Home

I was talking to Soup Boy this evening, comparing notes about our holiday visits to the states. We are following wandering stars, Soup and I, and our intersection in this town is more about coincidence than fate. The Boy is younger than I am, and has not settled down on his own the way I did in San Diego. Until this Christmas, however, “home” for him had always meant his parents’ place, the building he had grown up in with the rest of his family.

On his last visit, he realized that something had changed. It was not “home” anymore, it was the place he had grown up. It was his parents’ home. He was there, and he was a visitor. Not to take away from people who cannot afford a roof over their heads, but there’s a difference between homeless and houseless. I sold my house, and I left my home. Now I live here.

Soup Boy and I talked for quite a while about what home is. Actually, he did most of the talking, because he had been doing most of the thinking. He was visiting friends in Los Angeles, and he talked about what he would do when he got home. “You mean, back to my place,” the friend would clarify. Soup Boy came to the realization that for him, home was wherever he was. Soup Boy is a snail, a Jet-Set snail who can traverse continents in an afternoon, but home is with him wherever he goes.

For me, the definition of Home is different. Home to me is any place I can feel I belong, any place that when I walk in people look up and know my face, and I can sit and do my thing and it’s part of the rhythm of the place. Home is where I’m part of the background, contributing my own hum to the room tone. Home is not a perfect place; here at the Little Cafe right now the window is closed and the smoke is making my eyes burn, my lungs ache, and I’m not going to be able to wear these clothes into my apartment. Still, for the hardships, I feel a connection to the people here. Although bartender turnover seems to have been 100 percent in the time I was gone, all the regular dogs are here.

Dog is not a euphemism in this case. There’s a cocker spaniel curled at my feet as I write this, happy that I am home.

Nursing a Blue

We’ve all had the blues. Its a special sort of sadness, a reflective melancholy that does not particularly want to be consoled. From the blues comes a deeper understanding of the world and of who we are. The blues are a window to truth, the time when your brain is naked, when the darkness presses in, asking questions you don’t want to answer.

I have been nursing a blue for about a week now. Just a singular blue, not enough to be crippling or debilitating, just enough to imbue my characters with the pathos that allows a reader to like them. Just enough sadness to make joy feel tenuous, and life an act of courage. The best characters are wounded, birds with broken wings that cannot be healed, but if they can’t fly, they still walk, and perhaps in the end they learn that flight is not about wings at all. Those are my favorite stories.

So for the last few days I’ve been riding this blue, keeping it alive (though I suspect I have no control over it at all), and writing every waking moment. Soup Boy reminded me to eat yesterday. Before that, I think there were days when I lost some weight. I have been consumed by this blue, and I have eaten it alive and sucked every last morsel of sadness from it.

The blue is fading now; I write this from a reverberation, the last echo of the bell over the graveyard.

Epitaph

I was waking home last night, past the sprawling graveyards. The moon, gravid, rode shotgun, lingering by my shoulder even as the rest of the world passed by. My peace was broken only by the occasional car crashing past. From over the walls I smelled decay – life, death and rebirth.

The walls, stone set by men to separate the city of the dead from the world of the living, are covered with graffiti. Marks made with spraypaint, an attempt at permanence in a world that quickly forgets. Not so different then, than the carefully carved stone within.

The longest day of the year

I love long days. I love the lingering twilight, the glowing sky long past bedtime. Coming from more southern latitudes, these long days of summer are more a source of wonderment than they are to the locals, and the locals like them plenty. It seems like only yesterday I was remarking with joy that it was still light at 5 p.m. “Summer’s right around the corner!” I proclaimed to Andrea with joy. We were only a month past the solstice, but in my mind we were crashing into summer at a fantastic rate. fuego confirmed it – on the call sheets for Turkey Pot Pie (also known as Hostel), he included the time of sunrise each day. Throught the heart of shooting sunrise was minutes earlier each day.

Today we reached the top of that ride. It was a beautiful day here in Prague; the sun came out for the big show, reminding us all why we are alive. (We can’t help it.) I walked the city today, Old Town, New Town (new, in this case, being relative), and parts beyond. Now I am back at the little café near home, my little corner just south of the big west-facing window not sheltering me from the glare. Luckily an apartment complex across the street is about to give me some relief, and there are some clouds low on the horizon. Had you asked me three months ago, I would have told you it was impossible for the sun to set behind that building. Good thing you didn’t ask.

