New Weekly Posting Time

As many of you know, I’ve begun teaching physic/ astronomy at a few community colleges. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of driving, but I’m enjoying it so far. The new schedule, however, puts my usual weekly posting time (11 am on Tuesdays) half an hour into a 3 hour lab that I’m teaching and it’s just not a good being-around-on-the-internet day because when I’m done there, I scramble to get to my next class on time. So, I’m planning to change when I post new content, and wanted to get the opinions of my faithful readers!

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are out completely because, on those days, I’m in class for 6 hours split over 2 schools and I drive just over 100 miles each, so… no time.
I don’t think weekends are a good idea since most of my traffic comes from Twitter. That leaves any time on Monday, or some time after noon on Friday.

Please answer in the poll below with as many choices as you like. If you have a better idea than what I have for choices, feel free to leave it in a comment and I’ll add it to the list if it’s a valid option.

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Molly’s Bird Walk

MollysBirdWalk

Molly took one step down the beach, then stopped. Her dark hair whipped around in the wind as she turned to look back at Semper. She chewed at her lip and her eyes pleaded with him to not make her go. He took a step toward her and placed one hand on the nape of her neck. Warm waves of relaxation and assurance ran through her body. They looked at each other for a long moment, his face stoic, kind, and fatherly, hers trying desperately to look okay with the idea of the bird walk but not wanting to be away from his side.

Since she had joined Semper’s family, she had spent very little time away from him. True, during the day she might be out in the garden, or washing the clothes down by the river, but he was hardly ever more than a few hundred feet away, and she was never alone; at least one or two of the other women — her sisters — were always with her.

He smiled down at her now, his blue eyes twinkling beneath the long brown hair that wafted gently in the wind. Her chest ached and, despite her attempts to smile back, her lips quivered.

She listened to the waves crashing against the rocks down the gentle, sandy slope behind her and tried to calm her nerves. When she finally thought that she could speak, she opened her mouth to ask if he was sure this was really necessary.

Semper always seemed to know what she was about to say. He gave her a single nod then said, “I wouldn’t rob you of this, Molly. You have doubt in your heart and deserve to have it wiped clean.”

Molly’s eyes flitted briefly from his face to the line of ten faces that stood just behind him. Just last week she had been one of those faces. Her anxiety about her own bird walk had only been quelled by the thought that, at least, she had a week to mentally prepare; it hadn’t helped. That had been Susan’s turn and, like Melissa before her, she had come back even more pure and happy than before. Most came back, but a few didn’t.

Her eyes rested briefly on Sam’s beautiful, round face, framed by short wisps of blonde hair. A pang of guilt ran through Molly’s body. She tried not to compare herself with the other women, but it was obvious that Semper preferred Sam, and it was clear to Molly why. Despite his spiritual talk of overcoming their physical bodies and living above it all, he was still a man, and Sam still had the face and body of a model.

“I’m sorry,” Molly said, her eyes jumping back into his. “I admit, sometimes when you spend the night with the others I get a little jealous, and having to watch hurts a little, but you said yourself that it’s a natural part of growing into our true happiness…”

“It is evidence of a deeper doubt, my sweet Molly, and it is expected, which is why you need to be given the chance to either embrace or purge it.”

Semper leaned close and kissed her forehead. Molly breathed in his musky, comforting scent and her breath quivered.

“I love you,” she whispered.

“I know, Molly. Go, now down the beach and around the corner. Get lost in the thunder of crashing waves, the smell of the ocean, and the warm embrace of the sunlight. We’ll lose sight of you, but we’ll be here, waiting for you to come back to us.”

“How long do I have to wait?” she asked, trying to buy some time, knowing that chemically-induced courage would be on the way shortly.

“Molly, you’ve stood witness for the bird walks of so many. You know you have to wait until the sun is down.”

“Then I can come back and never be away from you again?”

“Once the sun is down, and you’ve spent your time wrapped in beauty, purity, and truth, all else will have melted away and you will know exactly how you feel. If you choose to come back to us, you will come back with stronger faith than ever, but if you find that you miss your old life, this is your chance to return to it free of judgment.”

Around the corner there was a path up to a different parking lot. There was a bus stop there that ran back into town. The path was completely obscured from where Semper and the rest of the family sat waiting. Just like a loosed bird, if she came back, then it was because she truly loved them, not because she felt pressure to stay or didn’t know how to leave. The magic of the place would clean her heart and leave only the truth behind – at least, that’s how Semper had explained it.

“Go now, Molly, the time has come. If you choose to leave, you go with our blessings. If you return to us, you return to loving and grateful arms; but to return-” he gestured down the beach, “first you must go.”

Molly turned without another word and started down the beach, determined now to show her strength. She planned to walk down around the corner, wait for the sun to go down, then run back up to them. She walked into the blinding sunlight with the thunder of crashing waves wrapped around her. When she made it about halfway down the slope, she glanced back over her shoulder. Her thin shadow pointed directly back toward their small forms, all sitting in the sand now. They wouldn’t be able to see her anymore, she was lost in the glare of the sunlight. Taking a deep breath laced with sea foam, Molly turned back down the hill and continued her bird walk. It hurt to be so far away from him.

