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Self-Discovery is a Bitch

Posted on 31 December 2014 by Valkyrie

self discoverySelf-discovery, it is a path we are all on at some point in our lives. I think more so for us forty-somethings. To which many would deem this process as a mid-life crisis.

I’m a deep thinker, always have been. My first deep thought was straight out of my mother’s womb, wondering why the heck I was suddenly thrust into bright lights and introduced to my first cold chill.

It seems nowadays I do my deepest thinking while in the throws of PMS’ing. Ah yes, that wonderful journey our eggs take every 28 days, slowly sauntering to its own methodic rhythm. All the while this process leaves us feeling like we are about to lose our minds and sanity. Estrogen seems to wash our brains down with acid of losing our self-composure. Men think it’s rough to be on the outside of this crazy-ride phenomenon, I think it’s worse to be inside of it, navigating a ship that has no real course except straight to all things hypersensitive and emotional.

The crazy thing is, is that you’d think we women would get used to this natural occurrence. “Ok, this happens once a month, next month I WILL remember how this plays out and will keep a solid head about it all”, I say to myself monthly while bracing myself. Only to find out that it never really goes like that at all. It’s like the chronic dieter who says to herself every Sunday night, “Tomorrow, I WILL start my diet and WILL succeed”. We all know how that turns out.

Leading to my point, the last week I have been in this phase. I am held captive on a lonely vessel in the seas of treacherous estrogen that has all but knocked my sense of strong direction completely off kilter.

In some fashion, I feel I should not even be writing this article because it still seems to be a taboo topic to display openly. But here goes – Uterus, Ovaries, Blood, Eggs, Period, Menstrual Cycle, Menses, Fertile,Tampons, Pads, Cramps, Emotions, Crying, Cravings, the list goes on really.

I have probably lost half of my audience with my last paragraph, but those who are still with me, clearly can handle life in all its splendid “misery”.

So, you ask where Self-Discovery comes in to play. Let me connect those dots. You see, I fear. I fear with one area in my life. It’s called fear of Abandonment. It was easier for me to type the descriptive words above about the female body, than it was to type “Abandonment”. Typing that out even caused me butterflies in my tummy and my heart to quicken and my palms to get a cold clammy sweat. Yeah, fun times.

Admittingly, and totally putting myself out there, I am in the throws of feeling both those things the last few days.
1) Ovulating/PMS
2) Fear of abandonment.
Not a good mixture. Not a fun ride. But, I am on this ride and yes, it feels like the worst rollercoaster a kid has ever been thrust onto due to peer pressure.

In the midst of this ride, I have come to realize that I need to do a bit more work in the area of my fear of abandonment issue. I will not describe in vast detail where this fear comes from, as it is not found in one place… it has served me doses, more than a few, throughout a lot of my earlier years. And yes, it saddens me and shakes me to my core.

I fear – there, I said it. I am hoping in my admitting that openly, it will be a release for me even more so. I read an article this morning that came at the right time. It was about using heartbreak to overcome heartbreak. I know the key here is to not fight this fear. It is to embrace it and let it go; which is great during most of the month. I am a disciplined person in my nature, but that ovulation thing occurs and sideswipes me every darn time.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, as I don’t believe in them. But I am ending 2014 in the midst of estrogen running its course in every aspect of my body and hijacking my common sense. Amidst this loss of common sense, I am simply sharing that we all have fears. We all have weaknesses. We are all human. We all hurt in some aspect or another. Life does that, it’s just how it works.

Come 2015, I hope to release more and more of what I cling to that leaves me so fearful, and I hope to gain peace and understanding in this one area that trips me up every 28 days, to the day.

But hey, “Next month I will be more aware and will separate myself from this estrogen ride of madness!” Mhmmm, nice try.

Happy New Year, may you all do some of your own self-discovery and even go to those places that paralyze you in fear, to come out of it on the other side finding a place amidst harmony and peace.

Hugs.

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Sunday –

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Valkyrie

woman-reading-a-book-on-park-bench-autumn-fall-401x349Claire sat on the park bench all alone. Her soul felt as if it had been alone, in the dark, and unattended to for quite some time.

She sat there, with her journal opened, hoping something would flow out of her nimble unsure fingers onto that empty, glaring white page.

She used to be so good at expressing her thoughts on paper. But, lately nothing has been able to flow. An extreme disconnect.

How could it be that being surrounded by all of her friends, all of her coworkers, and all of her extended family, that she could feel so alone inside.

Her loneliness was palpable. She even experienced bouts of grief as if there was a sharp loss of sorts. Then she realized she was mourning a loss. It was a loss of self; a part of her that was not being taken care of, a part that was not being entertained.

She knew exactly what it was too. It was lack of intimacy. Something she hasn’t had in quite some time. A deep meaningful touch of a dear friend, a long lingering hug where it is the other person that does not want to let go, a coworker to look in her eyes and actually want the answer to that proverbial question we all automatically ask when passing, “Hi! How are you?”

She sat there feeling flawed. As if she was not made well to fit on this earth. She felt like a square peg trying so hard to fit herself into that round hole.

So many questions – Who am I? Do I matter? Does any of this matter? Why do I feel so alone? Why do I feel so emotionally clumsy? Will anybody ever understand or even want to unwrap me to see who I am, in my entirety? My stories, my experiences, do they count for anything at all?

She looked up from her journal page and just stared. She felt as if she was in a coma state of staring lately. Looking so serene and peaceful, all the while her mind is waging a war it has not been able to win as of late.

Frozen in a state of deep thought, she realized she needed to snap out of it and try to put on that mask of, “I am ok”, and assimilate back into the hustle and bustle of getting things done; those menial life errands.

The Farmer’s Market was on her ‘To Do’ list, so she decided to get that done. She felt it pointless as she has even lost the zest for creating and cooking meals lately. But in order to survive, one must eat. So she went.

She perused the outdoor aisles of brightly colored displays of produce and artistic goods. In the distance she heard flute music playing. Musicians were always there to share their life’s passion and sell their latest CD. She always appreciated the energy coming from these outdoor markets. It made her feel alive. She could actually feel a small smile on her face as she witnessed an Italian family that ran a produce booth, bicker back and forth about who knows what, as it was all spoken in deep Italian.

She always had an immense admiration how people could squabble back and forth and stay through it all. She has never experienced that. She came from a family that didn’t communicate their feelings well, it was swept under the rug. She always struggled with that mindset. It is not her style to argue to get her point across, or yell to feel heard, but nonetheless she had a great gratitude towards it. She even smiled at the Italian family that was still entrenched in their diabolical disagreement – so expressive… so alive.

She had given up in the relationship department for over a year now. It was all too fleeting at this time in her life. She loved that she never feared being alone or that she never ‘needed’ to be with somebody just for the sake of being with another. Her quest for finding true intimacy was no longer a path she wanted to travel at this time. She was tired of playing the game of dating that never went anywhere. It was always the same outcome, just different faces.

Tomatoes were next on her list, her mental list anyway. As she strolled towards the tomato stand, she felt an energy shift; something light, something that almost whispered for her attention. She looked around – right to left, left to right… saw nothing.

She then felt a small tap on her right shoulder. She darted around quickly as it took her by surprise.

There stood a man she was very familiar with. She embarrassingly forgot his name due to being caught off guard. She usually just referred to him to her friends as the ‘apothecary guy’, as she bragged to all of them about his products. He was the one that owned the Apothecary booth. She loved that booth and always saved it for last, as she was a product junkie for anything that actually proved to be of good quality. She also enjoyed chatting with him when she’d purchase his things. She loved to ask questions, and he never seemed to mind… whether it was regarding his product line or even his life. He always answered with no delay, no walls.

“Hey! I have new things for you to try, I think you are going to love them! My best work yet, amazing products!” He declared enthusiastically.

“I’ll be sure to come by after I pick up the remaining things on my list.” Claire responded.

“Nope, my booth is unmanned and at GREAT risk for me to lose all my life’s work and products due to me walking with you!” He said very exaggeratedly.

“Then I recommend you go back to manning your booth.” She said lightheartedly, with a bit of fun loving sarcasm.

“Nope, staying with you until you finish perusing and purchasing all you are here for. What you fail to know about me is that I am in dire need for a new experience. So seeing and living your exact experience, here, today is precisely what I want to be doing at this very moment.” He said confidently and so matter of fact.

“You sure are laying it on thick.” Claire retorted back with a roll of the eyes and a smile. She never minded a bit of flirting and this interaction seemed harmless enough, even a bit fun.

“What you are failing to understand is that I want to see through the eyes of you, if only for a moment – nobody else, just you.” He said with a different tone, this time more tender.

“Well, you are in luck, I have always been up for new things and not afraid of adventure. Although, I must warn you… for you are now entering the mind of Claire – all I can say is hold on tight, because it’s going to be a crazy ride.” She said with humor, regarding the mind thread she’s been on lately.

He declared as he grabbed her hand at the same time, “GREAT! I’m not afraid… Let’s do this!”

Claire smiled. Paul! His name is Paul… she remembered to herself. Sunday seems to have just gotten a bit more interesting.

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Dating, Relationships, and that thing we call Self-Love

Posted on 17 October 2014 by Valkyrie

red dressDating and Relationships. Those two words can cause so much emotion in a split second – dread for some, elation for others.

I am married now, and have been happily so, for over 15 years. Thank God I finally got it right. Or, it was my husband that got it right for me. All I can say is that I have travelled that path that 99% of the population takes. For me, that path was through lots of trials and a ton of errors.

I have not dodged the concept and physical act of dating, relationships, love without earning my Purple Heart. Okay confession, I’ve earned many Purple Hearts in this venue and have been deployed, gone to battle, and waged many a war. Sadly, I cannot say that I have not gone unscathed. The battlefield of traversing a love minefield has left me with shrapnel imbedded in my being, wounds that have left deep scars, and PTSD that is just now starting to fade.

I’ve had 5 serious relationships and have casually dated 20+ men while in the trenches. Eight years of trying to figure it out, figure me out, and try to make sense of this crazy journey towards “love” that we are all on.

It’s an instinct in us all – to crave love, to be loved, and to give love. It is what makes the human experience that much richer, in my opinion. But sadly, that “rich” experience can turn to heartache, despair, loss, and confusion for many of us, more than once.

I’ve always been boy crazy from as early as I can remember. Even in Kindergarten – I had a crush on a boy named Caleb (my first born is named Caleb, not because of that innocent crush, but in his favor, he never tainted the name for me either). I also grew up an extreme Tom Boy, so I was surrounded by boys more than girls most of my early school years, playing all the ‘boy’ sports. Being around the male gender was my comfort zone, I guess one could say.

I am also not one to shy away from challenges, experiences, anything new really. I go into this mindset with excitement and eagerness. My motto in life is “I’ll always try something once” (there are a few boundaries in there, keep in mind). I like this side of me, but this mindset has tripped me up in the dating arena.

