Feeling Nerdy

I stopped in at Fallout Comics in Tallahassee today where they were celebrating “free comic book day” by giving away, you guessed it, free comic books!

Many of my fondest memories revolve around comic books: Tales from the Crypt, Archie, Richie Rich, Superman, and Fantastic Four, among others, and it was fun to see several generations of fellow nerds browsing through the stacks in the store, often in family groups. 

Comic book stores have evolved considerably since my day, though. Now the graphic novel and role-play games make up a large portion of the inventory. 

Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?

After finding the droid I was looking for (above) I headed to the back of the store to visit with a group of local artists who were busy promoting their own projects. One young man’s work stood out from the crowd, so I pledged a bit of money to his Kickstarter campaign. His name is Daniel Hooker, and his work is outstanding.

While I was figuring out the Kickstarter process Daniel sketched a picture of one of my favorite comic book characters from the expanded Star Wars Universe just for me.:

 

Mara Jade

 If you’re interested in learning more about Daniel’s project go to Kickstarter and search Line of Ruin. I believe you’ll be impressed.
And if you haven’t read a comic book since you abandoned your teen years, it’s high time to renew your acquaintance. 

Peace, people.

Eternal Love (or the next best thing)

As a modern, open-minded and sexually-awakened (whatever the hell that means) woman, I thought I’d seen just about everything. But nooo! As I was browsing my Facebook page today I came upon this little gem:

Because love never dies: Put your loved one’s ashes in a glass dildo 
In 1901 Dr. Duncan “Om” MacDougall began a series of experiments wherein he placed elderly, terminal tuberculosis patients on massive industrial scales, hospital bed and all. MacDougall weighed six subjects before and after death, and concluded from the postmortem weight loss that the human soul weighs 21 grams—hence the name of designer Mark Sturkenboom‘s “memory-box.”
With 21 Grams Sturkenboom has managed to create an opportunity for a truly libidinalmourning experience. The “kit” comes in a sleek, Jobsian case, openable only with a key that doubles as a lovely pendant necklace. Inside you find an atomizer bulb (to spritz your beloved’s perfume), a set of internal speakers to amplify music from the iPhone dock in the back, and a blown-glass dildo containing a tiny urn of ashes—21 grams of ashes, to be precise. Sturkenboom describes the project thusly:

21 Grams is a memory-box that allows a widow to go back to the intimate memories of a lost beloved one. After a passing, the missing of intimacy with that person is only one aspect of the pain and grief. 
This forms the base for 21 Grams. The urn offers the possibility to conserve 21 grams of ashes of the diseased and displays an immortal desire. By bringing different nostalgic moments together like the scent of his perfume, ‘their’ music and reviving the moment he gave her her first ring, it opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy.She is able to have an intimate night with her sweetheart again.
Before you go all Social Justice Warrior on Sturkenboom for the heteronormativity of “widow,” (for who wouldn’t want to be penetrated by a loved one’s earthly remains, regardless of gender or marital status?!?), the inspiration for 21 Grams” is actually an elderly widow—he sometimes helps her carry her groceries. Sturkenboom noticed the urn containing her husband’s ashes, remarking, “she always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn’t reflect that at all.”

Sturkenboom has not said whether or not his muse is flattered by his tribute.

Yes, should Studly Doright precede me in death I can take steps to insure that he is with me always. I hope my second husband, Bradley Cooper, is okay with this arrangement. 

And if I should precede the Studmeister? Maybe they’d construct a fitting receptacle from my ashes. Too much? Dahling, puhlease!

Peace, People!

  

Threesome

When one has too much time on one’s hands one might indulge in too much reality TV. Thus was the case as I was scrolling through the channels and came across a program called “True Life: I Want a Threesome.”

Sleazy stuff, but who am I to judge? I mean I’ve seen some pretty cool threesomes in my life:

  

Nothing beats a purrfect threesome!

  

Except maybe a colorful one.

  Doggone it! Another threesome!

 

And then there’s the threesome to end all threesomes.

Who needs reality TV? (All photos found on Pinterest.)

