Monday, April 21, 2008
Whistle and Spit
by MisterNihil 11:49 PM
But the one that you hit, that's what comes next. But then you spend forty minutes or an hour on the internet looking up what the hell comes after that and after that, and you get bogged down in the Unusual Mrs Spitz which doesn't help you at all, she says, Was you in a play perhaps, a pageant, huh? and that sends you spiraling into the waters of their new stuff, little snips and snails of bigger things and other sounds ringing through the ugly steel pipes of the internets, and you ask yourself again if maybe The Stickmen and Bucket aren't touring again, and then you sort of forget why you were going online in the first place, and it turns out to be because you were going to write a thing for a blog, but what? What blog? Gah! The madness is tensing!
by MisterNihil 11:50 AM
Friday, April 18, 2008
Aside from the improvement, nobody will know the difference.
by MisterNihil 9:19 AM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I am but a cypher in this world of fools.
by MisterNihil 1:45 PM
Monday, April 14, 2008
Two times last week, Jim stepped into a store knowing precisely his mission.
The first, he sought socks. He entered the store knowing only that they carried a selection of clothing, and that his aim was footwear.
"Pardon," he intoned, "me sir, where are your socks?"
"Why, they are on my," replied the well-dressed man in the charcoal suit and orange tie, "feet. Where else? Ha ha!" The man walked away, obviously amused by his own genius.
Jim approached a second man.
"Sir, I," he said, "require socks. Does your store sell such things?"
"Yes, of," the man replied after a moment's thought, which he spent appearing increasingly annoyed, "course we do. Shoo, you silly man!"
Jim looked around the store. Display shelves were piled with literally hundreds of shirts, ranging in color from light green to khaki brown. Most were short-sleeved affairs in cotton, linen and silk, woven in Italy and Monaco, assembled by clever people who put little paper squares with their name instead of their employee number into the pockets of each garment made.
The store, in fact, employed a man whose job consisted only of removing those pieces of paper from those pockets and putting them carefully into a recycling bin.
Jim wandered to the edge of the shirts and saw a forest of pants with names on them which he did not recognize. Some were made in Canada. Jim felt chills just thinking of it. He walked up to one, and touched it. The fabric was cool and had a texture with which he was unfamiliar.
"Those aren't," said the first man suddenly, causing Jim to jump, "socks." He cackled and walked away, holding his stomach and pointing his thumb at Jim over his shoulder. The second man also began to laugh. Jim felt very small.
He left, then.
That was the first time Jim went into a store that week. He knew exactly what he wanted, but he walked into the wrong store.
The second time, he knew exactly what he wanted, too. He wanted revenge.
by MisterNihil 5:10 PM
thou fickle bitch goddess, thy hooks abound.
by MisterNihil 5:00 PM
Saturday, April 12, 2008
If there's any one thing that could make me a Yankee, it's the heat. If there's any one thing that could drag me back, it's the speech mannerisms one can expect to find in the northern climes.
I find I wither during the summer months. Today, we seem to be having a wonderfully rare beautiful spell. The sun is shining and the clouds are plentiful enough to cast the kind of shade that keeps ones delicate, Winter-softened skin from broiling to the unhealthy red one associates with these of the United States. The light breeze that wafts periodically across the plaza outside cools pleasantly any heat which manages to accrue upon the skin. This is that rarest of spells in which a young lady in a bikini may lay out upon a towel and enjoy the sun without fear of the Ultra-Violet Radiation which the weather forecasters so love to harp on about. This weather, hot and cold at once and sunny without being deadly serious, is that rare moment when one appreciates the summer. I hear they actually come to expect this kind of day up in the north, even to rely on it. I believe I have heard the rumor that they come to actually be disappointed by the other kind, so used are they to mild weather. Indeed, the siren song of pleasant Summer days is perhaps the only one which could entice me north of that old Mason-Dixon for any amount of time.
On the other hand, I'd be back before one could blink an eye once the pace of their speech met my tender ears. I do have a certain appreciation for a region in which a man is allowed to take his time in speaking. When words jumble as they do so up in the cold reaches of the continent, one can barely think between words, and ones verbal thought becomes so very flat and boring. Myself, I prefer the chance to languish upon a particularly pleasurable word, and more, for the listener to have half a chance to absorb the deeper meanings imparted by my several well-calculated turns of phrase.
If one is confronted with such a fast-talking gent as is so often encountered in the larger Metropolitan areas, one is often faced with the accusation that ones speech patterns defy conventional manners by wasting time. I find that, upon the third or fourth repetition at that break-neck pace they call conversational, one has wasted much more time than one would have by speaking slowly and clearly, as my regional brethren always must endeavor to do.
You see, friend, that is a sly witticism, a level of humor unreachable at lightning pace. There stands simply no time for slyness in its many wicked, enjoyable forms when one must be struggled to be understood for simple velocity. No, I find the highest one can reach with ones words so pressed together is a pun, which I believe we can all agree, is the lowest form of humor.
by MisterNihil 6:48 PM
by MisterNihil 6:47 PM
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The bells chimed in the tower. Janice rushed through the hallway. Outisde the building, her boy was waiting. His name was Charles, but she forgot his name often enough that she'd replaced it in her mind with a series of diminishingly personal nicknames. Yesterday, he had become Bugaboo. Once he hit Darling or lower, she'd drop him, but the fact that he had a car kept him afloat a little longer than his own actual merits might.
Charles wasn't a bad guy, but he had a lot against him. He'd been in a long-term relationship with a woman whom Janice found reprehensible. The other woman had no job, not that Janice did either, but she had no motivation that way. She did little but sleep and eat, which would worry Janice if she held any compassion for Charles' Ex.
