Pickle: A Story for Chloe Blythe

Light struck Chloe’s face from the east-facing window, an obnoxious reminder that she’d gone far beyond “sleeping in” by this point. Now she would be considered lazy – wasting a spring morning beneath her blankets. Whoever was authoring her serial of dreams seemed intent on teasing her by consistently ending with a closed door, usually in Ravenhold or her family home in Archet. No amount of pulling or prying ever seemed to open it.

Continuing to doze never seemed to return her to that spot to progress the narrative, and she spent the last month waking up with a distinct sense of dissatisfaction. She’d mentioned it while making a delivery to Bree with Colton a week ago, who’d harmlessly offered to help her feel more fulfilled in bed with a grin made of cheese. She’d kicked him in his nads for that, and they were late to meet the merchant they’d been sent to see. Worth it.

Still, it was such a cliché – a door you couldn’t open. She wished her subconscious could be a bit more creative, but its recurrence left her wondering all the same. It carried some meaning, though she hadn’t decided yet what parallel it drew in the waking world. 

“Shit.” She yawned, arranging the blankets on her top bunk so that only her nose was exposed to the open air. Spring had arrived in Durrow a few weeks before, but the mornings remained brisk even with the windows kept shut through the night.

“And a good morning to you too.” Kaylee replied to the rhetorical greeting from beneath her with a smile in her voice. Though she couldn’t see her, she knew from the sounds of shuffling below her that Kaylee was making her bed, which she never went without doing before mid-morning. “Did you forget your errand this morning?”

Chloe further entrenched herself in her covers. “It’s already done. I organized the equipment for the trip to Annunlos yesterday.”

“Your other errand.” Kaylee said simply, finishing her bed making with a fluff of both pillows.

It took her several moments to remember, but when she did, Chloe sat upright with a grin, shedding her sheet cooccon. “Do you think it worked?” She slid down the ladder from the upper bunk, dropping her splayed copy of The Steward’s Passion on the ground with a thud in the process. Quickly, she changed into a set of her work clothes that she’d laid out on her trunk the night before. “Oh I know it must have…”

“I hope so, for your sake. It’s all you seem to think about lately.” The other woman said, “Try not to be too disappointed if it didn’t though, alright?” She offered her bunkmate a quick smile before stepping out of the room they shared with the other women bunking at Ravenhold.

“I know it must have…” Chloe repeated to herself while lacing her boots. She raced out of the barracks into the kitchen, picking up a sandwich of gouda and cherry preserves – her favorite –  off the counter that the staff had obviously prepared for the Guildsmen. It was gone before she’d made it through the front door.


Morramarth frowned with a defeated look as he returned to the counter with a glass of milk, another of his sandwiches strangely missing. 


It didn’t take her long to reach the coops in the yard. The hens were given free range to roam in the mornings, and they had scattered about in their little cliques, bawking occasionally when a person or fellow hen offended them. A select group of the hens that had been selected to brood remained in the coop. Gaelyn planned to increase the Guild’s flock by three-fold before the end of the year to have an ample number of pullets to sell at market, so eggs at the breakfast table were more sparse than usual.

Chloe smiled when she spotted the hen she was looking for. Pickle rarely left the coop, though she wasn’t chosen to brood. She was picked (and pecked) on by the other hens, no doubt due in part to her comb that tended to droop to one side over her eye, and the way she occasionally forgot to take a step with her left leg before proceeding with her right. Despite coming from a good stock of laying hens the year prior, Pickle had yet to produce an egg. Many had suggested she leave the coop to join them at the dinner table, but Chloe had taken pity on the bird, and asked for a few weeks to remedy the situation.

She fed Pickle away from the other hens to make sure she was free to eat enough without the others pushing her out of the way, and changed her bedding every few days to ensure it was a clean place to roost. But yesterday had been the key. She had brewed a light broth of mushrooms and wild onions for the bird that she knew helped women who were trying to conceive. It had been the secret to her mother’s success, according to her father, and the principle was the same.

