So the missus and I finally saw the new Batman flick. The Dark Knight.

I suppose I should state here that I don’t intend to talk about movies too super often. It’s not a movie blog. In theory, it’s a blog intended to catalogue Shannon and I’s development as a married couple, in the physical sense and in sort of the emotional sense. All that to say that this isn’t a thing of habit.

Finally saw Dark Knight about two weeks ago. That wasn’t the intention. We had wanted to see it sooner, but various obligations kept us from doing so.

I have to say I was a little disappointed. Every person I heard hyped it up like I was seeing Citizen Kane, Casa Blanca and Gone With the Wind all in one. It wasn’t bad. And I suppose I should say that I liked it more than I disliked it, by a lot. Heath Ledger is worth the price of admission just by himself. Two Face was as gay as the spoon drawer, and Batman’s “scary” hushed voice sounds really hokey. I would rather just suspend disbelief that no one catches on that it’s Bruce’s voice, and he speak in an octave that’s discernible from, say, the can opener.

But Two Face. This movie would have been about 3 times better without him. I’m not certain why those who make movies feel like they always need to have a minimum of two villains in a movie about super heroes, but they don’t. And if they can’t actually develop both, they shouldn’t. That was Two Face’s whole problem. I understand that his prior ego (before the hideous transformation) Harvey Dent was supposed to be a good guy, so they really have to play that up. I’m fine with that. If you want, have him be the saint all in this movie, and then in the next he can hideously transform into the bad guy. But don’t cram both into a movie that’s already full of Rube Goldberg like contrivances.

That’s another thing. The movie way over stuffs itself full of plot elements to get its characters where the director wanted to be: mainly Batman helpless and desperate, and the Joker in a place of power. Oh, and Two Face. And seeing as how Joker stole the show, they could have eliminated a good hour’s worth of contrivances and had a cleaner more efficient movie.

One of the contrivances is Bruce and Harvey (pre Two Face) love triangular character Rachel, who actually hasn’t been in the comics. That in itself doesn’t bug me. What does bug me is that they keep trying to foist girls off on Bruce/Batman. In the comics, the only person he’s ever been interested in was Catwoman (to the best of my knowledge). Beyond that, he’s a total loaner.

So, I could even accept them pushing a girl on him, but the character they conjured up is borderline retarded. She’s bitchy the whole time telling Bruce and Harvey alternatively how dumb they are, and how dumb everything in general is, and being generally unimpressed by everything, which leaves me unimpressed and leads me to believe the only reason they’re chasing after her is because she must be some “good ass” to “tap.”

And then, when she dies, all of a sudden, everyone remembers her for being so in favor of everything and thinking everyone was amazing and that everything was generally awesome! Bruce has some lame realization that he has to keep being the Batman in honor of her memory despite the fact that she told him several times in each movie that he was dumb for doing it blah blah blah.

Which brings me to another point. In all of these movies, there’s always someone or some group of people bitching about the people that dress up in pajamas and do good. I don’t get it. And I’m not sure what this is a complaint against per se, but if the person dressing up in pajamas is doing an actually good job and putting actually bad people in prison, than what’s the big deal? So, of course, that’s out in force in this movie about how you can’t trust cape crusaders blah blah blah. And like I said, this isn’t really a complaint about the movie. Maybe a complaint about the way people are.

The last thing is how Batman WILL NOT KILL, no matter what, ever. It is mostly a good trait, but there has to be an “unless” clause or something in there. There’s a scene in the movie where he has a chance to kill Joker, but he doesn’t. The Joker then goes on to kill and cause the deaths of countless others. Oh, but Bruce’s conscious is clear, so that’s good. Dumb. I’m also not saying a hero needs to kill everyone who looks at him cross ways, but at the same time, I think a proper hero recognizes that, reformable or not, this person/mutant/apocalyptic menace just needs to quit existing, and they are such a person to do it.

So, that’s pretty much it. Batman was good, but I guess if the Joker isn’t on screen, then you could probably take a nap if you want.


So, I have word processing now, which is exciting. It means that there can now be capitalization! Droll.

