Friday, September 28, 2007

Fiction Friday #13


"Ahh! Jesus. Dave! Christ!"

Jorge woke with a jolt, hitting his head on the wall, his heart beating hard against his ribs. He couldn't see anything the way he faces so he rolled over to look at his clock. It was just after two in the morning. His alarm would be blaring in a little more than four hours. He rolled onto his back and looked at the ceiling.

"Dave, shit. No. Lower. Lower!"

Jorge's bed was against the wall across from the wall his room shared with Dave's room, but the walls were so thin and Anna, Dave's whatever, was so loud that he'd been woken up like this four out of the last five nights.

"Let me. Here. I'll... There. Yeah, there. Now, Dave. Now!"

That's when the squeaking and the groaning started.

Dave had to be drunk, Jorge thought. Nights Dave was sober things got off to a quicker, and quieter, start and usually ended faster too. What did Shakespeare say? That alcohol gives us the desire but takes away the ability? He obviously wasn't writing about guys like Dave. Guys like Dave get all fired up when they're drunk and go longer than usual after they get started, which was an annoyance to any roommates who had to get sleep.

Jorge had three choices: 1. Roll over, put his pillow over his head, and try to sleep. 2. Jerk off and hope Dave and Anna finished before he did so he could sleep. Or 3. Get up and watch some TV until they fell asleep.

None of the choices seemed appetizing. The first was going to lead to frustration and anger. The second would only work on a night when he was drunk or Dave was sober. And the third was just annoying. Still, the third was the best option.

He climbed out of his bed and wiggled his toes around the carpet, searching for the clothes he'd tossed down there since the last time he washed anything. First, he found a t-shirt which he grabbed with his toes and lifted to his hand. As he pulled it on, his feet searched for something to cover his lower half -- boxers, jeans, shorts, anything would do. A pair of pajama bottoms was what he found. Jorge couldn't remember the last time he wore pajama bottoms, but they'd cover him just as well as anything else. He pulled them on and headed toward the door, shuffling his feet so he wouldn't crush any of the crap that was on the floor.

The hallway was a little quieter than his room was, but the sounds of hot, sweaty lovin' were still there. Jorge stumbled his way to the stairs and headed down. It was much quieter down there and the light from the parking lot was streaming through the windows, making it a lot easier to move around without worrying about stepping on the silverware randomly thrown around the room.

Jorge grabbed the remote off the couch, trying to ignore the plates left there, and clicked the TV on. He stuffed the control in his pocket and headed to the kitchen and flicked on the light.

The kitchen was a mess. A pan of sauce and a pile of drying pasta sat on the stove. The counter had cheese sprinkled on it. Dirty glasses sat in and around the sink. Dave and Anna had also finished off Jorge's bottle of Baileys.

Jorge sighed, opened the fridge, and grabbed a bottle of Dave's beer. Dave'd never notice, and if he did he'd probably just assume he drank it himself, especially if Jorge left the bottle sitting out. He popped the top and took a pull. It was dark and bitter and cool and felt heavy as he swallowed the mouthful. He took another drink and lurched toward the couch, pulling the remote free.

He sat and flipped through a few channels. Nothing really interesting was on. He settled on an infomercial about some smokeless grill that was still supposed to give the meat a smoky flavor. The whole idea didn't make any sense to Jorge, but sitting on the couch, with crusty dishes, watching crappy TV while his drunk roommate was upstairs having sex didn't make sense to Jorge either. He put his feet up on the coffee table and put the beer between his legs.


Jorge's head jerked around. Anna was standing at the bottom of the stairs wearing a t-shirt, probably one of Dave's since Jorge had never seen her in anything so loose before. She knew how much he hated being called "George" and did it when ever she saw him.

"Finished already?" he asked. "I thought you guys were in it for the long haul tonight."

"Yeah," she said, walking to the couch and pulling the shirt down lower around her thighs.

"Odd," said Jorge, sipping from the bottle, "I didn't hear Dave shout 'Kimota!' like he usually does, tonight."

"Yeah," said Anna, sitting at the other end of the couch. "He sort of fell asleep."

"Maybe Shakespeare was right," said Jorge, turning back to the TV.


"Nothing, don't worry about it."

"'Kay," she said. "What are we watching?"

"This." He pointed to the TV with the bottle.


Her eyes were on him. He could tell, even though he was looking at the TV. He wanted to look, but he didn't want to see her. He knew who she was and what she was like. She was a predator and, as much as he might enjoy their time together, he didn't want to be her prey.

She moved the dishes off the couch over to the coffee table and slid closer to him, so close he could feel her warmth.

"George," she said.

"Yeah?" he asked, trying hard to watch the TV.

"Can I have a sip of you're beer, George." She touched his arm.

"There's plenty in the fridge. You can get your own."

"But," she reached for the bottle, "George, I want a sip of yours."

He pulled the bottle away from her.

"Please," she said, putting her hand on his thigh. Jorge immediatly felt blood rushing down below his waist. "Just a sip."

He looked at her.

She bit her lip and said, "I only want a little sip, George." She slid her hand up his thigh and felt how hard he was.

"You have to say my name right, fist," he said, looking into her eyes.

"What?" She blinked and looked away and bit her lip.

He put his hand under he chin and turned her back. "Say my name right and we'll go from there."

Her eyes darted around. She didn't want to look at him. Jorge knew that she didn't like having to give anything up to get what she wanted.

Jorge moved his lips close to her ear and whispered, "You know what it is. Just say it."

"Okay," she whispered, "Jorge."

He put the bottle in her hand.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Annual Non-vent

I am so glad that the Wonder Woman annual came out yesterday because I can finally feel good about dropping the book. When I picked up the first issue, I promised myself I was going to buy the first arc and go from there. If I liked it, great, I could keep picking it up. If I didn't, I would stop. I just didn't expect that the first arc would take longer than a year and not actually finish in the regular book.

The annual itself was okay. I hadn't gone back and read the first parts of the "Who is Wonder Woman?" arc, so I couldn't remember if all of those villains had shown up in #3 (#4? I can't remember which was the last time Heinberg wrote an issue.) so it was odd seeing the Silver Swan and that cyborg woman and all the others there, but I did like seeing Wonder Woman take down all those villains while she tied up Giganta. That was cool.

