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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the goatening's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2007
8:42 am
[stefficus]
sweeping
this is a "thanks, sponsors!" and "the rest of you have until midnight, eastern standard time" post.

first:



they are, in no particular order, erik, joe (no, not that one), julie, katie, and tasha. thank you, thank you, thank you.

next, as i mentioned, the sponsor button (the cash goes to heifer international, as you will recall) is still fresh until 12 est tuesday night. look, here it is, now:



(this is cross-posted to my regular journal).



Sunday, July 29th, 2007
7:55 am
[stefficus]
FIN.
last entry! it's been fun, you've all been great, especially the sponsors. but now, the goats and i are going to bed.

of course, the entire blog will remain active at 07allnighter indefinitely, and the sponsor button will work for 48 hours, so you can still contribute to heifer int'l. feel free to continue to leave comments. i'll get them on the other side.

try the veal, be nice to your server, click the button. stefficus out.

7:29 am
[stefficus]
then there were two
...and this is one of them.

i now have the lollipop song in my head, thanks to - uh, some blogger someplace. someone who was blogging for MS... the gnat-off-my-sandwich blog, maybe? it doesn't matter, it's now stuck in me brain and it won't comes out. when i was 9 or 10, i fell from the top of a swingset (never you mind what i was doing up there to begin with) and was knocked out for a few minutes. during these few minutes, a giant lollipop followed me. i remember it very clearly. it wasn't yellow (or orange), but purple, and it had no face. still, i'm sure this song did it to me. (ok, the concussion is what did it, but that's not the point i'm making. trying to make. whatever.)

so, i'm going to go for a brief walk in the lovely morning mistiness, and hope i can skate the fine line between exorcising the song and not waking myself up too much.

and for those of you just arriving - good morning, and now's your chance to sponsor my blog for the fine people and livestock over at heifer international. just click the shiny round button.

6:56 am
[stefficus]
top o' the mornin' to ya!
one hour and counting down.

next year: eye drops. (i have some, but they're problematic. no, i don't want to get into it.) at least i'm not hallucinating giant, reflective ninjas on the side of the road. when that happens, i finally admit i need to pull over and let someone else drive, and there's nobody else to drive this train.

6:26 am
[stefficus]
closing in
only 90 minutes left to go!

fortunately, if you're reading this sometime sunday or monday, i understand you can still sponsor me (remember, i'm doing this for heifer international, because giving goats to people amuses me) for 48 hours after the official last entry.

huh? HUH??

i thought so.

5:59 am
[stefficus]
well, poo
i can't seem to post to che's blog anymore. it thinks i'm spam. is verra sad.

i'm getting a second wind now, i think. i never really lost it, wakefulnesswise, but... *glances back over the dog story* ...eeeeehhhhh. i think my mental capacity was lacking for a while, there.

next year, i think i may want to be a monitor. "monitor" puts me in mind of lizards, which i quite like and think are rather cute. "monitee" is... well, a big, blubbery sea creature whose distant cousin has lost his buckit. that's just unflattering.

a shower might do me good. i don't think i'll have one, though. i don't know what i want. eye drops, maybe?

sponsorship?

5:27 am
[stefficus]
oh, look
it's 5.30 central time. i know, THIS time, let's remember to use the goat icon!

hey, that's a great idea!

i'm here, and i'm still playing the marble game. what more do you want?

4:41 am
[stefficus]
The Caper, part II
"I just want my pipe. Is that too much to ask? Can't smoke during the day, got to go roaming the halls and rescuing pups at night. I just want my pipe. And something to gnaw at. Is that too much?" Roland grumbled constantly as they made their way to what was loftily called The Parlour, but which was really just a largish room that happened to have an old, defunct fireplace in it and which the family who lived there couldn't afford to properly furnish.

They came to the door, and Mort started to round the corner into the room. Roland quickly shouldered him back. "Are you mad? We can't just barge in." Mort thought this was highly irregular, coming from Roland, but he was a far better poker player than Rollie. He managed to hide his incredulity.

"Of course not, sir. Do you have a plan?"

"Yes. I'll go first." The bulldog threw his massive shoulder into the door and heaved it open, growling menacingly if somewhat asthmatically. "Stand down," he yelped, "or I'll..."

He broke off uncertainly. No mirror flashed light into his tired old eyes. No Picasso menaced the small, mismatched pack knotted around the hearth.

An awkward silence descended.

At last, Scruffy sprang forward. "Surprise, Uncle Rollie! Happy dog's day!"

"I'm not your uncle," Roland responded out of habit (although the truth was, nobody had the faintest idea what the lineage of the aptly-named terrier mix might be). Before he could get a good growl going - he only managed a wheezing intake of breath - the pack parted so he could see what they'd been hiding.

