tinhuviel: (Default)

My Uncle Michael was a true vulgarian, as John Cleese might say.  In fact, you could say it was he who put me on the road to having my own foul mouth.  But, when I first witnessed his temper combined with his expert swearing, it was kind of terrifying.

 

It happened about a month after Granny, Aunt Tudi, and I moved down to Duncan from Asheville in June of 1981.  We moved into the small house behind Uncle Michael’s and Janice’s house.  It would end up being the house I would live in until 2013.  Needless to say, I was already out of sorts, having been hijacked to this hot, flat, hellhole from my beloved Smoky Mountains, but I tried to keep it to myself.  But the day in question made me pull Aunt Tudi aside and ask her if there was no way we could just move back home, because I was fairly alarmed at Uncle Michael’s behaviour!

 

Uncle Michael had built a small workshop where he’d do his wood-working and other crafty projects.  He was a master construction worker, just a hairbreadth’s away from being an architect.  Had he been afforded the opportunity, he probably would have been famous for his designs.  So, anyway, he had a big project he was eager to finish and pushed himself to stay in the unconditioned, ill-ventilated building, running hot machinery and exerting himself in his work…in the Summer…in South Carolina.  The temperature that day had reached the mid-90s, with high humidity.  The air was thick, and your sweat just stuck to you like hot honey.  Not a good combination for the work he was doing.

 

We were all outside working in the garden when we heard the skill saw suddenly stop and the door to the shop burst open.  There stood a shirtless Uncle Michael, covered in sweat, his skin a rosy red, the hair on his head standing on end from his pulling it up.  His eyes looked like they were glowing, I kid you not.  He screamed at the top of his lungs, “MY GODDAMNED BRAINS ARE BAKIN’!”  and he stomped off into the house pretty much speaking in tongues from the level of expletives shooting out of his face.

 

Janice and the kids seemed not to really be bothered.  Janice rolled her eyes and said something about getting him some tea, and followed him into the house.  I just stood there looking after them with my mouth agape.  What had just happened?

 

After spending the first few Summers in SC without any air-conditioning, I came to understand exactly what had happened, because it started happening to me.  The heat and humidity can drive you plum crazy.  It feels exactly like your goddamned brains are baking, and the only way you can express your misery is to pretty much do what Uncle Michael did that day.

 

After a while, I got used to Uncle Michael and came to admire the hell out of him, even his potty mouth, which I eagerly adopted when nobody could no longer tell me I couldn’t.  We bonded over such language, over music like ELO, and our mutual love for harming ourselves with hot peppers every Sunday on our way to the flea market, to see which one could hold out the longest from the pain.  

 

My mind has been fraught with so many memories of him over the past couple of days.  I still can’t believe he’s gone, but I am so deeply grateful that I got to see him and tell him how much I love him on Tuesday.  Honestly, I believed I would never see him, Janice, or any of my family ever again.  Even in the midst of grief and uncertainty, I’m focusing on the things for which I can be grateful, and carrying on from there, step by step.  It’s all any of us can do.

 

...that, and try to prevent our goddamned brains from bakin’.

tinhuviel: (Torquemada)

I haven’t done one of these in about 10,000 years, so let’s get this show on the road.



This is all true. photo 1264091_10153348891685721_288267917_o.jpg1. Full name: Tracy Angelina Evans
2. Nicknames: Tin, Tinhuviel, George, Darth Shriek
3. Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina USA
4. Birthday: 10 September, 1967
5. Where Do You Live Now?: San Diego, California
6. Parent(s): Father Unit has passed.  Mother Unit is here in San Diego.
7. Sibling(s): ZERO
8. Looks: Better off invisible.
9. Favourite Animal(s): Anything non-human, except for millipedes and centipedes.  Like humans, they can go fuck themselves.
10. Favorite TV Show(s): Impractical Jokers, Better Call Saul



11. Favorite Kind(s) Of Music: Most everything but Country and Opera.
12. Favorite Movie(s): Sci-Fi, Unusual, Conceptual, Foreign
13. School: Some college, focusing on English and Veterinary Assistance
14. Future School: I’m too old for this question. The Chapel Perilous

15. Future Job: Testing new, effective sleep aids.
16. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: nah
17. Best Buds: I’m a bit of a hermit these days.
18. Favorite Candy: Milk Dud
19. Hobbies: Music, reading, writing
20. Things You Collect: Grudges, CDs, movies, moments in time.



21. Do You Have A Personal Phone Line: Yes
22. Favorite Body Part Of The Opposite Sex? The eyes and brain
23. Any Tattoos And Where Of What?: Red & Black Triskele on right hand, Green Shriekback logo on left hand, Mwanza Flat-headed Agama with green and blue hues instead of pinkish and blue.
24. Piercing(s) And Where?: not anymore
25. What Do You Sleep in?: clothing
26. Do you like Chain Letters: aw HELL NAW.
27. Best Advice: Reality is peripheral.
28. Favorite Quotes: Hope for the best, expect the worst. - Mel Brooks.
29. Non-sport Activity You Enjoy: sleep
30. Dream Car: A transporter



31. Favorite Thing To Do In Spring: Avoid the sun.
32. What’s Your Bedtime: Whenever I’m lucky.
33. Where Do You Shop: Wherever I can.
34. Coke or Pepsi: Cheerwine

35. Favorite Thing(s) To Wear?: Something loose that will allow me to blend into my surroundings.
36. Favorite Subject(s) In School: English and Creative Writing

37. Favorite Color(s): Green, Red, Black
38. Favorite People To Talk To Online: People with brains and a wicked sense of humour that has set them on the road to Hell.

39. Root-Beer or Dr. Pepper? Root beer

40. Do You Shave? I’m too old for that bullshit.




41. Favorite Vacation Spot(s): I don’t do vacations.  My favourite place to BE is England.
42. Favorite Family Member(s): Smidgen
43. Did You Eat Paint Chips When You Were a Kid? WHAT?
44. Favorite CD you own: Currently Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback
45. The ONE Person Who You Hate The Most: Going with an old standard here and saying Pat Robertson.
46. Favorite Food(s)?: Potatoes
47. Who Is The Hottest Guy or Girl In The World?: I have a very short list.
48. What Is Your Favorite Salad Dressing?: Bleu Cheese.
49. When You Die, Do You Wanna Be Buried or Burned Into Ashes? I don’t care, as long as I end up on Craggy Dome.
50. Do You Believe In Aliens?: Absolutely.








51. If You Had The Chance To Professionally Do Something, What would You Do? I’m already a Professional Misanthropist.
52. Things You Obsess Over: Various artists, ideas, philosophies, theories, general weirdness
53. Favorite Day of the Week: Don’t bloody care.
54. An Authority Figure You Hate: The Feudal Mistress still tops the list.
55. Favorite Disney Movie: Bambi
56. What Is Your Favorite Season? Winter
57. What Toppings Do You Like On Your pizza? Cheese, with extra cheese, and cheese on the side.
58. Do You Like Your School Food Itself (As In The District Food): I never ate it.
59. If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live? Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
60. Favorite Thing(s) To Do On Weekends: Sleep, if I can accomplish it.







61. Favorite Magazine(s): Don’t have one.
62. Favorite Flower(s): White rose

63. Favorite Number(s): 5

64. Favorite Ice Cream flavor(s): Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy

65. What Kind of Guys/Girls Are You Attracted to?: Dangerously intelligent, beautiful, talented, and hilarious.

66. What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment? I inadvertently introduced myself to someone as his wife.

67. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself What Would It be? I would be fearless.

68. Do You Eat Breakfast First Then Brush Your Teeth or Brush first ten eat breakfast: breakfast first.

69. Favorite Time of Day: Whenever I get to sleep.

70. Can A Guy and Girl Be Just “Best Friends?”: Why not?



71. Do You Ask The Girl/Guy Out Or Do You Wait For Them To Come To You?: I don’t go there anymore.

72. Do You Mind Paying For Sex? I never would.

73. What’s The Most Important thing In Someone’s Personality: Sentience

74. Do you have a pager or cell phone? Cell

75. Favorite Sport: Flambodious Butt-walking

76. What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received? Love

77. How Long Did This Letter Take You To Finish?: Not very long.

78. What Did You Listen To While Completing It?: Electric Light Orchestra’s Alone in the Universe.

79. Are you or would you like to be married in the near future (next 5 years)? NEGATIVE

80. Don’t u just hate how psychics never win the lottery? I hate it more than I don’t win the lottery. I hate psychics, especially the ones who claim to talk to your dead relatives.  They’re grifters who should be drawn and quartered.  The End.

tinhuviel: (Bellatrix)

I am kind of freaking out right now.  At the age 5, I was enrolled in 1st grade, at which time I was swiftly and truly schooled by my classmates.  I was not normal.  Period.  I wasn't allowed to dance to music like I'd always done before, without getting called names and being laughed at.  My teacher gave me a time out for not being able to recite the Lord's Prayer, and when we were supposed to play games that called for teams, there was team A and team "Shit, she's the only one left."  It was apparent, in no uncertan terms, that nothing about me was normal.  And since my family moved around a lot, I wasn't normal at any school, so it had to be me, not them.  I was given the advice to ignore it and they'd eventually go away, but they didn't. This ended, for the most part, while I was working at BMG, when I finally lost it on some asshole at J Records I was forced to work with.  I had one more incident of bullying behaviour just yesterday, and I reacted viciously. To be honest, I can't remember everything that happened there, but I think I just on that thin line that separates verbal confrontation from physical altercation.  Thirty-two (non-consecutive) years of bullying boiled up in my body, and I just fucking exploded.  But I'm not here to talk about bullying.  It seems I've done a lot of that since I've been on the Internet, and finding others like myself.  The Island of Misfit Toys is a real place on Teh Intarwebz, located a little further north-west of Dr. Moreau's Island, and separated from Fantasy Island by the Sea of Dreams (yes, we can see y'all from from our winders).  Enough of that, though.  Let's get down to bidness.

