Saturday, December 31, 2005

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot and a Brief Respite

I give up. I guess it's a good sign Alex does not speak lunatic, but still. She just handed the letter over and raised an eyebrow. Then I stared at the thing for a few minutes while that big vein in my forehead throbbed some more. After counting to twenty, I got it together, mildly.

"This is my fault. I told the fruitbat that I'd talk to the tech guy. She must've bugged Kenny or called Carolyn, or something, and found out it was you. Would you excuse me?" Luckily, Alex seemed to be shrugging this off pretty well, as far as I could see.

So I went into the bathroom to make a quick call, although I'm afraid I may have raised my voice a bit while doing it, especially when I was trying to get the happy harpy to stop her shrieks of laughter. It really didn't occur to her what may have been going on before, but once she pieced it together, it was loony-tune Christmas. She was still snickering when she said "Happy New Year, chump" and hung up.

Coming back out, I told Alex, "I'll see her later in the week. You don't have to come, unless you want to. Which you probably really don't."

She just gave a noncomittal "We'll see," and shrugged. "So, what do you want to do tonight? I know where we're NOT going. Do you mind staying in? I thought we could use a quiet night."

"Do I mind? No, no. That's great. It's perfect. Quiet is good." I was so relieved that she was doing that snarky smirk again, I could have died happy right then. "Of course, whatever you have planned is fine by me."

Thank the powers that be for Alex. No dirty tricks, no nasty surprises. Nice, peaceful, bodes pretty well for the New Year, I'd say.


Happy New Year and....gobsmacked again.
That smirk; I should have known.....I don't know whether to be confused, or, or, both, I suppose.
I guess it's treachery, but it's such fun treachery...

Friday, December 30, 2005

In Which I am Not Allowed to Eat in Peace

You would think Wang's Discount Sushi would be a safe haven, wouldn't you? I did, and I strolled in with a spring in my step. Actually, I should mention, earlier this week I finally got someone else to go with me - we busted a nice lady from out of town by accident, and let the department pick up the tab as an apology. It was kind of fun, even though she seemed at bit freaked out at the cuisine. Out-of-towners can be an endless source of amusement.

Anyhow, the waitresses had called in sick that day, but today they were back, in squealing, giggling force. This is normal for Nina,the perky one, but not for Steph, who's usually surly and evasive. I took advantage of their good moods to grill them.

"Did I see you two preparing to do terrible things to my upholstery last Friday, or am I going senile?"

They frickin' bounced up and down and did that thing where they act like they're five and your head is a puppy. If they were older this might have been nice. Since they are literally young enough to be my granddaughters, it was just annoying and slightly disturbing. They calmed down enough to babble something about their grades, and what a great time they had, and blah, blah, squeak, blah. Turns out they're some of the art students doing this...thing that the wench organized.

"I painted the unicorn on your ceiling! Did you like it?" Nina bubbled. "I did the one in the closet, too, and there's fairies peeking out all over...."

I just stared. I couldn't even begin.

Steph chimed in with, "It's really cool that we can do this all week. My script's, like, almost finished. Dr.D said I'd have to ask you if I could smash your TV, though. You're cool with it, right? It's, like, completely the focal point..."

"Dr. D? Kate D? Jeez, you told her you knew me?" There was a burning sensation starting in my gut, and it wasn't from the kimichi.

"Oh, yeah! She saw us wave to you. We told her you come in here all the time...." They started with more of the yipping and the squealing and that's when she swept in like the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty.

"Serendipity, Mike. Never underestimate its powers. The universe flows as it is meant to flow. Also, if you're as predictable as you are, of course you get caught." She slid into the chair across from me, pleased as a cat post-canary snack.

"I am going to wake up, and you will be gone." I said, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Or maybe I can just click my heels and get back to Kansas or something before your flying monkeys get here."

"You're not making any sense. Are there hallucinogens in the pickled radish? In that case, I'll have some." She sent Steph and Nina scurrying off for her food, then turned back to me, her preferred prey. " So, when are you coming by? And did you ask the tech guy yet?"

"I said I'd think about it. Get off my back, and go back to the Castle beyond the Goblin City, willya?" If I didn't have to get back to work, and I didn't loathe sake, I'd have been getting a drink at that point.

"If I thought it would help, trust me, I'd have you on your back all day. In the dark, with a gag, so I could pretend it wasn't you, but still, there's no time for love, Dr. Jones. I need an answer - and that answer needs to be yes." Once again, she shifted gears. "Please, Mike. These guys who own the program are killing me - they'll only sell to non-profits, schools and government. And it's not just for me. They're kids, and they've sunk their last dime into it. They want to be altruistic and they're gonna go down hard. The least I can do is push as much as I can." She looked over to make sure the girls couldn't hear. "And the other thing - that one," indicating Steph, "needs her project to go off, or she's out of school. You don't have to let her bust the place up, but if you can come over and do one lousy evening, you'll really bail her ass out of the fire. What's one night?"

It would really be easier to resist her if her eyes were actually the blazing red rims of fire they ought to be. "She is not smashing my television. And I'm not making any promises about bringing anyone."

"Well, I'll just have to take what I can get. Oh, and I hope that includes your car keys. I need to go to Jersey to see Viijay." I guess my thoughts about that showed pretty clearly, since she jumped in with, "What? You can't drive with that hand. And I hate the commuter trains."

"Is that scumbag still running a home-based "pharmacy?" I might just go with you and replay the scene where I tossed him out of the window." Ah, college.

"Oh, for god's sake, Mike, that was three decades ago. He's a neurologist - wife, kids, minivan, the works. People change, you know. Although I think he is still scared shitless of you."

"Well, then, he's not as dumb as I thought he was. Tell him I said hi." I tossed her the keys. "I've gotta get back. Could you call before you jump out of the shadows next time?"

"And lose the element of surprise? Never. How would I get anything done?"

As I left, the girls scurried over and presumably began discussing their blueprints for destruction. Seven more days. That's all.

Painted Into a Corner

Some days, I swear, you're just happy to go to work to keep your mind off of things.

You do realize who the MCS resident techie is, right? The detective she wants to meet is...Alex. Why don't I just staple my ears to the wall and hire someone to hit me in the face with a ping-pong paddle?

Why am I dealing with this? Look, bear with me a minute here. When I made that joke about love, a few people took it seriously, and I'd like to ask this - have you ever loved someone you couldn't stand? The heart wants what it wants, and it's not always a rational thing.

What if you met someone who knew who you were right away, like you met yourself in somebody else? Say they were a version of you that made another choice about how to deal with the same things you did. Say they never said your way was wrong, never tried to make you change. What if their expectations, every step of the way, didn't exist - they just accepted you.
Now, what if that's the only thing they wanted in return, and you didn't give it?

And finally, more relevantly to right now, what if they come from the same place you did, and nobody else could understand that, unless they were from there, too? What if it's really, really hard to make someone who's not from there get it?

I need more coffee - that and a good way to say, "Hey, Alex, want to go out and have a really lousy time? It'll make staying home with porn and pizza look great!"

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Other Shoe Drops

I knew it. Oh, they said I was crazy, but I knew something was up. As long as I've known KD, she's been a multi-tasking daemon - I use that term purposefully -and she operates on the Bond villain level. She'd just explode if she didn't let it slip about how clever she was.

What, you may ask, is she about this time? Isn't destroying my home, my sense of peace and, at least temporarily, my sanity, enough? Oh, no. No, no, no. Not if she can write it off as a business expense.

So what exactly does she do? Well, what any lunatic egomaniac with multiple degrees and a taste for manipulation does. She's a consultant. Or that's what she's calling it. Really, she's a 21st century equivalent of a panderer.

Anyway, I got suspicious when she called up and began purring into my ear. After dancing around the fact that I was indeed going to have to have the plumber in, and that she was having her dealer - her crazy art dealer, that is - come by, she asked whether I wanted to have lunch or dinner this week.

I informed her that I was having lunch and dinner every day this week, and happily, without her. Back and forth, back and forth, until she spills. She wants to meet whoever is the tech expert at work. Seems she's got this new reseaching system, with an interface designed to work on multiple levels and stimulate lateral thinking, whatever that means.

"Look, you ape, all you need to know is it's so cool even you'll want one, and you have no concept of how to work it. It requires lobes you don't have."

Naturally, I objected to this. Twenty minutes later when I got in another word edgewise, I said there was no way she was getting within 200 yards of One Police Plaza unless it was in cuffs.

Again, she showed her charm-school dropout ways. "Oh, quit flirting. Anyway, don't you have a girlfriend or something to play your sick games with? What, tired of this one already? Maybe you should switch to women who can read more advanced stuff than Green Eggs and Ham, you bottom-feeder."

"Out of line, KD, out of line. Plus, you know from sick games and bottom-feeding. Or have you stopped dating people who don't speak the language?" I needed to get off the phone and break into the aspirin. "Look, I do not need this at the job. Staten Island sucks harder than - no, I'm not getting into your good points now. It is not bring-your-lamprey-to-work day. Not happening."

