Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I remember when I had time to sleep

I just wanted to drop by to say I’m sorry for disappearing without any notice. It’s been a wild last few days. The day after I left Corpus, I was asked to come help straighten out a job up in Coffeyville, KS. I’m working seven days a week, twelve hours a day and if that wasn’t a big enough chunk…I drive two hours (an hour each way) to get to and from the refinery. Yep, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging or much of anything else for that matter. I’m not sure how long this project will take, so I could be absent for as much as a month, but rest assured…I will resume normal blogging at the earliest possible opportunity. You crazy kids stay out of trouble while I’m gone.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I still want to be a pirate...

You should see the view from my balcony. My hotel is right on the bay and overlooks a marina. In addition to the wide assortment of sailing boats and usual fare, there is a giant, honest to God, walk the plank, pirate ship. I haven’t checked into how much it costs to go for a ride on her, but it is quite impressive to look at.

Why, you might ask, am I not providing pictures? Because, in my infinite brilliance, I left my camera at the house and my cell phone camera seems to take the most heinous, blurry, barely decipherable pictures known to man. Ahhhh…isn’t technology grand?

Corpus is great town. Scenic views, friendly people and beautiful weather, it’s a wonder this little gem hasn’t grown to the size of Houston by now. My only complaint so far is the wind. They say there is always a breeze here, but in March it is down right gusty. I’ve had to lean into it just to walk several times as we walked through their budding downtown.

The trip is going well. It’s good to finally put a face with all of the voices I’ve been dealing with since November. This is a great crew, which makes me more than a little regretful that I can’t work side by side with them on a daily basis.

Have any of you ever been to Corpus Christi before?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What Time Is It?

Well, so much has happened over the last few day, I’m not sure where to begin. Logic tells me that chronological would be the best way to lay it out, but I don’t want to do it that way and it’s my blog so…there. Anyway, moving on…

We went to a concert this weekend. You could probably guess a hundred times and not nail who we saw. Do you give up? Ok, we watched Morris Day and the Time.

“I’ve been doing this since 1982,” he shouted to the crowd after a particularly energetic display of his dance vocal skills. Oh, I enjoyed this show tremendously. Let’s be clear here, this was a show. I’ve been to several concerts where the band sings to the audience and enjoyed them. Mr. Day took it a step further with audience participation and all out showmanship. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend you see them play.



I dropped my wife off at the Airport first thing Sunday morning. She is spending the week in Chicago for a training seminar on the repair and use of lab specific analytical equipment. Sounds like a hoot…

No problem, my son and I can hang out like a couple of bachelors and manage for a week. It’ll be a blast; it is spring break after all. Oh, wait…my son is spending the week with his biological mother and his grandmother. Uh oh, this is shaping up to be the suckiest spring break ever. Ok, maybe not ever, but the prospect sounded a little lame to me. I actually like being around my family.

Not that I was feeling sorry for myself, but the thought of spend the week alone sounded less and less appealing. Then, out of nowhere, Thursday night I find out that I’m flying out to Corpus Christi first thing Monday morning. I’m to spend a few days at the office there meeting my new boss (yes, this will be my first face to face with the man) and the rest of the engineering staff.

What???? You mean I have to be in Corpus over spring break? That just sounds like torture. I mean, gosh…isn’t North Padre Island like a good twenty minutes from the hotel I’m staying at on the bay? How ever will I manage?

Alas, it’s a tough job, but I think I may come out of this whole ordeal none the worse for wear.

So, yes…all three of us are spending spring break apart. It’s still makes me more than a little sad, but I think out of the three of us, I got stuck with the better deal.

So, what do you plan to do for spring break?

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Friday, March 16, 2007

The Dance

I’ve had several requests to post another chapter of The Dance. So, being the obliging sort of fellow I am, below is the third chapter. If you like what you see, but are new here and would like to read the first two chapters you can find them here and here. Enjoy…

The Dance

Chapter 3


Kyle scrubbed his hands in the bathroom sink. He cranked up the hot water in hopes of letting the steam obscure his reflection in the mirror. He desperately didn’t want to see the scratches on his face.

