Friday, May 30, 2008

Aliens... OoOOoOoOoOo

So there was a lot of hype today in Denver about some guy claiming he has irrefutable truth about the existance of aliens. In true attention whore fashion he hosted a conference to show a short video clip to the media, but had them sign waivers saying they would not record the footage to show the masses.

... (is it just me, or does this seem a little silly?) ...

The reason for this is because there is a documentary coming out in a few months and he wants to make sure that, before the documentary comes out, and before the public sees this clip, experts will have a chance to review the tape to make sure it isn't a hoax. Smart move, but it also sort of sounds like he wants his 15 minutes to last as long as possible. So far some film guy at DU says the tape hasn't been tampered with, and a special effects specialist says if it's a prop it's a whopper - something like that would have cost upwards of $50k.

So what did the video show?

Apparently, the alien peeks in a window a few times over the space of about three minutes. It moves, it blinks. But how did they get the camera set up without spooking the alien? Sounds like a setup, doesn't it? Well apparently some guy in Nebraska got it in his head that someone was pulling a peeping Tom on his daughter, so set up an infrared camera ahead of time to catch the perpetrator. Just so happens the perpetrator was an alien. Watch out America! Horny aliens are after your daughters!

The guy claims this isn't the only evidence he has, but it was the only clip he showed the media. The rest of us are angry because our entertainment is being kept secret. We want our chance to see the video, to critique it, to refute its authenticity. Should it be an actual alien (unlikely, at this point) we want to be able to claim we saw the video of the damned thing. I mean really! It's a frikkin alien! Real or not I want to see the thing that experts are saying is either real or a really expensive prop.

So come on already, give it up! I want to see aliens!

Today, instead of a ponder, I leave you with the best alien movie quote ever:

"Get away from her you bitch!" - Ripley, ALIENS


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vampires and Werewolves and Dragons, Oh My!

Yup, all three exist in harmony. Well... okay that was a lie. Not in harmony. But they co-exist anyway and sort of tolerate each other. The dragons don't appear much; in fact, they haven't made any appearances so far, save for a brief mention. But they are there, and they exist in my novel, and they will make a future appearance.

So, on that note, let's discuss cliches and stereotypes.


They're furry. They're uncontrollable. They howl at the moon. They symbolize the wilder side of human psyche, the darker side. Typically:
1 - they transform around the full moon
2 - they are known to hunt and kill (and sometimes eat) other humans without remorse
3 - they are killed by silver (bullets, stakes, what have you)
4 - they are notoriously hard to kill, usually because of cellular regeneration

So, what have I borrowed, and what have I made "unique?"

The Moon. I kept this one. It's so deeply ingrained in modern legend that it's a tough one to break and retain loyal readers. So, I've tweaked it, but in keeping with more recent trends I've given them some flexibility. They are forced to shift forms for three days - the day before, the day of, and the day after the full moon. Other than that, they have a choice as to when they want to change, and can control it. Nothing really unique about the setup. It's been done before. I like it, so I'm using it.

Personality. This is another trait which I've kept to more recent trends. My wolves aren't the uncontrollable, ravenous beasts that hunt and kill any time they change. They retain human intelligence/reason but do have to fight some instictual urges. This is so common now that it is almost a cliche, but really, there is nowhere else to go with this particular thing. Either they are "wild" or they are "human." At least I can say my werewolves don't mourn their condition or pine for their former lives. I don't like emo wolves. I bet you don't, either.

Wolfsbane. There always has to be a trump card with non-human monsters. Some way for the humans to come out on top. Typically, this method is silver (usually a bullet) or the plant "wolfsbane." To me, the only way this is credible is in the form of an allergy, but that too is almost becoming a cliche of sorts. As this particular issue never pops up in my novel I haven't quite worked it out. If there is a bane, it will probably be silver, and it will probably be an allergy. But in all honesty I don't forsee giving my wolves such a weakness, though I don't plan on them being supermen, either. If one of my wolves drowns then it's game over. They aren't going to spontaneously regenerate a recovery from prolonged lack of oxygen. So I suppose in this, I'm as close to "unique" as I can get.