On its own, the main story in the annual was a solid meh. Maybe it would have been better if I'd have refreshed myself on the story. Or maybe it would have been better if it didn't remind me of Green Arrow #75. Yes, I know that it wasn't just two baddies stomping down Wonder Woman and, no, no one had sword down their throat, but the moment I turned the page and saw the spread of the Titans and the Justice Society and the Justice League swooping in to rescue her I uttered "Shit" to myself and hoped it wouldn't turn out the same way. It didn't, since there was an actual fight instead of threats, but come on. I would have been happy if both Wonder Girls had come to help her, that would have been family. As much at I'm hoping to enjoy reading this new Justice League, they are not her family. Neither are the Titans and the JSA. Obviously, the Wonder Women, alone, were deemed not enough to win the day.

The art in the main story was, of course, splendiferous. Terry and Rachel Dodson's work always makes me happy. Each character not only looks unique, but they hold themselves differently from others. Their names are one of the few art teams that make me always take a look at the book, if not buy it out right.

The back-up story was boring. A retelling of origins. A boring retelling of origins. A boring retelling of the origins of Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl 1, and Wonder Girl 2. (PS Whoever decided that Zeus was her father should know: Zeus cared not for his mortal daughters. He barely cared for his mortal sons. And what has Hera's reaction to Zeus's mortal daughter been? Did she just welcome the bastard (no slight against Cassie, but she is a bastard.) into her bosom when, in the old day, she would have put the daughter to work cleaning the stairs on Olympus using only her tongue? But I tend to dislike the comic book portrayals of gods and goddesses of ancient myth.) And Gary Frank, oy. Maybe it was the inker, but this wasn't your best stuff. There's a picture of Donna smiling, I think, that made her head look like a skeleton with hair. The rest was just kind of okay. There was one picture I liked, where Wonder Woman is leaning forward, relaxed, and just talking. That on was nice. More of that, next time, would be nice.

If comic people ever read this blog, I can hear the cries already:
"Don't go!" "The Salvation of Wonder Woman is at hand!" "Gail Simone!" "Wait for Gail Simone!" "She will bring about the Restoration!"
And she may do just that. Still, I won't be reading.

My problem with the Wonder Woman comic is the same problem I have with the Batman and Superman comics. They just don't live up to my expectation. Sure, I pick up the occasional Batman when Harley Quinn or Zatanna stop by, but I only ever get Batman books for the guest stars. I grabbed the first Busiek/Pacheco and Donner/Johns/Kubert issues, but once I saw that new Krypton kid I decided not to buy another on for a long while. The thing about these three superheroes is that I like the versions of them I have in my head better than the versions of them I've seen in their solo comics.

I know their basic mythologies. I know their origins. I know how they started their careers. I know many of the trial they've had. I know these thing and I've only read a handful of their comics. But I've also experienced them in other comics (mostly the Justice League books) and other media. Using what little I've seen and the things I already knew, I built up my own idea of who these heroes are and what their "civilian" lives are like. I'll stick to the team books and the solo books featuring heroes that haven't been so harshly defined in my mind.

As for Gail Simone, I'm sure she'll do fine, but I'll stick with grabbing Welcome to Tranquility each month and any back issues of Birds of Prey happen to see.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is All

I think a cold has caught me.

About two hours ago, my nose started leaking and I started sneezing. Then my head started aching and my eyes felt strained. Now I'm feeling tired.

Right now, I'm pretty sure I'll be in tomorrow. I have nothing better to do. And what's the worst that could happen? I get the other people in my office sick and they can't come in. Darn. I'd be so disappointed if they weren't here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

40 Things I Don't Know or Can't Remember:

  1. The names of the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada.
  2. How to tie shoes using the "Bunny Ears" method.
  3. How to make pancakes or waffles without using a mix.
  4. What truffles taste like.
  5. What wicker is made of.
  6. The longitude and latitude of where I live.
  7. The amperage required to take down a cow.
  8. What a sunrise looks like over an ocean.
  9. The smell of a mango blossom.
  10. How Pantone colors are made and what they smell like.
  11. The sound that a yak makes.
  12. When and where the next partial or full solar eclipse will be.
  13. The temperature of Io.
  14. Where dying elephants go.
  15. The unrecorded sound of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
  16. When I gave up on God.
  17. Perl and Unix.
  18. Where peanuts grow.
  19. What a diamond feels like.
  20. How to water ski.
  21. Geo-Force's powers.
  22. The names of the constellations and their stories.
  23. Bronze.
  24. Richie Rich's mother's name.
  25. The life cycle of coral.
  26. Who the voice of Mr. Owl was.
  27. How to follow a pattern and sew.
  28. Why people assume certain groups of people are all the same.
  29. Hearst Castle.
  30. The smell of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
  31. The sound of the Mississippi.
  32. The difference between waxing and waning.
  33. Who first set the first calendar.
  34. Why AT&T eliminated Northern California's speaking clock.
  35. The texture of a walrus's fur.
  36. What Reykjavík looks like.
  37. How a lighter works.
  38. The core temperature of Betelgeuse.
  39. The first island Odysseus visited.
  40. Windows Vista.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I wasn't gonna bother writing anything today, but then it got to be now and I'm really bored.

There's nothing for me to say. Usually, when I write a post in the afternoon, I sort of muse over what I can write all day long so that, in the end, something will be written. And so now this post will be all "meh" because I thought I had stuff to do all the way up until I had to leave.

The guy who sits next to me has spent about four or five hours of the last two days on the phone with his mobile phone company so he could get his broken phone replaced. He got angry and he got loud and he did it while people were coming in from the outside world. How is it he can do this? Maybe in a private office, I can see how a person can get away with this, but the only offices here are for judges, not for us peons.

I just heard a Far and Away reference. That was odd.

I am sooooooo looking forward to getting out of here. I need the weekend. I need the time away from work. I'm not going to do anything this weekend but not be at work.

Christ, I want it to be over. Just let it end.

