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Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. LXVII

April 30, 2010

I don't know how it is where you are living, but here in North By God Carolina (and back home in Indiana), the primary season is upon us. This means that we, as voters, are supposed to go to the polls and select one person from the myriad of names on the ballot so that that person can become the candidate for the real election in the fall. Right. We're having a vote to see who we are going to vote for again in the fall.

What's that I smell (this pun will become evident in a moment)? A circumstantial relationship to voting and today's Latin lesson? You better damnwell believe it!

So, we are going to go and punch a ballot for a certain candidate. The word "candidate" itself comes from the Latin word candidus, candida, which means "bright white". This is opposed to the word albus, alba which simply mean "white", usually without a luster (think "albino"...and Dumbledore's beard).

Of course, Candida is also a type of fungus (Latin name? Candida albicans, so...white white) and the infection caused by said fungus. And, as I learned in college long ago, Candida infections of the skin, okay; infections of the lip, kinda gross but still okay; infection in the lungs, you're fucked.

What does all this white stuff have to do with elections, you ask? Well, when people were trying to get elected to the Senate in Rome, they wanted to look their very best while making public appearances and speeches. In order to do this, they would wear their very finest togas, and to show that they were of impeccable social class and of good character, the whiter the toga, the better.

Also, the word "candid" comes from the same root, for many of the same reasons.

But, how does a candidate get their toga to gleam in the midday sun in a society that hasn't quite discovered sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide? The simple solution is to find another compound or molecule with bleaching properties, one that is ready prepared and collected so that it is not expensive to get the whitest clothing possible. The short answer is ammonia.

Where do you find ammonia in Ancient Rome? Why, you get up and piss it out every morning[1].

In order to get their togas the whitest they could possibly be, the Roman candidates would wash (or, more precisely, have their slaves wash) their togas and then soak them in a bucket of piss (presumably watered down), and the ammonia in the urine would help to make the fabric of the toga as white as the candidate's spotless voting record and personal life.

But wait, it doesn't stop there.

If you're going to wear your best toga, you should also look your very best with the brightest, whitest smile. The prescription for this was to swish your mouth out with the day's first urine. Why the first? Presumably, it was because that was the most effective way to achieve maximum results, which makes sense because the ammonia would be most concentrated in that first stream of tinkle that you passed upon rising in the morning. So, in Ancient Rome, you would know that the person with the brightest smile had also been rocking the urine listerine the hardest.

Which brings us to today's Latin phrase:

Hi sunt dentes candidissimi vidui!

Pronounced: "Hee soont den-taze con-dee-dee-see-mee wee-doo-ee!"

Glowing translation in the hovertext!

You can use it as a pickup line; you can use it as a double-entendre. Whichever you decide. Just use it! Awaken the echoes of a dead language this weekend!

Oh, and look! Here is an actual follow up based on a question I had in the comments section once. The lovely and talented Beckeye mentioned the city of Coraopolis, PA in relation to my story about the wedding in Charleston here. Since I've been doing some actual research, I thought I'd let you know that "Cora" (or Kore, since the Greeks preferred the K) is a Greek term meaning "young woman" or "maiden", and usually was in reference to Persephone, Demeter's daughter who was kidnapped by Hades and eventually became the Queen of the Underworld for six months out of the year. So, "Coraopolis" means "City of Persephone" or, in a broader sense, "City of the Young Maidens".

Now, if you'll all excuse me...I'm flying to Pittsburgh. Anyone know where I can pick up some Jesus Juice along the way?

[1] We don't actually piss ammonia, as that's quite toxic and would really screw our kidneys up. We pass liquid nitrogenous waste from our bodies in the form of urea dissolved in water and cleverly called "urine." The urea will readily break down into ammonia if given the chance to sit around for a while. This is why usually you get a "stale" piss smell, as fresh urine typically doesn't stink, unless you've been drinking coffee and/or eating asparagus.


April 29, 2010

I identify with Mr. Incredible a little too well.

It's not just that I'm a tall, blond, ripped God of a man (featuring the voice of Craig T. Nelson, thankyouverymuch). Nor is it that I'm married to a redhead (who fortunately doesn't sound like she's got a mouth full of shit--no, I'm not a big fan of Holly Hunter, how did you guess?) who has a bit of junk in her trunk, and who can stretch to fit any situation...if you know what I mean.

It's the entire family structure that I identify with. Right now, I'm one mistimed early withdrawal and a dye-job from having the same family as the Incredibles...minus the super powers, of course (dammit). I think about this every time I watch the movie; big blond guy as the dad, redhaired wife, older daughter with the dyed hair, younger son who is fast, and then baby Jackjack (otherwise known as the mistimed pull-out).

Even though I'm happy with my current employment situation, I did used to work for an Oompla-Loompa with a high-pitched voice who I would have loved to have thrown through several walls at my old job. Just thought I'd add that to the mix.

Recently, too, I've been sitting around thinking about the good old days. Back when I was a carried a bit more of an athletic frame, when it wasn't so difficult for me to get back into my old costume. Whatever that means.

