Hurricane Chiquita

He never would have thought he would need to worry about a hurricane living in Northern Nevada, but he also never thought Sacramento, CA would be a coastal city.  The torrential rains were making their way over the Sierras, and the storm drains were beginning to back up.  His wife was still at her shop and he was beginning to worry as the super-massive category five hurricane was nearing landfall in Sacramento.  Most of Sacramento’s residents had made their way over Donner Pass and were staying in the hotels of nearby Reno, or in FEMA trailers on the outskirts of town.  He picked up his phone.

“Are you going to close up shop early?” he asked her.

“Yes, I am in the parking lot getting ready to leave now.  I was just about to let you know I was on my way,” came the reply.  “The street in front of work has huge puddles and a small little stream flowing down the middle,” she added.  “I’ll be fine though, it isn’t anything worse than some of the summer thunderstorms so far.”

“Be safe, but hurry home.  I love you,” he sent.

“I love you too, see you soon.  I’m hungry!!”

45 minutes later she arrived from her work a normal 10 minute drive away.  He saw her little red car pull up in the driveway and rushed out to make sure she was alright.

“That was a nightmare!” she giggled as they embraced.  “80 is completely shut because of standing water at the Spaghetti Bowl.  I had to take about 5 different routes because of road closures and general idiocy of drivers in the rain!”

“Well let’s get inside.  We’re getting soaked!  Aren’t you glad I convinced you to move back here?” he inquired.

“No better anywhere else these days.”

They went in the house and he poured the wine.  He was glad she took longer to get home than usual because the chicken rolls were just now ready to come out of the oven.  He knew they were her favorite.

“What’s the occasion?” she asked.

“Chiquita party!” he laughed.

She asked about his day and he told her his agent called and told him his book made the New York Times-Post-Tribune-Herald’s best seller list.  He then went on to complain about the mergers within media and how he preferred when they were just the New York Times.  She giggled throughout his rant.  He absolutely adored that about her.  So many people took him so seriously on his tirades.  He knew the ridiculousness of them.  He asked about her day.

“It was dead.  Nobody wants to buy things except for necessities when there is the largest ever recorded hurricane approaching.  I just mostly sat in the back with my employees and talked about their sales goals, and of course the hurricane.  We also talked about the earthquake last year and all of those people.  Stupid ass Frank thinks it’s the apocalypse.  I don’t understand how someone that stupid can be such a good manager,” she said.

“Well, he is a manager, you just summed it up,” he joked.  “No, Frank’s a good guy, and after all he’s been through, I understand where he might be a little off.  Besides, he does keep your employees in line and selling.  How he is holding up?” he asked.

“He is professional, but when it is slow, you can tell he is having a rough time,” she stated.

“Well who wouldn’t?  He lost his wife in that quake.  Her damn job never should have scheduled that conference there.  Especially with half the city lost to the ocean before the quake even happened,” he said, beginning to feel that awful combination of sadness and anger at how the signs were ignored.

She deftly changed the subject.  They talked, laughed, ate, drank and joked around.  As they did, he tried his hardest to ignore the sounds of pounding rain and increasing winds.  She noticed his concern but decided not to bring it up as they were a little burnt out on thinking about natural disasters.  She kept talking to him and joking with him and eventually brought his thoughts back to the present.  He reached in and kissed her.

“So it’s that kind of party?” she said with a flirty smile.

The lights began to flicker as they continued their passionate kissing.  Suddenly, a loud explosion roared through their ears and the lights went out.

“Transformer?” he asked as he pulled his lips from hers.

“No, that was much louder.  Let’s check it out.”

They went to the window and looked out to see the road turned into a muddy river with a strange red hue.  Down the street they first saw the smoke, then the fire, then the semi by what used to be a power pole.  The pole was no longer standing.  He told her to light some candles and that he was going to run out and see if he could help anyone.

“Be careful, dammit!” she shouted as he grabbed his jacket and bolted out of the door.

He was gone less than 10 seconds before he came back in.

“I think that we should make love now.  Frank was right,” he said as he took off his jacket, covered in the blood now falling from the sky.

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Strange Game

Hello dear reader(s)!

Occasionally, a conflict will arise in which both parties continue to escalate until pushed right to the brink.  It happened in 1963 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Because of ICBM’s, thermonuclear warheads, launch detection systems, reconnaissance aircraft, and a whole host of other military weapons and tools; it became clear to both the US and the USSR that continued escalation of a conflict would result in the complete and utter destruction of humanity.  Because of this knowledge, both parties sought a back-channel way to deescalate the tension.  Concessions were made on both sides, and the crisis was just barely averted.

Brinkmanship is a failed strategy when both have the means and will to take everyone out with them.  As arms proliferation increases worldwide, the devastation many nations now have the potential to unleash is simply not worth whatever gains may be made by pushing a conflict closer to the brink.  When things reach that point, it is wiser to seek peace, than to face the alternative on a matter of principle.

