Requiescat In Piscis

It was with great sadness that I read, last week, of the passing of bondgirl‘s widely loved and admired betta Secretariat.

After converting the Tundra into a Truck of Remembrance, I began preparing my remarks, on the chance I might be done the honor of being called upon to speak at a thronged service in his honor.

I’m leaning toward something like this:

“And it seems to be you lived your life
On the mantel in a dish.
Never shedding, never barking,
Food your only wish.
I would’ve liked to’ve known you,
but I am not a fiiiiiish….”

Be sure to really belt out the last line. It’s very, very satisfying.

Lawyers, Guns, and Money

I went to NIU. Only long enough to acquire a terrible burrito habit, but still. I followed the coverage of the shootings there a little bit. My big-picture feelings on this remain unchanged from the last time this sort of thing happened. But, probably because of the connection — I took Foundations of Logic in Cole Hall — I found myself vaguely wishing I could help. And then I heard people on the radio saying things like “I wish we knew what made someone do this kind of thing” and “What kind of mindset does it take to just walk into a room and start killing indiscriminately?” and “What makes otherwise normal-seeming people do things like this?” and “How did he become such a monster?”

And here I can help.

A month ago, we bought a dining-room set. We spent 200% more than I thought was slightly above reasonable. It is, more or less, my first Adult Purchase of Permanent Furniture.

Three days ago, Luna pointed out to me that her chair was structurally unsound. It leans into a trapezoid where it should stand proudly upright and square. So I called Wickes, to invoke my three-year chair warranty. It took me three tries to get far enough into the phone queue to receive the second number I should call. I called the second number and held for eleven minutes and then asked whether or not they would come and fix my chair or if I had to take it to the store. I indicated my intention, politely, to ask for a refund on my delivery fee if I had to bring the chair back myself. They told me that Wickes had filed Chapter Eleven, and was no longer making service calls at all, and had in fact let every employee who might be able to help me go. They offered to give me a phone number for the manufacturer, and helpfully informed me that they might fix it, though since my warranty was from Wickes, it would probably not be covered. I inquired as to what I should do if one of my chairs broke , say, in November. They told me something that sounded like it was effectively “That’s your problem.” I admit, I could not hear very well over my pulse. I asked what I should do if I wanted to return my furniture, since I remain in the period wherein I am within my rights to do that. I was directed to a website address to “make further inquiries”. The first website they sent me to filled my computer with thirty minutes’ worth of malware. I called back and spoke to a different person, who gave me a radically different URL and implied that I had written the first one down wrong. I swallowed my entire upper respiratory system back into position and visited the second website, where I was instructed to download a PDF on how to file a claim in bankruptcy court against Wickes. I fully intend to do this, and to ask for my money back, on the grounds that my warranty is now useless, and I would not have bought the stuff without it. I estimate that I have a 5% chance of seeing ten cents on the dollar just in time to send it in as part of a tuition payment for my third child’s second Master’s degree. And the chair is useless until I either blow a day taking it apart or pay someone to repair a brand new broken chair.

So if someone shoots the shit out of a Wickes “Everything Must Go” Super Closeout Megasale, and you hear someone on the radio wailing “Why, God, Why?”, please, feel free to call in and read this aloud. Just me doing my part to foster a little understanding in this world.

California Penal

“Oh, people will come, Ray.

They’ll come to the website for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll register not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll click that “OK” as innocent as children.

“Of course, we won’t mind if you look around,” you’ll say, “it’s only $25 (or $250) per team.”

They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and something to obsess over for ten hours a week that they lack. And they’ll walk to their computer chair; sit indoors in underpants on a perfect Saturday night. They’ll find they have reserved seats smack in front of the screen, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the statlines and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been imaginary baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But imaginary baseball has marked the time. This imaginary field, this frustrating imaginary game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh…people will come Ray.

People will most definitely come. ”

***

Pitchers and catchers, both real and imaginary, have reported.

On The Juice

I don’t like to get too inside, here, but indulge me a mental image some of you will enjoy a lot:

In the weight room of our gym, there is a small contingent of dedicated powerlifters. Not the sculpted bodybuilder type, the massive East German powerlifting type. One of them looks enough like Zeepdoggie that we refer to him, internally, as “Big Giant Zeep”. I made inquiries. Turns out they’re no relation, but the resemblance is striking. Imagine the Zeepdizzle if he spent an hour each evening relaxing with a beverage in a hot, bubbling Jacuzzi filled with human growth hormone.

Just Hook The Jumper Cables To This Here Meme

I stole this from the Funker, who stole it elsewhere.

Six Words. Your Life Story.

(Reportedly, in this case, “started by Ernest Hemingway while telling the saddest story ever written, ‘For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn.'”)

My Life Story In Six Words:

“Bloodied early. Furious comeback. Now leading.”

* * * * *

And one from Juli Mac:

1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
No. If it was serious, it would be excruciating for all of us.

2) What was your dream growing up?
To be one of the good guys in the Columbine shootings. Though in my dreams, I got more of them.

3) What talent do you wish you had?
I always wished I could dunk.

4) What do you think of Valentine’s Day?
I am male. Valentine’s Day is not for me.

5) Favorite vegetable?
Stephen Hawking

6) What was the last book you read?
I am amid “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art”.

7) What zodiac sign are you?
Gemini

8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
A pirate ship on the left shoulder and the international symbol for Funny: Uh-Oh on my right.

9) Worst Habit?
Asking myself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and then working out what it is and worrying about it.

10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
Me? Juli? Of course.

11) What is your favorite physical activity? To partake of? (The mind-in-gutter response is obvious enough, thanks. So, your second favorite, please.)
Barbecuing.

12) Do you have an Optimistic attitude?
I am the King of the Optimists.

13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
Do you get a say?

14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
Is Classified. I try not to dwell.

15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
I am the only member of my immediate blood family who does not appear to be sprouting a second big toe from the ball of their foot.

16) Do you have any pets?
I do.

17) Best thing to ever happen to you?
Adulthood.

18) What was your first impression of me?
I hoped you were cute and ill-behaved.

19) Best Habit?
Leaving a clean kitchen.

20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
I would like to have enough hair to leave it long.

21) Would you be my co-designer, tester, or sock eater? Some combination?
Sock-eater?

22) What color eyes do you have?
Brown

23) Ever been arrested?
No.

24) Bottle or can soda?
Poured into a glass with ice cubes aplenty.

25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Avenge some debt and budget the rest for Vegas.

27) What’s your favorite place to hang at?
Vegas.

28) Do you seriously believe we need more cowbell?
Generally I do. Maybe they can recut that skit with “Hey Ladies”.

29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Barbecue.

30) What about your computer bothers you?
All the unfinished items on the desktop to-do list.

31) Craziest idea you’ve been entertaining the past few weeks?
We’ve been having intrafamily meetings about breeding. Which is a crazier idea, producing children or not producing children?

32) If a genie would grant you a wish, but the genie granting you this wish only listened to the first word out of your mouth, what would that word be?
“Billions.”

33) Romance? Interesting idea? Dated (haha) concept?
Stupid question? Both. And neither.

34) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you chose?
An island. Populated by My chosen people.

35) What do you like more/find cute/friendly about your computer?
OMG. I luvs my puter. Srsly. Its all like O HAI U GOT MAILS…is this question a Macintosh thing?

36) Will you repost this so others can fill it out for you?
Rather they do it for themselves below.