Messy Day

Back tomorrow.  Started the day going over finances, trying to figure out the 3 years when we’re still responsible for both boys.

I haven’t been able to work in a week, and before you send me remedies for the block, I’m NOT blocked, I’m just not at home, due to looking at houses, or if at home we’re doing stuff like cooking and eating, or sleeping.

Inspiration still hits, but I’ve been deviating it to art, because I’m way too busy to write stray stories that just appear.  And this one, I don’t even know what the story is, just that it showed up one day.

I call it Lady, will you dance? which is the title it wanted.  I have no idea what the story — or world — is.

I’ll be back tomorrow.  I’m so sorry.  there just isn’t enough time.  I’m going to try to actually work when I come back.


81 thoughts on “Messy Day

    1. It’s my birthday. It’s also the anniversary of the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War. It is a perfectly appropriate holiday for all Usaians to celebrate. Therefore, let us party. I’ll bring birthday cake and ice cream, but I’ve got to request the dragons refrain from lighting the candles.

      It is not, however appropriate for the federal government to celebrate (last time they tried they did Waco, which was ten times stupider than called for, and reaped OKC).

      1. Happy birthday!

        I will now refrain from singing Happy Birthday or quoting from Longfellow’s Midnight Ride of Paul Revere – which you may take as a present. 🙂

            1. Three cakes. The mountain o’ chocolate one (one if by land). Of the two if by sea, one is the “White-capped wave” of vanilla, and the other is the “release the kraken!” of… um… you get to cut into that magnificent work of art and find out what kind of cake it is.

              1. “One if by land, two if by sea.
                Now what do I do? He signals three!”

                with apologies to Richard Armour (sp?), among others…

                1. with apologies to Richard Armour

                  I loved his stuff. I cited one of his books extensively in my high school English Lit final. I made sure to work in a couple lines about Chaucer, since that’s who my teacher had done her Master’s thesis on.

          1. September 10 is my birthday. My husband was laid off in 2001 after 22 years working in industry research – he came home early on my birthday.

            We homeschooled. The next morning I came down to start working with the kids to find husband watching the television. He said, “You won’t be doing any schooling today.”

            I’ve always been grateful that he was home on that day.

              1. Is the timing for being laid off – which I assume was involuntary to you – every good?

                But that would certainly be in the same category as my husband going in to work on Monday morning, and having that hit him in the face.

                It would have been worse had it not been the whole department; it was bad enough as it was: he had given them his whole professional career as a Senior Research Scientist in a very specific and niche area of water treatment.

                It isn’t that easy to turn a PhD Physical Chemist around – other companies were doing the same as companies focused on the quarterly bottom line instead of their former long-term research development – so he could not find another job. He retrained as a hs physics and chemistry teacher, worked 11 more years in a STEM academy, and retired as the paperwork got more and more outrageous. Several patents, etc.

                Change happens.

                I myself have retrained as a novelist (the slowest one on the planet, but a published novelist notwithstanding).

    2. I gotta go to the dentist (fang cleaning) but I’ll pick up some of the good icecream on my way back, and I think the BBQ place will be open by then too. And the noodle hut.

      1. *sets down bags* OK, I got two kinds of icecream, vanilla with 20% butterfat and double chocolate, chopped brisket, sliced brisket, beef sausage, three sauces for the meat, Pad Thai, something spicy that smelled good, a triple order of satay beef, a double satay chicken, the pho will arrive in a few minutes if someone will let the driver in the gate, and . . .

        Salad? Really? This is a party. Salad is what food eats.

        1. Salad is what you eat when you’re smoking jerky because the garden needs to be useful. It may just be the salad happens to exist between two layers of dark rye bread and atop a thick slice of cold cut beef, with swiss and olives…

          Salad also happens to be the base for some other nice pastas, cassaroles, and “oh crap, leftovers.” Which turn into rice and chicken saute dishes, spicy ‘tato sides, and sweet corn on the cob.

          Salad’s also for the folks what didn’t muck out Fluffy’s stable last time. Hazmat was rather… displeased with the need to decon an entire block. Good training I said! Their reply, well, it’s unprintable (mostly because I don’t think you can translate the taste of orange very well).

          1. Salad is also necessary as a base for really good salad dressing, a.k.a. vinaigrette made with proper Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar.

            I was highly amused when I first discovered what gets called “French” dressing in America, as it bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the French actually use for salad dressing. 🙂

            1. Next you’re going to be saying the Russian dressing is like nothing the Russians make, or that California-style French has little actual relation to California. I’d be shocked – shocked, I tell you – to hear such a thing.

          2. Due to the vigourous nature of the mint, I have been exploring more mint recipes. For example, I have been making things every few weeks with a side of tzatziki.
            And mint in with peas in the samosas.
            And mint in the raita with curry.

            And still the mint is growing faster than I can harvest it. I think it’s time to cull the mint and cilantro, and make a green chutney.

            1. A good summer mint drink (in syrup form) is a Mideastern / ? Arabic one called senkanjubin –
              Make a simple syrup of sugar and water, until no more sugar will dissolve, cool slightly, add 2 cups bruised fresh mint leaves per quart of syrup, steep 5 minutes, pull out and press to extract all the flavor, add apple cider vinegar until the syrup has the sweet/ acid/ flavor balance of a concentrated lemonade. Bottle to exclude air, and store in a dark place or refrigerator. Mix over ice with water to taste, I use about 6 parts water to 1 syrup. Cuts the dry and dust very well.

