Gavin is more of a grouchmuffin than normal, but let's see...things to be thankful for from 2013
1. My friend, Daria, and my psychiatrist. - yay for people who have kept me sane.
2. editors Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane (hi) who are making a dream I've had for decades come true.
3. strong wind and fresh air - as found in February in Corpus Christi (also insanely good salad dressing)
4. Steve Berman/Lethe Press
5. My dad receiving that huge Lifetime Award (for Achievement in the Field of Excellence) which hopefully means he's happy with himself forever now (because he should be).
6. The really cool staff that work at our office complex.
7. Chocolate almond milk
8. Making my mom laugh
9. Chicago, especially the nifty keen Wrigley Building and Buckingham Fountain
10. TV shows (Star Trek, American Horror Story) that give me something to talk about with John
11. A rain puddle, made fascinating by its occupants: Three grackles and five of the noisy new green parrots.
12. Ranker.com and the list-making and voting obsessions it helps satisfy.
13. Ghost hunting at the Tremont House Hotel in Galveston with Kimberly
14. Charity Navigator which helped me figure out that Oxfam was where I should send money to help the Philippines.
15. Learning new writing skills from Jim Butcher at Space City Con.
Aha, I accidentally went past 10. That must mean this was a good year.
The radio was trying to wake me up to Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World" but it wasn't working. Instead I dreamed I was watching my friend Leslie from DC walk down the aisle in time to Rihanna.
If CBGB's had a bridal wear collection, this was it. Boots by Sid Vicious. White, shredded gown by Shipwreck for Betsey Johnson with pearl enamel & Kevlar corset from Imperial Stormtrooper Surplus. It was outstanding.
Leslie had her trademark red-brown pixie cut, her incredible dimples and beautiful smile. She more strutted than walked to Rihanna's beat, but the music hit a bridge where there was no beat to walk to. I woke up mumbling, "I should have had 'Slie practice this".
See, now, I cannot tell 'Slie because she's going to say "WHO was the groom? Who? You have to fall back asleep right now." and I'll have to respond with "You do know that's not how dreams work" and we'll go back and forth.
edit: I did tell 'Slie and she did tell me to go back to sleep, but she said to let her know "if there's a part two". :)
First question: Do they have oil sultans in Afghanistan? I'm doubtful.
Second question: He asked me if he can trust me. I told him I'm not a liar or a cheat, but I'm terrible at keeping secrets. So why would you keep going with your incredibly huge secret? For example, what if I'm so bad at keeping secrets that I post your soldier romance scam letter on the internet? Sorry, dude, I know I'm not a bright boy, but I didn't fall for this.
Hello my charming handsome.
Good Morning.How are you doing?How's your night then?I'm sure you are doing good and everything is alright.Well mine was ok.I had a very great day..A special day full of memories to remember someday.I'm feeling much better now and the weather here today sucks a bit.
My love I want you to know i enjoy every moment we share together here.My dream now is to meet you when I'm back home.I can't stop thinking about you My love.This feeling is killing me so deep now.I have falling so deep in love with you and I want to be with you someday.I care about you and wanted you to be safe for me.I know it's quite dangerous here but I'm trying very hard to pass through.I know I'm gonna survive this war.You mean so much to me..I love you unconditionally and I want to make you more than a happy man.You brought good luck and chances to my way and I'm willing to share everything with you okay.
Love this is very confidential and I want you to know I trust you so much.On our patrol last night We run into a terrorist hideout and there was a bomb explosion.We the US Army were there at the rescue save the life of a woman and her daughter.We saved life of so many people and they have been hospitalized.Also We caught some of the rebels red-handed with some fire arms and I will reveal more about them to you later.My love you can't believe the woman and her daughter i saved belongs to a family of a sultan who is an oil baron here in Afghanistan.
This Morning I was at the base when I was called by the Senior commander to meet some visitors who happened to be the Sultan and his family.The man explain to me i don't know how much his family mean to him and he had to compensate me.Oh My Goodness You can't believe he gave me 25kg of Gold and two hundred thousand dollars
The only problem I have encountered here now is You know we are never allowed to handle money and other items at the base camp.So i have been asked by the senior commander to move everything out of here home.I trust you so much and I have nobody out there to assist me.I want to send this items to you until am back Home.I love you so much and I want us to live a happy life when am back home okay.This is only between you and I.My fellow Army friends are jealous Lol...I want to know what you think about it.I will be waiting for your reply
No, he did not send the e-mail from a military e-mail address. I asked him what unit he was in. He said he was in "the Battalion". I looked up some names of cities in Iraq and then sent a message that was something like "Wow, I think I read the Battalion is stationed somewhere near Najaf and Karbala. That's so dangerous. I hope you'll be careful" in case he screwed up and forgot he said he was in Afghanistan.