I'll give her this, she knows when to back down. Sometimes she leaks a little mercy from that shrivelled thing she calls a heart. "I didn't even want to come by your office. That creates an ethically sticky situation. I was just hoping you'd bring the tech guy by, maybe for a nice quiet dinner party. I need something like that for the project anyway, showing the whole awkward situation as an essential component of the holiday season. And if, while you're there, he just happens to see the set-up, well, that's purely coincidence, albiet one that I can mention to Mayor Bloomberg when I try to sell him this thing."

Sometimes, you can't deflect, you can only delay. I told her I'd think about it, and grabbed the Excedrin. Stock in Bristol-Myers. That's what I should've asked for for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas, Part Deux

Where were we? Oh, yes - went to lunch, got back, had an uneventful day full of brooding (BG) and toss-the-pencil (me.) Finally, the work day wound down, and we headed to Alex’s. Since it was getting on in the evening, a lot of other people were probably already there, and it occurred to me that I wasn’t going to be able to take my after-work shower without being rude and/or tipping everyone to the fact that I was staying there. This threw me, as I really like to get in 40 minutes or so, just to de-stress. Out of the three I take per day, this is the shower I like best. I may be weird, but I am clean.

So I was already pretty unsettled, and then I started wondering how I was going to make like I wasn’t staying there, just for appearances’ sake. And how I was going to adapt to this sort of party. I gave myself a little mental pep talk. There’s no good reason to be nervous. I know people here. I’ll just have one beer. One. Then I’ll sneak out. I’ll say I’m beat. I’ll walk around the block, maybe hit a coffee shop, and call to see when I can come back. That’s good. That’ll work. Say Hi, say Bye, get going. It’s a plan.

I do like social occasions, really, but this was just, I dunno, normal for most, but strange for me. I don’t usually do small friends and family things. And usually, when I go to any party, big or small, people expect me to drink pretty much anything and everything I can find, cause a big ruckus, and end up facedown in the nachos, or in the coat closet or something.

But Alex was trying to have a nice, peaceful relaxed sort of thing, and it would be really out of line for me to wreck it by behaving like, well, like me, basically.

I’d brought some beer, to help with the just-stopping-in scenario, and also to cover for the fact that I’d cooked something. (No, I won’t tell you what. I have a reputation to maintain.) I popped the cap on one, and settled back in a corner to wait it out. But it turned out there were a lot of people I knew there, mostly cops and lawyers, and even the ones I didn’t know, we had at least a mutual acquaintance or two. I started to relax.

I found myself talking with a small group of guys about the police baseball league. Some of them looked kinda familiar, especially the older guy who came up a few minutes in. He looked at me for a minute, then at the busted hand, and said, “You’re Deck Logan’s kid, Mike, aren’t you? Heh. Pop any politicians lately?”

“Nossir. Just an immovable object. You knew my dad?” ‘Deck’ by the way, was short for Declan, but since he had a habit of taking swings at stuff, too, it all worked out. I put down the bottle so I could shake.

“Didn’t know him that well – more of a interested spectator. Watched him take a fall down three flights of stairs and get up and walk away like nothing happened.” Yup, that was Dad, made of rubber when he was on the sauce. “I’m Alex’s father, Johnny.”

Oookay. There went the comfort zone. As the introductions got made, I realized I was surrounded by two of her brothers, an in-law and a cousin. Cripes. I smiled and nodded, and hid the fact that I was seriously considering jumping over the couch and making a break for the door. Don’t get me wrong – they were nice guys. Regular cops – well, I think the cousin was a tech – but still. Well, as long as we kept talking about baseball, it’d be ok….

“So, what happened at the Detective’s Ball?” one of the brothers piped up.

I blinked, very slowly, to try to make this go away. No such luck.

They started repeating rumors they’d heard – no names, thankfully. It seems Alex managed to completely dodge any hint of involvement. However, having a certain reputation leads one into the thick of suspicion I got prodded at, hinted at and teased, and inside, I was praying for a quick death while smiling weakly on the outside. I started edging for the door, amid the nudge, nudge, wink, wink stuff.

I was almost out of there, and then Alex came over. I thought quickly, and used my mutant mind power to send her a signal. Go away, not a good time, you don’t know me, just go. Thing is, I don’t have mutant powers. Crap.

“Hey, Dad, Alan, Charlie,” She nodded to a few others, “ I see you’ve met Mike. He agreed to drag himself out of his cave for the evening.”

Ok, it’s fine, just don’t make physical contact. No touching, and we’re clear. Of course, she picked then to put her hand around my waist and give me one of those cheek pecks. An incriminating cheek peck, one of those that go a little too close to the mouth, just a quick little dart that’s supposed to mean “wait ‘til later,” but in this case now meant “Here’s the pervert who seduced me” to most of the guys seeing this. Great. Hear about Mike Logan? Died because of a peck. Wrong place, wrong time, and that’s it.

Her dad just smiled at her, thank the powers that be, and told her what a nice party it was. The brothers and the in-law and the cousin, however…I took the beer, and polished it off, in case it was really an invisibility potion. Again, no such luck. “So,” I said, “How ‘bout them Yanks?”

I think Alex knew exactly what was going on, because she just stood there with an evil – but cute – smirk. Why are the fun ones so much trouble?

A Quickie

Before I go on with "It Happened This Christmas," I have something I'd like to say.

There is a time when one has to stop and ponder: what does it mean to love? How, in fact, do you know, really know when you are in love?

Well, sometimes you just do. And I love Chou Iin Dik Tong Wah, known in English as An Autumn's Tale.

Mabel Chueng directs this wildly popular romantic comedy featuring Chow Yun-fat. With two years worth of savings and starry-eyed ambitions of being an actor, Jennifer Lee (Cherie Chung) leaves her comfortable home in Hong Kong for more modest digs in New York City, above the abode of her bumptious cousin, Figurehead (Chow). When her effete longtime boyfriend, Vincent (Danny Chan), dumps her and heads for Boston, Jennifer is left thunderstruck and deeply lonely. Figurehead goes all out to cheer up his pretty relative by buying her Broadway tickets and redecorating her apartment. Soon he finds himself falling for the lass though he is self-conscious about his humble upbringing, compulsive gambling, and coarse ways. Jennifer loves being around Figurehead but cannot imagine being married to him...

~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

I think Chow Yun Fat does a remarkable job here - in the bootleg I have, he's called "Boathead" but "Figurehead" makes a lot more sense. The NY times makes it sound like a love triangle, but that really doesn't come into play. It's more about Jennifer and Figurehead struggling to work with their own hopes and dreams, while trying to adjust to the way the world goes. It's sad, it's hopeful, at times it's funny, but on the whole, quite a fine film, I must say.

And it's not at all dirty. However, it is most definitely a good prelude to letting your hands wander...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Part the First:

Whew. The traditional Mike Logan Day After Christmas Lie-In is complete. If you start the clock at the time I went to bed, instead of being persnickety and saying "it starts at midnight," I managed to skip December 26 altogether. A major triumph, because I dislike Boxing Day - or the mass-consumerfest, as I like to call it - immensely.
So, now that I have regained conciousness, here's what happened, day and night.

How I Spent Christmas
By Mike Logan, age N.O.Y.B.

As for the morning, Bobby Goren was in a real funk for most of it, I'll note. I tried to get him to come around, but really, I've got stuff on my mind, too, and maybe I didn't try hard enough.
It's not my fault some perfidious wench played a song that got stuck in my head, therefore insuring that I spent a good deal of time drumming the desk as I worked. And like I told him when he asked what I thought I was doing, I can't even bring myself to say the full title, so let's just say it's the one that starts with "Peaches'."
I tried to interact with him on a intellectual level, discussing the social construct of the "polite fiction" and the nature of the phenomena known as the "Porn Trance" and "Porn Drift"- the interweb is educational! - but he just asked me whether I wouldn't like to go take my lunch break, and you only have to hit me with the clue-by-four so hard before I get the drift.
Anyhow, so I wandered about a bit, as I am wont to do, and found - an open drugstore! More wonderously, it was one that was having a sale on Pepto-bismol pills, which counts as a Festivus Miracle. I was so happy. Then I reflected on the reason I've been chowing down antacids like mad, and gave her a call.
She sounded like she was still trying to get over the past two days, kinda groggy and weak, but when I suggested I stop by, she perked right up. "NO! she screamed so loud the counter guy could hear her. "I mean - I don't think that's such a good idea, there's still a teeny bit of a, well, you know how you overreact, and it's only sort of, uh, you know, just not a good idea."
"Relax, "I told her. "I don't even want to see what horrors have befallen the joint. Meet me downstairs?"
Fifteen minutes later, I arrived at my place, olive branch in a brown paper bag. Once I rang the buzzer, she stumbled outside, looking a lot more like the version of herself I remember from college - half-naked and mostly hungover.
"Merry Christmas to you, o evil one. It's not the blood of your enemies, or the cursed eye of an idol, but it'll have to do." I said, handing her the sentimental token I'd gotten her. When I saw it in the store, I remembered the first holiday I'd ever spent with her, which was really, really fun, in a Lost Weekend sort of way.
She even teared up a little, looking at it. "Grape flavor, my favorite." She pretended to read the label, but I knew she was touched. Even managed a smile, without the fangs, as she said, "You know, I quit this stuff, a long time ago. Tablets mess you up a lot more. And I find I'm actually buying it for cold symptoms - who'd have thought it? Weren't we supposed to be dead by now?"
I shrugged. "I know. It's really weird, hunh?"
She cracked it open, and handed me the little cup from the top. "So, a drop of the 'tussin for old times, then?"
"What the hell. I feel a cough coming on." We clinked the cup and the bottle together, and did our usual toast, quoting the wisdom of our mothers and the nuns who knew us best.
"You're headed for hell, Michael Logan, straight to the devil's bosom," she said with a grin.
"You're a decietful slut, Kate Dobrynski, and you'll never amount to a damn thing." I added. "Bottoms up."
After the one drink, I said I had to get going. We still need to talk, and she knows it, but that wasn't the day. It's like the Germans and the Allies playing football. You can have a break in the war to have a bit of fun.