Gingerly, she lifted the fat bird off of her nest. The hen offered no protest, simply staring back at her human without blinking her one visible eye. And there, Chloe saw it.

It was not just an egg – it was the egg. Alabaster and as big as an egg ever was, it was a glorious testament of their work together. “You did it, Pickle!” She cooed, and shifted the hen to one arm to reach for the egg with the other.

As she turned it about in her hands delicately, she noticed that it was much heavier than an ordinary egg, and to her surprise, that it had writing on the other side. “Some Hen”, it read.

Instantly, the enthusiasm drained from her expression, shifting to fury. This was no egg, it was just a stupid river stone. And she knew exactly who was responsible for putting it there.

“Colton!” She yelled. Pickle ruffled her feathers at the sudden shouting, her first reaction since Chloe had arrived. She placed the bird back on her roost, and kept the stone in hand. She would lob it at its rightful owner as soon as she found him. “You ass.” She seethed, running off into the yard.

A few quiet minutes passed before a mouse emerged from the corner, carrying a stick of charcoal in its mouth. Not what I’d hoped for. She mused. But we’ll find a way to save you yet, Pickle. She scurried off, in search of another stone that’d be suitable for her words.

The Battle: An Account from House Gilthôl

March 14th, 3019:

Aphedion knew the battle would lack the control of the training hall. The junior swan knight had taken part in skirmishs with the corsairs that frequently pillaged the shores of Belfalas, and knew that no one he faced would exercise restraint. There was no lieutenant at his side to remind him to steady his swordhand or to secure his footing. His attackers’ blades were sharp, and they drew blood as freely as he drew breath.

But he never imagined the magnitude – scores of men being extinguished in waves. The shouting surrounding him was a constant, made up of dozens of mens’ voices. But in those collective cries, it was easy to hear when a single voice faded out, not to be heard again.

Slash, slash, block. Breathe. Slash, slash, parry. Breathe. Slash, parry, thrust. Breathe. His arms were heavy, but there was no time to be tired. He focused on keeping a steady cadence with his swordwork as he’d been instructed, and timed his breaths alongside it.

Slash, slash, block. Breathe. Slash, thrust, parry. Breathe. Slash, bash, slash. Breathe. A swan knight to his left, the knight-coporal in charge of his squad, shouted instructions. But the words were muddled as they came out of his dislocated jaw, and were completely lost in the dissonance of the battle.

Slash, block, block. Breathe. Slash, slash, thrust. Breathe. Slash, thr…

A crude, two-handed mace slammed into Aphedion’s armored, but momentarily exposed torso, knocking the wind and his feet from him. The young man rolled on to his back, gasping for air that he could no longer find. His eyes slowly centered on his attacker, a large orc with a bloody stump of what had been a nose. The fiend towered over him and grinned a toothless, bloody grin.

The creature raised his mace high to deliver the final blow. But as quickly as the orc had seized the advantage, it was taken from him. Two arrows fired from atop the first wall pierced his skull, felling him in an instant. The orc’s corpse pinned Aphedion to the ground, and forced his already pained breaths to grow even more shallow.

Breathe…Breathe…Breathe… The swan knight slipped out of consciousness while the battle continued on around him.

Dread Pudding: An Experiment in Baking

I don’t bake. I partly attribute this to my Y chromosome, but given that I’ve already admitted to watching Sailor Moon and Top Chef on this blog, I won’t pretend that the decision is deeply rooted in my overwhelming machismo.

My hesitation instead stems from the science of baking. I know what you’re thinking – the bioengineer is afraid of a little kitchen chemistry? Yes, yes I am. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

My previous attempts at baking (read: from scratch, even I can tackle Duncan Hines) have resulted in some pretty unsightly results – pies with crusts that disintegrate on contact, sweet semi-sweet bittersweet bitter apple sticky rolls that clung to the baking sheet for their dear, pastry lives, and blackened chocolate-chip coasters.