So it’s been a glorious day, and it’s not over yet. That’s the point. But just as when I was at the bottom of the curve, in the depths of winter, I felt the upsweep, now I feel the bottom dropping out. Today is the longest day. Tomorrow will be shorter. I feel I should have done more with the day, because there won’t be another one like this for a year. It leads to an odd paradox. When times are bad, the ability to look forward and live for the future is a blessing. That same vision, when things are good, is a curse. To know the future is what it means to be human.

A Stream-of-Consciousness Muddled Ramble

Batteries getting low, time running out, I must type like the wind or the empire may fall. The Huns are at the gate, driving their chevys, waving their pants as banners, lighting them en fuego as they say in hunnish. Novels unwrit, pirates unfilmed, agents unbooked. Bladder filling. What am I doing about it?

Seriously, I was hoping you knew. ‘Cause I sure don’t.

As I typed that I heard that tomorrow we’ll see if we made the cut at Duke City Shootout. They’re running a bit behind over there, so (as I understand it) they’ve added a round of judging so the real judges aren’t burdened with reading scripts that are hopeless. I’m not sure, really, what to expect. Our production is far more ambitious than any that were made last year, and they may decide it’s just too much to shoot in such a short time. Haven’t thought of the right way to drop in, “Oh, and we have the storyboards and shot list ready to go.” Maybe if we make the first cut we’ll have a chance to drop that little nugget, plus the fact we plan to bring along our own second unit, or even remind them that fuego has been in the biz for a long time, and his whole job is making sure things get done.

So here’s hoping, anyway, but if some putative expert decides it’s not makable, we probably won’t even reach the next round. So it goes.

Slaughterhouse Five! That’s my fifth book! Ha! And you guys thought I wasn’t going to fulfill my promise. It’s just that I don’t remember stuff so well. I know things, but I can’t remember them. Dang, that’s a good book.

Today in czech school I learned a very important word, prdle. It’s the impolite way to say ass, and it is tremendously useful. There are literally dozens of ass-related phrases in regular use in the czech language. I will be devoting an episode to it soon. But not now.

Speaking of ass, it is a warm, sunny day here.

When I got home last night, there was still light in the sky, but the late-night store was closed. Welcome to the northern latitudes. There should be some rule, though, that while it is still light, you should be able to pick up a couple of beers at the local store.

Speaking of beer, reading this you’d think I’d had a bunch of it. Not the case, sorry to say. Just imagine what it would have been like then.

You got your beautiful, and you got your pretty

Perhaps some of you have caught on by now that I enjoy regarding the female form. I, as most men before me, have raised observing that form to a science, complete with its own jargon and erudite theses. My own system of appreciation is reflexive; my appreciation of the members of the opposite gender is for me a way to measure myself. Hour by hour I am changing, or perhaps looping, and I can measure my progress against the world around me.

James Thurber said the most beautiful women are in Spain. He was a good writer, so maybe he knew. Prague has her share, and San Diego, forget about it. When it comes right down to it, there are beautiful women everywhere. And life is good.

But surrounded by all this beauty, occasionally I meet someone who makes my heart stop. She may be beautiful, she may not be. Beauty, the physical form, the delicious curvatures, I’ll never get tired of it. But then there’s pretty. Beauty is form, pretty is substance. Pretty comes from the inside and flings itself outward in joyful exuberance, making the world around richer. Pretty is in the corner of a shy smile, the raising of a saucy eyebrow, the easy laugh. Pretty is different every time, reinvented and redefined by the few who really pull it off. Beauty is cheap next to pretty.

Almost Midnight

It was two weeks ago that my clock stopped. Two weeks ago, two minutes until midnight. The second hand was on the upsweep, challenging the gods of time in the way that second hands do, impatient and self-important, when it was forced to yield to influences it knew nothing of: Gravity, friction, and the inevitable.

It’s the only clock in the place. Out of habit I look at it several times a day, and it is always two minutes before midnight. How quickly I became accustomed to its presence over the door, ticking loudly. The clock stopped once before and I put in a new AA, but that didn’t last long at all and like hell I’m putting in another one.

It is not, and never will be, two minutes before noon. The clock stopped at night, just before the moment, and it hovers there yet, the hands waiting patiently for the impetus to sweep the final two minutes. I look that way and I wonder what I would do if that hands moved again. It’s two minutes until something big, but the clock is not ticking. Not that I can hear, anyway.