Fiction Friday #12


There wasn't anything odd about the phone call Ned had received. It was just the voice of a young man on the other end asking about the room above the garage. Ned assumed that he was just another new student going to the arts college in the fall, at least twenty had called since he'd put the add in the paper two weeks ago. A couple had seemed okay when they came to check the place out, but they both said they couldn't afford the deposit until they got their financial aid in two months and Ned wouldn't rent without deposit in hand. The kid on the phone swore that he had the money, now. Ned shrugged to himself and they set up an appointment for the next day.

Noon, the next day, on his lunch hour, Ned pulled into his driveway and saw someone in a black hooded sweatshirt, with the hood pulled up, sitting on the porch.

Must be the kid, he thought. Nice to have one that actually shows up on time.

Ned opened the door and climbed out of the car, using the top of the door to help pull him up. The door groaned and the suspension tilted as he gave it his whole weight. It was getting close to the time he needed a new car, this one just wasn't running the way he thought it should. And the tires on the driver's side kept losing air faster than the passenger's side, giving the car an annoying tilt. That was something the renter was supposed to help provided, a new car.

"Uh, Jasper?" he called to the porch. "Is that you?"

"Yeah," said the kid in a pleasant but bored sounding voice, standing up, hands in the kangaroo pouch. He was wearing black pants and sneakers to go with his sweatshirt.

Ned stared. Maybe it was because he was under the porch, but Jasper's clothes were so black it was hard to see where the sweatshirt ended and the pants began, same at the shoes, like the black of the clothes just ate the shadows. Oddly enough, the sneakers had white tread that looked like it glowed.

"Okay," said Ned, walking to the porch. When he got there, he put out his clammy hand. "I'm Ned. We talked on the phone last night."

"Yeah," said the kid, "I figured." He took a breath, sighed, and said, "Jasper." He pulled a hand from the pocket. It was all white and looked like bones.

Freaky art school kids, thought Ned, taking Jasper's hand.

The hand was cold and hard. Ned wasn't feeling a painted hand or a hand in a glove. No, he was feeling bones. Hard, cold bones. A chill shot up his spine and Ned felt his balls climb up into his stomach to stay safe.

"Uh," said Ned, shaking Jasper's bones. "It's nice to meet you."

"Sure," said Jasper. "You can let go of my hand now."

Ned let go and shook his hand a little, hoping the kid didn't notice. It had to be some trick. He thought that the kid must have slipped a fake hand up his sleeve. Jasper just wanted to freak him out.

"So, the place is back here," said Ned, pointing to the breezeway between the house and the garage. "It's over the garage."

"And it's furnished, right?" asked Jasper, putting his hand back in the pocket.

"Yeah, said Ned, looking into the hood. There was nothing there. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No hood cast a shadow like that. No hood that he'd ever heard of. Maybe something an astronaut wore so he wouldn't be blinded in space, but there was nothing on earth that could explain the darkness under that hood. Too dark. Dark as those pictures of space. He wondered if it was cold under there. Cold like space. That's what it looked like. A spot of space with nothing in it. Nothing.

"Can I see it?"

"What!" Ned shook his head and blinked his eyes, hard.

"The room," said Jasper, "can I see it?"

"Oh, uh, sure," said Ned, walking away. He didn't hear the kid following him, but he also didn't want to turn around and check. "The first door here," he said, waving his hand, "goes into the garage. This one," he stopped and groped his coat, "goes up to the apartment. I'll show you as soon as I find the... Ah! Here it is." He pulled a key, and a peppermint, from the inside pocket, and unlocked the door.

Ned flicked a switch inside the door way, stepped back, holding the door, and said, "The door at the top is unlocked. Go ahead and go in when you get up there. After you." He bowed a little.

Jasper took the stairs with ease. Ned didn't. He firmly believed that when the contractor built the garage the stairs were built steeper than normal stairs. Every time he took them, by the time he got to the top, Ned was gasping like a fish on the deck of a boat. This climb was no different.

When he got to the landing on the top, Ned put one hand on the wall, leaned into, started breathing deep, and cursed the contractor he hired. Through the open door, he could see Jasper looking around the apartment.

It was basically one long room over the three car garage. the kitchen -- complete with a fridge, a full range, and a split sink -- was separated from the rest of the apartment by a counter and a vinyl floor that also went around the corner into the bathroom, no tub in there, but it didn't feel cramped, even to Ned. The rest of the room was covered in muddy brown carpet and painted in a ivory. Along the long walls, there were two windows, with curtains, not blinds. The far wall, across from the kitchen, had a sliding glass door, with blinds for privacy, that led onto a small, but usable, porch, which was mostly covered by the roof. The room was furnished with the family's old cherry colored couch (Ned thought it had been defective because his normal spot was squishier and lower than the rest of the couch.), his wife's mother's old and stained coffee table, a secondhand cabinet with their old TV on it, the queen-sized be he and Liz used to share (The springs of which had never worked properly, his side was always lower than Liz's side, even when no one was on the mattress.) before they got the king, and the dining room table and chairs, actually made out of cherry, that Ned and Liz got from his parents as a wedding gift. The small closet was near the bathroom.

In many ways, it reminded Ned of the first place he and Liz had lived together. He half sighed and half gasped, remembering their first years together. He wondered, for a second, what happened to the woman he had married.

"So," wheezed Ned, finally stepping into the room, "What do you think?"

"This work?" asked Jasper, pointing at the TV.

"It's a little old, but it works. We had to get a new clicker, though. I wrote the code to the TV on some tape and put the tape in with the batteries so we couldn't rub them off." Ned shrugged, "You probably don't care about that, though."

"Just curious," said Jasper, turning toward the porch.

"So, you going to school out here this fall?" asked Ned, using great care as he sat on one of the dining room chairs.


"Oh. But you have a job, right?"

"Yeah, I have a job," said Jasper, opening and closing one set of curtains.

"Then you wouldn't have, uh, any trouble paying the rent?"

"No. No trouble paying." Jasper sat on the bed and bounced a little. "You know one side of the bed is lower than the other?"

"Yeah. I think the springs on that side were defective," said Ned.

"Defective," said Jasper, getting up.

"It started slumping like that a few months after we bought it. We didn't mistreat it or anything, though."

"Right. There a dresser?" Jasper asked, opening the closet door and taking a look inside.

