Another Halloween? So soon?

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it!  I haven’t worn a Halloween costume since I was a kid.

Every Halloween, I think about a colleague I had when I was a young software engineer (about 26, I’d say).  He was a platonic friend, but highly active in these adult-only orgy parties.  There’s a name for doing these sorts of activities, which escapes me now — oh oh oh, “swing” parties they’re called (or so I’m told :p).

One Halloween, I was visiting this friend, and he modeled his Halloween costume for me.  It was an elephant trunk on his (enlarged) wee wee, with elephant ears encasing his balls and not a stitch of anything else.  I can’t tell you EXACTLY how this particular costume fit and what he had to do to get it on, because about 1/2 second after he came out to model it, I jumped out of my seat and told him I had to go.

Don’t make me think about exactly how that costume participated in his next swing party.

So there you have it, the scariest Halloween costume I’ve ever seen.

P.S.  Yes, I’m playing a LOT of WoW, and trying not to go crazy watching the Republicans implode, which is why I’ve been blogging less.  I’m in the process of trying to think up a background story for my character.  I even saw someone last night that I used to roleplay with across factions, maybe 6 years ago.  Some people never leave these games.  It’s amazing at how they can play for years and years and years and never get tired of it.

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt :  Let’s imagine it’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

Another Halloween? So soon?

Africa and Bigotry

I can’t believe it’s October already. Yesterday I walked the Pup for my first long walk since faceplanting into a tree root, and I sniffled the entire way. It feels like cold season — chilly, dark, and windy. It’s actually my favorite season in New England. I love the chill, which kills the mosquitoes and black flies, but isn’t crushingly frigid as it can get during the winter.

Speaking of my nose, though, it’s still bleeding. I’d love to have a picture of what the heck is going on up there. I mean, I know I fractured it, but where’s the blood coming from? I did yoga for the first time last night too. Maybe that opened up some stuff that had been healing, who knows.

When I was five years old, I lived in Africa for a year. My father worked for the government (yes, American) as an electrical engineer. The government had a beautiful house built for us. In the meantime, we lived in a flat (apartment). I remember making frequent visits to see the house as it was being built. The hallways were dark and unfinished, and the house smelt like cement.

For the rest of my life, Africa evokes smells of cement, and the smell of cement evokes images of our home in Africa.

There was a cinderblock-enclosed patio with a huge cement vase in the middle — probably for soil and plants, although I don’t remember anything being put into it. It was in this patio where they lit fireworks, probably to celebrate the fourth of July. I spend a good deal of my Africa time sick, and I told them to stop the fireworks because they made my feet itch. It must have been during my chicken pox episode.

A cement shack was built for the servants in the back yard. It wasn’t even a shack from what my 5-year-old mind can remember, it was just an open one-room box. We had three servants: a cook, Ousmane; a cleaner (I don’t remember his/her name); and a gardener, John. John is the only person whose face I can remember, isn’t that strange? He must have been exceptionally nice to us. Years later, when my brother told me Ousmane (the cook) was my real father, I believed him without giving it a second thought. I can only imagine it must have been my mother who corrected me eventually.

My brother and I shared a room, and we had a dog, cat, goat, and chameleon. All disappeared for various reasons which are a mystery to me, except the dog. The dog apparently survived, because I remember giving him away when we left. The dog was never housebroken, and shit everywhere. I remember getting mad at my roommate brother and rubbing dog shit on his blanket. I thought it was a fine retaliation for whatever he’d done to me. To this day, he probably doesn’t even know I did it.

There was an enclosed run in the back yard, and this is where fowl were slaughtered. People would come to the house and sell them live, and the cook would take them out back and slice off their heads and wait till they stopped running around headless. My oldest brother lead the boycott on eating a duck that he begged mercy for. He wanted that duck for a pet. The rest of us kids honored his boycott. I didn’t eat duck after that until well into my thirties.

After we returned from Africa, I remember saying how happy I was that I didn’t have to see Black people everywhere. I didn’t think anything of saying this. I didn’t even feel it, but for some reason it felt like the right thing to say. Until one day I heard my father saying it. Even at that age of 6 or 7, I realized I was mimicking my father’s racism — even though he was Asian for crying out loud. It was a lesson that I’ve remembered my entire life. Bigotry is taught.

