Saturday, April 26, 2008


No...I am not playing with my caps lock key.

That is the number, in meters, that I hiked today in the Swiss Alps. :D Big smile and grin.

I left Wilhelmshaven, Germany yesterday and arrived in St. Gallen, Switzerland to stay with a very cool friend of a friend. He's a big mountain, outdoors guy from Canada who has had the joy of moving to Switzerland for work. He was awesome enough to take me out to the mountains today. We started our hike and actually summited the mountain. Not such a big deal for him but for me it was amazing. We hiked in the sun and the beautiful setting of the swiss Alps and it was beyond words. I will have photos soonish. Hopefully tonight. There was snow at the top and, even though my feet got wet, it was great. Absolutely great.

We ate lunch at the top and then caught the train down the mountain and came back to the house. I am thinking about taking a day trip or two while I'm in Switzerland before I head to Ireland. I am really excited about Ireland. I've been there twice and every time I go I feel like I've come home.

I went for the first time when I was 17 with my high school choir. I remember, I stepped off the plane and something slipped into my soul that felt right. I disregarded it somewhat because I figured I was starstruck by being out of the country for the first time. And then I went back with my friend Jen during an interesting period in my life and it happened again.

They say third time's a charm.

We went out last night in St. Gallen to some live music bars and hung out with some cool friends of my host and had a blast. We went to a club called The Barracco and heard an amazing, amazing group of singers and musicians. They ended with the most impassioned and beautiful rendition of Purple Rain I've ever heard. It was magic. :D

At the moment, i'm chillin' out before dinner listening to Counting Crows. Good stuff. I am going to try and get my pics uploaded and taken care of this evening.

Also-I haven't forgotten about my chapter 5. I had a bit of insight on the train over here from Germany to Switzerland so I'm going to try and condense that into some coherent thoughts and get it posted. It's going to be a busy next couple of days but I think I can manage. I just have to make the time hehe. (c:

Alrighty...more later.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I get it now

The following message is a Rant from your local blogger.

I get it now why people start having children at a young age.

So when they get out of prison for strangling them to death they still have time to start a real life.

They aren't even my kids....why do I care?

Not that anyone reads this anymore but I don't gives me a place to vent.

I'm not saying anything new and I know this but where does it end? I get the happygoluckyigetpaidtoNOThavechildren child psychologists who say it's normal for children to test their look for ways around their choices....

ok. fine. then you littlemissiwouldNEVERraisemyvoicetoasweetinnocentchild come in here and deal with these insolent little walking hellspawn with mouths and get them realize that while I am generally a nice, normal person...who goes out of her way to get them to riding lessons, and drives them to school when they miss the bus, and sits for an hour braiding their hair and plays football (soccer) outside with them even when I don't feel like it or am trying to catch one of their colds that they constantly pass around....when you "if's and's and but's" me to death about going to bed or brushing your teeth or putting on your pajamas or any other number of things that I tell you to do nine times in a row I get angry.

hm...I wonder why.

I've tried taking away privileges....I get "what's so bad about that?" What's so bad about that? Oh wait and see. I can make your life a living hell...believe me. There will be yelling. And you will sit in your room and only come out for dinner if you're lucky.

I don't want to make empty threats and I don't plan on it.

Maybe I will switch tactics. They seem to react better when I get a it were...this is only good for a few times though and then they get used to it or realize that I"m not as scary as I wish I maybe I'll go for the disappointment route. I won't say anything. I'll just give them that look and make them think that they've fallen out of favor with me for the rest of their natural lives.

That would be good.

Anything to get some results. I try to do things the right way. Rules. Charts. Small ways of letting them know that I'm or the parents are proud of them...little exceptions when they do well or show maturity. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they run with it. Sometimes I slam the bedroom door.

I am human. The parents went upstairs to enjoy their evening and yes, while I know it's my job, occasionally it would be nice to have a little more than verbally expressed support. It's harder for two smart and clever kids to be smart and clever and cheeky when there are two adults standing of them who happens to be their mother.

They made a clean escape tonight and I got to deal with them. It's fine. I like them, I know they both work hard. But when the kids are this way, they should stand there with me and help me if nothing else. Instead, I got, now listen up or it will be as Larissa says. Be good. Goodnight.

Damn straight it will be as I say. I'm the one they have to answer to when they come home after school tomorrow. I'm the one who decides if they get computer time, game boy rights, nintendo DS or play time. I'm the one who decides if we get to have a blow-off hour watching silly YouTube videos on my laptop before going to bed.

I am sick to death of parents who don't want to take responsibility for their kids. These parents are not necessarily included in this rant but I'm on the topic so why the hell not.

If you don't want to deal with kids-and I mean deal with them on every level, in every shape and form they come in-don't have them. Use a condom. Use birthcontrol. Exercise abstinence. Do whatever it is you can dream up to do that makes it so you won't procreate. There has to be a foundation in place before you drag kids into the picture. So your five year, own my own business and make plenty of money plan fell through after you had your first kid? Tough shit. You still have a kid. And you still have to step and do their homework with them....I don't care if you're tired and hungry and it takes you three it. Get over yourself and do it. Get down on their level, work with them 'til they get it. I don't care what your favorite subject was in class or if you never needed help.

Newsflash: Just because you share the same genes doesn't mean you're the same person.

Iconic and Parenting Magazine Role Model Children are fairytales. They don't actually exist-- unless they are medicated or in a wax museum.

Dealing with your kids doesn't mean shoving them on a babysitter or in front of the TV all the time. Barney wasn't hired to become your stay at home so I can go out shopping mom.

Sorry to break it to you.

