Curious about how it all began? Here’s some little known fun facts about the freaky date.
Curious about how it all began? Here’s some little known fun facts about the freaky date.
This is going to be episode 1 of a mini-series I’m wanting to cover. Of course, the main comic creator I had to add first was Frank Miller. Why? I admire the hell out of the man. His style captures both main stream and comic audiences. And he has that sort of, ‘no fuss’ attitude I so love.
In a recent interview Miller says just that. They ask him if Marvel should pay him for creating Elektra, to which he responds:
“I’m not running for president. I don’t want to be one of those cranky old guys grinding an ax, wishing I got paid better. I’ve done my best to pave the way for artists in the future to be treated better than I have. And that’s all I can do. Beyond that, I’d be pissing and moaning about things I have no control over. I’ve signed every contract that I’ve signed and agreed to the working conditions that I’ve worked in. And I’m not going to whine about this. I make a good living.”
Why else? Miller is soft spoken, but extremely intense. Which are two combinations, I can completely relate to. Being a fairly intense person myself, I can understand the need to really work hard on something that you love. My stories are no different. You have to know the balance between your own bias, and what the public will want to read. Sometimes, it gets rough. But Miller has proven that you can walk that balance by putting your own style and touch to something others can relate to.
To date, I’ve yet to find a Batman that really speaks to me like Frank Miller’s version. He’s real, he’s raw and gritty─ and he cares. Though it has it’s interesting moments, the earlier versions of a more jovial Batman from the 1940s-1970’s just never spoke to me. He [Bruce Wayne] had been through a lot, and watched it all. This would profoundly affect a person and how they behave. Having been through many tragedies of my own in life, I can testify that you can go one way or the other with all the bad things that happen that you can’t control.
In the recent interview in March, just before the release of Batman vs. Superman on the 25th, Miller spoke about how he drew from the Dark Knight returns and what inspired him with the original gritty character. He explained that he knew what it was like, losing control and being mugged─ having a gun waved in his face. He had been involved in a few muggings in Manhattan. It made him angry, and that anger transferred to the Dark Knight.
One of my favorite quotes, was one in Holy Terror, Batman! that sounds suspiciously like Miller’s inner monologue:
“All my life there’s been something wrong. Something missing. A sense that everything I’m seeing all around me isn’t entirely true. That this seemingly ordered world of laws and logic and reason is nothing but a shroud, a chimera. A mask. But every once in a long while, the mask falls away. Every once in a long while, the whole world makes perfect sense. The world reveals itself. I am at peace. And at war.”
Like this? Stay tuned for my next show covering Manga creator and horror grand-master, Junji Ito. His haunting imagery and wickedly crafted tales will keep you awake for hours.
OK, I tell myself. Things haven’t gone well this year. I have a roof over my head, let’s switch gears.
My Brain: Remember that career you always wanted as a police officer? Yes? Yes! Let’s do that.
So I worked hard. Harder than anything that I have ever worked at in my entire life. For a solid 8 weeks, I worked out 5 to 6 days a week, ate right, and lifted weights. I studied an hour a day every day.
Test day arrived. I was happier than a dog rolling in cow caca. I couldn’t believe it. After a solid year of failure, trying to get into other police departments, I finally made it past. I scored a 98/100, passed my PT with flying colors, and got all of my long and grueling paperwork completed. For the first time, I was seeing the stars align.
I envisioned my future, the difference I could make. The change that I could do in my city and helping others. The pride I would take in getting there and the joy in being a part of the community.
…yeah. What a load of─
Oooo ho hoho~~
Remember how much I like the honesty train? Yeah. Well, ladies and gents, that was my one-way pass to them showing me the door.
They use something called a polygraph test. (pronounced /dʌm/) Well, folks, I’m not good at lying. And I didn’t want to. Remember that lovely ex? The one I told you about? Well, this girl decided last year to try a certain grown plant for the first time in her life, once. That was it!
