Sunday, August 31, 2008

100 Word Challenge: Evolution

I dream of fish scales, wrapped around my torso like a corset, extending large dragon wings out my back. A tree is growing out from my scull, squirrels and birds living in my thoughts. This is the next phase in the growing evolution of human potential.

Being the base of a tree is hard on the back, so the roots must grow into the spine. From the bottom, a tail protrudes, fashioned from rootstock and bone. My feet are no longer flesh. They have become frames for little wheels, greased and ready to carry me wherever my dreams may wander.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ninja as Child - #3 - The Great Tree

A fantastically large, deciduous tree sits embedded in the center of the lawn, in front of my kindergarten school. As I pass under it each day, I stare up and admire the light filtering through the leaves. Someday, I could climb that, I think.

In late November, countless leaves fill the grass surrounding the tree. Yellow, orange, gold, brown, umber, burnt sienna, I think of all the Crayola colors that I know to name. They don't do justice to what I witness; I am unable to name the subtle hues and patterns of the cross-hatched leaf mesh or the crunching-crackle and squishing-sludge sounds as I walk through the half dry and crisp, half muddy patches of leaves. Running inside, it begins to rain and I spend the rest of the day watching the droplets pelt the classroom window. I dream in class, not looking away from the wet glass. The teacher mumbles incoherently.

After school, I walk outside and stop at about, what seems to me, a mile away from the base of the trunk. There is a dark lake surrounding the tree, filled with leaves. The rain has subsided and now wavers between a soft drizzle and nonexistence. The wind is gentle but it blows several pieces and clumps of leaves, which are floating around in the water. I stare.

I stare at the lake and dream of leaves and the microbiological worlds traveling upon them from the great distance where I stand to the base of the tree. I stare until all the other children have fled our daytime institution.

There is a tiny bug, floating there on a leaf, facing the wind and the water, fighting against uncontrollable forces, so far from its destination. It has so much space to travel, so much to see, to do, to experience, so long before it gets where it wants to go. This bug is so young, so vulnerable.

The sky grows grayer and the rain begins to trickle steadily. I continue to watch the leaf as the water from above beats it into the water below. The leaf with my bug vanishes into the depths of the lake as I watch it go down. I wait for it to come back up to the surface, bearing the little adventurer, the bug with no fear, the one who faced it all without objection. I wait.

I am shook awake by my mother who is standing hunched over in the rain, her arms on my shoulders, staring me in the eye. "Are you OK? Where have you been? You were supposed to be home two hours ago!"

I look up from the dead leaves and the water, into the eyes of my mother, and cry.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Exploits of Ninja & Child - #4 - To the Temple of Forbidden Wisdom

The darkness of the night is matched only by the blackness of ninja cloth, wrapped around a man carrying a child. She appears fragile, brittle, young. He is strong, bold, but not so old. Rain begins to spike down as arrows from the clouds, attempting to pierce the heart with misery. The ninja cloth becomes soaked on the outside.

Beneath the fabric, Ninja and Child are warm and dry. This cloth was fashioned centuries ago by the Keepers in the Temple of Forbidden Wisdom. In such a temple, goods are manufactured, the likes of which, not a soul could imagine, save the Keepers themselves and ninja who steal from them--nay, ninja who liberate such things from the tyranny of closed-source knowledge, like Robin Hoods of sacred goods, reverse-engineering the magic, proving each time that there is a reproducible science within. The Keepers would have the world believe the goods are simply magical black-boxes of utility and function, simply tools with no instructions, no way to recreate outside the Temple. But Ninja is not a believer.

Ninja and Child are heading back to the Temple, seeking more Forbidden Wisdom. It is, after all, only forbidden by the Keepers and they are not lords over ninja. No, the Keepers are above none but those who choose to put themselves beneath them. There are minions. There are sad, undereducated Keeper Evangelists, who spread the words of Keepers and their rules and their fear. Words of obscurity, rules of dominance, fear of ninja and free thinking, free ideas, global rebellion to their ways.

A field of wheat stands between our heroes and the Temple. Code Name Alice sleeps beneath the rain cloth and radiates heat to Sleep Deprivation Ninja. The rain feels nice.

Behind the stuttering of the raindrops hitting wheat, Ninja detects a faint movement. Something mammalian. Before he has time to react, three figures emerge from the wheat, jettisoned into the air above him, as if launched from a spring loaded platform, bearing scythes, daggers and fists. Human, thinks Ninja, how quaint.

They continue their upward ascent, a painfully miscalculated force in their jump. Ten meters, fifteen, twenty. Ninja cannot see two of them anymore beyond the clouds but one begins to descend rapidly, with daggers. The attacker is thrusting straight for Ninja and Child, blades out and fiercely swinging. Sleep Deprivation Ninja ducks as the man plunges into the brush, sticking up at an angle, as if a poorly aimed dart landing in a couch. Ninja heaves his left leg backward and kicks the sad sop in the ass. He spins up, flipping over several times before landing on his face.

The second attacker falls. This one lands hard but on his feet, crouching down, horse stance with no weapons but fists. He runs toward Ninja and Child, showing an extravagant display of retro-rave dancer flare. As he approaches, Code Name Alice stirs from her sleep, dreaming of butterflies made of clockwork and apples made of blackberry pie. She giggles and the rain cloth begins to glow. She chortle's and Sleep Deprivation Ninja's chest becomes the sun. The rain water sublimates instantly within a golden dome around them as the fist-flinging fighter is blinded and torn apart by the radiation of innocent laughter. The dark mask disintegrates from his face and he melts into a puddle of ruin, washed away by the uncaring rain. Code Name Alice drops back into slumber and the light retreats within.

The remaining assailant smashes the wheat with the weight of a whale, his scythe severing his own head as he lands.

Ninja walks on, stopping briefly to muse at a wooden plank on the ground, covered in wheat. Upon inspection, he finds long, heavy spring loaded force beneath.

Tune in next week for the arrival at the Temple. What will Ninja and Child find there? Who will they meet? What goods will they steal liberate?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Product Review [unpaid]: Heelys

Ok, I don't get paid for this but some ninja gear is just so cool, I've got to blag about it.
Heelys are just that kind of gear:

Typhoon model - Sizes: 12C - 6 Youth, 7 - 12 Men's


I've had a pair of these for a few years now and they rule. I run up escalators and then *BAM*, I'm rolling at lightning speed. It freaks people out. So ninja. Kids love them. I'm sure you've seen those kids around wearing them at the zoo and wherenot.
Yeah, they're so cool, you can make up words when you wear them--I'm wearing them right now! With adult sizes up to Men's 12, most moms and dads can partake in the fun. Don't just get a pair for your kids, wuss.


  1. The first week I had them, I sped down this killer hill at about 20MPH, totally ignoring the warning that you should never heel faster than you can cartwheel (18MPH is my max). I hit a spread of gravel and spent the next few hours plucking stones out of my arms.
  2. You do have to walk on your toes when not using the wheel. So, you can feel a little like you are wearing high heels--but it's worth it when you can jam passed those slow-ass peds and weave around them with the slick finesse of a balarina (actual experience may vary).
  3. If you are not a ninja, you should probably wear a helmet. And armguards. And kneeguards. And full body armor.
Now, if only I can rid my mind of the surfer-dude voice I've been using to construct my un-ninja-like enthusiasm for this piece of ubanacious badassery*.

* I think BHJ coined badassery

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who is Sleep Deprivation Ninja?

We're in the last bits of our weekly PEPS group meeting when I mention that my wife and I have discovered parent blogs and found them to be a good venue for commiseration and entertainment.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: Some of the mommy and daddy blogs are hilarious and often they are brutally honest, which is a massive relief.

Solar Dancer: He has a blog. He's Sleep Deprivation Ninja.

SDN: ... *mumbles in a very un-ninja-like fashion*, *feigns modesty*

At home, we prepared Code Name Alice for bed.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: I wasn't going to tell them who I am... I mean Lois Lane doesn't go around saying, 'Hey, Clark over there is Super Man'. Alfred probably doesn't tell his spa buddies that Bruce Wayne is Batman...

Solar Dancer: Um... those people are fictional, but I'm sorry...I won't tell anyone else.

SDN: Ah, don't worry about it. It's not a big deal, really. People can get that much info if they do a little digging. But I'm not worried about it. Sleep Deprivation Ninja is my alter ego, but I am also someone else's alter ego. So even if they know who I am, they will never truly know the identity of Sleep Deprivation Ninja.

SD: are you someone else's alter ego? Who are you really?