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt Our House : What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

Africa and Bigotry

Cannabis-Induced Vertigo and World of Warcraft

I’ve been wandering around lost in my head all morning.  It must be related to the fact that I was in the hospital yesterday.  I ended up going to the ER (via ambulance) at 3 AM yesterday morning because of cannabis-induced vertigo.  It was a weird and very bad experience.  Every time I moved my head, I heaved.

The doctors called it “Marijuana Intoxication”, and one nurse thought it was “Marijuana Hyperemesis”.  They know so little about Marijuana that they couldn’t give me a printout on any of their diagnoses because it’s not even in the database.

I’m very open and honest with all of my doctors about my marijuana consumption, because I want them to be a part of a collective of medical practitioners that have experience with it.  If/when it becomes more available to people, I want to be part of the baseline older consumers that have experience with it.  In my shoes, it’s infinitely harder to dose and consume than it is for younger people who have peers to exchange information with.  Amongst the older generation, it hasn’t really taken off.  That’s because often they’re getting their pot trial from a younger person, handing them illegal (possibly tainted) cannabis without any thought about the best way to introduce someone to it.

The good news is, I talk about it freely with my doctors, and not a single doctor has lectured me against it.  So I think that most doctors, no matter what their religious beliefs (my personal physician is and has always been a very strong Christian) support MMJ, even though legally they can’t endorse it.

I’m convinced that I would not have ended up in the hospital if it weren’t for the vape pen.  Marijuana oil feels like it’s 100% THC as opposed to smoking the weed itself.  I don’t think it is, but it feels VERY different — stronger.  WHY THEY SELL MARIJUANA OIL AT A MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY seems illogical to me.  The clerk told me that one hit was an 8-second inhale.  That’s crazy.  I’ve been taking small puffs, and still find it difficult to control the intense high that it gives me.  I usually take a few small hits from the vape pen as I smoke.  I’m trying to keep my high under control so I’m not too sleepy, but not too stoned.

I’m not one of those people who thinks that the more stoned the better, but I am someone who is looking for a cruising high that can sustain me through the day and help me stay on my feet.

Anyway, now I’ll be in the news for going to the ER after smoking marijuana, so whoever doesn’t know that I smoke in my town will now know it.  That’s ok, it’s not a secret, and in fact, I would like everyone to know that I smoke, so I can share all of the things I’m learning with someone who, like me, is older and thinking about it but doesn’t have any knowledge about the process or even what to expect.  Information to patients is very sparse.  Dispensaries and doctors are busy servicing patients, so there’s very little one-on-one mentoring for the specifics such as delivery methods and dosing.

As I walked Pup this morning, I contemplated my life.  The weather is stunningly perfect.  Cool, but not too cool, and zero mosquitoes and black flies.  I was able to admire spider webs, woven tree trunks, and wild fall flowers and it all calmed my mind.

After I got back home, I decided I will start my gaming again.  Not because I’m in the mood for hanging out with kids half my age and dealing with their petty drama, but because I’m in the mood for something that can make me smile again, and a world of fantasy that can help my imagination flow again.  In that vein, I fired up my WoW (my go-to game when I’m in the mood for roleplaying) subscription again.  Let’s see if this can kick start my brain out of its excessive-news-enhanced-writer’s funk and into more creativity.

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt Out of Reach : Write about the one X that got away — a person, an experience, a place you wanted to visit. How much would you change about your life to have it within reach again?  Thanks for the thought-provoking prompt, Luckyest!

Cannabis-Induced Vertigo and World of Warcraft

Donald Trump talks about… Himself

“Donald, can you name five things that make this country great?”

Donald Trump shoots back, “Well, Susan, me…. that’s one.”

Susan nods, “Of course.”

“My beautiful wife and all of the luscious female followers that gush all over me. That’s a clear two…”

Susan raises a brow, “Okaaaayyyyy…”

Donald taps his chin, “Let’s see now…. Oh, my Justin-Beiber-Do-For-Seniors hairspray. Great stuff! Hey Beibs!” He waves to the camera.

