Monday, May 30, 2011

A Closer Look at Memorial Day

  Memorial Day has never meant that much to me. I don't know any really patriotic people. And I don't know anyone who makes a big deal about being a veteran or anything like that. For me, for the aforementioned reasons, Memorial Day has pretty much just been another day off from school and/or work. But it does mean a lot to a lot of people. According to Wikipedia, it began after the Civil War to honor the Union soldiers who had died during the war, and eventually came to be a day to remember all those who served in the armed forces and died in the wars that our country has seen over the years.
    But patriotism has its place, and so today, I think I'll pontificate a bit about why this shouldn't just be another day.
    Part of remembering the past is to help change things and make them better for the future. So, in that respect, remembering everyone that died during the wars of the past century, two World Wars, Vietnam, Korea, and still going--Afghanistan and Iraq--(plus any others that my limited 20th century US history education has not made me aware of) is not only about remembering those who sacrificed their lives for their country, but trying to make it so that that sacrifice is not necessary in the future.
    Let's all laugh at the pacifist who wants world peace and an end to all wars. Done yet? Ok, I'll go on.
    Wars are ugly and expensive and they kill people, people you may know. And yes, it would be nice if we could solve things with diplomacy and words instead of machine guns and bombs. But as much as humanity wants to keep things civil, and remain entitled to call itself humanity, we continue to take the easy way out. Yes, war is the easy way out. Talking is hard. It takes time. And we may have to come back and say what we want to say or change what we want to say several times, or dozens of times, before we get it right. (Wars have a nasty habit of enduring and taking a lot longer than intended, too, but for some reason, people continue to overlook that detail when comparing it to diplomacy...)
    People think talking doesn't work because many times, people lie or go back on their word. And many other times, people don't even want to listen to each other. Not wanting to listen makes diplomacy pretty difficult. But taking a long time trying to talk and be heard is a better alternative, a more human alternative, to giving up and just sending a bunch of people over to an unfamiliar place and telling them to shoot people.
    So, Memorial Day ought to be not only a day of remembrance, but a day of hope. Hope that mankind can learn to man up and solve its problems without that kind of violence that makes days like Memorial Day necessary.
Peace, love, and bean sprouts.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Privacy Please: An Analyis of Its Disappearance

  While the advent of social media has been great for improving communication in many cases, it also marks the disappearance of privacy in many ways. You can't be Facebook friends with your boss unless you're okay with him/her seeing that you spent your entire Friday night drinking beers with your friends or that you just beat Guitar Hero, again. And don't get me started on being friends with parents on Facebook. No matter how old you are, they will inevitably disapprove of certain things that you, or your other friends, post on your wall.
    But Facebook is just the start. There is still some element of privacy to it. You don't have to friend your mom or your boss. You can make your profile private so that only your Facebook friends can view what you post to it. Twitter has two options: private or public. And most blogs are the same way. You approve or disapprove the people who want to follow you and read what you have to say. But you may still have to censor yourself.
    The Internet has made privacy pretty much nonexistent, even with all the privacy settings you can add to what you might share online. Once you say something online, you can't take it back. There is a permanent digital record of all of it, somewhere, in cyberspace. Even if you delete it. And that makes honesty a real challenge sometimes, because knowing that what you say in the virtual world can come back to haunt you in the real world is kind of scary. Some people just don't realize this. But some of those that do censor what they say.
    However, taking everyone into account for censorship is a major pain in the ass. Some people will think what you have to say is funny or interesting or cool, and others will be offended or dismayed. When speaking to someone directly, some censorship is appropriate at times, though it's called tact instead. But in writing, there shouldn't be any censorship. Because then it's no longer honest. And what is the point of sharing what you're thinking through words if you're not going to be honest about it?
    As much as it has pained me, I have kept a lot to myself because I didn't want to have the people I already know think of me differently because of what I might say. And I have kept the existence of this blog and some other writing I've done a secret from certain people for that same reason. I wanted to be able to say what I thought here, and certain people might disagree. I welcome disagreement from you, dear readers, because I know that 9 times out of 10, if not more, I am completely full of shit. But I'd rather not have to argue with the people I see and speak to all the time because of some ridiculous hypothesis I put forth here.
    One day, I hope, what I have to say will be open and available for everyone, and I'll take the flack for it when that day comes. But for now, I'll write for you and for myself, and not worry about what judgment you may pass on me because of it.
The pen is, in fact, mightier than the sword.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

