Ye Olde Archive Archived Posts: 2004-2009


Hey Mr. Library Man

This has been hiding out on Ning for long enough, thought I'd share.

Find more videos like this on Library 2.0

Filed under: humor, libraries, music No Comments

Getting stranger all the time …

The plants have your number.

So ... your plant needs water, maybe some sunlight. It gives you a call to ask for a little help. Assuming you provide some care, it will call you back later to express its thanks.

Mind. Blown.

Filed under: humor, internet No Comments

This is how he grows

The Man Watching
by Rainer Maria Rilke

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler's sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Filed under: poetic No Comments

Black Kitty


"Look, stop following me, okay? I mean ... don't you have somewhere better to be?"

Kitty eyed Mike quizzically, cocked her head slightly, began purring.

"Real funny, yeah. Hey, why don't we test out that whole nine lives thing?"

Kitty hissed and spat, her eyes wide like saucers.

"Fine, fine. Just ... just stay out of the way, alright?"


Mind made up, Mike strode along the track towards the river, Kitty following behind and leaping from one tuft of grass to another between the worn down rail ties. As they neared the river the sky darkened and it began to rain.

"Great," Mike muttered. "Just great ..." He trailed off as they reached the rocky decline down the beach. Kitty eyed him warily as he jumped halfway down the hill and slid the rest of the way, reaching the bottom with a small landslide of sand, clay, and rocks. Kitty paced at the top of the hill as Mike looked back up.

"Look, just stay-" Kitty stepped tentatively onto the still tumbling hill and quick-stepped to the bottom. The rain hardened and the incline turned dark and muddy behind them. Kitty stumbled over a rock as she reached the bottom, nearly falling but for her brother catching her.

"Mike ..." Kitty grabbed his arm tightly. "I don't wanna play anymore, Mike. Can't we just go home?"

Mike shrugged off his little sister. "Look, you wanted to be annoying and follow me, play cat and tag-a-long like always, and I let you. Don't ruin it by being a pest." Before Kitty could reply he pushed through a thin outcrop and emerged onto the rocky river beach, where a group of boys about his age were huddled around a slipshod driftwood cabin. They'd all of them put the cabin together last summer, and the only reason it hadn't collapsed yet was there constant meddling: support logs here, clay patches there, leaves and branches woven through until the whole thing looked like some sort of witch's hut. "All it needs are legs," Mike sighed, approaching the group.

One of the boys stepped forward and stretched out a hand. As Mike stopped the boy yelled aloud over the heavy rain. "Halt! Who approaches this clan, and for what purpose?"

Mike followed the ritual they'd created last year. Kneeling and bowing his head, he spoke his part clearly, "I, Elf Lord Arthemius, come before this clan to challenge our leader, the Fire Lord Blazon, to a mighty duel."

The boy nodded. "Do you understand the risks of your challenge, and do you accept the consequences of winning or losing this duel?"

Mike stood up and grinned. "I understand the risks, and am prepared to engage."

The boys parted to allow Mike access to the cabin. Inside he could see a small table; Blazon was already seated and had set up his ritual candles on his side of the table. He called the candles the source of his power, but Mike knew it was bunk: Blazon was just a gawky kid with acne and glasses whose parents were wealthy and indulgent enough to buy him more Magic cards than the other kids could afford. His real name was Tim, which encouraged him to call himself the "Prodigal Sorceror" - an inside joke - and though he was a dork and they all knew it, he was also a very good Magic player, and in this clan that was what counted. Anyway, they were all pretty much dorks, and they were okay with that.

Just as Mike was about to step into the cabin to meet his fate, Kitty came screeing out of the outcrop and ran up behind him. The clan began to jeer almost immediately, but Mike could see that Kitty was cold and pretty freaked out.

"Token!" Mike shouted over the laughing boys. They began to quiet, muttering amongst themselves.

One of the boys piped up, "What do you mean, Mike?"

Mike drew himself up to full height, though he wasn't at all the tallest boy there, and spoke loudly, "Blazon draws his power from his tokens, his candles. I, Arthemius the Elf Lord, have brought my own token." As he spoke, he looked at Kitty, her dark curly hair matted to her head and plastered around her face. "Black cat, guys ... good luck, ya know?"

Kitty seemed to catch on, looked at the group of dorks, grinned and meowed loudly.

The boys, for their part, shrugged and went back to talking among themselves. Little sisters were anathema, but tokens, they could understand tokens and luck.

Mike stepped into the cabin, the glow of Blazon's candles illumining his face dramatically for a brief moment. He sat opposite Tim and pulled out his deck of Magic cards. Kitty found a blanket, wrapped herself up and sat in the corner, purring softly as the boys began their duel.


More stories at It's the Water.