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Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol LXXIX

July 30, 2010

[NOTE]: This is posting really late. I explain the reason why. I'm testy. Deal with it.

Well, good morning...er...day to all of you. You'll forgive me if my sense of time is a little fucked up. At home, there's a sick child. A sick child who feels the need to wake us up at 3:00 in the morning to tell us that he thinks he's going to throw up.

And then he has the audacity to not puke. He comes in, wakes us up, threatens to vomit, then doesn't. He goes back to bed 15 minutes later. Fifteen minutes after that, he comes in, wakes us up, threatens to vomit, and then doesn't. Repeat this for three fucking hours. Mix in a heavy dose of "was the sex really worth it", and you've had my night for the past two nights. Wednesday night/Thursday morning was rough; Thursday night/Friday morning was brutal. For whatever reason, he was coming in right on my dream cycle, so he would wake me up during the middle of a dream and my body, apparently enjoying the recollection of the days of dorm living, refused to move. Fortunately, I have a wife. Even more fortunate, he comes in looking for Mommy anyway.

Still.

Last week, we talked about Daniel Radcliffe's birthday and his predilection toward Latin-based things in his acting career. Tomorrow is Harry Potter's birthday...and also J.K. Rowling's. Convenient, isn't it?

And before you point out what a nerd I am for knowing Harry's birthday, let me just go ahead and up the ante by admitting that I also know Frodo Baggins was born on September 22nd. Now that's true geekiness for you right there.

In case you're a bit of a history buff, today is Baghdad's birthday (July 30th, 726).

Anyway, if you're familiar with the Potter series of books, you'll know that a lot of the spells used are Latin words (there are also some in Greek, Aramaic and various African dialects, as well as others). Some of the big ones are the summoning spell Accio meaning "I call", the unforgivable curse Crucio meaning "I torture" (or "I crucify"), the disarming spell Expelliarmus, which means "You thrust away (your) weapon of war" and the big one, the Patronus summoning spell Expecto patronum, which means "I await a protector".

You should also notice that "patronus" has a derived form of "pater" in it, which means Daddy. And Harry's Patronus is a stag, which is the animal Daddy dearest could turn into. Kudos, JK. That was a nice touch.

There's lots of other spells, too, which are in Latin (as well as the Gryffindor's first password caput draconis, which means "dragon head"). I just chose four of the ones that would be most familiar to people, even if they had only seen the movies. One rule of thumb for those reading along and trying to decipher what's going on based solely on the key word of the spell is that you can look at the ending of the word. If it ends in an -o, this is something that the spell-caster is looking to do directly through him or herself. It matches up with the first-person singular present form of the Latin verb. For instance, Accio means "I am summoning (object) to me".

If the word ends in something else, chances are the spell-caster is looking to cause the recipient of the spell to do something.

And while all this is nice for the Wizarding world and all, there's a lot of practical applications of these spells that could play out in the non-wizarding world (and which make me really, really wish that magic was real).

For instance, try this on for size:

Accio cervisiam!

Pronounced: "Ah-kee-oh care-wee-see-ahm!


Frosty translation in the hovertext!


This is one I've actually tried using on my wife (and was rewarded with giggles...and not much else):

Expellivestis!

Pronounced: "Ex-pale-ee-waste-ees!"


The naked translation in the hovertext!


Closely related to that is this one:
Levitunicam!

Pronounced: "Lay-wee-too-nee-com!"


Uplifting translation in the hovertext!


And finally, this one, which would come in really, really handy in our celebutard-fascinated society:

Pello caniculam!

Pronounced: "Pay-loh cah-nee-cyoo-lom!"


Tee hee!


I guess that picture would be more like pello caniculae, but *meh*

Armed with that knowledge, my little wizards and witches, hit the streets this weekend and have some fun. Especially with that skirt-lifting spell.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Blah Blah Something Something Dildo

July 28, 2010

So, I've been kind of busy with my job lately, and my wife is trying to recover from a badly pinched nerve which has rendered her flat on her back. And while I am forced to look that gift horse in the mouth--*sigh*--I've been busy playing video games in the evening trying to keep the house running like a well-oiled machine.

Plus, my "always on" high speed internet from Time Warner Cable's Roadrunner...wasn't on last night. In fact, a lot of nights, it doesn't work on my computer. My wife's is fine. She even can do things like "surf the internet" and "check her email". Me? I'm stuck watching the arrows spin round and round while the page tries to load. But, you know, Roadrunner has that awesome blast of speed so that I can do anything I want on the internet. Provided that "anything" doesn't include "use the internet".

Fuckstains.

In light of an actual post (besides, the post yesterday about Cougar Sheri and the Hillbillies ran a bit long), I thought I'd give you this fantastic video that someone sent me a while ago. Just...be sure to watch in the background:



As one of my friends said, "That thing was fucking massive!"

Nothing quite like live news to make your day, is there?

Tales of the Bookstore, Chapter 3

July 27, 2010

About a month after I got my big promotion--from "bookseller" up to "assistant team leader"--we had to hire some more help for the store. Coincidentally, that is about when college started, so we needed some warm bodies to fill the void left by the student summer help.

We hired three pretty good workers--Jessica, Cathy and Sheri.

Sheri was and older woman, blond, perhaps in her mid- to late-forties. She had a soft accent that was a mixture of West Virginia hill country and the slow drawl of the South which mixed together to give her the voice of a phone-sex operator. She was prone to wearing skirts and blouses where the buttons would work themselves free. Behind her glasses were a pair of big, grey-green eyes.

In short, Sheri was a MILF definitely and a Cougar, if you allowed the definition to be bent around a woman who was married and not on the prowl for something younger.

Shane and I had many discussions--only some of them drunken--about Sheri and whether or not it was okay to want to fuck her.

"She's older," Shane would offer.

"But more experienced," I would counter.

"She's got at least one kid," he'd spout.

"And you'd have no problems fucking either one of them," I'd offer, moving him into verbal checkmate.

"You're right," he'd say after a couple of moments, taking a drink from his cranberry and cheap vodka. "Goddammit, you're always right."

And I was right. Sheri had an excellent, curvy body. She had great legs and, when she wore skirts (which was often), she would wear heels, making her legs just that much better. Throw in the smoky, sultry voice and this was a done deal.

