June 30, 2009

5. The Clock Ticks

Look. The things a boy like me will do in the hours and days after such events as were described in the last chapter, I think, may not be well-known (and if they are, the following sentences, and perhaps paragraphs, are nearly useless.) The thoughts that frantically fly through his head, the ideas the live for seconds, and the desires that could beat Atlas in arm wrestling ten times in a row...all these and more are less predictable, and yet so predictable, that half of them could keep the current population of the planet busy for eons to merely sort them into alphabetical order.

The amount of happiness Jack experienced in the aforementioned period of time could hardly be explained by anyone, strangely. Such occurrences are more than common, so the fact that few or none knew what was up with him was almost sad.

Jack's time was spent doing large variety of things, from picking petals of daisies while muttering two amazingly dubious statements which one would be stupid to judge at such a period, unless that one happened to be the girl.

When a boy falls in love, even if the name of the girl is one he has hated all his life (I haven't come upon this situation myself, but I am confident that it happens more than an eight-shaped Cheerio comes out of a factory), upon learning it, he accepts it, and continues so, until it is beloved to him. In Jack's case, however, there was no such name yet. He had no idea who she was, and he'd ruled out attempting to find out by means less than respectful, and probably illegal.

Jack found, one of those days, that either his concern for public safety diminished in those times, or his consideration for his own life. As it was, he found himself multiple times inches from death, merely because of his constant and, to his surprise, now annoying daydreams. Showing mere annoyance at coming close to one's demise might seem very inconsiderate of his own safety, not mildly. However, considering the copious bullet wounds he had acquired and healed in his last four years, he was sometimes genuinely tired when he heard the sound of even a .38 caliber gun.

For those of you who wonder, in Jack's head, the idea that he might end up face to face with the girl within the next ten days was frightening. In truth, Jack would be relieved if he knew that the girl would not see him for that time, because he'd rather she didn't know he was interested in her until he wanted her to. Jack currently had no idea when that would be, but had confidence that, if the girl held up in his eyes and ended up being younger than him (especially if it were by mere days, or, better yet, hours), he would probably less frequently avoid even her peripheral vision range like the plague.

Jack found himself back at his apartment, seven and a half days later. Now, when I say, "found himself," I mean his mind was otherwise engaged to a degree at which one is not overly conscious of one's surroundings. Thus, "finding" himself there gave him a fairly large, but now understandably diminished, shock.

Xink seemed to be the only person, or, should I say, robot, that didn't take Jack's change with puzzlement. If one were to be annoyed that a computer program with nearly as much perception of reality as a human could understand the complex inner workings of a sixteen-year-old, I'm sorry to annoy you, but that's what I'm doing. Xink had no doubt whatsoever in her entirely silicone mind what was happening to Jack. The depth or significance of it was fairly vague to her, but she understood that Jack had fallen in love. By what means, or with who, she hadn't the slightest idea.

Unlike humans, Xink had little or no love for rumor or gossip, nor did her programming and engineering allow it. Nevertheless, the events in the days after Jack saw the girl puzzled Xink mildly. She was quite simply curious. In the several years that she had comprehension of her surroundings, Jack, nor anything else, had particularly puzzled her. This time, however, Jack's happiness seemed to kind of confuse him, sometimes. Often, he'd be in seemingly deep thought, absentmindedly spill his orange juice, and more. To her, this was abnormal. She could understand one falling in love, but she couldn't really understand losing half of one's capability to sense. Her worry was, after all was said and done, fairly unnecessary. Jack's attitude would have its ups and downs in the following days, but, despite what happened in the middle, Jack had almost always came out on top, no matter the odds. In truth, though, these were much greater than ever before.

(Ok. Somehow, the Pixel Pt. III ended up right under this post, somehow. Someday, I'll really figure Blogger out. I love it anyway.)


The Pixel, Pt. III

The pixel, of course, woke up again. This time, he stood facing all sorts of other wonders of science, such as Commodore 64, several versions of the Nintendo gaming system, most of them hugely antiquated, many of them with half-inch layers of dust on top.

