Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The bestest ever tv show starts again tonight. The Amazing Race, CBS, 9/8 central. Watch it!

On an unrelated note, do you think the guy at the teriyaki place really asked if I wanted "chocolate yam sauce" on my yakisoba? I said "what?" the first time, and it still sounded the same, so I said "yeah." I don't taste chocolate or yam, so I probably heard wrong.

Happy Vuzhí Day!

Yay! Spring is finally here! Can't you tell? It's the Holy Day of Vuzhí, the Goddess of Life.

Plenty of rain today for the plants, at least. . .

UPDATE: Apparently today is also a holiday called "Mardi Gras," whatever that means. So, Happy Mardi Gras, too!

Green Desert - Chapter 6.1.5 - Fírí

If the cops searched the house, they’d find the boxes of contraband. Boxes with my fingerprints all over them. Boxes that would put me in prison for a very long time. I couldn’t let them search the house till I somehow got rid of the guns. I couldn’t let the cops get a search warrant.

“I take it all back.”

Deputy Laparıpasamé furrowed his black eyebrows. “Take what back?”

I forced a smile. “All that stuff I made up about the Kılímos raping me.” I giggled a shrug. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
His face was stiff, his eyes slits boring into my brain. “You made it up.” It wasn’t a question, but it was a question.

“Yup. Just a joke. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was a bit. . .” I waved my finger beside my head. “What with the pain and the running and all.”

He stared at me, silent and motionless.

My smile wavered. He knew I was lying. Sweat formed at my temples. I had to make him think I was honest now and lying before. Or else prison.

He moistened his lips. “We need to get you to the hospital. C’mon.”

I could tell by the look in his eyes, as he helped me to my feet, that he thought I belonged in the psych ward. I shook off his grasp and limped to the door. Better crazy than a convict.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Pyscho Path

Would you like to live on Psycho Path? Then you'd better move to Traverse City, Michigan.

How about a nice house or two on Divorce Court? That one's in Heather Highlands, Pennsylvania.

And what were the good folks of Holbrook, Arizona, thinking when they named a lane in their town Bucket of Blood Street?

These are among the top ten wackiest street names, as voted in an online poll. They also included some interesting intersections, like Clinton Drive and Fidelity Street in Houston, Texas. That one's just near the ship channel. Very nice, I'm sure.

Green Desert - Chapter 6.1.4 - Bhanar

“Bhanar, would you mind explaining this?” Séara gestured gracefully at the kneeling Umo.

I looked at her and shrugged. The truth. “My grandfather was the Emperor of Zhuphío. He abdicated to the Republic and changed our family name from Narakamíníkı to Narak. Some people did not like that. Some people want us to be the emperors again. Of Zhuphío, Sarıma, and Narakamíníkı.”

“Your Royal Majesty,” gushed Umo, “you are the Emperor of Narakamíníkı, Sarıma, and Zhuphío.”

“See?” I shrugged again, my face growing warm.

The other well-dressed man huffed to a stop nearby me and the kneeling man. “Umo. . . what the. . . hell are you. . . doing?”

A distant bass thumping forced its way into my consciousness. Far away behind me. A helicopter. I spun to look.

“This is Emperor Bhanar!”


Definitely the sound of a helicopter’s blades, but it came from the north, beyond the trees. The policewoman peered through the branches as well, now completely ignoring the royalist and his friend.

To Umo, I muttered, “You may stand.” At least the other guy wasn’t obsessed with the past.

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

I walked across the shade-cooled sand to Séara. “What do you––”

“A helicopter.” She pinned me with her dark-brown eyes. “I think its ours.”

Green Desert - Chapter 6.1.3 - Fírí

Deputy Laparıpasamé helped me to my feet, one hand on my elbow and one on my back, like I was an old woman. Once standing, I shrugged off his grasp. I hobbled as little as possible as I walked to the front door. It looked like we were alone in the house.

“Don’t you want to get some shoes?”

Shoes. Of course. I’d been running around barefoot all day, all over the place. Shoes almost seemed like a foreign concept to me. Me, with thirty pairs. Well, only eight now, since Zhíno and me abandoned Earth.

I limped down the dark-blue hallway toward “my” bedroom. I should just get the cop to bring my suitcase to the hospital. Abandon this place just like I left my former life.

What in Kanıtío’s name had I been thinking, running off with Zhíno? He was an idiot, a criminal, and a jerk.

I opened the bedroom door and Laparıpasamé followed me in. My large suitcase sat open on the floor, right as I left it. My sneakers still sat between the suitcase and the bed. I grabbed a pair of socks out of the case and sat down to put sock and shoe on my right foot.

“Do you need any help?”

“Could you bring my suitcase?” And then I’d be free of this place. Except. . .

Except for the boxes of illegal guns, ammo, and explosives in the garage.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Narakan Anthem Day!

Yeah, I'm sitting on this barstool talking like a damn fool Got the twelve o'clock news blues
And I've given up hope for the afternoon soaps
And a bottle of cold brew
Is it any wonder I'm not crazy?
Is it any wonder I'm sane at all?

Well, I'm so tired of losing

I got nothin to do and all day to do it
Well, I go out cruisin'

But I've no place to go and all night to get there
Is it any wonder I'm not a criminal?
Is it any wonder I'm not in jail?
Is it any wonder I've got

Too much time on my hands
It's ticking away with my sanity
I've got too much time on my hands
It's hard to believe such a calamity
I've got too much time on my hands
And it's ticking away, ticking away from me
Too much time on my hands
(it's tick tick tick tick tickin away)
Too much time on my hands
(Now I don't know what to do, I say)
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands, Too much time on my hands,
Too much time on my hands

Now, I'm a jet-fuel genius
I can solve the world's problems without even tryin'
I have dozens of friends and the fun never ends
That is, as long as I'm buyin'
Is it any wonder I'm not the president?
Is it any wonder I'm null and void?
Is it any wonder I've got

Too much time on my hands
It's ticking away with my sanity
I've got too much time on my hands
It's hard to believe such a calamity
I've got too much time on my hands
And it's ticking away, ticking away from me
Too much time on my hands
(Tick tick tick tick tickin' away)
Too much time on my hands
(And I don't know what to do with myself)
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands (tick tick tickin' away)
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my.

