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03/01 Direct Link
Two communities with some overlap, and the once-shy hausfrau, the homebody who's more comfortable with a book and a computer is getting out there, getting involved, meeting and interacting with real flesh-and-blood people.

Whence came this life change?

Kids've flown, husband is an ex, the newer of the two lovers is doing similar things and in her best chameleon color-change, the hausfrau mirrors the newer. She allows that it may be hormonal. Or ennui.

Regardless, it really began last year, stretching her boundaries, learning she really could do things on her own.

Learning she liked it.
03/02 Direct Link
When I bought the tickets yesterday, 80% of the theater was open, and it wasn't all that large of a stage. The tickets weren't very expensive. So I left it up to him. It was First Friday and we both enjoy seeing art, seeing people, hanging out.  I enjoy theater; he would be simply enjoying being with me.  He chose First Friday so that's where we went.

Turns out he knows the downtown quite well. We dodged knots of oddly dressed youth, stared uncomprehendingly at strange artwork, ate navajo tacos and drank tea at Joebot's.

I enjoyed myself.
03/03 Direct Link
Perhaps a monkeyhut. My cloth is long enough, with a little left over. Have to measure my tent again.

Agreed on the solar panels I'd want, and the battery. He may have a controller he would lend me.

He's a sweet, upbeat man. He said he's falling for me.  I told him it was just oxytocin and he laughed. I enjoy spending time with him so far.

I should finish the skirt, just to have the practice. Although I've committed to helping a new friend make octopus tentacles for Octopodia. Such strange traditions these local Burners have!

Sleep well.
03/04 Direct Link
Celebrate, the Eight Days of Octopoda!  Today was Day the First. Octopoda is essentially what you make of it - a random celebration of the octopus and an  experiment in organic growth of events.

There will be many fun and funny things happening but it probably will not be like most parties you attend. You do not need to own an octopus, be an octopus or even wear one, though you're not discouraged from any of those activities.

Tomorrow, Day the Second, from 8AM to 8PM, quietly contemplate. "What would an octopus do?"
03/05 Direct Link
It was the start of a fever, but without the heat. It was the prickling thorns of a headache, except that she felt it everywhere. She felt the bubbling roil of nausea, but her stomach was lined with lead.

Everything was out of place, yet nothing was disturbed, nothing wrong, not exactly.

Clenched fists against her brow, she sat motionless, willing her mind to blur into fog, into the dust of the playa.

Her efforts were futile; the sounds pierced her consciousness. She had no choice but to focus on her surroundings.

"Madame President?"

She gazed at the Secretary. "Yes?"

03/06 Direct Link
She watched with fascination. The Secretary's mouth moved without sound. Idly she mused; pudding. Other people have brains in their skulls, but she has pudding. How could she have been fooled all this time into believing she had had brains?  Pudding? No, sludge, thick and stinking, the sort one scrapes from a clogged sink drain. The sounds came in again, just a fragment.

"...no matter what you choose we must strike now!"

Reality began to creep in around the edges and through the seams. A crisis. Bombs? Missiles? No, not those. Not aircraft, either.

"The ships, Madame President," the agent spoke softly.
03/07 Direct Link
The illness dissipated like cobwebs, clarity returned as he spoke. Yes, the vessels in the sky over the Capitol. The official word was "aliens"; they agreed this would create the least public furor versus the reality. 

"Mr. Secretary, until we have a full report, we would be idiots to strike. That’s probably what they wish for us to do!" The President turned from the Cabinet member and spoke quietly to the agent, "Make sure the Chief Technologist is on hand and ready to give a statement to the Press." She did not wait but strode from the room, detail following.
03/08 Direct Link
As she headed to the surrogate Oval Office, she replayed the reasoning behind the decision from earlier in the day.

"We can't let people know this technology is viable and in the hands of unfriendlies." Homeland Security Director Pravensky continued, "Look, they grew up on Star Wars. Trust me, it'd be better for them to think those are little gray aliens!"