Lying on the hearth, folded and stacked neatly, was a small pile of dog-sized items. The bulldog circled them, sniffing noisily with his squished-up nose. There was a lush, brocade jacket, a pair of soft (oh soft, oh happy, oh his paws!) slippers and, crowning the heap, a tiny wooden pipe.

"The woman helped. She folded and... stuff," Scruffy admitted.

"But we added the pipe after she'd gone, old chap." A debonair greyhound winked at him.

"Atta boy, Alberto." Rollie had to turn away as he said it, sniffing. Everyone just thought he was wheezing again. Mort helped him into the jacket and he clenched the pipe in his teeth.

"Now. Anyone for cards?" A deck was produced from somewhere, and the pack settled in a circle.

"You mutts go ahead. I'm going to sit here and smoke."

4:11 am
[stefficus]
The Caper, part I
At half past, Roland curled up under the table. Everyone was late, if they were even coming at all, and he was tired of wearing the shoes. He'd lost all his kibble last week anyway due to a nose twitch that absolutely was not his tell, but which had spurred so many calls and folds he'd been driven out of the game anyway.

The door creaked. He opened one eye and peered out through the legs of a chair. It was Mort, nosing the door open.

"Rollie? You okay?"

"Whuf," Roland offered. "I didn't think anyone was coming."

"We wondered where YOU were. Did you forget about the caper?"

Roland stood straight up, banging his head on the table support. He lurched out into the room. "The caper!" he exclaimed. "I forgot all about it! How did it go? Is... wait a minute." He peered around suspiciously. "Where's the pack?"

"That's the thing, Roll..."

"Mort! What happened?"

Mort sighed and looked mournful as only a bassett hound can. "They're all stuck. You know that weird thing over the fireplace? It has everyone cornered. There's something to do with the mirror, and... and I came to get you," he finished feebly.

"Well, let's go then." The old bulldog fixed his most intimidating scowl on his brow and puffed out his chest.

"Shoes or no shoes?"

He considered. "No shoes. Won't do to wake up the whole household, will it?"

They stole into the hall, Roland wheezing gently.

4:06 am
[stefficus]
"this is my serious look*
ok. chips and salsa prepared and eaten, cream soda attendant, marbles guessed, haiku read, mail checked... i think i'm ready.

i do better with title than with subject matter or plot suggestions, but sb gave me something and, by dog, i'm gonna run with it. within an hour or so, i'll have a story for him.

hey, he's a sponsor. it's the least i can do.

3:40 am
[stefficus]
loony
the walk was nice, and the moon was glorious. it's one of those nights where it's following a somewhat strange path across the sky, but that just means i got to see it when i went out earlier AND just now.

i've been running into a lot of toads tonight. i startled a few, and took pictures of a couple. the first was blurry, but then i realized i had my camera on the wrong setting and came across another in the cemetary. he (she?) sat calmly and let me photograph him (her?), and was much prettier (handsomer?) besides. does the preponderance of toads mean anything?

(ack! i posted this to the wrong blog! *fixes*)

2:55 am
[stefficus]
looking askance
ok. *steeeee-RECH!* it's time for... something. maybe chips and salsa. i have said it before, and i'll say it many more times, much to the annoyance of everyone, i'm sure: i could live on those things. (i have also wanted, for a while now, to write a book titled "the chips and salsa diet", but i can't decide if it's a spoof diet book, a cozy-style mystery, or a story about a vegas showgirl who finds herself and true love with a competitive latin dancer.)

or a walk. i might go for a walk after this post.

huh. yes. that's the thing. c&s upon return, then.

will someone please suggest something? (unless nobody likes my stories, in which case tell me and put me out of your misery. *grin*) or at least sponsor me for a few dollars so i can post an entry about that instead.

hint, hint.

2:27 am
[stefficus]
i warned you
i'm recycling an old story (because nobody has suggested or voted for a new one) in which there is a limerick, and a sheep. i mean, it's not a goat, but it's one of the animals you can buy and it's the blogathon mascot, so...

um...

i'm posting a link to the entry that originally came with the story so that you can better understand the conditions i wrote it in. not that understanding that will help, mind you. but it's a bit long, and...

ahem. ANY. way. strange parables.

1:53 am
[stefficus]
only six more hours
i found another heifer/goat blogger. it's wired_lizard (aka "arkady") over at grindeldore for goats.

and now, i'm off to play another game and wait for someone, ANYone, to suggest a story title at me. otherwise, i shall resort to writing haiku! *brandishes pen*

...or possibly limericks. it's that time of day.

