Monday, April 30, 2007

I just thought I'd let everyone know what's been going on with me lately. Last week was a busy one with me trying to get my laptop Lucille II up and running again. But some other things happened besides that:

On Tuesday as I was driving in to the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Cafe, my car was forced off the road by a Hummer and I was taken prisoner by a gang of rogue twenty-something blondes with cute asses and great tits. They took me to their sex farm in northern Minnesota near Eveleth and forced me to make love to them repeatedly and do other unspeakable acts like leave the toilet seat down. Fortunately, in gratitude for my teaching them how to achieve multiple orgasms even after drinking all night using only common household utensils, they returned me to my car the next morning and even gave me twenty bucks and a new pair of bikini briefs.

So on Wednesday, after returning home to feed Mimi my cat I suddenly received a vision from Mother Teresa instructing me to go to Calcutta and feed poor people and instruct them in proper sanitation methods. However, as I had some other things to do on Wednesday -- I had promised Bill Gates I would shoot pool with him at Costello's Bar in Saint Paul during happy hour -- I chose to interpret this vision as referring to Calcutta, Ohio. As a result I flew to Ohio and spent some time slinging dal and teaching the natives to thoroughly wipe down toilet seats in gas station restrooms. This turned out to be a most satisfactory experience and I felt pretty good about doing my bit to raise the standard of living in a third-world state like Ohio. I even made a mental note to make one of my Catholic friends light a candle to Mother Teresa if she's actually canonized and if she isn't what the hell is she doing coming to me in a vision. And by the way, I kicked Gates's ass at eight ball. He now owes me fifty bucks, the loser.

Later that evening I got an emergency call on my cell phone and had to chopper down to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to perform some delicate neurosurgery. I don't really do this much anymore since I started blogging but it was for a poor two-year-old Ohio girl that had been adopted by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; since Ange is a close personal friend of mine I made an exception for her. It was quite gratifying to see the smile in the child's eyes when she came out of surgery and listen to her gurgling away in Ohioan. It was also nice to check out Angelina's tits and inspect her for new tattoos. So that was my Wednesday.

On Thursday it turned out to be another busy day. I had to fly down to Cape Canaveral in Florida and redesign some space shuttle O-rings for NASA. Good thing they called me in; some idiot had made them square and out of cardboard. I figure I saved not only the lives of many future astronauts but also singlehandedly rescued the entire U. S. space program by preventing yet another shuttle disaster. I got back to Saint Paul too late to blog, though, as I had to meet with investors in my Flirting Studio enterprise. We're looking at a major franchise deal but I can't really talk about it now.

Friday I flew down to São Paolo Brazil, never mind what for. I got back late Saturday, but still in time to go out to W. A. Frost in Saint Paul for cocktails. I had a little incident occur there that was somewhat disturbing, however. I overheard a bunch of hardbodied twenty-something males refer to my pal Tate as a fat cougar so I had to kick their asses, the insolent toads. I didn't do any serious damage to the boys but I did teach them a lesson about fucking with bloggers, goddamn it. Sometimes one has to make a stand. And if you're curious, I did bruise an ankle doing my patented flying drop kick. Apparently I'm not as spry as I used to be.

Yesterday I took it pretty easy. I decided to stay home and invent shit so I fixed myself a pitcher of Mexican Windbreakers and sat on the lanai and came up with about twenty new products, any one of which will make me filthy rich. The invention I'm proudest of resembles the little BreatheRight nasal strips but they're clear instead of "flesh-colored." I intend to sell them in pairs to college students. They attach to one's eyelids and hold them open so that one can sleep right through one's Macro Economics class after one has done about thirty shots of cheap tequila the previous night and still look like one is paying attention to every word of the dork professor's monotone delivery that pretty much repeats word for word the overpriced text that he made one buy for the course. I figure this invention alone will revolutionize both college drinking and economics in our great nation and buy me that condo in Andorra that I've had my eye on.

Oh yeah, last night I switched from Mexican Windbreakers to Captain Morgan and goat urine just so I'd be in shape for blogging today. Nothing much really happened after that unless you count the fact that Angelina Jolie snuck over to my place for a romp in the hay out of gratitude for my helping her little Ohio girl. Don't tell anyone, though; I have enough trouble with paparazzi as it is. I understand Ange does too, but I'm sure my troubles are much worse. I kicked Jolie out early this morning (after forcing her to make me pancakes naked) so I could get a nice early start on my blog.

