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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
23 September 2017 @ 12:29 am
I'm back home again, after driving our son down to UCLA for his move-in. It's a long drive—6.5 hours or so—but practically brief compared to the 10-11 hour (or 12 hour) trips to San Diego to take our daughter to school. It's a much more manageable distance.

The weeks leading up to this were tough, but the trip and separation itself a little less so, mainly because he was actually ready to be going. Well, emotionally, anyway. I still wound up packing most of his stuff, because neither of our children inherited my godlike Tetris skills.

Originally, we'd planned for both parents to drive south for the journey, but HalfshellHusband's broken hip keeps him from going anywhere. That was hard on him, having to stay behind again and say goodbye so abruptly. We went through this with our daughter too, but that was mainly because she'd packed too much stuff to fit a third person in the car!

So now I'm back, in the empty nest, and it is strange and likely to feel stranger over time, at least for awhile. HalfshellHusband saw the orthopedic surgeon a week ago, and while the pieces of bone have moved a little (PIECES, not just a crack as I'd originally hoped), the current thinking is still that surgery might possibly be avoided. Given HSH's tendency to overdue, I'm not so sure. He's supposed to keep weight off of that leg, but I catch him free-wheeling around without his walker or even the cane—or trying to make dinner on the sly because it's "not that hard," even though standing up for long periods is forbidden. This is usually followed by a long, sleepless night due to pain. :( I'm really dreading trying to juggle all of those chores and responsibilities while also having to nag HSH to stop helping when he shouldn't. Give me strength...

Other news... Work=grief, and I have no idea when/if I'll be able to get away for a few days to visit my mother. We've watched a couple of movies (The Girl On The Train was much twistier than I had expected), I've read some books, I've listened to more Chris Cornell (because I'm already feeling sad, and the mood aligns), and now a future of tackling the in-home chaos awaits me... And to think, Fall is usually my favorite season. \o?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
05 September 2017 @ 12:15 am
Last Tuesday, HalfshellHusband had a blackout fainting episode at the house, and fell. He hit his head (no concussion), and he fell hard on his hip... which has several cracks at the top of the femur. No surgery so far, but he could be pretty immobile for the next three months or so.


This is the third major broken bone recuperation in less than two years, and in a few weeks my helpers will be off at college.

I just feel so tired thinking about it, and HSH has it worse, since he has to go through that healing and recuperation yet again. He was enjoying riding his bike again, and doing well apart from those spells of dizziness and loss of equilibrium. But it took Kaiser too long to get to the root cause of that problem, so the inevitable fall happened instead. :(

UGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh. I wasn't able to take a lot of vacation in the Spring, with my office's schedule, and that stretched into Summer. I was hoping to travel this Fall, but now... even going by myself, there'd be some concern about whether HSH needs looking after

WHY? I spent the first two days of this 3-day weekend madly cleaning bathrooms and trying to get as much squared away as I can. HSH is our cleaner, but he is not good about floors of any kind. Plus, in the passive-aggressive standoff between him and our daughter over who was supposed to clean the upstairs bathroom, period, I was the loser. HSH wasn't even able to get upstairs for about a year. After he fell off his bike in October 2015, he broke his wrist and kicked off an angry accelerated path of destruction in that pre-arthritic hip. Then it was hip erosion/replacement/rehab, once the problem became known. Plus, painkillers don't do much for him. All the opioids are blocked by another medicine he has to take, so once again he's treating broken bones with... aspirin. \o?

I feel like I've been in one sort of "wait it out" mode or other for ages now, and this is just so disappointing. And again, I know HSH feels that way too, and worse, so I can't even really say too much about it. *sigh* :)

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
27 August 2017 @ 11:39 pm
Woke up Saturday to a washing machine that had mutinied, at least from the rinse cycle onward. This is after an expensive pipe break under the back yard deck, a random belt issue on one car, and our son's discovering what can happen when you drive barefoot and your foot slips off the brake onto the accelerator. No one was hurt, but in a contest of car vs.brick wall, the bricks won. :(

Our son's birthday on Monday was pretty low-key, mainly because we were all exhausted and jet-lagged. Then Tuesday I drove in to work, and back into the mayhem. My skin had cleared up over our vacation, but it started to break out again late afternoon on the first day back. /o\

Apparently, there was a minor cooling spell while we were gone (i.e., the daytime highs went below 90-degrees). That ended the day after our vacation was over. Now we're back up in that 107-degree range for a couple of days, and the expected mildest day this coming week has a high of 97. UGGGGGHHH!!! As for DC, I have a friend who grew up in the Midwest and its humidity. His theory is that people acclimate to that climate to the point where they sweat less, because their bodies have learned that it doesn't do any good. This could explain how people wear suits in that weather.

