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01/01 Direct Link
First entry, back in time 18 days. It's January 1, 2012. Made the jump okay, got banged up in the pod pretty good. Skip says they're gonna work out the kinks when we get home. “Gonna take time.” Skip don't get the joke: Time's all we got in this heap. Time and stink and when the cycle clears, a deafening noise like thunder inside-out. No, it ain't like thunder inside-out at all. That was me being poetic. Forget that part. Just that time travel's damn loud, at least in this bucket. Yeah, I can do 100 words easy.
01/02 Direct Link
Second entry, back in time 17 days. It’s January 2, 2012. I just left, it feels like, but just left when? I started this barrel drop on January 18, and then it was January 1, only now it’s January 2. So it is back in time 17 days, or is it ahead in time one day? You do the math. Screw it. I’m only here to fix the machine if it busts. I let Skip do the mission logic. The machine’s holding up pretty good so far; all of everything shows green. (Stinks real bad though.)
01/03 Direct Link
Third entry, back in time 16 days or ahead two. You could go nuts thinking this out. We busted a 15 amp fuse on this cycle, and the thunder sound took on a sideways-like aspect to it. Apparently you need all the 15 amp fuses plugged in, cause that extra part of the noise cuts right through ya in a real bad way. You don’t want that, believe me. I got a box of fuses down below. Looking for it now. It’s dark down here, and the smell even comes from here. Time travel ain't so great.
01/04 Direct Link
Fourth entry. Whatever day it is. I give. It's Stinkday, just like it was yesterday and yesterday to that and yesterday to that. Stink and noise and Skip and that way Skip combs his hair so it has that part to it on the left side — gotta be the left side, just so — because if you know anything about time travel you know you gotta keep your hair parted in it on the left side. Good for you, Skip. I ain't owned a comb since I was five and I turned out just fine, got me a real cush gig.
01/05 Direct Link
Day five in the bucket. We're making real progress. Got the port uncovered and we can see the whole sickening streak of eternity slime by, one day at a time. The colors match the cycle noise. Now Skip can't close the port cover 'cause they don't teach that at West Point. Jesus Christ. Kick it, Skip! Kick the damn thing! Here, lemme see. Jesus, those colors. Hang on, I gotta heave. I gotta... Well, shit, son, it already smelled bad down there. Whatta you care? Jesus H. OK. All we gotta do is torque that down. Yeah. That's — that's better.
01/06 Direct Link
Sixth entry. We hit something. Outside. It thumped us pretty hard, and we're pitched over a fair bit to the right. Kinda feels like we're skidding, like in a wide circle, in the night, on black ice. It's not a good feeling, but Skip says they'll work out the kinks back home. We just keep sliding in the dark in the same circle, pitched to the right, with noise and that smell, and Skip with his comb. You'd think his part would bend to match the curve and the slide and the constant falling sideways around and around and around.
01/07 Direct Link
Seventh entry. I hid Skip's comb. Took it off him when he was heaving. Wedged it behind the port cover, so it's got a front row seat to colors and shapes no comb was meant to see. Try to part that, you greasy plastic bastard! The tilt reversed all at once when I was catching Zs, so now we're listing to the left but near as I can tell slipping in the same exact long long circle that feels like falling to your death in the black in a busted up, pukey phone booth. Ha! Skip, you'll never find it!
01/08 Direct Link
Eight. I think. Is it January 8? We hit two more things, real hard-like, but it didn't improve our attitude. That's what Skip says. He thinks I don't get the joke. His hair still has that part, by the way, which amazes me, and I gotta admit I admire that determination in a head of hair. I went down below a while ago to see if I could figure out the tilt or find some earplugs or generally see what I could scrounge up. You know, I didn't notice the smell that bad, being in the thick of it.
01/09 Direct Link
NIne. Nine days or whatever in the time machine with myself and Skip. I don't know which of us I hate more. I don't know where he ends and me begins. Took apart the console an hour ago, curious to see how they got it wired, and Skip threw what I would call a bonafide shit-fit. Jesus H. Christ, it's only wires and PCB. I seen them plenty of times up close without breaking anything. "Oh, the ship this!" and "Oh, the ship that!" You shoulda heard him carry on. Did me good, getting Skip's goat, I gotta admit.
