Friday, December 15, 2006

Life is too precious


What do I write about today?

I have no clue. Sometimes, a topic is easily apparent. The words just flow. But today. Foggy morning, Friday morning. Right before Christmas. Not much really happening. I could write about some current events I suppose. Then again, no. I have no desire to become just another current events blogger that nobody reads. (Simply being a blogger that nobody reads is enough for me thank-you!) Current events commentary would be more of a waste of my time than rambling on and on about not having anything to write about. Seriously. My job? No, I have nothing really interesting to write about there either. No complaints about management, no office politics intrigues that would be interesting to write about. Plus, if by some slim chance, someone ever *did* read this, I wouldn’t really want to tick anyone off. So, no work.

Family. Perhaps today will be the day that I write about my family. In the most generic terms of course. I am paranoid about putting to much information out on the Net about my kids. Too many weirdos patrolling the ether looking for something to satisfy their sick cravings. Not willing to hold my kids out for their sick satisfaction. So don’t expect to hear much about them.

They are the purpose in my life however. This may seem somewhat unfortunate for some folks, but in my case it has been a conscious decision. I do feel trapped sometimes, and quite often my mind wanders off to imagine what it would feel like to just drop it all and leave. The specific image is me at the Harley dealership, cash in hand from selling off my responsible adult car. The new cycle is shiny and loud, and the matching helmet has one of those silly spikes on top of it. (You know the ones, the crusty old Kaiser helmets with the single spike sticking up in the middle of it.) Along with about thirty pounds of black leather and silver rivets I am set to escape this dreary existence. My destination used to be Canada, but dismay at their superior attitude towards America bent my thoughts to the southern border. Then again, reading about the widespread and commonplace crime in Mexico causes me to decide that I can deal with disdain better than crime. Canada it is. I have only the cash in hand, and intend to make money at odd jobs along the way. Never staying too long in one place. I want to be anonymous and alone. To sleep in as long as I want in the morning, and stay up all night watching Cheers re-runs if I want. To drop the strict moral code I have chosen for myself, to forget about societal norms and standards and live a completely hedonistic life. When I reach Canada, I will find a small country town where I can eke out a living doing something completely mindless. There I will live out my days simply existing. No goals, no responsibilities, no future, no past.

Then, of course I come back to reality. When I am away from my family, I miss them. Bottom line, they are a part of who I am. To tear that part of me out and discard it along the road to Canada would cause much more damage than my idle daydreams take into account. Being alone sounds like a good idea when I live in a house with five other humans who constantly invade my space, even when I try to escape to that last porcelain refuge of human privacy. In reality, I am not really comfortable being alone. When I find myself alone, I get nervous. My paranoia becomes nearly debilitating. I retreat into reading books and watching TV. I plan activities out in the public space, but more often than not they are abandoned before completion, or are entirely unsatisfying because I have nobody to share with. Apparently, my brain is hard-wired to be a social person, at least with those few I am intimately acquainted with.

So no, abandoning life as I know it is not the answer. A solitary life on the road would prove unbearable sooner than later. And hedonism has not provided quite the enjoyment my imagination pictures, at least in the past. I have previously lived my life in such a way that I had little or no moral barriers to my behavior. Guess what? It was not as much fun as I thought it would be. I was the same insecure and paranoid person as before. The only difference being the associated problems that come from not following any kind of a moral code. Side effects of this lifestyle are much more difficult to deal with than those of my current choice.

My family is what makes me happy. When I see those three kids (The youngest is not yet old enough to play just yet. Give her a year or two…) playing in the back yard and they are not fighting, not yelling or screaming or crying or arguing. My heart swells with happiness and love. They are the most awesome things I have ever done. I can’t for the life of me understand how such intelligent and marvelous beings were brought into existence because of me. Or how they can still look at me with such love after the rotten way I treat them sometimes. Minutes after losing my cool and yelling at them in a way I would never dare to a person at work, they are trying to sit on my lap and cuddle up to me. Their loving and forgiving natures are quite an example for me. One day, I hope to be the man they seem to see in me.

I guarantee that man is not the one in the spiky motorcycle helmet steering his brand new Harley towards Canada. That man does not and will never exist. And he never should.

Life is too precious to waste it on ourselves.


Friday December 15, 2006 - 11:06am (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The nature of Resolutions.


The nature of Resolutions.

I am not talking strictly about New Year’s Resolutions, although they certainly fall into the same category. I am talking about any resolution made by a hopeful and optimistic person wishing to change their life for the better. (Specifically, me. And I suspect, many others, if my observations are correct.)

See, here is how it usually (always) works. I have a great idea! I am going to (fill in the blank) every day from now on! It will help me get my life organized, I will feel more confident and happy, I will have more energy, I will gain experience and practice, I will etc. & etc…

Sound familiar? I am sure most people, at some point in their lives realize that there is something that they could be doing to improve themselves. Except for those whose own gaseous emissions do not carry an odor of course. Those folks are already perfect and have no need for silly resolutions to improve. Of course.

But the rest of us, with all of our silly faults and follies. What do we do when we are suddenly faced with the weakness of some facet of our personality? Why we Resolve To Change! (Hereafter referred to as RTC, in homage to my love for acronyms.) This RTC comes in many forms, but is always an idea to make our lives and our selves better by changing something about our lives or our selves and making the change permanent. Except it never is. Permanent I mean. Examples? Sure!

I take the kids to a park. It is an awesome playground we call the “Choo-Choo Train Park” because of its railroad theme. The kids love it, especially playing tag among its labyrinthine structures. So I start chasing them. Or running from them, depending on who is “It” of course. This goes on for less than five minutes. At which point, I sit down panting for breath and realize that I am seriously having a hard time breathing. My heart is pounding, and I can feel a serious headache coming on to boot as my head begins to pound in concert with my heart. The kids say: “Daddy, you’re It! Come and get us!” I wave a hand weakly, not enough breath to even explain that Daddy is afraid that he is about to collapse to the rubberized walkway and have himself a well deserved heart attack. Wouldn’t want to scare the kids anyways. Wow! I am seriously out of shape! When did this happen? It has been a long time since I could run two miles in under twelve minutes, in fact has been a very long time since I ran at all. I need to get in shape…

See! There it is! That moment of realization. I AM NOT PERFECT! I have a flaw! (OK, so this is not really news, most of all to me.) I need to do something about it! Right away, before my hypochondriacally inspired belief in a pending cardiac event becomes reality. OK, so I need an exercise regimen! A brand-new (recycled) RTC!. Past RTCs have included getting up early each morning to take a walk and going to the gym with a friend after work each day. Both RTCs went well for a week or two. Then, real life interferes and the RTC goes away. My heart, and my dogs groan in disappointment. (The dogs because they no longer get to poop on strange lawns in the pre-dawn darkness.) The RTC was nice while it lasted (Except for the gym thing. That just made my body hurt.) but they are now over. My fitness level came up for a week or two. I found that I had more energy and motivation. I enjoyed life more. Why did the RTC fail? What was the tipping point that sent me back to my couch potato ways? Well, in this case it was a baby who refused to sleep. Getting up five or six times in the course of the night makes it hard to get up in the morning. So when the alarm goes off, I say to myself: “Not this morning. I can’t get up this morning. I need my sleep so that I can be functional at work. I will walk twice as far tomorrow.” The alarm is turned off, and I go back to sleep. This is the death knell for an RTC. The first failure to stick to the new RTC is like the torpedo that finally impacts the hull of the ship just below the waterline. The ship is not instantly destroyed, but begins taking on water and listing slightly.