1:22 am
[stefficus]
opportunist
i'm posting just a bit early, because i'm getting a lot of game-linky-love and i want to capitalize on it. to that end: i'd love it if someone would suggest a title i can write a story for, if not for the very next post, then at least within an hour of them suggesting it. i need something to focus on.

i'm not getting sleepy, exactly - it's the wrong time of night for a night person like myself to do that - but my eyes are getting sensitive. i'm wearing my sunglasses with the spiffy drivewear lenses in them, and it's helping rather a lot. yeah. that's part of WHY i'm a night person, i'm sure. veeeeery light sensitive. practically vampiric. but if i just shut off all the lights, the screen glares at me after a while, so shades it is. they're in low light mode! it's ok, really!

you all have a song in your head now, doncha? hehehe.

12:53 am
[stefficus]
*sigh*
i can't find the cord, and the my laptop doesn't have a slot for... wait, maybe... hrm. no, there's no slot for an xD card. so the pictures will have to wait until i can find the usb cord for it.

it was such a cute little graveyard frog, too.

now. joe asked me if i'd ever had a picture taken of myself that i liked, and i gotta admit, there have been a few flukes. overall, my senior pictures weren't too bad. and there are one or two nudes from when nip matt was overseas that are actually pretty good, if i say so myself. but...

nobody believes how very anti-photogenic i am. i suppose it's another of my superpowers (anti-superpowers? supervillianpowers? chameleoning techniques?). let me just relate the time the sister tried ALL NIGHT to get a good picture of me one christmas. i'd gone to visit her, and the whole time we were opening presents (we tend to get carried away with gifts for each other (ok, her more so than me, so there were a LOT of photo ops for me)), she was snapping my picture, looking into the lcd screen, and giggling. she tried EVERYthing. when i was looking. when i was not looking. expecting it. not expecting it. expecting it but not right then. when i didn't know she had the camera at all. (she thought i was doing it on purpose, you see. why, i ask you, would i do that?)

every last one of them turned out atrociously. she got more and more frustrated - this is the woman who won awards for her photography when she worked for the newspaper. she kept saying, "HOW are you DOING that?" ("I. DON'T. KNOW!" *sob*) finally, she said, "we're going to try this (*click*) just a few (*click*) more times. (*click*) i'm serious, now, we... *snorkle* ah... what?? you look really cute right now, not just 'normal', cute! REALLY cute! how come i can't take even a decent picture?"

i said, "i'm challenging."

*click*

the resulting... i hesitate to call it a picture, so let's say "phenomena", was so inexplicably hideous that we both literally collaped onto the floor laughing on the spot. we showed it to her roomie's boyfriend, who'd been sitting in the room we were in the whole time. "who is that?" he asked. "that's me, darlin'." "bullshit! it is not. really, who IS that?" "it's... me. see the shirt? we were standing right over there." "oh... ooooooooHHHHHhhh dear god. damn. oh. sorry."

i suppose i can take some comfort in the fact that he didn't recognize me, right?

12:24 am
[stefficus]
story in honor of the wonderful, wakeful drug
this time, it's not a recent story, but one from way back when isadg was still steaming along.

that doesn't mean it's been edited at all, guys. proceed with caution.

*********************

Black Coffee in London


"Cream or sugar, hon?"

"No, thanks. Just black."

Mabel the waitress raised an eyebrow, smiled, and left Erin to her fate. To tell the truth, she would love extra cream and just a touch of sugar or even a rich cappuccino. Or tea... how lovely it would be to sit in a London cafe with a proper English pot of tea. But tea didn't have enough kick, and she wasn't here to enjoy herself. She needed the coffee and it was best if it didn't taste good.

She leaned over the cup, inhaled, and made a face. Fantastic. If she couldn't even take the coffee anymore, what was she doing here? It was supposed to be a rhetorical question, but it nagged at her. What was she doing here?

Doing her job, her rational mind told her firmly. It wasn't for everyone, but sometimes drastic measures had to be taken and when that happened, they called Erin. She didn't enjoy it exactly, but she was able to put aside the immediacy of it, make it less personal. It was a matter of defense of principles, of being at war, and the deaths were an unfortunate but necessary part of that war. They were soldiers who knew the risks as well as she did.

Well. Perhaps not quite as well as she did. Erin smiled just a little as she picked up the coffee, trying to decide if it was cool enough to drink without scalding her or if it even mattered. If she couldn't take the heat...

The jobs had been getting worse, though. Every target felt more and more innocent to her. She took a drink and made another face. Not that anybody is really innocent, she told herself. Certainly not the person who made this wretched coffee. But lately, she was starting to see the grey areas, starting to see farther into the lives of the targets... families, friends, communities. Erin downed the coffee and shuddered.

