Is calling an opossum a possum just a regional thing? Seriously, I knew the word possum WAY before I found out about opossum. I think I knew the word marsupial first. I’m wondering if only gangsters use the word possum and call raccoons trash pandas.

If I’m a gangster I wonder if I need to change my tax info with my accountant. Do opossum have accountants? Can the plural of possum be o posse?

I doubt that this word conundrum is just a Philly thing, but if it is I gotta let Tina Fey know so she can present these new findings on SNL.

Anyway, here’s a link that has an “Opossum” growling, because we’re talking about it and it wants to be gangster.

There’s lots of other nice things on that page; my search for distraction complete. In my twisted mind, this possum is eating the face of one of the people in my office who doesn’t understand office etiquette.

And in further research to broaden this topic, Merriam-Webster says they’re the same. AI site “Grammarly.com” says opossum are in the Americas, while possum are in Australia. And a third source (inkforall blog) adds to this last idea and asserts that we in the Americas may have a silent ‘O’ in opossum. I think someone needs to advance this and start an argument involving possum with Phillies hats and opossum with Mets hats. AI can help with the trash talking. All links below.





I was just looking at some of my old posts and made a good observation some time before and after the main block of time defined by the pandemic:[*]

*[Side-stepping the fact that the block of time defined by the pandemic varies widely for most people, not excluding the fact that for many there is no “after” to it.]

What I find most interesting is that both posts were about tea. I don’t remember doing that on purpose when I wrote “Tea for Melpomene”. I just remember being relieved to get ANY post written after three years.

Before the lockdown, I was looking for the space – for the ceremony – for the escape. In 2019, I wrote about “thinking of characters in my head that are saving the world somewhere involving the preparation of food on a windy day”.

In the latter post I wrote in italics my thoughts on how a societal lockdown should have been a personal heaven for me:
“We hammered away at the ice wall until the window above the door was visible.
In time we were able to pry it open, our hands bleeding and frozen.
After squeezing through, we moved the weakest of us into deeper chasms to be given aid and manufacture warmth.
The weakest were the first to fight and some would not stay long inside.
Our preparations were more than adequate though we needed to remind ourselves of this.”

Here in 2023, I find myself continuing a ceremony/ritual that I had started, remarkably enough, in 2019. I decided to take time off the week immediately following the clock change for daylight savings. The first time was in 2020 and I took the whole week off. This ended smack dab right before the lockdown itself. I actually went back to work to an empty building and city center in Philly before going home later to work remotely.

The next time I did it was this year, taking 3 days off to go to New York. It’s like I’m almost celebrating a ritual of changing the clocks (that every single person I know hates) and going somewhere to acknowledge it. It would be cool if I had a clock in Queens or somewhere I had to manually change.

Lately I find myself needing to do more than schedule time to go to New York. I need something every day sometimes. A ritual or ceremony to remind me of it, bring me closer to it, etc.

That quote of mine in November of 2022 touches upon some important topics and looking at the two posts emphasizes their importance. I need to take more time to devote to this awareness, this practice, this space where Melpomene is a local lady from South Philly who visits me when I feed the feral cats in my backyard and wants me to write and be well. #pomeeni #phillyaccent

I had originally wanted to dump an idea for mental health awareness into this space, and how I liken it to awareness of the weather for ancient ship captains. Before apps, radios, and engines, those old sea salts would just look at the sky and feel the wind to determine what the weather would be like the next day. Making the correct determination and charting their course appropriately could be the difference between life and death back then.

I see individuals today as those old sea captains were back then…with a need to look to the weather to determine the right course.

This isn’t just something to do every once in a while but more often.

Melpomene in the Vatican. Hopefully I get to see her in August.

“I wanted to be with you alone
And talk about the weather”
-Head Over Heels, Tears for Fears

mouse in the house

I came downstairs this morning and saw dry cat food all around the catbowl in the kitchen.

This is not normal for them so I figure there’s a visitor that wanted some of their food. I don’t envy that visitor, considering my cats past behavior on this matter. There’s been snow and rain recently so that would explain the desire to move indoors, HOWEVER a mouse seems extremely unlucky given the plethora of feral cats right outside my house front and back and I swear there are no wall openings coming from the houses on either side of me. The temperature outside is too low for the only likely bug to visit, PLUS I sprayed the bottom of my kitchen door last week when there was a spike in temp and it was right after a rainstorm.

This leaves only one kind of bug (ominous drum roll leading to old school radio drama organ chord blast): The malevolent mammal and reptile eating Killer Orchid Mantis.

This insect is so destructive and deadly it may not be an insect. Reports of this evil creature’s antics range from hidden whispers in dark alleys to candid assessment in highly touted educational institutions. Attempts to catch them are simply unknown as these otherworldly entities are expert chameleons. I know someone who personally saw one change from a bug into a grown man at a bus station late one night and she wouldn’t lie.