"We have a couple in the garage. You could choose one and we could haul it up here before you moved in."


"You'd have to park on the street. Sorry," said Ned, adding quickly, "but I have all the forms and everything ready to go so you can get a permit so you won't get ticketed."

Jasper nodded.

"What do you think?" asked Ned.

"It'll do."

Jasper pulled his eerie hands out of the large pocket and was holding a large wad of bills. "First." He counted some bills. "Last." He counted some more. "And deposit." He counted a third time and dropped the stack on the table.

Ned searched through his pockets, again, and found the lease and a pen. "It's through next June," he said. "I thought we'd be getting a student."

"Fine," said Jasper, taking the pen from Ned, who shivered when the odd bone like fingers grazed his hand.

Ned counted the cash while Jasper signed. "You can move in on the first, okay?"

"Fine," said Jasper, finishing up.

Ned pulled the copy of the back and handed it and the key to the bottom door over. "The key to the top door is in the drawer by the oven," he said, offering his hand to Jasper.

Jasper took the hand, but didn't shake it, just sort of held it. Ned's balls jumped back up into his stomach and tried to even climb higher.

After a minute that felt like forever to Ned, Jasper let go, grabbed the other key from the drawer, and left. Ned let out a breath that he didn't know he was holding, pushed himself up, and headed down the stairs to his car. Outside, Jasper was no where to be seen, and the hand Ned used to shake with was cold, freezing cold.

As he drove away, Ned groped through the hamburger wrappers on the passenger seat for his phone to call Liz at her job.

"This is Liz," she said after he fought his way through the maze of people who answered the phone.

Ned moved the phone from his right ear to the left and said, "Liz, honey, it's me."

"Uh huh," she said.

"I, uh, I... Well, I rented the apartment?"


"The, uh, the apartment. Above the garage?" Ned said. "I rented it to a--"

"You rented it?" asked Liz in her I'm-not-mad voice she used when she was angry. "You rented it, without talking to me first?"

"Yeah, well, I sort of had to."

"You had to?"

"Well, he was... odd. He was dressed all in black. And his hood. And the white on his shoes. And the cold hands."

"His shoes? His hands? Ned," said Liz, "I don't understand."

"He paid in cash, Liz," said Ned, moving the phone from hand, and ear, to the other. "Cash. Who carries that much cash?"

"Ned, we live in a state in the middle of nowhere. Are you trying to tell me that some mobster's kid has come here to learn how to prance around on stage like some San Francisco fairy?"

"What? No. He said he wasn't going to school here."

"Then what's he doing here."

"I don't know, honey. I don't know."

Liz sighed, "Ned, I have to get back to work. We'll talk about this evening."

"But Liz," Ned said into the phone.

"This evening, Ned." And she hung up the phone.

Ned hung up his phone, too, and wondered how he was going to explain to his wife that, starting Sunday, the Grim Reaper was going to be living above their garage.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Whine, Whine, Bitch, and Moan

We're getting a new employee the first of October. I only know one thing about him: he has the same first name as me.

And I know how stupid and petty this is, but I really wish he didn't.

Why, some of the more bored among you, may be asking.

Because from first grade all the way through eighth grade, I always had to share my name with someone else in my class. In sixth grade, there were four of us in same class. All. Day. Long. And the worst thing was that there were four sixth grade classes at my elementary school. Also, during those years, the others with my name were basically jackasses. Oh, each a different kind -- the jock, the white trash, the preppy -- to be sure, but jackasses.

In ninth grade, I only had one class where someone shared my name. It was such a relief not having to put my last initial on everything I turned in to the teacher because I was the only one with the name.

During the rest of high school, I had a friend who I shared my name with, but that was easier to handle because he was my friend and he was a year below me, so we didn't have every other class together. And I'd shared my name with other people for so long, I was used to it.

In college, to the best of my knowledge, I didn't have to share my name with anyone in any of my classes or out in the regular world. It was like suddenly being more myself because I was only one with my name. I didn't need a nickname or an extra letter hanging off the end to distinguish myself. When teachers called my name, I knew it was me they were talking to; I didn't have to ask, "Which one?"

Jeez, that sounds nutty, doesn't it?

Still, in a little over a week, someone with my name will be working here in the same position. People here are coming around and asking me what my last name is so they have an idea of what to call me. (And because they're morons. I know their last names.) Anytime I'll need an attorney's office to send me something, I'll have to give them my last name to make sure it comes to me.

I'll miss being a little unique around here.

PS I just found out that, at least according to SUSM, what I bring to this place that I work is putting files into boxes to be shipped out. That's what I do better than anyone else.

'Course, she's not taking into account that no one else does it. Maybe she doesn't realize that if I didn't do it, it wouldn't get done. How do I know this? Because if she doesn't notice me doing the boxing, she'll come over to me two weeks after it should have happened to remind me that it needs to get done.

Maybe that's my problem when I interview for jobs. I try to sell them on my curiosity and my willingness to learn as much as on my ability to do the job, maybe I should tell them how good I am at doing thoughtless grunt work, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blogger Play

Has everyone else seen Blogger Play?

The Blogger homepage (dashboard, whatever they want to call it) says that it shows an endless stream of pictures as they're being uploaded to the Blogger public file.

To me, it seems like some sort of psychological test.

It can be sort of beautiful, too.

I just wish that I can click on the pictures to see the blog it's attached to. Maybe get some context.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Color Competition

I got into an argument with people in the office this morning.

Sometime this winter, our office is going to be remodeled and JSIC was nice enough to want to include everyone in the decision for the color scheme for the office. On Thursday we got the samples and on Friday we were told to vote on the ones we liked. We had our choices of carpet colors, desktop colors (although their not sure if it'll be for the desks everyone will be sitting at or the front counter that the people come to), and the colors (and patterns) the fake walls.

I went through all the samples carefully and picked my three favorites. Honestly, none of them were very nice, many really awful, and I really just don't care. Nothing will be perfect. Still I picked the ones that I liked and I thought went together well, mostly grays and blues, without any god damned leaves on anything.

Yesterday, while I was gone (I left at noon), JSIC sorted through the votes and decided that it was stupid to have 20 people come up with 20 different schemes and let his secretary go through the choices and pick the ones that seemed to sort of appear the most and put them together.

