Saturday, December 31, 2011

Like a year now.

I've been blogging for like a year now. Almost three thousand page views. I would bet at least ten percent of those were people intentionally looking at it. The number of posts has definately slowed, but I figured it would. Actually I thought I would have given up by now. A lot of the things I've been writing lately have been entirely too long to just put in blog. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what you think of my writing, no one will probably ever see that stuff. Which I am okay with.
Well that being said, we shall see what this next year brings.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dance like no one is watching

Every where I go i see that poem, on walls, on cards, tattooed on suburban house wives asses, dorm rooms of nuns in training and English majors.
Sing like no one can hear you,
ramble on like people care,
fart like no one is in the elevator with you,
drive it like it's stolen,
run like you just stabbed a pimp,
fuck like you're sterile,
drink like alcoholism doesn't run in your family
spit like baseball player,
scream like a murder victim,
keep blogging like people read this crap.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Extended stay hotel at Christmas

For an out of town Christmas visit I stayed at one of those extended stay hotels. Usually rented by the week or month to business travelers it is like a regular hotel but is a bit bigger and has a small kitchenette. Weirdly, even though they offer really reasonable rates when the holidays come around, they are almost comepletely empty. I park and there were six cars total including mine in a hundred plus room hotel.
I can imagine the stories of those people.
Room 183-Single man in his forties. Drunk. He is here because this is where his ex-wife moved with his kids after the divorce. He really thought he was getting the better end of the deal when he left his wife. He would have a new and exciting single life. He is still half owner and manager of a small town grocery store with no prospects. All the ladies who would flirt with him when he was married now have no interest when there is the chance it will go further. His ex is the one with the new job, new house, new beau.
Room 216-Retired married couple visiting their two kids who both live here. When they retired they thought they would travel and spend time with the grandkids on the remainder of the family farm. The wife's fall off the icy back step put a quick end to that idea. She needs help walking now and he is diligently by her side. The week long visit turned into one day with the whole family and an afternoon and evening watching the children while their kids went out for supper and drinks together. Schedules didn't allow for more.
Room 230-a single woman in her thirties. Here to visit family. The two week stay is her layover between consulting jobs. Her parents, her two siblings, theirs spouses, and kids all live on the same block. They are very close. They never leave the city. They watch football and bsketball. Their kids play soccor. They get together once a week to play cards together. She has nothing in common with them.
Room 303- A mother in her sixties and a daughter who turner forty last week. They are here for a funeral. A mother's son and the daughter's brother. They recieved the news from the police. They hadn't heard from him in two years and that was a Christmas well wishing phone call. They had no idea of who he was or what his life was like. For the next two weeks they would find out as they go through the property remains of his life. The mother wishes she knew him better and the sister wishes she never knew him.
Room 345- A single man in his thirties with nothing left in his life. He is staring at the loaded gun in his hand. His other hand is resting on the provided bible. He is convinced one of these two things hold the answer but is still unsure which.
Room 140- Me. I am drowning my holiday depressions in a fine single malt playing Angry Birds on my iPad and watching Transformers on cable thinking I've got it pretty good.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The new land.

I was informed last week that I would be going to Antarctica. I packed all my cold weather gear and camera equipment and waited. It was like this 90 % of the time. Pack and wait....
    It was about two in the afternoon, three days after the call that a very obviously unmarked government vehicle pulled up in front of  my house. It was parked out front for a good ten minutes before my phone rang. The dry voice asked if I was packed. I was. He told me to place everything I was taking in the garage on a blue tarp. I told him everything was already there. Good.
  I walked out the front door with a light jacket on and my iPad in hand. I slipped into the back seat as the door opened for me. I closed the door and the driver peered at me in the rear view to inspect that I was ready to go. I smiled widely. I always smile at these guys. I thing it irritates them slightly. Only once had a woman picked me up. She looked at me the same way. So much for my charming nature.
After a long drive we pulled into an outskirts airstrip. The sign said International Airport. I guess a two seater to Canada makes it international. I would be taking a two seater to my destination. A Harrier.
Vertical takeoff always sounds cool, but it is pretty lame actually. I walked over to the jet and climbed up. In my seat was a manilla envelope, a flight suit and a digital tablet. I climbed back down and put on the flight suit, climbed back up and in. I buckled in and with a broad smile at the pilot we were off. Or up, I guess. I opened the envelope and took out the contract. Flipped through it quick (top secret...treason...blah blah blah) and signed the bottom. Standard. I flipped the iPad on and plugged my headset into it.
"The information contained on this device is for your eyes only..." the voice said.
"New narrator." I thought. Briefly wondering how one gets that job, if it is union, or have to audition...
The narrator told me I was headed to a local base, onto another plane, then onto a carrier, then a sub, and finally into a hot zone. Hot zone was their way of saying a well protected area. Very well protected. I perused through some grainy photos of an area with some blobs circled in red and labeled 'structure'. I will see it when I get there I thought. We were starting our descent.

