That’s Debatable

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The first debate between the two major competitors in the contest of ‘Who wants to Pick Curtains for the White House’ happened on Monday evening.

The interwebz are ringing with ‘TRUMP!’ or ‘CLINTON!’ cheers, as each side in this contest seem to believe their candidate verbally trounced the other.  Meme’s are being slammed into Facebook accounts with specially-laced keyboard venom.  YouTuber’s are happily pulling select clips from this debacle…er…hotly contested race and making 3 minute videos of Trump’s sniffing (SniffGate?) and Hillary’s coughing throat-clearing (HealthGate?).

Twitter, Instagram, and all the other social media outlets are all feeling the rising hostilities as America once again simultaneously shows it’s soft, undefended belly, and tears strips out of it in this 4-year annual, ultimate throw-down brawl.

The only ones who win this particular three-ring-circus are the ones selling political advertising.  The rest of us are straight up S.O.L.

As I find Political Theater less enjoyable than passing a kidney stone, I did not watch the debate.

I find politics annoying.  I don’t care if you’re going to vote for the orange megalomaniac baboon, the commensurate establishment liar, the third-party ‘I think I’ve heard of him’ guy, or write in the Commie.   I don’t care if you’re going to stay home in protest instead of making your way to the ballot box.  All I know is I’ve made up my mind on how I’m going to behave on election night.

(for the curious ones out there – I’ll cast a ballot, and celebrate that the freakshow election cycle is OVER)

So, what did I do during this first contest between Trump & Clinton?

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I did something constructive, and created a little piece of beauty.  A much better use of my time, I would think, than participating in the hostilities.

 

 

 

 

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Olympic Tales take II

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About 2 months ago, I mentioned the Godhunter series by Amy Sumida.  Since that posting, I’ve been obsessed with adding more of this series to my kindle.  I’ve had some disappointments in the story line, but never a bad enough book to make me stop reading the series.

 

 

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I’m almost finished with book 10 now, and have even ignored the new Harry Potter sitting, patiently, in my reading queue.  I almost expect a Patronus to spring from the screen every time I select a new book, because I’m sure the Wizarding world’s patience is wearing thin.

 

 

 

There are currently 18 books in the series – so I’m beyond the half-way point, and have no intention of stopping until I’ve had them all under my nose.

I’ve lost count of the number of  times I’ve mused to myself “What can she (the author) POSSIBLY get Vervain (the character) into NEXT???”

 

 

A very interesting twist in this series is one I haven’t seen anywhere else…polyamory.

I’m not afraid of alternate lifestyle books.  I’ve avidly read same-sex orientated characters, neuter characters, vanilla-straight characters, and trans characters.  I’ve jumped into the stories of Christians, Buddhists, Wiccans & Jews;  run through the lives of Vegans, Vegetarians and your basic Omnivores.

If the author constructs a good character that comes alive in my head, it doesn’t matter what the surfaces are – I’m entertained (and educated) by the thought processes behind that surface.

And I like that – it continues to open my eyes to the diverse nature of humanity.

41zayixoqkl-_sx331_bo1204203200_The only stumbling block in the series so far was book 4 (Marked by Death).  This book took our lead character down an incredibly dark path…so dark, that I felt some of the depression seeping into reality from the reading.

Around half-way through this book was the only time I contemplated stepping away from the series for the author’s portrayal of abusive domination – as seen from the abusee’s point of view.  I think there may have been an abusive situation in the author’s life that she draws from.

 

I do have to give fair warning, though.  If you don’t like sex in your reading material, you might not find the Godhunter series entertaining.  Because the lead character has several lovers, there IS more sex in the series than most will be comfortable with.  What it doesn’t have, however, are the overly dramatic, chapters-long descriptors of bedroom play.  Vervain is a very complex being and I’ve enjoyed my time in her head.

 

To Infinity!

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A couple of weeks ago, a lady on my chainmaillers group on Facebook posted a video of a new creation she’d come up with.  Everyone ooo’d and ahhh’d and, with the fevor of hard-core creative types, requested (begged, pleaded, kowtowed, offered lavish sacrifice for) a tutorial become available.

Well, JUUUUST before Labor day – that tutorial suddenly appeared on the interwebz.  There were delays involving technical difficulties with recording the tutorial video, a LOT of Facebook stalking of that thread in our group, a few bitten fingernails (mostly mine, I can’t confirm the status of anyone else’s digits) and, overall, a lot of good-natured ribbing as we waited for the magic images.

The $12 bucks I threw at her tutorial was some of the best money I’ve spent on the web.

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She calls this pattern the ‘Infinity Rose.’

Damn…this thing is addictive – both to create, AND to play with.  So addictive, sadly, that I think I irritated a nerve.  The inner tip of my left ring finger has been slightly numb since Saturday evening.

My pliers are, for the moment, in the penalty (tool)box – waiting for some feeling to come back into my finger.  With most sprains, strains and body-irritations, time & rest is what heals things.

But I’ve NEVER wanted to chainmaille so bad in my LIFE!

On the other hand, a forced break from creation is allowing me to get some well-overdue listings for pieces up on Etsy.

Come see what I’ve been up to 😀

Disregard the sound – Roommates watching Futurama when I recorded this…

Feed me, Seymour!

Been a while since I put in a Keto update…

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I had a rocky 3 month anniversary on Keto.

I couldn’t get full.