So, last my last post took some of you (all both of you) by surprise. “I wasn’t expecting that,” quoth one person, “I thought this was more fo a freedom thing for you,” quotheth another. I didn’t think it came across that harsh. Evidently it did, which is a shame, because perhaps that harshness has obscured my meaning. It was just one of those 2 am things. These things happen. I can’t sleep I don’t know why, but something inside me does. All I have to do is type and that thing will bring it to the surface. I haven’t had to do that in a long time. Probably close to a year.

So, at any rate, I haven’t come to refortify my defenses or see if I can make clearer some of the more obscure. I walked into my boss’s office, let fly everything from my mouth, and it’s all on the floor. Now it has to be dealt with it, and its dealing’s yet to be seen.

But I’m not here to deal with pataphysical mouth words. Mostly, I thought now would be a good time to share my list. First, let me introduce it by saying that my coworker (former) is actually nice. He’s just really… awkward. He’s a little like Ned Flanders and your uncle rolled into one.

So, my list:

“conversations with my coworker that leave me feeling a little overwhelmed”

1. HIM: you would have been laughing at me this morning. i washed the coffee pot this morning. the scrubber puts out a lot of soap. i had to rinse the pot 6 times. you would have been laughing (proceeds to repeat the story for the next 3 minutes)

2. HIM: i’ll call you nice and early. wake you up when i get up.
ME:good luck. i sleep with my phone on silent.
HIM: that doesn’t matter. i’ll call until it wakes you up. i’m tenacious.
ME: but it’s on silent.
HIM: doesn’t matter.
ME: good luck.

3. you would have been laughing at me this morning. i dropped my contact and couldn’t find it. i was looking around for it and couldn’t find it. it was quite comical.

4. i was laughing. they had a thing on ipod etiquette on the news. i was thinking of you. (this was the first time he saw me with an ipod.)

5. i’m going to call you elf lord. (addressed to my coworker upon hearing that he was studying graphic design)

6. (chuckling throughout whole story) my neighbor, and i’ll deny that i ever told you this, is an auto mechanic. well, not really. actually, his name is wade. he’s always got a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. it’s like, “geeze, do you ever take time to breathe?” we named him smoky joe and his wife smoky jane.

7. HIM: man, i see our mail carrier everywhere.
ME: yeah?
HIM: yeah. saw her at the grocery store last week and taco bell yesterday.
ME: yeah?
HIM: yeah, i was laughing. she was there wither her boyfriend eating a taco.
ME: huh.

i thought that would be a really neat name for a blog. i was trying to figure out if i could maybe even just create a user with that name. i realize that it’s the name of a song by the guitar guy joe satriani, but it’s a great name.

satriani’s ok sometimes. mostly though, he seems just really self indulgent. as if in the third solo in as many minutes he’s secretly (or not) saying, “look at how bitchin’ i am! if my shirt were off, you could admire my glistening abs, but it’s not. and they’re not. but if they were, ho buddy, look out. i don’t even care that this music isn’t any good anymore, look at how totally rad i am!” and then he releases the worst titled cd ever, “professor satchifunklous and the inanely titled cd.” the professor satch(etc.) part is true, but i can’t remember what the rest was called. dream laborioum or music emporatorioum or something equally useless and self indulgent.

so, joe. used to make good music. and that’s not what i even came here for.

you’ll notice that i’m not capitalizing anything. that’s because my old computer’s highly proprietary old mother board burnt up. it’s useless now, so i had to bump up getting my school laptop by a few weeks. it’s pretty cool. it has vista, which made me really nervous at first. i can see a few hiccups, but microsoft has made it suck a whole lot less. vista’s weird in the reactions it creates. people love it and will die for it in the crusades, or the hate it and will kill those that love it in the crusades. at any rate, my laptop is pretty rad and shiney, and i’m pretty well satisfied by it, but it doesn’t have any word processing software, so until i get some, this lazy son of a bitch isn’t capitalizing jack shit.