Fundamentally, my background is to blame. My culinary education, which formally began in 2008 under the over-the-phone tutelage of my mom, has primarily dealt with the savory instead of the sweet. I’m a proficient cook now, and have made some incredibly pretentious meals (i.e. Roasted Asparagus in a Balsamic Reduction) in my four years as head chef of Chateau de Eric. Unfortunately, my presiding philosophy on cooking, which is to throw everything haphazardly together in a pot and hope, often doesn’t work when it comes to baked goods.

Normally this isn’t a problem, but I’ve been craving bread pudding for weeks now like a fat kid craves…bread pudding.

I’ve prepared a step-by-step tutorial for how to make my great-grandmother’s bread pudding. Why would I prepare a tutorial on something I’ve never done before? Because no one wants to read my guide to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

You will need the following things:

  • 10 Eggs
  • 3 Sticks of Butter
  • Salt
  • 1 loaf of French/Italian Bread (Really, any bread from a country that regularly loses wars will suffice)
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Whiskey
  • Powdered sugar
  • Not-powdered sugar
  • Pecans (Unless your roommate is secretly allergic to them…whoops)
  • A rectangular pan (13 x 7? 12 x 8? The one that’s slightly larger than a PS2)
  • A bigger rectangular pan

1. Break up the bread into medium sized pieces. A medium sized piece is small enough for a goose to eat out of your hand, but too large for a sparrow to carry away. Fill the smaller-sized pan.

Don't carry this outside unless you want every goose in a ten mile radius to swarm.

2.  Eat the rest of the bread. It’s delicious.

This hipster only eats locally sourced, pretentious breads.

3. Melt a stick of butter. Pour it on the bread. I’ll warn you now, that bread pudding is merely a vehicle to consume as much butter as humanly possible. Throw in some pecans to make you feel less ashamed of this nutritional hellhole you’re about to create.

4. Crack eight eggs. Whip them until they turn into eggy goo.

I can still hear their screams...

5. Add 2 cups of non-powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 5.5 cups of milk to the goo. Mix.

I don't have anything interesting to say about this step. Sorry.

6. Pour the goo over your bread and nuts. Feels nice, doesn’t it? Be sure to save some for the pan.

7. Hopefully you knew to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, but you probably didn’t because I never told you. You should do that. Also, you should put the smaller sized pan on top of the bigger-sized pan, and fill the bigger-sized pan with about half an inch of water. Stick both pans in the oven.

8. Let the pudding cook for an hour. I watched How I Met Your Mother to kill time, but it was an episode about Ted, so it was time poorly spent.

9. When the pudding is almost done, remove the smaller pan from the oven, and turn it off. Unless, you know, you want to carry around a pan of boiling water. Whatevs.

10. Time for the sauce. Melt two sticks of butter, and wait for it to start boiling a little. Add two eggs and two cups of powdered sugar. Stir it all together, and remove from the heat.  Add whiskey to taste. My great-grandmother recommended two tablespoons. I put in three. Don’t be a wuss. 

I'm the only reason anyone likes bread pudding!

Did I mention that this pudding had butter in it?

11. Let the pudding sit for about ten minutes. Cut out a piece, and pour some of the sauce on it. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream – because there isn’t enough fat in this recipe, right?

I'm basically an omelette, but more delicious and shameful.

The final result was actually pretty delicious. My roommate did discover she has a pecan allergy, and is now covered in hives (aka: baking herpes) but we expect her to make a full recovery. It might have helped if she hadn’t had a second serving.

I don’t anticipate baking anything else in the near future, but I think I can tally this one on the win column.

A Lesson In Ancient History: Facebook in 2009

Once upon a time, Facebook was a magical land where self-expression flourished in the form of bumper stickers and ‘<Name> is’ status updates. Though the kingdom of Zuckerberg was treacherous, where nary an adventurer could travel without being bitten by zombies or vampires, the people were happy – for they reigned supreme over the clearly inferior realm of MySpace.

The bountiful fields of Facebook overflowed, and great cities were erected to house the exploding populace of Our Great Network. Change raced forward, blinding the elder eyes of those born in the time of yore.

