Our plastic pachycephalosaurus friend sits here at the lip of his magnificent trophy, the vaunted FIFEL cup. The meaning of its name has long since faded from memory, but still the people hail it as the greatest measure of accomplishment.
Although the common folk believe the FIFLE cup is full of great riches that bestow the owner with incredible strength, the cup was emptied long ago. It’s little more than an empty bowl today, and plastic pachycephalosaurus keeps a hold of the edge of the cup to give the illusion that he still stands on a source of great power.
The others will learn someday, of course – plastic pterosaur will only keep a secret for so long.
a heart that offends
The way things are now, Laurel and I often spend half the day at her apartment and half at mine, using the split household as an excuse to go outside for a bit when we’re feeling otherwise lazy. The walk to my place this afternoon was breezy and warm, and the trees whispered to us the whole way. On the way back to Laurel’s tonight, the wind had settled down and left the world cooler, and we walked beneath silent trees that caught the stark streetlight in their eerie ways.
I love them like this. They are almost like parchment, with messages written in their bark and in their silhouettes, and the leaves are crowding in to read their stories.
celestial soda pop
Laurel and I are moving in together in two weeks, and she’s already started packing. I took a picture of her taking down some of her earrings this afternoon, but my camera sputtered and swallowed the photo; I wonder if I will remember it a year from now.
Headache struck Laurel again this evening, hitting her right eye instead of left for a change in routine. Her alien goggles kept her safe while she prepared for bed, and now she’s sleeping softly. I hope she feels better in the morning.
many voices blended
I went to meet Emily after work today and found her in gothic disguise, her hair in waves of blue and black. We clambered over these old bars, some of which Kate painted some time ago, and talked about life and the things in it – some simple, some less so. Aside from a short visit last weekend it’s been a long time since we’ve spent any time together; but more than that, it felt like we were able to talk more than we did at perhaps any time before.
For the most part I have been habitually taciturn, and through college and high school I often made up for this with online chats. In person I tend to go quiet; in the last year or so I’ve been trying to fix this a little, pushing slowly for more involved conversations.
So it’s nice to be able to talk to Emily now. A lot has happened in our lives, and we have so much to catch up on.
It’s funny how you can have so few words for people you see every day, and when you meet someone new or reunite with a long-separated friend there are immense reserves of thoughts to share with them. Still they trickle out slowly, unfolding from one another in the haphazardly organized way that conversations always follow.
Emily has always been a very important person to me. There have been times when it seemed we might not connect again – it’s wonderful to find we can still be good friends.
ticks and whistles
After the band finished its practice session tonight, Laurel and I wandered back into the living room, and I seated myself at Pearce’s sleeping keyboard to plink out a few notes. Pearce came back in, settled onto the sofa and immediately started advising me on how to play, describing the keys without saying what song he was conducting. It was a fun experience, slightly like being told over the phone how to disarm a bomb, but with a sense of delight instead of relief whenever my motions suddenly resolved themselves into a recognizable song.
The ocarina songs from the Zelda games make good teaching tools. They were composed to be easily memorized and played on the Nintendo 64 controller, so they’re made from a limited palette of notes: starting from C, we have the first, third, fifth, sixth and the octave – and that’s it. Working them out slowly gives a nice sense of the relationships between notes, which always feels like a set of murmuring conversations whenever I tinker with an instrument.
We spent about forty minutes on this before I’d realized it, and Laurel was edging toward sleep. Whenever people teach me things I’m wary of drawing on their patience, and tonight I needed both Laurel and Pearce to bear with me.
This was fun, though – maybe I’ll actually be able to juggle both hands on the keys at once sometime.
Instead of going climbing tonight, I set the laundry running and did some exercises in my room while my clothing tumbled. I haven’t worked out a formal routine, so I wandered a little: a few sets with the weights in a few kinds of motions, some crunches, some stretches, a few vague attempts to recreate the moves I learned in yoga classes. It was fun to set my heart thumping, listening to one album and then another as I wore myself out.
I am the right kind of tired tonight, and feel like I will sleep easily. I will be sure to give more time to these exercises in the future.
you hide away
We made this little monster for a Team Building Exercise this morning. This was our challenge: from teams of six, two would be chosen to study an example Lego dragon for two minutes. They then had to teach the rest of us how to build it.
Building Lego sets by example is hard even if you have the model right in front of you; working from memory of a few glimpses is nearly impossible. People tend to remember general impressions of an item’s shape, while Lego sets are so heavy on little details. We were told that the dragon had claws, wings, a spiked tail, fire coming from its mouth – things we were could likely have guessed. Those who had seen the true dragon were pressed to remember exactly how it had been assembled: which hinges joined the wings? were the teeth on the bottom or top of the jaw? what pieces shape the face?
Halfway through the challenge I was allowed to see the dragon, and while I had a good sense of what the head was supposed to look like, I couldn’t fathom how to actually piece it together. In the end we mashed the pieces together however they would fit, leaving our dragon with this peculiar tooth-mustache. Other teams had equally strange faces – some little more than gaping skulls, barely recognizable as heads – but just about every managed to build reasonable bodies for their dragons.
There is some lesson in psychology hidden here – there is a certain way that people build models in their heads, and the similarities and differences between everyone’s ideas about the dragon start to outline that thought process.
Whatever the moral, we now have a fleet of dragons guarding the office, which only makes things better.