That could be the reason why I got into so many relationships that I never should have entertained past a first date. But, that girl in me that loved new challenges, forged on. See, I am not one of those girls that ever tried changing a man. Instead, I opted for something far more detrimental. I changed and altered myself to be right for that person I was with at that time. I guess you could say I was a chameleon of sorts. I sadly did not have a strong sense of who I was, so I became what I thought would work out well in the current situation I chose to commit to. And let me tell you, that mindset put in the wrong hands of another person, made me moldable like clay. I abandoned my inner gut, my sense on what right from wrong was, and the ability to have my own back. To gain love from another, I stopped loving myself… all so I could feel those small moments of another finding value in me for very short spurts of time, on their time. And I sadly waited, patiently, for them to fill my cup.

I dated men that never found me to be of much value. I dated men that had no problem telling me that. I dated men that were not faithful. I dated men that were emotionally and verbally abusive. I dated men that were emotionally unavailable. I dated men that had so much baggage that at times, all of it seemed to become my fault.

Trust me, I am not bashing men here, I love the male gender. It takes two to tango and I easily volunteered to go down that madness ride with them. There were great moments in those times as well. But the sad part is, I didn’t know that love is supposed to have an ease to it. I was never given those tools to articulate life’s experiences. I created my own tools, and as much as I had to use them, they did not serve me well.

The main ingredient missing was self-love. It sounds so cliché, but it is so true. If you don’t know who you are, know what you stand for, what you desire, what makes you cringe, what lights you up, and what tears you down, then life will give you those paths to get there. Life is funny that way, unless and until you are ready to learn the lesson that is being taught, the universe will see to it to keep sending you a repeat lesson, packaged in a different form. My lesson was not being learned, thus being shown to me with different faces, time and time again.

I remember how odd a feeling it was and how alien it felt to have a man not try to mold me like clay. But it was only that one time did I internally say before committing to date this man, “I am going to be ME, 100% across the board, no matter what”.

I could give my significant other all the kudos in the world for showing me the way, and in many ways he has. But the real truth is is that I finally decided to claim who I was 100% in bravery and in love. In doing that, the Universe no longer needed to keep giving me the same lesson plan over and over again.

I cannot say that claiming yourself 100% with love and respect will win you the right person to commit to the first or second time out of the gates. That road is different for all of us, we all have our life lessons to learn, according to what we need to learn. But I will guarantee this, keep that internal compass pointed to strong north, and in time, you will be shown that a significant other isn’t “needed” but it sure makes the ride more fun when two can ride it together.

I don’t look at my life’s experiences as a mistake, or anything to be shamed about. It is what it is. I did the best I could do with the knowledge and skillsets I had at that time.

Just a few weeks ago (while washing my face in the bathroom), I was able to gain full acceptance of that journey – the twists, the turns, and the detours. And in that moment I felt immense gratitude and appreciation for those exact experiences. Because in those times, I have found that the the kindness, the loyalty, the truth, the respect, the honor, the love is that much sweeter and richer and I will never take it for granted. I have also gained full love of self, and enjoy being me 100% of the time… good days and bad.

A dear friend of mine told me this not long ago, “There are two sides to every coin. To know lightness, you must know darkness – you can’t have one without the other”.

Well, I have known both. And I can joyfully say now, the lightness is so immense, that I need sunglasses.

 

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The Last Time

Posted on 17 October 2014 by Thraxxus

CT-Caress-SPOTLIGHTWe die. According to my father you were born with a death sentence, and that none of us get out of here alive. Rather macabre way of looking at things, albeit realistic. Many people focus on this concept – one could argue that Religions were founded because of the unanswered questions that we have:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. Why do we have to die?
  3. Where do we go from there?

The catch being of course that the questions are, at present, and as far as we know, unanswerable. Acceptance of that fact is not easy as the clock ticks forever in the background – time of course being a human construct based on the space we live in. How pathetic.

The alternative to pondering the unanswerable questions is to just live every single moment like it is your last. We have all heard that perspective before but really, what does it mean? The concept seems obvious. There are Latin terms that describe the importance of it: Carpe Diem – seize the day. What in the hell does that even mean? Seize what and why am I expected to seize it at all? What does it get me? Upon further inspection, and retrospection, the answer becomes clear if you flip the entire equation upside down.

Let us face it, we take almost every single thing we experience entirely for granted. Meaning, of course, that we just assume that what we are doing right this moment isn’t going to be the last thing that we ever do – there is always more time. Ironically, at the same time that statement is entirely false. The young believe they are indestructible, and I have said many times that the universe is rather forgiving of the youthful, children especially, but the truth is that nobody is indestructible. We all have our Kryptonite and most of us don’t know what will actually do us in when the time comes – nor do we know the actual time that it will happen. What if you did? What if you knew?

Consider the death row inmate for a moment. He knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, when he is going to die the moment that they set the date and time. He knows exactly how long he has left. He knows how he will be spending that time. He knows who he will interact with, and who he won’t see ever again. He knows things that most of us dismiss daily. He is offered a last meal – the last food he will ever eat in this lifespan. He knows the last sleep he will sleep – the last dreams he will have. He knows the value of life as he is about to lose his.

This leads us down an odd path of questions. As previously stated, most of us consider that what we are doing right now is not the last thing that we will ever do – but it could be. What if that meal you just had was the last one you will ever have? What about that night’s sleep? Those dreams? What if that goodbye this morning was forever? What if that kiss was your last kiss? What if that gentle touch was the last one? The last caress of a loved one. What if that drive in your car, and the song you were listening to at the time, was the last drive and the last song you would ever experience?

What if it was to all end for you 60 seconds from now?

What would you look back on? What would you think? Who would you remember? Who would you miss? Would you have regrets? Would they be grand – like why didn’t you finish college? Would they be small -why didn’t you stay with mom for just one more cup of tea? She asked you to, didn’t she? What was more important that those last few minutes?

That is the trap, you see. We don’t really know what is important until those final moments. We don’t know the value of that last bite. We can’t comprehend that last hug. The last kiss. The last look. The embrace good bye. We don’t know those things because we have never experienced the last of something in such a grand fashion. Sure, there are smaller instances. The last time you will kiss a particular person. The last time you will see someone, or some place. And those instance can be relatively grand in themselves.

Me? I distinctly recall the last time that I saw my mother alive. It was trivial really. I was in my car, about to drive away, and my father was helping her out of her wheelchair to get into their car. I waved. She waved. She smiled. I had no idea that would be our last interaction – forever. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have driven away. I would have stayed, I would have taken in every single second of watching her struggle to get into the car. I would have gotten out of mine and helped. I would have hugged her again. I would have kissed her forehead. I would have told her how much she meant.

… but I didn’t know.

There is a saying “You don’t know what you’ve got, until its gone.” At some point isn’t it all gone, for all of us, because we are the one that is gone?

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Ode to Robin

Posted on 11 August 2014 by Thraxxus

robinHot tears fall unabashed upon sadness reddened cheeks as the news of greatness extinguished too early reaches into our minds, hearts and souls. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is quite possibly the greatest piece of music ever written, and if music was made flesh then it was done so in the form of Robin Williams for whom else brought so much joy to so many? Even if you didn’t recognize him, almost all of us knew at least some of his work as his library was so vast, and so all encompassing. It is easy to say that we are all made less by his passing, overly simplistic if you will, but it may be best to instead look into the reasons why. Who was he?

 

I was never gifted the opportunity to know, or even meet, Robin Williams, having only been so close as seeing him perform his remarkable stand up routine live – an experience I list among some of my greatest. I will always envy those who got to know the man beyond the facade that we all expected him to be – as we knew him, he was always expected to be “on” – make me laugh funny man. In retrospect, we now all know that while he was making us laugh, apparently nobody was returning the favor.

 

We already knew Robin Williams as a stand up comedian of epic proportion – the tales of his skills often going unmatched for, truly, who else can walk onto a stage in front of tens of thousands, wholly unprepared, and make up material on the fly so perfect that a team of comedy writers would be hard pressed to match given thousands of hours of time to do so. Was that the limit of his skills? The question is loathsome to be sure, and would most likely garner a laugh from the man himself.

 

Truth be told, Robin Williams was a true thespian in all forms, at any given moment. It is that reason why he was considered by so many to be the most difficult man ever to interview as he was always acting, always playing the part, again, always on. He never stopped. He was always the funny man, the comedian, the actor, the entertainer – we never allowed him to be anything else. Perhaps Robin is the greatest example of the atrocities that come with fame, perhaps he was even more than that, wasn’t he?

 

What else did he do? Stand up comedy. Of course. Comedic films? Plenty. Drama? Absolutely. Did these things define him? Who knows? What we do know was that Robin Williams continually set the bar, the new way in which greatness was measured, and then rose above those calculations only to create new levels of awestruck stupendousness. Let us discuss just a few of these gifts to the human race.

 

Good Morning Vietnam was a film, based on a real life story of Adrian Cronauer, military radio shock jock, before there were shock jocks, that set the bar for films that had no scripts. How? Almost every single scene in the film was completely adlibbed by Robin Williams on the fly. Ponder that. We live in an age that many consider to be void of true creativity and here we had a man that a director simply turned on a camera and told him to deliver priceless, timeless, perfectly executed hilarity and he did so with seemingly no effort whatsoever. The film was, is, and will mostly likely always be considered a demonstration of comedic, in the moment, acting genius. A must see to be believe.

The Birdcage is still one of the funniest films ever made. The story tackles, in the most direct, honest way possible, how life can be difficult for two married, gay men, and the effects that can have on their straight son and his future inlaws. The film doesn’t disguise its intent to show the challenges and travesties that a gay couple may endevour, but instead opts to tackle and deliver the content with a comedic zeal. His life partner, played by Nathan Lane, another comedic genius, is balanced with perfection by the stalwart, hardened delivery of yet another genius, Gene Hackman. The Birdcage is a must see.

What about the children? Years ago Disney, in her wonderful creative genius, realized that if she could but harness the creative power of Robin Williams’ mind, even for a short period of time, then she could create, arguably, one of the greatest animated stories ever told, and so she embarked on the journey to do just that. Aladdin was born. A movie that, through the comedic, high octane driven, comedic power of Robin Williams, will forever be considered one of the greatest animated films ever made. Again, Robin was supplied only a description of what the director wanted to convey, and through the might of his creative power, Robin manifested, what is arguably, one of the greatest comedic performances ever put to film in the vocalizations of a Djinni.

 

It goes without saying that Mrs. Doubtfire, a voice I love to imitate, is Robin Williams near his comedic best. Anyone for a run by fruiting. I cannot illustrate enough how much I loved this film and the roll he played in it – the forever charming Mrs. Doubtfire.

A film that captured my childish heart and mind and managed to make me young again, even for a night, Hook, a film that Robin reportedly shot for no pay check, saved me. I adored this version, albeit overly silly at times, as it defined perfectly what so many men endure as they age – paradise lost.

When we think of Robin Williams we often to go how he made us laugh, and thus we recall his comedic nature, but it was his dramatic side that was the most gifted, and grabbed us in the truest of fashions. There are two films that reach out with performances that are difficult to touch for any great actor. The first of these, which earned him his Academy Award (Robin was nominated three times) was Good Will Hunting, a film that should be classified as required viewing for the human race. This scene shows Robin at his delivery best, explaining what life really is, and why each moment is so precious.

