No Spoilers

silence-3810106_1920Today I am going to see Avenger’s Endgame. I haven’t seen it yet so you can read this without the fear of spoilers. (Which is why I am writing this now and not later.) I am actually really annoyed right now.

Many of my friends and coworkers have already seen the movie, which is great. I am happy they enjoyed it but I also appreciate that they keep any information about the movie to themselves until I have had a chance to enjoy it as well. I have managed this past week rather well, avoiding any hints of what happens. Then today, mere hours before I am to see the movie, two separate people tried to ruin it for me. (It was almost three, but that I managed to convey to the third person that if they valued their life they would keep their mouth shut.)

It is great if you read or watch something you really enjoy. It’s okay to tell me if you enjoyed something and make the suggestion for me to watch or read it as well if you think its something I will enjoy. However, do not tell me all the major plot points or the ending. If I ask for details, that’s fine, but to go around spewing spoilers unsolicited or to purposely cause problems…that’s being a jerk. Don’t be a jerk.

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My Friend

Many years ago a 7th grade me was approached by a frizzy-haired, green-eyed girl roughly the same age. We were in the school gym during P.E. walking laps and talking. It turned out that she liked cats and her birthday was just two days after mine. Later we found out that our dads also shared the same name. This was how fate gave me my best friend.

Even that young we had plenty of differences but that didn’t seem to matter. We were kindred spirits. Over the years there have been many shared adventures and many life-changing events. Yet, even all these years later, she is still my best friend.

Her first child and my first child were born three months and one day apart. We didn’t plan it. That’s just how it happened. We have gone years without speaking only to discover that we both decided to go on vacation two states away at the exact same time. We both showed up at the same area attraction on the same day and the same time without consulting each other at all. (We almost did it again in a different state but missed each other by days.)

Today was another one of those life-changing events. Today my best friend’s father was laid to rest. I went to the viewing but could not stay for the funeral, even though I wanted to. I know my sadness is not the equal of my friend’s, but it hurts that she hurts and I can’t help.

He was a good man. I remember him from the point of view of the 13-year-old kid I once was. He was tall and kind. His mother lived next door so he could keep an eye on her and I remember visiting her with my friend. I also vaguely remember being chastised for playing upstairs in the barn. To be fair, we were sword fighting with sticks and not paying attention to our surroundings. My friend had also just recovered from a broken arm.

I feel drained. I wonder if this is how she is feeling as well. Hopefully, I can be there after the newness of her loss wears off and the reality sets in. I told her to call me. I meant it, but so many just say the words because they are expected. I think she knows me better than that though.

A Road Trip And Breakfast At Shoney’s

Today I took the three hour trip up to Nashville so that my eldest could attend the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, or MTAC. We came, we saw, we bought swag, we hunted down Tim Wright from Marble Hornets, and then we went home. The con was a lot more compact than what I remember from my cosplay days.

There were some decent artists in artist alley plying their trade and a multitude of cosplayers displaying their hard work. However, I think I enjoyed the trip more than the convention itself. The weather was wet and chilly, and the drive left me exhausted, but it was worth it.

Special mention has to be made for the Shoney’s in Murfreesboro, TN where we stopped to have breakfast. There is a running inside joke between myself and the kids about Shoneys. When I was in college my friend Mary and I had a gap between our first classes and the Biology class we both were enrolled in. Often we would use that hour to find food or catch up on home work. At the time there was a Shoney’s not far from the school and we would sometimes go there for the breakfast buffet if we had the money.

That Shoney’s closed down a long time ago. The building it was in has had incarnations as various Mexican restuarants since then. I believe it may be a bank now.

My kids have heard the stories from my school days but the one time we tried to eat at a Shoney’s in another town it was a disaster. It was an experience straight from the twilight zone. The inside of the restaurant was dimly lit because most of the lights didnt seem to be on and the few people in there sat zombie like at their tables. There was very little conversation and the waitress was none existant after she pointed us at a table. We received the check before we ever recieved drinks and we never caught a glimpse of a menu. It was a very odd experience.

