Tag Archives: geek

Self Portrait: Work in Progress

 

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Still a work-progress. I admit I even added my beauty mark in “post.” Self Portrait, Jessica Lakis, oil on canvas paper, 2018

So. I dare to suspect beginning to form an inkling of what I am doing/becoming, and what I need to do. On a Universal-scale, I’m just as stupid as algae or when I was 19. But I think I’ve gotten something close to the human-being I was before November of 2016, with a little extra knowledge gleaned, I would hope. And don’t mention the “XXXtreme Winter+!” That must end. Momma needs to be outside! I have a new garden extension planned.  And camping and hiking and boats and water and swimming and fish! And I have been locked in this house nearly every day with a bored Border Collie since like November. She wants out too.

Earlier in the winter I was in a bad way. So I just started finding stuff to do to keep me from breaking into tears all the time. Sometimes I had to work hard to hold them back. But it got easier. Cleaning schedule. Learning vegetarian cooking. Encouraging the growth and maintenance of a way more awesome haircut. I picked up, cleaned, fixed up and started playing some old instruments. And, indeed, the painting above was a part of that.

The cleaning up — of both my environment and of myself — that was the basis. I believe I was sitting on my couch one day and was repulsed by the floor. So I cleaned it. And you know how it is when you make a clean spot, gotta finish it all. Cleaning and improving my environment helps give me a feeling of control. I get to grapple with CHAOS in my own little sphere. As to myself, I learned from working freelance for so long that I have to get up at a certain hour every day, get a shower, have coffee, put on clothes, makeup, and do my hair. It just makes me feel better. And, hey, “the other” will notice. So extra points for not smelling and dressing like a pig.

The vegetarian thing I just had to do for many reasons, mainly for the greenhouse emissions. Also, ugh, what the hell with what people do to animals? Just, no. I still eat fish and any crap you can pull out of water because my family came from frickin’ islands, OK? Learning how to cook vegetarian was fun, and got me interested in cooking and possibly eating again. I do notice a lot about me has changed, and I lost weight, which is reason enough right there. I have been vegetarian or meat-adverse most of my life. I like good bread. Bread and beer built the Pyramids, not aliens.

As to my hair, well, let me tell you: I let it get really long on top, dyed it back to black *eh-hem*, and kept most of the rest shaved. Then when I went for a proper cut with me Mum for our long-delayed Mother-daughter beauty day (MOM!), Adrienne, with whom you can book here, tidied it all up. I love how the front just wants to be up! Can’t take the wall bangs out of the Jersey girl, I ‘spose. But this is a big deal for me. I love the time with my Mom, and I get to feel like a real girl with a cool haircut.

The painting was a way for me to get back to something I used to do more often, and was talented at. It’s been a learning curve, but I adore using oils again. Oils are my favorite medium, they just cost a lot even to pick up again. But, most importantly, I found a non-verbal way to express myself. Because I needed that. I had no words. I had to get out what was on my mind elsewise.

Oh yes, I fixed up my Dad’s 1964 Guild guitar, restrung it and have been playing that again. I can play Dirty Ol’ Town, and several other Pogues songs. It’s not my fault that I can’t replicate the sounds of Johnny Marr, but I’d love to meet whoever could and sing along with them. I sing to the Pogue songs too. It’s part of the fun! I also got some issues with my violin arreglado, and my old flute back!

Of course, this is all good, but friggin’ time keeps marching on. So I finally got a new pocket calendar. And I did start back using that, which helps my anxiety a lot. At least I know what to expect sorta. And I’ve done some really impressive, next level adulting stuff. “The Other” took me out for sushi because I got him a tax refund. I just got some stuff done. I made days for it, like I made a day to write this blog. And the more I use it the calendar, the better I feel. I know what money is going where when. And when I can spend time writing. I can plan around things. It’s soothing.

But this is a busy time of year for my second job as a farmer with aspirations to self-sufficiency. We planned out a new bed, I have most of my herbs from last year. Heck I even have seeds from last year. I planted this one awesome orange tomato two years in a row. I just save some seeds. Like that place in Norway or whatever. The Seed Vault. But we’re also trying some traditional planting methods for this area. I figure if it worked for the original folks who lived here, why am I not planting like they did?

