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it goes on and on and on.....

Neil Gaimen says, 'Writing, like death, is lonely work.'

I am still writing. Sometimes it goes good, sometimes it's a just a few sentences. I have some pretty good outline to fill in. I know what kind of personal growth mah peeps need to go through. At least a little.

I figure there are only 9 or maybe even a dozen plots. In all of history. Bear with me....letsee....

There's anything by Louis Lamour. Which is the same as, 'Shane', 'Have gun will travel', 'Django', and even, 'Ol' Yellar'. The feminist version is, 'Gone with the wind.' The space opera version is the character Jango and Boba Fett as well as, 'Serenity'. See Clint Eastwood, the Marlboro Man, and John Wayne for further reference. It never gets old. 3:10 to Yuma was so good it got a reboot with Russel Crowe.

Then there's 'The Odyssey' and all the great Greek stories. From this we get the most famous word to grace a big screen, 'a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.' Our father, who art in Heaven, Joseph Cambell be thy name.....Road Warrior falls in there too. There was a boy wizard with a peculiar scar on his forehead that also springs to mind. 'It is your destiny'

How about 'Gor'? Srsly, 'Conan the Barbarian' and maybe even 'Tarzan' gave rise to that. It all springs from the great pulp fiction of the Roaring Twenties. Better writing than 'Gor' too. I guess it got named that because the reader wants to gore their eyes out from the bad dialog.......

How about the buddy story.....Shakespeare did a few. Poor Rosencrantz and Gildenstein. Then we went on to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (two genres one stone), Starsky & Hutch, Tango and Cash, anything with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The feminist version gets 'Waiting to Exhale'. Holmes and Watson were our genre crossing founding fathers......

Mystery. Thanks to a British doctor turned writer we have 'Sherlock Holmes'. Write what you know is an old axiom, and he imparted a bit of himself in Sherlock. The Asperger's community claims Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as one of our own. Everything that came after is just whiskey in the jar. Nowadays there are even pet detectives. Who'da thunk?

Romance and soap operas. No plot too improbable or convoluted. Nuff said.

Robert Aspirin told us everything we needed to know about fantasy. Simple farm boy becomes a powerful magician. He gets assistance from older and wiser mentors and a hot green woman. Oh, hey, Star Wars? I've seen those green women somewhere else too..........hint: it's the final frontier. In a galaxy far, far away we get lovely blue women who male opposites are ugly. Interesting.

Robert Heinlein told us everything we need to know about his genre: it doesn't matter how cool the technology is if we are not invested in the characters.....Frank Herbert taught us that the audience will suspend any sort of disbelief if the world works in a way that we can relate to. Parents who love their only son? check. Feudal system? check. Witches? check.

The audience has no trouble with spice. George Lucas took notes. I think Herbert took notes from Shakespeare. The bard took notes from the folk tales before him, 'Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.'

Alfred Hitchcock taught us about the McGuffin. It's the thing in the story that we're all after. Droids. The Maltese Falcon (which we never see). Whatever is in the briefcase at the end of 'Pulp Fiction (we never really know about that either). How about how the little seashells work in 'Demolition Man'?

Oh hay, Stallone is a genre. Outlaw cop gets the job done while leaving a wake of destruction.......That's also Mack Bolan, and Jason Bourne.

Beowulf. The original creature feature. Now we have King Kong, the creature from the black lagoon, Alien, Predator, and the little green men in Area 51.

Yeah about that. Area 51. It's now a thing unto itself. Hanger 38, the cammo dudes, the men in black, the black mailbox. It took Chris Carter to weave them all together in 'The X Files'. We suspended disbelief there fairly willingly.

I'm sure I missed some. Lots of them cross over. The audience nowadays knows most of the themes and any new twist is widely received.

Nevada liked the reputation for little green men so much it renamed it's loneliest highway, 'the extraterrestrial highway'. Anything to turn a buck. It ends in Rachel, NV. There's a diner there called the 'little ai'li'en Inn'. I shit you not.

worst headache ever

I walked to the Walgreens and bought Tylenol pm because my head and neck hurt so bad.

