December 04, 2006

Variously Alien

Okay, now I don't want to jinx anything, but in the spirit of celebrating small victories, let me tell you all a secret:

Elliot slept seven hours for two nights in a row.

This trend may not continue, but while it does: boy! We feel better. We are feeling much more human.

Which is a perfect segue into a point I'd like to explore. Elliot seems to me...not quite human yet. This occured to me on the flight back from Salt Lake, during which I was rereading a sci-fi novel that put forth a theory of "alienness." Here is the taxonomy that book puts forth:

1: Framlings: framlings are like you, but they're from a different place. You're not the same, but you can totally understand each other.
2: Ramen: people who are ramen are really different from you. But you can learn to communicate with them, so your differences can be negotiated.
3: Varelse: people who are varelse are so alien that you can't even communicate with them. You might believe that they are intelligent and have reasons for what they do, but you have no way to learn those reasons. Encounters with the varelse are likely to go poorly.

So, your average baby: what sort of alien is s/he? When Elliot coughs or sneezes, it just sounds like a cough or a sneeze. It seems perfectly reasonable and human. And I think: total framling. But his yammering is pretty ramen. And when he is stricken by intense and unexplainable fits of rage, he is completely varelse. Completely! One hundred percent alien.

Really, try negotiating with a screaming baby for even an instant. You might as well just get your phasers and light sabers and just start firing.

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Postscript by blwh

A few minutes after Sarah posted the entry above, Elliot and I had the following recorded conversation. Or interview, if you will. But it ain't Charlie Rose. No, on Elliot's home planet, an interview is considered incomplete if the subject (or did he think he was interviewing me?) fails to put his own fist in his mouth, gyrate his half-naked body, chuckle maniacally at odd times, and share his bodily fluids with the people at home.

Now that I think about it, maybe Elliot's home planet is called "The Sex Pistols".



Interestingly, the framling/ramen/varelse taxonomy is this blog's second reference to Orson Scott Card science fiction novels. We're not actually that into science fiction -- not that we're not into science fiction -- but I guess it's been a year, a set of events, that's about the things science fiction is about, (a quick paste from wikipedia):
in which the narrative world differs from our own present or historical reality in at least one significant way. This difference may be technological, physical, historical, sociological, philosophical, metaphysical, etc, but not magical (see Fantasy). Exploring the consequences of such differences (asking "What if...?") is the traditional purpose of science fiction, but there are also many science-fiction works in which an exotically alien setting is superimposed upon what would not otherwise be a science-fiction tale.

5 comments:

Kati P. said...

Kelley and I would like to offer our aliensitting services this Sunday. It sounds like you guys need some alone/human time. Also, Kelley wants to pick up her Felicity videos.

Brandon said...

That sounds excellent. We would appreciate that.

Kati P. said...

Name a time. We'll be there.

Kati P. said...

False alarm. I forgot we are having a late Thanksgiving/early Christmas dinner with Amrit and Ipshita on Sunday. Let's figure out another time. I will wear my hair like Princess Lea.

orange said...

more references to orson scott card = more better.

pS. i cannot properly convey with words how much i *heart* your blog, you two.