Friday, May 31, 2013

Amazon Deal: 61% off Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures (on Blu-ray)

Today only the Blu-ray collection including the four Indiana Jones movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, That Other One) is selling for 61% off.  That's sixty one percent off the list price of about a hundred dollars meaning it is now about 39 ($38.99).  Of course, Amazon never sells anything at list price, I don't know if anyone does, so it's actually more like 40% off the usual price of $64.68.  The point, regardless of the percent off, is that it's a better deal than it usually is today.

Also even taking into account that 61% off list is a little less than 40% off normal and the fact that you're getting stuck with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which kind of, sort of, sucked, it's still a good deal because the discount you're getting is still 160% of the price of the fourth movie.  (Assuming each movie makes up an equal portion of the usual price.)  Thus today's discount cancels out the cost of having the fourth movie packaged in there and then some.

Good deal if you have a Blu-ray player, and 40 dollars, and don't have the Indiana Jones movies on Blu-ray yet.

Also, $38.99 is enough to qualify for free shipping, so there's no extra shipping to add to the top of it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

There should be a science movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Before Iron Man 3 came out I said that I thought it should include Bruce Banner --not The Incredible Hulk but Bruce Banner. I have nothing against a Hulk-Iron Man team up, but that wouldn't be Iron Man 3.  Bruce Banner, on the other hand, can appear in a movie without making it into a Hulk-[whoever] team up.  He has qualities that extend beyond the ability to turn into a giant green monster.

Why I thought he should be in Iron Man 3 was because of the developing relationship with Tony Stark we saw in Avengers.  I wanted to see more of that.

But there's another possibility that's somewhat more intriguing.

Bruce Banner isn't just the person who can turn into The Incredible Hulk, he's also a very good scientist.  Tony Stark is a science heavy inventor.  In fact, the Marvel Universe has several excellent scientists it can call on.

Imagine a movie where the problem couldn't be solved with superheros but instead needed SCIENCE! sorry: science.

Tony Stark is the genius who can invent whatever it turns out is needed.  Bruce Banner and Betty Ross are both top scientists.  Banner knows more about gamma radiation than anyone else on earth, Ross was his colleague and, by all accounts, equal.  If Banner is the top on gamma radiation then Ross must outstrip him somewhere else.

Jane Foster is one of the two foremost experts on portals and the fabric of reality and all that stuff.  She has a sidekick she can bring with her.  I've previously pointed out that the giant gaping plot hole in the Avengers is that they didn't call Jane Foster in.  Erik Selvig is the other of the top two experts on portals but after the Avengers he probably needs some time off at least a portion of which is spent with a therapist.

So right there we've got Banner, Ross, Stark, Foster, and Darcy Lewis (Foster's sidekick.)

Four well studied people who have achieved genius either through natural inclination or hard work (or both), and one less academically advanced person to keep them grounded and remind them that common sense can still work even when dealing with holes in the fabric of reality (and carry a Taser.)

The hard part would be finding a problem big enough that they couldn't solve it by sitting around a table in a coffee house and talking for half an hour while writing on the backs of napkins.  This would have to be something that goes beyond aliens invading New York, it would have to be something BIG.

And I would watch the hell out of that movie.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Narnia: Edmund and Susan in The Horse and His Boy

[Originally posted at The Slacktiverse and Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

Edmund: Susan?
Susan: Yeah?
Edmund: Have you read the shit we're supposed to say?
Susan: I glanced at it, yes.
Edmund: I'm not saying it.
Susan: Any reason in particular, or just bad writing in general?
Edmund: About six thousand reasons, but primarily the line: "I should have loved you the less if you had taken him."
Edmund: You know that I'll always love you no matter what and I'll never love you less, right?
Susan: Sort of, but I do question whether there's such a thing as unconditional love. What if I started a genocide?
Edmund: Uh... *thinks* I'd still love you, I'd feel really torn up inside, I'd raise an army to oppose you and protect your intended victims, I'd try to reason with you but if that failed I'd do whatever was needed, within the bounds of not being evil myself, to stop you, and when I talked about you afterward, assuming I survived, I'd focus on the good over the evil, and the parts that I loved over the parts that I hated. And I would do whatever was in my power to make it so the good you'd done endured while the evil died off.
Susan: Good answer.
Edmund: Why, do you think that's the sort of thing you're likely to do?
Susan: No, mostly I was stalling to avoid the written conversation for as long as possible.
Edmund: Clever. Any more ideas?
Susan: No, unfortunately.
Edmund: Ok, here we go... Now... you're my sister I wouldn't say, "Madam," I'd say, "Susan."
Edmund: Now, Susan. Wait, why is there a period there? That's an introductory clause. This is just painful and we haven't even got to the racism and sexism yet. Ok, trying again.
Edmund: Now, Susan, what think you? Damn it; that phrasing is just silly.
Susan: Yeah, if we're going to speak in old timey English I want it to be Old English.
Edmund: Exactly.
Susan: If it doesn't have a dual it's not worth talking outside of our comfort zone.
Edmund: Ok, trying again. Now, Susan, what do you think? We've been here three weeks which, when combined with the one week he was with us in Narnia, adds up to a little less than a month, unless the month is February, to get to know him so clearly you've had enough time to decide whether or not to marry this suitor of yours which the author wants me to call "dark-faced lover" because clearly his skin tone is all that matters.
Susan: The sarcasm in you is strong.
Edmund: Thank you. I learned from the best.
Susan: Thank you. And no, not going to marry him. The author wants me to put this in terms of jewels because... um, wait. Doesn't the bride's family give the dowry?
Edmund: I think it's just establishing that you're bribable, but not that bribable.
Susan: Right, because I'm "Susan the Gentle" not "Susan the Honest". Where were we?
Edmund: This is the part where I am to claim that my love for you is entirely contingent on you marrying someone I approve of and furthermore that I found it astonishing, a wonder to behold, that you were nice to him at all.
Susan: Then this must be the part where I say that showing kindness to a foreign dignitary who was on his best behavior was folly and beg forgiveness for such folly.
Edmund: It is indeed.
Susan: Because that makes so much sense.
Edmund: Apparently we outlawed school, I don't think logic is supposed to be one of our strong points.
Susan: Point. I would like to point out, in all seriousness, that when he was with us in Narnia he seemed like a perfectly good person. As for the bit about basing marriage on feats in tournament, I'm skipping that cattle dung.
Edmund: That's true. The fact he was a raging asshole wasn't apparent until we got here and thus the fact that I was surprised you were nice to him beforehand makes no sense.
Susan: Are we done yet?
Edmund: God I hope so.
Susan: Which god?
Edmund: A nice one I suppose. Have we met any of those?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For the love of fucking God

So, venting.  First off, as always, if you're not up for someone venting, don't read this.  That helpful out is the only reason I feel at all comfortable venting on the blog to begin with.

