Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Shadows and firelight flicker around the edges of the clearing,
Opposites and partners, dancing endlessly.
She sits on the opposite side of the flames from me,
Each of us casting a long shadow behind us.

Her mouth moves, but I can't hear words--
Just the wind in the trees overhead
And the surge of blood through my veins,
The throbbing of my heart.
She makes an angry gesture
And I can only stare.

I see her lips form familiar words: You don't *listen*.
But there is still no sound.
Finally she stands.
Finally she walks away, passing from firelight into darkness
Taking the trail back to the parking lot
Without me.

She is gone:
Inevitable end to this ineluctable pantomime
That we have drawn ourselves through
A dance as automatic, silent, meaningless, and fascinating
As the play of firelight and shadow on the trees.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Boys and DnD Session Seven!

"I kind of like the idea of a bone bow," says Firstborn. "It could shoot marrows."

With the ranger and the sorceress, they tracked the skeletons back to the nearby dungeon. The descended to the goblin fungus-village, and found it apparently empty. The first couple of mushroom huts were empty, and showed signs of a struggle - knocked over stools, scattered blankets. ("Or maybe the goblins all suddenly developed younger brothers," Firstborn observed ominously.) They proceed to the town circle (like a town square, only round) and a very small goblin leaps out and shouts a warning... about half a second before a half-dozen zombies lurch out of the shadows. Two of the zombies are goblin-zombies; two are hobgoblin zombies, and two are human zombies.

Initiative looks like this:
Secondborn 20
Mommy 18
Zombies 10
Firstborn 6

Plus, because he's a split-level ranger/rogue, Secondborn has Undead as a favored enemy and thus a +2 damage against them.

Secondborn steps up to the nearest zombie and attacks it with his longsword. It's a goblin-zombie, and he dispatches it rather neatly. Mommy (Halfling Sorceress) begins casting Disrupt Undead, damaging one of the hobgoblin-zombies. Firstborn (Elvish Druid/Barbarian) crosses to the Very Small Goblin (probably a child) that shouted the incomprehensible warning and engages the nearest zombie. He's armed with a greatsword, so he makes pretty shot work of the thing. At this point the Very Small Goblin sort of attaches itself to his leg, in what looks like a "Save me!" gesture.

The battle continues, but the zombies really aren't up to this. (Also, in a couple of places they just rolled badly - one zombie tried to attack and wound up throwing its club all the way to the far side of the town circle instead.) So at the end of the battle we have six zombies who have gone from Undead to Just Plain Dead, and a goblin child who appears to understand a little common but doesn't speak anything except small-child-goblin, meaning that the party has no way to really talk to it. The goblin child did, however, manage to pantomime hiding in a basket.

...And that was about an hour of play, which is about the limits of Secondborn's ability to sit still and concentrate, so we stopped there. But hey, the boys are pleased, I'm pleased, and it's progress!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Nonsense Love Poem

Composed last week while sitting in the shower trying to coax my brain into getting ready for work. Apparently, it preferred to do this:

You and me
are like two cups of tea
in complementary

Me and you
Are nothing that new
but we hold it together
with hugs

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Well, that didn't work...

So I wrote a post designed to go up this morning. And it was all about how I was going to work, and...

Nope. Just nope.

Apparently that was wildly optimistic. I woke up (sort of? mostly?) and called in, and went back to bed and slept until eleven in the morning. This, despite having gone to be just after ten o'clock last night. I'm not sure what's wrong; I'm not particularly achy, or nauseated, or sore, or much of anything really. I'm just terribly, terribly drained. Still discouraged, too, but I think that's because of the lack of energy, rather than the other way around.

Anyway, I spent the day at home (aside from a brief outing for staple groceries), ran laundry, and otherwise didn't move. I think I feel a little better for it? I don't know.

It's a little bit after 9:00 in the evening, and I'm going to write one more e-mail and then go to bed again. I don't know what's going on with my system, but I'm ready for it to stop.


I... made it through yesterday. I had some energy in the morning -- I mean, I was intensely tired, but I did have some energy. Then I ate a sensible lunch, and then... well... I ate a whole bunch of corn chips, and was worn out and useless for most of the afternoon. Dinner at home was an excellent pork and rice dish with sliced carrots on top, but I could cheerfully have come home and collapsed, too.

Now it's time for bed and I am tired and weirdly depressed, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe the corn chips have started doing something to my system. So the plan for today is basically, "No corn chips, and try to stay focused." And hopefully I'll snap out of it and feel better about, well, everything.


I mean, I really do feel useless - sort of existentially, not just in terms of what I actually got done today. I feel like there's a bunch of stuff I need to do and I can't stay focused long enough to catch up on any of it. And I know it'll pass, and I'm pretty sure it's just the lingering tail end of having been really sick (along with everything else that made February such a beating this year). But I want my energy back, and I want to feel like I have something to contribute, and damn it I am just not feeling any of that. If today isn't any better, I may try to take tomorrow off. Probably as a vacation day, since I don't think I'm "sick" in any socially-recognized sense.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mating Rituals: A Family Discussion

The boys are in the living room playing video games; Beautiful Wife is on the couch, reading. I have come in to bring tea to Beautiful Wife.

Secondborn: "I have a poem for you."

Me: "Okay."

Secondborn: "Roses are red, violets are blue. I spend a lot of time thinking about you."

Me: "That was very nice."

Beautiful Woman: "It was."

Secondborn: "Thank you."

Me: "And someday you will repeat that poem to some young lady, and she'll say, 'Awww. I'm keeping this one.' And she'll take you home..."

Secondborn: "Oh?"

Me: "...and wrap you in her webs..."

Secondborn: "What?"

Me: "...And feed you the still-beating heart of her latest kill."

Secondborn: "No!"

Beautiful Wife: "Oh, yes. That's how your dad and I met."

Me: "Absolutely."

Firstborn: "I could have done without that image. Let us never speak of it again."

Secondborn: "For once, I agree with you completely."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Music: Chosen

VNV Nation, from Praise The Fallen:

This is one of the albums I go back to for certain kinds of writing.