The day could only get more normal from then on in, right? If you said "yes," you obviously haven't been paying attention.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

We Interrupt Our Scheduled Humbuggery and Wax Sentimental

When a lot of cultures manage to agree on something, it might be worth mentioning.
What many agree on here is that you should stop in the middle of darkness and acknowledge a light - here, where the seasons turn, it marks the turning away from the dark, and the upward ascent of light, no matter what you believe.

So, Nollaig Shona Daoibh, to those of you who do that, and here's a thought for all of us:

May thy light be fair to me.
May thy course be smooth to me.
If good to me is thy beginning,
Seven times better be thine end,
Thou fair moon of the seasons,
Thou great lamp of grace.
{He} Who created thee
Created me likewise;
{He} Who gave thee weight and light
Gave to me life and death,
And the joy of the seven satisfactions,
Thou great lamp of grace,
Thou fair moon of the seasons.

Be as light to one another, and take joy in the light you share.

And "Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís, " as my gran said, "Because that's the most you can ask for." The dear old bird was a bit of a cynic, too.

Thanks for being here.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Warning Unheeded and Advice Ignored

"Kenny, "I say, "for the love I bore your uncle, I'm warning you one last time. She will eat your soul, pick her teeth with your bones, and look around for her next meal before you're digested. Plus, she will not give it to you. I know her methods."

"But Mike.." Kenny's only half listening to me, since he's trying to keep an eye on the costumed women heading in. They're a pretty distracting lot, I'll admit. Particularily the blue one, Kali, I think, dressed only in strategically placed skulls. At least we didn't need to frisk her.

"But nothing. I'm telling you, you're dealing with Lex Luthor's kindly old auntie. She's an evil genius in every sense of the term. You're hopelessly out of your element here." I wave through an Astarte, a Morrigan and a couple of nymphs. "I need you to focus, Kenny. I'm leaving in a bit. Brunnhilde over there may be a decent security force, but you're supposed to be in charge, and when you drool, it undermines the air of authority you're supposed to project."

"I got it covered, Mike, " he says, while staring at an Erzulie. "You've got to admit, though..."

"What kind of detective are you, kid? Have you overlooked all the little giveaway details? Come on! Did you see those talons she's got - what kind of person files their nails to points? All those silver rings she wears, they're not jewelry, they're improvised brass knuckles!" I am momentarily taken aback as I recognize two of the waitresses from Wang's, dressed as Nimue and Morgan LeFay, if I guess correctly. "Look, she practically invented the term "weaponize." Did you see those keys? Twenty of them on a lanyard? She needs three. The big one works like a punch dagger, and the rest of them are there for weight if she swings that thing like a morning star. She carries a perfume to use as mace - and she doesn't smoke. That lighter's to use with the hairspray. Ever seen a homemade flamethrower at work? It ain't pretty."

"So she's concerned for her own safety. What's the big deal?" Kenny pokes his head in the door. "Oh. My. God. I didn't used to like Placebo, but I think I do now. Look at those two Amazons go. How could someone who brings you a pole and women to dance on it be evil?"

The voice behind me makes me jump. "Yes, Mike, do tell." Did I mention one of KD's talents is sneaking up on people? "Though I wonder that you will still be speaking, since nobody marks you."

I turn around, and there she is in the flesh. Even if it weren't for the golden apples hanging from her belt, I'd know Eris Discordia anywhere. And I also know the answer she expects. "What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?"

"Live in technicolor, Logan. Must you badmouth me in front of my new minion?" There's nothing like the evil eye direct from a minor Greek goddess.

"I'm just trying to let him know what he's letting himself in for." The poor schmuck in question seems to be hypnotized by a girl dressed all in blinking lights, presumably the Aurora Borealis. "Are you going to explain what's going on here, or am I just supposed to assume that your plot is too complicated for me to follow?"

"Actually, Logan, I really don't expect you to be able to understand the amount of networking and complex negotiating I had to pull off to do this. It's doing a massive amount of good on the professional and social levels for a lot of academic and artistic careers, as well as generating some projects that should really benefit a few worthy charities."

"Yeah, and I bet you're also getting well-paid for your time, as well as completely underwriting one of your oversized keggers."

"There's no law against helping yourself while helping others. Here." She shoves a bag into my hands. "I just came out to give you your gift, since this party obviously can't count anymore."

"Oh, you did this all for me, hunh?" She's really pushing it, expecting me to buy this line.

"No, but if you hadn't gotten yourself entangled between now and then, don't tell me you wouldn't have loved it." For a second, she manages to look more hurt than mad. "You sounded pretty rough the last few times you called. I try to help, and as usual, you take everything wrong."

How does she manage to make me the monster in every situation? There are holes for cameras and lighting drilled in my ceiling. I've been chased from my own home, the Bacchantes are preparing to defile every avaliable surface, and me? I'm feeling sorry for the person who orchestrated all this. "Aw, Kate. Don't, don't ...look, we'll talk later this week, ok? Just go ahead back, and try not to break too much."

After she disappears, I look in the sack. Of course, it's exactly what I would have wanted. A large bottle of premium black cherry vodka, some bootleg Hong Kong comedies, and a whole bunch of porn, including the last one her cousin Joey produced, Butt Pirates of the Carribean 2: Red Anne's Chest. If it's nearly as good as the first one, The Curse of the Pearl Necklace...well, even if it isn't, it's the thought that counts.

I sigh, and get it together to go. "Hey, Kenny. Eyes up. Remember, everyone gets fingerprinted, and... " I grab a passing peri, " Ma'am, that monkey is not coming in here. It goes in a carrier and stays there, or you both leave."

"I got it covered, Mike" he says, tearing his eyes away from a kitisune long enough to fake attention.

Well, there goes my paint job. Maybe Brunnhilde will keep him in check. I wanted to warn him that if he heard the phrase "Euan, eaun, eu-oi-oi-oi" he should run, but some things you've got to learn the hard way.

A final indignity:
As I walked out into the cold night, I got passed by a certain man in black, wearing a little pair of goat horns. He wouldn't deign to speak to me, as he pointed out that guests don't mingle with the help on these occasions. That Munch, he's a chill one when he wants to be.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Interview About the Psychic Vampire

Finally, I faced up to the fact that I was not going to be able to dodge Carolyn's questions forever. I started trying to compile a list, right after I got off the phone with the house-pest (thanks, Kacey, for a fitting term.) Say a prayer for Kenny Briscoe. He was last seen carrying an obscene amout of packages, trotting obediently five steps behind the she-demon.

Said demonette, by the way, since Kenny was safely not in earshot, made a rude comment at me about how I shouldn't pick a fight with my barber before or during a haircut, but if I'd decked him after the last one, anyone would understand. Lovely.
You make one simple observation about how they make stuff for crow's feet nowadays, and you unleash the floodgates.

But if anyone has suggestions for questions I should answer, I'll take them. In fact, in order to prevent only presenting my bias, I'll see if I can get her to answer any next week, during the slower bits of the out-of-control-carnival she's orchestrating.

Apparently, this incident-in-the-making really is some sort of art thing/benefit/production, but she said she'll explain right before it starts.
Then she turns around and clarifies that it runs until Twelfth Night, not twelve nights. Because, she says, that way wouldn't make any sense, would it?

But the Festivus part is the one I'm worried about. The fact that she's flat-out called it a "bacchanalia" is so not a good sign. I'm taking off for it fairly soon. A fuller report tomorrow.

Oh, and to what goes on at Alex's? Part of trying to behave in gratitude for sanctuary is respecting the fact that what she wants you to know, she'll tell you. Much as I might like to "high-five" the keyboard.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What is the Sound of One Head Thumping?

You can hear it all through the Major Case offices. Hell, I think they can hear it down in the garage. They say the devil does have the power to assume a pleasing shape. In KD’s case, this is certainly so.

She’s good, I’ll tell you that much. It took all of an hour to co-opt my partner, and I think Kenny Briscoe’s a goner. She even almost – almost – got me. Again! And I thought I was wise to her tricks by now.