Peace, People!

What Love Is

Written in response to the Daily Post’s prompt, “What is Love?”

A marathon watching of the first season of “Married at First Sight” might be helpful in answering the question I Want to Know What Love Is. The A&E channel’s series matches three couples based on the recommendations of a team of marriage experts after a regimen of interviews. 

The couples meet for the first time when the bride and groom face each other at the altar. Yep. They meet and immediately are wed. 

For a period of five weeks the couples live together and get to know each other. At the end of that period they decide whether they want to stay married or divorce. 

I’m watching the season finale as I type this. As anyone who has ever watched reality TV knows there is a great deal of creative editing involved, including multiple cliff hangers and red herrings. Every time I think about changing channels there’s a hint that something big is waiting just around the next corner. There have been multiple corners.

What I’m struck by, though, is the lack of what feels like love. Oh, I see glimpses of it occasionally, and the participants talk about love a lot. But more than anything I hear that they are afraid. Afraid of being hurt. Afraid of making the wrong decision. Afraid of hurting the other person. Can the presence of fear inhibit love? 

One thing that comes across in the series is the need for open communication. All three couples excel at that. No doubt the initial interview process weeded out the less communicative particpants. Can great communication foster love?

Initially, two of the three couples had strong physical attractions to their spouse-to-be. The third couple had mixed reactions–he thought she was hot, she thought he was not. Does love grow from physical attraction?

Jamie and Doug-No attraction in the beginning

Two of the three couples consummated their marriage on their wedding nights. You can probably guess which two after reading the previous paragraph. Is love sex?



Cortney and Jason

Monet and Vaughn

Both of these couples had the whole honeymoon experience 😉

None of the couples had smooth sailing in their first five weeks of marriage. Cohabitation with a complete stranger can bring out the best and the worst in people. Expectations were dashed. Limits were explored. Maybe love was growing.

As the decisions loom I’m more anxious than the participants. Would Studly and I have thrived given the circumstances these couples have faced? I’d like to believe we’d have made it. I’d like to believe that we’d have had that initial spark when he first saw me at the altar and that we’d have had the skills to talk through all of the obstacles.

The truth is love is different for everyone. Every relationship explores its own idea of love. What’s right for Studly and me, what makes us strong as a couple might be wrong for another couple. 

Remember these cartoons? This seems to fit.



And the results from the show are in: 

In spite of their initial lack of attraction, Jaimie and Doug chose to remain married. I was surprised!  Cortney and Jason opted to remain married, as well. While Monet and Vaughn elected  to divorce.  

Of course I just realized that this was all so last season and I could have looked up the results on the internet. Face palm.

Peace, (and love) People.

Mall Thinking

People watching at the
Mall:

Elderly woman cajoles
Her husband.
Then commands.
She worries he’s done
Too much today.
Their hands touch
Briefly. He hates
Feeling old as she
Fetches Starbucks.

Thirty-somethings,
Husband and wife
Carry plump
Pillows between them.
She looks at him
With love and
Something akin to
Annoyance.
He is oblivious.

Young adults sit giggling
Heads together
Job applications stacked
Neatly between them.
Pens scratch earnestly
Between witty asides.
Don’t make me laugh!
You made me forget
My address!

Mother and pink clad
Toddler enjoy
Conversation in a
Language I cannot
Understand. Their
Eyes smile. Little
Girl dances impatiently
Eager to join others
At play.

I wonder is anyone
Watching me?

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Walking Dead Marathon

If one is really good, good things will come to you, or so I’ve been told. The current good thing is a marathon of The Walking Dead on AMC.

Why, one might ask, would I watch a marathon of a show when I’ve seen every single episode multiple times? Studly Doright asked me that very question as he came dragging in from work with high hopes that I might be working on a home cooked meal for his dinner. Instead he found me with my butt parked in front of the big screen watching Rick and Shane, et. al. escaping from a soon to explode CDC. No dinner in sight.

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Of course it didn’t take Studly long to join me as we watched Andrea hide in a bathroom in order to avoid a walker.