Yet-to-be-hatched chicken counting

Things are going really well for me right now. I finally got the punch in chapter one of The Monster Within that I was looking for. Finally. There’s a minor ripple effect I have to deal with, but finally the prologue goes Bam! I feel good about that. That story, man, it still gets me. Even if no one else likes it, I sure as hell have enjoyed reading it, and it hasn’t gotten old.

I was testing some of the database functionality in Jer’s Novel Writer and was cleaning up the characters who aren’t in the story anymore. Nothing like deleting the memory of a dozen once-significant characters to make you think about how far you’ve come. And about the sequel.

Jer’s Novel Writer is gaining traction as well, and I’ve decided to press hard to get a version ready for this year’s Apple Design Awards. It’s got “Think Different” written all over it.

So I’m sitting here chicken-counting. The eggs haven’t even been laid yet, but I’m thinking about taking time out from shooting Pirates to accept my major software design award in Cupertino. On the way back to Prague I’ll stop in New York and entertain the agents clamoring for my attention.

You know what’s cool about this fantasy? I can hit on only a tiny part of the dream and things are still grand. Things are happening, things are moving, and if it was only hard work that mattered I would be automatic. But I have chosen fields that are more that just hard work, although hard work is still the biggest part. (Hensley once told me that in response to the question ‘how did you get so fast?’ Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest pianists ever, said ‘If you spent eight hours a day playing, you’d be fast, too’. That’s a misquote of an incorrect memory, so, you know, don’t go dropping that line in jazz clubs where you want to appear to be intelligent. If you can find a jazz club that actually has jazz.)

Right. Back to the chickens, Any individual project seems like a huge long shot. All put together, it’s almost too much to handle. It is the classic American irrational exuberance, that annoyingly cocky confidence in self, combined with the drive to get it all done. That’s what pisses people off about Americans the most. Except, well, invading all those other countries with purely hypocritical justifications — that makes them hate us too, but the real reason they hate us, (aside from our intolerable arrogance, and well, our loudness in bars) is that they want to be us. They want to Get Things Done.

Man, I’m going to catch hell for saying that.

You know what makes you an American? Your car. If you drive a car every day, you’re an American. It doesn’t matter where you live.

Although drivers here pretty much suck. You could argue that Romans are better drivers than Americans, and I’m up for explaining how wrong you are. I admired those guys once, but Americans are just plain better drivers, except in Los Angeles and St. Louis. Maybe New York. Those guys in New York are such bitchy little victims it has to show in the way they drive. Saint Louis, I have no explanation for that one. All I can say is if you’re in a car there your top priority should be getting your wheels the hell out of there. People just… do things. No cause, just simple random effect. Great hurtling tombs of steel and plastic fling themselves about, blind and oblivious. St. Louis, in the middle of everywhere. It’s like Death Race 2000 there, only five better.

OK, I’m done now.

April 2th, 2005

One year ago, on April 2th, 2004, I woke up in my house for the last time. By the time the day was over I no longer owned a house and I was a couple hundred miles away. It was, purely coincidentally (I make sure to assure one and all), my 40th birthday.

My plan was to spend maybe three weeks seeing some of my own country before a quick trip back to San Diego to wrap up a few things, then off to Eastern Europe to start a little software company and to get even more serious about writing. I thought I might make it to the Czech Republic in time for the world hockey championships.

You already know what happened. Three weeks later I was in Tahoe City and just getting rolling, balancing a freelance software project with my need to roam. I had already become recognized at bars in Scotts Valley and Zephyr Cove, and was on my way to being a regular at Sam’s Place. From there I headed north, then farther north, then things got complicated.

On the way I wrote a lot, finishing one novel (although I’m tweaking it again now), making a good dent in another, and keeping some other projects alive. Every once in a while an episode here came close to capturing the feel of the road, the solitude and the possibility, and those are my favorite episodes by far. There are a few episodes I never published, and some I never wrote, that perhaps come closer yet. Those will have to wait for the fiction, either to protect the innocent or because the prose just needs more work first.

I have enjoyed writing this silly blog immensely. I’ve tried to keep maintaining my media empire from becoming too much work, and I’ve tried not to let it interfere with my “real writing” too much, but some of my better work is here on this sprawling site. Yes, yes, I know, but I already did quit my day job. There are periods when the prose comes easily and has more behind it, while at others I’m glad I gave this site the title I did. If someone finds the writing aimless and disjointed they can just look at the banner graphic and get over it.