It is happening right now with Syria.  Many are reporting that the United States has sought to reach out to Russia indicating an abnegation of the United States’ former demand of regime change in order to seek a strong ally in the fight against ISIS.  Assad is completely willing to watch his people be brutally slaughtered and has participated in the slaughter itself.  Assad, is trying to maintain his grip on power in Syria.  ISIS on the other hand, is trying to create an Islamic world and is so radical that there are no means of negotiation available.  Assad is a brutal dictator, but like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, he kept things more stable than those who would fight against him.  The United States is offering a concession to Russia that they will not pursue immediate regime change in Syria, both as an attempt at gaining an ally in the fight against ISIS, but also a gesture to Russia to try to deescalate the tensions that have been building between the two nations since Putin has become increasingly willing to return to the Soviet style of rule; and especially since the Ukraine crisis and annexation of Crimea.

A return to a hotter side of a cold war is not something in the best interest of either nation or humanity in general.  Russia has a large stake in Syria, and with the United States trying to oust Assad, Russia does not want to lose its influence.  Russia has reportedly signaled that they would be open to the proposal of the United States that eventually Assad should be deposed, but Russia (rather than the United States) would have a hand in the transition.  In the meantime, the two nations cooperate on fighting the larger threat to stable governments and people worldwide (ISIS) and try to stem some of the damage created by fighting in the first place.

Tensions remain between the United States and Russia, and due to their histories, those tensions likely will continue for the foreseeable future.  However, cooperation between the two nations to avoid the unthinkable is absolutely paramount to humanity, because both nations have the capability to wipe it out.  I see this conciliatory gesture by the United States as a step in the right direction.  Strategically, the United States does not have interests in Syria.  Russia does.  If Russia oversees a power transition in Syria that stabilizes the region (even if it is not the type of government the US would like to see there) the United States is actually in a better position than when Assad had an iron grip on the country; and most definitely a better position than it is in now.  Additionally new lines of communication and cooperation will open between the two nations that are still most capable of ending life on Earth.

But what if we went further?  What if nations quit playing games in the names of their “interests”, let the past stay in the past, and actually sought to allow the peaceful co-existence without the maneuvering and tit-for-tat responses that result in the destruction of innocent lives?  What if they abandoned the arming of people initially thought to be allies because of a common enemy?  What if they quit looking to expand power and influence and instead were happy with what they have?  The defense capabilities of the nations are beyond question in the face of serious attack.  Military budgets could be drastically reduced to maintain that defense capability, provide for good intelligence and counter-terrorism forces, and debt would be reduced allowing for stronger economies.  Rather than blowing trillions of dollars on meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations, (which never really works out well anyway), the money could go to things that actually benefit people.

The first step is to withdraw from treaties to protect nations that don’t act like allies anyway.  The commitment to protect countries of aggression and human-rights abuses has done more harm than good.  It is widely believed that the United States’ courting of Ukraine into joining NATO (along with the Russian backed Yanukovych fleeing the country in favor a more NATO friendly government), led to Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the paramilitary elections.  The expansion of the alliance was seen as threatening to Russia and Russia used the corruption of the new government to its advantage by backing rebels.  Trying to expand power resulted in a power loss, and more importantly the loss of innocent lives.

I believe that we have reached a point in our evolution, where reason can win out over aggression.  I think peace should be something to strive for whenever possible.  Sometimes “the only winning move, is not to play.”*

*

Somewhere Else

Somewhere else is peaceful
Somewhere else I smile
Somewhere else is somewhere
I could be a while
Somewhere else there’s fresh air
Somewhere else has style
Somewhere else is somewhere
I could be a while
Somewhere else there’s people
Somewhere without trial
Somewhere else is somewhere
I could be a while
Somewhere else is fiction
Somewhere isn’t real
Somewhere else is something
I will never feel

Posting, Sterilized

Hello reader.

Because my words have offended some people in the past, and because I have been blamed for being the victim of attacks possibly, somewhat, though likely not related to my posts, I have decided that I will make this blog free of any possible offending parts, starting right now.

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That was interesting wasn’t it?  Thank you for reading and I hope I didn’t offend you.

Clarification

Hello dear reader(s).

Recently it has come to my attention that I’ve come off as insensitive and not mourning since Hannah’s death.  If you truly believe that, you don’t know me very well.  One post in particular, that I’ve now deleted, made people think I was out actively trying to hook up with women.  I would like to clarify that is not the case, I just was wondering if I would be able to date when I was ready.  I said so in the post, but apparently that didn’t stick out at anyone.

Much of the poetry I have written has been called into question as well.  I just want it to be known that the vast majority of those poems do not reflect current events or situations.  Nor do many of my posts.

The biggest thing I have tried to get across in my writing is that life can, does, and should go on after loss.  It does not mean that I am not very much missing Hannah, and will not love her always.

This isn’t an apology, because the people who would misunderstand were either reading too much in, or obviously don’t know me very well.  In some cases, they are people I would not want to deal with again.

I hope that everyone who knows me knows I would never disrespect Hannah’s memory and I just want to live in peace.  If you don’t…maybe you shouldn’t know me.