SDN: The truth is too much for anyone to know. But if they look deep, all they will find is that I am Sleep Deprivation Ninja's alter ego.

SD: Isn't that the same thing as Sleep Deprivation Ninja being your alter ego?

SDN: See, this is the great thing about it; I've hidden the truth in this infinite recursion thing. SDN is my alter ego and so I am SDN am I. You can't escape the regress unless you access a higher level of consciousness. I don't even know who I am beyond this mortal coil.

SD: I think people will be satisfied just knowing that you are Sleep Deprivation Ninja. I don't think they need to search out your metaphysical puppet master.

SDN: But then they still don't have the truth... I'm not really here. I don't exist.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja's alter ego begins to fade away, without identity, this flesh facade has no meaning. His body reaches half opacity when Solar Dancer shouts out.

SD: Don't you go vanishing on me. Baby needs a ninja daddy.

SDN: Oops... I'm disolving... sorry.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja regains full opacity. No matter his true identity. He is a daddy. He is a ninja.

This is all ye need know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Daddy = Play!

4 months ago...


Sleep Deprivation Ninja is huddled at the belly of his very preggo wife, giving the child some quality daddy voice time.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja [in deep gruff voice]: Grrrrrrrrr... mrrroowwarrraw... blaaaaahbbubbubub-ppppllleleleeleeee!
Solar Dancer:
Um, I think maybe you should just talk to the baby in your normal voice... and use real words.
SDN [resonant]:
Jaabo! Rallalalalala Solkio! GRRRRRRRAHHHH! mumumumum... I eat youuuuu!
You are not going to eat the baby.
Of course not, but baby doesn't know what I'm saying. It just sounds like playful stuff.

Present Day... Present Time... HAHAHAHAHA [obs. reference]


Enter Sleep Deprivation Ninja to comfort Code Name Alice, who has just awoken from a dream. Since she is only 3-months-old, she speaks telepathically to her dad.

Code Name Alice: Daddy, I have bad dream... monster try to eat me...
Sleep Deprivation Ninja:
*smiles wide* That's MEEEEE!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

For those of you with children (or thoughts of children) who will not be going to ninja training camps, Tinkering School is a nice alternative. It allows your children to be subjected to danger, while training them on proper handling of deadly weapons... er... tools.

However, if you are planning to enroll your child in ninja training for future placement in the Ninjalympics, I recommend getting familiar with what it takes:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Exploits of Ninja & Child - #3 - The Hyperbeast

From the fourth dimension, they are able to travel quickly, with only a twist and a pivot to move from one side of the planet to the other in a matter of seconds, the three dimensional universe as a whole only minutes away. Now in the sea of Epiphany, which swims somewhere near the northern Pacific Ocean. Now walking on and off land, in and around, a place known in the 3rd dimension as Sedona, Arizona.

The air is hot, cold, hot again as the ninja and child try to remain hidden in the folds of four dimensional space. It's a tricky task, which, when completed, reveals a hyper-dimensional landscape far more beautiful than the simple mountainous Sedona seen in 3D. In the fourth dimension, the sun is setting over another plane. The air is cool and crisp. The sky changing in a flurry of color and light. The mountains roll, literally. It takes the light-footed sprinting of a ninja to navigate the twisty plane.

As ninja and child navigate the surreal landscape, time shifts. They fall into a past tense.

'Twas brillig in the hyper-plane
Where ninja and child sought their prey.
Rest not until the beast is slain
And Lucy sings, "Callooh! Callay!"

"Beware the curvy land, my dear!
The paths betray, the trail moves!
Beware the open space, keep near;
Your ninja dad will find the grooves!"

He took his shuriken in hand:
Long time the hyper-ghost he sought --
So rested he with ideas planned,
Whilst ghostly foe did child spot.
And as with useless plans he stood,
The Hyperbeast, with hyper-fang,
Came rolling forth through tumbling wood,
And with excitement sang!

Though fingers long and eyes aflame,
The ninja turned and beat the beast!
And so the wicked foe became
A wicked tasty, fancy feast.

'Twas brillig in the hyper-plane
Where hero ninjas curve and sway
And hyperbeast lays broken, slain.
Now Lucy sing! Callooh! Callay!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Ninja Uniform

As I mentioned before, the Moby wrap is a great dual purpose tool for a ninja dad. It supports the child while you are engaged in defying physics with ninja activities. But it also allows you to quickly change from your normal citizen disguise into ninja, if you happen to be caught in the middle of the day with babe in wrap and a need to kick some ass, ninja style.

But there's one problem:
My old master took my ninja uniform and hid it. It was a stupid hazing-ritual-prank thing he did after giving me my ninja scroll diploma. He said it was tradition in his line of ninja tutelage and that it took him three years to find his uniform after his master did the same. Have I mentioned that I hate traditions? I hate them. They are generally foolish, counter-evolutionary, and sometimes mean spirited. I mean, that's my ninja gear. You don't just take a ninja uniform and hide it if it doesn't belong to you. That's just childish.

So, knowing that my master would never tell me where he hid my gear, even in a thousand years of sitting in the darkest pit of trans-dimensional pestilence, I hid my master. Ha! Find him. I dare you. That's what happens when a pupil surpasses his teacher and then the teacher tries to put one over on the student. Bam, sucka! Who the foo' you pitty now, bitch?

Anyway, so I'm online shopping for a new uniform because I'm sick of looking for my garb in all the billions of places he could have stashed it and I need something better than a baby wrap to conceal my identity and my secret weapons. The Moby really was great as ninja head and torso gear but the Björn just didn't work as well as a Moby replacement. It doesn't have the lower back support that the Moby has, which is why we are getting an Ergo to replace the Björn. Of course, when I get my new gear, it'll just be ninja and Moby all the way. Black wrap on black wrap.

How did ninja throughout history get by without online shopping? I mean, sure, I could hand sew my own gear or go find someone to make it for me--and make them make it. But that takes too long. Really, these days, I can have it all ordered and shipped way faster and way less expensive than I had thought.

I'll post some pictures of the new gear once it's in but, if you're curious, this is approximately what I will look like when it arrives:

Friday, August 22, 2008

100 Word Challenge: Faster

The neon-synth populous drinks elixir made from rainforest frog saliva. It carries our fantasies to fruition upon the lamp-lit phosphorescence we call dreams, visions, sacred moments of inhibition. We dance to the music of the modern mystic, the digital shaman, broadcast bright, symphonies of light, binary beeps and photon pulses. Tune in, zone out, dig it. It’s all abstractions and mental mischief, merging our ideas into syncopated steps. Adrenaline pumping, skin touching, blood rushing, it all blends in and bleeds out faster and more furious until finally it crashes into a frenzied crescendo and POP.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


We are just leaving downtown after hanging out at the Seattle Center and on the way to the car Solar Dancer decides she wants to stop at McDonald's® to get a coffee.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "You want to get coffee from McGonad's?! They are the epitome of my disgust. They are my vomit manifested as a franchise."
Solar Dancer: "But I have a coupon and I want to try it. Besides, their coffee won a taste test contest."
SDN: "hmm, peer reviewed?"
Solar Dancer: "Done by a different company. Blind test."

I gasp and grumble. This still doesn't seem like a convincing argument to me. Sure they won a taste test. It's fucking roasted beans. Coffee is about as simple as it gets. Now, if they won a contest for the best vegan chocolate truffles, I would be impressed. And it's not like they even grow their own beans. Everyone gets them from Columbia or Sumatra or some other place where poor families pick things. But I'm not going to fight it. People love their coffee.

I grew up on fast food. Happy Meals™ and milkshakes were foundations of the essential food groups. These days, I can't even stomach the thought of any of it. I haven't been inside a Micky D's in so many years, I actually don't remember the last time. Given my inner aversion to this type of business, I approach with wary (and weary) hesitation.

When we enter, a waft of gut-plugging, cholesterol-saturated air fills our lungs. An air filtration unit blows a light, Freon-conditioned breeze our way, lest we faint from overexposure to the natural heart-racing fumes of the restaurant. Even a ninja stutters his movements in shock of such an experience. I falter for a moment but regain composure quickly with a moment of inner meditation. The greatest power a human has is the ability to adapt--and we adapt very well, sometimes too well.

While Solar Dancer waits in line, I check Code Name Alice's unmentionables as she has been indicating that it's time to do so. Indeed, she's wet and needs a change. Well, this is a major food chain so they will have a fold-out changing table in the men's room, yes? Don't count on it. Not here. Bastards.

