Huh?

I just had the weirdest dream. (Yeah, that’s what I do on my free days, I catch up on my sleep.)

It all started with me wanting to go for a swim with my sister. I got my things together, but when I got downstairs, she was gone. I tried to call her, but she didn’t pick up. And I couldn’t just go afer her, because I didn’t knwo which pool she went to.

I was kind of outraged and started to complain to my mom, but was interrupted by my nephew. I started to play catch with him until he fled into his mother’s (my other sister) arms. She was sitting at the table on my parents’ terrace, next to her daughter and was visibly pregnant again. I stroked her tummy and said, “Twins?”

She nodded. My nephew lit up a cigarette and asked me, “What does it mean, twins?”

So, I had to explain to my smoking 2 year old nephew what it means that his mom is pregnant with two kids at once.

That’s when my mom called. In real life. To tell me that my 19-year-old brother’s girlfriend is probably pregnant. And they’re really happy and going to keep it. They even have the names figured out already. Notwithstanding that my brother hasn’t finished his apprenticeship yet, meaning he earns practically nothing and that his girlfriend hasn’t finished school yet, so earns de facto nothing.

Mom: And you know the worst thing about it?
Me: What?
Mom: I didn’t really react. We just kept on playing cards and ever since he told me, I randomly burst out laughing.
Me: Do you recall my first reaction? It was exactly the same, wasn’t it. And still is. Anyway, I won’t believe it until I have a doctor’s confirmation or I see the big belly.

[Do we seem like heartless bitches? Maybe we are. But then again, it's the second time since this summer that my brother told us that he's becoming a father. Always wih different expectant mothers, btw. It always turned out to be false alarm. So...]

Mom: Oh, and please don’t tell your sisters. Or your other brother. I’m afraid that they will be very morally outraged about this. Which would help nobody, but just make your brother more certain in his choices and in the end, estrange him from us.
Me: I can imagine telling my brother. He would explode and start huffing and puffing.

And then we both started laughing. The pleasures of family life.

In related things, this is how you should react to your daughter’s pregnancy. [Warning: SPOILERS for Eli Stone, Season 2, Episode 4]

This Picture Is More Disturbing* Than Any of the Horror Movies I’ve Seen this Year

disturbing

via This Isn’t Happiness, from the National Geographic 2008 International Photography Contest

*I don’t know why I react that strongly to this picture or why I find it that disturbing. It just has this effect on me. It makes me think that something is profoundly wrong with the world.

A New Literary Award – Bad Endings

As a counterpart to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Award, which gives us the worst opening lines of non-existant novels, the Washington Post has asked for the worst endings of non-existant novels, the Inker (scroll down to “Report from Week 788″).  In the spirit of all bad things done well, I’ll give you a best of here:

The Winner

As the wail of the nearing sirens shook him awake, Todd rose from the charred remains of Rensfield Manor, wiped the ectoplasm from his brow and, stuffing the Amulet of Valtor inside his shirt, gazed ruefully at the venom-encrusted Sword of Darjan, realizing that this long night wasn’t over yet, because he still had a heck of a lot of explaining to do. (LuAnn Bishop, West Haven, Conn.)

Runner Up

Oh, and by the way, Chapters 3, 8, 10 and part of 16 were all dreams, in case you hadn’t caught on. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
[This might be my personal favourite. Reminds me of Life of Pi.]

As he left, the captain flashed a smile — a wide, satisfied grin with lips parted a quarter-inch, the right corner of the mouth raised slightly above the left, and a dry lower lip slightly stuck to the teeth — that defied description. (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

First the infarction, then the ambulance ride, now going under the knife, he drifted away under anesthesia, humming Celine Dion’s tune “My Heart Will Go On.” But it didn’t. (Larry Miller, Rockville)

The Lost Weak Ends: Honorable Mentions

He had only 75 words to go on his contractually required novel of 50,000 words. A guy could say a lot in 75 words, like “Pudding is best when it’s warm.” He wondered whether to count hyphenated words as two words. Strange thoughts come to a fellow at times like these. Should he have written “50,000” as “fifty thousand”? He was close enough to count down: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. (Art Grinath)

He had been in a long, slow denouement. He rocked rhythmically on the porch, at once hesitant to turn the next page of his life, yet resolved to face his fate. With a deep sigh and exhalation, he turned the page.
The page was blank. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