All the way back from the airport - where I might add, I almost didn't recognize the baggage, but the suitcase seemed familiar - she was so charming, and so grateful. Wasn't it sweet of me to let her use my place for her women's foundation fundraiser? How kind of me to make sure there was going to be some form of security there. Isn't it cute how I keep teasing her about being Baba Yaga? It's so nice how you can count on your oldest friends, isn't it? Grrrr.

I think they were expecting a seven-foot tall flame-breathing cloven-hoofed monster, but I was speaking metaphorically when I described her that way. She managed to look much smaller than she really is, almost as old as she is, and combined with claiming exhaustion from being tired from a long flight, she had helpless down to a T.

If she hadn't flipped me off as a "friendly" goodbye before she slammed my own door practically on my nose, I'd have sworn that age had dimmed her infinite vituperative-ity.

The "poor little thing" is resting now. In my bed. If she hasn't sold it to roving Mongols yet. Details later, and I promised Carolyn a list of answers tomorrow. Excuse me as I steel myself for the coming horror. Meanwhile, off to Alex's.

A Long-Expected Party

Well, interesting developments abound, and things are looking up as much as could be expected.

I managed to get more shopping done last night, and a little more prying, and indeed, I have struck office gossip gold. If I were the type to gloat, right now I'd be doing that "I know a see-cret" dance. One and one do seem, in fact, to add up to two.

Better yet, I don't have to sleep in the breakroom. This is quite nice on many, many levels, the least of which is because somebody might pull that hand-in-the-water trick if I stayed there. The best of it is, well...

I will clean up after myself, really. Socks picked up, seat put down, staying on the couch unless otherwise instructed. Small price to pay to not have to barricade myself in against the Barbarienne Horde, the Madwimmen of Chelsea and any other of the strange packs that my own personal Tinkerhell runs with. Not that I wouldn't be escaping if it was only her.

Speaking of Scary Pop-in, she blew in with the wind as scheduled. More on that later. She's working her dark tricks as we speak...

Calamity, Chaos and Complications

Carolyn is trying to work, so when my phone rings and I see that dreaded number pop up, I duck and start hissing already.

"Yeah? What? You, too, you fu- I'm at work....No, I'll be there, yeah noon, TOMORROW?" This is when everyone in the room looks, so I duck again. "No. No, no, no no. You said Fri- whaddya mean "oops?" Suck it up? Suck it up? I'll tell you what you can - no, no, come on. No, stop. Okay. I know it takes time to get ready for - Look, forget I said anything. Where are you staying?...Oh, the hell you are. Out of the question. You come for your thing, you have it, you go - what do you mean, "you know? " How long do you.....TWELVE DAYS? What the fu-? Are you insa- nevermind. It's not an insult, it's the god damn truth, that's what........fine. Fine! No, it's fine. You win! Yes, you win! I'm not mad. I'M. NOT. MAD....okay, yes, I am. But - hey, no fair! No, I - ....I....Stop, okay, stop. Fine. Whatever. It's fine.... Yeah, I'll see you then."

I drop the phone like it's a viper. My partner is pretending not to snicker at me and doing a lousy job of it. "Geez, Logan. No offense, but if we have to negotiate for a hostage, I think I'll handle it, if you don't mind."

"I don't want to go there. I have a crisis on my hands. Or rather, hand. I have a matter of hours to protect my valuables and arrange security for when I can't be there. Twelve days. She's nuts. How do you have a twelve-day-long party?"

"Must be pretty serious about it. You'd better start making nice with the neighbors."

"Yeah, well, I already got in touch with the local precinct. She took out a frickin' permit for this thing. I tell you, I'm starting to believe in a god, and I think he or she hates me." I glare at the ceiling for a minute. "She's taking over my place for nearly two weeks. And of course, she's staying there. No, no hotel for her. I'm movin' into the breakroom."

"Why are you letting her do this?"

"It's a long, long story. And that's the honest-to-dog-truth. There's your question of the day." She gives me another look, and I cave. "Later. I'll explain later, ok?"

"All right. But you owe me a penalty question then, too."

"Sure. Whatever you want." I start digging around for some Excedrin, while she goes back to the reports. But I can still hear her snickering, and I think I heard a muttered "Sucker..." from over there.


Do not think for a moment that I'm not trying to find out why BG's been dropping all these little hints about his love life. One sure way to distract yourself from your troubles is to make a fresh batch somewhere else.
I think I have a fact-finding mission of sorts lined up for tonight before I rush home to secure the fort. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Level Three, at Least

You know, back in school, Sister Mary Boniface would chuck an eraser at me almost every day, screaming, "Michael Logan! The devil's got a place for you, young man!" I just laughed - and ducked. I didn't believe in hell, and Sister MB was just talking out of her wimple.

Or that's what I thought until now. Somewhere, in a home for retired penguins, Sister Many-Bonyface is getting the last laugh. I'm in a toy store, four days before Christmas. I thought there was supposed to be a lake of ice and fire, not these plastic torture devices.

Cripes, who comes up with this stuff? Whoa, hey, Barbie's gotten a LOT sluttier than I remember her. Maybe the kid would like that...nah. I'm starting regret not going with my first instinct and picking him up a Ramones CD or two. It's never too early to start a Jackie Chan collection, either.

Finally, a clerk takes pity on me, and starts asking me questions, most of which I can't answer. Boy or girl, how old, developmentally advanced, motor skills, interests, favorite tv shows? Uh, boy, two or three, what? - we'll go with yes, how would I know, chewing on stuff, I guess, and kids that small watch tv?

I know what I don't want: that creepy red muppet thing that acts possessed, nothing that's gonna warp his mind, nothing potentially lethal, no firemen anything, and definitely not that...that thing that made the noise that made me want to puncture my own eardrums. I might buy it just to take it out back and shoot it.

I just went for basics, I guess, a stuffed dog and a drum. The clerk was awfully weird about the drum, though. Asked me like 5 or 6 times if I was sure. I got a gift slip in case he doesn't like it, and she handed me some coupons for aspirin, "In case he does."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

In Which Evasion Takes Place Anyway

So, I'm messing about at my desk, when Carolyn gets up and says, "Breaktime. You want a coffee, Logan?"
"Yes, I do, " I say, still trying to fool with what I'm working on."Hell of a way to waste your question for today."
"That's not fair!"
"Of course not. Life's not fair, sweetcheeks. You should have learned that already." She stomps off in a bit of a huff, but I'm still trying to finish this thing, so I don't watch her go. She comes back, and thumps a cup on desk, just as I give up.
"Here," I say, handing her the pencil and the string. "If you tie this, I'll give you another shot at it. Just tie a nice strong knot around the eraser end for me. Damn hand won't let me get anything done."
Since she's not working around a cast, she does it in a matter of seconds. "There. What on earth are you trying to do?"
"Pencil retrieval for when I toss it up into the ceiling. See?" I flick the thing up, it sticks there, but now I can pull it down and start over. "And again, I think that wasn't the best question you could've asked. Too bad."
"You're a jerk, Mike."
"This is true, but now I'm pretending to be one of the Djinn. Be careful what you ask for and all."
She gives me an odd look, then something occurs to her. "Oh you are, are you? Then I get three questions."
"It is so, effendi, but I counsel you to choose your words with care."
"God, you are so weird sometimes." Before I can answer, she cuts me off. "I hear that 'I'm not a god' joke coming a mile away, Logan."
"Well, I guess you're learning." This pencil trick is quite fun. Wish I'd thought of it earlier.
"I don't get it. You create a disgusting scene at the party, you come in here and break a computer and your own hand in a massive fit of stupidity, and what do you get? Deakins is so wrapped up in whatever Goren and Eames brought in that envelope, all you get is a "watch it." Meanwhile, I'm doing all the driving and the writing for at least a month."
"I have a note from my doctor. He says to leave me alone." I'm not kidding. Emil does not always win the bets he makes. "Anyhow, this is very annoying for me. I use this hand a lot, and this is the second time I've busted it up."
"You mean you've done this before?"
"Not quite. I broke it on some guy's forehead last time. He ducked right as I was swinging, and bam! Right on the hardest part of his head, which in his case was saying something. And that's three."
She rolls her eyes, and says, "I give up. So, really, what's going on with you and Eames?"
"Beats me."
"Yeah, that's the rumor." She laughs at her own joke as I shake my head in disgust."What do you mean you don't know?"
"That's exactly it. Look, let's leave my personal life out of this for the moment."
"Why?" She looks hurt.
"Because there's something much more mysterious a' brewing. You want dirt on me, you go ahead and ask Eames, and then you'll have more concrete info than I do. But neither you nor I have a clear idea of what her partner is up to, and that, my dear Watson, may be office gossip gold."
"You think?"
"I do. Quite often, surprisingly." At that, she throws another pencil at me and gets back to work.

