Ella’s college buddies

Two Saturdays ago Ted Spindle had a party at his home to commemorate the spring equinox. Among the guests were me, Ingrid, and Ella, and Ella brought her college roommate Tesla. Tes had about the same petite stature as Ella, with light brown hair, and appeared to constantly have an expression that made her look like she was contemplating something mischievous. Ella seemed downright jovial around her.

“Hello,” Tes said cheerily when Ella introduced us. “You’re the blogger Ella saved from an evil spirit, huh?” That was a common greeting during the party. “Oh, you’re the guy the bookstore owner saved after a frog cut off your head.” “Oh, you’re the guy Ingrid and the movie director saved from zombie cows.” I guess it was cool that people there read the blog, though.

Ella and Tes had a friend there they introduced me to, a lithe and elegant woman named Morgane. “Oh, sure, and you’re the fellow who likes to annoy vampires,” she said. She had an Irish accent. I asked how she knew Ella and Tes.

“It was when these girls were at Miskatonic,” she said. “I had a bit of a problem with those froggy folk you ran into at the cabin and they helped me.”

“OK,” I said, “Sort of a paranormal Charlie’s Angels, huh?” I said, striking a kung-fu pose. The three looked at each other in a way that suggested were silently trying to decide which one would try to get rid of me. “So you were a student there?” I asked Morgane

“Oh,” she said, “Well, student of humanity, let’s say.” Ella and Tes seemed amused by that.

“What, like, sociology?” I asked. All three laughed at that.

“You can probably tell him,” Tes said to Morgane

“Well, all right, then” said Morgane, “I’m a selkie.”

There was a pause, during which I failed to remember what a selkie is, assuming I ever knew.

“Is that, like, a part of Ireland?” I asked.

“No, it means I normally take the form of a seal.”

“A seal, really?”

“Oh come on,” said Ella, “Morgane’s hardly the most unusual character you’ve encountered.”

“Well, no, I just wouldn’t have thought a seal. Dolphin, maybe. But…” I turned my palms outward and struck the backs of my hands together. “Ohr ohr – that kind of seal?”

“And what’s wrong with a seal, then?” asked Morgane, a little annoyed.

“Nothing, nothing, I just…you don’t really have a seal…look.”

We got along better after that, once I unequivocally accepted Morgane’s catalog of qualities that made the seal a superior and majestic creature. I also avoided the temptation to make comparisons to Aquaman or to ask about Morgane’s ability to balance a ball on her nose. I wonder if the incident she mentioned is the same one Ella called an “adventure” the night of her unexpected visit. I hope Ella will share the story sometime.


Another blog, another Twilight post

This weekend I joined an actual vampire, a werewolf hunter, a scholar of the weird, and a sword-wielding filmmaker for a matinee of the new Twilight movie. It was something Leticia suggested, I guess to show us there were no hard feelings after we crashed the film festival last month. Or maybe to punish us.

Seeing New Moon isn’t something I would have considered if Leticia hadn’t asked and I think Ella, Ingrid, and Pike felt the same way. Before the movie started we would periodically look at each other with “So…um…Twilight” kinds of expressions. We sat on a side bank of seats near the back, so Pike and Ingrid wouldn’t obstruct the views of 90% of the people in the audience.

The order we were sitting in was Ingrid, Ella, me, Leticia, and Pike. My position in the middle gave me an interesting auditory experience. For instance, here’s what I heard from my left and right in the scene when Bella mopes around for three months:

I: chortle
E: exasperated sigh
L: sympathetic “mmmm”
P: derisive “pfff”

Here’s what I heard when Jacob whips his shirt off:

I: chortle
E: intrigued “mmmm”
L: luxurious “mmmm”
P: exasperated sigh

Afterward we went to Perkins, where Leticia assured us she wouldn’t take it personally if we didn’t like the movie. Her only complaint seemed to be that the sole red-haired vampire was a villainess. Actually, most of the time we spent on the movie was asking Leticia how closely it matched up with her experience. There weren’t a lot of questions she was comfortable answering directly.

