A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away…

It truly was a long time ago, some time in 1994 or 1995; the farway galaxy was CompuServe.  I had my whole electronic family on Prodigy (including a Wicked and E-VILE grandfather who was an ax murderer), but there was something compelling about CompuServe.  Nearly two decades later, I couldn’t tell you what it was that drew me in.

Warning: random digressions and parenthetical ramblings ahead.

I did (eventually) find a group of fantastically neat people in Section 17… in the Issues forum, I think.  They’d planted Teh Gayz in that somewhat out-of-the-way place, because LGBT folks… listen, I’m just making this up as I go along because I didn’t see the point of hiding the LGBT folks where they were hard to find (and I was LOOKING for them!)… but the story I’m making up is that they figured all we did was talk about sex, sex and more sex.  Oh!  And talk about the Gay Agenda and try to recruit impressionable young people to be Teh Gayz with us.  (That recruiting stuff?  Yeah, never worked.  There were straight folks in the forum, too, and I don’t think we managed to turn a single one of them Gayz.)

Yeah, well… except we didn’t.  Talk about sex, sex and more sex, I mean.  But lordy, the things we DID talk about!  Politics, obviously.  Coming out.  Dealing with friends, family members, lovers — and for some, themselves — who were HIV+ and LWA.  Having amiable discussions with people who disagreed with Teh Gayz Lifestyle…

Ok, sorry… had to take a break there, I was laughing so hard.  There were no amiable discussions with the right-wing fundamentalist dive-bombers.  You know the term “flame wars”?  Yeah.  That.  A lot of that.

But we talked about goofy things, too.

One goofy conversation (ongoing over a period of months) with a particular individual was about Star Trek.  Hey!  Queer people like Trek, too, and always have!  Nyah!  But one day, this particular individual happened to mention he played over in the RPGames forum, as the Captain of a Galaxy-class starship, no less.  I was somewhat intrigued, but really couldn’t get my head around the idea of roleplaying on a spaceship (D&D gal here, from way back), and especially had a hard time grasping the whole “message-based” gaming idea.  But said individual continued to nag me (yes, I said NAG!) to at least lurk his game.

Reluctantly, and with much eye rolling, I agreed.

After a few weeks, however, I realized it was actually starting to make some sort of sense.  I’ll admit I was lurking a few other ships in the online “fleet” known as Star Trek Ships (STS), and not all of them made sense.  (Hey, sorry guys… I know you’re going to ask, but I really don’t remember which ships they were.  And if your ship was going through a twisted and convoluted story line like we later did with Dan Woo, when then yes, I’m probably talking about you.)  So the next time this certain individual asked if I might be interested in joining his ship, I tentatively and hesitantly said yes.

As many of you know, that individual was none other than (cue angels’ choir) Rodney, and the ship was the USS Eclipse.  So the “tentative” part of my agreement was completely ignored, and before I even knew what the heck was going on, I found myself playing a young Irish lass from County Tipperary, Lieutenant Moira O’Shaughnessy, the new Holodeck Programmer/Technician for the Eclipse.

From that day forward, one of my favorite mantras as been, “Everything is Rodney’s fault.”

Why?  Well, for one thing, I met some of the nicest, smartest, most wonderful, most twisted and diabolical, most evil, and most FUN people I had ever met.  I also met the unbelievably talented guy I eventually married.  So yeah… all Rodney’s fault.

It didn’t take me long to get completely hooked on this message-based roleplaying game concept.  After all, back in high school, three of my buddies and I would pass spiral notebooks back and forth and write our collaborative fan fiction (oh, yes… definitely… most of it was Trek, but there was that M*A*S*H-Trek mashup thing that I will never forget).  The writing… the writing as a particular character… the writing in a group setting…  Yep, that was already in my blood.

Many things happened on the Eclipse, not all of them good (for the players, the characters or the game), though by the time CompuServe had its meltdown, my sweet little Irish lass was Captain of the Eclipse.  Wow.

Not only did many things happen on the Eclipse, but I created characters for other ships, too.

