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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
05 January 2020 @ 10:49 am


Prison Break Fanfiction
I write primarily non-shipper general fiction, and some Lincoln/Michael slash pieces as well. Yes, I know they’re brothers… and no, I normally wouldn’t be writing brothercest. That said, if it’s not your thing then please stick to the General Fiction section.

                  Prison Break Gen Fiction                      Prison Break Slash Fiction

Supernatural Fanfiction
Supernatural also deals with two brothers, who in this case are bound together in the pursuit of demons and vengeance. An excellent overview of this show and its characters can be found here.
                  Supernatural Gen Fiction                      Supernatural Slash Fiction

Other Fanfiction: Iron Man, Die Hard 4, Chuck, White Collar, Burn Notice, Reaper, and more

Original Fiction and Non-Fiction Stories: Miscellaneous Original Fiction // Real LJ Idol Season 8 // LJ Idol Exhibit A // LJ Idol Exhibit B // LJ Idol Season 9

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
21 August 2016 @ 11:20 pm
Seriously, NBC, a whole half-hour interview? Who even wants to see that?

Expecting reason from TV Journalism these days is like trying to walk your dog past the remains of a dead squirrel:

You: Leave it!
Media/Dog: *drops down and rolls in the mess* *comes to you for pets*

It's the tail end of a busy weekend here—11 pm, and I'm still winding up chores before work tomorrow. It was our son's birthday (our daughter's was a week ago), so there was a lot of time devoted to cleaning and shopping and cake-decorating. I'll need a back pill tonight—I feel as if I've been standing up all day, which is not far from the truth. And next weekend I'll be in Oregon visiting family, so the push to get things settled beforehand at home and work is pretty intense.

But for now, courtesy of our son, I leave you with the kind of thing I probably shouldn't laugh at, but can't help myself. Our son says this is how his interactions with the cat sometimes feel: Boy, knock that off!

And let me just say, for the record... fully justified. ;)

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
20 August 2016 @ 12:41 am
And after my last post, in which I mentioned my intent to update later in the week... another big gap goes by. I blame the Olympics. ;)

We've been watching lot of them—mainly because we have different tastes in what we considering interesting. The whole family likes watching gymnastics, and most of us like the various platform diving competitions. But HalfshellHusband and our daughter are big on swimming (which mostly bores me), and then everyone BUT our daughter likes the track and field events. The reality is that what usually SEEMS to be on all the time is women's beach volleyball, and none of us likes it. Who knows what we're not seeing. I'm starting to get a niggling suspicion that the steeplechase event may already have happened. :(

We've been enjoying An Idiot Abroad, and started watching The West Wing with our daughter. West Wing is all politics and life behind-the-scenes, so she loves it. We didn't see it when it first aired. Back in the day, we just had the two VCR/DVD machines, so if more than three interesting shows aired in the same time-slot, we had to forego one of them. The first seasons of 24 and Chuck were also victims of that situation. You would think we'd finally be watching House of Cards, as that's also politics, but it's a darker, more cynical take on them. Our daughter wants to be inspired, not demotivated.

Other news: HalfshellHusband is almost 6 weeks post-op now. He's moving more freely, though he still can't drive and bending over his hard. Things hurt if he stands too long or pushes his limits, but it's all trending upward. I'm looking forward to not having to sleep in the guest bedroom, which gets too much light and also abuts the master bathroom. As in, the sinks and bathtub/shower are on the other side of the wall. Being a light sleeper is a curse.

And now, for fans of the weird: a Star Trek Opera, in which The Abduction from the Seraglio is now re-imagined as a Star Trek adventure, complete with KirK, Spock, and Klingons. \o/

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
09 August 2016 @ 12:03 am
Criminy—I was promised Men's Gymnastics for the Olympics broadcasting tonight, and after hours of diving and endless swimming... women's beach volleyball is on? Gah.

Summer's getting away from me, not just because of HalfshellHusband's surgery and recuperation. The kids are all scheduled up with their summer obligations, and then our son starts school next week. Too soon!

