|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:00 pm: |
1. Because I was covered in Banana Mush.
2. Because the most interesting conversation I'd had that day went something like:
Baby: Hooo. Hooo. Hjerl.
Mommy: Hooo. Hjerl.
3. Because the cats weren't speaking to me, since I had introduced a Tail Puller into their peaceful household.
4. Because my husband, who has somehow managed to find a job that combines his backgrounds in Philosophy, Biology, and Tinkering, had spend an evening talking to me about microtubules.
5. Because a recent response to an agent had begun, "I'm so sorry it's taken me three months to answer your email . . ."
6. Because, with one thing and another, I hadn't been to a convention in most of a year.
But I think it was the Banana Mush that did it, really. I've never liked bananas.
So I'm hoping that someone, out there, will talk to me about something other than microtubules. Hooo.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:06 pm: |
These "microtubules" of which you speak, Mrs. Goss--perhaps you could tell us more about them?
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 02:43 pm: |
I want to hear more about the banana mush, myself.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:07 pm: |
Theodora: Hope you have fun here. I noticed you mentioned microtubules. I guess your husband was talking about the Hameroff and Penrose stuff? The locus of consciousness? I mention this because I've been researching this idea for a story for quite a while now. Would really like to talk to someone about it.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:39 pm: |
Hi Jeff! Someone was looking for you. Big brown eyes, bushy tail? Reminded me of a Japanese Flying Squirrel . . .
Once upon a time, there was a banana who lived happily with her mother and all of her aunties, on a tree in Florida. One day . . . No, I can't continue. I'm not a horror writer, and with a title like Banana Mush, you know this can't end well.
I remember being told two stories when I was a child. One was told to me by my grandfather, every night when he wanted me to fall asleep. It was about three little pigs, who went on a very long journey and had very boring adventures (the better to make me fall asleep, I guess), so boring that I don't remember any of them. The second was told to me by my mother, when I didn't want her to cut my nails. It was about a little monkey who (predictably) didn't want his nails cut. His mother agreed not to cut his nails, and they grew so long that he mushed all his bananas and became very hungry indeed. (I never understood how this story applied to me, since I ate with a spoon . . .) As you can see, Banana Mush appeared early in my life, and probably remains an important subtext in all of my literary works . . .
And to the other Jeff:
You're evil. (Nice, but evil.) Turns out Kendrick is actually scheduled to meet Hameroff next month. He just pulled a copy of Penrose's Shadows of the Mind off the shelf. He says he'd be happy to talk to you. Send me your email address, and I'll put the two of you in touch! (I've made my name on this post emailable. I hope it works? If not, let me know and I'll just post my address. I can't possible get more spam than I get already . . .)
(And apologies for calling you the Other Jeff. Because in fact the other Jeff might be the Other Jeff. It's hard to tell in this light . . .)
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:29 pm: |
He's the imposter, I'm the real one.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:36 pm: |
Welcome to the boards, Dora! You may be pleased to hear that we don't serve bananas here (let alone fling them, mushed or whole, at people), although you may have to dodge the occasional Japanese flying squirrel and the inky discharges of an outraged giant squid every once in a while.
There are no talking cats that I know of, but there are what appear to be a couple of dogs and a penguin blessed with the gift of human language. With luck, you may be able to avoid them altogether.
By the way, I don't trust either of the Jeffs and neither should you. Don't forget to wear your aluminum foil beanie at all times, they can mess you up with their evil mind rays before you can say "Jeff was in my head and tracked strange toughts all over the rug." Don't say I didn't warn you.
Jason Erik Lundberg
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 08:14 pm: |
I don't have any cool microtubule anecdotes to share; I just wanted to welcome you to your own cozy corner of the Night Shade Board, Dora!
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 09:51 pm: |
Many thanks for the Aluminum Foil Beanie link. I've been having problems with mind control, and the echinacea just doesn't seem to be helping . . . It's lovely to join the menagerie!
Thanks, Jason! I'll be hanging chintz curtains soon! (Something floral, to go with battleship gray.)
P.s. for Luís: I've recently added a strange poem by Ernest Dowson to Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre. I'll try to write about it, and some other additions, tomorrow.
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 07:56 am: |
Ah, the dreaded banana mush! I can't count the times I had to scoop that off the floor, walls, table, my shirt... Does your kid smile when they do this to you? Mine has the most evil little grin.
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 09:11 am: |
I've missed seeing you at conventions.
Welcome to the BB. It's a usually good-natured one compared to some others I'm on :-)
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 09:57 am: |
Today I think I'm the Evil Jeff. Sometimes I'm the Other Jeff, too.
Are you working on any fiction, Dora?
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:33 am: |
Hi Neil! She has the sweetest smile. And next thing you know, it's Banana Mush all over.