I'm also missing that best friend that I can hang with and reminisce, since all my "good old days" friends live in the midwest. I suppose there's my friend Joe, but when we hang together we "reminisce" about the various attractive women at the eating establishment we are currently visiting. And lawn care. We talk about that maybe too much...

And I think I'm going to start calling him "Joezone".

Damn, I'm clever.

With all that said...I'm now waiting for an invitation to zoom off to an exotic location--all expenses paid, of course--where I can enjoy fruity drinks, a tropical climate, scantily-dressed women and even fight some giant robots, if need be. If you need me, I'll be down at the yard lifting Pullman cars to get back into shape.

Or staring lasciviously at the younger waitresses down at the restaurant with my buddy Joezone. Either way, just leave the info an the plane tickets in a manila envelope on my desk, and I'll get around to it eventually.

Shut the Hell Up Already!

April 27, 2010

This is probably my least favorite time of the year. I'm not talking about the thin layer of yellow pollen that covers everything in the spring, nor am I speaking of the fact that I have to mow my lawn again--honestly, I think I'm beginning to develop a Hankhillian relationship with my lawn. Heh. Lawn care.

No, it's not that I don't appreciate spring at all; there are a lot of aspects about spring that I really, really like! For instance, fewer college chicks wearing sweaters and long pants at Target. And the fact that the corner where my computer desk sits isn't fucking freezing every night when I sit down to check out work on my latest manuscript or play a video game or stalk you all on Facebook read your latest words of wisdom on certain social networking sites.

But, this time of year is madness. The weather has some serious bi-polar issues, and it leaves me decidedly unamused. Oh sure, it's 80 degrees during the day, sunny, pleasant, warm. But then it plunges into some sort of subarctic freeze at night. It's too warm to put on pajamas to sleep when I go to bed, but during the night I'm clinging to the side of my wife, siphoning off any spare heat she can afford, and thinking "if I get up to close the window, it won't be as cold in here, but I might freeze solid on the way to the sash..." I won't even go into the phenomenon I refer to as "perma-turtle".

And while this might be nice when those aforementioned college chicks who are no longer wearing sweaters and long pants when they get caught in the evening temperature swoon, thus causing their--*ahem*--"headlights to come on", I don't appreciate the bone-shaking shivering cold that creeps into the bedroom at night. Naturally, this chill is exacerbated by the fan that I must have blowing over me at all times while I'm trying to sleep. I can do cold, I can do stuffy, but I can't do cold and stuffy!

However, the worst part of this time of year is the early morning cacophony that rousts me from my slumber long before the soul-piercing beeping of my alarm clock is set to awaken me. Yes, those horny little feathered fuckers are the bane of my predawn hours.

I might have mentioned it before, but I essentially live in the woods. My house is surrounding on two sides by a pretty solid swath of vegetation, and on the left of my neighbor's house, there's also a pretty good amount of trees and forest. It's a bird's paradise, and they love to proclaim their love for the woody world around them at the top of their highly-efficient little lungs. Cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, chickadees, titmice, sapsuckers and some little fucker that says "twEET TWeet chirp chirp chirp" conspire against me in those hours of the false dawn.

The worst, though, is the fucking red-shouldered hawk. Ever hear one of these things? You know how a red-tailed hawk has a high, keening wail? A red-shouldered hawk has a call that is a mixture of a klaxon going off and a puppy being curb-stomped. And they never shut the fuck up. I totally understand why Tripp Isenhour pelted one with golf balls to get it to shut the hell up.

So, there I lie, in my bed, teeth chattering, trembling, freezing to death, exhausted to the point of tears, with a myriad of feathered menaces flitting from one branch to another, screaming to one another about their territory, their sex life, and how nice it will be to see the sun in several hours.

It's enough to make a guy want to close the window.

The 700 Club

April 26, 2010

This, my friends, is my 700th post. Which means I've joined the 700 Club, and while this isn't nearly as satisfying as the Mile High Club nor as sure to get me elected to the Hall of Fame someday as the 30-30 club, it's still something I'm strangely proud of.

Of course, the 700 Club also has those connotations that I'm somehow in league with the kook, Pat Robertson.

Let me make it abundantly clear to all, I do not think, nor am I willing to be swayed on this, that the slave revolt of 1803 in anyway lent any cause to the unfortunate earthquake that hit earlier in the year. Also for the record, I don't think that scandalously-dressed nubile women cause earthquakes. In fact, I fully support scandalously-dressed nubile women--plate tectonics be damned!!!

I salute you, women of Boobquake, and applaud you at the same time! This is the finest thing to come out of Purdue since John Wooden.

So, it is with the utmost respect--and joy--that I salute you, women of the world, for wearing your low-plunging tops, your short skirts, and your thigh-high boots. Wait? That's not part of the deal? Shut up and let me dream, alright. *wistful sigh*

Oh, what, you want some sort of conclusion to this post? Fine.

I'm also not so dumb as to believe that global warming has caused this recent spate of earthquakes. I'm more apt to believe that Sigyn is slow getting back with the cup to hold over Loki's head to stop the poison from dribbling onto him than I am to believe any of these previous postulates on why they earth's crust has suddenly become so violently active.