The Boy is doing two weeks as a zoo camp counselor, and despite a year of conservative-leaning bro-ness (which has kind of been driving us nuts), he has succumbed to the cuteness of the younger kids. Those first and second graders are pricelessly loopy. :)

Our daughter has been working in public relations at a state government office all summer, and has another month to go. She spends hours answering phone calls from the public, and fortunately has a very calm personality. There are... a lot of people out there who are either off their meds or have never been treated. It's sad. So many of them are distressed about things that aren't really happening. She has also heard from a lot of NRA members about various gun bills, and from people having disability or benefits issues (and her office isn't the right one to call, which makes the callers feel even more frustrated and hopeless). There are some, shall we say, frequent flyers, too. One phone call devolved into this:

Caller: ... this is important.
Daughter: I understand, sir.
Caller: And the government is just *blerk* *frambot*
Daughter: o_O
Caller: *ranty-rant-rant-rant-rant* !!
Daughter: Sir, I'd like to have you talk to someone higher up. Do you mind if I place you on hold for a moment?
Caller: Don't transfer me to Jeremiah, he doesn't help me.
Daughter: I—
Caller: And don't send me to the Threat Assessment Unit, either!

Wow. She's had a few days where she has come home in need of chocolate. And her internship half-day only, too.

Thanks to the ever-fluxing weather here, I had another garage-biking session last week. I decided to try out Spartacus: Blood and Sand on Netflix streaming. I really didn't know anything about the production, so first, I was not expecting it to be so British. Then there are out-of-place touches like the wife's push-up bra, salon-styled hair, and serious makeup, and Lucy Lawless' character has unbelievably red hair (as in, that blueish-red color that isn't natural, and you'd be hard-pressed to achieve without modern hair dyeing techniques). I was surprised to see John Hannah in there, trying to squelch his accent a bit (but bursting out with the occasional slippage in phrases like "Wi' are blassed..."). The "blood" part of the title is a big part of the show. With the unusual colorization and CGI slo-mo action and blood effects, you would not be far off to characterize it as "This is SPARTA... cus."

The lead character pulled me in, though, and the story line is interesting, so I'm sticking with it for now. It was criminal to cut Spartacus' hair—and why? Some of the other gladiators had long hair, and he was so much better-looking with the hair and beard.

Oops—Men's Gymnastics is finally on, though it isn't going well. Still, I want to see what's doing. And whether Daniel Leyva's hyper-enthusiastic father is there to put on a show. ;)

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
03 August 2016 @ 12:18 am
HalfshellHusband is making progress with his recovery. His painkillers weren't doing much, so he quit taking them. He's had a lot of pain, slowly receding now, but dropping the meds really helped him let go of that extra water weight. He has only 3 pounds left from the 14 he gained in those 24-hours at the hospital. He also had terrible itching when the various bandages were taken off (the adhesive seems to really irritate his skin), so the doctor prescribed a high-power antihistamine that sometimes helps boost the effect of painkillers.

24 hours of blissful relief, and then the drug's most common side-effect kicked in, so there was nausea and vomiting for another day and a half. You always hope you'll be the lucky one who doesn't experience the negative results, but it's rarely true. :(

BUT! He ditched the walker over a week ago, and at 3 weeks post-op was given permission to walk unaided in the house and use the cane outdoors. So, the mobility part of the recovery is going really well. He tried going upstairs yesterday, and while his leg muscles hurt, the hip joint didn't. He's only been upstairs a couple of times in the last 8 or 9 months, so that was huge. He can start on an exercise bike anytime, which is motivating. He's really missed biking outdoors.

Other news: I went to a soccer game with our daughter last week, Arsenal vs. the MLS (USA Men's All-Stars). She'd been looking forward to that for months. Arsenal is her second-favorite Football Club (Bayern-Munschen is first), and her fourth favorite team overall (Germany and Wales are between the two FCs). But she recognized a lot of the players, and they were good. Plus, we were mostly in the Arsenal USA fan section, so there was a lot of the European soccer-song experience that you really don't get with U.S. soccer. We were also in the full 90-degree sun the whole time (Oh, Mama!), and a couple of guys behind us got progressively drunker until one of them started railing against "You f**king hobo!", whoever he thought that was. But still... :)