“I can’t believe I botched that so bad,” he whispered into the steam.
“How could you be so careless?” Nina stood in the doorway, arms folded across her ample chest.
“She didn’t want to Dance with me,” Kyle replied. “Can you blame her?”
“It was very sloppy that time. I want it to be graceful, like it was before.” She stepped behind him, traced a heart on his back with a fingernail. “You remember how it was before, don’t you?”
“If you hadn’t been laughing so hard, they wouldn’t have woke up before we were ready.” His anger grew by the second, anger at himself, her, the world…everything.
“They couldn’t hear me. Neither of them moved until you told me to shush.”
“You’re so full of it,” Kyle snapped, yanking a towel from a ring mounted on the wall next to the sink.
“Oh, really? Maybe you should think about what you did again and we will see what actually happened.” Nina pressed her fingers over his eyes from behind.

Kyle struggled to no avail. Her hands were so small it was unimaginable that she could overpower him, but it was as if her grip was on his mind rather than his face. Images rushed by him in a blur. As they slowed to a halt, he realized he had just witnessed the night’s events in reverse order. He found himself kneeling with Nina behind a row of bushes. He could smell the aroma of damp earth wafting up and mixing with the fragrance of the brush. He started to rise when he saw a shadow cross behind the curtains in the window above them, but Nina placed a restraining hand on his forearm.

“Now is not the time,” she whispered, shaking the finger of her other hand at him.
They waited for what seemed like an eternity before she motioned for them to move. He carefully reached for the windowsill, tried to press it open.
“It won’t budge. Let’s try another one,” Kyle whispered after a few attempts.
“No, the more time we spend out here, the greater the chances become someone might see us.” Nina wrapped her arms around him and placed her right hand over his face.
When she removed her hand, they were standing in a darkened bedroom of the house. There were two forms lying motionless beneath the covers.
“I would like to introduce you to Carl and Terri.” She gestured to the bed.
“How did you do that?” he mouthed to her silently.
“I call it jumping. It’s a way of using your mind to take you places,” she whispered in his ear.

“What the hell are you talking about?” He turned to face her.
She only laughed in reply.
“Shh!” Kyle insisted, causing movement from the bed.
“You had better tend to that,” Nina teased in a playful voice. “But, don’t forget your steps. Oh, how I love to watch you Dance.”

His heartbeat quickened, pounding in his chest. He lunged at Carl just as he sat up in the bed. Kyle slammed his hand over Carl’s mouth to stifle the scream he knew was sure to come. You’ll have your chance to scream, but not before I’m good and God damned ready. Before he could subdue Carl, Terri sprang up from beneath the covers, clawing at his face. Kyle let go of the man to protect his face from her whirlwind assault. He fell to the carpet beneath a powerful blow to the side of his head. Carl had snatched the lamp from the nightstand beside the bed and swung it with all the might he could muster from his precarious position. Kyle curled into the fetal position, covering his head with his arms to protect himself while he gathered his wits. He waited for blows that never came. A wave of vertigo washed over him. He nearly fell again when he realized he was standing. How’d I get off the floor?

“What the hell? How did you do this? I thought you said you couldn’t do the Dance by yourself,” he called out as he looked down at the blood soaked bed.
“I didn’t do it by myself. I merely helped you do what needed to be done.” She cast him a quizzical glance.
“What is that God awful racket?” Tom looked at the stereo.
“It’s music. You said you like to hear music as you worked.”
“That’s not music. It sounds like some sort of Hindi prayer bullshit.”
“I like it and it’s important to me,” Nina insisted. “In time, I’m guessing it will become important to you as well.”
“Where did it come from?”
“Silly, you helped me make it. Don’t you remember?”

“Uh, sure…” he lied. I don’t think I would have had any part in recording something that horrible.
Kyle’s eyes darted around the room as he tried to process her words. He wasn’t sure what happened, but he was sure he didn’t remember doing anything. He looked down again, admiring Nina’s handiwork. Carl still sat in bed with his back and head leaning against the headboard. Kyle didn’t need to look into his vacant eyes to know he was dead. The cut along his belly that let his innards spill out over the blankets was more than enough evidence; he was no longer among the living.

Terri wasn’t in the bed, which gave Kyle a terrible start. Did she get away? What if she makes it to a phone? Are the police on their way even as I stand here with my dick in my hand? He looked down at his blood-covered hands. His shirt was absolutely soaked with the dark sticky liquid. The aroma triggered something in him that must be what most people would experience if they smelled a fresh cut rose.

