“That’s the thing… you know those before and after commercials?” He nodded for me to go on. “I mean… it sounds super crazy.. but she looked like my after picture… all perfect skin and no muffin top.” I realized I said the last with a sneer and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it other than maybe I was too drunk to know what I was saying. ” I mean I haven’t been drinking” He nodded again, taking notes down, but something just annoyed me “I’m not crazy, I’m adopted. I couldn’t tell you where I even have anyone that could look like me out there, I just … it seemed surreal” “THEN SHE PUNCHED ME!” He paused, doing the sensible thing and at least pretending like he was sympathetic. “Did you say anything to her?” He asked. Again, my reputation may have had some influence “I’m not crazy, I’m not drunk, and for the life of me I’ve never been punched outside a fight or two in high school, no matter what my reputation says, I don’t generally go around pissing people off like that” I sighed. It was amazing how exhausted being punched, having your life burned down and getting pizza with a sympathetic officer left me. I shook my head. “Dude, she showed me that picture of pops, I admit… I did make a sarcastic comment about how he went out of the country and I could take a message but she was belligerent way before I even had a chance to be really rude, plus she woke my ass up at 2am so I’m pretty sure I’m well within my rights to be a bit surly!” “Also… she punched me! See, right here!” I waved vaguely at my nose which was still throbbing and he smiled gently. “Effie, it’s been a long night I’m sure, let’s wrap this up, we’ll find you somewhere to crash and we can go over any more details tomorrow, how does that sound?” I leaned over and rested my head on the desk “What was she wearing?” I tried to think back… “Seriously man, I have no idea beyond clothes, I mean there wasn’t a logo and she was wasn’t wearing a tshirt and she was wearing pants… jeans maybe, but nice. I guess nice clothes is all I can think of as an impression, no logos, no geek quotes on anything so I didn’t really notice. Plus she held up the picture of Pops family and all I could see was how happy he looked and how big his family was… I just guess we never really talked about that. I never really asked” He looked up, alerted by something. “Pops family? Who was in the picture? How many children? Can you place their ages?” I looked at the officer “Wife, I think, I guess, 2 boys, 2 girls looking about the same age… ” “Hazel and Ethel, How old did they look can you remember?, were there 2 or 3 more children?” “2 more, one toddler, one baby” “Oh gods” he said and just crumpled, I don’t know what it is about tears on someone your brain has deemed “tough” but not having really processed it all myself I was left kind of blank. He knew Pops family… I never knew and I was careful not to ask. He gave himself a few moments while I awkwardly pretended not to notice. Then he got up and left the room. I figured I’d wait until he came back in, he did buy me pizza, he could take his time. Minutes stretched on and I began to worry, but being as that’s a natural condition for me I waited until it had been a half hour… then went to the door, in the hall I waved down some desk staff and asked if he was ok. It took them a moment to figure out who I was talking about and they let me know he had left to go home. I’m not entirely sure what to make of being abandoned mid-statement but asked if I was free to go and called George. Couch surfing is not ideal, but as we’d traded need for such a thing in our more troubled youth we had a fair reciprocal understanding.
Stop, listen! Listen! You can find them if you are brave.
I want a happy ending!
Stories are who we want to be, even if we aren’t there yet.
I want to go about my life, work, play, pet the cat, nap on the couch. Once in a while I want a crazy weekend of pursuing some happiness. If you like the same thing, I ask you to go out look at who you are voting for. Do they pursue legislation that protects and serves each of us equally in this pursuit? If not. VOTE THEM OUT. We can be better, we can do better, all we have to do is look at each candidate and vote for the one that comes closest to delivering the American dream to all. Fight institutional inequality, make sure those Christians can pray in their churches and no one tells them they can’t! Make sure a woman has full access to decisions regarding her own body. Make sure everyone has equal access to healthcare. There is no reason for hunger or homelessness. We have the resources. It’s time to do the heavy lifting to see that we are we, and not just out for ourselves.
If we want to be We, let’s be the best We we can! Let’s work to a future of technological and philosophical excellence. Let’s use the resources we have wisely, let’s reduce, reuse, recycle, and let’s please, for the love of any deity you worship, let’s stop pretending we are separate when we’re all here, living, wanting to get laid, or not, as your preference strikes, AND IF, IF you can’t get on board with things like Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, or the kids from Parkland, let me ask you one GODDAMN favor. SIT DOWN AND KINDLY SHUT THE FUCK UP and let everyone else have a turn. If you can’t make everyones lives better, then just stop making them harder. That’s all. Just stop. You’ll be amazed at what *Those!* people can do if you just stop standing blindly in their way.
Yeah, guess that’s all for now. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day! Let’s make it one where we can all live, love, and pursue our consensual happiness.