I got voted out of Idol last week, which was sad, but it was a good run and I appreciate those of you who supported me throughout! Thanks to my office stress, I wrote a lot of crack, which was actually kind of therapeutic. :)

I've read a lot of books over the last several months, including:
  • The Dead House, a sort of paranormal drama. Through journal entries, interview transcripts, and other media, it tells the story of a girl who may be succumbing to possession. Or her experiences might be a side-effect of her disassociative identity disorder. Or both. A very good YA novel, complete and well-balanced.
  • We Never Talk About My Brother, a collection of short stories by Peter S. Beagle. I tried for years to like The Last Unicorn, but just couldn't. These stories, though? The first one had terrific voices and such a neat idea, and the second (the title story) blew my socks off. Definitely worth reading.
  • Expecting Someone Taller, by Tom Holt. Replete with dry British humor and absurdity, this is the story of a man who accidentally runs over a badger and gets passed down magic Norse artifacts that provide him with enormous power. I nearly bailed on it when one of Odin's ravens used the phrase Bugger all. *Gag* British slang (or any slang) in a story with historical characters is just so clunky. I made myself persist, though, and enjoyed the book overall. And then checked out
  • The Outsorceror's Apprentice, also by Tom Holt. This builds on ideas from his When It's A Jar, and mainly features a fairytale world in which there are too many wolves threatening girls, too many dragons terrorizing villages, and far too much demand for chopped wood and milled wooden planks. And some of the characters are growing suspicious...

  • I've also started a Pascoe and Dalziel novel, always a pleasure. I restrained myself from going to the library this weekend, as I have another week on the few books HalfshellHusband and my son are reading, and I have a ridiculous backlog of Read and Return stuff. But next week? Oh, I can only be so strong...

    And now I need to make tomorrow's lunch and get to bed for another week of the Sisyphean exercise that is my work life...

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    21 August 2017 @ 12:09 pm
    We got home last night (-ish) at 1am, after a long, long day of travel and a visit to the National Portrait Gallery with our daughter. She was right—there WAS a lot to see there. Parts of the Civil War section (the Emancipation Proclamation with Lincoln's image via the text! Johnson's betrayal of Lincoln's promise to slaves depicted as Iago undermining Othello!) were geek-tastic. The travel home part began at around 5pm, with Ubering to the airport, and the first flight of two left at 7:30. I SO wish I'd remembered that we'd be leaving at dinnertime, and flying for 3 1/2 hours. That was one uncomfortable flight. The second, after a speed-search for food at Denver before boarding the plane, was mostly an issue of staying awake. Also, the newer 737 planes? The passenger seats are smaller front-to-back than their predecessors by at least 1.5 inches. Long-legged people, beware. :(

    It's the last day of voting for Idol, and I'm not faring well in the polls, but still hopeful! My two entries are here and here, and links to voting polls (two) with all entries are at the bottom of each. Please read and vote if you can!

    The cat was extremely happy to see us, and we let her sleep in our son's bed last night. He wonders why we don't let her do that every night, but that will make his leaving for college all the harder on her! She does go up and snuggle with him every morning, though, and he just leaves his door open as it's easier than being awakened by her scratching at the door to be let in...

    Other news: any questions I might have had about whether my plantar fasciitis was getting better are DOA. Ugh. My feet (arches especially) hurt a lot with all that walking and standing over the last week-plus, and they're back to that early morning pain again. This is after more than a year of time off from running, which has been longer than I wanted! Stupid feet. Why must you fail me?

    During our travels, I tripped on an ill-placed rock at a cafe our second morning there, and fell hard and spectacularly. Nothing broken, I think, but major bruising on the rump and arm where I made contact, and I jammed a finger that is still swollen and sore. No injuries for HalfshellHusband, though all the walking was tiring (and yet he made it) and his feet hurt a lot (terrible shoes). He had some dizziness episodes, but not many—which was better than we expected, given what was happening before we left.

    Yesterday, an articulated bus had an accident in DC's Chinatown, right next to where we had lunch. I thought the heavy rear bus caved in through one of the construction plates covering a large hole, so that the street ate one of the bus tires, but it may be that the bus skidded on a plate? Hard to say—the road was completely dry, and the accident happened awhile before we got there. I'll bet the bus driver was worried about job security after that, though it was kind of a freak accident situation. :O

    Okay, better get back to work and unpacking. It's our son's birthday today, so everything is in flail mode. Including the sky! Though actually, not so much here, sadly. We're in an unimpressive locale for the eclipse...

