The Alphabet Julen: E


I like mine soft-boiled in the shell, served with thin strips of buttered toast. Crack the top, and dip the toast in the semi-solid squishiness of the egg. Mmmm. My father grew up with the toast cut into little squares with the egg broken open on top, which is delicious too, but the act of dipping the strips is what makes egg in the cup so perfect.

Elizabeth I

We're third cousins, eighty-six bazillion times removed. That makes me akin to royalty. Bear that in mind when it comes to offering gifts.

Shoot, I'm even more closely related to the current younger bunch via the Boylens, but did I get invited to the weddings? Noooooooooooooo, I did not. (I would have said no, regardless, but a pity invite would have been appreciated. )


My great-grandfather worked at RCA, and one of the company bonuses in the 1960s was the Elvis Christmas Album. That's it. Elvis. I would have been so mad. Let's get this straight: There's only one Elvis song I can stand (Can't Help Falling In Love), and I prefer multiple other versions (Hello, UB40!). I find the wacky cultural Elvis stuff more interesting - but that's a low bar that stretches the word "interesting" to include not standing rapidly, knocking over the chair, and stalking out of the room.

The Etruscans

It's a bit of a cliche to be so fascinated by the Etruscans - a mysterious, fun-loving group with extraordinary art, innovations, and contributions that Romans claimed as their own. And yet I succumbed to their charm and their artistry. One of my many dream jobs was to be a working etruscologist. When I was in grad school, I built a pathfinder for things Etruscan and put it online as the Etruscan Network - it amazes me how often that was copied and presented as someone else's work - and when those folks would get angry when someone copied it from them and presented it as the third party's work. Classic!


My favorite time of day - a particularly malleable time, as indefinite as a spring day. It stretches from late afternoon past dusk and well into purple-tinged night, when the air cools and the night grows rich, ending sometime before the faint lightening of the sky that previews dawn in a grey technicolor. Frogs and toads sound out for each other; fireflights scatter; owls ruffle themselves into alertness. The air cools, the day unwinds. I tend to get stuff done.


I have been known to quote Mr. Burns ("Ehhhx-cellent") and Dr. Evil ("Eeeeeeee-vil" and do the pinky thing) particularly when I was a manager, as frequently use such classic statements as "Dang!", "Gah!", and "Pfeh." When I trip over things, or ram assorted body parts into furniture, walls, doorways, or inanimate objects, I let out a "uf!" I have been known to use the word "buttload" in official work knowledge bases (and was asked to quantify that term, which I did quite satisfactorily). When I was younger, I was fond of "Bilge!" and "Fooey." Now that I'm older, my favorite phrase to avoiding cursing is "Flying Banana Sandwiches!" whereas I've adopted more profane sayings from dear friends for situations of unusual suckitude.

At one point my goal was to get my entire company regularly using "awesome" -- even the ones who barely have a nodding experience with the 1980s. I got to about 40% on that one, but I noticed that more of them adopted my Let's Wrap This Up spiel, which was a better win.

Exquisite Corpse

Several years ago there was a wonderful group of folks who gathered online to make exquisite corpses. The internet is particularly well-suited for this game, and it was great fun. I miss those days of 15 pixel slices and delightfully odd collections; I wish I had saved some of the finished works.


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