The pixel didn't have a lot to do, in the hours the geek stared into his face. The geek seemed to know he existed, yet he also seemed to think there were more important things in life than communicating with a practically subatomic being. In truth, the geek was attempting to make the pixel less close to subatomic. In a short bout of unconsciousness, the pixel was there again.

"Do you know Morse code?" the geek asked, suddenly.

Metaphorically speaking, that rang a lot of bells upstairs. This metaphore, however, doesn't work so well for a pixel, but I digress.

The pixel thought for a second, and blinked out the corresponding Morse code.

The geek, it happened, had never studied Morse code in his life. He rushed off and, in a minute or two, had a paper explaining Morse code. The Pixel decided, at this point, to fall asleep. It seemed just about the right time.

(Sorry if that was abrupt. I just felt like doing graphical stuff right now. I hope you enjoy the recent chapter of Ketchup, as well as this.)


June 28, 2009


New header. I don't like it. Tell me if you do.



It's cool. Let me explain, for those of you who haven't seen it and/or don't want to see it.

First, there's the idea of a guy who is, even if it's implicit merely because he's on TV, essentially invincible. It's just fascinating to me, for some reason. If you can't understand it, that'll probably take a good chunk out of the possibility that you'll like it.

Second, there's the element of suspense. Now, I don't claim to have seen a lot of TV or movies, specifically in the suspense-oriented genres. Still, I think that, with 24, everyone involved has managed to create something that isn't only unique because nobody's made a TV show about a federal agent who's always on the run because something he cares about more than himself is at risk, but because of the incredible amount of suspense created at the end of each episode. Seriously, the only thing I can think about that makes it different from a drug or alchohol is that it's not necessarily going to do anything physically bad to you. Aside from that, as long as you're capable, allowed, and willing to watch it, you will.

Lays potato chips once, and probably still do, have a slogan, "You can't just eat one." Admittedly, it's difficult, but it can be done. With 24, though, I think it is at least more true, if not just plain true. If you have the means, permission, etc, to watch it, there's a good chance you will.

Jack's dilemas have, for the two seasons I've seen the most of, usually been a balance between his family and his country. He's trying his best to keep those he love alive without comprimising the safety of his country. This, undeniably, is a huge task. At the last episode of the most recent season, Jack has gone through a huge amount, I have no doubt. The times he's juggled those two extremely valuable things in incredibly precarious positions is mind-boggling, and, for him, likely hugely tiring.

It's just sooo cool.

UPDATE: Here's the proof.


June 25, 2009

It Won't Work

What I'm referring to is our dear president's health care president. No, not our Only president, our president.

I think, essentially, he thinks he'll leave the private health care providers alone. What he does plan to do is create required, cheap health care, for everyone. Somehow my mind is having some trouble imagining someone who thinks this is a good idea, but that might just be my headache.

Let's suppose, for now, that the price of government health care is below the average private health care, or even lower than a great percentage of private health care. What would you do? Get it, like one of those weird humans would? Probably. Most likely, a huge percentage of Americans would have government health care within, probably, the first year of its existence. Obviously. But what other effects would there be? What would you do, if you were a doctor? Your salary could probably be significantly decreased, and you could do little or nothing about it. Obama also, I think, believes he can impose quality standards of some sort, meaning that if you, a doctor, began providing bad health care, you would either be paid less, or become unemployed. If this is the truth, wouldn't doctors be put in a very hard place, being paid less than they used to, in fact, probably need to? But I digress.

For the consumer. First, let it be clear that we do not have a free market health care system. Obama says we can't go where we've been going (for the last eight years, I'd bet 'ole Quivie he'd say), but where we're going, and have been going, isn't where I, and many others, as republicans or conservatives, wish we were. Let me explain.

A while ago, one of our presidents, possibly Carter, imposed a wage freeze. What that means, is that an employer simply cannot compete. One employer cannot raise his wages to attract more employees. A potential employee would see the higher wage at one company, and the lower at another, and the choice was too clear.