“Oh, Loverboy!” Nina called from the hallway.
Kyle sprinted towards her voice. He found her standing at the top of the stairs, motioning for him to look over the railing. As he approached, he could see one end of a sheet tied to the rail, Terri’s ankle fastened securely to the other end. She shared the same fate as Carl; gutted like a fish. It appeared Nina had been particularly brutal with her slaying. Kyle felt sorry for her as he watched her body gently swinging above her living room floor, tracing a line of blood on the carpet beneath her.

Nina released her grip from his eyes, snapping Kyle out of his trance. He turned to face her, wondering why he found her so mesmerizing. A tiny voice nagged at him from the depths of his mind. It told him she should repulse him. He should see what a monster she was by what she had done. She didn’t even take the time to enjoy the Dance. He squashed the voice. How could I find her repulsive? She and I share the same love, the same needs, the same desires.

“I still don’t understand how you were able to kill those people. You said you couldn’t--” He let her take his hand in hers.
“I already told you I didn’t do it; you did the Dance for us, sloppily but you still did it,” Nina said in a husky voice.
“That’s impossible! I was laying on the floor, trying to keep my ass from being handed to me.”
“Really? Then why are you covered in blood?” She batted her eyes at him coyly.
“You must have spilled it on me when you gutted Carl,” he answered as he stomped into his bedroom.
“Whatever,” Nina said in a dismissive voice. “Is that really what you want to believe? I guess I can understand. The truth of most any situation can be a little hard to handle if your heart isn’t really into what you’re doing.”
“I’m not saying I wouldn’t have enjoyed it, but we both know I had nothing to do with what happened in there.”

“If that’s what you have to tell yourself to sleep at night.”
“Sleep…yeah, I should get some rest. We have a busy day tomorrow.”
He flopped onto his bed, covered his face with his forearm.
“Yes, we need to practice your steps. They have gotten rusty from lack of use.”
He just lay there, stewing. The events of the night troubled him. Even if he did kill that couple, still other things didn’t make sense.
“How did you carry me into the house?”
“I think that’s enough contemplation for the night, lover.” Nina stroked his face.
As she rubbed his face, a voice filled his thoughts, urging him to relax. He found it hard to resist. His eyes grew heavy, the need for answers faded away.
“Perhaps this will all make more sense tomorrow,” he mumbled as he drifted to sleep.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Book Review: Hannibal Rising

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris is a twisted little joyride into the mind of arguably one of our most feared and revered fictional characters, Hannibal Lector. This book was absolutely riveting. I devoured it almost as joyfully as Hannibal devoured his enemies.

Synopsis:
In Eastern Europe at the desperate end of World War II, for many it was no longer a conflict of nations but one of individual survival -- at any cost. A young Hannibal watches only steps away as his parents violently die, leaving his cherished younger sister in his care. This horrific moment will soon pale in comparison to the atrocities he is forced to witness, changing him forever.
Alone and without any means of support, he is forced to live in a Soviet orphanage that once served as his family's beloved home. He flees to Paris to find his uncle has died but his beautiful and mysterious Japanese widow, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) welcomes him.
Showing a cunning aptitude for science, he is accepted into medical school, which serves to hone his skills and provide the tools to exact justice on the war criminals that haunt him day and night. This quest will ignite an insatiable lust within a serial killer who was born, not made.



Rating: 5 Stars

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dar-Wednesday

It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(14 October 2004, Missouri) When Peter and Jesse wanted to see what their new ride could do, like many young men, they got more than they bargained for. It was all fun and games until the vehicle stalled. In most cases this wouldn't be a serious problem -- but Peter and Jesse stalled at 41,000 feet.

You see, they weren't pushing the old man's car to the limit. They were flying a 50-passenger jet, a Bombardier CRJ200. Fortunately, there were no passengers aboard to share the fatal consequences.

Jesse, 31, was captain of Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701, and Peter, 23, was the co-pilot. They were transporting an empty plane from Little Rock, Arkansas to Minneapolis, where it was needed for a morning flight. They decided to see what that baby could do. Their fun began while ascending, as they pulled 1.8 G's in a maneuver that activated an automatic stall avoidance system.