OK, I'm going to change her on one of the tables then. Don't worry about baby buns touching the surface your hamburger buns (if you are the type to eat off the table), I've got a portable changing pad. I get the baby girl unwrapped, all prepped to catch anything she might decide to dish out. But here is where the makers of plastic pads get it wrong.

Code name Alice, the ninja apprentice, the fast-food fighter supreme, the super-sized tater-tot, emits a mighty howl from her mouth and blows a banshee raspberry out of her ass. I ninja-dodge and it goes flying passed my head into the kitchen. Loud screams erupt as the thing ricochets around the interior of the building, bouncing off anything perpendicular to the floor, leaving a trail as it goes, somehow magically growing like a snowball shot down the side of Avalanche Mountain. What is it picking up? How is it growing in speed and size? It must be pulling in the surrounding refuse and artificial sweeteners, the shit spewing forth from people who are gabbing while eating their burgers and fries, the molecules of artificial proteins and simple sugars floating in the air, thick as grease, unrelenting to the weak air filtration unit.

And now I see it. The small box on the wall that's trying so hard to pump fresh, clean, breathable air into the room is sputtering, smoking, getting ready to pop, the sides of the grill so caked with buttery fat and lab-tested smokey flavor, it just can't handle the additional crap that was just unleashed into its precariously delicate environment. This is the straw that breaks the back, the drop of rain that fills the pool, the shit that hits the fan. And it hits hard.

The fan wheezes and hisses like an old smoker taking a final breath, coughing wet and hoarse. In a rip-roaring inferno of sickly air, smoke and fumes, all the thick particles it had spent so long filtering out and containing are pouring back into the room. The people who sit closest to the vent gasp in disgust. They weep as if hit with a SWAT team teargas raid. They drop their burgers and cover their mouths to hold in their last fresh tasting breath.

On the other side of the room, a portly man with a thick mustache holds his burger up high and screams, "There's shit in this burger!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ninja + Sleepy Baby = Exercise Opportunity

One of the best parts about being a ninja dad (and having a ninja child) is that I can integrate putting my daughter to sleep as part of my exercise routine.
She will only fall asleep in one of two ways:

1. attached to her mother's warm, soft, gentle, pillow-like boob.
2. being heaved and thrown as her dad bounces around the fortress with babe in arm, practicing deadly chops and weapon extractions to destroy robotic representations of his enemies.

The second option is more fun and offers an increased handicap to my workout. Of course, these days, my most entertaining adventures are with her in my arms.

As I swing side to side and leap from wall to rafter, she smiles up and closes her eyes. They open again and again, only to fall once more to the gentle rhythm of ninja battle. Someday, if she can find a battle exciting enough to stay awake through, she will become the greatest warrior of all time.

How do you get your kid to sleep?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ninja as Child - #2 - How I Started Liking Girls

Jacksonville, Florida. Kindergarten. First day of school.

We live just a few blocks away so I walk to class. Before I leave the house, my mother makes certain I'm prepared.

"Do you know where to go?" She asks.

I nod, as I do whenever an adult asks something that I think expects a nod. In reality, I know where the school is but expect something miraculous and new will happen once I'm there, like I'm going to learn all about the world without even stepping into a classroom.

The school has one large deciduous tree in the middle of the front lawn. The leaves are still lush and green from the summer. The tree is not the only thing that's massive. The school itself is enormous. My five-year-old mind can't fathom the extreme monstrosity of the building. The elementary school is attached to the side of a high-school. This city block has more kids than I thought existed in the entire world. It's obvious everyone is heading into the double doors that tower over the children like the entrance to a sacred temple, seeming so massive they must have been built thousands of years ago by dinosaurs.

I follow. The second I step inside, I'm lost. All the children of various heights are briskly walking passed me, knowing exactly where they are going.

I stand three feet into the doorway, lower my head to the ground and begin to sob.

Children stare in horror at this sad wretch who's lost his way, all ignoring his plight in favor of a quick exit to their destination points, until three girls walk by and stop.

"Oh, look, he's lost," exclaims a pretty girl in a blue dress. Blue is my favorite color.

"We can help you. Do you know what class you are supposed to go to?"

I shake my head slowly, not giving up the tears. This is awesome! Older girls are talking to me! The girl in the blue dress takes me by the arm and one of her friends in red grabs my other. We skip merrily to the administrative office. Soon, I'm in the hands of a real adult and the three girls are waving goodbye and wishing me luck.

I am the last one in class. In the days that follow, I become exposed to an alien world. Teachers, a frightening Victorian principal, overhead speakers, the pledge of allegiance, sitting in a little desk in a row, staying quiet until spoken to, friends, enemies, girls and boys, toys in class are not allowed, being afraid of using the bathroom stalls that live in the back of the classroom.

Oh, yes, we have bathroom stalls in the classroom. None of the children want to use them and you can see in the faces of all the children toward the end of the day that we have been holding it in for hours. You think that we are jumping around because we are excited about learning? Oh, no, this kid has got to go, bad. Every once in a while, one of us has to go that bad and as he moseys to the back of the class, we all sit, feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed for our unfortunate peer, while the teacher continued speaking as if uninterrupted by the flatulence and plops of child shit.

There's this girl in my class and she is sooo cute. She always wears dresses and I totally dig her but I don't know what to say. I mean, hey, I'm five. WTF? Anyway, I like her so much that one day I whip her in the mouth with a necklace chain.

Here's how it goes down:

On the playground, I play alone. I have this fascination with chains. The longer, the thinner, the stronger, the better. Somewhere, I found this necklace chain made of steel. The links are tiny, even to my eyes and it feels much too heavy for what it is. But it's unbreakable and it's long. It's so long, I can tie up one of my hands to the metal bars on one of the playground pieces and still have enough to carry it over and wrap it around my free hand, providing the illusion that I'm trapped in a dungeon, chained to metal bars, unable to escape. At least, unable to escape until my bad-ass powers erupt forth and rip free, swinging the chain like a battle axe, in furious vengeance. I froth at the mouth when chained down and emerge a gallant and suave hero when I am free.

I've already learned from movies that the best way to get a girl to go crazy for you is to be in danger and through force of your own will, escape with only minor bruises, which she will fawn over and swoon. I construct countless scenes to capture the unrealistic effect on girls that I see in movies to no avail. I trip and fall, watching peripherally for a girl to gasp in fear that I might be endangered. She would come running over and kiss me as if I could die tomorrow and she should get me while the getting is good. The getting never gets good. I will not realize the foolishness of movie logic until many years later, after having made a fool of myself countless times.

One day, I'm doing my prisoner scene and the girl I have a crush on walks in front of me just as I'm doing the break-free routine. WHIP! The chain stings her lip, which immediately quivers as tears fill her eyes. I'm immediately apologetic but it's too late. That's it, I think, I've ruined my chances with her. She hates me now, I know it.

I heave the chain as far as possible into the bushes.

A few weeks later, in class, all the children are drawing. It's quiet, peaceful, everyone consumed with their own art.

The room is filled suddenly with the sound of gushing liquid like a Quick Stop™ Big Gulp® dumped upside down on the classroom floor. We all look up and the smell of urine and shame reeks from the cute girl's desk. She begins to cry, her dress ruined, her life ruined. It's over. She will never have friends again. She thinks this. I know. And yet, I know and I can see in the eyes of all my classmates that not one of us thinks this is funny or shameful. We feel embarrassed for her but only because we know it could happen to us. We share her sadness, looking back down at our art, pretending not to notice as the teacher makes a scene. A janitor comes to clean up the mess and the girl's mom comes early to get her. The whole while waiting, she sits in a puddle of pee, a dripping faucet of tears.

The next day, on the playground, she sits alone and I bring her a daisy. She smiles. I smile. Together we smile.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Word

Ok, it's official. Code Name Alice just said her first word.
Of course, she's been talking telepathically to me for a while and making all kinds of noises, naming everything she sees... but today she said a real word.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: Hey, little honey dart, what's new?
Code Name Alice: Iglooooo!
SDN: Homogeneous beverages! She just said 'igloo'!!!1!!!!one!11!!!
Solar Dancer: Um... I think that was just....
SDN: Hold your tongue! Don't ruin this moment for me. She said 'igloo'. That means something. What 'igloo', sweet shuriken? Where do I find this.... 'igloo'?!
CNA: Igggloooo! heheha...ppppffft. geeeehahaha.
SDN: Yes, igloo, I hear you baby, but what about it. it's funny... ok, funny igloo but why, what's it all about? Where did you hear about this igloo....?
CNA: heheheeeeeeeeehahah.

