August 28th, 2007

criminal minds hotch save your life

john dillinger is alive and well and living in--

You know, it's true. People really do tend to assume that everybody else is up to exactly the same things they are. Or wish they were.

Just another reason not to trust the nasty-minded, I suppose.

Oh, in all the excitement, I almost forgot--the web page for the Wastelands anthology is live.

I had an interesting walk to the pastal orifice this morning. Which is to say, the area all around the green of the town I live in is under construction (New England: we have four seasons. Winter, Mud Season, Roadwork, and October. It's high Roadwork now.) so walking the two miles there and back involves a little bit of dodge-the-backhoe.

Anyway, as I was waiting for the light, so I could cross Main Street about two blocks south of the green, I was watching a couple of backhoes digging on kittycorner opposites of the intersection I needed to cross, and plotting my route around them. There was a police officer observing the construction, as police officers are wont to do, but the intersection didn't really need him, so he wasn't directing traffic.

Anyway, as I'm watching, I see him perk up suddenly, and start directing the construction crews out of the intersection. Then he runs across the intersection diagonally, stopping traffic as he does, and calls to me to get way back.

Well, my first thought is the natural: Oh oh, gas main. So, like a sensible person, I withdraw a half block and start angling to get the nearest large structure between me and the intersection. I happen to notice at this point that there's an unmarked police sedan coming along the side street at a pretty good clip, lights but no sirens. I turn to check over my shoulder, because now I hear sirens from Main Street--

--just in time to not quite see the lead vehicle that burns through the intersection at about fifty, trailed by four police cars.

Which I did see.

Apparently, a high-speed chase just came through the center of my town. I don't know if they ever stopped him or not, or what they were chasing him for, but I spoke with a woman who saw the action at the other end of the green. She said they laid tire spikes across the road at that end of the block, but the suspect successfully evaded them. She also said she saw an officer on foot with what she described as a "machine gun."

I wonder what the issue semi-automatic is, around here.

Anyway, I counted eight more police cars on my way home, and several polite and helpful cops.

At least I got my exercise for the day...

You know, this is much less exciting than it would have been before I lived in Vegas.
muppetology beaker meep meep

don't want to do this but he gets you there. you got to reason with the beast.

It's official. I live here on sufferance from the plants.

Current census, from left to right:

In the living room window:

1) jade plant, which is actually four or five jade plants in a pot they might eventually grow into.
2) pipe organ plant, rapidly outgrowing anything I put it into
3) small pot full of the pipe organ plant's current crop of offspring clones
4) (in a shared container) two cacti: Sulcorebutia mentosa and Lobivia arachnacantha. Memo to me, stop watering these in November so I might get some blossoms out of them in the spring.
5) (in a shared container) two Euphorbia milii "Crown of Thorns" (splendens (red) and "Aurea" (gold) For some reason, I cannot get the yellow one to bloom, although it is the bigger and seemingly more robust of the two plants. Maybe I need to let them get a little more potbound.)
6) (in one container) two supermarket cactuses. I have no idea what they are, but I bought them because they looked very, very sad. One is a two-lobed pear-shaped kind of thing with short dense thick white prickers; the other is a ridged round morningstar-head-shaped creature with clusters of long red prickers. They brought some volunteers, too: something stalky and green with oblong leaves, and something that has reddish stems and feathery small green leaves arranged in pairs along the stalk. It all looks pretty together, so I leave it alone.
7) Plectranthus amboinicus, aka "Cuban oregano," which is not an oregano at all, but a tender plant with softly-furred, succulent leaves. From a small cutting netcurmudgeon's mother gave me, it is growing into a monster. Allegedly has culinary uses: I may try it as such in self-defense.
8) Viola hederacea "Tasmanian Violet", which, between being the cat's occasional snack and a near-death-by-drowning experience, I am expecting to have to bury any day now, but it seems to be hanging on. There are three leaves on it, anyway, and I'm willing to give it a fighting chance.
9) Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Mandanianum’. This is not a yellow jasmine, but it plays one on TV. At the very least, it has a sweet jasmine-like fragrance and a creepery habit. It keeps trying to break free and I keep twining it back into itself. Stalemate, so far. I'm hoping it will eventually rally into the giant gorgeous plant I know it can be, if I can just keep it alive long enugh. It blooms lackadasically once in a while, but it does keep growing.
10) Jasminum polyanthum "Winter Jasmine". This really is a jasmine, and while small, has consistenly if intermittently given me flowers all summer. It's actually growing pretty well, but there's something it's not entirely happy about. The leaf color is pale, and some of the leaves have yellow spots. I wonder if it wants iron?

On the kitchen divider shelf:

11) Jasminum sambac ‘Belle of India’: This is actually on the shelf between the kitchen and living room, and growing like a weed. I need to find a place where it can get some more light, because I bet it would bloom like anything if it wasn't sitting in the dark.

