This is either the third or fifth installment of Pic a Day, depending on whether you’re counting the photos or the dates.
This is the inside of the glass ceiling of an atrium in an office building where I had lunch. It was actually a rather nice day, but putting the image in grayscale made it much more interesting and dramatic. Let’s hope that something that’s genuinely interesting without photo-trickery throws itself in front of my camera.
What better way to spend a Saturday evening than blowing your friends up, repeatedly?
The latest addition to my game collection, Epic Spell Wars, is a mix-and-match spellcasting game. Players take on the roles of coked-up leprechauns, enraged genies, and princess-mounted unicorns in something that can only be described as a heavy metal pro wrestling cage match. Each player will attempt to form a legal spell from cards in his hand. The spells then go off, inflicting damage on opponents (and sometimes oneself), and sometimes causing other effects. The last wizard standing wins the round, and winning a second round wins the game.
It’s not a complicated game, and could make a good opening act for an evening’s gaming.
… an iPhone.
This statue of Alonzo Horton stands outside Horton Plaza, a shopping mall named for the nineteenth century real estate developer responsible for the location of downtown San Diego. Like his other statue at Balboa Park, this statue has been vandalized by scrap metal thieves. Horton was once depicted holding a map of downtown San Diego, but that’s since been sawed out of his hand and (presumably) melted down for scrap.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever had the uncontrollable impulse to put an iPhone in his empty hand. Or to make the horrid “Horton Hears…” quip.
It’s astonishing to think that it’s May already. It seems like just yesterday, it was mid-February. Anyway, last May, I did the Pic-a-Day in May challenge. I had a lot of fun doing it, and was sad to see it end. But I think I’ll give it another try this year to see what happens.
Sure, this may look like a picture of an ordinary ceiling fan that’s been value inverted. In fact, that’s exactly what it is.
This is off to an awesome start, isn’t it?
…And it’s deliciously eerie. An ominous hovering black sphere that records and plays back the sounds of the past.
But like most ghosts, the reality is less frightening. It’s actually a helium balloon used in an art project called Space Replay.
I’d have titled this “TMI Thursday, Storytime Edition,” if this was still Thursday. In fact it’s Friday, and there’s not even much of that left.
1. Describe your favorite place to cozy-up with a good book.
- Once upon a time, the answer was the lunch table. Things have changed and I don’t bring reading to work with me any more. I wish my answer could be a big comfy chair, but while I do have a recliner, it’s kind of in the dark, so that’s no good. I do most of my reading in bed.
2. What do you read when you’re on the toilet?
- I do not understand the bringing of magazines and newspapers onto the toilet. Maybe it’s different for parents who have no other refuge from their horrible children, and maybe it’s different for those who suffer chronic constipation, but I just don’t see any need for lollygagging over the crapper.
3. Do you read when taking a bath?
- They say that it’s delightful and relaxing, but I’ve only ever ruined books that way. “They say” is a great liar.
4. If you can, do you read when at the gym?
- How would that even work? I guess if you sort of propped up a book on the treadmill console, maybe. I doubt that would be any good. The movement would make it easy to lose your place, and you’d easily knock the book down when turning the pages.
5. Do you still read newspapers and or magazines?
- I have one magazine subscription, and that’s to Make magazine. Sometimes weird industry periodicals show up at my desk, and I feel just a little bit guilty throwing those away unread, so I sort of skim through those, you know, just to be polite.
6. What are your favorite genres to read?
- Science Fiction, cyberpunk and space opera. Fantasy is nice, too, but it has to be the good stuff. Humorous memoirs. Science, technological history.
7. Do you read one book at a time or can you read several?
- I prefer to just stick to one, when possible.
8. If you start a book, do you finish it no matter what?
- There is a thing called the fifty-page test, that says you needn’t continue reading after page fifty if you can’t stand what you’ve read so far. I’ve only canceled a few readings at page fifty. It’s usually in the middle third that I usually start to question a book. But if I’m more than halfway through, I will usually plod on to the end, just to find out what happens. There could well be an astounding payoff that would make the trek worth it. (There just as easily could not be.)
9. Did your parents read to you when you were growing up?
- Yes, they did, until I could read for myself.
10. Have you read to your kids/nephews/nieces?
- I have a picture of myself with a niece holding a book, so I must have done.
11. How do you feel about reading books vs. using electronic devices? Have your feelings evolved from one or two years ago?
- Electronic devices have the portability aspect nailed down. However, you can still have any number of paper books open at one time, they don’t automatically dim to save battery life, and they won’t just vanish if things happen with software.
When was the last time you looked at or read an adult magazine to satisfy yourself? When was the last time you even saw one?
