Friday, August 31, 2007
Prince Dairiad knew--knew with a fiery passion that burned from his toes to his bowels to his nose--that he was a fairy tale prince. His father, The King, ruled over a beautiful land from a castle on a hill in the middle of a large, lush, and fertile valley surrounded by a ring of high, snow capped mountains with a large, dark wood to the east, along with his mother, The Queen. Dairiad remembered sunny days, riding through the valley, through forest and farmland, and being greeted by The King's people. When he rode through town, they cheered his arrival and children formed a parade, following his horse to the edge of town, cheering the whole length. Innkeepers always gave him the best room for free, even if they had to move people out of it; the people who had the room already didn't mind, either, after all, they were giving up the room for their prince. And every woman in the land threw herself at the prince and wanted to warm his bed, from the lowliest and comeliest of farm girls, to the most sensible and beautiful merchant women, to the wild and ravishing warrior women, to the most regal and elegant of the noble women.
The land of his father loved him and Dairiad loved the land of his father. He loved the farms and the towns. He loved the forest and the meadows. He loved the castle and the church. He loved the men and the children. And he had loved many of the women in the land.
On his 25th birthday, several hours after the dancing had started, but still before midnight, Prince Dairiad was asked to attend a private audience with The King and The Queen before they retired to their chambers for the night.
"Father, you asked for me," said Dairiad, bending a little at the waist.
The King smiled and nodded his head.
"Yes, we wanted to speak with you," said The Queen. "It's about what you're doing with your life."
"Father," said Dairiad looking at The King, "what is it?"
The King nodded at Dairiad, then at his wife, and then stroked his long, grey beard. He found something in his beard. It was soft and slimy. He put it to his nose and sniffed. There wasn't much of a smell. He put it in his mouth and rolled it around with his tongue. The thing wasn't salty enough to be a booger. Perhaps it was chicken. Yes, a little bit a chicken caught in his beard. The King swallowed. He couldn't remember the last time he ate chicken, before today, that is.
"Son," said The Queen, sweetly, "we need to talk."
"Father?" asked Dairiad, watching The King groom his beard. "What is it? What do you want?"
The Queen sighed and reached beneath her coat. She pulled out the jeweled, silver dagger her husband had given to her the last time he could remember her name. She kissed the sapphire in the pommel, took a deep breath, and grabbed Dairiad by the collar.
"You listen to me, boy," she said, placing the blade to his throat. "We have to talk."
Dairiad nodded a tiny bit.
The King sneezed.
"You're 25. You're father's very old. You can not take his place until you've married."
"But mother," he whined, trying to pull himself out of her grip, "there are no princesses here and all the rest of the noble women are my sisters and cousins and aunts. What can I do?"
"You do what your father did," she said, throwing her son to the floor. "You pick a pass over the mountains and find a wife Outside."
The King pulled a mouse from his beard and started to giggle.
"Leave the valley?" Dairiad asked, standing up and straightening his clothes. "Why would I do that?"
"Because," said his mother, nodding toward the door, "You have no choice."
Two guards grabbed Dairiad's arms and started to push him toward the door. He tried to fight, but it did no good. When he loosened the grip of one, the other still held on tightly. When he stopped walking, they just dragged him though the castle, through the great hall where all his guests were dancing.
"Will none of you help me?" he cried out to the people.
No one did.
The east gate was opened and Prince Dairiad was dropped into the dirt.
"Don't worry, dear." Dairiad looked up to see his mother on the walkway, with his father, above the gate, lit by a torch carried by a guard. "You won't age and you won't die until you find a wife and bring her back. You can be King then."
"Why are you doing this?" he asked, dusting himself off.
"Because we love you dear."
"Fine," he said, turning and walking away from the castle.
"Don't worry, my love," said The Queen to The King, "He'll be just fine."
"Who?" asked The King.
"He's leaving?" asked The King, who looked out over the gate waving and calling, "Good-bye, Dimples!"
Dairiad turned around and did the rudest gesture he could think of at his father.
He followed the road though the night. The next afternoon, he found a farm house he could sleep in and a farm girl he could sleep with.
I could stay here, he thought after he told the girl to leave the room so he could rest. They'd never know. I could be happy being served by a small family. He smiled to himself. That's the sort of life I want to lead. And he drifted off to sleep.
But that sort of life was not to be his.
Two days later, he was woken by pounding on the door. A small regiment of castle guards was waiting for him.
"We are to escort you to the Eastern Pass," said the greasy man, who Dairiad supposed was in charge. "We are to escort you and make sure you enter." Two other guards grabbed Dairiad and pulled him out the door. "We are to make sure you enter and not return with out a wife." Dairiad was dragged outside, the greasy man following. "If you try to enter without a wife, we are to carry you over the pass ourselves." The other guards tied Dairiad to a horse. "If we must carry you over the pass, we will break your feet first." The guards mounted their own horses. "When we break your feet, it will not be fast and it will be fun, for us." All the horses galloped to the east.
Three days of being strapped to a horse later, Dairiad was cut free and pushed to the ground.
"Go that way," said the greasy guard, pointing toward the mountains. "Don't come back alone."
Dairiad climbed to his feet and said, "I won't be long. And when I get back and become King, don't expect to live long." And he trudged into the mountains and out of his valley home.
Fifteen hundred years later, he still wasn't married.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Of course, I didn't use the time to do anything productive. (Instead, I read the pilot script for Dark Skies, which I downloaded a few weeks ago to read at a later date.) That means the new Fiction Friday for this week will, if all goes well, be up in the morning when I get to work. If I do not write tonight, then it'll be up sometime in the afternoon.