Finally, this is the beginning of camping, hiking, boat, water, swimming, fishing season. And I can’t wait. Last year I did part of the Appalachian Trail for the first time on my birthday. I almost got hypothermia, but it was awesome. Solo is coming out the day before my birthday. But I’m thinking maybe another adventure this year, as the nation is good enough to celebrate my birthday with a three-day weekend.

So, that’s about where I am right now. Although I’m currently concerned about the nice weather keeping me away from writing. I have a project I’ve been eyeing up. But, April is rough. I have to knock the winter off everything and get the creaky old bones moving again. And go out on a hike my Border Collie. It’s good for us both.

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”
– The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot
Arrivederci! Ciao! Salvete!

While you’re here: Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

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It’s All Good

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Pictures from my kitchen porch.

I took Paul McCartney’s advice and got a home in the heart of the country.  It’s been good for the blood pressure, even though most of my life is still in boxes. This is the sort of place where a thing is done in good time if it’s done well. More haste, less speed, I guess. Actually, not even so much haste. Just the haste of the rolling of the seasons. But most often I just sit here on my porch, or in the swing under the willow by the stream, take a walk, look at stars, notice the moon phases, and stare at the goats who live across the stream in front.

Getting here was trying. Molly, my dog of 13 years, died a few weeks before the move. The previous owners had left the house abandoned for three years, and the place and land was full of their stuff and suffering from neglect. Also, my cat ran away the first day. I spent a week and a half walking around, clinking a fork to a can, shouting “WET FOOOOOD!” But one day he just turned up hungry and miserable looking, ready for snuggles, a clean litter box and wet food. Guess he just needed his Mountain Lion merit badge.

Of course, when the first day I’d be alone rolled around, I was the loneliest girl ever. But that afternoon Stan came home with a new friend, which he held up like John Cusack with a boom box.  But, even better, it was a 3 month old Border Collie pup with freckles on her white nose. We called her Abbey Road. And she was just the friend I needed. Border Collies really want to learn! She looks to me constantly for a cue as to what she should do. So, when on my first day alone with her, she learned “sit” it was “challenge accepted” for us both!

It did take some time to bargain with my love for Molly and for Abbey. But I like to think that Molly’s independent, no-nonsense, terrier spirit haunts me like Obi-wan Kenobi’s Force ghost. Maybe showing up sometimes to deliver exposition to Abbey, or to warn me of encroaching “booshit.” Molly was a great one for hunting down and destroying that. And Abbey is my little go-go Padawan. Always eager to stomp through the trees on the hill behind the house, chase the frogs in the pond, herd frisbees, and bark at the goats, of course. She’s also the biggest love-bug. And I’ve had to defend her from multiple kidnapping attempts when we go to Lowe’s, PetSmart and even from visiting friends and family!

Mr. Kitter-kat wasn’t exactly pleased to come home to “Dog 2.0,” but now they’re great friends, and play and cuddle. He has several channels of bird feeders to watch. Wet food. And he can go out on the kitchen porch whenever he wants to dream of his days as a fearsome hunter alone in the woods. He’s a happy man.

Anyhow, after going without hot water for the first few days (which gave new meaning to “icey cold spring water”), and two weeks of having public sewer pipes laid down what can only be called “the lane,” things finally started coming into focus. Stuff is getting done. I can putter. Actually, I put in some major back and elbow grease! More importantly,  I can breathe again. From locked up in an apartment surrounded by noisy people, on a busy street around the corner from a firehouse, while mourning my dog. To long walks, starry skies, noticing how many species of woodpeckers there are, playing with Abbey, and, of course, staring at goats. Cars are so rare on the road up the hill, I watch them go by.

Sure, the house is old, and nothing is straight, but it’s sturdy and good old — like the Parthenon! A few more years and the forest would have overgrown the place. It feels like a happy house to have people to love it again. And each season has a charm and rhythm of its own. Soon, we’ll move from fire rings outside, to the wood-stove inside. And we’ll all gather before it, and say “let it snow.” More importantly, I have a space of my very own where I have many places to sit with my laptop and write. I am home.

Now, I just need the big green door-shaped sign with Gandalf’s mark, so travelling wizards, dwarves and fair folk know to stop for tea or adventures! 

