Scale is weird.

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Glacier Bay, Alaska. How incredibly beautiful is that?!

So I’m starting to see the beauty in blogging ahead. It took a lot of prep before I left for my amazing trip, but having the posts just quietly post by themselves was really fantastic.

Though, it’s pretty difficult to be spontaneous and talk about what’s happening now when planning ahead, and that’s kinda the thing here, so there’s that. Still, it’s good to keep in mind for future reference.

And speaking of beauty, how gorgeous was Glacier Bay? It was difficult to believe it was July, it was coat and hat and gloves weather. Sweet, clean air with that edge of coolness to it.  Refreshing, inside and out.

We couldn’t get off the boat in Glacier Bay, and it was tough to see just how big these glaciers are. Here’s a picture with a cruise ship for scale; I’m not sure it’s the same glacier, I’d have to do some forensic time matching, as the pic above is from my phone. Which is an excellent wide-angle lens.

I think it’s the same one.

Scale is something I had much time to think about way out there, where everything is huge and we are so tiny. Where even an enormous cruise ship looks like a dot. Where you can’t judge the distance, and all you can do is take in the view.

Things can feel smaller than they are; things can feel larger than they are; and all of that is relative to something else entirely. Usually us.

See what I mean? Would you believe me if I told you there were kayakers in that shot?

So I guess what I’m saying is sometimes things really are the glacier. Sometimes they’re the cruise ship.

But mostly, almost always, they’re the kayakers.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

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I’m BAAAAAAAAAAACCK!!

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So long Jane Storegoer, I’m back in Chicago and back at my blog. Well, back at my blog as of today; back in Chicago as of last Wednesday, far later than was intended, hour-wise, not day-wise. I was off in the wild Northwest, only it’s not so wild from a cruise ship. And then I saw Vancouver, that beautiful city in Canada surrounded by water.

It was a great trip.

There were whales (mediocre photos, probably), a few bears (no photos), and many eagles (maybe photos?) as well as glaciers and a fjord, and after I see if there’s anything worth sharing (shrug emoji), I’ll share.

The picture above was taken in the Yukon, or almost in the Yukon, we may not have yet entered Canada at that point. It was incredibly stunning. On the ship itself I had no cell phone reception and no WiFi, so I truly lived like the pioneers.

But with these amazing chocolate cream-filled donuts that I still dream about.

It was nice to take a break, to experience the world. Though the full-on effects of climate change are really apparent in Alaska.

That’s enough of a babble for today, but we have much to chat about throughout the week. And of course #AccountaClub will be back and totally accounty on Friday!

Happy Monday, all!

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 13, the EXCITING CONCLUSION!

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skull icecream colorized yellow pinkI’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

Like approaching thunder, the noise grew from both sides. Iris looked from one horizon to the other, and gave Jane a curt nod.

“Go,” she said.

“But don’t you need some help?”

“Barry and I have this.” Iris cast her pimento eyes in Barry’s direction.

“What? Don’t look at me, I’m just an ice cream cone.”

“And the cause of this whole problem.”

‘I can’t be held responsible,” Barry said, “I’m low-fat.”

The Meatniks chanted as they came closer, the sound rhythmic and harsh. Primal. The Tofuratti raised their asparagus spears.

“It’s now or never, Jane,” Iris said.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course. You don’t belong here. Next time you buy a vegetarian frozen dinner, think a fond thought of me.”

“I think I’m done with tofu,” said Jane. “And meat. And ice cream.”

“You can work out your diet later. Go!”

Iris was right, if she was going to make it to the drain, she would have to go now. Barry shuffled in the snow on the tip of its cone. “Bye Jane.”

“Whatever, Barry.”

“You have to admit this was more fun than going home and sitting in front of the TV and eating…well…me.”

The Meatniks crested the hill, all of them solid muscle, their march even and determined. The Tofuratti let out a battle cry.

“In the name of Soy!” they yelled together.

Giving Iris one final smile and Barry the finger, Jane wound herself up, and then sprinted, head down, through the soft, loose snow drifts. The yelling continued behind her as she ran toward the wall.

The drainage hole was higher than she thought. She eyed the ice covering it, tested an outcrop with a hand. It would hold.

Like scaling a freezing rock face, she made her way up slowly, right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot.

“Look out!” she heard and ducked instinctively as an asparagus spear splotched wetly against the wall. The crystal under her left foot gave way with her shifted weight, and she slid, the ice rough against her skin, but she caught herself.