    ETA: I still think that bus accident involved tire-eating. One of the construction plates was really bent, and also, if you stop a rear tire on the back half of an articulated bus, the front will swing around like that—kind of the obverse of a jackknifing truck if you brake too hard from the front.

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    20 August 2017 @ 12:19 am
    Just a quick reminder to please check out the LJ Idol entries for this week. There are two sets of entries and two polls, and we're down to the Top Six (so, 12 entries in all). I'm hoping to make it through this week, so every vote helps!

    Today we visited Washington's Mt. Vernon estate. It was beautiful and huge, and I can't imagine living there without air-conditioning. Like the previous few days, it was so hot and muggy today that we just sweated through all our clothes until we became soggy and miserable. I honestly don't know how people manage to wear business suits in this weather. Even just a t-shirt and shorts were too much! Tomorrow should be an interesting situation, what with cool clothes needed for DC roaming and then fresh, moderate clothes for the lengthy airplane trips back. Plus, packing sweaty clothes back in with the regular clothes. :O

    I wish we'd had time to go to the museum store at the National Art Gallery yesterday. It was huge. On Thursday, we spent so much time fooling around at the Natural History Museum store that we felt compelled to buy something. First, there were lobster and squid hats, a plush squid, and then various assorted plastic squid, octopi, and crustaceans to photograph and send to our daughter, who has a crustacean phobia. This goes along with the pictures of a boiled shrimp and an official t-shirt-with-happy-idiot crawdad, from our dinner at Hot and Juicy on Wednesday night. The boiled shrimp picture prompted a STAHP response, and I'm not sure she ever saw the t-shirt. She says she ignored the offerings from the Museum Store (boooo! Those were the "We're thinking of you!" photos), which means she never saw the plush narwhal picture we also sent. Seriously—there's a whole narwhal thing going on at that museum right now. My son and I each bought a small, chubby, derpy-looking plastic dinosaur creature at that store, as entertainment payback. But there were a lot of cute plush toys there.

    Oh, and for random amusement, we started and finished watching Stranger Things while staying in D.C. We all enjoyed that a lot. Now I've finally persuaded HalfshellHusband and the boy to try out Awake, even though it was cancelled after one season. Still, what an intriguing show.

    Okay, off to bed. There's packing and other logistics tomorrow, plus a trip to the National Portrait Gallery, which our daughter raves about. Though she was "meh" on the National Art Gallery (I could have spent a whole day there), and she told us that the Air and Space Museum wasn't all that great (the rest of us spent FOUR HOURS there, just on Space plus the Wright Brothers, as I said). So, you know. Her judgment might be a little suspect. But still, those are the plans.

    Hope you're all enjoying the weekend, and that it's less hot wherever you are...

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    18 August 2017 @ 11:33 pm
    Our vacation in Washington DC is nearing its end, and the whole thing has gone by very quickly—except for those times when it's so hot and muggy that it feels as if time is standing still. This weather—ugh, what a challenge.

    You may have noticed that two Idol entries went up yesterday. Trying to write two entries while on vacation visiting family was a real challenge! I'm hoping to stay in this a little longer, and have a chance to write further entries where I can focus, so please read and vote if you're so inclined. All entries for this week are linked at the bottom of those stories.

    The writing struggle, apart from the time in which to do it... I've been having trouble staying awake at night in this time zone (so, no long stints there), and in the mornings I'm just stupid. We've been getting up at the equivalent of my 5:30 am, and I normally get up around 8:00. Just getting my head together enough to shower or go to the gym is a struggle. My brain is muddled until about 11:00.

    We've spent a good amount of time with our daughter, when she hasn't been working. On her birthday, we visited the Supreme Court and the Jefferson Library of Congress (wow), and saw Dunkirk.

    Saturday, we went to the Newseum (really good, so much better than I expected. The Pulitzer Prize photo exhibit was terrific, but there was also a 1989 Berlin Wall exhibit, historic newspapers and printings, and exhibits on 9/11, civil rights, and chasing terrorists. Of the ones we visited). Sunday was the National Zoo (panda butts! Happy elephants! Cute children! Also the fattest fish I've ever seen). Tuesday we did the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (i.e., about 4 hours of space stuff plus the Wright Brotherz exhibit, because HalfshellHusband and our son and I are space geeks). Wednesday was The Capitol, the National Archives (i.e., actual copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights), and a night tour of several of the monuments and memorials. Thursday was the Smithsonian Natural History Museum (dinosaurs!) and a brief and disappointing visit to the Museum of American History. Today, we saw the White House exterior from a distance (it's all barricaded off), the Jefferson, F.D.R., and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials (the King one is really nice), and part of the National Art Gallery-- with a speed round through the Impressionists, since the museum closed sooner than we expected. Well worth it, though.