I stopped getting my pain prescription filled because I was still having pain when I took them, and I have less pain and more energy now that I am experiencing stable weather patterns and more sun. We had a big front move through and everybody in the city has a headache.

Also, pain meds were messing with my energy levels and creativity. I wanted to get off meds last year but wasn't able to do it. It took a couple months and I went through withdrawl (the usual, three days of sweating and twitching ect), but I am getting by on aleve and tonight, tylenol pm. Which is probably going to render me unconscious here pretty soon.

I am writing. A lot. I managed 4,000+ words in one pass last Wednesday.

I have a three book arc to fill in. I have lots of plot lines and some are pretty defined in my mind, they play like movie reels in my mind. I write them out and another takes it place. One came out like a movie script. I dunno why. I have to adapt it to look like a novel, I think because it was narrative driven, two men having this intense conversation in the salon of a yacht. Very gentrified, and dangerous at the same time.

I jogged this week. I intend to do it three times this week too.

A friend of mine from a long time ago keeps me up on the goings on back in da 'hood. She called me in 2007 when I was still there to tell me a guy I know was shot dead in his own home. His other brother was there, and a friend. At some point a guy was arrested but the police let him go because of lack of evidence. I don't think the guy could have done it because there was no forced entry, they let their killer in or he was able to open the door normally. Also he was one guy and the men in the house were heavily armed and violent. And in their own home. This young dude that was brought in apparently had been seen walking down the street earlier that day and had previously had words with one brother.

My friend is upset about no one being brought to justice. I knew R.T. and I am here to tell you he had a taste for drugs, violence, and guns. And hookers. Many people considered him a liar and general blowhard. I think the police have an idea what they were into, and if I were them, I would use whatever evidence and knowledge that came out of the investigation to catch bigger fish. There is no statute of limitations on murder.

It's funny how people go all soft when somebody has died. All the sudden their faults seem to fall away. They become exempt from their past. Which makes sense, the living need to move on with their lives and carrying bad debt from the dead is not a way to forward.

I can't imagine that the police would be able to do much. There wasn't any blood that didn't match the victims. They were all killed in a manner that suggests to me that there was more than one gunman, and they knew them. Let them in. Maybe they were trading arms. Maybe it was meth and they infringed on the competition. I'm kind of leaning that way. They liked meth. Time was when people did it to be sociable. Those days are over. One brother who wasn't there was incarcerated, and another was working as a doorman at the topless bar.

It's hard for the police to solve crimes against such an upright and law abiding family. (sarcasm on)

I don't see the hallmarks of gangbangers. It looks like a hit. It went down fast. Two men took single shots to the head, and the third got up from the table where they were playing poker and was moving when he was taken down. I don't know how many shots were fired, and I have not seen the autopsy reports. Because I refuse to request them. I know I could, and in six weeks or so they would be sent to me.

I don't like these people and I don't care who killed them. I don't care that their killers have not been found.

I think RT finally bit off more than he could chew, and instead of accepting the stand down he ran his mouth. And it got shot off.

I can't tell anybody I think this because RT is now a perfect angel and his death was a tragedy. His surviving brother (who was a dick to me and I avoided) is not coping. I feel sorry for him.

But I am not sorry I left those people so far behind that a friend in the US Virgin Islands had to call me to tell me about it.

I might live longer.

But seriously folks, don't sell drugs. Or guns. Or do meth. Because if you do, and you are mysteriously murdered in your own home, with no forced entry, and nobody hears the gunshots...somebody just finds you dead in your home the next day, the police won't be able to give your relatives much closure. And they won't want to.

bla bla bla

Not unpacked. Just unpacked enough. I have enough room for my boxes in this place, plus a 10 by 30 climate controlled storage unit at my disposal. I'll be done when I get done.

I got a library card for Clark County and have been in touch with the head librarian of the ILL system so I can get books from Uni. Southern California. I prolly won't be getting books from Quantico like I used to because USC is the repository for the medical and investigative texts for this region. I still use the Quantico system to find books I want to read. Basically, whatever basic texts they teach from are for me.