When Writing Gets Ugly

  Everyone has had a moment where they looked back over something they wrote and went, what the hell was that supposed to be? Sometimes it was just gibberish; other times you just ended up with a completely ungrammatical sentence; and still other times, you managed to mangle a word so badly with your 120 WPM skills that the auto-correct didn't even know what to do with it. I do that last one frequently due to the dyslexia my brain seems to pick up when it's trying to get something written in a hurry. Except my WPM is far from 120.
    But ugly writing, though it may seem useless and frustrating, considering you have to go back and fix it later, is not a bad thing. It's a start, and for those who write compulsively or regularly (and not compulsively), a start composed of crappy writing is WAY better than a blank page/screen. But that ugly writing isn't going to get pretty on its own, and revision, for some writers, is almost a dirty word.

"What? I didn't write it perfect the first time? 
You've got to be kidding. 
That is 100% quality prose right there." 

    Once we put our egos in check, however, there's a rare occasion when everything comes out brilliant and with no revision necessary the first time around. So while I love editing, I love it only as long as it's not my writing. I am pretty good at giving constructive criticism on other people's work. But when it comes to my own writing, I procrastinate to an obscene amount. If it's shorter, like an essay or a poem, or a blog post, I can do it because I know it will be quick and relatively painless. Every blog post is at least a second draft. And every 2 or more page paper I've written in the past eight years has been a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th draft.
    But the truth is, it can always be better. The question we must ask ourselves is: how much time do we want to/are we able to commit to making it better? To this end, I'm currently enacting a new strategy in my creative writing project, though I didn't set out to do things this way. I wrote--a good 2500 words or so in a day--and then steadily tacked on a few hundred words a day until I got blocked. I suddenly found myself writing the story into a corner (forgive the mixed metaphor) and I stopped. I thought about where I had gone wrong and made notes about where to fix it. And then I did. It took me about two weeks, off and on, to do the rewrites and the make the changes, but I think it's improved. And it's put me back on track. On a track I didn't realize I was going on, but a forward moving track that is not headed for a corner, or dead end.
    Revising 3500 hundred words or so is a lot easier than writing upwards of 30 or 40 thousand words first and then trying to go back and revise all of it. It's a lot of ground to cover, so much ground that it seems impossible not only to try to reread all of it, but to do more than fix a couple commas here and there.
    So, whenever writer's block sets in, going back and revising (and revisiting) what you've written can get your brain unblocked. It may not be pretty, looking at how far off topic you've gone or how ridiculous that string of dialogue sounds (people don't talk like that, do they?), but it helps. It is one day, or one set of however many pages/words you typically write in a day, at a time. Get through it and you can move on in a direction that may be even better than the one you originally had in mind.
Even the ugly duckling turned into a swan.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pros and Cons of Being a Grown-Up

