animals, Just bitchin', poem

Windwalkers

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Bounced awake at 3 a.m. by feline urgency.

Pet-propelled, I follow the meowing fur-alert to the door.

Open it.

Wind.

But not our wind.

Not native to a northern clime.

This is a wind from the south, spiced with cinnamon and roses.

Santa Ana, the Witch’s Wind.

It reaches deep into our DNA.

Barefoot and pad-pawed, we walk into the primal.

The wind has claimed this night for the naked and the mad.

Blood surges.

Reason departs.

We hunt.

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image:Night Wind from flickr.com

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Just bitchin', writing

#ThomasGibson and The Insidious Art of Attraction

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Never been a fangirl.

Made it through pre-pubescence and adolescence and entered adulthood without papering my bedroom walls or my locker at school with depictions of male (or female) pulchritude. Never stood in line for hours to gather with adoring masses bent on ogling an idol on stage or screen.

Never swooned. Never sighed. Never stalked.

Felt kind of superior because of it. Wore my immunity like a smug, intellectual haz-mat suit. The rest of you can waste your time mooning after people you’ll never meet or really know. As for me? I’ll forge ahead with ‘real’ life…

But then…

Gibson.

Not a tsunami. Not a thunderclap.

Rather, an insidious invasion.

Innocent channel surfing. Hmmm…nice voice…easy on the eyes, too…this guy’s fun to watch. I put the remote down, unaware of the treacherous terrain I’ve entered. Like Little Red Riding Hood, flitting from butterfly to butterfly, I am drawn, episode by episode, along a path the destination of which I would never have chosen.

I begin to pay attention to more than physical attributes. The multifaceted character, a dark and stoic FBI agent, lures me in.

But I’m not a fangirl.

It’s just an intriguing depiction by a talented actor. It’s subtle with twists and turns that begin to fascinate. More. Want more.

So, being a writer, I frown when a television show’s plots don’t reveal enough or go far enough. In the back of my mind, as I’m otherwise engaged, idle musings begin to form. Next thing I know, I’m writing my own tales of Hotchner. I discover a place that wants them. Fanfic. With trepidation, I enter.

But I’m not a fangirl.

It’s just fun to have a place to write where editors and publishers aren’t staring down your neck, picking at every word. It’s freedom from having to compromise and capitulate. I can write my heart out without censor. And that’s where the devious, dark Hotchner makes his sly entre into my literary soul.

But I’m not a fangirl.

Fast-forward.

Three years later, this fictional character has become my guilty, secretive hobby. Someone who sits on my shoulder and whispers scenes and dialogue; who opens himself up to endless, psychological investigation. Someone with whom I now look forward to spending time.

And then, he’s gone.

With guillotine swiftness and scalpel-keen incisions, he’s gone.

I am bereft, blinking in the sudden glare of reality when I wanted to continue, feeding off of the tragic shadows that surrounded the Hotchner. The tremor that quakes through my peripheral, little world starts small, then spreads. I sit at my keyboard with nothing to say. The blood has drained from my writer’s brain. Somehow, some-when, Gibson’s portrayal snagged me and infiltrated my carefully cool psyche; his departure not only crippling my hobby, but my capacity to write at all.

I realize I’m in mourning. I realize…

Oh, crap. I’m a fangirl.

Worse…I’m a fangirl grieving for a character I didn’t know had taken control of a sub-level of my mind.

Damn you, Gibson, you magnificent bastard…how the hell did you manage that?

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The Stupidity of Terrorism

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I awoke to the headlines like the rest of the world.

Another terrorist attack.

Another hostage situation.

Another bevy of sociopaths masquerading under the guise of religious piety.

Poor Bangladesh.

But this time I read deeper. I looked at Facebook pages of some of the victims. I read through as many eye-witness accounts of survivors as I could find. I spent a little time, though not as much as such an atrocity deserves. At least, not if one wishes to honor the victims. As for the instigators, they are less than nothing in my estimation. They deserve only contempt.

Because they’re stupid.

Yes, it is possible to terrorize individuals, but this whole campaign started out as a quest to terrorize the entire world. The goal was to make the planet cower and quake in submission.

You fucking morons. Haven’t you realized yet that the terror of people is not the same as the terror of countries?

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Are you so dumb that you haven’t yet seen the equation? Well, let me spell it out for you. Every time you run shrieking Allah and firing guns and blowing yourselves up, it’s like stinging a very large grizzly bear. The bulk of the animal will survive. Not only that, it will exhibit extreme fury. It will turn on what stung it, and rend it.

Terror  x  50  =  Rage  x  Billions

Terrorists are short-sighted sadists. This time around they took pleasure in torturing their hostages by requiring they recite from the Koran. If you couldn’t do it, you were killed. That’s a very particular kind of sick cruelty. Very inefficient. Very risky. It proves nothing other than these sociopaths wished to spend their last moments of life engaged in misguided brutality.

And they’re too dim-witted to realize that, in the bigger picture, their antics produce anger, not fear.

Because the rest of the world knows that each life, each spirit, is a gift. Each murder is the theft of potential.

This is not a Christian concept. It’s a human one.

It’s easy to grasp, unless you’re mind-numbingly stupid. You know…

…like a terrorist.