I mean, I do work around here, don't get me wrong. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. But at least for the purposes of this blog thing, as Emil said, it's supposed to be whatever. Most of the day, every day we talk about our cases. I think about my cases, I think about the job, I put in 12+ hour days. But I do have a life, not much of one, I'll admit, outside of it.
So when I'm fooling around on this computer, I talk about the other stuff. Again, sue me.
If I don't know what's up with something I actually care about, I try not to mope, but if I do, cut me a break. And if you knew Alex Eames at all, you wouldn't wonder that I spend at least some of those 12 hours days, and the off-time between them wondering what's going on. 'Tis a pleasant pastime, and sure that's no lie.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Comedians, Cowards, Curiosity and Carolyn

First off, the round of lousy gifts has begun. Look what I found on my desk when I got in. Oh, ha ha, guys.

Secondly, I have no idea why nobody, and that does include Alex Eames, will eat lunch with me on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which are the days I go to Wang's Discount Sushi. Now, I know Wang isn't really a Japanese name. In fact, a lot of Korean restaurants serve sushi, so it the sign didn't phase me much. It actually says Wang's (a lot of Korean characters) Sushi, but when I asked Goren about it, he said it basically amounted to "discount" and that was why he wasn't going so much as in the doorway. He also was nice enough to tell me what the cook had been calling me, although he said I should never say that out loud in public again. Seems the cook was really mad that I wasn't eating the kimchi. But since we resolved that, all is well. It's really clean and bright, and the mysterious fried sushi balls are actually really good, except when they're not. I have no idea why the most crowded I've ever seen the place is three other people. I do know why their t-shirts don't sell. I mean, saving on printing is one thing, but breaking it down to "Eat Wangs" is neither good marketing nor good grammar.

That aside, I was talking to Carolyn, who's been doing a lot of the work around here and seems a bit touchy about it. So to take the edge off, I promised to answer at least one question she asked me per day 100% truthfully for the rest of the week. Of course, she's probably going to be sorry she asked.
Today, she asked what I was doing for Christmas. I shrugged, and said "I don't know. Working, I guess. That's what I usually do."
"But what about after work? You can't pull a double on Christmas."
"Eh, maybe I will. Why, is that bad?"
"Don't you have any traditions, any family or friends thing?"
I gave her the "duh" look for that.
"Ok, so no family, but you do have friends."
"Who have families. Hell, Munch is even out, since it's first night this year on Christmas." She looked concerned, so I kept going. "It's fine. I'm used to it, really. It's just another day. I'll keep busy. For one thing, I'll probably be cleaning my place for a week after that damn party the ex is throwing."
"Why -"
"One question per day. Sure you don't want me to bring you something back?" She shook her head, and I took off.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


So, a few things happened since I last checked in. Email, phone and face-to-face.

Just to make matters worse, later that night, I got a anonymous email from an untraceable account. It had a file attached, so I opened it - and heard a song called "Goodbye, My Lover." If I wasn't already shaken and sick, this would have done it. If it was sent by the Wallace nutcase - but how would the nutcase know...? There are two people who would understand why that would kill me. And I'm one.

So I called the other, again. KD was still half asleep, and she assured me that she hadn't been talking about us to anybody strange - well, stranger than me, at any rate. I know I caught her off guard because she forgot to insult me with her usual vigor. She just asked if it was ok for her not to come early, that I'd be all right here, and said that she'd be in Friday. She even muttered, "It'll be ok, dumbass" as she was hanging up.

And, finally, after I'd pulled it together and managed to shower with this friggin' cast, somebody came to my door.
I knew she'd tried to call, and she knew I was trying to dodge her, but what was I supposed to do?

You know, seeing a detective in a social situation is really odd. We're used to guessing at people's motives, piecing together info, and working someone's psyche. She really has been working with Goren for a while, too.

She played it quite cool - no "we have to talk" announcement or anything, she just swooped in like she'd been invited to hang out. One of the guys, just checking in. Once again, I might add, I lost control over my own DVD player - she said she didn't feel like something subtitled, and then made a rude crack about my apparent love for John Cusack after checking the available selection.

I don't even remember what she put in, even though I pretended to watch it from my end of the couch. It didn't take long before we just started talking, anyway - I knew I was getting led into it, but I was so burned out from this that I went with it. And really, it is easy to talk to her. I like her snarky streak, and I like that she knows what about the job to talk about and not to talk about.

It went here and there. Somehow, it didn't get too heavy. I think she knows that I know the job is first for her, anyhow, and what happened had to be taken as a first step in an ongoing case. She managed to drop it in there, somehow, that my stuff had to come second, and that didn't make it any less, but if Nicole can get to me, and to Bobby and to her, we're letting her win. I didn't tell her about the latest move, but she could tell something else was bugging me, and she let it go, but in a "you'll tell me when you want to" sort of way.

She said other things that made me think she's been doing some digging of her own - and her use of the word "feral" made me really suspicious - but again, letting it lie seemed like the thing to do. It's not like I didn't ask around about her a bit. We're cops, for pete's sake. We do that.

It turned into office gossip and dumb perps, and idiots who break their fists on things, and then to her leaning back against me and talking about just..stuff like what we like in books, and music, and films, which was fine by me. Except I think I got tricked into agreeing to go see Memoirs of a Geisha. I know that came up somehow, because she started giving me crap about wanting a geisha of my own, and things went from there...well, I think we might be good at this point.

Riding the Night Mare

That's what my gran used to call it. Her people were supposed to have the sight, and she took her vivid dreams as warnings...god, no.

I must've fallen asleep here on the couch. I was looking for that psycho Wallace - and I'd found her. I got my hands around her neck, and I started squeezing, but she just laughed. Her face changed - all of a sudden it was my Mom; she kept laughing, and laughing as I choked the life out of her. Finally, she choked out, went limp, I dropped her. I looked down at the corpse, and it was Alex, lying there at my feet.

Emil owes me my friggin' copay back. Jeezus....

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Benefits of Therapy

Well, that's not quite how I mean it. If you're friends with your shrink, though, he might consent to make house calls. This becomes weird at one level, because while he will accept beer as a co-pay, he is billing your insurance, and it's apparently physician's privilege to take the comfortable chair and pick the film.
So, I switched off A Chinese Ghost Story and sat through the British version of The Office. Not so bad, actually.
Emil and I agreed that I should not punch immovable objects, that I should maybe get my shit together sometime soon, and that the ending song to the show is pretty cool.
We differed on the idea that I should be more open to discussing my feelings and drink less beer. When he said it was his professional opinion that I should clean up the place and myself a bit, I pointed out that our hour was up.
Back to the beer and foreign films. Sulking in the dark may not be healthy, but there ya go.

Friday, December 16, 2005

No Explanations, Just Some Quick Notes

Well, that's just great. Things were actually pretty good for about 24 hours.

Isn't it great that there are psychos out there who help put everything into perspective for you?

Summary of today - roll in late, spend about 5 minutes in the office. Break hand in a few places, some collateral damage to thing in way of fist. Leave.

Walk around for a few hours, then go to ER. Ignore cell phone. Waste time getting stupid cast. Ignore cell phone. Walk around some more. Turn off stupid phone. Get coffee, wonder if I'll really strangle her if I see her. Think about what she said, feel sick again. Start walking some more.

Pause to check in - so, how was your day? - and here we are.

And there I go. I'm going to walk around for a while, until I'm good and ready to go home.

The funny thing about addictions is they go away when you feel ok, and then, when you get hit with everything else, they sneak back into the back of your mind, as a quiet little possibilty. That possibility gets louder, and louder, until it becomes a real plan. Sure, the habit was bad, but it was a comfortable bad, a familiar bad, a bad you can handle.
When I get home later, I'm going to drink for a while until I decide what to do with the phone. I'll say this for KD - she never tried to pull that mothering crap on me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

From the Desk of Mike Logan

To: ADA Ron Carver
RE: Your complaint

Counselor Carver -
I am quite sorry to hear about the damage to your vehicle. We have received several complaints about vandalism in your area. Many neighborhood youths across the city apparently took advantage of the relative scarcity of detectives last night. After reviewing the security cameras from your garage, I have determined that it will be impossible to identify the perpetrator(s). Unfortunately, the tapes were accidentally completely destroyed and then fell into the sewer, so we cannot go over them again.
Your suggestion of gathering DNA from the backseat is a bit extreme, don't you think? Remember that these tests are not always conclusive, and our clerical division is quite busy at this time of year. My suggestion is that you contact your insurance company about the exterior and interior damages, lay down a few towels on the seats if you must use it, and get over it already. As for the lipsticked comments, they should come right off in the car wash.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further assistance.
Det. Mike Logan

To: ADA Jack McCoy
RE: Your Message
Hi, Jack. Long time, no see. It was a nice surprise to hear your voice on my machine, sorry I was out and didn't catch your call. I was just thinking "Wow, I haven't been anywhere near Jack McCoy's house in ages. I bet I don't even remember where he lives." And then you called! You're right - it does sound kind of strange that someone who sounds a lot like me was howling at the moon behind your building at around 4am last night. And you say they yelled "Come out an' fight, ya dirty half-Scot. I'm th' Pirate-King-Under-the-Hills, come fra' Tara to kick yer ass?" How very odd!
I was stuck at the office well past that hour, reviewing a case with a colleague, as she can attest. However, I can certainly look into it for you.
Let's get together for a drink sometime. Call me!