So get off my back. I've been busy, for chrissake.

-- Hulles

Thursday, April 26, 2007

As it says in the title, perhaps I was a bit optimistic about being able to post again right away. Following my software debacle with Lucille II, my laptop, I had to find a new word processor that worked well with HTML and Blogger so I could actually write some stuff -- my old one seems to have disappeared. Also, I had to reinstall a bunch of other software that I use regularly.

The good news is that I think everything is finally set up correctly now. Thanks for your patience in this most difficult time for all of us. Well, it's been difficult for me and Lucille, anyway; maybe not so much for you. I hope not!

More soon....

-- Hulles

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lucille II, my laptop, is back. But dang -- it was a close one. We almost lost her.

I was upgrading to a new version of my operating system -- Ubuntu Linux "Feisty Fawn" to be exact -- when I lost power to poor Lucille during the upgrade. This is because I'm an idiot. Last Friday I finally downloaded all the files for the upgrade while I was at the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Cafe but was running late to meet the lovely Erin and the okay-looking cK at a local watering hole so I stuck Lucille into my bag and scooted over there while she was still doing the upgrade.

Well, it seems Lucille took exception to this cavalier behavior because as I was socializing and flirting with every mammal that walked past me the poor little laptop was sucking up battery power until finally she threw up her arms in digust and went into cardiac arrest. With the upgrade process incomplete. Which means the laptop would not boot when I got home that night.

Now you may or may not know that I am something of a computer geek; I earned my living for many years doing programming. As a result, there was no excuse for me being such a dolt. But I was. And of course I didn't do a backup prior to the upgrade.

So I've been without a laptop at all for the last three days, let alone internet access and email. I nearly went postal. And I missed you all lots and lots. But today I finally got Lucille II all recovered and didn't lose the 3000 words I'd written in the Other Keys story, thankfully. I thought I had lost not only the story but the entire hard drive for a couple of days. Gleep.

So I am suitably chastened, but Lucille II is once again in fine fettle and ready to kick palabra. So I guess I need to write more stuff now!

You can expect a new post tomorrow. I apologize for the delay.

And... whew! Dodged a bullet that time.

-- Hulles

Friday, April 20, 2007

Alas, once again Lucille II, my redoubtable laptop, is indisposed while she's getting refurbished with a new operating system upgrade (Ubuntu LInux Feisty Fawn, if you're curious). As a result, there may be another shortage of posts for a day or two as I struggle to achieve online accessibiltiy. Sorry.

In the meantime, however, I've been working on a project that I think you will like. It's a little longer story than I've attempted to date, but I'm having a great time with it and it should be funny and disturbing and all those other things you guys say about what I write. The story is called (so far) "The Other Keys," and is based upon a wonderful picture my exquisite friend Marie created at Visual Snark. I owe her big time, and I'm trying to make the story be worthy of her excellent image. It's really a fun story to write, though, and I'm having a great time with it. Much cackling and whooping and rubbing of hands.

I also plan on updating the Mythos while I'm forced to be offline. Lots to do there, and many p.r. names to add.

Wish me luck on the upgrade. I am wildly optimistic that I won't have to screw around with my wireless card this time. I also believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, if you're wondering.

-- Hulles

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Man is the hunter; woman is his game:
The sleek and shining creatures of the chase,
We hunt them for the beauty of their skins.

- Alfred Tennyson


I woke up this morning, much to my surprise, and spat out the toy mouse my cat had apparently placed in my mouth to muffle my snoring. It hit the bedroom wall with a sort of splat sound and stuck for a second before it dropped to the floor. I fumbled around blindly on the nightstand by my bed for my eye chisel, then used the chisel end to remove the grout from my eyes and the little prybar on the other end to prise my eyelids apart. I then resignedly groped for the half-empty tumbler also sitting on the nightstand and downed it in a gulp. Much to my chagrin I found that I had been drinking Captain Morgan and goat urine again the night before. "Alas, I suffer the agenbite of inwit, Mimi," I said to my cat. Actually, what I said was "Mmph grkl," but after eight years of house pet bliss she knew what I meant.

