In which I ramble randomly regarding random ravelings and their ramifications…

Photo smuggled out of the last SCECS meeting.
Photo smuggled out of the last SCECS meeting.

Whisperings from the Shadowy Cabal of Extraordinary Christian Scribblers (SCECS): Over the past week, a lot of what I like to call “churning” has characterized a number of the Christian writers’ blogs and forums I frequent. It seems Jerry Jenkins, of Left Behind fame, is offering a mentored path from manuscript to publication for the low, low price of 10,000 simoleons, leading a few pundits to wonder if he’s actually entering the textile business, specializing in hand-sheared wool. Ahem. Many are outraged, a few are shrugging it off as the natural flexing of Mr. Jenkins’ formidable powers of entrepreneurship (Hey, it’s a free market. Caveat Emptor, y’all) and a couple would prefer that everybody stop talking mean about Jerry so we can all get behind the forthcoming Left Behind motion picture remake. Mm-hmm. No one has yet offered suggestions for expeditiously amassing 10,000 simoleons in the current economy.

LinneaLinnea: Otherwise known as twinflower (Linnaea Borealis), also the central character in a series of excellent children’s books by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson. In this context, completely random.

"Got my bullet right here."
“Got my bullet right here.”

We are Logistics—We are Barney Fife: My efforts to schedule a session at the local target range with my Lovely Wife have been frustrated by the ongoing run on ammunition of all flavors, driven by the Administration’s apparent intent to restrict gun ownership by criminals for criminals to criminals oh, I give up. Anyhoo, trying to find a box of .22LR cartridges right now is like trying to dig gold nuggets out of defunct Alaskan mining claims. Gee, I haven’t seen consumer panic on this scale since Tickle Me Elmo. Nor a slower manufacturing-sector response to the surge in demand.

cyclopean_blocks
Click for even more Cyclopean goodness.

Cyclopean: One of H.P. Lovecraft’s favorite words. It pops up so often in his writing, it should be the basis of a drinking game. Read “Cyclopean,” take a drink. It means HUGE. Just—huge. It can also refer to a particular style of masonry, but when Lovecraft employs it, it almost always means huge. If he uses it one more time in this collection of his stories I’m reading now, I will surely go mad. Or random.

This Just in From the Department of Happy Endings: And decidedly not random. Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens and subject of the book and movie, The Blind Side, is now sporting a Super Bowl ring. Oher was a homeless kid from a no-future, high-crime ghetto environment who blossomed under the care and love of his adoptive family. It’s an incredible, inspiring story. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, do either. Or both. You’ll be glad you did.

triuneCacao, Put Down the Shovel!: Author D.M. Dutcher’s blog is a good place to glean some fun facts about the past, present, and future of anime and manga, if you’re so inclined, and includes a series of six posts that decode the jargon of Japanese comics and animation while providing useful guidance for the discerning reader or viewer. Begin here. D.M. writes children’s and YA fiction, including his most recent novel, Triune: Three as One, the saga of three teenaged superheroes battling an alien menace.

MoyashimonMoyashimon: Speaking of anime and manga, this is one of the most random series of my acquaintance. Tadayasu Sawaki is a first year student at an agricultural university who has a unique talent: he can see and communicate with microbes. This skill is quite valuable, especially in the arcane and highly-competitive field of sake brewing, which we learn about in excruciatingly fun detail along the way. Yes, I know “excruciatingly fun” is a contradiction in terms—Moyashimon can feel at times like one of those biology class films you had to sit through in 7th grade (who knew there were so many varieties of yeast), but the process of creating sake and other fermented foods and drinks is pretty interesting. Besides, those talking microbes are so darn cute. The show is really more about the ups, downs, and bizarre inanity of college life, and there’s a bit of drama and romance mixed (brewed?) in with the wacky comedy. Some agricultural grossness, college misbehavior, cross-dressing experimentation, and alcohol overuse, though they seem to toe the line on underage drinking. Older teens & up. Available at Crunchyroll.com. The anime also spawned a live-action television show (available at Funimation.com) that aired in 2010 and might be even more random than the animated version, if that’s possible.