We have been lucky to have some of the best family come into our lives and home, and lucky to have a solid family to welcome them in to. We were a puzzle slowly pieced together by Nana. Nana and Pops considered you family if you lasted more than one meal.
Many years later our family has grown and moved and added to our numbers near and far. Family is who we are, whatever corner of the world we are in, we take that with us.
Through all our flaws and shortcomings when you piece all of us together we make one uniquely beautiful picture. Frame your puzzle piece and carry the blessings and strength of family wherever you go.
People of color are telling us the system is not fair, not equal. Women are telling you they are being made into objects to be acted on, not treated equally. If you haven’t seen the system work that way, great! Here’s the catch, you aren’t the only person in the room. Someone else in the room is telling you why their experience is different, a lot of someone elses voices are echoing. That doesn’t mean your voice isn’t. Your voice has always been the default, but there are other stations on the radio. If you are so sure we live in a post-racial society, that women are truly equal, give your space loving 3yr old son a Black Barbie doll for Christmas.
Astronaut Barbie. Hero to all! She’s amazing at math, she earned her PhD when she was 25, studied hard, worked hard, a great leader. She out ran and out flew every other candidate. She has a minor in electrical engineering.
Wait? You don’t want to do that? Why wouldn’t he be thrilled to have her? Go pick her up at the toy store. Just start there. Lift that box, look at the price of the Barbie, read the box. Look into her eyes. Just a toy, but for a moment, imagine buying her, wrapping the gift up and putting her under the Christmas tree. Imagine your son opening the package. How does he react? Has he learned yet that “Oh, you got the black Barbie?” “I’m sorry sweetie, you can change her in at the counter for the real Barbie”
You don’t have to wait until someone tells you that equality is a myth. Look into your heart. Listen to your family, the people who loved you and wanted everything good for you growing up. Look into the disappointment displayed when you get a Happy Meal with the wrong color toy. That right there, is inside us. We’ve always known that other people were… other… less than. Racism isn’t out there. It’s inside. Look at it, embrace it. It isn’t pretty and it hurts, but recognize the meat you grew up on and reject it. We don’t have to be that way. We don’t have to be “better”. No humans worth is increased when any others is decreased. It doesn’t work that way.
And when we can get to the point it doesn’t matter what color or gender Barbie is, when it doesn’t matter what a rich white boy gets for Christmas, maybe then we’ll be one step closer.
“What time was it even in Wales? (2:13am pst – 9:13am wales)are there different time zones in Wales is it even big enough to have time zones. He has been planning this trip he told me forever, just one of those things “see the old country” I guess, I don’t know… this is just not the kind of thing I could have imagined. I just wanted to show Pops he could rely on me. And now…?” The pressure was building again, have you ever tried to hold back tears with a broken nose? Let me tell you this, it’s just not fair, the more it hurts the more you want to cry the more you want to cry the more it hurts, but there is a fear of even bigger pain then if you do start to cry…. and of course that feeds into the whole cycle too.
Seeing the tears Mr Smith started wiggling in his seat. I could empathize I didn’t do well with crying I couldn’t fix either. Still at the time… just coming out of the fog again, it was hard to spare time for sympathy. I was the one who Pops trusted, I was the one so sure nothing would go wrong because it never had, nothing had ever gone wrong, in all our years of running a repair shop we’d never had a fire, a chemical burn, maybe a trip or two to the ER but we never had anything like this happen. Oh sure you hear about disasters, you see broken people sifting through the ruins of broken homes and think how terrible big disasters are. I broke as I pictured him standing there in what must be ash by now. I don’t know… did the second floor even burn, maybe they’d gotten to it in time, maybe there was something to salvage. Some family pictures or something.
