Changing the subject

There isn't a problem.  There is the problem.  One specific, overriding, grandiose thing that crops up over and over when we talk.

It's neither my problem nor yours.  It isn't our problem.  It is, once again, the problem.  One steady constant.  One reoccurring error.  One insidious horseman of the conversational apocalypse that turns all progress to brimstone and screaming.

When I say we, I mean you - anyone, all of you, each person I've ever attempted to have a conversation with over the course of my existence.  I'm not singling you out, whoever you are.  Again, it's not your problem.  It's the problem.

Clear?  I'm trying to avoid the problem here.  I want to make sure everyone can understand.  There is one problem that keeps cropping up every time we talk.

The subject keeps changing.  You change it.  I change it.  You force things.  I force things.  Words seem to take on a life of their own and the conversation swerves into another lane and soon is going a completely different direction on some other highway to an unrelated destination.

One problem.  The problem.  The subject changes.  This means that no headway can be made.  Stick to the subject.  Whatever it is,was or shall be, make it stick.  We can solve the problem.  I know it.


The Rules

Before you answer each question, pause for three seconds.  Why?  Because answering immediately means reacting.  Answering after waiting three seconds means processing.  Process before responding.

There are many, many times during the day when you would do better to shut your brain off and follow your instincts.  Conversation is not one of those times.  Take a moment.  Breathe.  Listen to the words.  Let the last sentence hang in the air for a moment.  Allow some analysis to take place.  Respond intelligently.  Engage in conversation.  Do not veer into monologue by cramming the discussion down your favorite path.  Do not allow your lizard brain to respond automatically and drive the conversation to a well worn road of head bobbing, agreement and pop culture references.


These are the rules.


Art in a glass

When a glass gets that tall, it should expand to an appropriate width.  If, for instance, a person grows taller, they grow wider.  If they don't, people call them names like sting bean or skinny Joe or whatever because they look weird.  Glasses that are too tall and not wide enough look weird.

Here's another example: suppose you saw a very tall man standing amongst a group of average height men.  He'd look weird.  But suppose that you saw the same man by himself.  If he was well proportioned then he would appear normal.  Now, if he were super skinny then he'd look weird but again now we're back to the glass that is too tall and not wide enough.

So that is what Tevi is pouring his new drink in.  Tevi is a bartender.  Barely.  I mean it's his job and he gets paid and all that kind of stuff that makes him nominally a professional but no one actually thinks of him as a bartender.  He's that dude who mostly ignores the customers, sweats profusely and constantly tries to make weirder and weirder drinks.

Tonight the weirdness had to do with the container.  I'd seen him do this before.  It wasn't the ingredients he was toying with tonight - it was what the ingredients went in.  I once saw him pouring drinks into glass fish sculptures.  It worked.  Everything I drank out of those things tasted just a little bit different because it was inside a glass fish.  Maybe he didn't wash the fish out, I don't know but it worked and damned if he wasn't trying the same thing again tonight with a superbly absurd way too tall glass.

"Tevi, how are they gonna drink it?  Looks to me like nobody has got long enough arms to reach that thing to their face and there ain't no straw in the bar that long plus you'd have to set it on the floor to make that work.  You know what I mean?"  I said this knowing full well that he fed off this kind of nay saying.  It only strengthened his urge to create more bizarre drinks.

"Maybe it's not for you, uh?"  Tevi didn't look up at me.

I shrugged and looked about the bar for support but everyone else was watching some game on the television.

"What makes you do it, Tevi?  Why always with the new and weird drinks?"  I asked.

He stopped and looked at me.  This was unusual and somewhat disturbing.  Tevi is an intense, sweaty man with a penetrating stare.  "It's my art, man.  That's all the reason I need."


Ruining English for Everyone

It's not a proper bottle.  Or maybe it is - it just doesn't have a proper top.  Lots of bottles don't have proper tops and they get called bottles all the same.  In fact, tons and tons of bottles have no tops at all and they are all accepted members of the genus bottle.

So it's a bottle with an odd top.  Someone has stuck something in some container and simulated a stopper.  It's obvious to anyone that nothing will be stopped by this mockery.  There might be a slight delay, but no stoppage.  Slippage?  Shortage?  Shrinkage?  Something lost, something gained maybe.  Lots of conditionals and no certainty, that's for sure.

What does one do with such a thing?  What use can one make out of a mock top bottle pop? 


Jumping Whales, Sharks, Kraken and any other available Aquatic life forms

DMZ, written by Brian Wood, illustrated by Riccardo Burchielli.

Plots are hard.  I know, I've tried to write a few and often they come apart.  You forget to leave room for stuff to happen or you leave too much room and end up backfilling with garbage.

The DMZ series started out really well.  I liked the first few books... but after a while the twists in the plot line became more and more untenable.  The one that finally made me stop reading the series was the "Chinatown gold subplot".

Turns out that one of the gangsters in the movie ended up with a bunch of gold.  When things went bad in NYC and the war broke out, not all of the banks could get all of their assets out.  So this gangster ended up with gold.  Got it?  Alright, now this gold gets used to buy... wait for it... a nuke.

Yeah.  So I stopped reading when they bought a nuke with the fabled Chinatown gold.  Call me judgmental.  So it goes. 

Here's an amazon link to the first DMZ book (which I really enjoyed).


Glass raised

Action is to learning as ::

Auctions are to earning
Factions are to burning
Fractions are to yearning
Reactions are disconcerting to this kind of line, the kin of mind that is liminally sublime.  That is, I say, I say, half an acre of fire that you've put up your sails and what wind what win what din did done to me I couldn't say and who'd listen when we won one anyway.

Action, actors!  Acting arctic accumulation articulates acrimony assiduously.  Why wouldn't it?  What couldn't it?  Who shouldn't it?  When mightn't it?  How fightn't it?

That is to learning.