The final piece to refer to is quite possibly the greatest tribute to a man that was ever made in a film, and makes me cry every time I see it. Today, the day on which Robin Williams chose to extinguish his own light, of his own doing, makes this scene’s  importance all the more. Watching the film The Dead Poet’s Society will never be the same for me – before it was a emotional film that made me want to leap from my chair, and with my barbarian YAWP embrace carpe diem in its purest and now it will forever be a testament to one of the greatest minds of the modern era. I will leave you with this clip and one last thought. “I was made a better man having experienced even a moment of your greatness.” – I love you Robin, and I hope that in the end, you found the peace the eluded you in life,  O Captain, My Captain.

 

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Video Game Cinematics

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Thraxxus

League-of-LegendsI am a gamer. I have been gamer for the better part of 35 years, no exaggeration. Over those years I have watched gaming grow up from squares shooting other squares to some stuff that is, to put it mildly, mind blowing. My addiction for the past three years has been League of Legends, RIOT’s premier title, and one of the most played video games on the Earth (something like 1 billion matches per month). What gets me is how gaming companies are making promotional mini films for their games that are amazing. I could go on and on but really, who cares what I am saying. Just sit back for a few minutes, and watch this video – make sure to get it full screen and go HD mode. It is EPIC. (This content was created and is owned by RIOT. I am simply posting it on this site to share with you the shear bad assedness of what they made. GG)

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The F*ck It Factor

Posted on 17 July 2014 by Thraxxus

fuckitWe all do many things in life that take heavy concentration, be that a myriad of difficult jobs, coaching, teaching, or just playing games. I am a study of the human machine, I often times sit back and just watch people do what they do and note how they do it. This may seem totally boring to you, others will jump up and declare themselves a people watcher as well.

I am not your usual people watcher.

People watchers love to sit and marvel at other people. If  two people watchers are sitting together they will normally discuss those walking by, typically leaning towards how the person is dressed, how they look, or some random air they may give off. The watchers may even supply a short story to amuse themselves about said walker by. “I bet he is screwing some 19 year old on the side and his wife knows about it and just doesn’t care because she is diddling the gardener, Pablo!” Then they both laugh and sip their calorie heavy drinks and chomp down on their pastries.

I don’t do that.

What I do is different, I study a person, I read them, and I don’t do it in passerby fashion – I opt to do it with people I know, in a borderline stalker sort of way. Sure, it is creepy. Having done this for years I also learned self reflection by way of proxy. If said person does something, do I do it that way? Maybe I do it differently? Reflect. Reflect. Reflect. Reflect. After a while one really gets to know who they truly are, and in my instance I started to notice some things about me that I then started to look for in others, and sure enough, we all seem to carry this common trait: The Fuck It Factor.

What is The Fuck It Factor? (FIF for short). FIF is this moment where a person runs into a wall of analysis, decision making and pressure. It is the moment when we aren’t really sure about what to do, but make some leap of faith – but its more. It is the moment where this edge to you comes to the foreground, you can’t explain it, but you sure  as hell feel it, and it totally effects your decision making process. In short, you say to yourself  “Fuck It!” and you leap, or in most instances you decide more haphazardly than you usually would.

I discovered the FIF while playing poker. I would be in a game for a while, some overly aggressive jerk at the table would be smashing people, pressuring, being a bully and slowly, to me, would manifest into some vile creature that needed to be dealt with – a dragon of sorts, and I was now the White Knight. The FIF would spring into motion, after all, this dragon had to be vanquished. The next hand that was remotely playable for me, even if a huge stretch, or in poker a great draw in my favor, was needed that FIF would make me do things that I wouldn’t normally do. “All in, you son of bitch!” Sure it is online poker, and you don’t really talk to your opponents, but in my mind I would totally say that, as well as the thing I said right before those words. again to myself. “Fuck it!”

This phenomenon, as it turns out, is not unique to me at all. In fact, we all do it every day, all day, in random little spurts. Pouring yourself a black coffee, because black coffee has less calories than any other manifestation? FIF comes out of nowhere. “Pour some sugar in there… ” And the next thing you know you are ripping open two packs of natural sugar and pouring them in. Standing in line at the grocery store and notice the wall of candy bars sitting there, FIF to the rescue. Two show up on the belt before you even realized you were grabbing them.

FIF isn’t always bad, FIF can lead to some very interesting things, good things even. Standing in the elevator and that woman you have been drooling over for months gets on. FIF steps in. “SAY SOMETHING YOU COWARDLY TWAT!” and low and behold you are suddenly knee deep in a conversation with the potential love of your life. You are in your job review and being told that you are getting the standard 3.5% raise. FIF says “SCREW THAT SHIT. GET  SEVEN!” So you say “I am worth more than the league minimum, Bob. I want 7.” Suddenly Bob has a change of heart.

What really grabbed me here is that there are some professions that live in the FIF. Some people who have to constantly throw caution into the wind and can only do so by riding the FIF razor’s edge. To name a few of these people, the ones we often accuse of being adrenaline junkies:

  1. Fireman
  2. Police
  3. Soldiers
  4. Paramedics
  5. Mail room clerks

I swear we all have it, just stand back for a moment and consider yourself. It is there. FIF lives in us all. Knowing this bit, moving forward, you may notice the next time FIF shows up, shouting into your ear, giving you that tiny jolt of adrenaline to get the job done. No need to thank me, you had it there with you all along.

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Memory Lane –

Posted on 17 September 2013 by Valkyrie

memory lane 69I am back living in the same town I grew up in. I have been back for about 2 years now. I like it here, always have. I think it is being so close to the coast that is the big appeal to me, and the drive to get there is gorgeous; no freeways or bogged down traffic in getting there. I believe it to be my very own Mediterranean, here in the US.

In getting home from running errands and such, I sometimes take back roads and wind up driving by my old Apartment to where I used to live in my early to mid-twenties. Always telling myself that I would like to go back there, check the place out, see how it has changed and just peruse down memory lane.

Today, I did just that. Driving home from the dreaded Mechanic’s, I drove past my old place I shared with my roommate at that time – and at the last minute, made a quick left leading me up the drive to where I used to dwell.

I found a parking place and sat in my car for a spell, just checking out how the place has matured, happy to see that it is better taken care of now – than when I lived there. The trees were more mature, the building was painted a pretty green, and the landscaping was inviting.

I decided to get out and actually walk to where my apartment used to be, which is on the lowest tier – which means lots of steps in getting there. I had my cell phone with me to snap pictures, to have and share with those than know my story.

In walking there, I was quickly reminded just how many stairs there were at different grade levels, and how steep they were. I laughed out loud remembering the late nights stumbling home after dancing and drinking, wondering how in God’s tarnation I never broke an ankle traversing home in the wee hours of the morning and not missing a beat with those damn stairs. I gained a whole new respect for myself in that instant – a small silly victory, but a victory nonetheless.

After the many stairs, I reached my apartment – readied my phone for picture taking and while doing so, had so many memories rush in all at once as to all the experiences I had there… some good, some great, some sad, some downright brutal.

It’s funny how you can look back to your past and almost see yourself as a different person. Not a stranger, per se… but more of a person you reflect on and see how far you’ve come, where you have grown, how those experiences have helped mold you, and some that developed that have become issues to this day – to all but try and overcome.

With so much to gain in the ‘twenties’, there is also so much to lose. I gained great things, great insight, and great knowledge. But just as there are two sides to every coin – I also gained some heartache, some loss, and some situations that caused just as much doubt, as confidence. I refer to the twenties as the full on ‘Yin and Yang’ effect of life.

I am now in my forties (41, to be precise)… and as I reflected today to my old physical address and thoughts of my roommate, to whom I shared so many experiences with – it made me also reflect on the woman I am today.

It has almost been twenty years that have gone by since living at that residence I revisited today, and it made me realize that I am a far better person for the journey I have easily navigated on some days, and heart wrenchingly traversed  on others.

I have learned that to yearn to be twenty again is a misnomer. Do I want the youth back? My answer is an irrefutable, “No”. Besides, I am only 41… life has only just begun (or, so they say). But, with that being said – I am also in a deep learning curve now as well. Seems learning never ends.

It comes to us at precise times in our lives. The twenties are almost a trial run to see how well our parents did raising us – if we flop or fly with the parental training wheels off. The forties seem to be another serious time of learning and rediscovering who we are as individuals and how we use our past experiences to guide us to where we are going.

I liked the twenties, all the good with the bad. I like the forties, too. It’s just a whole other level of learning. The twenties may have been the appetizer to life’s buffet, all while the forties seems to be the main course.

I think I now realize why people have mid-life crisis’ in their forties. Renewal and circumspect are the culprits. May we all enjoy the ride we call life and take each day in stride and appreciate where we were, where we are now, and Lord knows where we may all end up.

To take it all too seriously is fleeting. Hindsight is 20/20, and so will this stage be in our journeys. I always thought there would be a stopping point or a finish line to when we are at the point of growth nirvana; I am learning that that day only arrives the day we die.

So, bring on this thing we call the forties and aging, and may we all appreciate the good times as well as the challenging times – and know that we will all be better for it.

Memory Lane stole my attention today, and I thank her for that.

 

 

 

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Love Potion #9

Posted on 06 August 2013 by ~baba

Love_Potion_Number_9_by_Justin_ZakLast night I went out in a shirt I’d worn all day and had sweated in several hours, it smelled a little funky but not bad really. As I went place to place I noticed that the women I passed by seemed to want to engage me in conversation, buy me a drink, play pool… There was a Don Juan type character a few hundred years ago that used to keep a handkercheif in his armpit and offer it to any lady he wanted to bed. Pheremones. What you smell like when a woman is attracted to you, your pheremones, subtile scents your body puts out that attract the other sex. There is a moth that puts out a pheremone that another moth can smell three miles away and a tomato plant that, when attacked by a tomato worm, produces a pheremone identical to that of a male wasp in heat, attracting female wasps that sting the tomato worm and lay eggs in it, thereby saving the tomato plant. Pheremones. There is a pig pheremone on the market that you can add to your aftershave or cologne or whatever, supposed to get the girls(pobably going to be pigs)to come to you. Something I’ve found, after reading a book ‘Probable’ is that if you increase your probability by being at the place your intended girl is, doing something she’s interested in, looking like someone she wants, whatever you can subtly do to increase your chances of her finding you attractive, she will more likely notice you. If you’re on the hunt you’re already producing pheremones that she will unconsciously detect. Unless you’ve slathered some Axe or whatever crap you insult our noses with every day, in which case no one will want you but the above mentioned pigs. Last year I was eating at a restaurant and a stunning, tall, young girl walked by and I put the ‘bump into her plan’ into action, I finished eating quickly, jumped on my motorcycle and went down a one way street the wrong way to catch up with her. A policeman politely pointed out to me I was breaking the law and I turned around and found a parking place and continued on foot. I soon found her buying a fruit smoothie and paid for it and asked about what she was doing and where she was going. After awhile we went somewhere else to hang out and still today she comes over sometimes to play. I’m dating other girls but she doesn’t care, I helped her with some stuff as a result of our meeting and she’s still grateful and lets me know it. I think the pheremone thing works and helps you if you do the rest, act respectful, be helpful, listen, be a gentleman and let her know you want her without overtly saying it. DON’T TRY TO DRILL HER IMMEDIATELY, take your time, let her get to know you, that’s the love potion.

