Monday, April 28, 2008

found money

I was broke and completely forgot that I'd stashed some money away in a book. It was just inside the cover of Hemingway's To Have And Have Not.
Pretty clever, huh?

Saturday, April 26, 2008


A sequel-vignette-of- sorts based on the Scifi movie,
Alien Resurrection...



Annalee Call’s lifeless, naked body is before me on the cold slab under a clean white sheet. Three weeks ago a fellow surgeon, Simon, and I brought her remains here from a dramatic recovery when her Trans-craft module went down. It’s now my job to bring her back to life after the examiner has had her under his grubby hands all this time. The brass upstairs wants me to change her internal configuration from a new schematic they sent down here to the bunker. It would squelch her judgment facility. No way! I use the word "her" and I’ll use "she" from here on out instead of what the plain tag on her toe reads:

'Droid. Series Lm7. Diagnostic NC.'

NC means natural causes. Natural causes my ass.

Normally, Simon and I aren’t involved with rescue and recovery. We were returning from a conference on Synthetic Metabolism In Android Structure from over in Sector 12. Hell, we weren’t coming straight back. There’s this pub over in 12, you see,….well, never mind. On the way back we picked up a faint distress call in our headsets. It was in an area nobody had a business being in. It was on Earth, that iced-over abandoned sphere in the Milky Way. After homing in on the distress signal, we touched down in a frozen tundra ablaze in a white out. Donning our insulated blizzard suits and yellow lenses, we ventured out with the tracking scope. In no time at all Simon found Call’s module and tapped me on the shoulder and pointed. It was less than a kilometer North from where we had set down. The module was empty and charred. It was easy to see what had happened. The entire wire harness from a hole in the wall leading to a maneuvering rocket had melted. It was still warm. We looked at each other. There was hope.

Reconfiguring the tracking scope for a radial search, we trudged on in the blinding storm. Forty-two meters southwest of the module we found Call partially buried. We raised her body, frozen in the fetal position. Only limp was her hair. Underneath her in a dugout were two small children sleeping like dogs in a heap. You can imagine our joy. This is no ordinary ’droid.’ She had altered her body temperature to save them and she perished trying to keep them warm and awake. Retrieving the memory disk from under her left breast during surgery, I found this sound fragment with three shivering voices from a undamaged block on the disc:

“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

Mary had a little lamb, it’s fleece was white as snow.”


Surgery has gone well. There was heavy deterioration in her chest cavity, possibly from a previous shoddy patch up job. Like any other profession, the last repairman was an amateur. I was struck by the color of Call’s skin. I believe I saw that color in a book I have back in my room. It’s called ‘pearl‘. In-between white and cream. Back when Earth was inhabited by seawater oysters, these little creatures produced pearls. When they were removed the oyster died. During surgery I re-inserted the salvaged memory disk in a protective and impenetrable film so that Annalee will never die. The stiletto remains in her arm for good measure. I ignored the new scheme and fully expect to be court-martialed for failure to follow orders. I ran into Ellen Ripley, a friend from years ago, in the corridor today while on a smoke break and after mentioning my case she has promised to testify on my behalf if needed. I hugged her and thanked her.

“I’ll do what I can,” Ripley said.

“Then please testify for Call instead of me,” I said.


The seven member panel has dropped all charges against me. Simon and I went for a drink to celebrate. We were quiet. Across the room, smoke hovering above, Call was in a poker game cleaning up.

“Pearl,” I said softly.

“What’s that?” Simon said.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


How sweet it is! as The Great One used to cry.

Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, and became the first female driver in IndyCar history to savor the soaking of white sparkling victory from a bottle.

Using a timely refueling strategy by the Andretti/Green Team, Danica outlasted the big boys in her 50th career IRL start on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval.

When she removed her racing helmet she was crying. And how wonderful it was when congratulations swarmed about her that she turned to her mother and received a lingering hug.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm guessing the plates shifted eleven miles down and the ringing pendulum registered five point four on the metronome-like scale of some little old lonesome hunched-back quake watcher out in a wooden shack in southern Indiana stirring his companion beagle awake. Then his phone rang off the wall with requests for interviews by newspaper and tv folk, and he repeated all morning, "yes sir, by golly, she read five point four, and I was a-watching it when she hit."
Later, being a rare occurrence in the Heartland, he would get his picture in the paper, the beagle at his feet with its head resting on his paws asleep.