“That’s three”

“Hm… there’s not really much else I can come up with. The country is NOT great, it’s hamburger meat.”

“Donald…. did you just call America ‘hamburger meat’?”

Donald nods, “Raw… with a Wonder Bread bun, drowned in ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, and sauerkraut. Throw in a sprinkling of Obama Muslim-ness, put it in a paper bag, shake it up, and send it to Google Maps. It would be a more accurate picture of the mess we’re in today.”

“Donald, Obama is not a Muslim,” Susan rubs her forehead then continues. “You can’t say ONE POSITIVE thing about the United States?”

“It’s made me filthy rich… Wait, NO NO, I made me filthy rich.” Donald muses.

“But… you can be Donald Trump in the United States. You can belittle the President, you can run for his seat, you have the freedom to bombast the country.” Aren’t those great things?

“I suppose…” he says thoughtfully. “That’s probably not enough to qualify for the number four spot, though.”

“And compared to the rest of the world, we live in relative safety and wealth, don’t you think?”

“I wouldn’t know about that. My safety comes from the world-class security that guards me.”

“Donald, why are you even running for President? Don’t you even LIKE the United States?”

“I will LOVE it as President, I PROMISE you! I’ll ADORE it! First we need take the country back and recreate it into a country I want to live in. Just like me, the country needs a world class security system, starting off with more and more and higher and higher fences. And then we need to go through every single issue — gay marriage, terrorism, others — and throw the Book at them!” Donald waves his Bible. “Then you can come to me and ask me how I like America.”

“Donald, what do you mean by ‘others’?” Susan wriggles quote fingers in the air.

“You know… others.  Others others others.  People that don’t belong here.”

“Such as?”

“Well, women for one. I mean, they’re all beautiful, don’t you go misquoting me again!”  He chuckles.  “Some of them in fact are absolutely gorgeous! And sexy! I acknowledge we need them for… you know, procreating and such, but sheesh…” His voice trails off as he shakes his head.

“Who are the OTHER ‘others’, may I ask?” Susan tilts her head at him.

“Susan, I’m not going to get into specifics. Let me just say that if you don’t look like you belong here, you probably don’t… Starting with Obama.  Oh, I’m not talking about the Native-American Indians, by the way.  We need them to run our casinos.”

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt Home Turf : Name five things in your house that make it a home.  Thanks for the lovely prompt suggestion, thekyleinator!

Donald Trump talks about… Himself

Ben Carson on Muslims

Susan looks up at Ben Carson as he sits politely, his hands in his lap, waiting for the first question. “Dr. Carson, how do you feel about electing, say, a Muslim for the presidential office?”

Ben smiles calmly. “I’m pretty sure that a Muslim terrorist in the White House is against the Constitution, Susan, so I wouldn’t support it.”

Susan raises a brow, “But… what about a non-terrorist Muslim — You DO know that most Muslims are not terrorists, don’t you?” She presses.

Ben shakes his world-famous-surgeon head, holding his hand up. “Let’s be clear here, this is a Christian country — created by and for the Christians.”

“Dr. Carson, can you be more specific? Where in the Constitution does it say that the official religion of the United States is Christianity?”

“Actually, I’d rather talk about what I believe, not the exact wording of the Constitution. For the safety of all America, let’s just assume the Constitution forbids anyone but Christians for the office of the President, shall we?”

Susan looks past Carson at the news crew behind him. She croaks, “Is that what your parents believed?”

“Well, Susan, yes as a matter of fact.  I come from a strong Christian family, and yes my parents did believe that. Of course, in some ways I used to disagree with that attitude, but only in some very minuscule, irrelevant ways — teen rebellion and all that, you know.”

He chuckles then continues, “I’m a busy world-class neurosurgeon and much smarter now, as I’m sure you can see.”  He gestures down to the surgical scrubs he’s wearing.  “I simply don’t have the time nor inclination to read the Constitution from cover to cover to validate or invalidate something which is a fundamental fact of life.  In my opinion, only a Christian would have the correct skills and attitude to guide this country safely through the 21st century.  If it’s not specifically stated as such in the Constitution, it ought to be.  We need to take back our inalienable right to make this country Christian again.”