Which brings me to a question: Should I be writing introductions or postscripts to the stories I put up? Are the few of you who read these short-shorts wanting background? If I do write things like that, would they be better as separate posts? What do you think, Great Uncle?
Jazz wrote a post about things she's done and in it linked to the post that gave her the idea and I tried to list those types of things in my head. Here's what I came up with:
I've been as far south as Mexicali, where I pushed my cousin's stroller around while my uncle and the woman he wanted to have sex with bought pharmaceuticals that weren't quite approved by the FDA to bring back.And that's where I stopped because those things are pretty much it. I know "I'm young" and "I have time," but it doesn't feel that way. It doesn't feel that way at all.
I've been as far east as Pittsburgh where I spent way to little time visiting with friend, but enough time so I got to the point when I felt like I was imposing.
I've been as far north as Seattle where my high school band competed in something. I don't think anyone won.
I've been as far west as the beach on the western side of the San Francisco peninsula.
I've also seen the inside of Chicago O'Hare Airport and the one in Houston that has a goofy/creepy statue of George Bush Sr.
I rode what used to be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world and I'm pretty sure I saw Canada from the top of the first hill.
I've been to a Star Trek convention in Sacramento.
I've gone to multiple comic conventions in San Francisco. Tried selling stuff at one and lost money.
And I'm the only person I can blame.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
As much as everyone in Shame would deny it, we don't really know when The End of the World happened. We can make some guesses, but no one knows for sure because there wasn't any giant explosion, or flying saucer, or Jesus Christ to announce that The End was here.
The best I can guess is that it happened Thursday night or Friday morning about four and a half weeks ago. I figure it happened then because when I got home Thursday night after drinking with Trista and some of her friends, Sanford and Son was on Nick at Night. I know enough to know that the shows are on some sort of automatic rotation, so they don't have to have someone there to handle everything, but when I came back to my place for lunch on Thursday, just about every channel was dead. Some must have had longer schedules laid out in advance, others, not so much.
When school let out, some parents sort of panicked because their kids couldn't just plop down in front of the TV. Their kids were bored. What were parents to do without TV? Drive to the video store and rent something?
The real panic didn't start until a few days later, when the power and phones cut out. That's when people started heading over to the high school. The insanity didn't set in for about a month, but it came and that's when I knew it was time to leave.
First thing I did was head to my tent and pack up. I stuffed some of the clothes that I brought with me into the knapsack I'd taken from Abbot's Sports. The things I left I left because I thought I could get them newer and better by hitting a few stores on my way out of town. Food and how to carry it was a big problem.
And where was I going to go?
Rumor had it that St. Paul and Minneapolis were okay, and people were still living there, but who in their right mind want's to live there? Maybe a stop over would be okay. Just to check things out.
I grabbed my knapsack and hitched it over my shoulder. I was ready to leave the high school. I left the tent, because it was a cheapie, along with all the blankets and the pillows where they were. I knew that there were plenty of better things I could take with me. After all, I was the first one who went into Abbot's when we all moved in here.
During the fight, I hadn't seen my sister, or Roy, so I walked over to his tent hoping to catch them there. When I walked up, I could hear some rustling and some thrashing, and I smiled. These were the noises I'd heard every night my sister brought a guy back with her before I moved into my own place. Funny how something that drove me crazy when it woke me up two or three times a week sort of made me happy now. Not all the time living with my sister was bad. And during those weeks when she had a steady guy, it was like living by myself, but only paying half the rent.
"Trista," I said as I got closer, "I need to talk to you." I started to hear panting. "Trista, God dammit, I need to talk to you!"
"Shit," I heard her say.
"Who is it?" I heard Roy ask.
"My brother," she said. "Now get off of me."
A little grunting and heavy breathing later, she unzipped the top of their tent, poked her head out, and asked, "The fuck do you want, Crete?"
She wasn't really beautiful, sort of cute with her sort of upturned nose and roundish face, but not beautiful. The rest of her was more round than trim and she was lucky that she wasn't old enough to start drooping. She wasn't one to dress sexy, either. She mostly wore loose shirts and long skirts in miss-matched colors. The reason so many guys liked her was because she liked sex, a lot, and she preferred it sober. She was a cheap, easy lay. Our father never liked that about her, but he didn't like a lot of things about a lot of people.
"Leaving," I said. "You and Roy want to come with, meet me at Abbot's Sports in about an hour and we'll all start there."
"Why an hour?"
"You two'll want to finish up," I said, grinning at her with all my power, "and then you'll want to pack and I gotta go get some stuff from my place."
She looked at me like I was nuts.
"We gotta get out of her, Tris," I said, squatting down so our faces were level. "They're going crazy in there. I just saw Mrs. Harding beat the shit out of Mrs. Greeling over Band-Aids. I don't want to be here when that shit," I pointed at the gym, "explodes and I don't want you here, neither."
"He'll keep you happy." I winked at her.
"You shit," she said. "Fine, we'll be there."
"Good," I said as she zipped the tent up.
I stood up and heard Roy ask, "What's going on?"
"First," said Trista, "I'm going to cum. Second, we're going to pack. Third, we're going shopping."
"What?" he asked.
"Shut up," she said and I walked away.
