Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pumpkin Patch Photos

And now, for a little fiction.

I wrote the bulk of this at McDonalds, with a headache, and with little attention to grammar or spelling. Whee!

Hope it’s a fun read.


Hanna cradles her cup, letting the warm, sweet aroma from her non-fat double with whipped cream and a hint of cinnamon filling her lungs. She will eventually take a sip to convince herself that it was worth the three-forty nine, but she will probably let most of it go cold. Then at least, she thinks, she can say it’s gross to drink it cold, instead of buying gourmet coffee simply for the aromatherapy.

She glances at her watch, and then brings the cup closer to her lips, indulging on a taste of the whipped cream, and immediately feeling a twinge of guilt. Unconsciously, she puts her hand on her stomach, before realizing that the silly notion that it might settle there. No, usually those bad carbs end up somewhere you can’t see, she thought.

They end up somewhere you can’t see, like your butt or the back of your arms. At least for me, she sighs.

“Cause I’m a Picker, I’m a Grinner, I’m a Lover, and I’m a Sinner…
I play my music in the sunnnnnn…”

I keep forgetting to do that, thinks Hanna. Nothing like dating yourself by announcing your favorite song as your ringtone. Doesn’t Jay-Z have a new song out, she asks herself, trying to remember what Jay-Z looks like, but inaccurately recalling Ludacris in her mind.

Let it be Andy. Let it be Andy.


“Hi Mom. Happy Morning to you too.”

“No, Mom.”

“Just having some coffee…”

“No, just by myself. Per usual.”

“Actually, I prefer the isolation. Allows me to hear the other voices without all that interference you get from human interaction.”

“I’m joking, Mom. Stop crying.”

“All right, see you for dinner.”

“I know, I know. Men prefer pretty, not funny. Golden advice mom. Look, I’d better be going. Gotta get back to work.”

Hanna glances at her watch.

“Really, mom. I’ve got to go.”

Hanna puts her cell back into her purse, and looks around the room. She tries to single out the one person who might need it the most, but she also knows that she’s a tremendously bad judge of character. Smiles and good manners fool her, and she has to remind herself that a lot of good people hide under a mask of indifference and mild aggression. Thankfully, she seldom figures out what becomes of the chosen, though once she did see a man she had previously helped. He was standing in line at the local Safeway, berating an elderly checker who was too eager to apologize, perhaps excabating the situation.

Hanna flirted with the man afterward, disgusted with his behavior and believing that he didn’t deserve her help. It was to her shock when she found out later, that he was a local congressman whose childhood ailment finally caught up to him. She didn’t know that he had a family.

Hanna has thought about giving it all up – it was just too much responsibility for her to deal with, and the weight of the consequences were too much to bear. But she recognized that her gift, a burden as it was, could save humanity. Not humanity as a whole, of course, but she could help restore faith in people, one by one. That good things can happen. Miracles can happen.

God, I’m corny, Hanna scoffs to herself. Just get it over with.

Suddenly, she realizes that the little tidbits of conversation she’s been overhearing in the next booth meant something. This was Hanna’s lucky day. The answer just presented himself in front of her.

“How old is he?” asks Hanna.

“He’s two,” answers the Mother, without looking up from her book.

“Cute kid. I like your glasses, buddy,” Hanna says, placing her hand squarely on his face. The Mother is ready to protest, but Hanna has already walked away with an odd smirk on her face.


The anxious Mother holds her son close, whispering consolations to him that he cannot hear through his own sobs. She tries to convince herself that it’s nothing. A viral infection. Maybe a bug. But nothing serious.
The doctor walks in, studying his chart, a curled brow perhaps too much of a giveaway.

“How long has your son felt this way, M’am?”

“I don’t know. Sometime this morning after breakfast, he just started crying and I haven’t been able to calm him down since. What’s wrong with my son, doctor?”

“I’m not sure. We can draw some blood and run tests, but I just like to rule out the obvious… Hi, Little Man.”

The little boy continues sobbing.

“Can I ask you where you owie is?”

“Honey,” the mother whispers, “Can you show the doctor where your owie is?”

The little boy points to his head in between breaths.

“Is there something you’re not telling me, doctor? Please, just tell me if there’s something you can fix and…”

The doctor holds up a finger, then slowly reaches for the boy’s glasses. He folds them and places them beside him.