Later while whimpering in the bathroom I recalled that one of the many great ideas I had hatched the night before was to open a flirting school, or more precisely, a flirting studio. This would be much like an Arthur Murray® Dance Studio except it would just be for flirting. Great idea, eh?

"Hulles, why on earth would you want to open a flirting studio?" I can hear you thinking. And by the way, your lips are moving as you think this. Just saying, is all. Anyway, the reason I want to open a flirting studio is for the simple reason that people need to learn how to flirt and, even more importantly, they need to learn how to react appropriately when being flirted with. So, in a spirit of public service that for once isn't court-ordered, I thought I would step up to the plate and educate everyone about flirtation. And charge everyone an arm and a leg for the privilege, of course.

This all came about because I inadvertently terrorized a couple of cute young lasses last night as I flirted with them. Being Hulles, noted raconteur, sex dog and man-about-town, normally I elicit cow-eyed adoration in the opposite sex when I deign to interact with them at all. Such was not the case last night, however. Granted, at times I can be a little heavy-handed ("Hey dollface, let me sex you down in the back of a limo. Now go rent the limo while I stay here and drink...") but last night I'm pretty sure I was only just slightly over the top a teensy weensy bit ("Hi honey, you're awfully cute, ever think about dating your grandfather?"). I guess I just scared the poor girls because they weren't expecting to hear that from some seedy old white guy who looks remarkably like a stalker and who in fact played one recently in the movies.

Fuck 'em, it's a beautiful world with sharp jagged edges and they should be made of sterner stuff.

But still, somebody should tell them that a person with an obvious sense of humor who says outrageously bizarre things to them is only flirting (and, by the way, amusing the bartender tremendously). So I'm going to teach them this in my Hulles Flirting Studio. I'll teach them how to distinguish flirting by a gentleman of distinction from harassment by a perverted creep (the words are mostly the same in each case but a viable sense of humor is the key here, as it is in so many things). I'll teach them how to flirt back even more outrageously so that much fun and laughter can be had by all. And I'll teach them how to politely tell the aforesaid gentleman of distinction to fuck off because he's not funny at all, he's just drunk, and tell him in such a pleasant and amusing fashion that he doesn't even realize he got the brushoff until the next morning when he winces as he reviews the previous night's adventures in the midst of an Olympic-class hangover (see agenbite of inwit, above).

My studio would also teach men how to flirt and be flirted with, but that's really the topic of another post I'll write someday so I won't go into that here. Suffice it to say that, much like an Arthur Murray® Dance Studio, I intend to employ extremely hot men and women as flirtation instructors so they can drive the forlorn and lonely people who enroll in my studio crazy with feigned affection. This is to make these poor sods sign up for class after class that they don't need and can't afford so that they can feel desirable for a few minutes a week. Sure it's cruel and heartless, but at least I'm not making them jerk and stagger about awkwardly all over the dance floor. They can even sit down while they flirt if they want. Maybe I'll even serve cocktails.

Wow, I just got a great idea - a lap flirt! Have to think about that one....

So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a storefront with a massive plate glass window on a busy thoroughfare so that people can feel like überdorks when they are seen taking my lame and overpriced flirting classes. I'm not sure why this is important but wiser heads than mine have convinced me that it is. Then I'll open up my flirting school and be able to call it The Hulles® Flirting Studio and be rolling in money and go live in Brazil and give up this blogging shit that doesn't pay squat. Oh yeah, and while I"m out looking for studio space I'm going to stop at the co-op and buy more goat urine. The stuff grows on you after a while, much like Jãgermeister or a bad case of jock itch.

-- Hulles

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lucille II (my notebook computer) is getting a fabulous new makeover with a more recent version of Ubuntu Linux (her operating system). While Lucille is in relaxing in the spa, however, my posts and commenting may be a little sporadic. This is because Lucille's wireless card is not natively supported by Ubuntu, which means that the dad (me) has to recompile "ndiswrapper" and invent a bunch of new swearwords in the process of trying to get the sucker up. My pal Mosilager tells me that "Feisty Fawn" -- the newest Ubuntu release, I'm installing "Edgy Eft" -- does a better job of supporting wireless cards. Great, except that "Feisty Fawn" is still in beta test, and Hulles don't do beta testing no more. Sigh.

