Idle Thoughts Are the Devil’s Workshop

When I’m bored, I often start thinking of really horrible titles for novels. Titles like…

The Bird That Pooped on the Universe

Pwned by the Dragon King

The Funkiest Knight

Slow Fizz Djinni

Oh Shit! Zombies!

But nothing I come up with compares with the best/worst romance novel title EVER. Oh well.

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The Great Train Robbery Dream (Latin Remix)

On a whim, I copied and pasted my last blog entry into Google Translate, translated it into Latin, then translated it back into English. This is what I ended up with. I find it amusing and oddly pretty.

We woke up from a long, wonderful dream I want to write.

Morrow was here, late 19th century after the Civil War. Was to obtain a more west. But just the rich, who had power over many and cruel is the woman doing uses according to his own profit. My brother and sister-in-law decided to group as a part of me, who with all the power of the County of theft and the woman taking it up in other places. A brother of his friend in some way to be able to switch engine and engine drivers for his train, while he was in the army on the march. (Causes of the color of which is never very clearly was here. Read more purple, that symbolic of something.) As he was a late train, understood what they thought about that woman was hijacked (by a purple steam engine, which is his final insult) and of all wealth and power was gone. Welcome yielded said?

The train was brought to New Mexico in a small city, which is turned into a colony for artists, writers, inventors of free thinkers. The town had no more the government or the like. The results of our news came that the publisher/editor, who also when your orator, Mexico and pure American (making him into the country for the most part). An old man had been the effect of the cathedral in the city is converted labyrinthine display space and a place for painters, sculptors, actors, and musicians here. Multi-ethnic and multi-cultural people of the town, which the Caucasian, African-American, American, Asia, the Hispanic and Native American. We seemed to be with all.

My brother and sister-in-law into the town but I’d definitely moves with some friends for a lion to him, looking at the West more. Wishes in the bow, George Takeo, even he had said, and set me to move the de facto replacement, making me head of the town. I am honored, I could not help but to think, “Wouldn’ta popular to be better governance of this art, free thinking town? Hence, in this way better than the rich empire of things?” Rich n the way the woman controlled things? “

My Sordid Past

I’ve posted this story online before, but never on this blog. So for posterity’s sake (if nothing else), I’ll post this now. Are you ready? Read on for the story of…

My Night as a Male Stripper!

When I was an undergrad at the University of Iowa, my friend James lived with two friends in one half of a duplex. A group of young women lived on the other side. James loved to throw parties and was an excellent host. He was having a party one night, and on a whim, I decided to get a little dressed up: button-down shirt, bow tie, suspenders and suit coat. I showed up as some friends were just arriving. It was early, and the party hadn’t really started yet. A couple of the girls from next door showed up. They were having a bachelorette party for one of their friends, and had told her they had hired a male stripper. They thing was, they really hadn’t, it was all a joke, and they were wondering if one of us guys would come over and pretend to be the male stripper. My friends all pushed me towards the door, yelling, “JOSH! GO!” I shrugged. Why not?¬†When would an opportunity like this come up for me again?

I shuffled into the girls’ place, to be greeted by a small group of very drunk, hooting young women. “WOOOOOOOO!” I waved cheerfully. Someone hit play on a boombox and some funky music started playing. I started doing my slinkiest (that is, dorkiest) dance moves. I smoothly took off my coat and threw it to one of the girls. To my amazement, they beamed and cheered. So I undid my tie, undid my top shirt button, and threw the tie to another girl. More whooping and cheering. At that point, I stopped dancing, gave a bashful smile, and said, “Hi! I’m the Low Self-Esteem Stripper. Tell all of your friends!” They cheered even more loudly. I grabbed my things and hustled out the door.

And that, my friends, is how I was a male stripper for one night.

This Looks Like a Job For…

The other day, on a whim, I tweeted and posted to Facebook, “If I were a superhero, what would my name be? Best name gets a prize of some sort. GO!” I liked a lot of the suggestions my friends threw out to me, but there was on that was a clear winner. It spawned a long series of comments, involving my superhero identity’s costume, crimefighting partner and rogues gallery.

So, Sean Demory, you win with your suggestion of Hurlyburly, the vaudeville-themed superhero. It’s a character I could actually imagine dressing up as for a convention. Or writing a comics series about. I also like Sean’s suggestion of the burlesque stripper partner, Fan-Dance. Sean, expect some sort of prize in the mail.

Runner-up is Jason Blair, who suggested Bookbinder, the Spellcasting Librarian. It has a Doctor Strange/Doctor Fate vibe to it that I really dig. Thanks, Jason!

Now…who wants to actually draw Hurlyburly?

It’s a Wonderfully Foolish Life

“Nothing in this book is true.”

–Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

I love April Fool’s Day.

Well, let me clarify. I like jokes and pranks that are inclusive, that knowingly wink to people and say, “This is clearly not true, but wouldn’t it be wonderful and funny if it were?” To me, the best pranks are ones that help remind people how absurd and goofy and wondrous the world is. On the other hand, I can’t stand jokes and pranks that make people feel stupid or foolish, where the whole point is to laugh at someone for believing the lie. That’s just mean, and I’m not a fan of being mean.

But let’s get over the fact that you can’t believe everything you hear and read on April Fool’s Day, because you can’t believe everything you hear and read any day. That doesn’t mean you’re stupid or that other people are untrustworthy. It just means that “truth” is oftentimes a slippery concept and some lies aren’t so bad. A lot of the “truths” that we cling to aren’t truths, but they make us happy anyway. As Kurt Vonnegut says in Cat’s Cradle, “Live by the foma [harmless untruths] that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

April Fool’s Day, at its best, celebrates this mad, silly, absurd aspect of life. On this day, we make up lies, stories, tall tales and jokes to entertain each other, to remind each other to not take life too seriously and to pay attention to the strangeness and wackiness of life.

Laugh with me today! It’s a funny old world we live in. Never take that for granted.

“It could work!”

You all know that I’m colossal geek, right?

Young Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite movies. On Saturday night, we decided it was time for Morgan to see it. (She’s already seen Blazing Saddles and loved it, even if she didn’t get all of the jokes.) So, we got some tasty burgers from Five Guys and settled in to watch Young Frankenstein.

Morgan liked it, of course. But while we watched the movie, thoughts started drifting through my head…Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, the brilliant, eccentric scientist…Inga, his young, pretty, blonde assistant and lover…Igor, the sarcastic trickster…the Creature, big, strong and impulsive…

And because I’m a colossal geek, I spent about an hour putting this picture together (using Heromachine and The Gimp):

It kind of makes sense, don’t you think? Or is that just geeky ol’ me?