JULY 10, 2009 5:09PM

Fragments Friday: Tinkerbell!

Rate: 13 Flag
Tinkerbell Closeup

 

Welcome to the first installment of Fragments Friday. Since many of these were written a while ago, you’ll find some anachronisms—like referring to Franny and Zooey as “girls.” Now, enjoy three cool, refreshing sips of metaness lite.



Fragment No. 1

Michael: I know how we should begin our next one. About our computer starting to go poop.

Melissa: (typing) Do you wanna keep going on that, or do you want to finish this other one first?

Michael: We can finish the other one first. That’s better.

(another day entirely)

Michael: If a friend is “friendly”, what is an enemy? “Enemous”?

Melissa: Wouldn’t it be “enemly”, if you modeled it on “friendly”?

(later)

Melissa: Who was out there, the gardener?

Michael: Both of them. They got to see me in my underwear, putting a little plate of cat food on the ground for Tinkerbell.

(later)

Michael: Do you know why it bothers me that the gardener saw me in my underwear?

Melissa: You mean “gardeners”?

Michael: I said “gardeners.” That’s not a—don’t bring that up. This isn’t interesting, love. This is like making jokes about farts. Let’s rise above this.

Melissa: Okay, sorry. But I still think you said “gardener”, singular. But yes, why does it bother you?

Michael: Because it’s like, here are these two guys, in the middle of the day doing the gardening around our complex. And here comes this guy out of his apartment—

Melissa: Wait, wait. You didn’t come out of the apartment. You simply slid open the screen door to feed Tinkerbell.

Michael: Technically, the upper half of my body went out of the apartment. So, I would say I did, just not completely.


Fragment No. 2

Michael: I think school encourages children to compete for attention. Some children realize it’s not even worth it. You don’t want the attention, because you don’t know the answers anyway. You wanna keep a low profile. You want the teacher to call on someone else. To me, most of the time when a teacher came around and put their hand on my shoulder asking me this or that, the spotlight was now shining on me. And I hated that. It burns.

Melissa: I hated the spotlight, too, but I almost always knew the answers. And for me, it wasn’t about competing—or maybe it was, but I didn’t realize it. I was just pretty much a perfect student from birth—or “I was just naturally a perfect student.” Which do you prefer?

Michael: Both are things that when said will get you beat up when you’re a student.

Melissa: Hahaha. I guess I was lucky, then.


Fragment No. 3

Melissa: I can’t believe we’re all out plates!

     I have to do the dishes.

Michael: Tinkerbell!

     What’re you doin’?

Melissa: I have to.

Michael: No, I’m talking to our friend.

Melissa: Ohhh. Tinkerbell!

     (to Tinkerbell)

     You can come in. You wanna help Mama load the dishwasher?

Michael: What did you just say?

Melissa: Oops.

     You’re right. She smells like laundry.

     Tinkerbell, where are you going?

Michael: I prefer the cleanness of parens.

Melissa: Me, too.

Michael: And it’s easy to follow.

     She’s being a good girl.

Melissa: Maybe she should be rewarded.

Michael: Yeah. Oh, she’s lying down. Just let her kick back. She got tired of waiting.

Melissa: Should we feed her right here?

Michael: I guess.

     Help us.

Melissa: Don’t tell me you want more, Tinkerbell.

     (performing) “You’re terrible, Tinkerbell.”

(later)

Melissa: Tinkerbell’s still here.

Michael: She heard you and she’s leaving.



L  E  G  E  N  D
letters = sequential meta conversations
                   (C occurred after B, B after A, etc.)
numbers = mini-meta tangents within meta conversations
quoted letters = prior meta conversations










































 

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Comments

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Melissa: . . . I was just pretty much a perfect student from birth—or “I was just naturally a perfect student.” Which do you prefer?

Michael: Both are things that when said will get you beat up when you’re a student.