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For Fatherless Girls on Father’s Day

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As you recall times shared with family and father,

some of us look back on a singular lack.

I remember hearing ‘Girls don’t need fathers as much as boys do.’

Emphatically and thoroughly not true.

The place where a father might have been is empty and dark.

Less than grief, but more than loss, a separate chamber in the heart.

We’re girls who learn men from the outside first,

slaking a congenital thirst.

We grow up strong, we make up the lack,

But there’s something that we never get back:

the memories others celebrate today,

fathers and daughters along the way.

We’re grown women who have learned our way,

but the father-shaped abyss echoes today.

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No End in Sight

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So now every Tom, Dick and Fucking Harry who wants to scrabble for some form of crazy-ass validity is going to hitch their wagon to ISIS or IS or Al-Qaeda.

Like a runt piglet on the playground, looking for a peer group, they’re going to turn their heads containing their twisted brains and disenfranchised thoughts toward a religion they’ve never honored, never learned, never known, except that now the media has taught them that it’s the label to assume if you HATE YOUR LIFE AND EVERYONE ELSE’S, TOO.

Well, forgive me. I’m angry. I’m sick of the mass shootings and the tepid, little statements in the bloody aftermaths that offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ and let’s clasp our hands together and leave flowers on the ground.

It’s taken me a few days to gather my thoughts out of the shocked realization that IT’S HAPPENED AGAIN! Another morgue-full of reminders.

This isn’t ISIS. This isn’t IS. This isn’t Al-Qaeda.

This is someone looking for attention who happens to live in a country that lets him buy assault weapons with the ease of walking into a 7-11.

Worst of all? This isn’t foreign terrorism.

This is America.

It’s us, spelled U.S.

It’s the copycat loser who’ll fancy himself immortal for going out in a hail of hate, and will turn his pleading eyes toward the Daddy who’ll approve him. ISIS, IS, Al-Qaeda.

They didn’t birth him. We did.

And we armed him.

And it has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with mental aberration.

UNDERSTAND? NO???

Well, don’t worry…I’m sure there’s a refresher course right around the corner, buying his ammo at the corner gun shop as we speak.

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Summer-Savvy

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Each season has a signature.

But it’s not reliable. The handwriting changes with the times.

Summer used to be bikinis, suntan oil, and long days at the beach. But over the years summer has taken on a whole new look.

The bikini…gone. We are advised that the exposure of so much skin to the brutal rays of the sun can have catastrophic consequences. So we cover up and take vitamin D to replace what we are told we should no longer absorb from nature.

The suntan oil…gone…replaced with sunblock designed to filter out all those aforementioned angry, vengeful rays. But the drawback with this savior of a cream is that it can migrate from wherever you have applied it on your face, assaulting your eyes with a burning, stinging vengeance. The solution to this particular problem is to use a concoction whose primary active ingredient is titanium dioxide.

You know…the stuff that provides whiteness and opacity to a huge array of products. The stuff that makes white paint WHITE. It is highly reflective. But don’t be concerned: the sunblock that contains titanium dioxide vows it will not alter your skin’s natural hue. Really. It won’t.

So, being a child of the times I followed all these summer precepts with the trusting soul of a lamb safe in the proximity of its sheepy-flock who are all taking the same steps. Or so I thought.

The result: I sally forth from my home feeling responsibly summer-ized; well-covered in fabric and formula.

It isn’t until the day is nearly over that I pass a mirror.

I do not resemble a savvy denizen of the summer. Leering back at me is the reflection of a white-faced creature in something long-sleeved and ankle-length.

Summer has a whole new look, and now…so do I.

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I look like a damn Kabuki ghost.

 

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#March

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“In like a lion; out like a lamb.”

That’s the way the month of March, that quixotic, transitional interval spanning from winter into spring ;

 

And HOLY CRAP!!! Just as I hit the semicolon, a huge flash and an immediate clap of thunder that made my hands jump, my cat’s tail expand to alarming proportions, and the house shake!!!

I kid you not.

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So now, after a brief break while all things electrical were turned off and a barrage of hail flattened the hyacinths in my planters…now I will continue. And it seems more appropriate than ever to discuss March and its unique attributes.

I think I’ll leave the unfinished thought and improperly placed semicolon above as a tribute to the angriest month on the calendar. Maybe that slight offering will keep it from further inflicting itself on me.

What started me writing about this in the first place was my kitchen ceiling. Its disconsolate dripping is a fitting sound track. The sagging, cracking sheet-rock another testament to the birth pangs of spring. The light switch taped down to discourage inadvertently flipping it on and shorting out the kitchen light that is perilously close to the leak and thereby burning down my house is another signature of March.

I’m not a fan of the month.

But I still wonder about that ‘in like a lion’ thing.

Lions are golden and soft-furred and regal. March is dark and violent.

And ‘out like a lamb?’ Lambs are cute, but they can be messy and loud and notoriously hard to catch. (Note the hover-lamb below.)

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So based on this year’s experience with the month only half over, and as a plea for the quieter, more manageable way in which I hope it will end:

March —

In like a brontosaurus; out like an arthritic vole.

In like a tsunami; out like a jar of grape jelly.

In like Trump; out like My Little Pony.

Just, please, no more shaking and roaring, okay? OKAY??

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