that’s actually not what i came here for either. to be honest, i don’t know why i came here. i wish i blogged more, but that’s kind of another facet of life in which i get to be disappointed in myself. i thought i could get another religious musing blog, but then i realized with my current set of beliefs it might look something like this:


or maybe i mean


you’ll notice that it’s utter meaningless gibberish. that’s another facet of life in which i get to be dissapointed in myself. i’ve been a christian for nigh onto 15ish years. in the last probably 2ish months, i’ve become less and less sure in that. the reasons are numerous and complex. actually, they’re few and probably stupid. i don’t know. all i know is that the more i read, the more i learn, the less i know. i’ve fired off a few emails to people only find out things like, “oh. that’s not what i’m going through,” or “..” (the ellipses is supposed to represent silence, or no response. if you played final fantasy 7, you’d understand that it’s a text/verbal mechanic in which the developer could communicate to you the idea the character’s not saying anything, or that they’re speechless without just having a few seconds of vacant action. effective as it actually let you know what that character didn’t say, instead of just having long periods of inaction AND no dialogue. no you know). both are frustrating. there’s so much that i don’t understand, or understand less and less. this used to be a comfort. you know, God’s (i still capitalize that name though) ways are mysterious and all. it meant that i didn’t have to understand because God did. but, 2 things happened. the first is that i realized that this premise only holds true with the base premise that what you believe, out of the multitude of belief, is the right one. the second is that it appeared to be lazy. in no other regard are you allowed to be lazy (math, reading, history, geography), but when it comes to things like that, well, just sit back because you’re an ignorant fuck and let the shit hit the fan. don’t worry about it, because God’s mysterious.

i’m not that bitter about it. i just kind of like to cuss. makes me feel warm. it’s like injections of cocoa.

actually i’m a little depressed by it. i stayed loyal in the face of all this… nonsense. friends who fell away, school(s), books, media. i held on fast. but it turns out, that the only way to be able to hold fast during all that is to kind of actually pretend that it didn’t happen, or that everyone else is wrong. it’s like a man who can see out of one eye standing on a soap box trying to throw pencils into a trashcan. he’s going to miss a lot, but since he’s got one eye, this metaphor fell apart a long time ago. this metaphor became meta for the blog.

but a lot of things fall apart if i have to face them head on. like, for instance, buddhists, or the bushmen. heaven or hell? heaven. why? well, duh, God’s grace! they never had a chance to hear the gospel, ergo, God’s gonna cut ’em slack! this is the answer i hear a lot in christianity. which makes sense. kind of. what about mormons? why would they go to hell? they’re no less convinced than the buddhist or the bushman that what they believe is TRUTH, all capitals. it’s not like theyr’e believing mormonism to piss off the christians, or because they think hell might actually be fun instead of, well, hell. so, despite being convinced of their own truthiness, they go to hell, while the ignorant heathens don’t.

or, they all go to hell. which is cruel. it’s not that i would say, “God would never send anyone to hell! he’s much too loving for that!” no. there are people who need to be there… for a time. it seems to cruel to have someone there forever, or for them to be there forever and never cease. that seems cruel. but if hell were a place, it seems that it would have a function with all the people willfully causing misery for others. back to my original point of this paragraph, they all go to hell, despite the fact that they are all good people who love their brothers, give to the poor (whatever that looks like for the bushmen), and most of all, recycle (praise allah and his one true prophet, gore). that’s where it’s cruel. i mean, these aren’t people who are haphazardly choosing belief systems. whether they grew up in it, or turned to it, chances are they are absolutely convinced of its rightness, but poor slobs, they chose the wrong one. enjoy hell you slant eye fuckers.

so, that’s a sample of what’s going on in here (and i dramatically gestured to my chest, which you saw you filthy spying measle bellied swag pig). anyway, it makes me sad. what to believe? it was neitzsche (that name’s hella hard) who said that man without belief is nothing (paraphrased). it bugs me to not have belief.

which is why i’m going to school for it. i figure maybe if i make myself really sick, somehow i’ll get better. no, not really. a long time ago (i mean, for a 24 year old), about 3 years, i felt like i was in the beginning stages of a journey. it, of course, seemed reasonable to assume it was God. no reason, still, to assume it wasn’t. it’s not like i doubt God, i just doubt all those that claim to speak for him.

so, this journey. it started with quitting church (oh man. that’s easily one of the 5 best decisions of my life. i quit church, and my happiness qoutient jumped 40 points. figure that one out doctor dobson). then it was followed by a period of rejection, where it seemed like i was supposed to see how others felt in places where they had been. to be specific: to have no friends, to feel like no one in the church cares. in many respects, i’ve come back to this place.