What really kills me about this is that sometimes I think I care more than the parents. I care about actually getting through to them and figuring out what makes them tick and what scares them and what hurts them and what makes them laugh so I can access them. Because if I can access them I can teach them and if I can teach them then I can help them. If I can't teach them I am nothing more than a dancing monkey sent to entertain them.

I get it now why people start having children they can remember, while their kids are growing up, what it was like to be a kid themselves so that maybe, just maybe they will have a little more flexibility and willingness to learn not just about their kids but with their kids when it comes to life.

Kids may never remember all the good things we do for them but they will suffer for all the good things we don't do.

Monday, April 21, 2008

...drumroll please...

Yay. (c:

I am going to Estonia in August for an artist residence. I applied. They let me in. I'm excited. :D

W00t. Now I have to figure out a way to do some fundraising for the trip. It's a 2 week thing where I get to go live on a farm in the Estonian countryside and make art. Sounds perfect to me.

I also got a few other things organized....which always makes me happy. I got my ticket bought, roundtrip from London to USA to London...I come home on May 12th and leave on July 14th. Crazy busy in between but it's all good. And, I finalized plans to go to Switzerland. This is good as well. I'm hoping for some good weather so I can go hiking and then off to Ireland. :D

I wanted to share. (c:

I've been driving myself crazy lately-everything I look at or do is somehow tinged by my novel. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Is this normal?

'til later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chapter Four-Beyond The Seven Seas


“Figured I’d find you ‘ere.” He looked like an unshaven postal worker. His eyes were bloodshot behind his black-rimmed glasses and he was wearing the same clothes she had left him in the night before. James never wore his glasses in public.

“I’m sorry I hung up on you. I thought I told you to stay home.”

He wrapped his hand around the inside of her elbow and led them over to a table in the corner of the room.

He said, “There are worse sins though I doubt you could have picked worse timing-- and you did.”

“Yeah well, I sort of panicked. I’m sorry I’m such an idiot. And if I did, why are you here?”

“Ah, there you go assuming I follow orders”

“Well, you at least could have cleaned yourself up before going out in public. Jeez.”

“Piss off.” He grinned.

James slid the stool out for Ilse and tilted his head in the direction of the girl behind the counter.

“Two of the usual eh?” She nodded and smiled.

Ilse dropped her bag between her legs and scooted awkwardly onto the gangly red vinyl topped bar stool purposely not looking at James looking at her, awaiting some sort of explanation.

“Not before I get some food in my system.” She leaned her back against the wall and propped her feet on the bottom rung of the table.

The waitress brought two coffees and the best looking pair of warm tomato and Portobello mushroom sandwiches in all of London proper. It gave her a renewed sense of hope in life. Whoever said the Brits don’t know anything about food most certainly never ate here. The café was a hole in the walls of London that most of the Buskers in the area would frequent. The walls were vermillion red and while there were only five tables in the whole place the rhythm had adjusted so that there was usually a seat to be found. The smell of vanilla and warm spiced tea and cigarettes mixed pleasantly as it was filtered throughout the small room by the whirring ceiling fans overhead.

“Well?” His restless fingers picked at the buttons on his sleeves, the scratches in the tabletop, the fraying threads on his jeans.

She said, “Smoke a cigarette would you. You’re making me nervous.”

“I left them at home.” He raked a hand through his hair and pressed his palms flat on the table.

Ilse paused for a fraction of time between bites. He’s really worried about me. She finished her sandwich and brushed the crumbs from her fingers onto the plate.

“You want to tell me what that was all about earlier?”

“Not really.” She stirred more milk into her coffee. “Did you see the pig in Piccadilly earlier?”

“Don’t change the subject.” He needed a cigarette.

“Fuck James. I don’t know anymore. I thought I had things under control but lately, it’s been like going back in time. I can’t focus, I can’t think straight.” She took a sip. “I can’t write. Jesus, I don’t even remember the last time I had a fucking flashback and now today there’s been two! What the hell am I supposed to do with that? And then this god-damned kid shows up and half of London is standing in the streets gawking at the fucking pig in Piccadilly Circus and I don’t know-- -- it’s been a piss poor day.”

The waitress came over to clear away plates and refill James’ cup of coffee. She set half a pack of Lucky Strikes down on the table in front of him.

“Some guy left these here earlier. I was going to throw them away but you look like you could put them to better use.”

“Marry me.” She laughed as she walked away.

Ilse said, “And don’t tell me this shit is normal. I’m so sick of hearing the word “processing” I could vomit.”

“I didn’t say anything. I think you’re being a little hard on yourself. You had a shit afternoon. You got mugged for Christ’s sake. Little bugger would have been brown bread if I’d gotten a hold of him—“

He took a long pull off of his cigarette and slid another one out of the pack.

“It’s just—look—last time—when I first came to London—I couldn’t walk out my front door without expecting to see him standing there. He never quit wanting me.” Her voice sounded like a house with all the lights burned out.

“Few of us have ever quit wanting you” His tone was flippant. Now serious. “But I know—it was three years ago though. It’s behind you.” He took a pause and drew on his cigarette. “It’s behind us.”

“Don’t make jokes. And apparently it isn’t. And this kid today—that really fucked me up—why the hell wouldn’t he take anything? What if it was a way to test me? To see if he could get to me?”

She was leaning across the table, her coffee cup was tucked up underneath her like something precious. Her necklaces were hovering just inches above the edge of the cup.

“Oh Christ Ilse, I swear you were a conspiracy theorist in a past life. Don’t be ridiculous. I know you had a good scare but you should be sayin’ your hail mary’s that you didn’t lose anything except time today. And what the hell do you mean did I see the pig in Piccadilly?” James finished his cigarette and drove the butt into the bottom of the ashtray. He lit up a second one. “like smoking damn candy cigarettes” he muttered to himself. Ilse rolled her eyes and un-hunched her shoulders.