“What about other religions?”

“What about them?”

“How does your world view take non-Christian Americans into account?”

“I wouldn’t know anything about non-Christian Americans, Susan, if such people even exist.”

Susan nods, “Yes, Dr. Carson, you’re really smart. An understated smart.”

Ben Carson nods.

“Dr. Carson, one last question. Do you believe Obama is Muslim or Christian?”

Ben brandishes a wide, I’ve-got-this-one grin. “I’m pretty sure he’s Christian,” he smirks.  “If he weren’t, none of us would be alive today.”

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt I’ve Become My Parents : Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact you hated it back then? Thanks for the fun prompt suggestion, Y!

Ben Carson on Muslims

Donald Trump Talks About Love

Susan watches Donald’s entourage flock around him, fretting over his hair, clothes, and makeup. After an eternity, they leave. She again turns to Donald as he beams pearl white teeth at her.

She looks down at her notes and continues.  “Donald, how far would you go for someone you love?”

“Huh?”  Donald frowns comically with his neck tilted forward and eyes wide.

“I said, ‘How fa…'”

“I heard I heard that!” Donald flaps his hand at Susan. “I’m talking about the l.l.l.l.l.o.o.o.o.o.” His mouth freezes, speechless for the first time in his entire life.

“love?” Susan coaxes, leaning forward and twirling her hand.

“Aaaaaaaarrrggghhhhhh!” Donald falls to his knees in agony, covering his ears.  Then he stops.  “Wait… were you talking about love for myself??”

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt Take Me to the Moon : How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you? Thank you for the prompt suggestion, amommasview!

Donald Trump Talks About Love

Susan Interviews Donald Trump

“Donald, thank you for coming. How are you feeling about the campaign today?”

“Great, Susan, simply great! America is crumbling, but we’ll get it back on track!”

“Donald, can you explain this? Do you really think Obama is a non-American Muslim?”

“Well, Susan, let’s face it, a birth certificate is not proof of anything, I don’t care how official you claim it is,” he scoffs.  “Hell, we all know what a Hawaiian looks like.  That man is not Hawaiian.  It’s a government cover-up. The Muslims are scheming to take the country over and Donald Trump isn’t going to stand for it. LET’S TAKE BACK AMERICA!”  Donald pumps his fist as he says this.

“But… you DO know that Obama is Christian and not Muslim, don’t you?”  Susan cocks her head, raising her brows at him.

Donald squints at her and then shrugs, “Maybe he is, maybe he’s not.  Just because he says he is isn’t absolute proof.”  He whips out a Bible from behind him and shakes it in the air, “I’ve read this wonderful book from cover to cover — it’s my all-time favorite book.  Don’t you think I’d recognize a Christian when I see one?”

“Donald, you say America is falling apart. In what way is it falling apart?”

He waves his arms.  “Just look around you! We have 11 million illegal immigrants taking our jobs and raping and killing our citizens. We need to round up all 11 million of these scumbags and GET THEM AND THEIR BABIES THE HELL OUT OF OUR COUNTRY by whatever means necessary!  And hey, this is important, guys!”  He points his finger at the camera.

A spray of fine spittle catches Susan squarely in the face.  She blinks and turns away for a moment before continuing.  “How does that align with the 2 million Syrian refugees that are risking their lives to escape a humanitarian crisis?”

“Not our problem, Susan, that’s Europe’s problem.  If they try coming here, I tell you what. It won’t happen ON MY WATCH. I’ll recall every last troop from around the world and bomb them to smithereens if I have to do that.  We need to keep our country safe and that means no Muslim-or-any-other-non-Christian refugee.  I’ll drop a nuclear bomb on Syria and bomb every single Muslim off the face of the planet if that’s what it takes.  In fact, that oughta save everyone a lot of time and trouble.”

“Donald, just a side note: You do realize they are not all Muslim — in fact many are Christian — and that most Muslims are not extremists but normal people, don’t you?”

