Slice-o-life

No story yet, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m working on a couple ideas, so I’m pleased with that.

Onwards to what’s happening:

+ The person(s) who own the house across the street had to get a County dumpster to clean out the house Those People were living in. Yesterday, there were people milling in and out of the house repairing it.

I kind of want to know how bad those disgusting people ruined that house, but I kind of don’t. I saw enough of the outside and have heard foreclosure horror stories enough to imagine just how bad they made it. (we also had some acquaintances stay with us for a very breif time who destroyed the one room they were in so much we had to rip out the carpet, wash down the walls, and repaint)

+ I got a new job. New Boss is easily excited and also easily stressed. She’s going to give herself an aneurysm one day. My coworkers are fucking quirky as hell, and one of which has taken an immediate liking to me, because, I “don’t know what [I’m] doing.”

+ Carrot has learned how to jump from the counter up onto the tops of the cabinets. We had our suspicions when we found a ceramic chicken on the floor and he became super cuddly. Yesterday, I opened the bedroom door to see him hanging by his claws because he doesn’t understand that glass jars full of dry beans will not move for a 5-6 month old kitten. I then found 3 other knicknacks from the top of the cabinets on the floor (none are broken thankfully).

He’s an evil little shit, but he’s cute. Jamie is shocked by the behaviour and never had a cat that does this. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a cat who did stuff like this, so it doesn’t bother me as much. I’ll be sad if something breaks, but I won’t do much but call him an evil little shit. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it soon.

+ I got an “adult colouring book” the other week. I still don’t get them. What is wrong with just hitting up the dollar store or the display at walmart and picking up a regular colouring book?

I get more joy out of a Precious Moments colouring book than I do out of this thing. This is not “meditative” and this is not “calming.” This is stressful, anger-inducing, and bugs the shit out of me. Jamie took one look at a page I had started while I was beginning to get irritated and Noped away from it because it stressed him out just looking at it and said even with his OCD he wouldn’t even attempt it.

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Working Title: The Lookout

Story time! This is a first draft. Notations are after the story. (Yeah, I decided: screw it, let’s post it and see what happens)

Working Title: The Lookout

“What is it doing now?”

“If you got your face out of that book you’d be able to see for yourself.”

You’re the one at the screen.”

“And you’re the one who is sitting there reading a book.”

“Because we take turns and this happens to be your turn to watch that thing on the screen. All I have to do is keep an ear out for the sensors.”

“You wouldn’t pay attention if the sensors beeped. You’re reading.”

“I’m keeping an ear out. What’s it doing now?”

“The same thing it’s been doing for days. Making its way slowly towards The Face and collecting little samples of dirt to send back to its home planet.”

“Not like they’re going to find anything useful.”

“No. They’re not going to find anything useful to them, which is how we intend to keep it. It’s a primitive planet. They don’t need to know that we’re here.”

Cargo One to Lookout.

“Lookout to Cargo One, go ahead.”

Has it cut itself off yet? We’re loaded and ready to head out.

“Cargo One, it is almost ready to cut itself off. I’ll let you know when it’s time to ascend.”

Gotcha. Cargo One out.

“What’s it doing now?”

“If you got your nose out of that book you would see that it is slowing down and chirping to itself.”

“I’m not at the screen. I can’t see what it’s doing because you have a big head.”

“I do not have a big head. When it cuts off, I will let you take over so you can actually do your job.”

“Uh-huh.”

“How did you even get this job if you’re not going to do anything but read?”

“Because the boss knows I’m good.”

“The boss must’ve been out of his mind when he hired you. Get your feet off the console.”

“My feet are on the other chair, thank you. You’d know that if you moved your head.”

“I have a job to do.”

“Yes, staring at a screen and waiting for the machine to cut itself off to recharge its power cells and to let me know when it does so I can do my stealth break-in of its processors and make sure the primitive thing doesn’t fall off a cliff.”

“Or find The Face.”

“I’m pretty sure they’ve found The Face by now. It’s just a matter of time before they determine whether or not it’s a natural rock formation. It’s hard to miss The Face.”

“We may have to put in to have the artists hide The Face in plain sight while the machine is still running.”

“Why don’t you send a message to the boss about it?”

“I just did, but I doubt anything gets done about it. Higher up seems to believe that the primitives will firmly believe it’s a natural formation.”

“Yes, because a giant face glaring at you from the side of a mountain is a natural occurrence.”

“Your sarcasm is not appreciated.”

“And yet you’re still talking to me.”

“Because communicating with the primitives is forbidden at this point.”

“Getting cranky?”

“Oh shut up.”

“What’s it doing now?”

“Same thing it was doing when you asked the last time.”

“That’s not helpful. You said it was almost ready to cut off the last time.”

“And it’s still almost ready to cut off. The thing takes its time.”

“You’re just stretching this out so you can annoy the captain of Cargo One.”

“I’m not stretching anything out.”

“How much does that captain of Cargo One still owe you? Ten? Twenty credits?”

“A hundred and fifty.”

“So you’re stretching out the wait time until he realizes what you’re doing.”