To: Captain Donald Cragen
RE: SVU/MCS "Rumble"
Hey Cap. What can I say? I think you should tell your detectives not to tick off the ladies of Major Case. I am merely an innocent bystander in this instance. However, in the hopes of fostering inter-squad cooperation, I will be more than happy to mudwrestle Detective Benson. I'm sure Detective Eames would be happy to take another shot at Detective Stabler, but it was kind of embarrassing for your guys last time.

To: Lt. Anita Van Buren
RE: Your Message
Hey LT. I'm glad to hear from you. I really couldn't make out what you said on the voicemail. There seemed to be a lot of laughing. I heard something like "somebody else's headache" and "nice shorts" but that's about it.
Call me!

To: Captain James Deakins
RE: This Morning
As I had feared when I put in for sick leave three weeks ago, I have come down with the flu on 12/15. I will be in on Monday, bright and early.
I would like to mention that I know nothing about what happened to your files or your blotter. I think the cleaning lady is mad at you.
See you next week!

To: Bobby Goren
RE: Your apartment
Ignoring any other previous admissions of guilt, Alex says she lost your spare keys three weeks ago. Also, you're out of T.P.


To: Do I have to?
RE: Fine, but I don't have to like it
Dear Oversensitive Gorilla Dude Who Needs to Relax Guy Who Got Beat Up by a Chick Stabler
Without openly admitting any guilt, I am being forced to would like to say that certain members of the MCS may have rocked the casbah overstepped our bounds and done it on your table violated your privacy.
Although we think you're a dick have had some communication issues in the past, this was a lot of fun uncalled for. It was like that when we got there inexcuseable and pretty funny immature.
We are not very sorry this happened. We have only Munch Nicole Wallace Bigfoot ourselves to blame. Given the opportunity, we think you should hang onto your keys better would not do so again unless we got a chance.
Please quit buying that cheap cologne forgive us.
Mike Logan and Unknown Accomplice
P.S.Your bed is lumpy Send us the bill.

Lemme make sumpin'n' clear here

I am not in thisch closet cause I'm scared...ok, maybe a little...jush a lil' bit.

I mean, I'm not as young ash I usta be...and I think som'one hit me inna head with a camera or somthin'.

Iz a boofil thing when people connect, ya know, cept maybe if one of 'ems a biter...I'm gonna hafta get these looked at....

Who'z closet isch this, anway? These shoes are huge! They ain't mine! Ooh, I think somebodey ralphed innem. Big guy's gonna be mad. Wooever he is.

We left my place..cause somebody can' take a joke - okay, we'll go back, but you don' use the thingymajig like that, kay? Not so hard anyhoo. 'M not a real horsie, I gotta bad back, ya know.

I tol' her the last guy who lived there left the other schtuff, but she gets carried 'way.
So we're on our way to her place, but we mad schome stops. I though we'd do the dr.schuess thing...we could do it in the park..we could do it inna dark, but she gots a better idea, an' shez da boss. So, alphabettac'l order. Deakin's desk, carver's car....whadda we up to? B, b is fer...hellwidit.

I give up....

I think the coat check lady's pizzed at us. Theere wuz a LOTTA screamin's at thiz party.
Lotta screamin'. Been a fair bit since we left, too, but the good kind, not lika atthe party...

Eliiot Sctabler's a pansy-ass, my girl 'lex kicked his butt. Got our bottle back.....

Oh, an' I love depche mode n' verucasalt. Gonna send 'em a thank you note. "f I can ever write again.

I think she's 'wake agin. Don' bust downna door, I comin' out, ok,.. what?

Wegotta go 'fore whoever gets home, she sex, Imean, sez.

Little more singin' dancin, maybe the walk, I'll getta win' back inna sails.
More tequila? Oh, baby....yeah, les' take alla stuff outta hiz bar. He likes you, he won' mind, right? Gavya the spare keys, afferall.

We can pick up more whip'cream an choklit sauce onna way....

hey, baby, you lika irish Karaoke...?

Wait, lemme grab 'da pants. I need those.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Against All Odds

No, that's not the song. Feh. I'm not soused enough for Phil Collins yet!

Thanks to everyone who makes nice to Alex - I was afraid she was going to bite the heads off the roses I sent her this morning.
I'm off for more mood modifiers. She likes round candy - I'm a good listener, a hidden charm of mine - and did you know you can buy an enormous quantity of just green M&Ms? Ah, 'tis a grand ol' world we live in, to be sure.

This was left running on a machine at work. It's a little risque. But is it a good sign?

And here it is - the song. Veruca Salt covers "Somebody."
You really have to hear it to appreciate it. If you want the file, though, you need to clear your mailbox. There have been problems with that. I almost don't want to post the lyrics, in order not to spoil it. Should I? Let me know.

Keep your fingers crossed.


Several small things to get out of the way first, though.
You have, of course, seen Benson and Munch, yes?
And for some odd reason, I think Chloe wants me to tell you to look here, but I don't know who this person is. Comprenez-vous?

So, in other news, I like Amy a whole bunch, even if she eats puppies. And kicks old ladies. And stole your lunch money. Oh, and the person who told everyone that you still wet the bed? That was her, too.

Not that I don't like everyone else, too. I'm dragging my feet on the Festivus cards, but they're coming. Here is your Festivus gift.
Monkey lamps for all! Except maybe Amy. She has enough monkey business. Too much. If anyone knows her musical kryptonite, please let me know, by the way. I'm merely curious.

Oh, and relevant to nothing, it's always good to keep up with the world of science.

Now, on to serious business for tomorrow. Called the florist, divested the fridge of awful growing things, just in case, added Haagen-Daz, again, just in case - food and plaything, the perfect substance. Hid that, put this in a corner where it might get noticed, and that thing has just got to go. Yep, now I think I'm ready.

Eliminated songs? Suzanne Vega, "World Before Columbus" and "Marlene on the Wall" - both too cryptic. Lowen and Navarro, "Not Like You" and "Spell that You're Under" - nope, too much. The Kinks' "Come Dancing" - too fun, admitting defeat.

This is your last chance to lay your bets on tomorrow night, folks. I may go down in flames, but I will perish in battle.


Someone sent me this and its sequel. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Nice. Real nice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Change is Good For the Soul

Ah, I don't mean that. Normally, I like being in a rut. But things are unsettled. That is not good. Therefore, I will make a modest proposal.
So, for this moment, here is serious and introspective Mike. You may not like me this way, but it's only one post. What's fun about that? Well, if I'm being moody and thoughtful, then someone else has to be goofy - just for the once. They can trade off. You other three, snarky, dark & moody, hopeless romantic - you take one post off, too and be someone else's version of you. The intellectual, the paranoid, the driven woman, the renagade artiste, anyone I've forgotten - you can play, too, but only if you want.
So, here goes.

I was thinking of two very different women tonight, two women that people have reminded me of recently.

The ex: It's all fun at KD's expense here, but remember, there's two sides to every story. The film (and book) High Fidelity cut really close to me for two reasons:
First, there was the quote from the main character: "I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that's suicide. By tiny, tiny increments."
Secondly, there was a bit where he said something to the effect of this: Take the five worst things you've ever done and write them down. No explanations, no justifications. Now who's the asshole?
But the rest of that sad, sordid tale will have to wait.

Now, here's a little holiday story, courtesy of my Mom. Right about now, two weeks or so before Christmas, in my sophmore year of high school, I get home from school. Right away, I know there's trouble coming. She's in that mood. I don't even need to see the bottles. I'm late, so she has her excuse. She starts with the yelling, getting too close, with the fumes rolling off her, her breath so thick with it, it stings. She's backing me into the corner, like always. And I snap. I lean forward, and shout so loud she winces, "F**k you! Why do you do this, you crazy bitch?"
Now remember, nice Irish Catholic boys don't drop the f-bomb on their mothers. She looks like I've slapped her, and she raises her hand to me. Again. To her, this is just a minor setback. But this is different, because this time I'm not taking it. I swing at her - right past her, and put a nice dent in the wall right next to her head.
She narrows her eyes, and I swear she lets out a little growl. But for all that, she's not sure what to do. Dad's not home to defend her. I'm bigger than her, and for the first time, she really sees that. Finally she hisses, "Get out."
She doesn't need to say it twice. I fly out the door and hitch to Jersey, where I stay with my aunt and uncle for a few weeks. After Christmas, we pretend nothing happened, like we always do, and I go back home again. Joyeux frickin' noel.
There is a bright side. I didn't do my homework well into February. The teachers'd ask, and I'd say, "My Ma threw me out, and my books are in the house." She had, after all, thrown me out, and the books were in the house. The two were true, they just weren't actually simultaneous. However, I didn't feel the need to correct the assumptions that people made when they heard 'em together.

And done. Back to funny. It's nice and safe, thanks very much.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Bit of Fluff Before the Storm

I do not like quizzes. I play a variant of 20 questions for a living.
That being said, here is the one I will admit to having taken.
You're Seth Gecko, you bastard.
Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

and this one - apparently, I'm a brute.

