Random Thursday: “HIchop!” “Gesundheit!”

I’m home sick today with a sore throat and the general muscle aches and fever that have been going around the library, so if things get even more surreal around here than the usual Thursday oeuvre, that’s my excuse.

I’ll probably be fine by tomorrow, but just in case, does anyone know if the burning of sage wards off strep throat?  


First, a Poll

If you read this blog through a feed, could I ask you to drop in and take a look at what I’ve done with the place?

While I loved the old theme, it simply wasn’t wide enough for some of the things I wanted to do, so I searched for a couple of days until I found this one.  It has most of the features I wanted, but it might be a little . . . too much?

Whaddaya think?

Be honest—I can take it.

Suggestions are also welcome, though mean ones will be severely mocked.


I See a Scary Silhoutte of a Hut

Bohemian Cantina

Oola-girl, Oola-girl, better dance the fandango!
Rancor hatch is widening—very very frightening  me . .  .

No, seriously, if you’re secure enough in your love of Star Wars to embrace intelligent parodies—as opposed to my sad efforts—check out Blue Milk Special.

They know what they’re doing and they snark with such love.


Separated by Uncommon Language

Separated by a Common Langauge

Hey, Downith? What do Canadians say?


The Federation has Mondays, too

Worth it for the Red Shirts alone . . . 

The Bad Days series is part of Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, which explains the cameo . . . sort of.

(psst, Mike: try Superman—the bit around 1:08 reminded me of you)


Brief Actual News

The winner of the Libraries are Awesome poetry contest will be announced tomorrow!

Sorry for the delay—it’s been a heck of a week.

Whatever Clock


Trekkies, represent

Dude . . . there are no words.  ‘Cause I can’t speak Klingon.

But Jen Usellis can:

As Jane said, “It’s a very [scurfing up a giant loogey sound] language, isn’t it?”

Yes. Yes, it is.


Random Thursday: Random Parenthood

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā):  the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s acquired during the week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as actually sitting down and creating real content.

It’s been such a strange week . . .


Flappy the Bat

This may look to you like Rudolph the morning after an Egg Nog binge, but I’ve been told with great earnestness that this is a bat.

And not just any old bat, but a Cupcake Bat, because bugs and blood are icky and fruit is boring.

When he’s not perched on one of the lid knobs of our piano, he rides around on Sunny’s finger.

His name, she tells me, is Flappy.

Flappy the Cupcake Bat.

This may actually beat Itch the Inflatable Flea and the Bubbleguppy for sheer awesome weirdness.

Let’s have a vote!


Janie’s New Favorite Joke

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl* go the the bathroom?


Because the P is silent.

Yes, we’re very proud.


And Most of Your Entourage is Jailbait

Rock Star Parenting


Who’s the Minion Now?

Sunny loves the Minion hat her Aunt Watson knitted her for Christmas and especially enjoys using it as a full head mask.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have eye holes, so this hinders her a bit, especially when her mother is trying to get her to zip her coat.

“You can’t work your zipper with your hat pulled down, silly girl,” I said, pulling it up.  “Now try it again.”

I buttoned my own coat and heard a small voice say, “Mommy, my puller-thing is stuck.”

It was, so I fixed it, and, since I was already bent over, zipped it.  “There you go, sweetie,” I said, only to look up into the smirking eyes of the minion hat.

“See, Mommy?” said a gleeful, muffled voice.  “I can work a zipper with my hat pulled down!”

Sunny Hat


“It’s Your Kid, Rory!”

And finally, a mash-up for Lyra, who could probably use a bolstering giggle fit as she parents a small, tonsil-free child.

Plus, it actually fits the general theme, which is why it won (barely) over the montage of Lady Violet’s snarkiest lines. Maybe next week . . .


* And I quote:  “Mo-om!  It’s not a pterodactyl, it’s a pteranodon!  Sheesh!”

Random Thursday: Duck Tales!




Today is my parents’ forty-ninth wedding anniversary! 

How about some applause?

They met at Miami University, in Ohio—both were school teachers taking a summer graduate course.  They sat next to each other in class, but hadn’t spoken much.

One day, it was very hot in the classroom, and flies kept buzzing in through the open windows.  My father, being a man of many diverse skills, killed the flies that landed on his desk by flicking them with his pencil.  After each kill, he would take the corpse and place it on Mom’s desk.  She was either too embarrassed to protest or was trying not to laugh, depending on whom you ask. 

By the end of the class, Mom had a small mountain of dead flies and Dad had a ride back to Cincinnati.  Their relationship was strictly platonic, at least on Dad’s side—he was dating someone else.  Mom only says that he was very good-looking, if a bit slow on the uptake for a guy destined to be a psychologist.

Mom drove him back and forth throughout the entire summer,  until it finally dawned on Dad that he was having more fun with her than the girl he was dating.   So he stopped dating her and started dating Mom.  Finally.

The rest, as they say, is history and a lot of hard work.

Congratulations to the two coolest people I know!  Thank you for setting such a high benchmark!


For those of you who didn’t choose the fourth option in today’s poll, here’s your chance:



Sixteen days until the (arbitrary) deadline for my first draft of Pigeon.^   There’s a lot to do, but I know I can make it.

This isn’t another shipwreck.   I finally know how it’s going to end.^^  I know whodunnit and why and how.

I’m almost afraid to tilt my head in case the last chapters fall out of my ear and the twists unravel and the logic balloon collapses like a soap-bubble.

Please let it work. 

Please let it work.


A Fanfic Recommendation.  No, seriously.