LOL - I can relate. I knew the answers, but chose not to raise my hand, thus avoiding the getting beat up. I supplemented this by beating up bullies in elementary school, which established my cred as someone not to fight with. I wonder if that makes me a bully of bullies?
Tinkerbell is my favorite mischevious fairy! There was a moment there where I thought you were going to tell us that Tinkerbell does double duty as your "dishwasher". I am wrong about that, aren't I? Maybe? As I read these lovely snippets, I kept thinking "Wow, would I love to spy on M & M and see if this is how they always talk to each other." Is it? I love you guys, you always make me smile, even when you make me think hard.
(Metagood!) Now I've got to buy some paper plates and blind.
rAted!
Very refreshing :)

"Michael: If a friend is “friendly”, what is an enemy? “Enemous”?"

Enemous even sounds a bit Painful, lol. He was so enemous I walked funny for a week.

"Michael: I prefer the cleanness of parens.

Melissa: Me, too.

Michael: And it’s easy to follow."

To follow the single parens, hmm this part made me smile for no reason. : ) with a simple paren.

In school I knew answers, just not necessarily the ones they were looking for. They seemed to prefer the answers to mimic what the book said for the most part. There were some really open thinking teachers; though, hooray for them. It is safe to think that they pretty much 'saved' me.

As always, thanks for the romp in your rooms!
Peece,
dj
Thank you for the metaness lite!
"'Enemous'" sounds like enemas. I am glad you didn't go there!
Meta lite! Ha!
Love it...especially can identify with Melissa....
I was the perfect student too,
pinned by anxiety to my seat in class
lest I be called upon...
& when I was I was too shy (or befogged with fear)
to regurgitate the right answer, anyway...
I'd lie & say, "dunno"...
ah the good old days..I sometimes have dreams where
I am back in elementary school again
for some reason, but
as an adult...
Jim
man I was far from a perfect student. I got good grades but I kept getting in trouble for sit-ins and underground newspapers and this was in a little country high school in Plain City, Ohio. These were cool. They work so well on a conversational level.
This time I would like tO SEND The "thumbs up" to mamoore for her insightful comment: "... would I love to spy on M & M..."

I always felt that this special "M&M dialog style" (sans the meta lettering!) could be captured by a very simple and expressive metaphor, but I couldn't articulate it.

And here it is, mamoore captured it! This is the: SPY FLY ON THE WALL vantage point. Excellent! :-)
"to send" - sorry for the caps :-)
@Owl_Says_Who:

Owl_Says_Who: LOL - I can relate. I knew the answers, but chose not to raise my hand, thus avoiding the getting beat up.

Melissa: I straddled the fence between keeping quiet and raising my hand just enough not to get docked on participation points :-)

Owl_Says_Who: I supplemented this by beating up bullies in elementary school, which established my cred as someone not to fight with. I wonder if that makes me a bully of bullies?

Michael: Actually, that makes you a meta-bully! And for being a meta-bully, can I say you are my hero?


@zumalicious:

zumalicious: Megabully?

Melissa: See Michael’s response above :-)


@mamoore:

mamoore: Tinkerbell is my favorite mischevious fairy!

Michael: Yes, I think our Tinkerbell has learned a thing or two from that Tinkerbell. Especially about how to get her way by pestering ;-)

Melissa: Maybe our long-ago promised Tinkerbell post (even before the notorious art post!) will have to go up soon.

mamoore: There was a moment there where I thought you were going to tell us that Tinkerbell does double duty as your "dishwasher".

Michael: That was some unexpected humor I overlooked. Good catch, mamoore. That’s great!

mamoore: I am wrong about that, aren't I? Maybe?

Michael: Tinkerbell! Here’s your apron and sponge! Detergent is under the sink.

Melissa: Hahaha.

mamoore: As I read these lovely snippets, I kept thinking "Wow, would I love to spy on M & M and see if this is how they always talk to each other." Is it?

Melissa: Yes, pretty much verbatim. Every here and there, we’ll remove a superfluous “that” to smooth out the reading, but otherwise, these are really quite precise records of our conversations (except for all the stuff I miss because I can’t type fast enough!).

mamoore: I love you guys, you always make me smile, even when you make me think hard.

Michael: I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than make people happy and, if possible, make them think, too.