She took a peek over her shoulder and saw a chunk of meat, hunkered and determined, heading in her direction. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and propelled herself upward.

Her hands landed inside the rounded bottom of the drainage hole and, using all the upper body strength she had — while wishing she’d done more pull-ups — she managed to get herself up and over the edge.

There was a screen. She curled up in the hole, trying to catch her breath, and caught sight of Iris mowing down and entire row of Meatniks, one bonking into the other and into the other.

Iris was probably going to be OK.

Barry was horizontal, trying to make itself as small as possible in the valley of two snowdrifts. Typical.

She rammed her shoulder into the screen. Nothing. She tried again. Nope. Turning, she gripped the edge of the drainage hole with both hands and boat-posed like she’d never boat-posed before, then kicked her legs as hard as she could. The screen fell.

And fell. And fell.

She hunched over, looking at the drop. She didn’t have a choice. She closed her eyes and jumped.

***

“You OK over there?” said Tim, the store’s owner.

“Huh?” said Jane. She was in a superhero kneeling position on the convenience store floor. She stood quickly, brushing off the dirt. The warm air prickled her numb skin. “Oh, I, um, dropped…something.”

“Find what you wanted in the freezer?” Tim stepped down from the rise behind the counter, and joined her over the clear case, where ice cream and frozen meat and frozen vegetarian meals lay willy-nilly. “Every time I turn around, this thing is a mess,” he said.

“Yeah,” said Jane, still dazed, vacillating between wondering if Iris made it or if she was crazy. Staring down into the freezer, she could have sworn she  saw a pimento wink.

It didn’t answer her question.

“I, uh, I don’t think I want anything,” she said, heading for the door.

“I understand,” said Tim. “That seems to be happening a lot lately.”

“Sorry,” said Jane, giving him a wave as she gave the door’s handle yank.

“Why are you sorry? I blame Barry,” Tim said.

***

I hope you’ve enjoyed your adventure with Jane! Moral of the story: always read the ingredients.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 12

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skull icecream colorized yellow pinkI’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

I ate some ice cream before I wrote this installment. You know. For inspiration and, uh, research.

***

Something Linda said stayed firm in Jane’s mind. Drain pan, thought Jane. Drain pan. A way out. And far off in the distance, she could see it, an indentation in the ice wall. She was getting out of here.

With a rhythmic rumble, the ground shook. “What now?” said Jane, her eyes on the path ahead, the path, she was sure lead to a freezer drain.

And her freedom.

Iris shook her blobby head. “Meatniks,” she said. “Damn Meatniks.”

“Meat–”

“Niks,” said Linda, “And you want to stay clear. Come along children,” she said to the twins, hopping back in the direction that they came. The twins laughed.

“Let’s race!” they said, waddling from stick to stick, getting some distance ahead of Linda. Linda stopped, and tracing a bare spot in the snow with its stick, turned back.

“If you had any sense, you’d do the same.” And then they were gone, the twins giggles growing fainter.

“Linda’s not wrong,” Iris said. “And not to pile on or anything, but things don’t look so great in the other direction either.”

While the solid beat of the coming Meatniks grew heavier, there was a definite squelching coming from the direction they had been. Jane couldn’t bear to look, and yet she couldn’t stop herself.

Yep. There they were. The Tofuratti.

“You know, there was a time when you splatted a piece of tofu and it stayed splatted,” said Iris. “But these days, with all the additives…you wouldn’t believe what they call ‘organic.'”

“You’re being awfully quiet, Barry. Nothing to say right now?” Barry swiveled on its cone, front and back and front again.

“Not really,” said Barry.

“Want to maybe zap me out of here?” Jane said. She could now see the gleam of the plastic packaging surrounding the Meatniks. They looked pretty solid. And mean.

From the other way, the Tofuratti bounced onward, scarred and lumpy and scrambled in parts. No question about it. They were trapped.

***

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 11

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skull icecream colorized yellow pinkI’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“Hang on, hang on,” said Jane. “If you are both gender-neutral–”

“We are!” said Linda and Barry in unison. They then glared at one another.

“Then how did you end up with…creamsicles?”

“Us, us, she means us!” said the twins. They giggled madly to one another.

“You see,” said Barry, glancing at the orange pair, who were hopping from stick to stick in a circle, “When an ice cream cone loves a popsicle–”

“Oh cut the cutesy,” said Linda, “We had a long, cold night together. We were both the last ones in our boxes, and it gets lonely in the freezer.”