next, i came into a very precious relationship that ended up totally revamping my (at the time) theology. it started a slow domino chain reaction process that began to topple other weighty pieces over the following years as i read. and read i did. so, i felt like i was taken to a place where i was to question everything, and boy, i questioned the fuck out everything. to the point that nothing feels real anymore. and now i feel like i’ve just been kind of forgotten. i feel like i hit the darkest valley floor of the mountain i’m trying to get up, and the guide forgot me, or himself got lost or something. so, now i’m picking my way through brambles and old paths trying to find one that’ll get me off of the floor.

which leads me to my conclusion, if you will. the anti to the thesis.

it actually doesn’t feel all that bad. sure, at 12:30 at night, it can feel unbearable. it can feel unbearable when i think too hard about it. when i think that “fuck, what if i’m wrong!” at least i’ll be in the company of some of the nicest people a person could meet. that might make boiling in a vat of demon piss a little bit easier. but it doesn’t feel all that bad. i had a friend who went through something very similar (“simular”), and she said how she couldn’t continue believing this old thing. she had to change. at the time i couldn’t understand it, and much like the rejection part, i’m understanding it now. i have to shed this old thing if i want to get to the top of the mountain. i might get there and find out that my guide had found it and brought it with, and i’ll put it back on and things will be like they were, only different. or maybe not.

let me be more direct. i believe (should say know) that God exists. of this, i have no doubt. i doubt those that speak for him (broadly), and lots of other stuff. but, if we assume that God creates everything with an intended design (bee for honey, rabbit for burrow), then my intended design is to doubt. i do a very good job of it. so, in that tradition, i doubt everything for now, and maybe later, the doubt will fall off and something else will come on.

a couple quick hits:

  • i’ve noticed a correlation between music and belief for me. when i have firm believes, i have music i love. when belief is in flux, music becomes uninteresting, and i feel like everything is mundane.
  • i still think evolution’s kind of a crock. it sounds good, but i’m pretty sure it’s hella flawed.
  • the thing that makes all this roughest is that in the few months that i’ve been experiencing this, Jesus, God, buddha, allah, the maharishi, santa claus, no one has come down or given me a vision and said, “just push through.” if that happened: faith points plus 50. i also doubt (hey hey!) that it will happen.
  • this “lazy son of a b” will not be proofreading his business either.

I haven’t seen him in a year, and there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, including, ahem. my marriage.

I think it’s safe to say I’m over him. Yeah. I was over him a long time was a process and it came to an end.

What I’m not over is IT, the pain and rejection and self-doubt and the helplessness. The abstraction that remains in my life crops up just when I need it least.

I can always feel a nightmare coming, like a migraine. I don’t want to go to sleep because I know it’s coming. I worried for a long time about it, maybe it meant I wasn’t over him and I’d made a mistake jumping into this lifelong committment, although I can’t imagine what there’d be to wait around for in that department of the past.

I finally told Cuyler and he told me that I always seem to have the bad dreams, the screaming shouting horrible dreams about my ex-boyfriend, when something else in my life is out of control.

It’s true: when work has me treading water and sinking, when I feel like marriage is overwhelming, like adulthood is overwhelming, that’s when my sleep is invaded and I wake up stumbling out of bed to shake off the swamp.

He has become an archetype of things I can’t control, things that will hurt me and make me feel like a failure.

I don’t know the real person anymore, even though we shared almost all our time for four years. It’s amazing how much can fit into four years, and even though it was the grand prize winner of the crappy-relationship contest, it mattered because someone who observed your life for a long time is gone. Some things that I did, said, experienced, only he was there for, and has probably already forgotten. It hurts to lose someone that was close to you and my brain is still working through that.

Eventually the nightmares will go away, I think. I know I made some really good decisions in life, and I know I’m taking for granted what an amazing man I share a room, a bed and a life with. I know perfectly well that sometimes I put off appreciating him fully because I have stress to be stressed, worries to worry, hissy fits to throw at the prospect of being grown up.

Lord, what fools these mortals be.


Got fired from Rite-Aid.

Kinda surprised, not gonna lie.

