30 August 2004

This afternoon, as I was laying down for a quick nap before work, I heard my niece naming a sequence of her Barbies. She never names anything normal, human names like Jennifer or Samantha. She prefers to string together random syllables and large words that are stored meaninglessly in her subconscious into other unearthly, poetic names.

This, lately, has been in conjunction with her new Olympic sport of Barbie Flipping, which is exactly what it sounds like – taking a naked Barbie by the feet and trying to make it spin as many times as possible before it crashes into something. This is okay by the pool, where they can harmlessly ricochet off of trees and into the water, but it’s not as okay in the house, where the sharp-Barbie-foot-to-eye ratio is alarmingly high. The superhero Barbies that I gave her for her birthday are excluded from this, and instead sit on the sidelines, having a hot and heavy catfight every so often and having competitions regarding who is stronger or can fly higher. Apparently, whichever Barbie can spread her legs the farthest is also the fastest.

She names them as she flips them. Whatever name that they had yesterday is cast aside for the new linguistic configuration, for good or bad. So, today, as I was slightly drifting off to sleep, Raven shouts a new name for her Barbie.


And this is why it’s good to live at home.


31 August 2004


As you can see, it’s a special kind of beetle used to strip flesh from bones. I just think that the whole world should know that there’s actually an insect that can be used to remove flesh from bone, in case you plan on killing old Mrs. Noah, the crotchety biology teacher, skeletonizing her and in an ironic twist of fate, placing her back in her own classroom as an articulated model for kids to pose as if she’s picking her nose. But see, the detectives would know one thing : that real model skeletons are not made in the US, and that those which we imported from second and third world countries have also been outlawed, since people were actually killing others to sell their skeletons to American colleges. So, feed Mrs. Noah to the dog.

Rachel, my last girlfriend, and I, used to joke about our future house and kids, and the acceptability of my having a Dermestid Beetle Room in the house, in order to advance my skull ‘n’ bone collection.

“Kids, where’s Daddy?”
“He fell into the Domestic Beetle Room!”
“Oh, not again! Get the broom and the harmonica. Don’t ask, just do it!”
“Why do we have those things anyway, Mommy?”
“Because I love your father very much.”

As much as I have a genuine desire to load my town’s plentiful roadkill into the flatbed truck which I don’t have and toss ‘em into the Dermestid pit which I don’t have and make sprawling bone sculptures and new creatures, I’ll keep myself relegated to what I can find, which is limited. Once, as children, my sister and I were given a box of bones from a deer that had drowned in the brook behind our house and was picked clean by fish. I was constantly inquisitive and figuring things out, so it was the ultimate science experiment. We kept them in the toy closet for about a week, until I was fitting them back together and one popped open, revealing a colony of tiny, vermilion worms, and my sister simultaneously got a mysterious, rare rash that no one had gotten in the past 50 years. It wasn’t deadly or disfiguring, which was disappointing to the aspiring scientist, but it spelled an end to my adventures in biology. The bones were given back to the Earth, either burned or thrown back into the stream.


1 September 2004

Today, I walked into the bank to deposit half of my paycheck and relegate the other half to repayment of student loans. So, I filled out a deposit form, subtracting the appropriate amount in the appropriate fields and summing it all up at the bottom. It looked something like this.

I got on the line, which was reaching towards the door, right behind a pretty girl. Where I live, pretty young girls are a very rare commodity, most of them being away at college or smart enough to have left town before the mire of Putnam Valley secured their feet to the accursed, lonely land. In my geekish desire to avoid eye contact and reveal my fear and desperation to her, I gazed down at my deposit slip and noticed that things just weren’t adding up.

Having brought my own pen, as I’m ever dissatisfied with with chained, scratchy things that the bank provides, I began recalculating. And re-recalculating. No matter what I did, it was soon mathematically impossible to subtract 175 from 402.12. The laws that govern the universe twisted, ones became too heavy to successfully carry, the number seven became some some wavelength of energy beyond the visible spectrum, and I was lost. The line was growing shorter by now, and the cute girl was gazing back at me, and I was getting nervous. So, I did what any smart mathematician would do. I withdrew 200 instead of 175, which was an assload easier to subtract from 402.12. By now, my deposit slip was a disaster. It looked something like this.

I had to explain what it said to the teller.

“Does that say two hundred?”
“Is that a robot playing with a beach ball?”
“Yeah… it represents the number 6.”
“Is… is that blood?”
“Yeah… it was REALLY hard to figure out.”
“Initial here. With the pen.”

And this is why I don’t like the bank. The cute girl would have given me her number, except for the fact that I was obviously having trouble with the numbers that I already had and she didn’t want to give my a numerical anyeurism.


5 September 2004

So, the local Emergency Broadcast System just came on a few minutes ago. It’s been a gray, quiet, creepy day as it is, but as soon as the black TV screen was done announcing the fact that they HAD to jolt us to attention with that awful buzzing once per day, something very odd happened.

I’m jittery as it is, especially in a big house with lots of odd noises. The Emergency Broadcast System scares me, given the weather in Florida and the political state of the world. When the buzzing was done, the TV started playing Black Hole Sun.

I swear to god – every TV in the Hudson Valley was taken over by Soundgarden and the most eerie, apocalyptic song in the universe. It was like they were easing us into the fact that the world was ending. I assume it was a mistake, but talk about irony. I’m glad I’m going to work in an hour, just so I’m not alone in this house.


10 September 2004

Last night, I had a dream that a ‘meteor’ was fast approaching Earth, throwing our magnetic fields all out of whack. Phones weren’t working right, people’s personalities were backwards, the house was infested with ladybugs the size of my fist and dead lobsters who decided that the ocean was boring, and the sky grew black. Because apparently, magnetic fields drive lobsters WACKY.

This is what my dreams are like. Yesterday, I had a dream that I was a train conductor who was giving a piggyback ride to a line of passengers, when I met a beautiful redhead who was a culinary student, who was disappointed that her favorite fish market was closing. I was charming and clever and said something about halibut.