Oh, sure, global warming is a convenient excuse to dredge up when a series of catastrophes hits, especially if you're looking for more funding from a government grant. And the story sounds good, right? The ice sheets are receding, so the Earth's crust is bouncing back and causing all sorts of tremors and quakes? This makes sense for why the land around the Great Lakes is rising, but not for places such as Haiti or Chile or Indonesia getting earthquakes, since they were never covered in glaciers during the last Ice Age (though I will offer that the mountains near Chile probably were more heavily glaciered during the cold period).

The thing is, there are hundreds of earthquakes, everyday, all around the world. Chile, Haiti, Indonesia, China (and Iceland) are all in very active tectonic zones, where two hunks of the Earth's crust are sliding past one another or diving under one another or pulling away from each other. That's the explanation. That's why things are going apeshit. It's plate tectonics, and it would go on, even if the world was still covered in ice.

Although...I guess that global warming could cause nubile young women to dress more scantily. Of course, if it was warmer, more people would go to the beach to enjoy some time with the wind and the surf and the sun. And perhaps, while dumping out the poison, Sigyn went to the beach to check out shirtless guys. Dammit! It all makes sense now!

But Pat Robertson is still a kook.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. LXVI

April 23, 2010

Oh, hi, Internet! You're still here! I'm sorry, Internet. I've been kind of ignoring you the past week or so. Well, at least this part of you. I'm sorry. Want a hug? A handjob? Okay. Whatever you want, slugger!

Anyway. If you've been following along with my shit on Facebook, you'll know that a couple of weeks ago I submitted my completed novel, The Boar War, to a publisher. This was the first time I had submitted since last summer (I think I might have sent out a couple in the fall, too, but I don't clearly remember), and you can imagine my level of excitement when I got an email back from the publisher saying that they liked what they saw in my query and wanted to see the whole thing.

It was somewhere between "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" and "I just shit a solid gold brick!"

I thought nothing of it. I pieced together my manuscript into one document and sent it to the acquisitions department. I was excited. I was thrilled. This was finally it! I was going to shuffle off the "unpublished" adjective from the "author" part of my self-proclaimed title.

The next day, I got a confirmation that my manuscript was received, and then after that I got an email asking me some "further" questions, like how much was I willing to promote this book (until my fucking legs fall off, are you fucking kidding me?) and my publishing/writing history. I filled it out. I thought nothing more of it.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited some more.

I got some more emails from them, telling me to be patient, they'd make a decision, no need to call, they've got it covered. So, I was a little bit...suspicious. Not too suspicious, mind, but enough that I was beginning to have some apprehensions. But, fuck, this was as far as I'd ever gotten trying to publish this thing! Why not ride it out to the endgame? Besides, I had checked out their website, everyone was glowingly ebullient in their praise for this publisher. So, I kept waiting.

Unfortunately, I kept dreaming. I was thinking about how fucking nice it would be to walk into a bookstore, go to the shelf, and see my book sitting on it. I could go to the library and check myself out, if I so desired.

And I so desired.

Then...I got another email from the publisher. They were offering me a publishing contract...through phone call, nothing. Hmmm...that's only a small red flag. Anyway, they were telling me that they liked my manuscript! They'd love to publish it! My dream--my impossible dream that I've had since I was my daughter's age--was about to come true!

...with the "caveat" of a $1000 check made out to the publisher.

Caveat indeed.

Caveat is a Latin term, from the verb cavere, which means "beware, avoid." Literally translated, caveat means "let he/she be aware of". You've probably heard the term in the phrase caveat emptor, which means "let the buyer beware."

In this case, it was caveat scriptor, let the writer beware!

The whole deal, as it was explained to me, was that I pay them $1000 dollars, we split any money that is made on the sale of the book 50/50, so after selling 250 books, I would probably recoup my losses. If I sold 1000 books in one year's time, I got an automatic $1000 bonus check, and I would have a lifetime publishing contract where I wouldn't have to pay them any more money, and any manuscript I finished would get published and sold through them.

And so I sat and thought it over for a while.

Between my awesome blog followers and my friends on Facebook, I could probably sell 100 books right there. That's almost halfway to my 250 total to recoup my losses.

My friend Joe then suggested I look into the company a little deeper, so a quick search for "Strategic Book Publishing" told me to slam the door in the face of these people, and do not answer the door when they ring the bell again. In short, Strategic Book Publishing was a scam, and enough so that the Attorney General of Florida has brought a lawsuit for fraud against the CEO of the company. Several people discussed how they had sent their $1000 dollars to the company, had friends order the book, and then the book never showed up in their e-readers or in the mail through Amazon (or another retailer) and how the author never got paid for the sale of the book.

So, in short, it was a scam, one that I did not get involved in monetarily. Unfortunately, I did get caught up by dreaming that I could finally publish my book.


I guess it's true, that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Or, there's this alternative:

Cave meretricem quae dicit suus primus es.