I needed to get to my apartment. I needed my hiking boots because, like everyone knows, you never go on a long hike with new boots, and I figured that there'd more hiking on this trip than I ever wanted to do.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
60 % Nerd, 78% Geek, 56% Dork
For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.
Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).
Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.
|Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
You have a high Morality score. That's both good and bad. It's good, because that means you're a decent human being. It's bad, because your other traits are less developed, and you might get in the way of yourself, and your success because of your high moral standard.
Your creativity score is simply a measure of how creative you are (duh). If you scored high, you are good at creating new solutions to problems. If it's low, your other categories should compensate for it (this is a measure of creativity as a PERSON not an artist/craftsman).
|Link: The Character Analysis Test written by Knyaz_S on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tomorrow, I'm going to the doctor. Stupid Kaiser is making me see a GP so I can get a "referral" to the doctors I really want to see. Stupid HMO.
I really hated the way Black Canary #4 ended. I had planned on writing about it, but then I read this post about how stupid Black Canary has been and saw no point in pretty much saying the same thing. (Some of which I said before.) Oh, and it looks like I was right about Sin being less interesting than Ollie's kids.
Last time I was at the movies, I noticed that they changed the name of the movie from The Dark is Rising to The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. I guess the sequel, if they make one, will be called The Seeker: Greenwitch? Although I'm betting they'll skip over that title and go with The Grey King and add in a small plot point that has Will find the Grail. So much for the Drews. Maybe a Jane-ish character will appear in the second movie. I mean, Will is a horny teen in the movie, instead of a too-old-for-his-eleven-years kid with a mission to save the world like he was in the book.
All day long, it's been hard for me to believe that it's only Tuesday. It feels like Thursday, at least. I'm just really tired, I guess.
This'll probably make me come off as very anti-marriage, but I was not happy with today's PvP. Brent proposed to Jade, and she said yes. *sigh* Maybe tomorrow we'll find out that the furries have defeated the Storm Troopers and she's finally free to leave the bathroom. We'll see. Still my initial reaction is to wonder why? Why would Scott Kurtz want to get Jade and Brent engaged? Way back when Jade and Brent broke up, he wrote about how if they're only dating, he could break them up and get them back together all he wants, but if they get engaged and married, a break-up means something very different. It's not as funny as a marriage breaking up over World of Warcraft or watching one a DVD without the other is sad, but just a couple doing that can be funny. *sigh*
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Well, on Tuesday, he went to an interview for an OT position. This morning he was called here at the office. He's been hired. He starts with the new pay period.
I am so fucking angry.
I want to leave. I want to just get out of here.
I limped to the nearest bathroom, the one in the gym, to clean up. If I showed up in class with blood or massive bruises showing, questions would be asked. I knew that the teachers were only trying to help, but not one of them knew how to actually help.
If a teacher saw bruises, asked me where I got them, and I told the truth they'd make me confront Lloyd or Carter or one of the other. The idea behind the meetings was that we were supposed to talk things out, understand each other's point of view, and end up friends. Usually, the meetings ended up with me getting pounded on harder and longer after school or the next morning. Most of the times that a teacher found out about Lloyd and the others, they didn't give him a detention or anything. They said they couldn't since they didn't see it happen. Not that a detention would have helped much. What kind of a punishment is making a kid sit for an hour after school anyway?
I pulled the door open and limped to the only sink with an intact mirror to look at myself. I saw my father's weak chin, my mother's up-turned nose, my grandpa's springy hair, and my sad, dark brown eyes, but I didn't see any blood or bruises. Which was good. My neck and back and arms and legs were sore and were probably starting to bruise, but as long as I kept my hoodie on, the teachers wouldn't see them. My face was dirty and streaked where the tears fell when I sobbed into the grass, so I turned on the water, rolled up my sleeves, and started washing up.
If a teacher saw bruises, asked me where I got them, and I lied and said I fell or crashed my bike, they'd get suspicious. Someone would call my parent and we'd all have to talk because the school can't be too careful when it comes to child abuse. Going through that once was one time to many. My dad's never hit me or my little sister and neither has my mom. And even if they were the sort of people who'd hit a kid for doing something wrong at home, I'm not that sort of kid. Then I told the truth and guess who I got to speak with in front of the vice principal and the school councilor? Right.
Dad's advice was stupid. "Just turn around and pop him one in the face," he said. "Just stand up to him and he'll leave you alone. He's more scared of that than anything else."
Obviously, Dad never had a bully while he was growing up.
Once, earlier in the school year, after Leon took a swing at me and missed, I balled up my fist and swung back. I got him in his already twisted nose and hit him hard enough that he took several steps back. When he turned back toward me, blood was drooling off his chin. He just wiped his face, smearing blood all over his cheek, smiled, and kicked me in the balls. When I fell down, he jumped on top of me and started pounding my face, smiling a huge and drizzling blood all over me. Lloyd and the other just stood there laughing.
That was the first time that crying didn't get them to stop.
I stopped scrubbing and looked up just as the first bell rang. Five minutes until class started.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The first interview I had, this year, was early in February. The last was early in August. Between those two were nine or ten other interviews. For all of these interviews, I have received on phone call telling me I wasn't going to be hired, and four letters telling me the same thing. If I was an optimist, I'd still be hoping that one of the other jobs might be mine. I'm not an optimist, though, so I'm not holding onto any kind of hope.