So my sister just called up and basically pulled the Bene Gesserit litany of My Life Is Shit at me.  Now first off, the problems she has are entirely of her own making and not the unforeseeable kind where turning right instead of left destroys the universe.  No, of the "We all saw this coming which is why every fucking person on earth told you not to do that," kind.  And she still defends those monumentally stupid decisions, when she's not pulling My Life Is Shit she's talking about how good it was to make those decisions.  So you'll literally go from one day she's talking about how great and rosy everything is and how she was totally right to make the decisions she's made, and the next day she's talking about how everything's going to fall apart due to the consequences of those decisions.

Two things are worthy of note here.  One is that she never connects the fact that "Bad Thing A" is the result of "Decision to do thing that could only possibly result in Bad Thing A" there's no responsibility shown, which presents the disturbing truth that even when existential crisis of the moment is dealt with it's only a matter of time, usually not much, before the next one crops up because she refuses to stop making decisions that invariably result in: Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

Thing the second is that, as near as I have been able to determine, as near as any doctor she's ever been to see has been able to determine, this is not the result of a mental condition.  She's not sick, she's just someone who does extremely ill advised things, gets brought down by the train wreck that inevitably follows, and via a refusal to take responsibility for her actions never stops doing extremely ill advised things.  Her responses to the situations she gets herself stuck in are actually perfectly healthy and rational.  She should be stressed, she should be sad, she should be panicky.  Things are fucked up and these are appropriate responses.

And here's where I come in.  I'm her depressed brother, her beast of burden, her slave, her person to drive over then keep for as long as she wants to.  She denies that last part and I honestly don't know if she's lying to me or herself.  She edits her past and I don't know if it's her memory or her accounting of things that gets edited.  Sometimes she does it quickly.  (There was a time when, within seconds of putting a spatula down, she was vigorously claiming never to have been holding it in the first place.  The context of why whether she was holding the spatula mattered is not important, what's important is that we've always been at war with Eastasia.)  Sometimes it's slowly over years.  Sometimes you don't know the speed at which it happens because whatever it is doesn't get brought up for a long time and then when it does her accounting totally fails to resemble the truth and you have no idea what her accounting was in the time between.  Did it just change when she opened her mouth, did it change at the event, some random point in the middle?

My father has always been the same way.  The difference was one of power differentials.  He was big and a parent; we were small children.  When we disagreed with one of his edits we were LYING and if there was one thing he hated it was lying.  The screaming could scar you for life.  I know.  It did.

I used to think it didn't count as abuse because it was never physical.  We just grew up living in fear, that was all.  To call it abuse takes away from those who were really abused, I thought.  Now I know better.  Weird thing is, if anyone else had called something similar happening to them abuse I wouldn't have disputed it even when I was in full on denial that what happened to me was.

So my sister called up, sad, stressed, panicky.  Because her life is objectively shit.  Stupid things she's done have caused a train wreck that is currently going on in slow motion and if it can be solved all will be lost.

This is just what I need to be bombarded with.  I may be on medication that seems to be dealing with things for normal daily whatever, but I'm still person with the tendency toward life wrecking depression.  I'm the only one in my family in two generations to have that problem.  If my mother's mother were still alive she might understand, but then she might not as the type she had isn't either of the types I have.

So at some point I had to stop my sister and point out that telling me all of these things that risk forcing me into a crying ball on the floor wouldn't fucking help her any.  I didn't word it that harshly, I have to handle family members comparatively gently though by the end of the conversation things did get somewhat harsh.  I'll get to why in a moment, but first I want to get to why she was bombarding me with things guaranteed to bring me down but in no way capable of helping me to help her.

Apparently I'm now her unpaid therapist too.  It can help to talk to other people when you've got problems but picking your depressed relative to dump all of your doom and gloom on in hopes it will make you feel marginally better is NOT FUCKING COOL.

And that's what she did.  That's her explanation for why she was trying to lay all of her problems on my shoulders.

So then we finally get to the point, what can I do to help.  Does she make it easy for me to help?  No.  For fuck's sake it could have been easy, but (and I say this as someone who is going to be due for root canal one week from today) it more resembled anestheticless dentistry where somehow you have both all the work and all the pain.

There's only one thing I can do to help her.  I can go to her house and do manual labor.  That's it.  Meaning that the only thing I need to know to determine whether or not I can commit to helping her is when she's available to bring me over and back.

Now, there's a little bit more to the story than that.  See, before I said that I would do no more than two hours a day.  That was my ground rule, I stated it clearly and firmly.  Not once did I get to stop within two hours (she controls the transportation, I can't go home until she lets me) and at least once I was able to hear a conversation with someone else where she made clear what she thought "no more than two hours" meant when discussing how long she had me for.  (Three to four hours hopefully, definite minimum of two hours.)

Lately she's been better.  The last few times I've helped her she's been punctual and she's taken me home when she said she would.  But if we were arranging for more than one-off things then I wanted to restate the ground rules.  If I  commit to X amount of time I need to know that it's X amount of time not X+[whatever the fuck extra she thinks she can milk out of me].  Again, not worded that harshly.  The fact that she didn't stick with that in the past didn't come up until she pretended it didn't happen.

Remember what I said about not once having the two hour limit honored.  Well apparently none of those times I went over to help her happened because she has no idea what I'm talking about because that never happened and if it did happen then if I'd brought it up then maybe we could have- wait.  I did bring it up then.  Repeatedly.  Hell, that's a major part of the reason that I stopped regularly helping her before.  (The other major reason being that I have my own commitments.)

Except in her mind, apparently.

And apparently she didn't want to let this go until I gave into her gaslighting and agreed that there were five lights what happened had never happened.  Finally I got her move on to the next part.  It was like prying a drowning person's fingers of the buoy keeping them afloat.

Once the ground rule of X time really means X time is established then the only thing that matters is when is this X time taking place and what is X.

Which is to say that I need her schedule.  Did she give it to me?  No.  Not at first at least.  Or at second.  Or at third.  I lost fucking count of how many times I had to ask.  Eventually it came out she is free after noon on  the next two days and any time for several days after that.  How hard is that to say?  Pretty fucking hard apparently.  She flat out refused to tell me over and over and over again.

I'm going to help her.  I'm going to help her because she's my sister, and the mother of my nephew, and the caretaker of my grandparent's farm.  I'm going to help her because the train wreck she's set up this time is massive and if something isn't done to avert it everything will come crashing down and hope and joy will be banished from the world (or at least my portion of it.)  I'm going to help her because I'm the kind of person who does that.  But sweet fucking Christ does she make it difficult to help her.

If she manages to push me into a nervous breakdown, which she has come close to more times than I can count or remember and pulled off at least once, then I can't help her.  If she won't tell me when it's possible to help her, then I can't help her.  She's like a doctor who says, "Let's schedule your next appointment.  I've got a few openings."  Pause.  "No, I'm not going to tell you when the openings are." Pause.  "Are you nuts?*  Why would I tell you when I'm available?"

