Friday, January 18, 2013

The Wheel - part 2

Apologies for not posting in ages, perhaps I should start using this again.

Anyway, this is a short story for a flash fiction contest. We had 1000 words to play with. A roll of the dice got me the following prompts:
Teenage Noir; A Family Torn Apart; Carnival Folk


The air was damp, making my jacket cling uncomfortably at my neck and wrists. Only the biting wind that tossed trash around our ankles kept me from taking it off. We walked past the Ferris wheel. It was dusk, not yet dark enough to hide the rusted hinges, peeling paint. The carnival came every year, though I wondered for how many more. Even today, a midsummer Saturday, there were barely a handful of visitors. Most loitered in the shadows. I saw Kenny Warren from my Geometry class huddled behind the Tilt-a-Whirl whispering with an older man. He glared, hushing his companion, as we walked by. I’m not sure why. It wasn’t as if everyone in town didn’t already know what he was into.
                “He’s such a sleaze,” Jessica said when we were out of earshot.
                I nodded, still too dazzled in her presence to trust myself to speak freely. I looked at her though -  tall, thin, perfect. She wore a light blue sweater over a flowered top, and looked out of place amongst the seed and grime, like a daisy growing through the cracked sidewalk and weeds of an abandoned lot. I smiled.
                “What?” She grinned down at me.
                “Nothing,” I muttered, huddling lower in my coat and making the difference between our heights even more apparent. My glasses slipped down and I felt nerdier than usual. I didn’t understand why she, a cheerleader, had asked me out.
                “Oh! A Fun House!” She tugged me toward a low building.
                I stared dubiously at the entrance, a barrel turning in fits and stops. “It doesn’t look very safe.” 
                “I’m sure it’s fine. Live a little.” She ducked through the barrel and into a mirrored passageway. Though only a few steps behind, I soon lost her in the maze. 
                “Jessica!” No, she said to call her Jess. “Hey, Jess! Wait up!”  I called as I turned a corner. Dead end. Backtracking, I found another. Just think, Sam. You’re good at mazes, simple logic. When I started again, my steps were more assured. Right, left, left again, I tracked where I’d been. 
A couple turns further, I caught a glimpse of blonde and blue. “Jess! Stop!” I ran after her. She didn’t stop, ducked into another passage. I followed through a doorway and we burst into night. Lights glowed garish in the sudden dark and for a second, I couldn’t see where she’d gone.
There! A glance as she turned a corner. What game was she playing? I followed and saw her start up a tall fence at the end of an alley. “Hey, wait!” I ran and managed to catch her ankle before she’d scrambled too far. “Where are you going?” She kicked, but I held on until, with a sigh, she dropped back down.
She grabbed my arm, pulling me behind a dumpster. “Shh! He’ll kill us both if he finds me.”
“What? Who? Jess…you aren’t making sense.” She clamped a hand over my mouth, silencing me. I blinked at her as she scanned the alley. Her shiny blond curls now looked limp, tangled. Her face was streaked with dirt and showed no sign of the makeup she’d worn earlier. The sweater was the same, but beneath was a gray shirt, frayed, ill-fitting jeans. 
“You… aren’t Jess,” I whispered when she’d moved her hand.
“No. I’m Caroline.” She brushed the dirt from her hands. “I think we’re okay. Come on then, you’re part of this now.” She dragged me to the alley entrance. A glance assured we were alone and we rushed along the path toward the trees behind a bank of games. 
Once away from the midway, I stopped her. I had questions, lots, and it was time for answers. “Where is Jess? Who are you? Who’s trying to kill us? And what is ‘this’ I’m a part of?” I threw my hands up in exasperation.
Caroline sighed, running a hand through her hair. “I’m sorry.” Her voice was quieter now. “I didn’t know what to do. She…appeared, in the storeroom. I don’t know how, and… and it was like looking in a mirror. I didn’t…didn’t even think. I’d been trying to get away from him for so long and it felt like fate dropped her in my lap.”
“And?” I prompted. “What did you do to her?” I tried not to yell.
“Hit her. Took her sweater. Ran. He’s probably back now, probably found her.” Caroline’s shoulders shook. “I didn’t mean to hurt her…didn’t want anyone to get hurt. I just…” she trailed off in sobs.
I put an arm around her and she jerked away. She seemed small, frail, and as I looked closer, I saw much of what I’d thought was dirt on her face was bruises.
“We have to go back for her.” I said with a confidence I’d rarely felt.
“I can’t. I know it’s mean to leave her with him, but I can’t go back. I don’t even know her.”
I looked at her, long and hard, taking in sapphire eyes, the small upturned nose. She and Jess were identical, down to the dimple on their left cheeks. Her eyes were sad, a look of frantic panic playing at the edges. I wondered how long Jessica would have to spend with ‘him’ before she had the same haunted look.
I thought of what I knew about Jess. We’d been in the same classes since kindergarten, though she’d barely talked to me before this year. A memory came - myself at four, faint images of my parents huddled around a table, snippets of conversation. “Poor Swansons. Can you imagine? One of the twins. No leads? Missing.” They’d thought I wasn’t listening, or didn’t understand, and it’d never been mentioned again.
My silence clearly made Caroline nervous and she wrung her hands. “Look, I’m sorry. It’s not like I don’t care about your girlfriend, but I can’t go back. Not for a stranger.”
“She isn’t a stranger.” I took her hands, stilling their movement. “She’s your sister.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Portrait of Insanity