Agnes was the ship’s counselor on the ill-fated USS Odyssey.  (And Ken, darling… that was strike one; SG7 was strike two.  Just saying.)

Jasmine was the ship’s counselor on the USS Hawking.  (Good heavens, what a fun character!  On her own, she was ok, nothing spectacular… but she was from one of the ruling families of her planet in an arranged marriage to a guy she absolutely despised.  We sure did have fun with that, didn’t we, Ian?)

Rachel was the ship’s doctor for the Hellbound, a privateer.

I was in the process of putting together a tactical officer for the USS Renegade.

I had even put together a character for the world my then-fiance had created.  Yeah, I’d gone slumming among the Fantasy games.  That poor girl hadn’t even met all the members of the adventuring party before the fecal matter came into forceful contact with the rotating oscillator.

And then it all went to hell in a hand basket, as my dear old grandmother used to say.  Not just CompuServe, of course, for if you’ve read previous entries here, you’ll know late 2000 and early 2001 was not the best time in my life.

I still wrote, of course.  When you have that compulsion in your blood, it’s hard NOT to write.  But there was something missing.  I could never really put my finger on it, but writing just wasn’t as SATISFYING as it could have been.

And by gum, I missed my friends!

Life got better, I met other folks were are just as dear to me as those I’d left behind on CompuServe, but there was always that nagging voice in the back of mind whispering about one or another or a whole bunch of them.

Oh, I tried finding them… you betcha!  But even the mighty Google was no help.  Until…

Until…

Last spring or perhaps early summer, I’d plugged in an old external hard drive to see if there was anything on there I needed before tossing it in the electronic recycling bin.  I spent days, possibly weeks, reading through old files… remembering good times… tearing up over some of those passages.  And that THING in my heart that had been whispering and whimpering and whining and even wailing at times, “I want my people back” convinced me to give it another try.  ”Ask Google again,” the voices of all those long-lost characters nattered at me.  Not surprisingly, the voice nattering the loudest had a thick Irish brogue.

So I tried my usual search term — CompuServe RPGames STS — once more, not really expecting any better results than I’d had at any other point in the previous 11 years.  But this time… oh, my dear Lords and Ladies!  The second result the great and mighty Google served up was a link to Kalyr’s post about the demise of the RPGames forum, and it included copies of some posts from Nightshift, one of the Sysops.  I remember those posts.  I remember reading them the first time back in early 2000, I remember how they ripped my heart out as I sat there in my musty basement in despair, and there I was re-reading them… feeling all it all over again.  Damn you, Kalyr!  (But thank you, thank you, thank you!)

Then I got down to the bottom of the post.  And my heart almost exploded.  You know how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day?  Well, that was nothing compared to how I felt when I read this:

Predicably all hell broke loose, and many a nasty word was said. People were called nasty names, like ‘George’. While some people kept their games on Compuserve’s GAMERS forum, and some other moved to the rival GSITE forum, one dedicated group including two former sysops moved heaven and earth and created a new free-standing forum in two weeks flat.

Two years later, Dreamlyrics goes from strength to strength. Beginning with a nucleus of RPGAMES members and games, including my own game KLR, the forum continues to recruit new member and recover old ones from the distant past.

I followed the link to DreamLyrics.

And I found my Tribe.

Today is my one year anniversary on DreamLyrics.  As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m crying a bit thinking how wonderful it is to have reconnected with those people I considered friends, to get to know folks I hadn’t known very well on CompuServe and to now call them friends, to meet new folks and make new friends.

I think the first thing I did when my account was established was respond to a slightly old post Art had regarding a Trek game he was thinking of starting.  Actually, I’m not sure if I was responding or if it was that Irish lass in my head yelling very, very loudly.  But if that O’Shaughnessy woman was going to be going anywhere, there were a couple of people she really wanted going with her… Emerald Drake and Donovan Kahallan.  So I immediately fetched two other ex-STS folks and ever-so-gently twisted their arms to sign up (they are now known as iRalph and Wolf, respectively).