So the bottom line is that I should have a new post up on Tuesday. Hopefully it won't suck. But the newly made over Lucille will be sparkling and shiny and ready to kick some palabras, just you wait and see.

-- Hulles

Thursday, April 12, 2007

[See "Cry Of The Werehamster: The First Part" for the first part of this story, and "Cry Of The Werehamster: The Next Part" for the next part of this story. -- The Management]

As evening fell and the thick fog rolled in, Frank the squirrel was getting ready for his big date. He was cheerfully humming Irving Berlin songs to himself as he carefully groomed his tail and trimmed his claws with his teeth. Earlier he had been humming Cole Porter songs but he eventually remembered that Al and Seamus had told him Cole Porter show tunes were super-gay so he switched to Irving Berlin. "That'll show 'em," he thought to himself with some satisfaction.

Finally he felt he was ready for Doris his date to arrive, but as he looked into the human house from his tree -- he thought of the owner, Larry Talbot, as his human -- to view the clock he found to his chagrin that it was only 8 PM. This was bothersome to Frank because Doris was not expected until 9 PM; as a result he found himself with some time on his paws. "Hmmm," said Frank to himself, "perhaps I'll just go for a short walk in this thick soupy fog while I wait for Doris to arrive. Lucky for me, although Doris isn't the prettiest squirrel in the neighborhood, she's punctual. And she's thrifty. And she has wonderful handwriting. So I can expect her to show up right on time, instead of an hour and a half late like that bitch Amber used to." And so saying, he scampered down his tree and bounded off into the foggy night.

He had gotten but a few yards from his tree when a strange thing happened. The fog suddenly parted and the pale gibbous moon shone down upon the unsuspecting Frank. Immediately he began to feel funny. "That's odd," he thought to himself. "Suddenly I find myself thinking of viciously ripping the throats out of small furry mammals and dancing in their bloody entrails and yet like all squirrels I'm a vegetarian which makes it...urk!" He stopped in mid-sentence because suddenly he found himself reeling drunkenly around in a circle, then he fell to the ground and began writhing in unimaginable pain. His last conscious thought was "At least there was no fainting in coils...." as his body began a Kafkaesque transformation into a hamster. But this was not to be just any hamster -- Frank was metamorphosing into the much-dreaded werehamster, a hideous monster with inch-long fangs, glowing red eyes, and a penchant for dramatic and gratuitous gore.

At last the transfiguration was complete. All in all it took about two minutes, but it was so theatrical that it seemed like twenty minutes or thereabouts. But when all was said and done there stood the frightening monster that had been Frank but moments before, slavering and snarling and generally acting like the ravenous fiend it had become. Suddenly the gleaming full moon reappeared through the fog (it had become hidden by the clouds when the metamorphosis had begun) and the fiercely brown werehamster reared up on its hind legs, twisted its furry face into a snarling rictus of primal savagery, and bayed its strangely eerie and haunting cry:

"Ek ek ek ek ek!"

The malevolently evil monster then scampered off into the fog seeking a victim that he could rend and tear into small bloody bits with his inch-long fangs coated with slaver.

***


Destiny, Doris's slutty-looking friend and neighbor squirrel, was early for her rendezvous with Doris by the late-blooming hamsterbane so she amused herself by thinking about dirt. Then suddenly she heard a rustle in the nearby bushes. "Hello?" she called querulously. "Is anyone there? Doris, is that you, girlfriend? Whoever it is, I'm innocently walking over into the bushes to investigate so you better behave yourself!" And she disappeared into the late-blooming hamsterbane which it would seem is misnamed because there was a growl and a snarl and a screech which was cut off in mid-agony and many tearing and rending noises and much shaking of bushes, then out flew the bloody and torn hind leg of a squirrel which hit a nearby crushed and bent Sprite can with a splat. Then from the suddenly quiet clump of bushes came a strangely eerie and haunting cry:

"Ek ek ek ek ek!"