The next morning, I may have gotten enough sleep, but I remember how much trouble it is to get up, get dressed, find my shoes (why do the kids have to carry them all over the house?) find the leashes for the dogs (ditto on the kids carrying stuff question here.) dig up a couple of used grocery bags to contain the inevitable poop deposits on that very desirable strange lawn, then go out the door. Or, I could roll over and get another half hour of sleep. Hmm… in my half conscious state, the decision is deliciously easy.

So dies another RTC. The ship fills with water and capsizes. There may be a valiant last battle to save it. I might even go walking a few more times. But each time I am reminded of what a pain it is, and how nice it would be to just stay in bed. Nonetheless, the RTC is dead. As a doornail, to borrow an old cliché.

So here is one of those last death spasms. My RTC to pound out a thousand words a day and post to my blog is listing hard, the sump pumps unable to keep up with the rushing water. The holiday season impacts like another torpedo, and the hull begins to crumple under the pressure. Will the sailors be able to right the ship in time? Can they beach her before she capsizes?

Is it really possible to change one’s life for the better? Or is it all we can do to not regress and drift backwards?

I’ll think about it the next time I go for my morning walk…


Thursday December 14, 2006 - 10:08am (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Monday, December 4, 2006

Waiting for computers... part II

Waiting for computers... part II

Actually, this would be part three, but the second version never got posted. The computer I was waiting for finished before I finished typing the post, and so I never posted it. Too bad, I seem to remember that it was rather amusing.

Anyway, here I am again, waiting for files to copy. (48 minutes remaining.) If I keep this up, writing a little blurb every time I find my existence all wrapped up in a slow moving computer, I may become the most prolific writer in the universe. Of course, the lure of Solitaire or Luxor is strong, and many times cancels out my motivation to do something constructive rather than simply sitting there like a lump staring at the screen. But I am accomplishing nothing rambling on like this. NaNoWriMo is over, I no longer get credit for incoherent rambling. It is time to write something worth reading. How about poetry? Nah, I have lost my taste for poetry writing, for the most part. That was a part of my life when I was a tortured soul, and I needed a vent for the pain. (sob....) Life is now much better, and I spend much less time feeling sorry for myself. I guess not all poetry is about pity parties and heartbreak, but I just don't seem to be in the mood right now.

I guess I could choose to get out my NaNo novel, and finish it up and get some polished slapped on it. But then again, maybe not. I think it needs to sit for a while, and ripen. I don't really want to do anything with it right now. It is still too raw, and the whole thirty days of writing immersion is just still to recent. Let my scars heal for a while, let the story solidify itself in my head somewhat, and then I can go back and tear it apart and fix it up a little.

(70 minutes remaining? Just goes to show how much faith you can put in those stupid little countdown timers.)

Why would I just continue to ramble like this? Shouldn't I be writing something entertaining? Nah, no worries. What I am doing now is little more than the time wasting that I would be doing if I was playing Solitaire right now. At least my typing skills are getting a workout, and my writing skills are... well not really working out but at least not becoming atrophied. The very effort of forming complete sentences must have at least a minimal amount of beneficial effect on my actual writing skills, right? And the bottom line is, that in order to become a better writer, I really do need to write often. Whatever I write, I am excercising that skill, and will gain something, if only the avoidance of reverse progress.

(Wow, that last sentence almost hurt. I really must find something more substantial to write about. Plus, I just did a word count, and I am only at about five hundred words. Ouch!)

Ace was an aging space pilot with a problem. His new commander has it in for him, and he is not really inclined to make nice and try to gain his favor. He has been flying in the Confederated Space Forces for too long to worry about the opinion of an arrogant young officer. Finally, Ace disobeys orders to save his squadron, and while he is hailed by the troops as a hero, the commander finally has his excuse to force Ace to retire. Discouraged, Ace finds a job as a public transport pilot, where he runs into Nochonis and The Tinker. Nochonis is the proprieter of the largest space craft graveyard in the galaxy, on the desert moon Rocu-Su. The Tinker is a technological idiot savant with a talent for manipulating warp and gravitational fields in unorthodox ways. When Ace learns that his old commnader has turned traitor and helped the seven headed dictator of the Emdee sector slaughter his old squadron, Ace vows revenge. Together with The Tinker, he rebuilds an old mining tug into a fearsome space fighter, and enters the Great Galactic Race as a cover for his mission of veangeance. Together, they overcome insurmountable odds as they find that winning the race may be even more important than exacting revenge, but they may be able to accomplish both!

OK, not 1000 words. So sue me…


Monday December 4, 2006 - 12:26pm (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Won!


I Won!

It's official now. Check the neat-oh winner's icon!

 

Woo-Hoo!

 

OK, not even close to 1,000 words. But I will post some more excerpts later to make up...


Saturday November 25, 2006 - 12:10pm (EST) 

Monday, November 20, 2006

50,000 words, 18 days!


Well, it has been almost a month since I posted anything, but if you have been reading this I am sure that you can understand why. I have been devoting all of my writing energy and time to my NaNo Novel: “Not Today Piggy…” and I can finally return to you, faithful reader because I have won. 50,000 words in 18 days. I haven’t spent much time reviewing the novel, as this is against NaNo doctrine, but I am positive that it is rather horrid. It is missing an entire scene in the middle, since I just didn’t want to work on that part for now. Nonetheless, I am happy to have accomplished my goal.

I tried to tell my wife that I was going to go for 100k, and she almost hit me. OK, maybe just 75k…

Now, to make my 1000 word promise, here is an excerpt from this year’s NaNo novel. (2290 words actually…)

The battle was going well for Overlord Kandelko. As soon as the enemy traitor made contact, and transmitted the transponder codes they had begun their attack in earnest. The first victims were a team of interceptors which had begun pursuing the traitor. The transponder codes allowed them to target their attacks with horrifying accuracy. They didn’t even have to take time to computer speed and trajectory, they just locked the missile guidance system on to the transponder beam and let them go. They followed the beam right in to an easy kill.