And that was it. She didn't say anything more about the igloo. It's a mystery the world may never solve.

Since she didn't want to discuss igloos anymore, I had to consult my 3 favorite information sources: Wikipedia on Igloos, Instructables on Building a Quinzee (kina like an igloo), and Google Images

And then it hit me. I stumbled upon a picture of the inside of an igloo:

Just look at it. I don't know about where you are but it's pretty freaking hot in here today. Ninjas can rock out the cold like inuits, so I'm looking at this like a little slice of paradise. And, WTF? That's a huge igloo... I could live in that. It's an igloo mansion. You can only see the top floor and the front hallway but behind the camera is like a mile of igloo housing with 18 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, 4 livingrooms, a library, a billiard room, etc... it's really cool...(I can take the pun-ishment)
And then it really hit me. What else does this remind you of (from a babies perspective)?
I'm going to leave it at that.

BTW, on another note, I'm working on some kick-ass ninja blogger awards since Tootsie Farkelpants over at Vintage Thirty was kind enough to pass me along a badge (albeit second hand) and there are some folks out there I think flog some major blog. Be prepared to be recognized, beotches.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Search Engine Spelling

So, Solar Dancer constantly asks me how to spell words. Typically, I tell her what I think it is or I tell her to ask Google since it does spell correction/suggestion. Sometimes, I'm at my computer though and I instinctively type her word into Google myself, without thinking about what will come up.

Solar Dancer: "How do you spell 'erection', one or two 'r's?"
Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "Uh, one 'r'...I think..." doubting myself and typing into Google without thinking, I hit enter:
SDN: "Oh, I did not need to type that into Google!" I close the search tab with the auto-generated image results on top, the one on the right sporting a massive and oddly shaped hard-on, projecting skyward like it's about to raise a flag. "That just went on my permanent Google search record. Damn."

This happens more often than it should (not for the same word, mind you). The really sad part about it is that I know how to spell the word, but I feel more certain if I see it written down. Since the search box is right there, it's a bad habit.

So, readers, what's the craziest, most idiotic, embarrassing thing you've ever typed into a search engine? Don't worry, I won't judge. I'm right there with you.

That's it, a lazy Sunday post. It's nice and hot outside, I'm going swimming.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Traversing Crowds

I love traversing large crowds of people at a wickedly fast pace; it proves I can do differential calculus in my head. Sleep Deprivation Ninja is pretty good with numbers. I'm dodging people like they are sloths and I am the speed of sound. Everything slows for me. I'm tripping out on speed without tripping up. No drugs here. No need. I've got ecstasy in my soul, uppers in my mind and downers in my shoes. I'm balanced like a rocket, ready to burst through the atmosphere--and I would too, if not for the anchors at my base, the gravity all around me, all of it setting me even, keeping me aligned. The world is so balanced and it holds me in, pulls me up, keeps me down but stretches me out and I love it.

When I was in high school, I had a funny walk. At least, people who didn't know me thought it was funny. It had a skip, a jump, a twist, an outstretched leg tapping down as the one behind slides in to meet the other. My knees would bend and my shoulders would sway, torso falling into line like I'm on the hunt, ready to evade and tackle. My hips would swivel like I was salsa dancing. I moved as fast as possible, fluidly efficient but dangerous. The hordes of students passing by me would take up the halls like a thousand geese shoved through a blocked path, aimlessly trying to escape. I would glide between them, stepping in at the moment when one foot-sized opening became exposed, then the next and again, until I reached my destination. Every other step would have to be a skip to take advantage of the openings that wedged themselves tightly between people. I would squeeze in sideways and tilt to shoot into the next position.

When not in large crowds, I would simple walk extremely fast. Every other step would be a skip, enabling a more efficient use of the momentum built up in my legs. Resisting the skip would mean wasting energy. Like a hybrid car, I was going to get every last bit of that momentum, nothing wasted in exerting more force than necessary.

This effectively made me look like a pansy.

Of course, those who knew me saw the method in the madness, the efficiency and control of a budding ninja on the prowl.

Others just saw a misguided looking nerd skipping and prancing like a fairy.

I'm not sure when or why I stopped walking that way. Perhaps I fell victim to the general malaise, which virally infects the working class, driving them to cynicism and bitterness. Perhaps I had become more efficient by restraining my force of will. But maybe I just slowed down to join in with the geese.

Today, I saw someone on the street, some stranger to me. He was walking my old walk, skipping and sliding through the crowds of business people; he was on the prowl.

I could tell from watching his surrounding obstacles that nobody thought he was a dork. He was a badass.

So, baby girl, don't ever give up your efficient calculations as if they are unworthy of the status quo. If they work for you, go ahead and look foolish. And if you only abandon them for new and different ways of living, keep those tricks in your repertoire. Whatever it is, it's bound to become fashionable and everyone will be doing it in the future.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Exploits of Ninja & Child - #2 - Transcending Space

On the sea of Epiphany, Ninja and Child are floating, swaying, rolling with the waves. The wind, like the water, smells fresh, smooth, pure. Birds begin to fly overhead in the evening mist. Land must be near.

The raft is made of algae and fish bones and hundreds of bottles found floating in the open sea. The fish were ensnared cleverly by the seaweed, which Sleep Deprivation Ninja and Code Name Alice ate with fierce but temperate hunger. Some of the seaweed served as wrapping for the sashimi, but without rice, it was nothing like sushi. The bottles appeared one by one, traveling aimlessly, filled with messages which the ninja left unread. This quest has but one purpose.

"Daddy?" Code Name Alice looks up from Sleep Deprivation Ninja's chest and into his eyes. She is so beautiful. The wild ocean air twists in her long, spiked-up hair. The breeze bends to her will. She is so powerful.

"Yes, Pearly Pea?" The ninja lowers his firm guard for a moment to enjoy his company and the safety of the sea. He detects only a few simple dangers, easily dispatched if they choose to come forth. The birds may be hungry; they are but feathered origami to be unfolded. The waves might try to swallow them; they will remain afloat. A large creature might come forth from the abyss; the chances are slim.

"Daddy, where are we going?"

"We must find an opening in space, love. We are going to go into the fourth dimension." The ninja angles his hands in a magnificent display of multidimensional representations.

"You mean Time, daddy? Isn't time passing through us?"

"Time does pass through us, baby girl, but I mean the fourth spatial dimension. We are going to the place where cubes become tesseracts, hypercubes, where all platonic solids show a higher form as hypersolids. That is where we will find Lucy's ghost."

"Lucy's ghost?"

"Yes, Sugar Star. You know Lucy, Black Hockey Jesus's baby girl. She has a ghost haunting her in a higher dimension. We can't get to it from here but in the fourth dimension we can grab one of its limbs and sever it. The beast most likely lives up in even higher dimensions but one level up should be enough. For it to reach into our dimension, it will have to expose much more of itself in each dimension between us."

"There are more than four spatial dimensions, daddy?"

"Oh, yes, there are many more. You will spend many years contemplating space. You don't have to worry about all of it now. When we get there, just hold on to me. Nothing can hurt you when you are with me. Keep your good humor; we will need your Laughter Lance to battle this ghost."

"OK, daddy, I'm feeling tired again. Wake me when we get to the fourth dimension."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja holds his baby girl and stares at the evening sky. The night grows dark and the birds begin to break away.

This is the place; this is the time. With his free hand, the ninja draws a cube in the air. It floats, held by the mist and balanced in the stars. Contemplating this, the ninja forces the cube to bend, to stretch, to reach beyond its 3 dimensional limits and unveil the hidden layers beneath. As it folds and unfolds itself, round and round, the water beneath begins to open up, the raft begins to grow vertically, but not into the air, rather down, into the water. The sky shifts and curves. The waves form fractal patterns that grow like ferrofluid, dancing to the electrical beat of some silent rave, pulsing in the water.

A lingering bird stares down at what remains of the raft, its hopeful meal. The ninja and child have distorted into slim segments of their former visages. The raft, a once salivating treat of fish bones and algae, now merely appears as a twig. As ninja and child skew out of view, only the ghostly hypercube remains drawn in the fog and now solidified, revealing a window to a higher plane.

Ninja and child vanish.

Tune in next week for more adventures of Ninja and Child. Same ninja blog, same ninja URL

Thursday, August 14, 2008

100 Word Challenge: Fresh

The ocean water is so damn fresh and I'm swimming in it. This is not like the commercials would have you believe. It's not a zesty ocean spray, splashed on the faces of beautiful, smiling people in the sunlight, all distilled into a glass, poured over ice and tonic with a lime twist. This is not a cocktail; this is the ocean. It's the untamable and virulent water of life, dark and treacherous but beautiful all the same.