I saw one in e format: Investigative Failures by Rossmo. It has a number of contributing writers, one of whom was a low level city employee whose sister was murdered. The police closed her case almost immediately as an unsolved homicide. Unsatisfied with this, the man went back to school for investigative science and then solved her murder. His unflagging pursuit of her killer would solve several other homicides and put a hardened sociopath behind bars for life. It took him about eight years to do it. Wow. Just wow. I couldn't make up a story that amazing. If I ever figure this stuff out, I'll write his screen play.

Anyway, I thought it would be a dry text, but after the introductions came this quote: 'I'm not 100% sure about your police work there, Lou' from the movie 'Fargo'.

So much for judging the book by it's cover.

ladycaviar graced me with an email conversation last night. I had not spoken to her in quite some time, what with life and all. She contacted me awhile back and asked me how the story was going along. I had stopped writing when I moved, but had a lot to think about on the drive out here. Esp. through Utah. I thought a lot about where this story is heading while in Utah.

I had formulated an ending. Ro told me that not only was I to write a story, but it must be three books long. Ack. This time last year I had no idea how that was going to happen. Now I have an ending. I laid it out for Ro last night. I was afraid she would find it dreadful because frankly, it ends in Arlington National Cemetery with the passing of the flag, a 21 gun salute, and a tombstone bearing this quote:

'within the gospel of Jesus Christ there is room and place for every truth thus far learned by man or yet to be made known.' JET

Which is fitting because there is no body in the casket, and the woman whose name is on the headstone is alive and well half a continent away. With a baby. And a new identity. So she is dead. From a certain point of view.

Ro gave me a passing grade, and now I feel much better about how to go from finishing the first book to going all the way to the end.

Also, I am rather peeved at the British show, MI5, for their portrayal of the CIA as the Bad Guys. I am already plotting my revenge. Bwahahahahahah. Ahem.

I re-read 'The hero with a thousand faces' and decided that my female character is on the hero's journey. The male lead is not. He's more like on the Han Solo path. Sort of. Kinda. Honestly, that's probably the more real life to live.

So I will leave you with the difference between fantasy and sci/fi as I understand it:

In fantasy, a simple farm boy goes on a journey with a sword and magic powers to slay dragons/wrongdoers.

In sci/fi, a simple farmboy goes out into the universe to learn the ways of the force and fights evil dooers with a light saber.

the surreal life

Moving....it's like being pecked to death....by ducks. Zombie ducks. I found my Royal Albert spoon rest tonight. It's the small victories some days......

I rotated by living room set to give me some more space. This apartment is not large. I just decided to make it the best small room it can be. I put the tv against the windows, partly because I can see Trump Towers and the top of the Eiffel tower from that window, among other things. I didn't come all this way to stare at a wall when I have a million dollar view.

So I got everything all plugged in and my tv recognizing channels and all, and I flop out on the couch to watch Charlie Rose on PBS. And in the distance the lights of Vegas are twinkling. The Eiffel tower and the Stratosphere are quite pretty at night. And I realize that I used to lay on that same couch and watch Charlie Rose in a little shotgun house in the 'hood. I had a 15 inch color tv and the dvd player was bigger than the tv footprint. I kept the curtains drawn because the only view was my neighbors selling meth. I could open the front door in the late fall or early spring but the rest of the time the mosquitoes and humidity were too bad, plus then you could see the neighbors selling meth.

I went to Fremont accidentally and I suspect I saw people selling meth. And whatever else. But I don't have them eyeball to eyeball with me while I watch Charlie Rose. This week a homeless guy started hanging out in my parking lot. Nobody messed with him, and he was quiet. Until last night when he decided that he would live in our parking lot. And he is mentally unbalanced and began having conversations with himself. He also was screaming randomly in the middle of the night.

Yeah, no. Just as I get off to sleep he starts yelling. I wake up. This sets my dog off. The dog alerts me to changes in my environment. A homeless crazy guy apparently rates notifying me. So this morning we called non emergency and they told him to get moving. I wish there were better mental health care services for these people. That guy could benefit from medication. He was having very lucid hallucinations. I don't think he was tripping.