TV-wise, we started watching An Idiot Abroad on Netflix. This is Ricky Gervais sending some travel-adverse friend of his off to foreign places and filming the outcome. The friend is a nice-enough guy, dry sense of humor and sometimes unintentionally funny, and well-meaning overall. As his travels progress, he gets less patient about some of the weird things he's being asked to do (I can't fully blame him), and there is always at least one spot in every episode where I wind up laughing myself sick. He does realize that he's not always appreciative of other cultures (or art/architecture in general, I think), and that often the weirdness is the conflict between his expectations and an entirely different way of doing things. OTOH, eating insects is a concept that a lot of Westerners just can't accept. It all depends on whether you grew up with that as an "okay" thing or something horrifying. In theory, of course—I have a phobia about insects and spiders, so I'm coming from farther afield on that issue than most people. I think I could do reptiles or amphibians if I had to (if they weren't too gooey), but I also don't have any phobias about those. Overall, I think the show's worth checking out. :)

I hope to update later this week with more random things, but I'm still emotionally slogging at the moment, so who knows? However, I'll leave you with this link to a WIRED article I read at the gym, about a Japanese Robot Hotel. Just the thought of being checked in by a dinosaur-bot makes me want to stay there!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
19 July 2016 @ 11:32 am
HalfshellHusband is still on the mend from his hip replacement. No big changes since the surgery—he's still in a lot of pain, he's still using the walker, and he still has about 12 of the 14 pounds of water-weight he gained in that one day at the hospital. But he's moving a little more easily now, and may be able to start using his cane soon. Also, today is the last day he has to give himself a shot of anti-clotting medicine, and then it's on to baby aspirin. I'm kind of wondering if the anti-clotting meds might be part of the water-retention problem, so I'm looking forward to that transition.

The biggest issue, apart from the pain and being housebound, is the limitation of needing to be on a chair or bed high enough that his hip doesn't bend too much. I can't remember how long that phase goes on. Three weeks? Four? Six?

TV-wise, we watched Disc One of True Detective. I've heard that Season 2 isn't good, but Season 1? DAMN... Incredible writing, and great performances by the two leads. We're also watching Netflix' new series, Marcella (also good) with our daughter, and sometimes Chopped and Limitless (the last is a re-watch for the grownups). She has very different tastes in TV than we do, so there isn't much overlap (though I think she would like Luther). She's tried to get us to watch Parks and Rec a few times, which is about as "eh" as I expected. Our family's sense of humor doesn't match the mainstream much—she's the closest of any of us. I would rather be watching Arrested Development or The Simpsons or Futurama or Monty Python, and so would our son... but HSH is good for about one episode at a time (at most) of any of those. He prefers the light, witty humor of mixed-genre shows like Chuck or Burn Notice or Buffy, all of which I love... but I also love the combination of satire/irony/absurdity on those few half-hour shows above.

Our daughter's tastes are son-repellent, and vice-versa (and sometimes parent-repellent, for both kids). Still, I tried out 72 Cutest Animals, which is a half-hour show I thought the kids might like or tolerate. They both got sucked into it when I had it on the other night, but it was more outrage on our daughter's part ("Who is voting on these? Gorillas are not cuter than lemurs, and the octopus isn't cute at all!") and intermittent interest on our son's. For me, it's a chance to look at a variety of (mostly) cute animals, some of which I've never heard of. The ranking order is just a gimmick, and always arguable. There was a segment on the quokka, with its cheerful, ever-present smile. How is that bad?

Bookwise, I finished Altered Carbon, which was really good. Someone called it "sci-fi noir," which is about right. I've since read another mystery in the Ruth Galloway series, Pork (a Kindle freebie—meh), am reading Hyde: An Urban Adventure (also a Kindle freebie, but more promising), and I have a Pascoe and Dalziel mystery waiting in hardback.

Oh—back to TV again, since there's been more garage-biking than I would like. It has either been > 100o or windy in recent weeks, so I just finished S2 of iZombie, and I'm closing in on the end of S6 of The Walking Dead. Given that a Zombie Apocalypse is basically a negative-sum game for the zombie side, that iZombie finale leaves me scratching my head. For TWD, every now and then I have to chuckle at those moments when your suspension of disbelief gets sidelined. HOW are zombies supposed to sneak up on anyone? Apart from the hissing and moaning we hear as soon as the show's characters are aware of the zombies, what about the stench? Seriously, wouldn't a sudden surge of "rot" put you on high alert?