If these beings really do hail from some other dimension beyond our own, one can only surmise that the reason our population still exists is that there must be ANOTHER of these beings just as evil to keep the one we know in check. Small comfort there.

Alternatively, it could have just been a house centipede which my cats usually do mean things to before destroying. Lol.

Seriously, these praying mantises (link I was reading at bottom–check it out) are astoundingly beautiful. Considering their abilities, they are like the well dressed gangsters of old black and white movies. I wonder if the praying mantis talks like those old gangsters in their language. They should, we’ve developed several kung-fu styles based on their fighting techniques.

“It’ll be curtains for ya, see? Myeah, myeah.”

In about 10 days, Sunday, Jan. 22 is the Lunar New Year and ushers in a rabbit. Also at this time a tiger will leave.

In what world is a rabbit scaring away a tiger? It must be because the tiger is being pulled away by something they forgot to mention, obviously.

I love the animal attachment but not a fan of the dates we’re stuck with. Personally, I like the idea of my new year beginning in the springtime (which the lunar new year is for China, etc.).

I feel a beginning/end association more with an equinox than a solstice, whichever direction you’re facing. The rains and the crazy fluctuations we get in temperature is the perfect transition to the end of a yearly cycle.

That said, one way friends of mine will anoint the new lunar cycle is to visit a local favorite Korean restaurant, order rice cake soup, dress up in rabbit cosplay, sing/dance the ancient rituals of ancient rabbits, and laugh amongst good company.

Oh, and the reason the tiger is leaving is high cholesterol from too much cheesecake.

#yearoftherabbit #idratherusherinmorecats #rabbitsgotteeth

It started with a visit from a radioactive wombat from Norway, as these things do.

Fast-forward to my parents being visited by one such wombat (dressed like old Ben Kenobi) in the late spring in New Orleans 53 years ago. They were told what they must do and they did and I was born approximately 8 months later at 4 o’clock in the morning in Philadelphia just as the wombat said.

I’m still waiting for the wombat to show up again to give me similar instructions but until then I’ll wait, surviving only on pasta with alfredo sauce (with more fiber thrown in nowadays).

Technically I’m still 52 at the time of this writing. I have another 2 hours to go before I turn 53 but I probably won’t wait up.

Hopefully my next year gets more creativity out of me as the wombat originally dictated.

Good night everyone. 🙂

Here’s a compilation of some of my transmissions to another world.

Sometimes dumplings pretend to be ravioli, and little dumplings pretend to be tortellini. If you eat them in alfredo sauce you’ll see what I mean. (disclaimer: I know ravioli doesn’t like to admit this)

Something I’ve noticed in the “return to office” this year is a lack of office ettiquette, which I supposed is to be expected.

One that gets to me is laptop meetings on speaker. This company will give you headphones for free, but even if it didn’t it’s still up to each person to sensibly realize that the rest of the people around you don’t need to hear your meeting.

I can understand a support emergency where multiple people surround one person and their laptop, but I swear I’m surrounded by people who apparently don’t give a sh!t.

So after several days and a few looks at people I finally say something and I swear the guy looked accosted and leaves shortly afterwards. Lol. I guess I must have looked intense when I told him I couldn’t hear myself think.

There was a day where Yeti became a popular theme. Someone posted a comment elsewhere on social media and it reminded me of the email scams I see with the name Yeti and I went from there. Each time I comment to various separate posts I would bring in the Yeti somehow.It’s neat to know that some people out there get what I’m doing and I don’t feel like I have to explain.

Separate thought: the coca-cola bears would kick the shit out of a yeti, especially since they’ve once been trained by Ronda Rousey, even though she’s working for a gaming world now.

Some thoughts on my way to the Yeti:

need to deify a Yeti that roams south philly and south jersey looking for nepalese and tibetan cuisine.
also, black-eyed children and aliens and similarity to Fae? (topic from an old radio show)
I need to stick to a more consistent format. React to a real life thing and put it on the stage. Keep it short. Maybe always end with reality or at least have the tags to follow.
It may also be best to not jump around too much with new stages/settings.

The Irish Pub probably run by the Fae is a good setting, with various characters/creatures/entities working there or visiting, etc.
I need to know how to refer to one of the Fae individually. Faery is the non-gendered evil version of fairy (also non-gendered).
Some Firesign Theater influence, maybe look through some old podcasts
I don’t always have to talk about things I want to attack because then I’m just complaining. I also don’t always need to be comic. Regardless, my identity being original means being creative with these little snippets.
I could use some examples of non-comic and non-complaining snippets.