Climbing out of the sub and onto a dock on the continent of Antarctica was a little surreal. I've been in subs before, but not a long trip. I had forgotten if it was day or night and stepping out of the sub I still couldn't tell. Day and night sometimes interchange here. The dock is a standard Army Corps of Engineers quick set up deal. It feels like you are walking across canoes that can hold up a tank. At the end of the dock I am met by several men in fatigues that tell their rank, but no their names. Two Sergents. Maybe. They lead me up an incline. As the ground starts to level off, I now understand what the photos were of. Structures. Several of them. Low arcing buildings buried in the ground. Older than anything I have seen.
I see the stuff I left in the garage in a crate, parachute strings still attached. I quickly start setting up cameras. They trust me because there are two things they know about me. I don't have any family and no close friends and I'm damn good at what I do.
I spend the next two weeks shooting buildings being excavated and tools being unearthed. These people set up for the changing weather and eventually were snowed in permanently. Twenty thousand years before the pyramids were built. As I'm packing up to leave the first real archeologists and anthropologists arrive. The Army always makes sure there is no alien technology to be found. Seriously. Unfortunately they usually wreck quite a bit of history. Aliens. Whatever.
The ride home is less interesting. Boat to Australia and a long flight home. I look in the garage and my stuff is there. In a crate. I walk into my living room a sit down in my Lazy Boy. I let out a sigh as my eyes close. My thoughts drift. I dream I am back on the sub. An alarm is going off. Everyone is running around. I get knocked down a flight of steps and jolt awake from the feeling of falling. The alarm sound is my phone is ringing. I sigh again as I answer the phone. At least I don't have to pack again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY shows

DIY shows show some practical things to do around the house. I think I might start my own but it would show impractical things. Like how to make a zip gun, or saw off a shotgun to just above legal length. Or how to rig a car to explode. Or how to knock the valve off an oxygen tank and letting it fly without killing yourself. How to make a fertilizer bomb, or outrun the cops. Maybe a segment on drug manufacturing or safe cracking. Ooh, maybe armed car hijacking, that would be useful. A special show on blackmail and how to plant a bug or hide a camera.
An episode on computer hacking would be a must with a special section on Facebook account hacks. Maybe a couple episodes on abductions and ransom note writing. And a special on how to run numbers and Ponzi schemes. What could go wrong? Liability issues might be a problem...that would lead to the next episode on insurance scams. Nothing bad could possibly happen, nothing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Artists and creativity.

So I have this theory about creativity and artists. I was just reading an article that claims creative people tend to bend the rules. My theory actually takes this one step further. I would say to be a creative person you must bend the rules. Most great artists have some sort of social defect. Alcohol, drugs, sex, cats, depression, anxiety, something they take further than most people would. An extremist attitude is really about rule breaking and rule breaking is what it takes to stand out as an artist. There are many people who are good artists in the technical sense but few stand out as emotionally charged powerhouses.
Want to be a good artist? Break the rules.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crystal skulls

In my family we have a rich tradition that I am proud to carry on. For nearly one hundred and forty years my family has been carving crystal. Crystal skulls to be exact. Our wages are paid by the areas of the world that need a greater tourism industry. There was a golden age of exploration created the golden age of adventure tourism also. My family has carved crystal for over five hundred years. Masters of the craft.
We started carving skulls upon request. A few mystical knick knacks for mystics were the first ones. Then as adventurers started returning for expeditions with large pieces of crystal wanting them carved into souvenirs. It was long before one was "discovered" in an expedition. Suddenly there were more and more being discovered all over the world and our business was booming. Everyone in our small shop was taking turns carving varieties of skulls so no two could be compared as too similar.
We were even asked to examine several of them to look for tool marks and evidence of age. It not only allowed us to check our work for any evidence of modern manufacture and clean off anything suspicious, it also allowed us to authenticate its age.
As the theories progressed we were being contacted by locals who knew expiditions were being mounted in their areas and we would provide. I had recently seen a special on TV about the mystery behind the crystal skulls. My favorite part is the lack of tool marks being evidence for authentication. Two words. Rock. Tumbler. The naivety of people will never cease to amaze me.