Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Deconstructed Home

Last night I had a long dream. The alarm went off early and we were going to get up and see a movie, but decided not to because we hadn't gotten a lot of sleep for a few days. Instead we slept in. I had a lot of hours of sleep that wasn't quite REM sleep, but was at that dreaming stage. My dream was long and complicated and very strange.

My husband and I were at our house, sleeping in the basement. There was a storm upstairs. We didn't wake up for it. When we got up in the morning, our house was destroyed. The walls were gone. Literally gone. All that remained were some broken studs, some collapsed windows, and the roof. The roof was intact, but laying half hazard in pieces on the ground. The ground was grass, now that I think about it that was strange too. Though we were in the basement, the floor wasn't built on top of the basement, but it was still all grass, the basement was just a hole in the ground with a slat board top on it.

The house, it turns out, was just siding nailed to studs with some windows cut into it, and a roof stacked on top. Somehow it had stood like that for hundreds of years, even thought the siding was aluminum and defiantly not a hundred years old. Somehow no one had noticed this, including us when we purchased the house.

The neighbors were out, but they were my family and some friends I knew and they were all trying to help out, picking up pieces of the walls and roof and trying to find anything of use. I asked where the cats were, and some of them were sitting and sunning on the scraps of wood, but a few were in the yards around us. Ara was sleeping in the neighbor's yard in a planter as contented as a cat could be. They said they would watch over the cats for us until the insurance company could fix our house back up.

I called the insurance company and they said they would be right over. I remember thinking and wondering if they would not notice the fact our house originally didn't have walls and would pay to have actual walls installed or if we'd just have siding installed again.

I went downstairs. The downstairs opened up into a secret lab. I'd dreamed about this secret lab before. This time I was in a different section, where the lab work was done in smaller rooms filled with white boards and green liquids bubbling in beakers, and classrooms were filled with students hopeful to get picked to join the secret society of scientists  I didn't know what they were making.

I was put onto a computer and I was logged into it. It was full of icons and hyperlinks and was hard to look at. The text was bright colors and the background was yellow. I clicked an icon at the bottom of the screen and the all the text and background changed colors but it was even harder to read. I clicked on another link and the colors changed again. The icons were distracting, I couldn't work. I kept clicking on them to try to make them minimize and they kept coming back and every time I clicked, the colors on the screen changed.

There were thousands of icons in marching rows across the bottom of the screen and as I clicked they started marching up the sides and top like ants. The screen kept changing, even turning animal prints at one point. The minimize buttons like Windows 98 icons marching endlessly like a centipede game drove me crazy but I couldn't stop because I couldn't find the log out button because I couldn't find it in all the colors of hypertext.

Somehow I realized I was no longer in the lab, my entire computer station had been on an elevator and was inside my house, in the corner where my office is inside my real home. I looked up and saw the house was rebuilt. The walls were zebra printed just as the screen was as I'd just clicked on a zebra printed icon. Every time I clicked on an icon, another layer of paint was put on the walls.

My husband was standing next to me, he was talking to me but I had been so absorbed with trying to find the log out button I hadn't heard him. He spoke to me again. He was asking me to click on another icon. He told me that each time I clicked, the walls were built up. The insurance company had only paid for the siding and studs for the walls, but they had built the floor and roof correctly. The only thing we needed were walls.

Somehow the crazy desktop icon program made workers come out like busy bees and redo our walls as the icons said. If I clicked on one that said zebra print stucco walls, they put up those kind of walls. Then if I said floral wallpaper, those went on top. Layer after layer the walls were laid on, until they became the correct thickness of real walls. All I had to do was click on enough icons to proper thickness and insulation, then pick wall colors we liked, then log out and the computer would go back to the secret lab.

So that's what we did. With a purpose, the icon marching became less frantic and more of a fun game. I imagined what it would be like for people to some day peel back the layers of the walls of the house and wonder about all they found.

The house finished, the cats came back, and in the manner of dreams, everything shifted again. We needed things to fill our home.

We were shopping. We had a baby boy with us. It was our child, but somehow I knew it was from the secret lab, so it was our child but also not our child. We carried our baby around in a bassinet inside a shopping cart. I thought it was strange, but my dream said it was the way babies were carried. No one carried a child around outside a shopping cart. We were looking for clothes at a Sears and neither of us wanted to be there.

