Octopi Again.

My dad, who has a knack for it, finds some pretty cool stuff on t’Internet.

Look! A Giant Pacific Octopus encountering an undersea camera. Is it trying to eat the camera? Play with the camera? Mate with the camera? Only that octopus knows!

Go to http://www.seaeye.com/whatsnew_2005.html. When I try to post a link it goes to Mircosoft, because those bastards own everything.

In totally unrelated news, I was just shutting down the computer to go to bed last night, and I caught a movement from the corner of my eye.

We have mice. or a mouse anyway. Ew.

Books.

Our lovely friend Steve came over for dinner last night. I utterly, utterly adore this man. He used to work at a used bookstore and always set aside things he thought his friends would like. He’s that kind of guy.

A while ago now, his wife, who has a soul as small and shriveled as a raisin, but less tasty, more like one of those fabled dead flies that, apparently, get mixed in with the raisins, left him. Steve’s in a crazy frame of mind these days. He’s also getting his shit organized because he’s going traveling again. We were talking about the prep for that and it came out that he has whittled his book collection down to thirty books! I believed he was actually a supernatural entity for doing this.

This got me thinking. If I had to get rid of almost all my books, what would I keep? I looked around.

The answer: Fewer than I thought. Most of my books are handy for my own brand of traditional medicine, Read Something To Make You Feel Better. Overwhelmed? Read L.M. Montgomery. Need some wit? Head for Wodehouse. Uninspired by life? Twisted Tales from Shakespeare. Escapism? Several romance authors can help me out there.

But what could I really, really not live without owning? Inscribed books from friends and relatives aside, I could do without pretty much all of them.

What books couldn’t you live without?

Junk Food Iron Chef

You know what would be really cool? Iron Chef, but with processed foods as the mystery ingredients.

Think of it: Spam en croute with a jus of Diet Coke and Sunny Delight.

Instant mashed potatoes au gratin. Made with Cheez Whiz.

Puritan Stew in a miso reduction.

Ripple Chip tempura.

To watch, of course. Not to actually eat.

Friday Urban Despair Child Blogging.

“We are lost,
We are freaks,
We are crippled,
We are weak,

We are the heirs,
The true heirs to all the world.”

New Model Army, The Ballad of Bodmin Pill

Thank you. I’m now going to go put on some black nail polish and sigh a lot.

One for the ‘Huh?’ Files

I read a lot of trashy novels. Sometimes they are British novels, and the slang within holds no mysteries. Usually. But there’s a saying I see sometimes when I’m reading. It makes no sense:

“I fancy you rotten.”

A figurative translation: I really want to fuck you.

But literally? It sounds like “I want to fuck you because you’re rotten” or “I want to fuck you until you are rotten”.

Unless the British public have more inherent kinkiness than I’d imagined, the only thing I can think of is that this really means, “I have wanted to fuck you for so long that I am now past my prime, and therefore, am figuratively rotten.” Honestly, that’s no way to get anyone into bed.

Any insights?

Strippers?

Here’s me going to talk about strippers, in a not very erudite way.

I’m Gen’s Maid of Honour (I know, shut up about the maid and the honour. The only thing in that phrase that could be considered inviolate, in the traditional sense, is the ‘of’). Anyhow, this means that at some point, for her stag night, someone is going to suggest strippers. Now, they will be completely shouted down, but I woke this morning, thinking: Male Strippers for female stag parties. Why?

Okay, viewed one way, it’s supposed to be the big blowout. The Last Chance at Freedom for the woman in question. She sees the naked man, he dances in front of her, she chews some candy from around his neck, and she goes home satisfied, knowing that Her Man is the Only Man For Her.

But let’s just think about this whole ritual. First off, what woman gets off chewing candy from a stranger’s neck? No one. Sexually, gnawing candy simply does not hold a candle to, oh, say, some careful stimulation and perhaps a well-timed compliment or two. Second, who really wants a stranger’s schlong jiggling about in her face? No women I know, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess, not many women I don’t know, either. How does this celebrate either her last days of freedom or her incipient nuptials? It doesn’t. So we get to: Why does this even happen?

Answer: Men did it first. That’s right, hiring a male stripper for a stagette is purely imitative. Guys hire peelers, because they have to celebrate the man’s Last Days of Freedom before he’s shackled forever. Clearly, women should too. In the interest of equality of course. Never mind that women don’t get off on the purple snakes waggled in their faces. Men do it, so we can too, dammit!

