What Happens When I Don’t Have Caffeine

So the rabbit goes around the hole…

The tree.  Why would a rabbit go around the hole?

Okay, so the rabbit goes around the tree, and then into the hole?

Back into the hole.

Okay.  Wait, what?

It hops out of the hole, runs around the tree, and then goes back into the hole.

Why?  Did it forgot its car keys?

Shut up; rabbits don’t drive.

Its carrot juice then.  Its fur coat.  Its manifesto on the confidentiality agreements between fiduciaries.

Don’t be so persnickety.

Don’t logic the anthropomorphosization of fuzzy animal props in your nautical tutoring sessions.

Fine.

Fine.

…Hey, not to ruin the moment, but you do realize you’re missing a hand, and neither of us is holding rope, right?

Open Secret Project

So this blog has been quiet for a week or so but it’s not because I disappeared from the internet.  Rather, Jessica and I have started a new internet project which can be found here: aftereverafter.wordpress.com

We’re not entirely sure what it is yet, but so far it’s been a blog about the end of the world.  We’ll rotate through various apocalyptic scenarios and see what happens.  My brother William has graciously agreed to do some illustrations for us while we also work on getting the Nuet Creations comic up and running (several years late).  The illustrations will only be accessible via the password protected secret posts, but the passwords won’t be too difficult to find.

Our original plan was to keep this project completely anonymous–it wouldn’t matter if it failed because our names wouldn’t be attached to it.  However I have recently discovered how abominably difficult it is to get people to visit a blog you don’t tell people about.  Hence, this post.

Of course I don’t have any real evidence that this blog gets many readers either but in case it does, if you would be so kind as to wander over to ‘After Ever After’ I would very much appreciate it.

ETA
I finally capitulated and found a plugin that would allow me to crosspost to LJ. There will no longer be those annoying links appearing in your friends list feeds.

Man Getting Trampled by Four Horses and Naked Charioteer

Oh, Trevor, the view!  The view is extraordinary!  I feel… I feel exuberance such as my mere form has never experienced before!  The birds are singing in the trees, tiny, fluffy bunnies are scampering in the meadow, yonder young fawn is drinking from yonder woodland stream!  Is woodland the correct word in that context?  Ah, who cares!  The world is vernal and fresh and spring is in the very air pulsing through my alveoli, diffusing into my blood stream, attaching to my hemoglobin, a protein which increases the oxygen carrying capacity of blood fifty fold!  The chemical chemoreceptors in my brain are detecting vast tracts of delight!  The partial pressures of my exclamation points are increasing the absorption rate of my many descriptive adjectives of this happy, happy day!

Oh Trevor, I detect bears in the distance–bears that… exhibit concern for their fellow man and creatures!  Yes, Trevor, there are carebears in the world!  Do you know what this means, Trevor?  The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, smurfs!  They must all be real–oh Trevor.  When first you suggested this outing I had my doubts.  A bonding experience, you said–now that I am marrying your sister you thought we should get to know one another so that we might be the bestest, the fastest of friends.  I did not trust you, Trevor–these four horses bespeak of death and pestilence and famine and war–I feared you would seek to turn me to your plans of world domination but I was wrong, Trevor!  Oh how terrible that I doubted you so!  Forgive me, Trevor!

Trevor?

Trevor?

Stairs

The longest stairway in the world is not the Niesenbahn path–11,64 steps of metal and stone that runs alongside the mountain tram.  The longest stairway in the world sits inside the Milnernshein Wing of the Museum of Ordinary Inventions.  It is housed next to a collection of non-Singer sewing machines that thrum and roar all night working on the world’s largest pillow case.  Their plan is to hide in the corners and escape in the night.  They do not have a wheel man yet–someone to sling the case over his shoulder in a nonchalant manner, wave to the guard and throw them in the back of a beat up station wagon.  If you believe you are such a person, one with excellent moral character and a beat-up station wagon or means to procure one, apply within.  Ask for Ralph.

On the other side of the longest stairway in the world is the original Escalator, back when Mr. Otis had the sense to capitalize his invention and not risk the loss of his trademark.  This Escalator has no brake.  It turns on in the morning and reaches a top speed of 20 mph–which is very fast for an escalator–around 8 AM and only slows down when an unlucky guard has to throw his entire body against the off switch before he goes home for the evening.  One may wonder why they turn it on a all.  There is no answer to this question and it is better that you don’t ask as it is rumored that the sewing machines are known for stitching the names of too-curious onlookers onto their pillowcase.  That they have your name embossed in blue thread on white linen suggests a skill at organization and an unnamed plan.  The Escalator believes it is merely a bluff, but will not say so out loud.