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The Failed Dream

Posted on 09 July 2013 by Thraxxus

martin-luther-kingMartin Luthor King Jr. said:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

In modern times we like to say that all PEOPLE are created equal, but the question remains to be answered: Are all people treated as equals? Since Doctor King’s amazing speech many things have changed, above all of them is technology. Today we are more advanced, that we know of, than humans have ever been. Most of the people that live in modern societies walk around with a piece of technology in their pocket that allows them to instantly contact any other person with the same type of technology, in a myriad of ways, instantly, practically no matter where either of them is at that moment. This object also allows them to access an information marvel instantly, whereby they can have almost any question that they could fathom either answered directly, or indirectly via several sources.

In effect humans have the capability to be more amazing, powerful, educated, and intelligent than ever before in the history of the species. So, are we?

Let us consider some things that, through the marvel of technology, that includes cellular phones, computers, and the internet, should have changed for the good as a result of the use of these borderline miracles.

  1. Education is now easier than ever before. Consider this – humans used to have to travel to a library, if one was near them, and if they were allowed inside at all, to look for information, which was an arduous process at times, that may or may not be there and which may or may not answer their question or solve their problem.  Now, through the use of technology, people can research almost any topic, instantly, without ever having to get out of their chair at home. They can search, read up on, and interact with a community on the topic, all in hopes of becoming educated on said topic. Now consider that the youth of America, not even considering other countries, are now less educated than they have been in the past fifty years on core subject matter. Math, history, language skills, current events and many others are at all time lows. Why?
  2. Racism is a core plague against the foundation of a healthy society. With the ability to reach out and interact with people of all walks of life, from all corners of the Earth, instantly, how is it that racism still exists at all? You want to learn about Africans? Research them instantly. Talk to some on chat boards. Interact with Africans on forums. You can do this with almost every single culture and “race” on the planet! So how is it that racism is still prevalent? Why is it that many choose to use the technology that could educate them about other people to instead instantly spread their own form of hate speak about those same people? How is it that we have not grown socially at the same rate as our technology?
  3. Sexism may actually be more ignorant than racism if such a thing was even measurable. As a species there are slightly more females than males. Given this fact, how is it that in many cultures around the world males are still favored over females? Let us consider the United States of America for a moment: More women go to and graduate from college than men. Period. More women graduate from high school than men. Period. So from a purely educational perspective women are getting more education than men. So why then are men paid more, on average, for the same job than women? How does it make a drop of sense? The documentation that the nation was founded on, the language that Doctor King references in his glorious speech, actually says that all MEN are created equal. What about women? We like to refer to the documentation in question and say that it applies to People, but still, if that is the case then where is the equality? Why do we still have this “Women belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant” twisted joke floating around? It isn’t funny. It wasn’t the first time it was said.
  4. There are heterosexuals and there are homosexuals. Period. Thats it. There is nothing anyone can do to change either of those facts. To take those facts further, it has always been that way throughout history. Explain to us all, collectively how two men, who love each other, getting married effects anyone else in any fashion whatsoever. Seriously. Many religious folks like to say that it is an abomination against their religion.Let us pretend for a moment that they are right – what if the two men that want to get married aren’t a member of your religion? Do the same rules apply to them? If so are we then saying that religious beliefs and sexuality are now united? How does that make any sense at all? By that rationale doesn’t that imply that religion is attached to all beliefs? If that is the case then how in the world is anyone with differing religious beliefs even living in the same nation together – given that by our supplied definition religion is also tied to politics?
  5. So let us take a look at religions then. There are multitude of religions in the world, if you want to learn about any of them that information is literally seconds away. Why then do we have so much ignorance about other peoples’ religions? If you really want to know about Muslims, research them, don’t just guess or believe ignorant rhetoric. If you really want to know about any religion, just research it – this applies across the board. If you truly believe, as oddly enough many religious texts dictate, that people are created equal and are entitled to believe what they want to, then why do we still have conflicts over what religions people follow? As long as two people don’t impose anything negative on each other as being related to their difference in beliefs then really where is the problem? Why does it matter? Do the laws that we create, and agree to live by, need to be bound to religious beliefs? If so then should we have absolute segregation in our species? If that is true then can we not also conclude that at some point won’t our species diverge into several species over time?
  6. So we have racism, sexism, sexuality and the inequalities that come from them –  so what about equality in general? If we are all truly created equal, meaning with equal rights, then why don’t we act like that? Men and women equal in all things. Caucasians, Blacks, Asians, whatever equal in all things. Heterosexuals and homosexuals as equals. In fact, why do any of those labels matter at all? Why does it really matter where someone is from, who they are, or who they love as long as they are not breaking agreed upon laws? If we are all equal then why aren’t we actually acting the part? Why is there so much inequality in a nation that is founded on the principles of equality? How does that make any sense? All this technology, and all of it so inexpensive, and still we remain this ignorant, this uneducated, and this biased?

The issue stems from the fact that we greedily advanced technology to make our lives easier but didn’t bother to educate ourselves at the same time. We, as a species, have grown complacent and thus we have not done the work to advance ourselves intellectually and socially. We now have more ways to communicate with each other, instantly, than ever before and yet we say almost nothing of value. In fact, many people can’t even write a complete, coherent sentence. We allowed technology to do things for us that we never bothered to learn how to do ourselves – and that is the danger.

There is nothing wrong with using a calculator to do your addition as long as you already know how to do addition. At the least you should understand the basics, the trap comes into play when that technology is now not only doing the work for you, and the thinking, but knows more about the core of that thinking than you do. That technology is there to help you be more every single day than you were the day prior. You should be learning more, doing more, growing more, and helping other to do the same. Why aren’t we?

At some point we have to ask ourselves: When will the technology no longer need me at all? The answer, we may find, is sooner than any of us thinks, and most of us won’t even see it coming. Doctor King, wherever you are, your dream is still only that, just a dream, and we are made lesser for that being the case.

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My Twin

Posted on 02 July 2013 by Valkyrie

teddy bearONE –

The orphanage is cold. I don’t like the smell of it either. It smells of dust and mildew – is dank, I suppose. The headboard on my bed is peeling white paint down to the brass. When bored, I find that I spend the time just peeling it off in little pieces and letting the paint fall wherever it wants to, even if that means on my own sheets. 

The room I stay in is large and houses 20 beds that are all lined up on both sides of the opposing walls – 10 on each side, to be exact. Not all the beds are filled with other kids, but most of them are. I think there are 15 others here, 16 counting me. 

I don’t like it here and I am scared most of the time. I hug my ragged teddy bear that came with me. I used to hug it at night in my bed at home, but it felt better then. Now I find my bear has a job to do, that is to dry my tears at night. Seems he gets this job nightly.

My name is Sable, and I have a twin brother here as well. I made sure his bed is next to mine. His name is Sam. I love Sam, he is my only friend in the entire universe (next to my teddy bear that is). 

Sam was the one who held my hand when the police came to pick us up from home and drive us to this place. I didn’t know where we were going exactly… but I knew that I could count on Sam, him holding my hand confirmed that. 

I still am not too sure what happened at home, and why Sam and I had to leave with the police that day. All I do know is that my mom and dad used to fight a lot and that night, before the police came, there was quite the ruckus at home. I think I heard them yelling and throwing things against the walls. This was a regular occurrence, but I guess this time Sam and I had to leave.

I still wonder late at night what it is I did exactly to cause them to fight so much. I wish I could have been better. I wish I cleaned my room more. Maybe I didn’t tell them I loved them enough. These thoughts haunt me, and that is why my teddy bear is there… to soak up my tears of missing my mom and dad so much.

Sam and I have been here for about 2 months now, and we both agree we hate it here. The food is yucky and only being 8 years old, we are forced to take vitamins and drink medicine that tastes gross. We are told it is supposed to make us healthy and strong. I’m not so sure about that, but I don’t fight with them, as I am a shy natured girl.

Sam and I were best friends at home too, before we came here. I remember every afternoon we would swing together, laughing and competing who could swing higher and who could jump the furthest while staying on our two feet while landing in the dirt below. We laughed a lot together then. Now it seems we hardly ever laugh, but we can read each other’s thoughts just by looking in the other’s eyes. 

I am 12 minutes older and I think Sam hates this. I think he privately wants to be older. He likes to compete with me, and I mostly let him win, just to make him feel better. Besides, isn’t that what love is? It is to me anyway.

The orphanage director came up to Sam and me just this morning and said that there is a nice married couple that wants to meet us tomorrow. Part of me is excited, as I have already found my only dress in my suitcase to wear… I just hope the wrinkles come out by that time. I want to look my best.

Sam is excited too. I noticed he has been playing with his wooden airplane today – his favorite toy at home, but has not taken it out since coming here. Today he has. That makes me happy, too. I like when Sam smiles. It is one of my favorite things in this world. It reminds me that everything is going to be okay.

It is night here now, and I hear crickets outside my window and coyotes howling. Coyotes always scare me; their howls are haunting in a way. Good thing I have my teddy bear. I hope I sleep well, tomorrow is a big day. Sam is already asleep next to me in his bed, I have always been jealous of how fast he can fall asleep. My busy mind keeps me up for hours, it seems.

TWO –

Morning has come, I can see the brightness coming through the big picture window… I get on my knees on my unstable mattress and see that it is foggy outside. Dense, thick fog covers the dew on the grass below. I’ve always liked the fog. I just wish it were sunny today though, meeting these new people and all. Oh well, at least the wrinkles are out of my dress. I am hoping Sam can tie my big bow in the back like mom used to do. She was always great at tying bows.

Sam is already up and man, he looks dapper. Sam has always been so handsome, even with his hair sticking up in the back due to that cowlick. He hates it, I secretly adore it. He must be excited as well.

THREE –

Well, I must admit the meeting with that man and lady went really well. They smiled a lot and asked a lot of questions to both Sam and me. I noticed something when they got up to leave, though. They hugged Sam only and the lady rubbed his cheek with her fingers and knelt down to him and said what a nice boy he was. She didn’t do any of that with me. Oh well, people always did like Sam a bit more than me. I heard adults say he has “charm”, not sure what that is, but Sam is something to be sure. To me, he is just plain ol’ special.

Later that day, the woman in the orphanage who usually just sits in her office with the door half closed and her glasses at the tip of her nose, came up to Sam and me and said she wanted to talk to us both. It was at this time that she asked us to take a seat on our beds. We both were obedient and chose my bed. She sat on Sam’s bed, facing us, and started talking differently than she usually does. She was quieter and seemed cautious in her words.

After hearing what she said, I understood why she spoke in the manner that she did. She told us that the nice man and lady that we met that morning liked us both. They wanted to adopt, but sadly, only had room for one child, so they only want my brother, Sam.
Sam was ecstatic; I was wondering if he heard what the Director Lady was saying… I felt like screaming to him, “Sam, they only want you… not me!” But I know he heard what she said, and he didn’t seem too bothered by it. He was happy he got a chance to be with a new mom and dad and get out of this place. I can’t blame him for that, but why is he okay with not being with me anymore? I could never leave Sam, never. We are twins, he is my all. I thought I was the same to him as well. Perhaps I was wrong.