***

Doris felt she looked damn good tonight in her new bra and was humming tunes from Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to herself as she put the final coat of polish on her claws. She then stuck a tiny flower into the hole where her ear had been torn off some years ago by a vitriolic Shih Tzu. "Dang, Doris, you are one hot little number!" she cooed to herself. "You are gonna get yourself a mate tonight Some lucky squirrel is going to become Mr. Doris!" And she clambered down her tree and leapt into the yard and ran off to meet her friend Destiny singing "I Don't Know How To Love Him" incredibly off-key. But then suddenly Doris heard a strangely eerie and haunting cry:

"Ek ek ek ek ek!"


"Son of bitch, that sounds like that strangely eerie and haunting cry I heard earlier," Doris muttered to herself. "Good thing I brought this pointy silver sewing needle with me. No telling who or what might be out in that thick fog tonight. I hope that fucking Shih Tzu is safely inside his house, I don't fancy losing another ear, I look ratty enough as it is. Thank God at least I have good penmanship."

When Doris got to the late-blooming hamsterbane bush her slutty-looking friend Destiny was nowhere to be seen. Or so Doris thought. "So much for my rendezvous with Destiny," she grumbled bitterly. But as she glanced around the small clearing in the bushes she saw the crushed Sprite can glinting in the moonlight that suddenly reappeared through the clouds so she went over to investigate. It was then that she saw the blood spatters on the can and became wary. "Uh oh," Doris thought. "This can't be good unless there's a dead Shih Tzu in those bushes." As she investigated further, however. she found the severed hind leg of her late pal Destiny with droplets of slaver still wet upon it. "Fuck me!" she cried as she jumped into the air and came down with her pointy silver sewing needle in the en garde position.

Out from the bushes sprung the werehamster that was Frank! The monster crouched and snarled at Doris as she began frantically waving her sewing needle back and forth. "Eeugh! Gross!" shouted Doris. "Get back or you're getting a pointy silver sewing needle in that glowing red eye of yours!" The werehamster merely growled low in its throat and began circling the hapless yet plucky female squirrel. Doris warily turned to keep an eye on the transformed Frank as she cried, "Go away! Go away! Bad hamster! Go find a wheel or something!"

Then Doris bumped into the Sprite can as she was circling and was stricken with inspiration. She reached down and grabbed Destiny's severed and still-dripping leg. "Here boy, nice werehamster, have a squirrel leg that isn't mine!" Doris gingerly held out her friend's leg and the werehamster snuffled at it curiously. The monster then grabbed the leg in its inch-long fangs and lay down to gnaw upon it, still keeping a watchful eye on Doris as he slavered on the bony leg. More.

"There there, that's a nice hamster. Say, you're not half-bad when you're not about to rip my throat out. You could do with a little less slavering, but hey, what man couldn't?" Then Doris somehow magically discovered that the werehamster was Frank transformed, probably by a scrap of clothing that still clung to his monster shape or his unique smell or something. At any rate, suddenly she knew that this was Frank in front of her, changed into a horrific beast. "Ohmigod!" yelled Doris. "WTF? Are you really Frank? How did this happen?"

The werehamster blinked as he chewed upon Destiny's leg.

"You are, aren't you!" snarled Doris, beginning to become angry. "What do you think you're doing? You're not going to get out of our date that easy, mister! Now put down that leg and let's go to your place and I'll see what I can do about fixing you up. I swear, men, they're always turning into crazed beasts! Leave 'em alone and next thing you know they're all over your best friend! Well don't think this kind of behavior is going to go on much longer once you're with me!"

The Frank-monster made a small mewling noise in its throat and cowered back from the incensed Doris.

"Here now, what's all this?" shouted a police constable squirrel that just appeared on the scene. "Oi, werehamsters is it? Well we know how to do for werehamsters properly down at the station we do. Come along peacefully now and you and I will get along just fine." The colorful stock character approached the confused monster tapping his club meaningfully. "Don't move, hamster boy, or you're getting this billy in the...urk!"

The police constable looked down to find a pointy silver sewing needle stuck into his heart and he promptly died with naught but a few gurgling noises.