How To Maintain A Friendship With Someone You’re Attracted To

Hello dear reader(s)!

So you found yourself becoming attracted to one of your friends.  Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.  I know, because it once happened to me, and I am the best of us.  So now what do you do?  Do you tell that person, and risk ruining a good friendship, or do you sit back, resigned to the friend-zone hoping and praying that one day she’ll notice you were the one who was there all along and the douchebags she usually goes after are not good for her?  Well, if you think it is the second one, then you are a little bitch.  You tell that person.  You don’t have to come right out and say it, but you should come right out and say it.  If not, at least make it obvious to her or whatever gender, gender identity, or lack thereof you have found yourself becoming attracted to.

Okay, so you told the person and that person has either let you know in no uncertain terms that the attraction is not mutual, or has let you know nothing in which case the attraction is not mutual.  Now what are you supposed to do?  Never fear, you can still be friends with this person.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is, in fact, quite easy to maintain a friendship with someone you want to ravish against a wall of the next place you see that person.  Just don’t try to ravish that person against the wall the next time you see that person, and follow these simple steps.

  • Highlight how important honesty is to a good friendship.  Think about it.  Does anyone really want friends who are not going to tell them how they feel about them?  You were bold enough to tell the person the truth on your attraction to said person, you can be bold enough to tell that person her ass does indeed look fat in that dress.
  • Establish rules for the friendship.  This has to be give and take.  For example, you promise not to attempt to ravish her against the wall of the next place you see her, if she promises to never ask you advice about those she is currently, or wants to date.  You are her friend, not her girlfriend.  You promise not to lie to try to slide in from the friend-zone, if she promises to recognize the fact you do find her attractive and may always deep-down want to ravish her against the wall of whatever place you see her next.
  • Remember there are plenty of fish in the sea although that isn’t meant literally because over-fishing, ocean acidification, and climate change are contributing to a decline in the population of most fish in the sea.  Just because she is the one you rub one out to just before you go to bed, when you wake up, and at various points in the day, does not mean that she is the only one you should be focusing on.  Have those all night conversations unless it interferes with having a life outside of this friend.  If you have someone else that likes you, that you find attractive, then go for the one who hasn’t decided they only want to be friends.  You can still talk to this person, but don’t let rubbing one out to thought of ravishing her against the next wall that you find the two of you near get in the way of the possibility of ravishing someone against a nearby wall for real.
  • Keep open to things changing.  This sounds contradictory to the point above, but it really isn’t and I can explain.  Sometimes (despite popular opinion that says otherwise) friends do become lovers.  It isn’t just in romantic comedies that this can happen.  The key is to establish yourself as someone who is attracted to the person you’re interested in early, and not ever accept being just the buddy.  Continue to flirt, continue to let the person know you would let them do degrading things to you for weeks at a time if they so chose as you continue to keep your options open.  The only person limiting yourself to a friendship only relationship is yourself, and of course that person at any given time.  But sometimes things do change, unless you take yourself out of the game as one of the potentials.  Maybe you’re not ready at that time, or that person is not ready for you, or you have too many obstacles in the way, or the person just hasn’t been able to discover your full awesomeness.  Don’t be the bestie.  Be the friend with intentions.  “be like the guy in the rated R movie”*
  • Check-in.  Unless the person has taken steps to keep you from doing so, in which case you need to leave that person the hell alone.  Don’t do this all the time, but let that person know you are thinking of that person and wishing that person a good day, or night, or late afternoon, or sunrise, or lunch hour, or nap as you are looking through her window watching her sleep (oh wait, not that last part!).  Don’t be clingy about it.  You don’t want to make her see your text or message or voicemail or dozen roses you had delivered to her workplace with a giant “Why Won’t You Love Me?” note on a teddy bear and think, “Ugh, not again.  This is the 23rd time today!”  Keep it to 22 times a day or less.  Seriously though, not every day.  If she hasn’t blocked, unfriended, or gotten that TPO don’t worry about a non-response.  If she minded it is easy to let you know.  Just understand that she may not want to talk and slow it up, buddy.  But do let her know you still want to be her friend.
  • Don’t over-analyze.  Nothing will make things more difficult for you than over-analyzing all of the things she does.  “Oh she was on Facebook for more than 5 minutes without posting anything, she must be chatting with some guy.”  Or, “Oh she sent me a smiley sticker in my Messenger app, she must really like me.”  Or, “Oh she told me she is really tired but I am looking at her right now with binoculars and she is out at midnight.”  Those kind of thoughts not only kill any chance you would have at friendship and certainly kill any chance of a relationship, but also probably get you arrested; especially the last one.  Creep.

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Unexpected

Sometimes it doesn’t take that much
A few kind words
A passing touch
To open someone’s eyes

And I don’t even know you well
But I could read
And I can tell
Something recognized

I do recall meeting you
I liked you then
You liked me too
Nothing realized

I didn’t see in that way
Was not looking
For it that day
The thoughts exorcised

Now you show yourself to me
Unexpected
And suddenly
Materialized