For more pics of Abbey, the farmhouse, and more check out my Instagram! For even more, check out  Stan’s!

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Making Time

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Tock-tick

Pink Floyd are bastards. You’re listening to Dark Side, get all snug and sleepy from Breathe, and then ALL THE CLOCKS IN THE WORLD wake you up for a lecture on wasting time. But they have got it right. You need both. The space to breathe and be, and that little clock in the back of your mind that reminds you time passes.

Clocks, particularly alarm clocks,  were made by monks you know. It was to help them observe the proper prayer for the time of day. So, no matter what their daily business: farming, sleeping, eating, writing, counting money, making beer or wool; the clock made certain that they took the time to greet and witness each part of the day with the proper ritual in worship of God, which was their real job. And then they approached each bit of the day and it’s work in the frame of mind of worship. They went about all this walled off and ignoring the crazy nonsense of the world.

And that’s how it works. That is how you make time. One part ritual, one part work, one part ignoring everything else.

I do a lot of dumb stuff. I do a lot of housework, cleaning, animal tending, bill-paying stuff. But I chose that. It’s the easiest stuff to do, and no one else wants to do it. That’s my in! What I do I get back? Time to think. When I’m walking dogs, cleaning the tub, doing dishes, taking a shower…my body goes into auto-pilot, and I can think. That’s when the knottiest problems get worked out. Not sitting about.

I have considered that this is a form of “mindless” living. But no! The exact the opposite. I shower in the exact same way — same steps and soap, shampoo, razor in the same place every day — so I can shower without missing any bits.  I LOVE my showers. Because the rest is automated, my brain is free! I made a routine, a ritual to make time to work. Coloring is my new favorite time-maker! How wonderful to let the mind wander to color, movement, and some music!

I do it on social media, too! Prentend every comment or response is a little exercise in thoughtful writing. I’m practicing. I also try stuff out. Oh, perhaps I’ll write like Spock with a foul mouth? Maybe Dickens with anachronistic references? I was going through a big laconic phase a short time back. Sometimes I just make stuff up. Little “words of wisdom” I just pulled out of my… brain.  Caption this picture for best effect! This is what I do. It’s free practice. It’s fun. And that’s my “social time.” Oh dear!🤓

But then, it comes Time. The Time to do the real deed of writing. Now, here again, ritual is big. It’s a habit, but it’s also a ritual. I have certain things to hand. Vaporizer, extra fluid, at least two beverages, chapstick, and music. Now I can do that part anywhere. In fact, some of my best stuff I’ve done in bed on my phone. (I have yet to determine the causal correlation there. It may be coincidence. Further research is clearly required.) But, you know what? Nine times outta ten, I gather all of the above at my little antique letter-writing desk here (which must have been made for a child or a young woman because it is the perfect height for me), and I light a tea light under a bust of Shakespeare. I shittest thou not! BUT! (big butt) all I have to do is write until the tea light burns out. I normally lose track and it’s long out before I’m done, but yeah, that’s my timer. If I do that much, I win! I can go back after a break, or not. But yeah, I work one tea candle to Shakespeare at a time. And it’s all I need. It’s just a little measurable moment I have saved up and prepared for myself.

I ignore a lot. I might be worse than the monks in that regard. They did charitable works, I presume. I have no idea what the monks did. I know what’s going on. I read the news in the morning (with the coffee, it’s a ritual). Then I forget it and go about my own business! If I’m talking to you, I really care. “I give you my most precious thing, my Time,” is what Dad used to say.

I generally decide on giving a damn status fairly quickly. I am a hermit. I talk to my animals more than actual people…or digital people. I actually only “talk” in “meat-space” to about three human beings regularly. One is my therapist. So you know, if I get out of my house for you (or let you in) I am already way out of my norm. I need like 24 hrs of Netflix to recover from large get-togethers. 😂

Oh yeah, this wasn’t about what a weirdo I am, guess that happened though. It was about making Time. But that’s part of how I do it. My area of giving a damn is really slim. And the rest is all up in the old noggin there. And in my thought-filled dog walks and showers and tub cleaning. And in the ephemeral pixels I manipulate against mortality. And the scrawl of half a page of scribbled lines…that I put into Evernote, set a timer and tag a goal and a project for…

“Far away, across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell”

– Time, Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon, 1973

*note to self: add back-up battery for vaporizer to writing materials to avoid getting up

 


Never Giving Up

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What I feel like.