That wouldn't be so bad, but Janice kept catching Charles looking fondly at her friends. Fondness for her friends was not so bad in itself, but the look in his eye always verged on the unhealthy, and she felt she had to watch him closely to keep him in line.
She broke through the door and into the sunlight. She blinked in the brightness and threw an arm up to allow her eyes to adjust. She rushed over to the car upon which Charles rested, twirling his keys on his finger like a Western Gunslinger, or so he believed. In truth, most of what he did to try to look "cool" just left people with the impression that he was a little clumsy.
This was because when he twirled things on his finger, as he did just then, they often dropped, as his keys did just then. He stooped to pick them up, and made a little grunt, which worried him. A frown creased his brow.
Janice saw that he was frowning as he stood and had a sudden flash of what he would look like as an old man. The flash worried her.
"Hello, Janice." Charles waved, lamely.
"Hello, Dear," Janice blew him a half-hearted kiss and ran around the car to the passenger side.
by MisterNihil 2:31 PM
Strawberries and Cream
by MisterNihil 2:25 PM
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Fury is amusing, when it's directed at somebody else. Fury is beautifully infantile, no matter its form. Distance is the best punch line, especially when something as pathetically, biologically chemical as fury takes over.
Do you remember how mad you were? Don't you feel silly now? No? That's Ok. Give it a little time, and you certainly will. That's really the beauty of fury, when you get right down to it. It always turns into maddening embarrasment, it just takes a little while sometimes.
I like stories where people stay mad at one another for years at a time. I like the idea that some people have that capability. Heck, I believe it, having met some people who seem to have, and even having some of them be mad at me for, gosh, is it a decade now?
by MisterNihil 7:45 PM
Eat worms, dummy!
by MisterNihil 7:44 PM
Monday, April 07, 2008
The year I was born, people born before the turn of the century were in their seventies. We were used to the convention of the two-digit year. We assumed that the year in which you were born began with a 19, and if it didnt, that you would say something to that effect.
Now it's the beginning of the next century. Kids born this century can't be more than 8 years old (7 if you're nasty). Unless you're meeting a young kid, a member of the oldest 1% of the Earth's population or a turtle, you can still pretty safely assume that people you meet weren't born in years that begin with other than 19s.
Not for long, though. Enjoy your security while it lasts, children. The twenties are coming fast and they hold no pity for us, the dinosaurs of ages gone by.
It's a new world, children, and it will eat you alive.
by MisterNihil 3:36 PM
Engine sputters ghosts out of gasoline fumes, They say you had it but you sold it, you didn't want it, no,
I'm half drunk on static you transmitThrough your True dreams Of Wichita.
by MisterNihil 3:31 PM
Thursday, April 03, 2008
This is not a spam blog. Every day (sort of), we put up a topic upon which we write. It's been a little while since we did this regularly, but we're trying. Today's topic, just by way of example, is
Voluminous Omphaloskepsis which sounds like a random spam topic, but it's actually more of a description of what I do, and what many of us do, I hope. I'm being snide, but please don't take it personally.
by MisterNihil 1:09 PM
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Was it the going-away party of the year? Maybe. Maybe that's not an appropriate question to ask, though. Lots of people were there. Hell, plenty of people were there.
They gave her a gold watch, even though she'd only been with the firm for ten years. A little over ten years, in fact, said Paula. Why, hadn't it been in January of 98? Maybe it was Christmas. She couldn't remember. Everyone clapped.
They brought out the salads and sandwiches, soups and green-corn cobblers. Everyone partook. It's how these things are done. You look hard at the watch, ooh and ahh and then you eat your cobbler, then go back to work.
It was back at work that the real gathering happened. Just three there, lifers all. They remember the time she walked in on Pete in the copy room. They remember how many times Paula had to tell her not to make calls on company time. They remember all of this and they whisper it, venomously under breaths heavy with coffee but empty of green-corn cobbler.
When you walk into the room on this, the real gathering, their voices drop and they look guilty, but when you walk around the corner, if they can't see you in the mirror down the hall, they start talking again. It is delicious and awful, that talk, listening to them hiss and spit as you pick kernels out of your teeth.
by MisterNihil 1:44 PM
Well, not all of the chairs...
by MisterNihil 1:16 PM
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So, the difference between horror and epic fantasy, from the point of view of an uneducated person who has recently checked out the first part of Joseph Campbell's Hero w/K Faces is this:
In epic fantasy, the old master, the source of the new way of thinking and the author, at least in the examples he uses, of the demise from which the hero will Save us All, actually knows what's happening and is useful. In horror, or at least Stephen King's horror, which is usually a good literary example even if you don't like 'em yourself, the master who draws the character in is clueless or worse, serving to draw the hero into the problem without offering any kind of help or advice.
I take the following couple of examples: In Campbell's book, he uses the story of the Minotaur as the first example, at least in the edition I've got. Daedalus is the master who authors the problem and offers Ariadne and Theseus the solution of the ball of twine. Sure, he created the problem, but he also helps solve it.
In King's new book, Duma Key, Mr. Wireman, the lawyer, serves to draw Freemantle into the story, but really offers no help that the young Cantori cannot and does not provide.
by MisterNihil 1:17 PM
by MisterNihil 1:06 PM
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Copyright 2005 Sharon Cichelli, Mary Ann Borer, Martha Cichelli, Blythe Christopher, Fred Coppersmith, Faith Drewry, Dan Gabbett, Ben Gibbs, Jonathan Leistiko, Josh Martinez, David Menendez, Christy Roy, Shawn Sharp, Bryan Storti, Remi Treuer, Margaret Whaley, Glen Williams, John Williams, Erik Wilson