FBI Director Glover agreed. "My training is in Psy-Ops and behavioral analysis, Viv." She scowled at the use of her proper name. "People expect good outcomes when it comes to space invasions. We ran that scenario years ago."
03/09 Direct Link

President Vivian Corliss knew what Bob Glover was talking about; she and Bob had been rookies together before she went into politics. There was no good outcome for today, only minimizing damage. 

"I get that. The question now is how did they get it? Where did our security fail?"

"We're looking into that. It's conceivable our containment strategies suffered during continuing resolution and cutbacks ..."

"What else? Bob, there were some weapons ..."

"On it, Ma’am." 

That had been yesterday's conversation. The ominous ships had been hovering for 24 hours, but nothing else had happened. Negotiation attempts were in progress.

 
03/10 Direct Link

"Dude, world's about to explode. You're gonna wish you was still sleepin' it off."  Trevor opened bleary eyes to see Manny wiping the Jack off his mouth and setting the bottle back down.

"The fuck you talking about, Man?" Trevor didn't make a habit of passing out when he drank, but getting loaded made a lot of sense to him after Jen walked out.

“Aliens, Trev. Space ships, hanging in the sky. I ain’t shittin’ you!”

Manny’s expression was dead serious and the guy was not in the habit of bullshitting.

Trevor went outside. He cursed. That was his design.

03/11 Direct Link

A much more advanced version of his design, but the lines were unmistakable; he was certain the technology was at least partly his as well.

Trevor Granger, former CEO of Trelyn Technologies, Aerospace Innovention, now present-day farmhand, liked to think he had chosen his escape from high pressure into simplicity, where he could explore his artistic side, but the truth was mixed. The day the dark limo picked him up, taking him to unnamed offices where high pressure tactics convinced him to sell his company marked his true turning point.

How did his baby end up menacing this corn field?

side. He cursed. That was his design. 

03/12 Direct Link

"Situation?" The President got results with her calm, terse mannerisms, and it was this that helped launch her into this position.

"We've marshalled National Guardsmen, sent a few Marine birds to monitor, staged a few 'leaks' to the Press. Acting with caution, as ordered. No one has stepped up yet. Intel is dry. Could be terrorists ..."

"Speculation without backup?" Disapproval dripped in her voice. "People, we've had this for a full day. I need answers!"

Inwardly she thought, "Thank Dog I wasn't reading books to schoolchildren!"

"Where are the industry experts?"

"All marshaled in the press room, ma'am." 

03/13 Direct Link

She surveyed the major defense tech reps, scifi authors, filmmakers assembled. It was difficult to get straight answers, but one had to start somewhere. She listened with half an ear; she'd get the pertinent highlights distilled later, at this point she needed buzz words.  Press conference in an hour. Her personal aide hovered, cards in hand, makeup people behind.

"And we can sprinkle a few oozing plastics," a noted film director was saying, "Green ichor for blood, the works. Goons to keep the public away - conspiracy."

"Do it. But who's ready to talk about the technology?"

Silence.

03/14 Direct Link

"I'm sure, Tu. I'm looking at the drawings and they're so close to identical it," Trevor paused and listened to the voice of his old friend and former employee interrupting. "Yes, I kept copies , do you think I'd hand it all over and not keep…" He paused again as Tu spoke urgently. "They'd only arrest me if I let anyone else know about it! I don't give a crap about the terms, it was coercion anyway. We'd have been billionaires! Fucking government!" 

Trevor was pissed. He'd signed away his dream, and the fuckers let it get away from them. 

03/15 Direct Link

It was after the men in the clichéd dark suits departed, leaving Trevor a good deal wealthier but feeling slimy and used that others found and contacted him.

"I was revolutionizing energy," said one. 

"Food production," said another.

Trevor's was a space-and-planetary capable craft. The sell-out ruined tore apart his soul. Drugs, booze, sex, nothing gave him back his will to live, yet he was caught in a limbo where he couldn't even kill himself. So he dumped everything he had, and hitched a ride on the back of a migrant farmhand truck. That had been 5 years ago. 