- It was long ago and far away, in a magical land called the Pre-9/11 World. This was back when the Web was all in Times New Roman and full of speckly GIFs, so of course printed media was king. As we all know, that reign didn’t last for much longer. I think the last time I saw such a publication was probably in a liquor store, just a glimpse of the discreet corner, and its rows of prurient, yet primly-wrapped, publications.
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AIR
1. Do you have a sensitive nose?
- Is there such a thing as being smellerblind? I may well have once been so. For a time, I worked in the printing industry, infumed in a pervasive miasma of pungent inks and solvents. After a while, I stopped noticing the chemical reek. By then I often had to explicitly be told when the trash or refrigerator or fish tank at home needed attention. That eventually went away after a change in career.
2. Do you have allergies?
- If so, I don’t know to what.
3. Do you have a big nose? =}
- I… guess? We can’t all have the late Michael Jackson’s anime nose.
4. Are there any smells that trigger memories for you?
- Orange peel. A particular herb that grows in the country, whose name I don’t know. A closet full of old books. The almondy hand soap you sometimes find. A particular type of refrigeration. Rain and solder. Jasmine flowers. Pool chlorine.
5. What are some of your favorite food aromas?
- Diners used to smell of a combination of: coffee, beef gravy, and a puff of cigarette smoke. I find it oddly comforting when a restaurant’s restroom smells just of Pine-Sol. As for cooking, everyone seems to love the smell of sauted garlic and onions and grilled beef. I do, too. Oh, and pizza.
6. What are some of your favorite smells in nature?
- The rain on the parched earth. Freshly cut grass.
7. Do you use air fresheners?
- Sometimes, but they usually just smell hokey and fake for a few days, then they just sort of evaporate. Better just to have good ventilation.
8. Do you like scented candles?
- Not often. They usually just smell like soap, or cheap candy.
9. Which food smells make you want to hurl?
- One time, I was walking past this restaurant, and I seriously could not tell if I was smelling their food or their garbage. They have since closed.
10. What is the absolute worst smell for you?
- Melted insulation, burned metal, charred phenolic: something bad has happened.
What smells or aromas turn you on?
- I really had to think about this one, but I’m not sure there is one particular cologne or funk or other aroma that would really raise my eyebrows. But then again, maybe there is, maybe it’s something from long ago or maybe it’s something from just recently, but I won’t know for sure until I encounter it again, and those molecules in the air trigger a connection in my brain.
I spaced out on doing the 12-on-12 photo challenge yet again. To be honest, it would have been an extremely boring twelve photos, as I spent almost the entire day at my desk. I’d claim I didn’t even see the sun, but I now recall that I did, in fact, buy a bag of junk food at Seven-Eleven.
As a consolation prize, please enjoy this TMI
Tuesday Thursday meme instead. Or don’t.
THE WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES
1. In general (we’ll get to the politics in a few) do you watch the Winter Olympics?
- I can’t say that I’ve ever really watched the Winter Olympics, and this hasn’t really changed this year. I saw a few minutes of ice skating, and that was only because the restaurant where I ate had it on all the screens.
2. Winter or Summer?
- I can’t say that I’m a big Summer Olympics fan, either. I know, this is the point where one is expected to make a lascivious comment about swimsuits and/or wrestling singlets, and I certainly would not argue with such comments in general, but scanty sportswear is not quite enough motivation to get me to tune in.
3. What are your favorite winter events? Do you follow any of them outside the game?
- This may come as a shock, but I don’t follow sports in general.
4. Which sport needs to stay and which one needs to go?
- I just tell you that I don’t follow sports and now you ask me to pass judgment on them? Even if I could name more than ice skating and snowboarding, I still would not. The fact that anyone would train so hard to try and be the best in the world at any sport should give it some legitimacy.
5. Which is the weirdest sport?
- I heard there was an event that consisted of cross-country skiing and target shooting. The idea’s more amusing to me than it is weird.
6. What is your POV on boycotting The Olympics by countries and or athletes?
- As with boycotting anything else, it’s a gesture, but like any gesture, it probably won’t solve anything on its own.
7. Are you boycotting NBC or any Olympic sponsors?
- Yes, my total disinterest in the games has really been a carefully calculated political statement all along. Moo hoo ha, moo hoo ha.
8. Do you think boycotts are effective?
- Almost never. An effective consumer boycott requires a critical mass of participants, and there are just too many consumers today. It all just sort of averages out. Now, a sponsor boycott or a vendor boycott can be quite effective.
9. If you were an athlete what would you do?
- It would probably be something that was equally obscure, ridiculous, and manly. Caber toss, maybe, or that thing where you run on a barrel floating in the water, or maybe the Biathlon.
She’s a regular knitting machine, she is.