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After watching for another half hour or so, it occurred to me that I watch the marathons for a couple of reasons. I love seeing the characters transform. In those first seasons they were so innocent and fresh. Heck, Rick and Laurie looked like candidates for prom king and queen.

But more importantly, I like seeing the episodes back to back–the bridges from episode to episode and season to season. There are little things one might miss when seeing an episode in isolation that make sense during a binge watching session.

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Whatever the reason–it’s hard for me to turn this soap opera with zombies off.

Remembering September 11

IMG_2311-0           I don’t often take this blog to serious places, but it is difficult to ignore September 11 as anything other than a serious date. On 9/11/01, I was at a conference in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The day was beautiful. Bright blue skies beckoned outside of our conference room, and a group of us planned to head into D.C. that afternoon. It was my first trip to the area, and I couldn’t wait to take in all of the sights in our nation’s Capitol.

Our group was engaged in a lively discussion, but then, in the middle of the conference session, cell phones began buzzing. We laughed at first. It seemed amusing that we’d all get calls at the same time. Then one of the presenters stepped out to take her call. When she returned to the room her face was devoid of color, and she said we were adjourning to the lobby of the hotel.

There, we gathered around a television and watched footage of a plane crashing into one of the World Trade Center buildings. A coworker began sobbing. Her parents had a business next to the building and she excused herself to try to call them. We stayed focused on the screen and watched in disbelief as yet another plane crashed into the side of the second building. The dawning comprehension that this was not an accident registered immediately. Some cried. Some cursed. Some prayed.

My room was on the first floor, just around the corner from the lobby. I felt the urgent need to be alone, so I went to my room and got down on my knees. I prayed for the families of all those on board the planes. I prayed for those inside the buildings. Then I prayed fervently for those who had perpetrated this unimaginable act to be forgiven.

When I emerged from my room I began hearing all sorts of stories: the Pentagon had been hit, the White House was under attack, another plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t sure what was real and what was rumor. I tried to call my husband who was en route to Houston that day. When I finally got through he was frantic. He knew how close my hotel was to the Pentagon–15 minutes by Metro.

He’d had an intense day. Studly and eight of his coworkers were traveling in a white rental van from Kansas to Houston. They’d planned on playing a few rounds of golf on their trip. When they received a call from their company’s vice president to find a spot to convene a conference call, they found a bank in a small Texas town. The bank had locked its doors and required Studly and his coworkers to present picture i.d.s before admitting them to the building. Their Houston meeting was cancelled, so they turned the van around and headed to their respective homes.

I’d never wanted to be home as much as I did that day, but all flights were cancelled. Colleagues began trying to rent cars, but those were hard to come by. One of my closest friends urged me to stay put. The hotel said we could stay at no expense until we could arrange for travel and our company promised to take care of us until we could find a way home. So for three days we stayed in the hotel, checking flights and watching the news. On Friday morning we headed to Dulles, hoping that our flights would be cleared.

I’d never seen lines that long at an airport–around the terminal and out the door. People were beginning to feel a sense of desperation. First we were told our flight to Dallas was cancelled. I was ready to give up and head back to Tyson’s Corner, but again my friend urged me to stay put. That advice paid off when a gentleman came through our line to gather those of us ticketed for the Dallas flight.

We boarded the plane and then sat on the tarmac for two hours. No one spoke. The silence was more unnerving than anything I’d experienced in the previous three days. Finally, we were cleared for takeoff–the first plane to depart Dulles after 9/11.

When we landed safely at DFW a palpable feeling of relief surged through the cabin. One of the flight attendants broke into tears. I cried with her. I had to catch another flight to Amarillo, TX. The flight attendants gave us instructions on fighting off attackers. Use anything you have they told us. Purses, pillows, wallets. The whole experience was surreal.

When I made it to Amarillo and to my car I sat and cried in the parking lot for a long time. I still had a four hour drive in front of me, and I remember very little of it. When I pulled into my driveway in a Dodge City, Kansas, Studly came out to hold me. Home never felt so good.

Peace, Please People!