In the rainforests of Peru, rampant illegal logging is threatening the survival of vulnerable indigenous peoples and wiping out some of the last remaining concentrations of big-leaf mahogany in Latin America. » Tell the Bush administration to act now to curtail illegal mahogany imports. (via NRDC.org)
Betty tried not to roll her eyes back into her skull, she didn’t want to lose her contacts. Bob was visibly touched, his bulk swayed back and forth as he led her to the couch. “Nice, isn’t it?” She nodded, and adjusted her skirt.
She couldn’t help but smile at this bear of a man, completely disarmed. “Would you like to dance?” he asked, hand extended. She wasn’t sure what to do, but the thought of disappointing him was unbearable. “Why, yes” she crooned, as ladylike as she could muster through her ____ accent.
She must have known she was tempting the woods; one more flower they’re so pretty and peaceful she thought. What did she think in those final moments? Shotgun inhand, trigger clicking back and forth as her body shook; he could taste her fear. Then he leapt and time was frozen–he hung in midair teeth bared and tongue aflap, flying into a faceful of fire and buckshot.
He dove into a molten frenzy, tearing at the earth, emitting noises known only to the servants of the Dark One himself. He had been waitlisted, he told everyone so.
“I always write from my experiences, whether I’ve had them or not.” –Ron Carlson
“Fiction writing is very seldom a matter of saying things, it is a matter of showing things.” –Flannery O’Conner
Zest is what I live for: the moments of irony, subtlety, and beauty. A tragedy is to have every jolt and spark of these moments sucked out by a noxious melancholic fog; I emerge without hope or ambition; my vision clouded, the colors of the world, muted.
Via the Ultimate (Frisbee) list (in response to 4/20 et al.)
Kitten Huffing @ uncyclopedia.org
Kitten huffing is a controversial practice that has recently been growing as a popular and healthy alternative to street drugs.Despite a long history in Western culture, the practice remains largely taboo. Excessive huffing has been known to produce undesirable side effects, including addiction, damaged sinuses and, in some cases, death. Veteran huffers often caution against huffing more than a couple kittens per day as overdosing can be very unpleasant and quite dangerous.
The first documented case of kitten huffing is from Artemus of Capadocia in 432BC, who described “ae wydenyng of ye soule wyth yon huffe” upon sucking out the soul of a young wild lynx kitten from the plains of central Asia Minor. Kitten Huffing achieved only a minor level of interest outside of the Asian sub-continent until famed Englishman, This Guy, wrote his treatise Me and the Marquis get down with some crazy shit on an extended huff-binge he took with the Marquis de Sade and brought the practice to the forefront of haute couture.
A cute example of the kind of humorous faux-but-really-maybe-not-so-faux (as in, fiction gets at a greater truth etc…) intellectualism, which I’ve noticed is especially popular among frisbee team members, but which is pretty much all over the place in a brain-trust kind of environment where everyone’s stressed and people often take themselves, and their work )and studies) just a little too seriously… Actually, another more direct to remedy this is the recent growth of no pants day
And incidentally, the huffing site also serves as an interesting example of hyper-fiction…
edit: even better: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Making_up_Albert_Einstein_quotes
“It’s quite simple, really. If I’m the Moon, and I’m traveling at the speed of light in the general direction of your eye, and I then collide with it in the manner of a large circular object consisting of bread, cheese, and tomato sauce, then there is naturally an impact – which can be theoretically termed, in a word, amoré.”
And on how to be funny when writing articles (anyone can submit or edit articles, since it is a wiki)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, April 9, 2006
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
710 S. Sultana Ave., Ontario, CA 91761
Louise Corales, whose 14 year-old son, Anthony
Soltero, died on April 1 after committing suicide,
will speak to the community and ask for a prayer for
her son this Sunday, following the 11:00 a.m. mass at
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario, California.
Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself through
the head on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant
principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he
was going to prison for three years because of his
involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school
walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in
Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony
from attending graduation activities and threatened to
fine his mother for Anthony’s truancy and participation
in the student protests.
“Anthony was learning about the importance of civic
duties and rights in his eighth grade class.
Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his
school threatened him for speaking out and exercising
those rights,” Ms. Corales said today. “I want to
speak out to other parents, whose children are
attending the continuing protests this week. We have
to let the schools know that they can’t punish our
children for exercising their rights.”