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What I look like.

 

Spoiler: Life is actually the exact opposite of Forrest Gump. Screw that feather on a breeze. Life is more like Google Maps. You have to know your destination to get directions. If you want to know what to do, you have to know what you want and, just as important, what you don’t. Then you have to scream it at yourself until you just believe that shit.

Have you ever done that thing where you imagine yourself in five, ten or fifteen years? It’s weird, but it really helps. I know I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. All this awesome stuff I was going to be and do. And I had the right idea, too. Just keep doing the thing I was/wanted to be good at. That strategy has never failed me.

But you know how stuff happens. I lost my biggest fan. The playing field broadened. And then I found I’d go any short space without everyone telling me how awesome I am, and I lost all confidence. How could I not win that contest? How could I not be the fucking best? I must suck and be awful and i’m a loser and oh god i wanna die…

Oh yeah, and then there’s the folks who go out of their way to remind you “you’re not the center of the Universe.” Yeah, I kind of figured that out, now shut up. I had to really shut those voices out. But the voice I needed to shut up so hard was the one in my brain that started to say that too.

Yeah so, I got to a point where when I imagined myself years on, aside from my own funeral, I could not see anything good. So that’s when I started labeling the “me” and “not me.” And please, all you older white dudes who’ve benefited from nothing but privilege your entire life do not pull the Alan Watts Buddhist routine on me . My ego’s done been broke down, bitch. I need to build it back up on some better foundations, thanks. Besides, why ya gotta try and hold a gal down, boyzzz?

Oh that’s another thing. Being a girl/woman/female. I guess I was raised like a boy. I learned to throw like one and tie my own fishing knots and all . But it was always about what I could achieve and not really about pleasing others. My Mom was just as likely to be organizing a strike as taking me shopping. And of course Dad because, ya know, he never got his Sammie (the boy my mom was supposed to have). And he really dug the fact that I wanted to know everything, and learn how to do everything. He wanted to help me with that. And he did.

It was really weird going out into a world that expected something else from me beyond brains and talent. I taught myself some female stuff, but I internalized some of the bad in that as well. Mainly the worrying about others and what they think more than yourself. That’s a bunch of bull and mainly the reason why those old male baby-boomers need the Buddhism more than I. To be fair, guys my own age know more about tough times. We’re closer to our Great Depression, WWII grandparents than Boomers. You guys had it all then blew it for the rest of us. Thanks.

But I digress, so I started to find “me” and “not me.” What then? Well frankly, I started to get pissed…at me. Which was a start. But recently I realized I had to take it further. It’s not about repeating “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darnnit, people like me.” in the mirror. No. I have to scream it at me.

Every day all the time. I’M NOT GIVING UP ON YOU JESS!  I can’t expect anyone else to do it. I’m not even asking. I got this.

And, yeah, I’m still a big geek. . . like YUUUUUUGE. Well actually a five foot one geek with myopia and allergies. In my mind, I slay!

Take care of yourselves brothers and sisters, you’re ultimately all you can count on.

So, cue the Rocky music.  And remember: Never give up. Never surrender.


You will talk The Force Awakens

 

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I got this funny way of showing gratitude. You’ll see.

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” I follow where you lead Star Wars. I bought the digital download of The Force Awakens with Bonus Features on April 1st, even though Amazon dropped off the Blu-Ray on the 5th as promised.  April Fools! You took my money, huh? Take! It’s Star Wars. I’ll give you anything.

So now I have seven viewings in, can we please talk about this movie some more? I’m “focusing” (not  “obsessing”) on it again. I need some help from fellow fans. A support group. Something? Oh yeah, it’s called the internet!

And thank The Force for that.

The Force Awakens on the interwebs just keeps giving. Want the ultimate gif expression of tech-rage? Here ya go.

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S T O O P I D STOOPID COMPUTERS!!!!!