Her tone was casual again.

She said, “A little slow on the uptake this afternoon. Tsk. I don’t mean anything. There was a damn pig in the circus today. He was standing beneath that ridiculous statue of Eros and half of the damn planet was standing there staring back at him. I didn’t exactly stick around to interview him. Besides, he sort of, well, he sort of disappeared.”

“Pigs don’t disappear.” He gave her a flat look.

“Yeah, I know. But this one did. One minute I was looking at him and the next minute, he was gone.”

“I see.”

“You don’t believe me.”

She folded her arms in front of her and squared her shoulders.

“Well, I know what I saw. And what I saw was a white pig disappear into thin air. End of story.”

James took a heavy breath and took his glasses off. He rubbed his fingers along the top of his nose and traced his sinuses. He was obliterated from last night and she was being unreasonable.

There is nothing like an irrational woman with a temper to cure a hangover.

He finished the second cigarette and took his time exhaling the smoke. The blurred edges of her face were softened further by the haze that sifted through the space between them and he impulsively reached his hand across the table. He laid his fingers gently across her hand as she reached for her coffee cup. Irrational women were just his type.

“Let’s—“ She cut him off with a hardened stare.

“Don’t.” Panic built up inside of her like bubbles fighting to break across the surface of a pond. She would not be played.

James took a hold of her hand.

“I said Don’t!

“Ilse….calm down…I was going to say let’s—“

“Let go of me! Don’t touch me! Let go!” She wrenched her hand away from him but his fingers lingered instinctively. The coffee cup flew from the table top and shattered on the floor. Milky brown liquid crawled into the cracks in the tile and headed for the door.

“Ilse…Stop this…chill out..” James let go of her hand.

“It always starts like this!” She stood up frantically and knocked the stool back against the wall she had been lounging against not thirty seconds ago. She kicked pieces of broken coffee cup out of her way and slipped on the wet tile as she reached down to pick up her bag.

People were beginning to stare.

“It’s always about this for you isn’t it!? You always have to be the logical one! Nothing could possible be as I see it for once could it! You never change. You never change!”

She was spitting the words at him as though they were on fire.

“ I didn’t ask you to come here in the first place! I don’t even know why you did! To call me a liar and make me look like a fool because I tried to tell you what went on in my day? You asked me, remember?! I didn’t want you here! You. Came. To. ME!”

James picked his glasses up and put them on.

“Ilse..” People stared. The room had gone silent. His throat was dry.

“You always have to do this! Always have to be the one who comes out right! Fuck you! Why am I never allowed to have boundaries?! I won’t be violated again! Ever!”

She twisted on the heel of her boot and stormed out of the café. The door mirrored her emotions as it slammed shut punctuating the air that had gone stale in the café. Warmth and charm left with her and James was left with a black hole sucking at his insides. A draft of chilly afternoon air joined the crowd and stirred the flyers on the bulletin board across the room. Wet footprints stared at James from the floor.

He stared back at them. The chemistry for hurt is not complicated.

The other customers went back to their conversations but not without casting glances that they thought were subtle in James’ direction. Some looked at the door. He would not chase after her. He was finished with that. She can take her boundaries and her attitude and go to hell. And for once, he refused to follow her there. Charon never did make good company. He parted the curtains ever so slightly and hated himself for doing it. Ilse turned the corner and was gone.

I will not be violated again. It bounced off the interior of her brain over and over again. Her mantra. Her promise. She was through with broken boundaries. Her boots thudded heavily on the gray sidewalk. She moved like a storm moving in across a windy Nebraska plain. Rain fell inside her bones. She was heading for Not-Here as fast as she could. She needed to be Not-Here.

Reason is a slow moving beast when it finds itself fighting a two front war and today it was particularly taxed.

Her brain slowly caught up with her passion and her footsteps began to slow. The sidewalk stopped being accused. Her breath found her lungs. The joints in her fingers unclenched and her fingernails pulled back their attack on the insides of her palms. The fury began to leak out of her as water from a garden hose in summer. Tears welled up in her eyes. Hot. Angry. Ashamed. Rain fell.

She was useless.

She stopped at the next corner and shoved her hands into her pockets. Toes turned slightly inwards, pushing against the leather heels of her boots. Her shoelace was untied and her hair was hanging in an angry mass down her back and she stood there on the street corner not knowing what to do.

I am a fool.

The blacksmiths hammer came down on her rage forcing it to bend into a controlled heat that flushed her face and burned her ears. Not-Here had come faster than she expected. She glanced across the street as she waited for the light to change. She couldn’t go back to the café. She should apologize. She couldn’t face the humiliation. She should go back to the café. She never turned back when she should. How many moments had she lost, how many spaces had been forgotten and abandoned. She didn’t know how many proverbial bridges she had left in her future but she was sure she had plenty of matches at her disposal. The means are easier to grasp than the ends.

She had lost James. Matches and fragments.

I am a product of my destroyed relationships. Her mantra. Her promise. No wonder no one wants me.

The street light changed to a walk signal and she looked up to see where she was going.

The white pig from Piccadilly Circus was staring back at her from the other side of the street looking somewhat puzzled. And lost. Definitely lost. He was sitting with his rounded back against a wall. Ilse took a double take and jumped back onto the curb. He cocked his head to the side and looked at her as if he expected some sort of answer to an unvoiced question. They stared at each other. Ha! I’m not crazy! I’ll show him! Call me a liar! Ha! Humility and rage lost their seats to triumph and she ran back towards the café.

James was paying the bill. The door swung open and Ilse swept through with an impish grin played across her lips. For the second time that day the customers gave up on their lunch to watch the live theatre performance in front of them. They got nothing for their money this time, however.

