The Architecture of the Other

May 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Architecture is a particular fascination for me. Not professionally; I’ve never had any dreams of becoming an architect. It’s merely a casual interest. Buildings and their design fascinates me, and I can wander around just about any neighborhood and be intrigued by the buildings there.

I’m most aware of my surroundings — and particularly, the buildings — when I’m a passenger traveling through a strange part of town or a city I’ve never been to. If I don’t have to pay attention to the way, I can relax and take in the alien landscape.

So it was when I found myself in Minneapolis last week, traveling for work. I’d never been to the city before, and imagined it to be some boxy, dull, cookie-cutter town. And it might have been, at one point, but then the aliens landed and began making Minneapolis over into a semblance of their home planet. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost Train

May 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

Down in the bowels of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport (or CVG, as all but the untraveled call it), there’s a vast stretch of hallway that connects Terminal 3 with Concourse B.

You can take the robo-tram and skip the entire length of it, or the moving walkways and breeze past it at a more leisurely pace. Or you can do what I did if you have the time, and walk the entire way.

I recommend the latter, particularly because the Cincinnati Museum Center has loaned the airport a number of exhibits.  « Read the rest of this entry »

This is just to say;

April 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

This is just to say that I exist.

I have a past, and a family, and love in my life, and a future.

And so do you. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to see that. Sometimes, our eyes get too dark, and it fills the mind. Sometimes, people lie to us, tell us we’re unworthy, ugly, wrong, bad. That that’s all we will ever be.

Sometime, we tell ourselves those lies. Don’t believe them.

The past is set; forgive yourself for it and leave it behind you. The present is a moment; enjoy it or endure it.

But the future — the future is a gift you haven’t opened yet. Don’t throw it away unopened.

Just a reminder, in case you need it.

Quaking

January 2, 2017 § 1 Comment

Greetings from Plagueville. Happy *cough* New Year.

It’s impossible to tell what kind of year 2017 is going to be, although given the way the election went, it’s not looking good.

2016 was a year of upheaval. The ground beneath me shifted and shook and crumbled, at times. Some quakes revealed gold beneath the cracked earth; others, sinkholes of unknown depths.

I’m still feeling the aftershocks of the previous year, and haven’t felt steady enough to take a measure of the next 12 months.

Starting  the year in an urgent care clinic hasn’t exactly filled me with optimism. The nasty upper respiratory infection that’s been going around lately struck me down in the dying light of the year. I swear, half my friends are sick with it or something similar; one is so ill, he bruised his ribs from coughing so violently.

It is the worst time for me to get sick. I’ve not shared an update on my dad recently, but he’s dying. That’s the long and the short of it. He couldn’t handle chemo—which, ironically, shrank the tumors—and the subsequent radiation treatments hit him even worse. He’s declining rapidly, and being cared for at home by hospice and my family. But he survived 2016, when so many did not. That’s not nothing.

Being ill means I can’t go visit him nor help out in caring for him. I’m a dull blade or a broken crowbar rusting in the corner; useless. My only role is to host the plague and try not to spread it to others.

For weeks, I cried every time I talked about or thought about my dad. Last week, I stopped crying and haven’t since. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Something may have broken.

There are other aftershocks from 2016. I’ll be losing good friends at work due to layoffs. My own duties will be changing. I’ll be moving my desk to the second floor, which may seem insignificant to anyone who isn’t a writer; we have rituals, and most of mine are based on location. It’ll take time to adjust to the tenor and frequency of the new space.

The company climate as a whole is changing; it was bought out by another firm, and we’re rapidly being switched over to new tools and processes. New names and faces to learn. So far, it’s been positive (except for the layoffs, of course); I hope that continues.

All ripples in the landscape; waves that started months ago and are spending their last kinetic energy on 2017’s new shore. But the tsunami is my dad.

I wish I could be completely optimistic for the new year. It’s off to a rough start, though, so I suspect it’ll be a monstrous bastard of a year.

Prove me wrong, 2017. Please, prove me wrong.


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A Cabin in the Hills

November 30, 2016 § Leave a comment

Today started gray, with a high fog hiding the tops of the cell towers. It’s clearing now, the clouds turning white and a pale blue sky peeking through the breaks between them. The temperature is unseasonably warm again; the thermometer has been manic for weeks.

(As I was writing this, Warren Ellis posted a Morning, Computer entry in which he said, “From my balcony, the clouds had reached down to wrap the spires of New York in their mist.” As always, he said it better than me.)

Yeats sits on my shoulder and whispers The Second Coming in my ear. I’ve been struggling to find something to say here that isn’t angry ranting or terrified dismay over the coming four years, and finding I have nothing beyond those two states—anger and fear. There’s enough of that already in the air, however, and I have nothing of substance to add that others haven’t already said better.

So, an update of sorts. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ink, Part 2

November 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

Last night, my wife and friends gathered at the Overlook in an attempt to drown their post-election trauma in fine bourbon and beer. And chase out some popped-collar dudebro who thought he was so fucking cool because he cast his vote for “Batman” as president.

I was not there.

I was next door, in point of fact. Reclined on a converted massage table, doped up on endogenous morphine while a heavily tattooed man repeatedly shoved needles into my flesh. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ink

October 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

The first frost rimed the roofs in my neighborhood this morning. A praying mantis clung to the porch wall, moving only a leg to let me know she was still alive when I prodded her with a tentative finger. Cold.

I haven’t seen many mantids this summer, and worried that landscaping changes had eliminated their colony. Seeing this poor, sluggish creature clinging to the brick delivered a mixture of cheer to know they were still around, and dismay that she would soon lay her eggs for the autumn and then die. I’ll remember her when I see her children in the spring.

But this isn’t about her. This is about something new and permanent. Something that will die only when I die.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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