I'm here to talk about feeling paranormally different since waking up on the 14th.  The doctor said he removed 17 pounds of excess skin, fat, and other crap that wouldn't have ever otherwise gone away.  I'm talking about hearing the nurse softly say in my ear, "breathe deeply", and then I woke up with parts of my body that have always been part of me since I began to gain more weight than other kids my age, at four years.  The midsection of my stomach is mostly flat, but the lower part, the part that hangs down to your thighs when you stand, and makes you think that you have no lap whatsoever when you sit down - - well, it is gone.  Totally fucking gone.  Working on my computer has even changed, because my stomach was my prop, so I could work on my writing, promotions, and blogging while Smidgen curled up on my chest or upper abdomen.  Now, I'm having dificulty trying to find a decent computer spot, so I can write this.  I feel as though, if I were back east with the friends I have, I would hear them whisper about me not being me, reinacting one of the earlier scenes of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

On 14 September whilst waiting to be rolled back to the operating room, I was lying on my back with my elbow and hands touching the mattress, or I had my fingers interlocked on my midsection, and my elbows just dangled at each side.  If I wanted to put my arms at my side, then my elbows could touch the mattress, but my fingers wouldn't meet.  I couldn't do both and I never could.  It was just a fact of life for me, even after the gastric bypass surgery in 2004. Now, my elbows can rest on the bed and my fingers can interlock at the same time.  The Mother Unit was amused that my discovery of this amazed me so much.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but when you've never been able to do it before, it's kind of a thing.  The effect on my lower back was nearly instantaneous.  A lot of that pull is gone, which was the main purpose for asking to get the procedures in the first place.  Total success, right there.  Despite currently feeling as though I have been thrown into the Iron Maiden at an Iron Maiden concert, my back already doesn't hurt as much, and I'm hoping the pain will continue to wane as I heal.  I can feel the difference in my knees as well.

Psychologically, the immediate effect has not been as positive as I would have liked, but that's not the doctor's fault. Everything he did was exactly the procedures he signed on to do, and he did them expertise.  The thing for me, though, was that I went to sleep in the body I'd had for around 32 years, and I woke up a stranger to myself.  I'm not doing as well as perhaps I should in respect to mentally catching up to the physical tranformation.  There are differences you would never think of, such as, seeing my own "cho-cha" (thank you, Missy Elliott) for the very first time in my entire life.  Only a few hours after the surgery has over, I learned the women's cho-chas were supposed to look like this.  It is still quite a surprise, because most laypeople or medical personnel would never think that such a change would be shockingly phantasmagoric.  It's as though the doctor pulled everything up.  From now on, whenever I see some crazy person in the park talking down her/his pants, I'm going to wonder if they had a panniculectomy and abdominoplasty.  Such a shock to the visual senses is bizarre and unsettling.  On the other hand, I might be that homeless crazy person taking to her own privates sooner than later.

I was told that the surgery took hours because the doctor wanted to be as thorough as possible while he was working. Based on some of the surgery pictures he'd shown me during our consultation, I have no doubt he was thorough.  In fact, I think he did more than was authorised, probably because he knew I might need it down the road. I was already dead to the world, so why not? After a little bit of online research, what little time I've been online, I'm thinking that that extra something was some liposuction, considering I have two balls that catch the bloody water draining out of me, and bruises that just won't quit on my lower stomach, thighs, and cho-cha. Everything is relatively level now.  I had fatty bits on my back that are gone now, too. After all this heals I will appear to be, more or less, like someone carrying a few extra pounds, but nothing people would gawk or throw vomit fat jokes in her direction.

My entire dieting life, I was told to chant the mantra "there's a thin person inside me that yearns to get out!"  I was conditioned to dislike everything about me that anyone could see, while striving to look like the ones who are always at the front of the line to get their kick in before the day over. I was filled with a hell of a lot of animosity by the time I was approved for gastric bypass surgery, so much so that I had before and after pictures taken in the event someone told me I looked good.  My plan was to whip those pictures out and ask them what they thought now!  Over a time, especially when Aunt Tudi's health started to decline, I just grew weary of my verbal fight with society, and just gave up on avenging the evil so quantumly ingrained in us all by this mockery of our exsistence.

But, the other day, I was told it was good to see me, a "much thinner" me.  I didn't say anything then, because I've been feeling like every hell imagined in every dimension that could currently be calculated by any Physics Academic, and to be perfectly frank, I did not want to be in a tiff, or what have you.  Now, I'm a tad concerned that, in my heart, I know I may throat punch anyone who has ever known or seen me prior to the surgeries, but still comes out with that programmed bullshit, especially if they refer to having surgies to assist me lose the weight that was killing me as "taking the easy way out."  I am not above going all Jack Torrance with an ax on any motherfucker who crosses that line, and thanks to those oh so very easy surgeries and recoveries that were alllll done for cosmetic reasons and nothing else, I'm lighter, limberer, and enthusiastically motivated to shut you up by ripping your jaw bone off your stupid brainless head and feeding it to Toby. Strangers who do not know me will get you one free pass but, if a stranger proving how much of a douche nozzle they are by judging another within my earshot may very well end up in an intimate relationship with my shoes and elbows.  I haven't forgotten all the Kung Fu I was taught, and I'll probably be able to do them better now.  You can be my practice.

The flesh a person is in, is not that person, but it can affect them in unimaginable ways.  I feel like a stranger in a strange land now.  I can't quite grasp the extent of my aura.  Toby caught a glimpse of mm the other day, and barked at me as though I were a stranger.  I'm wondering how Smidge will handle seeing her new old bed, unimpressed that it no longer has the cushioning she requires.  I can get around things a bit easier, but still move like I need to squeeze, and that makes me look like I'm up to no good.  I had some of these issues with the first surgery, but the effects came much more slowly, so my adjustments were more easily accepted.  This time, not so much.  Not even after the gastric bypass did I have a figure.  Now that I do, I don't look right.

But just because I'm struggling doesn't mean I've lost one iota of my venom for humanity as a whole.  Once built, or stolen, I can just shoot my lethal laser gun at the global urban centers while wearing some dumbass latex cat suit.

FUCK THE WORLD


fuckyou.gif



Love, Tin

PS: If you find any spelling or grammatical mistakes in this, chalk it up to unbridled anger combined with full body pain. Thank you.

The Hand

Sep. 1st, 2014 12:02 pm
tinhuviel: (NOT SAFE)

I'm not certain how old I was, but it had to be somewhere near the age of three. We were living in a small single-wide trailer somewhere in Buncombe County, North Carolina, the Parental Units and I. I'm thinking this was when the Mother Unit had a second shift job. Maybe it was a third shift. Not clear on that. What I do remember for certain is it was the Father Unit who took care of me at night, and put me to bed.

One night, we were sitting on the couch in the living room, and he was telling me stories, when a sound came from outside. The Father Unit said it was probably raccoons or deer, as the trailer was right next to a large wooded area. He got up, opened the front door, looked around, then stepped outside. He wasn't gone for long and, when he returned, he said he couldn't find anything. So we went back to story time.

But not long thereafter, something that sounded pretty large bumped the outside of the trailer, near a window. The Father Unit went to the window and peered out into the darkness but, again, he didn't see anything. He didn't draw the curtains after inspecting the outside. He returned to the couch and was about to start the story again, when we heard a loud bang from the direction of the window. And there on the window was a huge hand made up of what looked like twisted roots. It was light beige in colour and was so large, it took up most of the window pane.

I was startled, but the Father Unit was stricken with fear. He began to scream. When he did that, my own fear exploded, and I screamed with him. We sat on the couch, screaming and clinging to one another, staring at this hand as it moved against the window.

I don't remember anything after that. The only thing that I can recall is, I woke up the next morning in my bed, and the Father Unit scouted the entire area around our home to try to find out what it was that came "knocking" the night before. He found nothing.

Years later, when I saw The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, I was reminded of the hand when I saw Treebeard. No, I'm not saying what scared the Father Unit and me that night was an Ent. I'm trying to provide a reference to give an idea of what the hand looked like. The similarity is striking.


Beezers

Aug. 5th, 2014 05:55 pm
tinhuviel: (Red and black alien)

About the same time I was experiencing the terror of the shadows in the hall, I began seeing or hearing (or both) something that I called “beezers”.  As I lay in my crib, I would look up, thinking I would see swarms circling over my head.  I could hear them.  They sounded like a swarm of bees.  I don’t recall anything bad ever happening to me, and I’d never before been stung, so I wasn’t afraid of bees.  Actually, I got stung for the first time just a few months ago.  I’m still not afraid of bees.  Anyway, hearing the buzzing and sensing the swarm around me, I would go into full-on panic attacks that often interrupted the Parental Units’ and Aunt Tudi’s rest.  


