420. The Year of the (Typewriter) Monkey

TMTF will be taking a two-week break, during which it will republish old posts on its usual schedule. The blog shall return with new content on February 22!

This Monday begins the Year of the Monkey: the ninth of the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

I was only vaguely aware of this event, but my typewriter monkeys—my dozen or so assistants who keep this blog up and running—brought it to my attention by going on strike. (After setting things on fire, going on strike is my monkeys’ favorite hobby.) This time, for the Year of the Monkey, they wanted to spend the entire year on vacation.

That ain’t happening.

TMTF clean (paper)

My typewriter monkeys are the worst.

I mean, it’s not like I overwork my monkeys. If anything, need a vacation while they run the blog. (Of course, that ain’t happening either, since giving them free rein on the Internet would probably break it.) At last, after several hours of heated* argument, we reached an agreement.

* I mean this literally; my monkeys set fire to my desk during negotiations.

As the Year of the Monkey begins, this blog will take a two-week break, returning with new content on February 22. As usual, TMTF will rerun old posts during the break, because that is how we roll. When the blog returns, I will have one or two big announcements to make about its future. Things shall change this year, but I’ll explain further after the break.

In the meantime, may I suggest a more immediate change? The Year of the Monkey has greatly exaggerated my typewriter monkeys’ sense of self-importance. Can we please make this the Year of Some Other Animal?

Can we replace the Year of the Monkey with, say, the Year of the Llama? Please?

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back!

406. TMTF Reviews No More

I won’t be reviewing stuff anymore on this blog.

(That’s the short version of this post, so you may stop reading here if you like.)

Since the dawn of time—well, since late 2011—I have reviewed media for this blog. Yes, I know I have a problem. I have the spiritual gift of nitpicking. I can’t help it. Since I already reviewed things in the privacy of my muddled mind, it seemed logical to write expanded versions of those reviews for TMTF.

I wound up tearing through books (and later video games) faster than I could review them, so I eventually decided to review things in groups instead of individually. A single Review Roundup could replace five or six individual blog posts. Perfect!

A problem arose, however: Reviews become really tedious to write. In a small way, they also made reading books, playing video games, and watching movies kind of a chore. I found myself frequently making mental notes: I have to remember to mention this in the review. I can’t forget to talk about that. Oh, I’ve got to bring up this point. With so many notes and observations rattling about in my head, I found it harder to enjoy whatever I was doing.

In other words, reviews took the fun out of fun.

I’m always reluctant to remove features from this blog. I like consistency, and I don’t like giving up on things. All the same, like other abandoned features before it, Review Roundups shall cease. TMTF shall blunder on without them, with heavy heart and lighter step.

I don’t regret reviewing stuff. Reviews were good mental exercises. Besides, I’ll continue making mental reviews; I just won’t write ’em down anymore. Ending this blog’s formal reviews leaves more room for… um… whatever it is we do around here. Heck if I know.


There is at least one good thing we’re doing around here—we’re raising money to provide clean water to impoverished people for Christmas! Please take a moment to check out Operation Yuletide. There are even rewards and stuff! Check it out here!

403. Hmm, I Seem to Have Acquired a Cat

PearlyCongratulations, geeky coffee-drinking blog-man! You are now the proud owner of a small, black-and-white female cat.

Really? Cool!

…Now what?

Please select a name for your cat.

Sure. Here goes:

Name selectPearl? Why Pearl?

Pearl is the name of an adorable character from Steven Universe, and of an even more adorable character from the Ace Attorney games. My Pearl is quite an adorable cat. The name stuck.

If I had acquired a male cat, by the way, I would have named him Godot, or possibly Solid Snake. I wanted to name this cat Sakura, which is Japanese for cherry blossom, but my younger brother disapproved, and we eventually settled on Pearl.

If you equip Pearl, your life will gain +10 Cuteness and +8 Playfulness, but at the cost of -14 Sanity and +6 Kitty Litter Spills. Do you equip Pearl?

Hmm, that’s a tough call. Nah, who am I kidding? Of course I’ll keep Pearly.

With that, I’m well on my way to becoming a crazy cat guy. Sure, I have just one cat, but it’s a slippery slope. Give me time. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up that guy with all those cats.

Book catWithin an hour or two of moving into my apartment, Pearls was lurking behind books on the shelf, batting at Christmas tree ornaments, and high-fiving my beckoning cat figurine’s waving paw. As I compose this blog post, the Pearl of great price is sprawled across my lap, breathing softly, and occasionally waking up enough to stretch.