Then they decided to "forty-one it," take the jet to 41,000 feet--eight miles--the maximum altitude the plane was designed to fly. The thrust of the engines pressed them into their seats with 2.3 times the force of gravity as they soared ever higher, laughing and cursing in a friendly manner, ignoring the overheating engines, and the stick shaker that warned they were operating outside of safe aerodynamic parameters.

At this point, Air Traffic Control contacted the pilots to find out what they were up to. A female controller's voice crackled over the radio: "3701, are you an RJ-200?"

"That's affirmative."

"I've never seen you guys up at 41 there."

The boys laughed. "Yeah, we're actually a, there's ah, we don't have any passengers on board, so we decided to have a little fun and come on up here."

Little did they know that their fun was doomed when they set the auto-pilot for the impressive climb. They had specified the [I]rate[/I] of climb rather than the [I]speed[/I] of the climb. The higher the plane soared, the slower it flew. The plane was in danger of stalling when it reached 41,000 feet, as the autopilot vainly tried to maintain altitude by pointing the nose up.

"Dude, it's losing it," said one of the pilots.

"Yeah," said the other.

Our two flying aces could have saved themselves at that point. An automatic override began to pitch the nose down to gain speed and prevent a stall. Unfortunately, Jesse and Peter chose to overrule the override. Oops. The plane stalled.

"We don't have any engines," said one.
"You gotta be kidding me," said the other.

Jesse and Peter still might have saved themselves. They were within gliding range of five suitable airports. Unfortunately, they did not reveal the full extent of their difficulties to the controller. They said that they had lost only one of the two engines. They glided for 14 full minutes, losing altitude all the way. As they drifted closer and closer to the ground at high speed, still unable to get the engines restarted, they finally asked for assistance: "We need direct to any airport. We have a double engine failure."

Unfortunately, it was too late. "We're going to hit houses, dude," one of pilots said, as they desperately tried to reach an airport in Jefferson City. They missed the houses and the runway, crashing two and a half miles from the airport. Both men died in the crash.

"It's beyond belief that a professional air crew would act in that manner," said a former manager of Pinnacle's training program for the Bombardier CRJ200.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Movie Review: Borat

Borat is hands down one of the most offensive, despicable, racy movies I’ve seen in recent times. Jagshemash!!! I’ve never laughed so hard. Seriously, this movie isn’t for the easily offended, but if you have a sick sense of humor (and I do) this is a must see. My wife and I were laughing so hard, my son kept yelling, “come on, guys!” from his room upstairs, which brings me to my most important point: Don’t let your children watch this movie.

With its off color humor and it’s shocking visuals, there are times this movie is like stumbling into a bar featuring midget mud wrestling. A little voice tells you that you should turn around and walk away, but you can’t. To make matters worse you find yourself laughing at things you know you shouldn’t find funny. It was very liberating. :D




Synopsis

Sacha Baron Cohen brings his Kazakh journalist character Borat Sagdiyev to the big screen for the first time.

Leaving his native Kazakhstan, Borat travels to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the nation, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences. His backwards behavior generates strong reactions around him exposing prejudices and hypocrisies in American culture.

Rating: 5 Stars


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Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekend Recap

I learned a valuable lesson last Thursday evening. It was for a subject I should have been prepared for well before it happened, but alas…hindsight is 20/20 and all that. I took my son for his second visit with a dentist. He needed to have a couple of cavities filled and I must admit, I was more nervous about it than he was. I’ve never had a cavity myself, so I had no experience with what was going to happen to him, only the horror stories, of drilling and whatnot, I’ve heard from others. You can imagine my surprise when he be bopped out of the office with a smile to proclaim it wasn’t as bad as everyone thought.

I take him home, all the while eyeing him warily. He insists that he’s fine and that I worry too much. The evening rolls on and I start to relax. We sit down to dinner a couple of hours later. I glance over at him and pause mid-chew. His lip is growing at an alarming rate. The lower left section particularly, but his whole mouth appears to be swelling. My first thought is that he’s having an allergic reaction to the Novocain or something else they used during the procedure.

I check his temperature and am quite relieved to find it normal. I check his mouth for signs of trauma, but can only find the barest hints of marks on his lower lip. With his lips swelled the way they were, it was hard to discern whether it was the cause or product of the swelling. I give him some Benadryl, just to be sure it isn’t a reaction and monitor it (as well as his temperature) for the rest of the evening.

