Went to hang with a bunch of old friends tonight... it went pretty good.

K. We rented the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Jeepers Creepers 2.
The first was pretty good; Sean Connery was good, Stuart Townsend was sexy, and the plot wasn't terrible. I liked it. I would see it again, I suppose.

JC2, on the other hand, was fucking hilarious. As a horror or suspense or whatever the fuck, it sucked. It was crappy.
But as an overall movie... we were laughing so hard we missed most of what was actually being said.

If you haven't seen it, now's the time to skip to another post.

Fucking... the coach gets picked up by the thing... it just swoops down and grabs him. It was great - especially when it did it again, to the bus driver.
The funniest part was definitely the thing frog-leaping through the grass at the end, trying to get to the black guy. It looked like a puppet on strings. We were laughing so hard... ye gods. That was awesome, because it was so crappy. I would not go to see that again, though, unless it was a shitty day and someone else had rented/bought it earlier and I needed a good laugh.

Loss...

Today was abject. Morose. Contemplative.

Today, Ginger, my brother Stevie's guinea pig, died. It came as something of a shock to me when he brought her in, twitching slightly, obviously headed down a regrettable path. It's not as if I had that much of a connection to her. We didn't play fetch in the backyard. We didn't spend nights walking together through the neighborhood. Yet, she was there. And usually squeaking merrily, or impatiently awaiting the refilling of her water bottle.

I think I'm more surprised than anything that I feel the way I do. Not that I'm surprised that I'm upset about it, even if it's in small quantity. Instead, more so that I'm upset about something that had such a small effect on my life. I guess it was just that at times, she was really cute. She'd purr when you'd pet her. She'd squeak when she'd hear the refrigerator door open because she knew, on some basic guinea pig level that it meant there was a carrot in it for her. She didn't do much else. That whole exercise ball concept? Yeah, not her thing. But she was cute. One half of her body was white, the other half an auburn, with her head a mix of both. She looked like a large pill, split down the middle like that. I can't say I'll miss her, in the traditional sense. I just... it was humbling to spend a few moments with something I knew would probably not be alive tomorrow. I didn't know how or what she was feeling. I couldn't imagine it being anything that grand, really. I wonder if she could even tell the difference- that Stevie was there to hold her and comfort her until the end, while she was struggling (and failing) to stand and shaking and... outwardly sad... and that we kept her warm and comfortable to the best of our ability. I wonder, but I think part of me knows that she appreciated it, even if only in a way unique to guinea pigs.

When loss hits you, either small, large, or somewhere in between, it can truly shock you. It can shock the person you are. And most of all, it can shock the person you hadn't a clue existed within you.

I'll miss you, Ginger.

    Let your hearts take flight, watch the eagles fly
    From the mountaintops, where the Earth meets sky
    Let your voices soar, with a primal cry.
    In the endless purple midnight.
    Through the misty haze
    Forever free, forever brave.

I couldn't have ordered a nicer afternoon.

The roast was in the oven smelling like welcome home from work hon. It’s potatoes, carrots and onions were getting married in there for an excellent gravy.

Hearing the diesel engine of the UPS truck as it turned the corner. Sam took up her station by the front entry while Kiki barreled out the doggie door into the back yard and around the corner surprising the ground squirrel who darted to safety under they yard maintenance facility Kiki did not stop barking until she had convinced that truck to leave the neighborhood.

For some reason she did not like the sound of the UPS trucks. Fed Ex, water delivery trucks, even garbage trunks could enter the neighborhood with barely a wuff, but Buster Browns set off a cacophony of barking which puzzled even Sam. When it left they would parade around the back yard with tails held high proud of a job well done.
No sir, no UPS truck was welcome in their territory.

I would dash over to the sliding glass door and call,
“Kiki come here!!”
If she carried on long enough the nine other dogs that live adjacent to us would catch wind of the riot and join in.
Tired mommas sleep while toddlers’ nap and so on.
If I could get her in the house and distract her for a while until the UPS guy was gone that would derail the whole ruckus.

The cockatiel watched this entertainment of human and canine commotion with unrepentant joy often joining in on the action by making fun of us.
With a overture from the Charge of the Light Brigade Tuts would fly to the top of the curtains as each, “Kiki come hear!” grew louder; and scream at the top of his little birdy lungs
“ KIWI-COMEEAR !!!