Black Friday shopping is a tradition in my family, and one of the ones I like most about Thanksgiving weekend, though I often wonder why when I pass out after.

The stores are continuing to be evil, pushing their sale starts back earlier and earlier. Pretty soon we'll be shopping on Halloween. It doesn't really bother me that much, I tend to stay up all night before I go out anyway, so sales starting at 3am, or even, as they were this year, midnight or even 10pm the night before. However, there are many other shoppers, like my grandmother, who simply cannot stay up all night shopping, and are quite sad about this development.

So, with this happening....we of course, stayed up all night, starting at 10. Toys R Us opened at 10pm. We went to Toys R Us last year when they started at midnight, and stood in line for 2.5 hours. I'm not sure why we were expecting something different this year. But when we arrived, only about 15 minutes early (our fault, I know) the line stretched all the way across the front of the building, the front of the building next door, and around the back of the building further than we took the effort to look. You have to wait so long because Toys R Us has this crazy notion that they can only let so many people in at a time because of fire codes or some nonsense. Now, I'm not saying that fire codes are nonsense, just that no other store I have ever been in follows any such rule on Black Friday. Anyway, we quickly decided that Toys R Us was a lost cause. This was a bit sad because we were intending to get my uncle the android ipad (which I'm sure has a technical name, but that's basically what it is) and that was of course gone in the first probably 50-100 people. They apparently also had $80 netbooks, which was part of why the line was so long.

With Toys R Us out of the picture, we then decided to just get a head start on our Wal Mart shopping, since they were starting their good deals at midnight. Of course, none of the midnight items were available yet, so we bought a few random things and then hung out in the car planning our 'route', because need to have a plan in Wal-Mart, and they gave us a map and stuff. Wal-Mart took longer than intended, mainly because the fleece jackets were not easy to find (and I needed 16 of the damn things). It went moderately well though, we got everything that we wanted, which was: 4 little vaccuums, a tool chest, a bunch of toys for the prize booth, the jackets, an art kit, tupperware, and blocks. Huh... is that really all we got there? We weren't interested in any big-ticket items or electronics this year, which was good, since there were people standing in line inside the store for the tv and computer when we got there at 10 (and they didn't go on sale until 5)

After Wal-Mart, we tried Toys R Us again. No more line outside, but there was an hour+ line to check out. We found the few things we wanted (none of which were big ticket items anyway, since the android thing was way gone) and hid them to come back later. We then cleaned out the car some by stopping at the restaurant, woke the rest of our crew up, and headed to Herberger's. We were supposed to meet my aunt, cousin and grandma there at 3. They were all very late, leading to us checking out by the time they arrived. This, unfortunately, was a trend that then continued for the rest of the day, leading us to not spend much time with them for the rest of the day. I didn't get anything for myself at Herberger's, but we got a lot for everyone else, I think 6 down comforters and two pillows.

We then hurried to Target (which was to open at 4), to stand in line for 30 minutes, because my mom was getting a tv. She was very excited about it. We hurried to the place where the tvs were supposed to be and there were three people holding onto the last two tvs. Mom asked where they got them and was told, "This is it." She went "Aww, damn it!" and turned to walk away. Then, not 20 seconds later, a woman walks up to the SAME WOMAN WE JUST TALKED TO, and says "Are you getting both of these?" And she says, "No, you can take this one." My mom practically flew into orbit. But yeah, we did not end up with a tv. They did, however, have lots of the digital camera that my cousin wanted, so we picked that up for her and then headed off to Shopko.