“I’m not stretching anything out. The machine’s slowing down slower than normal.”

“Define normal.”

“Get your nose out of the book and actually do your job.”

“I am doing my job, you grump.”

“You’re reading.”

“I am doing my job. I am sitting here, keeping an ear out for the sensors, and waiting for the machine to shut off so I can go into its processors.”

“You’re reading a book and complaining.”

“I am not complaining.”

“Lookout to Cargo One.”

Cargo One to Lookout. We ready to ascend?

“You are good to go. The machine has cut off for the night.”

Finally. I thought we’d have to wait again. Cargo One out.

“Get up so I can have a go at the screen.”

“Do your work, then.”

“Watch and learn, my friend. Watch and learn.”

“I don’t have to learn anything. You’re the specialist who can get into the processors, not me.”

“Then at least keep an ear out for the sensors while I break in.”

“It’s hardly a break-in when you’ve created a backdoor into the processor from the first day you got into it.”

“I like to call it a break in. Keeps it exciting.”

“Whatever. So, have you found anything interesting?”

“It collected dirt samples all day.”

“So? If I sent a machine over 200 million kilometers, I’d want it to collect all kinds of samples. Dirt just happens to be an important thing to sample.”

“Why do they want dirt samples?”

“The same reason why we wanted dirt samples thousands of years ago. To study an alien planet, basic curiosity. Maybe they want to see if the surface is inhabitable.”

“The surface hasn’t been habitable for a while. Not without proper precautions.”

“Not for us, but what about them?”

“Why do you care? Do you think that the surface of our planet could possibly be habitable for argon-based lifeforms?”

“I’m curious.”

“It’s got to be more than mere curiosity.”

“Maybe it’s a deep-seeded need to be the first carbon-based lifeform to introduce themselves to an argon-based lifeform.”

“You just want to mess with their primitive minds.”

“And go down in history as the first alien to make contact. I plan on saying ‘Take me to your leader.’ Hey, the sensors are starting up.”

“Damn. At least I’ve got a little bit of new information on the primitives. They’ve figured out how to input data for new mission protocols, but haven’t found the backdoor I created.”

“Because their technology is severely limited.”

“Yes. But at least their little machine won’t be falling off any cliffs any time soon. I’ve mapped out the best course of action for it to take for the next few days.”

“Heading towards The Face?”

“No, away from it. But, I’ve made it look like it’s just a random sequence that coincides with their perimeters. I’ve also set it up so it goes away from the launch pad so it won’t see when Cargo One comes back.”

“The boss will be thrilled when he hears about that.”

“Yeah. Oh hey, get this, they’ve started sending back small snippets of notes to a program.”

“A program?”

“Yeah, looks like some sort of patch-in.”

“Anything interesting?”

“Looks like…it’s talking to an audience of sorts.”

“Talking?”

“Yeah. Let’s see…”

“Are you trying to get in the program? The sensors are showing that something’s happening.”

“Hold on.”

“You need to get out of the machine. We can’t let them know that we are watching them.”

“You’re paranoid.”

“Get out of the machine.”

“Found a sequence.”

“Then tell me about it after you get out of the machine.

“Fine. Ok. There. Are you happy now?”

“Very. The sensors are stopping.”

“Kind of strange. Normally the sensors don’t go off when I dig deeper.”

“Maybe they’ve added something to that patch-in.”

“No. The patch-in just links up to a program where the machine adds little snippets. Like, it’ll transmit simple sentences.”

“Like what?”

“Sampling soil. Shows high concentration of nitrogen.”

“That’s helpful.”

“Might be helpful or insightful to them. Come on, let’s report to the boss and let him know what’s going on. We may need to add some extra shifts. The machine might become more useful as the primitives add programs to it.”

“We might have to kill the machine.”

“If it gets smarter than we’re expecting, we will have to. We need to make plans with the boss.”


 

The other day, I set up a challenge for myself. Could I do a short story where it’s just a conversation between two people? No description of the surroundings and no description of the actual characters who are talking.

I wasn’t expecting to dip into the realm of sci-fi, but it was a lot of fun. Doing this challenge gave me a few ideas for a sci-fi story. Kind of weird, for me at least, as I’m not used to doing this particular genre. I’m a horror person, but it is fun to see what’ll come out of my head.

Again, this is a first draft. Thoughts, critiques, whatever are welcome. I know I’m not the best in the world, and I’m working on getting back into the groove of writing. But, I’m having fun.

I was afraid that the conversation might be confusing, and I got Jamie to read it. He enjoyed it and said that he could tell the different characters talking and thought it was funny. So it may or may not become confusing to the reader.

Challenge yourself

I’ve spent the past couple days working on a self-imposed challenge. Two challenges mainly.

The first challenge involves crochet–something that I’ve been attempting to re-learn. I used to do little crochet things in high school. They weren’t great, but they were fun and I could work on it while doing RPGs online with friends.

This challenge with crochet, I’m taking the idea of using fabric as yarn and working with it. So far, it’s working out fairly well and I’m having fun with it. I’m almost done with one of the project ideas and I plan on showing it off when it’s complete.