The little boy started crying and my husband had to go ask for someone to get a sweater down from one of those racks up high and I took the boy from the bassinet in the cart and held him. I had to hold him close and he stopped crying and everyone was looking at me strange because I was holding onto my child instead of making him suffer inside the cart. I felt very uncomfortable, but even though I knew this baby wasn't ours, I wasn't going to make him cry alone. I knew he was just scared.

My husband came back and the salesperson asked me to put the boy back in the cart, he said it was unsanitary to have a baby outside the cart. My husband asked me why he was outside the cart and I told him the boy had started crying and showed him the tears. He glared at the salesperson and took the boy in his arms and soothed him and held him close and told me that the little guy was ours and we were going to love him no matter what anyone said and little boys were not germs. Somehow I knew that's what the experiment was, it was something about little boys being germs, and my husband had proved that they weren't germs because humans don't take care of germs and don't hold germs when they cry.

I woke up soon after that. There was something else about the baby, but I don't remember. Something about a winter jacket and I was holding the baby in the jacket aisle. I know something else happened with the cats, too, but I can't remember the details. It was a very long dream. I seem to be having a lot of dreams of computers and secret labs lately. Anyway. Very bizarre!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Max writes poetry

Once upon a gooshies dreary, while Max pondered, weak and weary,
Dreaming dreams no kittah dared to dream with his back on the floor
Max snored, nearly drooling, suddenly there came a tapping!
As of something grumbling, rumbling in his bellah like a bird flown before!
"Tis the gooshies! I ate too many gooshies from before!"
Then with a loud burp he proclaimed, "oops... Nevermore..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making comic book origami

So I made this and this.

I've been going to our local comic shop a lot with my husband lately. We are kind of comic people, we read a lot of comics and we both collect them. Our comic guy has a ton of $1.00 comics that are so cheap because they're not considered "sellable quality," i.e. the covers aren't in perfect condition, or the staples aren't right, or a ton of other small details which makes them not perfect to be put in the back issue boxes. The best part is, they're cheap, and I can look through them freely.

Marvel Hero Origami ball - Capitan America and Cyclops

I came up with the idea of cutting them up and using them as modular origami. First, I needed a design. I decided on a modified from a brocade design which features a central cube surrounded by broad ribbons. I use this particular design a lot, it's simple to fold and can be used in a hundred different ways.

Marvel Hero Origami ball - Spiderman! Cyclops!

I simplified the pattern until I had two large ribbons of comics showing on each side of the square, plus smaller corners in the center. I mocked up a demo ball, marked where the images would show, unfolded, and made a template.

Aquaman Origami ball

Then bought a few comics, and snatched a few free ones to test it out. Each comic has to be cut pretty precisely to get the pictures to show up nicely. It's pretty easy to just cut up comics randomly and end up with pictures of just random buildings or text bubbles, which isn't interesting or useful. It takes a lot more patience to have pictures of your heros show up on each side of your origami and it be nice and dramatic.

Aquaman Origami Ball, he's so angry!

I'll be making more of these as time goes on. They take a while to make.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Old School Wrestling Reviews

So I've been posting on G+ about the wrestling pay per view's that hubby and I have been watching and I realized I should keep the posts here as well in case anyone wanted to happen on them later. So here's the first few I wrote, starting with WrestleMania 2, then Survivor Series 1987, the first Royal Rumble, WrestleMania 4, and lastly SummerSlam '88. (I skipped reviews of a couple in there.)

For anyone who wants to know... I didn't get into wrestling until I met my husband about five years ago, and I knew almost nothing about it until him. I go into a lot of these shows not knowing a lot about the wrestling at the time, but knowing a bit about the future of wrestling and what the end result has become. My husband keeps as much of the pay per view results from me as possible so they are exciting and as if I'm watching them live. I do know a lot about wrestling now, especially the politics of the time, but I may not know a lot about specific wrestlers. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my semi-fresh take on all of this.

WrestleMania 2

Hubby is working me through the old pay per view's from WWE and WWF from Wrestlemania 1 to the present. So far we've done WM1, Wrestling Classic, WM2 and tonight was WrestleMania 3!