I know that I have more education than many of the other people who interviewed for these positions. I want to move back to Cowtown because there's family and friends already living there, so it's no problem. I have two years experience doing the filing and the greeting and the pointing and the problem solving within the state at the same level most of the interviews were for and even if they're worried about me having too little experience I'd hope that the copy of my performance review and a quick phone call with my supervisor would show that I can learn to do almost anything. In interviews, I try to show a sense of humor along with my knowledge and desire to learn to show that I can get along with people just fine and that I want to work with the rest of the team. I shake everyone's hand and I smile so hard that my cheeks hurt and I make sure that the smile reaches my eyes because a smile that doesn't show in a person's eyes is just a bullshit smile.
So, why haven't I been hired?
The most straight forward answer that I can think of is that they wanted to go with someone who already works there. Someone they know. Someone they think will be able to do the job based on work they--the people conducting the interview--have seen. Someone who won't have opinions that are contrary to people above them. Someone who will do the job, but won't actually think about the work. They want a fucking warm body that's missing the brain.
The crazy answer, but the answer that I think/fear is true, is that I am un-hirable if there isn't desperate need for someone.
Let me break it down for you:
Summer after I graduated high school, I interviewed at Taco Bell, McDonald's, and a couple of pizza places. (There were several more applications turned in, but no other interviews.) I did McDonald's twice. The second time was after a bunch of my friends got hired there and I hoped they could put in a good word for me. I didn't get hired at any of those places and spent my summer reading and watching TV.
First year of college, away at a university, during the week before school started, I went all over campus applying for jobs. I interviewed for two positions in the library, where I would have been so happy working. Didn't get either one. During the first week of classes, three people who worked at the front counter of my dorm quit. I was called in for an interview and got along with the people well. At the end, I was asked when I could start if they were to hire me, I told them tomorrow. I got a call the next day, got trained the day after, and worked my first shift the day after that. I worked there all through that school year. I showed up for every shift, or got mine covered, and I took nearly each shift someone wanted to give away. If I had gone back to that school the next year, I would have had a guaranteed job.
First year of junior college, I started off just puttering around. I didn't want to work if I could help it. Around October, my dad got tired of driving me out to the college three days a week, so I got a ride twice a week with at friend and on Friday's my dad drove to work, then I took the car to school, dropped it off at his office, and then waited for him to get off, or rode the "bus" home. By December that wasn't working, so I bought a car and started looking for a job. I interviewed at McDonald's, Taco Bell, the movie theater, Best Western, and Orchard Supply in January and February. No hire. In March I turned in applications all over the county hoping that one would pick up. In April, I learned that an old client of my dad had a husband who had opened a sandwich shop. I handed him a resume and a week later I was hired. He wasn't desperate for people; his wife told him that my dad had helped her out a lot and that he should hire me. By the end of summer, I was his only employee and I stayed with him until I moved to another university a year and a half later.
At the second university, I took my time looking for a job. I had plenty of savings and figured it would be better to find a job after the rush at the beginning of the school year. I started applying in October all over town and on campus. I only had one interview. At the movie theater. The usual thing occurred. Throughout my first year there I kept applying all over the place. I didn't have another interview. During the summer, I house sat for some people and earned a few hundred dollars that went to insurance. The next year, I applied all over town and on campus continuously. Never had an interview. Thank goodness for financial aid, but I left school with only $10 in my savings and checking by the time I left.
I knew that I was going back to Cowtown after graduation, so when my dad called me at the beginning of May and told me that a 'Bucks was being built and was holding interviews the Friday before Memorial day, I asked him to pick me up an application and sign me up for an interview during the mid afternoon. A week later, I was hired. They wanted me to start the next day, but I still had a week of classes, a week of finals, and graduation before I could start. When I finally started my training, at the nearest store, at the time, I found out that during those missing two weeks, only two people had been training. I started my training with one other person, and the next person to start training for our store didn't begin until a week later, which was one week before our store opened. And the manager was still doing interviews to find people.
During my three months away from 'Bucks a year later, I put in a lot of applications to places. I was interviewed twice, at Blockbuster, and Wal*Mart. I wasn't hired.
I got back into 'Bucks because the old manager had left (We'd had a few problems.) and the new manager wanted good people for the Christmas season and she hadn't been able to find many. She was happy to have me back and I was happy to have a job again.
I stuck with 'Bucks until I started working here. The only interview out of thirty applications I sent out. After I started here, I found out that when I interviewed, there were four empty OT slots and they had only interviewed five people. One took a position somewhere else. One they couldn't get a hold of. One didn't come in for her first day of work and never called. One took an empty slot. And one was me.
And here we are.
And here I sit.
I don't want to have to look for people who were clients of my father to get hired as a favor. I'm tired of not getting interviews at 90% of the places I put in applications. I can't stand thinking that I can only get hired because businesses are desperate for an employee.
And I really don't want to hear or read any more crap about how the right job will come to me and I'll get it when I need to. As much as I'd like the "right" job now, I'd really like a different job in Cowtown or Cowcity. A job with a bit of security and the possibility for growth. I want to be recognized as a hard worker and a good person, for once, before I'm hired and not seen as some sort of happy accidental hire.