I tried fighting back my tears but could not. I slowly turned around to grab my teddy bear, hoping Sam or the Director Lady would not notice me crying. My heart hurt, I could feel it. My heart literally ached and I started breathing heavy and felt dizzy. I almost felt like I was going to throw up.

FOUR –

I saw Sam leave the next morning with that man and lady, he even asked me to help him pack his suitcase, as he was having a hard time fitting everything in. I taught him how to properly fold shirts and pants so they make a neat stack. I had a lump in my throat the whole time doing this. Sam seemed fine, I still don’t understand that.

Our hug was brief and I hugged him hard, he let go first as I believe I never would have if the option was mine. I miss Sam so much already, and he hasn’t even made it to their car in the parking lot yet.

I miss my twin, Sam. I think I always will. I miss my parents, too. I wonder what it is about me that made it so easy for them to all go away and leave me.

Perhaps tonight when I lay my head on my pillow, I will start praying. Maybe God will help me become more likeable. At least I still have my teddy bear.

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To Carnage’s Delight

Posted on 16 June 2013 by Thraxxus

1465_023836.jpgThe bell had come at last. That long monotonous bell that signified the end of a long study hard, lesson filled day in what most eleven year old kids considered hell, also known to the school board as the sixth grade. As usual, as it always was, along with that ear shattering sound came the uproarious clatter of hundreds of kids clambering about trying to collect their not so important belongings so that the mad topsy turvy dash to the door could begin. As soon as the thunderous screaming wave of adolescence began, it had ended, and all in what seemed like the same breath; an inhale of energy and an exhale of silence.

The teacher adjusted her bottle thick, owl-horned glasses on her long crooked nose as she took in the spectacle of total carnage that covered her once serenely perfect classroom and slowly began to realize with an equally perfect scowl splayed across her weathered face that she had one hell of a cleaning job in front of her. At that moment, she felt sensations of anger, grief, and joy, for even though she stood in a “Joe’s Trash Heap” that was once her classroom of order and that she herself had to clean it all up, just to have it all destroyed again tomorrow, she still had one thing to fall back on, one thing to totally cherish and love and that, of course, was that beautiful sound that was all around her: silence.

    The scene outside was much different. The wave of joyous harmonic despair which had just obliterated a multitude of paisley classrooms was now spreading out its maniacal wrath in an explosive wave resembling that of a nuclear blast. In the middle of one of the groups that was charging for the secure bike racks strode two perfectly matched warriors. One was wearing his always popular Bermuda shorts and the standard blue Billibong T-shirt. His opponent this day was clad in his blue/gray Levis jeans and matching jacket with an outspoken black T-shirt underneath. This one was the center of attention, or so he liked to imagine.

Their metal steeds were tied up right next to each other, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their riders. The two brave champions quickly united their two mounts and pulled them free of their strangling stalls.  One of the stallions was a short, chromed out Redline BMX , super off road tyrant whose rider, the surfer like blond, quickly swung his leg around and sat astride his husky beast. The other metal horse was in something of an Arabian class, by way of seemingly random parts cleverly put together. She was black with chrome handle bars and three gears that pumped up the speed for the rider, and she never lost. Her rider casually led her out of the stable and out to the crosswalk.

The traffic was heavy with cars and full of children rushing this way and that. Across the street, catty corner to the warriors position, was the ever so famous “Corner Store” where hundreds of children rushed everyday to spend their parents’ hard earned money on a multitude of sweet delights: candy, popcorn, ice cream and soda pops of all varieties were among the favorites.

The moment that passed seemed like an eternity, and then, finally, the chief crossing guard got up the guts to blow his small shiny, metallic whistle and he and his compatriots held out their fragile arms, clinging on to their empowered stop signs in hopes of stopping the oncoming herd of traffic. Low and behold, and almost to their surprise, all of the cars came to a screeching halt, and the wave of children pressed across the street, most continuing on to that ever so alluring corner store.

The two gladiators reached the far side of the street, walked their over eager steeds up the ramp and onto the ivory sidewalk, neither ever having looked at the other the entire walk. There was an unspoken understanding between these two veterans for they knew what was about to occur. Each, in turn, mounted his valiant steed, and for a long moment there was nothing but silence, then the two slowly locked cold, unrelenting eyes in a way that could be an open challenge, and in that split second the world seemed to stop, all eyes crashing down upon the two warriors, and then it was over.

With an unearthly battle cry the two wraiths hurled themselves down the ivory raceway, wildly pumping their steeds to victory. At first the all-to-cool blond on his beautiful Redline had pulled away in front, but his lead didn’t last long. The jean-clad hero quickly shifted gears and then the power came to him in droves. In just a few quick pumps he caught and passed the blond as though he was racing all alone.

People of every size and shape wearing everything possible were leaping for their lives in hopes of escaping the oncoming torrent of pure energy. the two riders saw nothing but blurred images of colors streaking past them, all yells and screams were quickly lost on the wind that carried them. The only thing that the warriors even took notice of was that ahead of them, at the end of the ivory highway upon which they rode, was the break in the sidewalk that signified the end of their race.

About twenty five feet or so before the previously agreed upon finish line was a break in the steel horse race way that was nothing but a never used side street. The front rider, on his black steed, quickly rode to victory; another easy win under his belt he mused. Images of grandeur filled his young imaginative mind as he flew on, the wind dancing through his hair. It happened at that moment of sincere joy when a lone, several thousand pound, steel wall on wheels decided to pull out of that side street and stop right in the path of that oncoming storm.

In unison the riders both locked their breaks, pulling back on would be reins, and prayed for dear life. The blond ridden Redline dirt bike, with its large knobby tires, stopped on what very well could have been a dime, its opponent and cohort not being so lucky. The jean clad would be victor’s breaks had locked, the wheels had stopped spinning, and considering all the laws of the universe that were known to this young, not so experienced warrior, he should have stopped. however, the sand that had been mysteriously strewn across the new ivory glass-like surface of the sidewalk defied all laws and saw to it that the hero on the ebony steed would never again see another finish line on his proud horse.

An eternity passed before steed and rider came crashing down on their sides, sliding the whole way on the glass like surface only to imbed themselves, as one, underneath the waiting mammoth of steel known as a car. The rider of the black steed never noticed the color, shape, or make of the vehicle that he was now slammed under, nor did he ever care. He did remember, however, being pulled out from underneath the car by strong, gentle hands and being asked how he was doing, but none of that mattered to him either.

No crimson blood flowed from any wounds onto the ivory floor. No bones were fractured or broken. No skin needed mending and no clothing was shredded. Even though nothing apparent seemed obviously wrong with this once cheery face youth, he wept. Not a physical pain kind of weeping, nor one stemming from fear. The race, the thrills, the adventures all meant absolutely nothing to this now sobbing child. Nothing said to him, nor nothing offered, could soothe his crushed spirit for laying on the ground at his feet was the mangled dying mass of his beloved steed. There was a lesson to be learned this cold, harsh, very real day, and yet no one cared, for today a tiny boy’s heart had been shattered by the destruction of his only worldly possession: his bike.

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Father’s Day

Posted on 16 June 2013 by Valkyrie

father's day - blinkinblogsI feel that sadly, Fathers kind of get a bum deal on this day. It falls after Mother’s Day, as if to say – “Oops! Let’s not forget about Dads”… so we scramble together a day to make them feel like they are special too.

I’ve always wondered why the consumer machine never pushes this as hard as they do for Mother’s Day. Mothers are supposed to be lavished with flowers, candy, gifts, lunch out, and possibly even diamonds – much akin to Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of pressure for men and for children as well. It seems a bit unfair.

Where with Dads, it is kind of subdued advertising – an afterthought almost. Maybe the proverbial neck tie, a Home Depot gift card, or cologne that he will never wear. You can almost feel the laziness of advertisers just doing their duty to include good ol’ Pops.

I love Dads – of all ages. They are magnificent creatures that deserve more of an ovation than they generally get. Yes, I realize there are lots of absentee fathers, but I am not referring to them. I am simply recognizing the ones that deserve our accolades.

Fathers point that strong North that a child needs to head into this crazy world – all by being steadfast, confident, and courageous in showing them the way; even if there are several twists and turns on the journey.

Fathers are magnificent at providing a strong presence, an unshakeable bond, and a safety net when we feel we cannot go on, but yet – he tells us, “You must!”

I love Fathers – I really, genuinely do. I love my own Father as much as I love my own children. That is a bond that was created, that nobody can remove. It is permanent.

My wish for the Fathers out there – that you may know inside of yourselves how valuable you really truly are to your children, to your family, and to the public as well.

We admire you all, we need you tenfold, and this world would be a sad and lonely place without your hard curveball lessons, your pushes behind our bikes once the training wheels come off, that worried look on your face when you realize we passed our driver’s test, your reluctant release of that grip as you pass the torch onto your son(s), and even that expression of having to ‘let go’ when you walk your daughter(s) down that wedding aisle.

So many of you hold a stiff upper lip and rarely crack under emotional duress that is directly linked to your children, but we all understand that you do feel deeply, and you are just hard-wired to show it differently. We call that strength and perseverance to the nth degree.

Fathers… we love you and we could never do it alone. You are needed, you are prized, and you are appreciated. We honor you.

Happy Father’s Day –

 

 

 

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The Fallen

Posted on 06 June 2013 by Thraxxus

manwithgunI look across the counter into the eyes of the man pointing a pistol at my chest. His hand shakes, his eyes dart about. His voice quivered when he said those words, “Give me everything in the register.” He lacks the courage of his convictions. The universe froze for a moment, granting me an eternity of time to ponder the situation that I was in. How could a man come to this? How could a man have had such a series of misfortune as to have made the decision that he needed to point a loaded gun at a fellow human being? Surely I had never been to the place that he was clearly at in his life now, so really how I could answer my own question?

So I asked him. “How did you come to this?” He froze, like me, his gun stopped shaking, the movement traveling up his body to his lower lip. “I don’t know.” I was amazed that he answered me. Surely something brought him to this point of desperation? It had to right? A man doesn’t simply decide to acquire a gun and then choose again to use it in a crime against another person for a paltry amount of money. Does he? Something lead him down this road. Contrary to what many believe, I find it impossible to accept that some men are just born evil. Something brought him here, or someone.

“I guess…”, he continued, “that I had no choice left.” There it was, the answer plaguing so many of us now. He had no other avenue that he could think of, he had run out of options. How did that happen? How does it happen to any of us? Somehow we graduate to a level of desperation that drives us to horrible things, to ourselves, and to others. Surely that is what had happened here. Perhaps things could have gone differently.

What have we become if a person has no options? What have we become if a person feels that they can not reach out their hand and have it taken by another, helping them rise to their feet? How could we have fallen so far to allow our fellow humans to stand forever alone, without help, without hope. How can we have left them to die and then be surprised when they refuse to? When they rise differently than we find acceptable? When they rise twisted, misshapen, horrible? How could we have expected differently?

When desperation grabs you and all hope is lost, in the end you will either choose death or life, and that choice can often lead you down a dark path. “How can I help you?” The question is so simple, and the task often simpler. So I asked him. “How can I help you?” He blinked at me, the gun lowering a little. “What?” He was clearly stunned. “What do you  need?” He began to cry.