I had dreams about Sheri. Nasty, terrible dreams about what I would do to her up behind the cashier's station. Unfortunately, they always ended with daylight ruining the fantasy. But, I had them, often, which is why I was able to negotiate Shane into a corner between admission and guilt, both painted with a heavy shade of sexual frustration.

Sheri also had a daughter, Heather, who was...*kisses fingertips and makes an okay sign with my hand* Instead of Sheri's light blonde hair, Heather had brown hair, green eyes, a complexion that tanned nicely and--as Sheri informed me one day--size E breasts.

I hadn't noticed they were that huge until Heather came in one day sporting a top that she probably should have given to Goodwill in the third grade. And yes, they were as advertised. Sheri often talked about how Heather had back problems, and I once offered to be Heather's personal bra, that my hands were large and made for cupping breasts gently yet firmly, so that they would cause her no more problems.

The thing poking her in the lower back, however...that, I couldn't control.

But, we're not here to discuss Sheri's daughter's impressive rack, no matter how magnificent they were. And, believe me. They were.

We didn't sell just books at the bookstore. No, we also sold magazines. As such, we sold the softcore porn mags. Playboy, Playgirl, Penthouse, Hustler. We kept them all up behind the counter so that teenage boys couldn't get to them, rip them open and jerk off to them in the young adult section.

Apparently, no one thought to do this before there was an incident.

*sigh*

That was it, however. We didn't go into anything more raunchy than that. Which sets the stage for today's story.

Sheri was manning the cashier stations and I was behind her, calling the special order people to let them know their books had arrived and that we would hold them for two weeks. Now, while Sheri was easy-on-the-eyes, she was also a little...let's just say preciously naive. She wasn't dumb, but she also wasn't going to be outshining the rest of the bulbs on the Christmas tree. It was part of her charm.

Enter Earl and Randy. One of them bore an uncanny resemblance to Larry the Cable Guy, just dirtier and with a mullet. He had the requisite t-shirt with the arms ripped off, sun-faded baseball cap from a feed store, and an aroma about him that was part diesel fuel, part cowshit, and all down-home. The other one looked...also like Larry the Cable Guy, but he was without the mullet and wore a flannel shirt with the arms cut off over his t-shirt with the arms cut off.

The approached the counter. I had my back to them, willfully throwing Sheri under the inbred moron bus. I would have felt bad, had the following conversation not, actually, taken place.

"Do you have adult magazines?" Billy One drawled. Billy Two just giggled.

"Why yes, sir, we do have some. We keep them behind the counter," Sheri responded, her voice chipper, perky, ready to please.

"We have a buddy whose birthday is coming up, and we wanted to git him a special present," Billy One continued. Billy Two giggled some more.

"Well, what would you like?" Sheri asked, "We have Playboy, Penthouse--"

"Do you have 'Beavershot'?" Billy One asked. More giggles from his counterpart.

"Um..." Sheri turns to me. "Do we carry 'Beavershot'?"

I have to keep my back turned to the pair because I am about in tears trying not to laugh. I put my head down and shake it. I've never even heard of 'Beavershot', though I do not doubt that there is such a beast.

"I'm sorry," Sheri offered back, "We don't carry 'Beavershot'"

"What about 'Cuntstain?'" Billy One asks, a bit more desperation coloring his question. Billy Two continues with his high-pitched gales of giggles.

I am about beside myself at this point and am trying not to laugh as Sheri turns to me and asks, "Do we carry 'Cuntstain'?" Again, I have never even heard of this periodical. I compose myself with a mighty sigh and turn to face Earl and Randy.

"For something like that, you're going to have to go to a more adult-themed shop. We only carry the more softcore stuff here. I would try downtown."

"Alright," Billy One said, and they turned, as one, to head toward the door. He turns back toward Sheri, winks at her, points his left hand at her like a gun, and makes that clicking sound in the side of his mouth.

That was too much for me, and I had to excuse myself to the back in order to laugh myself breathless. Finally, after composing myself, I returned to the front where Sheri remained, unflappable despite the heaps of pornography that have just been thrown upon her.

She looks at me as I return and she offers, "Well, they seemed nice."

I'm a Terrible Friend

July 26, 2010

I think we've established that, when it comes to being blog friends, I, well, suck.

This has been terribly evident over the past couple of weeks as I've only posted sporadically (if at all), and how I hadn't really been reading as many blogs as I once did. I've rectified the latter part (though I haven't left as many comments lately), but still, I've been a terrible friend.

And now, this.

I've been cheating on you.

It's true. I've been having some posts pop up elsewhere. To be honest, it's been some of my best work, too. Short, succinct, a bit of etymology and/or history thrown in on top of it. And all of that accompanied by snark and wit unlike what I've been slapping around here lately.

In case you're unsure of what I'm talking about, I've been popping up over at Sully the Urban Hillbilly for the past couple of weeks, wherein I've been insulting every nation on earth whose name begins with "B".

I first stumbled upon Sully while looking for pictures of the Polish women's curling team at the Winter Olympics. What I found--alongside the pictures of the Polish women's curling team--was witty humor, fine musical tastes, and a healthy appreciation of blonde, busty Slavic women, regardless of their abilities to slide rocks on ice.

Shortly after the Olympics ended, Sully embarked upon a truly noble quest: insulting every member of the Senate. It was arduous, to be sure, but also quite entertaining--especially for someone (like me) whose maturity level ceased developing sometime around fourteen.

After that, Sully decided to move on to insulting every nation in the world, and asked if I'd like to join in. Since I had some choice words for Belgium, I offered to pick up with the B's and we could switch back-and-forth from there. He agreed and, well, we're down through Burma. The insults have been aplenty, and it's been truly enjoyable.

So, check Sully out if you're of mind to. I'm a bit ashamed that I haven't talked Sully up before, because someone who brings me this much joy on the internets really should be acknowledged as such.

Speaking of the Winter Olympics...hmmm...that was almost a seamless segue...I won a contest...a long time ago...on Words3 site for offering up a caption for a picture he had from these very same Winter Olympics. I was sent a marvelous little gift package with souvenirs from Vancouver: An official Winter Olympics refrigerator magnet and--more importantly--and official Winter Olympics shot glass.

