cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
One of the things I've missed since becoming a stay-at-home mother/employee/writer is taking public transit. It's true--for reasons you shall see. So this Saturday, some friends of mine were having a birthday thing at Psycho Suzi's, and I took the bus to get there.

Dear reader, I chose the right bus: the crazy bus.

It began when I heard [ profile] matociquala's voice. "That's odd," I thought. "She's not anywhere near the Twin Cities right now." I turn in my seat to check. "Nope. Not her. Some other person who is her vocal doppelganger. Ha! Well, I'll have to note this down, because it's amusingly random."

The woman in question is talking on her cellphone. I am working on a writing project in my notebook. She's talking about the drought in America. Very sad. I shake my head a little and keep working on my own thing. Drought...blah blah blah...prophetess--wait, what? My ears may have literally perked up at this point.

The doppelganger explains that the Prophetess Miriam had a prophecy called The Poisoned Catch, which it was revealed referred to how the BP oil spill had destroyed the gulf. Huh, I think. There was another prophecy about famine and drought in America, which would lead to our children starving like the ones in Africa. Ugh, I think. The doppelganger explains that she saw these prophecies on YouTube.

I chuckle a little to myself and go back to my writing, because this crazy has already exceeded the standard bus allotment and surely this is the end of it, right? But no, there's more!

It's a conspiracy to destroy American agriculture. The government is in on it. George W. Bush and Obama are both in on it.

"Well," I think, "it's nice to see some bipartisan conspiracy!"

Because Bush and Obama are both fascists, like Stalin and Mao--though it wasn't really Mao. Mao didn't do anything. It was all his wife, because Mao had Alzheimer's and his wife was secretly running things.

At this point, I have stopped my own writing and am just taking notes on what the doppelganger's saying. And remember, this is all in [ profile] matociquala's most reasonable voice.

The plot to destroy American agriculture and make it so nothing can ever grow again is apparently because the American public is too dangerous and they need to kill a lot of us off to keep us under control. You see, despite the apathy of the American public, they are afraid that we will rebel, since we're all armed and dangerous.

"Uh-oh," I think. "Crazy's armed!" I start paying more attention to exits etc.

"What?" the doppelganger says. "Oh, I have to be at work in half an hour, so we can talk for another twenty minutes."

Cue doppelganger trying to convince the other person that they should keep talking, while the other person is clearly trying to disengage.

The conversation ends with the doppelganger saying, in a bit of a huff, "If you want to read something, then go ahead!"
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (tender)
You know those little posturepedic pillows that people get to put against the small of their back when they're sitting in a desk chair? Well, I'm not sure how posturepedic the cat is, but he's sure giving it the old school try! He's being supportive of my writing in his own way.

The end.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (beauty)
Autumn leaves are floating straight up in the gap between our house and our neighbor's. Storm soon?
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (nonstandard spacetime)
While going through and cleaning up my Circus of Brass and Bone notes, I found this partial travelogue, from my visit back to see my parents right after they returned to the States. Yes, at times I do just type whatever into whichever document happens to be open on my laptop. Usually, these snippets get properly relocated a bit sooner than this, though!


The Greyhound station in Wichita, KS was moderately horrifying, but I rather expected that. I arrived early to get my ticket, as per instructions. There were power outlets in the back of the room, though none within reach of seats, so I sat on the floor, leaned against the wall, and worked on the read-aloud draft of episode 3 for The Circus of Brass and Bone. Nobody had cleaned that floor for quite some time. Cockroaches and dirt ringed the floor. I choose the cleanest place I could find. Generally, the station wasn't well-maintained. There was a clumsily handwritten out-of-order sign on the water fountain, and another on the handicapped bathroom specifying that it was for handicapped people ONLY. An old codger followed me to the back of the station and kept trying to talk to me, asking if I was in college. I guess it is the season for college students to be migrating, but nobody's thought me to be that young for a *while*. I said I was out of college, and he said, "Gosh, I thought you looked sixteen!" (Note: strange old men should not try talking to 16-year-old girls, either.) I guess I've just been hanging out in the wrong circles.