I'm not going to help her on root canal day, I've decided that much already.  Safe bet that root canal day will be the brightest, most happy day in my near future.

Oh, and thank whatever gods may be for antidepressants.  Given how I'm feeling right now with medication propping me up, it's a safe bet I'd be a non-functional quivering mass if I weren't medicated at the moment.

So, yeah.  That's what I just got off the phone with.  For the love of fucking god.


* Talking with her often has her using tone of voice and similar means to indicate that you're crazy.  Not, "mentally ill," that's too kind and clinical a term.  It needs to be disparaging and insulting to get across the force of it.

Amazon Deal: Die Hard 58% off this week

The Die Hard 25th anniversary Blu-ray collection is 58% off this week.  Yeah, that's about all I have to say in this post.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Those Life of Brian t-shirts I mentioned (Romans Go Home) (pictures)

So there was some interest expressed in the t-shirts back when they were just an idea, no idea if there's still an interest, or if interest will persist after seeing the product.

I was hoping to get mine before the Classics Barbeque so that if anyone did want one they could get the money to me before then and I could pick up them up there, and get them to whomever wanted them.  That... didn't work out.  In spite of my best efforts I didn't get my shirt until the barbeque and then I was sort of out of it for the week afterward.

Anyway 12 dollars a shirt if you or anyone you know wants one, the Classic's club will be grateful.  Shipping is another question entirely, that depends on how much it costs for me to send a shirt to you, and I have no idea what that costs as I've shipped maybe one package in my life and it was of a different sort.

Pretty pictures:

Me wearing one of the shirts in front of a tree that rose from its own ashes (metaphorically, actually it rose from being struck by lightning, having stunted, unusual growth for longer than I was alive, finally being knocked over by wind, cut up with a chainsaw in preparation for being removed, and that was about when I noticed it was rising again):

Full graphic:

Just the words (which honestly hardly gives any additional detail):

Detail shot of the Greek key logo outline:

So, anyway, if you want one, or know someone who does, tell me and I'll see about getting you one.  The cost is $12 (US) for all sizes which I think run from small to 2XL, as I said shipping is something we'd have to figure out because I've never done it before.

Edith and Ben - How I used to be

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

"What were you like back then?" I asked. It was hard to reconcile the girl about my age I was talking to with the vampire more than a hundred years old she said she was.
She sighed. "I was a worse person."
"Uh..." that didn't give me a lot of information. "How so?"
"You know how sometimes you think about how you used to be and you're embarrassed by yourself and you wonder how you could have been so stupid?"
"I guess..." truth be told I had a habit of thinking that about things I'd done the day before or earlier in the same day. Sometimes earlier in the same sentence.
"It's like that on a larger scale." She paused and I thought she was done talking. Then she sighed again. "For example-" she hesitated and I thought she'd decided not to give the example, then she quickly said, "I was a racist."
I didn't have anything to say to that, and an awkward silence hung in the air.
Edith eventually added, "The year after I became a vampire my home town was the site of a major race riot. I couldn't care less." She paused. "The concerns of non-white people were not my own." Another pause, "My mother --Caroline, not my human mother-- was better. She'd learned what old age eventually teaches those who are willing to learn. I hadn't yet."
"What's that?" I asked.
"That you're always wrong," Edith said. "You work to improve, to become more right, more perfect, but you never get there. You can never stop and be satisfied. What's the status quo today will be horrifically unthinkable tomorrow.
"It is at once disturbing and a source of hope that if I live another hundred years I'll look back on how I was today with embarrassment, disgust, and possibly horror.
"Disturbing because it shows how wrong I am today. But a source of hope because it means that in the next hundred years I'll be that much better.
"That's what old age teaches you, if you're willing to learn --and most aren't-- that being a good person means always striving to be a better person today than you were yesterday and always hoping to be a better person tomorrow than you are today.
"It teaches you that if you want to be a good person you can never stop moving forward, you always have to be on the lookout for the next issue, something that wasn't even on your radar before but now, it's hour come round at last, can be fixed if enough people are willing to work for it. Fixed even though yesterday you didn't realize it was broken."
I thought about that for a while and then I said, "So, you don't like talking about the past?"
"That's not it. I love talking about the past, and the future, and the present for that matter. I don't like talking about how I was back then. I don't like talking about it because I don't like thinking about it. I've learned my lesson, I know that I have to constantly strive to be better, I have no desire to dwell on when I was worse."


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Edith and Ben - Feeding

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[I decided that Ben didn't cancel his Seattle trip, so the meadow was in the morning, leaving the rest of the day for Seattle.  That changes the timing of this (for Edward and Bella it was dinner time.)]

“I’m sorry, I’m keeping you from lunch.”

“I’m fine, really,” I said.

"It's not that I forget that human beings need to eat, exactly," Edith said. "I'm constantly aware of it, actually. It's just that being intellectually aware of something isn't the same as having it resonate with you and sometimes I loose track of food related time as a result."

I was somewhat confused. "But you need to feed," I said.

"It's... different. A vampire can, theoretically at least, go indefinitely without feeding, it's just that the longer you go the worse things get. A week can be no problem, but as time goes on the hunger grows and grows and people start feeling more and more like food and less and less like people.

"Then, and this has never happened to me so it's second hand, parts of you just start shutting down. Your inhibitions, notably moral ones, turn off, as more time goes on all higher reasoning shuts down, if enough time passes without feeding all that's left is an instinct driven predator.

"Which is completely different from what happens to a human without food."

"Yeah." There didn't seem to be anything else to say.

"I'm sorry I've been keeping you from eating."

"I'm fine."

"True though that may be, I'd rather you be better than just fine. I'm sure we'll reach a restaurant sooner or latter. Do you have any preferences?"

"None whatsoever."

"Well we can definitely pull that off."

"Thanks," I said, and meant it.

"Just remember that we'll be stopping for you, don't feel the need to over-stuff yourself on my account. Eat as much or as little as you need to make your stomach stop growling."

"I thought it was more a rumble than a growl."

"Well if we're going split hairs it really sounded to me like ..."

[and so on.]


[Edith and Ben Index]

Narnia: VDT, Where the crowns came from, and the books Eustace read

[Originally Posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

"Yes Robert?"
"It appears your crown has been stolen again."
"What about the back up crown?"
"That too."
"Not that one, I meant the-"
"That too."
"And the-"
"All of the crowns have been stolen, sire."
"But I ordered two hundred to be made, so that we'd have reserves in the face of the constant problem of crown theft."
"And they were all stolen."
"Didn't I order them to be secured in a locked metal vault two stories underground?"
"The dragon dug up the vault and carried it away."
"He what!?"
"He burrowed into-"
"Never mind. From now on the symbol of royal power shall be a watch."
Narrator: Eustace didn't read the right books.
Eustace: I read the left books.
Narrator: No, you read the wrong books.
Eustace: I disagree, the opposite or right is clearly left.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


[There's a thing on Hell and Demons and whatnot on TV right now.  That's my only excuse.]