Since my camera isn't talking to my computer currently, I can't get a picture. Besides, when the shot glass comes out, my pants come off, and, well, I'm already a bad enough friend without subjecting you all to that mess.

So, thank you, Words...Words...Words...and do not think that I let it slip my notice that your return address was affixed to a Ziggy sticker. Quite awesome, sir.

On top of all that, I haven't taken the time recently to get out and meet many of my new followers and commenters. I'm terrible, I know. I'm getting around to it now. I mean, what else am I going to do while stuck in the house hiding from 102 degree heat? Pay attention to my family? Psh.

And, to anyone else whose friendship I have shirked recently on these here innerwebs, I apologize humbly. And if this apology doesn't suffice, well, then I direct your attention back up to the statue at the top.

Getting All Bookified

July 24, 2010

My dear friend Amber at Musings of Amber Murphy posted a meme handed to her by..someone...and it was about reading and books. Since my name is something other than YOU, and I'm feeling saucy (saucy is what you feel when you haven't had anything resembling "near enough sleep over the past three days", right?), I thought I'd comply.

Plus, you know, she's pregnant, and we all need to be nice to pregnant ladies.

Without further ado...

What have you just read?

Earlier this morning, I finished Off the Beaten Path: Indiana, which I picked up on a whim when I was at the library two weeks ago while I was letting the house air out after committing Buggageddon. I got it mostly for obscure trivia about my home state.

I picked some up, like how it's illegal to allow monkeys to smoke in South Bend, IN. Or how there have been over 2000 recordings of "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael.

What are you reading now?

I'm reading Black Ships before Troy which is a translated, prose version of the Iliad. And The Ride of Our Lives by NBC newsman Michael Leonard, which is a story of how he drove his parents cross-country to see places in the U.S. they had never seen, to see some of the places of their childhood, and to be there for the birth of their first great-grandchild.

Oh, and I technically started reading Neverwhere the other night on the Nook my wife checked out from work, but I only got to read the first paragraph before she whisked me off to do something else with the device, and then I had other things to do, so I didn't get it started again.

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?

Neverwhere sounds nice...though I might finally start Anansi Boys. However, I have a copy of The Sea, The Sea by Xenophon that I checked out from the library and a book called One for the Road by Tony Horwitz about Australia that I also borrowed from the library.

Which reminds me, I need to renew those things online this week...

What's the worst thing you've ever been forced to read?

Hmmm...tough call. I didn't read all of The Scarlet Letter or Madame Bovary in high school. Both sucked so much I had to put them down. Without a doubt, the worst thing I had to read that I actually finished was Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin when I was a freshman in college. When I finished it, I threw it across my dorm room, swearing at it as it flew.

I received a $5 fine from housekeeping for the chip of paint that fell off my closet door where the book hit.

What's one book you always recommend to just about anyone?

These days? American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Begin the mancrush in three...two...one...

And if modern fantasy isn't your cup of tea, I recommend A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

Also, if I should ever get it published, The Boar War by moi.

Do you read books while you eat?

When I was single, I would take a book with me when I would sit down for a meal in a restaurant. On the rare occasions when I'm out eating by myself, I take a book with me. Lately, I've been buying the most recent Pearls before Swine anthologies and laughing aloud whilst trying to finish my meal.

However, I did grow up reading the sides and backs of cereal boxes at breakfast. I later graduated to the paper. Both practices have been suspended since I went to college.

While you bathe?

I tried it a couple of times, but my arms would sag and the edges of the book would dip into the water and capillary action would wick the water up into the leaves. I ruined a copy of The Two Towers that way.

Eventually, I stopped bathing (I get a rash linked to the heat of the water on my precious, delicate skin) and just took showers. Also, on those rare bath nights that I would still indulge in whilst a teen, I would bathe, soak for a bit, and end up masturbating. No time for reading in there!!!

While you watch movies or tv?

If I'm actually watching the movie or tv? Never. Sometimes I have it on in the background for some white noise and I'll glance up from time to time to see what's going on via the flickering phosphers of my television screen.

While you're on the computer?

No.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?

Not really. They might have chided me a little over the size of the book I was currently trying to tackle, but I never got called nerd or geek or dork for that, at least.

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is why I recommend it.

Not to say it doesn't have its flaws--or that it's everyone's cup of tea--but it's a damn good story.

Have any books made you cry?

When Theo's mom died in Tad Williams' War of the Flowers and he found that she had bought a copy of Good-Night Moon for Theo's child which had died in utero, it made me pretty sad. I may or may not have had some moist eyes during that part of the story...

This is the point where I'm supposed to tag a handful of others to do this. Since I'm not inclined to do such, feel free to fill this out on your own if you should like.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol LXXVIII

July 23, 2010

Do you know what today is? It's Harry Potter's Birthday! Actually, no, Harry's birthday is July 31st, so NEXT Saturday. Today is Daniel Radcliffe's birthday. Radcliffe is, of course, the cat who plays Harry Potter in the movies. He is 21 today.

21?!?!? Woot! Butterbeer for everyone!!!

This is, of course, significant because Ol' Danny Boy (the pipes, the pipes are calling) has had himself quite an acting career...revolving around Latin. In addition to all those Latin spells he's throwing around in the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter books, he's also rather famous for appearing nude (and quite nude, from what I hear) on the stage performance Equus, which is, of course, Latin for "horse".

If you want to get technical, equus, equi is a horse (or horses) that is a fine, noble steed. A rundown bitch of a horse destined for the inside of an Elmer's glue bottle is termed caballus, caballi. Think of it as a "nag", or a "Lohan" if you must.

Should the word equus look somewhat like something else, there might be a reason for that. According to one legend I read, the word equus was linked with our word "equal" because a team of horses pulls a plowshare or a carriage or a wagon equally. The Greek word for horse, which cognates (read: has a familiar origin) with equus is hippos.

In case you've ever taken a paleontology class, or you're just a fossil nerd like me, you'll recognize all the various forms of the horse as it was evolving as having the root word "hippos" in it--except for Hyracotherium, which should be called Eohippus, but, you know, c'est la vie--or, I guess c'etais la vie since they're all dead now.