Hi Ellen! Many thanks. I'll be at Worldcon, and am thinking of World Fantasy, but they're so close together. I don't know if I can make both.
Jeff, are you sure? Did you wake up this morning thinking of world domination? (Like I needed to ask . . .)
Um, sort of on the fiction. Sent two stories out last week, and finished the page proofs for the story to appear in Polyphony. Mostly I'm revising stories I started B.B. (Before Baby), including one inspired by one of Ellen's projects that grew until it became almost unmanageable. So I hope to have stories circulating in the next few weeks. New fiction, you ask? Ah, don't ask me that.
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:43 am: |
You do realize now that scholars yet unborn are going to be looking for the banana mush subtext?
Sounds like a Ludlum thriller: The Bourne Conspiracy, The Banana Mush Subtext...
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 12:16 pm: |
If you have to choose, come to World Fantasy--it's always smaller and I'm GOH !!
I never get to talk to anyone at Worldcon. too big and spread out.
So am I going to see the story that was/is meant for one of my projects????
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 06:55 pm: |
Jack pointed his semi-automatic at Lotus Flower. "Come on," he said, "what do you know about Banana Mush?" She smiled at him from under long black lashes. He couldn't help it: a drop of sweat ran down his forehead. That night in Bangkok . . . If he'd known about Banana Mush, he would never have returned to the Agency. "Anwer me!" he said. Suddenly, he felt a cold shiver on the back of his neck. Why was she smiling?
--The Banana Mush Conspiracy
Ellen, that's certainly incentive to attend World Fantasy! (Worldcon is a subway ride away from me this year, so it's an easy choice.) Yes and yes and yes on the story! I just need to find a few days to finish it . . .
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 03:46 am: |
I wouldn't mind hearing about the cats and the dreaded Tail Puller, either.
(BTW, it was nice meeting you at Albacon awhile back. Don't feel bad if you don't remember-I was just another starry-eyed newbie.)
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 07:00 am: |
I should have known, I should have been listening to the faint hiss of the ventilators, but it was far too late. I lost sight of Lotus Flower's face. I lost sight of everything, except for that enigmatic smile, floating in the air like a white cloud borne on the heady, intoxicating scent of banana mush...
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 07:22 am: |
I actually have a banana mush story, which I had somehow forgotten about. It's actually a banana smoothie story, but that's close enough.
I used to share an office with a graphic designer for our company. She liked to make banana smoothies and bring them into the office in a metal thermos.
Well, one Monday I walked into our office and saw all of this *stuff* on the ceiling over her desk. I also saw *stuff* all over her monitor. It was a brownish-yellow. Goopy stuff.
My first thought, looking at it in amazement, was that my co-worker had projectile vomited all over the office and then fled in embarrassment.
On closer inspection, and finding a dent in the ceiling tiles, I gradually came to realize the truth. My co-worker had left a closed thermos of banana smoothie on her desk over the weekend. The banana had fermented and the pressure had blown the thermos top off, spewing fermented banana smoothie all over her monitor and the ceiling. And the walls. The dent in the ceiling was from the cap of the thermos, which had hit the ceiling tile with considerable force.
I mean, there was literally brown-yellow banana smoothie spackling the wall on my side of the office, a good 10 feet away. So it must have gone off like a bomb.
The somewhat annoying, if humorous thing, is that one of my company's managers walked by before my co-worker came in, and even though the mess was clearly on her side of the office, he looked at me and just shook his head and walked off, as if to say, "VanderMeer--you get up to the strangest things..."
And that is my banana mush story. To this day, the ceiling tile in that office is discolored.
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:14 am: |
i went to work two days ago with a mouth-print of banana mush on my arm. took me till noon to figure out why people were smiling at me like i was a retard.
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:27 am: |
In a slightly more insane world, someone would suggest an anthology of banana mush stories...
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:40 am: |
Maybe that was the real reason Lotus Flower was smiling. Our hero didn't hear the banana smoothie ticking just inches from his feet.
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:17 am: |
Dear Richard and Jeff,
Thank you for revealing what I had long suspected, that Banana Mush is indeed a Weapon of Mass Destruction. I'm sorry to write that our neighborhood Wraps Etc. serves banana smoothies. I suggest a preemptive strike. General Parks, if you could raise the alert level to magenta? General VanderMeer, if you could draft every man, woman, and adolescent in this country with an overdue parking ticket? It's time the Department of Motor Vehicles became a branch of the Marines. I'm on my way to a secure, undisclosed location. Don't be fooled, the "You have reached the Pine Hills Golf Club" message is just a decoy. Good luck, gentlemen.
For this glorious country of ours, and apple pie,
Barth, it's what all the cool people are wearing this year!
Melissa, I have fond memories of Albacon, which was the very first convention I ever attended! More to come on Tail Puller and the Cats. (At the moment, Tail Puller, the mighty heroine of a thousand battles, is blessedly asleep!) This is an epic sage, which will take some thought.