I'm in it thick and deep, levitating with the jellyfish, dancing with the squid, splaying fingers with the anemones.

This little beach is mine.

Cleanliness is Next to Vomitous

I'm home from work and excited to see Code name Alice. She's awash with good humor, giggling and cooing with the pleasure only the innocent can truly convey.

We have a chaise lounge next to the window (I know I sound all french and hip when I say that but we got it from Ikea). I pick her up and plop her, tummy-side down, on my chest, laying us both on the half couch, half chair hybrid, the blinds tilted such that we can see the evening sky.

"Hi daddy!" She says in her smile.
"Hey, Baby Girl!" My clever retort is awesome.

Her clever retort is even more awesome.

"Oh, daddy, your shirt is sooooo clean, it smells like... graBLAAHAHAH-glub-glub-bluh!" Her mouth opens wide and she's suddenly a faucet, spouting yogurt by the pint all over me.

"Burp-clo-o-o-o-o-o-o-th!" I scream, like it's a fire-drill and her mother comes running over and heaves a clean cloth. "If you're gonna spew, Baby Girl, spew in this." She laughs a little but not at my clever reference to Wayne's World.

"Oh, no daddy," Baby Girl announces. "Don't you remember? Clean clothes make me nauseous."

I dab at her face, which looks like she tried to eat a bowl of sour cream out of a dog dish and she smiles and giggles like it's the coolest thing that happened to her all day. What a wonderful age, wherein vomiting is such a new and fun experience.

I make unworthy attempts to clean the thick sludge from my shirt. The cloth is now useless and I quickly give up, taking off the shirt and laying her down on my bare chest.

"That's better daddy. Now you just smell like daddy."
"That's OK, baby girl. You can puke on me all you want."

We stare out the window at the trees and watch the wind blow at the birds who just float with it, gliding along, in and out. It's getting dark enough that the stars are just becoming visible. I wonder if she can see them and what she thinks of it all. She has such a curiosity for the outdoors. Whenever I take her outside, she names all the trees, pushing away from my chest so she can get a better view, flipping her head around and aside to see what's coming next. Times like this, she lays her head flat on the side, pulls herself in closer and the view is perfect.

We drift off for a nap and another ninja adventure unfolds.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Olympics

I know nothing about the Olympics. When asked if they still have Summer and Winter games or if they merged them back into one, I said, "They have Summer and Winter games!?" When I saw that Volleyball was the next event, I was bewildered by the fact that Volleyball is actually an Olympic game. Then I marveled at the news that Basketball and Soccer are also played. My mind is blown.

Solar Dancer: O-w, I don't want to watch Volleyball; I want to see Michael Phelps.
Sleep Deprivation Ninja (holding baby and making tea in the kitchen): Who is Michael Phelps?
SD: He's the one they just did that whole special piece on. He's going to win the most gold Olympic metals of all time!
SDN: Like, in all disciplines?
SD: No, just swimming.
SDN: Oh... that's not as cool.
SD: It's still pretty cool. He's doing all the swimming stuff.
SDN: Diving?
SD: No, just swimming... like, Different Strokes. (I swear she said it in Title Case)
SDN: Oh, like the TV show.

This is where Solar Dancer almost through a baloney sandwich at me. I was saved only by the fact that neither one of use likes baloney, so there was no sandwich to be thrown. But it was close. It was obvious in her fed-up gestures that she was ready to walk to the store, buy some baloney, come home and make a sandwich just to smear it on my loser face.

Instead of heaving meat at me, she hunkered down in defeat: "What you talkin 'bout, Willis?"

I saved face only by sitting down to watch the games. We poked fun at the athletes "inadequacies" while slovenly slaving away, working on our computers, staring up at the mother tit of commercial propaganda radiation that we so lovingly absorbed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm heading to workout, taking a shortcut through an apartment complex that sits between my house and the bus stop. As I turn up the hill and into the back parking lot, I see a woman in her 40's standing by a car, just nearing shouting distance, walking over to me.

"Hey." She yells, waving as if she wants to ask me something.
"Hi." I reply, with an uncertain and wary look of distrust. Whenever someone I don't know randomly talks to me, invariably, the situation is not nearly as interesting as it should be and ends up turning bad.
"Do you live here?" She points at the concrete as if I sleep under one of the cars.
I look down at the parking lot and around at the cars, giving her an eyebrow-twisted and pointedly puzzled face. "No... I have a home." I play as the vagabond, as if I'm lying.
"Oh, so you don't live in these apartments?"
"Uh... no...I live over there." I wave my hand vaguely East over all of the houses standing in a 160 degree arc. I pause, waiting for the punch line. Get to the chase lady, I'm catching a bus.
"Oh, you live around here..." She pauses.
"...yeah..." I confirm, still waiting.
"What are you doing here?" She is brazen, in my face.
"I'm... walking to the bus stop." I raise my hand in the direction of the main parking lot driveway, wondering to myself why I'm even giving her this information, stressing the word 'bus' emphatically, hoping to signify that I'm granting her a service by stopping to speak to her ragged ass while I might be missing my bus. Calm down. Zen. You are a ninja.
"Oh..." She nods. "Okay. Thank youou!" She extends the end of 'you' with a fake smile and mock cheerful neck jerk and begins to walk away.
"Woah! Wait, wait, wait!" I stop her. "Why did you just stop me?"
"Oh, well, you know, strangers wandering through parking lots..." She grins again.
"Um. No, I don't know. What's wrong with me passing through this parking lot?"
"Well, for all I know you could be a terrorist in disguise."
"So, am I to believe your questions were some half-assed CIA, Who's the Mole spinoff? That's not good enough, your questions or your reasons." Now I'm pissed. "Did you think I was going to dump anthrax all over the pavement? Or might I have broken into your little apartment to steal your toaster oven at 7am? That's not a nuke in my pocket, bitch, nor am I happy to see you. What, are you the parking attendant? Now I've probably missed my bus just because I stood here and withstood your silly little interrogation. You're lucky I am in disguise."
She folds her arms up. "Well, you sound like you could be a terrorist."
"Oh, you didn't just fucking say that. You are the one stopping innocent pedestrians, interrogating their reasons for existence. You're the one causing terror. You've just terrorized my whole fucking morning."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja has been called many things in his day but never a terrorist. Ninjas don't dig the whole terror thing. We like to kill our enemies without them, their friends or anyone else even knowing that it ever happened. When a ninja strikes, the event doesn't make the news; people just wonder what happened to that annoying fucking bitch who used to walk the parking lot, harassing strangers.

Breath ninja. Zen ninja. Calm ninja. You're still in disguise.

Ninja vanish.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wii Fit YogaTrainer, I'll Miss You

I turn on Wii Fit, expecting to start a great session of simulated workout. Time to beat some high scores and break a few records, I think. Even though I didn't get much sleep last night, I'm pumped. I can take it. I'm ready for anything.

The animated representation of the Wii Balance Board urges me on with a wiggle of it's jello-limp corner, acted as lifelike as it can. I step on the real balance board and choose one of the Yoga skills. I'm feeling so Zen and relaxed, I could turn into a concept right here, abstracting into nothing, totally under control and at peace. My trainer is awesome. We've bonded over doing these moves together for the past couple of weeks. She's sort of hot for a piece of software and that's pretty cool. She always gives me kudos for a good session.

The exercise starts up and the peace is instantly broken. My Zen is gone. My eyes curl and my jaw drops, creating a puzzled expression, which masks my inner horror. Rather than my sexy female trainer appearing on screen, asking if I want to view her from the front or behind, some dude shows up in spandex and starts talking to me in a dapper, confident tone.

Spandex Dude: "I hope you don't mind... I'm standing in today for your trainer."
Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "WTF? Yeah, I mind. What. The. Fuck. I was looking forward to working with MY trainer today, you prick. Did I ask for your help? Did I choose you when I setup my account? No. So, yeah, I mind.... What? Is my trainer out because she needs to wash her pixelated binary hair? Is she sick with some malware problem I should know about?"

The trainer just stares at me and suddenly my tone changes as I realize something might really be wrong with her. What if something happened? I'm being a real dick to this guy, digital or not, while he could be trying to gently let me know that she's dead. I imagine the trainer giving it to me straight.

