This will never, ever work

I have a scene from a movie stuck in my head.

Well, no, that’s not quite true. I have a tiny fragment of a movie stuck in my head.

I have two words from a movie stuck in my head, and they are in a foreign language, and it may not actually be from a movie, and I don’t know what the movie is.

So here’s the deal: I think the movie is in black and white, although it might just be dark and sorta monochrome in the scene. Probably the latter, honestly. The character– a man, and no, I can’t remember a single other thing about him– is delivering a short speech, at least partially in German, and I feel like it’s meant to be somewhat of a surprise that the character speaks German.

The last two words of the speech– and the little fragment that’s stuck in my head– are the words “Ich nicht,” which means “not me,” or “I don’t.”

I kinda feel like there’s at least a chance that it’s from Inglorious Basterds, because there’s definitely some German in that, but it’s not black and white and it’s also not an older movie, and I sorta feel like this is also an older movie, although maybe it’s just set in 1945.

Memory working like it does, it’s also possible that this isn’t a movie at all, and it’s a scene from a TV show or something, but I’m pretty sure it’s a movie.

Helllllllllllllp.

Blech.

Day two of the show, and … this isn’t going well. My panels today were fun (in general, I’m finding I really like doing panels) but just like the last time I did this con, all of the vendors are unhappy and attendance seems really low. I mean, I’ve already sold more books than I did in 2015 with all of Sunday left to go (and I spent several hours away from my booth doing panels today) but “better than the show where I sold no books the first day” isn’t a high mark.

It’s 8:09 and I’m ready to be asleep. I’ve got a big-ass book to work my way through but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was asleep by nine.

In which I still hate nature

I’m still holding true to one of my summertime goals: every day, do something to clean and/or organize and/or improve something around the house. Frankly, most days I’m doing multiple things, but even on the laziest of days I’m trying to get something minor accomplished. To wit: there is a bush in front of our house, and there were a bunch of big weeds and two actual small trees growing out of the bush that needed to come out. I initially posted a picture of one of the weeds to Facebook, because it reminded me of something that the back of my head was telling me was poisonous and I wanted to know if anyone could identify it. (The poisonous things are hemlock and giant hogweed, which are both superficially similar; I do not think this weed is poisonous any longer.)

Several hours later, I still don’t know what the hell the thing is and now it’s a blog post. We’re all about plants around here today.

Anyway. First picture: I pulled the thing out of the ground barehanded and with very little effort, so the roots don’t go deep. I tossed it on the hood of my car for scale. This was not here last week, so it grows fast.

A close-up on the flowers. Note lots of tiny clusters of white flowers but no stamens (stama?) anywhere. This is relevant, as lots of plants have the flowers but they have stamens all over the place.

The underside of the flowers:

And the leaves:

I took another picture that was a close-up of the stems, but you get a good look in the lower corner of that picture. The two most common guesses have been mock bishop’s weed and Queen Anne’s lace. I feel like neither is right. Mock bishop’s weed has really needly leaves:

And Queen Anne’s lace leaves don’t look right either, although they’re a lot closer, and I keep seeing QAL described as “hairy”:

… which, shit, maybe this IS hemlock. The stems and leaves look right, but the flowers really don’t. This is hemlock:

No little stamen thingies on the flowers, so not hemlock. And, interesting: I just scrolled back up to look at the pictures of the flowers more carefully and the stems by the flowers are a little hairy. So maybe it’s Queen Anne’s after all?

EDIT: Found a website about QAL and hemlock and now I don’t think it’s either, because the stems don’t have any purple in them (which hemlock does) and the flowers don’t have any purple spots in them or any bracts, which Queen Anne’s Lace does. So I think it’s another thing altogether.

Gah. Screw nature; it’s stupid.

On my life of luxury

Now that we are … y’know, pool people, and now that it’s starting to be warm enough that actually using the thing without freezing to death is a possibility, man, this was the right call. It’s still cold, mind you– I actually had to kick the boy out after a while because he lacks his father’s insulating layers of body hair and fat and the shivering was getting to the point where I felt like it was probably kind of dangerous. But man, it has been nice the two or three times I’ve been able to use it this week. Seriously consider getting yourself one of these things if you have a few hundred dollars to spare and some level lawn space, y’all. Life-changing.

My wife is leaving me and heading off to Boston to do work stuff for a week, so it’ll just be the boy and I around here for the next several days. My goal is that the two of us not spend the entire time playing video games. I have actually done pretty well in sticking to the goals I set at the beginning of this week. I’m a little bit behind on the wordcount I wanted, which will surprise absolutely no one, but it’s at least happening. Which is progress, right? Feel free to encourage me to continue by buying a book if you’re so inclined. They’re cheap!

The goal right now is to have enough written by InConJunction in a couple of weeks that reading an excerpt at some point is a viable possibility. I don’t know for sure if I’m going to have a panel schedule or not, but I volunteered for a bunch of them so there ought to be something. I will keep everyone updated, of course.

If I had a million dollars

Maybe a nice Chesterfield, or an ottoman …

(Chesterfields are generally insanely uncomfortable and I don’t know why anyone would want to sit in one.)

Anyway, the lotto’s up over half a billion bucks again and I’ve been letting my mind wander, because that’s actually what you’re doing when you buy two lotto tickets: you’re buying the ability to pretend for a couple of days that you’re about to be rich for that $10 or whatever you spent. I’m sure I’ve said this in this space before: I have known for years that if I were ever to come into a lot of money the first thing I would do with it is pay off the student loans of damn near every single person I’ve ever met. I’d have to figure out a way to do it without everyone taking on some sort of massive tax burden but that’s what lawyers are for.

Next step: large education-related donations. Hogwarts is gonna have to name something after me and so is the district I work for, although I’d have to come up with very strict conditions about how the gift to the district I work for would be used because I’ve seen how these people act with grants and I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. That said, we’ve got some buildings that need some renovations. If I’ve got half a billion bucks I can afford to renovate a couple of them.

A new house and a new car are possibilities but not guaranteed. I’m pretty happy with our house, and millions of dollars would provide plenty of funding to fix the couple of things that aren’t perfect. We don’t need a bigger place and I like our neighborhood; that said, I might be willing to pony up for a place with a flood-proof basement with lots of wall space that I could turn into a huge library. There are bookshelves on every wall in this place as is; if we run out of room, that will be why. I’m not about to move into a mansion or anything but if I could find a house with room for all of my books until I die that’d be great.

If I were to upgrade my car it would be to buy a hybrid of some sort. I like my Kia Soul a lot and you could literally give me a billion dollars and I still wouldn’t end up buying a sports car. I’m just not interested.

Writing a single check to pay off the rest of my student loans would put me on Cloud Nine for weeks.

I would keep working, but I would probably not keep my current job. Honestly I’d probably end up setting up a family charitable foundation with a large portion of the money that was left; running that could become my job easily enough, and I’m sure I could find a way to keep busy giving a couple million a year in charitable donations.

I have spent a few minutes trying to think of some single outlandish purchase that I’d be almost guaranteed to make, and believe it or not I can’t come up with one. I am materialistic in certain ways– I have thousands of books and a huge music collection and thousands of comic books– but, like, our TV is mid-sized at best and we just don’t really do expensive stuff around here, and I pretty much buy whatever books and music I want without paying attention to the cost already. Becoming a multimillionaire wouldn’t really add much to how much I spend on those things. I’d probably end up with four times as much computer and four times as much laptop as I needed, but that’s all I can think of. Flying lessons, maybe. How expensive are those? I really have no idea.

What about you?