Pearl also scratched one of my typewriter monkeys, and hisses at them any time they get too close. Yup, I think the Pearl-cat is going to fit right in.

Welcome to the family, Pearly!


Please take a moment to check out Operation Yuletide! We’re raising money to help people this Christmas! There are even rewards and stuff! Check it out here!

386. Marching Home

TMTF will be taking a one-week break. The blog shall return on September 21.

A dear friend of mine recently passed away. I’ve mentioned him before on this blog, calling him Socrates, but today I’m going to call him Nick. His friends and family are devastated by his death, and I’m dealing with it in exactly the same way I deal with a lot of things—by writing about it.

I mentioned Nick in TMTF’s very first post; he was the friend who pretended to rip out and eat my still-beating heart every time we worked together. Nick and I met a few years before I started this blog. I was on a bus to Chicago when Nick, who was sitting in the seat behind mine, got my attention and said, “Okay, this is kind of a random question, but have you heard of a show called Avatar: The Last Airbender?”

Avatar - The Last Airbender

Nick and I were friends from that day onward.

I was starting my first semester at Bethel College in Indiana, and had just begun the nightmarish chapter I call my Thursday Afternoon of the Soul. It was about a year and a half of deep depression. That was a dark time, but there were flickers of light, and some of the brightest were the nights I spent watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with Nick and another dear friend, whom I’ll call Socrates. (I have to call someone Socrates.)

Although Nick and I had seen the show, Socrates had not. Nick and I took it upon ourselves to introduce Socrates to the epic adventure and captivating world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Seriously. If you haven’t already seen the show, you should. It’s a good one.) Starting at the beginning of our freshman year and ending on its final day, we watched the entire series together, averaging a couple of episodes every week.

It may sound silly or trivial, but those nights were gulps of sweet, fresh air in a year spent drowning in depression, anxiety, and loneliness. My best memories of that year are of those nights, which I called Avatar Evenings. Between episodes of the show, we munched junk food, discussed life, and laughed.

Nick, Socrates, and I hardly knew each other when we began watching the show. When we finished it, we were good friends.

Nick, pictured here choking Socrates. Good times.

Nick, here pictured choking Socrates. Good times.

Life went on. Our friendship endured through our college years. Nick, Socrates, and I were housemates for nearly as long as we attended college. We watched a couple of Pixar movies in theaters, and suffered through M. Night Shyamalan’s wretched film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. (It was really bad; we left the theater laughing at its awfulness.) It was only in our final year that we began to drift apart.

I sporadically kept in touch with Nick. In fact, he suggested the book I’m currently reading; I won’t be able to pick it up again without thinking of him. We remained fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Our final conversation a few weeks ago was a short series of Facebook messages about the show’s sequel series.

Earlier this week, the news reached me that a health complication had taken Nick’s life.

Nick suffered from depression and existential anxiety, and in later life, from medical problems. Through all of it, he never gave up. He was honest, creative, and compassionate. I’m glad we were friends.

At the moment, I find myself even more thankful than usual for the dear friends God has given me. For all of my friends who are reading this, I have this to say: Thank you for being my friend. I wish I had told Nick how much I loved, admired, and appreciated him. I wish it were easier for me to say how much I love, admire, and appreciate every one of you.

On a less sentimental note, I will be taking a one-week break from this blog. My transition toward becoming a CNA at work has been stressful and a bit rough. I could use a little extra time to catch up with other things. Finally, after the tragic news about Nick, I’m not sure I have the heart right now for this blog’s usual geeky nonsense. TMTF shall return on September 21. There will be no posts until then.

I conclude with a song. No, really. It’s an odd, geeky way to say goodbye to a friend, but I think Nick would have approved.

There was a scene in Avatar: The Last Airbender that Nick and I loved, and discussed at length. It’s my favorite moment in the series. I’m not sure I shall ever be able to watch it again without remembering Nick and Socrates and our Avatar Evenings.

In this scene, a wise old man named Iroh bustles around town gathering items for a picnic. Everywhere he goes, he helps someone. When he sees a flower wilting, Iroh gives its owner advice on how to make it bloom. When a thug tries to rob him, Iroh disarms the man, makes him tea, and eventually convinces him to find a legitimate job.

And when Iroh passes a crying child, he calms the little one with a lullaby.