Regeneration. Speaking of, I have also kept this particular trait. I even found a scientific excuse for it! Stem cells. There something scientists are playing with right now called "pixie dust" that tricks the human body into activating its dormant stem cells to regrow lost fingers, organs, whatever. So, why can't werewolves and other supernatural baddies simply have the awesome characteristic of active stem cells? They could be the new white blood cells. Any time an injury happens, BAM!, here's the stems cells regrowing and repairing the injured area. Within limits, of course. If one of my wolves gets their head cut off they aren't going to regrow it, brain and all. That's just silly. And horribly overpowered. And not believable.

What's Unique? For starters, I have done what only one other author (that I know of) has done so far. There is only one female werewolf in existance. O snap, you say. That sounds like Kelly Armstrong. Yes, yes it does. But Kelly's girly wolf was not a disaffected college student drunk off her ass having a one night stand with a local werewolf, now was she? No, I didn't think so. Also, mine didn't shift on the full moon. She missed the shift like one might miss a period. As of the end of the book, she still hasn't "gone wolf." Holy shit, a werewolf novel where the main character doesn't become a wolf. Bet you'd have a hard time finding another author that did that (but please, if you find it, link it so I can read!).


Ahh, the brooding, emo, ennui-filled ladies' men of the night. Symbols of sexual predation and death. Bloodsucking nightcrawlers closely associated with their cousins the zombies (except, you know, they aren't still decaying or trying to eat your brains). Typically:
1 - They are literally blood-thirsty. Human blood is their entire diet.
2 - They sleep during the day and only come out at night.
3 - Sunlight kills (hence the pale, emo look).
4 - Aversions include holy objects (such as crosses), garlic, running water.
5 - Superior European attitudes.

So what have I borrowed, and what have I made "unique?"

Blood. Yeah, I had to. What's a vampire without their need for blood? Nothing, I tell you. Just some goth kid with filed teeth. I have also, sadly, conformed to recent trends with this one. My vamps can wait to feed, and they needn't kill every victim they drink from. That would sort of give away their presence, don't you think? Buncha bodies with fang marks all drained of blood? Not good for survival purposes, methinks.

Nightcrawlers. Yup, this one too. Easier to hide the blood-sucking activities at night, and really, vampires that can move about in the daylight are a big cheat. Takes all the fun out of being scared in the dark.

Sunlight. Okay, yes, I kept this one too. Sunlight may not kill my vamps but it'll hurt like hell, and anyway, they sleep during that time so they can be up all night stalking young stupid people for food.

Crosses, Garlic, et al. Here is where my being "unique" is really just conformity with recent trends. My vampires have no other bane besides sunlight. Holy objects do not have effect. Garlic just makes their breath stinky. Running water is laughable. Plus, it makes a vampire scarier when you can't fend them off with anything other than your bare hands, which, as you can imagine, don't work well.

Attitude. This is linked closely with the accent. I can't even begin to tell you how many French vampires I've seen in movies and literature. Even if they aren't French, they're horribly superior and laugh at the puny human's attempt at escape. Their indifference to everything is so strong you could almost reach out and touch it. I'm happy to say my vampires aren't brooding old European types, though one does have a British accent, and they are understandably feeling a little superior to humans. (I mean really, wouldn't you?) They have a healthy respect for humans en masse, though, and my main vampire likes to do whatever suits his interests at the time. But he, like my werewolves, doesn't miss his human existance or despair that he's lived for so long with no end in sight. He isn't jaded. A small miracle, on his part. Again, I don't like self-pitying characters, so I try to steer clear of them in regards to my non-humans.

What's unique? Ever wonder how a vampire manages to finesse (or force) a victim into giving blood, and then, magically, no one in the area realizes what's happening? Even with that nasty slurping noise and the limp body? I mean, anyone could walk in on anything at any time. How embarrassing for the vampire. So, my vamps have developed the nifty ability to deaden the sound within a certain radius. Anything inside of this "bubble" will not be heard by anyone, anywhere, unless they are inside said bubble. Leaves the door open for a lot of detection-free naughty activities. Also of note are their extreme psychic abilities, which seem to be a mix of coercion, mind-reading, mind-talk, memory wipe, and anything else your little imagination could come up with. I've seen vampires with some of these traits, but I'm straining to remember any vampires with all of those combined. Again, if you find an example, link it to me. And hell no, there is not one single vampire "council" anywhere in my novel. Anyone looking for that needs to look elsewhere.