Pronounced: "Cah-way may-ray-tree-came kwhy dee-keet soo-oos pree-moose es."

Yowza. Something in the hovertext. Whatever. Just keep talking to me...

So, to all my writer friends out there, I remind you, caveat scriptor and scriptorum semper legis! ("always read the fine print!"). Not to say that, if someone should offer to publish you, it's a scam. I'm just saying, do a better job than I did and make sure that you don't get caught up in a deal that smells of fish and old eggs.

And stay far, far away from Strategic Book Publishing.

[1] "I sigh".

Like Frankenstein's Gamer

April 13, 2010

As my children have gotten older, they've become increasingly more computer game savvy. My daughter, like me, enjoys sitting and playing Civilization III for hours on end. Both my kids fight over the use of the Gameboy, and they even act civilized toward one another long enough to make it through missions of Lego Star Wars together. It's truly a feat to behold when they actually work together to achieve a common goal.

If only something like that would happen to the living room floor.

I digress, however! My daughter--my eight-year-old daughter--knows just enough about Civ III to be dangerous. She knows the mechanics, but the finer aspects of the strategy are still eluding her. For instance, she'll start a war with a neighboring civilization, but not have enough soldiers to complete the overall invasion and conquest of said civilization. It's something that, I assume, she will develop and learn to appreciate over time.

As much as she enjoys playing the game, she also enjoys watching it. This entails her standing at my right shoulder, staring at the screen.

Since I'm still in an emotional trough--though it's big enough now to be a cellar, I assume--I've been cranking through some Civ III for a the better part of a week and a half now. For some reason, it's a little bit cathartic to sit and play and watch the pixels take out my frustrations on my neighbors. France, I have my eyes upon you...

Sunday night, after an afternoon spate of cleaning and organization that left our house slightly less chaotic but much better smelling, while I dinner was cooking and while my wife and I both were winding down from the day, I popped in the Civ III disk and started playing.

My daughter came in and took up her usual place at my right elbow, watching. Except, the problem is, she's an eight-year-old girl, and so her mouth never. stops. making noise.

(Before anyone gets bent out of shape, the five-year-old boy only falls silent long enough to swallow his food and to sleep.)

And so here she is, going to town, telling me what I should be doing in the game. "Oh, you should irrigate there!" "Are you going to fight them?" "You should research gunpowder, it gives you musketmen." "Oh, oh, you definitely need to research and build Sun Tzu's Art of War!"

And on. And on. And on.

Being that I've been married for ten years, I'm fairly good at tuning out female voices. However, when it's one long string of syllables mashed together at such a rate and quantity that it's impossible to decipher where one word or thought ends and the other begins, the task of tuning someone out becomes a lot less easy. My last nerve was being poked and prodded and trod upon verbally to the point where I thought I was going to snap.

However, as much as I wanted to turn and scream "SHUT THE FUCK UP!", some part of my subconscious said, "Hey, Father of the Year, maybe take a moment and tell her why you're doing what you're doing, so that she can learn. Also, it's not cool to scream 'Shut the fuck up' in an eight-year-old's face."

Sage advice, that.

And so, what began as an exercise in frustration and annoyance turned into a lesson in how to play Civ III for her, and a lesson in patience and tolerance for me.

I'll take my award now.

Still Powersless

April 12, 2010

My wife and I brought a friend to bed with us last night. And I'm bearing the marks of that little threesome still today.

Apparently, a spider insidiously inserted itself into the place where I lay my pretty little head to escape reality sleep. When I awoke, my neck was ringed with raised red bumps, and down my chest and over my belly were marked with the remains of whatever attack I endured during my restful hours last night.

While the bite marks don't hurt and don't itch (they are slightly irritated by the collar of both my shirt and my labcoat rubbing against them), they do carry one specific annoyance: a distinct lack of super abilities.


I'm getting a little tired of this. I've been bit at least a dozen times, and yet there's no super strength, no webs coming out of my wrist (or my ass, where spider webs should originate), no wall-scaling ability, no chitin exoskeleton, no book lung, no spidey sense. Nothing. I'm the same pudgy little fucker I was when I went to bed last night.

Unfortunately, that's not it. I've endured being blasted by X-rays, sonic waves, microwaves, intense localized magnetic fields and gamma rays, and yet all I have to show for it is a strange spot on my leg and a thumb that sometimes wiggles involuntarily. These are not exactly the sorts of things that one can hang a crime-fighting career upon.

I've even endured explosions in the lab, and yet, nothing. Fortunately, I don't even have a scar from those particular mishaps, though I am a touch gunshy when I go to put one of my reaction vials on a vortex mixer in the lab.

On the plus side, I guess, my parents haven't been gunned down in an alley after taking me to see The Mask of Zorro, nor has my home planet been destroyed, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much, right?

Still, it's enough to make a guy not believe in what you read in comic books.

American Gods Reviewed

April 10, 2010

For Christmas, I asked for my very own copy of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Fortunately, when Father Christmas squeezed his fat, jolly ass down my chimney, he had in his mystical satchel the book I had requested. And I only had to sit on his lap once!