No matter what I ate, an hour later I was starving.  The two block walk to get to my car was once again making me out of breath.  My knee was grumbling over the stairs again.  I could feel a tightness around the shoulders & chest, and I couldn’t think my way out of a paper bag with the end cut open.  It was like going through keto-flu all over again, where my body was demanding glucose and throwing a hissy fit when denied.

Imagine the frustration – an entire week, yelling at my digestive system, demanding to know WHATINHELL you want???  It was almost frustrating enough to order a large, hand-tossed, extra cheese, double EVERYTHING pizza and eat the entire thing on the spot.

Don’t worry – I behaved.  I drank chicken bouillon like water, ate a lot of cheese, and attempted to mollify the demands of my gut with bacon, sausage & nuts.

I think I finally figured out WHY my body went crazy on the 3 month mark.

Protein.

I had been averaging around half of my macro’s recommended 100 grams of protein a day.  Yes, I had been warned.  The dire prognostication of ‘OMG, you’re going to lose MUSCLE!’ is quite common on a lot of the Keto sites, and a lot of the threads I’ve seen on reddit fairly scream “Go eat a gahd-damn steak, ferkristssake!”

But, up until this point, I felt great on keto, so I figured the doom & gloomers were just blowing fear out their rear.

Guess I still gotta learn some things the hard way.  I now know what happens when your body starts to cannibalize proteins from within…

The breakthrough finally came Friday.  After 5 days of intense hunger-pangs, I bowed to the inevitable, and picked up some Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein powder.  Now, when I ran to the store after work, I was almost desperate enough to grab any old tub of powder, but I still reviewed nutrition information, and the Quest stuff seemed to be the best.  23 grams of protein per serving, 2 net carb, not a shit-ton of dietary fiber (which sometimes give me those ‘never trust a fart’ moments with the Quest bars), and a mix of whey protein (fast acting) and casein protein (slow-to-digest).

I’m finally back to my ‘I really don’t have much of an appetite,’ happy-on-keto self, and slowly working through the last echoes of protein-deprivation.  The knee has ceased threatening to go on strike, at least…

And it’s pretty damn tasty mixed like this:

 

Iced Quest Coffee

3/4 scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake (about 1.5 T)

2.5 T Heavy Cream

Cold Coffee

Pour heavy cream in the bottom of a standard drinking glass (around 20 ounce).  Pour quest powder on top of cream, fill the glass with cold coffee, leaving room for ice.

Drop a wire wisk into the glass, and spin between your palms while simultaneously raising and lowering the wisk until everything is well mixed.  Add your ice, and caffeinate yourself into wakefullness.

 

I might just try blending it into full frothiness next…stay tuned!

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Barbarian Rapture

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The Men.

 

Bred and dedicated to the arte of war.  Daily, they practice their craft, seeking to be well toned and well honed, eager for the the clarion call of the battle trumpets summoning them to gainful employment.

and it comes.

The dulcet tones of brass and wind, calling them from across the moors, demanding they be present to prove their mettle on the stage of legend.

so they prepare.

Eagerly, they gird their loins in the armor of their profession.  Joyfully, they load the wagons with gear, ignoring the lamentation of their women as they march toward the field which would test their dedication.

They will come home in glory – or laid out on their … keyboards?

 

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GOTCHA!

The Beltempest is the band my SQO is head of.  They had a show on Friday at one of the multitude of bars populating the Greater Milwaukee Metro area.

It was a great show.

I was pressed into service once again as the photographer of the boys, and I got some damn fine shots.

It’s been a long time since I wielded the camera for an entire evening…I figured out I kinda missed it.  I might have to swerve out of chainmaille mode, and back into photography mode.

The muses will let me know what they decide 😀

Until then – enjoy some of my favorite shots of the boys of the Bel in action…

 

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Flash Fiction – Five of the clock

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I’ve been digging through my old stuff again – and found another flash fiction piece I wrote up about a year ago.  Why it never ended up in the published list is a question best left to sages and those gurus who own time.

It IS a good piece of situational flash  –  so I’m sharing it now.  Enjoy!

 

Five O’Clock

Story Elements:  Conflict and Character

242 words

Too much alcohol.

Too little sleep.

Too much of whatever that white-ish sludge I found in the bottom of my whiskey glass was…

 

He wanted me quiescent.  Immobilized.  But conscious.  As much as I would like the reality of this room to fade away into my comfortable library, it stubbornly sticks to reality.

His boots scrape along the concrete floor, his off-key whistling echoing weirdly from the steel rafters.  Like a cobra strike, his face pops into my field of view.

“Ahhhh…” the word a long, slow exhalation, punctuated with garlic and tobacco smoke.   “No introductions necessary, I assume?”

They’re not, and he knows it.  His face and his escape have been plastered all over the news and social media since ‘The Butcher’ performed his vanishing act from his not-so-cozy cell a week ago.

Those stories amplified as he resumed his grizzly … work.

“It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he says sardonically, his face inches from my own, his breath forcing trickles of tears from my watering eyes.  “Have you ever heard the term?  It’s an excuse.  A cop out.  A clever way to say I’d rather go fill my gullet with alcohol than to do a competent job.”

A finger of ice traces it’s delicate way down my spine.

“You said that, your Honor, the day you sentenced me to life without the possibility of parole.”

He slowly draws a very shiny, very sharp knife between our faces.

“It’s time for my drink.”