Thursday, February 4, 2010

Merlin in the Modern World: Buying a Blender

"Excuse me sir, do you need any help with those?" "No. Leave me in peace so that I may choose the blender that is destined to adorn my kitchen."

"Ok, but just so you know, that particular model has five speeds, stainless steel blades, and a three-year blade wa-" the clerk started to say.

"Silence," Merlin commanded and gave a wave of his fingers at the clerk. "I told you that I do not need any help."

The clerk clutched at the place where his mouth had been only a moment before. Now, the bottom half of his face was smooth. The clerk tried to speak, but all that came out was a panicked moan. His fingers scurried back and forth where his lips had been. His eyes were wild. He stood a moment longer before rushing off. The old wizard paid no attention to him.

"Now, Alton Brown used a Blendtec blender on his show recently," Merlin said to no one. "He is a wizard for the modern age if I have ever seen one. But I don't know if the Blendtec brand is right for me. They do have some rather nice hand mixers. I wouldn't have to worry about storing another big piece of equipment then. Perhaps someone can help me."

He turned to where the clerk had been standing and saw that he wasn't there any more. "Where did that fellow go? You can't just abandon a customer in the middle of a sale. What are they teaching these kids when the come in for a job? I shall have to summon help."

He whispered a brief incantation and raised his right palm toward the ceiling. A burst of greenish flame shot up ten feet. It was only a moment later when a security staffer came rushing around the corner.

"Not you again," the bulky man said. He dropped the fire extinguisher to his side, but did not let it go. He knew better, after the last time.

"Ah Mr. Reynolds. I need help finding a blender. It will be used for many things, including in the preparation of potions and powders that could bring world rulers to their knees and propel man into a new age of enlightenment.

"I don't know how you got in here but you need to leave, now. We told you last time that you weren't allowed back in the store, not after you made that refrigerator come to life and it almost ate that old woman. You also scrambled all the store's computers, trying to pay for your washer/dryer with some kind of glowing rock."

"The Rock of Quixil is worth far more than any washer/dryer combo, even if they have a one button wrinkle release setting."

"I don't care. You need to go. Now. How did you even get in here in the first place? I didn't see you come in and I've been at the doors all day."

"I can alter my shape as easily as you put on a new pair of pants." To prove it, he changed himself into a giant newt and then changed back.

"Look, you've got to go. If you don't leave now, I'm going to have to call the police. And from what I've heard from a buddy I've got on the force, you don't want the police coming around here. They're still pretty mad about when you changed everyone's tap water to wine and all those kids got drunk and were falling over each other in the street."

At that point, the young clerk who Merlin had silenced came running around the corner, still making panicked sounds. He had scratched up the bottom of his face, and there were thin lines of blood running down his chin. He saw the security guard and ran up to him, pointing at his face and trying to yell.

"Now that does it," the guard said, "I'm calling the cops."

He stormed off to the store's main office. The young clerk looked at Merlin, his eyes pleading.

"Oh, fine, you may speak," Merlin said and waived his hand again. The man's mouth reappeared. "What can you tell me about the Blendtec blender here? I saw Alton Brown using one on TV, but I just don't know if it's right for me."

The clerk screamed and ran off.

"Must not be a fan of the Blendtec blender. Maybe I should go with the KitchenAid."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Writing, It Takes So Long

I'm making slow but (somewhat) steady progess on The Great Writing project #4. I'm still writing this one by hand, that is at least until I run out of space in the notebook that I'm putting it all down in. It's a vastly different process to write long hand. It takes a lot longer for one. In the time it takes me to hand write one page, I could probably type two pages. I have to be more aware of the ideas that come downstream, since I'm not getting words down on the page as fast and I might not reach the point I'm thinking of for a couple days.

It's frustrating and rewarding at the same time.

This time around I'm working on a super hero/super villain story. I'm trying to play with some of the icons of the super hero genre while creating something all of my own. So far, it's going well, but I'm only eight to ten pages into it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adventures in Parenting: Hand-Me-Down Genes

Logan has been sick this last week, and so we've had the monitor on in his room a little more than normal to listen for epic coughing fits. So far there has only been one coughing fit this time around that resulted in a reversal of fortune. I won't go into the details other than to say that Saturday was the first time I'd ever smelled vomit that was unmistakable from Little Cesar's.

The other night, we were sitting in the living room, with the monitor on in the dining room when Logan started talking in his sleep. It was kind of creepy. He'd say something kind of loud and then it would sound like he'd whisper a response. Instantly, my over-active imagination would flash to Electronic Voice Phenomenon and the other trappings of the various ghost shows that we watch. We'd also hear him wake up, ask one of us where the other was, when we're both sitting downstairs and he's in the room above us.

I'm a sleep talker. Usually, when I'm really tired and I'm in that half dazed point between wakefulness and sleep, that's when I'll talk the most. I've had long conversations with Brandi that I don't remember one word of the next day. I've also rolled over or gotten up from a dead sleep, said something to Brandi, and then rolled back like nothing happened. I don't remember exactly what I said, but one time I rolled over and said something accusatory and then went back to oblivion.

When I was five or six, I had a pair of Galvatron pajamas where Galvatron's eyes were glow in the dark. I have no memory of this, but my mom told me that one night I wandered into their room in the middle of the night and stood next to their bed. All she could see was the glowing eyes of the Transformer on my chest. I told her I was the dentist and I was going to drill her teeth out. Another time, I remember waking up in the morning at the top of the stairs. When I was a teen and my parents took us on the Cross-Country-Road-Trip-From-Hell, at one of the motels we stayed at, everyone heard me in my sleep telling Superman that he wouldn't be able to save someone.

I can only imagine what Logan might do. Thankfully, we have gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, and we're always sure to lock the top gate when we go up at the end of the night.

My dad would talk in his sleep too when he was really tired and we'd have fun asking him questions and seeing what kind of weird responses he would come up with. I wonder if Logan and Ava will have the same kind of fun with me.