21 May 2017

The Junk Man Cometh

Have you heard that expression that one man's junk is another man's treasure? It pops up once in a while - especially when a flashdrive gets full and I need to remove files to make room for something new that is, by definition, more valuable than whatever I may select to delete. It's a conundrum of our modern technological age. Yes, I know that there is a cloud up there somewhere, but I don't live that way. I like my stuff to be in physical, tangible form, and under my constant control. 

But I digress.... 

Recently I was in that situation of reviewing old files to determine which I could part with. I had to open many of them to see if they were truly necessary. That led to an interesting bunch of hours perusing my backstory, revisiting the ancient history of who I was long ago. I pondered why this file was of interest to me back then. I had to tie it to that point of time in my life: where was I? what was I doing? who was I enamored by? what did I hope for my future? Not exactly a walk down memory lane. More like running a gauntlet of alternately embarrassing moments and painful days of yore.

So, rather than toss a few old files away willy-nilly, I decided to conspire with my past self to share the more maudlin ones with an unsuspecting public. You're welcome. And so, without further adieu, I present "Files from my old Folders":


“Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.”
Alan Moore (via eroticasa)
The answer to life’s question right there

I must have saved this as a useful retort to those folks who see clearly defined genre boundaries. Although I may categorize a book as sci-fi, for example, that's just for marketing purposes. The story will include everything from romance to horror to comedy to hardcore techno-babble to dreamy alien wisdom. Because that's what I write.


Call me crazy, but I just feel like liking everything today!

(That way, I will continue to be able to see them...thereby ruining the dreaded algorithm that decides what I like without me having to do anything like actually clicking the word 'like' to indicate my approval of the topic or my admiration for the poster or my sympathy in the case of sad posts or otherwise indicating that I have seen the particular post whether or not I took the time to read a link or pondered the headline or caption or smiled at a picture of a bunny or similar warm, fuzzy meme, or conversely turned away at a picture of tornado damage, sick children, or other similar images of the darker side of life's experiences, or otherwise left some meager sign of my existence in cyberspace, much less in the world of reality, which is, as Plato once demonstrated, nothing more than a snake oil salesman's compendium of incomprehensibility based on flawed human senses and a wild imagination....)

Have you ever logged on to your favorite social media abyss and just decided the heck with it and clicked the 'like' button on everything? Almost everything? And as you go down the wall/feed you begin to discriminate, to pick and choose what you will adorn with your approval? Truly an odd feature of these human things!


Mother's Day is a two-way street with intersections, ice cream trucks, and horse-drawn carriages, half in shade and half in sunshine, and people pass once or many times and never think of it again.

I have no doubt this was a not-so-well-thought-out rebuttal to all the holiday trimmings abounding that day, and by extension every holiday. Too many such days when we are expected to perform rituals, recite the words, offer up the usual platitudes. True feelings are more likely to erupt spontaneously at certain moments throughout the year, less so on the actual day given over to the display of familiarity.


Icelandic love phrases

I like you. Ég eins og Þú.
I love you. Ég elska þig.
I love you. Ég ást Þú.
I want you. Ég vilja Þú.
I need you. Ég Þörf Þú.
Do you love me? Gera Þú ást mig?
Do you want me? Gera Þú vilja mig?
Do you like me? Gera Þú eins og mig?
Kiss me. Koss mig.
Take your clothes off. Taka Þinn föt burt.
Have sex with me. Hafa kynlíf með mig.
I love cuddling with you. Ég ást faðmlag með Þú.
I love your touch. Ég ást Þinn snerta.
You smell good. Þú lykta góður.
You taste good. Þú finna bragð af góður.
You are beautiful. Þú ert fallegur.
You are handsome. Þú ert myndarlegur.
You turn me on. Þú snúa mig á.
You drive me crazy. Þú ökuferð mig brjálaður.
I’m falling in love with you. Ég er bylta í ást með Þú.
Will you marry me? Vilja Þú gifta mig?
I miss you. Ég ungfrú Þú.
You are so sexy. Þú ert svo kynÞokkafullur.

Because, well, sometimes you have to write a novel about a girl from Iceland and you want it to be realistic, right? So you do your research and you save all kinds of things just for that one page where you might type it in. Then it stays hidden in a folder within another folder on a flashdrive that needs to be cleaned. 


Hungarian Goulash

2 pounds top round beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
0.5 teaspoon black pepper
0.25 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
1 bay leaf
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
Warm cooked buttered noodles

In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine beef, onion, and garlic; mix well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme; mix well. Add to meat mixture, tossing to coat well. Add tomatoes with liquid, carrots, and bay leaf; mix well.

Cover and cook on HIGH setting 4-1/2 to 5 hours hours or on LOW setting 8 to 9 hours, or until beef is fork-tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles.

I know why I saved this recipe. I was writing my vampire novel; that is, a novel about a guy transforming into a vampire. At least, that's what he fears. Being of Hungarian ancestry, he eventually ventures to his ancestral homeland to seek a cure. I supposed I wanted to try the native dish to glean whatever I could of the culture, to better help me write the story. Then again, once I had made it, I realized it was very much like the stuff the cafeteria served us for lunch when I was in 3rd grade.

So there you have a handful of stuff I saved for whatever reason. Now that they are yours, please pass them on. Help the next person fill their flashdrive. 

(C) Copyright 2010-2017 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

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