I would try to tell them what was going on, at least as how I perceived it, but not being able to talk very well, all I could really say is that they were called beezers.  I clearly recall my horror that I was in a room alone with these things, whatever they were.  


As the years marched on, my last conscious beezers experience was sometime around the age of seven.  I convinced myself that it was my overactive imagination, and carried on as if the whole thing was a bad dream, or a night terror.  


But, when I read Whitley Strieber’s Communion, I was taken aback by his assertion that people would often have alien encounters as children first, and those encounters would engender in the contactees being fascinated with owls, deer, and insects.  A little later on, when I saw the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode about the nanites, watching those tiny robots swarm threw me right back into my childhood.  All this was going on at the same time I began fashioning the bones of The Vampire Relics, and I have no doubt in my mind that I dubbed the worldwide Vampire community “The Great Hive,” because the link between Incubi/Succubi, combined with my research on Lilith (AKA The Night Monster), and beezers was formed before I even knew it had done so.


The closest thing to what the beezers displayed to me is the murmuration of starlings, behaving as though they are part of a hive mind.  Their stark blackness against the sky are highly suggestive of the tiny black swarms over my crib.  


black_sun_teams


Were they real?  Were they a product of a very young imagination that did not yet have the proper words to describe what it had seen?  Were they what my mind decided to fabricate to gloss over memories of alien contact?  Or were they just a hallucination produced by a brain that may have had, or still has, chemical imbalances?  


I doubt I’ll ever know.


The only thing I do know is that almost 40 years after my last beezer experience, I am still deeply unsettled by their memory.

The Crib

Aug. 4th, 2014 05:12 pm
tinhuviel: (Cadmus Ink)

I think I remember something that happened when I was still in my crib.


I remember standing against the crib, my hands wrapped around the protective slats/bars/whatever they’re called.  It was night, and it was dark in my room.  But something, or someone, was walking down the hall to the room I was in, and I was terrified.  I think I was in hysterics, because I recall crying during this period, but another associated memory indicates that I could have been laughing, that this was a game my Parental Units were playing with me.  I need to ask the Mother Unit if she remembers doing anything like that.


This is all the memory I have of it.  I don’t recall seeing the Units or having contact with anyone at all.  I just remember seeing the shadows in the hallway and on the wall, and I was thrown into a panic.  Was it a night terror?  A dream?  A false memory of something else that my logical mind has been unable to properly process?


I don’t know.


The only thing of which I am certain, is that the experience was bone-chilling and has stuck with me for going on 45 years.


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Drifting

Aug. 2nd, 2014 12:38 pm
tinhuviel: (Default)

It is cloudy today.  I don’t know how long it will last, so I’m looking out the window occasionally to enjoy the lack of sun.  Smidgen and Toby are here with me on the bed.  I am rifling through a couple of old Shriekback articles I need to transcribe, whilst following various news sources concerning the chaos on several continents, mainly the Gaza tragedy and the Ebola outbreak. But I’m also taking mini-breaks from all that to aggressively seek out stuff that will make me laugh.  Laughter is sometimes the only thing that will convince me I’m going to make it through the day without killing myself or someone else, or both.


Some new health issues have come up, but I’m not going to delve into that until I see my doctor on the 7th of August.


As is evidenced in my post last night, I am still writing.  I don’t know when The Augury of Gideon is going to be released, but I promise it is complete and ready, for anyone who might be interested.  Also, I started a Facebook page for The Vampire Relics.  Please click the title to go see and join up.  I’d love to have you.


For the past few days, I’ve been missing Todd a great deal.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over losing him, and I do worry about him a lot, given what I assume to be some serious emotional upheaval in his life this past year.  One of the things I liked about coming out to California was to have a better chance of seeing him again, since he’s also on the West Coast.  It’s safe to say that won’t be happening.


Also, I’m deeply frustrated in regard to helping people effectively use the power of the Internet that is right at their finger-tips.  I am by, by no means, a computer or network expert, but I’ve dabbled, explored, and worked damned hard to learn what I have over the past 15 years, and I would like to think that my efforts will not be vain, but I’m beginning to think I’ll always be the one to “set the time on the VCR”, so to speak.


Janice is finally getting her knee replacement, I think next week.  She was wonderful at taking care of me after mine, so I feel a bit guilty not being there for her.  She said she’d be okay, and she does have Johnna, Michael, and the kids.  Blake is going to be staying with Uncle Michael during her recovery.  I hope everything goes as smoothly for her as it did for me.  I know her doctor.  He was Aunt Tudi’s orthopedic doctor, so I have no doubt she is in very good hands.


I am thinking about committing to “paper” some accounts from my childhood that haunt me to this day.  There are four, three of which have to do the paranormal or alien engagement, and one that I think was the Mother and Father Units fucking with me when I was in my crib.  When I sufficiently gathered my thoughts about that, I’ll begin posting about them.  I need to see if anyone else has ever experienced anything similar.


The Mother Unit is going to Costco later on, and I need to go with her.  It’s time to restock cat litter and the fur-kids’ vittles.  I don’t know what she and Matt have planned for tomorrow.  Maybe we’ll go drumming, if the timing is right and we all feel like it.  It would probably do me a little bit of good to get out of the house, at least as long as the sun isn’t trying to incinerate me.  It’s not that it is hot, but that is almost always present.  I feel like an ant under a magnifying glass.



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tinhuviel: (Luthien Tinuviel)
The song is playing on my iTunes right now. It takes me back to an Alban Hefin where I followed a young harpist out into the countryside of the night to steal kisses and reveal secrets. All I could feel were his calloused fingers entwined in mine, his gentle Scottish lips touching my own Welsh ones. Under a canopy of stars that seemed endless from lack of electric light anywhere, we trod the damp meadows and listened to the song of the Earth as she whispered her blessing to us, her children.

I wanted to dance for him, sing for him, make him mine forever. And, for that one sublime interlude in time, he was mine forever.

Now, all I have is the song and the memory...and a longing for a dream that was only that ~ a Celtic Dream.
tinhuviel: (Mouth of Sauron)
Before there was The Pit, there was a department at BMG Entertainment called Quality Assurance. We were a very small department, comprised of Rick (the Classic Rocker Dude), Timothy (one of my best friends of all time), and myself (weirdo Gothic chick). Both Rick and Timothy were proficient guitar players and knew a lot of the songs from the 70s. Rick was also keen on learning guitar licks from modern songs that he liked. One of these songs happened to be "More than Words" by Extreme. Rick could play that song and keep the beat just like the guy in the video. I was amazed.

Now the QA department was just that. We inspected records, tapes, cds and, later on, video games before BMG decided it wasn't keen on quality, just quantity. That's why it exists today and wasn't swallowed up by Sony, which is about to go kaput because of similar beliefs. To work in QA, you had to be experienced musically and have a very good ear in order to identify unwieldy pops, ticks, and other undesirable sounds behind the music. It was a gift and a skill all rolled into one. Since our department was the only one that required musical background, we were tapped to be the house band of sorts at the yearly horribleday party put on by Jerry Springer look-a-like Dan Stopfer (that's not an insult as I think Jerry Springer is a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love).

For the majority of November and all of December, the three of us would have jam sessions in the QA room. They started out being really diaphanous, none of us really knowing what exactly we wanted to do until we honed it down to a few songs that would wow our coworkers. We were also tapped to perform one original song, basically an established song with different lyrics about the job. The only song I can remember from then is "DMI - Reject," based on the song "Cocaine." I was the one to whom it fell to write the filk lyrics since I'd gotten myself into trouble in the past writing songs about BMG/RCA. One was based on "Hotel California" and it was called "Warehouse RCA." The other was for "House of the Rising Son" and was entitled "House of the Broken Disc." I was in some serious trouble for that one.

Anyway, one of the songs we did really well was "Bohemian Rhapsody." It wasn't a practiced song either, it just sort of happened and we harmonised perfectly. Same thing for "More than Words," which will always have a special place in my heart. I sang the hell out of that song and the harmonies were absolute golden. I'll never forget those parties, one in particular where there were only 7 of us left, all of us sitting on the floor, 'cos we were too drunk to stand, microphones in our hands, singing like our hearts were gonna burst with joy. I often think of those days with great fondness and was reminded quite suddenly of those days gone by when "Bohemian Rhapsody" came on the radio.

It makes me want to call up Timothy and see if he wants to get together just to sing.
tinhuviel: (Cadmus)
I never go through a Thanksgiving without thinking of the return letter Todd and I got in the mail while still working for the Readers Digest division of BMG. It was written phonetically by an obviously non-native English speaker. I remember it perfectly and transcribe it here for you.

I do not laik musick in mai laif. I hef beth laif in trable. -- Teng You

We were working overtime that night and spent a good thirty minutes of BMG's precious time slumped on the desk in literal hysterics. Yes, we had to wipe out eyes. Or..yes, we hed to waip owr ai's. That was in 1991 I think because I recall working a lot of overtime to help Todd with returns letters during the time "Walk on the Ocean" was popular. Oh, and speaking of "Walk on the Ocean," it was also during working overtime that I called the radio station to request that song, not knowing a contest was going on. I ended up being the correct caller and winning two tickets to a male strip show. All I wanted was my freakin' song. I gave the tickets to a coworker and ended up buying the Toad the Wet Sprocket album.