Is that too fucking much to ask for, world?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool... and a lot of the songs fit with the setting
Opening Credits: Take the A Train -- Duke Ellington & Ella Fitzgerald
Waking Up: Overture from Tommy (A Rock Opera) -- Assembled Multitude
First Day At School: Sleep -- The Dandy Warhols
Falling In Love: Faithless, The Wonder Boy -- Radio Head
Fight Song: I Love Lucy Theme -- Probably the CBS Orchestra
Breaking Up: My Hero Zero -- The Lemonheads
Prom: I Me Mine -- The Beatles
Life: The Dick Van Dyke Show Theme -- Probably the CBS Orchestra
Mental Breakdown: Manta Ray -- The Pixies
Driving: The First Thing You Know -- Lee Marvin (from Paint Your Wagon)
Flashback: Good Morning Starshine -- Oliver
Getting back together: Up Where We Belong -- Joe Cocker & Jennifer Wames
Wedding: The Kite -- Anthony Rapp (from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown)
Birth of Child: Piece of Dirt -- They Might Be Giants
Final Battle: Cotton Fields -- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Death Scene: The Lady is a Tramp -- Frank Sinatra
Funeral Song: Choctaw Hayride -- Allison Krauss & Union Station
End Credits: The Bjork Song -- Lore Sjöberg and Dave Neilsen
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The time before the last time I visited my parents, I borrowed my mom's set of all four Alien movies. I finally finished watching the last one. The last one is not good. I like to pretend that Joss Whedon's script was massacred during rewrites, the movie is so bad compared to the others, hell compared to a lot of movies out there.
Okay, that's it. I'm done with this for today. I'm just not in the mood to write anything about anything today. We'll see about tomorrow, won't we?
Monday, August 13, 2007
I usually don't post things like this here because, frankly, the death of someone I don't know personally rarely affects me. This one does. Not because he's young or how he died, but because he was one of two artists working in comics in the early 90s whose art showed me that the men and women in spandex looked just as good (and often better) when they're drawn simply. His art taught me that less lines could mean better expressions and bring more life to characters. There was always plenty of life in his artwork and lots of fun, too.
I didn't follow him around from comic to comic. But I was always thrilled when I picked one up that he drew or at least drew a cover. I didn't read his blog each morning, just skimmed it every week or so to see his daily sketches. I did read his reaction to the death of Bart Allen, though.
So, thank you Mr. Wieringo for helping me to enjoy comics more. Thanks for the fun you put into your work. Thanks for co-creating Tellos. Thanks for your art. I don't have any idea if there's anything that happens next, but if there is, I hope the people there are smart enough to give you what you need to keep creating.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Planning on doing a movie thing Saturday. I'm going to make a double feature out of The Bourne Ultimatum and Stardust. Both very different movies. Almost too different, but I've wanted to see the former since I learned that Ludlum had written three books. The latter just looks fun, plus Claire Danes. Afterward I'm thinking of a trip to Fresh Choice for dinner and relaxation. Sunday I'm not going to do anything at all, just lounge around in my undies. How well it will work is not for me to know, but at least I have a plan.
There's a post up over at Trying to Fill the Unforgiving Minute that I keep re-reading. (No, I'm not going to say which.) It relates to a comment that Geewits left here a while ago. I didn't quite get it then. I didn't blow her comment off, but I was a little tetchy when I answered her, though, but my reply was really what I'm worried about and how I think. And then I read this post and I think I understand better. And it makes me think about some of the things that I do and why I do them. And I wonder if the way I deal is the best way. (Although, sometimes it seems like the only way.) Now I'm seriously considering something that I was just toying with a year ago.
The dew on the grass tasted sweet. That seemed odd. Shouldn't the dew taste more like water? Where would the sugar come from? Sure, grass, like all plants, make sugars while doing the whole photosynthesis thing, but why would a plant secrete its energy source as water condenses during the night? Or was the water from the air just naturally sweeter than the water that's been processed and filtered and then fed to us through drinking fountains and bottles?
I didn't know anything I realized as one of Lloyd's guys--Cory, Leon, or Carter--kicked me in the side. It hurt, but not much. The best thing about falling face first is that you can't be kicked in the stomach, that hurt more. When that second kick came, I started to roll into a ball. I couldn't help it. Instinct. And in the second my stomach wasn't covered, Lloyd got me, hard. I kept curling, but I'd lost my breath and started coughing and they started kicking.
When they ganged up on me last year and years before, they wanted to see me cry. When I learned that, I'd give it to them after a few punches or kicks. Now, I had no idea what they wanted anymore. So I just lay there and let them do it to me. I think about something, anything, to distract me from what's going on outside. Anything to keep me from crying because it didn't help anymore.
I was kicked in the back.
Photosynthesis is how plants make food.A kick to the butt.
Plants use the air they breath and the water they drink to make sugar for energy so they can grow.Someone kicked my shin.
I don't know exactly how they do it, but it has something to do with chlorophyll.My arm, which was wrapped around my head, was kicked and I started breathing heavy.
Chlorophyll is why leaves are green. It helps collect sunlight.Another kick to my arms. I wanted to get up and run. My breathing came in quick gasps. I was not going to cry.
If chlorophyll makes leave green, what makes flower petals red or purple or yellow?Then a kick to the back of my neck. I clenched my jaw and tried to take longer breaths through my nose.
Do the petals on blossoms help the plant to grow?There was another kick to my neck and Lloyd started to laugh his high, piercing, laugh.
No, they attract insects and bird to knock the pollen down. Petals are for reproduction, not growth.I felt a kick to my shin and one in the center of my back at almost the same time.
Bees get pollen stuck on their furry little bodies and carry it from flower to flower.Lloyd laughed, "Okay, that's enough guys." The others stopped kicking me. "It's time to go. See you tomorrow, shithead," he said, kicking me in the butt.
I heard them walk away, but I wasn't about to move until I was sure they were gone. I didn't want to give any of them a free shot at me.