I was half awake yesterday morning at 5:38am anyway when the shaking began. Let me just say that's the most shaking my mattresses have experienced in a long time. I was half awake because in the minutes leading up to the quake I had one dandy of an earache with alot of pressure. Not sure, but maybe that's similar to the stories you've heard about how cat and dog behaviors alter just before a quake, tornado, seizure, or sneeze arrives.
I am a dog.

Or, maybe it's all because the Pope's in town.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

comedy tonight

Brian Regan's take on poptarts...

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The small town day was soggy in the endless rain. Men had wandered around aimlessly, pausing at times with their hands stuffed in front pockets, stooping at the ruffle-edged curtained window above the kitchen sink to peer out into the gloom, irritating the wife, wishing they could be outside adjusting throttles on their riding mowers. Or at least mixing fresh gas/oil combos at their work benches.

The soldier carefully descended the deep rubber steps off the bus, balancing his over-stuffed duffel bag swung on his back. The town looked smaller than he remembered from just a year ago. The bulging, uneven sidewalk in front of his mom and sister's house looked narrower. Nervous, he looked down at his boots, rocking them slowly to an fro in the puddle like a little boy with nothing else to do. He couldn't bring himself to go in the front door.

She was doing evening dishes at the kitchen sink in the rear of the house with her back to the door. She knew without turning or feeling the cool waft. She dropped the plate.
"My baby. Promise you won't leave again," burying her tears in his chest.
"I promise." He kissed her again.
"It's good to have you home," she said over and over.

About an hour before sunset the sun broke through the clouds and threw long shadows. A few cars began straddling the center line or weaved as unprepared drivers reached to the glove compartment for relief from the glare. If you were standing on the corner observing you'd of thought every driver was answering their cellphones at the same time. Men dropped the evening paper beside their favorite chairs, struggled to their feet and went to their front windows. It looked like a whole new day out. Now, hands went in the back pocket and they rocked expectantly on the balls of their feet.

He was asleep already as his little sister delicately pulled the tattered blue and white diamond afghan up under his chin. She tiptoed to her room and flipped through the blank pages of the black leathered diary he had 'waa-laa'ed! out of his duffel bag like a magic trick. Out on the empty wooden swing rocking in a fresh-chilled breeze on the back porch, clutching her rose-colored sweater close to her neck, she considered the first entry in those last moments before sunset. And she would read those first three pages out loud, slowly, to him, nodding approvingly, in the morning as the steam was still spinning upwards from his tall stack of wheats.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'd like to kiss you....

...just to celebrate Bette's 100th birthday...

Scene from Cabin In The Woods(1932)

Proust questionaire

Once again, whilst nobody was looking, this vagabond swiped those famous 'at 13 and 20' questions of Marcel's from the Blog Princess.

Your most marked characteristic?

The qualities you most like in a man?
good work ethic, honor

The qualities you most like in a woman?
intellectual vigor, spontaneity

What do you most value in your friends?
unwavering generosity

What is your principle defect?
see #1

What is your favorite occupation?
writing on a blank page

What is your dream of happiness?
a huge library with secret passages to get lost in

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

What would you like to be?
a cartoonist, or, no, wait..a bird!

In what country would you like to live?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Hemingway, Turgenev, Faulkner, Capote...

Who are your favourite poets?

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Holmes & Watson, Kilgore Trout

Who is your favorite heroine of fiction?
Ántonia (My Ántonia)

Who are your favorite composers?
Pachelbel, Gershwin

Who are your favorite painters?
Monet, Vermeer, Renoir, Rockwell

Who are your heroes in real life?
Neil, Buzz, Mike from Apollo 11, Bart Starr, Groucho, Woody

Who is your favorite heroine of history?
Sylvia Beach

What are your favorite names?
Audrey, Winona

What is it you most dislike?
deliberate inhumanity, (and the evening news)

What historical figures do you most despise?
those know

What event in military history do you most admire?

What reform do you most admire?
child labor laws

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
to draw

How would you like to die?
not alone

What is your present state of mind?

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
impatience, procrastination

What is your motto?
life isn't short enough (Thankyou, Mr. Laurel :) )

Friday, April 4, 2008

over at 17th and Broadway....

....40 years ago tonight, Robert Kennedy broke the horrible news of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. to a crowd gathered to see Kennedy on his presidential campaign stop in Indiana. His speech that April evening is rightfully credited with preventing any similar unrest like occurred in some major cities across the country that tragic day.
An excerpt:
..."Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love. "...

Thursday, April 3, 2008


"It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own."

...Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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