She was definitely getting soft. The coffee was awful, her dreams were awful and getting worse, and she knew deep down this could be her last job.

Her waitress reappeared. "Black?"

"Black."

"You're a braver soul than I am, dear." Erin stoically accepted her second dose. After a second or two the waitress came back, and she looked up expectantly.

Only it wasn't Mabel. Erin's mind shifted a few inches to the left as the man she'd come to London to kill sat down across the table from her. She was a pro, though, and kept a neutral face. Held it. Held it a little more...

"Can I help you with something?" Puzzled, nice, more curious than annoyed.

He smiled, and he looked so damn normal. She took a gulp of coffee, giving him time to respond. Why was he just sitting there, looking charming? All at once Erin knew this job would decide whether she could banish the bad dreams and get back on track, or slip away quietly into retirement.

There was a third possibility that didn't occur to her. If it had, she might have noticed the telltale sheen of a foreign substance added to her coffee.

******************

if my wireless is working, i'll have pictures of the graveyard toad next.

Saturday, July 28th, 2007
11:59 pm
[stefficus]
blogathon game 3
these are great for prompts to write to. and hey, if i win a sponsorship or more readers, so much the better.

the subject this time was, "wanna hear something scary?" i'm not sure this is what she meant, but it's the first thing that popped into my head. it actually sounds pretty tame. but here ya go.

my then-fiance was driving me from missouri to wisconsin to see my mom for christmas. it was after dark, and we were just doing the road-trip thing, eating junk food, singing along with the radio, speeding and watching for cops... the usual.

a car passed us, as dozens of cars had, and i caught a glimpse of the guy inside. he was a normal enough guy... average build, clean-shaven, darkish hair cut short. he was wearing a pale blue shirt, and he just had a driving expression, nothing special. he didn't look around or gesture or do anything out of the ordinary, but when i glanced over at him, my heart stopped. i felt cold, and i got an overwhelming, sickening sensation of pure, unadulterated, gleeful evil.

now, i know how that sounds. i wasn't going to say a word about it - the guy i was with was (and still is) maddeningly practical and... not unimaginative, but not prone to imaginings, if you see what i mean. but he gulped and said to me, "that... that man was evil, wasn't he?"

THAT'S when i got chills instead of just fear and revulsion. we were torn for a moment between going after him to try to avert whatever disaster he was going to create and ignoring it, but only for a second. we would up getting off at the next exit to be sure we wouldn't accidentally catch up with him.

i know, it's all so subjective, but that was, quite possibly, the most scared i have ever been.

hold me. i'm scared all over again. *grin* or just sponsor me and the goats. that'll make me feel better, too.

11:26 pm
[stefficus]
superpower
whew! i was in the wrong window, and i thought i forgot 11 o'clock.

say hello to all the b-schedule people. ("hi...")

oh, right, my superpowers. they're... ok, they're mostly useless, although it has been quite handy, at various points of my life and in specific situations (like working night shift and keeping daen_wiser awake for 24 hours - oh, and reading hp7 overnight so i could remain spoiler-free going to see "spamalot") to be able to change/lengthen my sleep cycle at will and into nearly unrecognizable shapes. being a night owl helps with that, i suppose.

another superpower is being able to flat out cry right next to someone and not have them even know it. this one is particularly useless because 1) it's extremely rare for me to cry anyway and 2) only a handful of people have ever seen it, whether they knew it or not. i just... don't cry much*.

a superpower i've just noticed (and which goes with my dubious talent for getting to the end of a plot twist before it's even been properly set up) is that i have an infallible instinct for when a car bomb is about to explode onscreen.

honestly, this entire post is a ploy to get australian_joe to share HIS superpower. *grin*

(*except for sad animal stories oh my lord i just choke up. gah!)

10:58 pm
[stefficus]
blogathon game number II
the question is, "what are your suggestions for making it through blogathon?"

my answer: "stay awake for 24 hours? heck, that's one of my superpowers. for the rest of you, ANYTHING that works for you is a good thing. i've found, in general, that if i'm occupied, i can stay awake indefinitely. i may be a little - ah, "special" in that respect, but my tip basically says, "it varies with the point you're at in your wake/sleep cycle."

music! streaming satellite radio is good.

walking or exercising moderately for 10 minutes is even better, if you're really dragging. (more than 10 minutes is probably counterproductive. takes up too much posting time!)

we almost all use caffeine - that's a given.

chatting, emailing, and going to favorite websites that keep changing is a good way to keep trucking.

of course, browsing your fellow blogathonners and sponsoring them at random is an excellent wake-up call, too."

and i'm reminded by judi's new icon (she's my monitor) that i deserve another $5 fairy button.
therefore...



that is all for now.

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