"Sorry to have to break this to you but her ROM got munched up when we tried to read her into memory this morning. There was an intensity glitch in the laser and it fried her bits. Her data is totally corrupt. There's nothing we could do. I'm sorry for your loss." He would just tilt his head to the side and stare at the ground, averting my eyes.

I would hold firm and be pissed. "You're sorry for my loss!? Fuck you, you digital freak. I don't care if you're sorry. I want her back!"

"Hey, I don't like this either! I can't even go in sector 17 anymore, asshole. That's where I spent my leisure time before the accident..." He would make a cringe with the sides of his face and narrow his eyes in pain, "I... loved... her."

Silence. What can I say to that? Uh, sorry, I didn't know... forget it... let's just do some Yoga?
No good. That just won't do. He won't accept my apology. The Wii Fit Trainer stand-in just turns his back and walks away.

No Wii Fit today.

Fuck it. I turn off the Wii and turn to my blog. That just totally killed my mojo.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ChaCha Hiya!

I'm at dinner with Solar Dancer and she's telling me about this text message service called ChaCha. She just started the application process to become a guide and wants to try it out.

But wait, what is this thing?

Apparently, ChaCha has thousands of people, whom it pays to answer questions for you. You text a question to 242424 and, supposedly, within 10 minutes, you get a solid, human evaluated response with an URL to the source. It's kinda like having a librarian sit between you and Google. You get a real person to evaluate your query, search Google for the best response, and send you a text with a good answer. That person gets paid $0.10 for answering your question and (aside from standard text message rates, which are an industry scam) it's free to the user.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "OK, so let's try it. What should we ask?"
Solar Dancer: "Ooh, ask them what theaters have infant shows."
SDN (to ChaCha via SMS): "What movie theaters in Seattle have infant friendly showings?"

Twenty seconds later...

"Welcome to ChaCha. Your first answer is on its way. Other charges may apply. Send HINTS to learn more about ChaCha. Send HELP for help. Send STOP to quit."

Three minutes go by.

SDN (to Solar Dancer): "This is a hard one. We did sort of ask for all of them. Maybe they are having a hard time fitting it into 160 characters. Or maybe we've stumped the guide. Let's see, there's the Metro, the Guild 45, Neptune...those are just the U-district."

Ten minutes go by... twenty... thirty.

SDN (to Solar Dancer): "hmmm... maybe I need to clarify the question..."

SDN (via SMS): "What movie theaters in Seattle offer infant friendly shows, bitch?"

Nothing. OK, well, Solar Dancer did spent an hour researching this topic the other day and found all of the answers already, but hey. WTF? I bet you can find one theater.

Solar Dancer: "Try another. Ask about things to do tomorrow."

SDN (via SMS): "Fun free activities in Seattle for family with infant tomorrow"

Less than 3 minutes later:
ChaCha: "Seattle's Parks have nine life guarded beaches for free summertime swimming. They also have 29 wading pools for the little ones."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja and Solar Dancer marvel over the cool factor. I mean, ninjas can just reach into the interweb with their minds and pull whatever information they want instantaneously but for normal people, it's pretty neat. It actually gave us useful information. We then try asking for a place to eat dessert in walking distance of Shallots (awesome 9 flavor chicken there). We quickly get a reply that Cascadia is close, to which we wander over and decide it's not quite what we are looking for. But in walking around there, I stumble upon Umi Sake, which is straight up the ninja alley \m/

Later, in the car, Solar Dancer uses the word 'renig' and then says she shouldn't use that word because it's racist against Gypsys or something. I'm skeptical and disagree. "Let's ask ChaCha!"
We ask, but there's no response, so I switch to my Mobile Safari on the iPhone and use Google to discover that I've misspelled "renege" and that's it's based on the Latin renegare (to deny).

Even hours later, there is no response to the query. Looks like it's touch and go. But cool when it works.

Well, now to see if it can prove to the wife that "Hoss" isn't a racist term.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

An Open Letter to Pirates

One of my many hobbies is walking in front of you, just close enough so you think you are making me uncomfortable. As you slow your pace, I slow mine. As you speed up to pass, I'm already ahead, quickening my steps to match. I can hear the frustrated discomfort in your breathing and hear the disheartened defeat in your scampering feet.

You can't escape.

We don't know each other. Perhaps I'll flip around and introduce myself. Hello! I'm Sleep Deprivation Ninja. Of course, you can't see that because I'm disguised as a regular Joe. I may even be wearing a Jolly Roger shirt to fool the locals.

I spin and stop. Taken aback, you notice my shirt.

"Oy! are you a Pirate?" You might say as a twenty something hipster, retro-punk, neo-rock, headphone jockey.
"Aye, aren't we all." Ninjas can't be tricked into blowing cover with such simple questions.

I make nice with piratekind. Keep your friends close and your enemies conspicuously buried in the ground. That's what the old master used to say. But his time is done. Times change. I've spent years cultivating my disguise. So much like a CIA drug mole, I've had to force myself off of the habits when at home. A double-life is a hard one, especially when deprived of sleep. I've found myself slip sometimes at the wrong time of day. In some ways I've become addicted to my fake persona. The secrecy is the best part. Ninjas love secrets. Of course, it can be fun to try my hand at pirate activities. Pirates have a good gig. I'll give you that. But no matter how many barrels of rum and kegs of mead or mermaid gazes and maiden's laces, my true nature sits meditating in wait.

My day job--and the industry as a whole--is famous for its abundance of pirates. It may appear that pirates have ninjas outnumbered but most of us live in secret, either undercover as pirates or underexposed as ninjas. Those who do not pretend simply do not wear a flag, pleging allegiance, right on their chests. It's actually a wonderful thing that ninjas don't have a flag. It prevents the young ones from advertising too quickly who they are, only to get savagely beaten by some seasoned pirates. So, be proud of your flag, pirates. Broadcast your location. Only the ninjas will know who is truly what.

We have infiltrated every bar and feigned a sip of every jug of mead. We watch and we wait. Our plans are many and our plans are great. Our plans span lifetimes, centuries, millennia. We even have plans for Mars colonization. Will you be there? Now that there is water?

You may think, as a pirate, that it was your idea to head down to the pub for some pints, but watch your drink carefully, friend. You won't see it coming. Trust no-one.

Oh, how much fun it is to watch you distrust your friends.

[ninja vanish]

Friday, August 8, 2008

100 Word Challenge: Pillar

Shooting from column to row, clad in the absence of light, I leap and crawl through the fortress of the Infinite. The reason is a mystery even to me. But I must continue down the never ending corridor of pillars, further into the darkness. The only indication of progress is the decaying light from whence I came. Soon, every direction looks the same and soon, like the light vanishing behind the vast colonnade, my mind becomes dark and uncertain. Now, in a moment of vertigo, I know my purpose. Squatting in utter darkness, lacking direction, I meditate in peace.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Exploits of Ninja & Child - #1 - The Gates of Epiphany

I just read Halushki's post "Killing Fairies" (I know, a bit late, but it was just featured on Blog Nosh). I feel a strong need to preface my post with this quote from one of the greatest authors and thinkers of all time:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
--Douglas Adams
Now, don't get me wrong, fairies are great and fun and cute and all, and as a ninja, my daughter will have to understand the full extent of the hidden underworld and all the supernatural foes she will have to battle. But, oh, the joy it will be when she starts peering into the Microcosmos and learning all about how flowers reproduce and that the little garden has it's own ecosystem and that this all came into being through a marvelous evolutionary process that took billions of years and oh, how it happens to us every day that we evolve, change, grow, adapt to our surroundings and to expectations. How beautiful it is! I look forward to that day.

That said, here is in fact a legendary tale... or so it will be when my daughter reads it in her spacetime continuum... which is still playing out to this day and will continue for many more. Puzzled? Read on. What follows is a recent escapade which will become part of the major compilational, autobiographical spectacle that she will reference as her father's legacy. [compilational? If it wasn't a word, it's a word now; ask Erin Mckean.] Hopefully, the final text will also serve as a recipe book for slaying wicked foes.

The story so far...

In the Forgotten Empire there lives a fierce warrior, a stealth assassin, vigilantly saving the world from the mystical forces of darkness and venturing into the unknown boundaries of the Multiverse. He faces enemies with sleepy-fu, slow loris style, tricking his opponents with slow, limp yet diliberate movements, striking when least expected.