And, yes, hippos is where we get the word "hippopotamus", which means "river horse" (potamos being Greek for "river"). However, you'd have to be drunk to either think a hippopotamus looks like a horse or to ride one. Although, riding a hippopotamus into battle would be full-frontal awesome.

The word poto, potare in Latin means "to drink liquor"...which brings us right back to Daniel Radcliffe's 21st birthday. I am nothing if not full-circle in my reporting of things thousands of years old.

Of course, while we're on the subject of Greek horses, I can only think of one Greek horse famous enough to survive through history: Secretariatus The Trojan Horse.

And the Trojan that fit on that horse must have been fucking massive!

*ahem*

Perhaps we had better just get on with the Latin lesson:

Equo ne credite! Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes!

Pronounced: "Aye-kwoh nay cray-dee-tay! Tee-may-oh Dah-nah-ose ate doh-nah fay-rain-taise!"


Translation in the hovertext!

What? Sororities are Greek, right?

I believe the "horse" comes in with the one on the left...though I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers. Or baklava. Or sugar cubes.

The above phrase is taken from Virgil's Aeneid, the great epic which surrounds the founding of Rome by Aeneas, one of the few Trojans to escape Troy as it was being burnt to the ground. He sailed around the Mediterranean for a few years, fucked whatever didn't get away fast enough, and then made it up to the Italian peninsula where he was met by Evander, who told him he had prepared a place for the Trojan refugees and, badda-bing, badda-bang, Rome is founded. You know, where Romulus and Remus founded it. And where Evander founded it. And, you know, some Etruscan settlers.

But, fuck those other guys, hooray Aeneas!

The question you should be asking, though, is why the Trojans were speaking Latin. But that's probably a question left for another day.

And, one final note, you'll notice that the word for "Greeks" is Danaos (I think Danaus would be the singular...I think it's a second Declension noun, but I can't find any reference...so if anyone knows for certain, drop a comment for me). We would translate that as "Danaans", which is a sort of catch-all name for the Greeks. Remember, at the time when these epics were written, nations didn't exist so much as did city-states (like, for instance, Rome), so to avoid listing all the Greeks' cities of origin, something like "Danaans" was used.

This becomes imperative when trying to warn someone to stay away from the big wooden horse filled with enemy soldiers and their pointy, pointy swords.

I can imagine it went something like: "Beware the Athenians, and the Spartans, and the Laconians, and the Myceneans, and the Argosians, and the Ithacans, and the Myrmidons, and the--you know what? Fuck it! Beware those filthy gods-damned Danaans!"

Anyway, the term Danaos comes from the name Danae, who was Perseus' mother (his father, of course, was Master Thunderhead himself, Zeus). Perseus was kind of the first Greek demigod hero, and so all the Greeks wanted to trace their ancestry back to him. Thus, if all the Greek tribes came from Danae, then they were Danaans.

The Greeks' name for themselves? Hellenes.

With that, Happy Birthday Daniel Radcliffe! And you all have a Hellene of a good weekend!

Resume Time!

July 22, 2010

That's re-zoom-aye time, not ree-soom time. Time hasn't stopped. The sex hasn't been THAT good. Wax-flying-out-of-ears good yes, but not all-time-has-stopped-with-my-orgasm good.

It seems as though it's time for me to polish up ye olde resume because my ideal job has just come open. No, no, not Scarlett Johansson's personal Man-Bra. I'm talking more sportsy stuff and less cupping ginormous tits in my large and capable palms.

With the fallout of the NCAA doing their best to kill USC's football program, there has been a cleaning out of the athletic department at Southern California (sorry, this is the real USC, not the one with all the Cocks). This has included the athletic director who allowed the violations infractions to occur under his watch, who was given his marching orders earlier in the week. The real news is that Pat Haden has taken over as the new Athletic Director at USC.

Why is this important? Well, because Pat Haden--up until Tuesday--was one of the announcers for NBC for Notre Dame football games. And now that there's a vacancy, they should naturally look to fill that hole with ME.

Take note. There are LOTS of people who could use me to fill their holes. *ahem*

Anyway, just think about it. I do love me some Notre Dame football. And, we'll all admit that when it comes to being a Go-Getter, I'm not in any danger of having that title hung around my neck. So, here's a job where I work Saturdays for one quarter of the year and all I do is talk about football and the greatness and glory of Notre Dame. And really, since it's just home games, I only work every other Saturday for one quarter of the year. I can do that. I can probably provide some fine bits of stories about when I was a student at Notre Dame. That's got to be better than having a USC guy in the booth, right?

Plus, my voice would stretch from one end of this fine nation of ours to the other, and also overseas. Nothing could go wrong there!

If this doesn't work out, I don't know what I'll do. I think, possibly, the best job for me would to do something like what Kevin Smith does now. No, not make shitty movies, anyone can do that (see, Shyamalan, M. Night). Smith has this thing where he tours the country, stopping at college campuses and talking to the audience for a few hours about...nothing, really. Just stories and anecdotes from his life. He takes questions, he answers them in long, rambling, irreverently humorous stories.

I can do that.

I can twist damned near anything around to some strange happening during the earlier years of my life. Not only that, but I'm going to guess that college kids would really appreciate my retelling of the time I smashed my ex-fiancee's face into the shower wall while trying to have shower sex, or the time I pissed my pants while trying to get gas, or how my mom killed my dog. I'm sure any of those would be met with uproarious laughter and heavy applause and as many blow jobs from coeds as I could handle!

In the meantime, if that doesn't work out, I'll just submit my resume to NBC sports and the University of Notre Dame. And I need to brush up on the spread option wing whateverthefuck new offense ND is going to have this year.

And I should probably work on not saying "fuck" so much.

Hey Mr. Driverman, Don't Be Slow

July 21, 2010

School started back up for my kids on Monday, which added an extra layer of nuts to last week. My kids are on a year-round schedule, in case you've forgotten, never knew, or didn't care. Getting two monkeys children ready for school is a bit hectic, even if it wasn't me who was meeting up with the new teachers and all that shizz.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, my wife works early shifts so that she can get her shit done at the store before people start coming in asking for vampire books for teenage boys and such. This leaves me with the task of getting the kids ready and off to the bus stop for pick-up and delivery. Not a problem, right? A monkey can do that. More or less.