And I so have to finish my page proofs!
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:19 am: |
Epic saga, epic saga.
So, what do you think that means, in Freudian terms? That I have an herbal fixation?
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:32 am: |
hey Dora! just popped over here and saw you had a message board. so happy to see you hanging around! hope the baby is well (banana mush excluded), and the husband (microtubules excluded), and the writing.
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:12 pm: |
Not banana mush (trying to resist calling on authors for the anthology VanderMeer said someone insane should put together...I'm sure that's EXACTLY what he said) but I had an experience with orange juice virtually identical to Jeff's.
Right after college I spent a year drunk with the guy who was eventually my best man. He used to take out frozen orange juice concentrate and set it on the counter to thaw. One time it was placed on the counter and promptly forgotten.
Later we were watching TV and head a loud pop and the sound of liquid splattering on the floor.
It was approximately two or three days after the concentrate had been set out. The building fermenting pressure on the inside of the can finally was enough to blow the top off.
There was concentrate everywhere. On the ceiling, the stove, the walls, the floor, it was like some bad horror movie special effect.
BTW, glad to see you here. Best of luck with the page proofs. (what are you reading this for when you have page proofs due?)
|Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:31 pm: |
Albacon was my first Con too-I was giddy all weekend.
I invented Banana Glue once.
I was supposed to be making Banana Instant Breakfast, with 2 cups of milk. We only had 1/2 cup, so I made up the difference with vanilla ice cream.
I whipped the mess in a blender, stuck in a spoon, and...
It chewed like gum. Took forever for my mom to get it out of the blender.
|Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 10:05 pm: |
Yesterday, while I was feeding my girl Peach Sauce, she sneezed. Result: Peach Rain. In a fine layer, sort of like a day in San Francisco that can't decide between misting and raining.
(Chris! So long since I've seen you. Are you coming to Worldcon?)
(John, just thought you'd like to know that the page proofs went out! So, is that going to be an open anthology? Because I've got a sort of Lovecraftian homage, sort of a Cthulhu meets Banana Mush story. You'd like it, I promise . . .)
|Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 10:33 pm: |
I'll be in Japan by the time Worldcon comes around, so I'm afraid I won't see you for some time now. I'm not sure when I'm coming back. Wow, suddenly this feels like a breakup letter. ;-) But seriously, I'm going to teach English there for a year, maybe two if I like it. Hopefully by the time I get back, we'll have a different commandante. heheh. But I'm going miss seeing people at cons and such SO much! Glad to hear the baby is good and that you're revising stories, and congratulations on the reprints in the upcoming year's bests. I read the story in Alchemy, but the only Polyphony I haven't got yet is the one with your story in it, so I'll grab it up before I leave the country.
|Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:29 pm: |
I understand if you just want to be friends . . .
Seriously, it sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Though we'll miss you! Now I'm doubly sorry I wasn't able to make Wiscon. Are you going to keep up your journal? I want to hear about your adventures in Japan!
(I don't know how the Polyphony story will be received . . . I wrote the first draft long ago, then revised and revised and revised. So it's in a different style than what I've been writing lately. But I guess a writer should never second-guess her story.)
So, are you planning a novel with a Japanese setting?
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:49 am: |
Hi, Dora! I'm glad you now have this outlet for literary and miscellaneous communications.
I remember banana mush. Our daughter (at just under 16 months) is past that stage and is now in the yogurt hair mousse stage. Lovely, just lovely. . ..
Happy rearing and writing! :-)
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:33 am: |
Hey Dora, most definitely am I going to keep up my journal. I'll probably be using it to post lots of pictures from Japan too. No Japanese-oriented novel in the works yet, though I'm sure there will be after a while. At least stories. I actually plan on writing a novel set in small town Ohio while I'm living outside Tokyo. I keep wondering what that's going to be like. Probably a sheer denial of the reality around me. heheh
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:45 pm: |
Tail Puller and the Cats
On the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two thousand words of my latest literary endeavor, The Tail Puller Chronicles. This is the first in a projected seven-volume series. The first image you will see is the cover art for Volume I, Tail Puller and the Cats, in which Tail Puller battles the Cats and saves civilization. The image itself depicts the most important battle scene in the novel, where Tail Puller and Night Claw engage in one-on-one combat for the Blanket of Oblivion.
The second image is the cover art from Volume II, Tail Puller and the Cats Battle the Troll King. In this image, Tail Puller is engaged in deadly combat with the Troll King, who rides to battle in his terrible Car of Death.
This is the first time I've tried to upload images, so please don't laugh (too loudly) if I end up with "Your Image Here" icons . . .
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:53 pm: |
Hi Eric! I'm looking forward to the yoghurt hair mousse stage. It just sounds so--yummy! (At the moment, she doesn't have much hair, as you can see above.)
