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Showing posts from January 18, 2009

Mangy Mutts -- Writer's Poke #162

For Writers:

The first time I met the neighbor's dog, Duke, he was sleeping in the carport of our new house. He raised his head a little, but soon he went back to sleep. Apparently he wasn't impressed.

He was clearly a mutt, but the neighbors seemed to take good care of him, and if he wanted to sleep in the carport, that was okay by me. Everyone has to sleep somewhere.

But a few months later, the neighbors picked up three more dogs. And unfortunately for these dogs, they quickly displayed a bad case of mange. Alarmingly, the neighbors had no plans to take their dogs to the vet, and soon enough, Duke had mange, too.

We used to grill out all the time in that carport, and let me tell you, there's nothing like the smell of pork chops and mange. Lovely. It got so bad that Linda suggested that we take the dogs to the vet ourselves. I vetoed the idea. These aren't our dogs, I reasoned. And in a matter of weeks, they weren't the neighbor's dogs, either. Duke managed to las…

Timber! -- Writer's Poke #161

For Writers:

The English department had a beautifully renovated building, but the graduate teaching assistants were still housed in what had started out 100 years ago as a men's dormitory. We didn't even have our own phones (let alone computers) in our offices. Instead, we had to walk down the hallway to the one phone that the entire floor shared.

Our office furniture wasn't much newer than the building itself. But my desk was big and sturdy, and with a little imagination, you actually did believe that the old "duck and cover" drill could work with with a desk like that.

Every time I sat in the old wooden chair, however, it was an act of faith. It was designed so that you could lean back in it, but every time I did so, it let out an ominous loud "CREAK!"

One day as I was killing time grading student essays, I leaned back in that chair. It would be the last time anyone would ever lean back in that chair. All I heard was a snapping sound, but it echoed throug…

Love in an Elevator -- Writer's Poke #160

For Writers:

There's nothing subtle about Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator." The entire song is about the act of getting intimate in the most public of places -- be it a mail room or an elevator.

And according to the wikipedia entry for the song, the lyrics are at least partially based on singer Steven Tyler's own personal experiences. Imagine that.

Is this song really about love? Now that's another issue completely. Certainly the idea of "making love" is a euphemism that we all understand, but in the more literal sense of the word, where is the love?

Why not call the song by it's true name: "Lust in an Elevator"?

Where is the most public or inappropriate place that you've ever "made love"? Were you ever caught?


How do you control lust? Does it need controlling?

"I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me." -- Jimmy Carter

Like an Eskimo

What's more fun than playing with language? (Don't answer that.)


Just like the Eskimo need many words to describe different kinds of snow, it is useful for the modern self-pleasurer to have many words to describe the sin of Onan.

Roosterbate: masturbation for the purpose of waking up, or greeting the day.

Reminiscibate : memory based masturbation

Pragmatibate: masturbation to rid yourself of a tenacious turgidity, often employed on long distance bus trips

Procrastibate : masturbation for the purpose of putting off more useful activities.

Emobate : An incomplete masturbation due to self loathing

Jurassibate : masturbation to dinosaur related material

Karassibate : group masturbation with fellow readers of Kurt Vonnegut

Debatobate : weighing the pros and cons of whether or not to masturbate

NoBassibate : self-pleasure resorted to when fish aren't biting

Lastibate : the last time you masturbate (theoretical)

Halloween Party Recluses -- Writer's Poke #159

For Writers:

Some people might thrive on being the center of attention, but not me. Actually, if I'm around people I know well, then I don't mind. But thrown into a group of strangers, I would usually rather blend into the background.

One particular Halloween, two of our friends invited us over for a party. The problem was, they would be the only two people there that we knew. The rest of the invited were their buddies from work.

We came really close to not going, but at the last minute, we picked up some cheap masks from Walgreens and headed on over. The party was already in full swing, and all the unknown people were standing around the living room with beers held at the ready.

It's one of those few occasions when I could actually feel the claustrophobia in the air. The living room probably held up to eight or ten people comfortably, but it was never designed for a mob.

Linda and I stayed in the room long enough to get beers, but as quickly as we could, we made our exit throu…

Pajama Day -- Writer's Poke #158

For Writers:

Yesterday was "PJ Day" at my daughter's daycare, and boy was I jealous.

Although my job is fairly casual, we're not casual enough for people to run around in pajamas. Why is it that the only adult allowed to do that is Hugh Hefner?

I shouldn't complain too much, though. At my last teaching gig, it was frowned upon for faculty to wear Levi's to work. Even on Fridays. So while we never had a dress code, it was one of those unwritten rules.

And on one of the rare occasions that I did risk wearing jeans to work, I immediately ran into the college president in the hallway. The first thing she did was give me the once over. She didn't say a word, but I could tell that she did not approve.

What clothes are you most comfortable in? Why do we still buy into the idea that some clothes are more "formal" than others, or that a certain kind of dress is or isn't appropriate for different circumstances?

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have …

The Sign -- Writer's Poke #157

For Writers:

I've listened to Ace of Base's "The Sign" for 15 years, and apparently I've never heard one of the lines correctly.

The actual line is: "How could a person like me care for you?" But as I've always heard it, Jenny sings: "How could a person like me trip on you?" Quite honestly, I like my version better. Because I think there's a lot of room to explore the notion of tripping on others. Not literally, of course, but figuratively.

Yes, other people can cause us to trip. Maybe it's the kid in grade school that dared us to smoke our first cigarette. Maybe it's the boyfriend we were sure loved us, even if he had a funny way of showing it (and never used the "l" word).

Whatever the case, wouldn't it be nice to have someone around to hold up a sign to alert you before you fall?

Who have you tripped over? Or, who have you caused to stumble?

"He got his hands on me and I tripped." -- Brett Ross

Releasing Private Thoughts to the Public -- Writer's Poke #156

For Writers:

More so than most normal people, writers make a practice of sharing private thoughts publicly. Fiction writers might disguise their ideas by putting the thoughts and actions into another character, but when one reads an author's body of work, it's generally pretty easy to determine when an author is just using a character as a spokesperson for the creator's own beliefs.

For most normal people, there seems to be value in keeping part of yourself private. But is this belief misguided?

One high school instructor I know of, for example, will not even divulge any personal information on his Facebook page. Why? Because he doesn't want that information to get into the wrong hands. But again, I'm not sure exactly what he thinks is so worth hiding.

Perhaps he's trying to hide the fact that he is human?

What are you hiding? Find a way to release your private thoughts to the world.

"We are all alike on the inside." -- Mark Twain