Both dogs had their Battle Stations. Kiki was the front gate, Sam the front door. No brown truck drivin’ thieves would get by their first line of defense. Sammy was non-plussed by all of this behavior. She sat ready by that door silent for the most part letting me know she was “in position” with one quiet and calm
wuff..
Distract and attack was the plan. It worked every time.
Eventually the big brown paneled truck would roar out of their doggied domain with it’s tail tucked between its legs.
The fact that I was oblivious to this with my running to call the dog from the back door never deterred my Special Forces.

Sometime there would be false alarms. I would head for the back door with an armload of laundry to hang out and Tutter would yell,
“ KIWI-COMEEAR !!!“
His reward was a couple of raised heads and cocked ears. A snort of disgust towards his sillynes then it was back to some serious doggie napping.

Yesterday Tutter was at the sliding glass door chirruping at the window and pacing back and forth. Thinking he was caught up in the material some how I went over to check it out. Suddenly he stopped and I heard a very quiet,
“Kiwi comeear…”

In an emptier house it is a struggle between bittersweet memories. At times overwhelming. For the better part of three years they were by my side during a life threatening illness. Day in day out, from moment to moment, they refused to be too busy with their lives to forget me. They were the reason I started walking again. It took us a while but we eventually made it up to three miles five days a week. When a pit bull attacked us Sammy was up on her hind legs taking it in the face throat and chest while I stood horrified yet safe until someone pulled the dog off of her.

I firmly believe that there is a bond between all animal kinds. It’s part of why I went into the field of biology. Kiki and Sam passed away within six weeks of each other. They were home and family, funny and faithful friends, boyhood dogs and oh so much more.



Could you be angels?
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits.
-Psalm 103:2 (NRSV)

I am grateful to my friends' encouragements to move on, to reach toward the better things. Soon this burden of memories will become a focus on the blessings God has given me in the past and I will be able to press toward promises for the future.

Devotion

"You must reach the top!" These inane words rang in my head as I raced up the winding staircase, hearing my heart's pounding drown out the howling storm outside. I really needed to get in better shape for these reoccurring emergencies; you'd think living in a lighthouse I'd have done all the necessary body maintentance. As usual, the blasted rotation motor was on the fritz, and I needed to go up and crank it manually for any ships lost in the storm. The staircase seemed endless as I jumped over a few missing planks and snagged a gold coin, and the lighthouse alarm's chiming was incessant and ... then I realized it was my phone ringing and woke up.

I yawned, awake but not quite alert. What a stupid dream. Mario in Erectile Dysfunction Land, Part 1. As I unwillingly left the comfort of my bed for my chilly apartment and blearily trudged to the kitchen, I briefly thought about what Freud would have had to say about my dream about a lighthouse that didn't work. Fortunately I knew that particular aspect of my ego was just fine, since I had it turned off a few months ago for a case, and never bothered to go in for reversal. Silly Freud, you are no match for modern brainworks. I should really lay off the retro gaming, though. I shook my head bemusedly and picked up the persistent caller, glancing at the clock.

I grunted "Yeah?" into the phone, figuring that was all the early hour deserved. As usual, I left my visual off; you never know who might be calling. "I would like to speak to Mr. --- regarding a case," the caller was a primly dressed man in his 30s; a small, pursed mouth and a slight, probably unconscious frown gave him a disapproving look. It was an expression that should have been licensed as a deadly weapon (Disapproval, Grade A, Single Target, Considerable Psychic Anguish - 300 bucks a year) if it wasn't for his eyes. They were small, watery - which made him blink a lot - and occasionally darting side to side; his face as a whole made him the poster boy for Webster 1913's Ode to Guilt. I learned a long time ago not to judge clients by their appearances - it was really what was in their heads that counted - but old habits died hard, and you could still gain at least some ideas in only a few seconds' worth of contact. For example, there was the simple fact that he didn't have his twitch fixed. Although there could have been a number of causes (too poor, too practical, or the problem was beyond the skill of bodychoppers), each one had to be considered. A small fact could solve the case for you sometimes.