Knowing that it was only a matter of time before the fleet discovered their disadvantage and moved to scramble the signals, twenty four missile ships began disgorging their payload as fast as the launchers could cycle. Priority was given to the command vessels and missile ships, to cripple the command and control and long range strike capability. The battle cruisers were still quite daunting, but Kandelko was confident that they could take them in a head to head battle, especially with an impaired command structure. The damage assessment reports began flooding in, and the news was all good. Nearly fifty vessels were destroyed in a matter of minutes, until the transponder signals began shutting off. This impaired their pinpoint precision attacks somewhat, but friendly fire began working in their favor as well. Without the transponder signals, the Terminus Confederation ships were shooting blind. They had to run active sensor sweeps of any suspected target, which served to both alert the target that they were under attack and provide them with a good location of the attacker.

On the Emdeean command ship, Overlord Kandelko was meeting Commander Olbandan for the first time.

“Commander Olbandan, your timely assistance is greatly appreciated by the Emdeean forces. The Supreme Leader herself has relayed her gratitude to you for this information.” Kandelko spoke in formal tones, belying the disdain in which he held the man before him. Olbandan was aware of the disdain that he must certainly be inspiring, for no fighting man or woman could ever fully trust someone who had betrayed their fellow fighters. No matter, he was now overlord of an entire planet, and would have the respect he was accorded. However, he needed to be sure that this battle was a spectacular success. He did not want to begin his career by witnessing any of the heroic comeback victories that the Terminus Confederation was famous for.

“Take me to your battle command center. I will oversee the rest of the battle from there. I will not have some incompetent ruin my triumphant entry into the Emdeean empire.” Olbandan commanded sharply. Kandelko was taken aback, and a row of spikes implanted in rows on his head began rising in anger.

“You dare to command me? You traitorous wretch! What makes you think you are anything but a stupid pawn in Her Supreme plan to annihilate your entire race?” Kandelko roared back. Olbandan was unfazed; he had a trump card that would ensure that he received all that he asked.

“You miserable, insignificant tyrant. Do you really think you can defeat the confederation defense just because you surprised them at the beginning? Already they have figured out what happened, and have shut off their transponders…” Kandelko interrupted proudly,

“And are butchering each other blindly while we continue to destroy their command cruisers!” Olbandan stepped forward until he was mere inches from the huge toothy face of Kandelko and spoke quietly, but loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

“And any second now, they will have reconfigured the transponder codes, changed the frequency range, and turned them back on. When they have their sight back, how then will you defeat them?” Kandelko’s mouth froze in an intended retort. He did not want to give way to the human, but the possibility that he was right was too great to disregard.

“Andung! Check the status of the enemy. Do their transponders appear to be working again?” He snarled, his eyes remaining locked with Olbandan’s. Olbandan grinned, his eyes not flinching a bit.

“Confederation Space Forces battle doctrine says that the fleet should be able to reconfigure and recode transponder signals within five minutes. By my calculation, it has been six.” He hissed.

“Overlord Kandelko! The enemy is indeed mounting a successful counter attack. They are forming up and firing at only our vessels once again.” Andung reported. Kandelko sat back, his hard and angry features softening up slightly. He realized that this traitor had not yet outlived his usefulness. Nonetheless, he vowed to himself that he would see him disembowled and would select a souvenir to be grafted to himself as a reminder to never underestimate one who would betray his own.

“Commander Olbandan, what do you propose we do to counter this action?” Kandelko sneered. Olbandan stepped forward another half step, and stated in a cool and even voice:

“First, you will address me properly. I am now Overlord Olbandan, by decree of Her Supreme Leadership NikkOll herself.” Kandelko and all of the others on the deck gasped in fear as Olbandan dared to speak her proper name.

“Second, you will surrender control of this battle to me, or die.” Olbandan knew the strict cultural taboo of speaking their leader’s name, and had purposely done so in an attempt to break through the hard shell of Kandelko’s demeanor. His gamble was risky, but successful. Kandelko worked hard to maintain an attitude of haughty dismissal, but the possibility that this human actually had the blessings of the supreme leader to take control was something he dared not question. Certainly if he dared invoke her proper name, he had the authorization to do so? Assuming an air of idifference, he challenged Olbandan one final time.

“And who will be dealing death to me, here on the deck of my own battle cruiser? You?” He asked, and laughed nervously. With a speed that was unimaginable in the minds of the Emdeeans present, Olbandan’s hand flashed to his side and came up with his blaster pistol. Kandelko had enough time to realize that he should have had his visitor searched as soon as he landed before the plasma bolt exploded his skull into a thousand steaming fragments. Olbandan did not hesitate, but reached up with his free hand and grabbing the now lifeless body by the front of his uniform, threw the body from the commander’s chair, and without hesitation, turned and sat there himself.

The deck crew were too stunned for a moment to understand exactly what had just happened. Before they had time to formulate a possible response, Overlord Olbandan began barking orders as if nothing had happened.

“I need an update on the status of the battle. Give me a display of the battle space, with all of our remaining vessels and their status. Also, open up a communications channel on the emergency sub space frequency.” Reaching into an inner pocket, he tossed a small data disc to a startled Andung who fumbled and caught the disk.

“You, those are the algorithms used by Federation crypto techs to create the transponder beams. Do you have anyone with enough intelligence to use that data to intercept and match the beams so that we can blind the enemy once again?” Andung nodded weakly, but stayed frozen in one spot staring at his new apparent commander.

“Well TAKE IT TO THEM BEFORE WE LOSE THIS BATTLE DUE TO YOUR BLATANT STUPIDITY!” Olbandan screamed at the startled officer, who at once jumped and ran towards what Olbandan desperately hoped was the equivalent of a crypto tech. Settling back into the commander’s chair Olbandan exulted in the ease with which he had just deposed Overlord Kandelko and taken his place. It had been a grave gamble, but he was aware just how long he would have lived after the battle had he not taken some action to ensure that he was more valuable alive than dead. Gesturing at another officer who was still standing in place staring he pointed to Kandelko’s body on the floor at his feet.

“And get rid of that. It is stinking up my command deck.”

Admiral Stafford allowed himself to breathe easy for a few seconds at least. For the first time since he noticed Olbandan’s ship streaking off towards the enemy, he felt confident that all would be well. The command cruiser had sustained considerable damage, but the shields were holding and they were starting to give back some of the damage inflicted while they were blinded by the transponder hijack. He was proud of his crypto techs who had performed above requirements and produced a new signal encryption and frequency range scheme in only two mintes. Another five minutes and all ships were once again transmitting successfully. Control over his fleet restored, the experienced battle officer had immediately regrouped the survivors and counter attacked. Most of the Emdeean ships were still transmitting the old transponder signals, either out of ignorance or stupidity he did not care. He was able to begin attacking the enemy ships with the same deadly precision they had battered him with minutes ago. He did not know how long it would last but he intended to take advantage of it. He had lost the entire 201st interceptor squadron since they were closest to the enemy and bore the brunt of the shocking attack. Several command cruisers and missile ships had also been destroyed, and he worked to replace the command structure while cursing the loss of long range attack capability. Bringing up two more interceptor squadrons, he instructed them to single out a missile ship and swarm it to over whelm their defenses. Once it was destroyed, they were to move on to the next. The missile cruisers he had remaining he kept in reserve. He would need them later, and could not afford to lose any more right now. The battle was now between the battle cruisers and the interceptors. Each battle cruiser was given two squadrons of interceptors, and assigned a line of attack through the enemy lines. Each line of attack was at a different angle, in order to disrupt the enemy’s travel path as much as possible. The tactic was going well, and once the first two Emdeean battle cruisers had been destroyed, he began to feel a little relief. Then, an aide looked up from his console.