That was, of course, "Too Much Time on My Hands" by Styx. It was chosen as the National Anthem of the Kingdom of Naraka back in college (by vote of the nobility), when it did seem like I had all the time in the world. I don't have enough time nowadays. Bummer.

Green Desert - Chapter 6.1.2 - Bhanar

I almost replied, “I am the man with the gun,” but I saw the newcomer had a shoulder holster partially hidden by the jacket he carried. Instead I answered, “My name is Bhanar.”

The dark-haired man eyed me oddly, but then put on his sunglasses and I couldn’t see how he was eyeing me.

Séara and Zhíno started to relax. Or at least the policewoman did, lowering her gun and standing more casually. Zhíno stayed behind her.

Umo calmly queried, “What, may I ask, is your last name?”

Why did he want to know my last name? What difference would it make? . . . Unless he recognized my first name, my age, my face perhaps.

Unless he was a royalist.

Crap. I didn’t need this right now.

I could lie. I could give a false name. I caught Séara’s gaze, full of furrowed brows and frowning lips. I couldn’t lie to a cop, not to her.

“Bhanar Narak.”

Umo smiled––a genuine joyful smile––and dropped to one knee, his head lowered. “Your Majesty!”

Zhíno spluttered, “What the. . . What the hell is going on?”

Séara pointed a finger southward. “Here comes another.”

Indeed, a second formally-dressed man approached through the desert scrub. Skinnier, with shinier hair. Was he also a royalist? Was he also going to bow? Did he also think I was the rightful emperor?

Green Desert - Chapter 6.1.1 - Fírí

The pain subsided enough for me to feel coldness on my forehead. Cool, wet pressure. A damp cloth.

The flurry of buzzing sounds in my head coalesced into someone saying, “. . . when the helicopter arrives.”

Helicopter? What helicopter? I didn’t need to be airlifted out of there, did I? I wasn’t going to die, was I?

I opened my eyes and saw the young deputy––Laparıpasamé––tying off the thick wad of white cloths around my foot. My thick, bulbous, gargantuan foot. But no, that was just the bandages.

“Am I okay?”

He cinched the last knot and looked up at me. “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

“But why are you bringing a helicopter?” I pulled my foot off the table and, as slow as I could, set it on the floor. My heel hit the linoleum with a thud.

The cop delicately picked up the bloody, dirty bit of trouser leg. “I don’t know anything about a helicopter. I’m going to drive you to the hospital now, just to make sure we get you treated right.”

But I was sure I heard “helicopter.” I looked into the living room and saw the front door close. It must’ve been someone there. Must’ve.

“C’mon. Let me help you up.”

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Parts of the Koran are good, but. . .

The suras of the Koran can be separated into two basic groups: Mecca and Medina. Proper Koranic scholars divide it up further, but there's no real need. The division of the suras is not obvious, because early in the Koran's history, somebody (an engineer, probably) decided to arrange them by length, from longest to shortest. So the earlier Mecca writings are shuffled in with the later Medina writings.

In Mecca, Mohammed's writings were somewhere between Jesus and Karl Marx. Everybody can get along, nobody should be poor, etc. He said he was transcribing God's words, and I believe he believed that. I, for one, have had days where the words just flow out of my pen seemingly without imput from my brain. I've called it a muse, but if you're writing religion, it might as well be an angel.

In his early days, Mohammed's followers were the poor and downtrodden. After all, he was promising them a better life. A new world order. Everybody's equally rich.

As for what he thought of different religions, here's sura 63: "O ye unbelievers, I worship not that which ye worship, Nor are ye worshipping that which I worship. Never shall I be a worshipper of what ye worship, Nor will ye be worshippers of that which I worship. Ye have your religion, and I have my religion." We can all get along.

But then he gained military and political power. He fled to Medina and became the city's ruler. His writings changed tone. For some reason, God began caring more about civil administration. The Medina writings are the basis of sharia law. I would guess that Mohammed no longer had his muse at this point, but had to keep writing to basically finish what he started.

And what did God now think of unbelievers? Sura 4.74: "Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward." Sura 4.76: "Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of Satan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak."

There are many inconsistancies in the Koran, on a variety of subjects. Apparently the people in charge decided long ago that God was capable of changing his mind, and so later writings supercede earlier writings. This helped them out, because they didn't have to give up their power per Mohammed's communist Mecca writings. But this also means that the jihadists today completely ignore the love-thy-neighbor parts of the Koran.

In the 1950's, a Sudanese man named Mahmoud Muhammad Taha espoused the concept that Muslims should reject the Medina rules and return to the Mecca teachings, and how about some democracy while we're at it? But Sudan has gone steadily downhill since then. Taha was executed as a heretic in 1985. Arab nations don't seem to have changed much in the past 21 years. . .


It takes forever to tape down plastic. I've got my living room mostly done, but now I need to do the kitchen. I'm not sure I got enough plastic to properly shield the cabinets from the paint splatter I know will come.

Here's what my living room looks like now:

And here's my bedroom, with everything jammed into it:

Green Desert - Chapter 5

(back to Chapter 4)

5.1.1 - Fírí
5.1.2 - Bhanar
5.1.3 - Fírí
5.1.4 - Bhanar
5.1.5 - Fírí
5.2.1 - Irézí
5.2.2 - Bhanar
5.2.3 - Fírí
5.2.4 - Irézí
5.2.5 - Bhanar
5.2.6 - Fírí
5.3.1 - Irézí
5.3.2 - Bhanar
5.3.3 - Fírí
5.3.4 - Irézí
5.3.5 - Bhanar
5.4.1 - Umo
5.4.2 - Fírí
5.4.3 - Irézí
5.4.4 - Bhanar
5.4.5 - Umo
5.4.6 - Sétıpímo
5.5.1 - Fírí
5.5.2 - Irézí
5.5.3 - Bhanar
5.5.4 - Umo
5.5.5 - Sétıpímo

On to Chapter 6!