Well, my friends, I am not a monkey!

Last year, the bus would show up around...8:25. Ish. Some days it would be 8:23, some days it would be 8:40. You just never knew. That's what we call "excitement". Who wants a boring, mundane start to their day? Apparently, not me.

I assumed that the bus would show up around the same time this year, too. I mean, for my entire youthful schoolboy experience, the bus always showed up at exactly the same time. And when I got to high school, the bus was exactly one hour earlier. Not much of a shift in the morning routine.

So, like a good father, I got my children all gathered up and out the door by 8:12 so that we would be at the bus stop plenty early for the bus. We get there, we stand around. A little while later, here comes the bus! Awesome!

Except...it was a different bus number from last year. Not to mention it came down the road banging and grinding and roaring loudly. And with a different bus driver. And this guy...looked a little bit like he had just escaped from Arkham, if you know what I'm saying.

But, this is the only school running a bus route right now, so this must be the correct bus, right? I load the kids on the bus and stand there waving. As I stood there waving, the bus passed on down the road and I realized that there were no other children on the bus.

Curious, I thought to myself. And then I began walking toward my car.

And then my overactive imagination kicked in.

Jesus Christ, what have I done??? I internally monologued. Did I just put them on the 'Pervert Bus'? Am I going to be an evening news special now? 'Tonight, on the six o'clock news...every parent's nightmare!!! And it happened, right here in North Carolina!'

Being that I'm an awesome father, I shrugged it off. I went about my day. I didn't think of it again until it was time for them to come home. So, I called to make sure they were okay. Normally, they get home around 4:00, so I figured I'd call around a quarter after. Except, they weren't home.

Oh, no! Every. Parent's. Nightmare! I was going to have to brush up my unintelligible Southern drawl for the interview. Maybe I'd have to scare up a wife-beater to wear. And a John Deere hat.

Finally, around 4:35, they arrived home. Safely. Somewhat soundly. Everything seemed to be in good order.

Fast forward to Tuesday. This time, I got up earlier than normal, showered and got prepped for the day. I got the kids up, got them going, and everything was good. Eight o'clock rolls around, and we're screwing around watching tv because we have extra time because I got up early like a good, responsible adult!

Just before it's time to go, my daughter realizes that she hasn't put in any earrings, and so she dashes up the stairs to put them in. I'm in the kitchen pouring my cups of coffee when I feel a strange disturbance in the Force. I look at the clock. It reads 8:10, and it's accurate with the time on The Weather Channel. I walk into the living room and peer through the shades and see the bus...pulling away from in front of my house!!! I rush to the front door, swearing the whole way, and I throw open the door and stand on the front stoop, waving my arms furiously over my head. Quite the sight, I'm sure.

The bus continues on, ploddingly slow, as it rounds the corner and drives away.

"Sonuva..." I begin, but then I suddenly realize that, as well as having to drive them to school today, I am going to have to get gas before I do so.

At this point, I'm a leg up on my mother, who would have just called the school to tell them I was sick if I had missed the bus. Disturb my regularly-scheduled routine of sitting on the couch on the front porch monitoring the neighborhood for the sake of my children? NEVER!

"Dammit!" I utter, frenzied, unsure of how the timing is going to work out.

With earrings in her ear, I load the kids into the car and we're off! I throw half a tank of gas in my car and then we hurry off. Fortunately (and this is something I didn't take into account while doing the mental calculations around getting the kids to school in time) traffic is light because the regular schools are not yet in session, just the year-round schools. We get to school, I drop them off, and hurry on to work.

Fortunately, my wife is working a later shift today, so I could get up, shower, and get the hell out the door before anything untoward happened with the school bus.

Abject and Apoplectic Apologies

July 20, 2010

So...I have been a shitty blog friend lately. I mean, really shitty. My posts are sporadic, and most of them that don't involve places I've stuck my dick or dead languages feel lifeless, at best. Before this turns into a whine-fest about my current state of affairs (which doesn't really involve affairs, sadly), I'll just plunge into the meat of things.

I recently changed projects at my company. Since I have a pervasive desire to not be Dooced, I don't talk about work much on here. Suffice it to say, however, that switching from one project to another involves a lot of wrapping one thing up and then getting started with another. It's especially fun/frustrating/difficult/awesome when you switch from two totally different areas of research, like say the wholesale slaughter of human parasites to the apocalyptic eradication of cancer. In one, you're targeting a wee beasty; in the other, you're trying to kill Kate Gosselin.

However, that's only part of the issue at play here. There's some stuff going on at home, some behind-the-scenes stuff that's proven to be really taxing--in the grueling manner--and has demanded most of my spare time.

I am, of course, referring to marathons of Civilization IV.

What's that? You've noticed that there's a different Roman Numeral at the end of the name? Good for you. If I had a cookie, I'd give it to you. Well, maybe I'd eat it in your honor.

It's true. I've upgraded to the more recent version of the game (rumors are abounding that a V is close to dropping), which I got for Father's Day. Along with my very large television, which demands my attention like a newborn. A very large, beautiful, high-resolution, illuminated newborn who tells me stories and who doesn't demand hugs, but a newborn nonetheless.

In fact, I bought Civilization IV for myself and handed it to my wife for her to keep until a later date. She said "Father's Day", I was thinking "when I get my latest manuscript finished". She won.

But, this isn't just the latest Civilization game. Oh no. It's the full version of the game along with the three add-on packs that were developed for the game. And all for the low, low price of $9.99.

It's true. I bought four full games of a recent game along with the add-ons for ten bucks. One rainy afternoon, I was tired of being stuck in the house, so I took the kids to see their mother at the bookstore. Along the way, we stopped at Best Buy and just walked around a little bit, looking at stuff. At some point, I'm going to need to add more pieces to the television for a whole package--newborns are needy, you know--and so I was shopping around.

I decided to swing down through the games department just to take a look. I saw the package for the four Civ IV games, and I picked it up to check the price. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it had fallen to $9.99. Awesome. I then checked to make sure it had all the expansion packs on it and found that it had. Score. My lucky day.

We continued through the store, looking at games and movies and such--I ended up buying the kids a Veggie-Tales movie, as well. At the check-out counter, I grabbed a beverage to slake my parched throat.