“Sir, we are being hailed on the emergency channel. The caller claims to be an Emdeean Overlord named… Olbandan…” The aide’s voice trailed off as he realized why that name had sounded so familiar even with the unfamiliar title. Admiral Stafford felt his blood boiling and wanted nothing more than to simply order the aide to ignore the signal. But perhaps he could buy some time and save some lives by pretending to negotiate some sort of truce with this madman.

“Put him on my private display Andrew, and record the conversation. I want Central Command to hear this.” He ordered evenly. The order was quickly obeyed, and soon the familiar face of Olbandan appeared on the screen. He was seated in a commander’s chair with what appeared to be blodd spattered across the top, and sneering arrogantly at the picture of Admiral Stafford on his own display.

“Admiral, it seems that you have discovered my little gift to my new people. I finally got tired of serving underneath people who were inferior and jealous. Now I have finally found someone who recognizes my abilities and is willing to exploit them. Would you like to surrender now, or will we have to destroy every one of your ships first?” Olbandan sneered.

“I am afraid you are mistaken.” Admiral Stafford replied calmly. “You really should pay more attention to what is going on. Our ships are methodically destroying your fleet as we speak. Transponder frequencies and codes are easily changed. You caused nothing more than a temporary setback. When you are captured, if caught alive I will see to it that you spend the rest of your life in the spice mines at Kessla for your treachery.” Olbandan’s face was growing ever more gleeful as he listened to the admiral’s speech. At the final threat however, he laughed out loud.

“My dear admiral, you are right. Frequencies are easy to change, if you have the algorithms for the encryption they are also easy to intercept.” As he said this, he reached off screen and touched a control. Instantly, the situational awareness display changed from a moving flow of red and blue icons to all red. Olbandan watched for the Admiral’s reaction, and then touched the control again. All of the icons blinked blue again, then disappeared.

“Admiral, it has been nice knowing you. You had a chance to save the lives of your troops, but have lost that chance. Prepare for annihilation.” Overlord Olbandan proclaimed gleefully, and then closed the commo link. Admiral Stafford’s face went gray, and before he could even think of anything to do, an Emdeean cruiser a thousand miles away used the encrypted transponder beam to take control of the ships defensive systems. It was then a simple matter to shut down the shield generators, seconds before a barrage of missiles impacted the Arclight and the nuclear energy reduced the mighty battle cruiser to so much space debris.

In a few hours, it was over. The defense of the Maradras system had failed, and the Emdeean fleet moved in and razed all human civilazations who put up even the merest resistance. The rest were instantly enslaved and relocated to prison camps throughout Emdeean space. And Overlord Olbandan, formerly of the Terminus Federation became a battle hero of the Emdee Empire.


Monday November 20, 2006 - 10:51am (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In Memory of Victor


In all fairness, I must confess that I did not write this today. It is something that I wrote about a month ago when my nephew took his own life. I couldn't sleep after hearing the news, and so I got up and just pounded out some of my thoughts on my keyboard.

In memory of Victor

Grief is an interesting emotion. Initially, human nature tends to avoid grief. It is a painful experience, a powerful feeling that is rarely remembered with fondness. That being true, it is also one of the most necessary and common of all emotions. In this transitory existence which we have been given upon this earth, grief is the one emotion that all caring beings must at one time or another share. At the core of this painful emotion is nothing more than what some may argue is the very reason for our existence: Love. For one to feel grief at the passing of another, there must have been at least a semblance of love. Conversely, in order to feel any kind of love for another, there must have been some sort of reciprocation, meaning that in order to truly love, you must also have been loved. Life without grief would also be life without love, and what kind of life would we live without love? Even the dumb beasts are known to express grief, or at the very least confusion when confronted with the loss of a companion. Perhaps I am attributing too much human emotion to these instinctive acts, but I am confident that in their own way, they are experiencing similar feelings of love for another being and grief at the loss of that love.

When faced with the discontinuation of a loving relationship, for any reason there must necessarily be a period of grief. Those who manage to avoid or block out this mandatory mourning period will inevitable suffer from other spiritual maladies until the grief can be faced and dealt with. It is much healthier to simply immerse oneself in the pain, to feel each and every pang with gratitude for its cleansing power and for the unspoken truth that it provides: That I have loved and was loved. It is an old cliché that “Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” It could be inferred also from this same saying, that it is better to have grieved than to never have had anything to grieve for. The very act of loving another subjects us to the certainty that someday, according to the temporary nature of this existence, we may be called upon to grieve for the loss of the object of our love.

How does one then face this grief, and how does one then learn to draw strength and reinforcement from such a hollow and lonely feeling? Memories can sustain us, and help us to remember why we loved the one we have lost. Performing acts of grief, such as memorials to the lost one can help us to see purpose in the loss.

Finding purpose in the loss is possibly the most important way to accept the feeling of grief. Although we cannot always see the end from the beginning, we can make it our goal to look for, or try to create a meaning from the loss. We can dedicate ourselves to a cause in the name of the lost love, we can perform good deeds in their name, we can even do no more than commit to remembering the things about them that we loved. Each of these things can help assure that the loss is not in vain. That the loss we feel and the grief that we accept and welcome into our lives will create in us an increase in strength, in goodness, and in hope for the future. Instead of creating a fear of loving, lest we again experience grief, it will allow us to search out opportunities for grief as we welcome new loves into our lives.

The phrase that one was “eaten up with grief” implies that a person let this feeling act as a destructive force. That they made the choice to allow this terrible sadness work in them to avoid love, to dread the future and to decrease the opportunities for happiness in this life. If Love is the basis of happiness in this life, and we allow grief to persuade us to avoid love in the future, then we are also allowing grief to persuade us to avoid happiness in this life.

Some may feel guilty feeling happiness at a time when a loved one has departed. It certainly seems counter-intuitive to seek to enjoy grief, or to celebrate the feeling of grief as a symbol of the love that we have experienced, but if we consider how true love would evaluate the same situation, it is easy to see that neither party to a loving relationship would wish for the other to feel anything but happiness and continuing love. To abandon the quest for future and present love and thereby happiness simply because of the loss of one source of love is also counterintuitive.