That was enough.
It disqualified me for an entire year. Smoking the green, once in my whole life, cost me 2 years of disqualification from the time I smoked it last November 2015, until December 2017. As I find this out, my test score gets sent to me via email. I open it, stare at the nearly perfect score and look blankly at this man that just crushed my dreams. I worked for two months, been trying for over a year, and gave up job searching for a while, riding on the tide of hope that by being honest, it would be the best way.
And so, I thanked him─My entire body shaking, tears threatening to spill and smile as I walk woodenly from the door.
Everything deflated and I came home and sat. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe what I had caused. I.could.not.believe. that of all things, I decided to do this on my own, effectively ruining my childhood dream in a few puffs of smoke.
I was lost. More than I ever had been in quite some time. For once, I felt I had found my place in the universe. That everything, all that heartache up until that moment, had been worth the pain. And that’s the thing about Asperger. You can’t process anything emotionally. Why you are crying, why you’re upset, how you are feeling about something─ it’s all just a murky mess. And so, I didn’t show an ounce of my feelings to anyone.
Often, when a crises occurs, I am the first to jump in and do it. I can remember everything and the smallest details, so I do well at work because I can remember what others have to work hard to. Think of it like a photographic memory, but less like Sherlock Holmes. You can visualize the area, the time, the license plates and everything that you did that day.
One of my weirdest and most favorite past times is memorizing license plates, or reflecting on every detail of an area I’ve been.
People often mistake us for emotional robots. This is very wrong. It’s not that we are emotionless, but rather, we process more inwardly. We struggle hard with actually putting to words how we feel about a certain situation. If someone were to ask me, ‘how are you feeling about scenario a, b, c’ I would fidget, flush a deep red, and stutter. It takes hours of time to myself to just understand and pick apart what it is my emotions actually are.
And as such, you could imagine what it is like in a household of two people that have autism.
Enter my life.
My boyfriend has a more severe version of what I do. I can hit a point (usually a few hours later) where I can talk about it and open up. Sometimes, this can take several days. He can’t talk about it at all. Now try to imagine that you have all of these feelings and emotions but feel trapped, constantly disoriented, are a shut-in, and severely depressed. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a Nihilist? He thinks everything and anything is absolutely pointless. Yet, each and every time we talk, I see a small sparkle of hope in him that he still believes there may be some order to the universe.
I’m more agnostic. I see things for what they are, and that things are all coincidental. I’m a huge skeptic, but optimistic in general. I tend to be that annoying co-worker that is giddy and gets excited over dumb things. I’ve had people question me as a genuine person because of how often many things don’t seem to bother me. Yeah, thanks guys. Because I’m not bitching about everything under the sun and generally happy, something is just wrong with me. Well, poop on you too buddy.
What does this have to do with my productivity lately? Um. Everything. Did you read the past two giant paragraphs on my life this year? Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that I still didn’t have a job up until a week ago.
So. Bf doesn’t believe in anything─ check. Freaks out in large crowds─ check. Can’t function at work─check. Believes that he is a burden and mooch─check.
Because I want to respect his family and his privacy, I will not post his name. This next part, took me 72 hours of courage to write. Why? Because it was the lowest point, aside from my childhood (which I’ll get to in a later trauma series), in my life that I have ever experienced.
The love of my life tried to take his own life.
This would have been the second time in my existence I lost someone that meant this much to me by a self-inflicted wound.
At this point, I was working two jobs: One with Uber and one with Amazonflex. Neither of which offers enough money, or time available to take care of two human beings. I was applying to over twenty places a day, trying to find something that would support the two of us so that we could get him and myself on insurance and begin more treatments. But, life had other plans.
