Monthly Archives: October 2009

Today’s Epigram

When I was 14, I couldn’t believe how ignorant my father was. By the time I turned 21, I was astounded at how much the old man had learned in just seven years.

–Mark Twain

A Chapter From An Unpublished Novel: Dog Star

Steve’s Life Style

The days began to speed up and blur together in Phillipa’s mind. She was barely keeping up at school and Steve was incessant in his desire to see her. She wanted to slow things down a bit, but there was a part of her that found his unpredictable side incredibly attractive and enjoyed not knowing where this was heading.  He had invited her to his condo that night for sushi. They were going to hatch a plan to extract DNA from Kenny and analyze it with the help of Steve’s friend.

Phillipa and April were sitting outside on a park bench, people watching and enjoying the spring sunshine.

“April, can I ask you something? How much do suppose an archeology professor makes a year?”

“I dunno, not much. Why?”

“Steve seems to have a lot of money. His condo is fabulous and he always takes me to the best restaurants in town. He wants to take me to Mexico over spring break to a resort near a Mayan archeological dig.”

“Are you complaining? I’ll trade you for my boyfriend who takes me out for Mexican food twice a week and lives with four other guys. Maybe Steve’s family has money.”

Phillipa put the thought out of her mind and tried to concentrate on studying for her organic chemistry exam. Later she want back to her dorm room, put on a sleeveless cotton sundress, sandals and slipped off her panties at the last minute before leaving and walking across campus to Steve’s condo. Approaching his building, she spotted a real estate flyer advertising one of the condo’s in the building for sale. She slipped it out of it’s plastic holder and looked for the asking price: nearly a million dollars.

She pushed the intercom button for Steve’s apartment. “It’s me, ” she said. “I’ll be right down,” said Steve. “Hey Babe, you look fabulous,” said Steve after opening the door. He grabbed her and gave her a long, wet kiss. “I have something to show you,” he said as they rode the elevator to his top-floor condo. Phillipa loved spending time at Steve’s. It was a living space that seemed to echo the inside of Steve’s mind; it was full of artifacts that gave it a madly eclectic, primal too, even a little sinister. Floor to ceiling shelves along one wall held Mayan dolls, some gruesome in their depiction of ritual sacrifice. Another wall  was  covered with rubbings from petroglyphs from around the world.  Pre-historic hunters tracked  ancient game  across  long-gone  wildernesses, often sporting enormous erections as they hunted. There were photographs of “preserved elders” from a New Zealand tribe who literally smoked their ancestors and placed them on racks high in the mountains as objects of worship.

“Take a look at this,” said Steve, handing her a long, black tube wrapped with string at one end and decorated with intricate carved patterns that looked like leaves. “It is a blow-gun from Paraguay. It is probably a five hundred years old. I got it from a friend working a dig in Cerro Cora. It was a hunting weapon — very deadly. ”

While she looked at the blowgun, Steve went into the kitchen and brought out the most beautiful tray of sushi she had ever seen — full of startling looking concoctions.

“Try some of this. — it’s bluefin tuna.  Very rare. That is abalone.  This is Russian cavier,” said Steve while opening the sake. “All extremely fresh — flown in today. I acquired a taste for the exotic stuff while working on a dig near Osaka. They eat deer sushi there — amazing. We aren’t eating Bambi tonight, though.”

They ate on his balcony overlooking the University of Washington campus, enjoying the sunset and watching the alpenglow on Mt. Ranier.

“I’ve been thinking about getting Kenny’s DNA,” said Steve. “The  best  chance we have is  probably some  preserved  bone marrow, perhaps from the  femur.  I can extract it without  damaging the bone too much. Do you think you can ‘borrow’ his femur for me the next time you are at the Museum?”

“Sure, Indiana, what else do you want me to steal for you?”

“You aren’t getting cold feet, are you? I only need it for a day or so. Then you can return it.”

Phillipa had  misgivings about the plan, but they were being washed away in the glow of the sunset, the sake and Steve’s charm. “I’ll get you your leg bone, but it will cost you. ” she said.

The River Road

The chain link fence holds high the hawk,
A curlew stalks his muddy dance.
And in paling sky no telltale sign
Of death’s poor plan for concurrence.

So truckers dream your steamy miles
And fertile brides keep wide your aisle.
Accountants peck at your hideous nits
And lumbermen your woods defile.

Soon comes the day when the curtain tears,
The heavy night shall reap our fears.
Today the hawk and the curlew call,
The moment holds what death forswears.

Today’s Anagram

Anagrams for “Blue Dog Democrat”

Becalmed Turd Goo

Be Calm Detour Dog!

Led Combat Drogue

Today’s Recycled Word

Words are falling into obscurity everyday. Occasionally when we find a fine-sounding word that seems to have fallen on hard times we recycle it with a new alternative definition. Today’s recycled word is palimpsest. We note that a palimpsest is a scroll or manuscript that has been scraped and reused.  This definition is no doubt still useful in some circles, but such a descriptive sounding word needs wider currency. We humbly offer the following alternative:

Palimpsest – noun

1. The phenomenon of exhausted male friends holding onto each other for support after running a marathon

Today’s Epigram

“Men have become the tools of their tools.”

–Henry David Thoreau

Today In History

October 15, 1917 –– Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris. Her last words were “I don’t regret anything except dying in this ridiculous dress.”