Then the Greyhound arrived. The driver gave a very long speech emphasizing that we should please stay on the bus except at the designated dinner stop, please, because every week people hopped off the bus and were left behind, and please, she didn't want us to be left behind, so please don't.

Ah, Kansas. Riding in the Greyhound across hours and hours of rolling plains. Hay bales and cows and small oil wells and yellow furze. The smallest variation becomes interesting. The water reservoirs (septic?) outside a countryside McDonald's, with a dozen geese enjoying a break on their flight south. A square mile or so of incongruous, out-of-place lake dotted by tree skeletons reaching up to the endless blue sky. A yellow sign warning not of deer, or pedestrians, or even Amish, but of thick clouds of black smoke (don't try to drive through them).
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Everything is black and white outside. Black winter branches outlined in white snow against a white sky. Black telephone wires against snow-covered roofs. A bobwhite hopping sideways up a tree trunk.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
It all started with a bit of writing research that I hadn't added to my notes and website yet. Then there was a recipe, and some things I needed to make payments on, and my livejournal writer blog rollcall. And somehow I had a dozen tabs open in Firefox, and I had to set them to come up every time I opened it, because I needed to deal with all these things.

That is how I wound up with tabs open for pumpkin cake recipes, winter boots, the Hennepin county library fine-paying page, vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, a D&D dice roller, my friends page, and the autopsy reports from Jack the Ripper.

I amuse myself sometimes.

But now--time to get rid of some of those tabs!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Today is Give-to-the-Max Day! Make a donation to a cause, a charity, or a donation-funded thing you use or enjoy. Don't forget all the "free" things that really aren't free at all. Maybe you use open-source software, or listen to a podcast, or really like a firefox extension, or listen to public radio. They really need your donations, too, and not all of them are as pushy about it as public radio.

I will not be giving today because that's generally a credit card activity, and I will be without a credit card for the next week, since a stranger used it to buy a one-way flight out of Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago and I just got the credit card statement. No other odd charges. They must have really needed to get out! So the card is canceled and I am awaiting a new one.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
I voted, hurrah! I am a precious snowflake (with a red sticker).

Seriously, pretty much everybody I am acquainted with votes and is mercilessly harassed by the others until they do. I wish there was a personal way to reach out to the whatever-percent who don't. Who are these people? Red stickers don't quite seem to be enough. Reaching outside the peer group has only been successfully done once, when I and the manager sent home a co-worker who "hadn't had time to vote." Unanimous response: "Um, you need to go now!" I work with a lot of poor, disenfranchised people, what can I say?

In the category of "best places to hit on quality people," I've gotta give the polling station props. As I approached, there was a charming gentleman who leapt forward to open the door. He seemed to be lurking around the polling station and being nice to random people. As I say, charming. And a damn good move. If you're looking for a certain caliber of mate, you could do worse than make the polling stations your hunting ground.

(This stream-of-consciousness post has been brought to you by NaNoBloMo--30 posts this month, and this is the 2nd.)


Jul. 5th, 2010 12:49 pm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
So, at one point recently I was desperate for some quick food, so I grabbed a Cliff energy bar. It was pretty tasty, chewy and chocolate-coated and all, so I was rather surprised when I turned it over and read the nutrition facts.

This bar had percentages of my daily allowance of things I didn't know there were daily allowances for:
* Biotin (10%)
* Phosphorus (20%)
* Magnesium (25%)
* Selenium (20%)
* Copper (15%)
* Manganese (35%)
* Chromium (10%)
* ....and, last but not least....Molybdenum (15%)

Apparently, all this time, I should have been eating my way through the periodic table...and I never even knew it.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
So, I e-filed taxes with HR Block. Then I got an email saying there was a problem with my return--name and birthday weren't matching up. I curse HR Block's software, sure that they screwed it up, but I call the SS administration to check. (By the way, contacting the SS at 8a.m. on Tuesday morning was super-fast. I wasn't really on hold at all. Awesome.)