I have finally managed to find work. It pays crap, I do marketing for basically free, and will still have to find a way to freelance and make money─ BUT I have a job. I am able to pay bills, and though we don’t always see eye-to-eye, a boyfriend that cares. We just got two little ratses :3 Alby and Nova. Animals are easier for us to attach to. And so, we fawn over our furry babies, and seek the treatment that we both know he needs. Hurray neurotransmitters! Hurry dopamine and serotonin! Hurray brain thingies! but mostly, hurray rats.
I am convinced at this point that somehow, someway, a past ancestor or my own past life (if such a thing does exist) has fucked up my karma so bad that I am paying for all of their evil deeds combined. Don’t even get me started on my holiday experiences.
I’m not sure what wayward deity, or all of the Fates I managed to piss off, but I know one thing for sure. This has been a poop year. Not a mildly frustrating, not bad, but damn dude you flipping pissed off every god in existence and they’re coming for blood.
Picture this: You see that puppy? Bobo? We’ll call him Bobo. Why? Because I’m too lazy to actually look up every image I find online. Imagine little Bobes here─ cute, free, and happy frolicking in blissful ignorance at all the cute things that seem to bring him joy and happiness.
He doesn’t need much, just a ‘good boy’ every now and then, some food and water, and to feel safe.
Well, folks, I’m Bobo. I don’t need much, I don’t like overly complex situations and especially where my love life is concerned. I like it simple and things to be happy.
Every now and then I bark, I may even bite, but I get over it quickly. Well, last year was a shit-storm of my own doing. I managed to stay involved with someone that was very bad for me. Cue the sob story and tiny violin, and many craptastic months later, we are no longer engaged.
Oh! But my kind heart, it knows no bounds. It’s masochistic tendencies can put some monks across the world to shame. I called him once a week, even after I was moved out. He’d always answer with the same response, ‘I just don’t know how I feel and that I might never get those feelings back.’ The whole time seeing me and someone else. Later that week, I found out what I suspected. It had been more like the last 4 months of us engaged.
1 month later, I existed. Minus a fiance, a car, and barely a place to stay─ along with what I was sure were very confused neighbors as I practiced Krav at all hours of the night─ I knew money would be tight, but I convinced myself that all would be ok.
Like all things after 4 months went by, I finally was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was doing great at my new job, got promoted to a lead position and was doing training presentations every week. I found great joy and took pride in teaching others.
And then, it happened.
We all get called into the office in May. Our entire department (at giant tech company with four main colors in their logo that’s square shaped – a wink, wink) decided to end our contract and make it impossible to switch to another department due to our ‘skillset’ and changing rules about tech support not getting to switch over as fast track engineers.
We had a choice, move to Manila in the Philippines, or lose our job.
I have a daughter. This was not an option.
So, I lucked out given that our team was allowed 6 weeks to find new work. Oh and bright eyed and bushy tailed, I started. Over one hundred applications a week, calling, re-calling, sending follow-up emails, asking why I was not chosen for candidacy, phone interview after phone interview, and hiring someone to fix my resume to make it look more appealing.
Finally, two months later, (and probably some very frustrated HR staff) I land a job through a staffing agency.It’s amazing! I’m excited. I was making more, getting to be in a Junior Marketing position, and great benefits. I was warned that it was just a trial period, but I poured my heart into that job. I’m doing to work of 2 people, like someone fresh out of college.
Until─ my meds were out.
I have asperger (now called high functioning autism) in combination with depression and ADHD. Often, these all coincide with each other.( Just ask the community on that.) I was nervous, only having been employed for a month and didn’t want to lose my job.
Cute, sweet, naive Bobo.
Yep, that’s me. I wanted to be honest with my employer!
So, what did I do? I explained that I would seem a little out of focus and become anxious until my insurance kicked in at the end of the month.
My new boss went from kind and understanding, to apprehensive and quiet. She stopped assigning work to me, kept to herself, and called me into her office. She had just returned from a business trip and explained that someone had caught me doing personal work during work hours. Which wasn’t in the least bit true. I was working on a novel during my lunch hour.