Yes, I am talking about those big fire-breathing, virgin-eating lizards, the ones typically categorized into colors and associated elements. But Sass!, you whine, I don't want dragons mixing with my vampires and werewolves. If I wanted dragons I would go find Anne McCaffrey or those "Forgotten Realms" books. Get those things outta my werewolf novel!

And to that, I have only one thing to say.

Typically, dragons:
1 - are freakin huge (but can still fly, somehow).
2 - breathe fire.
3 - speak to each other using telepathy.
4 - are either totally with or totally against humans.

So, what have I borrowed, and what have I made "unique?"

Size. Traditionally size does matter. Not many dragons (outside of McAffrey's) are small. Some are large and fast moving, others are fat and lazy and hoard treasure. Either way they're big. Mine aren't gigantic. It's a little hard to hide something that big in modern times, especially if it flies. Thus is born the economy-sized dragon. About horse-sized in height if you really want to be that specific about it. Much easier to hide, much easier to get airborn. And not all of mine are airborn, nor do they all have wings. One type isn't even dragon-shaped.

Fire. Let's be honest, shooting huge columns of flame is pretty freakin' sweet. Why would I take that away? That is so staying with my dragons, and by God, I will find a plausible way to make that work.

Telepathy. This one is a little silly. Us humans think any mythical being that can't talk like we do must be able to communicate mind-to-mind, otherwise how do they talk to each other and reason like we do? Pure unimagination. My dragons don't have mind speak, nor do they manage to twist their scaly mouths and forked tongues into anything resembling human speech. They simply don't talk. Most of theirs is body language and other noises like grunts, honks, bellows, roars, purring, clicks, and what have you. They are intelligent, but they don't speak.

Humans. Humans and non-humans don't seem to get along much in most myths and legends. It seems like we're always fighting anything different from us. This is why my dragons have copied some other modern dragons and become human shifters. Much easier to hide amongst the humans when they look alike. Yes, it has been done, but I like it, so I'm using it. It fits my purposes. Other than that little survival method, my dragons generally avoid humans. They generally avoid everything, actually. They're rather like Switzerland in their neutrality. It's the reason they aren't often seen, and the reason they don't show up in my novel other than through a brief mention.

What's unique? Well, like I mentioned earlier, not all my dragons are dragon-shaped. I actually borrowed from a lot of different cultures to form my unique blend of creatures. There are three main appearance types I use, though: Chinese, Babylonian, and Aztec (or Mayan... or... something South American. I might need to look it up again). I use three because there are three head honchos of the dragon community. One is Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity (feisty old guy, he is); one is Ninhursag, which is an old goddess I've made to resemble a Sirrush; and the last is Huang Long, a dragon I've taken and made into an ageless being that is constantly but subtly changing its appearance. Also of note is that even though my dragons are human shifters, when they shift they lose all dragonlike characteristics except for their ability to shift back to their normal dragon selves. This means they are not super strong, cannot breathe fire, or even identify other dragons in human form. They are as close to human as they can get.

Soooooooo, there you have it. A basic rundown of three of my major creature features in that novel o' mine.

And wow, I just wasted an entire morning at work. lol. Oops.

Ponder of the day:

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Refishuns, I does dems

Friday night I pumped out not one but TWO entire chapter revisions. Now, granted, I simply copied most of the original chapter 3 and made a few tweaks to it, no major changes, but at least I got it done, eh?

So here's the plan. I want to see if I can do the same thing this week - get at least two more chapters revised. Maybe today, while I'm still motivated about it.

Now that I've voiced that goal, let's see what I have in store for myself.