I had a moment this morning, powering through my work and listening to my MP3 (No, I do not have an iPod, for a reason) when I felt very adult-like. Typing fast, jamming out to Suffragette City and Sunshine Highway, and being totally productive, something I'm mostly able to do now that I don't have to leave halfway through the day to go to school. It was awesome.
    While being a grown-up does suck on occasion: losing a significant amount of my paycheck to taxes, paying rent to apartment Nazis that shut off my water every other week, paying bills, the possibility of getting called for jury duty (yeah, good luck with that one--I've got so many addresses my name is connected to in the past five years!). I wish I could think of more grown-up responsibilities that didn't involve money, but unfortunately, it seems that my life does revolve around finances at the moment.
    There are some pluses to being an adult: I can legally purchase alcohol, I can pay for my own gas (that could be a negative, but for me, it's a pretty big responsibility), I can give money to charity and write it off on my taxes, I can rent an apartment, I can complain to the apartment managers and my complaint actually carries weight, and I can buy my own stuff. That may not seem like much, and much of it does still have to do with money, but being able to support yourself, even if it's rather frugally, is a pretty cool thing.
    I've been living off my parents for twenty-two years, and to be able to pay for my own movie tickets, take my parents out to dinner, buy my own groceries, and even cook some of my own meals. So, adulthood has some things going for it, and some things that are a pain in the ass. I do miss childhood though. I enjoyed high school. It was the only time in my life I really had friends. Almost all my friends are long-distance friends now.
    And I enjoyed life when I was little. My Barbies and stuffed animals, the Bailey School Kids books, R.L. Stine books, getting hooked on movies that weren't produced by Disney, learning to read and write, and learning I was pretty good at both. I think I'm still somewhere in between being a kid and being a grown-up. I only act grown-up around other grown-ups. On my own or with people I'm close to, I act like the crazy teenager I was a few years ago.
    As much as I enjoyed being a kid (though at the time, I couldn't grow up fast enough), I like being grown up too, at least 60 or 70 percent of the time. We may take on more responsibilities and have to deal with things way beyond our maturity level being older, but as long as we never lose our childish enthusiasm, we can stay young at heart. (Side note: I just quoted 2 movies and a song in one sentence. Which ones?)
Live long and prosper.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yes, You're Still In the Right Place!

This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands. The site looks a little different, no? Well, it should. Because it is. I didn't take anything away (I don't think...), but everything is definitely in a different place. I was going to do this redesign a couple months ago, but I was worried people wouldn't recognize it. As there are so few returning visitors, I think (hope) you'll find your way around again.
    So, at the very least, you may want to check out the About Me page. I added on to what was originally in the About the Author box. (I hope that link isn't broken. The URL didn't change after I changed the title of the page.
    I hope you like it. Those of you who knew what it looked like before. Comments?
I hope new means improved. This time, anyway.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quit Being Part of the Problem

S.E.P., for those of you who are not ubernerds like me and have not read the third book from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, is what is known as "somebody else's problem". The SEP is a staple of American life. If it's not happening directly to us, for example, some knucklehead in a Subaru cutting you off in traffic, it's not our problem. It's somebody else's problem. Natural disasters, war, social movements, environmental movements, these and other things are often considered to be SEPs unless they are occurring on our doorstep.
    An unfortunate reality, because if we were to begin noticing the SEPs out there, and make it our problem, we wouldn't be so concerned about the fate of the world, and we might actually have some optimism about the future. Bad economy? That's somebody else's problem. War in Afghanistan? That's S.E.P. too. Climate change? S.E.P. When we all give ourselves permission to say it's SEP, it stifles the world and smothers the possibility of finding a solution.
    So, stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution. Stop saying it's S.E.P. Stuff like climate change, the economy, and natural disasters are ALL our problems, whether we like it or not.
I'm being a little preachy today because some nut thinks today is the end of the world, and I figure I'm allowed, being sane. But in the case that the world is still here tomorrow, a good piece of advice moving forward is to eliminate the mindset that everything difficult or ugly or unpleasant is S.E.P. Things are only going to get worse with that attitude.
    So, dear readers, if we can work on a little compassion, or empathy, even if it's for our own selfish reasons, maybe we can push out the date of the actual end of the world. And, make the time until then a little better for everyone. Preachity preach preachy. Apologies. But I think since this is positive, solution-oriented, and non-prophesying preaching, maybe it's not as hubristic (I know that's not a word, but maybe it will be now...) as this dude who's predicting the rapture will occur today.
    As far as I can tell, Saturday morning cartoons still aired, my horoscope was pretty optimistic, playoff hockey is still on, there's even a bit of blue sky out my window, and I haven't heard anything particularly ominous on the news. But of course, there are still about 11 hours left of the day in my timezone, so I suppose it's a wait and see. But again, Skynet isn't self aware, no zombies are marching stupidly on my street in search of brains, and the Poudre isn't flooding. So, I'm thinking we'll just have to wait for 2012, or for the next attention-seeking nut who decides he knows better than anyone else about the end of the world.
And.... Tampa Bay just scored. 3 TIMES! All tied up! Hell didn't freeze over just yet!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency

It has been ugly and cloudy and gray for more than a week now, and steadily gray and rainy for several days. It is damned depressing. It's dampening everyone's mood and morale. And it's causing drowsiness. This is in a place where we generally get over 300 days of sunshine in a year. (Granted that number includes days where the sun was only out for part of the day, but nonetheless.)
    It's the first week of full-time work, and the first two or three days were overwhelming because I was busy. I was not as busy today, and I was hoping to wrap things up so I could begin another project, i.e. larger task that would take me longer than 15 minutes, but I spent so much time going back and forth to people's offices for discussions and meetings and assigning tasks that I don't know where half my damn day went.
    I thought that my colleagues were keeping me from doing my job, because they're entertaining and fun to talk to--and for someone who hasn't consistently had friends to talk to in person for a long time, having people like that around is really comforting. But, as a matter of fact, it might be my bosses that are keeping me from doing my job now. They keep assigning one thing after another, and having meeting after meeting and training after training that it keeps me there, listening to what needs to be done, and not able to actually do any of it! I like to get stuff done. I get a little thrill every time I get to cross something off a list or check a box as complete. And I don't even mind having a long list as long it's not all due immediately. But if people keep telling me what to do and not giving me a chance to do it, it gets really frustrating. I want to do it. I really do. So what might be better is to just make a list. Write an email. Carrier pigeon. Whatever. Just quit making me go back and forth so much so I can sit down and actually get stuff done.
UPDATE: I had to edit out some of this for security reasons.
    Rant over. Apologies for getting a little off topic. I'm going to blame it on the shitty weather. But that's the majority of shareable information that's on my mind today, so I figured it might make for the most interesting read. But interesting is a sliding scale. It's interesting by comparison, not by default.
I get by with a little help from my friends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Cars at the Fillmore

I saw the Cars in concert last night. It was freaking awesome. I'm going to post some videos (someone who was also there posted video!), but you shouldn't judge them on the live videos because they were recorded with a cell phone in all likelihood. Check out the other videos (at bottom) where the sound quality is better :)
Just What I Needed (Fillmore)

One of the ones off their new album (I think) (Fillmore)

Now for some of the classics, with better sound quality. 
LET'S GO (Not at the Fillmore)

My Best Friend's Girl (Not at the Fillmore)

If you don't love them already, I hope you love them now! 
Just a little bit, off the wall...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fall of the Machines

Television and internet, for some reason, have saturated me with Judgment Day and the potential impending doom of humankind this week. Terminator 2 and Terminator Salvation have been running on various channels. I read an article about animal cyborg technology. And then there are all the people insisting that the world is going to end on May 21st.
    It's hard to take anyone seriously who attempts to predict the future. No one can see all the factors that play into each moment that happens. There are simply too many. So it's not easy to believe people who are predicting the zombie apocalypse, judgment day, the rapture, or any other end-of-the-world scenario. The world is just too complicated to believe that we can know not only that there will be some single event that puts an end to all of it, but that we can know when it's going to happen.
    But, I digress. My main focus of discussion was going to be the rise of the machines thing. Maybe there's no August 29, 1997 where the machines become self aware and decide to devastate the entire human race, but the rapid advance of technology does occasionally make me worry about stuff like this. We're probably years, even decades, away (if the nutjobs are wrong and the world does in fact last that long) from being able to create the kind of robots or cyborgs or whatever that could cause that kind of destruction, but it doesn't even have to go that far. One group or collective could gain this kind of technology and only wipe out part of the human race. A particularly threatening part that does not fit into their world domination agenda.
    I'm not arguing for a god of any kind, but there is a line that ought not to be crossed by humans, mainly because we're not gods, no matter how much technology we develop or how insurmountable our powers may become. With some things, I think we need to let sleeping dogs lie. And some technology, like mind control stuff and creating robots or computers that can think for themselves, may seem cool and amazing at first, but it's one of those things that may turn out to be more dangerous and unpredictable than we imagined. There's a reason Planet of the Apes and the Terminator movies are scary--if that ever happened, we would really be up shit's creek trying to undo what was done because it took on a mind of its own and became something we could no longer control.
    Cars, airplanes, cell phones and MP3 players are all useful bits of technology that we can be thankful for. And while such things as cars that drive themselves and cell phones that can predict the next words out of your mouth (thereby being able to make your calls for you) may sound pretty cool, we need to know when to stop, when we're about to go too far. What worries me is we either don't know those things, or we don't care. I hope that we do make that distinction when the time comes, and that we make the right choice. Because I really would rather not die at the hands of a terminator.
Hasta la vista, baby.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Unlucky 13