I counted to 300 before I uncurled and rolled onto my stomach and sobbed into the grass. I don't know how long I was on my stomach for, but I had to get everything out of my system before I got up. Crying didn't help anything.
When I finished I slowly thought my way up my body, starting with my toes, to make sure nothing hurt so much that I wouldn't be able to get up. Everything seemed okay, sore, but the hurt parts would work just fine.
With a deep breath, I pushed myself up to my knees and then gritted my teeth and stood up. I limped to my backpack, scooped it up, and limped to the nearest bathroom to clean myself up. All I could think as I walked was that middle school sucked.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I've mentioned this to a few people, but I don't think I've written it here, but I really didn't like the second ending to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know that Rowling wanted to show the audience that Tom Riddle was really dead and that she wouldn't be writing any more Harry vs. Voldemort books. She also wanted to show that Harry has finally had the life he's always wanted with a family that loves him.
I understand all of that, but it wasn't a good ending. It was so saccharine. And the way that Harry named his kids after his parents and people he respected made me wonder if Ginny has any say in their marriage at all. Why didn't she insist they name one of their kids Fred after the twin that died? (Oh, sorry, SPOILER ALERT!)
The best thing about the second ending is that Rowling didn't tell us what jobs they all ended up with in the book (Although, apparently she did in interviews and such. Looks like Ron is still in Harry's shadow, rather than doing something for himself. Sad.) so I, and all the other readers, can decide for myself where they ended up working.
The one thing that would have saved the epilogue would have been if Dudley Dursley had been at Platform 9 3/4 with his wife sending a child off to Hogwarts. That would have ruled. And it would have allowed her to finish this book in a similar way to all the other books, with Harry and the Dursleys together.
Ah, well. Hindsight and all that.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
TEN THINGS ABOUT YOU
1. Are you in a relationship?
If "relationship" means exclusive dating, no.
2. Are you happy?
3. Are you bored?
4. Are you sad?
More than I want.
5. Are you Italian?
When in Rome...
6. Are you German?
7. Are you Asian?
8. Are you Mexican?
9. Are you Indian?
I'm not either kind.
10. Are your parents still married?
1. Birth place:
South of here.
2. Hair Color:
Blondish, brownish, reddish. It depends on the light and the time of year and when my last haircut was.
68 Inches, without my shoes.
4. Hair style:
5. Eye color:
Not while I'm driving.
8. Crush's name:
Isn't Crush an orange soda?
Politics: Lefty. Writing: righty.
TEN THINGS ABOUT YOUR LOVE LIFE
1. Have you ever been in love?
I'm not sure, which probably means "no."
2. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Not really, but I like movies where it happens.
3. Why did your last relationship fail?
Because there wasn't one.
4. Have you ever been hurt?
I got a paper cut today.
5. Have you ever broken someone's heart?
If I have, I've never been told about it, but I doubt I have.
6. Would you date someone of a different race?
I'm not too keen on Klingons; nibbling should not involve a person bleeding.
7. Have you ever liked someone but never told them?
All the time.
8. Are you afraid of commitment?
Like to an insane asylum?
9. Have you kissed someone within the last week?
Cheek pecked grandma.
10. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
I doubt it.
1. Love or lust?
Love with a healthy dash of lust.
2. Hard liquor or beer?
3. Cats or dogs?
All cats, well trained dogs.
5. Television or Internet?
6. Pepsi or Coke?
Pepsi because I can't find caffeine free Coke that's not also diet.
7. Wild night out or romantic night in?
How about a wild night in.
8. Black or white?
Black or white what?
9. Night or day?
10. IM or phone?
Letters or e-mail.
TEN HAVE YOU EVERS
1. Been caught sneaking out?
Never had to sneak out.
2. Lied to your parents?
I was a teenager.
3. Done something you regret?
I try not to regret my choices.
4. Bungee jump?
5. Been on a house boat?
I've been in a house that's floating on water, but not a house that can drive around like a boat.
6. Finished an entire jaw breaker?
I gave 'em to my brothers. Yuck.
7. Went skinny dipping?
8. Wanted an ex bf/gf back?
Not an option.
9. Cried because you lost a pet?
10. Wanted to disappear?
1. Smile or eyes:
2. Light or dark hair:
3. Hugs or kisses:
Depends who it's with.
4. Shorter or taller:
5. Intelligence or attraction:
Intelligence is the attraction.
6. Romantic or spontaneous:
Are these things separate?
7. Nice stomach or nice arms:
Who decides what's nice?
8. Hook-up or relationship:
I'd rather have something lasting, no matter how it starts.
9. Single or group dates:
Is it for romance or pure unadulterated fun?
10. A date outside or at the movies:
Depends on the weather and what movies are playing and how long we've been dating.
1. Last phone call you made:
Some law firm to get them to straighten up.
2. Last phone call you received:
Some law firm trying to argue with me about our procedures.
3. Last hung out with:
Heels, Johnny Logic, Kamice, and Elex.
4. Last person you hugged:
5. Last person you kissed:
Grandma, on the cheek.
7. Last message you received:
It was too long ago to remember.
8. Last people you went to the movies with:
9. Last person you have missed?
10. Last song you heard:
Bach's Little Fugue in G minor
Monday, August 06, 2007
The whole thing was very déjà vu-y. It was in a room I've been to before with two people who have interviewed me before, sitting in the same seats as before, who asked me the exact same questions in the same order as they did before for the same job I interviewed for before. My answers were different though, and they weren't wearing the same clothes as before.