All right, back to work. Which... *sigh*. The project I was pulled onto early is a cluster, and that's one of the reasons I was hoping to delay it as long as possible. Plus, huge learning curve, scattered and outdated documentation, and the development environment is still pretty "iffy." Better than when it was so bad people were just leaving the company in frustration, but still... not good. :(

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
15 July 2016 @ 01:47 pm
Sorry for the radio silence. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to withdraw. Last week was not only "Surprise!EarlyHipSurgery" for HalfshellHusband, but also (after some recent layoffs) a presto change-o priority overhaul at the office. Now, instead of finishing the work I'd been doing to help get out a soon-to-be-released feature, we're all getting hijacked early to the "main" project and I'm now working back under a manager who does not like me. And is also very grim, these days. Ugh.

I came home and ate a lot of chocolate the day that was announced (last Thursday). Now, of course, the new people are flailing because there's no one to train us and the documentation is out of date. My office has apparently never really absorbed the software management adage that Adding more people to a late project makes it LATER. :(

In HSH news, his surgery went well. They released him less than 24 hours after the surgery finished, which I was NOT expecting. Had to rush to get the house ready, namely the chair and bed where he'll spend most of his time. This wouldn't be necessary if his legs weren't so long, but they are, so he needs an ultra-high and firm/stable chair, and the bed needs to be ultra-high.

I was a little worried about him coming home so soon, but the physical therapist thought he was ready and there were no surgical complications. Turns out it's probably just as well: the surgical team did not coordinate with his cardio team, so he had no LASICs in the hospital, no special diet, and they put him on a saline drip. He came home 14 pounds heavier than when he left—in one DAY. Getting that water out is a struggle. If his LASICs dose is too high, his blood pressure drops and he gets really dizzy. When it's not high enough, the water doesn't budge. However, with the pacemaker in now, he can now drink caffeine again and take advantage of its diuretic properties (and it won't lower his blood pressure). Diet Coke to the rescue?

He's getting around pretty well, and while he's in a lot of pain it's still a little less than before the surgery. The real agony of trying to move around is gone, but the background level of pain is higher. OTOH, he knows it will only get better rather than keep getting worse. We both wish the incision had been on the side of his thigh (like before), and not up the back. Sitting and lying on it make it hurt more. :(

I'm doing better now, late in the week. I worked at home through Wednesday, partly because I'm sleeping in the guest room now and that has NOT gone well. The bathroom is right on the other side of the wall, and HSH's walker is very loud if he needs to move around. Plus the porch light and bathroom nightlight make the room too bright, and it's on an east-facing corner. I've turned off lights, I've brought a cloth to put over my eyes in the morning, and I'll refresh my earplugs tonight. All of that has helped over the last few days.

The kids are being very helpful, though it took awhile for our son to grasp that his father can't be home alone just yet and also that the 4Runner needs to be available in case a doctor or hospital run is needed.

So, good thus far? Or, on the way there? The work thing, though... there's no helping that. :(

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
07 July 2016 @ 01:54 pm
Well, Halfshellhusband got moved up in the surgery schedule for his hip replacement! There's an opening tomorrow, and the cardiologist who did the pacemaker said it was okay to have the additional surgery. SO... it's 11 days earlier than the postponed date would have been. Which really matters when the pain is so severe and it's a day-to-day exercise in endurance.

We made an all-out effort last night throughout the house and garage to figure out where we put that hip-surgery "helper" kit from last time, since it'll cost $45 to buy it again. But no. Our son even helped get down the unlabeled boxes HSH put on the upper shelves in the garage (seriously, this is HSH's specialty). I checked them (and LABELED them), but still nothing. Really, I think all we're missing from the kit is the grabber and the ingenious device that helps you get your socks on. We have other home-prep stuff, such as the bricks needed to temporarily elevate the bed, and the super-tall walker, and the elastic shoelaces. There's more preparation involved in general because HSH is 6'4", and long-legged, and he will not be allowed to sit much lower than at a 90-degree angle. He has to be almost fully reclined just to be in the car (the tall 4-Runner) on trips to/from the hospital and the doctor's office.

So, he'll be stuck in the bedroom a lot during recovery. We'll also need to move a bigger TV in there, and probably the cable box from the living room. You have no idea what epic levels of patience and stoicism HSH possesses. :(


My sister visited over the 4th of July weekend—but stayed with my brother, an hour away, which is not what I was hoping. We all got together Friday for dinner, then brunch and conversation on Sunday, and then my brother's 4th of July celebration (his favorite holiday, which I did not realize and which she'd never been here for before). It was really nice, though I'd have loved some 1-on-1 time with her. Our son was off at Yosemite with his uncle (they had a GREAT time), and our daughter was in and out. Most, I spent the weekend cleaning, visiting, bicycling, and watching fireworks. Very nice.