At Shopko I once again waited in line for a half hour, for it to open at 5. We were a bit less hurried on this trip, but managed to get everything that we wanted, mostly gifts for a lot of other people (that may or may not read this blog, hence the lack of specificity) and a bunch of prize booth prizes. Mom got a suitcase and gloves, but nothing exceptionally exciting. They were very efficient with their line that wound through the entire store, but moved very quickly.

We then went from there to Menards, which opened at 6, to meet up with the rest of our crew. They beat us there, and the store had been open a bit when we arrived. Holy mad house! I always thought Wal-Mart was had nothing on Menards. I guess I should have expected that though, since after going through all the ads, Menards was both my aunt's and our longest list of 'things to buy'. They had some crazy good deals. A lot of them on toys, which we grabbed a lot of. But yeah, at Menards, they had hardly any carts and everyone was just lugging around giant boxes and piles of things. My aunt had managed to corner two carts. She took one, and promptly filled it to 3x it's recommended capacity. My grandma had the other and we went immediately to meet with her so we could use that cart for our list of stuff. She was already in the very long check out line. So, I left her, my mother and my littler cousin to push the cart, a shop vac, and the cousin's two bean bag chairs through the line and I ran all over the store, grabbing whatever I could find off of our list and bringing it back to them. It worked pretty well and I got most of the things we wanted. We got waaaay too many things for me to list them all, but just as an example...they had boxes of christmas cards (cute ones too) for $.77....$.77! But yeah, many good deals there. My cousin got completely fed up with my aunt by the end of that trip, because she was doing the same thing as I was, only it took them twice as long to get out of the store.

After we left, and while they were still trying to check out there, my mom and I managed to run all the prizes back to Peppy's, show my dad everything we got, and go back to Wal-Mart. I had somehow forgotten 2 jackets, and we apparently needed more remote control trucks. We then sent the walmart associates on a wild goosechase for a dump truck that was supposed to be a 5am doorbuster.... so we thought. Well, no, it was, just it was a doorbuster at Toys R Us, not Walmart. Oops!

Then we all stopped for breakfast. Usually we don't do that until 10:30 or 11, but this year, since we started so much earlier, we ran out of steam around 8am. We went to Perkins, had a lovely half hour of sitting and relaxing, then had to run home and take care of the baby. My brother was willing to watch him, but refused to change diapers, and then run a quick errand for my dad. We then met everyone back at Herbergers to do some more leisurely clothes shopping. At least, that was the plan, except that we had Pickle with us, and shopping with Pickle is everything but leisurely. He was very cranky and we'd forgotten his stroller and he kept running off and getting into everything and would cry if we held him too long, and guh. Anyway, it became a very short trip, but we finished up our present buying. Then we made a short stop at Toys R Us. Our hidden toys were still there! Looked for the dump truck, which we couldn't find, and then headed home.

I think we made it home around 11:30, where we promptly passed out for three hours.

I'm hoping to do a little more shopping over the course of the weekend. Mom still needs a tv, maybe cyber Monday? And I have a coupon for Kohl's, which I didn't manage to make it to today. I need a couple more pairs of jeans, so I'll probably do that tomorrow.

But yeah, Black Friday is exhausting, but we had fun. =)

Monday, October 25, 2010

King's Dominion

First off, let me say that I am planning to start using this again. Yes, I know it is nearly November and any 'writing' I do should be on my novel, but meh. I miss my blog and want to use it again. So...

Yesterday we went to King's Dominion. Neither Jerry or I had been there before, so needless to say, we were very excited. We stayed up far too late Saturday night and 6am came very very early. But rollercoasters were involved, so we dragged ourselves out of bed by 6:30ish to get ready to head out to Mt. Airy and drop off the baby. Our plan at this point was to be there by 8, to ideally get us to the park by 9:30, about an hour before opening, just in case there were a lot of people, so we could get good parking. We did pretty well, made it to Myranda's by 8ish, then got gas, filled the car with gas and spent way too long deciding on breakfast at starbucks and probably left around 8:30. The problem with our plan was in the fact that it isn't 1.5 hours to King's Dominion, it's a little over 2. So, we made it there right at opening, which turned out to be just fine, since there was hardly anyone there and we could park right up front anyway.

It was a perfect day for coastering. It was warm enough that I didn't need a jacket until probably 9pm, but cool enough that at no time was I wanting ice cream or to go into air conditioning. There were hardly any people there until about 3pm, and even then, the longest line we had to wait in was maybe 15 minutes.