“Come with me.” She grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him outside in stumbling steps.

“What the hell is going on Ilse?” He stuffed his wallet frantically back into his back pocket as he struggled to get his feet under him.

“Shut up and come with me.”

James regained his footing and tried to pull away. She was like an over excited puppy on a leash.

“You think I’m some sort of rag doll now? One minute you’re in there screaming at the top of your lungs like a damn fool. A damn fool about how I think you’re a liar and going on about your fucking boundaries and now you want me to come with you? Who the hell do you think you are?” It was his turn to speak bullets.

Ilse made no indication that she was listening. She snatched his wrist up again and started pulling.

“I need to show you something.”

They reached the street corner, James following for reasons unbeknownst to him, protesting and arguing the whole way to ears that were only half listening. She would show him that she wasn’t just making this business up and then she could go back to caring about him. She would have time for humility afterwards.

They reached the street corner and Ilse pointed victoriously across the street.

“There! There’s the damn pig! He followed me! I knew it!”

James paused mid sentence and followed the line her finger was scorching through the air. Red brick buildings and business store fronts met his gaze. The clothing stores had pulled their racks underneath awnings of various striped colors and sizes in case the skies overhead turned rainy with the cooling temperature. Flowers were hanging from hooks and piled high on tables at the flower market. People were walking. In short, there was no pig.

“There’s no pig Ilse.’ His voice was thin with poorly masked bewilderment and the remains of his anger.


“Don’t start. Pigs don’t disappear. Nor do they follow people half around God’s forsaken London.”

Ilse stared hard at the space where moments before her sanity had stood in the flesh.

There was nothing but space and a patch of sunlight filtering through the clouds.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Searching for...

an artist residence.

Anyone got any suggestions out there? do I get the comments posted to be emailed to me? I love blogger but it's not reciprocating. Okies...


Saturday, April 12, 2008


My coffee sat and got cold this afternoon. I was starving by the time I got home.

It was a great, great day. and I"m being entirely serious.

How can these two things be indicative of a good day? When you put them in the context of this: I was caught up in writing and editing (other work. I'm not cheating on the challenge. I have a second project going hehe) and processing and thinking about Beyond the Seven Seas. I have direction.

I blame Tim. :D Thank you. (c:

Friday, April 11, 2008

I got fourth!

I just got the news on the first National juried art show I entered-it was entitled "Footlong" and took place in Portales, New Mexico-and it turns out I got fourth...almost third. hehe. I'm happy. My work is featured in the magazine they printed for the show and there's a little blurb about me and my thoughts and work and yeah...I can handle Honorable Mention for a first attempt. :D


Now I just have to get my butt in gear and get some more notes and reference photos...oh how I love thee...done so when I hit the states at some point again or the next artist residence, or both, I can figure out what I am going to do. I have some cool ideas but we'll see what pans out to be any good.

It is amazing to me how creating visual art and written work are so tightly linked. I know, I know, before I get blasted for making it sound like I don't consider writing art, I do. Of course I do. But they are different mediums and yet so completely alike. Reference photos are the notes, spots of color, interesting shadows, shapes, textures are the characters that we exploit, drag out of their shells, push until they no longer resemble what we thought they were about. Simplify and tweak until they start to talk about something that really matters to us....etc. etc. I could digress.

It's all a matter of perspective...which sounds like the perfect intro into a blog that I've been meaning to get down since I read Lisa's blog a bit ago about her perspective on Russia, Russians, the Cold War and the such.

So-here's my perspective on this and what it feels like for me to be a 20 something caught in this centuries angsty gray area.

I have been traveling since October 30th, 2007. I packed my bags, sold my car, dumped my things at friend's houses, my dad's, drove my car to Colorado for a final time to leave things with my mom....came back to a townhouse that I really liked, a relationship, my favorite jazz club, my friends, my martial arts class that I am addicted to...and then I got on a plane and flew to Adana, Turkey. I started in Turkey because I wanted to spend some time living with my dad's side of the family. I also wanted to improve my Turkish-which has a long ways to go-I got what I wanted. I had a great two months. I had some time to gain some interesting perspective.

I am an animated talker. I am a big talker. I have lots of opinions on everything that occasionally should just be kept to myself...knowing this, I threw myself into a culture and situation where I wouldn't be able to say much of anything. I got a taste of what it's like to learn to listen. I got a taste of what it's like to really have to actually THINK before I say something. Not that I really changed all that much truth be told...but it did change my perspective on things and myself how I perceive things and how we communicate. I also got a hard dose of perspective on American culture.

I am not, in general, an advocate of the way we handle most things in America. But, I can now say that after being in other countries, experiencing their medical systems, their economical systems, getting to know business owners and families and artists, I get what the draw to America is all about. I also feel a sense of gratitude I didn't have before for where I was born. Not that I'm going to go patriotic, agree with the ridiculous mess we've created in Iraq, vote Republican and march around singing the praises of my country. I still think there's a load of bullshit. I just have a better appreciation for what else is there.

Ok, this being travels took me from Turkey to Budapest to Germany. I have had the wonderful experience living with a German family for some time. The man of family is a very intelligent former home designer and construction company owner who happens to know a lot...and I mean a LOT about history. I love history. This leads to some great conversations. He gives me a hard time because I really make him work through any language barrier that may exist because I ask hard questions.

For example...I asked him why he thought, as my link to Germany, Germany's response to something like 9/11 would have been, why it happened and what he thinks America should have done about it.

There was a pause. We got up and started more hot water for coffee. I put my hair in a pony tail and readjusted myself in my chair and we both settled in for a long talk. Luckily for me, he seems to enjoy talking and arguing about this stuff and I love to learn about it so...yeah....