Another odd memory of those days was the BMG open house in 1988. Todd and I were grabbed by this person in an elephant costume and we had a picture taken. We never found out who was in the costume and, years later, still got a little freaked out by it. "Attacked by Furries!" on Fox News at 10!

Why do these memories flood forth now? Perhaps it's because I'm high on coffee. Perhaps it's because I got a good night's sleep for once in forever. Perhaps it's because I miss Todd and miss happier days. Perhaps it's all of the above combined with the fact it's Tengsgiving. I often wonder about the person who wrote that letter. How can you not laik musick in your laif? I cannot imagine.


On a wholly different matter, [livejournal.com profile] luvthyjoker showed me the trailer to the upcoming film Daybreakers. While I'm excited about seeing this (Sam Neill as a Vampire, hello?), I'm also a little ticked off because they're using a concept that I use in The Vampire Relics: the idea of humans as blood herds for Vampires (or at least for Cadmus). Just last night I touched upon this again as I wrote furiously for NaNo:

Someday, though…someday, he would be strong enough to overcome her and feed her to her own chalice. And then he would take the Great Hive and make it his personal herd, feeding on the Vampires one after the other until the vermin were removed from the planet forever. And then he would start on the humans, feeding them to the chalice, transforming their blood and drinking his fill. The Earth would be his hunting ground and woe would be uttered by every living thing at his behest.
Now, I've got tons of notes that pre-date this movie by a good twenty years, so I'm not changing a damned thing, they can't make me! Besides, it's not like the world is full of Vampires. It's just this one lone black hole of a Vampire who plans to devour the entire planet someday. Same basic concept, different direction. And that's only his aim, anyway. We still aren't sure if he'll ever succeed.
tinhuviel: (Bad Hair Day)
Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, like 400 years ago... No, I'm kidding. It was October 1983...and the Literary Club and the Drama Club were collaborating, as we so often did, on a Halloween project. We decided that we would write and perform a mock talent show featuring various monsters from classic monster movies. The set-up was that the Literary Club would write the turgid talent contest and the Drama Club would perform it. Of course, there were some cross-overs because some of the Dramas were good at writing and some of the Lits were good at performing.

The show was written pretty quickly, but we had issues with the ending. Since it was decided early on the folks who paid to see the show wouldn't know that it was a mock talent contest, we didn't want a recognisable student to actually win. So we all stayed after school one day and brainstormed. And I came up with this idea. Why not have the Invisible Man do a number and end up winning the contest? The bouquet of roses could be set on the empty seat where he's supposed to be sitting and everyone will be happy with the results. Everyone thought that was a dandy idea, but they were curious as to what sort of number the Invisible Man would do.

"Well, why don't we pull one of the mics backstage and have the Invisible Man tap dance to 'Me and My Shadow?'" I asked. The idea was another winner, but no one knew how to tap dance.

Except for me. When I was even younger than high school age, I used to play with my cousins' tap shoes, putting them on my hands and tapping away to old Big Band Jazz tunes on the record player (if you don't know what that is, youngsters...it's now a musical instrument used for scratching in many Rap songs). I couldn't tap dance with my feet to save my life, but I was a tapping fool if you put the shoes on my hands. I explained this to the club members and they all looked at me like I was a fruit loop...and rightfully so. I mean...who tap dances with their hands? At any rate, the consensus was that the Invisible Man would perform a tap dance number and subsequently win the talent contest. And I would be the Invisible Man.

The night of the big show came and everyone who'd paid for a ticket arrived with an overwhelming sense of antici........pation. The proceeds for the show were going to some sort of charity, I forget which, but we weren't conning the public even though some of us were tempted. I'm not naming names. We had Dracula singing a Rock song, Frankenstein doing a dramatic reading (this was before Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein...we should have sued SNL), the three Witches (and I was one of them) doing a suggestive dance around their cauldron, and a number of other humourous monster encounters for our Halloween talent contest. The final contestant was the Invisible Man.

The set up was this: we'd taped a live mic to the floor backstage and piped the song "Me and My Shadow" through the sound system in the auditorium. I was sitting straddled in front of the mic with my cousin's tap shoes on my hands. As soon as the music started, I began to hand dance, tapping away like Mr. Bojangles from Hell. The effect was that the audience could hear someone tap-dancing, but the stage appeared to be empty. They loved it.

When the winner was announced, the public was in full agreement and actually gave a standing ovation when the flowers were brought out and placed on the Invisible Man's lap. I was backstage laughing my butt off. Nobody but my fellow Lits and Dramas ever knew who the Invisible Man was and they never questioned my mad tap-dancing skillz after that magical night when my hands got busy on "Me and My Shadow."

Maybe I should take this act to America's Got Talent so I could be laughed off stage, because I'm certain I would be.

So yeah...me and the Invisible Man? We're tight. Totally.

Really Old

Mar. 8th, 2009 07:46 pm
tinhuviel: (Bellatrix)
I just read a comment in the [livejournal.com profile] lost_tv community about people born in the 70s being really old. It made me want to dig my own grave and shovel the dirt in on myself. I was born in 1967.

  • My first LOST was LAND OF THE LOST.

  • My first Battlestar Galactica involved Centons, Daggits, Space Discos, and clunky toaster Cylons that said in monotone machine-speak, "By Your Command."

  • I was there when the Republicans began their unholy alliance with the Dominionists in a full-on attempt to take over the country. I saw the results of their efforts ruin this country in eight years' time.

  • I made diary entries about the Iran Hostage Crisis.

  • I celebrated the Bicentennial of the US by doing the bump with my best friend to the tune of "That's the Way I Like It (Uh-huh, Uh-huh)" by KC and the Sunshine Band.

  • I saw the death of New Wave and Heavy Metal with the airing of one little song: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. I still haven't gotten over that one.

  • I saw Star Wars Episodes 4,5, and 6 in the movie theatres before Lucas had a chance to dick around with them digitally.

  • I was 5 when I had to tolerate my young cousin going berserk each day when re-runs of Adam West's 'Batman' came on TV. I was 11 going on 12 when the one who'd grow up to be the best Joker ever was born on the other side of the world. I was 21 when the best Batman was realised by Michael Keaton.

  • I remember Gerald Ford tumbling down the steps of Air Force One.

  • I remember John Lennon being killed moments after it happened. I was listening to the radio when they interrupted "Games People Play" by Alan Parsons Project to give the news. They then played "Woman" by John Lennon and I wept like my heart would break.

  • I saw the Challenger explode on live TV. I hadn't missed a shuttle launch since the trial run of the Enterprise. I haven't watched a launch since.

  • I remember when Pop Rocks used to be called Space Dust and it came in a powder.

  • My parents were First Generation Hippies and my mom still lives that Life.


There's so much more I could add to this if I didn't feel so old and decrepit right now. So screw it. I think I'll go take an old person's nap.
tinhuviel: (Todd and Tin)
Continued from my 16 August post, here's another portion of my memory collage.



Clicking on the picture links to a larger version that's more easily viewed. Let's begin with the elephant, and go deosil.

In 1988, with the opening of the music distribution warehouse, BMG celebrated by hosting an open house/family fun day. The warehouses were open to employees and our families, and there were many festive activities like hot air balloon rides, the dunk tank, and furry interaction. One such furry took a liking to My Friend Todd and me. This picture of us, taken with the mystery elephant, clearly shows our discomfort at being targeted by the cutesy pachyderm. The elephant addressed both Todd and myself by our names but, to this day, neither of us know who was inside the costume.

Three years later, BMG hosted another family fun day. The photos directly above the one of Todd and me are of us in our respective booths. Todd is bent over fetching balls for his target practice booth and I am later sighted in the same target practice booth. Us "veterans" were pegged to volunteer for service throughout the day and, as usual, Todd and I were pretty much a tag team. I believe Todd was a bit more enthusiastic by all this company loyalty than I was, but he was always more dedicated to the company than I. Check the sunglasses I have on here. I'd had this particular pair since '88, two years before becoming enslaved to the Shrieks, just so's you know, [livejournal.com profile] falkenna.

The little girl in the red and white striped shirt, to the left of us BMG revelers, is my cousin Johnna, aged four if memory serves me. When she was a tot, Johnna's nickname was Caspar because she was so very pale and ghostly. Her head was even shaped like Caspar the Ghost's at the age of one or so. Bless her heart. Now, she's darker than I am, having lot of freckles and a healthy relationship with Sol.

Shifting to the right is a photo taken on my high school graduation night of two of my three best friends in high school, Benjamin and Sandra. That night was the last night I saw Benjamin. I believe he's a farmer in Kentucky now, which is what he wanted to be (a farmer, that is, in any state, not necessarily Kentucky). It'd be good to see both him and Sandra again, although I doubt that will ever happen. Other graduation pictures include me and Andy there. And that picture in the middle of this JPEG features Sandra, Andy, and me on New Wave/Punk day. Sandra did her own makeup for this most auspicious day, but Andy was my personal creation. He looked so much like Boy George it was ridiculous, so I had tons to work with that fine morning. New Wave/Punk day was probably my favourite day in all of high school.