Out of them all so far, WM2 was the worst. I would skip that one in a heartbeat again. It was very boring and the match quality was dull. It didn't help they had actresses as commentators and they didn't know what the heck they were doing, so most of the time they were just going "Oh geeze, look at that" or "boy, he looks really good in those tights" and it was pretty stupid.

WM3 was, of course, the best. I mean, come on, it had Randy Savage vs. Steamboat. Widely considered one of the greatest matches in WM history, I can see why. Up until now, most of the matches I've seen have been slower, more methodical, even the ones with the greats. Savage and Steamboat immediately hit it off with a fast paced, high flying match totally unlike any other match seen in any of the previous pay per view's. I can see why it was so revolutionary for it's time and why people were in awe of the match quality.

In retrospect to the Hulk Hogan era, I can really see where he was such an egomaniac. I didn't get into wrestling until after it came out that he was a pretty terrible person in real life, so I have no real love for the guy. Seeing his promos and his wrestling, I can see why people flocked to him as the big main event, he's got the 'it' factor to draw crowds, but sometimes you can see in the faces of the people working with him that he's really an ass. He had a promo with Vince where Vince just looked disgusted the whole time. It's not something you would see until you looked back on it years later

Survivor Series 1987

We watched the first Survivor Series tonight in our Sunday history lesson.

It wasn't nearly as good as WrestleMania 3. I mean, how can you top Savage vs. Steamboat? Still, it was really good.

The women's match was awesome. If you want to watch a women's match that has women that know how to wrestle crazy good, watch the survivor series match. The Jumping Bomb Angels won and they were phenomenal. I was seriously impressed.

The tag team survivor match was really boring. It was a let down for sure because the Hart Foundation, Bulldogs, and even the Killer Bee's were in the match, but they focused so heavily on the Young Stallions that it just was so drawn out. Every two seconds the Young Stallions were kicking out of yet another pin. They were obviously pushing the team, but it was done poorly.

The first match, with Savage/Steamboat's team vs. Honkey Tonk's team was fun to watch. It's hard not to like Macho Man Randy Savage, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Honky Tonk Man, and all the others in that match. Watching it now, you can really hear the respect Gorilla Monsoon and Jessie Ventura had for them.

Lastly, since this is after all the nonsense with Hulk Hogan has come out, with him being such an egomaniac, you can really listen to some of the things Jessie Ventura says about the Hulkster and realize Jessie is probably telling the truth, just under the guise of being the color commentator. After the match with Andre and Hulk, Andre won fair and square, but Hulk had to come running out and do his posing, instead of letting Andre get any sort of chance to bask in his moment. Jessie kept saying what an ass Hulk was being about it. I can see at the time how Jessie would have been coming off as a jerk about his commentating, but how it was all true. I feel bad for Andre in a way, though I know Andre had his own set of personal problems too.

Anyway, it was a pretty good PPV. Better than WM2, not as good as WM3. Next up is the first Royal Rumble, which technically wasn't a pay per view, it was a television special, but since it was the first royal rumble, we're fitting it in next Sunday anyways (unless the actual WWE pay per view sounds interesting enough to watch, which we are still undecided about).

First Royal Rumble

Ok, so it was actually a TV program, Vince McMahon didn't think the Royal Rumble would be a success, so he had it on TV, then when it ended up being a huge success was all like "So, about that new pay per view program..."

First, the women's tag team match was awesome. It was the Glamour Girls and the Jumping Bomb Angels. This is one of the last runs for a women's tag team division and it's a bummer because the match was amazing. I keep hoping a couple women in the current WWE programming comes out and makes the current creative team watch these women wrestlers and let the current women wrestle like the women back then did. It's awesome.

The Royal Rumble itself was really fun. I went in without knowing the results on purpose. I could tell they hadn't perfected the experience, there was a lot of moments where wrestlers weren't quite sure what to do, but that made it feel a little more real. It was fun. I got to see a lot of wrestlers in their 'debut.' It'll be fun to see how Ultimate Warrior, Hillbilly Jim, and a few other of my favorites keep going in the PPVs that follow.

Rick Rude and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat also had a match and it was amazing. Only problem I had with the match was some lady spent the whole match yelling into her megaphone. Mouth From The South she wasn't. Drove me nuts! However, the match quality was so good, I just told myself she was Jimmy Hart on estrogen, and paid attention to Rick Rude and The Dragon have one of the best matches of the show.

