Which, at this rate, might be sometime in May.
Tonight's special report is that there is no report. All reporting functions are disabled until the proto-human goes back to school.
Which, at this rate, might be sometime in May.
Let me set the scene for you. It's a snow/rainy winter day. My life partner, our small portable proto-human, and I were out for a family outing. The proto-human has very nearly outgrown his childhood bed so we decided it was time to upgrade.
Off to Ikea we went.
Now, as you know, this process is never as simple as that. You go to Ikea. You get the furniture. You assess the fact that like all good thirty-somethings you drive a tiny hybrid thing that passes for a car and very definitely cannot carry a twin-sized bed frame. So then you find another way to get the furniture home. And then you put it together. And then the light in the proto-humans room is a fan that will cut his head off with the new bed. You get a new light. The old light wasn't installed correctly, you go buy the stuff to fix the instillation.
Then there are things you've forgotten from Ikea. The pillow proto-human wanted. Closet fittings. The Swedish berry concentrate stuff. A chance to eat more of the delicious meatballs for lunch.
And because this was our third trip to Ikea in three days, we decided to actually pick up somet things from the market. Drink concentrate (which, when added to Mt Dew, tastes like manna from heaven fyi) and the proto-human wanted desert so we chose a selection of bulk candy in strange flavors. Chalk Licorice. Strawberry Rhubarb crunch licorice-like thing. Some Kola thing in the same shape that was utterly wonderful. Banana flavored chocolate covered marshmallows. Something the proto-human and the husband described as "a cheeseless Cheeto covered in chocolate."
We packed up our purchases in the vehicle the proto-human lovingly refers to as Tiny But Fierce (it has angry eyes) and started off to the next destination. And started having our candy.
One of these small bits of sugar we'd procured was a Salty Licorice Octopus (if you've ever been to Ikea you know it wasn't named that, but I don't remember exactly which letters were missing). About the size of a silver dollar, a sort of foamy-gummy octopus in a nondescript tan (which gave me hopes, because licorice without massive amounts of molasses is brown) covered in a fine powder of salt.
Now, I like salted caramel. I like a bit of salt in my chocolate, or salted peanuts on ice cream. I'd never had salted licorice but before my first experience with Ikea I'd never had the berry stuff either, and I love that. The proto-human had one first. He took a bite, didn't actually bite it off, and handed it back to me. "I don't like that one, can I have something else?"
I handed him something, but then I had a half-bitten octopus in my hand.
I'm just going to let that sentence sit for a second. Sometimes being a parent is weird.
Anyway, I decided I'd try I corner of the unbitten part. Maybe he just didn't like real licorice?
Now, on my private face book I described it like this: I've had a mouthful of ocean. Cheap caviar. Ludifisk (if you don't know, it's supposed to be pickled whale blubber, but often when people make it at home it's just extremely fatty fish pickled in epic amounts of salt).
I've accidentally licked rock salt off my fingers when Dad made ice cream with the old tub maker.
I put a tiny, minuscule bit of octo-licorice tentacle in my mouth and I honestly thought I was going to vomit. I think my body had a poison response. It wasn't salty licorice, it was salty salt. How, in the name of all things Swedish, do you make salt saltier? Is this some horrific black-magic ritual passed down from candy-maker to candy-maker in the Norse countries? Do you hack out your neighbors liver and offer it to Loki so he'll come make your candy so salty your enemies fatefully put a whole piece in their mouths and then just curl on the ground, hugging their knees, waiting for death to come?
Eventually, I tried a second time. Maybe I just needed to chew through the salt, and it would taste like licorice and everything would be better. I pushed through the salt and actually chewed a tiny, tiny piece.
It was salty on the inside, too. And there was flavor, but my taste-buds had gone on strike. It tasted vaguely of garlic. And salt. And betrayal.
I've threatened to make the proto-human eat it, if he doesn't behave himself, at least six times.
Ramble, Ramble, Rocket, Redoubt.
I felt like r words today. Don't question it.
I've been working on publishing stuff literally all day today, and my brain is cooked. But I'm trying to do better about lining up blog posts, so you're getting one anyway. You're welcome. I'm thinking short picture ficcy thing. Because I can.
Jack stared at the tiny pair of goggles wedged in the infinitesimal groove between the floorboards in the kitchen.
He'd told Alice and Rory that there were little noises and things in the house. That they weren't mice--the cat would have taken care of mice--and even his hearing wasn't good enough to hear bugs. They didn't have bugs anyway.
Well. The rest of them didn't have bugs. He didn't know or what to know what was living in Rory's room with him. Presumably it wasn't tiny people who wore steampunk goggles.
They were intricate and perfect. The tiny braided black strap, with brass circle eyes and the smallest glint of glass. Could it be glass? Could you make a circle of glass that small? Did they have tiny little glass makers? How do normal sized people even make glass?
His hand automatically went to his pocket. He had it on, and the search engine screen pulled up before he even thought about what he was doing. He was going to search how to make glass. He had a camera phone, in his pocket, with irrefutable proof there were tiny people living in his house, but he was going to search how to make glass.
The information age was a strange time to be alive.
It wasn't irrefutable proof though. Sure, he knew they were real, and neither of his roommates were imaginative enough to have played that sort of prank on him. But no one else would believe that. If he took a picture the whole world would say he'd doctored it. He'd taken a regular pair of goggles and shrunk them down on the computer and...
What if someone did believe him? Would they come rip his house apart looking for the little people? Did they deserve that? If they were little people, and they were human--or human-like or fairies or whatever else--they weren't hurting anyone. What if they had babies? What if there was a whole society of tiny little people living in his walls, like those books his sister had loved when they were kids.
Jack stared at the floor, and heard the thump of the cat on the stairs coming down. Rory's car sputtered to a stop outside, he and Alice laughing loudly. He reached down carefully and pulled the goggles out of the crevice in the floor, and moved them to a flat protected spot away from the floor vent--how much wind pressure did it take to be problematic for a tiny person?--and put his phone back in his pocket.
It was his turn to make dinner. He'd be sure to drop a couple of crumbs while he was at it. It was Rory's turn to sweep anyway. They wouldn't have to come back tonight.
"Can you hear me, Major Tom?"
I hate to start off, crawling back on the horse, with something sad, but the world works that way sometimes.
I don't have any grand story about David Bowie. I wasn't influinced by him any more or less than any other human who shared the planet with him. Great artists make the world better and more interesting for all of us. Like ripples in a pond, I don't think that stops when they leave us. But he'll be missed anyhow.
And now that it's time to get back to brass tacks, I should really start with more than a couple of words about someone great, and a link. I should, but you're not really surprised I'm not going to, are you?
I did an interview about being a children's mag editor, and you can check it out here.
And check back later this week, and I'll come up with something that might actually constitute content.
There's a link to my bio at the top of the page, but for these purposes it's probably best to just say I'm strange.