Yet evidence remains of the ancient Facebook peoples. A recent excavation in preparation of Project Timeline produced a bounty of results. With great pleasure, I present the latest findings, which experts have estimated dates back to the year 2009 (+/- 40 years). The document, believed to be tied to a tradition of revealing twenty-five things to twenty-five people popularized in the winter of 2009, has been re-digitally remastered. Annotations have been added to articulate changes in the life of this Facebook-ian during the massive three year span.

_________________________________________________________________________

1. I roleplay in MMORPG’s non-stop. When nothing interesting is going on in real life, I’m known as Gaelyn Fletcher, Level 55 [75, bitches!] Man Burglar of Breeland!

2. I’m a Bioengineering major, but I wanted to go to school as an Archaeology major after reading MC’s book, Timeline. Too bad, Indiana Jig had a nice ring to it.

3. I’ve moved six [more] times [than I can count], but I’ve only lived in three [five] different cities, two [three] different states, and at five [uhhh….] different addresses.

4. I would LARP if I had moral support.

5. My favorite animal is the penguin, but I think the most ominous animal is the platypus. Yes, ominous.

6. I’ve never met anyone [someone] who‘d roleplay[s] in an MMO in real life, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

7. I think Asian girls are hot, but since I’m not tagging any in this note, I’m not gaining any ground by saying so. I’m not exclusive though ladies! /wink [Hoping for better luck with Zhang Ziyi the second time around, once the restraining order is lifted…]

8. Magnolia fruits are, by design, hillarious. [They look like a dog wee wee.  Tell me they don’t after you’ve drank a sufficient amount of Captain and Coke]

9. I check to make sure both of my alarm clocks are set about five or six times before I fall asleep. On the mornings of finals, I ask my mom to call to make sure I’m awake.

10. I used to be good at skiing, but I’m still good at killing myself on a snowboard.

11. I wish my first name was spelled with a ‘k’, or with a ‘w’. Don’t ask how the second one would work, just let me dream. [The ultimate dream is Ewik]

12. I’m more afraid of aliens than anything else, except the darkness inside of me. /sarcasm [But seriously…the inner Eric is terrifying]

13. I experience sleep paralysis several times a year. It used to be scary, but now I’m just annoyed when I can’t move my head and I’m face-down on my pillow.

14. I love wire-fu movies. Crounching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, Curse of the Black Scorpion, The Golden Flower, House of Flying Daggers – all, awesome.

15. I only watch two TV shows regularly – Top Chef and Battlestar Galactica. I’m hoping for a crossover series. Psst…Carla’s the Twelfth Cylon. [Today’s recipe, Kobol Chicken]

16. I hate the commercial with Erica the Glad Bag girl. I watch two hours of TV a week, and see it like at least four times. [Still can’t hear the words ‘handy’ or ‘chilly’ without being haunted…]

17. I started to talk with more of an Eastern Kentucky accent because I thought it sounded funny. Now it’s stuck.

18. I like milk, but only when it’s pronounced ‘melk’.

19. I wish I was the field commander in marching band. Conducting in the shower isn’t the same.

20. I like unsalted, unbuttered popcorn, dry lasagna noodles (the Itallian classic!), and maraschino cherry juice.

21. I like the song that goes ‘Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh—-ohhhhh…. oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh—oh-oh—oh-ohhhh….’ Wish I knew what it was called… [After many years of searching, I finally found the song.]

22. It takes me forever to write stuff. For example, this has been an hour-long endeavor. Hope it shows. [It didn’t.]

23. When I go to Moe’s, I order a Triple Lindy with chicken, pinto beans, rice, sour cream, and cheese. Also, Qdoba tastes like shame. [I’ve learned over the past three years that shame can taste delicious.]

24. I wish tying your sweatshirt around your waist would come back in style. [I couldn’t even find a picture of people wearing one on the internet. It’s like the world is trying to forget…]

25. There’s a secret message for you hidden in this note. You know who you are… Message me. /wink [Much to his disappointment, the message was not intended for Todd from down the hall.]