Want to listen to the dinner-table fights at the Solo home? Yup:

Would you like to talk about fan-fic, Reylo, theories, art?

I love all of these wonderful, creative, passionate fans! The internet has finally succeeded in bringing the world together…through Star Wars. Pretty cool.

But there’s still so much I . . . WE need to talk about. Your favorite moment/character/theory?  I don’t know where to begin. I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?

*written while listening to Finn’s Playlist on Star Wars Spotify.

Edit: I didn’t even mention all the Star Wars YouTubers! Sorry HelloGreedo! Love ya man! Oh dear, and even Mr. Plinkett awakens…OH MY GAAAHD!


JKHOA: What Can I Say?

The Seer - de chirico

One of my favorite images. The Seer, by de Chirico

 

For two weeks I’ve been posting here everyday except Saturday. Time to take a look at the experiment and get some new plan set out. See what I’ve learned.

I certainly have plenty so say, and I’ve hardly run dry. But, honestly, this has become a slightly more formal version of my journal. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But looking back, mainly I just sat down with some tea and Mozart and started typing without a clue as to what would come out, with varying success.

Honestly, I got more responses from my nearly absurdist posts, with less interaction for the ones that I gave more thought to. I don’t know what that means. It could’ve simply been the day on which those posts were made. Maybe this the sort of thing Google understands. I surely don’t.

Also, I don’t know if it was the Mozart, or the lack of pressure I felt about what I was typing, or the caffeine in this chronic chai I’ve got (I mean the tea. I’m a tea snob. Shut up.), but even the posts I put more thought into weren’t much. I was just really goofing off the entire time. I almost feel a bit of fake. Sometimes when a thing is easily done, I don’t do it as well. Hey, or do I?

Anyhow, so aside from getting through a snowstorm, having the plague and some Nicholson level cabin fever, what’s next for Jess? Well, that’s a deep subject. (Yes, that was a very bad pun.) Dah! Darned if I know.

I suppose I’ll keep up on the blog here twice a week. I’m going consider which days. It’ll most likely be a combination of my stats for each day over two weeks combined with whatever the heck I feel like — probably a strong emphasis on the latter. And as I seem to find it useful to keep talking about myself and whatever happens to be on the brain that day, I’ll stick with that. By far my most popular posts are tagged “Geek”.  And while I also have a high level of nerd in me — I guess I’ll just keep on with my super-nerd/geek self.

I’m not apologizing for being me. I will continue to consider Star Wars, Roman military strategy, whatever video game I’m playing and documentaries about irrigation and flood management in ancient Mesopotamia with equal enthusiasm. After all, what is being a geek if not simply being a rabid fan of “your thing”. I don’t see any conflict between my enthusiasm for Galaxy Quest and that for ancient epic poems. If anyone takes issue with that, I don’t care. I just don’t. Go write your own damn blog.

But how about your book, Jess? Well, part of myself that just has to make that “B” an “A”, I’m glad you reminded me not to let myself slip. I was reading back in my journal to when I was working on it full-time. I’ve also been looking over my old notes, and I got some interesting thoughts from the feedback on the rough chapter I posted, but what I need is a new outline. And that will have to come before another chapter, because I don’t like the next chapter as it is. Let’s make my outline a goal for this week. That should satisfy my self-loathing. And make me happy. Not being disgusted with oneself is generally conducive to personal felicity.

I will post the next chapter when I’ve done the outline. I enjoyed that. I saw its shortcomings with far more clarity.  Possibly with the knowledge that someone was actually paying attention to the thing. Which is really why I’ve taken up the ebook idea anyway. I’ve got all these screenplays that I send out, and sometimes they get a read or something, but generally they just sit taking up hard-drive space.

Unlike Kafka, I did not take up writing with the notion that all my work should be discovered in a sock drawer upon my death. I write to speak to other people. It’s the best way I know how to communicate. So, at least with a book I can “publish” online, a series in which I’m interested and invested in the character and story, and hope that more people will read what I’ve done. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do. I hope they feel something when they read it. I hope they geek out on the reading as much as I did on the writing.

I guess I’m just here to talk to folks, and this is the best way I know how. So that’s probably the biggest take-away I’ve got. I like to write, and I enjoy it when people enjoy what I’ve written. Simple. What else can I say?