There were days, blowing along empty desert highways with the sun baking my exposed head or groping through a Texas downpour, that I felt close to something, some sort of truth that is the holy grail of the American Road Myth, just out of reach. Motion was a drug, and I know there were times I missed opportunities simply because I could not stop. I think of those moments now, gone forever. The opportunity to photograph the lonely vendor in his shack while it rained in Monument Valley. The run-down little towns that once thrived when travelers like me were not drunk with motion and would stop for a while. The Kansas sunset. I think that was Kansas, anyway.

Finally in November I arrived here, in Prague, already behind on my November novel. I wasn’t worried. It came out pretty good; a techno-thriller that perhaps wasn’t yet thrilling enough but it had good characters. There’s a lot of the road in it, and the desert, and boats on the open sea. A couple parts were thrilling, too, as far as I can tell. It has a long way to go to be a complete reading experience, and it’s number four on the finish-up list.

The past few months have been quiet, and cold. My adventures now are of a different sort, like going to the grocery store and wondering what’s in that jar, or getting “big” and “small” backwards when asking for a loaf of bread, or realizing the sun is rising having just ordered another beer.

So here I sit, one year older and certainly no wiser, in a bar I dubbed Cheap Beer Place, trying not to let opportunity slip past. Trying to get published, working on more short stories, thinking maybe it’s time to get Jer’s Novel Writer into a state where I can charge money for it, and not forgetting the novel that comes after I finish up the sprawling unruly story that is The Test. The Fish will be the one will be the story that will finally decide if I brought anything in from the wilderness.

There’s more to this disjointed collection of musings and ravings than just the author, as well. Were it not for you, faithful readers, not just following along but making your own substantial contributions, this would simply be and exercise of verbal masturbation, only less satisfying. Instead MR&HBI stands as a bastion of literacy, wit, and intelligent discourse in the big, windy place that is the blogosphere.

Did I mention I did some work writing advertising copy?

Thoughts about Writing

I’m sitting here in Crazy Daisy, and it’s a fine Prague day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing (I didn’t miss them until they came back) and the world is generally a cheery place. A pretty girl went by in a miniskirt and naturally I thought about the art of writing essays.

It goes back to a comment my august sister left for another episode celebrating spring. Some pundit somewhere compared the essay to the miniskirt, saying it should cover the subject but nothing more, or something like that. It’s a nice quote, so you should go back through the comments and find it. Carol Anne had added to the famous quote by drawing a parallel to my comparison between miniskirts and bikinis. To which I simply added “It’s gotta have swish.” I think I just misquoted myself. Can you do that?

I didn’t state it so then, but while a bikini reveals, a miniskirt enhances. Women can probably make a similar analogy involving speedos and board shorts. In any case, it’s gotta have swish.

So what would I say if I was in front of a bunch of kids who are required to take a course in essay writing? I think first I would ask them the last time they wrote an essay, and I would point out that every email they send is an essay, every note they write is an essay, every message they leave on an answering machine is an essay. We will all agree that some people just have a knack for great messages, great emails, great signals across a room that you don’t forget. I have friends that can raise the most mundane thing to a cause of laughter or sorrow. I have a special note that my email program plays when I get a message from one of those people.

So what sets them apart? How much of that can be taught to a class of people who see writing essays as a chore?

In my not-so-humble opinion, there are two things that make a great essayist: they find their subject interesting and they write without fear. It’s important to differentiate between their subject is interesting and they find their subject interesting. I’ve read emails lately about things I care not one whit about, but the way they were written made me read the message more than once. Really I don’t care about baby poop, but when described passionately, with magical language, it resounds, and I’m thankful to hear about baby poop.

The only way to be passionate is to write without fear. So really the two things that make a great essay boil down to one. Write without fear. Talk about things that matter to you and put your balls on the anvil.

I don’t know how many times on my travels I was sitting listening to the person on the next stool spin a great yarn. Usually autobiographical. Holy cow, the stories I’ve heard. Then I would tell them I’m a writer (I love saying that). My co-drinker’s eyes would get wide. Why? They had just run out a better essay without thinking than I could do with blood. They were telling a story to a guy in a bar. There was no fear.