_________________________________________________________________________

I’ll try and post something un-recycled soon, if my turf battle in Mafia Wars finally settles down.

A Man and a Mattress

I recently moved to a new apartment. As a veteran mover (two states, three cities, nine houses/apartments, and twelve ‘moves’ in the past six years) I’ve perfected the art of packing to a science, and managed to stuff things into a Toyota Corolla that a less practiced traveler would need a semi to carry.

Toot, toot. Hear that? That’s my horn. I’ll stop now.

The latest move has a two-fold significance. First, I’ll be living with girls for the first time in my life (sorry Mom, you don’t count). I’ll clarify by saying that these are friends who are girls, and not girlfriends, though you can expect the story to change should I ever need a sudden increase of street cred with the broskis. I envision it’ll be like a modern Three’s Company, except I’ll be trying to convince everyone that I’m not the gay roommate.  I only hope my landlady isn’t as clueless as Mr. Furley.

The second significance (signfici?) is the unfurnished-ness of the new apartment.  Up until this point in my moving career, I’ve only lived in one other apartment that didn’t come with the standard dorm room trimmings: the twin extra-long sized slab of rock that constitutes a bed, the beer pong table / computer desk combo, the dresser pre-stocked with a forgotten condom and chewed up pencils, and the chair that collapses under the weight of a dust bunny.  These luxuries are, of course, well worth the meager $2,500 rent per semester we’re charged for staying there.  It’s a steal really – at least, for somebody.

In my previous unfurnished apartment, the theme of our home was thriftiness, which is a polite way of saying that anything, and everything we owned was shit.  Our couch was an amputee – its leg lost on the field of battle in another apartment, far, far away.  It leaned proudly in our living room with the grizzled grace of a veteran.  My mattress, a hand-me-down from a stranger I met briefly at work, was the only thing keeping me off the floor.  No box-spring or bed frame – just me and a mattress.  I lived in a disposable apartment, with little worth saving.

But not this time.  This will be my first adult apartment, and I say that in the most sophisticated and supercilious way possible (notice the use of unnecessarily fancy vocab).  The realization was both exciting and unsettling for me as a grown-up neophyte, and occurred in the most likely of places: the mattress store.  I was still a boy when I kissed a girl for the first time, and not yet a man when I walked across the stage at my college graduation.  I became an adult when I stepped into Sleep Outfitters.

Unfurnished places would sound sexier if we called them 'naked apartments'

I walked into the mattress store with one of my future roommates, Andrea.  Like me, she was in the market for something to sleep on, and had prepared (unlike me) to purchase a mattress that very afternoon.  She had made her selection on her last visit, but decided she needed to ‘sleep on it’ (pun intended) before she committed.  While she talked with an old, chipper salesman about boxspring material, I moved to the back of the showroom and took the Goldilocks approach to my browsing.

No bed was too hard, nor too soft.  In fact, I was probably in the most comfortable room in the world, surrounded by infinite possibilities of sound sleep.  I flopped on to the nearest bed I could find, and discovered why a mattress could cost upwards of $1,500.  I don’t know which third world country we’re exploiting to make these things, but bravo!

I was content to wallow from one bed to another, keeping up the facade that I was the boyfriend who’d be sharing the bed, but who either lacked the assertiveness or the interest to weigh in on the decision.  Incidentally, I pitched the idea of sharing to my mattress shopping companion to ‘save money’, but both she and her actual boyfriend declined.  I guess three is a crowd.

Although I ended up walking out of that store without a bed of my own, I left with a promise to myself: I would not sleep a mere six inches off the floor again*.  My original plan of making do with an aerobed – a boy’s bed – had to be scrapped.  I was old enough to have a real bed.  My very own, non-inflatable, never-before-used bed.

So I bought one.  It’s from Wal-mart, and it came in the mail, but it’s got a real frame and a standard sized (foam) mattress.  I’m proud to say that I sleep a full 21 inches off of the ground now.  The purchases didn’t stop there – I swapped my plastic card table for an actual computer desk, and I’ve got my clothes (sort of) neatly organized in a 3 x 3 cube organizer from Target.  And now, I feel more like a man.