WrestleMania 4

So Sundays we are going through the old WWF/WWE Pay Per View's in order. This week was WM4 where the World Heavyweight title was vacated, so there was a tournament to decide who was going to win it. It was very exciting. I like tournament PPV's, and this one was full of matches.

A couple of things of note.

If you want to be a really good face almost immediately, bring your toddler (ala Ricky the Dragon Steamboat) or your dog (The Bulldogs) or your parrot (Koko Be Ware) to the ring with you. Instant approval. If you want to be an instant heel? Threaten said children or animals.

The production quality was starting to improve as well. WM1 and WM2 had pretty terrible production quality, camera angles were rather dull, the lighting wasn't bright, and the "over the top-ness" just wasn't there yet. In this WM the interviews all had quality looking backdrops, the lighting was all bright and focused, and the camera work was starting to become high quality. Part of that might be because it was held in Trump Plaza.

Matches were really good. They got the humor going with the Bulldog's match with Bobby the Brain and his dog catcher's outfit. Brutus the Barber Beefcake's match with the Honkey Tonk Man was really funny, the expressions were great. There were interspersed with some good serious matches of quality wrestling. Even the Hogan match wasn't bad, and I normally hate Hogan matches.

Macho Man of course stole the show, how could he not? Wrestling four matches and still winning the gold in one night is something no other wrestler has done, and probably never will do again.

Lastly, as a remark on current wrestling... One thing that really stuck out to me is the referees. I really wish current referees had the ability to be as agressive as these referees were. They were constantly in the faces of the wrestlers and always making calls. Yelling at the wrestlers, really getting the crowd into their calls, I really think that's missing. Referees need to be allowed to have steel spines in the current WWE shows. Let them be a lot more dominate than they are now, they made a lot of the matches.

SummerSlam '88

It's been a few weekends since hubby and I watched our pay per view. This week we're up to Summer Slam '88, the first ever Summer Slam!

The big event was Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks in a tag team match. Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant and Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. I've seen this match before, but it is a fun one to watch. If anything for the interplay between Hogan and Randy Savage at the end when Hogan's all grabby on Elizabeth and Randy's all like "Hey Hogan, you want tonot touch my wife, ooh yeah?" The match quality is of course excellent. I mean, come on, it is Savage and DiBiase, even Hogan's semi-decent wrestling can't muck that up.

For the rest of the PPV...

The Honkey Tonk Man lost the Intercontinental Championship to the Ultimate Warrior in a very short match. Honkey Tonk had been IC champion for a very long time at this point, 454, days, the longest reigning IC champion (a record that still holds to this day) and Warrior beats him quickly and fairly, which gave Warrior a huge push to being powerful and dominate. You can really tell that Honkey Tonk is a great wrestler. The match is probably a minute long, but Warrior comes out, does a clothesline that lands him east/west and is supposed to knock him out. Then Warrior does a drop off the top rope for the finish, but the positioning is wrong, Honkey Tonk does this smooth motion with one of his arms to just move his body north/south at the same time that Warrior does the drop. It's so slick and perfectly timed that it seems like Honkey Tonk was 'knocked out' the whole time, even though he was moving. Nicely done.

Jim The Anvil Neidhart and Bret The Hitman Hart both wrestled, and you can see they're starting to find themselves in their gimmicks. Jim has an anvil on his tights now, and Bret has his hearts. It makes me want to see a documentary on the tights and designs of the wrestling gear. Their match was good, too.

I also decided that if you have a pet, you can't be a bad guy. It's like, impossible. Also, Rick Rude's tights are awesome. Simply awesome. Brother Love's segment with Jim Duggan was funny. There was no diva match, so no commentary there.

Overall the PPV was fun to watch. It was a shorter one. The matches were good, they're getting the effects down really nicely. Sound quality still needs some work. Most of the wrestlers have entrance music, but strangely it's mostly the bad guys, the good guys often didn't have entrances.

Next time is Survivor Series '88!

Flash Fiction: Words with Power

On G+ I got two prompts, one was for a flash fiction about someone being unable to speak, and one was for an object "charged" with magical powers. I sort of melded the two of them together and came up with this story, which turned out quite a bit longer than expected. About a man who gets cursed by his ex-wife to live a life with only 1,000 words to speak.

