Quartet

My dad sang in a gospel quartet when I was growing up. They formed when I was maybe three years old, and they still sang together until well after I graduated from high school. The last time I remember them singing together, I was in my early 20’s. They split up several times over the years for various reasons. Sometimes it was “creative differences,” meaning that more than likely my father–but not always just him–was being a stubborn S.O.B. When they split up for good, it was simply because their hearts weren’t in it anymore. When my father passed away unexpectedly in 1999, the surviving former members all came to his memorial service to pay their respects. One of them ran in to my ex husband and I one evening at a restaurant a year or two after my father’s death and offered to send me a demo tape they quartet had recorded several years before. I listened to it one time, before I put it into storage, where it–along with most of my belongings at the time–was destroyed by water damage when my storage unit flooded. Hearing my father’s voice on the tape unnerved me too much.

There are certain hymns that if I hear them sung, I hear his voice in my head. “Amazing Grace” and “The Old Rugged Cross,” are the two that really get to me almost twenty years after his passing. The quartet, named The Reflections, did some arrangements that still stick in my head like a weird earwig. I can hear “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” an old negro spiritual, jazzed up a bit like they were in performing in front of me. My dad sang bass, even though he was really a baritone. He could sing alto on some songs, but it was a stretch. Whenever I hear a Capella now, I always harken back to the days when The Reflections used to sing together.

I really miss hearing them.

I realized just how much I miss my dad right around this time of the year, with Father’s Day and my birthday and both of my brothers’ birthdays. I always wonder what he would have thought of Comic-Con and the Dr. Who reboot and even the McGyver and Hawaii 5-0 reboots.  There is so much I did not get to share with him, including my “coming out” as being polyamorous and divorcing his business partner, someone who he considered to be another son. In that regard, I am glad he was gone so I could find myself. But I still miss my dad….just because he was my father.

But I think he would be proud of the woman I have become. And I like to think he would sing “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace” with me if he were still here. And that makes me smile.

 

Advertisements

Holy Guacamole, Batman! How Time Flies!

Comic con was a blast, although it was the first time I played the “disabled” card in my deck and did ADA lines all weekend. I used my cane all three days and needed it for about a week afterwards. I also managed to catch some bug because of all the damn people (although I don’t think it was as crowded as it has been some years), and missed a day and a half of work the latter part of the week after Comic con. Overall, it was super fun. Some of the highlights:

A photo op with John Barrowman, of course. The REAL joy with him, however, was seeing his question and answer performance (I could hardly call it a “panel”–it was a serious PERFORMANCE)–You have not lived until you see John Barrowman in white 4″ heels and a sparkly TARDIS dress singing (quite literally) the praises of Denver PRIDE. ADA allowed us to sit 6 rows back practically dead center so we has an amazing view. Not as amazing as the poor guy in the front row who got an eyeful up Barrowman’s skirt to reveal his cute DR WHO panties, but he looked away….it really pissed Barrowman off that the poor guy was too polite to sneak a peek. Eventually, he just revealed them to the entire crowd. So worth the entire weekend and the week of suffering afterwards.

Saw a group of people dressed as Rincewind the worst wizard from the Unseen University of Disc-world, Two Flower the tourist, the island (from The Last Continent), but curiously no sentient luggage from Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Money. (The movie is as good as the book, believe it or not.)

Witnessed a realistic Chewbacca try to choke Ryan (at his request); also another great costume was a Scottie therapy dog dressed as Gandalf–he was unphased by all the people. He was so cute and so well behaved, it made everyone smile. Pinky and the Brain made an appearance as well….complete with giant lab mice heads.  Oh and don’t forget the giant scarecrow….that was creepy but in a fun way.

I met and got an autograph from my favorite comic book artist, Billy Tucci. He was super cool and laid back, and it was awesome to hear that SHI will be making a new appearance in February with a new story line, 20 years after the original. A movie contract and deal are also in the works….but they were also in the works in 1999, with Tia Carrara cast as SHI. I hope to meet him again when he comes to Denver Comic con.

I got a beautiful TARDIS pendant on a silver chain. From that same vendor I got a silver bracelet with Minion charms on it that I hung in my cubicle at work….I always say I need minions. Now I have them.

The LEGO exhibit by the awesome people from CoWLug. You have to see it to appreciate it. See below….

Ryan and I made a vlog about all three days. You can see those, as well as some of the pics we took, on the podcast show notes page: http://www.hovpodcast.net. That was fun to do together.