Green Desert - Chapter 5.5.5 - Sétıpímo

The tall, blond patrolman looked understandably frustrated by Vata Kılímí. She was definitely hiding something. As soon as I got back into town, I’d get a warrant over to Judge Rapımaré for signing. Fírí Parızada’s testimony coupled with my own suspicions would be more than enough.

Patrolman Vorıso was saying, “It’s not breaking and entering since I was just in here, as part of my investigation.”

Vata waggled her finger. “But I didn’t let you in the first time, neither. You certainly have an unfortunate habit of taking liberties with citizens’ privacy and freedom!” I stepped almost between them. “Mrs. Kılímí, please excuse Patrolman Vorıso’s rudeness. Despite it all, he’s just trying to do his job of protecting you from the likes of Zhíno Zhudıro.”

Her eyes lit up at Zhudıro’s name. “Yes! That young man was quite evil and rude. Is he in custody yet?”

I glanced at the patrolman, since he’d taken over, but he just smiled at me, waiting. It was his show now, so I guess he was just being unprofessional.

To Vata, I said, “Deputy Nulıpésha is out of communications range. If she doesn’t have him yet. . .” I had no idea if the young deputy had even found him. Miss Parızada hadn’t mentioned her being at the gully.

Thankfully, Vorıso continued for me, “We’ll have him shortly when the helicopter arrives.”

Good. I was hoping that’s where he’d gone.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.5.4 - Umo

I kept running down the trail toward the group of people. Zhudıro was probably one of them. I prepared to unholster my gun.

Three standing up, one lying down. One in all black: a cop. Shit. No gunplay. Two naked or almost-naked. What in Pétíso’s name was going on out here?

At fifty yards, I saw the cop was a woman. The others all men. One of the men was indeed completely naked––except for handcuffs. His eyes were on me as he backed towards the cop. He knew who I was. Zhudıro. Two seconds later, I recognized his face.

What to do, what to do. Kill the cop? The news crew and the state patrol had seen me run this way. Interrogate Zhudıro anyway? He wouldn’t answer. He was safe now, in custody. I had nothing on him.

“Stop right there!” The cop had her gun drawn, but not pointed at me.

Twenty yards away, I stopped. Zhudıro cowered behind the short brunette. A dark-haired kid in nothing but shorts––with a gun––studied me. The man lying down was obviously dead. Another victim of our cop-killer friend?

The young man with the gun shouted, “Who are you?”

I smiled and removed my sunglasses, wiped the sweat from my face with a sleeve. “I am Umo. And who, may I ask, are you?”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I had pizza for lunch at a meeting today. I only had two slices. I want more. I need more. I need pizza!! Give me pizza!!! Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are no substitute (although good in their own right)!

Green Desert - Chapter 5.5.3 - Bhanar

“Now,” said Séara, “we carry Mr. Kılímo back to his house.” She didn’t look at the body. Her eyes focused on Zhíno’s face.

“Who are you going to get to do that for you?” The scruffy-bearded man smirked. “My hands are cuffed, you know.”

Me, then. I groaned inwardly. There was no way I could carry Pí‘oro’s bulk by myself––and probably not even with Séara’s help if we made a stretcher.

The policewoman faced me, her jaw tense. “We’ll make a stretcher.”

“Out of trees?”

“Yes. We have to.” Séara walked over to the edge of the gully and the small trees she’d tried to break earlier. We had no saw or even a knife. This was impossible.

Zhíno glanced southward, away from the gully. Was he thinking of making a run for it? My hand hesitated on the butt of my pistol.

But then I followed his gaze and saw a man running toward us, dressed formally in a white shirt and black slacks––and a tie. I felt instantly unprotected, even though I wore shorts––unlike our naked prisoner.

“Séara. Someone approaches.”

The deputy turned around and peered at the distant newcomer. Zhíno started backing toward the gully––toward Séara. His face was scrunched with worry.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.5.2 - Irézí

When I got to the back of the house, I stopped and turned. I knew Nıléké would need awhile to unplug himself and I was well out of camera by now.

As I caught my breath, I glanced at my watch. I wasn’t going to make the end of the news, but maybe they’d give me a Breaking News. If I got that, and actually had a scoop on the cop killer, I’d get noticed for sure.

Where was Nıléké? I couldn’t yell for him, just in case we were still on the air. But I didn’t hear Taíséma anymore, either. I could see part of the van past the house, but no movement. What was he doing?

Relax. Relax. Just relax. You have a two-kilometer run ahead of you. Northward. A gully somewhere to the north.

I looked north, past the fenced yard of bleating animals. Open desert. A few trails to choose from. I’d just have to guess and hope for the best. But how hard would a gully be to find, anyway?
I heard footsteps running behind me and turned to see Nıléké chugging toward me in the shadow of the house. His camera pointed skyward.

I ignored his glare and started jogging northward. We probably wouldn’t arrive in time, knowing my luck, but I had to try. Nıléké kept pace behind me.

My flats almost fell off with each step, but not if I flexed my toes upward. I wasn’t going to lose my shoes.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.5.1 - Fírí

The old detective walked away and the young cop circled me to get at my foot. He started wiping it, well away from my injured toe. It tickled, but I held still.

The detective didn’t trust the Kılímos. I saw it in his eyes. He was going to listen to me. We’d put the rapist Pí‘oro and his witch wife behind bars. There would be justice. I smiled, my lips sticking together.

Pain shot up my leg. “Aaa!”


The sharp stab dissipated and a throbbing remained in my toe. Fresh blood flowed scarlet on my clean, pale foot.

“I’m gonna have to touch the nail if I’m gonna stop the bleeding.” His sad, dark eyes caught mine. “Do you know where the aspirin is?”

I shook my head. “They won’t have any. They sacrifice animals to heal themselves, remember?”

Doubt flooded his face. “Right.”

What did I care if he believed me? It was his boss that mattered, and that old guy saw the truth I was saying.

But my toe. “Just do it.” I braced myself mentally.

The cop moved in, white cloth in hand.