The Story: Every blessed year, my dad gets the same Father’s Day present from me: a homemade calendar made with pictures taken at his annual Crosley show. (Crosley Show: An afternoon with high fiber and no caffeine! Builds character and promotes healthy bone growth! Now with even more old men in hats! (But we are lying about the bone growth.) He loves this calendar more than is reasonable. He cries every time he opens one. Really. So one summery day, last week, I was at work making the 8 x 10 prints which were to be lovingly pasted onto white cardstock and turned into fresh tangible Father’s Day love. Rite-Aid was celebrating it’s Grand Opening (never mind the fact that we’ve been a Rite-Aid for…(counts on fingers)…nine months-ish now…and aren’t we still wearing the damn red Eckerd polo shirts? Yes we are.) and it was a very, very busy day on register. Friskies Cat Food was 20 cents a can, so was Starkist Tuna ( spot the difference, Mrs. Dibble! You can’t! You’re old and cataracty!), Tylenol was free with a coupon (yes, free), Wheat Thins, toilet paper, oven cleaner, lightbulbs, ant-traps, and other necessities for Western living were 99 cents each.  It was a madhouse. Customers were pressing their noses to the door at 7:00 AM, and they quickly overran the place when the doors opened a mere two hours later. For four hours I ran register NON-STOP. My fingers never stopped moving, my feet never left my rubber mat, my eyes never focused more than two feet away, for four non-stop hours. When I finally caught a break, I worked on my 8 x 10s. Since I would be working on the calendar at my folks’, I didn’t want to put them in a Rite-Aid envelope which my father would see and instantly investigate. I had a Target hiring folder with me, full of papers to read over lunch, so I stacked them in there as I finished them. I was called away repeatedly, which I tried not to resent, seeing as it was, in fact, what I was being paid for. I wasn’t quite done with them after lunch, but the store’s busyness factor had buzzed and doubled, so I abandoned the prints and rang out sullen customers for a few more hours. They are all archetypes and I hate them. ( Exhibit A: The Receipt Detective. Middled-aged, tight-fisted. Purchases a cart of groceries, toiletries, office supplies, and candles worth 150 dollars for $6.87 with the aid of coupons, double-coupons, rainchecks, and blatant lies, only to minutely examine her receipt with a vulture’s expression and demand 39 cents back for a minor error. She comes in like every Friday. Exhibit B: The Shut-In. Outside for the first time in an estimable 47 years. Cries, literally weeps for twenty minutes about being unable to afford kidney medication (which turns out to be for her diseased parrot), talks about the “deplorable vegetables” at her friend’s sister’s son’s wedding (she has pictures…would you like to see? Well you WILL.), and asks me where my parents got such an unusual first name for me. I am not wearing a name-tag. She thinks my name is Eckerd.)

After my shift was over, I gratefully escaped to the office, where I counted out hundreds of coupons, checks, receipts, rain-checks, and a wad of money the size of my head. I grabbed my stuff and left. The next day I came in for another shift, worked like an indentured Irish woman for another nine hours, and was preparing, exhaustedly, to punch out when the shift supervisor pulled me aside.

“Do you realize you took a bunch of 8 x 10’s home last night and didn’t pay for them?”

“Oh hell”, I replied. In my rush to get home, I had picked up my purse, keys, and folder and left without ever remembering I had fifty bucks worth of pictures inside it. On the camera, it looked like Heather Ackerman made a lot of photos, stuck them in an unmarked folder, and walked airily out with them. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how easy it is to get completely fucked.

They called me in two days ago. A fat Latino named Angel grilled me in the back room, demanding details, making me fill out forms and write explanations, all of which I did willingly. (Mostly because he implied that being “unwilling” involved cops, arrest, booking, court dates, lawyers, possible jail time and a $10,000 fine for committing petit larceny. And I could never work for Rite-Aid again. Um, boo hoo.) So I signed a little piece of paper that said I was a thief, intentionally robbed the store, and was now remorseful, all the while with John Proctor screaming in my brain “It is my naaaaame! And I cannot have another in my liiiiiiiiife!” I handled it maturely and bravely and calmly, until. Until.