Who could she be? Hal pictured her clearly as he played with the earring’s dangling silver shards; he saw her walking into his cafe with a look of conscious poise that only barely betrayed her distress. He was hypnotized by the swirl of her solitary earring. He cursed as the double soy latte he was preparing overflowed. He wanted nothing more in the world at this moment than to find this mystery woman—the one whose earring he held. Hal knew the customers didn’t understand; to them, the earring was nothing more than a feeble swipe at society dangling from his ear. He relished their discomfort; he hesitated before handing back their change, watching as they inevitably looked again, they couldn’t help it. He flashed a corporate smile and they ran, caffeine in hand. The morning rush was over and Hal leaned against the back counter, sinking into his elbows. He let himself unmoor
Started from this overheard snippet: “What if, you like… What if, like, because of your ADD, you forgot you were leaving, and came back? You should do that…”
What if you forgot who you were? What if you were who you forgot? Its silly really, to ask so many questions. Har har, so much we could inflate with our words. But if what we want is the story—a story—then this will not do. You must take things one bite at a time. Put down your spectacles and shake your money-maker.
Drop it like its hot.
Go back to your home—fix your flailing shingles. Clean the ants from beneath your shingles. kill the weeds sprouting through the cracks in your driveway—where the earth buckles and your asphalt cannot hold.
Replace the dead patches of sod. Shoot the neighbors dog for shitting in your Azaleas. Don’t kill the thing.
Tear up your front drive, and plant a sea of watermelon seeds. Care for them—so that in time, you may walk there, stepping from one swollen emerald rind to the next. The vines only can hold little ones. Be careful after a rain, the shine is a warning not to slip.
Then, after days of tending and admiring, dancing across your precious gourds, the rot begins.
First the vines shrivel, beginning at the ground. You run, sliding from side to side—touching off—flailing flying. The skin grows soft—your steps begin to impress, you leave tracks. Then you are sinking, no longer moving, no more breeze in your hair, only the dark teeming flesh swallowing your foot.
Is that right so far? I didn’t leave out any details? What is there to say?
He asked why hadn’t she gotten any ice cream. Didn’t she like it? She began her answer but stopped– watching as her spoken words hung in the air, then tumbled to the floor — exploding into poofs — he had walked away to mingle… His boisterous laugh could be heard above the crowd– she remembered him guzzling her, filling her with urges she hadn’t let herself feel in a while, like a month. I mean come on—he was a busy man, wasn’t he? And he did bring home the bread—and he never forgot their anniversary… Charlie fingered her engagement band—it had grown tight in the swollen summer heat, and her finger was beginning to grow numb. She studied the lattice printed onto her ice-cream cone, completely oblivious to the sticky dripping over her hand. Where was she? who was she She was completely overcome by the feeling that somehow the answer to all these questions lay within this lattice. He returned triumphantly with a double chocolate waffle cone, but Charlie was already gone. He playfully dove into his ice cream, being sure to accidently leave a dab on his nose. She didn’t notice. Her mind had ejected. He extrapolated. Hard. Rivers of vanilla cream flowed through her fingers and down her arm. Chocolate sprinkles flowed along her graceful forearm, and were flung to the ground by the vicious curve of her elbow. The cone cracked and splintered, her face continued its inscrutable stare, now becoming vaguely glaring. Fuckerface had forgotten about his ice cream, he had forgotten about the spot on his nose, he watched his fiancé, completely perplexed. He didn’t know, “What the…” He stammered, but could find no words.
Who could she be? Hal pictured her clearly as he played with the earring’s dangling silver shards; he saw her walking into his cafe with a look of conscious poise that only barely betrayed her distress. He was hypnotized by the swirl of her solitary earring. He cursed as the double soy latte he was preparing overflowed. He wanted nothing more in the world at this moment than to find this mystery woman—the one who had left her earring. Hal knew the man at the counter didn’t understand; to this man, the earring that dangled from Hal’s left ear was a feeble swipe at society. Hal brought the man his coffee and rang him up, but couldn’t help betraying a smirk as he noticed the man’s eyes nervously darting-over. Hal relished the man’s discomfort before finally handing him his change and flashing a nice corporate smile. With the morning rush over, Hal relaxed against the back counter, allowing his mind to wander…
She had looked everywhere. The office, the car, the lobby. She asked her secretary, she asked her officemates. She called home and asked her dog on the answering machine. It was nowhere to be found. She felt the odd looks as she briskly moved along the sidewalk against the lunch-hour rush, but she could not be fazed. The looks continued as she surged into the cafe, filled with frustration and the desperate hope that this place was The place; it didn’t help that she wore only one earring, its silver petals sprinkling the morning rays across her neck. Suddenly she would notice him—the staring man behind the counter. He had dark eyes and a dark complexion; he had the eyes of more than a barista. Then she saw it. Her earring dangling from his left ear. Her heart jumped, and for the first time since high school she had no idea what to do next. She was completely vulnerable, exposed, completely at the mercy of the cafe, its customers, the barista. Her heart stopped beating. Those eyes, she felt them pierce her armor, peering into the depths of her soul– into the places she had left buried so long she had forgotten they even existed.