We quickly realized in the early morning, that lines actually serve a very useful purpose. Because, after 6 coasters in less than an hour, we found ourselves having to stop and ride the ferris wheel for 10 minutes to not feel queasy and off balance. But yes, we were able to walk on to each ride with maybe only having to wait for the train that was currently loading to head away before we got on the next to pull in.

So....our first coaster was the Dominator... sounds all impressive and scary. But it was really kinda meh. It was a very nice introduction to coastering again though. I haven't been to an amusement park at all this year, and last year I was pregnant, so it's been at least 2 years since I've been on a roller coaster. It wasn't a terrible coaster, had a few loops and twists, the ride was sufficiently long in length, just nothing to write home about. We, naturally, didn't ride it again. Overall I'd give 3/5 stars, entertaining, but not a real rush.

Next, we hit the Volcano... This coaster was one of the ones that we were most looking forward to, as the website promised us a high speed launch, straight up, out of a burning volcano. It also, sadly, did not quite live up to the hype. It was fun, we did ride it twice, but the first time I thought we'd missed the launching because it was really no different from any other aspect of the ride. It did launch you out of the loading area very fast, but the entire ride was very very short and had I waited in a line, I would have been disappointed. 3.5/5 stars. Would have been a 4 star if it had been just a little bit longer.

Then we went to Flight of Fear, which was a space themed indoor roller coaster. We also chose to ride this coaster twice. We probably would have ridden it one or two more times, but they turned it into a really lame haunted house at 6 and closed the rollercoaster part. This ride also uses induction magnets to propel you out of the loading zone at very high speed. And it was very high speed, we'd watched the car ahead of us launch and it still caught us off guard. And then it kept launching. This made it the best induction magnet coaster I've been on, and I've done a few. Usually, one expects about a 1second launch, just to propel you into a turn or drop that will then increase your speed further, this one, on the other hand, lasted at least 2, maybe 3 seconds. It just kept accelerating you. Then, the ride itself, was pitch black (the first time at least) and employed a great variety of drops, twists and loops. It was this ride that made us realize another use of lines....adjusting your eyes. The second time that we rode we waited about 15-20 minutes before getting on the ride. Thus, when I rode not only had my eyes adjusted to waiting in semi-darkness, but my transition glasses had had a chance to become not dark. Hence I could see at least some of the track and turns in the ride. This was not the case with the first ride. I give this coaster a 4.5/5 stars as it was really really awesome, but not quite the Intimidator305.

We then went on the Intimidator305. This is now the bar to which I hold all other coasters against. It starts with a very fast 305' climb, which leads to an 300 foot, 85 degree drop that peaks at 90 miles per hour. It's emphasis is high speed turns and air time and I never actually noticed that it doesn't have any loops. The air time was quite impressive and every time I got off the ride, I wanted to get right back in line. Jerry only let us do this once. This coaster is awesome. I loved it the first time we rode and it only got better the next 4 times. This is because the first time we were in the middle of a train that was not full. Then we rode near the front (2nd car) of a full train, which was much faster. This ride is crazy because there is a whole separate line to queue for the first car, which was often longer than the queue for the rest of the train. We did not choose to stand in it. The last two times that we rode were after dark, which made the twists and turns even better. 5/5 stars.

The next coaster around the loop was the Anaconda. We were looking forward to this coaster, as the website boasted: "Get wrapped in coils of this awesome coaster and prepare for the 144 foot drop into the depths of the Anaconda. The Anaconda was the first looping coaster in the world that showcased an underwater tunnel." Sounds awesome, right? IT WAS LAAAAAAAAAAAME. Very very. This is one coaster that I will never ride again. The 'underwater tunnel' was more like a half second dip into a pit that may have been somewhere near the water. I don't remember any big or cool drop, and even several loops couldn't save it. Add to this the fact that it's an older coaster and thus very rattly and gave me a huge headache from bashing my head into the restraints. 1/5 stars.

We then went to the Backlot Stunt Coaster. We were not expecting a whole lot out of this coaster, it looked small and not that fast and there were more kids than we'd seen on the previous coasters. We were pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of fun drops and spins. It didn't go upside down, but it was very entertaining. We would have ridden this one twice, but when we got back to it later in the afternoon there was a long line and we don't like lines. The one disappointment of the ride was that we were promised explosions and there were none. We stopped at one point, near a bunch of flammable barrels and boxes and there was a helicopter shooting at us, and I was completely braced for an explosion that would propel us down into the rest of the ride and it never happened. There was no fire or anything. The website even says 'Barely escape massive explosions!' ... maybe it was turned off. Anyway, this coaster was really fun anyway. 3.5/5 stars. It was very entertaining, but not particularly scary, would have been a 4 if there'd been an explosion.

