Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My finger is still in its round-the-clock splint, three weeks having turned into six. Last week, the hand surgeon said that it was healing up well after what was probably a mallet injury, and that the ruptured tendon was getting stronger again and...wait, what? New injury, months after Suzuki-tastrophe 2010? Ruptured tendon!? I might have taken the whole thing more seriously if the word "rupture" had come up sooner. I probably would also have freaked right the f&*k out about it and irritated everyone close to me by waving my hand around and wailing in a play for sympathy and free beer. Mostly the latter. Maybe it's a good thing he didn't bring it up before last week.

When the splint is taken off, for five seconds so that he can put on a fresh one and retape it, my finger does look better. "Look, Dr. Schilling! It straightens out after I bend it. It looks almost as good as the right one."

"No, no-no-no-no. Leave it straight the whole time." He's a mild-mannered guy. That's as close to yelling as he gets.

"O.K., but I'm not bending it now. I'm just fluffing up the knuckle wrinkles so that they'll match the other pinkie..." I do not add "...because I am a weirdo," as I'm certain that he has already realized this. He redoubles his efforts to quickly lash a fresh piece of aluminum to my hand.

I couldn't stand being idle any longer, so I figured out how to knit with the splint covering half my pinkie. All I have do do is double-wrap the yarn around the base of it, and it doesn't seem to migrate up and get caught in the tape. Work resumes on Papeline!

Saturday, April 02, 2011


"Dark days, Sword-face. We've shipwrecked here on this desolate place, no friendly flag on the horizon for many a month. Without my sextant, I cannot but guess where we've landed. I foresee no return to the glory times."

"Cap'n, yer wallowin' terrible deep in the bilge. Chin up, sir! Always keep a weather eye on the horizon. Ain't that whatcha always say to us mates?"

"Aye, Sword-face, aye. But this time I be feelin' too low to lift my gaze o'er the rail. We've seen naught but hardship. My adornments have all shriveled and dried up, and there's no hope for their return. We be among the naked savage every day, threatened by the slavering beasties, wi' no hope of rescue."

"I dunno, Cap'n. This here ain't so bad. Warm air, dry land, and the companionship ain't lackin' in looks..."

"If ye be talkin' about the wench behind us, ye've proved yerself a fool, Sword-face. She don't e'en have a head. Not too companionable, if ye ask me."

"Well, sir, if ye asked me, I'd tell ye it makes her more companionable."

Hey! Watch it with that, boys.

"Oh, so ye've finally decided to come to our aid in our time of dire need? Awfully kind of ye, lass."

You know, Pirate Skull Planter, if I didn't know better I'd say that you were being sarcastic. And what's this naked savage business? I put you in the master bathroom because it was the brightest spot in the house and I put you up on the counter to keep Molly and Winston from knocking you around. We're not going to turn you toward the backsplash every time we get into the shower, you privateering prude.

"Ye couldn't have moved us when you moved the Greek wench onto the credenza? She made out a'right in that deal."

She's in a dark corner, near a heating vent. Not a hospitable climate for you, Cap'n. I thought being in the moist air for part of the day would be good for your "adornments", but they slowly died anyway. I am sorry about that, by the way. Clearly, I don't know how to take care of the easiest plants in the world to care for. Speaking of which...

"Might I inquire as to why we're havin' this impromptu reunion on the cask lid, then, lass? If we've all made berth where ye've seen fit to strand us, what devilry is afoot now?"

Speaking of which...

"I ain't too concerned about it, Cap'n. Long as the Greek wench ain't too far out of me line o' sight."

Speaking of which...

"Πάρτε αυτούς τους δύο ανόητους μακρυά από με!"

SPEAKING OF WHICH, I brought you all down here because I have a surprise for you. Pirate Skull Planter? You are a fine and true planter once more. I have once again voyaged to faraway lands for you, my good sir.

"Beyond the map? Ye don't mean...ye couldn't mean...the Straits of Martinez Home Depot?!"

Yes. After braving the Narrows of Self-Checkout and crossing the vast Sea of Asphalt Parking Lot, I have returned from this magical place with treasures. And I bought special air-plant adhesive and fertilizer, so that your finery will remain a source of pride for many a fortnight to come. I'm going to keep at this until I get it right, Cap'n.

"Lass, ye've made my black, miserable heart a little less dark. My apologies for th' insults and such."

"I ain't makin' no apologies. Seems to Sword-face that everyone's gettin' a good deal exceptin' for Sword-face."

Sword-face, you're not being left out of the dividing of the share. How would you like some adorning of your own? You've been a faithful mate to ol' Pirate Skull Planter for so long, and you've probably seen more travel than he has, since you came from the untamed lands of Treasure Island. You've earned it.

"Much obliged, ma'am! Aye, this ain't a bad day at all for Sword-face! I got this fancy headdress, I got to look up that pretty wench's dress, and the cap'n ain't in such a bleak mood no more. Ain't a bad day in any accounting."

"Μπορώ να πάω πίσω στο credenza, τώρα; Είχα αρκετών αυτών των δύο ηλιθίων."

I can't get you guys back to your home port, because the facilities manager...uh...harbor master says that we can't have plants in the office because their soil harbors pests, and I won't risk your safety by smuggling you in. It'd break my heart if he threw you out while I was away from my desk.

"Aye, but we be unsoiled, lass..."

He be a hard man, Pirate Skull Planter. There's no reasoning with him. Can you make go of it in this new place?

"Aye...but could ye perhaps turn us around some of the time when ye're indecently exposed to the elements?"

It's a deal, Cap'n. It's a deal.