His trusted side-kick, Code Name Alice, a hyper intelligent, trans-sentient, projectile empath has traveled from the future to seek out and fight for human immortality. When she is awake, she can banish the mightiest foe with a single huff-puff, "Ha!" Her laugh is that great. When she gah's her giggly-gah, Chuck Norris implodes. Her laughter makes Jack Bauer wish he had 48 hours.

We join our heros at the gates of Epiphany, the last stronghold of consciousness before sleep. They are currently at a stand off, facing the Rolling Clouds, a billowous plume of foggy material, which acts as the gates of Epiphany, beyond which are answers to all mortal questions.

Rolling Clouds: "Halt mortals! If you dare attempt to pass through us, you will be lost in foggy mist forever."
Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "You might think so, but we know something you do not know."
RC: "What might that be?"
SDN: "What's round and invisible?"
"Oh! A riddle! Um.... it's a.... a human soul! no, no a circle that you...uh... draw... in the air... with your fingers! no... uh...well, it... uh... hmmm... we give up... what is round and invisible?"
SDN: "This cabbage!"
RC: "Oh. Why didn't we see that coming?"

Sleep Deprivation Ninja hurls the invisible cabbage straight through the clouds. The force of wind passing through rips them asunder as the ninja, carrying Alice, sprints in lightning steps after the herbaceous sphere.

The cumulous clouds part for many leagues, the foggy mist coalescing in fat drops and streams, rapidly raining down in what is becoming a torrential ocean. After several hours of running, the clouds show no sign of ending, while the ninja is now quickly tip-toe-tapping the very surface of wild and washing waves.

Code Name Alice stirs from her slumber. As her eyes open, she sees Sleep Deprivation Ninja focused on the task at hand and she smiles. A little beam of sunshine bursts through the clouds, which Sleep Dep Ninja mistakes for a military space-station assault weapon called Sol. He attepts to dodge the light but it grows as he moves. Inspecting his options, he glances down at Alice and sees her smile. All is now clear. He returns the jest and they share a hearty, bulbous bellylaugh. The clouds sublimate, instantly vanishing into the atmosphere.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja and Code Name Alice float on the open sea, staring off into the sky, laughing all the while. Epiphany.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fits of Laughter

Code Name Alice has started laughing. And I mean laughing. She giggles and cackles in little unstoppable fits that go on for ten to twenty minutes.

She smiled on her 3rd day, the first day home from the hospital. I laid her down on the changing table and she looked at me with a wide grin. It wasn't gas. She held it for a full minute--long enough to snap some pictures:

So, now, It's morning and I'm putting her pants on. Half way up, she looks at me and fills with endorphins. Her arms flail in their usual manner and her head toggles left and right, without taking her eyes off of me. It's as if her body wants her to look all around the room, but her eyes are glued to an invisible line between us. She giggles, her little tongue bouncing out and darting back in. Did you know that endorphins are contagious?

Everything falls away. It's just the two of us laughing chaotically, harmoniously, feeding off of each other.

Code Name Alice: "Daddy! haha, hehe, hoo... did you. haha.... know... aaaah-hahaha ... you have a face? tnee-heehe-nnna. That is sooo... heehee-hee.. fuuunnieeee .... hehe-weeeeee"
Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "Haha! you think my face is ...haha-heee... funny. hah-heh-huh. You should see yours!"
CNA+SDN: "haha-hut-ha-gooooooo....hehehe..."

We carry on and on. Work does not exist. Chores vanish. Worldly woes? gone. There is nothing but the present.

We begin life so enlightened, with the power to make all troubles vanish simply by smiling, curing all ills with a simple belly laugh.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ninja as Child - #1 - Typewriter of Destiny

My love for writing begins in the second grade. The idea of becoming a writer has already appeared to me in a dream involving cross-bred animals, sea-life, a world filled with water and an itch to type on the only typewriter left on the planet. It is my typewriter, a supposedly portable Underwood, which is absurdly heavy for a seven-year-old boy, whose ninja powers have not yet bloomed. I lug its whopping 12lb bulk to and from school every day for several weeks.

At the back of the class, I clack and clang the metal levers with finger-pointing prowess befitting a future ninja, beginning story after story, never getting further than the 3rd fragmented sentence before starting on a new idea. My teacher allows me to type only during active work time and during recess. She thinks my pounding keys while she speaks is a distraction, but her speaking while I'm typing is the real culprit of lower education. Bitch. I'm a sponge and I've absorbed all I can for the day, now I need to drip and pour the filtered waters of information in which I have been drowning. Give me a break. Allow me this single interest before my mind evolves into that of a bitter, cynical, apathetic, nihilist.

I've been doing this for weeks: following rules, being quiet, malleable to authority. Today is different. I awaken with a new sense of purpose, destiny, power.

I walk into the classroom and instead of putting my heavy typewriter in the back of the class, I walk into the center of the classroom, setting my typewriter right on my desk. It looks magnificent. I feel the surge of a writer within me, some ethereal relic of an author from centuries ago, who has gone forward and backward through time-space and discovered the ultimate meaning of life.

I begin to type.

Mrs. Funky Face (not her real name): "Ok, class, let's get settled... um... the typing needs to stop."
Sleep Deprivation Ninja (as child):
*...clack-clack-clackclackclack-click-clack-clack-clack...chrrrrr-ding! clack-click-clack...*
"...hellooooo.... typing must stop!"
SDN (ac): *click-click-clack-clackclackclickclackclackclack-clickityclickclackclackzipdingclickclack...*

I'm on a roll. I'm feeling the souls of dead poets moving my hands, the scrolls of Alexandria unfolding in my mind, the dark history of Atlantis bubbling from within and gushing out in a tide of metallic clicks. The whirring and banging gets louder as my speed increases. Soon, I find myself filling pages as fast as I can rip them out and shove in fresh sheets. The keys are getting hot. The machine begins to smoke but I can't stop. The letters turn red, scalding my fingertips but I just push the keys faster.

In a thunderous clang, all of the keys bang together in unison, hitting the page and mashing into each other as the typewriter refuses to accept them against its unwilling harness, shooting the typebars away from the page with explosive force and fiery suicide. The keys go in all directions, bouncing from wall to person to desk to chalkboard, books to backpacks, foreheads to forearms, imprinting living poetry wherever they hit. Now the whole room stares at me, silently decorated with alphabetic tattoos. I am sitting behind a metal inferno as I read their faces, arms and desks.

Poetry. Pure, uncensored poetry. Upside-down, sideways, letters spaced beyond normal perception of word formation but I see it. My eyes swell with tears from this marvelous beauty, which the teacher mistakes for a cry of pain.

MFF: *stunned*
SDN (ac):
"I'm out", pushing hands away as if finished with a meal.

Walking out of the classroom, the sky seems a deeper blue. The trees sound a little crisper in the wind. The smell of smoldering typewriter is a little sweet and savory. I head out into the field and into the future.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fighting Dogs

At the Seattle Center, by the large musical fountain, we play in the grass. Code name Alice is sleeping on her mother's chest in our favorite baby item thus far: the Moby Wrap. Although the website features happy moms with happy babies, I assure you it is awesome for dads too. Available in stylish black, it allows the dad to wear the baby in both comfort and the height of fashion. It also acts as a dual purpose wrap if you happen to be a ninja (see the new site image above [link for RSS readers]). To sum it up simply, the Moby is the shit; It's the cat's arrogance (like the cat's meow, but better). Little apprentice Alice is so adorable, all wrapped up like a cocooned caterpillar.

We've randomly bumped into some friends and their little boy who is just about to turn two-years-old. He is the wind, the lightning, the spark of spontaneous energy that the greatest ninjas of all time have attempted to master and become for thousands of years.

A dog barks, loud and vicious. Another. Two dogs. Growling and snapping, less than a dozen paces from our peaceful bit of grassy serenity. Between the two dogs sits their master-slave, a large man with one arm outstretched for each dog, grasping at their necks, attempting to hold them away from each other. He is doing a miserable job. They are running around from his front to back and around again, pecking at each other’s tails and snarling their viscous drool all over the man's lap and neck.

We watch. Many people watch.

I would like to say that I don't suffer from the diffusion of responsibility phenomenon, a disease of the mind to which nearly everyone falls ill. However, in this situation, I am too occupied with thoughts of protecting my child and that of my friends to worry about what would happen to this obviously incompetent excuse for a human being. A random passerby enters the field and stops.

Random Passerby: "Do you need me to hold one of them?"
Incompetent Man with Dogs: "No, they're siblings, just fighting over a chew bone."

The would-be hero passerby walks away, vanishing in the distance.

