonder when I'm going to finally leave Pennsylvania and get a real job.

Not that I'm not wondering that myself. But I'm working on that decisive action thing. I'm applying for jobs in other states, putting my resume out there, doing some research. In a year's time, I'd like to have other questions on my mind -- even if they're just why am I now here? when can I leave? and does anybody want to hear a song about my penis?

by Fred 3:28 PM

Freestyle: What's on your mind today?

by Sharon 1:51 PM

{Sunday, October 12, 2003}

Lithe opaque nose

Ok, without looking it up, who can tell me what that line is from?

by Shawn 12:58 PM

{Saturday, October 11, 2003}

Here's a blank space. Go fill it.

by Fred 3:15 PM

{Friday, October 10, 2003}


by mews 12:18 PM

Awkward Silence

I never saw his face, I have no idea if he was tall, short, fat, thin or what color his eyes were. Every day for three weeks we whispered through a crack in the base of the wall between our cells and while I came to know him better than many friends I’ve known for years, I never did, and never will shake his hand, see his face or ever again hear his voice.

His name was Emmanuel and he had three sons; his wife died in childbirth along with their fourth child. He had been a journalist before the new regime took control. The new government, as it happens, did not suffer criticism from journalists of their own country any more than that of foreign correspondents. Thus Emmanuel and I found ourselves imprisoned, a few feet and a million miles apart.

We talked, in our hushed whispers, and passed the time telling one another stories of our homelands, our families, our friends, our dreams and ambitions, favorite books, favorite foods and drink. What we never did discuss however, was what we might expect at the hands of our captors. They were murderers and worse, we knew this would not end well.

One day I heard them take Emmanuel from his cell. He was gone for the better part of the day and when I heard him returned I sat in silence for some time before working up the courage to ask what had happened. I wanted to know, I had to know, but I didn’t want to hear. It was an awkward silence. Finally I lowered myself to the floor of the cell and pressed my face to the crack. I’m sure he could hear the fear in my voice when I asked what they had done. Silence.

I could hear him over there; I could hear him breathing; I could a muffled, choking, gurgling sort of sobbing. And I knew, I knew what they had done to my friend Emmanuel, father of three, journalist, son, brother, home owner, Catholic, avid reader and coin collector.

by Shawn 12:59 AM

{Thursday, October 09, 2003}

I wasn't going to say anything, but...

by Fred 3:06 PM

{Wednesday, October 08, 2003}

It's all a matter of supply and demand.

by Sharon 9:34 AM

{Tuesday, October 07, 2003}

What do you wish you could say? Why haven't you told them?

by Sharon 12:39 PM

{Monday, October 06, 2003}

"I'm new to town, but what's with the traffic here in Portland?"

"Well, it is the first day of rainy season. Where are you from?"

"New York City."

The awkward silence that followed completed my introduction to Toast Masters. Next order of business, anyone??

Okay, so that's not quite how it went. But it illustrates the nightmare I imagined, a shy girl trying to make conversation among a room full of people for whom public speaking is extracurricular fun. In fact, the group was very welcoming; although the evening had been advertised as an "open house," it turns out that I was the only person who saw the flyer. My boyfriend brought it home from Starbucks (I don't think that they are allowed to post flyers) and, upon learning this, the entire group put up a cheer. They had enthusiastically made the flyers, but expected no response.

The speeches were informative, studying the characters still more so. After the meeting came the hard-core recruitment, and it turns out that they have a Video Masters -- with one hour of cable access broadcasting per month. And they happen to be looking for sound, lighting, and video operators. Now that's more my style!

Will I join? I'm not sure yet, but it's seeming likely. Only one more question: can Sharon be my sponsor from 2313.59 miles away?

by Faith 11:54 PM

Several days late but here's a post for "reaching out".