For those of you following along with the story (like, what, all three of you?) I've made some basic run-of-the-mill revisions. Cut out the crap, insert something better. Take the waffles and make them pancakes. (mmmmm... pancakes.) I've drastically cut down the amount of running Kate does between locations, and generally made things easier to understand. Some of you know what I'm talking about. The whole Stan conversation that was confusing as all hell? It was supposed to be confusing for Kate, but not for the readers. It was confusing to readers, so I took the axe to it and rebuilt the conversation to something resembling normalcy. She also doesn't run from the dorm to the cafeteria to Micah's and back to the dorm. We simply start in the cafeteria, intercept the necessary character on the way out, and then go back to the dorm. And I managed to keep most of the conversation intact. Woo hoo!

Chapter 3 had little change. I smoothed some dialogue, axed a few unnecessary sentences, and generally flitted through that part of the writing sprinkling bits of revision dust like the twisted writer faerie I am.


We meet again, chapter 4. I see you over there. I might add a conversation in this one, because Kate manages to get out of the dorm with very little interference, which directly contradicts chapters 2 and 3 (where she was told to stay inside for her own safety). It'll be a great place to make up for lost wordcount. I've cut out about 2k words in the first 3 chapters (down to 12.8k from 14.5k). The bad thing is I'm starting to wonder if the events in chapter 4 are really necessary. I mean they are, some clues pop up for later, but... I don't know. I'll go back and re-read it. I really hope I don't have to cut and rewrite a lot of this.

I realize most of you have no idea what I'm talking about. That's okay. I'll come back and 'splain it in another blog post. Maybe tomorrow?

Ponder of the day:

"Why is it you get a penny for your thoughts but have to put in your two cents worth?"


Friday, May 23, 2008

If You Can Read This, Turn Me Right Side Up!

So, I didn't win the dialogue contest. Oh well. There were a lot of good entries and to be honest I don't think I picked my best piece of dialogue. Congratz to the winners! I'll beat you next time...

It was my hubby's bday yesterday. His coworkers decorated his cube and ambushed him with silly string, and brought him some cake to make sure he could have his afternoon sugar rush. Then we went out to dinner with a few friends and fun was had by all. He's 29 and it's so cute because he's started feeling "old." I just roll my eyes. (Then again, I turn 25 this year, so I guess I can't say anything. I'll probably feel the same when I'm 29.)

This weekend he wants to take me on a little float trip with our friend up in Vail. Float trip, you say? Oh yes. The goal is to simply float down a river (read: stream) in a raft with a beer in hand and hope we don't get wet. Since it has been snowing consistantly into May this year you can only imagine how cold the mountain runoff is right now. More things which don't reassure me are that #1 we have to wear a dry suit "just in case" and #2 our friend said the water is mostly calm and there are only "a few small rapids." This is the same person that said our last hiking trail was "easy." The hiking trail with three avalanche zones and steep expanses of ice across the trail that we had to navigate around, which included a couple of bridges with snow higher than the railings. Do you see this, Jeremy? This is me glaring at the screen.

Anyway, I'll probably suck it up and just go with them. If you see some girl floating down a river with a beer held above her head you'll know we hit one of those "small rapids" and I was subsequently tossed overboard.

Alright, time to crack down on my revisions. Here's today's ponder:

"How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on."


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dialogue Contest

I caught wind of a dialogue contest from Nathan Bradsford (blog here) and nearly jumped out of my seat. Dialogue is my strong point, or so I feel (humor me, damnit!), so I had to run over there and post something ASAP.

Took it from the draft of my third book, second in a series. Here's the snippet in case you didn't want to search for comment #461 ;)

They're sleeping in a truck:

The rest of my night was filled with memories of blood and death, of teeth and claws. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

Though I must have been more out of it than I realized, because I woke up with a ball of fur curled at my feet, one that growled when I lifted my head.

Broken Nose. Of course. I pulled the blanket over my head and turned on my side.

He made gross popping and tearing noises as he shifted forms. Clawed hands placed themselves on either side of me and he made his best attempt at smothering me over the blanket.

"Get. Off."

"The locals took a lot of interest in you last night."

"Don't care."

"They were going to mug you."

"Still not caring."

"One of them was a werewolf."

I peeked out from under the blanket. He used the opportunity to shove his muzzle in my face, that wet nose smearing across my forehead.

"So what did you do, protect me all night?"

"Not all night."

"How chivalrous of you."

"Chivalry had nothing to do with it."

“Can you pretend to be chivalrous for a few more hours so I can get some sleep?”