Once upon a time she hadn’t been able to wait to be by herself, craving alone time and loathing anyone that stood in her way. That, though, had been before she had found somewhere that she really felt she belonged: before Semper had found her. When Semper had approached her at the farmer’s market and told her about how they lived, the idea of living with such simplicity had appealed to her in a way more akin to longing than preference. When she had joined them, only a week later (despite the outraged cries of her parents), she had found that her daily work was harder than she had ever worked in her life, but she didn’t mind because she was happy. It was good, honest work, which had clear, and simple goals. They cultivated food, so that they may eat. They cultivated friendship, so they would not be lonely. They served Semper, so that he would look on them with favor. At the end of every day of hard labor, she would wait eagerly to find out which three women got to climb into the great central bed of their sleeping chamber and make love to Semper. The rest of them would watch from the long, padded surface that ran in a ring around the outside of the room which would be their bed for the evening.

When she was chosen, it was the happiest she had ever been, and when she wasn’t, it hurt. The pain just made the naked embrace of the women around her more comforting as they peered from the shadows. Not being chosen strengthened her bond to her sisters, just as Semper had taught them.

As Molly approached the corner, she found that she was losing herself in the light. She could still see the things around her, but the piercing sunlight made it all seem so ephemeral and thin. Lacing her weed with Semper’s powder had always shown her the weakness of reality and the fragility of social constructs. Now the rocks and sand and sky looked ready to shatter and fall away, leaving only her, the sun, and the sounds of crashing waves.

Turning the corner, she unclipped the pin holding the thin cloth about her shoulders, and it slid off in the wind. The toke Semper had given her just before sending her down the beach was starting to settle in and she wanted to feel with all of her body as she lay on the sand. Semper had said to lose herself in the beauty as the sun set, and Semper always knew best; that was just what she would do. Then, when it was over, she would go back to him and he wold surely choose her that night.

Without breaking her stride, she untied her sarong and let it flutter to the sand behind her. Her entire body tingled.

She stooped to the ground and stretched out on the wet sand, running her hands up and down her stomach and chest. She let the sounds of crashing waves fall all around her and smiled as the cold tips of sea foam reached up to tickle and exhilarate her naked skin before retreating back into the ocean.

Every sense felt so strong and crisp, even while the separate senses mixed into each other. The sounds of the ocean had a blue taste and the sweet beams of sunlight smelled fresh. She became aware of every bubble brushing against her and every grain of sand clinging to her prickling flesh.

The feeling of a tongue against her inner thigh sent chills up her body that were so strong she didn’t even question where it had come from. It wasn’t until the sensation had slithered all the way around her thigh that she realized it wasn’t Semper licking her at all. Whatever it was, it was cold and clammy. Though it was tantalizing, it didn’t work up her leg toward her vagina, but instead wrapped itself around her leg. She caught her breath and looked down to find a thick tentacle wrapped around her thigh just as the appendage began to tighten and jerked her toward the breaker.

She screamed as she tried to scramble away from the water, but the unimaginable strength of the tentacle pulled her toward the ocean. Another tentacle shot out with lightning speed and grasped her around the middle as her hands clawed uselessly at the wet sand. Her screams of terror only faltered as she was pulled beneath the water.

***

Lost to the waves and wind, her cries never reached the ears of Semper and his family. Semper had been sure that Molly would come back to him, but when she didn’t he would take it as affirmation of his beliefs about the bird walk. One simply never knew; even some of his flock that he felt so sure were committed decided to go catch the bus and leave.

***

As the sea monster pulled the struggling girl toward his massive jaws, he noticed that it was another hippy girl. He had gotten a few hippies here lately, which was great; he preferred to eat organic.

New Headphones

NewHeadphonesWhen they tapped, the keys of Ein’s keyboard clacked away, approximately in time with the driving guitar riffs chugging through his new noise canceling headphones. He didn’t hear the rat-tat-tat of the keys as his fingers danced through the story, laying down words in their wake; just the music. The music was so crisp and clean it felt like if he were to turn around, he’d find Phil Lynott standing behind him. It really felt like someone was there, but of course, it was just a trick of the beautiful sound pouring out of the amazing, next-generation headphones that allowed nothing but the tunes down through his ear holes into his brain. He lived alone in his ground level, 1 bedroom apartment; nobody would be there.

He was finally hitting his stride. The first draft of this manuscript danced forward, pausing periodically for Ein to contemplate wording and wail on his air guitar before jumping back into the story with feverish abandon.

All of a sudden, Ein crashed into the end of the chapter and looked at the clock in the lower right of the screen with surprise. It had been hours. When he sat down to write, the room had been bathed by daylight trickling in through the windows, and he had been sweating in the hot, summer air. Now, though, a cool breeze wafted through the room which was only lighted by the harsh, white glow of the monitor painting Ein’s face and arms, stretching long, white smudges of light on the carpet on either side of him.