Anyway, I started reading it last week and...




This could be my new Lord of the Rings. This could be one of those books that I pick up once a year and re-read. I don't find things like this very often. Neil Gaiman seems to have cornered the market on writing stories that I like to read and re-read. American Gods is one of those books; the Sandman series is another.

Which makes a lot of sense. There's a lot of similarities between the two stories, though sadly neither Dream nor Death make an appearance in American Gods--though Delirium and Barnabas make a cameo appearance. When I say that there's a lot of similarities between Sandman and American Gods, I'm referencing the latter parts of Sandman, when things began to be more fantastical and less horror-oriented.

The story is brilliantly imagined. When the first settlers and people began to populate and settle in the New World, they brought with them their ancient gods. As the people thanked their deities for helping them find the new land, they prayed to their gods and offered up sacrifices and other rites, the old gods set down roots in America. As the older mythologies began to die in the old world, the old gods remained here in America, where they've kind of stayed. And, in order to retain any of their powers, they've had to make amends to their rites and ceremonies to fit the new world.

Enter the main character, Shadow, who is recruited by a charismatic old "hustler" named Mr. Wednesday, who hires Shadow to be his assistant, to drive him from place to place, protect him if needed, and to hurt people only if they needed to be hurt. Also, in the unfortunate case of Mr. Wednesday's death, Shadow would perform his vigil.

However, as with all stories such as these, things are not that simple, and a "storm" is coming which will sweep up the ancient gods. The storm is an approaching battle between the old gods and newer ideas that resemble deities, and Wednesday is busy, criscrossing the country looking to recruit people to his side to fight in the battle. And Shadow finds himself caught in the middle.

There's a second plot, more of a subplot story, that revolves around a town in Wisconsin where Shadow finds himself staying for a little while that is interesting, but for the greater part of the story seems a bit extraneous. Gaiman says in an interview that he conceived of the subplot at a different point in time, but wove it into American Gods, and it does serve its purpose, but at the end of the story seems like it was unnecessary.

Overall, I was very satisfied by the story; even the subplot works. Like a lot of stories like this, I was able to see where the story was going. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a writer, too, and so I can see through the plot hints and storyline, or if it was a weakness in the story, or if it was more an artifact of knowing the various pantheons and ancient mythologies that allowed me to see the ending. Being that my wife didn't recognize a few of the characters right off, I'm going to say that it was more my familiarity with the subject material that helped me figure out the ending.

In the end, American Gods is an awesome story. You don't need an exceptional knowledge of the subject material, nor do you need to be American, to truly appreciate the story. You don't even need a healthy amount of suspension of disbelief in order to read the story, which is a hallmark of Neil Gaiman's stories. It's well-written, it's fun and very entertaining. It's an easy read and, combined with a cast of characters that you legitimately care about, this quickly becomes a page-turner. I highly recommend it.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have to go start rereading.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. LXV

April 9, 2010

So, the other day, when I wrote my plaintive wail about being sad and shit, I really was planning taking a few days off to collect my thoughts, set my head straight, and dive back into this blogging thing with renewed vigor.

Then, I learned that Lilu was hanging up the TMI Thursday shenanigans, so I felt compelled to write up yesterday's story to honor and thank her for her tireless service in the realm of bodily secretion stories. Apparently, after writing that particular piece, I have to write a Latin Lesson so that I can hide my shame when it comes to my story from yesterday.

Valuable lesson: tell a story about jerking off to your cousin's fine breasts, everyone applauds you. Get snowballed and you're a disgusting pig.

God, I love you people. Honestly. You bring a lot of joy to my life. For reals.

Have I washed the scent of sarcasm off that interjection yet? Good. Let's continue.

Anyway, the thing that sparked my desire to write a Latin lesson this morning is that, today, April 9th, is the birthday of a cultural icon in America. That's right, it's Hugh Hefner's birthday today. The alliterative master of nude girls is 84 today.

I've already given you a few stories revolving around Playboy, so I won't go into that again. Just suffice it to say that, like so many other young men in America, Playboy was the pinnacle of illicit wonder growing up. It was dirty enough to hide between the mattresses or in the bottom of your sock drawer, but it was also austere enough that you could gain a level of respect and street cred just by having a recent edition (preferably without the pages stuck together).

Nowadays, though, with the rise of the internet, we don't need the stroke books as much. We can turn to the nebulous ether that is the internet for those few times--not often, but sometimes--when you like the idea of a chick with a horse.

It's a line from Chasing Amy. Don't get your panties in a knot. I'm using it for effect.

Anyway, we're here to celebrate Hugh and his timeless, withered ability to land a new hot blonde chick every few years. Let us raise our glasses and salute the master of the centerfold:

O Senex immunde, quomodo te amo!

Pronounced: "O Sen-ex im-myoon-day, kwoh-moh-doh tay ah-moh!"

Celebratory translation in the hovertext!

And, when the candles are blown out and the cake has been cut and served and the dancing starts back up and we've gorged ourselves on ice cream, we can ask him this:

Habesne aliquas puellas subsecivas cum capillo flavo tum me commodares?