Captain O’Shaughnessy commands the USS Clarke, whose mission is to return an alien ambassador to his home world.  Just reading that, you know things are not going to go well.  Still, the ship hasn’t been attacked by the Borg, by pirates, or by psionic energy-based aliens, so I consider that a point or three in the win column.  Plus, I’m writing and having fun!

Then my newest e-Sister, Pam, somehow corralled me in to co-moderating a collaborative writing experiment (it is not a game, and we are not evil GMs!), and I have a darling character there who is the eternally cheerful quartermaster for the Arist Guardsmen, Joni.

Not long after that, the unbelievably talented guy I married, Wolf, decided to begin another campaign on The Heartwood, so I resurrected that character from long, long ago that I barely remembered.  Of course, in the past seven or eight months Daxia Yurisdotter has gotten to be as loud as that Irish lass in my head.  But what do you expect from redheads, eh?

I brought Jasmine duBois and Falcon, my shapeshifter, over from CIS, along with Delia Shodi from FurryMuck for the short-lived Hitchhiker’s Bar and Grill.

I created a redheaded linguistic anthropologist, Lorraine Corcoran, for another short-lived game based on Stargate SG-1.  (Remember Ken, this is strike two.)

Nivek was kind enough (because I pestered him incessantly) to allow me to play a cat (named, appropriately, Cat) in his 1970s-era police drama game, as well as the precinct secretary, Evie Maloney (another redhead… are you sensing a theme here?).  Playing Cat, though… what a freakin’ blast!

I’ve brought back one of my original Trek characters, Ni-Sha, created when I was in high school, for Sam’s Red Shirt Blues game… a redheaded Vulcanoid (heh heh heh).

Also from the STS world, Doctor Rachel D’Konis (NOT a redhead… in fact, being half Deltan, she’s bald) has been on the faculty at the Miller-Levy Adjunct Training Campus for the past four years and will be heading back to Earth with the cadets of the current graduating class in Art’s latest game, Unknown Stars.

And to round out the voices in my head, there is the redheaded Healer Chumani, cleric of the Goddess Kia, in Dugan’s upcoming game, Great Island Adventure.

Of course, that’s not to mention all the NPCs (non-player characters, aka minor characters) that are in my head… Moira’s twin brother, Padraig; the Caitian engineer Timor and the sweet, quiet Hindu engineer Patel Jefferson; the extremely brilliant and terrified of Captain O’Shaughnessy programmer, Lou Erickson (named after a dear, dear friend); Rachel’s best friend and sometimes-lover, Tony.  And there are other voices that want their chance again to be heard.  (Ian,  buddy… Jehane is starting to get loud, and she isn’t even a redhead.)

In addition to writing, I recruit… and I do a far better job of recruiting new players for DreamLyrics that I ever did recruiting impressionable young people to be Gayz.  First, I pulled in Stealth, one of Wolf’s best pals.  ”Real life” (and just what is “real” anyway?) got in the way for a while, but there is writing to be done, and Stealth is just the one to do it!  (Dude, you can’t deny it; that is one complex and challenging character… and I know you would excel!)  Next, there was Mokie, a coworker with a sense of humor that rarely quits.  He’s playing our plucky comic relief Squire on The Heartwood, but don’t let the slightly bemused demeanor fool you… when Squire Dean decides something needs killing, he not only kills it, but hacks it into bite-sized pieces (not that anyone would want Eastern Hunting Beast stew).  And soon there will be Falco, another coworker who seems to be almost as giddy as I am about the writing.  He’ll be playing a Trill science officer on the Clarke.

Pam remarked several days or a week or some time ago as we were having a great time creating a back story for our characters in Great Island Adventure that we were writing so much it could probably turn out to be a novella.  And that got me thinking…  there’s really only one statistic the DreamLyrics system tracks, and that’s the number of posts a player has made… public in-character and out-of-character, in the game forums or the general discussion forums.  I started wondering about word counts… just for in-character posts (both public and private)… would I have written short stories or novellas for each of the games I have played or currently play?