The pain matched my expectations. I felt nothing but pain. I heard nothing but pain. I saw nothing but pain.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No laurel-resting allowed

I finished writing Green Desert on Sunday, sixteen pages in one day, my most prolific day on this novel ever, even beating the great muse days of September.

And then I immediately began moving furniture around, taking stuff off the walls, and generally preparing to paint my living room. When I got to my desk, though, this activity started looking a lot like cleaning and organizing. I ran out of power. Monday morning (a holiday, don't ya know?), I resumed the cleaning. By noon, though, I was flat on my back again. Not enough energy. Ugh.

But I managed to get my television system, stereo system, dining room table and chairs, coffee table, cds, plants, and all assorted decorations into my bedroom. Still a lot of big furniture in the living room, but it's away from the walls. Now I just need to plastic it down and start painting! Oh, and do the dishes. And did you know fridges come with wheels?

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.6 - Sétıpímo

There had been an odd smell coming from down the hall, but I couldn’t place it. Whatever it was, it didn’t belong in a house. But with no warrant, I couldn’t go looking. I carried a handful of cloths back to the girl in the kitchen. Vata followed slowly.

Fírí Parızada had her bloody foot on the table––in the same spot already bloodstained. Deputy Laparıpasamé stood close by.

“Laparıpasamé, wet these rags. Let’s clean it first.” I handed the young man half the cloths. The Kılímos had had no bandages that Vata could find. I was going to improvise.

The blonde looked up at me and murmured, “Did you see the chapel?”

Was she on drugs? She transformed from manic activity to slothfulness rather quickly.

“Here,” said the deputy, holding out the damp cloths.

The front door opened.

“Clean the wound and then wrap it up with these.” I set the dry cloths on the table beside the blood-sodden swatch of trouser leg. “Then drive her to the hospital. You can get her statement later.” I fixed my gaze on the deputy’s wandering eyes. He looked up at me. “And stay with her at all times.” She was an accomplice, after all.

I turned away, back to the living room.

“Yes sir.”

One of the patrolmen had been intercepted by Vata. I smiled thinly.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cold enough for ya?

Happy Nazhoro Day!

And, as we all know, Nazhoro is the God of Coldness. Which just might go to explain the freezing temperatures across the country. Up here in Seattle, we're sure not used to the cold. It was starting to feel like Spring and Bam! we're back in Winter. But that's Nazhoro for you.

But don't worry. It's only ten days till the Holy Day of Vuzhí! Everything will be bright and green by then.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.5 - Umo

The dirty, scrub-brush desert spread out into eternity ahead of me, and yet I kept running. Winding trails. Follow the footprints, the turned earth. The breeze hadn’t yet erased the tracks. Hoof prints.

Tracks lasted much longer in the forests of Mokıraozı where I grew up. The wind wouldn’t touch a footprint deep under the trees. Just water, other animals, and plants. Life. Not like this desolate place, covered in craggy rocks and dead-looking plants. Hell, they might indeed be dead. I didn’t stop to check.

Zhíno Zhudıro. I had to concentrate. Let my body run, but don’t let my mind run. Zhudıro had Gogzhuè’s guns somewhere. Before I killed him, I had to get him to tell me. I doubted he would have carried them out here to the gully, but who knows? Maybe he had a hidey-hole cave that he was planning on living in for a while, until he could emerge and sell the guns to someone else.

But that made no sense. Gogzhuè would have paid Zhudıro well. Better than he deserved. Money, land, freedom, anonymity. Now Zhudıro would have none of that. I had no clue what Zhudıro was thinking.

You can’t trust a criminal.

Ahead of me, I saw treetops. Alder or poplar or something like that. They stood out so vividly, I almost convinced myself they were a mirage. But then I crested a slight rise and saw a group of people at their base.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Beware of the Leopard

A couple from Tacoma has lost their battle at the Washington State Supreme Court to keep Sound Transit from stealing their land. Um. . . eminent-domaining their land?

But the part of the article that caught my eye was how the agency claimed to have "notified" the owners about the board of director's meeting to take their land. They posted it on Sound Transit's website, not actually bothering to mail or call any of the owners.

Which immediately made me think of Arthur Dent's conversation with Mr Prosser of the Town Council about where Arthur discovered the notification of their intent to knock down his house: "It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.' Ever thought of going into advertising?"

Twenty-some years on, and governments still don't bother to inform the people they're actually taking land from. You'd think the people would learn, at least.

Olympic Alpine Uphill

Why does it seem that all the Winter Olympic sports are about sliding downhill? That's hardly a challenge. A real sport would be climbing up that same hill! Take the big Alpine Downhill skiing course, for instance. Two miles, 3000 feet vertical. It takes skiers a minute and a half to get down, but how fast could they get back up if they couldn't take a lift?

So here's what I propose: a mass start at the downhill finish line, with everybody in lanes for the first fifty yards to prevent collisions. Stay on the downhill course, zigging between the distant gates, and the first one to get their foot through the starting gate wins. Crampons are allowed, of course. And backpacks with water. Yes! Make the contestants carry their own water for a change! And food if they want it.

I reckon the winning time would be about twenty-five minutes. I think I could do it in forty. Maybe thirty or thirty-five if I train. It's only two miles, after all.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.4 - Bhanar

Zhíno held out his wrists to Séara. “Do what you must.” His face was somber, his jaw relaxed.

The policewoman stepped toward him and I spouted, “Careful.”

But she didn’t take her eyes off him. She knew as well as I that Zhíno was capable of anything. He just very might lunge and grab one of Séara’s guns and try to shoot both of us. He could––

“Click” went the handcuffs. “Click.” He’d gone quietly. He just stood there meekly. Ashamed, almost––and not because he was stark naked. He was acting, surely. It had to be an act. He’d tried loud, crude, and obnoxious and it failed him. So now he was playing along with Séara’s orders.

He looked at me––caught me studying him. He gave me a face of such hypocritical sorrow and false innocence that I just wanted to smack him.

“Bhanar, stop.”