In contrast to men ogling naked women, let’s think a moment on the ‘female’ mind, and its reported reaction to sex. How many studies have been done that say a woman is primarily aroused by emotion, while a man is primarily aroused by visual stimuli? (I’m not quoting them because I am too lazy to go and find them. But you know you’ve heard about this stuff.) So, we ask, what’s so emotionally stimulating about having a guy come over, dance around, and get his kit off? Nothing.

So the farce continues. Ladies’ Nights at clubs also highlight the travesty. Having been on the backstage end of one amateur male stripper revue, and in the audience for a couple of professional ones, I can definitely say, women react differently to male strippers than men do to women. Men generally do one of three things. They a) huddle over pints and bottles in Gynaecology Row, lost in their own private contemplation. b) they come with a group and hoot and yell until their attentions forsake the stage for the big screen TV. c) they have their own conversations with their friends and look up occasionally. The stripper is entertainment, but she’s not usually the most imporant part of the evening. Pity, really. After all, she is the one taking off her clothes. Men get riled up only if there’s a shower, or the DJ’s good at whipping them into a frenzy.

Women are different at a strip show. Women shriek as men disrobe. Their voices reach a higher and higher pitch as more clothes leave the strippers’ bodies. But are the women really aroused? Not exactly. Most are checking their neighbours’ reactions from the corners of their eyes: Oh my God, do you believe this? Consensus says scream, they scream.

They are screaming, but they’re not creaming.

Donut what?

I’m a bit worried. This doesn’t look like a sugary snack, it looks like a demon testicle. And can I assure you, I never put those in my mouth.
You Are a Powdered Devil’s Food Donut


A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.
On the inside you’re a little darker, richer, and more complex.
You’re a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.
Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

Balls.

We have a lot of cats at this house. When Mac comes to visit, with his cats in tow, the Resident Cat number doubles. The Extra Cats from the rest of the block have to step wary, then.

Mac came to town to have Mischief, his newest cat, neutered. Mischief is feeling confused and ball-less, and needs a lot of love, so we have all been cuddling him. Bud, Mac’s Number One cat, was so put out by all the fussing Mischief was getting, that he locked himself in the furnace room for five hours yesterday so he could be loved up when we all found him and exclaimed over him. Don’t tell me cats can’t strategize.

Mac goes to the vet we all go to, Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob is a misanthropist who comes into contact with people as a distasteful part of his job, which is being the best vet in the universe. Seriously. His kennels do have the sick beasties, but if you go through the little side door, you get to the other kennels, which house the animals people couldn’t be bothered to deal with. You know, the 18-year-old cat who needs to have wet food because his teeth are falling out, so his owner took him to Dr. Bob to be euthanized. The mutt with three legs that no one else wanted. Those kinds of animals.

Dr. Bob is caring and competent. He’s also seen a lot of cat testes. You can tell by the way he comments on them. About Mischief’s recently departed sacs? “Just look at these! Wow, they’re great! A very fine pair, indeed.”

Everybody’s an expert on something. I feel privileged that I know a man whose expertise lies in the area of animal genitalia.

Portrait in Words.

He bounces in and sits down, propping his elbows on the too-high table, like he’s ready for the next huge helping of the English language. Squirrel teeth show in a game grin. He’s ready. I pass him a writing lesson.
This phase lasts about ten minutes. I know. He gets bored, tries to make increasingly complex sentences, and goes ‘Awww,’, like the other team just scored, if he gets something wrong.
By the time another five minutes are up, his head tilts, slightly, to see the book for the reading test of the day. I see him glance through the corners of his eyelashes: Do I see he’s looking at the book?
A few seconds later, he makes a lightning-fast grab for the book. I’m there faster because I’ve been waiting for this. “Remember to ask, J. Then you can read.”
He grins. “Read? Now?”
I point to the paper in front of him. “Finish this page. Then you can read.” He sighs gustily.
Two minutes later: “Teacher?”
He gets a raised eyebrow from me. ‘teacher’ may be a Korean name of respect, but he’s in Canada now. I have a name.
“Ah-nee,” he corrects himself, tells himself ‘no’ in Korean. “El. Can I read?”
“Did you finish?”
He looks at his paper. “No.” He has two questions to go.
“Finish those. Then you can read.”

The kid loves to read. He loves navigating the pitfalls of a word like ‘laughed’. If I circle the word in the running reading chart as one he’s had trouble with, he points and says it right, trying to make me erase the circle. Eyes dancing all the time.

Talk to God

here!

Actually, I’m kind of having fun trying to predict how the machine will reply. It seems to pick up on names, possibly from their place in the sentence, as well as verb tenses.

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