We live to love. There is no higher purpose. The first gift we were ever given by our Father in Heaven was love. He loved us enough to first, create us spiritually, and then, to create for us a mortal dwelling place. Once we had a home He created for us bodies to occupy while living on this earth. He even loved us enough to allow His Son to suffer and die that we may live again. And He loves us enough to allow us to feel that same feeling of love for our brothers and sisters here on this earth. This gift of the ability to love He certainly understands comes with the possibility of loss and grief. As we have been taught, there must be adversity in all things. Love would not be so sweet if it was not contrasted with the bitterness of grief. Just as love makes grief inevitable, grief makes love possible. A feeling only has value if there is the possibility of it being taken away. Anything that does not have the possibility of loss soon is taken for granted and is no longer a source of happiness.


Thursday October 26, 2006 - 09:43am (EDT)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ambush at Dawn!



Way more than a thousand. And cheesy and probably unrealistic as well. But fun to write!

The captain walked silently but swiftly through the foggy darkness across the deck. His experienced feet found their own way around the slippery deck, as sure footed as a mountain goat. He knew every inch of that deck, had in fact taught himself to be able to navigate its crowded space without a second thought. Appearances were vital to the respect given by a crew to its master, and so he cultivated the appearance that he was so confident that he could walk across the deck in a pounding gale without so much as reaching for a handhold. He arrived at the bow of the ship, where several men were gathered around a spyglass aimed into the fog. His approach was so stealthy that when he laid his hand on the shoulder of one, he startled and nearly fell down.
“Report, Merryweather?” whispered the Captain.
‘Nothing yet sir, we caught a glimpse of her lights about half an hour ago, but she faded into the fog and nothing at all since.”

The Captain nodded, and stepped back, silently commanding the men to return to their task. The darkened, silent ship glided eerily through the fog. The water lapping at the sides of the ship seemed to ring like a bell in the extreme silence. Although the Captain knew that there were men scattered all along the railings of the ship, each also scanning the foggy night for any sign of the other ship, not a sound was made. His crew was well trained and disciplined. They also knew the importance of stealth this night, and the consequences of failure.

Reaching beneath his cloak, the Captain felt the hands of his watch. His pulse quickened as he realized that dawn was only minutes away. The thick fog would give them a few minutes more before full light, but he knew how fast the fog tended to burn off this time of year, and he desperately wanted to find his adversary before they knew he was there.

Then, out of the thick fog his ears detected a noise. A familiar sound to anyone who has ever sailed the ocean, but this morning it was a terrifying omen. The muffled clang of the watch bell, signaling the beginning of a new watch. Instantly his head pinpointed the direction of the sound, and he reached over and snapped the spyglass out of the hands of the startled watchman. Before he got it up to his eyes however, he realized that it was completely unnecessary. A hulking dark shape suddenly appeared in the darkness off the port bow. Passing the spyglass back to the watchman the Captain turned and sprinted back towards the cabin. Halfway there he stopped and grabbed a line which had been lashed to the railing. Careful to find the correct line, he untied it and gave a mighty pull. The line was tied to the jacket of the port side gunner’s mate, who was waiting for just such a signal. He quickly stood up and ran down the aisle behind the twelve cannon lashed to the deck. As he went he slapped each of the gunners to bring them to full wakefulness. Each of them in turn leaped to their feet and rousing their crew began untying the guns and rolling them towards the already open portholes. By now the gunner’s mate had returned to his original station, and when he was satisfied that the guns were in place and ready, tugged back on the signal line.

All of this was done in such profound silence that it was hard to believe that anything had happened, but weeks of drilling and planning for this operation ensured that the crew had learned precisely what their parts were, and which of these parts were liable to cause the slightest noise. Now the men were frozen in place, all was in readiness except for the lighting of matches. Until the final signal was given, the Captain had threatened to keelhaul anyone who gave their hidden adversary even the slightest hint of what awaited them in the fog. The tension in the air was palpable. The men knew that their only chance of survival, let alone victory lay in utter and complete surprise. Thus far the foggy night had been their ally. Now it became more of an equalizer. If the Captain’s navigation was off in the slightest, they would end up prisoners or worse.

Back on deck, the Captain felt the answering tug on the signal line. His heart pounding, he turned and walked swiftly back to the stern of the ship, where his first mate stood at the rudder. From his higher vantage point, he could see the first signs of the approaching dawn. The fog was changing slowly from an invisible black curtain to a wispy grey. The dark hulk of the other ship was coming even more clearly into focus, and the Captain knew that the time had come. Mounted on the stern deck behind the rudder was a small three-incher. It was already primed and loaded and the Captain hastily removed the leather cover from it. Turning it towards the shadow in the fog, he angled it upwards towards the sky and yanked the cord. The flint struck true, and a spark jumped into the pan. The powder hissed and popped, then the gun sounded. A line of fire shot skyward and then a flare popped, illuminating the gigantic man o’ war in the fog.

The crack of the gun seemed to open the fires of hell on the deck of the ship. The men in the gundeck below sprang to life and taking aim at the dark shape in the fog struck their matches almost simultaneously. Twelve ten inch guns bellowed smoke and flame into the lightening fog. As the gunners leapt forward to reload, on deck the rest of the crew were busy with their own attack. Makeshift catapults had been loaded with clay bottles filled with pitch. A rag wick hung from the mouth of the bottle was lit, and as soon as the fire had taken hold, the catapult launched. Fire arced from the smaller schooner over the silent sea and impacted on the larger ship. Months of drilling ensured that these projectiles all flew true, and the larger ship was soon engulfed in smoky orange flames.

The twelve guns sounded again, as their gunners performed their jobs with machine like precision. The man o’ war, caught sleeping was already listing towards the attackers. The gunners were aiming at the hull near the waterline, in an effort to sink the ship as fast as possible. The catapults on deck kept up a constant rain of fire and brimstone on the decks, and most of the rigging was now blazing merrily. The Captain had reloaded the swivel gun, and was waiting for the right time to give the next signal. The next step in this battle counted more on nature than on the abilities of the men, and could prove to be their undoing if it went awry.

The man o’ war had now come to life, although perhaps too late to mount much of a defense. The gundecks were still above water, but the portholes were smashed and fire was licking at the door of the powder magazine. Sailors appeared on deck and began firing muskets at the apparition in the fog, but the fate of the larger ship was already sealed. As the another broadside ripped through the lower decks, the man o’ war shuddered and her list became even more pronounced. The first of two gundecks was now awash, the main mast had collapsed and men were beginning to dive into the water.
The Captain watched nervously, his hand tense on the pull cord of the swivel gun. He watched as the rising sun illuminated the fog and it began thinning. Then, Mother Nature arrived to bless his daring maneuver with what he had been waiting for. This time of year, it was well known that the rising of the sun brought a gentle seaward breeze. Not enough wind to get a large ship in motion, it was plenty for a small schooner, lightly loaded to get in motion. The breeze was a mixed blessing however, since it would also dispel the fog and make his ship vulnerable to the shore guns and the other ships in the harbor. He knew that they had already heard the cannon fire and would be moving quickly to investigate. As soon as he felt the cool fingers of the breeze blow in his hair, he pulled the cord on the swivel gun, and another flare launched over the decks of his own ship.