Lisa's post-to jump back to the wavering thread that is tenuously this post together-was discussing the Gulf War a bit, the Berlin wall...things that happened when I was at the youngest 7 and the oldest...well...present day- if you consider the Iraq War is just a big, nasty extension of the Gulf War (in some perspectives at least)...

This is a really weird realization for me. I remember hearing about the Berlin wall in November of 1989. I remember hearing about Sadaam Hussein Thwackers from Ed Sardella on 9 news in Colorado during the Gulf War. Names like Schwarzkopf, Powell, etc. all ring bells in my head. I can tell you what they did...I remember the colors of the camouflage jackets I would see on TV as a kid when they would interview soldiers.

Through all of this, however, I don't ever remember feeling anything. Not that I was or am emotionally insensitive, I just didn't care at the time. I was a kid. I had no real grasp on what the impact or the history was behind what was going on in front of me. I didn't really get a sense for that until recently, to be honest. Part of it is because America has a really bad habit of not teaching its kids about what it's done wrong in the past. I've never once been offered a class that discusses the finer points of the Gulf War and the socio, economic and cultural impact it had or would lead to in regards to America and the Muslim and Middle Eastern faith.

I'd heard the name Ayatollah Comini...spelling...but I couldn't have told you who he was until last week when my resident Germany born, history buff friend sat down and explained all of it to me. Who he was, what he had to do with Sadaam Hussein, etc. etc.

Please, Mr. Germany-teach me about the bits of my countries history that are less palatable. And it wasn't America bashing-what he told me about had very little emotional overtone. He is a rather stoic and pragmatic/practical person...and he wasn't trying to prove anything. He was trying to factually answer my questions. He did so quite well I think.

It's not like I couldn't have Wikipedia'd...yes I made that a verb...some of this stuff prior to arriving in Germany or gone to the library and read books about's just that while there is always plenty of media there is very little content and, by fault of my own lack of mental prowess occasionally, things get muddled unless I have someone there to whom I can ask questions.

I asked a lot of questions to Alex. He gave me a lot of answers. I gained a new perspective on some of the things that I already knew about America's past by hearing from the mouth and mind of someone who didn't grow up engorged and swollen on my media and my concepts of reality and I also gained a new perspective on my childhood. Of my place in my country's young history.

In today's world people everywhere are being told and taught and coerced into disliking anyone who covers their head, looks like, talks like or blinks like they might be part of the Muslim faith. This is exactly like, from what I could glean out of Lisa's post, what happened between America and Russia during the Cold War and all that yucky stuff. People were told to hate an entire race and culture of people because of the actions of a few.'s the real bitch about all of this....when I sat down with Alex and had him tell me the story and the backstory of the times leading up to the Gulf War I realized that we really are on a loop. History repeats itself. It's a cliche but I've never heard one truer. It is disgusting how many times people can manage to reinvent the wheels of hate and prejudice and fear.

This is not a plea for everyone to be nicer to each other. This is also not a statement on how unfair or unjust the world behaves.

It is just an observation about the realization that we are on a perpetual hamster wheel. That we will continue to do the same things over and over again. If it isn't Russia it's Persia. If it's not there, then who knows, maybe it'll be China or India only the tables will be turned and my culture may get a sense of what it has done.

America is the perfect example of Newton's Law of Inertia. I am waiting to see what will be the first thing to step in and disrupt our inertia. People can argue that 9/11 was our stop. It was a speedbump. And I'm not suggesting that we have some Big Bad Wolf waiting for us around the corner and that we should all run for cover or start saying our Hail Mary's to avoid the apocalyptic fall of the American Empire...I'm just saying that a force bigger than 9/11 is going to have to happen eventually to slow America down. This could be a positive force as easily as it could be a negative force. We'll see which cards get played first.

All of this knowledge, insight, research, realization and processing makes for a heavy handbag to carry around on a daily basis. That's the best way I can think to express what it's like to be in this middle age of things where some of the really big stuff i.e. WWI, WWII and all those other wars that don't need their full titles to be recognized is well out of my range of existence but where some of the other big stuff, or stuff that is still having it's growth spurt did happen in my lifetime. And they will all have lasting impressions on the planet. And, I'm part of an age that has easy access to knowledge, resources, data...the Internet may be a vast ocean only about an inch deep but it is a dense inch. While it's impossible for most of Americans to experience the same degree of separation that previous generations had from their "enemy" or different cultures, or whatever in this day and age it is increasingly easy for us to pull the wool over our heads. Surround ourselves with things that assuage our fear. Remind ourselves that none of what is currently going on over there has anything to do with our Raison D'etra and simply move on.

Along with this handbag comes the responsibility or sense of responsibility to do something. Anything to improve or contribute in a well-intended manner to the situations at hand. Some choose to enlist in the military. Some join Green Peace. Some think out loud on Blogger. Some go and blow up buildings or people or cars or convoys because they think that it will actually accomplish something. Misguided and motivated have become the mantras and warning signs for my culture and the unfolding time line.

I want to find my response. My reaction to all of this. I want to stop feeling guilty when I tell people I am from America because of the looks I get from others. It's not hate or fear or anger. It's the look you give a small baby when they've gone and smeared the third jar of bright orange baby food all over themselves and the wall and the dog. And then in the process of cleaning up the mess they go and smash the crystal vase over their brother's head and then sit crying in the middle of the broken glass because they know they've done something wrong.

Not that there isn't something to be said for having a rough childhood....which is how I feel about the decision making that has gone on in my governmental system recently in America. We are young in comparison to the rest of the world. There are lots of things we haven't learned and we are acting the part of the cocky teenager by thinking that we know everything. Then again, at this point, we have wedged ourselves between more rocks and hard places than I can think of lame metaphors to describe. The resounding question in my head as I listen to the news and read the papers-foreign and American alike-is "What are we supposed to do now?" Not cynically or sarcastically...but a calm desperation that makes my insides hurt when I think about the state that things are in or are working towards.