This morning, before I sat down at my desk, I was accosted by JSIC's secretary, SLFC, and told that I have to vote by nine so that the top two, out of the four created yesterday, would get a runoff. I told her okay, sat down at my desk and proceeded not to vote. In fact, I told the five other people in the front office that they can use my vote for the one they like. (TMSV did and got yelled at by like four people for doing it. HA!)

That round of voting ended and two groups tied for second place, so there were three choices in the last round. The last round was supposed to go from 9AM to 10:30AM. When I left the break room at 10:15, I stopped to look at the choices and just like I thought, they were bad. Colors didn't match well and one of them had fucking leaves.

At 10:30, SLFC came out front and asked me if I voted.

I said no.

She said I needed to go and vote.

I said I wasn't going to.

She said I had to.

I said I didn't have to.

She looked at me with her mouth agape before telling me, again, that I had to vote.

I said that I wasn't going to vote because I didn't like the choices.

She said I had to pick one.

I said I didn't because I didn't want any of the schemes and I didn't have to vote for something I didn't like.

TMSV stood up and said that she took the vote she made for me out so I could vote.

I said that was good since I didn't want any of the choices.

TMSV glared at me, like I had slapped her in the face after she had bought me a nice lunch.

She sighed and then asked me to at least put a slip of paper in the box that said "none" on it.

I said fine, got up, and went to the back to vote.

KWSD came around the corner just before I turned and asked me which one I was voting for.

I told her none of them.

She asked me if I like the stuff we have now.

I said no, but I'd rather have bland crappy colors I'm used to than a mismatched colors I'm not, and continued on my way.

PABL saw me heading toward the box and asked me which one I was voting for.

I told her none of them.

She asked me why.

I said I didn't like the choices.

She asked me to vote for the one she likes.

I told her no.

She looked like she wanted to drill holes through my head and listen to the screams.

I voted "none."

Hours later, the colors were announced. They are a carpet that's red and black (more red than black), a desktop that's tan, and fake wall colors that are a periwinkle blue. The other choice weren't any better.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Robert Jordan Has Died

Last March, he was diagnosed with amyloidosis. Yesterday, Sunday, he died.

I'm sure that someone out there will pick up the rest of book 12 and finish it via his notes. A Memory of Light, in some form will be released within a couple of years. I have no doubt of that. (Just look at what Tolkien has put out since his death.) What I'm really sad about is this:
I sat down and figured out how long it would take me to write all of the books I currently have in mind, without adding anything new and without trying rush anything. The figure I came up with was thirty years. Now, I'm fifty-seven, so anyone my age hoping for another thirty years is asking for a fair bit, but I don't care. That is my minimum goal. I am going to finish those books, all of them, and that is that.
That's a lot of stories lost.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blogging vs. Writing

My dear friend, writer of writers, esteemed teller of tales that no one else can tell, beware! Blogging is not writing. It masquerades as such, t’is true. You sit at the desk, your fingers dance their blind and clever dance across the keyboard, words appear upon the screen, and oh, it feels like writing, like the easiest sort of writing, the writing that needs not to be justified on the morrow. It is the writing that makes the idle stupidity of the day something of worth, for has it not been written down, have not readers shared it and responded to it? Have you not been recognized, flattered and preened for today’s bon mot? Is not that what the writer lives for?
                --Robin Hobb, "Vampires of the Internet"

Once upon a time, I thought that I would tell stories for a living. I thought that I'd stir emotions with my words like an Entremetier stirs soup with a spoon. I hoped to make the small part of the world that read my words laugh more than cry and think about the world around them more than they thought about worlds between pages.

At that time, I was only sure of one thing about writers: they write. I wasn't writing. I was going to work. I was watching DVDs. I was doing all sorts of things, but I wasn't writing. Not a thing.

That's when, while visiting with friends, I first learned about blogs. That, I thought, was what I needed so I would write something, anything.

So I started one and then another. I wrote when I wanted and what I wanted. Topics and postings were erratic, but that's okay, I thought, I'm writing.

I had ideas for stories and such, but I didn't put them in my blog. I thought that if I did they wouldn't be mine anymore. Someone else would take them and distort them. I wanted them to be mine.

I quit writing on the other blog. It stopped being fun because it was one that really needed some sort of interaction. One was plenty.

But the blogging had become something other than me writing. It became a place for me to share bits with my friends and family. It stopped being about Me and started being about me. Does that make sense? Maybe it's better stated as: It stopped being about what I wanted to do and became about what I was doing. And as that change happened my desire to become a professional storyteller sort of disappeared.

My blog became closer this paragraph from "Vampires of the Internet":
Ah, my writer friend. It is harsh but it must be said. Compared to the studied seduction of the novel, blogging is literary pole dancing. Anyone can stand naked in the window of the public’s eye, anyone can twitch and writhe and emote over the package that was not delivered, the dinner that burned, the friend who forgot your birthday. That is not fiction. That is life, and we all have one. Blogging condemns us to live everyone else’s tedious day as well as our own.
But I don't think that's a bad thing.

Ms. (or Miss, whatever) Hobb obviously thinks it is.

She seems to think that to blog is to shuck all of our clothing and show our naked bodies to the world. And to be fair a lot of blogs out there are like exhibitionists, getting off by exposing private parts to the world. But what she doesn't (or didn't, when she wrote this thing) understand is that the best blogs out there are closer to a slow, seductive striptease: parts are uncovered laboriously and then partially covered when something new is revealed. The best bloggers don't just whip out the naughty/exciting bits, they entice us with glimpses and slights that may or may not be what we think we saw. They rile us up and draw us in until we're so hot we think we're going to explode, and then they slow down to cool us off a bit so that when we start to heat up again, we can get even hotter than we were before. And sometimes, the seduction does include burning dinner, but that's only a small part of the show.

Ms. Hobb end's her essay (story? rant?) with "Don't blog. Write." as if the two are mutually exclusive because in the hands of a master, blogging is a powerful form of writing.