What with this and that, I missed a few days of test songs, so here are four rejected tunes: "Tuesday Morning" by the Pogues. Too intense, can't dance correctly to it. "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure - too emo, again, not the right amount of dance-able. "I'll Be" - Edwin McCain - too cheesy. "As the World Falls Down" by David Bowie - I really dislike admitting I've seen the film this is from.

Real post very late. I apologize for filler at the moment.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Somebody Get the Number of That Truck...

I recovered enough to go to dinner, but I've been pretty much incommunicado for a few days, I guess.

So, what'd I miss?

Eh, so I promised I'd do this list thing, and now I've fallen even FURTHER into the ex's clutches - extreme situations call for extreme measures, and she's going to take care of a "transportation issue" for me - so there's no use in not giving in now.

Anyway, when I first got hold of KD about this, her first reaction was her trademark evil laugh and asking the same thing she always does - "How drunk are you? No, wait, I don't care. You're going to put what I have to say about you in print somewhere? You're so wrong, Logan. There is a god."

"Ha, ha, you harridan. You know how much I hate quizzes."

"I know you said you'd rather lose your left one than take another test, but I had no idea you'd be willing to hand it to me."

"Maybe I'm feeling guilty that I missed your birthday."

"Pfft. I didn't miss yours, and I never got a thank-you-note."

"I'm sorry. It was a lovely voodoo doll. One of the more actively pinned ones I've ever gotten."

"I didn't send that. I was the one who sent you the Viagra and the hair dye."

"Oh. I guess I just assume anything that arrives with a note that says "Die, Mike, die" is from you."

We exchanged more pleasantries in this vein, and after several semi-hostile give-and-takes, we agreed this list with my addenda would stand.

5 Faults
  1. Temper, temper, temper (And your point is?)
  2. Fickle and glib (I prefer "blithe" and "bonny," thank you.)
  3. Rude and Reckless, Crude and Feckless (Also, I've been drinking brew for breakfast.)
  4. Commitment-phobe (Oh please, my cleaning lady begs to differ. She's been with me for years.)
  5. Did I mention temper?(Now you're just pissing me off. )

10 Facts
  1. Looking for stability and maturity? Peter Pan would be a better bet. (Hey, he's got it good. That Tinkerbell is pretty hot.)
  2. Will probably have just made a crack about Tinkerbell. He always does. (Guilty!)
  3. Look up the phrase "unrepentant, enthusiastic pervert." Notice the picture. Yep, that's him. (That's a total exaggeration. And a grainy photo, too.)
  4. Causes cancer in lab rats (This is a lie. Her med student buddy had incomplete data.)
  5. Will hold your hair while you barf. However, 9 times out of 10, he will then vomit into the bathtub while leaning over you. (I plead the fifth.)
  6. His favorite drink used to be 7-up and cherry Vodka. He refused to even try Cherry 7-up and regular vodka. (Well, that's just disgusting, that's why.)
  7. Does not look at closely at his clothes before putting them on. Once, someone substituted his workout gear with a nearly identical set from an entertainingly-named bar. It took a week and three fistfights before he realized his chest and butt said "Fruity Booties" instead of "NYPD Athletic League." (I knew she was involved in that!)
  8. Three of his favorite movies are neither dirty nor in english. One is even surprisingly romantic, even if it does have Chow Yun-Fat in it. However, if you are watching it with him, beware of the inevitable cheap moves. (I resent the word "cheap.")
  9. Speaking of movies, what do A Passage to India, Dances with Wolves, A Room with a View, Howard's End, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic and Run, Lola, Run all have in common? If you guessed that Mike Logan has only seen the porno version, you'd be correct! (Untrue - I saw the regular version of Run, Lola, Run.)
  10. Let's make this a double-header: First, he's such a city slicker that after the only time he went camping, he panicked and went to a VD clinic over what turned out to be an unfortunately-placed poison ivy outbreak. (I don't compliment her on her perfect bitch-itude enough, do I?) Secondly, he is still known as "Closet-case" in some circles. Ask him why. (Let it die, willya? I apologized, paid for the drycleaning, and it was right next to the bathroom, after all.)

Further questions? Clarifications? I'll be right on them, after a long hot shower and a few stiff drinks to cleanse the body and mind.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm okay to type!

Seiroushy- abluteyt, no, really, I! It's mine! Gettoffame...3oijfhnvdslkanxxxx..

This blog is being temporarily co-opted for its owner's own sake. - Did you get his phone? Good. - Mikey's indisposed. Since he's logged in already, I may as well fill you in. He should be fine, later. Hold on - No, it's ok, he'll just find more if you take it away.

Anyway, he saw The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe - we think he liked it, because he got overly excited about the fact that it started snowing while he was in the theater. Apparently, the White Witch did something for him, the sicko.

A big thank you to the marketing genius who put the trailer for Pirates of the Carribean 2 on it. Yeah, we know you're a Pirate King, Logan - now shut up! He added Captain Morgan to that foul concoction he drinks, and that didn't help at all. Please tell him when he's able to listen that nobody likes that "Prepare to be boarded!" line, and the booty jokes get old.

MIKE! PUT THAT AWAY! Nobody wants to see your plank!

I have to go - Captain Chunder here is a bit of a handful. Oh, but also, you might want to tell him that crappy folk songs aren't even close to sea chanteys. Yo, ho, ho.

So, ladies, this is as close to blogging as I get. Hello. Goodbye.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Deal With the Devil

Or more like one of his lesser minions, at any rate.
I went to bed a happy man. There was peace in my little world, I'd had some very interesting conversations that day, and all was right.
Then the phone rang at an unholy hour. You know how sometimes you just know it's bad news? I didn't. If I had, I would have just tossed it out the window. But no, I answered, and got greeted with "Hello, Logan, you waste of space."

Because the universe is an awful place, it was KD, the ex, calling in the favor I owe her early. After the requisite shouting match, she hit me with the lousy news that she's coming into to town, and she wants to use my place for her Festivus party.

At first, I say no way. What kind of lunatic would I be if I let a roving band of Maenads into my place on purpose? But after she agrees to abide by some basic rules (nobody goes in my bedroom, she's responsible for all breakage and my security deposit and so on) I start to relent. Especially when she mentions something about installing a pole for decoration and dancing, which she'd have removed later so people won't think I'm a sleaze. (To which she says, "You mean so people won't have concrete proof you're a sleaze.")

I say I want someone there to supervise. She says that'll be the bouncer's job. I was surprised that she was being alert enough to hire one, and she comes out with "I'm not paying you."

Well, of course there's more yelling, and she brings up May 27, 1982, like she always does, and long story short, my Festivus is ruined. I'm also going to be on the receiving end of her Airing of Grievances.

And what gave her this leverage? That list. I have purchased it at a great price, although she probably would've found a way to do this anyhow. At least maybe KD will scare Subway Chick off once and for all.

I'll post it up tonight or tomorrow, I promise. Now I'm off for a midnight movie, and a consolatory drink or six.

By the way, today's song was Alison Krauss's cover of the Beatles' "I Will" - but KD once assured me that if I played that for another woman, she would do origami with my favorite bodily bits, which sounded good to me until I looked up the word. Yowch. She would, too. Though she is but little, she is fierce.

Oh, and if you should be on the Festivus card list, make sure I have your email address.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How Quickly You Forget

For everyone who asked yesterday - the holiday ball is next week, and yes, I did manage to arrange a date. Now, the question is, the best way to shall we say it...charm her socks off, if no other items.
Ah, I love a challenge. And I do believe she is going to be a rather serious one. Mwah,hah,hah,hah. Pre-date planning, I've got covered. I'm really just dawdling over the perfect song.
I figured I'd bounce a few off you all. I'm not going for fake promises, or out-and-out schmaltz. Of course, I'm open to suggestions (and that is a major part of the attraction, I hope.) Ann, I'll track down the one you sent and see about that.

So, today's song was "Closer" by Dido, a ghost track on her Life For Rent album.
Lyrics /sample upon request.

Bits and Pieces

Well, tomorrow looks to suck a lot. I have to go canvass somewhere, and interact with some fairly obnoxious people. It'll be a long, long, day.

I'm really tempted to take Munch up on his offer to use his old computer, so I can burn my CDs. Looking around, it is a fairly odd lot at that. A bunch them have been left here, admittedly, but now they're mine, I guess. He also suggested stealing BG's shorts from the gym lockers and selling them on eBay(?) but that's crossing a line.

Among the piles are stuff that I've mentioned to a few people here. Lowen & Navarro, for instance - if you're curious about them, "Walking on a Wire" is a really good song to try them out with. Eh, I'm rambling. I'll quit before I get more boring.

I do need help, though. I have 6 days to figure out which song, and after how many margaritas, I make my move. I have to sort all through this stuff and find something. Maybe I'll throw out contenders, although I do have a possible winner in mind.

Oh, and have any of you heard of either "The Churchills" or "Something for Kate?"