 

 

 

 

 


JKHOA Pt. 2 Snow Day Geek

peter o'toole - lawrence of arabia 1962

Ladies, gentlemen: the most beautiful image ever. http:www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

If you saw radar maps of Snowmaggedon or Snowzilla — or whatever hashtag you prefer — I was right under the part of the map that displayed a graphic of an angry weather deity suffering from dysentery. I rather enjoyed the storm, but today I became enlisted in said deity’s personal sanitation crew. I mean I shoveled, but it was closer to mining. I’ve lived most of my adult life in either Philly or Costa Rica. So I’m not a practiced hand. But I was out talking and working with other people. It was weird. But not necessarily bad.

The lady who lives next door had her kids and grandkids marshaled up. She was like George C. Scott in the part of Patton when he clears up the traffic, except with a white Maltese instead of a pit-bull. My other neighbor just moved here from Los Angeles. He carefully cleaned all the icy patches with a windshield scraper. He explained to me that he hadn’t thought to buy a shovel. But he seemed to be getting a get kick out of it.

I’m not tall, or strong, or particularly inclined towards physical labor. I’m a clutz. My BF calls me the “fainting goat” because I just lose my balance and start to fall while standing perfectly still on even ground. So I was glad to have my new neighbor to chat (pretend I was still shoveling) with. His name is Jerry, and he’s a retired aerospace engineer. He worked for NASA in the mid-seventies, and knows a man who walked on the moon. Yeah. And I knew we’d be fast friends when he asked me “I don’t know if you ever think about transporters…?” “I think about transporters ALL THE TIME.”

Seriously, gentlemen, that is the best pick-up line I’ve ever heard. We talked about the physics and computational issues etc. of transporters for about an hour. I think I might have a crush.  He’s friends with one of the twelve human beings to have stepped on the moon. And he enjoys talking about transporters. We both felt jipped by the actual year 2001 because it wasn’t, well, you know, like 2001. And one of his early designs is in the National Space and Aeronautics museum. Like the ones that hang from the ceiling. Be still my heart.

What was I talking about before I drifted into a nerd hole? Oh yeah, #Blizzard2016. Yesterday I tore it up in an epic game of Civilization with the BF. History tells us that the Poles were instrumental in holding back all sorts of Muslim invasion of Europe. Well, let me just say, I played as Harun Al-Rashid of Arabia, and I corrected that error. My empire is the most literate, cultured, wealthy and well equipped Wonder of the World. I hope Alec Guinness as Prince Faisal would approve. There were street lights in Damascus! Baghdad was a center of science. Mecca made Paris look like a Neandertal shelter. It seems I’ve crawled back into that nerd hole.

So, fun! Enjoyed Snowmaggedon. Today begins week two of my 500 word a day thing for this blog, but taking off Thursday, most like. Did you folks enjoy your snow days? Everyone all safe and tired from shoveling? Is tomorrow Monday? Are these my hands?

Peace and love, LLAP, and May the Force be with you…always.

Jess

 


JKHOA 1.5 Mystery

Type “Amen” like and share 😉 

One of my many nerd-denominations is Sherlockian. I owe an existential debt to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When I got to third grade, I had run out of Nancy Drew stories, so I started reading Sherlock Holmes. I sat there with the dictionary my Dad gave me and looked up the words I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it all, but I did so well on my language testing that my teacher announced it to the whole class. Then everyone laughed at me, and I comforted myself that some day I’d be just like Sherlock Holmes, and they would all still be stupid. (Hey, I was in 3rd grade! Leave me alone.) Anyhow, Sherlock Holmes is a great nerd mentor. He confirmed my belief in the beauty and power of a curious human mind. He taught me that magic is something awesome you just don’t understand…yet.