"I'm not possessed!"  I didn't even notice their response because a small voice from the back of my mind said:

"Well, that depends on exactly how you define 'possessed'."

I recognized the voice.  It was where the words came from when I froze up in Latin and Greek class and then something clicked and things flowed freely.  I had to make sure that I didn't respond out loud.  Instead I merely thought, "What?"

"I'm not in charge, but I'm definitely here," the voice from the back of my mind said.

I turned from the other human beings present and went to find a place where I could be alone.  Speaking without speaking wasn't something I was used to, and if I started talking to myself out loud the fundies would be convinced I was possessed.

"I'm going insane," I thought to myself.

"No," the voice said. "I've been in my share of minds and yours seems quite sound to me.  A hint of depression perhaps, the slightest tendency towards compulsive behavior, but nothing that puts you too far outside of the ordinary.  You seem quite sane to me."

I found a place where I thought I was alone, and said, "I think we're alone now," out loud.

"The beating of our hearts is the only sou-und," the voice in my head said.  "Except I don't have a heart.  Anyway.  I agree."

"I'm talking to a voice in my head, how does that not make me crazy?"

"Because I really am a demon," the voice said. "Also crazy is a nasty word and the prevalence of auditory hallucinations far outstrips the occurrence of mental illnesses that include auditory hallucinations.  In other words: most people who hear voices are quite sane."

"You're just regurgitating something I heard on the Colbert Report.  If you really are different from me tell me something I don't know."

"Something you don't know, but you can verify, you mean."

"You're stalling, voice in my head.  Because you can't do it, because there's no such thing as demons and I really am crazy."

"Crazy is a nasty word.  Don't use it."

"Prove you're more than a voice in my head."

"Alexander the Great was left handed-"

"I knew that."

"I wasn't finished.  He also had- hang on, you didn't know that.  No evidence survives that demonstrates he was left handed, that was just a throw away before I got to the real point."

I disagreed.  "I knew it."

"No, you didn't.  You only thought you did.  Look it up.  Anyway, the point I was trying to get to before I was so rudely interrupted is that he also happened to have heterochromia iridum."

"What?" I said to the voice in utter confusion.

"Look it up.  It's a real condition, one which you have never heard of before, and examination will show evidence pointing to the fact that not only did Alexander have it, but it was a prominent enough feature to become a part of the mythologized figure of him but not, and this is the important part, a feature you knew about before."

The voice stopped and there was silence.

Both in my head and in the world.

Then the voice added, "That should be enough to prove that I exist as something other than a part of you."

I thought for a moment, "Ok, say I do look it up, and the information does check out, and I accept that you're not some manifestation of my subconscious.  Who are you and what are you doing in my head?"

"Mostly having a good time."  The voice paused.  "Though there are some frustrations.  If you could get some self confidence and stop second guessing yourself I'd have you speaking in tongues by now.  Instead even when I give you things word for word you still have to pause and look them up because you're always so worried you might be wrong."


"And if I had my way you'd have been out of the closet three years ago.  Progress with you is glacial."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Uh, what it sounds like, maybe."


"I want you to be your fucking self.  Before demons were remanded to incorporeal form I was a succubus who specialized in 'corrupting' women."


"I'm a lesbian.  I've taken residence in you because you're a lesbian, now have some damn sex already."


"If you say you're male I'm going to claim to be the Queen of Sheba.  I'm in your head, remember?"


"You're in a closet inside a closet and it's getting stuffy in here."

"You're a demon."

"Way to change the subject."

"You're supposed to corrupt me."

"For a value of the word 'corrupt' enforced by bigots with their heads up-"

"So that I can go to Hell."

"Honey, you can go to Hell or you can choose never to be yourself from here to eternity in which case you'll make a Hell out of Heaven even on the off chance you get in."

"So you don't deny that you're trying to send me to Hell."

"I'm trying, I've always been trying, to get people to be themselves.  Who goes to Heaven or Hell is beyond my control.  I'm also trying to to have sex, because I happen to like it, and I think you'll like it too if you can pull the stick out of your ass and make use of it else-"

"Stop.  Now."

"Fine.  I'm just saying."

"Saying what, exactly?  Because it seems to me like you're all over the place."

"Go to the university's counselling center, tell them what you've known since the age of six-"

"That being?"

"That you're a girl.  Can I finish?"

"Carry on."

"Work with them toward transition, in the mean time buy a nice skirt or something, ask the cute girl from economics out on a date, stop second guessing everything you do, relax, trust me when I help you with dead languages, and if you can make it that far trust me when I help you with flirting."

"And what if I said I wanted you out of my head?"

"I'm not just in your head, actually, I'm in your whole body."

"Not the point."

"I can go, but do you really want me to?  Things have been going pretty well with me here, and I assure you they can get better.  If you do decide to step out of your closets you're going to have to learn how to do a lot of things, I've got thousands of years of experience in all of them.  We've made a good team so far.  We can make a better team going forward."

"What's the name of the condition you said Alexander the Great had?"

"Heterochromia iridum.  Do you need me to spell it for you?"

"Not yet."  I paused.  "I'll look it up, but after that I make no promises."

The voice mumbled, "Glacial," in an annoyed tone.


Double Features

So today I found my sunglasses, helped my sister, got peed on by a baby that was theoretically well diapered, witnessed a bull humping the front end of a pig,* and stuff.

I was also re-re-reintroduced to a plan my sister had once upon a time.  She has a projector, not a good projector mind you, but a projector, and she wanted to do movie double features.  For example:

The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park
ET: The Extra Terrestrial and Alien
Short Circuit and The Terminator
Free Willy and Orca
Born to be Wild and Congo
Flubber and The Blob(1988) (Or the originals: The Absent Minded Professor and The Blob(1958))
Lilo and Stitch and Gremlins
Hackers and Sneakers
PCU and Real Genius

That sort of thing, as I said today to the people who were suggesting such things, by the time we left the house we'd forget every idea we'd come up with.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Independence Day maybe?  Who knows.  But you can see the potential.
Casper and Poltergeist?
Ghostbusters and... I don't know.
Date with an Angel and The Prophecy?  Maybe not.  Probably not.  The Prophecy is good enough, but for a lighter angel thing I'm not sure.  There's always Dogma, I suppose.
What would go with Aliens?  I know not.
War Games and Eagle Eye


*My knowledge of animal mating is limited, but this is what I've learned thus far in my life:
House cats have sex with bunnies.
Donkeys have sex with Llamas.
Bulls have sex with pigs.