The kid behind the counter rang my purchases up and then informed me it would be $65.

"Wait," I said, flipping the Civ game over, "is the drink $30?"

"No," the kid responded, "the game is ringing up at $39.99."

"Well, it's listed as being $9.99," I said, tapping the yellow sticker on the front of the game.

Seeing that I wasn't budging from my position atop Mount Cheapskate, the kid called someone else up to help him. He told me that the game was ringing up at $39.99. I again tapped the sticker with my forefinger, this time a bit impatiently, reminding him that the game was listed at $9.99.

Now, it's here that I should point out that I could have afforded the $39.99 version. But, I didn't want to pay that. The game was stickered at $9.99, and that was the price I was going to pay. If it had been Target or somewhere like that, I would have said, "Alright," and shelled out the extra three Hamiltons. However, Best Buy has been a thorn in my motherfucking side for several years now, between their shitty Day-After-Thanksgiving promotions to the people on the floor not knowing what they fuck they are talking about to the assholes shutting down my credit card with them because I dared to pay it off and not buy anything for a whole six months.

So it was with this mindset that I folded my arms across my chest, looked meaningfully down at the $9.99 sticker on the game, and raised an eyebrow. The floor manager sighed, turned to his register, and keyed in the code to change the price. He pulled the yellow sticker off with yet another sigh, told me to have a nice day, and put my stuff in my bag. I nodded, smiled, and was off.

With a guilt-free conscience, I returned home with my booty, knowing that either someone fucked up with the pricing of the game (the Civ III basic package is, perhaps non-coincidentally, $9.99) or someone put the lower price on the game for a friend or family-member to buy cheaply and then give to him. Either way I got my game--and all the bonus games--for the price I wanted to pay.

It makes it that much sweeter when Erwin Rommel is driving legions of Roman tanks through the streets of Berlin, smoking a cigar and laughing as he does so.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol LXXVII

July 16, 2010

It's been a long fucking week.

Not only has it been a long fucking week, it's been a long frustrating fucking week.

I'll explain more later, but suffice it to say, my nerves are fried and I'm firing on the last one or two neurons who haven't gotten pissed and shuffled off, shouting "Screw you guys, I'm going home" as they headed out the door. Always a good time to try learning a new language, especially one as simple and uncomplex as Latin.

I guess that's what I get for working an entire full week. Oh, the tragedy and drama! *throws forearm dramatically over forehead*

Not buying it? I don't blame you.

However, I did successfully manage to use the word "vagina" in a blog posting and not lose any followers! That's a first since I moved over to Vita Brevis! Time to celebrate, omnes!

Anyway, I thought I'd offer a couple of follow-ups to Latin Lessons of days gone by.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how the Dutch were looking good in the World Cup. And was I right or was I right? Second place out of 204 competitors is pretty goddamned good, if you ask me. Sure, I would have liked to have seen them raise the trophy at the World Cup, but I was happy for the Spanish. Enough. The Dutch fans were a lot hotter.

When I tried to find a word to describe the Dutch in Latin, I had some issues. Clearly, "Dutch" comes from a Germanic root (*ahem* Deutsch), so I had to dig around and find out what the Romans called the area of the Low Countries. The name they gave this area was Batavia, and thusly the people who lived there were called the "Batavi". Tacitus has my back here, in that he refers to an area now in the Netherlands as Insula Batavorum, or "Island of the Batavians". Today, the name remains in the area as Betuwe.

And then last week, whilst complaining about the heat, I offered up a translation for "It's hot as balls out there." Unfortunately, people who have actually, y'know, learned Latin in a classroom environment, not as a hobby, picked up that there wasn't a word in there for "balls". The phrase "Foris maxime caletur..." literally translates as "It is very hot outside". I was going for one of those "layers of meaning" translations that my wife is always talking about.

A more literal translation of "It's hot as balls out there" would be Qualis colei calent, talis tempestas calet. ("Kwah-leese coh-lay-ee cah-lunt, tah-leese tame-paste-ahss cah-late"). This compares the heat of one's balls to the weather, "Like balls are hot, the weather is hot" roughly.

If you wanted to be a lot more specific, you could say Qualis mei colei calent, talis tempestas calet!, which translates as "The weather is as hot as my balls!".

And, one more thing, caleo, calere means "to be hot", but it also means "to arouse" or "to be aroused". Use it wisely.

Finally, earlier in the week, I told you all I wanted to be perceived as Bender from Futurama. Most of you picked up on the reasons why: because Bender is fucking awesome, and because I can tell people to bite my shiny metal ass.

So, I figured I might as well figure out how to say it classically:

Morde meum nitentem metallicum fundum!

Pronounced: "More-day may-oom nee-tain-tame may-tah-lee-koom foon-doom!"


Inspirational words of wisdom in the hovertext


Obviously, metallicum would translate better as "metallic". I opted for the adjectival form of metallum, which was the Latin word for "metal" (to be filed in the "no shit" category), but is used as a noun. Therefore I sought the adjective and went from there. Subtle layers of translation, everybody.

And with that. Have a good weekend. Stay thirsty, my friends.

TMI Thursday: Phone Sex Phail

July 15, 2010

I'm not sure how much of an honor it will be, but I would like to dedicate today's post to Bev, because it's her birthday. Can you go wish her many happy returns on the day? I'll be busy taking my clothes off and baking myself in a cake and then mailing it all to New Hampshire. Thanks.

Even though Lilu has taken the constraining leashes off which day TMIs should be told, I've decided to follow through with my somewhat traditionalist predilections and keep it up on Thursdays. I mean, Jesus, I went to Notre Dame--clinging tenaciously to tradition is what we do!

Anyway, we're going to have another story today about the Ex-. You might remember that we were doing some long-distance shit for a while, so we would be forced to have a lot of phone sex and net sex while we were apart.

And if you haven't read those previous entries I've highlighted and linked, then perhaps I would do well to tell you that a lot of our phone sex adventures took place at the bookstore where I worked between college and grad school. The book store had a toll free number that you could call from anywhere in the country, and so she would dial me up after the store closed and we would chat while I was counting down the drawers. If all the other employees had gone and if neither the owner nor his wife were in the store, the conversations would get spicy. Fast.