There was a lot of reading of Altered Carbon, too, a sci-fi book by Richard Morgan that I'm liking better than The Steel Remains.

Good Stuff via Links:
  • A heartwarming story about regular Canadians sponsoring Syrian refugees.

  • Chuck Wendig's WTF-ness Review of 'Batman vs. Superman', in which the essay might be more entertaining than the movie.

  • The in-home project that is The Marin County Bad Art Gallery. The "titles" and descriptions are hilarious, and some works—such as A Cheshire Cat of Nightmare Made—are possibly debatable? IDK. It looks hideous, but I'm also getting kind of an Expressionist feeling off of that one.

  • Go forth and waste time!

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    28 June 2016 @ 11:17 pm
    Title: Stone Secrets
    Original Fiction
    Rating: G
    Summary: The granting of wishes is uncertain magic.
    Author's Notes: For the writerverse challenge prompt of "Have You Ever Been to _____?"


    At the part of the river where the water grows silent, there are no ripples, no wavelets, no murmurs. The shadows are deep, the banks damp and mossy, and the air smells like the promise of rain.

    People from the farms and villages nearby go to that place to make wishes.

    Thursday noon is the best time to go, the stories say. We walk in sideways, pockets full of witch-weed and our hair tied in knots. Anyone who slips into that place unnoticed is more likely to have a wish granted.

    Our secrets are sacred, and wishes are the most secret things of all. We whisper them into the veins of wilted leaves, wrapping them around pebbles and setting them on the water. Most will float, impossible as that seems. Only the wishes that slip beneath the surface ever come true.

    We know better than to ask for small things, or to waste our wishes on sweetmeats and baubles. We plead for fevers to break, or that wasting sicknesses be healed. When our wish-stones do not sink, we return and ask again, for No does not mean Never.

    I have been to that place each week since Michaelmas, and still my mother will not wake.

    Soon, I shall go daily, repeating the ritual as often as I must to get it right. I bring my own stones, stones that are larger and heavier each week. None match the weight that lies on my heart.

    This is foolishness, Annika, you will think, for surely I have come too often to be able to creep up on the magic in that place without it knowing?

    That may be, certainly, but I have no other hopes or methods to turn to. I grew desperate many weeks ago, so terribly desperate.

    Now, I have nothing to lose.


    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    28 June 2016 @ 12:37 pm
    HalfshellHusband went for another checkup yesterday, and was liberated from the sling that keep him from raising his left arm too high (and pulling out the pacemaker leads). He got multiple hours of actual sleep last night, for the first time in a week. The sling meant he couldn't sleep on his left side, and his right side has the excruciatingly arthritic hip, and he doesn't really sleep well on his back, so... He's looking much better now, partly because the combination of sling, cane, and major limp made it look as if he'd been in a traffic accident. :O

    It wasn't a great week at work for me, thanks to the worry and preoccupation, but it got better with time. Stuff is getting done!

    On the entertainment front, we've been watching Damages on Netflix (and had to go after alternate sources for S2 of Better Call Saul. Our daughter has tried to hook us on Parks and Recreation (still kind of "meh"), and I've watched a couple of episodes of Brain Dead with her. HSH and I went out for a date last weekend, and saw Keanu. Fun and funny in parts, but I'm really glad we didn't take the kids to that. I need a "strip club" warning for our son, as they pop up where I least expect it.

    Bookwise, I started The Crossing Places while in San Diego to pick up our daughter. I've read three more books in that series (murder mysteries with a British archeologist). I pulled down a bunch of free books for my Kindle, and am almost done with Rushed (I don't recommend it). A Richard Morgan book came up from my hold list, so that's next. Our son has practically stopped reading altogether in favor of his phone, video games, the gym, sports practice, and required reading for school (which has bled over into summer with books I've never even heard of). As a result, I haven't searched for any new physical books at the library in about 7 or 8 weeks, and that's usually where I get my own new reading material too!

    Weatherwise? One of those 100-104 stints is happening here. If I'm not out on the bike by 10am, it's too late. This makes biking at work really hard, as I am Not A Morning Person. Gah, summertime cabin fever! Only in Phoenix or in California's Central Valley. Of Hell. :(

    Got plans for the 4th, if you're in the U.S.? I imagine most Brits are still reeling from the Brexit results. :(