Given the emerging pattern I am left to wonder how any species is able to perpetuate itself.  It seems like nothing is interested in its own kind.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I want to get fake feathers

So, there's this project that I've been wanting to do for... no idea.  Years now.  How many I do no know.

It calls for angel feathers.  That's a problem.

Angel feathers would be flight feathers meaning that actual huge feathers (for example peacock feathers) aren't the right type.

Feathers that are the right type, or can be made to look like the right type, are generally available but are too small.  To understand this pick any flying bird (meaning things like penguins and ostriches do not count for this exercise.)  It can be anything really.  A hummingbird, a crow, a duck, a swan, a seagull, falcon, eagle, vulture, whatever.  Look at the largest feather on it's wing.  Now imagine scaling the bird up until it's body was the size of a humans (cranes can be about the same height, but that's in part because of their absurdly long necks, thus that doesn't count as the same size) and the feather you have previously selected by the same amount.

What you end up with is an extremely large feather.

An unrealistically, unnaturally large feather.  This isn't assuming angels have wings large enough to provide the lift needed to get a human body off the ground, this is just keeping the wings in proportion to the body.

Now, as it turns out, fake feathers of perfectly nice quality exist already, so you'd think that someone somewhere might be using that technology to make angel-sized feathers.

Here's the problem: Run a search for "fake feathers" "artificial feathers" "synthetic feathers" "imitation feathers" or something like that and the search results will be dominated by two things:
  1. Real feathers that are cut or dyed or somethinged in order to look like they come from a different type of bird.
  2. Hair accessories.
Run a search for angel feathers and you'll get fake angel wings made out of bird sized feathers.

It seems to be almost impossible to find out if the product I'm looking for (giant fracking flight feathers which would have to be synthetic because... see above) even exists.  And regardless of whether it exists it seems impossible to find out where one can get synthetic feathers at all beyond buying a fake bird made with fake feathers and plucking it.

So I'm calling on you, dear readers, for help.  Any ideas?

If all else fails, any ideas on how I could produce decent quality fake feathers myself?

Narnia: VDT: Not Die Alone

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[A dragon walks out and dies right in front of Eustace.  The scene is told mostly from the narrator's perspective with shades of Eustace's (he's afraid, he thinks the dragon is a sad old beast) and not at all from the dragon's.  This is the dragon's perspective.]

I sniffed. The scent was unmistakable. Human. Foreign human. A human not born of these parts. It was as the prophesy foretold my hour come round at last. My limbs were tired from centuries of slumber, attempting to put off the inevitable. I'd long since known that my next journey would be my last. The effort of hauling myself far enough to get so much as a drink would do me in.
Would do me in and I'd die alone. But the prophesy said I wouldn't have to die alone. And now, at last, there was someone else. The one foretold.
I considered ignoring it, telling the prophesy to screw itself, remain hidden, try to sleep and see what dreams may come. But if I didn't go now then it was impossible to know if I'd ever get another chance to have company. And I was so thirsty.
I began to drag myself into the open, the exertion of each step making my pulse beat stronger, hammering in my ears and driving me closer to my death.
And that is where I am now.
The human is hiding. You think I can't see you, boy, and you're right. My eyesight dimmed long ago. My sense of smell has not. You're frightened, as well you should be; I'm a dragon. But you need not be frightened, I'm not here to hurt you. You're my only companion as I move into another world, leaving this one, and this broken body, behind.
I sense that, even through your fear, you feel for me. Good. It is short notice I know, but on the basis of these feelings you are now my friend. It is good to die in the company of friends.
I fear that I will not even make it as far as my water. After having it so close for so long, now it looks like it will be death, not water, that slakes my thirst. Even so, I shall try to to reach it. And you, boy, bear witness. These are my final moments, remember them all. Let them be burned into your memory.
I could have made it to the water faster before, could have drunk some down before death's darkness took me. But then I would have died alone.
Now I am not alone. So remember me boy. If you don't, no on else will. Remember me and carry on that memory.
I've made it to the water but as I feared, will not live to drink it. I would have liked to die a silent dignified death, but death seldom listens to the wishes of mortals. A croaking, clanging sound escapes me, and I fall over on my side. My body convulses. Trying to shake my soul from it, and soon my soul will leave. Just moments now before dark death takes me.
Remember me, boy. Remember the dragon whose passing you witnessed. Few humans ever live to see such a thing. The spectacle is my gift to you, let the memory of it be your gift to me.
For now I die, and you're the only one left to remember me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Edith and Ben - Metapost on vampire feeding

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

Caroline Cullen is a doctor because she wants to be a doctor and it's what she's good at and whatnot, but having access to a human blood supply is one of the perks. However, this can only come into play when there is an excess of blood (sometimes there is) at such points she can fudge some numbers and get more blood than needed and have it disappear unnoticed.
The majority of the time, though, there isn't a definite excess of blood, and thus the blood she could get would come at the expense of risking people who needed it not getting it. Thus the Cullens don't drink human blood most of the time. In theory they probably could without killing anyone and without attracting attention but there are morality issues of bodily autonomy involved.*
So most of the time they hunt. Not as Edward hunts because that sort of bloodsport is pointless and unsustainable. Apex predators are few in number, eating them on a regular basis is going to deplete your food supply and fuck up the entire ecosystem.
If apex predators are the most healthy for Twilightpires (did not know that until this thread) then the invention of the tranquilizer dart must have been a cause for great celebration (right up there with the invention of colored contact lenses) for Caroline's entire clan.
Knock out the predator, siphon off some blood, pass any useful information gathered by examination of the animal on to friends studying such (they've been to University enough times that they must have friends in the field) who have agreed not to ask how the information was gathered (on the understanding that no animals will be harmed beyond tranquilizing) for the betterment of science. Drink the blood at a different location to avert the off chance base instincts will take over and cause a feeding frenzy (never happened, never seemed likely to happen, but safety first.)
Before the ability to tranquilize made sustainable feeding on apex predators a possibility the Edith-verse's Cullens probably sustained themselves largely through making sure to be within walking distance of a slaughterhouse. Sure, farm animals might not be as healthy for vampires as wild caught apex predator, but it's not like someone else was doing something useful with all that blood.
In Twilight, and many other things as well, vampires can't eat solid food. They're on an all blood diet. This presents an interesting situation: they must feed on animals (humans are a type of animal, remember); there is absolutely no reason they ever need to kill one to feed on it.
Vampires could theoretically be on the equivalent of an all fruit diet: things may be inconvenienced (in theory the covenant with a fruit producing plant is that you eat the fruit and then your droppings distribute the seeds, anyone who uses a toilet is breaking that) but nothing needs to die or be dismembered.
Plus: poetry. Edith's family would very much be on Mr. Squid's side, and having a way to escape Mr. Sperm's reality (There's only one reality: / All creatures who'd succeed at sea / Must murder for their daily meal. / What else can all your thoughts reveal?) would be welcome to them.
Feeding is a morally fraught topic. But for vampires it shouldn't be. Blood is not flesh. The difference between the two changes everything. If meat identical to that produced by killing animals could be created by not-killing/maiming animals, the only reason to kill animals for meat would be if you wanted to kill things. That would be a completely different world.
Whether the animal is alive or dead at the end of feeding doesn't change the fact that the blood you're getting out of it is the same blood. We already accept the tranquilizing of wild animals for various reasons. If the blood is removed by medical-based means rather than fangs you eliminate both the possibility of vampire lions and tigers and bears and the possibility of becoming a disease vector (vampires with sterile needles: now 100% less likely to transmit Lyme disease)
* Vampire bats often feed on their victims without the victims ever realizing they've been victims, there's no reason that style couldn't be adopted by actual vampires. If Edward can nightly break into Bella's room without ever being noticed then Twilight-vampires could probably show up in the rooms of sleeping humans with topical anesthetics, syringes, and a knowledge of where to draw blood such that the puncture wound won't be noticed.
It's just that, even though that leaves the victims alive and unaware, that's really not what moral people would do. That's more the stuff of alien abduction stories than good guy stories.