At this signal, all of the men on deck fired their last firepot and then abandoned their catapults to scramble up the rigging. Every last piece of cloth the ship owned was dropped, and filling slowly with the gentle breeze, the ship began moving away from the foundering wreck. The fog quickly began to dissipate, and in the distance, they could hear alarm bells sounding in the garrison on shore. Within minutes they would begin to hear the reports and then sickening screech of incoming rounds. The gunners below were now casting their unused ammo overboard. Their survival now depended on speed more than steel, and the extra weight would only slow them. As the ship picked up speed, they could now clearly see the shoreline as it slipped further away. Cannon began firing from the fort, and geysers of water erupted as the shells impacted the water. But Mother Nature was kind, and the stiffening breeze had already carried them out of range. They could see sails beginning to billow on some of the ships in the harbor, but they knew how long it took to get a ship away from the dock, and they would be far over the horizon by then.

The Captain surveyed his busy crew with satisfaction. The plan was daring, and counted on far too many factors beyond his control, but today he was the victor. For today, he remained the Phantom.

Tuesday October 24, 2006 - 11:16am (EDT)
© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hoops with Vladimir



A few more than 1000 words today, but I had to finish this story.



Hoops with Lenin.

I am not sure how this happened. I am an average, everyday farmboy. I work hard to make the collective successful. I am out there every day, hoeing potatoes and chasing birds out of the barley fields. I do it for the greater good, not because I am selfish and want a better life for myself. I am the perfect socialist. I guess I failed because sometimes, when all of my chores are done I like to play basketball. I justified it by saying that after all of my hard work and contributions to the collective, I need some way to unwind, some way to clear my head. Plus, it is good exercise, and helps to keep my body healthy as well as my mind.

I guess someone in the village reported me. Perhaps I was getting too good, making the others in the collective feel unequal to me because I was able to hit the three-pointers almost every time. However it happened, the Politburo heard of my achievements, and I was picked up one day by stern faced men in dark sedans. As is common when this happens, nobody was told the reason I was being taken. As is even more common, nobody asked. Around here, sticking your neck out is a sure way to get your head lopped off. And I am not speaking figuratively. Remember Anatoly last year? He complained when they turned off the electricity in our village so that it could be re-routed to the summer dachau of the local bureaucrat. The rest of us were happy that we had something to contribute to his happiness. We all know how hard they work to make life better for us, and giving up lights at night and refrigerated food was hardly enough to give up for them. But Anatoly, he started to complain. Quietly at first, and then louder and louder. Even made some crude flyers and tried to hand them out to people. Of course, nobody would read them. Then the stern faced men in their dark sedans showed up, and Anatoly disappeared. Well, not all of him His head was found impaled on a fencepost just outside of town. The rest of him disappeared.

Riding in the sedan, my pulse pounded in my ears. Several times, I had nearly worked up my courage to ask a question about where we were going, but every time I thought better of it. The stern faced men volunteered nothing. The all sat staring straight ahead. The one sitting in the passenger seat was smoking a cigarette, and the harsh smoke blew back and made my eyes sting. I could tell it wasn’t the cheap tobacco that we got in the village. This smelled different, almost aromatic. I guess the jobs that these guys had were pretty tough too, and if getting better cigarettes for doing it made life better for all of us, then they deserved them. I was glad I was just a farmer though. Cutting off peoples heads was not something I think I could get used to. Even for expensive cigarettes.

At some point I fell asleep. The tension turned quickly to boredom after a few hours, and the late summer sunshine pouring through the windows combined with the tension of my situation to make me drowsy. I dreamed of stern faced men armed with machetes. Over and over again, they chopped my head off, and impaled it on a fencepost. I could see my house from that fencepost, and no sooner had I realized that a disembodied head would not be able to see its own house, no matter where its particular fencepost was located, than the dark sedans would drive up the rutted path to my house, and I would be there, in the front yard again, wondering why the dark sedans were coming to my house. It was a repeating nightmare that I experienced with an odd sense of detachment. Unlike other nightmares I had in the past, I felt no terror. No waking up in a cold sweat, no creeping in to my parents room to curl up on the floor at the foot of their bed just to be near them. The dreams had an air of inevitability, as if this particular destiny had been accepted in my mind long ago, and I was meeting it finally with what might have been a small amount of relief.

I awoke to the sound of a slamming door. The car was stopped, and the stern faced smoker from the front seat had gotten out and slammed his door. On either side of me, the men were stirring and stretching. The door to my right opened, and I followed the man next to me out and into the waning sunshine. As I looked around, my heart began pounding again. Although I had never been out of my small village, I knew at once where I must be. Moscow. The seat of government for the entire nation! No other city could be so large and prosperous! Buildings taller than I could have ever imagined rose up around me. The terror I had felt before was nothing compared to what I felt now. What horrible crime had I committed to justify bringing me here? What could a simple farm boy have done? I attended all of the party meetings, I wore my grey coveralls with pride. My parents were both faithful party members who never spoke ill of anyone in the leadership of our great nation. One of the men grabbed my arm just above the elbow with a steel grip. I stumbled along with him, my knees suddenly weak and my feet leaden. I kept glancing around, trying to spot the one with the machete, but none of them seemed to be concealing anything of the sort. Perhaps I was to be executed by firing squad instead. At least that would be less painful. At least I thought so. What did I know about firing squads?

As the evening sun fell behind the tall buildings, I was led into a dark courtyard. The smooth pavement felt foreign under my feet. I continued to look around wildly, trying to guess from what direction my death would come. Would they give me one of those expensive cigarettes to smoke before my death? A blindfold? A last meal? I suddenly realized that I was starving. I had eaten nothing since the thin gruel my mother had prepared for breakfast. At least a glass of water. My toungue felt dry and swollen. I swallowed, trying to force some moisture into my mouth.

Suddenly, my arm was released, and the stern men faded back from me. On the far side of the courtyard, a door opened and blinding electric light poured out into the blackness. Several shapes emerged, then the door closed again, leaving the courtyard once again blackened. I could see even less now, my eyes having been temporarily blinded by the blazing light from the doorway. Still I could make out the sounds of a group of men headed my way. Just before they reached the spot where I stood cowering in the darkness, they stopped. A loud voice, filled with authority and command ordered lights. I heard the crash of heavy switches being thrown, and giant floodlights filled every corner of the courtyard with harsh, brilliant light. My eyes ached with the effort to adjust to the rapid succession of light, then dark, then light again and I stood there blinking stupidly. When I regained my vision, my eyes fixed immediately on the man at the head of the group from the building. Although I had never met him before, I knew that face better than the farm-hardened visage of my own father. It was the father of the revolution himself! Vladimir Ilyich Lenin stood before me, a half-smile softening the normally sharp face which graced a million posters throughout the country.