I'm not one of the masters. (My blog isn't anything like a seductive striptease it's more like: "You wanna see my elbow, this is my elbow. Here's my freakin' knee. How about a big toe? I'll show you all of those things, but the really interesting stuff, that's not yours to see. Here's my shoulder, instead.) I came to terms with that years ago when I decided that being a professional storyteller wasn't going to happen. And yet I blog and I try to write as I blog.

I'm not here to seduce the world with my twisting narrative and clever plot twists.

I'm here to share a small part of myself with people, some I know personally, some I don't, and hope that they'll be willing to share some small part of themselves with me.

Fiction Friday #11

Wade's World

We've been on this Earth for eighteen weeks now.

It's the longest we've been on one Earth since we started sliding.

It's almost like being home again. There's no plague killing massive numbers of people, no asteroid plunging toward the planet, no giant killer bee/spider things, and no Kromaggs. The world is peaceful enough. No one's chasing us. No one's aiming or firing any guns at us. No trouble of any kind, other than the usual political problems, but those don't effect me or the others.

The biggest difference I've noticed about this San Francisco is that there isn't a Golden Gate Bridge. It seems that when it was first being built, there was an earthquake that destroyed the early work. The state's tried to build a bridge there three more times since then and each time there was another quake. People here think the Gate's cursed. That makes everything more cramped in the city. Back home there were neighborhoods in the city with yards that circled the entire house. There aren't any homes like that here. Each building is built so close to the one next to it that they may as well be connected.

When we first got here, it was exciting. Finally we'd be able to live normal lives. We could get jobs. We could borrow books from the library and take our time reading them. We could take our time living because there was nothing to run from, nothing to frighten us.

Rembrandt found a gig singing at a nostalgia bar out in North Beach. Six nights a week he's on stage. Some times solo, sometimes with a three other guys, always singing the hits of Motown. He says he can't stand singing all those songs, but can't sing anything that he got famous for, if you believe one top fifty song while you're part of a singing group makes you famous; I think he really misses that world where he was the king of rock and role. I know he loves this job, though. He was born to sing and he'll do it on any world, especially the ones that haven't heard of The Crying Man because it gives him a chance to find fame again.

The Professor hasn't had the same sort of luck as Rembrandt has had. He thinks he should be able to walk up to any university, shout out his credential, and be handed tenure. So far, it hasn't worked out. He's been fired from two bookstores, a Wallgreens, the zoo, and a hot dog cart. (To be fair, he was fired from the last one for eating the profits.) He comes back to the hotel each night complaining about the idiots in this world, but I think he enjoys the complaining and if he couldn't complain he'd be frustrated and angry at us instead of the nameless multitudes.

Quinn got hired at a little fixit shop out in the Sunset. It's stuffy and dirty, but he has all sorts of things that he use so he can tinker with the timer. Early on, he spent a lot of time searching for his double here hoping that there'd be a complete sliding machine he could use to get us home. When his visited his address, he didn't found his house or his mom, but more squeezed buildings. Eventually, he tracked his double to an apartment in Berkeley. Apparently, this world's Quinn moved into an apartment with Conrad Bennish where they became so stoned they were eventually dropped out. The Quinn of this world could talk about alternate dimensions, but only in the way that burned people can, in that pseudo philosophical verbal babbling.

To say Quinn was disappoint would be like saying it's a long walk to Mars. He tries to hide it from us, his guilt. He smiles and he jokes, but whenever someone talks about home, his eyes tighten. He blames himself for our... predicament and he thinks he's the only one who can solve it. I wish he'd talk to me about it. I'm afraid that one day he'll break and we won't be able to put him back together.

Me? I found a job working as a techie for small architecture firm. They're just starting to move from all paper to a CAD system. Mostly, my job consisted of opening boxes, putting computers on desks, and installing the programs. My supervisor promised me that things would get more interesting once they got their network online--probably in the next six months--but for now, this was all I was going to do. I wasn't happy, though.

We've been to so many worlds where we didn't have time to meet people and make friends. We leave when we start to get to know people. The few, that we've brought through with us, leave at the next world. I wasn't sure I could stay at a job for several weeks, get to know, and like, the people I work with, and then leave, again.

Rembrandt saw how sad I was getting and understood. He told me to quit. He bought me charcoal and paint and brushes and paper and told me to capture moments in the city.

And that's what I've been doing for the last twelve weeks. I pick a spot in the city each day and draw or paint what I see. And I'm always sure to put in a person, or an animal--something that's in motion because that moving thing takes a still picture and turns it into the story. The ferry crossing from Marin, a woman chasing after the bus, or the sad buffalos in the park all tell a story about the city.

Tomorrow, we slide. I have to leave everything I've done here. It's okay, though. I feel like I'm leaving stories of this world behind. I just hope that the person who finds them takes a look before they throw them away. I'd like to think that they want some more tales about the city.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An Odd Comment

Over at the Xanga version of this blog, someone called "TheVoiceReturns" responded to the "God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule" I re-posted yesterday with this:

"But God has promised us a new heaven
and a NEW EARTH, where justice will rule.
We are really looking forward to that!"
(2Peter 3:13)(CEV)-BibleGateway

(The link is mine.)

My first thought was that passage reads like an argument for people traveling between stars to settle on new worlds. From a "new earth" around a different star wouldn't people gaze upon "new heavens" each night? On a "new earth" wouldn't the people there only settle with people who share their views? Wouldn't that make it so, at least for a while, "justice will rule," since they all share the same idea of justice?

I was going to be flip and ask about space travel and colonization, but the more I thought, the more I wondered how that passage relates to God not wanting people to kill people. So, not expecting any sort of a response, I wrote back:
I see nothing in that passage that says killing is necessary.

Is killing justice? Is that what you are suggesting?

Quoting a passage like this after I re-posted something that says God doesn't like people killing people leads me to think that's what you're saying. Without you giving me an idea to your interpretation of that passage, that's what I'm going to assume.

If you ever come back here, I'd like an explanation. Do you, or at least the part of you who blog as TheVoiceReturns, believe that God wants people to kill people and through the killing this new heaven and new earth will come to be?

I don't get it.
And I really don't get it. I'd like to, though. I want to understand how killing (or not killing) relates to a "new earth, where justice will rule," but I don't.