              1. Seriously, you guys, Best Birthday Party Ever. Wish we could do this in person. Thanks. You all are awesome.

        2. Salad is perfectly acceptable as a food attractant. But I prefer it out in the garden than on my kitchen table. Food on the hoof in the kitchen makes entirely too much mess.

      1. Are you calling Tom shifty? [Very Big Kidding Grin]

        Of course, his dragon form is closer to the Northern European Dragon. 😉

          1. I popped for the genetic test thing for self and wife and surprisingly found out that my very northern european blonde wifely unit, with more recent over-from-Germany in the known ancestry than my over-from-Germany-and-Hungary, has a chunk of far-east-asian ancestry in the mix about five or six generations back.

            Nothing more exotic in mine save a greater England-Scotland-Ireland share than I thought – though my Neandertal fraction is greater than hers.

  1. As I told the students “Sometimes you just can’t schedule for Life.”

    The blog’s not going anywhere, we put the passcode back on the coffee maker/espresso/cappucino machine so Jeff won’t have to reset it again, and its raining down here (the part of the state that needs it). Have a quiet but productive day and we’ll wait.

    1. Guess who found out today she’d forgotten to punch drainage holes on two of her pots…by noting the water was level with the edge of the pots, and dripping gently to the outdoor table from all low-hanging drooping leaves?

      Fortunately, it was the mint and cilantro. One will survive anything, and the other’s already bolted.

      1. I’d say that’s pretty conclusive evidence. A bit like having water filling your (outside) window-well suggests that perhaps the downspout attachment was not reconnected after the yard got mowed.

        1. And now I get to conclude… something… by coming home between heavy rains to find our front yard very sodden, but mostly not puddled, and the side yards both displaying foot-plus-wide swaths of flattened grass running from the upslope front yard to the downslope back yard.

          The conclusion appears to be: in heavy enough rains, even putting in french drains isn’t going to help. And oh, my, look at that lake where once the dry bar ditch was, back there beyond the property. And I’m not going to be mowing the lawn any time soon.

          Perhaps this doth explain why the waitress today said “We’re so glad y’all moved down here and brought the rain with you!”

        1. Depends. I like mowing spearmint better than crabgrass… But it needs to be discouraged rather harshly from invading the rest of the garden. Like, with flamethrowers. Or mutant goats.

      2. Um, I regret to inform you, but *I* can drown mint. So you might want to try less hard. I needed something to plant beneath a leaky faucet, you see, last summer. By the time the men got round to fixing the faucet, the mint was dead. It didn’t come back this year, and since the rhubarb’s hit four inches and the hummingbirds are back, it should’ve if any roots survived.

        1. Must have been SOME leak!

          I was surprised this spring to find that Parsley is a perennial, as well as Mint and Lemon Balm.

          I’m choosing NOT to plant the Mammoth Dill this year. It was a little too big for the flower garden, which is where I have my herbs, with some of the plants reaching six feet high.

  2. Is the painting a Sarah Hoyt original, or did you find it somewhere? It’s definitely interesting.

  3. That is a most GLORIOUS bit of artwork.
    I think the primary character in the story is the busker, working in an empty street, BECAUSE the busker is a a background figure in the picture.
    And the lady is so elegant! I recognize elegance, since I see it in my wife every day.
    In fact, this is MY story. The lady is Vanessa, I am the dragon, and The Busker is God, Who played the music of love to draw us together.
    At least, that seems to be the story the picture is telling me.

    1. …and my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, agrees with me that this is a picture of us.
      Well, actually, all she said was “I love you,” but I’m taking that as agreement.

    2. Yes, the color tinting or palette or whatever you artists call that really makes it work. Also, have you ever danced with a dragon in the pale streetlight?

  4. “Take my hand, and I will lead you to places undreamed of.” For some reason that line just popped into my head. (yeah, okay, not too original but take that up with the voices in my head.)

  5. That is an absolutely lovely picture. I think I’d have to take up the dragon’s request.

    In other news, I found the ship’s library. A sad dearth of books I want to read, unfortunately. I mean, I found a few, but for the most part, no. I will have to populate it a little with some Baen authors. Not my own copies, of course. But I will purchase a few paperbacks to seed it with.

    1. If you’re deployed, check and see if the Baen free book program is still running, and then there’s the CD collection too.

      1. Charlie jumped ship, but I’m sure Father Featherstoneshawramalamadingston will gladly sign for them. He’s a good chap, he is.

    2. Um… if you ping me with an address and it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle (which depends on whether we find something to buy or not) I’ll send you a couple dozen. (Not just mine. I’m getting rid of as much fiction as possible. I haven’t given up on fiction, I have it electronic.)

  6. I like the Dragon Surprise sign on the building. Dandy painting, too. I’m sure the dragon will whisper the story into your ear.

  7. Sometimes I think back to when I was a kid or a teen, and the soul-crushing boredom of existence…

    Nowadays, even my to-do list needs to be on a to-do list.

    1. I… that’s just…. wow.

      I was temporarily at a loss for words. Alas, a pun cometh.

      Is that cover a catastrophe?

  8. Depending up delivery method and quantity, carp could be a cataclysm, rather than a miracle.

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