The next morning, I take him back by the dentist and as soon as he sees my son, he says, “Oh, we’ve got a lip sucker.”

“What?” I exclaim.
“A lip sucker. Don’t worry Mr. Goodman this is quite a common occurrence. When children can’t feel their lips, they often suck on them to the point they break the tiny vessels in them or chew on them, blissfully unaware that they’re doing any damage.”

The swelling is completely gone but now that it is in the “healing” phase, I can definitely see that he bit the holy crap out of his lip. I can only hope he never has another cavity, but if he does, I’m betting he doesn’t chew on his lip anymore.

We rented a few movies for the weekend, I intend to do a proper review later this week, but will say for the record, Borat was a surprise treat for us.

On Sunday, I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They were a big hit with the family. I considered postponing the event, but my son assured me his lip didn’t hurt bad enough not to eat my homemade treats.

He handled the cookies so well, I thought I would prepare another treat for dinner, Fish Tacos. It is one of his favorite meals and quite easy to make so it seemed like a no brainer. He also loves guacamole, so I made up a batch (by far the most time consuming process of the meal). Turns out, his lip wasn’t as healed as he (we?) had hoped. So, when a child has a lip injury…Cookies = Good and Fish Tacos = Bad. Go figure…

How did you spend your weekend?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Book News

Well, I just heard from my publisher and it looks like the release of Drums of the Nunne’hi is going to be pushed back into the second quarter. We still don’t have a cover and there a few minor editing/composition issues to iron out. I honestly don’t mind the delay as I want this book to be the best that it can possibly be when it hits the shelves. This is officially my first stand alone offering after all. I will let you know when I have more information. Thanks for being patient.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dar-Wednesday

It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(10 November 2004, Wales) Kebab-eating amateur rugby player Gareth, 22, was a bit wobbly after a pub crawl with his friends. His flat was filled with men and women when he pulled down his pants and waddled over to the window, shouting "Who wants summa this?" to the empty street below. A friend grabbed him before he could fall out the window.

In the morning when they awoke from their drunken stupor, Gareth admitted it was a pretty stupid thing to do. But that didn't stop the determined Darwin Award candidate from successfully trying again.

The very next night, with his blood-alcohol level at four times the legal limit, just short of lethal intoxication, he pulled down his pants again and waddled over to the open window, shouting "Who wants summa this?" Nobody was near enough to grab him this time. A friend told the coroner's court that he bent forward and went out the window, hands flailing. Gareth was found outside, impaled on a spike fence below.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Book Review: Suspicious Circumstances

So, I’m sure most of you remember Sandra Ruttan, she is a wonderful and witty writer from Canada. Have you had a chance to read her new book, Suspicious Circumstances?

Reporter Lara Kelly is anxious to put her journalism career on the right path. When a man shows up in her office with a video that appears to show a woman falling to her death she’s intrigued, but suspicious. The man claims he went to the police and that they refused to investigate.

Unsure if the tape is a hoax, Lara proceeds cautiously. When she pulls together enough evidence to print a story about an apparent suicide, the local police captain is furious.

Detective Tymen Farraday, the newest cop in a precinct plagued by scandal and rumors of corruption, is ordered to investigate and discredit the reporter if necessary. When potential evidence is stolen and Lara is attacked, Farraday is forced to put his grudge against reporters aside and work with Lara to solve the murder while trying to protect her from the killer.

Just when they think they have the evidence to arrest a suspect, two more murders turn the investigation in an unexpected direction.

The guilty have already shown that they’ll stop at nothing to protect their secrets.

In a town where one person holds all the power, not even the police can be trusted.

And their prime suspect isn’t the only person Lara and Farraday need to worry about.


Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is. I highly recommend you check this book out. This story will suck you in and refuse to release you until the very end. If you love a good mystery you don’t want to miss this book.

Rating: 5 Stars

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekend Recap

We had another fairly quiet weekend around here. I caught up on some reading and even managed to get some extra writing done. Perhaps later this week, I will post a book review. I guess we will just have to see how the week plays out.

I mostly wrapped up the project for Syntroleum last week. Mostly??? How does one mostly finish a project? We hit a snag in the physical construction and it wasn’t complete by COB Friday. I will have to return one day this week to finish up the last of the checkouts and answer any operational questions that may have arose since the good folks at the lab now have an opportunity to play with their new system.