Beneath the New Wave picture is a picture of Todd and me taken the night I accompanied him to a black and white dress AIDS fund raiser. I drank my very first Screaming Orgasm that night and just one got me dog drunk and acting stupid. My inebriated gushing over seeing the Gay couples kissing mortified Todd so much, he threatened to never take me out again. As he would say, "Good times, good times." And, finishing off this portion of the collage are more photies of Todd and me, and a final picture of my best friend in high school, Sandra circa 1984.
tinhuviel: (Darth Geek)

Over a decade ago, I created a collage of some of my favourite photos of my favourite people and animals. Fastidiously gluing the scissor-sculpted photies together, I placed them on a poster board covered with tie-dye tissue paper, and I decorated my office wall in Quality Assurance and, later, my cube wall in Special Orders Services with my memories made manifest. It may be a bit redundant to take pictures of pictures, but I don't care. It's my journal and I can be redundant if I want to.

What I've done is take pictures of the collage in sections so I can write about the images featured in each picture. Over time, I plan on documenting the entire collage, starting with today's post.

Beginning on the left-hand side of the image, there’s a black and white photo of the Father Unit, circa 1978-79.  If memory serves, this was a press photo from when Dad was starting his acting career.  Mind, it was only local theatre, in the Virginia area at the time, but it grew to a pretty lucrative commercial career while he was in Japan.  The Japanese love goofy American actors, so the Father Unit fit right in.  Right above him is a picture of the Mother Unit in 1973, modeling some nifty 70s fashion.  She was quite the dish in the day.  Well, she still is but, in the 70s, the Mother Unit was definitely what you would call a hottie.  To her right is a picture of the Father Unit playing his guitar and, above that, is Granny, the Father Unit’s mother and the lady who helped Aunt Tudi raise me.  May the Goddess have mercy on her soul for having to put up with something like me.  Beside the Father Unit’s guitar photo is a picture from 1973 of Mama, Dad, and me on the Empire State Building.  Then we have two photos featuring the Units in their youth, a colour one from the 70s and a black and white one from their Beatnik days of the mid-60s.  Moving on to the right is a B&W photo of my maternal grandfather, G’Pa Irving.  Handsome devil, wasn’t he?  Below him is a picture of Mama and Granny from June of 1985, the night of my high school graduation.  Don’t they looked thrilled?  Right below that is a tiny picture of Uncle Michael, Janice, Little Michael, and Johnna.  Note that Johnna has her back to the camera.  From infancy, Johnna despised having her picture taken.  Maybe one of her past lives was that of an Amazonian tribesman who was certain that photography was tantamount to soul-stealing.  Whatever the reason, taking pictures of Johnna as a child was always an adventure.  To the left of the family of four, we have a severe B&W photie of the Mother Unit, circa 196?.  She had that “I’m so sexy I could kill you with a glance” thing going on.  Beside her are two tacky pictures of the Father Unit, who had that “I’m so goofy I could kill you with a glance” thing going on.  Not to be outdone, the Mother Unit offers up two goofy pictures of her own.  And, for good measure, and to finish up this portion of the collage, there’s a picture of the Mother Unit from a few years back, posing with two of her avian pals.

tinhuviel: (Reflection)
That rule I made back in May was applied once again today. I opened one of the drink machines out in the warehouse and this huge, heavy pipe came tumbling down and almost beamed me in the head. I was a tad irritated by this, but Aunt Tudi is happy to have the death pipe. Dunno what she's gonna do with it. Perhaps she'll beam me in the head as was originally intended with this tube of scary metal.




On our way to Wal-Mart for some necessary grocery supplies, Son of iGor played "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young. This is a special song for me, marking one of those moments that a person has in one's life. These moments add up and become a collection of important memories that created the personality others come to love or hate as age progresses. I first heard this song in 1978, lying in a small tent beside Mills River, listening to WISE on a tiny battery-powered AM radio. The song mingled with the chuckling melody of the river and held me in a hypnotic cradle of wonderment.

At 11, I was just discovering the rich world of "pop" music, having been introduced to WISE by my older cousin, Corbett, who was quite fond of KISS, Steve Miller, and a number of other 70s Classic Rock gods. I'd always loved music, but had pretty much ignored radio for the first 10 years of life. My musical exposure had been Classical Music (Strauss, Dvorak, Mozart, etc), the Beatles, and the Father Unit's collection of tunes (my favourite of his was the lovely "Carolina Mountains"). Like most kids, my "pop" music light bulb popped on in my pre-pubescent fog, and I began to really listen to songs' lyrics.

Such was the case with "Heart of Gold." I listened carefully to Neil Young's words through the AM static. They touched me like no other song had so far in my infant musical history.



I want to live,
I want to give
Ive been a miner for a heart of gold.
Its these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.


I made a promise to myself that I would also be a miner for a heart of gold. Looking back on that sublime moment with the knowledge I now possess, I feel that this was an instant of magick occurring. Had I fully understood the meaning of the lyrics and realised the power of magickal work, even if spontaneous and unintentional. It seems that I have truly become a miner, searching for a heart of gold. And the rest of the lyrics have manifested as well, for I am now getting old as well. Rather sad, but I still adore the song and it marks a time in my life when I was truly happy and had a spark of optimism within me. Now if I can just find my way back to that innocence and awe. And Mills River. I'd give my right thigh bone to find Mills River again and camp out for at least a week. A tent, a fire, a wee patch of food, and Son of iGor since WISE is not the radio station it used to be. That'd be brilliant.
tinhuviel: (Todd and Tin)
Once again I was lauding the praises of the Farrelly Brothers to Aunt Tudi, this time setting my sights on Shallow Hal. Unlike many of my overweight sisters and brothers, I really loved this movie. Sure there were insulting fat jokes, but the thing about the Farrelly Brothers is that they insult everyone and include everyone as a big glorious, ugly human family. Anyone who includes albinos, weirdos, conjoined twins, sperm-do'd doctors, "schizos," idiots on mopeds, and everyone from Rhode Island has every right and would be remiss if they did not include we fat folks in the mix. If the good brothers hadn't, I'm sure a lot of overweight people would have bitched about being left out because of their weight.

Don't get me wrong. I get pissed off about fat discrimination, but I get pissed off about discrimination of any sort. If the Farrelly Brothers want to maintain their "Nothing Is Sacred" tradition, Shallow Hal had to be made, just like Stuck on You (which I haven't seen, but would love to). But this isn't really about the Farrelly Brothers or Shallow Hal, well, not directly. This is about Tony Robbins.

See, Tony Robbins is responsible for Hal's "beauty goggles," for lack of a better term. He's the one who kinda put a spell on Hal to allow him to see people's inner beauty instead of their outer appearance. It's what got me to actually watching the movie in the first place because Mr. Robbins and I have a history of sorts. In 1993, [livejournal.com profile] ealdthryth made a copy of the Personal Power tapes for our Crossroads Cabal (also lovingly known as Cobblestone Cobble, which comprised [livejournal.com profile] ealdthryth, [livejournal.com profile] scbearmike, My Friend Todd, and myself, all of whom were refugees from Temple Hecate Triskele at that particular time) to listen to. At the end of each lecture, Tony would sign off with "LIVE WITH PASSION!" You could hear the all-capital words in his voice when he said it, it was that...passionate.

One night, about halfway through our program, Todd called me up just screaming with laughter. Turns out that one of the tapes had a glitch in it right at the end of the lecture. Instead of the blood-boiling "LIVE WITH PASSION," Todd received the alternate message "LIVE WITH Flflflfghghghgflflflfl..." and the tape came to an unceremonious and anti-climactic conclusion. Being the irreverent rebels that we were lo those many years ago, Todd and I chose the garbled message. That's probably why we utterly failed the Tony Robbins school of success because we opted to live with flflflflgghghghghflflflfl instead of passion. Of course, it's never too late to rectify that.

So, the first thing I heard in my mind when I saw Tony Robbins in Shallow Hal was "LIVE WITH Flflfllghghghflflflfl..." and I had to stop and watch because it tickled me so. And that's how I ended up seeing what turned out to be a most excellent movie. But what Farrelly Brothers movie isn't excellent?
tinhuviel: (Ornate Triskele)
Tonight's the night Aunt Tudi, Llew, and I are going to see Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance or, as I like to call it, Hoofin' It. Llew is kind of *meh* about it, but Aunt Tudi is beside herself with outright joy. Since this is her birthday gift, I'm very happy she's so out of her head about it. I get the feeling that she may not have too many birthdays left, so I want to make each birthday something special.

This evening will be very difficult for me. The music for Lord of the Dance is very heavily marked with memories of Alban Hefin 1997. Ronan Hardiman scored a moment in my life that was incredibly magickal and filled with the promise of a Bealtainne kiss. It was his music that carried me out into the endless farm fields and meadows around Fountain Inn, where I followed the Harpist. The music of Lord of the Dance rang in my mind's ears while I was kissed under the Summer Moon.

There was so much promise in that lingering kiss and the ones that followed, all to the lovely strains of "Stolen Kiss." "Celtic Dream" ribboned it's way through my world, as my newly technicolour vision continued to light my path on this beautiful night, a song that began on Bealtainne that grew only more beautiful and more vivid on this beloved Alban Hefin. My Harpist was kissing me. He, who made such painfully lovely Celtic music himself, wrapped his massive arms around me and became my Lord of the Dance, setting me upon a path that would lead me eventually to a singular sorrow.

A year later, in 1998, I couldn't hear this music without bursting into tears. Actually, I had trouble hearing any Celtic music without my heart feeling as though it were being crushed under a relentless weight. Over time, my love for the music has outshone my grief, but the music from Lord of the Dance still carries with it that pristine moment in time and, along with it, the regret that was soon to follow. My spirit falters still when I hear it.