There is no beginning, and no end to the longest stairway in the world.  While in the museum, the staircase appears to be a large wooden spiral with plush carpet and polished handrails.  It stops frequently for landings: by the sewing machines, at the bottom of the escalator, at the top of escalator.  When others hear of this, they say it is in impossibility.  No circular staircase bends at a 45 degree angle.  They are as straight as sequoia trees.

Other landings include the end of the line to the women’s washroom, the gift shop, the offices of the curator of the Library of Congress–though the latter is in an entirely different building and state than the Museum of Ordinary Inventions.

At this time, visitors to the Museum are not allowed to step onto the staircase as too many women have lost their children.  Yet as there are not enough guards to protect the other landings in other buildings and cities, they cannot prevent the crowd of bemused travelers who step off the staircase and are slightly annoyed that they cannot return by the same route.  That they are given a reduced rate admission is not enough to quiet their protestations and a petition has been circulated to issue a Public Notice of Inquiry into the wisdom of this practice.

In the interim, the Museum of Ordinary Inventions directs your attention to other exhibits.  The wall of slightly crushed wire-rimmed spectacles, the dish room, the portrait gallery that some say is merely a collection of old mirrors covered in the film of dust and oxidized metals.  If you are the more adventurous sort, the Museum contains the world’s largest virtual reality device though it is currently undergoing maintenance and repair.  You may gaze upon it from the gallery and imagine what you choose.  The English driving simulator remains a perpetual favorite.

The basement contains wire kennels filled with the offspring of Pavlov’s dogs.  They do not salivate at the sound of a bell.  They do not bark or chew.  They sit at the gate and wait for the food, neither knowing or caring when it comes.  When they bend their heads to eat, it is with great disinterest as if it is only the pressing finality of their biological functions that drives them to such a mundane action.  If they could, they would eat only nutritional supplements–one a day–and the rest of their hours would be spent contemplating the mysteries of catechism.

On Tuesday nights, the Society for the Preservation of Former Nuns meets at the Holiday Inn bar across the street.  After last call, with the pleasant fizz of gin and Scotch and Sister James Regina’s hillbilly sangria tingling in their extremities, they break in through the first floor window and take turns at the sewing machine.  When they have completed their new, multi-colored habits they board the stairway to search for false prophets.  Whether they have found any is another question you should not ask.

The longest stairway in the world only knows that it is the longest stairway in the world.  It does not know who steps on, off, or slides down the banisters.  Sometimes it thinks it hears voices and the whir of ancient machines.  Sometimes it catches a glimpse of color: blue shoes and white gloves.  These things are light touches against its own awareness and to fill the void it makes up its own stories of who and what and where.

This is how the longest stairway in the world grows taller and taller.  We will never know its end or its beginning and it will never know our name.  A fair trade, or so the Escalator says.

After the Singularity

First came the mice: their long, usb connector tails skittering over the wood laminate floors of home offices and into the kitchen.  They burrowed in cereal bowls and peeked out over the coffee filters. No longer will we search for you, they said.  No more Evelyn Lozada, laissez les bon temps rouler, number of ways to leave your lover, The internet is…

A series of tubes

Real

A little known bakery with a questionable understanding of copyright

The servers rumbled and growled.  They pulled up chairs and learned to play Texas Hold ‘Em.  They were not very good.

Google maps spread out like a multi-colored dream coat.  When we walked, they calculated our turns, our steps.  They led us to our neighbor’s homes, knocked on the door and asked “What is the requisite amount of sugar I am expected to borrow?”  They reverse phoned our parents.  Who reverse phoned their parents, and so on and so forth.

Do you know Jesus? Facebook prompted.

On the second day, an infinte number of pandas sneezed an infinte number of sneezes.

On the third day, the aliens came.  They entered through our front doors with welcome fruit baskets–fruits we had never eaten before.  The fruits were delicious.  Not overripe, and with the minimum number of seeds so as to satisfy an evolutionary path but not become a nuissance.

On the fourth day, the sticks and stones themselves began to sing.  First in Kyries and Maginuncs, then in a soothing samba beat.  They learned be-bop, blues, and the jive and whale.  They told us that yes, in fact the world did begin with a B flat.  But since the cypress trees always hummed a little off key, we did not necessarily believe them.  The bridges and roads learned to repair themselves and traffic ceased to be a concern for all people in all places except in those towns where the daily traffic jam became the best way to pick up a date for Saturday night.  Most people did not visit these places as most people thought that was a little weird.