The amazing panels! We attended one on Alfred Hitchcock–and his misogyny and sexual harassment and alleged rape of Tippi Hedron was all addressed, which was refreshing. His early films were showcased, many I was not familiar with. It was a fun, and informative panel. We also attended a showcase of short films by local artists, and that was a really fun thing to watch. Ryan’s highlight for the panels (besides Barrowman, of course) was the revisiting of 90’s cartoons from the Warner Brothers network and Disney network. We have all of Season 1 of Pinky and the Brain and Season 1 of the Animaniacs on DVD….so we came home and binged for a few days.

We also saw Mark Shepherd (Crowley on Supernatural, as well as guest starred on Dr Who for 2 or 3 episodes during Matt Smith’s run); David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor)–who revealed he is playing Crowley in the upcoming HBO mini-series Good Omens, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett–squee!; Billie Piper (Rose Tyler on Doctor Who)–who underwhelmed us a bit (I preferred her on Penny Dreadful as the vengeful, disease riddled, demon possessed prostitute, but that is just me); and last but certainly NOT least: Ron Pearlman. My favorite Pearlman character will always be one where he did not play a monster, but someone very human struggling with very human issues: the minister and paid lawman on The Magnificent Seven series. He came out in boots and jeans and a tee shirt, and I was reminded of his character in Sons of Anarchy. It was super fun–we used ADA for all of these, so 6 rows back almost dead center….so fun!

Some other life stuff happened (I turned 45, ugh) but this is much more interesting. Check out the changes on the podcast and at least go look at the vlogs and pics. Hope you are staying cool this summer, because here in Denver it is hotter than Hades. So many fires in the mountains have not helped, and the general air quality sucks. The joy of living in Colorado….

 

HEALTH CRISIS

I am experiencing a slight health crisis. I had a double cervical biopsy done the first part of May, and everything came back clear. I had blood work done that cleared me of being in danger of being pre-diabetic. I have an appointment later this week with an audiologist, to check my hearing and address the ringing in my ears. It has subsided quite a bit in the last few months, but it is still an issue. Now they are concerned about hypertension, or high blood pressure. There are a few things I am going to try over the next couple of weeks to see if I can get it to go down on my own, but if not, I may have to go on medication, at least until I get a  little weight off of me. Time will tell how it goes.

On a good note, Comic-con is the weekend after next, and Ryan and I are getting a photograph with John Barrowman! I am going to wear my Tardis dress, and there is a 50/50 chance so will he…lol At any rate, it is coming right up. Also, the day before Comic-con, I will have completed my requirement with my employment agency, and will be hired permanently shortly thereafter. Work is going well, so I am excited to be coming on as permanent staff.

I also have made a new friend, whom I will refer to as “River Song.” She knows who she is and if you are reading this, Hi!

I hope to write a little more…but then, I always say that. I guess I am just okay with writing when I am feeling inspired, and choosing to write about things that don’t always make it here. I am currently doing some research for future larger projects. Sometimes that research is very time consuming. When I wrote my 2nd complete manuscript, I researched the Modoc Indian Uprising of 1873, as well as the Oregon Trail and other related topics for almost 6 years before I ever wrote an opening line for it. My first manuscript was about the Pony Express and I researched that for a good 6-8 months before I ever began it. I am working on a science fiction-fantasy story and am researching some things for ideas that I may or may not even end up using. The other research project I am doing is actually a reorganization of some existing research, for a manuscript I am going to write based on Anne Bonny and Mary Read (female pirates).

So I am still around, if not making a lot of noise. But stay tuned for more!

Bewildered

Where do dryer socks go–and why don’t they disappear in pairs?

Is the washer a sort of divorce court for socks, declaring a trial separation for clothing–and what about the alienation of affection for the socks that disappear together, only to be seen again months later, when the romance has fizzled out and the wayward lovers return to their original paired partners? What a reunion that must be! One sock lays in the drawer, more wrinkled and faded and contrite, while its mate sits quietly, freshly-folded-looking, as they are reunited.

And if the washer is the divorce court, I can’t help but imagine the dryer as the alimony-child-support-domestic-violence-court. The dryer is a far more violent machine than its gentler counterpart, the washer. Their jobs and functions are very different, as are their personalities and everything else about them. One washes away mistakes and stains of life; the other makes them a permanent reminder of those same mistakes and stains.

What really leaves me bewildered, however, is this….

Where does that leave the iron and the starch?

I don’t think we will ever really know what our clothes endure in the laundry (court) room.