We continue to watch as the dogs snatch at the man's ears, his hands, his legs. He certainly has willpower, that much can be attributed to his efforts. Any other compliments would belittle the words used to describe the man.

Little boy, ball of flame, continues to run rampant through the green-grown fields of joy. He only pauses for brief moments to look over at the struggling man and point with a grin, "Doggy!"

Little girl, bundled jewel, sleeping in her mother's embrace, feeds on the powers of the sublime unconsciousness, willing a psychic projection of tranquility around her.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja is evaluating countless possible outcomes, involving dogs running toward his family, forgetful of their weaknesses and ignorant of their short lifespans. In one scenario, the dogs attack together, forgetting their differences in favor of fresh food and get crushed by each other’s skulls as the ninja triumphs their heads like cymbals. In another, they attack one at a time, each being shot cannon style by the ninja kick.
One, two! One, two! And without shoes
The ninja's mighty force attacks!
He saves the day! Callooh! Callay!
Though, sleeping he still lacks.
The ninja waits, as do countless onlookers as the dogs continue their loud, destructive bickering. Their master-slave continues in vain to prevent the inevitable as the dogs chew his limbs to get to their opposing sides. Pieces of the man begin to vanish from view. First fingers, then a leg, ears, arms. Soon there is nothing left but a few succulent chew bones, on which the dogs happily gnaw. They pant and lick at the feast they have uncovered in what had been before only a nuisance. Now friends again, they become quiet, stable, at peace with their own inner demons. Unaware, that they are now, until they are impounded, free at last. Free from the power hungry controlling of their owner, free from authoritative tyranny. Free to be crushed by the ninja, if they so choose.

A good ninja knows that any dangerous situation can become docile at the chaotic whim of the participants. Remaining non-participant for as long as possible is the best way to save strength and endurance for any moments to follow, which might pose a threat to people who actually matter. Of course, had the dogs been gnawing at a child or someone else who didn't deserve it, the Sleep Deprivation Ninja would prevent such a horrific event from unfolding. But this man, this sad lump of chew-toy bones failed in several ways. He failed to achieve peace and balance with his pets. He failed to accept help when a friendly passerby offered. And, finally, he failed to save himself from the carnage he had wrought upon himself.

And so the moment has passed; the danger subsided. But the ninja remains vigilant as he, his friends and his family depart the park in search of a tasty treat of their own.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Red Fence

I'm outside fetching the recycling bin and I see a neighbor with her dog.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "Hi."
Neighbor Lady with Big-Ass Dog: "Hey."

I start to walk away but she stops and turns back to look and point at another neighbor's house.

NLwBAD: "Did they paint that or did someone else?"
SDN: "um, I think they did..."
Nosy Neighbor (with big-ass dog): "oh, it's kinda weird, innit? It makes all the other fences look odd. I wonder if they are going to paint the whole thing..."
SDN: "hmm... do you think they painted it in blood?"
NNwBAD: "um, what do mean?"
SDN: "I mean, it would be weird if they painted it in anything other than blood. Isn't that how it's supposed to be done?"
NNwBAD: "I just don't like it, it looks bad. It doesn't match with the other fences."
SDN: "Maybe we should all paint our fences. Then we can focus on the things that matter."

She walks away and Sleep Dep Ninja resumes his chore. Like I give a fuck about what color (if any) my neighbors use to paint their fence. First off, it's the weekend. I'm trying to focus on my family. We live in townhouse now, not a condo, specifically because we like not having nosy neighbors who have some authority over how we treat our fences, lawns and lives. Don't waste my time on petty aesthetic issues. If I'm going to worry about something, I'm going to worry about things that actually matter. Examples:

Is Isreal going to bomb Iran in the next 12 months? [one of many articles]

Am I going to fail in pursuit of my lifelong dream to be a writer and die a miserable wretch? [stories from my childhood to be posted soon]

Is the world, at the behest of the wealthy and unethical (or simply ignorant) elite going to choose biofuels over solar, wind and wave power as the next big thing, thereby continuing the increased trends in starvation, poverty and riots in the developing world: [Biofueld caused food crisis]

Is my baby going to suffer SIDS, leading to ultimate chaos as Sleep Deprivation Ninja would be forced to take on his multi-armed form and become Death, the destroyer of worlds, while the Solar Dancer's bright beautiful shinning light becomes extinguished forever?

Will the human race even survive? Do to any one of these: [Steven Petranek on TED]

I hate to sound pessimistic. I don't worry about these things all the time. Most of my days are filled with joy and promise, brought to me by my awesome baby girl--and, of course, I still love technology (always and forever). We will survive, I know it. How can I be so sure?

I'm not the only ninja out here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blogger Kudos

Just a quick late night post to express my gratitude for all the kudos.
I have to admit, modest as I am, I had to run up the stairs and do a happy ninja dance yesterday after seeing all those awesome comments on my first post.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja: "People like my writing!"
Solar Dancer: "um, yeah..."
SDN: *dances a jig* "Black Hockey Jesus wrote a special note about it! And someone snorted diet coke and another got hiccups... and Jenny, the Bloggess said she sleeps better at night knowing I'm out there." *ninja grin*
Solar Dancer: "Wow, they're like... famous..."

Special thanks to Black Hockey Jesus for starting the chain--and for being the inspiration that started this blog in the first place. Thanks to Jenny, the Bloggess for just being hilarious and thanks to everyone else for having good taste. Sleep Deprivation Ninja also has good taste and will be reading your blogs. \m/

Riding the Bus

I take the bus. I like the bus. It's really great. Well, it's a lot better than driving through rush-hour traffic (or any traffic, really).

I have spent many hours on the bus napping, reading, writing emails, posting sleep logs, and talking on my phone--things you either can't or are not allowed to do while driving. But there is one problem:
Although I'm usually tired on the bus, I've become an information junky, which leads to less sleep than usual. It would be a great place and time to take a nap but my newest addictions to twitter, blogging, reading RSS and being a ninja (even sleep deprived) make that an unlikely scenario.

Today, there is a Chinese speaking couple sitting right across from me. They are chatting away in Mandarin and as I'm fondling my twitter client, I'm trying to eavesdrop on their conversation, listening for the few dozen mandarin words I know. In my addiction to data absorbtion, I've been neglecting the practice of my Chinese output, so learning the language in any useful sense has been rather slow. Nonetheless, I'm exited by languages. I love them. When I'm drowning in a sea of words that I don't know, I simply close my eyes, absorb and smile. It's beautiful, musical, sensual.

One of the unfortunate effects of being sleepy but not wanting to fall asleep and, at the same time, being an info-junky--and getting more information than the sleepy mind can process--is the unexpected cameo of a random, uncontrollable erection. What? Yes, you heard me right, but pay attention to the context, this isn't the creepy, gross kind, not like, "damn, that girl is hot and I'm thinking about sex... hehe, cool!" Not like that. I'm not some pervert on the bus trying to get jollies off on strangers. Granted, as with the aforementioned licentious scenario, my situation is spontaneous and really freaking embarrassing. Don't get me wrong, erections are cool and I like having them as much as the next guy. However, the Sleep Deprivation Ninja doesn't like to sport the gear when it's not in use.

But when Sleep Deprivation Ninja gets really, really tired and still struggles to stay awake for the wrong reasons, his body tends to fight back. It says, "Hey, guess what. I'm pumping in some sleepy chemicals that are going to make you all warm and fuzzy and you are going to feel really introverted and curl up into a little ball and sleep." Even though nobody can see the inner turmoil of the ninja battling his bio-chemistry when it's happening, this feels more than a little awkward on the northbound downtown bus at rush-hour. Sleep Dep Ninja thinks to himself as he casually peruses the faces of nearby passengers: "Is anyone staring at the huge bulge in my pants? No... wait, maybe.... no. OK, good. Now to make it go away."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja (thinking to himself): "Ninja focus!"
Chinese Woman (deciphered from Mandarin): "-- -- American, ---- -- -- very big --- - --."
Chinese Man (likewise): *chuckles* "Yes! I --- --- very big --- - --."
SDN: "Focus!"
CW: "Why -- -- --- your ----"
CM (looking offended): "--? My -- --- very big -- --!"
SDN: "Oh, drats. Body, you have bested me. Maybe I can unlock the Wii Fit exercise to master my erection later."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja allows his mind to falter, his sleepiness consumes him, masking his embarrassment. As he looses consciousness, the bus begins to slow down; the sun begins to set; the world begins to dim; When Sleep Deprivation Ninja falls asleep, everything and everyone fades out of existence, to be reborn only when he wakes.