Words have power. I was cursed by that power at first. The object my ex-wife implanted inside me gave me only three thousand words. She forced it inside me with witchcraft, a sick smile on her face as she told me the curse was “because I never shut up. Now no one would have to listen to you talk again. Who cares about your stupid fat life, you bastard! You only have three thousand words left to say, so choose them wisely. You’ll die if you say any more. Ha! Serves you right, you old cow.”

In retrospect, I should have guessed she was a witch.

The first thousand words I wasted cursing her name and telling everyone I knew what had happened. I didn’t believe it myself. How could I die from saying too much? It wasn’t until my belly started burning where the object had been lodged and I started dreaming of the number of words I had left that I started to believe. I stopped telling everyone I knew what she’d done.

My friends hadn’t believed me anyway. She had charmed them. I had no friends left.

My next hundred were spent trying to keep my house, my children and most important to me, my money. She took all that from me. I dreamed I had only one thousand, five hundred words left.

I said less and less every day and it felt like I was trapped, no one could understand me or my pain. It made me angry. I thought to myself, if I could not say words, perhaps I could write them. It seemed to work at first, I wrote and my stomach felt fine. But, when I read my words, or when anyone else read them, then the pain came back. If anyone read them, the words fled away. The letters I had sent out I quickly found and burned.

My dreams were angry and were filled with the loud clicking of abacuses beads covered with words, snapping down onto the fragile wood frames.

I drank. When I drank, I got drunk, and then I spoke again and my body burned and the dreams came again. I stopped drinking. I could not even drown my sorrows, she took even that from me. My children could not see me, the court ruled me unfit because I could not speak to my own defense. The witch moved on with her life, taking everything I owned with her.

I wandered, silent and alone. I became invisible. No one notices someone who has cannot say anything. Weeks passed and the only things to pass my lips were the meager meals I was able to scrimp from gutters and dumpsters. I lost weight. Even the street thugs refused to look in my eye as I became another insane homeless bum, begging with a dented can on the corner. I developed a twitch. Weeks became months. I could not even make a sign to beg for food, I tried, but if the sign was read, the abacus of words was counted, and I was closer to death. The pain in my belly made me burn the cardboard sign to prevent anyone from reading the words I had so painstakingly written.

Somehow I clung to life.

Revenge was the reason at first. She took my words, but she could not take my thoughts. Twitching there in my own filth, shoving things that could hardly be called food past my lips in bouts of panicked hunger, I thought about carving the witched item out of my gut and feeding it to her. Savage thoughts, dreams of the rabid and insane. Yes, at first revenge kept me alive. It kept me warm.

Revenge alone cannot keep a person without words alive for long. How could I have revenge if I could not even explain myself? She would see it in my gauntness and my mangled body, but would she really know how I had suffered because of her curse? I could not tell her of the misery she had caused me. Would she care? Would her death really do anything?

Shamefully it wasn’t until months after that I wondered what had become of my children. It only proved I had never been much of a father.

How long can someone be miserable before they pick themselves up out of the gutter? A year passed, then two. I found myself wandering. I found I was good at being silent. Silence gave me strengths I did not know I had. I learned to hunt. Outside cities food was easy. If one made no noise, animals would come with patience. Inside the cities, other humans would leave perfectly good food in their trash if one was patient. Other dumpster divers respected my silence. One tried to teach me sign language, but as the familiar tightening in my gut came over me when I signed a word, I realized the witch left even that avenue closed to me. The woman did not understand my sudden withdrawal from her lesson, but I could not explain. 

Years passed again, I spoke no words. It became easier with time. I drew into the shadows and became so familiar with them, they became home. I looked back onto those years I had spent endlessly talking and wondered why I wasted all those words.

My curse changed. No longer a curse, but not a blessing. Not yet. I lost track of time. How long had it been since words passed my lips? My thoughts changed. My body grew older and I grew more still. Time seemed to grow longer. I could sense the movement of time around me, but without the words for seconds, minutes, days, time lost it’s meaning. I moved with the seasons.

I didn’t realize how much time had passed until I was in a vibrant part of a city with parks built for children. The sparkling sounds of laughter caught my ears. The heaviness in the air spoke of a distant thunderstorm. It was a day of distant power in the sky. I felt strange, but something drew me to the children’s laughter. Their brightness was like fireworks in my mind. Children never minded the dead cold or oppressive heat, they reminded us adults that weather meant little if you could ignore it for the frivolities of fun. I only wished I had learned such lesson when my own children were young.