Symposium on the extra-solar transmission “O” Carrier Wave
Presented by Dr. Alex Sommers

Unlike a lot of things that seemed like a good idea at the time but later turned out to, um, lack a certain scientific merit, ours started out as more of a joke than anything else. Now, I won’t get into issues surrounding the qualifications of our lab’s scientists to, ah, explore this particular subject, but let’s just say, we had the raw research available to us to formulate a theory. (Audience laughs)

So, anyhow, I’m kind of short, on time that is, so I’ll make this a quickie. While this was an idea that I had kicking around in the back of my head for a number of years it really wasn’t until June of 2005, when I was discussing it with Dr. Amanda Carlson, that I really gave it any serious consideration. In brief the theory was this: During an orgasm waves of energy are sent out radiating from the persons involved and extending out to an unknown distance. Assuming this to be true it was then a matter of quantifying just what the nature of this energy was and it’s termination point. Dr. Carlson and I, ah, researched this extensively and discovered that the energy was in-fact in wave form, had no perceivable, or at least measurable at this time, termination point and was moving far faster than anything previously discovered.

So, other than researching this for the shear joy of knowledge and love of science cough (audience laughs) what were we to do with this discovery? After some discussion we decided to explore its use for transmitting a message to outer space. Again let me apologize for my brevity but I see I’m running short on time… After a variety of failed attempts to attach a piggyback wave to what we had christened the “O wave” we decided the only way to transmit was to embed a message in the original wave at the point and time of origin. This we were able to do using a sort of hypnotherapy immediately preceding the, ah, act of generating the wave.

As you know of course we’ve met with a great deal of opposition by certain rather, shall we say, conservative groups that are opposed to both science in general and specifically our methods. But, all of that became moot last month when we received a transmission back from deep space informing us that we are not, after all, alone.

by Shawn 3:57 PM

an awkward silence

by Fred 1:57 PM

{Saturday, October 04, 2003}

Reaching Out

by Shawn 2:28 PM

{Friday, October 03, 2003}

My Cantankerous Old Uncle
By Mister, Age 25
I went to the Home where my old uncle lives and he said to me BOY! I Can't do NOthin for myself any more, and I said I didn't understand and he said He can't even piss alone. So I said does a nurse help you with that, and he said yes, and I said that doesn't sound so bad, and he said it's not so bad, except its humiliating. I said what else, and he said he can't feel anything like he used to. He said BOY, I CAN'T EVEN TELL, BOY, ARE MY ARMS TIRED? YOU CHECK FOR ME! So I was confused and I sort of looked and he laughed. When you are old, you think that is a joke, picking on your little relatives. The End.

by MisterNihil 3:05 PM

Just flew in late last night after about a week in Texas and...
boy, are my arms tired

by Fred 8:30 AM

{Thursday, October 02, 2003}

With the neat work of his clever scissors, he'd have her. Breasts from Cosmo, lips from Glamour, arms by Sports Illustrated, a snatch straight from Penthouse, and a blush out of Playboy. She would be perfect, and she would be his. He smeared the rubber cement while it was still wet, crooning softly over his woman as he daubed with the brush.

He sat back and pushed his glasses up his nose, fighting the sweat that made them slip. At arm's length, she looked less perfect. Cut together and assembled but also somehow... flat.

He turned back to the pile of magazines he'd collected from the periodicals rack. He needed more reference. His scissors glinted in the hazy light filtering through the library windows.

With a stroke of insight, he added fashion from Vogue. She looked defiant, from New York City. He added intellect from Mensa. She intimidated him.

He thumbed through more magazines. Humor from National Lampoon's. Hobbies from Women's Sports & Fitness. Self-affirmation from Mode. Culture from the New Yorker. Cooking from Redbook. All were snipped and pasted onto his perfect woman.