01/10 Direct Link
Ten! That's gotta count for something in the annals of sitting around with your thumb up your ass. Gave Skip back his comb. I took a little pity on him. He ain't got nothing else in the whole world without it. Heard him cryin' in his sleep last night. I wonder what secrets his comb is tellin' his head about what it seen out the window, or if maybe now it's a crazy comb, lost its mind out there amid the colors. I wouldn't comb my head with it, though, I can guaran-damn-tee you that. Guaran-damn-tee.
01/11 Direct Link
Eleventh entry. We're over the hump to getting home, or maybe we passed it a day or two back. I dunno. On the 18th we slide our ass back to reality, cycle-bang-sis-boom-bah. Hero's welcome, warm bath, maybe look into a little sweet encounter. In the meantime, though, I got me a job to do, and today's the day I do it. I gotta torque that big bolt on the ceiling (now the left wall, practically) one quarter turn to the right. Then I gotta log that I took that action in my log book. Cush gig!
01/12 Direct Link
Twelver. Big one-two. Tee-welve. Torqued the bolt, wrote it down. Today I gotta torque it back opposite, also a quarter turn, only I don't have to log that in my log book. I probably will though, as there ain't jack shit else to do in a time machine, leastaways this time machine. It's a big wrench, a one-incher, and it occurs to me it would make a damn stronger defined part in a man's head than would a cheap-ass drugstore plastic comb. I see nothing in my checklist, neither, about having to log such an action.
01/13 Direct Link
Thirteenth entry. January ... something. Ship now upside down. Still sliding around, I guess, I don't feel no slide, and ain't in days, but that don't mean we ain't slidin'. So the upshot is that there's nothing to sit on except the ceiling, where the only thing stickin' up is that one-inch bolt, and so that's what we've taken to calling the dining room table. We don't eat off it, of course. We just call it that. Also, all the slop from what was belowdecks has runnelled "up" the hatch to join us on the ceiling. You just gotta laugh.
01/14 Direct Link
Eff Oh You Are Tee Ee Ee En. That spells 14. That's the day we're on. That's the number of cycle-bangs, flipararounds, slidey-slops, stinky barfs, circut snaps, amperage raisins, Cinderallas, bluegrass dynamo country bumpkin shower stall Eskimo's we've been up against since January 18, 2012, the year of our Lord. Our Lord outside, who doth make the slop to streak and shine in screaming, pulling colors. That's more fingers than I got fingers! Ain't seen Skip in who knows how long. Ain't seen Skip. He wasn't at breakfast. He wasn't at lunch. Skip, you God-damned coward; dinner!
01/15 Direct Link
Fifteen. The machine busted somewhere in its innards, and I gotta climb up the slop hatch with a full tool belt to track 'er down. I looked apart the console though, figuring maybe Skip was holed up in there hidin' among the wires, but he warn't. Plus he'd hafta be reeeeal small to squoze up in there, so it was maybe not my finest hour of thinking. I made as big a nest in there as I could for him, on off-chance he does want to come back from his hiding place and move into the console. Well, upwards.
01/16 Direct Link
Sixteen. Day 16. I added one to yesterday and it comes up 16. We're still going forwards, so it's positive one to the old number. Sixteen. I caught a blow to the head, I think, plus I got a knife in my back from somewhere. It hurts a little. I can't see too good; I'm in the belowdecks, now up top. I'm sealed up. Skip! Skip's out there somewheres. Skip! Did you get a knife in you too? Can you hear me? Skip! Are you down there! Stay in the console, Skip, I'll come find you, good buddy! Don't fret!
01/17 Direct Link
Oh Dear Lord, 17 and I can't find Skip nowheres in the top of the bucket. The hatch won't give and I don't hear Skip crawlin' around the dining room. He must be holed up in the console, waitin' fer aid. I gotta bust out of here. Skip, you West Point son of a bitch! You combin' your hair in the colors? Stay clear the port! Your comb went bonkers, buddy! you gotta put it down! (I blame myself.) Comb! Comb! You gotta think this through, man! It's me you want! I did it! Comb! It's me! It's me! It's—
01/18 Direct Link

