Monday, June 30, 2008

The Old Man Who Likes to Kill Children

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He lived behind the school, my fellow first graders said. In the overgrown yard of trash and weeds, facing the play field. He was purple, had a shotgun, and picked off kids that got too close.
It seemed plausible. There was evidence. The distant jar lid was, in fact, a the badge of a hall monitor he cooked and ate. The sun bleached BBQ potato chip bag was the last meal of some careless kid. The doll's head? It wasn't really a doll...!
A scaly, gall infested tree guarded his fortress. It had a menacing scowl and a sap oozing eye that glinted in the sun. A rusty barbecue stood in the distance, waiting to smoke the next victim.
We'd sneak up to the yard in groups, looking for evidence. Looking for him.
"There he is!" someone would shriek. Or perhaps "I see his gun!"
Everyone screamed. Everyone ran. We'd escaped serious peril. Fooled him again!
I reported him to the yard duty ladies. A purple kid snatcher! They didn't believe me. At the time, I couldn't understand why.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Nina is my niece. She's ten months old and trusts nobody. Visitors and strangers alike get the "Who the hell are you!? Stay away from me!" look.
I was just like her when I was little:
Strangers were scary! It was unnerving when a they got in my face. Who were they? Sometimes they smelled: mothballs, coffee breath, hairspray, to much cologne... Why did they have to get so close?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are You Dreaming? Part II

So we usually don't recognize we're dreaming.
Sharks fly by, teeth fall out, you're back in school (and probably late for the test), the room fills with water. Wait! you think. Is this a dream?...
A chimney dances a jig. A fireplug melts.
It seems that there are some tests you can run, mid dream, that give more reliable answers. I snagged them off Wikipedia's article on Lucid Dreaming.
  • Read something, look away, and read it again. Letters change in dreams.
  • Flip a light switch. In dreams, the light usually stays on or off.
  • Try to stick your finger through the palm of your hand.
  • Look in a mirror. Dream reflections are wonky

Maybe I'll try them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are You Dreaming? part I

Ever been in a bizarro dream, wondered if you were, in fact dreaming...
...and concluded that you weren't?
I do this.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Louis Wain Tribute

This started accidentally.
I was fooling around with painter. At one point I thought That looks like something Louis Wain would paint. I steered it in that direction.
Louis Wain drew cats. His cute anthropomorphic ones made it to postcards and calendars. His zany, psychedelic wallpaper-looking cats were often used to demonstrate how mental illness (he had schizophrenia) affects art.
The correlation between his mental deterioration has been exaggerated.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fake Smile

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Ever have someone flash a fake smile at you?
The "say cheese" smile where the mouth grins and the rest of the face is frozen?
This freaks me out. Why the fake one? I wonder. Do they dislike me? Are they secretly wishing they could strangle me?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


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I'll sleep in, I thought, when I saw what time it was. I deserve some extra rest.
Big Mistake.
It was one nightmare after another. Monsters. An angry Mastiff with huge teeth. Scary puppets. Moaning alarms. Buzzers. Attack machines. Bugs. Being grabbed, dragged and shaken. I'd wake up terrified, calm down, then drift off into more freakiness. It was ridiculous.
So much for extra rest. I should have gotten up and watched T.V.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Super Elastic Bubble Plastic (from Wham-O)

It was a tube gloop. Multicolored gloop.
According to the commercial, just put some on the end of a straw (provided) and you can blow beachball-sized balloons which "last and last!"
They didn't tell you it smelled like rubber cement spiked with insecticide. Or that any balloons you made would be runty lopsided blobs. If you were lucky you'd get something the size of a baseball. Rough it up and it'd deflate, shriveling into a scrap of gunk. The texture reminded me of peeled skin after a sunburn.

What was I doing wrong? Was it a skill I lacked? A special blowing technique?
Where were the big balloons from the commercial?

Now, decades later, I think I've figured it out. I should have been sniffing the fumes. Then maybe I'd see big floating blobs.
thanks to Sally C. and Linda for inspiring this post.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Inner Beauty

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Ever notice that people who won't shut up about "inner beauty"
  1. Don't have outer beauty
  2. Don't have inner beauty either.