“Why not?”

He nodded in a general it’s-behind-you motion. “I don’t think they’d like that very much.”

Ponder of the day:

After all is said and done, more is said than done.


Friday, May 16, 2008

penix goes whar?!

My husband and I were listening to the radio on the way to work this morning. I guess Shania Twain is calling it quits with her husband of 14 years. This is not surprising in Hollywood - everyone and their brother seems to be calling it off on a regular basis. What struck me as odd was Mutt's (srsly, is that his name?) religious views.

Apparently, he vowed to only have sex four times a year (by his church's mandate?), and that was only if those four times were dedicated to trying for children.

My husband and I looked at each other in horror. Four times a year? Dear God. I think I would explode. I mean we sometimes go for stretches with no activity, but that's like two to three weeks at most, and that's usually because I'm PMS-y for a week and then bleed for 6 days. Even those "long" stretches don't happen very often.

Then I started thinking, why even bother with the four days a year? If you're going to deprive yourself that much, why not just go all the way and declare yourself celibate? And why, why, would you keep this belief when you're married to SHANIA TWAIN?!

Mutt, I don't know if you noticed, but Shania is hot. Who cares if she's 42 or whatever? She's a freakin' cougar. If I was a guy I would be all over that ass as often as possible.

Four times a year. [shakes head]

Ponder of the day:

"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"


Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am Iron Man

I saw this movie last weekend and oh ... my ... God.

Best movie ever. Certainly the best super hero movie I've ever seen. That first claim is up for debate but I seriously challenge you to find me a better super hero movie.

Tony Stark is *the* best character. He's the ultimate anti-hero. He's full of himself. He doesn't care what others think of him. He blurts the first thing that pops into his head. He has his computer put racing red on his suit of armor to make it more conspicuous. And...


At the end of the movie he tells a room full of reporters: "The truth is... I am Iron Man."

Come on, that takes balls.

It's got action, it's got quirky and believable characters, it has great special effects, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Yeah, I am so buying this DVD the day it comes out. I might even go see it again in the theatre. Enthusiastic two thumbs up, and more if I had the extra digits!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fish Tacos!

Fish tacos?

Fish Tacos.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Writing Challenges

I belong to a wonderfully quirky online community known as Absolute Write. There's all kinds of subsections on their forums, one of them being the "Share Your Work" area, which is a passworded (sort of) part of the forums set up so that our critiqued work can't be Googled and spammers can't come rain on our parade. My SFF buddies and I give each other monthly challenges just to stretch those creative writing muscles, and I've been "hosting" the challenge for several months now. Usually we have four challenge topics a month, sometimes five if there are extra Mondays in the calendar, and people are welcome to write about one or all of the topics.

So, rather than re-post all of these, I'll just gather them up in a comprehensive list for your viewing pleasure. Or torture. But you're going to read them anyway, aren't you? Keep nodding. Remember that ninja bunny I told you about? Yeah, she's still waiting back there.

(FYI, all links go to the Absolute Write forums, and the public pw is "vista")

The beginning... Sept '07
.SF&F September Challenge Topics (original thread by Koobie)
Participant list (compiled by me!)

My entries: Combat Magic, Evil Overlords, Cybernetics, Airships

October '07
SF&F October Challenge Topics (original thread by Azraelsbane)
Participant list (compiled by me!)

My entries: Forbidden Love, Red Shirts, Secret Weapons, Slavery, Halloween

November '07
Postponed due to NaNoWriMo (link)

December '07
SF&F December Challenge Topics (first one hosted by me!)
Participant list (compiled by me!)

My entries: Royalty in Disguise, Assassins

January '08
SF&F January Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: Escape, Gods

February '08
SF&F February Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: Twins, Ghosts

March '08
SFF March Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: None Very busy and unmotivated that month.

April '08
SFF April Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: Microscopic Dragons

May '08
SFF May Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: Mothers

June '08
SFF June Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: None :(

July '08
SFF July Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: Anthropomorphism

August '08
SFF August Challenge Topics (hosted by me, participants included)

My entries: none yet!