At this point, we had to stop for a bit. Went and had a bite of lunch (expensive, but tasted decent for park fare) and then rode the ferris wheel before working out way over to the wooden coasters.

The first of those we hit was Rebel Yell. I actually really enjoyed this coaster. It was rattly, oh boy was it rattly, but it had good speed, didn't knock your head around very much and the air time was impressive. And the rattliness was a fun rattling, in that you could open your mouth and go 'ahh' and it would make you go ah,ah,ah,ah,ah,ah,ah, but didn't make your bones hurt. Normally it has two trains riding simultaneously next to each other, which I think would have made the ride even more fun, but due to the low turnout at the park they only had one running. 4/5 stars

We then moved onto the Ricochet. This was another coaster that we weren't expecting too much of. It was small, there were 4 people to a car and you traveled the track alone as compared to as part of a train, there were no loops or and the drops were small comparitively, but it contained a lot of switchbacks and as we watched from the ferris wheel, it looked like they got the speed up pretty good around the turns though, so we figured, why not? I was quite glad that we gave it a chance, because it was a lot of fun. The switch backs and hairpin turns did get you going pretty fast, and also made the car swing out slightly, so there was always this niggling feeling that you were going to go flying off the track. And the ride was a good length....3 whole minutes. I was pleasantly surprised. 3.5/5 stars.

Next we hit up the last two wooden coasters in quick succession. The first was the Hurler, which was not very hurl inducing. It was also rattly in a not fun way, more in a knock you into the sides until you're black and blue kind of way. And while it was a long track, it wasn't all that exciting. 2/5 stars.

The Grizzly was next. This one was pretty fun, mainly because it was surrounded by trees and took you up to just above them. So for a large part of the ride, you were riding around with treetops spreading out below you. I felt very high off the ground, even though we really weren't, comparatively. This was smoother and a little less rattly, and had a pretty good drop and some airtime, all in all, a solid coaster. 3.5 stars, a 3 star coaster, with an extra .5 for really near scenery.

We then went on the Shockwave, which also had a lot of hype. The website promised: "the ride of your life as the Shockwave takes you through a 360-degree horizontal loop, where you're essentially parallel to the ground. Did we mention you're standing up the whole time?" which wasn't really a lie...we were standing up, we were parallel to the ground at one point, we did go upside down, but the ride as a whole was a pretty big let down. It was really really short and not especially fast. I also discovered the downside of having long legs and a short body, since the ride adjusted itself to your leg length. I had a good 5 inches between my shoulders and the shoulder straps. Jerry, on the other hand, had the shoulders cutting into him. This made for a bit of a disconcerting ride as I kept floating up in the restraints. It was mildly fun though...but way too short. 2.5/3, might have been more if I hadn't been expecting so much.

We then wandered a bit, watched people do the skyflying, which we both really really want to do....when we have an extra $50 to burn and eventually found ourselves on the Flying Eagles. This is a more kid friendly ride, they'd probably let us take Jared on it, but it was fun enough that we did it twice throughout the day. What makes this fun, as well as kid friendly, is that it can be as tame or wild as you want. It's a swing ride, in airplanes made for 2 people (well, an adult and a kid, really....Jerry and I were very squished...I think I was half in his lap) with a metal 'sail' that lets you spin the car in and out. You can hold it still and just have a nice swing ride. Or you can launch it back and forth to each other like we did and feel like you're going to fly off the ride or slam into the ground depending on which way you're spinning. The second time we actually got it spinning enough that it kinda popped and jerked and scared us enough to make us slow down. 3.5/5 stars.

At this point there was only one thrill ride we hadn't taken in....the Drop Tower. I've never been on a drop tower. Well, no. I've been on Tower of Terror, which is technically a drop tower, but is enclosed so doesn't seem quite so scary. This Drop Tower is 305 ft. tower with a 272 ft drop that drops you straight down at 72mph. It's apparently the largest drop ride in North America. So, I guess it's a good choice for my first time, eh? I was very very nervous waiting in line, heading up...I almost talked myself out of it. And when it dropped I actually went "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god"...then the first second was over, my heart was in my chest and I was still falling and it REALLY FUN. The last 3 seconds of the drop were really really thrilling. I loved it. 4/5 stars. Only because I can't in good conscience give a ride that only lasts 4 seconds and has no spins or turns 5 stars.