I am sick, for what it's worth.

The next sentence will contain too much information, you have been warned.

It seems to be largely digestive system based so I'm not entirely sure why my gonads ache but other than that it is simply a state of constantly feeling like I'm going to vomit and then not actually doing it.

So I'm going to adopt a plan of near constant sleeping until I feel better, because there doesn't appear to be any benefit in being awake at the moment.

I'd say, "Talk amoungst yourselves," but you never do.

I will transfer over a thing about how the Cullens feed in the Edith-verse before I turn off my computer today so there's something to look at besides me saying I'm sick.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Latin CSI

So, finally, after years of trying to make it but being unable due to this or that, I attended the classics barbeque.  Good fracking god it was wonderful.  The food was good, the people were almost universally good, the war-ax throwing I sucked at (the war-hammer I didn't do so badly with), the robin's eggs were blue, I took 826 pictures as I am wont to do, I amused children with Rubik's cube like puzzles, the view was amazing, I didn't get a chance to try out the pool table, so on, so forth.  I finally got my life of Brian inspired t-shirt (ROMANESI EUNTITE DOMUSM), I'll show you a picture later because there has been some interest in getting some (12 dollars, US) and if you pay shipping (free if you meet me in person) I'll be happy to play middle man at no charge.

But what I want to talk about now is the stories, because by the gods they were hilarious.  In a very real sense you had to be there and I don't want to ruin things by trying to recapture a moment that can't be recaptured.  I instead want to tell you how the people telling the story came to know it in the first place.

You see, both of my teachers were called in by the police to translate Latin.  One of them assumed it must be a suicide note or something similar because what else would you write in Latin that the police needed to have translated?  Turns out it was an affair between a teacher and a student with the evidence being a series of emails between the two written in very bad Latin.  (Apparently the grammar was atrocious.)

And as the story was told a former student, now a Latin teacher, was looking on in shock at the teachers saying, "Why didn't you tell/warn me?" because he later got into a relationship with the student, who by chance or fate or whatnot ended up attending the college that the professors who translated her Latin affair emails for the police worked at.  And ended up taking their classes.  (And, I guess, dating one of their students.)

But the point isn't about a sordid affair between a teacher and a student, nor is it about the stalker who wrote stalkery poetry in well formed dirty-as-sewage Catullan verse (if you know Catullus you know that dirty as sewage is sort of appropriate for his style.)  No, the point is this: Study Latin because sooner or later the cops are going to need someone who can translate it, and if not you then who?


Also, CSI: The Latin Squad is probably a show that would make me start watching CSI again.

"Damn it, we need to know now!"
"I get that, but without more context it's impossible to know whether this is present subjunctive or future indicative.  I need more data.  I cannot make bricks without clay."

The continuing utility of paperclips.

So, my glasses have magnetic sunglasses that can be attached to them.  This is very important to me because light and I don't mix.  That song whose name I don't know but will once I look up the lyrics ("Tonight and the rest of my life") resonates with me when it says, "I prefer a sunless sky / To the glittering and stinging in my eye," because sunny days hurt.

I remember being on a cruise, and I must have been on the lower decks with indoor lighting before we made our first stop that sunny day because when I stepped out into a clear day in Jamaica I was blind and in pain and I stumbled over to the nearest street vendor where my mother bought me a pair of cheap sunglasses.

That's sunny days for me.  Without sunglasses I tend to look at the world with one eye closed because both eyes open is too much fucking light (also I think my right eye deals with the light less well or some such) and even then the open eye will be watering like [insert something that waters a lot here] and begging my brain to please, for the love of all that is holy, close.

As such, the fact that I have lost the magnetic sunglasses designed to attach to my glasses is a bit of a problem.

The solution is obvious: wear sunglasses.  But I can't just wear sunglasses alone.  My right eye, when looking at anything at a distance (it's not that bad up close) makes the world look like it was painted by a very bad impressionist.  My left eye is sub par too.  (Note to any golfers: to the rest of us "sub par" means "worse than it should be.")

So I need sunglasses and normal glasses at the same time.  There are probably various ways to do this, but only two come to mind.  One is to wear sunglasses that are bigger than  normal glasses so they can be worn over my glasses.  I probably have some, but none immediately on hand.  The other is to wear sunglasses that are smaller than my normal glasses.

Those I do have.  In four colors, but the green is missing, which is a shame because it was my favorite.  The orange and blue just don't feel right.  Orange is my favorite color, but apparently it isn't good for sunglasses.  The purple on the other hand, it worked.

These glasses can definitely fit under my normal glasses, they sit so close to the eye that my eyelashes have a habit of touching them.  So they're more or less ideal for under-glasses sunglasses.  The problem is the same as over-glasses sunglasses.  Glasses are all designed to sit on, more or less, the same part of your nose.  If you've got one pair sitting there, the other pair can't.  So it will tend to sit farther down your nose, and thus end up too low.

What is needed is a means of support beyond the normal nose-resting-on things.

Enter paperclips.  Or in this case, paperclip.

Before I went off on the bus to Boston I made a very basic expansion of the temple of the sunglasses.  Just a simple loop around it to make it wide enough to hold up my normal glasses.  It worked in theory, and for a very short time in practice, but it had nothing to hold it in place and so had a tendency to slide out of place thus resulting in my normal glasses collapsing to too low, also there wasn't much margin for error.  Consider that more a proof of concept than a prototype.

Fortunately the shortcomings had become somewhat apparent by the time I sprinted out of the house desperately hoping I wouldn't be late.  As a result I threw what remained of the paperclip and a pair of pliers into my bag.