Since then I have been wanting to prove to my kids that Shoney’s really isnt like that. I got my chance today. And our server, Paul, knocked it out of the park. I almost thought he might be psychic because as soon as we thought of a question or had a need he appeared before we said a word. Smiling and bright eyed, Paul took care of everything and brought the check just as I finished the last sip of my coffee. This was someone who didn’t just do his job but really excelled. Honestly, the best service I’ve had anywhere in a long time.

Also, now my kids believe me. I no longer have to suffer through raised eyebrows and doubtful looks. Lol

Wind and Rain

ireland-1273293_1920You know how in stories they always say the wind “howled” or “wailed” or “moaned”? For a long time, I considered that a literary device; a way of staging the scene. Then I moved into the house I live in now.

It has been several years but I still haven’t gotten used to the way the wind cries as it whips past my house. I don’t know what causes it. It could be the shape of the house or the configuration of trees in the yard. It could be some hollowed out limb capturing the air as it passes over the branches. I do know that I am secretly thrilled every time I hear it.

Surely it is supposed to be a frightening sound, especially at night to hear the wind wail and moan as it shakes the wind chimes on the porch. You can almost track the sound as if some escaped spector is gliding over the porch and around the corner of the house.thatched-roof-981891_1920 It makes me think of Irish cottages made of stone and thatch. It makes me think of fireplaces, warm drinks, and stories told in warning or to keep the dark at bay.

This is all pure imagination of course. I have never even stepped foot into a stone house but I’ve read about them. I’ve read the fairy stories and I’ve watched movies. There is no Baen Side (banshee) calling outside my window, or at least not that I’ve noticed. (If there was she would be extremely frustrated by now, as I have lived here for at least seven years and I’ve listened to the wail off and on that entire time. Or maybe she is happy someone appreciates her singing. Who knows?)

rain-2362871_1920It is supposed to rain today. And tomorrow. And the rest of the week. There will be flooding. The sky is overcast gray and the wind is shaking the still bare branches of the trees as well as dancing among my wind chimes. I expected the rain to be pouring down by now from the way the weather forecasters spoke. The ground is damp so some moisture has been squeezed from the clouds, just none that I’ve noticed.

The animals have been on edge since last night. Today they are restless, last night they were on self-imposed guard duty.  They paced the hall and watched from the window. Panda, my cat, finally settled enough to sleep but only because she curled up on my pillow and snuggled into my hair.

Last night the air was still and black. No stars shone and the porch light didn’t seem to reach as far as usual. The silence was eerie. To me, that becalmed, breathless, starless darkness was way more unsettling than the howling wind today.background-3394066_1920

Con’s End

It is Sunday and Chattacon 44 is winding down. It has been fun. I got to meet up with friends, my eldest made new friends, and we both attended some interesting panels.

Right now I am sitting by myself in a little alcove on the second floor of The Read House watching my fellow convention goers pass by. My brain is full. I want to go home, sit down at my computer, and forget anything outside writing exists. Unfortunately, that isn’t how my life works. This afternoon I have other obligations and tomorrow it is back to the day job. However, it may snow on Tuesday. If the roads are bad enough they may close schools and possibly even work. Is that a bad thing to hope for?

Retrospect and Resolutions

523898_427143540690691_680257817_nIt’s that time again when we look back at the year past and ahead to the year approaching. This year has been rough. Honestly, the past two years haven’t been easy at all. However, there have been some bright spots that kept me going. I really don’t want to spend too much time looking back. 2018 is almost finished and for good or bad I am done.

(I am writing this to Just Take My Heart by Mr. Big. I blame my friend Hillary. She shared a video and now I am listening to a playlist. It seems fitting though. Shine, also by Mr. Big, was the ending theme for the anime Hellsing just fyi. What? You guys know by now I am a geek.)

I  also don’t really make resolutions for New Years. I would like to focus more on my writing and get my finances better balanced but those are ongoing goals. I think I am optimistically working toward those things. Speaking of writing, I have stuff to work on. I am thinking about putting out a collection of short stories. I have quite a few just lounging in limbo with no one but me to enjoy them. We will see how it goes. *shrug* More on that in 2019. 😉dream time