He stopped to catch his breath. The sun had set; the library was gray and empty. Snippings and scraps floated aimlessly or were trapped to the table by glue. She looked at him. All woman. All magnificent. And in that moment, they both knew: She didn't need him.

by Sharon 1:58 PM

He was dating the girl from the magazine. He had to keep reminding himself of this during the doldrums of his day. He told himself this before the dates, and he told himself this after. He was dating the girl from the magazine.
He had seen the issue on the newsstand months before and picked it up on the strength of her eyes alone. He usually didn't read that kind of magazine, but her eyes talked him into it. They seemed to flutter, even on the flat page. They spoke volumes to him even before he dropped the twenty on the counter and waited for change. Her pictures were tasteful and lovely, never dirty. He didn't feel shocked to look at them.
And then he met her at the supermarket. She was alone, buying peaches, and he'd asked her out on the spot. His line was, in retrospect, kind of dumb.
"Hello. I can't not ask. May I take you out to dinner?"
Hell, it had worked. He told her, sheepishly, about her eyes and the magazine, that he owned it. It wouldn't do to have these things come out later and cause tension. She understood. And suddenly, he was dating the girl from the magazine.
Work wasn't so bad that week. Everything seemed wonderful.
When, six months later, they broke up, he was embittered and her good looks had been corrupted by nights spent crying at his hurtful words. They remembered, though, until they died the first few weeks, when he was dating the girl from the magazine, and she had found stability at last.

by MisterNihil 11:43 AM


by mews 9:35 AM

{Wednesday, October 01, 2003}

A couple of weeks ago we hiked down a rather steep wooded trail to Lake Washington. The weather was splendid, partly sunny and a breeze that whispered memories of autumn. It has been a very dry summer. The ferns and mosses on the trees are yellow instead of the verdant green one associates with the Pacific Northwest. The creek we walked along a trickle. We were heading down to a community celebration. A group of friends and neighbors are working to restore this creek with hopes of bringing back the salmon. The gathering was very family oriented, crafts and pie tasting, guided hikes to the fish ladder, storytelling for the kids.

All this for fish.. But we are not talking about any fish, we are talking about the mythic Salmon. Salmon have a pretty deep mythological history with Native American tribes, druids and Celts. For my ancestors they represented knowledge, for the first people of the Northwest, they hold special significance around abundance and renewal. Salmon are a powerful symbol for Northwesterners even without the woo woo bend of a hippie hen like myself, their persistence, their dependability, their biological imperative, the cyclic nature of their lives, their strength and beauty. Pretty powerful stuff. For me to find myself again walking daily with the eyes of the forest upon me, sleeping in the arms of my beloved, our small fries about, I feel life leaping in me like the salmon upstream. I have been through harrowing waters. I have survived a long difficult journey. I have learned much and I am home.

by mews 10:04 PM

Do you want fries with that? Do I? My god, why is this such a tough question? What the hell’s wrong with me, why can’t I decide? I can feel the people in line behind me growing impatient, shuffling their feet, clearing their throats; they’re getting angry and rightfully so. Why can’t I decide if I want fries with that?

Ok, let’s step outside of myself for just a moment and analyze this. It’s not as though it’s a particularly difficult question and certainly not as though I’m unaccustomed to making decisions, big decisions at that. I mean, I’ve negotiated contracts, I’ve allocated millions of dollars in corporate assets and arranged off-shore development deals. So no, it’s not that I’m indecisive. Well, not when it comes to big things anyhow. But in the business world there are always pros and cons, there are financial reports and profit margins to be factored in. There are always cold, hard facts to be considered, it’s not a matter of personal choice it’s a matter of analyzing data and making an informed decision. Wait, that’s it! That’s the problem, there are no facts, no data to take into account here, it’s a matter of personal preference. All I need to do is analyze my preference of wanting or not wanting fries at this point in time.

………..shit, I have no personal preference; I can’t do it, I can’t decide. I’ll just panic order, that’s it, “Yes, I’ll have fries thank you. Wait, no, no fries after all”! No wait, yes, I’ll have the fries.”

“What? Do I want to super-size that?”

by Shawn 5:57 PM

Would you like fries with that?

by Faith 11:33 AM


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