October 16th, 2002

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On thee Contemplacion of His Fyrst Postinge

Always the most difficult part for any writer: what to say first? Middles are quite easy, and endings often fun, but that first sentence is always a bear to write. One wants it to be pithy; informative; meaningful; catchy; playful; intriguing; and all those other Good Things that will make the reader want to continue. One can spend weeks, even months just thinking about that one little paragraph that will frame the rest of the story to come.

Ah, screw it.

Things To Do #1 -- Mood Theme: Snails

(With apologies to Arval Benicoeur, whose Heraldic Snails idea I am shamelessly ripping off here...)

The system-defined mood themes, while not dreadful, aren't quite right for my tastes. The ones that are sufficiently silly are also painfully cute. So here's one that's more my speed (and apt in more ways than I care to consider).

Base form: a snail. Even I can probably draw a snail. Snails don't have faces, but they do have antennae. One can do a lot with two antennae.

  • Happy: antennae waving back and forth.
  • Sad: antennae drooping forward.
  • Angry: antennae pointing forward determinedly, and glowing red at the tips.
  • Energetic: Snail moving across the window. Slowly.
  • Hyper: Coffee cup on the snail's back. Snail moving across the window. Still slowly.
  • Horny: Antennae curling around each other.
  • Relaxed: Antennae slicked back.
  • Silly: Antennae attached to the shell instead of the head
  • Depressed: Head withdrawn into the shell.

And so on. Add in the usual question marks and exclamation points for various moods, and we have an expressive theme for the sluggards among us.

  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
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Eight-year-olds with million-dollar warchests

You know the Body Politic has slipped a disc when the best metaphor you can come up with is bratty schoolchildren. I mean, here's a concise summary of the New Hampshire Senatorial Election (As Seen On TV (tm)):

"Mooom! Jeanne's been hanging out with Providian! Make her stop!"
"Mooom! John's stealing cookies from the house and giving them to Providian!"
"Jeanne and Providian, sitting in a tree, K - I - S - S - I - N - G..."
"Mooom! John's been helping Providian and his friends sneak out of the house!"

I think that's the complete semantic content of the TV ads that we've been barraged with. Okay, yes -- politics is a nasty business. But can't these two find something to talk about other than the schoolyard bully?

(And it's not as if I can even vote in the election, being over the border in Massachusetts. Now that they've managed to outlaw secondhand smoke, I think the time has come to do something about secondhand election campaigns...)

-- Justin

     - Never, ever, stop for a pedestrian unless he flings himself
under the wheels of your car.
     - The first parking space you see will be the last parking space
you see.  Grab it.
     - Learn to swerve abruptly.  Boston is the home of slalom driving,
thanks to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which puts potholes in key
locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
		-- From "Basic rules for driving in Boston"
		   by JBOLOGNA@bentley.bitnet