It always seems that Friday the 13th occurs in May or in October. It could be a centuries old ploy for Hollywood to be able to release summer blockbusters and horror movies at strategic times, but since they didn't have movies when the modern calendar system was created, this is unlikely.
    Being a philosophy major, and an overall practical person, I don't like to be superstitious. Or, rather, I don't like to tell people that I'm superstitious. While I have some unusual ones that have their origins in the over-active imagination of my childhood, I also have some of the more common ones. I have a pair of lucky socks. I generally avoid cracks in the sidewalk. I throw spilled salt over my left shoulder. I knock on wood--quite frequently, actually. And I would never walk under a ladder. I do like black cats, though...
    Why would a generally rational and practical person do such ridiculous things? I don't really honestly think it will make a difference if I didn't knock on wood, but the heart of superstition is that "just in case" factor. Just in case I might jinx myself, I knock on wood. And while I don't think my socks are actually lucky, despite having shamrocks and horseshoes all over them, a few lucky things have happened to me while wearing them. However, a few unlucky things have happened to me while wearing them as well. And you'd think that would completely disintegrate my theory about their luckiness, but part of being superstitious is the fact that you ignore the facts. You ignore contrary evidence to your superstition because you'd rather be "safe than sorry" by continuing the behavior than stopping it.
    Another element to this is, perhaps, superstitions give us a feeling of control. We can control our fate by throwing the spilled salt over our shoulder. We can prevent bad luck by knocking on wood. This, of course, is rubbish. But we still do it. Because just in case something bad happens, it wasn't our fault.
    Obsessive compulsive disorder causes superstitious behavior that you can't get rid of. Light switches, door locks, and other commonplace activities take on a new meaning when you have to use them a certain number of times to avoid bad luck.
    I won't go off on a rant here, but much of religion, any religion, contains superstitions up the wazoo. Seriously, people once thought that a woman was a witch if she didn't sink when they threw her in the river. If that's not superstition, I don't know what is.
    I can't say I'm arguing for or against superstition. In some cases, it's harmless. In other cases, if taken too seriously, it can be a little dicey. So, once again, the key is moderation. Superstition, if you really can't avoid it, is permissible, I suppose, as long as it's done in moderation. But if you get to the overkill phase of superstition where you can't leave a room without flicking the light switch 39 times, you may want to consider therapy.
Happy Friday! (I hope.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twitter Down?? Sacrilege!

Twitter went down today. It keeps bringing up messages saying things like "overload". I don't use Twitter myself, though one of my coworkers in particular considers it a one-stop resource for everything you could possibly want to know about anything, but I know a lot of the people I follow on Facebook actually tweet their status updates, and something like HootSuite or another service posts their tweets on Facebook. (I find this hilarious. They don't want to use Facebook, but feel like they have to for publicity reasons, so they just link their Twitter account to their Facebook account. Is it laziness? I can't say for sure.)
    I cannot even imagine the outrage, frustration and outcry Twitter loyalists are experiencing today. It seems like it must be even worse than being without internet, which I don't understand, but will grant them. It's no fun being out of the loop. But at least everyone else is out of the loop too, so that ought to soften the blow. Ought to.
    Is this piece of information going to be beaten to death and reported and re-reported ad infinitum until something else (horrible?) happens that gets everyone talking? I don't know the answer to that one either. But for now, I'm just glad I don't have a Twitter account (yet) or else I'd be one of the many people freaking out and having a meltdown today because I had to go without it for a few hours. Apologies for the short post, but I had to revel a little bit in all the misery that's going on because of this, because for once, it didn't happen to me.
Tweet this. Oh wait, you can't :P