America is not very good at admitting or teaching it's people about what it doesn't know how to do. It can't admit that there are problems to begin with in a lot of ways I don't think.

That makes me angry. Ignorance is not an excuse, no matter how many different costumes you make it try on.

There are more things I could say about this...things that I would like to say but am currently not in the right mind-set to phrase coherently.

I am going to bed. To anyone I have offended or upset, please-leave me a mature comment expressing yourself. I care what your thoughts are though I can't promise I will make any amendments to the post.

Communication is all we have left. Use it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chapter Three-Beyond The Seven Seas

Only because I promised. Excuse the mess while we are renovating. Thank you. The management.


To speak of what lies beyond the seven seas is to speak about losing. It is a space reserved for those who have been removed. It is a womb for all that is yet to be born. It is the land of Myth. Within its boundaries live the shadows of Story, of Present, of Then. It is within these remnants of space that our lives as we know them are defined and redefined. Every day we are invented anew between the lines and faced with the prospect of the fleeting devil Tomorrow. To speak of the land beyond the seven seas is to speak about loss. There are tenants who continue to rent their time in Myth. Mischief and Grief and Memory and Eros and the fateful pig that approached Piccadilly Circus in an attempt to expand the borders. In an attempt to regain. To speak of the land beyond the seven seas is to speak about a culture dying. We are dying. It is the mantra that seeps into the bones of this intangible land, it is the borders in which they live, the terms in which they approach life. It is within these terms that we shall speak of what lies beyond the seven seas for this is the only voice that has not been over sung.


The pig darted through the streets and the sewers of London. It was heading West. There was such amusement in watching people, in escaping. He had quite enjoyed his morning. He angled to the right and reduced his size again so he could slip through the grates sealing the underground waterways of London. He hated being underground. It was much too damp. Not that he wasn’t used to a bit of dampness. Ireland is no desert. At least in Ireland one can be wet and not smell like a soaked dog he thought to himself. Ah well, he didn’t have to smell himself. The sewers were the best means of travel he could think of. Less chance of being stepped on or causing further commotion. Being small compromises your concept of safety. He skidded around a corner and banged into the wall. Sludge. It was always slippery. But yes, the sewers were the best choice he’d had. He’d been given orders. He remembered what happened the last time he had disobeyed orders . He would try playing it the straight way for once. Was he not an icon of legend and daring and charm? Yes, he could play by the rules just this once. For the sake of something greater than himself. Or something.

He wrinkled his already wrinkled nose. He was filthy. He imagined that even the sewer rats were looking at him in disgust. Ha! To think of that! Oh the ends that he would go to for some things. He would have a much more pleasant time regaling the group of his derring-do after a proper bath and a return to his normal state. Being small compromises your sense of self.

He took the third right and slid through another set of grates. He could see the wicked shadows being cast back and forth as the good albeit confused people of London walked around above him. What little they knew. Such was the plight of most humans, however. He had learned that from the eons spent doing things the hard way. Their heavy footsteps above him became his soundtrack as he raced along the curved walls of the true London underground. The chatter of voices were muffled through the depths and the sun shone meekly into the grime.

The girl had been a curiosity to him. She had looked at him, directly at him. He could see her mind working. That was a particular gift. She was a different breed. She had looked at him not with fear, or awe or panic or any of those other unsightly mental characteristics but with curiosity. Pure curiosity like a child in a house of mirrors. She was pretty too. That was always a nice surprise. He hated ugly humans. Then again, he knew her father so he supposed he should not have been all that surprised.

He was cold. “You know, you’ve not been very good company lately.” He said as he continued through the damp muck. The sun went behind a cloud and the sewer went black. “That’s what I’m talking about!” She’s certainly in a mood today he thought sourly as he charged through the blackness. “I didn’t mean anything by it, I’m just saying...” He let out a yelp as he crashed against a low hanging grate. Just ahead of him rays began poking their long fingers into the muck. She always was rather hot under the collar but lately she had been in a foul mood. Not very good company at all. He was glad, for a change, that he had not been put in her charge for this task.

To think! A Muse! Missing! This most important task and they had chosen him. It had been most natural in his mind but the others had not been so enthusiastic. Memories amongst some have a substantial shelf life and he had not exactly been the most subtle in his deception. But what was life without a little rule bending. So what. He reflexively twitched his shoulder muscles and would have shrugged if he had been physically substantial enough to do so.

He leapt over a deep pool of water and scooted along closer to the edge. He had never been much of a swimmer and the last thing he needed was to be delayed. But yes, this most desperate of missions and they had chosen him. To be sent after the care and charge of one of the muses, that was not something a humble Pig like him encountered every day. And the world hadn’t even batted an eye. He had no idea how the girl played into everything but considering her history he could only imagine.

He continued to run. He was a pig of his word after all. At least for today. He could not imagine where she would have gone. The muse, not the girl. Though that had been a rather big shock as well. Not a single person had chased after him! And after her athletics chasing that pathetic distraction he would have thought the least she could do was give a half hearted attempt.

For all her clarity she obviously did not know who she was dealing with. Poor thing, she hadn’t grown up with her father around to educate her properly. He didn’t really have time to waste thinking about that though, she was not his main concern. This missing muse was. “Do you have any ideas where she could have gone to?” he asked the sun. The sewer rats looked at him and the sun said nothing. She was so irrational sometimes.