So, that's all the rides we hit... we then had dinner and got ready to enjoy some Halloween Haunt festivities. We first did the Alien Outpost haunted house, which was lame. Although there was a point where a guy swung out on a harness at the woman behind me and she flipped out screaming. That was funny. Because it was so dumb, and because we're not big on haunted houses anyway, we didn't hit any others.

There were, however, two more noteworthy scares of the evening. There was fog and red lights everywhere and it was hard to see where you were going. I will point out that the people just wandering the 'scare areas' of the park, were much scarier than the intentional attractions. One such scare was my own. We had passed through a dark archway and there were ghastly creatures following people as they crossed the bridge to the other side. It was a pretty long bridge. Immediately upon entering, an undead peasant woman began to follow me, hovering right near my right shoulder, and no matter where I moved or how often I put Jerry next to her, she was always right there, whispering things and being generally creepy and scary, she was good. We got most of the way across the bridge and I thought she had moved onto someone else, so I say to Jerry 'She seriously wouldn't stop following me', at which point a voice in my ear goes "I'm still here" I screamed and jumped probably a foot. Jerry thought this was hilarious.

The other noteworthy scare....which was just awesome, occurred as we were waiting near the front of the line for the Intimidator305. The guy that was running our side of the train walked along the car, checked all of the restraints and then started walking back to come up to the podium where he starts the ride. As he passed by the queue for the second car, he jumped at the woman standing there and went 'Rawrr!' I think she jumped 2 feet in the air and screamed. It was fantastic.

We did take in two shows, one of them twice (sort of 3 times) so that we could catch the entire thing and video it. The first was Fangs, which was a pretty decent vampire based show, involving singing and sexy dancing. Two of the dancers and the lead male were awesome. The lead female had some damn good pipes, but couldn't dance to save her soul, and the other 3 dancers and other guy were pretty meh. I liked the music though and it was a fun show.

The second show, Disturbia was awesome. This was a zombie group of 3 girls and 3 guys that danced and 'sang' a lot of metal songs. They were having so much fun and their choreography was fantastic. We saw most of their show the first time we saw it, but didn't know how much of the beginning we missed and wanted to come back and see the rest. The next time they were showing, we made it for the last song, so the third time, we got there really early and were able to see the entire thing. Zeb video'd it on his phone, so I'm sure he'll post that around here sometime.

Then we made the long, long, long drive back to pick up Pickle, who had a good day with Myranda, but got some kind of heat rash and cut his forehead. Then the long (okay, only 45 minutes, but it seemed interminable) drive back home...made it back around 1am, at which point Pickle and I promptly passed out. Jerry stayed up for another hour, though I've no idea how.

So, wow...that was a long, long entry. Hope you all have enjoyed this analysis of King's Dominion. I'll try to post again later this week about my lack of time management and the fact that I never get anything done. =P

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Writing is hard. I didn't realize this for a very long time. I thought that writing was easy. I thought that I was one of those people who could just dump her thoughts out on a page and after a minimal amount of editing, wahlah! I have something fantastic. Gitp has done nothing to disabuse me of this notion, as everyone there seems to have nothing but positive things to say about everything that I do. I often wonder if this is because I'm a mod and a omg! girl on the internet. I think maybe. I think that this 'writing is easy' mentality has a lot to do with why I haven't finished anything. Things get hard, they get to the point where I don't know what's going to happen next or where I might need to do little bit f research or completely rewrite something to make it make sense to someone other than me and I give up. This is why I have piles of unfinished novels, barely started comic strips, neglected blogs, and no website.

I love my writing group. Even if they weren't awesome people, which they are. I would love them because they make me feel guilty about all of the things I am not doing. And I have things I really really really want to finish. So, with that in mind, I have decided that I am going to turn over a new leaf and am going to get my major projects done.

I am going to finish my website. I am going to put up a gallery and be able to show it to people for potential illustration work. I'm good, I think, I really think I'm a good artist and that I could make money at it. So..... I'm going to. I also plan to have artwork to show/sell at Balticon next year. *reminds self* sketches due for Felix.

I'm also going to finish the Mafia story. You're good with coninuing to work on this, right Helgraf? Cause it's good and it should be told. It needs way more work than I imagined. It's hard to make me redo everything I've already put so much work into though. I'm going to though, really really am.