Melissa: Yes, what a great compliment! Thanks, Melissa, and we love you, too :-)
@Mr. Mustard:

Mr. Mustard: Now I've got to buy some paper plates and blind.

Michael: Paper plates, Mr. Mustard?! I would’ve thought you were a true environmentalist. For shame.

Melissa: Ah, but he means digital plates. And blinds, I suspect.

Michael: Ohh. Sorry about that!

Melissa: Did you get a chance to peruse our last post, Mr. Mustard? We were hoping you might be able to answer the question about the Air Force epithet :-)

Michael: Always a pleasure, Monsieur Moutarde, and thanks for stopping by.


@David:

David: Enemous even sounds a bit Painful, lol. He was so enemous I walked funny for a week.

(both laughing)

David: To follow the single parens, hmm this part made me smile for no reason. : ) with a simple paren.

(both still laughing)

David: In school I knew answers, just not necessarily the ones they were looking for. They seemed to prefer the answers to mimic what the book said for the most part.

Michael: Sadly, creativity and free thought are not high on the curriculum.

David: There were some really open thinking teachers; though, hooray for them. It is safe to think that they pretty much 'saved' me.

Melissa: I really was fortunate, since it seems every school I went to had those open-thinking, inspiring teachers.

Michael: Yes, I had a few, and they made a big difference in my life. One of my favorites was a woman who even encouraged us to use profanity or anything we needed to tell our stories. This was a drama class in junior high. A friend and I made a skit where we riffed on a popular commercial at the time—

Melissa: Which one?

Michael: “That’s not . . . something. That’s something else!” I forget what the “something” was now.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Michael: Anyway, in our skit, my friend—pretending to be a woman—said, “These new Kotex tampons are so comfortable, I barely know they’re there!” And I said, “That’s not a tampon, that’s my finger!” Our teacher laughed and laughed and laughed. I have to admit, that was one of my favorite days at school.

Melissa: And don’t forget Mr. Ellingson!

Michael: I’ll never forget Mr. Ellingson. Wherever you are Mr. Ellingson, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

David: As always, thanks for the romp in your rooms!

Melissa: And thank you for coming to play in our playground!

Michael: The romper room is always open.
@Delia:

Delia: Thank you for the metaness lite!

Michael: You’re very welcome, Delia. We know our regular metanesses can be a bit heavy, sometimes.

Melissa: Yes, they have been known to cause intellectual indigestion.

Michael: Hahaha. In fact, part of the reason we’re doing this is for dear Theodora. I think our other posts were making her head hurt :-)

Delia: "'Enemous'" sounds like enemas. I am glad you didn't go there!

(both laughing)


@Jim:

Jim: Meta lite! Ha! Love it...

Michael: Yes, I think it was time for us to have some pity on our poor readers.

Melissa: And ourselves!

Jim: especially can identify with Melissa.... I was the perfect student too, pinned by anxiety to my seat in class lest I be called upon... & when I was I was too shy (or befogged with fear) to regurgitate the right answer, anyway...

Melissa: The scariest times for me were when we were asked something not out of the textbook, which was easy, but from pop culture, which I was fairly ignorant of. Like when my fourth-grade teacher asked us who our favorite band was, and because I had been raised on fifties, sixties, and seventies music instead of the eighties music of my contemporaries, I became completely flummoxed. I couldn’t bring myself to say Michael Jackson or Pat Benatar or Elvis like my classmates did. That seemed like it would be cheating to steal their answers. So instead, I blurted out, “Bing Crosby.”

Michael: Hahahaha.

Melissa: As soon as the name came out of my mouth, I was mortified. I thought, I don’t even like Bing Crosby! But he was the only singer whose name popped into my blanking mind. I think maybe because it was shortly after Christmas, so I had been listening to Christmas albums a few weeks before.

Michael: That reminds me of Ralphie, mindlessly agreeing that he would like a football instead of a “Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.”

Jim: I'd lie & say, "dunno"...

Michael: I’m quite guilty of this, too. My AS made me impossibly shy. And any attention at all was like interrogation.

Jim: ah the good old days..I sometimes have dreams where I am back in elementary school again for some reason, but as an adult...