“Whatever.  They all look like Muslim extremists, that’s all that matters.  I might accept a Christian or two, but only if they look Christian — IT’S ALL ABOUT APPEARANCES, GUYS, COME ON!  IF YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN YOU NEED TO LOOK LIKE A CHRISTIAN.”  He turns from the camera back to Susan.  “And by the way… Obama has been on the warpath against Christianity from day one.”

“But Obama is Chri…”  Susan sighs.  “Ok, so… you’d still bomb [the rest of] them to smithereens’?”  She wriggles her quote fingers in the air.

“Absolutely, make no mistake about it!”  He stops, then adds, “We might go in and find the Christians-who-look-like-Christians first… my people will come up with something workable.”  He nods his head.

“Donald, what do you think is the greatest concern facing America today?”

“Well, Susan, this is what I’ve been saying all along. The lack of a wall along the Mexican border is the biggest challenge we face today…”

“Donald, it seems like your polling numbers are sagging. What do you think about that?”

“… and let me add, we’re not doing enough to punish illegal immigration.  We need more severe punishment.  Special high-security prisons and/or interrogations followed by deportation back to their country of origin is the first step I’ll take as president…  And by the way, my numbers aren’t dwindling, those numbers are the manipulation of the political machinery which is a travesty in America… thanks to Obama,” he mutters under his breath.

“What will you do if you lose the primary?”

“I won’t. The American people have spoken. AMERICA NEEDS AND WANTS DONALD TRUMP!”

“I mean, but if you do… what do you think you will have learned about yourself?”

“I won’t!  Donald Trump has not ever and Will. Not. Ever. lose at anything.  You’re asking leading questions now.”  A strand of yellow hair falls free of its Justin-Bieber-Do-For-Seniors hairspray and flops on his forehead.  “You know what, this interview is over.”  Donald waves his hand dismissively at Susan as he storms away shaking his head just a bit too vigorously, grumbling, “Damned media.”

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt Mountaintops and Valleys : Describe a time when you quickly switched from feeling at the top of the world to sinking all the way down (or vice versa). Did you learn anything about yourself in the process? Thank you for suggesting this prompt, rollingblogger!

Susan Interviews Donald Trump

Hiking, Kids, and Disappearing Enemies

Yesterday we hiked up the local ski mountain. Of course it was really windy and cold. It was so windy in fact that the birdwatchers, watching for Broad Winged Hawk migration, didn’t see a single hawk (The expectation was that by now they would be migrating in the thousands.). The hawks don’t flap their wings, but cruise the air currents. When the air currents are against their travel path, they get blown off course and can’t reach their migration route.

It turns out, Broad Winged Hawks fly down the East Coast, across the Southern states, and then down to the rainforests of South America for the winter where they can find frogs and other amphibious creatures. How miraculous is life on Earth!

I think if I had to live my life over again I’d become a zoologist, biologist, or ethologist of some sort. I wonder why I didn’t pursue my love of animals as a child. I have always had a tight connection with dogs. Even as a child, when we visited people with dogs I made it my singular goal to ignore the human goings-on and befriend the dogs.

Anyway, this all segues into the man and his son that I met on the trail. They were visiting from Argentina. For some reason, this beautiful 7-year-old boy latched onto me. Kids rarely talk to me, probably because I don’t have that air of being a kid-person that a parent or teacher would have. So when a kid DOES pay attention to me, I suck up the attention and have a grand old time. In the 1/4 mile or so that we walked together, I had so much fun talking to both the kid and the man (presumably the father or grandfather). By the time we got to our cars, it was as though we were best friends. Hubby wrote down the name of the hotel the man owned in Argentina, and as we parted, the kid and I waved to each other like giggly buddies. This kid charming my heart was the highlight of my day!

So… I’m an introvert. But, no, I don’t love this about myself. It limits what I can do comfortably with regards to socializing.

Um, here’s something that most people don’t know about me. I don’t have enemies (that I know of — brothers don’t count cause they’re family and by definition loved and forgiven by me at all times.). I would if I had a good memory I think, but 30 seconds after getting into a fight or deciding I don’t like someone, I forget who they are. I’ve always been this way. My brain apparently has no interest in remembering who I’m supposed to be mad at, so I’m forced to like (mostly) everyone.