I have a few other things to catch up on so I will keep this short for today. Oh, and I will leave you with a joke to brighten up your day.


The other night I was invited out for a night with "the girls." I told
my husband that I would be home by midnight, "I promise!" Well, the
hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy.
Around 3 a.m., a bit loaded, I headed for home. Just as I got in the
door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed 3 times.
Quickly, realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed
another 9 times.

I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted
solution, in order to escape a possible conflict with him. (Even when
totally smashed...3 cuckoos plus 9 cuckoos totals 12 cuckoos =
MIDNIGHT!)

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him
"Midnight".
He didn't seem pissed off at all. Whew! Got away with that one!
Then he said, "We need a new cuckoo clock."

When I asked him why?, he said, "Well, last night our clock cuckooed
three times, then said, "Oh, shit!", cuckooed 4 more times, cleared
it's throat, cuckooed another 3 times, giggled, cuckooed twice more and
then tripped over the coffee table and farted.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Dance

Chapter 2


“You’re not real,” Kyle yelled at the shadows as they swirled in the corner of the room.
He sat in a worn leather recliner, watching television, trying to ignore the faces that mocked him in the darkness. They giggled at him from just inside his peripheral vision, but if he dared to turn and look at them, the shadows would solidify against the wall.

Guilt can play tricks on the mind, at least that’s what Kyle’s shrink kept telling him. Kyle was sure his grip on reality was slipping. The faces taunted him everywhere he went, and no amount of Haldol was going to make them go away.

“The fact that I know they can’t be real should be enough to tell me I’m not crazy, right?” he asked the TV.
“My dear boy, we have seen what you’ve done. We see them as they go, as they transition. We are always with you. We are always…watching,” they called from the corner.
“Go away!”
“But, we want to see more. We need to see more. Entertain us.”
“Stop it! Stop bothering me,” Kyle barked, staring at the wall in the direction of the voices to give himself a moment’s peace.

“We want to be entertained. Dance for us. Do your Dance so we might see,” they called out from the shadows behind the TV. “Dance so we might…live.”
“For the love of God, just leave me be!” he cried out, clasping his hands over his ears while squeezing his eyes shut.
“Your strength gives us strength. Your life gives us purpose. The Dance gives us…pleasure.”
The light of the TV prevented his eyelids from shutting out the images of the room. Shadows danced before his eyes, causing him to strain harder to keep them shut for fear of what he might see. How could they be between me and the TV? Don’t they live in the shadows?

“Open your eyes,” a woman’s voice urged, the sound slithered its way between his fingers.
Kyle began to whimper. His fear gripped him. “This isn’t real. This can’t be real. You’re all in my mind.”
“Then open your eyes. If it isn’t real, you will still be alone here in your living room,” the lady said, moving her mouth inches away from his left hand. He could feel her breath brush against his fingers.
“Why won’t you just let me be?” Kyle’s voice broke as he began to sob.

He had seen things, he knew he shouldn’t, for years, but it had never been this bad before. Seeing things that weren’t there was one thing, but feeling them, now that was something all together different.
“Because, no one else can do those things you do. Dance for me, lover. Make an old soul’s heart go pitter patter.” She caressed his cheek. The touch sent shivers through him.

A shadow was now blocking every inch of light from reaching his face. He let his left eyelid crack open, just a sliver. He glimpsed a set of full-pouty lips, hovering before him. He let his eyes open fully, hoping to end the illusion. She didn’t disappear. Her skin was so pale it was almost translucent. The only color in her face was the red in her lips. Look at those beautiful lips, so inviting, so moist, so… tasty. What I wouldn’t do for a taste of those lips--

“Of course, lover…if you will but Dance for me, I will let you taste anything you desire.” She tossed her head, her long black hair swung over her right shoulder.
“But I don’t want to do your Dance anymore. It is only a matter of time before someone figures out what I’m doing. They will come for me. It will be like it was before.”
“Do you really still think it’s a matter of want? You will Dance for me.” Her face hardened into a scowl.
Kyle hung his head in shame; her words rang true. He needed his Dance like his mother needed heroin.
“What shall I call you?” Kyle didn’t have the strength to argue.
“You may call me whatever you want, but my name is Nina,” she whispered as she sat in his lap.