Sunday, May 8, 2011

An Apology for Television

I will first offer an apology, in the most common usage of the word, for television. Quite a large amount of television these days, frankly, sucks. The advent of reality TV has brought us dating shows, American Idol, Sarah Palin, Skating with the Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, and many of the other useless, ridiculous programming that is somewhat entertaining for some, but mostly just annoying and pointless for the rest of us. TV also has way too many cooking, news, and sports shows than anyone could possibly watch, and informercials still dominate the airwaves (or whatever they call them now with digital TV) after midnight on many channels.
    Granted, TV can rot your brain. But this is only if you watch crap like the following: The View, followed by court TV, soap operas, gameshows, reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza, and then your cocktail of Dancing with the Stars, Sarah Palin, and Extreme Home Makeover all day long. (This is all not even taking into account all the horrible commercials they show during these shows.) These are nothing but frivolous people doing frivolous things trying to make them seem important and relevant, and even helpful to the rest of us, even though they never will be any of those things.
    Modern television is more than these. I know and wholeheartedly believe this. I attribute much of my widespread knowledge to my lifelong love for television, although much of this knowledge is often only useful for trivia like Jeopardy questions. There are dramas, crime dramas, doctor dramas, courtroom dramas, comedies, and there are nonfiction shows like some that the Discovery Channel, History Channel, and PBS have--there is more programming out there than anyone could ever watch. But the point here is that television is not just a means to make yourself stupider, though unfortunately, that is what many people are choosing to do, and what many of the television companies and broadcasters are trying to make us choose to do.
    So, I offer an apology for television, that is, an apology in the original sense of the word--a defense. You must realize that you can learn from TV. It may be historical facts, it may be news and current events, or it may just be how people act and react when they're in certain situations. But television can help you learn. Books and newspapers may be a better choice when it comes to learning, but for those of us who are very visual learners, sometimes seeing a visual representation and having a narrator tell us what a book might tell us helps the information sink in better. TV is only bad for you if you let it be. You can choose to use TV to increase neuron connections or to sever them.
    Television is entertaining--that's not going to change. And I do watch it primarily for entertainment, I won't lie. But it is the source for about 50% of my current events and news knowledge as well. Most of the history facts I've retained are from movies and television programs too. And my sensitivity to people's emotions and sensibilities (though that may not always be apparent here) is due to watching how people interact on TV. Maybe it's given me a slightly skewed view of reality, but I've lived a little and adjusted those views as has been necessary.
    In a final defense of television, it's never just the TV, or the video games, or the books, or the movies, that make people dumb or violent or irrational. People do that on their own by taking the aforementioned media sources too seriously and deifying them into something they never should have been and never meant to be. So, give the reality TV a rest once in a while, and check out the news or the History Channel or something sometime. You might learn something, and get to sound really smart at the next barbecue you go to.
We'll be right back with a message from our sponsors.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco De Mayo Rant