I might be over-dramatizing this a bit.  It’s somewhat accurate, though.  Harboring resentment or bitterness isn’t something I do well.  More important stuff in my brain pushes that sort of thing out.  It’s a mystery to me how some people can have the capacity to harbor all kinds of negativity.  How do their brains make room for stuff like paying bills and running a household?

Written in response to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt These Horns Were Made for Tooting : Today, share something you love about yourself — don’t be shy, be confident! — but that few other people know about you or get to see very often. Thanks for suggesting this prompt, best4673!

Hiking, Kids, and Disappearing Enemies

Cliffhanger, New England Fall, Killer Rabbits, and the World Crisis

This prompt reminds me of the most agonizing scene I’ve ever seen in a movie. Have you ever seen “Cliffhanger” with Sylvester Stallone? At the very beginning of the movie some climbers are crossing a chasm by rope and pulley. A woman is hanging on the pulley when her harness starts to come off. She screams, “I DON’T WANT TO DIE, I DON’T WANT TO DIE, PLEASE DON’T LET ME DIE!” Oh man, talk about a heart-thumping scene. I won’t tell you if she lived or not, let me just say I don’t particularly recommend watching the movie, because that scene will haunt your nightmares I promise you.

In New England, there’s a default topic of conversation that works every time, and that’s the weather. That’s why I talk about it all the time. So for all you New Englanders, it’s 65 degrees F here in Central Massachusetts. The fall winds are here, and the humidity is down to 64. I even saw a gorgeous brilliant red maple leaf yesterday in the back yard. All of New England lives for fall. Winter, spring, and summer all have their spectacular treasures, but also come with spectacular annoyances. Fall hardly ever comes with surprises. It’s cool, windy, and sometimes a bit stormy, with sometimes a tiny bit of snow, but in general fall is about as predictable as New England weather gets.

So in celebration of fall and Hubby’s day off, we’re going to hike the local ski mountain again. I can already tell that today will be a chilly hike. For a 2006-foot mountain it’s awfully windy on the summit. The winds are fantastic in the heat of the summer, but the rest of the year they’re blustery and piercingly cold.

Oh oh oh, and I wrote a couple of flash fiction stories last night! At the end of the post that I wrote the other day, I said that I was spending all afternoon and evening reading the NY Times. After I read that post, I thought, could there be a correlation between that and my lack of creativity? So I’ve been dedicating more time to storywriting instead of depressing myself reading about the plight of the world. It’s good to stay in touch with what’s happening, but bad if you let it control your mental well being.

One of the stories I wrote was about a killer rabbit that kicks a man off a cliff. Pretty compelling plot, eh? Oh well, I’m not THERE yet, but at least my brain is willing to try.

Call it a world crisis, call it the miracle of the Internet bringing the world together, call it the catastrophe that extremism with different faces and ideologies creates. All is anything-but-well with the world at the moment. I do concede that all may have been well with the world… 1.5 million years ago, who knows. What’s causing all of the stuff that’s going on now, though?  Technology?  Overpopulation?  Power?   Greed?  Hatred?  Ignorance?  All of the above?  When we look back at this time in history, I seriously doubt we will say, “…and all was well with the world.”

Written in response to No Cliffhangers : Write a post about the topic of your choice, in whatever style you want, but make sure to end it with “…and all was well with the world.” Thanks, Timothy Baldwin, for the prompt suggestion!

Cliffhanger, New England Fall, Killer Rabbits, and the World Crisis

Legalize Cannabis

I’d be a presidential candidate that runs on a single platform (much like he-who-shall-not-be-named). My platform would be: “legalize cannabis”.

Once I won — which of course I would, because, you know, I’m that great — I’d legalize cannabis. That would free up much-needed research, and open up more informed dialog and exchange of information on this topic.

Signing off on this might take — oh, 3 seconds or so? Then I’d step down and give the presidency to a much more competent president (hopefully).

The Fun Platform : If you were the new leader of your country and had the chance to transform something that’s currently an annoyance (or worse) into a very fun activity, what would it be? How would you go about the change, and why would you choose that particular thing? Thanks for the fun prompt suggestion, Margaret!

Legalize Cannabis