January 18, 2012. Preliminary checks confirm field integrity. Standing by the Captain's order for cycle and departure.

Proud of my men for their work, long hours, personal sacrifice. This jump back a mere 18 days will validate all our theories of sliptime. We will greet the future and the past as eager and unrivaled explorers, conquering heroes of time-space and idea-legend.

Getting ahead of myself. Still excited we caught the pod January 1; in moments we'll cycle, the field will release us back in time, and we'll emerge as the world's first time travelers.

—Aye, Skip; cycle aye!
01/19 Direct Link

To run through tall grass, chasing the rabbit out of whipping shadows, you can't imagine it. You don't have the teeth to smile it. 

Scent that! Go, go, go, smell the eyes! There, and — there! Closer (so warm, so good) Turn now? Turn now? She'll turn. She'll turn there. If she slips, she'll slip there. She'll want — yes, the down place. Over it! Oof. Sand. Different. Different run. Gouge and run, gouge and run, where —

Whistle? Whistle! House-woman whistles! I'm coming! Ranger's coming home! Can of food! Can of food! Straight home! Want the slidey floor! Home! Home!
01/20 Direct Link

You growled? (Yes, I growled.) You snarled? (Yes, I snarled.) You bit? (Of course I bit. Of course.) You bit the man? (Forgive me.)

Audacious. There is no other word for it. Simply audacious. 

My lords and ladies, here stands, with tail rightly twixt his legs, a self-avowed biter. Of the man! Of the man! Let that sink in, if you will. (But I—) Enough! 

Oh, the defendant will proffer his "reasons." Yes: the "chain." The "con-di-tions." The poor quality of the man’s cuisine! An occasional whip; yes, how novel: that a dog should know suffering...

—Sinner!

01/21 Direct Link
The sham of a trial. 

Night falls hard on a dog house. You only got your own ass to keep you warm. You ever slept on concrete? You ever cried all night? 

A dream: When the great man's hand appeared I regarded it: Up! Up! And he skritched me. I never bit, never bit; even when the hand struck.

They called me a sinner. Me! A good boy. I know I am. I was called good boy, once. Before the man. "Good boy, who's a good boy; you are yes you are."

That's who I am. 

—Forgive me!
01/22 Direct Link

Shunned. Nipped from the pack. Out.

My head hung; my tail tucked. ("Sinner!") A hundred who’s a good boys ride me in a gantlet of slick snouts, bared canines, flattened ears, barrel chests. A hundred collared throats growl me for dead, for cat.

Here a pup runs out from from the line, rudely yaps my paws, pisses, and is barked back inside. 

...

A dream, my first night twitching in the mossy, whining, new moon copse:

"The apartment? Oh, it's fine. Plenty of rug, ample couch. Warm by the stove, and there's food. But they took me to the vet, see..."

01/23 Direct Link

River-rounded graveyard of Pocumtuck and the Mohawks, ransomed English, hand-skilled Germans, tap-and-die men, our fathers and ourselves. Twenty-two square miles, and Franklin County’s seat. 

Did you see? From where, Shelburne? From where, Northampton? Greenfield stood up, slapped its open space, scratched its infilled crusty hide—

—and soared! 

The suck of it, the slop. We heard the church bells then, and groaning steel with kettled pipes and fading car alarms. Bounced out as an afterthought: 100 nail salons.

Next day’s papers disagreed: Call-Clarion: “Obama’s Fault?” The Valley Times: “A City in Transition.”

01/24 Direct Link

My tender brain. Working it too hard. Editing, rewriting, rethinking, looking things up, throwing things out, starting things over, where I can. And not just work, but (yawn) my life, that bigger thing I publish. What new ground can I break in that spent metaphor? None. But as I say, my brain hurts. One of those headaches forming behind my eyes, threatening to flower. Took a nap tonight. Hoped to lick it in the pillow, mulch it under, come back fresh by midnight. Plant a little something hundred-wordy: a fruiting tree, a vine. Something to feed me later.