Turns out that when I got married and changed my name, lo those many years ago, they also changed my birthdate. Oopsies! The SS administration thinks I'm 10 days younger than I used to be. And because I've been filing paper returns for the last nine years, I was never notified that there was an inconsistency.

This is funny except that now I have to fix it before I can file my taxes. Or I can file my taxes with the wrong birthdate, I guess. I'm not even sure where my birth certificate *is*! If I'm lucky, they'll accept a passport.


On a mostly unrelated note, I'm listening to this radiolab podcast about the impostor phenomenon, and it's weird and strange and sort of links to the social security thing, and I think there may be a story in there somewhere.


Jan. 12th, 2010 10:02 pm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • Mr. Persimmon nodded. "I know someone I can ask. Wait here." Carl sat among the packing crates to wait and pet the wiggling puppy. #nwm
  • Less-than-3 is either love, or a conehead mooning somebody.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • I *missed* Shadow Unit. Paranormal mystery meets serial killer profiling. Yum.
  • Coworker: "Good morning!" My inner thought, grimly: it would be a better morning with cinnamon rolls. (It's true!)
  • Dear Literary Magazines, It is not rude to put your pay rates in your submission guidelines. No, really, it's not!
  • -- Sleep deprived past 3 days. Now, a nap in hopes of staying awake 'til the new decade.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
Word to the wise: if you're making cornbread and run out of cornmeal, substituting shake 'n bake will work, but it may leave your cornbread oddly reminiscent of fried chicken.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • If I finish my work today (unlikely), I will make a snowman. And brownies.
  • Awesome vintage photos for those with a soft spot for polar bears:
  • Best headline of the day: "Hollywood counters reality with decade of escapism"
  • The Daily Show has a brilliant India segment today
  • Adopt a terrorist? Yes, as in "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
As I was editing "Writ in Snowflakes and Sunshine," I stumbled upon this critique of it, which is one of the most entertainingly eccentric critiques I've ever gotten.

Hi there Abra, just a breeze of thought, here, my initial impression
of your story; I guess more having to do with substance than its
technical layout.

To let go with feeling or to thaw and understand the ice of the
heart, so encapsulated and so cold, sometimes hard to define yet
structured language can be as ice, not allowing those deeper
meanings to appear and prosper amid the warming sun-lit art of paper
and pen, I see a young girl, frozen by image and transparent in her
attempt to understand and identify with her immediate surroundings.
Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

  • Loaned my crockpot to a friend, and the plug "exploded away from the back of the crockpot." o.0

cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • His workhouse sweetheart was the puppeteer for a panorama display of a young girl's adventures wandering the world in her new shoes. #nwm
  • Good thing I checked with Phil *before* sending a birthday card to his dead grandma.
  • The homechulus altered the story for the watcher. If a libertine, she'd nearly lose her virtue. If a nun, she'd pray in a cathedral. #nwm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • It's freeeezing at work. Purple fingernails. Next time I'm bringing fleece, fingerless gloves, and microwaveable grain bags.
  • Prescription: Nature. (SciAm)
  • Might have just arranged to purchase a bootleg of Ninja Assassin. Enjoying the uncertainty.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

  • Weird news: Man in hazardous materials suit breaks into pot-growing operation, flees, owners call police. Oops!

cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • "You own a homechulus," Carl managed to say around the sudden constriction of his throat. "I thought you were against them." #nwm
  • "So I do, and so I am. Our clients expect it. It's sadly necessary--like your homechulus horses. You could never afford real ones." #nwm
  • Slightly stunned there's a "Garden and Gun" magazine. It's Southern.
  • Grr. Phone line is down. Qwest Online wants mysterious "security code" *which they will call me with*. Double-grr.

  • And...a couple of minutes later--
  • Props to Qwest for tracking Twitter and offering tweet tech support!
  • Still no phone service, though.
  • Extremely surreal tattoo:


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Abra Staffin-Wiebe

March 2019

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