“Right,” said Iris. “I think the the question, though, is a little more technical. If there’s no gender…”

“Can you people get your minds out of the drain pan for one second?” Linda blocked Barry’s path, shifting right as Barry shifted left; left as Barry shifted right. “All I know is I have two extra little ones to keep an eye on, and Barry gets to go galvanizing around, miniaturizing people again.”

Jane had made it a far distance down the path, but she stopped. “You’ve done this before?”

“Barry’s done EVERYTHING before,” Linda said. “Quite the full-fat lifestyle, if you ask me.”

“And what happened to them?”

“You want to tell them, Barry?”

“Tell them! Tell them! Them tell!” sing-songed the twins.

“It’s OK,” said Barry.

“Did you get them out of the freezer or what?” Jane stood very, very still.

“In a way.” Barry kept its eyes on the ground.

“In a way?” Jane said. “In a WAY?”

“This part of the freezer is weird,” said Iris. “Maybe I should go back and test my luck with the Tofuratti.”

“Uh-uh,” said Jane. “I need your help. I’m getting out of this place, no matter what it takes to do it.”

***

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 10

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skull icecream colorized yellow pinkI’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“Hello, Linda,” said Barry, mustering all of the cold dignity he could with a lopsided head. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Didn’t you?” Linda tilted on its wooden stick, a sneer of berry parts in its facial area. “Barry didn’t think it would see us here,” Linda called over its rounded shoulder to the small orange pair behind it, the two of them joined down the middle and hopping from stick to stick, giggling manically.

“HA HA HA,” said the one on the right.

“HEE HEE HEE,” said the one on the left.

“What the hell?” said Iris, her pimento eyes glowing under furrowed brows.

“My thoughts exactly,” Jane said. “Going to introduce us to your friends, Barry?”

“They’re not my friends.” Shooting a look as sharp as icicles, Barry hopped its way down the snow-covered path. The popsicles followed, Linda skating on the edge of its stick, right, then left, then right again; the connected pair wobbling from stick to stick.

“We’re not his friends,” the twins mocked in unison.

“What is your deal?” said Iris.

“I don’t care. I just want to get out of this place and back home.” Jane headed down the path behind them, the snow, in drifts, coming up nearly to her knees. It was soft, though, and light, lighter than any snow she’d seen before.

“Our deal?” Linda said. “Want to tell them our deal?”

“Not really,” Barry said, its attempt at ignoring them not working very well.

“Are you embarrassed of your little creamsicles?”

Everyone stopped exactly where they were, except for Barry, who, hop as he might, couldn’t get much distance.

“Your what?” said Jane.

***

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil: Part 9

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

With the soggy sounds of fighting behind her, Jane tried to process what her eyes were seeing.

It was beautiful.

There before her icy crystals heaped in their glistening glory, large enough to show off every intricate line. Forming mounds and then hills, and then finally peaks in the distance, they gave off a scent of fresh chill, like a cold morning before winter truly settles in.

Far beyond, in a white backdrop, a sheer wall of sparkling white stretched far up beyond where Jane could see.

“Sheesh,” said Barry. “You’d think you’d never seen the inside of a freezer before.” Its head was somewhat squashed and lopsided from its recent up-ending.

“What?” Jane tried to snap back from her wonder.

“It’s just the inside of a freezer,” it said, “and this isn’t my neighborhood, so I suggest we get–”

“Anyone miss me?” said Iris, her tofu gouged and nicked in a few spots, but no worse for the wear. She was holding the flap closed, the sound of wet splotches hitting the other side.

“Iris!” said Jane. “You fought them all off?”

“Extra firm my off-white behind,” she said. “Huh. This is pretty.” She nodded in the direction of the landscape.

“See?” said Jane.

“ONE MORE SPLAT AND I WILL MEAT UP THE JOINT,” Iris yelled through the cardboard.

The noise on the other side stopped.

She stood up, and brushed her wobbly hands against one another. “That’s what I thought. So, what’s the plan?”

“I’d like to get out of here and back to normal size,” Jane said. “Or nearly normal size, I wouldn’t mind dropping a pound or two.”

“And yet you tried to buy me to eat me,” said Barry.

“Hey!” Jane and Iris glared at Barry in unison.

“Seriously, let’s go, I don’t like it around here.” Barry hopped onward, determinedly, the tip of its cone sinking into the snow. But not fast enough.

“Well, well well. If it isn’t Barry, same old floppy-coned Barry,” came from a short distance away.

***

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.