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- woodnote (wood'-noht (wood - rhymes with could, just like you'd expect))
n. verbal expression that is natural and artless. [From its likeness to the call of a bird in the woods.]
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Even the children
for whom this movie was made
must know that it's crap.
"Contracted Fluxx-itis several years ago on a camping
trip with some friends. It lay dormant until this past summer,
when I had a flare-up and bought it in my local game shop. I
immediately infected my girlfriend, then went on to spread the
bug to my friends in my graduate program. Now several of them
own their own decks and have been likewise infecting others --
including parents, co-workers, and just about anybody who will
stop long enough for us to get our Fluxx germs on them." -- Jordan W of Berkeley, CA
||My Little Friend Hefty
have previously observed that you're
never too old to play with stuffed animals. With this in
mind, and nothing else in particular for me to talk about this
week, I'd like to introduce you to my little friend Hefty.
In that other article, I talked about why stuffed animals
are so great, mentioning that Kristin's favorite bear Stony is
charming in part for his size. So it is with Hefty, except in
the opposite direction; whereas Stony is huge, Hefty is very
small. What's more, he's actual size: Hefty is a mouse-sized
As his name suggests, Hefty is surprisingly hefty. Instead
of an ordinary cloth skin, Hefty is made of sturdy gray leather,
and he's filled with tiny pieces of metal, causing him to be
quite the little heavy-weight.
Hefty has been hanging around our house for years... we picked
him up at a PhilCon
some while back. But only in the last couple of months has he
become my special favorite, when I realized I needed a date for
the Stuffed Animal Tea Party at GenghisCon.
Suddenly, I had to ask myself: who's my favorite stuffed animal?
of course would be bringing Stony... even though he takes up
a ridiculous amount of space in the luggage, Kristin's bear has
been everywhere from Las Vegas to the coffeeshops of Amsterdam
and he wasn't about to miss out on our first Stuffed
Animal Tea Party.
who doesn't like having only one favorite and tends to travel
with several plushies, had to choose between Zig-Zag (the snake
with a great personality), Nurple the Purple Frog, a couple of
oversized Gund bears (Munchie and Mongo)
and a sea-turtle named Stanley.
But what about me? Who would I go with to the Stuffed Animals
So I walked around the house, looking for candidates. There's
Malachai, our oldest Gund bear (whom I was given by my first
serious girlfriend, Amy); there are lots of plush pyramids (like
there's even a big green alligator named Albert (whom my mom
made for me when I was young). But none of these seemed quite
Hefty of course was the perfect choice. He's so cute, and
his petite size makes him just the sort of friend I can keep
in my pocket or game-bag, to pull out whenever it's a good time
is great to have around during game-playing, since he can sit
right there on the table with your other game stuff and make
snide remarks on your behalf to your opponents. (Look for him
in the photo of our game of Animals
Fluxx at NonCon: he's on the table there, with my Keepers.)
I'm reminded of the little metal man Russell
carries around, and how he would sit on the table next to Russell's
planet, taunting me, during the many games of Binary
Homeworlds we've played during our
Stuffed animals are also great, as I've explained before,
because they let you give voice to thoughts you might not feel
you can express directly (such as the desire to order a pizza)
and Hefty is no exception. Previously, for example, when caught
stealing cheese from the fridge, all I could say was that I was
getting in touch with my inner mouse. But now I can blame it
Hefty is quite the cheese hound. We recently discovered that
he gets ideas for how to sneak more cheese into our diet by reading
articles in Sneaky Cheese Magazine. (Hefty insists he
reads it for the articles, not just for the beautiful photos
of attractive-looking cheeses. (I guess you could call them "cheesecake"
So I've been having lots of fun with this little toy mouse,
which by the way is a product of Sandy
Vohr's Leather Zoo. (Look for his siblings in the Tiny
Heavy Animals department.)
But the funny thing is, only now am I realizing that I've
*always* had a special fondest for pretend-friend mice.
I'm remembering now that when I was
a kid, one of my favorite stuffed animals was a purple beanbag
mouse I named Purple-angelo. This toy mouse was made by the Mary
Meyer company, who also made a similar mouse with a wind-up motor
inside that made the mouse "dance." I built up a collection
of these wind-up mice but my favorite was always the original
bean-bag style, which was apparently discontinued almost immediately.
The wind-up mice are also long gone at this point... I spoke
with people at the Mary Meyer booth at a trade show we were at
recently, and no one there remembered anything about the toy
mice of which I excitedly spoke.
Purple-angelo (and his comrade mice) had many adventures while
I was growing up, but he wasn't as sturdy as Hefty and sadly,
is no longer around. (I still have a couple of the wind-up species,
although they no longer dance.) But thinking about Purple-angelo
made me realize how much I've always liked mice.
I love mice characters in children's books. To name just a
few, there's Anatole Over Paris, The Mouse and the
Motorcycle, Rolly the Railroad Mouse, the mouse from
the Gus Was A Whatever-Kind-Of Ghost series, and of course,
the two white mice from the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Another classic popped into my mind this week, while watching
a fancy-cake making competition on the Food Network: The Sugar
Mouse Cake. (I've been trying to remember the name of this
book for years, and finally discovered it again via the internet...
but unfortunately, it's out of print, and used copies sell for
hundreds of dollars!)
I do have to say, though, that not all fanciful mice characters
appeal to me. For example, while I admire and enjoy much that
is Disney, I've never been particularly fond of Mickey Mouse.
He just doesn't seem like a mouse to me, more like just a weird
human. He's not the right size at all, being as big as a duck
and large enough to have his own dog.
Sometimes my fondness for anthropomorphized mice makes me
feel guilty about my real life pets... my little cat has been
known to catch real-life mice, and I feed my pet snake a mouse
every couple of weeks. (I try to keep Hefty from knowing about
these things. I hope he never sees this webpage!)
Well, I've rambled on long enough. To sum up: You're never
too old to play with stuffed animals, and mice are cool.
for reading, and have a great week!
||If you've been following the debate over which name we should
use for one of our new Holy
Fluxx expansions, you'll be interested to know that we've
finally decided to change it from Bible Fluxx to Christian Fluxx.
Although there were many votes for the name Bible Fluxx, it just
doesn't sound right alongside Jewish Fluxx.
||I'm pleased to report that my
old purple car will be getting a good home! The auction was
won by a man folks call Grumpy, and he's just the sort of guy
I was hoping would buy it - he likes tinkering with old cars
(he's even owned this kind before), his wife loves the color
(and the cool gear shift knob), and he's planning to fix it up
and keep it running! Since he's from West Virginia he won't be
concerned with the Maryland Emissions Testing issue that prompted
me to go ahead and sell the car, and he thinks he knows how to
fix the cause of the smells that makes me worried it wouldn't
pass the Emissions Test. In short, Grumpy is my dream buyer!
And I'm getting $150 for it! Yay!
||I recently posted a
long article with an update on our plans for moving to Canada,
and why it's taking so long. One thing I didn't mention was the
change in their political climate. Two years ago, Canada's liberal
government was on the verge of decriminalizing cannabis, but
now, their Conservative Prime Minister is attempting to reverse
all that, not just scrapping the decrim plan but pledging to
increase penalties and worse. We have many reasons for wanting
to go north, but as anti-prohibition
activists, one of the biggest was their recent proximity
to marijuana freedom. Suddenly, I'm in less of a hurry... moving
to Stephen Harper's Canada just isn't as appealing.