Pronounced: "Hob-ays-nay all-ee-kwahs poo-ay-loss soob-say-kee-wahs coom cah-pee-loh flah-woe toom may coh-moh-darr-ace?"

Licentious translation in the hovertext

So, thanks again to everyone who offered up some kind words to me on Wednesday. I was in a deep, deep funk. I think I've recovered some from it. All the ass-grabbing and shoulder-punching helped out tremendously.

Although, a few of Hugh's cast offs would also probably help to ease the pain...

Just sayin'.

TMI Thursday: Snowball

April 8, 2010

This is a story not for the faint-of-heart; those of you with weak constitutions should stay away. For the rest of us, feel free to enjoy the following story. And, if you want more awesome tales of debauchery, check out Lilu's home and read other awesomely bad TMI Thursdays!

So, quite some time ago, I was awarded with the Honest Scrap Award, and I took it as a chance to write up ten little TMI vignettes so that I could accept the award with a clean conscience. Thanks again, OtherWorldlyOne.

Anyway, LiLu was so impressed by the stories I wrote that she asked why I hadn't given one of the stories it's own, individual TMI write-up. As this is the last time that LiLu will be hosting TMI Thursday, I thought I would write the story up for her, in her honor, because without LiLu, I wouldn't be the superstar backwater blogging hick that I am today.

I am a big fan of Kevin Smith. When my friend, Young Bob, showed me Clerks in college, I was immediately sucked into the View Askewniverse, hook, line and dead guy jerking off in the bathroom. Er, sinker.

My Ex- was also a huge fan of Kevin Smith. While we often went out to bars or to eat dinner or to watch a movie, we often stayed in fucking cuddling and watching movies together. Clerks was in our usual rotation, along with Chasing Amy. Mallrats? Notsomuch.

I'm sure you'll remember my Ex-. She's the one whose face was smashed into the tiled wall while we were fucking in the shower. I bring that up because, two days after that fateful night with the failed--yet steamy--shower sex scene, I was back over at her place. I brought some dinner and some booze--wine for her, rum for me. If she was still hurting, I was going to fuck booze the pain right out her.

As you might have already deduced, we had decided to stay in that night. She had had a rough day at work, and I, well I had spent another day working at the bookstore. Dinner and movie on the couch. Score. The movie? Clerks.

We ate, and we were sitting on the couch while the black-and-white misadventures of Dante and Randall flickered upon the screen before us. A little bit of kissing with heavy petting was going on. Finally, I got up the nerve to ask her about the terrible ending to the shower sex.

"Um, dearest, how is your nose?" I tentatively asked.

"It's still sore, but it doesn't ache like it did that night. I'm pretty much over my ibuprofen bender to numb the pain." She swirled her glass of wine. "How are you?"

"I'm not the one who took a header into the wall of your shower," I said.

"Yes," she purred, "but did you get to finish?"

"Oh, uh, I thought it was kind of inappropriate for me to finish jerking off before I helped you out of the shower and to stanch the flow of blood."

"What?" she asked, setting the wine down and sitting up straight, her pert breasts pushed forward, drawing my attention to them further.

"Yeah, I never came," I lied through my teeth, knowing that I had jerked off the previous night to relieve the built-up tension after having had sex but without the fulfillment and mess of an orgasm.

"Mmm...we need to take care of that," she said, sliding onto the floor in front of me, crawling on hands and knees until she was kneeling between my thighs. She pulled her shirt off with one deft move and then began working on my zipper and pants. Within a couple of seconds, I was out, erect, and in her hand. She helped me work my pants down around my ankles and then I worked my feet out of them, wrapping my legs around her bared upper torso and pulling her closer to me. She giggled.

Dante and Randall continued their irreverent adventures on the screen behind her. I was only partially paying attention to them as she rubbed me up and down, coaxing that first drop of precum from the tip of my penis. When it appeared, she licked it off, giggling at how I moaned and worked my hips back and forth.

She then commenced to give me a blow job. She worked her hands up and down my shaft, jerking me off into her mouth while she toyed with the tip of my penis with her tongue inside her mouth. She worked her mouth and up and down me while she used her free hand to play with my balls and my ass. It was delightful.

In the background, the movie continued to play. The portion of the film where Dante and Veronica are lying on the floor behind the counter together plays. Veronica tells Dante about the character Snowball, and how he earned that moniker.

With her hand still wrapped around my penis, she pulled me out of her mouth. "I should totally snowball you," she purred once more before returning to the task at hand.

I suddenly found myself at a crossroads. Here was a woman who was willing to do pretty much anything sexually, and since I'm a guy who truly appreciates and, to be honest, kind of fully expects a woman to swallow my cum upon completion of a blowjob, I thought it was only fair that I should understand what it is they have to endure. All of this flashed through my mind in an instant.

"You totally should," I offered up to her, only slightly caught up in the heat and passion of the moment.

She stopped again, sliding her lips up and off me, an audible popping sound echoing in the den as I left her mouth, her hand still working up and down my shaft. "Are you serious?" she asked, only a hint of the previous playfulness in her voice.