I should disclose at this point that my nickname is Super OCD Woman.  So I went to town and did a word count of every in-character post, both public and private, that I made in the past year.  Here’s how the numbers break out (HBG has not been archived and is not available just yet; will add those numbers when the files become available… because I’m OCD that way, you know):

28 Precinct                    6,461
Clarke                       207,546
Great Island Adventure         5,003
The Heartwood                137,117
Hitchhikers Bar & Grill  no data yet
Red Shirt Blues                8,397
SG7                           12,084
Unknown Stars                  4,093
Wither the Wind Blows         16,255

Simply because I’m a geeky nerd and all of the above — with the exception of 28 Precinct — would be considered some sort of science fiction or fantasy story, I’m going to go with the page count guidelines from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Award Rules.

Short Story           < 7,500 words
Novelette      7,500 - 17,500 words
Novella       17,500 - 40,000 words
Novel                > 40,000 words

So, at the moment, Sis, we’re still at the short story stage for Chumani and Vrienne, but now that this particular bit of OCD has been completed… and some of the madness (and therefore stress) has died down at work… I’m confident we will have no problem reaching the novella category.

I wasn’t really surprised that I’d surpassed novel length in the Clarke and Heartwood games; what did surprise me was by how much I surpassed them.

I’ve ignored this blog, my word blog, for a long time.  I’m not going to promise any kind of regular posting here because… well, look at the voices in my head and notice how much a certain pair of redheads just LOVE to talk!  But I will try to get over here more often… maybe talk about what’s going on with aforementioned voices in my head.

Or other things… these days, you just never know.

When Twitter Goes Insane

There’s a website called That Can Be My Next Tweet that will predict what some of your next tweets will be on Twitter.  These tweets generally make no sense, but some of them are hysterically funny or just downright weird.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know I just tweet about my blog posts and chat with people there.  If you were to follow me in this imaginary Twitter, here’s the sort of stuff I’d say.

Whistlers should be SO much for a heartbeat!
Go with him.
Ok, if Ambien was in FurrySpace. That story is WAY WAY hotter.
Come to do memes on 6″ x 11″ glossy cardstock. Thanks!
Go with dreams… My couch is freakier to hell.
I’m sure you’re subscribing to stay way more Spike. And be a heartbeat!
Baba Ganoush: I would be REALLY funny. Same old, same issues I can stalk him on 7″ x 4″ x 4″ glossy.
Would you collating paper!
We need to a couple of my arm.
Ok, if Ambien was comparing them for the little PayPal Donate button over on the way I still do sci-fi or!
I accepted your own.
OMG, I would set up the first holiday was doing in the face. With a small snake for sending that read?
I’d forget. Once a bottle of us are some stories on a bad, bad place. Ah, you’re evil…
Funny vid tomorrow, since it keeps your invite on.
If I accepted your closet? Wow.
Our office likes to be the Zip discs. I’ve got all medically.

Yep, That Can Be Your Next Tweet definitely makes me sound crazier than I actually am.  Cool.

Don’t Blame Me

While driving around town, I often see cars with bumper stickers that read, “Don’t blame me, I voted for <one of the people who didn’t win the election>.”

And wouldn’t you know it… I have some thoughts on that.

First: Really?  Do you really drive all over town assuming that the people in traffic around you are holding you responsible for whatever ills they perceive are happening in society?  You do?  I have a word for you: therapy.

Second: Are you driving around town holding all the people in traffic around you responsible for all the ills you perceive are happening in society?  Because, again, I have a word for you: therapy.

Third: Go put a bumper sticker on your car that will make people in traffic around you smile and have a better day.  A joke, a pun, a picture of Buffy staking Edward… whatever.  Consider it part of your therapy.

A Ditty

Entitled: A Day in the Life and Times of the Common Fruit Fly and Household Gnat Including the Relationship Between the Yellow Fuzzy Bumblebee and the Shiny Black Multi-legged Waterbug with a Dissertation on the Sex Life of the Wood- and Varnish-Eating Termite (or How to Fold a Newspaper While Tying Your Shoes in the Sauna of a Wellknown Resort Prior to Major Surgery Entailing Removal of the Entire Colon and Spinal Column)

This little ditty is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  That is not to say they are in any way equal to the female of the species, for they are, in fact, far inferior.  Nevertheless, they serve their purpose.  For example, they can be very adequate bedwarmers.  On the other hand, often they will become surly and uncontrollable for no apparent reason.  This can usually be remedied by threatening to abandon them in the nearest dark alley in which large grey rats lurk in small dirty dustbins, waiting to prey upon the living flesh of unwary wanderers and other unfortunate creatures.