I came to the park. My eyes were drawn to one child. He was silent, never speaking while all the other children screamed with glee around him. I looked around and saw my daughter, all grown up and older than I expected. I expected to feel anger or crushing sadness, but I was calm. All those years wasted in anger and regret. She led me to a bench and the little boy silently came to my side. It made no sense, but I felt as though I had known the child all my life.

“Good to see you father. Mother,” my daughter said, without preamble, “cursed the family when she cursed you.”

I raised a brow. If I nodded, it would be a word. The boy reached for my hand. I had not touched another person in a very long time. His hand was small, but strong.

“All the males we have are now born mute, it is that thing in your stomach. Any male born in the family will be born unable to talk, a half a man. Cursed! We know all about it, we made mother tell us everything before she died.” She continued. She dug out a phone and started pressing buttons on it. “I’m getting the rest of the family together. I don’t mean to sound rude, father, but we’ve waited a long time for you to come home and I don't want to waste any more time. We know how to reverse the spell, so you can talk again and you can get our boys to be able to speak. We need you to do this, father, we’ve been looking for you since we found out, but you’ve been impossible to find. All the men have been useless to us without their voices! Do you understand?” Her tone of voice was a little condescending, as though I was unable to comprehend what she said. I was used to this tone of voice, but it was sad to hear it from her.

I sighed. The boy looked up at me and I looked down at him. His eyes were endlessly brown, the color of a field after it’s been freshly plowed.

After so many years of solitude, I was plucked from it and thrust into a whirlwind of activity. The boy was joined by two other males. My son was an adult and the other was a grandson, a teenager. All three were as silent as I. They all lived in the house the witch had taken from me. I was happy to see my son and grandsons. We could not speak, but I knew what they were saying with their deep eyes.

While my two daughters and their girls got the witch’s chambers ready my boys showed me what they had done with their silence. While I had wandered, they had found paint and ceramics and music. My son could play almost any instrument so beautifully it brought tears to my eyes. My teenage grandson made ceramics with a skill I had never seen. The little boy painted dragons that soared as if they were flying on the page. Such skill!

The chambers in the basement were readied and I was brought in. A book was laid out, opened to the page for the counterspell that would release the object inside my belly and for the first time in many years I thought of what it would be like to speak freely again. My daughters and granddaughters were eager, but I needed time. I read the spell and counted the words. Exactly two hundred. I counted against my inner abacus. I had two hundred and one.

I tried to turn to the next page of the spell book, but my eldest daughter stopped me. I shook her hand off she grabbed my wrist. “No, father, those words are not for you.” Her voice was firm. Again, as a mother would speak to a child. It reminded me of the witch.

I narrowed my eyes and took her wrist in my hand. I had years on her, hard years in the streets. I had lived a life she could not imagine. I had suffered because of this object. I had learned to be at peace with it, but I was not going to use all my words except one and nearly die without knowing the consequences of my actions. My own daughter was not going to push me around simply because I could not speak otherwise. No one on the streets pushed me around, and neither would my daughter. I glared at her and firmly took her hand off my wrist. Something in my gaze made her shudder. She looked away. I turned the page and continued to read.

The next page spoke of the curse put on me. The object inside me would kill me, but only if I spoke all my words. If I never spoke again, I would essentially live forever. So would my sons. Their lifelines were tied to mine, no wonder they looked younger than my daughters. They would not be able to speak any more words than I would be able to, even if they gestured a word, no one would understand them. In the margins I read words left by my ex-wife, she expected I would have gone through my words in a month. A quick death. If the curse was removed, I would age immediately, and my sons would become ‘normal.’ I assumed they would lose the creativity the lack of words gave them.

I finished reading and closed the book.

“What?” My eldest daughter asked, outraged. “Why won’t you cast the spell?”

I shrugged, a non-committal reply that did not count against my words because it had no meaning. I motioned to the boys, who all let out sighs of relief. They had known. We started for the door.

“You can’t do this! You have to reverse the spell! No one will understand you, you're cursed!"

I stopped and turned around, pausing to think. I had to remember how to form words, how to make my lips work and move my vocal chords.