At the end of the day, Iroh sets up his picnic… as a memorial for his son, who died long before. “Happy birthday, my son,” says Iroh tearfully. “If only I could have helped you.”

Then Iroh sings that lullaby again. It was at this point, when we watched the series, that Nick and I held back tears of our own.

In much the same way Iroh brightened the lives of others, Nick brightened mine.

God rest your soul, Nick.

Leaves from the vine

Falling so slow

Like fragile, tiny shells

Drifting in the foam

Little soldier boy

Come marching home

Brave soldier boy

Comes marching home

380. A Personal Update & Some Blog Stuff

Things have changed in the life of Adam Stück.

Well, some things have changed; others remain adamantly (no pun intended, I swear) the same. I’m still reading, writing, watching cartoons, drinking too much coffee, and striving (with typically mixed results) to follow Christ and live a worthwhile life. However, the Adam of today is not quite the same fellow as the Adam of yesteryear. What has changed?

I am happy. Quite unexpectedly, after prolonged misery, I am consistently happy.

HappyIt’s been a few months since I left my old job at a group home for disabled gentlemen, shaking the dust off my feet as a testimony against it. I love those guys—in fact, I visit ’em regularly—but that workplace had become as dysfunctional as all heck. That job, which was never easy, had become unbearable; its toxic influence had reached even the farthest corners of my life. I felt almost constantly tired, stressed, and gloomy. Only since moving on have I realized just how bad things were.

In many ways, my new job has been awesome. It ain’t glamorous, but my workplace is functional, my responsibilities are reasonable, and my coworkers and managers treat me with the respect due a living human being. It has been a vast improvement, and I’m consistently happier than I’ve been in years.

Of course, “happier than I’ve been in years” is not quite the same thing as “happily ever after.” Life is still complicated. Depression comes and goes.

Things aren’t perfect, but they are better. Thank God, things are better.

Why am I writing any of this? Well, I ramble a lot about distant memories and geeky nonsense, but hardly ever about how I am now. For now, I seem to be happy and highly caffeinated, and I am okay with that.

All right, so much for the personal update. Have some news about this blog.

TMTF will be taking a two-week break, returning with new content on August 24. During the break, I’ll dust off old posts and republish them on the blog’s usual schedule, because recycling is good for the environment.

Here, in no particular order, are several reasons for the break.

  • I’ll soon be switching positions within my job, moving from my starting position in the kitchens to a position as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). I’ll be doing pretty much all the same stuff as in my previous job, but in a functional workplace. In preparation for the switch, I’ll have to take CNA classes on top of my usual work shifts, so I’ll be busier than usual for a while.
  • I have a wedding to attend this weekend in northern Indiana—in fact, if you’re reading this blog post on the day it’s published, I’m probably on a highway heading northward right now.
  • I have some editing to do for a friend, and I am embarrassingly far behind. I could use some extra time to work on it.
  • My typewriter monkeys decided yesterday to celebrate summer with a bonfire, and today there is a smoldering ruin where my town’s post office used to be. (Don’t ask.) While I’m traveling north for the wedding, my monkeys have skipped town and are on their way south to avoid charges of arson. They plan to lay low in Florida until the whole thing blows over. I hope they are eaten by alligators.

TMTF shall return with new content on Monday, August 24. As always, thanks so much for reading!

366. TMTF Hits the Road!

Meet Eliezer.

EliezerEliezer is my car. My old vehicle, an ailing car called Tribulation, began to show signs of imminent death a long time ago. When my older brother sold me his car before moving with his family to the Dominican Republic, I christened it Eliezer—which means God is my help—in the hope that my newer car would prove to be more dependable than my old one, which repeatedly lived up to its name.

Tomorrow Eliezer and I will journey from Berne, Indiana, to Jefferson, Wisconsin. A reader of this blog has invited me to speak at his church. Although I’m baffled that any pastor would deliberately inflict me on his congregation, I’m honored to accept his invitation. I’ll tell a few stories, read from the Gospel of Mark, and discuss C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, because that is how I roll.

I won’t lie: I love road trips, but they scare me. I felt less much anxious flying halfway across the world by myself than I feel driving long distances alone. When I flew to and from Uruguay and South Korea, in spite of all complications, all I had to do was board the right planes. If anything had gone wrong before or during the flight, I could have simply sat back and let someone else fix it.

When I go on road trips by myself, however, I’m responsible for everything. I’m on my own if anything goes wrong. Having faced car trouble repeatedly in the past few years, I’m nervous as heck.