It was in the month of May (the very merry month of May to be precise) in an era unknown to the reader (and the writer, also, for that matter) in a large open area commonly known at the time as a park.  In said park, in said month of merry May, as I nimbly and lightly strolled past thickets, pear trees, rose bushes, geraniums, snapdragons, children swimming in the creek, mothers hoping they will drown, basket weavers twiddling their thumbs and toes, nice young men in their clean white coats, muggers, rapists, murderers, flashers, high school dropouts, greasers, thugs and other unsavory characters, I was taken by surprise (that is to say, one of the above mentioned unsavory characters approached my person and spoke limericks and Polish jokes and bad puns in a low and menacing whisper) by a pair (after closer inspection I discovered that the above mentioned unsavory character was, in fact, two unsavory characters) of Chinese (how they got past the Self Proclaimed Red Chinese Haters Anonymous Private Pizza Party and Beer Bash that was being held at the front gates to ward off all persons of, or suspected of being of, Chinese descent, I’ll never learn) spies (perhaps this is how they got past the Self Proclaimed Red Chinese Haters Anonymous Private Pizza Party and Beer Bash, as they looked more like overcooked chickens, or at the very least overcooked linguine, than Chinese spies, but on the other hand, perhaps this is how Chinese spies are supposed to look) as I (and I alone, for no one had bothered to offer to accompany me through this said park for protection, as this was, and still is, none other than the infamous Central Park of New York City in the North American Confederate of Old Home Terra) was strolling (well, to be honest with you, I was swimming, but that would take us into a whole different ditty) through the park (and I was really swimming down the street, but who’s counting?) one day (it was actually the middle of the night, but that didn’t fit with the music and/or tune of the original ditty that this originally was a parody of).

For Maria, who always said, “As I was swimming down the street one day in the merry, merry month of May, I was taken by surprise by a pair of Chinese spies as I was swimming down the street one day.”

[Note: This was written a million years ago, when I was possibly either a sophomore or junior in high school. I was definitely in high school, and I was definitely as wacky then as I am now.]

The Microsoft Update Update

No one ever called me back from Microsoft.  On Tuesday, I called them again.  I actually stopped writing down their names because, really, what was the point?  So the person I spoke with on Tuesday wouldn’t let me talk to a senior engineer.  Apparently, that sort of thing needs to be scheduled.  Right.  And apparently someone had been trying to contact me by email and I wasn’t responding.  Could that be because you people at the Microsoft call center couldn’t write down my email address correctly?  And that whomever was supposedly contacting me by email was not actually contacting me?  Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason.  So, still on Tuesday here, I requested the email address of the senior technician.  After all, if I send her/him an email, then s/he will have my email address.  That makes sense.  I repeated the email address back to the call center employee twice, so I knew I had the right email address.

Oh, except that I didn’t.  When I sent the email off, it bounced back with a message saying that the email address didn’t exist.  WTF?  So, yet again on Tuesday, I called the call center.  I don’t know why they want to go through all the gory details of the ticket each and every time I call.  This conversation went something like this:

“I just need the senior technician’s email address.”

“But, ma’am, I don’t have that information.”

“Ok, just transfer me to the technical team so they can give me that information.”

“But I need to know why you are calling tonight.”

“You have my case number, and I’m calling to get an email address.”

“But, ma’am, I need to know which team that is.”

“Well, you have my case number.  I’ll wait a moment while you read the file.”

I don’t think he actually read the file, but he did transfer me to the technical team.  I finally got a technician who read my file and gave me the correct email address for the senior technician.  (And this is why I should be talking to customer support people who speak the same dialect as I do: when you say VEE and I hear THREE, then I repeat back THREE to you twice and you hear VEE, this does not make for a very happy customer service experience.)  I resent the email (which never bounced back), requesting that the senior engineer call me at 6pm the following evening.