So tonight will be interesting to say the least. I don't want to ruin the experience for Aunt Tudi, nor do I want to show Llew how much I still grieve over the Harpist. This will be an exercise in keeping my feelings to myself, needless to say. I'm just hoping I'm a good enough actress to do just that.
tinhuviel: (Alrighty then)
This memory was triggered by a post about the heatwave made by our very own [livejournal.com profile] popfiend.

Granny made this up in 1978, when Asheville was suffering a very un-Ashevillian heatwave. We were in the 90s there for about a two weeks and, back then, hardly any of us had air conditioning. Asheville in the 70s was a lot like England, I reckon. It was pretty comfy all year 'round, with the bonus of snow! Asheville was, at time time, ill-equipped to deal with the sun's true fury. In those days, all the cool we had in our apartment was a fan that drank oil like an alcoholic does Southern Comfort. It would squeal with the most horrid noise you can imagine (kinda like Jim Carrey making the most annoying sound on Earth in Dumb & Dumber....actually, just like that) and it would shimmy and shake because it just couldn't utilise the oil that we poured all over it. So we had the fan tied onto a straight chair and we called it "The Screamer." There was a lot of screaming that Summer.

So anyway, during that heatwave, Granny gave new lyrics to that "We're having a heatwave" song. And she taught it to me, who thought it was the funniest fucking thing I'd ever heard, being a neophyte Goth and pre-Creep. Almost every day, we'd join voices in song, trying to drown out The Screamer, and we would sing:

We're havin' a heatwave
A tropical heatwave
People are dyin' and people are cryin'
Because of the heatwaaaaave


Despite the current misery for just about everyone I know both online and off, I still this is pretty damned funny. Feel free to sing along, if you have enough energy after the sun has sucked out your very soul.
tinhuviel: (Thy Mama)
I've spent the majority of my day going through photographs spanning the years from the mid-40's through 2006. I've picked out a few to scan and may post some of them here. All the pictures from the Kilmoulis era are MIA. Aunt Tudi gathered all those up and put them away somewhere I wouldn't see them when the shattering occurred. She's looking for them now. Since it's been over eight years, I don't think I'll have any horrid reaction now. Besides, all that happened in my pre-Sith life. I'm very much a different person now than I was in 1997 and 1998.

One picture I'm definitely posting here was taken back in 1971, if memory serves. It was an Easter photo and Granny had me decked out in my homemade Easter outfit. Unfortunately for me, this outfit (enhanced by my wearing little round sunglasses) looks like one of Elton John's costumes from his Glam days. When folks wonder why I'm twisted and bent, I can show them this picture and enlighten them to my childhood agony. Even if my costume didn't scream gay piano player, the two women in the photo with me (the Mother Unit and Aunt Tudi) would be enough to drive me mad. Both of them were donning the boofie hair helmets so popular in the early 70s and both are sporting smart polyester pant suits which were also tailored by Granny. Oh the humanity.

I'll also be posting a picture of my beloved Gremlin, some pics of my Units, a couple of [livejournal.com profile] clumsycake and [livejournal.com profile] green_goblin70, and one of me in the shower. Bwahahahah!

Brains

Jul. 21st, 2006 09:05 pm
tinhuviel: (Devil Smidge)
My Number One Summer Memory is pretty representative of my feelings regarding the worst season. I was 13 when Aunt Tudi and Granny took it upon themselves to hijack my arse and move it to South Carolina. We moved in the house I would eventually buy years later, behind Uncle Michael and his family. At the time, none of us had AC. In 1981, Global Warming had not even been heard of, as far as I know... I could be wrong there. It was still hotter than Hell's door knob, but not as hot or humid as it is now.

So...we came down here in June of 1981. In July, the heat really started oppressing all us inmates of South Carolina. It was horrible. The only way to get cool was to go outside and fan yourself, hoping that the mosquitoes wouldn't take every last drop of blood in your pathetic, clammy, fish-coloured body. In those days, Uncle Michael would do tons of woodwork and crafts in his little shop. His shop was about the size of two port-a-potties glued together and it was packed to the ceiling with wood, electric tools, and sundry gadgets. It was a Man's Building. It even had the obligatory Lynda Carter (as Wonder Woman, of course) poster adorning the door. Every day, it was tradition: we kids helped Aunt Tudi, Janice, and Granny with the garden and then play until we collapsed from the heat while Uncle Michael went into his shop and sawed wood like mad.

One particular day in July, we were all out in the yard after garden work and play when, suddenly, the sound of Uncle Michael's skill saw stopped. ....And it didn't start back. The kids and women all looked at each other, wondering what was the deal. Then, with a loud crash, Uncle Michael burst out of his shop, stripping off his tee shirt and pulling his hair, which remained sticking out at the sides of his head like sweaty antennae. His eyes looked much like Smidgen's in the icon here, all glow-y and otherworldly, and he was beet red all over. The string of expletives that came out of his mouth made many a dead sailor spin in his watery grave, I can guarantee you that. But, what he said at the end of his tirade has forever defined South Carolina Summers for me, especially now that we're in the throes of Global Warming:

MY GOD DAMNED BRAINS ARE BAKIN'!


Ah yes. The good ole days. ::ambles off to pour herself some sweet tea::
tinhuviel: (Gothtin)

  • His high-pitched howl when my three-year old hand clutched on to his partial erection through his shorts and the subsequent laughter when I asked, "what's this, Daddy?"

  • Daddy coming in the middle of the night to see me, his arms overloaded with brand new board games.

  • Daddy and me leaving the Mother Unit's new residence, Daddy crying and driving erratically while "Seasons in the Sun" blared on the radio.

  • In a big plastic pool with Daddy, the two of us having farting contests and laughing at the bubbles in the water. I am most definitely my father's daughter when it comes to flatulence.

  • His practicing with his folk-country band, many songs he wrote himself, like "Carolina Mountains."

  • Daddy coming for visits, guitar in hand, and the two of us singing together.

  • Daddy teaching me how to play "Third Man Theme" on his guitar.

  • The original version of "Buggy Buggy," when it was still a rap song.

  • How he was left by his mother-in-law at the hospital, dazed and confused from the meds the doctor had given him. Aunt Tudi and I went and got him, and brought him home.

  • Him and the Stepmother Unit taking me to a friend's house where I saw my first VHS movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Cat Ballou.

  • Having to call him to tell him that Granny (his mother) had died. He was in Japan and, as usual, by himself. He grieved in solitude.

  • Our arguments about the British Isles. He didn't like living there (he lived in Haverford West, Wales) and tried to convince me how bad it was. I wouldn't hear it. When I finally got to go, I returned to tell him that I still thought the UK was fantastic.

  • I remember Daddy, Aunt Tudi, Granny, and the Mother Unit making up songs and singing them together, or singing the "Hawaiian War Chant" and getting me, a toddler, to hula like mad.

  • Daddy and me fighting over his buying me stuff I didn't ask for, didn't need, and didn't want.

  • Daddy taking me to the USS Yorktown, to the beach (for my first time), and to my first seafood restaurant (The Trawler). I was 14.

  • Him chasing BB through the house with his hat, and the bird just fussing up a storm at him.

  • Him calling Aunt Tudi "Ott" and her calling him "Ott." That's how they always addressed and signed their letters.

  • The night Daddy and I saw a "walking tree" outside our house. It put it's gnarled hand on the window and we both screamed with fright. I contend that this was an alien encounter now. I discussed the incident with him years later and he remembered it clearly.

  • Him coming in to rescue me from the Beezers that swarmed my crib at night.

  • Him yelling at me for throwing a popcorn box out the car window on the way home from seeing Dumbo at the drive-in. I was 4 and I never littered again.

  • Daddy yelling in general. To this day, I can't stand really loud anything because it triggers panic in me. I can trace that back to Daddy yelling in anger so much when I was a kid.

  • Listening to his radio show in the early 70s.

  • Watching Law & Order with him and trying to determine who did it. It's his fault I'm such a Law & Order junkie now.

  • Re-enacting scenes from a number of Mel Brooks films. Daddy was the one who got me started on Mel Brooks. We could quote entire scenes from his movies. Daddy shared a birthday with Mel Brooks and I always felt there was a special reason for that.

  • Him sitting with me trying to explain why he and the Mother Unit had broken up, and not doing a very good job of it. His subjective account wasn't the healthiest thing in the world for me.

  • Him making me his famous "Ham what am, and cheese to please" sandwiches, complete with a pickle on top.

  • Daddy showing me how to draw and giving me all manner of art supplies over the years.


I'm sure there's so much more lodged in my head, but I can't go on with this for now. I need to focus on something else for a while. I need to stop hurting. Comments are disabled, as they aren't necessary.

Thanks to everyone for your support. You all mean more to me than you can possibly imagine.
tinhuviel: (Porno Sith)
I started getting chicken pimples thinking about the "chance encounter" myself and S had with a certain Sith Lord. Aunt Tudi was grooving to the music and I piped up and said, "This song has significant meaning for me, memory-wise. I'll have to tell you about it someday, when you're older and not strong enough to beat my arse."