“You know, it’s not like I asked for this job. I had been minding my own business, wallowing around, doing nothing more than fulfilling my duties not bothering anyone when Boreas shows up on my front door. Figuratively speaking at least. I don’t really have a front door seeing as I live in a field.” He chuckled at his own wit. The sun said nothing. “Not that you don’t already know that, dearest. What with your lofty position and all. Really does give you an advantage to things. Regardless, here comes Boreas one day and says that he needs me and I am to meet him at once and await my instructions. Imagine how I felt! Being bossed around by such a transparent fool! Well! I dare say I was a bit taken aback. But I showed up. My curiosity has always been my downfall. So yes, are you listening?” Nothing. “Good. So yes, here comes Boreas and I agree, naturally, to help. I mean, I’m a good natured sort and when a fellow needs help, what can I do but bow down and offer my services?” He ran through a patch of gray sunlight and felt a distinctive burning on his muck covered tail.

“Ah, so you are paying attention! I knew it! So, where was I? Ah yes, Boreas. So I meet with him and he says that Erato has gone and gotten herself missing. How exactly this is possible I don’t know so don’t ask me. That’s up to Apollo. Such a responsible bloke. Don’t know what could have gone wrong. Perhaps she finally got the better of him. He always did have a thing for her. Course, not a single one of us could get near her without feeling something. Even me-and you know how I don’t usually go for the two legged type. Poor thing, out there all alone. Though I can imagine she knows how to handle herself. The question is, where would she have gone? She had everything she needed right where she was. Doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, but then again, I’m not one to meddle in affairs of Them.”


“Black coffee, please.” The table creaked as she leaned forward on her elbows. Her brown tunic sleeves were pushed up past her elbows and the yellow light hanging above the table gave her a jaundiced pallor.

“Well, where is the little fucker.” She left the question mark on the street corner.

“If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll have gone back and we will be hearing from him shortly” He gave his most placid face and wrapped his hands around the gray cup. He picked at the porcelain paint with a dirty finger nail. He considered the consequence of actually putting the cup to his lips. It seemed too much of an unnecessary risk for such a pitiful payoff. Instead he let the humid warmth seep into his palms.

“That’s assuming a lot on his part.” She squinted her already narrow almond shaped eyes at him over the rim of her mug and bit her bottom lip. “I mean, he’s not the most trustworthy. I still don’t know what you were thinking”.

“What I was thinking is nothing that you, in fact, have to think about at all. You seem to have enough troubles of your own.”

“Clever. Really.” She changed her mind and set the cup down. She fingered the rim and swirled the battery acid around. The silence was getting them nowhere.

“Uhm, can I say something?” Four eyes swiveled in their sockets.

“You just did.”

Green eyes wilted in frustration and the third member of their party straightened a bit in her sagging seat.

“Look, well, it’s just that she’s still out there and we don’t know anything and I don’t want to cause more problems but shouldn’t we be…well…doing something?”

“Ah, enter our sweet voiced tagalong and her astounding ability to state the obvious. Save your vocal chords sweetheart. Right now, we wait.”

Last week.

She came in a set the bags of groceries down on the counter. She hated always having last minute shopping but there are some habits that never die. The grocery store had been full with others suffering a similar fate and she had been caught up in the mess that happens when lots of people all try and do the same thing at the same time.

Her graying hair was in her eyes and her contacts were beginning to burn. She had spent too many hours pouring over student papers last night and the subtle reminders that all-nighters were for twenty-somethings and college students were mixing with the not so subtle reminders that she was definitely not twenty anything anymore.

But, work was work and the students were feeling particularly effusive if not intelligent this year. She had a few bright ones but nothing like some from her past. She was tired of reading how “one must always remember…” and “throughout the ages…” “one” doesn’t have to do anything if “one” doesn’t feel like doing it. What ever happened to a little pizzazz? And editing. And spellcheck. Forget Aude sapere-she would settle for dare to proofread-before-submitting though she doubted there was a latin equivalent for common sense.

She sighed and sorted through her dilapidated bags. Her cat jumped on the counter to help and was shooed away with the butt end of the French loaf she brandished. The sun came to investigate through her yellow curtains and she smiled. Mid-afternoon sunshine may not be quite as good as moonshine but it is still intoxicating in its own right. The cat gave up on his lazy attempts at investigation and curled up in the corner.

The dinner guests would be over shortly, she had a lot of work left to do. She took the fish out of the bag, discarded the newspaper and took it to the sink. What with the student papers behind her she was beginning to look forward to this evening. She had her own research of course that always seemed to be leagues behind where it should be for the number of hours she gave in a week but her sanity had begun to whine about equal employment opportunities. There was nothing wrong with taking a night off now and again she reminded herself. The stress of having loose ends sat in the base of her brain but she pushed it aside. Not tonight.

The water was just beginning to boil when her cell phone rang. She wiped her hands half-heartedly on a tee towel and routed her phone out of her purse. “Unknown name, unknown caller” flashed across the screen as she flipped it open with her chin and jammed it between her ear and shoulder. She turned the stove down to medium.

The cat jumped as the phone hit the floor. She pivoted sharply on her heel with a speed belying one of her age and grabbed her jacket. She was out the door and gone within moments. Her brain was full of white noise as she jumped in her car and slammed it into gear. Around London eight phones simultaneously rang and their answerers left in a state of shock. Eight women jumped into eight of their respective cars and raced away.

She was missing.

Whose afraid of

Their own shadow? That'd be me.

I live in a state of gray. Which I've said before. But it makes it hard to do what I know I can/want/really wish I was clever enough to do...which is write a decent anything. Hehe. I'm kevetching (is there a correct spelling for that, cause I don't know it if there is).