    It's been around 90-degrees and humid here the last few days. Weather-wise, that translates to sweating ALL through your clothes and then sweating some more. UGGGGggghhh. And thanks to hotel discount deals, we're also staying at a very nice hotel and having to do our laundry in the sink, like peasants. Not for the first time... \o?

    More later, but in general the people in D.C. are really nice, and the Metro system is awesome. :D

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    17 August 2017 @ 12:30 pm
    Safety Starts Here!
    idol season ten | week 28 | 853 words
    Going Forward


    To: All Allied Atlantic Employees
    From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
    Date: May 8, 2017
    Re: Workplace Hygiene

    Folks, we've had some reports of people leaving food out overnight in the break room. We don't want to assume the night shift is at fault, but let's just remember the company policy:

    All leftover food items are to be put in the refrigerator or in the trash.

    While we welcome visitors at Allied Atlantic, we do not extend that courtesy to insects. You know which ones we mean.

    So keep it clean, and if you see something sitting out, throw it out.

    Thanks, everyone,

    To: All Allied Atlantic Employees
    From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
    Date: May 22, 2017
    Re: Fire Safety

    It has come to our attention that there have been problems in the break room again. Namely, people are forgetting to unplug the coffee pots at the end of the day (or the end of the shift, for those working nights).

    When coffee pots are left on too long, the liquid cooks off and the pot becomes a fire hazard. This morning, smoke was coming out of one of the coffee machines when the early shift came in. That was a close call for all of us!

    So remember, unplug and be safe. And do not, under any circumstances, put anything metal in the microwave.


    To: All Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
    From: Stuart Franklin, Asst. Manager
    Date: June 8, 2017
    Re: Hallway Safety

    Note to all employees: boxes, packing materials, and plastic tie-wraps must not be left in aisles and hallways where people need to walk. They create a tripping hazard.

    This requirement is clearly stated in the Employee Regulations Handbook. If you need help understanding these rules, I would be happy to assist you.


    To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
    From: Asst. Manager Stuart Franklin
    Date: June 28, 2017
    Re: Hazardous Behavior

    Warning: roughhousing on the loading dock is strictly forbidden!

    Two employees were caught engaging in a shoving match yesterday afternoon, in Loading Area B. Such behavior is dangerous, and clearly constitutes an OSHA violation.

    It will not be tolerated.

    Said employees have been terminated, per company policy. Any future incidents may incur fines as well as loss of employment.

    Stuart Franklin

    To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
    From: Asst. Manager Stuart Franklin
    Date: July 5, 2017
    Re: Cease And Desist

    From the Employee Regulations Handbook, Section I.4., "Violation of company policy is grounds for immediate termination of employment."

    Six employees were fired over the weekend for hazardous and egregious misuse of company equipment. There is no question that "forklift racing" constitutes dangerous and unprofessional behavior, particularly during loading and unloading operations.

    If such behavior continues, Allied Atlantic Shipping may be forced to suspend operation until sufficient replacement employees can be hired.

    Employment is a privilege, with no guarantees. Those who wish to remain employed must abide by company guidelines and common sense, or face the consequences.

    Stuart Franklin

    To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
    From: Manager Michael Cranston
    Date: July 11, 2017
    Re: Final Warning

    The management of Allied Atlantic Shipping endeavors to support its employees, but cannot and will not do so in the case of willful disobedience.

    This is in reference to the personnel caught playing "keepaway" with the crane payload yesterday at the company's shipping dock.

    Said employees were dismissed, and incident reports were written up against all bystanders, particularly those participating in the wagering pool. The crane driver and two dockloaders were dismissed, including the employee whose leg was broken when the payload fell on him.

    Loading operations are suspended until such time as new workers with the appropriate qualifications can be found.

    Should the downtime continue to impact business for too long a period, Allied Atlantic Shipping may be forced to reduce its workforce. This is your final warning.

    Michael Cranston

    To: Allied Atlantic Shipping Employees
    From: CEO Roger Harry
    Date: August 10, 2017
    Re: The Future of Allied Atlantic

    Well, you did it. I can't believe it, but you people managed to sink the shipping company my grandfather built in 1947.