"There won't be none of running my Frank in," muttered Doris ungrammatically. "Now that I have him, nobody is going to be taking him away anywhere. It was hard enough to find a male squirrel that wanted me in the first place; I'm not going to lose him to some two-bit walk-on character who just strolls over and thinks he can whisk my new mate away and Bob's your uncle. Guess I showed him, anyway he should have known better than get involved in a domestic without backup." Doris fashioned a makeshift leash out of some string that happened to be laying around near the Sprite can and tied it around the werehamster's neck. "Come along then, we're off to your place before some other colorful stock character shows up like that Gypsy Squirrel from the first part for example. I swear, werehamsters are going to be the death of me yet." The fierce-looking monster pulled futilely at the leash a couple times then sighed lugubriously and began trudging along behind Doris as she marched off to Frank's nest. And ever so softly and faintly as Doris led her new spouse off into the distance, you could hear the werehamster begin to cry.

[Many thanks to Lollie for the picture - The Management]

-- Hulles


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, Prince, and Exeter

- Shakespeare, Henry VI

[The wonderful and disturbing image below was created by Visual Snark and is included here by permission. Many thanks! - The Management]

[And see? See? See why one ought to have a graphic art department at one's disposal? - The Management]

I've been thinking a great deal about blogging as a writer's medium lately; see my post on Missy's blog if you are interested in further reflections of mine upon this topic. Guh, I sound like a professor. But read it anyway if you haven't yet. And by the way, sorry if I was SCREAMING in that particular entry; some of my formatting didn't transfer exactly (not Missy's fault).

I think that "Publish Or Perish" entry begs the question of how one might utilize blogging to write and make money. This is a question near and dear to my heart as you might imagine. Here is what I've come up with:

I think someone -- you -- should become a syndicator. Go and scout out and sign up people with creative professional-quality blogs like Chasing Windmills, pink india ink, Visual Snark, or (dare I say it) myself. Develop a portal that has pages of, say, four quadrant panels, each quadrant containing a preview of the current entry for one of these pro blogs. You can link to the blog itself from the portal and read it. Along the sides are various ads from sponsors that, by the way, are not click-based.

The syndicator / portal creator (you) would get income from selling the ad space and use that to pay the writers (me et. al., but especially me). You would also handle the RSS feeds from the blogs and sell ad space on them (see the Onion feeds for examples of this). Probably the portal should be able to be personalized for an individual in a fashion similar to the Google or Yahoo! home pages one can set up. This ends up being much like an aggregator, but a slicker one than any I've seen. My imaginary portal page is pretty, damn it, and graphically interesting, not just lines of text.

I imagine that the blog content provider (me) would work with the syndicator (you) to create a personalized blog page "look and feel", so that (for example) pink india ink would still have a pink background (and damn if I don't feel gay every time I pull it up but fortunately I'm used to it by now). Probably the syndicator would also sell ad space on the blog page itself. The blog page would of course link back to the portal, so that traffic could be shared among the content providers (Person X reads Kat and also is steered to Visual Snark, for example).



The syndicator could / should also provide employment to some of the graphic artists that are currently bartending. I should be able to say to the syndicator (you) that I need pictures of malefic clowns or squirrels with push-up bras and the syndicator's graphic art department could provide them and integrate them into my blog content. Maybe I'd use more graphics that way, who knows. The down side is that we'd have to find new bartenders.

Also, when you first pull up the master portal, it plays the theme from The Jetsons. This is very important to me for some reason.

The real job of the syndicator is to sell ad space, of course. Yech, personally, but some people are good at that stuff. Go find 'em, unless you're one already. But notice that your startup costs are about a hundred bucks and it's all virtual, so you can run the business out of a bar with wireless access, at least until you die from cirrhosis of the liver.

It doesn't take a genius like me to realize that this vision plus about ten minutes of work equals a business plan for some ambitious person out there -- namely, you. I'd do it myself, but I'm too busy creating content -- that is, writing. Plus I have a related project in the works already. So go for it. Tell your friend.

You could send me a big check, though. It would be the gracious thing to do.

-- Hulles

P.S. No, this sort of thing doesn't exist already. I know this because no one has called me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Item: Missy was kind enough to allow me to post a guest blog entry, my first. It has a definite editorial flavor to it. You can read it here if you would like to. Thanks for the opportunity, Missy.

Item: I added Random Mindless Ramblings to my blog list. Check H (the author) out; I like her. I also added a link to Visual Snark. I have become addicted to the images that the author/artist (oddly enough called visualsnark) creates. Enough so that I'm writing a story based on one of her images (with her kind permission). And it's really fun.