Sherlock Holmes adventures unfold like a magic trick. Usually they begin with Holmes whiny and pissy because he’s got nothing to do and the world is stupid and he hates how dull everything ever is. And then there’s Watson getting irritated because he’s trying to read the paper. So he jumps in and starts challenging Holmes. Into this bickering, the plot appears in the form of a messenger or a lady or some strange person. While Watson listens patiently to the inciting incident, Holmes just sits there until he hears some bit that is just slightly odd, “outre” was his phrase. Then we follow Watson follow Holmes on the adventure. In the end, Holmes gives Watson the “need to know” for a cunning plan. Excitement ensues, and then everyone asks Holmes “How did you ever…?” And Holmes’ intellectual vanity overwhelms him so he explains how he figured out who-dunnit. Then everyone, except our lovely Watson, is like “Oh! That was easy.” Poor Holmes goes home and plays some lonely violin, while Watson takes the girl to dinner.

So, for most of the story, you are Watson. You don’t see what Holmes is seeing, you simply see him, through Watson, doing his thing. So when the reveal happens, you feel Watson’s wonder at the “magic” of his friend. And it’s not cheap magic. The magic of Holmes is the magic of watching the beauty and splendor of the workings of a human mind. And a great and creative mind too. I’ll take that sort of magic as much and as often as I can. It’s the most wondrous thing that I know of in the Universe, and that’s a pretty big and wondrous place.

So what? Well, I get asked a lot about my thoughts on spirituality especially in relation to my creativity, and a lot of folks are shocked that I can find all the magic and meaning and inspiration I could ever want in just life, the Universe and everything. In the mysteries big and small. Holmes took cases because they tickled his curiosity, and he read a world of import and significance into scratches on watches, in a person’s shoes, in types of soil. He was infinitely fascinated by his world. And so am I. What more could anyone want than to be alive and have a brain capable of observing, learning and reflecting on this amazing world full of infinite expressions of Universal laws?

To me the magic of Holmes also reflects the magic of a Mozart or Newton or Michelangelo or Shakespeare, of great generals and leaders, of people who use their investigation of the world and its workings to discover, imagine and create. This world is so full, as Holmes observed “No ghosts need apply.” There’s just so much out there that really exists. And it’s all awesome. This Watson thanks Holmes for turning her on to that magic. And to everyone out there making awesome from the world, thanks. “My blushes, Watson!”

“The Cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff. And we are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

 

 

 

 


Jess Kicks Her Own Ass Pt. 1.4

Hoth

Me taking out the trash, but Star Wars.

Tales of Snow and Star Wars

Posting a rough draft was helpful. Not only did I appreciate the feedback, I also see more of what I need to change/expand upon. We’ll do that again someday. But it is not this day!  No, today is a day to be lectured by Russians that I am “pussy” for mild anxiety regarding blizzards. Today is a day to only shave one of one’s legs in the shower. Today is a day to still be wearing the same fleecy leggings I’ve had on for more than a couple of days. A day for losing one’s vape saber repeatedly. For apologizing to my dog for jipping her on her walk. (Are we allowed to say “jipp”? Screw it, I typed “pussy” already.)

Yes indeed folks. But you know, I like snow storms once in a while. Like a nice rainy day. Do some major faffing about. Although it’d be better if Force Awakens were on Blu-ray. (*Talk to Russian friend about that.) I’ve done everything I can to replace the deep hole within me without Force Awakens on tap. The Extended Editions of LOTR AND The Hobbit movies (commentary tracks and special features),  Wes Anderson, Kubrick, TNG, new Sherlock, starting re-watching the first part of this season’s Walking Dead, Lawrence of Arabia, started a Civ, colored, started Moby Dick again . . . Yeah, I’m dying over here!

Well, I can still think about Star Wars all the time, mostly. I’ve realized that the magic of movies has tricked me into empathizing with a character that is already a school-shooter in a galaxy that rewards school-shooters with positions of great power by the time we first meet him in Force Awakens. Kylo Ren is the Trenchcoat Mafia love child of a three-way between Dexter, Buffalo Bill and Napoleon Dynamite. Damn it! I still really like that character. But I also was still on Walter White’s side until the very end.  And Buffalo Bill is cool, of course. He’s just misunderstood.