    Seventy years of operation and a legacy of company pride, and you killed it all in just six weeks with your stupid shenanigans. I thought those drug tests would have weeded out any potential problem employees, but apparently they don't make a drug test or a Darwin test for morons with a death wish!

    For those of you who mentioned the Employee Regulations Handbook, the company policy requires safe and professional behavior. That covers everything, whether every possible example of idiot behavior is listed or not. We aren't going to spell out things like, "Do not play Jenga with the contents of the distribution trucks," for crying out loud.

    What were you people thinking?

    Allied Atlantic's bright future is gone. Between the OSHA fines and the dock sitting idle for three weeks, we're too far in the red to make it out. The company has filed for bankruptcy, and you are all fired as of now.

    Clear out your desks and lockers, and get out of my sight.



    If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with other fine entries here. Note that there are two polls!

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    17 August 2017 @ 12:18 pm
    Flaw Fatale
    idol season ten | week 28 | 388 words
    Fatal Flaw


    I have seen a few summers in my time, though I won't say how many. A lady doesn't discuss her age.

    Nevertheless, I've still got it.

    A man may dream of riding the stars, or building a civilization whose legacy will last for centuries. But in the end, he will always come back to me. He can't help it—once I've laid my mark on him, he can't resist, and he'll never forget what he truly wants. It's in his nature.

    It always was.

    I have an allure all my own, and for each man, I know the darkest part of his desires. He may chase after some high-minded creature with self-important ideals for a while, but he won't be able to forget me. I've got a hold on him he can't escape.

    I won't play the vamp, and I'm not some siren luring poor sailors to their doom. I am simply the one a man is fated to notice, and having seen me, he won't be able to get me out of his mind.

    How can I take so many different forms, and yet essentially always be the same? The secret is in the eye of the beholder. The truth of me never changes, but my appearance shifts to suit individual needs. One man's great white whale is another man's indecisiveness or self-doubt. Some may succumb to me when I wear the form of pride or ambition, while others are smitten by simple greed. Just know that I am real and I am dangerous, and I always play to win.

    I am a fraying thread of dignity clad in a tailored suit, or the soul of seductive vulnerability in opera gloves and a black silk dress.

    Someone once said I was nothing more than a literary device, but just look at me. Does a literary device have shoes like these peep-toe Louboutins with three-inch heels? Certainly not!

    So, if you're planning a mission or a quest, or you're simply living the part of a tragic protagonist or hero, we may be destined to meet. Really, it all depends on your fate.

    And please, don't worry about finding me. If I'm in your future, it will happen on its own. I won't even have to look for you.

    I'll be waiting right here inside you the whole time...


    If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with other fine entries here. Note that there are two polls!

    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
    11 August 2017 @ 02:05 pm
    We're at the Sacramento airport, waiting to fly out to DC to visit our daughter for a week. Yesterday was a frenzy of packing and-- mainly-- trying to finish something up for work before I left. I spent all day reworking that code up through midnight, and it felt SoClose, but no. Got it into a state where others can take it over, though.

    The early part of the week was a howl-fest at home, as our son was at UCLA orientation and the cat didn't know what to do with herself. Poor thing-- her boy came home for half a day, but now the whole family is leaving!

    Idol news: we're down to the Top 8 of the season, so the end is closing in! My entry is here, with a link to the poll and all other stories. Not crack this week, because I couldn't make the prompt work toward that, but a good story of a different genre. :)

    Last weekend was busy. We were gone all day Saturday, traveling for a birthday celebration for my husband's oldest sister. It was bittersweet-- something we wanted to go to, and absolutely needed to, but that sister has early-onset Alzheimer's. She enjoyed having the celebration and seeing everyone, and felt very loved, but there are so many difficulties and frustrations for her that it was also a struggle. She can still walk with assistance, but is unsteady (her balance is increasingly compromised). She struggles with finding words, and people just wait patiently, but for someone who used to be so sharp and conversational, that is hard for her. Processing multiple conversations at once is also hard (so, crowded gatherings stress her), and eating is very difficult. It's just so unfair, and everyone fears the eventual stage where she starts forgetting who we are. So, it was an absolutely must-attend event and was wonderful in many senses, but there was a lot of sorrow toward the future.

    With the busy summer (meaning, my office's virtual moratorium on most vacation time), I still haven't gone up to see my family, and need to do that. It may not be until this Fall, after our son goes to college, but I wish I could squeeze it in sooner. I also mourn the missing of blackberry season up in Oregon yet again. I haven't been there for August blackberries in more than 15 years. *sigh*

    Well, better turn this thing off soon. I'll check back later this weekend, and find out what you've all been up to!