She found that tremendously funny.
tinhuviel: (Gothic Christmas)
We'd been in SC for two years in June 1983. The unbearable homesickness was starting to wane ever-so-slowly and I was happy to be around other kids, especially Johnna, with whom I could relate and they could relate to me. It was Christmas Eve 1983 and the family had yet to gather. In those earlier years, each year Uncle Michael and Janice, along with Granny would set up a booth at a giant craft show that was held in either late November or mid-December. This year, the show's last day (it usually lasted 3 days) fell upon Christmas Eve.

Aunt Tudi stayed with Johnna, Little Michael, and me at our house. We played games, ate chocolate-covered cherries, and generally enjoyed ourselves. I'd never had a real sense of family before this because the fam in Asheville was so huge and was split in two camps: the adults and the young children. I was neither during those pre-SC years because I was pre-teening. I couldn't handle being around the kids and the adults wouldn't allow me in their fold, so I usually just stayed to myself and listened to the radio, hoping to catch Wings' "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime." So this togetherness thing was quite good for me.

Now Aunt Tudi has always been a soft touch when it came to kids and Christmas. It didn't take us any time to persuade her to let us open just one gift a piece. Little Michael opened his and it was, if memory serves, a big bundle of matchbox cars. Johnna, who has never had enough chocolate-covered cherries, opted to open her box of cherries and continue her confection orgy. I opened the gift that looked like records.

Within the wrapping I found Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran, Upstairs at Eric's by Yazoo, and two or three other albums I can't remember now. On went my headphones and I was instantly in heaven. While Johnna and Michael enjoyed their early presents, I gazed at them and Aunt Tudi and realised that, for the first time since moving to South Carolina, I was genuinely happy. "Only You" by Yazoo became the soundtrack for that night and, to this day, I always think of Yazoo at Christmas and, when I hear "Only You," I'm carried back to Christmas 1983.

If every Christmas felt like that one, I probably wouldn't be the Grinch I am today.
tinhuviel: (cliffs of insanity)
While watching Smidgen play in the large cardboard box Aunt Tudi got from the grocery yesterday, I was pulled into memories of my childhood.

When I was as young as two, Granny would put me in a cardboard box and hand me a pot lid so I could "drive" around the countryside and enjoy my fancy car. I had tons of stuffed animals and other wee tot treasures, but nothing pleased me more than sitting in a box holding a pot lit. At the age of 5 Granny, with the help of Aunt Tudi and the Mother Unit, used the cardboard boxes accrued during Christmas to build me a playhouse. When I awoke on Christmas morning, I was greeted by my very own cardboard playhouse, festively coloured up and decorated. Since I got a play movie projector for Christmas, the playhouse became my own personal movie theatre and I would charge the family a nickel to come in and see a movie. They had to come in one at a time, though, 'cos there wasn't enough room for more than one adult and myself. For ever the longest that cardboard house was my haven, my sanctuary, a place I could call all my own. Despite all the wonderful gifts I received that year, the boxes they came in brought me more joy that Christmas than anything else.

When I first started working for BMG, I would often sort packages, placing them in the box that corresponded with the invoice's bmc (bulk mail center) number. These boxes were cardboard/corrugation and they were HUGE. Doing this job, my mind would often drift to the possibilities of my filling one of these big boxes with Styrofoam peanuts and jumping in for a nice long play. I'd also wonder if maybe I could mail myself in a big bmc box. Hell, I had to keep my mind busy 'cos sorting was an incredibly boring job. It was also at BMG, when I drove a highlift, I would sometimes make castles of the 30-count CD boxes high in the palletiers, and I'd hide for short periods of time. It was easy to do on 3rd shift. Sitting far above the world protected by dozens of boxes, I often felt protected and invincible and, suddenly, I was 5 again and marvelling at my beloved cardboard playhouse.

Shtuff

Dec. 8th, 2005 03:59 pm
tinhuviel: (Alpaca Battle Cry)
Twenty-five years ago today, I was lying in a delirium with the Bangkok Flu and crying for the loss of John Lennon. Right after the announcement of his murder was made, they played "Woman" and then "Passion" by Rod Stewart. Right after that, they played "Games People Play" by Alan Parsons Project. I cried through all three songs. Then I ate some yoghurt.

Aunt Tudi has an email address now because her doc wants her to start emailing her blood glucose levels. If you want to write to her and tell her how much I suck for talking about her so much in LJ, her addy is: tudiott@yahoo.com. Please be sure to include LJ in there somewhere so I won't delete your email as spam.

I feel like rancid yak ass slow-cooked on a hotplate today. And I find myself becoming obsessed with the Pandemic to End All Pandemics!™ If the Avian Flu isn't all it's cracked up to be, I'm going to be one sorely disappointed Alpaca Liptic Pagan. It should be noted here that I have convinced myself that I will be one of the casualties of the Pandemic to End All Pandemics!™ so I'm not wishing ill for everyone but myself. I'm gonna be a goner too. As some Metal band from the 80s used to sing: "See you in Hell, my friend!"

I have some pictures to share. That'll be another post. Judge Judy is about to come on. I have an abundance of web work to do. It's cold and I feel like I'm coming down with something. I miss John Lennon.
tinhuviel: (Sexy Joker)
I will never forget that name or the man who owns it.

Early in my "career" at BMG, we moved from the much smaller 104 building up to the 110 building. It was in 1988. Not only did I get to move to 110 to help set up receiving, but I also got transferred to 1st Shift after working on 3rd Shift for about a year. We moved into 110 before the building was completely finished. ADT was still there installing the security system for the entire warehouse.

ADT consisted of two men. A dude and his partner, Duke Scarpone.

Duke Scarpone triggered my very first fit of pure libidinous lust. He had dark curly hair that covered his ears and was half-way down his neck. He wore black-rimmed glasses. And he didn't walk. He swaggered. His swagger inspired the walkie talkie hooked to his belt to bounce provocatively against his well-shaped butt. I loved to watch that man swagger by. I wanted to molest him in front of all my coworkers. I wanted to do things to him that I'd never even heard of then, but I wanted to do them all the same.

He looked an awful lot like Paul Sand, but darker. I wanted him desperately. Tim got tired of my drooling pretty quickly and took to calling Duke "Mayonaissssse" just to irritate me. Now I can't look at Dukes mayo without thinking of my beautiful ADT hunka hunka burnin' love.

Instead of just approaching him, I sent various agents of evil to collect information for me. That's how I found out his name and that he was originally from New Jersey. It's also how I found out he was married and his wife was pregnant. Curses. He was informed that he had a secret admirer and I often watched him scanning the employees in the warehouse, probably wondering who she was. He never found out.

Sometimes, like for the past few days, I can close my eyes and see Duke swaggering through the old warehouse, that walkie-talkie doing what I always wanted to do: gently smacking his ass just to let him know it was there.

Back Home

Nov. 7th, 2005 08:30 pm
tinhuviel: (Khaaaaaan!!)
In a fit of spontaneity, Aunt Tudi and I returned to Asheville. We also went to Black Mountain to sing out the A-Frame chalets. There used to be ten of them, but three have been torn down and a Super 8 Motel build in their spot. The house that we used to live in though, Chalet 9, was still there and inhabited by surly hillbillies. Aunt Tudi asked them nicely if we could take a photo of the A-Frame. I was kinda hoping they'd go in, but no! The hillbillies lingered out front and gave us the hairy eyeball until we left. Le sigh.

I don't remember much about the A-Frame nor very much about Black Mountain. There are two mega-memories I hold, though, one of each. The first memory is of our visit to the A-Frame when Granny and Aunt Tudi were considering renting it. There was a mattress in one of the back rooms and I stood on it to look out the window. I was there only a few seconds when I felt something strange upon my legs (I was wearing shorts). When I looked down, I screamed one of those rare blood-curdling horror movie screams that you just don't hear except during Halloween. My legs were black with fleas. I ran into the front room where Granny and Aunt Tudi had to literally scoop the fleas off me. Needless to say, we didn't move in until the house had been fogged. Memory number two has to do with the strange Black Mountain weather. Aunt Tudi, my cousin Marsha, and I were walking home from my Uncle Larry's restaurant when a snow storm came upon us. No, not just a snow storm, a snow STORM. Thunder, lightning, snow. I learned later that this is called Thundersnow. At the time, I called it the Alpaca Lips in so many words.

pictures be here )

We got home right before 6 PM and I feel like I've had several cans of Whoop Ass opened upon my person.
tinhuviel: (Bazzer)
When I was 6, I tried to murder my younger cousin Johnna. My intention was to run her over with my bicycle because she wouldn't get out of my way and was being a general nuisance. Johnna jumped out of the way just in the nick of time, but was understandably rattled from the experience. When the Mother Unit and Father Unit took me indoors to spank me, I explained that my bike got caught in one of the ruts of the driveway and I couldn't get out, and that I was begging Johnna to move because I couldn't avoid hitting her.

They believed me. I think it was the tears that did it. It appeared that I was just as upset by all this as Johnna was. But I wasn't. I was more upset that I didn't hit her and that I got caught.

Sometimes, I feel like I was/am The Bad Seed. I never really felt like a child and I was always keen on doing frightful deeds. I'd like to think I grew out of all that. I'd like to think that I developed into a mild-mannered soul who wouldn't harm a flea.