Fortunately, this time, I’ll have some new equipment: my first ever GPS unit, which I’ve christened GLaDOS. I’ll also take along my usual assortment of traveling items: apples, coffee, iPod, headphones, and an emergency hard copy of driving directions. (I’m not sure I trust GLaDOS.)

My typewriter monkeys will remain at home. That said, I hope I still have a home when I get back. (I trust GLaDOS considerably more than I trust my monkeys.)

I’ll spend quite a lot of time on the road, and I have a number of other commitments, so I’ll be taking a one-week break from this blog. TMTF shall return on Monday, June 22… assuming I survive the trip.

I probably won’t update TMTF during the break, not even to recycle old posts. Fortunately, this is the Internet, and it has all kinds of cool people doing cool stuff. Here are my recommendations for cool sites to check out while TMTF is on break.

As always, Amy Green and Thomas Mark Zuniga have great blogs; if you haven’t checked them out, I recommend ’em very highly. My friend JK Riki just began a site about creativity and inspiration, and it’s off to a good start! If you like movies, Honest Trailers is an awesome (if occasionally off-color) series of trailers mocking popular films. (There are also Honest Trailers for video games, because this is the Internet.) Finally, the animator who made the lovely animation for TMTF’s three-hundredth post has a webcomic I finally got around to reading: Cyn Wolf, a comic about a cynical wolf and some quirky dogs. I really enjoyed it.

Now I should finish packing for tomorrow’s trip. If you’re a person who prays, I’ll be most grateful for your prayers this weekend as I travel, speak, and (I hope) make it home alive.

Thanks for reading! We’ll be back!

…Probably.

357. The Reviews They Are a-Changin’

For years, I have reviewed books and video games for this blog. What can I say? I have a talent for being snobbish and judgmental. Finding fault with things comes naturally to me. It’s a gift. For that reason, TMTF Reviews have long been a feature on this blog.

This is about to change. I’ve decided to replace TMTF Reviews with a new feature: Review Roundups.

TMTF Review Roundup title cardTMTF Reviews are in-depth critiques of individual books or video games. By contrast, Review Roundups will assess several books, games, or films at a time. Roundups will be less formal than the old Reviews, offering brief impressions instead of long, detailed analyses.

Why are TMTF’s reviews a-changin’? The short answer is that comprehensive reviews are not much fun to write, and probably not much fun to read. As satisfying as it is to critique a book or video game at length, it’s also a bit tedious. Review Roundups will give me the opportunity to review more media without going into exhaustive (and exhausting) detail.

Review Roundups won’t be terribly frequent: maybe once a month or so. They certainly won’t take over this blog or steal the spotlight from… whatever it is we do around here. I don’t know.

Why do I review things at all? I suppose it’s for the same reason I write this blog—it’s fun! That said, I’m excited to continue nitpicking reviewing media for this blog.

351. I Am Quitting

A lot has happened since I took a break from this blog three weeks ago. I watched Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix and acquired a beckoning cat figurine—oh, and I quit the job I’ve held for nearly three years.

Yeah, a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post. This means today’s post is an extremely personal one. Brace yourself.

Well, first things first: my beckoning cat is wonderful. I’ve christened it Kogoro. It sits upon my bookshelf and waves its paw with leisurely dignity, welcoming high fives from passersby.

Maneki-neko

My maneki-neko, or beckoning cat, is supposed to bring good luck or something, but I use it mostly as a high-five machine.

That’s that for my beckoning cat, and I suppose I’ll save my thoughts on Marvel’s Daredevil for my next post. That brings me to the trivial matters of my impending unemployment and future plans.

For nearly three years, I’ve worked in a group home for gentlemen with disabilities in Berne, Indiana. I have been sort of a nurse, sort of a cook, sort of a housekeeper, and sort of a therapist, but mostly I’ve been a clown and a punching bag for eight special, needy, wonderful gentlemen. I’ll be officially resigned from this job by the beginning of May.

I have a number of reasons for quitting, but this is no place for me to describe them at length. I will state, for the record, that my decision has been pending for a long time. The gentlemen from the group home are one reason I’ve kept my job for so long, but a more selfish reason has been my fear of the future.

In spite of my English Education degree and teacher’s license, I’ve realized I don’t want to spend the next four decades teaching English. I want to work in writing, editing, and publishing.