What do any of us need? Why has it become so difficult to recognize that in another? Desperation is often times easy to spot if you are looking for it. The eyes tell all, doorway to the soul that they are. Is it so much trouble to ask? Is it so difficult to lend a helping hand? A loaf of bread? A bag of rice? A job? Maybe just an ear, or a hug? Something to let that person, whose feet are dangerously close to the edge, know that they are not alone in this world. They are not alone in the darkness. No, all they need to do is reach out their hand and you will take it, and help them.

How have we fallen so far?

 

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A Love Affair – The Great Gatsby

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Valkyrie

Gatsby - BlinkinblogsI have a unique fondness for the story ‘The Great Gatsby’. Whether that be in book or movie form, I am sold on its greatness – hook, line, and sinker. Due to many reasons, I believe. Here are those reasons…

I have an older sister. When I was a preteen, she was in High School. She had the arduous task of reading this novel, authored by the famous, F. Scott Fitzgerald. She did not want to read that day, as she had a headache. Me, being ever so eager to help out, and also the fact that I loved to read into escapism and magnificent stories, offered to read it to her as she lay down and closed her eyes to try and rid her headache. It was a Saturday and we were visiting my Grandparents. We found ourselves in their formal living room (to which nobody ever spent time in, even though it was the best room in the house due to the cross breezes from the windows and the natural lighting emanating through the white sheers). She was on the floor with a washcloth over her eyes as I sat on the large sofa, Indian style – to be exact. As I opened the book to read aloud, and flipped through the pages one after another… something delightful happened. I was there, with Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and all the other multi-dimensional personalities.

It was that very day that I was introduced to classic novels and how magnificent they are in their own rite. It was also on that day that I clung to the 1920’s fashion and felt as though I really was invited in partaking of all those bedazzled parties that Gatsby threw, in hopes to get Daisy’s attention and affections. To this day, I still style my wardrobe to have a certain influence of those great rip roaring flapping days. Beads, hats, headbands, swinging dresses, exaggerated flawless makeup. Mass femininity is the attraction here. And let’s not fail to mention the men’s style either. Two words – polished and dapper. That day, I managed to read the whole book to my sister – in one sitting. Three hours of bliss.

I then became the one in High School to whom took American Novel for my accredited English class. The delight I felt when the teacher was passing out the book with the blue cover… The Great Gatsby! I felt ecstatic knowing I got to partake of this world again from the 1920’s and yes, even admitting – could easily coast through, as I had already read the assignment. But yet again, something happened inside of me. I opened the book, flipped the pages, and found myself lost in the story for the second time. What made it even richer, was the fact of coming to class the following days after our reading assigned homework, and having open discussions as to what all these juicy nuggets of words meant. To hear my English Professor talk about the characters in great detail and bringing to light the symbolism of so many things was grandiose beyond belief. Oh, the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg! Once again I was entranced and yes, aced all the assignments and tests regarding the book.

Fast forward many more years. The story fervently stayed in my memory banks and brought itself to my attention again at a store that sold movies in big crates for $5.00 or less. I usually never partake in this kind of ‘digging for gold’ shopping, as it bores me. However, as I was pushing my cart past these obnoxious bins, I saw it… out of the corner of my left eye, The Great Gatsby – starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, circa 1974. Without even realizing what my hand was doing, it had already reached down and put the movie in my cart. The Great Gatsby in movie form for only $5.00. It was a sure purchase. And yes of course, watched it that night. I must admit, Robert Redford did a bang up job playing the role of Gatsby and donning that beautiful pink suit. I was swept away for 2+ hours once again, in Gatsby bliss.

Many more years pass since watching the 1974 Redford version of the classic. I was at the movie theater to watch something (I can’t even remember), and the previews of other movies began to start. Lo and behold, at that very moment, I recognize something in the preview that was playing in front of me. The style, the era, the characters… No! Could it be?! Could this really be what I think it is?! I was taking in every second of that preview and at the end of it, ‘The Great Gatsby – starring Leonardo DiCaprio’ is splayed across the big screen. I was fervently eager to catch the opening date. It was one year away! The release date was 365 days away! I had to see it, but also knew I needed to put that thought on the back burner, try to be patient, and wait.

So I did. I waited and watched other movies between those 365 days, much to which I don’t even remember… as I have a horrid memory for movie retention. During that time, I decided to once again read the book and familiarize myself with the story and drama of it all. Reading it as an adult was so much richer. I had a better appreciation for the characters and their own personal struggles. Then the time came… The countdown started. One month away before the release date of May 10, 2013. Then three weeks. Then two weeks. Then one week – 7 days to go!

During that last week I was so excited, I could barely even focus on menial tasks at hand… which is saying something, due to the fact that I never get that excited about anything. I was like a kid waiting to go to Disneyland for the very first time. I almost started embarrassing myself with my hype and uncontained over zealousness. Opening night was upon me and I even went to the theater hours earlier just to ensure that it would not be sold out. “Two tickets for The Great Gatsby in 3D at 7:00pm, please.” Best sentence I spoke that day.

The hours pressed slowly by. I was anxiously awaiting that moment where I got to sit my tush down in that theater seat and watch the epic movie that I have been clinging to since a preteen. I entered the theater, gave the young man my movie ticket, who then claims the theater is to my right. I go, and the anticipation builds so much so, I begin to feel butterflies in my tummy. What is wrong with me?! I finally sit down and the lights go dim. The previews begin and I don’t know if I can physically handle sitting through 5-6 movie previews. But I breathe – in and out, finding my core to settle and focus.

The moment is now here – 3D glasses on, water bottle in cup holder, no snacks so I am not distracted, and my date to my left. Life is good. Life is in order. Everything is perfect for the next 2 hours and 22 minutes of the 3D journey into the known world of – The Great Gatsby.

The film was epic, beautiful, and enticing. The grandeur was almost paralyzing to the senses. The styles were out of this world. That green light… oh, that green light that showed itself nightly at the edge of Daisy’s dock to Jay Gatsby – to me symbolizes jealousy… the fact that Gatsby could not handle the thought of Daisy ever loving another. The yearning he felt, the desire, the desperateness – all became his own demise. Tragic really. The whole story is quite tragic in so many ways it is hard to count. What amazes me is how two people – Tom and Daisy Buchanan, left so much death and destruction in their careless wake, and really, not even giving a damn.

To finally be able to sit in that theater after so much buildup – which was self-created, and have these epic scenes play out for me, was such a good release. As the movie ended and the credits were rolling up the screen, it also felt like this great anticipated ride had ended for me, it was a full circle moment. It was brilliant on so many levels. My affair with The Great Gatsby felt complete. There was a sense of nirvana and satisfaction as I left the theater that night. Passion – to me, this film encapsulates passion to a connection that I have had for this story that manifested itself years ago.

Nick Carraway says something to Jay Gatsby at the near end of the story that I will never forget. Here is the excerpt from the book regarding that verbal exchange – I will end with that, as nothing else needs to be further written, the story speaks for itself…

“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”

 

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Architecture in America

Posted on 17 May 2013 by Valkyrie

architecture in americaIt seems that America lacks architecture of any appeal to a large degree these days. I am not well traveled, and will not claim that I am. However, decorating and studying design has been a passion of mine for many years and I have grown quite fond of architecture from other regions. What I have come to discover in my studying process and noticing of America’s buildings, sky-rises, etc., is that the very concept of true design and architecture has been lost.

Competition seems to have all but taken over. Look to the cities for this prime example – the sky-lines. Every sky-scraper being built seems to want to achieve the winning gold medal for the tallest building in America. I never equated height with architecture (perhaps it is for the mere challenge), but – I am female and I would rather search for beauty, and I think other females would as well. I don’t mean to sound so blunt here (okay – maybe I do), but doesn’t it almost seem that these large sky-scrapers are trying to copycat erect penises? It’s almost as if it is a war of the egos and we are back on the playground with these architects and designers of these monstrosities while they chant, “Neener neener neener… my building is taller than yours!” Viagra anyone?

America is full of masculine architecture. Don’t get me wrong, I love masculinity to the nth degree… in a man though, not necessarily in a building or structure. I heard a philosopher once say that everything in nature is soft and has movement; there are no hard angles and lines. He is spot on. Then man comes along and tries to put everything in a hard-lined, sharp-edged, make-it-fit box. Seems we’ve done quite well at it too.

The modern built house these days is so unoriginal it just about makes me throw up in my mouth. We now have cookie-cutter, tract homes – where every third house is exactly the same as your own, to the left AND to the right. Albeit, there may be a slight change in color – just a different shade of tan, or off-white.

What happened to the styles and originality back in the day? Granted I did not live back in ‘the day’ (whenever that was exactly, as when we age and get maturity behind us… we all think we indeed lived back in ‘the day’). I am referring to the homes that had class, character, and charm. The Bungalow, the Craftsman, the Tudor, the Spanish style… why have we deviated from these beauties? Those homes had personality and told a story. Nowadays, it’s the stucco dream with drywall interior and bull-nosed corners, and if you pay the hefty upgrade price, you may get crown moulding and coffered ceilings… snooze.

I appreciate that drywall prevents fires from spreading as rapidly and that the tract home was in full swing and needed after the end of World War II, but still… I miss femininity in our architecture. Yes, some older and historic cities and neighborhoods still carry this type of style and grace in this country, to which I fully appreciate and cling to when I see it. But, I believe that needs to still carry on in our buildings today.

If you look at our hillsides littered in unoriginal homes, your eyes want to glaze over while scanning – never noticing anything visually enticing that you want to stop and linger at. Now, if you look at the hillsides of Italy, Spain, or Brazil… man oh man, visual delights – color! America is so afraid of color. What is wrong with the quenching colors of Cobalt Blue on a Mediterranean home, the Orangey Brown Adobe on a Spanish style, and the Chocolate Brown with Dark Green trim on the Craftsman, or the Slate Gray with a Red front door on the Tudor? What is wrong with color? Since when has America toned down and gotten so downright boring and wanted to all blend in with the other so badly? We have become camouflaged amongst ourselves… driving down our suburban streets not even recognizing our own home until the act of our garage door opening tips us off. Don’t even get me started on the one proverbial tree in the front yard concept and only two in the backyard nonsense. We, as a country, have become so rigid in our way of expressing and being individualistic.

Architecture in America is sadly a lost art, skill, and talent when it comes to displaying beauty and character. We are a country of erect sky-scrapers, flat strip malls, rectangular super malls, and boring cookie-cutter homes. I think if Frank Lloyd Wright were alive today, he would just shake his head. Now there’s a man that new what to do with angles and hard lines.

 

 

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7, the end.