"As long as you don't tell me I'm number 37," I said.

"Oh baby," she said, "you're like number 50." She giggled. I giggled.

Heh...I thought she was joking. How naive innocent and cute.

Anyway, we return to my blowjob.

We continued going, and things were getting better and better and finally, my thighs are clenching around her body and she's stroking me faster and harder and toying with the tip of my penis with her tongue when I exploded into her mouth. She milked the last of my semen out of me into her mouth, and then she smiled up at me, traces of my seed remaining on her chin.

A little nervous, I pulled her up toward me, and then she leaned in and kissed me, allowing my cum to run into my mouth. be wasn't that bad. Yeah, it was salty and musky, a little bit earthy tasting. Without thinking about it much, I swallowed myself down. And then, I was done. No real aftertaste. No regret at all.

She wasn't done, however. Apparently, the snowballing was more for her benefit than it was for me, because she immediately stood up and took off her pants and climbed back onto my lap and started riding me. We ended up on the floor in front of the television, her head dangerously close to banging into the fireplace. Pulling myself out of her, I shot across her tits. Crumbling to the carpet beside her, panting and exhausted, she looked over at me.

"Are you going to clean me up?" she asked.

And so I did, licking my own cum up from her tits and chest, swallowing it down and then kissing her. There was a slight difference in taste when I licked it off her chest, more salty, slightly more powerful. A bit more of an aftertaste. Again, nothing too overpowering, I thought.

We laid there together, naked, watching the end of Clerks together, which wasn't that much by the time we were finished. But it was the best time I've ever had watching a Kevin Smith movie.

So, there, Lilu. Thank you so much for hosting TMI Thursdays for all this time. My hat's off to you, and I hope you enjoyed this salient little tale almost as much as I did.

A Letter of Apology

April 7, 2010

Dear Bloggy Friends:

I'm sorry. I haven't felt very bloggy lately. In fact, I've felt downright shitty. Not sickly shitty, but the kind of shitty you feel that drives you making a chamberpot a metaphor of your life.

Things around MJenks Central haven't been nearly as chipper as, well...oh, fuck it. I am not in the mood for similes. I've just been battling a spate of empty-checking-account depression coupled with burgeoning-mountain-of-debt despondency with a tad bit of "where did my life go wrong?" which has reduced me--almost!--to tears. But, since I'm a man, I don't go in for that shit. I just do my crying on the inside, where it's just me, a bunch of rats, some gray mist, and the backs of all the mirrors in the world. The plus side? I'm naked and don't care that I'm fat.

In order to combat this downward emotional spiral, I've been burying myself in escapist activities whenever I'm not pretending to be working and/or driving to and from work. I've been playing a lot of Civ III, because shooting Egyptians takes the edge off. When I'm done with Civ III for the night--you know, that point where my eyeballs feel as if they're about to invert--I turn the computer off and I read until I'm so exhausted that I tumble into a dreamless sleep. The alarm goes off, I spend five minutes mentally bemoaning my situation, and then I start the whole thing over anew: work, eat, Jeopardy, shoot Egyptians, mentally masturbate to the genius of Neil Gaiman.

This leaves little time for bloggy goodness. It's not that I don't have posts lying around the in the darkened corners of my creativity; I have plenty of them. So many, in fact, that I forget them, only to remember them after I've furiously tried to cobble together something to entertain you during the last shredded dregs of my lunch hour. It's just...I have to think in order to put the words together in what I perceive to be the correct order to deliver my inner machinations in a subtly amusing and somewhat piquant manner. And, well, to be honest, thinking is not something I want to be doing a lot of right now.

At the same time, I haven't been reading nearly as many of your fine blogs as I would like. I'm sorry. I'm just...well, I'm funky, and not in the jive-talking, afro-wearing style. More like the...*shudder*...emo kid...*shudder again* Frankly, I do not wish for my melancholy to drag down your comments section. Unless you're Vic, in which case, I'm actually kind of proud of my chamberpot metaphor.

Because I never metaphor I didn't like.

I wish I could take credit for the sheer genius of that terrible pun, but it's actually a book title.

Speaking of books, hey! I wrote one. Well, it's still a manuscript. If you and I are facebook friends (which we are), then you know that I submitted the manuscript for The Boar War to a publisher last night. It's the first time in about a year that I've submitted anything. Apparently, somehow, someway, my brain finally registered that whole "you can't get your manuscript published if you don't submit it for publication and/or representation". Amazing, isn't it?

In short, my bloggy friends, I am sorry for not being a better bloggy friend. I'd offer hugs, but you know I'd just try to grab your ass, and some of you think that would be "creepy" and "out of line" and "something I don't want to subject myself to." Pfft. Philistines. I will try to remedy this situation as soon as I scrape together $1,000 possible. And by "situation" I mean my melancholy mental state, not my desire to feel you up whilst embracing you. I'll never sacrifice that.

Cordially yours,

MJenks (not so indefatigable these days)

PS: American Gods is awesome. You should read it.