So there you have it! Those are all of my publicly posted entries. I also hosted a small self-challenge within my WoW guild where I asked members for topics, but I didn't keep up with it well and there are still a lot of outstanding requests. Since those are in private forums I can't link them. Well, I could link them, but only people with members access there would be able to see anything.

Aren't these wonderful bits of procrastination? Yes, I thought so. You may bow to the mistress of time-wasting. And if that isn't impressive enough, you should've seen how long it took me to make this post!

Today's ponder:

"If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?"


Monday, May 12, 2008

teh apoklipz, it comes

The first sign:
I actually felt like cleaning today. WTF?

The second sign:
Tornados and earthquakes, oh my. What is with the weather lately, seriously? It's mid May and it's cold as shit outside.

The third sign:
I actually *enjoyed* the 9 hour one way trip to KC and back. (Back being "Denver" for those not in the know.)

Troublesome times I tell you.

Also, sorry for not coming back to update on Saturday. We went and crashed a couple of graduation parties, ate dinner, and then went out drinking all night. Fun stuff. My step-sister is a really funny drunk, by the way. She can walk alright and she's not loud or obnoxious. It's just, when she starts talking, she makes absolutely no sense at all. Random things start spilling out of her mouth and she does the classic mixed up drunk speak. "This pillow chip makes a good bag" is my favorite. (The correct sentence there was supposed to be "this bag of chips makes a good pillow.")

I'm so far behind on my reading and writing it isn't funny. I made a promise to myself to revise at least 2 chapters last month and I didn't do it, and it's taken me weeks to finish American Gods. It's like the bane of my existence right now. The writing, I mean. I think it's why I can't even finish a book. Like, I know I need to revise it with a quickness, and I know it's probably not as hard as I'm making it out to be in my head (although I revised chapter 1 and it took me a whole month because the thing was just a big mess), but I just can't sit down to do it. I think my mind went "ah ha, the end!" and shut itself down after the first draft. There, I did it, I'm done, let's move on.

I think this was because I didn't usually have to revise any of the stuff I wrote in high school. You know me... I'm the type that spews something into the word processor the night before and turns it in for an A. This has had an adverse affect on my writing, because now I feel as though once it's on paper it's done and it's perfect. I need a mental smack in the head. Or I did. I gave myself one, and now it looks completely hopeless.

The thing reads awesomely, I won't lie. I get caught up in my own story whenever I read through it. Thing is, when I stop to edit, I see so much wrong with it I just want to give up. This part could be better... what was I thinking here? ... crap, I contradicted myself a few chapters ago. Blah. So I distracted myself by getting a post-draft outline done to better see my problems. That was cathartic. I started thinking "yeah, alright, this isn't so bad, I can do this." Then I go look at the draft and make a face. Look at this, I'm even procrastinating in the form of a blog post. Tsk, tsk.

I guess I'll kick myself off the computer and see what I can do. What do YOU do when you get into a writing or revising funk? Post here, lemme know.

Ponder of the day:

"If you try to fail, and then succeed, what have you really done?"


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I currently live in Colorado but my old stomping grounds are a little place called Blue Springs, Missouri. It's a suburb of Kansas City. Previously, this was just your run of the mill suburb, no place special, but I recently found out one of the American Idol finalists (David Cook) is from here. I don't watch the show so this was a complete surprise to me. How did I find out? There was a parade for him here and he was alllll over the news. The whole city was going ape shit over this guy. Nuts, I tell you! No one famous is ever from around here. It's kind of weird.

Anyway, we drove back this weekend to go to my sister's college graduation party and my cousin's high school graduation party. Which are both at the same time, of course. In different locations. I sense much driving in our near future.

And holy shit, I just heard thunder!

I love -- love, love, love -- thunderstorms. I miss them so badly. Denver very rarely has thunderstorms, and when they do happen they're gone within the hour. The systems don't have time to build over the city before they're swept away by winds coming off the mountain.

But here... oh... here they can build for days. It can rain for days, and thunder for several hours. Big fat rain drops and booms that have potential to shake the walls. I am such a sucker for big storms. *happy sigh!*

Oops, it's gettin' late. I'll try to come back and post something more interesting when I have more time. Gotta go grab some last minute cards and presents for people. (No, I did not come prepared. Hush. I see you giving me that look through the computer screen.)