My heart stood still. I must be dreaming. There was nothing that my simple mind could conceive of that would justify my position at that moment. I was standing in the presence of the single most powerful man in what to me was the universe. Then I saw what he was holding in his hand, casually balanced on one hip. I would have collapsed then and there, but I was paralyzed. I could not even bend my knees to fall to the ground. I knew that my pridefullness and selfishness was about to be punished. I recalled all of the times that I had shamed other members of my commune with my superior skills and I shuddered. Here was the payment for my deeds. Here stood my reckoning and punishment. The head of the nation was holding a basketball.

Seeing my discomfiture, his half smile broke into a broad grin, and he brought the ball off his hip and caught it with his other hand. Holding it out in front of his chest, he extended it towards me:
“I hear you are quite the ball player. Would you care for a little one-on-one?”



Thursday October 19, 2006 - 10:49am (EDT)
© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Law of Average



The Law of Average

Nope, that was not a typo. The title of this little story-let is "The Law of Average" and it may be the next thing I expand upon. But it may be way too close to home to really work on much. Anyway, 1067 words for today!

Jaime stood at the edge of the precipice, his unruly hair ruffled in the breeze. Tears squeezed out past the clenched eyelids and traced lines through the grime on his face. His torn shirt flapped listlessly in the breeze, but Jaime didn’t even notice. His arms were stretched out to his sides, and his face was up, feeling the last feeble rays of the sun as it set behind the western mountains. He stood there, statuesque waiting for the last of the sun to disappear. He imagined that he would know exactly when, even with his eyes closed. His haggard mind had finally released whatever tenuous grip it might once have had on reality, and was completely immersed in its own world now.
Suddenly, some internal signal told him that the time had come. The tears stopped, as if on command. Jaime leaned back even farther, as if gathering strength and flexed his knees. He hovered there, for a second, and then all at once leaned forward and hurled himself forward into the void. In his fevered mind, he took wing and soared high into the grey twilight. Finally free of the trials and tribulations of this world, he gloried in his new-found power. Then, an explosion of light and pain, and he knew no more.

Jaime was an average high-school kid. However, that was the main problem. He wanted to be more than average, but time and again throughout his school career, he had come up undeniably and unchangeably average. Perhaps it was a lack of natural ability. Yet his teachers throughout the years had constantly reminded him that he was not working up to his potential. Surely this indicated that there was something more, some deeper reason he remained so intractably average? What if he tried harder? This would work for short intervals. He would complete assignments, practice harder on the football field, and he would feel, for a short time at least some measure of success. Inevitably there would come along a reminder, some sort of setback, to put him firmly back in his place. Sometimes it was only an annoyance, something small that kept him from achieving more. Other times it was a violent and painful slap in the face that would shove him rudely back to the middle where he belonged.
At the beginning of his senior year, Jaime thought he had finally broken through. Selected for the first string offensive line, he was confident that he had finally arrived. He had reached some sort of dominance, and was now to be looked up to and admired. He played well in the first game of the season, and his team won easily against a larger school. Then, about halfway through the second game, he felt a twinge of pain in his back. By the time the team came out to play the second half, Jaime could hardly breathe for the gripping pain between his shoulder blades. He signaled to the coach that he needed to come out. The medic came over and asked a few questions about the pain, and figuring that it was nothing horribly urgent, left Jaime sitting alone on the sidelines. Jaime found that the only way to sit comfortably was to lean back on his hands and lean his head all the way back. This position had the added discomfort of allowing the drizzling rain to fall directly on his face.
Two weeks later, when the doctor decreed that his sprained back had healed sufficiently, Jaime returned to practice. However, his first-string spot had been filled, and he would spend the rest of the year watching from the sidelines. Bitter disappointment filled his mind each time game day approached, and he saw the small cardboard circle that represented him on the position board remain solidly in the #2 slot. Average, once again.
If Jaime was only average at sports, his love life was definitely below average. He had never had a girlfriend, had never been kissed, and found himself feeling stupid and slow anytime a girl he was even moderately attracted to came near him. He had no idea how the girls in school really felt about him, since he was to nervous to breach the subject. He was friends with many of them, occasionally took someone to a dance, but had no real relationships to speak of. It seemed as if as soon as he developed serious feelings about someone, and finally worked up the courage to do something about it, the law of average would catch up to him again, and they would find another boyfriend, or move, or make it clear that he was of no interest to them.

The law of average. That was how Jaime began to think about this apparent law of nature. Nothing he could do would allow him to poke his head through this apparent glass ceiling and excel. It was a frustrating way to live life, but in an odd way it was quite comfortable as well. Being average also meant that the serious problems of life passed him by as well. Not only was he immune from the great achievements of life, he also seemed to be immune from the great suffering that was also possible. No great tragedies befell him, nothing that would set him apart from his peers. He had never spent the night in a hospital, had never had surgery or a serious illness. Cauliflower ear from wrestling, the sprained back from football and a severe flu were the worst health problems he had to worry about. While he never made the honor roll, neither did he ever fail any classes. Whenever he would receive a failing notice in a class, he would improve his performance just enough to get back into passing range, and there his motivation seemed to end. The work was not difficult, the challenge was to keep his mind in it.

Finally, while the law of average kept him from finding what he truly wanted: a serious relationship with a girl, it also protected him from the horrible heartbreak that such a relationship could incur.

Wednesday October 18, 2006 - 10:04am (EDT)
© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Monday, October 16, 2006

Genius!