However, since reaching that conclusion, I’ve been busy enough with work, blogging, and other commitments that I’ve made hardly any progress toward a long-term career. It has been hard enough maintaining the status quo of my day-to-day life: working, paying bills, helping support my younger brother, blogging, and drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee.

However, my workplace, which has always been stressful and a bit dysfunctional, has finally reached a point at which I can no longer meet its competing demands and unrealistic expectations. (In past months, I’ve occasionally been tempted to storm into my supervisor’s office, slam my hands against the desk Ace Attorney-style, and bellow “RAGE QUIT!” at the top of my lungs. I like to think my actual resignation is a little more dignified.) I think it’s time for me to let it go. I’ve mostly put off planning for the future, but my job is finally nudging me to move on.

What’s next?

For now, I’m applying for a part-time job while I look into career options. I’d like to build up freelance writing and editing on the side, and I’ll look for publishing internships willing to accept college graduates. With more time on my hands, I may write some fiction; anything is possible. I’ll continue to help support my younger brother. For as long as I remain in Berne, I’ll visit the gentlemen in the group home. Finally, I’ll continue blogging and drinking coffee and being silly—these things will probably never change.

I’m relieved to be moving on from my job, and excited to seek new opportunities. I’m also really scared. I am scared as heck, guys. It’s the same fear I felt upon graduating from college, and felt again upon ending my post-college visit to Uruguay and returning to Indiana. It’s a lost, shamed, lonely feeling—a nagging conviction that I really ought have it all figured out by now, or at least know where I should go from here. This feeling isn’t fair or rational, but I sure feel it, and it sucks.

I think Jon Acuff has the right idea when he suggests punching fear in the face. As scared and insecure as I feel, I mean to keep moving forward. At the very least, I mean to try. To echo my favorite apostle: I will always trust, always hope, and always persevere.

Long ago, when this blog was new, I wrote a post in which I quoted Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables: “My future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”

I’ve reached another bend in the road. What lies beyond? God only knows. Fortunately for me, I still trust God after all these years, so that thought is a comforting one.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to think about my future and give my beckoning cat a high five.

350. Your Questions Are Answered!

A couple of weeks ago, I invited my dear readers to ask me anything. Today I answer those questions, and conclude by making an announcement about this blog.

Here we go!


Kristi asks: Since choosing to not continue with the books following the one you published, have you regretted or reconsidered that decision? Do you continue to write in that world, even if you have no plans for publication?

The unfinished tale of Lance Eliot is near and dear to my heart, yet I’ve neither regretted nor reconsidered my decision to let it go. The first novel was a commercial disaster, I didn’t have time to continue writing fiction, and Lance Eliot’s story was exhausting me. I believe it was right for me to set it aside.

Someday, if I have the time, I may try again. I would like to rework the first novel, The Trials of Lance Eliot, and then write its two sequels at my own pace. Then, with all three novels completely finished, I could focus on getting them published.

In this chapter of my life, I already feel overwhelmed by work, blogging, and other commitments. In order to write The Eliot Papers, I would have have to stop working or blogging… and I doubt I’ll be quitting either of those any time soon!


ferrettt55 asks: I’ve kind of been wondering why you wrote your book under the name M.L. Brown. Any particular reason? A story behind it, perhaps?

I had two reasons for using a pen name. The first is that I liked the idea of being an anonymous success: a literary superhero with a secret identity. (In retrospect, this was a stupid reason.)

My other reason for calling myself M.L. Brown was to build a frame story around the tale of Lance Eliot. I wasn’t Adam Stück, the author of novels—no, I was M.L. Brown, the supposed “editor” of Lance Eliot’s “memoirs.” Brown was eventually going to appear as a minor character in the last book. (The author who called himself Lemony Snicket did something similar in A Series of Unfortunate Events.)

In the end, I regret not using my real name. It would have made marketing my novel much, much easier, and perhaps sold a few more copies.

Fun fact: The initials M.L. stand for Michael Lewis. In full, my pen name alluded to the archangel Michael, the author C.S. Lewis, and the detective Father Brown.


JK Riki asks: If you had unlimited resources (time, money, skill, whatever necessary) what is the one thing you would do that you’ve either always wanted to or felt called to do? (It can be a silly answer like “Eat a taco with both chicken AND beef” but I’m kind of plumbing for a deeper response here with some real meaning and thought. Your choice, though.)