First off, I was lucky to get on the bus because I forgot my photo ID (and was late), and thus wasn't supposed to be allowed on.  Instead the pile of cards I'd picked up included two credit cards and foodstamps.  Since I did have three cards with my name on them the rules were bent and I was allowed on.  Of course that created a lingering fear: I had bought round trip tickets.  I definitely wouldn't have ID for the trip back, so if the rules weren't bent again (they were) I didn't have ride home.

Anyway, it was difficult finding a paperclip in my backpack on the crowded bus, but I did manage it.  I discarded the proof of concept modifications and made the first glasses support:

That's more or less ideal.  It's secured at two spots which are at right angles to each other so there can be no sliding, there's no sharp edges sticking out, the support comes out from under the temple so the sets of glasses will be aligned.

I wish the same could be said of the lefthand glasses support but, unfortunately, I was running out of paperclip and basically tried to make anything provided it could be done with what I had left.

The result was this:

It's less aesthetically pleasing, there's less support connecting it to the glasses, there are sharp edges, and it's backwards.  Well... upside-down.  The support goes over the temple instead of under leaving the two sets of glasses to be misaligned.  If both were wrong it wouldn't be so much of a problem as they'd be uniformly misaligned  but since the right is right and the left is wrong it means the corrective glasses end up crooked.

Still, for a mark one prototype created on a crowded bus with less than a full paperclip (I'd used part of the paperclip for the proof of concept) and no elbow room, it's not that bad.

Image of the modified glasses closed:

Image of the modified glasses opened:

Image of how the two sets fit together:

Me wearing modified glasses:

Me wearing both sets:

(At some point I need to learn how to smile for pictures.  It's like some secret esoteric skill that no one in the know ever shares.)

Even with the over under problem making my corrective glasses crooked they worked quite well, I was able to make the bus rides up to Boston and back fine, I was able to ride in cars fine, I was able to go to a zoo fine (the snow leopard was amazing, the bats were adorable, things were nice.)  I was not blinded by the sun.  The prototype modified sunglasses mark one are a definite success.

This post brought to you by paperclips.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Still here, after a fashion

The recent accumulation of spam might have made it apparent that I wasn't exactly overseeing the blog, I haven't had internet, but I have not been sucked into a black hole.  I'm not gone.  Though I did underestimate the number of children yesterday by a factor of... how does that work?

Say I expected one and there were two (that was not the case but it is simple.)  Is that a factor of one (the excess is one time what I expected) or a factor of two (the total is two times what I expected.)

Anyway, the number of children was 350% of what I expected.  I did not bring enough Rubik's cubes like things for my standard strategy of dealing with children.  (Strategy: And you get a cube, and you get a cube, and you get a cube.)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Snarky Twilight: In which Edward Gives Bella A Ride, And Chapter 13 Ends