We are taught somewhere along the line that there are three (I think it was three) sorts of essays. Those Essay Nazis are really into numbers. Fives and threes. Three reasons to write an essay, my ass. I bet if you asked the author of an essay you really liked, “Why did you write that?” they might at first cite some social or political reasons but in the end they would just say “I needed to say it.” They’re not writing for a defined purpose, they’re writing to write. Certainly they will hope that the articulate expression of their experience will affect the world, but fundamentally they’re stringing words together to make concrete something that before was only in their head, and they’re doing it for themselves.

I suppose that’s the corollary to writing without fear. Write for yourself. Be yourself in everything. When my faithful laptop makes the plunk-choing sound I know I have something worth reading that will be an intimate reflection of the sender. I will be reading a great essay about baby poop, or Little League, or it will be a long unpunctuated ramble with almost frightening enthusiasm. If you’ve ever been to a poetry slam you’ll know that it is really an essay contest.

Which brings me to the karaoke semi-simile (kind of like) I used in the title. On karaoke night you will remember two singers, the best and the worst, the two most fearless of all the participants. Attitude the same, results different, both remembered, both walking off the stage with head held high. If I were to grade essays, there would be points for all the technical stuff, because you always want their courage to be as effective as possible. There would be style points, asking whether the writer is finding their own voice, their own way of expressing things. But there would also be a courage score. There’s gotta be points for laying it on the line. There’s gotta room to acknowledge art when you see it, whether it’s dismantling the modern power structure or discussing toilet water splashing back up onto your butthole.

It’s my only advice to anyone who wants to write. Write without fear. If you’re in school, screw the grade. There’s nothing wrong with technical ability, in fact, you’ll find that all that grammar and crap ultimately gives you a much faster car to drive into the brick wall. To really be great you need the technical skill, but all the skill in the world will never replace passion. And everyone has the passion. Everyone. You just gotta let it show.

Pan Ptáček

We have a similar way of solving problems, Otakar Ptáček and I. We try to outwait trouble, to roll with things until they either become intolerable or go away. That may not be ideal for a landlord—there’s no hot water in the kitchen—but neither of us are really the jump-on-it-and-solve-the-problem sorts. Perhaps if we could speak to each other it would be easier. Last time we spoke I surprised him by saying “super”. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I knew that word long before I came to the czech republic (but I did roll the r on that occasion better than I usually do). Even if I had the heart, I would not have had the ability to explain anything of the sort.

Mr. Little Bird was born here in the Czech Republic in 1925. I know this because his date of birth is listed on my lease. His is the only birthday reminder programmed into my phone as of yet.

He was a teenager when the Germans invaded. Did he rally in the center of Prague while the Czech government’s frantic pleas to the rest of the world were ignored? Did he take up arms? Was he conscripted into the German army? Honestly, I have no idea what happened to czech boys of military age during those times. He must have ended up fighting for someone, or in a prison that defies imagination. Or, possibly, both. How did he feel when he was nearly twenty years old, when the Russians came and freed their slavic brethren, opening the concentration camps and nursing the survivors back to health on sausage and vodka?

How did he feel when the communist government started building its own concentration camps, less brutal than the nazi versions but still horrible? What compromises did he make living in a society whose foundation was suspicion?

Where was he in ’68? When the czechs did their dress rehearsal for the peaceful reform of their government only to see russian tanks sweep through their country? He was probably too old by then to be throwing rocks at tanks, but what did he say as he drank with his friends? Was he still remembering being liberated in his youth, saying that kids these days just didn’t appreciate all that the Russians had done for them, or was he quietly looking forward to a new government, or was he just ordering another round?

Like other Czechs, he’s rolled with it, outlasting the problem. Fascists, communists, capitalists all come and go, but the czech character remains. They’re a fatalistic bunch; they take their injustice stoically and in their hearts they don’t really believe in progress. Change they know, and even embrace—the way a mafia boss will embrace a rival. Change will happen around them, but not to them.

And here is my landlord, pulling up the stairs slowly, explaining with his hands that he has a bad heart. Čekám, I say, my use of czech lost to him as he labors up the stairs with his daily ration of beer, but he smiles gratefully for my patience. He’s got a winning smile and an open face; in the end everything is something of a joke to him. A quiet, introverted, joke that only he gets. I laugh too. I don’t know the joke, but I know it’s a good one. Pan Ptáček has seen enough to know what’s funny and what’s not.