Suddenly he knew he was not alone; as the mists of his daydream receded, he brought the world back into focus just as the door swung open, and a hot summer wind swirled the newspapers up off the tables, filling Hal’s mouth with the acrid taste of raw emotion. She was here. He had known the time would come, but Would he be ready? He crouched behind the counter to gather himself, wiping his hands across his green apron. He admired the stitching. How much time would there be? Each line of fabric exactly the same as the next, perfectly even. Should he run? The faded stains of past distractions. Should he hide? Suddenly he was standing again, his heart leaping frantically from his ribcage as if to escape across the street. The room had filled with a brilliant light, but Hal did nothing, he had Decided what to do. He made to attempt to shield his eyes from the inferno. He could feel the earring grow hot in his ear, his nostrils flared with the scent of searing flesh, and yet he was still.
He did not know how long she had been standing there, but he hadn’t seen her approach. She stood before the counter, bag over the right shoulder, hair still tousled from a frantic search through the downtown. He had the vague sinking rolling stomach feeling that he had blown it already; he slowly realized just how absurd he must look wearing her earring. What if she had ear disease? What if he did?! He didn’t think either of these was likely, but still, you don’t just wear someone’s earring! Their matching earrings lined up, hers in her right ear, his in his left. They each stared at the others’; he didn’t know if she had already said anything. The rolling and rumbling grew more violent, and he felt the impulse to melt. The heat in his ear had reached new heights and he was surprised the earring hadn’t just burned through and fallen out. His thoughts danced through his mind as he watched the light play off her neck, the tiny silver petals of her earring not yet settled from their journey.
“So…” She began
He realized suddenly that he could not move. She looked at him quizzically, as if she didn’t know quite what to make of the situation. She wasn’t mad, he knew, but he could not make more than that. She seemed to understand his situation and his silence and lack of movement was less troubling to her than he had anticipated. She thought fiercely for a few moments, running calculations by contorting her face this way and that, at last allowing her features to relax. She reached her hand slowly across the counter, hovering above his own, which had clamped onto the near edge and was snugly attached. She paused again, but only briefly, before continuing towards his frozen grasp, while his eyes stayed frozen on her neck, the dance of lights plucking the strings of his being, in the arbitrary way that such beautiful things tend to; then there was an explosion. The current surged through the first layers of skin and screamed along his various ducts and canals and wires and circuits into his brain, into his chest, into his feet. The force took his breath away, and left his hair standing on end. The earring floated out from his ear at a 90 degree angle, the petals swirling around themselves in space. He could not feel the floor beneath his feet, nor the air on his face. Only the series of shockwaves propagating through his body, hitting the end and rippling back. The crossing waves produced a symphony of harmonics that filled his head, growing to a deafening roar. Each of his senses was quickly overwhelmed, and he was left only with the image of dancing stars on her pale skin. He thought about how little time she must spend outside. Being in an office. He thought the same about himself. He thought about the beach, the rivers, the ocean, and the mountains. No sooner had he forged these thoughts, they were obliterated by this cursing energy.
Who could she be? Hal could see her clearly as he played with the earring’s dangling silver shards, he saw her walking into his cafe with a look of conscious poise that only barely betrayed her distress. She was scattered– she wore only one earring. He cursed as the double soy latte he was preparing overflowed. He wanted nothing more in the world at this moment than to find this mystery woman– the one who had left her earring. Hal knew the man at the counter didn’t understand; to this man, the fine silver earring that dangled from Hal’s left ear was either a forced attempt at cultural rebellion, or just plain strange. Hal was sure the man would never know the longing that he felt for his mystery woman.
She had looked everywhere. The office, the car, the lobby. She asked her secretary, she asked her officemates. Her favorite silver earring was nowhere to be found. She felt the odd looks when she surged into the cafe filled with the desperate hope that this place was The place; it didn’t help that she wore only one earring, its silver petals sprinkling the morning rays across her neck. Suddenly she saw the man behind the counter was staring. He had dark eyes and a dark complexion; he had the eyes of more than a barista. Then she saw it. Her earring dangling from his left ear. Her heart jumped, and for the first time since high school she had no idea what to do next. She was completely vulnerable, exposed, completely at the mercy of the cafe, its customers, the barista. Her heart stopped beating. Those eyes, she felt them pierce her armor, peering into the depths of her soul– into the places she had left buried so long she had forgotten they even existed. “Hey, you okay?” He called.