Ella asked her if there was an actual vampire council like the Volturi and Leticia responded that if there was, you wouldn’t have to get in an elevator to see them. Ingrid asked if Edward was a typical vampire. “I’ve met some like that,” Leticia said with a smirk.

Pike wondered if vampires’ fangs get in the way if they kiss humans and requested that Leticia demonstrate a safe mouth-to-mouth kissing technique on Ingrid. Leticia and Ingrid laughed and Ella uttered the same sigh she did during the movie.

I  asked about human-vampire couples. Actually it was more like, “So, a human and vampire…you know…is that…I mean…do…” Leticia responded that it was complicated. Actually it was more like, “Yeah…I…there have been…it’s not…um…” Ingrid put an end to it by slamming her hand on the table. “Dudes!” she exclaimed. “We’ve got to hunt that dog thingy once there’s snow on the ground and I can track it!” We agreed.

Dark flow



“There really is something out there. And by out ‘there’, I mean not ‘here’ but an elsewhere that is beyond anywhere that we could ever conceivably call ‘here’.”

The initial article was published the day after my and Ella’s visit to Ted Spindle, where he informed me that his vigilance was required elsewhere. Elsewhere as in “a region in the sky between the constellations of Centaurus and Vela”?


I just woke up from one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had, and want to get the details down.

It was night and I was standing in front of the outdoor amphitheater on the periphery of campus.

Standing at the edge of the stage was a figure dressed in a heavy black cape and wearing a wide-brimmed black hat, like the Phantom of the Opera. I didn’t see the person’s face.

The interesting thing about this dream was that I felt more independent than I usually do, as if this were something happening in real life. In spite of that I didn’t say anything and just looked at the mysterious figure.

“You evidently don’t know me,” the figure said. It was a man’s voice. “I assume you represent some part of me,” I responded. The figure laughed. “Indeed,” he said. “The bond between us is not such that I can perceive your conscious thoughts, but I can receive impressions from the darker places of your mind. Evidently this form has some meaning for you.”

It’s true that when I was younger I was a big Phantom phan. Though I don’t know why my subconscious couldn’t come with an image a little more fun, like Supernanny dressed like Trinity from the Matrix movies or the Progressive Insurance checkout girl in a Wonder Woman outfit.

I looked around. The setting was pretty realistic. I might as well have woken up and gone to the amphitheater in person. “So, is something going to happen or is this dream just going to be you talking?” I asked. I don’t remember getting impatient in a dream before. The figure responded that while the incantation was incomplete, his time will come soon. I’m having trouble interpreting that. “Uh-huh,” I responded. At this point I realized that if I was thinking clearly during a dream, maybe I control the world around me. I jumped up into the air and willed myself to fly. Nothing happened.

“Have a care, Arthur Lewis Ormand,” the figure said. Apparently this apparition drew from the part of my brain that remembers B-movies because it then went into this speech about commanding dark powers beyond my comprehension, and how the new masters it discovered too late in life would blah, blah, blah. At one point it asked me “hear tell of a…” and then it used a word I didn’t recognize, but it sounded like “shock-goth.” I don’t know what a shock-goth would be (someone with hair like what’s-his-face from The Cure?) but none of the mental images I’ve come up with has been all that intimidating.

Soon after that I woke up and decided to write everything down immediately. I’ve always wished after I had an interesting dream that I’d written it down, since I always end up forgetting it, but I haven’t actually done it before now.

About Detling Adventures

Like the Cadillac of cars, only for furniture covers

Today Brookstone sent a fall catalog to my address. On the cover is an outdoor furniture cover The Wall Street Journal named “Best Overall” chaise furniture cover. Maybe I’m just unimaginative but I can’t come up with evaluation criteria other than “covers stuff” and “won’t blow off,” and can’t honestly say I would recognize the difference between a great furniture cover and a merely good one.