Obviously, employers had to do something. Bundling health care packages as benefits with employeeship ended up being, I think, one of the most defining factors. By doing so, employers can make their deal much, much more valuable. By this system, employers can compete. Still, there's a problem. Still, Americans don't have anywhere near the choice they would in a truly free market system. Your health care quality is limited to that of your prospective employers. You really can't get what you want, unless you're working for a huge employer, or can afford even the most expensive health care.

I don't know if I've made my point, but I stopped writing this last night, and don't care to reread what I've already written and continue it. This has been a senselessly shameless plagiarization of my mother's rant a few minutes into last night's Presidential question/answer forum thingy.

Inauthentically yours,


June 23, 2009

4. Tripped

Jack returned to the room via the clock. His backpack was on the table, with a bit of orange juice on it. He grabbed it and a paper towel, and ran out of the apartment.

For those of you who were wondering, the way aforementioned physician of sorts was also a giant. Thus, his nickname, King Kong, wasn't entirely undeserved. His width wasn't appalling, but his height would shake most criminals into at least temporary lawfulness. This was usually a blessing, as he was rather a kind type of person. While Jack and he weren't exactly intimate, they helped each other out more than frequently. As for a real name...I'm not sure I'll give it, just for the pleasure of turning red every time I have to mention him.

Jack saluted King Kong, and they passed each other. Nothing particular happened, in those few seconds. In the next ten, though, a lot happened.

First, Jack tripped. In all seriousness, if you knew Jack, you'd be clutching this book with a death grip, ogling it with eyes the size of a couple of epic-sized bouncy balls. Really. To explain this, let's go back in Jack's life, say, twelve years. Jack was roughly four then. By that time he'd learned how to walk flawlessly. By flawlessly, I mean as flawlessly as a toddler usually manages...except he did exactly that all the time. All of a sudden, he tripped. It was the first and only time he had ever tripped in his life. He managed twelve whole years of flawless walking, jogging, running, ambling, and sprinting. The cause of his second trip was quite simple. A girl. In all seriousness, it's probably happened to a million boys. Still, Jack was fairly unique in having tripped only twice in his entire life.

Obviously, Jack thought this girl was, at the bare minimum, pretty. Human endeavors to find the end of any boy's descriptions of a girl at the maximum have failed. Miserably. Jack merely saw her for a second, and a short, confused, and trip-inducing one, at that.

In way too many cliches are included both the trip and the fall. I don't know the likelihood that the last will succeed the first, but the likelihood that the first will succeed the last is flyspit short of nil. Jack's talent in "catching himself" was beyond Olympic, so, in this case, he did not fall. Instead, he "fell" into an also Olympic pose: that of a runner right before the starting line. King Kong's next step marked what would usually be marked by a shot, and Jack raced off. King Kong glanced at the cloud of dust behind him, and shook his head.

Emma was a short, black-haired girl of thirteen at the time. Her favorite subject in school was history, she hated math, and the idea that some people factor triple-digit numbers in their spare time because they think it's fun...well, I'll merely say that made her turn up the volume of whatever music she was listening to, even though her surroundings were near perfectly quiet. The idea of a boy ever telling her she was pretty, much less beautiful, fell mildly short of disgusting her, not because she thought boys shouldn't go around doing that, but because it was so obviously untrue.

Jack really had no idea what he was doing. The fact that this had actually never happened to him before stuns even me, but, it was true. Having read Pride and Prejudice twelve times over seemed no aid in real life, he thought wildly. It was right about when he stopped thinking that that he realized he was running, and ground to a halt. The girl was nearly out of sight. Jack pondered the situation. Really, if he'd been confronted with twenty men whose muscle mass was a task for even them to carry around, he'd have a hundred times more idea what to do. He personally avoided taking pictures of people in general, and girls in particular, unless they knew, and, preferably, didn't object. As this was his policy, he didn't even reach into his backpack.

When he saw her, honestly, he couldn't accurately guess what age she was. If she happened to be any significant age greater than his, he'd lose interest in a second. As he couldn't tell, he obviously didn't give up.

He followed her at a fairly large distance, his sole goal being to find some detail about her. The most easy and unobtrusive detail he could get, it seemed, was her current residence. It was a mere block, and she was home. The girl, upon the threshold, looked around. Their eyes met, but Jack, for some reason, did not turn his eyes away. He couldn't see any advantage in that, after all.