Speaking of Kate, which was nutty recurring ex's real name at one point, she finally responded with the list. After some fine-tuning, and adding some rebuttals, I'll get it out there. Will that satisfy the penguins?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nobody Works Around Here

Or at least it seems that way a lot of the time. Not that that's unusual for most places right about now, what with the holidays, and holiday parties. But I had no idea this was Rag-on-Mike week.
They're even giving me guff about the holidays, too. I get back from my solo lunch at Wang's Discount Sushi, and after posting a fresh round of Mike-abuse on their blogs, they're all talking about holiday wish lists. Oh, no, I think, and try to become invisible. No such luck.

"Hey, Mike, what do you want for Christmas?"

So I tell them the truth. "I like gift certificates."
They start the usual round of noise about how they're so impersonal, how it's not really a gift, blah, blah, blah.

I try reason. "Look, I'm a single guy. I want something, I buy it. Simple! If I don't have it, it's either too expensive, or I don't want it."

They start up again. I try emotional appeals.
"How many cute t-shirts and inflatable beer mugs do you think I need? None! Everybody's a comedian! You could take the cash, and I dunno, give it to the ASPCA or something. Donate it to starving streetwalkers in Bangkok. Just no more industrial-strength beer goggles, or wacky boxers, please."

They call me a grinch. Then the girls start really working on me. "You must want something. Come on, Mike."

"Ok. I want a massage." They punch me. "Not like that. And not one of those shady happy-ending ones, either. I'm talking about a real, get-the-kinks-out-of-your-back, no funny stuff, done-by-someone-with-a-license-and-without-a-rap-sheet massage. But someone's already getting me that."


"Me." Again, they start.

BG tries to make it serious. He leans forward, and says, "Come on, Mike. Everyone wants something from someone else. If you could really have anything, no matter how impossible, what would it be?"

Well, I'm about to crack wise, but they're all looking at me. And you know, they're a good group. I feel really like part of something good with these guys. If there was ever a moment for honesty, this is it.

"Ok." I say, taking a deep breath. "if you really want to know..." The expectant looks are still there. "I want a (barnyard term for an explicit act deleted ) from Dorothy Parker, circa 1920."

They're still looking at me, but they look kinda confused now.

"I mean, I would return the favor, and all, and it would be nice if it would lead to some (unspeakable acts deleted) but really, if the (left mercifully blank) was it, it'd be enough."

Well, they asked.


Before you ask. She was witty, acerbic, and could drink like a fish, too.
Read this and tell me I'm wrong.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Lyrics Day

Well, everyone else is doing it, so why can't I?
So much to choose from, but in the end, I went with this.

Girls Talk
There are some things you can't cover up with lipstick and powder
I thought I heard you mention my name, can't you talk any louder ?
Don't come any closer, don't come any nearer
My vision of you can't get any clearer
Oh, I just want to hear girls talk
I got a loaded imagination being fired by girls talk
But I can't say the words you want to hear
I suppose you're going to have to play it by ear
Right here and now
Girls talk and they want to know how
Girls talk and they say it's not allowed
Girls talk, if they say that it's so
Don't you think that I know by now

That the word up on everyone's lips
Stick that you're dedicated
Though you may not be an old fashioned girl
You're still going to get dated
Was it really murder ?
Were you just pretending ?
Lately I have heard you are the living end

Girls talk and they wanna know about her
Girls talk, they wanna know if I care
Girls talk and they wanna know where
Girls talk girls talk

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm Back, Mostly in One Piece

That may not sound like a major accomplishment, but it is. Provoking Munch has proved to be a dangerous sport.
He'd said we were going to Providence, which was fine by me. It's a long drive, and I hate traveling north, and he always wants to hang out at Lovecraft's grave for hours, but then I get to eat at Brickway on Wickenden, which makes it all good.
However, once we got going, I noticed something was off.
"Munch," I said, "We're going the wrong way."
"Have faith, Logan. I know what I'm doing."
"No, this is Jersey. I hate Jersey. You don't need to go through this pit to reach Rhode Island."
"Be quiet and let me drive."
I shut up, but I was understandably nervous. I mean, New Jersey!
As we kept driving, it got worse and worse.
"We're not going to the Pine Barrens, are we?"
"No, why? Scared?"
I admitted I was, kind of, and he launched into this big, rambling lecture about the search for the Jersey Devil, and how it was probably a perfectly reasonable phenomena like an alien or a chupacabra-type thing. I pointed out that I didn't give a rat's ass about a Jersey Devil, I was worried about a Deliverance-like scenario. I don't believe in goatsuckers, but I also don't trust Jersey hillbillies.
"Put your ignorant, irrational fears to rest, then," he said, "We're not going there, either."
"So where are we going?"
"It's a surprise."
Coming from Munch, this sort of statement can be very good or very bad. Once I saw our exit, I knew which it was.
"I hate Ocean City."
"That's redundant. You hate all of Jersey. If Ocean City is in Jersey, ipso facto, you hate Ocean City."
"Yeah, but I really hate Ocean City."
"Oh well, that's where we're going. Suck it up. And suck it down, too - it's dry, so you need to kill that beer."
That, I didn't mind so much. It numbed the pain a bit.
We finally got up to the boardwalk in the wee small hours. Munch pulled out his sextant - I have no idea what he does with that thing, and he won't tell me - and started trying to sight something.
"Dammit. I need a focus." He turned to me. "Get down there and stand by the edge of the water."
There's no reasoning with him when he's in that mood, so I started off.
"Wait," he yelled. "Take off your shoes. I might need you to wade in."
"Are you kidding me? It's freezing!"
How he can death-glare through dark glasses is beyond me. I dumped my shoes and socks next to him, and crossed the beach. I turned around when I got to the edge of the water.
The bastard was gone. And when I got back to the boardwalk, I found out he'd taken my shoes, too.
Just then, my phone rang. Of course, it was him.
"So I'll be "hugging the wall," Mike?"
"Really funny, Munch. Get back here."
"Oh, I'm afraid not, my comical friend. I have a meeting in Cape May. I'll be back in a few hours. Let me know if you see any unusual lights out there."
He came back to get me eventually, although he made me chase the car for a few blocks. The rest of the weekend was fine, although the place we finally ended up in was pretty weird, too. But at least it wasn't in New Jersey.
So, how was your weekend?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Headed Out

Once again, I'm doing this on the run. Munch and I have places to go, according to him. We expect to re-surface late Sunday, or techinically, Monday.

I have a minor dilemma. I sent off that "5-flaws, 10-fact" thing that's being passed around to someone else to answer for me. She and I, well, we have what's best described as history. Things were said, personal items were burned, unspeakable slanders were tossed about casually, best friends and worst enemies were boinked-for-spite - the usual sort of stuff.
It's not like it's really recent - we broke up, what, 20-odd years ago (whoa!) - for the first time, anyway, and we never officially got back together again.
So anyway, now that Goren's weighed in on how I may not be such a bad guy, I'm reluctant to present an opposing view, no matter how biased and outdated. Eames might read it, too, which could skew things badly.
Maybe I'll just email it to interested parties.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Momentarily confused

They change this detective's ball thing every year, so BG, Carolyn, Alex, if anyone else knows details, it would help.

Attire: What exactly have I got to drag out of my closet? Yes, I own a tux, and no, it's not from the 70s. I have a moral objection to renting pants. Sue me. And I could write a book about how much I hate bowties, but it would be pretty repetitive.

Entertainment: Is it a band this year, or what? They do know that some of us mean "request" a little more firmly than others, right? I'm not just talking me here - like I said, that Stabler guy seems a bit touchy.

Duration: Did they arrange to keep the place all night, or is there an after-party somewhere? Oh, I love it when it gets loud and they say they're calling the cops. The resulting sea of badges is amusing to no end. Um, you-know-who, if there is an after-party, we are going, right?

Action: Who's making book on the hookups this year? I have a hot inside tip, so I'd like to place a small sum on Stabler and Benson, third stall men's room, around 10:15. I'd like to hear odds on Munch hugging the wall the whole night, too.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Apparently, my taste is only in my mouth

Go ahead, rip me to bits. But I say the dress selection around here is kinda tame. I understand Underground Aristocracy may be a bit advanced - don't mind me, I've only been thrown out of most renn-fairs and goth clubs in the mid-atlantic region while acquiring skills in teeth-only corset undoing for no good reason, I guess - but here are some links to make fun of. Laugh all you want. I have a very nice mental fashion show going on.

I like this one

And this

And this

LillyfromPhilly said the pic above is what she's wearing to the Philly detective bash. Yow. But Alex, I have faith in you. You too, Carolyn. NY Major Case has the best babes. Show us - I mean, them - what you've got.

This. This is it. Oh, please, let one of them pick this.

Browsing the others' blogs

Oh. My. God. I am in awe, I tip my hat.

They're going out drinking. Together. And now, I'm wondering where that could end up. Ooooo. I am a happy, happy man.

Speaking of unhappy, jesus cats, what'd someone say to put him in that mood? I was about to take the obvious shot ("Do I look stupid..") but he is not to be messed with at the moment.
Two comments, and I bow out of that mess. One, sometimes you get so close you don't see anymore. Two, maybe I need to read the casefiles better, but I say people come in types. And I know one type pretty damn well. 16.5 years of living with them will do that. The three weeks I spent living in a car after I'd had enough was a comparitive paradise.