Ponder of the day:

"Who's cruel idea was it to put the 's' in lisp?"


Thursday, May 8, 2008


So recently I got an invite to a PartyLite thing from one of my coworkers. I read through the description and it says something about fragrances and "home accents" (whatever those are... candles, maybe?). She's a really fun person, and I'm sure I'd be able to do all kinds of fun girly bonding things while there, however...

I can't smell.

What is the point of going to a fragrance party if I can't smell the product to begin with? I mean, I could go hang out for the sake of hanging out, but I'm not really into all that girly stuff. Give me an action movie and a group of guys any day.

I can hear you now... "That's nonsense, Sass, everyone can smell."

Newp. Hate to burst your delusioned bubble. I mean, people can go deaf or blind and no one ever thinks it's weird. Tell them you've lost your sense of smell and you get those "yeah, right" looks. Or silence.

It's true, though. It's called anosmia (wiki article here).
The 10,000 different scents which humans usually recognize as 'tastes' are often actually 'flavor', which many people who can smell confuse with taste. This sense of 'flavor' is greatly diminished by a loss of the sense of smell, often causing those with sudden onset anosmia a great deal of concern when all food suddenly loses its flavor. When one can't smell anything, food loses most of its flavor, as when wearing nose plugs or during a cold.

As a person who doesn't ever remember being able to smell, I find that last part kind of funny. I experience absolutely no change in taste when I have a cold (and yes, I *can* taste things). It doesn't affect me. I do realize that I don't taste as much as other people... for instance, I won't taste a subtle herb in foods that others will have a food-gasm over. "Oh my gosh, I love this [insert subtle flavor here] in this pasta." Meanwhile I think to myself... this tastes like spaghetti, what else is in there to taste?

It's kind of sad, but at the same time, I don't know what I'm missing, so I can't really go emo over it. The most I've ever been able to do is identify a change in air quality. I could tell you something changed, but I wouldn't be able to identify it. I also wouldn't be able to tell you where it's coming from. Most times, though, I don't even experience that. The sense is simply missing for me.

As you can imagine, this has a couple of fringe benefits. I can't smell my husband's thirty minute session in the bathroom. I'm unaffected by food left out on the counter to mold, or trash left in the bin too long. In fact a few weeks ago I was able to dig around in the garbage to find out what was causing everyone else in the house to literally gag any time they got within ten feet of the trash can. It was a couple of pieces of rotted chicken. I was able to stick my whole head in the trash bag without effect.

But, that said, this also has some serious drawbacks, even besides the missed food experience. If there was a gas leak in the house, I would never smell it. That goes for any potentially toxic fumes from any source. I also can't smell body odor, which, while good for avoiding the stink of my husband after a mid-summer hike, isn't good for judging the cleanliness of my own self. I often forget to put on deodorant because it's just not something I think about. There's no stink from other friends or coworkers to remind me that hey, I might smell, I should put on some anti-smell stuff so I don't smell like that guy. Also, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, I won't smell it if there's a piece of food stinking up the house. I *have to* rely on other people to tell me what things smell like and if there's anything wrong.

Which may explain why I'm so interested in writing about werewolves. Makes sense, doesn't it? I can't smell, therefore I'm fascinated by creatures that depend on scents as part of their general existance. Well, okay, alpha males are kind of hot too. That helps it some. And I so love to be a bitch!

Alas, I actually have to get some work done today. I'll leave you with this little gem before I go:

"Can a storm be officially designated as a tornado without touching down at a trailer park?"


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

O hai!

So, to amuse myself, I'm going to start posting my lil' story blurbs here. They're specifically written for suggested writing challenge topics and are already posted on public forums elsewhere, so I figure I'll stroke my own ego and post them on this blog, too. Maybe one per day or one per week.

Sound good? Yes, I thought so. Keep nodding. There's a ninja bunny waiting behind you with some shurikens and a wicked looking kitana, ready to do my bidding should you happen to disagree.


What is this weirdness?

Holy crap, I have a blog.

Be back with something more meaningful after I've played around with the site a bit. In the mean time, I leave you with a silly question to ponder.

"If your clone kills you, is it considered suicide?"