I. Was. Mortified.
I went into a mode that normal people can’t really relate to. I call it aspie rage. Not directed at others, but at yourself. It’s vicious, it’s painful, and you are extremely hard on yourself. The worst part is, you shut down emotionally─ feeling as if the world hates you, and you hate yourself, because they think poorly of you.
I got so distraught, that the next day I woke up very sick. So sick, I couldn’t get out of bed. I had to make a choice, go in like that and possibly chance that it was a virus and get others sick─ or to stay home and rest.
I chose to stay home. I needed it. It was the wrong choice.
The next day, I lost my job.
My now boyfriend, had barely been seeing me for four months at this point. He had allowed me to move in with him when I lost my apartment in July.
Let me rephrase that─
I didn’t just lose my apartment, I lost everything. No job, no place to stay, no work in sight. I was looking at living from out of my car and my gym membership until I found steady work.
When I got that call, I felt like the biggest screw up in the history of ever. He had been paying my bills, and I returned the favor by losing my job. I beat myself up mentally for a while before finally he told me that it was OK, and not to worry about it.
How I wish my brain worked that easily. Just, ‘alright, we’re going to stop calling ourselves a waste of space now!’ It’s taken years to get as well as I have at not doing that. And still, I know I have room to grow.
Stay tuned for part two, kiddos!
Where did you get your inspiration?
Many moons ago, this lady had a childhood. (Don’t take that tone of thoughts with me, reader, I hear it in your mind words.) For what my mother lacked, she made up with books. Our family loved stories, and my stepfather could spin a tale. I grew up learning about Chinese and Japanese folklore.
Though I was fond of many, the one that always stuck out in my mind was The Weaver and the Cowherd.
In book one of the trilogy, Celeste walks the long corridor of Matilda’s home which is filled with intriguing paintings. This section of the story combines the Tale of the Jade Emperor and the 12 signs of the Zodiac as well as The Weaver and the Cowherd.
Similarly, you may have read or heard about the star crossed lovers with the celebration of Tanabata in Japan. The tales are similar, but vary slightly from China to Japan.
The gist of the tales, is that the Weaver of the stars fell in love with a lowly cowherd boy. Zhinü (or Orihime in the Japanese version) was forbidden by the Jade Emperor (Sky King, or Tentei in Japan) to fall in love with Niulang (Hikoboshi in Japan) and was separated by the Silver River, which represents the Milky Way.
The only time the lovers are allowed to meet are on the 7th day of the 7th month when a flock of magpies flies down to allow them to rejoin.
I encourage all of you to actually read the tales, they are quite fascinating. But just know that the theme of forbidden love is probably the oldest in human history and still manages to top the charts with sales in the romance section.
On that note, I refuse to write romance. That’s sissy stuff. I easily get annoyed and the eye rolls begin as I’m cringing through most overly-emotional shows or characters. Don’t get me wrong, a little romance never hurts, but when I see people on screen making dumb choices, my aspie self goes bananas. I’ve managed to offend most people with my rants on how Character A should just off Character F because they are a huge risk to the group. Their jaws drop and I get a 5 minute lecture on human compassion. Yes, compassion is fine and good, but senor bleeding heart mc-love machine needs to take a swan dive over the cliff. Love doesn’t cure the badies rounding the corner because some dude is raising a ruckus to save his already-dead gal’s dignity.
…um, she doesn’t need that nor can she feel it. She’s dead, lady. She’s dead. /rant.
Why am I telling you this? Because I did a little trickses in Hell’s Gate. Besides the hidden meanings and sayings within the passages, I left a bit of an Easter egg in the story. I’m quite fond of superstitions and find them wickedly delicious when playing tricks on others. To top that off, I start the first book in what seems to be a tale of a love-driven main character. By chapter two, the water works end and by the end of the book, we discover a very different side to her love interest. Just you wait until book 2. I’m practically cackling. Next blog? The life that has kicked my arse for the past two years, and up and coming WIP.