Something Prosey

April 5, 2010

It always begins simply enough. Though the beginning of spring is often quiet, you can sense the change of the seasons nonetheless. The ground softens. The early morning grass is slick with moisture. There's a crispness remaining in the air that still makes your breath fog when you exhale, but it doesn't steal the air from your throat.

The raucous, repeating rhythm of a cardinal's call fills the air, accompanied by the lonesome, plaintive cry of a mourning dove. Birds' voices, once familiar, now nearly forgotten, now return on the winds. The canopy above, still bare, still filled with thousands of fingers clawing at the sky, is alive with whistles, peeps and calls. Birds flit from one branch to another, calling--constantly calling--to one another, proclaiming "Here I am!" or "This tree is mine" or simply to broadcast the joy of the warm sun on their breast.

The earth stretches, waking from a long winter's hibernation. As it stretches, it works the warmth of the sun, the vibrancy of its rays into the deep and cold places beneath it. It drinks of the morning's dew, absorbs the day's heat, revels in the passing rain, practically dancing beneath the drops as they fall from the heavens.

The earth-brown forest floor, long slumbering beneath a thick layer of brown, dry leaves becomes lush and green overnight. A verdant carpet spreads itself between the trees, waking them. The wooden fingers stretch toward the sky, tiny buds displaying themselves, blooming forth, and then falling away as the canopy slowly asserts itself once more. The birds are hidden, but their songs have a more lasting, more haunting quality to them now.

The thrumming of a woodpecker echoes through the trees, invisible behind the young, fresh leaves. Squirrels laugh and chitter, chasing one another up and down trees, around the boughs and boles, along the forest floor. Deer, always timid and quiet, seek the quiet and the darkness of the deep forest, venturing forth to nibble upon the fresh, delicious fare around the edges of the woods.

Now the wind sighs, carrying not the bitter teeth of winter, but the promise of warmth and the piquant aroma of life reawakening. Gentle is its song, carrying the susurrations of the leaves waving in the wind and the calls of the birds, and rain, far distant, but promised by the evening.

To stand among it all--wind, trees, earth--is to revel in the joy of life itself, in the reawakening of the world as it looks upon the warm spring sun. Standing amongst it, taking it in, enjoying it for the very pleasures it promises, the life-giving and sustaining forces it offers, one is left to wonder one thing:

"When the fuck are those goddamned squirrels going to stop climbing on my birdfeeder?"

Two Posts for the Price of One

April 1, 2010

So, I was going to put together a TMI Thursday post last night, but I was busy having sex.

Hmmm...I guess that itself is a TMI Thursday post...

Well, thanks for stopping by.

What? Three lines doesn't do it for you? Fine.

It was really good sex, too.

Still not sated? Okay, okay.

There won't be an official TMI Thursday post, nor will there be a Friday filled with dead language pick-up lines and insults. So, this post will have to fill in for tomorrow's, as well. If you're nice, I might be back on Saturday!

However, this is a grim day, my friends. You see, my carefree life of being a young, married man with no children has come to a screeching halt.

I have to go get my kids tonight. They've been visiting their grandparents (my wife's parents) for the past week and a half or so.

That means I'm making the roughly seven-hour drive to Knoxville tonight after work, power sleeping on a couch for a few hours, getting up at the ass crack of dawn and driving back home from Knoxville. Who needs sleep when you can be driving???

And, Sweet Baby Jesus, forgive me, but if I'm hauling my ass to and from Knoxville in a span of time less than what it takes the Earth to orbit the Daymoon sun, then I'm eating meat on Friday during Lent. And I'm going to enjoy the fuck out of it.

So, in case you were curious as to why or how I was eating my dinner in the buff the other night, that's why. It was just me and the wife.

And lots of sex with the bedroom door open.

Loud, raucous sex, without having to explain to anyone that we're just "exercising".

But all of that comes to an end tonight when I go to reclaim the kids from my mother- and father-in-law. Along with the kids, I have to collect their stuff, and then I have to bring back all the shit my parents have foisted off on us.

My mom and dad went to see my kids for the first time in...a year or so...last weekend. I don't know if I've told you this or not, but my mom refuses to visit because she's batshit crazy afraid that bears will attack the car as she's traveling through the Appalachians.


Just sit back and let that one sink in for a while.

Anyway, whenever my parents go to visit my kids while they're at my wife's parents' house, they always bring a carload of shit to pawn off on me and my wife. Once, we got a napkin ring. A single. Fucking. Napkin ring. I don't remember what else we've "inherited" over the past ten years or so, but the napkin ring was pretty fucking spectacular.

So, instead of spending time ignoring my son with their grandkids, my parents bring along my niece and allow her to run the show hand over stuff to my in-laws with order to pass that shit along to me. I then get a phone call a couple of hours later telling me about how the kids have grown--no shit, they do that when you see them only once a year--and just how much taller my daughter is than my niece...despite the fact that I'm taller than my brother (not to mention far more dashingly handsome) and my daughter is almost a full year older than my niece.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Sonic's website so that I can pinpoint the location of America's Drive-In that is approximately two-and-a-half to three-hours away.