She was a writer

The airport was deserted, except for the bar. Everyone got there hours early, only to discover that even the most earnest security official can only delay you for so long. I sat down, and ordered a big beer. “You can have a shot with that for an extra buck,” the bartender informed me. I looked over the booze and figured a shot of Chivas was worth almost a buck, and had that tacked on. I was sitting, contemplating which to drink first, when a woman pulled up one barstool down and ordered a Sam Adams, large. Moments later she had also ordered a Chivas, for the same reason I had.

We started talking. We both feared what was going to come next. We both thought that Bush was stupid (“lightweight” was the word I used), and that a terrorist attack was just what his administration had been hoping for.

Physically, she was striking. She had a great butt, piercing eyes, and her lower face was a wreck. She’d had some disease as a child that ate her jaw and (if hyperbolic memory has not overtaken me) almost her life. She had written a book about it, Anatomy of a Face. If memory serves. We’d had another double-round by then. She was on the NPR rolodex under self-esteem, and was coming back from an interview.

She held her hand over her face much of the time. I guess even if you’re synonymous with self-esteem you get tired of people staring. “I’m a writer,” she said. I wanted to say I was a writer, too, but it sounded pretty me-too-istic. Probably I mentioned it eventually. I still had a day job, though.

I wonder, all these years later, if she remembers the guy in the bar at the Cincinnati airport who was checking out her ass when he didn’t think she was looking, who occasionally had the courage to look into her terrifying eyes, and most of all had a great conversation about everything under the sun while a cloud hung over our nation. Maybe it was the time, maybe it was the setting, maybe it was my own slower disaster, but I will never forget her.

Perfect

I saw a very pretty blind girl today. She and her dog were waiting for a tram, but not the tram I was on. I looked at her and thought, “Man, that would be perfect.”

What am I writing?

My head’s in a really neat writing place right now, but I can’t keep it on any one narrative. I spent some time honing a couple of shorts, I pondered another one but didn’t get past the title, and I screwed around with all three novels in play right now. Everything I wrote I liked, but I doubt it totalled a thousand words.

But I’m just whining. Everybody has a work day where things don’t move well. It’s just that I’m so close right now. I feel it there, tickling the back of my brain. Calliope, maybe, or one of the other muses, is going nuts right now. Can’t you hear me, jerkwad? Do you not appreciate the gift I’m offering right now? She’s shaking her head, wondering why she bothers.

I, also, am wondering why she bothers. Someone is breathing a deeper truth into my ear, but in a language I don’t understand. Something about Detroit Iron and Swiss Miss.

The Electric Creature of Prague

I’m looking around right now, assessing what it’s going to take to smallify my life back down to suitcase-size before my hosts return tomorrow, jet-lag weary, suitcases of their own in tow, ready to party. There’s not much actual cleaning to do; I’ve managed to stay on top of that. All the plants are still alive, which is good, but the table here and one corner of the room look like nests for some sort of beer-fueled electric creature. The nests are lined with cables and stray electronic devices, and are decorated with empty beer bottles. The beast is out somewhere right now, probably foraging behind electronic shops or perhaps on a beer run.

When the creature first began to haunt the streets of the city I imagine it may have raised a couple of eyebrows, but Prague is a live-and-let-live kind of place, and after a while this machine would just be part of the local color. In Japan, they would worry that the machine would eat too much and grow to monstrous proportions, and that it would then—in clumsiness or malice, it doesn’t matter which—destroy the city. In America they would kidnap the thing and take it to a secret facility deep under the windswept desert, where they would attempt to torture its secrets out of it. The creature would flash friendly messages on its flickering CRT face and would weep as it came to understand the cruelty of man, touching the hearts of the only two scientists in the facility who still had souls, who would then have sex.

Here in Prague, the creature is free to walk about, if walking is what it actually does, and people greet it with a polite Dobry Den. I don’t imagine it likes the rain too much. There’s probably an Internet café nearby that doesn’t mind it hanging around while the weather is bad. I imagine it makes itself useful helping customers access their email and in return is allowed to plug in and hang out, talking tech stuff with the staff, sipping pivo and snacking on electronics slated for recycling.

Its nest is here, though. Sometimes at night I can hear it coming and going, but overall it’s a good roommate, if a little sloppy. I’m not sure where it’s going to live when I clean up tomorrow. I suppose I should at least send it an email warning it what’s going to happen.