I looked at Séara. Her wide and fearful eyes danced between my face and . . . the gun I’d drawn from my shorts. Had I really pulled it without noticing? I wasn’t going to shoot him, that’s for sure. Right?

“Do not worry. I am being careful, that is all.”

The tan brunette didn’t seem fully mollified.

“Do not worry.” I tucked the gun away again. Why was she afraid of me? I was the good guy here. I was the sane one.

Zhíno cleared his throat. “What now?”

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.3 - Irézí

Nıléké hopped out of the van, his camera on his shoulder. “Where do you want to be?”

I stepped back, brushing my hair with my hands and adjusting my earpiece. “Get the cops in frame.”

In my ear, Míro said, “They’re on commercial. Taíséma will go to you after.”

I readied smile seven. Over my shoulder, I saw one patrolman walking back to the house. The other stood by his car, watching me. I flashed my sexy smile at him before turning back to the camera.

“Ten seconds.”

I couldn’t just sit here. I had to do something. I had to announce something dramatic. I had to make news, not just report it.

“In three. . .”

I fixed my excited smile upon the cold, dark camera lens.

Míro switched over to the live feed and I heard Taíséma say, “We’re now going back to Tuhanı, where Irézí Sıvíhí has breaking news for us.”

“That’s right, Taíséma! I have just learned that the cop killer suspect, Zhíno Zhudıro, has been located hiding out in a gully two kilometers north of my location. The sheriff’s department is sending a helicopter to make the arrest.” I took a deep breath and switched to smile eighteen––intense excitement. “And we will be there when it happens!”

Behind the camera, Nıléké’s jaw dropped. He was connected to the van with several wires, but his camera could run on batteries if it had to.

“Let’s go.” I turned and ran.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Yesterday, I was in Portland (well, Beaverton actually) for a full-day seminar on LEED Green Building certification. It was at the Nike world headquarters (like Microsoft, but with more shoes). We had a short tour before lunch and I snapped a few pictures.


All the buildings are named for athletes, and I'm pretty sure they only picked Nike spokespersons. Our seminar was in the Tiger Woods building. Michael Jordan is over on the older side of campus. Mia Hamm got the biggest building on campus:
Maybe this is because she's the only woman they have?

Here's the Lance Armstrong Center (swimming pool, climbing rock, etc.):
That's the group I'm supposed to be listening with. I think the guide is talking about the great renovated creek this bridge is going over. Or maybe the big windows that allow all daylighting inside the building.

Along one part of the shore of Lake Nike (six acres) is a Japanese garden. A jogging path goes over that bridge.

I have a few other pictures on Flickr, too, if you care to see them.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.2 - Fírí

“You should elevate your foot.”

I looked up at the young cop. “What?”

He gestured at my bloody appendage. “Reduce the bleeding. First aid.” He stepped forward hesitantly, his dark eyes shining with fear.

Fear? Of who, me? Because I was talking crazy? Or because he thought I was a cop killer like Zhíno? Both, probably.

He still stood looking at my foot, his hand outstretched slightly. First aid, right. I lifted my left leg in front of me and placed it on the table like some yoga pose. The piece of trousers was soaked through, dark with blood and covered with dirt and dust.

“May I?”

I didn’t want to touch it. “Okay.”

The dark-haired cop reached out and gingerly unwrapped the bloody cloth. It practically fell off as soon as he touched it, landing in a little heap on the tabletop, exposing a bright-red foot and a black big toe. The nail bent the wrong way.

The sun began setting rather quickly and the cop seemed to have difficulty standing upright. And then the bald cop was there beside me, a strong hand on my shoulder. “Laparıpasamé, wet these rags. Let’s clean it first.”

I looked up at the old man, my head heavy on my neck. “Did you see the chapel?”

He stared down at me with penetrating ice-blue eyes, but said nothing.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Last St Patrick's Day, our office got a few shamrocks as a present from a product rep. I just about managed to kill it off a month ago, getting down to two healthy stalks. But then I put it in the big, west-facing window near my desk and it has sprung back to life. I guess being five feet away from the window wasn't good enough for it. So here's what it looked like last week, when it was sunny:


When I arrived at work this morning, I noticed that one of the stalks had finally managed to get its leaves through the blinds (one of the mid-height two that are touching the blinds in the photo). So I turned it around 180 degrees. Success will be punished. Achievement will be vilified.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.4.1 - Umo

I removed my jacket as I ran. The sun was getting low in the sky, but the desert was still damn hot. My shirt stuck to my chest. My tie flapped over my shoulder.

From behind me, Lango whined, “Umo, slow down.”

The sand trail was soft, but not so much it was difficult to run.

“It’s not my fault you’re out of shape,” I casually remarked between breaths. “It’s only two kilometers.”

Two kilometers till I saw Zhíno Zhudıro. A mile and a bit till I shot him in the face. I’d toy around with him first, of course, make him squirm. Make him beg for death.

I’d have to hurry, though, if I wanted to beat the cops’ helicopter. I’d et to the gully first––I had no doubts––but if I wanted time to properly fuck him over, I had to hurry.

Despite the heat and my profuse sweating, I barely breathed hard at all. Lango was just about dying. “Hurry up, idiot.”

I didn’t need Lango for this. He was just fingers. He’d be no use with Zhudıro. He’d just get in the way.

I sped up.

“What. . . ? Wait!”

My fine leather shoes pounded the ruddy sand, driving me down the path to my quarry.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Look! The sun's coming up!

Photos from this morning! Wake up!!



If you click on the top one and find the larger image on Flickr, you can even see Venus. . . . Venus . . . Frigga/Freya . . . Friday. Happy Friday!

Green Desert - Chapter 5.3.5 - Bhanar

“Yes, I am sure. Zhíno killed the cop.”

Séara glanced up the hill again, her jaw tightening with determination. “Very well. I shall arrest him.” One hand placed on my shoulder for support, the policewoman stood. Her tears had dried but the tan skin around her eyes still held redness. “Come with me.” She took a step toward the trail, but stopped. “Don’t get near him.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I hopped to my feet, stepping on a pointy rock.