He could feel her there, but she was light as a feather. This isn’t real. I’m just sick; my mind is still jacked. I should call Dr. Pearlman.
“Your mind is fine, more than that…it’s brilliant.” She attempted to quell his unspoken fears. “Will you Dance for me?”
“I will try, but these things take time. I have to find just the right partners. I have to plan and prepare. I have to--”
“I have taken care of all that for you, lover. I found the perfect couple. They are waiting for you, anxious to see what wonders you have to share with them.”
“How did you--”
“Shh.” She placed a finger over his lips. “Now is not the time for those sorts of questions.”

“I will gather my things,” Kyle relented, not sure if he had a choice.
“That would be splendid, lover. I will be here, waiting with baited breath.”
Kyle went to his bedroom; stepped into the closet. He finally emerged with a large canvas duffle bag slung across his shoulder. He knelt beside her, intoxicated by her fragrance as it floated on the air.

“If we’re really gonna do this, let’s get started. Where do we need to go?” He stared at her expectantly as she ran her fingers across his bare chest.
“Come…I will show you, lover.” She jumped to her feet, extended her hand to him. A smile spread across her face when he accepted.

Something in her smile gave him the overwhelming urge to drop to his knees and grovel at her feet. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. He fell to the floor, his entire body trembling. He let his hands stretch out, praying she would deign to let him touch her. She knelt before him, placing a finger beneath his chin. Her touch stilled his tremors. As she helped him to his feet, a calm washed over him the likes of which he hadn’t experienced in years.

“If you will just focus on the task at hand, I will do everything in my power to make your dreams come true.”
He would have prayed for guidance, but he was sure his words would fall on deaf ears. They always had.
“I’m yours…do with me what you will.” His voice was tiny a stark contradiction to his massive frame.
“This is only the beginning; many are the people who could benefit from your talents. You know we mustn’t keep them waiting.”

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

I Have a Dream

I am not the man I thought I would be when I was a child. Oddly enough, I’m alright with that. Some say, that a child’s dreams directly affect the person they will eventually become. Whether they are crushed or realized, our earliest dreams shape the expectations of what the world has in store for us.

Some dreams are just silly. For instance, I distinctly remember a phase where I wanted to be the captain of a pirate ship. I’m so glad I didn’t go down that path. At the time though, it seemed like a very exciting life that demanded respect.

Sometimes dreams are realized, but you discover the romanticized version from your mind is no where near the reality. For as long as I can remember the most recurring dream was to be a soldier. No matter where my mind took me, I would invariably return to this one. I wanted to be feared and respected. I wanted to be some crack special forces. I wanted to jump out of planes or spring out of holes to take down my enemies. I wanted to be the silent assassin, taking out entire platoons in the middle of the night. I wanted to rush into a fire fight with a trigger squeezed in each hand. RATATATAT. Follow me to hell, men! And let’s face it…I wanted to blow shit up. It sounds like a grand time, doesn’t it? Being a soldier wasn’t nearly as fun as my dreams. It was a glorious time of sorts. I served with pride and honor, but I was glad to leave that life. That dream degraded to nightmares of pleading eyes that haunt me to this day.

Other dreams are harmless. I had a fleeting dream of being a cowboy, riding my horse across the range. Sleeping by a campfire, seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to pass the time.

Of course, I also had the standard dreams: I want to be an astronaut, a doctor, a rock star, an actor, a fireman, a police officer. Ah, but like most dreams, the older I got, the less likely any of these wonderful vocations suited me.

Arguably one my favorite childhood dreams was to be an archeologist. Yes, I’m sure this was in no small way born shortly after my first viewing of Indiana Jones, but it accounted for hours and hours of fantasy and daydreaming.

You may notice that in the childhood dreams, there’s no mention of writer. That’s because, I didn’t develop a passion for that until I was in college. When it took root, there was no turning back. It took me many…many years before I was able to produce a saleable product, but man…I’ve sure had a lot of fun learning along the way.

Now that I’m grown up (yes, for those of you who know me in person I use the term loosely), my dreams have changed. Now, I dream of being not only a great father, but of being a grandfather. I dream of not only being a good husband, but of growing old holding the hand of the woman who stole my heart in a way I never thought humanly possible. I dream of retiring early. I dream about making dreams come true for others in my life.

I guess the important thing is that I still dream.

What are your dreams? Have they changed much since you were a child?

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