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Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

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We read that book for work book club last month. I hated it. I have many feelings on why I hated it. I am now going to share them with you.

First, to give you a SMALL taste of what the story is about, just totally replete with spoilers, some researchers go to the Antarctic to bore holes in ice and get rock samples. They find an ancient race of beings that look like vegetables with 5 sided star heads and a city. A lot of them die. A lot more dogs die than humans. They find some ancient beings WORSE than the ones that killed all the dogs. Some of them survive to tell about it. And the whole point of the book is to make people NOT want to explore the Antarctic.

Okay, that’s basically it in a nutshell. It is, however, 103 pages (my copy was anyway) of just mind-numbing details about minute details on geology, biology, geometry, etc. All of it wrapped in vague pronouncements of doom and claims that things are so dreadful they can’t be described which are then described for multiple paragraphs/pages.

The end result is that the ancient city is the epitome of dread and horror and awful awful things, but when they find the beings worse than the ones that built the city, the city-builders are suddenly lauded as being just like men. “They are men!” the author cries. And suddenly, you’re like, wait what? Are they men or are they 6 foot wide, 8 foot long vegetables with star heads and flipper-wings? Make up your mind! Should we fear and revile them or pity them? It’s one or the other here, dude. And if we pity them for being JUST LIKE US, than their city can’t be so terrifying.

I discussed it a bit with Casey at work when we were both near the end via IM.

Casey: soon you shall discover the sordid specimens, whose very existence I hesitate to mention yet I must, so as to caution against the upcoming expedition

Me: Let not my vague pronouncements incite your curiosity for that is not my intent. The malignant, nauseating star shapes on all objects so curiously designed and appropriated throughout the dead city are the very opposite of our perceived beacon of light.

Casey: It would be most terrible, too ineffably distressing, if one were persuaded to explore the mountains of madness himself–no, I must go on, and describe in utmost detail the strange and insane groupings of dots which have pervaded my dreams, and those of poor Danforth, in recent months

Me: I think we could write this better.

Casey: yeah. poor Lake. poor Danforth. restless dogs. eerie melodic piping. we got this.

Me: 5 pointed cash monies.

Casey: that’s right, that’s right, that’s what gets the dogs barking

A lot of the time while reading it, I was internally thinking, “They went to the Antarctic and found a city! It’s like Stargate Atlantis! Only stupid!” And then with all the EXTREME fixation on five pointed objects and their nameless dread — so namelessly indescribably dreadful that he could spend 5 pages telling you about them — I thought maybe the Atlantis city was five points and would be an even better correlation, but it is 6. Which makes me feel simultaneously foolish, irritated, and happy that it doesn’t have to inspire nameless indescribable dread. It’s the cornucopia of emotions.

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Dan “Smells Like A Victoria’s Secret” R.

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Yes, sometimes I do feel I post too many work stories. But you know what? I am a cog in the wheel now. Almost all my most interesting things happen at work these days. Also, it’s this or nothing. Don’t complain.

Today Dan stopped by my desk at 8:30 in the morning.

Dan: Can I ask you a weird question?

Me: (suspicious intrigued [sleepy] face) Yes?

Dan: Do you have any lotion?

5 minutes later it still smells like a tropical flower garden up in here. I only have very smelly lotion. A fact for which I apologize by IM to Dan.

Dan: Mixed with my fierce masculinity, it makes for a highly intriguing scent over here.

Me: It will draw admirers like locusts. Possibly actual locusts. i’m not sure what they are drawn by.

Dan: The apocalypse?

Me: Poop?

Dan: The apoopalypse?

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Growing Goats

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This week at my job we signed a new university to the product. Every time this happens, the sales person sends out an email to the office with details about the new school. This one said a lot of things. A lot of great things. But the most IMPORTANT thing it said was that they have, “the Goat Research Institute (whose mission it is to train people in the developing world how to grow goats)”.

Yes. You read that correctly.

Alison: wait don’t people in “the developing world” know all about goats? is goat raising not an ancient situation? sometimes all of this “school” nonsense chaps my ass

Alison: meanwhile sarah just asked me if she should buy a toaster oven or a microwave

Michele: these are the tough questions. the “biggies”. developing world’s are asking, “how do we raise goats? like our father’s father’s father? or like [name redacted to protect the innocent goats] University says?”

Michele: but this toaster/microwave debate seems more important

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My Sweet Nuggs

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At the end of the work day some of us sometimes enter a stage of heightened ridiculousness where odd things are hilarious and no one who wasn’t there can understand why. I’m pretty sure this is hilarious no matter who you are though.

Kelsey: DIDBRENDASENDYOUTHIS  http://imgur.com/gallery/jNtaDTi  I’M TOO EXCITED

Me: yes. wait. sorry, I mean. YES OMG OMG BBQ LOL OMG

Kelsey: BBQ? noooooo we don’t cook otters, michele

Me: it’s a thing. among my friends.

Kelsey: show me the urban dictionary page

Me: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=omgbbq

Me: oh, i forgot the WTF part. WTFOMGBBQLOL.

Kelsey: definition: A heightened level of excitement due to the fact you have detected the presence of barbecue sauce for those delectable chicken nuggs you were preparing to devour.

Me: precisely. EXACTAMUNDO.

Kelsey: how long do you think team 8′s meeting is tomorrow?