She slowly tied noose to rafter, and then she slowly loaded six .38-caliber bullets into her revolver, and then she slowly swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills, and, with gas from the unlit kitchen stove slowly flooding the house, she, gun in hand, slowly mounted the creaking chair beneath the dangling noose. Finally, slowly, oh so slowly, she thought, “THIS will teach those meanies at Publishers Clearing House.” (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

Approaching dawn’s rosy fingers limned a sweat-stained border around my ponderous flesh on the wafer-thin flophouse mattress that had involuntarily witnessed a thousand loveless assignations. Worse, the tag had been removed. Still, tomorrow held the happy promise that all mankind would act like golden retrievers and I, like they, scratched my ear, chuffed contentedly and resumed my sleep. (George Vary, Bethesda)

And as he watched, the day slowly faded away like the picture on an old black-and-white TV when you turned it off, only this time, there was no little pop of light at the very end. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

I hope that in the years to come, this award will gain popularity and more submissions. I can see future greatness.

This Is Just Plain Sick

I never liked shopping (two exceptions: shopping for books and shopping for DVDs), but now I’m not sure that I can ever do it again with a clean conscience. Boy, am I glad that we don’t have Black Fridays in Austria:

NEW YORK – A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday after an “out of control” throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains broke down the doors at a suburban store and knocked him to the ground, police said.

At least four other people, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Nassau police said about 2,000 people were gathered outside the store doors at the mall about 20 miles east of Manhattan. The impatient crowd knocked the man to the ground as he opened the doors, leaving a metal portion of the frame crumpled like an accordion.

“This crowd was out of control,” said Nassau police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming. He described the scene as “utter chaos.”

Shoppers stepped over man
Dozens of store employees trying to fight their way out to help the man were also getting trampled by the crowd, Fleming said. Witnesses said that even as the worker lay on the ground, shoppers streamed into the store, stepping over him.

Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like “savages.”

“When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling ‘I’ve been on line since yesterday morning,'” she said. “They kept shopping.”

(…)

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, where she and the baby were reported to be OK, said police Sgt. Anthony Repalone. At least three other people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Youtubery

There’s more where that came from.

For more theme songs, check out Goldentusk’s Channel. I recommend Back to the Future. Or India Jones and the Song of Theme. Or James Bond. Or Jaws. Or Halloween. Or Superman. Or… oh… I think that’s all of them already…

While we’re at the topic of movie themes, did I link to this one already?

And maybe you know this one, but I just love it:

Mortal Kombat!

And some more people surprising other people by singing:

Or here:

Check out more from ImprovEverywhere!

Okay, I guess, now you’re all settled for some good video love. :)

Take That, Suckers!

A priest in the US has been threatened with excommunication, because he ordained a woman. He was given thirty days to take that back or leave the church. In an open letter, he writes:

According to USA TODAY (Feb. 28, 2008) in the United States alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused more than 12,000 children. Many bishops, aware of the abuse, remained silent. These priests and bishops were not excommunicated. Yet the women in our Church who are called by God and are ordained to serve God’s people, and the priests and bishops who support them, are excommunicated.

Oh, SNAP!

Links

Art

The Glue Society – pretty cool (street) art projects.

Books

A wonderful talk by John Green about teenagers and reading, books, literacy, literature and much much more.

An interview with Cory Doctorow.

Politics

On freedom of speech after a poet’s reading was cancelled in the UK because of some Christian nutcase.

UK thinks about a new law, criminalising johns.

As always, I have to return to the fact that criminalizing johns often puts prostitutes at greater risk — they have less time to vet customers and negotiate safe sex, and are forced underground.

Rape isn’t hilarious. Read the comments, too.

Science

Resurrecting Mammoths seems to be possible.

So Beauty actually is Truth?!

TV

Buffy vs. MacGyver. And probably, somehow, Brandon Walsh.

Completely Different Things

If Edward Cullen wrote love letters to Sarah Palin.

Blog Secrets – 80 bloggers anonymously crossposted their secrets on other blogs.

A great e-mail exchange.

Michael Reaves on living with Parkinson’s.

How to Beat Up the Batman. (And pretty much anything else.)

Have some eye candy, combined with a list. Can it get any better?