Chris: I wonder if writing about Ohio while you're in Japan will, in a sense, make Ohio seem like a strange and foreign place. (I know, I know. It probably already is.) I'll be following your journal!
|Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:35 am: |
Aww...I'm not sure who's cuter! Thanks for posting that,
(I'm hardly the one to laugh if someone's picture doesn't post. Check out the "Cat People" thread under F&SF for proof. ;))
|Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:37 pm: |
Melissa: I like the "Cat People" thread! And what a lovely Maine Coon.
|Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 03:35 am: |
Thanks! She's a little fuzzy in the thinking department (as well as everywhere else), but she's a sweetheart.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 09:57 pm: |
Now we are six.
Robert Burke Richardson
|Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 11:34 pm: |
^That's a strangely handsome cat. I'm sure he will be missed. He reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman.
|Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 07:29 am: |
Condolences on the loss of Robert. It always hurts to lose a friend of any kind.
|Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 08:17 am: |
I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Robert. Jeff and I lost our cat Pretty Ugly (yes, that was his name) last November and we still miss him terribly. You are in our thoughts.
|Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 09:33 am: |
Dora, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. It's totally traumatic, I know.
|Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:37 pm: |
Oh, I'm sorry. What a beautiful cat.
|Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 03:54 am: |
To Jeff Ford re the Hammerhof/Penrose stuff on microtubules, yeah pretty controversial stuff there. As far as dualist models of the mind/brain go, also check out the work of Karl Pribram, namely his holographic brain theory. Very much on the same track as Penrose/Hammerhof but actually goes much further than their Orch-OR model.
Also the work of Nobel Laureate John Eccles and Karl Popper's dualist model of the mind/brain is likewise an anti-reductionist model.
And let's not forget John Lilly here, he also came up with an anti-materialist model for human consciousness. The protaganist in Paddy Chayevsky's ALTERED STATES, played by William Hurt in the movie, is based on John Lilly. Famous for his studies on dolphins and sensory deprivation in flotation tanks.
There is much more way-out scientific (and I do mean scientific here, really) data out there on the strangeness, phenomena and capabilities of the human mind that stretch the bounds of credibility/believability and even surpass them. But this forum is not the place to really bring it up, because frankly SF writers and fans are for the most part fairly conservative (which is not a bad thing at all) when it comes to the sciences. And I don't want to start a whole flaming over arguments on certain controversies in the sciences.
|Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:54 pm: |
Many thanks! He was a wonderful cat, and like Neil Gaiman had his own following (often, of people who said they didn't like cats but liked Robert).
Ann, I'm sorry to hear about Pretty Ugly. I've had cats as long as I can remember, so I've lost several, and it never gets any easier, and you never get over any of them, I think.
The other cats are still acting out their discomfort (Cordelia, the youngest, won't stop chewing the corners of bills).
Oh dear. I can't think of a way to end this message. We're just sad, is all.
|Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 11:45 pm: |
Oh I'm so sorry to write late condolensces, Dora, but I am, and I'm sorry about Robert. He looks so sweet. Now I'm cuddled up with my Hobbes, who I won't see for a year or more and feeling terribly depressed and unfit to be his person.
|Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:08 pm: |
Thanks, Chris! There's no such thing as late condolences, I think .
Is Hobbes named for the philosopher, or the Calvinball champion? And how are preparations for departure?
On a more cheerful topic (Banana Mush), Ophelia has now learned how to make what I believe is called a raspberry while she eats. (Since I learned English when I was seven, I missed some useful first grade words and concepts.) We're now into the squash and sweet potato phase, and since I usually wear something dark, the effect is rather Jackson Pollock. I can't wait for her peas and yoghurt period.
(Am I right about the word? Kendrick, Mr. Born-on-the-Fourth-of-July-and-My-Ancestors-Fought-with-Washington, who should know these things, says he's not sure.)
|Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:26 pm: |
Susan Casper and Gardner Dozois had a cat names Hobbes. I think Shawna McCarthy does or did too. Seems to be a popular name.
|Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:15 am: |
That's the word for the sound no one knows how to spell, yes. ;)
|Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 10:54 pm: |
"That's the word for the sound no one knows how to spell, yes. ;)"
|Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:32 am: |
Hi, Dora--Nick Gevers here, he of LOCUS and PS and so forth. I'd just like to say I loved your story "Miss Emily Gray" in ALCHEMY 2--quite brilliant, and on my September LOCUS Recommended List...
|Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 05:56 pm: |
I'm so glad you liked "Miss Emily." When my Locus comes in the mail, the first thing I always do is turn to your and Rich's reviews, to see what you've liked that month--and then I try to track down some of the stories!
I hope you don't mind--we used your review of "Professor Berkowitz" in connection with the chapbook. It was just such a great review.
Now I'm really looking forward to the September issue . . .