Michael: Are you sure that’s not a nightmare?

Melissa: Hahaha.
@micalpeace:

micalpeace: man I was far from a perfect student. I got good grades but I kept getting in trouble for sit-ins and underground newspapers and this was in a little country high school in Plain City, Ohio.

Michael: It would’ve blown my image of you if you hadn’t gotten in trouble for sit-ins and underground newspapers. Right on, brother!

micalpeace: These were cool. They work so well on a conversational level.

Melissa: Thanks, as always, for joining in on the conversation, Mical. Your presence is always enriching.


@GalaxyMan:

GalaxyMan: This time I would like tO SEND The "thumbs up" to mamoore for her insightful comment: "... would I love to spy on M & M..."

Michael: We’re doing the best we can to make the experience as much like spying on us as possible, but we do leave out the parts like spitting loogies and scratching our armpits.

Melissa: Hahaha. Perhaps we’ll have to start releasing some of those audio recordings we haven’t gotten around to transcribing yet . . .

GalaxyMan: I always felt that this special "M&M dialog style" (sans the meta lettering!) could be captured by a very simple and expressive metaphor, but I couldn't articulate it. And here it is, mamoore captured it! This is the: SPY FLY ON THE WALL vantage point. Excellent! :-)

Melissa: So that’s why this fly keeps hanging around.

Michael: Hey, look! He’s writing something down in his moleskine. Now he’s flying over to the keyboard. What’s he typing? Hop hop hop hop. Hey, I think he’s posting this comment!
the comment thread was full of laughter too esply people playing with enemous/enema s... the "getting beat up cuz you know the ans" is there amongst adults too, esply, in workplaces, they do not actually hit you, but tie your project down with red tape! heh
oh, i love you, guys. you're the perfect antidote to some of the ugliness that was going on on here. this is the right length post for me!!! i was the perfect student too, melissa. i was even the one always raising my hand and annoying all the other kids in the room and causing some of them to feel less than. it was all about being perfect for my teachers. i didn't get beat up! that part was good. i'm with everyone else on enemous. i'm also with the spy on the wall thing. i love you both. love love love and gratitude
the photograph is stunning
Air Force ... Fly Boys : )
I like reading about what kind of student everyone was. And it's so true about the classroom setting conditioning kids to be competitive or developing their ability to prioritize - I wish I'd learned sooner that knowing all the answers wasn't the most important thing in the world - would have saved me so many headaches. And I mean literally! I can't count how many stress headaches I gave myself as a third and fourth grader. But maybe I was afraid of what would happen if I didn't know them all... Freddy Krueger would get me, maybe.

Michael's analogy of Melissa accomodatingly blurting out "Bing Crosby!" to Ralphie's panicked acceptance of the football offer - too funny. Though the self-repression in both cases is of course a bit sad. Tragic how this sort of childhood dilemma can be so traumatizing!

And I agree with Rolling - what a lovely picture of Tinkerbell. Do you still have Boland, too?
@Rolling:

Rolling: the comment thread was full of laughter too esply people playing with enemous/enema s...

Michael: Yes. We’re coming to see the comments as an extension of the posts. A continuation of the conversation.

Rolling: the "getting beat up cuz you know the ans" is there amongst adults too, esply, in workplaces, they do not actually hit you, but tie your project down with red tape! heh

Melissa: Well-put! The strangulation of bureaucracy. It is sometimes scary to see what bullies grow up to become.

Michael: And even scarier to see what the bullied can become.

Melissa: Ah, yes. The miserable violence begets violence cycle.

Rolling: the photograph is stunning

Melissa: Thank you, Rolling! I took that with my iPhone, which is unable to focus closeup. But I have been pleasantly surprised by many of the photos I’ve snapped with it. A while back, we read an article by a photographer who was using the iPhone as her preferred medium, so that was intriguing. Someday, we hope to be able to get a decent camera, but in the meantime, we’re grateful for this.


@Theodora:

Theodora: oh, i love you, guys. you're the perfect antidote to some of the ugliness that was going on on here.

Michael: What a wonderful thing for you to say, Theodora. That really makes our day.

Melissa: Yes! Somehow, we’ve remained blissfully ignorant of most of the ugliness, although we keep catching mournful references to it.

Theodora: this is the right length post for me!!!

Michael: Great! We were hoping it would be.

Melissa: You were part of the inspiration behind us doing these, so we’re glad to hear that.

Theodora: i was the perfect student too, melissa. i was even the one always raising my hand and annoying all the other kids in the room and causing some of them to feel less than. it was all about being perfect for my teachers.

Melissa: Hahaha. I bet it was hard for the other students to measure up to your enthusiasm!

Michael: Have you always had this much energy? You must’ve been atomic-powered when you were a little kid.

Theodora: i didn't get beat up! that part was good.

Michael: I can remember being terrified of being beat up all through school. I learned that it was better to talk your way out of it if possible. I became quite accomplished at that, considering the number of bullies I encountered. When I finally did get pummeled about my head, I was pleasantly shocked to find out it really didn’t hurt that much!

Theodora: i'm with everyone else on enemous.

Melissa: Haha. Good.

Michael: I think that makes it official now. The adverbizing of “enemy” is NOT “enemous”. “Enemous” is enema infatuation.

Melissa: Scary! Actually, I was beginning to realize it kind of sounds like “venomous,” so it’s not actually terribly inappropriate for the intended meaning.

Michael: I just thought of another meaning, based on “venomous”. It is a tribe of warriors who, after eating a large meal of corn, fill their bowels with water prior to battle. Their tactic is to disgust their enemies into submission by contracting their powerfully developed bowel muscles and soaking their victims in a foul solution.

Melissa: Help!

Michael: Sorry, I got carried away.

Theodora: i'm also with the spy on the wall thing.

Michael: The fly has taken up permanent residence and will be reporting on our conversations as long as his short lifespan allows. Please do not weep for the fly, for a fly’s life is rich and varied and full of wonderful smells and squirmy things.

Theodora: i love you both. love love love and gratitude

Melissa: Triple-decker love backatcha, Theodora.
@Mr. Mustard:

Mr. Mustard: Air Force ... Fly Boys : )

Michael: Thank you! That had completely slipped my mind. Sorry for the slight of not slighting the Air Force in kind :-)

Melissa: Yes, we appreciate your return flight to conduct this debriefing.


@keenoctopus:

keenoctopus: I like reading about what kind of student everyone was. And it's so true about the classroom setting conditioning kids to be competitive or developing their ability to prioritize - I wish I'd learned sooner that knowing all the answers wasn't the most important thing in the world - would have saved me so many headaches. And I mean literally! I can't count how many stress headaches I gave myself as a third and fourth grader. But maybe I was afraid of what would happen if I didn't know them all... Freddy Krueger would get me, maybe.

Michael: See, that’s just wrong. Third- and fourth-graders shouldn’t be straining their heads at all. They should be being filled with the wonder and awe that is life.

Melissa: That’s probably about the age I started getting migraines. Maybe a little bit older. Eleven, I think. I was already pulling all-nighters to finish homework and research papers for school. And drinking caffeine. And pretty much solidifying my procrastinatory perfectionistic study habits that I carried on through college.

keenoctopus: Michael's analogy of Melissa accomodatingly blurting out "Bing Crosby!" to Ralphie's panicked acceptance of the football offer - too funny. Though the self-repression in both cases is of course a bit sad. Tragic how this sort of childhood dilemma can be so traumatizing!

Michael: Actually, Ralphie’s panicked response is the response that I have to every single real-life encounter I experience. It’s bizarre. I can sit here and have a completely normal conversation with Melissa, but just ten minutes later, I can be at the store going through the checkout and I’ll be completely flustered by a simple, slightly out of the ordinary question. Like, “Hey, where’d you get that shirt?” My response might be, “Oh, uh, well, it’s uh—I got it . . . uh, let’s see, it was about, uh . . . three, uh, um . . . yeah, three years ago, and uh, it’s this show, uh . . . that I watched . . . well, I mean . . . I still watch it now, but . . .”

Melissa: Oh, you’re thinking of the time that checker complimented you on the Kids in the Hall shirt.