My friend Siobhan (she of the double dog dares) has been on bed rest for the last two weeks of her pregnancy,* which has given her a lot of time to cruise fanfiction.net.  Fanfic is her alternative to daytime television, because, as she says, some of the stories are actually good.

She’s particularly fond of strange crossovers and alternative universes—because she doesn’t have to stew about canon—and sends me links to the weirdest things, like the stars of Supernatural as dolphins fighting demonic tuna, or something.**

But I have to admit, she finds some awesome stuff in there, including a story she sent me two days ago.

If you enjoyed the BBC’s Sherlock series, or at least the original stories, and have read Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimon’s Good Omens, then I highly recommend this story,  in which Aziraphale and Crawley feed some rather unusual ducks.  Ducks who behave completely in character.***

It’s eleven in a random (hey-oh!) series of BBC Sherlock shorts by a talented and extremely well-read writer who goes by Silver Pard.

C’mon—humor me.  Give it a try.



Janie thanks everyone (with blushes and giggles) who congratulated her on passing the third grade and agrees that she was a cute baby, though she thinks she looks better with hair.

She would also like for me to hurry up and post this, so she can play Barbie Fashionista Grand Prix, or whatever it is.

What’s the magic word, kid?


^Yes, I am counting today, because my main writing sessions are in the evenings, after the kids go to bed.

^^With a $#!%load of editing, right.  Besides that.

*They had the date wrong, apparently, and pushed her due date back an extra three weeks.  I’m not sure she was told to stay in bed for the baby’s sake or because her OB was afraid she’d seek revenge.  And neither is her husband.

**No.  No.  I’m making that up—but I promise you someone out there is working on it already.

***No duck slash, I promise.

Quotes from the Notes

I have a small bound book that I carry around so I can scribble dialogue and plot points, things that interest me and stuff that might be useful later.   I often forget why I bothered, but it’s always a trip going through it.

And I needed a blog post.*

So here’s a sample, in the exact order they were written.  I only edited one entry—a brownie point awaits the first person who figures out which one it is.

Oh, have I mentioned that I’m a quote-hoarder?


If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
—Mark Twain

To err is human; to forgive infrequent.
—Franklin P. Adams


“My team was killed because I thought I was invincible. I’m sure you’ve heard the story.”

“Several versions.  Yours is the only one that blames you.”

“Yeah, well, I’m the only one left who was there.”


Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
—Arthur Schopenhauer

Fernando Botero

We must have infinite faith in each other.  If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.
–Henry David Thoreau

Traver—collector of bridge tolls

Silver doesn’t tarnish on the moon.

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
—Lily Tomlin

Shanking:  “stabbers never show; and showers never stab”—watch the hands


“You may be the big sociopath in this little pond of yours, but I’m the monster of the deep.”


People enjoy just the right amount of strangeness, and authenticity is often too strange.
—Jo Walton

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
—Saul Bellow


Her abrupt answer stung, though he knew better—or hoped he did—than to take it personally.  But it meant he didn’t have a lot of time to talk her around.  And if she refused to help—truly refused—he was going to have to respect her decision.

But not yet.


PA does not require firearms to be registered.  LTCF’s can be issued to res and non-res.  Good for 5 years. For res—applications are handled by their county sheriff’s office, with the exception of Philadelphia (the Gun Permits & Tracking Unit of the PPD). Permits by one county must be honored by all counties, Philadelphia, too.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
—Jorge Luis Borges

Just because we’re in charge doesn’t mean everything is okay; we are not very nice.
—Benjamin Rosenbaum

If you’re violating your standards faster than you can lower them, time to go away.
—Robin Williams

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who only dream by night.
—Edgar Allen Poe

St. Drago—patron saint of unattractive people

If you could see infrared light, you could use your TV remote as a flashlight

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biography lends to death a new terror.
—Oscar Wilde

The only people who can change the world are people who want to.  And not everybody does.
—Hugh MacLeod

Alcohol detection Bracelets.  Personal Technology.  Starter interrupt for cars—anti-On Star??—missed payments, drinking, etc.  Electrocution?

My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.
—P.J. Plauger

You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.
—Jack London

There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
—Will Rogers


X is a mole!!! S/he’s been feeding info to the bad guys the whole time! That’s how they knew! And Y suspects!  This fixes EVERYTHING !!!

K.  can’t break into the Courthouse for the marriage record. -Recorder’s Office has them on microfilm.  Have C. distract the guard–that’ll tick her off, too J. has marriage covered, don’t dup.  K & C go after Pinstripes?  K. goes, C. tags along to irritate him.


Justice does not come from the outside.  It comes from inner peace.
—Barbara Hall

Aurivorious—craving gold

The louder he talked of honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reason lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place is that the same place isn’t there the second time.
—Willie Taylor

Ring the bells that still ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
—Jules de Gaultier


“Would you want someone digging up your past, even to save your life?”


Taphophiles—cemetery lovers

A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way.
—John Tudor

Cerumen = earwax

Dentures were made of the teeth of dead soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars—these were cherished by their owners.  Oh, yurgh.

Freedom deserves a better epitaph than fear.
—Leonard Pitts

We live in a Newtonian world of Einstein physics ruled by Frankenstein logic.
—David Russell

To repeat what others have said required education; to challenge it, requires brains.**
—Mary Pettibone Poole

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
—Philip K. Dick

Callipygian—having a shapely bottom

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.—Mark Twain

Call it a clan, call it a Network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
—Jane Howard


And for a rousing finish, here’s a poll for no reason whatsoever, except I finally figured out how to set one up:

Anyone want to share their favorite quotes or scribbles?  It’s kind of cathartic . . .


*Which is rapidly becoming my favorite excuse next to, “I didn’t hear the dryer ding.”