The last question they asked was what teamwork means to me. I said, "It's like Mike Brady says, we're like sticks, together we can't be broken easily, but by ourselves, it's easy." Immediately, I wasn't sure whether it was smart to refer to The Brady Bunch at this interview, but it was too late to take it back. The woman sort of laughed and the guy smiled. Still...
After the interview I was off to my grandparents' house for a cousin's birthday. She turned 17. It was pretty nice. The food was good. Some of the conversations were interesting. I told my cousin, who was opening her gifts, that the way to get one gift out of the box was to lick it until it deteriorated. That earned me dirty looks from her and some of my grandma's friends, buy my grandpa had a huge grin on his face and my great uncle gave me a smile and a nod. Also went down the hill to an uncle's house and met the new kittens.
On the way back to my parents' house, I noticed a cat laying in the road and told my mom about it. As we passed, I noticed a long line of drool coming out from its mouth and knew that it wasn't warming itself on the asphalt. I stopped the car, backed it up, and parked in my uncle's driveway. We got out and saw that it was the daddy cat. My mom went to tell my uncle and I wrapped it in a sheet from the back of their car. It couldn't have been hit too long before because it was still really loose. My uncle, who had gotten some of his spine fused a week or so ago, really couldn't come out and deal with it, so we ended up taking it up to the grandparents' where my grandpa said he'd take care of it in the morning, which he did.
Saturday morning, my mom introduced me to a new form of entertainment for her and my dad. They have two humming bird feeders hanging outside of the dining room window, and they sit and watch the humming birds (here are some pictures, at times there are fifteen to twenty birds out there) and listening to Bach's Little Fugue in G minor (hear it performed on organ by Ian Tracey here) sung by The Swingle Singers, off the Thank You For Smoking soundtrack. It's really fun because the humming birds swoop in and out and dart around and it meshes very well. Mom and I think it would make a fun YouTube video. Too bad they can't record digital movies, yet.
After my mom left for her watercolor class, I headed over to the house of Heels and Johnny Logic. There I spent an hour, or so, rolling up a D&D character. Not only has Mr. Logic gone easy on the rolling since I last play, but I rolled some awesome numbers. I didn't even have to think about fudging. How often does a person get to place two 17s on their stat sheet? Not very. (When we played, that night, though, I didn't really play my stats, except for the intelligence, Raede is a wizard after all, so I'd be okay if his stats, other than intelligence (I earned that roll and that number! And I'd sort of like to keep the high charisma, too.), were bumped down a point or two to even him out some.) When I was finished, Johnny, Heels, their kid, Kamice, and Elex all headed off to a Mootown for some shopping and then a work related BBQ and baseball game.
While they were out, my mom and I saw The Simpsons Movie. I liked it a lot, but, then again, I like The Simpsons, a lot. The plot was wonderfully absurd, with touches of heart through out, just like the best episodes. The beginning makes fun of us for watching the movie, which was great. And we all get to see Bart's doodle. It was fun seeing it with my mom, who laughed nearly as much as I did.
Around nine, I got a call from Mr. Logic telling me that they were nearly back and I headed off for the Logic/Heels house once again, this time with Snapple, soda, and homemade caramel corn. I showed up around 9:30 and we played until a bit after 1:30. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. I got to be someone who's both annoying and useful to the party. We laughed. We argued. We fought barbarians. And I caused a moment that dropped DM Logic's jaw a little bit. (A huge guy, like seven feet tall, who carried a six foot sword covered in runes showed up in the camp and stared stomping toward the fighter-guy of the party. (I decided early on that my character was bad at remembering names, so I didn't think I'd have to.) Raede had been sleeping under a wagon and after the alarm was sounded he crawled out and forgot his weapons, but still had his (few) spells. After the big guy took a huge chunk out of the fighter guy, Raede cast the spell Open/Close on the big guy's hood and closed it. DM Logic looked surprised, a little angry, and surprised again before he said, "Okay, the hood is closed and the big guy is blinded." Best feeling a player can have.)
Sunday, I had to drive back, but "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" was on NPR and when that ended I plugged in myPod and sang along with The Producers, The Rocky Horror Show, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Wicked, and A Little Night Music.
Today, I'm back at work hoping that soon I'll be living in Cowtown so a game of D&D with really excellent people can become a (semi-)regular thing because I need more good weekends in my life.
Friday, August 03, 2007
The stupid orientation was all because of the Iranians. And all I could do was worry that I'd be found out.
Three months ago, because they were sick of all the crap going on in Iraq, the guys in charge of Iran decided to send in an army. It wasn't a normal army. No, they decided they didn't want to risk humans, which seems odd, I know. Instead, they sent in an army full of zombies and those wind creatures, eframs, I think they're called.
Suddenly, everyone knew that "creatures of myth," also called "the spiritually enabled," exist.
"Vampires," said the guy in grey suit and had bleached hair, clicking to the next picture, of the word "Vampire", "may be the most dangerous yet discussed."
And I shivered. Not like a normal brrr-type shiver. This one started at the base of my ass, worked its way up my spine, out to the tips of my fingers, and right back to my ass.
See, I'm a vampire. I've been one for a few years now. And, while it's not a bad life, it's not as glamorous as movies, tv shows, and books make it out to be.
The guy clicked something and the picture changed and it was a normal looking chick, with, probably, fake boobs.
"They look like us," he said and clicked again. "They often look better than us."