1000 words?!? What in the crap was I thinking? I don't have the time for this! OK, most days I do, and if I had spent the last hour typing instead of looking at news stories, I would have had more than enough time to finish 1000 or more words. But I guess it is Monday, and this day, more than any other has the ability to break many new commitments. Weekends are great for great ideas, and Fridays contribute to that. Being at the end of another long workweek, the mind can conceive of some pretty grandiose plans. Plans to make the next week better, plans for how to improve life as we know it. The weekend amplifies these ideas, making them seem even more intelligent, giving them even more attractiveness. But then, we wake up on Monday...
Monday dawns dark and drizzly. Rain pounds on the windows, and I must crawl up and over my two sons who cannot be convinced that their own beds are the place they should be. I stagger to the kitchen sink to suck down some stale water left in a cup from last night with my medicine. As soon as the water hits my stomach, it remembers what it wants to do first think in the morning, and I wander to the bathroom to take care of that. (I won't describe that, I am giving too many details as it is.) By the time I am done there, my eyes are pretty much open, but it is the shower that really gets my eyes open. After that, shaving (if I REALLY feel like I need it. The benefit of wearing a beard is that a little bit of stubble doesn't look quite as bad. In my humble opinion anyway.) Then getting dressed, and putting on my shoes. Why do I seperate these as two different tasks? Because I usually sit down at the computer to check e-mail while I put on my shoes, meaning that this takes at least ten minutes longer than it really needs to! Then, depending on how much time I have I will try to eat breakfast. I am not a big breakfast person, my stomach is usually kind of upset in the morning but if I don't I am lightheaded and ravenous by 9:00 so I usually toss down a bowl of cereal at least. Finally, it is time to go to work. I take my daughter to school first, which is an adventure in itself. First, I have never seen anyone who can find more to do between the house and the car than that girl! From stopping to pick up something interesting off the ground, to writing silly stuff in the condensation on the windows, she can make the trip to the car last for at least ten minutes. Especially when we are running late. (As usual.) Then the school... Oh the school! There is a serious shortage of parking at this place, and the dropoff lanes are always backed up. It is ridiculous how insanely crowded this place gets! The entire dropoff section is about one hundred feet long. There are two dropoff lanes, so that makes about two hundred feet total. Of course some parents believe that they cannot drop their little darlings off anywhere but at the very front of the line (heaven forbid they might have to walk fifty feet!) and so they sit there in line waiting to get to the front. Then there are the butters. Those parents who see a line of cars patiently waiting their turn to get into the dropoff zone, and buzz by on the left and jump in the line ahead of everyone else. Holy crow! Who died and made you the most important person in the world? Would the world stop spinning if you actually had to wait five minutes with the rest of the rabble to get your turn to drop off your precious little darlings? Geez! Go to the store and BUY some patience if it is lacking that much in your lives!
OK, so by now it is somewhere around 7:30 and my blood pressure is already climbing. Good think Paul Harvey is on now. His calm, steady voice helps me relax a bit. Until he starts reading some e-mail crap that has been disproved for YEARS as a new, real news story! Good Heavens Paul, don't you have some flunky intern running around the studio that you could assign to do at least the most basic Google search to find out that the story about the guy who straps a JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) device to his car is one of the oldest urban legends out there? OK, I will give you that it is a hilarious read. I actually prefer the version where he strapped it to a Pinto instead of an Impala, but either way, it is an absolute fabrication. Come on Paul! Take a little pride in what you do! And then Sam and Bob laugh at it, along with the stupid weather guy. Geez, the stupidity seems to be spreading!
So I slog on through the rain, through the security gates ("Good Morning! How are you doing? Great! I promise I am not a terrorist! Please don't search my car! It is not that I have anything to hide, but it makes me feel all stupid and nervous. What if you decide I am a terrorist, and I have to go live at Guantanamo Bay for a few years? I don't even know how to read arabic! Do they print the Koran in english?) Then to work. By the time I sit down at my desk, and boot my computer up I am in no mood to write one thousand words. I just want to sit here and avoid reality by surfing random news sites, looking at stupid pictures, and at least this time of year, reading all of the new posts at the NaNoWriMo forums. I can spend most of the day doing that, although the pace has slowed considerably since the first of October. Perhaps people are getting sick of it like I have. Must pace myself, must not get too involved.
Must type 1000 words each and every day. Because when November arrives, it will jump to 2000.
1067 words. That will do pig... That will do.



Monday October 16, 2006 - 10:44am (EDT)
© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Saturday, October 14, 2006

1000 words on Saturday... Give or take.


Can I write 1000 words on Saturday?I mean, Saturday is a lazy day, the one day of the week when I do not have to get up too early, and go to work or church. Writing one thouseand words on Monday through Friday is relatively easy. I sit down at work, and type away. It even looks like I am busy with something productive. So here is my first Saturday attempt. On the nature of anger. Especially towards one you love. Why do we do it? I feel angry when she is angry at me, especially when I have done nothing wrong. But do you know what really gets me hot under the collar? When she is right. When I have done something wrong, and she is completely justified in her anger or frustration. If she is mad for no reason, then I can ignore it. Write it off to hormones, or whatever. However, when I have screwed up, and I really have done something stupid, and she gets angry at me for it, then what recourse do I have? I must admit that I am not perfect, I must admit that there is a need for me to change something, and I must then go forward to make that change. That is the painful part, that is the part that makes me angry! I don’t want to change, I don’t want to make an effort. I want my life to just flow like a river, I come and go as I feel is right. That is the fantasy. Problem is, I had that kind of life once, and guess what? Outside of the chemically induced periods of complete numbness, I was miserable. And the periods of numbness came with their own pain, once I began feeling again. I was miserable. I was even more stuck than I am now. I had much less freedom, much more loneliness, and much more fear. I had a crappy job, I had a crappy life, and all the money I had I poured into becoming numb once again. You would be surprised how much money you can blow at the club on Friday night. In not much time at all I might mention. I remember feeling the disappointment when the money I had allotted for my night of numbness had run out, and I was not yet completely numb. I remember wandering around the casino at Jackpot Nevada, not yet as drunk as I wanted to be, but out of money, and out of luck. (Which is a BAD thing to be in a casino!) I even threw my “luck” fifty cent piece into a slot machine, hoping to turn some kind of profit so that I could return to the blackjack tables and get some more free drinks. No luck. Literally. I had lost my lucky fifty cent piece. (And how lucky was it to begin with? Probably not that much, since I lost my whole wad less than an hour after hitting the casino…) I was miserable, bored, and wished that my friends would hurry up and lose their money so that we could go. But they seemed to be doing fine, they continued to win enough to at least stay in the game. When we finally left about two or three in the morning, all of us were tired, drunk (or semi-drunk, like me) and none of us had any business driving that night. Even the designated driver, who hadn’t had anything to drink fell asleep at the wheel a couple of times. I am surprised to this day that we survived that trip. One of my memories of that trip was being awakened by the violent swerving of the car as the driver snapped awake just in time to realize that he was headed off the road. Was I preserved for some reason? Or had I exorcised my bad luck by flushing that fifty cent piece down the slot machine? No, that probably has nothing to do with it. I remember another time when I almost died in a car, with this same group of friends. This time no alcohol was involved, just staying out way too late, too far from home and on the other side of a winding canyon road. This time I was awakened not only by the violent swerving as the driver pulled us back onto the road, but by the actual impact with the guardrail. The driver had actually fallen asleep, swerved into the guardrail, and then woke up and corrected. How did I survive that? We all should have been dead. Falling asleep in a dark canyon while driving is an almost certain death sentence. Why did I survive?Well, I will have to question that later. The baby is crying, and Emily has gone yard saleing. (No, that is not a typo. It is a word we have coined. It means wandering from yard sale to yard sale looking for items to be sold in our next yard sale.) I am pretty sure she just wanted to get away from me. She is mad at me. And has a good reason. How do you think I feel?Only 874 words. Close enough for a Saturday.


Saturday October 14, 2006 - 10:48am (EDT)
© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved