Jul 26 2007

Peckish asilid of the week


I am not dead. Or even, aside from a bit of irregularity, sick. Since I freely admit to falling a bit short of meeting either of the aforementioned conditions, you may wonder why no blaming in over a week. Well, I’ll tell you. I do not have, at the moment (or, some would say, ever), anything of consequence to add to the discourse. In other words, I’ve come down with writer’s block.

In fact, if I think about one more rape case, one more teen porn movie, one more pink power drill, one more ‘humanist’ dude commenter — let alone spend the morning writing about it — my obstreperal lobe will burst into flames. As you know, this would take out everything and everyone within a 23 mile radius of the Twisty Compound, and all the Cool Whip in the world won’t fix that. The lobe to which I allude is an alien implant, and highly unstable. It has been smoldering for 6 months, baffling specialists.

If only it would stop raining. Crapulently, thanks to the megaglobalwarmingocracy, such a contingency is remote. Nevertheless I hold out some small hope that vitamin D production might one day recommence in the Twisty protoplasm. And on the spectacular day when the sun once again condescends to emit its toxic radiation upon the Hill Country, my friends, so speedy a mad dash to the kiddie pool by a spinster aunt carrying a Thermos of margaritas and a dragonfly field guide will seldom have been witnessed by Central Texans regardless of race, creed, or color.

Anyway, please accept this robber fly, seen here sating its bloodlust with a bee, as a small token of my undeadness.


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  1. TinaH

    Glad to hear of your undeadness. And anxious to avoid a Spinster Aunt/Gentleman Farmer Obstreperal Lobe explosion.

  2. Jodie

    Yeow! Doesn’t the silly wasp know that bees are in trouble these days?

  3. TP

    I don’t mind you taking as much time as you need to work up the desire to unleash a few choice tidbits upon the world. But I am most gratified that I will no longer have to be assaulted by the magnificently putrid fungus that is now thankfully below the fold when I stop by to see whether you have deigned to share your shiny wit with us.

  4. JRoth

    I was getting a bit worried, Twisty. Glad to hear that it’s mostly just weather-induced ennui/angst/blame-fritzing.

    Would it be too late to fit out Rancho Deluxe with some sort of rooftop weather dome that would actually let you engage with the rain while staying dry? If only for change? There’s certainly a vast difference between seeing rain through a gray window and being enveloped by it (without all that wetness).

    Just a thought. In the meantime, I’ll make sure to do extra blaming for you.

  5. Marytracy9

    I’m glad to know you are ok, and I’m sorry to hear you have writer’s block; I know how annoying it can be. So, from the perspective of a fervent admirer of your creative and unique style of writing, here’s an idea. How about a DICTIONARY with all the witty terms you use regularly in your posts? A sort of “Introduction to the Spinster Aunt Lingo”, “Encyclopedia of the Patriarchy Blamer” or something like that. You could include: pornulation, corporatocracy, dude-nation, blogularly, obstreperal lobe, fuckbag, empowerful, sexbot, gazongas…

  6. schatze

    Well then we will accept:

    More dogs
    More food
    More nature
    More cowbell

  7. Rumblelizard

    I had a dream with you in it, Twisty. I dreamed that I was a passenger in a car you were driving, and lord woman, you were driving fast. Right before I woke up, you took us up a really steep hill at an insanely fast speed and we flew over the top in slow-motion like one of those crazy cop-car-chase shows set in San Francisco. I remember clinging to the passenger-side hand strap, simultaneously terrified and exhilarated, and you laughing delightedly.

    I think the meaning of this dream is about as clear as can be.

  8. Daisy

    It’s great to see you again!

    my obstreperal lobe will burst into flames

    Now, see? This is why we worry about you so much.

  9. Patti

    Oh, bless the little buggies!

  10. Orange

    What ho, a dragonfly field guide? Maybe you can explain something to me, Twisty. A couple weeks ago, the Chicago skies darkened near Lake Michigan and a rainstorm threatened. I gazed out my window and beheld a dozen or so dragonflies buzzing around in the vicinity. Normally, I see dragonflies only if I’m right by the lake, and usually not many of them. This mini-swarm of pre-storm dragonflies, I’d never seen anything like it. I realize this is not the Great Lakes Entomology Extension here, but maybe you can explain the doings of dragonflies.

    Also, when I see two of them hovering, ass end to ass end, are they doing the insectual heterosexual deed?

  11. Bird

    Am I the only one who heard that Twisty was undead and immediately imagined her shambling straight-armed across the Texas countryside infecting people with the blame virus?

    I think I need to sleep more.

  12. Crabgrass

    Twisty, I am yet another de-lurking blamer, noting that even when you’re fessing up to some level of burnout, you’re still saying something important and useful for this junior blamer to read.

    Maybe we could take a cyberspace reality vacation, and spend a few posts post-revolution, discussing, oh I don’t know, the logistics of the community compost heap, or whether Newt Gingrich is still plugging up the nuclear-waste hole sufficiently, and what other megatheocorporocrat we might help stuff in there. Maybe John Roberts? Or we could just skip right to Cheney.

    The bug photos are very nice, too.

  13. MzNicky

    Hip hip hooray! I’ll now put on my Texas drawl.

    “Well gol-dang it, if’n it ain’t that feisty l’il ol’ Twisty gal come back around at last. And with a purty new bug picture to boot! Praise Jeezus!” The phallic fungus is gone, Twisty’s back, and all’s right with the world. Well, fer my money, a nice-sized chunk of it, anyways.

  14. thebewilderness

    No, you are not.
    I am delighted to hear that Twisty is undead. What with that overheating obstreperal lobe and all it was bound to happen.

  15. sphex

    I am so relieved to hear that you’re ok. Now I can go back to refreshing this page two or three times a day, rather than the twenty-squillion times I had been.

    It sucks that you have writer’s block, but your writing is worth waiting for.

  16. Anastasia B.

    Whew! Welcome back, Twisty. You’re the favored Spinster Aunt around these parts, head on fire or not.

  17. josquin

    Welcome back Twisty!
    And yes, this rather horrific small scale portrait of nature red in tooth and needle-like mouth parts is still far preferable to that awful mushroom thing.
    May the freakin rain stop.

  18. incognotter

    Twisty: I’m so glad to hear all is healthful with you, however rainy and over-obstrepped you may be. Sometimes the real world of dogs and insects is more important than the virtual world. We miss you, but we’ll wait.

    Bird: I had the same thought. My joy is that FEMA would never get its act together to stop the Twisty blame plague. Maybe it could reach the ranch in Crawford? That would be AWESOME!

  19. yankee transplant

    OK then. I can go back to stewing about the patriarchy instead of the possiblity that you are not feeling well.
    See you when you’re un-blocked.

  20. Pooch

    Thank God that stinkhorn is moved down the page. ::: shudder :::

  21. diana prince

    yay for your return! I for one welcome pleasant pictures of the various creatures from around your property, as they help take the mind off recent rape case/teen porn/’humanist’ Nice Guys. The bugs, in short, are Good. Thank you for sharing them.

  22. lawbitch

    I’m molding down along the Gulf Coast, too. The rain is keeping the crapuluent temperatures down here, so perhaps moldy is preferrable. Gawd, why am I in the armpit of the world?

    I spent the afternoon in Chuck E. Cheese with my spawn. Gawd, I need an adult beverage. Returning to Chez Lawbitch and finding a bit of your wit cheers me up. Cheers to Twisty!

  23. scout

    How wonderful – a new Twistylogue of inimitable Fasterness! Delight, sweet reason and devastation all in one, guaranteed! May I add my gratitude and appreciation to the pile (mountain)? Wishing you many happy sitings of Red-tailed Pennants & Roseate Skimmers!

    Trying to think of some good news, there’s this morning’s story about a huge dam in Oregan that’s coming down instead of going up. It‘s going to help the salmon and steelhead survive.

    It’s a blessing whenever you post, Twisty.

  24. Laura P

    Twisty, I am delurking to say first of all that you have given me much to think about over the months since I discovered your website; and secondly, that your unfortunate case of writer’s block has given me time to think for myself more and use the newfound perspective you have given me to ponder on my own.

    I hope that you are back to your old self soon.

  25. Medbh

    Gorgeous photo, Twisty. Personally, I feel more alive in the rain, but I tip my hat to your brilliant blogging and your thirst for the sun.

  26. Kate Dino

    OMG, I am so happy not to see that damned stinkhorn anymore.

  27. Sara

    What Kate Dino said. (It wasn’t the mushroom; it was that mushroom in that context.)

    Oh, and mazeltov on the not being dead thing, too.

  28. m patterson

    Twisty, may a token dude express his profound gladness that you’re ok? As others have averred, we’ll wait for your mots—no problemo. They are indeed worth waiting for. But please, some of us, even males, have overdeveloped anxietal lobes. So if you feel blockish about writing, post the occasional image–bug, dog, or small niece, to let us know you are ok. Thanks.

  29. stekatz

    Even an advanced blamer needs a break now and then.

    We love us some bug pictures. Even a public can would do.

    I keep hoping you’re going to eventually get that Airstream so we can read pages of hawt, no-stop trailer action.

    Weather sucks here too. I had to drive an hour to find some sun today. Glad I did.

  30. S. D'Attournee-Lawson

    Now I can resume the ironic head-tilt.

  31. Shira

    I am so elated to hear of your continued existence (and comparatively good health!). If something were to happen to you, I, and I’m certain countless others, would be inconsolable. You are The Aunt Who Blamed, giving us all courage to keep fighting against the evil dark lord patriarchy.

  32. Shadow

    I commend Maytracy9’s idea: “How about a DICTIONARY with all the witty terms you use regularly in your posts? A sort of “Introduction to the Spinster Aunt Lingo”, “Encyclopedia of the Patriarchy Blamer” or something like that. You could include: pornulation, corporatocracy, dude-nation, blogularly, obstreperal lobe, fuckbag, empowerful, sexbot, gazongas…”

    I’ve been lurking around the site for a few weeks now, and I love all the new words I’ve been learning here. I’ve started using “pornulate” in conversation–how I’ve needed that word without knowing it! Another fave I found myself saying the other day: “asshat.”

    Thank you, Twisty!

  33. Miller

    I know it sounds silly but part of me hoped you were immune to being completely exhausted by the sheer scale of extremism directed at the female gender. It makes me (once again) aware of just how intense this evil is (What else can you call it?).

    I, too, am relieved you are quite alright. Whew.

  34. kate

    Good good good, Austin’s gem still shines.

  35. Ron Sullivan

    Damn, you give good bug. Also: Robberfly! Kokopelli! (Only sans turista.)

    And writer’s block sucks big slimy slugs. Pass the margaritas pitcher, please.

  36. bitchphd

    Dragonflies are awesome.

  37. communicatrix

    Wish I could send you some of this relentless, goddamned sunshine that global warming is gifting us Californians with.

    No rest for the wicked, dear heart. Nor the vigilant. (Bah! My kingdom for some ellipses!)

  38. dr.sue

    The image that sprang into my brain was similar to that of Bird et al., though because I am recovering from a brief but intense bout of Harrypotterosis my association was to Inferii and exploding patriarchal horcruxes (don’t ask). At any rate, it was a relief to learn from Marzipan that you are well, Twisty, and it’s even better to see the evidence on the screen today.

    As a therapist who specializes in artistic blocks, I have to say that this doesn’t sound like one, not that you asked. It sounds to me like your obstreperal lobe needs some rest and diversion, the same way a singer needs to rest her voice, or a pitcher her arm. It’s good to know you’re taking care of it.

    The bug is definitely an improvement, but I hope it’s replaced soon by a shot of you, Stingray, and Tidy enjoying the sunshine and margaritas while the girls cavort in the kiddie pool.

  39. therealUK

    Insect pics are great. How do you get the image so good ? I mean the sharpness and focus, I occasionally manage to get a good one but mostly my attempts at fauna and flora leave me with endless blurred and out of focus shots. Though the camera I have isn’t up to much so I’ll blame that.

  40. Catherine Martell

    Ah, nature, red in tooth and claw, and red in mandible also. Life’s rich insectival pageant is a small comfort whenever the will to blame is temporarily sapped. Unless you’re a bee.

  41. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Hail and well met, o fellow Spinster Aunt. Happy to hear you’re enjoying relative good health. I thought you’d lit out for a glamorous holiday in some exotic destination.

    I wish you’d send some a your carnivorous insect life up here to devour the little green worms preying on my roses. ‘Twould be good to see a wasp feasting on the little beasties.

  42. mAndrea

    I was thinking the other day of a toe-curling massage in a warm room, with candles throwing shadows on the walls and stinking to high heaven with flowers. Since I have no clue what address to dispatch said masseuse, I can only send the thought. Wah.

    Incidently, while I think new blamers need to hear just how badly the P screws women over – and you do that like nobody else’s business – I’ve gotten over commenting on the induhvidual particulars.

    Please take care of my favorite blamer.

    TherealUK — I heard Twisty uses a disposable. LOL kidding!

  43. slythwolf

    When I was at the Renaissance Faire last weekend, a group of us stopped at a cloak vendor; a friend of mine wanted to purchase one of the cloaks on display. Then a very pretty golden dragonfly alighted on one of the ropes attaching the tent to its pegs; I thought of you.

  44. tata

    Got any gum?

  45. Linda

    Dear Twisty,
    Please take the first wand you can lay your hands on, point it at those rain clouds and chant “Go forth, north to Montana, go north and precipitate forth” three times. We’ll gladly accept all the moisture you folks can send our way. We’ve got 5 fires in Montana, 1 in Yellowstone and 2 (at least in Idaho), the air is brown from all the smoke and this weekend we’ve got this idiotic military muscle show from the Cold War era with five navy jets thundering around the valley probably burning more fuel and adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in ten minutes than all the vehicles, including the Hummers that rich fat cats from Wall Street who have moved to Montana to get their little piece of “the last best place” drive, in the whole Gallatin valley use and put out in the whole year. If it rained like hell the fires would die down and the blue angels (hah!) show would be a wash out.

  46. Nymphalidae

    Also, when I see two of them hovering, ass end to ass end, are they doing the insectual heterosexual deed?

    Dragonfly mating looks like this. It’s called the wheel position. The male transfers a sperm packet from his last abdominal segment to his first abdominal segment, where he’s got a pair of holders for it. When a female approaches he grabs her by the head with his cerci (located on the tip of the abdomen) and she arcs the tip of her abdomen forward to grab the sperm he’s holding.

    I’ve never seen dragonflies hover with the tips of their abdomens together. I don’t think it would even be possible for this to happen, as I’m pretty sure only Diptera are capable of flying backwards (they have halteres for the excellent flying).

  47. CafeSiren

    Thank you, Twisty, for this dragonfly. At least now, when I make my daily check-in for blaming, I won’t be looking at that besmeared phallic fungus anymore.

  48. Nymphalidae

    As far as the swarm of pre-storm dragonflies…I don’t know. You don’t see many by the lake because while they are aquatic in the nymph stage, they are in streams/small lakes. Lake Michigan is simply to large and deep. (Man, I miss Lake Michigan…I grew up in Wisconsin/Michigan.) Perhaps they were swarming to mate because the rain would mean there was plenty of water for the laying of eggs. Or perhaps there was a swarm of little insects that they were feeding on.

  49. Orange

    Thanks for the info, Nymphalidae. Yeah, that’s probably what I’ve seen the dragonflies doing. (Details, details.) Can they fly while hooked up in the wheel position?

  50. kiki

    Please send some of that rain to your neighbors in New Mexico. We’ll take whatever you can spare!

  51. Zora

    “And on the spectacular day when the sun once again condescends to emit its toxic radiation upon the Hill Country…”

    Oh please, Twisty, do not blame the sun. It’s doing its job just fine. It’s the durned clouds that are mucking things up. Even when it’s out of sight, the sun shines night and day!

    (Please note the proper use of ellipses.)

  52. Tupe

    Texas is getting rain, London’s completely sunk under the rain and yet the Midwest thunderstorms keep missing my part of the country. That part of the country being, you know, the Midwest.

  53. Spinning Liz

    Oh for heavens sake. 99.98% of us bloggers don’t let not having a damn thing to say stop us from blogging. But I’m so glad you fianlly posted. I was starting to develop a semi-serious crush on that fungal dick thing, something dangerously akin to Stockholm Syndrome.

  54. PhysioProf

    “I’m pretty sure only Diptera are capable of flying backwards (they have halteres for the excellent flying).”

    Halteres are very cool little implements. A few months ago one of the world’s experts on insect flight came to give a seminar at my institution. He described some very detailed studies he has performed using ultra-high-speed video to look at what the halteres do during flight. To simplify greatly, they function sort of like gyroscopes that provide heading information to the nervous system, and also are used to initiate turns.

  55. Theriomorph

    Missed you, Twisty.

    Write on, when and as and how you feel like it, with or without bugs.

  56. Ron Sullivan

    You don’t see many by the lake because while they are aquatic in the nymph stage, they are in streams/small lakes.

    Shamelessly, speaking of which:

    It’s startling to see what they leave behind, en masse.

    If that link’s screwed up, blame the lack of Preview, fatigue, crosseyeditude, and the patriarchy, not necessarily in that order.

  57. Nymphalidae

    A few months ago one of the world’s experts on insect flight came to give a seminar at my institution.

    Neat. What was his name? I’d like to suggest him for the entomology seminar where I go to school.

  58. Joanna

    I was getting ready to search the Internets for a picture of dragonfly mating, but the commentariat never lets us down! Thanks for the pic, Nyhmpalidae.
    I’m awed at this picture, Twisty. I tried to get some close-up butterfly shots the other day with my little point and shoot and nada.

    I rejoice in your return to posting. Now if you could just send some of those rain storms up I-35 to the Twin Cities where the brown grass is reminding me of summer in California, but not in a good way.

  59. island mamma

    what! Twisty is a real person?! OMG this changes everthing….

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