Do any of you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fan Fiction Meme

Found at Pretty, Fizzy Paradise.

First, select your ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best. Then answer the questions below. (My own rule was only one person from a universe. Couldn't pick two DC heroes or two people from the Star Trek universe. I thought it'd mix things up more.

1. Elim Garak (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
2. The Ray (DC Comics)
3. Grianne Ohmsford (Shannara)
4. Arthur (The Tick)
5. Tasslehoff Burrfoot (DragonLance)
6. Chloe O'Brian (24)
7. Cyclops (Marvel Comics)
8. Moiraine Damodred (Wheel of Time)
9. Mr. Raines (The Pretender)
10. Laura Roslin (Battlestar Galactica)

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Team 1:
Grianne Ohmsford
Mr. Raines

The Leader: Mr. Raines
The Lancer: Cyclops
The Big Guy: Grianne Ohmsford
The Smart Guy: Garak
The Chick: Tasslehoff

Team 2:
The Ray
Chloe O'Brian
Moiraine Damodred
Laura Roslin

The Leader: Roslin
The Lancer: Moiraine
The Big Guy: The Ray
The Smart Guy: Chloe
The Chick: Arthur

Both teams are really great.

The first team is very black ops oriented. They're the ones who'll get in and out of the enemies base undetected, but if they are, only the guards who've seen them will be killed. No need to draw too much attention, after all. Tass might be a problem with his wandering and easily distracted nature, but he's still better suited to Team 1.

Team 2, on the other hand, is more of a PR sort of group. They're the face of the organization. Still, they have the brains and the raw power to do anything Team 1 can do, but they wouldn't be as precise. When it comes to diplomacy, though, Team 2 would be excellent, right down to Arthur's octopus hotdog appetizers.

I wouldn't change a single member of either.

2. Gender-swap 2, 8 & 10. Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

The Ray:
Since I prefer the Ray Terrill version (the one written by Harris in the mini and Priest in the ongoing), I say nothing would have to be changed. So, Happy and his wife had a daughter they had to hide from the sun instead of a son, it works either way. Hell, she could even have a crush on Jenny Jurden (or is it Jurgen? I can't remember.) and they could go to the prom together.

Well, if she had been born a man, she would either have been captured and gentled by the Aes Sedai or just gone insane and ended up killing himself and, probably, several others in the process. I guess he would have to find a clean source of saidin, but that would mean either using up the Eye of the World before Rand got to it, or joining up with the Dark One. Maybe he could live his life in a Stedding, but then there wouldn't be much of a story. His personality would be drastically different because he'd be mad or have been gentled and therefore lost any touch with his noble past.

Like The Ray, I don't see much difference. I guess Loren Roslin would have gotten prostate cancer rather than breast cancer, but that's not much.

3. Compare the matchups of 1 & 8 and 5 & 9. (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal's home culture?

Garak and Moiraine:

Two people who have lives centered on the secrets they find and use and keep their lives so hidden from others they sometimes have a hard time remembering who they were before they started keeping secrets. One is out to protect the status quo and the other wants to save the world by changing nearly everything about it.

If neither one knows about the other they'd probably be secretly fighting against each other.

If they're working together, they could conquer the world.

Both are far too centered on their jobs to ever actually couple, but they could make a great pair of star-crossed lovers if they're working on opposite sides.

Tasslehoff and Mr. Raines:

Um... No.

Even after Mr. Raines went and found God, I don't see him ever falling for an ADHD Kender. I guess their relationship would only be about the kinky sex, what with the old guy and the short guy and the oxygen tank.

4. Your team is 3, 4 & 9. The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Grianne Ohmsford, Arthur, and Mr. Raines:
Arthur gets social challenge. He's the only one out of the three who has any social graces and that's just barely.

The mental challenge would be for Mr. Raines because he's a feeble old man who used to be a psychiatrist.

Grianne Ohmsford is the only one who could do any sort of physical challenge and that's only because she has the use of her Wishsong and the Druid magic.

Odds are that this team would fail all three missions.

5. 7 becomes 1's boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?

Boss: Cyclops
Underling: Garak

Sure Cyclops thinks he's in charge, and Garak will do whatever Cyclops asks of him, but Garak is always working on his own agenda. Cyclops even knows, or at least suspects Garak, but Cyclops won't complain as long as Garak does what he's assigned to do.

6. 2 finds him/her/itself inserted into 6's continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they've always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

The Ray is now in the 24 universe and knows Chloe.

If The Ray isn't already working for the US government, he's going to be thought of as a threat, this is the first time in this world that there's been a person of mass destruction. CTU has no idea where he's come from, but they've given all the raw data they've complied to Chloe and her team so they can find answers, any answers.

Meanwhile, The Ray is scared and confused about where he is, but tries to do the right thing by stopping muggings and other small crimes in LA.

Eventually, Chloe realized the pattern and send Bauer to a robbery in progress where he, and his team of guys with guns, threatens The Ray. They ask him to put down his weapon.

The Ray is even more confused. He tries to explain that he stopped the robbery and there is no weapon, only him.

Jack yells some more and The Ray ends up flying off thinking how screwed up cops are.

And the chase begins.

7. 3 and 5 get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

Grianne Ohmsford and Tasslehoff:

Grianne gets to make all the wishes as long as she takes the time to convince Tasslehoff that he wants them, too. And Grianne is patient; she'll get what she wants.

Wish #1: That she had never become the Isle Witch and the Morgawr had never killed her family.

Wish #2: That the Druid Council is supported by all the races of the Four Lands.

Wish #3: That there is peace within the Four Lands.

8. 1 and 2 are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4. They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 survive? How?

Garak and The Ray are brainwashed and sent to kill Arthur.

Arthur's dead. There's no way for him to survive if Garak is out to kill him.

He's dead, dead, dead.

9. 6, 7, 9 & 10 must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

Chloe, Cyclops, Mr. Raines, and Roslin:
Chloe stands around looking surly and wants to leave. Any time a kid comes close, she glowers even more.

Mr. Raines, even after finding God, frightens all the kids with his wheezing, the tube in his nose, and the squeaking wheels on his oxygen. No kids come near him.