If I had boundless time and money, I would first celebrate with pizza! I would then take a few weeks to plan my next steps, pray, and confer with trusted friends and relatives. In the end, I would probably move to a cozy apartment somewhere on America’s west coast, donate most of my money to churches and charities, and spend my time writing fiction, volunteering, blogging, and drinking too much coffee. (Some things never change.)

If I had limitless talents, I would probably become a professional author and an ambassador for a charitable organization or relief agency. I would also drink too much coffee, natch.


Socrates asks: Where are your monkeys from (and I DON’T mean Amazon.com)? I mean, where were they actually born (are any of them from, y’know, THE Amazon?), what schools did they attend, are any of them related (to each other, I mean), had you met any of them before finding them on the internet?

I didn’t know any of my typewriter monkeys before I purchased them from Amazon.com, but I’m pretty sure they have ties to criminal cartels, and at least two of my monkeys have spent time in Colombian prisons.

Listen, sometimes it’s best not to ask these kinds of questions.


Some Guy asks: Do you know anyone actually named Socrates? Have you seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? It’s not that great of a film, but I am reminded of it whenever you refer to Socrates. What is the plural of Socrates? You play and review video games, but what are your favorite non-video games? I’m thinking board and card games, but other categories are fair too (tag, dodgeball, darts, etc.)

Sadly, I don’t know any Socrateses. (I’m guessing Socrateses is the plural of Socrates.) Socrates is my go-to pseudonym because I respect the ancient Greek philosopher, and also because I’m too lazy to come up with a new pseudonym every time I need one.

I’ve heard of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but I haven’t seen it. Doctor Who has satisfied my desire to see someone travel through time in a phone box!

Confession: I… um… I don’t like non-video games. Competition stresses me out.

Mind you, I have absolutely nothing against sports or board games. In fact, I’ve played quite a lot of them: Monopoly, cards, bowling, Munchkin, darts, Sorry, checkers, Risk, fútbol (or soccer, if you want to be American about it), and badminton, among others. As much as I appreciate these games, I seldom enjoy competition. (Mario Kart is an exception, of course.) I prefer relaxing pastimes such as one-player video games, going for walks, and climbing trees.


Thomas Mark Zuniga asks: Do you have other awesome hats like the one depicted here? What is your hat-wearing to non-hat-wearing ratio? I’ve always been intrigued by hats and hat-people.

I’m honored to be called a hat-person.

When shopping or running errands, I generally wear my cherished cloth cap. I occasionally wear a fez at home, especially when watching Doctor Who or Gravity Falls, which are my reasons for owning a fez in the first place. (I have no regrets.) My other hats include a couple of beanies, a leather flat cap, a baseball cap, and a gaudy jester hat promoting Ecuador’s national fútbol team.

I once shared pictures of my hats in a post on this blog… which promptly received more views than nearly any two of my other posts combined. As a blogger, I was humiliated to be outperformed by a bunch of hats.


I would like to thank everyone who submitted a question for this Q&A! (Without you, this would have been a really short post.) I would also like to make a quick announcement about this blog.

TMTF will be taking a three-week break, returning with new posts on April 20. The blog will not go dark during the break; I’ll post an original short story on Monday, followed by old posts on the usual schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) until TMTF resumes in a few weeks.

We’ll be back with new content on Monday, April 20. Thank you for reading!

347. Ask Me Anything!

My name is Adam, and I am a man of mystery. Majestic and silent as a mountain, I shroud my life in secrecy—but no more! The time has come, dear reader, for answers.

No one comprehends the mysteries behind this inscrutable face.

Who knows what secrets are concealed by this inscrutable man?

Yes, I’m being sarcastic. No, I’m not much of a mystery. I am, in fact, generally an open book. Far from being silent and enigmatic, I rant, ramble, and reminisce—in fact, I talk too much. (If you’ve followed this blog for more than five minutes, you’ve probably noticed.)

I may not be quiet or mysterious, but if any of my dear readers have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them!

As TMTF hits three hundred and fifty posts next week, it seems like a great opportunity for a blog Q&A—or as we Internet people call it, an AMA. (For the uninitiated: AMA stands for Ask Me Anything.)

From today, March 16, until Thursday, March 26, you may ask me anything! I will accept all kinds of questions by any means of communication: comments on this post, notes via the Contact page, emails, Twitter or Facebook messages, handwritten letters, or smoke signals. (Well, I may not respond to smoke signals.)

If you wish to submit a question anonymously, preface it with the following words: Socrates asks. For example: Socrates asks, What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

On Friday, March 27, I will answer your questions, however many or few. Ask away!