I was weeping again, a full ugly cry would have brought me to the floor with pain but I could definitely feel the waterworks seeping under pressure. That thought though, something about the family pictures. It had only ever been me and pops, why was I worried about that? The realization came to me just about as Mr Smith was headed for the door to get backup (or presumably another box of tissues as I’d demolished the one he tried to push over to me) I blinked at him, The woman who visited, the one who’d punched me. She had a family picture, of Pops Family, wife, kids… if that was still at the house maybe there would be something I could save. Maybe she dropped it and it burned in the fire too though. Ok. Breathe. Just enough of a cry to get back some composure. Breathe in, breathe out. I looked sheepishly at agent Mr Smith and nodded. “I’m better now, thank you for bearing with me, just promise you won’t ask if I’m ok and I’ll manage to keep a lid on it until later” He smiled back “Oh I get it, I can only imagine how it must feel, just take your time. Now you said Pops called you at 2 in the morning, why so early? Is that when he usually calls?” I shrugged “I don’t know about usually, he’s only just left a week ago, gods what day is this? Thursday now? He flew out last Saturday and called when he landed then again each day from the hotel lobby about 7pm their time, maybe noonish here, I’m usually at lunch about then, check up on projects, It’s weird, working together we don’t chat much, so I feel like I’ve been getting to talk to him more since he’s been in Wales. He keeps going on about this or that bit of coast line and the mountains and the pervasive damp, like it wasn’t just the same here, but for some reason he’s just almost… chipper if that’s right, to be miserable and cheerful about it all at once. He was headed out to Rhyl, I think. He was going to call at 12 but it was busy today… I don’t think I noticed he missed a call, just was wiped out, crashed late and bam 2am!” I must have looked confused because Mr Smith prompted me. “What did he have to say, at 2am?” I tried to be clever because I was quite certain that if I told Mr Smith what he said Pops would have a lot to answer for when he got back. I mean, there is no way in the 7 hells he’d have done anything to the shop but the urgency in his voice and the warning to get out of there, that wouldn’t look good any way you looked at it. ” You mean before or after I started yelling at him for waking me up at 2AM?” Mr Smith chuckled. My temper wasn’t a secret, and usually didn’t exist after I’d had proper sleep and coffee but George had a way of talking and there was this one time he drunk dialed me that I knew the moment I’d ended with “and your shiny red ass too!” I would never live down in this town. “Ok fair enough Effie, what did he say After you were done berating him?” “It’s a bit blurry there, sir” I said truthfully enough. “That was when this “woman” knocked on the door” “and the air quotes are for?” “Well, she hit me!” “Who was she?” “I have literally no idea… she had a picture of Pops though, with his family it looked like. I never knew them, but they all seemed so happy.. ” “Can you describe her? What she was wearing… what she looked like?”
It has been a damned year it has, I’ve updated old poetry and worked on about 8,000 words into a story, this year, if I can pull 42,000 more out of my brain I’ll have my first novel. Do I think I’ll be a writer someday? Only in so much as anyone who writes with total lack of commitment can be. *insert sardonic grin here* Oh for the days of deviantart and livejournal the quick responces and feedback. I’m a whore for praise. It is my ambrosia, and in search of that I’ll drag, kicking and screaming, every damnable last word of the 42,000 out of my brain, BITCHES IT’S NANOWRIMO!!!
Out there, messages linger, ghosts of forgotten transmissions drifting through space, sometimes they mean something, sometimes they are just small bits like “This is Ripley, last surviving member of the Nostromo, signing off”
(highly paraphrased from the book adaptation of Alien 3)
To say I was really getting excited about a new movie in my franchise is to belabor something quintessentially obvious if you know me. If you know me not, substitute some series or particular thing you love and think of new content, a new part of that world being explored, why and how did the events that led to your favorite story line come to be? Imagine they gave you the budget, the choice director? Imagine all the shiny things you thought it could be?
Now imagine going to see that world, to be immersed in a an expansive other world, to completely sublimate yourself for a few hours away from the real world to dive into something that MEANS something to you.
Now, as you are watching it, as you are hopefully yet skeptically giving it a little slack on the leash.. ok.. maybe a little more… ok.. this feels weird… but maybe.. no they aren’t going anywhere with that point… maybe this is where we get back to plot… nope? ok.. umm little more slack… little more… and the leash slips away… somehow you are left looking at your hands and wondering just how much rabid weasel crack they had to do to create this shitshow.
Alien: Classic horror/suspense/sci-fi elements that not only were internally consistent but set the stage for a pretty epic arc, it was about a first encounter, procedure, life, loss, corporate greed, betrayal, and survival. How do you survive against something so completely Alien.
Aliens: Action/sci-fi second chances(Ripleys, Newts, asshole Gormans) unanticipated consequences, growth, corporate greed, people first, redemption for synthetic persons
Alien 3: Action/sci-fi horror, ass end of the verse, with the refuse of humanity, still surviving, corporate greed, humans first, last chance and lost chance, the circle is complete, Ripley is lost, but refuses to let her loss lead to further loss. Swan dive into molten metal
Words and connections and bridges and metaphors and similies, like a stew. It only starts to be amazing when the heat gets going. Put a character under pressure, under a low simmer for too long, Find a way to make the situatin really cook, what they are made of, character, elements, story, all starts to melt away, fat, bone, broth, the blend and change becoming not what they were but something, some marvelous thing that is more than it’s components. Stories become more than a line, more than a feeling, they become the part of and inspire us to become more of them. Welcome to the Guardians of the Frikkin Galaxy indeed.
Scraps and bits and all I am,
listen, LISTEN, in symbols spoken trite
Twinkies of thought, cream filled confections
perfection in design, I Am
that icing, and sometimes steak
meat and raw and sprinkles
Here’s my Fiction And my Truth
They were always the same for me.