Sarcasm is always welcome as long as it isn’t too negative. I see so much examples of various “proposals” in social media (usually to women), I want to make one up for me since I never get those kind, just the spam kind.

I had to pick a new electricity supplier since my current one had just expired. I found a cheaper option using renewable energy with a fixed rate from a curious numbat named Xabe.

Normally these marsupials eat only termites but Xabe and his sister changed their diet almost exclusively to pistacchio nuts because of the lack of termites in south philly.

I didn’t want to offend Xabe or his sister by wishing a dearth of termites in my neighborhood for obvious threat-to-homestead reasons, but he said they generate more energy with the pistachio nuts.
They eat the shells AND the nuts though they still have to individually shell them like we do which I found interesting.

So, this whole task made me have to think of things like:
-refresh my memory so I can try to remember just what the hell is my electricity utility and supplier and what are the terms, rates, fees, etc.
-where can I log in to all these things and will I become upset because I’m too late because it’s already renewed and now I have to pay more
-if I pick a new supplier will I get a cancellation fee from the current one
-what worst case scenarios can I dream up that will keep me from picking any new electricity providers because of some fine print that I haven’t even thought of looking up yet
-how can I personify a volt so I can creatively complain about all this later?

Hopefully it works out cleanly, the switchover will happen in the next week.

muse intern shift

Too much peppermint syrup again. Maybe it’s time to stop going to that coffee shop, he thought to himself as he changed into a raccoon.

Wow, I’ll be able to eat hot dogs again, he thought as he wondered if he was still a he. He? looked down to see and unsurprisingly forgot all about his internship that technically was over moments earlier.

Much more covered in fur than he was a minute before, he/she couldn’t tell so decided to ask one of the very shocked looking customers in the waiting room in front of him/her/it.

“Are raccoons sex easy to figure out?” he asked the room.

“Does this mean you’re not going to look up my existence account?” a large and very newly hatched bird with a polar bear’s head said, her cracked egg all around her.

“What’s wrong with it…” the raccoon said, running a hand scanner over the sheet the bear-bird left on the desk. “Ah yes, you definitely exist. Or wait, you DID exist. Roughly a hundred million years ago. Do you know anything about raccoon gender?”

The bird bear’s eyebrow shot up.

“Pomini gonna be pissed if you leave and there’s birth fluid all over the floor.” ArJee the possom from down the hall said, carrying a filebox into the room.

“Hey, my internship ends when it ends. I don’t control when I change, I was a cat a minute ago.”

“Whose fault is that, probably the same fault as baby bird-bear there. They making realities off schedule again and you’re here so you know what Pomini say. Hey, this my song.” ArJee turned up the computer speakers to Nine Inch Nails’ Pinion.

Knowing Pomini, officially known as Melpomene and one of the original Muses, firmly believed in the mantra “You broke it you bought it” and used it liberally, if not always correctly. It happened on your watch, it’s your business.

“Are you a bird or a bear?”, Raccoon said, turning down the music and sitting down at the computer.

“I started out as a bear, next thing I was in this egg. And my papers are no good they said.”

“Ok. Here’s the bathroom key, clean up and decide what you want to be, I’ll get your paperwork squared away as soon as I figure out my gender. You sure nobody knows a raccoon’s gender?”, Raccoon said this last to the room and looking down at the computer

“I’m told not to get close enough to find out, they’re supposed to be wild. And you’re a lady raccoon.” this voice came from the tall german shepherd, watching the bear move off into the bathroom, dripping egg fluid behind her.

Finding this out was welcome, but the smart-ass dog knowing it first was annoying. “Damn right we wild, not like you ever gonna find out, pup. Whoever’s putting their own reality in the gallery, are they signing their own name at least? And where’s there a hot dog cart?”, the raccoon found it easier to get settled into her new reality when an attitude was percolating. Some things didn’t change at least.

“You’ll have to ask the hot dog vender hisself, out in front. He’s your reality forger.” the dog said, jotting something down in a little notebook, and walking toward the door.

“Oh, a detective then. Before you arrest them, can you hold them so we get our existences filed, also I want a hot dog.”

What’s a bigger turnoff, a scam from a bot or a human with the usual misspelling?

I’d have to say the human by far yields a bigger reaction from me though the bot would/should be infinitely more worrisome. The bot will only get better at what it does and while the romantic view shows a beautiful bot that actually wants to please us, the likely and very shameful reality is that the technology would be employed to nefarious ends.

Still, a bot generates much less a response from me when it’s just text to read…UNLESS there’s movement attached to it that’s designed to annoy, for example a pop-up window on a web page in front of the obviously intended content a user chose to read.