I am used to seeing homeless people with shopping carts wandering around the city, but apparently this was not a problem around here like it is now. This is a very hard city to be in if you have no skills, cannot pass a criminal background check, do not have a drivers license, ect. The beautiful people are everywhere.....making my iced coffee for instance. Or perhaps asking me if I want fries with that. I asked the coffee girl for directions, and when she checked my id for my credit card she could see I was a local. I told her my employer brought me here. She told me she was sorry to hear that.....apparently she feels there is no opportunity. Well, if you think you can go your whole adult life behind a coffee service counter and skip things like learning a foreign language and calculus....or even algebra....you won't find opportunity ANYWHERE. I don't care how pretty you are. Sorry. 90% or more of Nevada is populated by people who graduated high school. And stopped. Then they killed time till they were 21, went to gaming school or used their contacts, and got into casinos. Now we have people who cannot read, write, or spell wearing rolexes and expecting to make $80,000 a year. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it is not the real world. There is nothing wrong with being a waitress or something, but there is not much opportunity there. Get into a 5 star joint and bank tips. Wash, rinse, repeat. I want more than the same thing. I went out to take some risks. While the barristas were learning how to run the Hobart, I was learning to put out fuel fires. It was dirty, dangerous, and thankless. I certainly appreciate the possibilities that exist here.

We have plenty of youth, what we need is a fountain of smart.
I got my computer back today. It crashed and gave me the blue screen of death, and refused to even go into safe mode. I had a fatal windows error. I also did not have the money to fix it until this week. My car needed work and I didn't feel like going into my savings for this. I just waited till I got my bonus check. I found some geeks with a little business who restored my data and re installed Windows Vista for $99. I could probably have reloaded windows, but I would have lost data. In fact, they thought it was a quickie job that would be done by 5 pm yesterday, but they dropped it off at my office around 5 pm today. Apparently they had to try a few things to get my data saved. It was also a nice touch that they brought it to me instead of making me ride all over town.

But they did it, and I am happy because my resume and some other research is on this drive. I saved the things that were really important to me, but there were lots of other bits of stuff that I realized I wanted after I couldn't have it readily.

...and all that research paid off

Nobody laughs at me now for my fascination with the science of soap.

Receipt for Krap Kutter:

White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, pour it on dirty grout, glass with sticky residue, tiles that have generic mank on them, or any other non porous surface like linoleum. Then powder it with baking soda. Instant foaming action, minutes of entertainment for children of all ages! Scrub with a el cheapo plastic brush, found at hardware stores and Dollar stores world wide. Wipe with damp sponge, leaves no residue. Safe for custom tile jobs as long as the tile has been fired properly. Duh.

Rust stain on fabric: bottled water and efferdent tablets overnight. You can pre-treat with vinegar.

You can do a krap kutter mix with real lemon, vinegar, and baking soda and use it on very dirty glass and shower enclosures. Get a 5 sided multi scraper and watch hard water stains and adhesives melt.

You can take down rust and lime stains with vinegar. Since I have discovered that it much easier on my hands than lime away I have been having a good time running through the toilet. Yep, pour a cup of white vinegar and a goodly amount of real lemon into the back of your toilet. Let stand overnight. Pour some into the bowl too. You might have to do it a few times if the toilet is really encrusted with buildup.

A rag or cotton ball dipped in vinegar will cut streaks of minerals off porcelain. Add baking soda to speed it up.

...and then I tried SCIENCE

The previous occupant of this apartment had cats. I smell cat piss in the front hall and the rear hall going to the bathroom. The bathroom also smells sometimes.

I tried a few different things, but still caught that smell in waves. I even used Nature's Miracle for cats. It helped, some.

Tonight I made 'funk killer'. I mixed white vinegar (some), baking soda (lots), dog shampoo, a squirt of palmolive, and a scoop of oxyclean in a bowl. It turned into a creamy paste. I applied it to a spot I wanted to nuke. It foamed awhile. Then I sucked it all up with a Bissel steam machine. Smells much better in here already and I still have the fan on it. The dog shampoo is a whitening shampoo that smells nice. Don't use the blue stinky stuff unless you have skunk or decomp.