"Go on, I'm listening," I replied. I listened as he explained; it sounded like a standard cleanjob, perhaps even simple enough so that a dive wouldn't be necessary. The only detail I didn't really like was the motive; the guy's profile, which has finally downloaded, made him out to be your regular working class contractor, with the usual string of successful jobs and an occasional early dismissal due to project cancellation - nothing unusual, so why would anyone bother infecting him? Sure, it could've just been a case of a random spamming, but in my experience these were more rare than MicroNorton Media would have you think.

"I'm not really taking cleanjobs at the moment," I replied after deliberating for a while. I reached out to terminate the call when the man softly said "That's not the impression I got." I paused; was this just a ploy to keep me talking or actually something pertinent? "Oh?" I tossed out. "Well, it appears that you, ah, node..." he trailed off, seeming embarassed as his Grade A Disapproval bored into me, even despite my vid being off. I sighed, switching the visual on. This guy had to be a bit above the average if he could not only figure out who I was on 'thing, but also bother to look there in the first place. It implied disconcerting insight. "Very well; we will talk in my office at 8:30 tomorrow morning." I disconnected, feeling satisfied that I got the last word in, despite the fact that the Disapproval was still there, a glowing afterimage behind my eyes. Damn him anyway.

January 12, 2004 | February 1, 2004 | TCB

So I was up until 5:30 am talking to my boyfriend. I love him. That is the plain and simple truth. I love him, and I'm in love with him. That of course, is what makes all the difference.

To love him from 6,000 miles away is nothing short of complete exasperation. I miss him terribly and wish he was here with me.

In case you live in a cave, you've undoubtedly heard of the most shocking thing to occur in Super Bowl XXXVIII - There was a 41 yard field goal that cinched the win for the Patriots.

Okay, that wasn't all that shocking. Actually, that was déjà vu all over again.

What was "shocking," "horrific," "mortifying," and "more deplorable than Colorizing Black and White Film" was when Justin Timberlake, during the much revered Half-Time Super-Pop Extravanganza, proceeded to tear open the chest-area of Janet Jackson's black dominatrix outfit to allow her chocolate-milky mammary to burst out into the open, in front of millions of viewers worldwide.

Though it appeared on screen for less than the amount of time it takes for the average male to fart, its combined replay time afterward on TiVo's and news shows afterward likely exceeded Bobby Fischer's turn time in move 64 against Boris Spassky.

And so it was no surpise that instead of the War in Iraq, or suicide bombings in Moscow, or even abductions of teenagers in Sarasota, all anyone could talk about was 1 second of partially-exposed teatillage.

I kept my maw dutifully shut until Wednesday evening.

Browsing through the liberal trash mag known as the Metro Times, I stumbled upon an editorial by a supposed liberal that made me think I'd picked up the latest copy of the Fox News Conservative Radical Christian Bulletin. After this is noded, the letter shall be fired off to their editors, who I imagine are not used to being attacked from the left by a guy who voted for Bush in 2000. You can read the entirety of the column here - http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=5910

I was driven, nay, compelled to speak my mind at this point. All letters to the editor are required to be under 200 words, so apologies for the brevity. I'm sure someone will come along and address the events in full.

Metro Times Editorial Staff:

On this day in history, while closet prudes like Jeremy Voas collectively gasped at the horrors of the "wardrobe malfunction" that resulted in a Star-Spangled-Breast being displayed on prime time television, the rest of the world collectively yawned, "So frakking what?"

It's high time we joined the rest of the enlightened and say the following four phrases, repeating them until we've erased all notions reminiscent of a time in history worth studying if only to prevent repeating.

  1. The human body is not inherently obscene.
  2. Nudity is not something our children need to be shielded from.
  3. Even if we believe the naked human form is an abomination our children should be spared from seeing, it is not the media's job to ensure their entertainment complies with our personal morality.
  4. Hiding something from my children will only ensure they won't have the slightest idea how to react to it when they inevitably encounter it in their adventures in the real world, almost ensuring catastrophic failure.
It's time we ditched our utterly anachronistic censorship of one of the most natural and healthy facets of the human experience. As seemingly the last Western nation to shed the sexual mores of our repressed ancestors, it really is time for us to do a little growing up of our own.

Yours,

Ryan

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