And I'm going to work out and make meal plans every week and lose weight and declutter my house and read to Jared every day and get him in swimming lessons.

And the webcomic! I'm going to make one. I really really am! Llama said he'd write it and we have the beginnings of a plan/plot sort of thingy and a couple cast members! Okay, we've really barely started, but we're going to!

Well, that was a nice pep talk. Let's see how long this works for me. You should all keep me motivated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I lack it. Well, actually, I've been more motivated the last couple weeks that I previously had been. I've created an office in the basement (which I haven't actually used) and we reorganized Jared's room, so I suppose that's productive. And I have been working a fair bit. But I have all these projects and ideas and things that I want to work on, but I don't have the energy or willpower to make myself do them. And time...I'm not sure how, but somehow it can get to Sunday afternoon and all we've managed to do is donate blood, sleep and watch tv. I'm sad too, because I had a lot I wanted to get done this weekend. I guess I'll make another to-do list and maybe I'll manage to get more done later this week. I'm a pro at to-do lists, making them that is, not necessarily doing them. And I do have to be a little more motivated because at least some of the things that I want to do have deadlines. I have a large presentation to prepare, and a story about magic to write. Bleh, okay, enough of me whining.

Sorry I haven't written lately. I mean to... just another one of those things that I wish I were more motivated to do. But we're done with that topic. =)

So, have I mentioned lately that I have the cutest kid in the world? Cause I do, and I don't write about him much. But he's really really adorable. He's going through a growth spurt right now, apparently. Insane really, as he's already a monster, but he's been eating 10oz at a time today, which is a full 4 more than he wanted yesterday. *shakes head* We took him to a 5 month study at the University of Maryland the other day, at which he had great fun. Being a psychology person, I fully support doing research into things like children's social development. And this was a pretty fun study, he got to play with bubbles and puppets and do peek-a-boo, nothing remotely stressful.

He can't crawl yet, but he's taken to flipping himself back and forth and is no longer safe alone on a bed, even with walls of pillows around him, and he does scoot himself backwards, which is very funny. He can sit up on his own and can swing himself and spin his bouncy chair around so he's in front of the toy he wants. And, luckily for us, he loves the car and traveling and other people. Perfect meetup companion. We took him to Tennessee over New Years and are planning a trip to Florida next month, so yay.

This post is rather rambly and babbly, I'm sorry. I have a headache and am feeling a bit out of sorts. Perhaps I'll post something more coherent later this week? For now, have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Kim is a bitch. Now, I don't normally rant about people on here, and frankly, I rarely get mad at people at all. However, this really really pissed me off. Now, I can see people reading this saying, 'it's just a game...' but it isn't. What it is, is a glimpse into the kind of person that Kim is, and that glimpse shows me that I have no desire to associate with her again. A shame too, since I love her kids and her husband is fun. (For clarification, Kim is Jerry's brother's wife.) I suppose it would be best to explain the story now.

For the past year or so Jerry and I have been very involved in the game, Warhammer Online. When it was released, Jerry, myself, Ken (Jerry's brother) and Kim formed a guild together. Ken was then sent overseas for 9 months, and Kim, being now alone and they having 7 kids, naturally had little gaming time. Jerry and I took over running the guild. Things went as well as any new guild can expect, players came and went, we went through phases of dying and rebuilding, we were shuffled to different servers and joined several different alliances. When Ken returns to the states, the guild is entering a phase of 'dying'. This is due to several factors: 1. the new server we had been shuffled onto was order heavy and rvr had become beyond frustrating (ie. high level players were getting sick of never winning anything and were quitting or moving servers/guilds) and 2. new games (Champions Online and Aion) were being released and players were leaving to go to them.

At this point, Ken and Kim start moving some of their characters out of our guild and into a guild that we are allied with (Unrepentant). They don't mention this to us and we find out from the leader of Unrepentant. When we ask them about it, they say that they are planning to leave WAR for Aion and plan to join Unrepentant when they do. They say they are moving their characters to get to know the people in that guild better. We're fine with this, think it's a good idea actually, although it would have been nice if they'd let us know. We learn later that they told Unrepentant that they were leaving because they were having problems with us.

They never once mention these problems. We go to their house for labor day, and they still don't mention anything. They're playing Aion (beta) while we're there and we look at it. I fall in love with the pretty setting and the tons of character customization you can have and decide that I want to get the game. I even mention that I will join Unrepentant when I do. They don't seem to have any problem with this.

