Some days?  Some days should just not exist.  Some days should just go away and put their heads in a bucket and stand in the corner for a million years while thinking very hard about what they've done.  Yesterday was like that.


Why yes, yes that IS a picture of me summoning a mystical crayon doomsnake to devour yesterday, symbolically represented as a box.  So glad you asked.


Fortunately, it was not a powered scooter

So on the subway today, I was accosted by a little old lady who began trying, in all seriousness, to ram her walker into my legs.

It is difficult to frame a socially acceptable response to this kind of thing.  Especially when the little old lady in question is giggling happily as she attempts to break your shins.

Did I mention that she was giggling happily?

Because she was totally giggling happily.

Fortunately, I am no amateur in the art of evading sneak attacks (I am a lawyer, lawyers make people unhappy a lot, unhappy people sometimes attack, QED) and I executed the one move in my playbook guaranteed to put a stop to shenanigans of this kind.  I shot up the nearest set of stairs.

She seemed a bit peeved but she recovered well, lurching towards a couple who were waiting for a nearby bus and slamming her walker into their innocent thighs.

The giggling followed me out the subway door.




Paper will save you when the apocalypse comes

The Ghost and The Machine launches this week, as a book with actual pages and things.  Or as a computer file which can live in the depths of your tablet devices, humming innocently, until you wish to embark on an exploration of the strange and twisted entity which is my imagination.

Now, I am sympathetic to those who prefer to keep all of their reading material electronically compressed.  I become more sympathetic every time I move, and have to lug countless crates of Penguin Classics and foreign language dictionaries up and down sets of stairs.  There is a secret underground brotherhood of movers who have sworn to assassinate me and burn all my Greek lexicons on my own grave.  

But what with the apocalypse looming and all, I thought it appropriate to remind you that there is a very compelling reason to keep accumulating books on paper.  Namely, paper books have so very many uses as survival gear.  



Observe the effortless transformation of the paperback into a zombie-repelling torch.  You could try to do this with a tablet, I suppose, but good luck trying to get the flame to catch, and good luck trying to hold a machete after globs of melted silicone run all over your fingers.


Survival is all mental, they tell us.  What better way to improve your morale and bolster self-confidence than to don a fetching chapeau?  Side benefit: The vaguely military appearance of your BookHat will cause other survivors to rally instantly under your banner.  You can then send them out on scouting expeditions, use them as cannon fodder, and/or steal their stuff.

Other survivors will not rally to your banner if you attempt to make a hat out of a tablet device.  They will look at you quizzically and ask why you have an e-reader stapled to your forehead.  Whatever you answer, they will edge gently away.

This one is so obvious that I blush to mention it.  When the apocalypse strikes, you want to be surrounded by things that you can quickly layer into a mighty and impenetrable fortification.  Books good building material, tablets not.  I rest my case.



...And we're live.  Good work, people, excellent, take five.  No smoking and I want you back on the set before we start the second act.



I talk a lot about zombies with the woman who cuts my hair.  This is, in part, because the woman who cuts my hair grew up in the Soviet Union and has a lot of childhood memories that involve shooting rifles or kicking people in the face.

It is also because zombies have become the great equalizer, the one touch'a nature makes the whole world kin, the mystical bridge between Geek and Non-Geek.

Zombies have become mainstream, it appears.

All of a sudden it has become socially acceptable for adults to discuss their zombie readiness programs or debate about the merits of machete vs. shotgun.  This is very odd.

Of course, I have always been ready and willing to do that kind of thing, but I am also the person who spent a good part of the last month constructing giant prehensile claws out of an old umbrella so that I could wear them to work.  I do not consider myself a good core sample of the typical modern consciousness.

And why zombies?  Why not dinosaurs or pirates or the Trojan War or manticores?

People are so very strange.

But it means that I can talk about zombies with the woman who cuts my hair.

Which is better than nothing,