Michael: Yes, it was loosely based on that. Something like that actually happens pretty rarely. Mostly, I just say, “Hi,” or “Hello,”—wait, didn’t I say this somewhere else?

Melissa: Or “What’s goin’ on?” Right.

keenoctopus: And I agree with Rolling - what a lovely picture of Tinkerbell.

Michael: Yes, I’m quite taken (no pun intended) with it, as well.

Melissa: Tinkerbell is actually a neighbor’s kitty. I don’t know how we got into this bad habit of feeding her, but she won’t let us give it up now. We’ve tried all kinds of methods, but her persistence is heroic. And now two other neighbor kitties (Romeo and the new seal point Siamese who just moved in) have started coming around, as well. You know those hobo markings they used to put on houses? Well, “Good for a handout” is a circle with an ‘X’ in it.

Michael: Yeah, and we’ve started noticing little circles with pawprints in the middle appearing around our apartment.

Melissa: Hahaha.

keenoctopus: Do you still have Boland, too?

Melissa: Boland will always be with us.
Meta-bully . . . heh heh heh . . . I like the sound of that.
Metaness lite! Now with 30% less meta.

I agree with Rolling and keenoctopus - that picture of Tinkerbell is quite engaging. (I like keenoctopus' name - I picture all those tentacles grabbing up goodies for the octopus' garden.)

Those neighborhood animals have you suckered, folks. We had a cat we saved from starvation and all manner of pestilence, who lived with us for years and then when we brought home a dog, he up and moved to our elderly neighbor-lady's house. He'd long ago worn a path between our door and hers - she set out milk and other treats for him. He had her all lined up. After he moved, he sometimes deigned to visit us. O! the treachery!
@consonantsandvowels:

consonantsandvowels: Metaness lite! Now with 30% less meta.

Michael: (performing) Studies have shown that reading metanessLite helps to maintain a healthy and vibrant mind. Make metanessLite a regular part of your reading diet.

Melissa: (performing) Mmmm, metanessLite . . . (gurgles)

consonantsandvowels: I agree with Rolling and keenoctopus - that picture of Tinkerbell is quite engaging.

Michael: Thank you for saying that. Melissa was unsure about the photo.

Melissa: Only because it was partly out of focus.

Michael: But that’s what I like about it. It’s like Tinkerbell’s getting in your face. She’s getting so close that she’s out of focus. I think it’s very well-composed.

Melissa: Thank you, love.

Michael: You’re welcome.

Melissa: See, now you know how to accept compliments.

Michael: Whaddyou mean?

Melissa: Well, if someone actually gives you a compliment, it is practically impossible for you to accept it graciously. Usually, you turn it into a criticism somehow.

Michael: I don’t turn it into that. It’s just how I naturally interpret it. Paranoid, remember?

Melissa: Oh boy, do I.

Michael: Whaddyou mean by that?!

Melissa: Hahaha.

consonantsandvowels: (I like keenoctopus' name - I picture all those tentacles grabbing up goodies for the octopus' garden.)

Michael: I’ll provide the shade.

Melissa: By the sea?

Michael: You mean “under the sea”.

Melissa: (sings) “In an octopus’s garden” . . . It’s “under the sea”?

Michael: Yes, but not there. It goes before “octopus’s garden.” After “octopus’s garden” comes “in the shade.”

Melissa: Ahh.

Michael: I think it was Ringo who liked to be under the sea.

consonantsandvowels: Those neighborhood animals have you suckered, folks.

Michael: You’re only a sucker if you don’t know they’re doing it and you wouldn’t do it if you did.

Melissa: So what does that make us instead?

Michael: (thinks) Kind?

Melissa: No. Enablers.

Michael: Haha.

consonantsandvowels: We had a cat we saved from starvation and all manner of pestilence, who lived with us for years and then when we brought home a dog, he up and moved to our elderly neighbor-lady's house. He'd long ago worn a path between our door and hers - she set out milk and other treats for him. He had her all lined up. After he moved, he sometimes deigned to visit us. O! the treachery!

(both laughing)