“Let’s try that for a while, okay?”

“Doctor, he needs that for the strabismus, I’ve been told to leave them on him.”

“He looks fine to me. His eyes are looking right into mine.”

The mother holds up his boy and looks into his eyes.

“But… What happened to your eyes, Henry? What…”

“The glasses. They’re giving him a headache. He doesn’t need them.”

“But how?”

“I’m just a doctor, M’am. Let me know if his owie comes back.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Loyalty of Children

Often I like to remind myself that my kids aren't going to be this age forever - when you are their hero, their inspiration, their role model. They will try to get what they want all the time, but deep down they have a love for you that can't be denied. It's unconditional and pure. It's uncluttered and simple.

Right now my wife is going through a really tough time, and her daughter seems to be having the time of her life. My wife spent a lot of last night hiding her tears, feeling the tremendous weight on her chest, alternating between sadness and anger. Frustration and hopelessness. And JL? Well, she was yukking it up with her boyfriend. Making jokes at our expense. And even today, just glancing on her blog, she has a pretty sprightly attitude about the whole thing. She doesn't care about what she's putting her mother through, and she sure as hell doesn't know what's in store for her.

JL thinks that going to Bellingham will solve all her problems. She thinks loving someone enough will make everything go away, and that love is forever, and it conquers all. Anyone with anything more than an ounce of intelligence will beg to differ. True love requires a lot of work. It requires respect, it requires communication, and it requires real friendship. Not poetry or false promises. Not lies and excuses. Real love isn't easy. It's a lot of hard work. But she's sold on that idea, so she'll have to find out the hard way.

The lies she uses to build her fantasy world will collapse on her, because they are what they are - fibs. Excuses. She says Bellingham is where her dad is. Her friends are. Her future is. Her sister is. While all that has some degree of truth, the real truth is much more selfish, more conceited. It's where her boyfriend is. Or at least what she wants her boyfriend to be. She's always maintained a rather distorted sense of optimism to their relationship, one that consists of pretending to be someone else, or to tolerate the other as long as they can.

She's already chosen the wrong path at the crossroads, and now it's almost entirely up to herself to choose to turn around and head back where she came from, or to look for an alternate route. There's no one to guide her anymore, to yell at her that she's going the wrong way. The wolves on her current path want the same thing as she does - whatever's beneficial for oneself. They want her for different reasons - one wants a roomate and a surrogate wife, to take care of him and help bring in extra income so that she can help with rent, as well as act as a collateral to get child support. The other wants her for something more primal. Something that will not last. It will either get boring, or youth will give way to age and her body will change. It's like a 9 year old dating a 13 year old. Their maturity is made up of playing house, and romantic ideas that never materialize into real emotion.

Personally, I'd really want to move past this, because it's been nothing but destructive to our lives. The kids are not getting our attention, and the bratty teenager doesn't care that she's hurting anyone. All she cares about is her gratification. Our best wish for her may be that she doesn't have anyone treat her the same way she's been treating us.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is it just me, or do other people see death everywhere during the fall? All these leaves that have fallen are no longer a part of a living organism, it's just laying there, dead, and wasting away. Everywhere. The rain breaks them apart, and then there are just brown stains where they used to be. The streets run brown with death.

Good morning.

I've been having odd dreams, I think in response to feeling the urges to be creative. The podcast idea has been festering in my head for some time, sure. But the other day I dreamt that I was auditioning for Hamlet, and the director wasn't so sure about me and asked me what my approach was toward playing the character. I started describing to him and midway, I woke up, probably because I don't really know what I'm talking about.

Yesterday, a 16-year-old local kid emailed me looking for employment/internship possibilities, and it was a little strange to think that I was in a position to do so, except for the whole money thing. Like I don't really have any money to spare for him. I guess sometimes I forget that my business persona seems more professional than I remember it to be. I replied to him with some tips, but I doubt he really needs any help at all. This guy has a GL-2, Final Cut Studio, and he's done greenscreen work. He has more experience in some aspects than I do.

Damn, these iBooks sure do run hot.

I'm currently in the waiting room of some medical office, while my mum is getting the results of her MRI analyzed. She's been having some neck/spine pain and it's been a pain trying to get it treated. I feel bad that she has to put up with the pain, hopefully they'll find something to help subdue it.