The downside is that I’m at a point where I have to take breaks because my fingers hate me (yay for arthritis).

The second challenge was for writing. I wanted to see if I could write a short story in one specific way. This was brought on by an article I was reading that made my imagination go off into the realm of science fiction (I’m not a sci-fi writer) and working my way through F Paul Wilson’s Soft and Other Stories helped it grow.

I’m not sure if I’ve completed the story. Endings are always…terrible for me to do. But, as of the last save for the first draft, I’m 1342 words in, and I think I’ve succeeded at my self-imposed challenge. It was weird writing a sci-fi story, but also kind of fun. It’s not my normal genre, but it’s fun to dip your toes into genres you normally don’t work in.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the story. I don’t know if it’ll ever see the light of day or if I’ll send it to a friend to read to see what they think. Jamie said he’d like to read it, and I like his opinion on things. He finds stuff that I miss and helps me find where I need more explanation because he has questions.

And I don’t know if I’ll just say fuckit and post it up here and see what happens. I got a handful of likes on the last story I posted, and that was awesome. But I’m really not sure. I guess, if anything, I can always “sleep on it” and see what I think tomorrow.

Rainy Season

So, small update of sorts I guess::

I’m apparently in the rut of picking terrible films again lately. The other night, Jamie and I decided to have a “movie night” (which is: Jamie spends more time reading or playing games on his phone than actually watching a film while I watch the film, make snide remarks, and jot down notes for later use)

Apartment 143 was the film that we actually made it through and while it warmed my little black heart to see 90s-era “ghost hunting,” I ended up really hating the film based on the delusion that gets inserted at the end of the film. It would’ve been easier if they just stuck with the classic: teenagers are the main cause of poltergeist-like activity.

I was fully expecting one of them to say at the end: “This house is clean.”

The ending made me loathe the fact that I just wasted time on the film. Then I chose They’re Watching which we didn’t even last ten minutes in because those first few minutes showed off someone’s obsession with those house-hunting shows. The setting was great (Moldova), but even a different setting such as that couldn’t get us to continue. (Jamie started in on how we needed to change films because of the poor acting of the female in the opening sequence getting a hatchet to the face).

So, we tried Convergence. A film set in a hospital (like that’s never happened before). The opening was great; wonderfully grainy nostalgia of early 90s newscasts. But by the time the nurse with the pin curls looks confused and the dude gets followed by a shadow down to the main floor where a retired Mayberry cop shows up, we were both done with it. My guess is something spooky and tense happens, but I don’t care enough to continue watching it.

Lastly, I chose Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead because we hadn’t seen it and were under the impression that it would be subtitled like the first film.

I fully regret watching this sequel. It ruined the beauty of the first film and base idea.

It was campy horror and I “live-tweeted” the whole thing. My increasing distaste was evident by my comments of how much I hoped the Zombie Squad guy would get gored and my increasing hope that the Nazi zombies would just destroy everyone. And then there was the end, which had me respond with finishing up the “live-tweet”: Does having sex with a zombie constitute as necrophilia?

Today, I struck out to “watch” a documentary about Nightmare on Elm Street and didn’t realize that the damned thing was 4 hours long. I kind of watched it while I was working on cutting fabric into strips and assembling them into one long strand so that I could roll them into balls for a project I’m working on.

While I understand that it takes times to discuss the films, I can’t believe that thing was 4 hours long. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen Freddy Krueger, and while I plan on re-watching horror films that I remember from my childhood, I don’t think my opinion on the character will change much. He’s always been a campy, slightly fucked up character, but not one that gave me nightmares.

So, while I worked on bits of a project I’m slowly making, it was fun to hear about how the ideas formed or why certain things happened. And, while I’m done with cutting up strips and such, my fingers are threatening to strike because of pain. I was kind of hoping that I’d have at least a few more weeks of not feeling like my knuckles are covered in bandages and bone pain in my hands, but looks like it’s started now.

While I’m working on the fabric project, I’m not writing. (because my whole thing is: do something creative. if there’s a project you want to work on, work on that. if you want to take a break, go work on something else). I’m also not working on comic ideas, but that’s mainly because we have kittens (Berric Dondarrion and Carrot Ironfoundersson) and they have learned that laying on paper and attacking pencils is the best thing ever after playing in water dishes and trying to steal food off plates. It’s no biggie, I’ll just find somewhere else to work on sketches and such.

I’ve got a couple ideas to work on, so it’s just mainly a matter of what am I going to do. I’m a bit unorganized anyways, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

None of the tomatoes are ripe enough to pick. Everything’s green, so hopefully all the rain we’ve been having the past few days will help the growth process along. We have been getting a ton of squashes, so I’ve learned how to destroy spaghetti squash and that you can freeze butternut squash. Dunk thinks crookneck squash are toys, I’ve been able to pick a few serrano and hungarian wax peppers so yay, and our Surprise!Pumpkin runner in the front yard is producing the tiniest pumpkin. It’s like the size of a ponybead, and now I can’t move the runner because it’s attached itself to the clover and my only hope is that Jamie won’t run it over with the lawnmower.