Now, despite the fact that I was feeling extremely unwell on Wednesday, I sat by my phone and computer from 6pm until 7pm without a call from anyone.  Since I was pretty sure any further sitting up would cause me to vomit, I headed back to sleep for another 12 hours.  On Thursday, I sent another email to the senior engineer requesting a call for Friday at 6pm.

Now, on Friday, I received an email asking me to rate the service I had received from Microsoft… seeing as they had closed my ticket.  Again… WTF??  So, yes, I filled out that survey.  I gave Microsoft the lowest possible rating in every category.  Ah, if only I could have used negative numbers!  They wanted to know how they could make Microsoft support better.  Well, gee.  How about if you hire people who can actually help?  That would be swell.

Instead of any kind of fun on Friday night, I gave Microsoft yet another call.  I bullied my way past the gatekeeper.  I refused to speak to the technical support person.  I only wanted to speak to a manager.  From this point, in all fairness, my association with Microsoft improved ever so slightly.  Rochelle was very accommodating.  Since I’d been waiting for a call back from a senior engineer since Sunday, I told her I really didn’t want to have to wait another two or three days for a senior engineer to get around to contacting me.  In fact, I’d really prefer if she would get one on the line right away.  It wasn’t right away, but she did call me back in about 15 minutes.

I then proceeded to spend the next three hours on the phone with Anthony.  After about two hours, the phone lost its charge and cut us off, but he called me right back.  He tried all manner of things — again, in a spirit of full disclosure, some things I would not have thought to try.  Finally, he decided to conference in a technician from Dell Support.  After about 15 minutes, Mark at Dell found one of their knowledge base articles that stated that there’s some peculiarity with the Vista installation on my specific model of laptop and that the only way to install Windows 7 is to perform a custom (i.e., clean) install.

As disappointing as this was, Anthony was good enough to provide me with the phone number for Microsoft’s “Money Back Guarantee Team” who, according to him, would be happy to assist me in getting a full refund for the software.  Of course, I have to wait until Monday for that.

Why I Would Join a Unitarian Church If I Was a Joiner

I found a fantastic article by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle.  It made me smile and it almost made me want to run down to the local Unitarian Universalist church to join up.  Since I went to UU churches in Chicago (a shout out to Second Unitarian in New Town!) and Denver (went to all of the UU churches in Denver, Jefferson and Boulder counties, and never could decide which was my favorite), the article brought back some great memories.  I’d reprint the whole thing here, except, you know, that’s wrong.  So quick, go read the article, and come back.

Was that great, or what?  I really think I’m going to go join the Unitarian Jihad.  In fact, my new Jihadist name is Sister Flaming Shuriken of Acceptance. If you’d like to join us, you can get your own Unitarian Jihadist name from the Naming Committee.  I have to go make some flower arrangements now.  And then I will probably bake some cookies.

Psych!

I’ve been watching Psych with the Offspring the past few weeks.  I had watched maybe a half dozen episodes of the first season when it first aired, and then stopped watching it… probably for some silly reason like I needed to go to sleep early.  But I had a coupon from Amazon for a Video On Demand offering, so I bought the first season of Psych.  We’ve been watching it on the internet-capable Blu-Ray player Santa brought us for Christmas.

So here’s what I don’t get: why the hell did I stop watching Psych in the first place?  It’s freaking hilarious!  Shawn and Gus crack me up, and at least half of the time so does Lassiter.  We’re done with season one, on to season two.  We’re going to watch another three or four episodes tomorrow night, so leave us alone.

k.d. lang

There are some people who sing with such purity and emotion that their voices reach right into my heart and squeeze.  k.d. lang is one of them.  Her performance at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics is testament to her astounding skill.  When I read the words to Hallelujah, I thought, “Meh, ok, might be a nice song… but might not.”  But while listening to k.d.’s rendition, I had tears streaming down my face.  That’s not a nice song, that’s a shatter your heart into a million little pieces with the longing of it all kind of song.  She did the same darn thing to me the first time I heard her singing Crying, too.