I prolly need a blacklight to do the job right and find where the cats were exactly.

My oriental rug smelled stale, probably from being rolled up and stuck in that truck. I used the Bissel on it with white vinegar and cold water, which sucked up a lot of detergent from when I had it professionally cleaned. Then it dried pretty fast with the fan, and I powdered it with baking soda. I think the vinegar revived the burgundy color because it looks pretty good for an old oriental rug.

I think I am going to scrub the tiles in the bathroom and foyer with some funk killer and just kill any possible sources of odor there.

Must include this one

10) Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!"
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!

Shel Silverstein, 1974


M 'big sis' stitchwhich tagged me in a 15 book meme. Name 15 books that influenced you the most. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, because that is lovely symmetry. It may be best to post your own before reading mine, just so they really are yours and not brought to mind by mine.

I am not sure I can hit 15. I am going to cite cognitive disability right now, since I have some problems with lists being overwhelming. I sort of stop. I am good at taking actions, but this kind of list is hard for me.

I might do it in two steps.

1) The Hobbit.
2) The Alligator and his Uncle Tooth.
3) Farmer in the Sky
4) Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd
5) Le Pompe and by extension......Parasole's lace booklet.
6) Anything by Louis Lamour.
7) The Star of the Guardians series (Weiss/Hickman)

OK, I did 7 in 7 minutes. TECHNICALLY I am in the rules. Sort of.

I saw the movie The Hobbit when I was about 5 and too young to start reading LOTR. I cried when one of the dwarves lost his friend in battle. It was the first time I saw a tv program that drew me in, and made me feel something. Anything. That would not happen again until Star Wars, then Gladiator, and Sixth Sense. TV is rather dull for me most of the time. The Alligator and his Uncle Tooth is set near Maine and ends with the two of them setting sail to find the place where the ocean meets the sky. They also meet a mermaid who shows them treasure, (but claiming it carries the price of death), a kindly widow, and starlight turns to diamonds one magical night.

Um, also:

8) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
9) The Art of War, Sun Tzu

I will tag some people with this meme, and finish mine later. Right now I can't process anything more so I am drawing a blank.

long ass day

I was in a meeting just after 8 am, then to site at 11-ish, working at noon, then all day till 6:30.

Tomorrow I go see if I can get this car situation finished.

I was late to the meeting because it is on the other side of town and I had to go I-15 S (Los Angeles). That is one scary ass road.

We have a mixing bowl type layout here, we call it the spaghetti bowl. I dunno why. Maybe somebody will tell me.

I was late and I thought I would be in trouble. I was not. My trainer hugged me and people asked me if I was OK. They know I can drive in a big city, and have done, but I am not *from* a big city.

My assistant will not drive on the interstate so it took her an hour to get to work today from the meeting.

Our meeting was held in a church, I think it was called 'Epic Church'. Because, yanno, Vegas. The shit's gotta be epic, right? It was actually a 'bring your own god church' in a shopping plaza.

One of the speakers told an opening joke that went, 'an old married couple go to the doctor. The doctor asks to meet the wife in his office. Then doctor tells the wife that if she does not make mad, passionate love to her husband, he could die. So the wife goes back into the waiting room and asks her what the doctor said. She tells him, 'Sorry, hunny, but the doctor sez your gonna die'. Then the speaker had a moment, and said, 'I don't know which is worse, that I told you that one, or I did it in a church. Hmmmmmmm'

Anyway, training in Las Vegas is not like training back east. Which is a relief. They imparted more information in three hours that we got all day at the old place. Mostly because they don't prance about flipping their hair and making us sit through grinding power point displays. Also, the employees will heckle the corporate staff out loud. There was also breakfast with fruit, baked goods, and beverage service.

Then I came back and had a productive day.

Also, the staff that works on my day off has their shit together and they only call me for important things that maybe can't wait.

My days off actually are days off.


Library Vandal by trickofthedark

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