I look upon physical robots as fun and endearing but then I don’t have any contact with them. I hear there’s one at Giant supermarkets but I haven’t gone to one to see it. Imagine if one of them were to be in, say, a book store where I was trying to read the sides of books and the robot tried to get my attention to suggestive sell or stick some other book in front of my eyes like a pop-up window on a web page. LOL, I’m already getting riled up thinking about it.

Imagine Twiggy robot from Buck Rogers coming up behind you at Barnes & Noble talking in that infernal auto-attendent voice from your least favorite customer service phone call. The m/f and f-bombs would become much more commonplace and I don’t think our society would be improved. Even if Twiggy started with “Beedeebeedee” I would curse it out and probably want to get physical with it. I see someone losing it and hurting themselves in public hitting a robot. What is next? Taking a crowbar with you into book stores so you can fend off the goddam robots. Or bring your own robot, I guess. OR worse, pay some malware type of company that makes robots to keep you safe.

Now how many of us would choose the robot that looks like our favorite attractions?

I will end this with my choice of robots. I choose the posse of vampires in Fright Night 2 (1988) in the picture from IMDB below. Led by Regine Dandridge (Julie Carmen) in the foreground and right, the guy second from the left was often on rollerskates when he hunted. His robot would also be on skates. All these robots would only transform into vampire mode if angered by annoying robots or over enthusiastic sales persons. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097390/?ref_=ttmi_tt

tea for Melpomene

So I was visited by the outlaw librarian again.

This was last night as I poured the remaining oyster crackers into a bucket so I could feed the feral octopus in my backyard.
She wanted to know why I hadn’t updated this blog in so long and I said because I was waiting on the telepathy module to start working. She quickly billed me for sixteen books that I didn’t take out of a non-existing library in Liechtenstein. I guess that’s the price for unsolicited sarcasm.

I paid her in whole wheat orzo and she left to feed someone in that libary basement.

Our discussion over, I put out another container in the yard, this one of dry food for the cats so the octopus could be left alone and pondered the question that may as well have been asked by someone from another planet (NOTE, the outlaw librarian may very well be from another planet).

There has been a pandemic and accompanying lockdown on my planet and everytime I felt like writing I felt like picking up where I left off and there’s just way too much.

I would have thought that being locked away in my own home while on societal lockdown would be a dream come true for me in many ways…

We hammered away at the ice wall until the window above the door was visible.
In time we were able to pry it open, our hands bleeding and frozen.
After squeezing through, we moved the weakest of us into deeper chasms to be given aid and manufacture warmth.
The weakest were the first to fight and some would not stay long inside.
Our preparations were more than adequate though we needed to remind ourselves of this

The last sentiment says it all. I missed the world and my interaction with it. Somehow I knew then during the worst moments that I’d look back and wish I enjoyed myself more. But then who couldn’t say that when looking back on anything?

All in all my psychological temperature was very much affected by the world around me those first six months until I forcibly had to unplug. The resulting mental detachment was like seeing a chapter in a book that seems out of place. Hastily written or perhaps inserted by unnatural force. The ensuing chapter was not such a surprise but how we got there was rushed.

Now we are all in those latter chapters, the only variance being the acknowledgement of what parts are rushed.

The outlaw librarian (known locally as Pomeen or Pomeeny) would be back and I should consider myself blessed she stops by anymore. Her life seems to be so busy nowadays.

This time I’ll be ready and perhaps she’ll stay for tea.

tea ceremony


I’m interested in the idea of taking a break for tea, but I don’t have the space for it at work, nor would I want to attempt to acquire it as there are tens of thousands of employees vying for space in the tall office building I work in, surrounded by similar skyscrapers.

What I think is missing from the above ceremony is a dedication to yourself. Everything is spirituality and the workplace, as if those two concepts are related except by personal necessity.

I don’t know about everybody else’s world, but the one I live in needs to be escaped from to keep my sanity. My job is not my spiritual path, but a way to pay my bills and to give my brain it’s daily dose of mental exercise.

My ceremony needs to include a walk outside and thinking of characters in my head that are saving the world somewhere involving the preparation of food on a windy day. In order to facilitate this task, they need to go into an old library with lots of dark wood and dusty attics with creaky desk drawers and an occasional cat and accompanying chihuahua that shouldn’t be free to go upstairs but you can hear him coming because of his nails tapping on the wood floor.

This tea is called Russian Caravan, but I’m not sure it’s Russian. I love Georgian tea, which is close to Russia but still not Russian. Russian Caravan has an interesting story to it’s name: it’s alleged to be oolong tea that was brought in caravans from China and inherited a smoky flavor from the campfires along the way.

“I didn’t say it was true, just that I believe it.” (M. Mignola)

Don’t leave your tea upstairs in the dusty attic unless you finish it first.