Item: I removed the Babel Fish gizmo from the sidebar. Not sure why I put it there in the first place.

Item: I'm contemplating creating a new blog site to stick stories into. If I do this, I would publish them here first then stick them in there. These entries would be the fictional pieces that I occasionally write, as opposed to the factual ones like, well, jeez, I guess I don't have any factual ones. Anyway, I'd put the ones that are stories in there.... Let me know what you think about that, if you have an opinion at all. I'm thinking about tying the stories together somehow, but I'm not sure how yet.

Item: I am intentionally leaving you hanging about the ending to Cry Of The Werehamster. It's simply a cheap ploy to make you come back and check. Also I haven't written it yet.

Item: I ran across an online Ransom Note Generator. I love this. It has "Hulles" written all over it. If you're a crime fiction writer, you need this link. I already used it in the Visual Snark story I mentioned above. I can't tell you how funny I find this site.

Item: Naked Wednesday went okay. Any Naked Wednesday I can walk away from a free man is a good one....

Item: I had a blog entry (Ignoble Drone Am I...) published in the most recent (April) edition of Avenues, and I am so proud of it. Avenues is a local (Saint Paul) news and arts monthly. My article was a full page including a half-page illustration that was superb. Many thanks to Mike (the publisher of Avenues) for doing such a nice job with it.

Item: My Brazilification continues. And speaking of which, congratulations to La Espia T. who is taking her much-admired butt down to Brazil for about 6 weeks to study something; I think it's bikini waxing but I might be wrong about that. Of course I am insanely jealous of her. For the trip, duh, not for the butt; my own ass does quite nicely thank you very much. You see, I can't help but think that if I went to Brazil I could find something to do....

-- Hulles

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

[See "Cry Of The Werehamster: The First Part" for the first part of this story. -- The Management]

For Galaxy Moonbeam



At long last the Autumn sun began to drop behind the trees and Frank the gray squirrel and his squirrel buddies knocked off work and headed back to their respective nests, ribbing each other good-naturedly as they departed the nut yard:

"Hey Frank, good luck on your date with Doris tonight! Remember what they say -- she has ten nipples and you only have two forepaws, eight of those nipples are going to be wasted!" gleefully cackled Al.

"Oi, Frank, think about baseball at the moment of truth and maybe you'll last more than 15 seconds this time!" yelled Seamus.

"Hey you guys, cut it out, Doris is a nice squirrel, that's why I have to get her drunk first, remember?" retorted Frank as he scampered towards home. He thought he heard someone shout "Rectum? I thought I killed 'em!" in the distance and chortled to himself as he reflected that the classics never get stale.

When Frank reached his arboreal home he began grooming himself for his big date with Doris. He was somewhat apprehensive about asking her to marry him since it was their first date and they had never really had a conversation before but Frank felt convinced that it was time to take their relationship to the next level. He knew that Doris wasn't exactly a prime catch with her slightly-crossed eyes and missing ear and all, but he found the gap between her buck teeth erotic and besides no other female squirrel in the neighborhood would date him since the Amber incident. Thus, Frank found himself contentedly humming "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" as he readied himself for his big evening. He was certain that nothing could possibly happen to screw things up this time.

But as he was thinking this, for some reason Frank seemed to hear the querulous voice of the colorful and charmingly eccentric old squirrel who had hawked a gobbet of phlegm upon him earlier in the day:

Not all round and hard things are walnuts
Not every small brown thing's a seed
Take care on the night of the full moon
Lest the werehamster's bite makes you bleed
A lot from a ripped throat

Frank still had no idea what any of that meant, but it gave him a sudden chill to recall the old squirrel's ominous and ill-rhymed words. He also noticed that as night was falling a thick fog was congealing and that the people in the house nearby were playing gypsy violin music and that the scent of late-blooming hamsterbane was redolent in the air. However, being a singularly dim and unimaginative squirrel he simply shrugged it all off and resumed grooming himself and humming Cole Porter show tunes.

***

Doris had come to realize long ago that she was neither the most attractive nor the most intelligent of squirrels, but she knew what she wanted and she wanted a man, or more precisely a male squirrel. Frank might not have been her first choice -- actually, he was her last choice after the Amber incident -- but he was male and he was nearby so she was ready to snatch him up at the drop of a nut. Besides, she had always been a sucker for a fluffy tail on a squirrel and Frank's tail was at least fluffy if not overly large.