03/16 Direct Link
(taking a wee break from the saga cuz I have too much going on at this point to stop and see where the story might be going. Will pick it up again soon, promise)

Arduino.  Lights. Styrofoam core, sculpted. Reuse junk mail. Paint. First need to sketch, then construct the basic thing. Need to consider the theme and how it ties in to both the Underworld thingie and the Fertility 2.0 thingie.  I'm sure I can come up with something creative.

Ultimately, though, the lighting and the articulation and the controller and the mechanicals of it. Ohyeah!
03/17 Direct Link
(still on hiatus from story)

The Spring Ball sounds like fun and here's me wishing you were in town again, so we could go together. Not going with either of the others, if I do go.  It'd be more fun to be by myself for this.  The one is too weird at these sorts of things, and not much fun. The other is probably okay about it, but, well, no. I don't want to share this with him, at least now.

Gotta hope I still fit into that nymph costume, though. 

Or stay home and lump.
03/18 Direct Link
Three possibilities came to Trevor’s mind. The first was that the government had implemented the technology, then some rogue had taken control and was threatening the government, for some personal gain or political leverage.  There were dire ramifications but was readily resolved.

The second, more alarming scenario involved a foreign government implementing, and now posing a world-impacting threat.  Political pressures and diplomacy could work for this.

The third: a variation of one or two, but the threat involved foreign terrorists. This was the most alarming of all, because it was a wild card.

The missing scenario was unthinkable: the US?

03/19 Direct Link

The media were on a feeding frenzy. Every talking head on network news, every talk show host and entertainer focused on the ships in the sky. Every conspiracy whackjob had spun and respun tales, including a few that were dangerously close to accurate – the agencies were handily keeping them in the noise, leaking psychiatric reports, drug arrests, as needed.

Nobody, however, was panicking. No unexpected sabre rattling from the local militias, no unusual runs on banks, ammunition shops or grocery stores, The financial world was capitalizing on the frenzy, as it does.

The plan was working.

03/20 Direct Link

“Any progress?”  Viv pinched the bridge of her nose to relieve the headache that was returning, but to no avail.

“Ma’am, the chatter has been confirmed, but our Negotiators have not succeeded in getting an acknowledgement.”  The senior attaché flipped through heavily scribbled legal pad pages.

“What does that mean?”

“It is who we thought it was. They have not responded to our attempt to open a dialogue.”

“What are our options?”

“Nukes.”  The commander broke in, almost shouting it. 

“What are our real options?”

“Ma’am, the commander is partially right, but not in the way he means it.”

03/21 Direct Link
The knife edges of the headache sliced around the corners of her brain, and she felt the dimming tendrils of fog creeping into the wounds, just as she had the day before. What the attaché was saying made no sense to her.

“Ma’am?”  Quizzical looks from the assembled staff told her they could see she was not right.

Curious, she thought. This happened yesterday.

“He said ‘Nukes.’ Just what else would he mean?” her voice sounded distant to her ears as she spoke.

“Same as with the so-called invasion, Ma’am.”

“We fake it, in other words.” As before, the pain suddenly stopped.

03/22 Direct Link
[Another break]

He confirmed my suspicion, that a last minute demand necessitated the change in plans. She "insisted," in spite of knowing he had had plans for two weeks and would not be able to see me for another two weeks.  Personally, I can't see living like that, but it's not my concern.

What still frosts me is the way he handled it with me. Didn't say "hey, a problem came up" and asked what I wanted to do or even for forgiveness, but instead just shoved me into a corner with new plans, hoping I wouldn't notice.

Pssht.
03/23 Direct Link
As you can well imagine, I am distracted and don't feel like continuing the story.  There are elements within it that can be used. What about Trevor (or is it Travis?) and how will he end up being utilized?  When will we learn who is behind the technology leak and the threat that has even President Viv's advisors scratching their heads?  What is the solution to containing the threat? Is it a threat, or is it implied?

