Nocturnal Ninja

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a light sleeper. Even while I’m dead asleep, part of my brain is alert for the merest whisper of any unusual sound.

Which is why I jerked awake a couple of nights ago with all my attention focused on the pitch-black corner of our bedroom. I’d heard something moving!

The last time I heard something in that corner there was a mouse skittering around, so this time I was instantly at DEFCON1.

But the sound that woke me hadn’t sounded like skittering. It was more like the surreptitious brush of fabric against the wall.  And that was impossible, because that corner is filled by a large peace lily plant (and by ‘large’ I mean ‘gargantuan’ — over four feet across).

I stared wide-eyed into the darkness, my half-awake brain conjuring ridiculous thoughts of some ninja intruder who had somehow bypassed our security system and sneaked through our closed bedroom door.

After a few heart-thumping moments, I woke up enough to realize that nobody could turn our noisy door handle without waking me; and if some ninja was actually skillful enough to do that, s/he wouldn’t be careless enough to brush audibly against the wall.

By then all was silent. I stared into the gloom for a while longer, but my eyelids were drooping. I’d tossed my clothes on the chair before I went to bed.  Maybe they’d shifted.  Whatever.  *yawn*

I was dropping back to sleep when I heard it again: the Surreptitious Rustle!

I bolted up in bed and grabbed my flashlight, glaring into the plant corner and seeing… a plant. Nothing else. No movement.  No ninjas.


I turned off the flashlight, assured my drowsy and slightly incredulous Hubby that everything was okay, and lay down again.

And then… *RUSTLE*

What the HELL?!?

After another foray with the flashlight, I finally remembered that I’d watered and rotated the plant before I went to bed. It had been thirsty and a bit wilted, and now it was rehydrating and straightening up. And in the process, it was rearranging its big leaves against the wall.

I fell back on the pillow with relief, but I still didn’t sleep well with that monster plant crouching in the corner and quietly shifting position. And I may or may not have heard it mutter, “Feed me, Seymour!”

So from now on I’m sticking to my usual routine of watering plants in the morning. At least in the daylight I’ll be able to see them coming for me.

Any ninjas in your world this week?  (And if there were, would you even know?)

The ninja peace lily. I think I’ll name it Audrey…

A Dave By Any Other Name

I’ve been called a lot of different names in my lifetime, sometimes by people sincerely trying to get my name right; other times not so much.  Like a dog, I focus on the intonation, not the actual words.  “Sweetheart” can sound really hostile, and “Hey, Buttbrain” can warm my heart.

Not that anybody’s ever called me Buttbrain.  This week.

Some people seem to accumulate nicknames more easily than others, but I suspect there are a couple of factors that influence the process.  The truly cool nicknames usually get applied to people who’ve either done something truly cool, or truly dumb.  Besides that (dubious) qualification, it seems to me the quality of one’s nickname says more about the creativity of one’s friends than anything else.

I wasn’t overly popular in school.

Wait, gotta run.  Minions of the Society for the Eradication of Ridiculous Understatement are breaking down my door to drag me away…

Okay, I’m back.  Phew.  Lucky I learned those ninja skills while the cool kids were attending all their cool parties.

I didn’t do anything particularly dumb in school, and I missed “truly cool” by an embarrassingly wide margin.  My nickname in school was “Fender Bender”, which sounds kinda cool now, but in fact had nothing to do with my driving skills and everything to do with the fact that those are the first two words in alphabetical order that rhyme with “Henders”.

Those who knew me in university might consider “Fender Bender” appropriate, but that wasn’t related to my driving, either.  Suffice it to say that you don’t want to narrowly miss running over me in a crosswalk.  I get irate when I’m scared shitless.

Later, I acquired some more predictable nicknames:  “Di”, and, while Charles and Diana were an item, “Lady Di”, which caused considerable amusement to those who knew me well.  Ain’t no ladies here.

Oh, and I was briefly nicknamed “Garbage Gut”, “Mongo”, and “Anklebiter” in university, but those were just passing phases.

My all-time favourite nickname was “Dave”.  Back when I was a geek…  Oh, never mind.

Back when I was being paid to be a geek, the vendors apparently decided a mere woman couldn’t possibly deal with the intricacies of building computers and networks, so they christened me “Dave”.  For the last several years I held that job, most of my outside correspondence arrived addressed to “Dave Henders”.

I didn’t really mind.  I figured Dave was probably a pretty cool guy.  In fact, I developed a fondness for Dave, so I named a character in my fourth book after him.

The rest of my handles were either insults or endearments, none of them particularly interesting or creative.  Though Hubby does call me Gorgeous on occasion, which is just one of the many reasons why I love him.

So, to quote the old chestnut:  Call me anything you like; just don’t call me late for dinner.

Or you can call me Dave.  That works, too.

What are (were) your nicknames?