Here's a slight sampling of a seamless segue between normal, how-was-your-day conversation to phone-sex lead in.

Me: Ah, excellent. All the money's accounted for and only a dime off. Well done, I says. Well done, indeed.

The Ex-: Good, because I've had my fingers in my cunt for the past five minutes.

We were just that awesome. And, yes, that was her favored euphemism for vagina.

[As an aside, I've used the word 'vagina' in a blogpost again; I wonder how many followers I'll lose today!]

This particular night was much the same; work was done, drawers were counted, genitalia were being rubbed.

We were going through our normal routine: me telling her how badly I wanted to be inside her whilst furiously pounding away at myself, she fingering herself and moaning into the phone that she wanted more, more, more. It was the midnight hour, after all.

Finally, I heard her gasping and moaning and a few strokes later I was exploding all over my hand and pants. Phone sex was most excellently accomplished once more. And, as with most sexual encounters late at night, we felt good and relaxed. Yawning soon commenced.

But that night, once was not enough for me. And so we chatted some more for about fifteen minutes when I started in with her again. And she was playing along, too. So, there I am, sitting at my desk, furiously massaging myself while telling her that I wanted to bend her over the side of the bed and come at her from behind. She's moaning and sighing and everything else, as well, telling me how badly she wants it, but she's a lot more quiet than the first time.

I don't care. I'm polishing my wood at my seat until, finally, with a raw, triumphant, carnal roar I ejaculate once more. Panting, breathless, I fall back into the seat, my eyes closed, a warm glow washing over me. I decide to tell her how great that was, how much I loved her, how badly I wished it had been her rather than my hand.

Me: Oh, wow, honey. That was...that was...phenomenal. *heavy breathing*

Ex-: *silence*

Me: Yeah...*panting*...I'm breathless, too.

Ex-: *more silence*

Me: Oh, God, I wish I could go for a third, but my cock feels pretty empty.

Ex-: *not a fucking word*

Me: *suspicious* Ex-? Honey? Darling?

Ex-: *gives me the Bob treatment*

Me: Ex-? Are you there? Hello? EX-!

But my words, like silent raindrops, fell and echoed in the wells of silence.

Confused, a bit hurt, I hung up the phone. I went over to the safe, spun the knob randomly (I did this every night as a "safety precaution"), cleaned myself up and turned out the lights. I made sure everything was locked and out the door I went. I sped home. At that point, I was more awake than asleep and so I ended up staying up playing around on the computer. As I was the youngest manager on the totem pole, I got stuck working every weekend, so I had the next day off. I think it was a Thursday.

I stayed up late with AIM on, hoping that my wonderful and sexalicious fiancee would be on the other end of the chat program. Unfortunately, she wasn't. So, I dicked around, and finally crumbled into bed. I woke up the next morning, ate my lunch, and hopped on the computer.

She was on.

So I sent her a message.

Me: Hey, what happened last night?

Ex-: I'm so embarrassed. I was so tired after the first couple of orgasms that I just sort of...fell asleep.

*sigh*

Nothing kicks you in the ego like your girlfriend admitting that she fell asleep during sex with you...even if it was just the phone sex.

Perceptions

July 13, 2010

One thing I've learned as a writer is that different characters perceive the events happening around them (and the people involved in those events) differently. Or, in my opinion, good well-written characters should perceive the events differently. For example, one of my philosophies is that there is no clear-cut good or evil; there are simply different ways to the end that people can take that others perceive as good or evil.

With that in mind, I began thinking of myself and how I'm seen from different angles.

How I perceive myself:



How I think others perceive me:



How I probably should be perceived:



How my kids perceive me:



How my wife perceives me:



How I lie to myself about my wife's perceptions of me:



How my sister-in-law perceives me:



How my parents perceive me:



How I wish to be perceived:

Thank You, South Africa!

July 11, 2010

Today is the World Cup final! No matter what, we're getting a new champion! Someone who has never hoisted the trophy before will do it for the very first time, and that's exciting.

Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

On behalf of the writers, editors and artists at Vita Brevis, I want to thank South Africa for hosting a marvelous tournament! Sure, you're six or seven hours ahead of us, thus making some of the times of the matches a little difficult to plan around, but you've done a marvelous job hosting. While others (*ahem* the French) hated your vuvuzelas, I loved them. I hope that Brazil can provide something equally as entertaining and annoying in 2014!

And just think...when this is done, it's only six weeks until college football season arrives! Hooray!!!!

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. LXXVI

July 9, 2010

Salvete, omnes! Here it is, the end of the week. For a lot of us, it's a short week. For some, it's shorter than others. That's right. I'm busting out another day of vacation and taking a three day weekend. How's that? I just had a three day weekend? True enough. But with the wife and kids out of the house, it means I can walk around all day with my cock in my hand get a few repairs done around the house without distraction or delay. So, I'm carpe-ing the diem and getting done a few things inside that I've had on the "to do" list (or the dare list...*sigh*...it's a Latin pun) for a while.

By the way, who the hell turned summer on full blast? This is fucking ridiculous. I guess the good thing is that, with heat like this, either the water in the Gulf of Mexico is going to evaporate or the oil spill is just going to simultaneously combust. Win/win, I guess.

Notice how I said I'm working inside the house. It's too fucking hot--and the thunderstorm currently raging just outside my window promises to make it too humid, as well--to do anything outside. I don't care how much you love working outside, one hundred degree heat will melt your ambition in a heartbeat. Being that my ambition isn't exactly set to "go-getter" in the first place, throwing on a bunch of heat really makes me want to sit inside all day watching tv not work outside.

The Romans, too, preferred to not work outside in heat like this. The wealthy members of society would simply have their slaves do the work for them and then go jaunting off into the countryside where it was cooler and the girls were chased by wolves. Sorry, that's another obscure joke that you wouldn't get unless you've used Ecce Romani! as a text book...

Believe it or not--and I'm sure you'll opt for the "not"--the Romans even had a phrase to capture just how fucking disgusting the summertime temperatures can be. So, if you're stuck in the eastern part of the country--like I am--and you're sweating in places that you didn't even know you had, let alone that they were too hot, feel free to utter this dandy:

Foris maxime caletur...

Pronounced: "Four-eese max-eem-ay cah-lay-toor..."