I didn't go to a Tabernacle on Thursday, although there was one and it would have been fun for me to go.
03/24 Direct Link
I figured it could go one of of two ways. He could be tense and unhappy and maybe confrontational. Or he could be accepting, friendly, happy.  I doubted he would go nuts and I wasn't worried about it at any rate because there would be plenty of people around to help him out if he did. But tension wouldn't be good, either.

He arrived after we did. He hugged D.  Later they fell to chatting, mostly swapping stories, but at one point, he apologized for the assault a few years back.

I sat by him. I told him I could accept his presence at BMan.
03/25 Direct Link
It was E's idea, and his wish. He approaches things methodically. He wishes to meet the people who are important to me. When D2 was in town, E suggested a meeting. Knowing how cramped D2's schedule was, I suggested that perhaps another time would work out better. But D1 is here for a stretch.  And, well, D1 met J.

So lunch with E.  I had no concerns about the meeting. Both convey arrogance with their mannerisms and I had spoken of this with each of them in the past. 

They shook hands, though, rather than hug.
03/26 Direct Link
Travel. Not one week here, one week there. Travel for three solid weeks, and probably over one weekend. 

Well, they warned me it would get really busy and nasty.

Unless the Customer schedules the capability assessment for the latter part of that very week, I will plan to return to a different airport during at least one of those weekends. I hope the airline will let me make the change so that starting point is not my own city -- I'll have my company pay the difference, naturally.

And if they're later, well, I'll miss SMan. Pray that we're earlier.
03/27 Direct Link

“The government has to be working it, Trev,” Tu Pham was also thinking that his former boss wouldn’t be able to do much about it regardless. He no longer had standing in the Defense community nor the tech community, given his recent career path as an itinerant and ranting boozer. 

“The government,” Trevor’s voice dripped sarcasm, “is saying it’s little gray men. The government’s plan is to cover.. Standard. Operating. Procedure.

“No, we have to find out who’s behind it and expose the fuck outta this.”

Tu didn’t want to be here. But he owed his life to Trevor Granger.

03/28 Direct Link
He spoke with his wife. I don't have the details, and although in a gossipy way I am curious, I am trying to stay out of the details. I'm not his confidant, after all, although he seems to be using me thus. My blogpoast and my e-mail commentary provided the fodder he needed. My lack of availability in April added fodder, such that when he makes plans with me, he will by god get to keep them and she is not to expect him to change them at her whim.

So maybe he does have a spine in there.
03/29 Direct Link
I don't want to seem whiny. I knew this was coming. And when I started my new social experiences and planned some of these events, I knew that this would likely be an impact.

Now, however, that it has arrived I find myself overwhelmed with a panicky sort of resentment. How dare they? How do they dare insist I make all these trips across the country to sit there and look like I give a rat's ass about their stupid endeavor?  They're so mismanaged and cockeyed, it'll be a miracle if they win it. Waste my time?

But. I knew.
03/30 Direct Link
The steady, rapid tick of toenails on the tile floor told me it was Teegan. She moves that way. It started from the back door as she finished barking at vague wisps in the night air, and grew louder as she ticked down the hall. 

Her black shape zipped past the open bathroom door, then stopped, the ticking turned to a skeeeeee as she slid. She turned, looked in, gave with a doggy smile and a vague wave of her tail, then proceeded, slower, down the hall.

A busy life for a dog, this caring for a house.
03/31 Direct Link
He misses me. It has been long since he has been able to spend time with me, significant time.  I think of him. I think of him with fondness and warmth. I smile.  He can frustrate me, and bore me, but mostly he fills me with warmth.

Tonight he wrote that the thing he misses most in the two weeks since he was last able to be with me is the feeling he has, when he is with me, that he makes my life better.

Does he, though? In his way, yes.

Not the way you do, though.