I realize that my claim to adulthood is non-universal.  A mattress doesn’t make the man, though many might argue that a man is made on a mattress (or the backseat of a car, the wobbly futon, and other surfaces of varying comfort levels).  But I think there are milestones, moments of self-realization, that we pass as we amble toward maturity, different for each of us, that occasionally can surprise us when they arrive.

I’m certain it won’t be the last milestone for me, if the fort I’ve made out of the cardboard mattress box is an indication of my current developmental level.

 

* – Unless there’s a cute girl on, or within the six inch region above the ground in need of a big spoon.

The Bucket List: An Overview

I mentioned that my blog was just another drop in the bucket list.  Between finding ways to minimize the amount of time I spend on classwork and researching the legality of owning certain flightless birds in the United States, I hardly have time to mess with it. The nice thing about taking these pet projects public is that you become (somewhat) accountable for (trying to finish)ing them.

Will you keep me accountable? Without further adieu, here’s a splash from the bucket list:

1. Chainmail Coat

I’ve been fiddling around with this guy for over a year now.  Every few months I spot the large supply of tupperware I’ve allocated for the project (needed to house the bajillion rings that go into making a coat for a svelte young adult) and get motivated to do some weaving. Four hours and a dozen blisters later, and I’m reminded why this has become the project of my lifetime.

Still, the dream survives.  I’ll need this badboy if I ever want the tavern wenches at the Renaissance festival to talk to me.

RINGS!

Some day...I'll be a +1 coat

2. Nihon-go wakari masu ka?

Confession: I’m a nerd.  Not to be confused with the dorks and geeks, who may be as socially inept, but likely haven’t played the entire Final Fantasy series from the Playstation era onward.  My Japonophilia is primarily restricted to angsty console RPGs with candy-haired teenage heroes, though I may have dabbled in a certain anime series back in the day that featured a certain lunar champion.  I’ve been interested to learn the language since high school.  The problem?  On a good day, I’ll finish my required homework the day before its due.  Self-induced optional homework?  Maybe by the turn of the century.

In fairness, I have tried on several occasions to get into the book I own, and I’ve maxed out the number of times I could rent the audiobook of Paul Pimsleur’s Japanese I Part I from my local library.  At least I’ll be able to ask for directions to Shinjiro station should I ever reach the Land of the Rising Sun. Uhh…I think, at least.

Step 1 was opening the book, I'll let you know what Step 2 is when I get there...

3. P90X

Press play every day – the mantra of one of the most popular VHS/DVD workout routines in the country.  Don’t be fooled.  This isn’t The Brave Little Toaster – you will sweat.  I suppose you might have sweated through TBLT too…that smoke-clown is a scary MF’er, but I’m getting sidetracked.

I made it to day four on P90X.  On day five, this happened:

Hint: Teeth are not supposed to be trapezoidal...

The culprit was a particularly vicious resistance band that decided it wanted to meet me – in my face.

I take full responsibility for the event (putting a resistance band in a French door is one of five signs of idiocy), but my new found phobia of oversized rubber bands has led me to fall off the P90X bandwagon.  I haven’t ruled out returning completely, but if I do, I’ll be wearing a hockey mask.

This tooth-shaped mark looks oddly suspicious...

4.  Books and Video Games

I have a Kindle.  It’s great.  I can carry a thousand books in my backpack, and I use it to store a lot of science-y journal papers for some of my classes.  It is, probably, one of the coolest tech purchases I’ve made, and I spend an abysmally small amount of time with it. To top it off, my paperback collection is jealous.  I can hear them plotting underneath the bed from time to time, threatening to throw themselves into a bargain bin somewhere and shack up with a fifty-something year old who’ll appreciate them.

As for my gaming, unless you’re Lord of the Rings Online or made by a company that starts with Biowar-, I probably haven’t finished you.  Even those angsty sugar-do’ed JRPGs I talked about have been neglected for a while.