He threw a little photo package onto the table I was seated at. “What’s this?”, he demanded. It was a small Rite-Aid envelope with my name on it. Inside, I knew without opening it, were about thirty wallet-size portraits of my sister Andrea. The man named Angel grunted at me.  “Looks like you make prints and don’t pay for them a lot, huh?” I was so frigging pissed. These prints weren’t even mine. My father had gone down to Rite-Aid the day before her memorial service to make copies of her last picture, to give away to mourning friends and family. Since I was home with Mom, Janet made the prints, and screwed them up twice before my dad finally paid and left. Instead of shredding the leftovers, Janet thoughtfully stuck them in an envelope and wrote my name across it. I found them when I came back to work, and although I didn’t want them or need them, I hadn’t thrown them away either. I couldn’t. Now here they were, thirty grinning faces of Andrea in this room, this place where I felt like my life was taking a sharp downward turn. I thought suddenly of telling my parents I was in trouble for theft – never mind the fact that I hadn’t done it intentionally. I thought of their faces as they remembered the years of phone calls from Andrea, some from police stations, or prison. And I cried. Oh, how I cried in front of that fat Latino. It took all my gasping breath to explain what these pictures were all about. He didn’t even have the grace to apologize. He had the brass stones to intimate that my “recent degree in acting” made it hard to “take me seriously”. Actors as charlatans…is it 1561?

My boss, a kindly father of a man named Jay, was called in to speak to me after Angel was done. I looked at him hopefully. He didn’t say a word. He just stood there, signed a piece of paper attached to a clipboard, and terminated me. They don’t call it “fired” at Rite-Aid. I was terminated because I violated company policy, and it didn’t matter one bit that I had rushed out to my car and returned the prints, still in the folder on my front seat, the moment I was made aware I had them. They don’t care. Four years of my life, the stories that started in those years, they are over. And I am so fine with this.

I never have to see Janet bend over in her khaki skirt again.

I have a job at Target, and it starts up in a month.

I spent the day with my dad, working in the carpet store by his side. I was afraid, I was halting, but I told him what happened. I told my responsible, grounded, financially secure father that I was fired for suspicion of theft. My soul was burning in my chest. He was quiet for a moment, then he leaned over his desk, looked me in the eye, and told me to send him my utility bills. “God gave you this time for a reason,” he said, “and I want to see you work on your book. You promised Andrea you would.”

And I cried.

Motherf-ing KIDS.

I’m teaching this one kid to crochet, awesome, boys doing needlework, all over it. EVERY GODSDAMN TWO SECONDS he whines for help, but WON’T GIVE UP. In between that I have to resolve every possible tiny insignificant STOOPID conflict that 24 kids can possibly have with each other.

I was at work for eight hours and I have to go back in two for a staff meeting and hear about everything I do wrong. I swear it felt like twelve. I’m sitting in my underwear downing a stiff screwdriver and using all the cuss words I can think of. How the HELL did I survive today? I wanted to crawl inside myself and die , letting them poke my lifeless body and squeal to my carcass, “miss shannon, miss shannon, she KICKED me!”

How about for once in your life, you make some semblance of an attempt to resolve things yourself before you make me solve it? Huh? HUHHHH??????

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to voraciously research a subject. I think all those MLA-style papers burn out people’s natural desire to research, and make it a word that has a Pavlovian response of the cold sweats.

But. I read this fantastic book called The Monsters of Templeton

by Lauren Groff, and it had a sea serpent in the lake. It was beautiful. My brain is not in a writing mood, I feel like everything I’m saying is stilted, but I don’t want to forget this stuff.

So. I ordered fifteen or so books from the library on prehistoric survivors and lake monsters. There was one that’s out of print called Prehistoric Survivors by Karl Shuker, and it was really pretty convincing. Aaagh. Don’t I sound ridiculous? Like I’m not the four millionth person to hope for living dinosaurs. But there are so many things in the world that are still being discovered, there has to be hope–the mokele-mbembe, secret brontosaurus of Chad…the sabre-tooth tiger…giant sea plesiosaurs..their habitat is certainly smaller but has not necessarily disappeared, and why not? Why not?

It is strange that there have been really no photographs to speak of. Lots of eyewitness reports but no pictures. It comes down to trusting strangers’ word. Lord knows we’re all okay with that.

This is a sad sad post with no flow to it at all. Let’s just call it a fact bookmark of the mind.

It’s inspired several new characters for my drawings. I’m going to start storyboards soon.