Thursday, October 23, 2008

Japanese Tentacle Porn Actresses: Why I Envy Them

You know you’re on the wrong career path when you find yourself entertaining gloomy thoughts like “If I had my life to live over again, I’d do it all differently. I’d make better decisions. I’d work in Japanese tentacle porn.”

Just kidding. I think. Forgive my lack of recent postings, but this has been one of those weeks where the pesky real world has greatly interfered with my time spent putzing around on the Internet.

I have found a job of sorts, editing manuscripts for a vanity publisher. My task is to take paragraphs like Mental pictures filled her mind of the tall dark handsome stranger with smoldering eyes who looked at her with eyes that smoldered and said “I love you your so beautiful” and try to turn them into something readable.

How does this compare to working in tentacle porn? On the plus side, I’m not required to have sex with an octopus. On the minus side, if I were required to have sex with an octopus I could simply close my eyes and think of England rather than be expected to offer dispassionate advice on how to make the whole “sex with octopi” experience more enjoyable for the readers: “No! It doesn’t seem as though she’s being ravished by an octopus; she is being ravished by an octopus. There’s nothing metaphorical about it. Speaking of metaphors, ‘the tentacle entered into her like some sort of tentacle entering into her’ doesn’t really work as one. Also, if you have a few minutes, perhaps we could chat about the proper use of the subjunctive: it’s ‘If I were a horny octopus I’d go totally gaga over green-haired schoolgirls in little plaid dresses,’ not ‘if I was a horny octopus’.”

And now I must end this blog post and resume my editorial duties like some sort of editorial duty being resumed by a woman with smoldering blue eyes who stared at her computer screen with blue eyes that smoldered and thought goddammit I am wasting my life.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Traveling The Solar System, Twice In One Day

So here I am, back home and suffering from the usual post-vacation letdown, intensified by the loud, obnoxious cricket that just started chirping somewhere in my apartment. But a cricket cannot kill me whereas a moose in Maine came close to doing just that, so overall I’d say that where personal safety is concerned, the wildlife of suburban Connecticut are far superior to that of the rural North.

The day after the Night of the Moose, my Traveling Companion and I made an 80-mile round trip to tour the Maine Solar System Model, a scale model of the Sun and nine planets (Pluto still counts) that stretches out for 40 miles along U.S. Route 1. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have a couple if hours to kill and are in the neighborhood anyway; otherwise, you can check out the photo essay written and compiled by my traveling companion himself. (I make a cameo appearance in one of the photos, as The Hand Holding The Dollar Bill Next To The Scale Models Of Pluto And Charon.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bullwinkle Is A Liar

Forget everything those cute little cartoons told you: moose are freakin' scary. Last night our car narrowly avoided a close encounter with one; had we come along a mere five seconds later we'd have had a head-on collision with either the moose or the car in the other lane. So my Traveling Companion and I decided we didn't want to spend another two hours driving through pitch-dark rural regions to our next scheduled stop; instead, we pulled into a small town and checked into a surprisingly good hotel, where I wrote this week's Art of the Possible blog post comparing Canada to America. (My conclusion: for all its faults, the Canadian government trusts its people far more than the American government trusts theirs.)

Check-out time approacheth. Gotta go. Wish me luck for a moose-free day.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Our Future In My Past

Ah, nothing gets your international vacation off to a roaring start like having Customs Canada single you out for an extra-intensive inspection.

My Traveling Companion and I were among the youngest adults riding the catamaran ferry from Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; most of our shipmates were retirees on package tours. Perhaps our relative youth is what made the customs guy view us with a gimlet eye (young’uns under 60 are so prone to hellraising); more likely, it was one of those random inspections done from time to time so customs agents don’t have a chance to get bored. They checked my eyeglasses for explosive residue and went over every square inch of the front seat, even inspecting the ancient cigarette ash in the ashtray (last used about two years ago). However, they only opened two of our seven pieces of luggage, and left my purse entirely alone.

So it was almost an hour between the time we drove off the ferry and the time we were allowed to enter Canada proper. Maybe that’s why we forgot to stop in Yarmouth for a currency exchange; about half an hour later, as we drove toward Halifax, we realized that we were half-starved but couldn’t visit any restaurants because the only legal currency we had on us was a single Canadian penny mixed in with the American ones in my change purse.

“We’re starving, and our car’s running low on gas, and we can’t buy any of life’s necessities because our wallets are stuffed with useless American dollars,” I said. “This is excellent practice for the future if Congress passes that Wall Street bailout.” And sure enough they did, so let me tell you, my fellow Americans: I’ve lived through our future and it really, really sucks.

At least we could find a local bank willing to trade American currency for something spendable. For now.

By the way, there’s a good chance American customs will arrest me when I try re-entering the country of my birth in a couple of days, because I went to Costco and bought three cases of Big Turk candy bars (which are not sold in America) and given the mentality of modern American law enforcement they’ll probably think “Turkish delight equals Muslim with a bomb equals she’s a goddamned terrorist.” So if you don’t hear from me within seven days, please write irate letters to Gitmo demanding my release.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mainely Rainy

Greetings from scenic Bangor (pronounced "Banga"), Maine, currently undergoing torrential rain since Mother Nature knew I had a vacation scheduled for this week. (Actually, the original plan was to go last week, though I postponed that to attend the Liberty Forum. Since I neglected to inform Mother Nature of my change in plans, Hurricane Kyle, Maine's first hurricane in nearly 20 years, struck the state the same day I was originally scheduled to arrive.)

I have to get up at five a.m. to go to Baa Haabaa and catch the ferry to Halifax, but here's a couple quick notes before I crash into bed:

--Shortly after crossing the state line I saw a sign informing me I was now entering the Maine State Game Preserve. "That's a brilliant idea," I observed to my Traveling Companion. "Every game preserve should have a six-lane Interstate highway cutting through it. That'll help the animals evolve to learn car avoidance." A few miles later came the first of several signs warning motorists to watch out for moose. "Never mind," I said.

--This is my third consecutive vacation marred by inclement weather. There's got to be some way I can make money off this. How about: send me a boxful of unmarked bills or I'll schedule my next vacation for where you live. "Saaaay, this is a nice house you got here. Wouldn't want anything happen to it. Sure would be a shame if a flash flood washed it out to sea. Sure would suck if an earthquake knocked it over. Sure would alter the course of human history if an asteroid fell out of the sky and squashed that sucker flat ...."

--Those of you in Texas need not pay me anything, partially because y'all have suffered enough, what with Ike whomping you a few weeks back, but mainly because there's no way I could make anybody seriously believe I'm planning to take a vacation in Texas.

P.S. I just learned the hard way that our hotel is right next to an airport where some extremely noisy airplanes are wont to land. I'll be viewing Nova Scotia tomorrow through eyelids at half-mast.
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