Gun Violence

We have had enough/the violence has touched/every part of our lives/our innocence is gone tonight –Papa Roach

Two school shootings within a few short weeks of one another. Another shooting death of a young black man by two white police officers—again. When is enough, enough, already? I have held off on writing about this because I am so disgusted and heart broken about not only how low we have sunk as a society and a nation when it comes to how commonplace this shit has become, but also for the young people of Parkland, Florida—and the rest of the nation, really—and how they have been forced to grow up too quickly; forced into taking a stand; forced to speak out in such a way that the adults can do nothing but hear them.

At one of the protests that were held at schools all over the country a few weeks ago, to bring attention to where the students themselves stand on gun control and gun violence, someone commented, “When kids act like leaders, and leaders act like kids, there is something very wrong, here.”

Indeed.

No matter where you stand on the gun rights/gun control issue, everyone should be able to see that what we have been doing as a nation isn’t working any more. Maybe there is something profound to be said about the old adages “a child will lead them,” and “out of the mouths of babes.”

Let’s hope the right people are listening.

Until we stop looking at gun violence in terms of political sides, any violence, really, nobody wins. Instead, maybe we should concentrate on what we have in common and can agree on, than what we disagree on. It shouldn’t be a matter of “us versus them,” but instead, “Every child has a right to feel safe when they are in their school.” And then let’s all try to find a way to make that a reality for as many children as we possibly can.

Police need better training, better funding, and a systematic overhaul of criminal justice in general wouldn’t hurt. While these are two separate issues, they hold more than guns in common. A systematic overhaul in general would be a good place to start. Don’t misunderstand me, I am all for he 2nd amendment. But we need better regulation, better steps in place to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people who have no business owning them in the first place. I like what the CEO of Camping World recently said in a press release. He said that if people are going to promote a spirit of hate, those are not the kind of customers he wants in his stores. He has lost a lot of business as a result, but I doubt he loses much sleep over it. He made his point. And the Parkland students have every right to make theirs. So with that, let me make my final plea:

Promote peace,

Promote love, and

Promote community.

It won’t solve everything, but it is a good place to start.

Good things happening

I need to get better with writing here more regularly. I just haven’t had the energy. I started a new job last week, and I have been getting used to the new schedule. I also was accepted into the International Association of Professional Writers, and have been tinkering around with that. Of course there is the podcast, recorded every other weekend. Preparing for our Patreon, which will be launched April 1st, as well. So all of that has taken up a good amount of my time. I am planning a few essays in the near future, both for here and for the Patreon. Just know that lots of good stuff is happening for me, and once the chaos dies down, I will write more often. Until then, just be patient with me.

~Scarlet

Lots going on

I have been pretty lax about writing here, but when there is a lot of stuff going on, I kind of go into “survivor mode” and forget pretty much anything else. Since I last wrote, I have had several things go on, which have forced me to be in that “survivor mode.”

First of all, Ryan had another death in his family. The funeral is going to be almost three weeks after the death, so it has been a bit trying for him. I went back to work, and about a week and a half later, I had a PTSD episode, and had to come home after only an hour. The following day, I made it about 3/4 of the way through the day before I almost went postal on a really rude asshole caller. I asked to be sent home rather then snap. My boss, knowing I was having PTSD stuff on top of everything else, suggested I take the following day off as well. I gladly accepted it. So, the following day (the day I took off), my co-worker called me to see how I was doing, and to let me know that everyone got sent home after about an hour due to some technical issues. We were told not to report for work the following day (Friday), because there were still issues, but to come at a certain time to get our checks and an update. Apparently, our computer server fried. It was several years old, so it needs to be rebuilt, updated, reconfigured, and reprogrammed, and the parts are on back-order. Basically, we are down until further notice, and if we had other employment opportunities we wanted to explore, we were being encouraged to explore them.

Long story sort, I already had an exit strategy in motion. I think this job has served a valuable purpose, but there is no where to move up or be promoted, and there is no health insurance with this job. I need health insurance. So….I applied for a few places and by Monday, I was being contacted by several recruiters. I had a few interviews, and I was given a job offer as a Lead Generator at a company that I accepted. It is a larger company, and there is definitely room to move up. And I qualify for benefits. So…I start a week from this Monday. (President’s Day). I basically will be doing what I have been doing for the past 8 months, just in a little different industry. It pays more, too. My current employer gave me a good reference and I am leaving on good terms.

Now that I can breathe again, I will try not to neglect writing here.

~Scarlet

The ramblings of a poly chic