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

Edward: You are so far off the script.
Bella: You're just evading responding to the fact that you claim to love me in spite of a total lack of respect for me. Things don't add up.
Edward: I'm trying to get on with the narrative.
Bella: If you say so. I think you're trying to compare yourself to a lion because you think that will somehow be favorable when we all know that African wild dogs are really more impressive.
Edward: This isn't a book about ecology.
Bella: Whatever. Carry on *sarcastically* lion.
Edward: What a sick masochistic lion.
Bella: Tell me why you ran from me before.
Edward: You skipped like two lines.
Bella: That's not an answer.
Edward: You know why.
Bella: That's not an answer, either.
Edward: You didn't do anything wrong-
Bella: Well I know that.
Edward: It was my fault.
Bella: I thought you were incapable of uttering those words. Hang on while I etch them into my memory so that they will be preserved for all time.
Edward: You are such an ass.
Bella: I prefer to think of myself as a mirror. I am nice to the nice and mean to the mean.
Edward: Thus absolving yourself of any responsibility.
Bella: No, I take responsibility for it. I even sometimes feel guilty about how I treat you, but whenever I do you do something that reminds me why I treat you that way.
Edward: It's in the book. It's all in the book. It's not up to me, I'm just written that way.
Bella: Thus absolving yourself of any responsibility.
Edward: That's not fair.
Bella: So it's fair when you say it to me but-
Edward: No. It's not fair because when I'm an ass it's because it's in the book, when you're an ass it's because you're doing something not in the book.
Bella: If you stop being an ass because of things in the book, I'll stop being an ass when deviating from the book. Until then I fully intend to give as good as I get. And before you start, I am following the golden rule. If I were following the book when doing so required me to be a jerk I'd want someone to call me on it.
Edward: *confused* Why?
Bella: So I could stop doing it.
Edward: You still fail to understand the distinction between character and author.
Bella: Ok, be a character.
Edward: I... Uh... I lost my place. That's why I was letting this tangent go on for so long.
Bella: *under her breath* 'Letting.' *To Edward* You were going to explain why you ran away like a rat from a sinking ship if the rat had been imbued with the power of the Flash. And by the Flash I don't mean Flash Gordon, though I'm sure you have tales to tell about watching the serials when they first appeared in theaters.
Edward: Ok. Um... Well... *contemplates a momentIt was just how close you were.
Bella: Ok, problem solved. I'll never be close to you again.
Edward: Most humans instinctively shy away from us, are repelled by our alienness...
Bella: I call bullshit. Not ten pages ago you were going on about how your form was that of a lure that attracted humans to you. Now you're telling me that your nature repels them. You can't have both.
Edward: You're getting your continuity all over my angst.
Bella: Your angst is nonsensical.
Edward: That's hardly my fault.
Bella: Sure it is. No one is holding a stake to your heart making you follow what has been written. Hell, I left my rail spike and sledge hammer back in the truck, which is not to say that I'm unarmed, but still.
Edward: *uneasy but trying to ignore her* I wasn't expecting you to come so close. And the smell of your throat.
Bella: That last bit is the opposite of a complete sentence, and I'd be interested in how different my throat really smells when compared to, say, my cheek or the skin covering my collarbone.
Edward: Can you just stay on script this once?
Bella: Ok, as a reward for admitting you were at fault before. Here goes: *flippantlyOk, then.*tucks in chinNo throat exposure.
Edward: *laughsNo, really, it was really more the surprise than anything else.
*Edward touches the side of Bella's neck*
*Bella, without conscious thought, pats the cylindrical case she keeps with her at times such as this, to remind her that while the sledge hammer may be in the truck, she is not unarmed.*
Edward: You see. Perfectly fine.
*Bella forces her heart rate to rise, in keeping with the text*
Edward: The blush on your cheeks is lovely.
*Bella lets her hand fall limply to her lap.*
*Edward holds Bella's face between his hands*
Edward: Be very still.
*Bella pulls away*
Bella: I need a bath.
Edward: I thought that was going well.
Bella: I'm all for giving you a basic human decency cookie for admitting you're at fault, but there are limits.
Edward: But we're supposed to keep this up for three pages.
Bella: Not going to happen.
Edward: Well then that would put us at me carrying you like a backpack.
Bella: And me getting to strangle you. I like it, I'm there, let's do this thing.
Edward: I'm suddenly less than enthused.
Bella: You're the one who's always pushing to do what the book says.
Edward: Yeah, but-
Bella: No but. I'm Yoda, you're Luke, now let me on your back so I can work you till you drop.
Edward: Ok, how does this sequence go?
Bella: 'There must be some kind of way out of here,' said the joker to the thief.
Edward: Right. You have to go.
Bella: Very astute young Skywalker.
Edward: Can I show you something?
Bella: And then I say, 'Show me what?' and you say:
Edward: I’ll show you how I travel in the forest. Don’t worry, you’ll be very safe, and we’ll get to your truck much faster.
Bella: Will you turn into a bat?
Edward: I've heard that before.
Bella: When?
Edward: What?
Bella: When have you heard that before?
Edward: Well, um...
Bella: I mean it seems like something a human would ask a vampire. A freshly turned vampire who didn't know the ins and outs of things would ask, 'Will I turn into a bat?' It's only a non-vampire who would ask, 'Will you turn into a bat?' which leaves me wondering how many non-vampires were aware of your vampiric nature that at least once in your life you had a conversation where the topic of battiness came up.
Edward: Look.
Bella: I'm looking.
Edward: My back story was never really worked out all that well so I'm just working with what I have. And what I have says that I've heard that before. It doesn't say where or when or why or how.
Bella: And you never asked.
Edward: Asked who? The author? She doesn't care about back story.
Bella: You could still ask.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: Is this the part where I get to strangle you?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: then we can get on with it.
Edward: *rote, his enthusiasm killed off by previous conversation* Come on, little coward, climb on my back.
Bella: *as she climbs on his back* Of the two of us I'm the one at greater risk by simply being here, little coward.
*Bella's arms tightly squeezing Edward's neck with a grip that would have suffocated a human*
Edward: Exhilarating, isn't it?
Bella: I have no idea how dogs do it.
Edward: Bella?
Bella: Is that actual concern I hear in your voice?
Edward: Yes, actually.
Bella: Well I do believe I need to lie down. And thanks.
Edward: Oh, sorry.
Bella: You're on the verge of being a sympathetic character, do you think you can keep this up?
Bella: I think I need help, actually. My stranglehold on you seems to have gotten stuck that way by an irrational fear of letting go.
*Edward laughs*
Bella: And I hereby deduct fifty sympathetic character points from sparklepoo.
Edward: How do you feel?
Bella: *to herself* Now he's the computer from Star Trek IV. *to Edward* I'll tell you when my mind and body start communicating again.
Bella: Dizzy, I think.
Edward: Put your head between your knees.
*Bella does so*
Bella: Good advice, you're racking up the sympathetic character points today.
Edward: I guess that wasn't the best idea.
Bella: Admitting being wrong, twice in one day no less. You're on your way to being almost likable. Don't fuck this up. Also, however ill advised it may have been, the ride was interesting.
Edward: Hah! You're as white as a ghost -- no, you're as white as me!
Bella: And you fucked it up. Royally. All of the sympathy you earned has just gone down the drain. How hard would it have been to substitute your own, non-assholic, line for that one?
Edward: It's what's in the book!
Bella: Always the excuses.
Bella: Anyway, I think I should have been wearing goggles, and possibly closed my eyes on occasion, but mostly goggles and eyes front should have solved things I think.
Edward: Remember that next time.
Bella: What on earth or any other planet makes you think there will be a next time?
*Edward laughs*
Edward: Open your eyes, Bella.
Bella: I actually quite like them closed, especially with you and your magic brain killing beauty being mere inches away from my face. If I open my eyes I could lose the ability to think.
Edward: Suit yourself.
Bella: What do you want?
Edward: I was thinking while I was running...
Bella: Which means you were thinking for a few minutes. *flatly* Yay. I'm going to hazard a guess that you weren't thinking about safety.
Edward: No. But you weren't supposed to say that.
Bella: Sue me.
Edward: No, I was thinking there was something I wanted to try.
Bella: If it involved kissing me you can forget it.
Edward: But the book says-
Bella: Then kiss the god damn book.
Edward: Just a little kiss.
Bella: No.
Edward: Please?
Bella: You do realize that asking again and again until I break down and say, 'Yes,' isn't the same thing as consent, right?
Edward: This is supposed to be our first kiss.
Bella: Think of it as the first of zero if it makes you feel better. I'm going home.
Edward: Maybe you should let me drive.
Bella: I'm supposed to say, 'Are you insane?' but in truth I fail to see the connection between insanity and your poor decisions that are best explained by your controlling nature.
Edward: I can drive better than you on your best day, you have much slower reflexes.
Bella: Your reliance on reflexes indicates a disturbing lack of understanding of how a truck actually handles. Reflexes alone mean nothing. You need to steer the truck to safety with enough lead time to actually have the truck and what would have placed it in danger not be in the same place at the same time. Defensive driving isn't about reflexes, it's about planning ahead. You need to think in two dimensions of space and one of time and always keep in mind what can happen several moves ahead.
Bella: If you're relying on reflexes you're waiting until the problem is too near in time and space. That's a bad sign.
Edward: Some trust, please, Bella.
Bella: Nope. Not a chance. Trust is earned. You haven't earned it. You've done the opposite.
*Edward grabs Bella*
Bella: If you don't let go I will end you.
Edward: Bella, I’ve already expended a great deal of personal effort at this point to keep you alive. I’m not about to let you behind the wheel of a vehicle when you can’t even walk straight.
Bella: And I'm not about to let someone who doesn't respect my personal space take control of my most prized possession.
Edward: Besides, friends don't let friends drive drunk.
Bella: Ok, that non sequitur needs to be responded to on at least two different levels. First, when have you ever demonstrated anything resembling friendship towards me? Second: Drunk?
Edward: You're intoxicated by my very presence.
Bella: And you by mine, the difference is I don't like it.
Edward: Regardless, I have better reflexes.
Bella: Regardless, if you don't let go I will end you.
*Edward hesitates, unsure of what to do*
Bella: And you're on the verge of being forced to walk home. Think what would happen to the little back-story that you do have. It's supposed to be delivered on the truck ride home. If you're not in the truck it disappears. Poof.
Bella: If you let go now, get in the passenger seat, and don't slam the door, I'll let you keep your back story. If you don't at best you'll be a character without a story, at worst we'll all have to try to figure out what happens to this book when there's no Edward Cullen in it.
Bella: I vote that Alice turns Eric who then sits in on the scenes meant for you but delivers his lines with a bit more respect and grace.
*Edward lets go*
*Bella gets into the driver's seat*
[Chapter Ends.]