But you never know....
tinhuviel: (Snarky Maul)
I just finished reading DMEB'S GREAT ADVENTURE, OR, THE SEARCH FOR MAUL, which was written by our very own [livejournal.com profile] falkenna and two of her cohorts in the DMEB, Indigobunting and Lady Allaire. It had been quite a while since I read our anniversary story, so reliving our collective fantasies tonight gave me a serious case of the Warm Fuzzlies.

Always shall I be grateful for my role in the tale:

They all saw them then, a hundred dark shapes approaching the port doors. One by one they entered; each knew exactly whom he was seeking. One carried a CD in his hand.
"This is my new album, entitled 'Songs Barry Andrews Would Have Written If He Were Me.' " SithVixen's mouth moved soundlessly and she followed him out as if in a trance.


I've been part of many groups, mailing lists, clubs, what-have-you since I got online in 1998, but I've never felt such a sense of belonging and camaraderie anywhere like I did with the DMEB. Sometimes I think I'll go to my grave missing and trying to recapture that groovy vibe we Sithsters generated there.

Toque

Sep. 27th, 2005 08:15 pm
tinhuviel: (Smidgen)
In the early 80s, my cat Jeffrey had a fling with Johnna's cat Midnight, who later gave birth to four beautiful kittens. Now Jeffrey was a solid white cat and deaf as could be while Midnight was, by virtue of her name, solid black. Two of the kittens were 50/50 black and white, one was mostly black with a white dot on its chest and on the tip of its tail, and one was totally white except for a large black spot right on top of his head. As I was very deeply into SCTV, Bob & Doug McKenzie, and All Things Canadian at that time (I'm very much into All Things Canadian and will always be), I instantly named the white kitten with the black topknot Toque.

Midnight stopped feeding the kittens at 5 weeks, so I brought Toque home and helped to wean him, making sure he got all the nutrients he needed. He became very dependent on me and I fell completely in love with him. He was my baby, the first kitten I'd had since the early 70s before my parents got divorced. Jeffrey was cool with Toque being around, so it worked out wonderfully for everyone.

Toque never answered to "kitty kitty." He had no idea what that hogwash was all about. He answered to "TOQUE." I could go out on the front porch and shout his name, and Toque would come running from wherever he might be. He'd follow me around like a puppy and he'd sleep with me, oftentimes nose to nose. He was my best friend for a very long time, beloved of my heart.

But Toque was sickly sometimes. At times, he'd decline, but then bounce back. He was the very first animal I took to Dr. Patch and it was Dr. Patch who diagnosed Toque with Feline Leukemia. Eventually, Toque succumbed to his illness. I was in school when it happened and it was Granny who broke the news to me when I got home. My precious cat was with me for only a couple of years, but he was the bestest cat I've ever had.

Ever since Toque, I've had my cat friends inoculated against Fe-Leuk. I don't think I'd realise the importance of these boosters had I not seen Toque suffer through the disease. It's a horrible affliction that no creature should have to endure.

What got me to thinking about Toque was how Shmoop responds to her name. She's just as enthusiastic in her response to my calling her as Toque was. In many ways she reminds me of Toque in her nature and general disposition. She's a good little kitty. And so was Toque.
tinhuviel: (Humanity)
I just heard the strains of the Titanic score on TV and my heart welled up in my throat. Needless to say, this pissed me right the hell off.

Picture it:
It was 1998. I was still in the throes of severe heartbreak. No. It wasn't heartbreak, it was heartshatter. And this movie had come out from one of my favourite directors, James Cameron. Aunt Tudi wanted to see it for dramatic reasons and the whole splendour of the movie. I wanted to see it because of the killer special effects and, when I'm down, I like to see large numbers of humans perish. It's a thing with me. Besides, I desperately needed a diversion from my current state of mind.

So off we went to see Titanic in the late afternoon. It was a pretty Spring day. The sun was up. It's important that I stress that the sun was up.

The movie began and Aunt Tudi and I were swept away by the story. I was particularly swept away by the music. James Horner floats my boat, fries my onions, twists my Twizzlers, and other sundry actions that ought not be mentioned. I forgot my woes and enjoyed the movie...until the last hour. When I saw the old couple on the bed and especially the young Irish woman trying to comfort her little girl, accompanied with the heart-rending Celtic-themed score, I fucking lost it. LOST...IT...

Now, I hate to cry when watching a movie or a TV show. It makes me feel weak and worthy of a swift beheading. I had to choke back tears last night watching Battlestar Galactica which, by the by, featured Uilleann Pipes during the more poignant moments. During Titanic, I lost all control. I boo-hooed like Ren Hoek. I was tilting back my head and squalling like a piece of shit girly girl. The emotion and the music was all too much for me. I had a complete cinematic break down. I hated the movie for doing that to me and I hated myself for allowing such hijacking of my emotions. My only saving grace was that I could wear my sunglasses on the way out so Aunt Tudi nor anyone else would know that I'd cried so hard, I was snubbing and hiccuping.

I was wrong. Absolutely fucking wrong. See, I didn't stop to think that Titanic was 5 hours long and that, when we exited the theatre, the sun would be down. There I was doing my bad Cory Hart impression and everyone knew why: I was trying to hide the fact that I was a complete ninny. So I left the Hollywood 20 more miserable than when I arrived and I've hated Titanic ever since.

I will break my boycott of the film if I tune in right around the time the boat goes vertical 'cos I just love getting to see Propeller Man. He's the epitome of bad luck. I mean, it's bad enough that you're on a sinking ship and you're falling into the freezing water, but to smack right into a gigantic propeller on the way down is really over the top. Not only do I laugh at Propeller Man's plight, I also empathise with him. Shit like that would happen to me.
tinhuviel: (Eh wot?)
Seeing the advert for The Man with the Screaming Brain, which will be showing on Sci-Fi tonight, Aunt Tudi asked me if I remembered the Summer of 1981. It was my first Summer in Duncan, having just moved down from Asheville, and the area was having a horrible heat wave. One day, Uncle Michael burst out of his workshop, which had no A/C. He'd already torn off his shirt and he was red as a beet. We were all working in the garden when he came outside, pulling his hair and shouting "My goddamned brains are baking!" I was fairly alarmed.

Anyway, remembering that lovely little moment in life got me to thinking about other family memories. So, without further ado...

  • Johnna crying her eyes out when she saw the "scrubbing bubbles" go down the drain in that old commercial from the 70s.

  • My cousin Travis teaching me how to crack a fake egg over someone's head.

  • Going with Erica when she got her feather boa out of layaway. She was such a disco queen at the time and was desperate for a feather boa to wear on her jaunts to all the local clubs. I remember that it was pink and white.

  • Listening to Erica, Donna, and Marsha sing "Black Water" back in 1974.

  • Daddy having band rehearsal at the house, and singing his song "Carolina Mountains."

  • Granny sitting on the front porch, petrified with fear as she watched the local crop duster come closer and closer to our house. He was so low that he dipped under the power lines before buzzing the house and continuing on to dust the cotton field across the road. All Granny could say was, "Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod."

  • The day Mama found a grass snake in the woods and decided to introduce me to the wonderful world of reptiles.

  • Upon our reuniting, my grandfather passed on the old wooden family "pot pipe" for my safekeeping. Every family has its heirlooms, I suppose.

  • Little Michael experimenting with children's expletives, using his very own ingenious "gollaroadie!"

  • Johnna attempting to teach Aunt Tudi how to do the Electric Slide, with hilarious results. I think I may have that on video tape somewhere....

  • Corbett and Jimmy grooving to KISS and Steve Miller Band on my record player.

  • Granny dressing up like an ugly old hobo, rubber mask and all, and going up to Uncle Michael and Janice's house to scare Johnna. When Johnna answered the door and saw the horrible thing before her, she slammed the door and began jumping up and down hysterically. Her little dog, Chigger, got so upset that she began backing up quickly and peeing on herself. From that day on, Chigger despised Granny.

  • Daddy, Mama, Aunt Tudi, and Granny singing "Red River Valley" with their own words: Naranja por favor ro del monstro. Valecita, manana oy vey! That's all I remember of it, sadly.

tinhuviel: (Tin)
In 1989 a young man came to work for BMG as a temp. He was assigned to me in the video department for training in pulling orders for the BMG Video Club. His name was Vic Stinson and I wholeheartedly believe that he was a reincarnated hippie from the late 60s, or early 70s. He was a flautist and knew everything about Jethro Tull as well as the music of those days gone by. And Vic was the coolest, most laid back dude I've ever met. We hit it off on a past-life level. We grokked each other.

I did very little training that day. We hid in the palletiers and essentially "caught up" on things. The day flew by and I was hoping Vic would show up the next day, although he said the whole warehouse thing just wasn't his gig and he didn't think he'd come back. At the end of the day, Vic gave me his phone number and I gave him mine, but we never contacted each other again. He didn't show up the next day, but it was like we spent a lifetime in that brief 8-hour work day.

I'm horrible with names. Great with faces, but names? pfffff.....forget about it...literally. But I remember Vic Stinson. I hope he's doing what he wanted: playing the flute in a rock-n-roll band and living the life of a flower child.
tinhuviel: (Darth Rodent)
When I was a kid, I was taken to Middle School in a purple/burgandy and yellow 1973 AMC Gremlin. Granny used to drive me to and fro school, and I thought nothing of it really, except I deeply dug the colours of the car and was a great admirer of the Gremlin's first cousin, the AMC Pacer.
If this car was a horse, I'd have to shoot it )

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