Atop the hutch between the kitchen and living room windows:

12) a variegated Philodendron. This was a rescue plant. Somebody had abandoned it in a basement window of my apartment building, and after watching the poor thing sit there slowly dying for a year, subsisting on moisture from the dryer vent and whatever light snuck through a cruddy north-facing basement window, I absconded with it. It is now sitting atop the hutch between the living room and kitchen windows, eating the living room and contemplating its chances for world domination. I fear it.
13) A spider plant! Gift from an individual on my flist who shall remain unnamed unless they choose to comment!
14) Kalanchoe uniflora "Coral Bells". Not in bloom because it is recovering from the same near-drowning incident that got the violet. I really need to get it a hanging basket. It will be happier.
15) Mimosa pudica “Sensitive Plant”. This is sensitive plant #2; #1 dried out on me overnight. I am trying a slightly different technique with this one, and growing it out of direct sunlight, but fairly close to a bright window, with a catch basin around the pot to hold some humidity.

In the kitchen window:

16) Ficus deltoidea "Mistletoe Fig". A mere cutting when I brought it home, now a foot tall and growing like mad. If it tops three feet, I'm declaring it my Christmas tree. I love this little tree; it's just beautiful. One of the nicest Ficii I've ever seen. The fruit turn bright deep red if left alone long enough. I suspect they are not edible, but they are pretty.
17) Hypoestes phyllostachya, "Pink Spot." Actually, this one is fuchsia. Yeah, I know, it's an office desk plant, but I really like it.
18) Citrus hystrix "Kaffir Lime". Another year, and this one will be big enough for culinary uses. It's currently pinned up to a chopstick because whoever rooted the cutting made the poor thing all cockeyed, but if the trunk hardens off even semi-upright it might make a pretty nice little tree. And the leaves are shiny and smell good.
18) Citrus x meyeri, "Meyer lemon". Maybe someday, if I get it into a giant pot, it will give me lemons. For now it sits on the kitchen window and looks pretty.
19) Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus, "Buddha's hand." See above, "Meyer lemon."
20.) Adenium obesum, "Desert Rose" (red). God, what an ugly plant. It's kind of like a bonsai baobab, only not as pretty. I adore it.

On the kitchen table under the window:

21) Citrus x latifolia, "Persian Lime". This one is actually something like a respectable-sized treelet, two feet tall or so.
22) Rosmarinus officinalis, "garden rosemary." Yum. Pork chops!
23) (in a shared container) Thymus vulgaris, "French thyme," Thymus citriodorus, "lemon thyme." Neither one is doing particularly well, but I just repotted them, and hopefully they will come back in the spring. Also in the pot as a volunteer is a yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta, which I leave alone because it's tasty and pretty. Someday it may be tea.

In the humidity tray, also on the kitchen table:

24, 25) two Phalaenopsis orchids, both harlequins, one yellow and burgundy, the other (allegedly) white and burgundy, though it is new and I have never seen it bloom.
26, 27, 28) Sarracenia hybrids, "Judith Hindle," "Scarlet Belle," and something else. Oh, Sarracenia leucophylla. Pitcher plants, in other words.

Hanging over the kitchen window

29) Senecio rowleyanus, "String of Pearls." My favorite houseplant. This one is a sad shadow of its former glory, as it too nearly got itself drowned. But I am hoping I can bring it back, because the damned things are lovely and peculiar and have weird little flowers and are nearly impossible to find. Not dead yet!

Dear Bear, you don't need any more plants. Ever. Even if you do want a Tahitian bridal veil. And a potted melissa. And a stripy Phalaenopsis. Although I am contemplating ordering a Salvia divinorum while it's still legal to grow them, just to have it, but man, they want a mint* for those things and it would probably eat the orchids.**

*that was a pun.
**can't sleep, plants will eat me.

writing one-eyed jack

mirror in the bathroom recompense for all my crimes of self-defense

"King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree" stands at around 10300 words. I would be at the climax, if I had any idea how they were getting out of this.

44.2 miles to Rivendell. I've walked 413.8 miles since I started keeping track in January. Somehow, I feel like I should be doing better than this, but it may be Internation Be Hard on EBear day, since I certainly am also convinced that this novelette I am writing will never be finished, is boring like a boring thing, and lo, I am made of suck. I feel a little bit like the God Who Climbs. I have always been writing this novelette. I will always be writing this novelette.

By Jove, short fiction is not supposed to take this long to write.

And then, assuming I ever get to the end of it, I will have a Bad Draft, in need of extensive fixing.

Not a crisis, though, Just a normal part of the creative process. Why, yes. I am used to it by now.

If this was easy, it wouldn't be fun.
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That writer fellow was right. God is an irony.

Gmail's QotD: Simon Travaglia - "Don't borrow someone else's spectacles to view yourself with."

Except sometimes you've gotto.

I just sent the evil unfinished story to truepenny, and she explained it to me. It's good to have friends.

And now what I need to do is stick the stupid thing in a folder again until it unknots in my head, maybe. Or maybe keep pushing through the Bad Draft tomorrow, and then go back and fix it up and make a good draft, and see how much I can get cut out of it when I come back.

Dammit. It's pretending the story is a cat you're trying to make friends with time again. Whatever you do, don't look at it, or you might scare it off.

At least I get to see my massage therapist tomorrow.

Oh, and I maybe found the epigraph for Patience & Fortitude, and if so, I blame strangestgirl:

Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;

--Dylan Thomas, "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" which you can read, legally and everything, online by clicking that link.