01/25 Direct Link

John David Snyder (born Flip Wilson Snyder on February 20, 1968) is an American philosopher and computer typer. He holds the record for consecutive shoutings, from memory, the full text of Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine (1958), by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams, complete with ISBN, Library of Congress and copyright information.[1]

An avowed philanthropist [citation needed], Snyder helped raise funds as a school-sponsored March of Dimes “Walkathon” walker at a 1982, netting the charity $30 in its fight against Lupus.[2]

The subject of a popular 2007 profile on Animal Planet’s “Cautionary Tales” special, [Cont’d.]

01/26 Direct Link

—Snyder inspired the "Quit it, bears!" Internet meme.[3]

Early life

Snyder was born in Olive Garden, New York. The 17th son of a prosperous subway flautist and his Arctic-explorer wife, Snyder was educated at Brooklyn's prestigious Waldbaum's supermarket on Flatbush Avenue, where he evinced early genius for produce.[4] Afterward, he tutored under Leon Oysterstrasse, Mayor Ed Koch's chief speechwriter's valet, in nutmeg.[5] 

Career

On his 19th birthday, Snyder was admitted to the court of King Rockford V. Snootertoot of Central Park, where he advised on matters of allergens, cosmology and paprika, a kind of allergen. [Cont’d.]

01/27 Direct Link

 — War in Europe failed to occur, stymying Snyder's chances for advancement to the court at Leipzig, so he remained in Central Park, increasingly bitter, his health shattered by sneezing.

In 1988 Snyder began the first of his Lectures, holding forth on metaphysics and art from atop a pile of coats on the 102nd floor observation deck at the Empire State Building, craning his neck to address, exclusively, the many television and radio antennas bristling from the top of the structure.[6] 

In 1990, with the death of his father, Snyder inherited a large box of mustard packets[7], and [Cont’d.]

01/28 Direct Link

— parlayed this into the guest editorship, in July of that year, of Condiment! magazine, then under ownership of M. Mussels Royce. Snyder and Royce famously never saw eye to eye on editorial direction [citation needed], particularly Snyder's decision to immediately shutter operations, and the magazine folded.[8] 

The 1990s

During the 1990s, Snyder contributed 77 pieces to Partisan Review, each of them essentially the same blistering critique of the Fish character in Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, [9] whom he felt to be “...either a fascist stooge of Orwellian proportions, or else a hapless fish in a bowl.”[10] [Cont’d.]

01/29 Direct Link

— From January 27 through June 1, 1991, protesting the New York Giants defeat of the Buffalo Bills in the NFL's Super Bowl XXV, Snyder restricts his diet to meals taken at a Midtown Sbarro’s.[11] 

On March 1, 1994, South Africa cedes Walvis Bay to Namibia. In protest, Snyder takes a cashier’s job at the United Nations gift shop, performs well [citation needed], is offered a raise, then quits. Late night host Dennis Miller seizes on the imbroglio, calling Snyder “Walvis Bay’s answer to Xiao-Mei Zeng, M.D., but lose the OshKosh, Sunshine.” [12] [Cont’d.]

01/30 Direct Link

— From 1995 to 1999, Snyder undertakes "A Hound Named Blue," a country ballad he hoped would encapsulate his feelings about the May 1, 1995, election of Jacques Chirac to the French presidency.[13] However, on a Denny’s comment card, Snyder finally laments "[The ballad] is too raw, too American, in terms Theodore Roosevelt would understand, to commit to the page, the voice, all that. Give me a railroad!"[14] 

On December 22, 1999, Snyder wakes from a dream that anticipates the Year 2000 computer problem, and resolves to learn COBOL to "see what I could do to help."[15] [Cont’d.]

01/31 Direct Link

The coins? Portents of change, no pun intended. You're in a library, stand-in for a writer's mind; you and your dream self, she given to stroke the spines. T.R. is there: benign martial figure from the past, passionate orator, champion of the conservation of Lady Columbia’s woodlands, wetlands, wilds. T.R. accepts your gratitude but does not require it. Unfinished business? Bully, I say! The coins, again: sacrifices one makes to cast off. Everybody's got to pay the ferryman. 

The floor, of course, represents Shaw Floors. Double the warranty of your new Shaw carpet with Shaw’s eco-friendly TripleTouch cushion.