But I didn't wait for a response. I don't know how organized these scammers really are or if their e-mails contain viruses, so I blocked him. (The website we chatted on is Adam4Adam.)
I just caught that his "fellow Army friends are jealous" but he told me that his commander was the only one who knew. Sheesh.
This happened to my friend Merrell a long time ago, but I saw something that triggered the memory.
In Washington DC, there is immense wealth that sometimes comes without huge mansions nor household staffs that make you think Downton Abbey. Merrell was babysitting for a family who lived in Georgetown. Townhouse, gaslights from the 1800s, teak and mahogany, but no place to park.
She hears the younger child calling her, walks into the living room for the first time, and stops dead. "Oh my God," she says.
"What?" says the kid.
Merrell: "That...painting. That's not...?"
Kid: "What? Awful? I hate that."
Merrell later said, "They had a painting I'd studied in art history. De Kooning. I looked back at the book, and yes. Private collection, Washington DC."
Me: "So was it awful?"
She says she's pretty sure they also had a Mondrian. I'll never know which De Kooning it was, but I've googled "De Kooning" AND "private collection" AND "DC" enough times to realize I'm really curious.
Let's say you like Delftware and you acquire your first piece. It's a present from say, a boyfriend, and you're worried it might be seriously expensive. You discover that the "authentic, collectible" Delftware has "Delft Blauw" on the base. Your beautiful, new clock has something like "Delf Jasmine".
Most collectible enthusiasts would probably say: (sigh) "Well, it's still pretty. I mean, it's not like I have to tell people it's not the fancy Royal kind, right? I mean, who's going to check the base? Fine. I'll stop. It's good enough, isn't it?"
Me: "YES!!! Now I'm not going to be afraid to be in the same room, imagining a thousand ways I might break it. It's perfect. I love it."
I will take a picture sooner or later, I'm sure. :)
Scene 1: A parlor after dinner, there's brandy and easy chairs. The host, Chauncey, is regaling his colleague, Egbert and Egbert's friend, Joe with a witticism. Unlike the others, Joe does not have a philosophy degree and would rather be playing Halo.
Chauncey: "Jean-Paul Sartre is in a cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He asks the waitress if he could have a cup of coffee,with no cream. The waitress replies, 'I'm sorry, Monsieur, but we're out of cream. But I can get you one with with no milk.'"
Egbert: "Ha! Oh, that's droll!"
Joe: (under his breath) "What are they talking about?"
Scene 2: Egbert is at Joe's apartment and they are sitting on the couch watching old sitcoms. Right now, they're watching Alice, and "dinghy" waitress, Vera, has a customer.
Customer: "Could I get a coffee, hold the cream?"
Vera: (wincing, apologetic) "Ooh, I'm sorry. We're out of cream." (Suddenly has a wide-eyed great idea.) How about a coffee, hold the milk?"
Joe: "Bah ha ha! That Vera cracks me up."
Egbert: (eye roll) "How ridiculous."
The point? This is how I learn that a certain boyfriend who doesn't think I'm funny will think I'm funny if he believes the joke isn't mine, but comes from Wired Magazine or that I saw it somewhere on Fark. Not that I'm up for a life of lies.
Daria wondered if I would be good at "deriva-lit" taking children's classics and putting a modern-day character in the story as a way to make them more relevant to kids today. Since I can handle shorter projects, I guess?
Here's what I told her:
I can see that, except with my imagination I would take Treasure Island or Johnny Tremain and the modern kid would not be able to get over things like "Wait, you really can live with this horrible stench everywhere? I mean, the outhouse is almost nicer than the road because fewer horses and cows have crapped in there." Or "My fingers have been bleeding for days from all this digging! I'm going to die of gangrene if I don't choke to death on my own tears first! I thought pirates were cool! Screw you, Johnny Depp!"
It's too bad there aren't stupid children's classics (that I can think of) where a modern kid can solve problems with whatever-century-available solutions. Such as "Instead of one person riding all the way to some tower to light one or two lamps to say from which direction the British are coming, how about you just go ten yards and tell two people, and they run and tell two people, and so forth. But you have this system set up in advance, so you don't tell the same people. It's called a phone tree, I mean going viral, I mean, it's called shortcut scuttlebutt."
So once again I can't be trusted to think of a plot that anyone could take remotely seriously. Hopefully it still makes people smile.
Me: "So I got a new pendant in the mail. Yeah, I know, I'm ridiculous I'm out of room in my little treasure chest. But it's this really pretty lapis, and it was only $15."
Daria: "Wait, you buy gemstones just to keep them in a treasure chest? What are you? A dragon?"