Doris spent a goodly amount of time cleaning her remaining ear and polishing her claws. She also tried to do something to camouflage the unsightly black dots on her fur that had given her the nickname "Ink Sqrrrrrl" but to no avail. Finally, after much pointless primping and grooming, she was slutted up and ready to cocktease any male that came with range of her overactive scent glands. She was just about to leave the squirrel equivalent of a double-wide trailer that she called a nest and walk down the block to Frank's tree when she noticed the thick soupy fog that begun to creep in on big lion feet.

"Uh oh," she said to herself with a shudder. "No telling what kind of perverts are going to be out on a night like this. I better take along my rape whistle and this pointy silver sewing needle I found recently. Although come to think of it, maybe I'll leave the rape whistle at home since it doesn't seem to work. I've blown it a thousand times and still no one shows up to rape me."

"Hey, Destiny!" screeched Doris at her equally trampy friend in the next tree over. "It's a creepy night tonight! Why don't you meet me in the yard and walk with me over to Frank's place! A cute female squirrel's not safe walking alone on a night like this and neither am I!"

"Shee-it, girl! I'm just crimping my tail!" yelled Destiny. "I was going to stay at home tonight and try to make a pushup bra out of ten acorn shells and some string but I suppose I can walk with you at least part of the way. Give me a couple minutes and I'll meet you by the late-blooming hamsterbane."

"Great honey, I'll wait for you there!" shrieked Doris.

And so the plain but plucky Doris set off into the foggy night dreaming of marriage and chocolate.

But as she was leaving the safety and shelter of her slatternly home the fog parted and the lambent full moon savagely shone in the night sky and she heard a strangely eerie and haunting cry somewhere off in the distance:

"Ek ek ek ek ek!"

She shivered and clutched the shawl that had not been there a second ago more closely about her shoulders and grimly set off for her rendezvous with Destiny.

[Look for "Cry Of The Werehamster: The Last Part" coming soon to a blog near you. -- The Management]

-- Hulles

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The other day I ran into my friend Gordy, who happens to be the only practicing animist with whom I am acquainted. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything but I think it's interesting. At any rate, during our conversation Gordy called me "the most evil, sarcastic bastard he's ever met".

Hunh.

Now lest you think Gordy doesn't get out much and just plain doesn't know very many people, let me disabuse you of this notion immediately. He does and he does, trust me. So this is an informed opinion. It's also a heavy burden to bear: being the most evil, sarcastic bastard Gordy's ever met carries with it a certain responsibility. I can already see that I'm not going to be able to rest on my evilosity laurels and still keep my title. Great. Just what I need, another responsibility. Don't you people know that's why I keep getting divorced? Grumble grumble.

I think I'm pretty okay with the sarcastic bastard part. In this blog I'm merely sardonic in a charmingly postmodern fashion, but in tête-a-tête conversation I regularly achieve multiple sarcasms. This is probably due to my warped world view in which everyone sucks but you and me, and frankly I'm not so sure about you. But whatever the reason, sarcasm seems to come naturally to me, so maintaining my "sarcastic bastard" crown will probably not require a lot of effort.

But most evil? That's going to take some doing. Hitler was evil. Stalin was evil. Richard Nixon was evil. Me? I'm not so evil. Well, there was that one time with the BB gun and the tiny little toads, and I did assist in burning down a commercial building in my hometown, but come on, it was just a small one and it was practically begging to be arsonized. If we hadn't torched it some lesser children would have. But these are mere peccadilloes. Why does Gordy think I'm evil? Come to think of it, he often calls me The Lesser Satan, which is pretty funny coming from an animist. Maybe I'm inadvertently evil -- that is, I'm evil and I don't realize it.

Actually being inadvertently evil would be sort of a relief -- I won't have to struggle to defend my title because I don't know how the hell I got it in the first place. It will all come naturally to me and the evilosity will just somehow ooze out of my pores and I can retain Mos' Evil status without any further work on my part. So there, I guess we're done and I don't have to agonize over the responsibility after all. Whew.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go torture some nuns and crush some baby ducks.

-- Hulles