I’m sure most of you read that title and didn’t know what to make of it. And to be fair, what IS a ‘non-traditional’ American household? Well to a lot of people reading this, (and if you assumed like I would have some years ago) you would think I meant a sort of an ‘eclectic’ type living. You would only partially be wrong, but I’ll get to that on a later blog.
Let’s get to the point: My childhood wasn’t what you would think when you look at me. Yes, I’m not the traditional blonde-haired, blue-eyed, etc. ─ but you know I’m a white woman. And for every time that I’ve assumed things about others, you’ve assumed things about me. To look at me, you probably assumed that I lived in a middle-class household with a few dogs, some siblings, and an easy (somewhat pampered) life. That I graduated from a university on my parent’s budget and that they purchased my fist car for me. Though I could rant on this topic as a whole for quite some time, I’ll spare you the details and wrap this up by saying: you would be dead wrong. Very wrong. No-good, very bad, and just plain wrong.
The most common question people like to ask me, is how I got into Japanese and Asian culture. A lot of my work often dabbles in both Eastern and Western philosophies. Why? Because growing up, I got to experience what a lot of families have not. My parents were an inter-racial couple. This was very racy, even in the 90’s.
Let me back-track a bit. My real father (who is a whole other long and complicated story saved for another time) is actually white. Unless, of course you discount the fact that my great-great grandparents were full-blooded Cherokee─ he is as white as they come. Even lives on a plot of land with some recently purchased chickens and his rescue dogs. (My dad’s a real softy for rescues)
What did that mean for me growing up? Well, my maternal grandfather was not at -all- OK with his daughter dating an ‘oriental’. There were MUCH worse things muttered in our household, and during the holidays, but let’s just let me keep those in my head and not yours, hmm?
My step-father raised me from the time that I was three years old. My parents had divorced when I was a baby, my mother taking me full-time. I’d love to get into this story, but later, as some very interesting details were discovered by myself after many years of prodding. I immediately accepted my step-father and often still catch myself referring to him as ‘dad’ because to me─ he was.
He was one of the hardest working people I had the pleasure of knowing. He worked long, and often grueling work schedules over-night, would sleep for a few hours, and then attended college. What always amazed me, is how he managed to work a 40 hour work week, school full-time, and still kept a 4.0 grade average. Even during my best semesters and working full-time, I wasn’t able to achieve this. The man was a flipping genius.
Despite those long hours, he always managed to set aside time to dedicate to me, and later both me and my brother after he was born. My mother was a stay at home mom (only after my step-dad told her that he wanted her to stay with us, because damned if my mother wasn’t anything but stubborn on this subject─ she was fiercely independent) and being that she never even graduated from high school (she had me at 17), didn’t have the knowledge to help with my homework. He was especially diligent in teaching me all the things that I struggled with, telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to.
Though my step-dad was a product of a Chinese father, and a white, American mother, we still had somewhat odd traditions than most families at the time. For example, our New Year’s was in February. We still celebrated the American New Year, but our’s was more special. It was about family─ about gathering together, eating special seasonal dumplings or food, and gifts. My eyes would simply sparkle as a child when I was handed those little red envelopes.
And nothing, I repeat n.o.t.h.i.n.g. can get me more excited than salted plum, or salted plum flavored anything─ that is my childhood in a bottle. My stepdad would bring these home for me all the time. I loved sour things as a kid, and he would make special trips to the Asian shops to get them. Noodles? Check. Rice cooking all day and me coming home to this? Check. If you combined three of the best smells in the world to me, it would be: cooked rice (especially jasmine), salted plum, and star anise (which smells just like licorice). We would go to real Chinese restaurants near us, with hand-pulled noodles, and perfectly cooked rice.
So if you happen upon a little place called Chinatown or Asian Marts across the metroplex, know there is a happy white girl perusing the spoils of local grocers trying to capture her odd little world in an all-American life.