So the wonderful people at our apartment building not only told us that they can't renew our lease (not that we wanted to, but seeing as we don't have to give notice for another 3 weeks or so, it seemed a little premature), but they broke our living room window this week. They were gutting the cabinets from the apartment above ours, which finally explains the banging, bumping, and thuds I hear at all hours of the day from up there (though I can't imagine they're the ones who were up there at 10pm and 3am and all the other odd hours...), and tossing the cabinets out the window from the third floor. One fell funny and broke the outer pane of glass on our window. That was brilliant. I had been having a not-so-terrible day up until I was walking back from class and saw that our window looked a little strange. It looked broken, but not having my glasses on, I couldn't be sure.
    I dashed upstairs, and sure enough, it was broken. Quite a big piece of the middle section is missing now, with pointy shards sticking out at the edges. Now, it was a double pane window, and the inner pane is still intact, so we're not getting any unusual weather, but it was so much brighter in here when I came in that I thought the whole window had been broken through.
    The management has told us that someone will be in next Thursday or Friday (that's right, a whole week staring out an unusually bright, broken window) to replace it. If this window is not in by 5pm next Friday, someone may need to restrain me from beating down their door. It just seems like the last straw: one pretty huge crappy thing they've done in the less than four months we've lived here. First, it was sending us a notice to vacate three months early. Then it was shutting the water off every other week. They removed the dumpster nearest to our end of the building, overloading the remaining dumpsters. They now want us to get new parking passes for the last month we'll live here. They are never in their offices when they're supposed to be. Basically, these people suck at managing apartments. Cutting costs and raising rental rates. It kind of feels like living in a boarding school or something where the people in charge are trying to control every part of your life without giving you some of the courtesies or necessities that might have been given by a more customer service friendly place.
    Did I mention the internet was out for a few days this week? Without notice? The only reason I posted a couple days ago was because I had that draft in there, Seeing Double, and I used the school computers to get online and publish it.
    Needless to say, it's been a rough week living here. But, all is not lost. Today was my last day of class, and I have a weekend to look forward to. I may still have 3 finals to take next week, but I'm not worried. Yet.
Three cheers for property managment companies. Not.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seeing Double

I think I'm going to switch up the format a bit today. Have a chill. Or a laugh. Whichever comes first.

Annie lay in bed, reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and listening to some Nirvana. She didn't like bright lights, and as it was eleven o'clock at night, she only had the bedside table lamp on to read by. The plot thickened seemingly with every page, and even though she became more and more tired, she couldn't bring herself to put the book down. Her eyelids got heavier, and heavier, but the story was so good, she forced her self to push forward through the exhaustion and keep turning pages.
    She didn't know what time she had finally drifted off. But the book was still in her hands, the lamp was still on, and the radio still playing, when she awoke again. Her husband was already lying in bed next to her. She hadn't woken up, even though he had to climb over her to get to his side of the bed. Their bedroom was so small, one side of the bed had to be pushed up against a wall if they were to have any floor space whatsoever. She was used to him climbing over her in the middle of the night, and he had gotten pretty good about not waking her up when he did so. She noticed that he had already fallen asleep, jaw slack and snoring slightly, sprawled on what was more than his share of their bed.
    She shook her head, and was about to sit up to close her book, turn the radio off and put out the light, when she saw her husband coming to climb over her to get into bed. She froze, terribly confused. He was already in bed, asleep, right next to her. She'd seen him. How could he be on the other side of her, climbing into bed over her again? She cringed, shrinking away from the impostor. She thought if he touched her, she might scream. Or she might be tainted with the alienness of this impostor. The impostor stayed quite close, climbing over her body rather than just her feet, and her eyes darted back and forth from her husband beside her to her impostor husband climbing over her, and she had a horrifying premonition of what might happen should they meet.
    Perhaps it would be like in time travel stories when one kills the other one, or maybe it would turn out that the impostor was really a ghost or a spirit of some kind who would possess him and turn him into a completely different person. Or perhaps, somehow, his soul had somehow been torn away from his body and was trying to reincorporate itself now.
    It slithered, she thought, as it climbed over her. And she felt like shrinking into the bed itself if she could have, to distance herself from this thing that so resembled her husband, but wasn't.
    It gave her a grin as it finally made it to the other side of the bed--a hollow, joyless grin that seemed to be the grin of something dead, before slipping into? behind? disappearing altogether? the body of her sleeping husband. She gasped, and her breath caught in her chest, like an air bubble that refused to burst or escape. She was shaking, trembling fiercely, and now sobbing, so much that he finally woke up.
    'Annie? Jesus, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost.'
    Her shocked frozen breath now released, and destabilized into hyperventilation.
    'I thought I had,' she panted.
Creepy enough for you? Or just silly? Talk amongst yourselves.

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