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

Mr Bill Dodd was across the street looking out the window and enjoying his coke high when suddenly across the street the glass was falling out of a window, he was puzzled as he watched the men break out the last of the glass, and even more puzzled as a visible red laser beam appeared from just below where he was standing and the newly broken window. He was even more puzzled when five or six rockets shot into the air trailing coils of slivery wire, it was so beautiful. As he watched, not one, but two lightning bolts struck the rockets and continued down to and across the laser beam, blasting Mr Dodd across the room and destroying the communications room below him.
The laser room was vacated when the lightning struck and G opened the door to see what had happened. The communications room across the way was a smoking mess. Step one completed. On the way back to the parking garage they came across a security vehicle that tried to stop them, there was a short chase and suddenly the security vehicle vanished in a flash and a cloud of smoke. Good IED thought G. Soon they were in the parking garage and the security vehicles were everywhere. Barely having recovered from the previous rocket/IED attack they were still mad as hornets. Upon seeing the rubble in the street around the parking garage they fired a few rounds and were greeted with a thousand or more in return. Their radios weren’t working for some reason so they sent someone back to get the heavy vehicles. By the time the armored vehicles showed up the security vehicles were Swiss cheese and few of the security patrol were still breathing. The armored vehicles advanced on the parking garage only to meet a monster rolling out to meet them, then another, and another. The monster machines spread out three wide and closed in on the armored vehicles. One of them, the rearmost was able to back out and escape being rolled over and crushed flat but as it reached the corner an IED blew it about 200 feet sideways, no one survived that. As this was happening three modified road graders were rolling out down Casino center, two heading for the Metro building and one plowing directly into the casino used for a dormitory. The blast took off the face of the building and gutted it, having no center anymore, the rest of the building fell inwards making a pile of rubble a little over three stories with almost nothing recognizable in it. The Metro building was better protected, the concrete barriers were solid and nothing could get through. The first grader ran up on the barriers and blew up, breaking virtually every window in the building and leveling the concrete barriers, the second grader went over the crater made by the first, climbed the steps rolled across the reception area and blew up deep inside the building. At first the building had a five storey hole in the center and then gravity took its toll and the center collapsed leaving both ends with 6-7 stories of mangled metal and little else. It seemed that the plan was a total success.
Suddenly the streets were teeming with uniformed security personnel and security vehicles, apparently one of the hotels had a contingent of the officers that we hadn’t known about. They started heading in the direction of the parking garage with red lights and sirens blaring. We were freaking out, we could probably survive the attack but at what cost, we weren’t trained soldiers and these men probably knew what they were doing. Soon the sirens were all we could hear and we were all locked and loaded. The sirens continued past the parking garage into the desert beyond, heading towards LA or somewhere in California, it had worked, we had liberated the town and could live a little more easily. Or until the next nerve gas attack, a new military incursion, a new insane corporation decided it wanted what we had…

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Aftermath 6

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

I was guessing when we confronted the armored vehicles that it would happen at the parking garage but the building busting road grader conversions would have a good several miles to go to get to their targets, a plan needed to be made to distract the security forces. After a week’s preparations several vehicles went up to North Las Vegas, on the other side of the Metro building and hotel from us. After preparations were done we received a message, the doors to the events center opened as an all out rocket attack was launched from the far side of the Metro building, the diversion was an all out attack. Missiles were hitting Metro and the hotel, as well as other hotels and the security forces were heading out to counter attack. The security forces soon were decimated by IEDs and Claymore mines and the heavy vehicles were searching for the source of the attack. That source had pretty much left the area by the time the security forces left the down town area to ‘fight’ the attackers. Soon everyone was back at the parking garage and the three ‘building busters’ were within blocks of their targets, covered with tarps or within warehouses. The mission had been a success.
The radio traffic about the attack was frantic, the leader of the forces was a Mr Bill Dodd and he was shouting at everyone, causing more confusion that helping. Soon though, things quieted down and the security forces assessed their damage, there was little or no damage other than the vehicles that had been drawn into IEDs and Claymores, there the damage had been 100%, all occupants of all vehicles were dead. A blow to morale but acceptable, big personnel losses were acceptable but this building and it’s equipment must be safe and Mr Dodd was sure that it was. He looked out at the empty city and remembered what it was like before Gas Night, it was a lot of fun to go out and gamble and see shows, Mr Dodd was a big shot back then and was given complimentary meals, shows, drinks, and gambling chips. He missed those days, now he sat in an office running this branch of an empire that had been created years before and launched on Gas Night. What should he do about the attack, should he continue to ferret out and kill the scavengers that were invading the city or should he just hold the fort and wait for some direct order or someone to report to. He decided to snort some more cocaine, he could think better when he was high.
Jack and G and a group of men were across the street from Mr Dodd having a discussion, G said that the cables from the antennas went to the room just below where Mr Dodd was and that that was where to strike first. Everyone began to do their task and soon it was done. The first real strike was in place. The men left the room after replacing the wooden door and frame with a steel reinforced frame and a steel door with a lock that couldn’t be picked or broken into without heavy equipment, this room must be safe! Finally everyone except the forward observation people were back at the garage, last minute plans and details were discussed, and in four hours the radio silence would be broken and commands would be given and reports received. First the converted bulldozers were brought from the events center to the parking garage, ground level, the first time that they were visible since they were constructed. Second, the streets outside the parking garage were littered with huge chunks of concrete and asphalt to stop anyone from coming from any direction other than the main entrance where the monster machines were waiting. Finally all entry ways into the parking garage were mined and blocked off by steel panels or bars. Jack liked it, we were ready he thought.
Back at the building opposite the Metro building the observers reported that the cloud cover was heavier but the rain was still a little away to the East. G and his team went to their room and began to get the power going, the computers up and on the desired programs and most of all, calibrate the laser and aim it exactly at the spot where the cables entered the equipment room they were planning to take out. That done G went to the roof and had the rockets aimed a little toward the East and was sure that they would work. Back at the room again and checked the laser one more time and he signaled the men to break out the window between him and the Metro building.

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Aftermath 5

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

With the machine shop fabricating panels for privacy in the facility and sets of bars for security, reinforcing the vehicles we were using to be more resistant to collision and gunfire, and a few more specialized projects, Jack turned to the 3rd floor of the basement, the IT, electronics, communication and whatever else workspace, there were even lasers being fooled with. One of the technicians using a laser told Jack that there was a mild short on the metal table he was using his laser on and when you passed your hand thru the laser you could feel the short, pretty funny, huh? As they continued on thru the facility they saw a 14yr old black kid named G making some robotic devices, Jack said hi and everyone moved on. Carl asked if there was any plan involved in the development area and Jack said ‘Lets see what develops.’
Later in the week something ominous happened, from the end of the parking garage furthest away from the Casino and the Strip we heard gunfire, sneaking a peek from the upper floors we saw three heavily armored vehicles assaulting a strip mall and actually battering it down as the firefight progressed. After about 45 minutes the shooting died down and two teams dressed in black entered each of the standing buildings and more shots were fired. A few cars arrived and civilian types looked over the scene and then everyone left, taking only a few boxes with them, leaving whatever bodies and anything else behind. We waited an hour then using as much cover as we could, went over to the wreckage and looked around. There were 25 or so bodies, men, women, and children, and tons of scavenged materials, food mostly, but electronics and weapons too. Everyone had been shot in the head to ensure no survivors. This was a wake up call for our group, these people had probably only been surviving but must have been seen and traced to that strip mall, then executed. We knew then that the security forces were our enemy and the enemy of every free man, woman, and child on the planet. Jack began to formulate a plan.
The special events arena of the casino was dug into the ground but the dome was at ground level. We began to seal off entrances with panels and old rusty chains and locks making it look like the arena was shut down before Gas Night. The seats and equipment were taken out of the center level area and hoists and cranes were brought in. Under the tight watch of many observers much heavy equipment was brought into the arena and the main loading area was made to look unused again. Work began in earnest to protect ourselves from an assault like we’d seen on the others. First several bulldozers were stripped and rebuilt specifically to destroy the assault vehicles that the security forces had used. Next some large graders had building busting metal noses on them and a compartment to hold a couple of tons of explosives just behind the nose. Meanwhile the IED teams had set up more IEDs as close to the Metro police building as possible to aid in the event of any trouble. Within a week it looked like trouble was coming our way, a security patrol vehicle pulled up to the loading dock area of the events arena and two uniformed men got out and started looking around, one got a long piece of pipe and started prying at one of the old locks. Where they were trying to enter was the driveway into our workshop and there was no camouflage beyond that door, only projects that we were working on. Jack sent a message to the communications room and a few seconds later a huge explosion was heard from the downtown area near the hotel and police station. The two security people got radio messages and jumped into their vehicle and left the area. Jack told the workers to double secure that doorway and put an impenetrable jumble of junk between the door and the work area.
Jack had talked to G the young scientist we had working for us and he’d taken over one of the laser projects and Jack wanted to see what he’d done. He returned happy and said that we needed to go out to the desert and shoot off some fireworks. That sounded like fun and a few dozen of us went along. Jack and G and a few technicians set everything up and the first rocket was fired, way up it went, then the next, then the next, till all six of them had been fired off. That’s it Jack said, hope you all had fun, let’s go home. No more was said about it but many of us suspected it was not just for entertainment.
We returned to the compound and talked over some ideas, the machines designed to take out the big security vehicles would certainly do the job and were armored enough that it wasn’t a suicide mission to drive one, it would not stop till it ran out of diesel. The building breaching machines were another thing, no one would escape alive from those so a remote control was operating each of them. Things were going ahead of schedule, just what to do and when were still the questions.

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Aftermath 4

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

The first order of business was to set up a dozen or more IEDs or Claymore mines on certain routes we would be taking. The IEDs were shaped charges that we put into buildings right by the roadways to take out anyone following us or that we perceived to be a threat and were approaching the facility that we were going to take over. The Claymore mines were mostly put into bushes or areas between buildings that faced the street, a simple piece of cardboard or 12 pack boxes could cover them. When we had set those up we went to the parking garage that was the object of our mission, five stories up and three stories down and housing an electrical system and generator sufficient to supply the casino it had once served for months. It would serve our need for years. After checking the equipment and doing some rewiring, Jack fired up the generator and turned on the lights to the bottom three underground floors. We explored the floors and found that nearly a hundred cars would need to be moved to the upper floors but the bottom floor was perfect for our needs. Over the next few months we had many expeditions to supply the facility, Jack started calling it Eden.

After the drainage system had been checked out, a layer of rock had been laid on the concrete floor, followed by heavy gravel, then sand, then soil. The lighting system was all fluorescent and had every spectrum of light that was in sunlight. Jack activated the well and pumped water into the bottom floor garden space, when the soil was all wet he turned off t he water and watched the level of the water drop as the drainage system took effect. Vegetable seeds were planted immediately and the lights were on 24 hours a day. A few times the security forces drove by the parking garage but the three car pile up at the entrance kept them from wanting to check it out and the jagged spikes at the exit kept anyone from coming in that way. The second level underground was a machine shop and there was a lot going on in there. Some of the new people we had run into in Vegas had skills that we needed and were recruited to work for us in their specialty and they were all eager to help.
We found that the security forces were using the Metropolitan Police Building in down town Las Vegas and that it had been fortified against any ground assault, though why anyone would want to go there I don’t know. The upper building seemed to be the same as it was before, there was a jail and the administrative offices, Chief of Police, etc. There also was a hotel, Fitzgerald’s that was fortified at the bottom entrance and also at the parking garage entrances, probably a dormitory now. We didn’t have any more information on them but with more people joining us we were able to piece together information and see a little of what was going on. The security forces were just patrolling the city to assure that there were no fires, looting damage, or unruly groups. Other than that no one had seen them do anything and they had not mistreated anyone that we knew of, still, they represented those who had killed our families and friends and most of the common people in America and the rest of the world we surmised. We did find that the building could be seen from the back side of the parking garage and for safety sake kept all activity invisible to that building. The building itself seemed to radiate evil, Jack felt that it truly was evil and would be part of the coming conflict if one developed.