The vampire on the screen was a shot of Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned. His hair, stringy. Blood dripping off his lips. Sexy as hell, sure, but that's not the way it works. And couldn't he have shown Brad Pitt, instead? Now there was a hot vampire.
When I turned, I didn't become any better looking. My hair didn't become fuller or shinier. The layer of full body fat didn't disappear. And I still need my goddamned glasses to see. All of this had to come from movies. They always show vampires slowly seducing people before going for the bite. There are probably some out there like that, but they were probably the kind of people who went to bars and played the slow pick-up game. The kind who enjoyed playing with their sex toy more than the actual sex. Sickos.
"Vampires," he said with another click, "are stronger than us."
The picture was one of some guy in dark clothes standing in front of flames lifting something heavy, a car or a beam or something. There was no way to tell if it was a vampire. And it probably wasn't.
See, I'm a bit faster than I was before I turned, but not the blur movies say we are, and a bit stronger. I guess those things have to come with the territory. We're hunters, right? We hunt humans, right? So, we have to be faster and stronger than them to give us a better chance to catch the runners. Still, though, if I could lift like fifty pounds before I turned and now I can lift like sixty pounds, not a great improvement, is it.
"There are two easy ways to recognize a vampire," said the guy, clicking to a picture of that old black and white Dracula guy. "The first is the fangs." He used a laser pointer and made little circles around the guy's mouth.
I snorted. I couldn't help myself. Fangs retract. If they didn't, would any of us be able to live in cities and stuff after the first time Dracula was made? Way back then, people would have seen our long, pointy teeth and they'd have killed us. Now, if it wasn't such a strain, we could keep 'em out and people would just think they were fake, or that we had our teeth filed, or something like that.
"The second," he clicked again, "is that they don't show up in mirrors, or any other types of reflections."
True. I don't know why, but we don't show up in mirrors. Makes getting ready for work a real bitch, too. We show up on film, though, which is weird. Why one and not the other?
It's easy to avoid mirrors and things, though. And most of the time, people don't even pay attention to things like that. They see it and move on. I guess their brain just fills in the holes.
"If you see one," he said, fiddling with his clicker, "don't try to take care of it. You'll only make things worse. Call the police. They're trained for this."
Click. And the screen went black.
The guy walked to the back of the break room and turned on the lights. "There you have it," he said. "If you're careful" He looked at Juan. "If you're prepared." He looked at Christie. "If you use good judgment." He looked at me, finishing up the people in the back row. "Not one of these creatures of myth will be a threat." He smiled a bleached, capped tooth smile. "Thank you."
A couple of people clapped. They weren't that enthusiastic, though.
Joe, the bar-slash-server supervisor stood up. "Before we leave," he said, "I just want to thank you all for coming and I want thank the management of the Lucky Elk Casino--" he looked up at the security camera and winked "--for this presentation. I know I feel safer already." He grinned; broadly, his teeth weren't capped or bleached. "Now get back to work."
On our way out the door, I said to Juan and Christie, "You know, working in a casino, you sure meet a lot of freaks. Too bad they're all running things.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
ElmoWood: The Red Menace And The American West
Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks
2 Comic Strips:
How Come I Hate Dogs
A Video Clip:
Some of My Best Friends Are American
And A Game About Shooting Zombies:
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Yesterday was the most exciting payday ever. We got our checks and, like we all expected, our COLA was not included. However, our union dues were increased anyway. My paycheck this month was $13 less than last month's. Other people had more money taken from their checks. (I heard a rumor that one lady's dues jumped from $40 to $70!) I'm okay with this because right now $13 doesn't make that big of a difference in my daily life. (Although it would be nice to have that extra $13 in my bank account.) Way back at the beginning of the year the union said it was raising the dues, but would hold off until the July paycheck because of the COLA. I wasn't surprised to see the extra taken out. Everyone else seemed to be. And they're all really pissed because now they took home less this month than last month when this was supposed to be the first month of an increase. There was lots of cursing coming out of the mouths of the older ladies. Not funny cursing, but the real stuff--fuck, shit, cocksucker's in Sacramento--pouring out. One lady called up the union and said she wants to be dropped from the membership. Not just the little extra we pay to get to vote, but entirely from the membership. She said she'd negotiate her own contract from now on and the union could go fuck itself. (No mention of a cactus, though.)
I thought the whole thing was absurd, and funny. I'm in the minority, though.
The budget crunch probably isn't going to be solved this month, either. I asked around about how long they'll keep paying us before the expect us to show up and not get paid if there's no budget, I was told four or five months. So, I'll have cash for Christmas! And even if I don't, at least I have job security, right?
Other than that, what else is there to write? I don't know. I've been doing a pretty good job of shutting my brain down once I get back to my place. I don't really rememb--
Wait, I just thought of something. Monday night, as I was walking back to the stairs after leaving my trash can at the curb, my neighbor came over and asked me if her husband could borrow my car to drive to work for the rest of the week. It seems the squeal of the belts in their car has started getting to them and he wanted to oil a guide wheel, or replace it, or something, but it was on too tight and my car was the perfect way for him to get to work because they didn't want to spend money on a taxi. I said no without any thought and then fed them some bullshit about how I really only think of my car as a once a week car. Mostly I don't want him driving it because I don't know them at all, beyond their first names and apartment number. Also, he smokes like crazy and it's pretty safe to assume that he's one of those people who thinks that if he has the driver's window down no one else will be able to smell the smoke. Guess what happened. He got the thing fixed. Amazing.
And I'm done.