To be honest, I spend more time thinking about my story than writing it. I do this with most things. I need to be a better War General and just throw my troops into the attack head on. Problem is, I sit down and it's like I turn into a Arty from Geek Love. No arms, no fingers to speak of, horribly critical attitude. Though he was much better written than I am. At least he had a sense of purpose.

And I keep getting caught up in research, which is something I really, really like to do. More so than any sane human I would venture. And I'm addicted to links. If I can click it and have it take me somewhere more interesting, I'm on it.

Tim, from the DC, likened writing this stuff to giving birth to glass. I agree. I might as well pull out my synapses one by one, bang them together, call in the dendrites and throw them all in the blender and hit go. Maybe I'd come up with something. typical fashion I'm writing about not being able to write. I am such a verbal thinker. I don't even like therapists and I'm always finding myself needing to just "talk it out". Which sucks because no one cares about this as much as I do. This is a given and something that I will have to get used to. Knight in shining armor aside, I don't think I'd want someone to be as obsessive about my stuff as I am. I would run away from them. Hm..

What is that about the things we don't like in ourselves are the things we criticize in others?


So-I'm going to go resign myself to working on the family portrait sketch that I am doing at the moment for my side project, finish taking my notes and write down anything that comes to me. I have some mediocre dialogue at the moment, though I think everyone sounds the same. I bought a new book, albeit it was Paulo Cohelo, so I'm not going to learn anything about writing diverse characters (All of his books have the exact same person as their protagonist I think. He's a bit too in love with love.) but it was the only book in English that wasn't some stupid romance novel or trash thriller.

And, I promise, by the time all the rest of the world is awake, I'll have something posted for chapter three. I even promise to keep my self loathing and internal criticisms to myself. (c:

Happy writing to all of you with fingers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chapter Three

Will be here tomorrow I think. I tried....really tried for tonight. and it sucks. It's not finished and it's lacking a certain flair that comes when I am not trying to write things at 1 in the morning after getting up at 6am with kids and all those other lovely excuses that i have for not having anything. I have's just...I dunno.

So will be here tomorrow. I am close to at least having a completed thought on paper-regardless of whether or not it's relevant is another issue all together.

So-until tomorrow.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Posting an article I like (c:

On the eco-friendly soapbox this evening..this article. Thanks. (c: Just to be clear, this article is not written by me...just making sure I give this guy some credit here hehe. :D

It was bound to happen. Sooner or later, I was due to go Andy Rooney on you poor readers and vent about the tech habits that drive me crazy. My goal here is not just to wax cantankerous, but to tell you straight out: Don't do any of these things.

Buzz up!on Yahoo!

Print everything under the sun. You want to print out a recipe or article and automatically hit the Print button. Then you go to the printer and discover that you needed only 1 page of the 4 that printed. Restrain yourself from automatically printing stuff from the Web. What typically happens is that you print it out and put it in a folder to languish until you do your spring file cleaning and just throw it out anyway. Most of the time you didn't need a printed copy to begin with. And if you do need to print, preview it first and print only the pages you need.

Throw out your iPod or cell phone the minute a new one comes out. People are most wasteful with these two categories of device. Unless your phone or MP3 player is completely broken, don't throw it out. You will not be shunned by society if your device is a generation or two behind. If your identity is that tied to your gadgets, you need to go sit down on a park bench and take serious inventory of yourself.

For more eco-friendly technology coverage, go to's Green Tech page!

Buy your kids cheap electronic crap. Think twice before getting your kids everything that blips, beeps, zips around the living room via remote control, or plays games. Imagine yourself taking it home from the store, unpackaging it, putting it on the floor, and stomping it to pieces--because that's how it will end up very soon. You are teaching your small kids to be ignorant overconsumers who pay no attention to quality. Buy cheap and buy often is the lesson you are imparting. Not to mention the plastic, packaging, and batteries that end up in landfill.

RC Car.jpg

Leave your computer on day and night. I've heard the arguments. People hate the lag time every morning waiting for their PCs to start up. Don't just sit there and watch the Windows status bar go back and forth, go make some coffee or do some sit-ups or something. Yes, time is precious. But how much TV do you watch per day? If you're the average American, about 4 hours. Are you really telling me you can't shave 2 minutes off your TV watching or pointless Web surfing regimen to save a few kilowatt hours?

Throw away or recycle perfectly usable devices. Recycling is good, but if the device still works, donate it. Do you throw away good food? Furniture in good condition? There may not be starving kids in China that will die if you don't eat your peas, but there are plenty of kids in underfunded schools who could use your Pentium II system, and women in domestic abuse shelters who depend on donated cell phones.

Okay, sermon over. I'm done channeling Andy Rooney. Hey, how did my eyebrows get so bushy?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

...What the hell

First off. Chapter three is coming. It will be here by next week. I promise. No more running away to play elsewhere.

That aside,

I am reading the news at the moment and I keep noticing that "they" (the mighty powers that be...and or the Associated Press) keep posting news articles with headlines like "Global Warming blamed for..." blah blah blah.

I am a firm believer and advocate in Global Warming. A tree hugger through and through.

But please...oh *not* make it sound like Global Warming is a person being convicted of a crime.

First Name: Global
Last Name: Warming
Crime: Breaking the Ice Shelf

Seriously. Global warming is a direct result of carelessness. It is not something that can shoulder responsibility. We, however, can (I know...who'd've thunk it!). So perhaps a more accurate headline would read:

Humans Excessive Use of Energy Blamed for Broken Ice Shelf....

I'm not saying that every human in the world is to blame or that we all need to live in the dark and revert back to the times of prehistory but we really need to start putting the responsibility where it belongs...not handing it off in typical fashion to a concept or cause.

All hail the wisdom of George Carlin all that time ago for kevetching about a War on Drugs. This is our war on a concept.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.