Cyclops puts on the Santa outfit, but he's not happy about it. He's also not happy about every other kid telling him that Santa doesn't wear sun glasses, especially stupid red one.

Roslin hands out gifts and sings, but is more concerned with how it looks for the camera than the kids or Christmas. Got to keep up appearances if she wants to get re-elected.

10. 3 and 8 are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

Grianne Ohmsford and Moiraine:

Hell yes they can do it. They're both focused women with frightening powers at their control; nothing is going to stop them from achieving their goal short of dying. And even dying may not be able to stop them from finishing the journey before the time limit. Distraction is not a problem for either and as long as they have the same goal, their personalities won't get in the way.

Anyone who wants to have some crazy fun!

Today, Again

Because it's a more fitting tribute to today, I'm going to re-post The Onion's "God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule"
NEW YORK—Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers. "Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand."

Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in what He called "an unending cycle of violence."

"I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again."

The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.

"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. "I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?"

"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued. "It's not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder people.'"

Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an.

"To be honest, there's some contradictory stuff in there, okay?" God said. "So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it's God's will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall."

God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as "wonderful, pious people," calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks rare exceptions.

"This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good reason," God said. "There's no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones. The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club."

Continued God, "Read the book: 'Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah is merciful.' It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural progress down the drain."

God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.

"I don't care what faith you are, everybody's been making this same mistake since the dawn of time," God said. "The Muslims massacre the Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don't even get me started on the hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, 'Turn the other cheek,' but you've been killing everybody you can get your hands on since the Crusades."

Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: "Can't you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism... every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you're supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It's not that hard a concept to grasp."

"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you've been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each other anymore—ever! I'm fucking serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders began to shake, and He wept.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Good Things

In a video blog celebrating the beginning of her third year of blogging, Ragnell asked the people who read her blog to post three good things of their own, this week.

I'm a reader and figure what the hell.

Here goes:

1) A friend got married on Saturday and I was there. I learned of the engagement two weeks ago. Everything was pretty last minute, but it came off well. (Except there was one woman there who's a coworker and she sort of took over and was bossy. The family seemed to want to get the crap over and move on to the food and friends, but bossy wanted kept pushing for pictures and stuff.) I'm really glad I got to go because the next one will be about 7500 miles away, but there were rumors of a reception back in The States.

2) I'm leaving work at one o'clock today. Sure, I'm going to the doctor for a follow up to be told that although my blood work is okay, I'm too fat, bat at least I won't be at work from one to five. On the way back, I'm going to buy some tomatoes and encourage the fat by having a BLT for dinner with a cup of cold root beer. Sometimes my life is wonderfully sweet and salty, almost like a honey-roasted peanut.

3) I've actually stuck to my Fiction Friday thing for 10 weeks. I've only written one thing that I was thinking about before I started, but that's okay as long as ideas are written somewhere, they're not lost. I didn't think I'd make it this far and I don't want to celebrate, now. When I reach 52, then I'll be really happy about it. When I get excited about writing each week, or I actually get ahead of the game, then I'll be really happy about. For now, though, I'm happy. I have an idea for this week and an idea for the next NaNoWriMo this November, which, for me and, is a good thing.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fiction Friday #10

Character Sketch #1

The smell of someones drying is coming through the window. They're using some sort of flowery smelling dryer sheets. At first it was nice, a smell to break up the stale smell of the night, since there's no breeze coming through the window. Now, though, it's annoying. The smell makes the air thick and heavy now, hard to breath in.

Shelia's laying in my bed, asleep. She snores lightly and occasionally shifts around. I have to turn around to watch her. I don't look, though. I'm worried that she might notice and wonder why I'm not in there with her.

I'm sitting here, bathed in the light of the monitor playing solitaire. I'm down by $572.

Shelia came over to my place just to hang out. My roommates have gone off on some road trip that I couldn't go on. No money. So, it was just the two of us tonight. We played some Mario Kart. (She was pretty good, but not great. I let her win, a lot.) We watched a couple of movies. We talked and laughed. We ordered Thai and had a few drinks. And then, suddenly, Saturday Night Live was on.

It was a rerun of an old Christmas episode. Helen Hunt was the host and Hansen was the musical, and I use that term lightly, group. It's a good episode. Lots of laughs for both of us.

At some point, I'm not sure when, she put her hand on mine. I remember turning mine over so I could hold hers, too.

After the show was over and the TV was off, we were quiet, which was strange for us. We always seemed to have something to say to each other. I don't-- I'm not sure who was the first one to move. I can't remember who first put lips on whom. I can only remember that suddenly we were kissing. It started off light. The way a good kissing session always starts, playful, getting to know how the other person reacts to certain small motions, learning the shape of the other's face, noses bumping too much. Touching it all lightly, feeling our way around each other. Then it became more... urgent. Not forceful, but harder. Tongues playing with each other. Lips lightly pulled on with teeth. Hands roaming over the other's body offering gentle suggestions of how to move together better with a little nudging.

My hands under her shirt feeling the warmth of her back. Her hands unbuttoning my shirt and then on my chest playing with my nipples. My fingers searching for a way to unclasp her bra. Her laughing a little, pushing away from me so she was sitting on my legs. Me smiling at her flushed face and her giggle. Her pulling her shirt over her head. Me sitting up to kiss her again and take my own shirt off and then search for the clasp again. Her pushing me down, laughing again, and unclasping the front of her bra saying that that was the problem. My face growing even more flush. Her moving forward to lay on me again. My skin tingling and the touch of her warmth against my chest.

I have to apologize to everyone out there. I couldn't go any farther with this. I lost what I started doing and then didn't know what I was writing about after I stepped away. So, this it where it stops.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


So, I have decided that, unless it's an emergency, I'll no longer be driving my car after the sun sets.

The last three times I've driven my car at night--once in July, once in August, and then Monday night--the headlights flick off. The switch was on, still, but the lights were off. If I pulled and held the thing that switches between dim and bright, I could keep the brights on, but as soon as I let go of the switch, darkness.

That means, no They Might Be Giants later this month. (There are three locations within not insane driving distance. I'm glad I didn't buy tickets.) And no Avett Brothers.

Oh, well. At least, unlike in my last car, I'm not scared of driving during the day.