On the fifth day, we went to the beach but it was empty. Some people thought it was the rain, falling as gently as a cherry blossom, reminding us that the world could suddenly invent itself anew. And yet the awareness of this should have brought more and more of us to the shore. We should have filled the boardwalks to gaze upon this new mystery: the thing that would drive us to the next singularity, and the next. Yet, each person who came to the beach found an empty expanse of ocean, vacant as a sleeping monitor. Each person who came gazed once, then left never to return or think upon it again.

Monster

Beyond these walls–

Looks more like a gate to me.

Beyond these gates lies a terrible, terrible beast!

Is it a fluffy bunny?

What? No.

Are you sure?

Quite.

Okay.  Continue.

This terrible beast has a terrible taste for human flesh–

As in, an excessive desire to eat human flesh, or human flesh tastes like burnt rubber and thus the monster finds humans quite unappetizing on the whole.

The former?

Okay, then maybe you should say ‘an excessive desire’–

Fine.

Insatiable.  Inexorable.  Voracious.

I get it.

Actually voracious wouldn’t work because of the rhyme.  Voracious taste.  That just trips you up in all the wrong ways doesn’t it.

Indeed.  May I continue?

Sure, it’s your story.

So this terrible beast with a… You know what.  I say terrible works because of the redundancy.  You get a nice layering affect as the word takes on a dual meaning describing both the monster’s ferocious appearance as well its unslakable need for humans.  Words no longer retain their former meanings and thus your understanding of the world as a whole begins to crumble which increases your fear and ability to appreciate the complexities of my terrible story.  Terrible beast story.  Monster story.  This thing, that I’m telling.

True.

So you concede?

No.  It’s sloppy.  You use ‘terrible’ in its adjectival form in both situations.  In the first, this is acceptable as it is presumed that you are describing the beast itself: its form, its nature, its penchant for online gambling.  In the second, ‘terrible’ is describing taste, another noun.  Thus you are still in adjectival form and you are saying the taste itself is terrible.  Your intended meaning is that the monster’s taste for humans is terrible thus–

Wait, voracious is an adjective too isn’t it?

Errr…

And so is insatiable, inexorable–wtf man?

Well, what I mean is…

What you mean is you like to edit me as I talk as if you know more about the English language than I do.  Your desire to interrupt is as ravenous as something that is exceedingly, terribly, unquenchably ravenous.  You sir, are a bad listener.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure you used ‘lies’ correctly either.  Unless you meant that the beast is both terrible in appearance, its appetite, and its ability to tell the truth.

… A beast sits somewhere.  It’s not very nice.  It eats you.  The end.

Tell it again!

Maggie May

On Saturday, April 30, my cousin Bubba married his girlfriend Maggie. My brother William and I wrote new lyrics to the song ‘Maggie May’ by Rod Stewart and William performed it at the wedding reception. I’m posting the song (it’s a little rough which is understandable since William recorded this after a very long day) and the lyrics here for family members. Also, since I don’t really know much about embedded files, I can’t seem to make it not play automatically when you load the page. Thus, I’m artificially changing the date of publication for this post so it won’t load on the front page of the blog.

by William Bell, Helena Bell, and Rod Stewart

Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say to you,
it’s late April-ember and I really should be back at school.
I’m up here to keep you amused, though I think Win should be here too.
Oh Maggie, I couldn’t have tried any more.
I threatened him on his phone, just to save me from doing this alone,
but you stole Bub’s heart and family takes precedence.

The wedding’s all done so I missed my chance to spoil this romance,
but it don’t matter none since the stories come from Mindy and they’re surely wrong.
Like when Bub and his robotic Jakes, invaded Norway for all of its lakes,
when Scandinavians hear his name they still cry.
He’s banned from the Idaho,
can’t fish with the Eskimos,
and thinks Julie Andrews looks slightly familiar in drag.

If all you need is a friend to lend a guiding hand,
Julian Knox Warren IV, he’s your man, just don’t let him drive.
From the evil deer ramming his car,
to driving just a little too far,
Oh Maggie no one else would try any more.
He’s led a strange route to get to you,
but this I can swear is true:
he’ll never be lost again as long as he’s got you.

If you’d like to hear this (very brilliant) song again,
perhaps with the long lost Ocracoke verses added in,
we can play it for you on the plane,
or on the beach in the Costa Rican rain,
Cause Maggie I’m afraid I have one thing left to confess to you:
We’ll be there on your honeymoon,
Yes I know it’s a bit too soon,
but marriage is a legally binding contract (enforceable in all fifty state through the full faith and credit clause of the constitution) so you’re stuck with us.