Me: /me shrugs

Kelsey: garrett isn’t coming to the meeting!!

Me: WHY THE FUCK NOT? WTFOMGBBQLOL. WHERE IS THE BBQ SAUCE FOR MY SWEET NUGGS?!?!?!

(we both descend into atrocious giggling making Brenda and Allen feel terribly left out and then had to go regroup in the kitchen.)

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The Lone Muskrat

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I was going through a box of old letters a bit ago looking for something else and found a very random story which I thought I would share. Somehow it’s kind of the plot from City of Angels the relatively terrible Nic Cage/Meg Ryan flick from 1998. Why? I really don’t know.

The Lone Muskrat

One upon a time, Maggie accidentally killed one her patients during a routine foot fungus removal. It wasn’t a pretty death, but hey, the world’s probably better off without the guy; his foot was mighty disgusting.

Although most of the known universe clapped and “whoo-hoo’d” at his death, Maggie was distraught. She blamed herself for forgetting to secure his special breathing mask before taking off the bio-hazard footsie slippers and releasing all those noxious fumes. And, let’s be honest, while it was her fault that he died from her own carelessness, it’s a good thing for her that she thought quickly and secured the mask before calling for help. Saved the inquest people a lot of trouble and extra work and herself from a severe prison sentence. Perhaps even the gas chamber. Maggie had seen enough fatal fumes for one lifetime.

Even with her lucky swerve-avoid from prosecution, Maggie was still utterly despondent, contemplating suicide, the whole nine yards and maybe a few extra inches, who can tell without a ruler anyway and who ever has a ruler when they really need one?

But then an angel came to her aid and by simply looking at her cross-eyed, hopping around her on one foot and blowing raspberries, convinced her that life was worth living because there were pears out there for the taking. Even if they are shaped like a flat-chested, big-assed woman; pears are the secret to life. What, I ask you, does that say about our society?

So this angel, named Seth, (a very nice name, I liked it), thinks Maggie is mighty pretty and interesting even though he has lived for hundreds of millions of years and seen all the most beautiful women in the wold and in heaven. He decides this pear-loving, foot fungus killer freak toots his horn.

Except wait, Hey! He’s an angel. He’s not HUMAN. He can’t even touch his goldilocked nymph. What to do? What to dooooo? A friend of his provides the only possible solution by going swimming in the ocean. Seth thinks, “Ok. Why not? Might as well try it.” And then something so bizarre, so strange happened that it can only be described by illustration. And this was it.

First panel:  "Come on, Seth!"  "Oh, indecision. No, I'll do it!"  All the other angels.  Second Panel:  "Eek! Look what the water has done to me!" "Oh. My. God." "DAMN YOU, SETH." Somehow that is a hippopotamus. A whole bunch more hippopotimi except for the ONE LONE MUSKRAT.

First panel:
“Come on, Seth!”
“Oh, indecision. No, I’ll do it!”
All the other angels.
Second Panel:
“Eek! Look what the water has done to me!”
“Oh. My. God.”
“DAMN YOU, SETH.”
Somehow that is a hippopotamus.
A whole bunch more hippopotimi except for the ONE LONE MUSKRAT.

The injustice of the situation was that although all the other angels became hippopotimi, one of them became a muskrat.

And he was The Lone Muskrat, a rebel to the end of his days.

He even became rabid for a short period of time and bit Maggie since he blamed her for Seth’s stupidity. She, of course, never had it treated and so died. Seth was at this point a tourist attraction at the local zoo along with all the other hippopotimi. Only The Lone Muskrat roamed free. So I guess really he was better off turned into a muskrat, being less stupid and hugely visible hanging out on a beach for capture.

The End.

Bonus. A poem about hippopotimi from the same box.

Still A Little Crazy: An Animal Poem

You might say they’re ugly

With their waddly-squat bodies

It’s possible you might even mention the word ‘dowdy’

But that’s not very likely

Oh hippopotamus!

How I lust

After hippopotamus!

I don’t think you’re gross

I don’t even find you fat.

All those rolls where I can get lost

Simply seem divine

Oh hippopotami!

How I wish to lie

With hippopotami!

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Poison Princess – but not that terrible book by Kresley Cole

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Dungeon Master (DM): There’s a pond.

Nadiya (N): Are there frogs?

DM: Yes?

N: If I kiss one, will it turn into a prince?

Mel: I recommend she does that.

N (considers): I kiss a frog.

(pause while Gene rolls dice and we all hold our breath)

DM: You kiss the frog.

N: That was disappointing.

Jacob: What’s the roll for Prince? D100?

N: Should I kiss more of them?

DM: I was rolling to determine frog species for poison skin.

Everyone: ……oh.

Elden: Bullet dodged, sexpot.

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It’s a dilemma

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Sometimes I make things that I can’t tell if I should be embarrassed about or really, really proud. I made one of those yesterday.

It makes stickers, y'all.

It makes stickers, y’all.

Fish and I spent practically all of Sunday on my new bed watching streaming Netflix and being cozy. And then I discovered PhotoGrid’s sticker option. And then I found out Netflix Instants had Seaquest DSV which I had JUST been discussing with Dan at work and then things went into embarrassing territory.

OR DID THEY?

I mean….it’s pretty cute, really, right?

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