We come home and I do just that. I join Unrepentant, I order the game. I'm really excited about this. I post a bunch on their forums, get to know some new people that I didn't already know from WAR. I make plans to be really active and be in vent all the time and really become an involved, contributing member of the guild. I even skip my writing group to go to the first guild meeting. Kim knows I'm there, knows I'm a member, we attended meetings together and everything.

Two weeks later, my brother (who has decided to play Aion with me) submits an application for Unrepentant. Kim posts: "Due to issues with this person and family members in past games i would like to voice my disaproval of this app. if you need any more info than what i have already given in vent please pm me thanks" WHAT?! Now....Aaron was in our guild in WAR...marginally. He quit the game months ago, spent most of his time when he was playing on the Order side in his own guild, and I would say never once interacted with Kim, apart from possibly the occasional 'hello' in guild chat on the rare occasion that they were playing at the same time. He's also one of the most laid back people I know, never fights with anyone, and is practically allergic to drama. There is no possible reason that she would have to post that.

Then, my brother, and myself both get messages from the guild leader that based on what Kim has had to say they have decided to reject us from the guild. Yes, they retroactively reject me from a guild I've already been in for two weeks. I send Kim a message trying to find out what the hell is going on, which she, naturally, never responds to. And I know she got the message, and read it, because apparently she was talking in Vent about the fact that I was messaging her. We talk with the guild leadership for awhile, never getting any answer regarding what she's saying we did. And apparently when they confront her with the fact that we're saying we have no idea what she's talking about and have no problems with her, she starts backpedaling and can't seem to explain what the problem is. But she's more than capable of bad-mouthing us on Vent.

We still have no idea what she thinks we did wrong, why she's upset, or why she brought whatever misconceived problem she had from WAR over into this new guild and game. We all decided 'screw her' and went to another server and another guild, but it really sucks. I had a lot of friends in that guild and was really looking forward to playing with them. And what hurts even more is that I have no idea what lies she's told to them all and I'm sure they all think horribly of me and I did nothing wrong. Jerry thinks it's because she's pissed at him for some reason. *shrugs* I imagine we'll never know.

And it's too bad too, because I know Jerry really likes to hang out with his brother. So do I, for that matter. But now, we won't be heading to Norfolk to visit them again because neither of us want to associate with someone so childish, mean and spiteful.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Man...I fail at this whole 'keeping my blog up to date' thing. I won't promise to be better this time, since it seems that I can't keep those promises. has been veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery exciting of late.

Everyone that reads my blog should already know that little Jared has been born. I'm guessing that most of you probably got a text message from us that night. Suffice it to say, we are incredibly happy. I don't think I could have asked for a sweeter, better behaved baby. And really, everything is not nearly as difficult as I imagined. Yeah, it's hard to get up and feed and change him in the middle of the night, but not so bad. And I feel great, so that's a plus.

Dusty is hilarious. He has really taken to his role of 'big brother'. We read articles and the like about the best way to introduce a new baby to your pets and one of the things that they suggested was to have someone bring a blanket that the baby had been wrapped in home while you were still in the hospital to acquaint the pets with his scent. We thought this was a good idea, so mom brought a blanket home the day before we got home. Both dogs sniffed it, Athena was of course very meh. Dusty, however, started carrying the blanket around with him everywhere. I wish I'd been around to see it because apparently he kept tripping over it. Then, once we got home, they were both suitably excited and sniffy for a time, and then Athena became her indifferent self. Dusty, on the other hand, sits next to Jared all the time. If Jared makes the slightest little noise, Dusty runs from wherever he is to make sure he's okay, and should he start to cry, Dusty gets veeeeeeeeeery upset and will come and headbutt us until we get up and see what's the matter. It's the cutest thing. Skylar, I don't think has even noticed that there's a new baby, in spite of our attempts to introduce them. But he's not being mean or anything, so I guess it's good enough.

What has been a bit tiring about the whole thing is the constant stream of people visiting. Not that I mind visitors that is, there just hasn't been a whole lot of 'alone time' for Jerry, Jared and I. We had most of yesterday and today though, and tomorrow. Then friends are coming up on Sunday and it sounds like my family will be here next week, which will be great, if more tiring, especially with Jerry having to go back to work. It's been really nice to have him home at night.

You know, you'd think I would have more to talk about.'s pictures of him:
Well, I guess that's enough for today and I'll try write again after not toooooo long. =P