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Aftermath 3

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

After a short Spring and a long hot Summer Jack decided to put his plan into operation, it was simple, to move back to Las Vegas to his own solar home stockpiled with food and water, a generator and a huge underground propane tank that he always kept topped off. It was the middle house in a small gated community of seven houses and faced the entrance gate which was beautiful and functional. The other houses were solar too and similarly equipped. Jack’s place was locked and empty of any living thing when he left so he thought he could move right in. Fred had stayed there a lot while he dated Jack’s sister and had stayed there a lot when they had fights, so he pretty much owned the guest room. Carl and most of the four families and a dozen or so others that they had recruited into their group decided to come along. It was a well armed group that came into Vegas that late morning, wrecked autos everywhere, remains of people and animals in mostly skeletal condition, a few mummified for some reason, probably not getting enough water intake, Jack thought.

First a stop at Mervyns for some shopping, new bedding for seven houses please. The store had been open when the gas came and some of the doors were open. While several of the men kept watch on the outside the others and all the women and children came in and shopped. Soon everyone had new clothes and we were off to Jack’s house. The gate was closed and locked but a manual key quickly opened the gate. Everyone went in and Jack relocked the gate. No human remains in sight. So far, so good. Jack went to his house and opened it up, musty and hot air, but no real odor, three of the houses checked were not so clean, the residents had been there when the gas hit and their remains were removed and the chair, couch, or piece of carpet that they had decomposed on were removed too. Carl said that we should say some words over the remains and Jack said ok, then toss them over the brick wall opposite of the guard shack by the gate please. Soon everyone was moved in, a number of guards were posted in upstairs windows and the guard shack was manned and armed.

The womenfolk got a meal started and Jack and Fred got to work. They took up the carpet in the spare downstairs bedroom and opened a steel door that was usually under the bed, did I mention that Jack and Fred were survivalists. The steps under the door led to a huge stockpile of weapons and ammunition, food, water, tools, raw materials, electronic and communication equipment and the list went on. The guys took several loads up to the den and closed up the steel door, replaced the carpet and moved the bed back into position. That night as the kids and girls were watching one of Jack’s hundreds of DVDs on his big screen TV, the guys talked. There were radio communications for everyone and GPS tracking devices too. It was decided that everyone would have a GPS chip sewn into a permanent part of their clothing so in any event they could be found by someone with a locator.
There had been some type of military or police traffic as they had come into Vegas but they didn’t seem concerned with Jack’s group at all, not even a glance from any of them. It appeared that some sort of public safety organization was in force but after having probably 200 million people gassed by our democratic government, trust was hard to get back, better to avoid them and keep our location a secret. No radio traffic in the compound at any time. Incoming transmissions only.
Now that the places to live and base of operations had been secured it was time to work on another project. Jack and four of the men who were mostly ex military headed out in Jack’s SUV to look over a few spots just off of the Las Vegas Strip.

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Aftermath 2

Posted on 13 May 2013 by ~baba

Heading towards Utah would be the best move, the Mormon people there were involved with food storage, self sufficiency, and had prepared for a hundred years for the government to do something like that, and Fred was a Jack Mormon, meaning he didn’t go to church anymore and drank coffee, but both Jack and Fred thought that that could be forgiven and that they could be taken into the fold up there. Besides, Jack’s sister, who was Fred’s wife, Paula, was up in St. George visiting family, hopefully she was safe up there and they’d have somewhere to stay too.
They passed many wrecks and even more abandoned cars and got to the Utah state line where they were stopped at a huge pile of cars and several police cars. They were waved up by uniformed police officers. They stopped and got out to talk. After identifying themselves they learned that St. George had been gassed, Hurricane had been gassed, and even the little towns of Ivins, Santa Clara, and Pineview Park were now dead zones. Fred broke down and gained us some sympathy and we were allowed into Utah and an encampment of thousands of refugees.
To cheer Fred up I said that my sister Paula and her friends were probably camping out in the canyon area East of St. George known as Hell’s Half Acre, which was a joke as the area was more like Paradise, trees, a big, sparkling stream and huge boulders virtually encircling the place. We asked if the way was clear to there and everyone thought it was, so we jumped in the SUV and headed out. Within an hour we got there and found four families but no one had seen Paula or her friends. We decided to camp there and set everything up. Everyone was friendly and the big Mormon women cooked up a feast and of course everyone was invited to eat. God, it was good, we’d had fried fish and potatoes for breakfast but that seemed like a week ago considering all that we’d been through. That night we had steak, boiled, buttered potatoes, fresh cooked vegetables and cornbread with butter and honey. After we ate the menfolk sat around a fire trying to decide what to do while the kids and women were otherwise occupied. Carl, an older man wearing overalls seemed to be in charge. ‘I say we dig in and see what we can find out, if this is a first strike or if it’s just the eugenic process that they’ve been planning, now implemented. We need to find out if any troops are moving, I haven’t seen much air traffic and if they were coming this way the skies would be crowded now.’ Everyone seemed to agree and broke up into smaller groups and Jack and Fred went to the tent to sleep.
The next morning they were awakened by a small child saying that breakfast was ready and to hurry up and come. Soon they were eating eggs cooked to order, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and gravy, biscuits and more butter and honey. Jack said he was about ready to convert and would if a pretty Mormon girl was available. Carl came up and asked what we were going to do and that we were welcome to stay with them as long as we wanted and were useful whenever we were needed. We agreed and set off to do something but the women were doing the dishes and the men were sitting around doing nothing, so we decided to do that too, for now. Jack had some ideas he wasn’t telling anyone yet.

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Aftermath

Posted on 12 May 2013 by ~baba

VX-Nerve-GasWhen the price of gasoline went over $12 a gallon there were riots, not serious but still damage to gas stations, stores, some looting and a few deaths. Surprisingly few arrests considering that most countries had developed into police states. The population as a whole was not healthy either, the genetically modified poison food that was really their only choice anymore had taken it’s toll, thousands had died of kidney failure, liver failure, heart problems and lung problems from the horrible allergies that the GMOs had caused. The worst part was even though the food was poison, there wasn’t enough to go around. Soon there were more riots, bigger, worse, many deaths, the very infrastructure of the cities was at risk. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s threat that ‘It is now easier to kill a million people than it is to control them’ came to its horrible reality, the cities were nerve gassed. Millions of rioters, people standing by just watching, news commentators, those hiding in their homes, all, suddenly could not breathe, body spasms, finally death. Millions. MILLIONS.
The cities were littered with dead, everything, pets, rats, birds, and especially, people. The stench must have been horrible, but there was no one there to notice. The wealthy were in their safe houses, waiting out the ‘cleansing’ and their plan was to repopulate the Earth with their descendants, not the stupid, multiracial masses that had made up the world before. Huge airtight citadels were in every city and had the core of the New World Order ready to establish order and take control of the New World.
After a few years the cities began to repopulate as those who survived the VX gas simply by not being in the cities when it happened. People on vacation in the country, country folk and various wanderers came to the cities looking for loved ones, curiosity, to loot, to find food, whatever, the cities slowly began to show signs of life. Of course looters were immediately judged and executed by the roving security forces but plain civilians were largely overlooked for now. For some this was an opportunity to start a new world of their own.
Jack and Fred had been on a camping trip, doing some fishing when Gas Night happened, they didn’t even know about it till they got close to Vegas and started seeing bizarre auto accident scenes, dozens of vehicles wrecked, turned over dozens of times, run off of the highway a hundred yards or more. Examination of the drivers and passengers showed them to all have died before the wreck, almost no blood, heavy mucous from the mouth and nose, nerve gas. Jack had been in the army and along with Fred, his brother in law, was a survivalist. Yes, a gun toting survivalist but not in a militia, not that crazy they had laughed at themselves many times. They decided to get the hell out of the gassed area immediately and find somewhere to stay. There were many places on the highway, some with people still living and wondering what to do, panic was widespread. They decided to gas up and pulled into the only gas station they had seen in 50 miles. The windows were broken and the pump nozzles were on the ground. Jack pulled his .38 out of his waistband and cautiously entered the looted gas station, Fred stayed outside covering him with a 9mm auto. There was lots of junk food lying around, all of the beer was gone an then Jack saw the station attendant lying on the floor behind the counter, he could see three bullet holes in the man’s chest and blood on the shelf behind him where he probably had stood when he was shot. Jack also saw the gasoline emergency shut off button right beside the shelf and it looked like it had been hit hard, it was crooked, more depressed on one side than the other. Seeing that no one was in the store he signaled Fred to come in. They loaded water, sodas, food, anything they could fit in Jack’s SUV. There were batteries, lighters, cigarettes, though neither of them smoked they could be used for trade in the future, and looted the tools available in the repair shop. When they were full up, Jack fiddled with the emergency shut off button till it popped back up. They tried the nearest gas pump and it worked! After they had fueled up and filled any container that they could find with gas they shut off the gas pumps and headed out to look for shelter.

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Overland Park/Johnson County, Kansas – Lexus Land?!?

Posted on 29 September 2012 by scanjack

“Yeah! That is a total win, win! My god, do you know how much we can take down from this? Right? I mean wow, this is better than  the shorts we put in on AA before the fall!”

Overheard somewhere outside of the Denver International terminals.

Squirrel!

If ever you find yourself in a bar somewhere and it’s beer-O-thirty , you may encounter these “sales” types.

Just the other day, I sat drinking my $2.50 “Happy Hour” local microbrews and had the entertainment of two NYC wanna be sales types. Really. She was married, and in between the “sell, sell, sell!” bullshit, several required (it seemed at the time) marital comments were put forth. She was tall, thin with a nice Wonder Bra promoting those 36’s to forty uplift. He was about as metro as you can get and somehow managed to lose her for a few tortuous minutes. Why tortuous you ask? Really I have to say, You are the very best audience! Well that required him to either a.) Sit in a public place in silence, with alcohol, or b.) chat up the nearest poor SOB that happened to be close by. Yeah, you guessed it, yours truly.

I do my best not to judge others, really. I am not hard on the eyes, but I am not going to worry a man with a beautiful wife either…unless she has a brain and has a conversation with me ;o)

Metro_fyoubiatch…Sexual. My god, I think he had his brows waxed!

After some short “Did you see that! I can’t believe so and so from the Chiefs threw the ball in his face!” his work mate, handler, sometimes hungry mouth, as long as she packed her strap….

Land of Lexus, my a$$! Most self made millionaires drive a Camry for their commute, or so I hear. Me, I drive a BMW x5. Why, because it’s a sexy beast!

“….He’s telling us this and he’s tell us that.”

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Aerodynamic bird makes amazing hood ornament

Posted on 21 August 2012 by Five0ClockCharlie

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