OMG! Are we going to be read? Yes, yes, yes! Wait, what? This is just a lame photo-op?

There are more unfinished games than this, but the N64, PS2, SNES, NES, and GBA are at home...

5. Mass Effect N7 Foam Armor

I don’t know who this person is, but I would like to be him.  More accurately, I would like to have the know-how to craft a seemingly perfect replica of the N7 combat armor from my favorite video game series, Mass Effect, so I could wear it everywhere.  Costume parties, 200-level lectures, meetings with my broker – these duds would travel.

I imagine it takes dozens of hours to finish, but given I’ve taken on Project Infinity (aka, item number one), I can’t imagine this is much worse.  I haven’t even begun this project yet, but some day, some how, I’ll be a man on a mission in Michaels.

Foam may not stop a Turian, but it's damned good-looking.

6. LED Distraction Machine

I’m an engineer.  This shit amazes me.

Credit: A very cool blog run by Licomatic

I want this.  I need this.  I’m imagining parties at my new townhouse that rage to the latest jams (is Ke$ha still trendy?) with this hypno-square illuminating the dozens of sexy ladies dancing in my living room.  I realize that the scene will more likely be me, my light-square, and a couple of fellow engineers writing up our Bioinstrumentation lab reports, but I’m going to keep the dream alive.

I’m sure when I electrocute myself trying to piece this thing together, the sharp pangs of disappointment and electrical current will pop my dream-bubble.

And that’s the abbreviated list.  One of these days I’ll dive into and finish (or start) some of these projects.  Could be good material for future posts!  Until then, I’ll watch the hypno-square some more.  So…relaxing…

What’s on your bucket list?

Foreplay: A Forward on Mister Micawber

I’ve been dawdling.

Blogging is one of those things that’s been on my bucket list for some time now, buried in between completing P90X, organizing four years worth of roleplaying notes from Lord of the Rings Online, and writing a novel that will be, as I’ve envisioned it, steampunk-y.

My hesitation has been, in part, due to a paralyzing fear of fumbling through my virginal entry into blogging. The initial effort may be awkwardly followed by a few, sporadic and unsatisfying trysts until I finally throw in the towel and declare my abstinence from WordPress.  I forecasted my own demise, and remained a blogging celibate ever since.

Yet I dreamed – or more accurately, spent the occasional minute pondering here and there – about the blog-to-be.  I registered an account, played around with the (free) themes that best reflected the colors of my aura (apparently grey and orange), and even teased the editor by opening it a time or two.  Finally, it was optimism, not inspiration that struck – and I wrote.

And look at me go, one hundred seventy-one words in – and I’ve managed to broach the topic of initial blogging awkwardness.  I digress…

To prepare for the inaugural post, I consulted the experts (i.e. the first hit on Google) to determine how best to break the ice with the hypothetical reader.  Per their recommendations, I am to: introduce myself, explain the purpose of my blog, describe the future content that will quite possibly never be added, and encourage commentary.

I, however, will do no such thing.  Though I hope to one day be StumbledUpon (StumbleUpon‘d?) by enough tweens in their 100-level lectures to amount to something that could be called a following, it is more likely (p<0.01) that only those near and dear to me will ever meet Mister Micawber.  So rather than treat the large group that may never be with two truths and a lie, my favorite flavor of ice cream, and the last song I played on iTunes, I’ll address the handful that I fear may be reading this.

I’ll close with a confession.

Mister Micawber is a character from Dickens’ David Copperfield, a book that I’ve never actually held in my hands, let alone read from cover to cover.  I met him, instead, on a list of unique words that I scanned in my search to find a blog title that would highlight my (pseudo)worldliness and (semi-pseudo)cleverness.

Do I feel like a Micawber?  Perhaps occasionally, when optimism strikes me.  Maybe I’ll try and give the book a read, to see if my title choice is justifiable.  It’ll at least give me something to write about come two or three posts from now.

Did I fumble?  Probably.  But for now, I’m shooting for persistence-y!  Writing even when I think I don’t have much to write about.  Hopefully I’ll improve with my next tryst.