As I checked my bare foot for any injury, the short brunette stalked away. Not finding a wound, I hurried to catch her. She had a wonderful figure. Her police-uniform slacks did her hips no justice, however.

We neared the top of the gully and Séara’s step faltered. The body. The fat bastard who tried to kill me. I spied his pale corpse and felt no remorse. Séara, on the other hand, obviously felt some.
I whispered, “Ignore him. Arrest Zhíno.”

The naked murderer sat on a rock near the body, eyeing us with an open face. “Yes?”

Séara unclipped the handcuffs from her belt. “Please stand up, Zhíno Zhudıro.”

I halted ten feet away as the policewoman took several more steps.
Zhíno’s eyes flitted to the cuffs. He smiled. “I’m under arrest, then?”

“For the murder of Patrolman Vakıgéda.”

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I may be omniscient, but I don't know everything.

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks.



I took those from my balcony, looking straight up. But for some reason, they look like photos of the ocean from space. To me, at least.

Monday, I had a business trip to Spokane. I finally got to see the new terminal/shopping mall/food court at Sea-Tac. I didn't go shopping, of course. I just took pictures of the double-curved window.



And if you've ever stared out the airplane window as you arrive in Spokane, you might recognize this next one. Suddenly all the square farmland stops and you get this odd landscape:


My company finally got its sign up yesterday. At least, I didn't notice it till yesterday afternoon and I'm pretty sure it wasn't there Tuesday.


I couldn't find it in myself to give the lawyers free advertising, so I blurred their names. Ha.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.3.4 - Irézí

“What helicopter?” I repeated. I hadn’t heard a helicopter. How was one involved?

The patrolman stared down at me. Footsteps on gravel behind me––hopefully Nıléké was filming. Finally the patrolman’s stiff face softened with a sigh. Smile twelve worked––even on gay men sometimes. “The suspect has been located at a gully two kilometers north of here. The sheriff’s helicopter will retrieve him.”

I gave him smile four––gratitude––before turning to the camera. The camera wasn’t there. Nıléké wasn’t there. The two businessmen in sunglasses whispered to each other, arms behind their backs. Where in Pétíso’s name was Nıléké? My smile dropped. I’d gotten the scoop and it didn’t get recorded.

I checked my watch. I still had time before the news ended. I started walking toward the van and that idiot cameraman. The two businessmen broke into a run up the driveway––northward. They couldn’t be tv execs. Maybe they were federal agents. Two kilometers. They’d probably beat the helicopter, if it was back in Sémı‘aréíso. Why did the police have a helicopter when Channel Six didn’t? How was I supposed to get out to the gully? Was I supposed to wait here for tidbits from the state patrol?

“Nıléké! Get your skinny ass out here!”

He stuck his head out the back of the van. “What’s up?”

“With your camera.” I gave him my evil glare.

“Oh.” He ducked back inside.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Because Pedicularis dared me to.

I'm the one without plaid, a year and a half old.

Wreaking Fading

I really need to remember to close my blinds in the morning before I leave for work. All this direct sunshine is surely doing something awful to my books and furniture. And my plants don't need any light, do they?

I am what I am

I can be a loud man, I can be silent
I could be a young man, or I could be old
I can be a gentleman, I can be violent
I could turn hot, man, or I can be cold
--from John Butler Trio, "Zebra"

Sometimes I'm talkative and energetic, but just as often I'm silent and reserved. Both are the real me. I'm able to be by myself for a lot longer than I'm capable of being with other people. I choose my words carefully before saying important things. Talking does not equate thinking. What's that Douglas Adams quote?
If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandonded this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
If something annoys me or excites me or whatever, I'll say something about it. But I prefer to just go with the flow, you know? And if something I do or say upsets anyone, I expect them to say something about it to me. If they don't mention it, I'll just assume they're okay just going with the flow. After all, that's how I work. And really, how else will I know?

Green Desert - Chapter 5.3.3 - Fírí

Vata narrowed her eyes at me. “Yes, dear. I’m sure I have some. Just let me remember where we keep them.”

They didn’t have bandages. Why would they if she could just kill a rabbit to make any injury go away? I smiled pleasantly. “Unless, of course, you know a better way to heel my toe.”

“They’re in the bathroom. Let me get them for you, dear. Have a seat, dear.” She shuffled past me with cold eyes.

I pointed at the floor. “That’s Zhíno’s blood, in case you didn’t know.”

“But she said––” The young cop stopped.

The mustached cop stood. “Please sit down, miss.”

He was going to interrogate me. But no. He walked past me into the living room, going after Vata.

“Try the first door on the right, after the corner. That’s the ‘chapel.’”

The old man ignored me.

I sat down. The same chair I’d eaten breakfast in. Hashbrowns and ketchup. The plates and stuff still sat on the other half of the table. The wood at my side held a dark blob of a stain––Zhíno’s blood.

The dark-haired cop watched me silently.

“The Kılímos don’t have any bandages because they sacrifice animals to heal themselves.”

The young man stared at me, one eyebrow lowered. I sounded like an idiot. Pétíso! They’d lock me in a loony bin before they believed that nonsense.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Green Desert - Chapter 5.3.2 - Bhanar

“Sorry about that,” I said to Séara.

She blinked several times, like she was clearing the fuzz from her brain. “That’s all right. I’m supposed to be arresting him.”

I glanced up at the trail, but saw only trees and bushes. “Don’t worry. He will not go anywhere.”

“His girlfriend did.” She wiped her cheeks with her black uniform’s sleeve.

“But she took the horse. Only one horse. And he is naked.” I smirked, imagining Zhíno finding the highway and trying to wave down passing cars while stark naked. He probably wouldn’t cover himself and the police would come arrest him for indecent exposure. And only after they got him would they know he was wanted for killing a cop.

“Maybe you should give him your shorts.”

I looked Séara in her deep, brown eyes. She was serious. My shorts? All I had underneath were my briefs. I’d almost rather be naked. “You are not serious, are you? If he has shorts, he will be more. . .” I could never think of the right word in Sarıman. “Confident. He will run.”