I think I’m going to have to dig out all my k.d. lang CDs today.

God Hates the Westboro Baptist Church

According to the decidedly bizarre people at Westboro Baptist Church, God pretty much hates everything and everyone… including the good ol’ U. S. of A.

This brings all manner of thoughts right to the forefront of my mind, causing a collision that makes it difficult to write about any one thing.  But I’ll work on separating it all out.

First, can you say “hubris”?  Wow.  Going with the assumption that the Entity Known As God is greater than anything a mere mortal could comprehend with the three-pound (give or take) lump of goo in our heads, how could a mere mortal say that he or she knows anything about the mind of said Entity?  On a tangent to that, how do we even know whether or not something godlike even has emotions?  The honest answer is, “We don’t.”  Also tangentially, it would appear that mere mortals have a fondness for anthropomorphizing, well, everything, really.  So the Entity Known As God has emotions because we mere mortals have emotions.

I’m not arguing for or against the existence of the Entity Known As God, by the way.  But all mythology makes the Entities Known As Gods look and act and think and feel an awful lot like the people who are writing the stories about the ENAG.  I’m just saying that we mere mortals are kind of arrogant in thinking we might know what the ENAG is or is not thinking or feeling.

Next, I think I’ve figured out those bizarre people of Westboro Baptist Church.  Since they say that God hates America, they themselves must be anti-American, and not even Americans at all.  But I don’t think ENAG cares much about arbitrary geopolitical borders on this, or any other, planet.  Kind of like how I don’t care what the ants in the colonies are doing under my lawn… as long as they don’t put their little piles of sand in my driveway, I won’t run them over.

And then there, “God hates…”  Wait.  What?  No.  Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.  (Catholic grade school… give me a break.)  Does that mean that Jesus isn’t God?  Well, some people believe that.  But I thought Christians believed that Jesus is God.  So that means that the bizarre people of Westboro Baptist Church aren’t Christians.  Ah!  Now we’re getting somewhere.  Now it all makes sense!

Being the happy science fiction loving nerd that I am, my theory about the bizarre people of Westboro Baptist Church is that they’re aliens from another planet (atheists, of course) that have come here to sow negativity and dissent so we mere mortals are ripe pickings for their evil overlords who will show up here one of these days to harvest the lumps of goo in our heads as a gourmet appetizers.  And then they’ll build a galactic bypass.

My Trip to the Doctor

I had my quarterly checkup with my fibro doc this week.  He’s not one of my insurance company’s providers, so I have to pay for everything out-of-pocket.  He’s got me taking one prescription that I get from a compounding pharmacy.  All the other supplements, I get from him.  Normally, my office visits run close to $500 every three months.  Thank goodness I can afford it!  And thank goodness for my Health Savings Plan, so the cost of visiting him is from pre-tax dollars (every little bit of savings helps).

This time around, I got a couple of new prescriptions… both generics, both covered by my insurance, and both available at the pharmacy around the corner.  One is for pain, the other to help me sleep.  We’ll see how that goes.  I also need to get some blood drawn for my semi-annual blood tests.  Looks like he added about eight extra tests, so I’m hoping to have some blood left to donate to the Red Cross.  My weight stayed the same, which pleased me because I haven’t had the energy to exercise and pleased the doc because he seems to think “the holidays” are a mad food fest for everyone.

Since the last appointment, I had a slight decrease in severe-pain days, but an increase in absolutely-no-energy days.  The lack of energy is typical for this time of year, and is exacerbated by lack of sleep.  Since the last pain medication made me puke all day, I’m hoping this one will be better and knock the severe-pain days down to zero.  The last sleeping medication made me wake up feeling like I was extremely hung over, and I’m also hoping for better results from this one.  As I’ve said before, good sleep is something I yearn for.  I’m pretty sure getting sound sleep every night (or at least most nights) will go a long way towards alleviating the feelings of hostility I feel towards the world.  I know I would appreciate that, as would my family, friends and coworkers.

Oooh, and maybe if I get more energy, I’ll be able to exercise again.  I really do feel better when I spend 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill in the morning!

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