Blue index cards
I accidentally bought a package of unruled blue index cards and then found a template online to print lines on them.
I wish I could say that it’s cheaper to do it yourself and that the quality is better. Not so much. But at least I have index cards to write my main character’s scenes on.
Desky desk plant
Around this time of year, my partner always likes to show off the new plants in his garden on Facebook. Well, here is a desk plant that I have managed to keep alive for four months. I wish someone had told me earlier that you can just water plants when their soil gets dry, and not worry about twice per week or once a day or any other kind of schedule.
Mushrooms: the danger at the grocery store
My partner posted an anti-brussels sprouts infographic on his facebook, and I retaliated in the only way I know how: by attacking what he loves most with an infographic of my own. It’s 2016. In this day and age, there should be more factual, heavily-researched, and completely not-made-up information about mushrooms.
The text, if you can’t read it:
All about Mushrooms
Learn about the danger at the grocery store.
Leave mushrooms in the forest and in drawings of fairies.
Punch anyone who pressures you into mushroom pizza.
Did you know that 60% of American pizzas need to be disposed of each year due to mushroom contamination occuring when a stray mushroom slips onto a pizza half that was supposed to be only pepperoni?
78% of tantrums thrown by 91% of children ages 4-12 are caused by mushrooms. The resultant elevated stress levels in parents, siblings, and adjacent restaurant-goers have been linked to increased rates of depression, anxiety, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and leprosy.
There are thousands of different types of mushrooms, and only a small percent are technically edible. The rest will cause the following types of fatalities: literal, spiritual, emotional, textural, imagined, and hoped-for.
Nintendo is in the pocket of Big Mushroom and has received billions of dollars since the mid-1980s to promote a mushroom-positive attitude in their games.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that most serial killers have in common an experience of uncertainty concerning whether or not an eggroll has mushroom in it.
“Checklist,” a blackout poem
What I like about blackout poetry is that it’s sort of an inverted version of pinhole cipher, where a hidden message is concealed in printed matter by pinholes under the words of the real message. I used to make pinhole ciphers on discarded newspapers in cafeterias and coffee shops, just in case someone noticed.
If I had nine lives, I’d use one of them to be a spy who retires and opens a coffee shop. Preferably, the spy part would be in the early half of the twentieth century, before analogue cryptography was completely outmoded.
With blackout poetry, I can just sort of pretend that someone sent me a secret message and pick out whatever words or syllables interest me.
I didn’t have any particular plan when I did this one, but it’s clear to me that this poem explains how I deal with a lot of social niceties, particularly being asked how I’m doing when I’m not doing well, but I don’t want to say so. Smile, smile, find some sort of lie, and try not to sigh depressively.
Not that I would put on such a charade at my spy coffee shop. I like to think I foster an atmosphere of erudite grumpiness.
The Social Anxiety Flowchart
…for dealing with phone calls badly. Because some phone calls are tougher than others. Some phone calls loom before you like a wall of fire, and you just can’t get past them.
Grandma? Ok, I’ll call Grandma.
Routine work matter? Done. Made the call like a champ. Like a boss. Like an emperor!
Health insurance issue with numerous complicated variables to go over, but only after you’ve been on hold for thirty minutes and now you have to pee? And the call is probably being recorded? And there’s this weird, sound-obscuring scratchiness on the other end, even though you called a land line?
Yeah, I’m a fan of e-mail.
Sometimes, regular old introversion can veer into anxiety territory. Lucky for me, I have a friend who understands this. Together, we came up with a great solution for terrible phone calls. And a great solution deserves a flowchart.
Google maps glitch… or space-time distortion?
It might not be immediately obvious what’s wrong with this picture.
The map is a portion of Clinton, MA. Note the address of Lou’s Diner.
At first glance, it looks like there’s some kind of glitch with Google Maps that caused a diner from Las Vegas to appear to be in a town north of Worcester, MA.
But…but…but… Google is infallible, right? Google doesn’t glitch. And its eventual planetary hegemony will be a good and benevolent time for the human race, won’t it?
Of course! Because of this, it is seems rational to entertain the possibility that there has actually been a space-time distortion, and a diner from Nevada now exists in Massachusetts. It raises a lot of questions.
Is Nevada now actually a part of Massachusetts? Is Massachusetts now some kind of geographical bag of holding (or pseudo-science-that’s-actually-magic term that means the same thing) that can contain oversized states from way out west*? How do Massachusetts gambling laws affect the State of Nevada now?
Furthermore, do I still want to stop by this place to grab a bite, knowing that the anomaly could cease and I could be snapped up and transported to Nevada, a place that I imagine as a vast desert crossed by a handful of infinite highways and a splotch of neon-lit gambling?
For someone with an extreme aversion to hot weather (like, over 70 F) and an overblown fear of snakes, the desert is easily the worst place in the world.
Would you dare enter such a diner, knowing the risks?
UPDATE: Driving through Clinton, MA the day after I wrote this post, my partner and I did not see any sign of Lou’s Diner. While it’s possible that we were distracted by talking about the Wachusett Reservoir, or Klingon language issues, it seems just as likely that Lou’s Diner has been returned to Nevada where it belongs.
*I use the term “way out west” to signify the western part of the United States. This is in contrast to the Massachusetts meaning, which may indicate any part of the state west of Worcester.