Sweat-soaked translation in the hovertext


In case you were wondering, that's Apollo, a god identified with the sun and the only Olympian god who didn't have his name altered when he was accepted into the Roman pantheon--though he was sometimes called "Phoebus" or "Phoebus Apollo". As he eventually came to be associated with driving the sun across the sky (a job formerly held by Helios), I felt he'd be an appropriate choice to deliver this week's lesson.

The Romans did have a goddess that they identified with summer and summer's heat. Her name was Aestas (the Latin word for summer is aestivus) and she was depicted as sitting upon an emerald throne. She wore no clothing, except for maybe some wheat sheaves in her hair. That's my kind of goddess!

With those happy thoughts, I'll wish everyone a Happy Friday. Stay cool, stay well-hydrated, and remember, if it gets too hot, I give you permission to take off as much clothing as possible necessary in order to get cool. Just remember that certain sensitive parts of the body will hurt more if they get sunburned.

I'm not admitting to anything. I'm just sayin'. *shifty-eyed*

Buggageddon

July 8, 2010

Despite the fact that I enjoy the outdoors and I have a minor in biology, I really hate insects. Like, despise them. Big ones are worse because there's more of them to hate. But, so long as they're outside and not trying to bite my flesh or drink my blood or violate my personal space or...whatever else they try to do to me, I'm okay with them. If they simply exist and don't bother me, then they're tolerable.

It's when they cross that threshold that I call "the walls of my house" that we have a problem with their mere existence.

I've recently been overrun by these fucking palmetto bugs. And, if you're unsure what a palmetto bug is, think of a roach on Brobdingnagian scale, and you'll be close. They scuttle over things and they generally creep me the fuck out. Plus, they're big enough to set off mousetraps but low-profile enough to avoid the bar-of-doom as it swings down to try and kill them.

In a word, they're assholes.

And I've got a population of them in my house.

The other thing? The monsters can fly. I mean, they can fucking fly! And when they're flying, they're on the order of pterodactyls swooping toward your head. I tried killing one the other night who decided to kamikaze my face as I was bringing my shoe down toward it, summoning imminent and permanent doom for the little bastard.

And then it flew right at my fucking face! Defensively tactical, let me assure you, as I dropped the shoe I was wielding and fell to the floor, automatically assuming the fetal position and weeping openly. It landed on the wall, skidded, and fell behind the bookcase. My quest to end it came to a screeching halt. My wife was unamused by this.

So, with the children and the wife out of the house for the next few, I took the opportunity to do the only thing I know how: go nuclear.

That's right, I purchased a package of bug bombs and set them off this morning. I'm hoping that this will clean the fuckers out of the house. I'm laying down a wide strip of ortho defense or whatever the fuck you call it in an effort to keep them out. Whether it works or not, we'll have to see.

BUT, the thing about the bug bombs is that I had to turn off the fridge. There's a Mythbusters episode in which the team sets off hundreds of bug bombs and then sparks something inside the house, causing the doors to be blown off the house. Of course, that was hundreds of bug bombs. I used three. Still, safety first and all, I turned off the fridge. Since there will be no one home to open the fridge and let out the cold air, it shouldn't be an issue.

The bigger issue is that I had to turn off the air conditioner. And all the fans that I use to move the conditioned air around. And, it's supposed to be hot today. Not as hot as yesterday, but still definitely in the "as bawls" category when it comes to measuring heat.

So, I'm looking forward to coming home to a hot house filled with stagnant air, the sweetly deadly scent of pesticides, a host of dead bug bodies (*shudder*), and a refrigerator that, if anything goes wrong, could be full of rotting food.

Awesome.

The silver lining here is that I'm home alone, so I'll be able to sleep naked in the bed. Provided that there aren't dead bug bodies all over the bed. *shudder again* As long as they're dead, I guess I'll happily clean them up.

Plus, I'll be able to sleep soundly knowing that there won't be any giant pterodactyl bug assholes trying to land on my face while I'm unconscious.

Until the next wave moves in, at least...

Totally Blowing Shit Up...Wednesdays? Again?

July 7, 2010

Last week, I related the story of the bomb threat that happened here Tuesday night and snarled me in traffic. It turns out that the bomb looked like something Wile E. Coyote would put together in order to catch the Road Runner. Perhaps it was someone's ill-advised commentary on Time Warner Cable's "blazing fast" Road Runner internet package. If so, might I suggest that the giant crossbow mounted on a sandstone outcrop might have been more socially-acceptable, not to mention clever.

With this in mind, it was with a jaded curiosity that I heard that there was not one, but two bomb threats yesterday in my fair city. What the hell is going on here? Was I correct, and there's a criminal mastermind in our midst, plotting to terrorize us with the ever-present threat of explosive detonations? Do I need to start wearing a cape and a cowl?

Not only were there two bomb threats nearly simultaneously, but the bombs were within a few miles of one another, and not that far away from the original pipes-tape-and-rope bomb lookalike. Could this actually be a threat to truth, justice and the American way?

No, it turns out that one of the "bombs" was a suitcase filled with dental equipment. A quick x-ray showed the contents inside the case were nothing more than weapons of plaque destruction, ready to battle against the evils of gingivitis and tartar build-up!

So, if this was a dud, then what of the other bomb threat?

Well, that one had a little bit more teeth. Turns out, it was a World War II era mortar shell. How the fuck that ended up buried in someone's backyard, I haven't a clue--and neither does the guy who came across it. Most likely, the previous owner of the house was a collector or something, and it somehow got buried in the backyard. The good thing was that the mortar shell wasn't a threat to detonate as the charges and wiring had been removed. It was just a very dangerous-looking paperweight at that point.

However, I don't fault the owner of the house for shitting a solid gold brick and calling the bomb squad. I sure as fuck would have. The guy seemed kind of cool about it, though, in some of the interviews that I heard and read. But I'm guessing that it was a relief to discover a mortar shell in your yard and then discover that it was inert. Major "Phew" moment there...

So, it seems as though I can keep the superhero outfit hidden away for yet another week and everyone can sleep easily knowing that I'm not on the prowl looking to take down any criminal deviants.

However, I will warn you that, if evil is afoot, I'll be the sock of justice to cover it up...