“I don’t think so.” She stared up through the rustling green leaves to where Zhíno and Pí‘oro’s body should be. Her tan neck stretched elegantly. “I’m not so sure he killed that patrolman. He doesn’t seem violent.”

What?! “He shot at me twice, waved guns around. I saw him driving the state patrol car. How else did he get it?”

She frowned at me, cute pouty lips. “Are you sure?”

Monday, February 06, 2006

Don't even mention the Superbowl to me


Green Desert - Chapter 5.3.1 - Irézí

Míro zigzagged our van sideways, the tall antenna swaying so much I thought it would tip the van over. But it didn’t. He moved it over about a meter and a half, then Nıléké yelled, “Stop!” and waved his hands.

I eyed the distance between the van and the rock. “That’ll be good enough, Míro.”

The patrolman had started his engine and was turning and backing to get past the sheriff’s car. I slowly walked to stand by the van. This sort of crap always happened to me. During the five o’clock news, of course. They send me out on wild-goose chases where’s there’s nothing to actually report, or out to fluff pieces on the county fair or kids’ sports. I’d never make it big covering that stuff. I mean, really. What kind of exciting story only gets two passersby to stop? And two weird businessmen, at that. Kanıtío, please let them be from NaSaMıNo News. I sighed.

The state patrol car had stopped. The patrolman stood outside his closed door, leaning over to look inside. But no, that was a different patrolman. Something was happening.

I sidled across the driveway toward them, the loose gravel proving once again my choice of flats over heels to be a good one.

“. . . in the helicopter.” The standing patrolman looked at me, squinting slightly.

I showed smile twelve.

To the other cop, the tall patrolman said, “Call them.”

I blinked my long lashes. “Helicopter?”

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Very Important Day

Tomorrow is a very important day for everyone, I'm sure. Especially here in Seattle. Because it's Naraka Day, of course! It seems like only yesterday (or maybe a year or so ago) since the last Naraka Day rolled around.

So now we are at the 214th anniversary of King Furoíso the First's founding of the Kingdom of Naraka. If Sírépaga was anything like it has been today (wind, rain, big storminess, tree branches flying through the air, random power outages), I'd want to leave for Rízhoso‘ono, too. Let me check that weather report. Yup, looks pretty good to me!

Hmm. . . I wonder what King So‘osolopo the Second is doing today.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.2.6 - Fírí

“I’m sorry, miss,” said the mustached man, “but we’d still need a search warrant.”

I stopped in the doorway and turned to face him––just as the blond policeman brushed past, muttering “Excuse me.” A lot more polite than I’d’ve expected.

To the old man––who must’ve been police––I said, “But I’m a resident. I slept here last night. My stuff’s in the guest bedroom.”

“Not for long, dear.” Vata started shuffling towards me and the doorway.

The non-uniformed policeman waved his hand tiredly at the old woman. “Vata, stop.”

She did and alternated firing glares at me and him.

The young cop frowned with furrowed brow. “Sir? Is that right? Can she show us the house if she’s staying here?”

I didn’t know, myself, but I hoped so. I needed to nail the Kılímos as quick as possible.

“No, son. Only the owner.”

“What about apartments?”

“Or the renter.”

“Ma’am, are you renting?”

Since when was I old enough to warrant a “ma’am”? I shook my head. My left big toe still throbbed. “No, I’m not renting. Look, I’m practically bleeding out, here. Can I get some proper first aid?” I gestured to my foot, glancing down.

Bhanar’s pile of bloody rags and Zhíno’s splattered blood were still on the linoleum, right beside the old cop’s chair. How had Vata explained that away? I smiled politely at the angry, white-haired woman. “Mrs. Kılímo, do you have any bandages?”

Friday, February 03, 2006

The World Does Not Agree with You

Everybody in the world does not agree with my beliefs. Everybody in the world does not agree with your beliefs. It's a fact of life. Get used to it.

And no amount of yelling and screaming and killing is going to change anybody's minds or hearts. That's just not how to win an argument. Perhaps your opponent will back down, but you won't have changed their minds. They'll still disagree with you--and they'll hold a grudge.

The way to win arguments is by calmly and rationally presenting the facts in a manner that is twisted to suit your beliefs. Throw in a few "therefores." Those always sound good. . . . Not to say you can't be passionate. Passion works real good, too. But it has to be positive passion, that includes your target, not negative passion that attacks them.

For example, compare the success rates of Christian missionaries to Islamic jihadists. And by "success rates," I do not mean body counts. I mean conversions.

Or you could just control the media. That's how dictatorships do it.

Correction of the Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201

At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following superceding additional supplementary bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluable, Insoluable, and Indigestible Fats and Glutenous Derivitives, Washington, D.C.:

Correction of the Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201, issued yesterday, February 2, 2006. First correction: that number is now 943456202. The second correction: please note that said Directive reading "chopped hogmeat" formerly reading "ground hogmeat" formerly reading "groundhog meat" should now read "sausage."

Green Desert - Chapter 5.2.5 - Bhanar

“Are you kidding me? He has to weigh over a hundred-fifty kilograms!”

“Just get him out of the sun.” I guided Séara down the trail into the gully, leaving the naked man with the corpse. Under the trees was welcome relief from the heat and the bastard Zhíno.

As we descended the loose slope, the short brunette relied less and less on me for support. By the time we reached the bottom, the clearing, the creek, Séara walked on her own. Her gaze still focused on her feet––and tears still flowed down her cheeks, but at least she had gained some composure.

“Come on, have some water.” I led her to the creek, babbling clear over round, orangish rocks. I crouched down at the water’s edge, but Séara remained standing. “It is okay. It does not have . . . disease.” I could see where the water flowed from the ground. It might have some bird crap or whatever other animals were around there, but this close to the spring, it was probably safe and free of bacteria. I hoped.

I cupped my hands and dipped them in the cold water. I raised my dripping pool to my mouth. It tasted delicious. I sucked my palms dry and dipped another scoopful. “Here, Séara. Have some. It will wake you up.”