She went inside. Jack couldn't tell whether he'd disgusted her, worried her, or what. Jack looked at the address, and instantly remembered it. It bothered him that he couldn't do this with the quadratic formula.


June 22, 2009

And I Forgot to Mention...

It was early Saturday that we went for a whole TWELVE HOURS over to some place in western Minnesota, if I'm slightly more on top of things than I think I am. Anyway, while we were there, I practically jogged through a field of thorny plant type things. Needless to say, I've been in frequently killer pain for a good bit of time. I just took a shower and decided to post on here, as it had seemingly gone away, but, as I was JUST done with, say, the first sentence, my brain registered a sharp pain in my left foot. Blargh.


Ready to Laze?

Aye. I'm done with Latin. Probably forever. Except if I take the NLE sometime. I'm done with Geometry, except I might probably will have to correct three tests half-full of wrong answers. And I'm almost ready to begin the summer cycle of lazily reading books, playing video games too much, listening to music, helping out my grandparents every now and then, and running for Couch Potato of the Block.

I hope you're anticipating a summer full of blockheaded writing, because I might, might actually get around to it sometime. I'm having new ideas by the dozen, forgetting them by the time I get to my computer, and having new ones again, only to repeat the aforementioned cycle. Dishes today and every third day. Not so bad. Gives me time to think, invent stories and mangle reality in my mind beyond comprehension. Oh, well. Someday I'll learn to use my time like I should.

UPDATE: Right. I forgot. I finished Pride and Prejudice yesterday. It's awesome. Not that you didn't know that, or anything. *probably going to steal Mousie's AE DVDs and Emma...*

With your slightly over-average dose of canned air,


June 09, 2009


Not surprisingly, our President, John R. Ahern, couldn't resist to attend this year's Islas Dance. Also, his eyes were unavoidably attracted to the eldest Bertilson. Within minutes, they had been wed, tin-foil rings on their fingers. Miss Starrett, Ahern's previous bride, was heartbroken at this event. "Most of the Islas population now see their mistake in the wedding of my sister to Mr. Ahern. He simply can't seem to make up his mind. First Miss. Blake. Then, just when they'd settled into their fifty-acre property, Ahern stole off in the middle of the night and married Miss Starrett. Now he's taken my sister."

Miss Bertilson, many assume, is the third in a long, long line of young Islas women who will end up bride to Mr. Ahern. It is with only minor doubt that we have never had such a president ever before, in the whole long history of Islas.

"Mr. Ahern's behavior is, at best, weird. I wouldn't hesitate to predict in a mildly certain manner that Mr. Ahern will soon be the groom and husband to all the young women on Islas. If you think this is not something at least worth avoiding, please. Just please. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean."

Mr. Ahern turned down Mr. Bertilson's merely procedural, yet hearty congratulations in a conservedly annoyed way. One can only assume he has already tired of his recent bride.

Miss Blake was not queried, but Miss Starrett was let alone until such time as she could collect her wits.

UPDATE: Miss Starrett's comments:

"I really feel used, more than anything. Deceived, hurt. Heartbroken. It took me days to get over the initial incident with the marriage being declared void... But then, finding that that was a lie? That I was still married? I feel like someone has pulverized me.
Also... I'm suffering severe doubt thanks to Mr. Ahern. That I was lied to by my fiancee is just...mind shattering, or something. How can I be sure everyone else is telling the truth now?
Basically, I think that ISLAS is very, very unsafe if these are the kind of people we put our trust in.
Polygamy? Disgusting. Lying? Atrocious. Not knowing how to tango? Absolutely inexcusable."

Your undyingly faithful reporter,


June 01, 2009

Latin Exam

Ok. Just to let you know, I may or may not manage to rationalize not doing schoolwork in one or more of the five upcoming days before I'm to take my exam. I think. As such, I may or may not post this week. However, if, on Saturday, I have finished the exam, and think I may have done a marginally alright job of it, then you'll probably see half a thousand exclamation marks attached to the end of a sentence that wouldn't make sense in any other context. Anyway, have fun, and pray for me.