I don’t feel bad that I’ve spent all my movie-going allowance (and some gift cards from the day we don’t mention) on seeing Star Wars, when there are a lot of fantastic movies out right now. It’s honestly Tarantino’s fault for scheduling the release of The Hateful Eight on the same weekend as a new Star Wars film. And maybe I’ll wait until spring to watch The Revenant. And again, that’s just on them. There are other movies with Tom Hardy that I can watch right now if I need to (may need to). Obviously I’m just going to keep seeing Star Wars into the cheap theater until it comes out on Blu-ray.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether I’m obsessing. That movie made me happy. And (until five seconds ago) Episode VIII comes out on my birthday, so this is apparently all about me anyway. You know what else made me happy? The Beatles on Spotify. I didn’t listen to any music from the day we don’t mention last year! Not when I can do Abbey Road on my surround sound. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…and a hair-tossing “woooooh!” Anyway, I don’t think of it as “obsessing”. I think of it as “focus”. I’m extremely focused.

Yeah so anyway, what are you all planning to do during the storm? I think I’m going to play Civ V for three days. I have a lot of those little soups that come in boxes. I’ll just drink them from a straw. Oh yeah, and should I just stop putting quotes around my Morrissey references? I don’t attribute Star Wars quotes. But then people don’t know Morrissey as well as some focused folks. I think I’ll just leave them alone and either A) people will get it or B) people will think I have a wickedly morbid wit. I’ll take that.

May the Force shovel you sidewalk.

I don’t like the digital skips between tracks on Abbey Road though. It’s the same with Dark Side. It’s a tease when radio stations play just one track off Dark Side. You just want to hear the next song on Dark Side then. It doesn’t matter what they play next. It sucks.

 

 

 

 


Jess Kicks Her Own Ass Pt 1

Help me finish what I started, burnt husk of a mask.

Help me finish what I started, burnt husk of a mask.

 

Sometimes my self-loathing has consequences for the good. I mean, appeals to my vanity always work. People who say that you should: eat healthy, exercise, or just like take a shower and make your bed because it makes you feel better and not because it’ll make you look better just don’t get me. However, that’s not why I’m hating me now. I’m hating me now because I’ve been so neglectful of my writing that I feel as though I should just resign myself to a life of cleaning up after my animals and my boyfriend (redundant). Ew and like cooking stuff to eat. Yeah, but see now I’ve got a plan to turn that all around. All thanks to my unfailing ability to disappoint myself. I’m going to write 500 words at least on this blog every day, except Saturdays, for two weeks. Not rollin’ on Shabbas.

That’s just the part of the plan. I have other things going on as well, and I will up my game as I go. But this is the goal 1.1 subsection A for now. And I’m going to post this brain drivel on my blog so there’s some sort of accountability to like my thousands of followers, I guess? Whatever. That’s what I’m doing.

So, did anybody see that Star Wars movie? I saw it for the third time this past Friday. It gets better with every view. It’s got a sort of old-school, ET or Close Encounters era Spielberg thing going on. Magical, full of wonder…just an old-fashioned kind of fun movie like you would’ve gone to see on like a Saturday or after school as a kid. I cannot quarrel with or nit-pick this film at all. It’s just too much fun.

I know some folks are nit-picking it, but I just finished rewatching the LOTR Extended Editions — because I can’t watch Force Awakens every day at home yet — and remember the quibbles for those films? Where’s Tom Bombadil? Why is Frodo so young? Why is Arwen’s part bigger? Yeah, see you didn’t remember until I just brought that up because no one cares anymore. Just as no one will be whining that Rey beat Kylo in a saber battle in the future when all is well.  Like Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, all that will be left is just a glorious cinematic legacy to be enjoyed forever. Or until the zombie apocalypse.

Which is another thing I want to happen: I mean the return of The Walking Dead. Winter is bleak enough without having to stumble through without being able to enjoy watching folks suffer and die amid the flesh-eating undead. Besides, this whole season has been a giant cliff-hanger, and I need some resolution. My money is on Carol’s little psychopath in training blowing the whole “we’re totally zombies” cover. No more cookies for you little freak. The monsters are going to come and eat you up and no one will be able to hear you or help you.

Well, there see, I done did it. I could totally take this momentum now and go work on something else, but it’s snowing and maybe I’ll just play Fallout. I don’t know. I’m not even editing this. Because I’m not worth it yet. I still hate me. But gettin’ bettah all the time…

 

PS – is anyone else experiencing lag and glitches on the Xbox One? Is that all the people who got one for Christmas taking up all the “shared processing”? Noobs. 


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