She slowly knelt down. The water leaked out of my hands.
From above, Zhíno shouted, “If I leave him up here, some animals might get him.”

I turned my head. “Then stay up there and guard the body, you fucking idiot!”

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201

At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following additional supplementary bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluable, Insoluable, and Indigestible Fats and Glutenous Derivitives, Washington, D.C.:

Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201, issued this morning, February 2, 2006, which noted said Directive should read "ground hogmeat" instead of "groundhog meat." Note that "ground hogmeat" should now read "chopped hogmeat."


Is it just me, or do Muslims take their religious too seriously? If somebody were to draw cartoons of Jesus in an unflattering manner, do you think Christians would riot, kidnap foreigners, boycott products from certain countries, and threaten suicide bombings, attacks on embassies, general murder and mayhem, etc. etc. etc.? No, they would just bring legal charges against the artist for blasphemy and try to have his home country arrest him. A much more civilized way to go about it, if you ask me.

Oddly enough, I was actually in Greece when an appeals court struck down the blasphemy conviction. I didn't hear a word of it. The news was all about Macedonia's name and the pope elections.

UPDATE (Feb 3): In Indonesia, they've actually followed through on their threats to attack embassies. And Muslims in London are threatening a European September 11, carrying signs saying, "Free speech go to hell!"

Correction of Directive 943456291

At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following supplementary bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluable, Insoluable, and Indigestible Fats and Glutenous Derivitives, Washington, D.C.:

Correction of Directive 943456201, issued yesterday, February 1, 2006, concerning the fixed price of groundhog meat. In the Directive above-named, the price-fixed low-water-level quotation on groundhog meat should read "ground hogmeat."

Green Desert - Chapter 5.2.4 - Irézí

“We’re live,” I told the blond patrolman. “Do you have any new information about the whereabouts of the suspect, Zhíno Zhudıro?”

He glared into my smile. “Yes. I need to leave. I can get past the sheriff’s car, but I won’t be able to squeeze between that boulder and your van. So move it.”

I flashed smile number three––inquisitive. “So Mr. Zhudıro is not on the premises? Where is he, instead?”

“Just move your van.” His jaw was tight. He fingered his handcuffs. My smiles weren’t working.

I turned to the camera with smile seven. “Back to you, Taíséma.”

I held the pensive grin until Míro, the technician, said, “We’re off.”

Smile gone, I said, “Move the van, guys.”

Míro replied, “But there’s another car behind us.”

The blond patrolman sneered. “Just parallel park it to the side.”

I turned on him. “Why did you have to interrupt us and not have any information for us? We’re an entertainment program, for gods’ sakes.” I sighed. “No info isn’t entertaining.”

He looked down his nose as Míro got in the driver’s seat. “Sorry, miss. Just doing my job.”

“Yeah, whatever.” I turned away from him, pulled off my earpiece. He was just doing his job and he just fucked up mine.

Míro started the engine. I turned to the cop. “Get in your car. He’s moving the van already.”

The tall man scowled at me, but turned and went. Only thinking about himself. Just like me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Not a nude beach

I have this amazing resource called Site Meter for tracking everybody who visits my blog. It lets me know where people are accessing my site from and what pages have links to my site that those people are clicking on to access my site. A lot of them say "unknown" for the referral because all y'all have me in your Favorites, or someting. Except Alyssa. Hers always say http://accidentalpurposity.blogspot.com/.

It also shows me the crazy things that people have typed into search engines to arrive at my blog. For instance, this morning someone from British Columbia did a Google image search for "church" (admittedly not crazy, but recent), clicked on the following photo that I posted from
Greece last April, and wound up in my blog archives.

Church at Tourkomnima Beach

But I've noticed a trend in the past few weeks of people arriving at my site after doing image searches for "nude beach." I have no images of nude beaches on my blog, so I'm sure that these visitors are sorely disappointed.

The image that they've been clicking on is the following one, which I posted from
Dubrovnik. Right before the image were the words, "The nude beach was uninhabited."

Lokrum beach

But it's not the nude beach! Somehow Google got the idea from the proximity of my words that this is a picture of Lokrum's nude beach. But it's an entirely different beach on the island (clothing required!) which I posted because it was prettier.

Okay. In summary:

This is not a nude beach:

This is a nude beach:


Directive 943456201

At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluable, Insoluable, and Indigestible Fats and Glutenous Derivitives, Washington, D.C.:

Directive 943456201: As of February 1, 2006, the price of groundhog meat will be fixed at a level higher than the price of groundhog meat on October 15, 1984, with the exception of the low-level water route outline in the Bureau's directions of 1996, of finding the Kansas City stockyards. Note: slightly higher west of the Rockies.

Green Desert - Chapter 5.2.3 - Fírí

I’d almost hobbled all the way across the yard when the kitchen door opened. A young policeman with dark hair and a round face said, “What’s wrong?”

I limped the last few meters, saying, “My name’s Fírí Parızada. I’m Zhíno Zhudıro’s girlfriend. The Kılímos kidnapped us, drugged us, and raped us. And they sacrifice animals in their house.”

He stared, eyes wide. “Um.”

“That’s what all these animals are for. They kill them! In their ‘chapel.’ Ask her about their ‘chapel.’ That’s where they raped me.”

The policeman looked over his shoulder. A second later, he stepped back, holding the door for me. I climbed the few steps, my left heel getting sore, into the kitchen.

Another cop, tall and blond, stood to my left. An old man, bald with a white moustache and a tweed sportscoat, sat at the table. Vata and the young cop stood to my right.

The tall blond cleared his throat. “You’re Fírí Parızada?”

“Yes. Zhíno Zhudıro’s girlfriend.” Ex-girlfriend.

“Do you know where he is?”

“In a gully a couple kilometers that way.” I waved my hand behind me. “Pí‘oro Kılímo carried us both there unconscious. But I escaped.”

The old man at the table interrupted. “Vata, could we search your house?”

“No!” She shook her head, her eyes big. “No, sir.”

I glanced at her, the old man. “I’ll show you.” I brushed past the dark-haired cop and the old woman. “I’ll show you where they raped me.”