He looked around with a sigh, the screen still a glowing rectangle floating in the center of his vision. He couldn’t quite see what yet, but could tell that something was wrong with the room. His brows furrowed. He waited for his eyes to adjust, and slipped the headphones out of his ears. The music fell away, replaced by the gentle sound of the vertical blinds over the open window knocking together in the breeze. He stood in shock as he started to see that most of his stuff was gone. While he had been sitting there at work, the TV, stereo, game console, couch, and table had all disappeared. Turning on his heel, he stared at the front door, hanging open.

“How the fuck?” he asked aloud.

“Oh my god, I’ve been robbed,” he murmured as it hit him, his hand lifting to run through his hair. His cheeks started to burn with embarrassment as he realized that – worse than losing his crap – whoever it was had seen him playing the air guitar.



Listen to me red it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tedhx13i88cvx3u/NewHeadphones.mp3?dl=0/

Prayers to Therese

ThereseGif.GIF

I’ve decided to share another poem and folk song that I wrote to exist in the world of the science fiction novel I’ve been working on entitled Lyssa Jordan Robot Hunter (the other poem/ song combo can be found here). These aren’t about the story or characters for the novel, but exist in the background because even when we’ve push into the solar system and many of our daily lives are spent confined to tiny cans hurtling through space, hoping that the ship doesn’t break down, humans will still be writing music and poetry.

I’m not a musician and lack the musical ability to write down or recreate the melody in my head that goes with the following song. It’s folksy guitar. Feel free to just pretend it’s a poem, as I did in the attached audio file.


Prayers to Therese (the song):

Well she’s not very fast
and she doesn’t look nice
but she’s plenty reliable
you know, for the price
She doesn’t break down
and get’s me where I’m going
except for that once,
but I shouldn’t ‘ve been towing

So I thank my ship Therese for taking care of me
She’s a bucket of bolts, but allows me to be free
Just a few million more miles back to the earth
please hold on, baby, give it all that you’re worth
I’ll sweet-talk you, honey, all while you fly
’cause if you break down, I’ll probably die.

Life support’s decent
great for the money
as long as you don’t mind
that the air smells funny
From the time I docked drunk
The hull’s got a big dent
but it still blocks radiation
and the atmosphere doesn’t vent

So I thank my ship Therese for taking care of me
She’s a bucket of bolts, but allows me to be free
Just over a million more miles back to the earth
please hold on, baby, give it all that you’re worth
I’ll sweet-talk you, honey, all while you fly
’cause if you break down, I’ll probably die.

I lost a heat shield back there
The thing just fell off
and the engine started sounding
like a cougar with a cough
I’m starting to get worried
but I’m not dead yet
When I fly it’s a gamble
and it’s one hell of a bet

So I thank my ship Therese for taking care of me
She’s a bucket of bolts, but allows me to be free
Just a thousand more miles back to the earth
please hold on, baby, give it all that you’re worth
I swear I’ll fix you, honey, if we make it there alive
just, please hold together until after we arrive

The ship’s getting hot now
the coolant line’s got a block
The whole ship almost blew
but I fixed it with a knock
On our final approached
the drive coil starts to shake
Fixed it too, but I’m not sure
how much more the ship can take

So I thank my ship Therese for getting me home
She’s a bucket of bolts, but allows me to roam
It was a close call, Therese, but we made it back to earth
Thanks for holding on, baby, and giving it all that you’re worth
I sweet-talked you, honey, all while you flew
’cause if you broke down, I would have been through

Now with my ship Therese
all safe on the ground
The engine cools off
and she stops making that sound
she coughed and she wheezed
on the previous trip as well
but I think it’s gotten worse
I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to tell

So I thank my ship Therese for being ready to go
She’s a bucket of bolts, but she’s all that I know
It was close last time but we made it back fine
Because of you, baby, even if you did whine
I know I should be smart and these repairs I should do
but they can probably wait until this next trip is through

So I thank my ship Therese for being ready to go
She’s a bucket of bolts, but she’s all that I know
It was close last time but we made it back fine
Because of you, baby, even if you did whine
I know I should be smart and these repairs I should do
but they can probably wait until this next trip is through


Listen to me read Prayers to Therese here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ntvi9qdheaovs9z/PrayersToTherese.mp3?dl=0


Flowers (the poem):

When I’m away from earth
I dream that I’m in flowers
Onto my back I’ve fallen
And I stare into the sky

But when I am back home
After only a few hours
I’m attacked by pollen
And I feel like I might die

I go quickly to my ship
My view of home now sour
Into that can I’m crawling
And away from there I fly

But once away I forget
I swear the earth has powers
cuz I hear the flowers calling
And I let out a sigh


Listen to me read Flowers here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/99xq9v4ggq9tceo/Flowers.mp3?dl=0

You can buy crap decorated with the ship Therese as seen in the GIF at the top of this post. As usual, it can be found on RedBubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/imasillypirate/works/22760543-therese

2016 Unleashed Surf Dog Competition

On Saturday we went to the unleashed by Petco Surf Dog Competition.
(http://www.sandiego.org/events/sports/unleashed-by-petco-surf-dog-competition.aspx#Y3UjmvB7rWz4GeYH.97).

Just like when I went 2 years ago, I’ve put together a video.