I smiled at my daughters as I finally realized the truth of what the witch had done, many years before. Mentally I counted. Nine hundred and ninety nine. Four men can live off that many words for a long time.

“No, blessed.”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vivi's Awesome Fire Skills

Just in case any of you were wondering. Yes. Vivi can set things on fire. She is really that awesome. 
Burning! Everything is burning!
Evil Vivi!
(Disclaimer: She can't really set things on fire, but she would love it if she could! These are just pictures I had fun doctoring up for Caturday.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Blue Sludge Zombies

So yesterday we went to the comic shop and I looked at some of The Walking Dead trades, and a few days ago there was a zombie conversation on G+, so I suppose I was on a zombie kick in my dreams. Last night I dreamed of zombies.

There was a zombie infestation and we were getting away from it. The zombies were shamblers, not that fast, and they were well rotted. I don't remember the specifics on the group I was with, but I think it was my husband, my cats (somehow) and a few of my friends. We were all well versed in surviving in the wilderness.

We came upon a suburb full of expensive houses, mansions really, and there was a group of humans already there. We came in from the lake side and we were fighting zombies all the way. Mostly we were hitting them with baseball bats and crowbars, conserving our ammo. Every time we hit one, they would explode into blue sludge and we were very careful not to get any of the sludge on us. We were pretty much experts at this. Though the dream was tense, it didn't feel like we were under any threat. We knew what we were doing.

The mansion we were headed for was brightly lit and we were confused, it looked like there was a party going on inside. There was a good solid permitter around the mansion, the mansion was built on top of a tall cliff and there was a fence built around the bottom and top of the cliff. Curious, we decided to climb the cliff.

In the manner of dreams, we scaled the cliff in seconds.

Up top, we could see the people were having a rather elaborate party, huge bonfire, lights strung out everywhere. It was really fancy. We came up all in our army fatigues, covered in dirt and mud and people were in their finery and like they were at a cocktail party from pre-zombie times. Our group was stunned. The cats broke off immediately, I assumed for the shrimp cocktails.

The host, a rather pompous looking fellow that reminded me of one of Johnny's old bosses, came up and told us they were celebrating that the community had survived and had decided they were going to live on this super safe cliff and ride out the zombie plague. They assumed they were safe because the zombie population had thinned below them to several hundred, rather than the thousands that had been there before.

My dream shifted here. I was suddenly in a secret underground lab where I was privy to information about the zombies. Smokey (one of our cats) was there, he was a scientist in charge of coming up with an antidote to the blue sludge that created the zombies. My dream is fuzzy here. All I can really remember is white walls and the feeling of being thousands of feet underground. This underground base was where it all began. Somehow the blue sludge started the plague down here. The place was enormous and built to withstand anything. There was a really long hallway and the zombies were unleashed at the end of it, so they started sealing these huge bunker doors, one after another. The doors were big enough to drive semi's through and they were a foot thick of solid steel. They shut with huge reverberations. Each clanged shut. One after another, again and again. There must have been a half dozen doors before they got to the room we were in. I asked the scientists if we were safe and they said even with all those doors we weren't safe. The zombies would find a way through the doors. They would claw at them, or find ways through the stone walls themselves. Zombies would stop at nothing to get to living flesh. That's why you always had to keep moving. The moment you stopped moving was the moment they zeroed in on you and you died.

I shifted back to the cocktail party and I told the pompous host this. He wouldn't believe me. I told him again, explaining that my cat was part of the group that studied the zombies, how they hunted in waves and as long as you kept moving they wouldn't kill you. He still wouldn't believe me.

It wasn't until we'd stayed two days and the zombies started hacking out chunks of the cliff below us and more zombies started showing up that he started to believe us. By then, the blue sludge had pooled under the base of the cliff.

In the manner of dreams, everything shifted. All of a sudden we were in the middle of a zombie fight. Somehow I just knew the people that had decided to stay put had done something stupid and we were saving them, me and my party. We were getting everyone out of the mansion city and moving them. Everywhere we looked, people were being hit with blue sludge and turning into zombies. We ended up saving a few people and a few children because while I thought the cats were looking for shrimp cocktails, they had found a secret exit through the base of the cliff.

There was more to the dream, but that's all I remember.

Anyway, strange dream. Blue sludge and zombies. Oh, and our cats saved the day.